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Vol. 11 No. 70

Friday, August 23, 2013

. . . putting the people first

Shawwal 16, 1434 AH


FG releases N250bn for Q3 capital projects >>Pg2

L-R: Adamawa state Governor, Admiral Murtala Nyako, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, President Goodluck Jonathan, and Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, during the 62nd National Executive Council meeting of PDP, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

2015: No party can stop PDP, says Jonathan Why NEC shelved motion on auto ticket for Jonathan, Govs By Lawrence Olaoye


resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday boasted that the opposition, no matter how formidable, cannot stop the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

from winning elections in the country. In his remarks at the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, Jonathan noted that the peaceful way the ruling party resolves differences among

Army adopts new strategy in Plateau >> Pg 5

its members never ceases to be a source of wonder to the opposition. This is coming as the party NEC postponed the South West zonal congress billed to hold this weekend owing to a court injunction restraining the party

Bidders take full possession of PHCN >> Pg 2

from conducting same. According to him, the performance of his administration would speak for itself and that such would even become more manifest in the next two years. He said: “A number of things

that Nigeria almost forgot about like railways we are bringing them back. And I believe that by the time we move into early next year things will become very obvious so even those who doubt us will not have Contd. on Page 2

Health: Minister urges unions to suspend strike >> Pg 3



News CONTENTS News Editorial Op.Ed

2-10 12 13

Letters 14 Opinion 15 Metro 16-18 Business 19-22 Stockwatch 23 S/Report Islam

24-25 26

Int’l 27-30 Strange World 31

FG releases N250bn for Q3 capital projects By Abdulwahab Isa


he Federal Government, through Ministry of Finance, yesterday released the sum of N250 billion for capital projects for third quarter of the year. This latest release brings the total funds released this year for capital projects to N850 billion. Special Assistant on Media to the Coordinating Minister for Economy and Finance, Paul C Nwabuikwu, while confirming the release for the third quarter in a statement said the




Features Digest`

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Politics Newsxtra Leisure Sports Columnist

37-38 39 40 41-44 48

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:

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funds had been cash backed. The statement affirmed the gesture was “in line with the priorities set out by President Goodluck Jonathan, the funds will be deployed to expedite the execution of key infrastructure, security and social projects captured in Budget 2013”. It will be recalled that N400 billion and N200 billion respectively were released for capital projects in

the first and second quarters of the year respectively. Implementation of various capital projects across the country is ongoing and currently, utilization of the released funds for capital projects for this year stands at 71%. The 2013 budget made provision for an aggregate expenditure of N4.987tn, representing an increase of 6.2 per cent over the N4.697tn appropriated for 2012.

Bidders take full possession of PHCN By Etuka Sunday

Lower currency denominations: CBN to the rescue? Page 4

...Total releases now N850bn

This is made up of N387.97bn for statutory transfers; N591.76bn for debt servicing; and N2.38tn for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure, of which N1.717tn is the provision for personnel cost, while overhead cost is to gulp N208.9bn. Similarly, a total of N1.62tn was provided for capital expenditure in addition to the N273.5bn budgeted for the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P). The gross federally collectible revenue is projected at N11.34tn, of which the total revenue available for the Federal Government’s budget is N4.1 trillion. The Coordinating Minister for the Economy Dr. Ngozi okonjoIweala had said that prompt release of funds will ensure progress in the execution of capital projects captured in the budget.

he Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, yesterday announced the full taking over of Power Holding Company of Nigeria by the bidders, having paid the balance of payment to the Federal Government. The Minister confirmed that by close of transaction Wednesday night, all Preferred Bidders had paid up, except the Enugu Distribution Company, while the preferred bidder for Sapele Power

Station had made substantial partpayment. “The completion payment now entitles the preferred bidders to take full possession of the fifteen PHCN unbundled entities (10 Distribution companies and 5 Generation companies).” Nebo described the action as great milestone in the Power Sector Reform Roadmap that should give hope to all Nigerians, and inspire confidence in government’s power reform programme and President Jonathan’s Transformation

Agenda. In a statement by the Special Assistant, Communications/ Media to the Minister, Kande Daniel, he said he would soon formally declare the Transition Electricity Market, to enable the investors commence business in earnest and further drive the process. The Minister also reassured all Nigerians and investors of government’s resolve to pursue the transformation agenda to the end, and monitor the emerging

transition market, in order to protect the interest of both the citizenry and the investors. He said the stability of the national grid was being enhanced to ensure effective transmission of any quantity of power being generated in the new dispensation. According to him, efforts are also on to provide more electricity off-grid, especially for the rural areas, while also sustaining subsidy for low income electricity consumers in the nation’s tariff structure.

2015: No party can stop PDP, says Jonathan Contd. from Front Page anything to say. We promise that we are going to do that with the assistance of the party.” The President said even though the opposition believed that the party would have issues because of the division inherent in the party, they would be disappointed at the way such issues are amicably resolved. He said: “I was not expecting to see so many people especially our senior party members, but when I came in and looked across and saw the faces, I thank God that even though people believe that PDP will have issues, that we are divided, they will all be disappointed.” Jonathan who expressed appreciation for the trouble shooting efforts of the leaders of the party also noted the registration of more political parties in the country. He said the development is welcome as such would enrich the democratic space in the country. “We waited that political activities will not start so early in the country, but because of the intimidating credentials of the PDP, people started meeting; parties started coming together, and new ones are being formed. Which is a blessing for all of us, all because people are confused about how will they manage PDP and they will continue to be

confused,”he said. While acknowledging the crisis in the party, the President said “There may be disagreements and in all institutions, even at the family level, there must be disagreements and issues. But the key thing that makes life go on is our ability to resolve our crises. No matter the disagreement, no matter the interests, politics they say is a game of interests. “We will resolve these differences amicably to make sure that every member of the party is happy. That is the area I commend the elders of the party via the committees set up by the national chairman for going round to see how some of these differences would be resolved at the state level. The chairman of BoT has been meeting various groups to make sure that we speak with one voice, and we will continue to speak with one voice. “And those who continue to think that PDP cannot come together; that PDP cannot manage success will be terribly disappointed. We will go to Eagle Square and take the right decision for our party,” Jonathan assured. Similarly, the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, said in spite of the crisis rocking the party, it has continued to grow from strength to strength. He said “Our political adversaries have been ashamed as our

party is now more united than ever. The strength and success of our Party lie in its ability to resolve its differences amicably in an atmosphere devoid of bitterness, rancor, acrimony and recrimination. This fact is undisputable and legendary.” The party in a communique read by its Acting National Publicity Secretary, Barrister Ceasar Okeke, said: “NEC uninamously approved and ratified 31 August 2013 as the date for the Special National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). NEC commended the Special Congresses and Convention Planning Committee for the efforts so far put in place in the preparation for the Convention. “NEC acknowledged the service of a Court Injunction restraining the conduct of the South West Zonal Congress earlier scheduled for Saturday 24th of August 2013. In line with our avowed disposition to uphold the rule of Law and in defference to the Court ruling, NEC uninimously approved the postponement of the South West Zonal Congress. Consequently, NEC directed the National Working Committee (NWC) to follow through the court process and when concluded set a new date for the South West Zonal Congress,”he added. Critical stakeholders of the party were at the NEC but five of

the governors on the platform of the party, including those of Abia, Benue, Delta, Katsina and Rivers were conspicuously absent. Meanwhile, facts emerged yesterday as to why the PDP NEC shelved plan to move a motion for the amendment of the party’s constitution to pave way for the President and the serving governors on the platform of the party to have the right of first refusal. A dependable member of the NEC who prefers anonymity confirmed that some stakeholders actually planned to move the motion but were prevailed upon to shelve the plan because of the presence of those five governors from the north who are already aggrieved. The source said “It was reasoned that moving the motion would further cause division among the stakeholders more so when those five northern governors who have been shunning the NEC in the past were present at the meeting. “Introducing the motion would send a negative signal to the members who are still aggrieved as to the sincerity of the party leadership units reconciliation efforts. “It was resolved that the motion would be presented at a later date when adequate consultations would have been done.”




NGE Conference: Why we must reposition Nigeria’s economy now, by Dangote, Uduaghan, Anyim


he richest Blackman on earth, Nigerian business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has led some eminent Nigerians in listing factors that would drive the nation’s process of diversifying its economy from being solely dependent on oil. Alhaji Dangote, in a keynote address at the opening of the 9th All Nigerian Editors Conference (ANEC), today in Asaba, the Delta state capital, emphasized that repositioning the Nigerian economy had been made even more imperative by the dwindling revenues from oil. The president of the Dangote Group, was represented by the Chief Operating Officer of the conglomerate, Mr. Joseph Makoju. He says the increasing discovery

of oil by numerous countries in the world, including some African nations, the falling demand for Nigeria’s oil by its major buyer, the United States of America, which has also recently discovered Shale oil, increasing pipeline vandalism and oil theft in the Niger Delta region, make it imperative for the nation to use its oil revenue to develop other sectors of its economy. Speaking earlier, the Delta state Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, commended the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) for broadening the scope of his six years’ advocacy for economic diversification in his state, by enjoining all Nigerians to reflect deeply on the need to diversify the nation’s economy. Gov. Uduaghan, who is the chief

host of the five-day conference, with the theme “Nigeria Beyond Oil: Role of the Editor”, said “Nigeria is at the risk of deeper poverty” unless its economy is speedily repositioned. “Diversification is possible, but not too easily achievable. It doesn’t happen by chance. There must be concerted efforts to realize this objective. “This is why we in Delta state deemed it necessary to start early. “In the last six years, we deliberately invested in various sectors that would expand our economy by looking beyond oil”, he stressed. Uduaghan listed some new areas his administration is investing in to include the

Asaba Airport, which he said, is one of the best in the country, the two seaports in the state, healthcare delivery, agriculture through massive investments in agricultural processing industries, education, in which it built and rehabilitated 18,000 classrooms. In his remarks, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, said the Jonathan administration acknowledged the imperative of diversifying the Nigerian economy since its inception, and hence, made it the central focus of its Transformation Agenda. According to Anyim, who was special guest of honour at the Conference, “that thing which has made us (Nigeria) so thick-oil-is now

common all over the world. “It should therefore strike us to begin to reflect on the future of the Nigerian economy”, the SGF warned, adding that the media, as well as lawyers, must be in the driver’s seat in the efforts to reposition the nation’s economy. In his address of welcome, President of the NGE, Mr. Femi Adesina, set the tone for the Conference, when he warned that “the honeymoon (for Nigeria) is about ending”, as “oil is fast becoming a vanishing source of easy revenue”. The Guild’s president had earlier showered encomium on Governor Uduaghan of Delta state, for keeping with the pledge he made last year to host the 2013 ANEC.

...‘Nigeria has no plans to gag the press’


L-R: Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okojie, Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, and representative of the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Education, Hon. Jerry Alagboso, during the launching and dissemination of the Labour Market Observation Report, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

Health: Minister urges unions to suspend strike By Abbas Aminu Bamalli


inister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, has urged striking Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) to call off the go back to work. The Minister who made the call yesterday in Abuja at a media briefing said that a meeting had been scheduled for Monday next week between the ministers of Labour, Health and the striking health workers to find a lasting solution. He accused JOHESU of being impatient considering that the issues raised by the union were still under litigation at the Appeal Court.

On the delay to implement the industrial court ruling, Chukwu said, “the minister is expected to act under an expert advice, our lawyers strongly advise that this ruling does not hold water, and that the judgment is contradictory upside down and they illustrated it to convince us that it is a bundle of confusion and contradiction”. “The lawyers after critically studying the judgment advise that we should appeal the ruling because if left unchallenged at the appeal court, it will cause problem and confusion for the government and the entire country in the feature, and the office of the Attorney General also looked at

the ruling and advise we should appeal, what do you want the minister to do?” he asked “We are therefore appealing to all stakeholders to be reasonable and patient.” While admitting that as the minister of health, he takes responsibility of happenings in the sector, he however said, “I don’t see how it is my fault that they will go on strike while the matter is still in court. “Usually for any judgment, there is a small window you have for appeal and for the court to have accepted and registered our appeal means that we complied within that period”.

he Minister of Information and Culture has given the assurance that the Federal Government has no plan to gag the press. The minister gave the assurance yesterday in Asaba at the opening of the 9th All Nigeria Editors Conference. Mr. Maku said that the media was operating in an atmosphere of freedom and vigorous debate. He said the media had remained the freest in Africa and added that even in the military era; it operated with a considerable degree of freedom. “Nigeria has remained the leader in terms of press freedom in Africa and gagging of the press in this country is not practicable,” he said. He expressed worries over some unethical practices among some journalists as well as poor quality of reports and urged the Guild to do all it could to reverse the trend. “We must worry about the quality of our reports and we need strong ethics for the profession to survive,” he said. (NAN)

Kano mass wedding: Hisbah gives 50 slots to Christians From Mustapha Adamu, Kano


he Kano State Hisbah Board says it has allotted fifty slots to christian that will be part of the set of 1,111 women in the fourth batch of its mass marriage programme. Commander General of the board, Sheikh Aminu Ibrahim Daurawa who disclosed this at a press conference in Kano, said the mass wedding of the women, including divorces, widows and spinsters will take place soon. “We have decided to include Christians in the state since we are living together in the same environment. And just as we do not want to see our children engage in prostitution, we also do not want theirs to engage in it.

“Thus, we have given them 50 slots from the total number we are going to marry off. And we will allow them to go and do the wedding in their churches. We will only share the marriage bouquet (walima) together. “This programme has been introduced by government in order to reduce marital problems and prostitution in our society. When we first suggested the mass wedding plan, many people thought it would not be possible, but Alhamdulillah ( thenks be to Allah), we have succeeded in marrying off about 1350 women in three batches”, he said. Daurawa said Christians in the state will now be included in the upcoming exercise to disengage them from prostitution.


Page 4 Report Lower currency denominations: CBN to the rescue? C

urrency notes issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), in the denominations of N200, N100, N50, N20, N10 and N5 are currently not readily available on demand in banks across the country, especially in the Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Even the currency notes in denominations of N500 and N1000 given out by the banks are not clean and do not have a few new notes in the packs, as has been the practice in the past. When one enters a banking hall and asks for currency notes in denominations of N200, N100 or N50, the usual answer is that the bank has not seen such notes from the CBN recently. One bank advises that one should come on a Monday because that is when the bank receives deposits having currency notes of denominations of N200, N100 and N50 from churches. In one instance, a bank was rationing N200 currency notes in lots of 5 per person. At another bank, our reporter visited he was able to obtain ten units of N200 currency notes, which he subsequently had to share with two other persons who needed change for their customers. This reporter recalls that on the last occasion that he obtained N100 currency notes from a bank, he was given a pack of 100 units from which he retrieved only about 60 units which were presentable. The Central Bank of Nigeria’s cash-lite policy is meant to encourage the use of electronic means and cheques in financial transactions. There are a number of platforms for making payments by electronic means and it would appear that each platform has its own telecommunications service. The result is that there are situations in which a bank’s branch is unable to access a payment platform and the person making the payment is advised to come back the following day in order to obtain a receipt of the transaction. In the case of one particular

There are indications that while the Central Bank of Nigeria is withdrawing old currency notes from circulation, new ones are not being issued as replacement, reports Aminu Imam.

CBN Headquarters, Abuja payment platform, it appears that transactions are initiated at the central offices of the banks and there is a definite timelag between when the sender approaches a bank’s branch and when the payment reaches the receiving bank. This leads to a situation in which it is preferable to withdraw cash from one bank and make a payment directly into an account at another bank. Also, the difficulties with our telecommunications system centre on the disappearance of local telephone services provided by Nigerian Telecommunications

Plc. (NITEL). The cable systems, which NITEL had in place, should be the backbone of our data transmission. However, even before NITEL went out of business, parts of the underground cable system linking the telephone exchanges, for instance, in the Lagos area, had been vandalised and telephone services lost in some neighbourhoods. The lack of telephone lines would delay the deployment of Point-of-Sale (PoS) terminals in the various local shops in those cities where the cash-less policy has commenced across the country. For example, it should be possible for one to buy, say, N320 worth of medicines at a local pharmacy and have the payment made by electronic means. However, the greater part of our transactions are outside of banks and shops and for which transactions currency notes of denominations of N200, N100, N50, N20, N10 and N5 are needed. For example, an A4 size photocopy is readily available at N5 per page. Also, a newspaper vendor would find it difficult selling his consignment if most customers come along with N500 currency notes to purchase a N150 newspaper. Significant economic activities that are affected by a lack of currency notes are the payment of fares on public transportation,

the purchase of cooked food from food vendors and the purchase of foodstuffs. The tendency would be for transport fares to be rounded up to the value of notes that are readily available and a N120 fare may go up to N150 as N50 notes are still available. Food vendors have always adjusted the size of a food unit as the cost of their inputs rise. They may now be able to increase prices with smaller size increases in food units. The CBN has talked about the

cost of printing currency notes and of managing their distribution. However, we should also talk about the cost to individuals when the CBN does not make currency notes available. As indicated above, personal expenditure on food and transportation will increase which will eventually lead to increases in other goods and services. The suspicion is that all of these difficulties are linked with the desire of the CBN to print currency notes of N5,000 denominations. If the public is against this CBN proposal, is it not because the N5,000 currency note would pave the way for devaluation of the naira against the US dollar? Is it not possible to run the Nigerian economy without further devaluation? CBN Deputy Governor Babatunde Lemo had assured in April that fresh notes would be in circulation by last month. He said in Washington during a meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, “by the middle of the year, we will start to produce the second generation of lower denomination notes, now in paper and not in polymer.” Also speaking, during a regional workshop on ‘Banknotes and Currency Management and Forecasting in central banks’, organised by the West African Institute For Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, explained that banks do not find it commercially viable to stock their machines with lower denomination notes because they run out sooner and increase both the capital cost and operating costs. Notwithstanding, the CBN should ease the burden on the public and make currency notes in denominations of N200, N100, N50, N20, N10 and N5 readily available.

However, the greater part of our transactions are outside of banks and shops and for which transactions currency notes of denominations of N200, N100, N50, N20, N10 and N5 are needed. For example, an A4 size photocopy is readily available at N5 per page. Also, a newspaper vendor would find it difficult selling his consignment if most customers come along with N500 currency notes to purchase a N150 newspaper.


“Productivity vital to nation’s survival” From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


irector General of the National Productivity Centre, Mr. Paul M. Bdliya has stressed that productivity if the vital to the survival of any nation that desires significant economic growth and development, saying, the level of productivity makes the difference between relative poverty of the developing countries and the national affluence of the developed and industrialized nations. Bdliya who spoke yesterday at the 13th Kaduna state Productivity Day said productivity was a concept that must be encouraged and promoted as a national movement and a way of life. According to him, the National Productivity day is one of the Centre’s strategies to institutionalize the culture of productivity and excellence in Nigeria. In his own remarks, Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero said government had concluded arrangement to train 6,500 youth to in various vocational skills and trades under the Youth and Women Empowerment Programme of 2012 SURE-P Scheme.

Kebbi to upgrade state media


he Kebbi State Government said on Thursday that it would upgrade and modernise the state-owned media organisations this year. The government pledged to provide additional funds to the state owned television and radio stations to serve as a communication bridge between the government and citizens. Alhaji Sani Kanya, the state Commissioner for Information, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Birnin Kebbi. Kanya said workers at the stations would be trained on information technology, especially considering plans to provide digital equipment. He said modern reforms on information dissemination would be adopted alongside the deployment of staff members to rural areas. ``Rural coverage would be accorded priority to ensure good and participatory governance by leaders and the people,” he said. While assuring that staff welfare and working environment would be improved, the commissioner urged the staff at the stations to adapt modern trends on dissemination of information. Kanya, however, commended the management of the stations for prudent and professional conduct in promoting government policies, especially on security, politics, access to expression of individuals and group opinions. (NAN)



House of Reps to beam its searchlight on MDGs Office By Umar Muhammad Puma


peaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has said that the National Assembly would monitor and track budgetary allocation to the office of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He said this had become nenecessary in order to ensure that Nigeria meets the MDG goals.

Speaking at the fifth Annual Conference of Speakers of African Parliaments in Midrand, South Africa, Tambuwal said it was because of the importance attached to the MDGs, the House established a standing committee on it to ensure that the strategy is translated into reality. A statement by Tambuwal’s spokesman, Malam Imam Imam, quoted the Speaker as saying that the millennium development

goals have the potential to tackle many development challenges confronting developing countries. “We believe by adequate budgetary allocation to the programme and effective scrutiny and oversight to ensure full implementation of the budget, the MDG’s will be achieved even if not 100 per cent. “It is in that spirit that the Nigerian parliament, the House of Representatives in particular,

found it necessary to establish a standing committee on MDGs,” he said. The Speaker noted with concern how African continent continues to remain backward in the provision of basic needs of its citizens, such as health, education, water and infrastructural provision in spite of its economic potentials. He therefore urged African parliaments to be proactive so as to reverse the negative trend.

Delta state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan (front row, 5th left), President, Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mr Femi Adesina (front row, 5th right); other executive members of the Guild and Delta commissioners in a group photograph, during the Guild’s visit to the governor, yesterday in Asaba. PHOTO: NAN

Unemployment Nigeria’s biggest problem, says Lema Jibril From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna


ormer Presidential aspirant of defunct NRC, Dr. Lema Jibril has raised an alarm that the biggest problem facing Nigeria as a nation is unemployment among its citizens, saying unless the problem is solve Nigeria cannot move forward. According to him, the unemployment issue has reached an alarming stage that call for concern because statistics has showed that unemployment has reached 50 percent in the country. Addressing newsmen at his Unguwar Rimi, GRA residence in Kaduna, Jibril noted that

unemployment causes all the social vises such as crimes in the society. “The biggest challenge in Nigeria today is unemployment and under employment this is a serious issue facing the country. Official statistic will tell you that unemployment is about 25 percent but we all know that at least unemployment and under employment can be put at least 50 per cent. “This is very sad, that is why we have crime, that is why we have so many social problems because people who are qualified to do

certain jobs cannot do it. “We have to orientate ourselves towards jobs creation. This is the biggest challenge as I see it apart from the political differences which is here to stay until dooms day. “Unemployment to me is the biggest problem facing this country as you know statistically the manufacturing companies in Nigeria has nothing to be desired. Statistically almost 80 percent of what we consumed apart from basic stables like yam, maize, are all imported “All the necessity of lives

these led to a lot of challenges for Nigerian entrepreneurship and manufacturers to feel the gap. The opportunities are there to manufacture what this country needs. “This will bring reduction to unemployment because people will have jobs to do and we are going to be exporting 80 percent of our goods,” he said He added that Nigerian entrepreneurs if giving the chance they can reduce unemployment by 40 percent in the country. Responding to a question of his plans come 2015.

Nigerian Army adopts new strategy in Plateau


he Nigerian Army says it is set to fight crime using community development and social services to instate peace and unity in Plateau state, Northern Nigeria. The commander, sector 5 of the Nigerian Army special Task Force in the state, Col. Alade Adedigba disclosed this while addressing newsmen at the three-day capacity building workshop for media groups on conflict sensitive reporting and good governance in Jos, the state

capital. Col. Adedigba stated that the command had renovated some schools, installed 30 boreholes in them, instituted youth empowerment programmes as well as sports competition programme among the youths in the various communities in the state. Job Opportunities He said that the sporting activity was aimed at diverting the youth’s attention from criminal activities while the projects would create job

opportunities for them and give the people a sense of belonging. The commander noted that it was discovered that part of the problems of the people was lack of some social amenities which needed to address their social needs and reposition their minds positively. The STF leader who emphatically explained that peace-keeping had gone beyond military force of using guns stated that meaningful progress had been made

through appealing to the minds of the people by tackling their immediate needs and drastically reducing the rate of crime in the state. Adedigba said that presently, the people have started understanding each other as well as accommodating visitors irrespective of religious affiliation. He said that the Army would continue to introduce programmes that would impact positively on the people.




Kano set to float education varsity From Edwin Olofu, Kano


overnor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso of Kano state has said that his administration had the political will and resources to establish a University of Education in the state, so as to meet with the increasing demand for tertiary education. Kwankwaso, who stated this while receiving national officers of Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education in Nigeria, (SSUCOEN), said education remained the topmost priority of his administration, pointing out that no investment in education will go in vain. “I believe this is the time to do most of these things because it does not cost us much and it means so much to so many people”, governor Kwankwaso said, adding that the government will be glad to get a proposal on how to go about the project from SSUCOEN. He said that considering the importance of education in the society, a lot has been spent to improve the standard at the primary level, explaining that already, arrangements are in top gear to establish a College of Education (Technical) at Minjibir local government, to enhance teacher education in the state.

Edo varsity seeks restoration of NUC accreditation From Osaigbovo Iguobaro,


uthorities of Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma in Edo State have appealed to the National University Commission (NUC), to restore accreditation of some courses in the institution, with a pledge to improve on its infrastructure and meet up with the deficiencies. Pro-chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the university, Prof. Gregory Akenzua, made this appeal yesterday when he led other members of the Board on a courtesy call on the Benin monarch. He said the Federal government quota system had resulted to brain drain in our institutions, stating that the situation has further been compounded by the ongoing industrial stalemate between the Federal government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). According to him, ``we intend that under our leadership, the degrees and Diploma awarded by the university will be respected all over the world’’. Responding, the Benin Monarch, Oba Erediuwa, appealed to the visitor of the institution, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to confirm the appointment of the acting Vice chancellor, Prof. Blessing Agbebaku as substantive Vice chancellor. The Oba described the Chairman of the Board, Prof. Gregory Akenzua as a seasoned administrator, having served in different capacities at the Governing Councils of University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and University of Calabar.

