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Nigeria Army can’t tackle Boko Haram except ... —Senator Abu Ibrahim

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Saturday - 17/5/2014 CHAIRMANSHIP APC - 44 with 2, 370,889 VOTES PDP - 0 with 200,687


. . . Pu ttin g th e people first Vol. 3 No. 92

SATURDAY — SUNDAY, MAY 24-25, 2014

RAJAB 25-26 1435 AH

Gunmen kill 30 in fresh Borno attacks As Army kills two insurgents in Katsina


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L-R: :Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State; Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland,Alhaji Abdul-Azeez Arisekola Alao and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar ,inaugurating Bodija Muslim community central mosque and Islamic centre, yesterday in Ibadan.




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- 25, 2014

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Boko Haram: As military finally roles out war planes, tanks ....will there be collateral damage?

>>>Pages 7,8,9

Insurgency: ‘FG released N130bn to military in four months’ >>Page 6



Interview Nigerian Army can’t tackle Boko Haram except ... —Senator Abu Ibrahim Senator Abu Ibrahim is the Deputy minority Whip at the National Assembly representing Katsina South (Funtua district)Senatorial Zone. In this interview with newsmen in Kaduna among them MUHAMMAD IBRAHIM, the outspoken Senator said Nigeria Army is full of uncommitted officers advising the military authority to engage the Civilian JTF youths into the military to help fight the insurgents.


here was a meeting recently held in France between Nigeria and its neighboring countries like Niger, Cameron and Chad in a collaborative efforts to stamp out Boko Haram . Why now? When the Chibok girls were kidnapped the international community became so much interested in the happenings in Nigeria and were bringing or offering assistance. So they realized there must be a collaborations among African countries. That I will say is what led to that conference in France where Countries like Niger, Chad and Cameron all attended. Now there are romours that our boarders are being taken over by Boko Haram so obviously there must be a collaborative effort to secure our boarders. There must also be a collaborative effort to secure the release of these girls. But I think it is something that is supposed to be done years ago because there is no way you can fight a terrorists group without collaboration with surrounding countries. Is the Senate satisfied with the role being played by the Federal Government in tackling insecurity in the country? Well, the activities of government to me, personally even though I know some people will accuse me of not being in the ruling party that is why I will say this but the fact still remains that even if I were to be in PDP I will tell the truth. The government was not committed from the beginning,.It is unfortunate that some people were giving insurgency political coloration that some people want to discredit President Jonathan’s administration. So in the process so much time was wasted. His wife was shouting over the radio asking people to be arrested while the security should have taken action within 48 hours of the abduction. Obviously this left much to be desired. As far as I am concerned this is not the position of the Senate but the position of Senator Abu Ibrahim a member of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and if there would be discussion on

Senator Abu Ibrahim this issue I will rise up to say the same thing. The issue of the missing girls seemed to bother everybody including the international community. What do you think should be done to rescue the missing girls? rom what we are seeing, it seems there is international focus and I believe with all the effort internationally there is hope that we would be able to rescue these girls. Insecurity is one issue bothering Nigerians making the citizens to lose hope in soldiers who now depend on foreign countries. Don’t you think if by chance the foreigners rescue these girls that will affect Nigerian Army integrity? We had an interactive session with the security chiefs with other leaders of the Senate and they spoke quite frankly. I am going to quote somebody here but I am not going to mention name for fear of backlash on the person. But I made my own conclusion and understanding. The security sector of Nigeria is under funded. The security sector


is improvised because they still don’t have modern equipment ,the ones they have are obsolete. hey are also not properly motivated and what I also discovered was that the present day recruits into the army are not same with those that joined army in the past. In those years people joined army because they are interested in the job. They behaved and foght as army. But now the majority are joining the army because they have no jobs. The motivation or strength of character and commitment is far less than that of before. o there are situation that we have to look at how to rectify them. I think the sen-



ate will come out with a number of actions to be taken because even when you approve budget the Finance Ministry is not in a hurry to release the money. Before they release the money it takes two-three weeks late and that will translate to the person in Chibok or Sanbisa forest or Adamawa state. So we must force the Ministry of Finance to pay them theirright dues at the right time. How do you access the contribution of the Civilian JTF in the fight against insurgents in the country? I have not been to Maiduguri but from what I heard from my colleagues the boys are doing fine and that they helped secure

Maiduguri. They came out in the night to man every part of Maiduguri town and I think the army if they are having weak people in the force they should recruit these boys and take them into the force, train them. I remember a similar thing was done in the Niger Delta. Let them take at least five thousand Civilian JTF and give them three weeks training. They will face those insurgents. Just make them officials, provide them with the necessary weapons to see if they will not go into the Sambisa forest. But now we have an army that is not as strong as its used to be. So we must revolutionize and find a way of finding real people who are interested in joining army not those who joined because they are looking for job. Do you support the idea of Swapping the girls with detained Boko Haram members? In a situation like this everything can be put on table because the most important thing is to bring the girls safe, this is the international hope and international objective. So Nigeria is in a tight corner. We must fing a way of freeing these girls. If the swapping with Boko Haram will bring the girls back safe we have no alternative. But the government is in a better position to look at the actions. ince there are security reports available to them, they also have international communities reports available to them so they should be in a better position to take the right decision. But to me we just have to find a way to negotiate. This is my personal opinion. I am not talking because of information available to me because I don’t have any.


We had an interactive session with the security chiefs with other leaders of the Senate and they spoke quite frankly. I am going to quote somebody here but I am not going to mention name for fear of backlash on the person. But I made my own conclusion and understanding. The security sector of Nigeria is under funded. The security sector is improvised because they still don’t have modern equipment ,the ones they have are obsolete.




Confab in Land Act, Grazing Reserve controversies By Patrick Andrew


rickbats, uproar, deep sentiment and emotion and outright parochial interests were expected. That indeed was a foregone conclusion. It would have been rather abnormal should agitation and contention failed to register its divisive presence in the conference. After all, some would reason, had many not been drawn into it at the early stages of the conference before the intervention of the 50-wise men restored some level of sanity? But when it returned many were taken aback. It came sooner than expected and over an issue that a few would ordinarily have thought would generate such preponderance of interest. But it did. Emotions were seared, ethnic drifts became easily noticeable. And not the least, religious affinity also came on the fore. However, political enemies suddenly realigned forces and blended their battle lines, formed a fiery affinity against a common “enemy” that dared to challenge its position on the ordinary issue made contentious. The core of issue in contention was the grazing reserve. Yes, grazing land for nomadic Fulani herdsmen. True, the herdsmen, so much disparaged in recent times over their alleged atrocities acts in Benue, Nasarawa and The Plateau, were not there to advance their course and defend themselves. But they had more than surplus advocates. And it cuts across religions and tribes, surprisingly. And well emotion boiled over as outbursts, were far beneath the dignity of the honourable delegates, flew with relative ease. Some expressions were rather banal; laden with ill-logic while others were indisputable, and therefore quite tenable and winsome. Trouble started on Wednesday when the recommendations of the Committee on Immigration and Related Matters were being examined clause by clause. Delegate Dr. Magdalene Mba Dura, had proposed an amendment to section 3 (3J) on provision of grazing reserves across the states. The recommendation says in part: “The Grazing Reserves …should be promoted by the government and affected stakeholders as well as dedicated funds for the acculturation and acclimatization of herdsmen and well as provide designated reserve and less nomadic life style…” Her proposed amendment, which sparked the uproar forcing

Chairman, Confab, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, abrupt adjournment was, “…their state governments should carve out lands and dedicate funds for setting them down and where they do need to leave any other parts of Nigeria, they like other Nigerians they have the right to apply for land anywhere they reside. They should follow due process and apply for land”. This suggestion irked Northern delegates, who felt that the proposal though from a Northerner, was meant to deny and discriminate against the Fulanis. They, thereafter, sought to counter this gross lack of appreciation for the Fulanis by insisting that the recommendation should remain as it was coughed by the committee. The reasons adduced were emotion-laden and therefore little on facts, a position that was easily corrected as more voices of reason stepped in to try to convince others, yet little was gained forcing the leadership of the conference to step in with the gavel. First though, Hon. Umar Kareto Lawan adduced that such reserves would be in favour of the hosts’ states and not the nomadic Fulanis, and hence they (hosts) should bear the cost of providing the reserves and ensuring that

other amenities of life were provided in the designated areas. Maigari Dingyadi defended the proposal that hosts states should fund the grazing reserve by arguing that the beneficiaries are group of people who are nomadic and whose welfare and needs should be catered for by the hosts states and not their state of origin. Prof. Dare disagreed stressing that it seems abnormal in this era to talk about nomadic herdsmen adding that modern technology has made it easier to produce enough grass within four hours for cows in most universities and suggested that the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, has the facilities to do just that. His shrewd suggestion rather than calm the situation generated further hiccoups because he had alleged that Fulani herdsmen raped women. The cry of “no, no, withdraw that comment” rang high and he was forced to withdraw the comment. Further, Magaji Danbatta objected to the ethnic dimension the argument has degenerated into noting that some members tended to allow sentiment and irresponsible talks to becloud their sense of reasoning and went ahead to reason that taxi drivers in Sokoto from the South West do

This is the most capitalistic report this conference has had the misfortune to receive. What is behind the recommendation is nothing but class interest. It is in the interest of this country that land is left in trust with government.

not bring roads from their states of origin to Sokoto to conduct their economic activities. At this juncture, what seems a smooth sail of recommendations met a bulwark, tempers flared and flayed words became handy. Proceedings were halted and the house sent home. Deputy Chairman of the conference Prof. Bolaji Akiyemi angrily told delegates,”I am a diplomat, and I have kept my cool, don’t force me to break my cool,” he said. He quoted a provision in their Order book to the effect that where they to failed to reach a consensus before a contentious issue is put to vote the leadership of the conference has the right to defer further action until it has done wider consultations. “Every time we have a contentious issue like this we should put a bracket on it and then do our consultation on it. If we cannot reached a consensus before it is put to vote, so don’t provoked me,” he said. However, that did little to assuage the situation forcing the chairman Justice Idris Legbo Kutugi to descend rather hard on the delegates. “All decisions are pragmatic we have not descended to this low level. We are here to make national decisions. These Fulani, how many are there that we should take on them? Please let’s be national in our decisions,” he said even as members continue to shout no, no. The conference was forced to adjourn. Meanwhile, the proposer of the amendment, Dr. Dura, said she was misunderstood by delegates because her suggestion was not meant to generate such uproar. According to her accepting the recommendation the way it is would be discriminatory and against the spirit of section 42 of the Nigerian constitution and also said no citizen be denied his or her rights and privileged. Meanwhile, the proposer of the amendment, Dr. Dura, said she was misunderstood by delegates because her suggestion was not meant to generate such uproar. “My amendment was that their state governments should carve out lands and dedicate funds for setting them down and where they do need to leave any other parts of Nigeria (I am against this random movement) as other Nigerians they have the right to apply for land anywhere they reside. They should follow due process and apply for land. Well, the next day, the heat greatly subsided. A motion sponsored by Mr. Jaiye Gaskiya and 13 others, unanimously resolved the contentious issue of the establishment of grazing reserves and ranches for

nomadic herdsmen as well as the responsibility for the funding of such reserves. The motion was read by a CSO delegate, Festus Okoye, and seconded by Bilikisu Aliyu from Zamfara State. The conference resolved that an integrated development and livelihood modernisation programme should be designed and implemented to address the issue of settling nomadic herdsmen into settled communities based on established cattle ranches with fodder development technologies and including abattoirs, processors and other businesses along the livestock value chain. It also agreed that the integrated development and modernisation programme should be funded by both the federal and state governments in states where such settlement are established. Further, it resolved that the programme should be undertaken and wrapped up within a period of five to 10 years after which such settlements should have become self-sustaining with the full integration of the nomadic herdsmen community into modern Nigeria political economy. Then came another heated debate, still land related. The conference opened debate on the recommendations of the Committee on Land Tenure Matters and National Boundaries on Thursday. The committee, headed by retired General A. B. Mamman and Oba Michael Adedeji as deputy, reasoned that the controversial Land Use Act was an attempt at codification of all laws in Nigeria pertaining to land administration and therefore recommended that it be expunged from the constitution. Their reasons seem laudable. They adduced that before the Act land belonged to specific owners or group of owners, families, or communities, who could dispose of same without the requirement of obtaining any authorization or ratification by the state government. They also argued that the original land tenure systems, in which the community exercised management and control powers, guaranteed that community members have access to land for farming and habitation and other economic activities. The committee asserted that land ownership provided the foundation for agricultural and economic development of Nigeria and was supported by traditional land tenure systems and further argued that with the introduction of the Land Use Act, land ownership became vested in the governor of a state and the local government within the area of the jurisdiction on which the land is situated. Contd on Page 26



Special Report

Jos: Counting the loss after the blast

A scene shortly after the blast From Ado Abubakar Musa, Jos


he horrific incident of Tuesday’s twin bomb blast around terminus market area along MurtalaMuhammed Way in Jos Plateau state which claimed more than a hundred lives and got scores wounded has left many Nigerians in tears, sorrow and resentment. In the incident, properties worth millions of naira were destroyed. Before the arrival of the security and other emergency groups, corpse and human parts were seen littering the ground around the venue of the explosions and group has since claimed responsibility of the blast butBoko Haram has severally claimed responsibility of explosions in the country. Our correspondent reports that the two explosives went off one after the other. The first one was said to have been wired in a J5 Fiat bus fully loaded with dry maize, parked adjacent to the old University Teaching Hospital while the second one was connected in a

A victim being assisted by sympathisers Sienna bus near the J 5 Fiat. An eye-witness, Mus’ab Sulieman informed our correspondent that he was on his way back home when unexpectedly, the first Bomb exploded and few minutes later, the second one blasted. He said, ``on my way back home from Hamaz Communication Office, all of a sudden I heard a loud sound from behind me but unusual. As I turned back I saw people trooping in the vicinity of the explosion and as soon as I reached there (the first scene of the explosion), another one blasted. The area was completely dark and shops plus other properties were going up in smoke. Dead bodies and human parts were everywhere. It was terrible and prayed not to witness it again. hortly after the explosions, various major hospitals the state’s capital and other minor medical centers engaged in rendering medical assistance to the victims of the incident. Casualty unites and Mortuaries of the medical centers in the state were filled up with the victims of the blasts. There were


no space in the emergency unites to admit victims with woundsand dead bodies were spread on ground floor of hospital morgues. There were disagreeing accounts on the number of casualties as the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on the Tuesday gave the death toll as 118 but people have claimed that it go beyond that due to the reports of the missing people. At the Plateau Specialist Hospital, some survivors spoke to our correspondent on how the incident occurred. Madali Solomon who is a police officer at Railway Station in Jos is one of the survivors of the explosion and narrated her ordeal. She said, `` I went to a nearby market to buy palm oil because the market is not far from my station. As the palm oil seller measuring the oil for me, suddenly I felt something piercing through my back and eventually I felt down. I started mentioning Jesus, Jesus. Help me Jesus and from there I didn’t know when I found myself at the hospital. ``I was operated from my back and a piece of metal was removed. It was not easy but I am getting better. May God change the thinking of the perpetrators. It is only God can change them, `` Madali added. nother survivor at same hospital, Ruth Joseph who is also currently on admission together with her three years-old daughter narrated her experience to journalists who visited the hospitals that, `` on Tuesday in the afternoon, at exactly 3: pm when I was sitting down together with my elder sister, whom I visited at the market, suddenly I heard a loud sound and quickly, I stood up to ran but could not. Unknown to me, there were various burnt on my limbs. I didn’t know when I felt down. ``From that moment I didn’t know where I was. I only saw my three-year old daughter and myself lying on the hospital bed. Both my daughter and myself sustained injuries. As I am talking to you now, I cannot tell you the hereabout of my sister, whom I visited. I cannot equally tell you whether she is death or alive. Only God knows that one. However, there were allegations by many


The wreckage after the blast

residents in Jos that prior to the incident, the Plateau State Police Command was alerted on a suspicious car and the police visited area and even removed the plate number of the reported car but could not understand whether or not explosives were concealed in the bus but the Police Public Relation Officer of the state command, ASP Felicia Anslem, debunked the allegations saying it was not true. She said, `` it was not true. There no such reports because our personnel were on the road through the day of the incident. Usually, whenever there is such a report, we do ask our anti-bomb squad to go round the said area to make thorough investigation. I can tell you that there was nothing like that. Two days after the incident, there were reports by many people about missing relatives. At various medical centers people were seen trooping in to search for their missing ones who have not yet returned home since the occurrence of the blast. ccording to Sabo Adam Abubakar, his wife, Maryam Ibrahim was among those missing during the blast. When asked at the Plateau Specialist mortuary how Maryam got missing, he narrated that: `` about 2:30pm, of Tuesday, we went to Zenith bank together and withdrew money. Before we parted, I told her I would be going to Maternity hospital to peak her sister and she told me that I should come back home quickly as she would prepare my food on time, so I should not waste time. ``Few minutes after our last discussion, the bomb blast occurred. I have been round to various hospitals to see if I could even see her corpse but couldn’t; and her cell phone was not available. Our marriage is months old now. She was kind obedient. I cried on the day of the incident. If she is no longer longer with us, may Allah show mercy on her``, he added. Another resident, Aliyu Magida who searched for his missing cousin, also said, ``my cousin, Iliyasu went out Tuesday,


Contd on Page 5



Special Report

Jos: Counting the loss after the blast Contd from Page 4 but did not return. We went to Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) mortuary, Jan Kwanu and other hospitals but could not find him. We would continue searching. We are not giving up now. arious vigilante groups in the city worked together and averted what could have led to a major religious crisis in the state. The groups which made up of both Muslims and Christian faithful deployed their men at various flash points in the city. Already there were reports on Tuesday that some Christian youths had mobilized around Tina junction, threathenind to attack Muslim passer-by, given suspicious that those behind the bombing were Muslims. Commandant of a vigilant group in Ibrahim Kashim Ward, Ahmad Bagobiri told our correspondent that: `` It has become part of Plateau state that whenever threre is bomb blast, bad people usually stage reprisals on innocent people. `` Realizing that this explosion might also lead to same clashes, we quickly mobilized our members to help calm the youths, particularly those who intended to block the roads. Our youths have really listened to us because all of them went to their various homes. We told them that whatever happens they shuld calm themselves and not take the low into their hands``, Bagobiri added. Also, commandant of another group in Dogon Dutse area, Sarki Anzem, explained that both Muslims and Christians in the area worked together to ensure that



nobody disturbed their existing peace, adding that those who often caused problems are people who want to achieve their personal objectives and not anything else. ``Both Muslims and Christians in our area worked on the day of the incident to avert any clash that might lead to another religious crisis. That is why we preach to everyone and all listened`` , he said. A day after the incident, there was mayhem in the state capital. Although there was no curfew but the movement of the people from one place to another was very unusual as only few people could be seen on the major city’s streets. Business activities and schools were partially closed down and security personnel were seen everywhere. However, both Federal and State government have condemned the blasts, describing it as inhuman, barbaric and unfortunate which was carried out by enemies of progress and peace in the country. he Inspector General of Police (IGP), Muhammed D. Abubakar, who visited the scene of the blasts and various hospitals, on Wednesday, condemned the act and vowed to do everything possible to get the perpetrators arrested and them to justice, adding that no responsible government would accept theact in the world. Also during his visit to the state, the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal, Alex Badeh said the recent bomb blasts rocking the country were a reflection of the pressure on the insurgents by the military, saying that the activities of group would not deter the military in their effort to eliminate insurgency in the country.

A victim wheeled from the scene


More of the wreckage

Two days after the incident, there were reports by many people about missing relatives. At various medical centers people were seen trooping in to search for their missing ones who have not yet returned home since the occurrence of the blast. Curiousity, anguish enveloped the scene after the blast



News 30 killed as Boko Haram attack Borno villages …Army kills two Boko Haram suspects, arrests 1 in Katsina From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri & Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


t least 30 people were reportedly killed on Thursday in separate attacks carried out by suspected Boko Haram insurgents in three villages of Marte local government area of Borno state. Similarly, the Army has reportedly killed two Boko Haram suspects in Katsina state. Our correspondent reported that Boko Haram militants recently intensified bloody attacks in the rural areas as no fewer than 98 villagers have lost their lives within the last five days. In the latest incidents, Krenowa town became the first target as the attack occurred in

the afternoon when dozens of the insurgents invaded area and killed 20 persons. Residents said scores of armed insurgents stormed the area around, shooting everyone at sight and setting houses, shops and vehicles on fire. “The militants, armed with sophisticated weapons, raided the area and proceeded to the major market and begun sporadic shootings into the direction of crowd, killing 20 people on the spot and burnt most houses and shops in the town. A resident of the area who spoke to newsmen on phone, Malam Goni Bukar said they were taken unawares as the town has not come under such heavy attacks for a long time. He said through out the onslaught which

lasted for over five hours, there was no single security personnel to confront the invaders as they had a field day wreaking havoc on us. “The invaders snatched several vehicles and loaded them with bags of assorted foodstuff , before fleeing the area”, he said. A traditional ruler in the area who declined identification confirmed the incident in a phone chat decried the absence of security operatives in the area, even as they alerted relevant authorities on the need to deploy troops to safeguard the community. A resident explained that after wreaking havoc in Marte, the hoodlums invaded nearby Kimba and Makor villages, where five people were killed in each of the villages. “After the carnage in our area, the mili-

tants proceeded to the two neighboring villages and killed 10 persons, even as they set ablaze several houses and vehicles. Meanwhile, the military in Katsina confirmed it had killed two suspected Boko Haram members and arrested one during a raid in their hideout at Filin Polo quarters in Katsina. The commander, 35 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Katsina, Colonel Alhassan Gerema who confirmed the incident to newsmen in Katsina said the house occupied by the suspected Boko Haram members was raided yesterday following a tip up. However, Our Correspondent in Katsina gathered from other sources in Katsina that the suspected Boko Haram members were trailed from Kano.

Sultan calls for peace, harmony in Nigeria


he Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, yesterday urged Nigerians to live in peace with one another irrespective of religion, tribe or cultural affiliations. Abubakar gave the advice during the commissioning of Bodija Estates and Environs Muslim Community Mosque and Islamic Centre in Ibadan. The Sultan also urged Muslims not to allow those who did not want Islam to prosper in the country to divide them. ``We have condemned violence. It has no place in Islam and you must give the name terrorist to terrorists. ``Islam does not have anything to do with terrorists. Islam is a religion of peace. “As Muslims, we cannot say something and do the other way round. We have to watch what we say, people are looking at us. We must lead by example so as to tell people what Islam is,’’ Abubakar said. The Sultan promised to do his

best to bring peace and stability to all nooks and crannies in the country. He urged Muslims to live in peace with their neighbours, irrespective of religion, as there was no compulsion in religion. ``Islam is a religion of peace and Prophet Muhammed lived his life with non-Muslims without violence and with happiness,’’ the Sultan said. Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, in his comments, commended those that contributed to the completion of the mosque. He urged Muslims to contribute to the development and sustenance of the religion. In a lecture at the occasion, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Oladosu said that the role of the mosque was beyond worshiping alone. Oladosu said that the mosque served as a place that united the Muslims, whether rich or poor. “The artificial created differences, ranks, status, positions and designations among members of the people vanish as they step inside the mosque”. (NAN)

President Goodluck Jonathan with the first lady Dame Patience Jonathan arriving Pretorial South Africa on Friday for a high-level discussions with other African Heads of State and Government on combating terrorism in Africa/Inauguration of of President Jacob Zuma for a second term in office, yesterday in South Africa. Photo: Joe Oroyo

FG released over N130bn to military in four months —Okonjo-Iweala By Clem Khena-Ogbena


ederal Government of Nigeria has so far released the sum of N130. 7 billion out of the 2014 bugdet to the military between January and April, this year. The Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi OkonjoIweala, who disclosed this yesterday, while briefing journalists on this year’s budget, signed by President Goodluck Jonathan, said that the military was not captured in the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), which was why the Federal Government disbursed the money to defence, so that officers and men of the military could be paid their salaries and other entitlements promptly. According to her, out of this amount, N86.9billion was for personnel. Okonjo-Iweala, however, pointed out that the the military required an additional N24.8 billion, to be sourced from the President’s contingent funds. She stated, “There were also other requirements they needed and we used Mr. President’s contingent; we are for them as they needed ex-

tra- N24.8 billion for their additional spending, apart from their budgets. We are still processing”. Besides, the minister said that the late signing of the budget had not hindered the running of the economy, because Section 84 of the constitution enables government to continue the implementation, adding that the constitution had empowered the government to spend up to 50 per cent of the budget. According to her, “the late signing has not hampered the running of the economy because what we have in Section 84 of the constitution enables us to continue implementation based on the unsigned budget where we can continue spending up to 50 per cent. So, we have been able to continue running the country as a result of that. So, the effect of the delayed signing has remained minimal.” While explaining the critical policies of the budget, the minister stated, “On the housing sector , the mortgage refinancing within the economy is designed to support greater liquidity and we have been working so hard to put in place all relevant institutional framework and policies that will support and kick off ad-

ditional mortgage refinancing in the economy. We promise to make sure that at the beginning of June, we shall start advertising for people who want the mortgage, so that they can apply and kick it off. We need 10,000 mortgages initiatlly. “This signifies the housing sector in a big way both on the demand side and on the supply side during production. This will give the young people hope so that one day, they can also own a home. We shall make sure that such house owners get their satisfcations as quickly as possible. This will also get to the lower income people, and that these are some of the policies encapsulated in this year’s 2014 budget. “We promised you in January that by June, we will kick off and now we are almost there. At the African Bankers award, the Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company got the award for the best mortgage concept of the year 2014 in Africa. Our efforts in the mortgage sector is already being recognised. On another policy which is in the manufacturing sector, the budget is trying to kick off certain sectors in manufacturing and relating jobs e.g, the sugar policy, the backward integration policy on sugar.

“We are saying that those who have established factories and farms for grazing sugarcane and so on, are going to get certain benefits and tariffs compared to those who are just trading in sugar whether refined or raw. Those who are going to produce raw, we will be giving preferential tariffs to encourage them. In the automative or car industry, we also have some policies. We have kicked off the car industry. We have some policies designed to support that and all of these are aimed at increasing productivity and creating jobs.” Making his remarks, the Director General, Budget Office, Dr Bright Okogu, said that said that the approved Medium Term Exopenditure Framework had the benchmark of $77.5 per barrel in the 2014 budget, while in 2013, it was $79 per barrel. According to him, “Crude oil production was put at 2.388 million barrels per day, compared to 2013 which was 2.53 million barrels per day. The production target for 2014 is a bit lower. He pointed out that the exchange rate was maintained at N160/$US in 2014, the same as it was in 2013.




Boko Haram: As military roles out tanks, warplanes … Senate calls for total war …Mass civilian deaths feared

The anti terrorism drive in the North East has taken a fresh dimension with Senate resolution for a full and sustained military action against insurgents. In this report, News Editor Abubakar Ibrahim chronicles the actions trailing the abduction of female students of a Chibok secondary school including the local and international military options amidst effort to broker peace with Boko Haram insurgents. Additional reports from Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri & Umar Dankano, Yola

Nigeria Airforce fighter jet in action


t no time has a full-scale military operation been so urgent to the Federal Government of Nigeria than after over 200 female students of a secondary school in Chibok, Borno state were abducted April 14 triggering international outrage. For that, France frantically assembled the frontline nations recently in the battle against the Boko Haram crisis apparently sensing the potential danger to her former colonies of Cameroun, Chad and Niger. For strategic reasons, all the neighbours of embattled Nigeria must be involved. So, against all expectations, given their all too familiar difference with the Presidency over policy issues, the House of Representatives, has unanimously supported the extension of the State of Emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States to provide legal framework for the war against terrorism. Translating this to action, media reports yesterday quoted security sources and residents of nearby villages confirming fighter jets and army tanks have begun raids on camps set up by suspected Boko Haram militants in forests of Bauchi State. Residents of Ganjuwa and Darazo local government areas said they had sighted military aircraft heading towards the forests and heard sounds of bombings in the early hours of Thursday Suspected Boko Haram militants are reported to be operating in the two LGAs, as well in neighbouring Gwaram of Jigawa State.

A State of Emergency was declared in the three States in May 2013 and extended for a six month period which was expected to elapse four days ago. o the Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, the decision to elongate the emergency is to consolidate on the successes recorded in recent past. According to him, the legislative instrument granted will also assist all foreign countries that have indicated interest in helping Ni-


geria to find the abducted Chibok girls and to overcome other security challenges confronting the country. ``Our effort is not just geared towards safe return of our girls, but is also targeted at ending insurgency in the country as a whole,’’ he said. ollowing in the footstep this week, the Senate on Thursday last week approved President Goodluck Jonathan’s request for extension of emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States for another six months


The motion for approval of the extension moved by the Senate Leader, Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba and seconded by the Senate Minority Leader, Sen. George Akume, urged the Federal Government to undertake sustained military operation and to conduct special recruitment of youth and screened members of the civilian JTF into the armed forces.

term. Like the Reps, the senate also endorsed the assistance of the international community to sweep out terrorism, urging President Jonathan to immediately approve intervention funds to the affected states for development. The motion for approval of the extension moved by the Senate Leader, Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba and seconded by the Senate Minority Leader, Sen. George Akume, urged the Federal Government to undertake sustained military operation and to conduct special recruitment of youth and screened members of the civilian JTF into the armed forces. he senate however wants the Federal Government to liaise with the three affected states in fashioning out an Economic Marshall Plan to revive the economy of all disadvantaged parts of the country for holistic security. In this regard, the senate urged the President to submit a supplementary budget to the National Assembly to meet the financial requirements of the combat. In a remark after the approval, the Senate President, David Mark, noted that the insurgency in the North East was a national problem that must “be resolved as quickly as possible. “We stand shoulder to shoulder behind our colleagues from all the States affected. “We take this in the same vein that we are all equally affected and that this is a national issue and not a sectional issue in any form”, he


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said. Foreign aid: The journey so far Military experts have flown in so far from the UK, Canada, France, Spain, the United States and Israel in rapid reaction to help Nigeria in the search for the girls but, according to inside sources, the army critically needs airlift helicopters, armoured tanks, and protective gears to contain the insurgency, with foreign military presence not leading in that direction. his is just as President Goodluck Jonathan disclosed during the just concluded World Economic Forum on Africa, in Abuja,that the administration had recently approved USD1 billion for the provision of military hardware. PREMIUM TIMES reported gathering “from army sources in Maiduguri and Abuja that foreign military assistance has so far been greeted with some ambivalence or perhaps distractions”. “Foreign military assistance you speak about has been largely in the media and for international public relations value that is almost certainly not likely to end up in boots on the ground or badly needed weaponry to assist us here,” one of the sources said. One arm of the foreign assistance cell of the United States with about 30 men and the UK with 10 men have been largely based in Abuja holding “endless meetings” with local officers. Local officers in Maiduguri say they “haven’t as much as seen even the slightest intelligence from our foreign friends.” This claim belies the widely held views of military cooperation at the intelligence levels, since the US Air Force (USAF) Beechcraft MC12W Liberty aircraft, based in Niamey in Niger, began flying over the north east region, according to reports from the Jane’s Defense magazine, quoting U.S. government sources. Niamey is also base to the USAF General Atomics MQ-1 Predator UAVs but they have not been reported to be participating on the northeast mission against Boko Haram. Jane’s magazine also reported that the USAF base in Niamey will soon be joined by the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) flying from US Naval Air Station Sigonella on Sicily. If the foreign forces triggers into active mission, the French, which deployed two General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles to Ndjamena in January, and which keeps a large detachment of Dassault Rafale and Dassault Mirage 2000 fighters as well as Boeing KC-135FR tankers, will be the most influential on account of their proximity to the location sites of the abducted girls near the Chad borders. Last Saturday, May 18, the UK deployed the A Raytheon Sentinel R.1 Airborne Stand-Off Radar (ASTOR) aircraft from its base at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire to Accra. The overall air operation by the United States, United Kingdom, and France concen-



Boko Haram: As military roles out tanks, warplanes trating on building the information picture of the crisis zone and coordinating airborne ISTAR, satellite imagery, and signals intelligence assets to best effect, is being co-coordinated by AFRICOM’s air coordination station at Ramstein Airbase in Germany. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Special Forces from the Army’s 7th Division have claimed to have sighted the locations of more than 250 abducted Chibok schoolgirls and are narrowing the search to three camps operated by the Boko Haram sect north of Kukawa at the western corridors of the Lake Chad, senior military and administration officials said. “It has been a most difficult but heroic breakthrough,” one senior military official said in Abuja. Another senior commander from the Army’s 7th Division, the military formation created to deal with the insurgency in the Northeast, supported that claim. The 7th Division is headquartered in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. Nigerian military officials coordinating the search and other officials in Abuja said Boko Haram insurgents have split the girls into batches and held them at camps in Madayi, Dogon Chuku and Meri, all around the Sector 3 operational division of the Nigerian military detachment confronting the group. nother source said there is a fourth camp at Kangarwa, also in Borno State, a claim not be independently verified. “Our team first sighted the girls on April 26 and we have been following their movement with the terrorists ever since,” one of our sources said. “That’s why we just shake our heads when people insinuate that the military is lethargic in the search for the girls.” The location of the abducted girls – north east of Kukawa – opens a new insight into the logistic orientation of Boko Haram, in a fiveyear long insurgencywhich President Goodluck Jonathan said has killed at least 12,000 people so far excluding the hundreds killed in a car bomb on Tuesday in Jos and about 10 blown up on Sunday in Kano in a suicide bombing. But the details established by the military shows that while the world’s attention is focused on the Sambisa forest reserves, about 330 kilometres south of Maiduguri, the terrorists mapped a complex mission that began at Chibok, and veered north east of Sambisa, before heading to west of Bama and east of Konduga. With the sighting, officials fear that Boko Haram militants may be seeking to create new options of escape all the way to Lo-gone-Et Chari in Cameroon to its Southeast, Lake Chad to its east and Diffa in Niger Republic to its north, providing a multiple escape options in the event


Senate President David Mark

Speaker Aminu Tambuwal

of hostile ground operations against it. But with growing local and international pressure, a likely option may be for the authorities to enter into talks with the group, whose leader, Abubakar Shekau, on May 12, called for dialogue and “prisoner” swap with the government. The government has ruled out that option in the open but knowledgeable sources in Abuja hinted at a possible “twin track” approach that includes open rejection and a closet engagement. “That option is not as bitter as you think in the face of the alternatives confronting us,” the source who has deep insight on the thinking of the administration, said. “Government is working hard to free the girls in less than one week, possibly before end of this week,” the source said. Defence spokesperson, Major General Chris Olukolade would not comment on the ongoing rescue operation. “You don’t expect me to tell you that the girls have been sighted or have not been sighted,” Olukolade said, adding that “I will only say our team are working hard and taking note of every information provided to ensure that our girls are rescued without delay.”

