Page 1

Vol. 8 No. 65

Friday, June 22, 2012

. . . putting the people first

Shaaban 2, 1433 AH


Bribery scandal: Reps tackle Otedola, Lawan says I’ll be vindicated By Lawrence Olaoye & Mohammed Puma


Former Chairman, House Committee on Education and Ad-Hoc Committee on Subsidy Regime, Hon. Farouk Lawan, answering questions from journalists shortly after he came out of the Chamber, yesterday at the National Assembly, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

he House of Representatives yesterday insisted that Mr. Femi Otedola, who claimed to have given $620,000 bribe to the beleaguered Rep Farouk Lawan equally, has questions to answer in the corruption scandal. Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep Zakari Mohammed while briefing newsmen on the bribery scandal tacitly indicted Otedola and faulted the oil mogul’s claim that he carried out a sting operation. Hon. Mohammed said the House believed “the giver (of bribe) is as guilty as the taker,” in a remark that offers an insight into the chamber’s unofficial impression of an episode which rates as one of its most scandalous. “Indeed if what he claims is

true, there are procedures for a sting operation,” the lawmaker said. Further commenting on Otedola’s personae, the Rep said, “It is those he befriends who should bury their faces in shame. Everybody’s history in this country is known. We know how people started their businesses, we know emergency billionaires.” Meanwhile, Lawan who is currently in the eye of the storm for allegedly receiving a bribe of $620,000 from the oil mogul in order to remove the names of his companies from the list of indicted firms in the alleged subsidy fraud, yesterday declared that he would be vindicated at the end of the investigation. Lawan who was at the head of the House ad hoc committee that investigated the nation’s subsidy regime before his removal by his colleagues at Contd on Page 2

Subsidy payments

Audit sets Ngozi, Diezani on collision course By Aminu Imam


decision by the Federal Ministry of Finance headed by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to audit payments made to oil marketers in 2011 for importation of fuel has set it on collision coursewith its Petroleum

counterpart under Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, Peoples Daily reliably learnt. The Farouk Lawan led Ad hoc Committee of the House of Representatives that investigated the nation’s subsidy regime had hard knocks for the he executive arm of government

Wada jittery, wants Echocho to drop suit >> PAGE 4

for alleged blatant abuse of the 2011 Appropriation Bill leading to the fraudulent escalation of the approved budget for fuel subsidy that year from N245.96 billion to N2.58 trillion. The report of that committee apparently embarrassed the Federal Government resulting

the finance ministry’s resolve to carry out a thorough audit of the claims made by marketers who benefitted from the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF), otherwise referred to as subsidy payments. The finance ministry’s decision, according to our findings, did not go well with the

US tag Boko Yobe to rebuild Haram schools, leaders church, relaxes terrorists curfew >> PAGE 3

>> PAGE 2

top echelon of the petroleum ministry, who are uncomfortable and upset with the action. Our sources revealed that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala who doubles as Coordinating Minister for the Economy, formed a special team to investigate all the subsidy Contd on Page 2

Pension fraud: Senate orders Maina, 27 others arrested >> PAGE 5




Yobe to rebuild schools, church, relaxes curfew


By Umar Mohammed Puma & Muhammad Nasir
























Drama as probe committee members disagree over Demuren, Page 6

International 31-34 Strange World 35 Digest








WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU The Peoples Daily wants to hear from you with any news and pictures you think we should publish. You can send your news and pictures to:

Phones for News: 070-37756364 09-8734478


he Yobe state Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam has strongly condemned the attack by Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal Jihad also known as Boko Haram on Damaturu last Monday, during which two primary schools, two Islamiyyah schools and six churches were burnt. Among the schools, Central Primary School Damaturu and Bindigari Primary School, as well as two separate Islamiyya schools, located within the premises of the two primary schools were all burnt down by the Boko Haram militants. Speaking yesterday after inspecting the places burnt, Governor Gaidam, said those who attack or kill innocent people or burn schools or places of worship in the name of religion are misguided and cannot justify their actions in any

way. “We cannot call these people Muslims. They are transgressors who commit heinous crimes, which are totally condemnable. Islam is and will remain a religion of peace and even the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) has lived peacefully with followers of other faiths. Therefore no one can justify attacking places of worship belonging to other faiths as Islamic”, the Governor said. He said the schools burnt down will be rebuilt, expressing the determination of his administration to continue to provide quality primary education to pupils in the State. The Governor also commiserated with the Christian community for the attack on churches. He explained that security reports had earlier indicated that no churches were burnt during the Monday crisis, which led the State Government to issue a statement refuting a text message being cir-

culated earlier by some mischief makers that Christians were being killed and churches being attacked. The Governor said the attack affected all Damaturu residents irrespective of religious persuasion, adding the attack on Islamiyya schools and mosques show that the attackers have no regard for all religions and not particularly Christianity. Meanwhile the death toll of the Yobe bomb attack has reportedly risen to 64 persons excluding the bodies of four policemen and two soldiers who were also victims of the attack. The corpse of these 70 persons are said to be at the Specialist Hospital in Damaturu. Also the 24 hours curfew imposed on the state following the Monday attack, which left many people traumatized has been relaxed to 12 hours, following a review of the security situation in the state capital. In a statement made available

yesterday by the Special Adviser on Press Affairs and Information to the governor, Abdullahi Bego, said government approved the 24-hour curfew imposed last Tuesday to be relaxed as public movement within Damaturu metropolis will be allowed between 10am and 4.00pm daily, while members of the general public are to remain in their homes from 4.00pm to 10.00am daily. Bego added that public movement in other parts of the state remains from 10.00pm to 6.00am daily while restriction of movement in Potiskum town remains between 6.00pm and 6.00am daily. This decision was taken following a meeting between the Governor and law enforcement agencies in the State, noting that the restrictions will be subjected to periodic review as the security situation in Damaturu and around the State continues to improve.

Audit sets Ngozi, Diezani on collision course Contd from Page 1 payments with a view to ascertaining the beneficiary marketers’ claims and also strengthening the processes. A source told one of our reporters that the verification committee is led by the Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede. Confirming the finance minister’s latest action when contacted on Wednesday, her Senior Special Assistant on Meida, Mr. Paul Nwabiukwu said in an SMS message to one of our reporters that: “Your question must be related to the committee working on verifying subsidy payments for 2011. “We are looking at this independent of the (Farouk Lawana led) ad-hoc committee completely and professionally with teams of forensic bank examiners. “So there is no reason to be on a collision course with any ministry or agency. We want to make sure from the finance ministry point of view that we follow new and more thorough

processes in paying. If anyone has been paid subsidy for product not delivered they should face the consequences”, he concluded. But our sources were emphatic that the move was causing a ‘cold war’ between the heads of the two ministry’s, stressing that Mrs. AlisonMadueke was particularly outraged because such a move, to her, is tantamount to duplication of function, as she had already set a committee un Malam Nuhu Ribadu to, in the future guard against any frivolous claims by oil marketers, in line with the reform of the entire petroleum sector under her supervision. Similarly, another grouse of the petroleum minister, according to our sources, was that it was the duty of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), now under her supervision, and to a certain extent, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) also under her, to verify such claims, and not the finance ministry. When contacted yesterday for

possible reaction on behalf of the petroleum minister, the Acting Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Fidel Pepple said he was unaware of any such committee and that only his superiors could comment on the issue. Further attempts to get the response of the petroleum minister, through her Senior Special Adviser on Research and Strategic Development, Mr. Ufo Eric-Atuanya, also proved abortive. Mr. Eric-Atuanya had called to acknowledge receiving our reporters SMS and promised to call back but he failed to do so even after repeated calls and a reminder through a text message sent to his mobile phone. The Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Lawan Ngama had on Wednesday said the subsidy payment process, which suspended two months ago by Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, pending the reconciliation of

accounts as well as adoption of a new strategy to ensure prudence and accountability in the management of the fuel subsidy budget, is to resume next week. He said though government provided N232 billion for payment of subsidy arrears in the 2012 budget, about N451 billion has so far been disbursed as arrears to oil marketers for 2011 alone. Ngama said the AigImoukhuede committee has already concluded its assignment and would submit its report before the end of this week. Apart from the N451 billion already paid as subsidy to oil marketers, the minister said additional N50 billion was recently released by government, thus bringing the subsidy bill this year to N501 billion so far. The implication is that of the N888 billion provided for in the 2012 budget for subsidy payment, only N387 billion is left to take care of such bills for the rest of the year.

Bribery scandal: Reps tackle Otedola, Lawan says I’ll be vindicated Contd from Page 1 an emergency session last Friday, told newsmen in a brief interview yesterday that he should be accorded certain respect and confidence, having helped in building the institution of the House of Representatives in the last 13 years. He said his removal as the Chairman of the ad-hoc committee and that of Education was in the overall interest of the institution, admitting that the House was bigger than any of its members. While appealing to Nigerians to be patient with him on the matter, Lawan said he had

refrained from speaking in the past few days for strategic reasons. He equally pointed out that the trial, in which he currently finds himself, is from God. He said: “I think it is important to note that I have been a member of the House of Representatives for the past 13 years, of course together with several other colleagues of mine past and present and we have done so much to build the House of Representatives. It means to show that I should enjoy the respect and confidence of Nigerians. “Whatever decision is taken by the House, I believe is meant

to ensure the credibility of the institution because as members, we must at all times recognize that the institution is bigger than each and everyone of us. It is an institution that belongs to this country, that Nigerians look up to for legislation, oversight responsibilities and for responsive representation. “It is an institution that must continue to give hope and confidence to the Nigerian people. So, whenever any issue calls to question any particular member it is important to recognize that the institution itself is bigger than anyone of us. “So, the decision of the House of Representatives is a collective

decision of the institution and I have absolutely no problem with that decision. As far as the issue relating to me is concerned, I believe ultimately, I will be vindicated. “I just urge Nigerians to continue to be patient, I have not spoken on the issue for strategic reasons, but I believe in the end Nigerians will come to believe and see that for the 13 years that I have invested in championing good governance, responsibility and probity in this country, that this last trial is a trial from God and I believe in the end we shall prevail”, he said.



Fuel subsidy: PEF denies mega fraud

Member representing Girei Constituency in Adamawa state House of Assembly, Hon. Abubakar Umar (right), addressing internally displaced persons from Nbalang village of Numan local government, yesterday who are taking refuge in Mukawu village of Girei local government area. Photo: NAN

By Aminu Imam


he Petroleum Equalization Funds (PEF), yesterday denied the allegations of fraud in the subsidy regime regarding payments made as bridging cost to some marketers by the Petroleum Equalization Funds (PEF) were inflated. The denial was made by the PEF’s General Manager, Corporate Services, Mr. Goddy Nnadi, in reaction to Peoples Daily report on Wednesday, that the House of Representatives committee on petroleum resources (Downstream), led by Rep. Dagogo Peterside alleged that some of the oil marketers made false claims in the documents submitted to on importation and transportation of petroleum products to various parts of the country, for which several billions of naira were paid. However, according to Mr. Nnadi, the PEF’s management Board is reviewing and strengthening its processes and procedures to streamline and tighten the processing of marketers’ claims to check high incidences of fake claims submitted to the organisation for payment. He said, “Worried by the increasing level of unacceptable claims presented by marketers, the Board has reviewed and re strengthened its verification process to include all product distribution parameters and daily distribution reconciliations. This is part of the measures being implemented by the Board to further improve transparency and accountability in the Board’s service delivery until the manual system is abolished and Project Aquila is fully operational at all depots. Indeed, the “Project Aquila” electronic business solution, which has taken off in many depots, is intended to automate data capture, processing, and transmission to guarantee on-line, real time information management for prompt decision making, as well as, prompt settlement of marketers’ claims.

US tags Boko Haram leaders terrorists Islamic council cautions America By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he United States government yesterday named three alleged leaders of Jama'atu Ahlis Sunnah lid Da'awati wal Jihad, commonly referred to as Boko Haram as "foreign terrorists". The US State Department identified the three as Abubakar Shekau, who it called the "most visible" leader of the group, and Abubakar Adam Kambar and Khalid al-Barnawi, who it said were tied both to Boko Haram and to al Qaeda's North African wing. "Under Shekau's leadership, Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks in northern Nigeria, its primary area of operation. In the

last 18 months, Boko Haram or associated militants have killed more than 1,000 people," the State Department said. "These designations demonstrate the United States' resolve in diminishing the capacity of Boko Haram to execute violent attacks," it stressed.. The action by the State and Treasury departments, first reported by Reuters on Wednesday, follows growing pressure on the Obama Administration to take stronger action against Boko Haram. U.S. officials say the decision to list individual Boko Haram members, rather than apply the more sweeping "Foreign Terrorist Organization" label to the group as a whole as some U.S. lawmakers

have demanded, reflected a desire not to elevate the group's profile. The action freezes any assets the three men have in the United States, and bars U.S. persons from any transactions with them. Meanwhile, the SecretaryGeneral of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Lateef Adegbite had earlier yesterday urged the US government to "hasten slowly" on its plan to classify Boko Haram as terrorist group and allow Nigerians to find home-grown solution to her present security challenges. The NSCIA scribe who visited Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo at the Presidential Villa yesterday, told State House correspondents that it was difficult

to identify members of the sect and therefore such measures could be counterproductive. "How do they know who are Boko Haram members and those who are not? The implication will be very serious; they may see someone like me with my long bears and think I am Boko Haram member; so the implication will be very serious. We are appealing to them to give Nigeria more time to dialogue with our people and we hope we will reintegrate them into our folds. So they should hasten slowly", he said. Adegbite counseled Nigerians to see the perpetrators of the ongoing bomb campaign in parts of the country as a war against the entire country and not a religious affair.

Sambo heads FG’s c’ttee Crisis depens as APGA suspends 6 NWC members on infrastructure By Ikechukwu Okaforadi

By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


ice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo is to head a Federal Government Committee on Guidelines for the Managementa and Implementation of Federal Infrastructure Projects. Inaugurating the Committee on behalf of President Goodluck Jonathan in the State House, Abuja yesterday, the Vice President remarked that government was intent on ensuring that projects were implemented in an orderly manner. According to him, projects would be implemented according to reference standards with all necessary checks and balances to ensure relevance, quality, economy and efficiency and on the principles of sustainability. The Vice President gave the terms of reference of the

Committee to include: examine extant policies and policy environment to determine their adequacy or otherwise and proffer recommendations for improvement; examine extant legal and regulatory arrangements to determine their adequacy or otherwise and proffer recommendations for improvement; examine institutional arrangement and capacities, processes and procedures to determine their adequacy or otherwise and proffer recommendations for improvement. Other members of the Committee include Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Ayim Pius Ayim; Ministers of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Finance, Justice, Mines and Steel, National Planning, Power, Works and Special Adviser to the President on Technical Matters.


he dispute in the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has taken a new dimension, as its National Working Committee (NWC), after a 2 hours meeting yesterday in Abuja, announced the suspension of six NWC members for various degrees of anti-parties activities. Yesterday’s suspension comes on the heels of last Tuesday’s purported suspension of APGA Chairman, Victor Umeh, and enthronement of Sadeeq Massalla (Former Deputy National Chairman North) and Ifedi Okwenna (Former Anambra State Environment Commissioner), as Acting Chairman and Acting National Secretary of the party. Reading a communiqué adopted after the meeting, Umeh described the suspended six NWC members as ‘dissidents’, explaining that the leadership of the party had been monitoring their activities

after the last year’s APGA convention. He alleged that they have been sponsored to foment crisis in the party, to distabilise APGA ahead of the 2015 presidential elections, arguing that their anti party activities culminated in the purported suspension of his leadership. Umeh further pointed out that the five NWC members could not have the powers to sack his leadership since it does not fulfill the two/third quorum required to take such decision, adding that the constitution of the party demands that any organ that wishes to hold meeting, should write to the National Secretary, which was not done by the group. The communiqué which was signed by eighteen members of the NWC, listed the six suspended NWC members as: Sadeeq Massalla (National Vice Chairman North), Morgan Anyalechi (National Vice Chairman South East). Other are: Ella Nwabueze

Ezeanya (National Women Leader), Ferguson Okpara (National Youth Leader), Bala Bako (Deputy National Legal Adviser), Sunday Obasohan (Deputy National Organising Secretary). It would be recalled that since the faceoff between the Chairman of APGA and the Governor of Anambra state started, there have been series of counter accusations between both groups. While Umeh accuses Obi for refusing to conduct the local government elections in Anambra State, Obi’s camp equally accuses Umeh of mismanagement of the party’s funds, alleging that the 20 million naira which is given to Umeh on monthly basis has not been properly accounted for. Meanwhile, a seven-man disciplinary committee headed by Tayo Sowumi, has been set up to investigate the suspended six NWC members and make recommendations to the National Executive Committee (NEC).



Religious leaders sue for tolerance as Police allege plot to bomb Jos From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


he Plateau state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Emmanuel Dipo Ayeni yesterday disclosed that the command has uncovered threats by Boko Haram to bomb Jos, the state capital, before the end of this week. “This bomb threat is very, very real and I know it because I’m in position to know as the state commissioner of police. We are almost in a state of emergency and everyone is looking for a way of surviving and by the grace of God very soon everything will be over”, he said at a stakeholders meeting on security in Jos. The police boss however cautioned against reprisal attacks in an event of bomb blasts as many people are usually killed in reprisal attacks than in the blasts, urging the stakeholders to enlighten both the Christian and Muslim youths against such acts. He regretted that "we distributed our telephone numbers for members of the public to alert the security agents of any strange movement and strange persons whose conduct is suspicious but the level of response we received is very discouraging. The bombers are members of the society and they are human beings. We are still appealing to members of the public to avail us information and to collaborate with us in fighting this terrorist group”. Anglican Bishop of Jos, Rev. Benjamin Kwashi and the representative of the Muslim community in Jos, Mallam Sani Mau’zu, both sued for understanding and pledged to work hand in hand with security agents in combating the Boko Haram menace. Kwashi said the church was losing members owing to the Boko Haram bombings, saying the younger set of Christians no longer listen to them and some of them have stopped coming to church and that such Christians are dangerous.

Yobe state Governor Ibrahim Gaidam (2nd left), with the Commissioner for Education, Mala Musty (2nd right), during the governor’s visit, yesterday to inspect Central Primary School Damaturu burnt by Boko Haram last Monday.

Kogi polls: Wada jittery, wants ‘Echocho’ to drop suit By Lawrence Olaoye


s a Federal High Court in Abuja prepares to deliver its ruling on the Kogi governorship election next week, a worried Governor Idris Wada yesterday appealed to the National leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to intervene and prevail on his opponent in the party, Jibrin Isah Echoco, to drop the suit. Wada who paid the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, a courtesy visit at the Legacy House yesterday in Abuja said he had tried to institute a reconciliation process to placate those who were aggrieved after the Kogi governorship election. He told the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) that all was not well in the state just as he urged the party leadership to ensure party discipline in line with the provisions of PDP constitution. Wada said “But despite all my reconciliation efforts, a member of our party still has four cases against me in the court; our party has a constitutional requirement that all avenues for internal

resolution must be exhausted before any member can go to court.” Those who accompanied Wada on the courtesy visit include his Deputy, Arc. Yomi Awoniyi, Speaker of the Kogi House of A|ssembly, Abdullai Bello, former Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, Senator Tunde Ogbeha, the immediate past governor of the state, Dr. Ibrahim Idris and all the state PDP officials and the Liaison Officers of the 21 local governments in the state. The PDP national chairman in his response to Wada’s request said reconciliation with a view to repositioning the party to deliver democracy dividends remains a major preoccupation of the party. While pointing out that the

governor must be in control of the party in the state considering the caliber of people in his train, Tukur assured the governor that the NWC would look into his request and act appropriately to salvage the party against the incursion of the opposition in Kogi state. But in a swift reaction, Jibrin Isah, who spoke through his spokesman, Phrank Shaibu, said Wada’s visit to the PDP National Chairman on the political crisis in Kogi came as a double shock to him. He said, "First, is that Wada's demand on the National Chairman for reconciliation between himself and Jibrin Isah is, to say the least, baffling. This is because, Wada's new realization that Jibrin Isah ‘Echocho’ is now vital to his continued stay in office is very

difficult to explain at this time". "Second, is that the silence of those who should have been worried by virtue of their ties with the protection of democracy makes it more terrible. It is a shame that one of the democratic horrors by Wada created an echo in the polity before now! “Finally, while Jibrin Isah Echocho as a God fearing man welcomes genuine reconciliation, it definitely cannot be at the expense of justice, fairness and the rule of law" Isah had approached the court to declare Wada’s declaration as the governor of Kogi state null and void. Justice Abdul Kafarati of the Federal High Court, Abuja, is expected to deliver a ruling in the suit on Friday, June 29.

Robbers kill medical personnel in Taraba From Alhassan Yusha'u, Jalingo


he principal medical officer PMO of Zing General Hospital Ochemem Emanuel Adoji aged 54, has been killed by armed robbers in his official residence at the hospital

quarters, Jalingo on Tuesday night. A neighbour of the deceased told Peoples daily reporter in Jalingo that only the PMO and one of his son were at home when the hoodlums broke in to his house. He said the robbers demanded for money and the key of the new Jeep

he bought recently which he obliged but the robbers went ahead and killed him before driving away in the Jeep. According to family source, Ocheme Emanuel Adoji would be buried on 24th of this month at Ugeme Ehote in Ohimni Local government of Benue State.

Bomb scare: Workers desert Federal Secretariat before closing By Mohammed Kandi


he Federal Secretariat was yesterday left barren by many civil servants before the usual closing hours following suspected bomb attacks by members of the Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati Wal-Jihad, widely known as Boko Haram. Our correspondent, who visited the area yesterday in Abuja, noticed there was more security beef-up at the premises of the Secretariat, as heavy security apparatus and officers were deployed to the building. He observed further that all the major

roads leading to the building were cordoned by the security operatives. Peoples Daily learnt, however, that the security vigilant at the premises of the “nerve center” of the nation’s public servants was not unconnected to recent threat by members of the sect to continue with its violent campaigns saying it plans to launch further “devastating attacks on churches and government buildings in the coming days and weeks.” The sect had clearly stated that it planned to make the month of June 2012, the

bloodiest month yet in its violent and bloody campaigns against those it tagged infidels, adding that it had moved some 300 suicide bombers to attack churches in Southern Kaduna as well as Plateau State. Some civil servants who were seen leaving the building before the official closing hours and spoke to our reporter said that this development have rather created fear in most citizens, noting further that, “their threats must not be taken for granted.” Speaking on anonymous basis, one of the staff of the Secretariat said “although the rumour on the

attack had circulated among other staff gradually, the nature of sudden security beef-up is even more convincing that something is definitely wrong.” He further stated: “Citizens are left with no option than find their own ways of avoiding areas where the Boko Haram have identified for possible attack because many have already died and the governments are yet to do anything about it.” Holding contrary views, however, Moses Audu, also a worker at the Secretariat said “I don’t know why Nigerians get scared of every little rumour and

some people have develop the attitude of spreading unnecessary rumour just to create fear among the people.” “We must learn to authenticate some these rumour before taking unnecessary actions. But, one cannot blame them for being frightened over bomb attacks since the government is barely doing nothing about the situation,” he said. Meanwhile, normal official activities were ongoing in some other parts of the building as a few workers in those areas had neither heard about the alleged bomb attack.



Pension scam: Senate orders Maina, 27 police officers arrested By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he Senate yesterday ordered immediate arrest and prosecution of the embattled chairman of the pension task force team, Abdulasheed Maina, alongside 27 senior police officers and other staff in the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, indicted in the alleged looting of over N275 billion pension fund. The order which was given in fulfillment of the 118-point recommendation of Senate probe panel on pension fraud, came against the background of another N58 billion pension money, which

was declared missing in the office of the Head of Service. In addition, the sum of N1.7 billion approved for payment of death benefits to the families of late civil servants were alleged to have been diverted by some senior officers in the same office. Adopting the report of the panel yesterday, the Senate specifically ordered Maina and his team to refund another N15 billion allegedly diverted into personal uses by the said officers, directing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to further investigate the circumstances leading to the transfer of the N4.6 billion from

the UBA to Union Bank Plc. The Upper chamber further directed EFCC to also investigate the transfer of another N7.6 billion from Zenith bank to Union bank, asking the office of the Accountant General of the Federation to recover another unspent N43.2billion pension fund deposited in various banks. While cursing the looters, Senate President David Mark, insisted that Maina and others fingered in the massive looting of pension funds are guilty of the blood of those who died while struggling to get their retirement benefits. The Senate however, tasked

the executive to accelerate full implementation of the report in order to prove its innocence in the fraud. On the possibility of refusing to appear before the Senate, Mark threatened to sign the warrant of arrest of the embattled chairman of the pension task team in the event he fails again to appear before the panel to explain his role in the alleged looting of over N275 billion. “Anybody indicted in the fraud would face the music no matter how highly placed he or she is in the society.” Mark stated. The Senate resolutions followed the adoption of the Senator Aloysius Etok led panel's report.

‘Poverty reduction key to sustainable development' By Mohammed Kandi


he Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Dr Precious Kalamba Gbeneol has said in efforts to develop a new global development agenda, there is need for stakeholders to give priority attention to poverty reduction. Gbeneol, who made this known at the ongoing United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development otherwise known as Rio+20 holding in Brazil, disclosed this while deliberating on ways of ensuring sustainable development across the globe. In a statement issued by her Deputy Director of Information, Mrs K.N Offie, Gbeneol argued that the world must integrate the three pillars of development into one new whole. She opined that a robust postMDGs development framework that integrates the social, economic and environmental dimensions must be critically considered in order to produce a global development agenda that is equitable, practical, inclusive and universally acceptable.

Suspected terrorists arrested by JTF in connection with last Sunday's attack on EYN Church in Biu, being paraded yesterday in Maiduguri, Borno state. Photo: Mustapha Kwaru

We’re against state of emergency in Kaduna, says SOKAPU From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


he Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) has described as absurd reports that the Federal Government may impose a state of emergency in Kaduna state just as the Kaduna branch of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) says the Kaduna people are yet to learn from the various bloody conflicts in the past. Also yesterday, the Kaduna state government reaffirmed that the 24-hour curfew imposed on all parts of the state was still in force and urged residents to comply with the order on restriction of movement. SOKAPU in a press statement in Kaduna yesterday regretted that the move was a subtle plot which the group noted had the blessing of an unnamed top Presidency official. The statement signed by sokapu national president, Ephraim Goje affirmed that President Goodluck Jonathan and the Kaduna state Governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, are capable of handling the insecurity in Kaduna. Meanwhile, the ACN in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Mordecai Ibrahim, said that, “one would have thought that no right thinking or peaceloving individual living in any part of Kaduna state who witnessed any of the previous violent crises would ever pray or wish to have a repeat of such violent crises.”

JTF parades 7 suspects over Biu church attack From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


he Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in Borno yesterday paraded seven suspected members of the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, also known as Boko Haram for allegedly attacking the Eklisiyyar Yan’uwa in Nigeria (EYN) church in Biu about two weeks ago.

Peoples Daily recalls that five worshippers at the church were killed, scores wounded when gunmen fired several shots at the congregation. The suspects, who claimed to be indigenes of Jigawa and Katsina states, comprised of Alhassan Inuwa, Ibrahim Mohammed, Magaji Bala, Nuhu Zakari, Dahiru Sa’adu, Mohammadu Nurah and Mohammed Sani.

Parading the suspects at the 21 Armored Brigades in Maiduguri, spokesman of the JTF, Lt-Col. Sagir Musa said they were apprehended at various locations following information received from some citizens. “We got an intelligence clue on the hide-outs of seven suspected Boko Haram members that were involved in the attack on EYN church in Biu town, thereafter the

JTF operatives of the Department of State Security Services (SSS) raided the hide-outs and apprehended all of them. I’m glad to parade them before you”, Lt-Col. Musa told newsmen However, the suspects denied any involvement in the said attack, saying they were butchers at Biu market and were picked from their various homes by the security forces.

Boko Haram: Judge threatens to discharge 24 suspects By Sunday Ejike Benjamin, with agency report


ustice Abdul Kafarati, a Judge of the Federal High Court, on Thursday in Abuja threatened to discharge the 24 suspected Boko Haram members standing trial before the court. The judge, who granted the police a last adjournment for Sept. 18, said that the prosecution counsel had not showed diligence in prosecuting the case. “I should have discharged the accused persons today but I am compelled by justice to restrain such action and allow the

prosecution one last chance. “The court had adjourned this matter four times at the instance of the prosecutor, who had always promised to bring his witnesses to court but failed each time. “I shall, therefore, discharge the accused persons should the prosecution fail to bring the witnesses to court on the next adjourned date. “The prosecution was ordered to avail the accused persons’ lawyers’ proof of evidence. “It is against the court procedure not to do that a year after the accused persons were arraigned,” Kafarati said.

