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Vol. 9 No. 6

Monday, August 20, 2012

. . . putting the people first

Shawwal 2, 1433 AH

Bandits bomb Ocean surge Edo prisons, free death toll inmates reaches seven

‘FG dialogue with Boko Haram sham’


Insecurity: Shehu of Borno shelves durbar

Fuel scarcity mars Sallah in Abuja >> PAGE 3

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Transport fares double By Abdulwahab Isa and Muhammad Nasir


he fuel scarcity in Abuja, the nation’s capital, which began last Wednesday entered the fourth day yesterday, with a telling effect on the city’s socio-economic life.

It particularly marred yesterday’s Eid-el-fitr festivities, marking the end of the 30 days of the Ramadan fast. Many Muslim faithful were holed up indoors due to high transport fares brought about by the unavailability of petrol at filling stations in the metropolis and its environs.

STF averts violence in Jos

Peoples Daily correspondents who monitored the situation said Abuja has come to a virtual standstill. Transport fares, they reported, have climbed to a double digit on all routes. At Yaman filling station in Area 3 and Conoil in Area 10, the

roads were completely inaccessible, having been blocked by parked vehicles. Virtually all the filling stations visited were not dispensing fuel and their entrance gates were locked, but anxious nonetheless queued up outside, hoping the fuel attendants would

eventually sell fuel. While filling stations were not selling, fuel hawkers selling the product in jerry cans made brisk business. As at yesterday, a litre of fuel in the black market had gone up to N300. A journalist who Contd on Page 2

From Nankpah Bakwan and Nurudeen Hussain, Jos


he Special Task Force (STF) codenamed "Operation Safe Haven" in Jos, the Plateau state capital, yesterday averted what would have been a bloody sallah day when Muslims returning from Farin Gada eid prayer ground almost clashed with the students of nearby University of Jos. Peoples Daily gathered that Muslim youth were said to be chanting slogans as they marched towards the prayer ground, thereby raising tension in the university community. Students residing off campus and those accommodated in the village hostel immediately mobilized and signalled their colleagues in Abuja and Naraguta hostels to come out and confront the Muslim youth. However, the STF promptly moved to the scene and prevented any breakdown of law and order by dispersing the restive Muslim youth and students. Further investigation revealed that vehicles parked around the institution's Contd on Page 2

Young Amina and Nana Ibrahim were among other Muslims offering Eid-el-Fitr prayers held at the National Prayer ground, Airport Road, Abuja yesterday. PHOTO: JOE OROYE



















Education 27-28 Health


How PHCN assets were valued – BPE Spokesman By Udenna Orji


o earn revenue from the sale of PHCN successor companies is not the main reason for the ongoing privatisation of the power utility by the Federal Government but to improve access to electricity and ensure fair tariffs to all end users. Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) spokesman, Mr. Chukwuma Nwokoh who made these known while refuting allegations made by labour leaders that PHCN assets were being undervalued and sold off to private investors, regretted that “critics of the valuation of PHCN successor companies have not taken pains to understand how power assets are valued”. BPE had announced that the Federal Government would earn over N200 billion from the sale of PHCN assets being privatized; but Comrade Bede Opara, president of Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies, had alleged that the assets were being grossly undervalued, adding that if it was only about N200 billion that the PHCN assets were being sold for, the electricity workers should be allowed to buy

the 18 PHCN successor companies with their severance benefits. Concurring with his labour counterpart, Comrade Joe Ajaero, general secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), had listed items that ought to have been included in the valuation in order to get the appropriate value of PHCN assets. According to the BPE spokesman, “it is apt to clarify that the over N200 billion to be realised as privatisation proceeds is in respect of 60 percent equity in the 11 distribution companies does not include the proceeds to be realised from the sale of the generating companies… in the ongoing reform and privatisation of PHCN successor companies, it is only the distribution and generation assets that would be sold to the private sector. The transmission assets will continue to be owned by the Federal Government and managed by the private sector… We shall now look at how the assets in distribution and generation are valued. Distribution assets: The only agency empowered by law to fix electricity tariff in Nigeria and by extension to place value on distribution assets is the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

“Quite unlike other companies, distribution companies are not allowed to determine the prices that consumers pay for the services they render. This is because electricity distribution is a natural monopoly and if the state allows the private distributors to charge whatever tariff that pleases them, then they would use the monopoly powers to exploit the consumers. The purpose of valuation must determine the approach to be used. “To that extent, if one is valuing a business for the purpose of acquisition, discounted cash flow method is usually the preferred method by investors. NERC has in the last two years undertaken a valuation of distribution assets and the outcome of the values placed on those assets is reflected in the tariffs that became effective on June 1, 2012. NERC in placing values on the distribution assets must have been guided to ensure that Nigerians are not exploited as it is the consumers that ultimately pay for the assets through the tariff. Included in the tariff is the return on investment which NERC is allowing investors based on the values placed on the assets of the distribution companies…” he said.

Policeman kills self after shooting wife, 2 daughters


police corporal, Anthony Ugwuoke, yesterday at Edda Village, Ugwuachara in Ebonyi local government area of Ebonyi, shot himself dead after shooting his wife, Nkechi, and two daughters. Ugwuoke’s wife and daughters are in critical condition at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA), where neighbours rushed them after the incident, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt. NAN learnt that the late policeman was attached to the B’ Operations unit of the Police Command in Ebonyi and was an orderly to a High Court judge in the state. Mr. Sylvester Igbo, Police Public Relations Officer in the state, confirmed the incident but added that no clue had been established on the motive for the action. “Investigations into the matter are on-going as we would ensure we get to its root. “The body of the late officer has, however, been deposited at FETHA mortuary,” he said. Chief Jones Igboke, a community leader in the area, expressed sadness over the incident and called on the police to unravel the mystery surrounding it. (NAN)

Fuel scarcity mars Sallah in Abuja I wasn’t involved in Okupe’s contract scam, says Suswam, Page 37

International 32-34 Digest








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Contd from Page 1 narrated his experience to our correspondent said he bought 20 litres at the cost of N5,000. A middle-aged man who identified himself as Mr. Emeka said he bought ten litres fuel for N6,000 in the black market yesterday, just as another person said he bought 25 litres for N8,000. A driver told our

correspondent that some fuel attendants were cashing in on the prevailing circumstance to exploit drivers. He said a filling station in Area 11 sold fuel to him at black market prices. Our reporter who visited Oando filling station in Area 10, observed that motorists whom are Muslims that went to fill their tanks got trapped in a queue for

hours and could not make it to the mosque. Meanwhile, Economy Coordinating Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said that the prevailing scarcity is artificial, accusing some oil marketers of having caused it because they were indicted in the oil subsidy scam. A meeting last Thursday

between the minister and the oil firms to end the scarcity, however, failed. A statement issued over the weekend on behalf of the minister by her Senior Special Assistant on Media, Paul Nwabiuku, said 21 companies were being investigated based on evidence that they may have engaged in fraudulent activities under the fuel subsidy regime.

JTF avert violence in Jos Contd from Page 1 entrance had their windscreens shattered and one person was wounded. Meanwhile, the Plateau state Police Command has expressed dismay over the clash between the Muslim youth and students, noting that “in spite of the series of parleys with religious leaders, youths, and the stern warning issued on the use of abusive and provocative language and carrying of weapons yet some misguided youths still went ahead to foment trouble.” A statement by the Command’s Deputy Police Public Relations Officer ASP Danjuma Azikiti described yesterday’s incident as “highly condemnable and unfortunate though nobody lost his life in the skirmish neither was any place of worship affected.” It urged religious leaders and parents alike to caution their followers, children and wards against all forms of violence, warning that security forces would not compromise in dealing with trouble makers in the state.

The police, however, reassured citizens that normalcy has since been restored in the Farin Gada area and called on all law abiding citizens to partner with security personnel to ensure enduring and sustainable peace in the state. Peoples Daily recalls that violence marred last year’s sallah in the city in which many lives were lost and properties destroyed. Though yesterday’s festivity went off relatively peacefully, the build-up to it was not. Three people believed to be Fulani herdsmen were ambushed and killed on Friday by yet-to-be identified gunmen at Sho village. Those killed were identified as Yero Goma, Wada Usman and Maliki Magoro. Goma and Usman died on the spot while Magoro died while receiving treatment in hospital, according to the National Secretary of Miyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Alhaji Saleh Bayeri. According to him, the three were apparently ambushed while returning to Sho from Barkin Ladi

where they had gone to celebrate sallah. The attack was the latest in the series of acts of violence in the area after last month’s killing of Senator Gyang Dantong and Gyang Fulani, the Majority Leader in the Plateau state House of Assembly. However, the sallah festivities were peaceful in other parts of the state capital. The Chief Imam of Jos, Sheikh Zakariyya Balarabe Dawud, in a sermon delivered immediately after the two rakkat prayers were concluded, admonished the youth to eschew violence. "Youths are the strength of every society, most especially Muslims youths; I enjoin you to desist from indulging in thuggery; you should also refrain from carrying arms and fighting one another," he said. "You should celebrate the festive period in a sober and peaceful manner, and in line with the true teachings of Islam." Sheikh Zakariyya frowned at the action of security operatives

who prevented Muslims from conducting the Eid prayer at Barkin Ladi, as well as the decision of the state government to stopping Muslims in Jos from using their burial ground in Russau village. He said that "only equitable dispensation of social justice to all and sundry on the part of those in leadership will yield positive results in the quest for peaceful coexistence." In his pre-prayer sermon, the Murshid (Chief Missioner) of Jamatu Nasril Islam (JNI) in Plateau state, Shiekh Abdul'Azeez Yusuf, urged the congregation to fear Allah and repent from their sins, stressing that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has enjoined Muslims to spread salutations to individuals, and to pay visits to friends and relatives including non-Muslims. The representative of the Plateau State Government, Alhaji Idris Ibrahim Waziri, who is the Commissioner for Water Resources, said that Governor Jonah Jang wished Muslims "a hearty barka da sallah."



Sallah: Gun battle in Kano From Edwin Olofu, Kano


Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo in a handshake with President Goodluck Jonathan during the Sallah Homage to mark the Eid-el-Fitr held at the State House Abuja yesterday. PHOTO: JOE OROYE

FG dialogue with Boko Haram a sham, says Shehu Sani From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


resident of the Kadunabased Civil Rights Congress (CRC), Malam Shehu Sani, has described the reported dialogue with Boko Haram in Saudi Arabia as diversionary and a ploy by government to give Nigerians false hope that the insurgency by the group would soon end. Moreover, according to Sani, the proposed talks may not have indeed come from the genuine leadership of the group.

According to him, “if there is going to be any genuine talks, there should be confirmation from the leadership of the group and not the government. “From what we know, the only channel of communication by the group is through YouTube postings by the leader, Malam Shekau and as far as I am concerned, I do not think or believe that there is any dialogue going on because it has not come from the usual source.” “Government is raising some

false sense of hope while on the ground there is no credible evidence to establish what they are saying. “Any talks between the Federal Government and Boko Haram may not be impossible but it must be done honestly and sincerely and through channels that are credible. “I am of the belief that this ‘arrangee’ talks will only undermine the search for peace and these senseless killings and bombings going on in the north

should be ended by honest and sincere commitment and not by the seizing, misinforming and misdirecting the conscience of Nigerians. “Of what use is it, if the group eventually dismisses the so-called talks, after raising a false sense of hope and if actually this so-called dialogue going on in Saudi Arabia or wherever is true, why is it that the killings are still continuing? Genuine talks can only be recognized by a seize-fire and cessation of all hostilities.”

Lagos Ocean Surge: Death toll hits 7, more missing From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos

…Communities blame NIMASA, others

he death toll from the Ocean surge which washed out communities in Kuramo Beach at the weekend in Lagos, has reached seven, following the discovery of six more bodies yesterday. Residents of the communities affected have blamed the incident on shipwrecks

and abandoned vessels on the sea. A residents and community leader, Ayinde Olusa, said the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and other agencies have since abandoned many shipwrecked vessels on the water ways which contributed to the damages.


He called on the government to immediately open a relief camp to victims who are displaced by the surge. His words: “destroying our house will not bring solution to the surge, all those wrecks and vessel must be removed first and government must provide a somewhere to stay for the

displaced people, as at now we can’t quantify the loss because many things will be affected.” Meanwhile the Lagos State Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Segun Oniru, has ordered the immediate evacuation of the state’s waterfront communities.

he city of Kano was thrown into pandemonium Sunday afternoon following a gun duel between gunmen and soldiers at a check point around Malam Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, cutting short Sallah festivities in the area. While Sallah festivities went peacefully in most parts of the north despite fears of attacks, the mood was disrupted in Kano when some insurgent yesterday afternoon attacked a military checkpoint, forcing the soldiers to engage them in a fierce gun battle. An eyewitness hinted that the gunmen launched their attack from a motor bike they rode on but were repelled by the military Joint Task Force (JTF) forcing them to retreat with gunshot wounds. A mobile policeman was said to have been injured in the duel. The gunfight was said to have attracted the attention of other security operatives in the area who also responded, forcing the gunmen to flee. Residents and motorist around the area were forced to flee resulting in general panic in the city, which was already living in apprehension following warnings by security forces of plans by insurgents to launch attacks on some northern states during the Sallah festivities. Following the attack, the JTF cordoned off the Kundila Housing estate and immediately mounted a manhunt for the gunmen. Confirming the incident, JTF spokesman in Kano, Lt. Ikedichi Iweha said that the attack was repelled, adding that there was no casualty on the part of security personnel on duty. Iweha however stated that the mobile policeman that was hit on the leg during the attack was treated and returned to his duty post. He said the gunmen escaped with gunshot wound and escape into the neighborhood of Kundila estate during the gun fight, adding that the “development compelled the military to cordon off the estate to fish them out

Police discover more arms Bandits bomb Edo prison, free inmates in Okene From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


he police in Okene, yesterday, found a Honda car containing various weapons including six AK47 ruffles and eleven fully loaded magazines in Oboroke Ihima area of the town. The car, which was said to have been parked by an unknown person was said to have been on a sort of relay transit to an unknown destination. Residents, who suspected the vehicle, had reported to the Ohi of Ihima, Alhaji Abdulraheem Ahmed Ogido, who in turn alerted the police. It was gathered that the

residents raised suspicion when another person tried to pick up the car parked near a lady who sells GSM recharge cards. The lady was said to have raised an alarm which attracted residents, resulting in the discovery. The Kogi state Police Commissioner, Mohammed Katsina, who confirmed the incident however said the car was abandoned by some criminals after having confrontation with his men. He noted that the police was already on the trail of the suspects and assured that there would be no hiding place for the criminals. It would be recalled that some gunmen yesterday, engaged the police in a gun duel at Idare in Okene which lasted for several hours.

From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


everal prisoners escaped when heavily armed hoodlums, yesterday, used explosives to blast one of the gates of the Oko Minimum Prisons in Edo state. The men who were said to have come in a Toyota Coaster bus, attacked the prison at about 1.30 am using explosives and other dangerous weapons. The bombing of the gate of the prisons was said to have been accompanied by heavy shooting forcing residents to abandon their homes. The actual number of prisoners

that escaped during the attacks is yet to be ascertained, though sources said a large number of them made it out of the cells while 12 inmates were re-arrested. It was gathered that the gunmen had overpowered the prison officials and policemen guarding the prison with explosives. When newsmen visited the prison yesterday morning, the entrance was cordoned off by security men who turned away journalists and relations of inmates who had come to the prison to ensure the welfare of their relations after news of the attack filtered into

town. Edo State Controller of Prisons, Mr. F. O Ewulo, when contacted on telephone, confirmed the incident but quickly added that the incident is been investigated. On his part Edo state Police Public Relations Officer, Anthony Airhuoyo, said the state command was yet to be briefed by the Divisional Police Officer, (DPO) in charge of the area. Earlier in the year, Ewulo had confirmed that the prison has about 37 inmates on the death row. However, the number and categories of prisoners that escaped is yet to be known.



Eid-el-Fitri: Al-makura preaches peace From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


overnor Umaru Tanko l makura of Nasarawa state, has called on muslims to use the celebration of the Eid-el-Fitr to pray fervently for peace, stability, continued unity and progress of the state and the country at large. Al-makura, who made the call in a press release issued to newsmen in Lafia yesterday, urged the people to demonstrate the lessons of love, patience, perseverance, dedication, charity and above all, the fear of Almighty Allah, in words and deeds all the time. While describing this year’s Ramadan, which ran through 30 full days, as a unique occurrence that calls for sober reflection, the governor called on all and sundry to preach love and peacefully among themselves, stressing that without love and peaceful coexistence, Nigeria cannot develop. The governor equally urged all road users to be cautious and always obey traffic regulations in order to avoid unnecessary accidents, calling on officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in the State to specially step up operations during the celebration. A

Cross section of Muslim worshippers at Al- Habibiyyah Mosque, during Eid-el-fitr prayer, yesterday in Gusape District, Asokoro Extention, Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

Bauchi Sallah held amidst tight security From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


allah celebration in Bauchi state was held peacefully, though under tight security to ensure that lives and property of citizens were protected.

It was observed that troops of well armed policemen, soldiers and vigilantes groups were deployed to all the major streets in the metropolis to forestall any breach of peace during the celebration.

Killing in the name of Islam unjustifiable – Aregbesola From Inumidun Ojelade, Osogbo


overnor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state has declared the killing and bombing of Christians and churches by the Boko Haram Sect, as unjustifiably, running against the tenets of the Islamic faith. Speaking at the Eid-el-Fitri prayer to mark the end of the Ramadan fast in Osogbo on Sunday, Governor Aregbesola declared that Islam, as a religion does not advocate violence. Citing portions of the Holy Quran where Prophet Mohammed entered Jerusalem

and refused to invade a church, the Osun Governor explained that this was exemplary of how Muslims should relate with Christians in their daily living. Aregbesola stressed that Muslims are not allowed to kill other people except in war situations, which usually result from exchange of bullets. According to him, in such situations, Muslims are forbidden from killing prisoners of war, saying that the blood of such victims would count on the head of those who took their lives. He added that the Holy Prophet Muhammed cautioned

that no tree should be cut down except when roads are to be constructed, not to talk of killing human beings in the name of religion. He urged the Muslim community to demand explanation from those who have been hiding under the banner of Islam to violate the sanctity of human lives so as to check the menace. Speaking earlier, the Chief Imam of Osogbo, Sheikh Mustapha Ajisafe, admonished Muslims to continue to live in harmony with each other.

Governor Isa Yuguda, in his Sallah massage, commended both Muslims and Christian’s brothers for offering prayers to ensure peaceful co-existence in the state. He urged Muslims ummah to learn from the teachings of the month of Ramadan especially by accessing the past activities aimed at correcting the mistakes, adding that they should make good use of the lessons of the Ramadan in the subsequent months to come. Yuguda therefore called on well to do individuals to always assist the less privileged ones in the society, so as to give them a sense of belonging. “We have many lessons to learn from the month of Ramadan as the religion of Islam always preaches peace. I appreciate the prayers offered by both Muslim and Christian followers for the peaceful co-existence in the state and I urge all citizens to continue praying for peaceful atmosphere

in the state” he said. He reiterated the commitment of his government to ensure peaceful and mutual understanding among various groups in the state, calling for tolerance among various religious and ethnic groups in the state. The Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwanu Sulaimanu Adamu, in his remarks urged Muslim ummah to always observe the teaching of the religion especially by doing away with any act that will bring unrest in the society. He urged the people of the Emirate to always pray for the peaceful co-existence among the different groups within the emirate and the state in general. The Emir and other village heads took a horse ride from the Bauchi central mosque were the two raka’at prayer was conducted instead of the Eid praying ground due to bad weather as a result of rainfall.

Insecurity: Shehu of Borno shelves Sallah durbar From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri

…Thousands shun Eid grounds

ollowing what appears to be the worsening insecurity in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, the annual Sallah durbar usually conducted by the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Garbai El-Kanemi, as part of the Eid-elFitri celebration did not take place yesterday. Our correspondent reports that spectacular horse-riding processions called ‘Hawa’ and several other traditional displays are among the durbar events held during the two annual Sallah ceremonies at the palace of the traditional rules, drawing thousands of spectators from within the country and abroad. The palace of Alhaji El-

Kanemi, who is both the Chairman of Borno state’s Council of Chiefs and Deputy President General of both the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, (SCIA) and Jama’atu Nasril Islam, the Muslims’ apex decision-making bodies, did not issue official statement over the cancellation of the durbar activity. It was however gathered that the emirate council’s decision to put off the traditional ceremonies was not unconnected with three major issues, bordering on insecurity. The first reason, it was learnt, followed the June this year’s failed suicide attack on the monarch and state Deputy Governor,


Zanna Umar Mustapha. The attack left at least 10 persons dead, several others wounded, when a suicide bomber, targeted the two dignitaries and blew himself to death after Friday’s prayers in Maiduguri central mosque, behind the ElKanemi’s palace. Similarly, it was gathered that the suspension of the celebration might be linked to the warning given by the Joint Military Task Force (JTF), that it has uncovered plot by terrorists to launch deadly attacks on military formations and civil areas in Maiduguri, during the Ed-el-Fitri festivity. A source hinted that the emirate council was advised

against staging the event to avoid suicide bombers, who may take advantage of the large crowd to maneuver their ways and attack personalities and innocent citizens. The last Thursday’s killing of Alhaji Zannah Kafilama, the former secretary to the Borno emirate council during the late Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Mustapha Umar El-Kanemi, was seen as another factor that compelled the traditional council to suspend the historic event. Although the Eid-el-Fitri prayers were conducted peacefully, amidst heavy security presence of heavily armed soldiers, however, thousands of Muslim faithful in some areas shunned the religious rite due to the fear of the

unknown. Others, who attempted to go to the grounds returned home without participating in the congregational prayer, saying they were discouraged by the blockage of some of the roads leading to the prayer grounds. The prayers at the Ramat Square where important dignitaries, including Kashim Shettima, held their prayer was marked by hundreds of stern looking security men, while all roads leading to the prayer ground was cordoned off throughout the prayer period. Vehicles were not allowed to be parked close to the praying grounds making the Muslim faithful to walk some distance to perform the ritual of praying at the grounds.


