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Vol. 8 No. 87

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Uneasy calm as Oteh resumes at SEC >> PAGE 3

. . . putting the people first

Ramadan 5, 1433 AH

Flood kills 22, scores missing in Jos

Insecurity: Northern governors sommon emergency meeting

>> PAGE 3

>> PAGE 7


Ramadan Timing for Abuja Magrib 6.55

Alfijr 5.05

SSS grills Bakare over Jonathan ‘prophesy’ From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


ongress for Progressive Change (CPC) Vice Presidential Candidate in the 2011 Presidential election and Convener, Save Nigeria

Group (SNG), Pastor Tunde Bakare, yesterday stormed the office of the State Security Service (SSS) following an invitation. Bakare arrived the SSS office at 3:10pm in a black sports

utility vehicle (SUV) but was not allowed in until he alighted and walked into the waiting hands of SSS officials at their Shangisha office in Magodo area of Lagos. He was allowed to go home

after a meeting with a senior SSS official, which lasted for one hour ten minutes and reportedly bordered on his Sunday sermon where he allegedly called for the resignation of President Goodluck Jonathan. The fiery

cleric was left off the hook at about 4:20pm. A close associate to the pastor, Yinka Odumakin confirmed to our correspondent that Bakare’s “invitation was in Contd on Page 2

PHCN workers to FG

No severence pay, no takeover By Udenna Orji


he game of wits between the Federal Government and workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) continued yesterday with the workers eventually gaining entry into their offices due to the reduction of the soldiers who had been occupying the power company’s premises since last Friday. But yesterday was not spared of the drama and sabre-rattling which have been going on between the government and the PHCN workers. The workers had turned up for work only to meet the detachment of heavily armed soldiers still surrounding the premises. They were refused entry by the soldiers. As they clustered outside and tension rose between them and the soldiers, the PHCN headquarters officials of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) sent word about the situation to its national secretariat. Instantly, NUEE General Secretary, Comrade Joe Ajaero Contd on Page 2

Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) staff protesting at their headquarters, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN




Rumble in the House over panels’ poor job


By Lawrence Olaoye



















or a parliament that says it may impeach the President any time soon for alleged shoddy implementation of the federal budget, the joke must be on the House of Representatives now. Reason: A crisis of confidence is currently brewing among members of some House committees and their leaders over the non performance of these panels due to alleged poor work ethics and exclusion of members from committee activities by their chairmen. The committees involved are those on Air Force, Aviation, Pension and Works. Peoples Daily learnt that members of the House Committee on Air Force are currently collecting signatures for the removal of their chairman, Rep. Ken Achibong, on grounds that he has allegedly failed to call

committee meetings in the last three months. According to sources, Achibong has been away in the United States of America (USA) in the last three months with several referrals from the House to his committee receiving no attention, thereby stalling the activities of the lower chambers on several fronts. For instance, members of the committee are not happy with Achibong for stalling their investigation into a petition submitted by some communities in Rivers state demanding compensation from the Nigeria Air Force for land acquired for its base. In order to stem restiveness among the petitioners owing to the neglect of the petition, a source disclosed that the committee’s Deputy Chairman, Rep Mohammed Ibrahim Idris, attempted to call other members to deliberate on the matter. But it was learnt that on getting

feelers to this effect in the US, Achibong allegedly put a call to Idris, dressing his deputy as well as the committee’s Clerk down for attempting to convene a meeting in his absence. Similarly, members of the House Committee on Aviation are currently up in arms against their Chair, Rep Nkiruka Onyejeocha, for allegedly running the committee as a one-man-show. Members alleged that Onyejeocha has been receiving some largesse on their behalf without delivering same to them. Chairmen of the committees on Works and Pensions are also being criticized by their members for alleged non performance. While Works Committee Chairman, Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi, is being faulted for allegedly not carrying his colleagues along in handling the committee’s affairs, his Pensions counterpart, Rep Ibrahim Bawa Kamba, has been

accused of not having the capacity to steer the House panel. According to some members of the Pensions committee who preferred anonymity, Kamba has been shying away from the Pensions controversy especially those involving the Presidential Task Force even when he had information that could help resolve the logjam. When contacted for reaction last night, Onyejeocha who said she was out of the country, denied the allegations levelled against her, insisting that all decisions of the committee were collectively carried. She urged our reporter to double check with other members of her committee on her claim. Rep Ozomgbachi did not however answer or replied to calls and a text message sent to him. The chairmen of Air Force and Pension committees could not be reached up to press time yesterday.

No severence pay, no takeover Contd from Page 1

Impeachment threat: We won't back down to intimidation – Reps, Page 37

International 31-34 Strange World 35 Digest








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arrived the scene to a tumultuous welcome by the locked-out workers. As Ajaero made to enter the premises with all the workers behind him, he was prevented by the soldiers. Calming the angry workers, he quickly brought out his cell phone and made a flurry of calls. Shortly after, a BrigadierGeneral arrived in a ToyotaHilux van and informed the soldiers to allow the workers in. The Brigadier-General later drove off with many of the soldiers, leaving behind only a few of the military men in two pick-up vans. Peoples Daily gathered that Ajaero had in his telephone calls that morning threatened the Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji and Presidency officials that the NUEE would not attend the meeting scheduled for yesterday between the union and the Federal Government if the soldiers were not withdrawn and the workers allowed in. Both antagonists have been at each other’s jugular over the unbundling and sale of 18 successor companies of the power

utility under the Federal Government’s power reform programme. However, hostilities escalated last Thursday when the workers, under the aegis of the NUEE mobilised and prevented Manitoba Hydro International Limited, a Canadian company and winner of the bid for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), from taking possession of the company that Thursday. TCN is one of the 18 companies created out of the PHCN under the power reform programme and was to have been handed over to Manitoba Hydro on Thursday. Speaking with our reporter yesterday evening, the Chairman of NUEE, PHCN corporate headquarters, Comrade James Ayeni, said officials of national headquarters of the union were still meeting with the Presidency and officials of Ministry of Power at Aso Villa. “We are still negotiating with government. But the Honourable Minister, Prof. Barth Nnaji is doing a different thing, locking us out of our offices since last Friday. He is making the

whole world to think that it’s PHCN workers that are not ready to work. We are ready to work but not under this present condition where heavily armed soldiers have taken over the PHCN premises and the place looks like a war front. It was only after the intervention of our national headquarters in Lagos that we were able to gain entry into our offices this morning. But that is not the end to our struggle. All we are saying is pay us our severance package. Government can sell PHCN to whoever they want to sell to. “Between last year and today, we have met seven times with government and all the meetings ended in deadlock because government refused to abide by the policy that brought every PHCN worker in when we were employed. We have never seen anywhere where the goal post is shifted and changed right in the middle of the game. Let Nigerians ask the government which part of the world a management contractor has been contracted to run electric power. It was tried in NITEL, it did not work. It was tried in railways, it did not work. So

why are they trying it in PHCN?” Ajaero queried. Many workers of the PHCN who spoke with our reporter said they were not against the privatisation of the firm but that government was trying to pull a fast one on the workers by denying them their gratuities and pension. “What we are saying is this: some of us have worked for PHCN for 10, 20 even 30 years. Pay us our severance packages before you handover to the private companies that will buy the 18 successor companies. Don’t let us fall into the hands of these private companies because they will definitely prune down the workforce and sack many of us. If they do so, who will pay the pension and gratuities of the sacked workers for the many years spent working at PHCN,” queried one of the workers who spoke on anonymity for fear of being victimised. He said although they had been allowed into their offices, it was difficult for them to work “because our morale is low, what with armed soldiers breathing down our necks and talks of retrenchment renting the air”.

SSS grills Bakare over Jonathan ‘prophesy’ Contd from Page 1 connection with his last Sunday Sermon titled, “How To Change Government Peacefully and Make Society Better”. However, as at the time of filing this report, the cleric has not made public what transpired during his meeting with the security operatives. The SSS in a letter dated 23/07/2012 invited Bakare to their Lagos office. In the sermon, Bakare criticised the President, saying: “President Jonathan’s

combination of naivety and amorality is as profound as it is injurious to the health of this country. Can a corruptioncompliant ruler really lead a corruption-free country? If change – positive change – will ever come to our clime, it will not be engineered by those who are benefiting without conscience from the present cesspool of corrosive corruption. It will and can only come from a new breed without greed and a radical opposition to corruption”.

The cleric added: “True, genuine change can only come from those not infected by the present corruption malaise; it can only come from positive agents of social change who are totally sold out to public good”. He said if the President decided to quit, his resignation would not be “a sign of weakness it is a sign of patriotic truthfulness. It is giving opportunity to those who can do a better job in the interest of the nation to carry on with nation-building where the current leader stops”.

Bakare leads the SNG, which has put the government in uncomfortable positions in recent times. In December 2010, the group visited President Jonathan in Abuja in connection with its advocacy of certain public policies. On its way out of the presidential villa, the group was reportedly handed a $50,000 gift, which it refused. The embarrassed government explained that the money was not a bribe, but “transport fare.”



Uneasy calm at SEC as Oteh resumes By Abdulwahab Isa


neasy calm pervaded the headquarters of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Abuja yesterday as its reinstated Director-General (DG), Ms Arunma Oteh, returned to her office, ending weeks of stiff opposition from workers at the commission. A source at the SEC confirmed Oteh’s resumption yesterday but said the DG was yet to speak with the staff as at the time of going to press. A stand-off ensued between the workers at SEC and the government as news filtered in last

week that the federal government, through the office of the Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF), Pius Anyim, has issued a letter of resumption to Oteh. Miffed by the development, the workers showed their disapproval by staging a protest at the commission’s headquarters. They contended that the federal government ought to have allowed the committee set up by the National Assembly to investigate SEC activities to submit its report before taking a decision on Oteh’s fate. But government insisted it would not rescind its decision on the DG. It made this position known through the Minister of

Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, at a meeting with the workers’ union last weekend. Okonjo-Iweala reportedly told union leaders that Oteh’s recall followed due process based on the recommendations of independent auditors asked to investigate alleged financial mismanagement at SEC, especially concerning the celebration of the commission’s 50th anniversary, tagged Project 50. Also, Secretary General of the SEC workers union, operating under the umbrella body of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service and Recreation Employees, Mr. John Briggs, confirmed Oteh’s resumption yesterday.

Plateau holds funeral for Dangtong, Fulani ...again, Jonathan assures on peace From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday assured Nigerians that his administration was doing everything possible to restore lasting peace to Plateau state and the country at large. The President gave the assurance yesterday in Jos at the funeral rites for Senator Gyang Dangtong and Gyang Fulani, the majority leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly, both of whom died following an attack at Barkin Ladin Local Government recently. President Jonathan, who was

represented at the ceremony by the Minister of Water Resources, Sarah Ochepe, said he was saddened by the passage of both men. The President advised the people of Plateau state to be security conscious and cooperate with security personnel, stressing that security should be everybody's responsibility, hence should not be left to the security personnel alone. Also, Governor Jonah Jang called on Plateau residents to pray God to restore lasting peace to the state. Jang said the cycle of violence

that had bedevilled the state for some time now must stop with the deaths of the two lawmakers. According to him, “Plateau state is in the hands of God and whoever touches Plateau has touched the eyes of God”. Speaker of the state House of Assembly, John Clark Dabwan, said Fulani and Dangtong shed their blood for Plateau, hence their deaths would bring lasting peace to the state. Dabwan stressed that no responsible leader would be happy seeing his people been killed and called on residents to live in peace irrespective of their differences.

Marketers urge NNPC to make kerosene available at official price


ome filling stations operators in Lagos have decried the non-availability of kerosene to consumers, urging the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to supply it at the official price. The operators told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos that major marketers had not received supply of the product since the beginning of 2012. NAN reports that the Federal Government in 2011 embarked on direct sale of kerosene to consumers through a collaborative effort with the Capital Oil and Gas. The Kero-Direct Scheme was aimed at ensuring that the product is made available to vast majority of Nigerians and to generate additional direct employment for

Nigerians. Mr. John Olagunju, the Manager of Total Filling Station at Fadeyi, said that major marketers could not get the product from the depot at official price of N49.50. He said that instead, they got the product through third parties at high rates, which made it difficult for them to sell at N50 per litre as directed by the government. “We find it difficult to comply with the directive that we should sell the product at N50 per litre when the product is not even available at the official price. “We use to buy kerosene from the third parties and this was why most marketers were selling it above N50 per litre”, he said. Another operator, Mr. Tayo

Adeleke, the Manager of Mobil Filling Station along Itire road, Ojuelegba, said that the product was not available at N50 per litre at the depot. He advised the Federal Government to make kerosene available at the official price for the major marketers to sell at N50 per litre to the consumers. Adeleke said that if the product was available, it would alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians that depended on it for their domestic cooking. Mr. Segun Olusesan, the Manager, Total Filling Station, Ijora, said that government had not made the product available to the masses. He said that no marketer got the products for sale in their stations since January at the official price of N49.50. (NAN)

Student in court over alleged livestock theft


17-year-old student, Amoo Utman, yesterday appeared before an Osogbo Chief Magistrate's Court charged with theft of three rams, two sheep and two goats. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the accused person, who is a student of one of the technical colleges in Osun state,

was arraigned on one-count charge of stealing. The police prosecutor, Abiodun Fagboyinbo, said the accused committed the offence on May 4, at about 5 p.m. at Ofatedo area of Osogbo. Fagboyinbo said: “The accused stole three rams, two sheep and two goats, valued at N162,000,

property of one Tayo Akinola. The offence committed is contrary to and punishable under section 390 of the Criminal Code Cap 34, Vol 11, Laws of Osun, 2003.” The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge and his counsel, Mr Jerome Nenger, orally applied for his bail. (NAN)




Aba Abakaliki Abeokuta Abuja Akure Argungu Ankpa Auchi Azare Bama Bauchi Benin Bichi Bida Birnin Gwari Birnin Kebbi Biu Calabar Damaturu Daura Dutse Enugu Funtua Gombe Gwoza Gumi Gusau Gwadabawa Hadejia Ibadan Ife Ilorin Jalingo Jere Jos Kabba Kafanchan Keffi/Nasarawa Kaduna Kano Katsina Kontagora Lafia Lagos Lokoja Maiduguri Makurdi Malumfashi Minna Port Harcourt Ringim Shagamu Sokoto Warri Yola Zaria Cotonou-Benin Ndjamena-Chad Niamey – Niger Younde – Cameroun

6.51 6.49 7.08 6.55 6.59 7.10 6.51 6.56 5.47 6.33 6.46 6.58 6.55 7.00 6.58 7.12 6.35 6.46 6.40 6.55 6.51 6.51 6.59 6.42 6.33 7.07 7.00 7.08 6.49 7.06 7.05 7.06 6.38 6.54 5.49 6.59 6.52 6.49 6.56 6.54 6.59 7.03 6.49 7.07 6.56 6.35 6.49 6.59 6.59 6.51 6.54 7.06 7.08 6.57 6.34 6.56 7.10 6.38 7.21 6.32

5.07 5.07 5.24 5.05 5.16 5.08 5.06 5.12 4.48 4.35 4.54 5.17 4.56 5.10 5.06 5.11 4.36 5.08 4.41 4.53 4.53 5.08 5.01 4.48 4.37 5.08 5.01 5.06 4.48 5.21 5.18 5.17 4.58 5.02 4.57 5.12 5.00 5.00 5.02 4.55 4.57 5.11 5.00 5.24 5.09 4.36 5.02 4.57 5.07 5.13 4.55 5.22 5.06 5.17 5.20 5.00 5.29 4.39 5.17 4.56

RECOMMENDED DU’A FOR DAY 05 Pray 2 Raka’at Nawafil. Recite in every Raka’ah after Alfatihah, Sura Ikhlas 50 times, then recite: Allahumma swalli ‘alaa Muhammadin wa aali Muhammad – 100 times: The say the following DU’A: “Allahummaj-‘alnee feehi minal min ibaadikas-swaaliheenal-qaaniteen. Waj’alnee feehi min ibaadikas-swaaliheenal-qaaniteen, waj’al-nee feehi min awliyaaikal muqarraben bi ra-fatika yaa arhamar-raahi’meen.” Meaning: O Allah let me be, in this month, from among those who turn repentant and ask forgiveness for their sins; let me be from among those who do good and obey (Thee); let me be from among those who are Thy close friends, through Thy kindness O the Most Merciful.



21 die in Jos flood, 35 missing By Mohammed Kandi, Abuja & Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


L-R: Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, President Goodluck Jonathan, Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, and Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, during the presidential retreat on maritime security, yesterday at the State House in Abuja. PHOTO: JOE OROYE

2015: Jonathan, PDP ask court to dismiss Njoku’s suit By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


resident Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday asked a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory to dismiss the suit seeking to stop him from contesting the 2015 presidential elections filed by a member of the party, Mr. Cyriacus Njoku. The plaintiff, who is a PDP member in Zuba ward of Gwagwalada Area Council, Abuja had, in a suit filed on March 20, 2012 prayed the court to declare that President Jonathan’s tenure

of office began on May 6, 2010 when his first term began and to also hold that Jonathan's two terms should end on May 29, 2015 having taken his second oath of office on May 29, 2011. Njoku is asking the court to stop Jonathan on the grounds that, “he is already in his second term in office, having taken oath of office as president twice". He also wants the court to explain if Section 135 (2) of the constitution, which specifies a period of four years in office for the President is only applicable to a person elected on the basis of an actual election and that the court

should also determine if the section includes when a person assumed the position of President by operation of the law as in the case of Jonathan. Njoku wants the court to hold that the section applies to Jonathan, who first took oath of office as substantive President on May 6, 2010 and took a second oath as President on May 29, 2011. Others joined in the suit were the PDP and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). When the matter came up yesterday, Jonathan through his counsel, Kelechi Normeh, in a

preliminary objection asked the court sitting before Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi to discountenance the suit. Normeh, who is holding the brief of Ade Okeaya-Inneh described the suit as, “frivolous and vexatious” and meant to make the court labour in futility because the suit was purely an academic exercise. He held that Njoku, failed to disclose reasonable cause of action, arguing that Jonathan, was currently doing his first term of four years in office as the President of Nigeria as provided by the 1999 constitution as amended.

n heavy downpour caused a dam overflow in the Northern part of Jos yesterday, leading to flooding that left at least 21 people dead and 35 others missing, the Zonal Coordinator, North Central of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Abdulsalam Mohammed has said. Mohammed, who spoke to our reporter through a telephone interview, said the flood damaged some 200 homes and destroyed property worth millions of naira belonging to the affected persons. He said the affected areas which were mainly in the Jos North Local Government included Rikkos, Gangare and Konan Shagari respectively, adding that search was still on to recover more bodies and those missing. The Coordinator further disclosed that some the victims so far included old men and women, children and young people, particularly, a 90-year-old woman and a three-month-old baby. “Rainwater and water from the Lamingo dam which overflowed swept across several neighbourhoods in the city. We are still searching for more bodies as many people have been declared missing.” he explained. He however said the agency was already making arrangements to support over 800 victims who were residing in two separate Internally Displaced Camp with relief materials.

Jonathan laments ‘embarrassing’ level of oil theft in Nigeria ... Piracy threatens $600m fishing exports - Okonjo Iweala By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday expressed displeasure over the 'embarrassing' level of crude oil theft in the country, observing that Nigeria is the only oil producing country in the world where crude oil is stolen. Speaking at the Presidential Maritime Security Retreat at the Banquet Hall of the State House, the President vowed that his government would be decisive in putting a stop to it and therefore urged all relevant agencies to cooperate in the effort. “It is embarrassing that it is only in Nigeria that crude oil is stolen. We will be decisive in putting an end to this malaise. Our charge to all relevant agencies and departments of government is to work cooperatively with the

required urgency this challenge deserves,” he said. “It is a very bad news and I believe that Nigerians and foreigners who indulge in that act need to throw their heads under the pillow because all over the world it is only in Nigeria that crude oil is stolen. We are not the only oil producing country”, he said. According to him, “we have an uncompromising obligation to safeguard our territorial waters against all threats: poaching, piracy, pipeline vandalism, coastal insecurity, crude oil theft, illegal bunkering, non-payment of statutory levies and charges, illegal entry of ships into our territorial waters, illegal importation of arms and hard drugs, among other sundry crimes. “Even though it is generally known that the West African coast

has the richest fishery resources in Africa, our inability to take advantage of our endowment has been attributed to inadequate law enforcement and industry capacity.” According to him, “Pirates frustrate fishing activities and threaten investments in the West African Coast. Higher insurance premiums and charges on ships sailing along the Gulf of Guinea impact negatively on our economy and image. He said government was determined to reverse this situation, adding “we will protect our natural resources and ensure their sustainable use for the benefit of present and future generations.” To this end the President remarked that the Maritime Operations Coordinating Committee was already working to address all illegalities in the

maritime domain. Furthermore, he pointed out that the amnesty programme was yielding the desired fruits as typified in improved security along the coasts, in offshore oil infrastructure, capacity development, and job creation. The President therefore told the participants to focus on evolving a strong intelligence base and information gathering system, and measures so that crude oil theft was completely eliminated and also deliberate on ways of strengthening regulatory oversight and deepening InterAgency partnership. Also speaking at the occasion, the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala disclosed that there has been a steady increase in piracy which she said was threatening $600million in

fishing exports. She said the cost of inadequate maritime safety and security to Nigerian society and the economy has been significant, saying“the numbers are up on piracy incidents in the gulf of Guinea from 45 in 2010 to 64 now and this is worrisome... We have unfortunately not been able to solve this issue and I wonder why.” She continued: "On the issue of increasing local participation in the sector and carbortage, the indigenous Ship Owners Association of Nigeria said that we now lose over two trillion Naira annually in capital flight to foreign countries which own vessels used to lift about 150 million tons of cargos including oil products from this country as there is no Nigerian flag ship currently plying international routes. Nigerian own vessels make up less than one per cent of the global fleets and are quite old with an average of 30 years of age. Increasing Nigeria participation in this sector will not only ensure that most of these incomes are retained locally, but will lead to increased jobs for Nigerians."



Ministry asks LGAs to tackle noise pollution


he Ministry of Environment has urged local governments to clampdown on noise pollution in their environment. Mr. Ahmed Alfa, the Deputy Director, Pollution Control Department of the ministry, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday, said the measure would help to moderate the way of life of many people. Noise pollution is the unwanted sound released into the environment, which disturbs human beings and cause an adverse effect on their mental and psychological wellbeing. Alfa said that noise pollution could cause annoyance and aggression, hypertension, high stress levels, hearing loss and sleep disturbances, among other harmful effects. He said noise pollution needed to be controlled as “it is becoming a big problem for all of us.” He noted that most local governments gave licences to some Nigerians to operate businesses without taking into consideration the environmental implication of those kinds of businesses. Alfa said: “Recently, I was addressing some local government officials on how they give out business apartments to people without considering the kind of business they intend doing. I realised that the business premises leased out to people constitute environmental hazards as well as cause disaster to the people and the environment. ” He noted that since noise had a lot of implication on human health, the standards of the World Health Organisation (WHO) must be strictly adhered to. Alfa said noise pollution could be reduced, if the government and top officials in the ministry would come out boldly to make statement that would be followed by Nigerians, instead of waiting for a written policy from the federal government His words: “Perhaps, people don’t want to be associated with the military style of governing. Even in developed world, some of the regulations are very tough. “We, therefore, have to be very courageous to make some statement that will put an end to noise pollution irrespective of the political class of people that will be affected. ” However, Alfa urged the government to sustain awareness and sensitisation efforts investing in laws that would not ne enforced. (NAN)

Family of slain customs officer petitions IGP, demands justice A By Joy Baba

lleging foul play, the family of a slain customs officer, Ibrahim Abubakar Kankia, has asked the Inspector General of

Police (IGP) to order immediate investigation into his death, with a view to bringing his killers to book. The family made this demand in a letter of complaint to the IGP

by their solicitors, Sadiq Mustapha. Sadiq, in the letter, said Kankia was brutally murdered on July 8, 2012 by Berom youths of Chit village on his way from his home town in Shendam Local Government, Plateau state. The letter further stated more people were also murdered on the

said date. It noted although the remains of most victims were recovered by the Special Task Force (STF) and customs officials during their search, Kankia’s body has not be recovered. The family urged the IGP to fish out the perpetrators of the act and those who harbour them.

CNPP faults NASS over moves to impeach Jonathan From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


hairman, Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) Benue State, Baba Agan has dismissed as “a mere ruse” ongoing moves by the House of Representatives to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan over the fuel subsidy report. Agan, who stated this in an interview with journalists in Makurdi, the state capital, stated that the impeachment move would not see the light of the day, alleging that it was a convoluted means to fleece the Presidency of funds. He also alleged that the National Assembly started the current cycle of graft when the lawmakers, under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, demanded huge sums of money as furniture allowances, “which later extended to the State Houses of assemblies as well as councilors at the local government levels.” “They enriched themselves very much to the detriment of their constituents who sent them

there to make laws. The members should check themselves before attempting to impeach the President. They are just seeking Ghana-must-go”, he said. In another vein, Agan who contested the governorship of Benue State on the platform of the Peoples’ Redemption Party (PRP) called for the impeachment of the Benue House Speaker, David Iorhemba, for alleged gross underperformance, noting that he and the Tor Tiv would stand as a stumbling block to MINDA people’s 2015 governorship project. “Aside Prof. David Ker, former Vice Chancellor of Benue State University and Dr. Samuel Ortom, Minister of State, Trade and Investment who have performed excellently no other MINDA man has done well in any responsibility he has been saddled with. So the MINDA people must organise themselves well before they can demand for the governorship seat of the state”, he stressed.

NYSC tasks corps members on job creation From Yusha’u Alhassan, Jalingo


Abubakar Ibrahim Kankia, Customs officer killed by Berom youths in Chit village of Plateau state.

araba state Coordinator, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Hajiya Zainab Isah, has urged corps members to use skills acquired during the orientation course to create jobs in their host communities. Isah gave the advice during the closing ceremony of 2012 Batch ‘B’ orientation course in Jalingo, Taraba State. She said with the skill acquisition programme corps members should develop entrepreneur spirits geared towards national development. Her words: “Let me use this medium to make it clear to you that National Service is not mere

NGF condoles with Ajimobi over mother’s demise From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


orthern Governors Forum (NGF) has described the death of Alhaja Sikirat Ajimobi, mother of Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State as “painful.” Chairman NGF and Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, described Alhaja Ajimobi’s exit as a devastating experience for the governor, especially now that he

would need her parental support and guidance. A statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Danladi Ndayebo, quoted Aliyu as urging Ajimobi to be consoled by the fact that no one would escape the clutches of death. He urged Gov. Ajimobi not to be discouraged by her death, but to forge ahead with the enormous

task of repositioning Oyo State. He said that the best tribute that Ajimobi could pay to his late mother was to continue to touch the lives of the people of the state positively like he had been doing since he was elected governor. Aliyu prayed that God would grant the deceased eternal rest and members of her family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. (NAN)

formality or fulfilling righteousness, but a duty .Hence you must strive to consciously look at ways you will deploy the knowledge you have garnered in your respective institutions of learning and the skills you have acquired to make positive impact that will culminate into bringing about the development we all yearn for.” At the event, Governor Danbaba Suntai said the NYSC was not only an agent of national integration, peace and unity, but also a formidable platform that presents numerous opportunities capable of steering the corps members to greatness through the various skills acquisition trainings, which were well packaged to combat the menace of unemployment in the country. Chairman, NYSC Governing Board, Taraba State, Abdulhadi Haruna Lau, assured that the state was “peaceful, as the government of Governor Danbaba Suntai has invested so much in security, all with a view to ensuring that lives and properties of the people are properly secured.” He urged the corps members “to go about your lawful duties without fear of intimidation or molestation.”