L-R: United Nations High Commission for Refugees Representative in Nigeria, Mrs. Angele Dikongue- Atangana, Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, Professor Ben Angwe, and representative of Director General, National Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Kayode Fagbemi, during the handover of the Chairing of Protection Sector Working Group, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

ASUU condemns Minister over statement T From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi

he Bauchi Zone of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has expressed dismay over the statement credited to the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, that the federal government cannot meet the demands of ASUU.

ASUU described the statement as embarrassing and dangerous for the future of education in Nigeria. The ASUU zonal Coordinator, Bauchi zone, Dr. Usman M Abubakar, stated this at a press conference held at NUJ Secretariat, Bauchi yesterday. The zone comprises eight universities in North East including

Plateau state. According to him, “ASUU Bauchi zone is dismayed at the uncoordinated and highly embarrassing statements credit to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala that ‘the Federal Government cannot meet the demands of ASUU’ which according to the Minister is N92 billion.” he said. “The union views these pro-

nouncements as a deliberate and calculated attempt to cheaply blackmail it and confuse the Nigerian public through a deliberate attempt to reduce the noble and patriotic cause that ASUU is struggling for, to mere payment of allowances, allowances that are actually a debt on the Federal Government for the past four years and which are payable to all university staff.

In a press statement on the final confirmation of a special consultative status on the organisation by the United Nations and on the state of the nation issued yesterday, Akoh condemned the Federal Government’s failure to find a lasting solution to the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). “This unfortunate develop-

ment has grave and adverse implications in the intellectual development of our youths, in terms of building their capacity for future leadership challenges”, the National Commandant said. He said that no nation desirous of genuine development will undermine its educational sector, that is fundamental to nation building. Akoh also disclosed that the

United Nations has granted a special consultative status to the Peace Corps of Nigeria at the end of its meeting in New York in July, 2013. According to the Peace Corps boss, the consultative status entitles the organisation to designate official representatives to the United Nations Headquarters in New York and the United Nations offices in Geneva and Vienna.

…As Peace Corps blames FG over strike By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


nless the Federal Government puts an end to the occasional strike action in the nation’s tertiary institutions, achieving the goal of education for all by 2018 might be difficult in the country, the National Commandant of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, Amb. Dickson Akoh has said.

Nasarawa: NSUBEB chairman appeals for harmony between Al-makura and assembly From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


he Executive chairman of the Nasarawa State Universal Basic Education Board (NSUBEB), Malam Abdulkarim Muhammad Abdullahi, has appealed to well meaning people of Nasarawa state to intercede on behalf of the state to ensure that

the executive arm of government and the legislature, co-exist in harmony. Abdulkarim made the appeal yesterday, shortly after the occasion of the conferring on him of the award of the “Pillar of Education in Nigeria”, by the National Association of Science Students (NASS), North Central zone in Lafia. Referring to the brouhaha

recently generated when the assembly ordered the Board alongside the state ministry for works, to change the paint color, name of Taal Model School, Bukan Sidi and the inscription “Keke Taal” on the Keke NAPEP procured by the Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura administration to ease transportation across the state, the NSUBEB chairman observed that

in a democracy, what the assembly did was to ensure the due process which would lead to good governance. He appealed to elders in the state to bring unity of purpose between the three arms of government, stressing that the state must not allow little differences within a family to snowball into acrimonious relationships.


Photo Splash

L-R: Plateau state Deputy Governor, Mr. Ignatius D. Longjan, Kano state Governor, Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankwanso, Anambra state Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Amal Pepple, and Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, RearAdmiral Gboribiogha John Jonah, during a special meeting on the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company Mass Housing with governors, on Wednesday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa


L-R: Representative of ICPC Chairman, Professor Olu Aina, Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values, Dr. Sarah Jubril, and Managing Director, Triple Microfinance Bank, Abuja, Dr. Dan Ogun, during the 3rd National Transparency Summit of Heads of Institutions of Higher Learning, in Abuja. Photo: NAN

L-R: Director, Maritime Safety & Shipping Development (NIMASA), Captain Bala Agaba, Director General of NIMASA, Patrick Ziakede, and Deputy Director, Osamgbi Isiche, during a media conference organised by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, on Wednesday in Lagos. Photo: Olawale Rotimi

Empty beds at the Federal Medical Centre, Yola, following the strike started by the Medical and Health Workers Union of the centre, yesterday in Yola. Photo: NAN

Kaduna state Deputy Governor, Ambassador Nuhu Bajoga Audu (right), presenting SURE-P material to a beneficiary, during the flag-off of SURE-P material distribution, yesterday at Kafanchan, in Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna state.



OPC hails Lagos over Al-Mustapha appeal From Olanrewaju Lawa, Ilorin


dua Peoples Congress (OPC) has commended the action of Ministry of Justice, Lagos State to go to Supreme Court over judgment of Appeal Court that discharged and acquitted Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha.

The Appeal Court recently freed Al-Mustapha who had been standing trial for the murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola. OPC in a statement yesterday by its Kwara state Coordinator, Maruf Abdulsalam, said that without bringing to justice the perpetrators of high profile murder cases in Nigeria like those of the late Abiolas, the country would be heading towards disas-

ter. “The acquital of Al-Mustapha is nothing but purely political… If the court, which has been referred to as the last hope of the common man turns to be an instrument for politicians to use in order to achieve their selfishness aims and objectives, it means the country is heading towards disaster”, OPC noted. The Congress stated that the

Appeal Court Judgment on the suit showed that something was “seriously wrong with our judiciary system and it further shows us that the entire system has to be re-structured. More so, when the going gets tough, only the tough get going. The Lagos State Ministry of Justice has taken the right steps by going to the Supreme Court”.

L-R: Team Leader, European Union Technical Assistant Mission to Nigeria, Mr. Kimmo Tuominen, Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sidi, Director, Admin of NEMA, Dr. Zanna Muhammed, and Deputy Team Leader, Mr. Peter Glerum, during de-briefing meeting with European Union Technical Assistant Mission and NEMA, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Electricity: Group urges NERC to charge consumers based on usage By Etuka Sunday


he leadership of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) yesterday urged the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to charge electricity consumers based on their usage. This was due to several complaints received from consumers on the arbitrary increase of

electricity tariffs in line with the new billing system introduced by NERC. Speaking on behalf of the ordinary Nigerians in an Interactive Forum organized by the Civil Society, community leaders and NERC, the Executive Director, CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani, said civil society would only support the system if there was a commensurate im-

provement and supply of electricity to the consumers. Musa said that stable power supply would spur the needed development in the country but added that less privileged Nigerians should be considered because the leaders are not paying the tariffs from their pockets. He said those that are affected by the policy are not well consulted to really have a say on how the

outcome would be, adding that there was need for more consultations. Briefing newsmen on the matter, NERC Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi said President Goodluck Jonathan was keen about metering and consumers’ welfare and that the forum was organized to ensure that consumers have a say in electricity matters.

Pilgrimage: Taraba pledges support for Christians, Muslims

Zenith Bank commends Taraba over peace

From Yusha’u Alhassan Jalingo.

From Yusha’u Alhassan Jalingo.


ive hundred seats have been allocated to Taraba State for this year’s pilgrimage to Israel. The National Executive Secretary of the Board, John Kennedy Okpara, stated this when he, in company of some Federal Commissioners from the North East Zone paid a courtesy visit to the State Acting Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar, at Government House, Jalingo. Kennedy said this year’s pilgrimage to Israel would be

a peaceful one as the pilgrims would be led by President Goodluck Jonathan. The Executive Secretary described pilgrimage as a tool for moral and spiritual transformation, adding that the pilgrims from Taraba State would be air lifted from Yola International Airport, but not Abuja. He maintained that the records he has seen so far in the State shows that the present administration was a continuation of Danbaba’s policies and programmes and commended the Acting Governor for sponsoring last year’s pilgrimage to the Holy land.


he management of Zenith Bank Plc has commended the Taraba state government for maintaining peace in the state. The zonal manager of the North-East region of the bank, Ma’ji Mohammed Iro, made the commendation while presenting five Toyota Hilux vehicles to the state government at Government House Jalingo, to complement government’s effort towards enhancing security of lives and property in the state. Iro said the donation was in line with the need to carter for the

lives of their customers, stressing that Taraba state is the most peaceful state in the region hence the need for the bank to intervene in that area and urged the state government to maintain the tempo. The zonal manager explained that the bank had previously made contributions in the development of some areas such as Education where it donated thirty five desktop computers to Jubilee University and the state Universal Basic Education Board, built a multi million naira ultra modern hostel block at thee State University and also donated five million naira cash to Mumuye Endowment Fund.


FG committed to boosting Nigeria’s non-oil exports – Jonathan By Aisha Biola Raji


resident Goodluck Jonathan Thursday in Abuja reaffirmed his administration’s determination to do all within its powers to facilitate and encourage the rapid diversification of Nigeria’s economy. Speaking at an audience with the outgoing Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Nigeria, Mr. Jaroslav Siro, President Jonathan declared that his administration was fully committed to moving the Nigerian economy away from dependence on crude oil exports by promoting the development of the country’s non-oil sectors. The President said that in keeping with this commitment, the Federal Government was actively exploring all avenues of boosting trade and economic relations with other countries in areas not related to the oil and gas sector. “With current developments in the world, we are more interested in diversifying our economy, not in over-emphasizing oil and gas exports. Our intention is to move our country away from being a monoproduct economy that depends primarily on oil exports. We are fully committed, therefore, to boosting non-oil trade relations with other nations,” he told the outgoing Ambassador. President Jonathan commended Mr. Siro who has served in Nigeria for over five years for his efforts to enhance bilateral relations between Nigeria and the Czech Republic which resulted in the tripling of the volume of trade between the two countries. Although the Czech Republic does not import crude oil from Nigeria, the annual volume of nonoil trade between the two countries currently stands at about $100 Million U.S. Dollars.

Primary education: Varsity lecturers converge on Minna From Mustapha Yakubu, Minna


niversity lecturers are meeting in Minna, the Niger State capital to brainstorm on the development of textbooks for nomadic pupils and guide text books for their teachers. Their meeting which began yesterday will last 10 days. The lecturers are expected to develop curricular that will drive teaching and learning in a workshop organized by the National Commission for Nomadic Education (NCNE). Acting Executive Secretary of NCNE, Mallam Ibrahim Yamta, said the workshop was targeted at revising and restructuring the national curriculum that was developed by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC).



News Hajj: First flight departs September 14, says NAHCON


he National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has said on Wednesday in Abuja, that the first flight to Saudi Arabia for the 2013 Hajj will take off on September14. Muhammad Bello, the chairman of the commission, said this at the signing of the agreement with the airlines taking part in the transportation of intending pilgrims to the holy land. The airliners include MAX Air, Kabo Air, Medview Airline and Meridian Airline. Muhammad said the commission had mandated the carriers to ensure that all female intending pilgrims are accompanied by their male companions (Muharram) to forestall deportation. He said, “The agreement is very important because it specifies the role of every stakeholder in this venture. “We have been guided by the Nigerian Aviation laws and the Saudi laws and regulations. “If a contractor signs to carry out or render a particular service, then the contractor is bound to do so and abide by the laws. NAN

Court grants two Amaechi loyalists bail By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


n Abuja Chief Magistrate Court yesterday granted bail to two leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Rivers State. The two accused persons, Charles Amuefule and Leo Anyanwu were granted bail in the sum of N1 million each and two sureties in like sum. The presiding Magistrate, Babashani Abubakar, while granting the bail said, one of the sureties must be a civil servant of not less than grade leve 12 and must have a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court,within Wuse Zone 6, Abuja. According to the Magistrate, the surety, who must be a reasonable man must bring to the court, a copy of his appointment letter and his last promotion letter to show the court that he is a civil servant as specified by the court. The accused persons were dragged before the court by the police over alleged criminal conspiracy and impersonation.

Shekau: Coomassie flays JTF over reported death From Lawal Sa'idu Funtua, Katsina & Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


ormer Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Coomassie, has described the reported death of the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Imam Abubakar Shekau, as unverifiable. Co0massie who spoke with newsmen in Katsina yesterday also lamented what he called lack of proper intelligence on the part of the military personnel, to confirm what actually happened to Shekau.

He said, “whether he was killed or not, we cannot say for now and we we will continue to live in suspense because we do not know for sure whether he is alive alive or not. But, according to Co0massie, if the leader of the group was indeed killed “then it is God's design,” as he urged other members of the group to stop the violence and embrace the negotiation process. As he put it, “for long, I have been saying it that we do not have proper intelligence. “If we have effective and coordinated intelligence, if an incident

happens, we can be between 80 per cent to 100 per cent sure of what happened and we can prevent it from happening.” Also reacting to the matter, the Muslim Media Watch Watch Group of Nigeria (MMWG) in a statement faulted JTF claims on the Shekau killing The statement signed by the group’s its coordinator, Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim, said the JTF claim that Shekau is dead “is unbelievable.” According to the statement, “the JTF story would be believed to when corpses of casualties re-

corded are displayed and facts ascertained that insurgents were truly captured.” The group urged Nigerians to continue to pray hard for the restoration of peace, stability in the land and called on the political class to stop paying lip-service to the fight against corruption. “The MMWG believes that the basis of insecurity is poverty, discontent and bad governance leading to lack of social infrastructure, unemployment and corruption,” the group stated.”

Anambra guber: Soludo contests disqualification in court By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


overnorship aspirant of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has filed a motion at an Abuja High Court seeking a judicial review of his disqualification. Soludo and five other aspirants were on August 16, 2013 disqualified from contesting the November 16 governorship election of the state by the APGA screening panel. The panel based its decision to halt Soludo's participation in the August 26 APGA primaries on the basis of an ongoing investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for which he is considered a “potential high risk candidate”. In a motion ex parte brought yesterday by his counsel, Ikechukwu Ezechukwu (SAN), Soludo prayed the court to enter an order of certiorari removing and setting aside the decision of the APGA screening panel for violating the party constitution and the 1999 constitution of Nigeria and to maintain the status quo ante bellum. He also wants the court to grant an order of interim injunction restraining APGA from preventing him from participating in the primary of August 26, 2013 pending the determination of the motion on notice. Meanwhile Justice Peter Affen yesterday overruled Ezechukwu's oral submission that the matter can be entertained in Abuja, being the headquarters of the party, and ordered him to file further affidavits citing authorities of cases heard outside the jurisdiction of the cause of action.

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing, Alhaji Ibrahim Mehe, Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Amal Pepple, and Chairman, National Housing Code, Architect Mohammed Faworaja, during the stakeholders workshop on the revised National Building Code, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

NTA digitalisation process on course – Mayaki By Chris Alu


he Acting Director General of Nigerian Television Authority, (NTA), Alhaji Musa Mayaki, has said that the cooperation had so far digitalised 32 stations nationwide ahead of Federal Government’s deadline for switching from analogue television broadcasting to digital terrestrial television. Mayaki spoke to newsmen at the third anniversary of NTA – STARTIMES yesterday in Abuja. He said that the digitalization process would be completed on or before June 24, 2014, eight months ahead of the time given by government. He explained that at the mo-

ment, the stations use one frequency to 25 channels instead of one frequency to 20 channels which has made signal viewing pictures to fluctuate, with poor transmission signal amounting to poor quality of service. Adding that one frequency can not carry 25 stations at a time but can only carry at least 20 television channels. The DG stated that the demand for more programmes and channels on NTA Network informed the decision to collaborate Star times on digital network which will provide multiple channels at a low cost, according to him, the partnership with star time television is has been very cordial and effective as many channels are giving to consumers at a low cost on a

digital arena. Mayaki said one can subscribe to many channels as many as you wish at a very cheap rate with clear weaving pictures and signal on the stations, that is you can view as many channels you can in a digital arena instead of the one channels that was provided on analogues television at high cost. Earlier the Director of Star Times Nigeria Mr. Maxwell loko said that the anniversary was to prove their competences and effectiveness in the digital market economy, saying that star times can now be viewed on mobile television and handset on all the channels at Avery cheap cost, he said they would continues to bring innovations in order to give satisfactions to tis numerous consumers and be competitive in the digital market



Money Sense

Make a bundle at the farmers market …learn tips and tricks to sell what you grow


verloaded with vegetables, herbs and chickens, or just thinking about next year? Whatever your motivation, bringing produce and food to sell at the farmers’ market, is a cornerstone of many small farms’ marketing plans. Before you pack up the van or truck, learn how to maximize profits and minimize undue effort when you sell at the farmers’ market. Choose your products wisely Let’s face it; everyone has piles of ginger, lettuce, and cucumbers. What are you going to offer that’s different or unique? Is it a specialty lettuce, an heirloom tomato, or an uncommon herb? Check out this list of alternative crops as a jumping-off point for a brainstorm session. Think outside the supermarket. What can you offer customers that the supermarket or even the local food market cannot? Some of the more unique things I’ve seen recently: sprouts and shoots, micro greens, rare lettuces, rare or uncommon herbs like marjoram, and value-added products like

Money Tip: How to save money on fuel You can sell your photo!


n past days, the only way to quickly bring in extra needed cash was to obtain a secondary part-time job as a supplement to one’s primary employment source. Either that or start a paper route or do baby-sitting. Today, however, there are virtually endless short-oncash money making tips to quickly bring in additional cash revenues; what you may have previously shrugged off as uninteresting, may very well become your meal ticket in these latter days of increasing economic instability. If you like taking photos with your digicam, you might think of selling your pictures to one of the many photo sites on the Internet.

Quote In business, I’ve discovered that my purpose is to do my best to my utmost ability every day. That’s my standard. I learned early in my life that I had high standards – Donald Trump


ith the increase in fuel prices, many drivers are left wondering how best to curb the cost of fuel. Depending on where you live and how much you drive, fuel expenses can be a significant hit to your wallet. Of course there are hybrid cars available, but maybe you aren’t ready to make the jump just yet. Maybe you just want to hang on to the vehicle that you have for the near future. Fortunately, there are many simple steps that you can take to cut down on the cost of fuel. Fill up your tank efficiently While it may be tempting to fill your fuel up in increments, it is also likely to cost you more money.

The need to travel back and forth to refill your fuel tank ends up being more expensive than simply filling up your tank completely. “Fill the tank full”, says Stephanie Nelson, CEO of “The more money you try to save by adding N1000 today and N2000 tomorrow will be wasted since you have to travel to the station.” Find the lowest fuel rates You would be surprised at the difference in fuel prices in any given area. For this reason, finding the cheapest fuel available can save you a significant amount of money each month. Luckily, there are informants available that make this process simple.

elderberry syrup, dried herbs, and bags of mixed roots with instructions/ ideas for cooking them. Information overload Potential customers go gaga over information. Clearly labeled prices are a good starting point. But go above and beyond. Make signs that answer your customers’ common questions. Put information about your growing practices on cards for people to look at. Do your laying hens have names? Make a sign proclaiming, “Henrietta lays the yummiest eggs!” Get creative, think eyecatching. Some things to think about when making your signs: • Is it organic, freerange, pastured, integrated pest management? Name the quality, then describe what it means to the customer. • Is it specialty, heirloom, or rare? Maybe a sign explaining that your corn is rare. • How do you use it? What is it good with? You might share that your beans is particularly tender, and that the baby leaves can be eaten raw in salad, for example. Selling a unique or uncommon herb? Suggest pairings with other herbs and with foods. Bring photos of your farm, and print off your “About Us” page from your website and have it available for customers to read. While you’re at it, it’s a good idea to have business cards with your farm’s name, location, hours, and website available. Make brochures on copies of any newspaper or magazine articles featuring your farm. Think of anything and everything that showcases who you are and what you do and bring it for customers to look at. Laminating signs keeps them free of water droplets and will help them last longer. Give your customers ideas and recipes Print recipes for the products you sell, especially if they’re common or you have them in huge quantity. If customers can go home with a recipe for cucumber pickles, they’re more likely to buy an entire box instead of just a few. If they know they can freeze shredded fish, they might buy more of it. Remind them how good fresh fish bread can taste! Tell them how to dry herbs effectively, or how to make them into herb paste. Offer them free samples Customers are much more likely to come over to your table if you have some plates of attractively presented samples for them to munch on. Plus,

it gives them a chance to try something they might not have before. “What’s a lemon cucumber? Here, have a bite! What do you think?” Now you have a conversation going. Bring your best to market It should go without saying, but it’s always good to have a reminder. You want the products you bring to the farmers market to be the best of what you have available. Save the bruised tomatoes for direct-farm sales at discounted prices. Donate the older (but still safe) eggs to the local food bank. You want the most appealing, most attractive products at the farmers market. Pile it high, make it look good There’s a bit of an art to arranging your wares and stall at the market. Overflowing, gorgeously colorful baskets and bins will entice customers to your stall. Roughly looking, halffilled containers are not as attractive. Think about how you can make your stall inviting and friendly. Smile when you’re behind the table. Be available to customers, don’t have your nose in a book or stare down at your knitting. If you sell chilled foods like meat, poultry, egg and/or dairy, you have an additional challenge. Consider investing in chilled glass display cabinets. You want customers to be able to browse without making a commitment, and to be able to choose the particular food they want. Make clear what you have available. Be business smart To make money farming, you need to keep careful records of what it costs you to produce each food. Make sure you’re covering costs and making a profit. Keep records of what sells and for what price, and use creative pricing strategies to sell more. Charge its worth, undercharging doesn’t help anybody and won’t earn you friends. At the same time, you should have a variety of products at different price points, from less expensive to higher-end and in between. Your price may vary from week to week or throughout the season for the same item, that’s okay, just be sure your signs are consistent and reflect the changes. Keep your supplies and signs organized and neat so that setup on market day is efficient and fast. Also, if you’re hiring workers to help sell or to take everything to market, it will only help to have things wellorganized. Now you’re ready, load up the van, your signs and supplies, and head to the market! Happy selling!




Obasanjo’s putdown of younger leaders complaining about. He cites the former president’s failure to act on a list of “corrupt government officials” handed to him by the United States government when he took office in 1999. Former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, who has had personal brushes with Obasanjo, the latest as recently as last year, is more


n 1999, American news magazine, NEWSWEEK,ran a cover story on then President-elect Olusegun Obasanjo just before his inauguration. Towards the end, it said his presidency would bring new vibrancy to Nigerian politics, not so much for the quality of his vision of the country as “his informality”. This informality, according to the writer, included his vast repertoire of Yoruba proverbs and a capacity to stoke controversy. Seven years after leaving office, Obasanjo has not lost that power to wake even the dead with his loud mouth. Last week, the former President gave the generation of younger Nigerian leaders the putdown for their lack of quality and integrity. Speaking at the 4th Annual Ibadan Sustainable Development Summit at the University of Ibadan, Obasanjo said it was sad that “after 53 years of independence we have no leader that we can commend… We had some people who were under 50 years in leadership positions.” But where are they is today? He asked rhetorically. ” He went on to mention names. Expectedly, his latest outbursts have fetched him good words in some quarters and derision in others. Mr. Taiwo Taiwo, immediate past chairman of the Lagos branch of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), believes that Obasanjo “not only said it all, but said it well”. A former presidential candidate, Chief Olapade Agoro, however, is unimpressed. According to him, Obasanjo is part of the leadership problem he is

Our advice to him: hold your peace if you have nothing worthwhile to say. measured in his dismissal of the latter’s comments. “Our expectations of the younger generation of our leaders are very high and there are young men who have been very good,” he told journalists who sought his reaction to Obasanjo’s broadside. Unlike him, IBB did not give names. “If you want me to give names, I will not, but you know what they stand for… There are a lot of them that are real nationalists…; interact with them and you will recognize the virtue in them.” It is ironic that Obasanjo wants to put himself forward as a statesman but his words and conduct are anything but statesmanlike. Worse are his sanctimonious airs. As far as he is concerned, he was the only good leader Nigeria ever had and will

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

ever get – a kind of Godsend. But his record in office, particularly as an elected president, belies his claim to righteousness. His political vindictiveness, for instance,knew no borderline. He used his corruption hound - the EFCC – to witch hunt political opponents, including Vice President Atiku Abubakar for daring to aspire to step into his shoes at the end of his constitutionally allowed two terms. Shamelessly, Obasanjo claimed in his Ibadan diatribe that Atiku was one of the young men he prepared for positions of power but who let him down! A true Mr. Clean would not try to subvert the constitution to gain an extended tenure, but Obasanjo did. Without knowing, a mistake common with people who are selfrighteous, Obasanjo included himself on the list of leaders Nigeria has been “cursed with”. “After 53 years of independence, we have no leader that we can commend”, he said. He led this country for 10 long years, two of them as a military leader. If there is nothing to commend him to Nigerians, others did have something worth commendation. Nigerians certainly do have something to remember about late General Murtala Mohammed for his strong anti- corruption credential and making Nigeria respected by the outside world; and General Yakubu Gowon, before him, for putting down the Biafra secession and saving a Nigeria that he, Obasanjo, would try to undo with his drunken power chase. Our advice to him: hold your peace if you have nothing worthwhile to say.