By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


resident Goodluck Jonathan has reminded Nigerians of the need to collectively work towards the attainment of peace, saying it is a perequisite for unity and progress of the country. He made the assertion yesterday, while receiving top government functionaries led by Vice President Namadi Sambo who paid him the traditional 'Sallah' homage at the State House, Abuja. "There must be unity and


Unity, peace, prerequisite for Nigeria's progress - Jonathan peace for Nigeria to progress. We must unite, for us to progress, there must be peace for us to progress", he declared. It is the tradition that the Vice President leads a delegation of Muslim faithful in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to pay

'Sallah' homage to the President immediately after the Eid prayers. The President reassured the citizenry of the commitment of his administration to the implementation of the transformation agenda,

stressing the crucial role of peace and tranquility in achieving that. "Today is a great day, it is a moment not just for Muslims but all Nigerians to reflect on the unity of Nigeria. What we are passing through as nation can

Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto state in hand shake with Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar at eid praying ground.

Only court can judge my son - Bamanga Tukur By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has insisted that it is only a proper judicial process and not the court of public opinion t h a t w i l l determine the culpability or otherwise of his son in the fuel subsidy scam. His son, Mahmud is

presently facing trial alongside others for alleged involvement in fraudulent claims in the subsidy regime. Fielding questions from State House correspondents yesterday, after paying 'Sallah' homage to President Goodluck Jonathan, Tukur said he would not disown his son. He added that as an adult,

Mahmud would face the consequences of his actions. "He is my son, I never disowned him. My son is an adult; I can assure you it is only the court of justice that will determine it. It is not justice by public opinion, it is justice by the court. As I have said, we must follow justice and whoever is found guilty will be so dealt with, if he is not, we will know,'' he declared.

FG expresses readiness to dialogue with Boko Haram By A'isha Biola Raji


he Federal Government has expressed willingness to enter into negotiations with the group Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lil Daawati Wal Jihad popularly known as Boko Haram. According to a statement signed by the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, government is ready to welcome any idea that will

marshal in peace, security and calm to the country. The statement read: "The Federal Government welcomes any initiative that will usher in peace, security and tranquility in the country; we welcome the statement by Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lil Daawati Wal Jihad." Also, the Federal Government reiterated its eagerness to listen to the grievances of the sect. "It is our

hope that this process will lead to restoration of peace, security and tranquility to Northern Nigeria." The decision sprang from the statement issued through VOA Hausa Service Tuesday last week wherein a purported representative of the sect had acknowledged that it has been in contact with the Federal Government and had started negotiations with the objective of reaching a compromise.

Cooperate with security agents, Bayero tasks Kano people From Edwin Olofu, Kano


he Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, has charged the people of the state to cooperate with security agents in their effort to restore peace in the state. Bayero said the state, like some other parts of the country, is facing security challenges which require cooperating with the security

operatives towards the sustenance of peace and maintenance of law and order in the state. The emir made the remark, Sunday at Kofar Kwaru after he attended this year's Eid-el Fitr prayer at the Sheikh Ibrahim Nyass Mosque Kofar Mata. The royal father had earlier attended the Id prayer amidst tight security at the prayer ground riding on a horse cart with

his entourage, government officials and other Muslim faithful. He admonished people to always have the fear of Allah and shun evil practices that can cause harm and confusion in their lives. "Everyone should endeavour to search his soul and avoid any negative tendencies that are capable of bringing evil to the society", the emir said.

Security challenges a passing phase - Suswam From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


overnor Gabriel Suswam of Benue state has urged Nigerians to see the current security challenges facing the nation as a passing phase that every nation has to go through in its history. The governor, who said this in a message to Muslims on the celebration of Eid-el-Fitr signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Cletus Akwaya, said many nations have experienced worse security challenges but overcame them through dialogue, and creative thinking. He expressed belief that the prayers and supplications of the Muslim faithful during the fasting period will go a long way in relieving the nation of the enormous challenges facing it, urging them not to waver in their prayers, even after the Ramadan. Suswam further advised Muslims and all Nigerians to embrace dialogue and introspection in the search for peace and solutions to the current national security challenges which have claimed hundreds of lives and destroyed the economy of many states of the federation.

be overcome with prayers", he said. He reiterated his government's resolve to drive the transformation process to a logical end. President Jonathan also promised to build on the effort of the country's founding fathers, saying "this is a forum to tell Nigerians that we are one". The leader of the delegation, Vice President Sambo, who just returned from Saudi Arabia after the Lesser Hajj, had informed President Jonathan that Nigerians who also went for Umrah, prayed for peace and unity as well as for him to have wisdom to transform the country. Present at the occasion were the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bamanga Tukur, Senator Philip Aduda, Minister of Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Bello Isa Sali, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar, the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Abubakar, former Speaker of House of Representatives, Ghali Na'Abba, among others.

Katsina emir urges parents to monitor children From Lawal Sa'idu Funtua, Katsina he Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, has urged parents to closely monitor the conduct of their children and the company they keep. The emir, who stated this while addressing his subjects at the Kangiwa Square, Kofar Soro, Katsina shortly after the Eid-elFitr prayer, noted that it was by monitoring the conduct of their wards that they could be saved from being used by politicians and other evil minded persons. He tasked parents to invest in the education of their children to make them responsible citizens who would be of benefit to their society and the country in general. Similarly the emir called on Nigerians to intensify prayers over the security challenges facing the country, adding that there was nothing like peace. On the Fulan-farmers' clash, the emir advised the belligerents to live peacefully with one another since he said they all operate within the same periphery. "I wish to advise farmers to make sure they evacuate their farm produce early to guard against invasion by cattle rearers. The herdsmen must also guard their cattle against straying into farm lands" he stressed.



NSCDC merger unnecessary, says boss By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


ollowing media reports credited to some groups and individuals advocating the merger of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), with other security agencies, the Commandant-General of the corps, Ade Abolurin, has described the call as unnecessary. He made a case for collaboration and checks and balances among the various security agencies, rather than merger. Abolurin, who gave this indication over the weekend in Abuja, added that the corps was created with a specific mandate which is different from other security agencies. It would be recalled that recently, a committee set up by the Federal Government to reposition Nigerian police recommended that NSCDC, ICPC, FRSC and some other agencies be merged with the Nigeria police. In response to this, the NSCDC boss said that such recommendations will be tantamount to backwardness, considering the enormous role his corps plays in ensuring peace, security of lives and property in the country.


Suswam vows to depose traditional chiefs in crisis areas B From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

enue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, has vowed to remove traditional rulers in Otukpo and Obi local government areas and other parts of the State in the event of escalation of crisis in their domains. The Governor, who made this threat at the weekend during a condolence visit on the Och' Idoma in Otukpo, HRH Agabaidu Elias Ikoyi Obekpa, in his palace, condemned the recent incident between the 2

LGAs, maintaining that there is no justification for a people who have lived together as a family to take up arms against each other. He blamed the traditional rulers of both LGAs for failing in their responsibilities to handle the situation by restraining their youths from engaging in a war with each other, saying that such negligence has resulted in the brutal killing of people and destruction of property. "Government will take serious action to avoid

reoccurrence of the crisis. We do not want the State to be engaged in any crisis especially at this time when the nation is engulfed in serious security challenges", the governor said. He therefore promised that the State Ministry of Land/ Survey will commence immediate demarcation of the boundary between the two LGAs to avert any future conflict. In his response, the Och' Idoma also regretted that the crisis had lingered on since the days of former Deputy Governor of the State, Chief Ogiri Ajene,

recalling that attempts were made to demarcate the boundary between the 2 LGAs but was not successful. He also lambasted traditional rulers of the 2 areas for their failure to nip the crisis in the bud, saying that his kingdom would be compelled to evoke the gods to authenticate the actual owner of Ijegwu land. It could be recalled that recently, fighting between Otobi people of Otukpo and their Obi brothers over a piece of land in Ijegwu led to the death of over 13 persons.

Housing scheme underway for Abuja demolition victims - FG


he Minister of the Federal Capitoal Territy (FCT), Abuja, Senator Bala Mohammed, has said the Federal Government is coming up with a social housing scheme to ameliorate the hardship of those affected by the demolition execise in the territory. Mohammed disclosed this yesterday, after the traditional Sallah homage by the Muslim community in the FCT to President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Vice President Namadi Sambo led the delegation to the President, which included Muslim clerics and faithfuls, Ministers, Presidential aides and some members of the National Assembly. In an interview with State House correspondents, Mohammed said that government was not unaware of the hardship the demolition would cause, disclosing that it was a necessary exercise to rid the city of undesirable elements. "I assure them that under his Excellency, President Jonathan, we are coming up with social housing that will accommodate the needs and aspirations of every Nigerian, especially those that are affected by the demolition. "At the end of the day, we will carry out an exercise where they will be registered. We will be able to provide them with affordable housing and in a place where they will like.

L-R Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu and Minister of State for Health, Dr. Mohammed Ali Pate discussing during the FEC meeting held at the State House Abuja on Wednesday. Photo: Joe Oroye

Unpaid salaries: NULGE gives Kwara govt 14 days ultimatum From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


ollowing the inability of Kwara state government to pay up all the June and July salaries of Local Government workers, the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employers (NULGE), Kwara state branch, has issued a 14 day ultimatum to the state government to do so, failure of which all the workers in the 14 Council areas would embark on indefinite strike.

The Union, in a communiquĂŠ issued at the weekend and signed by Comrade Abayomi M. Afolabi, the state Secretary of NULGE, the union said that if the state government refused to address all the issues discussed at the union meeting, they would not have other choice than to going on industrial strike. The Union, in the communiquĂŠ entitled" The Strangulation of Local Government System in Kwara State: The Position of Nigeria Union

of Local Government Employers", argued that they were grossly under-funded. It blamed the Joint Account for the mermaid of crisis facing the local government system in the state, saying it has not been beneficial to the Local Government System in Kwara state. "The most worrisome is the fact that in-spite of the short-fall in the Federal allocation, the usual detrimental deduction from the local government allocation are

still being made, leaving the local government Councils financially incapacitated. "That the constitutional roles of local government council as a third tire of government have been usurped by the Ministry of Local government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Development; thus reducing local government council to mere appendages of the state contrary to the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria." The union stated.

Police nabs suspects for stealing FCT Appeal Court property By Nasir Muhammad


n alleged gang of hoodlums, who stole properties of FCT Customary Court of Appeal, has been nabbed by the police. Chukwu Kajika, from Enugu state, was caught last Tuesday at Kabusa area of Abuja Municipal Area Council, where he and other members of his armed gang, were trying to cart away property worth millions of naira, which belongs to FCT Customary Court of Appeal. According to the Chief Security

Officer of the Court, Yakubu Abubakar, the Presiding Judge of the Customary Court, Kabusa, Hon. Salim Olasupo Ibrahim, called him on phone at 4:30am on that fateful day to inform him that armed robbers had invaded the court. He said the bandits had already loaded into a blue Volkswagen space bus with registration number XK 677ABJ, stolen items from the court. He listed the items stolen by the hoodlums to include: generator sets, photocopying machine, Panasonic

air-conditioners, file cabinets, executive tables and chairs. Narrating further, he said the robbery was foiled by prompt effort of security man on duty, who called Kabusa Police post; from where a team of police was urgently sent to arrest the hoodlums. He explained that as soon as the Police sighted their advancing vehicle, they opened fire while the robbers also retaliated by firing at the Police. "Luck however ran against the hoodlums when their vehicle veered off the road, into the market

and got stocked; they abandoned their vehicles and fled." He stated. He noted with dismay that no fewer than ten courts have been so far robbed of items with millions of naira stolen, including generator sets, photocopies, Panasonic airconditioners, file cabinets, executive tables and chairs. The courts affected according to him, include those of Galadimana, Piakasa, Dutse Alhaji, Zuba, Gabalape, Bako, Gwagwalada B, Kwaita, Oroso and Deidei where two security men were killed by the bandits. (NAN)



Jikwoyi, Karu residents tackle Rep over democracy promises By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


cross-section of residents of Jikwoyi and Karu a satelite communities in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC)have expressed their dissatisfaction over the non fulfillment of electoral promises by their representatives, both at federal and local councils. The residents complained that the only time the community witnessed the presence of their representatives is during electioneering campaigns,

after which they disappear abandoning the people that voted them to office. Some of them who talked to Peoples Daily said, “From the past representatives to the present ones, the culture seems to be the same. Zaphania Jisalo, the former Chairman of AMAC and current member of the House of Representatives, got to the peak of his political career with the votes he got from the people of Karu/Jikwoyi community” They added “What have the people of the community benefitted for their support to this Gbagi born politician who

is also a member of the People Democratic Party (PDP)over the years?. In order to win the vote of the masses of these communities during electioneering campaign, they will convincingly promise electricity, water, street lights and roads, market, waste bins and so on using their political skills.” Speaking further, they said that the communities have not witness the presence of any government, both federal and local, saying that they have continued to live in darkness as a result of epileptic power supply for years now.

Jang cautions against religious fanaticism From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


s Muslims celebrate Eid el Fitri, the Plateau state Governor, Jonah David Jang, has called on Muslim faithful to sustain the lessons learnt during the period of Ramadan, stressing that religion should not be allowed to tear the country apart, but should

rather be practiced in ways to unite the country. In an Eid-el-Fitri message to Muslims which was signed by his Director of Press and public Affairs, James Mannok, the Governor also prayed for continuous peace, love and stability in Nigeria. Jang also advised Nigerians not to allow religion to tear the country apart, but to embrace and defend the

unity of the country as well as the protection of human dignity. He reiterated his resolve to deliver democracy dividends to the people, calling for cooperation for government to succeed. He added that they should not sleep over the secularity of the country, but should join hands in the crusade for a better and egalitarian society.

Yuguda releases 3.5 million for kidney patient’s treatment the condition of the patient From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


auchi state government has released $22,000 to offset the medical bills of 25 years old Abubakar Buba, whose kidneys were removed at a private clinic in Bauchi recently. A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Bauchi State Governor,

Ishola Michael Adeyemi, stated that the state government released the sum for kidney transplant in India as recommended by the Abubakar Tafa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi. It further stated that the state Commissioner of Health, Dr. Sani Abubakar Malami had already led a team of medical personnel from the ministry to assess

with the aim of flying him to India for the transplant. The state government, while sympathizing with the patient, prayed for a successful transplant and quick recovery; just as it promised that the circumstances that led to the removal of the kidneys will be thoroughly investigated to sanction anyone indicted of professional misconduct.

Group partners with Jigawa govt to revamp reading culture accounting education to the From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse


Youth association, Jigawa Youth Development Movement, is partnering with the Jigawa state government to revamp reading culture, through a sensitization campaign for both primary and secondary school pupils in the state.

The president of the association, comrade Aminu Aminu, stated this yesterday in Jigawa during a press conference to commemorate the United Nations International Youth Day. Aminu also said that apart from inculcating the reading habits in the students, the association will also partner with the state government to provide free legal, medical and

students. He said the decision was propelled by the present effort of the state government in the provision of free post graduate scholarship to indigent students of the state. Speaking further, he commended the state governor for improving the quantity and quality of food supplied to boarding schools across the state, in addition to the 100% increase in students’ bursary allowances.

Wada’s aide denies arrest over Okene killing From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


ide to the Governor of Kogi state, Abubakar Adagu Suberu, who is the former chairman of Okehi local government area of kogi state, has denied the rumours making round that he was arrested over the Okene killing. A press statement signed by

his legal representative, Usman Salih, which was made available to journalists in lokoja, said that there was no truth in the reports, pointing out that it was manufactured by his client’s political detractors. According to his Counsel, “the arrest and detention of Suberu has got nothing to do with the Otite or Okene killings but it was as a result of a petition

written against him by some politicians from Okehi LGA bordering on some criminal allegations which are unconnected with the said killings.” While calling on the media to exercise caution on the matter, Salihu noted that the allegations are presently being investigated by the law enforcement agency.



Imam warns Muslims against suicide, says punishment is hell fire T

he Imam of Gwallaga Mosque in Bauchi metropolis, Sheikh Suleiman Bashir, yesterday warned Muslims against involvement in suicide for whatever reason. Bashir gave the warning in his Eid-el-Fitr sermon preceding the two Raka’at prayers to mark the end of the Ramadan fast. He said uicide was un-Islamic and its punishment was hell fire.

“Life is a gift from Allah and nobody has right to do away with it. Suicide for whatever reason is a grievous sin abhored by Allah”. The Imam also warned Muslims against shedding the blood of innocent persons whether such victims were Muslims or non-Muslims. According to him, anyone who kills an innocent person will face the wrath of Allah. “Every human being has a

right to live and only Allah has the right to give and take live. “Those who shed the blood of others would account for such souls before Allah”. Bashir advised Muslims to respect the right of others and not to transgress beyond Islamic limits. ‘’Killing a single Muslim or a trusted unbeliever is akin to killing the whole of humanity. “Killing is only permissible in

Islam when a person kills a fellow human being. “If you chop off someone’s ear, you should have your ear chopped off; if you pluck an eye, you should have your eye plucked; if you cause a bodily harm, you must pay compensation”, the Imam said while quoting from the Holy Quran.

He also warned Muslims against rebellion, adding that it was un-Islamic for Muslims to rebel against one another. Bashir called on Muslims to always seek repentance for their sins and fear Allah in whatever they do. He thanked Allah for the successful completion of the Ramadan fast and urged Muslims to carry the lessons learnt beyond the Ramadan. The Eid prayer was attended by hundreds of Muslims amid heavy security presence. (NAN)

Muslims boo Kwara govt over water shortage at Id ground From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


undred of Muslims fateful that participated in the two-rakkat prayer at the Ilorin Central Id ground yesterday, booed the state government over inability to provide water to the metropolis. The presiding cleric who had lauded the state government for providing security around the praying ground and for providing tents for the people was interrupted with loud boos from the crowd when he mentioned that the state government had provided water for the people.

Our correspondent observed that it took about 10 minutes before the congregation could be calmed as some members began chanting: “It’s time for prayer, it’s time for prayer”… in Arabic. However, the Cheif Imam of Ilorin, Alhaji Muhammed Saliu, in his sermon congratulated Muslims for the successful completion of the Ramadan and warned those in the corridors of power to always remember that one they would leave the earth and their deeds would serve as company during the interrogation with Almighty Allah.

Leadership failure responsible for insecurity, says NYC From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


he Kogi state chapter of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, (NYC), has identified leadership failure as being responsible for the present insecurity in the country. The chairman of the council in the state, Engr. Godwin Emmanuel, who stated this while addressing a press conference in Lokoja as part of the activities to mark this year’s Youth Day, said government must urgently take steps to curtail the Boko Haram menace. While condemning the

Gov. Isa Yuguda of Bauchi state checking slabs at a new Muslim cemetery in Bauchi on Saturday. With him is the Commissioner for Special Duties, Alhaji Bappah Azare.

Saraki explains Ilorin land acquisition From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


ormer Governor of Kwara state and Senator representing Kwara Central Senatorial District, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has said that the acquisition of some parcels of land in Ilorin metropolis by the state government was done in the best interest of the community as part of the master plan to transform the state capital into a model one in Nigeria. Senator Saraki gave this explanation when he visited Kwara state pilgrims in Saudi Arabia during the Lesser Hajj.

The Cheif Press Secretary to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, Alhaji Abduwahab Oba in a statement, quoted Sen. Saraki to have said that it was his administration that acquired the said land in public interest and not the Abdulfatah Ahmed administration. “As your son in Ilorin, I cannot carry out any policy or measure that will be injurious to the collective good of the people. The said parcels of lands were acquired as part of my administration’s effort to transform Ilorin to the best city in Nigeria”. Senator Saraki who is the

Chairman of Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology appealed to the people to cooperate with the State Government in its developmental efforts that will transform Ilorin and other parts of the State. The former governor urged the people of the state see the land acquisition in proper perspective of laying a solid foundation for the state capital, adding that if there were grey areas on the issue, all parties should embrace and explore the option of dialogue for amicable resolutions and not give the exercise some political colouration.

recent acts of terrorism in Kogi state, the group reminded the government that it was its constitutional responsibility to protect the lives and property of every member of the society. He however commended the efforts of the state governor, Capt. Idris Wada, in repositioning the state for effective service delivery. He called on the government to pay special attention to infrastructural development, youth unemployment, inclusion of youth in governance and approval for monthly subversion to the Kogi NYC.

Jos peaceful as Muslims celebrate Eid-el-Fitr


os, the Plateau capital, is calm and peaceful as Muslims celebrate the Eidel-Fitr festival to mark the end of the Ramadan. Correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who went round some parts of the city, however, observed that the festivity was without the fun and fanfare usually associated with it. “People are generally in their houses and celebrating in their vicinities; everywhere is calm, peaceful and quiet”, Capt. Salisu Mustapha, spokesman of the military Special Task Force (STF) on peace in Plateau, told NAN. He said that reports from STF field officers had also confirmed that everywhere was orderly

with no report of any disturbance from any quarters. NAN correspondents observed some gaily dressed youths visiting some play grounds especially around Rikkos, Gangare and Ungwan-Rogo areas, while the normal sharing of food among families was being carried out. NAN reports that the STF had made adequate security preparations for the festival by blocking some major highways in the state capital, forcing many people to trek long distances to their places of worship. Fierce-looking security officials were also stationed along major highways, while vehicles plying the roads were thoroughly checked. (NAN)


Napoleon Hill's 17 Universal principles of success (1)



A typical tradition way of savings in olden days


rinciple 1: Definiteness of purpose: It is the starting point of all achievement. Without a purpose and a plan, people drift aimlessly through life. Definiteness of Purpose is knowing what your goal is, knowing what you want the starting point of all achievement. Principle 2: Mastermind Alliance The Mastermind principle consists of an alliance of two or more minds working in perfect harmony for the attainment of a common definite objective. Success does not come without the cooperation of others. Principle 3: Use Applied Faith Faith is a state of mind through which your aims, desires, plans and purposes may be translated into their physical or financial equivalent. Principle 4: Go the Extra Mile Going the extra mile is the action of rendering more and better service than that for which you are presently paid. Doing it all the time and doing it with a pleasing, positive attitude. Principle 5: Create a Pleasing Personality Personality is the sum total of one's mental, spiritual and physical traits and habits that distinguish one from all others. It is the factor that determines whether one is liked or disliked by others. A pleasing personality helps you master the major cause of failure - the inability to get along with people harmoniously. Principle 6: Create Personal Initiative Personal initiative is the power that inspires the completion of that which one begins. No person is free until he learns to do his own thinking and gains the courage to act on his own. Personal Initiative is the inner power that starts all action; the power that inspires the completion of all that one begins.