FG laments lack of patronage for local oil shippers By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar has decried the lack of patronage experienced by indigenous shippers in the oil industry and has hinted that the Federal Government would explore available means including legislation to change the situation. Umar who acknowledged complaints by the local shippers over low patronage, told State House correspondents in Abuja yesterday that the Federal Government would look into the matter. While noting the Carbotage Law which allows international oil companies to patronize vessels of choice, he pointed out that "there are people who are complaining that they have acquired vessels and their vessels are not patronized by the oil companies." He however noted that the private sector was faring well under the present concession policy, saying that both government and the concessionaires were living up to their parts of the bargain. "If the private sector is not faring well under the present policy, the concession in the ports would have been a total failure and all of them would have backed out of the agreement. The government is living up to expectation," he said. Meanwhile, the DirectorGeneral of NIMASA, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi has said that the agency would not relent in its effort to eradicate piracy in the nation's waterways; a crime he said was more or less armed robbery and petty thievery rather than the "piracy" with which it has been described. Also fielding questions from State House correspondents in Abuja, he said that his agency has already arrested about 15 vessels that were involved in oil racketeering but noted however that NIMASA does not have the power to prosecute them. According to him, "I have presented avalanche of arrests that have been made so far; some presented to the EFCC, some to the Navy to detain and we are intensifying effort to prosecute and in 30 days, we should curb this menace. "We are determined and right now deploying to all these areas where oil theft are occurring and we are going to give a great blow to those who are involved in the activities. But the most important thing is the will power to fight it and we are going to win the battle." Mr. Apkobolokemi observed that the greatest challenge in the maritime sector is bureaucracy, which he noted was "a little bit frustrating," advising that "maritime administration should be run as maritime administration.


NAF develops bomb-detonating robot From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


s part of efforts to check the current level of insecurity in parts of the country, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) said it is in the process of developing a robot for the detonation of high caliber bombs. According to the Commandant, NAF Institute of Technology, Kaduna, Air Vice Marshal John Oshoniyi, the institute has already developed an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), code named "Amebo," for surveillance and intelligence gathering in crises-prone areas of the country. Oshoniyi spoke yesterday at a press briefing as part of activities to mark the 41st graduation ceremony of the institute. The commandant explained

that when the project is completed, the robot would go a long way in countering the activities of terrorist groups as the detonation of bombs will not require the physical presence of a human being at the scene. According to him, "we all know that human beings have always gone to detonate bombs and in view of the danger involved, anything can happen. "It is because of this that we decided to go into research and the development of the bomb detonation robot." Oshoniyi described the UAV as the first in the African continent, noting that, "we do believe that Nigeria is capable of attaining higher pedestal in military aviation and defencerelated technology. "It is pertinent to note that following the successful launch

of the our Unmanned Aerial Vehicle-Amebo II last year, a modified and much improved version, codenamed Amebo III, was produced and exhibited during the recently concluded Air Expo 2012, organized by the Nigerian Air Force. This latest version is awaiting test flight. "In further recognition of our research efforts, the institute has been attracting interest from overseas companies who are seeking to collaborate in the area of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle development. "Brazilian Air Force has given approval for its equivalent of AFIT to collaborate with us especially in the areas of research ideas and staff development. "All these collaborative efforts are geared towards repositioning the Nigerian Air Force for

sustained employment of airpower in the realization of the vision of the current Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar. "It is equally worth mentioning that some state governments have indicated their interest in partnering with the institute towards manpower development for the respective states. "With adequate funding and political support, we can develop better operational Unmanned Aerial Vehicle that will find use in pipeline and other power line monitoring and aerial surveillance and this will ultimately reduce incidents of vandalization and sabotage thereby enhancing our economic well-being.

Manitoba takes full control of TCN By Abdulwahab Isa


L-R: Managing Director, Manitoba Hydro International, Mr. Lorne Halpenny, Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator Olugbenga Obadara, Director General, Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), Ms. Bolanle Onagoruwa, Chairman, Technical Committee of the National Council for Privatisation (NCP), Mr. Atedo Peterside, and Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji, during the signing of contract for the management of Transmission Company of Nigeria Plc (TCN), yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Unilorin VC urges students to show interest in sciences From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede has charged students in various secondary schools in Nigeria to show more interest in science and technology. Oloyede, who was represented by the Deputy ViceChancellor, Academic, Prof. Bayo Lawal, stated this at the

University Auditorium while declaring open the 2012 Greater Scientists Workshop organised for junior secondary school students in Ilorin and its environs. He stressed that no nation can claim to be developed without preference for science and technology. Oloyede noted that. "a scientist must be a keen observer and you must be willing to think

differently", adding that students should emulate Wright brothers who were bicycle repairers before they developed a prototype airplane. The Chairman of the Workshop and former Dean of the Faculty of Sciences, Prof. J. A. Obaleye, in his address said the programme was organised to create awareness on science and technology in the minds of the young ones.

ICPC/NUC decry corruption in tertiary institutions By Lambert Tyem


ndependent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and National Universities Commission (NUC) yesterday in Abuja said enough is enough with regards to corruption and illegal processes in

the nation's tertiary institutions. The ICPC Ag. Chairman, Mr. Ekeo Nta said that the Commission intends to invoke its statutory mandate derived from section 6 (b)-(d) of its enabling law to undertake a comprehensive systems study and review of the Nigerian University systems with

the principal aim of identifying and correcting corruption prone processes. Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Julius Okojie, in his remark lamented the decay in tertiary education which he said began with the emergence of state and private owned institutions.

ith the last lap of signing agreement concluded yesterday between the Federal Government and Manitoba Hydro International of Canada in respect to contract management of Transmission Company of Nigeria(TCN), Manitoba Hydro is set to formally assume control of TCN operations on Monday July 30, 2012 . The agreement will hand over the management of the Transmission Company of Nigeria to Manitoba for a period of three years, during which local workers will understudy their operations and a transfer of skills is expected to take place. The deal is reported to fetch Manitoba about $ 23.7 million or N 3.7 billion. The new management will assume control with all the eight key personnel and the associated staff. The signing ceremony was held yesterday at the premises of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE). The delegation of Canada based firm was represented by its Managing Director, Mr Horne Halpenny. He pledged repositioning the company to be efficient and effective in power supply. Speaking at the event, the Minister of Power Mr . Barth Nnaji reiterated government determination to ensure improved power supply and distribution. Speaking at the ceremony, the Director- General of BPE Ms Bolanle Onagoruwa said "the importance of this occasion is underscored by the fact that TCN is one of the successor companies created from the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). It combines the functions of a transmission services provider, a system operator and a market operator, all of which are central to the sustainability and development of the electricity sector."



Police place Peoples Daily Crime Reporter on surveillance


he Special Task Force Unit (STF) of the Nigeria police investigating the alleged bribery case of members

Katsina tertiary institutions begin strike today

of House of Representatives adhoc committee on fuel subsidy yesterday failed to arraign the Peoples Daily Crime Reporter, Mr. Lambert Tyem but opened a surveillance register for him to be reporting to the police every two weeks. The police had last week invited and detained the reporter for about six hours before

granting him bail. In what appears to be a rethink by the police of its earlier decision to arraign Mr. Tyem in court, the force decided to place him on a biweekly surveillance. The STF however, has asked the reporter to appear on the 6th of next month claiming that media report had truncated their investigations.

Mr. Tyem is charged by the police for alleged conspiracy, divulging of official secrets, hacking into police operational system and obtaining information on Hon. Lawal Farouk case through illegal means. The Reporter was detained last week Tuesday from about 11.30 am but was later released

on bail at about 5.30pm and asked to report back on Monday 23rd July by 10am to face criminal charges after his fingerprints and pictures were taken. The reporter was being followed by the police following privileged information he obtained on police involvement on the Farouk Lawan bribery scam.

From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


he Joint Consultative Forum, (JCF) of the three tertiary institutions of Katsina state have begun an indefinite strike action from today. A statement signed by the chairman of the association, Hassan Usman, Katsina Polytechnic, Comrade Tukur Dahiru Bakiyawa and five others on behalf of the union, noted that the strike was due to government’s failure to meet their demands. Some of the demands, according to the union, include the non implementation of 2012 yearly increment, payment of the remaining 50 percent union dues. Other demands include payment of salaries of the newly recruited academic and non academic staff of the three tertiary institutions and release of promotion of officers on CONPCASS/CONTEDISS 12 and above pending since July 2010. The union therefore appealed to parents, students and the general public to show understanding with the situation.

Bauchi state doles out N62.5 million for Ramadan feeding From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Bauchi state government has earmarked N62 million for feeding of over 10, 000 people during this Ramadan season. The chairman of the 2012 Bauchi state Ramadan Committee, Alhaji Salisu Barau, disclosed this while briefing pressmen at Government House Bauchi yesterday, saying that the money has already been approved to provide feeding for over 120 mosques in Bauchi and its environs. According to him, the spread of the feeding mosques will cut across different locations for effective supervision by members of the committee, adding that each member has at least 13 Ramadan feeding mosques under his supervision. The chairman of the committee who is also the state commissioner for religious affairs said the feeding funds will be disbursed to the mosques in three different installments after each 10 days based on the satisfactory conduct of the previous feeding.

Residents of Makoko community protesting over recent demolition of their houses at the Lagos state House of Assembly, yesterday in Lagos. Photo: NAN

Insecurity: Northern governors summon emergency meeting From Iliya Garba, Minna


orried by the protracted security challenges confronting the North, the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) has fixed an emergency meeting of the regional body for Thursday July 26, 2012. Chairman of the forum and governor of Niger state, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu disclosed yesterday that Northern governors were determined to put an end to the cycle of violence that has led to the loss of several lives and properties in the region. A press statement signed by Governor Aliyu’s Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo, stated that the meeting which is scheduled to hold in Abuja will come up with recommendations that would help return normalcy to the region. The statement said secretaries to the governments of the 19 Northern states will accompany their principals to the meeting.

Experts berate FG on Lassa fever centres From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


edical experts yesterday described the establishment of two Lassa fever confirmation centres to service the entire country as grossly inadequate and therefore suggested the establishment of at least one of such centre in each of the six geo-political zones of the country. They said the national approach to tackling the dreaded disease was defective “because such vital professionals as veterinarians who have the knowledge and skill to understanding zoonotic virus (causative agent carried by rodents), were not included in the

National Committee for the Control of Lassa Fever in Nigeria”. The experts took this position in Benin City at the maiden edition of Edo Vets Day organised by the state chapter of the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA), where a medical laboratory scientist and former vice chancellor of Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Prof. Dennis Agbonlahor said the continued outbreak of the disease needed attention of both the federal and state governments. Agbonlahor said measures being taken were grossly inadequate compared to attention on “Western world-propelled emphasis on diseases such as HIV AIDS, malaria and others;

whereas, Lassa fever which has so far proved to be an African killer disease is being neglected”. According to him, Research showed that between 1969 when the disease was first discovered in Lassa, Borno state and now, 86,000 victims have died while between 300,000 to 500,000 cases of disease is reported yearly in the West African states of Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. This year alone, Agbonlahor said 87 deaths have been recorded in 855 cases of the disease reported in Edo, Delta, Ondo, Rivers, Ebonyi, Kano, Yobe, Benue, Kaduna, Kogi, Oyo, Bauchi, Adamawa, Abia, Anambra, Imo states and Abuja.

Gombe warns ministries, agencies against rejection of corps members From Auwal Ahmad, Gombe


n an effort to provide a conducive environment for corps members, Gombe state government has warned ministries and other government organisations against rejection of NYSC members posted to them. The state Deputy Governor, Mr. Tha’anda Rubainu, gave the warning while speaking at the closing ceremony of the orientation of the 2012 Batch “B” National Youth Service Corps in Malam Sidi Camp,

saying that the present administration would not take kindly with any government organisation that rejects corps members. According to him, “We should all embrace them as our brothers and sisters, and assist them at all times to enable them serve in comfort”. He assured the corps members that the one year they would spend in Gombe would be a successful one, adding that their host communities were eagerly waiting for them.

Mr. Rubainu also urged corps members to be good ambassadors of their respective families and NYSC by respecting the norms and traditions of the communities within which they found themselves. Also speaking at the occasion, Head of the State Civil Service and chairman NYSC Governing Board, Mr. Eli Akeme, advised the corps members to embark on community projects that would touch the lives of members of their host communities.



Scene of the bomb blast, on Sunday at Bayan Gari in Bauchi.

L-R: Director, Public Communications, University of Ibadan, Mr Olatunji Oladejo, Director, Institute of African Studies, Professor Isaac Albert, and Dr Femi Olaoba,during a news conference on the 50th anniversary of the institute, yesterday in Ibadan. Photo: NAN

Photo: NAN

L-R: Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi, and Senior Special Adviser to the President on Marine Affairs, Mr. Leke Oyewole, briefing journalists on maritime problems in the country, yesterday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) batch ‘B’ members on parade, during the close of their orientation course, yesterday in Kaduna.

Photo: NAN



Minister tasks ICAN on transformation agenda By Maryam Garba Hassan


he Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, has called on the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) to work towards the realisation of the objectives of the transformation agenda by training professional accountants in Nigeria. Speaking yesterday while receiving the leadership of ICAN who paid her a courtesy visit in her office, the Minister said that the body has a key role to play in actualising government policies, adding that everything that government does is for economic development and for the success of the transformation programme. Rufa’i further stressed that the image of Nigeria would be better improved if accountants perform their task well and ensure the improvement of the nation’s economy. She therefore called on the president of ICAN to use his one year tenure to make a mark in the institute’s operations, assuring him of the ministry’s support to ensure a more result oriented ICAN. In his response, the ICAN president, Adedoyin Idowu Owolabi, congratulated the minister over her achievements in improving access to basic education through the Back to School campaign, the Almajiri schools launch and the four year strategic plan document recently presented to the public. He also called on the minister to support the institute’s activities toward ensuring the professionalisation of accountants in Nigeria.

ICAN President, Adedoyin Idowu Owolabi By Aminu Imam


he Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), has recorded increases in internally generated revenue through taxation as it collected N2.43 trillion in the first half of year the 2012. According to a press statement issued by FIRS and signed by its Director, Communications and Liaison Department, Emmanuel Obeta, this collection represents an increase in the revenue collection performance of N499.20 billion when compared to the total collection of N1.94 trillion for the same period in 2011. Non-oil amounted to N838.58

L-R: Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okoje, acting Chairman of ICPC, Mr. Nta Ekpo, and member of ICPC, Professor Olu Aina, during a joint press conference on system review of Nigerian universities, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Man docked for allegedly ‘robbing’ accident victims


olice in Lagos yesterday, arraigned a 32-year-old u n e m p l o y e d man, Bartholomew Mbatuonu, before an Apapa Chief Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing the property of an accident victim, who later died. The prosecutor, Cpl. John Iberedem, told the court that Mbatuonu stole three bags containing various women clothes, shoes and cash totaling N200, 000 belonging to Mrs. Georgina Chijioke, who was

involved in a bus accident around Maza Maza on the LagosBadagry expressway on July 2. Iberedem said that the accused pretended as if he was helping the accident victims and in the process stole the bags. He said that Mbatuonu, of no fixed address, was facing a onecount charge of stealing. The prosecutor said that the accused was caught with the three bags, by a ‘Good Samaritan‘ who was also helping the victims. (NAN)

Insecurity: NYSC redeploys 802 corps members From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos t least 802 out of the 1, 750 corps members posted to Plateau state was yesterday granted redeployment to other states because of the security challenges in the state. The State Coordinator of NYSC, Maram Maful, made this disclosure at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Batch ‘B’ orientation course held at the temporary orientation camp, Bukuru. He said that the 802 included


married women, pregnant, nursing mothers and those with ailments and that 30 out of the 802 that initially applied have submitted their letters to withdraw their redeployment application. Maful added that the request would be forwarded to the headquarters and urged those who would stay back to desist from joining local politics, but to participate actively in individual and group projects that would improve their host communities.

DANA crash: Coroner berates low turn-out of witnesses From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos agistrate Oyetade Alexander Komolafe, conducting the ongoing coroner’s investigation into the loss of lives in the June 3, 2011 DANA air crash, yesterday berated the low-turnout of witnesses for the proceedings on Monday. The coroner who adjourned hearings till Wednesday also said further proceedings of the inquest would be moved from the Magistrate’s Court in Abule-Egba to the Ikeja premises of the Lagos High Court to have a larger space for people to sit.


Magistrate Komolafe, while expressing his dissatisfaction with what looked like the apathy of witnesses said “Let all the witnesses know this, you are under duty to be here. “We will not be shopping for witnesses. People have to be here to give eye-witness accounts.” Barrister Chukwu Agu, representing the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, was particularly chided for not bringing his witness whom he said was working at the Homicide Section of the Force, but was absent due to an important assignment. The Coroner said Agu had to go

and inform his client that it was more important that the police witness show up as the police was actively involved in the investigation of the crash. Magistrate Komolafe, while responding to the position of Mr. Femi Falana, for him to make an order for the witnesses, for them to be compelled to appear, said he would give them a chance to appear voluntarily but would “wield the big stick” if they continued to shun the hearings. Earlier, an officer of the Lagos State Fire Service, Gbadebo Olaogun, who was the only witness, had testified about the

role of his agency in the mangement of the Dana air disaster. Olaogun explained that the crash was detected by the former Director of the Lagos State Fire Service, disclosing that he informed the Fire Sevice at 15:56 hours (3:56 pm). “At 15:57 hours, two appliances were ready. The Fire Service got there by 16:10 hours,” Olaogun said. He explained that though the Fire Service had problem with the crowd, they were able to put off the fire in the affected building and the plane within 30 minutes.

FIRS nets N2.43tr non-oil revenue in 6 months

billion out of this total collection, while receipts from oil taxes accounted for N1.60 trillion, In 2011, the Service recorded N955.19 billion in the first quarter and N985.30 billion in the second quarter. The 2012 figure represents a remarkable increase in tax collection which includes oil and non-oil revenue with both recording N1.17 trillion and N1.26 trillion in the first and second quarters respectively. This stride demonstrates the Service’s resolve, not only to achieve the N5.085 trillion set

target for the year, but to also increase the non oil taxes and lessen Nigeria’s dependence on oil as its main revenue earner. The Acting Executive Chairman of FIRS, Alhaji Kabir Mashi, had on assumption of office, early April, charged both management and staff of the Service to up the ante and ensure that the progressive history of tax revenue collection by FIRS over the years does not drop. A look at the collection from the Oil sources shows that N1.59 trillion was realised from Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), while

Gas Income (GI) accounted for N9.04 billion. Similarly, non-oil sources recorded N405.58 billion collection from Companies Income Tax (CIT), N3.35 billion for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and N3.25 for Stamp Duties in the same period. The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Import and Non-Import Value Added Tax (VAT) recorded N353.83 billion, Education Tax (EDT) accounted for N32.8, while National Information Technology Development Fund (NITDEF) yielded N8.52 billion.

Personal Income Tax (PIT) and Pre-Operational Levy (POL) on the other hand yielded N28.56 billion. A further breakdown of the collection performance trend shows that the Service so far recorded the highest collection of N554.03 billion in June, followed by N466.86 in the month of February. Other collection for the period under consideration includes N385.17 billion in April, N369.38 billion in January, N336.21 billion in March and N328.02 billion in the month of May.



Nigeria’ll soon overcome security challenges, minister assures From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide yesterday assured that the Federal Government will soon overcome present security challenges confronting the nation. Describing the situation as temporary, the minister disclosed that government is working very

hard to surmount insecurity problems adding that security of lives and property remained number one priority of the entire federal government establishments. Akinjide, who led a federal government delegation on condolence visit to Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state over the loss of his mother told newsmen that President

Jonathan is much on top of the situation to ensure peace and normalcy return to the nation. “We are very sure, insecurity is temporary and government is working very hard upon its action programs to surmount the problem. It is our priority and remains top on governments agenda led by Mr. President himself,” she said. Fielding questions on regional

crisis, she said it is only a very tiny minority that is responsible for these various regional, ethnic and religious crisis and insecurity maintained that Nigeria will overcome soon. The minister called on religious leaders to seize this holy month of Ramadan to preach peace, brotherhood and unity saying as long as we keep on with these message, many people will accept

it and live together peacefully. Delivering the President's message to Governor Abiola Ajimobi, Akinjide said the entire nation commiserate with the good people of Oyo state and the governor in particular. According to her, “Mr. President shared this moment with you and we rejoice that your left an exemplary live behind for you.”.

Corps members urged to create jobs From Yusha’u Alhassan, Jalingo


L-R: Chairman, Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), Mr. Sam Saba, with Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Chris Cooter, during the envoy’s visit to the chairman, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Niger disburses N47m for Ramadan fast From Iliyasu Garba, Minna


spart of its preparation for the Ramadan fast, Niger state government has disbursed N47 million to cater for the breaking of fast (Iftar) and the meal taken at dawn (Sahur), for the almajiri schools (Tsangaya), within Minna metropolis as well as 'Iftar' meal to the general public in 10 centres at some designated mosques in Minna, the state capital. The Commissioner for Religious

Affairs and Poverty Eradication, Alhaji Shehu Haruna, disclosed this during the flag-off of 'Iftar' programme at the premises of the ministry, said that a nine-man committee had been put in place by the state government and that already approved sum for the almajiri feeding had beenreleased to the committee. The committee under the chairmanship of the commissioner had the commissioners of Gender Affairs, Finance, Local Government and Water Resources

as members. Other members of the committee are: permanent secretaries of the Ministries of Information, Religious Affairs, Local Government, Secretary, Shari'a Commission, Special Adviser, Youth Affairs, and the Director, Administration of the ministry. Haruna said that 23 centres had been picked to serve as outlets for feeding the almajirai during the 'Iftar' and 'sahur' meals programme, just as he commended the governors' effort

and his magnanimity in this holy month of Ramadan. He said that government has made adequate provision for security to ensure that the funds released to the committee were judiciously utilised, adding that with the calibre of members in the committee, especially that majority were women, things would go in the right way and there would be no problem. Similarly, the sum of N7 million has been released to Rahma Foundation, through the Ministry of Religious Affairs, for its 'Iftar' programme during the month of Ramadan and 10 major mosques were identified to serve as centres for the feeding exercise.

he state coordinator, NYSC Taraba State Hajiya Zainab Isah has urged corps members to use skills acquired duringthe orientation course to create jobs in their host communities. She gave the advice during the closing ceremony of 2012 Batch 'B' orientationcourse in Jalingo, Taraba State. She said with the skill acquisitionprogramme corps members should develop entrepreneur spirits geared towards nationaldevelopment. “Let me use thismedium to make it clear to you that National Service is not mere formality or fulfillingrighteousness, but a duty .Hence you must strive to consciously look at waysyou will deploy the knowledge you have garnered in your respective institutionsof learning and the skills you have acquired to make positive impact that willculminate into bringing about the development we are all yearning for,” she added. Also governor of Taraba state, Danbaba Suntai said that NYSC is not only an agent of Nationalintegration, peace and unity, but also a formidable platform that presents numerousopportunities capable of steering you to greatness through the various skillsacquisition trainings which were well packaged in order to combat the menace ofunemployment which has become an issue, not only in Nigeria, but globally. Danababa Respresnted by his deputy, Alhaji Abubakar Dalandi commended theNYSC for been a blessing to the state.

Shema assures corps members of security Project Swift Count applauds From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


atsina state Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shehu Shema, has tasked all stakeholders in the state to ensure maximum security of corps members posted to their areas. Shema stated this yesterday at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Batch 'B' orientation course for corps members deployed to the state. The governor who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Alhaji

Hamza Kankia, said the government had directed security operatives, traditional rulers and local government chairmen to provide security for the corps members. He noted that considering the role of NYSC in the socio-economic development of the society, the government would continue to create enabling environment towards enhancing and monitoring the welfare of corps members. In his remarks, the chairman, NYSC state governing board, the Commissioner for Youth and

Sports, Alhaji Mannir Ibrahim Talba, said the corps members should assist their host communities with some facilities through personal community development projects. He similarly praised the initiative of the state governor for providing enabling environment for the operators of NYSC in the state. Also speakin, the state NYSC director, Mr. Ebenezer Afolalu advised corps members to make good use of the various skill acquisition training programmes of the NYSC to become self reliant.

Edo guber polls By Muhammad Sada


he recently conducted governorship election in Edo state was generally peaceful, fair and orderly as the people of the state came out in appreciable numbers to exercise their civic rights and responsibilities. This was disclosed in a paper presented on the elections by a non partisan observer group known as the Project Swift Count in Abuja. The first co chair of the group, Dafe

Akpedeye while delivering the paper, noted that voter turnout was gargantuan across the state. The people living in the rural area were equally as resilient and insistent on the exercise of their civic rights and responsibilities as their counterparts in the city centres. It was observed that, the people of the state also displayed an uncommon understanding of the electoral process and procedures and this contributed in more ways than one in the general orderliness and fairness of the election.


Former Kebbi deputy gov commends NLC over suspension of strike From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


ormer deputy governor of Kebbi state, Alhaji Bello Dantine, has commended the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state for the suspension of the one-week strike action embarked upon over the N18, 000.00 minimum wage. Speaking to our reporter yesterday in his office, he said dialogue is the best solution to any rift in the society and assured labour that government will consider their plight for the benefit of the state. “We are all serving the same government and we know what the economy is all about. So I’m appealing to the labour leaders to accept with dialogue and continue with the negotiation also…” It would be recalled that last week, labour suspended the oneweek-old strike action it had earlier embarked upon while accepting to enter negotiations with state government.


