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Tuesday, June 22, 2021/ Dhul-Qaadah 11, 1442 AH Vol. 37 No. 001 N200

2622 Days after Malam Wada Maida (1950-2020), founding Chairman, Board of the Peoples Media Limited



. . . putting the people first

The nation awaits rescue of the remaining abducted Chibok schoolgirls

INEC introduces portal for online registration

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Niger govt mobilizes over 100 security personnel to rescue Tegina students page 5

Governor of Niger state Dr Abubakar sani Bello (middle) addressing troop’s, men and women of the Nigerian police, civil defense and vigilante corps shortly after a meeting with parents of the abducted Tegina islamiya school,with him 2nd left emir of kagara Mallam Ahmad Garba Attahiru 11, state commissioner of police ADAMU USMAN, chief of staff Ibrahim balarabe and commissioner for local government Abdulmalik Sarkin daji at Government science college kagara, yesterday in Niger state.

My faith in young generation unshakable, says Aisha Buhari

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Oil spillage: Court $430m Enugu-Cameroon APGA risks awards N82bn damages highway to be completed disqualification from against Mobil, NNPC before year end – AfDB Anambra guber poll pAGE 2

pAGE 3

pAGE 4

We inherited APC that was collapsing - Gov Buni pAGE 15


PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021

News CONTENTS News 2-14 Op.Ed


Politics 15-17 Stock Watch Business Metro

18 19-20 21

World Analysis 22 Africa News


World News


Oil spillage: Court awards N82bn damages against Mobil, NNPC By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja


ustice Taiwo Taiwo of a Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, awarded 81.9 billion as cumulative damages against Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The court held that the judgment debt must be paid within 14 days to the oil communities in Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, after which 8 percent interest will be accruable on the principal sum annually. Before the court was a joint suit instituted against the two defendants by the aggrieved oil producing communities. The Ibeno communities led by Obong Effiong Archianga and 9 others had through their lawyers, Chief Lucius Nwosu, SAN brought the action against NNPC, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited and ExxonMobil Corporation seeking about N100 billion compensation

for economic losses suffered from oil spillages caused by the defendants during exploration. According to the court, the giant oil company and NNPC were negligent in the way and manner they handled oil spills that caused environmental degradation in the communities. Justice Taiwo held that the NNPC was only interested in the revenue generations from the oil exploration at the expense of the lives of the people in the communities. The court said that it believed the oral and documentary evidence adduced by the plaintiffs to support their claims that lives were made miserable for them when their water and land were polluted through crude oil leakages from old oil pipelines. Justice Taiwo noted the claims of Mobil that it did clean up exercise and held that the American company failed to address the compensation that would have mitigated the

economic losses of the people said to be mainly fishermen and farmers. Besides, the judge described as unreliable witnesses called by Mobil adding that for no reason they became evasive during cross examination by counsel to the plaintiffs. Specifically, the court held that the oral and documentary evidence produced by Mobil company were not in any way helpful to the court as they were targeted at serving predetermined interest The judge further said that some of the witnesses ought not to have come to the court at all going by the discrepancies in the documents brought to the court, adding that they only embarked on guess research that is not reliable. The court further held that both Mobil and NNPC were negligent by their failure to visit places of the leakages of the crude oil that led to the contermination

Corps members conducting a blood pressure check of a traditional ruler, during a free medical outreach to the people of Yalwan Duguri in Alkaleri Local Government Area of Bauchi state on Monday (21/6/21).

Buhari approves establishment of 2 varsities of technology, health science Page 4


of Rivers and creeks. Justice Taiwo rejected the claims of the NNPC that the suit was statute barred in 2012 when it was filed by the aggrieved plaintiffs. The NNPC had claimed that the suit was not filed within 12 months by the plaintiffs as required by the provision of section 12, sub section 1 of the NNPC actb2004. But the judge held that the instant suit has to do with fundamental rights that cannot be rendered impotent by the statute of limitations. The judge held that section 11, subsection 5 of the oil Pipeline Act makes it mandatory for oil companies to monitor and repair their pipelines to avoid spillages and environmental degradation. Justice Taiwo consequently awarded the sum of N42.8 billion as damages for intangible losses, N21.9 billion special damages as annotated and N10 billion as general damages.


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NAFDAC to register, certify premises of chemical manufacturers


he National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is set to register, certify premises of chemical manufacturers in order to boost the nation’s economy. It has also agreed with manufacturers of chemical products in Nigeria to explore the international market with chemical products to enhance the nation’s foreign exchange earnings. A statement signed on Sunday

by the agency’s resident media consultant, Mr Olusayo Akintola, stated that NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, disclosed this during a virtual stakeholders’ meeting with chemical manufacturers. Adeyeye said that the product would also serve as a potent catalyst for industrial growth, adding that the current focus of the NAFDAC management was to ensure the agency’s regulatory activities was in line with

international best practices. She said that the aim of the stakeholders meeting was to sensitise, enlightene and create awareness on the current trends in the regulation of the manufacture of chemicals with emphasis on the need to be listed as a Chemical Manufacturer in Nigeria. The NAFDAC boss noted that the chemical evaluation and research directorate has the mandate to ensure that

only the right quality chemicals are manufactured, imported, exported, distributed, sold and used in Nigeria. Adeyeye disclosed that the directorate has put in place effective regulations and guidelines for sound chemical management in Nigeria. She said that this was achieved by ensuring proper utilisation of chemicals in a manner that reduces risk to health and environment.

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PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Ag News Editor, Tobias Lengnam News $430m Enugu-Cameroon highway to be completed before 2021 end – AfDB


he African Development Bank (AfDB) says the 430 million dollars highway project linking Enugu to Bamenda in Cameroon will be completed this year. The bank, in a statement issued on Monday, said that it was part of its investments in West Africa which currently stood at 16 billion dollars. The statement quoted the President of AfDB, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, as disclosing this in a speech at the 59th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in Ghana. According to Adesina, the 430 million dollars highway project will transform trade opportunities between the two countries. He also disclosed that the bank was working assiduously with the ECOWAS Commission to finalise feasibility studies for the AbidjanLagos corridor by the end of 2021. “We expect construction for the corridor to commence within 24 months,’’ Adesina said. The bank’s president said that the highway would link 85 per cent of the

Court remands man for allegedly beating woman to death


chief magistrate’s court in Ebute Meta, Lagos state, on Monday ordered that a 37-year-old man, Jamiu Popoola, who allegedly beat a woman to death , be remanded in custody in a correctional facility. Police charged Popoola with murder. Chief Magistrate OG Oghre, who did not accept Popoola’s plea, ordered that he be remanded in custody in the Ikoyi Correctional Center, pending legal advice from the state prosecutor director ( DPP). She ordered the police to refer the case to the DPP. Oghre adjourned the case until August 3. Earlier, prosecution attorney Inspector Doney Raphel told the court that the accused committed the offense on April 30 in Meiran, a suburb of Lagos. He alleged the suspect hit 35-year-old Ajoke Adeshemowo. The offense, he said, violated the provisions of article 223 of the Lagos State Criminal Law, 2015, which carries the death penalty. (NAA)

trade volume in ECOWAS through the corridor. Adesina, who pointed out that AfDB was investing massively in West Africa, said that the total active portfolio of the bank in West Africa currently stood at 16 billion dollars. According to him, the bank’s support for infrastructure in the ECOWAS region has doubled over the past five years, increasing from two billion dollars in 2015 to four billion dollars. “While I can list several projects in every country, let me just mention a few critical regional infrastructure. “The Senegambia Bridge is rapidly facilitating trade between

Senegal and The Gambia. “Our financing helped to double the capacity of the Lome container port in Togo, which is critical for regional transport and logistics. “The Bamako to San Pedro corridor has helped to expand trade between Côte d’Ivoire and Mali by 34 per cent, while reducing transit time at the border from 24 hours to just two hours. “The 303km road linking Ouagadougou and Lome has reduced travel time from six days to just two days. “Our 650 million dollars financing for the transport corridors linking Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia will

impact on economic opportunities for 51 million people. “I am pleased that this year, the bank will provide 105 million dollars financing for the road linking GuineaBissau and Senegal,’’ he said. Adesina further said that the 20 billion dollar Desert-to-Power programme on energy would develop 10,000 MW of solar power to light up the Sahel and provide access to electricity for 250 million people. “This project will make the Sahel the largest solar zone in the world. “Right here in Ghana, the bank’s financing of 120 million dollar for the new terminal at Kokota International Airport is having huge impacts

on regional transport and freight movements. “With the new terminal, freight handling has expanded by 30 per cent,’’ Adesina said. He added that the bank provided 4.5 million dollars for the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area secretariat in Accra, to further support regional trade in the continent. While recalling the effects of Covid-19 on the continent, the AfDB boss said the bank launched a 10 billion dollars facility to support African countries navigate through the challenging times posed by the pandemic. (NAN)

From left: Secretary, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr Shedrak Haruna; NDLEA Chairman, retired Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Marwa and United Nations Office on Drug and Crime, Mr Oliver Stolpe, during the news conference commencing the activities marking the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Abuja on Monday (21/6/21).

Yoga practice best under supervision to prevent complications – Physician


consulting family doctor, Dr Olujimi Sodipo, says the practice of yoga should be encouraged, but should be done in moderation and under expert supervision , to avoid complications . Sodipo, head of the family medicine department at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, made the claim in an interview with the Nigerian News Agency (NAN) on Monday in Lagos. Sodipo gave the advice in commemoration of International Yoga Day, celebrated every year on June 21. The celebration, which is themed “Yoga for Wellness” seeks to highlight how the practice of yoga could promote the holistic health of each individual.

Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. It involves techniques of movement, meditation and breathing to promote mental and physical well-being. Sodipo said people need to understand that yoga is not a treatment per se, but a complementary medical therapy that can be adopted to promote wellness. “A person can have stressinduced hypertension, causing blood pressure to fluctuate, and a doctor may recommend yoga. This does not mean that the medicine will stop. “But it could lead to a reduction in the number of drugs taken and promote a healthy lifestyle due to the practice of yoga,” he said.

He said, however, that most people do not see a doctor before practicing yoga, noting that there are contraindications that make yoga inappropriate for everyone. According to him, despite the health benefits of yoga, it can put the risk of injury to the neck, back, shoulders and could also cause muscle tears, if not practiced correctly. The doctor noted that the practice of yoga has not yet been fully adopted as a form of medical therapy in Nigeria, due to the insufficient number of certified service providers. “So there is the challenge that people could abuse it or abuse it. “Of course, this is an area that other health professionals can explore and be part of a health treatment that could be used to

manage chronic illnesses and mental health issues. “Right now we have fitness coaches offering it as part of their routine services. “The best option is to structure and regulate it, because for each technique, no matter how simple, complications can arise. “Some people don’t know much about the practice of yoga beyond what they got on the internet, and they offer the service and charge huge sums of money, resulting in health complications.” , did he declare. He advocated short-term, intensive training programs for medical professionals on the best yoga techniques to use, how long to practice, and why some people shouldn’t practice it. (NAA) (NAN)



By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja


here are strong indications that the leadership crisis rocking the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) might affect the party’s participation in the November 6, this year’s Anambra State governorship election. It was reliably gathered yesterday that the Independent National Electoral you, INEC, wrote to the APGA declaring as invalid, its failure to notify it (INEC) of the plan to hold ward congresses ahead of the governorship poll within the 21 days recommended by its regulations and Section 85 of the Electoral Act.

Buhari approves establishment of 2 varsities of technology, health science

PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021

APGA risks disqualification from Anambra guber poll The Prof Mahmood Yakubuled INEC, it will be recalled, has fixed the conduct of party primaries for the election of governorship candidate between June 10 and July 1. The electoral body, in a letter to the National Chairman,APGA drew the attention to the party’s letter of June 16, 2021, forwarding the list of delegates for the nomination of APGA’s governorship candidate in the forthcoming Anambra State governorship election. According to the letter, “This is to notify you that the records of the commission indicates that APGA did not duly notify

the commission of the date of the congress where the ad hoc delegates were elected as required by Section 85 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) “Accordingly the Commission is unable to confirm if the ad hoc delegates list submitted by your party is the outcome of a democratic process as required by Section 87(7) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). “The commission wishes to emphasise the need for full compliance with all legal requirements for the conduct of party primaries as earlier communicated in the Commissions letter to

your Party dated 37 June 2021 (REF: INEC/DEPM/ UPPM/119/1/37)”, it said. It will be recalled that INEC had earlie written to the principal counsel of a law firm, Omas and Partners, who had written and asked for the information while relying on the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. The letter, which was dated June 18, 2021 reads, “This is to inform you that the commission did not receive the statutory 21 days’ notice for the nomination of APGA Anambra State governorship candidate from Victor Oye led APGA. “Accordingly, the commission

Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya ( 2and Left) Presenting the Gombe state 19- year development plan to the UNICEF Chief of Bauchi Field Office, Dr. Tushar Rane ( 2and Right) while the first lady, Asma’u Inuwa Yahaya ( Left) and Deputy speaker of Gombe state House of Assembly, Hon . Siddi Buba look on during the launching of At-RiskChildren project in Gombe yesterday.

By Maryam Abeeb


resident Muhammadu Buhari has approved a takeoff grant of N18 billion for the establishment of two new universities of technology and two University of health sciences in 2021. The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, while announcing the development in Abuja, explained that the universities of technology will be located at Jigawa and Akwa Ibom States, while the universities of health sciences will be established in Azare, Bauchi State and Ila Orangun, Osun State respectively. Adamu said the approval was to fulfill Buhari’s promise to establish an apex National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Abuja with six Satellite Universities of Technology, one in each geo-political zone of the country. The minister who was represented by the Permanent secretary, Arch Sonny Ochono said the new Universities of Technology will be established in 2021 while the upgrade of the existing four Universities of Technology and the National Institute of Technology will come on stream next year. He said, “After a comprehensive review of the policy by key stakeholders in the education sector, it was resolved that the four (Anos) existing Universities of Technology located in Yola (North East), Akure (South West), Owerri (South East) and Minna (North Central) be upgraded and equipped while two (2nos) additional Universities of Technology to be located in Jigawa and Akwa Ibom States, would be established for the purpose. “Similarly, a National Institute of Technology (NIT) shall be established in Abuja. The Institute shall be patterned after similar institutions in Singapore and Malaysia to serve essentially as a postgraduate centre devoted to research and innovation, drawing the best graduates from the six (6nos) Universities of Technology, as well as other exceptional graduates from reputable universities within and outside Nigeria.

did not monitor the said ward congress and as such, there is no monitoring report of the Commission.” The INEC National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye could not be reached for confirmation, as his line was switched off, but a reliable source at the commission said the letter might have been leaked. According to him, “We have a channel of communicating to the media, which is through Okoye. So if the letter did not come from him that means it was leaked. That is all I can tell you now.”

NEC to deploy 5,346 personnel to 2,673 centres for voter registration By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja


s the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, resumes the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) on Monday, June 28, nationwide, the electoral body has revealed that it would deploy 5,346 personnel to man 2,673 registration centres. The Chairman of the Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu disclosed this yesterday in Abuja during the presentation of INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED) and online registration portal for the exercise at a meeting he held with media executives. IVED is an Android tablet to be used in place of the existing Data Capturing Machine used for CVR in previous exercises. The Commission, according to Prof. Yakubu, before now had 1,446 registration centres where

it registered 14. 2 million voters between 2017 and 2018. His words, “Learning from the experience of what happened, we have now almost doubled the number of those centres. “Our hope is that unlike 14.2 million we registered in the previous exercise, we are targeting a minimum of 20 million registrants this time. It will take the number of registered voters to about 100 million,’’ Yakubu said. He explained that a majority of the 5,346 personnel to be deployed would be INEC officials, while ad-hoc staff would be used where the Commission lacks the required number of personnel. The Commission, the INEC Chairman added, was working with stakeholders for the security of personnel and equipment to be deployed. Yakubu disclosed that the design for both the online

portal and IVED were done by INEC engineers, taking into consideration Nigeria’s peculiarity, including weather, for its durability. He stated that registrants would be able to know where machines for registration are located via the portal. The Commission, he further said, was working on ensuring that Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) for internally-displaced persons were reproduced for them so as not to be disenfranchised. He noted that many would have lost their cards while under siege. Prof. Yakubu also said that PVCs for newly-registered voters would be produced on quarterly basis after the registration, noting that the list of the registrants would be displayed at the registration units for claims and objections.

While presenting the online portal and IVED, INEC’s Director of ICT, Mr Chidi Nwafor, said that the online portal was designed to serve various needs of eligible Nigerians for the registration. These, according to Nwafor, include new registration, review of registration, and review of personal details or voting centres, PVCs replacement or collection. His words, “As a new voter, you can pre-register online, or as a registered voter, you can revalidate your voter registration, request to update your information or transfer your voter registration to another polling unit”. He explained that registrants could register their details online before going to the nearest registration centre selected by them for photographs and finger prints capturing to complete the exercise.

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PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021


Niger govt mobilizes over 100 security personnel to rescue Tegina students From Yakubu Minna



he Niger State Government has mobilized about hundreds of security combo taskforce to rescue 136 abducted students

of the Salihu Tanko Islamiya School of Tegina in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State. Governor Abubakar Sani Bello stated this while addressing combined security agencies comprising of the

Military, Police, Civil Defence Vigilante yesterday in Tegina. He assured that government has resolved to take decisive measures in ensuring the safe return of the children. Bello commended the security personnel for their

efforts in fighting the bandits in the last few weeks and revealed that logistics and finances have been provided to that effect. The governor also met with parents of the 136 kidnapped students of the Islammiya School and other stakeholders

at the palace of the Emir of Kagara, Alhaji Ahmed Garba Gunna. He commiserated with parents and urged them to be patient as government is exploring all avenues to ensure their safe rescue.

FG revolutionizing agriculture in Nigeria - Minister By Mashe Umaru Gwamna


he Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said the Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative are revolutionizing agriculture in Nigeria. The Minister made the remarks in Birnin Kudu, Jigawa State, when he led a Federal Government delegation on an inspection of Malam Alu Agro Allied Company Limited, which also hosts the tallest national flag pole in Nigeria and the second in Africa at 50 metres high. This was contained in a statement signed and issued by Special Assistant to the President (Media),Office of the Minister of Information and Culture,Segun Adeyemi. He said the Anchor Borrowers Programme, which was launched by the Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria, in 2015 to boost the nation’s agricultural sector!, has now catalysed the production of

such crops as rice, maize, wheat and tomato, among others, and boosted local production as well as conserved the nation’s foreign exchange through marked reduction in importation. “Then, there is the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, which is aimed at stimulating local production of NPK fertilizer by reviving moribund fertilizer plants and the local blending ferilizer industry, making fertilizer available to Nigerian farmers at affordable prices and saving $200 million in foreign exchange and N60 billion in budgetary provision for fertilizer subsidy, and of course creating thousands of jobs in the process,” he said. Mohammed lauded the foresight of the Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, for keying into the initiatives, thus attracting private investments like the Malam Alu Agro Allied Company Limited, to his state. “With these and the ingenious programmes of the state government, Jigawa is a shining

example of the success of the Federal Government Agricultural Revolution. I implore other farmers and other states to take advantage of the Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative to revolutionize agriculture in their areas,” he said. The Minister commended the Chairman of Malam Alu Agro Allied Company Limited, Faruk Adamu Aliyu, for his massive

investment not just in agriculture but in tourism by hoisting the tallest national flag pole on the farm, which will go a long way in attracting tourists to Birnin Kudu. “Today’s visit is a doublebarrelled one, aimed at showcasing successes in agriculture as well as in tourism. Malam Farouk has, as they say, used one stone to kill two birds. Not only is he showcasing success

in agriculture, he is also helping to make Jigawa a choice destination for tourists by erecting the tallest Nigerian flag pole in the country. This is good thinking for which I commend him,” he said. In his remarks, the Chairman of Malam Alu Agro Allied Company Limited, Alhaji Faruk Aliyu, said the 70-hectare sprawling complex is involved L-R: Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arc. Sunny Echono, Director Tertiary Education, Federal Ministry of Education, Hayiya Rakiya Gambo, Director, Physical Infrastructure Development, Tertiary Education TrustFund (TETFUND), Alh Buhari Mikailu and the Director Human Resources and General Administration TETFUND, Alh. Abubakar Adamu, during the Ministry pronouncement on the establishment of new Tertiary Institutions in the country, held yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

CVR: INEC introduces portal to enable eligible Nigerians register online By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja


he Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Monday, revealed that it is introducing a portal to enable eligible Nigerians to commence registration as voters online before completing the Continuous Voter Registration, CVR, exercise physically at designated centres nationwide. The Chairman of the Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu made the revelation at the second quarterly meeting with the Media executives in Abuja. The Commission had already slated Monday 28th June 2021, for the resumption of the the CVR nationwide. Prof Yakubu explained that this is the first time a major exercise “of this nature” is handled partially online, consistent with the Commission’s commitment to continue to deepen the use of technology in the electoral process in Nigeria.

