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Vol. 12 No. 38

Thursday, November 21, 2013

. . . putting the people first

Al-Muharram 18, 1435 AH


Child rapists W we’re still holding Gunmen abduct Why JJigawa officials, Bayelsa commissioner’s risk life jail >> Pg 3 b bankers – SSS >> Pg 2 father >> Pg 2

1000 Nigerians in Saudi cells >> Pg 2

Yobe state Governor, Malam Ibrahim Gaidam of (2nd right), Secretary to the State Government, Engineer Babagoni Machina (2nd left), and Speaker, Yobe state House of Assembly, Hon. Adamu Dala Dogo (left), during the governor’s inspection of ongoing 150km PotiskumJakusko-Garin Alkali road project, yesterday in Yobe state.

Water scarcity hits Minna Residents cry out, fear epidemics From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna


serious scarcity of potable water has hit Minna, the Niger state capital and its environs, with residents decrying

that they grapple with the challenge with huge difficulties. Some of people in the affected areas who spoke to our correspondent also raised fears that epidemics may be imminent

in the city and surrounding communities. The residents, who are currently at their wits’ end having suffered water scarcity for upward of four weeks now, have

cried out for government intervention even as they nursed the fear of outbreak of cholera and other water Bourne diseases. In the absence of potable water supply from the state’s Minis-

try of Water Resources, residents have resorted to patronizing local hawkers of mostly untreated water (Mai Ruwa), who are in the habits of pushing their wheel

Cont on page 2

New investors decry low power supply to Kano >> Pg 6




CONTENTS Why we’re still holding Jigawa officials, bankers – SSS News
























By Joy Baba


he spokesperson of the Department of State Security Services (SSS), Ms Marilyn Ogar has said it was part of the Service’s mandate to arrest anyone involved in any form of money laundering or corruption, adding that the recently arrested Jigawa government officials and some bankers in their custody were still being investigated. She stated this yesterday while addressing journalists at the SSS

head office in Abuja, on the alleged targeting of G-7 governors through their bankers. The SSS is holding, among others, Rector of the Jigawa state Polytechnic, Professor Garba Uba Goje, and the school’s Bursar, Abdullahi S. G. Shehu. Also, it is holding more than a dozen managers from various banks. Among the bankers being held include the Regulatory Manager (North), Fidelity Bank, Idris Yakubu; its Regulatory Manager (Abu-

ja), Hassan Imam; and its Chief Compliance Officer, Chimaobi Onwuka. Other compliance officers of the bank being held by the security agency are one Ifeanyi as well as Wence Nwogu. Also taken in are the Treasurer, Fidelity Bank Plc, simply identified as Mrs. Chineze. Besides those from Fidelity Bank, the Chief Compliance Officer of Unity Bank Plc, Khalid Yahaya, is said to be among those taken into custody of the SSS. Some of the detainees have

been in its custody for nearly three weeks without being charged to court, and have neither been granted access to their lawyers nor relations. Ms Ogar said the SSS will have to carry out its investigations as, according to her, it takes time and painstaking efforts to get information from those involved. She said most times, people will not want to volunteer information on time and that those that are found culpable at the end of the investigation will be charged to court.

(NAN) reports that Tempurah was abducted at about 2.56am by seven gunmen, who stormed his residence. A source at the community told NAN yesterday in Yenagoa that the gunmen shot sporadically into the air to scare away people in the neighbourhood before going for their target. “The gunmen gained entry into

the residence of the community leader through the roof of the house. “After abducting the old man, they collected mobile phones of those in the building, including the house helps”, the source said. Belief, who is the commissioner for tourism development in the state, confirmed the abduction of his father to newsmen in Yenagoa.

He said the kidnappers were yet to contact the family, adding, “it is quite sad that an aged and peaceful man will be kidnapped’’. The spokesman for the Bayelsa state Police Command, DSP Alex Akhigbe, who also confirmed the abduction, said the command had moved into action to rescue the community leader. (NAN)

Gunmen abduct Bayelsa commissioner's father


unmen on Tuesday abducted a 78-year-old community leader, Chief Nelson Tempurah, the father of the Commissioner for Tourism Development in Bayelsa, Mr Nelson Belief. Tempurah was abducted at his family house in Minibeleu Community, near Akassa in the Brass local government area of the state. The News Agency of Nigeria

Water scarcity hits Minna

Tambuwal decries rising communal conflicts – Page 6















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cont from page 1 barrows on the streets seeking prospective customers. As at yesterday, a set of 10 pieces of 20 litres jerry cans filled with water sold for between N250.00 and N400.00 in Minna, depending on the source of the water. Further checks revealed that prior to the sudden dryness of public taps across the city, residents were being supplied with potable water either once or twice on weekly basis. It was further learnt that before the water scarcity hit the city, there had been creation of water depots where residents went to fetch water on their respective streets and communities until the source dried up due to non-availability of treated water from the state’s Water Board. Confirming the situation, the General Manager, Niger State Water Board, Engineer Hassan Mohammed Chado, explained that the Board was carrying out

maintenance on its tanks with a view to disinfecting them so as to supply residents clean and treated water. Chado, who spoke to our correspondent on the situation denied claims that the scarcity was city-wide in Minna, insisting that certain parts of the town still enjoy “regular water supply”. According to him, public places like the General Hospital, Minna, the Government House and other public places where essential services are being delivered were enjoying regular water supply of water. “In fact the scarcity of water in some places in Minna was following our attempt at the management level at the Niger state Water Board to disinfect some of our water tanks across the city from some noticeable germs with a view not to harm our customers and to protect them from contracting cholera and other epidemics. “Before we embarked on the exercise, we did public announcement on both the Niger State Radio

and Television, including the Nigerian Television Authority{NTA}, so that we do not cause our customers inconveniences”, Chado explained. He said the Board’s decision to disinfect the tanks was in public interest even as he acknowledged the plights of the people. But reacting to the challenge of water scarcity in the city, a human rights activist and member of the All Progressives Congress{APC} in the state , Mr. Jonathan Vatsa, said the root cause of the problem was that the Chanchaga Water Works has not been expanded since the creation of the state. He said because the population of the city keeps growing, the limited capacity of the Chanchaga Water Works could no longer satisfy the water needs of the residents. He said: “In fact, there is nowhere in the world where water is being rationed everyday except in Niger state. So, that is why you see the ‘Pure Water’ factories in the state booming during the dry season because most households

depend on ‘pure water’ during the season. And I can assure you that 99 per cent of the population, except those who are living on the hills or on the valleys, use sachet water for their livelihood.” Vatsa noted further that the popular water vendors (Mai Ruwa} are almost in every part of the state even as he pointed out that the danger in patronizing water hawkers was that no one knows the source of the water being sold to unsuspecting members of the public. “That is why cholera outbreak during the dry season is very common in Niger state and when this government assumed office in 2007, they declared 2009 as the year of water in budget presentation. His Deputy was in charge of the ministry but without positive results. And to Nigerlites, we thought after 2009, water scarcity in the state will become a thing of the past. But we are now in 2013, the promise made by the Chief Servant is a total failure”, Vatsa said.

1000 Nigerians in Saudi cells By Hassan Haruna Ginsau


crackdown by Saudi Arabian authorities on illegal aliens has led to the arrest and detention of over 1000 persons believed to be Nigerian citizens though consular officials in the embassy of Nigeria in that country say many of those being detained may be other nationals. A report on the Hausa service of the BBC monitored from Abuja last night said those being detained were kept in a warehouse located between Makk and Jeddah for weeks. One of the Nigerians in detention who spoke to the BBC but pleaded not to be named alleged that they were under deplorable conditions in the cells, adding that since their arrest no Nigerian embassy official had visited them.

Specifically, the detainee alleged that they lacked sufficient food, and that the detention cells where they kept are in a very cold region, with severe consequences for many of them. But responding to the allegations in an interview with the BBC, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Alhaji Ahmed Umar denied that the Nigerian government had abandoned them to their fate, insisting that some consular officials had been visiting them. Umar decried that the mission in Saudi had tried to no avail to evacuate illegal Nigerians residing in that country back home, prior to the expiration of the Saudi Arabian government’s ultimatum of November 3, for the eviction of unlawful residents. While admitting that his mission lacked adequate

manpower to deal with the challenges of Nigerian citizens in the holy land, he assured that he and other embassy officials were making the best efforts to remedy the plights of those being detained. He also used the opportunity to appeal to other Nigerians living illegally in Saudi to turn up at the embassy for a healthier arrangement to transport them back home before they fall into the dragnet of that country’s authorities. Thousands of Africans, mostly Ethiopians, have since after November 3 surrendered to Saudi authorities as Addis Ababa announced the death of three of its citizens during clashes over the crackdown on illegal immigrants. Saudi Arabia announced this year that migrants can only work for their sponsors, even those of them who have residency permits. The kingdom thus began

rounding up thousands of illegals following the expiry of a final amnesty for them to formalise their status. Among them are foreigners who overstayed their visas, pilgrims who have sought jobs, and migrants working under one sponsor trying to get jobs elsewhere. Having an official sponsor is a legal requirement in Saudi Arabia and most other Gulf states. The lure of work, even in low-paid jobs as domestics or construction workers, has made the country a magnet for migrants from Asia as well as from poorer Arab states. Despite its huge oil wealth, Saudi Arabia has a jobless rate of more than 12.5 percent among its native population, a figure the government has long sought to cut.



News Child rapists risk life jail By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


R-L: Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Engineer Andrew Yakubu, Mrs. Yetunde Adelakun, and Acting Group Executive Director, Engineering and Technology, Engineer Adebayo Ibirogba, during the commissioning of the Ultra-modern high rise fire- fighting platform, yesterday at the NNPC Towers, in Abuja.

Yuletide: NNPC assures products availability

. . . Commissions fire fighting platform By Etuka Sunday


he Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has assured Nigerians of uninterrupted supply of petroleum products during the forthcoming yuletide season and beyond across the country. The Group Managing Director of the (NNPC), Engr. Andrew Yakubu stated this on Wednesday in Abuja at the commissioning of customized P-56 Hydraulic Platform designed to combat eventual fire-outbreak at the four-tower NNPC headquarters in Abuja. "As we speak, I can confirm

that we have enough stock of petroleum products to last from now to the end of the yuletide season and even beyond. Throughout the year we have kept the entire nation wet with products and we have the capacity to sustain the tempo,’’ Engr. Yakubo stated. The GMD appealed to consumers of petroleum products to refrain from any form of panic buying in anticipation of scarcity of fuel. On the new fire- platform, the NNPC GMD informed that the need to ensure adequate preparation against any eventuality necessitated the procurement of

the modern fire-platform. He assured that the facility which is the first of its kind in Nigeria would be made available for the use of other high-rise buildings in Abuja and its environs. "In line with our Corporate Social Responsibility package we are open to distress call from our neighbors,’’ the GMD said. The unveiling of the facility was the climax of the 2013 NNPC HSE Week celebrated under the theme: Overcoming HSE Challenges. Earlier in his presentation the GMD said that the current industry trends confirms that HSE compliance is increasingly gain-

ing attention worldwide stressing that HSE has become a powerful tool and vital driver toward business sustainability, higher productivity, risk mitigation and control as well as hazards minimization that promote sustainable development. "In line with the Corporation’s vision and the ongoing transformative efforts, we must exhibit behaviors that promote zero tolerance to unsafe acts and conditions. This will provide necessary platform to overcome HSE challenges in our march towards attainment of excellence,’’ he said.

Book Haram: Borno wants a military base in Nigeria/Cameroun border From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


orno state government on yesterday appealed to the Nigerian Army to set up a military base along Nigeria/Cameroun border in Gamboru-Ngala to fight re-occurring attacks on innocent citizens by suspected Boko Haram insurgents. Alhaji Zannah Mustapha the Deputy Governor made the appeal while receiving the Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Azubike Ihejirika in his office in Maiduguri. Mustapha explained that the

object was to safeguard Nigerian citizens residing along the borders from incessant attacks by the suspected insurgents. He lamented that although Nigerian military had been able to restore peace in most parts of the state, the activities of some neighbouring countries had been discouraging. Mustapha also called on the military to introduce air patrol along Nigerian borders to check activities of insurgents and other criminals. “Borno has been peaceful over the year even with the

return of democratic rule in 1999. “But unfortunately, we were subjected to all kinds of criminality with the coming of the Boko Haram insurgents,'' he said. Mustapha added: ``We thank God that with the cooperation of the people, the military has been able to chase them out. “Our problem now is the harbouring of these criminals by some of our neighbours like Cameroun, which make it easy for them to shift base when the

heat is on them''. He said the establishment of a military base will help provide lasting solutions of incidences of sporadic attacks on Nigerian citizens living at the border communities. Ihejirika had told Mustapha that he was in the state on a routine visit to the newly established 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maiduguri with a view to examining the challenges facing its operations. He commended the state government for its numerous assistance to security agencies serving in the state.

s the bill seeking to provide adequate punishments for those who indulge in defiling children passed the second reading at the Senate yesterday, anyone found culpable may get life jail sentence. In the same vein, other criminals who indulge in other pervasive sexual offences, including rape, may equally get same sentence. Leading debate on the bill, the sponsor, Chris Anyanwu, recalled that it was introduced in the sixth Senate but legislative works on it could not be concluded before that session wound up. Anyanwu lamented that sexual violence and related offences against children, teenagers, women and sometimes men have become quite pervasive in the country, pointing out that hardly any day passes without reports in the media of one form of abhorrent sexual crime or the other. She explained that punishment provided in both the criminal and penal codes has been enhanced in the new bill with the objective of deterrence. She added that the essence of the bill was to take away the very wide discretion enjoyed by the courts to ensure that offenders do not get away with a mere slap in the face. Speaking on the bill, Ali Ndume, expressed worry at the continuous increase in the number of sexual violence in the country, saying the bill will address such offences effectively. He said that the crime used to be witnessed in foreign countries just as he pointed out that even in the colonial days, the case of sexual offences was an abomination but the issue has now become rampant in Nigeria. Supporting the bill, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu implored lawmakers to step up efforts to ensure that it is passed, considering the fact that it will save Nigeria from the virus which is widely spreading in the society. The bill, having received overwhelming support from senators, therefore passed second reading and had been referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Human Rights for further legislative action. The Committee is expected to submit its report to the Senate within the next two weeks.


Page 4 Report

Diabetes and government’s role in prevention, control

By Abbas Aminu Bamalli


ncreased urban migration in Nigeria has brought about a change of life style in terms of unhealthy diet and decreased physical activity. As a consequence, the incidence of diabetes is increasing. Unfortunately, knowledge of diabetes prevention and care is generally poor among health care workers and as a result many people with diabetes do not receive adequate care.Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), have reached epidemic proportions, but yet they could be significantly reduced. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), of the 57 million global deaths in 2008, 37 million, or 63 per cent were due to NCDs, principally cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases. Also, according to International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the risk factors for type 1 diabetes are still being researched. However, having a family member with type 1 diabetes slightly increases the risk of developing the disease. Environmental factors and exposure to some viral infections have also been linked to the risk of developing type 1 diabetes. The IDF said, it is important to note that type 2 diabetes as one of the NCDs is associated with several risk factors which include, the risk of Family history of diabetes, Overweight, Unhealthy diet, Physical inactivity, Increasing age, High blood pressure, Ethnicity, Smoking, Excessive alcohol consumption, Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT), History of gestational diabetes and Poor nutrition during pregnancy. Indeed, these factors are preventable through the reduction of the behavioural risk factors aforementioned, if not controlled, diabetes has no cure and therefore, one has to manage it over a lifetime. According to the WHO, diabetes has been growing over the past years, and 347 million worldwide have diabetes and more than 80 per cent of them live in low and middle income countries like Nigeria. It has also been projected that diabetes deaths will have doubled by 2030, although there is not enough data to quantify the extent of diabetes prevalence, but available data suggest that diabetes is an emerging public health problem both in Africa and Nigeria as well. Although, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), estimated that 1 person dies every 10 seconds as a result of diabetes and over 70 per cent of these deaths occur in developing countries including Nigeria. Due to the seriousness the world has putting in struggle to reduce the cases of diabetes in the

world, especially among the developing country like Nigeria, on

Health Minister, Onyebuchi Chukwu

the 20th of December 2006, the United Nations (UN), passed a resolution to designate November 14 as World Diabetes Day. The occasion aimed to raise awareness of diabetes, its prevention and complications and the care that people with the condition need. Governments, nongovernmental organizations and private businesses are encouraged to increase awareness of the disease, particularly among the general population and the media. World Diabetes Day was first commemorated on November 14, 2007, and is observed annually.Nigeria also joined the rest of the world to celebrate the World Diabetes day with the launch of the ‘Stop Diabetes Initiative’, organized by the Federal Ministry of Health and other partners in Abuja. The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, who was represented by the Director of Public Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Bridget Okoeguale, said, the 1990-1992 national survey showed that the prevalence of Diabetes Mellitus was 2.7 per

cent, that is about 1 million Nigerians over 15 years of age were diabetic at that time. “Sadly, only 21 per cent, that is 225,000 were aware of their condition and 18 per cent, that is 198,000 were on treatment”, he said. He said the campaign draws attention to important issues to diabetes prevention and control, thereby keeping the disease on the agenda of public debate, adding that Nigeria’s intervention in celebrating the day have been strategically targeted towards elimination of the risk factors of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases, improving the management of the diseases as well as preventing their complications. Chukwu added that, “as part of President Goodluck Jonathan concern about increasing mortality and morbidity caused by stroke, which is a complication of diabetes in Nigeria, he flagged off the National Stroke Prevention programme in October this year”. “Also, there are associations between tobacco use and diabe-

A Consultant Endocrinologist, Dr. Henry Onyegbutulem said, since the diabetes has been increasing in magnitude in the recent year’s, so has the knowledge of management and understanding of how to control and prevent

tes, the recent Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), conducted and released to public domain by the federal Ministry of health is also a pointer to our commitment to utilise multi-disciplinary approach to control diabetes”, the Minister said. According to him, the mandate of the “Stop Diabetes Initiative Nigeria”, is to form an alliance by combining the efforts of a wide range of stakeholders to halt the increasing prevalence of the disease in Nigeria, saying, the initiative will implement effectively and efficiently activities for the prevention and control of diabetes as stated in the recently approved National Policy and strategic Plan of Action for the prevention and control of NCDs. A Consultant Endocrinologist, Dr. Henry Onyegbutulem said, since the diabetes has been increasing in magnitude in the recent year’s, so has the knowledge of management and understanding of how to control and prevent. He said an appropriate approach need to be taken to reverse the worrying trend, which include, a comprehensive approach that targets the population as a whole that consists of both preventive and treatment interventions. Adding that another approach is the multi sectorial approach, for diabetes to be reduced and prevented there has to be support and collaboration from Government, civil society, academicians and private sectors for a successful action against diabetes. In almost all high-income countries, diabetes is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower limb amputation.




Oyinlola dares PDP, says ‘I won’t appear before disciplinary c’ttee

By Lawrence Olaoye Embattled reinstated National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday declared that he would not appear before the party's Disciplinary Committee chaired by Alhaji Umaru Dikko. The party had yesterday officially summoned Oyinlola alongside the chairman of the breakaway PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja and Ambassador Ibrahim Kazaure to defend themselves against allegations of anti party activities. Oyinlola and the others were suspended by the National

Working Committee (NWC) of the party on November 11 over alleged serial breach of the party’s Constitution. The Secretary of the Disciplinary Committee, Hon. Onwe Solomon Onwe, in a letter made available to newsmen said the embattled leaders of the parallel new PDP are to appear before the committee on Wednesday, November 27 to defend themselves of the charges which led to their suspension by the NWC. The alleged grounds for their summon before the disciplinary committee, he said, include, that "On the 31st August 2013 at the Special National Convention of

the party at the Eagle Square, Abuja the above mentioned persons and others staged a walk-out in a manner contrary to Section 58 (1) (b) (g) and (h) of the Constitution. "That on the 2nd day of September 2013, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola filed suit No. ID/704/2013 against the legitimate party leadership at the High Court of Lagos State without first pursuing the internal remedies of the party contrary to Section 58(1) (L) of the Constitution". However, Oyinlola in a statement issued yesterday and signed by his Principal Secretary,

Femi Adelegan, maintained that he would not appear before the Disciplinary Committee because it is illegal as the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party has yet to approve the composition of the body. Oyinlola said he will not be an accomplice or accessory to constitutional violations, considering especially the fact that he swore to an oath of office stipulating that he will respect and protect the grand norm of the PDP in his capacity as the custodian of the seal of the party. He said he had not received any correspondence from anyone and would not appear before a committee he described as illegal.

L-R: Varsity lecturer, Muhammad Nazeef Yunus, Umar Musa, Mustapha Yusuf (a.k.a Habib), Ismaila Abdulazeez, and Ibrahim Isah (a.k.a One in Town), paraded by the Department of State Service, yesterday in Abuja, for alleged links with Boko Haram. Photo: Mahmud Isa

No armed siege on NFIU – EFCC By Joy Baba


he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has denied allegations that there is a siege on the operations of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU). This was contained in a statement yesterday in Abuja by the commission's Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren. The statement said there was no unusual presence of armed security at the premises of the NFIU beyond what is necessary to secure its facilities and staff adding that the Commission has no record of complaints of denial of access or intimidation from anyone who has business to conduct with the organisation.

Budget deadlock: Senate moves to harmonise oil benchmark By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


equel to the concussion that trailed the proposed 2014 budget presentation by President Goodluck Jonathan, the Senate yesterday set up a six-man committee which will meet with the House of Representatives, with a view to harmonising the controversial oil benchmark. The Senate committee which was inaugurated by the Senate President, David Mark, is chaired

by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Ahmed Makarfi. Other members of the committee are Itah Enang, Enyinnaya Abaribe, Smart Adeyemi, Ayo Akinyelure and Bello Tukur. It would be recalled that President Jonathan could not present the 2014 budget last Tuesday due to the divergent oil benchmark adopted by both the Senate and House of Representatives.

The 2014 budget submission to the parliament had been shelved by President Jonathan for two consecutive times, purportedly due to issues arising from the oil benchmark. Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Mohammed Maccido, he expressed hope that National Assembly will be able to arrive at a consensus within week and have the President present the budget.

Boko Haram: SSS parades varsity lecturer, 4 others By Joy Baba


he Department of State Security Services (SSS) yesterday paraded one Muhammed Nazeef Yunus, a lecturer at Kogi State University (KSU) Anyigba and four others, Umar Musa, Mustapha Yusuf, Ismaila Abdulazeez and Ibrahim Isah (all indigenes of Kogi state) at its headquarters in Abuja for allegedly being members of Boko Haram Islamic sect. While parading them, the spokesperson of SSS, Ms Marilyn Ogar said the lecturer was their spiritual leader and holds several preaching sessions every last Saturday and Sunday of the month in Ajiolo Dekina LGA of the state and holds similar lecture in KSU mosque every Friday where he teaches his adherents the virtues of Jihad as well as the sanctity of the Sharia system as an alternative to form of government. She also said Nazeef has facilitated the trip of two of his adherents in March 2013 to Boko Haram Sambisa camp in Maiduguri where they received training in weapon handling adding that the two were able to escape and return back to him in August following military invasion of the camp. Ogar further said they confessed to having completed plans to carry out violent attacks in Igala land. While responding to question from journalists, Nazeef denied being involved in any form of terrorist activities or having any form of involvement with some if the suspects but that he was an Islamic scholar who preaches against activities of terrorist. One of his adherent said Nazeef was his teacher that he discouraged him from pursuing western education and persuaded him to join Boko Haram as according to him (Nazeef) his lecturing job at the University was a camouflage to shield his involvement in Boko Haram activities.

Jonathan appoints Mu'azu, Osunbor to head PenCom, NLRC By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


resident Goodluck Jonathan has appointed former Governor of Bauchi state, Ahmadu Adamu Mu'azu and former governor of Edo state, Oserheimen Osunbor, as chairmen of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) and the Nigerian Law Reform Commission ( NLRC) respectively. In the same vein, Jonathan requested Senate to confirm the appointment of Senator Bassey Ewa- Henshaw, as chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and Barrister Bassey Dan-Abia as

Managing Director. He also requested that Itotenaan Henry Ogiri and Engr. Tuoyo Omatsulu, all as Executive Directors of Finance & Administration and Projects, be confirmed in the NNDC. Others in the NDDC board, according to letter from the President, are Adah Paul Andeshi, representing Cross River State, Ball Turofade Oyarede, representing Bayelsa State, Chief Ephraim Sobere Etete, representing Rivers state. Others are Etim Inyang Jnr, representing Akwa Ibom state, Sir Tom Amioku, representing Delta State and Samuel Okezie

Nwogu, representing Abia State, Major Gen. Suleiman B. Said, representing North Central, Alh. Abdulmalik Mahmud, representing North East, Enikuomehin BG Olorungbonju, representing Ondo State and Mr. Mark Ward, representing OPTS. All of them were nominated by the President for confirmation as members of the Niger Delta Development Commission. Meanwhile, in a separate letter to the Senate, Jonathan explained that section 16(1) of the Pension Reform Act provides that the commission shall comprise a part time chairman, a director general, four commissioners and

seven part-time members. The other appointees to the PENCOM board are Chinelo Anohu-Amazu (full time commissioner), Omotowa Reuben Gilbert (full time commissioner), Mohammed Ka'oje Abubakar (full time commissioner), and Adesojo Olaoba- Efuntayo (Full time commissioner). The remaining appointees for NLRC are Kefas Magaji (commissioner), P. Okorie (commissioner) and Zainab Ibrahim ( commissioner). Jonathan also requested the appointment of Mfon Akpan as executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).




Reps approve extension of emergency rule By Umar Muhammad Puma


he House of Representatives has approve the extension of the period for the proclamation of a state of emergency as contained in the emergency powers in the three northern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. Lawmakers unanimously voted yesterday to extend the state of emergency to remain in force for a further a period of six months in accordance with the terms and conditions, content and context as earlier passed by the House. This follows a motion, moved by the Rep. Mulikat Akande-Adeola, who noted that by virtue of section 305 (6) (c) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic, the proclamation is expected to elapse after a period of six months from the date of approval, except the period is extended by the National Assembly. The Nigerian government originally declared emergency rule in the three states in May, in a bid to suppress Boko Haram militants in the region. In a letter to lawmakers, President Goodluck Jonathan claimed that the army had achieved “considerable successes” in containing the militants. He, however, acknowledged some security challenges still exist and thus emergency rule had to stand for a further six months from November 12.

Tambuwal decries rising communal conflicts By Umar Muhammad Puma


peaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has raised an alarm over the high number of internal conflicts in various parts of the country, saying the skirmishes are stretching the professional capability of the security agencies. Speaking yesterday, when he received a delegation from the Peace and Conflict Resolution committee of Agatu local government area of Benue state at the National Assembly, Tambuwal said Nigerians must learn to live in peace with one another. He said only in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility would meaningful development be achieved. According to him, the issue of clashes between herdsmen and farmers is something of serious concern to all Nigerians. He assured that the House of Representatives would, in collaboration with other arms of government, continue to do all that is necessary to tackle all cases of security breaches in the country. Earlier in his remarks, leader of the delegation, General Emmanuel Eihoda (rtd) lamented the increasing number of attacks on villages by herdsmen, saying, as at the last count, over 300 persons have been killed. “In addition, farmlands have been destroyed while countless number of persons have been rendered homeless,” he stated.

R-L: Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Head of Service, Alhaji Bukar Goni Aji, and Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, yesterday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

New investors decry low power supply to Kano T From Edwin Olofu, Kano

he new Managing Director of Kano Electricity Distribution, Dr. Jamil Isiyaku Gwamna has raised alarm over the inability of the transmission company to meet the contractual agreement of supplying eight percent of total power supply of the country to Kano state, since it was handed over to the private investors. Gwamna, who was speaking yesterday, during the handing over of seven Injection sub-station projects to the private investors in Kano, by the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHC), Mr. James Olotu, described

the inherited situation as pathetic and worrisome. “The issue of power supply to Kano is very critical, as for the past three weeks, the amount of power supply to Kano is unbelievably low and if not properly addressed will certainly impact on the revenue drive of the private investors.” He explained that the situation of transmission from the source is totally out of its control because a major decline from the main source to their injection sub-stations in Kano is extremely low and therefore, ‘the amount of power to Kano may not meet the demand of its numerous consumers and customers,

including Niger Republic’. “The amount of power that is coming from the transmission station has declined and we, the investors need to discuss critically with the government. Before we took over, there was an agreement that 8 percent of the total generation of the country will be transmitted to Kano. “But we are now getting little supply about 3 percent and we have to give the Republic of Niger as part of an earlier with the Federal Government, we only hope they improve; remember Kano has been very unlucky about the supply of power. We have been given a performance indicator by the

government,whichwillcertainlyimpact on these indicators if we don’t get power”. The Managing Director explained that with the prevailing circumstances, they are only trying to manage the situation, noting that it seems to be problem in the gas section, but said that whatever the challenge, they would be able to sort it out. The NDPHC MD, Mr. James Olotu attributed the setback in the privatisationprocesstotheprobecarried out at that time, pointing out that the turbulent period lasted for three years, which he noted was not beneficial to Nigerians. Bauchi residents lament erratic electricity

From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


auchi residents have lamented over the shortage of power supply under the new owners of power generation and distribution companies. They also appealed to the federal government to strictly regulate electricity tariff in order to prevent a

situation where they will be exploited by paying very exorbitant light bills. The federal government had on November 1, 2013 handed over the power holding company of Nigeria (PHCN) to 18 private firms. The move was part of the process of privatising the company and making power sector better than before. A cross-section of Batch residents

who spoke to correspondents sought for government’s intervention for consumers against unnecessary tariff hike, saying that such private companies were unpredictable. Austine Tsenzughul, a resident in Wunti-Dada, a suburb in Bauchi metropolis, said while the privatisation of the power sector was a welcome development in the country,

government should monitor the even supply of electricity across all the states in the country. Malam Idris Musa, while lamenting the erratic power, said: “They gives us light late in the night, which becomes useless; in fact, it is better we don’t have it than giving us at an odd time when everybody is sleeping.