Frequent travels: Yuguda swears-in aide in Abuja From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


gainst the backgrounds of accusations of frequent travels, Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi state has appointed his Principal Private Secretary (PPS) with a charge to step up effectiveness in the pace of the administration as it enters the crucial stage of its tenure. He is Adamu Alkali a banker. A press release from the office of the governor signed by the Chief Press Secretary, Ishola Michael Adeyemi, stated that the swearing in of the new PPS took place at the

Conference Hall of the Bauchi Governor’s Lodge, yesterday in Abuja, . When asked why the swearingin was performed in Abuja instead of in Bauchi, the Chief Press Secretary responded that the governor had the liberty to appoint or perform functions of state anywhere he deemed fit. According to the release the appointment is in determination of the administration of Yuguda to make effective service delivery to the people of Bauchi state. It said that Isa Yuguda explained that the office of the PPS

was reintroduced with the aim of ensuring that government machinery is reawakened to meet the demands of the present time. It added that Yuguda said as the PPS, “you are in charge of all correspondences of the government and governor both official and public; you are to bring into administration your vast experiences so that the machinery of government will be reinvigorated to meet the demands of the present times”. In his response, the new PPS assured that he will not betray the trust and confidence reposed in

him by the governor, adding that he will do his best to deliver pointing out that there is no way he will fail considering the much that has been done by the administration for the good of the people of the state. He also assured that he will work harmoniously with all the people in the administration both civil servants and politicians because according to him, “the target is effective service delivery and whatever it takes to do that I will do with others so that the administration will complete its tenure on a sound note”.

L-R: Secretary to Sokoto state Government, Alhaji Sahabi Gada, in a handshake with Chairman, Sokoto NUJ Correspondents Chapel, Abdallah Elkurebe, during NUJ workshop for information officers on Monday in Sokoto. Photo: NAN

New perm sec urges prudence, transparency By Mohammed Kandi


he newly deployed permanent secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Linus Awute, has urged the entire staff of the ministry to embrace hard work, honesty, transparency and prudence in their duties. Awute, who stated this after officially taking over the affairs of the ministry from the former permanent secretary, Mr. Akin Diya, said staff commitment to work was necessary to facilitate rapid development of the country’s minerals and metal sectors. In a statement issued by the ministry's deputy director (Press), Marshall H. Gundu, Awute said there is the need for workers to leave a good legacy to the next generation. He charged the management and staff of the ministry to be steadfast towards nation building. His words: "With good dispositions to work, the full potentials of the nation’s solid mineral resources would be exploited for the economic growth of the country". Earlier, the acting permanent secretary, Mr. Akin Diya intimated the new permanent secretary on the activities of the sector. He added that the ministry was collaborating with the World Bank through the Sustainable Management of Mineral Resources Project (SMMRP) to boost the country's revenue base.

Adamawa records cholera cases


he Ministry of Health in Adamawa state, yesterday, said it recorded a few cases of cholera outbreak in some local government areas of the state. Dr. Chidama Barka, the state's Director for Disease Control, said in Yola yesterday that the cases were recorded in Lamurde, Ganye and some parts of Numan local government areas. Barka, who attributed the outbreak to dirtiness associated with the indiscriminate dumping of refuse, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the cases were

quickly treated and contained effectively. The director expressed concern over what he described as the ugly attitude of rampant dumping of refuse by the people. He said that the lack of commitment by the community towards environmental sanitation had contributed to the re-emergence of the killer infection in the state. Barka said, “This year we are lucky that they were pocket cases of cholera in the state. “The cases were recorded in Lamurde, Ganye and some parts

of Numan, and we are able to contain them in time. “Even though, there is no report of death, the ugly head is not buried, because refuse is still dumped around and potable water is also limited to the people. “After laboratory tests, almost all the sachet water products on our major streets contain some contaminant agents which are harmful, while empty polythene bags also poise danger to the environment”. He said that since government alone could not afford to provide

potable water for all, the private sector should step in. The director said, “Issues of environmental sanitation and provision of potable water for the people of the state cannot be done by the state government alone. “We have to come out collectively to find ways and means of making our environment clean and providing safe drinking water for our communities”. He explained that there was the need for non-governmental organisations to join government in providing drinkable water and on environmental sanitation issues to make people free from illness. (NAN)

Fasting can prevent diabetes, cancer, says nutritionist


nutritionist at the University of Ilorin, Dr. Ramota Karim, has said that fasting is capable of preventing diabetes and cancer, if nutritionally-induced. She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Ilorin that fasting could make the

digestive system to rest and flourish better, a situation she said, was healthy for the body system. “Reports have shown that cases of nutritionally-induced diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cancer can be prevented with fasting. “The physiological effect of fasting includes lowering of blood

sugar, cholesterol and systolic blood pressure related to diabetes and hypertension. “The problems lie not in the theory of fasting but more in the approach and method of implementation, most especially on the type of food taken during fasting either at beginning or

breaking of the fast. “A good break for the digestive system would make it rest, healed and flourish better,” she said. The nutritionist said that load of accumulated toxins in human body were eliminated through fasting which enabled the liver to regenerate and work efficiently. (NAN)




Lessons from Edo election


e are delighted that, contrary to widespread fears that the Edo state governorship election would be violent, it went off peacefully and Adams Oshiomhole, the incumbent governor and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, was duly re-elected. Oshiomhole won with over 400,000 votes, beating his closest rival, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Charles Airhiavbere, who secured just above 100,000. In his congratulatory message to the governor, President Goodluck Jonathan charged him "to receive the mandate given to him by the people of Edo state as an endorsement of his outstanding performance in his first term and an expression of their desire for a continuation of his focused, purposeful and dynamic leadership". Several other Nigerians have joined in rejoicing with the former labour leader in what has been unanimously agreed was a well deserved victory. However, we are dismayed by the PDP candidate’s refusal to congratulate the victor. While there is no law compelling him to shake Oshiomhole’s hand, doing so is a mark of civility and good sportsmanship. Elections are not a life and death affair. If you lose today there is always another time. Even though a sitting governor, Oshiomhole has succeeded, to the delight of not a few, in keeping at bay the marauding juggernaut

called PDP which, prior to the election, had vowed to do all that was necessary to wrest the state from the ACN. This singular act has rekindled public confidence in the electoral system in the country by making the point that the destiny of any candidate is indeed in the hands of voters if they are determined to assert their will. It is refreshing that

the vigilance of the Edo electorate in ensuring their votes did count is another vital lesson that Nigerians should take away. But for their perseverance, the result might just be different with the attendant consequence of a breakdown of law and order as occurred in the last general elections despite its huffing and puffing, the PDP was left to lick its wound in Edo – something that it is not used to doing often since the dawn of democracy 13 years ego. We are particularly pleased with the outcome of the election because there are clearly a number of lessons to be learnt from it; for the first time in a long while, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has succeeded in conducting

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an election that has been hailed as transparent and fair to the extent that the opposition parties are not even contemplating challenging the result in court. This is quite commendable and we hope the electoral body can build on that in subsequent polls. Secondly, the vigilance of the Edo electorate in ensuring their votes did count is another vital lesson that Nigerians should take away. But for their perseverance, the result might just be different with the attendant consequence of a breakdown of law and order as occurred in the last general elections. The Edo election has also proved the point that peaceful polls can hold in Nigeria if politicians rein in their greed and desperation and allow the people’s votes to count. The election has also brought to the fore the need for INEC to seriously consider staggering elections so that it can prepare very well and pool resources for their success. The vastness of this country is, without doubt, a great challenge for the election body to surmount when elections are to be held at the same time across the length and breadth of the country. While also congratulating Oshiomhole on his victory, we urge him to redouble his effort at delivering good governance to the people of his state who have stood by him. That is the much they deserve.










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


By Abdullahi Musa


igeria is a dream. Humans are familiar with dreams. A closing remark many are familiar with is: have sweet dreams. But in reality, many have experienced nightmares instead of sweet dreams. Nigeria is a nightmare to many: particularly the aspect of insecurity that ‘legitimizes’ the killing of innocent people, either on the roads or in their homes. Anybody who is following the tragedy of Nigeria with respect to ethnic/religious conflicts, will know that a military tactic employed by an ethnic mob is to block a highway that crosses through the area which they control. Any vehicle that has number plates from the area with whose residents they are in conflict will be torched, and the occupants murdered. That was the repeated practice of residents of Gonin Gora on the out skirts of Kaduna; and also of such similar practices in Plateau State. Having mentioned Plateau State, it is unfortunate that the State has over the years been identified as the killing field of Nigeria. Many Hausa Fulanis are reminded, when they see the plate numbers of a vehicle bearing Plateau State, of the thousands that lost their lives in the numerous political / religious / ethnic violence that have become the hallmark of the state. The other emotion which Plateau plate numbers evoke is that vehicles of foreign missionaries most often choose Plateau number plates. Many Muslims do believe that the foreign (white) missionaries have a hand in the


FRSC: How number plates promote ethnicity recurring mob actions that are perpetrated against Muslims and their properties in Plateau State. When we say Nigeria is a dream, we mean that it is far away from being a reality. It is something desired: a strong, populous, united nation. Now it is populous quite alright, but surely weak; with a population willing to be roasted alive scooping petrol; for the ‘inferno’ of poverty that pushed them to it seems more intense than that of petrol. Programmes such as the NYSC; quota system in military, police and other paramilitary organizations, were put in place in order to unify the numerous tribes and ethnic groups in Nigeria Alas! after nearly forty years in existence, some people feel bold and foolish enough to slaughter the innocent Corpers. If Nigeria were a united country, by seeing a vehicle number plate with Imo registration, one would not jump to the conclusion that the occupant is an Igbo from Imo State. It ought to be that she or he is a Yoruba living in Imo State. But such is the level of ethnicity that a Sokoto man having his business and home in Kano State will feel that his car must be registered in Sokoto State! This is the same even if the vehicle is registered for commercial

purposes. Some are even foolishly bold to assert: mutum ya mai da kudi gida. [that is, someone should send the money (registration fees) back home]. This level of ethnicity is less brazen and less harmful, than that which a mob unleashes when they see the number plates of an enemy country! When FRSC wanted to

states or local governments from where they originated. If there must be any classification, let it be according to the profession or business of the owner; and the town or state in which the owner is resident should not be shown (even as a code). It may not be practicable to encompass all the hundreds of thousands of different trades, but

But no change of number plate will dissuade someone who believes because he has oil he has no need for Nigeria. But while we are together, let us attempt to preserve each other’s miserable life introduce new number plates (with high fees), their intent was simply generating more revenue for the federal politicians to gobble. So in our view, because Nigeria is still a work-in-process in its becoming a united nation, we should change number plates so that they no longer identify

broad classifications may suffice: Government workers; employees of organized private sector; certain professionals who want to be classified differently; example: Doctors, Engineers, Architects and so on. I am sure politicians and accountants (they collude together to rob the nation) would

not want a separate number for their class – for they may be an enemy common to all Nigerians. These forms of classifications are examples: FRSC may devise more ingenious way; but the bottom line is: No vehicle should be identified by State or Local Governments. This is because, as Nigeria stands today, certain people consider certain states as enemy territories. We do not consider our proposal as abnormal, for if we can recollect properly, in the last census (2007?), it was not allowed to register someone’s religion. This was in order to forestall the crisis that would surely follow if one religious group is told that the other (its enemy) is more in number; particularly the Muslim versus Christian divide. As long as we insist on Nigeria as one indivisible nation, we should always be on the look-out on how to outsmart those who choose to send reason on leave from time to time. But no change of number plate will dissuade someone who believes because he has oil he has no need for Nigeria. But while we are together, let us attempt to preserve each other’s miserable life. Abdullah Musa wrote in from 557K – Nassarawa, Kano City.

Digging us out of this quagmire By Samuel Akinyele Caulcrick


he month of June 2012 a s a most harrowing experience for most Nigerians’ psyche: starting from the loss of life in the air crashes, to the upping of bombings by Boko Haram that culminated in the sacking of Nigeria’s security apparatchiks by the president. The depressing state of the nation continues unabated. Joblessness abounds and another group of NYSC graduates goes into the unemployment register. Nigeria, without doubt, is stuck in a quagmire, and getting out will require out of the ordinary wits. Every maturedmind in Nigeria do have a right to air their idea of a solution, but the future of Nigeria cannot be easily detached from its past. Providence, in its wisdom, brought all of us together to this corner of the world. That being the case, it would be myopic in hindsight to call for the dissolution of the Nigerian state as a panacea to our socioeconomic or religious problem. Nigerians easily blame the British for bringing together the “incompatible” units that make up modern Nigeria; any w

time the nation has a headache or sneezes, we blame the British. Whilst we gloat at the prospect of dissolution borne out of the present situation, we seldom appreciate the positiveness of the union in the past, in the present and a sure positivity in the future. The problems of Nigeria are conveniently and misleadingly diagnosed to serve a selfish purpose. The apparent friction in the horizontal societal plane (tribal, nepotistic or religion), if not minimum, is a mirage that is always exaggerated - this is with regrets and deepest respect to those that have lost their lives in the madness of Boko Haram. Radicalism is never desirable. The real friction is in the vertical societal ladder (poverty, inequality and injustice) - this hardly gets any mention. This is where the media and politician conspiracy is culpable. There are many instances that lay credence to the vertical friction as the source of radicalism in Nigeria. An example is the cessation of agitation during the last national protest of the removal of fuel subsidy by radical elements (Boko Haram, kidnappers and armed robber). That episode was apolitical, non

religious or tribal. Agitation, however, resumed immediately the protest was believed to have been truncated by organised labour: was that a coincidence? There is no Nigerian that belongs to a socioeconomic stratum that will honestly say he has a problem with another Nigerian in the same socio-level because of tribe, section or religion; the friction is usually diagonal; a vector of the vertical economic class, which politicians conveniently paint as tribal, sectional or religious to advance self-agenda. This is to deceive the nation that Nigeria is not enmeshed in a class struggle, but our collective denial is hurting the nation badly. The bombings of churches are not excusable for whatever reason; the Church, however, would need to stand firm in these trying times and continue to expose the hypocrisy of Nigerian leaders concerning the gap of inequality in the Nigerian society. Besides, the Lord Jesus Christ paid the utmost price for His stance on the issue. Christ’s position on inequality in society was indisputable, but these days, it is Islam that openly condemns it; whilst the new churches

openly preach prosperity regardless of the source of wealth - their silence on the gap of inequality within Nigerian society tantamount to complicity. Social inequality is very high in the far North. There exists a social arrangement that dates back to over 500 years. It allows one, among other things, to remain in the same locality where one grew up even when one’s station in life changes. This type of culture breeds jealousy and hatred particularly if a change in station-in-life of one’s neighbour is occasioned through illegality, skewed opportunity, or government patronage and not hard work. The majority of Nigerians had expected western education to propel them out of their pitiable station-in-life; instead, they see, daily, the flaunting of illegal wealth by their neighbour. You could argue that this is nationwide, but the difference in the South is that the moment one’s station-in-life changes, one often relocates to other areas where one’s economic peers reside. One could go and socialise with one’s childhood friends once in a while. This type of culture, outside

the Core North, does not precipitate jealousy or hatred of the degree that exists in the Core North, where homogeneity is well entrenched. Two childhood individuals, who had long lived side by side and see themselves daily, could become staunch enemies, because of the crazy level of inequality occasioned, not due to hard work, but government patronage and skewed opportunism. It is why some of them tore up their western education certificates in frustration - stupid all the same. The same radicalism, however, had existed in some other parts of the country, where crazy level of inequality (you may call it greed) has driven some bad elements to “bomb” the inside of our bodies indiscriminately with fake drugs - destroying our life expectancy. One could argue that these are not group victims like the victims of Boko Haram bombing. Fake drugs arguably had claimed more victims than Boko Haram - radicalism all the same. Mitigating the dire situation is possible by bridging the gap of inequality. Unlike socialism where inequality is addressed by collective bargaining and Contd. on page 14


By Ibrahim Musa


olitical analysts were surprised when on the occasion of Bamanga Tukur’s first 1000 days in office as National Chairman of the PDOP, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar sent him a congratulatory message. In the widely publicized message, from his media office in Abuja, Atiku noted that Alhaji Tukur has cut the image of a unifier, peacemaker and bridgebuilder at a critical point the party requires his strong leadership. The former vice president said the PDP Chairman has kept faith with the reconciliation policy, aimed at rebuilding the party, which was once torn apart by division and acrimony. “The passion and sincerity with which Alhaji Bamanga Tukur is trying to introduce a system in the way the party is run is a reflection of his determination to put his wealth of experience at the disposal of the party,” Atiku said. The former Vice President commended the revolutionary style of modeling the party after democratic parties like the ANC in South Africa where loyalty to the party subsumes allegiance to individuals and groups. He said these steps by Alhaji Tukur are promising signs that the Chairman is committed to the task of rebuilding the party, restoring discipline and bringing a system in which the party is run. The Turaki Adamawa wished Alhaji Tukur more good health to offer more service to Nigeria, PDP and Africa at large. The message came as a surprise because in the heat of the campaign to install


Atiku and Tukur: Friends at last? an angry reaction to the result, Bamanga Tukur as National candidate. Chairman, a lot of bad blood had Musa Babayo a former Tukur himself described Atiku passed between Atiku and Tukur. secretary of the party scored 14 as “a desperate politician with a It was of course public knowledge votes to beat Tukur who got 2 threatened ambition.” He claimed that Atiku’s that Atiku did not want Tukur to votes, with Alhaji Ibrahim Bunu emerge as the National and Dr Shettima Mustapha also ambition has gradually become Chairman. Reasons for this were getting 2 votes each. Former a threat to the nation and called not far-fetched. Bauchi governor Ahmadu on well-meaning Nigerians to Atiku is from North East geo Adamu Mua’zu and outgoing PDP call Atiku to order. In a political Zone; statement and so is entitled “Why Tukur. Atiku is Atiku is After f r o m Me”, Tukur said A d a m a w a Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text the former Vice state and so is messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written President did not Tukur. Atiku is contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 want anybody from Jada from Adamawa L o c a l words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and state to occupy Government a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed the PDP and so is to: chairmanship Tukur. Atiku because of the has ambitions The Editor, belief that his to run for the Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, ambition would Presidency in 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. be jeopardised. 2015 and given Email: let Despite this the PDPs policy SMS: 07037756364 initial set back in of zoning his zone. political offices, Bamanga Tukur it is unlikely that the party will zone the publicity secretary Rufai Alkali still went ahead to clinch the position of National Chairman at presidency and the National scored 1 vote each. Chairmanship of the party to the Announcing the result, the convention of the party in same Zone, same state and same outgoing PDP national vice Abuja. In a surprise move at the Local Government. chairman (Northeast) Senator convention, all the candidates In preparation for the national Paul Wampana said the vote that had contested against Tukur convention, the North East Zone would not preclude the losing at the zonal meeting in Bauchi of the party to which the position candidates from standing for the stepped down. Announcing their of National Chairman was zoned chairmanship at the convention withdrawal from the race at the had organized a primaries of some in Abuja. He said party convention ground in long sorts. At the event, Bamanga stakeholders decided to endorse stretches of minutes at the Square, several Tukur was roundly defeated. The Babayo because he has been a Eagles candidates took turns to People’s Democratic Party zoned party insider for a long time. its national chairmanship to the It was widely believed in the withdraw their ambitions citing North east, and the zonal leaders Tukur camp that the vote was “directives” from party leaders, took a vote to decide who should manipulated by Atiku Abubakar and also claiming to be acting in be presented to the national to frustrate Tukurs ambition to the overall interest of the party. But Atiku’s current convention as consensus emerge as national chairman. In

reconciliatory mood could be seen from his reaction to the result of the convention. In a statement by his Media Office, Atiku said that he was impressed with the peaceful conduct of the election, which produced Dr. Bamanga Tukur as the national chairman, describing it as a welcome development. The statement added: “In congratulating all the newlyelected executive members of the party, Atiku implored them to quickly move to heal whatever wounds that may have been inflicted on fellow party members by some of the bruising contests through which they emerged. He restated his earlier commitment to working with whoever emerged as leaders as a committed and loyal party member. The present acts of friendship between the two political heavy weights from Adamawa is indicative of what may happen as 2015 draws near. There is an unusual atmosphere of friendship in the air. For now, it is evident that the two political heavy weights from the North east are keeping religiously to the political philosophy of another heavy weight from their zone, the late Ibrahim Waziri who popularized the philosophy of politics without bitterness in the second republic. Needles to say, the whole nation is waiting on the two statesmen, hoping they will keep the present pace. Ibrahim Musa wrote from 5 Nepa Road, Jimeta Yola.

credited to Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos recently after her convoy caused a massive traffic chaos in Lagos during a visit.” In most ... democratic countries ‘First Ladies’ are NOT entitled to a ‘convoy’... Her words: “We the wives of political office holders, if our names are not in the constitution and our husbands retire with benefits, the constitution amendment should also look into the issue of wives of political

appointees.” Re: WHAT??? “We should be included in the constitution so that we too can retire with benefits. With that, we can enjoy our career.” ... Nigerian-style it must read: “with FULL benefits”! “Mrs. Jonathan, who expressed dismay over the uproar her appointment as Permanent Secretary has generated in the last few weeks, cited several countries, including South Africa and America, where wives of presidents have held ministerial and other sensitive positions in government.” Mrs. Zuma – for one – has been divorced from Mr. Zuma! As far as I know even Mrs. Mugabe has no ministerial portfolio. And what portfolio did Turai hold? Who is dat woman in America? Mrs. Clinton’s husband left office many years ago! Does the Dame want to become an Imelda Marcos??? Seems she DOES! And now back to her job of teaching Umblellalism ... and kia-kia so! No, I take that back! Her job as the chief joker at ASO is fine with me: it is! Over to you: praise-singer Dr. Reuben!!!


Mrs Umblella is wrong and ... By Gerd Meuer


ame Umblella is wrong and wrong and a very bad comic! And this is

why. “She was pained by the criticism, particularly because, according to her, wives of presidents in other parts of the world hold sensitive positions, including ministerial ones.” Dame Umblela, please tell me where!! What ‘sensitive positions’ do hold:

Mrs. Hollande, sorry Mrs. Trierweiler, Mrs. Monti, Mrs. Obama Mrs. Merkel’s husband is a professor of medicine. The list of wives NOT ‘holding’ anything could be prolonged – endlessly. And that ad libitum, since normally the ‘Dames’ are banned from holding ... such ! “She expressed disappointment that the 1999 Constitution does not recognise the office of the First Lady and assigns her no role.” In almost all democratic countries there is no such ‘office’

as that of a First Lady! “She asked that this be corrected in the constitution review, so that when a president’s wife leaves office, she, like her husband, can enjoy retirement benefits.” What??? “She said for Nigeria to develop, it is imperative that first ladies are assigned c o n s t i t u t i o n a l responsibilities.’ ... Double-what? (such reasoning is ... ir-responsible ...) “She appeared particularly shocked by a statement

Digging us out of this quagmire Continued from page 13

government ownership of business, capitalism redresses inequality through robust tax system and open judiciary. Whereas socialism gives all the people uniform to wear, as it was in China; capitalism allows competition and choice of what to do with resources - then taxes individuals for common good. A robust tax program, and an unbiased judiciary are important tools in a capitalist

system. The country needs, more than anything, a tax reform for prosperity, security and the fight against corruption. We cannot embrace capitalism without a tax reform that guarantees that everybody pays tax and the rich paying their fair share. I am, therefore, calling on all Nigerians to join in the push for a tax reform in Nigeria. The National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, ought to be negotiating with the

rich to embrace tax reform. This will diffuse the bombs of Boko Haram, MENDS and those of fake drug dealers, with automatism. Besides, the unpaid tax, particularly of the rich in the society, it is what is the deficit in the public treasury that ought to provide electricity for all, fill the potholes on our roads, fix the hospital, repair the educational sector, and mitigate the war against corruption. Nigeria needs a tax bill that

criminalises tax evasion in our fight against corruption. In the U.S. tax evasion is being used as a tool to curb the excesses of the underworld, particularly the mafia. It should not matter if the wealth is stolen or earned legally; the short-changing of Nigeria’s treasury should be seen as the most heinous crime against the state. Samuel Akinyele Caulcrick wrote in from Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.A.


By Abiola Olaifa he President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan has not ceased to amaze me with his ideals, mannerism, policies and style of leading a country as big and diversified as Nigeria. This man, from my viewpoint wanted Nigeria to work, but he clearly lacked the bite required to drive the change and these shortfalls have long been detected by his detractors who are using these against him with full force. President Jonathan comes across as someone who has sincerity in his towel, but no purpose to achieve, a toothless dog, trying to bite. I have taken time to look at his drive and management strategies as president; I cannot but add him to the long list of Nigeria’s failed leaders. I won’t be doing any form of injustice to his person, if I rank him a failure as all indices from every part of the economy shows he does not seem to have a clue how to sort Nigeria out. Nigerians will agree with me that there is no noticeable difference in the economy he inherited; if anything has changed, it is for the worse. Nigeria deserves international award for country with the most failed leaders. I particularly pity this shoeless man from Otukpo, whose fate or luck has pushed to a position that is bigger than him. President Jonathan by my conviction would have done better as a university professor, teaching psychology and physiology, perhaps doing a bit more as the dean of a faculty. I


By John Igoli It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce he Nigerian has no time to seduce you, he imposes himself on you. A Nigerian must be noticed as soon as he arrives or speaks. The Nigerian is such an expert in everything that he has nothing more to learn. The Nigerian reels off degrees, qualifications, affiliations, foreign travels and conference/workshop attendances to such an extent you are left wondering what more does he need. The Nigerian has all plans, ideas, potentials and track records of success or for achieving success. Yet the Nigerian is the most in need of help. This is the point our leaders have refused to understand. They behave as typical Nigerians and have no time to seduce the people. All they believe in is give the people promises or some people money and they will follow. This is why the Nigerian is easily seduced. The Nigerian just like an encyclopaedia always has room for one more entry thus he is always looking out for new friends, acquaintances, business and job opportunities or opportunities to speak. Appearance matters a lot to the Nigerian so the first step in capturing his attention is to dress formally or completely with all the paraphernalia of clothing. A three piece suit complete with tie, cuff links and buttons or traditional wears fully garnished with wrist watch, rings, necklaces etc. If you can top up this with a big oversized car with air conditioner and music then you need not do anything else.