Some of the suspects are Umar Alia 21, Musa Yakubu Gava (38), Awalu Mohd (35), Modu Bama (36), Yakubu Modu Kolibe (15), Mohd Alhaji Modu (23), Badare Hassan (27), Mohd Umar (21) and Mohd Sheriff (23). The police alleged that the accused, who were facing a fivecount charge, conspired to commit felony and act of terrorism in Maiduguri. The prosecution held that the accused committed an offence punishable under Section 33(1) (b) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2011, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

Thirteen months after the police arraigned the suspects, no witness had been presented. At the resumed hearing, Mr Bernard Nnamdi, the Counsel to the police, filed an oral application, praying for the adjournment of the case because of the absence of the prosecution witnesses. The application was jointly opposed to by Kevin Okoro, Mohammed Lucas and Mohammed Ipa, counsel to the accused. They urged the court to discharge the accused on the grounds of lack of diligent prosecution. They held that all the

adjournments witnessed in the case so far were at the instance of the prosecution counsel. They further noted that the police was only interested in the detention of the ``presumably innocent persons.'' The counsel said that the prosecution had failed to avail the accused with the proof of evidence after over one year of their detention. They also said that Section 280 of the Criminal Procedure Act empowered the judge to discharge the accused if the prosecutor failed to provide the cause of action. (NAN)


‘Don’t use federal allocation to pay salaries, overhead cost’ From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


sun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola has urged state governors to stop using the funds from the Federation Account to pay salaries and overhead cost in running their governments. This was as he cautioned them to set funds aside for special development projects. Aregbesola, who spoke at a lecture entitled: 'Regional Economic Integration and Nigeria's Development Prospects', during the Sustainable Development Discourse organised by the Centre for Sustainable Development (CESDEV) of the Trenchard Hall at University of Ibadan (UI) said: "As things stand today, only a handful of states can survive outside the monthly federal allocation". He added that: "There is a fundamental anomaly in this. The allocation from the Federation Account is not meant for paying salaries and other overhead cost. It should be set aside for special development projects while salaries should be paid from internally generated revenue". According to him, the conversion of the previous three regions into 36 states has not translated to national development.


From Iliya Garba Minna, with agency report


he Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Sector Commander in Niger state, Mr. David Usman disclosed yesterday that the command recorded 190 auto accidents between January and May in which 106 persons died. Usman, who disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Minna said: "In January, there were 20 crashes in which seven persons lost their lives and 51 were injured".

Auto accidents claim 106 lives in Niger Continuing, he added: "In February, we had 42 crashes in which 25 persons were killed and 79 were injured and in March, we recorded 40 crashes in which 17 persons died and 132 were injured. "April recorded 40 crashes

with 30 persons killed and 188 injured while May had 48 crashes which claimed 27 lives and 117 persons injured". He explained that the crashes which occurred in various parts of the state, involved different types of vehicles including

tricycles, motorcycles and bicycles. The sector commander enjoined road users in the state to always obey traffic rules and regulations to ensure the safety of lives and property on the roads. (NAN)

L-R: Secretary, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Cecilia Ekanem Madueke, Chairman, Air Vice-Marshal Nuruddeen Mohammed Imam (rtd), and Vice -Chairman, Engineer Heinz Stockhausen, during the 42 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Company, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Kogi goverment Drama as probe committee members disagree over Demuren moves to the resolution of the Senate noted that Dana Air had four Chairman of Air Nigeria, Mr. By Muhammad Sada which ordered Demuren to step aircrafts, in operation and they Jimoh Ibrahim, was shut down by improve here was disagreement aside as the DG of NCAA. had been duly certified by the the panel investigating the Dana yesterday among members While some members said agency. Air Crash and the entire aviation security of the Joint Committee on Demuren could testify as a Meanwhile, the DG though, industry. From Sam Egwu, lokoja


n view of the prevailing security challenges currently facing country, the Kogi state Government said it intends to use its urban renewal strategy to improve on the safety and the general well being of the people. The state governor, Captain Idris Wada, stated this when he received members of the Institute of Town Planners, who were in the state for the Northern Edition of the Institute's Mandatory Development Programme. Represented by his Deputy, Arch. Yomi Awoniyi, Wada called on the institute to assist the state in designing a sustainable and implementable master plan, tasking it also to assist in identifying and locating suitable places for land filled sites, burial sites and urban centres. While noting that the gateway status of the state makes it imperative for proper urban and regional planning, he said it will help in checking over-crowding, social evils and other dangers associated with poor urban planning. In his speech, Alhaji Kabir Yari , the National President of the Institute, of Town Planners assured the state of the institute's willingness to partner in providing a workable overall master and tourism development plan, an area the state has comparative advantage.


Aviation, probing the Dana Air Crash and allied matters, which resulted to members taking a two minutes break off the panel sitting to deliberate on the status of the Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Harold Demuren. Confusion set in when the probe Chairman, Hon. Hope Uzodima asked the Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah, who the present NCAA DG was and she said Dr. Demuren. Oduah's respond resulted to disagreement among other probe panel members, who asked why the minister did not carry out By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


resident Goodluck Jonathan has said that his administration is determined to professionalise the federal work force and improve staff welfare. Jonathan made stated yesterday, at the State House in Abuja, during a Stakeholders' Workshop on the Civil Service, organised by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation. Speaking through the Vice President, Arch. Mohammed Namadi Sambo, he said his desire for the civil service was that of "a professional, highly

representative of NCAA, others bluntly disagreed with the idea. At the end of the two minutes break, the joint committee on aviation agreed that in view of the resolution passed by the senate to the executive for the suspension of the DG NCAA pending the outcome of the investigations, Demuren is in the best position to answer questions at the hearing. Though the director in charge of airworthiness also, could not respond to some questions about the number of airworthy aircrafts, Dr. Demuren came to his rescue and

tactfully dodged some questions by insisting that some facts cannot be related due to ongoing investigations by the AIB. On her part, the Minister of Aviation displayed a glaring lack of grasp of the activities of her ministry. As she faced questions from the panel at the Senate yesterday, her responses were dotted by constant interjections and helps from subordinates, who frantically whisper to her, answers to many of the questions thrown at her by the panel members. In a related development,

At the stage where the panel asked about which airlines benefitted from the Aviation Intervention Fund, Ibrahim had, without the permission of the Chairman of the probe panel said "Objection" to which the chairman promptly shut him down telling him "we don't do that here." The chairman was infuriated by this as he asked for the Sergeant-at-Arms, perhaps with the intention of asking him to lead the business mogul out of the probe venue. It took a repeated apology from Ibrahim before he was allowed to take his seat.

skilled, merit-driven and integrity-based institution that can effectively contribute to national development and thereby meet the yearnings and aspiration of our people". "Such a service must be manned by officers of impeccable character and high integrity, sufficiently challenged and motivated to become efficient mangers of resources and talents," the President added. While commending the civil service and its leadership for contributions and commitment to national development over

the years, Jonathan assured of government's support, saying "we shall ensure every civil servant can own a home and other welfare necessary for delivery of good service". He therefore, charged the civil service to ensure strict observance of the rule of law, transparency, accountability, effectiveness, efficiency, and elimination of waste in service delivery. In his remarks, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Isa Bello Sali, said that the workshop was meant to chart a

sustainable course for the civil service so that it could play its critical role in governance. The Head of Service added that as part of efforts at reforming the Civil Service, a National Strategy for Public Service Reform (NSPSR) was produced, to span from year 2011 to 2020 and premised on for pillars; creating an enabling institution, governance environment; an enabling socioeconomic environment; public financial management reform and civil service administration reform.

FG to professionalise civil service



SAHCOL sacks 15 staff over theft From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


n a bid to instill discipline and maintain its integrity as a foremost ground handling Cargo Company, Skyway Aviation Handling Company Ltd (SAHCOL), has sacked 15 workers for engaging in theft and other related activities. The management said that the dismissal forms part of the company’s policy of not tolerating any criminal activities. The Managing Director, Mr. Olu said all its staff have been warned against the consequences of such action “especially when it involves cargo” He said the company is poised

towards efficient service delivery to customers with the proposed construction of an ultra modern bonded ware house which will be commission by March 2013. He explained that the bonded warehouse will be one of the best in the West African region,

adding that all the components for the construction have arrived Nigeria. As part of security measures to ensure a safe environment at the Lagos airport, Mr. Owolabi, said the company has carried out a secondary check on its

staff, and that it has become the first company to introduce a motorized screening machine at the airport. “We are aware of the importance of security; we were the only organization that has done a secondary security of all

our staff”, he said. He reiterated the need for the federal government to install detective gadgets at the toll gate around the airports, to detect explosive in place of the current manual method deploy to search vehicles.

Commissioner urges government to implement policy on tertiary institutions From Auwal Ahmed , Gombe


ombe state Commissioner of Higher Education, Dr. Isa Mohammad Wade, has said the level of education in the country can only improved if students shun criminal activities. Wade, who stated this in Gombe while speaking with Newsmen, added that the falling standard of education in the country could also be attributed to underfunding and lack of monitoring of the behaviours of the students in tertiary institutions. According to him, for Nigeria to be competitive in global education market, there should be holistic over haul of the system for effective and better productivity. “The nation education system should be over hauled and those who are teaching and managing it need to be vigorously screened to get the best in the education sector”, he said. The Commissioner also said that Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo, has taken education sector in the state as one of his number one priority where he rehabilitated the school of Basic and Remedial Studies Kumo, and Dukku to train youths in order to gain admission of their choice into the University of Maiduguri. He further explained that the college of education Billiri which the foundation was laid last year is expected to commence its academic activities in October with pre-NCE programme. Wade, said that sanity should be number one priority of teachers, urging them to be committed in whatever they do in order to be meaningful in their profession.

The body of the former NLC President, Comrade Pascal Bafyau being moved after lying-in-state, yesterday at the Labour House, in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Eulogies for late NLC President, Pascal Bafyau at lying-in -state By Muhammad Nasir


he lying in state ceremony of former President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Pascal Bafyau took place yesterday at the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) headquarters in Abuja. The President of the NLC, Comrade Abulwaheed Omar who paid tribute to the late past president at the Labour House in Abuja, said, "We are

here gathered today with heavy hearts and teary eyes to mourn one of our own, Paschal Bafyau,a hero of the labour movement. "Comrades,here lies before us the remains of a great unionist,a veteran of several wars,a generous and conscientious leader,a General of all time for the Nigerian workers.As we stand here,unAited by grief,in one of the darkest moments in labour history,we cannot but

4 injured as NURTW attack YES-O cadets From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


o fewer than four persons were injured yesterday, as members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), attacked cadets of Oyo State Youth Empowerment Scheme known as “YES-O”. It was gathered that, one innocent man, two cadet officers and a member of NURTW sustained serious injuries during the attack which lasted for three hours before the victims were rushed to a private hospital for treatment. The ugly incident according to source happened at the popular Ojoo motor park on Thursday morning when some “YES-O” cadets instructed NURTW members not to obstruct the free flow of traffic by parking

their vehicles on the road, which according to him was replied with a slap. The source added that the cadets returned the slap, while NURTW re-enforced with iron rods and machetes, unleashing terror on both cadets and passers-by. When our reporter visited the scene, there was heavy presence of police and Operation Burst Team (OBT), to prevent further break down of law and order. It was gathered that NURTW members at Ojoo Motor Park had determined not to obey any instructions from YES-O cadets saying the cadets lacked knowledge of traffic control, alleging that some of the cadets do not have adequate training and skills for the work.

reflect on his life. "His death is not only a big blow to the labour movement and the national democratic process,it marks the end of an important is like the burning down of a library. “Paschal Myeleri Bafyau,.we make one pledge

as you go home, the struggle you lived and died for,shall be sustained,no matter the price.May God forgive you your sins.May he admit you to his kingdom", said the NLC President. Comrade Pascal Bafyau died on Tuesday night in Abuja at the age of 65 years.

Aliyu charges RATTAWU to support govt’s economic plan From Iliya Garba, Minna


overnor Muazu Babangida Aliyu, of Niger state, has charged Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU) to prop up the state’s legitimate aspiration of becoming one of the three top economies in the country by the year 2020. Aliyu, who made this known yesterday, while declaring open the 5th edition of RATTAFEST, at UK Bello Arts theatre, Minna, said the building of a society is a collective effort of all and sundry, urging the people to strive to make the Northern region a heaven of peace, to take its rightful place in the economic development of the country. The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Ahmed Ibeto, praised the conveners of the occasion for their foresight and commitment to service.

He also applauded RATTAWU for its persistence and dedication in promoting National peace, unity and development in the country. “Permit me to express in unequivocal terms that the Media and Culture in promoting peace and development in any society cannot be overemphasized. A committed and service oriented Government must give it a pride of place in its policy formulation and implementation to attain societal peace and economic progress”. The Governor regretted the current Security challenges in the country, and called for positive Media support and partnership with government to achieve its objectives of promoting peace and National integration. On his part, the National President of RATTAWU, Yemisi Gbangboshe, represented by Henry Odugala, applauded the state for its support to the union.





Kadpoly denies rumoured attack on students


L-R: President Goodluck Jonathan, and UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban ki Moon, during the ongoing Rio+20 earth summit, yesterday at Rio De Janeiro, in Brazil.

Kwara discovers 2,000 ghost workers in LGs From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Kwara state Local Government Service Commission has disclosed yesterday in Ilorin, the state capital that out of the 38,000 civil servants in the 16 local government areas, only 36,000 showed up for the biometric test it orgnised, stressing that the remaining 2000 were ghost workers. The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Adamu Issa

Bawa, who made the disclosure said it also discovered a sightimpaired driver among staff of Ilorin South local government area, who showed up for the test along with his son. Addressing newsmen after the state executive council meeting, Bawa noted that 1,548 teachers, 387 local government staff, 53 local government service commission staff and 29 under aged people were detected. While corroborating the figures, the Commissioner for

Information and Communication, Mr. Tunji Moronfoye, explained that most of these staff came from Lagos with buses to participate in the biometric test while they have been on the payroll for almost 25 years. He further said that the sacked 700 staff of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) would remain so because they were not employed through due process, adding that for anybody to be employed he

Summit recommends effective use of FOI Act By A’isha Biola Raji


two-day National Summit on the Freedom of Information has come out with suggestions to aid the effective utilization of the Act. This was contained in

communiqué made available to newsmen at end of the summit organized by Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and sponsored by Pact Nigeria held in Abuja on 18th and 19th of June 2012. The suggestions include, calls on all states which are yet to

implement the FOI Act including states that have confirmed their intention to enact their own laws, to do so as delay in implementing the act amounts to infringement on the rights of Nigerians, particularly those residents in such states.

Parents want NYSC DG to have a rethink on posting


ome concerned parents have called on the Director-General of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) to rescind his decision not to post corps members to the states of their choice, especially in proven special cases. Some of the parents interviewed by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday said that cases involving medical challenges or other factors should be given special consideration. It will be recalled that the Director-General of the NYSC, Brig.-Gen. Nnamdi OkorieAffia, had decried what he called the incessant request for posting of corps members to

places of their choice. He also said that such request would no longer be granted. Speaking on the development, Mr Khaleed Yusuf, a father, appealed to the NYSC to have a change heart on the issue. He said that those, who wish to be posted or re-deployed, might have genuine reasons as some might have special challenges that required them to be posted or re-deployed to certain states. According to him, those, who are physically fit should not be excused or given any preferential treatment. Also speaking, Dr Isyaka Al-

Basher of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano appealed to the NYSC directorgeneral to post married women and those with physical disability to the places of their choice. He explained that posting them to the places of their choice would give them the opportunity to serve better in the environment they were familiar with. In his contribution, Mr Lazarus Aina, said that he had a child, who is a sicklier and spent 75 per cent of his life in hospitals and appealed to the director-general to allow people with such cases in states of their choice. (NAN)

must go through the KWABES. He maintained that anyone found guilty would face the consequences because as the 33rd state on the ladder of federation allocation, Kwara could not afford to mismanage its resources. He added that the state would still investigate those working at the Local, State and Pension Board so that there would be no cases of people being pensioners and at the same time working at the state or local government level. Also the need for media to undertake continuous enlightenment programmes to ensure better public understanding of the provisions of the Act and how to use it. They also called for amendment of the Federal Public Service Rules to include administrative sanctions for baseless denials or delays of requests for information under the FOI Act. This according to the communiqué will reduce the number of cases going to court. Also, public officers should know the superiority of the FOI Act to the Official Secrets Act. In views of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, “any inconsistency between the FOIA and the Official Secrets Act should ordinarily be resolved in favour of the Freedom of Information Act.” In order to ensure the effective implementation of the FOI Act, the summit called for budgetary allocations to support its implementation by various public institutions. The Summit therefore called upon the National Assembly to ensure that the necessary budgetary approvals are given for year 2013 and beyond to advance FOI implementation.

r. Aliyu Mamman, the Acting Rector, Kaduna Polytechnic, on Thursday dispelled rumours of an attack on the students’ hostel by gunmen at the institution’s main Campus, Tudun-Wada, Kaduna. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that rumours were making the rounds that some gunmen dressed in Army uniforms had attacked the students’ hostel on Tuesday. Mamman, however, told NAN in Kaduna that he was at the campus throughout Tuesday and that there was nothing like that. “The security on the campus is far better than what is obtained outside. We advised students to remain on campus because we are sure of their safety.’’ He said that the institution had hostels at its three campuses located in Tudun-Wada, Barnawa and Unguwar Rimi. Mamman said security personnel had been deployed to the campuses to ensure safety of the students. He said ‘the Registrar of the institution also lives on the main campus of the polytechnic and is always reporting development to my office’. “Following the outbreak of the crisis in the state, examinations have been suspended as students staying off-campus cannot participate in the exercise.’’ (NAN)

Health ministry advocates hand hygiene strategy to grassroots By A’isha Biola Raji


he Federal Ministry of Health has called for increase in the advocacy for hand hygiene strategy down to grassroots. The ministry in collaboration with Solu-Care Aide Nigeria, SKD Productivity Centre and GOJO Industries made this call yesterday in Abuja at a One Day Hand Hygiene Event with the theme, ‘Promoting hand hygiene, protecting national health and improving productivity.’ Minister of health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu who was represented by Mrs Fatima Bamidele, Permanent Secretary of the ministry said there is need for health workers including nursing mothers to tap into the importance of hand washing which had been proven to avert 50% of diarrhea and 25% of pneumonia. The representative of SoluCare, Dr. Sylvia Kama Kieghe, Managing Partner of Solu-Care Aide Nigeria and SKD Productivity Center UK in her introductory remarks said, achieving hand hygiene through hand sanitizer is as effective as the use of soap and water with the latter being a cost effective approach.



Traditional ruler wants leaders to use religion to foster unity


L-R: Mr. Sam Onyia, Anambra state Governor, Mr Peter Obi, Cross Sector Coordination Component Manager of DFID, Mr. Jeff Ansell, and Olachi Chuks Ronnie, during a visit by DFID to the governor, yesterday at the Government House, in Awka.

NDLEA arrests 149 drug suspects in Jigawa T

he Jigawa Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Alhaji Ibrahim Abdul, said the command arrested 149 suspects with 79.7 kilogramme of Cannabis Sativa (Indian hemp) and other illicit drugs. Abdul told newsmen in Dutse on Thursday that the arrest was made between January and

June, pointing out that some of the suspects had been prosecuted. He said that out of 149 suspects nabbed within the period, 33 of them had been prosecuted and convicted. The commander said that 32 were counselled at the command, while the remaining ones were standing trial at the Federal High

Court, Dutse. He said that five of the suspects had been infected with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis as a result of the use of hard drugs. Abdul said that the command would not relent in its efforts to arrest and prosecute anybody involved in illicit traffic and use of hard drugs in the state. (NAN)

Contract failure: Bauchi opts for direct labour From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Bauchi state government may be forced to revert to direct labour instead of awarding contracts of various projects especially rural electrification and roads construction to contractors that cannot deliver. This was revealed by the Commissioner for Rural Development, Alhaji Ubati Mohammad, while chatting with journalists in Bauchi where he said the state Governor, Isa Yuguda has registered his appreciation with the level of work executed through

direct labour where some contractors failed to deliver. He stated that the state government has approved the construction of ten kilometers of road in each of the 20 local government councils in the state aimed at providing assessable roads in most of the rural towns across the state. He stated that under the direct labour project the ministry was able to construct many rural roads like the 28km Azare-Chara charaZirami road in Katagum local government and the construction of another 28km Ajangara-Zubo road in Shira local government area.

The commissioner said contract for the upgrading and surfacing of 100km MagamaGumau-Rishi-Rahama and Tama road was awarded to TRIACTA Nig Limited at the total cost of over N2 billion which the work has reached 70% completion. On the rural electrification, the commissioner explained that dedicated transformers were installed in 20 General Hospitals in the state towards enhancing critical performance facilities like the theatre, accident and emergency, maternity, drug storage which cost the state government the sum of over N60 million.

he Andoma of Doma in Nasarawa state, Alhaji Ahmadu Ogah-Onowu, has appealed to political and religious leaders to use religion to foster unity, peace and harmonious relationships among Nigerians. Ogah-Onowu made the appeal on Wednesday in Doma in Nasarawa state when he received officials of the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), who paid him a courtesy visit. “The two major religions of the world, Islam and Christianity preach peace, as such the leaders of both religions should join hands to foster unity amongst Nigerians. “Both Islam and Christianity abhor violence, as such their adherents should practice their teachings to the followers,” the monarch said. He said that peace was a veritable tool for any nation to move forward, adding that the nation's leaders should strive to preach it at all times. He advised all aggrieved people

to always use dialogue to resolve their differences, rather than resorting to confrontation. The Andoma also called on Nigerians to pray against the bomb blasts at places of worships and public functions. He described as extreme callousness the blasts that killed innocent citizens, especially in the Northern part of the country. He said it was unfortunate that while Nigeria was experiencing true democracy, some disgruntled elements were trying to sabotage it for their selfish reasons. According to Ogah-Onowu, it is only prayers that can change the attitude of these evil doers and help the security agents and indeed the nation in the current efforts to tackle the security challenges. He cautioned journalists to be objective in their reportage of events. The Secretary of the NUJ, Malam Ahmed Tukur, commended the Andoma for his support for journalists in the state. (NAN)

NAHCON commends Borno govt over 2011 Hajj


he National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on Thursday commended the Borno Government for its handling of the 2011 Hajj. The NAHCON Permanent Commissioner in-charge of Research and Statistics, Dr Saleh Okenwa, made the commendation at the closing ceremony of a workshop for local government fare collectors in Maiduguri. “I want to say here that NAHCON is happy with the performance of the Borno State Government during the last Hajj exercise in Saudi Arabia. “The state actually recorded remarkable improvements in all spheres of the Hajj,” Okenwa said. He pointed out that the state recorded improvements in both the quality and the capacity of accommodation provided for pilgrims during the pilgrimage. Okenwa said the state also

recorded a low number of pilgrims, who defected to Saudi Arabia during the period. He said Borno used to be among the leading states, whose pilgrims usually absconded in Saudi Arabia. “But only a few cases were recorded last year, this shows remarkable improvement in terms of checks by the state government,” he said. Okenwa also commended the state government for renovating the runway of the Maiduguri International Airport. “I wish to commend the government for carrying out facelift on the pilgrims’ transit camp in Maiduguri. “This singular act has placed the state among the pacesetters for others to emulate in Nigeria,'' he said. The Borno Head of Service, Alhaji Abba Ashigar, said the state government would invest heavily to ensure the comfort of its pilgrims during the next Hajj. (NAN)

Sanity returns to Mararaba bus stop as pickpockets relocate


ommuters and traders at Mararaba bus stop in Nasarawa have breathed a sigh of relief following the sudden disappearance of pick pockets in the area. An investigation carried out by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday showed that the traffic hold-ups witnessed in the early hours of the day, as a result of the activities of hoodlums at the bus stop had subsided. Mr. Njoku Uwalaka, a road side trader at the bus stop, told NAN: “I am happy that the notorious

incident of pick pockets at this bus stop have reduced considerably.” “The regular complaints of handset, hand-bag and wallet snatching have not been so rampant for about two months now. In fact, it is a brand new turn of events. “For some few years, I have been operating here, there have been rampant cases of hand sets, hand bags and wallets snatching by hoodlums at this bus stop, and that gave this place a very bad name anywhere you go.” He said that for about two months now “we have heaved a

sigh of relief because the frequent lamentations by commuters and our customers have subsided”. Uwalaka noted that the experience was as a result of the presence of policemen positioned at the spot every morning and evening, as they always monitor the movement of people at those peak periods. “I want to believe that the situation would be sustained and even improved upon by the police to bring sanity to this Mararaba bus stop in particular,” he said. Mr. Nelson Emmanuel, a

commercial bus operator, told NAN at the bus stop that his passengers lost handsets to the pickpockets in April. “The hoodlums, who always pose as commuters, snatched the handsets at hold-ups through the window of the vehicle and disappeared. “We are now happy, because in the past one month, the situation has changed since the police have been taking positions at this bus stop to check the menace,” he said. However, the newly posted Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in

Mararaba, Mr Thomas Daweher, who assumed duty in May, said he had mapped out strategies to check crime in the area. He said that the positioning of the police officers at the Mararaba bus stop would be a continuous process to curtail the activities of the hoodlums. Daweher said the police had started to raid notorious spots of Indian hemp smokers in the area and warned criminals to relocate from Mararaba as “there is no safe place for them to operate in the area.” (NAN)



State of the Nation: Ciroma, Nwabueze, Sule, others convene summit From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he National Summit Group (NSG) has announced the inauguration of the national steering committee of the peoples’ national dialogue expected to intervene in the current hostilities and bloodletting in the country. According to a statement issued in Lagos on Wednesday by the central organising committee of the NSG and signed by its spokesperson, Mr. Olawale

Okunniyi, the NSG has already sent formal invitations to all zonal delegates of the national steering committee of the peoples’ national dialogue scheduled to hold between Tuesday 26th and Thursday, 26-28, June, 2012 at the Sheraton Hotels & Towers in Ikeja, Lagos. “Some of the eminent leaders already invited to the steering committee meeting from the six geo political zones of the country include; Malam Adamu Ciroma,

Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule, Chief Olu Falae, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Chief Chukwuemka Ezeife, Alabo Graham Douglas, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, Chief Solomon Lar, Prof Pat Utomi, Barr. Olisa Agbakoba, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, Comrade Peter Esele, Malam Shehu Sanni, Mr. Femi Falana, among others. “It will be recalled that the national dialogue process

witnessed a major breakthrough last month when the Leadership of the National Summit Group met with the Apex body of the North, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, where both groups agreed to work together towards an all inclusive national conference to halt the current hostilities in the country," it said. The group regretted the current bombings, bloodletting and killings in the country and

said the delegates to the steering committee at the close door session would be expected to choose their officials and formally take over the process of national consultations that will lead to proper negotiations and reconciliation in the country “The formation of a national steering committee is one of the key decisions reached at the national summit of eminent Nigerians held in Lagos in February 2012 and it is composed of seven delegates from each of the six geo political zones in the country as well as key officials and allies of the National Summit Group,” Okunniyi disclosed.

Union pleads for govt’s intervention over sack order From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


combined body of clearing agents and freight forwarders at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos have appealed to the President Goodluck Jonathan to reconsider the sack order issued them by the Federal Government. The evacuation order is said to paved way for the planned construction of a new cargo terminal at the large expanse of land where the clearing agents currently use as temporary offices. The union made up of the Association of Licensed Customs Agents (ANCLA), National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAF) and the National Association of Consolidators and Freight Forwarders (NACFAC), said they play a major role in the supply chain of goods and commodities hence the need for government to see them as partners in the development of the industry. Spokespersons for the three unions, Mr. Segun Musa and Dada Livinus Agubuzor told journalists that “We play a major role in determining the market price of commodities in the market otherwise there will be exorbitant price of commodity if we don’t act as intermediary.” They lamented that they were not given any alternative location when the order was handed down to them and noted that the action will affect more than 5,000 business men and women who were duly registered as practitioners in cargo clearing. “We have spoken to government on several occasions to allow us build the same structure they are proposing to erect here. All we need is the approval and the specification so that we can meet up with the requirement. Pushing us out of this place will not add any value to the industry since we pay into the coffers of FAAN over N4 billion annual revenue,” they claimed.