Thugs clash in Benin over traders’ levy

From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin hugs, suspected to be revenue collectors across the various markets in Benin metropolis, yesterday clashed over levy issues, destroyinggoodsworthmillionsofnaira. Worse affected were the traders squatting around Oba market in Oredo local government area, who narrated how some thugs stormed the market demanding N1, 000 as daily levy from them. The traders protested, saying they


...As Oshiomhole suspends waste management boss have been paying N600 daily to revenue operators appointed by the Chairman of the local council, Osaro Obazee, but that the thugs destroyed their wares and tables and set them ablaze. Most of the traders who used to display their wares on walk-ways constructed around market cried to the council secretariat for protection. They accused the council authorities of not showing interest in the oppression they suffered in the hands of supposed

revenue collectors. The thugs however clashed with anothergroup,ledbyoneObasogie,who claimedtheyweretheauthorisedrevenue collectors from the traders. It was gathered that out of the N600 paid, only N60 is paid to the council’s coffers. Hawkers of pure water said they paid between N200 and N300 daily; food vendors said they pay N600 while orange and fruit sellers pay as much as N1, 000.

The demand of more revenue from squatters and walk-way traders is coming two days after Governor Adams Oshiomhole confiscated some wares displayed on walk-ways and threatened to prosecute traders caught selling their wares on walk-ways. When the council boss visited the market to ascertain the level of damage, there was shooting from both rival groups, which made council officials to scamper for safety.




Sokoto proposes N127bn budget for 2014 From Mahmoud Muhammad, Sokoto


he Sokoto state g o v e r n m e n t yesterday proposed

the sum of N127 billion for the 2014 fiscal year. The state Commissioner of Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Bala Abubakar III

gave the figure shortly after the executive council meeting held at Government House Chamber, Sokoto. He disclosed that the

My convoy not involved in Lagos accident-Gov Ahmed’s wife From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


ife of the Kwara state governor, Mrs Omolewa

Ahmed, has denied a report linking her convoy with a traffic accident in Lagos last week in which two people allegedly died.

Speaking through Dr. Femi Akorede, spokesperson to the state governor, Mrs Ahmed disclaimed any involvement with the

sum of N72 billion and N52 billion represent the capital and recurrent expenditure respectively, adding that Governor Aliyu Magatakarda

Wamakko will soon present the propose budget to the state House of Assembly for final approval.

reported accident and challenged her accusers to produce the Police report linking her or her convoy with it. “I have been reliably briefed by several people in the convoy including the wife of the governor and the facts indicate that Mrs Ahmed’s convoy narrowly escaped from the accident rather than causing it. “On the said day, Mrs Ahmed was returning from visiting someone in hospital when her convoy narrowly escaped being

hit by a tipper-truck, having left the scene of the accident seconds earlier by choice of providence. On noticing the out-of-control tipper truck racing towards them, the remaining drivers quickly left the junction and joined the convoy. The reported accident, tragic as it is, therefore had nothing to do with Mrs Ahmed or her convoy. However, any loss of life is tragic and sad no matter the cause”, the spokesperson said.

Minister urges use of ICT to develop education sector By Maryam Garba Hassan

Edo state Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, expressing displeasure over the dumping of refues at the Mission Road walk way, during his inspection of ongoing rehabilitation of the roads, yesterday in Benin City.


he Supervising Minister of E d u c a t i o n , Nyesom Wike, has urged stakeholders in the education sector to create and exploit local and global opportunities in the deployment of ICT for sustainable development of the sector. The minister, who was represented by the Director, Human Resource Management in the ministry, gave the charge yesterday in Abuja at a two-day National Conference on ICT in Education with the theme: “TechnologyDriven Education: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities”. He said the present state of ICT in education in the country must be improved if the nation must attain sustainable development and global competitiveness. “Our policies should address the realities of our country even as they align with global trends. We should ensure that education goals and priorities drive our choice of technology. “We should use ICT, not only for the acquisition of basic skills, but to foster the development of critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills,” he said. He said Nigeria should open up access to research and development; provide appropriate legal,

regulatory and security frameworks to ensure that standards set for ICT in education are enforced. He challenged stakeholders to create financing models for ICT in education and to exploit public-private partnerships (PPPs) to increase funding for ICT in education. He said traditional budgeting by government alone had become inadequate for dealing with problems in the education sector. He said the present administration believes that successful contributions to meeting the Millennium Development Goals and Education For All (EFA) goals are most likely to be made through the development and deployment of ICT in education. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. McJohn Nwaobiala, represented by Director of Tertiary Education, Hajiya Hindatu Abdullahi, said concerted efforts were being made by the ministry to identify challenges that were thwarting the development and deployment of ICT for human capital development. Earlier in a goodwill message, the Director of Education, British Council, Mr. Brown Wilson, said the council was passionate about Nigerians achieving the best possibilities in education.

$27,000: 2 men face 9 years imprisonment for defrauding GTBank From Matthew Irinoye, Lagos


udge Adeniyi Onigbanjo of a Lagos state High Court sitting in Ikeja yesterday sentenced two men, Adekunle Adetowubo and Olugbenga Adetayo to nine years imprisonment each for defrauding Guaranty Trust Bank to the tune of $27,000 (about N4.3 million). The convicts were jailed after pleading guilty to a three-count charge of conspiracy and stealing preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). They had earlier pleaded not guilty to the charge during their arraignment on June 14, 2011 and were remanded at Ikoyi Prison in Lagos. In his judgment, Onigbanjo sentenced the accused to three years imprisonment on each count which is to run concurrently beginning from June 14,2011. The judge held that they had shown remorse for their actions and had repaid about $7,000 as restitution to the bank during the period of their incarceration. He further directed them to repay the balance of $20,000 within a year of their release from prison custody, upon the completion of their sentences. Counsel to EFCC, Mr Kayode Oni, had during their arraignment said the accused persons committed the offences on May 13,2010 at Apapa, Lagos. Oni said that they had conspired with one Uche (now at large) to steal the amount from Apapa branch of Guaranty Trust Bank through an account number 204170869210. He said that, their offences contravened Sections 390 and 516 of the Criminal Code Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.


Photo Splash


President Goodluck Jonathan (middle), Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo (5th right), and some government officials, jointly cutting the president’s birthday cake, on Tuesday night at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

L-R: Chairman, Kaduna state House of Assembly Committee on Judiciary, Hon. Kantiok Irimiya Ishaku, and Executive Secretary, Benjamin Bissa Shekari Lives on Foundation, Mrs. Rifkatu I. K Shekari, during the commissioning of the foundation, on Tuesday, in Kaduna. Rivers state civil servants on a health walk to mark the 100 years celebration of Port Harcourt City, yesterday in Port Harcourt. Photo: NAN

L-R: President, Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), Mr. Bala Ka’oje; Chairman of the occasion, Professor Kunle Wahab and Director, Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Alhaji Sani Gidado, during the 3rd Annual Professionals’ Summit, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

L-R: Former Chief Medical Director, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Prof. Jide Ajayi; Chief Medical Director, Prof. Temitope Alonge; member, Board of Directors, Mrs. Laila Buhari; Guest of Honour, Prof. Oladipo Ogunlesi, AT THE inauguration of Prof. Oladipo Ogunlesi Multipurpose Hall to mark the 56TH anniversary of University College Hospital, yesterday in Ibadan. Photo: NAN



Absence of reforms left Nigeria incapacitated – Anyim By A’isha Biola Raji


he Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Antyim Pius Anyim has declared that, absence of Steering Committee on Reforms is what has held the country incapacitated. Anyim made this known yesterday in Abuja at a meeting of the resuscitated Steering Committee on Public Service Reforms (SCR). Anyim, who is also the chairman of the committee said “The current administration has embarked on deep and wide ranging reforms. The electoral system is now more credible, trains are running again for the first time in decades, the power sector has finally been unbundled after various previous attempts and we are witnessing massive infrastructural development across the country”. Outlining the duties of the committee, the committee’s Secretary who is Director General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Dr. Joe Abah, said the essence of having the steering committee was to improve the public

service. “We will monitor and evaluate public owned organisations that receive public funds from government budget allocations. Our primary responsibility is to deliver services that the private sector cannot deliver “, he said.

The 24-man committee, which was initially constituted in 2004, reconstituted in 2007 and now in 2013 has as members, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Economic Adviser to the President, Chairman, Federal Civil

Service Commission, Chairman, Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Board, Permanent Secretary Finance, Permanent Secretary, State House, Auditor general of the Federaation, Chairman EFCC and other relevant officers.

R-L: President, Cyclists Federation of Nigeria, Muhammad Nur Sheriff, Assistant Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr. Boboye Oyeyemi, National Focal Point UN Decade of Action on Road Safety, Mr. Sydney Ibeanusi, and Director, Central Workshop and Development Department, Ministry of Works, Mr. Sunday Asuquo, during a maiden edition of National Bicycle Week, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

NGF: Jonathan’s refusal to recognize Amaechi unfortunate-New PDP By Lawrence Olaoye


he splinter Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, has described as unfortunate the resolve of President Goodluck Jonathan not to recognize the Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi, as the authentic chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF). The group, in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, said the development was dangerous, unjustifiable, regrettable and

unacceptable. It stated: “The Presidency’s insistence on recognising Plateau state Governor Jonah Jang as the NGF Chairman is unfortunate because it does not only send across a dangerous signal but also serves to frustrate efforts to unite the country’s State Governors so as to enable them serve Nigerians better. “Everybody knows that Amaechi won the transparently conducted NGF election of May 24, 2013 with 19 votes to Jang’s 16 votes. By refusing to accept his victory due to his personal differences with President

Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience, the Presidency is otherwise saying that majority decision counts for nothing in an election. This stance, if not checked, is capable of plunging the country into chaos during the 2015 general elections. “Sadly, it is this same disdain for majority opinion that has factionalised the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and put its very survival in jeopardy. “We appeal to Mr. President to disregard the misleading advice of the hawks around him and make himself an agent of peace and unity, both in the

NGF and the PDP. He should rise above narrow partisanship and see himself as an impartial father eager to reconcile his feuding children. Anything short of this will not only tarnish his reputation but also have dire implications for national peace, unity and progress. “Sadly, instead of Governor Jang hiding his face in shame he still projects himself as the Chairman of the Nigerian Governor’s Forum after he was duly rejected by his colleagues. We all should learn on how to protect our democracy and avoid any act that may endanger it”, it further said.

Aliyu’s media aide sues newspaper From Yakubu Minna



he Chief Press Secretary to Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger state, Danladi Ndayebo, has sued Media Trust Ltd, publishers of Daily Trust, and its Reporter, Mr. Andrew Agbese before at a High Court in Abuja. The media aide is accusing the newspaper of “falsely” linking him as the source of

a report it published in its October 29, 2013 edition which claimed that Governor Aliyu, a G7 governor, had pulled out of the new PDP. The governor’s media aide is praying the court for an order compelling the Abuja based newspaper to publish a retraction of the allegation, and tender a public apology to him with equal prominence as the alleged offending publication.

He is contending that when the first defendant, Agbese called him on the issue of his principal’s alleged withdrawal from the new PDP, he “neither affirmed nor denied the allegation”. In the suit filed by his counsel, Mr. Solomon Menegbe, Ndayebo also wants the court to, among others, order the defendants to “jointly and severally” pay him “the sum of Two Hundred Million Naira (N200,000,000.00) only

as damages for defamatory Libel”, as well as an order of substantial cost against them”. He told the court in the suit instituted by way of writ of summons that the entire allegation against him by the defendants “is not only false, unfounded, but grossly defamatory, libelous, malicious and is intended to lower (and has indeed negatively affected) his esteem in the estimation of the public”.


Witnesses testify before Bauchi court over alleged homicide

From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


hree witnesses testified before the Bauchi State High Court 7 presided over by Judge Aliyu Baba Usman in a case involving seven persons accused of beating one Habibu Abdu to death in Azare, headquarters of Katagum local government area of the state. The case was filed in the court last August where the accused were charged with criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide contrary to Section 96,221 of the Penal Code. The seven accused have however individually and severally denied beating the accused to death or causing his death. When the case was mentioned yesterday, the prosecutor, Barrister Saminu Adamu Gumba presented three witnesses out of the seven expected to testify before the court. Witness Abubakar Awwalu had told the court that the first accused person met him and told him that there was a sodomist in their ward and they were going to deal with him, but refused to disclosed the identity of the alleged homosexual. The first accused, according to the witness, asked him to go to the scene where the incident happened and on reaching there he met four of the accused beating the deceased who happened to be his friend. “As they continued beating him, the witness deposed, a large number of people went to the area and witnessed the beating before they left the place The second witness, who gave his name as Buhari Ja’afar, told the court that when he arrived the scene of the incident, he saw a large crowd of people beating the deceased Habibu but could not recognize anyone except the first accused person. The third witness, Ashafa Abdu, who is a biological brother to the deceased, said he was called from their house to witness the beating of his brother, before the deceased was taken to hospital. Abdu reached the hospital where he collected some prescriptions and was on his way to buy medicine when he was called back to the hospital and he saw the deceased already dead. The witness revealed that the police took picture of corpse of the deceased before he was buried the following morning. After cross examination by the defense counsel, Barrister Idris Jibo, the presiding judge adjourned the suit to December 5, 213 for continuous hearing.




Councillors chase away LG boss, colleague in Ogun From James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta


ot less than 12 Councillors in Abeokuta North local government area of Ogun state on Monday stormed the office of the Council Chairman, Agbaakin Taofeek Olabode and chased him out of office with teargas. Our correspondent learnt that the Local Government Supervisory Councilor for Works, Prince Ibrahim Adegbo’kiki, who was with the chairman as at the time of the attack was also chased away with teargas. It was further learnt that the

aggrieved councillors were at the chairman’s office to demand for certain money before the misunderstanding which led to the attack. A source that the legislators met Prince Adegbo’kiki in the chairman’s office and ordered him to excuse them for a private discussion with the LG boss, but that a councilor from Ward 3 in the local government, Ogunyemi Oladipupo allegedly fired the teargas directly into Adegbo’kiki’s eyes. The victim reportedly slumped immediately and latter rushed to State Hospital, Ijaye, Abeokuta where he was treated.

One-day Governor steers Nasarawa state From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


overnor Umaru Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa state yesterday ceremoniously handed over the reins of power to the Speaker of the children’s parliament, Hon. Richard Aga, who is expected to run the affairs of the state for the next 24 hours. Al-makura who turned 61 last week, in a brief ceremony during a special state executive council meeting, which held at the Government House, Lafia, handed over power to Hon. Aga, charging the 24-hour Governor to preach peaceful co-existence among the people. Earlier in an opening remark, Al-makura, who described yesterday’s council meeting as special, said the session was devoted thorough brainstorming on the 2014 Appropriation Bill. He said for that reason, political stakeholders and appointees were invited to attend the meeting, to make their input in the budget process. “It does not speak well for

an administration that is people centred for political appointees to only read or hear about state policies in the media. They should be in a position to answer any question on the performance of the budget”, Almakura said. The Governor noted that his administration is passionate about the issues of peace and the participation of children in the peace process across the state, stressing that government will support the Speaker of the children’s parliament and his council members to visit critical stakeholders, particularly traditional rulers, on the need to live in peace. In his acceptance speech, Hon. Aga, while congratulating the Almakura on his 61st birthday, said the people of the state are inspired by his exemplary leadership, patriotism and commitment to the development of the state. “We shall soon embark on peace and reconciliation visits to all communities across the state. We therefore use this occasion to appeal to all to lay down their arms and embrace peace”, the SSS II studentGovernor said.

3 herdsmen killed, 120 cattle rustled in Plateau From Ado Abubakar Musa, Jos


o fewer than three herdsmen have been reportedly killed on Monday in Kasa and Fon villages of Barkin Ladi local government area of Plateau state while almost 120 cattle were rustled in the area. Our correspondent gathered that in trying to recover the stolen cattle, some men of the Special Task Force (STF) who are maintaining peace in the state were equally attacked and injured . The Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) in Plateau state, Alhaji Haruna Boro Hussaini, confirmed the attack and alleged that two of the herdsmen were killed in Kasa on Monday evening by a gang of Berom youths in which one person lost his life while the other was injured. The chairman added that: “When the matter was reported to

the Sector 7 Command of the STF, they mobilized some of their men to accompany two other herders who will identify the cattle but they were attacked by the people of Fon community who singled out the two herders and killed them in the presence of the STF and vandalised the vehicle while injuring the some soldiers.” Boro further said, “during a meeting with the sector commander today (yesterday) he told us to our face that the two boys that accompanied the STF were killed because the people were over 800 and had overpowered the STF. He also told us to exercise restrain and take heart since it had already happened but we told him that the Berom youths responsible for killing our boys most produce their corps.” The name of the deceased were given as Auwalu Damina, Samaila Musa and Iliyasu Mohammed .

The chairman and other occupants of the office were reported to have rushed out of the office for fear of being trapped. The case was reported at Adatan Police Station in Abeokuta. When contacted, the chairman, who was obviously not ready to talk to the press on the development denied such happening in his local government. “Nothing of such happened in my local government; I am confirming to you that nothing of such happened in my local government. I am the number one officer of the local government, the accounting officer, nothing of such happened in my local government,” he said. In a contradictory statement, the leader of the legislative arm in the local government, Bayewunmi Ismaeel initially denied knowledge of the matter but later explained what happened to newsmen after he was told that

the matter has been confirmed from the police. “I don’t have much to say; we went to the chairman in order to ask for our needs, that is what we went to do in the chairman’s office. The chairman told us to go and come back and we left, and within two hours, we went to him again and he said we should sit down, so we sat down and the chairman sat on his chair in order to start discussing with us. “The supervisory councillor said somebody threw something on his eyes and we asked him who did that but he didn’t say anything. That was what happened and everybody was asking who touched him, nobody touched him. The chairman was there and was also asking who touched him but he can’t say anything. “The police were here yesterday, they went round the council and they said they can’t get any odour of teargas. They were just spreading things that

teargas was used in the council; I don’t know what causes all these things,” he said. When asked why supervisory councilor was rushed to the hospital, Bayewunmi said, “You need to ask Ibrahim what took him to the hospital. I was not sitting by his side, I don’t even know what happened between them. We were asking Ibrahim and he didn’t say anything, how do you expect me to know what happened?” All efforts to reach the victim was abortive as his mobile number was switched off while the alleged attacker did not pick all calls put across to his mobile phone; nor did he returned them. The Ogun state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi said “the matter was not reported at Adatan police station at all. I don’t know where they reported the matter to, but as for Adatan police station, the matter was not reported there”.

R-L: President-General, Unity Schools Old Students Association (USOSA), Alhaji Muhammad Kabir Nuhu Koko, Financial Secretary of USOSA, Mr. Mike Chukwu, Co-Chair of the occasion, Alhaji Bello Maccido, and a member of USOSA, Mr. Abubakar Ambursa, during the fund raising dinner organised by USOSA, on Tuesday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

FG, States, to raise N262.7bn to fight HIV/AIDS By Abbas Aminu Bamalli


takeholders in the health sector at the federal and state levels yesterday converged on Abuja to work out modalities for raising N262.7 billion for managing HIV/AIDS in the country within the next two years. The meeting, which was aimed at sensitizing the states on the President’s Comprehensive Response Plan (PCRP) for HIV/ AIDS in Nigeria, was intended to raise funds locally for the management of the scourge, thereby bridging the gap between locally-sourced funds and foreign-donor funds to tackle the disease.

The meeting, with the theme Agenda for Sensitization with States and the Federal Government, suggested N461.2billion for full national coverage against the disease, while it said N262.7 billion should be sourced for managing it in the next two years. States are therefore required to contribute N105.3 billion while N20.5b billion is expected from the private sector. Delivering his address, Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Prof John Idoko, represented by the Director, Partnership Coordination at the agency, Hajiya Maimuna Mohammed, said the initiate was

in pursuant to the realization of President Jonathan’s decision to put a check on the spread of the disease. In a presentation, Director, Policy and Strategy Department, NACA, Mr. Alex Ogundipe, said 80 percent of current 3.4million people living with the disease were being targeted for treatment with the fund. He said: “Only 18 percent of HIV positive pregnant women receive prophylaxis against mother and child transmission, we target 80 percent, to avail 80 million men and women aged 15 and older knowledge of their HIV status, to enroll an additional 600,000 eligible adults and children on ART.



ot only can eating out be expensive, but it will probably get tacked on to plenty of other events you’ll go to. As such, this should probably be one of the first places you look to save money. The obvious ways to cut costs are to eat at cheaper restaurants or cook your own meals, but that isn’t very fun, is it? Here are some things you can try to shave that check: Eat at culinary schools or ‘Mama Put’. Chefs have to learn to cook somewhere. Often, culinary schools will run educational restaurants that allow students to learn their trade by cooking for the public. Or you can go down the street for a good popular local ‘food is ready’ spot or vendor referred to as ‘mama put’. Which of these places, you visit choose to go; you can get a nice meal for cheaper than you might at a regular restaurant. Find discounted vouchers. When it comes to finding deals for less payment at exotic restaurants, unlike Europe and America where there are plenty of places to get discounted vouchers for meals out, in this part of the world there aren’t plenty of such places to go about that. For instance in America, LivingSocial and Amazon local are great places not only to find deals, but to discover new restaurants in one’s area. Eat lunch, not dinner. If you have the choice between eating earlier and later, go for earlier. Dinner meals are frequently more expensive than lunch for a variety of reasons. Not only is competition for speed and turnover higher around lunch time, but it’s easier to coax money out of people in the evening when they’re relaxed. Have a small snack first. Your mother told you all your life not to snack or you’ll ruin your appetite.

Money Tip: Holding onto your customers

In order to inherit any kind of word of mouth marketing results, you will need to stand tall at your booth and educate your customers, sell a superior product, label it like it’s worth a million bucks, and make it easy for customers to buy it. Selling your product on the front lines also offers the advantage of identifying certain reactions to taste tests and pricing that no other venue can deliver. For many food startups, it takes about three seasons to get the hang of your market and customers, but these tips should give you a start-up advantage.

Quote The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency – Bill Gates


Money sense

How to save money while dinning out

You’re an adult now, though, and it’s time to break those chains. If you go to a restaurant ravenous, you’ll be more likely to indulge in expensive meals. Everyone knows

you should avoid going grocery shopping while hungry. Just apply that same logic to dining out. Skip the booze. This is supposed to be fun. However,

the quickest way to burn through your funds is to start out by spending N10, 000 per cocktail to increasingly impair your judgment (and then spend even

more on a taxi home). If you really want to drink as part of your night out, withdraw a small amount of cash and stick to that budget.

Overlooked ways of making extra money


hen your expenses total more than your income and a conventional second job is not possible, you have several other ways to make extra money. You don’t have to demean yourself or work for pennies. Several legit moneymaking options exist that nearly any adult can do. Get creative with your abilities and put more cash in your pocket. Online sweepstakes and contests Enter online sweepstakes and contests. While some offer opportunities to win cash, others give away products, free groceries and big-ticket items like kitchen appliances and televisions. If you win a product or item, sell it for cash. You’ll likely have to enter hundreds of contests to make much money, but the more you enter the better your chances are of winning. Even small wins add up, and you can often enter more than once, increasing your odds. Personal assistant It’s not just movie stars and famous people who need personal assistants. Regular people, who work odd or long hours, travel extensively or just need extra help, hire personal

assistants. This position runs errands, pays bills, drops off and picks up dry cleaning, does the grocery shopping and gets the mail. It is not a glamorous job, but it brings in extra income and provides some variety to your day. Clinical studies Participate in clinical studies conducted by drug companies, universities and hospitals. The

rates vary widely depending on how long the study lasts, what participants are required to do and if overnight stays are involved. Some may be as simple as a sleep test, while others involve trial drugs or new treatments. There are often criteria you must meet for each study, but if you get picked to participate, you’ll get paid for your effort and time.

Pet care Many pet owners work long hours and take vacations where Fido isn’t welcome. Offer your services to walk dogs during the day or keep them in your home while their owner is at the office. Some people provide sitting services at the client’s house, while others just stop in to walk a dog or feed and water an animal.




ny election in Anambra state is always going to be a difficult proposition, not least because of the high political and financial stakes involved. And so the November 16 governorship election, contested by over a dozen candidates from as many political parties, did prove to be. Professor Attahiru Jega’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not help matters by failing to match the level of competence it demonstrated in the 2011 presidential and legislative polls. The first major challenge was a lack of updated voter register which INEC could not overcome right up to voting day. So embarrassing was it that even a candidate in the election, Mr. Tony Nwoye, of the PDP, did not find his name on the register in the very polling centre where he had previously registered as a voter. He was not the only one unable to vote that day. Thousands of others were also disenfranchised by INEC’s poor register keeping. This and voter apathy halved the state’s registered 1, 784, 531 voter population on polling day. Sheer incompetence led to the rescheduling of voting in all 65 polling units in Idemili North local government area, an electoral stronghold of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Dr. Chris Ngige. To

cover its shame, INEC announced it had surrendered its returning officer for the area to the police for “messing up the election”. The mother of all blunders was to come when Prof. James Epoke, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Calabar, who was INEC returning officer for the state, gave the vote


Haba, INEC!

Meanwhile, the streets of Anambra are seething with anger from the blunders of a national election umpire, two years before national elections are due. Haba, INEC!

tallies for all the candidates but failed to announce an overall winner. He said Dr. Willie Obiano of APGA received 174, 710 votes, followed by PDP’s Nwoye with 94, 956 and Ngige of APC was third with 92, 300. According to the returning officer, there was no outright winner of the election because the total of cancelled votes (113,113) was more than the difference between the candidate with the highest tally and the next person. If Epoke’s excuse for not declaring a winner was shocking

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(which indeed it was and the result has been an outpouring of anger on the streets),the INEC decision to conduct a “supplementary election”, not only in the controversial Idemili North local government area but also in 13 polling units in 20 other local governments is the height of incompetence. The electoral body has ignored calls by all the candidates except APGA’s Obiano to cancel the entire election and conduct a fresh one, saying it has no such power under the electoral law. It also claims only an election petition tribunal can annul results that have been declared by its returning officer. But having announced the vote tallies, why not go ahead with announcing a winner and leaving the losers with the option of going to court? Alternatively, it could announce a winner with a caveat that he should not take office until the so-called supplementary election has been held. Not a tidy way to sort out this self-inflicted mess, we admit. And not even the supplementary election has been neatly handled. INEC cannot say when this will take place. Meanwhile, the streets of Anambra are seething with anger from the blunders of a national election umpire, two years before national elections are due. Haba, INEC!