President Jonathan’s now familiar style or lack of it

recon it is not his fault to have reached this position in any effect, perhaps we should blame fate, luck and all the rest of us, who have pushed him and Nigerians into this colossal disaster, we cannot but blame each one of us for the situation we find ourselves. President Jonathan is a product of our failed society and I do not expect too much from him. I sometimes have pity for the president, but my pity or that of anyone else or his crying in a crash site is not what we need. If pity or crying is the solution to any problem, perhaps the world would have been a house of weeping and every problem resolved instantly. I believe that this man clearly lacks any measure of guts required at the level he found himself. He has also been unlucky to be a product of a corrupt driven gang, who have manipulated the economy of Nigeria for decades, these gangs are still not ready to let go and have inducted him into their cabal of economic manipulators, reducing him to a puppet in their hands. President Jonathan is obviously confused, another accidental leader and not prepared for the job like his predecessors. Nigeria’s job should not be left for luck or superstition. It is a job that requires preparation, good foresight, the drive to achieve

in the midst of oppositions and a relentless drive. Looking back at the history of Nigeria and its various leaders across all sectors, not many really understood and grasped the concept of leadership and what leading a developing nation like Nigeria entails. They see their position as an act of luck or a present from their god, which is why they simply use the proceeds to their advantage at the detriment of the whole nation. They make a lot of noise; feed their insatiable greed and bigmanism, with no discipline to back up their promises. They are easily subverted by wealth and

Do also have four or more mobile phones, one for each network in Nigeria and spare SIM cards which you have to change or talk about from time to time. Ensure that you have at least one blackberry phone in your arsenal and always interrupt your conversation by answering very important calls. Laugh and smile a lot when answering such calls and let the Nigerian know how highly placed your caller was. If you can update your online status every minute or two or ‘ping’ continuously then you are his idol. Next, if you are going to offer the Nigerian a position, make sure it is prefixed with terms such as: special, chairman, chief, senior, permanent, executive, regional, foreign or sole or manager. So call your messenger a senior special adviser or assistant. There are so many titles for jobs in Nigeria. Just choose any high sounding or flattering one, it does not matter what salary you pay the Nigerian. It does not matter to a senior driver that there is no junior one below him! Similarly an executive secretary is not bothered that he has no executive powers. Another way to win a Nigerian is to massage his ego. Know areas he has excelled in and praise him to high heavens. The Nigerians ego includes his car, the school he attended especially if abroad, his parents, if they are political leaders, his church or church leader if he is a pillar in the Church. Other assets include his wife, if they are recently

married and his children if they are still very young. Also his titles, be they academic, honourary, traditional or religious. Do not omit any one he has. It is your job to know how to prioritise them or call them. Hence we can easily have chief professor ambassador honourable prefixing his name. Nigerians have introduced DIV (doctor in view!). Next time you meet a Nigerian tell him he is not just standing out, he is outstanding, he is not ordinary he is extraordinary, he is not just natural he is supernatural. Another way is appearing helpless and depending on him for assistance. Since he has all the answers, the Nigerian easily takes up the role of the deliverer of the helpless and defender of the cheated. Even though he will not deliver on his promises for help make sure you

material things. These attributes have continued down the lane of Nigeria’s leadership, every elected or nominated leaders believe they are more important than every other citizen, so can get away with anything they do. I enjoin President Jonathan to re-appraise his administration’s performance and ignore the advice of his corruption-driven god-fathers and rich friends whose interest is only in their pocket. President Jonathan is already tolling the path of Nigeria’s failed leaders, with no apparent solution in place to fix the mess

I enjoin President Jonathan to reappraise his administration’s performance and ignore the advice of his corrupt driven god-fathers and rich friends whose interest is only in their pocket. President Jonathan is already tolling the path of Nigeria’s failed leaders, with no apparent solution in place to fix the mess everywhere

everywhere. It is one thing to accept there are problems and another thing to desire a solution to the problems. President Jonathan and all other Nigerian leaders across board need to accept there are many problems, which require immediate solution. Every Nigerian deserves quality standard of living and a future they can look forward to. They deserve to have good roads to reduce daily deaths through accident, constant electricity, clean water, affordable transportation, education, reliable health system and other basic amenities required to maintain a normal life. Nigerians also need to come together and do their best to move their nation forward. Let’s do away with tribal/ religious reasons for choosing a leader and avoid bloodshed among ourselves. Nigeria has already seen leaders from every part of the country, and from different religious units, but this has not changed the condition of the country. In conclusion, what we require is not someone from our clan or religious group, but a leader who can cause the change we desire. Abiola Olaifa is reachable through

How to seduce a Nigerian believe him or appear to trust him. The Nigerian prefers to help other in situations that he needs help himself. He is the best adviser, he always knows somebody relevant in every office or someone who knows someone in the office. He has lots of uncles, aunties, brothers or sisters who are all highly placed. He needs help but has no time for it. He needs to learn but has no time to study. He needs to earn but has no time for work. He needs to be rich but has no time for investment in people or business. However, the true Nigerian is impressed by hard work, advancements and challenges. He never gives up in his quest to survive and surmount his obstacles. This is what the people of Edo state have proved with the resounding victory of their Governor elect. Comrade Adams

Another way to win a Nigerian is to massage his ego. Know areas he has excelled in and praise him to high heavens. The Nigerians ego includes his car, the school he attended especially if abroad, his parents, if they are political leaders, his church or church leader if he is a pillar in the Church. Other assets include his wife, if they are recently married and his children if they are still very young

Oshiomhole has completely seduced the people of the state. He may not have needed money to win their votes as he has already won their hearts. First he was not so welcome but now he is most welcome. This is a clear message to other leaders in Nigeria. An honest leadership coupled with selflessness will certainly earn you the people’s confidence and trust. Trying to seduce us with money, power, show of wealth and other vain activities may last for a while but when we have the chance to have a say it will be loud and clear; we were never deceived, we were just helpless and bidding our time. The Nigerian has been so shortchanged by leaders that he now focuses on vanities such as religious inclinations, tribe or tongue, imaginary poverty or expected wealth rather than real issues. He will not work hard but would rather boast and drown others with the noise of his potentials expectations and disappointments. He will always end with if they would allow us or allow me, I would have made it or we would have been a great nation. This is the message we inadvertently send out to the world or to would be patrons. If only our leaders know how to seduce us no Nigerian would have been abroad lamenting away his life or using the internet as a placebo and post our boasts of imaginary comforts and achievements. John Igoli can be reached at



DRTS arraigns 48 for violating traffic rules By Josephine Ella


The owner of this Peugeot 406 loaded two mattresses on the roof of his car in order to save cost as seeing along Airport road, in Abuja, recently. Photo: Joe Oroye

NYSC flouts FG’s new posting policy By Josephine Ella


he National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Federal Capital Territory (FCT) yesterday, flouted the new policy of the Federal Government(FG) as regards the posting of corps members for their national service, when it deployed hundreds of the youths to the Federal Capital Territory Administration(FCTA). Less than four months ago, the FG had in a new policy thrust, said that National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) postings would now be in the sectors of Rural Health, Primary and Secondary Education; Rural Infrastructural Development and Agricultural Development. The information was contained in a circular by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, to top government functionaries in the three arms, Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of ExtraMinisterial Departments and Statutory Agencies. Issued from the office of the Minister of Information and signed by Henry A. Angulu, the statement had indicated that the resolution was to restore national integration and youth empowerment as the core objectives of the NYSC Scheme, a policy which has been distorted and abused, thus defeating the

•••FCTA rejects corps members

purpose of facilitating national integration and economic transformation and the development of participating corps members. “The new policy is set to discourage highly placed government officials and influential members of the society from seeking for concessionary posting for prospective corps members specifically to metropolitan cities like Abuja, Lagos and others, contrary to the spirit of the NYSC scheme,” the statement reads in part. It noted that the resulting inequitable posting has led to disproportionate distribution of corps members, “leading to management dysfunction such as over-crowding at NYSC Camps in high demand states, under utilisation and rejection of corps members”. However, in an apparent violation of the policy, the FCT NYSC, deployed hundreds of corps members to the FCTA, for the compulsory one year national assignment, who were eventually, rejected by the administration. Although, the corps members were delighted to receive their posting letters, after successful completion of the three weeks

orientation exercise at the Kubwa Orientation Camp, their joy soon turned sore, when upon their arrival at the FCTA secretariat at Area 11, Garki, they were turned away. Peoples Daily gathered that the corps members in their hundred were told that the administration would not be able to accept anyone of them. It was further gathered that the resolution of the administration to reject the Batch ‘B’ corps members was reached at a meeting earlier, where it was unanimously agreed that the NYSC FCT was over burdening the administration with the hordes of corps members it was continually sending to it. Privy to this, officials of the administration, were said to have wasted no time in issuing out the rejection notices to the corps members, as they were already at it barely one hour after the orientation ceremony at Kubwa came to an end. Reliable sources in the administration disclosed that the FCTA had an understanding with the FCT NYSC that only 400 corps members would be posted to it for every batch. However, the NYSC had

continued to bombard it with more corps members than it could cater for. “For the 2012 Batch ‘A’ alone, they sent us 1915 corps members against the 400 agreed on. Ever since they reported, where to post them had been a problem and if you go to some of our schools, you will find as many as 65 corps members posted there just idling away. “Even to pay them is a big problem for the administration and it has been decided that we cannot take anymore than we already have,” a source who preferred anonymity said. A cross section of the corps members who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity expressed disappointment at the development. Hence, they appeal to the government to scrap the scheme since it had reached a level where even government agencies would no longer accept corps members to serve in their establishments. Meanwhile, the Coordinator, FCT NYSC, Mr. Frank Ekpunobi would not speak much on the matter. He simply said, when contacted that no corps member had returned to him with a rejection letter from the FCTA.

he Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS), otherwise known as VIO has in the last one month arraigned a total of 48 traffic offenders to serve as deterrent to their erring motorists. The Minister of the FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, who revealed this while reviewing traffic situation in the territory in his office at Area 11, Garki I District, Abuja said the DRTS has been having regular sitting of this Mobile Court for the purpose of prosecuting traffic offenders. He said this was in a bid to tackle the perennial traffic problems in the Federal Capital Territory especially within the Abuja metropolis at peak hours, adding that with this, the problems associated with all traffic offences may be coming to an end. He disclosed that so far, the Mobile Court have sat at AYA, Games Villages, Area One under Bridge, Maitama Junction by Habiba Super Market, Dei-Dei Junction, Kubwa Junction, Bwari Junction, Dutse Alhaji Junction and Gwagwalada by Giri Junction. Senator Mohammed reiterated the regular sitting of this Court is complementing other measures put in place by his administration to address the issue of traffic law violations in the FCT. In its efforts towards sanitizing the environment of the Capital City, the minister remarked that within this one month, the DRTS has successfully closed down colonies of illegal mechanic workshops in Utako, Central Business District, Jabi, Maitama, Wuse, Garki I and Garki II. Senator Mohammed further disclosed that in the course of closure of these workshops, 22 abandoned vehicles were evacuated, while 10 accidented vehicles from Kado Estate Roundabout and Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Expressway (Airport Road) were removed. “In addition, we evacuated 40 accidented and abandoned vehicles from the Abuja Leasing Company’s office in Katampe District,” he added.

Estate developer faults indigenes, resettlement scheme By Adeola Tukuru


n estate developer in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has faulted the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA’s) resettlement scheme for

Abuja indigenes. The developer, Engr. Karma Adeniyi of Kingsnazzy Limited, during a press briefing, condemned the FCTA’s method of relocating original FCT indigenes, saying that it was a wrong way of settling the problems.

He said: “The Nigerian factor of plenty promises and little action is what is affecting the resettlement of Abuja indigenes. The FCTA claimed that the indigenes have been resettled, but it is false, because these indigenes clamour for settlement and several reports to the Minister

of FCT have yielded no result”. Continuing, he added: “Secondly, infrastructures are not in place and a real estate developer price is so high that developers resort to using substandard materials to maximize profit. A working government must enforce policies,

because affordable houses will not drop in our palms if there is no enforcement. Mass housing in Abuja will not commensurate with minimum wage, until the satellite towns are opened for development of low cost housing estates that they are made for”.



Al-Muhibbah donates empowerment tools to 300 women, youths By Josephine Ella


o fewer than 300 women and youths in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) smiled home at the weekend with various empowerment tools worth millions of Naira. The items which includes that 52 generating sets, 40 grinding machines, foodstuff, wrappers, hairdressing and catering equipment were donated to the beneficiaries by a non-governmental

organisation (NGO), AlMuhibbah Foundation. Beneficiaries, who were drawn from the six area councils of the FCT, were equally provided with capital to advance their skills in an event which commemorated two years anniversary of the foundation set up by the wife of the FCT Minister, Hajiya Aishatu Bala Mohammed. The event had in attendance the wife of the Nigeria president, Dame Patience Jonathan and wives

of other top government functionaries. Speaking at the event, Hajiya Aishatu disclosed that the foundation’s initial mandate was to rehabilitate, beautify and modernize existing Christian and Muslim cemeteries. However, the organisation had to expand the scope to accommodate humanitarian and welfare services to the needy and the vulnerable in the society. Also speaking, Dame

Jonathan observed that the donation would make the beneficiaries self-reliant and able to contribute to economic development of the country. She said the empowerment programme for women and youths was important in achieving Millennium Development Goals. Describing the donation as a worthy initiative, the president’s wife urged beneficiaries to make good use of the items.

Council boss appeals to FCTA to rehabilitate Bwari township road By Usman Shuaibu


he Chairman of Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory(FCT), Hon. Peter Yohanna Ushafa, has appealed to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to expedite action on the rehabilitation of the Bwari township road. Addressing journalists in Bwari, he appealed the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed and his counterpart, the FCT Minister of State, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide to compel the contractor handling the road project to begin work immediately. The contract on the road project had been awarded by the FCTA to a contractor for a long time now, without execution. He said that the residents of the council were not happy over the abandonment of the road by the contractor and urged the two ministers to deem it fit to arrest the situation. Commenting on agriculture, the chairman said the council had finalised arrangements to pay its counterpart funds on the ten tractors allocated to the council by the FCTA to enable them release them to farmers.

Court jails man for stealing motorcycle

A Some milling and sewing machines donated to women and youths by Al-Muhibbah Foundation at the weekend.

Photo: Josephine Ella

Ex-FCT minister appointed BOT chairman of academy By Adeola Tukuru


ormer Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dr. Aliyu Modibo Umar has been appointed as the first Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of Islamic Leadership Academy in Kuje, Abuja. The school’s education secretary, Alhaji Musa Kalu said the management of the academy,

resolved to appoint the members of Board of Trustees as part of cardinal body in establishing an Islamic school. Kalu said that the school is a faith based school for boys and girls that delivers and implements the national curriculum in line with the authentic teachings of Islam. He further said that the board which consists of eleven (11) members has among others as it terms of reference, to advise the

management of the school accordingly, to guide the school management on important managerial issues and to source for fund for the school’s development. Responding, the chairman of the BOT, Dr. Aliyu Modibbo thanked the management for choosing them to serve at this capacity, adding that this is one of the areas they can also contribute their quota to the upliftment of Islam.

He called on other members to be more committed as every act of their participation will be rewarded by Allah. Modibbo used the opportunity to call for the unity among the Muslim Ummah, as he also called on well to do individuals in the society to come up with institutions like this, noting that cultures of Islam and traditions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is the base of the school.

Gwagwalada chair solicits support for sport development By Usman Shuaibu


he Executive Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Hon. Zakari Angulu Dobi, has called on corporate bodies and sport fans to partner with the area council in the area of sports development. Dobi, made the call while

delivering his speech during the final match of the 2012 Chairman’s football cup competition which took place at the Government Secondary School Gwagwalada. He said that the 2012 football competition had recorded a tremendous success in the area of discovering new talents and fostering unity among the football players across communities in the

area council. “The yearly chairman’s cup has served as a platform via which the youths are positively engaged,” he said. The chairman praised the football clubs that participated in the one – month sporting activities for the spirit of sportsmanship which they exhibited throughout the competition.

He also thanked the sports section of the council and those who have contributed immensely towards the victory of this year’s edition for a job well done, while advising the losers of the football competition to admit the defeat in good faith. At the end of the completion, the Real Marshal Football Club defeated Sheikh Hamdam football Club by 7-6 by penalty kicks.

n Abuja Senior Magistrate’s Court has sentenced 26-year-old Muntari Abubakar of Tipper garage Lugbe, Abuja, to six months imprisonment for stealing a motorcycle. Abubakar was in court on a twocount charge of conspiracy and theft, an offence which contravened section 79 and 288 of the Penal Code. Police Prosecutor, Paul Anigbo told the court that the case was reported at Lugbe police station by one Julius Nnene of Zhidu village, Abuja on July 7, 2012. Anigbo said that the accused connived with one other man, now at large, and stole a Bajaj motorcycle belonging to the complainant. Anigbo presented the complainant’s payment receipt of ownership of the motorcycle to the court as evidence. The accused pleaded guilty, saying that he sold the motorcycle for N30,000. ”I lost my parents and presently do not have anybody to help me financially ’’ the accused said. Magistrate Omolola Akindele in her ruling sentenced Abubakar to six months imprisonment for conspiracy and another six months for theft, without an option of fine. Akindele said both sentences would run concurrently. She also ordered the accused to pay N112, 000 to the complainant being the cost of the motorcycle, adding that if the convict fails to pay the amount he would serve another six months in prison. (NAN)



A lady expressing her anger over an accident that damaged her car on Airport Road, recently in Abuja.

Photo: NAN

Old women waiting for alms, yesterday in Lugbe, Abuja. Women patronising second hand clothes, yesterday at Wuse market, in Abuja.

A young man having local manicure treats, yesterday in Area 1, Abuja.

Keke NAPEP driver fixing his faulty engine, yesterday in Durumi, Abuja. Photos: Justin Imo-Owo






- Pg 20

Ogoni Report: FG establishes hydro-carbon

Mob: 08033644990

Depot owners begin strike By Udenna Orji with agency report


he Jetty and Petroleum Tank Farm Owners of Nigeria (JEPTFON) went on an indefinite strike yesterday over unpaid subsidy arrears. The union said on Friday it would shut its members’ jetties and depots from yesterday, July 23, 2012, if the Federal Government did not make outstanding fuel subsidy payments. “Until the above demands are met, the association has no option than to shut its operations nationwide and suspend workers with effect from July 23,” a JEPTFON statement said. This could result in fuel shortages because Nigeria relies on imports for most of its petrol and diesel needs.

Oil exports set to fall

N Renowned author, Professor Ngugi wa Thiong’o (middle) flanked by GMD/CEO, UBA Plc, Mr Phillips Oduoza and MD, UBA Foundation, Ms Ijeoma Aso, with students of secondary schools in Lagos at the launch of ‘Read Africa’ 2012; a UBA Foundation initiative to encourage reading among the youth, held in Lagos on Monday.

African Central Bank: Governors close ranks on formation of continental body By Abdulwahab Isa


ork towards setting up African Central Bank (ACB) have scaled up to advanced stage as Central Bank Governors for the region are billed for meeting next month at Algiers the capital city of Algeria to ratify its establishment. The body converged yesterday in Abuja to deliberate on its formation. The Chair of the technical committee on the development of the draft document Dr. Rene N’ Guettia Kouassi, Director for Economic Affairs, Commission of the African Union said the draft document on the creation of the ACB will be reviewed in Abuja this week. As prelude to draft document

reviewed, he said that African Central Bank Governors will first study the document before it is adopted as a working tool for the creation of the African Central Bank and then the “document will be admitted in to the organs of African Union.” He said his group was “very close to the desired goals as the experts have submitted the draft documents that African Central Bank governors will look at in Algeria in August.” The goal of the technical committee he said is to look at the draft document and fine tune it to get it into the good form that is desired by African countries.” Aside from the creation of the African Central Bank, the continent plans to have its own African Investment Bank which will be in Libya; the African


23rd July, 2012 BUYING 0.269 187.5253 240.5287 41.2996 154.89

SELLING 0.289 188.736 242.0816 41.5662 155.89


BUYING 207 258 40 165

SELLING 209 260 42 169

by the assembly of African Central Bank Governors an organogram will be developed and the financial implications which will impact on contributions of the member states will be decided. On his part, the Co-Chair of the committee, Mr. Ralph Tseka, Director Governor’s office Reserve Bank of Malawi said the creation of the African Central Bank is at the heart of the African common currency and the central bank documents from the joint technical committee was instrumental to the creation of both organs. The document he explained is designed to produce a road map for the establishment of ACB and the meeting in Abuja will be held to harmonise the five regional blocs of Africa to form the ACB.

Management Tip of the Day



Monetary Fund in Cameroon and the ACB in Abuja Nigeria. All these financial institutions he said will however receive the final endorsement of the African Heads of State. He noted that the institution of a common currency was symbol of autonomy of Africa, as the African Union (AU) and ACB governors have agreed to get experts to come up with draft document. Dr. Rene N’ Guettia Kouassi stated that the conference of Heads of States, if they endorse the document, will seal the fate of the ACB and common currency for Africa. He however did not say when the conference of Heads of State will meet to take that crucial decision. If all the African Monetary Institutions (AMIs) are accepted


Start your team on the right path

ny manager who has put together a team — be it large or small, in-person or virtual — knows how difficult it is to get a group started off right. Next time you have to launch a team, try these three things to improve your chances of success:

Foster trust. People who trust one another tend to get work done quickly. Encourage an environment where people feel free to speak their minds. Quickly acknowledge mistakes. No group can succeed without correcting itself along the way. Candid and timely

conversations are essential. Be clear about expectations. The clearer the mission, the better the team performance. Everyone must know what is expected of them, in as granular a way as is practical. Source: Harvard Business Review

igeria’s exports are set to fall to an 11-month low of 1.81 million barrels per day (bpd) in September, a provisional loading programme showed yesterday. According to Reuters report, Nigeria will ship a total of around 55 million barrels of oil in September compared to around 68 million in August, it showed. (Reuters)

Unity Bank posts N2.99bn profit


he Unity Bank Plc has declared a profit after tax of N2.99 billion for the halfyear ended June 30. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this represented an increase of 63.4 per cent against N1.83 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2011. This is contained in the company’s unaudited result released by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday. It said that its profit before tax stood at N3.53 billion as against N2.15 billion recorded in 2011. The company’s gross earnings also rose to N25.93 billion as against N20.99 billion posted in the comparative period of 2011, representing an increase of 23.5 per cent. The company’s net assets stood at N47.35 billion as against N47.34 billion recorded in the preceding year. NAN recalls that the bank recorded a dismal performance for the financial year ended Dec.31, 2011 with a profit after tax of N2.43 billion. It was against N12.49 billion posted in 2010, representing a decrease of 80.5 per cent. (NAN)



COMPANY NEWS CIBN to address challenges of e-payment


he Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has concluded arrangements to organise a Business Managers Roundtable, with a view to creating further awareness, proffer solutions to the various challenges occasioned by e-Payment system.

Council seeks adequate budgetary provision for shipping industry

By Muhammad Nasir


he Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has expressed concern at the attitude of the House of Representatives towards the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) sent to it by the Presidency. Reacting to the recess embarked upon by the National Assembly last Thursday, PENGASSAN President, Comrade Babatunde Ogun described the action of the legislators as a mark of gross insensitivity to Nigerians and lack of appreciation of the criticality of the oil industry to the nation’s economy.

PENGASSAN charges National Assembly to cut short vacation He noted that the lawmakers consider going on vacation and luxuriating in the fashionable capitals of the developed world “rather than pass this most important piece of legislation to the Nigerian economy”. In a statement made available to newsmen by the Union’s National Public Secretary, Zaid Kolawole, Ogun said the parliamentarians need to make some sacrifices, including forfeiting part of their vacation to legislate on bills that

would encourage rapid development in the country. He observed that some of the bills have been bedeviled with lots of encumbrances since the inception of the current democratic dispensation. “Our lawmakers think it is more important to fiddle while important issue lies unattended. If our “honourable” members were concerned about the state of the oil industry, the engine of the Nigerian economy, they would have known that no new

Ogoni Report: FG establishes hydro-carbon pollution restoration project


he Executive Secretary, Nigeria Shippers’ Council, Capt. Adamu Biu, has called for effective financing of the maritime subsector through adequate budgetary allocation and internal resources. Biu made the call at the fifth Nigeria International Maritime Ports and Terminals Conference and Expo in Abuja.

NIPC showcases Nigerian products, woos Chinese investors


he Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) in Abuja, on Monday, said its recent trade mission to China was to woo the Far-East Asian country’s investors.

Flour Mills announces new structure, investments


new organisational structure and investment profile has been unfolded by Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, under its strategic market enhancement agenda.

Philips Consulting seeks PCI DSS compliance to boost cash-less economy


ith about five months to commencement of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) cash-less economy initiative nationwide, the need for banks and other payment transaction platforms to attain the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI). .

project has been sanctioned in the industry since PIB was first proposed in 2009. “With new discoveries of hydrocarbons all along the west coast of Africa – Ghana, SierraLeone, Liberia as well as on the east coast – Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique not to mention our traditional rivals in the Gulf of Guinea, foreign direct investments have flowed to these new players with none coming our way in Nigeria,” Ogun said.

By Muhammad Nasir


L-R: Managing Director, Future Group, Mr Richard Lendrum, Managing Director, Topcomm Nigeria Limited, Mr Tope Awe, and Commercial Director, East And West Delta Airlines, Mr Robert Bryan, during the 2012 business travellers conference, yesterday in Lagos. Photo: NAN

Union asks electricity workers to remain at home By Udenna Orji


he National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has called on its members to stay out of work pending when an amicable resolution is reached between the union and the Federal Government following the deployment of military personnel to the headquarters of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). The leadership of the National Assembly had earlier called the

leaders of the union to have discussion with them on the latest development and avert a situation where the whole of the power sector would be shut down. Although, NUEE members at the generating stations are not participating in the strike but those in the distribution network have said that they would continue to be on strike until their demands are met. Electricity consumers are the victims of this action as the striking workers will not attend to problems emanating from

distribution networks. The workers will not attend to faults even if they are reported to the offices of the PHCN nationwide. Customers will also not be able to pay for their bills. According to Joe Ajaero, the General Secretary of the union, the members are ready to go but they should be paid their entitlements. “We resist the attempt by the government to send the workers away without giving them what is due to them. We are ready for privatisation but pay us off”, he said.

Oando assures shareholders of robust dividend in future By Muhammad Nasir


ando has assured shareholders of robust dividend as the company retained its 2011 profit. The disclosure was made by Oando’s Group Chief Executive, Wale Tinubu, at the company’s 35th annual meeting (AGM) held recently in Lagos. Tinubu noted that the huge investment outlay in the company’s diversification programme contributed to nonpayment of dividend for financial year, adding that the company’s massive investments in new hi-tech service stations as

well as the renovation of 20 existing stations and acquisitions of other outlets would continue in 2012. However, Sunny Nwosu, the National Coordinator Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), commended the management for the efforts aimed at ensuring stable growth in spite of the national economic challenges. Nwosu also urged the company to be more investors friendly by ensuring prompt release of information for investors to patronize its shares and cushion the effects of depression. In a statement by Sola

Aboderin, the Chairman of Ibadan Zonal Shareholders Association said that the company’s investment profile should be overhauled for value creation. Aboderin said that the company should review the process of its debt write-offs to ensure that shareholders were compensated for their investment. Also speaking, Boniface Okezie, the President of Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), urged the company to sustain its adherence to good corporate governance.

he federal government has announced the formation of Hydro-carbon pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP), in clear furtherance of its commitment to implement the United Nations Environments Programme (UNEP) Assessment Report on Ogoniland. In a press stament made available recently by Fidel Pepple, for Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs NNPC noted that the Minister of petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke said that setting up of HYPREP by President Goodluck Jonathan is in keeping with the federal Government determination to protect the environmental human rights of the people. Alison maintained that the project shall implement the recommendations of the UNEP report on Ogoniland as well as investigate, evaluate and establish other hydrocarbon impacted sites and make appropriate recommendations. “With the establishment of this project, it is expected that all stakeholders, especially the impacted communities will cooperate fully with Government and grant unfettered access to all impacted sites to ensure complete success, “Alison stated. Alison also solicited the cooperation of all stakeholders especially community leaders to ensure the effective implementation of the programme. Also present at the briefing was the minister of Environment, Mrs.Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Engr. Andrew Yakubu, the permanent secretaries of the ministries of petroleum Resources and Finance, the DG National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), as well as some top Management of the NNPC and petroleum Ministry.



