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Inspector-General of Police to media: Stop giving cheap publicity to Boko Haram


Vol. 8 No. 22

Monday, April 23, 2012

Jimadal Akhir 2, 1433 AH



N40bn unclaimed Cop killed in dividend: SEC attack on Tiv lauds Reps community >>PAGE 3

Train crushes 2 to death in Ibadan

>>PAGE 4

Navy recovers hard drugs at Marina Beach

>>PAGE 5

>>PAGE 6

Dangote tops in West African companies >>PAGE 19

Subsidy probe: Plot to impeach Tambuwal thickens

 PDP not in support — Metuh  It is impossible — Reps insist

By Lawrence Olaoye, Richard Ihediwa, Abuja and Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


here are strong indications that the cabal indicted in the probe into the managemenat of the nation’s oil subsidy regime may have perfected plans to impeach Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal for refusing to intervene in derailing the investigations in order to save their faces. A member of the Ad-hoc committee that carried out the investigations, Dr. Ahmad Ali, representing Ilorin East/Ilorin South Federal Constituency, who spoke with our reporter in Ilorin, raised alarm that some powerful Nigerians in the oil sector including serving Governors and Ministers were bent on influencing the government and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to remove the

Speaker. Ali, who is also the chairman, Committee on Justice, claimed that the House had uncovered plans by some powerful Nigerians to trivialize the report, saying that it is left for the people and government to support the report as people had sacrificed a lot to get it out. He said “We learnt some of them (oil cabals) have started mobilising against Tambuwal to impeach him because they have seen that he didn’t disturb us throughout the probe. And Tanbuwal said the report will be debated live so that there is nothing hidden. “Remove Tambuwal or not, the House and Nigeria remain the same. Even Tambuwal is unremovable. You know he was not elected from outside. He is from inside”, he said. “The oil business is like a secret society thing. If you don't belong, Contd on Page 2

Nasarawa state Governor, Alhaji Umaru Tanko Almakura (middle), holding hands with representatives of Fulani, Tiv, and Koro, during a peace meeting initiated by him, yesterday at Kadarko, Nasarawa state.

Explosions at Biu bomb factory kills 3 Boko Haram suspects From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


iu town, headquarters of Biu local government council of Borno state, was

thrown into intense fear yesterday evening following multiple explosions in a house used as a bomb factory, killing three suspected members of the Boko Haram sect.

Biu, which is about 187 kilometers from the state capital, is among the local government areas under emergency rule declared by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Our correspondent reports that the latest incident was the third of its kind in the past few months as in December last year, another explosion had rocked a house used for the manufacture


of improvised explosive devices, (IEDs) in Bolori ward, which left three members of the group dead. The other incident, which happened at London Ciki Ward in Contd on Page 2

















Subsidy Report: NNPC denies receiving N844.9 bn from CBN


he NNPC has picked holes in the House of Representatives Committee probe report on petroleum subsidy regime and denied it was paid N844.9 billion by the CBN to recover its subsidy claims. Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, NNPC’s Group General Manager (Public Affairs) said this in a statement

yesterday in Abuja. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the report, which was submitted to the House on Wednesday, had indicted the NNPC, PPPRA and some oil marketers of financial impropriety. The report accused the NNPC of being paid N844.9 billion by the CBN for subsidy claims, in addition

to the direct deductions the NNPC made from crude sales, among others. Ajuonuma, however, denied that the corporation made withdrawals from two different sources simultaneously to recover its subsidy claims. “Such a claim is totally unfounded and absurd. We challenge both the CBN and Ad

Hoc Committee to provide evidence that such payments as alleged were made to NNPC. “They must show authorisation for the payments as well as breakdown of the amount, purpose for the payments, beneficiary accounts in which such payments were made and the utilisation of such payments”, he said. (NAN)



EFCC quizzes Unity Bank staff over alleged involvement in N18m bribe



By Sunday Ejike Benjamin



Education 27-28 Health



he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has invited some top officials of Unity Bank Plc over their alleged involvement in the N18 million bribes given to one Ahmed Inuwa Wada as a “reward for retaining the Police Pension account”. Unity Bank was specifically mentioned in counts 10 and 11 for its involvement in the police pension scam.

An EFCC source said that all the banks mentioned in the police pension scam were going to be separately charged to court. The source on Friday said that Unity Bank, Zenith Bank, UBA, Fidelity Bank to mention but a few involved in operating illegal account with fictitious corporate names and individuals would surely be brought to book by the commission. Ahmed Inuwa Wada was alleged to have collected “N18

million without consideration from Unity Bank Plc, whom you knew to have connection with your official function to wit: maintaining a pension account with the said bank and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 119 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 532, Laws of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria 2007”. Count 11 reads in full: “That you Ahmed Inuwa Wada between February, 2011 and June 2011 at

Abuja in the Abuja Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory being a public officer, accepted from the Unity Bank Plc a gratification in the aggregate sum of N18 million which was not your lawful remuneration as a reward for retaining the Police Pension Account with the said bank and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 115 (ii) of the Penal Code Act, Cap 532, Laws of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja”.

Subsidy probe: Plot to impeach Tambuwal thickens

Almajiri Model School: Would it cater for the itinerant? Pages 24, 25

International 31-34 Strange World 35 Digest








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

Phones for News: 070-37756364 09-8734478

Contd from Page 1 you don't belong. Oil industry is so small, but so powerful. I'm even surprised that I haven't started seeing advertorials here and there. They have lots of money and have nothing to do with it”, he said. He added “Petroleum product should not be N60 today, N80 tomorrow by one government and another government comes with N100 or N140. We could achieve standard price on petroleum and that's what this report is all about”, he said. The ruling party has however dissociated itself from the plot to impeach the Speaker, insisting that Tambuwal’s leadership of the House has advanced President Goodluck Jonathan’s crusade against corruption in public offices by exposing the rot in the oil industry. Responding to the alleged plot and the PDP’s involvement, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh in a telephone interview with Peoples Daily said “We are happy with the

probe; it shows the party is moving in the right direction. We believe that there shouldn’t be any sacred cows. “They (the House) are helping in achieving President Goodluck Jonathan’s target of fighting corruption. Remember, the PDP has resolved to fight corruption in all its ramifications in the country. Don’t forget we have the majority in the House and the measure of success recorded by the leadership is also that of the party. So, we are solidly behind them.” Also commenting on the plot, the Chairman House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Zakari Mohammed, said “It is impossible to impeach Tambuwal because he holds a pan-Nigerian mandate; any plot to remove him will fail. Yes, some people may be plotting as being insinuated but the probe only pointed out the true situation in the oil sector. They may be making the moves, but as long as they are not part of the 360 members of the House, it will fail. We had made it clear from the

onset that we are going to be part of the people.” Similarly, the Special Adviser to President Jonathan on National Assembly Matters, Senator Joy Emordi, has commended the House for carrying out the investigations insisting that the lawmakers are on the same page with the President in the war against corruption. She however, noted that the issues that led to the investigations predated the ascent of President Jonathan administration. Senator Emodi spoke yesterday against the backdrop of claims in some quarters of discomfort in the administration over the recommendations of the House ad-hoc committee on the utilization of petroleum subsidies. According to her, the President had early in his stewardship, directed an investigation into the affairs of the petroleum sector. “You would realize that when the President came on board, he was faced with these issues and he directed an investigation into the petroleum sector to be conducted by the then Minister of Finance, Mr.

Olusegun Aganga. He sharpened this last January with his approval to the Minister of Petroleum to set up an industry wide investigation of the sector last January to be led by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.” “The President’s sincere desire of enthroning probity was clearly manifested by his choice of men of integrity to be involved and he did not mind crossing the partisan barrier to get his opponent in the presidential election to lead the investigation.” She added: “So, it is not surprising that the President should welcome what the House members have done and he is on the same page on the issues and it is to be noted that none of the high officials of the presidency or the Minister of Petroleum was cited for blame in the recommendations of the House committee.” “The President is certainly not opposed and is gladdened by this collaboration and it is in conformity with the President’s determination to root out corruption from anywhere it manifests in the polity”.

Explosions at Biu bomb factory kills 3 Contd from Page 1

March this year, had also killed three members of the group. Yesterday’s blasts, which occurred at about 4.30pm, caused pandemonium in the area as residents abandoned their houses and scampered for safety, while markets and other commercial centers were immediately shut down. Residents who live close to the scene of the incident said they heard a loud bang, which sounded like electric transformer exploding and was followed by a thick smoke. “I was preparing to return to my shop after a break when I heard a loud bang, before I quickly ran back into my house,” Bulama Goni told

newsmen. Field Operations Officer of the JTF, Col. Victor Ebhaleme, who confirmed the incident to newsmen, said two other suspects who attempted to flee the scene of the blasts were apprehended. He explained that explosions occurred when the militants were assembling devices for attacks in Maiduguri, the capital city. “We got information that some Boko Haram terrorists were planning to invade Maiduguri from Biu town, 187 kilometers away with a view to causing mayhem. This prompt the 331 Battalion of the JTF in Biu town and the Department of State Security Service (DSS) to mobilise our men

to the town and invaded the hideout of the suspects but found pieces of human parts numbering about five destroyed by the explosives", Col. Ebhaleme said. He added that items recovered

in the compound comprised of three general purpose machine guns (GPMG), five AK47 rifles, nine magazines, 73 rounds of ammunition and several explosives-making materials.

…as gunmen kill soldier in Kano From Edwin Olofu, Kano


unmen suspected to members of Boko Haram over the weekend killed a soldier in Kano. The assailant were said to have trailed the soldier on a motor cycle, then shot and killed him in Sharada area of the city. Eyewitnesses said the gunmen

numbering two came on a motorcycle and shot the unidentified soldier who was serving in Bukavu Barracks in Kano. The Kano state military spokesperson, Lieutenant Ikedichi Iweha confirmed the incident. “Gunmen trailed one of our soldiers over the weekend and shot him and he gave up immediately”, he said.



Exam malpractice: Bauchi to close down private schools From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Bauchi state government has warned that it would close down any private schools assisting in examination malpractices in the state. The Commissioner for Education, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim, disclosed this when he paid an unscheduled visit to some secondary schools in the state, where he expressed concern over

the cases of examination malpractices. He reiterated the determination of the state government to eliminate cheating during examinations especially among secondary schools. Alhaji Ibrahim explained that henceforth, any private school caught aiding examination malpractice would be blacklisted and disallowed from participating in any examination in the state.

Envoy donates return ticket, trophy to best Maths, English students By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem

N Former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Mamman Nasir (middle), measuring grain to a beneficiary during the flag-off of Malumfashi local government sale of subsidised grain to people yesterday at Marabar Kankara village, Katsina state. Photo: NAN

N40bn unclaimed dividends: SEC lauds Reps over planned probe By Lawrence Olaoye a he Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), yesterday commended the House of Representatives on its resolution to commence investigations into the alleged N40 billion unclaimed dividends. The House through a motion sponsored by one Hon. Akpan Micah Umoh, had passed a resolution mandating itas Committee on Capital Markets and Institutions “to investigate the high volume of unclaimed dividends in quoted companies in Nigeria and report to the House within four (4) weeks”. The motion was in turn predicated on the efforts of the SEC which, in his words “revealed” that “…unclaimed dividends were gradually mounting up to over N40 billion”. In a statement issued by the SEC yesterday in Abuja, the Commission explained that the legislative attention to unclaimed dividends was a positive


development even as it disclosed that the volume of unclaimed dividends transcended Umoh’s figure actually put at N52.2 billion. According to the statement, "The size of the problem has since surpassed the N40 billion referred to by Hon. Umoh since as at December 2011, the size of unclaimed dividends was N52.2 Billion. Out of this figure, 84.7% i.e. N42.5 billion was held by nine out of 23 registrars who submitted their returns". "It was out of concern for this unfortunate situation in which return on shareholders’ investment by way of dividends is perennially locked in the unclaimed dividends saga that as far back as in 2002, the SEC sponsored a bill in the National Assembly for an act of parliament which will set up the “Unclaimed Dividend Trust Fund”. This Fund and the Act of Parliament which set it up were intended to drastically reduce or completely eliminate the incidence of unclaimed dividend by

providing alternative domicile for funds deriving from unclaimed dividends to what was stipulated in Section 382(1) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act that": “Where dividends are returned to the company unclaimed, the company shall send a list of the names of the persons entitled with the notice of the AGM to the members. After the expiration of three months of the notice mentioned in 382(1), the company may invest the unclaimed dividends in an investment outside the company. No interest shall accrue on the dividend against the company”. SEC maintained, "If passed into law, the “Unclaimed Dividend Bill” would have removed the point of domicile for unclaimed dividends from their originating companies to another party managed Trust Fund and removed the incentive which feeds the collusion between certain players in the market to frustrate shareholder access to dividend accruals on their investment".

igeria’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Mrs. Nimota Akanbi, has donated a trophy and return ticket to the Netherlands for the best graduating student in English and Mathematics in Kwara state public schools. While presenting the trophy and ticket to Kwara state Governor, AbdulFatah Ahmed, during his economic mission to The Hague, Netherlands, Amb. Akanbi said the gesture was aimed at boosting the morale of public school students in both English and Mathematics as well as giving the two crucial subjects frontline attention.

In an online statement issued by her office yesterday, Akanbi explained that education was a key factor in achieving the Vision 2020-20 of the Federal Government, saying “No sacrifice is too much in getting Nigerian students educated, especially those in public schools who are often times neglected”. The Kwara-born diplomat used the occasion to call on Kwara state indigenes as well as other Nigerians resident in the Netherlands to continue to respect the laws of their host country, advising that “at some point though, you would need to go home and contribute your quota to the development of our Motherland”.

7 countries begin embassy buildings in Abuja Rifat Rondic, gave early 2014 as


even countries have begun building their permanent embassies at the Diplomatic Drive, a street allocated to them in Abuja, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. They are Egypt, Iraq, Kenya, Turkey, Benin Republic, Serbia and Cote d’Ivoire. The Iraqi Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Ali Al-Amery, said the new embassy would be completed by April next year, adding that it would accommodate the consular office as well. Al-Amery said a local construction company, Sahar Continental, was handling the project which, according to him, would cost about three million dollars. The Ambassador of Serbia, Mr.

the expected date of completion of the project which is being handled by Energo company, a Serbian firm. He did not state the cost of the project. A NAN investigation revealed that most of the embassy projects are being done by indigenous construction companies. Some embassies -- Ghana, China, the U.S., Niger, Angola, Sudan, Ethiopia, Cuba and Liberia -- are already operating from the Diplomatic Drive. Others are Palestine, North Korea, Brazil, Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso. South Africa, Pakistan, Italy and the Netherlands embassies operate from Constitution Avenue, an extension of the Diplomatic Drive. (NAN)

Nasarawa: Fulani,Tiv communities resolve to end conflicts F From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia

ulani herdsmen and Tiv farmers in Kadarko, Jenkwe development area of Nasarawa state, yesterday resolved to end the lingering crisis involving the two ethnic groups that has resulted in the loss of several lives as well as damage to property worth millions of naira. The two tribes among other ethnic groups in the area, made their resolve known during a community based conflict

resolution meeting held in Kadarko, where representatives of both the Fulani and Tiv warriors collectively denounced the skirmishes, vowing to influence their kinsmen into sheathing their swords and giving peace a chance. Secretary of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in the state, Alhaji Mohammadu Hussaini, while tracing the root of conflicts between Tiv farmers and Fulani herdsmen to minor skirmishes involving trespass into

farmlands by cattle belonging to nomads, expressed gratitude to traditional rulers in the area who initiated the peace meeting. On his part, Joseph Gyor, vice president, Tiv Youth Organisation, observed that the meeting signalled the end of the conflict, even as he sought for the deployment of more security agencies in the hinterland to assure the people of the safety of their lives and property. The initiator of the peace meeting, the Sarkin Kwandere,

Alhaji Ahmadu Al-makura, declared that with the meeting, the lingering crisis was now a thing of the past. The Sarkin Kwandere urged the people who had fled from the crisis area to return home, adding that henceforth anyone caught breaking the law would be arrested and punished. On his part, Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura, while expressing his delight for the meeting, said the composition of the participants at the parley, was a testimony that peace has returned to the area and the state at large. He explained that government

deliberately adopted the community based conflict resolution strategy to guide the peace initiative, collaborating and supporting the ethnic nationalities to organise the meeting. The governor said his administration has earmarked steps to consolidate on the peace process, which will include among others, providing 15 permanent security posts in the area, open up the area by constructing rural roads and stepping up measures to fight crime across the state. Al-makura then announced a donation, one truck of fertiliser for the Tiv farmers and a truck of salt for the Fulani herdsmen.



Australian envoy commissions borehole in Bwari By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he Australian Special Envoy to Nigeria, Joanna Hewitt, has commissioned a hand pump borehole in Ijabisa community of Bwari area council of the Federal Capital Territory. The project, which was sponsored by the Australian High Commission in Nigeria, is aimed at ameliorating the hardship which the community has been experiencing over the years due to water scarcity in the area. Speaking during the commissioning ceremony, Hewitt said the project was initiated by the High Commission as a token from the Australian government towards resolving the problem of water scarcity, in addition to curbing the chances of outbreak of water borne diseases in the community. While recalling the long

diplomatic relationship which has existed between Nigeria and Australia, she urged the community to make proper use of the facility, saying that the Australian government is ever ready to initiate similar projects in future, as a way of strengthening the tie between the two countries. Also speaking, the chairman of Bwari area council, Peter Yohanna Ushafa, represented by the council secretary, said that the council was not ignorant of the water problem in most of the communities in the area. He disclosed that the council had initiated an extended water policy to assist the communities affected, adding that soon, a road would be graded from the Ijabisa community to Niger state to ease the transportation of farm produce from the Ijabisa community to the towns within the FCT.

Cop killed as Fulani attack Tiv community in Taraba From Yusha’u Alhassan, Jalingo


he Fulani community in New Gboko, Takum local government area of Taraba state has attacked the Tiv community in the area, killing one police officer. The Police Public Relations Officer of the Taraba state police command, Ibiang Mbaseki, who confirmed the incident while speaking with our correspondent in Jalingo, explained that the attack was

carried out by the Fulanis in the night. He said that there were loss of lives in the crises, pointing out that the command was still investigating to find out the actual number of people killed. He said a combined team of the army and mobile apolicemen had already been deployed to the area to ensure peace. In a related development, the Taraba state government has promised to support the

state police command to ensure peace and crime-free society. Governor Danbaba Danfulani Suntai gave the indication yesterday in Jalingo when the new Commissioner of Police in the state, Mamman Sule paid him a courtesy visit. He said over the years, the state government had enjoyed good working relationship with the police command, calling for the sustenance of the partnership in the interest of the state and the country at large.

Lagos acquires 60 purpose-built ferries By Mohammed Kandi


agos state government has signed an agreement with an Australian boat manufacturing company on the acquisition of 60 ferries to further boost water transportation in the state. Governor Babatunde Fashola signed the agreement on behalf of the state with Aluminum Boats Company, Brisbane, Australia after inspecting a prototype of the ferry. This was contained in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the governor on Media, Mr. Hakeem Bello, and made available to our correspondent in Lagos at the weekend. The statement added that the state government was acquiring the ferries in conjunction with a local consortium, Eko Water Buses Limited. According to Bello, "The ferries, with a capacity of 200 passengers each, will be built by the company to suit the state's water transportation system."

The state also said that the state expected the delivery of the ferries by December and that they would be deployed immediately to different routes for full operations. The ferries will be managed by the consortium and the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASTWA) in line with the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model of the state government. "As part of the positive spin-off from the agreement, no fewer than 50 Nigerians will benefit from a comprehensive training programme in marine operations, boat services and repairs. "This programme, which will serve as a prelude to the full commencement of ferry services in the state by December, will take place at the facility of the boat building company in Australia", it added. The governor in the release, restated the state government's commitment to safe and reliable water transportation in the state, saying the acquisition of the ferries was a demonstration of the commitment.

Subsidy probe: Group urges reps to expose corrupt officials By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


nongovernmental organisation, Nigeria Youth Alliance Network (NYAN), has urged the House of Representatives and the Hon. Farouq Lawan-led Ad-hoc committee to expose those corrupt officials in the oil industry, commending them for going against all odds in ensuring the effective probe of the subsidy regime. In a communiqué issued at the end its national executive council meeting held in Ibadan over the weekend, the organisation said: “Our special commendation goes to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal for his

determination towards ensuring the autonomy of the Farouq Lawan-led committee without any interference from his office despite the barrage of condemnations and pressures mounted on him during the probe period. “We are not unaware that the eventual conclusion of the works of the subsidy probe committee has exposed the Speaker to further attacks and pressures from some politically exposed and highly placed Nigerians, we only want to assure that we are prepared to continually mobilise the support of Nigerian Youth for the House under his leadership as long as the House remains committed to the interest of the larger population of our people”, it read in part.

Young ladies selling fried fish after Nwonyo Fishing and Cultural Festival, yesterday, in Ibi, Taraba state. Photo: NAN

14 perish in auto crash on Kaduna-Abuja highway


he Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), in Kaduna has confirmed that 14 people were killed in an auto crash on the Kaduna-Abuja highway. The Public Enlightenment Officer of the FRSC in Kaduna, Mr. Olusogo Ogungbe, told NAN that the incident occurred at kilometer 32 in Kakau on the highway. He said the incident involved a Hiace vehicle with registration

number, Zamfara XA 545 TMA. Ogunbge said the vehicle was carrying 18 persons out of whom 14, including nine males and five females were killed. He said that four others, including three males and one female sustained injuries and were currently receiving treatment at St. Gerald’s Hospital in Kaduna. Ogungbe attributed the accident to over-speeding, which he said, made the driver to lose

control. He said the vehicle went into the bush before it burst into flames. An eyewitness, Salisu Ibrahim, said he saw six corpses that burnt beyond recognition while two others were lying lifeless at the scene of the incident. He said the vehicle was still on fire with other helpless victims in the vehicle before the FRSC rescue team came to the scene. (NAN)

Envoy donates return ticket, trophy to best maths, English students By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


igeria’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Dr. (Mrs.) Nimota Akanbi, has donated a trophy and return ticket to the Netherlands for the best graduating student in English and Mathematics in Kwara state public schools. While presenting the trophy and ticket to Kwara state governor, AbdulFatah Ahmed, during his economic mission to

The Hague, Netherlands, Amb. Akanbi said the gesture was aimed at boosting the morale of public school students in both English and Mathematics as well as giving the two crucial subjects frontline attention. In an online statement issued by her office yesterday, Akanbi explained that education was a key factor in achieving the Vision 20-20-20 of the Federal Government, saying ‘No sacrifice is too much in getting Nigerian

students educated, especially those in public schools who are often times neglected.’ In his remarks, Gov. AbdulFatah Ahmed, who was meeting with Kwara state indigenes in the Netherlands, said he was impressed that Akanbi has been able to lead seven trade missions to Nigeria since her appointment, and challenged her to continue to be a good ambassador of Kwara her home state.


Bizman petitions STF over brutality From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


Jos-based businessman, Chijioke Achi, has petitioned the Commander of the Special Task Force otherwise known as "Operation Safe Haven", Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Mohammed, over alleged brutality meted on him by some members of the security outfit. Peoples Daily gathered that soldiers acted crudely on the petitioner on the directive of a colonel attached to the STF. In the petition entitled, "Complaints of criminal intimidation, physical assault and wanton destruction of Property of Mr. Chijioke Achi by soldiers from Sector 2, Zaria Road, Jos, and an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP)", written by a lawyer Mr. Uche Mgbemena, Achi alleged that sometime in March, a soldier bought a flat screen desktop computer from his wife on behalf his superior officer said to be a colonel. Achi said the transaction, which did not involve him from the onset, later turned sour when on April 2, the soldier came to his own shop and said that the computer, which he bought a month ealier from his wife was not working. According to him, he called a computer technician nearby who, in the presence of the soldier, certified that the computer was in good working condition. But the soldier, said his superior (names withheld) had instructed him to return the computer and collect a refund for him. The soldier was said to have requested Achi to assist him to sell the computer. However, the petitioner alleged that surprisingly the soldier came to his shop on Wednesday morning in company of some of his colleagues including an Assistant Superintendent of Police and pounced on him without any explanation. The petition reads: "Our client demanded to know his offence, but they continued their barrage of physical assault on his person inside his shop and as they dragged him outside, they pushed down the goods on the shelf in the process, many were trampled upon and destroyed".


Nigeria, WACOT in partnership on cotton devt From Lawal Sa'idu Funtua, Katsina


he Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Bukar Tijjani disclosed yesterday that Nigeria had entered into partnership with the West African Cotton Company, (WACOT) to promote cotton development in the country. The minister made the disclosure at the stakeholders workshop on cotton transformation value chain

held yesterday in Katsina. Tijjani noted that WACOT had taken the responsibility to address the non-availability of cotton seed, as part of the agreement with the company include promotion of certified cotton seed production. He similarly said the company had offered to work in the North-west states of Katsina, Kano, Jigawa and Zamfara and the north east states of Borno, Adamawa and Gombe to promote cotton seed multiplication scheme. According to him, the

affected states are to provide the company with reserve areas, mobilise farmers in cluster and cooperative as well as support the outgrowers with seeds, fertiliser and agro-chemicals. The minister also said government would embark on advocacy to deploy biotechnology in revamping the sub-sector, adding that this was the secret of many cotton production countries. In his remarks, Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema of Katsina state noted that within the last five years, cotton production had

increased from 90,000 tonnes to 100, 000 tonnes in the state. He disclosed that Katsina state had at least 10 cotton ginneries of which nine are functional adding that cotton is grown in 23 of the 34 local governments of the state. Also speaking, the state commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Alhaji Musa Adamu Funutua, said his ministry had rehabilitated old gazetted cotton markets and built new ones in its effort to boost cotton production and marketing in the state.

Permsec urges FG to involve monarchs in border crime control By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, inspecting parade, during the Passing Out Parade of Direct Short Service Course 20 (Navy), at the weekend in Kaduna.

Train runs over 2 in Ibadan From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


locomotive train belonging to Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) yesterday morning crushed two people to death in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital. The tragedy, which occurred at Akobo Oju'irin community of Lagelu local government area of the state around, drew tears from the crowd as many sympathizers could not look at

the scattered human body parts on the ground. Two officers from Akobo Police Division told our correspondent that, the victims, who were said to be on a motorcycle called 'okada' with registration number OYO BQ 736 BDJ, wanted to cross the rail line before the train caught them unawares. It was not known where the train was coming from neither where it was heading to. One of victims was

identified as Abdullahi, a cow dealer at Akinyele cattle market, who came to Akobo for money owed by his customer, a butcher at Oju'iri market while nearby okada riders identified the second man as one of them who hailed from the North. According to an eyewitness, nobody noticed or heard the train's horn. It suddenly appeared, he said, approached the road like a torrent and crushed the victims to death.

he Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Interior, Mr. Linus Awute, has observed that the Federal Government could only stem border crimes through the involvement of the traditional institution, being the closest link to the people. Awute, who stated this at the headquarters of the ministry, added that the traditional leaders related closely with the people more than any other institution and were usually the first to identify a stranger in a community. He added that a new measure of intelligence gathering must be employed in order to combat the growing spate of terrorism in the country, noting that the porosity of the country's border has made it difficult to curtail the influx of immigrants into the country. He said the country must reinforce security across the borders, so as to differentiate between legal and illegal immigrants with a view to checking the excesses of foreigners who infiltrate the country for terrorist activities. The Permanent Secretary noted that defeating the terrorist network was not only the responsibility of the Federal Government alone, but for all so as to create a favourable atmosphere for investors in the country.

Edo guber poll: Police orders relocation of PDP campaign office By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


orried by security concern, the Edo state Police Command at the weekend ordered the immediate relocation of a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), office for governorship candidate, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd), located on Airport Road in Benin City, the state capital. Deputy Commissioner of Police,

Mohammed Hudi, who gave the order, cited security reasons because the office is too close to the state secretariat of the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The police boss outlined some possible security threats that may arise during and after the upcoming gubernatorial election in the state. "We have informed the party involved on the urgent need to relocate the campaign office, and

they saw reason with us. You know that the parties might not be able to put their supporters in total check, and we don't want the occurrence of any ugly incident", he said. Reacting to the police decision, the state’s Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mathew Urhoghide, said the building was actually not the campaign office of PDP, but a privately owned building donated by a party member as a volunteer

effort. He disclosed that the party's campaign office was located at Aiguobasimwin street, in Government Reservation Area, instead of Airport Road. "The police told us to vacate our office on moral ground. Actually, it is a private residence. You can go and check the details about the building. A party member volunteered the house," Urohide said.

