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Vol. 8 No. 88

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

. . . putting the people first

N18,000 minimum wage: Niger workers threaten strike >> PAGE 4

SSS nabs two with human head >> PAGE 4

Ramadan 6, 1433 AH

Subsidy saga: EFCC to prosecute 20 >> PAGE 3


Ramadan Timing for Abuja Magrib 6.54

Alfijr 5.05

FG wades into Turai, Patience land dispute By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he Federal Government yesterday told a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of its willingness to settle the lingering legal tussle between the incumbent First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan and her predecessor, Hajiya Turai Yar’adua over a plot of land situated at Cadastral Zone, Abuja. Documents placed before the court showed that the contentious land was allocated to Turai’s NonGovernmental Organisation (NGO), Women and Youth Empowerment Foundation (WYEF), in February 2010, with the Right of Occupancy duly issued to it. The Registered Trustees of WYEF, which is the plaintiff in Contd on Page 2

Dame Patience Jonathan

Hajiya Turai Yar’adua

Court dangles ‘Ibori’s $15m’ for claim By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday gave a 14-day ultimatum to the rightful owner of $15 million, about N2.4 billion, purportedly received from former Governor of Delta state, James Ibori by former

Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Malam Nuhu Ribadu, to come forward and claim it or the money risked being forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria. The court sitting before Judge Gabriel Kolawole, in its ruling, held that the $15 million alleged bribe

money paid to the former EFCC boss should be temporarily forfeited pending the publication in a national daily and hearing of the Motion on Notice for the final forfeiture order of the said amount. It stated that the rightful owner of the money should appear before the court to state, within 14 days,

reasons why a final order of forfeiture should not be granted in favour of the Federal Government. Mr. Rotimi Jacobs had filed the ex-parte application on behalf of the anti-graft agency, listing the Federal Government, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the EFCC as

the plaintiffs, and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as sole defendant. The application for forfeiture was hinged on these grounds: *that EFCC officials received the $15 million cash from an undisclosed agent of James Ibori in Contd on Page 2




Plateau flood: Death toll rises as govt visits central mosque


From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos






















‘Al-Makura to quit CPC for PDP,’ Page 38

International 31-34 Strange World 35 Digest








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he Public Relations Officer of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) Plateau state chapter, Farouk Umar Musa yesterday confirmed that so far 30 victims of the recent flood in Jos have been recovered and buried on Monday with four more bodies recovered on Tuesday morning. He also said, “There are 11 injured ones currently receiving treatment at various hospi-

tals in the state,” while cholera has broken out at the two camps with fears of spread “If government did not act fast,” he said. Alhaji Sabo Shuaibu, JNI also confirmed the recovery of a man who also lost his wife and seven children to the flood yesterday morning as well as six more bodies. However, Shuaibu said, NEMA had responded promptly in assisting the people but could not be relied upon to do it alone, calling on the state government

to urgently to provide relief items that would solve the immediate needs of the displaced persons. The flood swept away residential houses in Ali Kazaure than other areas but no life was lost in Ali Kazaure as experienced in Gangare, Rikkos, Tudun Talakawa etc. Meanwhile, the Plateau state government delegation led by the state Commissioner for Water Resources and Rural Development, Alhaji Ibrahim Idi Waziri, visited the leadership of the Mus-

lim community at the Jos Central Mosque and the state JNI secretariat. The government delegation also visited the scene of the flood and also visited the displaced people taking refuge at College of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Rikkos as well as those in a Secondary School Gangare. The commissioner informed the Muslim leaders that he was sent by Governor Jonah Jang to lead the delegation in condoling the Muslim Umma.

FG wades into Turai, Patience land dispute Contd from Page 1

the court matter, had specifically applied and was granted an allocation of Plot 1347, Cadastral Zone, after paying the sum of N184,529, 438 as statutory Right of Occupancy which was duly issued by the FCT minister. Under the terms of grant, the plaintiff was given three years to develop the property based on approved building plans. After the payments of the various levies, the plaintiff paid additional sum of N76, 936,210.00 as building plan fees following which the building plans were approved and issued in line with the Abuja master plan. Thereafter, the plaintiff appointed and mobilised a building company, Al-Cooks Nigeria Limited to site to develop the property for the sum of N13,16,013,797.58. On November 1, 2011, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) sent an additional bill of N18,529,438, being the balance of the various charges under the grant which the plaintiff paid the next day. Shortly after these transactions, the FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, issued a notice of revocation of the said property which his ministry allocated to the plaintiff for the purpose of building public institution (Training/ Vocational Centre). The said letter of revocation was back-dated with effect from October 27, 2011.

Immediately after the revocation letter was issued, the minister swiftly re-allocated the plot to the Patience Jonathan-led African First Ladies’ Peace Mission after President Umaru Yar’adua died and his wife, Turai, slipped into political irrelevance. The FCT minister said he revoked the allocation in the overriding public interest with Mrs. Jonathan saying she wanted to build the secretariat of the First Ladies Peace Mission on the land. It was at this stage that Turai’s organisation, on November 23, 2011, went to court to challenge the actions of the minister with respect to the revocation letter. Turai Yar’adua’s WYEF sued the FCT minister, his ministry and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, challenging the revocation of the allocation before an Abuja High Court sitting before Judge Peter Affen. It sought and obtained a restraining order barring the minister and the FCTA, the Abuja Geographical Information System (AGIS) and the AGF from affecting the title or interest of WYEF over the plot of land pending the determination of the case. However, while the order of the court was still subsisting, the defendants mobilised people to site to commence construction work. Following this development, counsel to WYEF, Innocent Lagi, went back to the court and initiated contempt proceedings against the respective defendants.

But in an attempt to frustrate the hearing of the contempt proceedings, the office of the AGF, last Friday approached the court with a motion seeking to vacate the said order. Judge Affen however asked the AGF to put the necessary parties on notice and adjourned the matter till yesterday. When the matter was called yesterday, however, counsel from the chambers of the AGF, Baba Sa’idu, informed the court of Government’s willingness to settle the matter amicably out of court, adding that his client has reached out to counsels to all the parties before the court. His position was corroborated by counsel to the FCT minister, the FCTA and AGIS, Felix Ibanga. The plaintiff’s counsel, Lagi also confirmed the development. Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned to September 24, 2012, for report on the settlement. It would be recalled that Mrs. Jonathan approached the court, through the office of the AGF, asking it to discharge the restraining order on the disputed plot of land or make an order of stay of execution of the interlocutory injunction it earlier granted Mrs. Yar’adua’s NGO. In an affidavit in support of the motion, the first lady, through Ballah Ali, a litigation officer in the office of the AGF, informed the court that she would be hosting the African first ladies from 24th to 27th of this month and that a foundation-laying ceremony

would be performed on the land during the period. “The image of Nigeria may be adversely affected in the comity of nations if this injunction is not vacated and the foundation ceremony is truncated,” the affidavit stated. Ali said the land in question was first allocated to First Ladies Peace Initiative when Mrs. Yar’adua was its president but that she converted it to the use of her personal NGO. He said on learning of the previous allocation, Mrs. Jonathan reached out to Turai Yar’adua, “who conceded to a revocation as the minister of the FCT was prepared to give her another allocation. Subsequently, the first lady’s attention was drawn to the injunction obtained by the plaintiff after she was made to believe that the matter had been resolved”. But Turai’s NGO insisted that it remained the current and bonafide owner of the land and that the minister has no power to retrospectively revoke a right of occupancy. Its lawyers claimed that WYEF obtained the requisite approvals, and paid the statutory N184 million to AGIS for the right of occupancy. It also contended that “a purported notice of revocation of a right of occupancy on alleged public interest must disclose the fact and nature of the alleged overriding public interest in order to be valid.”

Court dangles ‘Ibori’s $15m’ for claim Contd from Page 1 2007 as bribe to compromise its investigation; * that the commission on 26th of April, 2007, deposited the said cash into strong room No.1 of the Central Bank of Nigeria; * that James Ibori had since denied ever giving the said cash to the Commission or any of its officers; and *that the money has remained unclaimed since April, 2007 till date, and it has remained dormant in the strong room of CBN. A 14-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Mr. Bello Yahaya, a police officer with the EFCC, supported the application for

forfeiture. Bello said that he was one of EFCC investigators assigned to investigate the Ibori matter, and he was, therefore, familiar with the facts of the case. “While the investigation was on-going on 25th April, 2007, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, the then executive chairman of the EFCC called the investigation team headed by Ibrahim Lamorde, the then director of operations, to pick up cash in the sum of $15m given to him and the commission through an undisclosed agent of the said James Ibori,” Paragraph 4 of the affidavit reads. In the main suit, FHC/ABJ/

CS/415/2012, the Federal Government of Nigeria, Attorney General of the Federation and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission are 1st, 2nd and 3rd applicants respectively while Central Bank of Nigeria is the respondent. Specifically, the applicants prayed the court for, “an Interim Order of the Court forfeiting the sum of $15 million being an unclaimed property in possession of Central Bank of Nigeria to the Federal Government of Nigeria pending the publication and hearing of the Motion on Notice for the final forfeiture order of the said property. “An Order directing the

publication in any National Newspaper of the interim order under relief 1 above for anyone who is interested in the property to appear before this Honourable Court to show cause within 14 days why the final order of forfeiture should not be made in favour of Federal Government of Nigeria”, it stressed. Against the foregoing, the court granted relief one as couched above while relief two would be looked into on the adjournment day after the publication in a newspaper and appearance, if any, of the bonafide owner of the sum in question before the court on September 17, 2012, being the adjournment date.



FG vows to recover N382bn from subsidy thieves By Aminu Imam, Abdulrahman Abdulraheem, Abuja and Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


he Presidential Committee on the Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments headed by Access Bank boss, Aigboje AigImokhuede, yesterday submitted its report to President Goodluck Jonathan with several recommendations, including the recovery of N382 billion stolen funds and the “criminal prosecution” of 21 Oil Marketers and Traders (OMTs). The President had on Thursday, July 5, 2012 constituted the panel with a charge to verify the recommendations of a Technical Committee earlier set up by the ministry of finance on the management of the fuel subsidy regime. According to Aig-Imokhuede who summarised the report in a chat with State House correspondents yesterday, there were 116 oil marketing and trading companies that participated in the petroleum subsidy scheme in the period under review. In a reaction, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) stated that the report was meant to compliment “the EFCC report as well as that of the House of Representatives.” Adoke added: “The entire objective is that the government is not just interested in prosecuting those that are engaged in impunity for violating the process but also recovering the money and will need technocrats to help us identify the exact amount of money. With the prosecution, the society would benefit by way of restitution. We are going to recover this money and we are going to set the process for recovery alongside the prosecution.” But, the much anticipated arraignment of the first batch of suspects allegedly involved in the oil subsidy fraud failed to hold yesterday in Lagos due to the

 Aig-Imokhuede panel recommends 21 for ‘criminal prosecution’  Seeks total withdrawal of fuel subsidy  EFCC fails to arraign Eterna Oil, others absence of judges assigned to the case. Two Judges of the Lagos state High Court, Justices Habeeb Abiru and Adeniyi Onigbanjo, have been assigned to handle the cases but they are current on annual vacation. However, sources told the Peoples Daily that the judges could make themselves available for the arraignment today. The Federal Government had already filed different charges against five persons and two companies before the courts. Those to be arraigned before Justice Onigbanjo are Mahmud Tukur, Ochonogor Alex, Abdulai Alao and Eterna Oil and Gas Ltd. According to the charge sheet dated July 19, 2012, the accused persons are facing a 9-count charge bothering on conspiracy, obtaining money under false pretences, forgery and use of false documents. Aig-Imokhuede said: “The Presidential Committee invited all 116 for interviews. 107 OMT the honoured invitation. They were interviewed by various panels constituted by the committee and the outcome of these interviews is also captured in the report. “Out of the N422 billion identified by the Technical Committee which I chaired, the Presidential Committee took step to identify and remove duplication, which may have been in the Technical Committee's report which was also discovered in the course of the panel’s interviews. “Of the N422 billion, N18 billion was found to be duplication. So, the actual amount that was being verified is N403 billion. Of this amount, N21 billion was cleared and that leaves N382 billion as the sum in contention for

which the committee recommended that the process of recovery should be made.” According to Aig-Imokhuede, “painstaking efforts were made to ensure fairness while OMTs were given the opportunity to come back with as much documentation and even be re-interviewed where necessary.” He stated that the committee recommended 21 OMTs for prosecution. The panel’s chairman said: “We have six categories of issues. There are likely fraudulent cases for criminal investigation- 21 OMTs are affected. We have shorttime certificate issues, you have a number of OMTs involved in irregular payments and so on.” Summarising the 22 recommendations made by the Committee, Aig-Imokhuede said: “The first is the recovery of the said amount. There is also the possible criminal investigation and prosecution of the OMTs found to have engaged in likely fraudulent issues.” According to him, “the external auditors and any government functionaries suspected of aiding and abetting any crime will be further interviewed to determine the roles if any in the issues that were discussed.” He continued: “We also recognise the need for the accelerated implementation of all the recommendations in the Technical Committee report. “Finally, our recommendation is that for the nation to keep putting together teams of technocrats to pursue those who abuse the subsidy regime. The subsidy regime is not sustainable. The lasting and final solution to ensure that this does not occur again is for the deregulation of fuel subsidy.”

Jonathan, Mark preach peace at Dantong’s funeral From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos with agency report


resident Goodluck Jonathan and Senate President David Mark have called for mutual forgiveness among Nigerians as the remains of Sen. Gyang Dantong was laid to rest in Bachit, Plateau. The two leaders, who spoke at the funeral service at the Government House Chapel, Jos, yesterday called on Nigerians to initiate and also support steps toward national unity among Nigerians. Dantong and Gyanmg Fulani, the Majority leader of Plateau House of Assembly, died on July 8. President Jonathan, who represented by the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, urged Nigerians “to be strong and

very hopeful.” The President said: “Nigeria is passing through a trying moment which requires our unity to surmount it. We should not lose hope toward a united and peaceful Nigeria; the security challenges are only trying moments that give way to a better Nigeria. “I believe that Almighty God will help us if we, as Nigerians, are willing to forgive one another and embrace dialogue as a way forward,” he said. Jonathan urged Nigerians to accommodate one another and live together even as he condoled with the family, the government and people of Plateau over the loss of the senator, whose contributions, he said, would be greatly missed. Mark said the unity of Nigeria should be uppermost in the minds

of every citizen, in spite of challenges the people were facing. He said: “We should guard against anything that will tear us apart in spite of the security challenges before us. It is true Plateau has been under attack but we should learn to forgive and forget. “Until we forgive those that wrong us, we can’t ask God to answer our prayers. The senator that we are burying today has been preaching forgiveness as a child of God so we should follow suit.” According to him, “although many shall ask, how long shall we continue to lose our men, women and children before peace will come? My answer is: no more with the death of Dantong? “I believe with Dantong’s death, God will surely come to our rescue and restore peace not only in Plateau but in Nigeria as a whole.”




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

6.50 6.48 7.07 6.54 6.58 7.09 6.50 6.55 5.46 6.32 6.45 6.57 6.54 6.59 6.57 7.11 6.34 6.45 6.39 6.54 6.50 6.50 6.58 6.41 6.32 7.06 6.59 7.07 6.48 7.05 7.04 7.05 6.37 6.53 5.48 6.58 6.51 6.48 6.55 6.53 6.58 7.02 6.48 7.06 6.55 6.34 6.48 6.58 6.58 6.50 6.53 7.05 7.07 6.56 6.33 6.55 7.09 6.37 7.20 6.31

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

RECOMMENDED DU’A FOR DAY 06 Pray 2 Raka’at Nawafil: Recite in every Raka’ah after Alfatihah, Sura Ikhlas 20 times, then recite: Allahumma swalli ‘alaa Muhammadin wa aali Muhammad – 100 times: Then say the following DU’A: “Allahumma laa takhdhulnee feehi lita’arrudhi ma’siyatiKa wa laa tazhribnee bi siyaati naqimatiKa wa zahzihnee feehi min muujibaati sakhathiKa ba manniKa wa ayadeeka yaa muntahaa raghbatir-raaghibeen.” Meaning: O Allah do not leave me helpless in the lurch, during this month, because of my transgressions, a forsaken soul exposed to loose; do not let the whipping crack my back, remove and chase away from me the causes and reasons that bring down Thy displeasure instead of bringing in Thy bounties and favours, O the Beloved Craving of those who ardently desire and long for.



Niger workers begin strike over minimum wage From Iliya Garba, Minna


he Niger state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is to commence a general strike by Wednesday mid-

African 1st ladies summit: Patience Jonathan defaces Abuja with posters

night following non implementation of minimum wage by state government. The state House of Assembly yesterday intervened in the crisis between the state government and the NLC over the nonpayment of minimum wage in the state which was inconclusive. The NLC chapter reiterated that they would go on strike unless government is ready to meet up with their demand. Our reporter learnt that the state’s Head of Service, Alhaji Ibrahim Matene said that the state

is not buoyant enough to pay the minimum wage, adding that the state spend N2.3billion on workers’ salaries monthly. He said that the allocation accruable to the state cannot sustain the wage labour is demanding, stating that government has approved increment of salary across to workers but the agreement was that when there is a substantial increment in the finances of the state, the government will pay the minimum wage. Addressing journalists after

the meeting, the chairman of the Committee on Labour and Productivity, Hon. Haruna Labaran said that steps towards resolving the crisis have been taken. He appealed to parties to shift grounds in the interest of the state. Chairman Niger state NLC, Comrade Ndako Idris, told journalists that the meeting at the Assembly did not achieve much in resolving the stalemate, adding that the strike action would go ahead today as scheduled.