Quote "You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine." William Murphy, Entrepreneur

Take insurance to secure the education of your child T

he biggest legacy a parent can leave for the child is befitting education and 'too bad' if you can't pay the child's school fees, whether dead or alive. While it is the desire of most parent to see this responsibility taken to the end, challenges of life ranging from economic to death could scuttle the plan midway, and when this happens, the child does not only lose focus but gets frustrated to such an extent that it becomes regret all life. What should I do as parent or guardian to secure the education of my child or ward, whether or not I am there to pay his or her school fees?

Insurance experts say there is that opportunity to save for the child's education through taking out an insurance policy such that if you live, you can have some money at the end of the term period to continue with life. But should death come along the way or incapacitated as a result of accident or illness, insurance takes up the burden to train the child till he or she completes the education. Seyi Ifaturoti managing director, CrystaLife Assurance plc said taking insurance for the child's education gives rest of mind to parents and offers the platform that protects the future of the child. According to her, providing


Save or invest... which one?

airo Abubakar is a full time housewife. She is one because her husband wants her to be. But along the line, she was able to convince him to allow her operate 'Esusu' - the traditional microfinance. With Esusu, depositors pay in an agreed amount daily and get paid their contributions at the end of every month. Cecelia thus has access to a pull of funds from a good number of individuals and microenterprises. And she earns interest on such pull of funds. Overtime, she has earned some good money. What does she do with her earnings? She has the option of either saving a good portion of it in a bank and earn interest, or investing it in a business. She is comfortable with these short-term deposits because she is able to access the

money whenever she needs it. But this is wrong. Why? She is not distinguishing between saving and investment. The money she is saving is easily accessible and without any risk. However, holding money in this fashion is suitable only for her immediate or unexpected needs since all her future requirements will not be of this nature. The money Abubakar is saving is an asset that has the potential to generate higher returns so that she can reach her goals faster. This will mean that the money that has to be set aside from her current income will come down, since the returns will add to the amount being created for her future needs. The income thus freed can

for the education of the child is what should not be swept under the carpet and requires that people begin to look futuristic and appreciate the fact that anything can happen in life, including the unexpected. Ifaturoti said it's education has been designed to take care of this challenge. It is an educational endowment plan specifically made to guarantee the availability of funds for the education of the children, wards up to any academic level you desire. It covers death and may include other ancillary covers like permanent disability and critical illness of the life assurance at additional

be used to meet other goals or improve current quality of life. To enhance the earning capacity of her money, Cecelia Abubakar must make conscious choices to invest the money instead of leaving it in the bank account. Investments provide higher returns, but come with the risk of lower liquidity and fluctuating values. Look at this other similar scenario: Mahe Adamu and Awwal Isa got N1.4 million each as severance packages from their companies, following their retirement from the company. Mahe Adamu put his in a fixed deposit account in a commercial bank in Lagos. He did this because he did not want to bother himself with investing

premium. The policy is designed such that on survival and upon maturity cover, the sum assured is paid plus accrued bonuses, now called maturity value. All the insurance companies in the country have one form of education policy or the other. Some polices are designed for parents and guardians while some others are designed for the schools, which covers the education of the pupils and students under their umbrella. Go to your insurer and take that education insurance that best meets your unique situation.

in a business and all that go with it. Awwal Isa on the other hand invested it in a business run by a relation and settled for profit sharing. All Adamu gets on his fixed money is some N8000 monthly. And Isa's income fluctuates between N350, 000 and N400, 000 a month!





Probe Doyin Okupe now

t is not in doubt that the Goodluck Jonathan Presidency is in dire need of image laundering for it to regain trust and credibility in the eyes of Nigerians. The utter lack of focus and direction in genuinely moving the nation forward as demonstrated by President Jonathan has left many disillusioned and come to the conclusion that very little hope is there of his delivering on his so called transformation agenda. With a president clearly out of his depths coupled with a wife who is gaffe prone, the Presidency does need all the help it can get to help it reconnect with Nigerians. This evidently informed the decision to engage Dr. Doyin Okupe as the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs to try to put a spin on every misstep the government takes from now on. Okupe is no stranger to such an ignominious assignment as he was first given the task by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Sadly for him though, he left disgracefully after having been kicked out of office. That such a pedigree would qualify him for the same position again beats the imagination and leaves right thinking Nigerians bewildered with regard to the premium President Jonathan places on those he invites into his government. On taking office, Okupe said part of his job is to bring his wealth of experience to engage the public on current national issues and to help Nigerians “see the president from a different perspective other than the stereotypical perspective out there". He went to say his is all about public advocacy. At a different forum, he cheekily described himself as an "attack lion" after rejecting an earlier description of him as an attack dog of the Presidency. He has since shown his prowess in taking on perceived enemies of the Jonathan

Presidency with the manner in which he pounced on the former FCT minister, Nasir el-Rufai, and the opposition political parties. His unique take on the Boko Haram insurgency is indicative that a lion is indeed on the loose. But just before he goes about his unenviable assignment, we urge him to come clean on the allegations dogging him over a contract he secured from the Benue state government during George Akume's tenure. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has alleged that Okupe failed to

We urge the Benue state government to take this matter seriously and divulge more details of the state of the contract and for the EFCC to take a closer interest in it; after all, there is sufficient ground now to open an investigation execute a N600 million contract he got from the state government but absconded with the money instead. It was alleged that in 2004, Okupe, through his company, Value Trust Investment Company, secured the contract for the construction of 230km rural roads but failed to deliver on the contract terms. Former governor Akume, speaking through his aide, has confirmed that Okupe was given the contract by the state government but refused to be drawn into its

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

specifics. The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has waded in as expected in defence of the presidential image launderer even as it claimed that the EFCC has never opened any investigation against Okupe. It said the issue is a civil matter between the two parties to the contract and it believes the contract agreement stipulates dispute resolution processes. We are glad that the PDP itself has accepted that Okupe did secure the contract. However, its explanation of this weighty issue is not enough as it did not address the fundamental issue of whether Okupe delivered on the contract or not. We strongly believe that Okupe should himself address this matter and tell Nigerians whether or not we faithfully executed the contract having collected huge sums of public money for it. In our opinion, he has no moral right to preach to Nigerians the good of this administration when he himself has this dark cloud hangting over his head. We urge the Benue state government to take this matter seriously and divulge more details of the state of the contract and for the EFCC to take a closer interest in it; after all, there is sufficient ground now to open an investigation. If President Jonathan is serious about the fight against corruption, it is logical to say that he cannot afford to be associated with individuals with dodgy pasts. We are shocked that the Presidency will allow this situation to unfold when one would have thought that background checks are carried out on individuals before they are appointed into public office. If such a check was conducted on Okupe and no evidence of wrong doing was found against him regarding the contract then Nigerians ought to be told. As it is, this is a big smear on the government.









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Dasuki and prevailing security challenges By Babayola Toungo


he recent tinkering of the leadership personnel of the Defence establishment by President Jonathan even it be cosmetic, appear to wake up some people from a self-imposed slumber. For whatever it is worth, the visits by the new National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) to the theatres of war have shown those bearing the brunt of the terrorists that some people still care about their plight. The president failed to visit both Borno and Yobe states, the centres of the Boko Haram carnage giving as an excuse the lack of functionality of the Maiduguri Airport (the shame of it) for his non visit but his erstwhile NSA, Owoye Azazi couldn't even glorify the people by giving an excuse, no matter how laughable. The people are really appreciative of the NSA's visit to empathise with them on the siege they have been under in the past two years. But the visit alone cannot solve the people's problems and they are waiting for the NSA to start acting. Thankfully Col. Dasuki informed Nigerians that he has obtained the phone numbers of those to be contacted for dialogue on how to bring an end to the state of insecurity facing the country, particularly

the north. Col. Sambo has clearly shown his intentions of dealing with the macabre dance of those attempting to bring the north in particularly to its knees, by hitting the ground running. But as far as I can see there are those who want to ensure that he failed woefully in his attempt. The renewed and sustained attacks on northern cities is indicative of the desire of the merchants of death to make a statement - of particular interest is the attacks on Police formations in Sokoto state, the home state of the NSA. Islam clearly prohibits fighting (war) during certain months, the Ramadan inclusive, so it is clear to all discerning and objective minds that those carrying out these attacks are either not Muslims or do not understand their religion very well. My gut feeling tells me they are fifth columnists with the intention of giving Islam a bad name and in the process achieve two things - both very dangerous to the corporate existence of the country. One, to create a religious divide between Christians and Muslims, particularly in the north; and two, to cripple economic activities in the region. They appear to be succeeding on both fronts. Before the madness in Sokoto, there was the massacre in Plateau state, which ultimately led to the death of a

Senator and a member of the state legislature. This came almost immediately after the visit of the new NSA to the state. All these things appear funny to me and doesn't have any linkage to religion nor could be simplistically explained as a reaction by northerners who are bitter for losing power to the south. Truth be told, if the government and its functionaries are ready to get to the bottom of the madness, all they have to do is fall back on what one of its own began and was truncated midway. When Major General Mungonu, erstwhile Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), beamed his searchlight on "Boko Haram" he came close to discovering those behind the killers and before you say 'Goodluck' he was removed from office. But before he was removed, he made startling progress that points to certain politicians from his home state as being the men behind the masks. Of particular interest was the immediate past governor, Ali Modu Sherriff. Mungono was threatened to discontinue his line of investigation or be removed, or worse still, lose his Commission. All these were made public in the run-up to his removal. Sponsored media articles against him appeared

with regularity in newspapers and the threat finally came to pass. Mungonu's investigation pointed directly to the former governor but in a bizarre move that can only happen in Nigeria, Mungonu was removed as CDI and Sherriff was appointed Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). While the General was sent to the cooler, Sherriff is on the way to rehabilitating his battered image. After Mungonu's ouster, the spate of attacks heightened with the attendant loss of lives and property because the tell-tale clues he was pursuing were deliberately allowed to fizzle out by redirecting the energies of the intelligence agencies to phantom suspects who couldn't be allowed to see the four walls of a court room. To compound the deliberate bungling, we have the State Security Service (SSS) and the Police working at crosspurpose on the same case. The two agencies always parade different suspects on a particular case, or one service contradicting the other as in the case of the Radio House bomber. Nigerians came to be cynical about the sincerity of the security and intelligence services and had the distinct impression that somebody, somewhere is lying to protect some people.

A lot of arrests have been made with each suspect branded as the 'mastermind', yet non of theses 'masterminds' was taken to the courts for prosecution much less conviction. Are Nigerians then to believe that the government is not interested in getting to the bottom of this Boko Haram issue? What happens to people like Ali Tishaku, a SSS operative embedded in to the Boko Haram hierarchy that was to be denied by his employers after 'coming in from the cold' with a report that was not in conformity with the current thinking in the SSS? He had to go to the court to get his freedom from an employer he served diligently. Where is he and what happened to his report? With Col. Dasuki as the NSA, we believe he will first of all bring to an end this inter-agency rivalry and pursue the real culprits and bring them to court for all Nigerians to see. The likes of Mungonu and Tishaku may be of immense help to the NSA's cause of bringing to an end the mayhem and destructions in the country given their past participation in curbing the madness. After all, Lamorde was once kicked out of the EFCC, but recognising his knowledge of the Commission, he was brought back to head the place.

company into much smaller manageable companies that efficiently caters for its customers, while providing constant power supply. Of course, as it is with anything that concerns change, those that are most likely to lose out in the arrangement are raising a lot of dust and challenging the whole process. Thus the company's workers are always on strike, for you hardly find a week when one of news or another is not relaying the threat of a strike or the announcement of its resumption after a short period of suspension of an earlier trade dispute. However one thing that is even more confounding than the industrial labour confusion, which the current situation in the primary national electricity provider represents, is the current availability of electricity in homes and businesses across the country. If we are to be honest in our appraisal, it would be safe to say that it has never been so good for majority of citizens of this country, who have had to endure years and decades of frustrating darkness and

immobility due to the unavailability of electricity to power productive ventures. Indeed the past few days has been puzzling for me as I wonder whether it is the gods who direct the activities of the power agency, because, while the company has shut most of its operating offices within my locality, there has ironically been a boost in electricity supply in my vicinity. It has been a season of uninterrupted power supply. For an organization that has a long and established history of disappointing its consumers, a lot of Nigerians find it amusing that employees of such a terribly underperforming company could resist change from the established norm of epileptic power supply, gross incompetence, debilitating corruption and institutionalized worker truancy. In fact, seemingly due to the suspected collusion of unscrupulous businesspersons with officials of the electrical power provider, Nigeria is today the most profitable international destination for generators. Some

compromised staff are known to sabotage electricity supply even when there is availability of power within the transmission grid. Nigerians are so irritated and frustrated by the penchant of the power company to inflict pain on the generality of the citizens that they could not bring themselves to empathize with the workers whose jobs are now on the line as the government tries to make the power sector more efficient and result-oriented. Ours is a national community that frowns at any government policy that deliberatively seeks to deprive an employee of his or her fundamental means of livelihood. But PHCN workers have completely burnt out their goodwill, and most Nigerians appear to side with government in this case. Certainly if the primary aim and mission of the power sector reform is to rev up electricity production and distribution by reorganizing the capacity, management and operations of the country's premier power provider,

we must all support the administration to shake the company to its core foundation, in order to generate the desired results. Thus the untruthful claims that the privatization of the power corporation would not necessarily lead to loss of jobs or that the private energy entrepreneur would be prevailed upon to continue with the present staff structure, arrangement and expertise is pure balderdash, an expectation that is incompatible with the principles of running an efficient private enterprise. In fact, to be honest, no diligent, profit-motivated commercial arrangement could accommodate the type of personnel mindset existing within the national power management company. However, if the about-to-beprivatized Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), amidst the crises afflicting its management, staff and general organizational infrastructure, could sustain such a high level of stable transmission of electricity, as my people have seen in the past weeks, then, perhaps it is not merely changing of ownership structure that would revitalize the sector, but also acceding to the spiritual benevolence of the gods, who have been able to bless the Nigerian nation with abundant rainfall that has helped in replenishing our rivers and the hydro-electric dams, which aids in the generation of enough watts of electricity for our country.

Babayola Toungu wrote in from Yola, Adamawa state.

Between inept PHCN workers and hands of the gods By Nasiru Suwaid


s a dabbler into the divine world of the Orisha, I find nothing as fascinating as the statue of Sango that stares at you whenever you find yourself at Power House, the legendary name of the headquarters of the defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA). For here is a god of lightening, thunder and fire, obviously the classical natural elements of a destructive weather pattern, ironically becoming a strategic tool for generating energy. This enables motoring mechanism for industrial production, brightening the environment for the attainment and sustenance of productive living and ensuring general enlightenment of the human mind, allowing for visionary thoughts of discoveries, inventions and developments. It is surely an architectural contradiction, especially if the literary comparism of light and fire is discountenanced from the reality of one leading to the other, as in most instances, it is water rather than fire, which generates frictional energy and produces electricity. Unfortunately, it is a similar type of confusion that is unfolding within the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), as in the past few weeks, the most derided successor to the much ridiculed and inefficient electrical power agency is once again in the news, albeit for the wrong reasons. The headlines being about the restructuring and unbundling of the lethargic government


For an organization that has a long and established history of disappointing its consumers, a lot of Nigerians find it amusing that employees of such a terribly underperforming company could resist change from the established norm of epileptic power supply, gross incompetence, debilitating corruption and institutionalized worker truancy.

Nasiru Suwaid wrote in from Kano.


By Uddin Ifeanyi


sually, we get by with the "Supporters' Club" enthusiastically launching into a refrain that is fast becoming shorthand for our tunnel-visioned and spendthrift ways. However, at this Olympics, something gave. As always, we did not plan in any meaningful way for success, so this could not be the "why". Whatever it was, though, our "miracleworking God" just failed to turn up at the different arenas; and event after event, hope faded faster than the winning athletes breasted the tape. Hopefully, Team Nigeria's many dropped balls are easily explained by the absence in London of the "Supporters' Club". For then, all we have to do over the next four years, is to organise "Supporters' Clubs" around Olympic events that we hope to take part in. Infuse them with the passion that attends our football matches. Find sponsors for their kits. And, importantly, begin to prepare the Brazilian authorities for the plethora of visas that the official Nigerian contingent will need ahead of our participating at the next Olympic Games to be hosted there in 2016. Otherwise, as with every department of the country, our relative failure (remember that the league of countries without medals includes a few worthies) at the London Olympics speaks to a


An Olympian let down failure to upgrade domestic Olympics. No doubt, stadiums term goal should be to have sporting assets, and invest in of the right specifications will such facilities and new capacity - both personnel encourage adolescents and competences in every local and infrastructure. It helps teenagers to play hooky. And government area of most that Lagos State (and its there may yet be the odd states; thus, holding out the government) is often cited as world-beater amongst this lot. possibility of intra-and interfirst amongst l o c a l sub-national government governments competitions in the that help drive country, so n a t i o n a l Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text we may use performance. messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written examples However, there contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 from here as are short-term words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and n a t i o n a l hurdles that we a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed p r o x i e s . will need to to: Between Iju s u r m o u n t (a Lagos along this path. The Editor, suburb) and Kidnappers (for Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, Yaba (on the ritual and 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. mainland), ransom) and Email: let there is about s e c t a r i a n SMS: 07037756364 35 kilometres bombers of of roads that public places, however, better currently mean that most pass through built up spaces. Largely, At both ends, there are two stadiums should also welcome parents/guardians will be stadiums: one at Agege, and parent/guardians (with the loath to leave their children/ the other at Rowe Park. These, means) and whose children/ wards in the care of these besides the exclusive private wards express a desire to take public spaces however up-toclubs that minister to the part in competitive sports. For date their facilities may be. fancies of the middle-aged this latter category, it is as So, there is a security concerned about their rising crucial that our sports dimension to this business too, blood pressures, exhaust the facilities support a variety of as with the rest of the options for sports and disciplines, as it is that there economy. recreation available to are coaches in place who pass But beyond the ease and millions of people resident on muster (technical abilities, and convenience of would-be this axis. mentoring know-how). Folk, in sports persons' access to public The facility at Agege is a short, that you may leave your sports facilities in their poor, distant relative of the six-year old with (during formative years, there is the one at Yaba. But even then, vacations), go to work, and not-too-minor difficulty of none is quite close to the return to be briefed on their access to sporting standards that produced the progress, and suggestions there activities in school. Sadly, times and spectacles that we about. with the public school space in just witnessed at the London Invariably, the medium- the country (for academic

pursuits) shambolic, it is better imagined what state sport infrastructure there would be. The jury is still out on the quality of instruction/ tutelage in the private school sector (better than a chaotic public sector offering cannot be good enough), but it is a safe bet that sporting instruction is the first casualty of the confined spaces in which most private schools in the country are located. Therefore, even if, subnational governments manage to square the circle round the provision of public sports and recreational spaces as close to our communities as is practicable, we run the danger that our would-be Olympic medallists lose, as they proceed through secondary school and university, all the skills gained growing up. How do we incentivise private responses that conduce to the public good? This is the central challenge of governance in the country today. I suspect it has always been so. But today, a most unusual type of government seems more focussed on rousing our "miracle-working God", than deploying the talents He so obviously gave us the way other more organised people are.

articles are often right on; however, the reader needs to know that the Mallam's nursing a political ambition. I miss Mr. Chamberlain's financial articles. Surviving In Biafra by Alfred Uzokwe is a book one of the sites helped popularize. It's a unique book that narrates that vicious civil war via a child's lens. To obtain a copy of the book, either ask your local library to stock it or buy one. It's ironic that some Nigerian websites are censoring contributors. Some of the writers think their work became too thorny that some politicians called in censorship favor. While a few others think there are tribal or regional politics being played beneath the surface. Some websites want exclusive right to articles they publish. Then there are personal fall outs that result in writers being banned. Whatever the reason(s), the duties of these websites are too important to allow them to be attenuated. It's a competitive business but the websites could emulate NigerianVoice and Nigerian Village Square and Sahara Reporters who publish articles without exclusivity

requirement. These three sites are progressive and delightful, in deed. Sahara Reporters goes a step further by advertising competing websites. Bravo to! It's a comprehensive website with instant publishing and editing functions. Unfortunately, a few writers have traded their fame for seats at the fleecing table, once the price is right. These people pen critical articles about the government or politicians but as soon as their bread is buttered, they begin to sing a different tune. Website owners have their work cut out for them. While they remain the vanguards of Nigerian fledgling democracy, they should have enough courage to broadcast news out of their pipelines without fear or favour! Finally, it's up to the readers to collectively let the leaders know they won't stand for media censorship of any kind. That is the essence of a democratic Nigeria.


Uddin Ifeanyi can be reached on Ifeanyiuddin

Should Nigeria’s media be censored? D By chuks u.c. Ukaoma

ating back to Fredrick Lugard's days, people at the top have always desired to keep the masses in the dark while they talked about how to divide and conquer. Thank goodness, there are always few brave souls who risk it all to fight every insidious “dual mandate”. They creatively use the media to liberate the oppressed and to give voice to the disenfranchised. Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of every true democracy. When the likes of current Nigeria's Senate President Mark David call for heightened media censorship, Nigerian independent website operators should loudly protest. Citizens ought to draw a line in the sand and peacefully declare that the dog is not going to hunt anymore. Nigerian website operators are today's freedom fighters with battle scares to prove it. They have written and/or published articles that attracted the wrath of the big wigs. Some have used that badge of honour to garner more credibility and popularity.