Zambia excludes Nigeria from visa-free countries From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


ambia has excluded Nigeria among the African a n d Commonwealth countries that do not require visa to enter the country. The other country also excluded in the preference list is The Gambia. Ordinarily, Nigerians should obtain Zambian visa at the point of entry into that country but latest development indicate that Zambia authorities have changed their mind on free visa application requirements for Nigerians. The country said in its website, that Nigerian nationals and some others going to Zambia as private/ business visitors or in transit shall apply for visas at Zambian missions abroad. It however said the nationals who come to Zambia on confirmed government business could obtain their entry visas at Zambian missions abroad or points of entry upon production of official invitation letters.

Global smart phone sales expected to be a third higher than last year By Muhammad Sada


round 680 million smart phones are expected to be sold globally, in 2012, a rise of 38 percent on the total for the year, 2011, according to South Korean analysts, True Friend. They are predicting though that sales in the second-quarter will be flat compared to a year ago, mainly due to iPhone inventory adjustment occurred following stronger-than-expected sell-in in China. The analyst’s estimate that Nokia sales at 10.2mn, as rumors that the Windows Phone 7 OS will not be upgradeable to Windows 8 have weighed on sales. Apple at 27mn units, due to an inventory adjustment given China telcos’ stronger-than-expected sell-in in 1Q12 and delayed purchases as consumers wait for the iPhone 5. HTC at 8.5mn units, which is lower than earlier guidance of 10mn units due to US customs delays and sluggish sales in Europe. Samsung Electronics should ship 50mn smart phones (+13% QoQ) despite slight delays to the Galaxy S3 launch and soft demand from China. LG should ship 5.8mn smart phones (+18% QoQ) as 3G phones have disappointed while LTE phones have been stronger than expected.

L-R: Chief Executive Officer, Morbod Fisheries Ltd, Mrs Margaret Orakwusi, Director, Federal Department of Fisheries, Mrs Bola Kupolati, and President, Nigeria Trawler Owners Association, Mr Joseph Overo, during the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency stakeholders forum, recently in Lagos. Photo: NAN

Tax clearance requirement repels new account opening in banks By Abdulwahab Isa


he new Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) policy of mandatory presentation of tax clearance certificate/ Personal Identification Number (PIN) before a bank account can be opened is generating ripples. Business concerns, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), unable to meet the requirements are finding it difficult to open new accounts. Officials in charge of deposit mobilisation in both the big banks and microfinance institutions

also complained that the measure is hampering their drive for new customers and thus frustrating their efforts to meet targets set by their banks. Many SME operators, it was gathered, are facing similar problem. The executive secretary, Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Mr. Eke Ubiji, said that though the requirement is to ensure tax compliance by business operators in the country, the policy itself is a double-edged sword.

He explained that government might have introduced the measure to ensure that people pay tax but its implementation is having adverse effect on the entire economy. According to him, many SME operators have been battling to survive in the country because of lack of basic infrastructure, like efficient electricity supply, good road and water. The lack of these amenities have imposed huge expenses on business owners, who have to spend huge amount to acquire generators and buy fuel

at exorbitant rate everyday to produce their own power. It would be recalled that participants at a seminar organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), in partnership with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Abuja, some years ago,advocated tax amnesty for SME tax defaulters. The suggestion was hinged on the fact that many SMEs in the country were evading the payment of tax because they could not afford to pay the backlog of arrears of many years.

Air Nigeria staff reaffirm loyalty, back recommencement of operations By Aminu Imam


ollowing series of meetings between board, management & employees over the last few weeks, employees of Air Nigeria have reaffirmed their loyalty to safeguard the airline from external forces that have been trying to sabotage the airline’s achievements of the last two years that culminated with the

successful launch of the growth strategy on May 16, 2012, with the start of the Lagos London route. Air Nigeria staff have also established employees counsel that comprises representatives across all the departments of the airline. The employees counsel will regularly meet with the top management to discuss plans and performance of the airline as well

as follow-up of issues that have been raised by staff. Employees have also assuredtheir readiness for the immediate start of domestic and regional operations. Air Nigeria has currently finalised its revival and growth plans to immediately recommence regional and domestic operations and the resumption of services will be announced soon.

The company also said that the Lagos - London - Lagos flights are operating to schedule and are not affected by the temporary suspension directive of the NCAA. Passengers are therefore encouraged to proceed with their confirmed itinerary while intending customers can make their reservations through all its sales channels or by calling the contact centre on 012711111.

Unity Bank announces staff promotion in reinvigoration exercise By Abdulwahab Isa


nity Bank Plc has promoted 389 staff cutting across all categories as part of the implementation of a programme of workforce reinvigoration designed to increase productivity and enhance the bank’s competitiveposition in the financial industry. A statement issued by the bank listed category of promoted staff to include: one Deputy

General Manager promoted to General Manager, two to the rank of Deputy General Manager and five others to the position of Assistant General Manager. Three members of staff were elevated to the position of Principal Manager, nine to Senior Manager position, six to Manager Status while those promoted to the ranks of Deputy Manager and Assistant Manager , bringing altogether the number to 54. Other staff in the rank of

Senior Banking Officer, Banking Officer, Assistant Banking Officer and Executives also benefitted from the promotion exercise. However, about 500 will proceed on retirement as part of the rejuvenation programme, which emphasises different age bands of retirement for categories of staff. Of the number proceeding on retirement one each are in the rank of General Manager and Deputy General Manager and another an Assistant General

Manager, while others are of various categories. In carrying out the retirement, the bank worked in co-operation with all the stakeholders including the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) to ensure industrial harmony. The retiring staff will be paid their terminal benefits, gratuity, and other entitlements and supported to start new lives as entrepreneurs.



V Drugresistant HIV ‘on increase’ in sub-Saharan Africa


rug-resistant HIV has been increasing in parts of sub-Saharan Africa over the last decade, according to experts writing in the Lancet. Studies on 26,000 untreated HIVpositive people in developing countries were reviewed by the team. They said resistance could build up if people fail to stick to drug regimes, and because monitoring could be poor. A UK HIV organisation said resistance was a serious problem in Africa where alternative treatments were lacking. The researchers, from the World Health Organization (WHO) and University College London (UCL) found the most rapid increase in drug resistance occurred in East Africa, at 29% per year. In Southern Africa, it was 14% per year. There was no change in resistance over time in Latin America and in West and Central Africa. Writing in the Lancet, authors Dr Silvia Bertagnolio from the WHO and Dr Ravindra Gupta at UCL said: "Without continued and increased national and international efforts, rising HIV drug resistance could jeopardise a decade-long trend of decreasing HIV/Aids-related illness and death in low- and middle-income countries." Dr Gupta told the BBC: "Drug resistance is a consequence of people not taking their medication properly. "We do expect to see drug resistance, and it's at around 10% in the UK and US. But here, we monitor people regularly and switch people to different drugs if they develop resistance." He said that quite basic measures could help people to better adhere to drug regimes in developing countries, such as access to food and clean water so they can take their drugs, and monitoring patients as effectively as possible. The researchers said no changes were needed to the drug regimes, but Dr Gupta said: "This work gives us an early-warning that things could get worse." Deborah Jack, chief executive of the UK's National Aids Trust (NAT), said: "In the UK we are fortunate that drug resistance is not a serious problem, and if a person has drug resistance there are other combinations of anti-retroviral therapy that we can use to address this.

ietnam is the worst country for wildlife crime, says a report on how well 23 Asian and African countries protect rhinos, tigers and elephants. The environment group WWF said yesterday that Vietnam's tiger farms and its citizens' high demand for rhino horn as a supposed cure-all helped put it at the top of the list. Neighbouring China, widely viewed as the world's largest market for illegal wildlife products, finished a close second and Laos was third. The WWF report focused on countries where the threatened animals live in the wild or are traded or consumed. The Washington DC-based Brookings Institution has said the illegal wildlife trade is worth an estimated $8bn to $10bn per year in Southeast Asia alone. The WWF report said Vietnam is "the major destination" for rhino horns trafficked from South Africa, where 448 rhinos were poached last year. Rhino horn can fetch the US street value of cocaine in Asia, where it is crushed and consumed by people who believe - wrongly, doctors say - that it can cure diseases. It described South Africa as the "epicentre" in an African rhino poaching crisis, despite strong government efforts there that began in 2009 to stop the killings. A record 448 rhinos were poached in South Africa in 2011, and this year could be even worse with 262 already lost from January to June, according to

Vietnam ranks ‘worst’ in wildlife crime

South Africa is seen as "epicentre" of the rhino poaching crisis despite government efforts to stop the killings WWF. WWF accused the Vietnamese government of doing very little to stop rhino horns from being imported, describing penalties in Vietnam for buying them as not

nearly strong enough to act as a deterrent. It also said Vietnamese diplomats had been arrested or implicated in South Africa for trying to buy rhino horns.

It also said Vietnam's 2007 decision to legalise tiger farms on a pilot basis has "undermined" the country's efforts to police illegal trade in tiger products. Vietnam has 11 registered tiger farms.

EU to suspend Zimbabwe sanctions ‘after referendum’


he European Union is to suspend most sanctions against Zimbabwe once it has held a credible referendum on a new constitution, EU foreign ministers say.

President Robert Mugabe has been in a power-sharing deal following disputed elections in 2008 Continue reading the main story

This would make an "important milestone" towards holding democratic elections, their statement said. More than a 100 key individuals have been covered under an EU travel ban and assets freeze imposed in 2002. But sanctions would remain against President Robert Mugabe, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said. The sanctions were originally imposed a decade ago in response to human rights abuses and political violence. Mr Mugabe and his rival, Prime Minster Morgan Tsvangirai, have been sharing power since disputed elections marred by violence in 2008.

Fresh elections are expected to be held sometime next year, after the referendum on the new constitution. Allies of Mr Mugabe have long argued that the sanctions should be unconditionally removed and that they have had a negative impact on Zimbabwe's economy. In theory, everyone in Zimbabwe wants the EU sanctions lifted. President Mugabe's Zanu-PF has, for many years, furiously blamed them for Zimbabwe's economic collapse. The former opposition Movement for Democratic Change has always ridiculed that notion - but mostly in private these days. The MDC knows that - while the West's "restrictive

measures" may have put useful pressure on President Mugabe's inner circle - any advantage has long been outweighed by the domestic propaganda victories that Zanu-PF has scored as a result of the "colonial" measures. But those very real propaganda victories are now prompting some diplomats and observers to suspect that hardliners in Zanu-PF do not want the sanctions lifted - that they are too useful as a campaign issue. Zanu-PF increasingly riven by factionalism may struggle to unite behind the strategy, but it is thought that some figures close to President Mugabe may try to derail the constitutional process in order to avoid the possibility of defeat in free and fair elections.

Madagascar army ‘retakes’ camp after mutiny


adagascar's army says it is back in control of a military camp close to the airport in the capital Antananarivo after several soldiers earlier staged a mutiny. The military said on Sunday that the group of mutinous soldiers who stormed the camp were eventually driven out in an assault by government forces. The leader of the rebellion was killed, the army said. "The situation is under control. Corporal Koto Mainty, alias Black, has been killed," General Raphael Ramasy, chief of staff of the defence minister, told the public television station TVM. Mainty was the bodyguard of former defence minister Noel Rakotonandrasana.

Rakotonandrasana was arrested after taking part in another mutiny back in 2010. "The other mutineers gave themselves up or were arrested," Ramasy said. "Four other civilians were arrested ... Two mutineers and two other elements of the security forces are wounded." An officer sent in to begin negotiations with the soldiers was shot and later died of his wounds, the army said. Two fighters of each side also suffered injuries, according to the defence ministry. Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa, reporting from Cape Town in nearby South Africa, ealier said: "We can confirm that two military personnel have been killed and two have been wounded but we don't know which

side of the fighting they were on." She also said eight soldiers were holed up in the camp for a while after

President Andry Rajoelina, a former DJ, is going to the Seychelles for talks with his rival

the army re-took control on Sunday. The army was attempting to have a dialogue with them to coax them out. The army launched its assault to wrest control of the camp after the attempt for negotiations failed. "At 5am a group of armed soldiers forced their way into the barracks of the 1st RFI [First Regiment of Interventionist Forces] Ivato. The group fired in the air, blocking all attempts to enter into the barracks," an army statement said. "A wounded sergeant with the mutiny who came out of the camp indicated there was an exchange of fire inside the camp. Gunfire is heard outside the camp," the head of the army's communication service, Philibert Ratovonirina, said earlier on Sunday.



Syria rejects Arab League Assad exit proposal


yria has rejected a call by the Arab League for President Bashar al-Assad to give up power. "We are sorry that the Arab League has descended to this level concerning a member state of this institution," foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said at a media conference yesterday. "This decision only concerns the Syrian people, who are the sole

masters of fate of their governments." "If the Arab nations who met in Doha were honest about wanting to stop the bloodshed they would have stopped supplying arms... they would stop their instigation and propaganda," Makdissi said. "All their statements are hypocritical." The Arab League on Monday

called on Assad to swiftly step aside in order to end the fighting that has swept across the country. "There is agreement on the need for the rapid resignation of President Bashar al-Assad," Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani told journalists at the end of the ministerial meeting in Doha. The Arab League also urged

the rebel Free Syrian Army to form a transitional government of national unity. "We call on the opposition and the Free Syrian Army to form a government of national unity," Sheikh Hamad said as he delivered the results of the Arab League meeting. He urged Assad to take the "courageous" decision in order to save his country where fierce

Japan nuclear plants ‘still not safe’

Coordinated attacks in Iraq leave scores dead series of gun and bomb



government-appointed inquiry has delivered a damning assessment of Japanese nuclear regulators and the operator of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, raising further fears that despite new rules, the country's nuclear sector still does not meet safety requirements. The 450-page report by a 10member panel of independent experts was released yesterday, and comes as anti-nuclear activists continue a vociferous campaign against the restarting of two nuclear reactors in the country. The government is currently readying a new energy policy, due next month. The panel suggested that postFukushima safety steps taken at nuclear power plants across the country have not been enough to cope with a complex catastrophe, a combination of human error and natural causes, such as the one that struck the country after an earthquake and tsunami last year. "We understand that immediate safety measures are being further detailed and will materialise in the future. But we strongly urge the people concerned to make continued efforts to take really effective steps," said the panel, chaired by University of Tokyo engineering professor Yotaro Hatamura. Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, and regulators failed to plan for a massive natural disaster, the panel said, blaming them for being lulled by the same "safety myth" blasted by a parliament-appointed team of experts earlier this month. "Both the government and companies should establish a new philosophy of disaster prevention that requires safety and disaster measures against any massive accident and disaster... regardless of event probability," the report said. The inquiry did not go as far as accusing regulators and TEPCO of "collusion", as a parliamentary panel had done earlier this month. The decision to restart two reactors operated by the Kansa Electric Power Company has energised Japans' anti-nuclear movement, with more than 100,000 people taking to the streets in Tokyo a week ago.

fighting continued to rage between government troops and rebels. At the foreign ministry media conference, the Syrian government acknowledged for the first time that it possessed stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and said it will only use them in case of a foreign attack and never internally against its own citizens.

Foreign Ministers Adnan Mansour of Lebanon, right, and Egypt's Mohamed Kamel Amr at the League's meeting in Doha.

Anti-nuclear protesters also say that reactors restarted after safety checks are still not up to standard

A series of car bombs in Mahmoudiya, south of Baghdad, killed at least 10 people, initial reports said

attacks has racked Iraq for the second straight day, with unidentified gunmen targeting a military base and car bombs exploding in Baghdad, Kirkuk and elsewhere. More than 100 people are reported to have been killed and 180 injured in at least 19 separate explosions and attacks YESTERday morning, officials said. At least 15 Iraqi soldiers were killed and four others injured after gunmen attacked a military base in Salah Din province, an army official told Al Jazeera. The attack took place early on Monday morning, while the soldiers were still asleep, in a base east of Dhuluiyah township, about 90km north of Baghdad. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. A car bomb in the city of Taji, north of Baghdad, targeted a residential compound. Initial reports suggested that more than 18 people had been killed, and dozens wounded. That attack involved a secondary explosion, which targeted rescue personnel who had rushed to the scene. In the northern oil town of Kirkuk, police were targeted by four synchronised car bombs, killing five people, including three civilians. Nineteen people were injured in those blasts. In Baghdad, car bombs targeted an interior ministry office that issues ID cards to residents of the city's mainly Shia Sadr City neighbourhood. At least 16 people were killed in that attack. "It was a thunderous explosion," said Mohammed Munim, 35, who was working at the office. "The only thing I remember was the smoke and fire, which was everywhere," he added from his bed in the emergency room at Sadr City hospital. In Baghdad's eastern Husseiniyah neighbourhood, police sources told Al Jazeera that a parked car bomb killed at least three people and injured another 31 on Monday. In the city of Touz Khurmato, 140km north of Baghdad, a car bomb targeted a local market, killing at least one person and wounding three others. A separate explosion in that city killed one person and wounded 35 others. In the eastern town of Muqdadiyah, near Baquba, two civilians were killed and 13 injured after a motorcycle bomb went off on a main street.


Super rich hiding up to $32 trillion offshore


p to $280bn is lost in tax revenues as wealthy individuals park financial assets in offshore tax havens. Rich individuals and their families have as much as $32 trillion of hidden financial assets in offshore tax havens, representing up to $280bn in lost income tax revenues, according to research published on Sunday. The study estimating the extent of global private financial wealth held in offshore accounts - excluding nonfinancial assets such as real estate, gold, yachts and racehorses - puts the sum at between $21 and $32 trillion. "What's shocking is that some of the world's biggest banks are up to their eyeballs in helping their clients evade taxes and shift their wealth offshore." This amounts to roughly the US and Japanese GDP combined. Roughly 10 million people worldwide have offshore accounts, with 100,000 people owning half of those secreted assets. The research was carried out for pressure group Tax Justice Network, which campaigns against tax havens, by James Henry, former chief economist at consultants McKinsey & Co. John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network told Al Jazeera that he was shocked by "the sheer scale of the figures". "What's shocking is that some of the world's biggest banks are up to their eyeballs in helping their clients evade taxes and shift their wealth offshore," said Christensen. "We're talking about very big, well-known brands - HSBC, Citigroup, Bank of America, UBS, Credit Suisse - some of the world's biggest banks are involved... and they do it knowing fully well that their clients, more often than not, are evading and avoiding taxes." Much of this activity, Christensen added, was illegal. He used data from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, United Nations and central banks. The report also highlights the impact on the balance sheets of 139 developing countries of money held in tax havens by private elites, putting wealth beyond the reach of local tax authorities. The research estimates that since the 1970s, the richest citizens of these 139 countries had amassed $7.3 to $9.3 trillion of "unrecorded offshore wealth" by 2010. Private wealth held offshore represents "a huge black hole in the world economy," Henry said in a statement.


Thousands flee violence in India’s Assam, 19 killed T

housands of people have fled their homes in India's northeastern Assam state after fighting between indigenous tribes and Muslim settlers killed at least 19 people, wounded many more, and left villages in flames, police said on Monday. Police were forced to fire warning

shots to disperse armed groups that were moving between jungle hamlets on Monday, setting fire to bamboo houses, police and aid workers in the area told Reuters. Soldiers and federal paramilitary forces were patrolling remote districts. "We saw miscreants burning down

village after village on Monday," said a senior police officer who asked not to be identified. "It's total madness going on here. People have lost their senses." S.N.Singh, Assam's inspector general of police, told Reuters he had ordered his men to shoot at gangs on the streets on sight after a dawn-to-dusk

An Indian army bullet-proof vehicle patrols through a street during curfew near Kokorajhar town in the northeastern Indian state of Assam on Sunday.

curfew was imposed to stop the violence spreading. Ringed by China, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan, India's northeast is home to more than 200 ethnic and tribal groups and has been racked by separatist revolts since India's independence from Britain in 1947. In recent years, Hindu and Christian tribes have begun to give vent to strong anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment against Bangladeshi settlers. The latest wave of violence was sparked on Friday night when unidentified men killed four youths in the state's Bodo tribe- dominated Kokrajhar district near the borders of Bangladesh and Bhutan, police and district officials said. In retaliation, armed Bodos attacked Muslims, suspecting them to be behind the killings. About 50,000 villagers have fled their homes and taken shelter in relief camps out of fear since then, said Donald Gilfellon, a senior civil servant in the Kokrajhar district, adding that 37 camps had been set up to help the refugees and that more would be opened if needed.

Russian officials held over deadly floods


ussia has detained three officials from the Black Sea region of Krymsk in an investigation into their handling of a flood that killed 171 people in the area in early July, the country's main federal investigating body said. Moscow, eager to deflect any criticism away from Russian President Vladimir Putin, has accused district officials of failing to issue public warnings about the flood wave on time, which survivors say could have saved lives. The Russian Investigative Committee said on Sunday the former head of the Krymsk district Vasily Krutko, sacked after the fatal wave swept the region, Krymsk's mayor and the head of the local government's emergency response unit had been arrested.

One other official is also under investigation for negligence but has not been arrested, the body said. The official Investigative Committee said that the four officials stood accused of "violating people's constitutionally guaranteed right to life and the legally protected interests of society and the state". "Essentially ignoring the weather service forecasts, the suspects did not inform the population about the looming danger and did not take steps to evacuate people," committee spokesperson Vladimir Markin said in televised remarks. He added that the head of the nearby village of Nizhnebakansk may be held later on the same charge of failing to properly alert locals about the possible dangers of

a fast-approaching thunderstorm. Lack of proper warnings left many inhabitants of Krymsk, a mountain town of 57,000 that was

the worst hit by the flooding, caught by surprise as water poured into their homes in the middle of the night.

Post-flood recovery work has remained a top item on state television news for much of the past two weeks

Colorado terrorist planned attack for months, say Police


resident Barack Obama paid a brief visit to Colorado yesterday and met with local officials in Aurora, where the shots rang out at a multiplex theater early Friday. Twelve of the victims died,

58 were injured. Details emerging on the Colorado massacre suspect show a budding scientist, brimming with potential, who pursued a graduate program even as he assembled weaponry he would

Police talk before entering the apartment of James Holmes, the suspect who opened fire in a movie theater in Aurora, on Saturday

allegedly use in the deadly midnight rampage inside an Aurora movie theater. James Holmes planned the attack with "calculation and deliberation," police said, receiving deliveries by mail that authorities believe armed him for battle and were used to rig his apartment with dozens of bombs. Meanwhile, a federal law enforcement official provided an updated account about the gunfire inside the theater, saying that a semiautomatic assault rifle used by the shooter jammed during the attack, forcing him to switch to another weapon. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to in order to discuss the investigation, said that the jammed weapon had a high-

capacity ammunition magazine. Police have said that a 100-round drum magazine was recovered at the scene and that such a weapon would be able to fire 50 to 60 rounds a minute. In Aurora, investigators spent hours Saturday removing explosive materials from inside Holmes' suburban Denver apartment a day after police said he opened fire and set off gas canisters in a theater minutes into a premiere of the Batman film. The massacre left 12 people dead and 58 injured. His apartment was rigged with jars of liquids, explosives and chemicals that were booby trapped to kill "whoever entered it," Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said, noting it would have likely been one of his officers.



FG plans cassava bread fund, removes duty on active agent


he Federal Government said it had concluded plans to establish a cassava processing fund to ensure effective processing and production of the commodity in the country. Coordinating Minister for Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, made this known recently in Abuja at the launch of incentives to boost cassava production. “We are reducing the duty on cassava enhancing enzymes from 10 per cent to zero per cent to encourage the bakers and millers in the industry. “We are going to use part of the 65 per cent levy on wheat flour to create a Cassava Bread Development Fund and this fund will be used to support the cassava value chain,’’ she said. According to her, the reduction in the duty on cassava enhancing enzymes will take effect from July 15. She recalled that the President while presenting budget in December 2011 announced that wheat flour, would, effective July 1, attract 65 per cent levy. This, she said, was to encourage the substitution of wheat flour with cassava flour in bread making. The minister noted that the cassava fund was part of government’s effort to support master bakers, adding that the fund would also be used for research, experimentation, bringing in of new equipment. “We want to support the decentralisation of milling and baking through the provision of support to adopt this new milling equipment that will be coming in. “We will have from this fund, the ability to support training, so that the master bakers who have over 400,000 members all over the country, can get adequate training and support to produce this bread,’’ she added. Okonjo-Iweala said that the secretariat for the development of the fund would be domiciled in the Fiscal Affairs Department of the Budget Office of the Federation. She said that the Ministers of Finance, Agriculture, Science and Technology, Trade and Investment and the Director General of the Budget Office of the Federation would be the initial members of the development fund. “We are embarking on a new

road map, we are changing the structure of this industry, we are showing Nigerians that when we want to launch something new, we will put our money where our month is. So it is not just talk but action,’’ she said. Earlier, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, observed that the country could not continue to import wheat. He said that the country spent N635 billion annually importing wheat, adding that this should not continue. “We don’t grow it; it does not create jobs for Nigerian farmers. It only creates money for some few people. Overtime, we know we will need high quality cassava flour. We are importing 18 quality cassava mills from China to support mechanised farming,” he stressed. He said the flour mill industry was bent on undermining the efforts of the Federal Government, adding that the ministry would create new clusters of millers who would break the monopoly of the flour millers. According to him, the cassava flour being produced in the country could be used to replace some of the wheat flour being imported. (NAN)

Agric Minister, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina (with mic) in a photograph with farmers displaying products made by cassava flour recently in Abuja.

US considers Nigeria’s agric sector investment partner By Mohammed Kandi


delegation of the United States economic experts have considered Nigeria’s agriculture sector for partnership and huge investment to boost the economic of both countries. The team, which was led by the US President Assistant and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs, Michael Froman, to the ministry in Abuja, also pledged to offer Nigeria support considering economic potentials of the country. Michael, who is also the US coordinator for the G20 and G8 Summit declared that Nigeria’s

agric sector would be consider for big business after careful deliberations by all the relevant stakeholders. Responding, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, observed that their visit was timely, saying “the sector is currently carrying out a reform via its Agriculture Transformation Agenda.” Adesina also recalled that both countries had established an agelong partnership in agriculture, and sought the support of the US in improving specific value chain crops such as rice, cassava and sorghum.