By Mohammed Kandi


First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan's posters deface the Federal Secretariat and major roads, in preparation towards hosting Summit of the African First Ladies Peace Mission as if she is contesting for presidency, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

n an effort to fulfill its Zakkat (obligatory charity) as Muslims, the AlHabibiyyah Foundation, an affiliate of Al-Habibiyyah Islamic Society of Nigeria has distributed to the less privileged items worth N21 million in six years. Chairman, Al-Habibiyyah Food Bank, Alhaji Faruk Sulaiman, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, said the funds were provided by some wealthy Muslims to fulfill one of their major obligations as enjoined by Allah. "Zakkat is one of the major obligations among the five pillars of Islam; testifying that Allah is one and that Muhammad is His messenger, offering Salat, fasting in the month of Ramadan, paying Zakkat and embarking on pilgrims," Sulaiman explained. In his remarks, Amb. Ridwan Mustapha, urged the beneficiaries to make utmost use of the gifts as they are expected to replicate such by giving Zakkat to others. Meanwhile, all the beneficiaries of the 2012 Zakkat received various items such as motor bikes, grinding machines, refrigerators, tricycles and a cash of N50, 000 each. Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Abdulakarim Mohammed thanked the foundation for the gesture and called on others to emulate AlHabibiyyah.

medical checkup. I go there to ensure everything is okay. I am going to see my doctors for some examination then I will come back and continue my work of building a better Ghana”. He was last seen in Ghana on June 3 when he toured the plane

Nigeria in August for a one-day working visit with President Goodluck Jonathan to discuss the recent foreign retail trade brouhaha. Vice President John Dramani Mahama is expected to fill the executive’s functions in the interim.

By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


he walls of fences, buildings, street lamps and billboards at the Federal Secretariat and along the route to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja were yesterday defaced with posters of the wife of the President, Mrs. Patience Jonathan. The poster which carried the bold picture of the Mrs. Jonathan like a star figure in a political campaign, was accompanied by the inscription of the event, “7th Summit of the African First Ladies Peace Mission”, which held yesterday at the nation’s capital. Some respondents who spoke to our reporter on the development described it as a theatre of shame, noting that such dramatic and vulgar display only portrayed the country as wasteful, sycophantic and unserious. Philip Imoh, a civil servant told our reporter that the country only pays attention to issues that were not important to its citizens. He said the money spent on the posters alone was enough to feed thousands of poor people in the FCT. “We have found ourselves in a situation where the government does not care about the poor. The divide between the rich and the poor is getting wider. Those we elected in to power have gone there with their children, leaving us to choose between poverty and death”, Imoh said. Also, Azeez Abubakar, an Abuja based engineer, said the situation is beyond comprehension. “I don’t even know what it signifies. Like so many people here, we were asking the question because it does not make sense to any reasonable person. I even thought she was contesting for the president of the first ladies but I did not see any sign to that effect. It would be recalled that Mrs Jonathan, barely a week ago, was criticised for accepting an appointment as a permanent secretary in Bayelsa state.

Zakkat: Foundation distributes N21m worth of items in 6 years

Jonathan mourns Ghanaian President By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


resident Goodluck Jonathan has expressed shock over the sudden death of President John Atta Mills of Ghana. On behalf of himself, the government and people of Nigeria, President Jonathan yesterday in a statement signed by his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, condoled with late President Mill’s family as well as the government and people of Ghana. The President assured the people of Ghana of the sympathy and solidarity of the people of Nigeria as they mourn late Mills who “did his best during his tenure to carry forward the process of democratic consolidation and socioeconomic development in Ghana.” Mills, who was recently treated in the US for an unspecified condition, has passed away yesterday at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra, the capital of Ghana. Questions about Mill’s health had been swirling for almost a year. Regarding his frequent visits to US hospitals President Mills reportedly said: “I am going for a

crash site at Accra. The President was reported to be crestfallen for seeing the crash site. Critics however said he was looking poorly because he was dragged to that site when he was not feeling well. He was expected to visit

SSS nabs 2 ‘ritual killers’ with head of 7-year-old boy By Lambert Tyem


he State Security Service (SSS) in Abuja, yesterday, paraded two suspected ritual killers (John Yakubu (aka Tambaya) and Ishaya Dakulung with a fresh human head. The two suspects according to the SSS were arrested last Sunday at about 1:30 am along AYA junction of Asokoro District of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), following a tip off. Assistant Director Operations of the Service, Ibrahim Halidu while parading the suspects, narrated that "On 22nd July, 2012 at about 0130hrs at AYA Asokoro, Operatives of this Service arrested two suspected ritual killers with the fresh head of a seven-year-old boy who was later

identified as Samu Danjuma. "They were arrested while they were looking for a buyer, following a tip-off. "The Service has commenced investigation in order to prosecute the duo in a court of law", Mr. Halidu stated. The two suspects both Gbagyi by tribe, admitted commissting of the crime and disclosed that their victim was a neighbour's son in Ungwa Galadima Community, new Karshi of Nasarawa state. John Yakubu alias Tambaya, 25, narrated that he lured the late seven-year-old Samu with N20.00 bread to a stream to bath and that when they got to the stream, he tricked him into the water, strangled the boy and cut his head off. Speaking through an

interpreter, he narrated further that it was Ishaya Dakulung, 30, with a wife and six children that sent him on the deadly mission adding that their client wanted a seven-year-old boy’s head for a handsome financial reward. He denied that the amount was disclosed to him. But Ishaya who claimed he is a mason, denied that it was Tambaya that brought the head to him to look for a buyer. Ishaya further alleged that on the day they were arrested, a man in Abuja city contacted him to bring the human head for him. "The man promised that if I see it he will give me N250,000. It was when we were going to deliver the thing that SSS arrested us", Dakulung said.



Corruption, crime on the rise in Nigeria - Report By Lambert Tyem


non-governmental organisation, CLEEN Foundation, yesterday raised alarm in its 2011/2012 report that crime and official corruption have been on the increase but with no political will by leaders to address it. According to the report, the menace experienced a sharp increase from 2010 to 2012. During the public presentation of the report, the foundation said National Crime Victimisation and Safety Survey also revealed that

bribery and corruption among public officials was more prevalent in government institutions with significant percentages with the police topping the list with 76%, Immigration 66, custom 65, prisons 52, Road Safety 51, EFCC 49 and the State Security Service 47. Executive director of CLEEN, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, who presented the report disclosed that there was an upsurge in bribery and corruption among governmental officials in Nigeria. "Nearly one out of every four respondents, 24 per cent attested paying bribe or being asked to pay

bribe by government officials before services could be rendered to them. "In terms of trends, the survey showed that demand for bribe increased from 20 per cent in 2011 to 24 per cent in 2012". The survey also showed that Kebbi, Ebonyi, Kwara, Ondo, Edo, Bauchi, FCT, Ekiti, Sokoto and Gombe states ranked highest in bribery and corruption among their public officials while Taraba, Adamawa and Kaduna being the lowest. The survey also showed a steady rise in armed robbery from

11 percent in 2011 to 17 percent in 2012. According to the survey, incidents of armed robbery are more prevalent in Edo, Anambra, and Ondo states. Jigawa and Kwara recorded the lowest. Although theft of mobile phones declined from 50 percent in 2011 to 47 percent in 2012, it has remained the most perpetrated crime committed in the country. The survey also showed that most Nigerians want the federal government to go into dialogue with the Boko Haram sect in the country.

Katsina poly students protest lecturers’ strike From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


housands of students of the Hassan Usman Katsina Polytechnic, Katsina staged a peaceful demonstration over a strike action embarked upon by their lecturers, yesterday. The students led by officials of the student Union Government (SUG) of the institution started the demonstration from the premises of the institution until they were stopped by a combined team of security agencies at the gate while attempting to move to the metropolis. Speaking with newsmen, President of the student union of the institution, Comrade Muhammad Sada noted that the students have unanimously condemned the strike action. Sada who described the government handling of the strike action as unfortunate, lamented that the timing of the strike action a day after they started their examinations was wicked. "We want the state government to quickly settle our lecturers demands. How can they teach us when they are not comfortable. The government should device mechanism to always engage them in dialogue rather than resorting to strike action", he added. The student leader alleged that of all the institutions in the state, the polytechnic was the oldest but according to him "it is the most neglected with dilapidated buildings and poor sanitation". Similaly, Sada alleged that the students have no potable drinking water while hostels, mosques, common rooms were not properly kept therefore exposing them to diseases. Responding, the special adviser on high education to the state governor, Dr. Garba Shehu Matazu noted that the state governor has expressed sadness over the unfortunate incidence. He disclosed that the governor at a meeting with all the stakeholders has directed for the immediate release of the remaining 50 of the union dues which was one of the demands of the lecturers.

Niger gov bemoans oil bunkering From Iliya Garba, Minna


he Niger state governor, Dr. Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu has joined President Goodluck Jonathan in weeping over oil theft in the country, blaming it for the financial problems confronting the country. Speaking shortly after he played host to the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), Mr. John Kennedy Okpara, Governor Aliyu said oil bunkering has negatively affected the Nigerian economy. The financial setback facing Nigeria, he said, was largely caused by bunkering in collaborating with associates at both local and state level to the disadvantage of the larger society. He said, “For the past three to four months now, things have been dwindling from the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), from what we have been getting and I know that people may not want to really talk about it”. Nigerians need to turn a new leaf when it comes to issues of collective national interest, saying, “It is more to do with our behaviours as Nigerians and in particular the lamentation of President Jonathan on the oil theft. It is not only like we keep saying security and protection of lives and properties but ensuring that people do not steal”.

Arms factory discovered in Nasarawa By Joy Baba L-R: Iliya Noma and Bello Bulus Agison, two suspected gunrunners paraded by the Nigerian Army, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Joy Baba

Govs demand $2bn from excess crude account By Abdulwahab Isa


he 36 state governors are agitating for fresh withdrawal of funds from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) to the tune of $2 billion, Central Bank Governor (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi disclosed yesterday. The ECA currently stands at $5.3 billion and a further depletion as demanded by the governors would leave a balance of $3.3 billion only. This comes as CBN governor raised fresh alarm on the vulnerability of Nigeria’s economy to global shock, prompting the apex bank to adopt more tightening measures yesterday. Sanusi confirmed the governors’ fresh request yesterday shortly after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting that approved further aggressive tightening measures to protect the domestic economy against the adverse impact of the euro zone debts and global economy crises. He painted a gloomy picture of an economy vulnerable to shocks and said the MPC, after analysing economy trend, unanimously

*Economy is in danger – CBN resolved raising Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) by an unexpected 400bps from 8% to 12%. However, the key policy rate, the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), was kept on hold at 12%. The corridor of +/-200bps around the MPR was left unchanged. By adjusting the CRR rather than the MPR, the CBN has effected far more aggressive tightening than would otherwise have been the case. The last time the CRR was raised by this magnitude, was October 2011, it is estimated that close to N800bn (up to $5bn) of liquidity was withdrawn from the domestic banking sector. In a move clearly aimed at supporting the Nigerian naira (NGN) exchange rate, limits on net open foreign exchange positions were also cut to a maximum of 1% of equity capital, from 3%. The CBN governor, who referred to yesterday MPC as the most difficult he ever had to lead, expressed worry over rising headline inflation which he attributed to electricity tariff increases and higher government

borrowing . Sanusi said: “The excess crude account has nosed up but I’m aware the governors have asked for $2billion out of it. So, that build up is probably going to be depleted very soon. You have already seen the pressure of the government to improve on the provisions of the budget. So we should see some addition of government spending in the second quarter of the year. All of these are going to add pressure on the resources. It’s a bit challenge; it’s a difficult situation.” He added: “The slowdown in global economic activities would have serious implications for the Nigeria economy in the following respect: a softening in the demand for oil and subsequently decline in oil revenue; reduction in foreign exchange earnings which would impair the build-up of external reserves and consequently exert pressure on exchange rate; increased budget deficit as government would not be able realise its revenue projection, and increased public sector borrowing to finance expenditure outlays”.


uards Brigade of the Nigeria Army yesterday revealed that it has discovered a local manufacturing factory for arms and ammunition in Takpa village, Nasarawa Eggon local government area of Nasarawa state. This was made known by the Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Brig. Gen. Bola Koleoso, who was represented by Lt. Col. Aliyu Yusuf. Brigadier Koleoso, disclosed that the suspects, Mr. Bello Bulus Agison and Mr. Iliya Noma were arrested on Saturday, July 21, 2012, for being in possession of one locally made single barrel pump action gun in Akwanga. He said they were apprehended at a checkpoint, while driving a blue Toyota Corolla car, with registration number, CU 683 RBC. The DAPR further said that the suspects confessed to have bought the gun from one Mr. Adogi Akolo in Takpa village of Nassarawa Eggon local government of the state, prompting the army to invade the said house, where they found locally made pistol, which he said also led them to discover the factory with heavy weapons and equipment. Though the culprit could not be found at the time of the raid, Koleoso listed the items recovered in the raid to include 11 dane guns, 2 locally made pistols, 1 welding machine, 3 hand drilling machines and 3 bench devices.



Reps not planning to impeach Jonathan-Emodi By Richard Ihediwa


ontrary to media reports that members of the House of Representatives were planning to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan over the

Muslim women urged to attend Ramadan Tafsir From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


uslim women have been charged to make it mandatory in attending Tafsir sermons throughout the Ramadan period as a demonstration of responsibility. The Commissioner for Women Affairs, Bauchi state Hajia Talatu Mohammed Barwa stated this while flagging-off the distribution of food items to women in Zalanga village, Ganjuwa LGA of the state yesterday. According to her, women as principal teachers of the home, require spiritual education for this earth and the hereafter. She said the food distribution exercise would cover all the 20 LGA's of the state as council chairmen have been contacted to ensure its success through various communities in their respective areas as a demonstration of Yuguda administration commitment to the plight of women.

N32.8bn pension scam: Appeal court strikes out Dangabar's application By Sunday Ejike Benjamin he Court of Appeal, Abuja has dismissed an application filed by Esai Dangabar, one of the six suspects standing trial for allegedly defrauding the Police Pension Office of N32.8 billion. Dangabar filed the application, challenging the decision of Justice Lawal Gumi of the Abuja High Court which ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to attach and take possession of his assets and to freeze his bank accounts. According to the order, "all the bank accounts currently being operated and maintained by Inuwa Wada at Keystone and Zenith Bank all totaling 11 are hereby temporarily frozen until the determination of the charge Number FCT/Cr/64/2012. "Similarly, all the bank accounts presently being operated and maintained by Esai Dangabar, Atiku A. Kigo and Veronica Onyegbula in the following banks: EcoBank, FCMB, Access Bank, Sky Bank, Fortis Micro FinanceBank, Aso Savings, GTB, Main Street Bank and Wema Bank are herby temporarily frozen pending the hearing and determination of all the said criminal charge No. FCT/64/2012 presently pending before this court", the Judge ruled


implementation of the 2012 budget, the Presidential Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Senator Joy Emodi has said there was never such a move in the Lower House. Emodi, in an interview at the National Assembly yesterday, said there was no motion on impeachment before the House adding that the House never voted or arrived at a resolution on impeachment whatsoever. She observed that the original motion of the House of Representatives had only two

prayers and only one was accepted by the House which had nothing to do with the impeachment threat being reported in the media. Emordi said the House was only concerned with the implementation of the 2012 budget with regards to disbursements to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs). She reiterated that only Minority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila made a passing mention of the impeachment process in his contributions to the debate. According to her, "The original

motion had only two prayers and after deliberations and an amendment by Hon. Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi, only one prayer was carried by the House and it had nothing to do with impeachment threat. "What actually happened during the debate on budget implementation was that the minority leader, in his contribution, mentioned impeachment which was not even put to vote. At no time did the House resolve to impeach the President.

Oyo to recruit 1,000 health workers From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


overnor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has approved the immediate recruitment of over 1,000 health workers to address shortage of staff across the state secondary healthcare system. The chairman, Oyo State Hospital Management Board (OYSHMB), Alhaji Olayide Abas disclosed this to newsmen at 2012 Board Press Briefing held at Ministry of Information, Secretariat, Ibadan. According to him, "the state governor has mandated us to recruit 1,000 health workers and hospital staff of various categories in improving healthcare services in the state. He further disclosed that, the process to the exercise had started, and assured that the effect would soon be seen in many state hospitals adding that it would be continuous as the need arises. Alhaji Abas said that the recruiters would engage house officers and fully utilize facilities to train specialist in areas where hospital have been accredited.