The INEC Chairman pointed out that the expansion of voters’ access to polling units prepares the ground for the discharge of another important responsibility of the Commission. The registration of eligible Nigerians as voters, he added, is one of the immediate tasks before the Commission. According to Yakubu, “The expansion of voters’ access to polling units prepares the ground for the discharge of another important responsibility of the Commission. “The registration of eligible Nigerians as voters is one of the immediate tasks before the Commission. “Consequently, in the next one week, that is Monday 28th June 2021, the Commission will resume the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) nationwide. “In doing so, the Commission is introducing a portal to enable eligible Nigerians to commence registration as voters online before completing the exercise physically

at designated centres nationwide. “This is first time a major exercise of this nature is handled partially online consistent with the Commission’s commitment to continue to deepen the use of technology in the electoral process in Nigeria. “Just like the expansion of voter access to Polling Units, the Commission appeals to the media for support so that this novel idea will also be successful”, he said. The Commission, Yakubu disclosed, intends to undertake the CVR exercise over a period of at least one year. He stressed that the success of the exercise “depends to a considerable extent on citizens’ awareness through voter education”. Continuing, the INEC Chairman said “There will be new registrants, requests for intraState and inter-State transfers as well as the replacement of voters’ cards as provided by law. “Furthermore, with the relocation of voting points to

underserved areas as autonomous polling units, there is need for massive publicity so that citizens are familiar with their voting locations well ahead of all forthcoming elections. “We appeal for your partnership to achieve this goal”, he said. In a communique issued at the end, the meeting with Media executives commended the Commission for successfully expanding voter access with the creation of additional 56,872 polling units. The meeting noted that the creation of the additional polling units will improve voter access electoral services and facilitate increased participation of marginalized and vulnerable groups in the electoral process. According to the communique signed by Barrister Festus Okoye on behalf of INEC and Mr Chris Isiguzo and three others for NUJ, “That the Commission’s effort at deepening the use of electoral technology by creating the on-

line pre-registration portal is a welcome development. “That the CVR exercise scheduled to take place in 2,673 designated nationwide be devolved to the INEC LGA Area Council offices based on a thorough appraisal of rhe security situation and other related factors. “That the CVR exercise be gradually devolved to the other designated registration centres nationwide after further assessment of the security situation and other factors relating to the safety of personnel and materials. “That the Media will support the Commission to intensify voter education, especially on the CVR exercise to ensure that all eligible voters are mobilized to register and participate fully in rhe electoral process. “That all relevant stakeholders, especially political parties, traditional institutions, religious leaders and Civil Society Organisalions should mobilise all eligible registrants to participate in the CVR process”, it said.


PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021


Buhari Buhari to new Iranian President: Our nations greets will work towards closer cooperation former P IGP Arase at 65 By Egena Sunday Ode

By Sunday Ode


resident Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated former Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, on his 65th birthday, wishing the decorated officer the very best in health and strength as he continued to serve the nation, especially in advocacy. This was disclosed in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina on Monday. The President noted the reforms that the former Inspector General brought to Police in Nigeria, deploying his wealth of experience of working and training in many parts of the world to visualize and domesticate operations, after heading the topmost intelligence gathering unit of the Nigerian police, Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Bureau, the statement said. It added that President Buhari joined family members, friends and associates of the versatile retired officer in celebrating another milestone, coloured with recognitions from achievements of serving at national and international duties.

resident Muhammadu Buhari has said the election of Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi “once again reinforces the centrality of the will of the people to the success of democracy anywhere in the world.” This was disclosed in a statement by the Senior Spacial Assistant to the President on

Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu. In a reaction to the outcome of the election in Abuja on Monday, President Buhari said “Raisi deserves his victory in the presidential election,” the statement noted. Buhari, it said, explained that “democracy affords voters the opportunity to change or re-elect their representatives by peaceful means.”

He described Raisi as “a consummate politician with experience to lead his country to greater heights and a better future.” President Buhari urged Iranians “to brush political differences aside and support Raisi to succeed in efforts to help the country overcome its challenges, including the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and the crippling sanctions imposed on

the country.” While congratulating Raisi on his victory, President Buhari advised the President-elect “to unite the country for the sake of protecting the common interests of Iranians that transcend party lines.” May God guide and grant you wisdom in the discharge of the heavy responsibility your election entails,” President Buhari added.


We’ll end sexual, gender based violence - Dame Okowa


Bandits kill village head in Sanga LGA From:Femi Kaduna



andits have killed the the village head of Dogon Daji in Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna, Anja Mallam.

The State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan confirmed this in a statement made available to the media in Kaduna state yesterday. The statement stated that the bandits raided the residence of

the village head and shot him at close range, resulting in his instant death. The statement added Governor El-Rufai expressed sadness at the report and prayed for the repose of the soul of the village head.

He also sent condolences to the family of the deceased and the entire community of Dogon Daji over the shocking and brutal killing. El-Rufai assured the community that investigations into the incident are ongoing.

By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba


Chairman, National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd) (middle) flanked by the Country representative, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Mr. Oliver Stolpe (right) and the NDLEA Secretary, Mr. Shadrach Haruna (left), during the Agency world press conference of it achievement and official Flag-off week long activities marking the 2021 international day against drugs abuse and illicit trafficking. Theme: “Share Facts on Drugs”, held yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Association hails FG’s agric intervention programmes he Maize Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (MAGPAMAN), has commended the Federal Government for its agricultural intervention programmes aimed at driving food sufficiency in the country. The National President of MAGPAMAN, Dr Edwin Uche, made the commendation at the association’s national stakeholders meeting on Monday in Abuja. The meeting is focused on implementation of 2021 Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) wet season maize Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP). According to Uche, the present administration has supported agriculture through several intervention windows like the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) and other financial portfolios in the CBN. “You have cash commercial agric loan, real sector support facility, Bank of Industry and the Bank of Agriculture. “All these development banks have enjoyed some level of


PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021

government pressure in terms of creating portfolio that can support agriculture. “And for those of us who are farmers, we have never had it better in terms of investments in agriculture where our farmers have access to inputs, finance, technology, mentorship, quality leadership in agriculture and access to market. “Our farmers are able to drive agriculture from the point of profitability where a farmer is meant to understand that if I am putting in one naira, I am getting two naira. “Where farmers are meant to understand that they are critical players in the agenda called Nigeria and economic development of this country relies on their ability to contribute by growing his commodities and delivering results. `There has never been in the history of Nigeria where agriculture is in the front burner like it is today. “Every other thing is trying to set agriculture back but it has remained at the front burner,’’ Uche said.

He pledged farmers’ commitment to take positive decisions that would scale up maize production in the country to meet local demand, industrial use and for export. According to him, our resolve to do what is right, get it right and drive a process that is transparent, efficient and effective determines the future of agriculture, specifically maize in Nigeria. “It is for us to look inwards to see how best we can improve on what we have done and do it better in our future programmes,’’ he added. While lamenting the effect of COVID-19 on maize production in Nigeria in 2020, the National President of the association expressed optimism that 2021 would record improved yields. He said “2020 was a COVID year that grossly affected what we are doing in terms of agriculture but 2021 holds a bigger promise. It is a deliverance year. “It is a year we must be forced to keep the promise of 2020 and that of 2021, so we make a firm

statement to our stakeholders that we are equal to the task and we are ready to deliver. “We are going to build on our successes in the previous years and close up the gaps that existed in the past to deliver better and more profitable value to Nigerians,’’ Uche said. He tasked the farmers to create more jobs by adding value to maize. On his part, Dr Bello Dogandaji, the National Secretary, Federation of Agricultural Commodity Association of Nigeria (FACAN), expressed confidence on members of the association to harness the potential in maize. Dogondaji tasked the maize farmers to scale up production to support the CBN in meeting the production of 12.5 million metric tons of maize in the country. “Nigeria’s farmers must grow enough maize to bridge the gap in maize production and support government’s ban on maize importation,’’ he said. On his part, Mr Inuwa Ibrahim, Senior Commercial Officer, Commodities and Export

Department, Ministry of Trade and Investment, urged the farmers to triple efforts in adding value to maize as a commodity. Ibrahim emphasised the ministry’s commitment to partner with commodity associations that were determined to promote food security in the country. He urged the maize farmers to leverage on the CBN, ABP support to prove they could produce for local demand and industrial use. Mr Saad Taura, the Chairman, MAGPAMAN, Jigawa, harped on the need for early preparation toward the 2021 wet season. “Preparation is the key to success pertaining maize production. So with the early steps and level we are taking like early distribution of inputs to the farmers and going by the experience in 2020, we are hoping to have bumper harvest.’’ He said that Jigawa targets to have up to 90 per cent production in 2021. Taura, however, listed insecurity, flooding and drought as some of the challenges confronting maize production in the country.

he wife of Delta state governor, Dame Edith Okowa, on Monday, said no effort would be spared in completely stamping out sexual and gender based violence from the state. Dame Okowa who is the founder of 05 Initiative, disclosed this at Government House, Asaba, during the ceremony of an advocacy programme against sexual and gender- based violence organised by Orange Brigade in partnership with Delta State Government’s Girl Child Empowerment Office. She advised victims of sexual and gender violence to speak up, and affirmed that the state government has enacted laws to protect the rights of girls, boys and others who may be exposed to abuse. While commending Orange Brigade for championing the campaign against sexual and gender violence, she called on girls not to see their gender as a barrier to the realisation of their dreams. “Nobody can direct your destiny, you should be serious in your academic activities to actualise your God-given potentials in life. “In Delta State, we don’t tolerate sexual and gender based violence. There are laws put in place by the state government to prosecute anybody caught perpetrating the criminal act (sexual and gender based violence). “The state government is working with the police and other relevant security agencies to ensure that perpetrators of the criminal act are brought to book. “When you hear something, say something and when you see something, say something. Young girls should not allow themselves to be intimidated or belittled,” the governor’s wife said. Dame Okowa who was inducted as Squadron Leader of Orange Brigade in Delta State, pledged to join hands with stakeholders in the collective fight against abuse of any child in the state and the country.

From left: Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Gov. Mohammed Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa and the Chairman of Malam Alu Agro Allied Company Limited and a foremost APC Stalwart, Alhaji Farouk Adamu Aliyu, conducting a Federal Government delegation round the Green House on the farm in Birnin Kudu, Jigawa State on Monday 21/6/21

Drugs abuse bane of insecurity -PCN From: Femi Kaduna



he Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), has attributed the insecurity bedeviling the country to easy

access to psychotropic drugs by the youth. The Chairman of the Council Prof. Ahmed Mora disclosed this during a one day sensitization workshop. According to him, the

youths easily pick these addictive drugs across the counter to abuse them even without prescription. As a result of these ugly trent, Prof. Mora, said PCN has embarked on

regulation of controlled and psychotropic drugs, as well as identifying fake drugs through the planned electronic registration of manufactured and imported drugs.

Delta internal revenue suspends consultant By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba


he Delta State Internal Revenue Service has announced the suspension of GREAT HENRY VENTURES as a haulage consultant with the

service in the state until further notice. In a statement issued in Warri, the Executive Chairman of the service, Sir Monday Onyeme, authorised the suspension. The Statement which was

signed by the Public Relations Officer of the Service, Giovanni Emephia, revealed that Great Henry Ventures had been “prohibited from conducting any business or activity for, or in the name of the Delta State Internal

Revenue Service until further notice.” The statement further advised operators in the haulage industry in the state, security agencies and members of the public to be guided by the directive.

PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021



My faith in young generation Alleged unshakable —Aisha Buhari sexual T assault: Baba Ijesha to be arraigned on June 24 he First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, on Monday said that her faith in younger generation of Nigerian women and youths remained unshakable. Mrs Buhari said this at the maiden edition of All

Progressives Congress (APC) Youths Conference in Abuja. Represented by her Senior Special Assistant on Women Affairs and Administration, Dr Rukayyatu Gurin, the first lady expressed her unalloyed support and commitment to the

party. She expressed hope that the event would achieve the desired objectives in ensuring greater commitment of all members towards unity and progress of APC. ” I believe that the

conference will achieve its aims and objectives. ” My faith in young people remain unshaken, I thank you all for your continued support to the Buhari administration. ” I assure you that you have my support,” she said(NAN).


Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim (2nd L), speaking with some Corps medical personnel, during the inauguration of the Nationwide Health Week under the NYSC health initiative for rural areas, in Abuja on Monday (21/6/21). With him is the FCT Coordinator, Alhaji Abdul Suleman

CEPEJ, IPCR signs MoU for peace, conflict resolution By Mashe Umaru Gwamna


Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) under the aegies of Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) for continuous campaign for peaceful co-existence and conflict resolution in the Niger

Delta region and beyond. Speaking at the signing ceremony recently, the National Coordinator, Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), Mulade Sheriff said, “I am delighted to be here today to sign an agreement to formalize and deepen the partnership between CEPEJ and the Institute for peace and conflict resolution (IPCR). “This agreement is indeed a significant milestone in our

ongoing collaboration.” Sheriff on behalf of CEPEJ donated a building structure within its premises at Ugolo in Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State for the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) to operate as its SouthSouth Zonal office free of charge to cover the whole of the Niger Delta. He explained that a peaceful organisation like ours is very important now than ever, we do

our best to bring communities together while trying to meet other Sustainable Development Goals. On his part, Director General (IPCR), Prof. Bakut Tswah Bakut, said that, the signing of the MoU will no doubt bring a new dawn in Niger Delta, Nigeria and Africa as a whole. He said CEPEJ has overtime proven itself to be worthy of the Federal Government partnership.

ollywood actor, Olanrewaju Omiyinka alias Baba Ijesha is to be arraigned at an Ikeja Special Offences Court on Thursday over allegations of sexual assault of a minor. Baba Ijesha who has been in custody since his arrest on April 22, is to stand trial before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo on June 24 the judge’s cause list has revealed. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the matter is listed on causelist of the Court. NAN reports hat the actor was arraigned on June 16 in t a Yaba Magistrates’ Court on charges of indecent treatment of a child, defilement of a child, sexual assault by penetration, attempted sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault. He pleaded not guilty to the charge but was however ordered to be remanded in custody by Magistrate P.E Nwaka due to indications that the matter is before the High Court. Magistrates Nwaka in that ruling said: ”I have carefully considered the application of the counsel to the defendant seeking bail for the defendant and the opposition by the counsel from the DPP. “Since there are indications that the matter is before the high court and the defendant will appear before the court, no bail can be given. “The defendant must be accorded full medical attention by the authorities pending his arraignment at the High Court.” (NAN)

Former Niger Delta Minister laments lack of devt in Benue From: Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


ormer Minister for State, Niger Delta under Goodluck Jonathan administration, Sam Ode has noted that even in the near war torn North

Eastern part of Nigeria, States are posting good results, maintaining that there is need for Benue State to have a new lease of life. Ode who said this at the weekend during a parley with journalists at his residence in Makurdi, averred that the state earnestly needs development.

The erstwhile minister regretted that the state has remained in one spot while the rest of the world is moving on, boasting that if given the opportunity to govern the state, he has the qualities to make a difference. “I know the State very well. I have

function in the local government system, the State government structure, and was privilege by the Grace of God to function in the Federal cabinet and coupled with all the intellectual attainment, I believe that my thought process is properly positioned to serve the State.”


PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021

NAFDAC to register, certify premises of chemical manufacturers


he National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is set to register, certify premises of chemical manufacturers in order to boost the nation’s economy. It has also agreed with manufacturers of chemical products in Nigeria to explore the international market with chemical products to enhance the nation’s foreign exchange earnings. A statement signed on Sunday by the agency’s resident media consultant, Mr Olusayo Akintola, stated that NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, disclosed this during a virtual stakeholders’ meeting with chemical manufacturers. Adeyeye said that the product would also serve as a potent catalyst for industrial growth, adding that the current focus of the NAFDAC management was to ensure the agency’s regulatory activities was in line with international best practices. She said that the aim of the stakeholders meeting was to sensitise, enlightene and create awareness on the current trends in the regulation of the manufacture of chemicals with emphasis on the need to be listed as a Chemical Manufacturer in Nigeria. The NAFDAC boss noted that the chemical evaluation and research directorate has the mandate to ensure that only the right quality chemicals are manufactured, imported, exported, distributed, sold and used in Nigeria. Adeyeye disclosed that the directorate has put in place effective regulations and guidelines for sound chemical management in Nigeria. She said that this was achieved by ensuring proper utilisation of chemicals in a manner that reduces risk to health and environment. Adeyeye said that it also advocate for use of chemicals that are less harmful and hazardous, adding that, a portal had been created by the agency for registration of chemical products for strict adherence to international best practices. She further said that chemical products manufactured in Nigeria would enjoy wider acceptability and high competitiveness with the NAFDAC registration identity. According to her, penetrating the international market will bring growth to the industry, and more Nigerians will secure employment opportunities sequel to the expected expansion in the operations of the manufacturers. ‘’Chemicals no doubt play a pivotal role in the economic development of any country, Nigeria as an economy in transition has many needs of chemicals for her numerous industries. “Some of these chemicals are now manufactured in the country and this creates an environment of heightened concern that NAFDAC is expected to play a leading role in strengthening chemical safety and security.


Effective leadership recruitment, key to APC’s survival - Gbajabiamila

By Christiana Ekpa


or the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the progressive movement to survive in Nigeria, there must be a deliberate and effective system of leadership recruitment to identify and prepare people, especially the youth, to occupy the important offices of party and government, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has said. Gbajabiamila said this was the practice all over the world, especially in countries where democracy had developed over the years. Speaking at the 2021 Progressives Youth Conference of the APC in Abuja on Monday, Gbajabiamila said the party needed to identify competent people both at home and in the diaspora and bring them on board to be “effective champions of progressivism in the country and in government.” The speaker also said translating good manifestos into policies by political parties remained the foundation for achievements. “Political party manifestos are a statement of vision and

vision is the foundation of all achievements. For a nation such as ours to succeed, we must first define a common vision that will inspire us, bring us together, and provide the focus that allows us to persevere through the inevitable difficult times”, Gbajabiamila. He noted further, “Political parties exist to mobilise public support to form a government and to superintend over the affairs of the state. To be successful in this regard, political parties must reflect in their membership, the broad spectrum of the society it seeks to govern. “As is the case with all other contractual documents, the commitments contained in the party manifesto are the basis upon which the party’s record in government will be measured and its leaders will be assessed both in real-time and in the judgment of history. As it has been throughout history, so also will it be for us in the All Progressives Congress (APC) as we too will answer for what we have done with our time in government. “I believe that much has been accomplished despite the fact of the many obstacles that have stood in our way. Yet, there is still much left to do in the two

years we have left to complete our assignment. “For the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the progressive movement to survive in Nigeria, we must commit ourselves to a deliberate and effective system of leadership recruitment to identify and prepare people – young people especially, to occupy the important offices of party and government. “We need to identify people from the professional ranks and the private sector, from here at home and in the diaspora. We need to bring them into the fold and prepare them to become effective champions of progressivism in the country and in government. “As we recruit and train, we must also make sure that we elevate those who have been with us the longest, who fully embrace the principles of progressivism, who understand the vision of the progressive manifesto and who by their actions and antecedents have proven that they have the capacity to translate our manifesto into policies and practices for the good of our country and all our people. Gbajabiamila also said the

most important factor that determined whether a political party in government would succeed in implementing its manifesto would be the process by which the party arrived at the manifesto in the first instance. “If the manifesto of the party is merely a compendium of promises put together for electoral purposes without any consideration of the personnel and resources required to achieve them, then it is unlikely to succeed. “However, when as it should be, the manifesto is a statement of carefully thought-out principles, it becomes a guideline for governance, a reference for policy-making and a motivational text to which the members of the government will return, time and again, to draw inspiration and reinforce clarity of purpose.” The Speaker noted that the second most important consideration for successfully implementing political party manifestos was the character and ability of the men and women to be chosen from amongst the ranks of the party’s membership to take up office in government and drive the implementation of the manifestos.

Residents queue to be accessed by NYSC Corps members during a free medical outreach at Bole Community in Yola South in Adamawa on Monday (21/6/21).

Flood: Okowa appeals to Warri residents for patience on control project By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba


equel to flooding currently being recorded in Warri, Effurun and environs resulting from heavy downpour, the Governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, has appealed to residents

of the area for patience as the State Government has intensified effort in tackling the problem. According to Okowa in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba on Monday, contract for Storm Drainage projects to address

the flood menace in the area has since been awarded, and work is progressively ongoing on them. He said that the projects were in three phases, and that work was speedily ongoing on two major phases which were expected to be completed in 24 months.

The governor stated that between Saturday and Monday, the contractor and officials of WarriUwvie and Environs Development Agency worked assiduously on measures to check the level of flooding occasioned by the rainfall in the area.

PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021



Lalong, IGP commission security patrol cars/motorcycles

By Yusuf Mairiga Shekarau, Jos


he Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Alkali Baba on Monday 21st June 2021,

joined Governor Simon Bako Lalong at the premises of the Government House in Rayfield Jos, to inaugurate 50 new patrol vehicles and 200 security motorcycles procured by the

Government of Plateau State. Governor Lalong described the event as a momentous occasion that is aimed at boosting the capacity of security agencies in the state towards tackling

criminal activities and resurging attacks on innocent citizens. He said, "to a very large extent and without sounding immodest, we have made giant strides in restoring peace in Plateau

State by bringing down the level of insecurity and restoring confidence of the citizens as well as attracting investors, visitors and tourists who continue to troop into the state in large numbers.”