The pioneering websites are:,, N i g e r i a W o r l d . c o m ,,,, etc. I hope and are restored soon. Nigerians should regularly visit each of these websites to show support and to keep them in business. Nigerians need more websites to haunt the do-nothing-good politicians. Legendary Fela used his music and fame to fight the power. Likewise, these websites employ their sites as powerful thorns on the side of errant leaders; proving the pen is mightier than the sword. How these people muster enough courage to operate their websites should be studied, commended, and replicated in other aspects of Nigerian society. The websites perform other societal functions. For example, after reading about a woman with serious sickness, a reader contacted the NigeriaWorld operator. He was prompt in tacking down the news reporter to find the sick woman. A Harvard-trained surgeon Dr. Brian Camazine had

volunteered to perform the surgery pro-bono and an anonymous reader had agreed to chip in N400,000 the newspaper article sought to treat the woman. Reporters covering such pleas should include adequate contact information, in case a reader has the wherewithal to assist. The websites foster training ground for budding writers. Seasoned authors can use the venues to mentor future writers and to showcase their craft. Hats off to prolific Internet writers, such as Rudolf Okonkwo, Peterside Chamberlain, Nasir El-Rufai, Okey Ndibe, Femi Awodele, Femi Ajayi, and others. One does not have to agree with everything writers publish to appreciate their contributions. We need more authors to write about what we need to know, not just what they think we want to read. My favorite contributors are: Rudolf Okonkwo and Peterside Chamberlain and Nasir El-Rufai. These writers know how to breakdown complex topics so the average reader can understand them. Mr. Okonkwo's pieces are esoterically great; read his articles!. Mallam El-Rufai's

Chuks "U.C." Ukaoma resides in Austin, Texas, USA. Read his other articles on this and Yahoo website. Email:



A hackers’ paradise called Nigeria By Chidi Onumah


wo retired generals and former heads of state stirred up a hornet's nest recently when they proffered solutions to the growing insecurity and hopelessness in the country. Coming on the heels of a war of attrition between them, there was enough reason for Nigerians to be guarded about the intervention by Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida who ruled Nigeria cumulatively for 19 years. The periods that these generals ruled (1976-79; 198593; and 1999-2007) were about the most glorious of the nation's history, not in terms of development or genuine attempt to redefine the future of the country, but in terms of hope and desire on the part of Nigerians to lift up their country and make it a global contender. As it turned out, Obasanjo and Babangida made sure they were the years of the locust. Obasanjo and Babangida orchestrated perhaps the greatest despoliation of Nigeria, its wealth as well as human and material resources. Obasanjo and Babangida talked about the greatness of Nigeria and Nigerians, but they did everything possible to undermine the country and its people. They had the opportunity to write their names in gold as true statesmen, but they botched it. Of course, on the personal level, both Obasanjo and Babangida have received adequate response to their unwelcomed intervention so I shall not dwell on that. I shall focus on the thrust of their intervention. "Nigeria's existence not negotiable - OBJ, IBB" was how one newspaper headlined the intercession of the retired generals the morning after. The paper

reported Obasanjo and Babangida as saying that "the worrying trend emerging from the violent attacks, bombings and mindless killings of innocent Nigerians was creating room for doubt about the end of the carnage, but that 'the continued unity of this nation is not only priceless, but nonnegotiable'". I wonder what our rulers really mean when they say the "unity of Nigeria is not negotiable". If you hear this glib talk from people who actually did something to advance the unity of Nigeria, then it is understandable. It becomes worrisome when those who advance this proposition are

A nation is usually united around a common national ethos, a set of values and principles that are abiding. Not so in Nigeria. For the ruling class in Nigeria, the only unifying factor is corruption, as one of their own, Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, eloquently espoused in his speech at Chatham House, London, in June. For majority of Nigerians, the unifying factor is a life of grinding poverty and hopelessness. No country sustained by corruption and the poverty and hopelessness of its citizenry can survive for too long. In a sense, therefore, the real threat to the unity of Nigerian has

those who have done everything possible to undermine the unity of the country. In simple terms, "negotiable" means "open to discussion; not fixed, but able to be established or changed through discussion and compromise". Considering the current state of the nation, the social and political upheavals that go to the very core of national existence, only a masochist will deny that this is time to "negotiate" Nigeria.

come from those who have succeeded in dividing Nigerians through their pillage and misuse of our patrimony. Our rulers know that the country is not working because of massive corruption and that we can't sustain the current system for too long. Yet, because our elite, and in some cases ordinary Nigerians, seem satisfied with the proceeds of corruption, they are blind to the danger we are all entrapped in. While we are

nibbling at the seams of the nation, we willfully assume that the country will still hold together and that things will get better. It is this same false hope that led us to the London Olympics after just three months of preparation. As I write, the London games are about to end without any medal hope for Nigeria. Anybody who understands Nigeria will not be surprised that this may yet be our worst Olympics. Regrettably, our youth on whose shoulders the survival of this nation rests, appear to have imbibed the worst examples of the "wasted generation" before them. That is the real tragedy of our situation. Just last week, the African Centre for Media & Information Literacy held a lecture to mark the 2012 International Youth Day. It was meant as a sober occasion for our youth, the greatest resource of our nation, to reflect on their role and contribution to national development as well the responsibility of the government to the youth. Many of the so-called youth leaders that came for this event arrived with much fanfare, with retinues of aides in tow. All someone close by could mutter was: "if these people ever come close to power, they will do worse than our current crop of rulers". When I look at corruption in Nigeria, our dismal showing in London, the attitude of our dehumanized and traumatized youth, and the war mongering going on, it all makes sense to me. The conclusion I have arrived at is that it is necessary but not sufficient to do critiques of sectoral deficiencies of our problems as a nation. Nigeria has collapsed. It is imperative, therefore, that the systemic dysfunction in Nigeria is confronted and changed to cater

There is a preponderance of dangerous driving largely because people who should have no business on wheels drive. Nigeria is a country where someone would buy a car even before he learns how to drive. Thereafter, he would beg one of his friends or relations to show him how to drive on a Sunday morning at a backyard primary school field. After two or three exercises, he jumps into the road as a driver so long as he could cough out about N10, 000 for a driver's licence. The issuing office is only interested in the money. Once this money is paid, the issuing authority is ready to issue a blind person, even someone who is mentally deranged, a go ahead to drive on Nigerian roads. 90% of the drivers never went through an approved driving school, where, apart from turning the steering and gearing, driving rules and signs are taught. While another sizeable percentage possesses a driver's licence, but can't even drive. They are those who use it only for identification purposes at banks etc. The FRSC under Osita Chiduka

is like the proverbial man that is chasing rat while his house is on fire. The changing of plate numbers recently undertaken is an unnecessary cosmetic which will not impact its major chore. What I have expected the commission to do since its inauguration is to review every driver's licence. I can authoritatively say that 80% of people driving in Nigeria ought to have no business driving. The truth remains that there are a lot of mad men on wheels. They disobey all accepted traffic norms and signs and pedestrians are mostly endangered. The first rule about driving in civilized climes is that the pedestrian is king. But unfortunately in Nigeria, it is as if they are disturbing traffic. Vehicle users will not even let them cross at zebra crossings or when there is a green light for them to traverse. Dangerous driving poses amplified menace for newcomers to Nigeria, who come from climes where driving is done only by the rules. I also expect the FRSC to evolve a mechanism by which it controls every holder of a driver's licence. It can introduce the Point-System,

whereby, by each traffic offence a driver loses some points and when one loses over ten points, he forfeits his licence for a specified number of period or ad infinitum, depending on the gravity of the offence(s). It is balderdash that driver's licence expires. How can a driver's licence expire? The knowledge of driving is a lifelong ability. It is not temporary. Even when people go to renew their so-called expired licences no new tests are conducted. So where is the aim? Instead of putting driving licence owners through such unnecessary, stressing and aimless renewal procedure, the Road Safety Commission can better check abuses more effectively with the Point-System thing. I have also long expected Chiduka and his men to introduce breath screeners in their management of road safety. This writer has often gone out with friends at night and after a drinking spree, they will jump into their cars and drive home. Yours sincerely has always been consternated. This can only happen in Nigeria. In fact, most of the times, you hear drivers


What Nigeria needs now is a radical change that will redefine the country and create a new national ethos. It is for this reason that all those who have bled the country and brought it to its knees should be wary, not just of social media, but also the street anger of Nigerians.

to all in a truly law governed country. And the only way to do this is to "negotiate" Nigeria through a Sovereign National Conference (SNC), not just of socalled ethnic nationalities, but also of marginalized and pauperized people of Nigeria. Part of the reason corruption thrives so much in Nigeria is the structure of the country. Political violence is rife, states and ethnic nationalities are threatening secession, yet there are people who still insist that it is forbidden to question the status quo. Those who are really concerned about Nigeria and genuinely fear that the country will break up if it goes the route of SNC, as opposed to those who mouth "the unity of Nigeria is nonnegotiable" should rest assured that it won't happen without a very bloody war or wars. It is not exactly clear which ethnic nationality wants to embark on that futile journey. The greater prospect now is that of anarchy (as in Somalia) or the rise of fascism through what Edwin Madunagu describes as "a coalition of the most unlikely bed-follows'". What Nigeria needs now is a radical change that will redefine the country and create a new national ethos. It is for this reason that all those who have bled the country and brought it to its knees should be wary, not just of social media, but also the street anger of Nigerians. This street anger must fester and yield positive results if we are to achieve a national renewal and end what a colleague has described as the hackers' paradise called Nigeria.

saying that they need to "booze" first in order to "clear" their eyes. Then you can only laugh in your stomach. Such is only possible because the Road Safety Commission is not awake to its primary responsibility. The road Marshals have to be extra active at night when more alcohol is consumed by the populace in order to eradicate drink-driving, which is a major cause of roads mishaps. Chiduka is a brilliant Corps Marshall. There is no doubt about this. Nevertheless, what I put to question is his ability to bring genuine reforms, which would help the commission realize the primary goal for which it was set up. The FRSC was not established to beautify plate numbers etc or do a monthly show-off jogging exercise. It was established to keep our roads safe. Therefore, I expect him to introduce fundamental reforms which will enhance safety on our roads and he should refrain from superfluous aesthetics.

Chido Onuma can be reached on

FRSC: Chasing a rat while the house burns By Charles Ofoji


f you juxtapose the hazards that still exist on Nigerian roads with the billions of Naira already spent on the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) since its inception, then you begin to realize that the well intended venture has failed to achieve its primary objective - to keep Nigeria roads safe for drivers, passengers and pedestrians. It would be a denial to say that over the years the commission has not made noteworthy attempts at combating the perils common to Nigeria highways. Nevertheless, as archetypal of Nigeria, the commission, under various Chairmen, instead of vigorously pursuing its primary task and tackling the root of the problem of lack of safety on our roads, has continued to chase shadows. The primary task for which the commission was set up is to keep our roads safe. And so many years after, has it succeeded in achieving this? The answer is no. The lack of safety on Nigerian roads is mainly due to bad driving.

Charles Ofoji is reachable On



Jonathan orders affordable housing for demolition victims By Josephine Ella


ictims of demolition exercises in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) may soon have succour, as the Federal Government (FG) has directed that affordable houses be built for all those that have suffered unpleasant consequences following this. The decision of the Federal Government was made known yesterday by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed. Senator Mohammed, who played host to some residents of the FCT after the Eid prayers,

in his official residence in Life Camp said this was a palliative measure to cushion the effect of the exercises on the victims as he solicited for their understanding in this matter. According to him, the demolition exercises carried out in the last three months were not a deliberate act to inflict harm and impoverish those affected but to rescue the Abuja Master Plan and for security reasons among others. ”We are not demolishing because we want to cause pain to anybody. It is because we want to serve them and everybody and it is because there must be a rescue

operation for them and the rest of the people so that we will be secured. At times we take such a decision because of some heavy responsibility and information that we have and certainly, we as an administration know the agony they are going through. “We are going to do something in tandem with the directive of his Excellency, Dr Ebele Goodluck Jonathan to make sure we provide some solace and provide for palliation on a long term basis. In a way and manner, we are going to build in the FCT, affordable houses that would accommodate those that are affected,” he explained. The minister also revealed that

Grains sellers waiting in Bwari market, Abuja.

very soon, the administration would begin a registration exercise of all those that were affected to develop a social housing for them, adding that an area has already been provided for this purpose. On his Sallah message to Muslim faithful and other FCT residents, Senator Mohammed who fielded questions from journalists appreciated residents. ” I thank them most especially for giving us the support and they should know that as residents they also exercise leadership at their own level,” he said as he urged both Christians and Muslims to continue to live together in harmony.

Eid-el-Fitr: Foundation tasks Muslims on peaceful co-existence By Josephine Ella


Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

n Abuja based nong o v e r n m e n t a l organisation (NGO), Helpline Foundation has called on the Muslim faithful in the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) and across the country to use this year Eid-el-Fitr to pray for peace and security in Nigeria. The President of the Foundation, Mrs. Jumai Ahmadu, who made the call while addressing journalists in Abuja as part of the activities of the foundation to mark the celebration, emphasised that the occasion was to glorify Allah’s grace, kindness and love. She said: “Eid stands for harmony and brotherhood. It is an occasion which not only calls for celebration but also upholds the religious fervor preached by the Koran”, stressing that it was a time to give in charity to those in need and celebrate with family and friends. According to her, Helpline Foundation has established a ‘charity shop’ in Kuje Area Council of the FCT to meet this important religious obligation. She called on the residents of the territory, especially orphans and widows to visit the shop for gift items. Speaking on the state of security in the country, Mrs. Ahmadu noted that there is no better time than this spiritual occasion, to offer prayer for the country, even as she commended moves by the Federal Government to negotiate with the Boko Haram sect with a view to putting an end to senseless killings.

In view of their plea, the prosecutor asked the court for a new date to enable the police to complete their investigation. Mohammed also told the court that the receiver of the stolen items was still at large. The magistrate, Jacinta Okeke, granted them bail in the sum of N250, 000 each and

two sureties each in like sum. Okeke said the sureties must be civil servants on Grade Level 09, religious leaders in the rank of a branch pastor or lmam and must reside within the court’s jurisdiction. She adjourned the case to October 4, 2012 for hearing. (NAN)

Sales girl arraigned over theft T he Police have arraigned two persons, Faith Okenna, 24, and Shaibu Adamu, 53, before an Abuja Magistrate’s Court on a twocount charge of theft and conspiracy. The accused persons, both of 62 Road, Galadima, Gwarinpa, Abuja, were alleged to have

committed the offence on July 16, 2012 . One Miss Chinwe Obi of the same address according to the police prosecutor, Sergeant Salisu Mohammed, reported the matter to the Gwarimpa police station on July 29, 2012. ”The two accused conspired and stole 51 bags of cement and

iron rods valued at about N106, 000 from the site where they worked. Okenna was the sales girl, while Adamu was the security. They conspired and stole the items put under their care,’’ Mohammed said. The accused, however, admitted stealing only the 51 bags of cement.

Man, 34, bags two weeks imprisonment for buying stolen goods


ne Aminu Mohammed, 34, of Mabushi, Abuja, has been sentenced to two weeks imprisonment for receiving stolen property from Gidion Dauda of Wuse 2, Abuja. Police prosecutor Emmanuel Adikwu had told

an Abuja Senior Magistrate’s Court, which sentenced the accused, that Mohammed was brought to the Maitama Police Station by Jibrin Ahmed of Wuse 2, Abuja on August 12, 2012. Adikwu said that sometime in June, one Gidion Dauda, a

gardener at Judges Quarters, stole some tables and a cupboard and sold them to the convict for N17, 000. He said the offence contravenes the provisions of Section 317 of the Penal Code.

Mohammed, who pleaded guilty to the charge, begged for leniency, saying, “I did not know that they were stolen property”. The Senior Magistrate, Mrs Josephine Obanor, said although the convict was a first time offender, he must be

punished. She held that the likes of Mohammed would encourage people to steal and that he was worse than the thief himself. Obanor sentenced the convict to two weeks imprisonment without an option of fine. (NAN)



Technician held over alleged attempt to steal church offering By Stanley Onyekwere


34-year-old technician, Ademola Johnson has been arraigned by the police before an Abuja Chief Magistrate’s Court for allegedly trying to steal from one of offering boxes of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles (MFM) church in Utako district

of Abuja. Johnson, of No 19, Zambia road, Area 11, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Azubuike Okeagu on a twocount charge of criminal trespass and attempt to commit an offence of theft contrary to Sections 342 and 95 of the Penal Code respectively. The police prosecutor, Simon

Ibrahim, told the court that one Loveday Ihemeje of MFM, reported the case to the Utako police station on August 10, 2012. According to him, the accused criminally trespassed into the church premises and went into the second floor of the church hall and made several attempts to temper with the church’s offering box but was

Catholic faithful queue for security checks, recently at the church’s gate in Area 3, Garki, Abuja.

caught in the process. Ibrahim said that the complainant told the police that prior to this latest incident, sometimes in 2011, Johnson was caught red handed stealing from the offering box. Johnson pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him by the police. Okeagu adjourned the case to September 3, 2012, for hearing.

Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

FCT Scholarship Board urged to parley with council chairmen By Usman Shuaibu


he Chairman of Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Hon. Peter Yohanna Ushefa has appealed to the FCT Scholarship Board to carry the chairmen of the

six area councils along for the success of the scheme. He also urged the management of the board to allocate 80 per cent of scholarships to the original inhabitants of the FCT to aid them in their academic pursuit.

Ushefa, who made the call while interacting with the authorities of the board in Bwari, expressed joy over the progress made by the FCT indigenes towards educational pursuit so far. On her part, the Director of the FCT Scholarship Board

noted that inadequate funding had been the challenge the board was facing. She appealed to the council chairmen, non-governmental organisations and construction companies operating in Abuja to assist the board financially.

Gardener jailed for theft at Judges Quarters


n Abuja Senior Magistrate’s’ Court has sentenced 23-year-old gardener, Gideon Dauda of Judges Quarters, Wuse 2, Abuja, to one month imprisonment for theft. Police prosecutor, Emmanuel Adikwu told the court that the convict was brought to the Maitama Police Station by Jibrin

Ahmed of the same address. Adikwu said that Dauda stole 24 slide windows, a cupboard and some tables from the Judges quarters and sold them to one Aminu Mohammed of Mabushi, Abuja. The prosecutor said the value of the stolen items had yet to be ascertained or recovered. Dauda, who pleaded guilty to

the charge, begged the Magistrate for mercy. “I am usually the only person that takes care of and watches over the house. They sometime give me only N200 for my upkeep and I get very hungry most times, while I am working in the house that was why I was tempted to steal. “I am begging the court to

give me time to try and recover the items from Aminu,’’ Dauda said. Presiding Magistrate, Josephine Obanor, who said “the guilty must not be allowed to go unpunished’’ and therefore sentenced the accused to one month imprisonment with an option to pay N15,000 fine. (NAN)

Two nabbed for forging medical, dental council receipt


wo staff of the Medical and dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) have been arraigned before an Area Court in Karu, Abuja for forging the council’s official receipt and issuing same to unsuspecting members of the public. One Badmus Adebayo, 42, and Naomi Nwabueze, 34 are staff of the council in Garki, Abuja.

They were arraigned on a four-court charge of criminal conspiracy, forgery, criminal breach of trust and cheating. Police prosecutor, Mohammed Garba told the court that one Dr Udugbai Ilevbare, also of the council, reported the matter to the Garki police station on July 18. Garba said the accused forged the official receipts of the council

and had been issuing them to the people. “Badmus and Naomi have been converting the money made from the issuance of the receipts to their own personal use,’’ he said. Counsel to the accused, Jude Ugwuanyi, urged the court to grant his clients bail. The prosecutor opposed the bail application on the ground that the offence was not

bailable. The presiding Judge, Alhaji Umar Kagarko, however, granted them bail in the sum of N300, 000 each. Kagarko ordered the accused to provide a surety who must be either a public or civil servant of a senior status. He adjourned the case to October, 17, 2012 for hearing. (NAN)

Eid-el-Fitr: Akinjide tasks Muslims on peace, unity ...woos investors over infrastructure devt By Josephine Ella


he Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, has felicitated with all Muslims in Nigeria for completing the 30 days annual fast and urged them to continuously pray for the peace and unity of Nigeria. Akinjide, who spoke in the congratulatory message through his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Oluyinka Akintunde, advised all Muslims to hold onto the lessons of the holy month, which include supplications to the almighty, sacrifice and brotherly love for one another. She also urged local and foreign investors to partner with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) in the development of the federal capital city and satellite towns. She assured that the present administration of President Goodluck Jonathan was fully committed to the transformation of the country and the economy. On the FCT, Akinjide reiterated the Administration’s commitment towards making Abuja a world class city and also one of the top 20 economies of the world. “We welcome the local and foreign investors to take advantage of the photography exhibition and the Abuja Carnival to invest in the FCT. We have, however, developed a framework to involve the private sector in Abuja’s development through the public-private-partnership (PPP) arrangement. The private sector has to take advantage of the annual Abuja Carnival to invest in the Federal Capital Territory. The Minister noted that Abuja was fast becoming the choice event for national and international tourists through the annual carnival. She explained that the international photography exhibition of the Abuja Carnival held last week at the Tiwani Contemporary in London was aimed at achieving enhanced national prestige, increased participation, improved sponsorship, and improved packaging of the annual carnival. Over 50 classical shots from various events of the Abuja carnival were adapted into framed pictures, brochures and e-photo book format and displayed at the international photography exhibition in London.






- Pg 20

Standard Bank eyes Nigeria in expansion plans

Mob: 08033644990

Experts urge FG to support retail sector for growth of SMEs From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Segun Aganga, Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of State for Finance, Sen. Yerima Ngama, Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku and Minister of Works, Mike Onomemen, briefing on economy, recently at the State House, Abuja

Local cement production hits 18m metric tons, says Makoju By Abdulwahab Isa


igeria has recorded a major feat in the utilisation of a major natural mineral resource, limestone, as local production of cement hits 18 million metric tons above the 17 million metric tonnes local demand. President, Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (CMAN), Joseph Makoju, who disclosed this while addressing the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen on the proposed utilisation of cement for road construction in the country, noted that the country has 58 million metric tons installed capacity of cement. The country also recorded zero importation of cement from January 2012 to date. Makoju, who attributed the achievement to the “backward integration policy” initiated in 2002, explained that the move was geared towards improving local production of cement and reduction in capital flight. He said, “In 2003, cement production was two million metric tons per year and in that year we were importing about six million metric tons. Importation was at the peak around 2007 at seven million. But as we are sitting here

today, I’m happy to report that total local production has gone up to 12.8 million metric tons in 2011 from two million in 2002 and we project local production for this year would be up to 18 to 20 million metric tons. The local demand is projected at about 17 million metric tons, even if the local production for the first time is in excess of local demand. “I’m also happy to report that for the first time in our history, since January to date, there was no cement importation, so we are in a position where we are phasing-out import and relying on local production. For the total installed capacity, new plants were commissioned in the last two years. Dangote commissioned six million metric tons in Ogun State; Lafarge commissioned 2.2

million metric tons in Ewekoro, Ogun State; Dangote also commissioned a new plant of 5.5 million metric tons of cement plant in Obajana plant 3 and when you put all local production together today we have 58 million metric tons. So, Nigeria has arrived to be recognised as a cement producing country.” While speaking on the

Inflation eases to 12.8 % in July


igeria’s consumer inflation eased slightly to 12.8 percent year-onyear in July, from 12.9 percent year-on-year in June, statistics showed on Friday, surprising many analysts who had expected inflation to rise.