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Chukuku community decries lack of amenities By Adeola Tukuru


esidents of Chukuku community in Kuje Area Council, FCT has called on the Federal Capital Territory Administration and particularly Hon. Ishaku Shaban Tete, Chairman, Kuje Area Council to expedite action that will give them the needed basic amenities. Speaking on behalf of the community, Mallam Jibril Sarki, the district head of Chibiri, Mr. Isiaku Sarki and Mr. Usman Biko (Youth leader) said Chukuku Community is not enjoying some basic amenities. According to them, the rapid increased of population in the Community necessitate the demand for this. They said, they use this medium to appeal to the Area council to provide the lacking amenities such as; Transformers to boost electricity supply, Pipe bole Water, good roads, more bore- holes, electricity poles, fencing of the clinic, a police post and fencing of the primary school, they also requested for a secondary school to reduced the burden of their children from trekking to a distance before getting to their various schools. One of the community’s burning issues is that, some people do come with allocation papers, claiming ownership of the lands; they believed some are not genuine. “We have written series of letters to the council through our Lawyer in respect to this matter but all our effort proved abortive”. “We are appealing to the council to come and demarcate between government layout and the community land from being doubt and further harassment from such individuals”. It will be recalled that 3years back, the FCT Minister of State, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide was on a familiarization visit to Chukuku Community, during her visit, she promised to connect Chukuku with Usman Dam after inspecting the ‘River Usuma’, so that these community can be supply with pipe bole water. “As I talk to you now, nothing has been done about it”, he said.

A bead maker displaying her talent at an event in Abuja recently.

RTEAN advises commercial drivers aged 70 to retire


he chairman of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), has advised commercial drivers aged 70 to retire from driving, in order to reduce traffic fatalities. The FCT Chairman, RTEAN, Mr Alabi Olorunju, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in

Abuja, yesterday. ``Older drivers have a higher risk of traffic fatalities for two reasons, first, drivers aged 70 and older are involved in significantly more motor vehicle crashes than middle-aged drivers. ``Second, older drivers are considerably more fragile than their younger counterparts and are, therefore, advised not to

embark on long journeys. ``A commercial driver who has attained 70 should not be encouraged to drive on our highways,’’ Olorunju said. He said that RTEAN, did not encourage aged-people to continue driving due to old age associated illnesses, such as stroke, arthritis, sight problems, cardiovascular diseases and hypertension.


non-governmental organization, Centre for Rural Empowerment of Nigeria (CREN) recently undertook an awareness campaign and rallies in various communities in Kuje area council in the FCT for the provision of family planning and service delivery to women of child bearing age in the rural areas and woman

``An old commercial driver may think that he is fit to embark on a long journey but not considering the lives of people that he will be putting at risk,’’ Olorunju said. NAN recalls that the Federal Road Safety Commission pegs the minimum age for driving at 26 while the maximum age is 70. (NAN)

Don advocates regular medical checkup


rofessor of Pathology, University of Abuja Medical School, Prof Edmund Nwana, has urged Nigerians to go for medical checkup to prevent sudden death. Nwana gave this advice while delivering a key note address at the FCT Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Annual General Meeting in Abuja. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme for

this year’s AGM is: ‘Sudden Death Syndrome: a Rising Epidemic’. Nwana said that cardiovascular diseases were the main causes of sudden death around the world, especially when not properly managed. He said that many people were hypertensive but did not know. ``Often times you hear that the man suddenly drops dead; it is when we probably get to do autopsy you

find this man had been hypertensive for so long without knowing, ``Typically for some of them, they will say headache, then they take `Panadol’ and go away, or they decide not to even do medical checkup, they look at the cost implication and the stress. ``You do not need to travel abroad; there is no need for medical tourism you can always have your medical practitioner check your

NGO trains Kuje women on productive health By Adeola Tukuru

Photo: Miriam Humbe

empowerment through training in productive health and sustainable micro-credit facilities. This was made known by the President/programme coordinator, Mrs. Glory Osuagwu, said the programme was done as part of activities to reach out to greater populace, CREN has taking advocacy workshop training of community health workers and upgrading of some primary health centres in Kuje, Chibiri and

Chukuku. According to her, CREN received a small grant from African women development fund (AWDF) , Accra, Ghana to implement a project which aims at reducing mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS in Kuje, and youth empowerment through skill accusation, including Information Communication Technology (ICT). She pointed out that CREN

also carried out innovative environment friendly development programme among rural and under privileged groups. She called on both men and women who a positive to HIV/ AIDS to come for this testing as the services for this programme is free. She also appealed to the council chairman for financial assistance to enable the organization achieve her set goal.

blood pressure.’’ He advised Nigerians to go do medical checkup at least twice in a year. Nwana added that other causes of sudden death include road accident, congenital deformities and infections. He said that many Nigerians indulged in self-medication, including medical practitioners, saying this also leads to sudden death in the long run. Nwana advised Nigerians to modify their lifestyle by exercising regularly and forming proper eating habits. ``People should take it easy and try to relax, create some time to walk and jug so you sweat; do not always move around in a chauffeur-driven car. ``Eating habit is another problem; a lot of us are indulgent, either we are over eating or over drinking. ``If you do not watch what you eat you are actually digging your own grave with your own teeth slowly over time.’’(NAN)



Water to be disrupted in some parts of FCT By Adeola Tukuru


he FCT Administration regrets that water supply will be disrupted in some parts of the Abuja from Friday August 23, 2013 to Sunday, August 25, 2013. These areas include Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, University of Abuja and Gwagwalada town. The disruption will be necessitated by the on-going construction work on the Abuja Rail project along that axis to make room for the relocation of major water trunk line. Accordingly, the residents dwelling along this axis are advised to store enough water that will last for this period, as normal water supply will be restored by Monday, August 26, 2013. The FCT Administration regrets any inconveniences this might cause those residing along this axis.

NSCDC staff decries lack of office in Kuje council By Usman Shuaibu


he Divisional Officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) in charge of Kuje Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mrs. Eunice Bosede Ojo, has appealed to the chairman of the area Council, Hon. Ishayaku Shaban Tete to provide a befitting office accommodation as well as office facilities for the men of NSCDC in

Kuje to enhance productivity. She also urged the chairman to provide patrol vehicles for the corps to enable them to fight criminals in the area. Ojo, who made the appeal while presenting her address at the stakeholders’ forum on protection of critical infrastructures vandalism, oil theft and private guard companies which was organized by NSCDC in Kuje, further called for a residential office accommodation for the

divisional officer. She assured the chairman that NSCDC Kuje division would be committed to safeguard the infrastructures and national assets as well as lives and property in Kuje and its environs. She appealed to the people of Kuje to always provide useful information that would aid the Corps in waging near against vandals and other criminals, said that the fight against any form of criminality

and vandalism was a collective responsibility. In a separate interview with the chairman of the Council Hon. Ishayaku Shaban Tete called on other security agencies to emulate the good gesture of NSCDC by organizing the stakeholder’s forum on security. Tete advised the residents of Kuje to be security conscious at all times in the area, pointing out that war against crime was concern of everybody.

Kwaku community gets free medical care By Adeola Tukuru


nongovernmental organization, CRY FOR HELP that supports humanity in the rural communities yesterday offered free medical Health Care to Kwaku Community, in Kuje Area Council, FCT. The founder of the NGO Mrs. Vera Mensah said the NGO is reach out to the people of the rural arrears to meet their need in terms of health. She said, Nigeria medical mission, from the presidency, in the office of the special Adviser to the president on Ethnic and values in partnership with her foundation CRY FOR HELP / FCTA, Nigeria medical Association (NMA) and National Association of nurses and midwives (NANN) FCT Chapter is offering medical outreach free of charge to various communities in the FCT starting from Kwaku community. She called on the people of the community to always do proper check up at least every three months to known what is actually is wrong with them and get accurate prescription for their ailment. In his remarks, the chairman Kuje Area Council Hon. Ishaku Shaban Tete pleaded with government, NGO’S and philanthropists to always remember the people in the rural arrears because they need our service. In his words: “They are dying in penury”. The Chairman thanked the foundation for offering free medical care in his council, hence Kwaku community has never witness such gesture, stressing that, the clinic in Kwaku was built, by an NGO and because of that, the Area Council is going to collaborate with them.

Cart pushers waiting for clients, yesterday at Area 7, in Abuja.

Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

FCTA embanks on hypertension screening in Kuje By Usman shuaibu


he Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has embarked on free hypertension screening for the staff of Kuje Area Council as well as residents in

the area. Disclosing this to Peoples Daily in Kuje, the Medical Personnel with the public Health Department of the FCT Administration, Dr. Adeyemi Olubunmi, explained that the hypertension screening

was being conducted in Kuje in order to commiserate the world Health Day which took place globally on the 7th April, 2013. She called on the residents of Kuje to always go for hypertension check-up in

order to know their status, as according to her, “hypertension is a silent killer”. She urged Nigerians to eat healthy food with plenty fruit, roughage and vegetable, while advising them to avoid excessive use of salt.

AMMC removes illegal structures on Airport road


he Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), has commenced the removal of illegal structures on the proposed Centenary City site on Airport Road. The District Officer of AMMC in charge of Kiami, Lugbe, Wawa and Centenary City, Mr Adamu Garba, disclosed this while answering questions from newsmen. Garba said the 35 structures

marked for demolition were all illegal. ``We are continuing with our routine work of removing structures that are not within approved layout. This place has been earmarked for centenary city”, he said. Garba said the centenary city would occupy about 100 hectares. He said the FCT administration had given numbers to those whose

structures would be affected, adding ``they should go to the Department of Resettlement and Compensation with their papers for compensation. ``We are also considering giving alternative plots to those who have built but do not want monetary compensation. We are being careful to avoid mistakes. ``We don’t know when work will commence on the centenary

city. Our job here is to make sure that the land is vacant and ready for use”, he said. Garba emphasised that adequate notice had been given to the owners of the structures, pointing out however that that all the buildings on the site had no approval from the council. ``AMMC is the only department that has the right to approve building plans.’’ (NAN)




Driver arraigned for alleged criminal trespass


he police yesterday arraigned a driver, Raheal Agbakpa, 27, of no fix address, at a Grade 1 Area Court, Mararaba for alleged criminal trespass and attempt to commit offence. Police prosecutor, Cpl. Inuwa Maigida, told the court that the matter was reported on Aug. 10 at the ‘A’ Division Police Station by one Innocent Onah of Tudun Wada, Mararaba, Nasarawa State. Maigida said Onah saw the accused trying to open the door to one of his rooms on Aug. 10 at about 4.20 a.m. ``Upon interrogation, the accused could not give satisfactory answer on what he was doing in the house at that hour of the day”, he said. Maigida said that the offence contravened provisions of sections 348 and 95 of the Penal Code. If convicted, the accused could be sentenced to one year in prison or be given an option to pay a fine. The accused pleaded guilty to the charges. The presiding judge, Mr Albert Maga, granted bail to the accused in the sum of N50,000 and a surety in like sum. He ordered that the surety must possess landed property and reside within the jurisdiction of the court. He ordered the surety to write an undertaking that the accused would not commit similar offence and adjourned the case to Sept. 5, 2013 for hearing. (NAN)


Dangote’s sales rep. arraigned over alleged theft of N2.3m T he police yesterday arraigned Abbah John, Sales Representative, Dangote Cement Company, at a Wuse Zone 2 Senior Magistrates’ Court in Abuja for allegedly stealing N2.3 million from the company. The prosecutor, Sgt. Abdullahi Alhassan, told the court that John was charged with criminal breach of trust and cheating.

Alhassan said Emeka Oji, a Supervisor with the company, reported the matter at the Mabushi Divisional Police Station on Aug. 20. The prosecutor said the accused was entrusted with some trailer loads of cement worth N2.3 million. ``After selling the cement, John refused to remit the money but rather converted it to his

personal use. ``The accused refused to answer calls from Oji in respect of the money.’’ The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. His counsel, Mr Innocent Okolo, prayed the court to grant his client bail on liberal terms. Okolo said his client will not jump bail or hinder investigations. The Magistrate, Mr

Man, 30, arraigned for alleged inconsiderate driving


Man, 29, jailed for stealing MTN property


Magistrates Court in Life Camp, Abuja, on Wednesday sentenced a 29-year-old man, Hamisu Saidu, to five months in prison for stealing MTN batteries and two gallons of diesel. The magistrate, Alhaji Abdulateef Abolaji, sentenced Saidu, after he pleaded guilty to stealing. Abolaji, however, gave the convict the option to pay a fine of N5,000. Earlier, the police prosecutor, Insp. Audu Bitrus, told the court that Joshua Daniel, a private security guard at the MTN Antenna House in Life Camp, arrested Saidu and took him to the police station on Aug. 5. The prosecutor said that all the said items were recovered from the convict during police investigation. He said that the convict confessed to committing the crime. (NAN)

Christopher Oba, granted the accused bail in the sum of N1million with a surety in like sum. Oba ordered that the surety must be a civil servant on Grade Level 08, and own a landed property within the court’s jurisdiction. He adjourned the case to Sept. 2, 2013 for hearing. (NAN)

Plateau state cultural troupe performing during the Nigeria Women Rally Peace and Empowernment, recently in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Plumbing machine theft lands 2 men in jail


wo men, John Emmanuel and Samuel Peter, were yesterday sentenced to 150 days in prison each by an Abuja Magistrates’ Court for stealing a plumbing machine. The court, sitting in LifeCamp, convicted them of joint act and theft. Emmanuel, 23, and Peter, 22, both residents of Sahara Mashiyi Estate in Life-Camp, Abuja, were, however, given an option of paying a N20,000 fine each.

``Both of you are, hereby, found guilty as charged and sentenced to 150 days behind bars accordingly. ``I hope that this conviction will serve as a deterrence, not only to the convicts themselves but also to others out there having similar tendencies like them,’’ Magistrate Abdullahi Illelah said. They had earlier admitted to committing the crime and asked the court for mercy. Earlier, the Police Prosecutor,

Insp. Audu Bitrus, said that on Aug.17, Mr Samson Clifford of Brains and Hammers Estate, LifeCamp, reported the case at the Life-Camp Police Station. He said that following the report, a team of police officers, led by Insp. Ibrahim Baka, was sent to the scene of the crime where Emmanuel and Peter were arrested by the police as they attempted to escape. He said the stolen materials were recovered from them. (NAN)

ibril Mohammed, 30, of Shelter View Estate, Apo, was on Wednesday arraigned before a Wuse Zone 2 Senior Magistrates Court, Abuja for alleged inconsiderate driving. The prosecutor, Sgt. Mohammed Garba, said Mohammed drove a Toyota Corolla vehicle with registration number: Gombe AS 957 GME on the highway without due care and attention on July 20. Garba said due to Mohammed’s carelessness, one Tony Cottis, an American, of Apo Resettlement, ran into the car with his motor bike registered as FCT QC 987 YAB. The prosecutor said that Cottis sustained fractures due to the collision and was rushed to the National Hospital for treatment. He said the victim was referred to Cedar-Crest Hospital and later taken to the US where his right hand was amputated. Garba said the accused was also taken to Asokoro Hospital where he received treatment and was later discharged. The prosecutor said the offence contravened Section 29 of the Road Traffic Act. Mohammed, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. The magistrate, Abdullaziz Anka, granted him bail in the sum of N300,000 with a surety in like sum of not below 35 years old. Anka said the surety must be a civil servant not below Grade Level 9 and resident within the court’s jurisdiction. He adjourned the case to Sept. 11, 2013 for hearing. (NAN)

Court orders woman to return ex-husband’s property


n Upper Area Court, Gwagwalada, FCT, yesterday ordered one Rabi Mohammed to return the property of her former husband, Isyaka Labaran. Delivering judgment in the case, the Presiding Officer, Alhaji Babangida Hassan, said

the defendant must return the property on or before Sept. 4. ``The court hereby orders you, Rabi Mohammed, to return all the properties you took from your ex-husband’s house on or before Sept. 4. ``On the other hand, the plaintiff, Labaran, is hereby

ordered to pay the sum of N 6,000 monthly for the upkeep of the two children between you. ``Any party that is not satisfied with the judgments should appeal to a higher court within 30 days from the day of this judgment,’’ Hassan said. Labaran, residing opposite

Pilot Science Primary School, Gwagwalada, sued Mohammed of Angwan Azare for allegedly moving some property from his house. He said the property included a refrigerator, television, Samsung speakers, standing fan, stabiliser, two big pots and a generator.

He told the court that his exwife moved the items following misunderstanding between them and urged the court to compel the defendant to return the items to him. Mohammed, who admitted taking possession of the property, could not defend her action. (NAN)



INSIDE, 08033045613

North South Power ltd, UBA signs US$82m electricity power deal By Abdulwahab Isa


nited Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has entered into a US$82 million financing deal with North South Power Limited, a strategic investor in the Nigerian Power Sector to finance the acquisition of the Shiroro Hydro-electric Power Plc Concession. The funds, arranged by UBA Plc and UBA Capital Plc, facilitated payment of the balance of 75% of the acquisition cost to Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) whose payment deadline expired Wednesday, August 21, 2013 A statement by UBA Plc described the bank both lead

bank and mandated lead arranger to the transaction, while UBA Capital is the mandated lead arranger, debt adviser and facility agent. According to the Group Managing Director, UBA Plc, Mr. Phillips Oduoza, the seamless completion of the transaction by all parties involved is a reflection of the capacity of Nigerian banks to champion the financing of power reforms project across the country. “This transaction is a milestone for the Bank and we are glad to be part of it. It is another demonstration of UBA’s commitment, appetite and capability for big ticket transactions. Importantly,

it is our commitment to the Federal Government efforts in increasing capacity in the power sector. With our partners, UBA Capital Plc, we strongly believe that this financing will help in jumpstarting the much needed investment in the power sector,” Oduoza said. The Group CEO, UBA Capital Plc, Rasheed Olaoluwa noted that the investment group has been an important partner in the privatization process as it is currently advising three out of the six generation companies recently conceded by the Federal Government of Nigeria. Engineer Olubunmi Peters, Vice Chairman, North South Power Company Limited praised

the commitment shown by UBA Plc and UBA Capital Plc in raising the funds. “The two institutions have again shown commitment to the power sector. With this fund, we are set to modernise the Shiroro Hydro Electric Power. Our company intends to add 600 megawatts into the national grid and add 200 megawatts in the third year,” Peters said. The financing was a major milestone for UBA Plc, UBA Capital Plc, North South Power Company Limited and most importantly the Nigerian power sector as the Federal Government of Nigeria’s induced incentives to attract private sector participation across the sector is coming into effect.

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N1.4trn customs’ revenue terget: ‘Give licensed customs agent incentives’ demands ANLCA boss

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CCNN Sokoto to spend N45bn to erect 1m tonnes per year production line Chairman

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Exchange Rates CBN

L-R: Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Malam Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Sam Amadi, and Commissioner Market Competition and Rates, Mr. Eyo O. Ekpo, during the partnership forum meeting with Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), and Civil Society Organisation (CSO), yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

NTA goes digital ahead of FG deadline By Chris Alu


cting Director General of Nigerian Television Authority, (NTA) Alhaji Musa Mayaki has said that the organisation has so far digitalized 32 stations representing states and capital ahead of the federal government date line of switching from analogues television broadcasting to digital terrestrial television. He promised that stations left to be digitalized were not more than eight which will be completed by the end of this year or early next year. Speaking to newsmen at the third anniversary of NTA – STARTIMES anniversary held yesterday in Abuja, Mayaki said NTA is moving fast ahead of the

federal government digital date line and would digitalized all stations on or before June 24 next year, adding that the whole process will be completed eight months ahead of the time given by the federal government to switch over from analogues to digital terrestrial broadcasting. According to him, while digitization was on course, the fact remains that frequency are not enough for signal transmission of the television stations, adding that, frequency has continued to be on demand for the stations to work effectively. He explained that at the moment the stations were using one frequency to 25 channels instead of one frequency to 20 channels, a development that made signal viewing pictures to be

fluctuating with poor transmission signal. The DG stated that the demand for more programmes and channels on NTA Network informed the decision to collaborate Star times on digital network which will provide multiple channels at a low cost. He said the partnership with star time television has been very cordial and effective as many channels are giving to consumers at a low cost on a digital arena. Earlier, the Director of Star Times Nigeria Mr. Maxwell loko said that the anniversary was to prove their competences and effectiveness in the digital market economy, affirming that Star Times can now be viewed on mobile television and handset on all the channels at a very cheap cost.

as at 22th August, 2013 Buying



















MANAGEMENT TIP OF THE DAY Could you be a change agent? Assess your internal network


he difference between a leader who can successfully manage change and one who can’t is often the effectiveness of their networks. Tofind out if you’re connected in the right way, ask yourself these questions: Do people come to me for workrelated advice? When colleagues rely on you, it signals that they trust you and respect your competence, wisdom, and influence. The more they turn to you, the more central you are to the company network. Are my network contacts

connected to one another? This is advantageous because it leads to a cohesive network with high levels of trust and support. Information and ideas are corroborated through multiple channels, so it’s easier to coordinate the group. Who in my network is ambivalent or strongly opposed to a proposed change? If it’s not obvious where your contacts stand, pay attention to how people behave; ask questions, both direct and indirect, to gauge their sentiments; and keep a mental record of your observations.



Tax alert Company News

FG to inaugurate seven power plants, 150 substations


he Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said on Wednesday that seven power plants and 150 new substations built across the country were ready for inauguration. Nebo said this in Abuja when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting, presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan

Nigeria’s postal business worth N300bn – NIPOST chief


he country’s postal business is worth over N300bn, the Head, Courier Regulatory Department, Nigeria Postal Service, Dr. Simon Emeje, has said. Emeje, who is also the Senior Assistant Post Master-General, said in an interview with our correspondent that the sector had grown significantly over the years and was currently contributing its quota to the Gross Domestic Product.

Enterprise Bank boss backs AMCON divestment


he Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Bank Limited, Mallam Ahmed Kuru, has expressed support for the planned divestment of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria’s shareholding from the bank. He also affirmed the appointment of the Citigroup and Vetiva Capital Management Limited by AMCON as the financial advisers in the sale of the financial institution, noting the decision was the last lap of the long journey that would guarantee better time for all stakeholders of the bank

59% of Nigerians unaware of mobile money – Report


lmost two years after the Central Bank of Nigeria introduced mobile money services to drive financial inclusion in the country, a new survey by NOI Polls has revealed that about 59 per cent of the populace are unaware that such services exist. Mobile money enables monetary transactions to be done on mobile phones through text messaging.