L-R: National Emergency Management Agency’s (NEMA) South-east Coordinator, Dr. Onimode Bandele, Controller of Immigration, Enugu Command, Mr. Dilibe Gerald, and Executive Secretary, Enugu state Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Joe Offor, during NEMA’s emergency evacuation drill exercise on Wednesday in Enugu. Photo: NAN

We’re committed to workers’ welfare — Fashola From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


agos state Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has promised that his administration will continue to strive towards improving the welfare of public servants not only while they are in active service, but even in retirement and for the entire period of their life. The governor, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Chief of Staff, Governor’s Office, Mr. Olakunle Ojo, said this while delivering his keynote address at the opening ceremony

of the Lagos State Joint Public Service Negotiating Council meeting which took place at PSSDC, Magodo. The meeting which comes up twice in a year was organized by Industrial Department of Ministry of Establishment Training and Pension to demonstrate the idea of work force as well as resolve state government matters. According to the governor, the need for the use of dialogue in resolving issues at all times cannot be over emphasized as he believed that the method is the only way to resolved contentious issues without

giving room for any external interference with personal political motives. He said that the present administration has expressed from the onset, its intention to ensure that the implementation of the Minimum wage does not involve any form of job loss to any public Service worker. He added that the administration’s expansion of the frontiers of the Contributory Pension Law and the reforms is to secure the future of public servants in a most assuring way. This according to him was illustrated by the issuance of bonds

valued in excess of N1 billion, to 110 pensioners, the first of its kind that is ever issued in Nigeria to any set of Pensioners whether employed by the state or Federal Government since the Pension Reform Law was enacted in year 2004. Earlier in her welcome address, the Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs. Florence Oguntuase, said she appreciated the roles played by the union leaders in resolving issues, especially the doctors’ strike that took place recently.

Bauchi establish data bank for Teachers Commission From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


auchi state government is set to establish a data bank for its Teachers Service Commission to make its services accessible online by government agencies, private individual organizations and the general public. The chairman of the commission, Alhaji Yahaya Baba, disclosed this while briefing

newsmen, saying that the data bank is to make the operations easy and the recruitment of genuine and qualified number of teaching staff. He expressed dissatisfaction with the attitude of some people who use fake certificates in a bid to get employment as teachers in the state government, revealing that of the 56 persons that recently applied to the commission for employment

only six have genuine credentials after thorough screening. Baba explained that the commission has adopted a policy of going to the extent of verifying such certificates of the applicants’ right from the schools they mentioned in their application. He said it was in view of this bad scenario that the very good teachers attaining the retirement

age were being maintained by the commission, saying, “We still want their services because they are good”. The chairman assured that teachers are trainable would be sent back to school so as to acquire the teaching requirements to teach professionally while those who cannot go back to school would be sent back to their respective local governments.





Stop the abuse of teachers

very ugly and despicable trend is fast emerging among privileged office holders in the country, especially at the state and, to some extent, local government levels; the verbal and, at times, physical abuse of secondary school teachers. Often, the culprits are highly placed elected and or appointed public officers. Only last Monday, a lawmaker in the Jigawa state House of Assembly, Honourable (?) Nasiru Mohammed Sparrow was arraigned before a Magistrates court in Dutse, the state capital, on a two-count charge for allegedly assaulting the Principal of Model International Secondary School, Dutse, Hajiya Zainab Umar. The principal, a married woman, has accused the legislator, who, ironically, is the Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Science and Technology of assaulting her verbally and threatening to harm her on account of a disciplinary action taken against his son, who is a student at her college. A few years ago, a commissioner of Justice and Attorney General in a state in the north western part of the country had physically assaulted the principal of a public secondary school in the presence of eye witnesses for justifiably meting out a disciplinary punishment against the 'big' man's rubble-rousing son. In that case, the hapless principal had been cowed into perishing any thought of seeking redress that he might have haboured by the powers-that-be. However, nemesis soon caught up with the

commissioner when the House of Assembly in the state rejected him when his name, along with others' was submitted by the governor for reappointment as a commissioner for another term. The legislators cited his assault on the school principal as their reason for rejecting his nomination. Even at the local government level, there are reported instances of abuses on teachers by councilors, who see

It is our belief that the teacher must be given his rightful place in the society as in the olden days when the teacher was king at par with the local chief themselves as the best thing to happen in local administration since it began in the nation. We commend the courage of the Principal of Model International Secondary School, Dutse for reporting the matter to the Police, and the prompt response of the Jigawa state Police Command in taking it to court before the victim was prevailed on to do nothing about the assault visited on her.

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

Now, we want to ask these officials who have an exaggerated feeling of self-worth, where they think they would have been if there had not been teachers in their life? Placed side by side, every right thinking person would settle any time for a teacher over any government official, no matter how highly placed. A teacher, we dare say, is a teacher for life, whereas government officials, whether elected or appointed remain only relevant as they last in office. The abuses visited on teachers by so-called big men in government is all the more sad at this material time when what little esteem remains in high profile positions is daily eroded with the revelation of the monumental corruption taking place in high places in all arms of government with the connivance of a privileged few in the private sector. It is perhaps of little surprise that local teachers' lot among highly placed government officials is mostly disdain because their children/wards hardly attend schools in Nigeria, and where they do, it is invariably at the very expensive private variety. For this attitude to change, it is our belief that the teacher must be given his rightful place in the society as in the olden days when the teacher was king at par with the local chief, in whatever setting he found himself. It is what still obtains in more civilized climes. To do same here, we must strengthen our laws to protect teachers against the whims and caprices of those who want to play God on earth.








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



Tracking the ECOWAS Parliament By Emmanuel Onwubiko


ations around the globe under diverse economic blocs are constantly meeting to strategize ways and means of eradicating organized crimes such as drug trafficking, terrorism, trafficking in persons and other grave threats to human existence. The member nations of such economic blocs in all parts of the world but Africa have also worked out measures for eradicating illegal and irregular migration of persons from countries considered as very poor, unstable and economically insecure into their countries considered as comfort zones. Africa harbors the largest concentration of grossly underdeveloped, povertystricken, unstable and economically insecure nations and invariably produces the highest percentage of irregular migrants into advanced economies. The European Economic bloc for instance, reportedly entered into a deal with the now deposed regime of the murdered Libyan dictator Colonel Muamar Gadaffi in which Europe accepted to make huge payments to the then Libyan regime so that it could effect measures no matter how draconian to curb the passage of irregular African migrants into Europe from Italy and Malta via Libya. Ironically, political and economic leadership of much of sub-Saharan Africa and especially the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is yet to

By Stephen Onimisi Gabrielahi


eligion is a thing of the mind; it's strictly between you and your God. There is no compulsion in it. For instance a man toasting a lady will do everything possible to win her heart, a driver or conductor looking for passenger will put his life online to stop vehicle for u to cross the road, collect your hand bag and call you sweet names irrespective of your age, a business warmly receive his customer, even stand for you to sit down. A husband that want to make love with his wife will not slap her because his wife, a doctor in the hospital pamper his patient, den why can't we apply all this sweet approach in our religion. Who told Christians that it's only Christians that will enter heaven, who told Muslims that it's only Muslims that will enter? If you love God and your religion you will not even hurt anybody because of religion. A non-Muslim was report to enter heaven just because during Ramadan he woke the Muslim up to prepare for fasting. A Muslim was reported to have entered hell because he locked his pet and the pet died of hunger. The woman that born

effectively implement measures to create the enabling environment for economic growth and investments to thrive within the region so that the large population of the productive youths that now migrate to Europe irregularly at their own risk can stay back home and engage in one meaningful economic activity or the other. Aside producing some of the world's highest percentage of irregular migrants to Europe, the West African Sub-region is afflicted by diverse types of transnational crimes including but not limited to corruption, drug/human trafficking, terrorism and massive in- flow of small arms and weapons of mass destruction. Unfortunately, West Africa's parliament, which came into being on 14th March 2002, is only a forum for endless speeches without the necessary legislative force of law to compel the individual governments to wage effective war against the spread of the cankerwormof transnational crimes. But this is not to say that some member nations of the ECOWAS economic bloc have not in paper endorsed the international anti-corruption convention that came into force as a global law in late 2005. For purposes of emphasis, it is worthwhile mentioning that corruption and the wanton misuse of public fund is the fundamental cause of the spread of terrorism and other crimes. For instance, if member states of ECOWAS fail to check corruption and misuse of resources meant for procurement of these

necessary infrastructures, facilities and the capacity training of law enforcement operatives to battle the scourge, then lawlessness will set in. In West Africa, the member nations of the Economic bloc which formed the ECOWAS Parliament have only but paid

parliaments of similar economic blocs in the global community. The European parliament may not have the power of legislation but there are provisions on how it can institutionally and effectively partner with other European institutions to achieve the


Unfortunately, West Africa's parliament, which came into being on 14th March 2002, is only a forum for endless speeches without the necessary legislative force of law to compel the individual governments lip service to the fight against corruption and other transnational crimes. From the abundance of evidence, it does appear that ECOWAS Parliament is a mere tea party and does not possess similar attributes like other

objective of building a safe Europe for the European citizens. The work of the EP is overseen by the EP [European Parliament] President, currently German politician, Martin Schulz, of the S&D group. The present parliament, elected in June 2009, has 754 MEPs of

We need each other a baby with the Holy Quran in Lagos was not a Muslim faithful. You are fighting for God or religions how clean are you. Our prophet SAW said he had fought jihad and Islam has come to stay, no one should do that again, you can fight jihad within yourself. When God Almighty said you don't have any right to take your own life is it the life of your brother or sister that you have the right to take? Islam doesn't only preach peace but a religion of peace. The same thing to Christianity. Every Muslim is asked to count 40 houses from your front, back, left and right and live harmoniously with them irrespective of their faith. In Christianity when someone slaps you, you are asked to turn the other side for the person, all these are aim at fostering peace and harmony. We have just politicized the two religions, ignorantly and stupidly thinking we are fighting for God. you are on your own (OYO). You are agent of the devil. God is love, and he loves peace.??When an Igbo man is talking of division also ask them if u think u are comfortable by returning

back to your home why are u still in the north looking for greener pasture upon all these trouble, there is nowhere in Nigeria you go today that you will not meet an Igbo man doing his business no matter how hidden that village is, if it is because of oil, when a farmer thinks because he produces food every other person should go to hell let us see how comfortable he will be with those product, he wants money and he has to sell them to make money so we need each other. If Nigeria can't remain one so it will continue to split, Will Calabar man like to be in the same camp with the Igbo man? No.??When an Hausa man thinks because there are non indigene in the North one cannot do without them, do they know that its strangers that develop a place, most of the developed towns in d north are developed by the non indigene, why is it that whenever there is crisis it's the non indigene that are always victim? Most of that money use in developing the North is from oil, what happen to their groundnut pyramid? If they think that

they are island of themselves why is Babagida Aliyu of Niger state complain of not increasing their monthly allocation, where did he thinks the money is coming out from? How many of them are generating revenue internally? If Nigeria is to divide today do they think that the middle belt will like to go the same way with them? No.?? Peace is like salt in the food, without salt the food is tasteless. if a husband think because he is the bread winner and he cannot tolerate his wife and drive his wife because of trivial misunderstanding, the day he will come back home and drink garri, or no motherly care on his children then he will realize that they need each other. If a woman thinks because there are other men out there admiring her and decide to separate from the husband because of trivial misunderstanding, the day those men mess her up, the children are missing her, no umbrella is covering her again and he is been beaten by rain and sun then she will also realize that they need each other. Can children brought up

which 73 are British. Under the Lisbon Treaty reforms, which will come into effect at the 2014 elections, Germany will lose three seats and the number of MEPs will be capped at a maximum of 751 (including the President of the Parliament). This writer will suggest that the political leadership of the West African regional group (ECOWAS) borrow a leaf from the operational style of the European Parliament to see if the challenges of terrorism, corruption and other disturbing transnational crime can be effectively tackled under a unified front. Happily, the current ECOWAS Parliament leadership under the Speaker, our Deputy Senate President Senator Ike Ekweremadu, appears to be listening to the broad issues of enhancing the power of the ECOWAS parliament to use the proceedings as necessary legal framework for the member states to combat the spread of transnational crimes under a formidable unified front. Only last Week, a draft supplementary Act on the enhancement of the powers of the ECOWAS Parliament was adopted at their recent session in Abuja. The parliament's speaker said that the ad hoc committee report on the enhancement of powers, which was deliberated during the First Ordinary Session of the Third Legislature in May 2012, was adopted by the Parliament at the First ExtraOrdinary Session that closed in Abuja on Saturday last week. Continued on Pg 15 in broken homes be the same like the other one brought under the tight care of both parent? No. Finally lets the religious leader help to promote unity, hence we are now fighting because of religion as we are so religious and people are still busy buying burglary proof, kidnapping and all evil vices prevail in our land, whom are we deceiving? The religious leaders have much to play in this matter if truly they are for GOD, they see truth but they don't say it, how many of our religious leader today will look at our public office holders in the eye and tell them, You are not performing? None, they are only after what comes to their pockets, everyone wants to make heaven and earth. We really have to join hands together to foster peace and harmony in our land, our leaders are our enemy number one, we are just suffering in the midst of plenty, who told u that Jonathan is the messiah, he is a product of visionless party. May God help us. Salamu Alaikum my brothers and sisters in Islam, peace be unto you my Christians brothers and sisters, lets wake up and embrace peace; we need each other.


By Chika Oduah He came close…like danger.


nd nearly stole my heart, nearly snatched it out of its pulsating cavity. But he didn’t use his hands. He used the lazy groans of a steel guitar, psychedelic whines of wah-wah pedals and funky synthesizers to hypnotize me. They call him King of Juju. They call him Sunny Ade. Long before the juju king, I soared in an affair with South Africa, where I splurged breaking dawns with Hugh Masekela’s feisty trumpet solos and Miriam Makeba’s sultry croons. I was South African— Xhosa on the weekdays, Zulu on weekends…dancer always. Frivolous rendezvous with Congolese makossa and rumba left me giddy and gloating and blushing and bubbly and desiring more. Soukous Stars, Koffi Olomide, Werrason, Papa Wemba, Tabu Ley Rochereau, Kanda Bongo Man, Awilo Longomba...I knew them all in one fanciful blur. They’ve kissed my palms, held me square on my shoulders and one by one, they’ve sauntered into my happy-go-lucky dreams of hot, stifling nights in Le Club Nautique de Kinshasa, Le Savanana and Chez Ntemba International. But no matter how far it drifted my heart always came back to West African Highlife. Highlife, you are the story of my people, the hymn echoing in arboreal cathedrals where canopies of treetops gather in holy arches; where tropical breezes conjure ancestral saints destined to earthen altars tucked away in understory sanctuaries. Yours is a blessed sound. Yours is an amazing grace. They call you music. I call you Lover. And this is my ode to you. Lover, I do confess, you make me feel like I’m your one and only- even if I’m not. So with the assurance of death from overdoses of joy, I pressed my palms against my spinning head upon my initial hearing of “Nya Asem Hwe” by


The way you make me feel: My ode to highlife City Boys Band. I was sure that “Egwu Ukwata,” The born into the belly of West my brainwaves had gone awry, Heartbeat’s “More Time.” And Africa, pulled into this world swung right off their paths into when time calls for a transition by ancient hands cradled an awakening of euphoria. into a more sentimental mood, together to receive your How can music touch me in a more philosophical coming. They knew you were places that I never knew atmosphere, that’s when I bask coming, the way old women existed? in Osita Osadebe’s “Ana Masi Ife know when death is coming. Highlife. You’ve wooed me, Uwa,” Peacock International Your birth sparked a cascading stripped me naked with Band’s “Eddie Quansah,” Rex symphony of thunderstorms thumping percussions Lawson’s “Jolly Papa” and then pounding through the land, accompanied by lightly lilting surely one of the best from Conakry to Onitsha… and guitar riffs, intermittent compositions of all time, beyond. You pushed your way metallic clangs, insanely Celestine Ukwu’s ‘Onwunwa.’ into this dimension of the righteous harmonies and Anyone who has not heard living, bringing with you an extraterrestrial subtly p o w e r , pacing bringing b a s s with you notes. the griot’s J u s t voice. h a v e Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text Highlife, mercy messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written contributions I ’ m on me. should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 words, Articles - 750 convinced D o n ’ t words. Please include your name and a valid location. Letters to the that you blame Editor should be addressed to: are the m e sound of a because The Editor, quaking I fell in Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, w o r l d love. 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. wrapped in Y o u r the colors of feverish Email: let Africa— bellows SMS: 07037756364 cradle of loosened humanity. my hips Dusty, root eons ago, l a d e n , springing s h a d o w t h e m left, right, up, down, front, “Onwunwu,” has not quite lived colored, earthy tones of nirvana, Highlife, you’ve back. Fluttering, praying hands y e t . flail softly and my knees quiver And if you, Lover, were to brought me through happiness whenever you, Highlife, enter manifest as food, then S.E. and pain. How do I thank you? the room. Bring in the vocals Rogie’s “My Lovely Elizabeth” You’ve given me the courage and I’m gone. My body is here, would be a bowl full of ripen to see my homeland the way it but I’m gone. Pulled into strawberries. Juicy, refreshing deserves to be seen, in all its another plane of existence bites of sweetness on a steamy dignified nudity. where Highlife emerged, a afternoon. African Brothers It’s a homeland where people realm of God-like blackness and Band’s “Onipa nnse hwe” would dance like convulsing spirits, a love so innocently pastoral, be a bar of granola, chewy. thrusting the dusts of the Crunchy. You give new Sahara from beneath. innocently sublime. Highlife, you are the meaning to the phrases ‘food for You’ve shown me the way to soundtrack of my life. Spinning thought,’ ‘sugar in my tea,’ appreciate everything that came before me and to fusions of agony and hope, ‘butter on my bread.’ You make me feel precious, like anticipate what will come after despair and joy, peace and me. Because Highlife, you’ve turmoil. You express what I gold… raw, like flesh. They say you came from helped me understand that cannot express with those otherworldly rhythms in Nigeria, others say from Sierra Africa will survive in spite of or even Ghana. all the rape of hundreds of Francis Kenya’s “Nyamele Se Leone, Metianu,” Charles Iwegbue’s Wherever you came, you were years; will come to know itself

better than any hegemonic colonialists can, even the neoliberal ones with stark resemblances to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. And if only the politics of our homeland could sync as well as you do, I’m sure that our smiles would be more authentic. So teach us how to blend, groove, love, rationalize, thrive, exercise the thing in our heads we call brains and nurture a truer democracy. Because Africa isn’t really a land of crooks and thugs. It’s a land of people who have forgotten themselves. Highlife, help us to remember that there was a time when we knew our names and we bore them proudly. And we were ladies in our own right, before high heels, oyibo wigs, and skin toners; gentlemen before neckties and boxer briefs. And we told our own stories without shame. But now, we wear shame and disgrace in drab hues strewn across our bodies, flying first class to faraway lands where we can ignore the reflection of our dying souls. Disregard the poverty of our people. We’ve diminished your relevance to mere party music, played while we wiggle our expanding waists. But you are a way of life. Your lyrics speak of ageless truths, moral goodness, a respect for the Supreme. So with my offerings of Highlife to the Supreme, I come to worship draped in bright adire and kente, crowned in glittering silken head scarves—no oyibo shoes, this is holy ground. Highlife, you make me feel like running home, like dancing, giving, thriving until I return to the ground from whence we came. Chika Oduah is reachable at twitter@chikaoduah

information on the malfeasance of public officials is enough to set off any mass action in Nigeria. The insurrections that we have witnessed have happened only when people's livelihood are directly and frontally threatened. Other present bloody incidences are, in one way or another, due to mass sufferings in the midst of plenty, not on account of particular piece of information on official corruption. So it is just to remind us. I will just let it run exactly the way I wrote it since nothing has happened to improve the way things were when it was written. If anything, they have become worse. I hate dealing with numbers, but hardly can one

consuming 25 per cent of the Federal Government's overhead expenditure, many did not really get it, especially with the use of the jargon, 'overhead'. Therefore, one has now to be very clear on the issue. The following are, in clearer terms, what Sanusi saw and was too confounded to keep quiet. A Nigerian senator earns N240 million (about $1.7 million) in salaries and allowances every year. Every year, a member of the House of Representatives earns N204 million (about $1.45) in salaries and allowances. There are 109 Senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives.


Lest we forget the N2.4 trilion subsidy fraud By Chidi Ugwu


ecent events in our federal parliaments wasteful and profiteering probes, allegations and counter-allegations of the giving and taking of bribes have compelled me to dust up a piece that I put up a few months ago but which was not published. It bothered on what Nigerian political office holders earn, with specific focus on the national assembly. I thought it necessary to dust it up because in the midst of our present bloody predicament, there is a tendency to forget such things. It is just to anger you, the reader, because it is clear to me that no amount of annoying

communicate the information I want to share here without mentioning numbers. In fact, this piece, in its entirety, is about numbers; blood-cuddling numbers; numbers that Nigerian political office holders have no qualms to rake into their bank accounts even in the face of incredible poverty and suffering that are the lots of the vast majority. How does one begin? From the 2012 budget presented to the joint session of the National Assembly by President Jonathan, recurrent expenditure is N2.472 trillion. This, in case you don't get it, is the amount that would be spent on salaries and emoluments, travels and tours and allowances of the Federal Government

employees, National Assembly members and the presidency. It is about 72 per cent of the total budget. Capital expenditure, which should actually matter more, received only N1.32 trillion (if only it would even be used for the said projects). Because the space for this piece will not be sufficient for us to deal with the whole lot, let us just take the national assembly as our focus. Nigerian 'lawmakers' at the National Assembly are the highest-paid in the world even though they are about the most useless. When the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, accused the National Assembly of

Continued on Pg 15



Nigerian Muslim: An endangered specie By Hassan A Karofi



t is becoming increasingly difficult for Muslims to live in any part of Nigeria safely since the escalation of the crises between the dreaded members of the Boko Haram sect and security forces in parts of northern Nigeria. Even more worrisome are the increasingly strident unapologetic calls by Christian leaders on their members to retaliate on Muslims for any attack by Boko harma. Several high profile Christian leaders have openly called on their members to retaliate, some even in the presence of President Goodluck Jonathan. The most strident and consistent of these voices in these calls is that of the CAN President Ayo Oresiejafor who has since the beginning of the crisis never failed to publicly warn of retaliation even though knowing very well that not only do most Muslims are opposed to and detest what members of the sect are doing, they (Muslims) are in the main the highest number of casualties since the start of this crisis. Apart from Father Hassan Kukah there is obviously no single Christian leader who has not called on the Christian followers to attack Muslims and still, neither the president who has severally witnessed this message delivered in churches, nor do the security agencies deem it fit to caution the Christian leaders. Immediately after the

unfortunate attacks on some churches in Kaduna and Zaria last Sunday, a well known Kaduna state University lecturer, Mr John Danfulani sent message on the internet calling on his Christian brothers to come out and kill what he called "These murderers". And few hours after his call, hundreds of Christians came out in many parts of Kaduna killing innocent Muslim. Throughout the period Muslims were being butchered, security officials were nowhere to be seen, and by the time they eventually did along the Abuja expressway, over 30 Muslims had been murdered by Christian youth who have been instigated by their leaders.

Now put things together and you could go crazy. But do not even end it there. You could go further to make a comparison with what obtains elsewhere. Let us look at the US and the UK, two among the biggest economies in the world. An American Senator earns $174,000 while a UK parliamentarian earns about $64,000 a year. So, a Nigerian Senator can pay nine US senators and still have some change to play with. He can pay nineteen UK parliamentarians and still not be finished. Barack Obama, president of the richest economy in the world, earns $400,000 per annum. So a Nigerian senator can pay him and still be left with $1.3 million. The British Prime Minister earns $190,000

a year; so a member of the Nigerian House of Representatives can pay him and still have more than $1.2 million left. If they were six, our house member can pay them. Even if they were seven, our senator can pay them. If your ear tingles and you think you have heard anything, then wait for this‌ The Senate President is on a special monthly salary of N88.33 million, while his deputy is on N50 million. Every three months, ten principal officers of the Senate each receive N120 million while other principal officers earn N78 million each for 'constituency projects'. Anyone who has followed the wheeling and dealing of our national parliamentarians will be excused to doubt that they even

It is high time for the Nigerian Muslims to understand that these attacks are beyond the actions of Boko Haram. Even a blind, ignorant person knows that there is a hidden motive at the back of the so-called Boko Haram insugency. All these things are happening at a time when over 80% of those killed by Boko Haram are Muslims. Even a day after the Kaduna church attacks, many Muslims were killed in fighting between members of the sect and security operatives in Damaturu and Maiduguri. The three-pronged onslaught on muslims by Boko Haram, security agents and reprisal attacks by Christian leaders have left them (Muslims) as the most vulnerable group in Nigeria. It is on record that the President's voice is only heard when a church is attacked. Where then should the Muslim go for safety? The answer is nowhere. For now they

will continue to be arrested, intimidated and unlawfully detained while the coordinated Christian killings will continue as well as the senseless Boko Haram attacks. In many parts of northern Nigeria today, Muslims are forced into a very large prison where movement is difficult, where they cannot freely practice their religion and where they are exposed to humiliation, maltreatment and extra judicially killed by members of JTF across the region. In Maiduguri, the safest manner to move freely in the city is to look like a Christian. Whenever one dresses in full Hausa regalia he is exposed to humiliating searches and threats of being shot by biased security agents. There is no way one could drive a few kilometers without facing threats and many times being called Boko Haram by men of the JTF. As if these humiliations are not enough, Boko Haram kills more Muslims everyday than any other religious group. It is high time for the Nigerian Muslims to understand that these attacks are beyond the actions of Boko Haram. Even a blind, ignorant person knows that there is a hidden motive at the back of the so-called Boko Haram insugency. One of it is just manifesting itself in Mr John Danfulani and CAN President's calls on their brethren to kill Muslims.

Lest we forget earn as much as half of these numbers. My reaction was also doubt after I listened to Osagie (SAN) mention some these figures few months ago. I could not rest until I had investigated it. And I found, to my chagrin, that it is indeed suffering to be an informed Nigerian. But note: There is an extent to which any mass of followers, no matter how meek, will endure imposed sufferings. Notice that what seemed to be pockets of violence by small arms and light weapons have now been replaced with carnages unleashed with explosive devices. Make no mistake about this; the very root of the present

level of violence sprouted, in the first place, from the conditions of a failed state and the discontent of a disappointed populace. If you ask me, these are only but a harbinger of greater shocks that lie ahead, unless something fundamental is made to happen. The deep-rooted crack in the Nigerian state can no longer be papered over with platitudes and willful amnesia. A fundamental restructuring of this comatose contraption can only be delayed. But, as everyone sees, we delay it to our own peril. It has always been said that to make peaceful change impossible is to make violent change inevitable.

It is also not surprising that neither the CAN President nor Mr Danfulani was ever invited by the security agents over their utterances. If same statements were to be issued by a Muslim, the security agents would have arrested him for instigating crises. While no Muslim supports the activities of Boko Haram, we must not allow ourselves to be turned into 'chickens' that could be killed at will without compunction. It is either the country's leadership sits up and defend all citizens regardless of their race or religion, or lest divide the country now so that everyone will go his way. And for those who think dividing the country will bring untold hardship to our people the question is- is living in humiliation, harassment and aggression better than poverty? The northern part of this country is not poor. There are several other countries that are poorer than us yet they live in peace and harmony. And if those who regard themselves as our elders refuse to stand up and defend the people against the Boko Haram, the federal government or the Christian crusaders than time will come when, to rephrase Borno state Governor Kashim Shettima, Muslims will not be able to move freely even within their vicinity. Karofi, who wrote from Baga Road, Maiduguri, and can be reached at That statement seemed to have been made with the present Nigeria in mind. To think that a state which has not provided even the minimal conditions for survival of its citizens but spends about 50 per cent of its income in paying salaries and allowances of ineffectual political office holders (less than 0.01% of its population) will endure for long is to be naĂŻve. A hungry people will not forever watch and pray while their exploiters display senseless ostentation and conspicuous consumption; this can only happen for so long and the tipping point will come. Chidi Ugwu lectures in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology, University of Nigeria Nsukka.

Tracking the ECOWAS Parliament Continued from Pg 13


he draft supplementary Act will enable the parliament to make and harmonise their laws which will enhance the well-being of the sub-region as well as transform the parliament from a mere advisory body to that imbued with the capacity to make laws.

Ekweremadu told newsmen during the closing session at the weekend that the parliament could not exist without having the capacity to make laws that will be binding on its members. Ekweremadu said that the ECOWAS Parliament was committed to eradicate child trafficking and other heinous transnational crime afflicting the sub-region.

Most people in West Africa are worried about the ease with which armed terror groups operate in Nigeria just as concern has been raised on the possibility that weapons of mass destruction flow freely into ECOWAS member states especially Nigeria with gravely porous international borders from such speedily failing states like Guinea Bissau and Mali.