17th August, 2012 BUYING 0.2704 191.0387 242.9586 41.2778 154.8

SELLING 0.2904 192.2728 244.5281 41.5445 155.8


BUYING 243 43 154

SELLING 257 45 159

Food inflation, the largest contributor to the headline index, rose slightly to 12.1 percent year-on-year in July, compared with 12.0 percent in June, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a report. (Reuters)

Management Tip of the Day



proposal sent to the Federal Ministry of Works on the use of cement for road construction in the country, Makoju who doubles as special adviser to Aliko Dangote, president, Dangote Group, assured that the use of cement for road construction will reduce cost of maintenance at the long run as well as ensure durability of Nigerian roads.

ollowing the fastest growing and youngest population of Nigeria as well as Africa, retail business, especially food and consumer goods, is expected to drive the economy to the tune of $185 billion (N29.6 trillion) in the near future. This is against the backdrop of Nigeria being the largest African consumer market. Meanwhile, consumer expenditure which is centred on retail sector activities (food, clothing/footwear, and household goods) accounts for 74.1 per cent of total market. This notwithstanding, Nigerian retail is still dominated by the socalled ‘informal channels’ particularly the open markets where all sorts of things are sold from food and clothes, to electronics. The market thus remains quite fragmented, with no major concerns holding strong share. But with the increased presence of international chains, the environment is changing slowly and becoming slightly less fragmented. Experts say Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria ordinarily would prefer to remain informal so as to evade taxes. ‘‘No one loves to pay taxes, but it’s good to pay taxes. It’s only when small businesses pay tax that they can get credibility in the credit market, raise funds, and in turn will grow their business, becoming big enterprises,’’ Haresh Keswani, group managing director, Artee Industries Limited said in an interview. ‘‘ The problem is that everyone thinks short term. If government gives us industry status, we will support SMEs because we would have the ability. For instance, in the last two years, we have helped most of our small scale suppliers to the tune of N500 million loan, just by writing to the bank and guaranteeing them.’’ According to him, once organized retail comes, as a small business selling to us, the SME will be expected to pay taxes. He said that small business owners will be notified when they are declared them as suppliers, thus tax officials can come to them for taxes.’’


Stop wasting your boss’s time

t’s easy to complain about a manager who wastes time. It’s much harder to see how you might misuse that manager’s time. Here are three ways to minimize the impact you have on your supervisor’s tight schedule: Self-delegate. Avoid requesting her intervention

too often. If you or one of your direct reports can accomplish the task without your boss’s help, do it. Present solutions, not problems. Don’t bring problems to your boss to solve. Instead, bring proposed solutions, and seek his feedback.

Accommodate her working style. For example, if she prefers to receive information in writing rather than in person, honor those preferences even if it’s not your style. Source: Harvard Business Review



COMPANY NEWS Etisalat, Alcatel


tisalat Nigeria has introduced a permissionand preference-based mobile advertising service, in collaboration with AlcatelLucent. A statement credited to the management of the company says that with this development, the company is to deploy AlcatelLucent’s Optism, the softwarebased mobile marketing solution which allows subscribers to share their interests and preferences with their mobile operator and ‘opt-in’ to receive personalised, relevant advertising and special offers on their mobile phones from their favorite brands. “Alcatel-Lucent, on behalf of Etisalat Nigeria, has created a local ecosystem made up of key players in the advertising value chain (including advertisers, brands and media agencies), which would position Etisalat Nigeria as the enabler of interactive dialogues with a large group of mobile phone users, with very detailed consumer profiles”.

Intel, Adlevo


ntel Capital, Intel’s global investment and M&A organization and Adlevo Capital Managers, LLC (“Adlevo Capital”), a private equity fund manager focused on investments into technology-enabled businesses in sub-Saharan Africa have completed an expansion investment into Rancard Solutions Limited (“Rancard”), a leading provider of cloud based software for mobile content discovery and delivery, focused on Africa. While Rancard Solutions Limited is a software company, focused on delivering the world’s leading brands to relevant mobile audiences across Africa; Adlevo Capital is the first private equity firm focused on investments into technologyenabled companies across multiple African countries. Also, Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment and M&A organisation, makes equity investments in innovative technology start-ups and companies worldwide.

Diamond Bank


iamond Bank has completed plans to expand its retail banking to every part of the country and the West African sub-region. The Group Managing Director, Alex Otti, who was speaking against the backdrop of the bank’s rising credit rating in the financial market, stated that the bank was also strengthening its ability to grow its micro small and medium enterprises (SMEs) banking business. According to him, apart from attracting the un-banked into the mainstream of banking, the bank also acknowledged the role of SMEs as the engine of economic growth and development.

Interbank rates fall on budget allocations


igeria’s interbank lending rates fell sharply on Friday to an average of 14 percent, from around 19.33 percent the previous day after about N283 billion ($1.80 billion) in budget allocations to government agencies hit the market. Dealers said the market was short prior to the disbursal of the budget funds due to stricter central bank’s measures to tighten liquidity in the system

and support the local currency. “The market opened with a deficit of about N197 billion on Friday, but by the time the budget allocations hit the system today, the cost of borrowing fell sharply,” one dealer said. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in July raised the Cash Reserve Requirement (CRR) for lenders to 12 percent from 8 percent, and reduced net open foreign exchange positions to 1

percent from 3 percent, to restrict the money supply and support the currency. The bank also barred banks that borrow Naira funds from its official window from using those funds to buy dollars at its byweekly auction, a bid to crack down on currency speculation. Dealers said the release of the budget funds on Friday was a relief to the market which has been hit by cash shortages. The secured Open Buy Back

(OBB) dropped to 14 percent from 18 percent the previous day and lower than the 15 percent it closed last Friday. Overnight and call rates closed at 14 percent each, compared with 20 percent respectively on Thursday. “We see rates stable at this level for the better part of next week because of the fewer trading days and the improved liquidity level in the system,” another dealer said. (Reuters)

NEXIM, Infrastructure Bank partner to deepen exports By Abdulwahab Isa with agency reports


igerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM) and Infrastructure Bank on Thursday agreed to forge a partnership that could see the deepening of the non-oil sector and expand exports. The partnership agreement was reached when the Managing Director of NEXIM Bank, Roberts Orya, and his team visited the Infrastructure Bank in Abuja. The maiden meeting of the two development institutions was essentially to explore areas of mutual cooperation that would deepen inter-agency cooperation between them as well as explore avenues for

transactional risk sharing in cofinancing arrangement projects that have export content. Explaining reasons for the visit, Orya said the NEXIM Bank was interested in building synergies and capacities to support government’s transformation agenda, particularly as the bank was established to diversify the Nigerian economy from the mono product of oil. “We believe that we need to work with institutions like the Infrastructure Bank to be able to actualise the banks’ mandate,” he said. At the meeting, Orya informed the Managing Director of Infrastructure Bank, Adekunle Oyinloye and his team of some of NEXIM Bank’s key

Inflation rates from Jul, 2011 to Jun, 2012 Max = 12.9%, Min = 9.3% for period in display. Current Inflation rate = 12.9% Source:CBN

infrastructural projects and initiatives that they would like to see collaboration between the two institutions. The first, according to him, is the sea link project, which is basically a maritime transport infrastructure conceived to enhance trade volumes within the ECOWAS sub-region and even the Central African region. The sea link facilitated by the bank was initiated due to huge challenges that a lot of Nigerian exporters face in exporting their goods within the region and even to the neighbouring countries since there is no maritime transportation that makes for easy movement of goods and people in the region. He further said the visit was also to explore some other transactional relationship on some of the projects that NEXIM has funded, which for instance would need some kind of infrastructure type of financing arrangement that would help make the projects viable and sustainable and consequently galvanise what the bank is doing. Orya also sought the partnership of the Infrastructure Bank in its commitment to cofinancing and refinancing arrangements of infrastructuretype transactions, like hotel development as tourism infrastructure to support the national tourism master plan. Highlighting specific areas of intended collaboration further, Orya told the house that NEXIM Bank has made huge

Earnings Report for Banks Source:Pro-share Nigeria

investments in agriculture, solid minerals, services, explaining that infrastructure support is needed so that some of the current challenges can be tackled. He also mentioned the bank’s extensive role in deepening of the creative and entertainment industry due to its enormous potential in terms of creating jobs and generating exchange rate and sought partnership with the Infrastructure Bank to deepen the sector and promote export in line with government’s present policy initiative. In response, Oyinloye commended strides so far made by the NEXIM Bank’s management to stimulate the non-oil sector, assuring of their readiness to work with Orya and his team. He said that the Infrastructure Bank has been repositioned and refocused to take up new roles and was quite willing to partner with NEXIM Bank on key projects that would help drive the president’s transformation agenda. He pledged that the bank would be ready to offer advice and particularly ensure that the conceived projects are bankable. “We would be glad to provide the skills where required and do let us know at what point you want us to play a role,” Oyinloye assured.

Standard Bank eyes Nigeria in expansion plans


tandard Bank has concluded plans to add up to 30 new branches across the continent before the end of the year, Ben Kruger, the banks deputy chief executive said on Friday. According to Kruger, the bulk of the banks will be sited in Nigeria, adding that the lender expects its full-year credit impairments to be little changed from last year. “This year we’ll add 20, 30 branches across the network,” Kruger said, following the bank’s first-half results presentation. (Source: Bloomberg)



NSE- ASI holds support level despite 2 weeks loss of -1.62% M

ixed market sentiments persist on the Nigerian bourse amid increased market volatility on the back of growing speculative trading while bargain tendency appeared weak in the face of continued price correction trend. Further analysis revealed sustained mild retracement despite positive opening in the week while market slides further into trading range as against huge profit booking experienced in the previous week. The continued price correction tendency witnessed towards big counters had significant impact on the market posture despite improved breadth observed in

the week. Nevertheless, the key benchmark indices maintained their hold above 23,000 psychological line despite increased market price volatility and pessimistic trading during the week while the market turnover closed negative. Market opened the week on positive note to extend two gains by +0.15%. However, the key benchmark indices slipped by 0.64% to erased previous gain and maintained below-the-line postures for two sessions despite improved market breadth, recording -0.09% and -0.17% loss on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.

Conversely, the All Share Index (ASI) returned to positive side by +0.32% on Friday as more of value and blue chip stocks gained weight on the back of improved patronage, closing the week on the negative note with cumulative loss of -0.42%. However, the All-Share Index in the week under review dipped by -0.42% to close at 23,141.08 as against a decline by -1.21% recorded last week to close at 23,239.03. In the same vein, the market capitalization in the week depreciated by N30.62 billion (US$204.17 million) to close at N7.36 trillion (US$49.09 billion) as against depreciation by

N90.43 billion (US$565.21 million) recorded last week to close at N7.39 trillion (US$ 46.22billion). The total volume traded in the week closed at 1.31 billion units valued at N932.58 million (US$48.49 million) compared with 1.31 billion units valued at N9.13 billion (US$57.09 million) exchanged in 19,199 deals last week. The volume transaction in the week when compared with the previous week data moved down by -29.24% as against decline by -19.58% recorded last week. Weekly value also went down by -20.34% as against negative position of -23.03% recorded last week.

developed debt markets, the bank said on Wednesday. [ID: nL6E8JFAZ0] Dealers said the announcement spurred a rash of buying, pushing down yields across the board. The yield on the most liquid bond, the 3-year, fell to 15.60 on Friday from 16.17 percent a week ago. That on the 5-year instrument dropped to 15.70 percent, compared with 16.28

percent last Friday. “We expect a lot of foreign investors to rush for local debt in the coming days in response to the report on JP Morgan and this will further push down yields,” one dealer said. Nigeria’s Debt Management Office sold 75 billion naira ($478 million) in bonds with maturities ranging from 5 to 10 years at a monthly auction on Wednesday. The yield on the 5-year paper

was marginally higher, while those on the 7- and 10-year securities fell. Dealers said a lower-thanexpected inflation figure for July would also support a further drop in yields. Consumer inflation eased marginally to 12.8 percent year-on-year, from 12.9 percent in June, surprising analysts who had expected it to rise due to the partial removal of fuel subsidies in January. (Reuters)

Nigerian yields lower on likely index inclusion


igerian bond yields are expected to ease further next week as news of the country’s likely inclusion in the JP Morgan government bond index heightens offshore investor interest in its debt. Nigeria is likely to be included in JP Morgan’s Government Bond Index - Emerging Markets (GBI-EM) from October, potentially bringing up to $1 billion into one of Africa’s most

20 medical investors to visit Nigeria


o fewer than 20 potential medical investors under the Bavaria Group are coming to Nigeria to explore local investment opportunities in the country. The group of potential

investors in health-related businesses, will be led into the country by Mr. Torsten Wagner from Bayern International and Mrs. Susanne Ackermann from the Chamber of Commerce, Passau, where they have booked

exhibition stands at the upcoming West African Health Conference and Exhibition (WAH Nigeria 2012), to be held between September 5-7 in Lagos. WAH coordinator, Dr Wale Alabi, who confirmed this, said,

Nigeria ranked as investment haven despite corruption


World Banks’ recent investment assessment report states that despite reports of corruption, Nigeria remains the most attractive investment destination in Africa. The report says: “One-third of micro-enterprises reported that informal payments/gifts to

government officials were commonplace, suggesting that registered firms confront more requests for such bribes… Only 20 per cent of micro-enterprise firms reported having advance knowledge of the amount of the payment required to ‘get things done’.” Therefore, “Informal payments/gifts represented

approximately 1.2 per cent of annual sales for all microenterprises.” 26 states within the country were analysed, where it is noted that government contractors have to pay approximately 4.3 per cent of the contract value in order to secure and maintain contracts. (NAN)

“We are expecting a group of 20 investors that are into highprofile medical equipment and technologies provision from the Bavarian group alone. This is a major boost for the seven yearold event that has consistently provided investment opportunities and solution modules for a private sector led solution to the continent’s healthcare problems.” According to Alabi, members of the group had indicated in their correspondences, an utmost desire to invest in Nigeria. “These investors have set out to build operational bases in Nigeria as a way of reaching out to the sub-region,” he said, adding, “I am delighted at their disposition because it will ultimately provide solutions to some of the lingering health problems in the sub-region, and make Nigeria the reference point.”

Source:Pro-share Nigeria

INVESTORS NEWS BEAT Capital market operators


wo months after the Federal Government dissolved the Board of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a new board is yet to be reconstituted and market operators have called on the government to appoint a new board saying the development will further delay the recovery of the nation’s stock market. The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, had on June 15, announced the dissolution of SEC’s board following the expiration of its tenure of four years. But due to the suspension of SEC Director-General, Arunmah Oteh, by the board then, OkonjoIweala announced the appointment of Mr. Brahim Bolaji Bello as acting DG of the commission.

Fidson Healthcare


idson Healthcare Plc, a Nigerian drug maker, jumped the most in 11 weeks after reporting it swung to profit in the first half.The stock climbed 4.8 percent to 0.88 naira by 2:18 p.m. in Lagos, the most since May 31. Net income for the six months through June surged to 152.8 million naira, compared with a loss of 188.6 million naira a year earlier, the Lagos-based company said in a statement published on the Nigeria Stock Exchange website today. Revenue increased to 3.6 billion naira from 2.6 billion naira over the same period. Fidson paid a dividend of 10 kobo per share for 2011, it said on April 20. The shares have advanced 2.3 percent this week, compared with a decline of 0.6 percent in the Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index.



ach day for four days, no fewer than 50 dealing member firms at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) will pay about N1.05million representing N21, 000 per participant as course fee for the forthcoming International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) training. The NSE noted in a circular (BDR/CIR/MUO/08/12) to all dealing members, signed by Olufemi Shobanjo, Head, Broker Dealer Regulation noted that “in the light of the adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and the directive by the Federal Government to all companies which includes Dealing Member Firms of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, it has become imperative for Chief Executive Officers of Dealing Member Firms to be informed of the acceptable accounting standards internationally.”



CBN to release report on microfinance banks before year-end By Aminu Imam


he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to release the report on the performance of the 671 microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country before the end of the year. The report, which is expected to appraise the sub sector, will provide information on the performance of the banks, their capital base, participation in the Rural Finance Institutions Development Programme (RUFIN) and loan recovery efforts, among other initiatives. Sources close to the apex bank said the report on the activities of the MFIs would be completed by the end of this year and presented to the public. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the report would capture how the

banks have been able to service their 346,266 registered customers, among other issues. Speaking on the issue, a former director, Budget and Supervision, CBN, Titus Okunronmu, said such a report is timely because the problems facing some of the institutions. Okunronmu said CBN’s decision to schedule the report for the end of the year is so as to enable it get enough information about the activities of the institutions. He said: “The apex bank collects information on banks throughout the year. I think the report is going to say a lot about the operations of the MFIs, their capacity for growth to meet the yearnings of depositors and loan portfolios, among other issues. It is good for the public because the report will expose the MFIs to the

public. Through the report, the members of the public will know whether to continue doing business with some of the banks. It is a good information that should be made readily available to the people.” He said the decision to release the report is good for the subsector, noting that such a report is difficult to come by because it is highly investigative. “If they tell us the position of the banks, many would run away. But they don’t normally give such information until there is crisis. The report will tell us the money the MFIs are having, and how they are using the money. It will tell us whether the money is well spent or not. From experience, MFIs are ready to give loans to customers,” he added.

Benue urges NNPC to monitor distribution of products By Muhammad Nasir


he management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in Abuja has been called to monitor the distribution of petroleum products to Benue state to curtail the illegal activities of its men in the state. Special Assistant to Governor Gabriel Suswam on Public Utility, Gaddafi Asemanya, who spoke to newsmen recently on the heels of the arraignment of Zubairu Manu, the state coordinator and 11 others in court last week, said that there was need for the NNPC to send men of proven integrity to manage such sensitive offices. The state coordinator was recently arrested and subsequently arraigned before a Chief Magistrate’s court with 11 others over allegations of criminal conspiracy and illegal dealing in petroleum and other allied

Nigeria, Congo collaborate to boost bilateral investments


L-R: Special Adviser to the President on Planning and Strategies, Chief Oronto Douglas and Chairman, Fort Oil, Chief Femi Otedola, discussing after a meeting with President Jonathan at the State House, Abuja.

matters. According to him, “what happened has shown clearly that the entire staff of the NNPC Mega Station were involved in fraud, as they were caught selling kerosene at the ungodly hour of 4a.m, thereby sabotaging the effort of both the state and the Federal Government. It also shows that I had no hidden agenda when I raided the station sometime ago.” Asemanya also noted that the job of the task force is to complement what the staff of the mega station was doing, disclosing that there is substantive evidence to convict the suspects based on their confessional statements to the police which show that they sold the product at N110 per litre instead of N50 per litre. Asemanya also urged the oil market outfit to make use of the services of uniformed personnel, civil society groups and journalists to sell kerosene in the state to forestall shady deals.

igeria and the Republic of Congo have resolved to intensify collaboration and cooperation in the oil and gas sector with a view to boosting bilateral trade volumes and investment flows, particularly in the areas of small and medium businesses. This agreement was reached just as the Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Congo, Her Excellency, Princess Jolaade Victoria Onipede vowed to combat transnational crimes such as drug and human trafficking, terrorism, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and financial crimes. The joint efforts in the sector which would also include other extractive industries, according to Princess Onipede, would assist both countries in tackling their wide range of common sociocultural, economic, political and security aspirations, challenges and threats.

The ambassador, while presenting her letter of credence to President Denis Sasson Nguesso of the Republic of Congo, during the week, acknowledged that the two countries shared and faced a wide range of common sociocultural, economic, political and security aspirations, challenges and threats. She gave the assurance that her tenure would be used to reinforce the long-standing excellent ties between the two countries with a view to addressing the identified problems. She further disclosed that Nigeria is making all necessary efforts to host the second Nigeria-Republic of Congo BiNational Commission to sort out outstanding bilateral issues, including the conclusion and signing of a bilateral accord on trade and investment promotion and protection. (NAN)

Extension of AMCON tenure may expose economy to systemic risk From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


he extension of the tenure of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), a resolution mechanism for cleaning up banks’ non-performing loans (NPL) may expose the country’s economy to systemic risks, as well as negative fallouts from the possible politicisation of the agency in the future. Director of Risk Management at the CBN, Kemi Fatogbe, in a presentation at a recent Risk Managers

conference in Lagos, said the ten year lifespan for AMCON in the original act, deliberated upon by the National Assembly in 2010 was removed during the reconciliation process between the House of Representatives and the Senate. AMCON was set up by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Ministry of Finance. The agency, which was sold to the public as a vehicle with a fixed (10 year) term, would not have its existence terminated by 2020 as the Act establishing it initially envisaged. AMCON has issued bonds to

the value of N3.89 billion ($25.1 million) since it was set up in 2010 through the issuance of zero-coupon bonds, giving banks more capacity to lend to the private sector. The revelation that AMCON with its huge powers, would now be a permanent agency, is however giving analysts cause for concern. “Should banks or other entities expect in advance, the acquisition of their NPLs (and even possibly a government bail-out), systemic risks to the financial system would increase over time,” Samir

Gadio, an emerging markets strategist at Standard Bank, London said. “Another concern is that the outstanding amount of AMCON bonds now equals the stock of FGN bonds (N3.7 trillion as of March 2012).” Most resolution vehicles such as AMCON are supposed to be temporary mechanisms/ institutions set up in times of financial stress, to assist regulatory authorities manage the fallout, which prompted analysts to also question the role of a permanent AMCON, in view of the Nigerian Deposit

Insurance Corporation’s (NDIC) existence. “Ultimately it is not good for the growth of our financial system, to have a permanent AMCON that will also start to duplicate some of NDIC’s roles,” said Kayode Akindele, partner at 46 Parallel, an investment firm. “It will be more efficient and better for government to encourage private sector distressed funds to play the AMCON role after the 10 year life span of AMCON, thereby letting the market price and market such debt”, he said.