Boko Haram: Ndume gets court's nod for lesser hajj By Sunday Ejike Benjamin

A L-R Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, and Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Rueben Abati, briefing journalists on presentation of matters arising from the 2012 approved budget to President Goodluck Jonathan, at the State House, in Abuja yesterday. Photos: Joe Oroye

Nasarawa launches FG fertiliser scheme From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


he Nasarawa state government has launched its farm inputs distribution programme, under the Growth Enhancement Scheme of the agricultural transformation agenda of the Federal Government, for this year's cropping season. Flagging-off the exercise

yesterday in Awe, headquarters of Awe local government area of the state, Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura, commended the FG for the initiative, adding that the presence of , Engr. Sunday Edibo, Regional Director, North central, who stood in for the Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr. Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina, underscored

the commitment of the Federal Government to enhance agricultural productivity. Describing the state as agricultural, Al-makura observed that 80 percent of the population are farmers, with the economy of the state depending to a large extent on agriculture, with 60 percent of the total land mass of the state being arable.

Zamfara education collapsing, says committee chairman From Salisu Zakari Maradun, Gusau


he Zamfara state Primary Education Assessment Committee has submitted its report to the governor containing stunning discoveries with majority of the pupils studying in mosques and under trees. The chairman of the committee, Professor Tukur Adamu while presenting the

report, explained that virtually all the schools in the state are on the verge of collapsing. He said there is gross inadequacy of classrooms, office accommodation, furniture, recreational facilities, libraries, instructional materials and staff houses. According to the committee, the gross enrolment rate (GER) for male pupils in the state primary schools stood at 42.47 percent while GER for the female was28.6

percent. He said there is marked difference in the enrolment between urban and rural areas. While the classes are overcrowded in the urban schools, they are virtually empty in the rural schools. Adamu added that the committee also discovered that out of the 8,660 teaching staff in the state, only 3,113 which is equivalent to 35.95percent are qualified to teach, the remaining are not qualified.

Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the release of Sen. Mohammed Ndume's travel documents to him to enable him travel to Saudi Arabia to perform Umra or the lesser hajj. Ndume, a serving senator from Borno, is standing trial for allegedly financing the activities of the Boko Haram sect. Judge Gabriel Kolawole, in his ruling yesterday said the relief was granted to allow the accused to perform the Islamic religious rites. Kolawole said the prosecution failed to show how the accused's trip to the Holy Land would breach the country's security. The judge stated: "After thorough study of the application and the preliminary objections that went with it, I then come to the conclusion that the applicant be allowed to perform his religious rites". However, the court refused to grant Ndume its permission to travel abroad for medical checkup. Kolawole ruled: "I am not particularly convinced that the court should grant the prayer of the accused person in order to travel for medical checkup. This is because the applicant has failed to state the nature of illness, referral letter or better still, convince the court of lack of hospitals, doctors or equipment to handle the case locally‌ "The Registrar of the Court is hereby ordered to release the travel documents of the accused person to enable him exit the country to perform the lesser hajj in Mecca between Aug. 1 and Aug. 30. "If the accused undergoes medical checkup, he must, within 72 hours of his return, furnish the court and the prosecutor with the progress report from the Saudi-German Specialist Hospital.''



L-R: Co-Chairperson, Religions for Peace, Abuja Women of Faith Network, Rev Sr Agatha Chikelue, Assistant Parish Priest, Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Cathedral Abuja, Rev Fr Robert Achiada, Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Most Rev John Onaiyekan, and the Chief Imam of Al-habibiyyah Mosque, Alhaji Fuad Adeyemi, during the Breaking of Fast (Iftar), on Monday, at AlHabibiyyah mosque, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

L-R: Minister of State for Education, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, Anambra state Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr. Ahmed Modibbo, and the state Deputy Governor, Mr Emeka Sibeudu, with pupils, during the flag-off of distributions of instructional materials for basic education institutions in South-East, yesterday in Awka, Anambra state. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

R-L: Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Chief Olajumoke Akinjide, Secretary of Area Council Services Secretariat (ACSS), Barrister Yahaya Alhassan Ibrahim, and the Ona of Abaji and Chairman, Council of Chiefs in FCT, Alhaji Adamu Baba Yunusa, during an official meeting with the royal father by the minister, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

L-R: Member, Experts Committee, African First Ladies Peace Mission, Harriet Turay of Sierra Leone, Chairman of the committee, Dr. Asmau Abdulkadir, Director-General, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Dr. Joseph Golwa, and Nchedi Moripe of Republic of South Africa, during the committee’s meeting, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye


Kogi CP blames residents for upsurge in crime From Sam Egwu, lokoja


ommissioner of Police (CP), Kogi state, Muhammed Musa Katsina, has accused residents of not exposing criminals in their domains, saying this was responsible for the rising crime waves in the state. Katsina made the assertion following the attack on Unity Bank and a police station at Iyara in Ijumu Local government of the state. The CP stated this in his office yesterday while briefing journalists on the activities of the command. He stressed that a situation where some of the affected communities were not willing to divulge information to the police will hamper the onslaught against criminals. Katsina said: “While some communities in some parts of the state are cooperating with the police, others refused to cooperate with us. The success recorded in the discovery of bomb factory in some parts of the state was as a result of the cooperation from the public.” He said the police have nabbed one suspect over the robbery incident but dispelled the rumor that two dead bodies were found at the scene of the crime.

NYSC urges employers to treat corps members as wards


he Adamawa state Director of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Hudu Taura, yesterday called on employers of corps members in the state to treat them as their wards. Taura, who made the call in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yola, said that the call became necessary because of the poor attitude of some employers to the corps members. He said: “At this point, I am reminding all employers of corps members in the state that the welfare of the members should be given very serious priority. You should receive and treat them as your wards and make them comfortable.” He said that there was need for both the government and private employers to provide accommodation and transport allowance to the corps members serving in with them. But Taura tasked the corps members to voluntarily involve themselves in community development services with the objective of leaving a legacy behind. He also advised them to join the crusade of fighting against HIV/ AIDS, anti-corruption campaign, war against drug addiction and the achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He commended the support given to the NYSC by the state government and also the fatherly advice by the Lamido of Adamawa. (NAN)


Corps members die in Benue auto crash From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


wo National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members were confirmed dead and 12 others seriously injured in an auto crash that occurred yesterday in Aliade, Gwer local government area of Benue State.

The corps members were travelling in a 14-seater bus belonging to Anglican Church, Diocese of Otukpo. They had just completed their orientation programme in Wannune, Tarka local government of the state and were heading for their place of primary assignment in Otukpo

when the accident occurred. Eyewitnesses attributed the ghastly accident to overspeeding. The injured were rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi and St. Vincent hospital, Aliade. Governor Gabriel Suswam visited the scene of the accident

after flagging off the sales and distribution of fertilizer at Igbor, close to Aliade. He also proceeded to see the injured corps members at St. Vincent where he directed that they be moved to Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi for proper medical attention.

L-R: Chairman, Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments, Mr Aigboje AigImoukuede, submitting the committee's report to President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Delta communities threaten pipeline project over compensation From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


he Gbaramatu and Ugborode communities in Delta State have threatened to disrupt the Escravos-Warri-Lagos Gas pipeline project over alleged delay in paying compensations for land use by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The communities stated this

yesterday in Warri through a group, the Niger Delta Indigenous Movement for Radical Change (NDIMRC), stressing that they deserved a better deal from the project owners - the NNPC and Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL). At a media conference, Secretary, NDIMRC, Nelly Emma; who spoke alongside the group’s President, John Sailor and Public Relations Officer,

Mukoro Stanley, claimed that the management of NNPC and Chevron had agreed to meet the demands of both communities but expressed surprise that the firm handling the pipeline project went back to site despite both companies not meeting the people’s demands. Emma said that now that the first phase of the project had been completed, the NNPC has refused to fulfill its own part of the

Police nab suspected cultists in Nasarawa


he Nasarawa State Police Command has arrested 11 persons suspected to be members of a secret cult. Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the command, Mr. Michael Adah, disclosed this to newsmen yesterday in Lafia. Adah said the suspected cultists were arrested on Sunday at Tudun Kauri, a surburb of Lafia, following reports of incessant criminal activities in the area. He said during a raid on the hideout of the suspects by the police, various dangerous weapons including, clubs, machetes, knives and axes were recovered. Adah said the suspects were

being interrogated at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the command and that, if found culpable, they would be prosecuted accordingly. He charged members of the public to cooperate with the police by providing useful information that would lead to the arrest of criminals and rid the state of criminal elements. Meanwhile, residents of Ombi 1, community around the Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Lafia, have complained about the spate of armed robbery in the area in recent weeks. Mr Ismail Ubaba, the Ward Head of the community, told newsmen yesterday in Lafia that

the rate of criminality in the area was becoming worrisome. Ubaba said: “These days, we hardly sleep as the hoodlums go from street to street, house to house robbing people of their valuables. “They were even in my house last Wednesday where they robbed members of my family and also attempted to stab my daughter. “ He urged landlords in the area to be mindful of the kind of people they admitted into their houses as tenants as some criminals disguised as students. Ubaba appealed to the state government and the security agencies to come to their aid by deploying more security operatives to the area. (NAN)

bargain. He added: “We are aware that the first phase of the Gas Pipeline project has been completed and gas is now flowing through the pipeline that our people gave peace a chance for its completion. We want to warn that we will mobilise against the smooth operations of the pipeline if the promises made to the host communities are not fulfilled within the next 21 days. NNPC should not deceive the people.” According to Emma, “the management of NNPC should stop taking the people for granted. Our findings have shown that in 2007, the NNPC promised the Gbaramatu people five boreholes. The contractor only did one because he was not paid while nothing was done at all about the boreholes for Ugborode. These unfulfilled promises are capable of creating tension in the Niger Delta. We are therefore appealing to the new GMD of the NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, to meet the demands of the host communities of the EscravosWarri-Lagos Gas Pipeline project because the EGTL project is too important to the Federal Government.”



Deltans spit fire over pipeline compensation From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


n alleged delay by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to pay compensation to Gbaramatu and Ugborode communities in Delta state has stirred up anger among the rural dwellers in the state. The communities have also threatened to protest against the operations of the new Escravos-

Warri-Lagos Gas pipeline. Expressing their anger through a group called Niger Delta Indigenous Movement for Radical Change (NDIMRC), they told journalists in Warri that they deserve a better deal from both the NNPC and Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL). Mr. Nelly Emma, secretary, John Sailor, president and Mukoro Stanley, Public Relations Officer for the communities, recalled that the

management of NNPC and Chevron had earlier agreed to meet the demands of the Gbaramatu and Ugborode people and expressed surprise that the firm handling the pipeline project was allowed to go back to site without due process. They said that now that the first phase of the pipeline project has been completed, NNPC has refused to fulfill its own part of the

bargain in the project designed to boost power supply nationwide. “NNPC should not deceive the people; people of the Niger Delta region should not be fooled. We want to recall the promises made by the Group Executive Director, Gas and Power of NNPC, Dr. David Ige to the peace-loving people of Gbaramatu and Ugborode when he visited the royal father of Gbaramatu Kingdom”.

He added that; “We are aware that the first phase of the gas pipeline project has been completed and gas is now flowing through the pipeline that our people gave peace a chance for its completion”. “We want to warn that we will mobilise to protest against the smooth operations of the pipeline if the promises made to the host communities are not fulfilled within the next 21 days”.

Kwara to boost capacity in tech. colleges From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


L-R: Commissioner, Police Service Commission, Dr. Otive Igbuzor, Country Director, MacArthur Foundation, Dr. Kole Shettima, and Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, during the 2012 National Crimes and Safety Survey organised by CLEEN Foundation, yesterday in Abuja. PHOTO: JOE OROYE

Foundation raises alarm over Hajj racketeering By Muhammad Sada


n independent group that seeks reforms in Hajj operations in Nigeria, the Hujaj Rights Independent Monitoring Foundation (HURIM Foundation) has raised alarm over what it described as Hajj racketeering, seat hoarding and “corruption in the House of God”. The HURIM Foundation said only few seats have so far been sold to intending pilgrims, while the racketeers hold unto the remaining seats to be sold at a double costs weeks or months to Hajj airlift. A statement signed by the

Foundation’s Executive Director Malam Mohammed B. Umar said: “The Hajj authorities, which we believe is aware of the hoarding should quickly review its policy and start collating data of pilgrims who have paid from states”. The Foundation said it is ready to support the authorities with medical doctors and other service personnel in the holy land. “We would partner with Hajj authorities and see what other areas we can come in. We are concerned about having a hitchfree Hajj, because Nigeria has one of the largest pilgrims in the world”, the statement said.

“Suffice it to say that Hajj operation in Nigeria is faced with several problems which include: Seat hoarding, unnecessary bureaucracy, delay in flight, accommodation problems, lack of medical personnel, lack of awareness and flagrant abuse of the law, among others,” it said. The statement said the aims of the Foundation include: To monitor, evaluate and report on the standard level of services expected of Hajj service providers to Nigerian Muslim pilgrims in all areas of Hajj operation. Others are: To support Hajj Service providers and other

relevant stakeholders in improving their service level to the pilgrims through such programmes as seminars, workshops and enlightenment campaigns. The group also said it would assist victims of violation in getting remedies through the instrumentality of law or such other methods available to the Foundation. “Nigeria’s image must not be taken for granted. Collectively as officials and as pilgrims, we must learn to do things in the most acceptable way in Nigeria and in the holy land,” it added.

Yuguda charges corps members to socialise with host communities From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Bauchi state governor, Malam Isa Yuguda has charged corps members to interact freely with their host communities so as to achieve the set objectives of the scheme. Yuguda gave the charge at the closing ceremony for the 2012 Batch B NYSC orientation exercise at the Wailo NYSC Camp, Bauchi,

saying ‘as corps members you have to stand firm on the challenges that will come your way against mutual relationship with your host communities’. Governor Yuguda who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Aminu Saleh, urged the corps members to crush the sharp divides that existed between different communities by ensuring that they eschew

sentiments and embrace religious tolerance. He then recalled that previous batches of NYSC in the state have contributed immensely in the education, healthcare delivery, agriculture and the provision of social amenities in the state and warned them against anti-social elements whose aim is to cause disturbance and confusion in the state.

In his remarks, the Bauchi state NYSC Coordinator, Mr. Nuhu Kwaghe said the aim of the orientation course is to launch the corps members into the scheme and acquaint them with the mission and vision of NYSC as well as instilling in them the virtues of discipline, nationalism, sense of resilience and sacrifice for the enormous task of nation building.

o restore the glory of the technical schools in Kwara state, the state government has created a separate ministry to cater for technical and science colleges. This development, according to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, would prepare students and future leaders to be job creators and not job seekers. Briefing journalists in Ilorin, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, disclosed that the state executive council has approved the carving out of the Ministry of Technology from the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development as part of efforts to promote qualitative science education in the state. Gold said the new ministry will cater for all the state-owned tertiary institutions such as the Kwara State University, Kwara State Polytechnic, College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies as well as the State Scholarship Board. The chief scribe explained that the creation of the new ministry became expedient because the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development was too large for effective and efficient service delivery.

Collaboration against exam malpractices advocated in Kogi From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


he acting chairman of Kogi state Teaching Service Commission (TSC), Alhaji Salau Aliu has stressed the need for collaborative efforts between government, teachers and parents to combat examination malpractices in the state. The chairman, who disclosed this in an interview in his office yesterday, noted "it is regrettable that Kogi now tops the list of states in examination malpractices in the country despite all efforts by the present administration to curtail it". While commending the state governor, Captain Idris Wada for the interest he has so far shown in the educational development of the state, he praised the governor for the approval for the procurement of three Hilux vans, for the inspection of schools, approval for recruitment of teachers and the planned relocation of the office to a permanent accommodation.



Kebbi NDE will train 80 youths on skills acquisition From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


he Kebbi state Coordinator, National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Mohammed Altine Zogirma, has said that arrangements have been concluded to train 80 tertiary and secondary school leavers across the state. Addressing newsmen yesterday, Zogirma said the training which will be categorised into theoretical and practical aspects. “On completion of the four month training, the youths would now write their feasibility reports which will determine if NDE will grant them loans, which was formerly between N100,000 to N250,000, he said. The financial assistance is intended to make the trained youths set up their farms, while another way the NDE also assists the trained youths according to the state coordinator was linking them with financial institutions like the Nigerian Agricultural Development Bank (NACB) to get loans”, he said. He emphasised that the scheme will also boosting food production in the state and Nigeria at large in order to provide employment to teeming youths in the country.

2012 Hajj: Taraba procures accommodation for pilgrims From Yusha’u Alhassan, Jalingo


he Taraba state Muslims Pilgrims Welfare Board has secured standard accommodation in Mecca for this year’s pilgrimage. Executive Secretary of the Board, Habibu Almakki Hassan made this known while speaking with our reporter reporter in Jalingo. Almakki said the fcility had the capacity of accommodating 1,750 pilgrims with eight pilgrims to share one toilet. He said the board in conjunction with the National Hajj Commission inspected the houses and signed an agreement with the Ministry of Hajj in Saudi Arabia. The executive secretary said officials of the board would soon go for the second pre-visit to Saudi Arabia to ensure that the accommodation secured was intact. He said the board would also make arrangement for the feeding of pilgrims and tents at Minna near Jammrat. Almakki said a stakeholders meeting would be held to look for ways of improving in the successes recorded in previous Hajj operations in the state. He expressed satisfaction with the response by intending pilgrims towards the payment of their Hajj fares and urged them to seek knowledge on how to perform an acceptable pilgrimage.