NIMET begins training of aeronautical observers, forecasters in Katsina From Lawal Katsina




he Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has commenced training of 70 Aeronautical and Meteorological Forecasters/ Observers with a view to ensure safety in the aviation sector. Addressing the participants at the flag-off ceremony of the refresher course, the Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Professor Mansur Bako Matazu, said the course is part of the agency's activities to ensure quality in training content and service delivery of the sector to continuously subjecting the WMO review on the latest rueconfirmation with certificates of Management System (QMS) and International Standard Organisation (ISO) in 2019. According to the DG, the 9th edition of refresher course is not only limited to the Aeronautical Meteorological Personnel of the

Agency, but involved inter alia, short and specialised courses in Agricultural Meteorological services, Disaster Risk reduction, climate change, programme, numerical weather prediction,

climate and health, geographical information system, performance management system among others. Matazu who was represented by the director administration

and supply of the agency Hajiya Rabi'atu Muhammad Daku added that, "One of the core areas of activities of NiMet is the Aeronautical Meteorological Services (that is services rendered

to the aviation sector). As you may all be aware, in aviation, it is safety, safety and safety. Meteorological Services is one of the key components of this safety of lives and property.

R-L: Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami with the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, during the Ambassador’s working to the Minister, yesterday in Abuja.

From Umar Dankano,Yola




he National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) offered free medical services to no fewer than two million persons in the last seven years, an official has said. NYSC Coordinator in Edo, Mrs Olubukola Abiodun, stated this on Monday in Auchi at the start of a week-long Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers (HIRD). Abiodun, represented by the Assistant Director, Community Development Service, Mrs Clara Isede, said the NYSC health programme was to promote the wellbeing of indigent persons at the grassroots. “Driven by our determination

to deepen the impact of our healthcare services, management launched the HIRD in 2014. “The programme is largely implemented through medical outreaches in communities across the country. “During the exercise, the corps medical volunteers carry out diagnosis; treatment, medical procedures; drugs, eye glasses and other medical consumables are also given to patients free of charge. “So far, over two million persons have been attended to by the NYSC medical teams on the HIRD platform. “The scheme has donated

over 300 wheelchairs with support of partners through this programme,’’ she said. Abiodun said that the scheme had been using other community development service platform to make more frequent healthrelated interventions. She added that such interventions include health survey, construction of cottage clinics, campaign against HIV/AIDs, malaria control, immunisation against polio and other killer diseases. The coordinator said the scheme had concluded plans to set up mobile clinics for wider outreach, adding that this was

aimed at increasing medical services to the rural dwellers. Mr Dada Abubakar, a community leader in Auchi, thanked the NYSC for the gesture and urged the people to come out en mass for the free medical service. “This is a great initiative, and we appreciate them for the outreach. “Health is wealth, they (people) should take their health seriously, when they hear anything, especially free medical care, they should come out enmass and use the opportunity to test themselves,’’ Abubakar said. (NAN)

Letter to the Editor


Track down the economic saboteurs


e are familiar with vandals the development to journalists. He who break pipelines in order said the incident occurred at KM 30, to scoop refined petrol to sell Adogo, a Kogi state section of the rail. in the black market. It is a lucrative The vandalization happened few days business for criminals but one at a huge after the NRC announced the arrests of cost to the national economy. Now there two persons suspected of vandalising is a new entrant into the under world sleepers on the Kaduna-Zaria railline. of crime - the one who cuts up iron rail Haruna Sabo, the NRC northern sleepers or the rail track vandal. district engineer, who made the The Police Command in Kaduna announcement, said those arrested State recently said it had arrested were members of a syndicate that five suspected rail track vandals specialised in removing rail clips that and recovered two trucks loaded hold sleepers and rail tracks together. with locomotive rail track sleepers. “The removal of the bolt and knot, Command spokesman, Assistant rails clips on the track was one of the Superintendent of Police (ASP) reasons for the recent derailment of Mohammed Jalige, who announced trains in Kaduna,” Sabo said. the arrests and seizures in a statement, The immediate consequence of said the command, on May 13, acting this “new crime’ is the real danger of on “reliable information”, arrested five train derailment such as the one that persons in Dalle village in Jema’a Local Sabo mentioned. The vandals operate Government Area of Kaduna in dead night and by state. According to him, the next morning it is too suspects were undergoing late to warn off railway interrogation and effort was managers. The human being intensified to identify toll of derailment is all those involved in the always heavy, not to destruction of “the critical The long term effect talk of damaged trucks. national infrastructure”. The long term is the setback Jalige made a clarification effect is the setback on the video and pictures vandalism causes in vandalism causes in of a vandalised rail track our rail infrastructure our rail infrastructure circulating on social media This development. This development. platforms which was said is critical national to be the Abuja–Kaduna is critical national infrastructure being rail track. “The Command to expand infrastructure being upgraded wishes to clarify and allay socioeconomic activity. the fear of all train users that upgraded to expand Vandalism certainly the said video and pictures will slow it down. socioeconomic have nothing to do with It is for those reasons Abuja–Kaduna rail track, as activity. Vandalism that we suggest that train services are ongoing.” be done fast certainly will slow it something He said the video and the to nip this new crime down pictures in circulation in the bud. Security of emanated from Enugu State the rail network, we where the Nigeria Security understand, is the main and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) responsibility of the National Security apprehended and paraded some rail and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). Let track vandals. it be seen to up to the task. If it needs Another recent viral video clip help from sisterly services, let it say so. showed some persons using saw-like Who are the criminals? Engr. objects to cut the Itakpe-Warri railway Okhiria recently said the vandals line in pieces. It links Warri in Delta arrested in Makurdi, Benue State, were State to Ajaokuta in Kogi State. Bolts Chinese, people who were part of the and knots had been removed, showing Chinese team that built the raillines. the vandals’ intention to steal the iron This makes it clear that these things rails. It was inaugurated by President are insider jobs. But they couldn’t do it Muhammadu Buhari in September without help from NRC staff. They and 2020. In April, Rotimi Amaechi, their Nigerian collaborators should be minister of transportation, also flagged fished out, prosecuted and punished. off freight and haulage services on the What more, the NRC and security rail line. should enlist the assistance of Fidet Okhiria, managing director/ communities through which the rail chief executive officer of Nigerian lines run. Their knowledge of the Railway Corporation (NRC), confirmed locales will help in no small way.

Fintiri swaps 6 commissioners NYSC offers free medical services to 2 million rural dwellers

he Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has approved a minor cabinet reshuffle affecting six commissioners who were swapped. In a press statement issued by his press secretary, Humwashi Wonosikou in Yola Weekend, the commissioners were directed to hand over and move to new assigned ministries immediately. "His Excellency, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has approved a minor cabinet swap of the Adamawa state executive council.

PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021



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Buhari on the Arise TV interview By Musa Ilallah


ooking healthier and younger, President Muhammadu Buhari was at his best recently during an almost one hour Arise TV, a private television station special interview. It is his first television interview this year. The interview which was from all indications recorded earlier, offered the opportunity to President Buhari, in his usual composure to meticulously respond to a number of burning issues in the polity questions ranging from economy, security, job creation, un employment and appointments among others. Anchored by Arise TV’s owner, Nduka Obaigbena and ably assisted by seasoned journalists and former Media Aides to ex Presidents Umaru Yar’adua (late) and Goodluck Jonathan, Segun Adeniyi and Reuben Abati respectively, President Buhari in his usual disposition seized the opportunity to further defend actions he had taken in addressing various challenges staring the country in the face. Firing his first shot at the Governors on securing their states and funding the LGCs, PMB in his boldness wondered why ‘some Governors should not sit back in their states after winning elections rather than expect people to do the jobs for them’. The ever blunt leader not minding who gets hurt by the truth added: “i demand you sit up and handle the worsening insecurity in your respective states.” To the surprise of most well meaning Nigerians, some state governors can’t initiate home grown approaches to deal with the security challenges before rushing to the federal government for its support. While advising the governors to revert to excellent and effective traditional ways of tackling insecurity in their states, he urged them to involve traditional institutions and community leaders at the state and local levels in their search to permanent solutions to the issues affecting their people. The President recalled “two SW Governors came to me to say cattle rearers are destroying farms in their states, I asked them what happened to the grassroot security panels from Traditional Rulers to Local Governments who meet regularly to identify the root of their problems and identify crooks within their environment and apprehend the criminals. Who destroyed this system? Go back and fix it, give your people sense of belongings. I don’t like it when people campaigning to become Governors and people trusted them with their votes and after winning, they can’t perform. They’re trying to push responsibilities to others. ........we have three tiers of Government, Federal, State and Local. We have killed the Local Government totally. We will send N300m as allocation to a Local Government, one Governor will ask the LG Chairman to sign that he collected N300m but he will give him N100m and the Chairman will keep quiet.....is that how we will continue???”. Can any leader be more blunt? It is very sad that state governors have over the years emasculated LGCs by denying them statutory funds to run the third tier of government. The financial autonomy granted the LGAs courtesy of the Presidential Executive Order as contained in the country’s 1999 constitution has not made the governors to release LGCs funding wholesale. With this development, the LGC structure is basically non existent. LGCs as the third tier of governance have become the laughing stock of the country. I strongly share in the thoughts of President Buhari that the Local Government is the base, foundation and cornerstone of development at the grassroot level. Indeed this is the most important tier of government accessible to the common man and faster in providing service to the people. As the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the country, PMB told Arise TV team that as part of his resolve and commitment to deal with the country’s security threat: “i ordered the

country’s military and police to be ruthless with terrorists in the country and deal with them in the language they understand.” In debunking criticisms that his appointments are lopsided in favour of the North, PMB stated that all appointments he makes are strictly based on merit and not based on ethnic or regional balance. He added: “I can not jettison seniority and merit for balance and federal character.” Talking about the 2023 elections in the country, PMB was so confident that ‘APC will continue to rule Nigeria after my tenure. So, Abati, tell anyone who wants to be Nigeria’s President in 2023 to join the APC as APC has no other strategy to win elections apart from mobilizing people from bottom to top as seen in our party membership registration.’ When asked to speak about what will be his legacy after leaving office, PMB said “I will accept whatever verdict Nigerians pass on me. I hope they will be fair. However, I would go to my farm daily and keep myself busy”. A very modest and down to earth leader. On agitations for the break up of the country especially those coming from IPOB, ESN and Odudua republic groups among others, President Buhari in his wisdom and as a very senior military officer who fought in the country’s civil war said: “Dividing Nigeria piecemeal is not any solution. It‘s a wrong signal to all investors. So each Republic will become a paradise? How do we share what United us? What we have done together within such a record time? I‘m surprised Nigerian elites watch these un informed lots to make criminal statements every day, we are all better off as Nigeria”. Responding to a question on facing the challenges of unemployment in the country, President Buhari admitted that Nigeria’s quest to attract Foreign Direct Investments, FDI that will create more jobs, address unemployment and uplift millions of our people out of poverty hinges on secured environment which is a collective responsibility. Collective responsibility indeed to all Patriotic Nigerians. Making reference to the tweet deleted by Twitter that it considered a breach to it’s norm, he said: “many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian civil war. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war will treat them in the language they understand.” one is tempted to ask: is this not a statement of fact? Successes recorded by the PMB administration over the last 6 years and his style of governance have further confirmed to me and all well meaning Nigerians that PMB is a grand master of the game who is acknowledged both locally and internationally as an examplary selfless leader, a nationalist and a Patriot. Another sensitive area that touches the lives of all APC members as 2023 approaches is the issue of zoning. Responding to a question on zoning, PMB said: “nobody has the power to decide his successor for the APC. Only members have that power to decide their fate”. This is without doubt a clear message to individuals who think they can single handedly decide for the members a zoning formula for the party. It is clear that the current restructuring of the party from the ‘bottom to the top’ in the hands of its national caretaker committee led by it’s Chairman and Yobe state Governor, Mai Mala Buni will unambiguously lay the foundation for a successful zoning formula that will be a win-win for all members of the APC. For me, the Arise TV interview and that with the NTA two days after by the President has further rekindled the trust and confidence Nigerians have on the leadership skills, wisdom, ability and capacity of PMB to deal with them and thus fully deliver on his campaign promises before exiting power on May 29, 2023. ILALLAH WROTE IN FROM EMEKA ANYAOKU STREET, ABUJA musahk123@,yahoo.com



PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Public opinion and South East festering insecurity By Jerome-Mario Utomi


n the words of Annie Dillard, contemporary American writer, Writing trade or better still the sensation of writing, is an unmerited grace. It is handed to you but only if you look for it. You search, you break your heart, your back, you brain and then and only then –is it handed to you. Without a doubt, the gift of writing has helped shape public opinion. And public opinion has assisted modern society/ nations developing- societies that uphold the notion that common understanding and purpose cannot arise without effective communication and constructive conflict, which in turn depend on inter personal skills, objectivity, active listening, giving the benefits of the doubts, and recognizing the interest and achievements of others. Writings have helped in advancing human civilization and promoted neighborliness. On the other hands, rejection of opinions about nation building coming social analysts, public affairs commentators and critics have also ‘helped’ society descend into anarchy. Government decides otherwise. To use the words of ALGORE, former Vice President of the United States, such rejection of public opinion by leaders is a sign of being unaware that the viability of democracy depends upon the openness, reliability, appropriateness, and two-way nature of the communication environment. But when the messages they receive from the government and media feed/ grows cynicism, the decline of democracy can be accelerated. Now, talking about the present political and socioeconomic

challenge in Nigeria and more particularly, the security challenge in the South East, mountains of evidence points to the fact that flagrant disregard for public opinions, ignoring advice/admonitions from wellmeaning Nigerians and groups, paying no attention to political and socioeconomic concerns expressed by the people as well as thoughtless undermining of institutions in the country set the stage for the current debacle, To illustrate this fact, like many other well meaning Nigerians desirous of building a one united/ indivisible Nigeria, I recall posting a piece entitle Wobbly tripod and doctrine of ‘Trinity’ (see the Guardian of 28 June 2017), The piece among other things, expressed concern about the wave of secessionist sentiments sweeping across the country with restive youths in the north and south east as the main gladiators, demanding the marriage of 1914 be ended as the basis for its continued existence has severely been weakened. Chiefly, While it noted that the very vociferous agitation for Biafra’s restoration by Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, led by youthful Nnamdi Kanu has been the loudest of the separatist movements and should be a reality to worry about, the piece substantially, significantly and specifically, pointed out to the governors of the south-east states, that they are not expected to support a group that is advocating the dissolution of Nigeria but however added that Biafra agitators are still their subjects and citizens of this great country. That alone qualifies them to be listened to. Even as it underlined the imperativeness of such

actions, the author went ahead to urge South Eastern Governors to dialogue with IPOB. For the avoidance of doubt, that suggestion was predicated on dousing the clamour for nation’s disintegration as there is no denying the fact that even with the defeat of the Igbo in the Nigeria/ Biafra civil war, the majority of the people, especially those born after the war harbour immense sentiment for separate political and cultural identity for the Igbo nation in the mould of restoration of the short-lived Republic of Biafra. Before arguing this position/ claim with me, wait till you cast a glance at the sequence below. At the return of democracy in 1999, Ralph Uwazurike , an Indian-trained Lawyer, from Imo State ignited a passion for Biafra among south east youths via his separatist platform ‘’ Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra’’ (MASSOB). MASSOB and its founder enjoyed tremendous following and respect among mostly youths of the region that it almost became an alternative government in the south east. The group’s sit-at- home orders were religiously obeyed just as the one declared by IPOB on May 30th was a monster success. Uwazuruike’s support base has since drastically waned following dissent in MASSOB. But from the ashes of MASSOB’s byegone years of strident pro-Biafra agitation came Kanu and IPOB, a much more vitriolic but charming personality and organisation. Kanu happened on the national and international limelight through a pirate radio Biafra which he used as a vehicle to promote the agitation to actualise the Indigenous People of Biafra

(IPOB) quest for independence. Two factors have so far worked for Kanu in his separatist agenda: His long incarceration by the Buhari government over Biafra and the recent quit notice given to the Igbo residing in the north by Arewa youths. Both factors, apparently unknown to President Buhari’s handlers, have helped and still helping IPOB and Kanu’s cause. One, his incarceration for almost two years helped to project him to his supporters, a mass of Igbo youths, and the international community as a prisoner of conscience and freedom fighter. This has not only made Biafra more attractive to most south easterners and portrays Kanu as a messiah of the Igbo but has triggered off a chain of secessionist sentiments in the south west and south south. Random sampling of opinion of pro-Biafra supporters indicates that they have rock-solid belief in their cause and are even prepared to give their lives to actualize it. They also believe that in no distant future, Biafra will be realized and point to the total compliance by the entire south-east and some parts of the south-south states like Delta and Rivers to IPOB’s sit-at-home order as evidence of the justness of the Biafra cause and unstoppable progress of their dream. While those of us who believe in the unity of Nigeria may not agree with Kanu’s campaign or campaign of any group or ethnic nationality to dismember Nigeria, the truth must be told to the effect that the whole gamut of restiveness of youths, whether in the southeast, south-south, north or southwest, and resurgent demand for the dissolution of Nigeria stem from mindless exclusion, injustice

and economic deprivation. In fact, former President Olusegun Obasanjo in a speech delivered at the 2017 African Leadership Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa, August 24-25, 2017, also shared a similar thought. He said in parts; we can go on and on. I have seen that the dynamics of power and human beings insatiable urge to superintend others and disregard their feelings are at the heart of instability and conflicts in countries around Africa. Back home in Nigeria, beside the 30-month Civil War between 1967 and 1970, which I had the good fortune of ending and collecting the instrument of surrender from the rebels, as we called them, on behalf of the Nigerian Government, we have had several cases of internecine conflicts like in most African countries. They are caused by poor leadership, inequity, real and perceived injustice and conscienceless pursuit of power. We, as leaders, can cast back our minds and replicate in our different socio-cultural and political or economic settings and see if power sharing and unfair-minded leadership with selfishness and lack of adequate consideration do not rank high in why Africans have turned to bearing arms against fellow compatriots in needless conflicts and wars when socio-economic development and inclusion should have been our priority. He concluded. Utomi is the Programme Coordinator (Media and Policy), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), Lagos. He could be reached via;jeromeutomi@yahoo.com

Oloibiri – The Nollywood movie that explains it all By Jeff Okoroafor


he Federal Government of Nigeria once promised to build a museum in Oloibiri, but till date, that promise has not been fulfilled. It promised a clean-up, set up a $1 billion fund yet nothing has been done. It promised well-furnished medical centers to take care of the health needs of the people of Oloibiri, not a single medical center has been built. It promised scholarship to the youths of the community, skilled and unskilled jobs and yet, nothing has been done. In 1956, after half a century of exploration, oil was discovered in Oloibiri, a small community in Bayelsa State where the inhabitants are mainly fishermen and farmers. After the discovery, Oloibiri became a historic town to the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. Now you would expect that a town that became the birthplace of a country’s oil, will be well developed – stable electricity, good road network, quality education, clean water, job opportunities, etc., but the

reverse is the case. It is an “eye sore” to say the least. The place is under-developed, the people are poor peasants, the epidemic rate is off the charts, unemployment rate is alarming, and their land has suffered deadly blows from oil spills. The oil in Oloibiri has since dried up but there is nothing to show that it was the place where Nigeria’s oil breakthrough started. In plain terms, it could be said that the town of Oloibiri was used and ‘dumped’ after the oil explorers found no more use for it. While oil production has ceased, pipelines operated by Shell as well as ExxonMobil still traverse the land, creeks and waterways. Leakages – caused by corroded pipelines – mean that the area is still plagued by oil spills. Modern day Oloibiri is like a ghost town, the only difference is that in this ghost town, human beings are living there. If you travel through Ogoniland today, the first thing that hits you is the stench of oil – crude oil – that pervades the air. More than 25 years have passed since Ken Saro Wiwa was executed, along

with eight other Ogoni leaders, by the Nigerian government for standing up to Shell’s operations in their communities. It is more than a decade since four Nigerian farmers alongside Friends of the Earth Netherlands launched a court case against Shell in the Netherlands to hold the company to account for its destruction of the Niger Delta. Decades have come and gone yet no justice, no clean up, no assistance whatsoever and the Nigerian government is completely silent, or disinterested. According to a new investigation by four NGOs, nearly 10 years after a clean-up was urged for areas polluted by Shell and other oil companies in the Niger Delta, work has begun on only 11% of planned sites while vast areas remain heavily contaminated. Children in the Niger Delta grow up drinking, cooking and washing with polluted water. They eat contaminated fish and vegetables. They suffer from breathing problems. A 2017 study showed that babies in Nigeria were twice as likely to die in the

first month of life if their mothers were living near an oil spill before becoming pregnant. The Federal Government of Nigeria once promised to build a museum in Oloibiri, but till date, that promise has not been fulfilled. It promised a clean-up, set up a $1 billion fund yet nothing has been done. It promised well-furnished medical centers to take care of the health needs of the people of Oloibiri, not a single medical center has been built. It promised scholarship to the youths of the community, skilled and unskilled jobs and yet, nothing has been done. The movie, Oloibiri subtitled “The Revenge Has Come” is an action thriller that narrates the tale of Gunpowder (Richard Mofe-Damijo) and Timipre (Olu Jacobs), two natives of Oloibiri. Gunpowder engages in a violent struggle in protest to the squalid living conditions in his community despite their oil wealth; accusing Timipre’s generation of doing nothing whilst their land was exploited and plundered. It’s a movie that every Nigerian,

particularly those in the corridors of power should see. We must all watch it to understand the evil that for decades was unleashed on the people of Niger Delta. We must watch it because what happened (and still happening in Oloibiri) is exactly what has befallen the rest of the country today, only in a different light. While Oloibiri was being pillaged, raped and destroyed, some bunches were busy cheering, scavenging and being too timid to stand up to those turning their communities and towns to wasteland. Ogoni needs a holistic clean up. The people deserve better. The companies – Shell, ExxonMobil and others that are responsible for what Ogoniland and its people have become will only continue to deviate as long as the Nigerian government remain spineless and utterly disinterested in the overall outcome and happening. Ogoniland needs a new Ken Saro Wiwa. Jeff Okoroafor is a Public Affairs Analyst.


PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021


My Naija Experience -By Abdulhaleem Ishaq Ringim


thought that perhaps If we could all reflect on and narrate our #NaijaExperiences and make it a nationwide campaign, we could reach citizen-consensus. We could extinguish this inferno of hate. We could realign the conversation back to peaceful grounds on a citizen level. And we might be able to discuss peacefully and reach citizenconsensus on how we could continue to live together as one Nigeria, or how to achieve a system that would guarantee us the liberty of being Nigerians and at the same time identifying with our regional and ethnic roots with a certain degree of autonomy or how we could peacefully part ways. I was born and brought up in the North, Zaria to be precise, just as my father and my mother. I have lived almost all the 21 years of my life in Zaria except for when I was a kid and we shuttled a bit between Zaria and Lagos. My father was an employee of Chanchangi Airlines then. But apart from that period, my life has been predominantly spent in the Zaria. However, despite being a complete Northerner, I do have some experiences of people from the South and they have played tremendous parts in shaping my life and in aiding me to become what I am today, to some extent even more than the people from the North have. I attended the same school from Daycare to Senior Secondary stage(with the exception of JSS 1). The name of the school is Basic Schools and the proprietor of that school is a southerner from the South Eastern part of Nigeria. His name is Mr Chikeze Nwambuko. 70-80% of the teachers that taught me in school were southerners of South Western, South Eastern and South Southern extractions. You could only find a handful of teachers from the North in my school. This is the story of most of the schools I grew up to know in Zaria;

from Therbow School through Premier Schools to Gideon Schools, most of the schools I knew growing up in Zaria were owned and mostly operated by people from Southern Nigeria. I was trained by mostly southerners, apart from the home training I got from my parents, the bulk of the training I got through 16 years of schooling was from southerners even before I enrolled in Islamic schools and also got a share of training from my Islamic teachers. I have countlessly been described as a person who is intellectually inconsistent with his age, I have countlessly been described with attributes such as confidence, articulation, outspokenness and several others. If I was writing this a year ago, I would have said most of these attributes were innate. But I have lately understood that that is largely not the case. Achievement, they say is a product of talent and preparation but as aptly demonstrated by Malcolm Gladwell in his book “Outliers”, even in the lives and careers of the gifted, the role “innate talent” plays in their success stories seem tremendously smaller than the role “preparation” usually plays. In the same book, Gladwell while explaining the disparity between how poor and middle-class families train their children and how such training tend to define the children’s lives quoted a study conducted by Sociologist Annette Lareau which concluded that the middle-class parenting style is termed “concerted cultivation.” She explained that “It’s an attempt to actively “foster and assess a child’s talents, opinions and skills.” “Poor parents however tend to follow, by contrast, a strategy of “accomplishment of natural growth.” They see as their responsibility to care for their children but to let them grow and develop on their own.”, she further

explained. The “concerted cultivation” tend to be more advantageous in our contemporary world because as Laureau explained further, that mode of parenting style makes the children learn a sense of “entitlement” which by her description means that the children would usually act “as though they had a right to pursue their own individual preferences and to actively manage interactions in institutional settings. They appeared comfortable in those settings; they were open to sharing information and asking for attention …. It was common practice among middleclass children to shift interactions to suit their preferences”. I got trained by my parent through the “concerted cultivation” parenting style, but my teachers consolidated on such a style and did much work in instilling in me that sense of “entitlement”. Yes! My teachers that were mostly Igbo and Yoruba. I could remember as a very small kid of not more than 6-7 years, I was mandated by Uncle T(a short form for Uncle Tunde) to address the morning assembly in a motivational manner every morning. I would shout some kind of motivational gyrations and the whole assembly ground(including students of upto Primary 5) would follow suit. I could still remember the wordings. I am thankful to my teachers, who are mostly of southern extraction and their momentous contribution to my life and what I have become today shall never be forgotten by my humble self. My next destination after secondary school was Nursing School in Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital(ABUTH). Ahmadu Bello University is unarguably the most cosmopolitan university in Nigeria, this attribute could also be said for the university’s teaching hospital. In Nursing School too, more than 60% of

the people who taught and trained me were of southern extraction, especially at the clinical areas. You could imagine what a tremendous impact Southern Nigerian people have made in my life. All my life, my parents have never showed me that people from the south were different from people of Northern origin. They have never taught or shown us, even indirectly, how to discriminate between the two sets of people in terms of respect, relationships(be it teacherstudent, business) etc. In fact, what I have witnessed is a clear demonstration of equality in many instances. I could remember one of those instances. While my dad was running an Islamic Media Center many years back after he came back from Lagos, I usually was with him all the time. Very small I was then. One day, we were at the center when a man came. He looked like an electrician, or a welder I can not vividly recall. He came and from their conversation, I understood that he was supposed to do a job for my dad, but he was not available and my dad was in a hurry so he contacted someone to do the job. But the particular thing that amazed me was my dad’s next move, he brought out some notes and gave the man saying “this is the exact amount I paid for the service, you can have it too. This is the kind of training we got from our parents”. The man was so excited, he thanked him in a way I have never heard anyone thanked before and he left. He was a man of southern extraction. This is the kind of lessons I learnt from my parents in terms of mingling with people including ones that are not from here. All these experiences were garnered in Zaria as I have never stepped out of the North since Lagos times until I was appointed Chairman for the National Association of Nigeria Student Nurses

and Midwives Independent Electoral Committee. The convention was to hold in Afikpo, Ebonyi State and I was to chair the convention. And unfortunately for me, I was to to embark on that journey to Ebonyi alone without any of my comrades from school. I embarked on my first journey to South Eastern Nigeria alone, with the thought that I would meet some other Northern brethren there. On reaching the convention venue – a missionary nursing school that was inside a Catholic Church – which we were to spend some days, I discovered more than 90% of the participants were of Southern Extraction. The only northerners were students from Abuja and Jos(very nice people). Even with this very skewed formation, I was not discriminated against, and my authority as Chairman of the ELCOM was protected and was not compromised in any way by my southern brothers. I was accorded full respect, in fact beyond what I would ever expect. My confidence, articulation and dexterity in execution of some tasks kept most of them that never had any experience with Northern people wondering, I could hear some of them whispering “so these Northern guys are like this”. The respect was even precipitated further when a lady among them asked if she could know me better and I collected her phone, typed my name on google and asked her to search jokingly. She was extremely amazed and went ahead to talk about me wherever she sits. It was a very wonderful experience, one that is filled with love, compassion, mutual respect and indiscrimination. Abdulhaleem Ishaq Ringim is a Registered Nurse and Political/ Public affairs analyst, he writes from Zaria and can be reached through haleemabdul1999@gmail.com

Certificate Racketeering, Deception, and other Academic Frauds in Nigeria By Abdulkadir Salaudeen hen we award degrees and certificates to those who do not deserve it, our five times daily prayers only amount to banging foreheads on the ground. That is a waste. When the certificates which serves as our livelihood are forged or earned unmeritedly, what we are consuming is ember that has no spiritual nourishing substance. In case it is new to you, certificate racketeering is an illegal means of acquiring certificate that does not belong to you or for which you have not worked for and earned. But could anyone in Nigeria claim to be ignorant of this? It is similar to certificate forgery. Now you understand. It is a crime. Whoever engages in it or aids and abets its committal is a criminal. All schools of thoughts, cultures and civilizations agree that forgery and academic fraud is a crime. Anarchists, despite their aversion for law, do not dispute the fact that academic fraud is a deception and serious crime. Certificate racketeering or academic fraud is a crime in all known religions (with revealed scriptures) in the world. I know, the corrupt mind, into which the light of truth is difficult to penetrate, will argue. Do you know his argument? It is a specious one. It goes thus: did people write exam or


earn certificates during the life time of the prophets in the olden days? Since they did not, how can academic fraud be a crime? You know criminals are always adept at giving excuses to cover their crimes. The fact is, deception is deception. In whatever form it transforms itself, it is easy to identify. It is high time we started discussion on certificate racketeering. The Kwara State Polytechnic is about to take a bold step to nip this ugly trend in the bud. I thought the racketeers will be brought to book— be given exemplary punishment— to serve as deterrent to others. But the rector said the Polytechnic has concluded plans to ensure that the school’s certificates will be henceforth printed abroad. This, according to him, is to sanitize the system and enhance the integrity of the school. In addition, the certificate with its new features such as students’ picture, matric number, among others will be difficult to forge. Making certificates difficult to forge is a right step; but going all the way to London—a foreign country—to get them printed is disturbing. Not only that we would be laughed at that ordinary certificates we cannot print, my concern also is the expenses. Our penchant for foreign made

things, now to include certificates, is becoming unbecoming. I don’t know when we shall start to appreciate ourselves and what we have. Our body language and optics could make Nigerian nationalists regret why they struggle against the colonial masters to gain independence. Thank God most of them (if not all) are already in their graves. It is wrong in Islam to believe the dead ones know about happenings in this world after their departure. Of course, if they knew about this attitude of ours, they will certainly regret. Our behaviours towards the ‘white’ are to be blamed for the disdain they have for us. It is not a surprise our country was referred to as shithole; the blame is ours. Ordinary certificate? Printed abroad? There are primary and secondary schools in Nigeria that import their students’ uniform from these ‘white’ countries. They have customized the clothing materials such that parents who are unwilling to buy from the schools and seek to buy them in local markets will only be frustrated. For they are not found in markets. There are other schools who buy local materials but give out sewing contract to the ‘white’. This is to impress parents that the schools are standard. Sometime ago I saw some

white men in a school taking measures of students. When I inquired, I was told the measurements were meant for students’ uniforms. This is laughable and ridiculous. It would have been unbelievable if I was told; but I saw it, I wasn’t told. So I believe it. Why do we like deceiving ourselves? I cannot understand how foreign uniform materials and foreign sewn uniforms impact on students’ performance. I wish I understand. But at least, I was told, parents would be impressed. And in addition, I thought, ‘they would also be deceived’. If you do not understand why there is widespread of abject poverty in Nigeria, this is the right time to understand. Let’s put aside government’s misgovernance, our inferiority complex which make us subservient to the white supremacists is also draining our wealth which should have circulated and trickled down to the masses. Our deceptive life style and ways of doing things makes the possibility of progress very slim. Lest I digress too far, certificate racketeering and all forms of academic fraud are unlawful and criminal acts in Islam. The Prophet (SAW) said it succinctly; “whoever cheats us is not among us” (Muslim). Academic fraud leads to many evils. The morass into

which Nigeria is entangled today cannot be fully explained without factoring in the role of academic fraud. There are many Nigerians in positions of authority today who are wielding authority over the rest of us with questionable certificates. We have heard of NYSC forgery, and questionable primary/secondary school certificates. We should not forget, a forged degree certificate holder was once the Speaker of our Federal House of Representatives. When we award degrees and certificates to those who do not deserve it, our five times daily prayers only amount to banging foreheads on the ground. That is a waste. When the certificates which serves as our livelihood are forged or earned unmeritedly, what we are consuming is ember that has no spiritual nourishing substance. Any ill-gotten money that is spent, even for a good course, will not be accepted by the Creator. It is wickedness to rob people of their wealth only to use it to help another people. This sounds fair only to the corrupt minds. It is satanic logic. The Prophet said “Allah is pure and He accepts only what is pure” (Muslim) Abdulkadir Salaudeen can be reached at salahuddeenabdulkadir@ gmail.com


PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021


Rural Entrepreneurship: Agency empowers 200 women, youths in FCT

Lagos Assembly amends Electoral Commission law


he Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA), on Monday restated commitment to building the capacity of rural communities as a strategy of achieving its mandate to empower women and youths in the FCT. Malam Shehu Abdulkadir, the Acting Managing-Director of the agency, gave the assurance in Abuja at the opening ceremony for Rural Skills Acquisition and Sensitisation Initiative (RuSASI) training for 200 women and youths. Abdulkadir said the training was designed to build the capacity of rural communities to produce basic sanitary items such as hand sanitisers, liquid soaps and antiseptics. He said the training was part of the agency’s support to the people and to serve as a means of curbing Coronavirus, while helping the beneficiaries to become economically self-reliant. He said the programme would nurture Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in rural communities to achieve their full potential. Abdulkadir said that the initiative was structured to facilitate the acquisition of skills in sectors such as confectionary, disinfectants, organic fertilisers and others. “We will also build their entrepreneurial skills in areas such as book keeping, saving culture, customer relationship and marketing and sales amongst others modules to effectively start and manage your business. “No fewer than 200 women and youths will be trained and further supported with starter packs to start their businesses. “It will interest you to note that this edition of RuSASI is expanded to include AMAC, Kwali, Kuje and Abaji Area Councils. “This programme is scheduled to hold consecutively for four weeks in the aforementioned locations.’’ Abdulkadir, however, urged all participants to take the training with utmost importance, noting that evaluation would be conducted to determine participants who would be supported with starter packs and grants. “There will also be a business pitch where participants will demonstrate their business acumen and the viability of their ideas. We are aiming to build world class business leaders.’’ Ms Aisha Babangida, the Chairperson, Better Life Programme for the African Rural Woman, an NGO, said the organisation was committed to the overall development of the rural woman. Babangida, who was represented by Mr Shem Ayegba, the Chief Operations Officer, she said the group was proud of the rural skills acquisition and sensitisation initiative. She promised that the group would continue to extend hands of support to see to the continuous success of the programme. Also, the Chairman, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Alhaji Adamu Candido, urged the FCT administration to continue to strengthen the Abuja Enterprise Agency to deliver its mandate. (NAN)


PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021

By Musa Baba Adamu


L-R: National Commissioner Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Barrister May Agbamuche-Mbu, INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu and National Commissioner Barrister Festus Okoye, during a quarterly consultative meeting with the media executive at the INEC Headquarters, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Lai Muhammed lauds Farouk Adamu for hoist of tallest national flag

From Mika’il Tsoho, Dutse


he minister for information and culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed has commended the founder of malam ALU integrated agro-allied complex Alhaji Farouk Adamu Aliyu for hoisting the tallest national flag. Alhaji Lai Mohammed dropped the hint yesterday during an inspection visit to the tallest national flag hoisted within the multi billion Naira Mallam Alu Agro-allied farm company project at Birnin kudu local government of the state. According to him, the Chairman of the Mallam Alu

Farms, Alhaji Farouk Adamu Aliyu deserved a commendation as he displayed an act patriotism by hoisting the flag. On his part the chairman of the Mallam Alu Agro-allied farms company, Alhaji Farouk Adamu Aliyu said he was propelled by the persuasive powers of the state governor to start-up the Agroallied farm. Alhaji Farouk Adamu said the farm land lies on about 70 hectres of land that comprises of a fertilizer blending plant that produces upto 40 tonnes per hour of a blended fertilizer which he said is the first of it’s kind in the Northern part of the country. He said the farm also houses

a dairy with 400 heads of cows, a green house that produces 15:to 20 tonnes of tomato per week. He said in furtherance of the call by the president of the country to unite Nigerians, “we have erected the tallest flag in Nigeria and the second most tallest in Africa as a symbol of unity of the people across the country”, he declared. The Minister also commended Jigawa state governor Alhaji Muhammed Badaru Abubakar for supporting traditional institution to resolve internal conflicts amongst the people of the state. He explained that the resolve to allow traditional

institutions to address conflicts has further helped in mitigating the escalation of on warranted crises that has earned the state as one of the most peaceful in the country. “I have to commend you the governor for supporting me traditional institution in resolving internal crises while avoiding the usually expensive litigations in our courts or police stations”, said the minister. Earlier the Minister who had visited the Dutse Emir Alhaji Nuhu Muhammad Sunusi at his place was told how the state government has been supporting the traditional institution to manage internal conflicts.

2023 : Don’t handover to political jobbers, APC chieftain advises Buhari

From: Femi, Oyelola, Kaduna


chieftain of the ruling All Progressive party (APC), Dr. Kabir Muhammad has advised President Muhammed

Buhari not to hand over the country to political jobbers who will come out to ruin the country and destroy his achievements. He made the assertion while speaking to media in Kaduna

yesterday. Dr. Muhammed who is the Wakilin Sarkin Keffi said some politicians have put in personal sacrifice to sustain the present democracy in the country and one of

them is Alhaji Ahmed Bola Tinubu. According to him, Tinubu played a great role in the APC victory of the 2015 and 2019 elections respectively, “and it is time for such loyal party starlwart to be rewarded”.

Defection: Nassarawa Speaker expressed delight From Gambo Ahmed, Lafia


asarawa State House of Assembly Speaker, Abdullahi Balarebe has described the defection of David Maiyaki member representing Gitatata/Kam

Constituency from the PDP to the ruling APC as commendable. He assured him of equitable treatment. The speaker who expressed delight on the defection during an emergency sitting Monday, said the defection from PDP to APC

is a plus to the Assembly. “We will work harmoniously for the interest and development of our dear state. You will be accorded equal opportunity to contribute your quota for the unity of our great party APC”.

he Lagos House of Assembly yesterday, reviewed and amended a portion of the law creating the state’s Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC). The legislature revised the law by creating a subsection for Section 2 of the law. The newly-added subsection 5 gives the Governor of the State the power to extend the tenure of the commission based on exigencies. Sanai Agunbiade, Leader of the House, told his colleagues that the alteration was permitted by existing law. Chairman, Committee on Judiciary, Public Petitions and LASIEC, Victor Akande, also explained the repeal. Akande said it seeks to resolve the lacuna that could occur between the period the tenure of the commission elapses and when new members are appointed by the Governor. He said “The bill is just for a singular amendment or a fraction of the law and the major issue is that it is seeking for us to give the Governor a leverage in case of scarcity of time.” Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti-Osa 2) said that the amendment ensures that there will be recourse to the House should there be any reason to extend the tenure of the commission. The Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, in his ruling, explained that the portion of the law was amended to meet the exigencies of time. Obasa added that a legal extension of the tenure of members of the commission would help them effectively conclude the elections with the backing of the law. He said an additional six months as suggested by the bill was too wide since the period is simply meant to perfect fresh appointments. Obas directed the Clerk of the House, Olalekan Onafeko, to pass the clean copy to the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for assent.

Director National Museum Commission, Mr Elkany Aliyuda (R) and Guest of the honor, Mainan Zazzau, Mohammed Sani, during the 2021 International Museum Day in Kaduna on Monday 21/6/21

We inherited APC that was collapsing - Gov Buni By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Mai Mala Buni, yesterday said the party’s interim leadership inherited a collapsed political party, ravaged by crisis of all kinds. This is just as President Muhammadu Buhari also said there is no part of the country that has not been impacted by one infrastructure or the other by the APC led government, depending on the needs and peculiarities of the region. Speaking at the first APC National Youth Conference on the theme, ‘The Future Is A Decision’, which held at the International Conference Center (ICC) in Abuja, Buni said the party is undergoing complete rebirth, recovery, rehabilitation, rejuvenation and repositioning, hence the conference is holding at an auspicious time. Buni said the future of APC and Nigeria generally depends on the youths, for which reason the CECPC cannot afford to discard the young people in the scheme of affairs, adding “We must invest in the youth for a better future for the party and country. Therefore, this conference and theme are both strategic and timely for a

•As Buhari says government impacting all regions with infrastructure prosperous future for the party and our beloved country.” Recalling how internal crisis of APC gave birth to the caretaker Committee, Buni said “I am pleased to say that collectively, we have rescued a troubled party that was heading towards imminent collapse and disintegration, to a very strong, solid, reliable and ever growing political party.” Speaking further, Buni commended the APC youths for cooperating with the party by remaining united to its course during her turbulent times, which he observed has translated into the rebirth of a new APC that gives every member a true sense of belonging and pride as Nigeria’s leading party and Africa’s largest political party. “This also explains why the Caretaker committee under my leadership took a deliberate position of engaging the youth in every process. As part of our strategic approach to youth engagement, a committee on youth, women and people with special needs was constituted during the membership registration and revalidation exercise. “I am glad to say that reports reaching my office indicated that the active roles played by the youth

contributed massively to the success of the membership registration and revalidation exercise. The decision for the future of this party and country cannot be at any other time better than now when the corporate unity and security in the country are being challenged. “You should therefore exploit all available opportunities to assiduously work towards promoting national unity, democracy and dialogue. I assure you of the support of the party in investing in the unity and future of Nigeria”, he said. He promised that the CECPC is making efforts to approach the proposed congresses and conventions with a united front to produce a strong leadership that would enjoy the support, trust and confidence of all members, and protect party interest above personal and primordial interests for unity and prosperity. President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said the APC government places a premium on the development of Nigerian youths economically and politically, even as he recalled signing the #Not too young to run Bill, into law to remove all hindrance for the youths

in contesting any electoral position. While admitting that there are some security challenges across the country, Buhari said no criminal who has taken arms against the country would be spared, pointing out that results of such aggressive campaigns against criminals are already manifesting. To this end, he charged the youths on the need to put behind the bitter experiences of the past, and ensure with one another irrespective of tongue, tribe or religion and work towards moving the country forward. Speaking also at the conference, the immediate past Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, challenged Nigerian youths to stop procrastinating but to take action to wrest power from the ruling elites. He emphasized the need for the youths to be focused and rise to take their rightful place in the political scheme of the country, cautioning that power is taken and not given. He said the life and future of the country are in the hands of the youths. “There should be industrial revolution, I traveled to China and I saw smoke everywhere, they are producing one thing or the other, but the only smoke you see here in Nigeria is that of Ishiewu”, he said.