Tax Implication Of The Adoption Of The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) In line with section 8 of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Establishment Act 2007, FIRS issued a draft circular in October 2012 to provide direction to stakeholders on the tax implications of the adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). IFRS is expected to far have reaching implications on taxpayers, knowing that quoted companies are expected to adopt it, beginning from 2012, other businesses from 2013 while SMEs are to fully adopt the guidelines in 2014. By Frank Obaro


hese is to give effect to the Federal Executive Council’s acceptance of the recommendation of the Committee on the roadmap for the adoption of IFRS in Nigeria, which places emphasis on the adoption of globally accepted accounting standards by reporting entities. The adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in a phased transition in a process is to be supervised by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria(FRCN) formerly Nigerian Accounting Standards Board (NASB), under the supervision of the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment. Section 55 (1) of the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA), Cap C21, LFN 2004 requires a company filing a return to submit its audited account with the Service while sections 8, 52 and 53 of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria Act, 2011 gave effect to the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standard. This implies that the audited accounts to be submitted to the Service after the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standard shall be prepared in compliance with standards issued by IFRS. It is in line with the above that FIRS has published these draft guidelines on tax treatments to be given to each of the Standards especially where there are deviations from the present Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (GAAP) after the adoption. The objective is to highlight some salient points in the FIRS draft policy document in alignment with the IFRS guidelines. IFRS 1 - first time adoption -An entity shall prepare and present an opening IFRS statement of financial position at the date of transition to IFRS. This is the starting point for its accounting in accordance with IFRS. An entity shall use the same accounting policies in its opening IFRS statement of financial position and throughout all periods presented in its first IFRS financial statements. Those accounting policies shall comply with each IFRS effective at the end of its first IFRS reporting period. In particular, the IFRS requires an entity to do the following in the opening IFRS statement of financial position that it prepares as a starting point for its accounting under IFRS:(a) recognise all assets and liabilities whose recognition is required by IFRSs; (b) not recognise items as assets or liabilities if IFRS do not permit such recognition. (a) reclassify items that it recognised in accordance with previous GAAP as one type of asset, liability or component of equity, but are a different type of asset, liability or component of equity in accordance with IFRSs; and (d) apply IFRS in measuring all recognised assets and liabilities”. FIRS draft guidelines

Alhaji Kabir Mashi, Ag. Eexcutive Chairman, FIRS emphasize that the new net asset based on the accounting balance shall be adopted for minimum tax computation and where dividend is paid from retained earnings, it shall be subject to tax in line with section 19 of CITA. Also the details of recognitions, de-recognitions and reconciliation must be forwarded to FIRS by the taxpayer including all adjustments to opening retained earnings. Furthermore entities shall have the option to either completely expense or spread within 3 years the revenue expense component of its cost of conversion to IFRS as first time adopters. All conversion cost (Capital & Revenue) must be verified and confirmed by the Service before it can be allowed as Qualified Capital Expenditure or expense. While any additional tax/refund as a result of the conversion shall be settled by the company or refunded by FIRS as may be agreed by FIRS within 3 years of adoption. For the treatment of Finance Lease the FIRS guideline notes that in compliance with IFRS re-classification of lease asset, there could be a situation whereby an operating lease becomes a finance lease. Where two parties had correctly applied the old principle but are now compelled by the IFRS standard to reclassify operating lease as finance lease, FIRS will rely on the Tax Written down value of the asset in granting further capital allowance to the leasee. Also, investment allowance and Initial allowance shall not be granted to the leasee on reclassification of the asset and where there are errors in compliance with previous standards on leases, the tax consequences resulting

from the errors shall be adjusted for accordingly. For assets reclassified to finance lease, paragraph 18(2) and (3) of schedule two of CITA which relates to Rights to Claim Capital Allowances on finance lease shall apply. The guideline on finance lease as described in FIRS information circular No. 2010/01 dated 12th April, 2012 which relates to Value Added Tax (VAT) and WithHolding Tax (WHT) shall apply. In IAS 19 – which dwells on employee benefits, the FIRS draft guidelines notes that provisions in respect of other long-term employee benefits (other than post- employment benefits and termination benefits) that are not due to be settled within twelve months after the end of the period in which the employees render the related service shall not be allowed for tax purposes until actual

Revenue House

payment is made. Profit sharing and bonus payments shall be allowed for tax purposes only if the amount and basis for its computation has been agreed and approved at the beginning of the accounting period and notably Personal Income Tax is payable on the bonus and profit sharing in line with the provisions of Personal Income Tax (amended 2011). For Pension remittances employer’s contributions over and above the 7.5% compulsory threshold is an allowable deduction by virtue of the provision of the National Pension Commission Act (section 7 & 9 of Pension Act) and Actual contribution paid to the pension fund in the current year shall be allowed for tax purposes in line with the existing practice. The National Pension Commission has been empowered to approve defined benefit plan for any entity that wants to run it. However, FIRS must be satisfied that a proper scheme manager is appointed for the security of the fund before allowing any expenses on the scheme for tax purposes. Any provision charged to Statement of Comprehensive Income (SOCI) that does not have the approval of Pension Commission (PENCOM) and FIRS shall be disallowed. Provision made for benefits payable to the employees offered voluntary redundancy shall not be an allowable deduction for tax purposes unless they result into cash payment to the employees. There is no doubt that the transition to IFRS is a huge task, with over 100 countries already signed to it. IFRS has become the global reporting standards for accounts and it is imperative for various stakeholders to work together to engender a workable solutions in terms of capacity and enlightenment on the cut off dates. Its revolutionary impact tax requires a great deal of decisiveness and commitment. It is a new world order in corporate reporting that will alter not only the financial accounting and reporting landscape in Nigeria but also tax accounting, tax cash flow and tax distributable reserves.




N1.4trn customs’ revenue terget: Give licensed customs agents incentives demands, ANLCA

Prince Olayiwola Shittu is a member of the Presidential Implementation Committee on ports reforms, and National President, Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA). In this interview with Peoples Daily, he lamented that the reports of the committee has not been implemented several months after it was presented to President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja. He also talked about the need for a seamless cargo clearance process at the nation’s ports. Dapo Olalekan brings excerpts. How is the relationship between agents and customs with regards to paperless transactions at the ports?


e preempted cashless operations at the port. Association of Nigeria Licensed Custom Agents (ANLCA) has championed paperless transactions in the industry, don’t forget that the Federal Government makes policies, but the Nigeria Custom Service enforces the policies while licensed custom agents implements the policies. There is nothing ever done apart from administrative means of achieving enforcement that can be attributed to customs. Customs cannot ban an item, it is the Federal Government that can ban an article from being imported, the enforcement is what is in the hands of customs, and as long as they continue to improve on that enforcement it will affect those who don’t want to comply because right from time Nigerians have the penchant to be non compliant. Government has given incentives to customs, increased their salaries and everybody has been commending them, but has government looked at those who are to implement these policies and give them incentives? Like it is done elsewhere and in government departments where they get consultants to see how certain projects are achieved and they pay them, when government asked customs to generate revenue, the customs will not go to the sea and bring cargo; it will not go and look for importers that will come and pay, it is the customs agents that are the interface, they should be given incentives to realize the revenue target by making sure that the importer pays correct duties, making sure that cargoes come straight to the port where the duties will be collected rather than going to smuggle it. Educating and knowing the importer on behalf of the customs, customs does not know any importer and that is why they licensed agents to identify who the importer is and that is why when their is fault in the system the agent is held responsible, if half of the money given to service providers to issue RAR is given to agents as an incentive, the loop holes in the RAR issued by service providers can be blocked up to eighty percent. For every job you do and pay correct duty to government, they should be given something. In those days, if a custom officer is able to detect an under-payment, government gives him a percentage, but this is no longer existing. When you say a licensed customs agents should go and get his wages from the importer, he ends up worshiping the importer because that is where his wages is coming, he does everything the importer ask him to do so that

Prince Olayiwola he can continue to patronize him, if the importer is not ready to pay his wage, he will also find a way to help himself, so who is to blame? Customs has a list of the agencies they have licensed, if one percent of the revenue is given to those who helped to pay, you will discover that fraud will reduce to the barest minimum, this is where government should look at. How much is standard fees that should be collected by agents from importers? It is the job of the CRFFN to set that standard, they have already issued the standard trading condition. We are working with them now to have a benchmark for the wages of an agent since the government is not ready. For example, engineers have a specified amount they charge, medical doctors and other professionals also do, but in order for customs agents not to go hungry is the main reason why they undercut and there is no way we can find out, this is why the issue of CRFFN benchmark has not come up, for some of us, the people we work for, we charge them one percent of C and F because it is our professional fee. If you remove fraud from the system, the profession pays itself, for example, in America no importer pays duty, it is the custom broker that pays the duty, the way it is done in America is what we want to practice here, that’s why you see us having our biometric identity card, each identity card is based on employment by licensed companies so that it becomes traceable, with this card you can clear your goods and make business transactions online, but because

service providers know that it is when you are with them that they can find mistakes somewhere and delay you, if a custom officer delays you the demurrage is counting, the shipping company is happy that your container is with them and they are collecting money on it; terminal is collecting rent. In order to avoid all these you will have to sort them out. If an importer comes to you and present a document that you know is not correct, it is your duty to do the correct thing, it is because of this laxity in the system that made so many people to come in and borrowing licenses to clear their jobs, this is so because people who have licenses do not have jobs to clear, many people who don’t have licenses have cargoes to clear, some importers will send their relations to the agent for him to be trained, the boy may not have spent more than six months before they pronounce him a qualified agent, he will subsequently be given cargoes to clear while he in turn sublets it to his former master to clear because the master wants to survive. Again, it is because of lack of compliance that we are having so much checks and double checks at the ports, when you are having multiple checks, it means that something is wrong with the system because somebody has already shortchanged in the beginning in order to give room for the double check people to be settled. How can we then achieve seamless flow of goods clearance? This was why the Presidential Committee on Port Reforms which I was a member and chairman of the sub-committee on technical issues

borrowed leaf from America and designed five smart steps to cargo clearance. This five steps also took note of the PAAR from customs, it is part of the five smart steps that customs is trying to implement now, with these steps, by the time you carry out preassessment you will have less job left to do, by then you will just be waiting for your cargo, it is only when your cargo goes through scanning and they discover something wrong that they can separate it for verification, but majority would have gone because customs already know the anticipatory volume that is coming, but here nothing has been heard about the five smart steps, what killed it was the remaining four steps. Our maritime industry is dominated by agencies of government belonging to different ministries supervised by different ministers, and it takes interministerial meetings to resolve certain issues, each of the agencies have a supervisory ministry of equal ranks, Minister of Health can not give instruction to SON directly, it must go through the other minister, and if the one in charge knows that it is not helping the organization, he will ignore it, this is why it takes them a long time to harmonize issues. Custom is under Finance ministry, Quarantine is under ministry of Agriculture, yet you want things to work fluidly, under five smart steps, cargoes that require regulatory authority has been issued and placed online, when we did the five smart steps we invited the stakeholders in order to debate its efficacy, many of them complained that there is no electricity in Nigeria, but you and I know that you can receive mails from your phones today, we are all

carrying i-pad around, but because of that Nigerianess in us, the system has not worked. The five smart steps would have reduced the number of the people in the port by at least 70%, it is only the dock labor that will remain, we do not need people loitering around with the pretense of waiting for their jobs, you will see one person carrying a single Bill of Laden and ten other people will follow him, they will tell you that the ten people are apprentice learning the job, the time of learning the job like that is gone, go to the accredited training school of the CRFFN and learn freight forwarding, set up your own company and get the necessary approvals, get your CRFFN approval to operate, get your customs license, register with the shipping companies and register with the terminals, if you do these nobody will disturb you, but the problem here is that all of us want to cut corners and that is why you see people coming in as errand boys and after some times they will tell you that they are agents, and they end up getting jobs because they have uniform godfathers in the system using them to clear cargoes. Every time I summarize I use to say that the problem is the Federal Government, the implementation committee started well, majority of the members of the committee are importers, manufacturers and people of means, they don’t need these cheap money from anybody, we never took any allowances, we brought out the five smart steps that was presented at the Presidential retreat on maritime and everybody applauded us, by now we should have been clearing cargo in three days or two, the report was referred to a committee headed by the minister of transport, after this nobody have heard anything again, those of us in the committee are no longer called for meetings, it is what the government wants, if it wanted to change the system it can do it because it is the will power. Today you will see that fifteen percent of the people roaming around the port are trying to locate their container, but it is not their job to find the container, it is the job of the shipping company to block-stack the container somewhere and have it on record, because of non compliance, customs has decided to be doing hundred percent examination, in doing this they have been able to discover certain low value declaration and concealment that have led to Debit Notes being raised in order to meet their target, but you and I know that you cannot have target given to customs and at the same time be talking of trade facilitation, you can only facilitate trade when their is genuine declaration.




L-R: Company Secretary, Chidi Okezie, Chairman, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Atedo Peterside, and Chief Executive Officer, Sola David-Borha, during the Stanbic IBTC Holding AGM on Wednesday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

CCNN Sokoto to spend N45bn to erect 1m tonnes per year production line - Chairman


he Cement Company of Northern Nigeria ( CCNN) has promised to raise N45 billion to erect a new production line of one million tonnes of clinker per annum together with a coal grinding mill and accessories. The News Agency of Nigeria

(NAN) reports that this was disclosed by its Chairman, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabi’u in Sokoto at the firm’s 34th Annual General Meeting (AGM). According to Rabi’u, the company had recorded a turnover of more than N15 billion in 2012

United Airlines introduces Boeing 787 Dreamliner on Lagos-Houston route From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


nited States leading airline United Airlines’ said it had deployed a Boeing 787 Dreamliner to service Murtala Muhammed International AirportLagos route with flight UA142 from the airline’s Houston hub, George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The airlines said the state-ofthe-art aircraft will now operate United’s five-times-weekly Lagos-Houston nonstop service. “Customers will notice a real difference on board the 787 Dreamliner,” said James Mueller, United’s vice president Atlantic & Pacific sales. He affirmed that “It is the worlds most advanced and efficient passenger aircraft, with a range of features that improve the overall flying experience. The introduction of the 787 means that United now offers customers in Nigeria an unbeatable combination for trans-Atlantic travel – the most comfortable aircraft, industryleading products and services, nonstop access to one of the

United States’ leading business centers and connections from our Houston hub to cities across the Americas”. Muller added that United’s 787 Dreamliner is configured with 36 flat-bed seats in United Business First and 183 seats in United Economy, including 70 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space. “Customers experience greater comfort with improved lighting, bigger windows, larger overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and enhanced ventilation systems, among other passenger-friendly features. All customers benefit from on-demand entertainment at every seat and lighting that replicates a full day or night on long-haul flights such as Lagos to Houston. The aircraft’s use of lightweight composites, together with its modern engines and improved aerodynamic design, allow it to fly farther, faster and more efficiently than similar-sized conventional aircraft”.

32nd AGM authorising it to raise up to a maximum of N45 bıllion for the purpose of erecting a new production line,’’ Rabi’u said. The CCNN chairman said that the board has not recommended payment of any dividend due to the cash flow situation. (NAN)

as against more than N13 bıllıon the previous year. Similarly, the chairman said, profit after tax went down to N1.1 billion as against N2.3 billion the previous year. “Although the turnover has increased the profit after tax has

gone down. This was attributable mainly to the high cost of oil. “The dependence on fuel oil makes the company exposed to changes in the oil price and disturbances in the supply situation. ‘’We are ready to implement the special resolution passed at the

Sokoto govt. suspends auction of grounded vehicles over low bid price

WEFA 2014: Transcorp Hilton named official hotel

From: Mahmoud Muhammad, Sokoto


okoto state government has announced indefinite suspension of the planned auction of some grounded vehicles at its Ministries, Departments and Parastatals. The auction of some vehcles littering around office premises was scheduled to commence on Tuesday. It was also learnt that the exercise is being handled by a consortium of consultants and licensed auctioneers under the supervision of the Ministries of Finance, as well as Works. A statement signed by Malam Sani Umar, Senior Special Assistant (media) to Governor Aliyu Wamakko announced the suspension in Sokoto. According to the statement,’’ Gov. Wamakko ordered the immediate and indefinite suspension of the planned exercise, due to his dissatisfaction with the low prices and process.


he World Economic Forum (WEF) with headquarters in Geneva , Switzerland , has announced that the Transcorp Hilton Abuja will be the official hotel and hospitality partner of the 24th World Economic Forum on Africa (WEFA), which will be held for the first time in Nigeria . The three-day event, scheduled from May 7-10, 2014, is expected to draw over 700 participants from more than 40 countries to host city Abuja , to discuss the continent’s integration agenda and a renewed commitment to sustainable growth and development. Delegates will include regional and global leaders from business, government and civil society. According to Valentine Ozigbo, MD/CEO of Transnational Hotels & Tourism Services Limited, which runs the Transcorp Hilton Abuja and is partly owned by Tony O. Elumelu’s proprietary investment company, Heirs Holdings, the hotel was unanimously selected

after a diligent evaluation of Nigeria ’s hotels’ facilities and services by a special team from WEF. Transcorp Hilton won the hospitality ticket due to its track record of successfully hosting international conferences and events, coupled with its world class facilities and vintage Hilton quality standard of service delivery. “Transcorp Hilton has a proud history of successfully hosting high profile international events and we are honoured to be the official host of the 24th edition of WEFA. The forum presents an unprecedented opportunity for Nigeria to make a strong business case as Africa ’s investment destination of choice, while showcasing our rich culture and tourism potential.” The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance of Nigeria, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, first announced that Nigeria would host WEFA last May at the closing of the 23rd World Economic Forum in Cape Town , South Africa .



Stock Watch

Report as at Thursday, August 22, 2013




Special Report

When will trailers stop becoming harbingers of death on Nigerian roads? From Ayodele Samuel and Suleiman Idris, Lagos


anko Aliyu (not real names) left home, overjoyed, one early Monday morning in November 2012, from Kaduna, travelling to Abuja to meet with his new employers who had informed him the previous day of his appointment as one of the new sales representatives of their company. Tanko, who had been jobless for over three years, even after graduating with a first class degree, was eager to resume duties in Abuja and get acquainted with his new environment. However, he would never resume at his new job as fate had other plans for him. The bus he was travelling in was involved in an unfortunate accident with an articulated vehicle whose driver lost control of the mammoth machine a few kilometers from Abuja and Tanko was one of the 14 people that lost their lives. Sad as his tale may be, it is only one of the stories of thousands of victims who have lost their lives to the ‘trailers of death’, as they are now being called. Though this is not to say that all articulated vehicles are harbingers of death, the rate at which multiple deaths occur daily from road accidents resulting from their plying the highways is quite alarming. In April 2013 alone, over 100 people lost their lives in accidents involving articulated vehicles. On the 6th of April, 2013, over 20 people were crushed to death in an accident involving a trailer and two buses while 60 people were burnt alive along BeninLagos expressway in commercial and private cars when a fuel tanker lost control and spilled its contents. Two children in a mechanic workshop were among the victims. That same day, 20 persons were killed in an accident at Potiskum, Yobe state, when a mass-transit bus rammed into an articulated vehicle. On April 14th, the AbujaLokoja road witnessed yet another fatality in an accident between a Volkswagen Golf car and an articulated vehicle leaving seven people dead. The next day, April 15th, five people were killed when two private cars collided with an articulated vehicle along Asaba-Onitsha expressway. On the 23rd April, 2013, over 60 houses were feared burnt as a fuel-laden tanker fell at Inalende junction, Ibadan, Oyo state. And so, in less than one month, over 100 people died as a result of

Chidoka has said that accidents on Nigerian roads like this would be reduced by 50 per cent in another four years. accidents involving fuel tankers and trailers and properties worth billions of naira were destroyed. The real figures could be much higher since not all accidents are recorded. According to a report published by the Corps Commander of Federal Road Service Corps (FRSC), Dr. Kayode Olagunju, about 4,076 people were killed and 12,994 others injured in accidents involving fuel tankers and articulated vehicles otherwise known as trailers between 2007 and 2010. There has been a steady rise in the number of fatalities since then and there are predictions that the number will continue to rise. The Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, recently confirmed that Nigeria has the second highest road traffic accident fatalities among the 193 countries of the world. A concerned citizen wrote a piece online about the alarming statistics. He said, “The people who perished in the trailer/tanker accidents never bargained for it. They are not just statistics; they were young men and women with hopes and dreams. They meant the world to their loved ones. There is the story of the husband and wife who were killed

in that crash. They had only been re-united the day before, after 10 years of living apart in different countries. Their children were looking forward to seeing their dad who had been away in Austria for a decade; they never got to see either parent or even their bodies as they died when a fuel tanker rammed into their vehicle on their way home. Occupants of both commercial and private cars as well as pedestrians suffered the most agonising and horrific death imaginable. Men, women and children roasted alive. Their cries of agony and terror only ending when they breathed their last. Parents unable to help their children; husbands unable to help their wives. Most were burnt to ashes, totally beyond recognition and had to be given a mass burial”. That is the agony Nigerians have come to face in recent times. According to the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of the FRSC, Mr. Osita Chidoka, a number of factors are responsible for prevalent road accidents in Nigeria, including over-speeding, he said ranked the highest, overloading of vehicles, the bad condition of Nigerian highways, unqualified and untrained drivers, and lack of proper road

markings, among others. However, many are quick to point fingers at the drivers of trailers and heavy vehicles because, according to them, they lack respect for the average road user. It is normal to see car drivers afraid to overtake them on the highways or queue behind them in traffic. According to Tope Akinola, a doctor at the University Teaching Hospital (UCH), fuel tanker and company trailer drivers are the worst set of road users any motorist could face on the highways. “I hate to travel to Lagos or up north by road just because of the truck drivers because they lack road manners. The number of accidents one witnesses on Nigerian roads, especially with the so called trailers, is sickening and the deaths recorded from such are saddening. The FRSC and other safety regulatory bodies must do more to ensure that the heavy vehicles that ply the highways are properly maintained and their drivers drive with caution,” he said. Mrs. Agnes Okpaloka, a teacher, lamented that most of the trailer drivers travelled long distances without getting much sleep and as a result, are not as

alert as they should be on the highways thus posing a dangerous threat to other road users. She said, “the trailer drivers cover very long distances and sleep less so as to get to their destinations on time. As a result, you often find them relying on alcoholic beverages and bitter cola to keep awake when they travel. I implore the companies who hire these drivers not to set stiff targets for them and allow them rest more.” Others claimed that the drivers of such articulated vehicles, often times, were illiterates who had no formal driving training and as a result, could not identify or obey basic traffic rules, adding that most of them did not possess driver’s licences.

Accordingly, the FRSC, as part of efforts to restore the dignity of the nation’s drivers and ensure that only those who are qualified are issued the licences, prescribed national standards for the driver’s licence, among which is the mandatory attendance of driving school by fresh applicants. The driving school must be certified by the Corps under its Driving School Standardisation Programme (DSSP). It has also introduced compulsory and routine medical checks for commercial drivers. Similarly, the Corps had introduced the Road Transport Safety Standardisation Scheme (RTSSS), to ensure minimum safety standard among fleet operators. Mr. Chidoka had disclosed recently that so far, about 2,843 operators have been registered on the FRSC database while 927 have been certified and are under radar watch to sustain these standards. Also, in response to the spate of accidents involving articulated vehicles in the territory, the FCT Administration had initially restricted trailer movements to between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m within the territory. This was, however, restructured to include between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. The government provided truck terminals at the three entry points to the city. The trailers, whose movement falls within the ban period, are expected to stop temporarily at the terminals until they can be allowed to continue on their journey. According to the state officials, the measure was targeted at discouraging mixed use of road between small vehicles and heavy duty vehicles during peakhours to reduce road accidents and traffic congestion and also to afford drivers of these trucks the opportunity to relax before continuing on their journey. Apart from enforcing a rule on the time articulated vehicles can ply township roads, as is done in many parts of the world, many advocates that it is time for

If road users know that if they are responsible for an accident, they will be forced by the law to pay compensation, they (road users) will be more careful

the government to provide the rail alternative to moving goods and products from one point to the other across the country. The simple reason an unduly high number of articulated vehicles is plying the roads is because the railway system in Nigeria is comatose. An efficient railway system will effectively eliminate the preponderance of unfit articulated vehicles on Nigerian roads, thus addressing the evil of road accidents, which, ironically, kills more than HIV/AIDS and malaria, according to the FRSC. Also, many opine that while Nigerians wait for the construction of a rail network, more could be done especially as regards safety with haulage trucks that carry containers and fuel as regards prevention against their falling off or spillage. Often, haulage trucks have been known to spill their contents or have their cargo fall off the backs of the trucks altogether thus causing varying levels of destruction on the highways. According to Godson Ihenacho, an engineer, there is normally a required weight of tonnage that every vehicle is limited to carry stressing however, that often times, it was the safety precautions of latching or securing the containers to the backs of the truck that was the problem, among other factors coupled with the driver’s experience to tackle an awkward situation on the highway. He said if the safety truck inspectors of various companies, where available, lived up to their duties by ensuring the proper and routine maintenance of their fleet and would properly monitor every outgoing vehicle as regards the proper placing and securing of its cargo, as well as proper training and education of the drivers of such vehicles, there would be less carnages on the roads. Also, the Chief Executive of the Lagos state Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency, Joe Igbokwe said recently, “The government needs to take another look at the laws that guide the use of heavy duty trucks on our roads and enact appropriate legislation to curb the recklessness of the truck drivers. Flat-bed trucks carrying containers must be properly checked to ensure their cargo is properly fastened to the beds. Many times, unfastened containers have fallen from trucks and killed people.” As regards victims, there have been widespread outcries

over compensation from owners of the offending ‘trailers of death’ whenever they are involved in accidents. Many times, victims of such barely live to recount their ordeal and some, as in the cases of fuel tanker accident victims, are burnt beyond recognition. Compensation, in most cases, has always generated controversies with claims and counter-claims from both parties. Some have resulted in legal battles that continue for years. This, as most individuals who spoke to our correspondent opined, was one aspect where they needed the federal government and the Senate to look into. According to Tope Odanye, a social worker, accident victims need to be protected more. “If road users know that if they are responsible for an accident, they will be forced by the law to pay compensation, they (road users) will be more careful. As regards the truck drivers and companies, they should be made to pay huge amounts of money. This way, the companies and people who own the trucks and their drivers will be more responsible and accountable. However, the FRSC has advocated familiarity and compliance with the safety requirements and guidelines for heavy duty trucks and articulated

An accident scene, yesterday at Alaka bus stop, Funso Williams Avenue, in Lagos. vehicles that it published online for public use. Also, according to Chidoka, the FRSC runs a 24/7 call centre, which has been infused into an Emergency Ambulance Service scheme to ensure prompt response to road crashes. It has also formally launched a toll free emergency line, 122,

FRSC officials at the scene of an accident

to ensure a seamless interface between the FRSC and the motoring public in the event of a road crash. The Deputy Corps Public Education Officer, Mr. Bisi Kazeem, also told our correspondent that the FRSC has re-aligned its patrol and

enforcement strategies, by introducing enforcement-free operations in order to stimulate improved safety consciousness among road users in the country, adding that the Corps has also modified its operations to ensure increased presence on the highways.