“As far as I know this has not been done and to expect the committee [headed by former army intelligence chief, Major General Sani Bako] now working to determine the situation of the Chibok abduction to help on this will be a waste of time,” Mr. Sani said. A former Commandant, Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Brig.-Gen. Williams Obene (retd.), on Wednesday also advised Nigerians to prepare for war, saying the Boko Haram insurgency would likely last another 10 years, despite foreign intervention. Obene, who pioneered the Nigerian Army Counter-Terrorism and Counter-Insurgency Centre, said the recent bomb attacks in Kano and Jos were signs of asymmetrical warfare such as insurgency. According to him, Boko Haram insurgency cannot end within the next six months earmarked for the extended state of emergency in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states. He said, “The attacks on Kano and Jos did not come to me as a surprise. In asymmetrical warfare, such as we are faced with, these things are to be expected. Nigerians need to come to terms with the fact that we are at war and it is not a conventional war, where the enemy can be identified. “Let’s not delude ourselves to think that we are going to use the military to stop the insurgency in six months. “The Senators have said they would monitor the state of emergency in the North-East on a monthly basis, and would call it off if they don’t see improvement. My question is: what is the alternative to the state of emergency? In fact, we should declare total war. Nigerians should prepare for war.” e urged Nigerians, irrespective of what part of the country they reside, to be vigilant while “politicians should stop deceiving Nigerians that this insurgency can stop in six months…it took some other countries several years to deal with insurgency. “Ours might last up to 10 years, or even more because of the involvement of politicians,” he said.

Shehu Sani, Gen Obene speak owever, Civic rights leader Shehu Sani has written the Sultan of Sokoto and leader of Nigeria’s Muslim, urging him to summon all the influential Islamic clerics with credibility in the north and use them to reach out to the insurgents to release the girls.



Mixed reactions trail full scale military action in Borno Residents of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital have expressed different views over the Federal Government’s alliance with some western powers to launch full scale war against members of the dread Boko Haram militants. While some of the residents interviewed by our correspondent supported the idea, others argued that intelligence gathering is the best strategy to defeat Boko Haram. According to them, full scale war has never solved the problem of insurgency in any part of

US unmanned attack drone

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Contd from Page 8 the world and called on the Federal Government to be cautious in order to curb collateral damage from the side of innocent communities living along the insurgents’camp. A public affairs analysts, Dr. Shettima Lawan noted that total war against Boko Haram is not the immediate solution for now, rather government should adopt other peaceful mechanism in order to end the endless bloodshed. r. Lawan cautioned President Goodluck Jonathan not to be deceived by the so called military support given by US and Britain, saying America has never defeated terrorist organisations like Taliban and Alqaeda despite the huge investment in military action. “I think President Jonathan should consider dialogue approach with the insurgents and not be misled by the so called mighty military powers of America, he should rather realise that even with its drones, experienced troops, sophisticated weapons and other military hardwares, it failed in winning the war against terror after over 10 years of military action. When US realised that it can’t defeat the terror groups, especially in Pakistan and Afghanistan, coupled with billions of dollars wasted in the war, it quickly devised tactics and resolved to dialogue with these organisations. So, I wonder why the President could not adopt such measure. People can say that some dialogue committees were instituted like ones headed by Ambassador Gaji Galtimari and the Minister for Special Duties, Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, all these committees failed yielding desired results because they were unable to establish contacts with key leaders of the Boko Haram sect”, he said. He adviced the president to select credible personalities to form another dialogue committee who will get in touch with leaders of the group. Also commenting over the issue, Dr. Francis Micheal of the University of Maiduguri observed that though military action remained the best approach in tackling the violent campaigns being waged by Boko Haram, there is the need for serious caution so that innocent people living close to the hideouts of the terrorists are not affected. He stressed the need for extensive surveillance and intelligence to identify the actual locations of the militants and their movement so that innocent civilians are not targetted. “I’m not opposed to any military action against Boko Haram, in fact it is long overdue. But the concerned authorities should be extra-careful in carrying out the operations specially that the exercise involves foreign intervention. This becomes imperative to avert civilian casualties like what happened in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, among others. “I think the Federal Government should partner with all other countries offering military assistance in intelligence such as identifying the militants source of funds and weapons, their local and foreign collaborators, key hide-outs across the country and informants. Unless this is done, no amount of military action can defeat Boko Haram because if those in Borno are dislodged, others that are now scattered in some northern states can still get more funds and weapons to continue wreaking havoc on the citizens”. However on their part, the youth volunteers, popularly known as civilian JTF, threw their weight behind


Cover Boko Haram: As military roles out tanks, warplanes


Boko Haram militants international military action against Boko Haram with out any condition. pokesman of the group Abdu Damatta said: “We are really delighted over this step which we have been agitating for a long time. I think the senseless killiñgs by Boko Haram is too muçh and require international intervention”. Dambatta said the group is ever ready to accompany the military to all operational sites “to sacrifice our lives for the restoration of peace”.


Concern over emergency rule in Adamawa The recent extension of the state of emergency by President Goodluck Jonathan, rectified by the national assembly has elicited mixed reaction from the high and the lordly on the society. The general feeling is that six months of further extension would exacerbate the sufferings for the period, in terms of socio-economic challenges the last extension had caused. But the proponents of the extension would lessen the rate of insurgency in the three states in the North-East zone. The exponents of the extension argued that, few days ago, the rate of insurgency in the three states has continued to increase with the abduction of over 200 Chibok school girls who were preparing for the examination.

They also cited the slaughter of studentss at Buni yadi federal government college, in Borno state during the second emergency and several bomb blasts in some parts of Borno state which also claimed a lot of lives. In Yobe state, a number of people were killed in some villages, said the exponents and so, the recent extension would not yield fruitful result. In a nutshell, the insurgency has hampered socioeconomic growth of the region; both at the macro and at the micro levels. Governmental activities have been paralyzed, shunning capital projects which should have impacted on the lives of the people of the by the insurgency. overnments in the region have found it difficult to complete ongoing projects in their respective states nor initiate new ones. At the micro level, petty traders, market women, shoe shiners, food vendors and a host of others in this category, have been hampered by the insurgency. In the same vein, the inter-state trade within the states in the North-East region, including the three have been hampered by the insurgency. One Mallam Aliyu Modibbo in Yola told our correspondent that his business has been scuttledd as he can no longer buy tubers of yam from Ganye in Adamawa state and sell in Maiduguri for fear of the insurgency.


Military experts have flown in so far from the UK, Canada, France, Spain, the United States and Israel in rapid reaction to help Nigeria in the search for the girls but, according to inside sources, the army critically needs airlift helicopters, armoured tanks, and protective gears to contain the insurgency, with foreign military presence not leading in that direction.

In the same vein, one Madam Blessing Kyauta said Maiduguri – Yola has been her regular route as she sell prenatal and postnatal native medicine for women but she no longer does that because of the insurgency. She is a symbol of others that have found themselves in this development. The Igbos whose businesses were mostly affected by the activities of the insurgents, have regained some measure of confidence on the government’s policy. Some of those who spoke to our correspondent noted that though, peace has returned to Adamawa state, there is need for more pro-active measures to be taken to avoid systemic collapse. For many of them, the fresh extension by the President Jonathan may not be necessary for Adamawa except for the abduction of Chibok school girls, whose dimension is yet to be seen. Otherwise, the Adamawa state is really peaceful. ev. Phineas Padio, the state Publicity Secretary of All Progressive Congress (APC) said the request is unnecessary for Adamawa because some measure of peace has been restored. “Adamawa is okay and even the Chief of Defense staff not long ago said the military had succeeded in clearing Boko Haram from Adamawa. Why do they want to extend it if not for political reasons?” Padio asked. Supporting him, Mohammed Aliyu and Benjamin Johnson, both civil servants, kicked against the extension, saying it was totally uncalled for with the level of security now being enjoyed in the state. “The problem is not that serious in Adamawa to warrant a state of emergency. If you talk of the recent kidnap in chibok that has no link to Adamawa”. However, Mallam Abdullahi Damare, the North East Coordinator of Interfaith International, in his response described the extension as a welcome development. Damare said the issue of security is something serious and any measure taken to tackle it such as the ex-


tension of state of emergency should be welcome by the public. “We have an international community that has agreed to assist us. USA, Britain, France and Israel are here to help us so there is need to give them the enabling environment to operate.” Damare said. Meanwhile, Residents of Mubi and Michika in Adamawa have called for the review of 7pm to 5am curfew enforced on the towns by the military two months ago following insurgent attacks in Northern part of the state. Some of the residents who spoke to Peoples Daily said the area had been peaceful since the attack hence the need to review the curfew. “Mubi has been peaceful for several months now, the attack in Michika two months ago has nothing to do with Mubi yet the curfew was extended to Mubi. “ What we want now is that since the Army took that action to protect Michika and Mubi which is not too far from Michika, there is need to review the curfew as things have since normalize”, said Idris Buba , a resident of Mubi said. Maman Talatu, a food vendor pleaded for review of the curfew as it was affecting businesses such as theirs. “I make brisk business in the mornings and evenings but because of this 7 pm curfew me and most of my colleagues are losing the evening market. “Let them adjust the time to 10 or 11 pm as was the case in Yola”, she said. brahim, a businessman pointed out that being a commercial town with international cattle market, there was need to review the curfew for business to fully normalize. Moses Kwaji and Musa Joseph, residents of Michika also called for the review of the curfew in the town pointing out that since the attack on Michika two months ago things have normalized. “We want the army to do something about this curfew. Even in Maiduguri the curfew starts from 9pm “, Joseph said.





INEC accredits observer groups for Ekiti, Osun polls By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


ndependent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has approved twenty nine observer groups to participate in the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections scheduled for June 21 and August 9. The Commission said the accreditation was sequel to the initial application of the observer groups as contained in the completed Form EMOC 01 which was assessed by it. It therefore warned that any observer group other than those accredited, which found themselves in the field in the course of the two elections would be prosecuted. Those accredited, according to the statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Kayode Idowu, are: Centre For Education (Aka) PrevNext, Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), Justice And Equity Organization, NEPAD Nigeria. Others are: Reclaim Naija, Centre For Democracy And Development, Centre For Peace Building & Socio-Economic Resources Development (CEPSERD), Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room (Policy And Legal Advocacy Centre), Nigerian Bar Association, National Association For Peaceful Election In Nigeria. Also accredited are: Independent Election Monitoring Group (IEMG), Rights Monitoring Group, Election Monitor, Police Service Commission, Cleen Foundation, Institute For Peace And Conflict Resolution. The remaining ones are: Research Initiative For Sustainable Development And Gender Awareness (RISDGA), Justice Development And Peace Commission (Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria) and Forum of State Independent Electoral Commissions of Nigeria (FOSIECON).

L-R: Chairman, Dangote Sugar Plc, Alh. Aliko Dangote, Group Managing Director, Mr. Graham Clark and Group Deputy Managing Director, Engr. Abdullahi Sule, during Dangote Sugar 8th Annual General Meeting, held at Civic Centre, Victoria Island, yesterday in Lagos.

Jigawa to spend N34bn for electricity generation

From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse


he Jigawa State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU),with NOVA Scotia Power Development Limited for the development of 50Megawatt Solar Power in the State at the cost of N34 billion. The project which is expected to be completed at the middle of 2015, while the State Government will provide land and other moral support to the company for the

successful completion of the project. The Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Lawan Abdu mni, who signed the document on behalf of the state government, explained that the provision of Solar Power electricity in the State was timely, in view of the efforts of the present administration in improving the socio-economic development of the State. He described the provision of constant power supply to the society as a basic and critical part

of industrial development of any nation, adding that the project would lay the solid foundation for the development of all categories of industries in the State. Alhaji Lawan Abdu then, expressed the State Government appreciation to the Company for indicating interest to invest on Solar Power Supply in the State and urged the Company to complete the project within the stipulated time frame. Speaking earlier, the Director of the NOVA Scotia Power Development

Ltd Mr. Arif Mohiuddin said the Company is a subsidiary of Canadian Infrastructure Consulting Firm which they are operating in Nigeria since the year 2000 that focused on energy supply around the globe. Mr. Arif Mohiuddin said they identify Jigawa State as a potential and blessed with abundant resources, therefore the establishment of the Solar Power will facilitate the tapping and utilization of the available resources at its disposal.

Kidnapper escapes lynching in Ilorin From Olanrewaju Lawal,Ilorin


suspected child kidnapper spotted at Offa garage area,Ilorin,the Kwara state capital was rescued from the hands of angry mob yesterday morning after she was said to have kidnapped some school kids.

The middle aged woman, Taiwo Damilare, 32, who was rushed to the Civil Service Clinic, Ilorin by men of the State CID, State Headquarters of the Police Command was seen in pains after being beaten and nearly set ablaze by the mob. An eye witness, who spoke

to our reporter under condition of anonymity said the same lady was caught by a mob at Post office area last week and was set free by the police only to be involved in another act, which the police is accused of covering up for her. Another eye witness at the scene said a police patrol team in a van

marked NPF 2523 C that rescued her refused to follow the alleged kidnapper to her hideout despite making confessional statements about her collaborators. The Police Public Relations Office ASP Ajayi Okasanmi said he would get to the root of the matter and get back to our correspondent.

FG anticipates power surge, plans upgrade to super grid By Etuka Sunday


he federal government said it has concluded plans to upgrade its transmission system to accommodate the anticipated quantum of power generation in the country. The Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Dikki made

the disclosure when he received a team from China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Company Limited, a subsidiary of the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC). He said the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) was willing to consider all options to strengthen its wheeling capacity, adding that as the capacity of

generation increases, TCN will become bankable due to increase in wheeling and transmission charges. In a statement by the Head, Public Communications, BPE, Chigbo Anichebe, Dikki urged SGCC to liaise with TCN to key into the planned massive improvement in the national grid system, adding that the sector requires massive investment for rehabilitation and

new construction. Speaking earlier, the leader of the delegation and Vice President of SGCC, Mr. Cheng Wei told the DG that the visit was a follow up to the visit of Chinese Prime Minister to Nigeria. He stated that SGCC is China’s largest power company and the world’s largest utility company. He added that the company operates

in China’s 26 provinces, covering about 88% of the land area with an over 1.1 billion customer base. He said the company also operates China’s national transmission grid and that of Philippines, Brazil Transmission franchise and have recently acquired 25% stake in the Portuguese National Energy Grid Corporation (REN).




A P C Insecurity: Nabteb closes Exam centres in North East m e m b e r s From Umar Dankano, Yola its examination centres in that, the decision was timely He said ``due to the Borno, Yobe and Adamawa considering the uncertainty insecurity situation in the face arrest, orried by the States.. North East, only eight of and danger in the zone. incessant insecurity The Coordinator of the He attributed the low the 16 centres were able to intimidation in the North- board in the North-East enrolment of students in register candidates for the east, the National Business Zone, Mr Gabriel Yalamu, the zone for the board’s May/June examination in in Gombe and Technical Education made the disclosure in an examination to the prevailing Borno.’’


From Ayodele Samuel,Lagos

Board (NABTEB), has temporarily closed some of

interview with the newsmen in Yola yesterday stressing

security challenges in the states.


he All Progressives Congress (APC) has alerted the nation to the systematic arrest, harassment and intimidation of its members and supporters in Gombe by the PDP-led government in the state and its police collaborators. In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the clampdown on the APC in Gombe is similar to what obtains in Bayelsa state, over which the party had cause to raise the alarm on May 14, and is sure to extend to other states as the 2015 general elections approach, because of the desperation and anti-democratic credentials of the PDP. It said the situation in Gombe State is marked by the continuous destruction of APC properties, including offices, flags, posters, banners and billboards in most of the local government areas and party headquarters. ‘’Sadly, the police who are maintained by taxpayers’ funds and are expected to be nonpartisan have been providing cover for the PDP agents who engage in this destructive spree, while being quick to arrest our members and supporters who try to resist the destruction of our party’s properties. ‘’In addition, the police engage in frequent arrest and detention of our youths and supporters, who are then charged to court in an action that is clearly aimed at weakening their resolve to exercise their constitutional rights of free association, and ultimately to destabilize our party. ‘’Such arrests and intimidation of our youth and other supporters have occurred in Dukku, Balanga, Kaltungo, Akko, Nafada and Gombe, and the latest occurred a few days ago involving the mass arrest of our members, especially youths,’’ APC said. The party expressed concern that the arrests and other acts of intimidation are about to increase, as the DPO of Gombe Division, DSP Babayola, has been tacitly empowered with a fleet of hilux vans to destabilize the APC in Gombe Metropolis, which is the epi-centre of the arrest, detention and torture of APC members. It reminded the police that the destabilization of opposition political parties, arrest and intimidation of opposition members and supporters and the provision of cover for thugs to destroy the properties of opposition political parties are not part of the constitutional duties of the police, hence they should desist from engaging in what is clearly an unconstitutional act.

L-R: Director General, National Orientation Agency, Mr. Mike Omeri, Director of Information, Defence Headquarters, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade and Director, Public Communication, Ministry of Information, Mr. Emmanuel Agbegir, during the Joint media briefing on update of ongoing military operations, yesterday in Abuja Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Yalamu said the other eight centres were temporarily closed until the security situation in the state improved, adding that the problem had also affected some parts of Taraba and Yobe states. He said only 15,051 candidates registered for NABTEB examination in the region. The coordinator said ``we have so far succeeded in conducting the first phase of the 2014 examination that commenced on May 5 in all the six states of the region.’’ He said the six states are Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe. He noted that in spite of the security challenges, Adamawa came third in the country with 5,000 students sitting for the examination, while Zamfara and Jigawa had least number of candidates with less than 500 and 600 registered for the examination respectively.

Bill Clinton condemns Nigerian kidnappings


ormer President Bill Clinton has called on people across the world to speak out against the kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian girls, highlighting violence against women, climate change and economic inequality as areas where those in America and abroad must come together. Clinton appeared at Boston’s Symphony Hall last night, where he was honoured by the international education organisation City Year for his work in national service. As president, Clinton helped create AmeriCorps, the service organisation that helps fund City Year.

“All over the world there are places where men’s identity is all caught up in whether they get to tell women what to do and restrict their choices,” Clinton said. “We have to develop a sense of identity which is inclusive.” While Clinton continues to play an active role in national politics, he did not mention the 2014 midterm elections or the next presidential contest, where his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former US Secretary of State and US Senator, is the overwhelming favourite to win the Democratic presidential nomination should she run.

Hillary Clinton was not in attendance, nor was 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, whose former Boston-based firm Bain Capital was a major sponsor of the event. Instead of politics, Clinton focused on areas he said people must unite around to address global challenges. He spoke out against the terrorist group Boko Haram, which recently kidnapped nearly 300 girls in Nigeria as part of a larger effort to prevent their education. The girls are still missing. Eighty US Air Force personnel have arrived in neighbouring

Chad and begun their mission manning a Predator drone system to help locate the girls, a US military spokesman said yesterday. Manned US aircraft also are searching from a base in nearby Niger. On climate change, Clinton said, “We don’t seem to be approaching it together.” And he warned that economic inequality “is not only bad morals and bad social policy, but it’s a severe restraint on growth.” “The central issue facing humanity,” Clinton said, is whether people in America and abroad understand how interdependent they are. “We have to go forward together.”

Kano approves N88.3m for construction of model village


he Kano State Government had approved N88.3 million for the construction of a model village in Madobi Local Government Area, the Commissioner for Information, Dr Danburan Nuhu, said on Friday. The commissioner made the disclosure at a news conference

in Kano after the State Executive Council meeting. Nuhu said the Council had approved N13 million for the purchase of one way ticket for 60 Kano State indigenes from Ukraine to another location. The Council had also approved N2.6 million for the payment of sitting allowance for

nine private members of Kano Pillars Football Club from April to December 2013, he added. The commissioner said the Council had agreed to release N3.3 million for reaccreditation of pharmacy technician programme at the School of Health Technology, Kano.

He added that the Council had approved N33.9 million for improved water production at Wudil Regional Water Scheme. He expressed the government’s determination to develop infrastructure in the state, as part of initiatives to improve the welfare of the people. (NAN)


Photo Splash


Students at an awareness on crime & corruption prevention, yesterday in Lagos .

Workers queuing to enter their offices at the federal secretariat in yesterday in Abuja.

L-R: Supervising Minister of Education, Barrister Ezewo Nyesom Wike with Exective Secretary , National University Commission (NUC) Professor Julius Okolie, during the Formal Launch of Africa Centrex of Excellence Projects, on Thursday in Abuja.

L-R: Executive Director, women with disability self reliance centre, Nisikut Muhammed; Executive member, Women Rights Advancement and Protection, Abbas Shehu and Chairperson, Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Sidikat Adegboye, addressing a news conference on rights of the disabled, yesterday in kaduna .

L-R: : Executive Director, Infrastructure Bank PLC, MrHakeem Olopade; member, sure-p committee, retired Col. AbdulmuminiAminu;Managing Director, Infrastructure Bank PLC, Mr Adekunle Oyinloye and Deputy Chairman, sure-p, Mrs Tanwa Olusi, at the presentation of masstransit buses to beneficiaries by sure-p & infrastructure bank plc , yesterday in Lagos Photo: Justin Imo-Owo and NAN





Crime Cycle

Stanley Onyekwere 08138559513

‘Mad man’ docked for possession of 7.5kg of cannabis O ne James Ugbo, who disguised himself as a mad man, has appeared before the Federal High Court, in Enugu state, charged with possession of 7.5 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa. According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) arraigned the accused on a one-count charge of selling a substance suspected to be cannabis sativa. The prosecution counsel, Mr. Moses Onyia, said that following a tip off from a source, the accused was arrested on Emene expressway, Enugu as a mad man.

He said the accused disguised as a mad man during the day and changed to a normal person in the night. Onyia said the accused had two ‘Ghana must go’ bags by his side on the expressway as a mad man. He said when the NDLEA arrested and searched the bags, 7.5 kgs of cannabis sativa was found inside. The counsel said the accused sold the substance to some commercial bus drivers that ply that road. He said the NDLEA took the accused to the hospital for mental examination and the result indicated that he was of

sound mind. Onyia said the accused was arrested on January 14 and was still in the prison custody.

The counsel to the accused, Mr. Innocent Orji, said his client had never disguised himself as a mad man, saying that he was living with his wife and three children in Emene. “How can a right thinking human being disguise himself as a mad man just to make money. “My client is living in Emene. How can he disguise himself as a mad man in the same Emene where he is living,” he said. Justice Dorothy Agishi adjourned the case till June 26

IGP Mohammed Abubakar

Ghanaian student remanded over drug peddling


Federal High court, in Lagos state has ordered the remand of a Ghanaian student, Udoimeh Kufre Ita, at the Ikoyi Prisons, Lagos, over alleged drug peddling. The accused is being prosecuted by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) over alleged trafficking of 1.74kg of Cannabis Sativa (Indian hemp). The Judge, Justice Mohammed Yunusa directed that the accused should be remanded in prison custody pending the outcome of his bail application. The judge adjourned the case to May 27 for ruling on the application.

NAN reports that the Ita, a student of Management and Computer Studies at the Regend University Accra, pleaded not guilty on arraignment. The Prosecutor, Mr Emmanuel Vembe, had told the court that the accused committed the offence on January 23, in Lagos. He said that Ita was apprehended by officers of the NDLEA in the arrival Hall D of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja. Vembe said that a pack of compressed dried weed was discovered in the possession of the accused during the inward clearance of an

African World Airline Flight from Accra. He said that the offence contravened the provisions of Section 11 (a) of the NDLEA Act, Cap N30, Laws of the Federation, 2004. However, Counsel to the accused, chief Lillian Omotunde, moved a bail application on behalf of her client, and urged the court to grant him bail in liberal terms. However, the prosecutor objected to the application on the grounds that the accused could jump bail. NAN reports that drug trafficking could attract up to life imprisonment.

Three men in trouble for setting car ablaze


he police in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, have arraigned three men in an Upper Area court, in the state, for allegedly setting another man’s car ablaze. The men, Shuaibu Laweli, 26, Sani Nasiru, 25, and Haruna SAlisu, 27, all of Ado Emir House, One Man Village, New Karu, Nasarawa State, are facing charge of malicious damage. The prosecutor, Jospeh Ahua, told the court that the matter was reported at the State C.I.D on April 12 by one Isah Edibo, who resides behind Hotel Karu, Karu Local

Government Area. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ahua alleged that the accused persons conspired and malicious destroyed the complainant’s Toyota car marked XD 718 ABC valued at 1.2 million, by setting it ablaze after an accident. He said that the offence was contrary to the Penal code, urging the court not to grant the accused persons bail, saying that they would interfere with investigation. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty

to the charges. The counsel to the accused, Mr A.S. Atumbah, prayed the court to grant them bail, saying that it was at the discretion of the court. The presiding judge, Mr. Vincent Gwehemba, granted them bail for N100,000 with one surety each. He said the sureties must be reasonable and responsible persons, residing within the court’s jurisdiction and adjourned the case till June 14 for hearing.

Labourer bags 9 months imprisonment for phone theft


Senior Magistrates’ court, in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, has sentenced one FlagaI Ubi of Shopping Centre, Mararaba, to nine months imprisonment for stealing cell phone. The Magistrate, Mr. Iliya Aku, sentenced Udi after he pleaded guilty to one count charge of theft. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Aku, however, ordered the convict to pay

N9,000 as an option of fine. He said the sentence would deter others from the crime. Earlier, the Prosecutor, Mr.Steven Kwaza, told the court that one Chidiebere Amadi of City Plaza sharp corner, Mararaba, reported the matter at the Sani Abacha Police Station, Mararaba, on January 20. Kwaza said that the convict stole the complainant’s blackberry cell phone valued at

N10,000 from where he was charging it. He explained that the phone was recovered from his possession during police investigation. He said the offence was contrary to Section 287 of the Penal code. The convict, who pleaded guilty, blamed the devil for the crime and begged the court for leniency. The magistrate turned down his plea and sentenced him accordingly.

Court jails 4 vagrants for wandering


Grade 1 Area court, in Kado, Abuja, has sentenced four vagrants for wandering and constituting public nuisance. The Presiding Judge, Malam Abubakar Sadiq, sentenced Kingsley Onyebuchi, 20; Micheal Zaka, 22; Jerry Isaiah, 18 and Smart Barnabas, 23, after they pleaded guilty. Sadiq, however, gave them an option to pay a fine of N3,000 each. Meanwhile, Sadiq admitted three others, Ibrahim Kabir, 24; Simeon Dele,19; Mubarak Makama, 21 to bail in the sum of N2,000 each, after they pleaded not guilty to same offence. According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the judge then adjourned hearing on the three others until June 23. The accused persons, all of no fixed addresses, were charged with wandering and constituting public nuisance. Earlier, the prosecutor, Sgt. Saliyu Mohammed, had told the court that SP Abdul Akubo and his team arrested the accused persons around Daki Biyu Village and Magape Village area of Life Camp, Abuja, on May 19. Mohammed said that when the accused persons were arrested, they could not give satisfactory account of themselves, which contravened the provisions of Section 198 of the Penal code. NAN reports that if found guilty, the accused persons would be liable to a jail term of not less than one year each or with an option of fine. After the charges were read to them, Kingsley, Micheal, Jerry and Smarth admitted committing the crime, while the three others pleaded not guilty.




Nasarawa APC congress: A break from the past By Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


ast week Wednesday, the state congress of the All Progressive Congress (APC) held in Nasarawa state, with the first duly elected executives to man the affairs of the party in the state emerging. The congress which many described as the most democratic and in strict compliance with the guidelines of the party regulating the conduct of the state congress, was however the culmination of previously held ward and local government congresses that ushered in elected party officials at the ward and council levels, virtually confirming the complete democratization of the APC in the state. Though the path to the last Wednesday’s democratic showpiece was long and tortuous, the organizers of the APC congress in Nasarawa however took their time and resources to deliver on their task in a way that is arguably a marked departure from the impunity of the not so distant past, when party officials were merely selected and not elected. Recall that prior to the 2011 general election, the ward, local government and state congresses of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were mired in controversy leading to the eventual factionalizing of the party. Even within the PDP then, nomination forms for party delegates were hoarded and were only accessible to perceived loyalists, leaving perceived enemies in the cold. With the coming on board of the APC and the inherent determination to do things right, coupled with the political will on the side of the Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura administration to conduct the congresses in strict compliance with the guidelines of the party, the ward, local government and finally state congresses were held in an atmosphere devoid of rancor as was customary with such high wire political events. The APC state congress that held at the Lafia City Hall some said is a watershed in the political history of the state, when over 700 delegates from across 12 local government areas converged, beautifully attired in blue, red, green and yellow colours of the APC, conducting themselves in so orderly a manner and elected officials that would see to the day-to-day running of the party at the state level in an open democratic way that was generally acceptable. Barrister Ahmed el-Manzuk, chairman of the Nasarawa state congress committee detailed from the national secretariat of the party to supervise the exercise, in a stakeholders meeting that held at the Lafia Government House, preparatory to the state congress, lauded the Al-makura administration has successfully concluded the ward and local government congresses in record time as expected by the national secretariat. “I’m really happy and proud to say that Nasarawa state, being a mini Nigeria, with various ethnic groups and religious diversity, has been able to within record time, concluded the exercise as expected by the national secretariat” he stated. The congress committee chairman noted that having done that, the

state is set to move ahead to what he described as the most critical stage of electing the executive committee of the party at the state level, towards which he said the stakeholders meeting was convened. “Governor Al-makura, in his own wisdom, found it expedient and necessary to convene this meeting and I’m sure with a view to finding a formula to pick these executives” he said. He disclosed that ordinarily, members of his committee are not expected to participate in that process, informing the stakeholders drawn across the state that it was their responsibility to see that the state party executives emerge. “What we are here to do is to either supervise consensus or conduct elections as the case may be” el-Manzuk added. He observed that even though the two previous congresses were more challenging in terms of the number of participants at both the ward and council levels, with the two more complex than the state congress, el-Manzuk while advising for the exercise to be conducted in a peaceful atmosphere, rancor free and in a friendly manner, however said from what transpired during the last two exercises, he assured that the state congress would be a huge success. “I also know and observed that the APC in Nasarawa is well disciplined and have respect for elders and leaders. When I was given this assignment here I initially thought I was coming into trouble waters. But I’m speaking to you with a sense of shame that my state, Katsina, a predominantly Hausa/Fulani state, common ward congresses could hold successfully” he said. arlier in an opening address, Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura, while welcoming officials from the national headquarters of the APC to chaperon the activities of the party in line with the ideals and expectations of the party, said the successes recorded during the ward and council congresses would not have been recorded without their commitments. Al-makura attributed the successes recorded during the previous exercised to what he described as adherence and fatefully queuing into the philosophy and ideology of the APC on internal democracy, adding that it was because of that most of the congresses held based on consensus. While acknowledging the zero petition emanating from the congresses, the Governor expressed gratitude to all stakeholders for achieving the feat, adding however, in spite of agreeing to consensus candidates, the local government congress in Lafia L.G.A went a little further to invoke the doctrine of affirmation to ratify the consensus. “These are the bits and pieces we need to do to promote and nurture democracy” Al-makura said. According to Al-makura, everybody knows that the party is facing a most peculiar period, with only the APC daring to pursue dogged democratization by conducting the congresses, where he challenged the PDP to try to copy from the APC, “even to conduct a digital registration of its members could sound a death knell to the PDP.” The Governor observed that de-


spite the few challenges encountered, the party provided a level playing ground to allow everybody to express his views, where he said the party ensured the compliance with the due process which saw to the party winning nine out of the 13 council areas during the local government election while the PDP won four. Al-makura thanked the participants at the meeting for honoring his invitation as stakeholders in the APC for them to come together to discuss the way forward, having achieved successes in the two previous exercises, saying the party is embarking on an exercise that is statewide. “As the leader of the party in the state, I won’t want to take anything for granted. A lot of speculations, aspersions and opinions are being expressed as regards where each position would go and a lot of generalization has been made. And I felt, it’s high time such things stop” he stated. According to the Governor, the only way speculations could stop is to be open and transparent, “just like we operate our government of APC in Nasarawa state”, stressing further that in order to ensure the required transparency and internal democracy, he convened the meeting of stakeholders before the presence of national officers of the party, to rationalize and justify how to consider the positions so as to produce a rancor free state congress. “State congress is different from local government congress or even wards congress. This is a congress that brings together all shades of opinion across the state and if we are to go by the recognition that Nasarawa is a miniature Nigeria, we need to call for this meeting where issues would be thrown to you as leaders and masters of our party to determine how best we can make our party grow through adhering to the ideological standpoint of the APC” Al-makura said. With this speech and compared against previous exercises by some other political parties, notably the PDP, the gesture by Governor Al-makura to involve members of the party in decision making, marks a great departure from the impunity of the past, where party congresses were shrouded in secrecy, with party leaders appropriating to themselves the power to pick singlehandedly members of the executive committee. ndeed, pundits are of the view that the throwing open the decision making process to party members have been the vital ingredient missing in the political mix, turning elected officials into demigods who consider any contrary view as sacrilegious and therefore unacceptable. With this singular flick of the wrist, Al-makura is set to rewrite the political history of the state where previously only a few powerful party men sat to take weighty decisions that could eventually affect the entire population of the state, which obviously have not been beneficial to even the political godfathers, not to mention the ordinary people who always bear the brunt of such rash decisions. By freely allowing party supporters to choose their leaders, without undue interference from the executive, marks


Gov. Tanko Al-Makura a quantum leap in the democratization process, where effective leadership is expected to emerge, with the ordinary people standing to benefit the more as they are now in a position to elect people they believe could deliver. Rather than what obtains in the past when candidates were merely imposed. The Wednesday May 14 state APC congress was therefore the culmination of the open democratic processes set into motion through the political will of Governor Al-makura, who found support in political leaders in the state, particularly former governor of the state, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, who rallied round the incumbent governor to ensure the exercise took place in an atmosphere devoid of rancor. When our correspondent visited the City Hall venue of the congress, it was a sight to catch, the over 630 delegates seated according to local governments, with the 12 councils invited serially to come and cast their votes under the watchful eyes of the media, while the Governor and other top government officials watched from the state stand. Keffi local government area could not take part in the state congress because its congress at the council level was inconclusive. After every delegate has cast his or her vote, votes were subsequently counted, with the chairman of the congress committee in the state, Barrister Ahmed el-Manzuk later confirmation the positions being contested by shouting out the name of the contestant and the position, with the delegates affirming through a thunderous acclaim. Even though candidates for the various positions constituting the state executive committee of the party have already emerged through consensus, with the party members fully involved in the decision making process, still the party went ahead to conduct an election in total compliance with the constitution of the party. ormer governor of the state, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, while delivering a speech at the event, described the congress as orderly and in tandem with the guidelines of the APC regulating the conduct of the exercise. In a speech he delivered on the occasion of the official inauguration of the state party executives that emerged, Al-makura, observed that the caliber of persons that made up the state exco are persons who previously held positions either in government or other political parties, adding


that the APC “is now ready to hit the ground running.” He disclosed that as a result of the general acceptance of the people making up the state exco of the party, many people that had earlier sought to contest with them voluntarily withdrew in deference to the credibility of those that got elected. “Because we are a party rooted in democracy, we said we must go for an election and that was why due process and due diligence for each and every position was adhered to, with votes cast for each position. This is an indication that this party will give its followers and supporters a good direction in true democracy” Al-makura stated. He used the moment to urge those he called Doubting Thomases, “those who have gone astray to other political parties” to come back to the APC. While appreciating the outgoing interim management committee of the party for successfully running the party starting from September last year, leading to the emergence of the new executives, Al-makura, urged them to consider the party as a family, stressing that whatever transpired preparatory to the state congress was all part of the democratic process. “We are all together, brothers and sisters. Anyone who has any reservation, any observation with regards to how to move the party forward, whether from the ward or local government level, please come, this is your party. We will do business with you, we will not discriminate against you” he added. The sincerity with which Governor Al-makura uttered these words left no one in doubt as to his commitment to ensuring that the APC is fully democratized in the state. With the emergence of the new APC state executive headed by a former commissioner in the state, Philip Shekwo as chairman and Aliyu Bello as secretary, the APC has successfully managed the usually rancorous horse trading associated with similar exercises and to place the party firmly on the path of true democracy hinged on the much talked about internal democracy. ndeed, the manner in which the APC state congress was conducted in Nasarawa, many said, has not only become a beacon of hope in the history of democracy in the country but a challenge for other states as well as political parties to emulate.