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Opinion The trial of Professor Jega By Sheddy Ozoene


rofessor Chinua Achebe, the famous author of Things Fall Apart will probably not be happy in his grave today. In twice rejecting the Award of National Honours in 2004 and 2011, the Nigerian literary icon said he was protesting against the handling of governance issues in the country, especially in his native Anambra state. Before he died last March in Boston, United States, however, he was happy that things were looking up once again. He had singled out President Goodluck Jonathan’s electoral reform for commendation, saying that the conduct of the 2011 general election was a clear indication that sanity was gradually returning to the nation’s electoral process. For this, he gave credit to the Independent National Electoral

Commission (INEC) led by Professor, Attahiru Jega. In the book, There was a Country, he had written “…the last general election in Nigeria was not perfect, but overall it was an improvement over past travesties that were passed off as election in Nigeria”. The appointment of Professor Attahiru Jega as Chairman of the Independent National

Electoral Commission (INEC), in June 2010, had understandably raised expectations that the much-desired credibility would return to the nation’s electoral system. Coming after the general elections of 2007 which even the winner, President Umaru Yar’adua acknowledged were flawed, the Nigeria polity was yearning for fresh ideas. Nigerians had good reasons

therefore, to place their hope on the former President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), who famously engaged the military governments of the 1990s in running battles. With impressive academic and civil society credentials, Jega seemed to appeal to all sections of the polity. He was the best man to deliver on the promises of electoral reform which President Jonathan had promised, or so we all thought. Jega may not have disappointed, especially with

“In spite of the ample time for preparations, Jega’s INEC did not make adequate logistics provision for security officers while in many instances, his staff were openly hostile to observers who complained of brazen acts of electoral fraud”.

the 2011 general elections which were his first test case. The election was generally free and fair and even the worst critics of the Jonathan administration acknowledged that it was an important step in the electoral reform process. However, subsequent elections have raised questions about the man, his capability and his conduct as the nation’s chief electoral umpire. His reputation and integrity are increasingly becoming doubtful and more importantly, projections are already being made that the all-important 2015 national elections may end up a sham. If the conduct of the recent governorship elections in Ondo and Edo states were criticized for their observable lapses, they pale into insignificance when compared to the charade that is playing out in Anambra state. After months of preparations, the November 16 governorship polls in Professor Chinua Achebe’s cont on page 15

Roiling crisis and victimisation of “new PDP” By Dele Agekameh


or quite some time now, the Nigerian political theatre has been embroiled in crises of unimaginable proportion. Every other day, new dimensions are added to the contentious issues. Surprisingly, most of these issues border on conflict of supremacy and arbitrary use of power through which many party faithful have been either emasculated or ignominiously shoveled out of the parties. Indications are rife that there is a gradual incursion of tyranny in the administration of the parties. The major culprit in this whole shenanigan is the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, a party that prides itself as the biggest party in Africa. As they say, rather jokingly, the bigger the head, the bigger the headache. In the first instance, many of our political parties are apparently nests provided for strange bed fellows to cohabitate. That is probably why the struggle for supremacy and control of party machinery has assumed a war of survival on its own. In the ongoing war within the parties, there is a systematic annihilation of political opponents or those whose views are considered to be injurious to the interest of the few who have monopolised power. This has invariably led to what political scientists would refer to as democratic centralism. We are all aware of the nature of scheming and internecine war that have engulfed the PDP since Bamanga Tukur, its present Chairman, took over the reign of leadership of the party in March 2012. It started like a fratricidal war among the members of the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party. With Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the Secretary of the party, as the arrowhead of the dissenting

group in the Committee, Tukur was perpetually placed on his toes as the group perfected their strategy to unseat him. But for the moles within the NWC, by now, Tukur would have become history in the party hierarchy. Much later, the party’s NWC was dissolved and Oyinlola was removed as Secretary. Rather than solve anything, the removal of Oyinlola and other officers who had become a torn in Tukur’s flesh, further deepened the crisis in the party. The struggle for reform in the party later snowballed into a major conflagration last August, when some party leaders, led by some State governors, staged a walkout from the Party’s National Convention ground in Abuja. The insistence of the group on reforms within the PDP and its hierarchical structure has created a deadlock, which has remained unbroken for so long. Not only have the various reconciliation meetings even with President Goodluck Jonathan in attendance failed to yield any fruitful result, there appears to be the presence of a certain clique within the party that is opposed to any form of reconciliation with aggrieved members. The reason for this is the fear that such reconciliation may pose a threat to their present comfort zone in the party. Therefore, they are hell bent on maintaining the status quo. Several meetings, which attempted to resolve the two knotty issues involved in the whole saga, have yielded no tangible result. The issues are Jonathan’s candidature in the 2015 election and the fate of Tukur as National Chairman. Going by the body language of the party’s hierarchy, the issue of Jonathan’s candidature in the 2015 election appears to be cast in iron, meaning that it is a no-go area. In order to

consolidate the hawks’ hold on the party machinery, Tukur has become a willing puppet that is used to perpetrate illegality and arbitrariness in the party. Unfortunately, his fate has always been hanging precariously in the balance. In recent times, the leaders of the breakaway faction, with seven state governors as point men, have come under severe emotional, psychological and even mental torture all over the place. The G7 governors are Sule Lamido of Jigawa, Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers, Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger, Rabiu Kwakwanso of Kano, Muritala Nyako of Adamawa, Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara and Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto. Lamido has come under intense security binoculars for some time now. Early this year, Aminu Sule Lamido, one of his sons, was held at the Aminu Kano International Airport over an allegation that he was trying to go out of the country with $50, 000 as against the $10, 000 allowed by law. He was convicted on July 12, 2013 by a federal high court in Kano for money laundering. Last Thursday, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, again, arrested Aminu and Mustapha, another son of Lamido, over yet another allegation of money laundering. The story is the same for Amaechi of Rivers State, who has known no peace since the rumble in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, erupted many months ago. The crisis in the NGF over the election of its President, which was believed to have been won by Amaechi, has seriously polarised the body into two factions. The one headed by Amaechi is believed to be the authentic NGF, while the other one led by Jonah Jang of

Plateau State is a surrogate of the Presidency. The climax of this regime of terror unleashed on the group was the recent disruption of the governors’ meeting at the Kano State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja. The meeting was held to discuss their grievances against the PDP and how to marshal their points ahead of their planned meeting with Jonathan. That meeting may never see the light of the day anymore because a recent event has overtaken such consideration. On Wednesday, November 6, a Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja reinstated Oyinlola as the National Secretary of the PDP. The three-man panel, chaired by Justice Amiru Sanusi, upturned the January 11 judgment of the Federal High court, Abuja, which sacked Oyinlola. One would have thought that this judgement would provide a good opportunity for the party to resolve the intractable crisis that has engulfed it, but rather than find a solution to the crisis, some desperate elements within the party went ahead to suspend Oyinlola and others under flimsy excuses. This action has clearly vindicated those who are calling for reform in the party. Moreover, that decision has the potential of setting the judiciary against the party and its government because it is seen as a negation of Jonathan’s avowed commitment to the rule of law. The Presidency has since come under heat from some stakeholders in the government who felt that certain forces were exploiting the situation for their selfish motives. Some governors loyal to the President were said to have made contacts among themselves and with the President all through last week, expressing deep concerns that the leadership of the party scuttled the opportunity for

peace presented by the Appeal Court verdict. The legal and ethical issues thrown up by the suspension order have also engaged the attention of stakeholders who are viewing, with concern, the legality of decisions being currently taken by the party with the sitting secretary whose appointment has been declared illegal by the Court. This is why Tukur may have incurred the wrath of Jonathan over his latest handling of the moves to resolve the crisis in the party. The Presidency is believed to be tinkering with the idea of directing the party leadership to reverse itself on the suspension issue. If that happens, then Tukur’s days are numbered as the President is said to be unhappy with the unilateral decision he took to suspend the party leaders, including Oyinlola, who have been reinstated to his post by the appellate court. The Presidency is worried that instead of the party creating and getting more followers and friends, the hierarchy is busy creating more enemies for the party and the Jonathan administration. So far, Tukur’s tenure as party leader has turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. It has been dogged by series of arbitrary use of power, witch-hunting and indiscriminate removal of national officers and dissolution of party executives across the country. The suspension of Oyinlola is nothing but a deliberate ploy to circumvent the Court of Appeal judgement which recognised him as the National Secretary of PDP. By that action, the PDP has foreclosed the possibility of any reconciliation and portray itself as a lawless party. Agekameh is a public analyst




Republicans: Cut your feet to save money and buy shoes By Dr. Wumi Akintide


epublicans want the Health Care Reform baby pronounced dead on arrival because the umbilical cord is taking a moment too long to drop. In their convoluted minds, the baby has forfeited the right to live because what was supposed to happen within minutes of the baby’s arrival did not occur though the baby and the mother are doing fine and the doctor is still checking out the mother and the baby to avoid any residual problems. Same Republicans who had sworn to see the President fail had initially hoped their Republican-dominated Supreme Court was going to help them shoot down the President’s monumental achievement which they just want to rubbish because the President is black. They don’t want such a milestone achievement to ever occur under a black President. That is why they are now comparing the roll-out effort to Rocket Science. I do know that Republicans are very desperate to discredit the program. It is not far-fetched to suspect they can dispatch computer hackers who will not let the enrollment formalities and protocols work out as expected because their political future depends on it. I recall how many times computer hackers looking to steal information or sell some softwares on the Internet have forced my desk top or lap top to malfunction. If hackers can do that to computer users anywhere, I believe the Republicans can deploy hackers to go after the program just to mislead and misinform the public. If Obama has allowed his capture of Osama Bin Laden to leak to the Republicans ahead of time, it would not have happened under his watch. The Republicans would have moved quickly to sabotage the effort like they did when they made Jimmy Carter

look like a fool and when those helicopters Teheran on their rescue American strongly believe the did that to pave Ronald Reagan’s victory in the next Republicans would blackmail President get the Democrats White House. The game is winning House by all means. happening. It’s high the worst order.

WRITE TO US Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed to: The Editor, Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. Email: SMS: 08134607052

If America had the current mindset of the Republicans, the greatest country on Earth would never have reached the Moon quicker than the Russians who were several years ahead of Americans when the difficult race to Space first began. If John F. Kennedy was thinking like the Republicans, he would never have given Americans 10 years to push Russia to second place in the race to conquer space which America clearly won in 8 years of hard work. Anyone who believes that the Republicans are not just playing politics with their stand on the Affordable Health Care Reform Law, is simply living in a fool’s paradise. It is fair to say that most American voters, in spite of their sophistication and civilization, are very gullible. The plain truth is there is no gain without pain. Anybody who wants to take the honey hidden inside a rock has

his job cut out for him. The stiff opposition Obama is facing today from the Republicans is because he has tried to do what his white predecessors could not do for more than 40 years. If providing medical coverage for all Americans is as easy as it sounds, it would have been done a long time ago before the first black American President was ever handed the keys to the White House. It is only a fool who would expect that the roll-out of the Affordable Health Care Reform Law would be totally free from the kind of technical problems the Republicans are complaining about. The Mitt Romney experiment in Massachusetts faced pretty much the same criticism when it first started. It is working fine today in Massachusetts.

a weakling American collided in mission to hostages. I Republicans the way for landslide election. do anything to Obama and to out of the name of the back the White That is what is wire politics of

Americans, who are employed, would have their coverage provided by their employers under Obamacare. The same thing would apply to senior citizens from age 65 and above who will be covered by Medicare and would not have to worry, even if they have preexisting conditions that most insurance companies would not touch with a 10 foot pole under the old law. Only the 5% of Americans who are in the age bracket of 26 to 64 and who are not employed or covered by their parents’ insurance under the new Law, are left to worry about not getting coverage. Republicans are exaggerating and lying about the problem to discredit the President and the Democrats. A good number of the people in the same bracket have actually managed to get themselves enrolled in one insurance coverage or the other using Obamacare.

“If America had the current mindset of the Republicans, the greatest country on Earth would never have reached the Moon quicker than the Russians who were several years ahead of Americans when the difficult race to Space first began”

Republicans don’t want the public to know that. All they keep harping upon is that President Obama has lied to those who have not been lucky to get enrolled immediately. They want the President to pay a price for misleading such individuals. They are even seeking to impeach the President. Can you imagine a country that landed the first man on the Moon more than 40 years ago and is currently sending a robot to Mars and the Sun as we speak, now telling the world it cannot fix a computer problem the Republicans have been talking about? It was a complete fallacy that should be debunked as outright nonsense. The America we have all come to know and admire does not run away from challenges and problems. Americans stand their ground to fight and solve problems regardless of how difficult. There are far too many computer experts from Silicon Valley and other areas in America who can be drafted to correct the problems including the cyber space espionage the Republicans may want to deploy to destabilize the program, if they can. The President must make sure that stake holders in the insurance industry in America and experts from Canada, Germany and Britain and other industrialized countries who have successfully implemented similar programs in their countries could be hired to assist in solving all those computer problems that are bound to show up from time to time. I said it before and I would say it again that President Obama has correctly and honestly acknowledged the few glitches in the implementation. He must never look despondent or apologetic for a program on which 20 per cent of the American economy depends. Akintide writes from Lagos

Do we need National Conference? No, we do! By Raheem Oluwafunminiyi …it is imperative that we arm ourselves and our people with a genuine revolutionary culture and a discipline and invincible revolutionary organisation, unshakeably committed to the principles of social justice and equity, to the liberations of our people from material and cultural deprivation and implacably opposed to all forms of exploitation of man by man. - Dr. Segun Osoba


t the first sight of the title above, one would assume the writer was hallucinating or between sleep and wakefulness to have coined such an unapt title for a piece of this nature. However, such titles and their inherent meanings are some of the contradistinctions

we have had to contend with as a people in the jumbled collection called Nigeria, if the hype that has surrounded the convocation of a national conference in the last couple of weeks is anything to go by. As a keen observer of political events in the country, and especially one who has written extensively on happenings both within and without our polity, I have asked myself, like every other Nigerian would, if certainly we as a people need a sovereign or national conference (whichever appellation best suits the political class). At a time like this where apprehension, tension, commotion, tribulation and all kinds of challenges confronts us as a nation and people, should we not be gearing towards a time when we ought

to talk to ourselves to know where the rain began to beat us? At a time when the corporate existence of the country is being threatened on all sides of the divide, is it not right to come to the table to discuss the way forward? At a time “when there was a declaration by the current president that he was going to contest” pitched him against those believed they were “born to rule”, which eventually fired up further the insecurity in the north of the country with innocent lives wasting away through senseless killings and murder, is it not time we gathered ourselves to clean the Aegean stable? At a time when all the fault lines in the country seem not to have a probable solution, is it not high time we spoke truth to power? The question therefore: do we need a

national conference? However, if one is to juxtapose the president’s Independence Day speech where he finally decided to allow a conference of nationalities emerge after initially dilly dallying for close to two and half years and his insistence that the outcome of such conference was going to receive the scrutiny of the country’s National Assembly, one cannot but argue that it is a conference already been dead on arrival. It is no secret that the vast majority of Nigerians do not trust the assembly to ever do anything right, especially when it is filled with men and women who gulp 25% of the country’s budget annually (apologies to the CBN governor). The country’s assembly, according to an observer, is just an

assemblage of men and women, who feed fat on the gullibility of the people, occupy themselves with triviality and frivolity and pass unnecessary bills that do not impact beyond the four walls of the hallowed chamber. An assembly that continues to dawdle in passing the Petroleum Industrial Bill which would have transformed the way our oil industry works cannot be taken very seriously at a time a concrete step is needed in ensuring all recommendations of the national conference are swiftly promulgated. Unless we want to deceive ourselves, the decision by the president to send whatever outcome of the proposed national conference to the assembly is already a failed cont on page 15



Comment Do we need National Conference? No, we do! cont from page 14

project because when we look at the inherent meaning of a national conference, it speaks much about the desire of different ethnic nationalities, whether major or minor, to agree on how best or well to live in a multifarious amalgam without fear of being seen as a trouble maker or outcast. A national conference opens the path to how diverse people living in a particular geographical space can live peacefully as one, ensuring everyone lives and co-exist together without molestation. A national conference brings together you and I who, albeit having lived together for 53 years yet under an atmosphere of ethnic parochialism, tribal sentiments, religious intolerance and political suppression and apprehension, to look for modalities on how best these historical malfeasance would not debar us from being seen as one Nigeria anywhere in Nigeria. A national conference is an agreement by all living in Nigeria to respect one another irrespective of tribe and tongue and just like the People of the United States “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” These among others are what a national conference brings to the table. Bringing these to the

cont from page 13 home state have indeed become a metaphor for INEC’s growing official ineptitude. Not only were the elections which Jega boasted would be the best ever in the country declared inconclusive, the INEC last Monday ordered supplementary election in 208 polling units in the state with a combined registered voter strength of 113,113. After collating results from the 21 Local Governments Areas, the returning officer, Professor James Epoke could not announce the overall winner because of widespread irregularities in some parts of the state. Though the Anambra drama is still unfolding, Jega has come under severe fire from many Nigerians on the shoddy handling of the polls with many already casting doubts on his competence and level of preparedness for next year’s governorship poll in Ekiti as well as the 2015 general elections inch close. Jega had admitted that his staff engaged in unprofessional conduct and sabotaged the gubernatorial election, especially in Idemilii Local Government Area where

scrutiny of a national assembly with parochial interests makes whatever we hope to achieve as a country in the conference null and void. It makes it a wasted effort and further deepens the distrust the vast majority of Nigerians have for the political and ruling class. The question therefore: do we need a national conference? I am one of those very few Nigerians who believe a national conference is now, unlike some segment of the society who see it as a distraction. There is no such thing as distraction or what an opposition leader call a “Greek gift” in the convocation of a national conference. In fact, it is far from it! Nigerians have seen it all and since the current administration came on board, the vast majority of people have been able to assess the level of performance or incompetence to decide where the pendulum would swing in 2015. The convocation

of a national conference would certainly not blind our consciousness as Nigerians to know how to vote and who to vote for come 2015. It is a year every Nigerian anticipates and one that will decide the future aspiration of the country. Even at that, hundreds of thousands of youths who make up an appreciable percentage of students at the tertiary institutions are still at home as a result of a protracted university strike which they believe the government of the day is responsible for, hence at a time of a national election, wouldn’t they be the ones to first remember how they were forced to sit at home unnecessarily by the same government who had called for a national conference? Anyone who thinks Nigerians will continue to be gullible at a time when the future direction of the country heads to nowhere; such person(s) need to have a rethink.

Having said this, as a realist, I do not think we need a national conference at the level with which the government of the day which called it anticipates. Before anyone calls me a confused element, it is imperative I explain why I have decided to kill two birds with one stone. For those who understand our historical and evolutionary process as a country, one would not deny the fact that we all know where the headache comes from. We know the problem we face as a people while solutions are right there before us, yet few elements within the polity would rather not allow things change. What I mean here is that since independence, we have been faced with one crisis or the other and at the end; several white, blue or green papers emerge to ensure such crisis did not occur again but unfortunately, we jettison the reports and go on as if nothing happened. It is the reason Jos

Do we need National Conference, No---“At a time like this where apprehension, tension, commotion, tribulation and all kinds of challenges confronts us as a nation and people, should we not be gearing towards a time’ when we ought to talk to ourselves to know where the rain began to beat us”?

remains a volatile state today. It is another reason Boko Haram suddenly appeared on the scene tearing the entire north apart. It is the reason the Niger-Delta struggle would sooner erupt because we have only caged the problem without locking it once and for all. It is the reason plane crashes continue to occur and the reason power remains comatose since the 70s. A thousand and one government white papers, reports, recommendations and what have you lie dusty in government coffers without anyone giving a damn. The Oputa Panel is one example of a conference we jettisoned and felt the outcome was not important to national re-engineering. There was the Willinks Commission of 1958/59 which looked into the fear of the minority before independence but never saw the light of the day. Even more recently, the Muhammed Uwais report on electoral reforms and the Steve Orosanye report all remain dead on arrival because we do not give a damn. Several other ones too numerous to mention hang somewhere, with nobody to dust them out of oblivion. Let us imagine for once that the current crop of leaders had accepted all the recommendations of the Muhammad Uwais report, wouldn’t our electoral system have been have the envy of the world? Raheem Oluwafunminiyi,

The trial of Professor Jega electoral materials were willfully withheld or delivered late, while in some cases INEC officials and materials were totally absent at some polling units. The supplementary election therefore becomes necessary because the total number of votes cancelled is much more than the difference between the candidate with the highest number of votes and the runner up. The other areas involved in the supplementary election include parts of Onitsha South, Ihiala, Ayamelum, Oyi, Orumba North, Aguata, Idemili South and Awka North. In spite of the ample time for preparations, Jega’s INEC did not make adequate logistics provision for security officers while in many instances, his staff were openly hostile to observers who complained of brazen acts of electoral fraud. The complaints were so serious that groups like the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) and the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, have called on him to resign immediately, and for the Anambra governorship election to be cancelled entirely. The CNPP said the INEC chairman betrayed the Anambra electorate and Nigerians

in general by conducting a sham election with serious implications for 2015. Similarly, the Executive Director, Civil Societies Legislative and Advocacy Centre, Auwual Musa-Rafsanjani described the Anambra election as a bad advertisement for INEC’s preparation for the 2015 general elections. The Nigeria Civil Society Election Situation Room, in its final report on the election, described INEC as incompetent, stressing that its handling of the Anambra contest provided worries for the much bigger 2015 elections. The position is shared by the Transition Monitoring Group, a coalition of over 400 civic organisations that have been involved in election monitoring in Nigeria since 1998. Jega should have known better than to defend such acts of his staff –like late arrival or non-arrival of staff and voting materials, late distribution of materials, inadequate training of electoral staff and late commencement of accreditation -- that led to the bungling of the polls, in a state that has little or no transportation challenges. As a member of the Justice Uwais

Committee on Electoral Reform, Jega had variously made a case against persons that commit electoral offences, yet he was not bold enough to identify the staff he alleged were involved in such offences in Anambra. It is a paradox that the several failings of Jega’s INEC bother on issues that were clearly identified in previous elections and documented by monitors and observers, yet they have repeated themselves in the governorship polls in Edo, Ondo and now Anambra. Was Jega that palpably inept or was he negligent of his responsibility in the election that even he had declared was a litmus test for him? The irony of the Anambra polls is that all the political parties except the presumed winner, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, are complaining bitterly about the conduct. Not only has the whole drama become a reflection of INEC’s failure to respond to challenges in a timely and effective way, the larger implication of Anambra’s bungled elections is that there is a growing perception that the gains recorded in the 2011 elections

have been eroded. The Anambra case has invariably undermined public confidence in the electoral process. Within his two years as head of the Commission, a lot have happened to seriously dent Jega’s high reputation. The statements from certain quarters that he may have been compromised to deliberately sabotage the process, may be taking the argument too far, but it will suffice to say that he has disappointed most Nigerians. The image he creates today is far from the credibility we envisaged in our electoral system two years ago; definitely a far cry from the optimism that the usually critical Professor Achebe expressed. Two questions readily come to mind: for how long can we tolerate the systemic organisational failures as witnessed in the conduct of recent elections by INEC? Can Nigeria still trust the fate of 2015 general elections in the hands of such a man whose integrity and capacity to conduct acceptable elections has taken such a beating? Ozoene, former Newspaper editor, contributed this piece from Abuja.



First transport investment summit debuts in Abuja By Stanley Onyekwere


he Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has concluded arrangements to organize the 1st Abuja transport investment summit, aimed at showcasing and utilizing the about $30 billion investment opportunities abound in the Territory’s transportation sector.

The FCT Minister, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed who made this disclosure after meeting the officials of the FCT Transportation Secretariat in at the weekend, in Abuja, revealed that the summit has been scheduled for next week’s Monday. A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the minister,

Muhammad Hazat Sule, said the summit has been planned to bring together global Actors/Stakeholders in the transportation sector with global leadership and intellectual backgrounds to activate the about $30 billion untapped investment available in the sector. Bala, who revealed that

summit would be sponsored wholly by members of the Organized Private Sector, some of who have already exhibited practical commitment by making their contributions, emphasized that when all opportunities are fully explored, it is projected that about 2 million Nigerians would gain employment in the sector in the next 10 years.

According to him, “the essence of the Summit is to develop a public transportation system that will be technologically driven to meet World Class standard”. The Minister added that it would also showcase FCT Mass Transit Investment Potentials by bringing together stakeholders to brainstorm on the opportunities.

Devt Control demolishes illegal structure in Maitama


Exhibition of Made in Nigeria Products, during the commemoration of 2013 African Industrialisation day, yesterday in Abuja.

Land swap: ‘Why FCTA must cede 30% of land to indigenes’ By Stanley Onyekwere with agency report


he Land swap programme of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) would not see the light of the day if the administration would not consider ceding 30 per cent of lands to the natives of Abuja. The Original Inhabitants Development Association (OIDA) had recently, during an investigative hearing on the alleged improper allocation and land racketeering by the FCTA, threatened to petition the United Nations (UN) if 30 per cent of the scheme is not ceded to them. The hearing was organised by the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Land Racketeering in the FCT. Mr. Baba Panya who made the presentation on behalf of the association, urged the government to suspend the land swap, other policies of land confiscation

and demolition of indigenous communities in the FCT. He urged the Federal Government to halt further confiscation of their ancestral land under the policy till all the knotty issues were resolved in the interest of justice. “We state categorically that despite the provisions of Section 1 of FCT Act, it remains immutably and unequivocally explicit that hence compensation for FCT remains unpaid, the Abuja indigenous people own their lands. “We demand that government

should withhold land swap and other policies of land confiscation and demolition of indigenous communities in the FCT,’’ he said. He added that the government and other private investors should steer clear of Abuja indigenous communities till the land issues were properly resolved through genuine consultation and dialogue. Panya said the government should suspend the policies till there was genuine dialogue and agreement between Abuja indigenous people and the Federal Government on ownership of FCT

land. He said that it was ridiculous for the minister to be talking about compensation for 2013, when he still owed the 1976 compensation. The Land swap policy initiated by the FCT minister, Senator Bala Mohammed involves the granting of Greenfield lands to competent real estate developers, who will in turn provide infrastructure such as roads, electricity, potable water, drainages, and sewer lines, communication dots to residents without any financial or technical demand on the government.

n continuation of its recent wave of removal of illegal structures in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Development Control Department of the Abuja Metropolitan Council (AMMC) yesterday pulled down a structure in Maitama, for lack of appropriate building approval. The structure, which was being erected in a garden adjacent to the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, was said to be illegally erected as the site was not designated for residential buildings. A member of the demolition team and chief town planning officer of the department, Nathaniel Danladi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the owner of the building had ignored several warnings to halt development at the site. “It is an illegal development in the inner northern expressway and it has been under construction for over four years. He said that the department of development control was not only meant to maintain the Abuja master plan in satellite towns within the FCT alone but also within the highbrow areas of the capital city. The Head of Public Relations of the department, Kalu Emetu, said that the building, apart from not having an approved plan was also being constructed in a green area. “You can see for yourself that this is a garden which is meant for recreation and is leased out for a period of time by the relevant government agency “The fact that a permanent structure is being erected in a garden like this already makes it illegal,’’ Emetu said. (NAN)

Abuja music body set for 2013 ‘Operabuja’, says official


he founder of Abuja Metropolitan Music Society (AMEMUSO), Mrs. Cecilia Toledo, has said plans had been concluded to hold the 2013 edition of a musical show tagged “Operabuja’’. Toledo who disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja, said the title of the concert scheduled to hold on

Sunday, the Nov. 24 is “Classic and Comedy’’. She said the event, which will feature a mixture of classic and comedy music, will be very interactive. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Operabuja, now in its third edition, features a lot of

traditional African music, even as it started as a classical opera. Toledo said the AMEMUSO choir led by its conductor Mr. Samuel Ezugwu would perform at the concert alongside the renowned Peruvian tenor singer based in Germany, Mr. Rafael Cavero. The AMEMUSO founder also

said the event would feature the prominent Swedish soprano and Director of the Opera Comedy Theatre, Mrs. Charlotta Huldt. “Other expected to feature at the night of songs and comedy included a Nigerian opera singer from the MUSON Centre, Miss Nkiru Andrews” she said. (NAN)




Beverages vendors chatting while waiting for customers, recently at Old Parade Ground, Garki, in Abuja.

A young hawker on the move, yesterday at Area 1, in Abuja A young man pushing a truck loaded with electronic scraps, yesterday at Kubwa, in Abuja.

Refuse collectors on duty, recently at Nyanya, in Abuja

National Council for Art and Culture troupe performing, during National Symbol Day ceremony, recently in Abuja. Photos: Justin Imo-Owo




Driver bags 1 month for damaging truck


Wuse Zone 6 Senior Magistrates’ Court, Abuja, yesterday sentenced a driver, Silas Amodu, of Mpape Village to one month in prison for damaging a truck entrusted to him. The Senior Magistrate, Mr Musa Jobbo, sentenced him after he pleaded guilty to damaging the vehicle.

Jobbo, however, gave the accused an option to pay N2, 000 in fine. Earlier, the prosecutor, Cpl Christopher Roko, told the court that on November 12 ThankGod Ojeahen of Wuse Zone 6, Abuja, lodged a report against the convict at the Utako police station, Abuja. According to Roko, on

November 8, Ojeahen entrusted the convict with a truck loaded with goods and was given the keys to the truck to secure it. He said the convict, however, drove the truck within the premises, and rammed it into a building, causing it to be damaged badly. He told the court that the cost of repairing the damaged truck was

School children at the 2013 Universal Children Day Celebration, yesterday in Abuja.