How I was kidnapped from Jikwoyi and taken to Katsina by fake football coach – Ibrahim Meanwhile, his mother, Mrs. Victoria Ibrahim, while talking to Peoples Daily said “I started looking for him when I discovered his disappearance. I once told the man (Aminu Adamu) not to come close to my son but he pleaded that he liked children and that he wanted to teach them football. I accepted to let him Thomas with him because from his appearance I thought he could not hurt a fly. “Nevertheless I warned him not to take my son out of Abuja for whatever reasons. “He had that opportunity because two of my children were sick so I took them to hospital. I went to Jikwoyi divisional police headquarters to report when he did not come home that day. “When I complained to them they said they were going to investigate the matter but they were too slow to me, so I went to Brekete Family, a p r o g r a m m e o n L o v e FM where cases involving the poor are treated. I presented my case to them; I said my son had been kidnapped and that police were not serious

Thomas Ibrahim was kidnapped two months from his home in Jikwoyi, a suburb of Abuja, by a man who posed as football coach. He was first taken and ended up in Kaduna. A frantic search by the police led to the eventual arrest of the fake coach and Thomas’ release. Son and mother spoke exclusively to Peoples Daily reporter, Etuk Sunday.


he family of Mr. Ayuba Ibrahim was in celebration mood last two months when the family was greeted with the news that their son, Thomas Ibrahim, kidnapped a year ago, had been found in Kaduna state. The celebration became stronger on Saturday 5th August, 2012 when Thomas was finally reunited with the family, an experience that was described by the family as the handiwork of God. Thomas was said to have

been kidnapped by a man called Aminu Adamu who claimed that he was a football coach in Jikwoyi Phase 4 last year. However, luck ran out on him and he was arrested by the police (SAS) after declaring him wanted and displaying his photographs all 36 states of the federation and Abuja. Narrating his ordeal, Thomas said “the man is like my coach. We used to play football together and he used to buy jerseys for me in Jiwoyi Phase 4. “We used to play in

Jikwoyi Phase 2 and Nyanya. Sometimes he did take me to his house. But one day, very early in the morning I went to his house and he took me a motorbike (Okada) to Keffi Park in Mararaba; from there we went to Nasarawa. There in Nasarawa, he took me to a herbalist in a ush in the Bagaji part of Nasarawa state where we spent two days.” Thomas continued: “From Nasarawa he took me to another herbalist in Katsina state, still in a bush

Thomas Ibrahim and his mother, Victoria Ibrahim

Thomas Ibrahim

under a big tree. We did not sleep there that day; he took me to a particular house from where we visited the herbalist every day. “One day, we went there and I was very thirsty, and the herbalist asked me to go to a shrine and drink water. When I came out of the room, they said they wanted to teach me how to become a herbalist but I could not talk or answer back and the coach left me there. “Every day the herbalist would beat me if I failed to grasp what he was teaching me.” Thomas said it took a strong heart for him to try to escape. “I found it very

difficult to escape initially because I was always being followed by the herbalist”, he said. After several failed attempts, Thom a s f i n a l l y made it. “One day I was fortunate to be left alone, so I made my escape,” he recounted. “I went to Katsina main town on foot; I was even bitten by a snake. On my way, some people saw me and helped me with a snake antidote, although they were sent by the herbalist to recapture me. I was fortunate that fuel finished in the car they came in, so I ran from them. While I was running, I saw the

body guards of the Emir of Katsina and I narrated my ordeal to them, and they took me to the Emir, Alhaji

Abdul Kabiru Usman. He said he was going to take me to school; he took me to an boarding Islamic school

When the coach came back and discovered that I was no longer with the herbalist, he went to him and they used their magic powers to trace me to Kaduna. He wanted to take me back to the herbalist but the people refused and he left the school

in Kaduna. “When the coach came back and discovered that I was no longer with the herbalist, he went to him and they used their magic powers to trace me to Kaduna. He wanted to take me back to the herbalist but the people refused and he left the school. “When they discovered that that police were aware of what was happening they took me to the Emir who in turn took me to a chief in a particular village. The chief enrolled me in an Arabic school and they were teaching me Arabic. That was where I was staying before the

police came for me. They arrested the coach and he took them to the school where I was staying.” “Thomas said although he was a Christian before he was kidnapped, his named was changed to a Muslim name and he made to accept Islam. “They changed my name in the school from Thomas Ibrahim to (Abdullahi Ibrahim) and also changed my mother’s name from Victoria Ibrahim to (Zainab Ibrahim). They used my mother’s name to prepare visa to take me to Saudi Arabia to study because, according to them, I was intelligent.”


with the case so they directed me to FCT police command which sent its men to Jikwoyi police station and asked them to intensify their effort in the search for the boy. “They promised that they would work to ensure that the boy was found. We had Amin Adamu’s cell phone number but each time you called him he will insult you and cut the call. The last thing he said was that he was not in custody of the boy and we should go and look for him. We begged him and told him that if he was not in custody of the boy he should come back to Jikwoyi but he refused and told us that he travelled. “I went back to the police for them to trace his number but they refused to help me. Meanwhile, we have been praying and keeping faith until last two months when they called me from Kaduna they had seen the so-called coach’s pictures; we were told that the man had been arrested. “The SAS went there on a Friday two weeks ago for the boy. They returned with the boy on Saturday and I was very happy.” Contacted for a comment, the police declined.



Girl, six, has such severe allergies she could be killed by a kiss By Daily Mail Reporter


little girl has such severe allergies that even a kiss could prove deadly. Isla Franks, six, suffers such severe reactions that she is wrapped in bandages from the neck down for 24 hours a day, to protect her super-sensitive skin. Her condition is so severe that she had to be rushed to hospital after her little sister gave her a kiss - hours after she had drunk a glass of milk. Her parents have to keep her clothes in a freezer instead of a wardrobe - because of her extreme reaction to dust mites. Isla was diagnosed with extreme allergies to eggs, milk, wheat, grass and dust when she was just six months old - and her parents told she would have to be wrapped in bandages to protect her skin. Isla has a special cupboard for her food to stop it coming into contact with anything else. Her mother Katy, from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs, said: “We can’t do the things that other families can - even something as normal as going out for dinner could be deadly for Isla. “If anything Isla is allergic to so much as brushes past her skin, she comes up in a huge angry rash which is really painful for her. “And if it goes anywhere near her face, her throat will start to swell. She has so many allergies, it’s difficult to keep her away from them.” The schoolgirl struggles to live a normal life - and is regularly sent home from school after suffering from flare ups. Last month, she suffered a reaction after sitting next to a school friend who owned a cat - revealing another allergy for her worried parents to add to the list. Mrs Franks added: “We noticed that something wasn't right when Isla was six

Isla and her mum Katy on holiday when Isla was eighteen months-old. She was diagnosed with several allergies when she was just six months-old.

The top-to-toe bandages protect Isla's skin from allergens.

months old - she stopped sleeping properly and was really grumpy. “Her skin would flare up so badly that people even stopped me in the supermarket and asked if I had burned her. “The hospital carried out all sorts of tests, and discovered she was allergic to eggs, milk, wheat, dust and grass - we were devastated. “We were told she had to wear bandages to cover her skin from the neck down to stop her skin flaring up. “When her skin gets particularly bad, Isla has to have a layer of wet bandages, to cool her skin, over her usual layer of dry bandages, which she has to wear 24 hours a day. “Isla doesn't know any different from having the bandages on, but they do irritate her. I have to sleep with her at night now to stop her scratching in her sleep, and pulling them off.

Collect of Isla during an allergic attack the day after a neighbour cut their grass.

Isla with her parents Dan and Katy, who must be vigilant at all times

“There are a lot of things she misses out on that all her friends can do, which does upset me. “Isla can't go to parties, or round to her friend's houses to play, because it's too dangerous for her. If one of the other children touched her after eating something, it could kill her. “She can't take part in sports day, or even sit on the carpet with the other children at school, because if there's any trace of dust in it, Isla's allergies will flare up. “The one blessing is that she's been the same her whole life, so she doesn't really know any different. “She does sometimes get upset when she sees other children doing things she can't do. “The other day, she saw some children eating ice cream, and asked 'what does that taste like, Mummy?', which was really upsetting. “But she’s a brave girl, and doesn't let her allergies get in the way of running around and being a normal little girl. “It sounds like a cliche to say you can't wrap your kids up in cotton wool - but I literally have to.” Source:


Varsity don blames mass failure in WAEC on poor funding of public schools


university lecturer, Prof. Jack Aigbodioh, has attributed the mass failure of candidates in West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) and other external examinations to poor funding of schools. The professor of Philosophy at the Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma in Edo made his views known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ekpoma. He also blamed the lack of facilities, in-conducive learning environment and unqualified teachers in public schools in the country as largely responsible for the poor results by the candidates in public examinations. According to Aigbodioh, who is also the Director of General Studies of the university, government funding of secondary education is not commensurate with the population of children in school. “I am personally not surprise that the students continue to suffer the way they are going. We are not taking education seriously in this country. “Explosion of child population in this country is not matched with adequate financial and facility support. “If we are to get things right, government must first of all carry out proper population census of children in school and allocate appropriate resources accordingly. “The next in line is to ensure teachers recruited to teach in primary and in the secondary schools, especially public schools are qualified to do so. “As government must work to improve learning and teaching facilities in these schools, they must also ensure proper remuneration of the teachers. “I stress on remuneration because when poorly paid, these teachers, to survive, engage themselves in something else to augment what they are been paid. “By so doing, when this happens, possibility of giving their best is out of the question," he said. Aigbodioh also said that ``if corruption persists with the way it is going and we continue to spend money on irrelevant things, I do not see hope for the Nigeria child.'' (NAN)


Abductors of vice-chancellor of Enugu University demand N200m ransom


he Enugu State University of Technology (ESUT) has confirmed that the abductors of its ViceChancellor, Prof. Cyprian Onyeji, are demanding a ransom of N200m. Addressing newsmen in Enugu on Friday, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Aloysius Uzoagulu, said the family of the vice-chancellor informed the school about the demand. Uzoagulu said the institution would not be involved in the payment of any ransom, noting that it could only offer its encouragement to the family.

L-R: Minister of State for Education, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, with a Philanthropist, Chief Emeka Woke, during the Later courtesy call to the Minister, recently in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

return to school, adding that full academic activities would resume on Aug. 22 after the Sallah break. On why the vice-chancellor was residing outside the school compound, Uzoagulu explained that the V-C's lodge was being renovated. The deputy vice-chancellor, who said that the source and reason for the abduction was yet to be known, appealed to churches, fellowships and spirited individuals to assist the institution in praying for the urgent release of the boss. ``Last year, we called on students to renounce cultism and we had more than 160 students that did that and since then, we have not been having any incident about their operation in the school. ``When cult activities happen, ESUT is usually mentioned. I want to say that whatever that is happening in town, we are not aware of that and we cannot hold ESUT students responsible. ``To the best of our knowledge, we are not aware that cult activities have been taking place that will lead to the abduction of our vicechancellor,'' he said. Uzoagulu disclosed that the two police aides to Onyeji who were injured during the ambush had been discharged from the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, while one was still receiving treatment. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) repo rts that the Registrar of the school, Mr. Chris Igbokwe, as well as the librarian, Mr. George Igwebike, accompanied the deputy vicechancellor to the briefing. (NAN)

children or students to contribute towards the development of their communities and the country as a whole. The minister observed that it will also improve on the quality of education and improve student's performance. The event that brought together 300 players, specifically in the education sector, marked the beginning of a countrywide distribution of reading materials for various age groups. Among other organizations involved in the initiative is the Education Development Centre Inc (EDC), a US based organization. The organization has embarked on various approaches to promote reading right from primary schools. Supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the organization, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Rwanda Education Board (REB), is promoting Literacy, Language and Learning (L3) in schools.

video recording equipments cost about $ 75,000. It already started recording some programmes to be used. Yasin argues that the initiative was one of the modern measures of effective learning as learners easily learn when they hear and observe what their teachers are teaching. Also in the organization's pipeline is the introduction of the mobile libraries, a project that is expected to further give the population access to text books. the programme would be implemented in collaboration with the Peace Corps- a United States volunteer service organization with support from USAID. The libraries will be set in communities identified to have the most vulnerable people, in addition to enabling students from these communities to read. EDC officials said that although mechanisms were being put in place, parents and teachers too have the responsibilities of encouraging students to adopt the culture of reading at an early age

``I want to let us know that the family is into the matter and the university cannot go ahead of the family. ``The wife is there, the children are there, the close relatives are there and they are working hard to see that they do something for the release of their father and we go there to know how far and encourage them. ``So that is the much we can do. If anybody will assist the family, we can use this opportunity to call on the general public to help the family, get to them, console them, comfort them and pray

for them. ``The situation is that Prof. Cyprian Onyeji has not gained his freedom yet. We are not into that negotiation as to know whether they have cut down or whatever. If we want to know the details, we get to the family. ``In fact, it is the wife in particular that will tell us or tell anybody how far they have gone with the negotiation.'' Uzoagulu debunked media reports that the institution was on strike following Wednesday's abduction of Prof. Onyeji. He called on students to

Rwanda: New efforts to promote reading culture By Tobias Lengnan Dapam with agency report he Ministry of Education and Rwanda Education Board (REB) recently launched an initiative dubbed "Rwanda Reads". The campaign that aims at promoting the culture of reading through several public awareness programmes on the need to read, was aimed at improving literacy through creating access to text books or reading materials. Launching the campaign at Kigali Institute of Education recently, the Minister of Education, Dr Vincent Biruta, said that reading at a tender age was a strong foundation of children's early development and effectively contributes to one's intellect. "Parents and teachers should lead or encourage children and students so that the young generation will realise the need to love reading," Biruta said. He said reading will have a direct impact on enabling


It also modernisede and equipped a recording studio at REB to enable schools acquire recorded information to facilitate teaching and learning. The 5-year project will see video production of modules for teachers as well as producing literacy and programs in English and Kinyarwanda. The organisation is also set to operate mobile libraries to further make access to text books easier. The programme is to be implemented in collaboration with the Peace Corps - a United States volunteer service organization. Speaking to The Sunday Times, the head of the organization, Said Yasin, said they had provided new technology to enable effective recording. "We are providing all the technical support in making sure that we produce quality or modern education materials that will benefit all schools in the country," Yasin said. The state-of-the-art audio and


By Tobias Lengnan Dapam with agency report


NICEF reports titled Narrowing the Gaps to Meet the Goals and Progress for children: Achieving the MDGs with Equity, unearthed glaring disparities among children born in poor families compared to those from richer families in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. it said most poor Nomadic family in North Eastern province in Kenya and northern Nigeria, have had turbulent time, owing to their livelihood which mostly depended on their livestock, adding that those provinces also have high level of apathy towards girls' education. Salma Muhammed, a young herd's woman in Kenya said she would rather herd her father's goats rather than go to school, being that the nearest school is 10 km away and with the biting drought in the area, making it


Tradition affects girl child education in Africa hard to study. "Herding goats is tough with the thirst, sun, loneliness and hunger each day. And it can last forever. You herd as a girl, then as a wife, as a pregnant woman, as a mother and even as a grandmother," says Rukia Salma, a 13-year-old Girl. According to Salma, the opportunity to receive an education has been profound difference. She says seeing her sister get married at a younger age gave her a clear picture of what her destiny would be like if she did not have an education. "Education has an end which could lead to better livelihood. So

I have decided to give my very best to books (studying) to change my future," the form two pupils said. Salma represented a number of the many African children who can't access education due to poverty, by gone traditions and lack of commitment by governments to put these children in school Reacting on the development, Mr. Hellen Tombo, who is the Pan African advocacy advisor for Plan International, a children's organisation working with communities in 48 developing countries to alleviate child poverty, said "in sub-Saharan

Africa a lack of political will and bad governance is hindering the achievement of MDGs aimed at children. "Heavily rooted, biased, traditional attitudes on age and gender are delaying the emancipation of children and women and our governments are not responding well," Tombo said. According to Edward Ouma, Chief Executive Officer of Children's Legal Action Network a non-governmental organisation working to promote high quality legal aid services that improve the lives of children, the governments in

Vicechancellors condemn kidnap of colleague

20,000 Delta students access N460m assistance fund


o fewer than 20,000 students of Delta origin have accessed N460.1 million out of the N635.7 million approved for the Students Special Assistance Scheme (SSAS) by the state government. The Chairman of the Delta State Bursary and Scholarship Board, Msgr. Buchi Aninye, made this known recently in Asaba at a briefing on the activities of the board. Aninye said that the state government had approved and released N635.7 million for the 2010 and 2011 students' special assistance scheme. He said about N80 million was returned by the board as unclaimed money in the 2009 and the 2010 academic session, the money was rolled into 2010 and 2011 session. He explained that a Website for application was opened in February 2011 and closed in May 2011. According to him, at the close of the site, 52,297 students from 145 institutions applied for the assistance. Aninye pointed that the board conducted an electronic screening, which reduced the figure to 28,849 students, as qualified. The chairman said the list of the 28,849 students was sent to the various institutions for final verification in enhancing accountability and transparency, adding that 20,000 were finally cleared. He explained that 33,000 entries who fraudulently access the web were disqualified for double and fake registration, adding that the government was able to save N660 million through the screening. According to him, 400 fake students were discovered in Enugu State University of Technology (ESUT) alone. He said that the board had closed payment for the 2010 and 2011 session to enable it process the students' assistance for the 2012 session. (NAN)

sub-Saharan Africa have focused on the wrong priorities such as heavy spending on military to the detriment of the health sector, education and infrastructure such as roads and hospitals. He said national budgets, plans and policies need to cater for the MDGs that still lag behind, like maternal health. "We need girl-friendly schools with safe learning environments and gender-sensitive curriculums. Countries such as Nigeria, Rwanda and Ghana have been very strategic and prioritised women empowerment and gender equality", he said.


Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwomi Adesina with the Minister of Education professor Ruqayyatu Rufai Ahmed

Coaches, students laud Howzat Foundation’s cricket clinic By Maryam Garba Hassan


articipants at the ongoing Howzat Foundation Cricket Clinic for coaches in Lagos, recently commended the foundation for developing cricket to empower youths. They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the clinic venue, the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, that there was need for companies to assist in popularising the game throughout the country. The participants, made up of coaches, primary school pupils and students, described the game as a gentleman's sport, which caused players to turn away from negative attitudes and helped to develop their thinking abilities. Maureen Tobi, a 16-year-old student of New Era Senior Secondary School, Surulere, said

that she started playing cricket since her Junior Secondary School days because of the Howzat Foundation. “I started playing cricket when I was in JSS III and I now play for Lagos State. “I have actually learnt so much since embracing the sport after the foundation brought it to my school when I was in JSS1," she said. Tobi added that since she started taking part in the sport, it had shaped her lifestyle and attitude as a young lady. “It has actually shaped my personality because it is a gentleman's game that will stop one from negative attitudes because in cricket you need to be cool-headed to excel. “And I have no other choice than to humble myself to the teachings of my coaches, so as to

become a good cricketer," she said. Twelve-year-old Sunkanmi Oladimeji, a JSS 1 student of St. Joseph's School, Ishaga, told NAN he had been playing the game for seven years due to the support of the Howzat Foundation. “I have been playing for the past seven years, since I was five years old. “I was introduced to the sport by a neighbour of mine who plays cricket and brought me to the Howzat Clinic and since then, I have always enjoyed playing cricket. “And I like the game because it is a gentleman's game that develops one's thinking abilities," Oladimeji said. Montel Nediong, five, a pupil of Cratos Memorial Nursery and Primary School, Surulere, said that he was enjoying his exposure to the game at the clinic. (NAN)

he Association of ViceChancellors of Nigerian Universities on Friday condemned the abduction of Prof. Cyprian Onyeji, the ViceChancellor of the Enugu State University of Technology (ESUT). Prof. Michael Faborode, the Secretary-General of the association, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that issue of kidnapping had become a worrisome development in the country. NAN reports that Onyeji was kidnapped on Aug. 15, in Enugu on his way to his office at ESUT campus. “We are very disturbed about the development; it portrays a dangerous trend and a dangerous development for the country, when vice chancellors have now become more endangered. “Vice chancellors have already faced a lot challenges in their universities, now for kidnapping to be added to them is another dimension. “It is really mind bugling, we have talked to the university and we are trying to follow development. We are hoping that he will be released without being harmed,'' Faborode said. He said that kidnapping had become one of the major challenges faced by the country. The vice-chancellor called on the Federal Government to take all necessary available steps to address the problem. He added that this was the only way that investors could also bring in economic development to the country. Faborode said that the issue of kidnap was causing a lot of havoc to the development and progress of the country “I believe that this is an issue that government has to take as priority number one so that people can be assured of their safety,'' he said. (NAN)



How Capt Wada's health care revolution is working in Kogi

Governor of Kogi state, Captain Idris Wada From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


bun Gago, 32, a house wife from a hamlet in Ibaji local government area of kogi state penultimate week had suddenly developed appendicitis while on the farm working hard to get food for her family. She was rushed to the village cottage clinic but sadly, there was no nurse or a qualified community health attendant to treat her. The husband, Gago also a struggling subsistence farmer tried frantically to raise money to transfer her to the general hospital located at the local government headquarters Onyedega some distance away but he could not raise the amount needed to get a vehicle that could transport his wife. At last, when succor finally came by way of a Good Samaritan, poor Ebun had finally given up the ghost. There was also the case of Regina who was in labour, she was rushed to the hospital for delivery but to the disappointment of all the people, the hospital's generating set had been grounded for years and the usual epileptic power supply could not help but frustrate the effort of the doctor and nurses attending to her. In a bizarre and a native creativity, the doctor who

was determined to save Regina's life, requested for a lantern to perform caesarian operation on her. She was however lucky to have survived the operation with the baby delivered. One cannot help but agree that, the pathetic stories of Ebun Gago and Regina are not different from one thousand and one rural folks who, on daily basis are being sent to their untimely graves due to inaccessibility of medical care which ordinarily should be at

reach of every citizen irrespective of status or qualification. This was a general problem before Captain Idris wada took over the mantle of leadership in the state on 27th January, 2011. Wada from inception did not leave any one in doubt that his policy is directed in health care delivery. This, according to him, is what he is set to achieve even if it is going to be the only meaningful achievement in his

administration. For a start, he gave directives that the elderly (above sixty years), children (below five years) and the nursing mothers should be freely treated in all the health centers across the state. To arrest the ugly trend, he ordered for immediate recruitment of 100 medical professionals to be posted to health care centers across the state. To sustain the policy of providing quality health care delivery system at accessible and affordable to the people, Captain Idris Wada entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a faith based health providers known as CEDIO outreach ministry. The outreach has, for the past three months been to over thirteen local government areas of the state treating all manner of diseases and illnesses at no cost to the patients. Presenting the interim report to the governor recently at the government house Lokoja, the team leader, Mrs Ifeanyi Chukwu Okakhai, noted with dismay at the deplorable state of facilities in all the health centers visited so far in the state. She said aside from the shortage of doctors and nurses and other medical professionals, the near


For a start, he gave directives that the elderly (above sixty years), children (below five years) and the nursing mothers should be freely treated in all the health centers across the state. To arrest the ugly trend, he ordered for immediate recruitment of 100 medical professionals to be posted to health care centers across the state.