Senate Diary 7th Senate dumps With Ikechukwu Okaforadi

Constitution review stocked in the House of Reps


illions of naira was budget last year for the Senate and House of Representatives Committees to review the 1999 constitution and make it a ‘peoples document, but from every indication, the fund is a wasted resources that has ended up achieving nothing. The rational behind the budget for the committees was to address the challenges facing Nigeria as a country, especially considering that many believe the unity and development of the grassroots of the country was seriously threatened by this faulty 1999 Constitution. The committees’ work was first preceded by a vigorous publicity, including paid adverts and advertorials on both the electronic and the print media. At a point, a portal was created by the Committees to enable Nigerians make input on the issues being reviewed. Then, the topical issues being considered were: state creation, devolution of power, autonomy for the local government, among others. Moreover, the committee organised public hearings at the six goe-political zones of the country, the views of the people at the grassroots were sampled and recorded. It was debated in the Senate robustly and majority of accepted items selected for onward transmission to the State Houses of Assemblies for deliberations. However, this could not be done until the House of Representatives have also approved the same items. Unfortunately, the lower legislative chamber had been singing a discordant tune with their senior colleagues in regards to this review. As at the last time the chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitution

review, Ike Ekwerenmadu, briefed journalists on the progress so far, he said the expectation was that the House would be able to move at a fast pace so that the final document could be transferred to the State Houses Assembly for deliberations. However, since then, nothing has been heard about the progress made by the House of Representatives in putting out a harmonised document which the State Houses of Assembly would consider. Many Nigerians believe that with the National Conference now in place, there is no need again for the work of the Constitution Review Committees of both chambers, especially given that most of the issues which the committees were addressing, have been taken care of in the National Conference. However, the challenge is how to bring into the Nigeria’s Constitution, the resolutions at the Conference, especially given that most senators believe that the National Conference is illegal because it is trying to usurp the powers of the National Assembly. In fact, recently, most senators disagreed with attempt by the Constitution Review Committee of the Senate to bring into the on-going constitution amendment, a clause that will enable President Goodluck Jonathan to bring the Confab resolutions as part of Nigeria’s new law-book. The implication of this is that there is likely to be a showdown between the Presidency and National Assembly on how to legitimise the resolutions at the Confab, since the federal lawmakers think the Conference is illegal.

Justice Minister, Mohammed Adoke

PIB, as hope dims on passage


here are strong indications that the Petroleum Industry Bill may not see the light of the day in the Seventh Senate, as the Bill has been tactically rendered comatose in the National Assembly. PIB met strong controversies when it was first introduced in the Senate, given the misgivings with which northern senators viewed it and this scepticism has continued to hunt it, hence it has gradually become a forgotten issue. The controversies trailing the PIB was because of the additional 10 per cent it seeks to give the oil host communities. Other issues affecting the passage of PIB into law is the believe that it gives absolute and enormous powers to the Minister of Petroleum Resources. In addition to these fears which the senators from the north want addressed, they also want an agency to be set up and called Oil Frontier Exploration Agency, which will pursue oil exploration activities in the north. The demand of the northern senators in this regards is that the agency should be absolute, having its budget only being appropriated by the National Assembly and subject to no interference by any President in power. Meanwhile, the senators from the southern Nigeria have rejected the stands of their colleagues from the south on the ground that the Bill does not give the Minister enormous powers as wrongly claimed. They also insist that the 10 per cent which the Bill seek to give to the oil host communities will encourage then to protect the oil installations in their areas like their own property. Meanwhile, after several attempts were made by the Senate leadership to get the Bill debated and passed into law, it became clear that it is heading for crisis of interest. Since them, the Senate leadership has shelved everything relating to the Bill, especially as the 7th Senate winds up soon, may be because of the nerves it has raised among

the lawmakers from both divides. This may buttress the insinuation that International Oil Companies, in alliance with their mother governments, are leaving no stone unturned, including lobby at the highest level, to ensure that the Bill, which has packaged better living conditions for Nigerians, does not see the light of the day.

Senate President, David Mark

2014 budget: NASS, Presidency trade blame


t is almost one month and two weeks since the National Assembly passed the 2014 budget, yet, President Jonathan has yet to assent to the Appropriation Bill. Already, the Presidency and the National Assembly are trading blames over what is delaying assent to the Bill, even after the Bill has been subjected to several political rigours in the National Assembly resulting in its delay for over six months. With Nigeria being a mono-economy that solely depends on oil for survival, the inability of the Appropriation Bill to secure the assent of the President has thrown the citizens of the country into economic hardship. To this end, a lot of people believe that this is a manifestation of the earlier fears that Nigeria is broke, which the Presidency, the Minister of Finance and the Director of Budget, had denied severally at different events. There are also believe that the Presidency and the National Assembly are yet to settle some outstanding issues concerning the budget, including constituency project pro-

posal of the lawmakers. Speaking on this situation, the Spokesman of the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, said the National Assembly is not aware of any issue with the budget, which has delayed its assent, even as he pointed out that it is left for the President to organise the signing ceremony of the budget. Meanwhile, an impeccable source close to the Finance ministry, who preferred not to be mentioned, said the delay was occasioned by the jerking of the 2014 budget by N57 billion by the federal lawmakers. The source further blamed the delay on the alteration of the figures allocated to certain Ministries, Departments and Agencies by the lawmakers, saying this made the President to send the approved document to the relevant MDAs for scrutiny. Nevertheless, as the Bill delays longer than necessary, many Nigerians believe this will do more damage to nation’s economy than good.

Senators attack Enang for smuggling in belated document on order paper


enators severely attacked the chairman of its Rules and Business Committee, Itah Enang Thursday over a suspicious enlistment of the 2014 budget proposals of 52 federal parastatals in the Order Paper. The drama ensued when the Deputy Leader of the Senate, Senator Abdul Ningi read the motion on the 2014 budget proposal of the 52 agencies for consideration on the floor of Senate. However, most of the senators, who spoke on the motion expressed surprise over the appearance of the proposal on the Order Paper as they observed that the agencies so enlisted had already appeared before the various standing committees of the Senate for the 2014 budget defence. Some of the parastatals contained in the list are: the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC and many others. Introducing the motion, the Senate Deputy

Leader, Ningi said the Senate should consider the request of President Jonathan on the 2014 Budget proposal for the Federal Government Parastatals. At this point, all the Senators started kicking against it, wondering where the document emanated from seven weeks after final consideration of the 4.6trillionNaira 2014 budget. Senator Smart Adeyemi (PDP Kogi West), who first contributed on the matter, described the request contained in the document as nothing other than an indirect way of returning the already passed budget to the Senate for reconsideration through the back door. “we have already passed the 2014 budget several weeks ago and now you are presenting to us another request to consider budget estimates of some federal agencies believed to have been captured in the original budget estimates passed. “This to me , Mr President Sir, is unacceptable because what the generality of Nigerians are waiting for now, is for Mr President to sign the already

passed 2014 Budget into law and not reconsideration of any budget estimates”, he said. Also kicking against the request, James Manager (PDP Delta South), said “Mr President, this is strange. If you remember, these agencies’ budget estimates have already been treated and considered during the last budget Defence session, which eventually paved way for the passing of the 4.6trillion 2014 budget profile by both chambers of the National Assembly in the first week of April. “Now, what can now be said to warrant this request before us when the budget passed has not been assented to? In a nutshell, what Nigerians are expecting as far as the 2014 budget is concerned , is for Mr President to sign the one already forwarded to him and not the Senate carrying out any reconsideration on any aspect of the budget”. Senators’ disapproval of the document got stronger with Eyinaya Abaribe’s submission that the Senate by its standing rule (52) could not revisit an already concluded issue such as the 2014

budget, unless there is an entirely new motion to do that. The controversy over the document further deepened when Senator Ayogu Eze (PDP Enugu North ), asked the Senate to hold Ita Enang to explain where the document emanated from, and the actual motive of the reintroduction. He argued that the document ought to have been attached to the entire budget profile for proper scrutiny and consideration of the Senate when the general budget was being treated, and not coming through the back door. In his intervention, Mark pointed out that the document was not strange, noting that though he was not very certain about what happened to the document during the budget defence, it ought form part of the main budget. Accordingly, he mandated the Rules and Business Committee Chairman to go and do a thorough scrutiny of the agencies and separate the ones that their budget proposals were treated.



Why we supported Reps Diary Jonathan’s I did not order halt of Diezani’s probe —Tambuwal emergency D extension —Rep With Umar Mohammed Puma

It would be recalled that Lawmakers in the House of Representatives from Borno state had thrown their weight behind the extension of the proclamation of the state of emergency saying they were more concerned on what will usher in security in their state rather than the politicization of the emergency. Speaking on behalf of the Borno caucus in the House of Representative, Rep Mohammed Tahir Monguno said “after consulting with our governors, we finally agreed that if security of lives and property can be guaranteed with that and

then of course the allowance of the international community can only be guaranteed with that. “If it is going to warrant a situation that our people are not going to be secured, then we are in support of that. In any case, it was not my personal decision. It is the decision of the entire of the Borno caucus”. “I’am sure you have seen on the floor that not a single member of Borno opposed, it is a decision of the northeast caucus, I am sure one or two members from Yobe came out to openly oppose that. All were in agreement, because of the

isturbed by media reports that he had directed that the investigation into alleged personal use of a private jet charter and maintained at the cost of N10b by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Speaker of the House Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, at plenary on Tuesday reacted to the publications, saying the House will still scrutinize the matter, which was dragged before an Abuja High Court by the minister. “It was widely reported that I ordered that the investigation should be stopped. But it was my position that we should hold on until I receive a legal briefing on the matter, as even the judge himself had said he didn’t issue an injunction to halt the probe.” The Speaker premised his insistence for the continuation of the probe on the fact that the House had consulted with the Justice Mahmud Mohammed of the High Court that supposedly granted a restraining order stopping the probe. According to him, other stakeholders were also reached. “You should continue with your Investigation and tun up your report accordingly,”the Speaker said. Diezani was alleged to have used N10 billion to maintain a private jet. The House subsequently directed its committee on public accounts to investigate the matter. But a court order had purportedly barred the House from carrying out the investigation.

State of Emergency: Reps seek periodic briefing from security chiefs


he House Representatives has urged the security agencies to periodically brief the National Assembly on the effectiveness of the measures put in place to contain the insurgency in parts of the country under the state of emergency. “We believe that a periodic briefing on the measures being undertaken by the security agencies to combat the insurgency since the declaration of the state of emergency will go a long way in reassuring Nigerians of adequate guarantee of security of lives and property”. The resolution of the House was reached sequel to a motion brought by Rep. Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed (PDP Adamawa), who noted that the inclusion of Nigeria in the emerging economy after the rebasing of the GDP is indicative of the growing interest in Nigeria’s economic prospects, and conscious of the fact that economic development can only be sustained in an environment where there is peace and guarantee of

House chamber during session

When Aisha Falode sought Tambuwal’s intervention over son’s death in Dubai


pparently disturbed that her son Oloruntoba Falode allegedly assassinated may be treated with kid gloves by Dubai’s authorities, ace sports commentator, Aisha Falode on Wednesday petitioned Speaker Aminu Tambuwal to help her seek justice from UAE government where Olorutoba was allegedly killed. In a ten page petition entitled:’Petition of my son’s death Olorutoba Falode in Dubai’ and presented by Chairman House of Representatives committee on media and public affairs, Rep Zakari Mohammed, she demanded for an unbiased investigation into her son’s death among others. In the petition Falode said”I am writing to formally petition for the active support of the Federal Government of Nigeria in my efforts to seek justice from the Government of Dubai following the death of my son, Mr Oluwadamilola Oloruntoba (Toba’) Falode, who died unexpectedly on the 15th of February 2014. “I was informed that Toba died following a fall from the balcony of his 17th floor apartment (1703) located in Manchester Tower, Dubai Marina, Dubai. Toba at the time was legally living in Dubai as a student in one of the prestigious universtties re-known for musical, audio, sound and film production-SAE Institute, Dubai. Falode in her petition strongly believe that the information given by the Dubai authorities were faulty as they are in

variance with eyewitnesses accounts. Based on this she smelt a rat in the manner her son’s death was presented. In her final submission she said”I would therefore like to petition the Federal Government of Nigeria to support me in finding out the real truth of what occurred that fateful night my son died. Is there a cover-up? Can we access the full case file, translated into English, so that all witness statements are independently reviewed? “I would also like the House of Representatives to request that every support and assistance is provided by the Government of the UAE for a re-investigation and further enquiry into the death of my son. Only the full weight of the Nigerian Authorities will ensure that the truth is uncovered and my son gets justice. Adding that the Nigerian embassy assisted us by providing a translator that helped us secure the documents we required to help us to repatriate Toba’s remains back to Nigeria. “Before the family left Dubai following discussion with the Nigerian Ambassador, we formally submitted a request via the embassy to the Dubai Foreign Ministry to access the Ml case file into Toba’s death and we have not heard anything yet. Your Excellency, our son Oluwadamilola Oloruntoba Falode-was born a Nigerian and lived in Nigeria. He carries the Nigerian passport. The death of our youths abroad is a recurring tragedy and we would appreciate the full support of the House to carry out justice in this matter.

security of lives and property. Stressing that the current security challenges facing the country where insurgents detonate bombs in various parts of the country, especially in Borno, Yobe, and in the process killing and maiming innocent people, destroying properties and recently indulging in kidnapping of helpless school girls. She express concerned that despite the provision of over nine hundred thousand Naira in the 2013 budget National Budget for security, there appears to have been minimal success recorded in tackling insurgency in the country. Noting that the collective action in containing the insurgency may be difficult to achieved due to distrust and apprehension among stakeholders over the escalating activities of the insurgents despite the imposition of the state of emergency. The motion was unanimously adopted by the House when it was put to question.

Reps kick against proposed Nigeria EU partnership


he House of Representatives has kicked against the proposed Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union (EU) Nigeria . It consequently directed its Committees on Treaties and African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of states (ACP) to review the proposed partnership. The Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, had at the plenary said he had “reservations” over the proposed economic deal which will open economies of the West African region to free trade with the European Union. October 1 is the deadline for signing of the EPA with the European Union. Tambuwal’s declaration was sequel to the passage of a motion sponsored by Hon. Micah Umoh (Akwa Ibom PDP) on the need for the country’s legislature to be involved in the negotiation processes leading to a possible agreement. While leading debate on the motion, Umoh submitted that: “If Nigeria endorses the new European Union Economic Partnership Agreement, we will inadvertently transfer job opportunities of our children to their children

and we will become dumping ground of their goods to the total annihilation of our industries and manufacturing systems which is meant to create jobs for our people.” He noted that “The deadline of October 1 for signing of this EPA with European Union if consummated will undermine the rising status of Nigeria as an economic power and will undermine the strategic advantage of our youthful population which remains a strong resource if given opportunity. After a unanimous adoption of the motion, Tambuwal directed the House Committees to invite the National Planning Commission (NPC); Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and other relevant local stakeholders for a briefing on where things stand and to know Nigeria’s position on the contentious proposed economic deal. It will be recalled that early this year, West African leaders failed to agree to the deal after Nigeria voiced concerns, endangering a decade of talks over a deal. The region has consistently resisted lifting tariff barriers over fears they could crush nascent industries unable to cope with European imports.



Focus Nigeria’s crisis:

In search of the culprits


he scenario playing out up to the invitation of foreign troops in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency has similarity with events around the world from Vietnam to Afghanistan, Iraq and some other countries in the entire Middle East, Southeast Asia and the like. It starts from a small uprisings and builds to gigantic crises requiring the eventual intervention of the superpowers principally to the political and economic advantage of the “helper” nations. Some of the crises could be spontaneous or deliberately induced as history has always proven sometimes long after the conflicts are over or at the point of occurrence. For instance, war bells had been rung severally by the United States of America, of the possible breakup of Nigeria in 2015 after several failed predictions in the past. Timelines of the tragedy have been shifted probably either due to review of US strategies or the failure of the elements of conflict to fuse properly into the expected implosion. It is claimed that the doomsday progenitors are institutions separate from the US government but with their top memberships drawn from former and or serving employees of elite outfits of the American state, it is hard to unplug them from the government. Coincidentally, the religious, ethnic and regionally-inspired rivalry for the socio-political and economic space called Nigeria manifested strongly since civil rule returned in 1999 with every segment of society cashing in on the newfound freedom to either behave with civility or assert themselves forcefully. However, behind these actions, sometimes seen as spontaneous, lies the hideous hands of internal power seekers and foreign hegemonists hell-bent on having ace over phenomena or to destroy, when interests are under-served. Interestingly, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Terrence McCulley, has recently denied the US prediction of Nigeria’s break up in 2015. Speaking with journalists during a visit to Oyo State, McCulley said, “No US government official predicted that Nigeria will break up by 2015. That statement must have emanated from a private agency but clearly not from the government. I must state at this point that the US is interested in Nigeria as a very important country in Africa. We have been impressed by the role played by Nigeria in the peace process in the sub-region and even beyond.” But proof abound of the meddlesomeness of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) principally established to scuttle and derail potential challengers to America’s economic hegemony. It chokes and paralyse most potential challengers by subjecting countries to endless social crisis, hardship, torture, fear, and psycho-

Nigeria seems to be going through the all too familiar pattern of crisis that led to the collapse of many nations but optimistically weathering the storm. But as she inches towards the 2015 general elections, News Editor Abubakar Ibrahim examines the ingredients of power struggles occasioned by subterranean conspiracies from local and foreign players for vested interests.

President Goodluck Jonathan logical warfare. Confirming this strategy, former CIA Director of Plans, Richard Bissell, said, ”The CIA’s interface with the rest of the world needs to be better promoted through our friends in foreign governments….We need repression if we hope to divide these societies into owners and slaves. We need to put the people

under continual duress and in a perpetual state of imbalance, so that confused and demoralised, apathy on a massive scale will result.” Populated by psychopaths and neofascist occultists, this ultra-clandestine secret society was fingered in the assassination of Prime Minister, Patrice Lu-

But proof abound of the meddlesomeness of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) principally established to scuttle and derail potential challengers to America’s economic hegemony. It chokes and paralyse most potential challengers by subjecting countries to endless social crisis, hardship, torture, fear, and psychological warfare.

mumba of Congo in 1961, the toppling of Ghana’s President Kwame Nkrumah in 1966 and our own General Murtala Ramat Muhammed in 1976i, all for their pan-African political views that threaten foreign economic interests. Raising puppets and fronts to be planted in governments and sensitive private sectors around the world, enables the CIA to control most nations. Also, with such astonishing secrecy, sleeper operatives freely work in spaces like universities, colleges, mega-churches, nightclubs, public parks, hotels and hospitals. In anticipation of Nigeria’s crash, the US military had, in May 2008, conducted war games called Unified Quest 2008, to ascertain how its military might respond to a war in parts of Africa including Nigeria and Somalia According to an article written by Director of the African Security Research Project in Washington, DC and Guest Columnist of All Africa Global Media, Mr. Daniel Volman ( See: One World Media For ‘Global Citizens’- 2009 World Economic Forum; Are You Ready? ), the Nigerian scenario was predicated upon a possible war in 2013. The article observed that it was the first time the African scenarios were included, as part of Pentagon’s plan to create a new United States Africa Command (AFRICOM). It also emerged that “the free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market” was one of the “guiding principles” of AFRICOM, as articulated by Vice Admiral Robert Moeller at an AFRICOM conference held at Fort McNair on February 18, 2008. The 2013 war date, according to the article, was a test of how AFRICOM could respond to a crisis in Nigeria in the event that rival factions and rebels fight for control of the oil fields of the Niger Delta and the government was near collapse. Among scenarios examined, Volman said, were the possibility of direct American military intervention involving some 20,000 US troops in order to “secure the oil”.. Also, the question of how to handle possible splits between factions within the Nigerian government was tested. Other options included diplomatic pressure, military action, with or without the aid of European and African nations. In Nigeria, one would find a clear infiltration by foreign bodies posing as foundations and organisational institutions, all geared toward influencing government policies in the oil and gas sectors. We may also want to ask why African history disappeared from Nigeria’s secondary school curriculum. It is also very familiar that the battle for political power at the centre took a desperate dimension before the 2011 general election following the demise of Contd on Page 19




In search of the culprits Contd from Page 18 ailing President Umaru Musa Yar’adua. Sectional and religious cleavages clearly superseded issues with emotion running high over which person or which region should take the slot. uriously, as events unfolded, it became clear that other options outside the democratic process, was at play. On October 1, 2010, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) disrupted the Independence Day celebration by setting off bombs close to the Eagle Square venue of the event in Abuja. Surprisingly, while President Goodluck Jonathan was making efforts to clear MEND from the terrorism, its leader, Henry Emomotimi Okah who is currently in a South African prison over his alleged role in the blasts, revealed how government wanted him to implicate the North. It would have passed as one of those antics of an aggrieved rebel against the Amnesty programme but when General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida’s campaign director, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, was repeatedly interrogated over the act, the lid was blown. The electoral value of such terror attack became clear with the heightened religious and sectional passion it generated, sympathy vote the clear objective. In an affidavit Okah submitted while applying for bail at the South Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg in South Africa early May 2012, President Jonathan and a number of his aides were prominently mentioned. Okah also alleged that his present predicament cannot be divorced from his refusal to get MEND to retract their claim of responsibility for the Independence Day bombing. It stated : “On the day of the bombing of 1 October 2010, I received a call from Mr. Moses Jituboh, the Head of Personal Security to President Jonathan, who solicited my assistance and continued cooperation with President Goodluck Jonathan towards shifting blame for the bombings to the North of Nigeria”. Who bombs churches ? Allegations of Boko Haram’s CIA link is not clear but the agency’s Al-Qaeda connection during and after the Afghan war of liberation from Soviet rule adds credence to a tie. Note CIA’s objective of putting “people un-


Chief Olusegun Obasanjo der continual duress and in a perpetual state of imbalance” . Attacks on both Muslims and Christians in Nigeria bears the imprimatur of known organized state-sponsored foreign policy machines commissioned to perpetuate “the state of imbalance” . The attack last Monday on Enugu Road, Sabon gari, Kano killing over 30 persons mostly of southern Nigeria origin (which has unusually been unclaimed), speaks volume of this disruptive direction either for electoral aims or the ultimate balkanization of Nigeria. In February 2001, the respected Indonesian newsweekly Tempo, published a cover story suggesting links between the church bombings in the country and the Indonesian military, the TNI. he article pointed out that Edi Sugiarto, who was quickly arrested and confessed to assembling 15 of the bombs used in the town of


President Barack Obama Medan, has long run a car repair shop in the province of Aceh, where a separatist group named GAM operated. Members of TNI and Indonesia’s special forces, Kopassus, regularly went to his shop for repairs and just to hang out. In Indonesia, the special forces regiment, Kopassus, allegedly worked closely with Mossad (MOSSAD IN INDONESIA) and the American military. There is evidence linking Kopassus to attacks on Christian churches in Indonesia. “The most vicious combined operation of Coker (Christian gangsters) and Kopassus was the attack on the village of Soya, 22 houses were destroyed by fire, as well as the historic church of Soya built during Portuguese times and 12 people were killed. The Soya bloodbath created new tensions between Muslim and Christian communities.” The medium also noted that CIA secretly bombed Christians

in Indonesia, in order to topple President Sukarno. On 15 May 1958, a CIA plane bombed the Ambon marketplace, killing a large number of civilians on their way to church on Ascension. Three days later, during another bombing run over Ambon, a CIA pilot, Allen Lawrence Pope, was shot down and captured. (Indonesia 1957-1958 KH). Pope was tried in Jakarta in 1959. nfortunately, most Nigerians are ignorant of these plots and are carried away most of the time by emotions of the moment from seeking out the fifth columnists. However, some of our leaders have already seen through the veneer of deceit even though some of them are full participants in the dangerous drama threatening the peace and security of Nigeria. On the 17th of May 2005, President Olusegun Obasanjo


Allegations of Boko Haram’s CIA link is not clear but the agency’s Al-Qaeda connection during and after the Afghan war of liberation from Soviet rule adds credence to a tie. Note CIA’s objective of putting “people under continual duress and in a perpetual state of imbalance

had sent a 7 paragraph reaction titled ‘Report of the US Intelligence Council” to the Senate. In the letter, Obasanjo said:[I]”As a means of informing ourselves, I hereby forward a copy of the United States National Intelligence Council document on “Mapping Sub-Saharan Africa’s Future” for your attention. I am sending this to you not because I am alarmed by the report but because if we know what others think of us and about us, we can prevent what they project for us. “As a person who has participated in similar so-called “expert group” on issues, situations and regions, I know that the predictions and projections can be wide off the mark because both politics and economics cannot be absolutely predicted and their dynamics can fool the greatest and best expert. But it is important for us to know that we are being rated low, not because of what is happening to us from outside but because of what we do to, for and by ourselves internally. “I believe that it is only God and ourselves that can map our present and future. No outsider can do that accurately for us... I believe that they are living in the past and incapable of noticing and appreciating the positive strides we are making on all fronts and the determination of the Nigerian people to join hands to consolidate democracy and promote sustainable growth and development”.




llow creates a happy and joyful atmosphere with its sunshine nature. It energizes Yellow and uplifts ones confidence while stimulating emotions. But too much of its highlight could easily raise ones temper cum create feelings of frustration and anger.


ost people obviously do not consider the relationship between colours and their mood. Well, this is reflected their choice of colours while choosing their room settee and other colours. Many do not know that the colour psychology could have positive impact on their lives. Colour psychology is about the effects of colour on one’s mood, behaviour, emotions and mental balance. So it is advised that instead of considering colour trends in home designs, we should make do with colours that affect

our mood positively. Since our home is a haven of rest, a place where we spend more time, raise our families and generally relax and enjoy our life, psychologists believe a touch of colour will boost our joy. Hence, a brilliant combination of colours, by way of interior decors, will reflect positively not only on our individual style but our daily mood. For colour psychologists, urge that people should understand that each colour has an emotional and psychological value and that this affects our everyday activities. Blue ue helps bring down blood one’s pressure and slows respiration. It creates calmness and a serene environment, but dark blue could evoke a feeling of sadness, which could make one behave unfriendly.

Red raises the energy level, stirs excitement, stimulates conversations and creates first impression. However, red could raise one’s blood pressure and speed up respiration. Red could also cause aggression.

Green een promotes universal peace and love. It could relieve one of stress because of its calming effects, and it is also seen as restful to the eye. However, much of it could cause enervation, boredom and blandness.

e n i z a g a M


d n e k e e W ment Entertain


s Beauty Tip

od Kannywo

d Hollywoo


d Bollywoo

I’m into film production to enlighten society —Al-Ameen >>PG 36

I don’t believe

in marriage because Nigerian men are too domineering —Yeni Kuti >>PG 34

I won’t marry an actor –Emerging a actress, Ella Daniels >>PGG 37



Your Body, Image & U

Olive oil and wild honey for healthy body life acyivities, your body must be willing to follow you and allow you to do your daily stuff. Some people in this part of the world do not believe that our diet can affect our brains functioning well but this is a fact. Take for instance a child that feeds on very good nutrition filled with Vitamins, proteins and healthy fats to a child of same age that does not even have enough carbohydrate to eat not to talk of protein...a malnourished child. Put the two children in the same class and you will see how intelligent, active and clever the one who feeds well is compare to the malnourished one. The malnourished one is always dull, looking tired and lifeless and hardly comprehend what the teacher says in class. He does not even have the stamina to run around and play with other healthy kids. ame is applicable to adults who do not eat healthy and careless about their body. Sometime ago when i talked about olive oil and wild honey, some people wonder how they can use olive oil in their cusine. It is suprising that most people think olive oil is just for churches only. Olive oil is just a kind of oil that has unique health/ beauty benefits. Same people who do not understand how to consume olive oil also are not aware that you can also use the same oil to nourish your entire skin as a skin product. The fact that people can not understand how to consume olive oil stems from the fact that majority of people use substances that are not really oilve oil. Most of what they call olive oil smells and taste funny so they can’t imagine cooking food with such oil. Original Extra virgin olive oil does not have awful smell and it taste very good hence


Olive oil


very day in our lives, our body changes as our lives change and as we mature, grow old the body also changes either for good or bad. There are people you see year after year and you wonder if the word ‘’growing old’’ affects them and you become curious how they always look younger and fresher as they mature in life. It is

believed that as you mature, you look old but these days, you can slow down the ageing process (in terms of how you look and feel) by taking good care of your entire body. How do we take care of our body? By eating healthy, being active, good skin products and avoiding too much stress. For you to be on top of your

we use it in place of fatty salad cream, use it for stews, fries etc. Replacing your cholesteral loaded saturated cooking oil with olive oil keeps you from heart problems, nourishes your body, helps you lose weight. For those with skin problems, it smoothens the skin, clears skin imperfections(if you know how to use it). It is also good for men who have shaving bumps but you just do not go and buy any oilve oil because they come in different varieties. The one made for cooking might really be very good for skin application and shaving bumps so you need guide from a skin therapist who will also teach you how to use it alongside other products. I have seen someone with bumps everywhere and just keep applying olive oil and the bumps keeps getting worse. This is because, there was no guide from a skin therapist how to use the oil. There might be need to find out what actually causes the bumps/rashes , stop it so that when you use the oil, it will work. If you keep using what causes the skin problem alongside the oil, you will not get good results. For people with fair skin, if you keep loading your skin with olive oil without getting directions, it might darken you though it moisturizes your skin and the last thing fair skin people want is for their skin to darken. So to get the suitable oilve oil for your cooking and skin treatment, talk to an expert. Same applicable if you want to use it to lose weight. There are other plans that will accompany the oil so it can work in weightloss. ow about African wild honey? For those who enjoy Tea/coffee like me, loading


With Jacqui Iwu 08184825606 (sms only) our system with white sugar for life is a dangerous venture. Dangerous in the sense that, no day passes without us drinking our varities of teas, coffees and they always go with some kind of sweetner. There are lots of sweetners in the shops so it is up to you to decide on what to use as your own regular sweetner. There are foriegn sweetners they sell in big shops and the producers will label them healthy. How do you even confirm such products with all kinds of chemicals healthy? Do those of you down here take time to verify what is healthy or not before consuming?So if you are confused on which sweetner to use, why not just stick to the ones you at least know how they are being produced—Natural Honey. Though we have bee keepers who adulterate their honey but as an Africa, you can easily shop around for a good one if you are determined. When you want to achieve something good, make efforts , and you will get good results. I personally did a lot of honey sampling, evaluation for years before i discovered what honey to use for my tea/coffee and sell to my clients for their Skin and weight therapies and consumption as well. Wild Honey though limited somehow for diabetic patients is still the best sweetner anyone can use and feel healthy unlike sugar. When i say ‘’wild honey’’ i mean raw –fresh-honey. Our African honey comes just the way they are. If you are lucky to get wild honey free of adulteration, you will look very fresh, free of sickness and your skin will glow and radiates. When i use honey for my clients skin therapy, their skin comes alive and refreshes. There are lots of skin issues you can treat with wild honey on your own with the coaching of a skin expert. ombine Olive oil+Wild honey in your entire body care and see the difference!! Your entire body will thank you if you feed it with pure olive oil in and out as well as wild honey in place of sweetner. Radiant Skin? Use wild honey!