He further stated that the country required support in the area of mechanised farming to achieve food security “as soon as possible”. Admitting the country’s agric sector had suffered some setback due to corruption, the assured them positive changes already on-going and the stressed the need for them support Nigeria. Adesina said Nigeria needed additional 300, 000 tractors as well as 160, 000 jobs for its teaming youth populations and appealed to the US-based partners to assist it in those areas. The minister, however, assured that the country would continue to

China partners Nigeria in agricultural development By Mohammed Kandi


he Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has said that the Federal Government was ready import 100 integrated rice mills and 18 plants for the processing of cassava into High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF). Adesina, stated this when he received a delegation led by the President of the Chinese Bank of Development, Mr. Wang Weidong, yesterday in Abuja. The minister also said that the rice and cassava processing Mills are worth US$1.2 Billion and negotiation is on-going between Nigeria and the China ExportImport Bank on financing the deal. In a statement issued by the ministry's Director of Information, Salisu Na'inna Dambatta, Adesina, assured that the rice and cassava

processing mills, which would be installed in different parts of the country, will contribute in reducing Nigeria's rice import and in the production of high quality cassava

Chinese President, Hu Jintao

flour for baking to reduce the cost of importing wheat. "Nigeria spends US$3 Billion annually to import rice and the President of Nigeria wants that to be reduced, through local rice production and processing," he emphasised. The Minister said that because of advancement in its rice production, Chinese rice farmers produce 12.5 metric tons per hectre, against 2.5 metric tons per hectre produced in Nigeria. He urged the Chinese to partner Nigeria in boosting rice production in the Country. Dr. Adesina said that his Ministry would like to partner with the China Development Bank in three key areas and urged the Bank to increase its financing commitment to Nigerian agriculture from the current US$300 million to US$ 3 billion.

The Minister said he would like to see China co-operating with Nigeria in the areas of Biotechnology, power generation for the rice and cassava processing mills and in the area of rural development to erase in the area of rural development to erase rural poverty in Nigeria. He said that this could be achieved through the International Poverty Reduction Centre in China. Earlier in his remarks, President of the China Development Bank, Mr. Wang Weidong said: "We will discuss the areas you mentioned. We will always assist in agriculture. China and Nigeria are agro-based countries." He said that additional areas in which China and Nigeria should partner are farmland development and the production of fertilizer and its use "just like in the Chinese Jute System".

play its leadership role in Africa, intensifying efforts towards food security in the continent.

FG earmarks N538m for rehabilitation of two dams in Katsina


he Federal Government has earmarked N538 million for the rehabilitation of two dams in Kankia and Kusada Local Government Areas of Katsina State. Representing Kankia/Kusada/ Ingawa constituency in the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ahmad Babba, disclosed this on Sunday in Kankia, Katsina State. Babba, who stated that Kankia dam would gulp N125 million while Kusada dam would cost N413 million, said the two dams were among the 241 dams that would be rehabilitated by the Federal Government this year across the 36 states of the federation. According to him, N60 billion was appropriated in the 2012 budget for the rehabilitation of dams out of which N39 billion had already been released to undertake the project in some parts of the country. The lawmaker, therefore, urged the Federal Government to release funds for the rehabilitation of the remaining dams. He said that the project would help to address the shortage of drinking water, enhance farming activities and thereby improve socioeconomic activities across the country. (NAN)



Vet council to assess universities, inducts new members By Mohammed Kandi


eterinary doctors under the aegis of the Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN) have concluded arrangements to visit three universities running nonaccredited Veterinary Medicine Programmes to assess their level of advancement. President of VCN, Prof. Gabriel, who stated this at the opening of the 103rd regular meeting of the council, said member will embark on assessment visit to Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, University of Abuja and University of Ilori, Kwara State. Ogundipe, who stressed that such visitation was necessary to strengthen professional ethics, however said, "We have the powers to stop any university found unfit to run this programme to maintain high standard".

Meanwhile, VCN also incorporated into the council a group veterinary doctor trained at various Nigerian Universities as part of strategies to fortify its operations. Some of the inductees, Ogundipe said, were trained doctors from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, University of Ibadan, Amadu Bello University, Zaria, Usmanu Danfodia University, Sokoto and Federal University of Agriculture, Abiokuta. However, President, Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association

(NVMA) Dr. Gani Enahoro, said that the terrible state of abattoirs in the country was spreading diseases nationwide. Enahoro, who observed that several abattoir and slaughter houses in Nigerian were in appalling conditions, falling short of international standards, however, called on the government to intervene. Enahoro, who said the NVMA, had already contacted all the relevant authorities for swift action,

so as to improve the state and standard of the Nigerian abattoirs, charged slaughterhouse operators to embrace hygienic practices. His words: "We have met with all the relevant authorities and stakeholders on the issue of our slaughter houses which most times are responsible for various diseases associated with lack of hygienic environment." Enahoro said that the problems might also be addressed when the National Assembly enacts laws to

regulate abattoir operations in the country. Similarly, Director of Kaduna State Veterinary Services, Geoge Jimem, expressed mixed feelings on the state of Nigerian abattoirs and stressed the need for more public enlightenment on the issue. He said if Vet Medicine rules were properly adhered to and partronised by individuals and the government, there will be increases in income generation which would lead to economic boom.

Fadama III boosts palm oil production in Ondo, says coordinator


alm oil production in Ondo State has witnessed a 25 per cent boost in the last three years, courtesy of the Fadama III programme, the state Coordinator of the programme, Mrs Beatrice Adefulire, has disclosed. Adefulire, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Akure that 64 palm oil processing groups had received financial assistance to boost their productivity. She said the benefiting groups cut across all the local government areas in the state, including Ijagba, Akotogbo in Irele Local Government Area and Elemo in Ifedore Local Government Area. Adefulire also said that the programme facilitated the procurement and installation of Lister engine, digester, and oil pressure and bunch threshers for all the oil processing groups. “There has been an improvement in the quality of palm oil produced in the state as a result of the removal of drudgery associated with the former method of palm oil processing among palm oil farmers in the state.” The Secretary of `Glory Palm Oil Group' in ljagba, Mr Ojomolade Adedeji, said that his 10-member group was assisted with the procurement and installation of bunch stripper and two diesel engines. He said that his group had a small processing machine which could only produce 90 litres from two drums of palm fruit, but with the new technology, the quantity had increased to 120 litres. According to him, the bunch threshers are capable of threshing 10 tonnes per day as against the lower quantity using the old method. (NAN)

Newly inducted members of the Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN) taking their oath of office during one of the council’s meetings recently in Abuja.

Minister advocates robust market for sweet potato By Mokhammed Kandi


inister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has called for improved market opportunities for all types of sweet potatoes. Adesina, who made the call in Abuja at the stakeholders’ workshop on the adoption of Vitamin ‘A’ rich sweet potatoes, also said sweet potatoes thrive in all regions of Nigeria. “It is imperative that Nigeria focuses on the production and processing of foods in which we

have global comparative advantage. “And sweet potato is a strategically important crop for achieving the aims of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA),” he said adding that it tolerates occasional dry spells and yield even on less fertile soil in contrast to other crops. According to him, sweet potato was not as drought resistant as cassava, but does not suffer from the devastating disease that plagues cassava production in subSaharan Africa. He said that the ministry

would develop economically viable value chains, double crop yields, and double the frequency of Vitamin ‘A’ rich foods. Dr. Adesina added that “Nigeria is one of the largest producers of the crop in subsaharan Africa, with and annual production of about 3.9 million metric tons and average yield per hectare of between 6 and 7 tons”. He finally added that the agricultural transformation agenda will would add. 20 million metric tons to domestic. Food supply by 2015. Adesina charged all

Ekiti to raise 500,000 improved cocoa seedlings annually


he Ekiti Government plans to raise an average of 500,000 improved cocoa seedlings annually, Mr. Babajide Arowosafe, the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, has said. Arowosafe, disclosed this in an interview with journalists in AdoEkiti yesterday, said that the government had already identified 66,000 hectares of cultivable land for

cocoa production of which 60,000 hectares had been cultivated. He said that as part of efforts to make farming more attractive as well as boost commercial agriculture in the state, the government had sponsored three officials of the ministry on various capacity building programmes overseas. According to him, Messrs Sunday Alao and Akindele

Olorunfemi are currently in Indonesia for a six-week training programme on the latest methods of regenerating cocoa plantations through grafting, budding and artificial pollination. Also, the Director of Agricultural Services, Mr Gbenga Odesanmi, is undergoing a two-week training programme on modern techniques in cassava production in China, the commissioner said. (NAN)

stakeholders to capitalise on the opportunities that Orange Flesh Sweet Potato (OFSP) had to offer to improve health and nutrition in the country. OFSP is a new technology from bio-fortification that is extremely rich in beta-carotene, the precursor of Vitamin ‘A’, an essential human nutrient. In his remarks, Director, Department of Agriculture of the ministry, Mr Mike Eneh, noted that sweet potato was important for the dietary needs of the people. He said that the country had the potential to cultivate and produce an estimated 50 million tonnes of sweet potato as against the four million tonnes currently being produced annually. A potato farmer, Mrs Mary Ayuba, noted that the country had the variety of sweet potatoes that matured within four months, when planted. “Even when you do not weed the farm, you can still plant and harvest. This type of farming is very easy for women because it does not need many ridges,” she explained.



Impeachment threat: We won't back down to intimidation – Reps Umar Mohammed Puma


he House of Representatives yesterday declared that it would not back down on its resolution to commence impeachment process against President Goodluck Jonathan when it resumes plenary by September 30th should he fail to fully implement the 2012 budget as passed. Chairman House Committee on Media and Publicity, Rep Zakari Mohammed, in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday asserted "it is unfortunate that some peoples sponsored news editorials and commentaries to deliberately misinform the public on the rationale behind our nationalistic stand. For the avoidance of doubt, whilst we are aware that all revenue generating agencies have surpassed their annual target by mid this year, the House is worried that this positive development did not reflect in the implementation of the budget for the benefit of the Nigerian peoples". Zakari added that "this trend if not arrested would worsen the already fragile state of the nation, hence the need for quick intervention. To then insinuate that the House of Representatives took this noble step to satisfy pressure from a political party or because the constituency projects

Chairman House Committee on Media and Publicity, Rep Zakari Mohammed were not awarded to members or because of the drama that followed the presentation of the fuel subsidy report, is to say the least malicious damaging and uncharitable to the image of the Assembly. "We in the Legislature are law

makers and not contractors and that the constituency projects execution has been the exclusive preserves of the executive and its agencies. At no time has there been any argument on this. Similarly what members do in the course of

the budget preparation is to furnish the respective MDAs with locations and area of needs of our constituencies," Mohammed stressed. According to him, contract bidding processes are handled by the supervising ministries. "The entire 360 members in the House are bound by the Nigerian project; our independence and objectiveness is evident in the selection of our principal officers which we did according to our thoughts. To assume that we are guided by some forces outside the House of Representatives is mischievous and a deliberate ploy to misrepresent the House before the Nigerian public," he added. Mohammed further clarified "The 7th Assembly has distanced itself from the Hon. Farouk and Otedota case as evident in the bold steps; we took steps in suspending him as chairman of the both the committees on fuel subsidy and education in addition to encouraging the law enforcement agencies to do their work according to the dictates of the law. To now conclude that our resolution for Thursday is borne out of selfish motives is terribly out of place; we would however continue to raise our voices to the highest ebb where we sight injustice or impunity, we would continue to preserve our resolve as one indivisible country." He assured.

Northern youths condemn call for Jonathan's impeachment From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


coalition of northern youth group, Arewa League for Democracy and Development (ALDD), has described as irresponsible the call by some opposition parties for the impeachment of President Goodluck Jonathan at a sensitive time when the government is doing everything in its powers to deal with the security situation in the country. In a statement, the National Coordinator of the League Malam Yinusa El- Habib said the leadership of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), that of the Congress for

Progressive Change (CPC) and others have been blinded by their quest for power that they have become insensitive to the feelings of Nigeria as well as the mood of the nation, adding that the parties and their leaders do not wish Nigeria well. "The call by the Action Congress of Nigeria and the Congress for Progressive Change for impeachment of President Goodluck Jonathan is most unfortunate and regrettable. It shows how irresponsible and unpatriotic these parties and their leaders are. They should hide their faces in shame," El-Habib said. According to him, Nigeria is being threatened by serious security

challenges for which every wellmeaning citizen is supposed to join hands with the government in finding a lasting solution, wondering why the opposition parties are interested in trading blames when they are supposed to proffer solutions. "When the 9/11 terror attack was launched against the United States, all the citizens were united in condemning the matter and joined hands with the US president and government until some of the culprits were fished out and dealt with. But the opposition groups in Nigeria are rather mocking the President and the administration in the face of threats to the peace and unity of the country. To call for the

impeachment of the President at this challenging time in the life of our great nation is the height of wickedness on the part of the opposition," the group said. It called on Nigerians to rise up in condemnation of the development. "We call on well meaning Nigerians to rise up in total condemnation of the opposition, their leaders and their members in the National Assembly. They do not mean well for this nation. Their actions smack of hypocrisy and bulk passing. The culture of blame game by the opposition is destructive and shows that these opposition parties cannot be trusted with the safety of Nigeria even in the future," El- Habib concluded.

ECOWAS seeks Tukur's support to achieve peace in Africa


COWAS President Amb. Kadre Quedraogo yesterday called on the National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bamang Tukur to support the body to achieve peace in Africa. He made the call in Abuja when Tukur, who is also the Chairman, African Business Round Table paid him a courtesy call. The ECOWAS boss also called on him to support the organisation to ensure the integration of the people within the West African the subregion to realise its objectives of ensuring peace and stability in West Africa. ``We agreed to work hand in hand to bring about a peaceful and stable region so that our people can go about their businesses. ``We need to have free movement of goods and persons within our region and we will also need to count on his support to attain the objectives of ECOWAS in that area,'' Quedraogo said. He thanked Tukur for ensuring the development of Africa and the sub-region, more so as the Chairman African Business Round Table and the focal point of New Partnerships for Africa's Development (NEPAD). He added that the commission would utilise the six million euro earmarked for West African region by the EU to develop projects that would positively affect the lives of the people. The ECOWAS president said that only five per cent of the money was used in the past year. ``I am very happy that we have come to an agreement with the EU on the development of those projects,'' Quedraogo said. Tukur in his earlier remark, said that as chairman of the biggest political party in Africa, it became important for him to familiarise himself with the ECOWAS President. He said that this was necessary for the two parties to discuss issues such as peace, security and development as they affect the people of the continent. Speaking on the outcome of the just concluded Edo Governorship election, Tukur said that it was an example of true and deepened democracy where the people were allowed to make their choices.

Governors urge corps members to make positive impact communities


he closing ceremony of the 2012 NYSC batch 'B' Orientation course took place yesterday in the 36 states and the FCT. In his address at the ceremony in Ilorin, Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara, urged the corps members to assist in the mobilising and sensitising rural communities against HIV/AIDS. Ahmed also advised the corps

members to make positive contribution to uplift the various rural communities they would be posted to serve, while assuring them of adequate security. In Adamawa, Gov. Murtala Nyako, enjoined the corps members interact with people in their host communities during the service year. Represented by his Deputy, Mr Bala James, the governor also

implored them to respect constituted authorities and security operatives. In Gombe State, the state Government said it would not take it kindly with any organisation that rejected corps members posted to it. The Deputy Governor, Mr Tha'anda Rubainu, gave the warning during the closing ceremony of the orientation programme. ``We should all embrace the corps

members as our brothers and sisters and assist them at all times to enable them serve with comfort," he said. He assured them that their service in the state would be a successful one, adding that their host communities were eagerly waiting for them. Mr Igyuse Teryima, the Gombe NYSC Coordinator, said the corps members exhibited excellent behavior throughout the orientation programme.

Alhaji Bamang Tukur



Edo Assembly wants federal character reflected in appointments


L-R: Gombe state Commissioner of Information and Orientation, Rev. Habu Dawaki, acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Alhaji Saidu Baba Gadam, Director, Planning and Publications, Alhaji Bello Garba, Director, Ethics and State Orientation, Mr. Joshua Gaude, and Director of Finance, Alhaji Murtala Bello, during their visit to Peoples Media head office, recently in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

PDP asks Nasarawa supporters to remain calm From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


upporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nasarawa state have been asked to remain calm and focus and not to be intimidated by the outcome of the Awe North State Assembly bye election, which was won by the candidate of the rival Congress

for Progressive Change (CPC). Making the call shortly after the party held its expanded exco meeting at the secretariat of the party yesterday, where the outcome of the bye election was deliberated and reviewed, state PDP chairman, Chief Yunana Iliya, urged supporters not to be disappointed but instead work harder to further build the

party. He lamented that even though the election was characterised by the snatching and stuffing of ballot boxes, with 8 NYSC members arrested, nothing have been done by the relevant authorities to remedy the situation. He added that the party will soon make its position public on the next action to

take. In a related development, Alhaji Mohammadu Halilu Evulanza, a former Commissioner for youths and sport in the state told journalists that since politics is all about numbers, "PDP in Nasarawa has the substance and the followership to withstand any onslaught."

Group identifies under-age voting, crowd management as impediments to free and fair election By Muhammad Sada


Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Project Swift Count, has identified the issues of under-age voting and crowd management as major challenges impeding free and fair elections in the country. The group 1st co-chair, Dafe Akpedeye (SAN) stated this in Abuja recently basing his observations on the recently concluded governorship election in

Edo state. According to him, there were some pockets of under-aged voters, who regrettably were noted amongst the female folk and mostly young girls who were not more than 15 or 17, but were in possession of voter's cards. "In some of the polling units, the names of some of the voters appeared in multiple places and some were not even reflected, even though they registered in the same polling unit during the general election. In Lanpese on the border of Kogi and Edo state, there were

some cases of voters who could not find their names on the voters register. "Some of the voters claimed that they had previously cast their votes in the same polling units during the 2011 elections, but could not find their names in the list before them. Some claimed that they participated in the recertification that was carried out earlier on and yet their names still didn't appear on the voters register," Akpedeye said. He added "Crowd control was

orderly throughout the election. Most of the Presiding Officers did not have difficulty in controlling the crowd and getting them to be on the queue. The voters exhibited a high level of maturity and focus on the business of the day. The voters exhibited a seemingly high understanding of the concept of accreditation before voting. Some of the voters especially in the rural areas turned up enmass for accreditation as they were determined to ensure that nothing went wrong in this election."

he Edo State House of Assembly has directed the Local Government Service Commission to reflects federal character and geographical spread in all its appointments. The directive is contained in a resolution passed by the house yesterday in Benin to correct imbalances noticeable in the current appointments. The directive followed a petition entitled: “Imbalances in the Appointment of Directors of Administration and General Services and Heads of Local Government Administration in the unified Local Government Service”. Mr. Patrick Osayimwen, the Chairman of the House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, said the principle of federal character would allow for equity in the distribution of positions. “Since the principle of federal character is entrenched in the Constitution of Nigeria, it will be wise to also introduce it in the appointments of key officers in the commission,” he said. In their respective contributions Mr. Philp Shaibu and Johnson Oghuma, said that applying the principle of federal character would help in cementing the bond of kinship in Edo. The lawmakers noted that the essence of the federal character was to protect the interest of the minority and allow for equitable distribution of positions. They recalled that in the past, three heads of service had come from one local government, which they said was capable of bringing discontent among the people. In his own submission, Mr. Folly Ogedengbe, argued that people would be dislodged from their positions if the principles of federal character and geographical spread was introduced now. He said that those already occupying the positions should be allowed to remain and that the principle should be applied at the point of entry into the service. Ogedengbe said, “The issues of federal character as it affects the civil servant should start at the point of entry. “Not when people have worked to attain their current positions, you now bring junior officers to head them because of federal character. “It is unacceptable because definitely some persons will be dislodged in the whole process.”

CDD urges traditional rulers to retain role as custodians of tradition


entre for Democracy and Development (CDD), a pro-democracy outfit yesterday called on the traditional rulers in the country to retain their role as custodians of culture and tradition. According to him, this is better for them rather than being “actors in democracy.” Dr Jibrin Ibrahim, Executive Director of the Centre, made the call

in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. NAN recalls that Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, Chairman, Senate Committee on Constitution Review, on July 10, said the committee would provide a constitutional role for traditional rulers in the current constitution review process. Ibrahim said, “I think traditional rulers cannot have a constitutional role in a democracy; they are

custodians of culture and tradition. “Traditional rulers are not players in democracy; therefore, they should retain themselves as actors in tradition rather than in democracy, “ he said. According to Ibrahim, traditional rulers are known as leaders of the society whose institutions existed centuries prior to the arrival of colonial masters. He said that any attempt to

politicise traditional institution would affect its image in the eyes of the people, adding that they should remain as “a symbol of cultural heritage.“ In another development, Prof. Ebere Onwudiwe, a Distinguished Fellow of the Centre, said traditional rulers could be given some kind of recognition in the constitution at the community. “This can help in creating a peaceful environment in the remote

areas, “ he said. Onwudiwe added that traditional rulers could be given a constitutional role in such a way that it would not create problems to citizenship status in the country. He suggested that some particular group of Nigerians with integrity could be saddled with responsibility of looking into the issue and recommend on how possible it could be done.



Free legal service to Airiavbere: We’ll meet in court – Oshiomhole From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


he battle line appears to have been drawn between defeated Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Major Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd.) and winner of the July 14 2012 gubernatorial poll in Edo State, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, following reported free legal service a group of legal practitioners offered Airhiavbere on the educational qualification of the governor. Governor Oshiomhole said he was battle ready to the legal challenge posed by the lawyers while receiving members of the Correspondent Chapel who paid him a congratulatory visit at the Government House yesterday. He said "We are ready to build a new generation of leaders who will take over from us and keep the flag flying; we are building a new Edo and you. When God has fought your battle, you just thank Him. It was a good fight but the rebellion has been crushed'. Comrade Oshiomhole who commended journalists for balanced reporting of politics and the July 14 governorship election in the state explained that one of his purposes in politics was to build a new generation of leaders that would take over from them and move Nigeria to a befitting level. "I think it was balance reporting generally, you are all part of this and like I did say in the centre in 2007 that you should see this project as your project first because if one worker can make it, any other worker can. The ordinary man can be what God says he will be without

paying allegiance to all those men of yesterday, so we thank God. If the people of Uzenema voted for me, I have to do more things there to justify that confidence. Meanwhile, the traditional rulers from Edo Central Senatorial zone have described Oshiomhole as a politician who has the genuine mandate of all Edo people. The traditional ruler led by the Onogie of Opoji, Zaiki Aidenojie Ehidiamhen, JP, during a congratulatory to the governor said since independence, Edo state had just witnessed the most transparent election where thugs were jobless.

"We have come to congratulate the governor over the victory which revealed God's hand at work. We are also appreciative of the role of the Oba of Benin, who spoke of peace and progress during the election We have full confidence in the governor, we are having a governor that has the genuine of the people, you are the governor of all Edo people" they said. Responding Oshiomhole thanked the traditional rulers for their prayers and support during the electioneering campaign and the election. "As royal fathers, you have

made the point that you do not belong to any political party, but you cannot be neutral. As Adolor of Esan, you have done me proud as the people voted for their Adolor in every Ward". He promised to fulfill the promises he made during his electioneering campaign and to carry the royal fathers along to justify the confidence repose in him. "I am humbled by the outcome of the election, Edo people reminded us we are one and the same and they want a governor that must apply resources for the development of various parts of our state," he said.

Edo state Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole (2nd right), Majority Leader, Edo state House of Assembly, Hon Philip Shaibu(right), Commissioner for Information, Mr Louis Odion (left), and Chairman, Board of Internal Revenue, Chief Oseni Elamah (2nd left), during the victory party organised to celebrate the re-election of Governor Oshiomhole, on Saturday at the Kings Square, Benin City.

Sen. Saraki advises Nigerians to unite


en. Bukola Saraki has advised Nigerians to unite and ensure harmonious relationship with one another for the overall development of the country. Saraki, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, gave the advice on Monday while receiving members of Idiape Community in his residence in Ilorin. The senator, representing Kwara Central, noted that there could not be any meaningful development in an atmosphere of

chaos and acrimony. He described the visit by the community as historic, adding that he was ready to accept its members to enable them contribute their quota to the development of the state. Saraki paid glowing tribute to late Muhammed Lawal, one time governor of Kwara, describing the deceased as a hero, who lived a life worthy of emulation. He explained that the Idiape community and Saraki dynasty were now one, assuring them that their request would be granted.

The senator said he had forgotten about the past cold war between his family and Idiape community for peace to continue to reign in the state. Earlier, in his speech, the spokesman of Idiape community, Alhaji Isiaka Owolabi, said the community paid the visit to join hands with the present administration in the state to develop the state. He added that the visit was to re-unite the Lawal family with Saraki family for peace to reign within the two families.

Owolabi expressed the gratitude of the Idiape dynasty to the present administration in the state for immortalising the name of Muhammed lawal by renaming the Ilorin Gulf Club after him. Also speaking, a former Commissioner for Special Duties, Alhaji Razaki Lawal, said he was relieved that Saraki was ready to accept Idiape community into PDP. He described the collective decision of the community to join PDP as long overdue.

Adamawa Assembly passes vote of confidence on Speaker


damawa House of Assembly yesterday passed a vote of confidence on its Speaker, Alhaji Ahmadu Fintiri. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the vote of confidence followed speculations of an impeachment move against the speaker who assumed office eight months ago. Mrs Wilbina Jackson (PDPGuyuk) moved the motion during the plenary session presided over by the Speaker. The motion was seconded by

Mr Alloysious Babadoke (PDPLeko/Koma). Jackson, who lauded the leadership quality of the speaker, said that under his leadership, the house had remained vibrant, adding that everybody was carried along. She listed the passage of 17 bills and 32 resolutions by the house within the past eight months as some of the positive developments recorded under Fintiri's able leadership. In his remarks after the

motion was passed in a voice vote, the speaker thanked his colleagues for their support. He assured them of the commitment of the leadership of the house to work for the progress of the state. NAN recalled that the emergence of Fintiri from Adamawa North as speaker in December last year, sparked protests by some PDP supporters from Adamawa Central District of the state. According to them, the

development violates the state PDP zoning arrangement. The protest led to the closure of the house for over one month by the police for security reasons. NAN further recalls that Fintiri, who came from the same zone as the Deputy Governor, Mr Bala Ngilari, replaced Alhaji Sadiq Ibrahim from Adamawa Central District. Ngilari was impeached following the passage of a vote of no confidence on his leadership by the house.