Signs of repudiated Ramadan A

llah says: “O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you As it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint.” [alBaqarah: 183] In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All Praise is due to Allah! We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our evils and bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah, is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and final messenger to mankind. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon His last and final Apostle, his Household, his companions and all his followers until the end of time. All praise is due to Allah for completing the Ramadan with the full hope of winning the favours of Allah from the little we were able to accomplish notwithstanding our shortcoming. To many, Ramadan came so fast, and finished much faster. Those of us who are still lamenting the passing away of Ramadan; the month of Rahmah, maghfirah and Itqum-minnar, are certainly not in greater number in comparison with those who limped and hobbled behind. Those who just yesterday were in the front queue in salah. I mean those who, immediately stand behind the imam, you just could not find them anywhere near the masjid. Such lose can only attributed to the accursed, no-hopers and damned losers. Thus, it is my intention today to discuss some of signs that cause damnation of Allah; that situation of being condemned to

eternal punishment in Hell. Allah vibrant in Ramadan, and suddenly is certainly awaiting the arrival of return to the bad friends and those glide back and retreat from companies. A forsaken repentance being righteous believers, to be is a disaster and glaring signs of chastened into abyss of hell-fire. misfortunes in life. Ibn Katheer al-Damashqy said: May Allah forbid bad thing! 1. Gliding and sliding away “Whoever lives on something, from the communities of good dies on it. And whoever dies people. Those who have chosen to spend what remain of their times in servitude to Allah, in hidden and in open. Thus, the moment you around By Husain Zakariyya and you don’t see familiar faces in Yawale around the mosques +234-8052952900 (sms only) after Ramadan, pray for them not to be amongst those who, by appearance consistently in the on something will be raised on mosques during the Ramadan, the Day of judgement with it”. thought they could scheme and Therefore if a young man spends deceive Allah. Unfortunately for his time in the worship of Allah, them, non can mislead Allah in any Allah will crown him with honour of dying worshipping Him, and circumstances. 2. Inconsistent with the five on the resurrection day will be daily prayers. If anyone drags his fortunate to be amongst the or her feet in the observance of the righteous ones. Therefore, if you daily prayers, such a person is in are fortunate to find yourself great danger as to the conclusion amongst good company of men, that his or her Ramadan was not grip very well to maintain your perfect. And we all know that Allah does accepts only perfections. Similarly, such a sign is pointing to failure and repudiation of the deeds done during the Ramadan. Once, Hassanul Basri said: “Only acceptable deeds to Allah are followed by series of good deeds. While unforgiveable bad deeds are trailed by chains of bad deeds. if Allah accepts one’s good deeds, He guides him to do more good deeds, and prevents him from misdeeds”. He also said: ”O you son of Adam, if you are not amongst whose good deeds always increase, be aware that you are amongst those whose good deeds decrease”. 3. Returning to bad groups. When you see those who were


position, and never glide away. Continue to pray for consistency in obedience to Allah in all that you do and say. 4. Shelving monthly fasting. If anyone abandons the weekly or monthly fasting, know that one sign of Ramadan repudiation is eminent. This is because a person who is used to fasting a whole period of thirty days, should be able to uphold the weekly or monthly fasting. try to observe at least three days of fasting in every month. But if you can do more, then better. 5. Abandoning the night prayers. The special prayers of tahajjud in very night of the year, should not be abandon or seen as a special deed only in the last days of Ramadan. Tahajjud, unlike Taraweeh, is every night affair for the fortunate and the righteous. This singular deed should be enliven by every good Muslim.

That is to say while Taraweeh is only for the Ramadan, tahajjud is for every night of our lives. We must try to perform it according to our individual ability and time. It is most acceptable to be performed in last part of the night alone in our homes. On final thing I want advice my brothers and sisters is the issue of payment or making up of missed days of fasting during Ramadan. What Allah prefers from His servants are obligatory deeds. Thus, whoever is owing any of the obligatory deeds, he or she must quickly pay and immediately. Anyone who is owning an obligatory deeds, but prefers to do the less important deeds, must be doing his bidding and not Allah’s. Thus, the sitta Shawwal must not be preferred over and above those obligatory ones. Woman should hasten to pay the debts of Ramadan, rather than perform the sitta Shawwal. Allah prefers and love more, the obligatory duties. May Allah continue to help us keep those good deeds we learned and got trained during the previous Ramadan.



By Ian Patel, Sajid Suleman


mid the media furore about the deportation of “radical preacher” Abu Qatada to Jordan last month, an important story was overlooked. In the aftermath of Qatada’s departure, Home Secretary Theresa May spoke not of the nature of terror threats themselves but of the need to remove “the many layers of appeal” that check her ability to deport individuals. “The problems caused by the [UK] Human Rights Act,” she told the commons,“andbytheEuropeanCourtin Strasbourg, remain... The Human Rights Act must be scrapped.” Her government, were it to gain a majority in the next election, is not opposed to withdrawing from the European Convention itself. A largely forgotten story about the Abu Qatada case concerns the UK government’s impatience both with human rights protection for criminal suspects under UK law and the international ban on torture. These long-enshrined legal safeguards have interrupted the illegal excesses of the UK executive’s “war on terror”, and now the very channels that uphold these safeguards are in jeopardy. Under the banner of post-9/11 national security, the government has reserved particular mistreatment for those certified “international suspected terrorists”. Its first action, in 2001, was to pass legislation allowing for such suspects to be indefinitely detained. This practice continued until 2004, when the UK’s own highest judges ruled that indefinite detention was illegal - and more precisely, “the stuff of nightmares”. Since 2005, the UK government has concentrated on trying to deport foreign “terror suspects”. Thegovernment’sattemptstodeport foreignterrorsuspectsareboundtoendin failure,however,sincethereisanabsolute prohibition on sending someone to a country where he or she will be at risk of torture. As Article 3 of the UN Torture Convention puts it: “No State Party shall expel, return or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing he could be in dangerofbeingsubjectedtotorture”.This is an uninfringeable protection and no appeal to “national security” can make it permissible. Rather than respecting this international ban on torture, the UK has tried to rely on diplomatic “assurances” from the receiving state, whatever their human rights record, that it won’t torture the deported suspect. Of course, the UK must protect itself from foreign nationals it believes to be a threat. But the government rationale thus far has been to try to move foreign terror suspects “far away from Britain”, and in doing so circumvent constitutional protections and sacrifice the opportunity to ascertain guilt by trial and ensure custody in the UK. A Freedom of Information Request submitted by journalist Romil Patel establishes that Labour and coalition governments have tried to deport 37 suspects since 2005. However only 10 of these have been successfully deported, the most visible case (that of Abu Qatada) taking12yearstoresolve.Noneofthese10 deporteespursuedhisfullrightsofappeal; all of them left voluntarily. Much has been made of the fact that Qatada received £865,000 ($1.35m) of public money in legal aid. The reason the figure is so high is because a dozen senior British judges ruled in his favour that the



Appealing against torture: Deportation, the UK and human rights

Abu Qatada UK’s reliance on diplomatic assurances was illegal, thus extending his appeal process. The original decision to rely on diplomatic assurances (the UK began its Deportation With Assurances (DWA) policy in 2005) flew in the face of internationalhumanrightsjudgmentson thesubject,andthereforethegovernment must have known its attempts to deport suspectsunderthispolicywouldmeetwith lengthy and costly appeal procedures. The shift in UK policy from indefinite detention to diplomatic assurances is in fact no shift at all, but a move from one violation of international law to another. The conclusion of the Abu Qatada case last month shows a history of resistance from the courts against the government’s policy, but at the same time reveals how critical the situation has become. The treatment of foreign terror suspects Since 2005, the government has pursuedadifferentpolicydesigned,finally, to deal with “international suspected terrorists”. If it could not detain them indefinitely, or deport them in the usual manner, it would obtain diplomatic assurances (a MOU, “memorandum of understanding”)fromthestateinquestion that the suspect would not be subject to torture or ill treatment. The very need for diplomatic assurances confirms that the receiving state has a substantial, existing record of human rights violations. The states

already and likely to be petitioned for such memoranda (Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordon, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco,SaudiArabia,Syria,andYemen) are already parties to the United Nations Convention against Torture and have therefore already committed not to resort to torture under any circumstances. Diplomatic assurances therefore do not provide any additional protection to the deportees. No state will admit that it practices torture. In the notorious case of Ahmed Agiza, an Egyptian national deported from Sweden to Egypt in December 2001, such assurances were responsible for his torture in a Cairo prison. Whether diplomatic assurances are oral or committed to detailed writing and provision, they are brokered at a diplomaticlevelandhavenobindingforce in law. If the assurances are breached , the deporting government is left without a mechanism to hold the receiving government legally accountable. In other words, diplomatic assurances are inherently unreliable and unenforceable. From the UN Human Rights Committee to the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights - and from advocacy groups such as Liberty to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International-diplomaticassuranceshave been unequivocally condemned. The UN Special Rapporteur Against Torture calls them “utterly meaningless”, reiterating that “the prohibition to transfer a person

to a jurisdiction where he or she may be tortured is absolute in international law”. UK Supreme Court justices (formally known as law lords) have a poor record in allowing the use of assurances. Legal decisions concerning national security cases are always subject to political pressure, and rulings on the use of assurances are particularly sensitive to politics. The UK government, most prominently among European governments, has invoked national security concerns in order to cow its highestjudgesintosacrificingcertainlegal safeguards. It has also succeeded in deflecting judges’attentionawayfromthelikelihood that assurances will lead to a violation of Article3,towardstheviewthatassurances arefordeportinggovernmentsthemselves to assess, in terms of the strength of the bilateral relationship in question and the current political situation in the receiving state. From indefinite detention to deportation The case of Abu Qatada reveals the issues at their clearest. Theresa May is claiming victory in deporting Abu Qatada last month, but this is surely Pyrrhic given the length of his appeal process and legal judgements in his favour. Qatada came to Britain in 1993 requesting asylum, alleging that he had been detained and tortured by the Jordanian intelligence services. He was recognised as a refugee in 1994 and

The case of Abu Qatada reveals the issues at their clearest. Theresa May is claiming victory in deporting Abu Qatada last month, but this is surely Pyrrhic given the length of his appeal process and legal judgements in his favour.

granted leave to remain in the UK for an initial period of four years. In 1998 he applied for indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Qatada was arrested and held indefinitely in 2002 (under Part 4 of the 2001 Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act), and had therefore already seen one legal appeal successfully upheld (in the landmark Belmarshjudgement) when hisdeportationeventuallyreachedappeal stage in 2008. Two courts - the UK Court of Appeal andtheEuropeanCourtofHumanRights - ruled against Qatada’s deportation, though the House of Lords allowed it. The Strasbourg Court, when it heard the case, delivered what ought to be the final blow to the use of assurances. In direct opposition to the House of Lords ruling, it stated (in paragraph 187) that assurances alone are never enough to justify deportation to a state such as Jordon;theyaremerelya“relevantfactor” that does not in itself “ensure adequate protection”. However, in what was likely an acknowledgement of the enormous political pressure from the UK to acquiesce in a sensitive case, the Court was ambivalent in its judgment of assurances. It accepted that assurances mightinaparticularbilateralarrangement be sufficient to protect deportees, but stressed that its acceptance of Jordanian assurances with respect to Qatada was exceptional and not a general principle. Eight days after the Court blocked the deportation, David Cameron vented some of his fury in an address to the Council of Europe: “In Britain we have gone through all reasonable national processes... including painstaking international agreements about how they should be treated... and scrutiny by ourowncourts...andyetwearestillunable to deport them. “ In order to resolve Qatada’s case, the British government secured a binding bilateral treaty with the Jordanian government, meaning that in effect diplomatic assurances were abandoned in favour of something more enforceable. The UK has now no doubt secured anagreementsufficienttoprotectQatada, but this has been an exceptional and extremely lengthy (and economically costly) case. Qatada’s eventual protection was thanks not to the UK government but to the many dissenting British and European justices who ensured Qatada’s right to a fair trial was taken seriously. Thepoliticalwranglingovernecessary enhancements to Jordanian assurances maskedamoreuncomfortabletruth-that the government was willing to accept torture in the name of national security. In the pending, lesser-known cases of deportation, the concerns surrounding the use of assurances remain, as does the pressure on the deportees to leave voluntarily. The government refuses to realise the enormity of its policies however. By rubbishing international justice in favour ofitsown“reasonablenationalprocesses”; by pretending that assurances are an effectiveprotectionagainsttorture;andby threatening judges both domestically and internationally with overhaul of appeal procedures and withdrawal from the European Convention, the government continues to be impatient towards longenshrined human rights protections. Source: Al Jazeera.



International Mubarak released from prison, faces house arrest

Supporters of Mubarak rejoicing his release


ormer Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been released from prison, according to state television. The longtime autocrat was taken from Cairo’s Tora prison by medical helicopter yesterday, following a court ruling which ordered his release. He was initially taken to a military hospital in Maadi, a suburb in southern Cairo.

A small crowd of supporters gathered outside the prison and cheered as the helicopter took off. Egypt’s interim prime minister’s office has said former President Hosni Mubarak will be placed under house arrest, following a court ruling stating he could be released from prison pending further investigation into corruption charges against him. It was unclear where he would be

held: in Cairo, at his villa in the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, or elsewhere. The former president, who was toppled in a 2011 uprising, has been told he can prepare for future court appearances from home. Meanwhile, the April 6 youth movement has called protests on Friday against his release. But his release was met with indifference from many Egyptians, who are more focused on the country’s recent political crisis and last week’s massacre of supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi. Mubarak still faces a retrial on charges of killing protesters during the 2011 revolution, and three other corruption cases as well. But he has already spent more than two years in pre-trial detention, the maximum allowed under Egyptian law, and so the courts have ruled him eligible for release pending trial. At least one of those corruption cases against Mubarak could be close to a settlement. Wednesday’s ruling ordering his release concerns the so-called “Ahram gifts” case, in which Mubarak allegedly accepted $11m worth of gifts, including

jewelry and watches, from the state-run newspaper Al-Ahram. He has allegedly already repaid the amount of the gifts, and the other defendants in the case have been released, suggesting that the charges against Mubarak could eventually be dropped. He also faces charges of embezzling money from a fund earmarked for presidential palace renovations. A judge working on this case ordered him released on Monday, on the same procedural grounds. A separate charge accuses him of “illicit gains” during his presidency. Mubarak was convicted last year of involvement in the murder of protesters during the 2011 uprising, and sentenced to life in prison, but was granted a retrial in January. His next hearing is scheduled for August 25. A free Mubarak would be seen by some Egyptians as another sign of the old regime reasserting itself, just weeks after Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, was toppled by the military. He would emerge from a prison which now houses numerous senior members of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.

Mugabe sworn in for seventh presidential term


imbabwe’s veteran leader Robert Mugabe has been sworn in for a new five-year term in a massive stadium inauguration that was boycotted by his election rival. Mugabe, 89, pledged “to observe, uphold and defend the constitution of Zimbabwe” in an oath administered by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, extending his 33-year rule. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai insists the July 31 vote that returned the 89-year-old to power for the seventh term was rigged and shunned the swearing-in. The event took place at the country’s largest 60,000-seater sports stadium on Thursday, with around 40 world leaders invited. Thousands of Mugabe’s

supporters trooped in from across the country. A constitutional court ruling confirmed Mugabe as president and declared the elections “free, fair and credible”, adding the results “reflected the free will of the people of Zimbabwe”. But Tsvangirai’s spokesman said the opposition leader “couldn’t attend a robber’s party”. The inauguration had been delayed after Tsvangirai challenged the poll results in a petition to the constitutional court. Unlike previous investitures which were low-key, the ceremony was high-profile in what is seen as a show of power designed to confer legitimacy amid persistent questions

Tunisian Islamists accept union plan to dissolve government



unisia’s governing Islamists edged closer to negotiations with secular opponentsyesterday,byagreeingin principle to a plan for a transition toward new elections proposed by the powerful trade unions. The UGTT trade union federation, whichismediatingbetweenEnnahdaand its critics, has proposed the government

step down and let a neutral interim cabinet prepare new elections. Ennahda had rejected this in the past but changed course this week. The birthplace of the Arab Spring revolts, Tunisia is struggling to defend its nascent democracy against political polarization and popular discontent, especially after Egypt’s army ousted anotherelectedIslamistleader,Mohamed Mursi. RachedGhannouchi,chairmanofthe IslamistEnnahdaparty,saidnegotiations wouldquicklyresolvethestandoffthathas paralyzed Tunisian politics for almost a month and led to major protests and calls for the government to resign. “We will get out of this crisis very soon,” Ghannouchi told journalists after meeting UGTT Secretary General Hussein Abassi. “We accept the UGTT initiativeinprincipletobeginthedialogue” with the opposition.

Mugabe (centre) waving during the swearing- in ceremony around the vote, which extended Mugabe’s 33-year grip on power. The electoral commission declared Mugabe winner with 61 percent of the vote, against Tsvangirai’s 34.

The elections ended a shaky power-sharing government formed by Mugabe and Tsvangirai four years ago to avoid a political conflict following a bloody presidential runoff election.

R-L: President Gooluck Jonathan, presenting souvenir to outgoing Czech Republic Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Jaroslav Siro, during the envoy’s farewell visit to the president, yesterday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

S Africa faces strike wave as labour strife widens


outh Africa faced a strike wave across leading sectors of the economy yesterday and the labor unrest threatened to hit its struggling gold industry, already squeezed by rising costs and falling bullion prices. Despite appeals from President Jacob Zuma and other government leaders for peaceful wage negotiations in Africa’s largest economy, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said its members in the construction sector would down tools from Monday. The NUM was also consulting its membership on a strike in the gold industry, which could start next week following an impasse in salary talks with mining companies. Although South Africa has fallen in the world ranking of gold producers, gold remains its main mineral export and the industrial action, including an auto industry strike already underway, will inflict more damage on the struggling economy. Violent wildcat strikes in the mining industry last year cost billions of dollars in lost output, dented economic growth, and led to damaging downgrades of South Africa’s credit rating. More than 50 people died in protests at the mines. The strife has also battered the rand, which dropped to a new fouryear low against the dollar early on Thursday. “We trust that working together, all parties will cooperate and see value in promoting lasting labor peace in our crucial mining sector,” Zuma said yesterday. He was addressing a gathering of the 85,000-member SACTWU textile workers’ union, which is also considering a strike. Increasing wage claims and militancy among workers struggling to make ends meet as their living costs rise, are a major problem for Zuma’s African National Congress (ANC) government before elections scheduled for next year. It faces accusations that since apartheid ended in 1994, Nelson Mandela’s liberation movement has paid more attention to the interests of a wealthy elite than to the country’s workers, unemployed and poor. Trade Minister Rob Davies recognized “a deteriorating labor relations environment, rooted in deep inequalities, rooted in insecurities arising from changes in the fortunes of the mining industry, insufficient career pathing, high levels of worker indebtedness”. “All of this, we think, has created a situation where there are very high wage demands and a loss of patience with more moderate negotiating frameworks,” he said in Cape Town.




Syria opposition demands UN probe into alleged chemical attacks


yria’s opposition demanded yesterday that United Nations chemical weapons inspectors immediately investigate a besieged rebel-held region hit by an alleged chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds of people a day earlier. Syrian President Bashar alAssad’s forces have continued a heavy bombardment of the ring of rebel-held suburbs around the capital, known as the Ghouta region, which activists say will further hinder U.N. investigators from entering the area, only a few kilometers from the team’s Damascus hotel. “We are asking for this team to go directly, with complete freedom ... to the site of the crimes which took place yesterday,” George Sabra, a prominent member of the umbrella opposition’s National

Coalition, told Reuters. He said the U.N. Security Council should amend the mission of the team, tasked with investigating a few sites of previous alleged chemical attacks, to give it the right to visit any site. “But we are doubtful because the mission of these experts is constrained by the Syrian regime, limited to a few areas which it will take them to,” he said by telephone. With Wednesday’s death toll estimated between 500 and 1,300, what would be the world’s most lethal chemical weapons attack since the 1980s prompted an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council in New York. Syrian authorities have denied the army used chemical weapons. Opposition activists said men, women and children were killed

as they slept. Activists say several towns in Ghouta where hit with rockets loaded with poison gas at dawn on Wednesday. The Security Council did not explicitly demand a U.N. investigation of the incident, although it said “clarity” was needed and welcomed U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon’s calls for a prompt investigation by the inspection team in Syria, led by AkeSellstrom. An earlier Western-drafted statement submitted to the Security Council, seen by Reuters, was not approved. The final version of the statement was watered down to accommodate objections from Russia and China, diplomats said. Moscow and Beijing have vetoed previous Western efforts to impose U.N. penalties on Assad. Many rebels and activists in the opposition area say they had lost

interest in U.N. investigations or help from Western powers abroad. Some say the rebels should take matters into their own hands and retaliate. “The families of Ghouta have lost hope in any investigation committees, which have offered us no relief since the revolution began two years ago ... We are 7 kilometers away, just a 5 minute car ride from where they are staying. We’re being exterminated with poison gas while they drink their coffee and sit inside their hotels,” said activist Bara Abdelraman, speaking by Skype. “As leaders of the activists and opposition, of course we still call for the entrance of investigators and vow to protect them, as it is a responsibility before God to do everything we can for our people who are being massacred.”

Japan scrambles jets, accuses Russia of intrusion


wo Russian bombers briefly entered Japan’s air space near its major southern island of Kyushu yesterday, prompting Japan to scramble its fighter jets and lodge a protest, the Japanese defense and foreign ministries said. If true, it was the first such intrusion since February, when two Russian fighter jets entered Japan’s air space near its main northern island of Hokkaido. The two TU-95 bombers arrived shortly after noon yesterday for less than two minutes, the ministries said. Japan scrambled F-2 combat jets in response. In Moscow, asked about the alleged intrusion at a regular news conference, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said he was unaware of the reports and would look into them. The incident comes after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo

A Japanese F-2 fighter jet Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed in April to revive talks on resolving a long-running territorial dispute. Tokyo and Moscow have

conflicting claims over a string of islets called the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan, which have prevented the two from signing a treaty formally

ending their World War Two hostilities. Japanese defense and foreign ministry officials declined to speculate on the reasons behind the intrusion.

promotion to the Politburo Standing Committee, China’s seven-member top decision-making body. But in February 2012, as China prepared for its once-in-a-decade leadership handover, questions emerged over the death of a British businessman, Neil Heywood. Mr Bo’s downfall was seen as the biggest political shake-up to hit China’s ruling elite in decades. His wife, GuKailai, has since been convicted of Mr Heywood’s murder. Correspondents say the trial is as much about getting rid of a popular politician as it is about criminal wrongdoing. Mr Bo is widely expected to be found guilty. The trial - which started at 08:30 (00:30 GMT) - is taking place at the Intermediate People’s Court in Jinan, in eastern Shandong province. The court is providing an account of proceedings on its official microblog. “I hope the judge will try this case fairly and justly according to the law

of the country,” Mr Bo reportedly said. Five of Mr Bo’s relatives are said to have been in court, along with 19 journalists and 84 other people. Foreign journalists have not been allowed in. According to the indictment posted by the court, Mr Bo is accused of receiving bribes totalling 21.8m yuan ($3.56m; £2.28m) from two Dalian-based businessmen. Mr Bo denied accepting any money in the form of bribes. The court microblog quoted him as saying about one of the cases: “That [businessman] Tang Xiaolin gave me three bribes - that did not happen. He asked me to help him sort out something, and these were all done according to procedure.” Mr Bo said he had admitted this “against his will” under questioning, adding: “What I meant was that I was willing to take the legal responsibility but I had no idea of all these details back then.”

Disgraced China politician fights back as trial opens


isgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai has fought back in court against charges of bribery on the opening day of the country’s biggest political trial in decades. Mr Bo said he was coerced into making a confession and rubbished testimony from witnesses who

Xilai (middle) during trial.

included his wife. The former Chongqing Communist boss is also charged with corruption. He faces charges of abuse of power relating to his wife’s role in the murder of a British businessman. Two years ago the 64-year-old high-flier was seen as a candidate for

Asia & Middle East UN attacks Australia over refugees’ detention



ustralia broke international human rights rules when it denied a group of refugees a chance to challenge their detention, imposed on security grounds, a United Nations watchdog has said. The criticism from the UN Human Rights Committee came yesterday, as a legal challenge was launched in Australia on behalf of a detained Iranian asylum-seeker over Australia’s controversial offshore processing deal with Papua New Guinea (PNG). “Australia’s indefinite detention of 46 recognised refugees on security grounds amounted to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, inflicting serious psychological harm on them,” the UN committee said in a written statement. It said in a review of complaints from the refugees - 42 Sri Lankan Tamils, three Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar and a Kuwaiti - that their detention was arbitrary and broke the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Asylum-seekers have become a top issue in the lead-up to Australia’s federal election on September 7, with tough policies by the ruling Labor party and the opposition on “boatpeople” proving popular in opinion polls. Under Australia’s PNG deal, the Pacific nation would be the primary processing and resettlement country for asylum-seekers attempting to reach Australia by boat, but it has already been criticised by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Lawyers representing an Iranian asylum-seeker detained on Manus Island are challenging the agreement, known as the “PNG Solution”, in Australia’s High Court. The challenge argues that the decision to send their client to PNG is illegal because it fails to take into account Australia’s international treaty obligations and Papua New Guinea’s domestic law. Barrister Mark Robinson has said that his client’s removal from Australia was invalid. The PNG opposition has launched legal action in Papua New Guinea’s courts in an attempt to thwart the deal. However, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd shrugged off the notion of legal challenges to the agreement on Tuesday. “There’s always going to be challenges,’’ Rudd said on the campaign trail in Brisbane for Australia’s September 7 election.