Jacqui Iwu is a Body Image, Life &Career Coach A STRESS management Expert &Conference Speaker Media Relations Personnel BLOG: http://bluntjacqui. FB: beautifulwoman.column Honey

Green tea




Justice Bulkachuwa: Proving it’s not only a man’s world afterall “Anything may happen when womanhood has ceased to be a protected occupation” (Woolf Virginia)


s the saying goes, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a step” so is another which says “make hay while the sun shines”, these old but true proverbs are just the summary of the testimony behind her success story. When MrsZainabBulkachuwa was enrolled in the Quranicschool and later onto the primary and secondary school, little did her late Parents and Guardians know that they were training a Chief justice let alone, the First Female Appeal Court President of Nigeria. A woman with such a hidden but great personalities might have been kept unschooled as a child and end up as just an ordinary woman but alas she made it, Being distinguished among her pairs and rising to the position of leadership and fame should teach many parents a lesson that the girl child could be the world savior tomorrowand should therefore not be despised. It is also an encouragement to aspiring women of great personality that with God, hard work and dedication, a successful womanhood is attainable. By Bulkachuwa’s success ladder, only hard work and commitment with faith in God could lead to celebrated victories, it also captures the saying that “whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well”. Justice ZainabBulkachuwa was born in March 1950. Her hard work started as a kid when she was sent to school by her very educated Parents,AbubakarGidado and Aisha Dada. As a child from a full Islamic background, she attended a quranic school before starting her elementary in 1957. She also attended the Queen Elizabeth School in Ilorin where she earned her senior secondary school certificate; after passing through some difficult moments when she lost her father, she proceeded to the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria where she studied Law. Justice Zainab was not only hard working but honest and Godfearing as well; no wonder she excelled in this prestigious field of study which has molded her into a woman of honour. 64 year-old Bulkachuwa, who has been the Court of Appeal’s Acting President since November 2012, brings to her substantive position a long and rich experience in the nation’s judicial service. Called

to the Bar in 1976, she was a magistrate and then a High Court judge in the old Bauchi State; was the Chief Judge of Gombe State for many years and became an Appeals Court judge in 1998. She also headed the Appeal Court’s Jos and Abuja Divisions, among other key judicial functions. Her honesty and commitment is evidenced in the celebrated matters she handled which include the Sokoto State governorship election petition of 2007 and the case instituted by former Governor Timipre Sylva last year to challenge the nomination of Seriake Dickson as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate. These and many more achievements brought her to light as she made the presidential list for nomination. President GoodluckJonathan approved the Appointment of Justice ZainabBulkachuwaas the Acting President of the Court of Appeal November 2012, where she worked tirelessly and convinced the Federal Government of her capability to occupy and work as the President of the Appeal court without the mistakes by her predecessors. hen she was nominated, Bulkachuwa was the second most senior judge in the Appeals Court after Justice DalhatuAdamu, who previously acted as the court’s head. That NJC adjusted the judiciary’s seniority tradition and chose her for the job is a testimony to the high regard in which she is held by her colleagues and superiors on the Bench. The Court of Appeal is the second-ranking court of record in Nigeria after the Supreme Court. However, it is by far the largest and most complex court system in the country with twelve divisions and a maximum 90 judges. Heading such a court requires an astute administrator in addition to thorough knowledge of the law, since appeals from federal as well as state high courts, shari’a courts of appeal and customary courts of appeal, all come to the Appeals Court for adjudication. Without doubt, President Goodluck Jonathan sent her name to the Senate for confirmation as the President of the Court of Appeal. Bulkachuwa was therefore saddled with calculative and sincere resolution to help sanitize and rebuild the image of the judiciary as it was such an unstable time for it. Her appointment and confirmation has now brought relief to this all important court system following the many years of scandal-


tinged uncertainty that enveloped it following the suspension of its then president, Justice Isa Ayo Salami in 2010. The Salami Affair contributed in no small measure to tarnish the image of the judiciary. It also destabilized the Appeal Court with its president fighting in the courts to regain his position while its headship was entrusted to acting presidents for short periods at a time. ith so m a n y work un done Bulkachuwa is meant to show up her capabilities again as too many cases were not disposed off , over long periods.. Justice Bulkachuwa also confirmed that it is important to look into the Appeal Court’s case, given i t s critical role i n the na-


tion’s judicial order. She is responsible for appointing election tribunals as well as election appeal tribunals. The Appeal Court president also constitutes a tribunal of first instance for presidential elections.

This is a very important duty that assumes added significance with the approach of the 2015 general elections. The task of constituting impartial tribunals now falls on Bulkachuwa’s shoulders. Not

only impartiality, but these tribunals are also expected to discharge their duties speedily in order to end the situation whereby election petitions are still ongoing many years into an office holder’s tenure.

was therefore saddled “ Bulkachuwa with calculative and sincere

resolution to help sanitize and rebuild the image of the judiciary as it was such an unstable time for it.



World Kiddies

With Miriam




was first located at the base of the rock and had existed there for centuries. But the development of the new city resulted in the villagers being resettled initially in Suleja and subsequently in Kubwa District. The area of the village is now part of Asokoro district. Aso Rock was the site of the 2003 Aso Rock Declaration, issued by Heads of Government of the Commonwealth during the CHOGM held in Abuja. It reaffirmed the Commonwealth’s principles as detailed under the Harare Declaration, but set the ‘promotion of democracy and development’ as the organisation’s priorities.

Aso Rock was the site of the 2003 Aso Rock Declaration, issued by Heads of Government of the Commonwealth during the CHOGM held in Abuja. It reaffirmed the Commonwealth’s principles as detailed under the Harare Declaration, but set the ‘promotion of democracy and development’ as the organisation’s priorities.



Aso Rock

so Rock is a large outcrop and the largest rock formation that is on the outskirts of Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. It is a 400 metre monolith and is the city’s most noticeable feature. The main axis of the Central District, it rises to nearly 400 meters above sea level and towers majestically in the background of the Three Arms Zone – so named because it is home to the Presidential Complex, the National Assembly, and the Supreme Court. The term “Aso” means victory in the local language, and the local people are called “Asokoro” or the people of victory. The original village of Asokoro



World Kiddies


With Miriam





The Elephant and Lion King of the Jungle fight


nce upon a time, there was one fine sunny day when the Lion felt rather strong and wanted to test his prowess. As he went about the African Jungle with thick canopying trees, the Lion met the Monkey, stopped and asked him: “Who is the King of the Jungle?” The Monkey bowed and answered “You Sire”. Feeling proud and reassured the Lion saw the Hyena and repeated the question to the Hyena who again confirmed that indeed the Lion was the King of the Jungle. The Lion then noticed an Elephant who was as tall as two stories high. Resting under

the shed of a Mopani tree, chewing cud. “Who is the King of the Jungle?” the Lion briskly demanded of the elephant. Before the Lion could finish asking the question, the elephant swooped the Lion off its feet and threw it against the Mopani tree. Before the Lion could shake his senses back, the elephant picked it up again and beat it against a rock. The Lion managed to extricate itself from the powerful grip of the elephant truck, stood at a distance and said: “No, no, no, you do not have to be so nasty and violent, just because you do not know the answer”.

Zahra Bilyaminu

ACTIVITIES Using the right colours, shade the image below. Describe your action and show your work to your teacher for correction. Cheers!


How to make a clock toy


ne of the best ways to help a child learn, is by taking a hands-on approach. When teaching your child to tell time, having a practice clock available to experiment with can accelerate the learning process. Make one yourself, or help your child create one of their own. Choose an 8”x8” square of wood in any thickness you desire. Use sandpaper to smooth any rough or sharp edges. Cut two 16” pieces of string. Lay one piece of string from the top left corner to the bottom right. Lay the second piece of string from the top right corner to the bottom left. Hold strings taunt and mark the center of the block, where the strings intercept, with a pencil mark. Hold the nail point side up. Thread washers and clock hands on to the nail in the following manner:

One washer Short clock hand (hour) One washer Long clock hand (minutes) One washer If you have a little helper, watch fingers carefully when using the hammer. Turn the nail point down while holding the washers and clock hands in place. Hammer the nail into the center of the wood block where the pencil mark is. Nail only far enough to allow free movement of the clock hands while assuring the nail does not exit the back side of the wood block. Use self adhesive number stickers to mark the hours on the clock face. Start with 12 at the top of your clock, adding 6 at the bottom, then the 3 and 9. Fill in the remaining numbers evenly to complete your clock.




Confab in Land Act, Grazing Reserve controversies Contd from Page 3 t noted that since it was made a constitutional matter it emphatically impossible for a change through the normal process of legislation and, therefore, said it should be removed so that ownership would reverse to the original owners. It thus recommended: The Act should be abrogated to allow for successor legislations on land tenure and administration by states of the federation “which should and must vest ownership of land in the hands of those with customary right of ownership, subject to the right of state to register titles and provide guidelines for land transactions within their jurisdictions.” “Whenever the government intends to compulsorily acquire land for public purpose, adequate compensation and necessary resettlement must be made prior to entry of the said land by the government. “Provided always that if after 10 years of government entry, the land is not utilized for the said public purpose, then the acquired land reverts to the original owners and the compensation earlier paid shall be forfeited by the government. “It is our recommendation that the provisions of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act 2007 should serve as the minimum standard for dealing with communities, land owners and land users in legislations relating to the extraction of all minerals and the setting aside of forest to serve as carbon sink.” The arguments for and against was elucidating and logical from both protagonists and antagonists. It seems though that majority of the Northern delegates were against the removal of the Land Act from the constitution, while their Southern counterparts were overwhelmingly in favour. Some of the delegates said the proposal for the establishment of a National Land Commission would further push the issue of land tenure back to the Federal Government; and that it would serve as a replacement to the Land Use Act. They voted in rejection of the commission. Delegates also overwhelmingly voted to adopt the abrogation of the Land Act. However, that did not go down well with the Northern delegates. But it was dramatic. When the Deputy Chairman of the Conference, Bolaji Akinyemi, who moderated the voting process put the issue to vote, the delegates voted overwhelmingly in support of the recommendation that the Act should be expunged from the Constitution. However, aware that the decision was grossly against Northern interest, some northern delegates, including Buba Galadima from Yobe State and Junaid Mohammed from Kano State sprang from their seat demanding that they should be recognised to speak apparently in


Delegate, Obong Victor Attah rejection of the result of the process. However, their request to speak was greeted with shouts of no! no! no! from the delegates. But Dr Junaid Mohammed and Galadima persisted as the former dangled the report, saying , “This is the most capitalistic report this conference has had the misfortune to receive,” noting that he was convinced expunging the Land Use Act from the constitution would create problems as land still remains a very valuable resource. “What is behind the recommendation is nothing but class interest. It is in the interest of this country that land is left in trust with government,” he said explaining that those who have money would buy off everything. Zamfara State delegate, Saidu Dansadau, joined the fray in demanding to speak, but he too received the same treatment from the delegates. The former senator, who was forced to sit down, he said, “I need to be listened to, it is very important. This is a sentimental matter. We

Deputy Chairman, Confab. Alhaji Buba Galadima need to know what we are doing.” Sensing that the situation was degenerating and raise temper beyond control, the Conference chairman, Idris Kutigi, explained that the delegates were already in middle of debate and would not reopen a matter that had been voted on. Despite his explanation, Mr. Galadima still stood up and demanded that he be heard even as he called for division. At this point, the shout of no! no! no rented the air. During the confusion, some delegates, including a representative of the Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, Jaye Gaskiya, kept shouting “We have voted! We have voted.” To arrest the situation, Kutigi ruled that discussion on the matter be deferred to enable the conference discuss the remaining recommendations. He also said suspending the matter would allow contending members discuss and negotiate on it. “We shall put the issue in bracket and proceed to deal with other

This suggestion irked Northern delegates, who felt that the proposal though from a Northerner, was meant to deny and discriminate against the Fulanis. They, thereafter, sought to counter this gross lack of appreciation for the Fulanis by insisting that the recommendation should remain as it was coughed by the committee.

matters. We are governed by rule here. If we don’t agree, we have to go by balloting. We will discuss it and later go to balloting. You can’t force one to go by your own order. We are all Nigerians. We should be able to talk to one another. We will go and negotiate and talk to each other,” the former Chief Justice of Nigeria said. The third matter that threw the conference into some disorder of a sort was the conference’s secretariat’s refusal to accept the minority report from a member of the committee on devolution of power. Delegate Annkio Brigg had sought to present her report after the Victor Attah and Ibrahim Coomasie had laid on the table the recommendations of the devolution of power committee. Chairman of the conference, Justice Kitugi has refused her request to lay her minority report on the table for the simple reason that there was no such provision in their Order Book for a minority report. She claimed the refusal was the denial of her democratic rights and demonstration of undemocratic attitude, but added that acceptance or not, the people of Niger Delta, whose interest she claims she representing will sustain the fight to increase the present 13 percent derivation to 50 percent. Peoples Daily Weekend recalls that she had voiced strong opposition when the committee resolved to retain the 13 percent after six stalemates over the issue. “Well, that is democracy. I have exercised my democratic right by standing up for what I believe in on behalf of my people and my region. And the chairman of the conference seems to have done so too,” she said. “But let us not in any shape or form think that this is the end of the matter. First of all, the Niger-Delta people will have to have their own reaction on this. The floor will also discuss the content of the report of the Devolution of Power and the issue of 13 per cent status quo remaining. So, I am not in any way moved by it. But it shows clearly that in many

cases the majority actually oppresses the minority.” The delegate explained that the content of her report was merely re-emphasizing the agitation of the demands of the oil rich states for 50 per cent derivation. “The content of the minority report is once again re emphasizing issues, if you like, the position of the Niger-Delta that are producing the wealth of this nation and the two other oil producing states in the south east and of course, Ondo State. “The position has always been that we are here to ask for 50 per cent derivation or we have 100 per cent resource control and pay not more than 50 per cent to federal government. “Whichever way, you look at it, we will be satisfied, I mean the people of Niger-delta that have paid such a huge price for over 50 years in environmental devastation, lack of development and all of that. We think is time that if we look back to the 1963 constitution where other people had 50 per cent of what they were producing. “And if we say we are here to see how Nigeria is going to move forward on the basis of justice and equity, then I think that we should start with the 50 per cent derivation. Anything short of that, I think we will be deceiving ourselves.” The delegate from Rivers State said during the Committee’s discussion on the derivation, the issue was just put on the table without discussion and that though majority agreed, she refused to support it. “It was just put on the table and suggestion was made that status quo should be allowed, that is 13 per cent should be maintained. The issue of whether it should go up or come down was never discussed and so, I am amazed to hear there is a claim that it was unanimous. “Well, it was, you can take it that the majority had agreed and I am the lone voice. You can read like that. Bearing that in mind, I think I reserve the right on behalf of my people to state clearly that that was the case.”



News Insecurity: Group wants Muslims, Christians to protect Nigeria’s unity From Muhammad Ibrahim, Kaduna


articipants at a Think-Nigeria Christian/Muslim Initiative yesterday urged Muslim and Christian communities across the country to strive hard to protect Nigeria’s unity. In a communiqué issued at the end of the event, it urged both Christians and Muslims to preserve the nation’s unity and promote peaceful coexistence. “Nigeria is currently in trying moments and all efforts must

be made by the two religions in support of the government to defeat the insurgency. Muslims require an exemplary leadership to be able to accentuate the meaning and message of Islam in Nigeria. “Christianity and Islam have their root from Prophet Abraham. Therefore, both Muslims and Christians in Nigeria must engage and embrace one another as brothers and sisters. “The fact that Prophet Muhammed lived and interacted with non-Muslims peacefully should be emulated by Nigerian

Muslims while Christians should also imbibe the teachings of Jesus Christ in harmonious and peaceful relationship with others,” the communique said The participants further called on Nigerians to strive in ensuring success of the 2015 general elections with a called on the government to adhere to the principles of free and fair election. Professor Mohammed AlAmin presented the lead paper titled, “I hate Islam, I love Islam,” which examined Islamic position on religions tolerance and peaceful

coexistence,” he said. The forum is an initiative of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) President, Pastor Ayo Aritsejafor, and Dr. Abdul Ahmad Isiaq, designed to re-direct the focus of Nigerians towards the attainment of a greater Nigeria. Prominent Christian and Muslim clerics attended the inter-religious conference and also called on parents to pay more attention to their children and wards in order to protect them from activities of religious extremists.

Put completed govt projects to use immediately -Wada From Omale Adama Lokoja


ovenor Idris Wada of Kogi state Friday directed that all completed government and community projects be put to use immediately rather than unnecessarily waiting for official commissioning. The directive was issued by the governor at the official inauguration of completed Ikanekpo Cottage Hospital and Electricity projects executed by the community with assistance and supervision from Kogi Community and Social Development Agency (KGCSDA). Governor Wada who was enraged by the non-utilisation of the facilities almost five months after completion said: “I am not happy that this health care centre has been completed and not put to use for so many months. “It has been built for the benefit of our people. It does not make sense to me that government and community jointly provided funding for a project only for it to be left fallow. “Don’t wait for commissioning. Commissioning is just a ceremony. The important thing is for people to be attended to”, Wada said. He therefore, directed the chairman of Ankpa Local Government to deploy personnel to the clinic for it to commence operation immediately and urged officials of government and agencies to always inform him when projects were completed. General Manager of Kogi CSDA, Mr James Odiba earlier in is speech commended the governor for his support to the agency especially in meeting its counterpart obligations to the World Bank. Mr Odiba said the Rural Health Centre and Electricity projects were executed at the cost of N9.7 million under the supervision of the agency through the Community-Driven Development Approach (CDD). The General Manager noted that so far, the agency had expended over N62.3 million on 18 micro projects in Education, Health, Water, Socioeconomic and Power sector in Ankpa Local Government of the state.

Eligible voters checking their names on the permanent voters’ card (PVC) register at a polling unit yesterday in Gombe

Military discovers rocket launcher production facility in Kano


he Defence Headquarters (DHQ), on Friday in Abuja, said rocket launcher production facility was uncovered at Dorayi District in Kumbotso Local Government Area of Kano. This information is contained in a statement issued and signed by Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, Director of Defence Information. The statement

said that cordon and search exercise led to the discovery of the facility. It explained that the discovery followed the arrest of a prominent member of the terrorist group. ``Locally made anti-aircraft gun and mortar accessories and rocket propelled grenade tubes and launcher along with accessories were recovered.

``Also seized were three AK47 rifles and hundreds of rounds of assorted ammunitions as well as drilling machines and other fabricating equipment. The statement reminded the public to report suspicious persons to security agencies in their localities to prevent unwholesome act by terrorists. (NAN)

No mutiny in Maiduguri Olukolade


he military on Friday said there was no mutiny at Maimalari Barracks in Maiduguri, but admitted that there were complaints of transportation problem by some residents of the barracks. Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, the Director of Defence Information, made the disclosure at a news conference at the National Information Centre, led by Mr Mike Omeri, the Coordinator of the centre in Abuja. Olukolade said that the information on mutiny in Maiduguri was false and misleading. He added that ``there was no mutiny as reported by an online media, but some residents had complained about the lack of water in the barracks and it was rectified.’’ He also said that soldiers were not being owed allowances, as all allowances were being paid when due. The director added that all soldiers were paid same allowance, including the generals, stressing that ``there is no difference in allowances. ``Also, no soldier protested, so, the media should be weary of unsubstantiated information.’’ The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that an online media had reported that there was mutiny by soldiers against Brig.-Gen. M.Y Ibrahim, the newly posted General Officer Commanding 7 Division of Nigeria Army in Maiduguri. Meanwhile, Olukolade said investigation into various issues regarding the military were ongoing, but denied knowledge of any investigation of an army general selling weapons to Boko Haram members. He said ``I don’t know about any General selling weapons to Boko Haram members. I cannot give any information about that. ``The Nigerian military is not an rresponsible outfit.’’ (NAN)

Nigeria is at war with unknown enemies - Jang


ov. Jonah Jang of Plateau, on Friday, said Nigeria was at war with unknown enemies and urged well meaning people to rise to the country’s defence. Jang made the remark when he visited the scenes of the Tuesday twin bomb blasts in Jos after cutting short his medical trip abroad. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 78 persons were confirmed dead and several others receiving treatments for injuries. ``This is a different type of war from the wars that we all know; these are enemies that are unknown. ``And these are the worst enemies that you can fight because you don’t know where they are coming from, you don’t know where and how to tackle them until

suddenly you are taken by surprise as it is now’’, he said. The governor was of the view that most of the perpetrators of the heinous crimes were non-Nigerians, employed by the evil people in Nigeria to kill Nigerians. ``These people are being sponsored, they come to a place. They don’t stay on trees, but with people. ``We are made to understand that they bring in these bombs not as bombs but they bring them as materials and assemble them in one of our houses. ``Why is it difficult for people to report such cases?’’ he asked. The governor said that some of the activities of the terrorists could be checked if Nigerians were more security conscious.

``We must be suspicious of everything not just cars, we must be suspicious of everything and we must always call the security numbers given to the public by security agencies to report complaints’’, he added. Jang further advised politicians to stop using the emergency situation as the one Nigeria has found itself to gain cheap political advantage. On the Kidnapped Chibok girls, Jang said ``we are all sad about the disappearance of these girls and the Federal Government is working seriously with the international community to locate where they are. ``Do they want the President to go to Chibok, to go go the bush to search for the girls himself?’’ According to him, some of those in the streets marching against the

government are those who had held government positions and could not perform. Jang told politicians to assist the government by also using their connections to proffer solutions instead of discrediting the President. ``This is our nation, we don’t have any other nation to go to, Africa is looking up to us, we are the biggest black population and we are behaving as if we don’t know who we are. ``We are all Nigerians, when the time of politics comes, we must play politics but when the time for emergency like this one comes, we must face it squarely and address it’’, he said. He said the state government would clear the busy Terminus Market where the bombs exploded to avoid a repeat of such incident. (NAN)





Doyin Ojosipe


woman’s hair is her pride, a natural covering that not only brings out the woman in her but her glow, elegance and presence. However, not many are endowed with that glossy gifts and though who work hard to keep them in finer shape and grace. The reasons are obvious: they battle with hair fallout. Indeed, all sorts of prescriptions have been made and many have been frustrated after applying them all to little or no avail. For this week, we look at some of the reasons. There are just a few reasons why you could experience a hair fall out. One reason could be a reflection of bad health conditions, while another could be a lack of vitamin deficiency. For effective treatment to take place, you must know the reason for your hair loss. Here are a few reasons for hair loss · Stress Stress, be it physical and or emotional is one reason for hair loss, it could shock the hair cycle and push more of the hair to the shedding phase. · Chemical activities Excessive styling, shampooing, dyeing including heat and chemicals could cause a serious damage to your hair; these activities cold irritate the scalp and weaken the hair causing a breakage. One harmful but common activity is hot stretching and blow drying of the hair which causes the hair to thin out and lose weight. · Lack of good diet Hair growth is also affected by your diet intake. A lack of protein, iron and some other important minerals could spell doom for your hair. · Hereditary Hair loss could also be due to hereditary traits. If it is present in one’s family, then it’s just possible that one could experience hair loss at a certain age. Knowing the problem solves the problem. If you experience a hair loss you can’t give a reasonable explanation for, then it’s good you see your doctor. Five ways to care for your hair · You ought to take good care of your hair by avoiding harmful chemicals and habits which causes damage to the hair. Do not over heat the hair as it weakens the hair protein causing brittleness and fragility.

Glossy hair · Minimise the use of hair dryers, hot combs, hair stretchers as these could traumatize the scalp as well as hair follicles. · Wash your hair regularly with

mild shampoo while being gentle; if you must brush after washing ,do good by using a wide toothed comb. · Control the stress, get adequate sleep to improve your

health, do some exercise to reduce stress and improve blood circulation. · Take appropriate medication and eat healthy. Your

diet could affect your hair positively or otherwise. Be sure to have a diet with the essential minerals like iron, protein, sea foods vitamin c omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin b and zinc.




Wears a that help do o the work w C

areer women sure have a variety of decisions to make, especially what to wear between the working hours of nine and five. Good enough, designers are making real frantic efforts at growing market of smart and chic dressers. This makes it possible for you to lay your hands on your choice of clothes anytime, anywhere. For those professional women who need to look astonishing in their work place, it is interesting to know that there are lovely dresses and accessories at the next boutique to meet their needs.




Pots & Pans

With Doyin Ojosipe

Banana and vanilla tea cake Banana tea cake is a refreshing snack to help start your day. Use black bananas. In fact, if they turn black, put bananas into freezers to keep for when you’re ready to prepare. Once defrosted they will be pulp like and mix into cake batter much more easily giving you a cooked consistency like mud cake. Sometimes requires a little extra time in the oven. Ready in 1 hour 5 mins Ingredients Serves: 10 • 125g butter (at room temperature) • 185g caster sugar • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract • 2 very ripe bananas (to about 180g of flesh) • 1 egg • 1/4 teaspoon bicarb of soda • 100ml of milk • 180g self-raising flour

Preparation method Cooks for 45 minutes Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Blend butter and caster sugar until creamy. Add vanilla and keep beating. Peel very ripe bananas and mash them with a fork (if defrosted bananas as in the tips above, just squeeze them into batter and beat). Add them, along with the egg, to the butter and mix well. In a small bowl, mix bicarbonate of soda with milk until dissolved, then add to the banana mixture. Sift 180g of selfraising flour and fold, gradually, into the mixture. Grease a small loaf tin, then pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 45 minutes or so. It’s done when a skewer pushed into the middle of the cake comes out dry. Cool a little before turning out onto a cooling rack. When completely cool, dust the top with a little icing sugar. Keeps for up to a week if kept in a sealed container in the fridge or cool cupboard.

Prepare your homemade moringa (zogale) tea Moringa oleifera is one of the most rich sources of nutrients and vitamins that our body needs. It is rich in calcium, potassium, beta-carotene, Vitamin C, and iron. Moringa can be prepared as a vegetable or included in soups, but mostly just the leaves and fruits are used. Others prefer to drink it as tea. Here are some simple steps on how to make Moringa tea and Moringa powder. Step 1 Get Moringa Leaves Gather Moringa leaves, 3 to 4 stalks will do. It is best to use the mature leaves because they dry up fast. Step 2 Air Drying Air dry the leaves including the stalks for a day or until the leaves are crisp. Air drying will make the leaves fall out and then you can separate the stalks after. But some people include the stalk in making tea because of its fiber content. Step 3 Grinding Grind the air-dried leaves (with the stalks if you

prefer) for 10-15 seconds. You can use a blender to grind the leaves. Step 4 Storage Put the ground Moringa in tea bags, and store in a cool, dry place. Make sure not to leave it in open moist places, so it will have a long shelf-life. Step 5 Preparing the Tea To prepare Moringa tea, just add hot water, lemon and sugar to taste. Tips • Grinding the leaves for a minute or two will give you Moringa powder, which can be sprinkled on dishes. • Use a net when air-drying the leaves so they don’t scatter. • Another way of making tea is by simply boiling 1/2 cup of Moringa leaves in 1 1/2 cup of water. Let it cool and drink the concoction as tea.




Obstacles to finding lasting love A healthy, loving relationship can enhance many aspects of your life, from your emotional and mental well-being to your physical health and overall happiness. For many of us, though, finding someone we want to share our lives with can seem like an impossible task. But don’t despair, even if you have a history of relationships that don’t last or if you feel burned out by traditional and online dating, you can still learn how to find lasting love. What is a healthy relationship? First though what is a healthy relationship is when two people develop a connection based on: • Mutual respect • Trust • Honesty • Support • Fairness/equality • Separate identities • Good communication • A sense of playfulness/fondness This, however, is not exhaustive. You could add whatever it is that could work for you. We agree though that what may be the magic wane for others may lack the potency to solve your problem. We one continues to work hard, in the hope that one would find a workable solution to emotional matters. That is because we are imperfect and prone to making mistakes including mistakes in feelings and appreciation of the other person’s emotional needs and preferences. Even among those who have been married for years and have had the experience of dealing with different emotional situations including molding characters, assessing correctly the emotional needs of their mates have remained challenging. Sadly, though many rarely reckons with the prescriptions of the holy books. Some wrongly consider them to be recommendations of bygone eras and therefore out of date. How unfortunate! They remain as valid and useful as they were in past eras especially since it has divine prescriptions in them.