Meanwhile, the state chapter of PDP has unveiled former House of Representatives member, Johnson Abolagba as running mate to Gen. Charles Airhiavbere. State chairman of the party, Chief Dan Orbih, who made the announcement on Saturday at the private residence of Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, said the choice of Abolagba reflected the yearning and aspiration of the majority of party members.



Navy recovers hard drugs in Marine Beach, Lagos T

he Nigerian Navy on Saturday stormed the Marine Beach in Apapa, Lagos and recovered bags of Indian hemp, cocaine, and various dangerous weapons. The spokesman, Western Naval Command, Apapa, Lt. Cmdr. Jerry Omodara, in a press statement, said the raid was carried following security reports.

"In an effort to curtail criminal activities around Marine Beach, Apapa, the Nigerian Navy carried out an early hour raid on Leventis Road, Dockyard Road, and rail crossing", he said. Omodara said that the raid was the second in the last three weeks, following intelligence reports that of all sorts of criminal activities were taking

place in the area, especially at night. "The area was used for prostitution, gambling, joint for Indian hemp smokers and sales spot for cocaine; the place is also a takeoff point for armed robbers", he said. He added that some people had built illegal structures in the area, while abandoned trucks and kiosks have been

converted to living quarters. "The Nigerian Navy on March 11, 2012, raided the place and suspected drug peddlers were arrested and handed over to National Drug Law Enforcement Agency. "Only on Monday 17 April 2012, 20 arrested criminals in the area were again handed over to the Nigeria Police, Area B command, Apapa", he said. Omodara added that the raid was carried out in conjunction with the Apapa Local Government Waste Management and Environmental Service Department. He, however, added that two of the agency's staff members were attacked and injured by hoodlums, while the windscreen of their vehicle was smashed during the raid. (NAN)

Ashaka to reclaim excavated coal mine From Auwal Ahmad, Gombe


n its effort to reclaim the area used for excavating a coal mine, Ashaka Cement Company has planted about 5,000 geitropher trees, 3,000 cashew and 2,000 mangoes in the area. Mr. Neerag Akhory, Managing Director of the Company disclosed this when the Minister of Mines and Steel, Alhaji Mohammed Musa Sada visited the company. He assured the government and general public that the company would always comply with the provisions of environmental laws. On the production capacity, Mr. Akhory said that the company would increase its production from 850,000 tonnes annually to 1.2 million annually in 2013, adding that in 2007 the company produced only 600,000 tonnes but gradually increased to 850,000 tonnes per annum.

Commissioner urges North to revive agriculture From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


L R: Rev Fr Comns Jooli parish priest of Adamgbe, Benue state, Secretary General, Mzough U Tiv United Kingdom (MUT-UK), Mr. Vershima Tyoakaa, and Treasurer MUT-UK, Mrs. Erdoo Maagbe, during the presentation of food items to the families of Easter victims of church collapse by MUT-UK, yesterday in Adamgbe, Benue state.

auchi State Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Tasi'u Mohammed, has described as unfortunate the claims by some people in the North that cotton and groundnut proceeds were in the past used in the exploration of oil in southern part of the country. Further describing the claims as mere fashion, the

Revenue generation: Gov Aliyu calls for attitudinal change By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


overnor Muazu Babangida Aliyu of Niger state has challenged Nigerians to think more of how to contribute to the baking of the national cake rather than how to squander it. Speaking as the guest speaker at the awards night organised by the Nigerian NewsDirect Newspaper at the

Shehu Musa Yar'Adua Centre, Abuja, the governor noted that attitudinal change was needed to solve the country's challenges in the area of revenue generation. The chief servant, who spoke on 'Revenue Allocation Review Transparency and National Development', said there was need for extensive public enlightenment among Nigerians about the various

dimensions and the historical evolution of revenue allocation formula to enrich the debates around the subject matter. "It is only when we understand where we are coming from that we can appreciate our present challenges, try to overcome them and plan to get where we need to be," Aliyu submitted. He insisted that there was

need to consider the resources of the nation as a common patrimony for the common good of all citizens and to balance derivation with needed requirements to guarantee continued socioeconomic and political wellbeing of the nation, since the constitution does not restrict the citizens of a particular part the country from settling in another part.

Non-custodial sentence will cover only lesser offences, Lagos A-G says From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


agos state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye, has asserted that the non-custodial sentence recently introduced into the state's administration of criminal justice and under which convicts would be sentenced to community service would cover only lesser offences. Ipaye made this clarification, while declaring open one-day training on community service non-custodial sentences organised for magistrates and community officers at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of Lagos

(UNILAG) Akoka. The commissioner argued further that non-custodial sentence was not a replacement for prison sentences as persons convicted for serious criminal offences or considered dangerous would still be sentenced to terms of imprisonment. Ipaye said the reform had also not taken away any of the power of the magistrates to sentence hardened criminals to prison terms but added to their powers to sentence those who are convicted of lesser crimes or are unable to pay fines to community services. "The law does not take away magistrate's power to pronounce

prison sentences on convicted persons. It is just an alternative to sentencing people to prison", he said. The AG stressed that the new order was introduced because of the problems associated with criminal justice in Lagos and to reduce prison congestion. "Going to jail has very destructive consequences for the convict, the person loses his job, his family are displaced while he is stigmatised when he comes out of prison. "The end result is that parents cease to be involved in the lives of their children, offenders are labelled upon release from prison

and recidivism rate after release continues to be high", he lamented. The state government he said was committed to institutionalising community service orders adding that this was why it adopted a holistic approach to the reform of the administration of criminal justice. The Special Adviser, Office of Youth and Social Development, Dr. Dolapo Badru, who noted that the non-custodial sentence was a pioneering effort, suggested the adoption of probation policy in the administration of criminal justice as being done in USA, Britain and some other countries around the world.

commissioner observed that while southerners are enjoying the booties of oil exploration, northerners have abandoned the production of cash crops in their region to meet their economic needs. Alhaji Mohammed who is at the head of Bauchi state's committee on the revival of cotton production, said people in the North should have embarked on aggressive and massive production of cash crops such as cotton and groundnuts to boost the economic status of the region. Mohammed, the vice chairman of the committee was speaking at Katagum, Gamawa and Zaki local government areas of the state when he led members on advocacy visit to cotton farmers in the three council areas. The commissioner therefore enjoined people in the North making such claims or vituperations to resort to the revival of cotton production which hitherto has been one of the major sources of foreign exchange earnings for the country. He attributed the relegation of the North to the nonchalant disposition of successive federal administrations to the region, and the lackadaisical attitudes of governments in the region which continued to make its people poorer by the day. Mohammed also urged farmers in the state to avail themselves of the new mode of fertiliser sale introduced by the Federal Government which, he argued, was to forestall smuggling of the commodity to unknown destinations.



I’m yet to occupy office after 30 $6bn subsidy loot: days of appointment, says CMD Punish indicted officials, T SERAP tells ICC From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin

From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


Lagos based nong o v e r n m e n t a l organisation, SocioEconomic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has petitioned the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo, praying him to investigate whether the widespread and systematic corruption and theft of over $6 billion in the fuel subsidy funds over a period of three years and its devastating effects on millions of Nigerians amount to crime against humanity causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to

mental or physical health as provided by Article 7 of the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court. SERAP also urged the prosecutor to prevail on the Nigerian government to fulfill its obligations of investigating and prosecuting all allegations of widespread corruption in the fuel subsidy system because she is a party to the Rome Statute ratified on September 27, 2001. SERAP in a petition dated April 20, 2012 and signed by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, argued that, “The reported massive corruption has caused so much suffering, and thrown millions of Nigerians

deeper into poverty, depriving them their human dignity, and access to resources and capabilities, choices, security and power necessary for the enjoyment of legally recognised economic, social and cultural rights. “The nature and scale of corruption in the fuel subsidy scheme in Nigeria amounts to a crime against humanity which according to Article 7(1) of the Rome Statute can refer to other inhuman acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health. “The common denominator of those crimes against humanity is that they are grave affronts to human security and dignity.

R-L: Lagos state governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (right), watches Chief Executive Officer, Aluminium Boat Company, Mr. Stuart Pascoe, ,and Chief Operating Officer, Eko Water Buses Ltd, Mr. Muyiwa Omololu, sign the boat manufacturing agreement in partnership with the Lagos state government for the building of 60 ferries, each with 200 passenger capacity to be deployed on various routes in Lagos, recently at the Aluminum Boat Company, Brisbane, Queensland, in Australia.

Lagos Attorney General decries frivolous applications in court From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


he Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Lagos state, Mr. Ade Ipaye, has advised lawyers against bringing frivolous applications to courts blaming them for delays in the dispensation of justice. He spoke in an address delivered at a dinner organized by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja branch to honour the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Inumidun Akande as part of the year 2012 Law Week programme. The commissioner stressed that the filing of unnecessary objections and use of different

tactics to slowed down and frustrate cases does not befit the legal profession. “Our profession is a very special one which success must not be measured by material returns. “When in defence of clients, stick to the code of ethics which we all swore to uphold when we were called to the bar” he said. Ipaye maintained that the ultimate for the government and the society was the attainment of justice, adding that “in pushing for the attainment of justice, we are doing that which God has ordained us to do for the society”. In his remarks at the occasion, Ogun state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun disclosed that his

government had already commenced a comprehensive review of the judiciary in the state without which democracy would be difficult to entrench. “That is why we are reviewing our legal system. All the good works that Lagos is doing, we want to do it as well. “We also want to make our judges comfortable because if they are not comfortable, dispensation of justice might be eroded”, he added. He said his government would also organise refresher courses for judges and magistrates in the state in order to update their intellectual capacities and keep them abreast of new developments in the system.

he newly appointed Medical Director of Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital in Uselu, Edo state, Dr. Sunday Osasu Olotu, has appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan and the Benin Monarch, Oba Erediauwa to prevail on the former Acting Medical Director, Dr. Ikeji to officially handover to him. Dr. Olotu, whose letter of appointment from Federal Government was dated 20th March this year, made this known at the palace of the Oba of Benin. He said, "I wish to state here

that I have not sat on the MD’s seat for a day because the Acting MD is yet to handover to me and he’s yet to come to terms with this administration; a situation which has made it extremely difficult for me to assume duty". The Oba, who was visibly unhappy over the protracted industrial unrest that followed the appointment of Dr. Olotu, however, tasked him to live above board and sued for calm. The Oba, who spoke through the former minister for Science and Technology, Prof. Emmanuel Emovon said: "You have attained that position and nobody can take it from you…I wish you well".

Oyo to convert 6,000 tonnes of refuse into organic fertiliser From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he Oyo state government at the weekend said it was partnering with private investors in converting the over 6,000 tonnes of refuse being generated daily in the state into organic fertiliser as well as to generate electricity for citizens of the state. The Commissioner for Trade, Investments and Cooperatives, Barrister Kazeem Adedeji told newsmen in Ibadan, that many investors had shown interest in the project saying that “in the next few months, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) would be signed on a PPP arrangement”. The state now generates more wastes as a result of the Thursday weekly sanitation exercise, apart from the monthly Saturday exercise, an added advantage in achieving the fertiliser and electricity generation projects. To make the state cleaner and healthier as well as challenge the report of the UNDP in 2001 which identified Ibadan city as the dirtiest not only in Nigeria but West Africa, the present administration introduced the weekly sanitation exercise,

differently from the monthly one in which residents of the state, market men and women as well as companies are compelled to clean their environments. Adedeji, while speaking with journalists revealed that the state had embarked on image laundry so as to attract both local and foreign investors into the state stressing that the state was in a bad shape before the present administration took over power. To this end, he pointed out that government invested heavily in areas of security and infrastructural development in recent times to attract investors into the state According to him, security has been beefed up with the setting up of Operation Burst Outfit, well equipped with vehicles and other gadgets, adding that the state government has committed over N11 billion into road construction to boost investors’ confidence in any area of their choice in the state. He disclosed that a housing project had already started in GRA at Elenusonso, Ibadan, anchored on PPP arrangement in which houses would be provided for the people of the state.

Gombe to establish higher institution in Funakaye LG From Auwal Ahmad, Gombe


ombe state government has announced plans to establish a higher institution of learning in Funakaye local government area to pave way for youths in the area to obtain qualitative education. Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo disclosed this while flagging off the N230 million township road project in Bajoga, the headquarters of the local government area. Dankwambo, who did not state the type of institution to be established in the area, however assured that they would get one in the near future. He explained that presently the state and Funakaye local

government had embarked on massive construction and renovation of primary and secondary schools in the area and that after completion, work on the higher institution would take . The governor said that he had directed that names of towns and villages in the local government without power supply should be compiled and submitted to him for award of contract to be linked to the national grid. Dankwambo further pointed out that the dilapidated state hotel in Bajoga would be upgraded to international standard where modern facilities like swimming pool, chalets and a children park would be provided especially with its closeness to Ashaka Cement Company.



Stop giving Boko Haram cheap publicity, IGP tell journalists From Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji, Abeokuta


cting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar has identified media coverage being given to the Boko Haram sect as motivational factor for the group to see

themselves as relevant, and therefore passionately appealed to journalists to henceforth stop giving them such publicity. Abubakar who spoke with newsmen at Eleweran Police Headquarters, Abeokuta, shortly after addressing men of the command, cautioned newsmen

that in the interest of the country, the noise over the group should stop. “Don’t promote terrorism. This is the only country where we promote terrorism. They don’t need to be promoted, don’t give them attention, you make them relevant, if you stop giving them

media attention, they would soon fizzle into oblivion”. “Where in the world do you see terrorists and terrorism being promoted, even in CNN you can’t see such stories been promoted. They are criminals, I am appealing as a Nigerian, the way we report such is not in the interest of the

country, stop given them publicity”. He declared that the activities of the killer group do not give him any sleepless nights, because he is optimistic that their days are numbered, stressing that their (Boko Haram) activities would continue to consumed their members.

Kwara CJ pardons 7 inmates From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


R-L: British Defence Adviser, Colonel James Hall, presenting a gift on behalf of other defence attaches to Borno state Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, during the defence attaches’ visit to the governor, recently in Borno.

Ajimobi hails construction of Almajiri schools in Oyo From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


overnor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state has described the on-going construction of three Almajiri schools in the state by the Federal Government as a welcome development. The governor spoke while receiving the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, who paid him a courtesy call in his office.

He said the schools, when completed, would go a long way in affording the Almajiris and other less-privileged members of the society the opportunity to have access to education. The schools which are currently at various stages of completion, are located in Ibadan, Oyo and OkeOgun areas of the state. Gov. Ajimobi expressed the state government’s readiness to

access the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) grants, pledging that the funds would be judiciously utilised. The minister had earlier explained that the construction of the schools was in fulfillment of President Goodluck Jonathan’s electioneering promise to provide education for the less-privileged in the country. Wike commended the state

government for the provision of land for the construction of the schools and said that out of the 400 Almajiri schools proposed for construction in Nigeria, 61 would be constructed by UBEC. The minister also disclosed that the over N1 billion Basic Education grants for Oyo state had not been accessed by the state government, stressing the need to do this as soon as possible.

wara state Chief Judge, Justice Raliat EleluHabeeb, has pardoned seven inmates who were awaiting trial at Federal Prison, Ilorin. Justice Elelu-Habeeb who freed the inmates at the weekend during her visit to the prison along other members of Kwara Criminal Justice Committee, said the move was part of the committee’s way of decongesting prisons in the state. She said that such visit had not been made since the last one in 2009. “For the past two years, there had not been this kind of visit. Throughout year 2010, 2011, there have not been decongestion of prisons and there have been so many complainants. There were accused persons in custody, who were not ordinarily supposed to be there. Some are here may be for the offence that is not up to six months, but they have spent more than six months. “For instance, somebody that stole a fowl and he had spent up to nine months without trial...” She disclosed that a similar visit would be paid to the Medium Security Prison at Mandala next Friday, promising that decongestion exercise would henceforth be a continuous exercise. The discharged inmates are: David Austin, Aina Abraham, Ojo Michael, John Paul, Aliu Ibrahim, Oseni Araoye and Azeez Aremu and they were advised not to go back to crime. The state Controller of Prison, Otunba Olanrele Joseph in his address commended the committee for the visit, stressing that decongestion of prison would assist his men to enforce discipline among the inmates.

Robbers attempt Abeokuta bank Pope honours NAN boss 48 hours after police receive APCs From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan

From Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji, Abeokuta


arely 48 hours after the commissioning and handover of six armoured personnel carriers (APCs) by the Ogun state government to the state police command, armed robbers in the early hours of yesterday attempted to rob Guarantee Trust Bank located in Kuto area of Abeokuta. Our reporter reliably gathered that the robbery attempt occurred at about 5.00am, when the robbers

stormed the bank premises with various operating equipment such as hammers, methane gas, chisels and other dangerous tools. However, the police got a hint about the operation and immediately swung into action; but the robbers reportedly engaged the State Anti-Robbery Squad in a gun duel, before the Quick Response Squad came on to complement the efforts of the antirobbery squad. Following superior fire power of the police, the bandits fled, leaving behind some of their tools, while some of them sustained bullet

wounds before escaping from the scene. The Police Command Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi when contacted, confirmed the foiled robbery, affirming that the attempted robbery took place at about 5. 00 am. Adejobi, an Assistant Superintended of Police (ASP) said that the SARS team got a backup from the Quick Response Squad (QRS) which forced the robbers to flee the scene. He added that they (robbers) left with bullet wounds and were forced to abandon their operating tools.


ope Benedict XVI yesterday bestowed the honour of ‘Papal Dame’ of the Order of St. Gregory the Great on the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mrs. Oluremi Oyo. Honoured alongside her were the wife of the governor of Kaduna state, Mrs. Amina Yakowa and Prof. Esther Oyeyi of Bayero University, Kano. The medals were presented to the new Dames on behalf of the Pope by Most Rev. John Osa, the Bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kano.

In a papal message presented Rev. Osa at the ceremony held at Our Lady of Fatimah Catholic Church, Kano, the pope said: “Having listened with a willing spirit to the petitions made to me and accepting the request that you richly deserve some reward for your work for the Church and the good of Catholic affairs, we choose to make you and declare you Dames of The Order of St. Gregory the Great”. The message was signed by Tercisio Cardinal Bertone, Secretary of State at The Vatican. The order of St. Gregory the Great is the most recognisable and the most frequently bestowed Papal award. (NAN)




Okonjo-Iweala’s World Bank presidential bid


gainst seeming expectations, the Board of Directors of the World Bank, last week, elected Dr. Jim Yong Kim as the bank’s next president, defeating our very own Finance Minister, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala to the coveted position. Kim, the nominee of the United States President, Barack Obama, takes over from a fellow American Robert Zoelleck on July 1. The election generated significant interest both here at home and abroad for the obvious reason that the World Bank has become a major global player at efforts to fight poverty and improve the economic well being of nations. Since its creation after the Second World War, nominees of the United States have without opposition gone on to head the bank partly because of the role the US played in setting it up and the fact that Uncle Sam provides the bulk of its funding. It was therefore against this background that this year's contest generated keen interest with many making the argument that it was high time someone from the developing nations emerged president. The candidacy of Iweala and the former Colombian finance minister, George Ocampo was therefore welcome. However, Ocampo dropped before the election to support Iweala who also got endorsements from African countries and a number of major international media. Iweala, they argued, was the better candidate with her background in economics and having worked at the bank for over 20 years which saw her occupy the

position of managing director. Those opposed to her bid however argue that becoming the World Bank president would do Nigeria no good considering the fact that part of the reasons for our economic decline was due to the neo liberal policies of the bank that we have wholly embraced. Despite her defeat, Iweala's candidacy was a commendable one. She

We however salute her courage in putting herself forward. Her bid has helped to shine the spotlight on Nigeria and for a brief moment projected a positive image of our country was the first female and first African to contest the position and that in itself is an achievement and we hope this paves the way for other non American or European candidates who are deserving of the position to put their hats in the ring in future elections. The point has been made severally that the undemocratic nature of the process of choosing the president of not only the World Bank but the International Monetary Fund as well does not reflect well on the two institutions.

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There are important lessons to be learnt though from Iweala's defeat. In his first interview on CNN after his election, Kim said he spent the last few months prior to the election by embarking on what he called "a listening tour" which saw him visit member nations to not only lobby them but to also hear their expectations of him. Sadly Iweala did no such thing perhaps because the florry of endorsements she got led her to believe she had sealed the deal. The federal government also left it late before throwing its weight strongly behind its candidate. In an election like this, winning the diplomacy battle is just as important as the credentials the candidates possess. We believe if the Jonathan government had swung into action in good time perhaps Iweala's bid would not have ended in a whimper as it did. We however salute her courage in putting herself forward. Her bid has helped to shine the spotlight on Nigeria and for a brief moment projected a positive image of our country which has of late taken a bad hit by the worrying spate of insecurity spearheaded by the Boko Haram sect and the militants in the Niger Delta. We urge the federal government to capitalize on this by delivering on its promise of transformation so that the rest of the world can begin to see us as the good people that we are. Nigeria is blessed by enormous human and material resources, which, if effectively harnessed, will see it take its rightful place on the global stage.








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


By Muhammad Jameel Yusha’u


ne of the political stories that dominated the pages of Nigerian newspapers in the last few days was the debate on whether General Muhammadu Buhari should contest the 2015 presidential election. Clearly public opinion was divided on the issue between those who support the idea of Buhari contesting again and those who think the General should have some rest. I believe General Buhari will make the right decision at the right time. My personal opinion is that he shouldn’t contest, but if he does contest, he has my vote. Beyond participation in the electoral process, there is one contribution which General Buhari can make, and that will make more difference to the future of Nigeria, and will build an enduring legacy that will be useful for generations to come. That contribution is nothing more than providing effective mentorship to the younger generation. One of the mistakes made by our elites from independence to date is their inability to produce worthy successors who can continue with their vision and carry the youth along who may not have the privilege of acquiring similar experience as the generation before them. Let us briefly define mentorship before suggesting ways in which our elders, and for the purpose of this piece General Buhari can contribute in the development of our country at this critical stage. Ann Morton, one of the leading experts in the area of mentorship


General Buhari and political mentorship whose work on professional development is a reference point starts by looking at the definition of the mentor as a way of understanding mentorship. She suggests that a mentor is somebody who “provides support, advice and guidance in a relationship which is confidential, open and nonjudgmental and where the mentor listens and asks questions which promote the mentee to reflect on their own development”. However the nature of mentorship in politics as espoused by the leading experts on leadership and politics is different from mentorship in professional organisations. Mentorship in politics is a transformational process that gives the mentor the ability to carry the followers along and transfer his vision, integrity and moral values into the followers so that a movement can be developed which will reshape the society and provide direction to the populace. Writing in the 1986 edition of the Journal of Political Psychology, Lee Wilkins reviewed the work of James McCgregor Burns on leadership in which he spoke about the role of mentorship in politics. Wilkins

stated that “one method which the transforming leader may use is that of political mentorship, political mentorship differs from traditional mentorship in that it is accomplished without the personal contact that accompanies the more traditional mentorship. However political mentorship achieves the same goal: it allows the follower to move from political adolescence to political adulthood. Political adulthood is defined not as a function of age but rather achievement of political maturity-that is the individual strength to resist societal coercion on issues involving a universal moralethical principle”. A critical look at the issues presented above suggests that if there is one thing needed in Nigerian politics in this age is the political mentorship that will develop Nigerian politicians to transfer from political adolescence to political maturity. The inability of Nigerian politicians to resist the material temptation to jump from the opposition party whether in their state or at the federal level to the more juicy ruling party is an example of political adolescence. This is

something that has characterised Nigerian politics since the return of the country to civilian administration in 1999. And when it comes to political adolescence, there is little difference between PDP, ANPP, ACN and CPC. In developing a strategy for developing this mentorship General Buhari should dedicate part of his energy to establish a Foundation on good governance whose sole aim is the development of the political culture of the Nigerian politician into service for the community rather than just a career for the development of personal interest. The Foundation should work across party lines, ethnic and religious divides. A Nigeria that is populated by good Muslims and good Christians, good Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba, Igbo, Ijaw and Kanuri is better than Nigeria that is managed by bad Muslims and bad Christians. Recent events involving the pension fund scandal and the sentencing of James Ibori teaches us that corruption and bad behaviour is not the monopoly of any ethnic group or geographical location. Another thing that General Buhari can do in developing political mentorship is to target

our universities by establishing professorial chairs (through the Buhari Foundation) that will conduct research on the political journey of Muhammadu Buhari. This research can provide an invaluable literature that can be used in educating the younger generation. I don’t know if there is an existing framework at the moment in Nigerian universities that supports this venture, but it is worth exploring. No society develops when it ignores the achievements and the mistakes of its founding fathers. As such conducting a rigorous research that examines the success and pitfalls of the Buhari project as a military officer and a politician will be essential in developing a learning curve for the future generation who in the words of Buhari himself have no country other than Nigeria. As we have seen from the politics and life of late Malam Aminu Kano, the appreciation of the real contribution of General Buhari to the political development of Nigeria may come after his life. Muhammad Jameel Yusha’u wrote in fromNewcastle upon Tyne, UK

Journalists’ brushes with Nigerian judges (II) W

By Emmanuel Onwubiko

e are very much concerned about an ugly development that has gradually gained currency so much so that most of these alleged violators of the rights of journalists to practice their profession [Not ‘trade’ because journalists are not traders] are becoming even more daring and brazen by the day may be because no violator of the fundamental rights of journalists to practice their profession has been punished in line with due process. This is because either the media house where these journalists work do not pursue these disturbing matters to their logical conclusion or that journalists who are brutalized in the line of their duty often become too soft to institute cases in the law court and are therefore quick to accept apologies from these Shylock violators of their rights which may account for the hardening of the dimensions of violations that journalists and other media workers suffer daily. The Federal Government recently chased out journalists from their vantage position at the Murtallah Mohammed International Airport Ikeja because those Aviation reporters have in the recent times reported certain

stories and photographs that were considered offensive including the photograph of a top monarch in the South West who was caught jumping into the publicly funded Presidential jet belonging to the Presidential fleets that ought to be used for strictly official functions by the President and his Vice. The Federal Government officials are adept at violating the rights of journalists to practice their profession. This is already a notorious fact that has been in the public domain for ages. This writer is even more disturbed that the violators of these fundamental human rights of journalists to practice their profession in compliance with international best practices are even members of the legal profession [inner bar] that ought to be the lead change agents and defenders of the rights of the Nigerian citizens to be properly informed with quality, sound, objective and truthful information, education and are appropriately entertained in the best ways possible by the media workers. Nigerian Judges and members of the Magistracy who ought to be the champions of the cause of justice by the virtue of the fact that they are metaphorically called the ministers in the Temple of Justice have turned their judicial ‘might’ against certain

journalists that are detailed to cover proceedings in the law courts that are scattered all across Nigeria. In Abuja for instance, in most of the superior courts, politically charged and controversial cases usually come up and journalists are detailed to follow up on all of these matters so that the Nigerian people can be properly and competently informed of the outcomes of these matters that essentially impacts on their economic, political, religious or cultural rights as citizens of the sovereign entity of Nigeria. Some Journalists in the nation’s capital have suffered spectacular psychological trauma and physical brutality from some of these judges who sometimes resort to the use of self help to seek to stop journalists from following up on some of these sensitive cases especially in matters that members of the public are suspicious that there could be possibility of insider collusion and compromise to undermine the rule of law and therefore jeopardize public interest. About a year ago, a journalist with The Guardian Newspaper in the nation’s capital Mr. Lemmy Ughegbe who covers the court rooms was harassed serially by a Magistrate who sought to stop journalist from covering and

reporting a corruption related trial of a certain high profile accused person suspected to have committed horrendous financial indiscretion as a functionary of Government. It took the intervention of some very senior members of the bar for this magistrate to hearken to the voice of reason and wise counsel by releasing this journalist from the false ‘imprisonment’ within the court room that she imposed for the alleged disobedience of the journalist to vacate the court room during the pendency of the hearing of that particular matter. At the National Industrial Court the other day, the presiding judge summarily subpoenaed the judiciary reporter of the Daily Sun Newspaper in Abuja Mr. Godwin Tsa for allegedly writing an ‘offending’ story from a press statement that described as ‘black market injunction’, the injunction obtained by the Federal Government to undermine the determination of the Nigerian public to proceed on street protest against the removal of the subsidy on the pump prices of premium motor spirit [fuel]. In this instance, it also took the intervention of some very senior members of the bar from halting the resolve of the presiding judge at the National Industrial Court from sending the journalist to jail

for practicing his profession. The mother of all abuses of the fundamental human rights of journalists to go about their profession and write quality stories for the purposes of preserving democracy and the Rule of Law happened in Lagos when a magistrate Mrs. Aderonke Oshiniyi ordered a detachment of well armed police operatives from the notorious Area ‘F’ in Ikeja Lagos to arrest and detain thirteen journalists working for thirteen different respectable media houses. The journalists were brutalized, physically harassed and forced into the rickety van of the police operatives and driven to the detention facility of the police in Ikeja and were only released several hours after when some very senior lawyers and leaders of the Nigerian Bar Association intervened. The magistrate sought to prevent the thirteen journalists from carrying out their constitutional duty and unfortunately the police is ever so willing to participate in any process that offer them the opportunity to ‘deal’ decisively with journalists because members of the Nigerian Police Force know that the Nigerian media is alive to their responsibility and are ever so Continued on page 15



