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Vol. 11 No. 48

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

. . . putting the people first

Ramadan Timings Groups uncover for Abuja Hajj rackets in MAGRIB


6.55 p.m.

5.05 a.m.


>> 2

Ramadan 15, 1434 AH


Scarcity of aviation fuel hits airlines >> 20

Again, Reps fail to vote on constitution review

Complicated electronic device stalls process By Umar Muhammad Puma


he House of Representatives, for the third time, yesterday suspended voting on the recommendations of its ad hoc committee on the amendment of the constitution due to faulty electronic voting device. Announcing the suspension, Speaker of the House, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal said the reason was to allow the lawmakers familiarize themselves with the newly acquired electronic device (IPAD) scheduled to be used for voting. “We know that Nigerians are eagerly waiting for the outcome of the voting; we only want the voting process to be transparently conducted, that is why we chose to allow the members to familiarize themselves with the device and charge them fully before tomorrow,” he explained. However, a source within the Chamber disclosed that the voting was stalled because of the inability of the lawmakers to apply the device to Contd. on Page 2

2015 election: CBN tightens cash ϐlow By Abdulwahab Isa


o safeguard the stability of naira and shield the economy against excessive spending ahead of the scheduled general elections in 2015, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday rolled out sterner measures by scaling up Cash Reserves Requirement (CRR) on public sector deposit to 50 per

cent with interest rate on private deposit at 12 per cent, against the previous eight per cent. The CRR is the minimum balance that the banks are expected to keep with the CBN. The apex bank believes the measure will go a long way in reducing the money in circulation and directly reduce cash at the Contd. on Page 2

Wife of Borno state Governor, Hajiya Nana Shettima (left), assisted by personalities in presenting bags of rice and sugar to a widow, during the donation of food items, clothes and some cash to 100 widows by the governor’s wife in the third phase of her donations to widows, orphans and vulnerable persons for this year’s Ramadan, yesterday in Maiduguri.

Ramadan Message The Prophet (SAW) said: “Whoever fasts a day in the way of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, Allah will keep his face away from (Hell) fire for (the distance of) seventy autumn seasons because of that day”. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) Sponsored by Kano state government

Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso Governor, Kano State




Groups uncover Hajj racket in Kaduna


By Nami Hassan Kadir
























Enough of FG’s vague statistics on employment, Page 4



Strange World Digest

35 36

Politics Newsxtra Leisure

37-38 39 40

Sports Columnist

41-44 48

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he Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR) and Hujjaj Rights Monitoring Foundation (HURIM) yesterday alerted of a cartel perpetrating fraud in Kaduna Pilgrims Board as they alleged that old pilgrims are being made to part with N200,000 each to be allowed to secure seats for the 2013 pilgrimage to the Holy land. The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHACON) had recently announced a slash in the number of seats allocated to states based on a directive from the Saudi Arabia authorities. Apart from using a balloting system to allocate seats to intending pilgrims, some states have equally barred old timers from performing the 2013 Hajj in order to accommodate first time intending pilgrims. But the groups regretted that “money bags” and other Muslims who insist on performing Hajj annually have resorted to bribing their way allegedly using corrupt pilgrims’ officials. The statement jointly signed by the IHR National Coordinator, Alhaji Ibrahim Muhammad, and HURIM Chairman, Umar Babangida, stated that the groups had launched further investigations

Sets up complaints desk for intending pilgrims to determine the level of spread of the racket across the states. “In Kaduna, we came across the case of someone who paid N600,000 for himself and two other members of his family. This is aside from the official deposit required from an intending pilgrim.” When contacted, the Public Relations Officer at the Kaduna State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Yunusa Mohammed Abdullahi, said intending pilgrims should report any case of malpractices on the part of any staff to the appropriate authorities. According to him, “we believe people involved in the alleged

bribery issue are not staff of the Board. “We ask intending pilgrims to make deposit of between N300,000 and N600,000 in bank draft pending when we confirm the actual amount payable per pilgrim.” “Hajj is an act of Ibadah meant to fulfill the fourth pillar of Islam. “A situation where those who are being paid with tax payers’ money to manage the welfare of pilgrims crookedly turn hajj seats into money making venture will not be allowed to continue.” However, the IHR statement urged state governors to take necessary measures to safe guard the interests of pilgrims and called

on NAHCON to collaborate with the Saudi authorities to track and trace all pilgrims who have secured Hajj seats through dubious means at the point of entry through bio-metric identification. It further called on NAHCON to activate the Hajj Savings Scheme as a means of reducing the unnecessary scramble for seats. “We urge intending pilgrims and pilgrims to forward their complaints to us or call our dedicated lines to enable Independent Hajj Reporters and HURIM to seek legal redress through the instrumentality of law as we are determined to protect pilgrims from exploitation,” the group assured.

Gunmen kill policeman, two others in Bauchi From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


hree persons including mobile policeman were killed on Monday night when unknown gunmen struck at a branch of First Bank and a police station at Darazo, headquarters of Darazo local government area. Reports said that at least five other persons were hospitalized having sustained various degrees

of injuries during the attack. Confirming the incident to our correspondent, the Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Hassan Mohammed, said, “the gunmen stormed the town around nine o’clock in the night.” Mohammed explained that the gunmen attacked Darazo Divisional Police Station and First Bank, saying however that the police repelled the bank robbery and

attempt to burn the police station. “There was fight between the attackers and our men. While we were exchanging fire with the hoodlums our mobile policeman, a corporal was shot dead,” the police spokesman said. According to him, the two women and a teenage hawker were hit by stray bullets, two of who died in the hospital while the other is currently receiving treatment.

2015 election: CBN tightens cash flow Contd. from Front Page disposal of banks for lending. “Election years everywhere in the world are difficult years, not just in Nigeria, America, France, in every election year, politicians spend money and spending money means pressure on exchange rate, pressure on reserves, pressure on inflation,” CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi explained. The CBN retained Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) the anchor rate it lends to bank at 12 per cent. Further justifying the CBN decision unanimously endorsed by nine members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in attendance, the CBN, Governor Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said the committee was particularly

piqued with the deposit banks sitting on over N1.3 trillion public fund taken at zero interest rate and turn to lend same fund to government at exorbitant rate while starving private sector of the needed credit for business expansion. The development portends that the DMBs handling government deposits would be losing an estimated N600 billion of their deposits from public sector from an estimated N1.3 trillion now in their vaults for the apex bank’s upkeep. According to CBN Governor, “we introduced increase in CRR for a number of reasons: first of all you have got liquidity surfeit in the banking industry.

“As I speak, we have about N1.3trillion sitting in banks belonging to government agencies. “Now the funds are basically there at zero per cent interest and the banks are lending about N2trillion to the government and charging 13, 14 per cent. “We are concerned about liquidity conditions as we foresee continuous increase in the CRR across the board as we continue to maintain the liquidity conditions. “The next 12 months will be difficult as we will have to respond at every stage and make sure that no matter what happens, we do not have stability threatened. “This is a first step addressing one major chunk, we have not done it across the board, we have done it

across public sector deposits and if the government decides that public sector deposits come back to the CBN, then the CRR is zero, but if it is out there, then CRR is 50 per cent” he said. For consecutive eleventh sessions ending yesterday, the CBN maintained its MPR at 12 per cent beating experts’ speculation that the apex bank may lower it. “We have two serious major concerns-the fiscal aspect of government is really a problem. “The deficit in the first half of this year is over N400 billion compared to just N200 billion last year. “We have drawn down over N700 billion from excess crude account,” he said.

Again, Reps fail to vote on constitution review Contd. from Front Page accommodate the 360 members at once. The source also revealed that the broadband created for the electronic gadget which were supplied by NIGCOMSAT was weak and could only accommodate about 50 votes at a time. This the lawmakers rejected. The Director General of NIGCOMSAT, Ahmed Rufa’i, while addressing the members at plenary, apologized to them for the late arrival of the gadgets and promised to tackle the technical hitches faced by the members. He assured the lawmakers that

the device application would be well programmed for the voting today. It was not particularly clear whether the new IPad device scheduled to be employed for the electronic voting by the lawmakers were bought from the NigComSat as efforts to get the actual cost of the device was not successful. But it was gathered that once the lawmaker master its use, it would be given to them to be used in subsequent exercises. This, according to the source, would resolve the challenge of the faulty voting machine in the chamber

which has refused to work even after several millions of Naira have been used to repair it. It would be recalled that the House had twice postponed voting on the recommendations of the Constitution Amempndment panel first on the excuse that some members were yet to receive the copies of the report. The second excuse given for the suspension of the exercise was to honour the late Senator Pius Ewerido who died recently with his burial coinciding with the day the voting was to happen. Rep Razaq Bello-Osagie (ACN, Edo), who then raised a point

of order at the plenary observed that some members were yet to get copies of the report and this, according to him, would make it difficult for them to make any meaningful contribution. Meanwhile, Chairman House committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep. Zakari Mohammmed (PDP Kwara) in a statement issued yesterday said the House decided to use the electronic option because it would reflect the exact opinion of any member who voted on any clause in the passage or rejection of the recommendations for the amendment of the constitution.



Electricity supply hits 16hrs per day, says minister By Etuka Sunday


inister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, yesterday assured Nigerians that the current on-going revolution in the electricity power sector will surpass that of the one witnessed in the telecommunications industry. The Minister also disclosed that availability of electricity has considerably increased in Major Nigerian cities from 10 hours to 16 hours per day with the

groundbreaking of Zungeru Hydro power plant. Nebo while giving the Ministry’s mid-term scorecard during a presentation at the 2013 Ministerial Platform in Abuja stated that the current privatisation reform in Nigeria was the largest in the world, assuring that before the end of 2014, most Nigerians would smile. According to him, additional 1,200MW would be generated from coal through the help of China.

The Minister listed some of the achievements so far made to include: privatisation of five generation and 10 distribution companies at concluding stages; sale of 10 generation power plants with accompanying distribution and transmission components, among others. He assured that despite the daunting challenges, the Ministry would intensify efforts at ensuring the full implementation of Federal Government’s the power roadmap.

Only deregulation can provide more refineries, says NNPC By Etuka Sunday


i n i s t e r of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has hinged the building of more refineries on the readiness of Nigerians to embrace deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry. The Minister spoke yesterday in Abuja while giving account of her stewardship during a presentation at the 2013 Ministerial Platform. According to her, “we cannot eat our cake and have it because we want our refineries to do well and we want investors to come in. “Investors cannot come in a subsidy-backed environment like ours as we need to deregulate for investors to come in. “You have to deregulate if you want to make investment climate competitively attractive for people to come in.” The Minister also disclosed that, in line with the Transformation Agenda of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration to transform the economy, the petroleum sector has witnessed great strides in the drive towards

repositioning the nation as a gas exploration and production country, to harness the benefits of the gas as energy of the future. The Minister also highlighted the establishment of commercial framework for gas, massive development of gas infrastructure across the country and the stimulation of gas-based industrialization with the Ogidigben Gas City, in Delta state as the flagship project with a capacity to create 100,000 jobs at the construction stage. In a presentation titled: “Moving the Oil and Gas Industry to the Next Level”, the Minister explained that Nigeria with gas reserves of 182Tcf (trillion cubic feet) as at the end of 2012 compared with total crude oil reserves of 36.8 billion barrels for the same period is more of a gas country than a crude oil country and that the global shift to the use of gas as a cleaner energy is makes the emphasis on gas development as directed by the President an imperative action for sustainable long term economic development of the country. She further explained that

the massive gas infrastructure development across the country is aimed at getting gas to industries and that Abuja and the northern part of the country will be linked with gas pipelines for rapid industrialisation by 2015. She listed some of the completed and on-going gas infrastructure projects to include expansion of Escravos-Oben pipeline, expansion of Oben-Lagos pipeline, CalabarAjaokuta and Ajaokuta-Kano pipeline systems, among others. The Minister however explained that the transformation into a gas nation is being harnessed with huge achievements in the crude oil sector, where production has been sustained at an optimal level in spite of the crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism challenge. She stated that massive pipelines and inland depots rehabilitation has also been carried out with the long moribund Kaduna – Suleja, Kaduna – Gusau, Suleja – Minna, Kaduna – Jos and Jos – Gombe pipelines and adjoining depots now operational, besides the Aba and Benin depots, which had earlier been commissioned.

Al-Mustapha in Zaria, links release to democracy From Mohammad Ibrahim and Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


mammoth crowd yesterday cheered the former Chief Security Officer to the late Nigeria Head of State Gen. Sani Abacha, Major Hamza AlMustapha into the ancient city of Zaria. He said he was there on a thank you visit to the the Emir of Zazzau, Dr. Shehu Idris. Mustapha’s admirers lined the streets leading to the palace and carried placards some of which read: “Welcome back home.” “We thank Allah for your release.” “You are a hero,” and “God is great!”

Welcoming the guest, the Emir congratulated as he also prayed Allah to guide Al-Mustapha in his future endeavour. he also paid a similar visit on Sheikh Ahmad Mahmud Gumi in Kaduna where Al-Mustapha noted that, “my release is a plus for democracy. “May God blessed Nigeria, may God blessed Nigerians. May justice prevail in Nigeria, may peace prevail in Nigeria. God will protect and sustain Nigeria in peace. “I would not have been here today if not for your supplication to Almighty Allah on my behalf. “I remember that there was an attempt to kill me via poison but I

survived it not because I am special but for mercy of Allah. In his remarks, Gumi expressed happiness for his visit and release from prison. “It is indeed a happy day for us and as he said it is a big plus to democracy and judiciary in Nigeria. “We have come of age where no innocent person should be incarcerated for no just reason and we pray Allah will give peace to our nation and for everybody to live in peace and in a peaceful environment. Al-Mustapha was accompanied by the son of late Abacha, Alhaji Mohammed Abacha, his wife and son, among others.

News Ramadan Timing Day 15 TOWNS 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 Cotonnou-Benin Ndjamena-Chad Niamey-Niger Younde-Cameroun

MAGRIB 6.51 6.49 7.08 6.55 7.00 7.09 6.48 6.56 6.47 6.32 6.46 6.57 6.55 7.00 6.58 7.12 6.35 6.45 6.40 6.56 6.51 6.50 6.59 6.40 6.33 7.07 7.00 7.09 6.49 7.05 7.04 7.05 6.38 6.54 6.49 6.58 6.52 6.55 6.56 6.54 7.00 7.03 6.48 7.06 6.55 6.33 6.48 7.00 6.59 6.50 6.51 7.06 7.09 6.58 6.34 6.55 7.09 7.24 7.22 6.30

ALFIJR 5.06 5.08 5.25 5.06 5.17 5.05 5.07 5.13 4.48 4.35 4.54 5.18 4.55 5.11 5.06 5.11 4.36 5.09 4.41 4.52 4.53 5.09 5.01 4.48 4.37 5.08 5.01 5.05 4.47 5.20 5.19 5.20 4.49 5.02 4.57 5.13 5.01 4.56 5.02 4.55 4.56 5.11 5.01 5.25 5.25 4.36 5.03 4.55 5.08 5.14 4.53 5.23 5.05 5.18 4.45 5.00 5.30 4.29 5.18 4.58

Source: Society for Propagation of Islam Kaduna



Page 4 Report

Enough of FG’s vague statistics on employment Against the background of the Federal Government’s periodic reeling out of statistics on Nigeria’s economic growth, Etuka Sunday and Evelyn Okakwu report that the much-touted growth recorded by the nation’s economy has not in any way impacted on the lives of Nigerians by way of employment generation.


n Tuesday, 16th July, a new batch of corps members were again dispatched from various orientation camps all over the country. These corps members will, in the next 11 months join the mass of job seekers in the Nigerian labour market. Despite the rate of population growth experienced in Nigeria, one area that seems to have defied the impact of the modest gains in the nation’s economy over the years is youth unemployment. Individuals aspiring to political offices have always put it at the top of their priority lists while negotiating for votes during election, yet the problem of unemployment has continued to stare the nation in the face. Economists insist that the growing disparity between population growth rate and the present capacity of the nation’s economy for employment generation must be urgently addressed to achieve economic stability. Even the reports by the World Bank on May 13 roused economic affairs commentators to the latest debate on the severity of the problem of unemployment in the country. According to the report, the World Bank noted that Nigeria’s annual growth rates, which averaged seven percent in official data during the last decade, place the nation among the fastest growing economies in the world. This growth has been concentrated particularly on trade and agriculture, which would suggest substantial welfare benefits for many Nigerians. The report noted however, that improvements in social welfare indicators have been much slower than would have been expected in the context of reported growth. According to the World Bank report, this is because poverty reduction and job creation have not kept pace with population growth, implying social distress for an increasing number of Nigerians. Progress toward the fulfillment of many of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been slow, and the country

ranked 153 out of 186 countries in the 2013 United Nation (UN) s Human Development Index. Although several efforts have been made by the Federal Government, in collaboration with stakeholders, to ensure that Nigerian graduates become mostly self-reliant, analyses have proven that while these efforts have recorded reasonable success in the lives of Nigerian graduates and labour seekers, it has not succeeded in convincing these graduates that there are no jobs in the country for them. More so, the revelation from past reports that some scrupulous Nigerians take advantage of the prevailing trends to blackmail job seekers into believing that they must pay a given sum to be employed has further given room to believe that these jobs may, as a matter of fact exist, but only for some special people who know their way around the polity or have a handful of godfathers to back them up. While the World Bank says that job creation in Nigeria has been inadequate in keeping pace with the expanding working age population, the Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister of the economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, last month gave an ambiguous statistics of the supposed unemployed youths in Nigeria, pegging it at 37million. This confused statistics, rather than clear report of the reality on ground has been generating mixed reactions, not only from the youths, but also from many Nigerians who doubt the statistics reeled out by the Federal

National Bureau of Statistics DG, Dr. Yemi Kale Government. In saner climes where statistics are correctly used changes in the unemployment figure depend mostly on in-flows made up of non-employed people starting to look for jobs, of employed people who lose their jobs and look for new ones and of people who stop looking for employment”. Going by the records, in 2000, the rate of unemployment was given as 13.15. In 2001, it was given as 13.6%. 12.6% in 2002, 14.8% in 2003, 13.4% in 2004, 11.9% in 2005, 12.3% in 2006, 12.7% in 2007, 14.9 % in 2008, 19.7% in 2009, 21.1% in 2010, 23.9% in 2011 respectively. In May, 2013, the StatisticianGeneral, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Dr. Yemi Kale, put the current rate of unemployment in Nigeria at 23.9 per cent. It however remains to be seen whether the Federal government’s plans to create 3.5 million jobs from the Agricultural sector as Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said recently would come to fruition. Dolabgo Adelana, a graduate of Computer Science from the Olabisi Olubanjo Ago-Iwoye University, Ogun state, a ‘Batch C’ corps member, who works as

Minister of Labour, Chukwuemeka Wogu

a security guard at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport, Abuja, speaking on the FG’s skill acquisition programme said, “It is a very good programme; in that it will make the beneficiaries selfreliant and as such they will not depend on the government to do things for them”. However he lamented the fact that people will still have to make and request for loans to start up. According to him, “Now, when you go to banks they ask for collateral. Although there is what they call the NYSC foundation, whereby after you graduate, you can get loans for yourself from the use of NYSC foundation card but listening to the news recently, they were saying that many people that get the loans do not return it”. Dolabgo continues: “Even when corporate firms are employing, sometimes the criteria they give i.e. the years of experience they demand makes it very difficult for people that are just coming out of school to get such jobs. Our country is becoming too certificate-driven that they don’t actually test people based on what they can actually do, which is why most people duplicate certificates. He therefore suggested that we

On the way out of the problem, Oladigbo says, “The only thing the youths can do basically is to develop themselves to the point that nobody can actually turn them down for a job, adding that the government has a lot to do to ensure the provision of the necessary infrastructure that would enable job-creation.

should be more “Sabificate” than “certificate”. According to him, “There should be more focus on what a candidate knows how to do rather than what his paper says”. On the way out of the problem, Oladigbo says, “The only thing the youths can do basically is to develop themselves to the point that nobody can actually turn them down for a job, adding that the government has a lot to do to ensure the provision of the necessary infrastructure that would enable job-creation. Regarding the Federal Government’s skill acquisition programme, Damilola, also a security guard with a firm in Maitama, Abuja has this to say: “It is a nice gesture, in that it makes sure that job seekers can depend upon themselves and have certain jobs. It enables people to become independent and even move from being independent to being interdependent”. Though a fresh graduate, Damilola notes that most of today’s graduates are really nothing to write home about. “I have seen a graduate that cannot even write a formal letter”, he laments. He however adds that, “At times, it is not really because there are no jobs out there; the problem is that the pay that goes with most jobs is not favourable”. He therefore encourages job seekers to acquire up-to – date- information and skills that will make them outstanding, especially at interviews. He said job seekers should focus on acquiring the relevant and necessary skills required by today’s fast changing world and the sky will be their starting point.




ASUU strike: FG insists on ‘re-negotiating’ 2009 agreement


L-R: Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, and Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani AlisonMadueke, during the mid-term presentation of Ministerial Score Card, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin

Nigeria seeks partnership with UK on oil theft, terrorism By Joy Baba


he0 Minister of State for Defence, Mrs. Olushola Obada, has called on the United Kingdom Defence sector to lend a helping hand to Nigeria in her fight against oil theft and terrorism. Obada stated this yesterday in Abuja when the British Minister for International Strategy to Nigeria, Dr Andrew Morrison paid her a courtesy call. The Minister said oil theft and terrorism are great challenges that

Nigeria is facing at the moment that is destroying the life line of her economic well being calling on United Kingdom to aid Nigeria in wiping out the scourge. She also called on all other countries that are friendly to Nigeria to criminalise the act of refining stolen crude in refineries based in their countries adding that Nigeria can always count on UK whenever the need arise. According to her, “rugged as it may look in curbing insurgency,

Police confirm death of Patience Jonathan’s mother From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


igeria’s police command in Rivers state yesterday confirmed the death of Madam Charity Obah, the foster mother to Mrs. Patience Jonathan, the wife of the President, in an auto crash along East-West road in the state. The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Angela Agabe, told journalists that Charity Obah was travelling with three other persons in a Toyota Corolla car with registration number ABU 153 AE. She said the incident occurred Monday evening along Isiokpo/Elele road on her way to Bayelsa state. Agabe also explained that a 14 year old girl named, Favour, a student of Seventh Day Adventist Church Secondary School, Elele, were also killed in the accident. On cause of the accident, she said the front tyre of the vehicle pulled out while the driver was negotiating a bend and made the car to somersault several

times. The driver, Stanley Enyinnaya, and the forth occupant were receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital. Agabe however said the body of Madam Charity Obah was deposited in a morgue in Port Harcourt Meanwhile, Delta state Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has expressed deep shock at the death of Mrs. IwariObah. In a condolence message by Mr Felix Ofou, his Press Secretary, the Governor said that the news of the death of the First Lady’s mother was a big blow not only to President Goodluck Jonathan but the entire South-South and Nigeria at large. “Mama was not only a huge asset to the First Family, she was a mother to the South South.” He similarly asked God to take away such a calamity from the First Family while praying for long life and good health especially for the First Lady.