Well, matters of the heart in this era appeals more to the younger generation. It’s their generation and one can’t deny them the pleasure of taking full advantage now. They are bound to look back and say “we have no delight in them.” Life as a single person offers many rewards, including learning how to build a healthy relationship with yourself. However, if you’re ready to share your life with someone and want to build a lasting, worthwhile relationship, life as a single person can also be very frustrating. Finding the right romantic partner is often a difficult journey, for several reasons. Perhaps you grew up in a household where there was no role model of a solid, healthy relationship and you doubt that such a thing even exists. Or maybe your dating history consists only of short, abrupt relationships where you or your partner gets bored too soon, and you don’t know how to make a relationship last. You could be attracted to the wrong type of person or making the same bad choices, due to an unresolved issue from your past. It’s also possible you’re not putting yourself in the best environments to meet the right person, or that when you do, you don’t feel confident enough to approach someone. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to believe that a healthy romantic relationship for you exists in the future. It’s also important to recognize that relationships are never

Romantic young lovers

perfect and always require lots of work, compromise, and a willingness to resolve conflict in a positive way. To find and build any relationship worth keeping, you may need to start by re-assessing some of your misconceptions about dating and relationships that can prevent you from finding lasting love: Here are the realities about relationship against the popular myth. While there are health benefits that come with being in a healthy relationship, many people can be just as happy and fulfilled without being part of a couple. Despite

the stigma in some social circles that accompanies being single, it’s important not to enter a relationship just to “fit in.” Being alone and being lonely are not the same thing. Nothing is as unhealthy and dispiriting as being in a bad relationship. This is an important myth to dispel, especially if you have a history of making inappropriate choices. Instant sexual attraction and lasting love do not necessarily go hand-inhand. Emotions can change and deepen over time, and friends sometimes become lovers—if you give those relationships a chance to

Or maybe your dating history consists only of short, abrupt relationships where you or your partner gets bored too soon, and you don’t know how to make a relationship last. You could be attracted to the wrong type of person or making the same bad choices, due to an unresolved issue from your past.

develop. Women and men feel similar things but sometimes express their feelings differently, often according to society’s conventions. But both men and women experience the same core emotions such as sadness, anger, fear, and joy. Love is rarely static, but that doesn’t mean love or physical attraction is doomed to fade over time. As we age, both men and women have fewer sexual hormones but emotion often influences passion more than hormones, and sexual passion can become stronger over time. You can’t change anyone. People only change if and when they want to change. It’s never too late to change any pattern of behavior. Over time, and with enough effort, you can change the way you think, feel, and act. Conflict doesn’t have to be negative or destructive. With the right resolution skills, conflict can also be an opportunity for growth in a relationship. Source: UW Seattle



Confab: Why our c’ttee wants National Industrial Court to handle electoral disputes, Sani Zorro


ormer President of the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ), Mallam Sani Zorro, is a delegate to the National Conference and member of the Committee on Political Parties and Electoral Matters. The committee has suggested dynamic approaches to electoral disputes including stripping INEC of some of its present responsibilities and transfer of electoral disputes to National Industrial Court. Mallam Zorro spoke to Assistant Editor, Patrick Andrew, on sundry radical recommendations his committee made on political and electoral issues. Here are excerpts…


hat has been your impression of the confab? One key issue that has not been resolved and which likely to crop up again is the issue of under representation of the Northern parts of Nigeria in the conference. The Northern parts of the country as a former region and the Muslims in particular felt shortchanged. The region made presentations to the president who gave assurances that this issue will be resolved. Though they didn’t give any timeline but now we have gone half way through the assignment in the sense that the committees’ work which is very critical in the exercise has been finished. I know, at one time or another especially when it comes to voting issue, which is to be done by consensus, this issue will be crop up. Generally, the conference has been a success despite the fact that initially the beginning was tricky because of the controversial issue of voting criteria, but it was overcome and we broke into committees and deliberated and at the level of these committees. A lot of consensus have been reached. We are back at the plenary to debate and reach final agreements the issues raised, recommendations and resolutions for problems and challenges. Now, this is probably the most crucial aspect of the conference because this is what will make or mar the entire conference itself and I believe that all efforts will be on deck to ensure that it succeeds. The committees have done very profound work, for example our committee, which deals with political parties and elections. The recommendations that we have arrived at are quite profound and capable of improving on both the political management as well as electoral matters. Political matters can be categorized into five or four sections. One: The electoral management bodies: that is INEC and SIEC in the states. Two: The role of judiciary in the electoral process, three: The role

of the media, the role of security agencies, as well as the role of civil society organizations, these are very fundamental. Let me start with political parties, based on our analyses and after thorough examination, we are of the strong opinion that the following are what brings political problems in our polity: The absence of internal democracy in the affairs of political parties as well as absence of ideology that will differentiate between the programmes and manifestoes of political parties. We have recommended one: That internal democracy must be observed as a fundamental aspect of the process for bringing out credible candidates that will contest for leadership positions at both the level of the parties and leaders into executive and legislative posts that are available. Now, you take the case of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that has come up with the idea of arriving at consensus before elections instead of the pattern that we have been used to; elections and then when there are disputes you now go for consensus. We realized that consensus building is part and parcel of democracy, so we had no problem with that. However, any party that wants to promote consensus before resolution, the parties at the consensus must be able to capture in writing what has happened, including their signatures, for the purpose

Sani Zorro of documentation, that will satisfied. Secondly, there is the need to distinguish the parties from their respective programmes and manifestoes such that we don’t join parties on the basis of ethnicity, religion and other divisive issues. For instance, there are people who think they should belong to the ruling PDP simply because they are from the Niger Delta and the president is from the Niger Delta. More over, there people who subscribed to the APC membership simply because they are of Yoruba origin, there are people who subscribed to the PDP simply because they are from the Eastern part of the country and all the governors from the Eastern part of the country are also of the PDP. That should not be the basis for loyalty to these parties. But when there are clear programmes, for instance,

Besides, when it comes to government grants to parties, we have recommended that government should no longer give grants to political parties because we have discovered that parties are being floated simply to cash in on the opportunity of getting grants from INEC, periodically. Parties that machinery in nature, parties are not well known, they don’t have spread and their leaders as phoney and were recruited by the bigger parties to wedge campaign of calumny against other parties.

that say; our party is out to promote privatization of public utilities and enterprises, like championing the privatization process that is a particular form of ideological mindset, that is clear. Then, if a party comes out to say it is committed to social welfarism as a Social Democratic Party, it is all out to promote the wellbeing of workers and will concentrate on building a social sector that will be formidable in terms of quality education, free education by whatever name, that is a clear ideological framework and is the kind of strands that we would want the parties to adopt. Besides, when it comes to government grants to parties, we have recommended that government should no longer give grants to political parties because we have discovered that parties are being floated simply to cash in on the opportunity of getting grants from INEC, periodically. Parties that machinery in nature, parties are not well known, they don’t have spread and their leaders as phoney and were recruited by the bigger parties to wedge campaign of calumny against other parties. The same applies to civil society organizations. We discover that in some states when conducting local government council elections, they will mobilized parties, which had already been proscribed, assembled them, give them fund in order to affirm the outcome of elections whose credibility is in doubt. Then, there are civil society

organizations that are also floated by interested politicians and parties just for the purpose of endorsing undemocratic practices by governors and they champion whatever plans of the government are. That is the only time you will hear their voices claiming to be civil society organizations. We have recommended that INEC should scrutinize the applications of civil society organizations that want to partner with them in electoral matters. You talked about unbundling INEC, what specific reasons do you have for recommending that? When it comes to election management bodies like INEC and SIEC, we have recommended the unbundling of INEC in particular, in other words, whatever responsibility and mandate that INEC exercises at the moment, which have weighed it down, we have made INEC to focus on its most prominent function-which is to conduct free and fair electionswe have stripped INEC of those other functions. For example, INEC registers political parties, it audits the parties, tracks their expenditures on daily basis as well as monitors the expenditure sealing as determined by its edict for those contesting elections. We are of opinion that INEC should register or recommend registration of parties because it is INEC that will eventually print ballot papers, produce ballot boxes and other logistic items for the purpose of elections, they need to have parties in their data base. However, the question of auditing the parties as required now and being exercised should be removed from INEC and transferred to the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation or especial body that will conduct this function. We say that because INEC does not have that core competence that the auditing firm has. Actually, it outsources such functions to outside auditors, so why do you have to route it through them? Secondly, you also discover that INEC does not have the capacity to track the expenditures of these political parties on daily basis neither does it have the capacity also to monitor and track the expenditure sealings of these parties. So, these two functions should be removed from them. Contd on Page 33



... President, Govs, must vacate offices to face electoral disputes ...Zorro Contd on from Page 32


hen, there is the question of delimitation or delineation of electoral constituencies; you know that the constitution provides for the emergence of more constituencies after 10 years. Now, in as much as INEC should participate in the exercise, we believe that it should be in conjunction with the National Population Commission (NPC) and the National Boundary Commission (NBC). These are the two statutory bodies that have the capacities and the resources to conduct such exercise. INEC, which conducts elections, should triangulate in the delineation exercise. The exercise should be driven by INEC just for the purpose of the election. Ideally, it is the NPC that has the data of people and constituencies and the boundary commission has the function of mapping as well as other indices of true boundaries within and outside the Nigerian territory. In all of these, where is the place of the judiciary? This is important because it is the aspect that deals with the adjudication of pre and postelectoral disputes. We have made the following recommendations among others: One: The Federal High Court, as it is now, deals with fundamental human rights issues and revenue issues. We have now proposed that the Federal High Court be renamed Constitutional Courts and then the issue of electoral matters should be coopted and be included in the other mandates that they already have. Also, the National Industrial Court, which presently handles labour disputes and has branches in many states of the federation, we have recommended that electoral matters should be given to them to handle. What obtains currently is that whenever elections are held tribunals are constituted to hear out and adjudicate on electoral cases. Now, what is the composition of the tribunals? Judges of high court from various parts of the federation are recruited on emergency bases just to come and preside over tribunals and are dispatched to states other than their own. We have discovered three things: When they finished such assignment, the records of such assignments are often lost because they are ad hoc in nature. Once they have wound down their assignments, the court clerks and registrars of such assignments begin to shuttle from one court to another trying to transfer those records. If they go to the state judiciary, for instance Osun state,

Aluoma Muktar

Prof. Attahiru Jega

the state will tell them that they do not have such records because the tribunal was not under their state jurisdiction. If they go to the police, how can the police keep such records since they are not criminal in nature and the police do not also have space? At any rate, the police usually rush to INEC office for in search of records. But INEC can be relied upon to supply needed records? Even INEC also lacks the storage capacity and the professionalism of keeping such records because these are records like you will keep in a library and should be recoverably whenever you need them. In the process, so much of the records generated from this exercise are lost and the judiciary is being deprived of the content of these materials which should have helped to further enrich the judicial process. Next, these judges easily get compromised because if you are from a state in South South posted to the North East, if you collaborate with a sitting governor or a member of the National Assembly and you give judgement in his favour and you are compromised, you don’t have nothing to lose because your record is not in that state. Our observation is vindicated

by the National Judicial Council (NJC), which has fired and retired so many judges that were found wanting in these type of circumstance that arose from the 2011 elections. Here Ekiti state readily comes to the mind. On the crucial aspect of getting justice arising from electoral disputes and litigations, we have recommendable a total of 180 days within which electoral cases can be disposed of and that will be before the inauguration of the new national and state assemblies – the executive and legislative arms of governments because by May 29th these elected officers of the federation must be sworn in. So we have given 180 days within which all cases must be disposed of. However, in the event where they run for more than 180 days, and the litigations are against the incumbent governor or member of the national or state assembly who is going for second or third term and is being challenged in court, that governor or member of the legislature, or the president of the Federal Republic must vacate that office on May 29 so that he would not manipulate his office and use the resources of his office to manipulate judgement in his favour. But after the dispute must have been determined and the judgement is in his favour, he can

However, in the event where they run for more than 180 days, and the litigations are against the incumbent governor or member of the national or state assembly who is going for second or third term and is being challenged in court, that governor or member of the legislature, or the president of the Federal Republic must vacate that office on May 29 so that he would not manipulate his office and use the resources of his office to manipulate judgement in his favour. But after the dispute must have been determined and the judgement is in his favour, he can return to the office.

return to the office. But won’t there be a lacuna if he vacates the office? No, there won’t be a vacuum. The Speaker of the House of Assembly in the case of state and the Chief Justice of the Federation can hold the fort as provided for in the constitution. There are provisions in the constitution because the framers of the constitution had anticipated something like that could occur. Many are won’t to say that judicial process is in itself a barrier on account of delayed justice? Yes, I agree. But we have also address the issue of why you get delayed justice. We discovered that it occurred because lawyers come up with all sorts of interlocutory matters that delayed the cases. Most of the time, what these lawyers do, when they go to the tribunal, is that they usually challenge the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the case and if the tribunal turns in a verdict that it has the locus standi to entertain the case they go to higher court. If the higher court also affirms the decision of the lower court, then they resort to the appeal and then to the Supreme Court. In some cases, it takes up to two years before the Supreme Court will declare its verdict on the interlocutory matter. If it again affirms that the tribunal has the jurisdiction to entertain the case, they will return to the lower court to start the substantive case, proper. Now, we have recommended is that both the substantive and interlocutory case, if you have it, must go together and that will shorten the time because if you appear in a tribunal or a court you will now defend the substantive suit filed against you and also move a motion that the tribunal or court does not have the locus standi to hear the case. It means that at the lower court you can proceed simultaneously with the cases. This will definitely reduced the time spent in pursuing electoral cases. The advantage of our recommendation is that the National Industrial Court will be the court of first instance, in other words that the industrial court will handle electoral disputes and fortunately the industrial court is in the process of establishing offices in parts of Nigeria, in every state of the federation. Secondly, the Federal High Court, which we want renamed Constitutional Court, has been established in all states of the federation. In fact, some states like Kano, Lagos, Rivers, and so on, have more than two judges.

When the National Industrial Court gives a ruling and a litigant is not satisfied, he will move to the Constitutional Court and from there straight to the Supreme Court. That means you will bypass the appellate court. Another advantage is that there will be dedicated judges who will be recruited by regular courts not an ad hoc court again, who will preside over these cases. Again, institutional integrity will be guaranteed because the records will there any time to be produced. The fourth advantage is that judges generally will refrained from being compromised or will be less vulnerable because they will adjudicate in states where they are domiciled, where their judicial records are. The role of the civil society also comes into play. The situation where they collaborate with the government in power most especially at the state levels to endorse illegal elections or malpractices just to get money from state governments can no longer be tolerated. So, INEC will continue to scrutinize the credentials of such organizations to make it work. But what recommendations did you make for electoral managers because they are believed to constitute a problem also? We have endorsed the recommendations of the Justice Uwais Commission, which did a very fine job. They studied the matters of electoral nature in Nigeria for 14 months, toured every part of the country and came up with deep reflective recommendations. If the recommendations had been put into action, probably we won’t be where we have found ourselves in the last three years or so. We agree that another independent body should be created and charged with the responsibility of developing criteria and scrutinizing candidates that the president may propose to serve as chairperson and federal electoral commissioners of INEC. That means the president will not just send a name to the senate directly because his party or some of his kitchen cabinet members have recommended some names for nomination. But an independent body will select and forward these to the president to select three from the list and scrutinize and select three of them for nomination to the senate which will be obligated to publicize and advertised the names and call for objection, if any, against the names within two weeks before the senate confirmation of one as INEC chairperson.



N o ll y wood

Up and coming fashion star, Stephanie Oduenyi, said she was pushed out of Nollywood by her ‘shyness’, having only featured in three films, which she did not even know whether they were later released by the producers. Stephanie, who was at an event recently held in Lagos, told in an exclusive interview how she has now found love in fashion. The lady, a gorgeous plus-size lady, stormed the event in a beautiful short dress she designed by herself. Stephanie graduated from Madonna University-Okija Anambra State and she is presently the CEO of ‘Makani Couture’. She has been in the fashion industry for two-and-a half years. Her collection she says speaks volume about how a woman should embrace her curves no matter her size.

You have a stylish outfit there, can we meet you? My name is Stephanie Oduenyi. I was supposed to be an actress, but after doing two to three films, I ran away Why did you run away? I ran away because I am really a shy person. So, I don’t think it was my calling to be in Nollywood. I rather have friends that are in the movie industry but for me, I am not. So, what movies did you feature in before you left the industry? Well, I never saw them actually Why was that? Yeah, because I am a designer, I had to go into something I am comfortable with, something I actually love doing. So, I started designing. I have attended many fashion shows and I have won the best designer for ‘Anambra Fashion Week’. That is just it; I have been designing, going for events and so on. Did you designer the outfit you are wearing? Yes I did. Does your dress have a name? Well, it doesn’t, but it is part of my 2014 collection called the ‘DaringDiva’. I have a fashion show coming up soon, where I will be showcasing my designs, which is the Nigerian Students Fashion Design Week (NSFDW), set to take place in June. This dress is part of my collection, so it is just like unveiling one of them. The rest of them will be showcased on the 5th of June at the event. What is your style? I like simple, very edgy and very complicated style. Instead of being plain, I like to come out and put in things that make and add statement to my piece. What is your view about the Nigerian fashion designers and designs presently? Nigerian designers are really going places, there is nothing like promoting what we have you understand. It has gone beyond promoting Nigerian fabrics, like when I started, I started with the ‘ankara’ fabric and the rest, but then, I noticed that it has to go beyond that. The most important thing is pushing the market to the forefront.

Daughter of late creator of Afrobeat, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, currently in her early 50s, has disclosed in recent interview that she is still single because she has lost all interest in marriage and doesn’t believe in the institution any more. Marriage: I am still single because I have lost all interest in marriage and I don’t believe in the institution any more. Nigerian men are too controlling and overbearing for me and I am already set in my ways. Besides, I have been on my own for too long. My major concern is training my daughter. I praise married women; I think they are the real stars of this country. Women in their husbands house looking after their husbands and children are amazing especially the ones with nine to-five jobs who come back home tired and still go to the kitchen to cook for their husbands. These are the women that women magazines should be celebrating because they are the real super women. Men are not easy to look after. I can’t do that so I duff my hat for such women. When my only child clocked two, I was separated from my ex-husband. I am now in my 50’s and I am not thinking about having another child and I have no regrets. I don’t believe in having kids with everyman that comes my way. Maybe I could have had more kids if I had re-married but since I never remarried there was no need for me to have more kids. My marriage didn’t work because we couldn’t get on together after two years. Right now my daughter is the most important person in my life. I am still single and I have found a suitable man but right now, marriage is the last thing on my mind. Yes, it is true that you never can say never because things happen. But if ever I want to get married again, you will be the first to know. Sexual harassment: You know as women, some of us have tried one way or the other to outsmart men. I was a player as a young

girl so I won’t say I have been sexually harassed because I was the one that tried to play men for their money you know. I have had men that have spoilt me silly with gifts and money. And I knew I was just a flirt; I was just playing them. The men took us out for lunch and we just spent their money. My friend used to come along when I went on dates and I went with her when she had dates; we would eat and drink and the men usually gave us some money when we were about to leave. You know N500 was a lot of money back then. I remember that those days, a car was going for N3, 000. So there was this particular instance when we wanted to do the same thing with my friend’s date. The meeting point was one of the rooms at the Eko Hotel & Suites. When we got there we knocked on the door, he answered and we entered. He was lying on the bed but left the door unlocked so he would not have to get up to open the door when we came in. He is a popular man so I don’t want to mention his name. When he removed the sheets he was stark naked and we were shocked! He started chasing us around the room; he would chase my friend and then me. When we eventually found our way out of his hotel room we ran straight home. I couldn’t tell my mum what happened. But I told my sister, brother and our friends and they all laughed at us. We were greedy young women at that time. No man has ever asked me for sex for favours. Maybe they are too scared of me because of my father and brother; they probably know they will sing about it. Even with Felebration, no sponsor has ever asked me for anything; they just sponsor; maybe it’s because of my family background.



Ho H o lly l l y wo o d Kylie Jenner’s family upset over blue hair


ylie Jenner’s family are upset at her for dying her hair blue just before Kim Kardshian’s wed-

ding. The reality TV star unveiled her newly dyed electric blue locks last week, and admits her firebrand mother Kris Jenner was upset she had made such a bold fashion choice so close to her halfsister’s wedding this weekend. Kylie Jenner’s family are upset at her for dying her hair blue just before Kim Kardshian’s wedding. She told E!: “One day I was just like, ‘I’m going blue’. They’re all really p****d. My mom was like ‘you look like a Skittle [candy].’ I was like, ‘I’m gonna have this for two years now that you said that.’ “ Apart from the drama over her hair, Kylie, 16, added she’s looking forward to the wedding, which is thought to be taking place in Florence, Italy on Saturday (24.05.14). She said: “We are very excited, of course sister getting married is always exciting.” Perhaps Kris, 58, is overreacting a little, as Kylie’s hairdresser, Daniel Moon, claims she will be able to go back to her dark brunette tresses in time for the wedding. Speaking about her new hairdo, he said: “Punk is the new pretty and pretty is the new punk. She made my job easy. “She came in asking for blue or green hair, and was very aware of the effect the chosen shade would have on her skin tone, and how it would fade. I recommended using more than one colour to add dimension and she agreed.”


eyonce and Jay Z released a trailer for a fake movie online with guns blazing, and now fans want to see the film actually made, Hollywood Reporter has said. Fans launched a petition recently on to support a feature-length version of “Run.” The trailer that debuted Sunday stars the superstar couple as gun-toting outlaws. It features cameos by Sean Penn, Don Cheadle and Blake Lively, among others. The fake trailer concludes with the words “coming never.” Beyonce and Jay Z are sharing top billing for their “On the Run” concert tour that’s set to begin next month in Miami. The couple made news last week for a different video. TMZ posted footage showing a physical altercation between Jay Z and Beyonce’s sister, Solange Knowles. The trio said in a statement they had “worked through” that incident.

“Nas – Time is Illmatic,” from multimedia artist One9, has sold to Japan, Australia and across Europe. Nas – Time is Illmatic, a music documentary on the seminal New York rapper, has been a hot seller at the Cannes film market, with sales group Submarine closing deals for most of Europe along with Japan and Australia. Tribeca Film Enterprises recently picked up the doc – directed and produced by multimedia artist One9 – for North America. REVIEW: Time Is Illmatic: Tribeca Review The film follows the creation and release of Nas’ 1994 debut album, Illmatic, considered by many to be the most important and influential hip hop record of all time. The deals, negotiated by David Koh, Dan Braun and Josh Braun of Submarine on behalf of the filmmakers, included ones with NFP Films for Germany, NonStop Entertainment for Scandinavia, Madman Entertainment for Australia/ New Zealand, Dogwoof for the U.K., Feltrinelli for Italy, and Parco for Japan.



Kannywood F

or 12 years, Muhammad Ameen Auwal, popularly known as Al-Ameen, has been in film production. He is one of the many shining lights of Kannywood, and in fact the youngest film director from this part of the country. In this interview with Mustapha Adamu, the versatile director-cum-editor artist, speaks about his experience and the challenges he faces in the profession. Can you tell us your brief biography? I was born in Unguwa Uku, Kano State but raised in Kaduna State where I had my primary school and junior secondary school Education. I later came back to Kano and completed my secondary school education and proceeded to tertiary institution where I obtained my NCE qualification in Integrated Science at Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education, 2009. How old are you? I am 30 years now. Are you married? Yes, I am married with a wife and two children. What motivated you to join this profession? I have passion for movies since my childhood. Watching movies and saw how the characters act was the main reason I developed the passion and felt that I want to be part of film production. Sometimes I used to think on how to write a film story. I began writing the stories through trial and errors until I met one Mallam Aminu Sani who was part of the pioneers of Kannywood and became my mentor. I also met one American consultant, Suzan B. Aradion. She also helped me a lot in realising my dream as film producer as well as media campaigns on behaviour change through communication. I also met Mika’il Isa Nasir Gidigo who helped me technically. He advised me to start with music composing and I told that I don’t have passion for music. He then advised me to start with editing because I was too young to become a director at that time. From editing I learnt story writing and a lot of things in production. How long have you been in this profession? I have joined this profession for about 12 years or so now, since I was 18 years old. I started as a welfare and then switched to costume manager, sound director, continuity director and moved to editing where I spent very long time on editing. I then began working with Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) as a media consultant and coordinator. I worked with Norwegian government on Polio. I also worked with DFID, USAID etc. I also featured as an actor, sub-editor and director in a movie sponsored by BBC World Service. What is your major profession in Kannywood? What I do is what I love. I have passion for directing and it is what brought me in the position I am presently. I learnt the aforementioned areas in film production in order to become a versatile director. So I am presently a Director and producer. I have stopped working with NGOs for a while, even though I am working for a nonprofit organisation. They have opened a TV station called Arewa TV funded by USAID and assigned me a director/ producer role on a youth development programme. Can you tell us some of the movies you have featured in or contributed in making the movie? Well, all the years I spent in this endeavour were spent on research and training. I have never attended a film institute, but have attended trainings and workshops on films and media. The fact that I spent a very long time in editing, in my career, has not given me the room to feature in lot of movies. But I directed a comedy movie titled “Fara doguwa” which has not been released. I also directed a Bauchi State sponsored movie titled “Fitsarin fako”, it was made for orphan and vulnerable children and I think it is yet to

be premiered. I also starred as an actor in a movies title “ Labarin So”, “ Dashen Dabino”, “ Hauren Mayu” etc. I have also concentrated more on documentary programmes because I realised that artists in Kannywood concentrate more on home videos. I then sat and thought of a unique feat that would be difficult for other to emulate me or couldn’t emulate me in the industry. I then conducted some research and consultations and I have succeeded in designing programmes that are unique in the industry. I have so far edited about 40 documentary programmes and about 40 movies, apart from some script that I wrote and other movies produced with the use of my stories. So what challenge have faced so far in your career? As an orphan with no mum and dad, I think it is a tremendous challenge for me to become an Icon, but I thank God for the successes I am making and bless that I witness in my career. All I know is that, I am not in Kannywood to make money, I am in the industry to make movies and enlighten the society. I don’t bother to become rich, rather I want to be existing even after my death. I want my works to become a legacy in the industry like late Tijjani Ibrahim and the like, they have not accrued worldly fortunes but their works are still used as mirrors in the industry. However, I faced challenges right from the training because my colleagues then chose only single area but I had to choose multiple areas. So as a result, they were through with the single area they concentrated on and succeeded and even made money on that. But because I had wanted to master all areas of film production, it took me too long to accomplish. If I am practising a particular area and people come to pay me to do the job for them, I would be convinced that I mastered the area and quickly switch to another. That was the challenge I faced and it is paying me back now. It is a pride to be awarded a contract as a director or producer for international organisation. Do you train other people, especially our youths on film production? I am very happy with this question. I trained 44 women on video production under an empowerment programme sponsored by the Kano State government which was awarded to Dabo TV Centre, Kano. I also trained 14 staff of Jigawa State Television (JTV) on pre production, production and post production. I also have my own company called AMMAH Media Innovation. There are 13 staff in the company. They are all youth and the company was established for the development of the youth. The film titled “Fara Doguwa” was produced by the company. Although I am not at the company for a moment because I have been engaged in this Arewa TV, it will continue producing more movies and other media services. The staff there are very industrious to keep the company moving smoothly. Readers, especially the youths like you, may want to emulate you, what message do you have to them? My concern is more on the orphans because I know how it pains to loose parents. I lost my parents at 15 years but that did not discourage me from realising my dreams. So I advise them to be confident and hardworking. If you want to join film making, make sure you start from the rudiment. Don’t be a lazy and idle person, be courageous and determined. Make sure you have found a job to do no matter how small it is, don’t live without a job because that would lead you to committing crimes. We should try to make our selves positive and contribute to our nation’s development. Thank you. I love you all!!!




L-R: Al-Ameen and Director Ishaq Sidi Ishaq



Entertainment Flakes I won’t marry an actor–Emerging actress, Ella Daniels



im Kardashian and Kanye West spent $8,000 in a pre-wedding splurge in Paris. The happy couple - who are set to wed in Florence, Italy, this weekend - were spotted in the French capital browsing its designer stores ahead of their big day. A source told E! news they were “gazing in shop windows and popping in and out of their favourite stores. Kim was smiling nonstop.” Kim Kardashian and Kanye West spent 8,000 Dollars in Parisian designer store Celine on a pre-wedding splurge. After browsing the boutiques of Saint Laurent, Versace, Miu Miu and Balenciaga without making purchases, the rapper and the reality star bought a few items from Celine. A bystander said: “Kanye was very supportive and would lend his fashion expertise while Kim was trying on clothes. “She tried on a couple of asymmetrical skirts, gray sweat-

pants, and a gold square bracelet.” Kim, 33, bought a $5,600 black skirt with pom-pom embellishments and navy and white stripped skirt for $2,100 as well as a long army green skirt. She also took home a pair of new Mask sunglasses in orange for $420. Ahead of the wedding, the couple are having a party in Paris at the Chateau Louis XIV, and have reportedly filled a pool with special pink water to impress guests as well as installing a huge air freshening system into the building as it is situated close to a major sewage works. The duo are expecting some 200 guests, including Kim’s huge family and Kanye’s best friend Jay Z and his wife Beyonce.

ike controversial actress, s, Tonto Dikeh, emerging erging actress, Ella Daniels, aniels, doesn’t think she could ever marry an actor tor because she wouldn’t want to be “heart-broken.” oken.” T h e pretty p e r former, w h o f e a tured in Jeta Amamata’s award-winward-winning film, m, ‘Amazing Grace’, ass a student at University rsity of Calabar, hass declared that she would never settle down with a fellow w thespian because she likes to save her drama for the big screen. creen. “I cannot nnot date or marry an n actor because of my kind of person. I am a very emotional al person. I don’t need ed any drama at home, only on screen. I am human man and I have feelings too. oo. I wonder the kind of future I’m going to have with my male colleague,” she said. Ella also noted that a lot of things ings happen on a movie sets. ts. If the handsome actors do not run after the actresses, the actresses them-

selves would run after them. The actress, who is based in Asaba, has featured in some of

Nollywood’s biggest films in the last three years, including ‘The Tree of Life’ and ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, which she finds amusing as she struggled to get for cast years because of her red hair.

British drama series ‘Broadchurch’ wins three BAFTAs


ritish detective drama “Broadchurch” led the field at the television BAFTA awards recently winning three categories including best drama and best actress. The show followed detectives played by English actress Olivia Colman and David Tennant, who had also starred as Dr Who in the British science fiction series of the same name, as they unravel a child murder in a small English coastal town. Aired on the ITV network, the show’s finale attracted around 10 million viewers - more than a third of the total British TV audience that night - and had been credited by some critics with reviving the channel’s reputation for drama production. It has since been shown around the world and U.S. network Fox commissioned a remake, named “Gracepoint”, which will also star Tennant and is scheduled for release later this

year. Colman won the British Academy of Film and Television Arts award (BAFTA) for best actress, beating Helena Bonham Carter’s portrayal of Elizabeth Taylor in the series “Burton and Taylor”. Such was the secrecy on the “Broadchurch” set, writer and executive producer Chris Chibnall refused to let cast members know the identity of the killer until hours before the final scene was filmed. “I’m so pleased everyone likes it, we love it. Chris Chibnall is a genius,” said a tearful Colman accepting the award at London’s Royal Festival Hall. In addition to the drama and actress category wins, David Bradley picked up the supporting actor award. U.S. show “Breaking Bad”, which screened its final episode in September last year, won the international category.



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LETTERS Nigerian soldier says army that would face Boko Haram is ill-equipped, ill motivated By


igerian soldier has said that the army that would bear the primary burden of hunting down the insurgent group Boko Haram is ill-equipped to do so, and lacks the will to take on the group accused of kidnapping 276 schoolgirls last month. The soldier made his claims anonymously to Sky Newsover the weekend, saying “If my superiors know I have spoken to you, I will be jailed and tortured.” He described how many soldiers are feeling frustrated with the conduct of the war against militants in the northeast of Nigeria, claiming that the terrorist’s guns are “past the Nigerian army weapon.””They give us just AK47s to go into the bush to fight Boko Haram,” the soldier said. “Our equipment doesn’t work and they give us just two magazines to go into the bush.” Two magazines contain approximately 60 bullets. The soldier said that many in the Nigerian army have also been discontented by delays in receiving their salaries, sometimes waiting weeks or months to be paid. “We feel so bad because we ... are trying, the soldiers are trying our best,” the soldier told Sky, “but the civilians don’t realize what the Nigerian army is issued with, what they are given to go and fight the Boko Haram.”The soldier’s claims correspond with what other news outlets have reported. Other

WRITE TO US Peoples Daily Weekend welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed to: The Editor, Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. Email: Nigerian soldiers have told The Associated Press that some in their ranks actually fight alongside Boko Haram. Last year, Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan said he suspected that Boko Haram members and sympathizers had infiltrated every level of his government and military, including the Cabinet.That complicates attempts to share intelligence. The U.S., France and Britain have all sent experts to help find the girls, but French and American officials have expressed concerns about how any information might be used.Over the weekend, French President Francois Hollande shared the soldier’s assesment of Boko Haram, saying that the Islamists had ample funds, highly sophisticated weaponry and advanced training

with some of the world’s most experienced terrorists.Hollande hosted a summit with African leaders and intelligence officials from Africa, the U.S., and Europe Saturday with the intention of determining a plan to find and free the girls. Hollande said the weapons came from chaotic Libya, and the training took place in Mali before the ouster of its Al Qaeda-linked Islamist leaders. As for the money, Hollande said its origins were murky.Hollande also emphasized that Boko Haram had clearly established ties with other terror groups in Africa, making it a concern throughout the continent and beyond.That could provide an opening for U.N. sanctions against the group to freeze its assets and impose travel bans against members.

Wendy Sherman, a U.S. diplomat who was at Saturday’s talks, said the sanctions could come as soon as next week.”I can’t imagine any country which would not support this designation,” she said.Surveillance jets have joined the search and Hollande left open the possibility that French fighter jets could be deployed.Boko Haram has offered to exchange the captive girls for jailed insurgents, while threatening otherwise to sell them into slavery. Officials have said there will be no Western military operation. British officials say Jonathan has ruled out swapping prisoners for the girls.”There are many ways to bring this horrific situation to a close, but when and if we know where they are then the Nigerians will have to decide how to proceed,” Sherman said. The northeastern region where the girls were kidnapped has suffered five years of increasingly deadly assaults by Boko Haram. Thousands have been killed, including more than 1,500 civilians this year. Hollande’s administration successfully negotiated the release of French citizens held by Boko Haram — most recently a family of seven and a priest — and officials in Paris said France’s experience dealing with the group as well as its good relations with the governments concerned were the impetus for the summit.




The holes in Kogi guber verdict By Ogbonna V. Ogbonna


asically, Lex non deficere potest in justitia exhibenda, is a Latin legal maxim which implies that the law cannot fail in dispensing justice. It is expected that the primary aim of any adjudicating process ought to be geared towards occasioning a harmonious marriage between judgment and justice. Consequently to achieve the end of justice, the law not only requires that all parties to any given dispute be heard (audi alteram partem), but insists on strict adherence to the principle of Fiat justitia ruat caelum, another Latin maxim that means “Let justice be done though the heavens fall.” While saluting the industry deployed by their Lordships in arriving at the judgement of the apex court on February 21, 2014 in the Kogi gubernatorial tussle, I cannot help admitting that I do not share the views of the Justices of Supreme Court as a careful analysis of the judgment reveals that the apex court committed several errors in both facts and law and also overlooked the vast amount of evidence presented before it and appeared to ‘manufacture’ new evidence,while arriving at the decision. My Lords held in paragraph two (2) of the lead judgement written by a Justice of Supreme Court (JSC), Justice Bode Rhodes Vivour, that: “The facts are these: On January 9,2011 the PDP conducted its primaries to decide who it’s candidate would be for gubernatorial elections in Kogi State slated for April 2011. The appellant, and the 2nd respondent, both members of the PDP participated in the primaries” With due respect I submit that, it amounts to delivering a judgement without justice by relying on a ‘fact’ that is nonexistent and farcical: Let me emphasise here that, none of the parties to the suit made such averment. So, how did their Lordships arrive at that conclusion?Why would my Lords render an opinion on facts that were not before them nor averred by any of the parties? What is more serious is the confidence and certainty with which the justices relied on the said non-existing ‘fact’ throughout its judgment to dismiss the case. It was simply a clear reminder of the many dramatic twists and intrigues the case suffered at the level of the Court of Appeal; as the date for the judgement on the case at the appellate court suffered up to four adjournments. It was initially fixed for December 20 2012, rescheduled to January 16, 2013 and was again postponed to Tuesday 28th January, 2013 before the court finally delivered the judgement on January 31 2013; making it the fourth time the judgement would be postponed and the first time such a thing will

happen in the history of the Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court appeared to also be in serious error when it held that, the appellant was not a party in Marwa v Nyako and as such could not derive any benefit from the judgement. With much respect to their Lordships decision, the Supreme Court, by the decision in Marwa v Nyako invalidated the decisions of the two lower courts, set aside and nullified all rights or interest that may have accrued from the decisions and of course restored whatever and whichever interest that was suspended or put in abeyance during the subsistence of the decisions of the lower courts. Against the foregoing background, we submit that it was the decisions of the Federal High Court and Court of Appeal (that were set aside by the Supreme Court in Marwa v Nyako) that stalled and hindered the Appellant’s already restored rights to contest election as governor of Kogi State since his name had already been forwarded to INEC (the 1st Respondent) as its candidate for the said election. Legally and logically, if it was the decision of the Court of Appeal and Federal High Court that hindered the Appellant from contesting; the setting aside of those decisions by the Supreme Court revived his already vested right. Put differently, since all parties are ad idem that is, it was the decisions of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal (giving rise to the appeal and decision in Marwa v Nyako) that frustrated the Appellant’s already vested right to context election as governor, it will amount with all respect to standing logic on its head to argue that a setting aside of those decisions would not confer any benefit on the Appellant irrespective of whether he was a party to the proceedings or not. With much respect, I assert that, the setting aside of those decisions mandatorily conferred Appellant with benefits qua locus, because the law is clear

that the effect of an appellate court setting aside the decision of a lower court is that in the eyes of the law the decisions of the lower court did not exist. See, Waziri & Anor v Ali & Anor (2009) 4NLWR (Pt. 1130)178 at 221 and 227 where the court held that a judgment delivered in respect of an appeal from the decision of a trial court, being one in continuation of the case before the trial court is deemed to have started from the date of the decision of trial court. The court further held that no legal consequence can be derived from the judgment of the lower court which has been set aside or declared a nullity. Which was why, in compliance with the January 27, 2012 decision in Marwa Vs Nyako, INEC held governorship elections in Adamawa State onFebruary 4, 2012, in Bayelsa State on February 11, 2012, in Sokoto State on February 18, 2012 and in Cross River on February 25, 2012. But INEC refused to hold fresh governorship election in Kogi State after the judgement. Therefore, it is crystal clear that the nexus between the Supreme Court judgment in Marwa v Nyako and the Appellant is evidently clear, unassailable and cannot be impeached by any impartial and unbiased panel. With much respect to their Lordships decision in this matter, I am of the view that their Lordships failed to distinguish between “facts” and own interpretations and thereof making it look as if it were for the purpose of arriving at a predetermined conclusion when they held that, the appellant (Jibrin Isah) participated alongside 2nd respondent( Idris Wada) in the September 2011, that was conducted during the pendency of INEC’s appeal at the Supreme Court in Marwa vs Nyako. The fact is that, the falsity of the assertion of their Lordships is confirmed in a document in respect of the said 2nd Primary Election prepared by the 1st respondent (INEC) titled: “Report of the special state congress of the

With much respect to their Lordships decision, the Supreme Court, by the decision in Marwa v Nyako invalidated the decisions of the two lower courts, set aside and nullified all rights or interest that may have accrued from the decisions and of course restored whatever and whichever interest that was suspended or put in abeyance during the subsistence of the decisions of the lower courts.