PDP: Scarcity of brooms hit Cross River as APC orders three million bundles for defectors


ross River State has been reportedly hit by scarcity of brooms, as an investigation around various markers in the state found that brooms are now sold between N500 and N1000 respectively. A trip to Marian maker, Watt market, Mbukpa market and others in the state indicated a shortage of brooms as traders said they ”had no brooms in stock” The scarcity of brooms in the state may not be

unconnected to the massive wave of defections to the APC which just hit the state. A sources from APC told correspondents that the scarcity could be as a result of thousands of brooms taken to the central senatorial district for those defecting from the PDP to APC. A broom dealer in the Marian market said, “This is the first time our business is moving. I have ordered for a thousand from Akwa Ibom State for this weekend.

“If it continues, I have no regret doing this business, everything has time according to the scriptures and this is our time to smile. May God help us”, he stated. Confirming the scarcity, the Publicity Secretary of APC, Bassey Ita, said “That scarcity of broom, which is APC’s symbol, has hit Cross River as millions of enthusiastic Cross Riverians continue to join the party in solidarity with the visionary and people-oriented governor.

“To address the challenge, the party ordered three million bundles of brooms from local suppliers to meet the growing demand. “It is no longer news that the broom revolution has since hit our dear state following the defection of our amiable governor to our party, but what is now the news is that broom scarcity has hit Cross River following growing demand for it as millions of our people continue to identify with the party,” he said on Monday.


PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021


Sen. Abaribe among key advocates for my 2023 presidential ambition – Moghalu By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


former presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, has disclosed that Senate Minority Leader, Eyinnaya Abaribe, is among the critical stakeholders who have endorsed his 2023 presidential ambition. Moghalu disclosed that Abaribe endorsed and supported his presidential ambition during a function of Igbo socio-cultural organization. The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor disclosed this in a series of tweets, on Monday. According to him, “Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe has just announced his complete support and endorsement for me to become President of Nigeria in 2023, at the inauguration of Igbonine sociocultural organization happening live now in Enugu. Thank you, my Distinguished brother, Enyi! “I’m not waiting for Nigeria or its “system” to become perfect before I offer myself for service as its President. “That’s not leadership, it would be cowardice! Leaders MOVE and take on challenges! No restructuring yet? No problem. We will get it done where others did not.”

Gov Fayemi raises doubt over possiblity of conducting 2023 general election By Musa Baba Adamu


overnor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has raised doubts over the conduct of the 2023 general elections and the state’s June 16, 2022 governorship election amid the worsening security situation in Nigeria. Fayemi disclosed that the increasing level of security challenges facing the country posed a great threat to the conduct of the elections.

According to the governor, Nigeria must first have a nation before we are able to have an election. Fayemi stated this in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, at a colloquium held in commemoration of this year’s June 12 celebration with the theme: “June12: Securing the Freedom of Democracy”. He said “We remember and celebrate June 12 because it represents the possibility of a new Nigeria where our fault lines would

become our best lines, and our diversity becomes our strength. “That is why even as we look forward to another election both here in Ekiti in 2022 and in Nigeria in 2023, I think it is absolutely important for us to always remember that we must first have a country before we are able to have an election. “If we don’t have a country because we have succumbed to the forces of darkness, then we can kiss

elections goodbye and that is why we must all come together – both those who are in government and those who are outside government – to challenge our leaders to do the right thing; confront the issues that divide us, promote the issues that unite us, ensure fairness, ensure equity and justice in our polity. Even as we fight to end criminality, let us unite against all forms of bigotry to build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.”

Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim (2nd L), speaking to the children of Damagazan Hausawa karu Community, during the inauguration of the Nationwide Health Week under the NYSC health initiative for rural in Abuja on Monday (21/6/21). With him is the FCT Coordinator, Alhaji Abdul Suleman.

Nigerians won’t tolerate any tenure extension for Buhari – Arewa youths By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has rubbished claims that President Muhammadu Buhari may extend his tenure due to insecurity. AYCF National President, Yerima Shettima, said Nigerians

would resist any attempt by Buhari to extend his tenure beyond 2023. Speaking with journàlists, Shettima urged Buhari to emulate former President Goodluck Jonathan, who addressed insecurity, a few weeks to the general elections. According to Shettima: “I do not

think the president will descend so low to that extent, and of course if he attempts such, Nigerians will resist it because the constitution does not allow it. “If there are any security issues that will warrant that, they should quickly address it before the 2023 elections.

“We have seen instances where Jonathan took three weeks to fight insurgency so elections could be held, so if that is the case, we still have a long time before the election. I’m sure Buhari can do the mobilization and order that anyone found wanting, especially bandits and terrorists, are dealt with.

“Once this is done, we can use one year to address and forge ahead with the election. For the president or anyone to say due to insecurity, he would sit behind and defy the constitution is insane. We run a constitutional democracy, and we are not in Banana Republic; Nigeria is a sovereign nation.”

Another lawmaker defects to APC in Nasarawa House of Assembly By Musa Baba Adamu


he lawmaker representing Karu/Gitata State Constitueny in the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, David Maiyaki, has

defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Ibrahim Abdullahi, the Speaker of the House, announced this while reading the defection letter during

plenary in Lafia on Monday. Abdullahi, while congratulating the lawmaker for joining APC, assured him of equal treatment as other members of the party. The Speaker said the APC remains

a party to beat in 2023 in the state. “You have taken a wise decision. I congratulate you on the step taken, you have taken the best step. I want to assure you of equal rights with other members of the party.

“We have caught another big fish, I want to assure you of our cooperation and support to enable you to succeed. With the defection, we have completed ten members from the Western zone as APC lawmakers,” he said.

Gov. Ugwuanyi thanks stakeholders, residents for peace in Enugu

By Christiana Ekpa


overnor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, yesterday, said that the peace being enjoyed in Enugu State was made possible because of the support of all the stakeholders and people of the state “who agreed that peace should reign”. Gov. Ugwuanyi, who spoke at a Thank-you rally organized by Opi Youths Movement (OYM) in recognition of his peace and development strides in Enugu State as well as his “unprecedented love and benevolence for Opi people including

their youth”, held at St. Charles Catholic Church, Opi, in Nsukka Local Government Area, thanked the people of the area for their overwhelming support especially during his reelection. The event also witnessed a civic reception in honour of the Chairman of Nsukka Local Government Area, Hon. Barr. Cosmas Ugwueze, who hails from Opi. Gov. Ugwuanyi expressed appreciation for all the stakeholders of Opi for coming together to recognize his administration’s modest achievements in spite of the nation’s

various challenges bothering on economy, insecurity and public health. The governor equally thanked the leaders and people of Enugu State for allowing peace to reign in the state and urged them to continue to remember him and his administration in their prayers. In his address, the President General of Opi Youths Movement (OYM), Comrade Collins Ikenna Ezeagbo, commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for restoring peace in Opi and Nsukka LGA “as you can witness here today”. Comrade Ezeagbo described the governor as “an ambassador of peace”,

stressing that “that peace you have given to us and by that peace, you have given us progress in Cosmas Ugwueze (Chairman) because peace begets progress and we are eternally and exceedingly grateful to you”. The youth leader thanked Gov. Ugwuanyi for considering many of their sons and daughters for appointment into elective and appointive positions. He noted that the Chairman of Nsukka LGA, Hon. Ugwueze, the acting Vice Chancellor of Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), Prof. Charles Eze, the Chairman, Enugu State

Housing Development Corporation (ESHDC), Barr. Nwabueze Ugwu and a Commissioner, Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC), Dr. Mrs. Bernadine Ezugwu, are all from Opi. Speaking, the Chairman of Nsukka LGA, Hon. Ugwueze, expressed profound gratitude to Gov. Ugwuanyi for his leadership role in his political career. He reassured the governor of his absolute loyalty and commitment towards his administration’s laudable programmes through promotion of peace, unity and good governance in the council area.


PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021


Rep member, state lawmaker, 55,000 others defect to APC in Cross River By Christiana Ekpa


arely one month after Governor Ben Ayade’s defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC), a Cross River House of Rep member, Legor Idagbo, state lawmaker, Chris Agara, and many others have also decamped to the party. Speaking at the venue of the defection rally in Abuochiche, headquarters of Bekwarra Local Government Area on Saturday, Idagbo, who defected with over 30,000 of his supporters said the recent development marks the

beginning of a new era in Cross River State politics. “It is only a wicked father that will not wish his son well. “If you are a good father, at some point your son will take over from you and when he takes over from you, you will not direct him on what to do,” he said. He also urged his supporters not to let anyone deceive them “to wish away the food on the table which the governor, Sir Ben Ayade has been providing for the past six years. “Do not let anyone push you into fighting our governor and anyone who persuades you to, tell

them to lead by example. “Our Governor has done well, he is our illustrious son of the North, let us stand by him and support him,” he added. Also, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Chris Agara, moved with his over 25,000 supporters to the APC. Agara said his defection to the APC “is like wearing a new dress. And when you have a new dress well sewn with a design you like, you feel good. According to him, “moving from PDP to APC is indeed very special and historic and we have to show that firm support to my

friend and brother.” Agara noted that his joining the APC is all about bringing value to the party. “They should expect me to be part of the unity of the party, they should expect me to be part of the progress of the party. “I am going to be part of moving the party forward and making sure the APC wins all elections. “When I defected at the ward level, I told them that we have come to add strength and make them the winning team. “I am sure that from now on, we will be a more formidable team because from the crowd you see

here, APC is now the only party in Ikom Local Government Area,” he said. Also, at Efraiya, headquarters of Etung Local Government Area, Chris Njah Mbu-Ogar Ogar, a member representing Etung in the House of Assembly was received with his teeming supporters into the APC by Senator John Owan Enoh. Ogar thanked Owan-Enoh and the Etung APC for opening their doors to him and his supporters, promising to ensure that his membership and that of his followers will ensure that the party waxes stronger than before.

Insecurity: Nigeria currently in pains – Orji Uzor Kalu

By Musa Baba Adamu with agency report


he Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Kalu, has lamented the high rate of insecurity in Nigeria, saying the country is in pains as a result of the spate of insecurity. He spoke during a special Sunday Mass held at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral, Abuja, on Sunday, NAN reports. The former Abia State governor also advocated a united Nigeria. He urged fathers in Nigeria to unite to overcome the current economic and security challenges facing the nation. He said “Our commitment as Nigerians and fathers shall never be in vain. I urge all fathers in the country to put their heads together in the best interest of our nation. “As a nation, we are in pains as a result of the security challenges that we are passing through. Fathers should stand up as Soldiers of Christ and defend the church and Nigeria at large. “As fathers, we must continue to advocate for peace and unity in diversity beginning from our homes,’’ he said.

From left: Curator National Museum Enugu, Mr John Kachikwu, Executive Secretary Enugu State council for Arts and Culture, Igueke-Eddy Okolo, representative of State Head National Institute for Cultural Orientation, Mr Smart Aroh and African Arts and civilization, Dr. Ferdinand Anikwe and former Director General Centre for Black And African Arts and Civilization, Dr Ferdinand Anikwe, during 2021 International Museum Day in Enugu on Monday (21/06/21).

Anambra Guber: Group demands psychiatric test on aspirants By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


s Anambra State gears up for the governorship election slated for November 6, a political pressure group, Anambra Ekunie, has called on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to conduct psychiatric tests on its aspirants. Several political parties are set to hold their primary election having concluded the screening process. The group said such tests had become extremely necessary so as

to avoid the possibility of electing a mentally unstable person to fly the party’s flag at the November election. Speaking through a statement made available to journalists in Enugu and signed by its President, Ifeanyi Achusi, Anambra Ekunie said the public conduct of some PDP aspirants is a source of concern to its members. The group said it was necessary that PDP conducted a psychiatric evaluation to ensure that a mentally challenged person does not get the

chance of becoming governor in the state. “We have been following the campaigns of the aspirants of the PDP for the governorship of our dear state, Anambra. “While we have been impressed with the peaceful conduct of the campaigns so far, something we also recommend to others, we are however, worried about the public conduct and behaviour of some of the aspirants. “These conducts have created the impression of mental instability

and for this reason we are calling on the leadership of PDP to subject all the aspirants to psychiatric evaluation. “This has become necessary so as to avoid the possibility of a mentally challenged person becoming the flagbearer of the party”, Anambra Ekunie said. The group further warned the PDP aspirants against creating the impression that Anambra State was up for sale to the highest spender. It said aspirants may be delusional in the thinking that

throwing money at delegates is the surest way to win their support. “What we have seen of some of the delegates leaves much to the imagination. Dr. Godwin Maduka throws money at delegates as if Anambra was for sale. “Promising a house for each delegate if he is voted at the primary election is like a promise made to a prostitute. It is delusional and capable of derailing the good visions of PDP for Anambra state and must therefore be checked”, the group added.


PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021

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PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Stock Watch: Monday, June 21, 2021 Low

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2.80 3.15 0 1.94 3.94 0 0.27 0.27 0 0.64 0.64 0 4.60 8.60 0 37.00 68.30 0 3.79 4.21 0 9.65 10.05 0 31.50 34.00 0 1.90 1.92 0 18.45 18.45 0 1.72 1.84 0 23.25 23.25 0 0.20 0.20 0 0.20 0.20 0 6.10 6.10 0 1.75 1.75 0 186.00 186.00 0 6.00 6.65 0 14.60 14.55 0 1.80 2.00 0 3.37 3.37 0 4.30 4.70 0 14.00 14.00 0 7.35 7.80 0 1.62 1.65 0 1.91 1.96 0 4.95 4.95 99 0.33 0.33 0 21.85 21.85 0 29.60 30.70 0 0.20 0.20 0 12.20 13.05 0 32.60 32.95 0 72.00 72.00 0 1.18 1.18 0 1.53 1.53 0 31.50 31.50 0 0.51 0.54 0 0.20 0.20 0 23.25 23.25 0 0.44 0.44 0 0.30 0.30 0 1.36 1.36 0 0.72 0.72 0 0.52 0.49 0 1.83 1.83 0 2.45 2.45 0

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0.11 0.21 0 0.21 0.21 MBENEFIT 0.00 0 0.43 0.43 0 0.43 0.43 MCNICHOLS 0.00 0 1.05 2.05 261 2.05 2.05 MEDVIEWAIR 0.00 0 124.80 184.80 0 184.80 184.80 MOBIL 0.00 0 0.20 0.20 970 0.20 0.20 MULTIVERSE 0.00 0 3.50 3.50 0 3.50 3.50 NAHCO 0.00 0 18.00 18.00 0 18.00 18.00 NASCON 0.00 0 78.50 78.70 0 79.50 79.50 NB 0.80 0 0.78 0.78 0 0.78 0.78 NEIMETH 0.00 0 2.60 2.60 0 2.60 2.60 NEM 0.00 0 552.20 552.20 150 552.20 552.20 NESF 0.00 0 1,475.00 1,475.00 0 1,475.00 1,475.00 NESTLE 0.00 0 1.60 1.65 0 1.60 1.60 NPFMCRFBK -0.05 0 4.60 4.80 0 4.60 4.75 OANDO -0.20 0 80.00 76.20 0 80.00 80.00 OKOMUOIL 3.80 0 64.00 64.00 0 64.00 64.00 PRESCO 0.00 0 0.50 0.50 0 0.50 0.50 PRESTIGE 0.00 0 12.30 12.30 0 12.30 12.30 PZ 0.00 0 4.20 4.20 0 4.20 4.20 REDSTAREX 0.00 0 0.20 0.21 0 0.20 0.21 REGALINS -0.01 0 0.50 0.50 0 0.50 0.50 RESORTSAL 0.00 0 0.21 0.23 0 0.21 0.22 ROYALEX -0.02 0 640.00 640.00 405 640.00 640.00 SEPLAT 0.00 0 0.20 0.20 0 0.21 0.21 SOVRENINS 0.01 0 46.50 46.00 0 46.50 46.50 STANBIC 0.50 0 102.00 102.00 122 102.00 102.00 STANBICETF30 0.00 0 1.97 1.96 0 1.97 1.97 STERLNBANK 0.01 0 203.00 203.00 0 203.00 203.00 TOTAL 0.00 0 6.10 6.10 632 6.10 6.10 TRANSCOHOT 0.00 0 1.15 1.21 0 1.16 1.18 TRANSCORP -0.05 0 9.60 9.60 0 9.60 9.60 UACN 0.00 0 1.74 1.92 0 1.74 1.74 UAC-PROP -0.18 0 7.60 7.80 0 7.90 7.95 UBA 0.10 0 6.00 6.05 0 6.00 6.05 UBN -0.05 0 2.89 2.94 0 2.89 2.91 UCAP -0.05 0 36.30 37.00 0 36.30 36.30 UNILEVER -0.70 0 0.27 0.27 0 0.27 0.27 UNIONDAC 0.00 0 1.00 0.99 0 1.00 1.00 UNITYBNK 0.01 0 2.04 1.97 0 2.14 2.14 UPL 0.17 0 0.23 0.23 0 0.23 0.23 VERITASKAP 0.00 0 4.50 4.99 0 4.50 4.50 VITAFOAM -0.49 0 11.30 11.50 0 11.30 11.65 WAPCO -0.20 0 0.40 0.40 0 0.40 0.40 WAPIC 0.00 0 0.59 0.61 0 0.59 0.61 WEMABANK -0.02 0 21.20 22.70 0 21.70 22.50 ZENITHBANK -1.00 0 Copyright © 2019 NgTradeOnline

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COVID-19 accelerates innovation, digital transformation — DG NITDA By Etuka Sunday


he Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi CCIE revealed that COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation journey faster, more dramatic and disruptive, giving opportunities for more convenient online presence with less disturbance, Digital innovation and Internet Economy for drive to Digital Economy”. Abdullahi said this while making his presentation at the 8th Annual Instalment of the International Data Corporation (IDC) West Africa CIO Summit 2021 with the Theme: “Innovation Strategies Evolving on the demand of New Realities is Exciting”. He stated that Economy Africa reports 2020 revealed that by 2025, the value of Internet Economy in Africa will reach $180b, accounting for about 5.2% of the Continent’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and by 2050 its projection is estimated to be $712b, about 8.5% of the Continent’s GDP. “Innovation drives growth in the internet economy, process of taking ideas from inception to impact inspired three digital capabilities; firstly, Ubiquitous Data which is used to make decision and have Information at your disposal anytime. Secondly, Unlimited Connectivity particularly Internet of Things (IoT) which ease connectivity and learning things easily. Lastly, Massive Computing Processing Power which has no limit to what can be processed. These Capabilities are the source of inspiration that ignites innovation and create demand in the digital era.” “The Global advancement and digital technologies are making the world a better place. We are inspired to deliver rapid

business innovations and new customer value prepositions. African Start-ups coming up with unique business models, Digital Transformation platforms and services that creates incredible value with a significant impact on human lives and the economy which indicates that Africa will not miss the Fourth Industrial Revolution unlike the first, Second and Third industrial era where we lost out in creating and capturing values across the globe”, he noted. He added that in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, has laid foundation for a Digital Nigeria by expanding the Mandate of Ministry Communications to cover Digital Economy, which the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has a larger focus vision of digitalizing the

country. “In 2019, the Ministry formulated a National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a digital Nigeria, serves as laid down foundation to create and capture value from innovation in the digital Economy.” “The Implementation of the strategies within 2years, has significantly impacted the economy with the digital sector being the fastest growing sector which bailout the country out of COVID-19 induces session. Nigerian National Digital Economy Policy and Strategies primary implementer crafted the Strategic Roadmap and Action plan SERAP 2021-2024 with the objectives: Articulating new strategies for the Nigerian Ecosystem in accordance with the current aspirations of the Government the new

realities of today and the future demands, this was built on seven (7) strategic pillars namely: Developmental Regulation, Digital Literacy and Digital skills, Digital Transformation, Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Cybersecurity, and Emerging Technologies, he identified,” he explained. He averred that part of the NDEPS is to develop and innovate solutions using emerging technologies like: Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Blockchain and IoT among others to provide quality life, education, poverty eradication, health and wellbeing. According to him, CB Insights 2021 reported that there are total of six unicorn companies in Africa which 3 are from Nigeria namely: Flutterwave, Interswitch and Jumia respectively. Abdullahi encouraged Chief Information Officers from

organizations and Corporate Nations to focus more on initiating digital innovation strategies considering global digital trends and new realities. “Every organization or country is unique and has its peculiarities but the digital strategies will provide a map for your journey. Our dream in Africa is to be digitally self reliant and become a digital hub for digital services exportation, a critical driver for digital transformation and a frontier for vibrant and highly competitive digital Economy. Our youthful population, location and time zone are our competitive age, and we the CIO’s are the drivers of our dreams in our respective organizations and countries, being proactive and responding to opportunities offered by technological innovations,” he concluded.