International UK, 36 others call for action on Syria chemical attack


he UK, France and Turkey are leading calls for a tough international response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria on Wednesday in which activists said hundreds were killed. The UK is calling for UN weapons inspectors already in Syria to be granted access as a matter of urgency. “The UK along with 36 other countries has written to the secretary general formally referring this incident to the UN and calling for the UN team to be granted the necessary access to enable their investigation into these latest allegations as a matter of urgency,” the British Foreign Office said in a statement. However, there is no sign that the UN team will be allowed to investigate

The team only has a mandate to visit three sites agreed between the UN and the Syrian government. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that if proven, the attacks would merit a “reaction of force”. MrFabius told the French BFM TV channel that if the attack was confirmed, “it’s right at the moment when the inspectors are in place,” adding that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would be mocking the international community. Turkish Foreign Minister AhmetDavutoglu also stressed the need for action. “All red lines have been crossed but still the UN Security Council has not even been able to take a decision,” MrDavutoglu said. The UN Security Council met on Wednesday for an emergency session after news of the attacks

B Fabius emerged. UN officials said it was a “serious escalation” and that clarity was needed over the attacks. UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said any investigation would require the consent of

the Syrian government and was dependent on the security situation. Some 35 member states called for the UN team already in Syria to be dispatched immediately to the scene.

Britain begins criminal inquiry over Snowden-linked data



ritain has begun a criminal inquiry after seizing potentially dangerous documents from the partner of a journalist who has led coverage of Edward Snowden’s leaks about U.S. and British electronic spying, a lawyer for the police said yesterday. The investigation is the latest twist

in a surveillance scandal that has pitted U.S. President Barack Obama against the Kremlin and prompted British Prime Minister David Cameron’s advisers to demand the return of secrets from the Guardian newspaper. Using anti-terrorism powers, British police detained David Miranda, partner of American journalist Glenn

Greenwald, for nine hours at London’s Heathrow Airport on Sunday. Miranda, a Brazilian citizen who had been ferrying documents between Greenwald and a Berlinbased journalist contact of Snowden’s, was released without charge minus his laptop, phone, a computer hard drive and memory sticks. At a hearing in London’s High Court over Miranda’s lawyers attempt to prevent British authorities from looking at the tens of thousands of documents on the devices, a lawyer for London’s Metropolitan Police said some contained dangerous information. “That which has been inspected contains, in view of police, highly sensitive material the disclosure of which would be gravely injurious to public safety and thus the police have initiated a criminal investigation,” Jonathan Laidlaw said. The police declined immediate comment on what the criminal investigation was about. Miranda’s

lawyer, Gwendolen Morgan, told reporters that she knew very little about the investigation or what the basis for it was. Laidlaw refused further comment. Greenwald, who is based in Brazil and writes for Britain’s Guardian, has published articles based on documents leaked by Snowden, the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor who faces criminal charges in the United States. It was unclear what documents Miranda was carrying or what secrets could have forced Britain to act in such a way. Greenwald has vowed that Britain would come to regret its actions which he said were an attempt to intimidate him. Two High Court judges, Jack Beatson and Kenneth Parker, ruled that the British authorities could continue to look at the information from Miranda for the defense of national security and to investigate any possible links to terrorism.

can be found at on the website of the Director of US National Intelligence, James Clapper. Clapper authorised the declassification, partly in response to a lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontiers Foundation,

an internet civil liberties and rights group. The emails represent a small slice of the approximately 250 million email communications targeted for collection by the NSA every year.

Documents reveal illegal NSA intercepts


he United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) illegally collected as many as 56,000 emails of US citizens annually between 2008 and 2011, according to declassified documents released by authorities. The US intelligence agency says that the collections were unintentional and due to technical issues, and that the emails were subsequently destroyed. The once-classified documents were released by US intelligence agencies on Wednesday as part of an unprecedented White House effort to smooth the uproar following revelations by former contractor Edward Snowden about the extent of secret government surveillance programmes. US officials say the documents show that intelligence collection programmes that inadvertently intrude on Americans’ privacy are found and fixed. The revelations also raise new

questions, however, about operations by the NSA and the oversight of those operations by courts operating under the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). “The court is troubled that the government’s revelations regarding the NSA’s acquisition of Internet transactions mark the third instance in less than three years in which the government has disclosed a substantial misrepresentation regarding the scope of a major collection program,” Judge John Bates of the surveillance court wrote in one of the declassified documents. More specifically, Bates said in an October 2011 ruling that the court had concluded that the process that resulted in improper collections of the tens of thousands of emails was “in some respects, deficient on statutory and constitutional grounds”. The newly declassified documents

Europe and Americas ‘I am a woman’Bradley Manning

NSA Chief, Keith Alexander

radley Manning, the US soldier who leaked secret US government documents to the Wikileaks website, has announced he wants to live as a woman. “I am Chelsea Manning,” Pte First Class Manning, 25, said in a statement to NBC’s Today programme. “I am a female.” He said he had felt female since childhood, wanted at once to begin hormone therapy, and wished to be addressed as Chelsea. He has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for crimes including espionage. He could be released on parole after at least seven years in jail, his civilian lawyer David Coombs has said. Mr Coombs has asked President Barack Obama to pardon Pte Manning, and has pledged to appeal against the verdict and sentence. Pte Manning will serve his sentence at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and yesterday, Mr Coombs indicated he was willing to take legal action to force the prison to provide hormone therapy if authorities refused. He said Pte Manning had not indicated whether he wanted to undergo sex reassignment surgery. “The ultimate goal is to be comfortable in her skin and to be the person that she’s never had an opportunity to be,” he said. Asked why Pte Manning was making this announcement now, the day after his sentencing, Mr Coombs said: “Chelsea didn’t want to have this be something that overshadowed the case.” Pte Manning’s struggles with his identity formed a key part of his defence through his weeks-long court martial. Defence witnesses, including therapists who had treated Pte Manning, testified he had said he wanted to transition to being a woman, suggesting his problems with his gender identity affected his mental health. US military prosecutors, meanwhile, described Pte Manning as a notoriety-seeking traitor and asked for a 60-year sentence in order to deter future intelligence leakers. Manning, who grew up in the US state of Oklahoma and in Wales, joined the Army in 2009 to help pay for university and, according to court martial defence testimony, to rid himself of his desire to become a woman. Trained as an intelligence analyst, he was deployed to Iraq in 2010. There, he became disillusioned with the war and felt increasingly isolated from his friends and family. In May of that year, he initiated what subsequently became one of the largest leaks of classified US government documents ever hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and battlefield reports from Afghanistan and Iraq.



Strange World

Absorb caffeine through the skin with Sprayable energy


prayable Energy is a patent-pending invention that allows people to get all the energy benefits of caffeine without the dreaded coffee aftertaste. The spray is absorbed through the skin and distributed through the body over a period of several hours, giving the user a long-lasting caffeine buzz. 21-year-old Ben Yu and his partner DevenSoni have recently launched a campaign on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo for an innovative product called Sprayable Energy. The small plastic can contains an unscented, colorless formula that gives users that much needed boost of energy without the jitters and sudden caffeine crash. ”Coffee didn’t work for me,” Yu told Inc. com. “When I ingest it, it’s like roller coaster ride of energy.” He decided to work on an alternative to the popular beverage in October 2012, while trying to get a degree in biochemistry. He started researching how nicotine patches worked, and like any young inventor, used himself as a

A can of sprayable energy.

test-subject for his experiments. His father, who holds a PhD in chemistry, also helped out, and after a lot of hard work, Ben came up with a special formula containing water, a derivative of the amino acid tyrosine, and caffeine that could be sprayed on the skin and offer the same energy buzz of coffee without the nasty taste and side-effects. Now all they

needed was an extra $15,000 to develop the product line. Sprayable Energy is meant to be applied on the neck, wrists or wherever else someone might spray a fragrance. Each dose contains less caffeine than a normal cup of coffee, but packs the same amount of energy because, as Ben and Deven explain, “the product, not being ingested, isn’t

She said: “I didn’t think I’d dislocated it – you don’t expect it to happen eating a burger! But I tried to eat it with a knife and fork and couldn’t. I couldn’t open my mouth fully. “It felt like I had cramp in my tongue, then I started to get an ear ache and a headache. The next morning I woke up and felt really, really ill. The whole side of my head was hurting. “Then it started to feel like it was in my jaw and I knew I’d dislocated it.” An x-ray in the emergency department at the Royal Liverpool university hospital confirmed her fears and a doctor quickly manipulated her jaw back into place using his thumbs. “The minute it went back in it was like turning a tap off in my head,” Peate said. “All the tension just went.” A second x-ray assured medics

that everything was back to normal and she was discharged and warned to “stifle yawns” and not to open her jaw too far for a fortnight. Peate has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), which means she has hyper-flexible joints that are unstable and therefore prone to dislocation, so she has visited many hospitals over the years. She added: “The Royal gave me the best dislocation treatment I’ve had. Everyone was really helpful and friendly. If it happens again, I would choose to go back.” Peate, who is getting married next year, said she is relieved it did not happen before her big day. “I’ll stick to canape-sized burgers at my wedding.” she said. “I will be more conscious of the size of food in future. If I had a big burger, I’d cut it up with a knife and fork.” The clinical director of the Royal’s emergency department, Kathryn Clark, said: “Thankfully, incidents such as this are rare but our staff are very experienced in diagnosing and correcting dislocations. “I’m glad Nicola had such a positive experience at the Royal and I hope that in future she takes more care when eating over-sized burgers. “If food is too large, we would recommend cutting it into more manageable chunks, particularly if you have Elhers-Danlos syndrome.” A spokeswoman for the restaurant invited Nicola to enjoy a burger on them – complete with an emergency kit including cutlery and painkillers should she need it.

almost entirely metabolized by the liver before entering your system and becoming available to your body. Thus, a smaller amount of caffeine can have just the same effect as a very large amount of caffeine ingested through an energy drink or cup of coffee.” Two sprays on each side of the neck equal one cup of coffee, and the maximum

number of sprays recommended is five within five hours, or 20 sprays per day. If you’re wondering about the product’s safety, Yu says there is no cause for concern. First of all, a spray can easily be wiped off before it is absorbed into the skin, and even if you were to spray yourself a thousand times, the saturation effect would prevent an overdose. The funding campaign for Sprayable Energy has already crossed the required $15,000 mark, and Ben told Businessweek they hope to make it available by the end of October. Each bottle will contain 40 doses and is expected to retail at $15. But don’t throw away your coffee supplies just yet. Sprayable Energy has yet to be approved by the FDA, and they have a history of rejecting caffeine-based products. But does Sprayable Energy really work? I have yet to try it myself, but Fast Company’s Anya Kamenetz tried throughout her workday and reported that every dose took between two and seven minutes to take effect, making her feel “like I drank my coffee very, very quickly”.

Woman dislocates jaw eating burger 9 year old girls stand on flying planes for record

Nicola enjoying some dessert.


woman almost bit off more than she could chew at a burger restaurant when she was left nursing a dislocated jaw. Nicola Peate, 25, had to have her jaw put back into place by medics after it locked while she was attempting to get her teeth around a “triple-patty” burger at a Liverpool restaurant. The social media manager initially tried to laugh it off when the incident happened during a work night out at Almost Famous, on Parr Street, Liverpool. After her fiance, Neil Docking, finished the remainder of the “Kids in America” burger, containing pretzels and candied bacon, the pair made their way home oblivious to the seriousness of the injury. But by the time Peate, from Ormskirk, Lancashire, arrived at work the next day the pain had become unbearable.


wo nine-year-old girls have taken to the skies to become the world’s youngest formation wingwalkers. Rose Powell and Flame Brewer, who are cousins, flew metres apart above RAF Rendcomb in Gloucestershire. They have become the third generation of their families to wing-walk on the bi-planes, which are owned by pilot and grandfather Vic Norman. In 2009, Flame’s brother Tiger became the youngest to wing-walk with his grandfather. He was eight at the time. ‘Superwoman pose’ Rose, a student at Thomas’s school in Fulham, west London, said her cousin had the idea but it was a “once in a lifetime experience”.

“It’s quite scary when you take off but if you like mega funfair rides I think you’ll find the take-off really cool,” she added. “The best bit was probably taking off or doing the Superwoman pose.” Her cousin Flame, who attends Notting Hill Prep school, said: “It was really fun and really windy. The best bit is just being in the air.” They wanted to use the challenge as a way of raising money and awareness for the Duchenne Children’s Trust, which raises money for research into the fatal genetic disease Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The Cirencester-based AeroSuperBatics team has claimed the record based on it being the only aerobatic formation wingwalking team in the world.

Wing-walkers Rose Powell and Flame Brewer, aged nine, take to the skies



Weekend Revue


J-Town artists set to host Afrian Peace Music Fiesta in September

By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


usicians in Jos, the Pla te au st at e capital have concluded plans

to host musicians from ot h er par t of t h e wor ld in a musical concert that would be targeted at peace in the st at e. Plateau sate had since 2000

been clouded by ethnic and religious crises and has become a flash point in the north central. The September 21st and 22nd epic event which is organised by ‘ Oyoyo Africa Global Initiative’,

would open a new chapter for peace in the state. Already, high profile musicians from Canada, America, South Africa and other 17 countries have been penciled

Wizkid may share the fate of Majek Fashek


o say Wizkid is a kid might be an understatement, but looking at his age, on e w o uld beg in to wonder why some so called celebrities don’t learn from the mistakes of those before them, who had all the fame and fortunes in their hands but messed up with it. At 23, Wizkid is not too young to father a child, which he has reportedly and allegedly done. To say he’s suffering


from a half baked-education might not be an excuse because Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and others didn’t finish their educations but are world players today. Also, Segun Obe didn’t finish from school but he’s doing well for himself. 2Face, who is the king of new generation artistes, didn’t finish from school, he is not only responsible but humble.

Pride they say, comes before fall. For an artiste to call a fan ‘broke’ is uncalled for. One of the reasons I personally don’t regard celebrities is because like I always say, they are not better than a cleaner but only had a camera advantage on others. Fans put food in their tables and cater for them. I hope Wizkid has not forgot how he used to clean and run errands for

some artistes at OJB Jezreel’s studio in Surulere. How Banky W helped him to become what he is today, how this same fans spent their hard-earned money to buy his CDs, pay for VIP tickets just to hear him sing for less than 30mins when they can comfortably do that by buying his N50 CD at Alaba International Market, Lagos. If such fan who has paid N1million for a table to just hear him sing his ‘jargons’ is now being called broke and poor, then this is likely to be the beginning of the end of Wizkid. Maybe he should remember that no one reigns forever. Many years ago, Majek Fashek used to be the star, but today, where is he? This is not a sort of mockery of the veteran singer but our new stars should learn from mistakes of others to shape their lives. I hope tomorrow won’t come and someone brings sentiment and sympathy to get Nigerians to help Wizkid, God forbid. But the fact is, whatever you sow, you shall reap. Nobody ever knew OJB Jezreel will cry out to Nigerians for help because he made money doing what he loved doing best some years ago. If he had called a fan back then ‘broke’, I wonder if anyone would help him today. Wizkid, you don’t need to take my advice, but remember that ‘pride comes before fall.’ Source: Nigeriafilms. com

for the much anticipated fiesta. Meanwhile, the foreign artists would be thrilled by varieties of African music by the host artists and other top Nigerian music artists.

Will Shahid Kapoor go bald for Hamlet


ndia Today, has said the “ Phata poster nikla hero” actor is link-up with Priyanka Chopra to his clarification on ‘not dating Huma Qureshi’, adding that the actor will shave his head for his role in Vishal Bhardwaj’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy Hamlet. A leading tabloid quoted a source as saying, “Shahid’s look will be remarkably different from his usual self. Just the way Laurence did for his Oscar winning film Hamlet. The actor will shave off his head for the film that will go on the floors next year.” Back in 1948, Laurence Olivier went for a drastic hairstyle change to fit into the shoes of the Danish prince. Will Shahid Kapoor



Weekend Revue

Lionsgate’s ‘The Expendables 3’ starts production in Bulgaria


fter a flurry of casting announcements, Lionsgate and Millennium Films have started rolling the cameras for The Expendables 3 in Bulgaria. The third installment of The Expendables action-thriller franchise will be produced in and around the Nu Boyana Studios in Sofia.

Justin Bieber causing rift between Swift, Gomez


ndia Today has reported that Taylor Swift does not approve of friend Selena Gomez’s onand-off relationship with singer Justin Bieber, and that it has caused trouble in the lad i e s ’ friendship. Swift, 23, feels that Gomez is committing a mistake by giving Bieber repeated second chances, Us Weekly magazine, has said.

The Lionsgate title is toplined by Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews and Arnold Schwarzenegger as returning talent. Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford join the cast for The Expendables 3, along with Kellan Lutz, MMA star Ronda Rousey, welterweight boxing champion

Ayushmann to star in period film

“Taylor hates him. She thinks Selena makes a mistake every time she reconciles with him. Bieber has really come between the girls,” a source said. Meanwhile Bieber is also not pleased with Swift’s constant interference. “He complains Taylor’s always telling Selena she can do better,” a source said.


Kim Kardashian slams Katie Couric

T Gomez and justin Bieber

Victor Ortiz and Glen Powell. Patrick Hughes is directing The Expendables 3 with writing by Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt. Stallone, Avi Lerner, Kevin King Templeton, Danny Lerner and Les Weldon are producing the action movie with Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson and John Thompson serving as executive producers.

wo weeks into its debut, the song “Number One” by Noel Empraw has hit radio airwaves running with fresh new tune. This week, the song made it as “Rhythm hit song of the week” on Silverbird Rhythm94.7 including track-listed as New Song of the week on 96.9CoolFM,Wazobia95.5. Produced by Mr Magik and featuring sensational singer Femi Jubal, “Number One” is something new and refreshing with a nice blend of classic hip-hop on an indigenous backdrop with voice of great Mohammed Ali on the sign out.

Kim Kardashian


ndia Today, has disclosed that Ayushmann Khurrana is set to portray a historical character in a period film, but refuses to divulge any details. “I am soon going to play a historical character. I am going to do a period film and you will get to know about it soon,” the 28-yearold told reporters Thursday at the ‘Saath Hain Hum Uttarakhand’ show, organised on the occasion of Independence Day. “I am not allowed to speak about it right now, but yes, I am going to do a biopic,” he added. Ayushmann is currently shooting for Yash Raj Films’ untitled project with Sonam Kapoor.




How cravings for food can be as bad as drugs

By Deni Kirkova


ravings for food can be as bad as those for drugs, according to new research. A survey of more than 5,000 slimmers found that a fat ‘high’ can be like an addiction. And two in three who get these urges feel they are judged by society in a similar way to those hooked on controlled substances. Three in four (76 per cent) compare their weakness to an addict’s desire for cigarettes, drinks or drugs and more than half (55 per cent) believe they got ‘a buzz’ from their favourite foods in the past. The survey of 5,139 Slimming World members also revealed most slimmers had tried using food to make themselves feel better when they were low, with 94 per cent having turned to high fat food to boost their mood. But almost eight in ten (77 per cent) said while there was an initial improvement, they were much worse afterwards. Even more (83 per cent) reported feeling like a failure or criticising themselves for not being able to stick to a diet. As well as their emotional problems, slimmers also felt challenged by a food environment that encourages unhealthy eating. Three in four (76 per cent) felt ‘bombarded’ by advertisements for junk food and nine in ten (89per cent) said the modern world made it easier to eat unhealthily than healthily.

While slimmers get ‘high’ as they indulge in ‘banned’ fatty foods, they are racked by guilt soon after

Getting an unhealthy meal or snack in their local area after 10pm would be ‘very easy’ for eight in ten (78per cent), but fewer than one in twenty (four per cent) felt the same about a healthy one. The poll was carried out ahead of a BBC2 documentary looking at food’s affect on emotions and how slimming clubs support people to make healthier choices and manage their weight. Slimming World research specialist Dr James Stubbs said:

‘We live in a world that encourages people to eat more unhealthily. ‘People get used to using certain foods as a way to try to make themselves feel better and it becomes a habit, so when they are feeling down they are always likely to turn to those foods and it quickly becomes a cycle. ‘With high fat and high sugar foods being so readily available it is really difficult for people to ignore those signals. ‘There is growing evidence high

The study found that belonging to a helps boost weight loss. It said that group meetings help slimmers to understand and feel less guilty about their choices, so they are less likely to give themselves a hard time

fat, high sugar foods have some addictive qualities and this survey suggests slimmers feel trapped by food cravings, aggressive marketing and easy availability of less healthy foods. ‘The real danger is it is very easy for people to enter into a vicious cycle where they try to take comfort in food when they are feeling down, but then feel guilty and judged for what they perceive as a lack of self control. ‘These feelings of failure and sense of feeling judged affect self esteem and so people take comfort in food again, and so the cycle continues.’ Added Dr Stubbs: ‘The group support provided by slimming clubs, and this is especially true of Slimming World where the emphasis is on caring and compassionate understanding, helps to create a safe environment where slimmers can share support with a community of people just like them. ‘Having the care of an empathetic consultant who has lost weight themselves and the understanding of their fellow members, helps slimmers to understand and feel less guilty about their choices, so they are less likely to give themselves a hard time. ‘Being part of the group provides motivation and gives people the confidence to make their own decisions. In a world that encourages people to make

unhealthy choices, having the skills and knowledge to eat healthily and the confidence to take responsibility for your own decisions makes healthy eating much easier. ‘The survey revealed 87 per cent of our slimmers feel confident in maintaining these healthier habits in the future.’ Tam Fry, chairman of the Child Growth Foundation and spokesperson for the National Obesity Forum, said there should be a limit on chemical food additives beyond which manufacturers cannot go. He said: ‘The controversy still rages over whether food is addictive, and I think it is. Manufacturers are putting chemicals into food and after a while you do not get the same ‘buzz’ from eating it, so you have to have twice as much. ‘Some of these additives can actually drive children wild. It is appalling. The food manufacturers do not even have to list all of these ingredients, either, so we do not know what they are putting in. A limit could easily be devised by the Food Standards Agency beyond which they cannot go. ‘But we have a messy government in Westminster which is in league with the food industry. It is no good giving them the carrot, when what they actually require is the stick. Source:

Society judges drug addicts (left) hooked on controlled substances in a similar way to food addicts (right)

Mums-to-be with unhealthy diets are ‘more likely to have badly behaved children’ By Emma Robertson


regnant mums with unhealthy diets are more likely to have children with behavioural problems, a new study has revealed. Children with a high intake of junk food also have increased symptoms of depression and anxiety and are more susceptible to aggressive outbursts and tantrums. The study is the first to tackle the impact of early life nutrition as an individual’s diet is already related to common mental disorders in adults and adolescents. The study involved more than 23,000 mothers and children participating in the ongoing Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. Researchers from Deakin

Giving-in to junk food cravings during pregnancy could cause mental health problems for your child, according to a new study from Deakin University

University in Melbourne, Australia, worked with Norwegian collaborators on the project. Associate Professor Felice Jacka, researcher with Deakin University’s IMPACT Strategic Research Centre, was the lead author of the study. She said: ‘Early life nutrition, including the nutrition received while the child is in utero, is related to physical health outcomes in children - their risk for later heart disease or diabetes for example. ‘But this is the first study indicating diet is also important to mental health outcomes in children. ‘It is now more clear than ever that diet matters to mental health right across the age spectrum. Details of a mother’s diet during pregnancy and their children’s diets at 18 months and three years were

recorded using questionnaires. Their children’s symptoms of depression, anxiety, conduct disorder and ADHD were also measured at 18 months, three years and five years of age.

The study involved more than 23,000 mothers and children and found early life diet - including the nutrition received in utero - can cause behavioural problems and increased anxiety and depression in children

Socioeconomic factors and the mental health of parents were not included in the research to help determine a clearer relationship between diet and mental health. Source:



Why UPP zoned Presidency to South East - Okorie

Members of SouthWest of the People Democratic Party (PDP), during their meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan, on Wednesday at the State House, in Abuja.

By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he National Chairman of United Progressives Party (UPP), Chekwas Okorie, has explained that the party zoned the 2015 Presidential slot to the South Eastern part of the country as a strategy to give a sense of belonging to the Igbos in the Nigerian political struggle. Speaking with this reporter, Okorie recalled that the interest of the Igbos in Nigerian politics was pronounced in 2003, when the late Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, emerged as the Presidential candidate of the region on the APGA’s platform. He said that he founded APGA then to secure a place for the Igbos in the political scheme, regretting that since the exit of Ojukwu, coupled with the crisis ravaging APGA, the party has not been able to sustain the vision for which it was formed. According to him, since the Yoruba nation has finished its own term not long ago, and the South South and the North still at loggerhead over who takes over the position in 2015, it has become apparent that no contestant from the South East will feature in the Presidential contest in 2015, hence the formation of UPP. He explained that the vision of the party is to mobilise the Igbo political leaders into having a formidable stake in the 2015 election, observing that the North and the South South now have the major stake in the election. Speaking further, he dismissed the claim by Governor Peter Obi and Victor Umeh, that the late Ojukwu backed the adoption of President Goodluck Jonathan by the Igbos as their Presidential candidate in 2011, saying that Ojukwu’s son made it clear then that his father was too sick then to give any consent. Meanwhile, he took a swipe on the Igbo political leaders, saying their foresight is beclouded by selfish interests and clamour for immediate gains. He therefore urged them to come together to give relevance to the generation of Igbos unborn, saying that other tribes have been able to increase their stakes in the Nigerian political arrangements.