CPC calls on INEC to stop funding political parties


ongress for Progressive Change (CPC) yesterday called on INEC to stop funding the existing political parties as that would ensure that only viable ones kept afloat. The National Secretary of the party, Malam Buba Galadima, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. According to him, self sustenance will encourage discipline among the virile political parties built to facilitate sustainable development. He also urged INEC to regulate the role of money in politics through appropriate measures. Galadima stressed the need for urgent reform geared toward stemming so many atrocities arising from excessive use of money in politics. He attributed proliferation of parties to the largesse from the government's coffers, saying violence and legal tussles within the parties were rampant owing largely to government funding. ``Funding of political parties by INEC has become a big business for many political parties to make so much money for doing nothing. ``The idea is odd as it has made the whole scenario to become so untidy and resulted in proliferation of so many non functional political parties as it is in Nigeria today." Galadima said any serious political party should be able to fund its activities and by that only the most serious people would run parties and contest elections.

Death of Gov Ajimobi’s mother painful - Northern Governors Forum


orthern Governors Forum has described the death of Alhaja Sikirat Ajimobi, mother of Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state as “painful.’’ The Forum chairman and Governor of Niger state, Dr Babangida Aliyu, described Alhaja Sikirat’s exit as a devastating experience for the governor, especially now that he would need her parental support and guidance. A statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Danladi Ndayebo, quoted Aliyu as urging Ajimobi to be consoled by the fact that no one would escape the clutches of death. He urged Gov. Ajimobinot to be discouraged by her death, but to forge ahead with the enormous task of repositioning Oyo state. He said that the best tribute that Ajimobi could pay to his late mother was to continue to touch the lives of the people of the state positively like he had been doing since he was elected governor. Aliyuprayed that God would grant the deceased eternal rest and members of her family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.



Isolo LG seeks support for sports development


oordinator, Youth and Sports for Isolo Local Council Development Area, Daniel Oyegoke, said that the low-level of sporting activities in its domain should be blamed on lack of sponsors. Oyegoke made the assertion while reviewing the council’s effort in the development of sports this year in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

yesterday in Lagos. “We have a chairman in the person of Shamsudeen Olaleye who is so passionate about sports and its development as it can bring our youths and community meaningful progress in life. “But, he is limited in involving the community in so many sporting activities due to the huge investment it requires,’’ he said. He said that at the last state

sports festival, tagged “Ibile Games’’, Isolo were represented in 10 events in the male and female categories and won 34 medals, including 10 gold, 14 silver and 10 bronze. “These were proud moments for the community when compared with the last Games where it recorded just 10 medals,” he said. Oyegoke said that a lot had yet

to be done in the area of constructing venues for the sporting activities and motivating youths to be actively involved in sports. “We need corporate organisations to play a big part in our projects. There is the Metropolitan College sports ground which requires attention. “There is also the Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo annex requiring attention,’’ he said.

L-R: Plateau state Governor, Mr Jonah Jang, his wife, Mrs Talatu Jang, and the state DeputyGovernor, Mr Ignatius Longjang, during a funeral service for former Majority Leader, Plateau House of Assembly, Late Hon. Gyang Fulani, yesterday in Jos. Photo: NAN

Alleged scams have not eroded people’s confidence in NASS, says Momoh


member of the House of Representatives, Dr Abubakar Momoh, has said that alleged cases of corruption, involving some lawmakers have not eroded people’s confidence in the National Assembly. Momoh made the statement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at Auchi in Edo on Monday. He said that the current assembly was determined to make laws to improve the lives of the populace. The lawmaker said that oversight functions had always afforded the house an opportunity to interface with various segments of

the population to identify areas they would make their inputs toward transforming Nigeria for the better. Momoh described the Otedola, Lawan bribery scandal saga as unfortunate, saying that the nation needed to await the outcome of ongoing investigations before drawing conclusions. He described allegations of widespread corruption in the house as mere media hype, saying: “It should be emphasised that the people and only the people are the reason why we are there and not for personal interests. “The public should continue to have faith in us as we remain

committed to their cause and that of the Nigeria nation. “It is in our resolve to serve the people better that you see lots of revelations of cases of corruption involving some highly-placed Nigerians, especially in the public sector.” The lawmaker said that the house had resolved to address all cases of corruption in the public sector. “We are not just stopping at that, we will ensure that the country departs from the old order by doing things as dictated by the Constitution.” Momoh advised journalists to reflect issues of the day

accurately, bearing in mind their social responsibility, saying that the performance of journalists so far in nation building were laudable. “You see, I must not fail to tell you that the stories journalists wrote on the capital market probe do not reflect the true position of things. “The media must learn how not to blow issue out of proportion. Issues should be reported the way and manner they happened in order not to cause unnecessary tension and chaos in the system. “The media had played a critical role and would continue to play the role of sustaining the growth and development of this country,” he stated.

LG chairman commends INEC for hitch-free bye-election


he Chairman, Sabon-Birni Local Government Council, Sokoto state, Alhaji Idris Gobir, yesterday commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting a hitch free by election in the area. Gobir said that all necessary electoral materials for the smooth conduct of the by election arrived on time, including the officials. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that INEC had on July 19, conducted by election for Sabon-Birni North constituency following the death of Haruna Dauda (PDP)

Twenty three political parties participated in the election which Alhaji Yusuf Mohammad of the PDP emerged victorious with 27,619 votes defeating ANPP candidate Ibrahim Babangida who scored 1,340 votes. He said that prompt arrival of electoral materials at the 96 polling units showed that the commission had improved on its performance to ensure free, fair and acceptable elections. “Professor Jega has practically demonstrated the readiness of the commission to meet the expectation of Nigerians in

conducting credible elections in future,” he said. Malam Isa Abubakar, a voter, told NAN that both INEC and security personnel had excelled in the discharge of their primary responsibilities. He said there was no case of ballot snatching as the availability of security personnel in each of the polling units made the exercise peaceful. Abubakar tasked the elected representatives to introduce legislation that would create job opportunities among the teeming unemployed youth as well as

provide modern farming input to boost food production in the area. Malama Aishatu Bello, PDP woman leader, called on the representatives to create avenue where women would be trained in various trades. Bello said the women should be encouraged to make their contribution toward the political growth of the nation by being self reliant. She added that the only way to motivate eligible women voters was to establish vocational centres in the rural area to teach them various trades.

No sustainable development without eradicating hunger – CPC


he CPC National Secretary, Buba Galadima, said yesterday that sustainable development and adequate security could only be achieved through “the eradication of hunger and extreme poverty in the country”. Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, Galadima said that to achieve adequate security of lives and property would be a mirage if government failed to feed the people. Galadima said the three tiers of government must demonstrate the political will to improve on governance, reform policy and, above all, take action to ensure adequate security in the country. “If this is not looked into urgently efforts toward “sustainable development and security of lives and property will be in vain”. “Of what use is governance if all concerned cannot feed humanity and also safeguard the resources upon which life depends’’. Galadima said government must create level playing fields for all its citizens and “the idea of pick and choose must be done away with”. “The security should not be tampered with, judiciary must not be dictated to and once any arm of the government veered away from the normal conventional laws they too should be brought to book. “Once the individual knows that there is a level playing field, that the son of the well-to-do and the son of a water hawker are equal before the law, then there will be no problem. Galadima said government must help poor Nigerians have access to food and support their efforts towards eradicating unemployment. He said millions of Nigerians were living in extreme poverty and they were vulnerable to manipulation as tools for insecurity across the country. He said that could be achieved by systems and institutions that promoted accountability and ensured that the right tools and policies were scaled up and applied. Galadima said that that was a big challenge involving actions that must be undertaken by government, the private sector and stakeholders across the country. He said it was everyone’s responsibility to unlock the power of partnerships, working across sectors and tearing down barriers that had sometimes made security development efforts uncoordinated and inefficient. “The principles of inclusiveness, equity, gender equality and a rights-based approach must be upheld both in the consultative process and the action undertaken.” Galadima said the local governments must contribute immensely to the development of the rural communities through adequate provision of social amenities and rural infrastructure.


Gov Amaechi receives NSF report, lauds LOC


ov. Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers yesterday commended members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the 17th National Sports Festival (NSF) for doing a good job. Rivers hosted the festival, tagged Garden City games and came first with 135 gold, 78 silver and 38 bronze medals. Amaechi, while receiving the report, said the committee’s hard work led to the successful hosting of the games. “I congratulate you for winning the 2011 National Sports Festival. I will not go through the eulogy of victory because you and I have savored the victory but I want to say that you worked very hard for the victory. “I will say to you that I am

very proud of you and I am also proud of those who competed,” he said. He also commended the LOC Chairman, Mr Tele Ikuru and other members of the committee, for their financial prudence and excellent organisation of the (NSF). The governor said that the opening ceremony of the Garden City Games was magnificent and attracted positive remarks from Nigerians and beyond. Amaechi assured that his administration would continue to provide sporting facilities to strengthen sports development and give the state a pride of place in national and international sports. “If we do all these, we will be creating employment and engaging our youths in meaningful activities and what


it takes to do that is a small price.” He announced that the sports fields in Diobu, Port Harcourt, would be recovered and put to use, adding: “we will then start competition there and start in D/ Line Area of Port Harcourt. “We will engage as many youths as possible and you can never tell, you may have people who will play at the national team or who will even go out of the country from there.’’ Presenting the report, Ikuru said: “it is with extreme joy that we gather today to formally present to you the final report of the 17th National Sports Festival otherwise known as the Garden City Games 2011.’’ Ikuru, who is also the Deputy Governor of Rivers, said the state hosted and won the games. “It is already a joyous historical fact that our dear Rivers hosted the festival and in line with our philosophy of the game, we hosted to win and by the grace of God and by our sterling efforts, we won. “The position of the state at the end of the game was first position with 135 gold 79 silver and 38 bronze. In all, we won 299 medals,” he said.

‘NFF sacks assistant coaches for alleged indiscipline’ This was the reason the duo were stopped from travelling with the team to Rwanda yesterday because according to coach they could cause unnecessary distraction and derailed his programmes and thus adversely affects the Flyuing Eagles’ qualification. Green said yesterday that the NFF was determined to instill discipline and professionalism in conduct and technical approaches by its technical officials especially as they work assiduously to rebuild the game on all fronts. “Our principal concern for now is to ensure that discipline reigns in all the teams, and whoever is seen to be the cog-in-the-wheel of progress in any of the teams will be thrown overboard without anyone batting an eyelid. “Certainly, we want to win Member of the Flying Eagles celebrating as CAF U-20 matches and competitions. But Champions the age-grade teams are critical to our development programmes he Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and we will never ignore negative vibes from yesterday sacked two Flying Eagles there. coaches,Samuel Abimbola and Suleiman “It is from the age grade teams that players Shuaibu for alleged indiscipline. The duo had move to the Super Eagles, and they have to been with coach John Obuh since 2008 when grow with the right values before they can do he was in charge of the Golden Eaglets. They well in the senior team,” he said. were also promoted to the junior Eagles along The team included the new Goalkeeper with Obuh. Trainer, Aloysius Agu, who was a former But yesterday, the Chairman of the NFF Captain of the Super Eagles. Technical Sub-Committee, Barrister Christopher Flying Eagles would today play an Green, attributed their sack to ‘ensure discipline international friendly against the Young in the team’, but failed to elaborate on what acts Amavubi of Rwanda in Kigali. of indiscipline they engaged in. They would later leave for Dar-es-Salaam Peoples Daily Sports learnt that Head Coach on Thursday for the 2013 African Youth had officially lodged some complaint against Championship qualifier against the Junior the duo following which he was mandated to Taifa Stars on Sunday. instruct them to stay away from the team.


SWAN wants specific FG pledge for Team Nigeria medalists

Bolaji Abdullahi, Minister of Sports


he congress of the Abuja chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has asked the Federal Government to state in specific terms what would accrue to each medalists at the London Olympics Games which begins on Friday. In communiqué signed by the chairman of the association, Mr. Kayode Adeniji, the congress said

clear and categorical statement on the rewards for the various levels of performances by the athletes at the Games would be an added incentive and a morale booster to them. Further, the congress applauded the efforts of the various sports federations that qualified to participate at the Games and appealed to the Team Nigeria to endeavour to equal or surpass the benchmark set by their predecessors at the Atlanta’96 Games. Also, the congress pledged to give unalloyed support to Team Nigeria through positive reportage of the Games and urged the contingent to maintain sound patriotic zest throughout the Games. It lauded the Nigeria Olympics Committee and the National Sports Commission for weeding out elements likely to embarrass Nigeria at the Games adding that their strict adherence to zero government delegation to the Games was commendable.

Federation Cup Prime FC send Enyimba crashing as Heartland halt Crown FC’s surge Stories by Patrick Andrew


ederation Cup oddity continued yesterday as lower division side Prime FC kept the tradition on course with a shocking defeat of former back-to-back CAF Champions League winners, Enyimba. The Ademola Adeshina tutored side made mincemeat of Enyimba with a 2-0 drubbing of the Aba-based club. In the same vein, defending champions Heartland stopped the ascendency of Crown FC with a 2-0 pummeling to secure the qualification for the semi-final. Heartland FC of Owerri on Monday at the Liberation Stadium, Port Harcourt, beat Crown FC of Ogbomosho by 2-0 goals to qualify for the semi-final of the Federation Cup. Similarly, Kano Pillars, who strong contenders for the NPL shield gave lower division side Plateau United no chance to keep the Federation Cup oddity on the boil by beating them 3-2 to move into the semifinal. Lobi Stars again confirmed their superiority over Blues Angels, Sharks of Port Harcourt by trouncing them 3-1. This means that Lobi have sustained its Federation Cup tradition over the counterparts. Crown’s coach Oyadunmi Oyekale said after shortly after the match, that his players gave a good account of themselves, in spite of the loss. “I think the boys put up a good fight. They are very young and inexperienced and to them, it is an achievement. Heartland scored us two good goals with their experience. We had our chances but could not utilise them. “We will go back to the drawing board and prepare for the next soccer season,’’ he said. Heartland’s Bello Kofomata scored the first goal in the 14th minute, while Chinedu Efugh increased the tally in the 44th minute. Heartland’s chief coach, Ndubuisi Nduka also praised Crown FC for putting up a gallant show and stressed that the team surprised them with the kind of quality display they brought into the game. “The Crown boys surprised me. They played very good football. They were committed to the game and they gave us a very good match. “But I want to praise my boys because we laid emphasis on finishing in our training because that had been our problem. They took two good chances and it made it for us, ” he said. On their semi-final match, Nduka said that as defending champions, they were prepared to take on any team. “We are the defending champions and we are ready to take on any team. Our intention is to retain the cup,’’ he said. The semi-finals of the cup will hold in Calabar and Ilorin at a date to be announced by the Nigerian Football Federation.



Badminton players bemaon Nigeria’s absence at event in Olympics


wo top Nigerian badminton p l a y e r s yesterday bemoaned the country’s nonparticipation in the

London 2012 Olympics beginning on Friday, blaming it on inadequate preparation. They told the News

Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone that lack of sponsors hindered players’ attendance in international

Cross River may host 2012 Public Service Games November


ross River state is being considered along with Imo state as likely venue of the 2012 edition of the Federation of Public Service Games (FEPSGA) scheduled to be held in November, an official has said. The Secretary-General of the Federation, Omowunmi Ayodeji, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja, that registration had commenced for the Games. “The preparation for the Games entails registration, screening and play-off before the Games itself. Registration has commenced now and it will go on till September; right now, we have 35 participants on ground and the floor is still open for others. “The screening and the play-offs will also be in September, and the Games will start in November,” he said. Ayodeji disclosed that this year’s edition would feature 13 sporting events which included football (male & female), handball (male & female), volleyball, swimming and athletics. Other events are squash, tennis, table tennis, Ayo, draught, badminton, chess and scrabble. The secretary-general added that the federation had yet to take a decision on the venue and date for the Games. “The venue and date for the Games have not been decided yet, but we are still considering either Akwa Ibom or Imo State.” FEPSGA is an annual Games for public servants in ministries, agencies and extra-ministerial agencies in the 36 states including the FCT. The 2011 edition of the Games was held in Cross River State.

DSTV Men’s basketball

Royal Hoopers begin title defence with win

The Royal Hoopers of Port Harcourt, defending Champions of the DSTV Men’s Basketball League Final Eight began their title defence on Monday with a win, beating Niger Potters of Minna 81-50. In the opening game of this year’s competition at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos, Hoopers did not find the first quarter easy, having no point in the first three minutes. However, they bounced back to end it with a 15-15 draw, led the second quarter with a 31-12 win and claimed the third and fourth quarters with 18-12 and 17-11. Their coach, Ogoh Odaudu said in a post match interview that “I am happy we started our title defence with a win. “Although our first quarter was not okay, my players were able to pick up’’. Odaudu said his team was out to retain their title and would make sure it did not lose any match, so as not to be in a tight corner. His Niger Potters counterpart, Ishaga Yaha, described the match as alright. “I think the game is okay; we lost because we played with a better team. We are barely new, we did not qualify last season; so, we have studied our performance and I think our next game will be better,’’ he said. Dike Azouma of Royal Hoopers has the highest points of 18. The opening match of the championship, holding from July 23 to July 28, was witnessed by a large number of spectators.

Royal Hoopers basketball team in action

competitions, where they would have accumulated points to participate in the Games. They noted that participation in such major international tournaments had its own points, while playing in it meant additional points. Nigeria’s number one player, Ifraimu Jinkam, said he worked hard to participate in the Olympics, but noted that he did not attend enough competitions to secure the required points. “I am so disappointed that Nigeria will not feature in the badminton event of at the Olympic Games; people see me and ask why are we not going?

“If you do not attend up to 10 competitions, how do you expect to be picked? I can count the number of competitions that I attended, compared to Edwin Ekiring of Uganda. “The badminton federation really tried for us because we attended some of the c o n t i n e n t a l q u a l i f y i n g championships but they were not enough to qualify us for the Olympics. “We need sponsors to come to the aid of badminton because it offers more than one medal. If we had sponsors, I am sure we would have earned the points to be there,’’ he said.

Ifraimu also appealed to the government to release funds early in the year to allow the federations pursue their programmes. His colleague, Eneojo Abah, who is number two, appealed to the National Sports Commission (NSC) to give other sports that could win more medals equal recognition as football. Kogi state-born Abah said that sports like badminton should also be given equal attention by the ministry of sports, because if they attended more international competitions, their continental and world rankings would rise. “I can count the number of

championships we attended before the Olympics, if we do not attend virtually all the competitions, we will not earn enough points for world tournaments. “I know that the government cannot do it alone, but they should also put other sports into consideration. “I pray that sponsors will soon begin to partner with the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) to enhance the development of the sport. “It is a shame that we will not be going to the Olympics, but I believe we will participate in the next edition with early preparation and enough participation in qualifying championships.

NFF reopens parley with Ministry of Women Affairs over Super Falcons By Patrick Andrew


he Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has rekindled efforts to get the Ministry of Women Affairs to identify with female soccer in the country particularly the Super Falcons, who are defending champions of the African Women Championship (AWC). Accordingly, the NFF has written to the ministry soliciting for cooperation in matters pertaining to female national teams after an initial approach failed to yield positive response. Idris Adama, the Marketing Director, of the football federation said yesterday that the federation has formally approached the ministry to support the Super Falcons’ campaign in the 2012 African Women’s Championship. “We had written to the former Minister of Women Affairs but we never got any response and now we have following up with another letter to the new minister and we hope the ministry will respond by making the Super Falcons part of their projects,’’ he said. Adama said that the NFF opted to approach the present Minister Mrs Josephine Anenih because they believe she would identify with the football federation’s aspiration especially since she had in the past associated with female football. “We will continue to appeal to the ministry and we hope our efforts would yield positive response. As a ministry that gathers predominantly to matters of women, we are sure the ministry is gender sensitive and should lend support to female national teams in whatever ways it thinks useful,’’ Adama said. Also, at a different forum Adama highlighted the achievements of the Super Falcons and said the success story of the team was enough to ginger general and particular support for the players as the team prepares to defend her African title. The Super Falcons had won the African Women Championships (AWC) seven consecutive times and “they are gunning for the 8th title’’. “Out of the seven championships, they lost just one. All the female teams have qualified for every FIFA competition, so why won’t the Ministry of Women Affairs identified with?,’’ he asked. Adama expressed regret at the lack of support for the teams by female captains of industry, in spite of their achievements. He said the Women for Change Initiative would

Hajiya Zainab Maina, Minister of Women Affairs not be complete “if the Ministry of Women Affairs keeps excluding the female national teams from its programmes’’. Adama noted that the female teams could be used by any female entrepreneur to launch herself into the mainstream of sports development. The NFF official said the Super Falcons had won more laurels for the country than their male counterparts and that any partnership with the team would be worthwhile. “Since the First Lady’s ‘Women for Change Initiative’ is geared towards changing the girlchild to become a complete woman of substance, then the Ministry of Women Affairs can use these girls in our female national teams who are doing very well to achieve what it wants to achieve because they are much disciplined. “There is no way you can change the girl-child to a woman of substance without using some of these players as role models because some of them are stars,’’ he said.

Aminu Maigari, NFF president



Schurrle admits interest in Chelsea

Transfer The season is over. Clubs are counting their blessing as well as losses and would like to make amends and even beef up their squads where noticeable lapses exist. And the transfer market is agog barely 24 hours after major European leagues dropped the curtain. And so to keep abreast with latest rumours, we begin daily doses of movements within the market both for players and coaches like.

Modric shun Spurs training tour


uka Modric has refused to fly out on Tottenham’s US tour. The Croat is desperate for a move to Real Madrid and has taken matters into his own hands in a bid to force a deal through. Playmaker Modric, 26, is understood to have fled to his homeland, where he will wait until his advisors have clinched his dream transfer. Tottenham want £40million but Real have so far offered £27m plus former Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho. Spurs will hit Modric hard in the pocket with fines of £15,000 each day he stays away on strike. They have already docked him more than £80,000 for refusing to train last week. Modric’s actions have infuriated Chairman Daniel Levy. Spurs were left red-faced at Heathrow Airport yesterday when they waited in vain for the mercurial midfielder.

Luka Modric


ayer Leverkusen forward Andre Schurrle says it would have been hard to turn Chelsea down if the Bundesliga side had accepted an offer from the Blues for his services. Leverkusen turned down Chelsea’s offer for the Germany international as they felt they would not be able to find a suitable replacement.

Robin van Persie’s

“I don’t think you would find any player in the Bundesliga who would say that they would not at all be interested,” Schurrle said. ”Chelsea would have been very interesting for me. You don’t get a chance like that very often in your life.” However, Schurrle, who only joined Leverkusen a year ago from Mainz, respects the club’s

decision. ”(Director of sport) Rudi Voller has explained the reasoning to me several times, he said that “they could not find a suitable replacement and I am too important to Bayer.” Chelsea was reported to have raised their initial bid to •25m and Schurrle is disappointed that such figures were being mentioned in public.

Inter Milan all heavily linked with the Brazilian prospect that shot to prominence in early 2011. A report on Sunday night indicated that the Red Devils had secured a £26 million deal for the attacking midfielder, but Ferguson strongly denied those claims. Ferguson also confirmed to reporters that the club are still looking into various transfer

options ahead of the new campaign, saying: “We’ve signed two players in the summer: Kagawa and Powell,” he added. “We think they both have fantastic potential. “At this moment we’re looking at other options in terms of bringing other players in. We’re not lying on our backsides doing nothing. We’re trying hard to bring other players to the club.”

Wenger eyes Van Persie deadline Ferguson confirms Lucas talks


rsenal manager Arsene Wenger has intimated that he intends for Robin van Persie’s future to be resolved in time for the start of the new Premier League season. Wenger has reiterated he is keen to retain the services of star striker Van Persie, despite the Dutchman stating he will not sign a new contract with the Gunners. Van Persie’s current terms expire in the summer of 2013, and interest in his signature is high, with Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus all monitoring his situation. It has been suggested Arsenal could be open to selling the forward should they receive an offer in excess of £20 million, but Wenger has stressed his desire to keep the skipper at Emirates Stadium. Speaking in Malaysia at the start of the Gunners’ preseason tour, Wenger said at a press conference: “We are very, very ambitious. You know that. Not only very ambitious, but also very proud of the way we run our club. “Van Persie is a world-class striker and I am a big supporter of him. I have supported him through his whole career. He has one year left and is in demand but our desire is to keep him. Wenger indicated he is keen for the situation to be resolved before Arsenal’s first fixture of the Premier League campaign against Sunderland on August 18.

Liverpool rejects Skrtel offers


iverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists he knows nothing about reported offers for centre-back Martin Skrtel and will fight to keep the Slovakian at Anfield. Skrtel, 27, told reporters last week that he had received several offers this summer, but Rodgers, who arrived from Swansea earlier this summer, confirmed that he sees the defender as an integral part of his Liverpool side for next season.

The manager told reporters on the club’s preseason tour: “No. I’ve heard nothing from any other club. Martin has been fantastic and seems happy and contented. He fits into my plans and ideas. I will fight as hard as I can to keep the players that I want here and he is one of them. Liverpool started their pre-season tour with a 1-1 friendly draw with Toronto on Saturday and will face Serie A side Roma in New York tomorrow.

Fulham warn suitors off Dembele, Dempsey

Berekum Chelsea confirm TP Mazembe enquiry about Clottey


mmanuel Clottey has been targeted by TP MazembeBerekum Chelsea Chief Executive Nana Kwame Nketiah has confirmed TP Mazembe’s interest in redhot striker Emmanuel Clottey. The 24-year-old has gained global attention after scoring 11 goals in five matches in the 2012 CAF Champions League. Last Sunday, he stunned TP Mazembe faithful with second half brace which secured a 2-2 draw in their Group B clash in Lubumbashi. TP Mazembe’s rich owner Moise Katumbi, who is also the Governor of the

Katanga Province in the southern part of the DR Congo, wants to add the 2007 Ghana Premier League goal king to their stock of foreigners. “Officials of TP Mazembe met us after the game and as usual they talked to us about the availability of Clottey,” Nketiah told Sunyanibased Storm FM. “But we made it clear to them that he will not be available until after the Champions League. “Definitely you expect a lot of clubs to enquire about him and that is what they (Mazembe) did and I see no bad in that.” TP Mazembe won the CAF Champions League on two occasions in 2009 and 2010.