Nigerian Military have had robust relationship with the civilians in such a way that they assist the military in its effort to bring this menace to an end in the three states the emergency rule was declared recently. “The civilians have neighbourhood watch program where the assist the military and all operations have been carried out with rules of engagement.” She further said the neighbouring countries where

some of the insurgents fled to did not allow them stay because of the military agreement we have with them and they cannot come back to Nigeria. Earlier in his address, Morrison said the UK had keen interest to see Nigeria develop into a commercial power house. He also assured the Minister that UK will continue to partner with Nigeria in Defence and Security to wipe out all forms of vices from the country.

Police deny kidnap attempt on Atiku’s wife


he Anambra state police command has denied insinuations that suspected kidnappers nearly abducted Mrs. Jennifer Atiku, one of the wives of the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar when she visited Onitsha during the weekend. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Emeka Chukwuemeka (DSP) said yesterday there was no iota of truth in the “rumour.” According to Chukwuemeka, the true position was that some armed hoodlums who were preparing for a robbery operation were driving past the residence of Jennifer’s father on Okosi Road, Inland Town, Onitsha. He said that sighting a police patrol van going towards their direction, they thought they were being trailed by the police men and at once they opened fire on the policemen who also returned fire before the hoodlums fled. But eyewitness accounts said the gunmen suspected to be kidnappers got an information that Atiku’s wife was in town and

headed to her father’s house at Okosi Road to kidnap her. The source gathered that on arrival at her father house, at about 8 p.m., the hoodlums first opened fire to see if they could over-power the few policemen guarding her but when they discovered that there were retinue of policemen around her who returned fire for fire, the hoodlums fled. It was further gathered that the hoodlums, still hell bent on hitting their target, relocated to Afor Igwe market area at Ogidi in Idemili North Local Government Area and allegedly succeeded in kidnapping somebody else whose identity was yet to be ascertained as at the time of filing this report yesterday. Some prominent indigenes of the state who spoke on the ugly situation, said the re-emergence of kidnappers in the state was as a result of the shooting and killing of two police informants who retired from kidnap and voluntarily surrendered themselves and their arms to the appropriate authorities and pledged to serve as informants.

ope of an early resolution of the crisis between university lecturers and the federal government dimmed yesterday as the government hinted that it could not implement the agreement it had with the lecturers in 2009. The Federal Government said it is re-negotiating the 2009 agreement it reached with the lecturers- members of the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities, ASUUwith a view to successfully implementing it. The Minister of Labour, Emeka Wogu, who disclosed this to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday after briefing the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on his stewardship in the last two years, defended the government’s position. Mr. Wogu said the Agreement predated the current administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. Mr. Jonathan was the vice president in 2009 when the government, then headed by President Umaru Yar’Adua, negotiated the agreement with the lecturers. Mr. Wogu said there were some areas of the Agreement that needed to be renegotiated if it was to be satisfactorily implemented. When asked categorically if his statements meant the government would not implement the agreement as it is, the minister claimed the contrary. He refused to categorically state that the agreement was impracticable, saying its Terms of Reference “created problems.” He added that it was the reason why government requested that the parties that signed the document looked at it again. He also refused to disclose the part of the agreement the government would not implement. The minister disclosed that already there was a government team headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim, which had series of discussion with the union, insisting that “the right thing to do is to come back to the table.” He also said that the National Assembly had joined in the discussion with ASUU, adding that government could only make headway on the issue if it had the full picture of all that was involved before the Agreement was drafted and signed. “We have made offer to ASUU. It is as complex as presented. Negotiation is ongoing. National Assembly is equally involved. We believe they will soon call off the strike. I personally and passionately appeal to them to call off the strike. “It will not affect the negotiation if they call off the strike. It is better for them to be inside than outside. Students have equally appealed to them.”




Enugu Reps declare support for creation Adada state

By Umar Muhammad Puma


he Enugu state caucus of the House of Representatives, yesterday throw its weight behind the proposed creation of Adada state from the current Enugu state. The Enugu lawmakers at press conference, read by Rep. IfeanykJ^wuanyi (PDP Enugu) after the caucus meeting in respect to the Constitution Amendment process currently going on at the National Assembly, said the caucus is fully committed to and supports the ongoing Constitution Amendment process. Adding that the caucus has consistently and persistently requested the creation of Adada State out of the present Enugu State with capital at Nsukka. According to him, the request for creation of Adada state has received the endorsement of all the Senators , members of the House of Representatives and Local Government council members from the Area. He reveals that the Enugu State House of Assembly as well as the chairmen and councilors of all the local government councils in Enugu state (in particular those from the Area in question) have endorsed the creation of Adada state.

Yale varsity seeks partnership with NUC By Maryam Garba Hassan


ale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA, has solicited for partnership with the National Universities Commission (NUC) in nominating candidates for the University World Fellows Programme. The request was made by the Director of Yale World Fellows Programme, Prof. Michael Cappello, when he paid a courtesy call on the Commission. Cappello explained that the Yale World Fellowship is an annual programme which seeks to bring the best of the world to Yale and the best of Yale to the world. It runs from mid-August to mid-December and draws about 14 to 18 highly accomplished men and women from different countries of the world to Yale for an intensive semester course, where they undertake studies on critical global issues and leadership training, with full access to the University’s resources. He said that the Fellows were selected from government, business, Non-Governmental Organisations, religious organisations, the military, media and the arts, among others.

President Goodluck Jonathan (2nd right), cutting the tape to inaugurate the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Foreign Language Institute, during his visit to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), yesterday in Abuja. With him are Director General of NIA, Ambassador Ezekiel Oladeji (2nd left), Chief of Staff the President, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe (left), and National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (right). Photo: Joe Oroye

Senate restores Jonathan’s N77bn capital budget By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


t appears the budget debacle has come to an end, as the Senate yesterday passed for second reading, the 2013 budget amendment proposal which President Goodluck Jonathan had sent to the National Assembly. Contrary to an earlier statement by the Senate spokesman, Enyinnaya Abaribe, that the 2013 amendment proposal would be considered when the Senate returns from its long brake in October, the Senate President,

David Mark, yesterday gave the Senate committee on Appropriation a 24-hour ultimatum to consider those amendments and return it today. Though the 2013 budget still stands at N4,987,220,425,601 trillion, the N77.3 billion capital budgets which the Senate restored are: Ministry of Works, where N4 billion, was restored on the AbujaLokoja road. Others are Kano-Maiduguri road, where N3.5billion was restored. Dualisation of Ibadan-Illorin section2, where N5.5billion was restored,

Jebba Bridge, where N1.25billion was restored. Special Intervention Fund for Emergency Roads and Bridges washout across the country, which had N6.28billion restored to it. In addition, N4billion was restored for the dualisation project of Obajana Junction to Benin. Similarly, the Senate restored the N27 billion which the Presidency proposed for the SURE-P, as against the N9billion it had approved for the SURE-P board. For the Ministry of Education, a total sum of N5.64 billion was restored

by the lawmakers to various projects, including the National Library project. Moreover, aside the Ministry of Transport which had various funds amounting to N3.2billion restored by the Senate, the Ministry of Power had a total of N16.3billion restored to various projects, including the 215MW Kaduna Dual Fired Power plant, Kaduna-Kano 33KV DC Lines, among others. In his remarks after the debate, Senate President, David Mark, said emphasis should not be on the figure budgeted but on implementation.

Mustapha, cautioned a former state chairman of Action Congress Nigeria (ACN), Mohammed Soba, over his alleged quest to blackmail those in powertoextractpatronagefromthem.” According to the statement, “while we understand with Soba in his trying times as a man who has been confined to political wilderness by his erstwhile paymasters, we wish to caution him to bemorecarefulinventinghisfrustration especiallyagainstthepersonofGovernor Yero, who has nothing to do with his present dilemma. “All responsible citizens of Kaduna state (obviously excluding Soba) have so far appreciated efforts made by His Excellency Dr. Yero in addressing developmental challenges bothering people in the state.

Governor Yero in exercise of the mandate given to his administration by the people, is addressing developmental issues in the best interest of the state. “The Governor is implementing the budget with the full support of the state House of Assembly which has the sole power to appropriate funds. “There are numerous on-going projects across the state as provided in the 2013 budget. “If Soba has become too broke to tourthestate,heshouldsolicitforsupport to enable him go round the 23 local government areas to satisfy his curiosity. “There is no surprise that Soba picks on every issue now and then to cry foul, asapoliticaljobberandtomakeitworse, one that has fallen out of relevance. “Otherwise, Soba would have

appreciated Yero’s efforts at bringing lasting peace to Kaduna state and he would have commended the Governor for his initiatives on job creation. “We are convinced that the utterances of Soba smack of crass ignorance and mischievous attempt at causing disaffection among citizens of Kaduna state. “His call for the impeachment of the Governor is an exhibition of his myopic sense of reasoning and we therefore call on the Executive Governor of Kaduna as the chief security officer of the state, the Commissioner of Police and the Director of State Security Service (SSS) toimmediatelyapprehendMohammed Musa Soba before he connives with other enemies of Kaduna state to truncate the fragile peace in the state.”

Kaduna group cautions exACN boss over statement

By Melea Jude Moses


he Kaduna People’s Forum has praised the commitment of the Kaduna state Governor, Alhaji Muktar Ramalan Yero, at providing the necessary infrastructure for the developmentofthestatewithinthepast seven months. The forum in a press statement yesterday noted that, “even the most cantankerousofarmchaircriticscannot deny the fact that, Kaduna state under Yero is experiencing an incremental level of security, peace, unity and genuine reconciliation among the diverse people of the state.” The statement signed on behalf of the group by Abduljalal Jumare Rigacikun and Comrade Muhammad



Photo Splash

Former Chief Security Officer, to former Head of State, late General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, acknowledging cheers during his visit to Kaduna yesterday. Photo: NAN

L-R: Kogi state Governor, Captain Idris Wada, presenting a certificate of honorary member of Kogi state Executive Council to President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, during Dangote’s empowerment donations to the women and youth in the State, recently Lokoja.

Muslim faithful listening to Ramadan Tafsir by Malam Husain Zakariyya Yawale, yesterday at Banex Juma’a Mosque, in Abuja.

L-R: Nasarawa state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Hon. Adamu Muazu, Edo state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Hon. Jemilla Anena, Niger state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Hon. Susan Gana, and Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, during the minister’s meeting with state commissioners, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Photo: Mahmud Isa

L-R: Representative of Minister of Justice, Mrs. Olusola Moore, National Coordinator, Patriots for Peace and Sustainable Justice Initiative (PPSJI), Mr. Athanasius Okon, and Deputy National Secretary of the Organisation, Dr. Chinyere Ibecheozor, during a visit by the organisation to the minister, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo




UniAbuja gets NUC accreditation for medical college By Maryam Garba Hassan


he National Universities Commission (NUC) has announced the accreditation of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Agriculture and approval for Engineering courses for the University of Abuja. Chairman of the Task Team on the accreditation of the College of Medicine and Visiting Professor to NUC, Eugene Okpere, made this known on a visit to the university yesterday. Okpere said that with the full accreditation for medical and agricultural courses and an interim accreditation for Veterinary Medicine, all was set for the take-off of the programmes in the institution. Explaining the status of Engineering, the Okpere said that even though the programme had been in existence for several years, it had only just received approval from the NUC and the university could now commence the process of gaining accreditation. He said NUC was convinced that the university had the capacity to run the courses. ``We are happy to say that University of Abuja is more than ready to run these courses and the facilities we see here are even superior to those in other teaching hospitals,” he said. The Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’i, had in April 2012 announced the suspension of the four courses after the Needs Assessment visited the university. The Vice Chancellor, Prof. James Adelabu, said management had to put in place all the necessary facilities required for accreditation with the full cooperation of NUC because it became a subject of national importance. Adelabu said aside gaining accreditation from NUC, the university was also working with professional bodies. According to him, the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria had visited the university for verification and expressed satisfaction with what was on ground. Explaining the fate of Engineering students transferred to other universities, Adelabu said some of them were yet to resume academic work due to time difference in sessions. ``Those that have not been accepted in those universities will come back to University of Abuja and we can see what courses they can fit into. ``The journey to get to where we are today has not been easy, but we thank God that all is now over,” the VC said. Also speaking after the inspection of facilities at the University Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, the Chief Medical Director, Dr. Peter Alabi, said there were currently more than 120 consultants ready for academic activities at the Medical College.

Suspension of case: Court to decide LEADERSHIP journalists request Friday By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


n Abuja sitting yesterday 26, 2013 whether or not it

High Court in Kubwa fixed July to rule on will suspend

proceedings over alleged forgery of presidential directive whose bromide was published in the April 3, 2013 edition of Leadership newspaper. The federal government, had on June 27, 2013 re-arraigned

two Leadership journalists; Group News Editor, Mr. Tony Amokeodo and senior correspondent, Mr. Chibuzo Ukaibe on an alleged 11-count charge, bordering on conspiracy and forgery.

L-R: Chairman, Economic Management Team, Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, and National President, National Manufacturers Association (MAN), Chief Kola Jamodu, walking into the Council Chamber, during the Economic Management Team meeting, yesterday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

But the accused person, through their lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) want the court sitting before Justice Usman Musale to suspend further proceedings in the matter indefinitely (sine die) and await the end of the term of President Jonathan to enable him to testify as a witness for the accused persons/applicants. At the resumed hearing of the application yesterday, Falana premised his motion on the grounds that the fundamental right of the accused persons to fair hearing cannot be observed by the trial court as their application for the issuance and service of subpoena adtestificandum on President Jonathan has not been granted by the court. Falana said: “By virtue of section 308 of the 1999 CFRN, as amended, this honourable court lacks the vires to issue and cause to be served, a subpoena ad testificandum on the president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to testify as a witness for the accused persons in this case. “The accused persons are inhibited from obtaining the attendance of the president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the federal republic of Nigeria to testify as a witness for the accused persons in this case”, the lawyer added. He stressed that by virtue of section 308, the accused persons/ applicants are constitutionally disabled to summon Jonathan to give evidence in this case and he cannot do that until he leaves office. But the lead prosecuting lawyer for the federal government, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) had opposed the application in an 11-paragraph counter –affidavit, arguing that the journalists did not lace sufficient grounds before the court to warrant it to grant the request.

State of the Nation: Group calls for mass From Ayodele Samuel,Lagos


rked by the closure of universities and the political crisis in Rivers state, The United Nigeria Group (UNG), a Non Governmental Organisation yesterday urged Nigerians to join its planned protest on the state of the nation billed for August, 2013. Addressing newsmen in Lagos, UNG Chairman, Alhaji Issa Tijjani said that the

protest earlier scheduled for Abuja for Wednesday July 24 was postponed to August to accomodate Nigerian Muslims fasting in the Ramadan month. “Various stakeholders have also expressed concern with lack of contact in time and the National Assembly where the protest will be taken to, will commence recess on Wednesday July 24, 2013. “We have received calls purportedly from the office of

the Inspector General that a directive has banned all protests/ processions”, Tijjani said. He however said that any directive to stop the group’s peaceful protest would not be complied with as Nigerians had constitutional rights to peaceful protests. “Accordingly, we call on all citizens to get mobilised to commence peaceful demonstrations to register our protest on state of the nation”,he

said. The UNG Chairman lamented the on-going strike action in the nation’s tertiary institutions and directed that the impasse be resolved with immediate effect. “We also demand the payment of approved compensation to be paid without further delay to the families of slain youth corps members in the post 2011 elections violence and security personnel killed in Nasarawa state.

CEP: Lagos-Kano train service begins tomorrow From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


he Nigerian Railway Corporation will tomorrow commence the third weekly Lagos – Kano passenger train service as the first phase of its Capacity Enhancement Programme (CEP). The corporation said the new train service will depart

Iddo in Lagos at 11.00a.m and is scheduled to arrive Kano at 5.00p.m. the following day. A statement by the Assistant Director, Public Relations, David Ndakotsu disclosed that the introduction of the service will result in an increase in the number of passengers moved from Lagos – Kano, from 3,500 weekly to 5,500 weekly. The hitherto Kano passenger train service which departs

Lagos at 12 noon on Fridays commenced on December 21, 2012 while the second weekly service which departs Lagos at 9.00a.m on Tuesdays terminates at Ilorin with a connecting service from Offa to Kano. Also it said the next service to be introduced in the Corporation’s Capacity Enhancement programme is the haulage of Bran and Wheat Flour for Dufil Prima foods

(Indomie). 436 tonnes of the product are expected to be freighted weekly from Apapa to Kaduna. The service which will commence before the end of July,would also commence haulage of container freight from APM terminal in Apapa Port to Inland Container Nigeria Limited (ICNL) container depots in Kaduna and Kano in August.




Al- Bashir’s visit: Why the sound and fury? N the al-Bashir dilemma would earn it either respectability or opprobrium. Any room for manoeuvre was reduced by calls from Western-funded local activists and so-called human right groups that Nigeria hand over the Sudanese leader to the ICC. One group even went to court to get a ruling

o thanks to Western governments and their jaundiced news media, Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan alBashir, carries an image baggage that he cannot shake off. There are, at the moment, two International Criminal Court (ICC) warrants for his arrest for “war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide” allegedly committed in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region. Western nations and their stooges on the African continent have made the most of the issue; effectively President al-Bashar has been made a pariah. It was against this backdrop that the Sudanese leader paid a surprise visit to Nigeria on Sunday, July 13, to attend a summit of the African Union (AU) to discuss the scourges of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The visit directed world attention to Nigeria: would it heed the ICC call to arrest al-Bashir and have him transferred to The Hague to stand trial? This is something we are expected to do as a signatory to the ICC Treaty.Or would we listen to the AU that has asked member states to discountenance the ICC warrants and treat him as a leader deserving of dignified treatment wherever he steps foot on the continent? Nigeria is a leading light in the AU. It was an uncomfortable situation the Jonathan government found itself in.However it chose to resolve

Let the West whine, but we shall not back away from shielding one of our own forcing President Jonathan to deliver his visitor for trial. The court in Abuja never got to rule in the case because al-Bashir hurried back home after attending the opening of the two-day summit. As it turned out, Nigeria did not stop al-Bashir’s visit and it did not arrest him either, all to the disbelief and anger of the West and its local cronies. But we at Peoples Daily support that course of action because for once this government of President Jonathan did a smart and sensible thing. One, it was smart of it to go along with the AU and ignore the ICC and its Western backers. The ICC’s targeting of African leaders for embarrassment has become a pain

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

in the neck for the continent. It is high time it said so. Two, Nigeria made a valid point by saying it did not invite the Sudanese leader, but the AU did. The Abuja summit was an AU affair, Nigeria was only the host. Even the United States does allow leaders of countries like Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe it does not do business with to address the General Assembly of the United Nations located in New York! Yet the same US that has refused to submit to the authority of the ICC wanted Nigeria to hand al-Bashar to the court. What effrontery! The most important reason why Nigeria could not have arrested the Sudanese leader was its enlightened self interest. Our troops are a part of a global peace enforcing force in the crisis-torn Darfur; many of them have already paid the price of peace with their lives. Certainly, we didn’t want to put more Nigerian lives on the line by antagonizing the authorities in Khartoum! Besides, there is a large Nigerian community in the Sudanese capital. Arresting al-Bashir would have been the dumbest thing to do – because we would have provided an excuse for the entire Sudanese population, not just their military, to set on these Nigerians who have made that country their home for several years. Let the West whine, but we shall not back away from shielding one of our own.











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Opinion Democratic corruption: The Nigerian experience By Idris Evuti


orruption is global, butmore pervasive in Nigeria. The phenomenon has manifested itself in various forms, and has become an ‘almost-to-do-with’ factor in the daily activities of Nigerians. If you don’t partake in it, you discuss it. The effects are on the socio-economic and political spheres of our society. Democratic irregularities are forms of corruption, and, bane to Nigeria’s development which undermines the nations’ quest for a transparent and participatory democracy. In Nigeria, democratic corruption has eroded public confidence to an extent that nothing good seems to/or can come from the government. Corrupt practices have now become acceptable norms, especially if the ‘legitimacy’ (approval) is been derived from the power that be - the presidency. An example of corruption that greeted our political landscape recently is the sharp practice that saw 16 votes been recognised against 19, by the Nation’s political leadership - this is democratically suicidal. Also, in Rivers state where 5 members against more than 20 attempted to impeach the state’s speaker. What is the guarantee of free and fair elections in 2015? Or has Nigeria adopted the retrogressive formula of determining a winner in an

election? The Nigeria governors’ forum (NGF) crisis further justifies that the presidency still harbours the advocates and disciples of “do-or-die” political philosophy. Instead of being a place for making laws for the good governance of the people, legislative chambers have turned to boxing rings and hub of miscreants, even though this is not peculiar to Nigeria. But, in other nations law makers involve in commotions as a result of heat generating from debates on policies meant to better the lots of the citizens. Alas in Nigeria it’s either a power tussle, misappropriation of funds or inflation of budgetary figures for selfish reasons. Am tempted to ask if our legislators have the moral certification to legislate on our behalf? In situations where they are busy using mace to send one another to

hospitals. Anotherimpact ofcorruption on democracy is that it puts the tolerance level of the citizens to test. Instances can be drawn from the violence experienced in the aftermath of the 2011 general elections in Nigeria, and the response of Nigerians to the withdrawal of subsidy on the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), by the Federal Government. Nigerians frowned at this decision because of the pervasive corruption in the oil sector, which ordinarily should have attracted the governments’ will to sanitize the industry; and as well those involved made to face the full wrath of the law. And not making more than 160 million of Nigerians to serve the punishment of offence committed by less than 50 persons. A Democratic system of

government is built on the strict adherence to some tenets; such as periodic elections, constitutionalism and rule by the majority etc. Laid down rules and regulations are easily subverted and manipulated in corrupt societies, especially those with weak institutions; but the consequences could be severely detrimental. That is, citizens will be forced to form vicious alliance (groups) with the aim of projecting and protecting their interests and needs, if they cannot achieve them through democratic ways. The crisis we witness today in the North and other societal vices in other parts, are largely the results of these alliances. Even with the amnesty granted to the Niger-delta militants, crude theft has being on the increase. Recently the coordinating minister

Another impact of corruption on democracy is that it puts the tolerance level of the citizens to test. Instances can be drawn from the violence experienced in the aftermath of the 2011 general elections in Nigeria, and the response of Nigerians to the withdrawal of subsidy on the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), by the Federal Government. Nigerians frowned at this decision because of the pervasive corruption in the oil sector, which ordinarily should have attracted the governments’ will to sanitize the industry; and as well those involved made to face the full wrath of the law.