N180, 000. Amodu however pleaded with the court for mercy, saying did not intend to damage the truck. “We usually sleep in the truck at night; I started it to warm it and drive it round a little; and I lost control of the truck and it rammed into the fence’’, he explained. (NAN)

Photo: NAN

3 men charged with receiving 8 stolen cows


he police have arraigned three men in a Karu Upper Area Court in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), for aiding to conceal eight cows and dishonestly receiving stolen property. The accused persons are Bello Mohammed, Umoru Umaru of Abbatoir, Karu, Abuja and Auwal Musa of Masaka. The Prosecutor, Sgt. Stephen Umouga, told the court that one

Ibrahim Manu of Jos, Plateau, lodged a report against the accused persons at the Karu Police Station on October 6. He said that on that date, Musa allegedly collected eight cows, suspected to be stolen from one Mohammed Adamu and three others at Miyango in Jos, Plateau on September 30. The prosecutor said that the cows were sold to Mohammed, Umaru and three others, now at

large, at a cost of N660, 000. The prosecutor said that the offences contravened sections 317 and 319 of the Penal code respectively. The accused persons pleaded not guilty. After arraignment, Counsel to the accused persons, Mr. Sambo Ishaku, prayed the court to admit his clients to bail on liberal terms. The Presiding Judge, Alhaji Umar Kagarko, admitted the

accused persons to bail in the sum of N200, 000 each with a surety each in like sum. He also ordered that the sureties must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court. Kagarko ordered that the three other accused persons not arrested should be apprehended and brought to court for arraignment. He adjourned the matter to February 12, 2014. (NAN)

9 men arraigned for allegedly constituting public nuisance


ine men were arraigned in a Wuse Zone II Senior Magistrates’ Court, Abuja, for allegedly constituting public nuisance. They are Babangida Bello, Hassan Garuba, Mohammed Zakara, Adamu Garba, Jibrin Mohammed, Awal Isah, Abubakar Sadiq, Bauala Alfa, and Sami Mohammed all of no fixed

addresses. The prosecutor, Sgt. Mohammed Ahmed, told the court that they were arrested by a team of police officers on crime prevention patrol around Banex plaza, Wuse II, on November 15 at about 11.30 p.m. According to the prosecutor, the accused persons were disturbing the peace in the

neighbourhood and many people could not concentrate on their businesses that day. He said the offence contravened Section 183 of the Penal code. The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge. The Senior Magistrate, Mr. Chukwuemeka Ubani, granted the accused persons bail in the

sum of N50, 000 each with one surety in like sum. Ubani said the surety must reside within the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC). He ordered that the surety must deposit a receipt with the court showing payment of six months’ rent. Ubani adjourned the case to January 13, 2014. (NAN)

Mechanic bags 3 months’ imprisonment for stealing


n Abuja Magistrates’ Court has sentenced a mechanic, Aminu Abdulahi, 25, of No. 4 Maxwell St., Lokoja in Kogi, to three months in prison for stealing. The Magistrate, Mrs Khadijat Mustapha, sentenced Abdulahi after he pleaded guilty to theft. Mustapha, however, gave the convict an option to pay a fine of three thousand naira.

She said the sentence was meant to serve as a deterrent to those who might want to engage in similar acts. The magistrate also warned the convict to desist from such acts and be of good behaviour. Earlier, the Police Prosecutor, Sgt. Simon Ibrahim, told the court that one Prince Chuka and three others all of No. 11 Mubande St.,

Wuse Zone 3, Abuja, lodged a report against the convict at the Utako Police Station on November 13. Ibrahim said that Abdulahi criminally trespassed into the complainant’s house and stole vehicle wheel covers, valued at N20, 300. He said that the convict was arrested by security men while

trying to flee from the scene. The prosecutor said that during police investigation the convict confessed to have committed the crime and that 12 wheel covers were recovered from him. Ibrahim said that the offence contravened the provision of sections 342 and 288 of the Penal code respectively. (NAN)

INSIDE FCT COURTS 35-year old man arraigned for iron rod theft


35-year old man, Ager Kenneth has appeared in a Zone 2 Senior Magistrates’ Court, Abuja, for alleged theft of iron rod valued at N260, 000 belonging to one Ade Idowu. The police prosecutor, Cpl. Paul Anigbo, told the court that the offence was committed in April and that the accused was arrested on Nov. 16. He said Idowu lodge a report at Lugbe police station. He said the accused, who lives in Paiko village in Gwagwalada Area Council, committed the offence in Pyakasa Village, Airport road, Abuja. He said that Kenneth was arraigned on one count of theft contrary to Section 287 of the Penal Code and that during police investigation; the accused admitted committing the offence. The Senior Magistrate, Aminu Eri, granted the accused bail in the sum of N150, 000 with two sureties in like sum who must be resident in the FCT. (NAN)

2 labourers docked over alleged attempt to commit offence


wo labourers, Auwal Samaila and Mohammed Dalhatu, both of Banex Junction, Wuse 2, Abuja, have appeared before an Abuja Magistrates’ court, for joint act and attempt to commit an offence. The Prosecutor, Insp. Simon Ibrahim, told the court that one Dolor Gabriel, of No. 38, Maitama Crescent, Wuse 2 Abuja, lodged a report against the two at the Utako Police Station on November 13. Ibrahim said the accused persons criminally trespassed into the complainant’s office premises with 14 empty jerry cans with an intention to steal diesel. He said that the accused persons were, however, arrested by vigilant security men and were subsequently, handed over to the police. The prosecutor said that the offence contravened the provision of sections 79 and 288 of the Penal Code. Magistrate Emmanuel Iyana admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N50, 000 each and a surety each in like sum. Iyana said that the sureties must have a fixed and reliable address and must reside within the jurisdiction of the court. He adjourned the matter to December 5 for continuation of hearing. (NAN)




Dangote boosts Kano Fair with cement promo, 08033045613

- Pg 22

FG generates N9bn Crude oil: Saudi produces over 10mbpd in Q3 funding pool for MSMEs

Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga (3rd left), Bayelsa state Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson (middle), DG/CEO, SMEDAN, Hon. Bature Umar Masari (3rd right), and other government officials during the launching of the state MSME Council, NEDEP and OLOP for Bayelsa state, on Tuesday at Government House, in Yenagoa.

By Etuka Sunday with Agency report


audi Arabia, over the third quarter of 2013 produced more than 10m barrels of oil per day to make up for shortfalls in other oil producers from Libya to Nigeria as Brent, the international benchmark, hit a six-month high of $117.34 in late August. Figures published by the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (Jodi) at the weekend revealed that Saudi exported 7.84m barrels a day in September, the highest monthly rate since November 2005. The data also showed the country had shipped an average of 7.7m b/d of crude between July and September, up from 7.2m b/d in the same three month period

last year. The rise in exports comes as Saudi has made some progress in tackling its own crude consumption. The kingdom uses large amounts of crude oil for power generation, because of a shortage of gas and other alternative fuels. However, direct burn fell to 722,000 b/d in the third quarter of 2013, down from 758,000 b/d in the same period last year. This was the lowest third-quarter average since 2009, the Jodi data show. Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company, says this is a result of rising gas production. The company produces gas as a by-product from its many oil fields while this year it has also begun exploring for shale gas as its seeks to cut the amount of crude burnt to meet

power demand for air conditioning which results in a substantial loss export revenues. “We have spent a lot of money on gas... and we have many tricks in our pocket in the summer. When we peak in summer, we will surge our gas,” Saudi oil minister Ali alNaimi told reporters last year. However, some analysts believe the country is merely replacing crude with fuel oil - a product refined from crude - in its power stations. According to Jodi’s data, Saudi has imported around 100,000 barrels a day of fuel oil this year, up from 65,000 b/d in 2012. “The crude market has benefited from higher Saudi exports, but it does not mean that the Saudis themselves have solved the problem of relying on oil for

Group empowers 384 widows, farmers, youth in Kaduna From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


hree hundred and eighty four peole including widows, rural farmers and unemployed youth received equipment to start small scale business in order to uplift their life standard, courtesy of NonGovernmental Organisation, OmaLife Rescue Foundation, in Kaduna yesterday. Speaking at the ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Omanibe Ladi Ameh, explained that the programme was in collaboration with the 23 local government chairmen in the

state. According to her, “This programme is actually in collaboration with the state government. We got the chairmen from the 23 local governments to bring their participants. It is a grassroots project. “We had 10 participants each from the 23 local government areas. We trained them on various skills for two months. This is the Batch A, comprising 84 beneficiaries. The beneficiaries comprise widows, farmers and unemployed youth.” She noted that enterprising

beneficiaries who are able to utilize their equipment would get support to expand their businesses from a micro-finance bank, in collaboration with her Foundation. Also speaking at the ceremony, a representative of the Kaduna state Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed, urged the beneficiaries to maximise the use of the items in order to get out of poverty. Some of the equipment presented to the beneficiaries incude grinding machines, hair dressing equipment, and others.

power generation. They have simply substituted imported fuel oil for crude oil in power generation, to free up crude for export,” said Amrita Sen of Energy Aspects. According to the most up to date production estimates published by the International Energy Agency last week, Saudi production averaged 9.75m b/d in October, down 370,000 b/d from the previous month and below the 10m b/d mark for the first time in three months. The IEA said lower production in October was in line with seasonally reduced domestic demand for crude burn at power plants. Power consumption in Saudi peaks in the summer as the demand for air-conditioning surges.

- Pg 22 Exchange Rates CBN as at 19th November, 2013 Buying





248.68 250.28


208.70 210.05











Are your employees happy?


o you know how your employees feel about their jobs? Checking in with your team about their satisfaction can help you retain them. Book a recurring appointment every month or quarter to ask your direct reports whether they are happy at work and what you can do to make them happier. Don’t wait for the annual review to have this conversation, and don’t assume that you have all the

information you need if you’ve asked once—circumstances change over time and feelings can evolve accordingly. These simple questions not only show your team that they have your support, but can boost their job performance and the fulfillment they get from it. Maintain open lines of communication so that you can address issues before they become full-blown problems. Source: Harvard Business Review








FG generates N9bn funding pool for MSMEs From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Federal Government, through the Bank of Industry’s counterpart funding programme with 17 state governments, has generated a funding pool of N9billion for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country. This was part of the implementation of the National Enterprises Development Programme. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, disclosed this during the launch of NEDEP and inauguration of the Bayelsa state Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Council, in Yenagoa.

Aganga said that the inauguration was part of the Federal Government’s efforts at repositioning and growing the MSME sector as the major driver of inclusive economic growth through partnerships with state governments on job creation and wealth generation. He said, “In order to address the problem of lack of access to finance for the development of the sector, the Federal Government, through the Bank of Industry, has developed a counter-part funding scheme and currently has a partnership with 17 states, with more in the pipeline for next year. This scheme has generated a funding pool of approximately N9 billion for MSME development.” The minister stressed that

NEDEP was developed with the objective of addressing the major challenges militating against MSME growth and development across the country, adding that the Federal Government was partnering with more state governments across the country to generate additional jobs and reduce unemployment. Aganga said, “NEDEP is a new, strategic and revolutionary way of delivering enterprise development in Nigeria with the primary goal of revitalizing our MSME sector and creating jobs in the country. It is spearheaded by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and is being implemented by BOI, SMEDAN and the Industrial Training Fund,

(ITF) which are agencies under the supervision of the Ministry. The minister said that the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, through SMEDAN, was currently processing over 1,000 business plans submitted by various MSME cooperatives across the country for funding, adding that the target was to process about 10,000 business plans from MSME cooperatives before the end of the year. He said, “Out of the over 1, 000 business plans so far received from MSME cooperatives across the country, Bayelsa has the highest number of business plans. Each of these cooperatives has between 10 -15 members. “If we are able to fund about 10, 000 of them to successfully

start their own businesses before the end of the year, we would have been able to create about 150,000 jobs. So, if we are able to replicate this consistently, it means that more jobs will be created through the NEDEP.” In his remarks, the Governor of Bayelsa state, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, commended the Federal Government for its efforts towards developing the MSME sector, adding that the state would partner the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to create more jobs for its citizens.

Nigeria, Benin Republic to explore more areas of economic developmentOrtom From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


L-R: Divisional President, Sub-Saharan Africa, MasterCard, Mr. Daniel Monehin, Chief Financial Officer, First Bank, Mr. Adebayo Adelabu, Head, Products & Marketing Support, Mrs. Ezinne Obikile, Head, e-Business, Mr. Chuma Ezirim, and Head, Customer Insights & Segment Management, Mr. Aderemi Amusat, during the official launch of First Club, First Bank’s Enterprise Loyalty scheme that rewards customers with points, recently.

Former ICAO director seeks overhaul of aviation sector From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


former director of air transport bureau at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Engr. Folasade Odutola has reiterated the need to overhaul the entire aviation industry as a result of a systemic failure in the sector. Odutola, who spoke on her

book ‘the big conspiracy, the travails of a progressive safety regulator in a not so progressive aviation industry’, due for launch next week noted that recent air crashes in the industry shows things has gone astray. The former Rector of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria and director of airworthiness and operations standards of NCAA,

said safety remained the key word in the air transport industry. “We have to take a look at the things that we are not doing, where we got it wrong and where we have to get it right and ensure safety in the industry. Safety is paramount in the industry and if you cannot maintain safety, let’s forget about the industry” She added that the flight safety foundation safety report of 2013,

which analysis of global aviation safety for 2012 labeled the Dana crash of last year as the worst fatal accident of the year, which portrays Nigeria and Africa as the least safe region in 2012. Engr. Odutola said there was no way the country will move forward when dedicated people were being punished for doing the right thing to get good result for the country.

Dangote boosts Kano Fair with cement promo


he Dangote Cement has been applauded for its innovative promo at the ongoing 34th Kano International Trade Fair. Dangote Cement’s Regional Sales Manager Mr Obasola Alao said customers have the opportunity of buying a minimum of 100 bags at a reduced price until December 4, when the fair

will end. The new promo liberalises the extant policy where customers who intend to buy directly at factory price could only do so if they are buying trucks of cement. ‘Two people can come together to buy 100 bags. We are partnering with Access Bank whose representatives shall be in the fair, where customers can

pay and get their product at our Chalawa warehouse’, he said. President of the Kano State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture Alhaji Farouk Rabiu applauded the partnership with Dangote, adding that the promo is bolstering the fair. He said the innovative promo will without doubt help local

businessmen buy cement easily at lower cost. Participants who thronged the Dangote pavilion said they were thrilled by the nature of entertainment and use of branding material. Hajia Aisha Ibrahim, a businesswoman said women in Kano State will not be left out in the Dangote Cement promo.

he Minister of state for Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom has urged Benin Republic and Nigerian governments to explore areas of competitive advantage for industrialization, jobs and wealth–creation for their citizens. He stated this while signing a joint communiqué on the consideration of the lease Agreement of Onigbolo Cement and Save Sugar Companies in Abuja. The Minister said that the pilot scheme in Onigbolo Cement and Save Sugar Company jointly owned by both countries was an avenue to provide jobs and wealth for their citizens adding that the joint venture was a test case for other Africa countries to copy. He said “This has proven that African countries can hold joint venture to improve their economy and wellbeing of their citizens especially during this period that African countries are clamoring for Industrialization for creation of jobs and opportunities. “ Ortom said, “It is only boundary that is separating us otherwise we are the same country. I know boundaries are for administrative conveniences. We have had a long time bilateral relationship”. Earlier, the Benin Republic Minister of Industry, Commerce and SMEs , Madame Naomie Azaria Hounhoui pointed out that both countries should improve bi–lateral relationship and ensure that industrialization thrive in both countries. The 21st session of the Joint Supervisory Authority (JSA) and Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) approved the sum of 61,335,639 FCFA as the operational budget of the joint committee for 2014.



Stock Watch

Report as at Wednesday, November 20, 2013




Special Report

Nigeria must win battle for youth to beat Boko Haram


resident Goodluck Jonathan’s response to the Boko Haram insurgency, including his recently declared state of emergency in three northern Nigerian states, is eerily reminiscent of previous approaches to sectarian violence in that region. The Maitatsine uprising of 1980 is perhaps the single most important precedentsetting example. In December 1980, the confrontation between the Al-Masifu Islamic sect -- which advocated purity in the practice of Islam -- and the people of Kano came to a head. The Nigerian army and air force mounted a campaign against the sect. In the end, more than 4,000 people were dead with double this number injured alongside massive destruction of property. Times have certainly changed. Nigeria’s population has doubled since the Maitatsine uprising. Nigeria continues to experience

the “youth bulge” -- a growing youth population -- that was not planned for. The resulting pressure on socio-economic systems is evident in limited education and health and dwindling economic opportunities for young people. Poor policies and bad planning have produced youth vulnerability and exclusion from mainstream life. This is doubly so in northern Nigeria, where class divides have further created a community of people with nothing to lose. The global environment has also changed amid growing transnational threats. Al Qaeda continues to lurk in the neighborhood. Excluded groups in the region with affinity for Boko Haram are potential support networks amid an ever-rising flow of illicit weapons into the region. One thing has hardly changed: elite behavior. Nigeria’s power eliteremains far removed

from the realities of life experienced by ordinary citizens. The ruling elite’s framing of the Boko Haram challenge lends itself easily to just one set of responses -- the use of force to rout Boko Haram, although more recently thefederal government of Nigeria proposed an amnesty for Boko Haram. To be certain, a military approach is only part of the solution. It is by no means a panacea. This military campaign, coupled with amnesty, rings hollow. It does not offer much hope for dealing comprehensively with the underlying causes of the Boko Haram phenomenon. It is no wonder Boko Haram has treated the offer of amnesty by the Jonathan-led government with disdain. For one, it may be worth holding out for a greater prize, knowing that it probably has this regime by the jugular. Besides, how could it trust that the offer of amnesty -- which

: A female student stands in a classroom burnt by Boko Haram in Maiduguri, Borno state

Men stand by a burnt car following an attack by Boko Haram, in Benisheik, North-east Nigeria.

will unveil Boko Haram -- is not a ploy by the regime to round them up and execute them? The allegedly extra-judicial killing of the sect’s late leader, Mohammed Yusuf,serves as a constant

warning. Perhaps more importantly, this military solution and current state of emergency is potentially damaging for the military. The Nigerian military only recently managed to

repair its image, winning accolades abroad for its peacekeeping role. Asking it to employ maximum force in internal operations -causing casualties in the process among the very people it

is meant to protect -- has repercussions. Surely, this will diminish its stature abroad and reduce citizens’ confidence in the military at home, while drawing more support to Boko Haram and

weakening troops’ morale. That said, it is also the case that Nigerians far removed from the locus of the crisis may not see the military’s role in such negative terms. This crisis will potentially deepen religious and regional cleavages. Perhaps the country’s saving grace is that for the time being, Nigeria’s youth population mostly buys into these divides. They do not yet have a common narrative about who their “real enemy” is. Barring a small number of states, where genuine effort is being made to confront serious governance deficits, the picture of elite marginalization and widening inequality is

consistent countrywide. Boko Haram commands the loyalty of the excluded at several levels. At this moment, Boko Haram is obviously asserting influence, and that assertion of influence is accepted by a significant number of people who see no change in their primary condition. This factor partly attracted large crowds to the preaching of Boko Haram’s late leader, Yusuf. His narratives about the ills of Western education were enriched by evident gaps in governance. The breakdown of the education system, growing youth unemployment and insecurity amid rampant corruption swelled the ranks of Boko

To be sure, an action plan for northern Nigeria will not be sustainable in an environment where youth exclusion is a countrywide problem even if it is more chronic in the north. Expressed intention to do this nationally in due course might persuade a captive youth audience JTF troops on a street of Maiduguri, Borno state in North-eastern Nigeria

A screen grab from a video distributed through an intermediary to local reporters and seen by AFP, shows a man claiming to be the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau. Image by AFP file photo

Haram. When the sense of “nothing to lose” is mixed with these strong narratives, the issue is not whether or not they are true but that there are no strong counternarratives or genuine counter actions. A lasting solution to the crisis in northern Nigeria might lie in a missing trinity: a meaningful but powerful narrative to counter Boko Haram’s narrative; an action plan akin to a “Marshal Plan” for northern Nigeria; and isolation of what Jonathan has described asBoko Haram sympathizers in the government and security forces. Developing a powerful counter narrative will demand a measure of sincerity and consistency among the country’s ruling elite. Such a narrative must stand up to the seeming lure of Boko Haram and have the ability to hold a young population captive for the foreseeable future. An action plan akin to a Marshal Plan for northern Nigeria must be developed to suit the context. The federal government’s investment in regeneration of northern Nigeria, with a focus on youth sensitization, education and development of social and economic entrepreneurship, will be key. This might

entail deliberate forms of youth cantonment, census-based planning, community-based programs, and innovative education schemes to kick start regeneration. To be sure, an action plan for northern Nigeria will not be sustainable in an environment where youth exclusion is a countrywide problem even if it is more chronic in the north. Expressed intention to do this nationally in due course might persuade a captive youth audience. The question remains as to whether alleged Boko Haram sympathizers among the elite can be dislodged from this process. This might be the single most important obstacle in a situation where retaining political power in 2015 seems more valuable to the regime than the welfare of a few million disposable citizens. In the immediate term, we can expect the Nigerian military to record successes against the Boko Haram sect. But the victory will be hollow. Without the trinity of measures earlier described, Jonathan’s government risks sacrificing the ordinary people of northern Nigeria, the military’s reputation, and innocent bloodshed. (Source:CNN)



Mother Earth

The world on World Toilet Day


n many parts of the world, including Africa, toilets are an unglamorous topic, and talking about open defecation and its consequences is taboo. It has been reported that, Illnessesthat are a direct result of bad sanitation affect the quality of life of millions of people around the world, especially children. Diarrhea diseases are the second most common cause of death of young children in developing countries, killing more than HIV/AIDS, malaria and measles combined, and resulting in 1 death every 20 seconds. According to United Nations, there is astrong link between the absence of good sanitation and poverty. The economic growth in Europe and North America went handin-hand when the sanitary conditions improved markedly, resulting in individual health gains and increased labour productivity. Toilets are a symbol of better health, higher income, more education, higher social status and a cleaner living environment. Since it has been acknowledged worldwide that Basic Sanitation is a Human Right; November 19 has been set aside for World Toilet Day by the United Nations’ World Toilet Organization (WTO), to emphasize the global importance of basic sanitation. WTO was founded Nov. 19, 2001, to open a dialogue about the importance of everyone in developing countries, especially children, having access to such basic sanitation. So, last Tuesday was marked worldwide as World Toilet Day, but there was no sign that Nigeria participated in the allimportant event.

This event reminds me about anarticle in this column some time ago, about the Ahmadu Bello University, ABU,Zaria, that’s holding the record with all-time high, where an average of 529 students were reported using one toilet, whereas the average ratio of toilet tousers in most public universities is 1:20. These record holding toilets are located at the Asma’u Mustapha Hostel, initially meant to accommodate 312 students, but now has over 3,178 students. With only six toilets at the disposal of these students, an average of 529 students uses one toilet daily. It is not out of place to say, that those toilets deserved to be given awards for their resilience. That tells a great deal of what obtains nationwide. While a vast majority of Nigeria’spopulation has access to mobile phones, many do not have access to propersanitation, including toilets or latrines, with dramatic

consequences on human health, dignity and security, the environment, and social and economicdevelopment. For many of us who live indeveloped countries, we don’t think twice about our toilets. This might be a sensitive perhaps amusing topic for many, but for people living in countriessuch as Africa and Asia, the topic is no laughing matter. While we may not wantto talk about it, we need to, because poor sanitation contributes to life-threatening diseases and poor development in children. You might think the number ofpeople living without toilets is not that many, but the fact is, one third of the world population does not have access to basic sanitation; which meansabout 2.5 billion people do not have access to a toilet. According to WTO report, Onebillion of those people still defecate out in the open. In sub-Sahara Africa and India, residents

have to carry pots of water outside when defecating. Notonly do they have to do this in the open-air, they have no privacywhatsoever. But to those living in the Western world, having to live without access to such toilets or bathrooms, something as basic as urination and defecation for them, luckily, is not something they need to worry about; it is nearly unfathomable. The health risks of this lack ofaccess to basic sanitation are huge. According to the UN, the risks to children’s health are grave: “Approximately 2,000children dieper day from diarrheal diseases. Of these deaths, 88percent, or around 1,800per day–are due to poor drinking water, lack of sanitation and poor hygiene. Every year, the failure to tackle these deficits results in severe welfarelosses – wasted time, reduced productivity, ill health, impaired learning,environmental degradation and lost

Ambrose Inusa Sule,


ENVIRONMENT WATCH 0703-441-4410 (sms only)

opportunities – for millions more.” There has been some improvement,however, in worldwide basic sanitation practices. According to a 2013 sanitation and drinking water update by the WTO and UN, “Open defecation ratesdeclined globally from 24% in 1990 to 15% in 2011.” But while countries such as Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean have seen some declines in opendefecation, sub-Saharan Africa is still seeing an increase. It could be recalled that, theMillennium Development Goal (MDG) was designed with the intention of halvingthe number of people without sustainable access to basic sanitation by the year 015. According to the UN, this goal will not be met if progress in basicsanitation continues at its current rate. The solution to solving thisproblem is not all

that difficult. Rather, the problem lies in adjusting people’s behavior in regard to basic sanitation. They are either used tohandling their bathroom hygiene in an unhealthy manner or they are not aware of the causes of their diseases. Building sewers and toilets are not an expensiveendeavour in itself but it requires bringing entire communities together to change behavior and adapt to a more hygienic environment for all. WTO report says that poorsanitation and water supply also result in economic losses estimated at $260 billion annually in developing countries; World Toilet Day aims to change bothbehaviour and policy on issues ranging from enhancing water management toending open-air defecation (which 1.1 billion people practice worldwide).

Climate change, a major challenge to fishery sub-sector – Society


he National President, Fishery Society of Nigeria (FISON) Dr. Abba Abdullah, has said that climate change constitutes a major challengeto the sub-sector. Abdullah told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recently, in Lagos, that the global phenomenon had created a habitat modification in the critical coastal breeding of some species. He said that the development was a major concern at a time when aquaculture was fast becoming the nation’s foreign exchange booster. “Aquaculture is fast develop-

ing and has been recognised as a most veritable means of bridging the present gap in supply and demand of fish and fishery products for our teeming millions “With particular reference to fisheries, we ponder on some real and potential problems associated with the phenomenon. “El-nino-like phenomena relate to increased temperature and are bound to result in mortality as temperatures exceed tolerance thresholds. “As a result of flooding and erosion occasioned by sea-level rise, there has been habitat modification.

“There has also been total loss in the critical coastal breeding and nursery grounds of several fish species,” Abdullah said. He expressed his support for the policies of the Federal Government which ensured sustainable development of the Nigerian fishery aimed at achieving national food security, adding that the policies also ensured self-sufficiency in fish production, optimum resource utilisation and conservation. The president told NAN that the policies encouraged employment generation, wealth creation,

poverty alleviation and reduction in rural-urban migration. According to Abdullah, accelerating research and technology, dissemination and adoption in all aspects of fishery, and ensuring rational exploitation of the nation’s marine resources should be considered. He expressed the need to encourage private entrepreneurship in all aspects of fisheries through Private Public Partnership. Abdullah said that FISON would proffer solutions to mitigate the effect of global climate change to fisheries development in Nigeria at its 28th annual

conference scheduled to hold in Abuja. He said that the conference tagged Abuja 2013 had its theme as “The Impact of Climate Change on Fisheries and Aquaculture Productivity.” NAN reports that the conference is slated to hold from Nov. 25 to Nov. 29 and about 1,000 delegates from across the country are expected to participate. Abdullah said the conference would provide the opportunity for participants to deliberate on issues affecting the sector and to chart a future for the sector. (NAN)



Mother Earth WaterAid urges improved sanitation in Nigeria By Mohammed Kandi


aterAid Nigeria has called on the government, politicians and individuals to encourage sanitation wherever they may be. It also said that only 31 percent of Nigerians had access to improved sanitation while 112 million others lacked the facility.

In a statement issued by the Communication and Campaigns Manager of the organisation, Mr. Oluseyi Abdulmalik, in Abuja, to mark the World Toilet Day, it said "The Nigerian Government has pledged to increase the rate of sanitation access from 31 percent currently to 65 percent and water access, from 61 percent to 75 percent by 2015.”

“These are ambitious targets, particularly considering that Nigeria is one of the few African countries where the rate of access to sanitation actually fell from 37 per cent in 1990 to 31 per cent this year.’’ According to the statement, 37 million Nigerians, representing 23 per cent of the population, still practise open defecation, with

only two years to the 2015 deadline to meet the Millennium Development Goals. The statement also noted that nearly 100,000 children under five die of diarrhoea in the country annually due to poor level access to sanitation and water. It further said that the lack of decent sanitation also affected productivity and livelihoods.

“It is not just about the unhygienic conditions; without a private toilet, women and girls are vulnerable to violence, intimidation and indignity. “Sanitation remains the most neglected and off-track of the MDGs, with little funding, resources or political will to address the crisis," the statement noted.