MDGs as tools for growth and devt By Shehu Abdullahi


igeria is among the one hundred and ninety three members of the United Nations that vowed to pursuit developmental goals, popularly known as millennium development goals [MDGs] for their advancement. Millennium development goals were designed and conceptualized to mitigate and tackle certain issues hindering the development of those countries involved in the agreement. The millennium development goals include: Eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promote gender equality empower women, reducing child motility improve maternal health, combat HIV/ AID malaria and other related diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability as By Salihu Moh. Lukman

Sir, ou will recall that few days ago, I sent an open letter to Gen. Muhammadu Buhari regarding his speculated aspiration to contest the 2015 presidential elections. My decision to write the letter to Gen. Buhari was premised on a report of Gen. Buhari’s response to a delegation of CPC members who paid him a visit. Since that report, there have been clarifications to the effect that Gen. Buhari only re-affirmed his commitment to politics and did not declare for the 2015 elections. It is however clear from the clarifications that whether Gen. Buhari will contest or not, is open, and would be determined as we approach the 2015 elections. The fact that the


well develop a global partnership was for the developing countries Further, it is to reduce HIV/AIDs for development. to tackle the issue of poverty by prevalence and provide portable Then what is the current expanding employment water as well as ensuring the situation in Nigeria on these opportunities and providing sustainability of environment, millennium development goals, agricultural inputs in order to among other goals. being a developing country and bring about availability of food The Chairman, House a strong member Committee in the United on MDGs Nation’s policy H o n . and decision Alhassan making? Doguwa was Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text Nevertheless, q u o t e d messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written there are fears saying that contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 that many the Project words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and developing will not a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed countries Nigeria terminate in to: included, will not 2015 as meet the target w i d e l y The Editor, because of pronounced insecurity, because it has Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, conflicts, strike no time 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. a c t i o n s , frame in Email: let unemployment Nigeria. SMS: 07037756364 and some But 2015 notorious diseases was the time that still linger around and in the country thereby reducing speculated earlier for the which are major hindrance in hunger. Also, improve primary attainment of the Millennium achieving MDG. schools enrolment, reduction in Goals. Therefore, Nigeria needs However, the MDGs’ target child and maternal mortality. to take steps toward achieving


the quantitative and qualitative target of MDGs. Nigeria has enormous resources and personnel to be able to meet the 2015 target. The plan, programme and structures have to be vigorously monitored and evaluated monthly or yearly for the accomplishment of the task. Nigeria is often faced with the problem of monitoring, and some time contracts would be awarded but there is no constituted body saddled with the responsibility to monitor effective execution. Similarly, politicians, struggling for various positions, making promises should endevour to use the MDGs ideas/ objectives to articulate their agenda for the country in their respective constituencies in order to meet the 2015 deadline for the goals. Shehu Abdullahi wrote from the Department of Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri

Open letter to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on 2015 agenda (I) matter is open therefore made the issues I raised in my open letter still very valid. It is in fact even more valid given the strength of support for Gen. Buhari to contest the 2015 election. Following the responses to my open letter to Gen. Buhari, I discover that any effort to engage our political process based on a focus on one key actor will be ineffective and may only serve to reinforce existing mindsets. The existing mindsets, as far as our polity is concerned, are

basically regionalist, ethnicist and laden with religious dosages. This reality impedes national cohesion and undermines our political progress. When I wrote to Gen. Buhari, I did so as a respectful son who admires the General’s courage, sense of patriotism and commitment to the progress of Nigeria, although not to the point of being in the same party or even voting for him in the 2011 elections. My approach was to, as much as possible to use persuasive, convincing and logical reasoning

to present my position. It is my hope that this letter will also be viewed to have adopted the same approach. If you follow the public responses in many blogs and websites on the Internet, you will find that notwithstanding my polite approach, the letter has evoked emotions and sentiments on both sides, understandably so. This is because the General is truly loved by our ordinary citizens, especially my Northern siblings. Sincerely speaking, on reflection, I am happy I wrote the

letter, I am happy I made it open and I am feel very fulfilled that I followed my inner feelings in avoiding to consult before releasing the letter. Responses of close associates immediately they received the letter were to discourage circulation of the letter. Today, I am very happy that the letter has stimulated public discussions on what needs to be done as we move towards 2015. Salihu Moh. Lukman can be reached through

Setting the tone for the revival of Federal unity colleges By Simeon Nwakaudu


n Tuesday, April 17, 2012, all principals, bursars and secretaries of Tenders Board of the 104 Federal Unity Colleges in Nigeria were in Abuja to participate in the first ever training workshop that would facilitate their implementation of the 2012 budget for their schools, which is novel in several respects. Like the Minister of State for Education, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike promised the principals, students and parents during his several working visits to 30 out of the 104 Federal Unity Colleges spread across the six geo-political zones, the Federal Government would commence a phased total rehabilitation of the schools to meet the required standard of learning. The minister , alongside the Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’I, had worked out a direct reform of the budgeting process as it affects the Federal Unity Colleges. The new budgeting process is to focus on at least three Federal Unity Colleges from each geo-political zone for

total rehabilitation each year for the next four years. At the end of 2015, 72 Federal Unity Colleges would have felt the impact of the infrastructural rehabilitation. Inbuilt in this new budget framework is the complete autonomy for the principals of the Federal unity colleges and their respective Tenders’ Board to award contracts for the actual rehabilitation work. Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, who holds supervisory powers over these schools, has delegated the powers of contract award to the principals and their tenders’ boards. The workshop on effective public procurement for principals, bursars and secretaries of Tenders’ Boards of the 104 Federal unity colleges was convoked by the office of the Minister of state for education to prepare the officials to effectively, efficiently and transparently manage funds appropriated for them to directly revive infrastructure at the Federal unity colleges. Being the direct accounting officers and contract awarding agents respectively, they were trained on the best

practices that would ensure that the Federal Government and the Nigerian people get value for the funds to be expended on the schools. Four resource persons educated the officials on the best practices on public procurement, contract award and payment procedures. They include; Director General, Bureau of Public Procurement, Engr. Emeka Ezeh, Presidential Adviser on Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation, Prof. Sylvester Monye, Mr Peter Momodu, Director, Finance and Accounts, Federal Ministry of Education and Mr. Tunde Lawal, Director, Micro-Services Department, National Planning Commission. Lead Paper Presenter, Engr Emeka Ezeh outlined the legal process of public procurement, the responsibilities of the principals, bursars and secretaries of the Tenders Board and the consequences of these officers failing to respect the rules outlined in the procurement act. Ezeh explained to that being in position to award contracts comes with serious responsibility. He said

they must not use the position to make new friends or sustain existing friends as they may end up in jail. He further advised the officials never to subvert the procurement process as a result of directives from superior officers, because they are the ones to be held accountable. Professor Monye, Presidential Adviser on Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation stressed the need for the principals to set up monitoring and evaluation units in their schools to ensure that the projects outlined by the Federal Government are executed in line with specifications. The Director of MicroServices of the National Planning Commission, NPC, Mr Tunde Lawal under-scored the need for planning of all processes leading to the development of infrastructures in the schools to avoid the pitfalls of the past, while Peter Momdu, Director of Finance and Accounts at the Ministry of Education outlined the required processes for the timely release of funds for project execution.

To the Education Minister of State, the Federal Government has kick-started the process of reviving Federal Unity Colleges across the country with a view to making them models of secondary school education. The Minister, who spoke at the workshop on Effective Public Procurement for Federal Unity Colleges in Abuja, declared that the 2012 Budget had made special provisions of N250million each for 18 Federal Unity Colleges spread across the six geo-political zones for massive infrastructural development of the schools. Wike said each of the selected schools which includes construction of standard libraries, classrooms, laboratories, assembly halls and assembly halls. He added that for schools not covered in the first phase of total rehabilitation, the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, will intervene in their junior secondary schools to upgrade critical facilities. The Minister of State for Education said that in the next Continued on page 15



The Johnnie Carson treatise on Nigeria T he American Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson, in an April 9, 2012 presentation at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington D.C. , among other suggestions, called for the establishment of an intervention agency for northern Nigeria to reduce its appalling poverty. Carson’s presentation was focused on the Boko Haram menace but its general import can be taken as a general treatise on the Nigerian condition. But at the end, his discourse, like similar attempts to unravel the causeeffect relationship between poverty and the mindless violence that has gripped the Nigerian state by the jugular, he fell into the same pit of over simplification, central government bashing and a glossing over the crucial role of local and state governments. It failed to proffer any new insight into the Boko Haram insurgency, which is symptomatic of the rapid descent of a nation to the state of anarchy. While America gives no quarter to extremist groups, whether local or foreign, Johnnie Carson, with a straight face, is pushing for Nigeria’s accommodation and the appeasement option of its local extremist, violent groups. It will be useful to highlight some of the observations, assertions, the diagnosis and suggestions of the U.S. foreign policy point-man for Africa as articulated in his CSIS outing. However, it is pertinent to note

that the CSIS platform is a very Haram capitalized on “popular important one in terms of U.S. frustrations with the nation’s foreign policy options and the leaders, poor government service agenda it is likely to push, hence delivery and the dismal living the importance that needs to be conditions of many northerners”. attached to Carson’s presentation. This is as far as logical By way of background, presentation, in terms of Johnnie Carson had referred to a observations and diagnosis, go UN study which shows that with the Johnnie Carson treatise. poverty in 12 most northern states in Nigeria is nearly twice that of the rest of the country; with children in the far north are almost four times as likely to be malnourished; literacy in the far 0803 364 7571 (SMS only) north is 35 per cent as opposed to 77 per cent in the rest of the country. From here, illogicality and Nation-wide, he pointed out that contradictions seemingly took 100 million Nigerians live on less over. than one dollar a day, adding that The American official said the consequently “Nigerians are Nigerian government would hungry for progress and “require a comprehensive and improvement in their lives”. broad-based strategy that Northern Nigerians, he said, “feel establishes a comprehensive this need most acutely. Life in development plan rather than the Nigeria for many is tough, but imposition of martial law”. across the North, life is grim”. Government, he stressed, must The top American diplomat improve its tactics, avoid excessive pursued the argument further : “ violence and human rights Public opinion polls and news abuses, make better use of its police reports suggest that there is a and intelligence services and destrong sentiment throughout the emphasise the role of the military. country, but especially in the But there is a poser here : who North, that government is not on defines excessive violence on the the side of the people; and that part of government forces dealing their poverty is a result of with a group or groups which government neglect, corruption unleash extreme violence on their and abuse”. According to him, victims ? “this is the type of popular Where in the immediate and narrative that is ripe for short terms the police force is insurgent group to hijack for its incapable of confronting violent own purposes”, adding that Boko groups in society and the military

The Bisibee Bisi Olawunmi

forces are being asked to stay out of the confrontation, is that not a recipe for anarchy ? The times are not normal, security-wise, in Nigeria hence the compelling necessity of joint Police-Military task forces. Carson mentioned the imperative of spreading the dividends of good governance with regard to provision of basic infrastructure, but can such infrastructure be built if you do not first secure the peace ? If it will take active military involvement to secure the peace, so be it. It is illogical and does not make for rationality to expect economic development in an atmosphere of widespread violence. To describe military presence in Joint task forces as “heavy-handed” government response sounds mischievous. The role of state and local governments as well as that of community leaders which are central to resolution of pervasive violence, not only by Boko Haram, but other local groups unleashing mayhem on the people, was glossed over in one sentence. He had noted that while the federal government develops an economic recovery strategy that complements its security strategy, “it will have to draw on the support of northern governors, traditional Hausa and Fulani leaders and local officials and organizations”. This is erroneously treating these strategic groups as adjuncts to

resolution while they should in fact be considered as principals. For too long, analysts and commentators have made whipping target of the federal government to the utter neglect of the crucial role of local authorities and potentates, especially in the near feudal system that obtains in northern Nigeria. However, Johnnie Carson’s biggest faux pas was his recommendation that “the Nigerian government should consider creating a Ministry of Northern Affairs or a development commission similar to what it did in response to the Niger Delta crisis” even when he acknowledged that “although the problems are not the same”. So, what sense does it make if the problems are not the same to recommend the same drug prescription as cure. This is the kind of warped thinking that has afflicted conflict management in Nigeria and why it may take quite sometime for the country to get out of the woods. The Niger Delta militants’ appeasement and the usual Nigerian government penchant of throwing money at problems where murderous exwarlords have become strutting mandarins winning multi-billion naira contract cannot be seen as a model of conflict resolution. From continuing rumblings in the Niger Delta and threats and blackmail from some renegade exwarlords, the ‘peace’ in the Niger Delta is, at best, tentative. Ominous signs of resurgence remain. Government’s primary responsibility is to secure the peace, whatever the cost.

Journalists’ brushes with Nigerian judges (II) Continued from page 13

willing to expose the malfeasance noticeable in the Nigeria Police Force. The Nigeria Police of today view most journalists as ‘enemy combatants’ that should be taught rough lessons on how not to report every dirty thing the reporters see in the Nigerian Police Force. In this Ikeja, Lagos case of violations of the human rights of the thirteen journalists by the magistrate, the umbrella body representing the interest of the media workers, the Nigeria

Union of Journalists has announced that it has instructed her legal team to institute one hundred million Naira suit against the alleged violators including the office f the Inspector General of Police. This is noteworthy. But again these sad stories of frequent abuses of the human rights of journalists to practice their profession is an eye opener that should make the journalists to ask probing question why some judges hate them and to proceed

to fairly investigate the alleged cases of corruption that some of the judges in Nigeria have committed and are still in the process of committing so that the litigants who are at the receiving end of the corrupt and inept justice system that has almost collapsed under the heavy weight of corruption can be rescued. But in doing so, journalists must respect their sacred code of conduct and ethics. I am of the opinion that only corrupt judges who hate openness will misuse

their power as judicial officers to stop journalists from gaining access to report cases going on in their court rooms. Only the guilty are afraid. In her well researched book titled ‘The Journalists Wife’, Mrs. Ochuko Blessing Ohu, the wife of the assassinated news editor of The Guardian newspaper [Mr. Bayo Ohu] wrote that the history of the hatred of journalists goes back to the colonial times when the then oppressors felt that the fathers of modern day practice of

journalism such as Nnamdi Azikiwe, Herbert Macauley, Chief. Ajuluchukwu, and media owners like Chief Obafemi Awolowo were the major pivots of the anti-colonial movement and were at the fore front of those that succeeded in gaining independence for Nigeria in 1960. Emmanuel Onwubiko is the Head, Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria writes from Concluded

Setting the tone for the revival of Federal unity colleges Continued from page 14

four years the Federal Government plans to completely rehabilitate 72 out of the 104 Federal Unity Colleges. According to him: “This workshop is therefore being organised to prepare, equip and empower the principals, bursars and secretaries of Tenders Board of the Federal Unity Colleges with the right attitude and aptitude necessary for advancing the efficient implementation of 2012 capital budget of the unity colleges”. He said the workshop is justified by the need to avoid the mistakes and improprieties that

had been the bane of project administration in the unity colleges. Wike said: “Nigerians are eagerly waiting to see, feel and enjoy the transformation promises of Mr. President with regard to basic education subsector. The Federal Ministry of Education is conscious of this fact and is ready to do all that is possible to ensure that all unity schools get infrastructural upgrade. Therefore, as officers responsible for project execution in your colleges, you need to start working in time for the release of budgeted funds and the successful execution of the projects”.

Declaring the workshop open, Minister of Education, Prof. Ruquyyatu Ahmed Rufa’I said that decision to completely rehabilitate Federal Unity Colleges is a deliberate attempt to make the schools comprehensively qualitative and environment for quality learning. She advised the principals and other senior officials of Federal Unity Colleges to ensure the start legal procurement process to attain the goals of the Federal Government. In a remark, Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Education, Dr Ben Ibe said that the Federal Ministry of Education

remained committed to diligent implementation of budget 2012. Beyond the infrastructural upgrade of the Federal unity colleges is the recruitment of fresh graduates by the Federal Government to boost the academic and non academic staff sub-sectors of the schools and get them to function at optimal levels once again. Also, the process of absorbing part-time teachers and teachers on the payroll of Parents Teachers’ Association, PTA, of the Federal unity colleges is on. Duly qualified teachers in these cadres would have their appointments regularized as permanent staff of

the Federal Ministry of Education. Like the execution of Almajiri schools to cater for outof-school children, the planned phased rehabilitation of Federal Unity Colleges by the Federal Government is another promise kept by the Jonathan administration. This is not a matter of rhetoric, but direct implementation of a programme that would have multiplier effect down the development chain. Simeon Nwakaudu is the Special Assistant (Media) to Minister of State for Education.



A “Juju man” performing magic at Mararaba over the weekend

Principal lauds FCT Minister over scholarships By Usman W.Shuaibu


he principal of a junior secondary school Sabongari in Gwagwalada Area council of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Mohammed Sani Abdullahi has commended

the federal Capital Territory minister, Senator Bala Abdalkadir Mohammed for awarding scholarships to students of tertiary institutions in the territory. The Principal also applauded the management of the FCT

Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB) for providing infrastructural facilities in schools, saying that the leadership of UBEB has lived up to its expectation in executing people’s oriented projects in schools.

Abdullahi gave the commendation in an interview with Peoples Daily yesterday, saying that he was impressed by what UBEB has done in schools across the federal capital Territory so far. He appealed to the federal

capital Territory Administration (FCTA) as well as UBEB to build an administrative block to ease administrative work. He also urged UBEB on the need to fence the School to arrest the problem of insecurity.

Chairmanship tussle: Abaji chair to know fate today By Josephine Ella


Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Election Appeal Tribunal sitting in Gudu High Court, will today deliver judgment on an appeal filed by the incumbent chairman of Abaji Area Council of the FCT, Musa Yahaya Mohammed,

challenging the nullification of his election by an FCT Election Petition Tribunal. Our correspondent gathered from counsels to the appellant, Chief Karina Tunya (SAN) and the respondent, Barrister Omar Musa that the judgment slated for Monday, April 23, 2012 was duly

communicated to them by tribunal secretary. The five-member-appeal tribunal, presided by Justice Adebukola Banjoko, had on January 27, 2012 reserved judgment indefinitely after counsels to the PDP and ACN had filed their brief of arguments.

It would be recalled that the FCT Election Petition Tribunal had on July, 12 2010, in its unanimous judgment nullified the election of Mohammed of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party( PDP), declaring Abdulrahman Ajiya, of the Action Congress of Nigeria

(ACN) as winner of the last April,10 2010 Abaji chairmanship election. However, dissatisfied with the ruling of the tribunal, Mohammed appealed the judgment at the Election Appeal Tribunal in Gudu, the final judgement of which is anticipated today.

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Relocating to an unknown destination


Iron bender at work at Panteka, Abuja

Earthquake? No!, just one of the many demolition exercises carried out by AEPD in one of the suburbs of the FCT


Moving some building materials to site at Nyanya

Giving helping hands at Lugbe panteka, Abuja



VIO gets 35 new patrol vehicles By Josephine Ella


he Federal Capital Territory (FCT) administration at the weekend, commissioned 35 double cabin Toyota Hilux patrol vehicles in a bid to augment the operational fleet of the FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS), popularly called VIO. While commissioning the utility vehicles at the DRTS headquarters in Mabushi District, the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed disclosed that an additional 8 light duty, 2 heavy duty and 10 Peugeot 307 Sedan vehicles have been contracted out for purchase to further strengthen the operations of the DRTS in FCT. He expressed optimism that the utility vehicles would go a long way in assisting the DRTS in tackling traffic problems in the FCT. This was as he added that “the only way we can succeed in having an orderly and virile traffic system in FCT is by equipping, building institutional capacity and training human capital

resources” “The FCT Administration has continued to pay special attention to capacity building of traffic officers through training and retraining both locally and overseas for efficient management of road traffic. “The administration has also recently produced a Code of Practice, Operation Guide and Draft Curriculum for Driving Schools in Abuja to standardise them in line with global best practices,” he emphasised. The Minister warned motorists and cyclists, against indiscipline on FCT roads stressing that the FCT Administration through the DRTS has resolved to commence vigorous crack down on all traffic offenders. Specifically, Senator Mohammed cautioned tricycle and motorcycle operators to restrict their activities to the satellite towns, area councils and other permissible routes in the suburbs stressing that violation of the rules of their operation would henceforth be seriously

dealt with. The minister, who thanked President Goodluck Jonathan and the Federal Executive Council for approving the purchase of the additional vehicles for the DRTS, revealed that a

similar gesture is soon to be replicated in the FCT Police Command and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC). Speaking earlier, the FCT Secretary of Transport, Engineer Jonathan Ivoke pledged

that the DRTS would put the newly commissioned utility vehicles in good use towards achieving drastic reduction in accident rate in the FCT. The secretary appealed to drivers to always observe

speed limits and other traffic rules and regulations, and also on the need for traffic officers to handle the vehicles and other equipment in their possession with maximum care.

FCTA partners Canadian firm for job creation By Josephine Ella


he Federal Capital T e r r i t o r y Administration (FCTA) is to partner with a Canadian firm to provide jobs for jobless people in the FCT. To this effect, the administration has set up an implementation committee comprising FCT Administration and the Canadian firm (Systems Dynamics) officials respectively. The committee is to streamline the partnership thrust between the FCT Administration and the Canadian firm aimed at providing a cellular training programme to build vocational capacity for the youths in this area. The FCT Minister,

Senator Bala Mohammed, who disclosed this while receiving the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, said such training would be received through cell phones especially at leisure time to enable even drivers and other unskilled laborers take advantage of the programme. According to him, “the capacity building and skill acquisition programme will go a long way to provide economic independence to such trainees which will in turn give them a new lease of life”. He emphasised that the programme would be an avenue for commercial

development and wealth creation as it will be practically packaged to impact directly on the youths. He appreciated the supports of the Canadian High Commission to Nigeria, especially, for choosing FCT as a pilot state even as he solicited for further assistance. The Minister has thus set up an implementation committee comprising FCT Administration and the Canadian firm (Systems Dynamics) officials. The members of the committee include the FCT Education Secretary; Senior Special Assistant to the FCT Minister

(Information Management System); Managing Director, Abuja Technology Village; FCT Director of Economic Planning, Research & Statistics with officials of Systems Dynamics led by Otunba Funso Lawal. Earlier, the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Chris Cooter said that the cell phone training was low profile but ICT based to empower the youths make a living. Cooter explained that FCT was a natural place in Nigeria to serve as a pilot scheme because it represents the entire country.

Dpat Foundation tasks government on Community Projects By Usman W. Shuaibu


Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Known as Dpat Foundation based in Gwagwalada area council of the Federal Capital Territory has called on the government of the day to come to the aid of the foundation by providing equipment such as sewing machines, computers as well as catering facilities so as to equip the community projects being put in place across the six Area councils The President of the foundation, Mrs Patience Ardey, who spoke to

newsmen on Thursday during the North Central Zone sensitization Seminar, said that the seminar was organized for the less privileged in order to create awareness on HIV/AIDS pandemic. She pointed out that the foundation had trained a lot of youths, which include prostitutes through vocational training like sewing machines, computers, Hairdressing, Drier and Catering among others. In her words: “From 1981 to 2011 the foundation has trained over 10,000 women/youths and about six hundred

community Projects were carried out last year”. The President solicited for financial assistance from the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), the Six Area Councils, corporate organisations as well as private individuals to enable her carry out her progrmmes, saying that she will not relent in her effort to train those with disabilities in the country. Ardey commended the leadership of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) for being supportive to the foundation as well as fighting poverty among the youths in Nigeria.

RTEAN Calls for Rehabilitation of Federal Roads By Usman W. Shuaibu


he Chairman of Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in Gwagwalada Area Council of the FCT, Mallam Mohammed Inuwa has called on the Federal Government to rehabilitate the federal roads in oarder to reduce accidents on the High ways. Inuwa made this call in an interview with newsmen on Thursday in Gwagwalada , urging the government of the day to expedite action to dualise the abandoned road

projects in the North. He further appealed to the Federal Government to provide more urban mass transit buses to the transporters to alleviate the suffering of the people, saying that if more buses were provided by the government, the commuters will not pay huge amount of money to transport themselves to their working places. He also urged the minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed on the need to give necessary more

subsidy buses to RTEAN members in the FCT. The Gwagwalada RTEAN chairman called on the National Executive Council (NEC) of the association to take its members along irrespective of their tribal and religious inclinations, saying that his leadership will be geared towards the welfare of its members in the area. Inuwa, however, advised other transport unionists across the country to shun any act capable of causing acrimony and rancour within the unions.





INSIDE - Pg 20 CBN plans stress test for banks this year

Mob: 08033644990

FAAC allocation for the month of April 2012 S/N BENEFICIARIES SUB-TOTAL (N) 1

FG (52.68%) States (26.72%) L/govt Councils (20.72%) Derivation (13% of Mineral revenue-oil/gas) Value Added Tax (VAT) & Transfers

613.697 billion

Calabar airport wants dedicated electricity power lines


egional Manager of the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar, Alhaji Mahmoud Sani, has called for dedicated electricity lines from the public power source to boost operations at the airport. Sani said this in Lagos yesterday in a chat with newsmen. He noted that the airport’s main power source was a generating plant which ought to be a mere backup. “We cannot afford to leave the airport in darkness, we have been running on generator and we have been buying diesel and we make sure that the airport is on throughout the operational period. “If I could have a dedicated line to the airport..... the state

Flight schedule AIR NIGERIA (MONDAY - SUNDAY) LOS-A BJ: 07.15, 11.40, 14.00, 16.30, 17.00, 17.20, 18.30. ABJ-LOS: 07.00, 09.30, 10.30, 11.15, 16.15, 19.15, 19.35 ABJ-KANO: 18.40 KANO-ABJ: 08.35 ABJ -SOK (MON): 09.35 ABJ-SOK (FRI): 10.10 ABJ-SOK (WED/SUN): 11.20 SOK-ABJ (MON): 11.35 SOK-ABJ (FRI): 12.00 SOK-ABJ (WED/SUN): 13.20

AEROCONTRACTORS (MON - SUN) LOS-ABJ: 06.50, 13.30, 19.45 LOS-ABJ (SUN): 12.30 LOS-ABJ (SAT): 16.45 ABU-L OS: 07.30, 13.00, 14.00, 19.00 ABU-LOS (SUN): 10.30, 14.30, 19.30 ABU-LOS (SAT): 18.30

DANA AIRLINES (MON - SUN) LOS-ABJ: 07.02, 08.10, 12.06, 15.30, 17.10

government has tried to do it on two occasions but the transformers collapsed, and that was why we reverted to the 11KVA generators. “If the dedicated lines can be revisited, I am sure that a lot of our challenges would have been sorted out,’’ he said. He said that electricity supply to the airport has remained a nightmare to its management for a very long time. He explained that dedicated KVA lines from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to the airport would reduce the financial burden of purchasing diesel. (NAN)

African coys: Dangote tops in W/Africa with N1.68tr cap By Aminu Imam


or the second year running, Dangote Cement Plc has maintained its leadership position as the biggest quoted company in West Africa. According to the latest ranking by London-based African Business Magazine, which publishes an annual list of Africa’s top 250 companies, Dangote Cement occupied the first position

LOS-KANO : 08.10 KANO-LOS: 11.25 KANO -ABUJA: 11.25 ABUJA-KANO : 10.08

IRS AIRLINES LOS -ABJ: 9.45, 11.45, 2.45


he Federal Government has sacked two accounting and auditing firms, AkintolaWilliams and Co. and Adekanola and Co., over the fuel subsidy payment scam. This was contained in a press statement issued at the weekend by the Senior Special Assistant to the Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu. EXCHANGE RATES



The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the firms’ sacking followed their indictment by the probe report of the House of Representatives. The legislative body had looked into their role in the mishandling of fuel subsidy payments. “The agreement in relation to the services of the audit and accounting firms responsible for certifying the documents and

fall in value from $6bn to $5.4bn.” The drop in value, the report noted, was a global phenomenon, as the combined value of the Top 250 Companies in Africa, shrank from $848billion the previous year, to $652billion in the period under review. However, despite dropping in value from $99.4billion to $71.5billion, South African mining giant, BHP Billiton, remains Africa’s biggest quoted

company, while Anglo American, another mining company, and SABMiller both of South Africa, came second and third with values of $54billion and $35billion, respectively. “Fears of a double-dip recession in the industrialised world are partly to blame, but ongoing insecurity in Nigeria and political winds of change in North Africa have also depressed share prices in those markets,” the report added.