Peoples Democratic Party (pdp) held on 22nd September, 2011 at the mini stadium, lokoja, kogi state” ,which was tendered before their Lordships (certified true copies on pages 1906-1909of the records) where it was clearly stated as follows: “It is noteworthy to observe that only 3 out of the 7 cleared aspirants addressed the delegates at the venue. They were Addulrazaq Isa Kutepa, Capt. Wada Idris and Mr. Philip Salawu (Deputy Governor of Kogi State), and the remaining four (4) were absent.” Besides,the records before their Lordships puts it beyond doubt that the appellant through his counsel intimated the 1st respondent (INEC) vide a letter of17th November, 2011 of the illegality of the second primary election and the subsequent general election. In view of the germane facts drawn from the records, it is without doubt that the Appellant abstained from the second illegal primaries which was held on the basis of the Federal High Court and Court of Appeal decisions and which was set aside by the Supreme Court in Marwa vs. Nyako (supra). In another breadth,my Lords willfully ignored the evidence in a manner inconsistent with the records before the court and proceeded to make another grossly incorrect finding when it held in paragraph 8 of the lead judgement that: “This suit was filed by appellant on 9/2/12. That is,it took the appellant over two months to complain about an election he did not take part in...” With much respect to their Lordships,Suit no. FHC/ABJ/CS/807/2011 – UMAR LAWAL & ALHAJI JIBRIN ISAH V. INEC, PDP & CAPTAIN IDRIS WADA before the Honourable Justice B.B Aliyu of the Federal High Court, Abuja was filed before the primary election in September,2011 that purportedly brought Idris Wada. So,how did my Lords arrive at the mathematics of appellant filing the suit 2 months after the election? From the foregoing,it is clear that the verdict of the apex court was based on nonexisting facts and wrong legal foundations. So,its validity remains questionable. It is my considered opinion this action amounts to an established case of bias vide an abuse of judicial powers which the Chief Justice of Nigeria must investigate to bring sanity to the Judiciary. It is hoped that the Supreme Court will have another opportunity to reverse the highly erroneous judgment so as to restore the confidence of the common man in the judiciary Ogbonna Esq is of the Lawyers for Justice and Equity, Lagos

Why Cocoa Industry in Ede will bounce back again By Olatunbosun Oyintiloye


overnor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has said that the moribund Cocoa Product Industry in Ede would soon become operational . He spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Community Forum, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye on weekend at a public sensitization programme in Ede on government policies and programmes. According to him, the government had last year signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Chinese Company for the resuscitation of the industry, saying, “the resuscitation process is now at final stage”. He said: “The resuscitation process of CPI is almost at the final stage and what

this means is that we are bringing the industry back to life fully. “When it is back to life, it will boost the economy of Ede, its environ and Osun in general and it would create job for our youths. “This development is a departure from the past, this commitment is for real, he said. Aregbesola then noted that the on-going resuscitation of the industry was one of the promises made by his administration which has now become a reality. Calling for the continuous support of the people before, during and after the August 9 governorship election, the governor emphasized that he would continue to encourage investors through

his policies and programmes to boost the economy of the state. The governor re-emphasized the need for the people to ensure the sustenance of the peaceful co-existence in the state, urging that the youths should not allow themselves to be used for security breach. Speaking at the Forum, the Timi of Edeland, Oba Munirudeen Adesola Lawal usd the occasion to drum support for Aregbesola’s administration to ensure success in his developmental policies and programmes. Oba Adesola said that the programmes of the administration has benefitted the generality of the people of the state and deserve to be supported. The monarch noted, “we are fully in support of the administration and with this support, we are optimistic that more

development will come to this state”. The company , which was grossly undervalued at 156 million naira is now worth 544.5 million naira by the effort of independent valuers from both sides. In the new arrangement the state government shall own 30% equity share while the 70% equity share of the Chinese company shall be one billion twentyone million, five hundred thousand naira(N1,021,500.00) only. Also the new arrangement provides that the board of directors of the company shall consist of five directors,two representing the interest of the state while the other shall be appointed by the Chinese . Oyintiloye is the Senior Special Assistant on Community Forum to Osun State governor



Comments Nigeria’s GDP rebasing and boosting intra-Africa trade D By Roberts Orya

ata released by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics following the recent rebasing of the country’s Gross Domestic Product shows that the Nigerian economy is much more diversified than we had thought or acknowledged. But it was not altogether surprising. Efforts in structural transformation of the Nigerian economy have been ongoing for the better part of the last 10 years. The Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan has provided additional fillip in the last four years of supporting private sector-led, non-oil sector growth. So here we are. And this is what we now know about the Nigerian economy after the rebasing. Agriculture, largely subsistence farming, which used to contribute 35 per cent to the GDP now contributes 22 per cent. The oil and gas sector which used to account for 32 per cent of the GDP now contributes 14 per cent. Those are the headline downward adjustments. The structural adjustment that has taken place shows these sectoral gainers. Manufacturing, which had accounted for approximately 2 per cent of the country’s GDP jumped to 6.8 per cent. From 0.9 per cent, the contribution of the telecommunication sector has expanded to 8.7 per cent. The biggest leap was made in the services sector with a rise in contribution from 29 per cent to 52 per cent. Data provided by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the period 1981 – 2010 shows structural rigidity to Nigeria’s external trade. In 1981, crude oil accounted for 96.89 per cent of the country’s exports. All through the 30-year period, there was no noticeable change in the trade pattern; oil export stood at

between 95 per cent and 98 per cent of total export merchandise. A 2004 data shows that roughly 60 per cent of non-oil exports from Nigeria consisted of cocoa and rubber – primary products as well. In this period, the country’s very narrow export goods base invariably meant that Nigeria was trading with very few countries. Indeed, the United States received about 50 per cent of Nigeria’s oil export. A handful of developing economies, mainly China and Brazil also received Nigerian oil export. Nigeria’s imports are mainly in finished products. Thus, our imports are mainly from the industrialised world, again principally the United States and China, and from few countries in the European Union. With this trend, Nigeria was not able to lift intra-Africa trade. Trade within the continent has been very low. At 11 percent of total trade volume by African countries, trade within Africa has been the lowest compared with trade within other regions of the world. An assortment of policy, tariff and non-tariff barriers to intra-Africa trade has been identified. In addition to this, lack of political will to integrate the economies of Africa beyond fruitless policy engineering to aid trade has been cited. However, many African countries have exactly the same economic structure as Nigeria; they export primary goods to the leading industrialised nations while they import finished products from the same countries. For this reason, the most knotty of the issues that constitute barriers to intra-Africa trade is the narrow base of economic activities of scale on the continent. This issue then expresses itself in the narrow external trade channels. The possibility that Nigeria will now influence a new trade scenario within

Africa is established in the far-reaching structural adjustment in our domestic economy, as revealed in the new GDP data. The trade influencers are tied in both the absolute size of the country’s $509.9 billion GDP (which is by a wide margin the biggest in Africa), and the structural diversification that is revealed in the recent GDP rebasing. For example, the Nigerian services sector is now worth $265 billion. With the banks accounting for significant part of this economic value, little wonder that over the past few years, Nigerian banks have been playing big in international trade in banking services in Africa. Like it played out for the South African external sector performance, the widening footprint of Nigerian banks across sub Saharan Africa will pave the way for other sectoral trade in Nigerian goods and services in Africa. Financial market infrastructure is a facilitator of international trade. With the linkages the banks have established with other SSA markets through the operations of their subsidiaries, a key facilitator of Nigeria’s external trade within Africa has gained ground. However, a unidirectional trade flow from any African country cannot, mainly because of geopolitical concerns, lift intra-Africa trade. What we now see with the Nigerian services sector’s value of $265 billion is that it will accelerate on foreign participation. While trade flows in the Nigerian services sector will be led by the Western countries because they are more able to tap the Nigerian opportunities, the sheer size of this sector leaves enough head room for other African countries to come in. We also expect the export of services from other African countries into Nigeria. Cross-border trade in research and legal services are

immediately contemplated to influence trade flows into Nigeria. Several foreign acquisitions which Nigerian businesses are expected to make in Africa makes this quiet imaginable. The Nigerian manufacturing sector, now worth $35 billion and constituting 6.8 per cent of GDP, has also assumed scale. Gradually, we have begun to see the outflow of Nigerian manufactured products into our sub-regional markets. From cement, sacks to biscuits, Nigerian manufactured products are making a showing outside our borders. Now that the sector has become recognized again with its 6.8 per cent contribution to GDP, coupled with the consumption profile of Nigeria’s over 170 million population, Nigeria will evolve to be a major manufacturing hub, attracting investments as well as merchandises from other African countries, thus maintaining desired twoway directional trade flows. The most important structural adjustment to note in the Nigerian economy is that it is now dominated by the private sector. Indeed, further transfer of public sector assets through the ongoing privatization programme, including in the power sector, will unlock resources, accelerate growth and broaden the economic base. Therefore, policies supporting private sector development and broader economic base are critical to opening the clog in intra-Africa trade pipelines. As we look to leverage Nigeria’s diversified economic base to boost trade within the continent, the example Nigeria has set is worth emulating by other African states. Roberts Orya is Managing Director / CEO, Nigerian ExportImport Bank

Making Boko Haram history in 3 months By Isiaku Haliru


he declaration made by Dr. Muazu Babangida ALiyu that the Boko Haram insurgency will be a thing of the past may come to some people as a wish from a good hearted leader. But for those who have followed the antecedent of the Niger state governor, his position is not only do-able but a reflection of what has been done in Niger state to achieve its present peace. Boko Haram insurgency is not a creation of today but a monster made stronger, vile and repugnant by men who are only desperate to steal, kill just to perpetuate political dynasty of cahooting platoon of thieves. Just like any man-made creation, Boko Haram can be whipped out but with relentless diligence, and comprehensive pooling of goodwill, selflessness regardless of ethno- religious interests to put out the wild fire of violence especially in the North. The Chief Servant has galvanized his colleagues in the Northern States Governors Forum to the United States of America to call on investors, aid agencies to help rebuild, reconstruct and rehabilitate the desolate Northern states. The investors followed the NSGF back to Nigeria and useful synergy towards a veritable roadmap to mitigate the hardship suffered in the North was charted. *Tackling Boko Haram insurgency*

Poverty of the stomach, poverty of the brain has made many turn themselves over to villainous duties with push by forces of darkness seeking only personal interests. These evil perpetrators appear to be winning on account of indolence of today youths, lack of moral chastity and academic deprivation. It is indeed what Dr. Aliyu, chairman of the NSGF felt must be addressed first or else the guns, the bombs will only be effort in futility. As earlier mentioned, regardless of when it all started, Boko Haram is man made, sustained by man made disaster and can be obliterated through collective efforts targeted at routing those fueling the embers of hate, mistrust among Nigerians. Another area the Chief Servant wants Nigerians to deal with is the aspect of leadership recruitment system. The system has performed abysmally and those who cannot raise enough political support to win elections hide under franchises of insurgent groups to unleash havoc. The key instrumentality towards solving the menace of sectarian violence and brewing insurgency is information, trust, action within the ambits of the law and constant vigilance. A government that fails in taking cognizance in the above mentioned is only doomed to taste the bitter pills of violence orchestrated by miscreants, villains and political profiteers. Now the role of the media, the media has a power role to play in managing the security challenge recently consuming the Northern states. Therefore the role of agenda

setting, the role of information dissemination and the duty to be objective will go a long way in complementing efforts of responsible government. This is indeed challenging times for Nigeria leaders, followers including the fourth estate of the realm. It is indeed the right time to rise to the occasion if the hydra headed monster of insurgency must be crushed. There is no need playing politics or religion with a vile sect that has no Godly foundation, the time to act is now and when we start now, the 3 months prognosis of Dr Aliyu will be more than enough. It is therefore instructive to intimate on how Aliyu managed would be insurgent groups in Niger state, which would have been a different story entirely if actions were not taken on point. Informative to also note that Niger, one of the closest states to the federal capital would have been a major headquarter of Bok Haram if the leadership of the state was sleeping on its oars. *Aliyu’s war against potential violence in Niger* The Chief Servant of Niger state Dr. Aliyu waged a war against so many Islamic sects that were soon seen joining forces with the dreaded Boko Haram. The major group, Darul Islam sect then encamped in what appeared like a lair in Mokwa, Niger state. They were cut off from everybody and anything civil was haram. The activities of Darul Islam

made the people of the area and the state in general restive as the atmosphere was getting high in octane loads while the peace at the center was just a match strike away to send the whole state sky high in sectarian violence. The mixed grill of persons that comprised the Darul Islam sect were cut across the Northern states of Nigeria, aliens from Niger, Benin, Chad and Cameroon. The total number of membership was put at 10,000 (including women and children). Armed with weapons, located on a busy motorway linking parts of the North. It was easy for the sect to channel traffic of people, weaponry in and out of the place. When the Chief Servant was going to sack the place, some clerics were quick to politicize the entire affair, making it look like persecution against a specific religion. It was until the sect was routed –peacefully, census conducted, the implication of their relationship with the host community analyzed and their motives uncovered that people realized the enormity of what would have happened if they had stayed a bit beyond the time they were relocated. Six months after the Darul Islam sect was sacked, salahudeen sect was dislodged at the Kontagora area of the state based on complaints from the community. It also took the effort of Juma’at Mosque Imams to address the Issue of Kala-katu sect who were poised to scuttle the peace in Minna and its environs. Only recently Niger state

government evicted some people identified as people Fulani’s from a troubled area of Kaduna. Acting on information from security operatives, the people who were involved in some bloody fight in Kaduna found their way into Niger and were already making life difficult for their host community almost immediately. Looking at the mode at which the Chief Servant operate his security, it is indeed very clear that he worked with the people at the grass roots, he worked with every security tip he could get and adequate use of security vote was deployed. It is instructive therefore to note that the Niger state experience must be imbibed especially in the area of making sure that security votes are not squandered into private pockets and that issue of security is everybody’s business which significantly attests to how much a government in power is relating with the grass roots. Yes indeed the 3 months eviction time for Boko Haram is do - able. For those who think the Chief Servant has made a very early prediction,they must think again. He made that statement based on his wealth ofexperience as highlighted earlier. He has also considered the wealth ofhuman capita, finance and the fact that our own challenge is more of politics rather than a people suffering from issue of compatibility. We can indeed make demise of terrorism within 90 days. *Isiaku Haliru is a Public Affairs Analyst from Minna.*



Comments The Foreign Interventions Against Boko Haram By Sunny Osaze


xpectedly, Nigeria’s resolve to approach a select number of western nations to assist her in waging serious and sustainable war against the Boko Haram Islamist terror group elicited myriad of positive and negative reactions. Yes, government thought it wise to cry out when it matters most. This however doesn’t imply that its military men are laidback and incapable of engaging these bloodthirsty elements. The intensity of the offensive calls for a multilateral approach to ending it. While some applauded the initiative, referring it as brilliant, others picked holes in the decision, insisting that it is tantamount to tampering with Nigeria’s sovereignty. Without doubts, the frenzy this development has generated is yet to settle. Trust Nigerians, some are beginning to view the issue from a rather narrow and selfish point of view. We oftentimes allow primordial sentiments to becloud our sense of sound reasoning. The issue before us is frightening and calls for serious thinking and reflection. The question we should all be asking ourselves is, for how long shall we continue to watch insurgents visit mindless terror on our fellow brothers and sisters? This madness has to stop. What should probably bother us is how to collectively think ourselves out of this ugly situation and not engage ourselves in unnecessary debates on whether we should seek for foreign military assistance in rooting out

terrorism from the country or not. We need not be told that terrorism is not peculiar to Nigeria alone. Nigeria is not the only nation weighed down by activities of terror groups. Even the so-called advanced nations also have their ugly stories to tell. This is however not to say that we have resigned to fate and watch terror elements reduce our nation to rubbles. Ideally, not for this rising security tension, Nigeria, with her abundant human and natural resources should by now be flourishing in affluence. But all hope isn’t lost. It is phase of our struggle to nationhood that shall soon overcome. The sudden (though delayed) resolve by neighbouring West African countries of Cameroun, Chad, Niger and Republic of Benin to join forces with Nigeria to end terrorism as soon as possible is indeed a fallout of various offensives launched by the Boko

Haram terror group. Recent developments, with regards to terror activities have revealed that a few of our neighboruing countries are also contending fiercely with insurgent groups under different names and identification. Boko Haram has seized to be a Nigerian problem. It is now a global headache. Nations, especially the ones within the West African subregion are no longer safe as their citizens are daily coming under serious terror attacks. As often said, no nation is an island. The interdependency of nations in this fast- changing world in other to realize certain economic and social goals cannot be over-emphasised. Nations depend on each other to attain their national goals and aspirations. So, seeking for military assistance to crush our common enemies isn’t a bad idea altogether. Nigeria had in the past offered similar military help to several nations in the recent past. Just recently,

it contributed large troops to prosecute the Mali war. Nigeria has played prominent role in the restoration of peace and normalcy in several nations. For instance, countries like Liberia, Sierra-Leone, Mali, are all beneficiaries of our military might and power. Our troops, through the ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) restored unity in some of these countries. That our military men are putting in their best in the war against insurgency is to state the obvious. Against seen and unseen odds, these guys have fought gallantly. They have vowed to prosecute the insurgency war with all they have. Regrettably, some Nigerians hardly applaud the military even in cases where they have done brilliantly well. They rather capitalise on their few shortcomings to summarily condemn them and tag them incompetent. We have lost some of our brilliant soldiers to this

. Nations depend on each other to attain their national goals and aspirations. So, seeking for military assistance to crush our common enemies isn’t a bad idea altogether. Nigeria had in the past offered similar military help to several nations in the recent past.

anti-terror war. The army and other security establishments have become prime targets of terrorists. I personally see a lot of sense in the argument of the National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Dasuki Sambo (rtd), when he said Nigerians only accuse the military of incompetence when terrorists strike, but remain completely silent each time they record success against insurgents. It is as though we are more sympathetic to the Islamist sect, Boko Haram than our security men. We really need to encourage our men to excel in this must-win battle. This negative attitude must change. It is an obvious fact that these invited foreign soldiers won’t operate all alone. They would rely heavily on the expertise, strategies and operational tactics of our military men to perform. We must learn to appreciate and encourage what we have. Our military guys are up to the task of rooting out terrorism in our dear country. They need our support and encouragement to excel in this regards. Let us all free our minds of fears that inviting foreign military assistance further exposes us to more troubles. These foreign military troops are not coming in to take over country or military operations. Of course their activities would be closely monitored for the period they will be around. Nigeria remains an independent nation. Our sovereignty is very much intact. God bless Nigeria and Nigerians. Sunny OsazeAsaba, Delta State

Entrepreneurship: The way forward for Nigeria Youths By Gidado Yushau Shuaib


f opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door’’Milton Berle Entrepreneurship has being defined as the process of identifying and starting a new business venture, sourcing and organizing the required resources, while taking both the risks and rewards associated with the venture. The Chartered Institute of Economics and Corporate governance states that ‘Entrepreneurship’ may result in new organizations or revitalize mature organizations in response to a perceived business opportunity. An entrepreneur is seen as one who organizes and manages a business undertaking, assumes the risk for the sake of profit, an entrepreneur sees an

opportunity, makes a plan, starts the business and manages the business. He receives the profits. A new business started by an entrepreneur is referred to as a startup company. In recent years, the term has been extended to include social and political forms of entrepreneurial activities. Nigeria like most developing nations of the world is faced with countless problems and callous realities which include scarcity, unemployment, kidnapping, conflicts and diseases. These situations pose great challenges to the existence of youth in Nigeria. This problem is said to be traceable to the level of corruption and other illegal activities carried out by those at the top. A greater proportion of the nation’s population is

made up of youths under 30. Therefore, it can be asserted that Nigeria has a youth economy. All cannot be gainfully employed by the government but all should be empowered and counseled by relevant government and private institutions to reduce the high rate of menace in the society. Governments and big private bodies must thus encourage entrepreneurship. There are several ways of promoting entrepreneurship among Nigerian youths and this would help in tackling the series of problem being encountered by this vulnerable group in the society. These will require that the youths be empowered with creative problem solving skills. The training of graduates, literate and ill-educated, who can function effectively

in the society for the betterment of themselves and the society at large. Another way that entrepreneurship and creativity could be encouraged or is by teaching or nurturing on entrepreneurial skill at an early age. Thus tertiary institutions offering entrepreneurial courses should be strengthened while programs can be organized to educate Nigerians both literate and illiterate about the relevance of entrepreneurship to the individual and the community. In, reshaping Nigerian youths for the abolition of unemployment and the use of entrepreneurship, there would be need to transform them into self-sufficient, ambitious and skilful members of the society, who

take advantage of relevant legal opportunities in the society. Individuals who go for non-degree training in skills acquisition with entrepreneurial background are also not left out. All must have a high level of creativity and innovation and the ability to think about the future and relate these ideas to business. Finally, with the spirit of oneness, inter faith and inter-tribal existence and the desire for collective survival and the discarding of the idea of survival of the fittest, there will be a steady growth of development, mutual support and adequate networking among the Nigeria youths. Gidado Yushau Shuaib Mass Communication Department Baze University Abuja




Zamfara 2015: Gov. Yari and Hon. Dangaladima:

Who wins the battle of supremacy? By Musa Hassan


amfara state has politically been a focal point for quite some time. Analysts believe that the recent developments which led to the decamping of some All Progressives Congress, APC members at the National Assembly to the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, may soon tend to cause ripples on the political arena in the state. It is now an open secret that the PDP members, who decamped, are now collaborating with stakeholders at the federal level to wrestle back their seat and also occupy the Government House in Gusau. Among those who decamped to PDP from Zamfara state were Sani Umar Dangaladima and Engr. Ibrahim Gusau. But Dangaladima’s case appears to be more interesting. This is because political opponents see him as a new breed, although he may be perceived as a toothless bulldog that can bark without biting, meaning that some political players have described him as someone who has already lost his election ahead of the 2015 elections. Hon. Umar Dangaladima came into political limelight, when posters advertising his interest into the House of Representative to represent Kaura Namoda/ Birnin -Magaji federal constituency under the then ANPP, occupied the major streets of his constituency, during the 2011 general elections. Since it was few months into the election, political observers were skeptical as to whether he was a candidate to be taken seriously considering the brevity of time between the electioneering campaigns and the election day. But no sooner than that, Dangaladima shocked his critics when he rolled out his campaign train to the streets of Birni-Magaji his home town and around the towns and villages that constitute his zone. It therefore became obvious to pundits that there was more about the young man they saw on billboards. Like a big stone thrown into a river, his anchor on the port of Zamfara politics producing bubbles of speculations and controversy. His PDP opponent then Dahiru Zubairu who was already drawn in a battle with his people on the ground of non-performance made him to lose the elections to Dangaladima with a land slide victory. Before engaging himself in political tussle with Governor Abdulaziz Yari, Dangaladima was a member of the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), the party he rightfully supported financially and built in the state before decamping to PDP. He won his election under the platform which now merged to become APC.

Gov. Abdul’Aziz Yari And, as the dust arising from the race to tame the political tide was about to settle, Dangaladima met another challenge in the state’s political landscape. This time, the governor with his political mentors schemed him out of APC in favor of Hon. Dahiru Zubairu whom he had defeated during the 2011 election. he reason was that he never descended so low to be playing ‘dirty political games’. Zubairu, whom he earlier defeated at the 2011 polls in PDP, became the favorite of the governor after wooing him back to APC, with a promise to give him the ticket to contest with Dangaladima, in the upcoming elections. Secondly, some sycophants who see his rising political career as a threat, decided to sow a seed of discord between him and the governor in order to scheme him out of the party by denying him the ticket to represent his constituency the second time. Having endured the frustration, he decamped to PDP and shunned any other motive that might occur provided his conscience judged him. But his constituents, whom he is representing at the National Assembly, assured him that his coming back to PDP was welcomed and that alone will gave him a soft spot to land the second time, firstly, because they are already appreciating the vestiges of his political goodwill. On the other hand, Zubairu who lost out completely in PDP, has now decamped to APC to get back the seat Dangaladima is presently occupying. Going by the existing political circumstances on ground, Dan-


Hon. Sani Umar Dangaladima galadima needs to work hard to win his people even though they have told him that at the moment there is no organized or principled force to counter his move, so it will be very difficult to sink easily the ship of his political ambition. nd going by the recent happenings, it meant right from the time of his campaign with the incumbent governor, the political hurdles he scaled through on his path to the seventh Assembly were considered a mere twist of fate, or at most, the amazing grace of his God of luck even though he has carved a niche for himself as a principled, thorough bred and fearless representative of the people. Dangaladima who also told his people that he needs to go back and tidy up his files in the House for the second time, made politicians who are the governor’s favorites see him as a thorn in their flesh, with some of them telling him that he is over stepping his bound because of the way and


manner he hurriedly decamped to PDP. They said that he has politically drawn a battle line of political supremacy between him and the governor in the state. Even some of the big wigs are pointing accusing fingers at him. One begins to wonder how far all these political calculations in Zamfara state will go. Can Dangaladima survive the cobweb of political enmity that encircles him in the state? his kind of politics is alien in Zamfara state, some say that Governor Abdulaziz Yari is perceived to be more of a dictator that a democrat. So contesting his decision is like committing political suicide. On the backdrop of this development, having a political antecedent of Dangaladima’s model is to say the least, an unsafe political style. Most people have asked whether he is not afraid of any repercussion that the governor might hatch to scuttle his political career but he is indifferent to what they might think. He


Like a big stone thrown into a river, his anchor on the port of Zamfara politics producing bubbles of speculations and controversy. His PDP opponent then Dahiru Zubairu who was already drawn in a battle with his people on the ground of non-performance made him to lose the elections to Dangaladima with a land slide victory.

nevertheless admitted that there is a price for any thing you do. It is believed that the governor will do his best to retain his glory by making Zubairu take over Dangaladima’s seat, although the task will be a Herculean one, because on a level-playing ground, it will be very difficult for Zubairu to defeat Dangaladima politically, in the zone. And without Yari’s backing, Zubairu will find it very difficult to operate independently talk-less of winning elections from the constituency again. According to the people, Zubairu is prideful and highhandedness. It has been alleged that Zubairu hardly relates with local folks. Many people fears what will become of their fate again should he wins back his seat, because a common man will have no place in his administration”. ome notable politicians also said that Gov. Yari’s leadership style, which is spiced by reasonable quantum of aggression and self-centeredness, will soon make him unpopular, as his first tenure inches to an end. If caution is ignored, a factor may emerge that will weaken him before the 2015 elections. Analysts believe that he might lose the required clout to accomplish his desired political dream of even making Zubairu win the elections. It is predicted that Dangaladima, now in PDP, may form a strong political alliance in order to tame the governor’s forces. To sustain his relevance politically in the state, he has to adopt a political strategy that can instill confidence in his people, and the electorate. Musa Hassan a public affairs analyst, wrote from Zamfara state



Great Speeches


Churchill: “The Sinews of Peace” (II) By Winston Churchill, on Fulton, Missouri, March 5, 1946 Now, while still pursuing the method of realising our overall strategic concept, I come to the crux of what I have travelled here to say. Neither the sure prevention of war, nor the continuous rise of world organisation will be gained without what I have called the fraternal association of the English-speaking peoples. This means a special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States. This is no time for generalities, and I will venture to be precise. Fraternal association requires not only the growing friendship and mutual understanding between our two vast but kindred systems of society, but the continuance of the intimate relationship between our military advisers, leading to common study of potential dangers, the similarity of weapons and manuals of instructions, and to the interchange of officers and cadets at technical colleges. It should carry with it the continuance of the present facilities for mutual security by the joint use of all Naval and Air Force bases in the possession of either country all over the world. This would perhaps double the mobility of the American Navy and Air Force. It would greatly expand that of the British Empire Forces and it might well lead, if and as the world calms down, to important financial savings. Already we use together a large number of islands; more may well be entrusted to our joint care in the near future. The United States has already a Permanent Defence Agreement with the Dominion of Canada, which is so devotedly attached to the British Commonwealth and Empire. This Agreement is more effective than many of those which have often been made under formal alliances. This principle should be extended to all British Commonwealths with full reciprocity. Thus, whatever happens, and thus only, shall we be secure ourselves and able to work together for the high and simple causes that are dear to us and bode no ill to any. Eventually there may come—I feel eventually there will come—the principle of common citizenship, but that we may be content to leave to destiny, whose outstretched arm many of us can already clearly see. There is however an important question we must ask ourselves. Would a special relationship between the United States and the British Commonwealth be inconsistent with our over-riding loyalties to the World Organisation? I reply that, on the contrary, it is probably the only means by which that organisation will achieve its full stature and strength. There are already the special United States relations with Canada which I have just mentioned, and there are the special relations between the United States and the South American Republics. We British have our twenty years Treaty of Collaboration and Mutual Assistance with Soviet Russia. I agree with Mr. Bevin, the Foreign Secretary of Great Britain, that it might well be a fifty years Treaty so far as we are concerned. We aim at nothing but mutual assistance and collaboration. The British have an alliance

On March 5, 1946, in a speech before Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, the great English statesman and World War II (1939-1945) leader Winston Churchill intoned his famous warning: “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.” He coined the phrase iron curtain, still used today, to refer to the tightly controlled border in Europe that separated Western democracies from the Eastern and Central states under the influence of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). To prevent future wars, Churchill called for the establishment of both a strong alliance between Western nations and a “good understanding” with the USSR. with Portugal unbroken since 1384, and which produced fruitful results at critical moments in the late war. None of these clash with the general interest of a world agreement, or a world organisation; on the contrary they help it. ‘In my father’s house are many mansions.’ Special associations between members of the United Nations which have no aggressive point against any other country, which harbour no design incompatible with the Charter of the United Nations, far from being harmful, are beneficial and, as I believe, indispensable. spoke earlier of the Temple of Peace. Workmen from all countries must build that temple. If two of the workmen know each other particularly well and are old friends, if their families are inter-mingled, and if they have ‘faith in each other’s purpose, hope in each other’s future and charity towards each other’s shortcomings’—to quote some good words I read here the other day— why cannot they work together at the common task as friends and partners? Why cannot they share their tools and thus increase each other’s working powers? Indeed they must do so or else the temple may not be built, or, being built, it may collapse, and we shall all be proved again unteachable and have to go and try to learn again for a third time in a school of war, incomparably more rigorous than that from which we have just been released. The dark ages may return, the Stone Age may return on the gleaming wings of science, and what might now shower immeasurable material blessings upon mankind, may even bring about its total destruction. Beware, I say; time may be short. Do not let us take the course of allowing events to drift along until it is too late. If there is to be a fraternal association of the kind I have described, with all the extra strength and security which both our countries can derive from it, let us make sure that that great fact is known to the world, and that it plays its part in steadying and stabilising the foundations of peace. There is the path of wisdom. Prevention is better than cure. A shadow has fallen upon the


scenes so lately lighted by the Allied victory. Nobody knows what Soviet Russia and its Communist international organisation intends to do in the immediate future, or what are the limits, if any, to their expansive and proselytising tendencies. I have a strong admiration and regard for the valiant Russian people and for my wartime comrade, Marshal Stalin. There is deep sympathy and goodwill in Britain— and I doubt not here also—towards the peoples of all the Russias and a resolve to persevere through many differences and rebuffs in establishing lasting friendships. We understand the Russian need to be secure on her western frontiers by the removal of all possibility of German aggression. We welcome Russia to her rightful place among the leading nations of the world. We welcome her flag upon the seas. Above all, we welcome constant, frequent

The United States has already a Permanent Defence Agreement with the Dominion of Canada, which is so devotedly attached to the British Commonwealth and Empire. This Agreement is more effective than many of those which have often been made under formal alliances. This principle should be extended to all British Commonwealths with full reciprocity.

and growing contacts between the Russian people and our own people on both sides of the Atlantic. It is my duty however, for I am sure you would wish me to state the facts as I see them to you, to place before you certain facts about the present position in Europe. rom Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in many cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow. Athens alone—Greece with its immortal glories—is free to decide its future at an election under British, American and French observation. The Russian-dominated Polish Government has been encouraged to make enormous and wrongful inroads upon Germany, and mass expulsions of millions of Germans on a scale grievous and undreamed-of are now taking place. The Communist parties, which were very small in all these Eastern States of Europe, have been raised to pre-eminence and power far beyond their numbers and are seeking everywhere to obtain totalitarian control. Police governments are prevailing in nearly every case, and so far, except in Czechoslovakia, there is no true democracy.