2013 rainfall prediction positive on Nigerian economy, says NIMET


he Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) said on Tuesday its 2013 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) impacted positively on the nation’s economy as flooding and its attendant losses was averted. Director-General of NIMET, Dr. Anthony Anuforom, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that following the rainfall forecast for the year, government at all levels and other relevant stakeholders took the necessary steps to avoid flooding. He said such actions indicated that the government and Nigerians had embraced its weather forecasts and that without the forecasts, the resultant flooding would have affected lives and property of Nigerians. ``I am glad that the seasonal rainfall predictions are becoming more and more acceptable. Nigerians, not only farmers, are beginning to take them a lot more seriously.And you can see that this

year we did not have so much tales of woe. ``Because, based on the seasonal rainfall prediction we issued, Governments, individuals, and organisations took the necessary precautions to make sure that flood did not affect people.So, the seasonal rainfall prediction is producing the positive impact we expect: saving lives and property. ``This is the kind of socio-economic positive impact we set to achieve through seasonal rainfall prediction”, he said. Speaking on the present weather pattern, Anuforom said that the country was presently experiencing a transition period from rainy season to dry or harmattan season. He said that in places such as Lagos, Port Harcourt and other states in the zone, the atmosphere was becoming drier, while the rains were becoming less frequent. (NAN)

A girl fetching water from a local pond, which is a source of drinking water making her susceptible to Guinea worm larvae infestation

EHOAN president promises healthier environment for Nigerians From Omale Adama, Lokoja


he newly elected National President of Environmental Health OfficersAssociation of Nigeria (EHOAN), Prince Peter Uwagbale has pledged towork assiduously to ensure a healthy and cleaner country. Mr. Uwagbale, who disclosed this in an interview with journalists on Tuesday, in Lokoja, attributed prevalence of most diseases

to inadequate observance of environmental health and lack-lustre attitude ofNigerians to environmental hazards. "I promise to present a cleaner and healthier Nigeria to Nigerians,where cholera and meningitis will never thrive through the newrebranding process being championed by EHOAN", he said. He urged Nigerians to take environmental health more seriously, saying that the association

was poised to launch programmes aimed at raisingawareness on the need for environmental health, personal hygiene andgeneral cleanliness. The EHOAN president solicited the cooperation of Nigerians in theeffort of the association to ensure a healthy environment in the neworder. He however, called on members of the association not to allow divisive and centrifugal forces

to cause disunity and tear them apart. It will be recalled that Uwagbale was elected alongside 12 otherexecutive officers of the association at the 46th Annual NationalConference and Scientific Workshop held last Friday, in Port-Harcourt,Rivers state. Other officers elected according to Uwagbale include, Garba Musa,Deputy National President; Nuhu S. Anyegwu, Vice President,

North-Central; Samaila Sam, VP, North West; Mohammed Aminu, North East and Okuagwu Felix, South-South. Others are Ogunsolu Saburi, VP, South-West; Suleiman Tanko, General Secretary; Ogungbenro Ayoade, National Treasurer and George Sydney M.,Financial Secretary. The rest are Sani Barije, Publicity Secretary, Kilakime John; Ngalakul Latebo, Auditor.

Man ‘O’ War enlists media support in environmental protection From Umar Dankano, Yola


he Adamawa Command of the Nigeria Man “O” War has sought the partnership of the media on environmental protection and community policing with a sole aim of checkmating the crime rate. The State Commander of the organization, Comrade Jibrin Garba made the call during a courtesy call on the members of the Correspondent Chapel in

Yola, and emphasized the need for collective action towards the realization of healthy environment for asustainable future. He decried the indiscriminate dumping of solid and liquid waste in water channels which lead to contamination of water sources and constitute health challenges to the community. Garba, who was represented by his deputy, Chyke Adolphos said poorsanitation could lead to disease outbreak, advising jour-

nalists to domore to sensitize the public on the necessity of maintaining a healthy environment. According to him, other strategic areas of cooperation were education,disaster management and rescue operation as well as traffic control inmajor towns across the state. “We come to seek your support and partnership in promoting varioushuman endeavours, such as environmental protection, community social develop-

ment and policing”, he said. He noted that Man “ O” War was a voluntary youth organization underthe supervision and control of the Citizenship and LeadershipTraining Centre as empowered by section 7b of the decree that established the centre in line with the philosophy of community development. He said among the objectives of the organization was to encourage members to promote the aims and objectives of citizenship and

leadership training centre and to render social voluntary services to the serving community. Meanwhile, the chairman of the Correspondents’ Chapel, Yola, Alhaji Umar Dankano assured the commander of support from journalists, saying“our doors are always open, we share the same concern about the future of our environment. We have the same goal of making the world a better place”.



Emergency Update Unveiling disaster response plan in Nigeria By Muhammad Sani-Sidi


he unveiling of the National Influenza Pandemic Disaster Response Plan and the Military Pandemic Disaster Contingency Plan by NEMA, the United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM) and other stakeholders is a welcome development. The event also involves the Validation Table Top Simulation Exercise and the Development of 5-year Strategic Work Plan events for emergency response stakeholders in Nigeria. In this regard, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and indeed the Federal Government and the good people of Nigeria stretches their arms of fellowship and solidarity to welcome the USA Ambassador to Nigeria, officials of AFRICOM, the Centre for Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance Medicine, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and all the relevant arms of the United Nations. The Agency sincerely appreciates all their efforts towards the success of the important exercise. Going down memory lane, in 1918, the world experienced the Spanish influenza pandemic that claimed over twenty (20) million lives. The figure as it were, was more than the total number of deaths recorded in the course of World War 1. The current global

alert of a possible influenza pandemic likely to be caused by a novel virus makes it imperative for every nation to prepare in advance its response mechanisms for such a catastrophe. While it is obvious that no nation is immune to disasters and pandemic crises, it is equally alarming that such emergencies are not restricted by international boundaries or frontiers. This, therefore, calls for conscious planning, and response preparedness and enhanced international cooperation as signified by this very important event we are witnessing today. As you may recall that in October 2011, at the Eko Suites, Victoria Island Lagos, the USAFRICOM and the Center for Disease and Humanitarian Assistance Medicine in partnership with NEMA conducted a Pandemic Disaster Response Table Top Simulation Exercise: “the Draft Pandemic Influenza Disaster Response Plan”. This plan was earlier drafted by the Federal Ministry of Health, National Stakeholders and other relevant arms of the UN system based in Nigeria at Kaduna, by 2009. The exercise was followed up by an after-action review meeting, which was conducted to make necessary corrections to the Draft National Influenza Pandemic Disaster Response Plan from lessons learnt and was

immediately followed by a meeting to draft the Military Pandemic Disaster Contingency Plan in Abuja 28th – 29th November, 2012. This exercise was also preceded by the drafting of the Military Support to Civilian Authorities Disaster Contingency Plan that also took place in Abuja 15th – 18th April, 2013. A validation meeting of the three plans was then carried out by very senior strategic officers of NEMA, the Defence Headquarters, the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) in Washington DC between September 23rd – 27th, 2013. Today’s presentation Director-General NEMA, Muhammad Sani-Sidi and validation exercise marks the successful accomplishment of this tortuous but onerous task that is critical to our national preparedness and disaster resilience. NEMA, in line with its mandate of coordinating disaster management in Nigeria is always willing to provide the leading role for a coherent, integrated and coordinated mechanism that enhances unity of purpose and synergy amongst its stakeholders. In this regards, the provision of the mechanisms for epidemiological information, integrated

communication strategy and a well-articulated emergency response as contained in the Pandemic Response Plan being presented today by USAFRICOM is quite commendable. You will all agree with me that failure to develop such response plan can be disastrous for any nation; the outbreak of pandemic influenza will not only lead to illnesses and death of persons but also impact negatively on all aspects of national well-being and translate into broader negative socio-economic consequences. Needless to add, that the vulnerable groups which in most cases are usually the aged, women and children are more likely to be at a higher risk and thereby facing greater consequences arising from the outbreak of pandemics. Similarly, the limited awareness to disaster risk reduction information in developing countries like ours has further compounded the challenges associated with pandemic influenza thereby making today’s exercise quite apt, timely and imperative. Let me use this opportunity to express my gratitude to USAID, the USAFRICOM, the UN system and all other National and International partners and collaborators that have committed their valuable time and resources to ensure the successful accomplishment of the Pandemic Response Plan. May I, specifically, convey my sincere

appreciation to the Honourable Ministers of Health, Defence, Foreign Affairs, the Chief of Defence Staff, His Excellency, the American Ambassador in Nigeria and all the distinguished guests here present including members of the press that graced this occasion despite your tight schedules. Permit me to also to express my sincere gratitude to our national partners especially the Military, the Nigeria Police, the NSCDC, the Federal Fire Service, the State SEMAs, the academia and several others too numerous to mention here for the continuous unflinching support and solidarity. For our International partners, I wish to once more sincerely thank them for tasking themselves to ensure the successful accomplishment of this endeavor and travelling long distances to witness the presentation to the Pandemic Response Plan. This indeed is a rare demonstration of a sustainable international cooperation and solidarity to make the world a more resilient and safer place for all of us. Muhammad Sani-Sidi, the Director General of NEMA made this address at the handing over and validation table top simulation exercise of the Nigerian Civil and Military Pandemic Influenza Response Plans and the Military Assistance to Civil Authorities Disaster Contingency Plan in Abuja recently.

NEMA presents relief materials to Army, victims of trafficking


he 233 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Kukareta Barracks in Damaturu, the Yobe state capital, has received relief materials from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide succour to the victims and survivors of the October 24 attacks in Damaturu in which the Nigerian Army lost some of its men. In a statement issued by its North-East information officer, Malam Abdulkadir Ibrahim, NEMA said it had presented relief materials to the 233 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, in Damaturu in fulfillment of the agency’s mandate of providing succour to victims of disasters in the country. Ibrahim said the materials were presented to the battalion during a sympathy visit by a team of NEMA officials led by the Zonal Coordinator, Alhaji Mohammed Kanar. “NEMA has presented relief materials to the 233 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Kukareta Barracks Damaturu which was affected by recent Boko Haram attacks. “The materials were presented by the North-East Coordinator, Alhaji Mohammed Kanar, who led a team of officials of the agency to Damaturu on sympathy visit,” Ibrahim said. He listed the items presented to include food items, mosquito nets, blankets, mats and tents.

The commander of the battalion, Col. Aliyu Abdullahi, wo received the items expressed gratitude to the agency for the presentation and promised to ensure judicious utilisation of the items. Meanwhile, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) North-East zone has pledged to assist victims of human trafficking in the state who are under the care of the National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and other Related Matters (NAPTIP). NEMA North-East Zonal Coordinator, Alhaji Mohammed Kanar, while receiving NAPTIP officials in his office in Maiduguri, said NEMA would continue to give necessary support to victims of emergency situation and disaster. “NEMA is ready to cooperate with any stakeholder on emergency situation. We are determined to partner with you and other stakeholders in disaster management and mitigation. Therefore, on behalf of NEMA Director General, Alhaji Sani Sidi, I assure you of our support”, he said. Borno state coordinator of NAPTIP, Shehu Umar said his visit was to open ways of partnering with NEMA to salvage the challenges faced by rescued persons and victims of human trafficking. He said NAPTI had

D-G NEMA Muhammad Sani Sidi handing over the National Influenza Pandemic Disaster Plan to the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu and the Military Pandemic Disaster Contingency Plan to the representative of the Minister of Defense recently. intensified its surveillances and intelligence on human trafficking in the area, adding that it was seeking assistance from NEMA for trafficked persons. He disclosed that the agency was saddled with the responsibility of arresting traffickers, conducting

investigation and counseling of trafficked persons as well as researches and orientation on the danger of human trafficking. He also disclosed that 76 cases of human trafficking were recorded by the Borno office of NAPTIP in three years. He added that the agency

had secured six convictions within the period.“For the past three years, we have received 76 cases of human trafficking and we have been able to secure six convictions and rescued 178 persons in three years. We have empowered 68 persons, mostly women and children”, he said.



Emergency Update

Nigeria lost N2.29tn to 2012 flooding – NEMA By Mohammed Kandi, with agency report


he Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Muhammad Sani Sidi, has said that Nigeria lost N2.29 trillion to damages caused by the various flooding experienced in the country in 2012. Represented by an official of the agency, Mr. Dimas Edwards, the DG said this recently, at a

national conference organised by the Environmental Management Association of Nigeria in Abuja, that the United Nations estimate showed that nine out of every 10 disasters were now climatechange related. Sani Sidi, who was quoting the 2012 Post Disaster Needs Assessment report, also said over 3.8million persons were displaced by the floods. The conference had the theme: “Climate Change and

Sustainable Environmental Management in Nigeria: Evolving a National Plan of Action”. “The estimated loss was equivalent to 1.4 percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product.” Sani Sidi said, “The recent flood disaster in the country is still fresh. According to the 2012 Post Disaster Needs Assessment report, 363 people were killed; 5,851 injured; 3,891,394 affected

and 3,871,530 displaced due to the resulting floods. “The estimated loss and damage is about N2.29tn, i.e. equivalent to 1.4 per cent of GDP. This calls for the needed concerted effort to reduce the underlying risk factors in our communities.” He said climate change signified greater danger in developing nations like Nigeria, stressing that 95 per cent of all disaster-related deaths occurred

in developing countries. “The World Bank reckons that losses from disasters can be up to 20 times greater as a percentage of GDPs in developing countries than in industrialised nations. This is grim and unacceptable,” he said. The NEMA boss stated that the increasing complexity of emergencies confronting the nation at both the national and communal levels called for sustained collaboration between stakeholders to strengthen humanitarian operators. National President of EMAN, Mr. Emmanuel Ating, said climate change was primarily caused by developed countries, describing as unfortunate the fact that Africa, which contributed least of all the continents, suffers most from the adverse consequences of climate change. He said, “Climate change viewed from the concept of environmental management is caused through the activities of man and geological process. The aspect that is of great concern is the contribution of human activities through industrial processes.

Financial challenges reduce investment in real estate -Expert

N DG NEMA, Muhammad Sani Sidi shaking hands with Eric Treat, a member of the USAFRICOM during the interactive session

NEMA, US Africom unveils pandemic disaster plans By Mohammed Kandi,


s part of efforts to contained the emergence of pandemic crisis, the NationalEmergency Management Agency (NEMA) and United States of America African Command (USAFRICOM) and other stakeholders in disaster management have developed strategic plans for implementation in the event of any pandemic in Nigeria. The documents which were officially unveiled in Abuja by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Nuruddeen Muhammad on behalf of the Federal Government are the National Influenza Pandemic Disaster Plan and the Military Pandemic Disaster Contingency

Plan. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister appreciated the partnership of the international communities towards addressing some of the disaster issues in the country. He commended the National Emergency Management Agency for bringing together the stakeholders and urged them to cooperate with the Agency towards providing necessary assistance to people in distress. Director-General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani Sidi in his address said the Agency has taken a step ahead of “the currentglobal alert of a possible influenza pandemic which are likely to be caused by a novel virus that makes it imperative for every nation to prepare in advance its

response mechanisms for such a catastrophe.” He said, in line with the mandates of NEMA on disaster coordination, it will continue to provide leading roles for “coherent, integrated and coordinated mechanism that enhances unity of purpose and synergy amongst the stakeholders.” This, he noted was the main objectives of the documents that were unveiled to provide epidemiological information, integrated communication strategy and articulated emergency response as contained in the pandemic response plans. In her remarks, the Deputy Head of Mission of the United States Embassy in Nigeria Ms Maria Brewer noted that the

USAFRICOM engagements in disaster preparedness in Nigeria was intended to strengthened local resilience and enhance partnership and friendship between her country and Nigeria. The Director General NEMA Muhammad Sani Sidi later handed over the National Influenza Pandemic Disaster Plan to the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu and the Military Pandemic Disaster Contingency Plan to the representative of the Minister of Defense. The unveiling of the documents is being followed by a seven day training of the stakeholders to clarify their roles and responsibilities as well as a table top simulation exercise to strengthen their capabilities.

igeria has a huge market for investment in real estate, but there are financial, mortgage and various challenges facing the sector, says the new president of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) for Africa, Mr. Chudi Ubosi, in Lagos, recently. According to him, the state of the real market as well as top end properties were experiencing a slow down as a result of lack of dynamism in the nation’s economy. “The market for investment in real estate is there in this country, but there are still other issues of finance, mortgages, among others. What people call mortgage in Nigeria today is more or less commercial loan. “The state of the real estate market and the top end properties of about N50 million and above are actually experiencing a slowdown in sales and this is because the dynamism is not there in the economy,” he said. Mr. Ubosi, also disclosed that mortgage with about 20 to 25 per cent interest rate for just between five to eight years could not be called mortgage, saying in other countries, it was not uncommon for people get five to six per cent mortgage for 25 years. (NAN)




Nigeria’s thriving art and music scene


ews from Nigeria often concentrates on corruption in politics, fighting with the Boko Haram militants in the north and unrest in the oil-producing Delta region - but Africa’s most populous nation has also quietly become a hotbed for the arts. The big band was rehearsing in the sauna. At least, that is what it felt like in a cramped room at Lagos’s School of Music. It was packed with young musicians who, despite the heat, were giving it their all whilst paying close attention to the conductor, Tony Chiafor - a retired lieutenant commander from the Nigerian navy. By the end of a rousing rendition of the tune, Onward Together, the saxophonists and flautists, as well as trumpet, clarinet and trombone players were all drenched in sweat. “I wrote that one,” said Mr. Chiafor, after bouncing up and down enthusiastically, waving his baton. He has fond memories of studying in Britain at the Royal Marines School of Music at Deal, in Kent, before later going on to head the Nigerian navy’s own music school. “I may be retired but I am not tired,” he told me, adding proudly: “We are doing serious business here, serious business, and I hope you are coming to next month’s concert.” There was a very different atmosphere in the room where the strings were practising - it certainly had an international flavour. A strict German conductor was guiding the Nigerian violinists and cellists through theItalian composer Arcangelo Corelli’s 300-year-old Christmas Concerto. The Musical Society of Nigeria, or Muson, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and with several events planned there is a lot of practising going on at its school of music, so a walk down the corridors is an aural cocktail.

was largely because I was not allowed to play a whole one. Instead, each student had just one lonely note to “ding” at the appropriate time. Watching Alaba work his magic I now have a new respect for the instrument. Like many of the students here, he started off singing in a church choir. Nigerian Pentecostal services are so lively even saxophonists and drummers learn to play in church. Alaba is certainly talented on the xylophone and once he has finished his diploma, he hopes to study abroad. “I was offered a place at Manchester. But there was just one problem,” he told me. “Sixteen thousand one hundred pounds a year.” “Sixteen thousand pounds a year?” I asked.” No. Sixteen thousand, one hundred pounds,” he shot back. “There is no way I can afford that. My father is not a politician,” he said laughing.

Music students in Nigeria are funded by corporate sponsorship

Barbie weddings

A wedding lunch recreated by Obi Nwokedi with black Barbie dolls

‘Do Do Mi’ In one of the rooms I met John Eclou. Wearing a diamondiferous-looking earring and trendy skinny jeans, he would not look out of place in a Nigerian pop group. He closed his eyes and delivered an impressive, passionate version of Ave Maria. Next door another student, Uche, played a rickety piano, accompanying Alaba, whose hands danced above the xylophone to a number inspired by West African high life music. At least I thought his name was Alaba until he put me right. “Say, ‘Do Do Mi’,” he instructed, as he tapped out the notes on the xylophone. “That

In Obi Nwokedi’s creation, the DJ is the last person standing at the end of the wedding is it now A-la-ba.” Although it is not the most convenient thing to carry around, a xylophone is just what is needed to get to grips with the tricky tonal

pronunciation of Nigeria’s Yoruba names. A former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, was broken down to: “Re Mi Mi Re, Re Mi Re Mi. O-Lu-Se-Gun,

O-Ba-San-Jo.” The xylophone brings back memories for me of excruciatingly boring music lessons at school. I think this

This giant of a city, Lagos, has a thriving arts scene and, in addition to the wealth of music on offer, there are also several art galleries. One of them is currently holding an international exhibition, LagosPhoto. At the opening, Seun Kuti, son of the late Afrobeat star Fela Kuti, performed with more than half a dozen musicians on stage. There was more dancing inside the gallery, but not involving any human beings. The artist Obi Nwokedi has spent months re-enacting a Yoruba wedding using black Barbie dolls. He has painstakingly created and photographed the scenes all the way from the bridal party getting their pre-wedding beauty treatments as they browse miniature iPads, to the wedding lunch with tiny bottles of Cognac and coke, and then onto the dancing with the very Nigerian tradition of “spraying” - where guests throw cash at the newly weds. It is such an integral part of the day that I have seen women walking amongst the guests at a Lagos wedding with massive bundles of money. People can then exchange their high denomination bills for a bundle of lower ones and still enjoy spraying the cash without going broke. But the Nigerian Barbie dolls must have been at a high society wedding - there are miniature $100 bills suspended in the air. I am not sure if they were safe with the groom though. The last photo shows the aftermath of the party. The DJ is the only person still standing and the groom appears to have passed out next to an empty bottle of brandy. (Source: BBC)




Skewed priorities in Uruguay ANALYSIS


or the time being, nothing seems to threaten the possibilities for progress in the area of justice more than the recent decisions of the Supreme Court of Justice.” Such was the conclusion of Pablo de Greiff, the United Nations Independent Expert on transitional justice, at the end of his visit to Uruguay in October 2013, during which he evaluated the country’s progress in resolving past human rights violations. During a press conference in Montevideo on October 4, de Greiff, who was invited by the Uruguayan government, strongly criticised the lack of improvement, highlighting how there had been “little” and irregular progress in resolving the pending chapter of the human rights violations committed during Uruguay’s period of dictatorship (1973-1985). Human rights activists and advocates welcomed de Greiff’s criticisms, but it is unlikely that they will bring any immediate change. Tensions have been running high throughout 2013 following a string of serious setbacks to the country’s recent progress in delivering justice for the dictatorship’s crimes. In February, the Supreme Court of Justice issued a decision to transfer Judge Mariana Mota, who had been at the forefront of investigations, and instated a de facto amnesty law with its ruling on the unconstitutionality of Law 18.831. As such, de Greiff’s warnings are likely to fall on deaf ears, along with the other calls for justice in Uruguay. Securing prosecutions: a ‘race against time’ During a recent visit to Uruguay, a journalist and human rights activist explained to us during an interview how Uruguay was in a “race against time to stop perpetrators of human rights violations from dying unpunished”. He was referring to the large number of offenders who had escaped punishment for three decades owing to the country’s 1986 amnesty law and who are now likely to see out their days without ever having faced justice for the atrocities committed. Indeed, despite significant progress in dealing with past human rights violations since 2005, Uruguay is still very much lagging behind its neighbours in terms of accountability. In Argentina and Chile,thousands of perpetrators are currently facing judicial investigation and numerous sentences have been handed down by the courts; in Argentina 26 trials were completedin 2012 and 15 so far in 2013. This is in stark contrast to Uruguay where, with 226 judicial investigations into past atrocities, only 6 percent of themhave gone

Protesters holding up posters of victims of Uruguay’s former dictatorship

to trial and just 1 percent has had a final sentence by the country’s highest court. The historic Gelman sentence in 2011, when the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled against the Uruguayan State and condemned its failure to investigate past crimes, ushered in a period of enthusiasm within the human rights community. This was buoyed further when shortly after the 1986 amnestylaw was finally overturned by Parliament, several new cases of abuse - including torture and sexual violence - were denounced for the first time in late 2011. This enthusiasm has been nipped in the bud, however, with the Supreme Court of Justice’s construction in 2013 of a “wall of impunity” and its retrograde jurisprudence which applies a statute of limitations to what are effectively international crimes. One of Court’s judges Jorge RuibalPinohas gone as far to state that no cases of past human rights violations would prosper in the Supreme Court, thus confirming our assertions on impunity in the wake of Mota’s transfer.

Contradictions in the judiciary While justice for past human rights atrocities remains an aspiration on the horizon for many of the victims waiting for redress for decades, in other instances Uruguayan courts have shown themselves remarkably capable of acting quickly to deal with other crimes. At the beginning of November 2013, criminal Judge Gabriela Merialdo began judicial proceedings against seven people for disturbances during February’s demonstrations inside the Supreme Court of Justice against the transfer of Judge Mota. The Supreme Court presented a criminal denunciation against the protesters who are already facing trial. What is happening in the country is very much puzzling, with some steps forward but many more steps back in terms of accountability. While some public prosecutors and judges have distanced themselves from the backward jurisprudence of the Supreme Court on past crimes, others such as judges Fanny Canessa and Roberto Timbal have applied the Court’s sentence to

archive investigation into past atrocities. Other examples are abundant: After much lobbying from several human rights NGOs, including the Observatorio Luz Ibarburu, a new unit for crimes of state terrorism was established in July 2013 to operate in the Ministry of Interior and to assist judges investigating these complex cases. As of mid-November 2013, the Supreme Court of Justice had not yet informedjudges about the creation of such important unit. In August 2013, judgeRuben Saraviacondemned a former military officer to four years in prison for the assassination of a student in 1973 - a rather lenient sentence for a crime of such gravity Moving forward In 2013, unlike other years, Uruguay has attracted many headlines in international newspapers for its humble President, Jose “Pepe” Mujica, for legalising marijuana, for adopting an abortion law and for allowing gay marriage. Uruguay simultaneously received widespread criticism from a range of international human

What is happening in the country is very much puzzling, with some steps forward but many more steps back in terms of accountability.

rights organisations and NGOs for its stance on the past. Most recently, during the 109th session of the Human Rights Committee in Geneva, the Committee labelled the stance of the Supreme Court as “unfortunate”, for failing to recognise that crimes against humanity and other serious human rights violations are not subject to statutes of limitations. The committee’s president, Nigel Rodley, underscored how Uruguay found itself in a position of noncompliance and actual violation of its international obligations, calling on the judiciary to reconsider its decision. While some of the serious violations perpetrated against Uruguayans during the dictatorship are being prosecuted abroad in trials in Argentina and in Italyrelating to Operation Condor, it seems inappropriate that the victims, who have already endured unjustifiable delays, have to resort to foreign courts to obtain justice. Not all hope is lost however. Several judges and prosecutors in Uruguay such as Beatriz Larrieu, Maria Helena Mainard, Alberto Reyes, and Ana Maria Tellechea, continue with their criminal investigations, considering the dictatorship’s atrocities crimes against humanity and calling on witnesses to give testimony. In September, excavationsin Infantry Battalion 13 resumed the search for missing people, which led to some initial discoveries of human remains currently being examined in the United States. In the words of Uruguay’s poet Mario Benedetti “el cuento no se ha acabado” (this story is far from over). Source: Al Jazeera



International Japan offers Nigeria N36m development grant By Hassan Haruna Ginsau

At least 10 killed in attack on Egyptian troops


en people have been killed and dozens more wounded in a car bomb attack on Egyptian soldiers near the North Sinai city of el-Arish. Al-Masri al-Youm newspaper said a convoy of buses carrying infantry soldiers was hit by a roadside bomb as it moved through the Kharouba area. The death toll was likely to rise, a security source said. Attacks on security forces in the Sinai have increased since Islamist President Mohammed Mursi was ousted in July. No group has admitted carrying out yesterday’s bombing, but the peninsula has grown increasingly unstable in recent years, triggered by the fall of President Hosni Mubarak. His overthrow in February 2011 left the northern Sinai prone to groups of jihadists, some with links to the Gaza Strip. In September security forces launched an offensive against Islamist militants in the Sinai, but have suffered a spate of deadly bombings. In recent months some 100 members of the security forces have been killed. Yesterday’s attack, which took place at around 07:45 local time (05:45 GMT) on the road from Rafah to el-Arish, is thought to be the bloodiest against the military since Mr Mursi was deposed. Among the 10 who died were six soldiers, three security officers and the driver, the military said. Another 35 soldiers were wounded in the explosion which was said to have hit one of the two buses in the convoy. The attack is reported to have targeted Egypt’s Second Field Army, which has been deployed in Sinai and has been involved in an operation to destroy tunnels along Egypt’s border with Gaza. The soldiers were on their way back to Cairo on leave, reports said. Some of the most seriously wounded victims were being airlifted to hospital in the capital. Communications with the area were cut as military helicopters circled over the area, searching for the attackers, BBC Cairo correspondent Orla Guerin reports. Interim Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi condemned the attack and said the government was looking at “all the alternatives to deal with the ongoing terrorist incidents”.


he Government of Japan has approved 2 communitybased projects in Nigeria with the total amount of US$235,554 (approximately N36 million) under the Japanese Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). Mr Ryuichi Shoji, the Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, signed the grant contracts to implement these project for construction of a shea butter processing centre and a fish feed processing mill with representatives of local NGOs which will implement these projects. The shea butter processing centre which will be constructed in Gwagwalada area council of the FCT is worth US $121,357 and will be implemented by The African

Women Agribusiness Network. The second project, the construction of a fish feed processing mill worth US 4114,197 will be carried out in Epe Local Government area of Lagos State, and will be implemented by The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) Resource Centre. Japanese assistance to Nigeria since its independence has amounted to about N596 billion (excluding technical assistance). Under the GGP, 133 projects with a total amount of US$8,528,720 have been implemented throughout Nigeria since 1998. The GGP is designed to provide financial grant assistance to non-profit organisations and local governments implementing development projects at the grassroots level.

Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Mr Ryuichi Shoji (middle), Mrs. Yasmin Othman, National President of African Women Agribusiness Network (L), and Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju (R), Chairman of Human and Environmental Development Agenda Resourse Centre, holding the prototype check.

War fears haunt local election in Mozambique


ozambicans voted yesterday in local elections, haunted by nagging fears of conflict as the ruling Frelimo party confronts an emerging political rival and an old civil war guerrilla chief who has taken his fight back to the bush. In Gorongosa, a village in central Mozambique, voters lined up at two schools, some clearly nervous after opposition Renamo guerrillas in the surrounding hills left pamphlets threatening to disrupt the polls. “I’m voting but I’m scared because people are talking of war,” said Sonia, a civil servant who, like many, declined to give her full name. With soldiers and police standing guard, voters turned out early in separate lines of men and women, many of the latter carrying infants strapped to their backs.

Renamo, Mozambique’s largest opposition party, is boycotting the elections as its leader Afonso Dhlakama, Frelimo’s foe in a 1975-1992 war, hides deep in the Gorongosa forests that once served as his guerrilla base.

Since April, Mozambique’s image as a stable and fast-growing African success story blessed with big coal and natural gas reserves has been blotted by shootings and ambushes in the centre and north carried out by Dhlakama’s fighters.

Voters queue to cast their ballots in municipal elections at a voting station in Mozambique

Dhlakama, 60, who has lost a string of elections to Frelimo, accuses the party and President Armando Guebuza of monopolizing political and economic power. He is demanding reforms to an electoral system that he says is biased. Challenging Frelimo in Renamo’s place for control of the 53 municipalities is the emerging Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), casting itself as an alternative to historical enemies who are trapping the country in a cycle of outdated conflict. Hit-and-run Renamo attacks have continued right up to Wednesday’s elections, with gunmen shooting at militaryescorted convoys on the main EN1 north-south highway in central Sofala province, and clashing with security forces in the bush around Gorongosa.

Search for survivors ends at collapsed South African mall


escue workers called off the search for survivors at a collapsed South African building site yesterday, believing there are no more trapped

construction workers beneath the half-built shopping mall. One person was killed and dozens injured in Tuesday’s collapse of the three-storey building in Tongaat,

Emergency workers search for survivors after the building collapse

30 km (20 miles) north of Durban. “The entire operation has been stopped and handed over to the Department of Labour,” police spokeswoman Mandy Govender told reporters at the site. Initial reports suggested as many as 50 workers might have been trapped under the rubble but rescue officials, working through the night with sniffer dogs, recovered only one body and discovered no survivors. The cause of the collapse remains unclear. District mayor James Nxumalo said local authorities had obtained a series of court injunctions, the latest on November 14, to halt construction. The owner of the site has been identified as a South African businessman who is well-known in Durban, the second-largest city in South Africa and home to a large ethnic Indian population.

If safety regulations are found to have been flouted, the accident could damage the ruling African National Congress (ANC) as it moves toward an election next year because of widespread perceptions of incompetence and corruption in local government. Durban and the surrounding province of KwaZulu-Natal are also the home of President Jacob Zuma and the region has enjoyed a construction boom in the last few years, based in part on government investment. Of the 29 injured, two are in a critical condition in hospital, health officials said. The ANC is expected to win an election in April or May next year but its share of the vote is likely to drop as young post-apartheid South Africans with no knowledge of whiteminority rule come of age.




Indonesia freezes ties with Australia


ndonesia’s president has suspended co-operation with Australia in combating peoplesmuggling and other activities, and condemned the country’s “Cold War” behaviour following allegations its spies tapped his phone. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced yesterday that cooperation would be temporarily halted in a number of areas, including military exercises and intelligence exchanges. But the most important area for the new Australian government of Tony Abbott will be peoplesmuggling, as it tries to halt the flow of asylum-seekers arriving by boat from Indonesia. It was the latest angry outburst from Indonesia over reports, based on documents leaked by US intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden, that Australian spies tried to listen to the phone calls of the president, his wife and ministers in 2009. Indonesia recalled its ambassador from Canberra earlier this week over the scandal. Announcing the suspension of cooperation after a crisis meeting at the presidential palace, Yudhoyono said: “For me personally, and for Indonesia, the wiretapping by Australia ... is difficult to comprehend. This is not the Cold War era.” The flap is being seen as the

lowest point in a perennially volatile bilateral relationship since 1999, when Australia led a UN military force into the former Indonesian province of East Timor following a bloody independence ballot. Yudhoyono said that yesterday evening he would send a letter to Abbott to personally ask him for an explanation. “I am still hoping, and I am sure Australia is still hoping ... that we can still work together after this problem is overcome,” he said.

The public display of anger comes before Indonesia’s general and presidential elections next year, with the president’s ruling party slipping badly in recent opinion polls. Abbott said he would be respond to the letter “swiftly, fully and courteously” and expressed “deep and sincere regret about the embarrassment” caused by the spying claims. However he once again refused to apologise. Abbott told parliament on Wednesday that he would do

everything he “reasonably can” to repair relations with Indonesia. He proposed not to “overreact” to Indonesian anger over the eavesdropping allegations, but added that his intention was to “build and strengthen the relationship with Indonesia which is so important to both our countries”. Indonesia already has recalled its ambassador following the reports that Australian spies attempted to listen to the president’s cellphone in 2009.


Afghan-US security pact in limbo ahead of crucial debate


he text of a U.S.-Afghan pact that sets out a blueprint for military cooperation after most foreign troops pull out next year was unfinished ysterday, a day before thousands of Afghan elders were due to start debating it. Without the accord the United States has warned it could withdraw all of its troops by the end of 2014 and leave Afghan forces to fight alone against a Taliban-led insurgency. The last-minute politicking between Kabul and Washington provoked frustration among Afghan elders who braved perilous journeys to the Afghan capital from remote provinces for a grand assembly to

debate the pact. “What is happening with the security pact is very confusing for us,” said Abdul Hanan, a senator from the eastern province of Paktia, who will attend the gathering. Last-ditch efforts to finalize the pact stalled on Tuesday over differences over whether President Barack Obama had agreed to issue a letter acknowledging mistakes made during the 12-year Afghan war. “The final language is not ready between the two governments,” said AimalFaizi, the Afghan president’s spokesman, adding the U.S. State Department was right to say that

work remained to be done. The Afghan government said it received assurances that an Obama letter would be provided this week to the grand council of Afghan elders, known as a Loya Jirga, which will consider the pact. Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, insisted that such an offer - which would draw criticism from Republicans and anger American war veterans - was “not on the table”. The Taliban, fighting to expel foreign troops, have condemned the Loya Jirga as a farce. Security was tight in Kabul ahead of the meeting following a suicide bomb

attack near the assembly ground over the weekend. The security pact with the United States must be approved by the Loya Jirga that will meet for five days starting today. If the two sides cannot agree on a pact, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has suggested submitting different versions of the document for the Loya Jirga to decide on. That caused confusion among Loya Jirga members gathering in the capital, Kabul, ahead of the meeting’s formal opening. Less than 24 hours before the start, attendees appeared deeply divided over the issue.


neighbourhoods, security and medical officials said. Yesterday’s blasts began at about 7:30am (04:30 GMT), the

deadliest of which was in the central Sadrianeighbourhood, where a parked car bomb went off at an outdoor market, killing five shoppers and wounding 15. Other attacks took place in Shaab, Tobchi, Karrada, Azamiyah and Amilneighbourhoods. Imran Khan, reporting from Baghdad, said the death toll could have been higher as the attacks happened on on a public holiday declared by the government due to heavy rains. Iraq is experiencing a surge in violence since April, following a deadly security raid on a Sunni protest camp in the country’s north. Since then, more than 5,500 people have been killed, according to the United Nations. No group immediately claimed

responsibility for Wednesday’s violence, but Sunni fighters linked to al-Qaeda’s front group often set off coordinated bombings across Baghdad, typically targeting Shias. The unrest has pushed violence to its highest level since 2008, when Iraq was recovering from the worst of its Sunni-Shia sectarian war. Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq’s Shia prime minister, has called for Washington’s help to curb the bloodshed in the form of greater intelligence sharing and the timely delivery of new weapons. But diplomats and analysts say the government is not doing enough to address the root causes of the unrest, particularly frustration in Iraq’s Sunni minority which alleges it is mistreated by Shia-led authorities.

Deadly bomb attacks strike Baghdad t least 28 people have died and 65 injured in a spate of bombings in the Iraqi capital Baghdad mostly targeting Shia

A minibus affected by one of the bombs

Asia & Middle East

Khamenei vows no retreat on nuclear programme ahead of talks


ran’s supreme leader has said his country will continue to exercise its “nuclear rights” in a speech ahead of crucial talks in Geneva over Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme. Diplomats from the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany, are meeting Iranian negotiators, including the Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, for the third time in a little over a month yesterday in Geneva. In a rare, live televised address yesterday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told commanders of the Basij force, a volunteer militia of young Iranians, that there would be no retreat for his country. “I insist on stabilising the rights of the Iranian nation, including the nuclear rights,” he said. “I insist on not retreating one step from the rights of the Iranian nation.” He said Iran’s negotiators “must respect these limits”, and not concern themselves with those who are opposed. Iran has signed the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, which affords nations the right to civilian nuclear technology in exchange for not acquiring nuclear weapons. However, Iran has been judged by the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, to be in breach of its agreements for infringements such as not disclosing its activities and not allowing full inspections. The UN Security Council has in return imposed sanctions on Iran, crippling its economy. The Geneva talks are aimed at agreeing concessions from Iran on its nuclear activities in return for the easing of sanctions. At the heart of the disagreements are Iran’s continued enrichment of uranium to near a “weapons-useable” threshold, and work on its Arak heavy water reactor, which would produce plutonium, which can be used in a future nuclear bomb. During previous rounds of negotiations, the group of world powers said it was close to winning concessions from Iran on slowing its nuclear work in exchange for easing international sanctions. The group is now trying to see if they can get past the problems that existed last time they met just under two weeks ago, said Al Jazeera’s James Bays, who is in Geneva.





Venezuela’s president granted ‘decree powers’


enezuela’s National Assembly has granted President Nicolas Maduro wide-ranging special powers to rule by decree for one year so that he can fix the economy. Tuesday’s vote over the Enabling Law is the latest move by the elected Venezuelan leader, a protégé of

the late President Hugo Chavez, to strengthen his hand as he faces an important political test in municipal elections next month. The decree will essentially allow Maduro to create laws without parliamentary approval. He says he needs greater personal power to stamp out

opponents who are waging “economic warfare against his government” as the country struggles with soaring inflation and shortages of basic goods. “Maduro has to tackle an economy in free fall,” Al Jazeera’s Andy Gallacher, reporting from the Venezuelan capital Caracas, said.


“People are really struggling to buy normal household goods.” Over the weekend, Maduro used his existing authority to make retail appliance stores slash prices, sending troops to keep order among the crowds that quickly formed. The Venezuelan unit of General Motors was fined the equivalent of $85,000 on Tuesdsay for allegedly overcharging and practising “usury” in the sale of car parts to local concessionaires. The government also asked Twitter to take down accounts of users posting the illegal black market exchange rate for the country’s bolivar currency, which is trading at about one-tenth of the official value. These measures have rallied Maduro’s working-class base and even won approval from some government opponents who have joined the long lines outside appliance stores nationwide for the past 10 days in search of deep discounts on TV sets and refrigerators. The deep discounts of as much as 60 percent - which Maduro has said would be extended to toys, cars and clothing - come as workers cash their year-end pay bonuses, allowing them to make purchases that might otherwise have been out of reach.

UK ‘reviewing’ Gibraltar navy options following Spanish incursion


ritain is reviewing its navy options in Gibraltar following an illegal incursion into its territorial waters, a Foreign Office minister has said. Mark Simmonds told the

Commons a Spanish state vessel, the RV Romon Margalef, was accompanied across the border by three Guardia Civil boats. The vessel had failed to leave for 22 hours despite requests,

and was finally challenged by the Royal Navy. Spain’s ambassador to the UK was called to the Foreign Office to explain. Mr Simmonds said the Spanish vessel had come within

250 metres of the entrance to Gibraltar Harbour. During the incident, the RV Ramon Margalef said it had been “carrying out oceanographic works” that were “of the European Community interest”.

Russia grants bail to Greenpeace activists


he captain and two Britons from on board the seized Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise have been granted bail by a court in northern Russia. Peter Willcox previously captained Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior ship when it was blown up by French agents in harbour in New Zealand in 1985. Britons Alex Harris and Kieron Bryan were also bailed along with Dutch national Faiza Oulahsen. Nine other foreign detainees and three Russians were granted bail earlier. A third Briton, Anthony Perrett, is also hoped for a decision yesterday while three other British activists will have their bail hearings later this week. Of the 13 detainees who appeared in court earlier this week all but one were given bail. Australian activist Colin Russell, 59, who acted as the ship’s radio operator, was ordered to remain in pre-trial detention until 24 February.

Greenpeace said it was “baffled” why he had been kept in custody for another three months while a spokesperson for Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said she was concerned about his case and monitoring it closely, the Canberra Times reports. This case has been unpredictable

from the start, when the Russian reaction was far stronger than Greenpeace expected, the BBC’s Daniel Sandford reports from the court. The detainees have been held on charges of hooliganism after taking part in a protest at an Arctic offshore oil rig operated by the

Russian company Gazprom. If found guilty they face up to seven years in prison. Bryan was on the ship as a freelance journalist and videographer. Ms Harris, 27, who acted as communications officer on the ship, is originally from Devon.

Willcox(R), Harris (L), and Bryan (middle) were granted bail yesterday

Europe and Americas

Italy’s government, citizens were not spied on- PM Letta



nternational intelligence agencies have not spied on Italy’s government and embassies and there is no evidence of mass surveillance of citizens, Prime Minister Enrico Letta said yesterday. Press reports had accused British and U.S. intelligence agencies of monitoring Italy’s telecoms network, targeting the government and companies. Similar allegations regarding France and Germany, in the wake of leaks by former U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden, raised diplomatic tensions between Washington and its European allies last month. “We found no breaches of the communications security of the government or of our embassies,” Letta said during a parliamentary session dedicated to the allegations. “Nor did we find that the privacy of Italian citizens was violated by our national intelligence services collaborating with foreign intelligence,” Letta added. The prime minister denied reports that Italian intelligence had been complicit in a UKrun program dubbed Tempora involving the tapping of undersea fiber-optic cables carrying Internet and email traffic. Overseas agencies had asked Italy for intelligence on people who were not Italian citizens, but that request was turned down, he said, without going into further details. Italian national security could not have participated in Tempora and the U.S. mass surveillance program Prism as it would have been illegal under Italian law, he added.



Strange World

Singaporean man is crazy about dolls, has 9,000 of them


ian Yang, a 33-year-old man from Singapore, has enough dolls to open a museum or at least a super awesome girls’ playhouse. The “toy nerd”, as Yang describes himself, has no less than 9,ooo dolls: 6000 of them are Barbie dolls, and the 0ther 3,000 are other types of girly dolls, such as Bratz Girls and Monster High. His huge collection is valued at about $500,000. Yang’s passion for dolls began in his childhood days, when he wanted a doll but wasn’t allowed to have one. As he recalls, “before I knew anything about social norms, I was a boy that watched this on TV, liked it and wasn’t allowed to have one. As I grew older, got my own allowance, that’s where I started getting the freedom to buy whatever I wanted”. Step by step, a simple wish became a “crazy obsession”. His friends support him, his family have understood and learned to accept his passion, but his love life is affected, since his girlfriends see the the doll collection as the competition. As Yang confesses, “I’ve also got the ex-girlfriends who get insecure about this kind of stuff … They look at dolls and go ‘OK, that’s the competition’, which is quite

troubling but it’s a reality”. Indeed, it may be surprising for everyone, not only for women, to see a regular man collect that many dolls and displaying them in his apparently regular house. Yang describes himself as “incongruous”. “When you meet me outside of this, I’m not that kind of guy. I’m not what you expect from a guy that collects dolls.” What appears from the outside as a manly house has the interior every little girl dreams of. Three of Yang’s four livingroom walls are lined with floorto-ceiling glass cases full of dolls, and the 9 cabinets and the shelves in his study are also packed with plastic toys. Moreover, nothing suits Yang’s living room collection better than its pink floor, which is custom painted with the Barbie signature Pantom 219 C color. This Barbie fan’s collection has been growing almost every day over the last 20 years and it’s not likely to stop anytime soon. “I’m very into collections, I’m very into amassing”, Yang confesses. Apart from the impressive number of items, what makes Yang’s collection special is the presence of several celebrities such as Grace Kelly, Barbra Streisand, Marilyn Monroe, Sean Connery as agent

007 and Frank Sinatra in doll form. The collection also features a few dolls that are valuable to connoisseurs: 1960s Barbie dolls, which is impressive since Barbie was launched in 1959 by Mattel Inc, the “Great Shape” Barbie, wearing a Spandex gym outfit, which is actually the first toy purchased by Yang when he was 13, and a rare a model

sold only in the “Comme des Garcon” fashion label boutiques. “My friend found her in Hong Kong and made an emergency phone call to me”, Yang explains enthusiastically. The owner of this impressive collection notices how tastes shift away from traditional items, such as the Barbie dolls, and move towards unconventional ones, such as Monster High.

“That’s where Mattel has taken it. They have taken the craze of ugly is hot and made Monster High because they know Barbie will never be the monster” Yang explains. However, the man believes that despite the 12% fall in the Barbie doll sales registered between April and June 2013, this brand will continue to be popular. he sure won’t stop buying them.

Yang’s doll collection

The Pacific Barreleye fish has a weird see-through head


A Pacific Barreleye fish

he Pacific Barreleye fish gets its name from large eyes that are literally shaped like barrels, topped with beautiful green lenses. Also known as the Macro pinna microstoma, its head is completely transparent, filled with fluid. This unique creature lives at depths of around 2000 to 2,600 ft. The Pacific Barreleye’s see-through head may seem weird, but it has a very clear purpose – to help it see better in the dark waters that it inhabits. The Barreleye’s eyes have been found to be incredibly sensitive, snapping up any stream of light available. Unlike most other fish, both the eyes are in the front of the head and point in the same direction, which gives it amazing binocular vision. So the Barreleye is able to spot faint objects that other fish cannot, making it a feared predator. It’s extremely fascinating, how it searches for prey. It starts off by staying still, eyes pointed upward in search of prey. Sometimes the eyes are rotated to face forwards,

or the eyes are still and the body is rotated so that the mouth is pointing in the same direction as the eyes. When tiny silhouettes of prey are spotted, the Barreleye moves in exactly the same direction to catch them. Its flat, horizontal fins help it to swim very precisely. This method is so efficient that it is sometimes able to even snatch food away from the stinging tentacles of other deep sea creatures. Its mouth is really tiny so that’s of great help as well, and the transparent shield makes it immune to stings. The Pacific Barreleye was discovered in 1939, but it hasn’t been spotted alive since 2004 off California’s central coast by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MABRI). Its biological system apparently has flaws; it is said to be rather sensitive to pressure. When fished up, it’s head would shatter somewhere along the way and only mangled specimens would come up in the nets. MABRI was successful in finding the only such fish with its soft dome intact, measuring about 6 inches in length.




‘Carbohydrates rot the brain’ By Anna Hodgekiss


arbohydrates are rotting our brains and contributing to devastating diseases such as Alzheimer’s, an American neurologist has

warned. David Perlmutter, from Florida, believes that even ‘good’ carbs, such as grains, are severely affecting our brains. And the staples of our modern diet aren’t only increasing the risk of dementia, but contributing to depression, epilepsy and headaches, he believes. Instead of munching on wheat, carbs and sugar,which he calls the brain’s silent killers, we should revert back to the way our ancestors ate – with more meat and fat. As Forbes magazine reports: ‘It’s in the food you eat,’ he writes in his best new book, Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar – Your Brain’s Silent Killers. ‘The origin of brain disease is in many cases predominantly dietary.’ The solution? Going back to the days when our diet was mainly fat – with this making up 75 per cent of our diet, and carbs just 5 per cent. Protein

Carboydrates are rotting our brains and contributing to devastating diseases such as Alzheimer’s, an American neurologist has warned. David Perlmutter, from Florida, believes that even ‘good’ carbs, such as grains, are severely affecting our brains

intake should stay the same as it is, at about 20 per cent. In fact, human genes, he says, have evolved over thousands of years to deal with a high-fat, low-carb diet – and despite this, we eat almost exactly the opposite. He advocates a

grain-free, gluten-free diet. ‘This low-fat idea that’s been drummed into our heads and bellies,’ Perlmutter says, ‘is completely offbase and deeply responsible for most of our modern ills.’ He added: ‘People get a brain

Instead of munching on wheat, carbs and sugar, which he calls the brain¿s silent killers - we should revert back to the way our ancestors ate ¿ with more meat and fat, says Dr Perlmutter

disorder and then wonder what the magic bullet cure will be. They want to treat the symptoms rather than the underlying disease problem. In fact, diet and lifestyle play a huge role in the destiny of a person’s health.’ Research has shown that a highcarb diet may increase the risk of

Previous research has shown that high levels of sugar may actually prevent the brain from using it - similar to what is seen with type 2 diabetes

Women really do get more exhausted during exercise than men By Emma Innes


t has long been known that men can outrun women on the sports field and now researchers think they have discovered one of the reasons for this. A new study revealed that women have ‘greater electrical activation’ of the chest muscles that control breathing, making it harder for them to breathe during exercise. It means wome n s t r u g g l e to catch their breath as quickly as men of a similar age. The difference is seen in younger and older adults, as well as people with chronic heart and lung diseases.

Human movement expert, Dr Dennis Jensen, said: ‘Our study uniquely showed that sex differences in activityrelated breathlessness could be explained by the awareness of greater electrical activation of the respiratory muscles specifically the diaphragm needed to achieve any given v e n t i l a t i o n d u ring exercise in healthy young women compared to men. ‘Our findings indicated that greater electrical activation of the respiratory muscles during exercise in women is needed to compensate for their biologically smaller lungs, airways and breathing muscles.’ Dr Jensen and his team

dementia. A study published in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that elderly people who ate a highcarb diet were more than three times as likely to develop mild cognitive impairment – which has been linked with a higher risk of dementia. People whose diets were highest in ‘good’ fats, such as those found in nuts and healthy oils were 42 per cent less likely to get cognitive impairment. Those with a high intake of protein (such as meat and fish) had a reduced risk of 21 per cent. Lead author Rosebud Roberts, a professor in the department of epidemiology at the Mayo Clinic, said: ‘A high-carbohydrate intake could be bad for you because carbohydrates impact your glucose and insulin metabolism. ‘Sugar fuels the brain, so moderate intake is good. However, high levels of sugar may actually prevent the brain from using the sugar - similar to what we see with type 2 diabetes.’ She added that high glucose levels might affect the brain’s blood vessels and play a role in the development of beta amyloid plaques, proteins toxic to brain health that are found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. It’s thought these plaques are a leading cause of the disease. Source:

carried out the experiments at McGill University in Canada and the findings were published in the journal Experimental Physiology. He said: ‘Fifty healthy, nonsmoking men and women aged 20 to 40 years completed a maximum exercise test on a stationary bicycle. ‘During exercise, we monitored the participants cardiovascular, metabolic and ventilatory responses to exercise using computerised equipment. ‘At regular intervals during exercise, participants rated the intensity of their breathlessness using a 10-point scale. Source:

A new study revealed that women have ‘greater electrical activation’ of the chest muscles that control breathing, making it harder for them to breathe during exercise



Adamawa Assembly charges government agencies on revenue From Umar Dankano, Yola


he Adamawa State House of Assembly has frowned at the abnormalities over revenue accounts being operated by some ministries and agencies in the state. Chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Wafarniyi Theman, made the disclosure at the stakeholders’ Interactive Session yesterday in Yola. He warned that hence forth any offending ministries and agencies would be dealt with decisively as such action will no longer be condoned or tolerated. Theman cited Section 121 of the 1999 constitution and the Board of Internal Revenue Law 2007 which declared that only one consolidated revenue fund account be operated in the state.

”By law, only the Board of Internal Revenue is empowered to harness, access and remit revenue to the state coffers but some ministries have taken over the mandate of the board”, he stated. He explained that revenue is the back bone of government and that it makes it possible for the basis for government to embark on meaningful development projects in the state. In his speech, the Speaker of the House, Ahmad Fintiri said the session was convened to rub minds with the heads of government agencies with a view to readdress the issue of channeling revenue to one consolidated revenue account which will ensure accountability, transparency and the proper usage of such funds for the betterment of the people and society.

APGA National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh (left) addressing newsmen on the conduct of Anambra governorship election, at the weekend in Awka. Photo: NAN

Edo APC gets interim exco Stop addressing Umar as Taraba Deputy From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


ll Progressives Congress, APC, Edo State Chapter, has elected a five-man interim working committee to pilot its take-off in the State. According to a statement made available to newsmen, the pioneer working committee is headed by the former State Secretary of defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and Obazelu of Benin Kingdom, Chief Osaro Idah, from Oredo, Local Government Area, while a former national officer of defunct All Nigerian Peoples Party, ANPP, from Owan East, Alhaji Saliu Momoh emerged as Secretary. A former Edo State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, and Chairman of defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Comrade Godwin Erhahon was elected Publicity Secretary.

An international businessman, Mr. Theophilus Okoh, (formerly of ACN from Esan central) was elected Treasurer while the immediate past chairman of ACN, who is also former Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Barrister Thomas Okosun, from Esan West was elected Organising Secretary. The five-man working committee will lead thirty-one other members of the State Interim Executive Committee to mobilize for membership registration that will be followed by congresses where officers will be elected at polling units, wards, local governments and State levels. At its inaugural meeting yesterday, the working committee resolved to set up three committees to take inventory of the assets of the defunct ACN, ANPP and CPC that merged to become APC in the state for proper harmonization and utilization.

•••Shagaya, Nakande lead party’s interim c’ttee in Pateau From Ado Abubakar Musa, Jos


he Plateau state Chapter of the All progressives Congress (APC) has elected Senator John Shagaya, Honourable Ibrahim Dasuki Salihu Nakande, and three others, to coordinate the affairs of the party in the state. Shagaya of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was elected as the State Interim Management Committee Chairman, while the former Minister for Information and Communications, Hon. Ibrahim Dasuki Nakande of the defunct Congress for Progressives Change (CPC), was made the Secretary. Others elected are Geoffrey

Yilleng of the defunct (ANPP), as Treasurer, Pastor David Dabit of the defunct (CPC), as Organising Secretary and Ibrahim Sadisu also of the defunct (ANPP) as Publicity Secretary. The congress held recently dragged till late in the evening and had 26 members of the electoral college of the State Interim Management Committee in attendance out of the 32. James Ocholli, the Deputy National Legal Adviser of the APC, who served as mediator during the election advised the committee to meet regularly adding that “between now and the next two months, how the state fares will rest on the shoulders of the committee.”

Governor, group cautions Danjuma By Lawrence Olaoye


araba Justice Forum yesterday cautioned General Theophilus Danjuma (Rtd) to stop the Acting Governor of Taraba state, Alhaji Garba Umar as the Deputy Governor of the state. The group affirmed that “ by law and the constitution, Umar remains the acting governor until the full recuperation of his boss, Danbaba Suntai” In a statement issued in Abuja and signed by its General Secretary, Barrister Ambulus John, the TJF said it was “shocked that rumours that already gained ground was unwittingly or wittingly confirmed by General Danjuma. We had refused to believe that the General will be a party to the activity of the cabal scheming to enforce rulership by proxy which is not

recognised by the law of the land. “We felt it is wrong for General Danjuma to regularly refer to the acting Governor as deputy governor. Is he saying he knows better than the State Assembly and the committee of the ruling party which adopted the same option? Is the General saying he is above the law as represented by the resolution of the Assembly.?”, the forum asked. “If the General is acting in such manner in flagrant violation of legal position of the state Assembly, we say that it may amount to incitement of the people against authorities, an action capable of igniting further crisis in the state.” The group called on “the General to be law abiding as he is also not likely to condone such conduct if the shoe were to be turned the other way round. “The General should be a

role model especially in a volatile situation like Taraba. We cannot be preaching peace with one hand and be saying things which may incite the people on the other hand”, the forum advised. According to the forum, “the whole nation is aware of what neccesitated the making of Umar the acting governor of Taraba state both after the unfortunate accident and the attempted rulership by proxy by some faceless cabal. The mandate was renewed when it was obvious that the state governor was not yet medically fit to govern the state.” The forum concluded by noting that the Acting Governor has so far remained loyal to his boss by exercising state powers with fairness ,advising that “ as the creation of almighty God, no created being has the right to play God”.