This is one challenge that ECOWAS Parliament should focus on how to enforce pragmatic panacea. This is because of the universal fact that if terrorism is allowed to spread in Nigeria and results in the collapse of the Nigerian nation-state, then the entire West Africa sub-region and much of the Sub-Saharan African region will invariably

collapse since the remnants of these terrorists armed with sophisticated weapons will move to other fertile grounds in the sub-region in search of soft targets to sow their seeds of anarchy. Emmanuel Onwubiko, head, Human Rights Writers' Association of Nigeria, writes f r o m



FCTA introduces community sanitation exercise in area councils

AMAC conducts free circumcision for 43 babies

By Josephine Ella

By Adeola Tukuru


orty three male babies in some villages within the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), have been circumcised free of charge by the council administration. The Assistant Coordinator,

he Federal Capital T e r r i t o r y Administration (FCTA) has flagged off villagecommunity sanitation initiatives aimed at teaching citizens good sanitation practices as part of their everyday culture. Flagging off the exercise in Kuduru at Bwari Area Council yesterday, the Minister of State for the FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide said the initiative was intended to keep community environment in Abuja clean, locate new dumpsite and as well constitute a sustainable environmental sanitation. Akinjide, who was represented by her Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties, Mrs. Jumai Kwanashie, noted that environmental sanitation has always been one of the challenges facing villages and communities in the FCT. She said the initiative which would be replicated in all the villages and communities in the FCT, would help restore sanity in the villages. The minister also said that clean environment would also assist in preventing the spread of disease, thereby saving monies that would have been spent on the treatment of such illnesses in the hospitals. Earlier in his remark, the chairman of Bwari Area Council, Hon. Peter Ushafa disclosed that his office has introduced aggressive health education in four major areas. According to him, they are open defecation, lassa fever, measles and other diseases, in order to raise the consciousness of the people. He said the council has equally introduced a house-tohouse sanitary inspection exercise in line with the belief that cleanliness is wealth, since a healthy environment is a wealthy environment. Also speaking, the district head of Kuduru Community, John Kure Kuduru assured that the community would be mobilized to actively participate in the sanitation exercise. High point of the event was the inauguration of environmental sanitation committee and distribution of domestic sanitation equipment such as rakes, shovels, wheelbarrow, spades and hand gloves to members of the committee.


Family Health Services and the Project Coordinator of the Circumcision Programme, Mrs. Helen Oyerinde told newsmen during the exercise in Kuchigoro, one of the benefiting villages, that most of the children in the council were not circumcised even at

the age of seven. According to her, this is largely attributed to lack of funds and proper enlightenment. She noted that circumcision should be carried out when a male child is still a baby, adding that an uncircumcised child is

L-R: Doctor in charge of the circumcision programme, Dr. Bar-Moshe Ovadia and the chairman of AMAC, Hon. Micah Y. Jiba, during the circumcision exercise in the Primary Health Care in Kuchingoro, Abuja. Photo: Adeola Tukuru

prone to infection at an older age. “The older the baby, the higher the health complications. Apart from the social stigma associated with non-circumcision, the child is also prone to infection if not circumcised early enough,’’ she said. She said that the council had embarked on enlightenment campaign to educate residents on the need for early circumcision. Oyerinde said that out of the six villages mapped out for the exercise, 43 children had been successfully circumcised in three of the villages. The doctor in charge of the circumcision programme, Dr Bar-Moshe Ovadia, said that the main objective of his visit to Nigeria was to educate the people on the need for circumcision. “We are trying to do circumcision in a good and healthy way with local anesthesia, because I learnt that most of the children are not circumcised,’’ Ovadia said. He said that doctors would be trained on the best way of carrying out circumcision for them to train others. Earlier, AMAC Chairman, Mr Micah Jiba said that the free circumcision was a way of assisting parents that could not afford circumcision for their children. “Some parents find it difficult to take their children to the hospital for circumcision, because the bill of circumcision is as high as N5, 000 or N10, 000, so most of them cannot afford it,” he said.

Man, 23, held for allegedly buying stolen computer


23-year-old man, Emmanuel Leonard, of Galadimawa village has been arraigned before an Abuja Senior Magistrate’s Court for allegedly buying a stolen computer belonging to Baze University in Jabi, Abuja. The Police Prosecutor, Mr Paul Anigbo told the court that the case was reported at the

Lugbe Police Station by the Chief Security Officer (CSO), of the School Ahmed Usman, on May 30, 2012. He said that one Aliyu Baba allegedly stole a desktop computer on May 7 and sold it to the accused at N60, 000 to which a part payment of N35, 000 had been given to the seller.

According to the prosecutor, the said desktop computer is valued at N150, 000 The prosecutor said that during police investigation, the computer was recovered, adding that the offence of the buyer contravenes Section 317 of the Penal Code. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

In his ruling, Chief Magistrate, Ademuyiwa Oyeyipo, granted the accused bail in the sum of N 250, 000 with a surety in the like sum. He said that the surety must swear to an affidavit with a means of livelihood. He adjourned the case to July 19, 2012 for hearing. (NAN)

Man bags one year jail term for stealing motorcycle


29-year-old man, Philip Mike, of Lugbe Zone 1 area of Abuja, was yesterday sentenced to one year imprisonment by an Abuja Chief Magistrate’s Court for stealing a motorcycle. Mike is standing trial on a one-count charge of theft,

which contravenes the provisions of the Penal Code. Police Prosecutor, Mr Paul Anigbo, told the court that the case was reported to the Lugbe Police Station by Mr Fidelis Abua, of Lugbe Zone 5, on June 16, 2012. Anigbo said the convict

entered the complainant’s house and stole the motorcycle valued at N120,000. He said that the convict was eventually caught with the said item. Anigbo said that the convict was, however, unable to give a satisfactory account

of his action during interrogation. The convict pleaded guilty to the charge. The Chief Magistrate, Ann Akobi, in her ruling, sentenced him to one year imprisonment without an option of fine. (NAN)



ABUJA DIARY with Josephine Ella 08065327178

FCT ‘park and pay’ scheme: Matters arising

FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Mohammed


ince its introduction January this year, the park and pay scheme of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) administration has continued to generate a lot of public debate. Particularly, at the carved out parking controlled zone at Wuse II area, upon the flag-off, motorists in Abuja staged a demonstration to register their displeasure with the scheme. The weight of the scheme was highly felt by motorists, especially, owing to the fact that the policy was rolled out barely few days after the Federal Government removed the subsidy on petrol. Expressing their dissension for the policy, motorists referred to it as a deliberate ploy by the FCT administration to rip off innocent citizens of their hard earned money in the face of the daunting economic hardship confronting the average man in the country. To them, it was an attempt by the administration to further impoverish the poor masses because it was difficult for them to fathom why the FCT administration would introduce such a scheme in the city. For motorists, as far as they were concerned, the policy is ‘ridiculous and exploitative’ because they see no reasons why they should be coerced into paying for parking their vehicles in any parking space anywhere in the city as the scheme demands. It was easy to understand and identify with their plight because, the park and pay system or on street parking as it is also called, is quite a novel idea in Nigeria, unlike cosmopolitan cities across the globe or even in Africa countries like South Africa, Morocco, Egypt and Tanzania. In spite of all these, however, the FCT administration was not daunted by the public outcry and criticisms that trailed the initiative. For the administration, it was nothing out of the ordinary for residents to kick against the idea as people often find it very difficult to adjust to change, even when it is positive. Nothing was going

to make it rescind the decision to keep up with the project because the benefits of the scheme are too numerous to allow the growing dissension to swerve the administration off the track. To this end, the FCT administration justified its resolve to make the system work. Giving an insight into the idea behind the scheme, the Secretary, FCT Transportation Secretariat, Engineer Jonathan Ivoke Achara, said that its major focus is on traffic management. According to him, the scheme is aimed at bringing sanity to Abuja roads by checking the traffic congestion in the city, where people park haphazardly on the shoulders of the road and walkways meant for pedestrians. Although, the FCT administration said the main focus of the scheme was not the money it was yielding, but it admited that it is another avenue to boost its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) base for implementation of its numerous people oriented projects. The secretary also listed employment creation as one of the numerous benefits of the project. Furthermore, he sees the scheme as a tool to check the influx of motorists into the Abuja metropolis, which results in persistent traffic gridlock along some routes. Numerous as the benefits of the scheme may appear, the controversies trailing are still raging. Recently, a lawyer instituted a legal suit, challenging the right of the administration to operate the scheme, a case which the FCT administration won. Yet many motorists are still threatening legal action against the FCT administration on grounds that officials of the two private companies, Integrated Parking System and Platinum Parking Management Service, to whom the monetized parking space have been concessioned are conniving to extort money from them. How? You may ask. Their grouse is that some parking attendants are sometimes not found at the controlled parking zones when motorists approach the area to park their vehicles. This is only for them to later emerge from only God knows where, to clamp their wheels or remove their number plates after which they demand for a huge sum of money from them before releasing the vehicle or number plate. True, there is a standing rule which is inscribed on notice boards at all the controlled parking area that, motorists who park without a valid ticket is liable to pay a N5,000 fine. In the same vein, the rule says, a similar fine would also be meted for wrong parking on shoulders of the road, flowerbeds and walkways while defaulters, who have their vehicles impounded and towed to the auto pond, would have to pay a fine of N10, 000 before it is released, aside the payment of a N1,000 demurrage each night It however, behoves the FCT administration to investigate the claims by residents to the effect that attendants are sometimes nowhere to be found at their duty post when they should be there. This should be done because a situation whereby a motorist who is willing to pay the parking fee finds no one to pay to, only to later have his or her r wheels clamped or number plate removed and forced to pay as much as N5,000 on ground of flouting the rule is injustice. These two things are necessary to address this issue; the transport secretariat should ensure that adequate staff are employed by parking managers and deployed to cover each zoned area. There should be supervisors, who would go round to ensure that these attendants remain at their duty posts at all the hours of operation, if this arrangement is not in place.

Surveyors on duty at Total Station, in Central Area, Abuja.

Photo: Joe Oroye

Two women in SGF’s office fight over one house


wo women, Elizabeth Adeh, 56 and Margaret Ekeng, 48, were on Wednesday arraigned before an Abuja Senior Magistrate’s Court for fighting over a house. Adeh and Ekeng reside at block 2, flat 2, Gender Street, Wuse Zone one. The prosecutor, Abu Opanachi told the court that the case was reported to the Police Area Command, Maitama by Ekeng on June 5. Opanachi said that the four bedroom house was allocated to Ekeng in 1991 while she was working in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. He added that the house was also allocated to Adeh, who also works in the same office with Ekeng and the two were co-tenant. The prosecutor said that during the 2005 sale of Federal Government houses, both agreed on a trust to buy the house. Opanachi added that the duo also agreed that Adeh’s name should be used to bid for the house, which was sold

at N4.5 million. He pointed out that based on trust, Ekeng contributed N3 million to Adeh for the purchase of the house between 2005 and 2008. The prosecutor added: “Adeh, however, intentionally and dishonestly asked Ekeng to pack out of the house, saying the house belongs to her and even threatened to kill her ’’. He said that the offence amounted to criminal breach of trust, cheating and intimidation, and contrary to Sections 312, 322 and 397 of the Penal Code. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. The Magistrate, Mrs Omolola Akindele, granted bail to the accused in the sum of N100, 000 and two sureties in like sum, adding that the sureties must reside within the jurisdiction of the court. She ordered that a passport size photograph of the accused and the sureties should be attached to the bail bond and adjourned the case till July 17 for hearing. (NAN)

NGO solicits support from FG, FCT administration By Usman Shuaibu


non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dpat Foundation has appealed to the Federal Goverment(FG) and the FCT administration to provide the necessary infrastructural facilities to enable the organisation carry out her skill acquisition programmes in the area effectively. The President, Mrs Patience Ardey made the appeal at the Gwagwalada office of the foundation while addressing the audience during the flag-off of skill acquisition and farmers sensitization training workshop. She said the foundation was concerned with women as well as young girls living with abject poverty. According to her, the foundation had trained many women and girls in fashion designing, hair dressing, soap making, farm technology, bead making and catering

among others. The Dpat foundation boss lamented that inadequate and lack of support from the public has affected the smooth running of the foundation. Responding, the Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, Hon. Zakari Angulu Dobi who was represented by his Special Adviser on Political Matters, Alhaji Hassan Loko said that the administration of the area council would assist the Dpat foundation to achieve its goals. On his part, the chairman of the Occasion, Chief J. Ade Ajayi called on parents and guardians to send their children to Dpat foundation to learn skill acquisition to enable them become self-reliance. On their goodwill messages, the assistant deputy director in the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in the FCT, Mrs Naomi M. Alyadar and the head of marketing at Eco Bank, Mrs Folasade Adesote said they would continue to partner with Dpat foundation for growth.



Young women hawking walnuts to earn a living, yesterday at Garki village, in Abuja.

This overloaded pick up van with firewood is rather a threat to other road users, A middle aged man treating himself local shaving at a road side, yesterday in Garki, Abuja. yesterday in Apo village, Abuja.

A man preparing suya, yesterday at Area 1, in Abuja.

Good Samaritans giving helping hands to driver of a broken down truck, yesterday in Area 8, Abuja. Photos: Justin Imo-owo






- Pg 20

Transcorp Hilton gives commitment to effect PAP

Mob: 08033644990

Nigerian flour producers and millers need to be supported to reduce reliance on foreign wheat imports which is expected to rise

Flour millers see increase in wheat imports


igerian flour millers, key buyers of U.S. wheat, continue to need more U.S. supplies despite efforts by the Nigerian government to reduce reliance on foreign wheat imports, top Nigerian milling executives said on Wednesday. “We are not expecting a drop in the amount of U.S. wheat we need. In all, the wheat we are needing should be increasing,” said the director of Honeywell Flour Mills, Benson Osaretin Evbuomwan, which has an annual milling capacity of 600,000 tonnes. Honeywell is a large user of hard red winter wheat, the top U.S. class of wheat. Evbuomwan is one of seven representatives from the top milling and food companies in Nigeria who are visiting key U.S. wheat growing states this week, including top winter wheat producer Kansas. The team is surveying the current year’s hard red winter and hard white wheat crops. James Ogunyemi, quality control manager at Flour Mills of Nigeria, the country’s largest and the world’s second-largest miller, also made the trip. He said he was impressed with the quality of the

wheat in this year’s crop, which is being harvested now. “What we’ve seen so far will be suitable,” he said. Ogunyemi estimated that Nigeria’s wheat imports will rise to 4.5 million tonnes this year. For the 2011/12 marketing year, which concluded May 31, Nigeria imported 3.35 million tonnes from the United States, making Nigeria the thirdlargest wheat buyer, behind Japan and Mexico, according to U.S. Wheat Associates. Flour Mills of Nigeria does so much business with the United

By Abdulwahab Isa


n its quest to lift up agriculture sector to attain its maximum potential, Unity Bank plc voted over N28 billion to promote both medium and large scale agriculture last year. The bank’s Managing Director/CEO, Ado Yakubu Wanka said the bank action was in line with its belief in agriculture as one sector capable of transforming Nigeria economy and creating employments.


SELLING 0.2984 196.7614 243.9523 41.5667 155.9


BUYING 210 250 40 156

SELLING 212 252 42 158

Wanka spoke with members of the media yesterday in Abuja, on th occasion of the 6th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank. Wanka also reiterated the bank determination to shore up its capital base to sustain it a vibrant and financially strong and stable bank and confirmed that, arrangement had reached advance stage to raise tier 1 Capital to sustain the bank financial stability . Earlier in his address to the

some cassava for wheat, demand for bread and growing demand for higher value products like instant noodles will result in more wheat imports, he said. “We’re going to need more wheat,” said Evbuomwan. “Business with the U.S. in terms of wheat, we see it growing, not declining,” said Evbuomwan. The Nigerian representatives met with U.S. wheat players about efforts to develop genetically modified wheat and said they were expecting biotech wheat that could resist disease or yield more by 2020. (Reuters)

… shareholders’ fund hits N44.51 billion

bank shareholders, the bank’s Chairman, Nu’uman Barau Danbatta said the bank’s balance sheet grew by 63.68 per cent from N309.35 billion in December 2010 to N506.35 billion in December 2011. It also experienced improvement in operating income, growing by N27.59 per cent from N24.23 billion to N30.91 billion and a growth in customer deposit, by 20.14 per

Management Tip of the Day

18th June, 2012 BUYING 0.2784 195.4993 242.3875 41.3001 154.9

imported wheat flour and wheat grain. Flour millers have widely resisted the change, saying they will have to retrofit their plants and charge more for their bread products. Evbuomwan said industry leaders were continuing to talk with government leaders about the viability of the plan. “At 40 percent we’re not getting good bread,” said Evbuomwan. “We think 40 percent is not realistic. There needs to be more discussion.” Even with substitution of

Unity Bank boosts agric sector with N28bn



States that it operates its own export elevator in Corpus Christi, Texas, importing soft red winter, hard red winter, hard red spring and Desert Durum wheat. Flour millers in Nigeria are struggling now with a call by the government to reduce their use of imported flour and make greater use of domestic cassava in bread flour - the government wants up to 40 percent of the flour made with cassava. To further discourage imports, Nigeria will implement in July a higher duty on


Set prices that benefit everyone

ricing shouldn’t be used to extract the maximum value from every transaction. Customers can feel the squeeze from these practices and may even lash out. Instead, create shared value with customers by using the following pricing principles:

Focus on relationships, not transactions. Use pricing to communicate that you value your customers as people, not as wallets. Put a premium on flexibility. Resist the urge to set rigid prices. There is no “right” price. Instead, design pricing so

it can change in response to shifting consumer needs. Be fair. Make sure your prices meet customers’ expectations and that the pricing process is clear. Be transparent about the rationale behind your prices. Source: Harvard Business Review

cent from N222.15 billion to N266.88 billion as at December 2011. Loans and advances of the bank grew by 2.88 per cent, from N118.58 billion to N121.98 billion during the period, a figure the Chairman said would have been higher but for the sale of assets worth about N20 billion to Asset management Corporation of Nigeria(AMCON) . Other key performing indices of the bank during the period under review was a shareholders’ fund which stood at N44.51 billion in 2011 as against N44.15 billion in 2010 representing an increase of 0.81 per cent, while its nonperforming loans to total loans ratio declined from 15 per cent in 2011 to 5 per cent in 2011. Though no dividend was declared, the board approved a bonus of one for 10 shares held and the gesture drew shareholders commendation.




Transcorp Hilton gives commitment to BPE

FG plans banks’ grading system to support SMEs



he Federal Government has announced plans to develop a system for grading commercial banks’ funding of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in the country.

BlackBerry generates highest revenue from Nigeria


n recent times, BlackBerry is becoming by far a greater force in the developing world, including Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya, than it is doing in its home continent of North America, Europe and Asia.

Huawei nets N5.2 tr revenue in 2011


uawei, a major global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, has reaffirmed its commitment to the Nigerian market with plans of creating more employment opportunities, expand local investment and cultivate talents.

World Bank, Ecobank boost lending to SME’s with $213m partnership


cobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, have entered into a $213 million agreement, that will see them increase lending to small and medium enterprises and at the same time strengthen the banking sector.

Phillips, new LED solutions would save Africa N1.63tn annually


frica would save up to N1.63 trillion ($10 billion) in energy costs annually, more than 50 million tonnes of carbon and the equivalent output of 35 power stations, if the continent were to switch its existing lighting, currently run on diesel and fuel which gulps a lot of money to new LED solutions, a research by Royal Philips has disclosed, even as these figures only include on-grid lighting where electricity is present.

Fertiliser meant for distribution to farmers, during the launch of Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme, yesterday in Awka, Anambra state. Photo: NAN

BPE to speed up privatisation of Olorunsogo power plant Stories by Abdulwahab Isa


he privatization of Olorunsogo power plant is to be consummated within a month, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has announced. The privatisation also estimated that over N200 billion will be realized from the privatisation of the 18 successor companies created from the unbundling of Power Holding Company of Nigeria. The Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Ms. Bolanle Onagoruwa disclosed these fresh details recently at a management retreat held in Abuja. She explained that the bulk of the revenue would come at the conclusion of the on-going power sector reform and privatisation of PHCN successor companies. On Olorunsogo power plant, she its privatization would be consummated within a month and said over N1.2 billion has so far been garnered as privatisation proceeds for 2012. She noted that the Bureau’s work plan was proceeding with vigour in spite of delays in the release of the capital budget where BPE’s approved transaction budget is now placed. Giving an update on the privatisation of PHCN successor companies, which is donorfunded and therefore not subjected to the delays in the release of the transaction budget, Onagoruwa highlighted the outstanding activities from the work plan. The next key milestone, according to her, is the submission of the technical and

financial proposals of bidders slated for July 17, 2012 for generating companies and July 31 for distribution companies. This development will be followed by commencement of evaluation. Said she: “The evaluation will commence immediately and for Gencos this will be concluded by August 14, 2012 while that for Discos will be concluded by August 31, 2012. NCP approval for the evaluation of the Gencos will be sought on August 28, 2012 while that of the Discos will also sought on September 11, 2012.” She added: “The deadline for the submission of postqualification security is slated for September 18 2012 for the Gencos and October 2, 2012 for the Discos. The opening of the financial bids for the Gencos is September 25, 2012 while for Discos is slated for October 10, 2012. The final approval of the preferred bidders by NCP and its announcement for the successor companies is expected to be done

on October 9 2012 for the Gencos and October 23, 2012 for the Discos.” On the seven pending reform Bills, Onagoruwa explained that the Bills were approved by the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) in 2009 and sent to the Federal Executive Council (FEC). “The FEC sent them back to the BPE/Hon. Attorney General of the Federation/Minister of Justice for fine-tuning and interfacing with line ministries. The process of fine-tuning and interfacing with line ministries has been concluded and all the bills are ready. The Legal Committee of the NCP is having a final look at them,” she said. The seven reform Bills are the Railway Bill; Inland Waterways Bill; Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Bill; Postal Bill; Road Sector Reform Bill; National Transport Commission Bill; and Ports & Harbour Reform Bill.

ranscorp Plc, owner of Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja, has expressed its commitment to actualising the second phase of its postacquisition plan as covenanted in the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), a BPE statement said. The second phase involves recapitalisation, service portfolio/facilities expansion, new business development, brand spread, market dominance, regional presence and global affiliations. Receiving a team from the BPE team, led by Rabiu Abubakar Abba, an Assistant Director, which was on post privatisation monitoring of the hotel on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, the Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp, Valentine Ozigbo said the action plan to actualize the covenant would be submitted to BPE within two weeks. He attributed the delay in the expansion programme to the illegal encroachment on the hotel’s land and expressed delight that the issue had been resolved. Ozigbo said the areas of focus during the exercise would among others, include, the construction of a shopping mall within the hotel grounds and construction of short/long stay service apartments on the available land within premises to cater for corporate clients. On recapitalisation, the CEO said funding and development plan was in place, adding that “the plan is to leverage internal resources and debt funding for new business development and further refurbishments. After BPE succeeds with further sale of government’s interest, equity funding will be deployed to boost the capital base for further expansion”. Ozigbo remarked that within the next five years, the hotel plans to establish its presence in Lagos, Ibadan, PortHarcourt, Kano, Asaba and Calabar. He added that the hotel has a total staff strength of 1,430 from the 957 it inherited in 2005 when the hotel was privatized.

Lagos govt issues ultimatum to mass transit bus operators From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos he Lagos state government has given a seven – day ultimatum to beneficiaries of the federal government assisted Mass Transit buses scheme operating in Lagos state to comply with proper registration procedures. Commissioner for transportation, Kayode Opeifa confirmed the ultimatum while


speaking with journalists in his office. He said the directive is imperative as it would facilitate proper documentation and the monitoring of the buses in line with the state’s mass transit bus franchise scheme. He said officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and the Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) have been mandated to

ensure strict compliance and impound vehicles that do not comply at the expiration of ultimatum on June 27, 2012. Opeifa also appealed to all professional drivers in the state including employees of corporate organizations and commercial vehicles with private chauffeurs to ensure that they undergo the re- certification training at the Lagos State Drivers Institute (LASDRI) before engaging in professional driving in the state.



Self-assessment practice in Nigeria By Muhammad Nasir Introduction


he Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has provided a leeway for implementation of self assessment, in section 24 (f), it was stated as follows:“that it shall be the duty of every citizen to declare his income honestly to appropriate and lawful agencies and pay his tax promptly” The self-assessment tax system was introduced in the Nigerian tax laws in 1991 with operational effect in 1992 and initially restricted to a threshold of taxpayers and extended to the rest in 1998. However it was not until 2011 that its implementation became effective, through a Project based system. The Nigerian self assessment system requires that:The taxpayer accurately calculate his tax liability, pay the tax due at designated bank to collect e-ticket and file selfassessment return on or before the statutory(due) date for filing such tax return; Tax returns are accepted, by the tax authority, as filed, subject to on-the-spot simple checks to ensure that tax return forms are correctly completed. The returns are later subjected to further administrative processing including risk assessment of all tax returns and audit, where necessary, determined by riskbased case selection; Where the taxpayer fails to meet his obligations, late returns penalty and interest imposed, as the case may be. The tax authority exercises its right under the law by issuing

administrative assessments on taxpayers who fail to file tax returns on due date. Information for such assessments are obtained by an on the spot audit of the taxpayer’s records and from third-party sources. It is noted that ahead of due dates for filing tax returns, taxpayers are reminded about their obligation to file and pay taxes due. The Tax Authority relies heavily on post-filing controls such as risk-based audits, collection enforcement measures, et cetera to elicit compliance. The filing and payment requirements of the different tax types are discussed as follows;Taxpayers filing petroleum profits tax returns are expected to do so not later than five months after accounting year end; In the case of companies income tax, returns are due within six months of accounting year end; Tax returns for value added tax are due for filing within twenty-one days following the month in which the transaction was made; and Individuals filing personal income tax returns do so on the thirty-first of March each year. The Federal Inland Revenue Service in its efforts to make compliance easier for taxpayers and make tax payments convenient for them and for ease of administration, integrated its tax offices from 2005 and segmented them to date as follows: Large taxpayer offices, oil/gas and non-oil); for companies with 1billion turnover and above Medium taxpayer offices; for companies with 200 million to 999million turnover Micro and small taxpayers offices; for companies with less

than 200 million turnover,and Individual and enterprise offices. For; Residents of FCT Armed Forces Niageria Police Foreign residents Taxpayer segmentation guide the taxpayers to identify the relevant offices to file their respective tax returns and for the Tax Authority to tailor taxpayer education according to the needs of the specific taxpayer groups. The various tax laws which the Tax Authorities operate for various tax types being administered all contained provisions for the Self Assessment Tax System. Hence, all taxpayer segments file their tax returns in line with self-assessment system requirements. A summary of the legislation guiding the implementation of the self assessment system in Nigeria are summarised as follows: Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2011, Federal Inland Revenue Service (establishment) Act 2007 Tax Administration (Self Assessment) Regulations, 2011 Company Income Tax Act 2007 (Sections 52 (2)and 53); Personal Income Tax Act 2011(Sections 41 and 44); Petroleum Profit Tax Act 2007(Section 30); Value Added Tax Act 2007 (Sections 15 and 16). The Laws listed above are contained in the Laws of Federation Nigeria (LFN) Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) Act 2004 Updated to 31st Day of December 2010. The implementation of selfassessment tax system as reinvigorated since 2011 has brought about changes that resulted from a re-designed workflow processes, which gave the taxpayer his full right to assess himself/herself, eliminated the 100% examination of tax returns that was hither-to in practice now replaced by risk based case selection for audit, the self assessment Regulations gazetted on December, 2011 has strengthened and clarified existing provision in the tax laws. These efforts have positively impacted on tax administration in the following ways: Man-hours spent on issuance of assessment notices and associated human activities w h i c h culminated in

FIRS Ag Chairman Alhaji Kabiru Mashi misplacement of files, challenges of whether assessment notices were issued or not , delays in service of notices of assessment have reduced; Disputes arising from issuance of inappropriate notices and its associated cost of litigation have reduced; Taxpayers now see themselves as key stakeholders in the determination of their tax liabilities; Imposition of frivolous best-ofjudgment assessments without recourse to taxpayer’s books has reduced tax arrears; Tax authority now focuses more on tax returns that will yield optimum revenue. There are adequate provisions for sanctions in the extant tax laws to address any form of breach of laws or non compliance with the provisions of the law; particularly false declarations or deliberate attempts to reduce liability to tax under the Self-Assessment System. The sanctions include: rejection of tax returns and recourse to administrative assessment and imposition of additional tax. The additional tax is imposed on the basis of information derived from taxpayer’s records and third parties; Fine or imprisonment or both fine and imprisonment; Interest shall be charged for the amount of tax underdeclared with effect from the date when the liability became due; and Principal Officers of the company stand the risk of being imprisoned as individuals for

failure to ensure compliance. Self assessment implementation has greatly increased collection due to the fact that returns are filed with evidence of payment, while filing of returns has also greatly increased because of enablement given to taxpayers by the tax authority. Conclusion: The self-assessment system guarantees payment of taxes due on due date in concurrence with filing of tax returns thus ending the era of bogus ‘’best of judgment assessments’’, reduced the accumulation of uncollectable arrears and builds mutual trust/ effective partnership of taxpayers and tax officers. The use of spot audit and third party information which must be exposed to taxpayer to form basis of administrative assessment reduces disputes and objections to the assessment and increases income generation at reduced cost. The self-assessment system re-defined processes and introduced new methods like the risk profiling technique for all cases and therefore necessitated the building of new capacities and realignment of personnel to areas of their optimum capability and competence. The system introduced the risk assessment and risk profiling of all cases and thereby eliminating subjective selection of cases for audit and replaced it with risk based audit case selection, as audit are to be done in line with audit time reporting system in use by the Service.