SELLING 0.3099 203.8612 249.5427 41.5289 155.75

BUYING 243 43 154

SELLING 257 45 159

claims of marketers before payment have been terminated. “The companies are AkintolaWilliams and Co. and Adekanola and Co.,’’ the statement said. According to the statement, government had also set up a committee to “examine the claims of payment arrears for 2011, currently being made by marketers.’’ The committee is headed by

the Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Aigboje AigImokhuede. The committee would ensure that only genuine claims were honoured, the statement said. The statement said also that the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) had put on hold the further depletion of the Excess Crude Account (ECA). (NAN)

Management Tip of the Day

19th Apr, 2012 BUYING 0.2899 202.5523 247.9405 41.2623 154.75


ABJ-LOS: 11.30, 3.45, 4.45 LOS-KANO: 6.15 LOS-KANO (SAT/SUN): 16.30 KANO-LOS: 07.30 KANO-LOS (SUN/SUN): 10.30

in West Africa with a market capitalisation of $10.5billion ( about N1.68 trillion), followed by AngloGold Ashanti of Ghana ($5.45billion), and Nigerian Breweries Plc ($4.39billion). “Most of the biggest companies in West Africa are Nigerian,” the report said. “Dangote Cement retains the top spot in the region with a value of $10.5bn, down from $12.2bn last year, while even mining giant Anglogold Ashanti has suffered a

FG sacks Akintola-Williams and Co, one other over fuel subsidy sc am

ABJ-LOS: 07.20, 09.36, 13.05, 14.40 ABJ-LOS (SAT/SUN): 13.05, 18.00

L-R: Managing Director, Isvin Divine Estate, Mrs, Vivian Israel, Chairman Isvin Divine Estate, Israel Ekrang, and Alhaji Bashir Harius Mohammadu, one of the subscribers, during the Presentation of keys to the subscribers of Divine Estate at the Lugbe Extension 1, recently in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye.


Make service easy for your customers

he notion of going above and beyond customer needs is so entrenched that managers rarely question it. But delighting your customers may be a waste of time and energy. In fact, most customers just want simple, quick solutions to their

problems, and your company should make that possible. Think about the service initiatives you have underway. Question whether they are focused on reducing customer effort or adding unnecessary bells and whistles.

Start with frontline employees since they likely interact with customers the most. Make sure they have the skills, permission, and the incentive to reduce customer effort. Source: Harvard Business Review




Coca-Cola to sign MoU on waste


oca-Cola Nigeria Limited have revealed it planned to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on efficient waste management with Nestle PLC Nigerian Breweries and Pepsi.

FG urged to invest in Jatropha plant for bio-fuel


he Managing Director, Green Technologies, Mr. Temitope Olagija, has urged governments at all levels to invest in Jatropha plant to empower Nigerians economically.

Farmers in Nigeria get $60mn lifeline from US


he Federal government efforts to revive agricoeconomy sector in the country has received a boost as the United States Government has voted $60 million to further boost farmers’ productivity in Nigeria.

Afren announces significant oil discovery in Iraq


fren Plc, an independent oil & gas company, with strong presence on the stock exchange, has announced that the high impact Simrit-2 exploration well, located on the Ain Sifni PSC in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, has discovered a significant oil accumulation based on the results of drilling, wireline logs and sidewall core sampling.

Interbank rates up on low cash, NNPC withdrawal


igeria’s interbank lending rates climbed marginally this week to an average of 14.50 percent, compared with 14.33 percent last week, after the Nigerian National Petro;eum Company (NNPC) recalled a portion of its deposits with banks, draining liquidity from the system. NNPC, a major dollar supplier to the interbank market sold about $800 million to some banks this week and has gradually transferred the naira proceeds to its account with the central bank, putting pressure on the liquidity level in the market.

“The market open on a deficit note on Friday, with cash balance at 2.89 billion naira ($18.39 million) negative, causing spike in rates,” one dealer said. Traders said though there was inflow of about 70 billion naira from matured treasury bills repayment on Thursday, it was not enough to lower cost of borrowing among banks. “We expect that rate will ease a little next week because of the possible release of March budgetary allocations to government agencies, but that might be countered by large offering of debt instruments by


etermined to consolidate on the gains of the banking sector reforms and international best practice, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is planning another round of stress tests of all banks in the country, to ascertain their level of compliance and soundness, the regulatory agency has said. The test, which is a follow-up to the last stress test conducted in 2009, that witnessed mergers and acquisitions of Intercontinental, Oceanic, Finbank, Equitorial and Union banks and the nationalisation of three others Bank PHB, Spring Bank and Afribank, will come before the end of the year and it is part of the Financial Sector Assessment Programme (FSAP) under a technical assistance programme facility provided by the International Monetary

CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi


ollowing the peculiar nature of the sector to the domestic economy, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has called on the ICT companies operating in Nigeria to take advantage of enormous opportunities available at the nation’s capital market to aid their expansion strategies.

Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Also, the CBN has commenced the implementation of risk-based supervision of banks and as a complementary effort, is in the process of adopting and implementing the Basel 11 and Basel 111 capital accords by the end of the year. CBN deputy governor, Financial System Stability, Kingsley Moghalu, who disclosed this at the Risk Managers breakfast meeting in Lagos yesterday, said as a complement to this, the CBN has also strengthened its risk based supervision of off-shore Nigerian banks, adding that there exists now, cross-border supervisory co-operation and co-ordination with other jurisdictions where Nigerian banks have presence. "We want to make sure those

Nigerian banks that are operating in foreign countries, especially West Africa, comply with all the regulatory requirements of their host countries. Secondly, we want to make sure that internally here in Nigeria, they are adequately capitalised and structured to be able to sustain international operations. So, in that context, we are having increased interactions with our colleagues in the West African region and now we have a college of supervisors in the region," Moghalu said. The CBN, he said, remains committed to the promotion of strong risk management practices in the banking industry and will continue to work hard to improve the way in which we conduct supervision.

Citibank works with Nigerian banks on Eurobonds


itibank is working on a number of mandates to issue Eurobonds for Nigerian banks as the banking sector recovers from financial turmoil, its country officer said on Thursday. Speaking at the Reuters

Africa Investment Summit, Emeka Emuwa said banks in Africa’s second-biggest economy had stabilised after a financial crisis that led to a $4 billion bailout of nine lenders in 2009 and several mergers in 2011.


Capital raising: NSE wants ICT companies to leverage on market platform

impact of possible budgetary disbursal on cost of borrowing. The secured Open Buy Back (OBB) fell to 14 percent, from 14.50 percent last week, due to the impact of repaid matured treasury bill. OBB was 200 basis points above the central bank’s 12 percent benchmark rate, and 400 percentage points above the Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) rate. Overnight placement was down to 14.50 percent from 15.25 percent, while call money traded at 15 percent, lower than the 15.50 percent last week.(Reuters)

CBN plans stress test for banks this year

Fire Service rides on British firm to build rescue capacity etermined to enhance safety measures and standard procedures for fire and rescue service delivery, the Federal Fire Service of Nigeria is partnering with the British Fire Service to build capacity for officers and men of the service.

central bank and Debt Management Office (DMO),” another dealer said. Nigeria plans to issue 140.61 billion naira ($894.86 million) in treasury bills ranging from 3month to 1-year maturities at its regular monthly debt auction next week, while the DMO announced plan to raise 90 billion from debt auction. Dealers said demand from investors could be strong at the two auctions next week due to the amount on offer, while cash flows to the debt instrument purchases and other transactions could minimise the

Inflation rates from Mar, 2011 to Feb, 2012 Max = 12.8%, Min = 9.3% for period in display. Current Inflation rate = 11.9% Source:CBN

He said that some of the banks were looking to tap international debt markets to issue bonds in order to support their businesses and continue to grow. “Over the last year or two, we’ve seen a number of mergers, we have seen the banking sector stabilise, and post this stabilisation, I expect to see a number of banks to go out to raise capital,” Emuwa told Reuters in an interview. “We will be working with a number of banks raising capital in international markets ... primarily Eurobonds” he said, declining to name a specific deal. Nigerian lender First Bank on Wednesday said it had appointed Citi and Goldman Sachs to manage the sale of its

Earnings Report for Banks Source:Pro-share Nigeria

$500 million Eurobond. Emuwa confirmed the appointment but declined to give any further details. United Bank for Africa has also announced plans to issue a $500 million Eurobond in the third quarter of 2012 while another mid-tier lender Diamond Bank has said it will seek approval to raise $200 million in bond issues. Emuwa said he expected the power and electricity companies to follow the banks to tap foreign debt markets to raise capital with ongoing reforms aimed at opening up the sector and the huge amounts of capital needed. He said Citi, which already had operations in 16 countries across Africa, was looking to deepen its presence across the continent and expand into a number of key countries to tap into a growing consumer market in the region. Citi is in the process of obtaining a mobile banking licence in Nigeria to roll out electronic platforms to be able to reach a wider consumer segment, Emuwa said. First Bank, United Bank for Africa and Stanbic currently have such licenses. “We are researching into that space ... I believe it’s where the future opportunities lie,” he said.



L-R: Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Ogunniyi Otunla, Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama, and General Manager, Finance, NNPC, Mrs Amoge Jipreze, during the federation account allocation committee meeting, on Friday in Abuja . Photo: Mahmud Isa


Nigerian Stock Exchange wants oil majors to list


oreign oil majors such as Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp should have secondary share listings in Nigeria and planned new energy laws could push them to agree, the stock exchange regulator said.


igeria’s equity market resumed uptrend as bargain activities significantly outweighed sell pressure with market activities closing green in the week as against negative outlook recorded in the previous session while the Exchange marked 72 listed entities for sanction following the non rendition of their audited financial accounts statements for various reporting periods in its compliance report released during the week. Furthermore, the key benchmark indices closed negative by -0.10% to open the first trading day of the week downbeat as the bears return in style while the second closed green by +0.32% to resume uptrend while bargain hunters dominated trading activities after the day’s session. The third session also closed positive as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share

Bargain hunting returns to bourse as ASI records +4.89% gain in the week Index (ASI) firms up by +1.47% to maintain northwards movement due to continuous bargain activities while similar outlook was also recorded on Thursday with NSE Index recording +0.34% gain to close the fourth session northwards. Conversely, trading activities on Friday closed in the green zone as sentiments remained unchanged. Consequently, the key benchmark indices inches up significantly by +1.72% while market closed the week with aggregate gain of +4.89%. Further analysis on acquiring banks since transaction date showed that the share price of Access Bank Plc has recorded 21.01% gain, followed by FCMB with

PIC to invest $250mn in Ecobank’s equity


he Public Investment Corporation (PIC), on Friday said it planned to invest $250 million (N37.5 billion) in the common equity of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, the parent company of the Ecobank Group. The corporation said in a statement that the investment would be on behalf of Government

Employees Pension Fund (GEPF). It also said that the investment would represent PIC’s first major direct investment outside South Africa. The statement said that the development was in line with GEPF’s investment strategy that had identified Africa, excluding South Africa as the next frontier for investment growth.

41.28% gain while Union Bank Plc leads the chart with 79.43% gain. However, Sterling Bank recorded -5.51% loss while ETI closed positive with +1.71% gain recorded. See the tracking table below However, the All-Share Index in the week under review moved up by +4.89% to close at 21,756.50 as against a decline by -0.95% recorded last week to close at 20,743.16. In the same vein, the market capitalisation in the week appreciated by N322.96 billion (US$2.15 billion) to close at N6.93 trillion (US$46.24billion) as against

depreciation by N26.20 billion (US$174.67 million) recorded last week to close at N6.61 trillion (US$ 44.08billion). The total volume traded in the week closed at 2.04 billion units valued at N15.73billion (US$104.87 million) compared with 1.60 billion units valued at N9.26 billion (US$61.76 million) exchanged in 15,156 deals last week. The volume transaction in the week when compared with the previous week data moved down by +27.81% as against upwards movement by +38.80% recorded last week.

Believability index shows FCMB likely to deliver 51% of Q2 PAT forecasts


irst City Monument Bank Plc (Plc) presented its Q2 earnings forecast for the period ended June 30th 2012 to the market on Friday. Proshare has reviewed the forecast against its believability index, relying on previous performances against forecast; to confirm the following: That FCMB has a -51% chance of achieving or exceeding its PAT forecast and a 138%

chance of delivering on its Gross Premium projections for the period in view. The significant loss of N9.9billion declared against N2.9billion forecast in Q4’11 had negative impact on this believability index considerably. This weights fall within the ‘most believable’ forecast range for quoted companies in the sector.

IGI posts N10.5bn Gross Premium Income in 2010


he Chairman, Industrial and General Insurance (IGI) Plc, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), announced on Friday in Lagos at the that the company recorded N10.5 billion gross premium in 2010 financial year, which ended Dec. 31.

New NASDAQ platform, trading band expansion to boost liquidity


he Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) will next week sign an agreement which will see it adopting the NASDAQ trading platform and relaxed restrictions on intraday price swings on stocks from 5 percent to 10 percent.

First Bank plans $500mn bond later in year


igeria’s First Bank has appointed Goldman Sachs and Citi Bank to manage the sale of a $500 million Eurobond planned for later in the year, its chief financial officer told Reuters on Wednesday.

Unilever’s Q1 2012 earnings up 8%

U Source:Pro-share Nigeria

nilever, one of Nigeria’s leading conglomerates and manufacturer’s of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) has released its Q1, 2012 earnings. The company recorded a 7.92% increase in Earnings at N 14 billion at the end of March from N 13 billion the same period last year.



FG urges to resolve multiple taxation From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Chairman of Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria(ALTON) Engr. Gbenga Adebayo has urged Federal Government to solve the problem of multiple taxation and insecurity in the interest of the nation’s economy. Adebayo, who is also Chairman of Royal FM radio station and publisher of Royal Times Newspaper made this call in Ilorin while speaking with newsmen at the correspondents’ chapel of the Kwara NUJ council. He pointed out that the way government introduces tax at all levels would discourage foreign and local investors stressing

that inconsistencies in government’s policies and regulations could also spell doom for the nation’s economy. The Chairman appealed to the Federal Government to provide conducive environment for business to thrive.

He said “there is no private investor anywhere in the world that will invest in a place where investment is considered not safe. Investment is not a charity organisation. Investment is for profit and social economic development.

“The issue that we face here in Nigeria today demands total attention of government at all levels. Government at all levels and citizens have a duty to guarantee security of lives and property”. The publisher alleged that

L-R: World Bank Vice-President African Region, Mrs Oby Ezekwesili, with Rwandan Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. John Rwangombwa, during the spring meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), recently in Washington DC, United States of America. Photo: NAN

FG urged to consider alternatives to auto parts ban


he National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) has appealed to the Federal Government to handle the proposed ban on importation of auto spare parts with caution. The President of NANTS, Mr Ken Ukoha made this appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday. He said that the government should consider increasing the tariff and imposition of other restrictions instead of a ban. “Banning is a wrong instrument; we need to look at other instruments that do not contravene trade treaties. “We can tactically shelve the importation of an item on health ground; we can do quota restriction, price restriction, tariffs and quantity restriction rather than banning. “We don’t need to adopt measures that are anti-WTO and other international treaties to which we have committed ourselves“. The NANTS boss said there was a need for the country to look inwards with a view to determining its capabilities in the production of spare parts. Ukoha lauded the government’s efforts to encourage local manufacturers, adding that Nigeria must become less dependent on importation in order to achieve Vision 20:2020. “It is a good idea to help the local producers because they need to grow; generate employment and grow the economy.’’ The FG recently declared that it was going to put an end to the importation of automobile spare parts in order to encourage local production. (NAN)

labour movement killed strong organisations like the railway, NITEL, textile industries among others suggesting that workers should not be forced to join union or join strike action when they know that such action would only ruin the organisation.

UBA bankrolls N6.4bn power, telecomms projects in Benin republic By Abdulwahab Isa


he United Bank for Africa (UBA) has anchored a credited facility of syndicated loans of about $40 million (about N 6.4 billion) covering power and telecommunications projects in the Republic of Benin. The loans are facilitated through UBA Benin Limited, a

subsidiary of UBA group, which acted as lead arranger to the $18 million syndicated mid-term loan for the National Electricity Company of Benin Republic. The bank was also a co-arranger to the $32 million syndicated mid-term loan to MTN Benin. The $18 million facility to the National Electricity Company has contributed to

improved power distribution in Benin Republic with positive impacts on the economy, a statement issued by the Bank said. This milestone transaction makes UBA Benin to be referred to as the major energy financing Bank of the country. Similarly, the facility to MTN was to facilitate the acquisition of the Third Generation (3G)

NASS reconciles NNPC, mega filling station owners on cash-and-carry policy By Abdulwahab Isa


he lingering face-off between the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Association of Mega Filling Station Owners of Nigeria (AMFSON) over cash-and-carry of products introduced by the NNPC has been stepped in by the National Assembly. In resolving the issue, House of Representative Committee on gas resources, through its Chairman, Hon. Bassey Eko Ewa directed the NNPC to meet with the members of the association and resolve their differences. AMFSON and NNPC have been at daggers-drawn over moves by the corporation to reintroduce the sale of petroleum products on cash-and-carry basis.

The intervention by the House Committee on gas resources was sequel to futile attempts made by the association to meet with NNPC officials to prevail on them to jettison the cash-and-carry policy . It was gathered that at a point, NNPC management directed that no member of AMFSON should be granted access to its headquarters located in the Central Business District of Abuja. Weighed down by the refusal of NNPC to grant them audience, the Association had petitioned the National Assembly seeking their intervention in the lingering crisis. AMFSON in the petition pleaded with the lawmakers to stop the management of NNPC in their attempt to revert to the discredited Cash-and-Carry

policy as such move is aimed at deliberately causing scarcity of petroleum products thereby disrupting economic activities in the country. The association, in the petition alleged that as a first step to effectively execute the evil plot, the corporation has perfected plans to withdraw the supply of products to its members. The Association, in the petition jointly signed by their National Chairman and National Public Relations Officer (PRO),Chief Andrew Ashiga and Kenneth Nwachukwu respectively, also alleged that already, the corporation has alerted its subsidiary, the NNPC Retail Limited, which is on standby to cut-off supply when given signals by the top officials behind the plan.

Telecommunication License from the Government, a statement issued by UBA has confirmed. Managing Director of UBA Benin, Mrs. Gwen Abiola Oloke said the transactions underscored UBA’s commitment to supporting the growth and development of the economy of Benin Republic especially by financing large ticket transactions for corporate customers, thus stimulating economic activities. She added that “UBA Benin has played key roles in project finance, innovative banking services and jobs creation,” adding that It is the same commitment that we have in all counties in Africa where we have presence.” Commenting on the development, Mr. Phillips Oduoza, GMD/CEO, UBA Plc assured of the bank’s readiness in meeting the financial needs of the African nations by bridging finance-project gaps, through infrastructure financing, loans syndication, trade facilitation and investment promotions. He said, “With UBA’s presence in 19 African countries, the bank is leveraging on very strong fundamentals to achieve its African goals adding that the bank has launched series of products to smoothen trade and commerce between African nations via its payment platforms.”



Penultimate Monday, President Goodluck Jonathan commissioned the first Almajiri Integrated Model School in Sokoto with the aim of formalizing the education system of the itinerant students in Qur‘anic schools. However, given the infrastructural facilities and modern equipment put in place in the school many people tend to ask whether the real Almajiri would continue to benefit from the programme. Our reporter in Sokoto, Sadeeq Aliyu takes a look into the future of the school.


he idea of Almajiri Integrated or Tsangaya school was first muted by Sokoto state government two years ago under the administration of Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko to contain the teeming populous Qur’anic schools that harbour multitudes of itinerant students mostly drawn from localities. The two functioning Almajiri schools have so far fared well, with students acquiring Western education alongside the usual Qur‘anic education in a formal set up. They are accommodated in classrooms and hostels with uniforms to portray the formality of Western education on one hand and in particular periods of their studies they go under trees with their slates for Qur‘anic education as obtained in informal schools. The bulk of the students were drawn from localities, apparently from poor families where it is difficult to sponsor their children to school. As the education is free, including feeding and accommodation, there was good number of pupils not only from rural areas but also from within the town whose parents can not afford to take them to conventional primary school; and it became an opportunity for them to enroll their wards. A staff of one of the school explained that many of pupils were not Almajirai in the real sense of the word, but were enrolled into the school because the curriculum was blended with Western education such that it has a bit surpassed what is taught in conventional primary schools. Not long after, the Federal Government ventured into the programme but solely to fulfill one of its campaign promises as President Goodluck Jonathan echoed during the commissioning ceremony of the first model school in Sokoto. But the Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Professor

Mahmood Yakub said the idea of establishing the schools across some geo-political zones of the country was to cater for nine million Almajiris roaming the streets. Sadly enough however, the bulk of these Almajirai (if you like), come from the North-West which accounts for 50 percent of the total number due to resistance to Western education by parents. He said this practice had long existed before the colonial administration and the Federal Government felt the need to find solution to the problem, hence the establishment of Almajiri Model Primary Schools to go side by side with Western education schools to enable children acquire literacy and numeracy. But despite


Almajiri Model School: Would it cater for the itinerant? Federal Government‘s effort in championing the cause of the programme, Professor Yakub said the Federal Government cannot provide this type of education alone without the assistance of states and local governments just as it only provides funding for construction, furnishing and equipping the schools; designing curriculum and providing text books and capacity building for teachers. The states on the other hand provide land and construct the schools, recruit pupils and provide feeding and uniform to them and maintain the schools. To make learning more easy for the pupils, the curriculum provides that language of wider communication in the areas where the schools are located should be language of communication for the first three years in school. Governor Wamakko remarked that the approach his government adopted provided an acceptable model that allows parents to enroll their children into the schools which he said was different

Admin block of the Almajiri school in Gagi from the traditional Qur’anic school system in terms of improved curriculum contents, teaching methods, structure, management, staffing, pupils and staff

welfare. While giving his fatherly counsel, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar reminded that in several states there are more pupils in the traditional

Almajiri education sector than those attending conventional schools. “We should also not forget the high population growth that we have to contend with; we must ensure that we plan appropriately for the upcoming generations and endow them with educational opportunities than their predecessors.” Shortly before and after the commissioning of the Federal Government assisted school by President Jonathan, the question that remains on the lips of many people was would the real Almajiris be the true beneficiaries of the school? Built at the cost of over N240 million, the school comprised of language and science laboratories, ICT dormitories and workshop for technical subjects where students would be taught vocational courses. The school is well structured such that even some of the

existing conventional schools cannot match its standard in terms of infrastructural facilities and equipment. It is on this basis that people are entertaining fear that this Almajiri Model School may be highjacked by parents of non Almajiri pupils who may be interested in enrolling their wards to acquire knowledge with the modern equipment such as computers put in place. However, the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Fund, Professor Yakub said it is the responsibility of journalists to checkmate the activities of the school to ensure that target beneficiaries are enrolled into the school. He also argued that elite parents would not want their children to spend the first three years in school learning with vernacular language as enshrined in the curriculum of the school. Be that as it may, the high cost of private schools which the elites and the haves take their children to, could be the reason why they may be tempted to cash on that opportunity to usurp the Almajiri school, given the fact that all needed learning facilities are made available in the school. Besides, in the event where the targeted Almajirai particularly in the rural areas are not forth coming due to the age long resistance to western education, pupils in the conventional schools may take over; and in the end the itinerant Almajiri would continue roaming the streets as usual. Unless there would be rigorous sensitization in all the nooks and crannies the programme may likely be waylaid by selfish interests.

L-R: President Goodluck Jonathan, Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko of Sokoto state, and Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i at the commissioning of the pilot school.

Shortly before and after the commissioning of the Federal Government assisted school by President Jonathan, the question that remains on the lips of many people was would the real Almajiris be the true beneficiaries of the school? First set of Almajiri pupils in a class

Some section of the school



Subsidy probe: Culprits must not go unpunished – Committee (II)

Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS ased on the facts, issues and investigative interactions, the Committee hereby makes the following recommendations for the consideration and approval of the House. 1. From the findings of this Committee the consumption level for 2011 is estimated at 31.5 million litres per day. However, in 2012 marginal increment of 1.5 million litres a day is recommended in order to take care of unforeseen circumstances, bringing it to 33 million litres per day. And to maintain a strategic reserve, an additional average of seven (7) million litres per day (or 630million litres per Quarter) for the first quarter of 2012 only is recommended. Thus, PPPRA is to use 40 million litres of PMS in the first quarter as its maximum ordering quantity per day. In subsequent quarters PMS daily ordering quantity should be 33 million litres per day. For Kerosene, the Committee recommends a daily ordering quantity of 9 million litres. 2. With regards to the 445,000bpd allocation to NNPC to refine for local consumption, the Committee established that the allocation is sufficient to provide the nation with forty million litres per day for PMS and Ten million litres of HHK. The above can be achieved conveniently through; • SWAP arrangement, • Offshore processing, • Outright sale of the 445,000bpd and or partial sale of the excess from the local refining capacity of 53%. Therefore there is no reason for government to grant subsidy importation to any other marketer. Even though we have quoted 40 million litres as a liberal figure, in


CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi the course of monitoring the implementation of the subsidy regime the actual daily consumption will then be determined. 3. The NNPC should refund to the Federation Account, the sum of N310,414,963,613 (Three hundred and ten billion, four hundred and fourteen million, nine hundred and sixty three thousand, six hundred and thirteen naira only) paid to it illegally as subsidy for kerosene contrary to the Presidential Directive of July 29th, 2009 withdrawing subsidy on the product. 4. The Committee recommends that the NNPC should be unbundled to make its operations more efficient and transparent, and this we believe can also be achieved through the passage of a well drafted and comprehensive Petroleum Industry Bill. The Committee therefore urges the speedy drafting and submission of the bill to the National Assembly. 5. The Committee wishes to recommend that the House do direct for the auditing of the NNPC to determine its solvency. This was as a result of plethora of claims of indebtedness and demands for payments by NNPC’s debtors which, if not well handled, will not only affect the entire economy of Nigeria, but also the supply and distribution of petroleum products. Examples: Nigeria Customs Service = N46 billion Nigeria Ports Authority = N6 billion Trafigura et al = $3.5 billion 6. The House should direct the NNPC to stop any form of deduction not captured in the Appropriation Act before remittance to the Federation Accounts, and the Corporation should submit its transactions to the operational Guidelines of the Subsidy Scheme. 7. NNPC Retail, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of

Customs boss, Abdullahi Dikko Inde

Nigeria (IPMAN) and Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) should be the outlets for the distribution of Kerosene to ensure availability and affordability of the product to Nigerians. 8. The NNPC should also refund to the Federation Account the sum of NGN285.098Billion being overdeductions as against PPPRA approvals for 2011. The Relevant Anti- Corruption Agencies should further investigate the Corporation for deductions for the years 2009 and 2010. 9. As postulated earlier in this report, data provided by NNPC and CBN tends to suggest that for 2009, 2010, and 2011, NNPC deducted subsidy payments from two different accounts. It is the recommendation of this Committee that Relevant Anti- Corruption Agencies conduct thorough investigations into this matter and where it is established that double withdrawals were made, the extra amounts should be paid back to the

Former FIRS boss, Ifueko Omuigui-Okauru

Treasury and those involved prosecuted. 10. The Management and Board of the NNPC should be completely overhauled and all those involved in the following infractions be further investigated and prosecuted by the Relevant Anti Corruption Agencies: a. Payment of N285.098 Billion in excess of the PPPRA recommended figure for 2011 b. Subsidy deductions of N310,414,963,613 for kerosene against a Presidential Directive c. Direct deductions from funds meant for the Federation Account in contravention of Section 162 of the Nigerian Constitution d. Illegal granting of price differential (discounts) of crude oil price per barrel to NNPC to the tune of N108.648Billion from 2009-2011. 11. The relevant AntiCorruption Agencies should carry out a due-diligence investigation to determine the total demurrage

It is the recommendation of this Committee that Relevant AntiCorruption Agencies conduct thorough investigations into this matter and where it is established that double withdrawals were made, the extra amounts should be paid back to the Treasury and those involved prosecuted

payments and outstanding incurred by NNPC for the period 2009 -2011. 12. Under the PSF Scheme, importers especially NNPC should be mandated to patronize Nigerian Flagged vessels provided they produce the standard safety and sea-worthiness certificates in tune with international best practices. 13. All the payments which the PPPRA made to itself from the PSF account in excess of the approved administrative charges which were due to it under the Template should be recovered and paid back into the Fund. The officials involved in this infraction should be further investigated/prosecuted by the relevant Anti- Corruption Agencies. These confirmed illegal payments were the sum of NGN156.455Biilion in 2009, and the sum of NGN155.824Billion in 2010, a total sum of NGN312,279Billion. 14. All staff of PPPRA and DPR involved in the a. processing of Applications by importers, and b. verification, confirmation and payment for imported products by Importers and NNPC should be investigated/prosecuted by AntiCorruption Agencies for negligence, collusion and fraud. 15. The Executive Secretaries of the PPPRA who were the accounting officers, and under whose watch these abuses were perpetrated that led to the Government losing billions of naira, should be held liable. Therefore, we strongly recommend that those who served as Executive Secretaries of PPPRA from January 2009 to October 2011 should be further investigated/prosecuted by relevant Anti- Corruption Agencies. This should also include GM Field Services, ACDO/Supervisor-Ullage Team 1, and ACDO/SupervisorUllage Team 2 within the same period, for their roles in the management of the ullaging under the subsidy scheme.