L-R: Senator Ahmadu Ali, wife of former Vice-President, Hajiya Titi Abubakar, and Migration Adviser, Embassy of Switzerland to Nigeria, Chad and Niger, Mr. Andreas Broger, during the presentation of a book titled “Adoption of Children in Nigeria”, yesterday in Abuja. PHOTO: MAHMUD ISA

Opposition flays Yuguda’s swearing-in of aide in Abuja From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in Bauchi state has condemned the swearing-in of the new Principal Private Secretary to the Governor, Malam Isa Yuguda in Abuja yesterday on Monday. The gubernatorial candidate under the platform of the CPC in last year’s governorship election in the state, Hon Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, the swearing-in of an aide in Abuja who is to serve in Bauchi; saying Governor Yuguda had become afraid of Bauchi people. “I am telling you this are his

own way of deceit; the other time he appointed number of aides that comprises PAs, SSAs, DGs, where are they now? He sacked them all. Instead of him to use the meager resources got from the federation allocation on meaningful projects that will touch the lives of his people, he prefers embarking on misplaced priorities,” Tuggar said. “All I know is that Yuguda is scared to enter Bauchi anyhow; as governor it’s a pity. I am not against him appointing anybody from the state but let him go back to the state and work”. Also reacting, the chairman,

Caretaker Committee of the CPC, Alhaji Ali Saidu, said “all we know is that Isa Yuguda is not Bauchi state governor because out 136 days, Yuguda will stay in Bauchi for only six days. You can’t imagine a governor of state who is always in Abuja doing what? Is he governing Abuja or he was voted in by Abuja People to be a governor in Bauchi”? “We always assume we don’t have a governor in Bauchi state, actually I don’t know what the constitution says about swearingin of aide who is expected to serve in Bauchi in Abuja…” he said. According to Saidu, Governor

Isa Yuguda is not performing his function as governor in Bauchi state, all he does is to live in Abuja and come in to Bauchi go back that very day, what he doing is just like mixing fura da giya – mixing milk delicacy with alcohol in one cup; the whole state is in a sorry state. It would be recalled that Governor Yuguda ha on Moday in Abuja, sworn-in Adamu Alkali as his principal private secrtary. His media spokesman, Ishola Michael Adeyemi had told our reporter that the governor had the prerogative to work from anywhere.

NRC increases train services to cushion hardship on 3rd Mainland Bridge From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


esidents of Lagos and some parts of Ogun states who hitherto had to go through agonising hours in the traffic as a result of the closure of the Third Mainland Bridge enroute the Island now have an alternative with the increment in the number of passenger trains within the metropolis by the Nigerian Railway Cooperation (NRC). The service which commenced on Monday, the NRC said, is in fulfillment of its earlier promise to increase the frequency of passenger trains in corresponding manner to the increase in passenger volume as a response to the hardship caused by the closure and rehabilitation

of the bridge. The cooperation’s Managing Director, Engr. Adeseyi Sijuwade, told journalists that the increased of its passenger trains within Lagos metropolis from 12 to 16 daily will help reduce the increase in man hour lost in traffic following the rehabilitation work. A breakdown of the train schedule shows that the first passenger train will take off from Agbado which have adjoining communities in both states by 5.15am and arrives Iddo Terminus by 6.29a.m while the second train moves from Ijoko by 5.40am to arrive Iddo by 7.29am. The third train takes off from Ijoko by 6.20a.m and arrives Apapa by 8.18am with the fourth and fifth trains beginning their

journey from Ijoko by 7.00am and 9.35am to arrive Iddo, one after the other, by 8.40.m and 11.17am respectively. Sijuwade said the sixth will move from Ijoko by 10.20am to arrive Iddo by 11.56am with the seventh train departing Ijoko 2.15 pm for Apapa while the eight train leaves Ijoko by 4.15p.m and arrives Iddo by 5.56pm. From Iddo, two passenger trains leave for Ijoko by 07.00am and 07.40am to arrive Ijoko by 08.39am and 09.39am respectively while another leaves Apapa by 12.00 noon and arrives Ijoko by 1.48pm. Another train leaves Iddo by 2.00pm and arrive Ijoko by 3.36pm; Iddo releases the 13th train for the day by 4.15pm to

arrive Ijoko by 5.51pm as the 14th train leaves Apapa by 5.40pm which arrives Ijoko by 7.28pm. The 15th and 16th trains leave Iddo by 6.30pm and 7.15pm to arrive Ijoko by 8.06pm and 8.51pm respectively. Each of the passenger trains is a combination of economy and airconditioned coaches being a strategic approach aimed at accommodating both the commuting masses and high networth passengers. NRC said with the increase in the frequency of mass transit trains within Lagos metropolis, commuters can ride within a transit time of one hour thirty minutes on a one-way ticket of N150 for economy class and N500 for business class.





Libya: A significant step towards pluralism

ibyans, on July 7, took the first significant step towards transforming their society from one dominated by one manMuammar Gaddafi for 42 years – to one in which everyone will have a say in the way it is governed. That day, they voted to elect a 200strong parliament called the National General Congress whose tasks will be to name an interim government to steer the country through a one-year transition period during which a new constitution will be drafted and fresh elections held. Apart from its novelty (under Gaddafi, there were no elections in the four decades of his rule), the parliamentary election threw up many surprises. One, there was no one dominant party; the National Alliance Forces, led by former interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril won the most seats - 39 of the 80 contested for by political parties, giving it just 25% of the seats in the new parliament but then it is a coalition of over 40 parties. The other 120 seats were contested by independents. Second, the Muslim Brotherhood came a distant second with 17 seats, suggesting a strong liberal ideological tendency across the country; over 3,000 candidates vied for the 200 seats, made up of men, women, liberals, Islamists,

etc. Thirdly, 32 of the 200 who will make up the new legislature will be women who, it is believed, will play a critical role in the drafting of a new constitution. However, we must say that pulling off a commendable peaceful

In the emerging Libya, everyone must be equal before the law. Happily, the country’s Supreme Court has demonstrated that it would not go for anything less by killing a recent law banning the glorification of Gaddafi, saying it breached Libyans’ right of free speech election is just one step towards rebuilding Libya from a “domain of one man” to one of many. It means drafting a new constitution, defining the place of religion in a state whose population has shown a proclivity towards secularism and deciding how to share its oil wealth, an issue at the very heart of the revolution that overthrew Gaddafi

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”

last year. This is a daunting task, but one that can be surmounted. First, the new leaders must begin to build trust among the different sections of the population, but more importantly, the several armed militias that the revolution threw up must be reined in and to do that it must be shown that the political leaders can be trusted; secondly, the culture of accountability must be allowed to take roots, something unheard of in the Gaddafi years. Thirdly, the rights of every Libyan must be protected; this means that there must be respect for the rule of law that defends the innocent and punishes the guilty. We want to point out that, at present, there are over 5,000 detainees under the control of the militias; these deserve a quick judicial review; there must be no political trials which single out Gaddafi loyalists for prosecution but protects anti-Gaddafi elements who have committed crimes. In the emerging Libya, everyone must be equal before the law. Happily, the country’s Supreme Court has demonstrated that it would not go for anything less by killing a recent law banning the glorification of Gaddafi, saying it breached Libyans’ right of free speech. It is a good start and we pray it is sustained.










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


By Abdulrazaq Magaji


mad scramble for Nigeria has been underway since 1999. The name of the game is called privatisation. It was a programme put in place to dispose of some 1,000 state-owned enterprises and institutional buildings to a few highly placed Nigerians and their foreign collaborators. The exercise has never been transparent; it was not intended to be anyway. So far, it has been characterised, in typical Nigerian fashion, by greed and avarice. While privatisation may not be entirely dismissed, the manner in which it has so far been implemented in Nigeria leaves a sour taste in the mouth. For decades, Nigerians have been contending with many nonperforming state run enterprises and past efforts to stem the tide failed to turn things around. But while Nigerians knew this and more, and welcomed any moves at repositioning these money guzzlers, they hardly knew former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, had unpatriotic plans when he labelled all state run enterprises as corrupt and promised to breathe fresh life into them. Thereafter, the government proceeded on a frenzied and incoherent privatisation exercise that has continued to be the source of embarrassment and shame to Nigerians. Rather than handing over the enterprises to efficient private investors with the requisite technical knowhow and experience, the government proceeded on an exercise that was largely shrouded in secrecy and bereft of even the semblance of transparency. Most of the enterprises, including institutional buildings, were cornered by shady investors and their collaborators in high places in government. Even some of its most vociferous proponents believe so many things have gone wrong with the privatisation exercise. In an unusual admission of failure, the Bureau of Public Enterprise By Akin Adesokan


nce upon a time in Oyo, there was an onigbajamo, that is, a professional barber, who worked the streets of the downtown area. You knew he was in the neighborhood the moment you heard the call-out about his diverse skills: the clean shave, beard trimming, youngster’s styles, Rico Bay, and the like. Only after having reeled out his services in this way did he turn to acknowledge the environment, by greeting the people around him. I never lived in Isale Oyo, but have been privileged to audit public readings by the poet Adebayo Faleti, a native of Oyo, who used the style of the barber to announce his act. Once at the podium, the writer went right ahead to read a few short pieces without preambles, explanations, or justifications, without providing a context. After two or three short poems or excerpts Faleti, with a peasant’s demeanor, would then explain why he has chosen to act thus. One day, the barber was confronted with a question on the rudeness of this approach. He


The scramble for Nigeria technical knowhow for the big job it was saddled with. After months of squabbles with the local branch of the iron and steel workers union, Nigerians woke up one day to discover that vital components of the company had been dismantled and shipped out of the country. All an embarassed federal government did was to query SOLGAS. The outcome of the

(BPE) the body charged with overseeing the privatisation exercise recently revealed that a miserly 10 percent of the 400 hundred privatised firms in Nigeria are properly functioning. Even at that, many sneering Nigerians and experts hotly dispute this figure. One of the early signs that Obasanjo presided over a monumental fraud in the name of privatisation broke two months after he eased himself out of office following a failed bid to elongate his tenure. While on hand to receive a delegation from the United States Department of Energy on 17 July 2007, then director-general of the BPE, Irene Chigbue, was still maintaining that the handing over of Port Harcourt Refinery Company and Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company to Blue Star Oil Services Limited was a transparent exercise which, in her words, resulted from ‘a complex five-year transaction process conducted subject to international best practice and following the adoption of a multiple-bidder competitive tender process’. Nigerians knew Mrs. Chigbue was being economical with the truth as the privatisation of the refineries, like other hastily conducted ones in the twilight of the Obasanjo administration, was not transparent and apparently carried out to reward friends and loyalists of then outgoing President Obasanjo. The flawed transaction surrounding the refineries is just one of many examples of the haphazard implementation of the privatisation policy. As if to confirm the fear of Nigerians, the privatisation exercise, right from the beginning, has been bogged down by greed, avarice and absence of transparency. These are evident in the sale of institutional buildings such as the Apo

Legislative Quarters under the guise of the monetisation programme, the ‘concessioning’ of the National Theatre, Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos International Trade Fair Complex and the stalled sale of Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), as well as reforms in the ports, and power and

oil sectors. For similar reasons, the sale of national steel companies located at Ajaokuta and Aladja, Daily Times of Nigeria, African Petroleum, ALSCON, NAFCON, Eleme Petrochemicals and their attendant labour disputes, the controversial auction sale of African Petroleum and Stallion House, the sale of Federal Government properties in Lagos and Abuja, among others, have stalled with millions going down the drain. Taken on its own, the sloppy handling of the sale of Ajaokuta Steel Company, built at a cost of $1.5 billion, is a classic example of how fraud was perpetrated in the name of privatisation. SOLGAS, the company Ajaokuta Steel Company was handed to, clearly lacked the managerial skills and

inquiry was a termination of the agreement by the federal government after which an Indian conglomerate was drafted in by the Obasanjo administration after the Indians paid $30 million. Today, the original dream of Ajaokuta to power the nation’s industrial takeoff remains a dream. NITEL might not have been a shining example of state run enterprise but the organisation, despite its structural weakness, was paying dividends in billions of naira to the Nigerian government. Rather than reposition this goose that laid the golden eggs, Obasanjo, upon assuming office in 1999, dubbed NITEL as a corrupt organisation that needed to be privatised. NITEL was handed over to IILL Limited, a company that did not have the technical

apologized, but explained that salutations depended on the time of the day, but the nature of his job was unchanging. What is the matter at hand, and what has this got to do with it? I began this column a few months ago without any attempt to court the reader by announcing its objective, expectation, or orientation. This could be puzzling because, right now, there are probably more columnists than reporters in the Nigerian print media. Everyone who has a view to offer about the country’s unrelenting crises does so freely and starts a column to pontificate. Who needs another one? I do not live in Nigeria. For over a decade, I’ve made my life outside the country, as a professional writer and teacher in the United States, visiting Nigeria for short, month-long periods, once every two years, if I can afford it. That is not enough to get a deep sense of things. Even for those who live in the country, fully aware and even more fully involved in the

country’s political life, understanding Nigeria is an ongoing task, incomplete and uncompletable. Add to this the peculiar circumstances of living in expatriation. I am a Nigeria national and carry the country’s passport. Beyond this, nothing commits me to the country as a citizen. I do not pay tax to the Federal Inland Revenue Service. I am not required to vote in the elections. I was not a statistic in the last national census exercise. I am not aware that a mechanism exists which requires me to inform the Nigerian consulate near me of my existence. The real issue about living in expatriation is that it creates, for someone who looks at things from an imaginative perspective, a sense of being twice removed. There is the fact of physical distance, of living in a place other than the one you address or make your primary preoccupation. There is also the fact of intellectual distance, that of being unable to relate to realities as they are. This

is the more problematic kind of estrangement and the more difficult to describe because every kind of intellectual engagement is always already mediated. One cannot meaningfully appraise a situation that one has not, at the very least, put at some kind of objective distance. But in order to understand the nature of this kind of distance, I ask you, dear reader, to attempt a comparative analysis of the newspaper columns of Edwin Madunagu and Biodun Jeyifo, both published in Nigeria’s The Guardian (on Thursdays and Sundays). You will notice that Jeyifo’s writings are mediated in a way that Madunagu’s aren’t. It is not a simple case of different temperaments, though that counts for some. The really consequential factor is that Jeyifo, both by the fact of his long period of sojourn outside of Nigeria and of his immersion in complex intellectual traditions, necessarily produced writings that are weighted with these two forms of distance. It matters less that he

As usual, nobody will be sanctioned for the fraud and, in typical Nigerian style, buckpassing and shadow-chasing have been the game. Do Nigerians have to wait for a ‘corrective regime’ to clear the mess? Should there be a problem in dealing with whoever derailed a programme that was widely hailed at inception? Our fingers are crossed!

knowhow to handle the project. Worse still, IILL Limited lacked the financial muscle to finance the purchase. Eventually IILL Limited could not pay, a situation that paved the way for Pentascope, a backwater Dutch company brought in by Mallam Nasir ElRufai. It did not take much effort to discover Pentascope was a mere front. NITEL reportedly suffered a N100 billion deficit after the Pentascope debacle. After stumbling from one crisis to the other, the company was forced off the stage but not before it turned NITEL’s account into red and cleared what was left of the company’s offshore foreign currency savings. Any dream of NITEL escaping insolvency perished when TRANSCORP, a so called home grown company, was brought in as NITEL’s undertaker. 13 years on, the mad scramble for NITEL’s jugular is still ongoing, as her assets, spread across the country, have been shared and cornered by a privileged few. A similar fate befell Daily Times of Nigeria (DTN). Until the early 1980’s, DTN was the largest Nigerian newspaper corporation with landed properties worth billions of naira. It was sold to Folio Communications as scrap. The matter was finally resolved by a Federal High Court of Nigeria ruling in January 2010 voiding the sale of 140 million shares of DTN to Folio Communications by the BPE. According to the court, Folio Communications acquired the Daily Times without paying a dime but curiously used the company’s shares and assets network to secure a bank loan to the tune of N750 million from Afribank. Folio Communications did not even bother to repay the loan before it stripped and sold off several DTN properties and assets. Another major scam concerns the Continued on page 14

Hating Nigeria appropriately

spends more of his time in Nigeria nowadays. My point here is that trying to engage with the current realities in Nigeria calls for a specific form of alienation. One has to will the distance into existence. This is ironic; the engagement is possible because of technological changes that make distance less important. Nigerians write an enormous amount of columns— online, in print, and so on—because the Internet has redefined the notion of distance. But, wait a minute: why is the overwhelming tone of the columns critical? The German writer, Theodor Adorno, has a phrase for it: “hating [Nigeria] properly.” Though physically removed from Nigeria, I know it enough to know how to hate it. Or love it. This is what this column is about. Akin Adesokan, a former reporter is a writer and professor of literature at the University of Indiana, Bloomington, in the United States.