Aviation Hearing: We are yet to conclude investigation into Bellview, ADC air crashes – AIB


he Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Capt. Muktar Usman, said that the bureau had yet to conclude investigation into the Bellview crash of 2005 and the ADC crash of 2006. Usman told the joint Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Aviation investigating the Dana and

Allied Airlines crashes in Abuja on Wednesday that the report of the Sosoliso air crash of 2005 had been released. The commissioner, however, told the committee that the investigation into the Belleview and ADC crashes were in their final stages. He said that the delay in releasing the report of the Bellview and ADC crashes was

due to the fact that some investigations normally take longer than others depending on the nature of each accident. Usman also told the committee that the agency did not have the capability to analyse the black box of the airplanes and so took them abroad for analyses. ”It will cost us $5.6 million to set up our own laboratory and

we do not have the budgetary provisions yet. The cost of analysing the black box is free because accident investigation worldwide is free,’’ he said. The joint committee had earlier expressed dissatisfaction with the level of response to rescue the victims of Dana air crash, and described the rescue operation as lacking in coordination and timeliness. The Chairman of the joint committee, Sen. Hope Uzodinma (PDP-Imo), told the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) that as the agency coordinating the rescue operation, it should

have put in more efforts. ”There is a need for coordination. Your capacity to respond to and coordinate rescue operation in the case of an accident is not sufficient,’’ he said. The Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr Nnamdi Udoh, in his presentation told the committee that the agency did everything required of it in an emergency situation. Udoh said there was nothing different the agency could have done in an emergency situation besides what it did in the Dana air crash situation. (NAN)

AfDB, other MDBs unite to boost spending on sustainable growth By Aminu Imam


L-R: Representative, Association of Business Executives (ABE), Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Oyo states, Mr. Paul Ayomidele, representative of ABE, United Kingdom, Mr Denis Jones, and ABE representative in Nigeria, Mr. Olubunmi Omotade, during a news conference by ABE, United Kingdom, on Tuesday in Ibadan. Photo: NAN

Kano IGR hits N1.3 bnmonthly, says Finance Commissioner By Abdulwahab Isa


ano state government has recorded a steady growth in Internal Revenue Generation(IGR) from a lowly figure of N400 million to N1.3 billion monthly. The state Commissioner for finance, Alhaji Abdullahi Muhammad Gaya confirmed the figure in an interview with journalists in Ibadan, Oyo state at the just concluded Federal Accounts Allocation Committee(FAAC) meeting. He gave assurance that the N2 billion monthly IGI target sets by state would be realised before the year runs out. “ When we came on board we met a monthly revenue generation in the region of N300 to N400 million but as I’m talking to you now,every month we generate over N1.3 billion. We thank God for this achievement and before the end of year we will hit the target of N2billion “ , said Gaya. He commended people of the state for their unwavering commitment to tax compliances, noting that” the people are witnesses to what government is being able to do with taxes and revenue collected. We feed pupils

in schools, provide school uniforms and other laudable projects which the present administration has put in place”. The Kano state finance commissioner. Said the government was able to pay promptly its monthly obligation to states’ civil servant and devote 66 per cent of its resources towards capital projects implementation as a result of its culture of transparency and financial prudence . According to him, “ funds approved for spending is taken to

the executive council every wednesday and this will be thoroughly discussed and we published the states’ expenditure regularly in the media for all to see. A scenario that only the Commissioner is knowledgeable of state finances is completely ruled out”. He said the state has instituted a comprehensive programs to curb youth restiveness and said over 1,000 youths had been fully engaged in addition to over 21institutes. Set up to impart various skills on youths.

he African Development Bank (AfDB), and five other multilateral development banks (MDBs) have agreed to significantly leverage their commitment to sustainable development. The concord between the AfDB, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, and the World Bank Group, was made at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, “Rio+20”, currently taking place in Rio de Janeiro. The MDBs’ cumulative investments in sustainable development activities has averaged USD 93 billion annually in the past five years. In a joint statement, the six MDBs said: “The need for transition towards green growth has been recognized as key to sustainable development and prosperity. We are committed to supporting this transition to green growth – growth that is attained with a smaller environmental footprint, is inclusive and achieves gains in opportunities and access to resources by all segments of the population to reduce income inequity.” The MDBs added that Rio+20 provided “a unique opportunity

Justice, anti-corruption and drugs related crimes critical for achieving Nigeria’s vision 2020 - UNDP By Muhammad Sada


he United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) resident coordinator for Nigeria, Mr. Toure has said that support for justice, anti corruption and drugs related crimes in Nigeria, which the EU has listed out to give support to Nigeria are critical to achieving the National vision 2020 economic blueprint designed by Nigeria to become among the top twenty

economies in the world. Mr. Toure made this disclosure on Monday in Abuja during the meeting of the signing of a 35 million Euros (7.2 Billion Naira) Financing agreement between the Federal Government and the European Union ( EU) in support of the Government’s efforts in preventing and fighting corruption. The Envoy commended the Federal government and the European Union for entrusting

the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) with the three projects totaling 98 million Euros (N20 Billion) of which the first phase amounting to 35 million Naira was signed, promising that the projects will be executed satisfactorily for Nigerian. Meanwhile, the Head of Delegation, European Union, H.E Dr. David McRae while speaking at the event, welcomed the Government’s strategy for the Implementation of Justice

to launch a renewed strategy for sustainable development.” For its part, the AfDB has demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainable development and green strategies. It is a crucial area of action for Africa. The continent contributes the least to greenhouse gases but tends to suffer the most, in terms of flooding, droughts, and desertification, among other natural disasters. The AfDB has developed its Green Growth Vision Paper and is investing approximately $6.4 billion over a five year period between 2011 and 2015 through its Climate Action Plan in the energy, transport, water and agriculture sectors. Also, as sustainable development finance is critical for African economies, the AfDB has invested in a host of instruments such as the Congo Basin Forest Fund, the Clim-Dev Africa Fund, the African Water Facility and the Africa Carbon Support Program. Commenting on the statement, the AfDB president, Donald Kaberuka, said: “African countries’ pressing need for growth to combat poverty at a time of runaway population growth mean that development policies must be fashioned to reduce the environmental impact. Sector Reforms which was adopted last year to provide fair, timely, accessible and equal justice for all Nigerians. Dr. McRae said that the EU commitment to support the Justice Sector is part of their development cooperation policy, as the rule of Law, democracy, and human rights are founding principles of the European Union, adding that it was in that regard they are supporting the Nigerian Justice Sector with an allocation of 27 million Euros (N6.2 billion) to improve the effectiveness, accessibility, accountability, transparency and fairness of the justice system.



Universal prophetic wisdoms (V) Allah says: “Nor does He say (aught) of (his own) desire. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him: He was taught by one mighty In power,. Endued with Wisdom: for He appeared (in stately form).” [an-Najmi:3-6]


n the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All Praise is due to Allah! We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our evils and bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah, is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and final messenger to mankind. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon His last and final Apostle, his Household, his companions and all his followers until the end of time. Our discussion today is a continuation of our previous weeks' topic which was taken from the treasures of wisdom of the Apostle of Allah (SAW). We will as time goes on learn live touching advice, wisdom, guidance, admonishing and knowledge from this limitless treasures. The words, speeches and statements of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) under any state of affairs are direct guidance from Allah (SWT). It Him Who, concerning this greatest man, says: "Nor does He say (aught) of (his own) desire. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him: He was taught by one mighty In power,. Endued with Wisdom: for He appeared (in stately form)" [an-Najmi:3-6] The Hadith again: The messenger of Allah peace be upon him once said to his Companions (RD): "Who will take these words and apply them, or knows someone who will?" Abu Hurairah (RD) answered, "I will, O Messenger of Allah," whereupon the Prophet (SAW) took his hand and enumerated five things, saying: "Avoid the unlawful (deeds), and you will be the most pious of people." "Be satisfied with what Allah has allotted you, and you will be the richest of people." "Treat your neighbour well, and you will be a believer." "Love for others what you love for yourself, and you will be a Muslim." "Avoid excessive laughter for too much laughter kills the heart." [Ahmad: 2/ 310, No. 8081, Tirmizi: 4/ 551, No. 2305, Baihaqy: 7/ 78, No. 9543] The next item for the discussion today, Insha Allah, is the fourth point: "Treat your neighbour well, and you will be a believer."

Today by the leave of Allah, for a Muslim to frighten his we will be concluding our brothers on account of joke, such discourse we started since four as the April Fool culture. Islam is weeks now. In the previous hard on the need that no Muslim articles we did not only brought should dispute with his brother to bear our best in expatiating and elucidating each of the four i t e m s discussed, but we went By Husain Zakariyya further to relate each and every Yawale item to our +234-8052952900 (sms only) p r e s e n t circumstances. Today Insha Allah, we will conclude with fifth nor mock him jokingly. It is item: "Avoid excessive laughter unfortunate that a lot of young for too much laughter kills the Muslims concoct lies and heart." we will explore most fabricate jokes to entertain people recent scientific finding and at gatherings. Some of them have discoveries in this regard and see taken as profession to make people how, a man who lived over 1,300 laugh for fees! In essence, one years could have captured that cannot be a good Muslim unless

4861).According to another Hadith, he (SAW) used to remain silent for long periods, and laugh little.( al-Musnad, 5/86; Sahih al-Jaami', 4822). Similarly, 'Aa'ishah (RD), said: "I never saw the Messenger of Allah (SAW) laughing so heartily that his back teeth showed; he would only smile." (Reported by Abu Dawud, no. 5 0 9 8 ) . Accordingly, the Prophet (SAW) was reported to have said: "Do not laugh too much, for excessive laughter kills the heart (i.e., spiritually)." (Reported by Ibn Maajah). According to another reliable report of the Apostle, he said: "… too much laughter corrupts the

and until he or she ceases to tell lies, indulge in jocular behaviours and dispute with his brother even if he or she is right. The Prophet (SAW) said: "Woe to the one who tells lies to make people laugh, woe to him." (Narrated by Abu Dawud). The Prophet (SAW) said, warning against this kind of behaviour which some jokers are accustomed to: "A man may say something to make his companions laugh, and he will fall into Hell as far as the Pleiades because of it." (Narrated by Ahmad). The Sunnah is full of guidance and regulation on how to control all types of emotions and feelings. For example: It is reported by Ahmad in an authentic hadith that his laughter was never more than a smile. (Reported by Ahmad in alMusnad, 5/97; Sahih al-Jaami',

heart." Thus, don't crack too many jokes. It lessens your reputation, destroys the 'Nurul-Iman' decency and gives rise to enmity. After knowing this, if a Muslim laughs to excess it is as if he is undertaking a journey that he knows will lead to his doom both spiritually and medically. Laughing, according Wikipedia, 'is a reaction to certain stimuli. It may ensue from hearing a joke, being tickled, or other stimuli. Most commonly, it is considered a visual expression of a number of positive emotional states, such as joy, mirth, happiness, relief, etc. However on some occasions it may express other emotions, such as embarrassment, apology or confusion ("nervous laughter)" or courtesy laugh. Laughter is a part of human behaviour regulated by the


without receiving revelation from the All-Wise and AllKnowing Allah! Indeed this wise statement would have from a free thinker or an atheist! First and foremost, let us understand that laughing is not forbidden or proscribed in Islam. Rather what the Apostle of Allah was prohibiting is its excessiveness. As a fact, 'too much of everything is bad'! Therefore, an excessive and disproportional laughter is prohibited for both spiritual and physical reasons. Jokes and comedies have become source of livelihood at the detriment of obedience of Allah. Also, Islam does not completely proscribed joking but what it prohibit is false and degressive jokes and comedy. The Apostle of Allah once said to his Companions that he will joke, but he only speak the truth. Thus, it is not lawful

brain, helping humans clarify their intentions in social interaction and providing an emotional context to conversations. Laughter is used as a signal for being part of a group - it signals acceptance and positive interactions with others. Laughter is sometimes seen as contagious, and the laughter of one person can itself provoke laughter from others as a positive feedback.' However, in Islam, laughter should not be more than a generous smile. Another aspect of serious concern is the health aspect of excessive laughing. This is because, according to scientists, 'one of the main processes of laughter involves the continuous expansion and contraction of the thoracic diaphragm, bringing in and releasing air into and from lungs. It is possible to overexert and strain this muscle to where it becomes too weak to perform normally. Abnormal lung conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, or Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) may contribute to this cause of death. It is believed that Asphyxiation is caused by the inability of the thoracic diaphragm to expand or contract fully. During laughter the heart rate increases above the normal ranges and may reach dangerous levels that the heart is not accustomed to, straining and damaging it. Abnormal heart conditions such as coronary heart disease, preexisting cardiac arrhythmia, or ischaemic heart disease may contribute to this cause of death'. Excessive laughter, they said, may cause arrhythmia It does cause pain in oxeipitial lube and even fainting due to sharp fall of blood pressure. It's called Laughter-induced syncope. So also it has been confirmed that a person can die from laughter as a result of fatal hilarity. Another finding asserted that excessive laughing may be associated with psychological or mental problems. Excessive laughing are manic episodes in which some people have the tendency to over-react to any nonsentimental stimulus and even if the stimulus is sentimental, the intensity of the response is excessive. This is common especially in highly depressed people who might get euphoric at simple positive stimuli and find humor in everything'. Schizophrenia observed in one among every 100 individuals around the world is also known to cause excessive laughing. In schizophrenia the coordinating between the five sensory organs and ability to comprehend is highly distorted resulting in varied responses. Schizophrenia is treatable but there is no cure for excessive laughing disorder.




ight decades after its birth and on the cusp of seizing the country's highest elected office, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has entered into a battle with the dominant military at the climactic moment of the country's post-uprising transition. Seeking to take on the mantle of a revolution it did not start, the Brotherhood has declared an openended sit-in in Cairo's Tahrir Square until the results of the disputed presidential election are released, and its leaders say the movement has staked out non-negotiable positions demanding the military roll back lastminute power grabs. But even with some members describing the contest as a deadly serious, zero-sum showdown that risks violence on the streets, the Brotherhood's history of pragmatic patience means it is equally possible that Egypt is witnessing just one round - albeit with high stakes - in a long poker game to decide who has authority after the fall of Hosni Mubarak. "The best way to understand the post-revolution situation is to see it as a de facto prospect, not a de jure one. We are in a struggle," said Anas al-Qassas, a political analyst who often works for the Brotherhood. "Many legislations and many declarations have been endorsed and then passed away … because of the ebb and flow of key players on the ground imposing their will." The Brotherhood says that its candidate, longtime internal power broker Mohammed Morsi, has defeated rival Ahmed Shafik by nearly 900,000 votes, and it has published election judges' counts from each district in the country as proof. But spokesmen for Shafik, Mubarak's last prime minister, say he has won. The presidential election commission, which has the final say, has postponed its judgement as it considers allegations of fraud, and rumours have circulated that it is considering invalidating enough of Morsi's votes to make Shafik the winner. The commission itself has suggested it is looking into allegations that the Brotherhood infiltrated a government printing house and arranged for at least one million ballots to be premarked for Morsi, stoking fears that it is laying the groundwork for Shafiq's victory. "Technically it's impossible. It would need some aggressive and massive changes on the final results," a former cabinet adviser who helped organise earlier parliamentary elections wrote to Al Jazeera. "So if they did it, it would be a direct call for a … revolution." The dispute comes amid perhaps the period of greatest uncertainty in the country's chaotic, 16-month transition from Mubarak's 30-year rule. A Supreme Constitutional Court decision has ordered the recently elected parliament, of which the Brotherhood held 47 per cent, dissolved on what amounted to a procedural technicality, and the military has issued a unilateral package of constitutional amendments giving itself temporary legislative authority and the power to essentially wield a veto over the parliamentselected constituent assembly charged with drafting Egypt's new constitution. Brotherhood leaders view Shafik, the military and the Mubarakappointed judiciary as an allied array of opponents protecting the interests of the old regime and loath to see Morsi win. While Shafik's campaign has accused the Brotherhood of being


Muslim Brotherhood faces hard choices

The Muslim Brotherhood, armed with popular legitimacy, say they will not negotiate their key demands [Reuters] presidential race, which the violent extremists who kill protesters in for a better Egypt." Haddad was strident in his Brotherhood would view as electoral Tahrir Square, the military's constitutional amendments stripped conviction that the movement did its theft, and the 1991 cancellation of the future president of his powers as best to unite political factions from the elections in Algeria, where the army halted voting that was going in the commander-in-chief, a move many beginning. "This revolution did not overthrow Islamists' favour and provoked an analysts saw as a pre-emptive strike Mubarak. It was a military coup," he insurgency. against a Morsi presidency. "Our leaders have lost their lives in But the movement's leaders feel said. "Then the infighting started. We emboldened by the recent elections, could find neither a partner nor a jail," Haddad said. "We're not going to do which they believe have armed the contender and we ended up being the the same. We'll lose our lives in the street." His unyielding attitude, though Brotherhood with irrefutable popular bear in a room full of mice and rats." The Brotherhood is now ready to perhaps emblematic of the movement's legitimacy, and they say they will not negotiate their key demands: undoing push the military to the brink, he said. young guard, represents just one side of Its leaders are well aware that the the Brotherhood's dual-track effort to the court ruling and constitutional bungled transition has cost the country wrest power from the military. Behind declaration. "The military council have realized several billion dollars in lost investment the scenes, the top leadership is many truths, and they know and aid, much of it tied to having a reportedly in continual discussions to confrontation cannot happen between democratically elected government, resolve the crisis, and both Brotherhood them and the people, and the and even more in foreign reserves spent strategists and outside analysts say a negotiated solution is likely. Brotherhood thinks the same thing, but to keep the Egyptian pound afloat. Further unrest would likely cause Though Haddad said talks between there will be pressure from the people until the rights are regained," said a currency devaluation, pushing up the two sides had shut down two months Mahmoud Ezzat, the deputy supreme the prices of food and household goods ago, when Shater last met with the and raising the spectre of a "hunger military council, and that guide. communication now occurred only "No one can change [the election revolution," Haddad said. Meanwhile, alternative premises through official statements and quotes results]," he added, "and I see it as unlikely that anyone gets involved in such a have been found where the in the media, a western diplomat told parliament can meet for its regular Al Jazeera he had been told top risky way." That attitude is reflected among the session, he claimed, in defiance of the Brotherhood leaders held daily meetings ambitious younger Brotherhood military council, which has ordered with the ruling generals. Saad el-Katatni, a high-ranking cadres, some of whom seem eager to the armed guards surrounding the engage in a test of wills with the military. parliament building to deny entry to Brother and the speaker of parliament, publicly met with the military council Jihad el-Haddad, an aide to Khairat MPs. "Now the moment has come, and as recently as last Sunday to deliver the el-Shater - the movement's first choice for president and a man seen as its de we will not shy away from it," he said. message that dissolving parliament The increasing brinkmanship was unconstitutional, though Haddad facto leader - said the Brotherhood is between the two sides has led some stressed he had done so only in his "done negotiating". "There's a breaking point observers to draw worrying capacity as speaker. Both sides know the economic and approaching," he said. "This is a dying comparisons between parliament's regime, and we're creating a new one dissolution and a loss in the human cost of a return to the mass

Meanwhile, alternative premises have been found where the parliament can meet for its regular session, he claimed, in defiance of the military council, which has ordered the armed guards surrounding the parliament building to deny entry to MPs.

protests and street clashes that have marked the past 16 months, and their ongoing negotiations indicate both are probably more malleable than they make themselves appear. The courts' influence in the transitional process "shakes political legitimacy," he said. "I think ever since we started elections, since last September, this has all been practice on how to possess legitimacy and take advantage of it." Though the military council has held fast to its promise to hand over power by the end of June, its constitutional declaration - issued minutes after polls closed on June 17 gave the generals power to declare war, veto draft constitutional articles and legislate until a new parliament is elected. Both Omar and Qassas believe that a realistic transition will occur in stages, with Morsi and the Brotherhood likely to insist on domestic authority over the economy, health and transportation sectors while leaving aside aspects of internal security and foreign policy, specifically relations with Israel and declarations of war. "[Morsi] should be in administration overlooking the budgets … [but] I think we are going to see an incomplete case of handing power," Omar said. "According to the constitutional declaration, the president has authority to legislate, [but] as things stand at the moment the president doesn't have such authority. This still depends on what the constituent assembly says." Qassas said he sees a possible model in Turkey, where Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamist Justice and Development Party succeeded in improving the economy while slowly asserting civilian control over the oncepowerful military. If Morsi earns public goodwill through relatively achievable domestic policies, then he might find popular support for the longer struggle with the military council, he said. A host of obstacles lie in the way of such a resolution. The entrenched state apparatus, especially the interior ministry and judiciary, likely fear the reforms a Brotherhood presidency would bring, and the Brotherhood has threatened to clean out those it perceives as corrupt in both institutions. Furthermore, the military may not have received the guarantees it has reportedly demanded from any incoming government before it returns to its barracks, such as budgetary autonomy, the protection of its commercial economic interests and immunity from prosecution. According to Haddad, the Brotherhood offered "safe exits" to the military on a case-by-case basis, but no blanket guarantee that there would be no investigations or prosecutions. "We appreciate the armed forces institution as a national one and acknowledge their role before and during the revolution," Ezzat said. "Respect and appreciation is there, but nothing will be greater than the will of the people or the constitution." In Qassas's view, voting has changed the game. "Elections have relocated the map of legitimacy toward the winning candidates, so I think the Egyptian military would be more logical and would not just depend on its weapons," he said. "This is the logic," he said. "Now we are awaiting seriously the Egyptian model." Source:



Egypt delays runoff result as protests loom Libya dashes hopes of early release for Australian ICC official


ibya has begun "interrogating" an official from the international criminal court whom it has detained, apparently scuppering a deal for her early release brokered by Australia's foreign minister. Melinda Taylor, an Australian ICC official, was arrested in the mountain town of Zintan on 7 June after meeting the indicted war crimes suspect Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, who is being held by the town's militia. Tripoli said that Taylor, one of four ICC officers who were on an official visit to Libya, had tried to deliver documents to Saif that were not part of her work for the court. "An interrogation of them is under way," said the Libyan government spokesman Nassar elManee. "There is evidence that proves they have breached the law." Tripoli says the documents represented a "threat to national security", but has given no details. The decision comes after the Australian foreign minister, Robert Carr, met Libya's prime minister, Abdulrahim el-Keib, earlier this week, announcing a hope that Taylor would be released if the ICC issued an "apology". Manee said such an apology would not prevent a criminal case being launched. "They [the ICC] should say: 'We have made a mistake,'" said Manee. "When the interrogation is complete we will explain everything." Taylor's three colleagues - a Lebanese translator, Russian diplomat and Spanish legal expert - have been told they are free to leave Zintan but have elected to stay with Taylor. The arrest of Taylor is spiralling into the most serious crisis in the ICC's 10-year history. Never before has one of its officials been arrested and held in detention.

Egyptian supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood at a gathering to celebrate a premature victory for Morsi [Getty]


fficials have postponed declaring a winner in Egypt's disputed presidential election, sending political tensions soaring as the country awaits its first new leader in three decades. Adding to the confusion and uncertainty on Wednesday were conflicting reports about the health of Hosni Mubarak, who is serving a life sentence for failing to stop the killing of protesters in

the uprising that ousted him last year. At one point on Tuesday, he was said to be near death, while some believed the report was a pretext by sympathetic allies of Mubarak to transfer him out of prison to a more comfortable facility. Last weekend's runoff election was long touted as a landmark moment, the choice of Egypt's first civilian president to take over the generals who have ruled since

Mubarak's removal on February 11, 2011. Instead, it has turned into a confrontation between the Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood and the entrenched elements of Mubarak's old regime, including the military. On Thursday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said it held concerns over the military's commitment to hand over power to civilian rule. "The generals' relentless expansion of their authority to

Bashir, announced a new austerity plan. Police used tear gas and batons against around 200 protesters chanting anti-regime slogans in

Omdurman market on 19 June. Earlier the same day, witnesses said police had used force to disperse two university demonstrations. The protests followed Bashir's announcement of the gradual removal of fuel subsidies and an increase in taxes and customs duty on luxury products, among other measures. The plan aims to help increase revenue and narrow a $2.4 bn budget deficit caused by the loss of oil revenue since the secession of South Sudan in July 2011. "The economic and political context is threatening to unleash a revolution of the hungry that will inevitably topple the government," said Hafiz Ismail, an economist and Sudan director of the London-based advocacy group Justice Africa. The protesters also complained of a 35% hike in public transport tariffs in Khartoum. Inflation rose to 30.4% in May from 28.6% in April,

Sudan austerity announcement sparks widespread protests


rotests have taken place in Khartoum, nearby Omdurman, and other Sudanese cities over the past few days after Sudan's president, Omar al-

Lengthy petrol-station queues followed the announcement by Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, that fuel subsidies are to be phased out.

Eritrea: Government accused of human rights abuses


Melinda Taylor, the Australian ICC official being held in Zintan, Libya, by the town's militia.

detain and try civilians now goes far beyond their powers under Hosni Mubarak," Joe Stork, HRW Middle East director, said in a statement "These decrees are the latest indication yet that there won't be a meaningful handover to civilian rule on June 30," Stork added. On Wednesday night, thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters, along with some secular youth revolutionary groups, camped out in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the birthplace of last year's uprising, and denounced the military, trying to push back against a series of power grabs by the generals last week. The Election Commission did not say when it would announce the winner of the runoff between the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate, Mohammed Morsi, and Mubarak's former prime minister, Ahmed Shafik. Both candidates claim they won, and the commission was supposed to declare the top votegetter. But its secretary-general, Hatem Begato, told the state newspaper Al-Ahram that the winner would be announced on Saturday or Sunday. The commission said the announcement was postponed because a panel of judges must look into about 400 complaints of voting fraud submitted by both campaigns, including lawyers for Shafik claiming fraud in 14 of Egypt's 27 provinces. The lawyers said ballots sent to polling centers were already marked for Morsi. Morsi's lawyers accused Shafik of buying votes and being involved in forging lists of registered voters to include soldiers, who are barred from voting, and names of the dead.

he United Nations human rights chief, Navi Pillay, accused Eritrea of carrying out torture and summary executions. Ms. Pillay told the United Nations Human Rights Council that there were 5,000 to 10,000 political prisoners in Eritrea,

which holds a strategic stretch of the Red Sea coast and has been ruled by a single party and president since independence from Ethiopia in 1993. "Credible sources indicate that violations of human rights include arbitrary detention, torture, summary executions,

forced labor, forced conscription and restrictions to freedom of movement, expression, assembly and religion," Ms. Pillay said. She said the Eritrean government had not responded to requests to discuss her concerns.

according to Sudan's statistics agency. Students gathered at the gates of Khartoum's Sudan University chanting "No to price hikes" and "People want the regime down", before the police dispersed them using what Ghazy Badridden, an engineering graduate who participated in the demonstrations, called "excessive violence". Students from Ahlia University in Khartoum were driven out of their classrooms after a large number of security personnel, accompanied by students who belong to the ruling National Congress party, entered the campus in pick-up trucks before attacking students with clubs and batons. Opposition groups have rejected the new austerity package, saying it will hit working people hard and increase inflation and poverty among the already vulnerable population. At a meeting in mid-June in Khartoum, Sudan's opposition National Consensus Forces (a coalition of opposition political parties including the Umma party, the PCP and the Communist party) agreed to launch a large-scale campaign of protests against the removal of fuel subsidies. It also discussed ways of toppling the regime, as well as an interim constitution and a transitional programme to rule the country in a three-year post-regime period. Opposition groups are scheduled to meet on 26 June to sign the two texts.



Uruguay plans to legalise marijuana sale


ruguay is set to introduce legislation allowing the state to sell and distribute marijuana, a first in Latin America. The measure was one of 15 measures to fight crime presented by President Jose Mujica's administration. The goal was for "strict state

control over the distribution and production" of cannabis, said Defence Minister Eleuterio Fernandez Huidobro. The government will also urge that marijuana sales be legalised worldwide, Huidobro said, adding the measure could discourage the use of so-called hard drugs. Marijuana consumption is

already legal in Uruguay. "We want to fight against two different things: one is drug consumption and the other is drug trafficking. We think the ban on certain drugs is creating more problems in society than the drug itself," the minister told a news conference. "Homicides related to settling

scores have increased and that's a clear sign that certain phenomena are appearing in Uruguay that didn't exist before," he said. The bill would legalise and set rules for the production and sale of marijuana but would not allow people to grow the plant for their own personal use. The proposals also include increased prison time for cases of police corruption, and tougher sentences for criminal youths.