Undergraduate turned commercial bus driver laments high cost of education in Nigeria


alam Usman Sule, a onetime university undergraduate, now a commercial bus driver in Kogi, has decried the high cost of education in the country. Sule told reporters in Abuja that he dropped out of the Kogi State University, Anyigba, due to high cost of fees, describing the development as very frustrating, discouraging and worrisome. Sule, who now drives one of the commercial buses belonging to the Dekina Local Government Mass Transit in the state, called on the Federal Government to check the trend. He said that this would enable many Nigerians, especially the children of the poor to receive education.

“It is really worrisome and very unfortunate that many prospective and brilliant students continue to face setbacks as they cannot afford the high of school fees being charged by the institutions. “Both the government and especially the privately-owned institutions should be compelled to reduce their fees, to an affordable level, in the interest of our children. “That is if we are really serious with the fact that they are the leaders of tomorrow,” he said. Sule, who said that he was a 200-level undergraduate when he dropped-out of the university, said that he was unable to foot the high cost of the school fees “because I have nobody to assist me”.


Nasarawa state to equip labs, libraries N

asarawa state Government said that it had concluded arrangements to re-equip all public secondary schools with science laboratories and library facilities to boost education. Alhaji Hussaini Abubakar, the Commissioner for Education, announced the plan in Lafia at a three-day capacity building workshop for Principals and Deans of studies of secondary schools. The commissioner, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Hajiya Zainab Abdulmuminin, said the government was worried about the decay of infrastructure in public

secondary schools. He said the development prompted the ministry to evolve a blueprint to boost the study of science and technical education to enable the state to grow technologically. Abubakar said the CPC administration in the state placed great premium on the education sector, especially science education, by allocating the largest portion of the 2012 budget to the sector. The commissioner described teaching as a “noble profession and mother of all professions” and urged teachers to live up to the

people’s expectations by imparting the right knowledge in students He also called on them to always update their knowledge to meet modern global challenges in human development. Earlier, Dr Emmanuel Osakade, the Nasarawa State Chairman of All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPS), said that the workshop was aimed at enhancing effective teaching in schools. He said the exercise was also aimed at tackling emerging challenges in secondary school education.

Board wants ETF to include private polytechnics as beneficiaries


he Chairman of the Board of Ronik Polytechnic, Lagos, Mr Bunmi Ajayi, has urged the Federal Government to include private polytechnics as beneficiaries of the Education Trust Fund (ETF) interventions. Ajayi made the appeal in an interview with journalists on Monday in Lagos while speaking on activities lined up for the first convocation of the polytechnic. Ajayi said a huge amount was needed to set up infrastructure for engineering-based courses for private polytechnics to meet international standards and the NBTE accreditation requirement. According to him, “it is not fair for only government polytechnics to benefit from the fund whereas both public and

private polytechnics paid tax.” “Private polytechnics, a lot of them are under-funded - underfunded in the sense that our polytechnics are different from secondary schools. When you set up a secondary school within a short while you can start making some profit. “But I can’t see any private polytechnic making any profit in 10 years because of the amount of money that is needed for infrastructure. “If you really want to have a private polytechnic that would really be worth its salt and given the control by NBTE, they must have engineering-based courses because the other courses are a percentage of engineering and engineering courses are very expensive.”

C’ttee advocates transformation of six first generation universities


he Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies has advocated the transformation of the six first generation universities into model institutions. Chairman of the committee, Mr Stephen Oronsaye, announced the recommendation in the committee’s report presented to President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja. He said that the transformation of the universities at Ibadan, Zaria, Kaduna State, Lagos, Nsukka, Enugu State, IleIfe, Osun State and Benin, would restore old glory to tertiary education in the country. He stated that the committee noted with concern that the standard and quality of tertiary education in the country had declined in the past 25 years. “In this period, the top-ranked universities in Nigeria fell out of the top 1000 in the world. “The sad reality is that according to current ranking, the highest ranked university in Nigeria –University of Ibadan- is

rated 30th in Africa. “The average cost of training an Arts student in a Nigerian University is about N450,000 and N525,000 for Science student, per session.” Oransaye said that the committee noted that the nation’s education sector was in a state of crisis arising from inefficient utilisation of resources, poor monitoring, falling standards and poor service delivery. The committee chairman said this had become imperative if the country was to stem the present trend of mass failure in certificate examinations at the secondary school level as well as the poor quality of graduate being produced from the nation’s tertiary institutions. Oronsaye added that the functions of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), the Nomadic Education Commission and the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education, should be taken over by UBEC as there is no economic gain in having the three agencies as separate entities.

Some of the 40 medical students graduated from the Bayero University, Kano taking oath during the 11th induction ceremony, recently in Kano. Photo: Bala Nasir

Council organises free holiday lessons for students By Ikechukwu Okaforadi with Agency report


he Agboyi-Ketu Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos state is organising free holiday lessons for secondary school students, to address the mass failure in O’ Level examinations.

The Chairman of the LCDA, Mr Obafemi Durosimi, told journalists in Lagos that the council was worried at the continued mass failure. Durosimi expressed the hope that the lessons would also divert the attention of students from vices. “The council has also acquired

three buses for the students to facilitate their movement to their various schools.” The council boss said that the recently acquired buses would continue to transport students free to schools when they resumed full time studies. “We are doing this to assist parents and the society.” He said.

FG invests heavily on ICT to ensure access


he Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, says the Federal Government is investing heavily on the expansion of broadband to ensure access to internet services nationwide. Wike said this in Abuja at the opening of a one-week forum on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) organised by the Federal Ministry of Education. The minister said that the forum with the theme “ICT: The Future is Here” was timely, adding that government had over the years created an enabling environment for the sector to

thrive. Wike said that although the sector had recorded some achievements, there was still much to be done. “ICT has become not only the basic driver for sustainable national development globally, but also a critical factor for the competitiveness and survival of the individual in the contemporary world.” According to Wike, the forum is to create awareness and encourage the youths to take interest in ICT. The minister said that the forum was also to give stakeholders

the opportunity to find solutions to problems militating against rapid development of ICT in the country. “I believe that the programme would empower the youths to adapt to the rapidly changing global environment where effective ICT knowledge and skills have become essential for enhancing personal development and life’s success. “I must add that the Ministry of Education looks forward to establishing more fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship with you to address the challenges of ICT education and development among the youths of this country.”


Union decries poor funding of state universities


he Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASUEAI) says poor funding is responsible for the deplorable condition of facilities in many state-owned universities in the Country. Mr Alfred Adefemi, the Deputy President of the union, made the observation on Wednesday in Calabar at an interactive session with journalists. He said that the only way the nation could make meaningful progress was for governments at both the federal and state levels to adequately fund education. ``Today's reality demands that serious thought be given to the adequate funding of education if our teeming youths are to be empowered through education." Adefemi expressed regret that the amended 1993 Universities (Miscellaneous Provision) Act had yet to be implemented, adding that university staff were still being retired on the old order. (NAN)


UniAbuja: Civil society condemns call for VC’s sack By Emmanuel Iriogbe


he coalition of civil society for transparency in governance has condemned the recent call by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), for the sack of the vice chancellor of the University of Abuja, Professor James Sunday Adebowale, following the recent crisis that engulfed the institution.

While the group hailed all efforts by the Federal Government in restoring academic activities to the institution, the coalition said it was disappointed with the call being made by ASUU. Speaking to journalists yesterday in Abuja, president of the coalition, Comrade Ibrahim Atih said the action of the union would further polarise the existing peace and harmony

being enjoyed by both students and lecturers of the institution. He said, “The nation in the last few days has been awash with developments arising from recent actions of the federal government to transform the prestigious university of Abuja to international standard. We commend the intervention of the honorable minister of education to restore the disbanded faculties and allow students resume their

academic activities while stakeholders return to the drawing board to ensure that facilities and equipments are put in place. He said it is pertinent that the minister of education sets up a panel to harmonize the position of all stakeholders in the University of Abuja in order to maintain a peaceful and conducive environment for learning.

Yobe pays hardship allowance to encourage teachers in remote areas


he Yobe Teaching Service Board has said that teachers posted to remote areas in the state were paid hardship allowance to encourage them to stay in their areas of posting. Alhaji Maijawa Dawayo, the Executive Chairman of the board, made this known in Damaturu on Wednesday at a news conference. He said that teachers employed by the board also enjoy responsibility allowance as incentive to boost productivity and commitment to duty. The chairman noted that 1,478 teachers were manning 40 senior secondary schools in the state, adding that “there are 373 university graduates, 55 HND holders, 810 NCE holders and others. “The board also trained 474 others through in-service to pursue degree programmes in various universities in the country.” Dawayo said that the board had introduced many incentives to promote commitment and encourage teachers to remain in the profession. He pointed out that the board received 2,000 new applications for teaching in secondary schools in the state. “However, 146 of the 496 teachers employed on contract were relieved of their appointments to sanitise the system. “But the board had to reengage 29 of the relieved teachers in critical subjects, including English, Mathematics and Physics.” (NAN)

Front view of the entrance gate to the University of Abuja main campus

JAMB to release cut-off marks for admission into versities May 21, – Ojerinde


he Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) will release the cutoff marks for admission into universities on May 21, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, the Registrar, has said. Ojerinde announced this on Thursday in Abuja when he received a four-man delegation from the Nigerian Turkish Nile University, led by its Vice Chancellor, Bunyamin Kaptanoglu, who paid him a courtesy visit. He said that a harmonised cutoff point would kick start admission process for 2012/2013. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that JAMB, had on March 24, conducted the third edition of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). A total of 1.5 million candidates applied and sat for the examination in Nigeria and six other countries. Bemoaning the instability in

Nigeria’s tertiary education system, Ojerinde said that some universities experienced restiveness and unstable and disrupted school calendar. He said that Turkey’s educational system had become popular because of its quality and

standard. Ojerinde described relations between both countries in education as dependable. ``It is also in consonance with the Federal Government’s policy thrust of greater access of Nigerians to tertiary education as

well as the Education for All Initiative.’’ Earlier, Kaptanoglu had said that the university was in support of the partnership being proposed by Ojerinde, and thanked him for granting them audience. (NAN)

Education, bedrock of society – COEASU From Yusha’u Alhassan, Jalingo


he Taraba state Commissioner of Education, Yakubu Agbaizo, has described education as the bedrock of every society. The commissioner stated this yesterday in Jalingo, while declaring open the zonal Northeast College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) week holding at the College of Education, Zing Taraba state. Agbaizo said the education sector needs the support of

everybody as government alone could not do it. Earlier, the national president of COEASU, Awal Ibrahim had stressed the need for proper funding of education so as to have qualified teachers. Ibrahim said without teachers there would be no nation and called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the education sector. In his speech at the occasion, the provost of College of Education Zing, Sule Isa

showered praises on the present leadership of COEASU for the landmark achievements recorded. Isa appealed to staff of the college to be united and speak with one voice on issues that would bring progress to the college. The host and COEASU chairman, Emmanuel Lawson in welcoming delegates expressed joy over the enthusiasm shown by members of the union and wished them successful deliberations.



Emergency medical service Nigeria’s call to action

Sheba Medical Centre at Tel Hashomer, Ramat-Gan, Israel


was with the delegates nominated by the Federal Ministry of Health from the following institutions, University Teaching Hospitals of Abuja, Jos, Maiduguri and Federal Polytechnics of Bida and Oko to go for a course on Israeli innovative concept, system and structures of Emergency Medical Service on 19th of February to 2nd of March 2012. The two weeks spent in discovering Israel’s ingenuity and commitment to saving lives and reducing mortality by responding to accidents, emergencies and disasters regardless their nature or frequency brings to fore the challenges waiting to be overcome concerning Emergency Medical Service in Nigeria. The goal of building an effective and efficient Emergency Medical Service is neither complicated nor expensive; it is a developmental process that builds on constant improvement of protocols, personnel, and products (The 3 P’s of Emergency Medical

Service) to a particular disaster or accident event, with the view of reducing response time to save lives of victims for the next disaster or accident event that might occur. This is the essence of Israel’s Emergency Medical Service delivery. Nigeria’s present healthcare infrastructure and system is not in a deplorable state that cannot launch or sustain an emergency medical service. However, coordination, cooperation, and collaboration (The 3 C’s of Emergency Medical Service) is required to harness the different hospitals and healthcare workers, together with the institutions of Federal Road Safety Commission, National Emergency Management Agency, Nigerian Police, Federal Fire Service, Nigerian Army and Civil Defence to deliver to Nigerians a semblance of emergency medical service akin to Israel. The Federal Ministry of Health needs to plough its wealth of resources of time, expertise, and system of its Federal Medical Centres,

Agency to partner with Taraba SACA on HIV reduction NEWS From Yusha’u Alhassan, Jalingo


he Agency for Community and Social Development Project in Taraba state says it will collaborate with the State Action Committee on Aids (SACA), to achieve desired objectives. General Manager of the agency, Policarp Stephen Adi made the remarks when officials of the SACA visited him. He said the agency and SACA were World Bank projects and

would work together for the development of the state. Adi said the Agency had desk officers for HIV/AIDS, saying they would join force with SACA to deal with problems affecting vulnerable people. Earlier, the permanent secretary of the state action for the control of AIDS, SACA Simbe Ambita, said they were in the Agency to fight the scourge of HIV. He said SACA, being a statutory agency in 2010 had a task of reducing HIV/AIDS to the barest minimum in the state.

University Teaching Hospitals, Colleges of Health Technology, Schools of Nursing and Community Health to craft programmes and projects that include paramedic training, ambulance service network, emergency call centre, health information management system etc that will be incorporated, linked and shared with states and area councils healthcare system. It is notable to mention that the Federal Polytechnic Oko has taken the initiative to establish a health information management system for the school and neighbouring communities of Oko, using Israel’s innovative emergency medical product, NiMedical’s NiCAS Cardiac Surveyor, to detect students and indigenes susceptible to heart diseases, to enable them carry out preventive measures. Dr. Ifeoma Manago, the Chief Medical Officer; and Prof. Godwin Onu, the Rector, are exploring ways to utilize the healthcare facility of Oko Polytechnic to provide quality pre-hospital and hospital medical care to communities in their locality. This is one of the many laudable initiatives that Nigerians will come to expect from the Federal Ministry of Health delegates’ knowledge and experience of Israeli Emergency Medical Service and Trauma Management, that is being adopted and adapted for Nigeria, which is in line with the vision of Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, the Honourable Minister of Health, and the transformation agenda on health of President Goodluck Jonathan. From Tega Ukoko, Project Manager Plus factor International

Asthma drug ‘protects sufferers from life-threatening symptoms caused by common cold’


cientists are developing a drug that will protect asthma sufferers from lifethreatening symptoms caused by the common cold. A study shows an anti-viral agent known as SNG001 prevented two out of three asthmatics from getting worse after catching a cold, while those on 'dummy' treatment found it more difficult to breathe. Researchers believe the drug could potentially help up to one in five patients with severe asthma who are most at risk of lifethreatening complications from their condition. Experts said the drug could be 'one of the biggest breakthroughs in the last 20 years' and could be used more widely to protect other patients with chronic lung disease. Around 5.4 million Britons have asthma, with one-fifth of them being 'difficult to treat', and viral infections which spread to the lungs are blamed for eight out of 10 asthma-related attendances at hospital A& E departments. The latest research was carried out by scientists from the University of Southampton and Synairgen, a respiratory drug development company spun out from the University. They compared the new drug with placebo or 'dummy' treatment in 134 adult asthma patients, with 'mild-moderate' through to 'severe' asthma, who caught a cold. Patients with 'difficult to treat' asthma - approximately half of the patients in the trial - benefited significantly from SNG001. Results showed that SNG001 prevented asthma symptoms from getting worse during the first week of infection and treatment. There was a 65 per cent reduction in the number of treated patients experiencing moderate worsening of their asthma, while patients taking placebo had greater loss in lung function. SNG001 contains interferon beta that occurs naturally in the body, which is inhaled via a nebuliser to stop the virus taking hold in the lungs. Professor Stephen Holgate

Patients with 'difficult to treat' asthma benefited significantly from the anti-viral agent

CBE, leading international asthma specialist at the University of Southampton and founder of Synairgen, said 'This is a really promising breakthrough for the future treatment of asthma and one of the most exciting developments that I have seen in years. 'This is the first clinical study which appears to demonstrate that, by boosting the antiviral defences of the lungs of asthmatics rather than trying to inhibit rapidly evolving viruses, we can limit the adverse effects of viral infection significantly to prevent worsening of asthma symptoms in a high risk group of patients. 'Not only have we established the potential of SNG001 as a novel treatment for viral exacerbations in difficult to treat asthma but also a crucial link between viral infection, asthma symptoms and severity of disease.' He said evidence suggests the drug could be used against swine flu and other viruses as a powerful broad spectrum antiviral respiratory drug in lung diseases such as COPD and pandemic flu. Professor Ratko Djukanovic, a clinical respiratory specialist at the University of Southampton and Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust and Director of the Southampton Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit, said: 'This trial, conducted by several UK academic respiratory experts, provides the first evidence of an effective anti-viral drug that can boost the asthmatic patient's immune system to fight viruses and thus significantly reduce the impact of virus infections on asthma control. 'Scientists at the University of Southampton, who made the discovery of innate immune deficiency in asthma, have long suspected that the need to correct the deficiency is greatest in patients with severe asthma: we now have compelling evidence that this is the case.' Leanne Metcalf, Assistant Director of Research at Asthma UK, which backed the study, said 'This has the potential to be one of the biggest breakthroughs in asthma treatments in the past 20 years. 'We are incredibly excited by the possibilities this research could bring to reduce hospital admissions and deaths as a result of asthma attacks. 'Over 80 per cent of asthma attacks are triggered by cold and flu viruses, and until now we haven't had any effective treatments that can stop this from happening. 'This clinical trial demonstrates the potential of this anti-viral drug to prevent asthma attacks for thousands of people with severe asthma. 'We are incredibly proud to have played a part in the realisation of this research programme which should benefit people with asthma in a really significant way.' Source:



Fibroid: Wonderful herbal remedies C

linical studies indicate that fibroids are aggravated by an excess of estrogen in the body, and that fibroids can be shrunk effectively simply by getting the estrogen levels back into balance. While there are many drugs on the market that work on hormone levels, they all have side effects. Some of these side effects are dangerous such as increased risk of ovarian cancer with Clomid and Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. Thankfully there are natural alternatives to these drugs, herbs that have been used for hundreds (and in some cases thousands) of years to help women with menstrual disorders such as heavy bleeding, painful periods, uterine cramping and fibroids. What is more, modern research has confirmed that these herbs work and double-blind clinical studies put the herbs through the strictest and most vigorous testing and have also confirmed these herbs help you conceive faster. Here is just a few of these findings: Chaste Tree suppresses the over-production of estrogen and is widely used to balance hormones and treat premenstrual symptoms. Many double-blind placebo-controlled studies have proven its effectiveness, for example, the Institute for Health Care and Science in Germany found that 52% of women taking this supplement experienced significant improvements in menstrual symptoms such as bloating, headaches and irritability. Chaste Tree also reduces estrogen levels while elevating progesterone levels, and has strong anti inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal effects which help the body to shrink fibroids. Red Raspberry is used to control excessive menstrual bleeding and strengthens and tones the uterine muscles. Red Raspberry is very helpful in supporting the body return the reproductive organs into balance. It’s anti inflammatory and anti nausea effects makes Red Raspberry a powerful herb for menstrual problems. Red Raspberry is a rich source of nutrients, including Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Potassium, Phosphorus, and Vitamins A, B, C and E. Also rich in tocopherols,

carotenoids, and natural antioxidants, Numerous studies indicate that Red Raspberry helps to manage blood sugar levels, helping you keep your energy levels high throughout the month. Motherwort is used worldwide for a range of menstrual and reproductive problems. It contains leonurine which relaxes the smooth muscles of the uterus, preventing cramping, and reducing menstrual pain. Motherwort regulates menstruation, reduces cramping, balances hormones and reduces heavy bleeding, especially when mixed with Red Raspberry. Siberian Ginseng has been used for over 4,000 in Chinese Medicine years to combat anemia caused by heavy bleeding, and maintain the energy levels. Like

Red Raspberry, Siberian Ginseng helps manage blood sugar levels, preventing energy slumps throughout the month. Siberian Ginseng contains properties that support the adrenal glands and enables the body to cope with physical and mental stress. It also reduces blood clotting, especially when mixed with Red Clover. Red Clover’s daidzein and genistein compounds in are recognized by The National Cancer Institute to have anti-tumor properties. It is also a well-known blood cleansing herb, and supports detoxification and it helps the liver to detoxify excess estrogen - the main cause of fibroids. Red Clover has antispamodic and sedative qualities, calming the uterus as it is phytoestrogens (plant

estrogens) which helps balance the body’s natural estrogen levels and regulate the menstrual cycle. Rich in nutrients, it helps to replenish the body after many months of heavy bleeding. Red Clover contains tocopheral (Vitamin E), protein, and salicylates and coumarins, which reduce blood clotting. Licorice Root is used to treat fluid retention, helping with bloating and weight gain during menstruation. The Mjölbolsta Hospital found people taking Licorice over 8 weeks retained less water and normalized blood pressure levels. Licorice Root is also used to calm the digestion, and when combined with Red Clover, supports the liver in breaking down excess estrogen. Burdock Root is another blood purifying herb, used to support the liver and detoxify excess estrogen and xenoestrogens.

It also has diuretic qualities, which help the body get rid of retained water, reducing bloating and swelling. Its antiinflammatory properties also assist in shrinking fibroids in size. Burdock Root is rich in Arctigenin, which inhibits the growth of tumors. Goldenseal helps to keep the uterus free of inflammation and infection. It has been used for hundreds of years by Native Americans for skin problems. It is also used to maintain the health of mucus membranes - the tissue surrounding the internal genitals. The berberine in Goldenseal is antibacterial and antiviral, which helps the body fight infection and strengthens the immune system, especially when combined with Echinacea. Echinacea has been used for over 400 years as a general cureall. Recent studies suggest that Echinacea enhances the immune system reduces inflammation and relieves pain. For example, the Phytomedicine Journal reported a double-blind study in which subjects given Echinacea increased the functioning of the immune system by 120%. Additionally researchers in Germany found that large doses of echiacea healed wounds completely in just 7 days. Echinacea has also been used to control benign growths and tumors such as fibroids. If you’re serious about getting rid of fibroids quickly and want to do it the natural way without drugs, surgery or side effects, give these herbs a try. Dr. Grace P. Bandoy M.D


ANALYSIS By MJ Rosenberg


he occupation and the Iran nuclear issue have swallowed up Israel. Unless you live there, the only sense you get of that country is that it is obsessed with Iran, maintaining the occupation and exploiting the Holocaust to keep critics of its policies on the defensive. No wonder a billionaire-financed organisation has to pay for college students to visit Israel. Without the "subsidy", who would voluntarily go to a place that its advocates portray as a combination of war zone and Holocaust memorial? I was lucky. I started going to Israel as a teenager. All my friends did, multiple times, and, if anyone paid our way, it was our parents. By now I have been there, on trips of varying lengths, some 35 times. So I know the country well, which means that I am not deceived by propagandists (both proIsrael and anti-Israel) who dedicate themselves to describing a country that does not exist. Because anti-Israel types have little, if any, influence on perceptions of Israel in the US, I'll focus on the ones who think of themselves as pro-Israel. Also, I would not expect those who are anti-Israel (and, by that, I do not mean those merely opposed to Israeli policies) to present a full picture of the place. But one should expect that of Israel's advocates. However, few of them make any effort to present the real Israel. They are too busy selling Israel's policies towards Iran and in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem - and trying to silence policy-makers, journalists, academics and others, who do not march in lockstep behind Binyamin Netanyahu's policies. Even on college campuses, pro-Israel students are trained to defend policies that, if carried out elsewhere, they would find indefensible and that would simply never fly on a US campus (or anywhere other than among the fringe of young Jews who are right-wingers). That is why author Peter Beinart, who wants young Jewish people to care about Israel, is so worried about the ever growing number of young Jews who are either indifferent to or turned off by Israel. For them, Israel is no more, and no less, than the sum total of its policies. If I were running Israel's "hasbara" (public relations) efforts on campus or among people under 40, I'd use the slogan: "Israel, Yes: Occupation, No." Unfortunately, that approach will never be adopted because the people involved in selling Israel care more about promoting the government's policies than the country itself. They are engaged in a political battle designed to garner support for Prime Minister Netanyahu's policies, not Israel.


Can Israel survive?

Tel Aviv is often described as 'insulated' from the Israeli/Palestinian conflict [EPA] And, even more, they are attempting to advance their own influence and power. They tend to be indifferent to the extraordinary happenstance of living at a time when there is a thriving Jewish country in which some seven million people speak a language that was dead for two millennia. They don't know much about its history; they don't speak its language; they don't know about its geography. They are people who do not enjoy eating an ice cream on the promenade along the beach in Tel Aviv one hundredth as much as pressuring some congressman to oppose humanitarian aid for Palestinians or any dealings with Iran. You will see this approach on those quasi-official tours of Israel (including the trips for kids) that focus heavily on Jerusalem and very little, if at all, on Israel's largest metropolitan area, Tel Aviv. Yes, I know that Jerusalem is Israel's "capital" and spiritual centre. But it is the secular liberal beach town of Tel Aviv that shows Israel's most appealing face. Jerusalem is black and white. Jews here, Arabs there. Secular Jews here, religious Jews there. Jews don't go to East Jerusalem; Arabs don't go to West Jerusalem. Two cities divided by an invisible yet impenetrable wall. The tension in the air is palpable, and so is the fear. Tel Aviv, in all its rich colour, is what Zionism is all about. It is a Jewish city, built in the 20th century by and for Jews, adjacent to the wonderful, ancient Arab and now mixed, town of Jaffa. It abuts the Mediterranean and is

a place one goes to escape the Arab-Israeli conflict, unlike Jerusalem that is at the heart of it. Jerusalem - with its beautiful vistas built long after Jews left for the diaspora would be a gorgeous and fascinating city even if the Jews had never returned to Palestine after 1,900 years. Tel Aviv exists because they did return. With its beaches, bars, art galleries, gay neighbourhoods, theatres and high-fashion scene, TA is often criticised as a "bubble" because it provides the illusion that it is possible to escape the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while in the heart of Israel. It is an illusion, but a good one, and the very opposite of the ugly and hopeless reality offered by the fanatics in Jerusalem. I understand the contradiction here. I am saying that the best place in Israel is an all-Jewish city rather than a de facto binational city such as Jerusalem. But this is not a political prescription.