From left ,FCT minister Alhaji mohammed Bello, Permanent secretary, fed ministry of Finance Alhaji Aliyu Ahmed, Permanent secretary FCT, Mr Olusade Adesola and AGF Ahmed Idris fcna during a visit to the Treasury house.

MBA Capital, Trading Ltd not registered capital market operator –SEC By Etuka Sunday


he Securities and Exchange Commission has dispelled insinuations in some sections of the media that MBA Capital and Trading Ltd is a registered capital market operator with the Commission. This was contained in

a statement signed by the Management of the SEC in Abuja Monday. According to the SEC, “The attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“the Commission”) has been drawn to a publication in one of the National Daily Newspapers, in which a victim of an alleged

scam perpetrated by MBA Capital and Trading Limited, Misan Sagay reportedly stated that he had verified “online” and ascertained that the company was registered with the Commission. “The Commission wishes to inform the general public that MBA Capital and Trading

Limited has never been registered by the Commission. The Commission also uses this medium to remind the general public that by virtue of Section 38 (1) of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) 2007, only persons and institutions registered with the Commission are permitted to engage in

capital market activities. The Commission therefore enjoins the investing public to seek clarification as may be required via its established channels of communication on investment products advertised through conventional or online mediums.

PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021

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We lack power to grant Tax Waivers... FIRS Boss

By Etuka Sunday


he Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, has disclosed that the Service did not grant any tax waivers to any local or foreign investors in the country as the FIRS Act did not empower it to grant such tax breaks. Mr Nami disclosed on Friday in Abuja during his appearance before the House of Representatives’ Public Accounts Committee investigating alleged tax waivers granted to three foreign firms operating in the country. The Director, Communications and Liaison, FIRS, Dr. Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad in a statement said, the firms are Indorama Petrochemical, Indorama Fertilizer and Petrochemical Ltd and OIS Indorama Eleme PortHarcourt Nami said: “The FIRS does not have the power or responsibility of facilitating or implementing incentives for local investors or investors coming through the Foreign Direct Investment platform, which is the sole prerogative of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC)”. Nami pointed out that “the investigation of the three foreign firms, Indorama Petrochemical, Indorama Fertilizer and Petrochemical Ltd and OIS Indorama Eleme PortHarcourt, started way back in 2015. The committee in charge of the investigation has consistently been furnished with all required documents by the FIRS”. He further stated that the companies under consideration “have been variously granted pioneer status between December 15th, 1997 to 2016 for the Indorama Petrochemical Ltd and between 2017 – 2020 for the

Indorama Fertilizer and Chemicals Ltd respectively”. According to him “upon expiration of the pioneer period and conclusion of post pioneer Audit, the Indorama Petrochemical Ltd company’s tax file was returned to the Large Tax Office (LTO) Port Harcourt. Thus far, the company has filed its annual returns up to 31st December 2019 with relevant Self-Assessment and paid its attendant liabilities”. He, therefore, pleaded with the Public Accounts Committee “to always avail itself of the opportunity to work closely with the custodians of FIRS records, such as the Coordinating Directors, Directors and Tax Controllers as do other House

Committees like the Committee on Finance, to enhance its investigation at any time.” Recall that the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts had written a letter of invitation dated 27th May 2021 to the Executive Chairman of the FIRS to appear at its public hearing slated for 9 June 2021 on alleged revenue leakages involving the three foreign firms. However, the FIRS Executive Chairman could not honour the Committee’s summons on that date due to other pressing engagements which included Board meetings. Appearing in person on the rescheduled date, Nami noted with satisfaction the cordial relationship

between the FIRS and the legislators since he assumed office in December 2019. He seized the opportunity to reiterate that “the mandate of the FIRS is to assess, collect and account for tax revenue.” This mandate, he stressed, “is clear and unambiguous.” Mr Nami used the opportunity to call for a continuous cordial working relationship between the National Assembly and the FIRS “especially in this critical time when tax revenue has become crucial to the operations of the three tiers of government.” He assured that the FIRS under his watch “is very keen on collaborating with the Honourable Members of the Committee and other

critical stakeholders in the National Assembly on the Automatic Exchange of Information on tax evasion, tax avoidance and other related issues.” Nami concluded his remarks by emphasising that he remained focused on the task of revenue collection which the Federal Government had assigned him to undertake. This task, he noted, “has its challenges, more so with the ravaging impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on businesses and the overall economy. The Management of FIRS is working assiduously to achieve the revenue target set for it by the Federal Government and is not relenting in that objective”.

Founder, Hope and Dreams Initiative, Mrs Ngozi Ogbodo (M); with students of various schools, during the World Menstrual Hygiene Day celebration at LEA Primary School Aleita in Abuja on Thursday (21/6/21).

NITT chairman bags ACSC fellowship award


he chairman, Governing Council of the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT) Zaria, Olorogun John Ejovwoke Onojeharho has been conferred with the Fellowship of the African Centre for Supply Chain (ACSC). The Centre is an umbrella networking body of Logistics and supply chain professionals across Africa established with the prime objective to provide a platform for in-depth research, education and training for the Logistics and Supply Chain industry. Conferring the fellowship on Onojeharho at a well attended ceremony in Lagos recently, the ACSC Governing Council Chairman Prof Abdulganiyu Sumaila said it was in recognition of the NITT chairman’s industry position and valuable contributions to the growth and development of the transport, logistics and supply chain management in Nigeria. “Unarguably, in the history of the NITT, the current leadership led by John Onojeharho has done more to

reposition the Institute than any previous administration in its over 30 years of existence. Today, the NITT has undergone massive transformation both in physical structures, academic programs and staff welfare thereby making the institute the toast of the transport industry as well as the best sought after by Nigerians and foreigners alike”, Prof Sumaila said. Chief Onojeharho was appointed Chairman NITT governing council in 2018 and within a short period of coming into office, the Council and Management have carved out a niche by changing the status quo. in this regard, massive projects are either completed or on-going to the admiration of stakeholders. The outcome is what is today known as the new face of NITT. Apart from remodelling of existing structures, construction of new ones and equiping the Institute with modern facilities to aid learning activities, visibility has greatly improved, staff welfare enhanced and new ones recruited

to beef up the manpower. Also new training centres have been opened across the country while 3 drivers’ development centres are being built in Zaria, Ilorin and Ugheli, Delta State. All of which are geared towards achieving the institute’s mandate of training for efficient and effective transport system in Nigeria. A member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) the NITT chairman is also the Managing Director of the Standard Alliance Properties Limited Lagos and holds a second class upper degree in Developmental Sociology and Masters in Industrial and Labour Relations. At the University of Calabar, he won both the prize for the best graduant in the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Department of Sociology. Before Joining SA Properties, he had worked with Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd both as manager Public Affairs in the Western Operations in Warri and as Manager Corporate Issues Management and Planning in

the Lagos Corporate office. He attended many senior management courses both in Nigeria and outside the country including the EP Leadership Programmes for high flyers. In his acceptance speech at the occasion, the NITT chairman expressed joy that his modest contributions to the transport and logistics industry had been recognized and thanked the ACSC governing council for the honour done to him. His words “I feel highly elated not just because I was offered the fellowship, but beyond the recognition , supply chain management is an emerging area in our economy and to be a pioneer fellow of a centre that is working assiduously to push that frontier of our economy is a great honour. I thank ACSC governing Council for recognizing my modest contributions in that sector of our economy and definitely this fellowship will ginger me to do even more for our country and for humanity ”, the NITT chairman Onojeharho said.

PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021



Catholic Doctors offer free health services to Gishiri Community By Stanley Onyekwere


ome Doctors under the umbrella of Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (ACMPN) have offered free medical services to no fewer than five hundred persons in Gishiri Community, a rural area of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). In particular, the beneficiaries mainly women and children of all ages received free Diabetes, Malaria, HIV/ AIDS and COVID19 tests and diagnosis, after which they given drugs. The Catholic Doctors also offered a talk on health and wellness, whereby they sensitised the people on the need to always exercise, eat healthy food, and drink responsibly. Speaking at the event held inside the premises of Catholic Church of the Annunciation in the community, ACMPN’s National President, Dr. Matthew Ashikeni, at the weekend said the medical outreach was part of the activities of its 15th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Scientific 2021 conference scheduled for next month, in Abuja. Ashikeni noted that it was a full package of healthcare services to the people in this community, with minimum target of 500 beneficiaries. According to him, “Health is wealth, and Gishiri from its setting is more or less a rural community though it’s so close to the city, and as Catholic Doctors, we are preparing for our national conference next month, and as part of the preparations for the event here in Abuja, we feel that we

should give something back to our people especially those who don’t have any access to essential health services. “We have organised this medical outreach, in order to attend to the basic health problems of people in this community. We come to run some investigation and tests for malaria, diabetes, blood pressure, HIV and screening them for COVID19. “We are prepared to test

from 500 to 1,000 people in the community. The minimum is 500 beneficiaries. Amongst us here, we have very senior medical consultants because they passion for service to their fatherland (Nigeria)”. On his part, Reverend Father Benedict Ahamiojie, the priest in charge of the Catholic church of annunciation, Gishiri Community, the environment and health sector needs improvement, so that people

live a healthier life and in healthier conditions. He expressed gratitude that the doctors thought it worthy to offer free medical tests for about 600 people in Gis, to enable them know their HIV, hypertesis and COVID19 status. “All these are important, because if they know what is wrong with them, they can help solve their problems already, and they prevent any disease from spreading”, the clergyman

added. One of the benefits, Comfort Kure, said the initiative will help a lot, because there are so many of us in this community that cannot even afford food, talk more of money to go to hospital to run tests and buy drugs. According to her, “I believe it’s going to help so many of us here in the community, as they offered important medical services to us, free of charge”.

A Medical Practitioner checking the blood pressure of one of beneficiaries of Catholic Doctors’ medical outreach to inhabitants of the Gishiri Community, Abuja, at the weekend.

How Police foiled armed robbery attack in Kubwa By Stanley Onyekwere


he FCT Police Command have revealed how its operatives from Kubwa Division foiled an armed robbery attempt at a Hotel along Kubwa axis of Abuja, and recovery of dangerous weapons in the process. A statement from Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Yusuf Mariam, said its

operatives, who were on routine patrol engaged the robbers in a fierce gun duel, however, one of the suspects sustained serious gunshot injuries, was rushed to the hospital were the doctor confirmed him dead. The Statement added that exhibits recovered from the late suspect include: one (1) berratta pistol, three (3) rounds, one(1) silver Mazda space wagon and plate numbers. And effort is in

top gear to arrest the fleeing suspects. In a related development, the Police arrested one (1) suspect for culpable homicide along Kasuwa-Dere, Gwagwalada axis. “Actibg on credible intelligence, the suspect one Danladi Abubakar, 20 yearold was arrested by Police Detectives from Gwagwalada Division for the gruesome

murder of a yet to be identified middle-aged woman. “The suspect, who was identified by another victim confessed to being a member of a notorious phone snatching syndicate of operating along Gwagwalada axis. “Exhibits recovered are: one (1) sharp knife used for stabbing the deceased and one (1) techno phone belonging to the late woman.

“All the suspects will be arraigned in court upon conclusion of investigation. The Command implores residents to report all suspicious movements, emergency or distress, and to report the conduct of Police Officers, by calling the Public Complaint Bureau (PCB) number: 09022222352”, the Police stated in the statement.

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world news

Tasmanian devils devastate penguin population on Australian island


project to preserve endangered Tasmanian devils on a small island has backfired after the predators killed seabirds in large numbers, a conservation group says. A small number of devils were shipped to Maria Island east of Tasmania, Australia, in 2012. The move aimed to protect the mammals from a deadly facial cancer that had driven them towards extinction. The devils have recovered since, but the island project has come at a cost. The introduction of the devils to the island has had "a catastrophic impact on one or more bird species", according to BirdLife Tasmania, a local conservation organisation. Citing a government survey, BirdLife Tasmania said a population of little penguins that numbered 3,000 breeding pairs in 2012 had disappeared from the island. "Losing 3,000 pairs of penguins from an island that is a national park that should be a refuge for this species basically is a major blow," said Dr Eric Woehler, a researcher for the group. Dr Woehler said the outcome was no surprise given what research shows about the introduction of mammals to oceanic islands. In 2011, a report by the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment suggested the introduction of devils would have "a negative impact on little penguin and shearwater colonies on Maria Island". Last year, a paper published in the Biological Conservation journal said the devils had "eliminated" a colony of shearwater, a species of sea bird. "It's very clear that the devils have had a catastrophic ecological impact on the bird fauna on Maria Island," Dr Woehler said. Tasmanian devils at a glance: • The Tasmanian devil is the world's largest surviving carnivorous marsupial, a type of mammal • They can live for more than five years in the wild, if they avoid catching cancer • Males weigh up to 12kg, females up to 8kg • Hearing is considered to be their strongest sense • Devils have at least 11 distinct vocal calls • They were given their name in 1803 when sailors reported "unearthly" calls The mammals were moved to the island under the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP), a joint initiative of the Australian and Tasmanian governments. Tasmanian devils are classified as an endangered species by the IUCN Red List, which keeps a database on the conservation status of animals. But Dr Woehler said their numbers had recovered in Tasmania and on the Australian mainland, where devils were born for the first time in thousands of years last month. Given this, Dr Woehler said removing the mammals from Maria Island would "not have any adverse consequences for the devil".

PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021



Swedish government toppled in no-confidence vote


weden’s parliament has passed a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Stefan Lofven. A total of 181 of the 349 MPs voted in favour of the motion, with 51 abstentions. It is the first time in Swedish history that a prime minister has been ousted in such a vote. The Social Democrat leader has a week to resign or call a snap election. The decision came after a dispute over rent controls led the Left party to withdraw its support for the coalition. The result means a collapse of the Social Democrat’s minority coalition government with the Green Party. If the prime minister decides to step down, the parliament’s speaker will have to begin cross-party negotiations to form a new government. Sweden’s Left party called for the noconfidence vote last week amid a row over proposals to end a rent cap on new-build flats. Although Mr Lofven’s party does not support the measure, it had agreed to consider the plans to appease other opposition parties. The vote was proposed by the nationalist Sweden Democrats and backed by two centre-right opposition parties.

Any new government would remain in place until general elections, which are set to take place in September next year. Whether or not to get rid of rent caps has long been a hotly-debated policy in Sweden, where there’s a housing shortage. But until last week, few political observers would have predicted it could bring down the current government. The irony is that Sweden’s centre-left Prime Minister Stefan Lofven is himself in favour of rent controls. His coalition only agreed to look into the idea of scrapping them in new-build blocks, to appease two small centre-right opposition parties to help prop up his fragile minority government. But in doing so he’s ended up losing the backing of a long-time ally, the Left Party. It withdrew its support for the government last week, paving the way for the noconfidence vote. Now, in a second ironic twist, housing debates could well slide much further down the political agenda, with either a snap election or cross-party talks to form a new government more likely to focus on what Lofven’s centre-right opponents view as more pressing issues, such as the country’s economic recovery after the pandemic, rising violent crime and immigration.

Stefan Lofven is Sweden’s first prime minister to lose a no-confidence vote

Spain confirms plans to pardon Catalan separatists

Protesters called for Catalan independence and amnesties for the jailed leaders


panish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has confirmed plans to pardon Catalan separatists this week. Nine leaders were jailed for sedition over a failed independence attempt in 2017. Another three were found guilty of disobedience but not jailed. Their pardons will be sent to the cabinet on Tuesday. Tens of thousands of people protested against the plans earlier this month, but the

government says the move will help calm tensions over Catalonia. The semi-autonomous region’s drive for independence almost four years ago plunged Spain into its biggest political crisis in 40 years. Opponents, however, have accused the Spanish government of using the plans to gain political support. “Tomorrow, guided by this constitutional spirit of forgiveness, I will propose that the

cabinet approve the pardon,” Mr Sánchez announced during a speech in Barcelona on Monday. “To reach an agreement someone must almost always take the first step,” he said. “The Spanish government will take that step now.” Opposition to the decision has been widespread, with a recent poll for Spanish newspaper El Mundo finding that about 61% of people were against pardoning the separatist leaders. The country’s Supreme Court has also said it opposes the decision, although its position is not binding. But the prime minister’s decision has also been met with anger by Catalan protesters, who believe the leaders should never have been jailed in the first place. Separatist leader Quim Torra, who was banned from holding public office after refusing to take down a pro-independence symbol from a government building, had refused to join the prime minister’s announcement, describing it as an act of “propaganda”. Riot police were stationed outside Barcelona’s opera house, where hundreds of protesters calling for Catalan independence continued to demonstrate during Mr Sánchez’s visit.

James Michael Tyler: Friends' Gunther reveals cancer diagnosis


riends star James Michael Tyler, who played Central Perk waiter Gunther, has said he has stage four prostate cancer. In an interview with NBC's Today show, the 59-year-old revealed he was diagnosed in September 2018 after a routine physical examination. It has since spread to the actor's bones and he can no longer walk. He is undergoing chemotherapy. "Eventually, you know, it's gonna probably get me," he told host Craig Melvin. Speaking about his diagnosis, he said: "I was 56 years old at the time, and they screen for PSA, which is prostate-specific antigen. "That came back at an extraordinarily high number... so I knew immediately when

I went online and I saw the results of my blood test and blood work that there was obviously something quite wrong there. "Nearly immediately, my doctor called me and said, 'Hey, I need you to come in tomorrow because I suspect that you may have quite a serious problem with your prostate.'" Actor James Michael Tyler (@slate_ michael) played Gunther on “Friends” for 10 years, but he was unable to attend the recent cast reunion in person because he’s been battling a serious health issue. Now he’s sharing his news for the first time with @craigmelvin. pic.twitter.com/272tg4Sbvc After he missed another test during the pandemic, the cancer spread to his bones, he revealed, and is now at stage four. "Late

PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021

stage cancer," he confirmed. "So eventually, you know, it's gonna probably get me." He took the opportunity to urge other men to get themselves checked out at their next doctor's appointment. "There are other options available to men if they catch it before me," he said. 'A joy to work with' While he didn't command the same amount of screen time as the six main Friends characters, Gunther was and remains a popular figure among fans. Gunther worked as a waiter and manager in the coffee house, Central Perk, and had a crush on Jennifer Anniston's character Rachel throughout the series, who also worked there as a waitress in the show's early seasons.

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Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis: Abiy Ahmed denies reports of hunger E thiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has denied that there is hunger in the country’s war-torn Tigray region. Speaking at a polling station on the day of the country’s general election, Mr Abiy admitted there was a problem but said the government could fix it. The fighting, which the UN says has left five million people in need of food aid, is now in its eighth month. More than 350,000 of them are living in famine conditions in Tigray, according to a recent UN-backed estimate. “There is no hunger in Tigray,” Mr Abiy told the BBC after he had voted. “There is a problem and the government is capable of fixing that.” Last week, the UN’s humanitarian chief, Mark Lowcock, told a closed session of the Security Council that there was famine in Tigray. He also said that starvation was being used as a weapon of war by troops from neighbouring Eritrea who are fighting alongside Ethiopian forces in Tigray. Eritrea has denied the accusation. Mr Abiy said Ethiopia would not push the Eritreans out but was working with them to “finalise... issues peacefully”. A study released on 10 June by the UNbacked Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) initiative found that 350,000 people were living in what it described as “catastrophe/famine”. At the time, Ethiopia denied that this was the case.

rights violations, including deliberately causing the lack of food - charges it denies. Ethiopian soldiers and others involved in the conflict have also been accused of violations. In March, Mr Abiy said that the Eritrean soldiers “will withdraw” without specifying when. At the beginning of this month his spokesperson said reports from the defence ministry indicated they had begun withdrawing.