Am I my brother’s keeper? By Cornelius Afebu Omonokhua


often wonder why a friend would kill “a very close friend”; why a brother would kill a brother and why a sister whould kill a sister. It all seems to point to the human pride to subject others under one’s ego. William Shakespeare battled with a similar problem of the ambitious nature of the human person in his two plays, Macbeth and Julius Caesar. Macbeth killed King Duncan to fulfil the prediction of the three witches that he would be king while the incumbent king was still on the throne.” Lady Macbeth who wanted to be a “first lady” and queen by all means persuaded her husband to commit a horrible crime thereby staining their hands with human blood. Act 2, Scene 2, of William Shakespeare; Macbeth captured the repercussion of this evil in a moving dialogue. Lady Macbeth could not sustain her braveness and her whim to conceal the guilt in Act 5, Scene 1. She confronted her guilt in the depth of her being and was tormented in her conscience. In her mental agony, she cried in her sleep, “Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand!” The doctor who was attending to her said, “This disease is beyond my practice.” On March 15 (the Ides of March), 44 BC, Caesar was attacked by a group of senators. He was able to resist until when his best friend Brutus stabbed him. He resigned himself to his fate with the cry of anguish “Et tu, Brute?” That is, “Even you, Brutus?” In

both dramas, Shakespeare has demonstrated the truth that love and friendship can be sacrificed by some people who have made power and position their idol. In Genesis 1-11, the inspired author delved into this urge of the human person in a cultic/ religious context. The first murder that portrays the emergence of evil became a gate way for the philosophical question about a good God permitting evil in his name. This question re-echoes throughout the bible. The story of Cain and Abel is a symbolic explanation of the inclination of the human person to kill for a selfish reason and then impute the motive for killing on religion. I do not know the sense we can make of a situation where some one is killing another human being created by God either with physical weapons or psychological weapons and claims he or she is doing so in God’s name and at the same time chorusing “God is great”. You can imagine the energy some “power famished dictators” exert on

ceasing power from a legitimately elected person who is really called by God to serve the people and is doing his or her job well. Why are the righteous leaders who serve the good of all including the common people targets of some “malicious vultures”? Cain and Abel in Hebrew are Qayin and Hevel. They are referred to as the sons of Adam in the Qur’an. In the narrative of Genesis 4:1-16, Cain presented some of the land’s produce as an offering to the LORD. Abel also presented an offering of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions. The Lord accepted the offering of Abel who was a cheerful giver and rejected that of Cain who offered the worst produce of his farm. Cain was furious, and he was downcast. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you furious? And why are you downcast? If you do right, won’t you be accepted? Instead of Cain to take the advice from God by making a better offering, he tricked his brother, saying, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in

the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. God reacted and asked Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” Cain replied, “I do not know: Am I my brother’s keeper?” After this, God said to Cain, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground! So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened her mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you farm, the ground shall not yield good crops to you! You shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth! If Cain desired to kill Abel for a cultic / religious reason, common sense would attain the fact that it would have been easier for Cain to look for another item or better alternative to sacrifice in order to win God’s favour than to kill his own brother. Perhaps the rotten yam offered by Cain represented his rotten mind and fatal envy. In Cain, a curse is placed on whoever kills an innocent person for egoistic reasons. People with guilt do not find rest when they sleep and when

Today, we see so much rivalry (intra and inter) within many religious groups. The fight to become the head in a church and in a Mosque is no longer news. A Nun once recommended that to do a good job in inter-religious dialogue, the adherents of the various religions should first do a proper intra-religious dialogue so that they can live in peace and harmony within their religious community before inviting others to share in their intra community peace. You can only give what you have.

of the economy admitted that if not checked, the crude oil theft posed serious challenges to the Nigerian economy. And likewise the dread killings of innocent souls have continued, even with state of emergency declared in some Northern states. Although arguable, no amount of amnesty or state of emergency will work in a democratic society where the citizens have experimented takingup arms against the government; as a way of making their voices heard by the government. Am not being pessimistic here, but saying the realities on ground. However, a better Nigeria is possible. The political leadership, being the ‘nation’s driver’ should show sincerity of purpose and the will to fight corruption in all ramifications. Most importantly, strong institutional frameworks are instrumental in making any government to succeed or otherwise. There is the need to clearly separate politics from bureaucracy and politicians from technocrats. By this, politics and politicians will come – and – go while bureaucracy and technocrats will stay. Because weak government institutional- frameworks are bedrocks to corruption while, Genuine democracy thrives only on strong government institutions. Idris Evuti tweets at @ idrisevuti they die. A warring community can not expect good development and progress for a sustainable length of time. Today, we see so much rivalry (intra and inter) within many religious groups. The fight to become the head in a church and in a Mosque is no longer news. A Nun once recommended that to do a good job in inter-religious dialogue, the adherents of the various religions should first do a proper intra-religious dialogue so that they can live in peace and harmony within their religious community before inviting others to share in their intra community peace. You can only give what you have. You can not offer the peace that does not exist in your community to others. This is the central idea behind ecumenism. This suggestion is relevant today more than ever before given that we now live in an era when “parasites of power” and “seekers for prestige positions” are making religion a serious object of ridicule. The story of Cain and Abel is an analysis of what is happening in the world today. There is nothing wrong with religion; it is some people who claim to dwell in the cult of God and claim to understand the mind of God better than anyone else that needs transformation and a change of attitude. Can’t we really get along as brothers and sisters? Wherever brothers and sisters dwell in unity there is peace, love and joy. Then we can really understand that God is good and God is great! Cornelius Afebu Omonokhua is Director of Mission and Dialogue of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Abuja (comonokhua@hotmail. com).



Online Comments A letter from a Christian to Muslim women

Recruitment, promotion irregularities rock Army

That is a great contribution from someone with experience. I appreciate and respect your courage. Yahaya Labaran Abdullahi A thumb-up to you, sister Joanne, please; we need people like you to keep on enlightening our sisters in the society. Thanks and remain blessed. Shakede Oinah This is a nice piece from the heart. It is difficult for people to accept their failings except when led by the Almighty God. No matter our pretence of civilization, nudity and the likes, not only by women but by men also, are against the laws of God. Zarina Hi! Dear Christian sis, it is clear that most women are being deceived by men. It seems that when a man wants to live with a woman, they insist on the marriage certificate.They know that the marriage certificate will protect them from their partners who may leave them penniless. Women should insist on the marriage certificate too. Gay marriage may not involve children yet gay people do not want to be penniless if their partners leave them. Women must think alike and protect themselves by getting married especially when they are going to want to have children. That is what Islam teaches women. Anisah

Corruption: NJC indicts Justice Gummi

May God save our judiciary and Nigeria as a whole. Bashir Musa ……………………………………………………….

The role of ICT in emerging tax administration Very comprehensive write-up. The role of ICT cannot be over emphasized. Dr. Peters …………………………….

WRITE TO US Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed to: The Editor, Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. Email: SMS: 08134607052 For over 43years when the military said no Igbo officer was qualified to hold the post of Chief of Army Staff where was the reporter? When only officers from Katsina, Kano and Niger State were generals where was the reporter?Even when good and quality officers were killed against the aspiration of the people, Colonel Umar DangiwaAliyu was retired with his valuable experience and knowledge. Please, we all know that this is sponsored report that holds no water. Nigerians should embrace professionalism and not tribalism or nepotism. Ralph ………………………………

Dangote truck crushes three to death in Ilorin Okada should be stopped in Kwara state ----------------------------------------

Marriage Celebrant Adelaide -----------------------------------

How Arik Air celebrates Emir of Kano’s Golden jubilee Please, I just want to ask if there is any Ramadan promotion on the fare from Kano to Lagos. Thank you. Abraham Baye --------------------------------

Bayern set to land Thiago from Barcelona The Thiago transfer to Bayern Munich is actually a very good deal for all three parties (Bayern, Barcelona and Thiago). Bayern gets a top player, Barcelona gets some much needed funds and reduces the pressure for a time on the first team (and opens possibilities for other young players) and Thiago gets a chance to play far more than on Barcelona. It would not surprise me if Thiago returns to Barcelona years later with much more experience. Neymar Jr ---------------------------------

LG autonomy: Don’t override the wish of Nigerians

Yes, it is a welcome development; we are in support of it. It will reduce poverty in the local level. Kolawole Adebayo Mutiu Nasir Muhammad ---------------------------

Senate queries Civil Defence boss over recruitment scam

It is true? NSCDC, they are doing their recruitment in Abuja Makinde Taofeek -----------------------------------

Kwankwaso’s son’s wedding and challenge of discipline

Nigeria’s Peace Corps gets ECOSOC recognition We thank God because now peace corps is under the federal government. Sani Azare

Thank you for providing this information on your site.

Chief of Army Staff. Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika

For over 43years when the military said no Igbo officer was qualified to hold the post of Chief of Army Staff where was the reporter? When only officers from Katsina, Kano and Niger State were generals where was the reporter? Even when good and quality officers were killed against the aspiration of the people, Colonel Umar DangiwaAliyu was retired with his valuable experience and knowledge. Please, we all know that this is sponsored report that holds no water. Nigerians should embrace professionalism and not tribalism or nepotism. Gov. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso



Comment Standing up for native crops By Nnimmo Bassey


he power of the biotech industry has been more successful in restraining and constraining governments to do their bidding than in overcoming the power of nature. Their grip on governments has worked to the extent that when they commit crimes like genetic contamination all governments do is to legalise the misdeed so that it may become entrenched and so that the polluter profits from their crimes. And nature pays. And humans and other species pay. Those who plead caution with regard to the planting and eating of genetically engineered (GE) crops are vilified as anti-science, whereas a close scrutiny shows that it is actually the biotech industries who are anti-science and who pretend that their approximate experimentations are precise in any serious way. Usually speaking from the position of power, proponents discount calls for reason and pleas that we have just one planet and that it is the diversity in nature that is the bedrock of resilience to variable climatic and other conditions. The Financial Times in an editorial titled “Seeds of Doubt”, published on 21 July 2013, raises very deep issues.

Its subtitle, “Europe is right to be cautious over GM crops” captures the essence of the timely warning. The editorial informs that most GE crops are engineered to resist harmful insects or pests and to withstand glysophate, a type of herbicide. These engineering feats are expected to protect crops from target insects and to relief the farmer of the need to weed - a task that places a lot of stress on small-scale farmers. However, the application of the technology requires that farmers adopt monoculture as the norm and avoid mixed cropping and crop rotation as well. One wonders why most African governments are not paying attention to the truth that natural resilience is the only way to secure our environment. We cannot afford to go the way of farmers who do not see their crops as food but as commodities to be processed into products for the market. This is the logic of the socalled value-added agricultural production mantra. While there is nothing wrong with valueaddition, food crops need to be seen primarily as food crops to avoid needless and harmful tinkering by those who only see market shelves when they look at farms. Coming on the same day as the FT editorial is another

article, this time in the New York Times, that lays bare the tragic consequences of dependence on GE crops in a region of the USA. The article titled Our Coming Food Crisis and written by Gary Paul Nabhan, talks of the risks faced by farmers in a town in California as a metaphor for climate induced food crisis that could hit the USA and by extension impact the world through spiked food prices. He draws attention to the higher temperatures being recorded in the area and stresses that when this persists it necessitates the use of more water for irrigation. This does not only place a demand on available surface and ground water, but also leads to higher energy need to pump the water over longer distances. Passing these costs to the consumer translates directly to increased food prices. The writer went ahead to set out time-tested agro ecological practices that would create a climate smart situation, while at the same time helping to cool the climate, as the peasant movement La via Campesina keeps reminding us. The steps outlined in the article include reliance on organic composting, rain water harvesting and funding to help farmers transition to perennial agriculture: “initially

focussing on edible tree crops and perennial grass pastures - rather than providing more subsidies to biofuel production from annual crops. Perennial crops not only keep 7.5 to 9.4 times more carbon in the soil than annual crops, but their production also reduces the amount of fossil fuels needed to till the soil every year.” Another critical point made in the article is that the government of the USA spends billions in crop insurance payments that could be invested in climate change adaptation. The writer notes that continued pay-outs to farmers rather than implementing a climate policy that would avoid losses means little more than subsidizing farmers for not adapting climate change. Insurance payment for crops is not common in Africa, but it has been recently introduced in Northern Ghana where farmers risk losses due to hotter than usual seasons. It has been reported that the introduction of the payouts has given farmers more confidence in their vocation and encouraged them to increase the acreage of their farms. While this is laudable the fact still remains that creating the right policy environment for farmers to cultivate indigenous climate adapted crops is more sustainable than payouts.

There is no reason to allow genetically engineered crops into farms that have not been already contaminated. African countries must not allow themselves to be stampeded into toeing paths that lead to questionable destinations. Genetically engineered crops are not as climate smart as native crops that have adapted to these conditions over the years. Even the claims that Africans have nutritional deficits do not have to translate to GE crops as a solution to the problem. The enrichment of crops with higher levels of vitamins has been done through plant breeding processes of bio fortification that is not genetic engineering. On all counts, including that of yield, the notions used to cajole political leaders to accept genetically modified crops succeed because of peculiar modification of perceptions on the basis of myths and mirages. Europe is right in rejecting GMOs. Africa cannot afford to repeat the mistakes made by those who already walked into the GMO cul-de-sac. We must not be in the business of turning our environment and peoples to laboratories and guinea pigs. Nnimmo Bassey contributed this piece from South Africa

This unholy contraption called democracy By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye


o me, democracy is an imposed ideology on the Africans; yet, it is valuable to some people and scholars who uphold and prefer its tenets and standards. These sets of people or scholars, unfortunately, have only been able to note the propensity by which democracy had grown and has fast-tracked the development of America and Europe, but they had unequivocally failed in not properly appraising the effectiveness of democracy as a form of government in Nigeria and Africa in general. Simply put, the reason why democracy thrives in America and Europe is because it is rooted in an ideology produced, believed and nurtured by them, so they understand its peculiarities and shall always guard it jealously. However, regardless of the social incivility, heterogeneity, fragmented nature of Nigeria’s democratic ecology vis-à-vis the entrenchment of poverty, corruption and high level of illiteracy that have characterized her system, the Nigerian model of democracy has continued to be crippled by internal and external influences. Today, most especially in our primary and secondary

schools in Nigeria, children pay fines for speaking in their mother tongue. Recently, Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos made the teaching of Chinese language compulsory in the state. The cultures of various ethnic nationalities in Nigeria have been jettisoned for foreign cultures. Foreign attires have replaced local attires in Nigeria, leading to the withering -away of good values and character. Today, sexually-provocative dressing mostly by ladies has triggered cases of raping and sexual harassment. .Today, people are repeatedly bombed, maimed and killed day-by-day in Nigeria under democracy, since lives and properties of the common people and those even in the top places can no longer be guaranteed due to the protracted fiefdom existing between these two religious

groups. Consequent upon this, I am casting my vote of no confidence on the said religions. Today, armed robbers and kidnappers operate at will; they carry out their illicit operations unhindered. Oil Militants who had destroyed government and peoples properties now benefit from democratic government in Nigerian through political appointments. It should be noted here that Militants in Nigeria are richer than average Nigerian graduates. This is shameful! The education system in the country has been bastardized by people masquerading as democrats in Nigeria. As at today, the best Nigerian University is not rated amongst the best 5000 in the world. Industrial actions have paralyzed the education sector. Election is regarded as the constitutional weapon of change in a democratic system.

However, it is affirmative that the worst election ever conducted in Nigeria was supervised by a democratically elected government of OlusegunObasanjo under the administrative supervision of Professor Maurice Iwu. I am referring to the charade called the 2007 elections. While the Military in their days conducted credible elections (one of which was annulled), civilians have failed to do so. It took Ekiti State, Nigeria seven years to settle its election case at the law courts. Elections in Nigeria are either rigged through the ballot or the bullet. Democracy in practice recognizes viable opposition as one of its basic tenets to thrive towards the realization of its set goals. But in Nigeria, Governors and President orders the arrest of perceived enemies or oppositions as they wish.

Election is regarded as the constitutional weapon of change in a democratic system. However, it is affirmative that the worst election ever conducted in Nigeria was supervised by a democratically elected government of OlusegunObasanjo under the administrative supervision of Professor Maurice Iwu. I am referring to the charade called the 2007 elections. While the Military in their days conducted credible elections (one of which was annulled), civilians have failed to do so. It took Ekiti State, Nigeria seven years to settle its election case at the law courts.

Posting and writing on the social media like the Facebook is now being done with ultimate caution, as no one is willing to die. Indeed, evaluating Nigerianized democracy against the fundamental expectations that are palpable in the advanced models of democracy will only affirm the fact that this form of government has done a great deal of harm to our political system. Leaders are sentimentally voted into power by the illiterates, mob, rabblerousers and the crowd. Merit is usually sacrificed for mediocrity in Nigeria. Why? It is simply because Africans/Nigerians have different orientation, languages, norms, values, perspectives and traditions from those who invented this aberration called democracy. Hence, they find it difficult to habituate or adapt successfully to its ecology. I hereby wish to call for the abrogation and nullification of democratic rule in Nigeria. I urge all Nigerian academics, particularly political scientists and lovers of comparative politics to study how the Indians and Chinese have been able to fix their countries’ initial hitches and complications without dictation by the West. Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye wrote in from Magodo Phase 1, Lagos.



FCTA advocates CBHIS in Karshi By Adeola Tukuru


inister of State for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, has said that the Community Based Health Insurance Scheme (CBHIS) will improve the access of FCT residents to quality, accessible and affordable health-care” delivery. She said this yesterday at the Top Level Advocacy on the Community Based Health Insurance Scheme (CBHIS), held at the palace of the Chief of Karshi, Karshi. According to the minister, the implementation of the (CBHIS)

in 300 communities of the FCT would be able to further improve the access of FCT residents to quality, accessible and affordable health-care” delivery. In her words: “The FCT Administration is still concerned over the wide disparities in health and health services between FCT’s rural and urban areas. This situation results from the challenges of access to health centres, low capacity and scarcity of funds coupled with the difficult terrains of some communities”. “The scheme is a social security system that guarantees the

provision of needed health services to its beneficiaries on the payment of token contributions at regular intervals and protects its sub scribers from the burden of paying for healthcare directly from their pockets. “It works through registered co-operatives, whereby members contribute N150 as monthly premiums, which translates to N1,800 yearly”, She said. According to her, The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) will pay for all children under 5 years as well as pregnant women for three years under the pilot scheme.

The Community Based Health Insurance Scheme is therefore, an off-shoot of the NHIS, which was formally launched in July 2005. She however, urge FCT chiefs, and other stakeholders to embrace the scheme that will attract to them the benefits of access to quality health-care that will lead to the “prevention of negative tendencies resulting from out-of-pocket payments for health-care services which has seen people sell their lands, crops and other valuables” “I therefore, sincerely appeal to FCT residents to join hands in this laudable project. I encourage

Metro the communities to contribute the little they can while the FCT Administration will play its own part. A stitch in time, they say, saves nine,” she said. In his remarks, Emir of Karshi, HRH Alh. Ismaila Mohammed, said, “Indeed, healthcare delivery remains one of the most important basic social services any government or organisation can render to its people and FCT Administration has not shirked from its responsibility of ensuring the welfare of the residents. He therefore, pledges his hand of partnership towards the success of the programme and promise to mobilise his community leaders, local associations and religious bodies to educate the people on the importance of the scheme”.

Abuja Light Rail: 700,000 persons to be conveyed daily, says Minister By Adeola Tukuru


inister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, yesterday gave assurance that Abuja light rail when completed will convey about 700, 000 passengers daily . Mohammed noted this duringthe ground breaking of the rail station, which marks the commencement of construction works on the twelve railway stations under the first phase of the Abuja

Light Project at Wuye district. According to him, the completion and subsequent operation of Abuja light rail system would mark a positive turning point in the transport fortunes of the federal capital territory. When it becomes operational, it will curb congestion and enhance the movement of people and goods in the FCT. The minister expressed optimism that the 2015 completion is realistic with a projected ridership of 700, 000 passengers per day.

In his words: “The project currently employs about 3, 500 indigenous workers and on completion would employ an approximately 20, 000 strong workforce. “The first phase of Abuja light rail projects consists of approximately 45km of double track rail line traversing the Central area to Abuja International Airport, through Idu and from Idu to Kubwa,” he said. Also, Secretary, FCT

Transportation Secretariat, Engr. Jonathan Ivoke, said, the light rail has three lots. The locations of the stations (National Park, Abuja Metro and Idu Transfer station) are strategically designed to connect the entire FCT. In his goodwill message, the SarkiJiwa, Alh.IdrisMusa, said there are many benefits therein the project when completed but however, said there can be no gain without pains. “The project has many benefits for the people of Abuja. I want to

appeal to my communities and original inhabitants that there must be pains but soon the pains will be sweet” National President, National Union Of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alh. NojeemUsmanYasin, said, the project, “if completed, will ease the transportation system in the federal capital territory. He commends the minister for the initiative and pledge association’s support for the success.



AMAC commences bidding process on rural projects By Stanley Onyekwere


he Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC)has opened tenders from interested contractors for commencement of the bidding process on the award of contracts for the provision of different social amenities in rural communities in the council. Among the projects bided for are; road rehabilitation, construction and furnishing of blocks of class rooms, health centers, drilling of boreholes, rural electrification and amongst others to be spread around rural communities of the council. Speaking yesterday during the tender opening held at the council’s Legislative chamber, the chairman of AMAC Tender Board Committee, Hon. Suleiman Alhassan Gwagwa said the decision to subject the award of the projects through the process is to create opportunities for all interested Nigerians to participate in the development of the council. According to him; “We as government, our responsibility is to deliver total dividend of democracy to our people, as such would make the best for our investors.” Gwagwa who spoke on behalf of the council chairman, Micah Jiba, therefore assured stakeholders that the process would be transparent, ‘and you will not regret partnering with AMAC.’ In his remark, Head of Department (HOD), Works, housing and land in the council, Alh. Alahassan Dakwoyi disclosed that a technical committee has been instituted to look into the individual profiles of companies bidding for any of the projects. According to him; it is based on their performance ratings that the technical committee will recommend to the Tender board for consideration, and thereafter the council will make approval for award of contracts to the successful bidders.” “Having opened the bidding process, the Technical committee will take-off immediately and may be in the next one or two weeks they will present their report to the tender board for consideration”, he explained.

NGO donates N2m items to Kuje Prison inmates F

ountain of Hope International, a society in Saint James Anglican Church, Asokoro, Abuja, has donated items worth N2 million to inmates of the Medium Security Prison, Kuje, FCT. The President of the group, Obiora Chidi, said the visit to Kuje Prison was part of its desire to cater to the needy in the society. The items, which included mosquito nets, fans, food items and toiletries, were distributed to inmates shortly after a moment of exhortation and words of encouragement from

the group. The group also distributed cooked food to all the inmates. ``This visit is part of what we are expected to do as Christians, spiritually and even in the bible it says we have to visit the imprisoned. ``We visited them as part of evangelism to share scriptures with them, pray for them and give them the courage to be able to withstand what they are going through. They are so happy; we feel we are blessed having been able to do that. ``My message for them is that

this imprisonment is about the physical. They should have courage, they should be prayerful, and they should be there for one another. ``They should learn to repent of any sins they’ve committed and plan to be better people when they are out of prison.’’ Chidi urged the inmates not to give up hope, saying that imprisonment was only meant to reform them and make them better citizens. He said: ``We have gone to Motherless Babies’ Homes, so this

year we decided to come to Kuje Prison. ``If you read the book of Hebrew Chapter 13, verse 3, it says, do not forget those that are in prison; remember them as if you were in prison with them. Do not forget those that are suffering, remember them as if you are suffering with them. ``So we have come to tell them that it’s not the end of life; they want to transform them, so that when they come out to the society they can change their lifestyles, their character and fit well into the society. (NAN)

L-R: Chairman, Abaji Area Council, Hon.Yahaya Garba, Executive Secretary , National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Alhaji Abdulrahman Sambo, Sarkin Karshi, Alhaji Ismaila Mohammed, and representative of the Minister of State for FCT, Alhaji Yusuf Tsaiyabu, during the Top Level Advocacy on Community Based Health Insurance Scheme, yesterday at Karshi, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Igbos in FCT seek participation in Area Council polls By Adeola Tukuru


he Igbos based in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory have called for a democratization of governance structures in the city. The group under the umbrella of the Ohaneze Nd’igbo wants the right to be able to contest and be voted for during FCT Area Councils elections.