Tribute to a classic school master

By Bukar Usman


r. Joseph Oladejo Abolade (1938-2012) died on June 20, 2012 and was interred at his home town Ikirun, Osun State on July 20, 2012. He might not have been a public figure of note in his life time but he was a notable moulder of young men and women many of whom are today public figures of note. On this rested his greatness. He laid not his treasures in perishable things but secured them, those virtues our nation is in dire need of today-virtues of passionate dedication to duty, forthrightness, excellence, exemplary leadership and, professional contentment. He inscribed those virtues in the hearts and minds of many of his students now serving in different capacities across the nation. My classmates and I were fortunate to be one of those so uniquely touched by Mr. Abolade. He was one of our former tutors at King’s College (KC), Lagos (1963 1968). He was one of those people because of whom we look back at our alma mater with pride. But he was an exceptional school master; he was a humanist, and many of my school mates who had commented on his passage were unanimous in acknowledging that he was a truly “good man.” Mr. Abolade was the head of a distinguished family of academicians and school administrators. While he taught at King’s College, his spouse was the head of Queen’s College (QC), Lagos. Those were two premier educational institutions renowned for moral and academic excellence Continued from page 13

fate of Apo Legislative Quarters, Abuja. In the frenzy to sell off the buildings, lawmakers who arrived in Abuja believing they would be allocated the flats were momentarily stranded because the housing units originally built for the MPs had been sold to their predecessors. Though more than N25 billion was realised from the sale of the Legislative Quarters, the nation has been groaning under the burden of an annual budget of N3 billion for accommodation allowances, thereby placing a big question mark on the long term benefit of disposing of the Legislative Quarters. The sale of institutional buildings, including eye-popping presidential guest houses, which ended up in the hands of serving public officials heightened fears among Nigerians that there was more to the privatisation process than they were made to understand. It further confirmed the fear of Nigerians that the exercise was taken advantage of primarily by residents within the corridors of power and their loyalists. Some instances will suffice: Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, bought the presidential guest house at No. 16 (now No. 12) Mambilla Street, off Aso Drive, Maitama, Abuja; Dr. Andy Uba, former Special Assistant to the President on Domestic Matters, dethroned as governor of Anambra state by a

in the country. Mr. Abolade went Even then it was an accidental him to help me go through it. on to establish and head similar meeting at Hamdala Hotel Kaduna. When I secured his phone number institutions across the country I was in Kaduna on a social visit from one of our colleagues and where he taught his students not while he was there for a workshop called him, he was most obliged to grant my only to master request. It was their subjects gratifying but also to because we had s u b j e c t not seen each themselves to Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text other since 1965! discipline and messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written I was not self-control. contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 disappointed at After serving the outcome. He as a tutor at the words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and did a thorough F e d e r a l a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed job. He edited it as Government to: if he was College Sokoto, marking a school (1969-1972), The Editor, paper, and his Mr. Abolade Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, feedback was like went on to serve 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. a report card on at different Email: let me. In a remark times as the SMS: 07037756364 dated January principal of 17, 2004, he four other said, “What I’ve F e d e r a l Government Colleges-those at on education. That encounter done is to remove verbal blemishes Odogbolu (1973-1976), Enugu provided me the opportunity to and polish up the language where (1976-1980), Ijanikin (1980- express my gratitude for his I’ve noticed inelegance or 1985) and Ilorin (1985-1989)- contribution to my literary career. banality...” On the whole he said, before moving on to the Ministry We never met again. I was told that “I’ve found the story of your life as of Education to serve firstly as a he used to grace the meetings of the narrated in the manuscript quite Director of Education Planning and Ingots, our student association, at captivating. It’s the portrait of a later Director Inspectorate, Prof Fetuga’s residence at Magodo, man with a sensitive mind, a retiring from the Federal Service where he happened to live. I was sharp intellect and an acute sense of observation-a person with a not fortunate to meet him there. in 1998 in that capacity. Mr. Abolade’s contribution to mission and who is resolved to As a clear demonstration of his family’s devotion to child up- my post-retirement effort at book- achieve that goal despite distress or bringing, he died as the president writing came about also by chance. distractions, of Child Lifeline, an NGO engaged Ironically, it was after I read the disappointments.” I think his life in the rehabilitation of street tribute he wrote on our former reflected these qualities more than children. Through that principal, Dr Rex E. O. Akpofure, mine. Mr. Abolade had a solid organization, he continued his in 2003. I found not only the penchant for community service sentiments he expressed in the educational background. He eulogy but also his mastery of the began his educational career at even after retirement. On my personal relations with English Language quite touching. Ibadan Grammar School (1952Mr. Abolade, I must say that since That was about the time I had 1956) and attended Fourah Bay we parted in 1965, we did not meet written my autobiography. Still in College, Sierra Leone (1959again until about five years ago. manuscript, I felt that I must locate 1962), Leeds University (1968-

1969), University of Pittsburgh (1977) and University of Ibadan (1986-1987), harvesting in the process prizes and honours in history, Latin and essay-writing. After his Bachelor of Arts in 1962, he had a diploma in Teaching English in 1969 and attended educational management training in 1977 and 1987, where he bagged a master’s degree. Mr. Abolade was a gifted, though unheralded, literary artist-a playwright and a poet. His compositions were always a delight to read. He was the literary editor of Aureol Mirror, a student magazine at Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone and editor-in-chief of the KC school magazine The Mermaid. He generously applied his poetic gifts in composing school songs for Federal Government Colleges at Ijanikin, Ilorin and Ipetumodu. Mr. Abolade was an initiator of environmental education in our schools. Through his membership of various official committees, numerous conference papers and private publications, he also contributed immensely in the formulation of policies on computer education, Nigerian book policy and the siting of Federal Government Colleges. A long-term examiner in English language for WAEC and GCE, he was also an authority on basic education, girlchild education, objective test and oral English. To crown it all, he was a member of the World Council for Curriculum and Instruction. To conclude this tribute, it is perhaps fitting to attempt to sketch Mr. Abolade’s personality as

Supreme Court judgement which reinstated Peter Obi, bought the property at No. 19 Ibrahim Taiwo Street, Aso Rock, Abuja; Mrs. Remi Oyo, Senior Special Assistant to the former President on Media bought the property on Yakubu Gowon Crescent, inside the Presidential Villa; while Dr. Mohammed Hassan Lawal, former Minister of Labour and Productivity bought the property on Suleiman Barau Street, Asokoro, Abuja. Mr. Akin Osuntokun, former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and, later Honorary Political Adviser to the former president, bought the presidential guest house at No. 2 Mousa Traore Crescent, Abuja; while the official residence of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) was cornered by then IGP, Mr. Sunday Ehindero. The criminal desperation to sell off Nigeria soon became a source of embarrassment to some of the main beneficiaries of the exercise. For instance, in March, 2007, Obasanjo’s deputy, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar said: The well-conceived and wellintentioned privatization programme, which was designed to transparently transfer stateowned assets to private hands to ensure better service delivery, has gradually been personalized and

Government equities in the Nigerian capital market, the privatisation of commercial and merchant banks, cement companies etc. To build on these economic landmarks, the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) was established in 1999 as a successor to the TCPC. The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) was also established as the supervising body to BPE. These two regulatory agencies on Nigeria’s privatisation were established through the promulgation of the Public Enterprises Privatisation and Commercialisation Act 1999. But as Nigerians have come to realise, the Obasanjo idea, typical of Nigerian standard practice, altered the original programme of privatisation. As usual, nobody will be sanctioned for the fraud and, in typical Nigerian style, buckpassing and shadow-chasing have been the game. Do Nigerians have to wait for a ‘corrective regime’ to clear the mess? Should there be a problem in dealing with whoever derailed a programme that was widely hailed at inception? Our fingers are crossed! Abdulrazaq Magaji is a writer, journalist and former history lecturer, living in Abuja, and can be reached at


Continued on page 15

The scramble for Nigeria our prized economic assets and choice enterprises have been cornered and auctioned off to a tiny cabal of private sector interests closely associated, or in full partnership with those in the corridors of power, with little or no pretence at due process or transparency… (They) used the privatization programme to auction our crowned jewels to themselves at rock-bottom prices. He should know because as vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar chaired the National Council on Privatisation between 1999 till he fell out with Obasanjo in 2005. Four months later, specifically in July 2007, Senator Ahmadu Ali, former chairman of the ruling People’s Democratic Party added his voice to what had become a national uproar: ‘This is an age when they sell off everything including the family silver. I don’t encourage all these things. I don’t see why Federal Government Colleges should be sold. I don’t see why certain things that are of national security should be sold’. The private sector was at its infancy when Nigeria inherited its colonial capitalist economy at independence. With the first coming of the military in 1966, Nigeria, in line with the policy of non-alignment, adopted a hybrid of state capitalism and socialism

with significant private participation. In 1973, the military government introduced and rolled out an Indigenization Decree which nationalised operations run by multinational corporations and brought them under state control. The result was the proliferation of more 1,000 state run enterprises funded by Nigeria’s new found oil wealth. However, the crash of international oil prices in the early 1980’s, dwindling annual profits of state run enterprises and operational problems of nepotism, excessive bureaucracy, gross incompetence in management, lack of effective control and supervision by the Government among others made increased private participation in the national economy imperative. The response of the military administration of President Ibrahim Babangida to these challenges was the establishment of the Technical Committee on Privatization and Commercialization (TCPC) headed by the late Hamza Rafindadi Zayyad. Under Rafindadi, the TCPC was widely hailed for laying down enduring structures to ensure effective privatisation of state run enterprises. Its assignments and targets were the disposal of



A tale of two mourning days


any a phenomenon appears to be exclusive to the giant of Africa, Nigeria. Scooping fuel from overturned tanker is one. Another odd but wise peculiarity is the rampant use of ‘proofs’ in order to harden a target just because the system has failed to guard the target. In Nigeria, a water tap is protected with burglar-proof in order to either prevent it from copper poachers or water ‘thieves’. A bus driver would have to fix a burglar-proof to prevent his traficators from petty larceny inherent in motor park. This is because the system can’t provide effective policing. In Nigeria, an electric bulb is also caged with burglar-proof made of metal rods—as if every other Nigerian is potential kleptomaniac. How much will a used bulb cost that a thief risks jail term to steal? Hunger. But the dough can’t buy more than a dough of pancake. This, in a clear term, speaks volume of the nation’s system failure. It also tells about the paucity of basic necessities of life. Perhaps if public vaults will be treated with ‘looter-proof’ in the manner a poor man protects his electric bulb, hunger, poverty, crime, terrorism, militancy and kidnapping, which form the lethal virus that runs in our blood, would have been cured. The irony is: the bulb means much to the poor more than what a million naira means to the rich. Sometimes I do not blame Nigerians for their unruly or uncivilized behaviour. Rather, I

By Ifeanyi Uddin


couple of pre-discussion clarifications. There is a proper context to Polonius’ oftquoted admonition (Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”) to his son Laertes: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be, for loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry”. Incidentally, this context is especially useful as part of any discussion of Nigeria’s new and rising debt profile. Simply put, it is that (as with the concept of a “budget deficit”) there is nothing wrong with the notion of “debt”. What ought to matter are the uses to which borrowed funds are deployed. Borrowing short-term, and at relatively high rates may be an appropriate response to a temporary balance of payment shortage. It is evidently not going to work with structural deficits. It is doubtful if at all borrowing of any kind would help a structural problem. Better, instead to address the changes to the system that remove these kinds of deficits. Similarly, borrowing that increases domestic capacity, including through higher rates of net capital formation, would necessarily pay its cost. This is why the German constitution, for instance, accepts deficits only as far as they are incurred to finance investment. The current problem, though, with the national debt, is not just that it is rising, it is that we are borrowing to finance current

you know that the cost can’t buy them a bag of garri? Now, those who advised the president not to mourn the departed scoopers must tell us how much they budget for fueling the cars of their children in a week? Take it or leave it, the action of the deceased compatriots signifies the harsh condition Nigerians live in. It exposes the grim reality that many Nigerians are not only living below $1 per day but below N1 per day. Tell me how do millions of unemployed Nigerians sustain their lives without job? You can’t get a kobo without job.

Even N1 coin can not just fall from the tree; one has to work for it. They are either living on the crumbs of the rich or on the scrounge. And if one thinks this will serve as deterrence to others, one should reflect a little. Vanguard’s editorial of July 17 has painted the horror images of similar incidences that occurred in the past. The newspaper recalled that thousands died in similar circumstance in Jesse (Delta State) in 1998, in Warri (Delta State) in 2000, in Ovim (Abia State) in 2003, in Lagos in 2006 and in Kaduna in 2007. Vanguard rightly observed that “[t]hey knew the danger in the venture. They took their chance and like hundreds before them, they died. More will die until fundamental issues about survival in Nigeria are addressed. Condemnation of their behaviour is not a solution.” The newspaper further questioned why people didn’t take lessons from previous incidents. “Why would people risk their lives after the well-known stories of fuel fires roasting 300 to death in Warri in 2000 and 125 in Ovim, Abia State in 2003? In between there were other fuel fires that killed Nigerians.” In 2006 alone, said the newspaper, “more than 500

people died [scooping fuel] in two separate incidents in Lagos (Snake Island and Abule-Egba)... As if to give the incidents national spread, at least 93 were killed in Kaduna, in March 2007, when an upturned fuel tanker they were looting burst into flames.” That is the reason I suggest President Jonathan should declare at least a day of mourning over the Port Harcourt tanker fire. My argument, again, is against the Nigerian system, which made the less-privileged Nigerians behave in the ‘scooping’ manner. Nigerians will always mock our local airlines as “flying coffins” but you will see them flying the “coffins” despite the danger. When the ‘flying coffin’ succumbs to the law of gravity, all manner of committees will be inaugurated, just as fresh safety measures would be taken. But who has ever heard FG query FERMA for deaths associated with potholes or axe any of the transport companies for using tokumbo tyres? The painful reality is that commercial road transport service is at all not regulated in Nigeria. We are all greedy and kleptomaniacs; only that the greed threshold in us varies according to the circumstance we find ourselves in. Just wait and see the upshot of the drama when a bullion van crashes. I can’t just fathom the number of privileged Nigerians that will die ‘scooping’ naira from the overturned bullion van. And then a mourning day will be declared.

agencies upgraded Nigeria when they were downgrading everyone else. Our debt-GDP ratio, if you just take federal debt, it is about 17% — both domestic and foreign. If you add what we have from the states, we could get up to 21% as opposed to a standard of 25 to 30% which we have set for the country”. Surely, we have been down this route once. Down to the argument, also recently canvassed by Dr. (Mrs.) Okonjo-Iweala that “The interest rate at which the Federal Government and states are raising debt at the moment is too high. We are raising debt at 15% because we need the money to finance our expenditure and finance capital. But if you can raise debt at zero or one per cent somewhere else, which one will you go for?” For, several years back, when we were persuaded by the logic of being “under-borrowed” and, on this basis, binged on external debt, a different dynamic from the current global financial and economic crisis was operating to depress lending rates in the West. As soon as President Nixon uncoupled the dollar from the gold standard in 1971, the more radical oil exporters in OPEC (Gadhafi’s Libya to the fore) pushed for higher oil prices to compensate for the “cheaper” dollar. The inflow of dollars into OPEC members’ coffers overwhelmed these economies,

forcing exchange rates up, and destroying their competitiveness. Because these economies could not absorb this excess revenue, much of it ended up in the vaults of banks in the West to depress rates there. Thus, when we tried to compensate for being “under-borrowed”, we were technically being lent some of our surplus. As it is today, the rates were just as low then. And they were floating rates, not fixed. So that as soon as our borrowing binges mopped up the liquidity that was depressing rates, we saw the cost of servicing our debts slowly rise, until the new discourse turned on the “debt overhang” and the implications of “debt peonage”. Today, on the back of the global financial and economic crisis, monetary authorities in Europe and the US have tried to kick-start business and consumer spending by some of the cheapest money policies the world has ever known. Policy rates are as close to zero as is possible in those countries, and my sense is that very soon Nigeria will be tapping into these stream of cheap funds to replace the more expensive domestic variety. What will happen when those economies begin to recover and rates start to rise? It would matter then what we have done with the borrowed funds. Within this context, it makes sense to enquire

into existing possibilities. In the absence of structural reforms that reduces the impact on government spending of the fiscal leakages (egregious examples of which we are daily regaled with) and the public sector’s huge wage bill, is there any chance that we may spend any money usefully?

blame the Nigerian system. You may rain abuses on a trucker for causing accident by setting full light during nocturnal journeys; but you hardly consider the fact that the system does not put in place a functional lightening on our highways. Cruel though, this might have precipitated his action in order to improve his visibility. Also, Nigerians are daily dying on our pothole-ridden roads. If the road is clear from obstructions, accidents can be reduced. And the traffic behaviour will change. When the Port Harcourt tanker inferno in which about 100 Nigerians lost their lives occurred, I expected the nation to mourn the victims. The nation refused, perhaps because the accident was not a plane crash. It is either President Jonathan did handle his affairs well or his handlers did not handle him well in the wake of this disaster. While arguing in ‘support’ of the oil scoopers, I must posit that they did not die while attempting to rob a bank or plant a bomb in a sanctuary. They did not die while trying to collect billions as bribe. I once witnessed the desperation and the tug of war that played out among the scoopers when a fuel tanker fell a few years a go in Kano.