Federal Medical Centre Lokoja

absence and run down equipment could pose a threat to the success of the health care transformation agenda of the government. She hinted that in this 21st century, what is called hospitals and health centres in most of the villages visited could be mistaken for a slaughter slabs as the structures were obsolete and crying for renovations even as the primary equipment for diagnosis and treatment of common diseases as high blood pressure, blood sugar testing kits and o p h t h a l m o l o g i c a l equipment were not available. According to the team leader, the free medical exercise cut across diagnostic, surgeries , eye treatment ,preventive and curative care, de-worming , dental care, ante natal and treatment of sores were covered. Okakhai stated that, at the end of first phase of the exercise covering thirteen local government areas, above 24, 975 patients having various ailments were freely treated. She disclosed that the pilot treatment carried out in twelve rural communities across thirteen areas councils revealed that, optical patients and dental cases were prevalent while de-worming and ante natal cases were not left out in the cry for government attention.



Malaria: Dealing with the killer disease M

alaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is transmitted via the bites of infected mosquitoes. In the human body, the parasites multiply in the liver, and then infect red blood cells. Usually, people get malaria by being bitten by an infective female Anopheles mosquito. Only Anopheles mosquitoes can transmit malaria and they must have been infected through a previous blood meal taken on an infected person. When a mosquito bites an infected person, a small amount of blood is taken in which contains microscopic malaria parasites. About 1 week later, when the mosquito takes its next blood meal, these parasites mix with the mosquito's saliva and are injected into the person being bitten. Because the malaria parasite is found in red blood cells of an infected person, malaria can also be transmitted through blood transfusion, organ transplant, or the shared use of needles or syringes contaminated with blood. Malaria may also be transmitted from a mother to her unborn infant before or during delivery ("congenital" malaria). Malaria Symptoms Symptoms of malaria include fever and flu-like illness, including shaking chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur. Malaria may cause anemia and jaundice (yellow coloring of the skin and eyes) because of the loss of red blood cells. Symptoms usually appear between 10 and 15 days after the mosquito bite. If not treated, malaria can quickly become life-threatening by disrupting the blood supply to vital organs. Infection with one type of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, if not promptly treated, may cause kidney failure, seizures, mental confusion, coma, and death. In many parts of the world, the parasites have developed resistance to a number of malaria medicines. When can malaria manifest in the body For most people, symptoms begin 10 days to 4 weeks after infection, although a person may feel ill as early as 7 days or as late as 1 year later. Two kinds of malaria, P. vivax and P. ovale, can occur again (relapsing malaria). In P.

the mosquitoes are most active. Wearing insect repellent will also increase your defense against malaria. Sleeping under a mosquito net is very effective and cheap. Don't get bitten Mosquitoes are active at twilight and at night, so take precautions during this time. Sleep in rooms that are properly screened with gauze over the windows and doors. use a mosquito net around your bed, with an insecticide such as pyrethrum Long trousers, longsleeved clothing and socks stop the mosquitoes biting will also protect you.

mosquitoes trasmit Malaria.

vivax and P. ovale infections, some parasites can remain dormant in the liver for several months up to about 4 years after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. When these parasites come out of hibernation and begin invading red blood cells ("relapse"), the person will become sick. Infection with malaria parasites may result in a wide variety of symptoms, ranging from absent or very mild symptoms to severe disease and even death. Malaria disease can be categorized as uncomplicated or severe (complicated). In general, malaria is a curable disease if diagnosed and treated promptly and correctly. Malaria prevention Malaria prevention consists of a combination of mosquito avoidance measures and chemoprophylaxis. Although very efficacious, none of the recommended interventions are 100% effective. Mosquito avoidance measures Because of the nocturnal feeding habits of Anopheles mosquitoes, malaria transmission occurs primarily between dusk and dawn. Contact with mosquitoes can be reduced by remaining in well-screened areas, using mosquito bed nets (preferably insecticidetreated nets), using a pyrethroid-containing

flying-insect spray in living and sleeping areas during evening and nighttime hours, and wearing clothes that cover most of the body. All travelers should use an effective mosquito repellent. The most effective repellent against a wide range of vectors is DEET (N, N-diethylmetatoluamide), an ingredient in many commercially available insect repellents. The actual concentration of DEET varies widely among repellents. DEET formulations as high as 50%, are recommended for both adults and children older than 2 months of age. DEET

should be applied to the exposed parts of the skin when mosquitoes are likely to be present. In addition to using a topical insect repellent, a permethrin-containing product may be applied to bed nets and clothing for additional protection against mosquitoes. Three easy ways to prevent malaria There are many ways to reduce the likelihood of contriving malaria: the easiest of which is to not get bitten in the first place. This can be achieved by wearing long clothing especially when at dawn and dusk were

Nets Have an insecticidetreated mosquito net around your bed. The net should be smallmeshed, with no holes. It should be rolled up during the day, so mosquitoes and other insects can't get inside. Take your own net with you. Impregnation lasts from six months to one year, depending on how much the net is used. Preventive medicine Taking medicines to prevent malaria if you are visiting an area where malaria is active because resistance to chloroquine and other drugs is spreading, preventive medicines that were effective five years ago may no longer be so. The geographic spread of resistance in the malaria parasite is increasing.



'Face-kini' beach balaclava craze hits China While most people strip off when heading to the seaside, beachgoers in China are covering up in masks and full body suits to avoid harmful UV rays.


ubbed the 'face-kini', the new craze is sweeping across China as the most efficient way to avoid the damaging effects of the sun. The full body suits and protective head masks are proving extremely popular with visitors to beaches across Qingdao, in north-east China's Shandong province. According to state-run broadcaster China Radio International, the beach balaclavas were initially designed to combat sunburn, but are also extremely effective at repelling insects and jellyfish.

'The weather is too hot, the first thing I do each day is to swim in the sea,' explained 62-year-old Qingdao resident Zhang Guilan. The special swimwear was originally designed several years ago but is only just starting to catch on across the country, added Ms Guilan. Chinese media outlets have likened people wearing the colourful suits, which feature mouth and eye holes, to characters from a sci-fi movie. Shops across the province have stocked up on the sun protectors with demand for the suits continuing to grow steadily.

Colourful: Chinese beachgoers wearing body suits (Picture: AFP)

The protective head mask has been dubbed the 'face-kini' (Picture: AFP)

The new craze is sweeping across China (Picture: AFP)

Why President Jonathan should be supported Contd. from Back Page Instead of lamenting the sorry state of our economy, its poor management and the possibility that we will be up to our necks in debt once again, economic and business interests should facilitate a thorough soulsearch for what is wrong with the way we manage our economy. We need answers to the impact of the size of government on the economy; to our perennial failure to execute our budgets as planned; to the persistence of an enclave economy which is dangerously vulnerable to external stimuli; to decaying and inadequate infrastructure which cannot support a growing economy; and to the search for vision and discipline in pursuit of long-term economic goals. Our political parties should raise a think tank to identify the

weaknesses of our electoral system, and how it can be plugged. Other Nigerians with insights, expertise or experience, as well as C.S.Os and professional groups should be involved in providing a blueprint for a thorough overhaul of our electoral system between now and 2015. It will be very dangerous to continue to leave the problems of Nigeria on the doorsteps of this administration. The administration is likely to continue to open the door, see the problems, and walk back in locking the door, and preferring to believe it did not see what it saw. It is time for patriots, leaders and those who know about our problems to step up. This is not a favour to President Jonathan, and it should not matter that he may choose to ignore outcomes of some of these activities. This is a service to the fatherland, and

there may be no other opportunities to salvage our nation. Those who are content with opportunistic and sterile opposition lose the opportunity to insist that identified viable and

practical options must be pursued by the administration. A groundswell of demand for purposeful and strong leadership, strategies and options will provide the necessary pressure

President Jonathan needs help to govern. Those who love this nation should help him with ideas, suggestions and inputs. The best guarantee that this nation can survive its short term challenges lies in strengthening Jonathan’s capacity to deal with them. We have no future as a united, secure and prosperous nation unless we fix our current challenges. President Jonathan is one of them

for the President to act more decisively. President Jonathan needs help to govern. Those who love this nation should help him with ideas, suggestions and inputs. The best guarantee that this nation can survive its short term challenges lies in strengthening Jonathan’s capacity to deal with them. We have no future as a united, secure and prosperous nation unless we fix our current challenges. President Jonathan is one of them. He must not be isolated and merely bombarded with criticisms so long as he is leading us. Those who want him to go in 2015 may consider the thought that it will be easier for him not to run again in 2015 if he makes a fairly good job of his current mandate, than if he messes it up. Rulers who mess up big time tend to want to stay on forever, lest they are called to account.



Could chocolate stave off dementia? A

daily dose of chocolate could help keep dementia and Alzheimer's at bay, a study suggests. Researchers found that consuming cocoa every day helped improve mild cognitive impairment - a condition involving memory loss which can progress to dementia or Alzheimer's - in elderly patients. For the study, 90 people aged 70 or older diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment were split into three groups of

30 and given either a high, medium or low dose of a cocoa drink daily. The drink contained flavanols chemicals associated with a decreased dementia risk which are found in a variety of foods, including cocoa products such as dark chocolate. The participants' diet was restricted to eliminate other sources of flavanols, such as tea or red wine. Their cognitive function was examined using tests of

Researchers found those who drank the high and medium doses daily had significantly better cognitive scores by the end of the eight-week study in a number of categories, including working memory

Beneficial? Researchers found that eating chocolate regularly could reduce the risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer's By Claire Bates


o-yo dieting may be demoralising, but people trying to watch their weight will be relieved to hear that it won't stop them from shedding pounds in the long run. Researchers had feared that people who shift the weight only to pile it on again could be damaging their health. However, a study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has become the first to show yo-yo diets do not have a long-term effect on metabolism or the ability to lose weight later in life. Lead researcher Dr Anne McTiernan said: 'To our knowledge, no previous studies have examined the effect of prior weight cycling on the body composition, metabolic and hormonal changes induced by a comprehensive lifestyle intervention in free-living women.' She added: 'A history of unsuccessful weight loss should not dissuade an individual from future attempts to shed pounds or diminish the role of a healthy diet and regular physical activity in successful weight management.' The researchers randomly assigned 439 overweight-toobese, sedentary women, ages

factors including working memory and processing speed. Researchers found those who drank the high and medium doses daily had significantly better cognitive scores by the end of the eightweek study in a number of categories, including working memory. Those given the higher doses of the flavanol drink improved far more than those given the lowest dose, the study, published in the journal

Hypertension, found. Insulin resistance and blood pressure also decreased in those drinking high and medium doses of the flavanol drink. Doctor Giovambattista Desideri of the University of L'Aquila in Italy, lead author of the study, said: 'This study provides encouraging evidence that consuming cocoa flavanols, as a part of a caloriecontrolled and nutritionallybalanced diet, could improve cognitive function.

'Larger studies are needed to validate the findings, figure out how long the positive effects will last and determine the levels of cocoa flavanols required for benefit.' Dr Laura Phipps, of Alzheimer's Research UK, said: 'Cocoa-based treatments for brain function would likely have patients queuing out the door, but this small study of flavanols is not yet conclusive.' Source:

heavier at the start of the study by the end. However, there was no difference in the ability to lose weight or take part in the exercises between those who yoyo dieted and those who didn't. Nor was there any significant difference from the non-cyclers in terms of the impact of diet or diet-plusexercise on weight loss, percentage of body fat and lean muscle mass gained or lost. Other physiological factors such as blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and blood concentrations of hormones such as leptin (which helps make one feel full) and adiponectin (which helps regulate glucose levels) also did not differ significantly among those whose weight fluctuated and those whose did not. The findings are important as it could encourage overweight people to persevere with trying to slim down. 'We know there's an association between obesity, sedentary behavior and

increased risk of certain cancers,' McTiernan said. 'The World Health Organisation estimates that a quarter to a third of cancers

could be prevented with maintenance of normal weight and keeping a physically active lifestyle.' Source:

Yo-yo dieting is not bad for you and won't stop you losing weight

50 to 75, to one of four groups: reduced-calorie diet only, exercise only (mainly brisk walking), reduced-calorie diet plus exercise and a control group that received no intervention. At the end of the year long study, participants on the dietonly and diet-plus-exercise groups lost an average of 10 per cent of their starting weight, which was the goal of the programme. The analysis aimed to determine whether women with a history of moderate or severe weight fluctuations were at a disadvantage compared to non-weight-cyclers when it came to losing weight. Around a fifth of the women had a history of yo-yo dieting defined by losing and regaining more than 20 pounds on three or more occasions. A quarter reported losing 10 or more pounds on three or more occasions. Severe yo-yo dieters were an average of nearly 20 pounds

Finding it impossible to resist that donut? It's worth persevering with the diet as repeatedly gaining and losing weight will not ruin your chances long-term



I wasn’t involved in Okupe’s contract scam, says Suswam Amidst growing concerns raised by the Benue state House of Assembly that led to the summoning of the state’s Finance Commissioner over the status of the state’s finances, Governor Gabriel Suswam at the weekend explained the factors leading to delays in payment of civil servants’ salaries in the state; clarifying misconceptions about the state’s internally generated revenue just as he asserted his ignorance about the alleged contract scam involving President Goodluck Jonathan’s Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe. Our Correspondent, Uche Nnorom, was at the media parley. Excerpts:



he House of Assembly recently alleged that the state owed workers salaries. What exactly is the state’s financial status? Is the state broke? No. You see, the finances of the state depend on the federation account and once there is problem in federation account, it affects all the states, not just Benue state. Of course, there are delays. The President himself said in the newspapers today, 17th August that salaries must be paid today. So it means there are delays. When there is delay from the federation account, for money to come out, it means there are delays. Benue does not owe any person. The problem in the state is the biometric exercise that we are carrying out to sort the issue of over bloated pay roll and strength of the civil service. You will agree with me that when you start the process of computing, it will sometimes affect one or two persons. For instance, the Deputy Governor and I, had in some cases, missed our salary and it is not because there is no money. This is exactly what has affected few people but the state government does not owe anybody. In SUBEB, there was a judgment in the month of July which didn’t start with us. It was a case of N29 million and the judge went ahead to give a judgment that the whole account should be garnished. This was a case that happened under the last administration, when the government dismissed teachers who were not of Benue origin and that case was going on before I became a governor. But even the issue has been sorted out. I think that was the matter the Commissioner of Information responded to and the House of Assembly became sensitive in some of the things

Governor Gabriel Suswam

the commissioner said. I was, to some extent, sensitive because I expected that they would have got the fact when it was said that government owed salaries for nine months and you know that in Benue if you owe salary for one month, it won’t just be in the realms of speculation because the news will be everywhere. So, we do not owe salaries but the biometrics created problem. However, they are in the process of sorting out complaints arising from the data capturing. The problem had been if your name appears twice, the computer will reject it and then you would not be paid, but that does not mean we owed. It is a common knowledge that the country is going through some financial challenges and no state is exempted. But, one thing I do take seriously is to prioritize salary; once, money comes, salaries are paid before any other thing is done and I don’t

joke with that. So, I don’t think the Assembly and Executive are into any problem nor have serious issue concerning that. Away from political differences, Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN has been talking about Okupe, how he came to Benue and defrauded the state. But, your government has kept sealed lips over the matter? What is government’s position on

these failed contracts? That is because we are not the one who gave the contract. However, the person who did, Senator George Akume, as I read in the Newspaper yesterday, has made a press statement to that effect through his Media Aide. I wasn’t involved in that deal. The Media Aide asserted that they gave a contract and there were issues. So, I’m waiting for them and I think it will get to us to know. I believe Senator Akume is in a better position to address that problem. But, government is continuum; the present administration can take the matter to the Economic Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) because the amount involved is much I agree with you, but if you read what the Media Assistant to Senator Akume did say, she said the problem arose with them and that they are handling it. You know, that I didn’t have a handing over note. I have told you this several times before; no hand over note was ever given to me. What is happening to the Chairman, Board of Benue state Internal Revenue Mr. Andrew Ayabam? Sometimes, we were told he proceeded on leave because there was a problem at the Board of Internal Revenue Services, BIRS. Don’t you think there is a decline in your revenue generation?

It is a common knowledge that the country is going through some financial challenges and no state is exempted. But, one thing I do take seriously is to prioritize salary; once, money comes, salaries are paid before any other thing is done and I don’t joke with that

No. He is on leave. There are so many speculations about whether he is sacked or on leave, but he gave a letter that he wanted to go on leave. However, the revenue board is not properly constituted because there is supposed to be a Board and also a Technical Committee. We are in the process of constituting it. By the time he returns from leave, the Board would have been properly put in place. Benue state is not a state that generates much revenue. In reporting revenue, there are three components. You have the PAYE which is captured as revenue and so when he was reporting N1 billion, it wasn’t that they were generating it from BIRS. In fact, about 80% of it was from PAYE. This amount of money is taken from your salary and goes back into paying your salaries but it is captured when reporting what is generated as revenue not as part of expenditure. I think most people didn’t understand that and simply think Benue was generating N1 billion. No, we were not generating that amount. The issue of capital market N13billion bond the state government procured, the public is worried about how the money was expended because the Finance Commissioner failed to give details of how it was channeled during the budget breakdown There is no way you can utilize the bond other than the purpose it was meant for. The bond is attached to specific projects and it is operated between the Security Exchange Commission, SEC, Banks and the state. There are about three banks involved that monitor the money to see how it is expended. If for instance, I want to build a house, I will cost it and the money is paid to that extent. So, there is no alarm or question of tampering with bond money. It is almost an impossible thing to do.


Internal wrangling will make ACN, CPC merger ineffective, says PDP BoT Secretary From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


he Secretary to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)'s Board of Trustees (BoT) has said the ongoing merger talks between the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) would collapse due to internal wrangling. He said the PDP is not disturbed by merger talks among some opposition political parties as a way of defeating the ruling party in 2015 election. According to him, "PDP is not shaken by the ACN and CPC merger talks because it has not materialized and looking at the personalities involved, they will not agree on common stand to form a mega party. "Recently, the ANPP parted ways with Senator Muhktar Aruwa who decamped to the PDP and he is a big figure to reckon with in ANPP especially in the northern part of the country. "And, Bashir Tofa of Kano is also going to join the PDP. The ANPP and APGA will not join them (ACN and CPC) and other parties may not join them. "Already, they are fast losing their strongholds within Nigeria and you find out that where they are supposed be, they are not there again. "It is the determination and progressive approach of the PDP now and we are going to definitely capture even their strongholds. I do not believe as some people say, that PDP will stay for 100 years but I am saying that for now, PDP is getting stronger and stronger to win election everywhere in Nigeria. However, according to Jibrin, it is too early for Nigerians to begin discussions on 2015, arguing that President Goodluck Jonathan has just spent one year in office. "one year is not enough to judge Mr. President and we should give him the opportunity to continue with development agenda. And, may be after two or three years in office, Nigerians will be able to decide whether Mr. President should come back or not. "But it is immature to start talking about 2015 now because it will divert attention; it is will bring confusion. So, it is better to leave the President to concentrate on the good work he is doing now. Nigerians should not regionalize issues on what he is doing for the country. We should look at Jonathan as President of Nigeria and not a sectional leader."


Yuguda commends peace initiative in Bogoro LGA as Fulani herdsmen return From Ahmed kaigama, Bauchi


auchi state government has commended the Bogoro community for coexisting peacefully irrespective of ethno religious and political differences just as it called on others to emulate them so that the peaceful atmosphere that exist in the state could be sustained. A press statement from the office of the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ishola Michael Adeyemi, stated that Bauchi state

governor, Isa Yuguda, made the commendation following a move by the Fulani who fled at the wake of the incessant crises in the area to return having been assured of peaceful coexistence by other ethnic groups in the area. According the release, the governor assured that his administration will continue to pursue peace and peaceful coexistence among the different people in the state irrespective of the differences in religion, language and political affiliation,

stressing that it is only in a peaceful atmosphere that development and positive progress can be made. It also commended those who initiated the peace move which led to the return of those who had earlier on fled the areas due to crisis urging them to intensify efforts to ensure that others yet to come back did so because according to him, wherever one chooses to live, he or she should live there in peace and tolerate others around him. Government, according to him will ensure that lives and

L-R Adamawa state Governor, Admiral Murtala Nyako, Minister of State Finance, Dr. Yarima Ngama, discussing during their meeting with Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan held at the State House Abuja recently. Photo: Joe Oroye

properties of all innocent citizens were protected while it will not hesitate to deal with anyone or group of persons, no matter their status, who want to disrupt the peace presently being enjoyed in the state. Following a peace move by some people, fleeing Fulani herdsmen have decided to rerun to Gubdiya, Kizim,Gisha, Gelu, Dan Koki, Garlan, Tudun Wada, Dogon Tsamiya, Anguwan Lere, Anguwan Tabo, Dundu and Anguwan Sarkin Fulani villages all in Bogoro LGA where over 150 households have been resettled. Meanwhile the Bauchi state Government has appealed to the Christian community in Marraban Gumau to be a bit patient with it as efforts are being made to rehabilitate all the places of worship destroyed during the 2011 post election violence. The government in a statement regretted that a few people misappropriated money donated by some concerned persons for the purposes of rehabilitating the destroyed places of worship declaring, however that the concerned people have been arrested by security agents and investigations have since commenced to ascertain what actually happened. The statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor stressed that government will continue to promote religious harmony among the different people in the state just as it will ensure that lives and properties are protected in an atmosphere of freedom to practice any religion.

INEC directs parties to organize IPAC election By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


ndependent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has written to the national chairmen of registered political parties, directing them to immediately organize and notify the Commission on the date to conduct the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) election for a new set of leaders.