They also want to represent the FCT at both the House of Representative and the Senate level. The group who bore their mind in Abuja while speaking with newsmen said the current political structure in the FCT negates the all-inclusive vision of the founding fathers of the territory. The Acting Chairman of the

Ohaneze Ndigbo, FCT Branch, Ogbueshi Val Ogosi who spoke at the press conference organised in conjunction with the Alliance for Credible Election, ACE said their aim to ensure the enthronment of democracy and representative Governance in the FCT. “It will also empower eligible Nigerians resident in the FCT with a sense of identification and

relevance in the political leadership schemes of the FCT” “It will ensure representative governance in such a manner that the interest of every segment of society is protected and also serve as a safeguard against arbitrary government policies and programmes which undermines industry, entrepreneurship and innovation” he added .

Use of fermented oil bean reduces risk of cancer, tobacco-related diseases, says dietician


dietician at the Wuse General Hospital, Abuja, Hajiya Jummai Abdul, said that regular consumption of fermented oil bean seeds could reduce the risk of developing cancer and tobacco-related diseases. Abdul told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that oil bean seed contained phytochemicals that could lower

the cholesterol level in the body. NAN reports that phytochemicals are nonnutritive plant chemicals that have protective or diseasepreventing properties. According to her, consumption of oil bean seeds helps to prevent infections while its extracts are useful in the treatment of diarrhoea, epilepsy, and insomnia (lack of sleep).

``Oil bean contains so much phytochemicals found in most vegetables; it is very good, it’s just like herb which had been linked to lower cholesterol; it is very beneficial for those patients who have cholesterol. ``A patient who regularly consumes fermented oil bean seed has a reduced risk of cancer and tobacco-related diseases; so we can see, it’s very beneficial to

our health. ``Also, the oil bean extract is effective for treating diarrhea; it prevents us from getting infection and it stops the diarrhea; it helps in treating insomnia; that is lack of sleep. ``When you are tense and you take it, you sleep soundly. Epileptic patients also use it to prevent or to reduce the attack of the epilepsy.’’

Abdul said that taking oil bean extracts reduced the incidence of epileptic attacks. She advised cancer patients to eat oil beans regularly to prevent cancer cells from replicating. The dietician added that the consumption of the oil bean seeds would go a long way in suppressing the cholesterol level in the body. (NAN)




INSIDE FCT COURTS Woman, 26, docked for alleged theft of phone, perfumes

Transcorp Hilton workers drag union to court over alleged unlawful act


wo employees of Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, Messer Mohammed Tanko and Ayuba Yohanna, have dragged the National Union of Hotels and Personal Services Workers before the National Industrial Court, alleging unlawful acts. The claimants are representing the junior workers of the hotel joined Mr Friday Ochai, the Chairman of the Union and Transnational Hotels and Tourism Services as co-defendants in the suit.

They alleged that the union’s executive members were using their position to incite industrial action in the third defendant’s Transcorp Hilton without following the provisions of Trade Dispute Acts. The claimants were praying the court to declare that the second defendant and his executive members were not acting in the interest of the junior workers of the hotel by inciting them. They also prayed for a declaration that the first and second defendants were illegally

hijacking the third defendant’s branch to pursue their personal agenda. The claimants sought for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the union and its executive from embarking on industrial action in the hotel. They further demanded for a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from transferring and/or removing any management member of the hotel without justifiable grounds. When the matter came up

for mention on Monday, the claimant’s counsel, Mr Paul Eboigbe informed the court of the parties’ decision settle the matter out of court. Eboigbo told the court that the terms of settlement of the case were drawn by the parties and prayed the court to adjourned to Tuesday to enable them file it. The presiding judge, Justice Maureen Esowe, however adjourned the case to Tuesday, July 23 for report of settlement. (NAN


arah Haruna, a 26-year-old woman, was on Monday arraigned in an Abuja Senior Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing a blackberry phone and perfumes worth N180,000 from a customer’s hotel room. The accused of Flat 4, No. 14, Lusaka Street, Wuse Zone 6, Abuja, was reported at the Wuse Zone 3 Police Station by one Mr Jim Elueni on June 21. Police prosecutor David Udeh told the court that the complainant, who lodged at Gombe Jewel Hotel, Wuse 2, Abuja, left the accused in his room and went to Supreme Court for other functions on the said date. According to Udeh, when the complainant returned to the hotel, he discovered that the accused had absconded with his Blackberry phone and perfumes valued at N120,000 and N60,000 respectively. The prosecutor said that the accused was arrested later on July 17. Udeh said during police interrogation, the phone was recovered from the accused, and that the perfumes had yet to be recovered. Meanwhile, the accused pleaded not guilty, and told the court that she took the phone as collateral to force Elueni to pay her the money owed her. Senior Magistrate Anthony Ogboi granted her bail in the sum of N50,000 with a surety in like sum who must be resident within the court’s jurisdiction. Ogboi said the surety and the accused must submit one passport photograph each to the court registrar and that they must also sign the photograph at the back. He adjourned the case to July 31, 2013 for hearing. (NAN)

Old women waiting for alms, yesterday in Nyanya.

Surety withdraws upon advice from father of accused A

surety, Mr Obu Agoh, of Mararaba has informed a Grade 1 Area Court, Mararaba, Nasarawa State, of his intention to withdraw as a surety to an accused, Mary Ogah. Agoh made his intention known to the court at the

resumption of hearing in a case of alleged theft and cheating filed against Ogah. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Agoh had stood as surety on behalf of the father of the accused person, who was granted bail by the

Driver in court for allegedly causing death by dangerous driving


Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

he Police on Monday arraigned a 41-year-old driver, Salihu Mohammed, of no fixed address, in an Abuja Magistrates’ court for alleged dangerous driving and causing death. The police prosecutor, Insp. Jeremiah Elijah told the court that the crime was committed on June 21, along the Umaru Musa Yar’adua Way, when the accused person drove his vehicle in a very dangerous manner which resulted in an accident. ``The accused person drove recklessly and in a very dangerous manner and eventually knocked down a middle-aged woman identified as Hassana Ziladiami.’’ Elijah said the deceased sustained serious

injuries which resulted in her death later that same day. He said the offence contravened the provision of Section 27 CAP 548 of the Road Traffic Act. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against him. The Chief Magistrate, Usman Shuaibu, granted the accused bail in the sum of N500,000 and a reliable surety in like sum. Shuaibu, said the surety must be a civil servant on not less than Grade Level 8 and must reside within the jurisdiction of the court. He adjourned the matter to August 13,2013 for further hearing. (NAN)

court, at the first mention of the case. Agoh told the court that he decided to withdraw his position as surety because the father of the accused asked him to. ``It is my wish to inform this honourable court that I want to decline my position as a surety to Ogah. ``I stood as a surety on behalf of the father, but he called me on phone this morning and emphatically told me to withdraw my position as a surety. ``The father told me that his daughter, Mary has a very bad attitude and she should be allowed to learn her lessons in prison,” he said. The Presiding Judge, Albert Maga, granted Agoh’s application to withdraw as a surety to the accused. ``It is very unfortunate for a father to deny his daughter her right to a surety. ``However, if the accused

person has another surety, fine, if not she should be taken back to prison,” he ruled. NAN recalls that Ogah, 22, a sales girl, of Shopping Centre, Mararaba, was arraigned on July 4, for alleged theft and cheating. The police prosecutor, Cpl. Inuwa Maigida, told the court that Oyenche Amifofu of Mararaba Shopping Centre, reported the case at the ‘A’ Division Police Station, Mararaba, on June 27. Maigida told the court that on June 25, Amifofu’s cell phone valued at N15,000 was stolen inside her shop at the shopping centre by Ogah. He alleged that Ogah and her boyfriend, also drank beer, valued at N2,880 and absconded, but were later arrested at Mararaba. She, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges while the judge adjourned the case to Aug. 15, 2013 for hearing. (NAN)



Stock Watch

Report as at Tuesday, July 23, 2013



Female genital mutilation: 30 million girls ‘at risk’ T

he largest report yet into the extent of female genital mutilation, or cutting, has shed new light onto a practice that affects tens of millions of women and girls worldwide, United Nation (U.N) Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) has said. There is some positive news in the new UNICEF report, with data on trends revealing that the practice is becoming less common in more than half of the 29 countries where it is concentrated. ‘Women will change the world’ But some 30 million girls remain at risk of being cut in the next decade unless efforts to eliminate the practice make more headway. More than 125 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of female genital mutilation in 29 countries across Africa and the Middle East, according to the report titled: “Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A statistical overview and exploration of the dynamics of change.”

The practice -- which can carry serious health risks and is seen by the United Nations as a human rights violation -is found to a far lesser degree in other parts of the world, though the exact number of girls and women affected is unknown, said the report, published on Monday. Social acceptance and preservation of virginity are the most commonly cited reasons for carrying it out in most countries, among men as well as women. The adoption by the U.N. General Assembly last December of a resolution intensifying global efforts to eliminate female genital mutilation marked “a milestone in global efforts to end the practice,” the report said. Impossible odds, unstoppable girls But cutting continues in some countries and ethnic groups, despite decadeslong efforts to eliminate it -- and despite the fact that laws banning female genital mutilation at all ages have

been passed in the majority of African nations. In some communities it is seen as a religious requirement, while in others it’s dictated by tradition. “In many countries, prevalence is highest among Muslim girls and women. However, the practice is also found among other religious communities,” the UNICEF report said. Cutting is nearly universal in Somalia, Guinea, Djibouti and Egypt, according to the report, but affects only one in 100 girls and women in Cameroon and Uganda. Some girls undergo the practice while still babies, while others are cut as young girls or in their teens. The degree of harm inflicted by the practice also varies across communities. “In Somalia, Eritrea, Niger, Djibouti and Senegal, more than one in five girls have undergone the most radical form of the practice, known as infibulation, which involves the cutting and sewing of the genitalia,” the report said.

The downward trend in the practice is most marked in countries where it is less prevalent, the report said. In Kenya and Tanzania, women age 45 to 49 are about three times more likely to have been cut than girls age 15 to 19, UNICEF found. In Benin, Central African Republic, Iraq, Liberia and Nigeria, adolescent girls are about half as likely to have been cut as women age 45 to 49. Other countries where the practice is more widespread have also registered declines. They include Burkina Faso and Ethiopia and, to a lesser extent, Egypt, Eritrea, Guinea, Mauritania and Sierra Leone, the report said. It also highlighted a gap between the support among women for female genital mutilation and its prevalence. “In most of the countries surveyed, (the) majority of girls and women who have undergone the practice do not see benefits to it and think that the practice should stop,” UNICEF statistics and monitoring specialist Claudia

The challenge is to let people - men and women - have their voices heard on the issue, UNICEF says


Special Report

Cutting is nearly universal in Somalia, Guinea, Djibouti and Egypt, a U.N. study finds.

Cappa is quoted as saying. “More mothers are aware” that female genital mutilation and cutting “can lead to their daughter’s, or a girl’s, death,” she says. “So, there is a better understanding of the consequences, which, in itself, is very important progress.” Give African women a voice But many mothers who oppose the practice still have their daughters cut because of societal expectations, the study said, indicating that “efforts to end the practice need to go beyond a shift in individual attitudes and address entire communities.” The study also found that efforts by the many agencies campaigning for change are differentiated for various ethnic groups, some of which cross national boundaries, since cutting is much more common in some groups than others. Men and boys, as well as girls, should be encouraged to talk about the practice, the report said. “This is especially important since the data indicate that girls and women tend to consistently underestimate the share of boys and men who want (female genital mutilation) to

end.” Another factor in eliminating cutting is promoting education and exposure to other communities, it added, with urban, wealthier and more educated families less likely to impose the practice on their daughters. “As many as 30 million girls are at risk of being cut over the next decade if current trends persist,” said Geeta Rao Gupta, deputy executive director of UNICEF. “If, in the next decade, we work together to apply the wealth of evidence at our disposal, we will see

major progress,” she said. “That means a better life and more hopeful prospects for millions of girls and women, their families and entire communities.” Lots of teachers aren’t even aware that female genital mutilation goes on, says Lisa Zimmerman, a teacher at Bristol City Academy in the UK. She campaigns against female genital mutilation through the charity, Integrate Bristol, which she co-founded five years ago. Zimmerman runs highprofile extra-curricular activities, including play and films looking at the issues

raised by female genital mutilation in order to combat the practice. Despite all this, she says, “The girls in my project had to tell the health and social care teacher what female genital mutilation was”. That teacher is not alone

in being ignorant of the cultural practice of genitally mutilating young girls, or the physical and mental health disaster – sometimes even death – that can result from it. Given the physical horror of what happens when a girl

is subjected to female genital mutilation, it might be seen as surprising that schools have been reluctant to address the issue, particularly when such young children are at risk of serious physical and mental harm. But it seems that a different risk, that of offending the communities that practice female genital mutilation, has very effectively prevented many schools from taking a stand, says Lisa Zimmerman. “Schools would never say ‘we’re not engaging with it’ because that’s tantamount to saying you’re not doing proper safeguarding,” she says. But the main blocks to effective action at school level, she continues, are “lack of courage, political correctness and competition between schools for students. It’s felt that if you offend the community then people will remove their children or choose other schools – that’s always the threat that people will take their children away. And here, not one single one did.” Even though it may feel extremely difficult for an individual teacher to raise a matter that might cause serious problems for their school’s relationship with often marginalised and disadvantaged communities, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) says it would urge any staff member with concerns to immediately inform the school’s designated officer for child protection. “It needs to be emphasised that this is a child protection matter, that it is illegal, and that they will not be acting alone,” says Chris Cloke, head of child protection at the NSPCC. “We’re asking them to report, not investigate.” As well as the standard warning signs of abuse that

teachers are trained to be aware of, with female genital mutilation, there could be an increase in anxiety levels leading up to holidays (when a child may be taken overseas to be subjected to female genital mutilation, changes in school attendance, spending a lot of time in the toilets, sitting cross legged or having repeated urinary tract infections. If a teacher reports a concern as part of their school’s standard child protection procedures, but feels that it has not been acted upon, Cloke emphasises that they should “report directly to police or social services. What teachers need to be aware of is that a child who has experienced this may have younger siblings at risk.” At Bristol City Academy, because of Zimmerman’s campaigning, she believes that “hand on heart, I can say that no daughter of the girls I work with will have it done. And I am very sure that younger sisters have been protected.” And people should perhaps not be so afraid of community reaction: Zimmerman notes that five years on from when she co-founded Integrate Bristol, there’s “a difference in the way the mothers talk to me. It’s very subtle; it’s in the warmth of the look, the interest in our work, and the kind of questions about female genital mutilation they ask.” Awareness of this particularly brutal type of child abuse may have improved at Bristol City Academy, but whether schools across the country will be able to answer the questions asked about female genital mutilation-related child protection concerns remains to be seen. (Source: CNN)

As many as 30 million girls are at risk of being cut over the next decade if current trends persist Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chuklwu

Women Affairs Minister, Zainab Maina



Property News

FG to launch Mortgage Refinance Company to address housing deficit By A’ishaBiolaRaji


he Federal Government is set to launch Mortgage Refinance Company, a fresh vehicle to deliver housing needs of Nigerians. The mortgage company to be driven majorly by private sector is to ease

the process of Nigerians owning their own houses at affordable rates. Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala announced the formation of the company in a statement issued on her behalf by her Media Adviser, Paul Nwabuikwu.

The company will be launched by President Goodluck Jonathan between August and September this year. Currently, the country’s total housing deficit stands at 17 million units. Okonjo-Iweala said the institution is a key part of President Goodluck Jonathan’s vision

to ensure that Nigerians have access to cheap mortgage funds from housing finance lenders. The minister said President Jonathan had directed her and the Minister of Housing, Ms. AmaPepple, to fashion out appropriate and effective means of addressing the housing challenges in

the country, adding that the result of such collaboration was the MRC. According to her, the World Bank had already bought into the emerging refinance institution with a soft loan of $300 million under the bank’s International Development Association (IDA) concessionary lending window.

The Minister said the Federal Government was also working on mass housing schemes with a rent-to-own option for workers to reduce the housing deficit in the country. The target of the first stage of the mass housing scheme is to increase the number of completed mortgages from the current 20,000 housing units to 200,000 units in three years. “Though this target is quite a tough one, we believe that with the leadership of the President and the commitment and hard work of the various ministries and agencies involved, it is achievable”,

Property sales in Dubai increase by 30% By Etuka Sunday with agency report


roperty sales in Dubai have increased in the first six months of 2013 compared with the same period a year ago, according to the latest figures from the Dubai Land Department. Report on Propertywire. com has it that the total value of real estate transactions in Dubai for the first half of 2013 was AED108bn from 30,469 transactions, an increase of 30 per cent from the same period in 2012. More people are buying with mortgages as property lending in the emirate grows, the report said. Mortgages accounted for AED51.3bn of sales, a 47 per cent increase amounting to 6,050 transactions. According to the Director-General of the Dubai Land Department, Sultan Bin Mejren, the high percentage of growth reflects ongoing real estate developments in the emirate that continue to attract local and international investors to Dubai.

Housing Estate in Abuja

Fashola tasks FG on housing development for low income earners From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


agos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has charge the federal government to among others deepen the mortgage culture in the country, concentrate on research and development as well as education to improve building methods as a key strategy towards solving the nation’s housing problem. The governor said the FG must also address the cost of demurrage of landing imported building ma-

terials affirming that Nigerians know how to build houses but that the problem is that they can’t afford to buy it. Fashola told the Senate Committee on Land, Housing and Urban Development which paid him a courtesy visit, that deepening the mortgage culture would enable Nigerians obtain loan that they could pay within the productive period of their life at a less cumbersome interest rate. “How people can get a loan

that is tied to their productive period of life at interest rate that will not kill them is what the Federal Government should concentrate on”. He said. The Governor said that the Federal Government should also concentrate on research, development and education to improve building methods. Also he said “One of the ways to energize the Housing Industry is to stimulate the real and effective demand for Housing backed by the

ability to pay. If there is mortgage, people will build, private companies are already building”, pointing out that mortgage would enable people to pay for built houses. The Governor also advised the Federal Government to address the delay at the various sea ports in the country in order to shorten the clearance time of imported goods at the ports pointing out that the delay of building materials at the ports help to increase the cost of such materials as the owners

would pass the cost of demurrage to their customers. “There is a large component of imported materials in our Housing Industry, roofing sheets, windows, tiles, and so on and so forth. The cost of landing them here is exacerbated by the demurrage and the long time it takes to clear them at the ports. That cost is ultimately transferred to the customer. This is where the Federal Government can be very busy and active”, he said.



Property FMBN: Deepening mortgage development through the NHF

By Udenna Orji


igeria’s housing crisis was the topic of discussion last Monday when housing industry stakeholders gathered at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja for a one day sensitization workshop on the National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme. Top on the agenda was how to retool the NHF to make it more result-oriented in the onerous task of providing Nigerians with sufficient mortgages to bridge the country’s estimated deficit of 16 million housing units. The NHF Act No.3 of 1992 which set up the National Housing Fund scheme stipulates that a Nigerian worker earning the minimum national wage and above per annum in either the public or private sectors of the economy shall contribute 2.5% of his/her basic monthly salary to the Fund. The Fund provides long-term loans to mortgage institutions for onlending to contributors to the Fund for the purpose of building, purchasing and improvement of residential houses. The NHF is being managed by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN). Last Monday’s workshop was organized by the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development in collaboration with its parastatal, the FMBN, to provide a platform for engaging with stakeholders in order to reflect on the operations of the NHF and propose further necessary measures to energise and strengthen the Scheme as a sustainable mechanism for improved access to mortgage finance and affordable housing in Nigeria. The workshop also provided an opportunity for stakeholders to be regaled with the recent positive measures taken by the FMBN to deepen mortgage development in Nigeria and indeed the reorganization taking place to reposition the mortgage subsector in Nigeria. Ms. Ama Pepple, Minister of Lands, Housing & Urban Development informed participants that “many states of the federation that had hitherto opted out of the (NHF) scheme are now back in it. In this regard, 28 states and the Federal Capi-

Low-cost Housing estate in Abuja

tal Territory Administration (FCTA) are currently contributing to the scheme. We are confident that before the end of the year, the remaining 8 states that are yet to log unto the scheme will be brought on board as a result of the on-going consultations which I believe will yield positive results”. “It is also significant to note that the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria is into a new dispensation of profit making, after many years of operating at a loss. In line with the provisions of the NHF Act, refunds to contributors are also being made under the present Management. I observe, however, that there may be a few delays in processing the refunds arising from insufficient knowledge of the processes for obtaining them on the part of the contributors. This is also being addressed”, Pepple said. She disclosed that “in addition to providing increased number of mortgages to beneficiaries, through the Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs), the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria is granting Estate Development Loans (EDL) to a large number of qualified developers. Other new products have also been developed by the Bank to address the needs of cooperatives, informal sector workers, and Nigerians in the Diaspora. As part of the on-going measures by Government to effectively reposition the FMBN, its Governing Board was inaugurated recently, following Mr. President’s approval of its membership. The Board has been advised to ensure that certain regulatory institutions with responsibility for ensuring remittances to the Fund in some sectors of the economy discharge their responsibilities to the Bank as specified in the NHF Act”. Stakeholders were also informed by the minister that “the formal entry of the Mortgage Refinancing Company (MRC) into the system before the end of the year will effectively complement the FMBN by significantly expanding and deepening mortgage penetration in Nigeria. We expect that the two institutions will partner strategically by offering different but complementary windows of access

to mortgage financing in Nigeria. The on-going consolidation/ reform of the mortgage banking sector, especially in relation to the PMI’s, will also have salutary effects on the housing and urban development sector of the economy”. The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) last year launched an electronic collection platform to drive its NHF collection from contributors and NHF designated banks. Tagged “NHF e-Collection Platform”, the product is designed to among other things check sharp practices within the mortgage industry and enhance fund mobilization under the NHF scheme. The Managing Director of the FMBN, Mr. Gimba Ya’u Kumo while commenting on the new product said “the e-collection platform will address a number of problems facing the NHF scheme such as refusal of some employers to deduct their employees’ NHF contributions, failure of some employers to remit NHF contributions after deducting such contributions from their employees and failure of some employers to provide remittance schedules to FMBN. All these sharp practices enable some unscrupulous employers of labour to misappropriate NHF monies or even embezzle such funds” How does the new FMBN ecollection platform work? As soon as an employer instructs a designated NHF collection bank to pay the monthly salaries of its workers into the workers’ individual bank accounts and the bank makes the payments, the NHF e-collection platform will automatically deduct 2.5 % of the basic salary of each worker (being the NHF component of the salary). The deducted component (i.e. the 2.5% NHF contribution from each worker) is also automatically and instantly channeled into a dedicated NHF collection account generated by the e-collection platform. Equally generated are details of each worker’s contribution history, including the worker’s identity and amount contributed so far. FMBN instantly credits each contributor’s NHF account with the amount re-

Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ms Ama Pepple

Managing Director, FMBN, Mr. Gimba Ya’u Kumo mitted for the month. Explaining further, Mr. Kumo said “the platform, for example, will make it easy for NHF contributors to check their NHF contributions using the NHF e-cards on any ATM machines nationwide, the amount of money they have contributed to the NHF scheme and thus be in a position to know if their employers are making the appropriate NHF remittances as and when due”. A top executive at mortgage bankers, Resort Savings & Loans Plc, Mr. Aliu Oshoke told Peoples Daily that “What FMBN has done is to turn the usual pass book into an electronic card. Though you cannot withdraw with this card, with it you will know details of your contributions unlike before when you did not have any de-

tails. With this new card, you can go to any ATM or computer with internet access, log onto the FMBN portal and see details of all your contributions”. He added that the e-collection platform would help in mobilizing more funds under the NHF scheme as it would check sharp practices by some stakeholders. Mr. Geofrey Ozoani, Group General Manager of mass housing developer, El-Salem Nigeria Limited while hailing the new NHF e-collection Platform said “it will create more awareness of mortgages among Nigerians. There is a burning need to create awareness to Nigerians about mortgages and Nigerian mortgage institutions. Even contributors to the National Housing Fund do not know what they are contributing for”.