The ABC of Terrorism (II)


ational governments have at times aided terrorists to further their own foreign policy goals. So-called state-sponsored terrorism, however, falls into a different category altogether. State-sponsored terrorism is a form of covert (secret) warfare, a means to wage war secretly through the use of terrorist surrogates (standins) as hired guns. The U.S. Department of State designates countries as state sponsors of terrorism if they actively assist or aid terrorists, and also if they harbor past terrorists or refuse to renounce terrorism as an instrument of policy. State sponsorship has proven invaluable to some terrorist organizations—by supplying arms, money, and a safe haven, among other things. In doing so, it has transformed ordinary groups, with otherwise limited capabilities, into more powerful and menacing opponents. State sponsorship can also place at terrorists’ disposal the resources of an established country’s diplomatic, military, and intelligence services. These services improve the training of terrorists and facilitate planning and operations. Finally, governments have paid terrorists handsomely for their services. They thereby turn weak and financially impoverished groups into formidable, well-endowed terrorist organizations with an ability to attract recruits and sustain their struggle. The U.S. Department of State has designated seven countries as state sponsors of terrorism: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Cuba, North Korea, and Sudan. In the year 2000, it named Iran as the most active supporter of terrorism for aid to groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestine Islamic Jihad. Although the former Taliban government in Afghanistan sponsored alQaeda, the radical group led by Saudi exile Osama bin Laden, the United States did not recognize the Taliban as a legitimate government and thus did not list it as a state sponsor of terrorism. IV THE INCREASING DEADLINESS OF TERRORIST ATTACKS Although the total number of terrorist incidents worldwide declined during the 1990s, the number of people killed in terrorist incidents increased. Thus, while terrorists may

have become less active, they also became alarmingly more lethal. One key factor behind this trend is the amount of terrorism motivated by religious views, as were the attacks on New York City’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, on September 11, 2001 (see September 11 Attacks). Terrorism motivated by religion has frequently led to acts of violence with higher levels of fatalities than the relatively more targeted incidents of violence perpetrated by many secular (nonreligious) terrorist organizations. Another key factor that has contributed to terrorism’s rising deadliness is the ease of access to a range of low-tech and high-tech weapons. At the low-end of the weapons spectrum, terrorists rely on guns and bombs, as they have for more than a century. At the high end of the spectrum, there is evidence that groups such as al-Qaeda seek to acquire chemical, biological, and even nuclear weapons (see Chemical and Biological Warfare; Nuclear Weapons). Other terrorist groups, such as Aum Shinrikyo, already have carried out terrorist attacks using biological and chemical weapons. It is feared that the nuclear weapons stockpiles of the former Soviet Union could produce an international black market in fissionable materials that terrorists might potentially obtain. Finally, in the middle range of the weapons spectrum the world is awash in sophisticated items available to terrorists everywhere, including plastic explosives and handheld, precision-guided surface-to-air missiles (SAMs). n increase of suicide attacks has also contributed to terrorism’s rising death count. Suicide attacks differ from other terrorist operations, because the perpetrator’s own death is a requirement for the attack’s success. Suicide bombers, therefore, are typically highly motivated, passionately dedicated individuals who decide voluntarily or upon persuasion to surrender their lives in fulfillment of their mission. A wave of suicide attacks began in 1981 in Beirut, Lebanon, when a group called al-Dawa used a car bomb to blow up the Iraqi Embassy. Al-Dawa, (“the call” in Arabic, as in “the call for Holy War”) was a terrorist organization composed of Shia Muslims from


Iraq who were backed by Iran. (Muslims belonging to the Shia branch of Islam form a minority in Iraq but the majority in Iran.) The Beirut attack killed 61 people and wounded more than 100 others. In 1983 a truck filled with explosives drove into the U.S. embassy in Beirut, killing 49 and wounding 120 others. It was followed later that year by a suicide bombing of U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, which killed 241 persons. A group called Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for both attacks. Another suicide bombing destroyed a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1994, killing 96 persons. More recently, al-Qaeda staged suicide attacks on the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, causing nearly 300 deaths; on a U.S. Navy warship the U.S.S. Cole in 2000, causing 19 deaths; and on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001, causing about 3,000 deaths. Many of the attacks carried out by Palestinian organizations, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, in Israel and the Occupied Territories have involved suicide bombings. Other terrorist groups also have adopted this tactic, including Tamil separatists fighting in Sri Lanka and India, and Kurdish separatists in Turkey. These separatists belong to ethnic minorities that seek to set up separate homelands. Terrorists today claim credit less frequently for their attacks than they once did, a fact that also reflects terrorism’s increasing deadliness. Unlike today’s reticent terrorists, the more traditional terrorist groups of the 1970s and 1980s not only issued communiqués explaining why they perpetrated an attack but also boasted proudly after a particularly destructive or deadly operation. The current trend toward less communication implies that violence may be less a means to an end than an end in itself for some terrorist groups. In other words, terrorists today may use violence simply as vengeance or punishment rather than as a means to achieve political change. Therefore, their actions require no explanation or justification outside the terrorist group itself or its supporters. V CHARACTERISTICS OF TERRORIST ATTACKS A Planning and Or-

Bomb Attack on Alexander II Despite introducing numerous liberal reforms, Alexander II, emperor of Russia, was assassinated on March 13, 1881, when a bomb was thrown into his carriage by a member of the revolutionary group People’s Will. This drawing of the event appeared in the Illustrated London News. Keystone Pressedienst GmbH

Alexander II of Russia Alexander II, emperor of Russia, was assassinated in 1881 by a bomb thrown into his carriage by a member of a revolutionary group, Narodnaya Volya (People’s Will). Library of Congress ganization All terrorists share one characteristic: They never commit actions randomly or senselessly. Every terrorist wants an attack to generate maximum publicity because media attention helps achieve the intimidation needed for terrorism’s success. Accordingly, terrorist acts are carefully planned. Testimony by a terrorist convicted in the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Kenya revealed that al-Qaeda spent nearly five years planning the attack. everal essential elements go into planning a major terrorist attack. Planning begins with gathering detailed reconnaissance and intelligence about a target: its defenses, vulnerabilities, and patterns of daily activity. Meanwhile, logistics specialists ensure that all the supporting tasks are accomplished. These tasks include assembling the weapons and other supplies and communications equipment needed for the operation, arranging for safe houses and transportation for the terrorist attack team, and mapping escape routes. A bombmaker or other weapons expert often joins the final planning phases. Finally, after all the preparations have been completed, the operation is handed off to the team that carries out the attack. For security reasons separate teams that do not know one another execute each step, from planning to logistics, attack, and escape. All terrorist groups share another basic characteristic: secrecy about their operations. Terrorism operates underground, concealed from the eyes of the authorities and from potential informants among the populace. To maintain secrecy, terrorist groups are often organized into cells, with each cell separate from other cells in the organization but working in harmony with them. A terrorist cell can be as small as two or three people, with only one person knowing someone in another cell. Should the authorities apprehend a member of one cell, they can obtain information only about the activities of that cell—


or at most about an adjacent cell—and not about the entire organization. For this reason terrorists prefer this organizational structure of interconnected cells. The structure narrows, in pyramid fashion, as it rises toward the group’s senior command structure and leadership at the top, to whom very few have access. B Targets of Terrorism Terrorism often targets innocent civilians in order to create an atmosphere of fear, intimidation, and insecurity. Some terrorists deliberately direct attacks against large numbers of ordinary citizens who simply happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. More selective terrorist attacks target diplomats and diplomatic facilities such as embassies and consulates; military personnel and military bases; business executives and corporate offices; and transportation vehicles and facilities, such as airlines and airports, trains and train stations, buses and bus terminals, and subways. Terrorist attacks on buildings or other inanimate targets often serve a symbolic purpose: They are intended more to draw attention to the terrorists and their cause than to destroy property or kill and injure persons, although death and destruction nonetheless often result. espite variations in the number of attacks from year to year, one feature of international terrorism has remained constant: The United States has been its most popular target. Since 1968 the United States has annually led the list of countries whose citizens and property were most frequently attacked by terrorists. Several factors can account for this phenomenon, in addition to America’s position as the sole remaining superpower and leader of the free world. These include the geographical scope and diversity of America’s overseas business interests, the number of Americans traveling or working abroad, and the many U.S. military bases around the world.





Inside the hunters camp in Maiduguri A

bout 100 traditional hunters from villages in Borno state have gathered in the camp and volunteered to hunt for the Islamist

militant group Boko Haram for the local government. The local government gives them two meals per day, according to the

hunters. These concerned Nigerians are ready to bring down the Islamic sect at all cost. They have with them, local hunting

guns and their charms. I put it to you that these men can go far to hunt down these barbarians, because they own the Sambisa forest and its neighbourhood.

About 100 traditional hunters from villages in Borno state have gathered in the camp and volunteered to hunt for the Islamist militant group Boko Haram for the local government.

A man shows off the powers of his charms by putting fire to his neck at a camp of a vigilante group of traditional hunters in Maiduguri, Nigeria, May 21, 2014.

Mohammed Chiari, commander of a vigilante group of traditional hunters, poses for a picture at the hunters’ camp in Maiduguri, Nigeria May 21, 2014.

A man makes charms at a camp of a vigilante group of traditional hunters in Maiduguri, Nigeria, May 21, 2014.

A vigilante group of traditional hunters pose for a picture at their camp in Maiduguri May 21, 2014.

Members of a vigilante group of traditional hunters pose for a picture at their camp in Maiduguri May 21, 2014 Source: Dennis Nwosu blog




Thailand coup leader summons politicians


usted Thai leader YingluckShinawatra has appeared at a military facility in Bangkok, a day after the army took power in a coup. MsYingluck is one of more than 100 political figures summoned by the army. The army has banned 155 prominent political figures from leaving the country without permission. On Thursday the military suspended the constitution, banned gatherings and detained politicians, saying order was needed after months of turmoil. On Friday afternoon it appeared MsYingluck had left the facility where she had been summoned and was going to another military location, the BBC’s Jonah Fisher reports from Bangkok. It was not clear if she was still being detained, our correspondent says. The leaders of both her Pheu Thai party and the opposition Democrats were released from military detention overnight, he adds. However, protest leaders are thought to still be in detention and some pro-government MPs have

now gone into hiding. The coup, which followed months of anti-government protests, has drawn widespread international criticism. It came two days after the army declared martial law. Thais, meanwhile, spent the night under a curfew which ran from 22:00 to 05:00. Bangkok was reported to be largely peaceful. The anti-government movement has claimed victory and sent its supporters home. ‘Work as normal’ Military leader General Prayuth Chan-Ocha - who has appointed himself the new prime minister said troops were taking power “in order for the country to return to normal quickly”. “All Thais must remain calm and government officials must work as normal,” he said in a televised address. The military has issued a bulletin spelling out the key points of the takeover Thailand’s armed forces, which have staged at least 12 coups since the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932, acted after months of political deadlock.

A Thai soldier Thailand has faced a power struggle since MsYingluck’s brother, ThaksinShinawatra, was ousted by the military as PM in 2006. MrThaksin and MsYingluck

have strong support in rural areas but are opposed by many in the middle class and urban elite. The latest unrest began last year, when anti-government pro-

testers embarked on a campaign to oust MsYingluck’s government. A court ordered her removal for alleged abuse of power this month.

ICC gives Congo warlord Ukraine crisis: Donetsk sees Germain Katanga 12-year jail term deadliest attack on troops


he International Criminal Court has sentenced ex-Congolese militia leader Germain Katanga to 12 years in prison for aiding and abetting war crimes. Katanga was found guilty in March, only the second person to be convicted by the Netherlands-based court. He was behind the 2003 massacre of hundreds of villagers in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The fighting escalated into an inter-ethnic conflict that is estimated to have killed 50,000 people. In a statement read out to the court in The Hague, presiding Judge Bruno Cotte said that the more than six years the 36-year-old former militia leader had spent in ICC custody would be taken into account. The chamber said that he would not be asked to pay a fine. Known to his supporters as Simba, or “the lion”, Katanga was found guilty of planning the


ambush on the village of Bogoro in gold-rich Ituri province. ‘Particularly cruel’ “The scars of the fighting that occurred that day are still be seen today,” Judge Cotte said. Katanga was also found to have procured the weapons - including guns and machetes used to kill more than 200 of the villagers, but he was acquitted of direct involvement. As a militia commander, he had the support of the Lendu ethnic group in the region and his fighters targeted villagers from the Hema ethnic group, some of whom were killed as they slept. The use of machetes in the attack was “particularly cruel and caused extreme suffering”, the AFP news agency quotes the judge as saying. The rebel leader, who was 24 at the time the crimes took place, was also cleared of using child soldiers and of committing sexual crimes. The evidence proved that women who survived the massacre had been raped or kept as sex slaves but the judges did not find enough proof to convict Katanga of carrying out these crimes. After the end of the Ituri conflict, peace deals were signed and Katanga was given a position in the Congolese army. Judge Cotte said Katanga’s role in helping with the demobilisation of child soldiers at the time was taken into consideration by the chamber in handing down its sentence. A year after joining the military, Katanga was imprisoned for bad behaviour and was still in jail when the ICC issued its arrest warrant for him. His is one of the longest-running cases at the ICC. In July 2012, Thomas Lubanga, a rival militia leader in Ituri, was sentenced to 14 years in jail by the ICC for recruiting and using child soldiers.


dawn attack on a checkpoint in eastern Ukraine has left at least 14 soldiers dead, in the worst loss of life for government forces to date. Heavily armed militants attacked the checkpoint in the Volnovakha area, in one of four attacks reported overnight in eastern Ukraine. It is unclear who attacked the checkpoint, with one Ukrainian officer telling the BBC it was not separatists. The attacks come just three days before Ukraine’s presidential election. Ukraine’s interim Prime Minister, ArsenyYatseniuk, has called for an emergency session of the UN Security Council, saying he has evidence of Russian involvement in the violence. Russia appears to be withdrawing troops from its border with Ukraine, easing fears

of a military intervention like in Crimea in March. Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a tweet that Russian troop activity near the Ukraine border might suggest that some Russian forces were preparing to pull back. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops near the border to withdraw to their bases earlier this week. Correspondents say removing the troops - estimated to number 40,000 - could help de-escalate the Ukraine crisis. Ukrainians go to the polls on Sunday to choose a new president but voting in Donetsk and Luhansk has been seriously disrupted by the insurgency there. The election was called after the last elected President, Viktor Yanukovych, was deposed in February amid mass protests against his pro-Russian policies.

A pro-Russian gunman shows off weapons reportedly seized from the Ukrainian soldiers during the attack



Business Interview

Reconciling economic growth and social inequality, by Okonjo-Iweala


know that Abuja as we are talking is hosting the World Economic Forum on Africa right now, are you concerned about how the image of Nigeria is being projected all around the world at a time when you are trying to encourage Western investors? The WEFA has just ended and it has been a success for the girls. Over 1,000 participants were in attendance – world leaders as well as global business leaders as well as African business leaders. And they came to show that they would stand against terror. That they will not accept that people can abduct girls and stop their education. Specific initiatives also came out of the WEFA. There is a Safe Schools Initiative where Nigerian businesses have come forward in collaboration with Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of Britain, to set up an initiative supported by business to set up safe schools for the girls and they said if the government matches them they put up 10 million dollars immediately, they will use it to launch this initiative. The president of Nigeria has announced that he will match that immediately. That is over and above all the efforts of the government so far to try and protect the schools better. So a specific initiative, solidarity of the international community and global business, with the girls and a very large turnout. This is the second largest World Economic Forum turnout outside of Davos, according to WEF itself. So it has been a success for the girls and solidarity for Nigeria. Let’s talk about the more pressing matter of the nearly three hundred girls who are still missing. There has been a tidal wave of criticism about the Nigerian government’s response to these kidnappings, are you confident that President Jonathan’s administration has done or is doing all it can to rescue these girls? The President has openly pledged his commitment to do everything to rescue these girls, and what I said before on CNN is accepting that the government did not communicate what it was doing previously, because there was some element of reticence so as not to cause harm to the girls. That should not have been the case, it should have been that there was communication so that the Nigerian public and the parents of these girls know that action is being taken. Since that time the government has stepped up action, has appealed to the international community for help and is accepting help from the US, France, the UK, China and they are all coming in. The government has stepped up the number of troops that are working there and is working with countries that have satellite imagery to do more. Are you confident that the girls will be found, where are they, because it’s been rumoured that many of them have been taken across the border to Chad? No one can answer that question. There is no one who can tell you with confidence. What we can tell you is that every single possible resource will be used to track these girls. You are dealing with people who are irrational. It is unacceptable that girls should be taken anywhere in the world, and they do not represent any religion, as

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala is Nigeria’s Finance Minister and Supervising Minister of the Economy, and she was recently named as one of Time’s most influential personalities. In this interview, sourced from Yahoo by CLEM KHENA-OGBENA, the minister dwells on some of the social and economic challenges and the ways out of them as well remarkable achievements in the same regard. EXCERPTS:

Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala you have heard many muslims have rejected what they have done. You have heard Prime Minister Cameron said this is not a Nigerian problem, it is a global problem. You have heard President Obama said we should stand against these terrorists. This is a global problem, we need to come together and fight against it and Nigeria is accepting any help it can do with. ow trustworthy is President Goodluck Jonathan? Why do the families seem to know where the girls are but the government does not? I’m not sure that characterization is correct, I think we should view this in a much more complex manner. The President said they searched in the Sambisa forest, they were not using aerial surveillance, they were not able to find the girls. This is a large area and it is not clear whether they are still together in a group or whether they have been split up, and the whole idea is that nothing should be done to harm the girls. In the past, the country has used some aerial surveillance but you can’t do that because you don’t want to end up harming the girls. So the characterization that the parents know more than the government, I don’t want to enter into that because I have to tell you I’m not a security expert. But I can only tell you that much that I know and that is to share with you the commitment of the government and the country and the solidarity of the people coming together on this issue of bringing back the girls. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala do you have daughters? I have a daughter, I have four children. That is why I came out to say it is unacceptable, it is unimaginable that anyone would take these children. Anyone who has children, sons or daughters, one of the most unbelievable thing is the agony of


not knowing where your loved one is. My mother was kidnapped in mid December 2012, and for five agonizing days we did not know where she was. I have actually experienced it; this is not from theory, it is one of the most terrible nightmares you could dream about. So, for me, it is deep pain and depression to know that for their mothers who are waiting, these are our daughters and we have to get them back. As Finance Minister I know that this week your ambition is to promote vast growth and current economic opportunity that exists in Nigeria, in fact the nation now leads the entire African continent in terms of GDP, but an estimated 62% of the population live in extreme poverty, do you believe this income inequality and lack of resources particularly in the North is contributing to the rise and recruitment power of Boko Haram? irst of all the problem of inequality is something that the entire world is struggling with. There is this new book by Thomas Piketty Capitalism in the 21st Century. That is the whole thesis, that there is the problem of inequality all over the world. 95% of the recent growth of the US was cap-

F “

tured by 1% of the people. So this is again a global problem that we all need to learn from each other. Inequality is a major challenge in the growth story of the whole of Africa and Nigeria. And that is what we are working at, we do not want to grow with leaving more people behind, we want to change the quality of that growth. And I think the crux of that matter is creating jobs, people here do not want handouts, they want us to create decent jobs. The government is really working hard at improving agriculture, studies have shown that if you improve agriculture you are able to tackle poverty three times better and faster. e are working on that; we are turning around agriculture and we are launching the housing sector to create jobs. We need 1.8 milllion jobs in the country, we are still creating 1.6 million; we are still falling short plus we have the pool of the unemployed. The biggest focus in alleviating poverty in Nigeria is creating jobs. The second is improving human development indicators which are not very good. Maternal mortality, infant mortality rate, children out of school these are things we are focusing on to get our resources to the level where we use them effectively to deal with these problems.


Inequality is a major challenge in the growth story of the whole of Africa and Nigeria. And that is what we are working at, we do not want to grow with leaving more people behind, we want to change the quality of that growth. And I think the crux of that matter is creating jobs, people here do not want handouts, they want us to create decent jobs.

I know you also deeply believe in the importance of girls’ education. Just last year the World Bank released a study on the importance of women to the growth and vitality of the African continent in general. Though the majority is small farmers, trade merchants, healthcare workers, educators. So how are you going to stop these extremists who want women to stop going to school and getting jobs? We are going to stop the extremists with a multi-prong approach. It is not a simple thing; there is the military angle, the insurgency angle, the political angle that has to be pursued and also there is the development angle where we have to give our young people hope and make sure that their school is not interfered with, that they feel more secure. All these things have to be done. But it is not easy fighting these acts of terrorism, if it was easy you will not find them cropping up all over the world. You will not see Afghanistan, or Pakistan or even the recent bombing in the US, the Boston Marathon. You will not see two or three decades of the Irish Republican army fighting in the UK; they were not able to defeat them despite the sophistication of the UK at the time. And it took a long time and political negotiation for it to end. This kind of warfare is not standard, it’s not the kind you move soldiers and then go and face the people face to face. It is a war of attrition and opportunity, it can crop up in any place in the world, and that is why President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron have well articulated it by saying this is a war for all of us. So we have to join hands and join resources. I think we need the help of modern technology, human insurgency and intelligence experts to also help us. This is not going to be won by conventional means. Finally, before we go, on the streets of Nigeria as you well know and all around the world, people are posting #BringBackOurGirls. As a representative of the Nigerian government and a female global leader what would you say to the millions of people who are so frustrated and upset by the situation in your country? I would say we in Nigeria are also frustrated and upset. A friend of mine tweeted me holding #BringBackOurGirls. We need to move beyond that into more action, that is what the world is asking for. I think we should focus on what Nigerians are asking for. We are deeply frustrated, all of us are. We have to move beyond that to not let the work of the terrorists paralyse us. What I want to say to the world is don’t let the work of the terrorists create division. Criticize, but do not let it create division. his is a time that we need to come together as a world community to stand with Nigerians and Nigerians to stand together not apart in order to fight. This is what the terrorists want, they want criticism, they want names to be called, they want frustration, they want people to be divided and then they will win. If we stand together as a world community and focus on the girls and bringing them back and we show the terrorists that terror will not win and then they will fail.


Dr Okonjo-Iweala was speaking with Katie Couric of Yahoo! News.



Business Feature

Demystifying the ATM customer experience in Nigeria By Austin Okere


he ATM in Nigeria has gone from a mysterious machine of very high distrust to a basic essential. Understandably, being at the perceived epicentre of online fraud and Internet scams has made Nigerians exceedingly weary of this machine which spits cash at the punch of just four digits. My personal take though, is that there exist more advanced hacking centres outside of Nigeria. Common knowledge seems to suggest that parts of Eastern Europe and Asia top Nigeria by a country mile. My wife and many others like her, who have vowed never to test the efficacy of the banks’ assurances on the safety and security of their ATM systems against the increasing ingenuity of fraudsters have now become unwilling converts due to the higher risk of being unceremoniously shut out of modern day transactions. Regulatory pressures a-la the Cashless Nigeria initiative by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have also played their part in this conspiracy against the conservatives. Hefty penalties have now being instituted on cash transactions beyond a certain threshold. Thankfully, she has broken ranks and acquired an ATM card just only last year. The CBN has tried to allay the fears of Nigerians by enforcing on the banks additional security measures such as the installation ofanti-skimming devices, and two camera systems on all ATMs. The rational being that a fraudster who covers both cameras with his hands to avoid detection will have no spare to conduct his nefarious activities. The average customer experience of the ATM user in Nigeria is still a tale of woes, mostly self-inflicted, and inadvertently by the same banks in whose major interest it should be to drive adoption to cut the relatively high cost of serving customers within the branch. Two very glaring examples; it is reported that on the eve of Christmas last

year, customers looking for ATMs to withdraw cash for their festivities in the Gbagada area found to their dismay after visiting many ATMs and being greeted with the now familiar ‘temporary out of service’or‘Unable to dispense Cash’messages, that the only ATMs that seemed to be working on the whole axis were the UBA ATMs at the Charlie Boy Bus stop. Of course the queue had built up to the extent that faint hearted customers rather opted to go without cash than risk the possible consequences of a stampede. Similarly, on December 14, 2013 there were reports that virtually no ATM was working in the Badagry area. hese experiences are exacerbated majorly by the following factors; firstly, stagnation in the ATM population in spite of significant adoption rate by Nigerians. The ATM population in Nigeria has been stuck at the 11,000 mark for the past six years, resulting in an average of 11.39 ATMs per 100k adult population (adult population in Nigeria being about 56% or 95.2m according to a World Bank report on population). This is not unconnected to the Central Bank’s misadventure with the Independent ATM Deployers (IAD) experiment of 2008 that barred banks from deploying ATMs outside their branches. This resulted in the abrupt halt in the momentum of ATM deployment by Banks. This was largely due to the hasty conduct of the CBN in trying to swallow an elephant at one go. Noble as the intention was, a pilot scheme would have uncovered the soft underbelly of the strategy, the major shortcoming being the fact that the cash in the offsite ATMs would have been too expensive for the IADs to carry, and therefore compel them to charge customers very exorbitant rates or render them totally unprofitable at the flat rate of N100 per withdrawal,then allowed by the CBN. Six years later we have less than the 11,800 achieved at the highpoint, because many banks had to abandon the long term rents secured for their


A customer operating an ATM machine

Ag CBN Gov. Sarah Alade offsite ATMs and wheeled the ATMs into warehouses and parking lots because the IADs could not afford the book value to take on the sites and ATMs. The operational lives of those ATMs, about a third of the total volume were cut short, as they were subsequently unusable two years later when the CBN rescinded her decision. Comparatively, Indonesia with an adult population of about 90m, more than doubled their ATM installed base from 16.7k in 2011 to 36.5k in 2012, resulting in 37 ATMs per 100k adult population, about three time the ATM per adult capita in Nigeria. South Africa has 60 ATMs per 100k adult population, while the UK has 124 ATMs per 100k adult population. Nigeria clearly has a lot to do as the largest economy in Africa. econdly, the quality of notes in the ATM are a far cry from standard. In the early days, the ATM was where to go if you wanted crisp notes. Today, the notes in the ATM are sometimes worse that the change you receive at the flea market. This is underscored by the fact that the security features and the general quality of the naira could do with some enhancements. Dirty notes generally cause paper dirt to be lodged in sensitive parts of the ATM when it is dispensing cash, therefore resulting in more frequent system faults or currency jams. A telling revelation when we compare the work rate of the ATM in Nigeria to say the UK is that the Nigerian ATM has to dispense on the average five notes to one in the UK, if it is dispensing N1,000 notes and the UK one is dispensing £20 notes (£20 is approximately N5,000). This coupled with the low ATM density and challenged note quality contributes a lot to the frequent breakdowns and ‘unable to dispense cash’ notices. Thirdly and very importantly, most ATMs in Nigeria are not under any guaranteed service level supportprogram. This is very shocking, and a serious anomaly by any stretch of the imagination. Banks inadvertently encourage this malaise. There is a notion that appraisal and compensation for ATM support heads in the E-banking departments seem to be heavily skewed on how much they can save in the ATM support costs. So they devise all means necessary to achieve this, even at the detriment of customer


experience and the banks’ brand erosion. There is a blatant refusal to sign any Service Level Agreements (SLA) support for the ATMs in the first year of purchase under the illusion that warranty on the systems equates to SLA support. This results in fallacious claims of reduction in support costs. This alluded cost efficiency cannot be further from the truth. Warranty and SLA support are quite different from each other as any owner of a car under warranty well knows. While SLA defines the time within which an ATM should be fixed or replaced in the event of a fault (usually two hours within urban areas and six hours in remote areas), warranty relies on a best effort basis for the replacement of factory defective parts. Parts that are rendered unusable due to wear and tear, or as a result of exogenous effects such as power surges cannot be claimed under warranty (as sometimes the bank officials are wont to ferociously argue). For simplicity, warranty on ATMs is very similar to that on automobiles. If you drive your new car which carries a three year or 100,000km warranty to the dealer for a part replacement. Firstly they check that it is not normal wear and tear, and that it is not due to abnormal circumstances such as the wrong type of fuel or an accident. Then they take in the car and order the part. They call you when the part arrives, which takes an average of three months, and then slap you with a labour bill. This is the type of service that the Bank is hoodwinked to render to their hapless customers. It is worthy to note that warranty does not cover periodic maintenance of the machines. Imagine driving your warranty car for three years straight or 100,000km without any service or Oil change! Not opting even for the bare bones labour-only quarterlypreventive maintenance service does drastically shorten the lifespan of the ATMs. It is therefore not surprising that some relatively new ATMs needlessly break down and cause customers to spend eternity looking for a working one, or in an endless queue. he average annual support spend on an ATM in Nigeria is $2,500, about half of what obtains in Indonesia and South Africa, both spending about $4,500 per ATM per annum. By investing


the right amount to keep their systems properly maintained, they prolong the lives of their ATMs and ensure better customer experiences, which we readily testify to when we visit those countries. Thirdly, we now know that most ATMs work with the windows operating system. Many are currently on the windows XP platform which has recently been announced by Microsoft as de-supported, and a new operating system, windows 7, announced to replace it. This means that any ATM that is not upgraded to the windows 7 operating system shall be vulnerable to viruses and fraud attacks, since the new security patches shall not work on them. Worldwide, 2.2m ATMs are vulnerable. In Nigeria a significant number of the installed base shall be affected. The solution is a simple upgrade of the operating system if the ATM is upgradable. This is free if the bank has been paying their software maintenance fee. They will otherwise have to incur huge capital costs to repurchase the new software licenses. Available data suggests that many banks have not kept up with the software support fees. A further complication is that certain category of ATMs cannot be upgraded because of non USB Interfaces. These have to be replaced, and will further deplete the already stretched ATM density. Lastly, there are serious challenges in stable and consistent power supply, and network connectivity, both of which the ATM cannot operate without. There are also infrastructure challenges in access roads to ATMs in rural areas which cause support engineers to spend significantly more ‘travel time’ than ‘dwell time’ to fix machines. A possible solution will be for service providers to have enough support offices across the country than depend on engineers being dispatched only from the three commercial centers of Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja. Cross training support engineers on ATMs, inverters and network connectivity will ensure that the first engineer to arrive at the ATM can fix the fault and does not have to call another specialist. A monitoring system if installed by the provider would ensure that the ATM correctly diagnoses itself and advices on the correct spare part to be carried to site. A monitoring system will however, require client licenses on the ATMs for which maintenance fees are due to be paid, and which many banks shy away from. anks are by no means the only clog in the wheel of good ATM customer experience. Some of the blame lie squarely on the shoulders of the service providers. In a bid to win business at all costs they are ready to accept terms that tempt them to cut corners in quality of products and service delivery. For example, there is a need to install monitoring systems and a call centre to aid support efficacy. There is also a need to ensure that the custodians are sufficiently trained to provide the crucial first level support. The negligence of these will make the support process expensive, unwieldy and ineffective.


Austin Okere, CEO. Computer Warehouse Group Plc and Entrepreneur in Residence at Columbia Business School, CBS





Healthy Living

Surgery bites


Dr. Samuel Omodele Awosolu 08108155239 (SMS only) (Text only)


he not too distant past witnessed the chaos surrounding the recruitment of the National Immigration Service. I needed some cheering up the Monday after. The image of young desperate men and women injured and some sent to their untimely death was not only sickening but criminal. The charlatans and desperadoes after contracts seem to be winning on all fronts in the country. I cheer myself with the classic ODE TO JOY...., by Ludwig Van Beethoven supposedly to have suffered profound hearing loss at an early age yet composed some of the most beautiful classics. Oozing from my laptop computer, a few tracks later of Kenny G, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Sadawa watanabe, and Dario G calmed the nerves. It’s refreshing to see my

first patient actually patients, from a family group, who had come for the holiday check up, customary every holiday. This was satisfying as there seems a ray of sunshine in the midst of darkness. Little steps of hope gradually becoming giant strides. he formulation of school health programme to include oral health is a necessary means to achieve oral health uhuru. It may be painstakingly slow; the manpower needs frustration and the need to carry a lot of people who do not see well than bureaucratic jingoism. The dogged determination and deliberate administrative stumbling blocks makes establishing a programme so tasking. There is need for community support, a training of school health careers amongst the teachers, who already have the challenge of poor remu-


neration and the lack of belief as there are no incentives per se for taking on the extra responsibilities and duties. The Local government authority do not see the programme in most cases as priority neither is there any statutory or budgetary allocations, hence one pulls at shoe strings. The Community are to be

willing allies, from the school proprietor to the staff, the governing board and the parent’s teachers association. There are instances while there have been outright rejection of programmes in schools by the parents and the community. There are places in the country where the EPI expanded programme on immunisation is resisted with all vigour despite the community leaders and religious leader’s involvement. Hence the continued presence of polio cases in some communities that resist immunisation of children. here is need for funding and sponsorship. What happened to corporate social responsibility and responsibility of all for all? The programmes need funding and sustaining. It beats one sometimes for example that efforts to source minimal funding from mul-


ti-nationals for these programmes in school, churches, mosque are often rebuffed. The cost is often a fracture of that committed to run full page congratulatory messages in the pages of newspapers for political leaders, wives of political leaders, birthday wishes. Is it a way to get jobs for the boys or rather contract for the boys? he realisation of costs for adverts spots in the media, the visual television for seconds or a minute during sports events etc. This is often seen by the viewers as a nuisance...The intention is not to rubbish the need for sponsorship for some entertainment, but it would be more rewarding practically if a little more is spent to sponsor health awareness programme at a fraction of the cost. See you next week


The Community are to be willing allies, from the school proprietor to the staff, the governing board and the parent’s teachers association. There are instances while there have been outright rejection of programmes in schools by the parents and the community. There are places in the country where the EPI expanded programme on immunisation is resisted with all vigour despite the community leaders and religious leader’s involvement.