The youths were not the children of the rich, nor were they rich. I can swear blind that none of the victims came from privileged background. This is entirely a case of poverty, which breeds greed. Just consider this. Do you think each of the poor scoopers could have smiled home with more than two 25-litre jerry cans? Will the cost of two jerry cans buy them house, cars or free them from the shackles of poverty? Do

consumption. Regrettably, the structure of the domestic economy and the incentives which government consistently puts in place are such that the consumption pattern that our rising debt drives is not one that feeds through to increases in private investment in the capacity to meet this growing demand. Rather it drives domestic activity in our trading partners, through our high import bill. For this reason, we may yet fulfill the second condition of Benjamin Franklin’s caution on borrowing. We may very soon go “a sorrowing”. It helps, though, that the responsible officers of the state are alive to this possibility. Sad, yet, is that even in the responses of those responsible for managing the economy, we sway to the songs of a very familiar siren. What difference is there, between today’s refrain and the old argument, which after the 1972 oil crisis (when oil-exporting nations such as ours were flush with petrodollars) argued that we were “under-borrowed” and encouraged us to pile on the debt? Remember that at her most recent public meeting, the minister of finance, and coordinating minister of the economy reported that “It is indeed true that our debt ratio is alright and sustainable at this moment. That is why the rating

Concerns on the national debt

Tribute to a classic school master Continued from page 14

gleaned from one of his publications Lenten Meditations in Verse (2008). He said, “The guiding hand of God has been evident in my life everyday and it goes without saying that He is the unerring potter while I am just the clay.” He wrote about the transience of Life, peace and security and the joys of giving. In his “Personal Reflections”, a collection of religious poems he wrote for each and every day of Lent in 2004, he said, “We were taught to see religion as a path to seeking and following God’s will, not a weapon for dividing people. This is the legacy I have come to treasure.” What a fitting lesson for us all at this season of sectarian challenges in our country. Bukar Usman is a former permanent secretary in the Presidency, Abuja.



Work for us, not against us, Mpape residents tell FCTA By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


esidents of Mpape district in the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) has called on the FCT administration to work for the people instead of implementing harsh policies that rub the people of their right to property. ”We know that the law says all land belongs to the government but the same constitution also allows the citizens to own land and properties, so we want the government to recognise this and work for the interest of all the citizens,” a resident of the area,” Barr. Louis Itiba said. He alleged that: “Demolitions were carried out earlier by previous government, but same lands were allocated to only those close to the seat of power. To make it worst, there is no effort by those people to develop the land”. “There are people in this country who own over 100plots of land. Why can’t the government think of a better policy that would allow every Nigerian the right to own property and develop it”, he added. The residents, who condemned the planned demolition of 19 villages in the FCT, including Mpape by the administration, warned that if

carried out, the exercise would force a lot of people to take to violence. Another resident, Barr. Ifeanyi Opara said: “Already, the news of the demolition exercise had forced some residents to commit suicide. People are angry about the security challenges in the country and the

irresponsibility of the government to its citizens,” he said. “There are several issues that the government needs to address instead of frustrating and rendering people homeless”, Opara added. He wondered why the government now wants only the non indigenes to leave the

community, appealing to it to stop confusing the populace with the indigene and non- indigene syndrome. On his part, one of the elders in the community, Mr Yusuf Onuya said there is no community where only indigene resides, saying Nigerians must live together as one people.

This bus skidded-off the road into a ditch at Life Camp junction on Saturday as a result of dangerous driving. Photo: Josephine Ella

AMAC debunks rumour of shop allocation By Adeola Tukuru


he Councillor representing Garki ward in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Hon. Bala Iya has debunked rumours making the rounds that some agents were issuing papers for shop allocations at the Kpaduma 1

community market. Iya, who is also the Chairman, House Committee on Market and Revenue in the council, spoke at a press conference in Abuja. He told journalists that the allegations were rooted in a misunderstanding between the council and the community on

the issue of allocation of shops to traders in the community. He revealed that the community market has been existing for more than 100 years and the present AMAC administration decided to upgrade it after it was razed down by fire earlier this year. Iya maintained that nobody

was giving allocation papers with the council’s document to anybody in the community. “As far as I am concern, there are no fake allocations of shops in Kpaduma 1 community market and nobody has used any document of AMAC to allocate shops to any trader, so the issue of fake allocation is a misconception.

Farmer arraigned for alleged criminal trespass


he Police have arraigned a farmer from Goni village in Niger, Salihu Safiyannu, before an Abuja Chief Magistrate’s Court for alleged trespass and attempt to commit a crime. Police Prosecutor, Simon

Ibrahim told the court that the matter was reported to the Utako Police Station, Abuja, on July 22 by Dogora Amos of Essence Plaza in Wuse Zone 2, Abuja. Ibrahim said the accused “criminally trespassed’’ on the plaza and was caught trying to

cut an iron protector of a window. The prosecutor said the offence contravenes the provisions of Sections 342 and 95 of the Penal Code, but Safiyannu pleaded not guilty to the offences. Magistrate Musa Jobbo granted him bail in the sum of

N20,000 with a reliable surety in like sum. He said the surety must be resident of and have a fixed address within the jurisdiction of the court. Jobbo adjourned the case to August 15, 2012 for hearing. (NAN)

Mechanic bags jail sentence for knocking down FRSC officer


n Abuja Senior Magistrate’s Court has sentenced a 28-years-old mechanic, Benjamin Bana of Tashan Gwagwa, Abuja to one month imprisonment for knocking down a Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) personnel. The presiding Magistrate, Mr

Emmanuel Iyanna, however, gave him an option of N1, 500 fine. Prosecutor Mohammed Ahmed told the court the incident occurred July 18, 2012. Ahmed said the convict drove in a dangerous manner and knocked down Victor Owoyokun of FRSC while performing his lawful duty on IBB Way in Abuja.

He said that Owoyokun sustained injured and his uniform was torn. The prosecutor said: “The accused person’s car was impounded at the police station following the injury on the FRSC officer’’. Ahmed said the offence contravenes Section 28 of the

Penal Code. Bana had earlier pleaded guilty to the charge. He explained that he was taking the car to his workshop for repairs because the brakes were bad. “I ran into the FRSC officers when I was trying to make a way through the left side of the road due to traffic,’’ he said. (NAN)

PHCDB assures of quality health care in rural areas Etuka Sunday


he Chairman, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Primary Health Care Development Board (PHCDB) Hon. Altime Shehukajiji has said that the board would ensure that quality health care services reached all the communities within the six area councils. Shehukajiji, who stated this yesterday, at the inaugural board meeting of the PHCDB said health is next to food in the order of importance, therefore could not be taken for granted. According to him, it is not going to business as usual, thus, any member found wanting would be duly punished. He said out of 216 primary health care centres in the FCT, only 33 were working effectively. The chairman, therefore challenged the members, mostly FCT area councils’ chairmen to work closely with the board for efficient service delivery. He said the meeting, officially inaugurated on Friday last week, was intended for all the members to be present at the meeting to demonstrate their commitment to work for the people of the FCT. This was as he advised them to continue in the same spirit to the end. In a presentation, the Executive Secretary, FCT PHCB, Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed explained that the board was established to provide guidelines and other service protocols for the board and area councils operations drawn from the National Health Policy framework. He said the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed in March this year inaugurated a committee to harmonise FCTA PHC service agencies in line with the prevailing National Health Policy, Framework and Guideline. According to him, the committee was to look at the levels, funding and functions of the agencies responsible for the delivery of primary health care services in the FCT with a view to harmonising and streamlining their objectives for proper efficiency and effectiveness. Dr. Rilwan pointed out that the vision and mission of FCT PHCB was to have a healthy and productive people in the territory and to provide community driven, equitable, integrated PHC services of high quality in the FCT in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders.



‘They want to kill me’, man cries out as ex-wife use thugs to evict him By Abubakar Ibrahim

Amina Saleh Abdullahi


t does not seem to be last for the head of the Legal Unit of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority headquarters in Abuja, Barrister Abdulhamid Attah Abdullahi after the divorce from his wife, Amina Saleh Abdullahi. What started like a quiet divorce sealed by an Upper Area at Gudu in the Federal Capital Territory on December 16, 2010 courtesy of the fierce prompting of Amina, a lawyer and child protection officer with the National Human Rights Commission, has degenerated into a vehement conflagration over a threeroom storey bungalow the husband built when the going was good. The duo were wedded on October 9, 1999 and parted ways on December 16, 2010 owing to charges of mistreatment of groom’s family members by bride, dishonesty, theft, battery and negative external influences. With time, the post-divorce conflict snowballed into tussles for their common abode and children’s custody. The war has become messier with the gungho invasion of the structure last Friday. According to David Dakop, a security guard to the flat located at 4 Birao Street, Wuse 2, a cozy part of Abuja, about

••• He locked me out – Ex-wife

The house at No 4 Birao Str, Wuse 2, Abuja 20 thugs invaded the house under the supervision of his ex-wife. “They demanded for the keys to the house and I told them I don’t have the keys…At that point, they started beating me, … they threatened that if I don’t bring the keys they asked me, I would be dealt with…I saw only two of them talking with Madam first but later two others joined them but I was surprised to see many people numbering over twenty later”. Deeply miffed by the experience, Barr. Abdullahi told Peoples Daily Sunday that all his personal effects were extra-judicially thrown out by the thugs hired by Amina. “You can imagine what my former wife who is also a lawyer did in her blind desperation. A case is already in court over the property and she can’t wait for judgement. It looks like this case has gone beyond the ordinary given the caliber of people in high places she has deployed into this matter. There is a grand conspiracy against me, so I don’t feel safe any longer because what happened last Friday looks like the final push to eliminate me and to completely severe me with my five children forever”. The nuclear lawyer had warned before the recent

Abdulhamid Attah Abdullahi

attack, in a petition written to the Director-General, Department of State Security Service dated June 15, 2012 of the “uglier dimension the matter has lately assumed and a well-founded fear not only of persecution but also for my life”. He is particularly bitter about the role of Amina’s elder sister, Miss Fatima Saleh Anderson in the “grand conspiracy” to destroy his home and the seeming indifference of the authorities. “For the fervor with which Amina and Fati Saleh, in cahoots with their known and unknown associates have relentlessly waged a cruel vendetta against me might” he wrote, “if unchecked, inexorably lead them into further acts of hideously

iniquitous and criminal dimensions”. Brandishing an June 8, 2012 custody ruling by the Upper Area Court judge, Adamu Wakili to this reporter, Abdullahi said, besides giving complete custody of his five children, the eldest of whom is a 12 year old girl Asmani, to Amina until they are “married and consummated”, the judge also ordered him to pay N75,000 for monthly upkeep. The only male child, Rabbani ( 11years old) should be 18 years of age before he set foot on his father’s house, ruled Judge Wakili. Other products of the battered marriage are Munira (nine), Humaira (five) and Juwaira (four). To Abdullahi, the custody right is technically timeless and misplaced.

There is a grand conspiracy against me, so I don’t feel safe any longer because what happened last Friday looks like the final push to eliminate me and to completely severe me with my five children forever

Though copy of court summons served on Abdullahi by his former spouse and copied Peoples Daily revealed “lack of proper care,” a phrase is not quite elaborate, Abdullahi interpreted it as flimsy. “Is it food, clothing or some other things? If I can spend millions in building my house, how can my wife complain?”. When contacted for comment on the allegation of forceful eviction of her former husband, Barrister Amina initially went into tirades about media report (not in Peoples Daily) of last Friday’s incident saying, “I don’t think it is fair not to have heard my own side of the story, infact, I don’t want to say anything about this…the matter deserve investigation for fairness”. On whether she truly threw out her ex-husband’s property or not, she said, “how can he lock out a mother and five children for four days?”. Commenting on her action despite a subsisting suit on the property, she said, “I withdrew the matter from the court”. Did your husband know about your withdrawal of the case?”, this reporter asked. “Well, I don’t need to tell him”, she said while bemoaning the frequent media interest in the entire episode.



Two young women preparing pounded yam in a make shift restaurant, yesterday at Central Area, in Abuja

Young women hawking groundnuts, yesterday at Utako District, in Abuja. An accident scene, on Tuesday at Wuse 2, Garki, in Abuja.

Photo: NAN

A young man pushing cart loaded with plastic chairs, yesterday at Mabushi, in Abuja.

A middle-aged man clearing bush, yesterday at Central Area, in Abuja. Photos: Mahmud Isa






- Pg 20

We will resume flight operations soon — Air Nigeria

Mob: 08033644990

FG to stop rice importation in 2015 – Minister


he Federal Government is putting structures in place with a view to stopping rice importation by 2015, an official said on Monday. The Deputy Director, AgroProcessing and Marketing, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Amos Afowowe said this in Kaduna when he paid a courtesy visit to Gov. Patrick Yakowa. Afowowe said he was in the state to explore the possibility of the state hosting the Staple Crop Processing Zone. ‘’Nigeria has been spending much on agriculture and by 2015, Nigeria must stop the importation of rice. He noted that said the country had the natural, human and material resources to achieve this goal. According to him, stopping rice importation will improve the nation’s economy, provide job opportunities and boost local production. In his response, Yakowa commended the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi

Bags of imported rice on display at a market in Abuja, FCT

First Bank doubles H1 pre-tax profit to N54.1bn By Aminu Imam


irst Bank of Nigeria Plc’s half-year pretax profit more than doubled year-on-year to N54.1 billion ($336 m), from 24.1 billion in the same period last year, lifting its shares up almost one percent. The bank stated this yesterday while announcing its unaudited IFRS compliant results for the half year ended June 2012, adding that its gross earnings rose 26 percent during the period to N182.3 billion, compared with N145.1 billion of the same period in 2011. Commenting on the results, Bisi Onasanya, Group Managing Director of First Bank said, “The Group recorded profit before tax of N54.1 billion, up 125% year-on-year, driven by strong revenue growth, lower impairment charges and modest growth in EXCHANGE RATES


SELLING 0.2868 188.471 242.1283 41.5662 155.89


operating expenses. This translated into annualised after tax return on equity of 25%. According to the GMD, “FirstBank’s results continue to demonstrate the resilience of our business. Given the backdrop of global economic uncertainty, declining oil prices and its resulting impact on the domestic economy, FirstBank recorded 125% growth in the Group’s profit before tax. “It was particularly pleasing to see the strength of the Group’s retail franchise, as we were able to grow deposits over the half year period by 13%, in an environment of tight liquidity management, high interest rates and higher velocity of money as a result of the increasing deployment of electronic channels across various segments of the economy. Notwithstanding these headwinds, we were able to moderate the impact on our cost of funds,” Mr. Onasanya further stated.

24th July, 2012 BUYING 0.2668 187.262 240.5287 41.2996 154.89 BUYING 207 258 40 165

SELLING 209 260 42 169

Adesina, for his efforts to transform the nation’s agricultural sector. Yakowa noted that one of the outcomes of the recent meeting with stakeholders in the agricultural sector in Washington, U.S., was the proposed establishment of the Ferguson Tractor Companies to be located in Kaduna and Port Harcourt. The governor called for the utilisation of the country’s vast land mass for agricultural purposes such that the much resources being used for rice importation, would be utilised for other vital sectors. “Most pre- and postindependent development in Nigeria were made possible through agriculture.’’ Yakowa decried the absence of agro-processing and marketing outfits, say that the situation posed a challenge to Nigerian farmers. He said the state government would improve the performance of the agriculture sector, to provide jobs for the teeming youths in the state.

Insecurity pushes down FDI by 19.24% in Q1 By Abdulwahab Isa


he current insecurity, occasioned by terrorists and suicide bombings, has led to a drop in the nation’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow by 19.24 percent from US$2.13billion in the fourth quarter (Q4), 2011 to US$1.72billion in Q1, 2012, according to a report released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday. However, the estimated portfolio investment inflows, on the other hand increased significantly from US$1.36billion in Q4, 2011 to US$3.82billion in Q1, 2012. Analysts have observed that the continued increase in portfolio investment over and above FDI portends serious consequences for foreign exchange management. They also observed that there was the need to closely monitor this and to put in place measures to stem any adverse effect, in case of a reversal. Developments in the external sector of the economy for the first quarter of 2012 as released by the CBN shows that aggregate foreign

capital inflows stood at US$5.53billion in Q1 2012 compared to the US$3.48billion and US$3.39billion in Q4 and Q1, 2011, respectively. The FDI inflow accounted for 31.0percent while portfolio investment accounted for 69.0 percent. On the other hand, Nigeria’s trade balance position improved to US$10.67billion in Q1, 2012 from US$8.44billion recorded in the preceding quarter following the expansion in merchandise exports and the contraction of merchandise imports. Nigerian merchandise exports increased from US$23.37billion in Q4, 2011 to US$24.97billion in the review period while aggregate imports declined marginally from US$14.93 billion recorded in Q4, 2011 to US$14.30 billion. The degree of openness, measured by the ratio of Nigeria’s total trade to gross domestic products (GDP) was 67.0percent in the review period as against 59.0percent recorded in the preceding quarter. Other indicators such as imports, total foreign exchange flows and net

Management Tip of the Day


Don’t dismiss critics of change

ot everyone will be excited about change. People who resist are often perceived as inflexible obstacles to overcome . But don't think of them simply as barriers to success.