Audi Q5 offers new high-performance A


udi argues that the Q5 has the interior of a luxury car, the handling of a sport sedan and the ground clearance of a crossover SUV. Though automotive marketing oft e n

tends toward hyperb o le, we’d largely have to agree here, as the 2014 Audi Q5 is one of our favorites in the compact luxury crossover SUV class. For 2014, the company would be justified in adding “the appetite of an economy car” to that list of attributes, as the Q5 TDI model joins the lineup. The TDI sports a powerful diesel-fueled engine that earns a combined city/highway fuel economy estimate of 27 mpg. And don’t forget there’s also the Q5 Hybrid model, introduced last year, which is similarly frugal. In keeping with this “cover all the bases” powertrain philosophy, Audi also offers the new highperformance SQ5 variant, which is covered in a separate review. Even without such a buffet of power choices, the 2014 Audi Q5 has a lot going for it. Perfor-

mance and practicality, two traits that are typically opposing forces when you’re talking about an SUV, are

both here i n ample supply. Along with its snappy acceleration and buttoned-down handling, the sensibly sized Q5 offers plenty of passenger room within its welltrimmed cabin. Cargo capacity isn’t as generous as some rivals, but it’s still about quadruple what you’d get in a midsize sedan’s trunk. All things considered, it’s easy to see why the Q5 is a top pick for active single people and small families alike. Of course, there are other good choices in the premium compact crossover segment. The Volvo XC60 provides an even roomier interior and a few more familyfriendly features. If performance is a priority, the BMW X3 largely

matches the Q5 in terms of performance and handling. If style is your thing, Land Rover’s Range Rover Evoque is the most dynamiclooking of the

bunch. And if mpg is what motivates you, the MercedesBenz GLK-Class also has an available diesel engine: It isn’t as powerful or quick as the Q5 TDI, but it earns slightly higher fuel economy ratings. If you want to narrow your list of candidates to a single luxury crossover SUV that does everything The 2014 Audi Q5 is a compact luxury crossover available in five trim levels which correspond to engine: 2.0T Premium, 3.0T Premium Plus, 3.0 TDI Premium Plus and 2.0T Hybrid Prestige. Standard equipment on the 2.0T Premium includes 18-inch wheels, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, roof rails, eight-way power front seats (with four-way lumbar adjustment), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, trizone climate control, a sliding and reclining 40/20/40-split rear seat, Bluetooth connectivity, Audi’s Multi Media Interface (MMI) and a 10-speaker sound system with a CD player, an iPod/USB input, an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio. To all that, you can add the 2.0T Premium Plus package, which includes xenon headlights, LED running lights, a panoramic sunroof, a power liftgate, autodimming and power-folding exterior mirrors, keyless ignition/ entry, heated front seats and an auto-dimming interior mirror. The 3.0T Premium Plus includes all the above and adds a supercharged V6 engine, 19-inch wheels and special exterior trim. The available Prestige package adds adaptive headlights, blindspot monitoring, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, a heated/cooled cupholder, rear door sunshades and the Audi MMI Navigation Plus package (navigation system, digital music

storage, voice controls, rear park assist, rearview camera, HD radio and center-console-mounted MMI controller). The 3.0T Premium Plus can also be equipped with the Driver Assist package, which includes Audi Drive Select (four settings alter throttle response, transmission shift points and steering assist), adaptive cruise control and dynamic steering. Also available is the Comfort package (upgraded leather seating, additional leathe r cabi n

trim, vent i l a t e d front seats and power passenger lumbar adjustment), a Sport Interior package (front sport seats and a sport steering wheel) and the S Line Plus package (20-inch alloy wheels/summer tires, matte black roof rails, brushed aluminum cabin accents, flat-bottomed sport steering wheel, adaptive suspension system and Audi Drive Select controls). Rear-seat side airbags and a rear-seat entertainment system with twin display screens are also available. The 3.0 TDI Premium Plus is equipped like the 3.0T Premium Plus, except it doesn’t come with the 3.0T’s sporty exterior trim pieces and headlight washers. You can get these items in an expanded version of the S Line Plus package. Otherwise, option packages for the 3.0 TDI are the same as for the 3.0T. The 2.0T Hybrid Prestige includes all the features of the 2.0T Premium Plus, as well as 19-inch wheels, adaptive lighting, the Bang & Olufsen sound system, the heated/cooled cupholder, rear door sunshades and the Audi MMI Navigation Plus package. The Comfort and Sport Interior packages described above are optional on the 2.0T Hybrid. The 2014 Audi Q5 2.0T comes standard with all-wheel drive and a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine good for 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 20 city/28 highway and 23 mpg combined. In Edmunds testing, a Q5 2.0T accelerated to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, a performance on par with the Audi’s peers. Source:


Book Review Briefs Author: Tobi Osinubi Title: “The Royal Recount” Pages: 48 Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble ‘The Royal Recount’ shows that a young princess is still a young girl with wants and dreams eicester, England– In her new book “The Royal Recount” (published by AuthorHouse) 9-year-old author Tobi Osinubi presents to readers a glimpse into the life of a young princess. In “The Royal Recount” readers travel with Ava through her adventurous life, meeting family, friends, school, mean girls and more. The book is written as though it were a



Arts & Culture

‘The Royal Recount’ princess’ private diary, which makes it very accessible to young readers. An excerpt from “The Royal Recount”: “Sometimes being a princess can be so dull! ‘Wave Ava, Sit up straight, a princess never slouches!’ I mean, come on, you never get ANY time to yourself. It’s either a dress fitting or opening a school or something. I know a lot of little girls want to be a princess, but not for life; and when I split ONE hair, ‘OH NO SOMEONE CALL THE AMBULANCE!!’.” Osinubi hopes that readers will discover that being royalty does not make a young girl different. “Princesses do not always get their way,” she says. “They are still humans and live like everyone else only with more attention, which is not always a good thing.”

with Patrick-Jude Oteh 0803 700 0496, 0805 953 5215 (SMS only)


‘Mull With Me’ Author: Olu-Gbemiga Ojo Title: “Mull With Me” Pages: 116 Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble Olu-Gbemiga Ojo shares poetic observations on daily life in ‘Mull With Me’ ABUJA, Nigeria – Helen Keller once said that “Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.” Writing of his own observations on the lessons life has taught him, Olu-Gbemiga Ojo pens his new book, “Mull With Me: A Poetic Potpourri” (published by Trafford Publishing). “Mull With Me” is a collection of poems written about daily life. Ojo looks to his own life and draws

from his personal experiences in his writings. The poetry however is replete with universal topics everyone faces in every walk of life. “This book is an exposition on how words affect - ,” Ojo states. “Whether they are spoken, written or sung; strung together in poetry form, words can change the world! They make a positive impact and never ruin anyone, whatever the significance of the subject matter they deal with.” An excerpt from the poem “The Drunken Taskmasters”: We lay beneath the night sky The twinkles see to us We know it will dew, maybe rain Or witness cyclone first-hand

‘Soldiers Of Fortune - From Buhari to Babangida’ Author: Max Siollun Titled: ‘’Soldiers Of Fortune From Buhari to Babangida’’Review by Femi Fani-Kayode Publisher: Cassava Republic Press Publication date: July, 2013 Pages: 348pp Format: Hardcover ISBN: 978-978-50238-2-4 ne of the most important foundations of any civilised society is a good knowledge of its own history. I therefore believe that the regular contributions and accounts of Nigeria’s modern history which have been served in various books and essays by Max Siollun are not only vital but are also a credible and authoritative source of information and knowledge about our past. What makes Siollun probably the most credible and intellectually honest historian of his generation is the fact that, unlike most Nigerian and indeed African writers, he remains objective in his various accounts and he distances himself from the prism of subjectivity, revisionism and emotion. He also does his homework very well and ensures that he has credible, identifiable and authoritative sources for every assertion that he makes and every historical fact and event that he writes about. Unlike many, he does not rely on folklore, myths or tales told under the moonlight by village elders as a credible or veritable source of history. Being the consummate professional that he is, Siollun goes much further than that and he indulges in something that is unusual for most Nigerian historians. That “something” is known as “painstaking research” and such effort is the lifeblood of his work and a testimony to his scholarship. That is why many of us that are historians, history buffs and students of history take his books very seriously indeed. The latest of those books, titled


“Soldiers Of Fortune- Nigerian Politics From Buhari To Babangida (19831993)”, is no different from the others in the sense that it is written in the same Siollunian tradition of excellence, courage, honesty and insight. The author carefully walks us through the complicated events that afflicted Nigeria between 1983 and 1993 with his usual accuracy and candour. He tells us who did what, who to and how many times. These are events that, till this day, few dare to write about in a forthright and honest manner simply because most of the principal players are still alive. The book gripped me from beginning to the end and my only regret is thatSiollun stopped his account at 1993 and that he did not take it up to 1999. The truth is that this book needs to be read by every student of history, every politician, every political scientist, every person that has an interest in our country and every individual that wishes to fully understand Nigeria and the source and foundation of her many challenges. The role of the military in


our history, their sheer perfidy and the damage that they did to our morale, our institutions, our national cohesion, our development, our economy, our future prospects and the evolution of our democratic processes cannot be underestimated, ignored or wished away. However this is merely my judgment and I am just one of Siollun’s many readers. When writing his books the author himself remains dispassionate, stays out of the politics of it all, offers no personal opinion, pronounces no judgment on anyone and blames no individual or institution for anything. He simply relays the facts in an orderly, professional, clear and concise manner and, most importantly, he tells us his sources. And that is good enough. That is all that historians are required to do. It is left for the reader to make his own judgments and proffer his own opinions about each event, each institution and each character that has been mentioned in the book. Needless to say I am thrilled by Siollun’s deep knowledge of our affairs and our history, particularly the history of the Nigerian military and it’s role in the political development of our nation. I recommend this book to all institutions of higher learning in Nigeria and I pray that Siollun will continue to serve us many more books about the history of our beloved country. I also pray that more Nigerians will cultivate the habit of reading such books and thereby learn more about our history and what brought us to the sad impasse and monumental challenges that we are facing today as a nation. I have no doubt that this book, like all good history books and indeed all of Max Siollun’s other books, will outlive us all. It will be a first class reference point and a credible source of knowledge and history for future generations of Nigerians. Femi Fani-Kayode is a former Minister of Aviation


e continue to discuss the emerging issues from Rivers State and the nation this

week. From all that has happened within the week, one realises that we are fast running out of time. The main event this week that gave me this feeling was the reaction of General Abdulsalam Abubakar. For those who follow events, he is one elder statesman who does not raise his voice unnecessarily. Most times his silence is so full of respect that you get this impression of one who says – I am here, but I do not need to say anything. I have done my best. He had cause last week to stridently voice out his concern that our democracy can be truncated by events in Rivers State. The first of the alarming events was the riot that followed the visit of the four PDP Governors. And later the eight progressive Governors. On the internet, one read comments asking them to go and solve the problems in their domains. This struck a very weird chord. Since when? I had stated last week that the crisis in Rivers State is one that will take no hostages. Subsequent events have continued to prove us right. My prayer however is - may it not take a tragedy of irreversible proportions to make us see in its full dimensions the path been walked in Rivers State. The crisis is one. The deafening silence from Abuja is the other. The eight Governors advised Governor Amaechi to seek an audience with the Leader to brief him about the matter in Rivers. Haba! I never knew that Abuja was in that region of the earth called the North Pole. The people in Abuja are obviously not aware of what is happening or the last time we checked Abuja was no longer in Nigeria. With all the talk, noise and fight coming out of Rivers in the last couple of months, Abuja is not aware? Perhaps, my simple mind does not know how government operates. Weird is the way of politicians. I wish there was a way to resolve all this without the crisis consuming the common man on the street. You remember when this whole wahala started, everyone denied – the people in Rivers, the people in Abuja and

the people in PDP. The picture we got was of one happy, jolly family and even if there was a disagreement between the President and the Governor, it was a mere misunderstanding. Now see the messy point we have arrived. It is the case of the crossroads – you want to sleep in the middle of a crossroad? In which direction will you lay your head? There was a nation that was called Babylon. Somewhere within its ruins is the Greek amphitheatre which was built by Alexander the Great. When he captured Babylon in 323 BC, the city was already ancient and on its last throes of its civilization. He built the amphitheatre because he thought and felt that returning the city back to its feet had to be done through the arts and entertainment but it was all over and too late. Opulent Babylon with its wonders of the world; but its present desolation was a fulfilment of Biblical prophecy. Only dust, ashes and upturned bricks. The place of Babylon in history was secured in the fact that it had fallen as it was predicted. We are on the way to 2015 and there exists a smell of war and doom. We are all apprehensive and everyone is busy preparing for that soon to come year. The calculations have started. The permutations have long begun. Who gets what and who will not get. Perhaps, all this is due to the peculiar kind of politics that we play. Winner takes all. How I continue to wish that all this fight, all this calculation are all designed to help us live above the miserable $1 per day, it would all be worth it. But already there are attempts to make us live on 50c per day. The other day I went to the market. There was a crowd gathered in one spot surrounding a man with a bell. They were all scrambling for old shoes, old bags, old clothes, bras, pants, boxers, T-shirts. The man said anything you took was N100! Hence the rush. It was a most humiliating sight. These were people who did not know that people in Abuja and Port Harcourt were flexing muscles in order to determine who serves them. Yet, here they were scrambling over old discarded clothes. This is a hope without celebration.


Arts & Culture


Conscience and History: reflections of an ordinary reader Book Review Author: Dr Peter Odili Review by Owi Ochoche Title alias: conscience-andhistory-reflections-of-an-ordinaryreader NVS Article ID: 23215 Article create date: 22-022013 22:30:33


onscience and History presents a rare and somewhat controversial perspective on the political and socio-economic happenings within Nigeria in the recent past. Dr Peter Odili, a controversial and polarizing figure, attempts to tell his story and vindicate himself from much of the scandal that has plagued his image for a considerable part of the last decade. We must appreciate Dr Odili for telling a story from his perspective, even if one might find it difficult to believe that the story told is actually that of Dr Odili and not Nelson Mandela or some other great political maverick. The preface of the book is frankly enough to convince any reader without an iron resolve to discontinue reading and lament on the error in judgment that prompted you to opt for “conscience and history” instead of “how to write formal proposals” while sitting in traffic under the hot Abuja sun. It contains statements such as: “Based on some empirical information as well as evaluative considerations, Dr Odili laid a solid foundation for the new Rivers State emerging from military rule, through the innovative gas turbine project, strategic link roads within the state, remarkable turnaround in the education and health sectors ….” The entire preface came across as one long campaign ad and it sets the wrong tone for the reader. The book proper talks about his growing up in the south, going to secondary school in Igbo land, enlisting as an officer of the Biafran army, going to UNN to study medicine after the war, marrying his wife, moving to PH, starting a successful private medical practice and his eventual entry into politics as a result of pressure from his home town. The back ground story of his life and his rise to become a medical doctor is actually quite an interesting read and a slight deviation from the general tone of the book. When the author begins to explain his role in politics in Nigeria, it again becomes a very frustrating read because he does not make any insightful revelations into the inner workings of the


A long time ago in a land far, far away I arose to distant hills in translucent shades of blue In the backdrop Black birds soared flapping their wings to the rhythm of their coos They spread gossip about other towns Grandma heard, nodded and suddenly went: “okay!” I only got the part about Emekuku What happened at Emekuku? Grandma’s lips were sealed It was older people’s business I long for the days when birds could talk and we took the time to decipher When chickens and goats co-existed with humans on the front porch Swearing away the heat each in its own tongue Longing for harmattan… Sitting under moonlit skies Listening to tales of duality as corn roasts with crackling sounds under the fire… Chanting: “udara mu cha nda cha cha cha nda…” Some of us sniffling at the girl whose stepmother starved her and who prays for the udara to ripen so she can eat In a famine udara dwarfs itself to feed girl and grows infinitum when step mother sings to it We cheer! It’s bedtime And with a belly filled with corn and ube I move lethargically towards my mat determined to rise early to decode what the bird from Emekuku had said. Source:

If I was writing a prayer for peace

Nigerian political system. He only tells a bunch stories with him as the protagonist and sells himself as the greatest saint Nigeria has ever produced and a possible contender for the position of pope. Statements such as “I insisted

on, enforced and with all sense of modesty, achieved utmost frugality in public spending …” He then calls on anybody with proof of financial misappropriation in rivers state during his tenure to step forward. The first thing that

“I insisted on, enforced and with all sense of modesty, achieved utmost frugality in public spending …” He then calls on anybody with proof of financial misappropriation in rivers state during his tenure to step forward.

popped in my head when I read that statement was when IBB said the exact same thing when he wanted to run for president in 2007. Towards the end of the book Odili laments on how so called “friends” completely abandoned him and how much he was betrayed by allies. This is a strong testament to the vanity of political power. Reading this book will not hurt but, in my opinion, conscience and history was N6000 not well spent. So just borrow it from a friend who has already bought the book like me. Owi Ochoche. CEO at Myinfo Town Location Jönköping Area, Sweden Industry Computer Hardware

If I can see from where I am Standing (next to my bedroom door. This is ajar because I left it like That) through the window made of Lines of yellow light, shiny parts At my front door and stare into the Face of a stranger, what would I see There meeting their eyes, intent, Winter, my own washed-out or ill Reflection depending on what day Of the week it was, would I see a Vision or feel a change flicker and Dance within the usual outspoken Me, would we make commonplace Conversation, would I give my peace Of mind away as I make the stranger A cup of coffee so hot that steam rises In puffs almost like smoke in a glance– The stranger never smiles at me. I am just a poet and a writer feeling The air near my hands, pushing those Buttons, dreaming a life half-lived in Silence with medicine–this is my Home, my fairytale ending, my lining. In the cold, cold night when my skin Tastes like salt, when the street lamp Glows in the dark, when stripes of Shadows seem to win me over to sleep, To the light that hits falling angels and I think of bottles littered on a field, the Stamina they give a man, roads into Madness, softness and sanctuary and I am reminded of the stranger at my Door, the silver in his hair and beard.

QUOTE Wisdom finds its literary expression in wisdom literature Paul Ricoeur





Palestine accepts a maximum 9 months peace discussion, says envoy


new peace process in Palestine is being fasttracked by the US secretary of state, John Kerry. We’ll like to have your say on that? First of all, the peace process in the Middle East started in Madrid in 1990 and we signed a peace agreement between the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the then Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin on 13th September 1993 and after that, we lost both peace-makers – Yasser Arafat and Rabin. An execution cleanly orchestrated by Igal Amir the enemy of peace in Palestine. The death of these leaders was tied to the peace pact they wanted to establish in respect to the Jewish state. After that, actualizing peace became dim as many Israel leaders came to pass including Ehud Barak, Netanyahu and even Sharon who rejected the whole peace process signed in the White House Washington. The Palestinian leadership is taking a new stand for negotiations to hold. What are these stands? We opted out of negotiations with Israel in the past because they have continued to build settlements in the West Bank which is not allowed. The new move by US Secretary of state, John Kerry to start

US secretary of state John Kerry has launched a new round of negotiations between Palestine and Israel, a move that has generated debate around the world. Ambassador of the state of Palestine to Nigeria speaks to Abdulkadir Isa on what lies beneath.

Ambassador of the state of Palestine to Nigeria, Montaser Abu Zeid negotiations between Palestine and Israel was hinged on certain conditions out of which is to release Palestinian prisoners in

AU commissioner arrives Zimbabwe ahead of election


ollowing the approval of the deployment of an African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) by the Chairperson of the Commission,the African Union Long Term Observers arrived in Zimbabwe,subsequently joined by Sixty (60) Short Term Observers on 20 July 2013. High-level African Union

(AU) teams have started arriving in Harare, Zimbabwe ahead of the July 31 elections. This is in line with the AU’s commitment to the people of Zimbabwe and in ensuring democratic stability through credible elections on the continent as contained in the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.

Israel and he agreed; a move we are still waiting to see. We are concerned that these negotiations should not be forever as it has always been with similar ones like that of 1993 as this has not been honoured until now. Sharon earlier said he is ready to have negotiations with Palestinians for 100 years and this shows the ill-will behind the peace process. Palestinians want results and that is what we are after. That is why we have agreed negotiations but should last 6-9 months. The Palestinian leadership is ready to start negotiations that will reach an agreement

Why is Hamas against the negotiations? Hamas leadership came through military junta and they are dogged about keeping the status quo. Hamas agreed to an agreement in Cairo and Doha to unite with both territories but they prefer to keep Gaza as it stands. What is your take on the role of the US in the peace process? Unfortunately, after every administration in the

US, grounds are adjusted as because the majority of the US congress is Jew and they put a lot of pressure on the government to be on the side of Israel not to drive towards lasting solutions in Palestine. What we actually want is justice and fairness not taking sides with any of the parties involved, and this is what we all saw in the United Nations assembly last year when 138 countries voted in favour of Palestine and only 9 in favour of Israel. Palestinians are ready for a two-state solution – Israel and Palestine as a way to peace in the territory. And we still maintain our stand of defence in a civil manner not with arms.

Egypt envoy meets with AU


The African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs; Dr Aisha Abdullah has arrived In Zimbabwe for the upcoming General Elections.

to have a Palestinian state as stipulated in the 1967 border agreement.

he Chairperson of the African Union Commission Dr. NkosazanaDlaminiZuma met with the Special Envoy of the Interim President of Egypt, Ambassador Mona Omar. Omar met with Dr. Zuma on Tuesday at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ambassador Omar conveyed the position of Egypt’s interim government on the decision of the African Union Peace and Security Council on 5 July 2013, suspending Egypt until the return to constitutional order. She also sought clarification

about the terms of reference and the mandate of the AU HighLevel Panel on Egypt, which was subsequently established by the AU Commission. At the end of the discussions, the AUC Chairperson and the Special Envoy agreed that the AU High-Level Panel would travel to Egypt to meet with all the Egyptian stakeholders and brief the AU Peace and Security Council on its mission. They also agreed that any further AU engagement with the interim Egyptian authorities would be decided after the report of the AU High-Level Panel is

handed to the AU Peace and Security Council. “We have agreed that we will send the Panel there and they will meet with everybody and come back and inform us. The Panel is made up of former President Konare of Mali and former Chairperson of the AU Commission, former President Mogae of Botswana, and the former Prime Minister of Djibouti MrDileite Mohamed Dileite The date of the visit of the AU High-Level Panel to Egypt will be agreed by both parties through diplomatic channels.