Glossary of commonly used dental terms (III) •Diastema : A space, such as one between two adjacent teeth in the same dental arch. •Distal : Farther from any part of reference. •Direct pulp cap : The procedure in which the exposed pulp is covered with a dressing or cement that protects the pulp and promotes healing and repair. • Dry socket (osteitis) : A localized inflammation of the tooth socket following an extraction due to infection of a blood clot. E •Enamel : The hard, calcified (mineralized) portion of the tooth which covers the crown. Enamel is the hardest substance in the body.

•Endodontics : The dental specialty that deals with injuries to or diseases of the pulp, or nerve, of the tooth. •Endodontist : A dentist who deals with the cause, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment or injuries and diseases that affect the dental pulp , tooth root, and periapical tissue. •Equilibration : (occlusal adjustment) The achievement of a balance between opposing teeth or forces by adjustive grinding of an interfering tooth structure during the functional stroke. •Extraction : The removal of a tooth. •Excision : Surgical removal of bone or tissue. •Extosis : The overgrowth of normal bone. •Extracoronal : The outside crown of

the tooth. •Extraoral : The outside of the mouth. F • Facial : Pertaining to or toward the face ( Buccal, Labial ). •Filling : Material used to fill cavity or replace part of a tooth. •Fissure : A deep ditch or cleft in the surface of the teeth. •Floss : see dental floss. •Fluoride : A chemical compound used to prevent dental decay, utilized in fluoridated water systems and/or applied directly to the teeth. •Frenum : Muscle fibers covered by a mucus membrane that attaches the check, lips and or tounge to associated dental mucous. •Frenectomy : The removal of a fre-

num. G •Gingiva : The soft tissue that covers the jawbone. Also referred to as the gums. • Gingivectomy : An inflammation or infection of the gingiva (gum tissue); the initial stage of gum disease. •Gingivitis : An inflammation or infection of the gingiva; the initial stage of gum disease. •Gingivoplasty : A surgical procedure to reshape or repair the gingiva (gum). •Graft : A piece of tissue or synthetic material placed in contact with tissue to repair a defect or supplement a deficiency. •Gum : see gingiva. •Gum Disease : see gingiva.



FROM THE PULPIT Qualities of an effective church worker (II) P

raise the Lord! I began this message last week, and I want o begin today to show you some of the qualities of an effective church worker. You can access the first part online if you missed it or you ask your vendor to help you get a copy. As I said last week, the ministry of the apostle, prophet, evangelist and pastor and teacher (Eph 4:11) is regarded as the pulpit ministry, and they are also church workers. But the church workers in the context of this message are those in the helps ministry. Effective workers’ qualities The following qualities important for those who will be effective workers in the house of God: Be born again: Before anyone can be allowed to be a worker in church or be appointed into any leadership position, he must be born again. The number one assignment of the church is salvation of sinners, and those in the work force of the church must themselves be saved. “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’” (John 3:3 NKJV) Because a newly born again person does not know much about the faith, it is important that he is not assigned work in the church until he has successfully completed the new believer’s or foundational class and the membership/discipleship class. This is important because the salvation of his soul is more important than the work he wants to do. He must therefore be properly established in the faith and fully integrated into the church before he is given responsibilities. Little or nothing is known about a new convert and hurriedly enlisting him in the church work force may not be a wise decision but by the time he completes these classes, the church should be able to have sufficient information about him to allow them to join or not to join the work force. As new believers eventually join the

work force, they must also continue to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. (Phil 2:12) Intimacy with God. Mark 3:14-16 says, “Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons.” (NKJV) Jesus appointed the twelve disciples first to be with him, not first to go and preach. The quality of anyone’s service in the Kingdom of God will be dependent on his or her intimacy with God in prayer, study of the word, meditation and worship. Many will say that they can understand that this quality is necessary for those who minister the Word of God – they need to spend time with God. Yes, it is an important quality they must possess. But this is not restricted to them alone. It affects every church worker whether he is a Sunday school teacher, children church worker, choir member, prayer band member, technician or sanitation worker. Every church worker needs intimacy with God – a time of fellowship including worship, prayer and Bible study. Every work in church is spiritual; none must be done in the flesh. A good grasp or understanding of Bible teachings. Just as I said about intimacy with God, this quality is important in the life of every church worker. “Work hard so God can approve you. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.” (2 Tim 2:15 NLT) Having a good grasp or understanding of Bible teachings is not for those who minister the Word of God alone. It is for every Christian. This quality is important because it determines the quality of the work of a child of God. The word of God, for example, tells Christians how God wants them to work, the type of service God accepts, the reward for service etc. So a Christian’s work should be influenced by the teachings

of the Bible – he doesn’t have to be an apostle, a prophet, an evangelist or a pastor and teacher. (Eph 4:11) That is why in addition to attending Bible study sessions and listening to messages during services, Christians should personally study the Bible daily. They should be like the Berean Christians who received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether the things they were taught were so. (Acts 17:11) This enriches their spiritual life and refreshes them as they serve in the Kingdom of God. Every church worker including the choristers, ushers, traffic controllers etc. should be attentive wherever they are during the sermons (messages) or Bible study sessions. In fact, I believe no other church group meeting should be going on at the same time either of these is going on. It is true that 1 Tim 3:2 says a bishop, elder or pastor should, among others, be able to teach, meaning that he must be knowledgeable about the teachings of the Bible, but it is also important that other church workers shouldn’t be Bible illiterate. “You must crave pure spiritual milk so that you can grow into the fullness of your salvation. Cry out for this nourishment as a baby cries for milk.” (1 Peter 2:2 NLT) Be full of the spirit and wisdom. In appointing the first deacons in the early church, Peter stated the qualifications they must possess. Part of the requirements was that they must be full of the spirit and wisdom. “Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.” (Acts 6:3 NKJV) The next quality I’ll talk on will focus on the first part of the requirements in Scripture but I want to deal with the first second part first. These seven deacons were not even going to be teaching the Word of God or engaging in pulpit ministry

GREEN PASTURES BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO GSM: 08033113523 yet they were required to be full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. Their job was just to administer the daily distribution of food – a job many will today consider as not spiritual. But every work in the house of God is spiritual and must be done by the Holy Spirit and in the wisdom of God. It must not be done in the flesh. Two of these “table servers” – deacons – were Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip. (Acts 6:5) But Verse 8 says, “Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.” (NKJV) Stephen, a deacon, became an evangelist and the first Christian martyr. Phillip, originally a deacon, also became an evangelist, went down to the city of Samaria, and proclaimed unto them the Christ with multitudes giving heed in one accord to what he spoke and seeing the signs he did. (Acts 8:5-6) From Samaria, Phillip was led to the desert where he preached the gospel to the Ethiopian Eunuch and baptized him. (Acts 8:26-38) Deacons are supposed to be spiritual. In choosing leaders over the tribes of Israel, Moses told the people to choose wise, understanding, and knowledgeable men from among the tribes to be made heads over them. (Deut 1:13) Verse 15 says Moses chose these wise and knowledgeable men, and made them heads over the Israelites as leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, leaders of tens, and officers for the tribes. Old age was not a factor. Joshua, Moses’ successor, needed the spirit of wisdom to be able to excel in his assignment. Deut 34:9 said, “Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so

the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses.” (NKJV) It is not that prospective workers or leaders in the house of can possess all in terms of the Spirit of God and wisdom before they enter into service but they must be full of the Spirit of God and wisdom. They will always need more as they serve. They must therefore continue to be filled with the Spirit and wisdom after entering service in the Kingdom. Sorry, I cannot go further than this today. I’ll continue next week. I appreciate you. Please obey the voice of God. See you next week. TAKE ACTION! If you want to give your life to Jesus, kindly say this prayer now: “0 Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and forsake them. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you Jesus for saving me and making me a child of God” I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible believing, Bible teaching church in your area where you will be taught how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things becoming all God wants you to be. I’ll be glad to hear from you.

Praying for forgiveness and forgiving others Matthew 6:12,14,15


orgiveness, pardon for sin, is the most essential, the most blessed, and the most difficult act that God ever did for man. It is the most essential because it keeps us from eternal suffering in hell and gives us joy in our present life with fellowship. It is the most blessed because it secures us a place in heaven, to live forever with God. It is the most difficult because it cost the Son of God His very life on the Cross to provide. Forgiveness of sin is man’s deepest need and God’s greatest gift. And the Lord has promised that if the sinner confesses and forsakes his sins and if by faith in the vicarious death of Christ he trusts in God for forgiveness, he will be forgiven and will be granted the privilege of sonship. It is important for the sinner to pray: “For Thy name’s sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great” (Psalm 25:11). Only those who come to God knowing their debts are so great that they cannot pay, relying only on the mercy of God and the merits of Christ will receive forgiveness. With humility and sorrow of heart for

sinning against God, such a sinner turns to God for mercy and pardon. Gratitude for being forgiven makes him to also forgive his fellowmen who have sinned against him. 1. PLEA AND PRAYER FOR FORGIVENESS FROM GOD Matthew 6:12; Psalm 25:11; Luke 18:13,14; Psalm 51:1-13; Isaiah 1:16-18; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Exodus 34:8,9; Daniel 9:4-19. “And forgive us our debts.” “And forgive us our sins” (Luke 11:4). Sins are represented by the term, debts. These debts are sins (Luke 11:4), transgressions (1 John 3:4), trespasses (Ephesians 2:1). Our sins are moral and spiritual debts to God. Sin makes men guilty before God. Sin brings men under judgement. But what is sin? (1) Sin is missing the mark of God’s required standard. (2) Sin is transgression, stepping across the line – that is, stepping across the line drawn by God to demarcate what is right from what is wrong. (3) Sin is lawlessness – the breaking of God’s law. God will judge all lawlessness. (4) Sin is slipping, sliding or falling – losing control and

BY PASTOR W.F KUMUYI falling into degrading lifestyle. (5) Sin is debt and except God graciously writes off the debts of sin we owe, no man can hope to pay off his debts of sin from birth. This is why we plead and pray: “Forgive us our debts; forgive us our sins.” In praying like this, the sinner or the backslider prays for personal forgiveness. Can the saint or the believer ever pray, saying, “Forgive us our sins”? When praying for national forgiveness, Moses, though he was free from the sin of the nation, prayed, “O Lord, ... I pray Thee, ... pardon our iniquity and our sin ” (Exodus 34:9). Daniel identified

with his nation and prayed in the same way. Also, within the family circle, a child may ask the father’s forgiveness. Examples of believers’ debts for which we ask Him forgiveness in the New Testament are: Matthew 16:2123; Mark 10:35-45; Luke 9:49-56; John 13:6-11; Acts 22:17-22. Without committing sins that damn the soul, we can still pray: “Forgive us our debts.” 2. PROMISE AND PRIVILEGE OF FORGIVENESS FROM GOD Matthew 6:12; Isaiah 55:6,7; Proverbs 28:13,14; Acts 5:30,31; 13:38,39; 26:18; Ephesians 1:7; 1 John

1:9; Hebrews 10:16,17. God’s word is full of His promises of mercy and forgiveness. Examples of the greatest of sinners receiving forgiveness (David, Ninevites, Paul, etc) encourage every sinner to come to God for mercy, grace and forgiveness. The Lord promises pardon on condition of repentance from all sins. Man’s greatest spiritual need is forgiveness and that is what God has promised and provided. What God has promised is the cancellation of the sinner’s debts, the removal of the ultimate penalty of sin and victory or triumph over the power of all past sins. With the forgiveness experienced by the believer, he is no longer under condemnation, no longer under the power of sin, no longer destined to hell. The eternal Judge has declared him pardoned, justified and righteous. The eternal Judge has become his heavenly Father and the Spirit of God bears witness with his spirit that he is a child of God. This experience of forgiveness and the joy of salvation fills his heart with love and gratitude to God. He is eager to extend the love and mercy received to all who have any contact with him.



Perspective Buhari remains best Presidential candidate- Sen. Abu Ibrahim

By our corrspondent


enator Abu Ibrahim ( APC Katsina ) and a very strong ally of former military Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, has disclosed in an exclusive interview that the APC leader will contest the Presidential ticket slated for next month. Senator Ibrahim said that despite the unnecessary campaigns to discredit the former CPC Presidential candidate in the 2011 election, it is obvious that General Buhari remains one the best Presidential materials in the country today. According to him, those campaigning to stop the General are merely doing so because of the fear of his high Political Profile in the country. In his words, “My understanding of the campaigns stem from two camps. There are some people within the party who are genuinely afraid that if he stands for the Party’s ticket, they would have no chance of winning nomination against the General. On the other hand, PDP is also afraid of Buhari and this is understandable. You will recall that Buhari single

Gen Buhari

handedly formed CPC in 2010 and that was just one year, nine months to the 2011 election. Within that period, he was

able to win over twelve million votes even without money, as compared to the ruling party’s presidential candidate who had

all the money you can think of to spend and the security agencies at the his disposals for manipulation. Now that the General has a bigger support from the former parties of ACN, ANPP, and part of APGA as well as from five PDP governors and their supporters, it has become clear why PDP is seriously afraid of losing the 2015 election if Buhari becomes APC candidate”. According to Senator Ibrahim, everyone knows that General Buhari is credible and capable to deliver on his promises. “These are the reasons for all the recent campaigns against him so that his not chosen as APC candidate. The situation in the country now makes it necessary for us to have a tough and credible person to take Nigeria out of the current crisis we are in. To us and at his age, he will do only one term and set the standard on how to return the country back to sanity where the system has become very corrupted”. I want to assure you that General Buhari is coming to do two major things for the country; to fight corruption

and restore our economy and security challenges in the country. Of course, the normal running of Government will not be neglected but these will be the priority of his administration. Some powerful people in Nigeria want to stop him from running so that they can have the opportunity to continue messing up the country. But I can assure you that nobody can stop him from running for the 2015 election. As for the campaign over running mate based on religious sentiment, we have a structure in the party which cannot be breached. If what Nigeria needs is Buhari/ Tinubu ticket that can solve our present situation, so let it be. We need the right people to do the right thing for Nigeria. Nigerians don’t need to be bogged down by religious, tribal, or ethnic sentiment. The president is not in that office for Christians or Muslims but for the whole of Nigeria. The way things are now in this country, once we do not fight corruption and poverty in Nigeria, it will bring us down completely in the next few years.

Three ways to change the world By Elliot S. Weissbluth


f you’re 22 today, you’re likely more concerned about making the world a better place than I was at your age. According to every recent poll, study and interview I’ve seen, today’s 22-year-olds just care more than those of us who grew up on John Hughes films and the boom boom “greed is good” ’80s. While I may not have started my professional life with the audacity to change the world, I am one of the fortunate few actually engaged with an innovatory business. And what we’re finding today is that Millennials want to work for organizations that support and drive innovation, because to them it’s a natural means to drive positive change. And they’re not wrong. “Innovation” is a buzzword now like “culture.” I remember seeing a cartoon where a CEO instructs his HR director, “Yeah, culture, we need some of that.” Plenty of businesses talk a good game, but don’t really understand innovation. So, if you want to be an innovator, challenge your assumptions about what “innovation” really means. Here are three lessons you need to unlearn: Unlearn Lesson #1: Innovation results from major shifts in thinking. Actually, innovations tend to be very modest, and often not very sexy

changes. But, boy, are they powerful. Consider four-time Iditarod winner Susan Butcher. Susan was a champion dogsled racer and the second woman in history to win the Iditarod. She won not because she reinvented the wheel (or in this case, the sled) but because she did a few things differently—and they were the right things. Susan reexamined her relationship with the race itself. Instead of following the traditional pattern of running her dogsled team for twelve hours, then resting for twelve hours, she shortened the interval. Her dogs ran in four-to-six hour spurts, then rested for the same length of time. It was a small change that yielded a tremendous impact on performance. Her approach forced her competitors to adapt—and permanently changed the sport. Unlearn Lesson #2: Innovation is driven by thinkers, not doers. I love the charlatan CEOs who say, “I’m a visionary CEO. I do all the big picture thinking.” That’s complete crap. Real innovators are actually tinkerers. They like to build. I grew up on tinker toys and LEGOs and to this day, if I find myself at a dinner party and my hosts’ kids have a LEGO set, you’ll find me on the floor working on a lunar landing pad rather than cocktailing. Getting an MBA is the death sentence for tinkering. Nothing

drives out the pleasure of experiment like a business degree, and the better the school, the worse the impact. Back when members of the class of 2014 were still a couple of years away from getting their drivers’ licenses, Peter Skillman, a Vice President of design for Palm, gave a TED talk on an exercise he developed that today is known simply as “The Marshmallow Challenge.” Skillman tasked teams of four with constructing the tallest tower they could out of 20 uncooked spaghetti noodles, a meter of tape, a piece of string and a marshmallow (the marshmallow had to go at the top). They had 18 minutes. Perhaps not surprisingly, recent business school grads do the worst on average. They spend the most time talking, strategizing, laying out a vision for the completed tower, jockeying for authority, planning and sketching their creation. They focus on getting the spaghetti to stand up, and then, as time runs out, they plop the marshmallow on top and hope for the best. All too often, the whole structure collapses. Who does well? Kindergarten students. They aren’t interested in being “right” or “in charge;” they just get down to it. And unlike the business school grads, they start with the marshmallow and build underneath it. Their structures may collapse, but they gain instant, ongoing feedback, while having

Elliot enough time to improve their results. Unlike the MBD students who focus on a linear plan with lots of “strategery”, the Kindergarten students start with the end - get the Marshmallow on top - and work backward. Innovation happens when you try something, fail, learn from it and try again. I’m not saying you shouldn’t go to business school; I’m saying that if you want to solve a problem, or innovate, stop talking about it, roll up your sleeves and do the work. Unlearn Lesson #3: Mire yourself in expertise. Ignorance is not the enemy of innovation: complacency is. Failing to recognize and adapt to change is tantamount to a death sentence, whether you’re a frog in a gradually

warming pot of water or a business in the modern era. The best ideas—true innovations— come from people working around the edges of their expertise. They know enough to be informed but not enough to be constrained by the “old way” of doing things. I’ve named this approach the “Smart Stranger,” where fresh perspectives provoke new ideas. Delta just introduced “innovation class,” an exclusive program that seats “big thinkers and innovators” together on flights to encourage mentorship in industries like entertainment, fashion, financial services, sports and advertising. The airline says it aims to “bring the ones succeeding in their field together with people who aspire to follow them.” But, if they really want to encourage innovation, they would be better off pairing up seatmates in different fields who have little in common. Otherwise, it’s just networking at 35,000 feet. Millennials, your inexperience is your most valuable assets. Your skepticism will guide you to better answers. And the fact that you are the first generation in many to enter a workforce and economy that is not handing you success on a silver platter gives you the motivation not just to survive, but to excel.




Page 54

World Cup: Ghana will stun opponents – Mensah Pg 54

Key players to watch at UEFA Champions League final today Pg 55



I won’t disappoint at World Cup, says Egwuekwe By Albert Akota


Azubuike Egwuekwe

he Super Eagles defender, Azubuike Egwuekwe, has pledged to put up a superlative performance at the 2014 World Cup. He spoke against the backdrop of his unimpressive outing during the 1-2 loss by his Warri Wolves side to Crown of Ogbomosho in Ibadan. But Egwuekwe said after the Globacom Premier League match that he would not be found wanting at the World Cup. “It was not a good day for us, especially me. If we had played the way we often did, then we could have emerged victorious against Crown,’’ he said. Egwuekwe is among the 30 players short listed for camping ahead of the Super Eagles’ preparation for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The defender was among the bronze-winning team at the last African National Championship (CHAN ) in South Africa in February. Speaking on the presence of players like Lionel Messi of Argentina and Andrés Iniesta of Spain in their countries’ World Cup squads, he said there was nothing to fear. Egwuekwe admitted that even though these were good players, he had the experience playing against them in the Confederation Cup. “When we played against them at that competition, I saw them as players like me and that gave me the confidence to check them. “It will surely be a different ball game when we play at the World Cup. “My poor outing against Crown means nothing as I am prepared to hold any player if I make Coach Stephen Keshi’s squad,’’ he said.


World Cup: Ghana will stun opponents – Mensah


hana defender Jonathan Mensah believes the Black Stars can reach the last four at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil. In 2010 they narrowly failed to become Africa’s first semi-finalists when they lost on penalties to Uruguay in the quarter-finals, having missed a spot-kick in the last moments of extra-time. “If we can stick together and take it it game by game, I believe we can stun the world in Brazil.” Ghana has possibly the toughest draw of all the African sides at the finals, drawn in Group G with Germany, Portugal and United States. But the 23-year-old Mensah

insists the four-time African champions are well equipped to make history. The Black Stars will open their campaign against the USA on 16 June, then play Germany and finish their group fixtures against Portugal. A bad start would heap the pressure on Ghana and some critics have suggested they may not be up to the task. Mensah, who played in two group stage games and in the round of 16 win against United States at the 2010 event, insists they will give their answer on the pitch. Mensah attributes his confidence to a strong work ethic and bond within the squad under Coach Kwesi Appiah.

Philipp Lahm Philipp Lahm of Germany and Jonathan Mensah of Ghana fight for the ball

Keshi, Uzoenyi, Agbim depart for London on May 25 By Albert Akota


he Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi and members of his technical crew are scheduled to depart the country tomorrow for London ahead of Eagles’ international friendly with

Scotland. Ademola Olajire, the Assistant Director, Communications, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said that the team would depart aboard British Airways. The match scheduled to take place on May 28 at Craven

Cottage, London, is one of the tune-up matches lined up for the Eagles’ preparation for the Brazil 2014 World Cup. “The team will depart from Abuja aboard British Airways in the morning of Sunday, May 25. “They will get to London in the evening and will stay at the Hilton Cobham Hotel. “The match is on May 28, in the evening, at the Craven Cottage ground of Fulham Football Club,’’ Olajire said. According to Olajire, the five home-based players in the team

are expected to depart with the technical crew, while the foreignbased players will link up with the team in London. The home-based players include goalkeepers Chigozie Agbim and Daniel Akpeyi , defenders Azubuike Egwuekwe and Kunle Odunlami as well as winger, Ejike Uzoenyi. The NFF spokesperson also said that the team would depart London on May 29 for Philadelphia, U.S., in preparation for another tune-up match with Greece on June 3.

He further said that the team would depart Philadelphia for Florida, U.S., for the tuneup match with the national team of the U.S. on June 7 at Jacksonville. Olajire also said that the team would finally depart the U.S. on June 10 for Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the World Cup where they will base for their group games. He said that all logistics and financial arrangements had been made for the comfort of the team both in the U.S. and in Brazil.

Centenary Unity Polo Tourney: DEFCOM beat ASI 6½ - 5 By Albert Akota

T Ejike Uzoenyi

he DEFCOM polo team beat ASI 6½ to 5 in the Legislative Shield at the ongoing 2014 Centenary Unity Polo Tournament in Abuja. The medium-goal match was the day’s major fixture as ASI boasted of one of Nigeria’s highly-rated players, Hamisu Buba who is a +3 handicap. As for DEFCOM, they paraded a strong line-up with Bello Buba, the elder brother to Hamisu and the highest-rated polo player in the country, with a +4

handicap in their team. In other games played earlier, Irama Mode trashed Abuja Guards Club team 7- 2 in the Guards Challenge category, while SUL beat AFDIN Petroleum 4 - 2 in the Guards Brigade Trophy. The annual competition, which is in its fifth edition, has been tagged the “Centenary Unity Tournament’’ in commemoration of Nigeria’s centenary. The tournament which started on Tuesday, May 20 and which is holding at the Abuja Guards Polo Club is expected to end tomorrow.



Key players to watch at UEFA Champions League final today


Angel Di Maria/Koke

With his lighter frame and dexterity, Angel Di Maria is more agile than Koke. He is a spontaneous player who will look to beat a man and take risks while Koke is solid and reliable. Koke will measure his passes in midfield waiting for the right moment to deliver the ball into the box. The Atletico player is also a hard worker and will provide more defensive cover than Di Maria.

Head-to-heads in today’s Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. Iker Casillas/Thibaut Courtois

A clash of youth and experience of Courtois, 22, may be a more complete goalkeeper, with his extra height giving him an advantage with crosses, but 33-year-old Casillas has shown on many occasions that he has a knack of producing something special when required. Courtois has been a fundamental feature of the Atletico side all season and has made vital saves while Casillas has lost his first-team place in La Liga to Diego Lopez but has delivered when called on.

Gareth Bale/Arda Turan Both are valuable attacking options but they have very different styles as Arda’s strength is his passing and close control while Bale looks to use his power and pace. Arda is a key player for Atletico due to their more limited creative options and without him they lack someone who can beat a player and deliver the killer ball.

Sergio Ramos/Diego Godin

There is little to choose between two defensive titans who provide leadership and personality at the back. Atletico’s success has been based on their solidity and Godin plays a commanding role while Real are a more adventurous team and Ramos is the more comfortable player with the ball at his feet. Both have scored key goals this season in the air but Ramos is more adept at creating and scoring chances with the ball on the ground.

Cristiano Ronaldo/Diego Costa Ronaldo may have the edge over Costa but both are crucial players for their sides and capable of winning matches with a piece of trickery, a burst of pace or an explosive shot. Costa is more of an out-and-out striker and while he can come deep to pick up the ball he is most dangerous in the box. Under the influence of Diego Simeone he has also become a tireless runner. Ronaldo has scored 31 goals in La Liga compared to Costa’s 27 and the effects of a long season have taken their toll. Costa remains a serious doubt for the final, in which case his place would likely be taken by Adrian.

BIG PUNCH This idea of people of particular ethnicity and religion settling in one particular area with the belief that they will be protected is a wrong idea, because in time of crisis, they will be vulnerable to any attacks. -Director General, of the National Orientation Agency, Mike Omeri


Thinking beyond Boko Haram A

s a Muslim, I feel personally embarrassed by the kind of evil that Boko Haram has perpetrated in the name of my religion. The tragic snatching of the Chibok schoolgirls appears to be the tipping point in Nigeria’s battle with Boko Haram. What started as a river of national rage has grown into one massive ocean of international outrage, escalating Boko Haram overnight from a band of local insurgents terrorising Nigeria to a truly global menace. I have a strong feeling that the days of Boko Haram can now be counted. However, as we work hard and pray even harder for the girls’ safe return home, I believe now is the time for us to also start thinking beyond Boko Haram. We have to start now to put together a comprehensive development plan and a robust social reform package that would ensure that never again would any part of Nigeria serve as an ideological breeding ground for terrorist activities of any form. Some years ago, an American organisation was reported to have said that Nigeria could be a failed state in no distant future. Characteristically, we all rose in patriotic indignation. But if the Americans had spoken with us with an accent back then, now Boko Haram has spoken with us in a very clear language. There are two very important lessons here. One is that Nigeria is not immune to any affliction that has visited other countries. What used to be distant tales of terror only a few years ago has become our lived reality. Two is that if it could happen now, then it can happen again. Therefore, even as the rest of the world joins us in terminating this terrible affliction, we must start now to address some fundamental issues that contributed, albeit remotely, in bringing us to this mortal season. Successive generations of Northern political elite have been blamed for the mind-boggling backwardness that makes the region the sick man of Nigeria. In the arid North, poverty and disease are conspicuously worn by the majority like some kind of tribal marks, making one to wonder if development was ever part of the political agenda here. We all know this, but we have continued to pretend that it is a Northern problem. Now that the chicken has come home to roost, no one is spared the tragedy. A special development programme that targets the North would therefore not be an act of charity, but enlightened self interest. If we do not give people something to live for, someone would always give them something ADVERT: BUSINESS: NEWS: LAGOS:

to die for. Now that the rest of the world is willing to assist us in combating terrorism, we must include a purposely targeted development intervention as part of the package. Israelis have shown the world that the desert needs not be a wasteland. With their assistance, we can bring hundreds of thousands of hectares under irrigation farming and turn the desert of Borno and Yobe to one massive agricultural zone with the Lake Chad as natural asset. Guaranteed high quality food production would eventually attract the agro-allied industry and create further employment. On the back of this would be built critical infrastructure, health facilities and education. What we need is a robust plan that is clearly benchmarked to give hope to the people. The recently concluded World Economic Forum for Africa concluded that education must be at the heart of Africa’s growth strategy. Many other commentators have argued along similar lines. But in the context of this challenge, education clearly holds the key to the twin and possibly symbiotic challenge of poverty and religious fundamentalism in the north. And this is no longer about just getting every child in school or multiplying admission places. Anyone who is even casually familiar with the tragic failure of our education, where children completing 10 years of schooling cannot read, would understand why it was so easy for Mohammed Yusuf, the late leader of Boko Haram, to convince impressionable youths to leave school and join his ‘jihadist’ train. We have an urgent need to ‘rephilosophise’ our entire education system. We need to ask and answer a most important question: what should be the purpose of education in the Nigeria of 21st century? But this is for another day. The immediate challenge in the context of this discussion is the need for us to recognise Islamic or Islamiyya education as another formal system of education into which millions of our children are funnelled. All across northern cities and villages, we have Madrassas or schools where children spend years learning Islamic religious disciplines. Historically, these kinds of schools were a means of progressing to other variety of disciplines, which formed the basis of the Islamic civilisation that produced great scientists and mathematicians with strong ethical foundation and from which Western civilisation benefited immensely. Over the years however, these schools have degenerated into centres for mere rote learning of the Qur’an and some fixed and

SATURDAY COLUMN Bolaji Abdullahi

Bolaji Abdullahi limited aspects of religious doctrines. Millions of Nigerian children passing through these schools are not prepared to partake of the boundless opportunities that the modern world presents. The ossification of Islamiyya education is therefore a danger to all of us. As long as we continue to breed an army of young people who feel excluded from the ‘enjoyment’ of this world, vision of a happier hereafter would always be a goal worth dying for. Reform of Islamiyya education should be at the heart of any postBoko Haram plan. These schools have to be repackaged as credible pathways to pursuing professional and other careers of economic values. This is not about promoting Islam; it is about recognising the fact that we are equally imperiled by the failure of a system that provides a recruitment ground for any lunatic that comes along in the name of religion.

The third challenge is that of redefinition. As a Muslim, I feel personally embarrassed by the kind of evil that Boko Haram has perpetrated in the name of my religion. It is good to see that the condemnation of Boko Haram has come from both Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the epicentres of Islamic theology and scholarship respectively. However, it appears that over the years we Muslims have surrendered the task of defining our religion to pathologically sadistic, self-assigned custodians of the Islamic faith in whose warped understanding, as Ziauddin Sardar noted, Shari’a has only one rule: “kill everybody who disagrees with you, or is seen by you as deviant, or breaks your rule.” The Holy Qur’an says there is no compulsion in religion, yet the Shari’a of these self-appointed custodians prescribes death penalty for “apostasy.” Nowhere in the

Qur’an is there anything even remotely related to stoning. Yet, their Shari’a prescribes death by stoning for adultery while making no distinction between adultery and rape. The big question therefore is what should be the goal of Muslim politics in a multi-cultural and complex country like Nigeria? We Muslims must have the courage to acknowledge that some aspects of the Islamic law were socially constructed and were intended to serve sundry purposes for a different era. We, therefore, need to update these laws and bring them in sync with the reality of modern existence and in consonant with Qur’anic principles of social justice, equity, peace, forgiveness and mercy. Unless those who have the moral and intellectual credentials to define Islam speak up now, we would continue to have depraved people like the leaders of Boko Haram doing dirt to the name of Islam and a compassionate and loving God reduced to a coercive one that is oppressive of women. Members of the Christian elite also have a crucial role to play. From what I have seen as responses to Boko Haram, it appears that a major section of the Christian elite is driven more by the emotionalism of Nigeria’s identity politics than by a genuine concern to help bring peace to our country. Scare-mongering about some Islamic conspiracy somewhere would always stand in the way of clear thinking on the true nature of the problem that we are faced with. This is why we must salute Bishop Mathew Kukah for his usual lucidity on this matter. This is not about Muslim versus Christians. This is about a band of anarchists waging a war against all of us, and we stand a better chance of defeating them if we stand together and resist paranoid reaction to anything labelled Islamic. Abdullahi is the immediate past sports minister

Anyone who is even casually familiar with the tragic failure of our education, where children completing 10 years of schooling cannot read, would understand why it was so easy for Mohammed Yusuf, the late leader of Boko Haram, to convince impressionable youths to leave school and join his ‘jihadist’ train.

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Saturday, May 24th, 2014. Weekend Edition  

240514 weekend

Saturday, May 24th, 2014. Weekend Edition  

240514 weekend