Oscar vows to focus amid Chelsea talk


razil midfielder Oscar has insisted talk of a proposed transfer to Chelsea won’t distract him from the business of trying to win football gold at the London Olympics. The 20-year-old has long been linked with a move to the reigning European champions but Oscar said any talks with the club were of secondary importance ahead of Brazil’s campaign that starts against Egypt in

Cardiff on Thursday. “I am not really even thinking about it (a move to Chelsea) much, I am just focused on the Olympic Games,” Oscar said yesterday. “They (his agent and advisers) are sorting those other things out for me, and keeping me informed. I just focus on playing here and on growing and becoming better. Like all the team, I am totally focused on winning the

...As Chelsea seal Oscar contract Friday


ulham “would not welcome” any bids for reportedly in-demand duo Moussa Dembele and Clint Dempsey. Dembele, 25, and Dempsey, 29, have been linked with summer moves to Manchester United and Liverpool respectively. Belgium international Dembele last month reiterated his commitment to Fulham, having joined the club from AZ Alkmaar for £5 million in 2010. Dempsey, however, has expressed his ambition to sign for a so-called bigger side, and last week Liverpool were forced to clarify a report that suggested they were set to acquire the American. Fulham, though, are understood to have not yet received a bid for either player “Fulham have nothing to say on either player, other than no bids would be welcome for any of our players.” Asked whether United or Liverpool have tabled offers for Dembele and Dempsey respectively, the source added: “There are no current bids, and none would be welcome.”


anchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed the club’s interest in securing a deal for Sao Paulo midfielder Lucas Moura, but denied press reports that a deal had been struck. Lucas Moura is at the centre of intense transfer speculation heading into the Olympics. Lucas, 19, is in demand this summer, with United, Real Madrid and


Brazil midfielder Oscar

razil midfielder Oscar has described a potential move to Chelsea as “a dream”, with Brazilian media reporting that the contract will be signed on Friday. Oscar, 20, has been linked with Chelsea for some time and confirmed earlier this week that he had undertaken a medical ahead of a £25 million move to West London. Brazilian media giant Globo are reporting that the Oscar will finally complete his move to the Blues on Friday, with the two parties to meet in Manchester once Brazil arrive to prepare for their second Olympic clash. Earlier on Monday, Internacional president Giovanni Luigi had confirmed that his side had struck an agreement with Chelsea over the player’s transfer. Before the deal can take place, Oscar will be in action as Brazil begins their quest for Olympic gold taking on Egypt in Cardiff on Thursday night.

gold medal.” Oscar, currently with Internacional, had no doubt his game could flourish in the English Premier League. “I am confident in my ability. If I go to Chelsea it will be a dream come true. They are one of the greatest teams in Europe. I am confident I will have a good Olympics and, if I go to Chelsea, I will arrive feeling good. “If I go, I will just keep on doing what I have been doing at Internacional, which is working hard to improve all the time.” For Brazil, Oscar has been given the No 10 shirt – a jersey made famous by Pele, three-times a World Cup winner with the South Americans and widely regarded as one of football’s greatest, if not the greatest, players. “I have always worn the No 10 shirt when I played at lower levels and, obviously, my reference point was always Pele and then Ronaldinho. I am proud to follow in their footsteps and hope I will be worthy of it.”



Olympics Soccer Gold

Senegal, UAE, Uruguay, yes, but no easy choice to make, says Pearce


f the tournaments you have been head coach at, this has been by far the most high-profile. Have you approached it differently? No, to be honest with you. We had a good experience last summer, I think the only thing that’s slightly different is the other tournaments I’ve been involved with were at the end of our football season, so the training has tailored slightly differently. I had the experience of going to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia at the same time as this tournament, so myself and the majority of my staff were at that tournament so we have that experience to draw on and take into this. In the main the preparation has been fairly similar; the only difference I would say is we have worked harder physically than we have going into other tournaments. What has been your focus in training, considering the short time you have been together? Tactics, forming a unit, the opponents you will face? I think we’ve trodden the balance really. We know physically we’ve got to bring them to the boil in time for the Senegal game. We had in the back of our mind that our first game against Mexico was not going to be the finished article, and probably the same against Brazil, but we have to hit the ground running against Senegal. How did you go about selecting the over-age players? Simple really, look at the young players, look at where they would fit into the squad and then from there look at where we are weak. Up front certainly, we needed to put Craig Bellamy in, at the back Micah Richards and Ryan Giggs’ form has been outstanding this year. Really it was just a case of having a look at the youngster on a piece of paper and saying, “Right, where are we strong? We’ve got three picks, where are we weak in certain areas of the pitch?” That’s what we’ve done and it’s really down the spine of the team. Does this mean you feel the team is fairly balanced? Yeah. The three over-age players have given us something special, they’ve got experience, they’re respected greatly not just for their performances but for their stature in the game and the young players can learn a great deal from them both on and off the football pitch. They’re here to set an example to the young players but they’re also here by right on their performances. Has it been a bonus, compared to your usual work with the U-21s, to have a couple of elder statesman within the squad? We’ve operated slightly differently in this tournament

Stuart Pearce, Team GB coach

and myself as a manager as well. Ryan Giggs is the captain of the squad and he’s been involved in staff meetings as well to talk about training and to give us some feedback on the players. That’s something I don’t do at U-21 level, or even at club level to be fair, so that’s been something different for me and it’s worked really well. I think Ryan’s quite enjoyed having that input with us as well. With the experience he’s got, what he’s achieved in the game and a sensible opinion that benefits everyone not just Ryan Giggs it’s been a real bonus for us having him as part of the setup. Have the Welsh contingent settled in well? Yeah, they have. They’ve probably gelled quicker than I thought they would as a group, let alone different nationalities we picked them purely on name rather than nationality so I wasn’t sure how quickly they would gel. The fact we had a training camp outside Great Britain has helped us, they’ve come together very quickly not just off the pitch but on it as well I believe. They’ve adopted everything we’ve asked in training, they’ve pushed themselves to the maximum physically and we’re delighted where we are at this moment in time and know full well we’ve got a lot of work going forward. Compared to teams like Brazil, Uruguay and Mexico, who have been training together for some time, do you feel at a disadvantage? We’re coming at it in a different way. We haven’t had to qualify, the other 15 teams all have, and with that brings a collective they’ve had longer to prepare the team, more time for the coach to work with the players and get to know them. In that respect, yes, we are at a slight disadvantage, where we are at an advantage is we’re on home soil. We understand the travelling and we hope our supporters will get behind us to give us that extra push and edge. I think our players were unsure what to expect when they came through the door a fortnight ago but when they got kitted out and went to the Olympic village I think they realised the magnitude of the tournament now and that’s something we have to use to our advantage. What problems do you feel you will face in the group stage? It would be folly to dismiss anyone to be fair. We know (Luis) Suarez, obviously, (Edinson) Cavani has played European games, so the strike force of Uruguay has to be respected. We’ve just seen Senegal beat Spain away 2-0, I saw the game where Senegal qualified against Oman, while UAE come into this with 17 matches behind them. On top of that you have to contend with 18 players in each squad, any injuries or suspensions is going to push you really tight, and the fact of having a lot of travelling between matches means recovery times are going to be absolutely paramount. Whoever wins the tournament will not only probably be the best side, but also the side who have recovered the best, travelled the best and avoided suspensions, injuries and everything else. I think a lot will be thrown into the melting pot before you pick a winner out, purely for the fact you have to win six games in 17 days, that’s a big ask for any nation. So do you feel you are working with a squad stronger than your usual U-21 side? One hundred per cent. The three over-age players to start with would get in my U-21 team, Joe Allen would do, so would Ramsey, so would Taylor, so I have the Welsh boys to choose from as well. There’s no doubt that this is stronger than my U-21 team and I feel that’s reflected in training as well. As you say, with the likes of Suarez and Cavani with Uruguay, and Marcelo, Hulk and Thiago Silva with Brazil, do you feel the EUROs have curtailed you a little in preventing you from using the whole plethora of players for your over-age selections? Yeah, and even under-age selections. We had eight under-age players go to the EUROs that are outside my selection, we were fortunate enough to get [Jack] Butland, the goalkeeper. I’ve still got seven players unavailable to me who were eligible, let alone the over-age players. What it does is give the 18 players we have with us a fantastic opportunity, though I would say the majority of them would have been fighting for a place in the squad anyway. I think whenever a coach gets his team together you only worry about the ones who are there. What are your hopes for the tournament? Are medals a realistic hope?

After a 52-year absence from the Olympic Games, Great Britain are about to step out at London 2012, where they will be hoping home advantage can give them the platform to win their first medal in a century. Their coach, former England international and long-standing Three Lions U-21 boss Stuart Pearce, spoke exclusively to ahead of the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament, which they kick off against Senegal on Thursday. The tactician spoke of the special atmosphere surrounding the tournament, the benefit of having experienced, over-age stars like Ryan Giggs among the squad, and how they will have to make home advantage count.

Liuz Suarez

Edison Cavani

Thiago Silva I as an individual set my team up to go all the way and to the win the final. We train to win the final, we practice penalties to win the final. I’d be very disappointed if any coach out of the 16 teams had a different mentality to myself to be honest with you. As we’ve seen on English soil, or British soil as it is now, the World Cup was won in 1966 at home, in EURO 96 we were a semifinal away from getting to a final and who knows, home advantage all over the world plays a real big part in football, so we have to make sure our performances are good enough to draw in the crowds.

Whoever wins the tournament will not only probably be the best side, but also the side who have recovered the best, travelled the best and avoided suspensions, injuries and everything else. I think a lot will be thrown into the melting pot before you pick a winner out, purely for the fact you have to win six games in 17 days, that’s a big ask for any nation.


Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed the club's interest in securing a deal for Sao Paulo midfielder Lucas Moura, but denied press reports that a deal had been struck.


Former Chelsea star Didier Drogba commenced his China odyssey with trademark success, the new campaign commenced in Iran.

Andy Murray says he struggled to sleep after losing in the Wimbledon final Brazil midfielder Oscar has described a potential move to Chelsea as "a dream", with Brazilian media reporting that the contract will be signed on Friday. but is now fully focused on winning Olympic gold.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has intimated that he intends for Robin van Persie's future to be resolved in time for the start of the new Premier League season.

Cuban boxers look to prove their potential at London 2012 after winning no gold medals at last Olympics.

CAF Champions League, only Al Ahly and Esperance maintained a perfect record after two rounds in the group stage, only the top two teams in each section will qualify for October's last semifinal stage.



For IOC, business booms


he Olympics remain big business in a grim economic environment, with the International Olympic Committee raking in more than seven billion dollars from the Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 Games. The calculation by dpa shows that the record income is far higher than the 5.45 billion dollars generated from the 2006 and 2008 editions in Turin and Beijing, respectively. The turnover comes from four major sources of income: television, international and national sponsors, television rights and ticket sales and licensing. TV rights and international sponsors are dealt with by the IOC directly, while

the other issues are done by the organising committee-based on strict IOC rules. The TV rights alone generated 3.91 billion dollars for the current Olympiad, the four-year period, after a price hike of almost 40 per cent. Eleven so-called TOP sponsors, who can advertise their products around the world with the Olympic rings, generate almost 1 billion dollars. The IOC is not necessarily charitable, but it keeps only around 10 per cent of the generated income - which in this case is still around 700 million dollars. This money is kept for scenarios such as cancelled Olympics. Host cities get the biggest chunk from

the IOC income, in the case of London around 1 billion dollars. Organisers also receive an estimated 1.6 billion dollars from domestic sponsors as well as around 600 million dollars from ticket sales and merchandise. That money almost covers the Olympic budget of 3.7 billion dollars, with further investment by the British government in infrastructure and other areas another 14.6 billion dollars. The 26 sports federations currently represented at the Games and the 205 IOC member countries receive around 350 million dollars each from the IOC. The Olympic Committee of the U.S., the main Olympic financer through the biggest TV rights deal and many top sponsors, has a special role and gets around 400 million euros over the Olympiad.

Jacque Rogge

ATP rankings: Federer stays top as Monaco joins top 10


Roger Federer


Novak Djokovic

iger Woods crawled his way up to the second place in world rankings on Monday but the American, fresh from his joint third finish at the British Open, is unlikely to make a song and dance about that. For a man who has spent 623 weeks at the summit, a greater craving would be to add to his already impressive list of 14 majors. There was no hint of impatience in his voice, after the famously focused American had a final round to forget at a sunny Lytham, carding his first triple bogey at a major since the 2003 Open. “It’s part of golf. We all go through these phases. (For) some people it lasts entire careers. (For) others ... a little bit shorter,” he said, when asked how it felt not to have won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open. Woods kept his composure remarkably well, given the setback at the sixth hole on Sunday, and still came tied third after a three-over-par 73 to end four shots behind winner Ernie Els. He now sits just one place behind world number one, Luke Donald, after a failed attempt to land a fourth Claret Jug. “I finally feel like I’m really healthy. And I’ve got my pop back in my swing. So I’m hitting the ball distances I know I can,” Woods told reporters. The 36-year-old has changed the face of golf with his prodigious hitting, and is still the main attraction for heaving galleries having won 14 majors in 11 years from his first in 1997.

Rafael Nadal

imbledon champion Roger Federer stayed top of the men’s tennis rankings while Argentina’s Juan Monaco joined the top 10 for the first time in the ATP list released yesterday. Federer, who had last week started a record 287th week as world number one, stays on 11,075 points, narrowly ahead of Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, who remains on 11,000. Spain’s Rafael Nadal and Britain’s Andy Murray remain third and fourth, with no changes to the leading nine positions. Monaco jumps four places to 10th, with Spain’s Nicolas Almagro dropping out of the top 10 to 12th.

Monaco on Sunday won his third ATP World Tour title of the season with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over home favourite Tommy Haas in Hamburg, Germany. Below is ATP top 10 as of July 23 (previous ranking in parenthesis): (1) Roger Federer, Switzerland, 11,075 points 2. (2) Novak Djokovic, Serbia, 11,000 3. (3) Rafael Nadal, Spain, 8,905 4. (4) Andy Murray, Britain, 7,460 5. (5) David Ferrer, Spain, 5,455 6. (6) JoWilfried Tsonga, France, 5,230 7. (7) Tomas Berdych, Czech Republic, 4,515 8. (8) Janko Tipsarevic, Serbia, 3,320 9. (9) Juan Martin del Potro, Argentina, 3,180 10. (14) Juan Monaco, Argentina, 2,695.

Woods ready to wait for 15th major

Tiger Woods

Ernie Els

…Els goes from “absolute fool” to major champion


ust four months after looking like an “absolute fool,” in his own words with no confidence in his putting, Ernie Els sank a 15-footer for birdie on the final green that won him the British Open on Sunday. The 42-year-old South African completed a final-round 68 at Lytham, to win the Claret Jug by one shot after Australian Adam Scott bogeyed the last four holes. “Obviously, in March I looked like an

absolute fool,” Els told reporters. “People were laughing at me and making jokes about me and really hitting me low, saying I’m done and I should hang it up. “When you’ve been where I was, you have no confidence in putting, you don’t want to have that one coming back. I was coasting everything up to the hole and wasn’t giving the hole a scare.” Since then, Els has completely changed his approach on the greens. “It comes from retraining your whole

outlook on putting,” he said. “I just changed the whole thing, mindset, training, everything. And I was really going from a totally different angle, which I liked, because I tried everything else.” Els, 1994 and 1997 U.S. Open champion and British Open winner at Muirfield 10 years ago, said he had not seriously considered quitting the game. “That’s easier said than done, isn’t it?,” he said. “This game is a tough game we play. It’s a physical game. It’s a mental game.



Rudisha set for record run in Zürich’s Samsung Diamond League

Winners of Lagos Junior League get trophies, medals


he three local governments and a private team, which won the 2011/2012 Lagos State Junior League, were yesterday presented with trophies and medals. The councils are Agege, Kosofe, Ojo, the Nat Boys, a private team, which won the premiership. The secretary of the League Board, Taofiq Aromire, while presenting the award at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, said that the league consist three divisions. Aromire, said that the purpose of the presentation was to celebrate all league division’s champions. He said that 58 teams participated in the league, comprising a team from each of the 57 Local Government Areas and the Local Council Development Authorities in the state and a private team. The secretary said that the board restricted the league to players below the age of 20 and only in secondary schools. He, however, added that players above 20 would be allowed to play in a higher league that the board was planning to set up. “Our plan is to eradicate the age cheat phenomenon in our football so as to provide a platform for a sustainable football team for the state and the nation,’’ he said. According to him, the real development in football must begin from secondary school level because education and football are intertwined. “I hereby urged talented youth to combine their education with sports. ’’ Aromire urged the councils to participate in the forthcoming season to enable the league achieve its goal. “Each local government has been mandated to raise a team from students in their locality. ’’ Tunde Disu, the Technical Director of the league, said that the board was set for the season. Disu said that the association’s dream was to provide an avenue for a systematic graduation of players from U-13, U-15 and U-17 to U-20. “We have a database to determine the actual age of our players and we cannot allow our mission to be defeated,” Disu said. He urged football administrators preparing for the forthcoming National Sports Festival in Lagos in November to be sincere about the age of their players. “This is essential in order to get the best out of the players.’’

Gov. Babatunde Fashola



David Rushida


xperts consider David Rudisha the most likely athlete to next set a new World record. The Kenyan athlete, who is already holding the current 800m World record, is the latest illustrious entry to the cast

of the 2012 edition of Weltklasse Zürich Samsung Diamond League. Rudisha, 23, is the top favourite for the upcoming Olympic Games but his marvellous form will benefit him beyond London. “David Rudisha is one of very few stars who have the potential to break the World record in each and every race they line up for,” explained Patrick K. Magyar, Weltklasse Zürich Meeting Director. And Rudisha is very straight forward when describing his outlook for the summer: “I am focusing on the Olympics in London. And after that,

I would like to run some really fast times.” After the Olympic Games, Rudisha will return to his European base in Tübingen (Germany) in order to prepare for the Weltklasse Zürich 800m race. So far, Rudisha, has run twice at Letzigrund Stadium, in 2007 and in 2009. He won on both occasions. This year, he will be both a star athlete and a star coach in Zurich: Prior to racing, he will train with the youngest fans of the sport at the kids’ event on Tuesday, 28 August. The traditional event

will be held at eleven locations in the Germanspeaking part of Switzerland and in the canton of Ticino. The location of the training session with Rudisha has yet to be determined. Lavillenie and Otto in the men’s Pole Vault The men’s Pole Vault at Weltklasse Zürich is set to be an exciting encounter of the event’s current elite, including Renaud Lavillenie and Björn Otto. The duel for gold between the French and the German athlete represented one of the highlights at the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki. Both of them are contenders for an Olympic triumph.

Ex-Olympian predicts boxing doom for Nigeria in London


erry Okorodudu, a quarter finalist at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, has predicted doom for Team Nigeria Boxing Contingent at the London Olympic Games. According to him Nigeria’s chances of clinching a medal in boxing at the Games were slim even as he regrtted that what ought to have been done were left undone. He also said his prediction of doom was hinged on the poor selection of the boxers to represent Nigeria, most of whom he said lacked the requisite experience. “They are talented boxers with prospects. However, I do not expect a medal from boxing because they are fresh from the block, boxers that still need exposure. “It will take a lot of guts in the boxers to stand in the ring with the mammoth crowd that will sit at the ringside and the lights focused on them to concentrate on the match. I don’t see the Nigerian boxers having this characteristic,” he said. However, he wished them the best of luck and prayed that they made the country proud. It would be recalled that Akanji Olalekan, 75kg; Lawal Olayiwola, 81kg, and Ogoke Agu, 75kg, the only female, will represent Nigeria in boxing at the Games. The former boxer also decried the manner in which the Nigeria Olympian Association (NOA) was being run, alleging that it was without a constitution, adding that the NOA was being run undemocratically and urged its president to correct the anomaly. “When Henry Amike, the president of the association, returns from the Olympics we will get some lawyers to

Akanji Olalekan, one of three Nigerian boxers at the Games help draw up a constitution for the association. Because without a precise structure, the association cannot be selfgoverning,” he said. The Olympian further said that the death of Sunday Bada, the former secretary of the association, had left the position vacant. “Therefore, someone should be elected to fill the gap,’’ he said. Okorodudualso made a case for the government to cater for the welfare of the Olympians, thereby recognising their contributions to the country. “I believe we the Olympians are not up to a 1000 people, therefore we could be absorbed into the pension scheme so that we would know we are remembered,” he said.

Jos insecurity: Squash player cries out over training disruption


ongdie Dashback, the country’s number one ranked female squash player, said on Monday that the insecurity in Jos was affecting her training schedule. Dashback, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on phone yesterday, said that the situation has disrupted her preparations and that of several others from preparing for the Lagos Open Squash Competition, slated for August 19 to

August26. “The issue of security and the incessant curfew has made training difficult; at times this clampdown could last for days, which is not helping with a competition in view. “Training has been an uphill task in terms of finance and security; the cost of going to the training venue is not a child’s play, my kits are worn out, training has been tough. “When you calculate the money you are spending on

transportation on a daily basis, it is excruciating,’’ the player said. However, Dashbacksaid that in spite of the state of uncertainty in Jos, she had not lost track of her objective of performing well at the Lagos squash competition. “My fans should expect nothing but the best from me, because I have been training round the clock to ensure that I have a superlative outing at the competition,’’ she said. Dashbackalso said that

plans by squash players in Jos to organise a competition for themselves to ease the boredom of the lack of competition were still on. “It is still in the pipeline; we are going to come up with something very soon. We are still putting all the necessary logistics in place which we will soon unfold,’’ she added. The player urged support from the private sector by investing in the game and helping to popularise it nationwide.

TUESDAY, JULY 24, 2012


Brazilian midfielder Oscar says he has had Chelsea medical


razilian midfielder Oscar says he has had a medical with Chelsea but will wait until after the Olympics to resolve his future. The Internacional player, 20, has been linked with a reported £25m move. But, after playing in Brazil's 2-0 win over Team GB, he maintained he has not agreed to move to Stamford Bridge. "I only had a meeting with the doctor, nothing else. I haven't signed any contract yet," he said when asked about the Champions League winners' interest. "I will wait until the end of the Olympic Games to decide my future. All Brazilian players have this dream. I have, like everybody, the dream to play in Europe and the Premier League." The final of the Olympic football tournament takes place on Saturday, 11 August. Chelsea have already recruited Lille midfielder Eden Hazard and Werder Bremen winger Marko Marin this summer.

United defender Smalling out for 10 weeks


anchester United's Chris Smalling is out for 10 weeks after undergoing surgery for a broken metatarsal. Smalling, 22, missed the end of last season with a groin problem that ruled him out of Euro 2012 and the Olympics. Although the defender was absent from United's pre-season tour, manager Sir Alex Ferguson had expected him to be fit for the start of the campaign. "It is a bad blow for the boy. He is only 22, he is young. Hopefully he gets over it," said Ferguson. The absence of Smalling, who was injured in training on Wednesday, puts further pressure on Ferguson's defensive resources ahead of United's first Premier League game at Everton on 20 August. Jonny Evans is doubtful for start of the season with an ankle injury and captain Nemanja Vidic is working his way back to fitness after a serious knee problem.


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. . . putting the people first

QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE For us a y (of F or eign Af s), att the Ministr Ministry For oreign Afffair airs), Boko Haram shouldn’t have been designated as ITO or FTO as... we are working with all other stakeholders to resolv e this menace — Ambassador Mar tin esolve Martin Uhomoibhi on Boko Haram insurgency

I am with Dame Patience Jonathan I

have not raised my voice against an elder in many years. But, I did this week. Sometimes you have to jolt tradition just to let the world know where you stand. On this day, I had to let my uncle know I was with Patience and whoever is not most likely needs a psychiatric evaluation. This uncle of mine who has a doctorate in other people’s business was so incensed he took the opportunity of a rather rare visit to his house to open a verbal tap of discontent about the “elevation of that first lady”. I was so upset I thought of recommending him for a treason trial but then I realized we’re no longer under the military government even though it’s tough to know that when you look at the Senate and the party leaders. I had to school him that being the first lady is so tough a job, a woman deserves more than our esteemed first lady and mother of the nation is getting. A first lady has to share her husband with the nation. Most women know that after the kids go to bed, they can retire with their husband and talk the things spouses talk about. But, in Nigeria, it’s when the kids go to bed that the business of politics and lobbying starts. So, what does a poor first lady do? She sings to the pillows until sleep comes. If anything at all, a first lady deserves our adulation. The senators, if they really know what their jobs are, should be passing an ordinance directing every state to name a street after the first lady. And, if the House of Representatives would take a break from pretending to look for the oil subsidy bribe money, they will do the right thing by asking every state to create a directorate position for the first lady so anytime she visits a state everyone can stop complaining that she is getting preferential treatment because of her marital status. With a state position, she would have merited it. My crazy uncle unwrapped this bush intellect of if everyone who had worked in the public service should be elevated to permanent secretary-ship then my father, my other uncles who

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Dame Patience Jonathan

slaved for Nigeria for over three decades should have been permanent secretaries a long time ago, and also some of their friends before they died waiting for pensions that some permanent secretary, his bosses and friends had connived to steal. I had a good laugh because his argument was so inane it only merited a laugh. I told him what everyone outside the age of the typewriter knows. If you want to be a permanent secretary then

you should have come to this world a woman, find a soothsayer who can show you the next president, preferably when he is a broke, college student that appreciates the value of a free meal and tell him he’s lucky you’re even considering him as boyfriend material. Then you wait for a few accidents of history and voila, you are madam permanent secretary! It is really outrageous that people will think the first lady didn’t serve long enough in the

If anyone were half as smart as I am, they would do what I’m about to do. They will comb their couches and their wives’ purses, try finding a few thousand naira, jump on a plane and go to Abuja. When they get there, they will find the first lady by all means, pay homage and offer their eternal services to her. No job is too low

civil service to be elevated to the rank of permanent secretary. Bollocks! Do they know what it means to be married to the president? Do they know the concept of overtime? Where do they think all that flying around the world, shaking hands and generally looking very important beside her husband is going to fit in? The woman did not sign for public service, her husband did. Every time she travels with him, smiles for the newspapers and television cameras or even reads her name as the first lady in the newspapers should count for a day of work in Bayelsa civil service. Add them up and you’ll probably end up like me – an angry man who believes the first lady has been insulted by the position. In all fairness, the woman should have been named a governor. Or, better since she has been the first lady for the last five years, first as second lady – a tag itself that deserves bucket load of pity, and as the proper first lady she ideally should be made a minister or co-vice president. We know the vice presidency is a tea drinking and newspaper reading office anyway. If anyone were half as smart as I am, they would do what I’m about to do. They will comb their couches and their wives’ purses, try finding a few thousand naira, jump on a plane and go to Abuja. When they get there, they will find the first lady by all means, pay homage and offer their eternal services to her. No job is too low. It would be an honour to serve as the first lady’s human carpet on her way to the bathroom. They will learn a new praise song for her every day. And, they will let her know she is prettier everyday than that skinny girl some fools crowned Miss World. You never know, with all the noise against a Goodluck Jonathan run in 2015, we might just be seeing the beginning of the journey of the next PDP presidential candidate. And, I want to be in the passenger’s seat on that ride. Now, I just need to add to this naira so I can go to Abuja. Ose Oyamendan is a member of the Writers Guild of America and Organization of Black Screen Writers.

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

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Tuesday, July 24, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Tuesday, July 24, 2012 Edition