It is, however, what I believe. There is nothing wrong about a Jewish city, just as there is nothing wrong (and plenty right) about a Jewish country (which the 20th century taught us is essential to Jewish life). But that equation does not apply beyond the 1967 borders. The settlements and outposts in the West Bank - "legal" and "illegal" - are essential only to prevent Palestinians from having their own state and to make their lives as difficult as possible. The hundreds of checkpoints that divide one Arab town from another and not from Israel proper exist primarily to punish Palestinians. That is the prime purpose of the settlement enterprise. As for Jerusalem, which is now divided by walls of hate, it will only become one city when it is shared with the Palestinians. That is why the two-state solution is critical. Unfortunately, its condition is also critical, which means


Israel is more than its most strident supporters in the US seem to understand. If they understood how much more, they might be less cavalier about advancing policies that would ultimately deliver doom.

that Israel's is too. It does not take a genius to know that time works against Israel. If the land is not divided, it is Israel that will lose (perhaps everything), while the Arabs (the overwhelming majority in the region and, within a few decades, the majority in Israel) will win. They can simply wait the Israelis out and watch the Zionist enterprise disappear. Without the two-state solution soon, the one-state solution is unstoppable. No, the "one state solution" does not refer to "pushing the Jews into the sea", it refers to Palestinians and Israelis living together in a single entity, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, under governance by the majority, probably Palestinian. Those of us who want to preserve the Jewish state are determined to prevent the onestate solution coming about. In fact, those of us who fight against a status quo that will make one state inevitable are the ones truly entitled to claim the label "pro-Israel". Those others, the political apparatchiks, should find themselves a new label, like maybe "political player on Israel issues" because "pro-Israel" most decidedly does not apply. Being pro-Israel means caring about Israel. It does not mean using it as an excuse for power brokering and suppressing dissident voices. Israel is more than its most strident supporters in the US seem to understand. If they understood how much more, they might be less cavalier about advancing policies that would ultimately deliver doom. Source:



Obama urges talks between Sudan, South Sudan to avoid war


Sudan says repulses rebel attack in border state


udan said yesterday it had repulsed a "major" rebel attack on a strategic town in its South Kordofan state, the latest outbreak of violence in its volatile border area with South Sudan. Rebels had launched an attack on Talodi, a border town the rebels have repeatedly tried to seize, Sudanese army spokesman Al-Sawarmi Khalid said. "Dozens of the rebels were killed. The army is expelling the remaining rebel forces," he added. There was no immediate comment from the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLMN), a rebel group who have been fighting the Sudanese army in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states since last year. Both states border South Sudan, whose own army has repeatedly clashed with Sudanese forces in the past few weeks, raising the prospect of a full-blown war between the two neighbours. Khartoum accuses the South of backing the border state rebels, an allegation Juba denies. Separately, Philip Aguer, a spokesman for South Sudan's army, or SPLA, said his forces had completed a withdrawal from the disputed Heglig oil field as announced on Friday. "The SPLA moved out of Heglig," he said, adding that no new fighting had been reported on Sunday. South Sudan seized the oil field last week, drawing condemnation from the U.N. Security Council which demanded an immediate withdrawal. On Sunday, South Sudanese officials showed reporters an oil field in Unity state which they said had been bombed by the Sudanese air force last week. A Reuters reporter saw three bomb craters on an oil field run by the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Co (GNPOC) but no visible damage to facilities. Tensions have been rising since South Sudan split from Sudan and became an independent country in July, taking with it most of the country's known oil reserves. The countries are still at loggerheads over the demarcation of their shared border and other disputes have halted nearly all the oil production that underpins both economies. South Sudan won its independence in a referendum that was promised in a 2005 peace accord that ended decades of civil war between Khartoum and the south. Religion, ethnicity and oil fuelled that conflict, which killed about 2 million people.

S President Barack Obama urged the leaders of Sudan and South Sudan on Saturday to stop the fighting between their countries and begin negotiations to settle their disputes, saying there was still a chance to avoid war. In a videotaped message to the two bitter foes, Obama sought to prevent further escalation of border hostilities that have raised tensions to the highest level since South Sudan split away as an independent country in July, taking with it most of the country's known oil reserves. "You still have a chance to avoid being dragged back into war, which only leads to one place - more suffering, more refugees, more death," Obama said. He called Sudan to stop its military actions against its neighbour, including aerial bombardments, and said South Sudan must end its support for armed groups inside Sudan and also halt cross-border military operations. South Sudan said on Friday it would withdraw its troops from the disputed Heglig oil region more than a week after seizing it from Sudan, pulling the countries back from the brink of

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio, recently a full-blown war. Sudan quickly declared victory, saying its armed forces had "liberated" the area by force as thousands of people poured onto the streets of Khartoum cheering, dancing, honking car horns and waving flags. But South Sudan on Saturday accused Sudan of bombing its troops as they pulled out of Heglig, dampening

already faint hopes of any imminent settlement. South Sudan's seizure of the territory had raised the prospect of two sovereign African states waging war against each other openly for the first time since Ethiopia fought newly independent Eritrea in 19982000. Since South Sudan's secession last year under a 2005 peace

deal, the countries have also remained at loggerheads over the position of their shared border and other disputes have already halted nearly all the oil production that underpins both economies. Obama said the leaders of Sudan and South Sudan "must have the courage to return to the table and negotiate and resolve these issues peacefully."

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood man finds wide appeal in Egypt


politician expelled from the Muslim Brotherhood is finding support among liberals and Islamists alike in his bid for Egypt's presidency, challenging the group he helped lead with a message that spans divisions in a polarised society. Abdul Moneim Abol Fotouh is appealing to a broader constituency than many of the candidates in a field that includes a Brotherhood leader and former members of the Hosni Mubarak administration. Whether he can win the historic democratic election will depend on how deeply that support runs. His chances were improved by the disqualification of leading Islamists including the Brotherhood's first-choice candidate and an ultra-orthodox Salafi preacher who were both contenders. Egyptians go to the polls in May to decide who will replace Mubarak - toppled last year after decades of repressive rule - as head of the Arab world's most populous state. The vote is expected to go to a June run-off between the top two candidates. Former Arab League

chief Amr Moussa is seen as another of the front-runners. Though Abol Fotouh was ejected from the Brotherhood last year - he defied its wishes with his presidential bid - analysts believe he still commands broad respect in a group that he helped lead for several decades. Since parting ways with the Brotherhood, his appeal has gone well beyond the Islamist camp. His commitment to political reform has impressed secularminded Egyptians. Some of Mohamed ElBaradei's backers have rallied to his side after the reformist liberal quit the race. Beyond the elite, a reputation for honesty and consistency is helping Abol Fotouh build a following among the population at large. "What he says, he does," said Amr el-Shobaki, an independent member of the Egyptian parliament, extolling Abol Fotouh's virtues as he introduced him at a rally in a working class district of Cairo on a Thursday evening in April. Abol Fotouh, he said, was the right man to "break the polarisation" of a country where rifts have

deepened between Islamists who dominated parliamentary elections and others for whom the rise of the Brotherhood is a cause of deep concern. Abol Fotouh, a 60-year old doctor, loosened his tie as he stood to address the crowd of several hundred people. They listened quietly as he outlined a vision that would make Egypt a G20 economy in 10 years, strengthen its army and eradicate remnants of the autocratic old order whom he described as a major threat. "After the January 25 (2011) revolution, God willing, the Egyptian people will no longer dream simply of their rights. They will dream of something more than that," he said. Egypt, he said, must be run by a civilian state that respects Islamic law in a moderate form, "far removed from secular, Islamic or religious extremism". "Egypt will not be a copy of Turkey, or Tunisia, or Iran," he said, listing states governed in full or part by Islamists. "Egypt will be Egypt." "He is a respectable person and a moderate. The Egyptian people need

Libyan leader: No government reshuffle ahead of elections


he head of Libya's ruling National Transitional Council said yesterday he did not envisage a government reshuffle before national elections slated for June, despite reports of possible changes earlier this month. Mustafa Abdel Jalil told reporters there was "motivation" for changes in the government, but said a reshuffle was impractical because it would affect the timing

of the planned parliamentary election. "In my opinion there will be no change in the government and we will push through," he said. "A new government will need two weeks to pick names, another two weeks for it to take office and this is all valuable time taken away from the Libyan people." The NTC was reviewing the work of some of the government's ministers, an NTC spokesman said

last week, with a view to possibly replacing some of them. Last November, Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib was brought in to deal with the tricky task of managing the country's transition from civil war to democracy. He chose a new cabinet which began to integrate former rebel fighters into a new national army and to build new government institutions from scratch.

this idea at this time," said Murad Fakhri, one of a group of ultraorthodox Salafi Muslims who were watching Abol Fotouh speak. Khaled Badr, another Salafi in the crowd, said he had planned to vote for Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, the disqualified preacher, but would now vote for Abol Fotouh instead. While opinion polls have shown Abol Fotouh trailing candidates including Moussa and Abu Ismail, many voters have yet to make up their minds. Abu Ismail's elimination leaves his Islamist supporters with the choice of Abol Fotouh and Mohamed Mursi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate who has described himself as the only Islamist in the field. Mahmoud Hussein, the group's secretary-general, was dismissive of Abol Fotouh's chances, saying that while many liberals were still concerned about his Brotherhood past, many Islamists had started to doubt he was a true Islamist. "He will get some votes from here, and some from there," he told Reuters. Yet Abol Fotouh's past is inextricably linked to the Islamist group banned under Mubarak. He was part of a reformist wing that Brotherhood watchers say has been marginalised by the more conservative elements which now run the group. His Islamic activism evolved on campus. He is famous for publicly confronting President Anwar Sadat in the 1970s, telling him he was surrounded by hypocrites. A recording of the heated debate has been posted on an Abol Fotouh campaign web site.



Voting begins in France, economy may sink Sarkozy


rench voters headed to the polls on Sunday in round one of a presidential ballot, with economic despair on course to make Nicolas Sarkozy the first president to lose a fight for reelection in more than 30 years. In a contest driven as much by a dislike of Sarkozy's showy style and his failure to bring down unemployment as by policy differences, Sarkozy and his Socialist rival Francois Hollande are pegged to beat eight other candidates to go through to a May 6 runoff, where polls give Hollande a double-digit lead. Hollande, 57, promises less drastic spending cuts than Sarkozy and wants higher taxes on the wealthy to fund state-aided job creation, in particular a 75 percent upper tax rate on income above 1 million euros ($1.32 million). He would be only France's second left-wing leader since the founding of the Fifth Republic in 1958, and its first since Francois Mitterrand, who beat incumbent Valery Giscard-d'Estaing in 1981. He voted early on Sunday in Tulle, a town in central France where he serves as the head of local government for the surrounding rural Correze region.

"Here's hoping," he whispered in the ear of an old lady. His partner, journalist Valerie Trierweiler, admitted to hordes of journalists she was "superstressed".

Morning sunshine, which in theory could help turnout at the margins, was forecast to give way to cloud and rain later. Hollande has called on his supporters to take nothing for

France's President and UMP party candidate for the 2012 French presidential election, Nicolas Sarkozy (2ndL) and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, exit the voting booth with their ballots in the first round of 2012 French presidential election at a polling station in Paris, yesterday. France goes to the polls on Sunday in the first round of its presidential election.

Rage boils in Bahrain’s streets but Grand Prix still on


ormula One drivers race in Bahrain yesterday while rage boils on the streets outside, among protesters who denounce the Grand Prix as a gaudy spectacle by a ruling family that crushed Arab Spring demonstrations last year. In the Shi'ite villages dotted around the capital, demonstrators hurling

petrol bombs have clashed nightly with police during the past week, and security forces responded with teargas, rubber bullets and birdshot. Black smoke from burning tyres wafted over Budaiya, a village outside the capital that saw mass protests this week. For those inside the Formula One

Protesters, wearing t-shirts with an image of Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, shout anti-government slogans as they protest during a rally by Bahrain's main opposition party Al Wefaq in Budaiya, west of Manama, on Saturday.

bubble, far from the scenes of protest, the unrest has had little impact. Teams assembled at Bahrain International Circuit amid the usual security precautions ahead of the race. At hotels where race participants were staying, guests swam and relaxed poolside in the morning. The highway to the circuit was lined with police cars. The luxury sporting event is the government's chance to show that life has gone back to normal in the island kingdom after security concerns over anti-government demonstrations forced last year's race to be delayed, then cancelled. It appears to have backfired, with nightly TV images of streets ablaze embarrassing Formula One and the global brands that lavish it with sponsorship. Thomson Reuters, parent company of Reuters, is a sponsor of the Williams Formula One team. The death of 36-year-old protester Salah Abbas Habib - found sprawled on a rooftop on Saturday after overnight clashes - provides more fuel for outrage among a Shi'ite Muslim majority that complains of being marginalised by ruling Sunnis.

Iran ‘building copy’ of captured US drone


ran says it has reverseengineered a US spy drone captured by its armed forces last year and has begun building a copy. General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, chief of the aerospace division of the powerful Revolutionary Guards, related yesterday what he said were details of the aircraft's operational history to prove his claim that Tehran's military experts had extracted data from the US RQ-170 Sentinel captured in December in eastern Iran. Among the drone's past missions, he said, was surveillance of the compound in northwest Pakistan in which Osama bin Laden lived and was killed.

granted, mindful of a fiasco for the left in 2002 when record poor countrywide turnout saw the Socialist candidate pushed out in the first round by the far right.

US says the drone, which Iran has displayed as a major victory, had malfunctioned and was not downed [Reuters]

Interior ministry figures put the turnout by midday at 28.29 percent, a touch lower than the strong turnout of 2007, when the rate at the same time of day was 31.21 percent. Sarkozy, also 57, says he is a safer pair of hands for future economic turmoil. But many of the workers and young voters drawn to his 2007 pledge of more pay for more work are deserting him as jobless claims hit a 12 year high. He and his somberly-dressed ex-supermodel wife Carla Bruni voted in the affluent west-ofParis suburb of Neuilly, shaking hands with bystanders but leaving without comment. Many French people express a distaste for a president who has come to be seen as flashy after his highly publicized marriage to Bruni early in his term, occasional rude outbursts in public and chumminess with rich executives. "Sarkozy's divisive. Hollande's reassuring," said Helene Boudot, 85, who was glad to have been released from a hospital stay in time to vote in her village of Chailland in western France. She was counting on her son to drive her 100 metres to the local polling station.

Australian parliament speaker steps aside

Slipper's decision has cost the ruling Australian Labor Party its single-seat majority in parliament [AFP]


ustralia's parliamentary speaker has temporarily stepped down from his post amid allegations of sexual harassment and fraud. Peter Slipper, speaker of the House of Representatives, announced yesterday that he would be temporarily replaced by his deputy Anna Burke, an Australian Labor Party politician, while police investigated allegations that he misused taxi-payment vouchers. James Ashby, an openly gay 33-year-old former staff member, made the fraud allegations and was also suing Slipper in the Federal Court claiming sexual harassment. Slipper denies all the allegations. According to parliamentary regulations, the move effectively costs the governing Australian Labor Party its single-seat majority. The sexual-harassment case is a civil matter, while the taxivoucher allegations are criminal. Police have confirmed they are evaluating the criminal allegation.

"Any allegation of criminal behavior is grave and should be dealt with in a manner that shows appropriate regard to the integrity of our democratic institutions and to precedent,'' Slipper said in a statement on Sunday. "As such, I believe it is appropriate for me to stand aside as speaker while this criminal allegation is resolved. "The allegation is incorrect, and once it is clear they are untrue, I shall return to the speakership. I would appreciate the relevant bodies dealing with the matter expeditiously." Slipper, 62, who is married with two adult children from a previous relationship, defected from the opposition in November last year to take the speaker's job in a move that effectively gave Julia Gillard's minority government an additional vote in the chamber. While the centre-left government will face greater difficulty in passing contentious legislation through the House of Representatives, the conservative opposition is still short of the 76.



Lukas the wonder horse can count to nineteen, fetch and sit like a dog M

eet Lukas the wonder horse, who's so clever he can recognise 19 numbers, count on command and fetch and sit like a dog. Owner Karen Murdock adopted the failed racehorse ten years ago, a bag of bones through neglect. 'I've always loved horseriding and I wanted to be able to jump and compete at shows,' she said. 'From the start, I could tell Lukas was intelligent, he worked out that it was much easier to go around the jumps than go over them.' She quickly realised Lukas was more interested in learning than leaping and set about training him how to obey simple commands.

'His attention span was amazing and I taught him to come, r e a r a n d e v e n s i t o n command,' said Mrs Murdock, 54. 'Then using a method of repetition I began to teach him to tell the difference between different shapes and even numbers.' The 19-year-old chestnut thoroughbred broke the Guinness world record for the amount of numbers correctly identified by a horse - 19. Mrs Murdock, who lives with husband Doug, 61, in California, said he and daughter Angela, 37, are supportive of her special relationship with Lukas. 'I think they love the way we are such close friends,' she said.

Super-strong baby Jonas flexes his muscles with a series of chin-ups


aby Jonas may only be ten months old but he's already capable of doing more chin-ups than most after being filmed exercising on the side of a family computer desk. The diaper-clad baby can be seen gripping tightly to the side of the table as he hauls himself up to grab a glimpse of the cartoon playing on his parents' computer screen. Struggling to hold up his own weight, young Jonas then attempts to shift a hefty office chair in an attempt to watch the Jungle Book. The dulcet tones of loveable jungle bear Baloo can be heard playing through the computer's speakers as he

begins a rendition of classic Disney tune The Bare Necessities. His mother explained in the video's caption: 'My son Jonas at 9-10 months old doing chin-ups on our computer desk to be closer to the computer screen. 'He thinks he can pull himself up onto the desk... not sure if this is a sign to get a real TV.' More than 100,000 people have watched the clip on videosharing website YouTube, with one user comparing him favourably to tree-climbing man cub Mowgli. While another added: 'Would do the same if I couldn't watch the Jungle Book'.

Baby Jonas in action (Picture: YouTube/ Treaangel)

One from the top, please, Carol: Lukas identifies his numbers (Picture: Caters)

Chinese farmer takes to the road in wind powered car


n innovative Chinese farmer has created a car powered entirely by wind, which he claims can reach speeds of around 90mph. Tang Zhengping, from Beijing, spent three months creating the bizarre-looking contraption, which is 1m tall and 3m in length. As well as running on batteries, it also features electric generators

and a fan on the front panel, along with special solar energy 'wings' to back up the electric power source. Tang has claimed that the motor is superior to electric cars which have been increasing in popularity in recent years - due to its ability to reach faster speeds. 'It goes at a maximum speed of 140kmph and lasts longer than a normal electric car, which doesn't

usually have generators,' Tang explained. The two sets of generators and batteries charge in turn while the other is working. The farmer added: 'The fan and the wings provide extra electricity when the car is in motion, and the batteries need a recharge every two or three days.'

Tang Zhengping takes to the road in his wind-powered car, which he claims can go as fast as 90mph (Picture: Rex Features)



Healing power of herbs: Basil reduces blood pressure, while coriander prevents food poisoning


hyme may ease the misery of acne, according to a study published last month. So which other herbs and spices can benefit your body? BEST FOR... ANAEMIA ROSEMARY: Rosemary leaves are high in iron — a lack of this mineral can cause fatigue and anaemia. The herb also contains carnosic, which can shield the brain from damaging free radicals. This lowers the risk of strokes and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s, says a study in the Journal Of Neurochemistry.

BEST FOR... BLOOD PRESSURE BASIL: A study at Xinjiang Medical University found an extract of the herb reduced blood pressure in a similar way to medication. It’s thought it affects levels of endothelins, proteins which constrict blood vessels. BEST FOR... DIABETICS FENUGREEK: A daily extract of its seeds improves diabetics’ blood sugar control and decreases insulin resistance, say researchers at the Jaipur Diabetes and Research Centre in India. It may also increase inadequate breast milk supply, nursing mothers have reported. But as the spice is also a traditional remedy to induce childbirth, the seeds shouldn’t be taken during pregnancy. BEST FOR... THRUSH OREGANO: This contains the powerful antifungal agents thymol and carvacrol. A study at Georgetown University Medical Centre in Washington showed that carvacrol inhibited the growth of the fungus Candida albicans (which causes thrush) better than a common antifungal medication. BEST FOR... PREVENTING FOOD POISONING CORIANDER: Coriander oil has been shown to fight against food poisoning bacteria campylobacter, according to research published in the Sage advice: The herb can improve Journal Of Medical your memory Microbiology.


ashing up, cooking and cleaning can help reduce the risk of Alzheimers even in those over 80, a study has claimed. Researchers asked 716 volunteers with an average age of 82 to wear a device that monitors day-to-day activity. Study participants were also given cognitive tests to measure memory and thinking ability. After around three years, 71 of the volunteers developed Alzheimer’s disease. The research showed that the least active were more than twice as likely to develop the disease as those who were most active. Dr Aron Buchman, from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, said: ‘The results of our study indicate that all physical activities including exercise as well as other activities such as cooking, washing the dishes, and cleaning are associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. ‘These results provide support for efforts to encourage all types of physical activity even in very old adults who might not be able to participate in formal exercise, but can still benefit from a more active

Chicken and red meat (particularly mince) can carry campylobacter, which may cause illness if food is undercooked. You could add ground coriander seeds (which provide the essential oil component) to your burgers and chicken dishes. BEST FOR... MOOD AND MEMORY SAGE: Healthy young volunteers who were given capsules with high doses of sage

essential oil in a study at Northumbria University said their mood was consistently enhanced. In older people, Australian research found extract of sage improved memory and attention. The herb is thought to inhibit breakdown of acetylcholine, a brain chemical associated with attention span and sharp memory. BEST FOR... STOMACH

ULCERS CARDAMOM: If you’ve had a stomach ulcer, or are prone to them, try adding cardamom to spicy dishes or rice pudding. Indian researchers found its oil extracts protected the stomach lining and helped guard against ulcers induced by alcohol and aspirin. The active ingredient is thought to be nootkatone, obtained from ground pods. Source:

Herbal remedies: Basil, left, can lower blood pressure while oregano, right, can cure thrush

Washing up, cooking and cleaning can ‘reduce Alzheimers risk even in those over 80’ lifestyle.’ ‘Eating a Mediterranean diet The findings appear in the high in antioxidants and oily fish online issue of the journal and even the odd glass of red wine Neurology. can also help.’ Dr Anne Corbett, research Dr Simon Ridley, head of manager at the Alzheimer’s research at the charity Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘It is well established Research UK, said: ‘There is already that regular physical exercise is an some evidence that exercise in midimportant way to reduce your risk life can help to reduce the risk of of developing dementia. Alzheimer’s. ‘It can reduce the risk by up to 45%. ‘This study adds to this evidence and suggests that simple things like cooking and cleaning can also make a difference. ‘One in three people over 65 will die with dementia, but as this shows, there are things you can do to help reduce your risk. ‘It is important to maintain a healthy Shrunk: This computer graphic of a vertical weight and stop slice through the brain of an Alzheimer patient smoking. (left) compared to a normal brain (right)

‘This study adds to this by suggesting that daily physical activity like doing household jobs or playing cards could have benefits into older age. ‘One of the strengths of this study is that physical activity was measured using a small monitoring device, rather than

relying on self-reported questionnaires which can often be unreliable. ‘While the study highlights an association between physical activity and cognitive decline, more research is needed to explore this relationship further. Source:

Those who kept active by doing day-to-day tasks were said to have a lower risk of Alzheimers, according to experts


By Lawrence Olaoye


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday insisted that in spite of the criticisms against its administration in the last twelve years by the opposition, it had succeeded in stabilizing the polity. The party in a statement released yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, catalogued its achievements both at the political and economic fronts. Metuh stated amongst others "The greatest achievement of the PDP is the provision of strong national leadership whose centripetal pull has succeeded in relegating the barriers of race, religion and ideological persuasions, issues that have kept Nigeria down for long. It could be argued rightly therefore, that the PDP has been the major catalyst for the unity of the nation. "One of the visions of the founding fathers of PDP was to


We have stabilized the polity in twelve years, claims PDP form a large, all encompassing democratic party, with shoulders broad and strong enough as bulwark against military adventurism. That vision is largely fulfilled today. For the first time in history, Nigeria has had twelve years of uninterrupted democratic rule. "It is often said that when the electoral process is got right, other issues of development will fall in line. The nation under the PDP has gradually advanced to a stage where a general election in which an incumbent President contested was adjudged locally and internationally as free, fair and credible. The number of

litigations attendant upon the 2011 general elections was drastically reduced as a consequence of the credibility of that election. "Separation of powers has over the years grown under the PDP leadership. The three arms of government especially at the centre currently operate with least interference, having mastered the institutional checks and balances among them. This maturity developed over the years is instrumental in the elimination of the friction that

marked the executive - legislature relationship in the first five years of the dispensation. He added that the government had not deviated from its resolve to enthrone the rule of law even as he added that the strength of the party has become a catalyst for the unity and oneness of the country. According to him "Nigeria now has the freedom of information act which bolsters in no small measure, transparency and accountability without which good governance cannot be." The party said that its

administration had helped the nation to launch into the world of information technology just as it claimed that the PDP leadership had helped ward off military adventurism and brought the incidence of militancy in the South-south region under control. Metuh added that the government had succeeded at improving the nation's infrastructure by dredging the River Niger; revampi n g t h e railway system and embarking on decongesting the nation's ports.

PDP Congress: Kebbi chairman retains seat From Ahmed Idris Birnin kebbi


ncumbent Kebbi state chapter chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Mansiru Shehu has been reelected to lead the party in the state. The congress that was conducted at the weekend in Brinin Kebbi had Shehu polling 754 votes as the new chairman. Announcing the result, Hon Mohd Wakil , the Election Panel Chairman from Abuja said that all other positions in the party remained unopposed except for the post of the Chairman, Secretary, Women Leader and Youth Leader which delegates from the 21 locals governments voted. The electoral panel Chairman

said total votes cast was 3034 while the invalid votes amounted to 73 and his committee adhered strictly to rules and regulations of the party of one man one vote . In his post election speech, the newly elected Chairman, who is holding the office for the second tenure consecutively promised to continue to carry the party to greater heights as well as give everybody equal chance to thrive in the party including the defectors. Also in his congratulatory message to the new PDP leaders in the state, Governor Usman Dakingari, who was represented by Senator Atiku Bagudu, urged them to lead by example and principle of honesty.

Time Magazine listing: Northern Governors congratulate Jonathan From Ahmed Idris Birnin kebbi


he Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) has congratulated President Goodluck Jonathan who has been listed among 100 most influential persons in the world by the prestigious TIME Magazine for the year 2012. Governor of Niger State and Chairman of the Forum, Dr Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu described the recognition as an acknowledgement of Nigeria's relevance in the international community. In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary,Danladi Ndayebo, Governor Aliyu said the listing of President Jonathan among the 100 most influential persons in the world was an affirmation of the fact that giant strides were being taken by the

Jonathan's administration to transform the nation in spite of huge challenges. "This recognition should spur the President to work harder in ensuring that the transformation agenda is achieved," the statement said.; It further urged Nigerians to use the Time Magazine nomination of President Jonathan to imbibe the virtues of love for God and Country, and to strive consistently for the development of the nation. The Forum said it was optimistic that Nigeria could become a world power if we all work hard for the good of the country. Governor Aliyu congratulated the President and Nigerians for the recognition and prayed to God for quick solutions to the security challenges confronting the nation.

L-R: Edo state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, General Charles Airhiavbere (rtd), raising the hand of his running mate, Hon. Johnson Abolagba, during the enlarged meeting of the PDP, at the weekend in the residence of a member of the party's Board of Trustees, Dr Samuel Ogbemudia, in Benin.

Appeal Court dismisses LP’s suit against Sen. Remi Tinubu From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


he Court of Appeal sitting in Igbosere, Lagos, has dismissed an appeal filed by the Labour Party (LP) against the election of Senator Remi Tinubu. The Appellate Court held that the appeal lacked merit, and awarded N30,000 cost against the party. The court also dismissed an appeal filed by LP's candidate for Surulere II Federal Constituency, Prince Sunday Aderonmu, saying it lacked merit. Senator Tinubu, of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), represents the Lagos Central Senatorial District. LP had challenged the decision

of the National Assembly/ legislative House Election Petition Tribunal, Lagos, to strike out its petition because 180 days had lapsed. The tribunal had said it lacked jurisdiction to entertain the "unlawful exclusion" petition after the Supreme Court held in a judgment on the case involving the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) vs. Alhaji Muhammed Goni & others that petitions must be concluded within 180 days. Dismissing LP's appeal, Justice John Inyang said on Friday that he was shocked that the LP would challenge the tribunal's decision which was based on an "unambiguous pronouncement" of the Supreme Court. He said to allow the appeal

would be to return to the days when election petitions dragged on endlessly. "It will mean taking us back to the dark years when election petitions took years to complete. "It is in the interest of Nigerians and the judiciary to allow the sleeping dog to lie quietly," the justice said. Justice Inyang said the principle of stare decisis (legal obligation to respect legal precedent) was well-entrenched to avoid judicial anarchy. He said the Supreme Court judgement based on section 285 of the Constitution was very clear that a tribunal should deliver judgment in writing within 180 days from the day a petition was filed.