The government did not however give details on how the new system would work. In Uruguay about $75m changes hands each year in the illegal marijuana trade, according to official estimates. As of last year, 20 per cent of people between 15 and 65 years old reported they had smoked marijuana at least once and about 5 per cent of respondents were habitual users.

Military plane crashes into Jakarta homes, kills 10

Ecuador to decide on Assange asylum bid

n Indonesian Air Force plane slammed into a military housing complex and ignited a huge fireball yesterday while trying to land in Jakarta, killing all seven people aboard as well as two toddlers and their nanny in a home, officials said. The pilot, co-pilot and five trainees aboard the Fokker F-27 were on a routine training flight when it crashed into houses in a neighborhood nearly a mile from the runway where it was trying to land, Indonesian military spokesmen said. Raging orange flames jumped several feet into the air, and a huge column of black smoke billowed over the eight homes damaged in the crash in eastern Jakarta. More than 10 people were injured. "I could hardly believe my eyes," said Hendra, a resident of the air force complex who goes by only one name. "At once, the situation turned into chaos. All the residents fled in panic. Women and children were screaming hysterically." He said he helped at least five injured people, mostly with burns, to a nearby air force hospital. Six of the people aboard the plane died instantly, and the co-pilot died later while being treated at a hospital, said Rear Adm. Azman Yunus, an air force spokesman. The plane broke into two parts as it ripped through the houses and plummeted to the ground. The three people killed on the ground were two children in one of the houses, aged 2 and 6, and a woman who worked as their caretaker, said another air force spokesman, Col. Agus Sasongko Jati. An official at the air force hospital said more than 10 people, including some children, were being treated for injuries. The aircraft, which was built in 1958 and has been used by Indonesia's air force for 20 years, was declared airworthy before it took off and skies were clear, said Rear Adm. Iskandar Sitompul. Rescuers were still searching for more possible victims among the charred rubble of the burning houses, and a number of ambulances were parked inside the air force's Rajawali Complex. The crash comes after a Russian Sukhoi passenger jet crashed last month into an Indonesian volcano during a demonstration flight for potential buyers, killing all 50 people aboard.

cuador's government has said it will announce a decision on the fate of Julian Assange as the WikiLeaks founder remains in its London embassy seeking asylum to avoid being sent to Sweden. Assange also faces immediate arrest on leaving the embassy for breaching his bail conditions in the battle to avoid extradition to Sweden to answer accusations of sexual assault. Rafael Correa, Ecuador's president, will make a decision on Assange's application later on Thursday, the country's deputy foreign minister Marco Albuja told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He would meanwhile "remain at the embassy, under the protection of the Ecuadorean government" while authorities in the capital, Quito, considered his case, Ecuador said.


Uruguay also wants marijuana sales be legalised worldwide to discourage use of "hard drugs" [File photo: Reuters]

Media gather outside the Ecuadorean embassy in London where Assange has sought political asylum [EPA]

Emergency personnel looked through the rubble after an Indonesian military aircraft crashed in Jakarta


Prosecutors want mass killer Breivik ruled insane


rosecutors asked a Norwegian court on yesterday to declare far- right mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik insane and commit him to a mental institution. While not certain that Breivik was not responsible for his actions, they chose to give him the benefit of the doubt in the face of conflicting psychiatric reports, and so to go against the view of most Norwegians that he should go to prison. "In our opinion, it's worse to send a psychotic person to preventive detention than to send a nonpsychotic person to mandatory care," prosecutor Svein Holden told the court. "We are not convinced that Anders Behring Breivik is legally insane, but we are in doubt. So our petition is for a judgment that he shall be transferred to compulsory mental health care." Three out of four Norwegians consider Breivik sane enough for a jail term, according to a poll carried out for the public broadcaster NRK. A pre-trial psychiatric report that found him to be insane created such an outcry that the court ordered another one, which came to the opposite conclusion.



Bali bombmaker sentenced to 20 years in jail A

n Indonesia court has sentenced Umar Patek, dubbed the "Demolition Man", to 20 years in jail, finding him guilty on all six charges related to his role in the 2002 Bali bombings. Patek, 45, was accused of assembling explosives for twin suicide bombings on a bar and a

nightclub in Bali that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, and church attacks in Jakarta on Christmas Eve in 2000 that killed 19. The West Jakarta district court opened the session yesterday with about 100 journalists, many Australian, crammed into a small 12-seater

section to hear Patek's fate four months after the trial began. About 300 police were guarding the courtroom and four snipers stood atop neighbouring buildings, West Jakarta police chief Widodo told the AFP news agency. State prosecutors had sought a life sentence for Patek, dubbed

Patek, centre, had a $1m bounty on his head, and stands trial after a nine-year flight from authorities [Reuters

"Demolition Man" by local media. He was accused of illegal weapons possession, concealing terrorist acts, immigration violations and premeditated murder. Earlier, the court had been told that his role had been comparatively minor. Patek had argued he never agreed with the bomb attack and apologised for the first time to the victims and their families. "I feel sorry for the mistakes I've made. Actually, I never agreed with that action [bombing in Bali]. I accept on the basis of Islamic law that the action I took in the bombing was wrong," he said in May. Before his arrest, Patek was the most-wanted "terrorism" suspect in Indonesia and the US and had a $1m bounty on his head. After more than eight years on the run, he was arrested in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad in January 2011, where US commandos killed alQaeda leader Osama bin Laden four months later. He was extradited to Indonesia in August. Patek had testified that he played a minor role in assembling the explosives, saying he mixed only 50kg of chemicals out of a tonne, and denied having any bombmaking expertise.

C.I.A. said to aid in steering arms to Syrian opposition


small number of C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers. The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries

including Syria's Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the officials said. The C.I.A. officers have been in southern Turkey for several weeks, in part to help keep weapons out of the hands of fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, one senior American official said. The Obama administration has said it is not providing arms to the rebels, but it has also acknowledged that Syria's neighbors would do so. The clandestine intelligencegathering effort is the most detailed

known instance of the limited American support for the military campaign against the Syrian government. It is also part of Washington's attempt to increase the pressure on President Bashar alAssad of Syria, who has recently escalated his government's deadly crackdown on civilians and the militias battling his rule. With Russia blocking more aggressive steps against the Assad government, the United States and its allies have instead turned to diplomacy and aiding allied efforts to arm the rebels to force Mr. Assad

from power. American officials and retired C.I.A. officials said the administration was also weighing additional assistance to rebels, like providing satellite imagery and other detailed intelligence on Syrian troop locations and movements. The administration is also considering whether to help the opposition set up a rudimentary intelligence service. But no decisions have been made on those measures or even more aggressive steps, like sending C.I.A. officers into Syria itself, they said.

A Jordanian security official said the pilot will be allowed to stay on "humanitarian grounds," citing fears that the defector would be tortured or killed if he were sent home. He declined to say what Jordan will do with the Syrian jet. The

official spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the matter. "The plane landed at King Hussein Airbase " another Jordanian security source said, referring to a military airport 80km northeast of the capital Amman.

"This Syrian airforce Russianmade Mig warplane landed at one of the military bases in the northeast of the country in the governorate of Al Mafraq which is close to the border with Syria," Al Jazeera's Nisreen elShamayleh reported from the Jordanian capital Amman.

Mahfed town on the outskirts of Abyan and Shabwa provinces, Yaslam al-Anburi, told AFP. "There were 30 deaths in alQaeda ranks for sure," al-Anburi said. "Yemeni aircraft carried out a series of raids against concentrations of al-Qaeda fighters, mainly in the Wadi Dhiman and Dayda valleys, killing 30 and wounding many others." Earlier, a tribal chief said three suspected fighters were killed and four wounded in an air raid

targeting a group of al-Qaeda fighters in a desert region between Abyan and Shabwa provinces. Yemen's military launched a campaign in May against alQaeda in the south which ended more than a year of there control over a string of towns and villages in Abyan and Shabwa. The group's fighters are believed to have retreated to safe havens in the mountainous regions of Shabwa, Marib and Hadramawt provinces where they enjoy tribal protection.

. . . As Syrian pilot defects after landing in Jordan


he pilot of a Syrian MiG 21 fighter jet who flew his plane to Jordan has asked for political asylum on landing, Jordanian Minister of State for Information Samih al-Maaytah said. "He requested political asylum in Jordan. He is being debriefed at the moment," Maaytah said yesterday. Syrian state television named the pilot as Colonel Hassan Mari Hamada, saying communications were lost with his plane while he was on a training mission near the border with Jordan. Jordan granted political asylum to the pilot. "The council of ministers has decided to grant the pilot, Colonel Hassan Merei alHamade, political asylum, on his request," Information Minister Samih Maaytah told AFP news agency.

‘Fighters killed’ in Yemen air raids


emeni security forces are reported to have carried out air strikes in which 30 suspected al-Qaeda fighters were reported killed in the south of the country. A Yemeni Red Cross worker was also killed in the air raids as he travelled in the south on a mission to help negotiate the release of a kidnapped French colleague, a relative told AFP news agency. Yemeni aircraft carried out several strikes, the mayor of

Pakistan PM nominee’s arrest sought


n anti-narcotics court judge in the northern city of Rawalpindi has issued an arrest warrant for the candidate nominated for the prime minister's post by President Asif Ali Zardari. The judge yesterday cited Makhdoom Shahabuddin's alleged role in a scandal involving the import of a drug that can be used to make methamphetamine. Shahabuddin, a member of the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP), filed his nomination papers yesterday.. Two other PPP leaders, Raja Pervez Ashraf and Qamar Zaman Kaira, also filed their nomination papers as alternative candidates. Asked about the reported arrest warrant after he filed his papers, Shahabuddin said he was not afraid of "hostile winds". It is unclear whether the development could derail his nomination. Legal cases are routinely filed against Pakistani politicians by rivals as a means of weakening them. Often, the cases drag on in the courts for years, and the politician's career is unhindered. Shahabuddin was health minister when the scandal broke, to which Gilani's son has also been linked. It revolves around two Pakistani pharmaceutical companies that allegedly used political connections to obtain huge amounts of ephedrine in 2010. They are suspected of diverting it to people in the drug trade who could have used it to make methamphetamines worth billions of dollars. The companies have denied any wrongdoing, as has Gilani's son. Shahabuddin, 65, comes from a wealthy, landowning family based in the central Pakistani district of Rahim Yar Khan. His father had served as minister in the cabinets of two Pakistani governments. He also served as minister for finance and health in the current government. Although the ruling PPP coalition has a majority in the house, Shahabuddin will face opposition from the Pakistan Muslim League-N nominee when the national assembly meets on Friday to elect the new premier. "The opposition will be fielding its candidate, Mehtab Khan Abbasi, but Shahabuddin is likely to be the next prime minister," Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, said.

Makhdoom Shahabuddin



Meet the woman who has lived without money for 16 years and discovered it actually made her happier


eidemarie Schwermer grappled with a lifetime of guilt about wealth stemming from her time as a WWII refugee She sold everything 16 years ago and now she stays with friends and acquaintances The 69-year-old is given most of her clothes and she forages for food at outdoor markets A German woman has lived without money for 16 years following a lifetime of guilt about wealth stemming from her time as a World War Two refugee. Growing up in Prussia Heidemarie Schwermer was the daughter of a successful businessman and her family kept a nanny and full-time gardener on their payroll. But when war struck Europe in 1939 for the second time that century Schwermer and her family became penniless and were forced to flee to Germany. After years of hardship Schwermer's father was able to start over with a tobacco company and cash started pouring in again. But Schwermer now found herself at odds with their affluent lifestyle. 'We were well-off but ended up as riff-raff,' she said. 'We became rich again and we had to defend it. I've always had to justify myself, whether we were rich or poor.' Schwermer, now 69,

Documentary: Heidemarie Schwermer says she is much happier after living without money for 16 years. She speaks of her experiences in a film entitled 'Living Without Money' worked at a teacher and then a psychotherapist on a good wage. But instead of welcoming the hard-earned cash she yearned for those formative childhood years of struggle and strife. As a result she became obsessed with finding new ways to live without money, eventually setting up Germany's first exchange circle in 1994. 'Give and Take Central' helped people swap simple services like babysitting or house cleaning for tangible goods and Schwermer found she need money less and less.

Eventually when a friend asked the divorced mother-oftwo to house-sit for her Schwermer decided to take the plunge and live without money for one whole year. She sold everything including her apartment saving just a few small items that she packed into a suitcase. What was only meant to last 12 months became her life for the next 16 years. 'I only wanted to try to do an experiment and in that year, but I noticed a new life,' she told Business Insider. 'I didn't want to go back to the old life.'

In the beginning Schwermer stayed with old

friends but as word of her lifestyle spread she began giving talks on her mission meeting new hosts on the lecture circuit. She only accepts train fare for her speaking engagements and rejects any other attempts to pay her. At first she also did odd jobs around her hosts' homes, like gardening or window washing, to earn her keep but she says that these days they don't expect anything in return.In a documentary made about her life entitled 'Living Without Money', she's seen foraging for leftover produce at fresh air markets and trading a shopkeeper a few hours of cleaning services in return for food. She often receives clothing from friends, donating what she doesn't have room for in the small suitcase she carts from home to home.

Life without means: The 69-year-old told how friends and acquaintances are happy to take her in

Anambra: Further comments on Obi’s misplaced priorities Contd. from Back Page and a few other non-oil producing states are not as vulnerable as Anambra as their IGR can at least finance their recurrent expenditure. Does this situation suggest that the brilliance of Anambra people has been put to work in managing the finances of the state? El-Rufai pointed to the alarming poverty level and unemployment rate in Anambra state and expressed disappointment that the government is not doing enough to solve the problems. He criticized the Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS) and the Anambra Youth Reorientation and Empowerment Program (ANSYREP) as being incapable of revving up the production base. Governor Obi would prefer critics to visit Anambra to see the “right things” his government is doing. What are the good works a visitor will see in Anambra state? Peer Review? King Solomon of Isreal did not publicise his good works before the Queen of Sheba heard of it and embarked on a trip to Jerusalem to see for herself. The only solution to poverty and unemployment in Anambra is to expand economic

activities in the state, period. The role of the government is to create the enabling environment for the private sector to flourish and for the enterprising Anambra people to invest at home. All such programs as ANYSYREP and other handout therapies will not solve poverty and unemployment. In economics, they are called shortterm palliative measures while waiting for the long term solution. I believe that if the government creates an enabling platform for economists and other professionals to design and implement a growth plan for the state, the future of the state will take an upward bound trajectory. My summary of the analysis (or critique) of the Anambra state budget by el-Rufai is that the budget scratches the back of every sector at a rate that is no more than the annual deterioration of that sector. There is no sector where the planned action and budget are capable of making a difference and in fact this is the basic weakness of the Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS). Health, education, agriculture, environment (erosion), housing, water and other sectors are being massaged but by the time Governor Obi leaves office, all these sectors will

remain in about the same condition Governor Obi met them. What then will be the achievement of Governor Obi? A popular igbo proverb says that an effort without an achievement is tantamount to idling. El-Rufai has referred to Governor Ngige as a performer based on his rule for about three years. I do not come from the same Senatorial zone as Ngige but the only tangible sign of government we have seen in my area since the return of democracy in 1999 is the road constructed by Ngige. From Igbo ukwu (the town of former Governor Ezeife), through Uga, Umunze and to the farthest part of Anambra South East at Owerre Ezukala our vehicles and tires speak well of Ngige. In my state constituency where the deputy to Governor Obi comes from, there is nothing to show of Governor Obi’s six years of governance. Despite the area being the most populous rural area of the state that is blessed with bountiful arable land for root and tree crops, the agricultural harvests waste because there are no feeder roads to join the Ngige link road. In this area, there are no functional hospitals (except for mortuary services), no new school facilities other than the ones built by

churches decades back and no public water supply. What then is the invisible Anambra Integrated Development Strategy that Governor Obi is spending the state budget on? Governor Obi has two more years to vacate the government house at Awka and if he maintains his extant record, he will be judged a failure. So far, the government of Governor Obi prides itself of not stealing government money, of not focusing on one sector, and of doing better than some other states in the South East and in Nigeria. In the city of the blind, a one-eyed man leads the way. Yes, I am happy to have a governor that does not do what he is not supposed to do as per misappropriating public funds, but I will be happier to have a governor that does what he is supposed to do with the state funds. The write up by El-Rufai is an alert to both Governor Obi and the rest of Anambra people and despite the poor rating I still believe that it shall be well with Anambra state. God’s gifts to Anambra people shall not be in vain. Dr. Chidozie Emenuga, Economist/Mason Fellow, Harvard University is from Anambra state and wrote this from the USA.

Carnage in Zaria, Kaduna and Damaturu The bomb explosions in Zaria and Kaduna, the so-called reprisals and counter-reprisals have once again placed my home state under siege. I thought that with the pains and experience of the sectarian and ethnic crisis of the 1990s, we will never experience this kind of senselessness and needless killings. What saddens me the most is that bigots on both sides of the religious and ethnic divides count how many Christians or Muslims were killed, instead of recognizing the sanctity of human life and recognizing that every human life massacred - Muslim, Christian or Atheist, affects our common humanity. What is strange is that the authorities have arrested many insurgents, both Christian and Muslim, without a single one being tried. In the case of the Zaria church bombing, it is clear that the authorities withdrew soldiers guarding them the night before the so-called Boko Haram insurgents struck. Who gave the order to withdraw them? We will never have answers because it appears the Federal Government wishes these attacks to continue unabated.


By Jenny Hope


en who drink lots of tea are far more likely to develop prostate cancer, researchers have warned. They found that those who drank seven or more cups a day had a 50 per cent higher risk of contracting the disease than men who had three or fewer. The warning comes after scientists at the University of Glasgow tracked the health of more than 6,000 men for four decades. Their findings run counter to previous research, which had suggested that tea-drinking lowers the risk of cancer, as well as heart disease, diabetes and Parkinson's disease. The study, led by Dr Kashif Shafique, began in 1970. Participants aged between 21 and 75 were asked to complete a


Seven cups of tea a day ‘raises risk of prostate cancer by 50%’ questionnaire about their usual consumption of tea, coffee and alcohol as well as their smoking habits and general health, and had to attend a screening examination. Just under a quarter of the 6,016 men were heavy tea drinkers, consuming seven or more cups a day. Of these, 6.4 per cent developed prostate cancer over the next 37 years. Researchers found that the subjects who drank the most tea were often teetotal and led healthy lifestyles. As a result, they may have been at a lower risk of death from

New advice: The findings run counter to previous research, which had suggested that tea-drinking lowers the risk of cancer, as well as heart disease, diabetes and Parkinson's disease

Blindness breakthrough as scientists turn stem cells into tissue that allows humans to see


cientists have taken a major step towards restoring vision for blind people with the help of stem cells. Human-derived stem cells can spontaneously form the tissue that develops into the part of the eye which allows us to see, according to a new study. Researchers say transplantation of this tissue in the future could help patients with visual impairments see clearly.

Senior study author Doctor Yoshiki Sasai, of the RIKEN Centre for Developmental Biology in Japan, said: 'This is an important milestone for a new generation of regenerative medicine. 'Our approach opens a new avenue to the use of human stem cell-derived complex tissues for therapy, as well as for other medical studies related to pathogenesis and drug discovery. 'Source:

The stem cells formed two layers of the optic cup, including a layer containing a large number of photoreceptors

'competing causes', effectively giving them more time to develop prostate cancer, the journal Nutrition and Cancer reports. Dr Shafique said: 'Most previous research has shown either no relationship with prostate cancer for black tea, or some preventive effect of green tea. 'We don't know whether tea itself is a risk factor or if tea-drinkers are generally healthier and live to an older age, when prostate cancer is more common anyway.' He added that those drinking the most tea were less likely to be overweight or drink alcohol, and more likely to have healthy cholesterol levels. 'However, we did adjust for these differences in our analysis and still found that men who drank the most tea were at greater risk of prostate cancer,' he said. Dr Shafique did stress, however, that his team was 'unaware of any constituent of black tea that may be responsible for carcinogenic activity in prostate cells'. Previous research has found health benefits from flavonoids antioxidant compounds in tea that are thought to control inflammation, reduce excess blood clotting and limit narrowing of the arteries. Of seven previous studies on black tea and prostate cancer, four found a potentially protective effect while the remainder found no effect either way. Dr Kate Holmes, head of research at The Prostate Cancer Charity, said: 'Whilst it does appear that those who drank seven or more cups of tea each day had an increased risk of developing prostate cancer, this did not take into consideration family history or any other dietary elements other than tea, coffee and alcohol intake. 'It is therefore unclear as to whether there were other factors in play which may have had a greater impact on risk.' Almost 80 per cent of Britons drink tea, consuming an estimated 165million cups each day. The British tea industry is thought to be worth more than £700million a year. Dr Carrie Ruxton of the Tea Advisory Panel, an educational body funded by the industry, said just 92 men in the Glasgow study drank more than seven cups a day and went on to develop prostate cancer. She added: 'We're lacking the complete picture because we don't know what other dietary factors were involved. Other research suggests tea has a protective or neutral effect on prostate cancer, and the authors acknowledge there is no known ingredient in tea that is cancer-causing. 'Tea-drinking may be a marker for some sort of behaviour that can raise the risk of prostate cancer, but the study does not show it is a cause.' Prostate cancer strikes 40,000 British men each year, causing more than 10,000 deaths. Source:

Results: A study of 6,000 men spanning four decades concluded that those who drank seven cups of tea a day had a 50 per cent higher risk of contracting prostate cancer

Loneliness ‘can shorten your life and make every day activities a struggle’


oneliness can shorten your life, a new study has shown. For the over 60s feeling lonely is a common source of distress and can lead to an impaired quality of life. Now researchers from the University of California have found that it could increase the risk of death by almost 10 per cent. The authors believe their findings could important public health implications. The team, led by Dr Carla Perissinotto, said: 'Loneliness is a common source of suffering in older persons. We demonstrated that it is also a risk factor for poor health outcomes including death and multiple measures of functional decline. 'Assessment of loneliness is not routine in clinical practice and it may be viewed as beyond the scope of medical practice. However, loneliness may be as an important of a predictor of adverse health outcomes as many traditional medical risk factors. 'Our results suggest that questioning older persons about loneliness may be a useful way of identifying elderly persons at risk of disability and poor health outcomes.' The team examined the relationship between loneliness and risk of functional decline and death in older individuals in a study of 1,604 participants in the Health and Retirement Study.

The participants, with an average age of 71, were asked if they felt left out, isolated or a lack of companionship. Of the participants, 43.2 percent reported feeling lonely, which was defined as reporting one of the loneliness items at least some of the time, they found. Loneliness was associated with an increased risk of death over the six-year follow-up period, 22.8 percent compared to 14.2 percent. Source: Loneliness: Found to be a good indicator of illness and death



Edo 2012: PDP lacks manifesto – Group From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


group known as 'Edo Libertarians' has described last Saturday’s Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship campaign rally at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, as devoid of manifestoes. Chairman of the group, Barr Edward Sadoh, who was flanked by his Secretary, Isaiah Osifo at a Press Conference in Benin City, said the presentations by notable PDP leaders at the rally and deep silence of the governorship candidate Major Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (Rted), raised

credibility question. Sadoh thanked Vice President, Arch. Namadi Sambo for his emphasis on free and fair election on behalf of the Independent electoral Commission, INEC and for not allowing himself to be 'dragged into parochial politics of sacrificing facts for personal ego'. Meanwhile, the State Commissioner on the board of the Niger-Delta Development Commission NDDC, Henry Okhuarobo has dispelled the rumours making the rounds in some quarters that July 2012 Governorship election will be marred with violence. Okuarobo however predicted

that 14 July 2012 Governorship election will be peaceful, free and fair, in spite of past records of violence and killings that marred April 2007 Governorship election in the state. He assured that the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN governorship candidate, Adams Oshiomhole is already cut-out for re-election. "Édo People are going to vote wisely in the July 14th election and I know Edo people want to vote for more development across the state and only the Comrade can deliver on his promises on developmental strides in Edo state," he said.

Benin monarch seeks police assistance to secure territory From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


enin monarch, Oba Erediauwa has called for Police assistance to prevail on the rich and powerful in the kingdom from denigrating the Gelegele community that was ceded to his kingdom. The riverine Community in dispute in Ovia South West local Government in Edo State was decided in favour of the Oba to administer by the Supreme Court several years ago. The traditional ruler registered his complaints when the new Zone 5 Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, Mr Hashimu Salihu Argungu visited him at his Palace yesterday. The Oba said the verdict was yet

to make a difference following the alleged running battle between his kingdom and the self-acclaimed 'Ijaw settlers' who had vowed to secede. The royal father expressed discontent over attempts to hijack the sceptre of leadership from the District Head whom he appointed to reign over the oil region on his behalf by fomenting trouble which has led to instability. Oba Erediauwa pleaded for harmonious working relationship between him and the State Commissioner, Mr Olayinka Balogun who was visibly absent during the visit. 'I'm happy that a man like you has come…I have a local part of my territory at Gele'gele-Ijaw People, they are claiming the place, even

though there is a Supreme court judgment in our favour…Keep your ear open to us. The Iyase will come and tell you the rest', he said. He described Balogun as an outstanding senior officer and pledged the cooperation of the traditional institution with the police. Responding, AIG, Hashimu Argungu promised to call for the file and ensure that anarchy do not prevail in the region. Leaders and representatives of the parties involved were in 2011 summoned by Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state at State Government House where they were admised to sensitize their subjects to sheath their swords in the interest of peace.

Electoral officials may vote in 2015, says Jega By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


he Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, has said that electoral officers are likely to vote in the 2015 General Elections. Jega, who stated this in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Kayode Robert Idowu, added that the move was part of

Prof. Attahiru Jega

measures being put in place to bring additional credibility to the electoral process and take the 2015 poll closer to perfection. Responding to a question from an international group of 'Young Experts on Get-to-Know ECOWAS,' who were yesterday led on a study visit to INEC by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), the Chairman noted that though the 2011 General Elections have been widely acknowledged as among the best Nigeria ever had, they were not perfect. He said: "One of the imperfections of our elections really has been the disenfranchisement of electoral officers. Unfortunately we have not been allowing electoral officials - polling officials as well as security officials to vote on Election Day while they were discharging their duties. And this is something that we have already taken decision on: we will correct it by the time we get to 2015 elections. "But you see, we have conducted elections in an atmosphere of suspicion, fears and worries - where electoral officials have been accused or had come under severe allegations of manipulating the process. So if we

(in 2011) introduce something that had not been done in the past in Nigeria, with regards to allowing the electoral officials to start voting or to vote after the poling had closed as it is done in other countries, it would have added to the suspicion and worries of manipulation", he said. Professor Jega further noted that though some people were disenfranchised, time was needed to rebuild sufficient confidence in the electoral process. According to him, allowing electoral officers to vote will enhance the credibility of the electoral process. "I was privileged to chair the ECOWAS Observer Mission to the Liberian presidential election in 2011 and I was fascinated by how all electoral officials were allowed to vote. Even the drivers who took us round were given opportunity to vote. It can be done; many countries do it; we will do it. "We couldn't do it in April 2011 because we wanted to reduce the baggage of suspicion and fears and allegations. We have taken a decision about doing that for the future", Jega said.

Major Gen. Charles Airhiavbere

Niger's ward projects show participatory democracy - SSG From Iliya Garba, Minna


hairman, Monitoring and Evaluation Committee for Ward Development Projects and Secretary to the Government of Niger state, Mr. DanielClifford Shashere said the Ward Development Projects initiated by the present administration was a new approach to participatory democracy. He disclosed this yesterday at the inauguration of the Ward Development Projects Committee for Munya local government area at the conference hall of the local government secretariat. He stressed that it is the belief of the present administration that

everybody will not be contractors, suppliers or consultant to government, but there is the need for all to have direct benefits of dividends of democracy. The state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Yusuf Garba Tagwai, in his remarks explained that the programme was a call on all to concentrate more development at the grassroots, adding that the government deemed it fit to increase the monthly subvention from N500,000 to N1 million to all the 274 wards in the state. He said that the sum of N33 million has been released to Munya local government for the purpose of executing ward projects in the area.

Lateness: A/Ibom to install biometric machines in public offices


he Akwa Ibom Government said in Uyo yesterday that it had concluded plans to purchase and install solar powered biometric machines to check lateness among public servants. The Head of Service, Mrs Cecilia Udoessien, announced this while addressing newsmen on activities to commemorate this year's Public Service Week in the state. She said that the machines earlier bought for the purpose could not function due to power failure in the country. “Our goal is to institutionalise a world class civil service that is performance driven, proactive, versatile, efficient, virile, focused and visionary. “This was one of the strategies

adopted by our administration to reposition the civil service. “My desire is to ensure that before the year 2020, our civil service would have witnessed a complete transformation, where the workforce would have been totally re-tooled, reengineered and properly equipped with the needed 21st century technology." She said the theme of this year's celebration was “capacity development for the implementation of the transformation agenda''. The celebration, which would end on June 29, would feature a symposium, project inspection, church service, visit to elderly homes and hospitals and an essay competition among secondary school students.