Prime Minister Abiy voted near the place where he grew up in Oromia A further five million people were either last year, has forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes and disrupted in “crisis” or “emergency”, the study said. The Ethiopian authorities have said that agriculture. they are distributing food aid and denied Ethiopia’s government launched an reports that they are restricting access to offensive to oust the region’s then ruling humanitarian agencies. party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front ‘Nothing to eat’ People in Qafta Humera, an isolated (TPLF). The party had had a massive fallout with district in the west of Tigray, told the BBC earlier this month that they were on the Mr Abiy over his political reforms though the TPLF’s capture of federal military bases verge of starvation. “We don’t have anything to eat,” one in Tigray was the catalyst for the invasion. ‘Sudanese troops in Tigray’ man said by phone, explaining their crops Ethiopia has allied with neighbouring and livestock had been looted during Eritrea, whose troops have crossed the months of war. The conflict, which began in November border and have been accused of human

“We are not pushing them out but we are making it peacefully, I am sure it will happen,” Mr Abiy told the BBC. “We are working with [Eritrea] to finalise our issues peacefully.” He also said that Sudanese troops were in Tigray but did not explain in what capacity. Monday’s general election is the first electoral test for the prime minister who came to power in 2018 as the nominee of the then-ruling coalition. His reforming zeal, which saw the country become more open and democratic, won him supporters both inside and outside the country. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 after ending a 20-year stalemate with Eritrea. But the conflict in Tigray has soured his reputation. Voting is not taking place there because of the insecurity.

Ethiopia elections 2021: Abiy Ahmed faces first vote amid conflict


thiopians have been voting in key elections amid rising tensions and a conflict in the northern Tigray region. This pandemic-delayed poll is Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s first electoral test since coming to power in 2018. But the vote was postponed in Tigray, where the army has been fighting a local force since November. Insecurity and logistical problems have hit other parts of the country as well, so overall there was no voting in about a fifth of constituencies. The Tigray conflict has sparked a humanitarian crisis, with 350,000 people living in famine conditions, according to a recent assessment. The head of the electoral commission, Birtukan Mideksa, said that while things had gone mostly smoothly she was worried about the intimidation of opposition party agents in some places - particularly in the Amhara region and the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region. “Some complain they have been beaten or denied access to voting stations,” she told journalists. “If this issue is not resolved immediately the outcome of the election might be compromised.” Voting was due to end at 18:00 local time (15:00 GMT) but has been extended by three hours in some areas because election materials arrived late. In the capital, Addis Ababa, BBC reporters saw long queues of voters during the day. It is one area where Mr Abiy is expected to face a stiff challenge and where the opposition has succeeded in the past. “I came here to contribute to the election which I believe could be a great milestone for democracy,” Demiss Beyene, who started queuing two hours before polls opened, told the BBC. “I believe the election will bring in

Some 37 million people registered to vote in the election wins a majority of the 547 seats in the national assembly. He says the polls will be “the nation’s first attempt at free and fair elections”. His reformist zeal saw him win the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, but just a year later, he launched a military operation in his own country. He deployed troops to Tigray to oust the TPLF as the region’s ruling party after it seized military bases in what Mr Abiy saw as a bid to overthrow him. It resulted in a conflict that has killed thousands of people and has led to mass hunger and reports of a famine in the region. What does the opposition say? More than 40 parties have fielded candidates but most of them are regional parties. Opposition parties have complained that a government crackdown against their officials disrupted their plans to prepare for the polls. Opposition leader Berhanu Nega cast his vote in Addis Ababa

peace... I really wish this election brings back our unity, instead of dividing us over ethnicity,” Tadelech Benti, another voter in Addis Ababa, said. The general election, the first since 2015, was originally slated for August 2020 but was rescheduled because of coronavirus. Results are expected within five days. Why are these elections so important? Mr Abiy came to power in 2018 as the nominee of the then-ruling coalition but he has never faced the electorate. He became prime minister on the back of protests against the government dominated by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and introduced a series of reforms. In the last election, the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition and its allies won all the seats but Mr Abiy has dissolved the coalition and created a new party - the Prosperity Party - in an attempt to reduce ethnic division. The TPLF, however, did not join. Mr Abiy will keep his post if the party

Casting his vote, Berhanu Nega the leader of one of the main opposition parties, Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice, said he hoped the result would reflect the popular will. “This doesn’t mean there will not be problems. But the problems would not be significant enough to overturn or reflect what the public actually voted,” he told journalists at the polling station. In some pivotal regions, such as Oromia, opposition parties are boycotting the election, alleging government intimidation. The TPLF has been designated a terrorist organisation. Some of its leaders have been arrested, while others are on the run or are continuing to wage a guerrilla war in Tigray. In the valley between rolling hills the local market in Beshasha village has been turned into a polling station for the day. This is where Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was born and grew up and he is hugely popular. But there are two candidates running against Mr Abiy and they tell me that local officials have harassed their supporters and made it hard for them to campaign. Yet they’re careful about how much they criticise the prime minister. Some of the country’s biggest political parties have boycotted this election citing intimidation from the state. And some of Mr Abiy’s biggest opponents on the national stage are in detention accused of trying to destabilise the country. Despite the fact that 20% of constituencies will not vote today the government is standing by today’s vote and says it will be a genuine reflection of the will of Ethiopians. Will the poll be free and fair? Despite being billed as a national contest, elections will not be held in around onefifth of the country’s 547 constituencies, including all 38 seats in Tigray and 64 others across Ethiopia.



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ran’s president-elect has welcomed the negotiations with world powers aimed at reviving a 2015 nuclear deal but said they must guarantee national interests. At his first news conference since his victory in Friday’s election, Ebrahim Raisi promised he would not allow the talks in Vienna to be dragged out. He also insisted that Iran’s ballistic missile programme was “not negotiable”. The nuclear deal has been close to collapse since the US abandoned it and reinstated sanctions three years ago. Iran nuclear crisis: The basics • World powers don’t trust Iran: Some countries believe Iran wants nuclear power because it wants to build a nuclear bomb - it denies this. • So a deal was struck: In 2015, Iran and six other countries reached a major agreement. Iran would stop some nuclear work in return for an end to harsh penalties, or sanctions, hurting its economy. • What is the problem now? Iran re-started banned nuclear work after former US President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal and re-imposed sanctions on Iran. Even though new leader Joe Biden wants to rejoin, both sides say the other must make the first move. Mr Raisi, a hard-line Shia Muslim cleric who is head of Iran’s judiciary and is close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, won Friday’s election by a landslide, with 62% of the vote in the first round. However, turnout was just under 49% - a record low for a presidential poll in the country since the 1979 Islamic Revolution - following calls for a boycott from dissidents and some reformists in response to the disqualification of several prominent candidates who might have provided serious competition.


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PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Iran nuclear deal: President-elect Raisi issues warning over talks

Ebrahim Raisi Iran’s ballistic missile programme and regional issues were not up for discussion Mr Raisi is an ultraconservative cleric and a fierce critic of the West On Monday, Mr Raisi described Iranians’ participation in the election as a message of “unity and cohesion”, and a sign that they continued to “walk the path” of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. He also said voters had given him a mandate to “fight against corruption, poverty, and discrimination”, which he had accused the moderate President Hassan Rouhani of failing to tackle during the campaign. Mr Raisi said his approach to foreign policy would not be limited by the nuclear deal negotiated by Mr Rouhani, which saw Iran agree to limit its nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief. On the Vienna talks, he said: “We will not allow negotiations to be for negotiations’ sake. Negotiations

should not be dragged out but each sitting should bear results. A resultoriented [negotiation] is important to us and it should have an outcome for the Iranian nation.” Mr Raisi urged the US to immediately return to the deal and lift all the sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy. When asked if he would meet President Joe Biden if it did so, he replied: “No.” He likewise dismissed the possibility of any negotiations over Iran’s ballistic missile programme and its regional policies, including its support of armed groups in several countries, despite calls by Western countries for them to be part of any new agreement reached in Vienna. On Sunday, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi said representatives in Vienna were “closer than ever to an agreement”, but that bridging the remaining gap

was “not an easy job”. Israel’s new Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, meanwhile warned world powers “to wake up before returning to the nuclear agreement”. He said Mr Raisi, who was involved in the mass executions of political prisoners in 1988 when he was Tehran’s deputy prosecutor, was part of a “regime of brutal hangmen”. When questioned about his human rights record on Monday, Mr Raisi said: “I am proud to have defended human rights in every position I have held so far.” Analysis By Kasra Naji, BBC Persian Ebrahim Raisi’s statements in his first news conference as presidentelect are not going to reassure many people, whether about policies at home, or about Iran’s engagement with the outside world. He painted a picture of a hardliner who is set in his

ways. He is best known for his role in signing off on the execution of thousands of Iranian political prisoners in 1988. He is sanctioned by the US for his role in human rights abuses. But he seemed unapologetic, saying he had helped bring security to the nation, and that he should be praised and thanked for what he had done. This issue will not doubt continue to overshadow his presidency. As the head of the judiciary, he has presided over many cases of gross injustice, particularly relating to human rights activists like Nasrin Sotoudeh. There was nothing in his comments to suggest we will see an improvement in Iran’s human rights record. Mr Raisi said he had always endeavoured to fight for the human rights of the people. On the indirect talks with the US in Vienna he was ambivalent, although he said they would continue if there were clear achievements. He was softer than expected on Israel, saying nothing except that Iran would continue to support the Palestinians. And he was enthusiastic about expanding relations with China. He said he would regard the implementation of a long-term cooperation agreement with China as a priority. Mr Raisi projected no particular personal character that would mark the next four years in his image. Already, some observers are saying he will be the executive officer for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who they believe will be driving policies at home and abroad more than before.

Jordan tries ex-royal adviser and minor royal over alleged coup plot


ordan’s former royal court chief and a minor royal have gone on trial at a military court on charges of sedition and incitement against the monarchy. Bassem Awadallah and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid were detained in early April, when former Crown Prince Hamzah was placed under house arrest over an alleged plot to destabilise the nation. The two men pleaded not guilty in court on Monday, one of their lawyers said. Prince Hamzah, the halfbrother of King Abdullah, is not facing any charges. The king said he had decided to deal with his case “within the framework of the Hashemite family” after he publicly pledged his allegiance. However, an indictment filed against Mr Awadallah and

Sharif Hassan accuses the prince of having been “determined to satisfy his personal ambition to rule”. What happened in April? Prince Hamzah, 41, is the eldest son of the late King Hussein and his favourite wife Queen Noor. He was named crown prince in 1999, when his father died and Abdullah acceded to the throne. However, Abdullah stripped Hamzah of the position in 2004 and named his own son, Hussein, as his heir five years later. On 3 April, Prince Hamzah released two videos to the BBC in which he said he had been placed under house arrest, and that a senior official had told him he was not allowed to communicate with people because of criticism of the government or king voiced

at meetings where he had been present. He denied any wrongdoing and insisted he had only spoken out against corruption and poor governance. Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi later alleged that the prince had been liaising with “some foreign entities” and that he had sought to mobilise “clan leaders against the government”. On 5 April, after mediation by the royal family, Prince Hamzah signed a letter confirming he remained “committed to the constitution” of Jordan. King Abdullah declared two days later that the alleged plot had been “nipped in the bud”, and that Hamzah was “with his family in his palace under my care”. But he said the crisis had been for him “the most painful”

of his 22-year reign, because the “sedition came from within and without our one house”. What are the defendants alleged to have done? Eighteen people were arrested over the alleged plot. All but Mr Awadallah and Sharif Hassan were released without charge in late April. Last week, state media said the pair would stand trial at the State Security Court (SSC) for “incitement against the political regime” and “carrying out acts that endanger the safety and security of society and stirring up sedition” in violation of the 2006 anti-terrorism law. Sharif Hassan is also accused of “possessing narcotics and substance abuse”. They could face up to 20 years in prison if they are convicted.

An indictment alleged that Mr Awadallah and Sharif Hassan had conspired with Prince Hamzah who, it said, “was determined to satisfy his personal ambition to rule, in violation of the constitution and Hashemite custom”. “To succeed, he sought to exploit the concerns and problems of the population and to arouse sedition and frustration in society,” it added. Jordan’s government turned down a request from neighbouring Saudi Arabia to hand over Mr Awadallah, who is an economic adviser to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and holds dual Jordanian-Saudi citizenship. The Saudi government has denied any involvement in the alleged plot. Source: BBC

Israel’s new PM Naftali Bennett promises to unite nation


srael’s new Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, has promised to unite a nation frayed by years of political stalemate. He said his government would

“work for the sake of all the people”, adding that the priorities would be reforms in education, health and cutting red tape. The right-wing nationalist will

lead an unprecedented coalition of parties that won a confidence vote by a razor-thin margin of just one seat on Sunday. He succeeds Benjamin

Netanyahu, who was forced out of office after 12 years. Mr Bennett, the leader of Yamina party, will be prime minister until September 2023 as

part of a power-sharing deal. He will then hand power over to Yair Lapid, head of the centrist Yesh Atid party, for a further two years.

PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021


Birtukan Mideksa: Ethiopia’s electoral board chairperson A

former political prisoner who went into exile in the US, Birtukan Mideksa is now centre-stage in Ethiopia as she oversees the country’s first parliamentary election since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office in 2018 on a pledge to end decades of authoritarian rule. Recommending Ms Birtukan, 47, to the all-important post of chairperson of the electoral board, the new premier described her as someone who would “never surrender, even to the government”. Many agreed with that sentiment as she had built a reputation for being brave and independent-minded as a lawyer, judge and politician. Ms Birtukan contested the 2001 parliamentary election as an independent, but lost to the candidate of the ruling coalition, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), conceding that her defeat was due to her “limited popularity” rather than rigging. She then became a judge, catching the attention of the public a year later when she resisted political interference in the judiciary by ordering the release of former Defence Minister Siye Abraha. His arrest on corruption charges was seen as an attempt to neutralise a formidable rival of then-Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. “Siyes’ case is the visible one. But they [Ms Birtukan and other judges] all tried to challenge the system invisibly for a while,” said a friend, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Restless for change, Ms Birtukan moved back into politics, playing a key role in the formation of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) to present a united front against the EPRDF in the 2005 parliamentary election, which was widely seen as the most fiercely contested poll in Ethiopia’s history, with the opposition claiming that it had been robbed of victory. As a senior CUD official, Ms Birtukan was an obvious target for the security forces, and she was among thousands of people detained in the crackdown that followed the election. Almost 200 people were shot by police. Prosecuted by a friend An underground network that the CUD had built was crushed, but from prison, its leaders - including Ms Birtukan - rebuilt it, calling it the Kinjit International Council (KIC), to mobilise support for the campaign for democracy. “They usually discussed and took decisions on the way to court,” said a friend of Ms Birtukan, who preferred to remain anonymous. In 2006, Ms Birtukan was among a large number of detainees - including current Ethiopian Human Rights Commission chairman Daniel Bekele - who were charged with various offences, including treason. To their shock, one of the prosecutors turned out to be Shimels Kemal - a friend of Ms Birtukan and a housemate of Mr Daniel - who asked the judge to sentence them to death. “The scene was so dramatic,” a colleague, who knew them, recalled in an interview with BBC Amharic. “Shimels doesn’t let things go easily. He mixes politics with personal. He felt

betrayed when his friends chose another line of ideology.” The judge rejected the prosecutor’s request, and imposed a life sentence instead. Forced to leave her little daughter in the care of her elderly mother, Ms Birtukan began serving her sentence at the notorious Kaliti prison, where she acted as a peacemaker between rival CUD factions after major differences emerged within their ranks. “She didn’t solve the problem but they

Meles Zenawi was accused of ruling Ethiopia with an iron fist

More than 37 million people have registered to vote, officials say

Birtukan Mideksa’s release in 2010 was a huge relief to her family and friends entered into talks with a panel of elders then rebuilt an underground network from who brokered a deal between them and the scratch, successfully,” said Ms Birtukan’s government. friend. This led to her release in 2007 after In jail, she was one of the prisoners who 18 months in jail, with Ms Birtukan being

In 2006, Ms Birtukan was among a large number of detainees - including current Ethiopian Human Rights Commission chairman Daniel Bekele who were charged with various offences, including treason.


among those who signed a document regretting “mistakes” and asking Prime Minister Meles for a pardon. The decision caused controversy in opposition circles, and she tried to play down the significance of the document in a speech she gave during a visit abroad. Then-police chief Wokneh Gebeyehu now the executive secretary of the regional body Igad - ordered her to apologise, accusing her of breaching the conditions of her pardon. Ms Birtukan refused, and during the Christmas period in 2008, she was sent back to prison to serve the rest of her life sentence. In an article published in Ethiopia’s Addis Neger newspaper shortly before her re-arrest, she wrote: “Maybe this is my last word,” and in a significant comment amid the controversy over her decision to seek a pardon, she wrote: “I signed on that document. This is a fact that I can’t change, even if I want to.” Her new prison conditions were harsher, and she was kept in solitary confinement for two months, when she was denied the right to even see her daughter. Exile in the US This increased public sympathy for her, with Amnesty International calling her a prisoner of conscience and South Africa’s Mail & Guardian newspaper describing her as Ethiopia’s most famous political prisoner. In October 2010, Ms Birtukan was again freed after negotiating another pardon. Following her release, she and her daughter went into exile in the US, where she studied at the Harvard Kennedy School and later worked for the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a US agency which says it supports democracy around the world. She returned to Ethiopia after Mr Abiy took power, promising to end years of repression. But the euphoria around her appointment has to some extent faded. After repeated delays, the poll is now taking place on Monday, although some major opposition parties are boycotting it, saying conditions for a free and fair poll do not exist. Among Ms Birtukan’s critics is Professor Merera Gudina, who has known her for 21 years. He heads the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), which is boycotting the election. “We had not seen illegal polling stations or an inability to register a candidate at their constituency during the previous elections,” he said. With the OFC and another party boycotting the poll in Oromia, war in the northern Tigray region and a postponement in parts of the Somali region, “the election is mainly in Amhara region and in [the capital] Addis Ababa”, he added. But for Addis Ababa University academic Mesenbet Assefa, Ms Birtukan has done a good job. “The problems are not the making of the [election] board or the government. Political parties have the responsibility of doing what democracy requires - a disciplined discourse - not using arms to topple the government.” Ms Birtukan herself has sought to manage expectations over the elections. In a letter to the US Senate in May, she warned “shortfalls are inevitable given factors such as... a nascent democratic culture and an increasingly charged political and security environment”. Source: BBC

PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021




an you ever be too fit? It may sound unlikely, but actually you can have too much of a good thing when it comes to exercise, especially if you are tall. And that may be particularly true when it comes to the risk of developing a common heart condition: atrial fibrillation (AF), which affects around 1.5 million people in the UK. It is a heart rhythm disorder which makes the heart beat irregularly and often abnormally fast, causing dizziness, shortness of breath and tiredness. Left untreated, the condition can cause heart failure and stroke. It is triggered by irregular electrical impulses in the upper chambers of the heart (the atria) which disturb its rhythm. AF gets more common with age. Risk factors include high blood pressure, heart valve problems, blocked arteries, excessive alcohol consumption and an overactive thyroid, all of which make the heart work harder. Mild to moderate exercise will help prevent AF by reducing obesity and blood pressure. But AF is an astonishing five times more common in middle-aged men who are lifelong marathon runners, longdistance rowers and cyclists, compared with individuals of the same age who don’t exercise as much. ‘The theory is that excessive exercise causes enlargement of the atria due to the stretching of the tissues as a result of exertion,’ explains Sanjay Sharma, a professor of sports cardiology and inherited cardiac diseases at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in London. ‘There is also emerging evidence that repetitive stretching may cause inflammation or scarring of the atria, which predisposes a patient to AF.’ As an Olympic rowing champion, Greg Searle, now 48, prided himself on his fitness. ‘After the 2012 Olympics, I retired from competitive sport but kept my fitness ticking along, playing the odd game of tennis or five-a-side football and going for a run,’ explains Greg, who is now a rowing commentator and performance coach. He lives in Buckinghamshire with his wife and two children. Left untreated, the condition can cause heart failure and stroke. It is triggered by irregular electrical impulses in the upper chambers of the heart (the atria) which disturb its rhythm +3 Left untreated, the condition can cause heart failure and stroke. It is triggered by irregular electrical impulses in the upper chambers of the heart (the atria) which disturb its rhythm But a year after picking up a bronze medal at London 2012, he says: ‘I found myself struggling during spinning classes, though I didn’t really think anything of it at the time.’ A few months later, in October 2013, Greg was in Italy for a triathlon and underwent a routine medical before the race. To his surprise, the doctor told him his heart rate was ‘jumping around all over the place’ and he couldn’t take part.