Death toll rises in Egypt clashes South Sudan warns oil shutdown might destroy pipelines

S The Muslim Brotherhood has staged daily protests across the country since Mursi was deposed.


t least eleven people were killed in overnight clashes in Cairo between supporters and opponents of ousted President Mohamed Mursi, the interior ministry has said. The violence broke out before dawn on Tuesday near a Muslim Brotherhood protest at Cairo University, where Mursisupporters have been camped out since the army removed the Islamist politician from power on July 3 after protests against his rule.

SherineTadros, reporting from Cairo’s Nasr City district, said that eleven people had been killed in the clashes including overnight in Giza. Nineteen people were also injured, health officials said. Nicole Johnston, reporting from Cairo, said the protesters were determined to stay in the streets and fight for their demands. At least three people died on Monday in similar violence. One of those killed on Monday died on the outskirts of Tahrir Square, where several anti-Mursi demonstrations have been held.

The clashes late that night saw the use of birdshot, gunfire and fire bombs, witnesses said. Police then intervened, firing tear gas to disperse the crowd. Earlier in the day, Adly Mansour, Egypt’s interim president, renewed appeals for reconciliation with Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood. “We want to turn a new page in the country’s book with no hatred, no malice, no division,” he said in a prerecorded speech that also highlighted the importance of the army in Egypt’s history. Injured people were

removed from the fighting and sevenMursisupporters were detained, according to state media. It was impossible to verify how the clash at Tahrir Square had begun. “It has been reported that people on both sides have guns. Normally we do not see violence so early in the day and the police intervened very quickly.”Said a reporter. Another one of those killed on Monday died at a rally outside the US embassy. A b o u t 1 0 0 p e o p l e have died in violence since Mursi’s removal.

Cameroon man jailed for homosexual acts


man in Cameroon has been sentenced to two years in jail for committing an offence against a minor and homosexual acts, which are illegal in the country. The court in the capital, Yaounde, also handed down a one-year suspended sentence to the teenage minor.

Joseph Ombga may be released soon as he has been in custody for almost two years. Earlier this month, a prominent gay rights activist and journalist was killed in Yaounde. The maximum penalty for homosexual acts in Cameroon is five years in jail. The court also fined Ombga

$100 (£65) and the equivalent in legal fees. Ombga was arrested in August 2011 after trying to sell a pornographic video. Our reporter says the minor and another man were arrested when they went to visit Ombga in detention. The third defendant, who had also been held in custody

since the arrest, was acquitted. The minor was never held in detention. According to the AFP news agency, the government vowed last week to conduct a full investigation into the killing of gay rights activist Eric Lembembe, dismissing fears that his death would go unpunished.

Presidential candidate arrested in Madagascar


c a n d i d a t e t o presidential election and three other protesters were arrested by the police on Tuesday for holding unauthorized demonstration in Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital. T h e c a n d i d a t e , LazaRazafiarison, has led a demonstration since Monday in the main market of Analakely with a thousand of demonstrators asking the

holding of the election on July 24. Businesses closed their shops in the market and the traffic was in trouble, while tear gas were launched by the armed forces, who are present massively around the market. The chief of armed forces here RakotomananaFlorens said they took initiative to stop the demonstration by launching tear gas and arresting the leader of it because it disrupts the traffic

and activities of businesses in the market. Asking the election to be held as scheduled on July 24, LazaRazafiarison already began his propaganda though the ministry of interior already issued a communication to stop it because of postponing of electoral date. According to explanation from the independent national election commission (CENIT), the election, initially set for July 24, was postponed sine die

outh Sudan warned its neighbour Sudan that turning off oil flows through pipelines between the two countries could destroy the link unless production resumed within a few months. South Sudan last week started shutting down oil production after Sudan said it would close the pipelines within 60 days unless South Sudan ended support for Sudanese rebels. Juba denies backing them. Landlocked South Sudan exports oil through Sudan’s Red Sea terminal in the absence of its own export facilities. Oil Minister Stephen DhieuDau said South Sudan had urged Sudan to reverse its threat to close the pipelines. Sudan’s Oil Minister Awad alJaz said it was up to South Sudan to cut ties with insurgents operating across the shared border if it wanted oil flows to continue, state news agency SUNA said. “The ball is still in South Sudan’s court,” he said. The African Union is trying to mediate in the row between the neighbours which came close to war in April 2012, the worst violence since the South seceded in 2011. Dau said pipelines would have to be flushed with water to avoid galling, which was accelerating the rusting of the metal. He said if oil did not flow within several months, the pipeline would be a “total loss for the investors and the owners. It is not much our concern.” The pipelines and other facilities in both countries were mainly built by China before formerly-united Sudan split in a messy divorce in 2011. China National Petroleum Corp, Malaysia’s Petronas and India’s ONGC Videsh run the oilfields in South Sudan together with the government.

for the impasse between three controversial candidates and international community. The international community urged president of transition AndryRajoelina, former president Didier Ratsiraka and the ex-first lady LalaoRavalomanana to withdraw from presidential race by July 31 if not, the international community will not recognize the Madagascar’s election. Source: Xinhua





Rescuers battle to reach China quake victims


escuers in China are battling through dusty rubble to reach victims of two shallow earthquakes that killed at least 89 people and flattened over 5700 houses. Rescuers with shovels and sniffer dogs combed through collapsed hillsides on Tuesday, as five people were listed as missing and 628 injured following a strong earthquake in a farming region of northwest China. State broadcaster CCTV showed on Tuesday images of soldiers digging through earth and sand to reach modest houses buried under landslides in the northwestern province of Gansu. Seriously injured patients wrapped in blankets were put into helicopters heading to the provincial capital Lanzhou, which has the nearest major hospital. The twin earthquakes that struck on Monday morning had magnitudes of 5.9 and 5.6, according to the US Geological Survey, but were only six miles deep, so that much of the energy released was transmitted to the surface, where it wreaked havoc. China’s official Xinhua news agency said initial investigations showed at least 5,785 houses had collapsed and another 73,000


Landslides and flooding have hampered rescue efforts.

were severely damaged even as the overnight body count stood at 89. Craig Leeson, reporting from Hong Kong, said that the earthquakes struck a “very remote region”, making it difficult for rescuers to operate in some of the villages. “There were eight villages that were completely devastated by this series of earthquakes,” he said.

The government of the city of Dingxi, the worst-affected area, has said more than 27,000 people were left homeless. Xinhua said about 3,000 police and rescue personnel have been sent to the quake-hit region, though landslides and flooding have hampered their efforts, and officials said they were concerned more rain

could exacerbate the need for shelter. Many residents in Dingxi town centre felt the main tremor despite the epicentre being some 185 kms away. Heavy clouds had gathered over the quake region early on Tuesday, as farmers in the largely rural area tended their goats on the mountainsides.

At least 20 security guards died when gunmen stormed the Abu Ghraib and Taji jails near Baghdad. Abu Ghraib was used to torture regime opponents during Saddam Hussein’s rule. The prison’s infamy increased in 2004 when photographs were published showing detainees being abused by US guards. The group also claimed some 500 militants were among the hundreds of prisoners who had

escaped. Iraqi authorities initially denied any prisoners had escaped in the assaults, but later acknowledged “some” prisoners escaped. Fighting raged for several hours after the jails came under attack on Sunday night. Gunmen fired mortar rounds at the prisons, and then used car bombs at the entrances. The situation was eventually brought back under control on Monday morning, with the use of

military helicopters. Interior Minister Wissam alFiraiji said the attackers, whom he called “terrorists,” had been well-armed. “The attack against Taji jail alone was carried out by nine suicide bombers and three car bombs driven by suicide bombers,” he told reporters. “The attackers also lobbed more than 100 mortar shells,” he said, adding that the inmates were “under control” again.

Al-Qaeda claims Iraq mass jailbreaks


l-Qaeda said it was behind two mass jailbreaks in Iraq, which freed hundreds of prisoners including senior leaders of the Islamist militant group. In an online statement, alQaeda said the attack was the final one in a campaign aimed at freeing inmates and targeting justice system officials. On Tuesday, al-Qaeda said it had spent “months planning” the attacks on Abu Ghraib to the west of the capital and Taji to the north.

Netanyahu plans peace talks referendum bill



Asia & Middle East Fukushima operator acknowledges plant leaks

srael’s premier has announced he is fast-tracking legislation that would allow him to put any future peace deal with the Palestinians to a national referendum. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that a referendum is needed to prevent a rift in Israeli society. Polls have suggested a majority of Israelis support the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, but many groups are vehemently opposed, including hard-liners among Israel’s West Bank settlers. Some issues are particularly volatile, including partition of Jerusalem, home to major religious shrines and claimed by both sides as a capital. Netanyahu’s announcement came after US Secretary of State

John Kerry said progress has been made toward a resumption of talks following a five-year hiatus. Kerry invited negotiators to Washington for preliminary talks in the coming days or weeks, though wide gaps remain between the sides on the framework for actual negotiations. Netanyahu said that he would present proposed legislation soon to his Cabinet and then to parliament, but he did not disclose details of the planned bill. “Any agreement that is not approved by the people is not worthy of being signed,” Netanyahu said in a televised announcement from Israel’s parliament. On an issue as important and fateful as a peace deal, “it is desirable that it be presented to every single citizen to decide,”

he said. Israeli politicians are divided on a referendum, seen by some as an attempt by hard-liners to torpedo any deal. One of Netanyahu’s two main coalition partners, the prosettler Jewish Home party, wants a referendum. The other, the YeshAtid faction, has said it is still studying the issue. Israel’s chief negotiator with the Palestinians, Justice Minister TzipiLivni, has said she opposes the idea and that important decisions should be left to democratically elected leaders. Separately, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in comments published on Monday that he also plans to hold a referendum on any possible peace deal, reiterating a longstanding Palestinian position.

he operator of Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant has said contaminated ground water had likely been flowing into the sea, acknowledging such a leakage for the first time. Tokyo Electric Power Co, or Tepco, also came under fire for the revelation that the number of plant workers with thyroid radiation exposure times exceeding the threshold levels for increased cancer risks was ten times the number it had released previously. Tepco has been repeatedly blamed for overlooking early signs, and covering up or delaying the disclosure of problems and mishaps. The head of Japan’s new Nuclear Regulation Authority, created since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami wrecked Fukushima, said this month he believed contamination of the sea had been continuing since the accident. The admission came when company general manager, Masayuki Ono, told news conference that plant officials have come to believe that radioactive water that leaked from the wrecked reactors and is likely to have seeped into the underground water system and escaped into sea. Nuclear officials and experts have suspected a leak from the Fukushima Dai-ichi since early in the crisis, but Tepco had previously failed to confirm the ground water leakage more than two years. “We would like to offer our deep apology for causing grave worries for many people, especially for people in Fukushima,” Ono said. Tepco said that based on water sample tests, any impact of the leakage appeared to be contained by silt fences erected near the devastated reactors. The utility is already injecting the chemical sodium silicate into part of the seawall separating the ocean from the plant site to prevent ground water from seeping through. The March 2011 earthquake and tsunami knocked out cooling systems at the Fukushima plant, triggering fuel meltdowns and causing radiation leakage, food contamination and mass evacuations. Tepco this month acknowledged that levels of radiation in groundwater had soared, suggesting highly toxic materials from the plant were getting closer to the Pacific.




US closer to arming Syrian rebels T he US has moved a step closer towards arming opposition rebels in Syria. A key congressional committee had raised concerns that US weapons could end up in the hands of fighters linked to Al-Qaeda like al-Nusra Front, but the House Intelligence Committee has now said that it is willing to accept the risks, officials said. “We believe we are in a position that the administration can move forward,” House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers told Reuters. President Barack Obama had said in June that the US would begin openly supplying the rebels after two years of balking at directly sending arms to the opposition. “We have been working with Congress to overcome some of the concerns that they initially had, and we believe that those concerns have been addressed


and that we will now be able to proceed,” a source familiar with administration plans told Reuters on condition of anonymity. US army general Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that more than $1bn would be spent per

month if the US became more involved in Syria. Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate intelligence committees had said that arming rebel fighters would not be enough to tip the balance the civil war against President Bashar al-Assad.

Part of the deadlock was broken on July 12 when members of the Senate Intelligence Committee who had questioned the wisdom of arming the insurgents decided behind closed doors to tentatively agree that the administration could go ahead with its plans, but sought updates as the covert effort proceeded. Now, the House committee has also given at least a cautious go-ahead. Rogers said that there were still strong reservations. “We got a consensus that we could move forward with what the administration’s plans and intentions are in Syria consistent with committee reservations,” Rogers said. The source familiar with administration plans said: “The committees were persuaded and we will be able to move forward.” The timeline was unclear, but supporters of the rebels hope the deliveries of US-provided arms will start in August.

Thousands greet pope in Brazil

making his first trip abroad since becoming the first Latin American pontiff, was surrounded by throngs of cheering faithful as he was driven through the Brazilian city. The first day of his visit was, however, marred by violence when riot police used tear gas and water

cannon to disperse hundreds of people protesting against the cost of his visit after he met President DilmaRousseff at the state governor’s palace. Authorities said that rioters threw firebombs at riot police near the local government headquarters.

Earlier police blocked access to the palace as hundreds of Anonymous “hacktivists” and gay campaigners rallied to denounce Rio state Governor Sergio Cabral’s policies as well as the $53 million spent on the pope’s landmark visit to what remains the world’s most populous Catholic nation. Moments earlier at the nearby palace, the pope had urged young Roman Catholics to “go and make disciples of all nations”. Rousseff’s popularity has plunged in recent weeks, amid frustrations with corruption and the pace of economic growth. The leftist and Brazil’s first female president acknowledged the social discontent, saying Brazil’s youth was fighting for “a new society”. After massive protests over lagging publicservicesandcorruptionregularly spiraled into violence in recent weeks, authorities wanted to ensure an incident-free visit for the pontiff. Despite the heavy security, with 30,000 soldiers and police mobilised, several people were able to stop the pope’s car convoy and touch him through his open window. The pope shook hands and kissed babies.

stayed with Catherine and his son overnight. In a statement, the couple said: “We would like to thank the staff at the Lindo Wing and the whole hospital for the tremendous care the three of us have received. “We know it has been a very busy period for the hospital and we would like to thank everyone - staff, patients and visitors - for their understanding during this time.” Prince William had earlier said the couple “could not be happier” following the birth of the 8lb 6oz boy. There has been no word yet on what the couple plan to name

the prince. At Buckingham Palace, royal watchers and tourists are queuing in the rain to catch a glimpse of the bulletin announcing the arrival of the royal baby, which is being displayed on an easel. The news broke about four hours after the birth and the notice is to be displayed for 24 hours. Guardsmen outside the palace have brought a celebratory feel to the proceedings ahead of the Changing of the Guard, playing “Congratulations” to the crowd. The arrival has generated headlines and celebrations around the world, and prompted messages of goodwill.

William and Kate

Pope Francis (L) alondgide Roussef during his visit to the state governor’s palace.


ens of thousands of people have turned out on Rio de Janeiro’s streets to greet Pope Francis, joyfully swarming his car and chanting his name in a country recently rocked by widespread social unrest. The 76-year-old Argentine,

Europe and Americas France condemns violence over veil ban


he French government has condemned as “unacceptable” weekend violence outside Paris triggered by the country’s ban on full-face veils and strongly defended the controversial law. Two senior members of the government, Prime Minister JeanMarc Ayrault and Interior Minister Manuel Valls spoke out following the violence in the suburb of Trappes, southwest of Paris. The unrest erupted after a man was detained for allegedly attacking a police officer who had stopped his wife over her full-face veil a practice that is banned in France, outraging many in the Muslim community. Prime Minister Ayrault said the subsequent violence was “unacceptable” and called on everyone to respect the law. Speaking in Grenoble, Ayrault said it is the role of the police and the role of justice to enforce the law. “Laws cannot simply be enforced by waving a magic wand.” Ayrault also called on the rightwing opposition to act “responsibly” and support the government. Interior Minister Valls earlier said there would be no retreat from the law on veils. “It is not for a second a law against Islam. It is a law against practices that have nothing to do with our traditions and our values, and the police did their work perfectly well,” Valls told RTL radio. Prosecutors say the husband of the woman who was stopped on Thursday allegedly attacked and tried to strangle the officer. But in a statement released on Monday, the man’s lawyer Wenceslas Ference denied this and said his client “wants it to be known that his wife has always accepted to show her face to police and cooperate during previous ID checks, of which there have been many”. The man, identified as Mickael, has been released from custody and is due to appear before a court in September. France has banned women from wearing full-face veils in public since April 2011, violations are punishable by a fine of up to $200 or mandatory citizenship training.

William and Kate thank hospital for ‘tremendous care’


he Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have thanked hospital staff for their “tremendous” care, as the world awaits the first glimpse of their baby son. A Kensington Palace spokesman said: “Mother, son and father are all doing well this morning.” It is understood the family will leave hospital on Tuesday evening or on Wednesday morning. The birth of the third in line to the throne will be marked later with a series of gun salutes. The Duke was at the private Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital, west London, for the baby’s birth, at 16:24 BST on Monday, and



Strange World

3-Year-old deaf girl starts talking after cream cheese diet Taylor’s diet of four containers of the cream cheese per week gives her a voice.


um was the first word for a 3-year-old girl who, thanks to a diet of cream cheese, gained the ability to speak despite a disease that left her mute from birth. Fields Taylor, from Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, was born with the incurable genetic disease Glut 1 Deficiency that caused a lack of glucose to flow to her brain. Today, Taylor’s diet of four containers of the cream cheese per week gives her a voice. The unique

high-fat Ketogenic diet helps her body use fat as an energy source rather than glucose, according to the New York Daily News. “The amount of Philadelphia she goes through is mad but worth it. It really has been our saving grace. She loves the stuff and piles it on crackers,” The Mirror quoted her mother Stevie as saying. “The first time I heard Fields say ‘Mum’ it was just wonderful.” Field’s parents first noticed something was wrong when she was

just 15 weeks old. “I took her to see the GP when all of a sudden she had a seizure in the waiting room. I was petrified,” Stevie Taylor said. “She went really vacant, like she was going into another world.” Doctors originally diagnosed her with epilepsy. A year later they realized she was suffering from the Glut 1. “I didn’t really believe that something so simple as changing her diet could make such a big

Machine turns sweat into drinking water

The sweat machine


o highlight the seriousness of potable water shortage in some parts of Africa and Asia a group of tech-savvy Swedes have created a machine that turns perspiration into drinking water. Aptly named the “Sweat Machine” was inspired by technology used by NASA to recycle everything from human sweat to urine. Developed by a team of engineers led by Andreas Hammar, the Sweat Machine works by extracting the perspiration, which is 99% water, out of people’s clothes. Sweaty garments are tossed into

a dryer, where they are spun and squeezed for every last drop of liquid. The gathered sweat then gets heated, exposed to ultra-violet light and passed through a series of high-tech filters to remove the salt and bacteria. During the final stage of the purification process, the sweat goes through a coffee filter that retains any textile fibers left over from the clothes. The result is perfectly drinkable distilled water. Although the exact capacity of the dryer is yet unknown, the inventors say it takes a full load

of sweaty shirts and shorts to produce a pint of potable water. Drinking your own and other people’s sweat sounds disgusting, but according to one brave sommelier, it actually has nice sweet taste. The Sweat Machine is probably not going to solve the world’s water shortage issue, but UNICEF and Swedish advertising agency Deportivo, who supported the ingenious project, are confident it will at least draw attention to this growing problem and lead to more sustainable solutions. So far over 500 people have used the Sweat Machine, and it’s set for even more exposure once it’s unveiled at this week’s Gotha Cup, a youth football tournament, where youngsters will get a taste of sweat water after they turn in their drenched jerseys An even more intriguing way of providing drinking water was unveiled in Peru, back in March. A team of researchers created a smart billboard that captures the increased air humidity and turns into water for the 1.2 million inhabitants of Lima who completely lack running water. The device is capable of producing 100 liters of water per day.

difference,” her mother said. “It’s just fabulous to know that she does have a voice inside her and we can finally communicate.” Glut 1 affects just 26 people in the U.K., according to The Mirror. While there is currently no cure for the disease, a diet high in fats can help victims. Emma Williams, the CEO and Founder of Matthew’s Friends, a Ketogenic Dietary Therapies Charity told the Daily News: “The Ketogenic Diet is really

the only treatment there is for Glut 1 DS and sadly there are still patients in the UK that have been diagnosed with Glut 1 DS that are then put on a long waiting list for the treatment -- this is not acceptable as there should be no waiting list for these patients. Fields’ story just highlights the difference the correct treatment can make to a person and the Ketogenic Diet can work wonders in these patients and those with drug resistant epilepsy.”

Meet the famous rubberband boy


hay Horay, better known as the Rubberband Boy, is one of the world’s most unusual performers. During his unique act, Horay twists tight rubber band across his face until he looks like a grotesque monster out of a horror movie. Strangely enough, kids love him. 34-year-old Shay Horay is one of those lucky few who knew what they wanted to do with their lives very early on. The young New Zealander grew up surrounded by rubber bands in his parents’ office supply shop and used them to create all kinds of crazy contraptions inspired by his favorite cartoon, Inspector

Gadget. When he was just 12 years old, Shay knew he belonged on stage, making a living out of showing audiences a good time and wowing them with his strange talent. Although he specializes in stand-up comedy, unicycle and pogo stick routines, it was the Rubberband Boy character that made him internationally famous. His ability to use rubber bands to make his face look mutilated turned out to be a great crowd-pleaser, and so far he has traveled to 25 different countries entertaining people with his unique act.

Horay wows audiences with his strange talent.




Does exercise make you fat? By Rachel Reilly


f you’re working up a sweat in the gym but still not managing to lose weight, then overgenerous postworkout treats could be to blame. Although exercise has its indisputable health benefits, experts have said that many well-intentioned gym goers overestimate how many calories they have burned, and in turn indulge in too many sugary and fat-laden snacks. For example, it takes over an hour of intensive cycling to burn a medium shop-bought pizza. ‘There’s a war between exercise and nutrition in our heads,’ said Jonathan Ross, spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise.

Step away from the cake: Experts said that people tend to overestimate the amount of physical activity they get each week and in turn eat too much

It takes around half an hour of intensive aerobic exercise to burn off just one small glass of white wine. It takes around an hour and 20 minutes to burn off a packet of McCoy’s Ridge-Cut crisps

‘People tend to overestimate the amount of physical activity they get. They work out a little bit and treat themselves a lot.’ A report by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation found that although Americans say they are more active, it has not made much of a dent in the obesity epidemic that affects more than one-third of U.S. and UK adults. Mr Ross, a personal trainer based outside Washington D.C., said exercise can play a role in weight reduction, but without broader lifestyle and nutritional changes, that role is limited. ‘We put exercise in a box and once that exercise box is filled in we don’t do much the rest of

the day,’ he explained, adding that a calorie-dense treat does not help. ‘Some (weight-loss) programs stress nutrition, some stress exercise,’ he told Reuters Health. ‘But the two together are greater than the parts.’ The National Weight Control Registry, which gathers information from people who have successfully lost at least 30 pounds (13 kg) and kept it off for a least one year, reported that 90 per cent of its members exercise, on average, about one hour per day. U.S. health officials recommend that healthy adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week, or around 20 minutes a day.