While some people do undermine change efforts, it is shortsighted to think everyone will, or even want to. Try to understand why people are resistant. Ask what they are concerned about and listen

to their criticism. Doing so may uncover valid concerns that need to be addressed. Put everyone's perspectives to use and make resisters a part of the solution Source: Harvard Business Review

foreign exchange flows as percentages of GDP also increased from 22.9, 61.3 and 16.6 percent, respectively, in Q4 2011 to 24.5, 65.6 and 31.0 percent, respectively, in the review period. According to the report, these developments showed increased integration of the domestic economy with the rest of the world. There is the need for sound structural policies to sustain the development through increased domestic productivity, diversification of the economy and dynamic external trade policies. Furthermore, foreign exchange inflow into the economy in Q1, 2012 stood at US$28.19billion as against US$25.34billion recorded in Q4, 2011, indicating an increase of 11.23 percent. The level of external reserves as of end March, 2012, stood at US$35.20billion as against US$32.64billion and US$33.22billion in the preceding and corresponding quarters in 2011, respectively. The current level of reserves could finance 10.8 months of foreign exchange disbursements and 7.4 months of imports cover as against 6.9 months of foreign exchange disbursements and 6.6 months of imports cover in the preceding period. The external reserves recorded an accretion of US$2.53billion in Q1 which was higher than US$0.94billion and US$0.81billion recorded in Q4 and Q1, 2011, respectively.



COMPANY NEWS Investors raise stake on equities at the exchange with N11.897bn


he equities sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), last week, recorded a turnover of 1.634 billion shares worth N11.897 billion in 22,412 deals, compared to a total of 1.459 billion shares valued at N9.618 billion, which exchanged...

Oando assures shareholders of improved result this year


ando Plc has assured shareholders of the company of an improved performance in the 2012 financial year.

Dangote Cement, Conoil, others lift market capitalisation by N64bn


ransaction on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) commenced on a positive note yesterday, as investors’ wealth appreciated by N94 billion.

Ondo spends N5.5bn on agric in three years


bout N5.5 billion has been expended by the Ondo State government on the agriculture sector in the last three years, the state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has said.

LCCI bemoans pangs of insecurity on investments


he regime of insecurity recently foisted on the nation has gravely assailed investment prospect in the country within the last three months, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has stated.

NAICOM may despatch undercapitalised insurance firms to undertakers


uless the 10 undercapitalised insurance companies operating in the country shore up their respective financial base lines, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) may despatch them to the undertakers for insolvency.

We will resume flight operations soon — Air Nigeria Stories from Suleiman Idris, Lagos


uspended Air Nigeria has disclosed that it will resume local and regional flights soon. The airline, owned by businessman, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, was suspended on 21 June by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, allegedly because it is bankrupt. In a statement by Air Nigeria Media Relations Manager, Mr. Sam Ogbogoro, the airline said, “Air Nigeria has currently finalised its revival and growth plans to immediately recommence regional and domestic operations and the resumption of services will be announced soon.” Ogbogoro did not disclose their intended date of resumption and NCAA has not officially commented on the possible resumption of Air Nigeria.

Ogbogoro said employees of Air Nigeria have reaffirmed their loyalty to the airline to safeguard it “from external forces that have been trying to sabotage the airline’s achievements.” “Air Nigeria staff have also established employees counsel that comprises representatives across all the departments of the airline. The employees counsel will regularly meet with the top management to discuss plans and performance of the airline as well as follow-up on issues that have been raised by staff. Employees have also assured their readiness for the immediate start of domestic and regional operations,” Air Nigeria said. It was learnt that all Air Nigeria staff have been placed on compulsory leave of absence pending resumption. The airline’s international flight operations has however not been affected.

Air Nigeria craft on tarmac

AIB releases report on Arik Air scare in Jos


week after the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) released the preliminary report on the crash of Dana Flight 992, the agency has released the report on the Arik Air’s incident in which its aircraft hit that of an Air Force plane parked on the Jos airport tarmac, last week Saturday. The Commissioner, AIB, Muhktar Usman in the report debunked claim that the tarmac had no markings, a situation Arik attributed to the incident. The report states that on July 14, 2012, Arik Air 201, on a scheduled passenger flight touched down in Jos at 1313 hrs and parked at 1320hrs. The Jos bound passengers disembarked. Lagos bound passengers embarked and the aircraft taxied out at 1335hrs.” According to him, the Aircraft was cleared to taxi to runway 10. During taxi to the runway, in rain, the aircraft winglet hit the wing of a parked C-130 aircraft which was at the fourth parking slot during the impact, a portion of the winglet of Arik aircraft was left embedded in the wing structure of the C-130 aircraft. There was damage to both aircraft, and the time of this incident was 1340hrs. “The C-130 aircraft was duly authorised to park at that

position. There were no injuries recorded. The aircraft was manufactured by Boeing in 2001.” Initial findings he said showed that the winglet of the Arik Air B-737 hit the stationary C-130, embedded a portion of its severed winglet on the structure of the C-130.

“ The C-130, NAF-197 belongs to Nigeria Airforce. The pilots were certified to fly the aircraft. There were no injuries recorded. It was raining at the time of the incident. “The Arik Air pilot had an entry point into Runway 10 opposite where he was parked,

but decided to use the other entry. “The captain of Arik Air aircraft confirmed that when he tried to look out, rain had covered his window. The Arik Air captain accepted responsibility for the incident. The Apron markings were visible.”

Aviation stakeholders urge FG to invest more in the industry


viation stakeholders yesterday urged the Federal Government to encourage airline operators through investing more in the aviation industry. The stakeholders made the call in Lagos at a conference organised by the publishers of an aviation magazine, “Business Traveller Africa (BTA)’’. The theme of the conference was “Strengthening Business Travel in West Africa’’. In a speech, BTA editor, Mr. Dylan Rogers, called on the government to consider partnering with both local and foreign airlines operators to drive the industry forward. “Aviation business is very big and wide. It’s all about money;

government should subsidise and float a National Carrier. “This will benefit the country and its citizenry. The floating of the carrier will make it more affordable for citizens to fly and have faith in the industry,’’ Rogers said. He also urged the government to promote the ‘Open Sky’ Agreement in such a way as to enable local airlines compete favourably and give air travellers room for choice. According to him, the government should focus more on air safety to bring back the confidence of Nigerians in flying, as the recent Dana plane crash had affected local flights. Also speaking at the conference, the Sales and

Marketing Director, ExecuJet, Mr Stephen Paddy, urged the government to provide facilities for smooth operations to encourage investors. “Local airlines do not have the huge capital to train and retrain their staff, and at the same time, provide facilities that the government should have provided,’’ he said. Paddy said that airline operators should collaborate with the government to set rules and regulations to govern the aviation industry. He advised foreign airlines to understand the rules by their host countries, to enable them work better with the people and the government. (NAN)

‘15 yrs aircraft age limit may lead to closure of at least 4 airline operators’


he Federal Government’s has plans underway to lower the age limit of commercial aircraft allowed to operate in Nigeria to 15 years. And, the policy, which has been receiving criticisms from the aviation industry experts, has been described as unrealistic. It is believed that this will lead to the banning of no fewer than 38 jets, representing about 60 per cent of scheduled commercial airlines’ planes in the country. The 38 planes are

currently flying for eight domestic airlines. At the Safety Conference of African Aviation Ministers in Abuja last Thursday, the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, had said the government was already considering lowering the age limit of aircraft that could operate in the country to 15 years. She admitted that the policy could have a short-term negative impact on the desire to

encourage the growth of domestic airlines, but added that the issue should be how to strengthen and enhance airlines’ viability as business concerns. In her words, “We will continue to encourage domestic airlines not only to grow in their individual capacities but also to consolidate wherever possible, so as to pool resources together for the emergence of more stable, viable and profitable airlines.” She added: “Statistics on age and histories of Nigerian

airlines’ planes obtained from showed that at least 38 out of the 64 Nigerian commercial planes were over 15 years old”. However, airlines that are likely to be affected are: FirstNation Airlines, Dana Air, IRS Airlines and Chanchangi Airlines. Statistics from the showed that apart from the plane that crashed, Dana currently has four Boeing McDonnell Douglass 83 planes that are over 15 years.



Flour Mills to invest N100bn in Nigeria in five years From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


lour Mills Nigeria Plc said on Monday it will invest N100 billion in Nigeria within the next five years. The company, in a statement announcing its new organisational structure and

investments, said N30 billion would be invested in the agroallied segment within the next five years to boost its manufacturing capacity and operations. The company stated that it has reviewed its organisational structure and made a series of

investments aimed at bolstering its strong market position in the Food and Agro-Allied sectors. Chairman, Flour Mills Group, Mr. George Coumantaros said the company is committed to delivering on its promise to provide its customers and consumers across all of Nigeria

and throughout West Africa with the highest quality food products at affordable prices. “To this end, we have invested N70 billion over the past 10 years in food manufacturing assets and have plans to invest another N100 billion in the next five years”, he

stated. Also speaking, Mr. Emmanuel Ukpabi, Group Managing Director, Flour Mills, said as part of the company’s ongoing strategic review, it now focuses on establishing profitable ventures that are crucial for the Nigerian economy and society

PZ Cussons full-year profit slips Dangote deploys robots in cement labs on Nigeria, higher costs is technologically superior or flour milling, we are number one By Aminu Imam


ritish soap and shampoo maker, PZ Cussons Plc said its fiscal-year profit fell on higher raw material costs and worsening conditions in Nigeria and Australia. The maker of Imperial Leather soaps and Carex antibacterial hand washes, said profit before tax fell to 48.5 million pounds ($75.23 million) from 108.1 million pounds a year earlier , hurt by the social unrest in the north of Nigeria and the impact of scrapping a fuel subsidy in the country. Shares in PZ Cussons fall as much as 7 percent after the

consumer care products company reports full-year profit falls hurt by higher raw material costs and worsening conditions in Nigeria - its largest market. The company said in June that profit before exceptional items for the year would be lower, citing rising input costs, social and economic unrest in Nigeria and tough conditions at its home care business in Australia. PZ Cusssons says the situation in Nigerian remains fragile but that it was confident of returning to profitable growth in the new fiscal year. (Reuters)

FCMB eyes N33bn turnover in Q3


irst City Monument Bank (FCMB) has made public its Q3 earnings forecast for the period ended September 30, 2012, showing that it expects to make a N33 billion turnover. The company also anticipates a N25 billion interest income, expecting to write back N518 billion loans loss expense. A further look at its forecast numbers shows that the company expects to make a N4.01 billion profit before tax, while foreseeing a N3.5 billion profit after tax. Meanwhile, at its last 29th annual general meeting, shareholders approved a proposal by the directors to establish a Holding Company (Holdco) in compliance with the Central

Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) regulation on the Scope of Banking Activities and Ancillary Matters 2010. The board of the bank had instead of a cash dividend, recommended the creation of an additional 2,440,678,830 units of ordinary shares, by means of the capitalisation of N1,220,339,415 from the share premium account, in order to pay for the bonus shares. Speaking at the AGM, the chairman of bank, Jonathan Long, said the recommendation of bonus issue was made in demonstration of the appreciation of the board and management to the bank’s shareholders for their continued confidence, commitment and support.


ommitted to state-of-theart and ultra-modern industrial technology, the Dangote Cement Plc now uses robots in its laboratories. Speaking to newsmen, Group Managing Director of the Dangote Cement Plc, Mr. DVG Edwin said the group resorted to using robot because of its determination to keep to global best practices. He said: “Nigerians are the ones managing the robot lab.”According to him: “The Obajana Cement is the most sophisticated cement plant in the world. We use the most modern technology. Every single department in this plant

equal to any cement plant in the world. Every section uses the most sophisticated and advanced technology found in any part of the world.” He said: “We train, train and will continue to train. We also send our people outside the country for training. We have also started exporting skilled people to other African countries where we have investments. Technological wise, Nigerians are taking charge of the cement sector in Africa.” He added that: “In terms of cement, we are number one in Africa. In terms of packaging material, we are number one in the world. In sugar refinery, we are number two in the world. In

in the world. Pasta, we are number one in Africa; and noodles, we are number two in Africa.” Experts say this has further given an edge to the conglomerate that has been dubbed the king of cement manufacturers in Africa, The group, this week announced that it is creating yet another 2,000 jobs in its transport section. This will add to the about 40,000 jobs it has so far created. The Dangote Cement is the biggest quoted company in West Africa. The company occupies the first position in West Africa with a market capitalization of $10.5billion.

NNPC restates support for science education By Muhammad Nasir


s part of efforts to touch the lives of young Nigerians positively, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has reiterated its commitment to the support of science based subjects in secondary schools in order to sustain the growth and development of the petroleum industry. In a statement issued yesterday by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Fidel Pepple, NNPC noted that the Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Engr. Andrew Yakubu, made the commitment during the Grand Finale of the 10th edition of the NNPC Annual National Quiz Competition in Abuja in which students representing Abia state emerged winners.

Engr. Yakubu said that as a responsible corporate organization, the NNPC will continue to support the Federal Government in its bid to encourage science education among youths and to develop the building blocks on which the future of the country depends. “The NNPC National quiz competition is aimed at preparing the participants for promotional and qualifying examinations into tertiary institutions by improving science education and sharpening their competitive spirit,”Engr. Yakubu enthused. He informed that the Corporation would continue to provide the platform for the encouragement of interest in science and science related education for the benefit of the oil and gas industry and the country at large.

L-R: President, Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Management in Nigeria, Alhaji Mohammad Aliyu, representative of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Bolaji Salam, and Deputy Director Procurement, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mrs. Oluremi Afolabi, during the National Roundtable on the review of Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) national database for the registration, categorisation and classification of contractors, consultants and service providers, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Nigeria, OPEC members export 4.5mbpd of oil in 2011 By Muhammad Nasir


igeria and other members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is said to have exported 4.5 million barrels of oil per day (mbpd) in 2011, according to the 2012 Annual Statistical Bulletin (ASB) just released. The ASB is a compilation of statistical data about oil and natural gas activities in OPEC’s 12 Member Countries: Nigeria, Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates

and Venezuela as well as in nonOPEC oil producing countries around the world. It provides detailed time-series data on different aspects of the global petroleum industry, including imports and exports, upstream and downstream projects, and exploration and production activities. OPEC, which supplies a third of the world’s crude, said the bulk of the product went to Asian and Pacific countries with 2.1 mbpd, representing 49.8 per cent of the total. North American and Latin American countries, it said, followed with 0.6 mbpd or 13.6

per cent, and 0.5 mbpd or 11.8 per cent, respectively. However, some highlights from this year’s ASB showed that world crude oil production increased in 2011 by 0.9 per cent, with different regions showing heterogeneous results. The ASB also revealed that while Canadian, US and Middle East crude production increased, Western European and African production showed declines. The recent bulletin further revealed that in OPEC member countries, crude oil production was up 3 percent in 2011 yearon-year.