Why too much exercise might not be a good thing... especially if you’re tall (V)

Can you ever be too fit? It may sound unlikely, but actually you can have too much of a good thing when it comes to exercise, especially if you are tall [File photo] Suspecting AF, the doctor sent Greg to hospital where he was put on bloodthinning drugs to reduce the risk of stroke. He was flown back to the UK and within weeks had tests at St George’s Hospital — including one in which he had to walk on a treadmill. ‘My heart rate started low, at around 80 beats per minute, then climbed as my exertion levels increased, to 110, then 140. Next it shot up to 260 beats per minute,’ says Greg. ‘I knew that reading was very high, above what was healthy. It was a really sad moment for me. I knew this was the end of my career as an athlete.’ Trudie Lobban, founder and chief executive officer of Arrhythmia Alliance and the AF Association, says AF can be easily detected with a simple pulse check. But while some people are alerted to the condition by the heart fluttering or pounding for a few seconds or minutes at a time, others have no symptoms and, as a result, ‘it can be years before it is detected’, she says. The fitter you are, the more likely

you are to feel symptoms, as it brings performance levels down, says Professor Sharma. This is because AF is associated with a 25 per cent reduction in the amount of blood the heart can pump out. As an Olympic rowing champion, Greg Searle, now 48, prided himself on his fitness. ‘After the 2012 Olympics, I retired from competitive sport but kept my fitness ticking along, playing the odd game of tennis or five-a-side football and going for a run,’ explains Greg, who is now a rowing commentator and performance coach. He lives in Buckinghamshire with his wife and two children ‘When people exercise intensively, instead of the heart pumping five litres of blood per minute around the body, this increases to 25 to 30 litres per minute to provide sufficient oxygen and fuel to the muscles,’ he says. ‘If you have AF, this dramatic increase in output may not be achievable, causing breathlessness or exhaustion. ‘In contrast, someone who just walks briskly or jogs slowly may not need

When people exercise intensively, instead of the heart pumping five litres of blood per minute around the body, this increases to 25 to 30 litres per minute to provide sufficient oxygen and fuel to the muscles,’ he says.

such a high increase in cardiac output and may tolerate the AF much better. Anyone who does a form of endurance exercise who gets tightness in the chest or another symptom, such as a feeling of breathlessness disproportionate to the amount of exercise; dizziness during exertion; or an unusually fast or erratic heart rate should seek medical attention.’ To be at greater risk of exerciserelated AF you need to have done 21 years of intensive exercise or 1,500 hours of competitive running, cycling or triathlon, he says. But another factor is height. ‘Taller men generate higher blood pressure during exercise, which may load the heart more and put more stress on the atria,’ adds Professor Sharma. Since an untreated irregular heart rhythm raises the risk of a stroke, diagnosis is vital. This is because AF allows blood to pool in the atria, which can lead to blood clots that may travel to the brain. Anticoagulant drugs such as warfarin can help with this but do not treat the underlying problem, and while antiarrhythmic drugs such as flecainide can help restore the heart’s normal rhythm, they don’t work for all. Another option includes cardioversion, a controlled electric shock treatment used to bring back a normal heart rhythm.

PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Page 27

PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021






sports@peoplesdailyng.com, SMS- 08142929046

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Rohr calls 25 home Eagles to camp cor Mexico match By Amaechi Agbo


uper Eagles’ goalkeepers John Noble and Ikechukwu Ezenwa, as well as forward Anayo Iwuala top the list of 25 players invited to camp for next month’s international friendly match between Nigeria and Mexico at the famous Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in the State of California, United States of America. Three-time African champions Nigeria will clash with the CONCACAF Gold Cup holders on Saturday, 3rd July in what is part of the Mexican’s MexTour Series that will see them play three matches before clashing with Nigeria. Also invited are Rivers’ United ace defender Ifeanyi Anaemena, Enyimba FC midfielder Ekundayo Ojo and forwards Ibrahim Olawoyin (Rangers International) and Stephen Jude (Kwara United). The players are expected to report at the Serob Legacy Hotel, Wuye, Abuja on Tuesday, 22nd June with their travel documents. Only 22 of them will travel to the United States of America for the glamour friendly. The match, which kicks off at 7.30pm LA time will be the sixth confrontation between the senior teams of both countries, four of which have ended in draws. The only win in the series has gone to Mexico, when they trumped a US Gold Cup encounter in Dallas (State of Texas) 2-1 on 24th June 1995. Close-fought confrontations include a 1-1 draw at the FIFA Intercontinental Tournament for the King Fahd Cup (now FIFA Confederations Cup) in Saudi Arabia on 13th January 1995 (Mexico prevailed 5-4 on penalties in the quarter final match), and 0-0 draws in friendly matches in Houston and Atlanta the previous decade. A friendly game in Mexico also ended 2-2. It is expected that the LA Coliseum, a

Eriksen and Okwaraji 77,500 –capacity facility that has hosted major international championships of all all grades, will be at full capacity for the friendly match. NFF’s FIFA Match Agent, Jairo Pachon of Eurodata Sport, said while announcing the encounter last month: “We are happy to be able to announce this match, which is a clash between two very big teams from two different continents. Mexico against Nigeria is a big match any day and the venue is class.” Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa

(Heartland FC); John Noble (Enyimba FC) Defenders: Olisa Ndah (Akwa United); Adekunle Adeleke (Abia Warriors); Tope Olusesi (Rangers International); Ifeanyi Anaemena (Rivers United); Christopher Nwaeze (Kwara United); Enyinnaya Kazie (Rivers United); Mohammed Zirkiflu (Plateau United); Imoh Ubot (Enyimba FC); Tebo Franklin Degaulle (Nasarawa United); Lawal Oriyomi Murtala (Kwara United) Midfielders: Anthony Shimaga (Rangers

International); Seth Mayi (Akwa United); Uche Nwasonaya (Plateau United); Samuel Nnoshiri (Katsina United); Ekundayo Ojo (Enyimba FC) Forwards: Anayo Iwuala (Enyimba FC); Stephen Jude (Kwara United); Ibrahim Olawoyin (Rangers International); Charles Ashimene (Akwa United); Chinonso Ezekwe (Rangers International); Auwalu Ali Malam (Kano Pillars); Neurot Emmanuel (Plateau United); Abdulmutalif Sanusi (Katsina United)

2020/2021 NWFL Championship League begins in Abuja


he 2020/2021 Nigeria Women Football League will start in Abuja on Tuesday, 22nd June, 2021 at the Aguiyi Ironsi Sports Complex, Abuja with the arrival, Draws and Pre-Match meeting for the six participating clubs from across Nigeria; Kwara Ladies Fc, Kaduna Queens Fc, Gallant Queens Fc, Naija Ratels Fc, Heartland Queens and Adamawa Queens in Abuja. The NWFL Championship League proper will start on Wednesday June 23, with the Match Day One that would see three matches played at the Aguiyi Ironsi Sports Complex.

The Match Day Two comes up on Thursday, June 24, with all the six teams playing themselves just as it was done on the first day. There will be a Rest Day on Friday, June 25, while matches continue on Saturday, June 26 with the Match Day Three with all six teams engaged in league games. Sunday June 27 is Match Day Four, with same schedule of three matches to be played at the Aguiyi Ironsi Sports Complex. Monday June 28 is Rest Day Two to allow the teams recover from knocks on

players and get refreshed for the final day on Tuesday June 29 with same number of matches but two of those games played simultaneously. According to the General Coordinator of the NWFL Championship, Rt. Honourable Margaret Incheen, all arrangements have been perfected for a successful Championship League especially as it marks the end of the NWFL season Icheen, who is also the Vice Chairperson of the NWFL, stated that, two top teams at the end of league games will be promoted to the NWFL

Premiership, while the two bottom teams will be relegated to the NWFL Nationwide. The Benue Football Association Chairman noted that, the NWFL Championship will be very tough next season with a total of 12 teams as compared with just six teams this season, as the league will be joined by two relegated NWFL Premiership clubs; returnee Dream Stars Ladies of Lagos and Ibom Angels of Uyo, as well as eight NWFL Nationwide teams that gained promotion in Ijebu Ode and Abuja.

Sunshine Stars defeat Abia Warriors in NPLF Sunday clash PG30 >>>PG30


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PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021



Elizabeth Anyanacho wins gold ahead of Tokyo Olympic Games

By Amaechi Agbo


igeria Olympic-bound taekwondoist, Elizabeth Anyanacho over the weekend defeated Denmark’s Andersen Jesmin to win gold medal in the female category -67kg at the World Taekwondo G-2 Beirut Open. Prior to the final, Elizabeth had defeated Uzbekistan’s Alijonova Gulsanam 22 - 16 in a very tough semi-final of the Beirut Open. Reacting after the feat, the young, promising taekwondoist said the victory is evidence of much improvement in her training. He thanked her opponents, trainer, sports minister, the media, family and stakeholders in the taekwondo sport for their support. “I am happy to improve everyday. I learnt a lot out myself in the ring as I kept trying new things and different attitude. “I learnt even more from my more experienced opponents. I had to give everything, so I thank them for helping me develop even more. “Many thanks to my mentor, who never likes being mentioned. Many thanks to physio Nnenna and my team mate Itiku for playing multiple roles. “Many thanks to Coach

Khalila, Coch Jamilu, Coach Victor, me my national team mates Chinazum, Uzo, Ifeoluwa, Helen, Juliet, Judith, d team ccsf team mate Favour, whose training support has been critical in the last few weeks. Let’s do it again this next two weeks. “My performance at this event increases my confidence ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. It is a very difficult challenge but we will keep pushing towards the target. “Many thanks to Mr Sunday Dare, sports minister, for making this last preparatory event possible. “To the media, who have been following my development and encouraging me with their coverage, despite I remain n support athlete thank you so much. “Thank you to all Nigerians always rooting for me on social media and in person. Special mention to the 167 Nigerians whose donations ensured I participated in my first competitive event in 18 months, earlier in March. “Thanks to ACTDF and Engr. Noah Dallaji whose recent adoption and financial boost increased my good feeling and confidence. “My dear family and friends, your love and suppoot needs no description. Thank you.”

Elizabeth Anayanacho

Remo Stars attack: Insurance Reject NNL judgement, withdraw from league By Amaechi Agbo


he management bif Nigeria National League NNL side, Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin, Edo state, have rejected the judgement of Nigeria Football Federation NFF Disciplinary Committee decision to fine Remo Stars Football Club the sum of N900, 000 only for their fans attack against the Benin Arsenal in Ogun State earlier in the month In a release on Friday signed by the media officer of the club, Kehinde Osagiede, the club noted that it would take the NFF and the NNL to court to seek redress over the ”irresponsible judgement” This is as the management declared that they have lost confidence in the system and noted that the club will not participate in the remainder of the league games until “justice is done”

“We received the Nigeria National League (NNL) Disciplinary Committee’s judgement on the case of assault, security breaches and field encroachment established against Remo Stars with dismay, disbelief and total loss of confidence in the country’s football regulatory body. “We see the judgement as biased and nothing but an instrument for encouraging further violence in Nigeria football, a call to anarchy, and is therefore unacceptable. “The only substance derivable from the judgment is the untouchable status vested on Remo Stars by NNL,” the club statement reads in part. The club further nited that “Directing Remo Stars to pay N400,000 to Bendel Insurance FC as damages is a big insult to us and the people of Edo state.” According to the club, it noted that banishment of Remo Stars with no option from their

stadium over the encroachment and assault on our players and officials would have been the first action taken against Remo Stars. “The failure of the disciplinary committee to mention that in their list of sanctions amounts to suffocation of justice. This is so because no other offender(s) in similar cases were warned or asked to sign any undertaking in the recent past. insurance management declared the judgement as “unbeliveably irresponsible” and accused the Disciplinary Committee of selling the judgement to Remo Stars Football Club. “Without any apology, the judgment is unbelievably irresponsible and capable of promoting violence among football lovers and killing the enthusiasm of football supporters in the country. “Considering similar cases

Governor Obasik visited Insurance players in hospital last week.

( though with lesser offences and injuries) involving Holly Arrows in which the judgment banished Holly Arrows to Enugu; and that of Kano Pillars in which the NPFL team was fined N7.5M, it is easy to arrive at the conclusion that the judgement by the NNL disciplinary committee on Remo Stars v Bendel Insurance FC is bought by Remo Stars. “We believe that the panel

did not look at the rules book, particularly (Act.16:1-4) before arriving at their conclusion. “Insurance FC will therefore explore other legal alternatives to seek Adequate redress by way of appealing to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Appeal Committee and may go to higher authority. “Finally, we will not play any match until we get justice,” the club’s concluded.

PEOPLES DAILY, Tuesday, June 22, 2021






Sunshine Stars defeat Abia Warriors in NPLF Sunday clash


he resurgence continued for Sunshine Stars FC on match day 28 of the NPFL following a 2-1 win over visiting Abia Warriors at the Ondo State Sports Complex. Two first half goals from Sadeeq Yusuf won Sunday’s game for the Owena Whales in the face of a tough test by the visitors. The team was dealt with an injury blow before the game had settled, captain Sunday Abe was taken out on a stretcher with an hamstring complaint. Despite the missing figure, there was no loosing focus for the boys and they began to create scoring chances inside the opening 15 minutes. First, Sadeeq Yusuf miscued from a chance in front of goal, before the Abia Warriors’ goalkeeper made two key saves to deny birthday boy, Ifegwu Ojukwu. 20 minutes into the encounter, Yusuf found the breakthrough for Sunshine Stars, slotting home from a failed clearance to score

his 10th goal of the season. The visitors tried to respond swiftly, but Saliu Suileiman was up to the task when he was called into action . Injury struck again just after the half hour mark, this time, Michael Olalusi was forced off and replaced

by another homegrown talent, Kazeem Obanigba. With three minutes left in the first half, Abia Warrios drew level through Paul Samson who bundled home at the near post from a deflected ball. Then just before halftime, hitman, Yusuf

responded with another goal from Ojukwu’s pass, restoring the coach Deji Ayeni’s boys’ lead going into the break. In the 65th minute, Obanigba almost extend the lead but his deflected effort missed the target by a whisker.

With the clock seemingly tick out slowly amid late pressure from the visitors, seeing off the contest became the task of the Akure landlords, regardless, they were able to close out the game for their second home win on the bounce.

‘It will never be the same as 10 years ago’ - Hazard E den Hazard will make his first start for seven weeks in Belgium’s final Group B game against Finland on Monday night, fearing that he may never get over the ankle injury plaguing his career. Hazard is understood to have considered a third ankle surgery in March, but opted to rest instead. It meant the 30-year-old winger started just seven games for Real Madrid in La Liga this season, continuing a miserable spell since joining from Chelsea in a deal worth up to £130million. Hazard’s last start came in the Champions League semifinal against Chelsea last month, and he faces Finland in St Petersburg on Monday night with Belgium’s place in the knockout phase already assured. ‘I’ve never doubted my own qualities,’ he said. ‘I’ve doubted maybe going through enough injuries. I didn’t know whether I’d be at my best. I’ve actually broken my ankle three times and I don’t know if it will ever be the same again. ‘It won’t be the same as it was 10 years ago when I was starting out, but that’s life. ‘I try not to think about the injury. If I think about it then I will refrain from really getting stuck in. If I start being worried about contact then I shouldn’t be on the pitch should I?’ Watford have expressed interest in Finland midfielder Glen Kamara. The 25-year-old, is a firm favourite at Scottish champions Rangers but has only one year left on his contract.

. . . putting the people first

Tuesday, June 22, 2021


SPORTS Aftermath of former chief of latest army staff, others’ tragic death Deontay Wilder Reveals He Is From Edo State


ormer heavyweight boxing champion, Deontay Wilder, stunned fans globally after he revealed on Saturday he had traced his roots to Edo State. In a viral video posted on Youtube, the American boxer who has never visited Nigeria, said he was ready to return home to learn more about his people. He said, “I want to go back and learn more about my culture and information with things about me. “Once I’m done with what I’m doing, I’m going back to see my tribe Edo. “I want to see my culture and my ancestors and learn a lot of things. We all have lots of things that we are connected to that we know nothing about. I’ll love to go there and do research about my roots and my tribe,” he added. Wilder, who enjoyed a five-year reign as the WBC heavyweight champion between 2015 and 202, before losing his title to Tyson Fury in February, will follow in the footsteps of UCF welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, who recently returned to Edo, having left the country when he was just eight years old. Nigeria has produced top boxers like Samuel Peter, Dick Tiger and Hogan Bassey; the trio undisputed former world champions, Peter at heavyweight, Tiger at middle and light heavyweight, and Bassey at featherweight. Current world champion, Anthony Joshua, has also visited Sagamu, Ogun State, where his father hails from. Taye Taiwo and Oduamadi

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n the immediate aftermath of the unexpected death of the 21st Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Ibrahim Attahiru together with seven other officers and three air force personnel in a plane crash, two issues emerged, namely fake news and how Nigerian elites empathise with those that lose their loved ones. I am here discountenancing conspiracy theories about the tragic incident by careless talkers. The fact that we have had about three crashes of military aircrafts with no known survivors and the aircrafts burnt to ashes so to speak, gave idle prattlers an opportunity to indulge in their past time of rumour mongering. Death can come at anytime, unexpectedly and even through negligence of a kind or other. But to begin to spin dangerous conspiracy theory cum rumours immediately afterwards, tantamount to a lack of appreciation of the gravity of the occasion and the need to respect the memory of the dead, at least for some time. An inquiry had been launched and all should desist from making conjectures about cause of the crash until the report is released. For now it should be regarded as an accident, full stop. Unpalatable rumours add to the emotional pains of family members of the departed ones rather than easing it. Only those who have experienced the deep grief from inside their soul arising from demise of a loved one would understand that what the bereaved needed in the immediate aftermath of their loss is a comforter, not a rabble rouser that hurt them more with careless, piercing talks of what might have been. Here is a glimpse of such inner sorrow, from the lamentations of widow of the pilot, Mrs. A A Olufade, “… I am pained; my whole wide world is crumbled… Where do I pick my pieces from…? I don’t even know what to think. I can’t sleep, can’t eat, I can’t think straight, only you God….” I am also shoving aside, those that appeared to be rejoicing at the passing of the late Army chief. We can only consider them as men of the under-world, not fit to be called human beings. Any human being in the true sense of the word, would surely, intuitively feel depressed at such happening – an aircraft going up in flames as it breaks into pieces upon crash

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By VICTORIA NGOZI IKEANO vikeano@yahoo.co.uk 08033077519 landing with all passengers burnt to death – even if it occurred at the other end of the world, involving people that are complete strangers to us, how much more your own compatriots. While our loving thoughts and prayers go to the departed, all attention should zero in on the colleagues and dear relatives they left behind. These should be enabled to wade through this extremely trying times in their earth lives without much untoward backlash, to help them stabilize as quickly as possible and psychically, spiritually stronger. This pertain especially to the women with whom they related intimately, namely, fiancées, wives, and mothers. For, it is a turning point for these women and other close relatives. It is heartwarming that after the furore of the president and vice president’s ‘inability’ to attend the deceased officers’ funeral, the First Lady and her children visited the late Chief of Army Staff’s widow and his relatives to condole with them in their residence. Similarly, the vice president’s wife paid a condolence visit to the home of one of the departed air force personnel. Mr. President also had a telephone conversation with relatives of all the fallen heroes. Still, President Muhammadu Buhari as Commander-in-chief has to find a way to personally meet the bereaved relatives as well as the military high command to convey in face to face interaction, his ‘heartfelt

condolence’ to them while relaying words of encouragement to them. Representatives of the military authorities as well as relatives of the departed could converge in two separate locations for this much desired personal address to them by the Commander-in-chief. Fake news practically grew wings upon the demise of the 21st Chief of Army Staff and others in that ill fated flight. First, it was falsely reported that General Ibrahim Attahiru’s wife, was also among the dead. This was even before the military authorities released authentic names of those aboard the Beach craft air force plane. This was very dangerous. Imagine, any of the close and distant relatives, friends, colleagues and associates having to read that the couple died in the crash, the shock it would have caused them and its consequences by way of possible heart attack. Sadly, the fake news was carried by a conventional newspaper and quickly replicated by the social media where it spread like wild fire. The newspaper later apologized for its error but who knows if some people’s heart had bleeped before the correction? Social media as usual, went into an overdrive of its own. First was a video that purported to show how the tragedy happened. Of course, this trended as people were anxious to see how such a monumental national catastrophe occurred, so it garnered thousands of views. Alas it was

Fake news practically grew wings upon the demise of the 21st Chief of Army Staff and others in that ill fated flight. First, it was falsely reported that General Ibrahim Attahiru’s wife, was also among the dead.

fake as some eagle-eyed viewers noticed that the environment was not that of Kaduna where the plane crash landed. Thanks to the fact-finding mechanism, it was later confirmed that this was an old video of an air force plane that crashed in Abuja some three months ago. Social. Media also reported that eyewitnesses saw two of the passengers jump down from the plane with parachutes. But military experts dismissed this, saying that it is only fighter jets that are fitted with such. Then out of the blues, social media told us that “President Buhari has appointed Brigadier-General Ali Keffi, the Commanding Officer of the Kaduna Division as the acting chief of army staff”. Apart from dropping the name of the president, there were no quotes from either the presidency or the military announcing such an appointment. Again, it turned out to be fake as there is no official communication from the relevant authorities to that effect. Social media thrives on ‘likes’, clicks to make it by way of financial returns. So, they prey, pounce, conjure stories that are dear to the hearts of readers, that would attract traffic in form of clicks by engendering curiosity of readers among others, not minding whether their stories are true or false. Most of their stories are speculative, from unnamed sources, formulated by a fertile, imaginative intellect with scant regard for ethics of the journalism profession with number of clicks rather than integrity as their watchword. They diverted attention from our collective grief over the tragedy.


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