Dr Joseph Donnelly, an exercise physiologist with the American College of Sports Medicine said the U.S. government guidelines are for cardiovascular fitness, not weight loss. ‘It was never intended for weight management, said Dr Donnelly, a researcher who focuses on obesity at the University of Kansas. ‘People have misused it.’ He added that studies suggest 250 to 300 minutes of exercise per week may be the minimum to lose weight: ‘At 150 minutes, the best you can hope for is weight maintenance.’ Dr Michele Olson, professor of exercise physiology at Auburn University Montgomery, in Alabama, said it is difficult to shed pounds through exercise alone. ‘One pound of fat has 3,500 calories,’ she explained. ‘If you ran a 26-mile marathon, where you burn about 100 calories per mile, you would burn 2,600 calories, falling 900 calories short of burning one pound of fat.’ She added that people must be physically active regardless of their size or whether they are losing weight. ‘Moderately intense exercise done in as few as 10-minute increments two to three times a day markedly reduces our risk of all causes of mortality, heart disease most effectively but all other causes, including cancers, deaths due to hypertension and strokes, etc,’ she said. Source:

Working up a sweat could cut your risk of a stroke by 20%

By Margot Peppers


reaking into a sweat may be an unpleasant side-effect of the current heatwave but doing so during exercise can reduce the likelihood of a stroke, according to researchers. Scientists found that inactive people are 20 per cent more likely to experience a stroke or mini-stroke than those who exercise at a moderate or vigorous intensity – enough to work up a sweat – four times a week.

Among the men in the study, only those who exercised at the same intensity four or more times a week had a lowered stroke risk. But when it came to women, the relationship between stroke and frequency of physical activity was less clear. The study, published in the journal Stroke, looked at more than 27,000 Americans aged 45 and older who were followed for an average of 5.7 years. Author of the research Doctor Michelle McDonnell, a lecturer in The research supports a previous study which found that physical inactivity is second only to high blood pressure as a risk factor for strokes

Health Sciences at the University of South Australia, said: ‘The stroke-lowering benefits of physical activity are related to its impact on other risk factors. ‘Exercise reduces blood pressure, weight and diabetes. If exercise was a pill, you’d be taking one pill to treat four or five different conditions.’ The research supports a previous study which found that physical inactivity is second only to high blood pressure as a risk factor for strokes. The conclusion was based on self-reported data about the frequency of exercise, but not how long people were physically active each day. Participants were divided relatively equally between black and white and male and female, with a majority from the ‘Stroke Belt’ states in the south-east of America. Dr McDonnell added: ‘We can tell you how much your stroke risk improves for each cigarette you cut out or every point you reduce your blood pressure, but we still need good studies on the amount you can reduce your risk of stroke by taking up exercise.’ Source:

Sweating during exercise can reduce the likelihood of a stroke, according to researchers



No rift with Gana over PDP Special Convention - Tukur By Lawrence Olaoye


ational Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, yesterday dismissed the insinuations that he was at loggerheads with the Chairman of the party’s Special Convention Committee, Professor Jerry Gana. Tukur, in a statement stressed that he was neither at war with Gana nor with any other members of the Committee insisting that they are in good accord on pertinent party matters, contrary to media reports. According to him, “Those found to be funding reports on crises within the party, particularly on issues of mini convention, to me, are enemies of the party, our reconciliatory plans

as well as our focus on 2015. And I dare say that they will always fail”. Tukur said the media should have realised that the National Secretariat of PDP is the only body constitutionally saddled with the task of resolving issues about dates of congresses and National Conventions by the party. He explained that any Committee set up for that purpose should naturally be answerable to the party. The Chairman made this known in a statement he personally signed, as he stressed that since the PDP constitution, Tukur insisted that the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) would not shirk its responsibilities in taking appropriate decisions in the interest of all members.

According to him, President Goodluck Jonathan, the PDP leader, acknowledges the powers conferred on the party by the constitution and has always been encouraging the dispensation of party supremacy for shaping the good conduct of PDP while strengthening democracy at the same time. He said, “We are one as a people and as a party. The people who say there was wrangling between us as leaders on convention matters are mere rumour peddlers. We have been meeting and taking decisions on how to move the party forward. And the good thing is that we are all experienced members to know the right thing to do. “All of us in PDP know that the party is Supreme. I am aware

like other well meaning founding members that without party supremacy, the flock would only be floundering, and so there must be control. Authority must flow from one direction, which is the party. “From day one that I was elected as chairman, I have been committed to the vision and best wishes of the founding fathers of which I am one. I did not come from any party to join PDP. So I appeal to our members to give us the space and the support to do the job for which we are elected and that includes taking the right decisions for the party’s progress. While insisting that the party would announce a new date for the Special Congresses scheduled to hold in Ibadan, South West and

Abuja after the inauguration of the Gana’s Committee today, Tukur added that “What we need as a party is full concentration and the focus to do the unthinkable in a manner that would leave our enemies and opponents dumbfounded. I have an unshaken belief that the PDP remains a family with an umbrella to contain all interests.” Similarly, the National Chairman also insisted that members there must be discipline and internal democracy for there to be peace and harmony in the party. He made the charge when the Ekiti state chapter called on the PDP NWC to submit its petition on the violence which took place at the party’s Ado Ekiti headquarters recently.

State of the Nation: Group calls for mass protest From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


rked by the closure of University and political crisis in Rivers state, the United Nigeria Group (UNG), a Non Governmental Organisation yesterday urged Nigerians to join its planned protest on the state of the nation billed for August, 2013. Addressing Newsmen in Lagos, UNG Chairman, Alhaji Issa Tijani, said the protest earlier scheduled for Abuja for Wed. July 24 was postponed to August to accommodate Nigerian Muslims fasting for the Ramaadan. “Various stakeholders have also expressed concerns on lack of contact in time and that the National Assembly where the protest will be taken to will commence a recess on Wed. July 24, 2013. We have received calls purpotedly from office of the Inspector General that a directive have banned all protests/processions” Tijani said. He however said that any directive to stop the group’s peaceful protest would not be complied with as Nigerians had constitutional rights to peaceful protests. “Accordingly, we call on all citizens to get mobilised to commence peaceful demonstrations to register our protest on state of the nation” he said. The UNG Chairman lamented the on-going strike action in the nation’s tertiary institutions and directed that the impasse be resolved with immediate effect. “We also demand the payment of approved compensation, without further delay, to the families of slain youth corp members in the post 2011 elections violence and security personnel killed in Nassarawa state. “We also demand immediate stoppage to the political brigandage witnessed in Rivers. “In addition, we want an improved oversight function of parliamentarians to guarantee democratic consolidation and economic development” he added.

L-R: Members of Enugu state Caucus of the House of Representatives, Hon. Patrick Asadu, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugumanyi, Hon. Offor Chukwuegbo, and Hon. Kingsley Ebenyi, during a press briefing on Constitution Amendment and quest for creation of Adada state, yesterday at the National Assembly, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

PDPGF strategise over Anambra guber poll, crisis in party By Lawrence Olaoye


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum (PDPGF) has resolved to convene a meeting today in Abuja to strategize on the forthcoming November governorship election in Anambra state. A source among the governors expected to be at the meeting revealed that the PDPGF chaired

by the Akwa-Ibom state governor, Barrister Godswill Akpabio, will explore the possibility of meeting with aspirants on the platform of the PDP from the state with a view to finding a consensus candidate ahead of the November governorship poll. The Forum is equally expected to deliberate on the mode for the actualization of latest the reconciliation efforts by the ruling party by finding ways to

assist the Bayelsa state governor, Henry Seriake-Dickson, to get desirable results. It was equally gathered that the Forum would examine the activities of the Special Convention Committee chaired by Professor Jerry Gana with a view to assisting it wherever it needed assistance for there to be free and fair convention, both in the South West and Abuja. The source said “the Anambra

election is strategic to the victory of the party in 2015. We cannot afford to lose the Anambra election and we are planning to ensure that we avoid the acrimony that used to accompany such elections in that state.” On the Special Convention, the Forum would explore the possibility of providing logistics to assist the Gana Committee so as to avoid the pitfalls of the past, the source added.




Delineation: Lagos PDP, threatens to sue LASIEC From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Lagos state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP yesterday faulted the on-going delineation of wards and polling units in the State by the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC), accusing the body of not involving the party. But LASIEC Corporate Affairs Manager, Mr Oladapo Olatunde, quickly described the allegation as false, insisting that all stakeholders were carried along by the Commission. PDP in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, My Taofik Gani, said that it was never invited to the on-going delineation forum at the various Councils by the Commission. “The Lagos state PDP has painstakingly observed the stakeholders and can now describe the ongoing forum on creation of more wards in the state as another game to again rig elections. “This time we shall defend our votes and protect Lagosians electoral choice with the last drop of our blood” the PDP stated. The Party stated that the indications that LASIEC was set to compromise the process to suit the ruling party manifested at one of the fora when the LASIEC chairman asserted that more Wards and Polling Units had been created but avoided to mention the numbers. The PDP alleged that certain stakeholders must be involved before the polling Units can be disclosed. “Who are these “stakeholders”? They must be the special stakeholders of the ruling party’s leadership. “Indeed this is a Ploy to rig next polls using the now invincible polling Units created” the PDP further alleged. The Party stated that the flagrant illegal announcement of false results to favour ruling party at the 2011 local government poll by the Commission was criminal and very embarrassing. It accused the LASIEC Chairman of complicity in the issues insisting that further election midwifed by the current LASIEC Chairman would not be credible. “Indeed we shall consider filing criminal suit against the members of the Commission, especially the Chairman” it disclosed. LASIEC Spokesman in his response said that members of the PDP and other political parties were represented at the various stakeholders forum on the delineation in councils so far visited by the commission. “We sent invitations to all political parties across the state including the PDP. Some came and some did not. It is not our duty to force them to attend the forum” he said. He also said that the allegations against the Commission’s Chairman were cooked-up saying that the chairman was an upright Judge in the state whose antecedents led to his being selected to chair the commission.

League of Patriotic and Progressive Youth (LPPY), protesting over life time pension of the principal officers of the National Assembly and non-autonomy of the local governments, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Criticisms trail PDP reconciliation c’ttee From Umar Dankano, Yola


riticism has started trailing the latest 30 man reconciliation committee set up by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to reconcile the aggrieved members of the party. Factional state Secretary of the Party in Adamawa State Mr. P. P. Elisha has faulted the composition the committee describing it as “aimless, endless and biased right from formation level”. Elisha observed that over five committees have been set up by the party and President Goodluck Jonathan to resolve the party crisis which he claimed, Tukur has always sabotaged based on selfish reasons. “Let Nigerians asked Tukur to explain to us what happened to Chief Tony Anenih’s committee reports, Pius Anyim Pius Committee reports and the rest just to mention a few.”

The party scribe said that the present 30 man committee will complicate and add more fuel to the crisis bedeviling PDP rather than solving it. He stressed that the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, had headed such a committee but ended up in dividing the party. “How many reconciliation committees are we going to have before we put our house in order? We started with the one headed by the National Chairman of the party himself, when he went round the country. Unfortunately, by the end of the day, he lost more members than the one he set up to achieve. By and large Tukur’s reconciliation tour produced lesser members than what we used to have before he embarked on a peace mission,” Elisha stated. He pointed out that the problem of the party is its National Chairman’s dictatorial tendency, adding that there is no way he can set up impartial

committee” if I were Tukur, I would have resigned my appointment as the National Chairman of the party rather than destroy it” According to him, members of the committee are Tukur’s ‘yes-men’ and will eventually act on the script written by the National Chairman of the party to suit his desire.” Funny enough, this committee will not contribute to the unification of PDP. “The Secretary of the Committee, Ambassador Umar Damagun, was here in Adamawa State as a chairman of Caretaker Committee; he knew very well that his appointment was illegal because it was not rectified by NWC, but rather teamed up with Tukur to work against the party constitution” he alleged. Elisha said despite the injuries inflicted on PDP members in Adamawa state, “President Goodluck Jonathan, in his wisdom set up Sule Lamido Committee,

which submitted its report to the National Chairman of the party with facts that touched core matters affecting the party across the country. Even the former National Public Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, told Nigerians that the committee report have been submitted to Mr. President before the National Working Committee on the 29th August accepted and endorsed it, yet Tukur thinks it is unfit for him to respect Lamido report because it did not favour him,” he lamented. “Now I tend to wonder if Mr. President is heading a Committee for reconciliation in the PDP, and the National Chairman is setting a parallel one indicating a wrong signal that, the national chairman is above Mr. President. As party faithfuls, we believe that any other committee set by whoever in Nigeria cannot be above the one Mr. President is heading which we are yet to know which time it will commence work”.

Group advises Amaechi to meet President Jonathan


he Nigerian National Summit Group, an NGO yesterday advised Gov. Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers to meet with President Goodluck Jonathan over the crisis in the state. The Executive Secretary of the group, Mr Tony Uranta told newsmen on the sideline of an emergency meeting of the National Working Committee of the group in Abuja that the rancour that was responsible for the crisis could be because of a minor communication breakdown. He expressed optimism that the crisis could be resolved if both parties met. ``We are very concerned about the crisis in Rivers State; we do not

think it is right either for the federal or the state government, to in any way, antagonise each other or to be seen to be enemies or at odds with one another. ``We are seizing this opportunity to call on the Presidency and the governor of Rivers State to sheath all swords. “And we are calling on Gov. Rotimi Amaechi to please come and see the president of Nigeria, table whatever his complaints are and we are sure they would be resolved. ``I think the issue has been a breakdown in communication; that is the major thing, whether the governor is complaining about oppression, the main thing is he has not communicated with the

president in over six weeks. ``He has to communicate with the president; am sure the president will grant him a very warm audience as we saw evidenced when they both met at the Port Harcourt airport.’’ Uranta said that the crisis in the state was already tiring for all stakeholders. “I am sure Gov. Amaechi himself wants to resolve this issue as soon as possible; in fact it is most likely that when we rise from here, we shall go into Rivers State for a fact-finding tour purely peace resolution focused. ``We are not taking sides, we support neither the president nor the governor; in fact we do not know that the president is really implicated; there are only allegations so what

we want to do is go and find out for ourselves. ``We would see the governor we would come back, we would see the president and then we would advise how best they should go about resolving it and we shall tell Nigerians what we have advised them to do.’’ According to him, the mandate of the group is to ensure the success of the national dialogue on constitutional amendment and to make sure that no constitutional amendment is made without a referendum conducted by INEC. Uranta added that part of the aims of the meeting was to ascertain the budgetary requirements for holding the national dialogue, before getting promoters. (NAN)


Attorney-General presents revised guidelines on FOI Act By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he Federal Ministry of Justice in collaboration with the UNDP Democratic Governance for Development (DGD II) project and its international partners- the European Union (EU), the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) yesterday presented the revised guidelines on the implementation of Freedom of Information Act 2011 and the FOIA developed website to the public. Speaking at the occasion, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN), recalled that the FOIA, enacted in 2011 was aimed at, “making public records and information more freely available, provide for public access to public records and information, protect public records and information consistent with the personal interest and the protection of personal privacy. In addition, Adoke said the FOIA seeks, “to protect serving public officers from adverse consequences of disclosing certain kinds of official information without authorisation and establish procedure for the achievement of those purposes and; for related matters.” On his part, Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, noted that the guidelines provided by the Federal Ministry of Justice are aimed at promoting good practice in public institutions in accordance with laid down laws, just as he urged various MDAs to compliment the effort of the ministry towards ensuring the implementation of the FOIA. Maku disclosed that his ministry would collaborate and support media rights agenda and other non-governmental organisations to translate the revised guidelines on the implementation of the FOIA to local languages. According to him, the “ministry is maintaining a robust data base with interactive and feedback mechanisms to ensure strict compliance to the implementation of the FOIA.” Also speaking, the DGD Project Director, Dr Mourtada Deme applauded the leadership and commitment of the AGF and Minister of Justice at “ensuring transparency and accountability of public institutions through the effective implementation of the FOI Act in Nigeria.” Deme observed that the on-going collaboration with the Ministry of Justice has yielded two solid outputs; the presentation of the revised FOIA and the development of web portal. The DGD project Director stated the national reporting guidelines have been reviewed with inputs from civil society and is designed to make access to public information easier for both the demand and supply sides. He said special care has been taken to address practical challenges and provide solutions that would promote proactive disclosure from ministries, departments and agencies and help to foster an efficient and citizenresponsive public sector built on transparency and accountability.


News Extra

UNICEF says 30 million girls still at risk of genital mutilation By Edwin Nwachukwu


he UN Children Fund (UNICEF) has said that 30 million girls would still be at the risk of female genital mutilation in the next decade. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that is contained in a report entitled ``Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A statistical overview and exploration of the dynamics of change’’, launched on Monday. The report surveyed 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East, where FGM/C persists and found that while support for the practice was on decline, girls remained in considerable danger. According to the report, the

challenge now is to let girls and women, boys and men speak out loudly and clearly and announce that they want this harmful practice abandoned. It pointed to a gap between people’s personal views on FGM/C and the entrenched sense of social obligation that fuels its continuation, exacerbated by a lack of open communication on the sensitive issue. ``There are currently 125 million girls and women alive today who have been subjected to FGM/C, which refers to a number of practices which involve cutting away part or all of a girl’s external genitalia. ``The practice recognised globally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women has no

health benefits, causes severe pain and has several immediate and long-term health consequences,’’ the report said, qouting UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, Geeta Rao Gupta. The report’s found that not only are most girls and women against the practice but that a significant number of men and boys also oppose FGM/C. It also said that in three countries such as Chad, Guinea and Sierra Leone, more men than women want the practice to end. The report added that while FGM/C had been virtually abandoned by certain groups and countries, it remained entrenched in many others, even where there was legislation against it and

efforts by governments and nongovernmental organisations to convince communities to stop it. ``FGM/C remains almost universal in Somalia, Guinea, Djibouti, and Egypt, with more than nine out of 10 women and girls aged 15-49 being cut. ``By contrast, the practice has declined in Kenya, Tanzania, Benin, Iraq, Liberia, Nigeria, and the Central African Republic,’’ the report said. In December 2012, a UN General Assembly resolution called on Member States to intensify efforts toward the complete elimination of FGM/C. In addition, some 1,775 communities across Africa publicly declared their commitment to end the practice last year. (NAN) L-R: Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, Director, Planning and Research, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Bridget Okpa, and Director, Basic and Secondary Education of the Ministry, Barrister Chike Uwaezuoke, during the Ministry’s MDGs Task Force implementation status meeting, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Bauchi approves N30m for Islamiyya teachers From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


auchi state government has approved the sum of N30 million as monthly stipend to 400 Islamic teachers in private Islamic schools across the 20 local government areas of the state. The Publicity Director of the

committee set up by the state government Alhaji Ibrahim Babaji Ibrahim, disclosed this while addressing the press in Bauchi yesterday, said each Islamic teacher is to receive N7, 000 on monthly basis. Babaji explained that the formal fund disbursement commences today in Gamawa, headquarters of the local

government area of the state. The government incentive to Islamiyya teachers, according to the director, is in recognition of their efforts in imparting knowledge to the younger generations to become useful citizens. Ibrahim stated that the teachers would for the first two months after the funds disbursement expose to

table payment and subsequently E-payment, hence the need for each and every one of the to open bank account. The director charged the Islammiyya teachers to reciprocate the gesture by the state government through the effective and positive impact of the desired knowledge to their pupils.

Kebbi establishes 20 nomadic schools


he Kebbi state government said on Tuesday it had constructed 20 nomadic primary schools aimed at promoting the educational pursuits of the children of nomads. Alhaji Nasiru Masama, the Senior Special Assistance to the Governor on Fulani Matters, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Birnin Kebbi. He said that five schools were sited in each of the four emirates of

Argungu,Gwandu,Yauri and Zuru. He said that teachers had been deployed to the schools and provided with teaching and learning materials, adding that “we would work out modalities of making the nomadic schools among the best.” He said that support would be provided for the educational pursuit of the children of the Nomads as the children also deserved equal opportunities in education and

other social services. He said that 35 bore holes had been drilled at various nomadic communities as part of social services provided in the rural areas. “In addition, 10 earth dams had been provided in the last six years,” he added. He said that the dams would serve as water source to the nomads for their animals and reservoir for dry season farming. In a related development,

the state Chairman of the Cattle Breeders Association, Alhaji Manu Mohammed, has commended the efforts of the state, especially on the promotion of the welfare of members. “The association will continue to support government’s policies and programmes especially as they affected nomads.” He said that enrolment of their children into schools had improved in the last six years. (NAN)



Minister, Bash reconciliation move ends in deadlock By Albert Akota


he lofty ambition of the World Lighter weight Champion Bash Ali to become the world oldest boxer may have hit the rock yesterday as the peace meeting between the boxing legend and the minister of sports ended in deadlock. Speaking with sports hunters after the stalemate meeting at national stadium in Abuja, Ali noted that Nigeria, as a country is bigger than Nigerians, saying that Night of Legend show will see the light of the day and no man can stop it. “As for me yes, as for him may be not, I came here because Nigeria is bigger than all of us and we have a great fight to do, a fight that we bring employment and give an avenue to our athletes to have a way to exhibit their talents but it is unfortunately the minister

refused to cooperate with me. “We discuss about 15 minutes and I told him, if I have done anything wrong by my action or my words in the name of bring this historic event to Nigeria, I am very sorry, then he went on interrogating me, I told him this is not the appropriate time, that at the appropriate time all other allegations would be discuss and I worked out on him. “But I believe Nigeria is bigger than all of us, the most important thing is for this event to happen in Nigeria because I will not be happy, if this event goes to other country and I believes that Night of legend show must happen, one man cannot stop the show, “he concluded. In his reaction, Special Assistant to the Minister on Sports Julius Ogunro, confirmed that, Bash Ali had a private

meeting with the minister, the meeting was mend to apologies to the minister, he (bash) might have perhaps upset the minister, he (Bash) said he was sorry to minister, he was brought by Mr. Tee Mac Omoshola the team manager and he did apologies to the minister well. “Minister asked him (Bash) where indeed I asked for money to promote the legend fight, Bash could not respond and he was stammering; at that point minister asked him to rescind what he told the whole world that he (minister) did not asked for bribe, if not, I would not have audience with him, he worked out on the minister”. Julius explained to newsmen. The 57-year-old boxing legend had last month been manhandled by policemen, for attempting to see the minister.

Mba poised for Europe trial By Albert Akota


he Super Eagles AFCON braved man, Sunday Mba has said that he will soon join a foreign club after putting all the problems of his club entanglements behind. Mba who disclosed this to Peoples Daily Sports after training at FIFA goal project in Abuja, said he is ready for the big move to Europe. The Warri Wolves player loaned to Enugu Ranger said he is back to his best after the battle from two Nigeria Premier League clubs almost derailed his plans to join the foreign League. But with the declaration of Warri Wolves that he can play for Rangers on loan for free, Mba is confident that he will soon realize his ambition of playing abroad. “I am a happy man now because all the problems associated with my career at home are now over. Now I can say that I am ready to finally make the big move to Europe since there is no contention about my status. “I want to say that Warri Wolves did a good thing by allowing me to play for Rangers on loan for free and I intend to make good use of that opportunity, “he said. The 25-year-old, who scored a goal against Elephant of CoteD’Ivore at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa as well as two goals against the home-

based of Cote d’Ivoire in Kaduna, said the Eagles are battle ready to secure its first qualification for the African Nations Championship this weekend at Abidjan. “I have watched the game against Cote d’Ivoire and I am satisfied with my performance. I want to continue to improve my game. “Now I have settled down to concentrate after my agent and Warri Wolves settled everything

last week. But be rest assured that I will soon join a big club in Europe. “I am happy with the way I am now and all I want to do is to continually improve my game,” he said. Peoples Daily Sports recalled that after the AFCON clubs from Europe have made enquiries about the player are eager to sign him before the end of the European transfer window.