Kogi Assembly to order arrest of commissioner, LG boss From Omale Adama, Lokoja


ogi House of Assembly yesterday resolved to issue Warrant of Arrest on the Commissioner for Local Government and chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Ndamodu Alih and Idah Council Chairman, Dr Musa Major. The resolution followed alleged refusal of the officers to appear before the house and its ad-hoc committee set up to look into wanton sack of council workers. Speaker of the Assembly, Alhaji Momoh-Jimoh Lawal said the house would have no option than to invoke Order 129 of the

House Rules if by Tuesday next week (November 26) the officers failed to respond to the summon. He said that after several attempts to get the Commissioner and the chairman to explain reasons for the sack of the council workers to the ad-hoc committee, the House summoned the officers to appear before the whole house. The officers, according to him, scheduled to appear last Tuesday (November 19) failed to appear as they kept the legislators waiting for several hours and still refused to appear on November 20 (Wednesday), as rescheduled. Lawal said failure to properly address the issue would amount to failure on the part of the legislature

and the essence of its existence as an arm of government. The speaker said he would not mind to resign his position as leader of the house if the house should fail in its responsibilities with its authority undermined with such level of impunity displayed by the officers. He said that the council workers being sacked in the wake of retrenchment exercise across the 21 council areas in the state were their constituents who elected them to protect their interests. The members who spoke earlier were divided on the matter leading to hot exchange of words and name-calling.



Politics TMG authenticates INEC’s guber election results By Lawrence Olaoye


he Transition Monitoring Group ,TMG has declared that the results so far released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the Anambra gubernatorial elections are accurate. TMG in a recent statement said “Based on the Quick Count methodology, TMG can confidently verify that the collation process was done properly and the official results as announced by INEC on November 18th, 2013 accurately reflect the votes cast on Election Day at those polling stations which held elections. “The official INEC results for each candidate closely match TMG’s independent estimates – which are based on polling unit results collected from a representative random sample of polling units across all three senatorial districts and all 21 LGAs. Only INEC declares official results as it is the constitutionally mandated body to conduct all aspects of elections. TMG does not announce official results. It provides independent verification of the official results as announced by INEC to enhance transparency and accountability in the electoral process. The statement however cautioned “As TMG has reported before, the process was not without serious shortcomings, including: Late arrival of election materials to polling units; No elections in five wards of Idemili North LGA – this issue is particularly worrisome as Idemili North is a party stronghold; Individuals with voter’s cards were refused accreditation. Simultaneous accreditation and voting (i.e. individuals being allowed to accredit and vote after accreditation had closed) created the possibility of illegal voting; and a significant number of voters who left polling units after accreditation did not return to vote (thereby disenfranchising themselves). “These shortcomings undermine public confidence in the electoral process – especially since many of these issues are not new and have plagued past elections. For the 2015 elections to be credible, INEC must work in partnership with political parties, civil organizations, and government bodies to find practical solutions to these problems. TMG’s observation may come as a big relief for INEC. But it is unlikely to douse the rising agitation for a total cancellation of the polls by the opposition party. The All Progressives Congress, APC has called for a total cancellation of the polls and the party had rejected INEC’s plan to hold supplementary elections.

Anambra election: National Assembly must intervene in impasse-Lawyer By Lawrence Olaoye


constitutional lawyer, Chief Mike Okoye, has called on the National Assembly to arrest the degenerating political situation in Anambra state following the declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission that the weekend

governorship election in the state was inconclusive. Okoye who petitioned the leadership of the National Assembly, as well as the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, said that with the official declaration of the collated results of the affected local governments and constituencies in the Anambra

state governorship election by INEC, only fresh election will suffice. The lawyer also submitted that INEC’s duties in the Anambra election ceases with the declaration of the official results of all the local governments and constituencies since the Commission can no longe, for any reason whatsoever,

R-L: Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Patrick Okowa, Senior Programme Officer, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Mr. Okeke Anya, and members of the Committee , Senator Margret Chuba Okadigbo, and Senator Babajide Omoworare, during a meeting to fast track National Tobacco Control Bill (NTCB), recently in Abuja.

alter the figures of the results officially declared. Okoye said that INEC had committed a technical error having proceeded to officially declare the collated results without seeking a proper legal advice. In a statement in Abuja, the constitutional lawyer said that INEC was satisfied that the final result of the election will be substantially affected by voting in the areas where the election were canceled, “thus, refused to make a return of the election and declared the election as inconclusive.” According to him, the Commission rightly exercised the powers conferred on it by virtue of section 53(2) of the electoral act, 2010 as amended and of all other powers enabling it to do so. “The commission in my view ought not to have declared as ‘final’ the collated results of the Local Governments and constituency before it ordered another election in the affected polling units. “Since the Commission, wrongly in my view, proceeded to officially declare the collated results of all the affected Local Governments and constituency, it is without power to alter the final figures of the results declared for any reason whatsoever. Only a court of law can alter or amend the figures of the final result officially declared by the Commission”.

Katsina philanthropist alleges planned disruption of activity by KTSG By Mohammed Umar-Puma


Katsina state based politician, Alhaji Umar Abdullahi Tsauri, has raised alarm over the planned disruption of a programme of philanthropy he hopes to embark upon in Daura axis of the state by the state government through the use of a certain committee it allegedly established for the same purpose. Tsauri, who has been having a running battle with the governor of the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Shehu Shema since he started embarking on the mission of helping indigent citizens of the state, also alleged that hooligans and even the police have been compromised, as was done before, to ensure that the his Samaritan efforts fails.

A statement by Tsauri, indicated that on Saturday 23rd November, 2013 he will host a programme aimed at giving succour to 2,250 widows and orphans from Daura zone. “A breakdown of the beneficiaries of this programme, which is being organised in conjunction with the Jama’atul Izalatil Bid’ah Wa’iqaamatis Sunnah and supported by the Munazzamah and Fityaanul Islam of Daura is as follows: Daura local government, 680 beneficiaries, Mashi local government, 200 beneficiaries, Ingawa local government, 200 beneficiaries, Kankia local government ,150 beneficiaries.” Other areas that will benefit are: Kusada local government, 130 beneficiaries, Dutsi local government, 120 beneficiaries,

Bindawa local government, 120 beneficiaries, Baure local government, 130 beneficiaries, Maiadua local government ,150 beneficiaries, Zango local government, 120 beneficiaries, Sandamu local government, 120 beneficiaries and Mani local government, 130 beneficiaries. The statement said the items that will be distributed on that day include; 650 sewing machines, 600 local spaghetti making machine with a half bag of floor to each beneficiary, 50 motor cycles, 10 Keke NAPEP, 200 grinding machines, 200 deep freezers, 140 knitting machines, 100 water carts/jerry cans and donkeys, half a bag of groundnut for 150 women and 10 measures of beans with one gallon each of groundnut oil for 150 women.

Nevertheless, Tsauri expressed fear that “hooligans have been hired and provided with machetes to ensure total annihilation of whoever attends the programme after which the police will step in to arrest all of us, assuming we survive, on the accusation that we are doing politics when it has not been officially sanctioned!” The philanthropist, was however quick to point out that he will not be cowed and will not respond by brandishing any weapon. Instead, the statement said: ’’Our protection for long has been with Allah and to Him again do we entrust our safety and lives!” He implored his supporters to fast for 3 days and seek divine intervention so that Allah may make the programme a reality.

APC decries continued detention of certified election observers By Mohammed Umar-Puma


he All Progressives Congress (APC) has described as totally inexplicable and unjustifiable the continued detention of the 182 election Observers who were illegally arrested in Imo state two days before last Saturday’s governorship election in Anambra state even after INEC has publicly said they are duly certified election Observers. In a statement issued in Abuja

yesterday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party expressed shock at the brazen contempt of court displayed by the police when the Observers were brought before a Magistrate on Monday. It said even though the charges of conspiracy to commit misdemeanor, unlawful assembly and conduct likely to breach peace were bailable, the police acted in such an irresponsible, unlawful

and contemptuous manner just to ensure the suspects were not granted bail. ‘’Having brought the alleged suspects before a Magistrate, one would have expected that the Imo police command will allow the judicial process to follow its due course. Rather, men and officers of the police command acted in a manner that tainted the entire Nigeria police and called to question their motive for arresting

the innocent Observers in the first instance ‘’Just before the case was called, the police suddenly seized and took away some of the suspects. When this came to the knowledge of the lawyers representing the Observers, they raised it with the presiding Magistrates, who ruled that the court will stand the matter down for two hours so that the remaining suspects could be produced before the court.



Alleged murder of policeman: Court remands man in prison custody


n Ado-Ekiti Chief Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday remanded one Ahmed Bello, 25, in prison custody for the alleged murder of a mobile policeman. Police prosecutor Sunday Onwuchekwa told the court that the accused committed the offence on Oct.15 at about 3 p.m. at Ogbon-Ado Street, Ado-Ekiti. He said the accused, and others now at large, on the said date, caused the death of one Cpl. David Skiyo, attached to 33 PMF, Ado-Ekiti, by beating and hitting him with stick. Onwuchekwa said the offence contravened Section 319(1) of the Criminal Code, Cap C 16, Laws of Ekiti, 2012, and that he had sent the case file to the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice. The accused was not represented by any defence counsel and his plea was not taken. Chief Magistrate Olanike Adegoke consequently remanded the accused in prison custody, pending legal advice from the DPP. She adjourned the case to Dec.11 for further hearing. (NAN)

News Extra

NAFDAC labs get international accreditation By Abbas Aminu Bamalli


he National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has said that its two major laboratories have been accredited by the American Association of Laboratory Accreditation.

A statement issued yesterday in Abuja by the Director, Special Duties, NAFDAC, Alhaji Abubakar Jimoh, said the laboratories were accredited on November 18. The statement said the laboratories are NAFDAC’s Mycotoxin and Pesticides Residues Laboratories located

at Oshodi in Lagos state, which obtained the ISO 17025 accreditation. “The accreditation project, which was sponsored by United Nations Industrial Development (UNIDO), has launched the two laboratories into the league of internationally recognised and

respected laboratories”, the statement said. The Director General of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, the statement said, remarked that the accreditation would give global acceptance to the ‘value-added agricultural exports tested and certified’ by the agency.

Kwara Assembly okays revised appropriation


he Kwara House of Assembly yesterday passed the revised 2013 appropriation bill. The new approved 2013 budget is about N96.931 billion and it is N487.545 million higher than the earlier approved budget of N96.443 billion. The bill was resent to the House in September by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed. The passage of the bill was sequel to the adoption of the report of House Committee on Finance and Appropriation presented by its Chairman, Mr Suleiman Sunoboro, (Ilesha/Gwanara Constituency). The Speaker, Mr Razak Atunwa, said that the bill was passed having satisfied the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Rule of the House. He directed the Clerk of the House, Mr Oyetunde Oyeniyi, to prepare a clean copy of the bill and send to the governor for his assent. (NAN)

L-R: Representative of Vulnerable Children and Orphans Right Initiative, Mr. Chris Idahosa, representative of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs. Annetu Aliu, and representative Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Iran Ajifo, during the 2013 Universal Children’s Day Celebration organised by Ministry of Women Affairs, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

DPR frowns at illegal fuel outlets in Kaduna From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


he Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has expressed dismay over illegal construction of filling stations across the country, saying marketers deliberately indulge in such acts without recourse to DPR for appropriate approval. Kaduna Zonal Operation

Controller, Alhaji Mustapha Falalu Jahun, made the lamentation at the 2013 DPR and Petroleum Products Marketers’ annual general meeting held Tuesday in Kaduna. The zonal director said this practice by marketers will no longer be tolerated by the government as it has directed its agencies to list out all illegally constructed fuel outlets

and those under construction for appropriate action. “The activities of such marketers usually result into fake DPR licence which is viewed by government as national economic sabotage. Some of these stations does not even have such safety equipment such fire extinguishers, sand bucket, etc as well as proper entrance or exit gates which creates unnecessary jam

Group distributes relief materials to displaced persons in Nasarawa From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


group, the Nasarawa Peoples’ Congress (NPC), agitating for the unity and progress of Nasarawa state, has distributed relief materials to victims of the recent Ombatse

onslaught, after it visited displaced persons camps in Obi and Keana. Organizing Secretary of the group, Bako Ajen, said the visit was to condole with the people over the unfortunate incidence and to bring them succour. He called on the IDPs to

toe the path of forgiveness and reconciliation, noting that, “It’s a sad commentary on Nasarawa state as brothers turn against each other and become enemies overnight. This is unacceptable as we can’t continue like that as crisis does not portend any good for either of the

Kwara Assembly okays revised appropriation


pack,” he said. “Please be reminded that the prescribed penalties for products diversion, over pricing, under dispensing, hoarding, tempering with DPR seal, truck recycling, molesting of DPR staff and other related offences are still in force. Marketers are advised to keep to the tenets of DPR operating guidelines to avoid sanction”, he warned.

he Kwara House of Assembly yesterday passed the revised 2013 appropriation bill. The new approved 2013 budget is about N96.931 billion and it is N487.545 million higher than the earlier approved budget of N96.443 billion. The bill was resent to the House in

September by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed. The passage of the bill was sequel to the adoption of the report of House Committee on Finance and Appropriation presented by its Chairman, Mr Suleiman Sunoboro, (Ilesha/Gwanara Constituency). The Speaker, Mr Razak Atunwa, said

that the bill was passed having satisfied the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Rule of the House. He directed the Clerk of the House, Mr Oyetunde Oyeniyi, to prepare a clean copy of the bill and send to the governor for his assent. (NAN)

parties involved.” As part of the group’s effort at restoring peace to the state, Bako disclosed that NPC has completed arrangements to organize a peace summit that would afford the people an opportunity to discuss matters with a view to finding lasting solutions to the incessant crises. Receiving the relief materials on behalf of the Osuko of Obi, Alhaji Dangiwa Ogiri, Alhaji Ibrahim Okotoshi, thanked the group for the gesture, saying, “This is the first group that has made such and effort and it is commendable”. Items donated by the group includes detergents, rice, indomie and clothing.



News Extra ‘Gaidam, most committed governor to health care devt From Uche Uche, Damaturu


obe state Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam has been described as the most committed Governor in areas of healthcare development and services in the state. The Principal Medical Officer, Family Support Clinic, Maryam Sani Abacha Maternal and Childcare hospital, Damaturu, made the declaration while responding to questions on the inability of the clinic to perform medical operations in VesicoVaginal Fistula (VVF) patients in the state. He buttressed his statement by citing an example with Maryam Abatcha clinic where renovation work were going on, on the order the governor gave when he visited the hospital recently to inspect a renovation work being carried out within the hospital. The principal explained that when the governor saw the level of the renovation work, he was impressed but quickly pointed out other places he saw that needed renovation. However, he said there were other facilities of the clinic that needing renovation such as the theatre complex, dinning, antinatal wards and the laboratory.

The principal added that during the visit, the governor directed that any doctor who wanted to work in the state should be given automatic employment without delay and also ordered the Ministry of Women Affairs to immediately forward to him the bill estimate for the renovation works at the clinic including an obstetric ward. “As I am talking to you now, as you can see yourself, all the renovation works are going on just barely two months after he gave the directives. Though the work was delayed because he travelled out. Now that he is back and saw the bill estimate, he signed it and the renovation work is in top gear,” the PMO said. “Honestly speaking the executive governor of Yobe state is always committed. Once you see something undone, know that he is not informed about it. If you see something being ignored, he is not aware. On the issue of VVF operations he said the federal government gives approval for establishment of VVF centres, pointing out that there were specific states selected across the country including Yobe where the federal government, through the minister of health, wanted to establish VVF centers.

70% Sokoto teachers are non natives From Mahmud Muhammad, Sokoto


ver 70 percent of school teachers in Sokoto state, currently teaching in various schools across the state are not its indigenes. Chairman of Sagi Youth Association of Concerned Indigenes of Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan said this while addressing newsmen in Sokoto, blaming the situation on the inability of the people of the state to assist one another other.

He further alleged that the oldest federal government agency in Sokoto, the Rima Basin Development Authority (RBDA) was dominated by Katsina state indigenes, and called on the government a the centre to create a balance in the system. However, one of the officials of the agency who was reacting on the allegation yesterday told our reporter that the RBDA, established 30 years ago, was meant to serve the North-west region, including Kastina, Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi states.

Niger awards N1.2bn road upgrade contract From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna


iger state government has awarded N1.2billion contract for the upgrading of Birgi-Lapai Gwari road, to ease traffic congestion in the area. Briefing newsmen after the signing the contract, Commissioner for Works and Infrastructural Development, Alhaji Mu’azu Muhammed Bawa explained that the project was conceived by the administration to decongest heavy traffic in the area and make life meaningful to the people. Bawa said the contract will help upgrade the road to meet the needs of the people, adding that when

standardised, the road would not only ease flow of traffic but will add value to the socio-economic activities of the people. In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary of works in the ministry, Adamu Jagaba said that the road was contracted to Soject Nigeria limited based on their track records of performance and urged them to maintain the standard. He emphasised the need for the company to adhere strictly to the terms and conditions spelt out for the execution of the project within six months, adding that the ministry will ensured effective supervision and monitoring of the performance of the contract on daily basis.

L-R: Conveners, Say No Campaign on the State of Corruption and Impunity in Nigeria, Mr. Awwal Musa Rafsanjani, Comrade Ezenwa Nwagwu, Head of Secretariat, Barrister Samson Itodo, and SNC secretariat staff, Ms. Cynthia Mbamalu, during Civil Society Organisations’ media briefing on high level of corruption and impunity in Nigeria, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Road accidents claim 400,000 people under 25 years annually- FRSC From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna


ederal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) yesterday gave an alarming figure that said about 1.3 million people die every year through road related accidents worldwide, stressing that among those killed 400,000 are youth under the age of 25 years. Kaduna FRSC Public Relations Officer, Martins Dajangla made the disclosure at the KRPC Health Safety and Environment( HSE) 2013 Week held in Kaduna. According to him, the World Health Organization (WHO) has put road traffic crashes among the

leading causes of deaths of people between 15-40 years of age. “In Kaduna alone, we recorded about 490 deaths in road accidents from January to August alone. We have not added that of September to November figures. This show how alarming such figures are. Today Road crashes kill faster than HIV and Malaria,” he said. He attributed the causes of such road accidents to bad behaviour of some drivers while on wheel. Earlier in his remark, NNPC Group Managing Director represented by KRPC Acting General Manager, Engineer Balfered Enjugu said this year the company recorded zero oil spill

into the river. He added that they are doing their best to ensure they protect communities around them. He said the HSE week presented another opportunity to raise awareness and deliberate on pertinent HSE matters that affect their lives and business. “Current trends confirmed that HSE compliance is increasingly gaining worldwide attention as a powerful tool and important driver to ensure business sustainability, higher productivity, ensuring control and mitigation of associated risk and hazards that promote sustainable development for the benefit of future generations.

Bank to provide free eye screening in Kebbi From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


irst City Monument Bank (FCMB), in conjunction with Tultsi Chanrai Foundation of India, has concluded preparations to conduct free eye screening and surgery to over 6000 people suffering from eye problem across the state. Speaking yesterday during a community outreach in Sambawa

village of Maiyama local government area, the zonal head, North- West zone of the Bank, Mr. Abdullahi Mainasara, said the programme was the second of its kind since the bank’s partnership with Eye Savers Foundation in 2009. He explained that the gesture was part of the bank’s corporate social responsibility to the people, adding that annually, 200 patients were treated across the state.

Responding, the state Commissioner of Health, Alhaji Shehu Sambawa, thanked the FCMB for the gesture and assured them of the government’s commitment in ensuring effective mobilisation of the people. He said the establishment of Hafsat Eye Centre in Birnin Kebbi, was a clear indication that government was commitment in that direction.

Sanitation ends poverty, keeps children in school, says NGO From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Network for Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN) in Bauchi state has revealed that sanitation has vital roles in putting an end to the scourge of poverty among people. According to the NGO, “sanitation also keeps children in school and

ensures effective learning”. The coordinator of the Network, Mrs. Lydia Haruna Tsammani gave this indication yesterday while in a tour with some pupils to the Bauchi state Universal Basic Education Board to mark the ‘World Toilets Day’. Mrs. Haruna further stressed that sanitation were necessary for improving and protecting health

and wellbeing of the citizenry, adding that sanitation encompasses a wide range of challenges including excrete disposal, hygiene, solid waste (garbage) disposals and drainage. On his part, NEWSAN coordinator appealed to the SUBEB Board Chairman to provide schools with hand washing facilities, more toilets and boreholes to arm them against disease.



he Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National sports commission (NSC) Bolaji Abdullah have expressed the Federal Government’s confidence on coach Stephen Keshi, leading the Super Eagles to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Abdullahi said this yesterday after briefing the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the Golden Eaglets’ victory in the justconcluded World U-17 soccer championship and the Super Eagles’ qualification for the World Cup in Brazil. He, however, said that government would oblige Keshi additional technical support in form of foreign technical assistant, if he so request. The minister said Keshi had to a large extent, done a good job since he took over the handling of the team. He said his ministry was reviewing the team’s recent matches against the Ethiopian in Calabar and the Italian national teams in London. “We played two matches in the last couple of weeks one in Calabar and the one in London against the Italian national team. “If you look at the two games, you can see that the profiles are different. Of course, the competitions are different, but also the games are different in terms of approaches. “We have received reports from outsiders but we are going to sit down with the coaches to review all these. “We will be open to reviewing all options and if coach Keshi, whom we believe has done very good job to put this team together from AFCON up to this time, if he feels he needs additional technical


he Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, has blamed the inability of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to pay the salary arrears of Super Eagles’ coach Stephen Keshi on ``system problems’’. Abdullahi told newsmen in Abuja that the ministry and the NFF were however working towards resolving the issues which caused the delay in the payment of the salaries. The minister, who is also the Chairman, National Sports Commission (NSC), also blamed Keshi for speaking to the media on the issue. He said Keshi should have given his employers enough time to resolve the matter, instead of taking it to the media. “If NFF is having problems paying Keshi’s salary, it means that the system has a problem and that


support, we are going to give it to him. “But we believe we are confident that he is capable of doing the job and if there are issues we can always talk about it.We have confidence in his ability to lead the team to the World Cup,’’ he said. On the salaries being owed to coaches, Abdullahi said he had made representation to appropriate authorities to intervene. Abdullahi said the increase in payments of match bonuses to the team was responsible for the inability of the Football House to pay the salaries of the coaches. “ If I may tell you, one of the major reasons the federation has found it difficult to meet some of its obligations is that success in sports comes with enormous price. “Unlike in the past when the national teams were not winning, now we have won almost every single game. “For every single game they win, you have to pay match bonuses and match bonuses cannot wait, it should be paid immediately. “So, when you are drawing from the same pool of fund to pay the match bonuses and the commitment that keeps piling President Jonathan and Keshi up, then it becomes very difficult for you to meet some of these to us because this is a young man statutory obligations. with such a bright prospect. “We believe all these things should “Since all players on national have been done differently, but we teams are insured, the family will are working toward addressing be paid the insurance proceeds. that and very soon it will be done “In addition, the federation will with,’’ he said. also reach out to the bereaved Abdullahi described the death of family after the burial and think a Golden Eaglet, Friday Njengo, of what to do to assist,’’ he said. as tragic, and assured that the Earlier, while briefing the council, Federal Government would do the Abdullahi had said that the right things for the family. Golden Eaglets did not just win “On the issue of the player, Friday the tournament, but also set a new Njengo that unfortunately died

system has to be addressed. “It is unfortunate that Keshi has to bring out the issue of his salary and


make it a media issue, because it is something that can be addressed internally,’’ Abdullahi said.

competition by scoring a total of 26 goals. He said the team also left the tournament with the Fair-Play Award, the Most Valuable Player Award, the Golden Glove Award and the Silver Boot Award. He also recalled that earlier in January, the Nigerian Super Eagles won the African Cup of Nations for the first time after 19 years. The minister said Nigeria

holds the record holds recor re cord d of of the the African Africa Afr ican n champion in athletic senior, youth and junior. He said with all the achievements, Jonathan had become the most successful president ever in Nigerian sporting history. Abdullahi expressed the confidence that with the 2014 World Cup and the Commonwealth Game also coming up in 2014 in Glasgow, there was the possibility for extending the record higher.

He revealed that the NSC had already waded into the matter, saying the issue should not have been brought into the public glare. “We are taking the right steps to support the NFF to meet this obligation. But, for me, it is not something that is supposed to be a media issue. “However, do you boycott working or call a press conference because somebody owes you salary? “When you get a job, you do it, you don’t go about embarrassing your employers because your salary is delayed,’’ Abdullahi said. The minister, however, assured that the National Sports Commission (NSC) would do all that was necessary to resolve the matter. “Keshi is entitled to his wages. He is a great coach and has done a very good job. But the issues of

his salary could have been settled between him and his employers. “If his employers have problems that they cannot pay, then they will come to us. “If we are not able to help, then, we go to the higher authorities and tell them that we have a problem,’’ Abdullahi said. Peoples Daily Sports recalled that Keshi is being owed about N35 million in salary arrears by the NFF. The NFF had at different occasions claimed it reduced the debt, but it had also failed to say how much it had been able to pay to Keshi who is on a monthly salary of N5 million. Keshi had on Oct. 23 told newsmen that the seven-month salaries being owed him by the NFA was ``the lowest point’’ of his coaching career. Aminu Maigari, the NFF president, had recently said that the debt was because the federation was cashstrapped.




Niger state hosts 1st North-central intra Zonal Chess Tournament

180 golfers set for CBN Golf Tourney in Abuja


FFrom Yakubu Y k b Mustapha, M t h Minna Mi

o fewer than one hundred and eighty golfers will participate in the 7th edition of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor’s Golf Tournament scheduled at IBB golf and country club this weekend in Abuja. Disclosing this to newsmen yesterday in Abuja, CBN Director Corporate of Communications, Ugo Okoroafor said the tournament is being sponsored as part of the Apex Bank’s social responsibility. “This event has been on for the past six years as efforts will be intensifying to improve on achievements recorded so far in the previous game. The Apex bank is committed towards partnering with relevant Stakeholders to develop the game of golf in line with its corporate social responsibility. “We have made adequate arrangements to ensure that this year’s tournament will be a memorable one, “he said.


he Nigeria Chess F e d e r a t i o n (NCF) has given approval for the hosting of the 1st North-Central intra Zonal

Chess Tournament scheduled to hold in December at the Alovera hotel in Minna, Niger state capital. The competition which is package to promote the game of chess within the Geo- political zone shall be

an annual event in the sports festival format among the seven states within the zone. The competition will be in three categories which include team event, Bliss event and the U-16 category and its open to all state chess clubs, teams and players from the zone. A l h a j i Durotoye Bode Ali the zonal cordinator North Central 11 zone x of the National

Sports Commission (NSC) who made this known in a press statement said that the sustainability of the tournament is what is paramount. The statement also added that the various category of the competition would go with cash prizes for the first, second and third positions. It then called on all participating team to give their support toward the successful hosting of the championship.

PUBLIC NOTICE Chess players


Traditonal ruler hails Jonathan over Golden Eaglets’ victory


traditional ruler of Onicha Uku Kingdom in Delta state; Chief Chukwudi

Odekpe has attributed the recent victory of the Golden Eaglets at the just concluded

CAVEAT EMPTOR This is to inform the general public that the piece of land situate and lying at PLOT NO 63, CADASTRAL ZONE B19, KATAMPE EXTENSION DISTRICT, FCT, ABUJA with RECERTIFIED NEW FILE NO ZA10043 dated 04/07/05, and OLD FILE NO ZA351 dated 03/19/03 measuring about 2594.30m2 belonging to our client, Mrs. Samira Bello has been illegally and criminally trespassed upon by person or persons unknown. This CAVEAT EMPTOR is to notify the general public that the said piece of land is the property of the said Mrs. Samira Bello and has never at any time assign or convey her interest in the said piece of land to anyone. The general public is hereby notified that whoever trespasses and encroaches on this landed property or transact with anyone save our client in respect of the said pieace of land does so at his or her own risk. Abuja Geographical Information System (AGIS), please take note. For further enquiries, contact:Deji Morakinyo, Esq LP Falana & Falana’s Chambers, 22, Mediterranean Street, Imani Estate, Maitama District Abuja.