Photo: Joe Oroye

Sen. Pwajok warns politicians against playing politics with security


en Gyang Pwajok (PDPPlateau) yesterday declared that Nigeria’s collective survival was being challenged by current security challenges and warned politicians against ``playing politics with sensitive security matters’’. ``Our collective survival is now at stake and we cannot afford to play politics with our collective human security,’’ the PDP senator, who represents Plateau North, said in his remarks at the on-going inter-cummunion dialogue and conflict mediation organised for communities in Plateau. The dialogue, sponsored by the Canadian Embassy, is organised by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, an international outfit. He said that politicians would be ``gravely mistaken’’ if they ever assumed that conflict would simply come to a halt ``once APC, PDP, APGA or any other political contraption ascends to power at any level’’.

``The security challenges are enormous and have been merely re-inforced by the Boko Haram insurgency; it is not just a challenge for the government of the day. It is a challenge the political class must sincerely face and offer everything to halt,’’ he said. He pointed out that the situation in Nigeria, if allowed to further degenerate, was capable of consuming most parts of West Africa, and regretted the feeling among Nigerian leaders that its people were merely ``locked in a marriage that all dislike but dare not leave. Pwajok regretted that Nigeria’s leaders had consistently disregarded early warnings and even outcries that foreign elements were involved in the Plateau crises, and expressed relief that the federal government had woken by closing up the porous borders. ``By such closure, government is out to address the influx of these conflict agents sneaking

into the country to escape desert encroachment, drought, conflicts and wars, in search of favourable settlements,’’ he said. The senator called for more attention to the farmergrazer conflicts and other land matters which have persistently compounded the security situation in most parts of the north. He called for mutual forgiveness among crises-ridden communities, and stressed the need to embrace dialogue to promote understanding and minimise suspicion and distrust. The law maker advised communities participating in the mediation talks to have open minds and be frank in their submissions, and advised that memories of past sufferings, the presence of orphans and the plight of victims, should not obstruct forgiveness. ``We must be open because these mediation efforts can help us to tell the truth, move toward restitution and ensure inter-

dependence which also creates bridges to real healing,’’ he said. Pwajok also cautioned the people against ``refusing’’ to recollect positive attributes of each other, and noted that such good sides had kept the people together for ages as good neighbours before the violence ``suddenly erupted’’. He called for unity among all groups, and advised them to be alert to the antics of conflict merchants usually out to disrupt peaceful co-existence for their selfish motives. ``We must collectively realise that only in unity shall we be able to overcome these trying times. We must ask ourselves who is perpetrating these inhuman crimes while practically seeking answers together,’’ he stated. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that five communities – Berom Afizere, Anaguta, Hausa and Fulani – are involved in the dialogue. (NAN)

Ex-Deputy Senate President, others join PDM From Lawal Sa’idu, Katsina


s activities towards the 2015 general election continue to unfold, a former Speaker of the Kaduna State House of Assembly and former deputy senate president, Barrister Mamman

Abubakar Danmusa and senator Yakubu Lado Danmarke have joined the new political party, Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM. Those who also joined the PDM with them include the immediate past Katsina State Chairman of the

Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Dr. Yusha’u Armaya’u. They have since started holding consultation. When contacted, the former Speaker said “ yes we’ve joined PDM we did not go with CPC to APC. Although Senator Danmarke has

not formally joined but he will soon make his position public” On why they held meeting at the residence of a PDP stalwart and Atiku close associate, former governor of defunct, Kaduna state, Alhaji Muhammadu Lawal Kaita over the

weekend in Katsina, Danmusa said “ we just go to the residence to greet him”. Pundits however believed that the former governor has link with the PDM as he was known to be a staunch critic of President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term

ambition and supporter of power shift to the north. Similarly, there was a strong indication that in case former VicePresident, Atiku Abubakar could not realize his presidential dream under the PDP, he would likely collapse his political structure into PDM.




Impeachment, recipe against despotism, says Dogara INTERVIEW


ou and three other members recently sponsored a Bill widely thought to ease the impeachment of the President and Vice President, what informed this Bill? There are several reasons. But let me highlight a few of them. Section 146 of the Constitution mentions impeachment as one of the grounds by which the Vice President may assume the office of the President but shockingly the Constitution does not provide for how the President or vice President can be impeached. Section 143 which the Bill seeks to amend provide for the removal but not impeachment of the President and Vice President. So, that is a huge lacuna in the Constitution that needs to be filled. Another defect of section143 is that it only provides for the removal of the two office holders on account of gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of their offices. That means unofficial conduct is not a ground for the removal of the two office holders, even such unofficial conduct amounts to betrayal of the nation or serves to seriously undermine the offices they occupy. This is clearly unacceptable. Also, a fundamental requirement of our legal system is that no one can be punished for an offence until he has been tried and found guilty of that offence. The trial is supposed to be open and transparent in accordance with the requirements of the principles of natural justice. S. 143 of the Constitution fails to provide for any form of trial. It talks only of an investigative Panel of seven. S143 therefore violates a fundamental pillar of our jurisprudence by requiring that the president or Vice President can be punished by removal from office without any form of trial. Section 143 of the Constitution also fails to clearly separate the body that accuses from the body whose province it is to determine the accusation. Between the National Assembly and the Panel of 7 who investigates, it is not clear who the accuser is and who the judge is. This also is a clear violation of fair hearing which is the cornerstone of our jurisprudence. But are these defects enough to warrant the proposals? In the context of the many paradoxes and lacunas I have spoken about; absolutely, yes. In addition, we must come to see that the root cause of endemic and per erosive corruption in our dear country is section 143 of the Constitution. I make this statement with all sense of responsibility. Successive Nigerian Presidents have studied and analysed

Hon. Yakubu Dogara is Chairman House Services Committee and represents Bogoro, Dass and Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives. He spoke with some reporters in Abuja. Agaju Madugba was there. this section very well and have come to the conclusion that it cannot be carried out in practical terms that’s why they operate like the medieval kings of whom it was said, “lived of themselves”. Our laws don’t count at all. Few examples will suffice. Section 80 of the Constitution is never complied with. There are multiple accounts like the excess crude account that the President secretly and openly operates against the provision of the Constitution. The president has blatantly refused to Constitute the National Procurement Council, a necessary minimum requirement of the Public procurement Act because he doesn’t want to give up a right to determine which contractor gets what. The weekly FEC meetings have been turned into procurement meetings while crucial national issues like security are relegated to the background. The National Assembly cannot successfully invoke S. 143 of the Constitution so th culture of impunity is in the ascendancy. The President wields unprecedented constitutional powers without any effective checks. As Lord Acton Said, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. If the president does not obey the laws of the land what moral justification do I have to sit in parliament to make laws that binds only the lesser mortals There is nothing like a rotten fish with a fresh head. If our society is rotten, it is because our leaders are rotten. If we are lawless, it is because our leaders are lawless. This is the challenge we are faced with as a nation. Civil rule has come but democracy is still a mirage. How do we ensure that our leaders obey our laws in the absence of sanctions that can guarantee effective deterrence? Unless our leaders sit up and unless we refashion the democratic tools of deterrence by making impeachment and removal from office more probable than likely, we will sadly keep groping in the dark. We have an opportunity to effect these changes now and that is what compels this Bill. In summary, the Bill proposes that the House will have the sole powers to impeach the President or the Vice President as the case may be in line with the tenets of representative democracy. However, the impeachment by the House would amount to no more than an indictment. After the impeachment the Matter will be referred to the Senate for trial where a select group

of members of the House will serve as prosecutors. To guard against procedural injustice, the Chief Justice if the Federation will preside over the trial after which the Senate will debate a verdict and vote to convict. A two third vote of the Senate will suffice to convict and remove the office holder from office failing which the office holder survives the impeachment and retains his office. In addition, the Senate is also required to vote to bar the removed office holder from holding any position of trust in the country. If the impeachable offence involves a crime, the regular Courts will additionally prosecute the removed office holder. This naturally eliminates the CJN’s panel of seven which is no more than middle some interloper in the political process. This process is in tandem with our body of laws and guarantees fair hearing. It separates the body that accuses, the House of Representatives from the body that tries and convicts, which is the Senate. You seem to be against concentration of powers in the hands of an individual yet you appear to be advocating for absolute powers to be vested in the Parliament for impeachment purposes. Is this not contradictory? It is not contradiction but it is an accepted democratic practice. Impeachment is a political process involving political offences committed by politicians with political punishments. It does not fall within the sphere of ordinary jurisprudence where the normal courts hold sway. In America it is the House that impeaches while the Senate tries and convicts. In Britain it is the province of the House of Commons to prefer the impeachment and of the House of Lords to determine it. There is no civilised democracy that has in its Constitution the kind of draconian provisions in S.143 of our Constitution. For our democracy to be first class, we must fist of all do away with second class provisions in our Constitution and Statutes. There is no better way to guarantee our place in the comity of civilised democratic nations. This we owe to our children and posterity. Why should we always borrow from America and other countries instead of developing our own homegrown solutions to national challenges?

Hon. Yakubu Dogara Unfortunately we borrowed presidential democracy from America. It is the single most important contribution of America to the art of government. We can modify only to the extent that we do not touch the roots in order not to end up with something else or less. You cannot borrow an American Lincoln and attempt to use Toyota, Mercedes or Range Rover manual to interpret and maintain it. That will be a sure recipe for disaster. Impeachment goes to the roots of democracy in that it keeps those who wield overwhelming constitutional powers in check. It checks corruption at the highest level and guarantees the fidelity of our leaders to our Constitution and laws. Any country that does not effectively provide for it risks having despots as leaders. The outcome in Nigeria is not any different. The Bill has been severally criticised for wrong timing and especially some people hold the view that President Goodluck Jonathan is the target. Is this true? It is ludicrous and even wicked to impute this kind of motive on our part without looking at the merits of what is on the table. Of course with the culture of sycophancy which our Civilian rule promotes, there is hardly anything one does that will be interpreted to be objective. Some in the opposition have claimed that we are doing the bidding of PDP by sharpening the tool of impeachment in preparation of when the opposition will produce the president. All these claims pander to vanity. How can the Parliament alter a section of the Constitution just to target an individual? I addressed the issue of timing while leading the debate on the Bill. I will still let the timeless admonishment by the Late Dr King jnr speak to this puerile objection. It was Dr King who said, “Time itself is neutral. We must come to see that human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability. It comes

through the tireless efforts and persistent work of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work time itself becomes an ally of the primitive forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right. The question therefore is whether what we have proposed is right or wrong. If it right, then the time is ripe now to provide for it. There will never be a time when such a radical proposal like this will not be misinterpreted. We must abandon caution and embrace courage without which our democracy will always remained nascent. Would you be disappointed if eventually the Bill fails to scale through all the hurdles of constitutional amendment? I hope and pray it does. Naturally, I should be disappointed if the Bill fails. The Executive will continue to violate our laws and the culture of impunity will not abate. But there something in the character of truth that never dies. I am sure one day we will return to it. May that day not come when the overwhelming majority of our people would favour removing a President or Vice President from office. That is when they will know that section143 of the Constitution cannot be carried out because of its self defeating nature and there is nothing the National Assembly can do about it. If our people know the revolution this amendment will bring to our flight against corruption, lawlessness and maladministration, there will be another round of occupy Nigeria to compel this amendment. Imagine President Obama or Prime Minister David Cameron violating the Constitution or laws of their Country. The consequences are such that they cannot contemplate it. But if they were Nigerian Presidents they violate our Constitution and laws because as a people we have accepted the lie that it is normal fo r the President to violate the law. This is unacceptable and time has come to halt this madness that has stultified our advancement as a nation.


BRIEFS Kebbi gets N5bn UBE fund


ith the efforts of the kebbi state government in promoting education sector, from 2011 to 2013, kebbi state government has paid over N2.5Billion as its counterpart funds. This was disclosed yesterday at the opening ceremony of the 3 days Zonal Mid-Year and peer review meeting on the implementation of Strategic Education Sector Plan [SESP] and Strategic Education Sector Operational Plan [SESOP] held in Birnin Kebbi , the Kebbi state Governor, Alhaji Usman Saidu Dakingari said that his administration has demonstrated genuine commitment towards the implementation of its SESP and SESOP agenda which is in the area of providing counterpart funding for the jointly executed schools projects by the state and Federal Government. Dakingari who was represented by the Commissioner of Education, Alhaji Samaila Abdulmumin Kamba, noted that government pays over N850 million annually and also has accessed over N5 billion from the UBE Commission which has been judiciously used for school project implementation. From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi

Zamfara Hisbah Commission


he Zamfara state Hisbah Commission yesterday announced the arrest of 50 people most of them women at various points of social gathering within Gusau and its environs. Chairman of the Commission, Malam Aminu Aliyu Gusau, said that pro-active measures had been put in place to ensure that social crimes are reduced to the lowest rate. He noted that the commission has written summons to parents and guardians of the arrested.


News Extra

FG warns MDAs on treaties By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he Federal Government has cautioned Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to desist from entering international treaty agreements with foreign counterpart without the approval of the statutory ministries responsible. Minister of state for Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuleri, made the call yesterday at a round table

organised by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIAL), on International Treaties in Abjua. According to the Minister, the warning became necessary, in view of the consequences and implications of international treaties negotiated without the knowledge and consent of the ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs. Onwuleri said there were three procedures required by law to domesticate international treaties

before they can be ratified by the country and warned against flagrant disregard for these procedures. “These procedures include, the financial, political and social importance of such agreements on the one hand and the mutual educational and cultural exchange between the parties. “ These considerations form the core value by government to freely and willingly enter into treaties it considers financially and politically

relevant to the country before it can seek legislative approval for the domestication of such agreements,” she said. Also speaking at the round table, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) noted that Nigeria has kept fate with all obligations of international treaties that has been domesticated over the years.

L-R: Kaduna state Deputy Governor, Ambassador Nuhu Bajoga, presenting award to Police Public Relation Officer, Kaduna State Command, Alhaji Aminu Lawal, during the 13th Productivity Day and merit award celebration, yesterday in Kaduna. Photo: NAN

...commits N25bn to develop 250 LGs By Adeola Tukuru


he Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals, (SSAPMDGs) Dr. Precious Gbeneol, has announced the scaling-up of the Conditional Grants Scheme to 250 local government areas across the country from the current 148. The LGAs will be funded to the tune of N100 million each as part of its effort to further fast-track the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in Nigeria ahead of the 2015 deadline.

Gbeneol, made this known at the sensitization and training workshop for the 2013 Conditional Grants Scheme to local governments proposal writing and call for application in Abuja. She explained that the scale-up is to further deepen the gains so far recorded under the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, by bringing remarkable development to the citizens through the provision of essential basic services such as water, healthcare services, education and poverty reduction.

The Conditional Grants Scheme (CGS) channels debt relief gains (DRGs) to states and local government areas (LGAs) in a bid to address Nigeria’s most pressing developmental needs. States and LGAs apply competitively for grants from the CGS which is dedicated to supporting sectoral initiatives to help attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Under the scheme, states and local governments are required to provide matching counterpart funds for project securing funding under the CGS.

The initiative, since it was adopted, has scaled-up MDGs investment and directed resource and policy attention towards priority sectors, weak indicators and service delivery bottlenecks. Gbeneol noted that intergovernmental collaboration has been yielding positive results adding that within the last three years, about 5,000 water projects have been provided across 113 local government areas including 1,536 ventilated and improved VIP latrines in the water and sanitation sector.

Flood: Monarch urges residents to vacate river bank From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


mir of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu, has urged people leaving at banks of Gubi dam to evacuate from the area in view of the imminent collapse of the dam due to the heavy rain being witnessed in the state. He made the call when the Commissioner for Water Resources, Alhaji Sani Mohammed Burra, visited Firo village, which is situated on the bank of the dam. He called their attention to the danger the imminent collapse of the dam poses to their lives and properties. According to the traditional ruler, there was an urgent need for the people to not only be vigilant but also promptly report any sign

to the government, adding that they should constitute a committee to be monitoring the dam on a regular basis. Also addressing the people of the area, the commissioner said

that the Governor had approved a contract of N140 million to carry out repair work on the dam. Responding on behalf of the people, the Yerima Firo, Alhaji Abdullahi Abubakar, called on

the state government to pay compensation to the people of the area for the construction of the dam, built in the 1980s and appealed for the construction of a road to the village from the

1,000 Housing Estate in Bauchi metropolis. He assured that the people would be vigilant in order to inform the authorities of any development at the dam promptly.

USAID donates equipment to healthcare agency By Abbas Aminu Bamalli


he Managed Health Care Insurance Plan (MCHIP) in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has donated neonatal anatomic models and resuscitation equipment to National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), to support its Midwifery Service Scheme (MSS)

and SURE-P programmess. The USAID Country Director, Prof. Emmanuel Otolorin, said the equipment included 37 complete Neonatal anatomic models, 780 ambulance bags with two sizes of face masks, 800 Penguin aspirators, 1000 trainee booklets and 40 facilitator flipcharts. Otolorin said USAID supported the Jhpiego-led ACCESS and MCHIP programs, between 2006 and 2012 to

implement emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC) programs in Kano, Katsina and Zamfara states as an entry point to healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies which implemented a series of community and facility based intervention within the Household to Hospital Contnuum of Care (HHCC) framework. “It is indeed gratifying that the government of Nigeria’s efforts are beginning to yield the desired results,

as Nigeria’s maternal mortality ratio has fallen from 800 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 545 per 100,000 live births in 2008” He noted that Nigeria’s under-5 child mortality has also fallen from 199 per 1000 live births in 1990 to 157 per 1000 live births in 2008, adding that the rate of reduction is slow and unlikely to lead to full achievement of the 2015 set MDG targets but the progress made is encouraging.




Some Interesting Facts


fter a blistering day of exploring, astronauts may relax with a nice cold glass of ice water from Mercury, the planet closest to the sun. Since there is no atmosphere there to spread the heat around, shadows in deep craters at the poles could hold ice deposited by early comet collisions. 96% of Egypt is made up of the desert sands of the Sahara. Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world, standing 29,028 feet high. The Amazon rain forest supplies one-fifth of the world’s oxygen! Where do comets come from? There is a huge cloud of objects made of ice and rock encircling our solar system, called the OortCloud. It lies beyond Pluto and extends half way out to the next star. These objects occasionally bump into each other, sending one in towards the sun to become a comet like the recent Hale-Bopp comet. Every day, eight trillion gallons of water pour out of the mouth of the Amazon River into the Atlantic Ocean. The ice that covers 98% of Antarctica holds 90% of the worlds fresh water. Lake Baikal in Russia is the deepest lake in the world, and holds as much water as all the five Great Lakes of the U.S. combined! Lake Superior, one of the five Great Lakes between the U.S. and the border of Canada, is a freshwater lake with the largest surface area, and it’s so big it has waves! Olympus Mons is a mountain on Mars, which is about fifteen miles

high, three times higher than Mount Everest on earth, and at the top it is 45 miles across! Someday you may go ice fishing on Jupiters moon, Europa. Evidence is being constantly discovered that there is an ocean under the ice of Europa. The ice would keep the ocean from evaporating and huge tides caused by Jupiter would keep the ocean temperature above freezing. What kinds of life might there be in such a strange ocean? The deepest natural caves known to man are the Pierre St. Martin Caves in the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France, which reach 4,370 feet deep, almost three times as deep as the Empire State Building is high! When you think you’re standing still remember this fact. Even though you don’t feel it, our entire local

group of galaxies is moving at about one million miles per hour toward another galaxy group called the Virgo Cluster. Submitted by: Todd Scientist believe that diamond rains occur on Neptune and Uranus. The heart of these planets may be a layer of diamonds hundreds of miles thick. Submitted by: Todd Jupiter’s giant red spot is like a tornado and it is 3 times bigger than the earth. Submitted by: Macsmom The largest crater on the moon measures 183 miles across. Astronomers know Mars is a backwards planet. Once a year, for several days, it appears to move backwards in its orbit. This is actually an optical illusion when the faster orbit of Earth races past Mars.

Submitted by: Todd The farthest you can see with the naked eye is 2.4 million light years away! (140,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles.) That’s the distance to the giant Andromeda Galaxy. You can see it easily as a dim, large gray “cloud” almost directly overhead in a clear night sky. Submitted by: Todd Australia is the only continent on earth without an active volcano. The earth is over 330,000 times smaller than the sun. The Earth is 4.5 billion ye year ars old. 71% of the Eart rths hss su surrfac facee is i covered with wa water ter. Jup pite iterr is a pl plan aneet made en entir tirrely y of ga gases. es. There The re are over six ix bi billi llion on n pe peo eople ple liv ving g on Earth Earth h!

Say what?


Muddle: Even the most considerate of travellers might find it difficult to understand this message




Eagles bonus row panel indicts NFF, Keshi, players Stories by Albert Akota


he Panel set up by the Minister and Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC) Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi led by Olusegun Adeniyi has indicted the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) technical crew and players over the bonus row in Namibia. Peoples Daily Sports recalled that the players refused to travel for the Confederations Cup in Brazil after their match bonuses were reduced by 50 per cent: from $10, 000 to $5,000 for a win and from $5,000 to $2,500 for a draw. The former spokes man to the Late President Musa Yar’dua noted that mistrust and indiscipline on the part of players, lack of leadership was also on the part of those in charge of the affairs. Speaking yesterday in Abuja, while submitting the report of the panel to the minister, Adeniyi revealed that the bonus row has over the years been mismanaged by NFF resulting in avoidable crises.

“In this particular instance in Namibia, one thing was clear from all submissions made to our panel and interactive sessions we held with critical stakeholders that were involved. “The Super Eagles players who were handsomely rewarded by Nigerians for wining AFCON tournament only three months earlier could not appreciated the their country while the technical crew confidently support them clandestine because of their own pecuniary interests. “Of course the football administration was also tardy in the manner in which it handed communication on the bonus issue by not formally conveying its decision to players ahead of the tournament. “Let me conclude by saying that the interactive we held gave us inkling into the challenges of our football administration and the problems within. It is therefore our hope that the outcome of this panel will help as we seek to bring transparency and accountability to the beautiful game even as we

install discipline, “he noted. In his response, the Minister of Sports Bolaji Abdulahi, thanked the entire panel for their selfless in discharge their duty, promise that

federal government and Nigeria football administration would make use of full recommendations of the reports for the growth and development of Nigeria football.


Manu locks Golden Eaglets camp ....As NFF submits provisional team list to FIFA

Isaac Success


he Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has sent a provisional team list of 35 Golden Eaglets to the world soccer governing body, FIFA ahead of the 2013 Under-17 World Cup to be hosted in the United Arab Emirates between October 17 and November 8. This is a part of the regulations of the championship and it is from this pool of players that the final list of 21 would eventually be picked for the World Cup. Players who made the list were key members of the team that won silver at the CAN Under-17 Championship in Morocco including Captain Musa Muhammed and star striker, Isaac Success. Others are Chidera Ezeh; Kelechi Iheanacho; Musa Yahaya, Saliu Ali-Baba, Akinjide Idowu,Taiwo Awoniyi, Chidiebere Nwakali, Goalkeeper Yinka Adewale and

amongst others. Notable new faces in the team include all-action striker, Theophilus Solomon and Chelsea’s teenage sensation, Habib Makanjuola who is expected in camp upon release by his English Premiership side. Golden Eaglets Head coach, Manu Garba (MFR) said the 35 players on the list have been carefully selected based on merit, adding that there is no longer opportunity to try out new players as the preparations for the World Cup is well underway. “We want to use this opportunity to thank all the players who came arowund during the past few weeks to see if they can get the opportunity to be part of the team,” Garba said. “We are happy with the calibre of players that we have selected with the confidence that we shall produce a formidable team for the World Cup.”

2014 World Cup Qualifier: Success is guaranteed for Nigeria, says Peters


he Assistant National Technical Director, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) James Peters has said that success is guaranteed for the Super Eagles in the World Cup Qualifying match against the Flames of Malawi. Peters, who gave the assurance yesterday in Abuja, said that the Eagles will tackle the Flames of Malawi on Sept. 7 in a must-win Group F encounter at the U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar. The match is the last group match with Nigeria, which has nine points and needs to only avoid a defeat to reach the 10-team final elimination round of the African qualifying race for Brazil 2014. “We have guaranteed success in Calabar and it is not in dispute, this is because the players in the team now are tested and they are those that we can say have some experience in African continental football. “So I don’t see anything holding us back from beating Malawi come Sept. 7,’’ Peters said. He said that the Super Eagles’ victory over the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in an international friendly would boost their morale and give the coach an opportunity to intensify his tactics. The Eagles beat Bafana Bafana 2-0 on Aug. 14, in a match organised to celebrate ailing former President Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday and to raise money for his charity project. “Before now, I knew that even without the friendly match, we will pass through Malawi, without hindrance, but the match with Bafana Bafana will boost their impetus to spur the players for a good outing against Malawi. “Every friendly match you play tells you how your team will play the next match. “So, with the match against South Africa, you could see that there was a lot of cohesion, understanding and speed, especially in the second half, which made South Africa to crumble and fall.