Ogun conducts Local Government election July 21 By Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji gun State Independent Electoral Commission {OGSIEC} at the weekend unveiled its election programme, announcing that the poll into the local government in the state has been scheduled to hold on Saturday,


Edo Guber Poll: State PDP Factional Chairman Resigns By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin he factional state Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Sunny Uyigue has resigned its membership from the PDP. His resignation is coming barely 24 hours the PDP State Women Leader, Mrs Lucy Omagbon resigned her membership under a controversial circumstance over alleged anti- party activities and declared for the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN. In a letter signed by Uyigue, he described the PDP as a party whose march to greatness has been “serially and consistently thwarted till date by the dictatorial misdirection of the self acclaimed Mr. 'fix it'.” He hinged his decision to quit the party to alledged high handedness of a national leader of the party which has rendered the umbrella party in shreds.

July21, 2012. The Commission Chairman, Alhaja Risikat Ogunfemi made the disclosure at a press conference held at Iwe-Iroyin, Press Centre, Abeokuta, assuring that the election would be conducted under conducive atmosphere. 'It is my wish to inform our numerous democrats that the notice of the year 2012 local government elections is hereby given, based on the electoral time table, the 2012 local governments in Ogun State will hold on Saturday 21 July, 2012 throughout the 20 local governments in the state between

8.00am and 3.00pm' Ogunfemi stressed. She informed further that other relevant information as it concerns the elections are carefully stated in the guidelines to political parties on the local government elections as released by the commission. The election umpire added further that copies of the guidelines could be obtained free of charge from the offices of the electoral officers assigned to the twenty local government areas in the state. 'The Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission is using this medium to appeal to all actors and

stakeholders for their maximum support and cooperation in order to ensure a free, fair and credible local government election in the state' she stated. 'I am also seizing this opportunity to appeal to all political parties in the state, and the entire citizenry that have reached voting age to come out en-masse and participate fully in the process' 'As the Commission is irreversibly intent on organizing elections that will produce candidates which the people have freely chosen, in a conducive and credible atmosphere, without fear or favour'


Special Assistant to Bayelsa state Governor on political matters, Chief Fred Agbedi (2nd left), speaking to newsmen after the Supreme Court judgement on the case between PDP and Former Governor Timipriye Sylva at the supreme court, on Friday in Abuja. With him are PDP suppoters. Photo: NAN

Kwankwaso orders Judges, Lawyers to report to court promptly From Edwin Olofu, Kano


ano State governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has ordered Judges and lawyers to ensure that they report to the court hall punctually, adding that by 9am they should be seated. "One should not expect Judges to still remain at their homes between 9 and 10am, while they were expected to be seated in their respective courts, particularly after providing them with befitting vehicles, conducive work environment and payment of allowances, as well as training opportunities. I think that will not

be acceptable to the government", he asserted. Receiving members of the Kano branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), who paid him a 'thank-you visit' at Government House, yesterday, Kwankwaso disclosed that he would create time to visit the courts, stressing that to whom much is given,much is expected. He also appealed to all those using courts, ranging from the Judges, lawyers, and court clerks to the messengers to ensure maintenance culture by keeping the court premises tidy at all times, pointing out that a situation

whereby people randomly spit on the walls after chewing cola nuts would not be tolerated. In view of the vital role the Judiciary plays in the dispensation of justice, Governor Kwankwaso noted that when his administration came on board, it constructed no fewer than 26 Magistrate courts in order to ensure the speedy dispensation of justice, because justice delayed is justice denied. Most of the courts, he explained, had either been completed or are in the process of completion, informing that the next batch will be the construction

of 27 Shariah Courts, so as to ensue the even distribution of justice across the 44 Local Government Areas of the State. According to the governor, the incumbent administration is committed to assisting and supporting the Judiciary, so as to make sure that justice is delivered to all delivered in the nick of time. Also, Kwankwaso disclosed that the State government had initiated the process of establishing a Court of Appeal in Kano, so as to save lawyers the pains of travelling to Kaduna to prosecute cases.

PDP was bad, Oshiomhole is worse in Edo, says HDP From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he Hope Democratic Party (HDP) candidate for July 14 governorship election in Edo state, Chief Idumonza Isidahomhen, has admonished people not to be deceived by the ACN government saying PDP may be bad but Oshiomhole is worse. This submission was contained in a statement signed by Idumonza Campaign Organization spokesperson, Mr Ken Aigbogun and made available to newsmen in

Ibadan. "Joblessness, insecurity, poverty, collapsed infrastructure and maladministration have become the hall mark of Edo state under the administration of Adams Oshiomhole. “The State which was once the centre of attraction for economic and social activities has become a shadow of itself. Edo people should therefore not think twice before they vote him out of office on July 14" He re emphasized his earlier position on Oshiomhole where he described him

as a deceit who speaks with both sides of his mouth. "We have always admonished our people not to trust Oshiomhole. PDP was bad but Oshiomhole is worse. He pretends to be concerned about the poor yet he lives ostentatious life. He preaches against godfatherism yet he is the biggest godfather in Nigeria. Look at the latest revelation about the multi billion naira palace he is building in his village. Where did he get the money from? He must explain to Edo people how he came about that palace.

“Pictures don't lie. The photos are everywhere. People that voted for him do not even have decent accommodation let alone personal house, yet Adams is borrowing money from World Bank to build palace in his village and feather his own nest. The people are wiser now and they must not allow themselves to be deceived again on July 14 the statement said." Idumonza vows that Edo state under his administration would witness tremendous growth in economic activities that would create jobs for the jobless youths.

Suswam forgery allegation: Ukpabi Challenges Integrity of Chief Magistrate By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


ormer West African Examination Council (WAEC) staff, Chidozie Upkabi, has dragged an Abuja Chief Magistrate Court presided over by Hajia Hafsat Soso handling the case of injurious falsehood against him before an Abuja High Court. Ukpabi is standing trial alongside Dan Ekah and Power Steering Magazine's editor over the certificate forgery allegation against Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State. Ukpabi, Dan Ekah and Power Steering Magazine are in court to challenge the handling of the suit against them by Chief Magistrate Hajia Hasfat Soso Sadiq. Other respondents in the suit are Chief Magistrate II, FCT, Hajia Hafsat Soso, Chief Magistrate court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and its registrar. In suit NO: M/10300/13, the plaintiffs are asking the Abuja High Court through a Motion Exparte to order that the alleged conduct of the of the trial Magistrate, Soso Sadiq, allegedly compelling Chidozie Ukpabi to issue a press statement jettisoning his claims that he had forged WAEC certificate for Suswam was illegal. The motion exparte was brought pursuant to Section 36 and 46 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, Order 2, rule 1 and 2 of the fundamental right (Enforcement Procedure) Rule 2009 and Order 42, 1a, 3(1)(2) and (10) of the High Court of FCT Civil Procedure 2004. They are further seeking an order of the court declaring that the change of the suit from Gabriel Suswam versus Ukpabi and three others to IGP versus Ukpabi and three others was unconstitutional and without precedent. The plaintiffs are also seeking: "an order removing into this Hon. Court for the purpose of being quashed and quashing the entire proceedings pertaining to, concerning and relating to the case, IGP v Chidozie Ukpabi & 3 Ors case No: CR/50/10 (formally Rt. Hon. Gabriel Suswam v Power Steering & 3 ORS) presided over by His Worship Hajia Hafsat Soso Sadiq. "a perpetual injunction restraining the respondents, their servants, agent, privies or howsoever called from entertaining any charge against the applicants pertaining to, concerning, and relating to the facts in the case, IGP v Chidozie Ukpabi & 3 Ors case No: CR/50/10 (formally Rt. Hon. Gabriel Suswan v power steering & 3 ORS without the consent of a judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. "The sum of five million naira against the respondents' jointly and severally as general damages for the untold hardship, mental trauma, humiliation and frustration occasioned the applicants by the wrongful acts aforementioned.


Jibrin's election as PDP BoT Secretary will improve party, says N/ Central chapter By Lawrence Olaoye


eaders of the Peoples Democratic Party from the North Central have applauded the election of Senator Walid Jibrin saying that his emergence would bring a new lease of life in the running of the affairs of the [party. The zone in a letter signed by the Zonal Chairman and Secretary, Secretary, Alhaji Yusuf Ayitogo and Johnson Kumbut Paah respectively, the zone noted that the Jibrins unanimous election as the BoT Secretary would bring a bo0nd of trust between leaders and the followership in the party. According to the letter North Central which was made available to newsmen in Abuja at the weekend weekend, the Zonal leaders stressed that his leadership style ''will bring about sincere approach to issues, rapid growth, peace, unity, reconciliation and above all harmony in the party. The letter read in part, ''We the zonal exco, State Governors, Senators, House of Representatives and the entire members of the PDP North Central wish to extend our warm and heartfelt congratulations to our indefatigable symbol of democracy the newly elected Secretary, Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jibrin. ''The party requires a bond of trust between leaders and its followers hence it behoves on you to not only keep the Peoples Democratic Party family knitted and united, but also ensure that you hold tenaciously to its ideals at all times.'' In a similar development, the Nasarawa State chapter of the PDP in a letter signed by the Chairman, Chief Yunana Iliya said that the election of Walid Jibrin as the BoT Secretary did not come as a surprise, adding, ''this appointment did not come to us as a surprise, considering your enviable records of achievements, within the private sector, in government and of course the political Party.''


PDP condemns Buhari over comments on revolution T By Lawrence Olaoye

he Peoples Democratic Party at the weekend condemned the Presidential flagbearer of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the 2011 Presidential election, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, over his warning that revolution was imminent against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)'s led Federal Government. The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, referred to the former Head of State as a despot who despite pretences has never hidden his disdain for elected government. Reacting to a statement in national

newspapers (not Peoples Daily) where Buhari was quoted to have said that revolution was imminent against the PDP led Federal Government, Metuh said his statement was that of a frustrated serial elecvtion loser. "Buhari's statement did not come to us as surprise. It is a sure sign of frustrations over his inability and that of his Party to win elections. Besides, it is a signature tune of all despots who despite pretences to new ideology often betray the old habit that hardly dies." "However, what revolution is Buhari looking for if after truncating democratic process in 1984, General Buhari today enjoys the

fundamental tenets of democracy as in freedom of speech which he denied Nigerians; what revolution is greater?" The PDP further said it was unfortunate that the former head of state have not accepted the fact that his ideology has clearly been rejected by the people at the polls and affirmed by the courts. "What is revolutionary is the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan; his bold steps in returning our great country to the visions of our founding fathers; what is revolutionary is the passage of the Electoral Act which facilitated general elections adjudged by local and international observers as most

credible in our recent history." "Would Buhari have signed into law, the Freedom of Information Act if he were President? So what revolution is he referring to? "What is revolutionary if he must know further is the transparency of on-going probes by the National Assembly, which is a firm step in the fight against corruption". "We know that Gen. Buhari is artful in truncating elected governments. His three -time failure on the platform of different political Parties to win election is driving him to the old habit. Unfortunately for him, Nigerians are not interested in his type of revolution."

Taraba CNPP disowns suit against governor From Yusha'u Alhassan, Jalingo he Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has disassociated itself from the suit filed against the Taraba state governor, Suntai Dambaba, by some political parties. The state Chairman of the Conference, Hamidu Sulaimn, who made this known while speaking with Peoples Daily in Jalingo explained that it was the right of the political parties to file the suit but frowned at the use of the CNPP. According to him, the leadership of CNPP in the state did not discuss the matter and promised to take legal action against those who used CNPP in the suit. Sulaiman, who confirmed the existence of the crisis in the state chapter of the conference, however, explained that their National Secretariat had resolved the crisis since the 2009.


L-R: Gombe state Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo, welcomin Benue state Governor, Mr Gabriel Suswan, during the latter visit to Governor Dankwambo, at Government House, recently in Gombe. Photo: NAN

Oshiomhole alleged N10.8 b Mansion: Product of 20-year-savings in Labour By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


do State government has described the much criticized N10.8 billion Oshiomhole mansion currently undergoing reconstruction by State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP as a product of 20-year-savings of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governor in organised labour. The State Director of Poverty Alleviation Agency, PAA, and Co-

ordinator General of 'Edo United for Good Governance', Mrs. Evelyn (Igbafe) Omokhodion gave the indication at a news Conference at the weekend in Benin City, the state Capital. The Co-ordinator General urged the public to totally disregard the unfounded and baseless allegation against an outstanding performing governor. Omokhodion said the house was an extension of the private

residence of the Edo Chief Executive at his hometown Iyamho, in the northern part of the State. She described as unnecessary the tension the so-called three bedroom Duplex would gulp about N3 million. 'Even the whole of Aso Rock was not built with N10 billion‌I think Dan Orbih should be cautioned‌This man even if he has to build, he did not go to South Africa...'. According to her, 'the whole story was

false in all material facts as the house in question was built from legitimate earnings of the governor over 20 years ago before he ever contested as governor. This is against the house built by Dan Orbih off Aduwawa Grammar School Road', Edo state. Another member of the group, Emmanuel Momoh said, the house was an old house that requires renovation to befit the status of a governor.

Zuru emirate protests non-conduct of ward and LGA congresses, marginalisation


he Zuru Emirate Forum for Political Reform (ZEFPR) has protested the non conduct of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ward and Local Government congresses in Kebbi State that were slated for 7th and 14th April 2012 respectively, particularly in the four Local Government Areas of Zuru, Danko/ Wasagu, Fakai and Sakaba in Zuru Emirate. The protest was contained in a letter signed by 104 members of the Forum and was addressed to the Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Saidu

Nasamu Dakingari and copied the State Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Mansur Shehu and the Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in the State. The Forum asserted that "Nomination forms were denied the contestants while officials boycotted the voting centres but at the end, Certificates of Return purported to be the result of the congresses, were given to people selected from Birnin Kebbi to fill. This flouts PDP's constitution and zoning arrangement. We protest and frown

at the flagrant abuse of the party's constitution and call for the immediate conduct of congresses in these areas in accordance with the PDP's constitution and guidelines." It stated further that while tenure elongation may be acceptable in other parts of the state, the practice was not acceptable in the four Zuru Emirate Local Government Areas. "A situation, for example in Danko/ Wasagu LGA, where the minority tribe has 15 PDP LGA Executive Committee (EXCO) positions while the majority tribe has only three,

can never be acceptable. Tenure elongation can therefore not be a feasible proposition as it will be elongating inequity, injustice and domination of the majority by the minority. Other PDP LGA EXCOs are similarly, blatantly and insensitively lopsided in favour of the minority tribe in the Emirate. This does not conform to the PDP principle of zoning and equitable representation", it noted. The Forum added that to engender cohesion and unity in the PDP in the State and especially the

Zuru Emirate, the anomalies must be corrected forthwith failure which opposition parties would take over the Emirate, he warned. It also challenged the marginalisation of the Zuru Emirate in the appointment of political offices in Kebbi State and the imposition of candidates on the Emirate by the PDP in the State. It drew attention to the lopsided appointments into political offices that had put the Emirate in a disadvantaged position despite its being a major stakeholder in the State.



R-L: Osun state Governor, Mr.Rauf Aregbesola, in a handshake with Speaker of House of House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, during a visit by members of the House of Representatives to the governor , at the weekend, in Osogbo, Osun state.

Tambuwal condoles Belgore over wife’s death S

By Lawrence Olaoye

peaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has expressed sadness over the death of Mrs. Fatima Belgore, wife of former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Alfa

Belgore, who passed on yesterday at the age of 70. In a condolence message signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Imam Imam, Tambuwal said Mrs. Belgore's death was a great loss not only to the former Chief Justice, his family and Kwara State, but

the nation in general, given her invaluable contributions to the cause of humanity. The Speaker described late Fatima Belgore as a f r ontline humanist, a former health worker that rose to the position of Deputy Matron of Ahmadu Bello University

Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, and a strong pillar for her husband, through his days as a Judicial Officer. He prayed the Almighty to grant repose to her soul, and give Belgore family, the people of Kwara State and the entire nation the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

He noted that the backwardness of the state since the enthronement of democracy was a visible evidence that the state had been inundated with several court cases that had not allowed the

Omebije maintained that all political actors in the state should sheath their sword and embark on the process of healing the wounds inflicted by elections, stressing that it is only the different form of administration,

interest of the people of the state, the lawmaker noted that, it is the only sure way there could be meaningful development in the state, urging the House to pass vote of confidence on the present administration

you media men can move round the town, ask Okada riders, artisans even civil servants are suffering, harassed and

punished for embarking on strike to demand their right. Most of ACN achievements in the state were PDP initiatives."

Dakingari's wife commends Kebbi electorates By Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


he wife of Kebbi state Governor, Hajiya Zainab Saidu Dakingari, has described the re election of Saidu Nasamu Dakingari by the electorates as a reciprocation of gesture done to them through his leadership qualities in the areas of infrastructural development, youth empowerment, justice and honesty advocacy. She made the commendation recently in Birnin Kebbi noting that the people of the state have exhibited their love to Dakingari as they came out en mass during the re-run election and voted for him. "We are indeed grateful to all those that made the election a success," he said. The first lady further assured women and children in the state to continue to enjoy the dividend of democracy through her philanthropist programs under ZADAF foundation that carters for the education of the less privilege and free medical care to pregnant women. Similarly, she enjoined the people of the state to continue to support government programs and initiatives as to move the state forward.

Immortalize late KotonDrop litigation against Wada for progress of the state, Kogi people told Karfe constituency, Hon. Omebije people to enjoy the dividends of otherwise, it is the same people monarch, Kogi From Sam Egwu, lokoja said "the success and democracy, in the last nine they want to rule that are being n the interest of socio development in any society is years. governed today. lawmaker economic development of not based on the number of Appealing to the people of While urging the political Kogi state, a member of the wars, sponsored violence and Kogi state for the basic fact to actors, having cases in court to see urges Wada state Assembly, Emmanuel legal battle". move the state forward, reason to withdraw for the


Omebije, has pleaded with the people to drop all court cases against the state governor, Capt Idris Wada. In a motion at yesterday plenary, the member representing Dekina 11

Ajimobi is a failure, says PDP From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Oyo State Chapter yesterday described eleven months old administration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi as a waste, deceitful and total failure. The state publicity secretary of the party, Hon. Kehinde Salawu stated this in a chat with newsmen in Ibadan saying Senator Ajimobi is the worst governor the state ever produced. He said the administration of senator Ajimobi was a complete total failure when compared with past administrations in the state saying the only government that impoverished the masses

within one year in office. The party chided Ajimobi's statement to give the state facelift when has wasted a year planning madness asked when would he enter market to display. The PDP spokesperson said governor Ajimobi was blindfolded with team of fools and cannot see tears in the eyes of the citizenry weeping for his administration of circumstances. He said "Which of the past governors in the state did not present tangible project before one year in office? And what we have under Ajimobi is 'optimist promises' and assurances that never materialized, we have prove, people are crying, regretting ever voting for him,

Kwara ACN condoles Ekiti Gov over mother’s death From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


wara State Chapter of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and its governorship candidate in the April 2011 polls, Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN), has condoled with the Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi over the death of his mother at the weekend. The ACN chieftain equally commiserated with the management and staff of Vintage Press Limited, publishers of The Nation newspaper over the fire incident at its photo section

over the weekend. He expressed "regret over the incident," saying, "We thank God that no lives were lost." The statement added that the party and Belgore also condoled with "Dr. Fayemi and his siblings on the death of their aged mother. "We thank God for the purposeful life of this noble woman who, incidentally, hailed from Obo-Aiyegunle, in Kwara State. We pray the Good Lord to grant her soul eternal rest and give her family and the people of Ekiti and Kwara States the fortitude to bear the loss."

From Sam Egwu, lokoja


member of the state House of Assembly representing Kogi /kotonkarfe local government, Honourable Saidu Akawu Salihu, has appealed to the state governor, Captain Idris Wada to immortalize the late monarch of kotonkarfe Alhaji Shaibu Mamman Lafia for his immense contribution to peace and development of the area. In a motion of urgent public importance which was read on the floor of the house yesterday, Akawu noted that the late monarch demonstrated high sense of commitment and dedication to the service of the people of his domain and the state in general. He stated that in recognition of his contribution to the service of humanity National honours were severally conferred on him, one of such was member of the Nigeria MON, Order of the Niger (OON) while he capped it with Member National Institute MNI. He disclosed that the late Ohimege Igu served his fatherland on the throne for forty years and lived a fulfilled life of 100 years before passing away a couple of weeks ago.


Dolphins, Rangers keep chase on Pillars


olphins and Enugu Rangers battled to earn a point each in their road trips yesterday as the second stanza of the Nigeria Premier League resumed. Nigerian champions, Dolphins, held off Ocean Boys to a stalemate at the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa, while Rangers were forced to 1-1 draw by hosts Akwa United. Dolphins are now tied on 33 points with leaders, Kano Pillars and they remain third in the standings. So are Rangers, who have 33 points, but are second behind Kano Pillars. New Rangers’ boy, Alhaji Gero, scored in the 34th minute to give his team a one-goal lead into the break. But Namso Edo struck back with 16 minutes to time from the spot. Wolves and Heartland battled off to a scoreless draw at the Warri City Stadium, even as Jigawa Golden Stars climbed out of the bottom four with a lone goal win over Kwara United. John Paul’s early goal inside 10 minutes was enough to earn the Golden Stars all points to take their total haul to 24 points. Lobi Stars fought into the top half of the table with a 2-0 win over ABS FC in Katsina-Ala. Moses Bunde and Seriki Audu got the goals for Lobi Stars against the Saraki Boys. Lobi Stars are now on 30 points after 20 games while while ABS are on 26 points.


fter seventh consecutive losses to Novak Djokovic, former World Number one, Rafael Nadal finally broke the jinx at the Monte Carlo Masters and in the process won the title for the eighth straight times. The Spainard secured an emphatic 6-3 6-1 victory yesterday to wrap up a disappointingly one-sided contest with an ace after 78 minutes to win his first title since last year’s French Open and thus put down an ominous marker for the rest of the claycourt season. The world No 2 became the first player ever to win a tournament eight times in a row as he clinched his 47th ATP Tour title, including 20 Masters events. Nadal took the title without dropping a set for the fourth time, having also achieved that


Nadal breaks Djokovic jinx, wins Monte Carlo Masters feat in 2007, 2008 and 2010. His record at the glamorous Monte Carlo Country Club now stands at 44-1 his only loss coming against Argentina’s Guillermo Coria in 2003 when

Rafael Nadal

he was playing the event for the first time as a 16-year-old. Nadal was playing his first tournament since he had to pull out of the Miami Masters semifinal last month because of a knee injury and his level of performance got better and better as the week progressed. World No 1 Djokovic, who beat Nadal in an epic Australian Open final at the start of the year and who dominated the Spaniard last year, winning six finals in a row against him, including on clay in Madrid and Rome, played a poor match. “I’m sorry about my performance today,” the Monaco-based Serb, whose grandfather died during the tournament, said in French on the court. “Congratulations to

Nigeria, Gabon clash, a doubt, as Eagles plan Faro Camp


he Nigeria versus Gabon friendly international duel billed for next month may not hold because of confusion over date, even as the Super Eagles are finalising arrangements to relocate to Faro, Portugal to fine tune preparations for the crucial return leg clash against Rwanda and the Nations Cup qualifiers in June. An official of the team disclosed that the Nigeria Football Federation and Gabon counterparts were yet to agree on

the date meaning that the game may not hold as planned before the Eagles friendly match with Peru. “The Eagles want to play and Azingo Nationale also want to play, but the issue has been at what date, because both countries have crucial qualifiers coming up in the coming weeks and none of the them want to risk a qualifier for a friendly”, Super Eagles Media Officer Ben Alaiya, was quoted as saying. On the Faro Camp for the Eagles, chairman of the NFF

technical sub-committee, Chris Green was said have reasoned that the venue would be a conducive avenue because of its friendly facilities. “Several factors may have led the Technical Department of the NFF to settle for Faro, Portugal, and these includes Nigeria’s long standing agreement with the venue, relative low cost of first class facilities at the site and the need for foreign-based players to jell properly with their home-based counterparts in the new-look

Keshi discovers more domestic league players, may unveil them before Lima duel Stories by Patrick Andrew


responsibility. And Keshi has responded by

combing the nooks and crannies of the country for docile talents

just as he did last November when he called up the first set of

ood things are coming out of the domestic league is a delectable gospel according to Stephen Keshi, the Head Coach of the Super Eagles. Already, several domestic league players have impressed beyond words forcing uncommon public approval for more of them to be entrusted with senior national team

RESULTS Akwa United 1 Rangers 1 Golden Stars 1 Kwara United 0 Ocean Boys 0 Dolphins 0 Wikki Tourists 1 Sunshine 0 Warri Wolves 0 Heartland 0 Lobi Stars 2 ABS FC 0 Shooting Stars 2 Kaduna Utd 1 Rising Stars 1 Enyimba 0 Sharks 2 Tornadoes 0 Kano Pillars 0 Gombe Utd 0

Rafa, he deserves to win. Me, I’ll be back next year.” Djokovic, who calls Nadal the “king of claycourt” despite twice getting the better of him on the red dust last year, struggled to mount a challenge as he made 25 unforced errors compared to 10 from his opponent. Nadal broke serve for the first time in the third game of the first set and denied Djokovic any chances to break back as he closed out the opening set. The Mallorcan upped the pace in the second and Djokovic could not live with him. A Djokovic backhand floated long to gift Nadal a break in the second game and although Djokovic did break while trailing 4-0 it was only delaying the inevitable.

Peter Odemwingie of West Brom, whose lone goal stun Liverpool at Anfield yesterday. Odemwingie is one of the foreign-based players Keshi wants to take a second look at in Faro before the qualifiers

national team,” Eagles Media Officer, Ben Alaiya said. Also, Green confirmed that plans were on ground for such a camping exercise but added that it can only be revealed after due consultations with the Eagles boss, Stephen Keshi. “We are still weighing all options and once we agree with Keshi, then the programmed of cation will be rolled out, because we have three important qualifiers that we cannot afford to toy with in the next one month,” he said. players some of whom are almost household names on account of their inspirational display against the Wasps of Rwanda and lately seven-time African Cup of Nations champions, the Pharaohs of Egypt. According to sources close to Keshi, many more budding talents have been discovered and would be called up to the camp soon. According to one of such sources, Keshi’s findings may throw up players that are capable on being called up for duty immediately when the team plays some friendly matches soonest. Keshi, who is expected back in the country next week to prepare the national team for the South American friendly against Peru in Lima, says he would rather prefer to throw them on the public than discuss the players before they are invited to camp. “We may have made some discoveries but we have to keep it quiet and learn to talk less about ourselves and more about the team, at the appropriate time the players that we know can help the course of the national team will be unveiled,” Keshi was quoted by the Media Officer Ben Alaiya when asked to reveal the names of the new players.



Jankovic wins, sets up Serbia, Czech Republic Fed Cup final


ormer world No 1 Jelena Jankovic put Serbia into the Fed Cup final with a straight-sets win over Russia’s two-time Grand Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova yesterday. Jankovic won 6-1, 6-4 in one hour 36 minutes to put her country into the Fed Cup final for the first time. Also, Wimbledon champion, Petra Kvitova used her powerful serve and forehand to clinch victory for Czech Republic over Italy in the other Fed Cup semifinals to give the hosts a chance to defend their title. The third-ranked Kvitova overcame Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 7-6 (1) on Sunday to give the Czechs an insurmountable 30 lead and wrap up the best-ofthe five series on an indoor hardcourt at the CEZ Arena. Sara Errani defeated Andrea Hlavackova 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the second reverse singles later on Sunday for Italy’s first point. The 2008 US Open finalist Jankovic, who won her previous Fed Cup meeting with Kuznetsova in 2010, came into the match full of confidence, breaking her opponent’s serve early for a comfortable 3-0 lead. The 27-year-old Jankovic increased her lead with a break in the sixth game to take the opening set in 36 minutes. Earlier in the day Ana Ivanovic battled back from a set down to put Serbia 2-1 up with a 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The 20-year-old Pavlyuchenkova came into the match full of confidence, producing four breaks to take the opening set in 40 minutes, while Ivanovic, the French Open champion in 2008, replied on only two occasions. The second set resembled the first, but this time it was Ivanovic who was in the driving seat with three breaks of serve to level at one set all in just 25 minutes. In the deciding set the 24year-old Ivanovic was in complete command again breaking Pavlyuchenkova’s serve twice to take a 4-0 lead before the Moscow resident reduced the arrears with a break in the eighth game. But Ivanovic produced another break, sealing her victory on the clay court of Moscow Megasport arena with a forehand drive on her first match point. In Saturday’s opening singles, Lucie Safarova defeated Schiavone 7-6 (3), 6-1 before Kvitova doubled the advantage by beating Errani 6-4, 6-3 to give the Czechs a commanding 2-0 lead. The remaining doubles can’t change the overall result.