Eagles overhaul TEAP FC 2-0 By Albert Akota


he Super Eagles had their last test game before travelling to Abidjan yesterday evening in Abuja fought 2-0 wins over The Everlasting Arms Parish (TEAP) FC, of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. The highly entertaining game had among the crowd former NFF board member and Technical Adviser of Lobi Stars, Dominic Iorfa, current board member and Chairman of the NFF Media Committee, Chief Emeka Inyama, NFF Director of Technical, Dr Emmanuel Ikpeme, National Competitions Director, Dr Sanusi Mohammed, former Flying Eagles and Golden Eaglets Assistant Coach Ben Iroha and NFF technical eye, Siji Lagunju. Traditionally, Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi put his best legs forward in the opening half of the game but the likes of Chigozie Agbim, Solomon Kwambe, Benjamin Francis, Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Sunday Mba, Oladapo Olufemi and even Ifeayin Ede fail to break the resilience of the TEAP side in a half dominated by the Eagles. Keshi didn’t lose faith in his squad but merely reinforced it in the second half. Ayo Saka came in for Rabiu, Junior international Alhaji Gero replaced Ezekiel Mba, while Chibuzor Okonkwo took over from Kwambe. It didn’t take long for the changes to start yielding fruits as a clever move initiated by Joseph Osandaye found Sunday Mba whose leg work deflated the TEAP defence for Gero to slot in

the first goal. This was in the 48th minute. The ding dong in the game continued until ten minutes later when Femi Oladapo connected Okonkwo to lay a cross for onrushing Ifeanyi Ede to nod clear. It was a classic and by then the Eagles have killed the game and were just enjoying the rest of the encounhter. The coaching crew noted it and withdrew the problables. Agbim was out for Akpeyi, Gomo for Mba, Ajiya, Ezekiel Bassey and Ebenezer Oloruntoba also tasted action, same as Ganiyu Atanda. When referee Aniete Ukoh sounded the bhome whistle it was clear who the better side was. TEAP Coach Malomo Paris, said he was again impressed by the display of the national side and his own team. “It was a good game but the better side won and we know we should have done better but this is the national team,” Keshi simply said, it was again work in progress for the national team.





National Assembly hails NFF verdict on scandalous match fixing Stories by Albert Akota

issue with a view of averting such occurrences in future and we cannot in anyway fault their verdict,’’ Gaiya said. He also noted that it was good that the whole truth was made known, not just to

he Chairman, House Committee on Sports Hon. Godfrey Gaiya has hailed the action taken by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on the scandalous match-fixing by given the clubs ten years banned, players and officials life banned. The lawmaker, who made the remarks in Abuja, said the players and officials of the division four clubs, involved in the infamous Nigeria Nationwide League (NNWL) promotion play-offs in Bauchi deserved banned. Plateau United FC Feeder team defeated Akurba FC of Nasarawa State, 79-0, while Police Machine of Adamawa defeated Babayaro FC of Gombe 67-0, in another match. Plateau United Feeders and Police Machines FC were tied on four points each, with the same goal difference, and needed the last matches to qualify into the NNWL Division 3. The Chairman said that the decision to ban all those involved in the case was a welcome development for football in the country.

“We don’t need this type of development at a time when we are beginning to see some resurgence in our football; having emerged as African champions, for God’s sake, that issue further put our football many years behind. “But, I thank God that the NFF immediately condemned the act and swung into action to nip the issue in the bud, they promised that they were going to go down and fish out all the culprits and they did,’’ he said. He added that his committee kept watch over the proceedings as they unfolded and were satisfied with the verdict at the end of the investigation. Gaiya also commended the Organisation and Disciplinary (O & D) committee that was set up by the NFF for doing a thorough and transparent job. “As a committee, we were watching and waiting to see the end of their investigation and actions, we are indeed glad that they have kept their word. The action taken, I believe will serve as a deterrent to everyone else. “To the best of our knowledge, the Committee has carefully looked into the whole

Godfrey Gaiya

he 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Malawi in September will be played in Calabar, not Kaduna or Abuja, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said. Calabar has hosted the Super Eagles’ last two 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Namibia and Kenya but reports had been rife in recent days, that Kaduna and even Abuja could be given the nod to host September’s

crucial qualifying game. “Immediately after the Chan qualifier, the federation may settle for Kaduna as venue for September’s game as it would be more favourable for the football governing body especially in the area of cutting costs/overheads. However, executive committee member of the NFF, Barrister Chris Green has now categorically declared that Calabar has been selected

as venue for the game. “The game against Malawi will be played in Calabar on September 7. It will kick off at 4pm,” Green said. Commissioner for Sports in Cross River, Patrick Ugbe said the state would be keen to play host to the African champions in September. “The last game we played here (2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Kenya on March 23) shows that Calabar


NWC: Ajeh urges Akwa Ibom authorities to compensate athletes

Nigerians, but to the whole world. “This I think is the right thing to do and it will go a long way in redeeming the global image of Nigerian football’’, Gaiya added.

Gov. Godswin Akpabio

Calabar to host Eagles, Flames tie T

is the real home of the Super Eagles. “The Super Eagles were down by a goal till the latter stages when we equalized but even while we were chasing the game, no fan booed the team or threw missiles on the pitch. “We are not surprised because Calabar is the home of football in Nigeria and the people here are quite passionate about their football,” he said. Nigeria currently lead Group F of 2014 Africa zone World Cup qualifying with nine points from five matches while Malawi sit in second place with seven points from five matches.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Weightlifting Coaches Association (NWCA) Godson Ajeh, has appealed to the Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF), to prevail on the Akwa Ibom government to consider incentives for its weightlifters. Ajeh who disclosed this to newsmen yesterday, said that since the state would for the first time host the National Weightlifting Championships from July 29th to Aug. 3rd in Uyo, it would be essential to motivate athletes that will be participating in the championships. He added that the competition will also be used to select athletes that will represent the state at the National Sports Festival scheduled for Lagos in September. “It will not be fair for athletes to travel from different parts of the country and not to be given some form of comfort, cash or prizes for participating. “Incentives serve as a form of motivation, no matter how small they might be. It has the capacity to bring out the best from the athletes. “Now that we know that the competition will be used to select outstanding athletes for the Africa Championships, it will be highly competitive,’’ he said. Ajeh, however, urged the Akwa Ibom government to review the date for the competition, to enable aspiring states to prepare well for the event. ‘It will be unfair for some states to be denied participation due to late arrival of the invitation letters, so I will suggest that the competition be shifted forward,’’ he added.

Mallorca appoints George as U-16 coach


Keshi and super squad

ormer Nigerian international Finidi George has been appointed the coach of the U-16 side at his former club Real Mallorca of Spain. “I believe I have a good name from my time playing the game, and quite a number of my ex teammates with Ajax, Majorca and even Real Betis are currently in coaching jobs. So by working hard here with some good success I hope to make the leap into a managerial job in the future, “he said.

“With all humility he adds “I have no problems whatsoever starting out as an assistant to a manager so I can learn the ropes properly”. With de Boer at Ajax getting rave reviews for his job and a few others one has a feeling it will not be too difficult for him as soon as he qualifies. George was part of a generation of Super Eagles players that are loved by majority of Nigerians who also have gathered great experience from being involved with top European sides.




rejects Barcelona Osaze remains at West Brom Honda offer for Milan as Dubai offer rejected M W est Brom has rejected a bid of £850,000 from Dubai club Al Nasr for Nigeria striker Osaze Odemwingie. Odemwingie is currently training with the reserves while the first-team squad is on a pre-season tour in Austria. The club has told the Nigeria forward the figure does not meet the club’s expectations and that they will not sell unless their valuation is met. Osaze famously failed to engineer a transfer-deadline-day move to Queens Park Rangers in January despite driving to Loftus Road. He made only infrequent appearances off the bench over the second half of the season after that, and has been linked with Crystal Palace, Hull City, Swansea and most recently Fulham. However, the only confirmed bid has come from the Dubai and the 32-year-old remains in limbo after being told he does not figure in Steve Clarke’s plans for the season.

ilan chief Ernesto Bronzentti confirmed reports suggesting Keisuke Honda wants to join Milan, suggesting the Japanese player turned down Barcelona for a move to the San Siro. The sprightly midfielder has been in endless talks with the Rossoneri for a move to the club, with the Milan board claiming Honda turned down offers from the Spanish Champions. “The gap between our offer and their asking price is low; I speak with the President and tell them that he wants to leave. “They would like to keep him for the Champions, but the guy just wants to join Milan.


Roma up Gervinho bid


Atletico target Stuttgart’s Kvist


William Kvist

oma are preparing to submit yet another revised bid to Arsenal for Ivoirian international Gervinho. The Giallorossi so far remain unsuccessful in their pursuit of Gervinho as their transfer fee doesn’t seem to match the asking price of Arsenal’s. It has been suggested that Roma are expected to launch another offer for the forward as he remains a primary target of new head coach Rudi Garcia. Garcia coached Gervinho when at Lille - the club he joined Arsenal from back in 2011 - and he is still highly regarded by the tactician. Roma had their offer in the region of £5 million turned down, but with the recent £27m sale of Brazilian defender Marquinhos to Paris SaintGermain, the Italians are now expected to return with an improved bid.

tletico Madrid is focusing their attention on signing Stuttgart central midfielder William Kvist. After already missing out on various midfielders this summer, including Diego and Jeremy Toulalan, the Spanish club has made the Denmark international their top priority. It’s understood the 28-year-old, who made 30 appearances for the Bundesliga outfit last season without a goal, would cost between €4 and 6 million. Kvist played 45 minutes for Stuttgart in a preseason friendly against Valencia on Saturday and following the match Kvist was guarded when asked about interest from the rojiblancos. “I shouldn’t say this but Atletico Madrid is a great team and playing in the Spanish League is a fantastic opportunity for any player.” The midfielder also admitted that he had been left frustrated by a lack of playing time last season. “I have two years left on my contract but it’s no secret that with my injures and the changes to the system here, I didn’t play as much as I’d have liked last season,” he said.

Richards wants to stay at Manchester City for life


icah Richards has insisted that he wants to stay at Manchester City for the rest of his career. Richards, 25, has made 234 appearances for his only club since making his debut in 2005, but only played in seven league games last year as his campaign was interrupted by injuries while fellow right-back Pablo Zabaleta was named City’s Player of the Year. Richards has been linked with several Italian clubs but is adamant he has never thought of leaving, telling City’s official website. “Manchester City is my club and I’ve never considered playing anywhere else. I think there has been speculation because I’ve got two years left on my contract and Pablo Zabaleta had a fantastic season. He added: “The main thing is to be playing. I know there are a lot of games and I don’t expect to play every game but, the season we won the title, me and Zaba rotated really well together - so if we can do that this season I’ll be happy.”

Keisuke Honda


Trezeguet joins Newell’s on loan


Micah Richards

avid Trezeguet has confirmed he will play for Argentine outfit Newell’s Old Boys after signing a one-year loan deal from River Plate. Trezeguet, 35, was not selected as part of River’s squad for the upcoming season, fuelling speculation over his departure. The striker has opted for a short move to the Copa Libertadores semi-finalists, and explained he is delighted to have sorted out his future. “I want to thank all the clubs in Primera B Nacional and B Metropolitana who were interested in me, but I decided on Newell’s because it is a club that is doing well and is well respected in the world. “I would like to leave something with the club and personally I would like to reach 300 goals in my career. Moreover, with Newell’s I will have the opportunity to play in the Copa Libertadores tournament.

David Trezeguet




Magee set to return after failing drugs test

B Woods

Woods confident of winning major championship in 2013


iger Woods has not given up hope of winning a 15th major despite a sixth-place finish at the Open in Muirfield. The 37-year-old world number one has not won one of the sport’s big prizes since the 2008 US Open. He began the final day two strokes off the lead but carded a three-over-par 74, ending the day five shots behind champion Phil Mickelson. The American was expected to challenge on the final day, even though he has never won a major when trailing going into the fourth round. But he dropped a shot on the par-four first and failed to threaten from there on in, accumulating six bogeys and three birdies in total on a disappointing day in East Lothian.

Woods, who has experienced five tumultuous years since winning the US Open with an injured knee, from injuries to personal scandal, remains four titles short of equalling Jack Nicklaus’s major haul. “If he had posted one under it would have been a different story. I think a lot of us would be a little more ticked than we are now, but he posted three - that’s a hell of a number. “I really had a hard time and left myself a couple of long putts early on when it was really blowing, and left them way short and didn’t make those putts. “But other than that I really hit the ball well today. I just couldn’t ever get the pace of these things but I am confident that I would win majors trophies this year, “Woods said.

elfast boxer Brian Magee is serving a six-month ban for use of the prohibited stimulant Oxilofrine, the UK AntiDoping Agency has revealed. The 38-year-old Magee tested positive after his defeat by Mikkel Kessler in a WBA supermiddleweight title challenge in Denmark in December. He was informed of his ban in February, and it ends on 29 July. Magee said he thought someone was joking when told about the test result and feared it could end his career. It is believed Magee escaped a two-year suspension by showing the substance had been an unlabelled ingredient in an ‘over the counter’ sports drink. “I was in total shock when I was told I had tested positive, and I honestly thought someone was playing a joke,” said Magee. “All I could think was I could get a lifetime ban or even a twoyear ban which at my age would have meant my career was as good as over. “I have had 30 or 40 tests in my career and never tested positive. I have always been extremely careful about everything I have taken, and I didn’t do anything differently before the Kessler fight.” Magee said he consumed the banned substance via a

contaminated over-the-counter supplement he had been using to combat a cold. The boxer is understood to be considering legal action against the supplier. UK Anti-Doping accepted Magee’s version of events, saying it was satisfied he had not sought to enhance his performance. The boxer, who fought Carl Froch in 2006 and is a former British and European champion, said he was intent on returning to

the ring. “I have already got back in the gym and I can’t wait to fight again,” he added. “I have not had any bad beatings and I think there are still a number of big fights out there for me.” Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson both tested positive for the same stimulant following the Jamaican national trials last month.


Hutchins confirms lymphoma remission B ritain Davis Cup player Ross Hutchins says he is in remission from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer. The 28-year-old was diagnosed with the illness in December 2012 and took a break from playing during treatment at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. And Wimbledon-born Hutchins confirmed the good news on his Twitter account. “Was a big day today? Met my oncologist and I am now in remission. So grateful to

Ross Hutchins

Froch to defend titles against Groves


arl Froch will defend his IBF and WBA world super-middleweight titles against fellow Briton George Groves. The bout will be in either late November or early December at a venue which is yet to be announced. Froch beat Mikkel Kessler to add the WBA title to his IBF crown in May and he has won 31 of his 33 fights - 22 by knockout. Groves, 25, was on the undercard of that Froch-Kessler fight and knocked out Uruguay’s Noe Gonzalez Alcoba to become

the mandatory challenger to Froch’s IBF title. “I’m excited the first defence of both my belts is a big domestic clash,” said Froch. “I am a proper fighter and a proper champion and I will always face my mandatory challenger rather than vacate the title.” Groves is unbeaten in 19 fights and his wins include 15 knockouts. He sparred with Kessler before his fight against Froch, who was unhappy a fellow Briton was aiding a foreign opponent.

“This is the biggest fight of my career and being a world champion is something that I dreamed of as a kid,” said Groves. “I’m well ranked across all the governing bodies but fighting Carl is the one that I wanted the most. He is a big name in the UK and a well-respected champion around the world. “I have a great team around me that can put together the right game plan to beat him and become a world champion and a major force in the supermiddleweight division.

fantastic Professor Cunningham and his team at Royal Marsden,” he tweeted. “Thank you to everyone for your constant, incredible support, I couldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for all of you, I really mean that. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer of the white blood cells found in the network of vessels and glands throughout the body. The Londoner’s condition came to light as he struggled with severe back pain that did not respond to physiotherapy. Nearly 1,500 people are

diagnosed with the disease each year in the United Kingdom, with almost all young patients fully cured. Hutchins previously stated his desire to return to competitive action this year, having enjoyed his best-ever season on the ATP Tour in 2012 as he and regular partner Colin Fleming reached four doubles finals, winning titles in Eastbourne and Delray. Fleming has continued playing with last year’s Wimbledon doubles champion Jonny Marray while Hutchins has been battling the illness.

. . . putting the people first



I will make history at Manchester United, says Moyes


avid Moyes has admitted there is a fear factor that comes from being asked to replace the most successful football manager in British history. That Moyes was handpicked to take over at Manchester United by Sir Alex Moyes has repeatedly underlined his intention to ask Ferguson for advice. But he is also acutely aware he must step out of that vast shadow and stamp his own imprint on United if he is to make a success of the job. “I’m going to follow someone who has made incredible history. I think about Matt Busby’s history and then Alex Ferguson’s history they could do a film about it. The major positive for Moyes is that the players now under his charge have been responsive to the way he has gone about his work. “Sometimes when there is a change - and I heard some of the players saying it - you have to impress the new manager,” he said. “I have got to say I have been incredibly impressed about how the players have gone about their work. “There’s not been a day when I’ve had people ‘throwing out’ [slacking off]. If anything, they’re enjoying it and they’re asking for more.” Already though, Moyes has shown a willingness to let his squad know if he feels more is required. An intense person by nature, the Scot insists he is not quite as bad as he once was. But a forthright lecture in Bangkok was a sign of his own standards.


he African Union summit on HIV-AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria tagged “Abuja + 12” has come and gone but all things suggest that the controversy engineered by the “wanted” Sudanese leader, General Omar AlBashir’s presence on Nigerian soil will continue. The meeting had been called by the African Union, AU, to seek ways of closing the 50% gap in funding the fight against malaria. Al-Bashir came here to participate in the AU summit and Nigeria being the host country was in no position to decide for the AU who to attend and who not to attend. I think Dr. Emeka Anyaoku, the former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth has made this point very clearly. The controversy on Al-Bashir arose against the background of two warrants issued for his arrest by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2009 and 2010. Al-Bashir is being accused of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in the conflict in the old Sudan’s Darfur Province. Critics of Al-Bashir’s visit to Nigeria who are made up mainly of activists and human rights groups had called for his arrest and handover for trial by the ICC. A similar advocacy had been made in the course of the visit, last year to Uganda, by Al-Bashir. As to be expected, that country’s leaders ignored the cacophony championed especially by the BBC. Such has been the effect of the ICC warrant that General Al-Bashir hardly goes anywhere without evoking these kinds of negative sentiment. Three main reasons account for why Nigeria did not have to effect the foreign leader’s arrest. One, as already cited above, is that Nigeria was not in a position to determine who attended the Abuja + 12 summit because the AU was the convener. Second is that the AU, of which

David Moyes

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As a beneficiary of PDP I’m committed like others to stay in the party…but if the party’s national leadership is bent on killing it…we will remain to bury it. — Adamawa state Gov. Murtala Nyako

Sudan leader’s pilgrimage to Nigeria



311 689 292 327 454


Garba Shehu

President Omar Al-Bashir Nigeria is a frontline member had discounted the arrest warrants on Al-Bashir on the conviction that the ICC was unfair and discriminatory. AU has since formally rejected those war crime charges. Nigeria is of course bound by all resolutions by the AU. Third reason why Nigeria had to ignore the pressure to embarrass the Sudanese leader with arrest may have been political. Foreign countries, particularly Britain and the United States which have been outspoken on the issue, as well as the European Union, EU, including the Human Rights Watch are merely preaching hypocritical values. The US along with Israel are not signatories to the ICC charter. But America which has never accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC nevertheless continues to exercise significant influence on the ICC. The U.K and the U.S. are notorious for turning their backs

on international agreements and resolutions of the UN whenever, in their own perception, their national interests are at stake. What moral right do they have to seek to force Africans to act against a fellow leader on account of far less atrocities than they have committed elsewhere? Take the invasion of Iraq for instance. The U.K. and the U.S. lobbed missile after missile at military and non-military targets and made sure that the UN Security Council was reduced to no more than an on-looker as they carried out the greatest assault ever on an independent state. It was clear from the beginning, and until the end of the Iraqi war that there were no weapons of mass destruction held by Saddam Hussein. Where is the justification for the destruction of that country, and the killing of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people? Consider also the well-documented frontline roles of two world leaders in this war, to wit Blair and Bush. The two were so committed to this private war of theirs that neither of them needed domestic approval which -they could not have obtained – nor that of the UN, on account of which they chose a dubious sobriquet – the “coalition of the willing” as the vehicle for the war. Did the ICC ever contemplate the trial of Blair and Bush? Another EU giant, France, under successive leaders backed Bouteflika in Algeria to first of all deny victory to a legitimately and

As citizens of Nigeria and of Africa, our activist groups will have the support of well-meaning country folks if they focus on bringing the administration of our country and the rest of the continent up to international benchmarks. Of course, this is easier said than done. But when they see hypocrisy and double standard as in the case of The Sudan, they must fight it with equal vigor and passion. 7458 1765 9046 1969 0344

democratically elected government of Islamists, and then went on to wage an endless war that officially claimed 63,000 citizens. Where was the ICC in Algeria?Why are they silent on France and Bouteflika? As if to prove that neither the U.S. nor Europe believe in the virtue of restraint, they just pushed the army to throw out yet another democratically elected government, Morsi’s government in Egypt. Who knows what Egypt is going to turn out to be as a consequence? Russians are already predicting a civil war. Then, talking about the Russians. Who dare questions them about the goings-on in Chechnya? Does anyone care about the outrightly blatant refusal of Europe to cooperate in the arrest of war criminal, Milosovic? Based on these alone, it is important to note that the Nigerian government which foreign policy seemed to wobble from time to time gained traction and commendably stayed the course by resisting those pressures. But besides all of these hypocritical virtues by those pushing for Al-Bashir’s arrest, Nigeria has her own national interest at stake. I am sure it is for those interests that our leaders sent troops to help keep the peace in Darfur, which the U.K. and the U.S. did not. In Sudan as it currently exists, there are no less than five million Nigerians who have made that country their own home. There are parts of their capital, Khartoum, you will go and think that you may have missed your way into Kano city. If Sudan should throw those people out, they will destabilize not only Nigeria but neighboring Chad and Cameroon. This is no ancient history. Nigerian groups that jump at an idea because it is fanciful need first of all to know what constitutes their own national interest. Unless they know it, they cannot rise to its defence whenever a foreign country tries to assault it. As citizens of Nigeria and of Africa, our activist groups will have the support of well-meaning country folks if they focus on bringing the administration of our country and the rest of the continent up to international benchmarks. Of course, this is easier said than done. But when they see hypocrisy and double standard as in the case of The Sudan, they must fight it with equal vigor and passion.

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

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Wednesday 24, July, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Wednesday 24, July, 2013

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Wednesday 24, July, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Wednesday 24, July, 2013