NBA presidential candidate vows to fight corruption in the Judiciary From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse


ne of the Presidential aspirants for the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) election next month, Barrister Emeka Ngige, has vowed to fight against corruption in the judiciary so as to protect the integrity of the legal profession if he is elected. He said he will establish anticorruption committees at every branch of the NBA so that they can monitor judges and lawyers that are corrupt. Ngige who spoke with newsmen in Dutse yesterday at the ongoing 2-day seminar organized by the Dutse branch of the Association said the judiciary needed to have Judges that collect money recorded on tape after which they should be tried and dismissed from service just like the sting operation

involving Otedola and Farouk Lawan. The NBA Presidential aspirant said he would also fight for the independence of the Judiciary and the Bar to ensure that the body actually plays its role as the watchdog of the society. He said “Now a lot of things are going wrong in the profession, one is that when matters go to court they stay there ad infinitum forever, this is one of the challenges the Bar Association should find solution to. “For instance a criminal matter or civil matter last for about seven to 15 years at the trial court; seven years at the court of appeal and another five years at the Supreme Court, it shouldn’t be,” he submitted. He advocated for the adoption of the English type of practice in

the proposed amendment of the Nigerian constitution whereby people are appointed inform of adhoc Judges from the pool of lawyers who will come and clear the backlog of all the cases. “In such a situation you can bring somebody who is not sitting in Enugu and you bring him down to Sokoto to help in decongesting the court in Sokoto and then the man who is not sitting in Sokoto you can bring him to Aba, he will also help the court there to clear the backlog, they are taken from the Senior advocates, retired Judges and other established lawyers.” He said another way the backlog of cases can be cleared particularly the criminal matters was to ensure that filing of preliminary objection should be taken at the time of hearing the case not at the beginning. He said allowing objection to

be raised at the beginning will make the matter to remain there for the next fifteen years. Ngige promised that the NBA under his leadership will speak up on matters that affect the masses adding that when the need arises they will have to go to court to challenge Government excesses. The chairman of NBA Dutse Brach in his address commended the Government of Jigawa State for not interfering with the justice system adding that the NBA enjoys a good working relationship with the Government. He indicated that Governor Sule Lamido recently assented to the jigawa State Court law making it compulsory for only qualified legal practitioners to be appointed as chief registrar, deputy registrar and the chief inspector of the Sharia Court of Appeal. L-R:National Chairman, All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, D e p u t y N a t i o n a l Chairman South, Chief Ejike Uche, and National Legal Adviser, Barrister Ifeanyi Mbaeri, during the party National W o r k i n g Committee ( N W C ) meeting, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

Taraba PDP inaugurates vehicles From Yusha’u Alhassn, Jalingo


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Taraba state chapter, has inaugurated two 18-seater buses purchased by its new officials within the first three months of its tenure. Inaugrating the buses yesterday at the state secretariat of the party in

Jalingo, the zonal Vice chairman of the PDP in the North East Senator Lawan Mohammed Girgiri, described the performance of the officials of the party in the state as extraordinary. Girgiri explained that the officials of the PDP in the state led by Victor Bala Kona have done a lot within the short period of their tenure.

He said apart from the two buses purchased by the party, the secretariat of the party in Taraba staqte was the best in the North East zone. The PDP zonal Vice chairman said the PDP in Taraba state was lucky to have Kona as its Chairman describing him as an Architect, a builder who put the right people at the right places. Girgir said good, purposeful

and focused leadership was what was required in the PDP and urged members to continue to support their leaders and be patient pointing out that Rome was not built in a day. Earlier state chairman of the PDP, Kona said the two buses was purchased at the cost of N9.2 million just as he added that he renovated the party’s secretariat within the period.

Rep donates tricycles to constituents From Yusha’u Alhassn, Jalingo


member of the House of Representatives, Ibrahim El-Sudi, representing Kurmi, Gashka and Sardaunan Federal Constituency has donated 32

tricycles to his constituents. Distributing the items to the beneficiaries El-Sudi said the donation was part of his constituency projects. He said that the tricycles would be operating within Jalingo to cushion the effect of

transportation accompanied by the state ban on motorcycles. The legislator also stated that only members of his constituency would benefit adding that he has selected three persons from each local government in the

constituency to monitor compliance. Governor Suntai who inspected the tricycles commended the member for the gesture and said the ban on the use of motorcycle was still in force.

Committee recommends sack of unscrupulous staff in Kebbi Finance ministry From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


orried over the disappearance of N34.8 billion from the Kebbi state treasury from 1999 2007, the committee on Salary and Pension Restructuring has recommended the sack of some members of staff of the Ministry of Finance in the state. It also recommended that the consultant on E-payment system, Zenith Bank Plc, be suspended. The committee which summated its report recently to the Governor, Usman Saidu Dakingari, was headed by the Senator Faruk Bunza. The committee also recommended that Zenith Bank should produce the biometric data of all working staff in the state. It however discovered that over 8,800 ghost workers out of a staff strength of 26,000 were ghost workers. The governor set up two committees, the E-payment committee headed by former Finance Commissioner discovered over 6,000 ghost workers and over N230million paid to ghost workers every month by the ministry of finance workers. The Bunza committee discovered over 2800 ghost workers and over N153million missing every month. The committee recommended that the payroll be integrated in the computers. It stated "Following wide spread abuse of the payment system by both staff of the consulting firm and staff of the MOF, it is highly recommended that the Consulting firm be replaced. The staff of MOF should face necessary disciplinary action." "Since there was no contract between the state and the consultant from the onset, but a contract between the state and Zenith Bank existed, it is recommended that the state government demands for the biometric data from Zenith Bank. This should subsequently be integrated with the current payroll." The committee questioned the validity of the E-payment and submitted that the implementation in the state was flawed. "The Committee's visit to the EPayment project office as well as its dialogue with E-Payment consultants and the MOF confirmed that staffs have compromised. In addition to approval levels earlier recommended, staff recruitment to the project office either of the consultants or of MOF must pass through a rigorous exercise. Regular staff movements of employees in the project office should be encouraged." The committee went on, "Process flow for discipline, suspensions, dismissal and other punitive measures must be defined and integrated in the payment system. This will grant MDAs necessary supervisory role over their staff."



Senator Ningi gets pat on the back From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


political group under the auspices of Network for Promoting Peace and Good Governance has applauded Senator Abdul Ningi for fulfilling his electioneering campaign promises. The Chairman of the group, Alhaji Murtala Maiyadi, made the commendation in an interview with newsmen in Bauchi, stressing that the senator has distinguished himself as a detribalize politician. Maiyadi said notable among the projects attracted to the constiutency by the senator are dams, boreholes and roads in various villages and towns, including award of scholarship and prompt payment of WAEC, NECO and SSCE examination fees for graduating students, apart from the construction of classrooms at Gidan Mada, Tiffi and Gadan Maiwa. The chairman reiterated that Senator Ningi's also ensured execution of primary health care centres at Tsangaya Marki, Nasaru and Tiyim, in addition to procurement of equipment and drugs with particular attention to pregnant women. He said the senator also made remarkable efforts towards construction of rural roads such as Ningi-Yada GungumeFuskar Mara road (120km), as well as Baima-Ari-Tiyim-Gajim Gabar road (30km).

LG to provide self-employment opportunity for 500 youths


he Bade Local Government Council in Yobe plans to provide self-employment opportunities for more than 500 youths in the area this year. Alhaji Saleh-Aji Suleiman, the council Chairman, stated this in Gashua in Yobe in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). He said that the action became necessary in order to reduce the high rate of unemployment, especially among youths in the area. The chairman said that the employment opportunity was part of its effort to combat criminal activities in the local government area. Suleiman said that the council had already engaged 250 youths in the skill acquisition training programme in various business activities. The activities include welding, electrical work, carpentry, brick laying rake and fish farming. He said the scheme was being undertaken in collaboration with the National Directorate of Employment (NDE). Suleiman said that the remaining 250 youths would be trained before end of the year.

L-R: Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, Chairman, House Committee on Labour, Hon. Essien Ekpenyon Ayi, and Vice -Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Aminu Suleiman, during the committee’s oversight visit to the Ministry of Labour, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

ACN rates Rivers Assembly low, legislature says it performed T he Action Congress of Nigeria in Rivers said yesterday in Port Harcourt that the state's current legislature had performed below expectation in its one year of existence. Its Publicity Secretary, Mr Jerry Needam said in a statement that the lawmakers had failed the people. He said legislature was a mere rubber stamp of the executive arm of government and had done nothing to improve the lot of the masses. ``Rather than come up with laws that will improve the welfare of the people, the lawmakers have left the state worse than they met it,'' he

said. He charged the legislature of compromise when it was investigating the chairman of a local government on corruption charges. Reacting to the charges, however, the legislature said it had passed bills which touched the lives of the people. Chairman of its committee on finance, Mr Josiah Olu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the assembly made laws that brought democracy dividends to the people. He said the assembly passed 12 bills into law during its seventh session and was responsive to the needs of the people.

He said: ``As an assembly, we are responsive and if you check the bills that we've passed into law so far, you will see that we have the Rivers people at heart. ``Before we even did the former governor and deputy governor's bill, we have already passed into law, a pension law for the Rivers state civil servants, the contributory pension law. ``As I speak to you now, we are at the verge of winding up with the sensitisation from Pencom Abuja, the Pension Commission Abuja. We brought them in so that it will show the level of seriousness from government.

``So, I think the Action Congress of Nigeria is crying because maybe they have lost heart in everything and they have seen the dividends of true democracy being exhibited by the present administration of which the seventh assembly is an integral part as the legislative arm.'' Olu, who represents Eleme Constituency, said the assembly did not compromise while investigating a council chairman. He said the committee which investigated the chairman had concluded its report and that the House would look into it when it resumed from recess. (NAN)

Nwuche calls for biometric registration of PDP members


he former Deputy Speaker of the House Representatives, Mr Chibudom Nwuche, on Wednesday called for periodic online bio-metric registration of PDP members. Nwuche made the call while delivering a paper entitled, “The Drive for More Party Membership,” at the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) induction/policy retreat in Uyo. According to him, the biometric registration is necessary

as it will evaluate the party’s growth and strength in the last 13 years. He said the bio-metric registration became necessary because the party lost some seats at the National Assembly in the last general election. The former speaker pointed that the party also lost most of the South West states through litigation. “Continuous growth was the only way to ensure that the party remains in power and form the bulk of national

government.’’ Nwuche, however, faulted the recruitment process adopted by the party for membership, calling for a more organised exercise through the advertisement of party ideology and vision. “The recruitment process of our party since its inception has been mostly informal, through political associates advertising the party’s programmes through oral discussion with one another. ”There is need for much more

organised recruitment through the advertisement of our ideology, our vision for Nigeria and highlighting the impact so far made in the lives of average Nigerians,’’ he said. Nwuche appealed to the party machinery to deploy officials to different regions on a door-to door recruitment drive as was the case of the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa. He further advised PDP to copy the South African experience by drawing from the symbolism of its past heroes.



ACN gets new National Director of Organization and Strategy


he National Executive Committee of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has announced the appointment of Chief Donald Omotayo Alasoadura as the party's Director of Organization and Strategy. The party in a release signed by its National Publicity Secretry, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated " As a founding father of many political parties past and present, and the coordinator of the presidential

campaign of Chief MKO Abiola, Chief Alasoadura is an experienced politician, organizer and strategist. Among numerous accomplishments, he served as the Commissioner for Finance in Ondo State for six years. as well as the National Chairman of the Commissioner of Finance Forum for five years. Chief Alasoadura is a Chartered Account, Consultant and Composite Administrator.

Delta deputy governor calls for prisons reforms


he Delta deputy governor Prof. Amos Utuama, has urged the Federal Government to take advantage of the ongoing constitutional reforms to put the prisons on concurrent list. Utuama made the call when the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy paid him a courtesy visit in Asaba. He said that the constitution did not give states power to build prisons. “But when matters of prisons are put on the concurrent list, it will give responsibilities to state governments to act in matters relating to the sector,’’ he said. Utuama commended the state government for doing a lot to better

the lives of prison inmates and prisoners in the state. He also called on the Federal Government to fast track the trials of criminals to reduce prison congestions. Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Mr Thompson Okpoko (SAN), said that the committee was in the state as part of the tour on prisons in the South-South region of the country. Okpoko also said that the essence of the committee’s visit was to assess prison formations, the welfare of inmates and prison officers. He said that at the end of the tour, the committee would submit its report to the presidency.

Ngige advocates anticorruption committees in NBA


legal practitioner, Mr Emeka Ngige, has advocated the establishment of anti-corruption committees in branches of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) nationwide, to check corruption in the system. Ngige is aspiring for the presidency of the NBA in the forthcoming election of the association in July. He gave the advice while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dutse on Wednesday after a one-day seminar organised by the Dutse Branch of the NBA. He explained that when such committees were in place, they would be able to fight and deal with corrupt judges in the country.

“Such committees can even embark on sting operations to expose judges that collect bribes. “ The aspirant also condemned the unnecessary delay in dispensing of cases in courts. According to him, criminal matters last for 15 years in High Courts, seven years in appeal and sometimes four years in the Supreme Court. He also suggested the engagement of ad-hoc judges such as retired judges and justices to clear the backlog of cases in courts to avoid unnecessary delay in dispensing cases. Ngige said that system failure had affected all professions in Nigeria, including the legal profession.

Kebbi govt to pardon minor offenders in prison


he Kebbi Government will set free minor offenders serving various jail terms in prisons across the state as part of its prerogative of mercy. Alhaji Ibrahim Aliyu, the Deputy Governor, made the statement on Wednesday in Birnin Kebbi when he received members of the North-West branch of Presidential Committee on Prerogative of Mercy, led by its Chairman Alhaji Manir Jafaru. Aliyusaid that minor offenders, who were given the option of paying fines ranging

from N5, 000 to N10, 000, would be set free after government had paid the fine. In his remark, Jafaru said the committee determined cases against convicts and advised the president on the need to pardon them. He said prisons across the country lacked facilities for skill acquisition. He appealed to governors to assist the Federal Government to provide such facilities to enable inmates to acquire skills for selfsustenance after serving their terms.

R-L: Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, with Deputy Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Prince Abdulaziz bn Abdallah bn Abdulaziz al Saud, during the latter's visit to the speaker, on Wednesday at the the National Assembly, in Abuja.

INEC rewards 2 corps members for patriotism


he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has rewarded two corps members for their outstanding performance as presiding officers during the Feb. 25 governorship polls in Cross River. The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr Mike Igini, made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in Calabar. Igini said that the two corps members, Miss Nkiru Okpara from Anambra and Mr Solomon Adeleke from Osun, exhibited exemplary character as electoral officers in the polls in Akamkpa and Etung Local Government Areas. “For us, these two Nigerians stood tall in the face of intimidation and insisted that the right thing be done. “These two young Nigerians must be commended and

celebrated by Nigerians and we should also know that no matter how bad it has been, we still have honest people that we can celebrate, “ he said. “The implication of this celebration is that as long as you are in Nigeria, wherever you may come from if you have done well, we will recognise you. “On their way with some other of their colleagues to mountainous terrain in Akamkpa, they were accosted by a lady, who led the team.” Igini said the lady asked Okpara to bring the ballot papers and the results with a view to indulging in illegal entries to which Okpara refused. “In the course of her resistance, Okpara was beaten up. She stood firm and tall in the mist of all these. “Eventually the results in the area were excluded at the collation centre.

“In the case of Solomon Adeleke, it was very serious; he was at Etung, Ajase Ward. “When he got to the polling unit, there was already an agent of some politicians, who told him, young man in this place you have to cooperate, there is N20, 000 for you. We have given some other persons. “He looked the man and said, how you can you be saying this and you are not supposed to be working here, he refused. “ And they brought in some hard looking men to bully him and beat him up for refusing the money. “When they finished with the elections, they deflected the tyres of their vehicle and also demobilised them,” he said. Igini said that the honour was management’s decision, adding that the two awardees were presented with plaque, recommendation letters and N50, 000 each.

SGF inaugurates committee on Nigeria’s Centenary Book


he Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, in Abuja on Wednesday inaugurated a 10man presidential committee on Nigeria’s Centenary Book. The SGF said that the task before the committee was of great importance, noting Nigeria’s existence as one entity would be 100 years on Jan. 1, 2014. The southern protectorate and the northern protectorate were amalgamated on Jan. 1, 1914. Anyim noted that the committee, which has Prof.Tekena Tamuno as Chairman, was mandated with the task of compiling a compendium of the vast, voluminous and vital history of the country in the past 100 years. According to him, this is an

undertaking that can be described as unique in every sense of the word. “What is envisaged by this administration, and indeed, the proud citizens of this country at the completion of the work of this committee is a legacy document that will stand as the history of Nigeria. “It will be a transcendent document for a transformational era in practical terms,’’ he said. Anyim said that the committee had also been mandated to produce quality “Limited Edition Collectors Item’’ that would be displayed in the country’s major libraries and embassies abroad. The SGF added that the book should be of sufficient quality to be given as gifts to visiting dignitaries as well as small abridged copies for

mass circulation. Tamuno thanked the Federal Government for the opportunity given the committee to serve, noting that although the committee had less than 24 months to work, the members were eager to swing into action. He added that the committee would work hard “to give readers at home and abroad an authentic and authoritative account of the country’s growth and development. “It is our hope that through our painstaking programmes, a new Nigeria will be born in the next century,’’ he said. The other members of the committee include: Malam Habib Jato, the Director General, National Library and Mr Umar Odimboro, the Director General, National Archives, while Mr Ebere Nwankpa of the SGF Office would serve as its secretary.



Wolves declare Eagles trio AWOL

Oyekale laments Nigeria’s ouster from Futsal World Cup race



he National Futsal team coach, Oladunni Oyekale, has lamented Nigeria’s withdrawal from the Futsal World Cup, following the cancellation of the return leg of the qualifier against Egypt. The coach said the withdrawal was untoward stressing that in spite of losing 8-2 in the first leg, his team was still capable of upstaging their Egyptian counterparts had the return leg been held as planned this weekend. But the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had on Wednesday confirmed Nigeria’s ouster from the fiesta thus cancelling the match that had been scheduled for the NISports Complex at the National Stadium, Lagos. Oyekale said the cancellation of the game had dampened the spirit of the team. “We were told that some logistics issues arose that led to the cancellation of the game which has really dampened my boys’ spirit. In fact, they’ve been decamped. “The team was preparing intensively to see how they can upturn their loss only to hear that they were not going to play the game. “Whether it is a good thing or not is left to the NFF for they must have some good reasons to cancel it. ‘However, we have been deprived of the opportunity to be at the World Cup,” he said. The FIFA FUTSAL World Cup is scheduled for Thailand in November and Nigeria not playing the re-match has automatically disqualified the team.


ormer Nigerian sprinter and now national team coach, Endurance Ojokolo, is optimistic fledgling athletes would hit the right cord if the authorities provide the needed logistics and moral support. The ex-international, who is Accra, Ghana to monitor Nigerian athletes at the ECOWAS Games that is scheduled to end today, attested to the fact there are abundant talents that are in dire need of care and support to realise their full potentials.

Gloria Asomu

Nigeria’s upcoming athletes need more support to excel, says Ojokolo Nigeria won the bulk of the athletics events at the Games, sweeping for itself 13 gold 15 silver five bronze medals and Ojokolo said they could have won even more than that had Team Nigeria brought the best from the grassroots. “We have seen the emergence of new talents of recent and they have shown here at these Games what they can do with their performances. “In order to keep them, we need to encourage them because they are the ones who will replace those that will soon be retiring,” the former 100 metres champion said. Ojokolo,who is one of Team Nigeria’s coaches at the seven-day Games, which had teams from 11 West African countries participating, said that the support should be in the form of exposure and finance. “A lot of our top athletes would soon be retiring and we therefore need to encourage these young ones through competitions like this one here in Ghana. “They also need financial support for their drinks to compliment their feeding, their

Beninoise refs to take charge of Falcons, Banyana match


Oladunni Oyekale

igeria Premier League (NPL) club, Warri Wolves will take punitive action against three of their players if they fail to return to the camp of the team by the end of the week. Azubuike Egwuekwe, Chigozie Agbim, and Sunday Mba are reportedly yet to rejoin the team four days after they were discharged from the camp of the Super Eagles where they were involved with the Nigerian national team, in the recent 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches. Although the camp was officially closed on Sunday 24 hours after the Eagles defeated the Wasps of Rwanda to qualify for the next stage of the Nations Cup, the trio were yet to report to Warri Wolves in breach of an agreement for them to arrive in Warri on Tuesday. “We will take action against them if they are not in Warri by the end of the week. They are our players and are supposed to have returned by now. “(Enugu Rangers’ forward), Ejike Uzoenyi who was part of the Super Eagles’ team played for his club (on Wednesday) so our players have no excuse to stay away,” General Manager, Media of Wolves, Timi Ebikagboro told One of the players, Agbim however claimed that they had been in Warri since Monday and were surprised to have been declared AWOL. “Our flight was cancelled on Sunday and that accounted for our delay in arriving in Warri. However, we have been in Warri since Monday,” Agbim said to a wire service. The trio also missed Wolves game on Wednesday against Rising Stars, a development Agbim attributed to ‘fatigue.’ “We would have played the game but we were very tired because the trip back was very stressful. However, we will be back by the next game,” he said.

eferees from Nigeria’s neighbours to the west, Republic of Benin, will take charge of Saturday’s prestigeous international friendly match between the Super Falcons of Nigeria and South Africa’s Banyana Banyana. NFF officials confirmed on Thursday that Rafiatou Sitou will be the Centre Referee for the high-profile encounter between the reigning champions of Africa and the continent’s flag-bearers at next month’s Olympic Games in London. Fellow Beninoise Timpa Rosalie Nda will be Assistant Referee 1 and Noussirath Salifou will be Assistant Referee 2. Nigerian Uloma Ngwogu will be the Reserve Referee. Both teams ended it 1-1 in the first of the two-leg friendly arrangement which took place on June 3 at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg – one the venues for the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals.

kits as well as transportation to training. These will help them to keep focused on the sport and look ahead for a future in it,” she said. Ojokolo,who won the 2004 African Championships’ 100 metres gold at Brazaville, Congo lauded Nigeria’s participation at

the Games as well as the competition’s concept. “This competition has been a good one for us, in spite of the fact that our best ones are not here. “Some are in the national camp for the Olympics and some are in Calabar for the national trials. On

the other hand the Ghanaians are at home with the full complement of their best. “But it is the kind of competition we need for our athletes to gain exposure and our athletes have equally not failed to make use of this opportunity and gain a lot from it,” she said.

Keshi seeks strike force options, may recall Emenike, Osaze, Yakubu, others to Eagles


uper Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, is mulling further beefing up the strike force of the team by creating more options in that department. Accordingly, he is considering giving some of the rejected players another opportunity to come to the camp in August when the Eagles are likely to feature in an invitational tournament in India. Keshi, we learnt is looking the way of Russia-based Emmanuel Emenike, who was overlooked last month allegedly for his poor attitude during the Eagles’ camping earlier in the year, as well as Peter Odemwingie and Yakubu Aiyegbeni. However, the player would enjoy a return to the team only if he accepts to conform to camp rules and other standards that may be set by the technical crew. “Emenike is being seriously considered to return to the Eagles because he has shown at least in Europe that he knows how to score goals,” a top team official informed a wire service. “But that can only be on the

condition that the player conducts himself better in the national team. His attitude must change drastically and he should be willing to humble himself and not always feel too big.” The former FC Cape Town star has made his mark in Russia after a sensational switch from Fenerbahce in Turkey, where he was also a hero for Karabukspor. He ended his first season in Russia as the most prolific African there with 13 goals. The 24-year-old centre forward has scored once in five appearances for Nigeria since he made his long-awaited debut in February 2011 against Sierra Leone in Lagos. He last featured for the Eagles in a 2-0 win over Zambia in a friendly played in Kaduna in November. Nigeria’s next full international game would most likely be a friendly on August 15 during the FIFA free window. They will then play the final round of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers between October and November.

Emmanuel Emenike

Osaze Odemwingie

Yakubu Aiyegbeni


Simone: Show me a coach whose work is done? Y

ou’ve just come off the back of your first coaching experience. Did you enjoy it as much as when you were a player? A coach’s job is very intense. Obviously your work doesn’t stop after training is over, it continues into the afternoon, evening and late at night. You’ve always got matches to prepare for, opponents to analyse: it never stops. But in some specific areas, the two roles are very similar. And I must admit the feeling I get when one of my players hits a winning goal is just the same I might have if it was me who’d made the net bulge.


a different game plan – one which is a bit less defensive. I’ve got high hopes for La Nazionale at EURO 2012. Are they your favourites for UEFA EURO 2012? Italy are among the favourites in my view, along with Spain, France and Germany. France are in very good shape, I think. They’ve got talent and they’re capable of winning this EURO. Laurent Blanc is doing a good job and he’s known exactly how to make the most of his experience in club football. Is one day becoming a national-team coach an ambition of yours? It’s hard to even think about that. That kind of offer usually doesn’t come until the latter stages of a successful coaching career. I’m just not there yet. Finally, is there any particular club side that you dream of taking charge of? I think that you need to keep your ambitions realistic, depending on your status as a player or coach. Back in my playing days, at a certain point I was playing for a Milan side that was one of the best in the world. So, it wouldn’t have been unreasonable to dream of eventually playing for Real Madrid or Barcelona, because my status was high enough. Until now (coaching-wise), I was simply focused on following my dream at Monaco, and doing my best with a club I never imagined I’d get the chance to coach. Right now though (after losing my job with L’ASM), it’s hard to come up with a new dream.

You took charge of the team when it was in 18th spot and Monaco ended up eighth. Are you satisfied with the job you did? My level of personal satisfaction is partly linked to the quality of football my team played and partly to the end result. The end result was there, since we managed to avoid relegation. As far as the way we achieved that aim, I realise that I need to keep improving. That said, if you take into account it was my first experience in the dugout then I am pleased. The overall verdict is positive. You’ve worked under some genuine coaching greats, including Arrigo Sacchi, Fabio Capello and Alberto Zaccheroni. In your view, which were the most inspirational? I’d go with Arrigo Sacchi and Fabio Capello, with a slight preference for the former. For Sacchi, tactics were at the root of absolutely everything, and his coaching sessions were all focused around that. We’d work exhaustively on how to occupy space, positioning, movement etc. In his view, what mattered was what happened out on the pitch, he wasn’t too concerned with what went on off it. Capello, for his part, is exemplary in terms of how to manage a squad. He’s a genuine manager [as opposed to a training-ground coach], and he’s an excellent communicator.


Why did you decide to start your coaching career at Monaco? It’s a really great club. It’s always had a special place in my heart, I’ve made some very strong ties there. Besides which I’d decided to live there after I hung up my boots. In a certain way, Monaco has become my homeland. It’s fantastic to be able to train one of the clubs closest to your heart one day. And, speaking in more general terms, I really like France. I feel a bond with the country, I love its championship and the people’s attitude. Given your in-depth knowledge of French football, is there any one player that you particularly admire? Kevin Gameiro is a player I really like, and someone I’d love to have in one of my teams. Small, quick and clinical in front of goal, Gameiro has an air of Marco Simone about him don’t you think? Yes, it’s true. But that’s not the only reason why I like him, I’m not quite that narcissistic! (laughs)


Turning back to your playing days, what is your fondest memory of your career? Two things spring to mind. The first encompasses all the trophies I won at each of my clubs: AC Milan, Monaco and PSG. I had some very intense and emotional experiences at those three clubs. The second thing goes back to the day when I arrived back at Milan, on loan from AS Monaco, in 2001/02. I’ll never forget the ovation I received from 90,000 fans in the San Siro when I took the field. I’d left the club the 1998 and it was really moving to be welcomed back like that. It’s an image that will stay in my mind forever.

A coach’s job is very intense. Obviously your work doesn’t stop after training is over, it continues into the afternoon, evening and late at night. You’ve always got matches to prepare for, opponents to analyse: it never stops.