Man City players congratulating Sergio Aguero after he scored the first goal against Wolves

EPL title: City rekindle hope, close gap on United, relegate Wolves


anchester City made the most of Manchester United dropping points against Everton yesterday to move within three points of the Premier League leaders by beating Wolves. Everton twice came from two goals behind in an extraordinary 4-4 draw away to United at Old Trafford. City, who knew United’s result before they kicked off, then won 2-0 against Wolves to relegate the Black Country club and

revive their bid for a first English title in 44 years. That win saw them move to within three points of United ahead of the Manchester derby at City’s Eastlands ground a week on Monday, where victory for the hosts will see them replace the champions at the top on goal difference with two matches left. Argentina forward Sergio Aguero’s 27th minute opener put City ahead at Molineux before Samir Nasri’s goal 16

minutes from time made the game safe for the visitors as Wolves, who had to win to stay up, were relegated with three games left to play. Everton were 4-2 down with seven minutes of normal time left and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson told Sky Sports afterwards: “We’ve thrown it (this match), away, absolutely given it away.” Everton, who last won at Old Trafford 20 years ago, took a 33rd-minute lead when Nikica Jelavic headed in Tony Hibbert’s cross as the visitors looked to bounce back from their FA Cup semifinal defeat by cross-town rivals Liverpool. But United were level before the break when Wayne Rooney, against his former club, powered in a header from Nani’s cross. Danny Welbeck’s superb curling shot past former United keeper Tim Howard gave Ferguson’s men a 2-1 lead before Nani’s clever finish on the hour made it 3-1. Everton, however, would not lie down and Marouane Fellaini’s first time shot from Hibbert’s cross cut United’s lead to 3-2. But when Welbeck teed up Rooney for the England striker’s second goal in the 69th minute,

it appeared United had wrapped up all three points. Indeed United might have gone 5-2 in front only for Patrice Evra’s close-range header to come back off a post. But Everton fought back with Jelavic scoring his second before, five minutes from normal time, South Africa’s Steven Pienaar swept in Fellaini’s cross to make it a scarcely credible 4-4. Elsewhere, Liverpool’s imploding league campaign took a turn for the worse as former manager Roy Hodgson, sacked last season by the Reds, oversaw West Brom’s first win at Anfield in 45 years with Peter Odemwingie scoring the lone goal in a 1-0 victory. Meanwhile, Wolverhampton Wanderers were relegated from the English Premier League after a 2-0 defeat at home to Manchester City yesterday. Bottom of the table Wolves had to win against title-chasing City at Molineux to preserve their fading hopes of staying in the top flight after three seasons in the Premier League. Blackburn and Bolton currently occupy the other two relegation places, with fellow north-west side Wigan three points above the drop zone.

Team Korenet Tech wins Abuja Motor Treasure Hunt


eam Korenet Tech yesterday in Abuja won the third edition of the Motor Treasure Hunt, beating Team Tetrace and Team ARI to the second and third positions respectively in a tight contest. Korenet Tech gathered 70 points to clinch the top spot, while Tetrace had 69.5 points and ARI had 69 points in the race which took off at the City Park. Speaking on his team’s victory, Jethro Ogunmola said Team Korenet Tech’s victory was savouring in view of past events in the competition. “We have participated in the competition before, with me and a friend in our team and placing

11 th. But this time around, our team was made up of me, my wife Olabisi and my sister Charity, and luck was on our side. “It was exciting and I want to recommend this competition to many other residents of Abuja. It is for the family and it helps in terms of road safety education,” he said. In other results in the competition, Team Alfa were fourth with 67.5 points, Team Asokoro fifth with 67 points and Team Teasy 1 sixth with 66 points, while Team Abdul placed seventh with 55 points, even as Team Teasy 2 finished eighth with 47.5 points.

The Motor Treasure Hunt, which was flagged off by a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Suleiman Kwande, was organised by the Automobile and Touring Club of Nigeria. The contest involved teams of not less than two and not more than four driving over a road stretch of 18.6 kilometres over a period of one hour. The contestants also had to answer 29 questions relating to places and events along the road stretch. Before the race commenced, the contestants received driving and safety tips from officials of the Federal Road Safety

Commission (FRSC) who were on hand to help in the smooth organization of the event. Assistant Corps Commander Obed Shekarau of the Training Standard and Certification Unit, FRSC’s Manpower Development Section, lectured the contestants on how to drive safely. Speaking later, the competition’s Chief Organiser, Ishaku Bamaiyi, said the organizers had learnt a lot from the experience of putting together the third edition. “We learnt from this, and the lesson was enriching. We will put it into use for the future to make the competition larger and better,” he said.



Warri Wolves on course for continental campaign, says Fuludu


dema Fuludu, the Director of Football of Warri Wolves FC, is optimistic that the club will again pick a continental ticket at the end of the 2011/2012 domestic league season. Though currently seventh on the log at the end of the first stanza, Edema, a former Super Eagles player, believes that Warri Wolves have the quality needed to hit the continental scene and achieve desirable results. “We are looking forward to the continental fixtures to improve our chances of getting to the group stages of the competition. “Our ambition to win the NPL league title is equally on track and we intend to work hard in the second stanza of the league to improve on our chances of doing so,” Fuludu said. “We didn’t have a break; we had to play our outstanding games, which we could not play because of our continental engagements which clashed with the original dates of our rescheduled matches,” he said noting that Warri Wolves are on a mission to restore the pride that teams from the Delta areas used to bring to the nation. The former Julius Berger FC of Lagos player and a member of the victorious Super Eagles squad at the Tunisia 1994 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) ; added that the club was on the verge of recruiting some new players. “The players on trial are drawn from the professional and the premier league circuit, we are yet to finalise negotiations, it is only when we have done so

that we can divulge their identities, ‘’ Fuludu said. Fuludu declared that Warri Wolves would leave no stone unturned in its bid to qualify for the group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup, and improve on their current position in the NPL standings. He disclosed that the team had taken advantage of the minor transfer window to beef up in areas where lapses were observed during the first stanza of the league. “We had used the transfer window to recruit more players to fortify our team for an improved performance in the second stanza,”Fuludu said. Meanwhile, Fuludu has appealed to the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) to provide adequate security for match officials especially in the second stanza and considering the fact that the win-at –home syndrome will intensify in this half. “Its usually difficult for teams to win away games; most away victories are mostly won when teams have being banished from their turf, when they play on neutral grounds. “Personally, I think a lot still has to be done in the NPL, because referees are not secured, and secondly people try to compromise them it’s usually difficult to win away victories,”he said. He added that the so called away victories by teams in the first stanza of the ongoing Nigeria Premier League (NPL) were recorded against teams that have been banished to neutral venues.

Azubuike Egwuekwe, Warri Wolves and Eagles defender

Falcons’ camping halts Women Professional League

Precious Dede, Super Falcons goalkeeper


atches in the 2011/ 2012 Women Professional League have been suspended until further notice, an official said on Saturday in Abuja. Secretary of the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL), Danlami Alanana, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) the league’s suspension was as a result of the Super Falcons’ camping programme. The 20-club league competition, which begun on March 17, was to have entered its eighth week on April 21, with matches in its two groups. “We are supposed to be in week eight by this weekend, but we have to suspend the league for now to be able to have a smooth camping programme for the Falcons,” Alanana said. The Falcons, the senior women national football team, had resumed their first phase of camping on April 15 in Abuja, ahead of preparations for upcoming fixtures. The team’s technical crew, headed by Kadiri Ikhana, had invited 53 players to camp for preparations ahead of the qualifiers for the eighth African Women Championship (AWC). However, only 26 players had reported for the camp’s

first training session, with a few others joining some days later, while a good number of the invited players held back at their clubs. Alanana said the situation had led to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) directing the NWFL to suspend the league. “We needed to postpone further matches in the league so as to make the clubs release their players for the Falcons’ camping programme. “Moreover, if matches are going on in the league, players will have divided attention and their club officials will also be disturbing us with demands for the players’ release,” he said. The league secretary said the postponement was for the time being, affecting the week eight and nine matches in the league. “The week eight matches were earlier scheduled for April 21, while the week nine matches were for April 26, and then the league will go on break till May 12 when the second round will resume with week 10 matches. “As it is now, the league will return immediately after the Falcons finish the first phase camping and we should then have enough time to reschedule the week eight and nine matches. Therefore, we

Rangers to be listed on stock market


igeria Premier League side Enugu Rangers will soon be listed on the country’s stock market, officials have announced. Enugu State commissioner for youth and sports Chijoke Agu told a wire service that the government plans to soon put up the seven-time league champions for investment by the public so that it could invest in other sectors of the economy.

“We are already discussing with a reputable stock brokerage firm and I am sure that at the end it will be good for both the club and government (to list the club on the stock market),” said Agu. “Even at the executive council level, it has been agreed that the club should be opened to those who have the passion and financial muscle to come and partner with the state government to take Rangers

back to their rightful place in Nigerian football. “There is no doubting the fact that opening up the clubs in Nigeria to private investors will to a very large extent make them more comparable to their European counterparts.” Agu further said that the recent reorganisation of the management of the club was to ensure ‘The Flying Antelopes’ end a near three decades of not

winning a major piece of silverware. “We decided to make the necessary changes to the management team of Rangers and bring on board people with passion and dedication to ensure that Rangers ends our almost three decades of waiting for any kind of trophy,” he offered. “I am very sure that the team led by Festus Onuh will deliver the goods this season.”

don’t envisage problems of fixtures congestion for now,” Alanana said.

Libya to play Cameroon World Cup tie at neutral venue


ibya’s opening home match in the World Cup qualifiers against Cameroon will be played at a neutral venue and behind closed doors, FIFA said on Friday. The June 10 game will be hosted in Sfax in neighbouring Tunisia. Tunisia has not allowed spectators to watch all but a handful of matches since the uprising in the country in January last year, which heralded the start of the Arab Spring. Controlled numbers of supporters have been allowed to attend games in African competitions but league matches are all played behind closed doors because officials fear violence in the stands. There has been no organised football in Libya since March 2011, when the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime began. Libya played two of their 2012 African Nations Cup qualifiers at neutral venues in Egypt and Mali but despite losing home advantage and having their team ravaged by the strife, they reached the finals, which were held in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon in January. Libya’s last home match was in October 2010 when they beat Zambia. They begin their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign with an away game against Togo on June 3.



Kenyan marathoners post Olympic warnings, clock world marks at pre-trial enya confirmed they are poised to dominate this year’s Olympic marathons by winning the London men’s and women’s events yesterday and taking five of the six podium positions for the second year in succession. Wilson Kipsang finished four seconds outside the men’s course record with a time of two hours four minutes 44 seconds after Mary Kietany had retained the women’s title in an African record 2:18:37. The race served as a Kenyan trial for this year’s London Games with the east African nation’s overall supremacy such that any combination of the 11 athletes who started on yesterday could conceivably sweep the medals in both the men and women’s events. Last year, Kenyan men won all six world marathon major titles, sweeping the medals in three, and setting course records in London, Boston, Berlin, Chicago and New York. Patrick Makau reduced Haile Gebrselassie’s world record by 21 seconds to 2:03:38 in Berlin and Kipsang clocked 2:03:42 shortly afterwards in Frankfurt. With such a depth of talent available, the burning question after yesterday’s races was which six athletes the Kenyan selectors would choose. In the men’s race three times champion Martin Lel grabbed second place in a frenzied sprint for the line with Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Kebede while twice world champion Abel Kirui finished sixth after looking certain to clinch a top three finish. Defending champion Emmanuel Mutai, who set the course record of 2:04:40 last year, finished one place behind Kirui after Makau had dropped out with a hamstring injury at 16 kms. In the women’s event, the five-strong Kenyan team took each of the first five places with Edna Kiplagat finishing second ahead

of Priscah Jeptoo. Kipsang was asked after the race if he thought he had done enough to enable him to to return to the streets ofLondon for the Olympic marathon in 16 weeks time. “I have done my part but it’s up the officials,” he replied. “It’s up to Athletics Kenya. They promised they would do the selection after London.” The top three Kenyan woman also stressed that they did not yet know if they would be competing in the Games. “When I get home I will celebrate with my family and will then start preparing for the Olympics - if I am selected,” Keitany said. Kiplagat said she had a game plan for London if selected but could not say what it would be. After a week of foul weather in London with daily rainstorms and freezing temperatures at night, Sunday proved a pleasant surprise with blue skies, light winds and mild weather after a chilly start. Keitany, running only her fourth marathon, made her victory bid at 35 kms and held on to break compatriot Catherine Ndereba’s 11-year-old African record of 2:18:47. Kipsang looked full of confidence from the start, at one stage moving up alongside the two pacemakers for a brief chat. “I was trying to set the pace for the pacemakers, I wanted the pace to be a little faster,” he said. “When I was on the start line I had the feeling I was strong but I did not know about the other guys. I was confident in myself.” Kipsang decided to break at the halfway stage shortly after the leading pack had crossed Tower Bridge when he realised nobody else was ready to take up the pace. He said realised at that stage that the world record was not on and had decided to concentrate on running a good time. Lel, who was not included on a provisional Kenyan Olympic squad, said there had been great pressure on him after he finished 35th in the Dubai marathon in January. “After Dubai I didn’t expect to be here,” he said. “I had done only a quarter of my training.”

Wilson Kipsang

Mary Keitany


Martin Lel

Edna Kiplagat

...Sweep podium honours in Belgrade


ames Kiptum Barmasai won the 25th Belgrade Marathon yesterday as Kenyan runners swept the three podium places. Barmasai finished in two hours, 16 minutes, one second, more than six minutes ahead of countryman Henry Kemboi, who was second in 2:22:54. Fellow Kenyan Charles Kiprono Rotich was third in 2:23:12. Barmasai said he was only running the second marathon of his career and that “I did not expect such a convincing victory.”

The Belgrade course record was also set by a Kenyan, Japhet Kosgei, who finished with a time of 2:10:54 in 2006. Last year, Gebrselassie Tsegaye of Ethiopia became the first non-Kenyan runner to win in Belgrade since 2005. Another Kenyan runner, Mary Ptikany, won the women’s race in 2:42:47. Esra Gullu from Turkey followed nearly 15 minutes later in 2:57:07, while Slovenia’s Vanja Supic was third in 3:26:48.

Ptikany said that despite the victory, she was not happy with the result. Ptikany

complained that the weather in Belgrade on a spring, sunny day was “too hot.”

MEN 1. Wilson Kipsang (KEN) 2 hours, 4 minutes and 44 seconds 2. Martin Lel (KEN) 2:06:51 3. Tsegaye Kebede (ETH) 2:06:52 4. Adil Annani (MAR) 2:07:43 5. Jaouad Gharib (MAR) 2:07:44 6. Abel Kirui (KEN) 2:07:56

7. Emmanuel Mutai (KEN) 2:08:01 8. Marilson Gomes dos Santo (BRA) 2:08:03

London 2012 qualification delight for Caster


aster Semenya was delighted after she became the first woman in 21 years to break the two-minute barrier in the 800m on South African soil on Friday night. Semenya clocked one minute, 59.58 seconds (1:59.58) to win the women’s two-lap race at the Yellow Pages Series meeting in Pretoria. “I feel very special to run it after 21 years. I know in 2009 I was nearly there, but I was just a little kid. But now I have more experience and with God anything is possible. I just have to pray to keep me going like this,” she said. The 21-year-old got off to a fast start, tucking in behind pacemaker Tjipekapora Herunga of Namibia over the first 450m. Semenya opened a gap on the rest of the field with 200m to go and dipped under the Olympic qualifying standard of 1:59.90 to book her place in the SA team for the London Games. “It was ok because I know if you run your own race you always do best. I think the most important thing is to run your own race. We’ve been training hard to qualify here in South Africa,” she said. Three-time world champion Maria Mutola, said Semenya needed a pacesetter to dip below the two-minute mark after two failed attempts earlier in the domestic season. “No-one was taking charge and to break two minutes by yourself is almost impossible. That is why we went with this strategy in this meeting, to have someone help us at least in the first 400m to 500m,” said Mutola. Semenya was confident she would run faster before the Olympic Games. “It shows that I can improve more and more and hopefully in Europe we can go below 1:59 – 1:56, maybe 1:57,” she said. Monique Stander, who finished second behind Semenya, also set a milestone in the race, breaking the 25-yearold national 800m youth (under-17) record. Stander, 16, who finished in 2:02.57, improved the previous mark of 2:02.71 set by Corne Steenkamp in Bloemfontein in 1987.


WOMEN 1. Mary Keitany (KEN) 2:18.37 2. Edna Kiplagat (KEN) 2:19:50 3. Priscah Jeptoo (KEN)

2:20:14 4. Florence Kiplagat (KEN) 2:20.57 5. Lucy Kabuu (KEN) 2:23:12 6. Aberu Kebede (ETH) 2:24:04 7. Irina Mikitenko (GER) 2:24:53 8. Jessica Augusto (POR) 2:24:59


Flying Eagles Camp: No Wolves player invited, says management

Federal Poly Offa wins gold medal in men’s 100 metres final



bayomi Oluwatosin of the Federal Polytechnic Offa, on Friday, won the gold medal in the men’s 100 m final at the ongoing Nigeria Polytechnic Games (NIPOGA) at Ede, Osun. Oluwatosin finished at 10 mins 96 secs ahead of silver medalist, Bamidele Taiwo of Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) who finished at 11.06 secs. Olubodun Kehinde of the Federal Polytechnic AdoEkiti, won the bronze after finishing at 11.26 secs. In the women category, Margaret Benson of Delta State Polytechnic Otefe, won the women’s 100 m final after she finished at 12.08 secs, Emeka Josephene of Abia State Polytechnic, won silver at 12.18 secs. Judith Konabiyan, also of Delta State Polytechnic, won the bronze at 12.48 secs. In the men’s 4X100 m relay, the host school team won after finishing at 42.72 seconds, Federal Polytechnic Ado, won silver at 42.77 secs, while Federal Poly Offa was third at 43.17 secs. The women’s 4x100m race was won by Delta Poly Otefe, after finishing at 48.09 secs, YABATECH, second at 49.55 secs while LASPOTECH was third at 49.73 secs. Rasaq Abiodun from YABATECH won the gold medal in men’s 10,000 m at 35 mins 31.04 secs, ahead of Akula Balus of Plateau Polytechnic who finished at 35.42.50 secs. Donland Caleb from Federal Poly Kaura, won the bronze after finishing at 36.23.47 secs. In the women category, Asedo Queenty of Auchi Polytechnic led others to claim the gold medal at 41.41.60 secs, Ogodo Nneka of LASPOTECH, silver at 42.57.57 secs. Success Nwaozor of Delta Poly Ogwashukwu won the bronze at 43.55.55 seconds. Meanwhile, YABATECH had won the third place female football match with 1-0 victory over the Federal Poly, AdoEkiti. The only goal of the match was scored by the team captain Uchegbu Anita in the 25th minutes of the match. Meanwhile, the host institution has taken over the leading position on the medals table as it is currently having 15 gold, seven silver and 25 bronze medals. The Polytechnic, Ibadan, is now occupying the second position with 14 gold, seven silver and three bronze medals while LASPOTECH is currently third with 11 gold, 16 silver and 20 bronze medals.


John Obuh, Head Coach, Flying Eagles

he management of Warri Wolves has said that none of its players was invited to the Flying Eagles camp for next month’s eight-nation tournament in South Africa. Wolves’ General Manager Tony Rafua said this while reacting to reports that the club refused to release its players for the U-20 camp, stressing that the team was unaware of any invitation to its players. The Flying Eagles Coach, John Obuh, was reported to have complained to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) that Wolves, Wikki Tourists of Bauchi, Rising Stars of Akure and JUTH of Jos, refused to release their players invited to the national U-20 team camp. He had urged the NFF to prevail on the clubs to release the invited players, saying that so far, only 30 of the 45 invited to

prepare for the South Africa tournament were in camp. But Rafua said in Asaba that “we in Wolves are unaware of any invitation to any of our players to the Flying Eagles camp”. “We expect that if any of our players is needed for any national assignment, we should be formally contacted and not just announcing it on the pages of newspapers. “We will not just release our players without any formal invitation. These players are in our employment and we are accountable for their welfare and whereabouts at all times while they are still with us. “So, if we have to release them to anybody or to anywhere, we should first be informed, preferably through a letter as it is conventional. “After all, when our

authorities need our players in foreign clubs, they do not only write to the clubs for their release, they travel to meet the management of the teams.” Rafua said that clubs’ authorities in the country were not being respected and described it as “unfortunate”. According to him, Obuh has up till now, not formally or informally contacted Wolves coach or management of the invitation of our players to his team. “Our position is that we are not aware of the invitation of any of our players to the Flying Eagles camp. “Until we are formally and respectfully informed of the invitation of our players to the camp, we will not release such players. Currently, we have four players in the Super Eagles and we didn’t have problems with their call-ups.”

and taekwondo. “In terms of our projection, our areas of strength are in athletics events, women’s 4x100m, 4x400m, women’s wrestling and men’s taekwondo,” he said. The chairman allayed fears on the late release of funds which many feared could affect the effective preparation of Team Nigeria for the London Olympics. “The National Sports Commission (NSC), being very conversant with our budgeting system as a

country, was able to source for funds alternatively pending the release of the budget. Yakmut added that some contingency arrangements had to be put in place to address critical areas which, he said, necessitated the departure of the track and field team to the U.S. for a camping programme. “Preparation for prequalification and continuous packaging of athletes who must do their training outside the country is ongoing, for instance athletes have been

training in Atlanta since March 6,” the chairman said. Yakmut said so far, six federations out of the eight expected to represent the country at the Olympics, had completed their qualification championships. They are; athletics, canoeing, table tennis, wrestling, weightlifting and taekwondo. A total of 46 athletes 24 men and 22 women have qualified for the Olympics, while for the Paralympics Games, 34 athletes made up of 21 males and 13 females have so far qualified.

Team Nigeria’s preparation is on track, Yakmut assures The Chairman of the Coordinating and Advisory Committee for Team Nigeria for the 2012 Olympics Games, Mallam Alhassan Yakmut has reiterated Nigeria’s readiness for the forthcoming Summer Games. Yakmut said over the weekend in Lagos that the country was not only prepared but has begun to pinpoint areas where she thinks she has comparative advantage. Yakmut said the country’s medals prospects would be largely in the track and field, female wrestling


1. Chika Chukwumerije 2. Jumoke Odomusu


3. Blessing Okagbare


QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction — Blaise Pascal

MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012


US's Zhang, Wang claim Olympic table tennis berths


mericans Timothy Wang and Lily Zhang made the final day of the North American table tennis qualifier a good one for their country. Wang and Zhang claimed the last two singles spots in the Olympics with victories yesterday. Wang earned the final men's berth in this summer's games by beating countryman Barney Reed in five games in the semifinals of the third men's tournament. Zhang then beat Canada's Anqi Luo in a fivegame women's final for a spot in London. The 15-year-old Zhang joined Ariel Hsing - her teammate and friend from the San Francisco Bay area who earned her spot Friday - as American women qualifying for the Olympics. Zhang said her first competitive match was against Hsing when they were the only two girls entered in the under-10 class of a tournament. Olympic berths for three men and two women were on the line during three days this weekend at the community center in this Raleigh suburb. The other women's berth had been claimed by Canada's Zhang Mo, who won last year's Pan-American Games. The third men's spot had to go to an American because each national Olympic committee is limited to two players per gender in singles and the first two qualifiers - Andre Ho and Pierre-Luc Hinse - were Canadians. Since the other semifinal consisted of two players from Canada, the Wang-Reed semifinal became a play-in match for a spot in London.

Timothy Wang


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Once upon a promise "A politician never believes anything he says, so he is always amazed when other people do." — Charles de Gaulle


n 2nd February 2011, with more than two months before the general elections, I posted the piece below on my blog site, under the title "One-Term Jonathan." I went back to read it again when news filtered in few days ago that the suit challenging the right of President Goodluck Jonathan to run again in 2015 has been withdrawn at his and his party’s request, and will now be settled out of court. I will let you judge the value of the comments I made around the time the President promised to run for only one term in far away Ethiopia. Judge it against unfolding events, and in particular, relate it to the desperate (and successful) attempts to secure a compliant PDP leadership and the body language of President Jonathan's handlers before he even completes one year in office. Here it is. “In far away Ethiopia, President Goodluck Jonathan informed a group of Nigerians that he has no plans to run for another term in 2015. He stated that he will ensure free and fair elections from the April polls this year, and if voted in for the next four years, he will ensure significant improvements in key sectors of the economy such as security, power, education, roads and health, among others. “This is the first time that President Jonathan himself will state that he has no plans to run again after 2011. On a number of occasions, his aides and campaign managers had mentioned this, but on all those occasions, little attention was paid to these claims, largely because Nigerians thought they were part of the campaign for the PDP presidential ticket. Some of his spokespersons and campaign managers raised the issue of one more term to assuage the fears of the North and other parts of Nigeria that he, and by extension, the South of Nigeria, would likely govern for 12 years, if he runs and wins again in 2015. The South East PDP in particular was becoming concerned that if President Jonathan runs for another two terms, and the presidency moves to the North, it will then

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FIFTEEN MINUTES with Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed

President Goodluck Jonathan have to wait for another 20 years to have a shot at the presidency. This was becoming a major obstacle in terms of securing the PDP South-East bloc votes for the President. “Another set of campaign managers raised a legal issue. They argued that the Constitution of Nigeria does not permit anyone to be sworn-in more than twice as President of the Federal Republic under any circumstances, and if the President were to seek for another term after 2015, assuming he wins in 2011, he will be violating the Constitution. This interpretation was intended to assure all Nigerians who were

apprehensive that he will disregard the two years he took to complete late President Yar’adua’s term, and seek for two fresh terms of his own. Needless to say, this position has not been subjected to a rigorous legal scrutiny, and there is no guarantee that the Constitution itself will not be amended to make it possible for Presidents to be sworn-in more than twice in future. “President Jonathan’s promise to serve for only one additional term if elected in 2011 can still be seen in the context of electioneering campaign. Among those who will believe him, the promise may lower some hostility against him in the North, since it may be assumed that the Presidency will move to the North. Those who will find comfort in this assurance and assumption obviously do not understand that President Jonathan’s candidature has effectively killed the zoning and rotation principle in the PDP. Whether he serves for four years, if elected in 2011, or eight years, issues regarding the rotation of the Presidency will be irrelevant. The position of the PDP Presidential ticket is now an all-comers business, and the PDP North will be ill-advised to put

President Jonathan is a candidate who will have to convince Nigerians that he is better than other candidates to be elected president. Nigerians will judge him on his pedigree and his antecedents, including his performance as a president

any political value to it. Indeed, given its numerical superiority, if the North achieves political unity, it should be in the forefront in the fight against rotation, and for the institutionalization of credible, free and fair elections. That the North today is abjectly making a case in the favour of a rotated Presidency is a reflection of its political poverty. “In any case, if President Jonathan’s promise not to seek a third term in 2015 is intended to gain him some political capital, its value will be very limited indeed. The manner in which the rotation principle of the PDP was subverted by the President and his supporters, many of them key architects and beneficiaries of the principle, will create genuinely founded doubts in the minds of many people. President Obasanjo’s failed attempt to tinker with the Constitution and give himself a third term is also fresh in the minds of many people. The sad fact about power is that it is difficult to give up, and Nigerians are not blind to the transformation of Vice President Goodluck Jonathan into a President who is fighting with all the resources at his disposal to win a second term. “President Jonathan is a candidate who will have to convince Nigerians that he is better than other candidates to be elected president. Nigerians will judge him on his pedigree and his antecedents, including his performance as a president. Matters relating to what happens in 2015 are too far in the minds of Nigerians. What the nation wants from President Jonathan now is an absolute and transparent commitment to a free and fair election in April, and the creation of a secure enabling environment which will allow all citizens to vote freely, and for their votes to count.” With the monumentallyembarrassing exposé around the oil and gas sector, much of it under the watch of President Jonathan, the scandalous pension scam, the unprecedented threat to national security in many guises and forms, and with the catastrophic tsunami which Steve Oransaye’s report is about to unleash on the nation, we are being dragged into another race for 2015 by the President. And we wonder why we have so many problems!

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

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday, April 23, 2012