In a letter signed by the Secretary of the Commission, Abdullahi Kaugama, the Commissuion stated that the tenure of the Chairman and Secretary of IPAC expired since March, 21st, 2012. INEC further said that in line with relevant provisions of the Political Parties Code of Conduct, 2011, IPAC is expected to elect, under the supervision of the Commission, a Chairman and a

Secretary for a one (1) year term based on merit and commitment. According to the latter, “Political Parties are advised to immediately organize and notify the Commission on the date for the conduct of elections to fill the vacant positions of Chairman and Secretary of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC).” This comes in compliance to the demand of 37 political parties that the INEC should urgently put

machinery in place for an election to usher in a new Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) following the expiration of the Emmanuel Osita Okereke-led executive. It would be recalled that 37 political parties, under the aegis of Concerned Political Parties, had at an inaugural meeting held at Gombe Jewel Hotels, Abuja, on the 30th of July, 2012, resolved that the tenure of Emmanuel Okereke-led Executive ended in March 2012.

Sallah: Tambuwal, Ihedioha charge Nigerians on tolerance By Lawrence Olaoye


peaker of the House of Representatives, Am,inu Waziri Tambuwal and his deputy, rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha have charged Nigerians to imbibe the virtues of tolerance and brotherliness in order to move the nation foerward. Tambuwal in a release signed on his behalf by his Special Assistance on Media and Public Affairs, Imam

Imam, urged Muslims in the country to use the period of the Eidel-Fitr Sallah celebration to reflect on their spiritual life as individuals and how they can contribute more meaningfully towards making Nigeria a greater nation. The Speaker said the steadfastness and devotion shown by Muslims during the Ramadan Fast was a reflection of their service to the Almighty Allah who will reward them abundantly for their

efforts. According to him: “The long period of self restraint and self purification was a great spiritual exercise that has its heavenly blessings. Iit is only those who are genuinely convinced in their chosen faith that can successfully undergo the process.” While congratulating the Muslims for the Sallah festivities, Tambuwal further enjoined all Nigerians in general to imbibe the

spirit of tolerance, love and good neighbourliness amongst themselves as exemplified by the Prophet Mohammed (SAW). He said it is only by doing this that they will be living up to the expectations of God Almighty.He said the Nigerian nation is currently passing through some tough challenges, but expressed optimism that everything will be better for Nigeria and Nigerians sooner than later.



PDP eulogizes IBB, Atiku over peace efforts By Lawrence Olaoye


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has eulogized both the former Military President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar for their declared support for President President Goodluck Jonathan in finding a lasting solution to the economic and security challenges facing the nation. The party in a statement made available to newsmen by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, stated ”The PDP wishes to specifically commend the patriotic

intervention of the duo of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (GCFR) and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (GCON) in their call for Nigerians to rally round President Goodluck Jonathan to tackle the security and economic challenges facing the nation, and the condemnation of secessionists threats by a few misguided elements. “The pronouncements by the elder statesmen at a time some self seeking individuals and political groups are fanning the embers of hatred and division are a joyful reminder that there are still highly respected leaders who are willing to rise above narrow sectional considerations

for the overall stability of the country. “Nigerians will recall that General Babangida in his media parley to celebrate his 71st birthday described calls for the resignation of the President as “laughable”. Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar also echoed the same voice, urging Nigerians to put aside politics and join hands in preventing the threat to our corporate existence by some ethnic organizations. We commend the statesmanly disposition of these distinguished political icons and urge Nigerians to take a cue from this. We appreciate that in a multiparty democracy, there are

different views on governance. However, the plurality of views must never be allowed to threaten the corporate existence of the Country. Nigeria must remain our common denominator in spite of our different political and cultural orientations.” While wishing the nation Happy Sallah, the party counseled the people to hold onto the lessons of the holy month which are supplications to the Almighty, sacrifice and brotherly love for one another. According to the party, “We cannot claim to be people of faith if our actions negate the fundamental prescriptions of our creator.

Rep urges Mobil to clean-up oil spill in A/Ibom By Lawrence Olaoye


member representing Eket/Esit-Eket/Onna/ Ibeno Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Bassey Dan-Abia, has called on the management of Mobil Producing Unlimited to immediately commence the clean-up of oil spillage at its Idoho Platform in Akwa Ibom state. According to him, the spillage which occurred in Atia community in Ibeno Local Government has desecrated the community and affected the means of livelihood of the people. Dan-Abia, in a statement issued on the matter also urged the oil company to begin immediate payment of compensation to the affected communities. According to him, the spill has extended from Esuk Ikimi, to other fishing communities like Ekeme, Esuk Ikim Akwaha, Ndito Eka Ipa, Itak Idim Ekpe, Itak Ifaha, Etio Esek, Atia, Okposo 1 and Okposo 2. While bemoaning the consequences of the spill on the environment, the lawmaker also noted that it has adversely affected the lives of the people who depend on fishing for their livelihood as the waters have been polluted leading to truncation of fishing activities, and depriving the people the source of their major trade. He expressed his worries over the spate of oil spillage in the Nigeria oil extractive sector, as he noted that the unpalatable situation is fuelled by “pervasive organisation failure along with weak Federal Regulation”. While urging the residents of the affected area to remain calm, he however warned that any attempt by Mobil Producing Unlimited not to have an immediate oil spill response plan would not be acceptable.

Kano state Governor, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, and his Kaduna counterpart, Mr. Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, discussing during the PDP meeting held in Abuja recently. Photo: Joe Oroye

My return to PDP no longer on course, says Ladoja From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he former governor of Oyo state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, has said his much expected return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been put on hold. Ladoja who disclosed this to newsmen yesterday after observing the end of Ramadan prayer at Agodi Eid-praying ground said the negotiation has been frustrated on different grounds. He assured that Accord Party will continue to serve as the alternative party to ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and PDP in Oyo state. Ladoja however expressed his sadness at the refusal of the state government to conduct local government elections in

the state after fifteen months in office. According to him, it is unconstitutional to have caretaker chairmen to steer the ship of the council for more than a year in office. He further disclosed that the working relationship with the Governor Ajimobi government is still on course noting that the governor is expected to fulfill his part of the agreement. Ladoja explained that Governor Ajimobi was one who invited the Accord Party to help him stabilise his government so as to have time to work saying that the governor has not said he does not need Accord Party’s assistance again. The Ibadan High Chief however noted that although

leaders of the ACN are mounting pressure on Ajimobi not to honour his side of agreement, he still believes that he would honour it. “My negotiation with the PDP is no longer on course. We are open to negotiation. Accord party will be an alternative party for both the ACN and PDP in 2015. I cannot say I would contest in 2015 because I don’t know if I will be alive then. I am not happy that Local government council election has not been conducted in the state. I spoke to the governor and he told me that there is a pending case in the court. We should try to build institution and not people. Irrespective of who heads the OYSIEC, they should be able to conduct free and fair election,” he said

Trade dispute: Nigerian traders in Ghana commend Ekweremmadu’s intervention By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) and the Nigeria Union of Traders Association, Ghana (NUTAG), have commended the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Ike Ekweremmadu, for intervening to prevent possible crackdown on Nigerian and other ECOWAS nationals’ businesses in Ghana. In a letter to Ekweremadu, the Nigerian business community in Ghana said the intervention by ECOWAS Parliament, which flowed from the Speaker’s decision to table their petition for debate, saved what would have been a bad situation, not just for the Nigerian business community, but other ECOWAS Nationals in Ghana. The letter which was jointly signed by the Secretariat President of NANTS, Ken Ukaoha and Secretary-General of NUTAG, Comrade Jasper Emenike read in part, “We write to express our sincere appreciation for the swift response and expeditious intervention of the ECOWAS Parliament under your distinguished leadership, over the threats, harassment and intimidation meted out by the Ghana Authorities on ECOWAS nationals living and doing business in Ghana. “We note with appreciations that it was based on this swift intervention that the Government of Ghana announced the suspension of the implementation of the four-month ultimatum in relation to the planned closure of shops and subsequent deportation of Nigeria and ECOWAS Traders in Ghana over the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Foreign Investment Act, 1994.” The Nigerian business associations which also called for the establishment of ECOWAS Regional Markets in at least four different parts of the sub-region to assume the status and benefits of a free trade zone for the promotion of regional trade and made-inWest Africa goods and services, extolled the vibrant and visionary leadership which Senator Ekweremadu had brought to bear on ECOWAS Parliament and regional integration. “We cannot wholly express our gratitude to God for making you a leader in ECOWAS at this time in history when the region is faced with several challenges ranging from political, security, economic, and their social dimensions”, according to the letter.



Eid-el-Fitr: Mimiko’s campaign organisation greets Muslims


R-L former Anambra state Governor Senator Chris Ngige and former Managing Director Zennith Bank Chief Jim Ovia discussing during their private meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Dungs, Giwa to challenge Jang’s candidate in Senatorial bye-election From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


wo former Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidates in Plateau state are under pressure by several groups to challenge Governor Jonah Jang’s candidate, Gyang Pwajok, in the bye-election into Plateau northern senatorial zone seat. The seat became vacant following the death of Senator Gyang Dantong who died during the mass burial of over 50 persons massacred in Maseh village of Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau state. Those under pressure to join the fray are Ambassador Chris Giwa who contested the last governorship election against

Governor Jang under the platform of ACN and retired Colonel John Dungs who also contested against Governor Jang under the platform of Action Congress (AC) in 2003 but contested the senatorial election against late Dantong under the platform of Democratic Peoples Party (DPP). Giwa came second in the last governorship and has the resources and strength to prosecute the election. Similarly, Dung also has the resources and followership. Our reporter gathered that Pwajok resigned his appointment as the Chief of Staff to Governor Jang and before his appointment he was a lecturer with the university of Jos, Department of political science. However, both Dungs, Giwa

and Pwajok are the Governor Jang’s kinsmen but Pwajok hailed from the same Du village with Jang and as such he enjoyed a lot of government backing than the others in respect of bye election. Our reporter observed that the election is going to be keenly contested as other Beroms are beginning to question the choice of Pwajok on the grounds that himself and Jang are from thesame village and that the deceased (Dantong) hailed from Riyom LGA and that it will ideal for the Governor to pick some from Riyom and not Du. There are indications that the aggrieved LG workers who have been on strike for almost four months over the refusal of the state government to implement the 18, 000

Lawmaker says creation of more states not in Nigeria’s interest


lawmaker, Rep. Pally Iriase (ACN- Owan East / West, Edo) in the House of Representatives, said yesterday that creating more states in Nigeria would not be in the best interest of the country. He instead canvassed for the autonomy and empowerment of local governments. Iriase told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that granting autonomy to the local governments was imperative because it would enable them to operate as a true tier of government. The lawmaker expressed worry that creation of more states could create “corruption centres,’’ adding that those agitating for more states did not wish the country well. “Those who are calling for the

creation of more states are not wishing Nigerians well; I am not for creation of more states because we have many states that are not viable. “When you create states, you create more corruption centres. What we allocate to maintain those political institutions is mindboggling and it is not helpful to Nigerians. “What we are just doing is to replicate these centres that are just there for consumption, and they produce much less than they take from the national cake,” he added. Iriase said the clamour for more states would be reduced if local governments were even allowed semi-autonomy. “After all, the local government is the unit of government that is

closer to the people, not the states,” he said. He told NAN that the issue of local governments not being given a free hand to run their affairs would be addressed by the Constitution Review Committee. Iriase also told NAN that the issue of devolution of powers if tackled would entrench true federalism among the various states in the country. “If there is devolution of powers, if there is true federalism, there would be very healthy competition amongst the states. “It would even give more credence to party manifesto because each party that has certain states as their sphere of influence would want to outshine the other,” Iriase said. (NAN)

he Olusegun Mimiko Campaign Organisation in Akure yesterday urged Muslims to imbibe the lessons and values of Ramadan. In a statement, Mr Kolawole Olabisi, the Director of Publicity and Media Relations of the organisation, said the core values of Ramadan included personal sacrifice, piety and self-denial. The organisation urged Muslims to demonstrate the values at all times and not only during the Ramadan. It urged Muslims to pray for divine healing of the nation from the wanton waste of lives and property, which had plagued the polity in recent times. It said that unless the faithful rededicated themselves to the teachings of Prophet Mohammed all their sacrifices during the 30 days of fasting would amount to nothing. The organisation said that piety, devotion, spirit of oneness and good neighbourliness displayed during Ramadan must continue as “we collectively pray

God to take the country to greater heights. “On behalf of Gov. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo, we want to advise Muslims to continue to be your brother’s keeper. “We must live in peace with our neighbours, we must imbibe, at all times, the spirit of oneness, piety, and self sacrifice that we all demonstrated during the fasting period. “We must emulate the teachings Prophet Mohammed if all our sacrifices and fasting must make any meaning before Almighty Allah. “We, therefore, wish all our Muslim brothers and sisters in Ondo and Nigeria, as a whole, a happy Eid- el-Fitr and pray that the Almighty Allah grants our prayers and accept our deeds,’’ the Organisation stated. It assured the people of the state that the Mimiko administration would not rest on its oars in ensuring that the rate of rapid development in the state continued beyond Oct. 20 when the state would hold a new governorship election.

Anambra govt. urges Muslims to promote peace, love


nambra Government has urged Muslim faithful to continue to maintain and promote the existing peace and love in the state. Chief Benji Obi, the Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Peter Obi on InterParty Affairs, made the appeal on Friday in Onitsha while breaking fast with Muslim faithful. The governor’s aide also donated food, confectioneries and drinks to the Muslim faithful. Obi said that the state government would continue to provide a conducive environment for all residents of the state, notwithstanding their religious or political inclinations. “The message I came with is to show the Muslims that we are one, irrespective of your religious

inclination; we must learn to love each other. “The only time we believe in one Nigeria is when we are playing football, if that is the case, we are going to be playing that football everyday.” In his response, the Chief Imam of Onitsha, Alhaji Abdulrahman Yahaya, thanked the governor’s aide for the gesture and assured the government of continuous support for its programmes by the Muslim community. Yahaya noted that the two religions preached peace, love and good neighbourliness. “We would continue to preach and teach our Muslim faithful to continue to seek peace and embrace dialogue in resolving any contentious issue in the state,’’ he said.

Governors, CAN task Nigerians on good neighbourliness, tolerance


ov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state has called on Nigerians to use the Eid el Fitr period to demonstrate virtues that promote good neigbourliness and peaceful co-existence. Fashola made the call in his Sallah message signed by Mr Hakeem Bello, his Special Adviser on Media, in Lagos on Saturday. He urged Nigerians, especially Muslims to rededicate their lives to God as the ultimate reason and the significance of the Ramadan fasting. He called on citizens to respect the country‘s laws, pointing out that developed countries thrived on compliance with laws by their citizens. Also, the Deputy Governor of Kano State, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, called on Muslims in the state to imbibe the spirit of tolerance and sacrifice. This is contained in a sallah message signed by his Director of Press,

Bala Dawakin-Kudu, in Kano on Saturday. Ganduje appealed to Muslims to emulate Prophet Muhammed’s way of life, stressing that the one-month Ramadan fasting should be seen as a period for cleansing and atonement. “After the Ramadan, we should be more determined to live in the path of Allah as true believers. “We should also emulate the exemplary attributes of Islam which are love, tolerance, and peaceful co-existence,’’ he said. He called on the people to continue to pray for peace, unity and progress of the state and the country. “We must see ourselves as partners in progress so that we can have a state which will be an envy of others in the country.’’ In Gusau, Gov. Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara on Saturday warned that nobody should pay him the traditional Sallah homage.

. . . putting the people first


QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE I have done what I ought to do by giving the President (Goodluck Jonathan) my support — Ex-President Babangida

SPORTS Why President Jonathan LA TEST LATEST

Manchester United go for more players after Robin Van Persie deal


anchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is not ruling out making another signing before the close of the transfer window. United completed the capture of striker Robin van Persie from Arsenal on Friday, with the Dutchman following Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell in joining the Red Devils this summer. Ferguson, though, could yet further add to his ranks, amid suggestions he remains in the market for a left back, with Everton's Leighton Baines thought to be high on his list of targets. "We have spent a big amount of money and, if I need to go to the owners, I am sure they would say 'yes'. But it's only if a certain player would become available."

Cameroon player emerge La Liga's youngest scorer


ixteen-year-old Fabrice Olinga made history when he became the youngest ever player to score in La Liga, grabbing the only goal as Malaga clinched a 1-0 victory at promoted Celta Vigo. The Cameroon-born forward came on as a 58thminute substitute to make his league debut and got the 84thminute winner as the new season got under way. At only 16 years and 98 days, Olinga is 191 days younger than current Athletic Bilbao player Iker Muniain who had held the previous record for youngest scorer. Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini denied that the teenager's debut was a message to the club's owners who have been criticised for selling some of their best players over the summer. Result: Barcelona 5 Real Sociedad 1


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should be supported

An empty sack will not stand upright - Ghanaian Proverb


t now appears that the nation has missed the real import of the joint statement released two weeks ago by former Presidents Obasanjo and Babangida. In the period since the statement was released, it has been subjected to a deserving torrent of analyses, critical reviews, condemnations and commendations, which is to be expected. After all, this was a joint statement from two of the prime architects of the state of our current political framework, in a context which strongly argues that the present administration is more a victim of our inherited limitations than their designers. Neither President Jonathan nor his legion of spokespersons has even bothered to respond to the statement which draws attention to serious threats to the security of the nation, and widespread doubts over its ability to survive them. But we have heard thundering repudiations against calls for the President to resign, or even, the most laughable of all, against alleged calls by a Muslim group that he becomes a Muslim or face unending violent challenge. The statement by two former Presidents who are walking encyclopedias on crisis management and mismanagement was a warning that the nation is tottering on the brink, and citizens need to step back and chart a course away from a future which promises nothing but pain and privation. The statement said nothing about the administration’s role in the perilous state of our security situation, a political environment which progressively polarizes the nation, and an economic management style which breeds unprecedented waste and corruption. Perhaps the two elders felt it was not their place to join the bandwagon of critics which President Jonathan seems to expand by the day. Or perhaps they have offered all the advise they can in private, and have decided to absolve themselves of blame for watching the nation burn and disintegrate in silence. So they turn on citizens, victims of a very weak leadership, and appeal to them to raise their levels of patriotism and

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FIFTEEN MINUTES with Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed

President Goodluck Jonathan

commitment to the future of the nation. Alhaji Ahmed Joda also raised his voice, but he went further to make specific demands on President Jonathan. In addition to convening a Constituent Assembly to knock together another constitution which will more appropriately reflect the concerns and challenges of contemporary realities, he asks Jonathan to fight corruption, eliminate waste, improve the quality of governance, address security issues more vigorously, improve the electoral process before 2015, and renounce any intention to run as President again. Alhaji Joda acknowledges that President Jonathan’s administration has a major role to play in the manner our current challenges are resolved; and his person and political ambition are central to the resolution of these challenges in the long term. Again, the administration has not uttered a word, not even the customary condemnation of criticisms, in response to Alhaji Joda’s reinforcement of the two former leaders’ plea. Instead, it is digging in on a now familiar strategy of ignoring problems, or informing the nation that they do not exist; and if they do, they were created by past administrations, or are products of a northern-based insurgency; or are well on their way to being solved.

It is now imperative that the nation reassesses its approach to the many limitations of this administration. Critics of the administration need to reevaluate their strategies, and in particular, ask whether criticisms alone can influence the way President Jonathan governs this nation. The simple truth is that the Jonathan administration is being swamped by the challenges it faces, and its capacity to deal with them is woefully inadequate. An attitude which suggests to him that he is doing well, but is not being appreciated by millions of citizens will reinforce a mindset which encourages more of the same. Similarly, critics who think pointing at massive deficits in competence, integrity and vision will be sufficient to raise the bar, or create a critical mass of hostility and resistance in the country are just as much a liability as the administration is to Nigerians. What the nation needs is a strong push from politicians, civil society, professional groups, organized labour and youth to create a massive momentum towards real change, which will assist this administration with ideas, strategies, options and support to address the most critical of its weaknesses. Instead of accusing Jonathan of indifference towards a nation gradually falling apart, a political summit should be convened by elder statesmen, active and retired politicians, academia and civil society to attempt to rebuild bridges which have been crumbling since 2009. The summit should address the manifest challenges from the effects of JASLIWAJ (Boko Haram) phenomenon, the perilous state of the political economy of much of the north, the incipient challenges to the unity of the country from the south-south, and the issues relating to the clamour for a Constitutional Conference.

Former Heads of State and other elders can spearhead this. It will be in the interest of President Jonathan and his administration and his party to work with and in the summit. If he chooses to ignore it, it should still go ahead, and let Nigerians know what it sees and advises. Instead of accusing Jonathan of being clueless regarding the JASLIWAJ (Boko Haram) insurgency, the Muslim leadership should engage itself in a search over what could possibly have bred this insurgency; what its place is in mainstream Islamic doctrines; and what needs to be done to engage it by Muslims, nonMuslims and the Nigerians State. This challenge can be taken up by a few respected ulama, leaders and groups, but it must have sufficient scope and integrity to guide the Muslim community and the Nigerian state adequately in terms of how to relate to it. Instead of locking ourselves up against resurging kidnapping, violent crimes, bombs and bullets, our senior retired heads of police and other security agencies should put heads together to examine the basic weaknesses of our law and order institutions. Retired members of the judiciary should examine why our judicial system is too weak to contain massive assaults on its integrity. We need expert and experienced hands to tell us how to re-invent our police, and provide answers to the many questions we ask over federal and state police, and the nearirrelevance of the police as a tool against disorder and crime. Retired Chief Justices can initiate this on their own. If the administration wants to be part of it, fine. If not, let them tell Nigerians what they think is wrong, and what can be done about it. Instead of lamenting the theft of our nation by pervasive and politically-entrenched corruption, civil society, labour, professional groups and other patriotic citizens should work under a C.S.O umbrella to examine the reasons why corruption has eaten so deeply into our value systems and institutions, and what steps the administration should take to begin to roll it back. If the administration wants to be part of this very important work, fine. If not, Nigerians should be told what, in specific terms, needs to be done to deal with current cases of corruption being investigated or being prosecuted, what needs to be done to dilute the intimate linkages between politics and corruption, and what needs to be done in the long term to reduce it to the barest minimum. Contd. on Page 35

Published by Peoples Media Limited, 35, Ajose Adeogun Street, 1st Floor Peace Park Plaza, Utako, Abuja. Lagos Office: No.8 Oliyide Street, off Unity Road, Ikeja, Lagos, Tel: +234-09-8734478. Cell: +234 803 606 3308. e-mail:; ISSN: 2141– 6141

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday, August 20, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday, August 20, 2012 Edition

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