You were fortunate enough to play alongside no fewer than six Ballon d’Or winners at different stages in your career (Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, JeanPierre Papin, George Weah, Andriy Shevchenko and Roberto Baggio). Which of them made the biggest impression on you? Marco van Basten, no doubt about it! He’s the greatest. He’s a player who always impressed me, whether it was in training or in matches. It was simply extraordinary to watch his play. I treasure the fact I was lucky enough to work alongside him. How do you rate the current Italian national squad? There have been changes, which is something Italy needed because, even though the side was getting positive results, the players were starting to age. Some things have also changed at the heart of the FA too, with Arrigo Sacchi and Roberto Baggio playing a key role in that. To sum up, the team’s younger, fresher and is working to

“I’m not a coach or a magician. That’s a fact and I’d be a liar if I said otherwise.” So warned former Italy international Marco Simone back in September 2011, upon taking the reins of an Monaco side languishing in 18th place in Ligue 2 at the time. “But, after 18 years as a pro, I do know football. I will find ways to improve this team and get the players back to their best.” Indeed, throughout his career, Simone was always an entertainer as well as a goalscorer, capable of tremendous pieces of skill and strikes seemingly out of nowhere. With a CV that also included productive spells at AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain, fans at all his ex-clubs have wonderful memories of the diminutive front-man. In an exclusive interview with, Simone looked back at some of those memorable moments, as well as giving his verdict on his fledgling coaching career.

3 1} Marco Simone, 2} Marco van Basten, the greatest player Simone played with, 3} Kevin Gameiro, France youngster admired by Simone

Marco van Basten… He’s the greatest. He’s a player who always impressed me, whether it was in training or in matches. It was simply extraordinary to watch his play. I treasure the fact I was lucky enough to work alongside him.


Police nab Warri Wolves attacker


he Nigeria Police on Wednesday apprehended the fan that allegedly attacked Rising Stars’ Segun Bajowa during a Nigeria Premier League (NPL) game in Warri. has been informed that the arrested fan is one Alex Ugbameta, who is now cooling off at the A Division of the Nigeria Police in Warri. “The fan identified as Alex Ugbameta has been arrested by the police here in Warri,” Warri Wolves’ General Manager, Media, Timi Ebikagboro disclosed to Ugbameta is now under investigation for allegedly breaching public peace and will be charged to court by the police. “He is faced with a court action for causing trouble in the public, according to the police,” said Ebikagboro. The real incident that led to Bajowa being attacked still remains unknown as there are different versions to it. One report claims that the Rising Stars’ player was allegedly attacked by the arrested fan while warming up with 10 minutes to half time, while another alleged that Bajowa was engaged in a verbal spat with fans of the home side before he was allegedly attacked. Ebikagboro, who was at the Warri City Stadium, said he was not at the scene of the happening at the time and was surprised to find Bajowa lying on the floor after Ugbameta allegedly attacked him. “I can’t really say what transpired before the incident that happened as I was on the upper terrace of the stands. Warri is one of the peaceful venues in our league and this occurrence is surprising to me,” he said. The match between Wolves and Rising Stars stood at 1-1 as at the 35th minute when it was abandoned. The arrest of Ugbameta by the police is the second time a fan will be apprehended at an NPL venue for hooliganism this season. In March, a fan identified as Ifeanyi Arisa was arrested by the police in Enugu for his role in the assault of centre referee, Gabriel Adigwe from Lagos during the game between Heartland and Enyimba.


NNWL to lift Jarma FC suspension


he secretariat of the Nigeria Nationwide League (NNWL), has concluded plans to lift the suspension of Jarma FC of Kano and re-admit the team into the on-going 2011/2012 season. The league’s Secretary, Emmanuel Adesanya, said yesterday in Abuja that the decision was made after the issue was resolved. The suspension was as a result of an act of violence by the club’s supporters on April 2 in Kano after a match it played with visiting DSS FC of Kaduna. Jarma FC fans, after a Division One D Week Five match, attacked

the match officials who were from the FCT because the team had lost the match 1-2. Adesanya said the team, which was suspended in the seventh week of the first round, had missed seven matches during the suspension time. “They’ve missed seven matches and now we want to give them the opportunity to come back and play though that would be after they must have been sanctioned.” He said the sanction to be meted to the team cannot be pre-empted but that it would involve payment of fine (money)

Manny pacquiao

and probably have their matches played elsewhere as was the rule. “If you erred and your venue is banned you will be taken out of that place at least to play the next three home matches and they know what that means. “It means they will play six matches away, the three they are to play at home and the three that follows that should be played outside.” Adesanya said the change of venue of the matches was to deny the team’s fans, who caused the trouble, the joy of watching their team play.

He said the teams, which were to play against Jarma FC, were aware that the matches would still be played. He, however, said the sanctions and time of play had not been decided by the Appeal, Organising and Disciplinary Committees of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). “If by the end of this week we do not hear from the disciplinary and appeal committees, all Division 1 D matches will be suspended.” Adesanya said this is because without sorting out the matches, the entire season would be affected.

Timothy Bradley

WBC title controversy: Review experts confirm Manny and not Bradley won


embers of a five-man review panel have ruled that Manny Pacquiao should have been declared the winner of his bout against Timothy Bradley. The WBO reported on its website yesterday that all five members of a special panel it had asked to review the controversial welterweight title bout in Las Vegas on June 9 scored it in favour of Pacquiao. The organisation said it could not overturn the result of the fight or ask Bradley to surrender the belt, but it could authorise a rematch. Pacquiao said in a telephone call from the Philippines, “I hope with this ruling the public’s faith in boxing would be restored. “I was not surprised by the WBO ruling. I knew I won; so did the whole world. But that is already over and I am now focusing on the next fight.” The 33-year-old former champion said he and his promoter, Bob Arum, would discuss his next move at a meeting in Los Angeles next week, but he remained coy on who his next opponent would be. “We will soon find out whom I will fight next,” he said, when asked if he was aiming for a rematch against Bradley. The American snatched Pacquiao’s WBO belt on a split decision and snapped Pacquiao’s 15-fight, seven-year winning streak. The decision sparked outrage in the boxing-crazy Philippines and in the United States, where two senators pushed for the creation of a national boxing commission to regulate the sport.

Arum questioned the competence of the judges and pressed for an inquiry from the Nevada attorney general’s office. Pacquiao would prefer a rematch to Bradley giving up the title which the American won on a split decision because “people may think I just usurped it. My supporters shouldn’t worry. We’re going to get that title,” the Filipino superstar said. Duane Ford, who scored the bout 15-13 for Bradley, was quoted earlier as saying, “I thought Bradley gave Pacquiao a boxing lesson.” His colleague Jerry Roth had it 115-113 for Pacquiao and CJ Ross 115-113 for Bradley. WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel later announced that five “recognised international judges” would review the fight and make a recommendation. Valcarcel said, however, the WBO did not doubt the ability of the judges who scored the fight. Meanwhile, Tor Hamer won a heavyweight tournament at the York Hall near London, defeating Kevin Johnson in the final. Hamer won the three-round final on points and took away £32 000 in prize money. Johnson beat Albert Sosnowski in their semifinal bout and Hamer stopped Tom Dallas in under 30 seconds. Hamer took three rounds to beat Marcello Nascimento in the quarterfinals and Johnson stopped Noureddine Meddoune in the first round.

Egesi, British-Nigerian born girl to carry London Olympic torch

A Victor Baribote, Chairman NPL

girl, Ify Egesi, 12, a BritishNigerian born girl has been selected to carry the Olympic torch on the eve of the opening ceremony of the games. Egesi was selected from the Sacred Heart Catholic School in Camberwell in London after

entering and winning a competition to find a champion for the games opening as scheduled on July 27. “I wrote about how I had moved 15 places up the ramcoder, came third in my year examinations and about how my family and brothers would be

honoured if I were picked,”Egesi told NAN yesterday in London. Egesi who was very elated said she would be representing her two countries, Britain and Nigeria; family and school when carrying the torch. She added that the Olympic authority had asked her to keep

both July 25 and 26 dates free adding that she would be carrying the torch en-route to Stratford, where the Olympics stadium is located. Egesi, who is also an athlete, plays for her school net-ball team and is a member of the athletics club.



London Olympics: Britain pin 10,000m medal hope on Mo Farah M o Farah’s decision to forgo home comforts transformed him from European to world champion and the popular Briton is banking on the gruelling training regime that got him there to propel him to the ultimate glory of Olympic gold. The 29-year-old heads to next month’s London Games from his American base in Portland, Oregon, as favourite for the 10 000 metres title and a leading contender for the 5 000 if he decides to run in both events. Contender status signals some journey for Farah, whose rise began in 2006 with 5 000m European silver, stuttered with Olympic and world championship failures, and took off with major titles which have boosted his popularity at home and abroad and made his famous grin a potential image of the London Games. Until European gold in the 5 000 and 10 000 metres in 2010 Farah said he had doubted he had what it took to win big races, but having tasted success, the man who moved to England from Mogadishu, Somalia at the age of eight, knew he wanted more. Just under seven months after his European triumphs, Farah parted with coach Alan Storey and swapped runs through west London’s leafy parks for a quieter, media-free environment in Oregon and a new trainer in three-times New York marathon winner Alberto Salazar. Salazar’s arrival brought newfound confidence to the softly-spoken Farah, whose polite and meek demeanour is now reserved for everything except the track and ferocious assaults on his sport’s most coveted titles. Success came in South Korea in 2011, although not first without heartbreak as Farah was forced to settle for silver in the 10 000m. The race had audiences captivated as Farah looked set for gold after breaking clear of the field. Instead, he crossed the line distraught, his eyes bulging with pain when he realised that Ethiopia’s Ibrahim Jeilan was about to overhaul him

Mo Farah, beaming hope for Britain

with the final stride. That despair was replaced by joy days later when Farah became the first British man to win the 5 000m world title, cementing his place among his sport’s long-distance elite. Farah’s rise has been about training and little else. The Arsenal fan’s big word is focus and in leaving the spotlight of home he has been able to get to grips with a regime that includes high-tech innovations like an underwater treadmill and a freezing cold chamber aimed at longer sessions and quicker recovery times. His 120-miles-a-week running regime is also tackled at an average pace of 5.4 minutes a mile, a minute quicker than his previous routine in Britain, while overseas altitude training in Kenya is conducted with Salazar via chats on Skype. Added to the pressure of an expectant home nation, the difficulty of Farah’s London task may depend on the fitness of Ethiopia’s injury-hit 10 000m and 5 000m Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele. A Briton has never won the Olympic 5 000m or 10 000m and Bekele is aiming for an unprecedented third successive gold in the longer event. Preparations since Daegu have been mixed but heading in the right direction for Farah, who will run the 10 000m at the Olympics on August 4 but is only likely to decide on a bid for the 5 000m after recovering from the gruelling 25-lap race. Qualifying for the 5 000m starts on August 8 with the final three days later. A modest indoor campaign culminated in a fourth-place finish in the world championship 3 000 metres but creeping fears of fatigue have been eased by an unbeaten start to his preferred outdoor season. In May he won a 1 500m and 5 000m double in California, running the longer distance just 55 minutes after finishing the shorter one, and he eased to a comfortable 10 000m London road race win on a day which began with him admitting to his Twitter followers that he had forgotten to pack

Kenenisa Bekele, 10,000 and 5,000m defending champion that wants a third consecutive conques

his running vest. That was followed in June by a confidence-boosting 5 000m victory at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, where Farah set the fastest time in the world this year with Bekele back in fourth, almost five seconds off his time of 12 minutes 56.98 seconds. With international recognition, his own charity distributing aid in war-torn Somalia and a new ‘Mobot’ move in which he spells out his name above his head to celebrate race wins, Farah’s stock has risen sharply since an early Beijing exit. His recent demolition of Bekele in Oregon has set the standard and done little to dampen the Olympic expectations of his home nation. Come the summer British fans everywhere might well be sporting smiles as wide as Farah’s trademark grin.

Allyson Felix

Johnson advises Felix to run 200 only


f Allyson Felix is looking for advice about whether to try the 200-400 double at the London Olympics, Michael Johnson has a message for her: Don’t bother. At the 1996 Atlanta Games, Johnson became the first man to win both the 200 and 400. “Obviously, the primary goal has to be winning a (single) gold medal,” he told The Associated Press. “She hasn’t done that yet.” Felix is a three-time world champion at 200 metres, but at the last two Olympics, she’s finished second in the 200 to Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica. Felix has one gold medal in the 4x400-metre Olympic relay. She has been talking about doubling in London and has signed up for all three sprints - the 100, 200 and 400 - for the US Olympic trials which begin on Friday. But she hasn’t stated which events she’ll run in Eugene. At the Olympics, the 400 comes first on the schedule, followed by the 200, meaning anyone running in both faces six straight days of competition. The IOC changed the schedule to accommodate a 200-400 men’s double in 1996, which enabled Johnson to try to win gold medals in both. Wearing his famous gold shoes, Johnson did, in fact, win both. He also set a world record in the 200. His mark of 19.32 seconds stood until 2008, when Usain Bolt beat it in Beijing. Felix began training in earnest for a 200-400 double about a year ago. She tried for the double at the world championships last year and ended up with disappointing results: Third in the 200 and second in the 400. “Last year was the first time attempting the double for her,” Johnson said. “That was eight years into her career. I’d have attempted something like that many, many years before that, learned from it and created a strategy from a competition standpoint that lent itself to eventually being successful at the double.” Johnson, who believes Felix would be the world’s best in the 400 if it was her sole focus, said he wasn’t privy to her strategy and that nobody from her camp had asked him for any advice. Last month, she conceded that training for both events was taxing. “Sometimes you can spread yourself too thin,” she said. “For me this year, I just said, ‘OK, the 200 is my main focus.’ If I do another event, it’s going to come second to that.” During the same news conference, however, Felix conceded the possibility of a less-taxing 100-200 double. She was coming off a personal best time of 10.92 seconds in the 100. Johnson, who is promoting an Olympics-related app on Facebook, suggests Felix be mindful of an old saying - one he was reminded of many times back when he was trying for the double. Sometimes, when you try to win two gold medals, you end up winning none. “Honestly, at this point, she should focus on 200 metres and try to win that gold,” he said.



NPL: What reconciliation, what settlement? P

eace, they say, has returned to Nigeria football following reconciliation or rather the truce brought about by the intervention of the then Supervisory Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi in the deadly crises which dragged football administration in Nigeria in all facets aground. Some were chosen out and compensated while the rest were asked to go seek their reward in heaven, like the proverbial teachers. But even teachers these days no longer desire heavenly reward, immediacy commands premium over the hereafter bliss. And so, expectedly the seething over unjust

settlement and even partial fulfillment of obligations accruable from the initial settlement began to rare its head ugly head. Again, Abdullahi, deploying his ministerial fiat, came to the rescue. He pleaded and Barrister Ray Nnaji sheathed his sword, perhaps, only momentary until the excitement of being recognized by the minister and pleaded with gradually tarns off. And they are others. They were unjustly discarded, flotsam-like and jettisoned not necessarily with Aristocratic disdain but painful still. Now, they too need compensation because they had spent money

We must call a spade by its name, clear the chaff from the grain, sift the substance from chaff, ignore certain elements and simply move on. The system needs cleansing but not by way of obsequious compromises, which would only further destroy it


hampion Novak Djokovic and French Open winner Maria Sharapova were named as top seeds for Wimbledon as the grasscourt grand slam mostly followed the rankings to draw up the list for the championships that begin on Monday. On the men’s side, Rafael

to campaign for the offices that they were later denied or were compelled by the law to abdicate after tasting the ‘succulent apple’ and rippling juices therein. These later element, unmindful of the falsity of their cases and therefore demands, must be settled the Nigerian way. Of course for peace to prevail Abdullahi must plead with and beg and perhaps armtwist the NFF to ‘pay compensation’ to them also or risk being heckled and derailed from the track. Well, if the NFF knew its onions, were legitimate in purpose, focus and mien, one doubts the issue of accommodating sundry characters, some of whom are just greedy and desperately in need of relevance in the guise of offering themselves for national service, would have arisen. A careful assessment of the demands of some of the agitators clearly throws up conflict with the tenet of the game itself. Take the issue of abuse of electoral guidelines for instance. Recall that the


rules had been specific in directing that one who desires to contest for the chairman of the chairmen must indicate from onset while the one aspiring for to another it’s a dangerous precedence the post of Chairman of the mandate board of the NPL should equally candidate. Yet many months because it would mean that later he was to claim legitimacy whoever contests elections no do the same. There was therefore clear of candidature and one ask, matter how legally fraudulent demarcation. None would contest which one, a refresh or unqualified the fellow is so for both offices in the same candidature or the one he long as he had indicated interest or bought form for the elections. The candidate must voluntarily surrendered? Even at the civil court he elections he/she must be choose one and reject the other. But we had a scenario in was plainly ignored because compensated. No, dear minister, we must which one candidate in utter the status quo as at the time disregard to the rules first of the conduct of the election call a spade by its name, clear offered to contest for the post for the post of chairman of the the chaff from the grain, sift of chairman of chairmen and in NPL board did not included him the substance from the chaff, the same breath put himself or rather he had subjected ignore certain elements and forward for the post of same to another person simply move on. The system chairman of the NPL board meaning that whatever needs cleansing but not by way after he had successfully happened to the fellow legally of obsequious compromises, defeated his opponent for the would have a bearing on him which would only further position of chairman of whether positive or negative. destroy it. Now, tell me, Dear Minister, Rather, through deliberate chairmen. Note that his competence is not in question, on what basis would you insistence on adherence to what is remains the violation compensate this fellow? If rules and procedures would indeed, he and others of his encourage order, discipline in of the rule of engagement. In the same election, irks, are to be appease for conduct, in the handling of another candidate stepped peace to reign, what manner state matters and growth of the system desirable by all. You down for another candidate, of peace would that be? Like we said here when the need to deaden yourself to meaning that he submitted whatever would amount to his pyrrhic peace was brokered, illicit complaints.

By Patrick Andrew

Djokovic, Sharapova top seeds for Wimbledon Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray completed the top four while defending women’s champion Petra Kvitova was seeded forth. Serena Williams was seeded sixth but her sister

Venus, champion five times in southwest London, will be the one player the majority of the seeds will want to avoid as she missed out on a top-32 placing since she is currently ranked 55th.

Rising talent Bernard Tomic was the main beneficiary of Wimbledon’s policy to take grasscourt form into consideration and the Australian was bumped up to 20th seed from his world ranking of 27.

No German in Olympic tennis ‘a joke’, says Federer S wiss tennis star Roger Federer has said it is “a joke” that there could be no German men entered in the tennis event at the London Olympic Games. Under German Olympic Sports Federation (DOSB) rules, only players ranked 24th in the world or higher on June 11 qualify for London with the Olympic tournament being held on the famous grass-courts of Wimbledon. A player can also book his London ticket, under the DOSB regulations, by reaching the quarterfinals at one of the last three Grand Slam events or the semifinals at one of the last five premier ATP tournaments. But with time running out for the Germans, Federer has slammed the rules. “It is a joke how high the criteria has been set,” said the 30-year-old, who has won 16 Grand Slam titles. I’d like to see as many German players as possible at Wimbledon.” The International Tennis Federation (ITF) regulations state a player ranked amongst the top 56 can play in London, but unless things change, no German male players will entered at the Olympic tournament which starts Saturday July 28. Germany’s top players Florian Mayer and Philipp Kohlschreiber are ranked 28th and 29th respectively, with Haas ranked 49th.

“Kohlschreiber has beaten Rafael Nadal, Tommy has beaten me, and we are two of the favourites for both Wimbledon and the Olympics,” added Federer who appealed to the DOSB to change their guidelines. “You have to open the eyes, look beyond the boundaries and see the bigger picture,” he added. The 34-year-old Haas rolled back the years on Sunday to beat Federer 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 win in the final at Halle’s ATP tournament to break back into the top 50 on the ATP rankings as he returns from injury. His Davis Cup teammate Philipp Kohlschreiber summed up the feelings towards the DOSB rules with both Kohlschreiber and Haas having both performed well on grass, especially Haas who reached the 2009 semifinals at Wimbledon. All is not lost as the ITF does offer wild-card places at the Olympics, but neither Haas, nor Kohlschreiber are guaranteed a spot. Kohlscreiber is just five places short in the world rankings of qualifying for London and Klaus Eberhard, sports director of the German Tennis Federation (DTB), is hoping to persuade the DSOB to show some leniency.

Three-time men’s runnerup Andy Roddick squeezed into the seedings following the withdrawal of world number 15 Frenchman Gael Monfils through injury. The American, ranked 33rd, was named as the 30th seed.


Roger Federer

1 Novak Djokovic 2 Rafael Nadal 3 Roger Federer 4 Andy Murray 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6 Tomáš Berdych 7 David Ferrer 8 Janko Tipsarevic 9 Juan Martín del Potro 10 Mardy Fish


Novak Djokovic

1 Maria Sharapova 2 Victoria Azarenka 3 Agnieszka Radwanska 4 Petra Kvitová 5 Samantha Stosur 6 Serena Williams 7 Caroline Wozniacki 8 Angelique Kerber 9 Marion Bartoli 10 Sara Errani 11 Li Na Maria Sharapova

FCT Badminton Association fixes July for closed championship


he Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Badminton Association, has fixed July 12 to 14 for its 2012 Closed championship. FCT Badminton Coach, Mohammed Bako disclosed yesterrday that the championship will be organised by the association in conjunction with the Abuja Badminton Club. Bako said that the

competition was aimed at discover more athletes and to keep the elite players within the FCT in better shape for future competitions. He added that the competition was also being organised to ensure that players do not lose interest in the sport. “For sometimes now, the association has not been organising competitions, the

Abuja Badminton Club then decided to sponsor the championships to keep the players fit and ready for any competition. “It is a closed championship, because we want to ensure that the FCT players are at least kept busy within the year. “We also felt that there are some talents waiting to be discovered in some local government areas within the

FCT that needed to showcase their talents at the competition. “Our players have been complaining that the federation is not organising competitions for them which is disheartening. It is not only affecting the players, the coaches are also affected,” Bako said. He said that the winner would get a 42-inch plasma TV,

the runner-up, a 32-inch plasma TV, while the third place winner would win a 24-inch colour TV. The fourth place winner would win a cash prize of N60, 000. He added that the competition would feature five events, the male and female singles, the male and female doubles and the mixed doubles. According to Bako, the association in conjunction

with the club has concluded plans to set up an academy that will help groom players. He urged corporate organisations and spirited individuals to support the association in its various developmental programmes. Pls use pixs of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka (Wimbledon), Kazuto Ioka (wbc).

. . . putting the people first

FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2012

QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE It is unf or tuna te tha dled unfor ortuna tunate thatt those sad saddled with the responsibility of safeguarding li ves and pr oper ties in Nig eria ha ve liv proper operties Nigeria hav failed abysmally to guarantee them. — Evangelist Elishama Ideh, PF ANN initia tor PFANN initiator

SPORTS Anambra: Still on Obi’s LA TEST LATEST

Ronaldo lands Portugal in semi final


ristiano Ronaldo capped a magnificent display with the match-winning goal as Portugal powered past Czech Republic and into the semi-finals of Euro 2012. Ronaldo, who scored twice against the Netherlands, hit the woodwork in each half with fine strikes. And he finally found the net with 12 minutes remaining, thumping a header into the ground and beyond Petr Cech. Czech Republic failed to muster a shot on target as they rarely threatened throughout a tense evening. Portugal will now face Spain or France for a place in the final, and with arguably Europe's best player beginning to show his very best form, they could take some stopping. Cristiano Ronaldo's back header from a Czech corner flashed over his own bar while impressive Czech fullback Theodor Gebre Selassie got down the right flank to deliver a dangerous low cross but Pepe was on hand to make a desperate clearance. Up the other end Ronaldo flashed one long range freekick round the post and had an effort when one on one with Petr Cech blocked by the Chelsea goalkeeper, though, referee Howard Webb would have ruled it out had it gone in for an infringement. The Portuguese lost striker Helder Postiga towards the end of the half to what looked like a hamstring injury. Results Portugal 1 Czech 0 Today’s match Germany v s Greece

Cristiano Ronaldo


0803 0805 0803 0805 0803

misplaced priorities By Dr. Chidozie Emenuga


allam Nasir el-Rufai, on June 8, 2012, wrote an article in his Thisday Friday column captioned “Anambra’s Budget of Misplaced Priorities”. The contents of the article are clearly mirrored in the caption, prompting Governor Peter Obi of Anambra state to respond that “Only Anambra People can assess me” as reported in the Thisday of June 10, 2012. From its title, the message of Governor Obi is that el-Rufai is not a stakeholder in the affairs of Anambra state and has no business assessing his performance. As a background to my comment, I wish to presume the context under which el-Rufai’s article has been read in Anambra state, hence the response by the governor which might have reflected the views of his Advisers and other officers of his government. If indigenes of Anambra state are among the most educated, most successful in business and in the professions as el-Rufai observed, how then has it become the business of a “Mallam” to judge the appropriateness of the state’s budget and governance? Mallams, as they are known in Anambra state have three roles namely “maiguard”, “mai ruwa” and “mai nama”. The maiguard stays awake all night to safeguard the master from being kidnapped by his fellow Anambra people, mai ruwa ensures regular supply of water from wells dug by his fellow mallams while mai nama supplies meat to Anambra people. Anambra people also know that there exists a fourth category of mallams who are learned and among the best Nigeria can offer a class to which el-Rufai belongs. Notwithstanding, Anambra people believe that they have equivalents of educated mallams, as they often rehearse that the state has produced unrivaled species, including the mathematical Chike Obi, Father Tansi that successfully made it to heaven and Power Mike that was the “strongest” man on earth while he lived. I imagine that the undertone of the response to elRufai’s article is that Anambra has sufficient qualified persons to judge its performance rather than an “outsider”. The article does not doubt the competence of Anambra people to run a good government, having confirmed that “The people of Anambra state are known to be brilliant, enterprising and

311 689 606 327 454

7458 1765 3308 1969 0344


Governor Peter Obi resourceful” and that “Most of Nigeria’s brightest professors, writers, public servants and politicians hailed from the state”. As a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, el-Rufai could be privy to the share of Anambra people in high political positions and the housing market in Abuja. His expressed puzzle is why the brilliance and enterprise of Anambra people have not reflected in the quality of development of the state. Apart from el-Rufai, everybody knows that it is not well with Anambra state in any aspect of human life. I have met non Nigerians that asked why I chose to “come from that place”, thinking that I have a choice like Americans to determine my state. Where else

in Nigeria other than in Anambra can people openly accuse their governor of being an “araldite”, an acronym that the governor’s hands are sticky that he cannot help himself and others from the public coffers. The point Governor Obi and other Anambra people should swallow is that the condition of Anambra state has become of such a national and an international concern that “outsiders” can no longer be shut out from proffering solutions. Further, I rather believe that el-Rufai, like any other Nigerian, is a stakeholder in Anambra state. He is a contributor to the N36 billion that is expected to flow from the Federation account to Anambra state in 2012. If the money is rather shared among Nigerians (as some people suggest), el-Rufai will be entitled to his cash share in place of Anambra state. The presence of his brother mallams that provide indispensable services of security, water and meat in Anambra state is also a justification for el-Rufai to wish the state well. Therefore the views expressed by el-Rufai should be examined by the government and Anambra people for whatever they are worth and on this note, I hereunder further comment on them. I think it was on purpose that el-Rufai kicked off his write up by recapitulating Governor Obi’s

Apart from el-Rufai, everybody knows that it is not well with Anambra state in any aspect of human life. I have met non Nigerians that asked why I chose to “come from that place”, thinking that I have a choice like Americans to determine my state

background and the tortuous struggle the governor has gone through to claim and sustain his mandate. He reported that Governor Obi has a university degree in Philosophy and had served as chairman of a bank. These are rare attributes of a typical Anambra man that rather prides in his accumulation of wealth but lacking in the level of education and decency that can earn him the chairmanship of a bank, a position that requires a general perception of being clean. Governor Obi’s background in Philosophy is an enviable footing for leadership. While other disciplines focus on and deepen knowledge of an aspect of human quest, Philosophy envelopes all and seeks to rationalize and find reason for all actions of man. In ancient civilizations and even in modern developed nations, Philosophy and related disciplines are for the nobles while the rest chase disciplines that guarantee them economic survival. By recalling Governor Obi’s credentials and struggle to retain his mandate in the article one is reminded that such a labour deserves not to be in vain to Anambra state. Thus, if Governor Obi, with his background in Philosophy, relative financial stability at a young age and a determined fighting spirit to keep his mandate, does not get Anambra right, the time of restoration for the state remains indefinite. Another clear message from elRufai’s article is that Anambra state is not financially independent. The Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in Anambra state in a month cannot pay the salaries of civil servants in that month. Precisely, the budgeted IGR in 2012 can finance only three-quarters of the salaries of civil servants. The Federation Account pays one quarter of the salaries and all non-salary expenses, including all capital projects, petrol for the governor’s vehicles, food at the Government House, Awka and allowances for traditional rulers. In America, states do not receive allocation from the federation’s purse and if Nigeria were to operate like America, Anambra state will go bankrupt and liquidate in the first month of the transition. The position of Anambra is made more precarious by the fact that the state cannot claim surrendering tangible revenue to the Federation Account. Lagos, Kano Contd. on Page 35

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

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday, June 22, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday, June 22, 2012

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you