World Cup in UAE to President, Goodluck J o n a t h a n ’ s com m i t m e n t towards nation building. O d e k p e disclosed this during a celebration party organized by his community to celebrate the victory. According to him, the victory was a transformation of the present administration and urged Nigerians irrespective of their tribe and religion to rally round President Jonathan in order to move the country forward. “Our president h a s s o f a r demonstrated to Nigerians and the world that he is capable of administering Nigeria to the next level. “We need to pray for this country as well as rallying round our President in order to put critics to shame,” He said









Murray returns to court McDowell set to play after back operation

for Ireland in Rio Olympics


ix-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt claims the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada) investigation into Jamaica could cost him a lucrative sponsorship deal at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. A senior drug tester told the BBC last week that Jamaica’s recent failed drug tests might be the “tip of an iceberg”. But Bolt said he would not be following his compatriot ShellyAnn Fraser-Pryce in threatening to strike in response. “There was a rumour going around saying they were going to try and ban Jamaica if they did not have the Jamaican drug testing facility in order. “But I’m saying if you’re going to say that, you’ve got to be very

l el ow

Froch set to punish Groves on Saturday at middleweight


arl Froch says George Groves will pay for his “arrogance”, “rudeness” and “lack of respect” when they meet for the IBF and WBA world supermiddleweight titles on Saturday. Groves has said he should be favourite, and that riled the Nottingham fighter. Unbeaten Groves, 25, is supremely confident he can inflict

Farah tops wanted list for Cardiff 2016 race organisers

O Laura Robson

careful of how you’re saying it because now my sponsors say that if I don’t run at the Olympics ‘why should we sponsor you?’ It’s costing me money so they should sort this out and then there’s no problem.” Six Jamaican athletes have tested positive this year, and the United States’ Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) has already offered to help Jamaica’s antidoping team because they feel the island’s athletes have been “let down”. “The IAAF president says the Jamaican federation has done a good job in cracking down, they just need help to develop their testing facilities more. I think it’s a problem but I think they’ll sort it out but they need to do it quickly.”

Usain Bolt


and is expected to accompany the Canadian teenager to the big tournaments. Robson performed well at the grand slams in 2013, making the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time and the third round at both the Australian and US Opens. The 19-year-old was seeded for the first time at a slam in New York but finished the season ranked 45th after disappointing results in Asia. Robson will begin her 2014 season at the ASB Classic in Auckland, which begins on 31 December this year.



ritish number one Laura Robson is to start working with veteran American coach Nick Saviano. Melbourne-born Robson, 19, has been without a coach since splitting from Miles Maclagan in October. Robson has been training at 57-year-old Saviano’s academy in Florida during the off-season. Former world number 163 Jesse Witten, 31, will also work with Robson as the American will act as her coach and hitting partner during tournaments. Saviano also coaches Robson’s best friend Eugenie Bouchard


Robson set to work with American coach


in four sets to Serb, and current world number two, Novak Djokovic. Murray’s lingering back problem forced him to withdraw from the French Open in May, but he recovered to become the first Briton to win the Wimbledon men’s singles title since Fred Perry in 1936. In September, his defence of his US Open title ended in the quarter-finals, but he went on to enjoy success with his GB Davis Cup team-mates, who secured their place in the 2014 World Group. Murray then underwent surgery and missed the recent ATP World Tour Finals in London as he recovered.



imbledon champion Andy Murray has practised on court for the first time since his back surgery in September. The world number four published a photograph on his official Facebook page with a caption that read: “Sun is shining, back on the courts.” The 26-year-old has not played since helping Great Britain’s Davis Cup team defeat Croatia to book their spot in the World Group two months ago. He has yet to decide whether to compete in January’s Australian Open. The Scot has finished as runner-up three times in Melbourne, losing the 2013 final


orthern h IIreland’s l d’ Graeme G McDowell expects to play for Ireland at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. McDowell is representing Ireland at this week’s World Cup in Melbourne, which rules out the option of playing for Team GB in Brazil. Olympic rules state that he could only play for Team GB if three years have passed since representing Ireland. Athletes born in Northern Ireland are eligible to represent Great Britain or Ireland at Olympic Games. Fellow Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy still has the choice of playing for Great Britain or Ireland in Rio, if he decides to take part. Like McIlroy, McDowell has been reluctant to commit to either team due to the political ramifications of such a choice and has called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to decide for him. Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson has expressed sympathy for the Northern Irishmen’s dilemma , and said earlier this year that he hoped the burden of choice could be taken away from them.


Andy Murray

World Anti-Doping Agency probe may cost me money- Bolt

rganiser of the 2016 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff is hopeful of attracting Mo Farah to run in the event. The World and Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m champion has yet to decide whether to run the marathon at the Rio Games in 2016. But Welsh Athletics chief executive Matt Newman is hoping the Cardiff race will fit in to Farah’s preparations. “We were lucky to speak to his agent at the weekend and to start the process of influencing his running calendar in 2016. “But we think now that we can start [now] and the relationship

he [Farrar] has with British Athletics will help to influence a good decision for our event in 2016.” Cardiff was named as the host for the 2016 event on 15 November, with the event scheduled to take place in March, 2016, five months ahead of the Olympics. The announcement follows the success of the annual Cardiff half marathon, which this year was run on 14 October. “The timing could be spot on even if he is committed to running the London Marathon a month later because that would be a good stepping stone,” he added.

a third career defeat on 36-yearold Froch at the Manchester Arena this weekend. But Froch, a veteran of 13 previous world title fights, has no doubt he is ready to see off his fellow Englishman. “The fact he has been annoying, disrespectful and arrogant has given me the extra motivation that I have needed at this late stage in my career,” Froch added. “He has been downright rude, but I can’t let that affect me in the fight. I can’t let my boxing shape change because of the way I am feeling emotionally. He is not winding me up so I am outraged, but I don’t like the guy. When you don’t like somebody you can use it in a positive way.




Qualified teams for 2014 World Cup in Brazil


he line-up is almost completed; we know the 32 nations that will take part in next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil. The teams comprise of 13 European, five South American, five African, four North

American and four Asian countries already there. EUROPE Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal,



anager: Vahid Halilhodzic The well-travelled Bosnian coach signed a three-year deal when taking over in 2011, after a relatively successful two-year spell with Ivory Coast from 2008. How they got there: Comfortably qualifying from Group H in qualifying, Algeria - famously holding England at the 2010 World Cup looked certain for 2014 when they drew Burkina Faso in their play-off match. Things weren’t that easy, however, as Burkina Faso won the first-leg 3-2. The homeside turned it around in the return leg, beating the underdogs 1-0 to progress on away goals.

Lionel Messi helped Argentina through



anager: Alejandro Sabella Former Sheffield United and Leeds United midfielder who was appointed Argentina boss only his second managerial post - after the team’s failure at the 2011 Copa America. How they got there: Without Brazil’s presence, Argentina were billed to be the runaway leaders in South America and they didn’t fail to disappoint as Messi’s goals ensured they easily navigated their way to an 11th consecutive appearance. Messi failed to deliver in South Africa, but can he finally star on the biggest stage and end Argentina’s 28-year wait to win a third World Cup?



anager: Safet Susic - Former Paris SaintGermain legend who has now gone one better than Euro 2012’s play-off defeat and led Bosnia to their first major tournament. How they got there: Bosnia and Greece were by far the runaway teams in Group G and such was their dominance, Bosnia still needed to win on the final day despite dropping points in just two qualifiers throughout the campaign. Huge celebrations greeted their first ever qualification for a major tournament but it remains to be seen how Dzeko and his team-mate cope in Brazil.

anager: Marc Wilmots - Former Belgian international playmaker who went to four World Cups and is now overseeing the blossoming of a new golden generation of talent. How they got there: Blessed with a generation of players that have taken Belgium from being non-qualifying material to a major European force, Marc Wilmots guided his side to top spot in Group A with a game to spare after making light work of nearest rivals Croatia. The nation’s first major tournament in 12 years may end up being their best since the class of 86 visited Mexico.

M Alexis Sanchez can be an unstoppable force for Chile



anager: Jorge Sampaoli Brought in to save Chile’s World Cup qualification campaign and restore the highintensity football of Marcelo Bielsa - which he did. How they got there: Chile was not made to regret throwing away a 3-0 lead against Colombia - they eventually drew 3-3 - and sealed victory against Ecuador in the final qualifier to secure third place and their place in Brazil.

anager: Hong Myung-bo - Played 136 times for his country, and had several assistant manager jobs before taking up the reins in June to prepare his side for a World Cup. How they got there: Survived a late scare on the final matchday of the group stage to qualify as only a narrowly superior goal difference saved them from being bumped into the play-offs by Uzbekistan following a 1-0 home defeat to Iran. It will be their eighth consecutive finals but only twice have they got beyond the group stage.

United States


Tim Cahill celebrates qualification


Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari keeps a close grip on star Neymar during training anager: Luiz Felipe Scolari Having led Brazil to World Cup glory in 2002, former Chelsea manager Scolari has returned to lead them to victory on home turf. How they got there: As host nation they booked their place at the tournament six years ago when Brazil were awarded the tournament. There is huge pressure on Brazil, where anything less than a record sixth victory will be seen as a national disaster alongside the infamous team that crashed on home soil to lose the 1950 final to Uruguay.


anager: Stephen Keshi Became on the second man in history to win the Africa’s Cup of Nations as both player and manager this year, becoming a national hero in the process. How they got there: Nigeria were undefeated in their group containing Malawi, Kenya and Namibia, before comprehensively seeing off Ethiopia 4-1 on aggregate in their play-off.



Chelsea’s Eden Hazard is one of many Premier League stars in Belgium’s team



anager: Ange Postecoglou - Greek who has only recently stepped into the post having recently managed at South Melbourne, Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory. How they got there: Rather than battling for top spot, Australia were left trying to fend off Oman for the final automatic spot which they only achieved on the final day following a late 1-0 win against Iraq coupled with Oman’s loss at Jordan. They are out of form having been defeated 6-0 by Brazil and France in recent matches – just as well the tournament is next summer.

C Edin Dzeko led Bosnia to their first ever finals

Coast, Nigeria ASIA Australia, Iran, Japan, South Korea NORTH AMERICA Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, United States



Sofiane Feghouli of Algeria

Russia, Spain, Switzerland SOUTH AMERICA Argentina, Brazil (host), Chile, Colombia, Uruguay AFRICA Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory

oach: Volker Finke Welltravelled German who was appointed in May and guided Cameroon through the important final qualifiers to reach Brazil. How they got there: The Indomitable Lions won a group featuring Libya, Congo DR and Togo before overcoming Tunisia 4-1 on aggregate in the final play-off round. They received a stroke of good fortune in the group when Togo was forced to forfeit their 2-0 win in June after fielding an ineligible player.

Former England youth international Victor Moses scored a penalty as his side progressed to the World Cup after beating Ethiopia



anager: Fabio Capello the ex-England manager has done it all in his career, winning five Serie A titles, one La Liga, and one Champions League, amongst others. How they got there:Despite being in the same group as Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, Russia always held the advantage in the group and secured top spot with relative ease. Manager Fabio Capello of course did a similar trick with England to comfortably guide them to South Africa, but we will need little reminding of how badly that adventure ended…

Jozy Altidore fired in the goals for United States during qualifying


anager: Jurgen Klinsmann - A World Cup winner as a player in 1990, the exTottenham man almost guided his country Germany to success in 2006 - falling at the semi-finals. How they got there: After starting slowly in ‘the Hex’, Klinsmann’s side soon found their winning rhythm to hit top spot in the group before a win over Mexico last month confirmed a seventh straight World Cup appearance. The last 10 years have seen players gain bucket loads of experience from playing in Europe and it’s seeing big gains in the squad strength.



anager: Vicente Del Bosque - Had a superb spell at Real Madrid before making history with Spain. His World Cup and European Championship makes him arguably the best manager of alltime. How they got there: Paired in a tough group that contained France, top-spot was always going to come down to the two clashes between Spain and the 1998 champions. As it was it was the current holders that edged the headto-head record and finish in an automatic qualifying spot, as they attempt to become the first European side to lift the World Cup on South American soil.





1. Ghana claimed their place in next year’s World Cup finals despite a 2-1 defeat by Egypt 2. Oribe Peralta hit a hat-trick as Mexico won 4-2 in New Zealand to complete a 9-3 aggregate triumph in the teams’ duel for a FIFA World Cup place. 3.Cristiano Ronaldo and Tim Cahill’s record-equalling feats feature in a FIFA stats review that also included news of mixed fortunes for Cruzeiro, England, Mexico and Uruguay. 4. Didier Deschamps masterminded a historic victory to send France to the World Cup, but the true test await.


5.Captain Kelly Brown returns as Scotland end their autumn series against Australia at Murrayfield on Saturday.







Sports Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup trophy is for Brazilians, says Carlos


our first coaching experience was at Anzhi, where you were player-coach. Is that when you first thought about joining the profession, and did Guus Hiddink help you much? Everything I have experienced and learned in football led me towards one day becoming a coach. I was player-coach at Anzhi for ten games, but I really wanted to dedicate myself completely to it. So I’m much happier now. I’m still getting used to it, but I’m proud of what we’re building here. I want to make history as a coach, just like I did as a player. Hiddink really taught me a lot. We talked every day at Anzhi and I saw how he dealt with difficult situations, how he always seemed to know what the players needed. He was a great teacher. I hope I can be as successful as him. You won almost everything as a player. Do you think you can repeat this success as a coach? I think so. I don’t try and play the tough guy. I like to make friends with the players, identify with them. I work hard and because of that the players respect me. I try to be as open as possible, with the players, the club, the fans and the press. It’s how I’ve always worked. It makes it easier. I think in seven or ten years from now I’ll have a lot to celebrate in my coaching career. Apart from Hiddink, what other coaches have inspired you and helped to make you the way you are today? Luiz Felipe Scolari, [Vanderlei] Luxemburgo, Fabio Capello, [Vicente] Del Bosque. Even [Jose] Mourinho, though I haven’t worked with him yet. I always try to watch these coaches, to learn from them and put their ideas in practice myself. I admire coaches from

the younger generation too, like Pep Guardiola, because of what he did at Barcelona and what he is doing now at Bayern. And [Michael] Laudrup is doing a good job at a smaller team like Swansea. They definitely have what it takes to continue at the top and be successful for a long time. Why did you choose Sivasspor and Turkey as a place to start? The Turkish people have a lot in common with Brazilians. Fenerbahce really made me feel at home and the fans loved me. Then Sivas showed an interest and was offering a long-term project, which is part of what attracted me to the club. It’s just the beginning of what I hope will be a long, successful story. I already knew a lot about the country and about Turkish football, which makes it easier. I think Sivas plays some of the most attractive football in the league, and we’re tactically very well organised. People are saying a lot of nice things about us. We hope to play in European competition next season, and so far, everything is going exactly as I planned. The Sivasspor players aren’t well known outside Turkey. How did they react when they found out their new coach was a former FIFA World Cup winner? At first they were surprised to see me up close. But gradually they got used to it. I try to talk to them a lot, and tell them

that wins. So if everyone is committed, if they help each other and work together, the results will come. I think that’s more or less the secret. I have put together a good group, where everyone respects each other, and I give them all a chance to play in both the Turkish League and the Turkish Cup. They appreciate that, I think. Brazil has a great chance of doing well in the World Cup, even with all the pressure. He can keep the players calm, is intelligent and has a very good backroom staff, which always helps. Last year, in an interview with FIFA. com before the Ballon d’Or, you chose a very attacking FIFA/FIFPro World XI. Do you focus on attack as a coach too? stories about when I lived in Madrid, and about the Brazilian national team, and the time that I spent with players like [Zinedine] Zidane, [David] Beckham, Raul, Ronaldo, Romario. I try to remember the successful moments so that they can relate to them, and believe they can get there too. They are all good players. Four or five are internationals. For us it is all a matter of pride. Sivas is already respected in Turkish football. Next year, playing in European competition, we will be famous much further afield. What is the easiest part of being a trainer: the personal relationships or thinking about tactics? I think the relationships between coach, player, club and fans are what attract me, to be honest. The tactical question a little less so. I don’t remember exactly who it was, but there was one coach who said that the team with the best tactical system is the one

I do (laughs). I’m Brazilian, and I know the fans come to the stadium to see goals. At Sivas I have been using a 4-23-1 system, and, when we play at home, I switch to the 4-1-4-1, always attacking, with five to seven players going forward. I’ll never be a defensive coach. Sure, there are situations where you have to play on the counterattack, like against Galatasaray, Fenerbahce, or Besiktas. But in other games, we always try and attack. So, turning to Brazil. Luiz Felipe Scolari, who you know very well, is once again doing a great job with the team. Do you think he is the right coach to manage Brazil in a World Cup played on home turf? Brazil has a lot of great coaches, but I think we made the right choice bringing back Scolari. I liked Mano Menezes and the foundations he built. When he left, they brought in someone who knows Brazilian football and is used to the

atmosphere around the national squad. Brazil has a great chance of doing well in the World Cup, even with all the pressure. He can keep the players calm, is intelligent and has a very good backroom staff, which always helps. The friendships he has with the players is very important. Even with a star like Neymar in the group, the squad is based around team spirit, with everyone working towards the same goal. Do you see Marcelo as your natural successor at left back, both for Real Madrid and Brazil? Marcelo is a leader at Real and with the national team, and is an important player for both sides. He has evolved very quickly. Brazil has lots of options on the left side, with Marcelo, Maxwell and Filipe Luis, who are all great players, but Marcelo has an advantage because he’s been at Real Madrid for so many years. It shows that he is confident. He is a leader on the field, and he is among the best in the world at his position. The only problem is the injuries, but otherwise he is a great player. You have a very strong relationship with Real Madrid and Spain. How do you see the current Spanish national team? Has anything changed since the FIFA Confederations Cup? Are they still among the main contenders for the title in 2014? They are still very strong, and will be formidable opponents at the World Cup too. They know they lost to one of the strongest teams in the world at the Confederations Cup, a country with five World Cups, and they have accepted it. When I talked to them they said that Brazil was the better team, and they didn’t really seem too upset. Brazil pressed with great intensity - something that Brazilian football is not used to doing - and played with such joy, like we were having fun. But Spain also said they wouldn’t lose to us again. Well, they still lost last June!



Some Interesting Facts

n 1935 a writer named Dudley Nichols refused to accept the Oscar for his movie The Informer because the Writers Guild was on strike against the movie studios. In 1970 George C. Scott refused the Best Actor Oscar for Patton. In 1972 Marlon Brando refused the Oscar for his role in The Godfather. • The system of democracy was introduced 2 500 years ago in Athens, Greece. The oldest existing governing body operates in Althing in Iceland. It was established in 930 AD. • A person can live without food for about a month, but only about a week without water. If the amount of water in your body is reduced by just 1%, you’ll feel thirsty. If it’s reduced by 10%, you’ll die. • According to a study by the Economic Research Service, 27% of all food production in Western nations ends up in garbage cans. Yet, 1,2 billion people are underfed - the same number of people who are overweight. • Camels are called “ships of the desert” because of the way they move, not because of their transport capabilities. A Dromedary camel has one hump and a Bactrian camel two humps. The humps are used as fat storage. Thus, an undernourished camel will not have a hump. • In the Durango desert, in Mexico, there’s a creepy spot called the “Zone of Silence.” You can’t pick up clear TV or radio signals. And locals say fireballs sometimes appear in the sky. • Ethernet is a registered trademark of Xerox, Unix is a registered trademark of AT&T.


• Bill Gates’ first business was Traff-O-Data, a company that created machines which recorded the number of cars passing a given point on a road. • Uranus’ orbital axis is tilted at 90 degrees. • The final resting-place for Dr. Eugene Shoemaker - the Moon. The famed U.S. Geological Survey astronomer, trained the Apollo astronauts about craters, but never made it into space. Mr. Shoemaker had wanted to be an astronaut but was rejected because of a medical problem. His ashes were placed on board the Lunar Prospector spacecraft before it was launched


on January 6, 1998. NASA crashed the probe into a crater on the moon in an attempt to learn if there is water on the moon. • Outside the USA, Ireland is the largest software producing country in the world. • The first fossilized specimen of Australopithecus afarenisis was named Lucy after the paleontologists’ favorite song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” by the Beatles. • Figlet, an ASCII font converter program, stands for Frank, Ian and Glenn’s LETters. • Every human spent about half an hour as a single cell. • Every year about 98% of atoms in your body are replaced. • Hot water is heavier than cold. • Plutonium - first weighed on August 20th, 1942, by University of Chicago scientists Glenn Seaborg and his colleagues - was the first man-made element. • If you went out into space, you would explode before you suffocated because there’s no air pressure. • The radioactive substance, Americanium - 241 is used in many smoke detectors.

Say what?



Vittoria, three, is daughter of Italian MEPs Licia Ronzulli and Renato Cerioli has been coming to work with her mother since she was six weeks old, joins in on debates by raising hand to ‘vote’ along with her mother. Source:

. . . putting the people first


QUOTABLE QUOTE We have to agree on the same oil benchmark because that is why the Constitution of Nigeria provides’ for bicameral legislature. . . We have to agree as soon as practicable because we have to do away with the issue of arm twisting and impunity. – Senator Kabiru Marafa to Presidency on oil benchmark

SPORTS Igbos in contemporary Nigerian politics LATEST T GUEST COLUMNIST 4 killed in Algeria over World Cup celebration


our people have been reported killed in Algeria during celebrations of the country’s qualification to the 2014 World Cup following a 1-0 win over Burkina Faso in Blida on Tuesday. State radio ENRS said the incident occurred in the northeastern city of Tolga on Tuesday night when thousands of jubilant supporters stormed the streets after the final whistle, causing a stampede in which the four were killed. The source also said more than 20 people were injured in the rush and currently taking treatment in government hospitals. Algeria captain Madgid Bougherra scored the lone goal of the encounter to help his side book place at next year’s World Cup in Brazil. The first leg ended 3-2 in favour of Burkina Faso.

Zlatan: World Cup lost glamour without me


latan Ibrahimovic believes the World Cup will be “nothing” in his absence as Sweden’s hopes were dashed by Cristiano Ronaldo’s four goals in two games as Portugal qualified for next year’s World Cup. The Swede scored twice for his nation in the second leg, but was overshadowed by Ronaldo’s hat trick. Speaking after the game, Ibrahimovic said to his app Zlatan unplugged: “It was probably the last attempt to reach the World Cup with the national team for me. One thing is for sure, a World Cup without me is nothing to watch so it is not worthwhile to wait for the World Cup. “Congratulations to Portugal, but both teams deserved to get to the World Cup. The disappointment of course is great now that the World Cup in Brazil will remain a dream for the Swedish national team.”



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he announcement by Goodluck Jonathan of his government’s intention to convoke a national conference in the not too distant future threw up endless possibilities for addressing injustices and iniquities some sections of this country have been enduring since independence, but particularly since the beginning of the current political dispensation commencing from 1999. All northerners should see it as a platform for talking to each other and not talking at each other. The amount of ink and airtime spent castigating the North and its people cannot be quantified; yet the people of the North have always restrained from replying in kind. Sadly, this hate industry thrives on a diet of primordial sentiments like religion and ethnicity. Hate seem to be the currency of the new commentators and those in control of the reigns of power. Hate merchants, again sadly for the country, are those in control of the machinery of government. I will like to comment on the conduct of those in control who behave as though they are an army of occupation. The way and manner Jonathan was rammed down our throats by force of arms and the number of military men on northern streets and highways, give credence to the theory of the north being occupied by the military. A military now under the jackboots of the Igbos, who shot the first salvo against democracy and democratic rule on the night of January 15, 1966. This time around they have a compliant government under their thumbs already in place so there is no need shooting anybody dead. It is a government whose agenda of totally annihilating the North is unhidden. The first warning shot that was ignored by all was the claim by Goodluck Jonathan that only Igbos voted for him in the north, and therefore should be amply compensated. This is inspite of the fact that Jonathan’s campaign Director General is a northerner and all the PDP governors in the North campaigned for him. The Igbos are now the lords of the manor as far as Nigerian politics is concerned. The Jonathan administration has taken the country to the 1960s where the same Igbos attempted, albeit without success, to take over the country by force of arms. Under Jonathan, the military, the Army in particular under Ihejirika has been effectively “Igbonised”. The Igbos first showed their ambitions for controlling the country as far back as January 1, 1966, when they went on a killing spree in Kaduna, Ibadan and Lagos. It was a night when the blood of northern political and military leaders flowed freely; it was the night when Akintola and Okotie-Ebuh were killed

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Anyim Pius Anyim for aligning themselves with the hated northerners. Not a single Igbo officer or politician was killed that night. It proved to be a defining moment for the political development of the country. Incidentally all the leadership of the killer gang that night were Igbo officers. Ironsi took over the rump of the then Balewa government and proceeded to declare a unitary government, which was the ultimate aim of the coup plotters – the subjugation of the ‘proud’ northern people. The reaction of northerners to the wanton massacre scared the Igbos to retreat and thereafter declare the Biafra Republic. The secession was carried out under the mistaken believe that the bulk of the officer corps of northern origin were killed and therefore no one is left to challenge such a declaration. They didn’t reckon with the likes of Gowon, Shuwa, Murtala Mohammed, TY Danjuma, Martins Adamu, Abisoye and the rest. The war that ensued after the secession subdued the Igbos and Gowon’s magnanimity easily reintegrated them into the Nigerian project. Today the bulk of the Igbo population lives outside the traditional Igbo enclave and can be found all over the country, especially Lagos and the North. Northern Nigeria is second home to the Igbos, if not their first home. This is possible because of the accommodating nature of the people of the region. Igbos can be found in all the nooks and crannies of the North living side by side with the locals in harmony and enjoying all the benefits accruable to the locals. If not for their accents, one will never know they are Igbos. Governments all over the North, as a matter of policy, reserve a

certain percentage of market stalls for them in order, to among other things, make them feel welcome in wherever they choose to domicile. This was the state of affairs before the ascension of Goodluck Jonathan to the office of the President of Nigeria. We still see the triumphalism and arrogance displayed in the past rearing its head again. Certain actions of the present administration regarding the ethnic balance in the politics and political development of the country warrant the convocation of a sovereign national conference. The deliberate attempt by the likes of the late Chinua Achebe to rewrite the history of the country shall not go unchallenged. Keeping mute in the face of such provocative ahistorical narration as found in his last book, There Was a Country, gives room for the likes of his kinsman Ben Nwabueze to build on and extend the fallacy. The tea party called by Jonathan should be amply utilised to properly put everyone in his place. Much as the northern part of the country has been bending backwards to ensure the continuous existence of Nigeria as presently constituted and despite getting the short end of the stick at all times, the region has been portrayed as the problem child of the unwanted marriage foisted on us by the British. Assuming the North is in agreement with the other sections of the country on the “mistake” of 1914, must we continue being together inspite of the manifest hatred displayed against each other, particularly the North? Must we continue in a relationship where we would continue being treated as unwanted partners simply because some people cannot imagine life without the Federation Account Allocation Committee’s (FAAC) monthly meetings? It is my contention that all sections of the country are culpable for the stunted growth of the country but the North is continually portrayed as being responsible for all the ills bedevilling the country and northern leaders have always been apologetic for no reason other than to continue worshipping at the altar of lucre. As in 1966, the Igbos and their cousins in the Niger Delta have taken over the country’s jugular and are strangulating the nation to death while blaming the hated North. You can check all available statistics and verify.

This was clearly laid bare when the Minister of Aviation was recently caught breaching the Appropriation Act by buying two armoured cars earlier rejected by the National Assembly. Check this out – the Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah is Igbo; the then acting Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) who authorised the purchase of the armoured cars in contention, Mr. Joyce Nkemakolom is Igbo; the Minister of Finance who allegedly granted the waiver for the said cars, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is Igbo; the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Hope Uzodinma is Igbo; the Chairman, House Committee on Aviation, Nkiruka Onyejeocha is Igbo. And you guessed right – the car dealer, Cosmas Maduka is Igbo. Yet these are the people who claimed to be marginalised and we are made to feel guilty. The total takeover of the Aviation and Finance Ministries has not even being taken into account. The accommodative nature of the northern people is turning to be a curse for them as it is being misinterpreted to be stupidity or even weakness. We have seen how the economy of the region is taken over by these “marginalised” Nigerians. The conference should grant every section of the country full control of whatever resource is found in the region. For instance, oil found in the Niger Delta region should be left to the people of the Niger Delta area. Conversely, all lands in the North or any other region should be left 100 percent to the inhabitants of the area. This way, those marginalised will begin to have a sense of belonging. The historical revisionism by the Igbo intelligentsia as started by the late Achebe and taken over by Nwabueze has set the country apart. And now that Nwabueze has offered to “write a Constitution” as a working document for the planned conference, we can safely predict the outcome and nature of the Constitution that we will have at the end of the get together. Going by Nwabueze’s North – South treatise, one doesn’t need an oracle to guess the Nigeria that will come out of such a kitchen. It will be a Nigeria where an Ojukwu, who took up arms against his fatherland is given a hero’s burial while a General Muhammadu Shuwa, who defended the country’s corporate existence against Ojukwu’s treachery is buried in a pauper’s grave. Why not convene a sovereign national conference? If we cannot go our separate ways, why don’t we then explore the possibility of reverting to the Parliamentary system that was tried in the first Republic and which worked perfectly before some ethnic irredentists decided to change the government by force of arms?

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Peoples Daily Newspaper, Thursday 21, November, 2013  


Peoples Daily Newspaper, Thursday 21, November, 2013