Federation Cup: NFF congratulates Enyimba, Wolves, Amazons, Angels


he Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has congratulated all four teams that have qualified for the grand finale of the 2013 Men and Women Federation Cup competitions, which holds at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos on Sunday, 15th September. Two-time CAF Champions League winners, Enyimba FC of Aba pipped hard-fighting Lobi Stars 1-0 in an exciting semi final duel at the Samuel Ogbemudia

Stadium on Wednesday, while Warri Wolves FC edged Akwa United FC in the other semi final played over two days at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi. Heavy downpour led to stoppage of the Wolves/Akwa United match in Bauchi 15 minutes to the end, with both sides locked at 1-1 in a match watched by visiting FIFA Senior Development Manager (Africa), Mr. Francesco Bruscoli and

FIFA Development Officer (West Africa), Mr. Sampon Kablan. The last quarter-hour was played out on Thursday with Wolves grabbing a goal to qualify for the showpiece grand finale in Lagos. In the women’s event, Nasarawa Amazons pipped Bayelsa Queens 1-0 in Ado Ekiti, at the same time that Rivers Angels were turning back Pelican Stars 2-0 in Abuja.

“The NFF duly congratulates all the four teams and let me say clearly here that we are looking forward to a very colourful grand finale. All four teams are quality sides and will bring so much panache to that big day in Lagos,” said Chief Emeka Inyama, Chairman of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee. Super Eagles’ Team B marksmen Ifeanyi Edeh and Etebo Oghenekaro did the job for both Enyimba and Wolves,

Enyimba players Edeh netting the only goal in Benin while Oghenekaro swept in the lone goal that sent packing ambitious Akwa United in Bauchi.



Sports Galadima hails Kwankwaso for rewarding players


he Chairman, Kano Pillars FC, Abba Galadima, has lauded Gov. Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano for presenting 28 KIA cars to the club’s players and technical crew. The presentation ceremony was to fulfill the governor’s promise to the club for winning the 2011/2012 Nigeria Premier League. Galadima said that he was elated by the development, saying that the governor had proved that ``he is a man of his words. Apart from a car each, the players were also rewarded with N500, 000 each, while the members of the technical crew got N750, 000 each. “I feel elated. He fulfilled his promise after making a pledge to the team when we won the league and I’m very grateful to him. “This development has really excited the players and technical crew and every one of us have been touched positively to a great extent. “The governor has shown he’s a man of his words. He is giving us his

World Cup Qualifiers: Don’t bother Keshi over large invitation, Ekpo urges NFF

relentless support over the years and that has made us evolved into a top flight club,” Galadima said. The chairman added that the development would motivate the team in its quest to win the 2012/2013 Globacom Premier League title backto-back. He noted that all of the players and technical crew members were mentally and physically ready to make their title defence certain. “What the governor has done is a huge motivation to the team as we hope to defend the title we won last season. “I believe the players and coaches are determined to give their best and I’m sure they will,” he said. Galadima described the ongoing season’s officiating as an improvement on the previous, saying that a lot of teams were earning more valuable points away from home. Pillars are currently occupying the second spot on the league table with 42 points from 25 matches, with an outstanding game on hand. Enyimba is currently leading the log with 43 points from 26 matches and with 12 matches left in the league.


x-international, Friday Ekpo has urged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) not to bother itself about the number of players invited ahead of the World Cup qualifier against the Flames of Malawi. The qualifier, which is in the last phase of qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, would hold on Sept. 7 at the U. J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar. The NFF had directed Coach Stephen Keshi of the Super Eagles to prune down the number of 42 players he invited for the qualifier, saying that it was outrageous. Ekpo, however, said that the NFA should not interfere in Keshi’s selection of players for the crucial match, saying he knows the best for the team. According to Ekpo, Keshi may be planning to use the large number of invited players to also select players for the Championship of African Nations (CHAN) tournament in South Africa, next year. “The NFF should not to interfere in Coach Stephen Keshi’s decision on players to be selected, ahead of the qualifier. “I believe Keshi knows what he is doing as a coach; he knows how important the match against Malawi is, the NFF should give him a free hand to operate. The number of players he invited should not be an issue,’’ he said. On the qualifier, Ekpo urged the Eagles to remain focused, saying that the team should play the match with `all seriousness’, to ensure victory for the country. “Defeating Malawi on Sept. 7 is very crucial for the last phase for country’s World Cup qualification to Brazil 2014, the team must be focused and ensure that they are able to defeat their opponents,’’ he said. Nigeria is in group B of the World Cup qualifiers alongside Namibia, Kenya and Malawi for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Abba Galadima

NPFL: Only outstanding referees will officiate in remaining matches, says LMC Referee issuing a red to player


nly outstanding referees will officiate in the remaining matches of the ongoing 2012/2013 Globacom Premier League, the League Management Company (LMC) said yesterday. The LMC Secretary, Tunji Babalola, said that this had become necessary because the league had entered the crucial stage. He said that the LMC took the decision together with the Nigerian Football Association. “We are more determined now to experience no hitches, this is the stage where some clubs will be relegated and the eventual champions will emerge. “For all these to be fairly achieved, the two bodies have agreed that only very competent referees will officiate in the remaining matches. “It is an assurance that only clubs that deserves to be champions that will come out victorious at the end of the league,’’ Babalola said. The secretary appealed to club supporters to desist from intimidating match officials. “The supporters should adhere to this warning because this is not good for the development of our league, do not take laws into your hands by attacking match officials. Let the LMC give the appropriate sanctions,’’ he said. He appealed to clubs and supporters to accept the outcome of league matches in good faith. “I am appealing to clubs to take match results as they come; whether you win or lose, it is part of the game, it is possible to have a violent-free game, and we are looking forward to that time when clubs will begin to embrace it,’’ he said. Babalola also appealed to club owners to take the welfare of players and coaches serious.

Rivers Angels beat Pelican 2-0 to reach Federation Cup finals

Stories by Albert Akota


ivers Angels of Port Harcourt have moved close to winning its third Women Federation Cup title by beating Pelican Stars of Calabar 2-0 in the semi-final of the 2013 Women’s Federation Cup. The Port Harcourt Angels won the Women Federation Cup backto-back in 2011 and 2012. Rivers Angels’ Captain, Evelyn Nwabuoku, paved way for the Port Harcourt-based side in the 54th minute when she fired a rebounded shot which swayed past the goal keeper. In the 75th minute, Rivers Angels almost doubled their lead but the goal was disallowed. Toward the end of the game, substitute Stella Mbachu, converted a controversial penalty kick in the 84th minute to double Rivers Angels’ lead. Coach of Rivers Angels, Edwin Okon, attributed the team’s success to dedication and prayer. “My players are dedicated and the team pray a lot,’’ Okon said. The coach added that the tactical changes he made impacted on the game, noting: “the most important thing as a coach is that you must be

Stella Mbachu able to read the game. “I read the game and noticed that the changes are necessary and that was what prompted the changes I made,’’ the Super Falcon coach said. On his part, Adat Egan of

Pelican Stars said the better side won the match, pointing out that ``my players were kind of jittery in front of goal, though they were better in the defence. “I have learnt a lot in this match because if a team is not mentally-

balanced in terms of coordination, it turns out this way, but the better side won today’s match,’’ Egan said. Rivers Angels will face Nasarawa Amazons in the final match of the 2013 Women Federations Cup on Sept. 15 in Lagos.



Sports Chelsea to continue Rooney bid Monday



Bale close to Real Madrid move


eal Madrid has moved closer to completing the signing of Gareth Bale from Tottenham, with Franco Baldini in the Spanish capital to thrash out a deal. Spurs’ director of football is reported to be attempting to include Fabio Coentrao as part of the transfer which would see the 24-year-old Wales international leave White Hart Lane. Baldini has already overseen a number of new signings arriving at Tottenham this summer, with the club believed to have agreed a deal in principle for the sale of Bale a fortnight ago. And it is now reported that the two parties are at the advanced

stage of negotiations regarding an agreement which would see Bale move for a world-record transfer fee. Willian undertook a medical at the club on Wednesday ahead of a club record transfer, while Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Nacer Chadli and Etienee Capoue have all been added to Andre VillasBoas’ squad. Fans in the Spanish capital were, apparently, not concentrating on the arrival of a new attacking superstar, but preparing to honour the forward who left the Bernabeu without a proper goodbye when he surprisingly moved to Schalke three summers ago.

helsea manager Jose Mourinho says the club are likely to make a third bid for Wayne Rooney but not until after Monday’s clash with Manchester United. United have rejected two bids, the latest £25m plus add-ons, from Chelsea for the 27-year-old England striker. “I don’t want Chelsea to do it before we go there,” Mourinho said after Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat of Aston Villa. Mourinho takes Chelsea to Old Trafford next Monday night for new United manager David Moyes’s first home match. Rooney, who came on as a substitute in Manchester United’s 4-1 win over Swansea on Saturday, is understood to be intent on leaving, even though United manager Moyes insists the striker is not for sale. Mourinho said in July that


Benzema and Di Maria

Rooney is his only transfer target, but then claimed before his side’s win over Aston Villa that the club have back-up options if they fail to sign the former Everton player. Mourinho admits the Blues are

likely to continue their pursuit of Rooney, although the Portuguese accepts United are under no obligation to sell the player, just as Chelsea rebuffed Barcelona’s attempts to sign David Luiz.

Tevez, Higuain, Gomez top Serie A moves


arlos Tevez, Gonzalo Higuain and Mario Gomez have given some lustre back to Italy’s Serie A ahead of the new season after joining Juventus, Napoli and Fiorentina respectively. Argentine international striker Tevez joined the defending champions from Manchester City in June and, along with Spain international Fernando Llorente, should give Juve the extra edge as they aim for a rare third consecutive

Arsenal target Benzema, Di Maria from Real Madrid rsenal is working on deals to sign Real Madrid attacking pair Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria. The Gunners are prepared to pay £40m for 25-yearold France striker Benzema after missing out on Gonzalo Higuain and Liverpool’s Luis Suarez. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger also wants Argentina left winger Di Maria, 25, and is understood to be chasing a keeper and a defender as well. Wenger is a long-term admirer of Benzema, who joined Real from Lyon for an initial £30m in 2009, while Di Maria arrived at the Bernabeu from Benfica a year later. Arsenal’s only summer signing to date is the 20-yearold French striker Yaya Sanogo on a free transfer from

Rooney in action against Man City

Auxerre, but it is thought they could spend close to £100m by the close of the transfer window at 23:00 BST on 2 September. The Gunners have also had a £10m offer for Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye turned down, but Wenger suggested the final 12 days of the transfer window would be busy. Arsenal lost at home to Aston Villa in the opening day of the Premier League season and has suffered injuries to Mikel Arteta, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Laurent Koscielny, while Abou Diaby remains sidelined and fellow midfielder Jack Wilshere is still returning to full match fitness. “The transfer market really starts now, a lot of activity will happen between now and 2 September.

scudetto as well as Champions League glory. Juve are desperate to boost their chances of advancing to the final stages of the Champions League following a 4-0 aggregate humbling by eventual champions Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the competition earlier this year. Conte is hoping Tevez, who scored 73 goals in 148 appearances during a torrid spell with City, will prove a useful addition to his already impressive squad. Napoli, meanwhile, could have have their work cut in the Champions League this season having sold Uruguayan international striker Edinson Cavani to big-spending Paris Saint Germain for a Ligue 1 record 64 million euros ($84 million). Cavani topped the Serie A scoring charts last season with 29 goals. But while replacement Higuain has a commendable record of 107 league goals for Real Madrid, his record in Europe leaves a lot to be desired. The Argentine international, who scored once in a 2-1 friendly win over Italy last week, scored just eight goals in 48 Champions League appearances with Real and none of those came against big-name opposition. Having often suffered due to Real president Florentino Perez’s preference for Frenchman Karim Benzema during a rather turbulent spell at the Santiago Bernabeu, it was no surprise that Higuain claimed he was going somewhere “he would be loved” when he announced his departure from Real at the end of the season. While third-place finishers AC Milan have been comparativley quiet on the transfer market thus far, Fiorentina pulled off a major coup by capturing Germany striker Mario Gomez from Bayern Munich.

Mario Gomez Under Vincenzo Montella, Fiorentina finished fourth last year and, having also signed Slovenian forward Josep Ilicic from relegated Palermo on a five-year deal worth 9m euros, are hoping to launch a more sustained challenge both at home and in the Europa League. Elsewhere, Inter Milan, who will miss Europe this season after finishing ninth, notably signed Argentine striker Mauro Icardi from Sampdoria, Algerians Ishak Belfodil and Saphir Taider from Parma and Bologna respectively and Hugo Campagnaro from Napoli. Their arrivals, and the imminent return of Argentine striker Diego Milito from serious injury, prompted the Nerazzurri to offload former Italy striker Antonio Cassano on loan to Parma.




Drayton set for knee surgery Perri Shakes-Drayton is to have surgery after injuring her knee during the 400m hurdles final at the World Championships in Moscow. The 2010 European bronze medallist, 24, said she felt her

Shakes Drayton

knee “wobble” during the race. After hitting two hurdles, she eventually finished seventh. Tests have revealed she has cartilage damage and a torn cruciate ligament. Shakes-Drayton withdrew from the women’s 4x400m squad after the hurdles final and flew home. “She has had an incredible season, and it was a major disappointment for her that she suffered this injury in her first global final. The London athlete, who won European Indoor 400m hurdles gold in Gothenburg this year, was one of the favourites for a medal in Moscow having clocked the second fastest qualifying time in the semi-finals. Her agent Jonathan Marks said: “Perri is bitterly upset to have come away from Moscow without a medal and instead with a season-ending injury which she will have to undergo surgery on. “She was clearly in shock postrace and given the seriousness of the injury it was incredible she actually got round the track.”

Samantha Murray

Murray, Evans progress in US Open


amantha Murray and Dan Evans progressed into the second round of US Open qualifying with comfortable wins but fellow Briton Tara Moore is out. Murray, 25, beat Australian Arina Rodionova 6-4 6-1, while Evans, 23, overcame Peter Polansky 6-2 6-3. Moore, 21, lost 6-4 1-6 6-4 to Colombian Catalina Castano.

Murray and Evans are two more victories away from securing a place in the main draw of the final Grand Slam of the year in New York. Stockport-born Murray joins Elena Baltacha in round two of women’s qualifying after the Scot beat Melanie Oudin. Murray, ranked 190 in the world, took just 65 minutes to see off Rodionova and

now faces American Taylor Townsend. In the men’s draw, Evans will face either Italy’s Flavio Cipolla or American Bobby Reynolds in the second round after his win over Canadian Polansky. James Ward is also through to round two, after beating Frenchman Jonathan Eysseric 6-3 6-1.

Sharapova out of US Open with shoulder injury


aria Sharapova has pulled out of next week’s US Open with a shoulder injury. The 2006 champion, who was seeded third for the tournament, is suffering from inflammation in her right shoulder. The four-time Grand Slam champion

added: “It’s certainly not an easy decision to make ahead of one of my favourite tournaments, but I know it’s the right one that will get me back on the courts soon. The Russian has suffered with shoulder injuries in the past, missing nine months after surgery in 2008.

Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska moves up to number three in the seedings and Russia Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova becomes the number 32 seed. Sharapova’s withdrawal comes a week after her split from Coach Jimmy Connors following just one game together - a defeat

by American Sloane Stephens in her opening game at the Cincinnati Open. Sharapova completed a career Grand Slam when she added the 2012 French Open title to her 2004 Wimbledon, 2006 US Open and 2008 Australian Open victories.

Ashes 2013: Watson puts Australia in fifth Test


hane Watson dismantled a new-look England attack to blast his first Ashes century and put Australia in a commanding position in the final Test at The Oval. Watson scored a superb 176 - his highest Test score - and Steve Smith made an unbeaten 66 as the tourists reached 3074 at the close of a disappointing day for the home side, who are targeting a first 4-0 series victory over their oldest rivals. Watson was particularly

disdainful towards Chris Woakes and Simon Kerrigan, who were both surprisingly handed their Test debuts as part of a five-man England attack. The duo, who replaced Jonny Bairstow and Tim Bresnan, both went wicketless, with leftarm spinner Kerrigan allowing nerves to get the better of him as he conceded 53 runs in eight overs. The 32-year-old gave one chance, when Alastair Cook put down a straightforward

opportunity to catch him for 104 at first slip off the bowling of James Anderson, before finally falling three overs before the close when he holed out to Kevin Pietersen at deep backward square leg. After Australia captain Michael Clarke had won the toss and chosen to bat, David Warner was drawn into driving at a delivery shaping away from him and nicked the ball through to wicketkeeper Matt Prior for six.

Players in good mood

Afrobasket: Nigeria beats Mali 74-59


i g e r i a ’ s Basketball team, D’Tigers began their campaign in the 2013 African Basketball Championship (Afrobasket) on a good note by beating Mali 74-59 in the opening match.

Reports had it that the match which had a tie at some points later had the Nigerian team dominating the last 30 minutes of play. D’Tigers grouped in D would continue its campaign in the tournament playing

Congo today and another match against Cameroon on Sunday. Coach Ayo Bakare told newsmen after the match that the team’s performance was not bad, adding: ``It was a good performance; we finished well at the end.

EuroHockey 2013: Ireland draws England to reach semi-finals

E Shane Watson and Chris Woakes in action

ngland’s men survived a fightback from Ireland to book a place in the EuroHockey semi-finals with a 2-2 draw. Ireland needed a win to deprive England

of the semi-final place but came up short despite two second-half penalty strokes from Shane O’Donoghue. England, ranked fourth in the world, will face hosts Belgium in Friday’s semi-final

after they drew 2-2 with Spain. Carson deflected David Condon’s shot home then lifted a closerange finish past Ireland keeper David Harte as England cruised to a two-goal lead.

. . . putting the people first



Keshi defends Moses, Mikel over lack of playing time in Chelsea


he Head coach of the Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi is not bothered by the lack of playing time allocated to two of his most trusted stalwarts, Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel at Barclays English Premier League club, Chelsea. The duo was left out of Chelsea’s two opening league fixtures against Hull City and Aston Villa. Frank Lampard, Ramires, Eden Hazard, Oscar, Juan Mata and Kevin de Bruyne have been the preferred choices in midfield for the Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho in the Blues’ opening two competitive fixtures this term. Keshi is however calm about the situation as he insists that “there are no sentiments in issues like these.” “I am not in control of what happens at Chelsea. Mourinho is the manager of Chelsea. That’s what I have been trying to let Nigerians know. “There are no sentiments in issues like these. For top coaches (like Mourinho), it’s about the team and never about the individuals. If Mourinho feels that Mikel and Moses are not ready to play in the opening games, so be it.,” Keshi exclusively told Mourinho declared in July that players, who do not have regular, playing time under their belt at their club, could struggle at the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil with their respective national teams. Keshi has however disclosed that he has no qualms selecting both players to play for the Super Eagles whether or not they enjoy regular game time at Chelsea. “(Failure to get regular playing time at Chelsea) does not mean that I will not invite both players to play for Nigeria. The only reasons that will stop me from inviting these players is if they are either injured or not in good shape,” he said. Mikel and Moses have both been called up to the Nigeria squad to face Malawi in a 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifier in Calabar on September 7.


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QUOTABLE QUOTE The Constitution (of Nigeria) is very clear; it allows for free speech. I have made my speech… I owe nobody any apology. — Chief Bisi Akande, acting National Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), defending his description of Goodluck Jonathan as “kindergarten president”.

Time to behead the monster of prejudice P

rejudice has become profitable in Nigeria. It is boom season for ethnic entrepreneurs and, indeed, for sundry purveyors of hate. These traders in prejudice do not inhabit any special corners of Nigeria. They are everywhere and they profit from nearly everything. They cut across genealogy, class, gender, creed. Nothing escapes their attention and everything is sooner or later an ethnic conspiracy or an excuse for a slur on an identity group. To be fair, these profiteers in prejudice have received a lot of help recently. Governors in different parts of Nigeria who swore to defend the Constitution of Nigeria have resorted to removing Nigerians from one part of the country to another under various artifices from security to specious humanitarianism. Others have sacked workers in the public service of their states based on claims that the affected workers are supposedly aliens from neighbouring states. All this takes place notwithstanding that Nigeria’s constitution expressly prohibits discrimination on grounds of place of origin, ethnicity or sex. The same constitution entitles all Nigerians to move freely and live anywhere within the country.Yet, women have routinely lost access to and preferment within the public service because they married spouses from outside what is supposed to be their state of origin. It gets worse: prejudice feeds extremism. When a bomb goes off in No-Man’s Land or a security operation somewhere reports mass casualties, the liqueur-parlour – and even predominant policy – inquiry no less, often turns on the ethnic or sectarian identities of those affected. Most no longer seem to harbor the capability for pause to mourn the collective injuries to our country, to share in the grief of people like who must mourn the loss of loved ones or to transmit solidarity or compassion to communities living under the weight of victimization. Transcendentalism is no longer a requirement for leadership. To have a place at the table of leadership, you must corral and bring along a filial collective tied to nativity. Co-existence has acquired new enemies. Online chat rooms and electronic communities have not helped. There is a frightening electronic traffic in prejudice and vituperation. It is as if some electronic platforms are designed to spike their own traffic metrics by deliberately promoting echochambers in prejudice. All this traffic in prejudice

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GUEST COLUMNIST Chidi Anselm Odinkalu

misses one essential and obvious point. In Nigeria, there are only two tribes that matter: the rulers and the others. The former are an overwhelming minority. The rest of us are “the others”. And when you are “the other” in Nigeria, anything can happen to you. The idea of an “overwhelming minority” sounds inherently self-contradictory but not when you look at it closely. In a democracy, the majority supposedly confers power. In reality, a minority necessarily exercises and profits from it. In Nigeria a narrow band of interests has always controlled our patrimony. The membership of this narrow band comes from all over the country. When the going is good, they care little about the others. When they encounter the occasional difficulty in carving up our patrimony, they enlist others in manufactured divisions of ethnicity and sect. And they

litter the land with red meat for profiteers in prejudice. All over our laws, being poor is criminalized. The law establishing the Abuja Environmental Protection Board describes hardworking women selling agricultural produce or seeking other legitimate livelihood in day time as “solid waste” and renders them liable to arbitrary arrest. Unemployed persons are punished for being “idle and disorderly”. Poor people in the wrong place are “vagabonds”. And those who suffer mental disability are “lunatics” or “mad people”. What is notable in the recent oneway traffic in Nigerians across state borders is not where those affected come from or the race or ethnicity of those who think that the response to our admittedly profound social or political pathologies is the internal banishment of other people. It is rather that the victims are all generally poor people. To

All over our laws, being poor is criminalized. The law establishing the Abuja Environmental Protection Board describes hardworking women selling agricultural produce or seeking other legitimate livelihood in day time as “solid waste” and renders them liable to arbitrary arrest. Unemployed persons are punished for being “idle and disorderly”. Poor people in the wrong place are “vagabonds”.

underline this point, they are also rendered nameless. As a category, we call them “beggars”. It is as if being called a beggar is good reason for being put beneath humanity and beneath the protections of our Constitution. When states banish motorbike operators from the roads, the main reason they give is that such “beggars” constitute threats to security. When banks preclude persons with disability – whose deposits they happily collect rom their transaction and service halls, it is because such “beggars” are unsuitable to be seen in their corporate spaces. And when we exclude people who do not look like us from our various neighbourhoods, we call them “beggars” too. In all these instances, we deploy these usages to excuse our inability to care or show compassion. Yet, the only thing that is beggared by all this sniffing at people who are not like us is the possibility of mutual co-existence in a viable country. The use of the word “beggar” to describe fellow human beings and citizens says everything about the pervasiveness of status as the defining influence in how Nigeria is presently organised. This is not chosen by nature nor ordered by any ethnic or faith group. As a policy tendency, the idea of civic entitlement, that citizens are entitled as a matter of right to certain minimum guarantees of well being and due process is now under threat in our country. This must be resisted by all who wish Nigeria well. Difficult as it may seem, there are many ways to fight back. Leadership is important. We must offer support and incentives for aspiring leaders who are genuinely committed to promoting transcendental and non-discriminatory values and find ways to exact political penalty for those that fail to do so. The law has a role to play. We must review our laws and remove from them provisions that penalize poverty or being different. It also time to think about criminalizing hate speech and related crimes of purveying hate. Related to this, proprietors and promoters of electronic communities must begin to assume greater responsibility for traffic on their platforms. Agreeing a voluntary code of good practice could be a good beginning. The National Human Rights Commission can mediate this. Pejoratives, like “beggars”, must be discouraged in our public communications. Every person has a name and group pejoratives of this sort are themselves violations of dignity and the inherent worth of every person. As a menu of options, this is only a beginning. There are lots more that we could do. We can at least resolve around one goal: It is time to end the open season on those who look different from us. Chidi Anselm Odinaku, an expert in human rights and migration law, is the Chairman, National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria.

Published by Peoples Media Limited, 35, Ajose Adeogun Street, 1st Floor Peace Park Plaza, Utako, Abuja. Kano office: Plot 3, Zaria Road, Opposite Kano State House of Assembly. Lagos Office: No.8 Oliyide Street, off Unity Road, Ikeja, Lagos. Tel: +234 814 292 9046. Cell: +234 802 443 2099; 803 7007 759. e-mail:; ISSN: 2141– 6141

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 23 August, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 23 August, 2013