PIB: Law set to be a 'game-changer' T

he oil and gas industry is booming across subSaharan Africa. To the east, large new discoveries have been announced in Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania, while Uganda is close to starting commercial production of crude. On the opposite side of the continent, oil has been struck off the coasts of Sierra Leone and Liberia, raising hopes they can where emulate Ghana, petroleum began flowing in 2010. The accompanying excitement is understandable, both for the countries, for whom the looming windfalls are potentially transformative, and for the explorers and producers, which stand to make large profits. But, in terms of the scale of resources, the new kids on the oil block have nothing on the region’s hydrocarbon granddaddy: Nigeria. Despite more than 50 years of production, and minimal exploration in recent years, Nigeria still has proven reserves of more than 37 billion barrels of oil – nearly three times more than Angola, its nearest challenger. Nigeria’s sweet, light crude is also of the highest quality, and fetches top prices on international markets. Natural gas reserves of about 190tn cubic feet are also unrivalled on the continent. “When you look at the resources, oil and gas companies should be having a love affair with the country,” says Duncan Clarke, head of petroleum consultancy Global Pacific & Partners, and author of Africa: Crude Continent. ”But they are not. Nigeria is sleeping while the other countries are getting on with it.” Despite the long-desired goal of producing up to 4m barrels of oil a day, Nigeria’s output is still only between 2m and 2.5m b/ d, roughly the same as a decade ago. D e e p - p o c k e t e d multinationals such as Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Eni and Total are all on the ground or offshore, yet investment in maintenance and exploration is dropping. The government has not held a licensing round for five years. There are numerous reasons for the malaise, including insecurity in the Niger delta region, corruption, and the dysfunction of the state-run oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). But the main obstacle to growth in the oil and gas sector has been regulatory uncertainty. Legislation designed to introduce sweeping changes to the industry, including fiscal terms, has been sitting with the government for four years without ever being approved. Oil companies have refused

Oil covered hands near an abandoned well in Nigeria. Photo: FT

to commit fresh money to existing and prospective projects as a result and stagnation has set in. Bayo Odubeko, a partner at the law firm Norton Rose, who has extensive experience in oil and gas transactions in Nigeria, estimates that the country has lost $40bn in potential onshore and offshore investment because of the lack of clarity about the legal framework. But the cost of the failure to reform the sector – and stop the rot in the related state institutions – extends far beyond stunted oil production and missed signature bonuses, and has even touched on the country’s stability this year. Just as the NNPC has been mismanaged, so the four refineries mandated to supply the domestic market with petrol have been neglected and operate well below 50 per cent capacity. The demand for imported fuel has soared, and with it the scale of corruption,

since Nigeria heavily subsidises petrol at the pump and makes large payments to oil marketers who bring in the refined product. The cost of the subsidy alone in 2011 was $16bn by some estimates. When Goodluck Jonathan, the president, tried to abolish the subsidy in January it caused an outcry and a nationwide strike, and he was forced to backtrack and partially remove it. The rationale for getting rid of the subsidy may have been clear, but so was the public’s response: clean up the oil sector first before inflicting pain on us. President Jonathan appears to have listened. He set up multiple committees designed to speed reform. The most crucial of those are related to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the wideranging legislation that is intended, among other things, to introduce a tax and royalty regime, increase the

Despite more than 50 years of production, and minimal exploration in recent years, Nigeria still has proven reserves of more than 37 billion barrels of oil – nearly three times more than Angola, its nearest challenger.

participation of local producers, stimulate the gas sector and transform the NNPC from a discredited organisation open to abuse by politicians into a commercial entity with substantial independence from the government in power. President Jonathan and his cabinet approved the PIB this month and sent it to lawmakers for assent, which is by no means guaranteed as previous versions have been rejected. The petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke says the legislation would make the industry “more competitive and accountable. It proposed revolutionary changes”. That remains to be seen. Experts who have seen the most recent version of the bill say it falls well short of its original aims, being weaker on transparency than campaigners had hoped, and low on detail about how exactly the NNPC will be unbundled – a big concern for the multinationals that are its joint venture partners. Even so, the law is being eagerly awaited. “From a business perspective, the new bill cannot come fast enough,” says Mr. Odubeko. “Whether it’s good or bad, at least people will know what they are dealing with and can do the financial modelling. I believe that it will be a game changer for Nigeria and that investment will flow because of the (attractive) nature of country’s hydrocarbons.” The government needs such an outcome, since it relies on oil for 80 per cent of its revenues and finances are stretched. Passage of the bill will clear the way for a new licensing round, which should attract strong interest from both the multinationals and the emerging Nigerian oil companies, netting

the treasury billions of dollars. There are other positive signs too. The militancy in the delta that cut oil production in half in early 2009 has died down after more than 26,000 former rebels were granted amnesty and generous stipends. The programme, in which Mr. Jonathan has a significant stake given his roots in the region and his role in setting it up, has made a significant difference to operating conditions for both companies in the delta. Kidnapping still occurs, but it is less frequent and less violent than before. Meanwhile, the instances of oil installations and pipelines being blown up has fallen dramatically. The payments to exmilitants are not a long-term solution. Training courses, which are being undertaken by thousands of former rebels, must translate into genuine employment opportunities, or some of them will surely return to the creeks and take up arms. Job growth in the Niger Delta has been weak of late, but new investment and increased production could change that. However, at the same time as the amnesty has reduced oil companies’ headaches over the security of their personnel, they have suffered from a dramatic increase in oil theft. Industrial-scale bunkering involving criminal gangs, some former militants and the security forces, costs the industry up to 400,000 b/d, close to a fifth of the country’s production, according to the finance ministry. There has been little sign to date that the government is serious about tackling the problem. (Source: Financial Times)



Audi V8 manages to balance performance and luxury A

udi A8s have historically been powered by V8 or W12 engines. The 2013 Audi A8, however, marks the first time that a V6-equipped version of Audi's flagship sedan has made it to our shores. The results might surprise you. The natural assumption leads most to think a V6 wouldn't be a good match with this big sedan's size and weight -- certainly not as good as a V8, in any case.Generating 333 horsepower, the new supercharged 3.0-liter V6 is down 39 hp and 3 pound-feet of torque compared to the previous 4.2-liter V8. We expected the V6 car to be marginally slower as a result, but it's actually marginally quicker than the V8. Meanwhile, the supercharged V6 car's fuel economy is essentially identical to that of the normally

aspirated V8. For these reasons, we doubt anyone would miss the former V8, although a new and more powerful V8 will be added to the A8 lineup later in the year, along with a dieselfueled V6. Meanwhile, the 6.3-liter W12 remains the same as before, the perfect choice for those who think too much is just enough. Engines aside, the 2013 Audi A8 maintains its place in the top tier of luxury sedans. It delivers a very high level of old-world luxury and comfort, along with a healthy dose of high-tech features that should delight any early adopter. This big Audi also manages to balance performance and luxury in a way that should appeal to drivers of all stripes. And for those who desire more emphasis on the performance side of the big sedan proposition,

there's also a forthcoming Audi S8, which is covered in a separate review. Like its rivals, the A8 features an artful blend of understated styling, excellent craftsmanship and exemplary interior materials. Picking a winner among them isn't easy, but then again, there's not a loser in the bunch. The BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class mostly place an emphasis on luxury, while the Jaguar XJ and Porsche Panamera have more sporting demeanors. Those looking for a middle ground would do well to try out the 2013 Audi A8. The 2013 Audi A8 is a luxury sedan that is offered in 3.0T, 3.0T LWB (long wheelbase) and W12 L trim levels that correspond to the engine and wheelbase types. Standard features for the base

3.0T include 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, LED running lights, headlight washers, a sunroof, an adaptive air suspension, dual-zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming and power-folding mirrors, heated 12way adjustable front seats with power lumbar support, a power tiltand-telescoping steering wheel, aluminum and wood interior trim and a power rear sunshade. Electronic features include a navigation system, Audi's MMI electronics interface, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a Bose surround-sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and an iPod interface. Also included is Audi Connect (enhanced Web-based navigation, information and WiFi access). As an option, buyers can add the

Convenience package, which includes a power trunklid, keyless ignition/ entry, parking sensors, a rearview camera and soft-close power doors. The Warm Weather package adds four-zone automatic climate control and power rear window sunshades. The Extended Leather package covers even more of the cabin in luxurious leather. Opting for the longwheelbase version of the 3.0T adds all of these packages in addition to piano-black interior inlays. Either normal- or long-wheelbase models are eligible for the Comfort package, which features 14-way power front seats with ventilation, massaging, adjustable bolsters and multiple lumbar adjustments. The Sport Design package includes the Comfort package items but adds 20inch wheels and upgraded leather upholstery. For a sportier A8, the Sport Plus package applies summer tires, a sport-tuned suspension, adaptive steering and a sports differential. The Cold Weather package features a heated steering wheel with shift paddles, a rear-seat pass-through with ski bag and heated rear seats. The Driver Assistance package includes adaptive cruise control, a blind-spot monitor, a lanedeparture warning system and a pre-braking system. Stand-alone options include full LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, dual-pane acoustic windows, a solar sunroof (powers a ventilation fan to keep the car cool), a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system, a night vision camera (an infrared camera to detect animals and pedestrians up to 1,000 feet away), a rear-seat entertainment system (with two 10-inch headrestmounted screens) and a choice of several headliners and interior trim elements. The prestige-level W12 L is essentially a fullyloaded four-seat model that includes almost all of the above listed features. Options include an Executive Rear Seat Comfort package (a reclining passenger-side seat with power footrest and a refrigerator in place of the trunk pass-through but the front passenger seat is reduced to 10-way adjustable without massage), the Driver Assistance package, a W12 Sport package (same features as the Sport Plus package), the Bang &Olufsen sound system, night vision camera, solar sunroof and full leather interior. A fifth seat can be added at no cost but is not compatible with the Executive Rear Seat Comfort package. Source:



By Udenna Orji 07055652553

Government to reposition housing sector for employment generation and economic development Pg 26

Masterpieces by Abuja-based indigenous furniture maker, woodetal

Penthouse Estate 111, Abuja

A section of the sprawling masterpiece, Penthouse Estate 111 developed by reputable developers, Penthouse Properties Limited. The estate is located on the main arterial road that accesses the airport axis and bounded by the Gilmor Construction Company Treatment Site and El-Salem's Cooperative City Gardens Estate. Penthouse Estate 111 has 42 units of 2 bedroom semi-detached bungalows each with a room boys quarter, 336 units of 3 bedroom detached bungalows each with a room boys quarter and 37 units of 4 bedroom detached bungalows each with a room servants quarters. The beautiful estate is designed to address the needs of the low and medium income earners in Abuja.



igeria’s deficit of 16 million housing units may soon be erased if ongoing meetings and collaborative efforts between the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development yield fruits. Government is said to have finally accepted the counsel from experts that a vigorous and robust housing development programme aimed at reducing the nation’s ballooning housing deficit would have a positive effect in not only providing houses for Nigerians but in reviving the comatose industrial sector. A revival of the nations ailing manufacturing sector would help mop up the swelling army of unemployed graduates now roaming the streets in search of elusive jobs. It was to use the housing sector as one of the launching pads for reviving the Nigerian economy that led to the approval of the new National Policy on Housing and National Policy on Urban Development by the Federal Executive Council last month. Speaking on the approval of the new policies recently, the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama Pepple said “the approved policies are veritable instruments for empowering the ministry to reposition and revitalize the sector to optimize its contributions to the development of our national economy, especially in the area of job and wealth creation as well as enhanced contribution to the GDP”. The two new policies are expected to deliver about one million housing units annually to Nigerians. Confirming these feelers from government, Muhammed Jibrin, Chief Executive Officer of Abuja-based Sun Trust Savings & Loans Ltd, a mortgage bank, said “I am aware that the Minister of Finance and the Coordinator of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is committed to and looking at the housing sector as a catalyst for growth and employment generation. The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama Pepple has been holding stakeholder meetings with the sector. She has set up committees, she is doing a great job honestly and the Federal Mortgage Bank has been providing the necessary support to this effect. I know that the housing and finance ministers have been working together to ensure that the housing sector is jump-started seriously this year. It is on top of their radar. The idea is to create jobs in the economy. The Central Bank needs to get involved too by providing the necessary funds and credit guarantees to the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria in particular and to the sector in general. The Nigerian housing sector is one of the most diagnosed sectors of the economy. The issues that are militating against its development are very clear.” Jibrin said. A recent World Bank report says Nigeria has the potential to become Africa’s foremost


Government to reposition housing sector for employment generation and economic development

Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ms Amal Pepple

economic power, with an average GDP of six per cent per annum, buoyed by a young and growing population of 160 million. Morgan Stanley, an investment banking institution, also predicted that Nigeria’s economy would outperform South Africa’s by 2025 to become the biggest in Africa. The macroeconomic outlook is favourable. With an expected stable inflation rate, five per cent rural to urban immigration, and three per cent population growth, experts say Nigeria is a huge real estate market by all standards. Concurring with the statistics, the Jibrin noted that “in the highly developed economies, the average contribution of the real estate and housing sectors to the GDP is 40 per cent. In every economy, there is an engine room for that economy. The Nigerian housing sector can serve as that engine room as we seek to diversify our economic base. The sector has the potential to generate and create huge economic activities. The housing sector needs to consume other building materials and products such as electrical equipment, furniture, paints, roofing, cement, etc. The sector can help in developing small and large scale production of these key inputs thereby generating employment and increasing the level of national income. Addressing the housing sector problem is the same as addressing the unemployment problem and one avenue to diversify the economy away

pension funds under management. These are mostly long-term funds and are the most qualified to support the mortgage industry in attaining its millennium development goals. But these funds, understandably, are mostly locked up in government treasury bills and bonds. These (pension) funds have to be unlocked and made available for the real estate sector. This is because the funds are basically long-term and you may not have

from dependence on the oil sector”. Jibrin highlighted poor mortgage development as one of the problems hindering the development of the housing sector and called for the use of pension funds to boost mortgage development in Nigeria. His words: “the Pension Reform Act, 2004, has made it possible for people to have a contributory pension scheme in place. The pension industry has an estimated N2.4 trillion of

Managing Director, FMBN, Mr. Gimba Ya'u Kumo

the problem we (mortgage banks) experience today in terms of mismatch in the maturity profile of the loans we grant, because mortgage loans are long term as against the deposits we take that are mostly short-tenured. If you do an actuarial valuation of the pension funds managed by the PFAs (Pension Fund Administrators), the minimum average number of years the money will remain with the PFAs is about 20 years. This is what we call long term money. This is the type of money you expect should go into the housing and mortgage sector” Managing Director, Union Assurance Company Limited, Mr. Godwin Odah while blaming poor development of Nigeria’s mortgage industry on the low level of insurance penetration and awareness in the country described insurance as a mechanism for mobilizing funds, adding that mortgage and housing remained scarce because there were no funds. “We need long term funds, which is what life insurance provides. Life insurance comes in the category of 5, 10 and 15-year plans and so on. Funds at the disposal of banks are short-term in nature and most times, have a maximum tenor of 90 days before the owners come calling and with this condition, banks can only lend short-term at high interest rates that are largely a disincentive to the entrepreneur in the real estate business. But the situation will be better if banks had insurance life funds”, Odah said.



Profiles Award-winning metrotile roofing systems offer a 50-year guarantee


wards have continued to flood the way of Metrotile Nigeria Limited, in recognition of the company’s state-of-the-art roofing products, Metrotiles. Overcoming strong winds, heat from the tropical sun, humidity, fire and other environmental hazards has always constituted a difficult challenge for roofing experts. The ability to overcome these problems and at the same time come up with strikingly beautiful and inviting roofs has always been the hallmark of successful roofing. One roofing system that has been technologically designed to withstand these adverse climate conditions including hazards like fire and at the same time bring

beauty and splendour to a building is the metrotile lightweight roofing system. Metro tiles are stonecoated roofing tiles made of aluzinc (aluminum and zinc). The products are fire proof, extremely insulated against heat and sound, have higher aesthetic value and come with a 50 year guarantee. Metrotiles come in four varieties; metro bond, metro shake, metro roman and metro shingle. Used in over 80 countries, the products have steadily become the choice of discerning developers and Metrotiles Nigeria received Nigeria’s Best Roofing Company Award in 2007 and 2008. Cap your building with quality and durability, beauty and splendour, use metrotiles.

Urban Shelter Limited

A first class institution delivering prestigious and distinctive shelter


ith over 12 awards and a portfolio of some of the most beautiful estates (residential, commercial and retail) in Abuja and other parts of Nigeria, it is not a wonder that Urban Shelter Limited has come to represent all that is excellent in the Nigerian property market. With a strong fully paid up capital base of N2 billion, and several years of experience in the property industry, this company has developed a reputation for superior client service and timely

project delivery. As part of the company’s continuous effort to provide unique, quality, prompt and cost effective services to its teeming number of clients, it has adopted a backward integration strategy by incorporating in its system, manufacturing units that provide some of its basic building materials. These include: bricks, sandcrete blocks, roof tiles, aluminium doors and windows thereby ensuring availability of high quality building materials

at all time. The company is a founding member of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria. Urban Shelter Limited has an excellent reputation for project/ product design, project construction, procurement and development of land, reconstruction and modification of projects, rehabilitation of structurally defective building, mass housing delivery, distinctive homes and prestigious offices; and private public partnerships.

Saraha Homes (Nigeria) Limited

Bestriding Africa and the UK, delivering unrivalled designs and quality


ike a colossus, Saraha Homes bestrides the Africa and United Kingdom markets. This high profile, reputable firm since inception in 2004 has shocked the construction industry in and outside Nigeria with its phenomenal growth and propensity for successful execution of complex projects. The company is now highly sought after by clients in its core competence areas of real estate development, civil engineering,

Resort Savings and Loans Plc


ast rising, creative thinking Resort Savings and Loans Plc has every thing to be proud of. Since its highly skilled and resource full management team hit the road with he well-thought out product, Resort Investment and Mortgage Plan (RIMPLAN), competitors have been gawking at the dexterity and craftsmanship involved in developing this highly sought after product. With this product, the erudite Abimbola Olayinka, mathematician, seasoned accountant and fellow of the Nigerian Computer Society has scored another goal in his relentless drive to make Resort Savings and Loans a leading and

reputable mortgage banking service provider. RIMPLAN is a product well thought and put together to encourage savings towards home ownership and facilitates timely and favourably priced mortgage delivery to intending house owners. RIMPLAN has many attractive benefits that make it easy for intending home owners to finally own their own homes. The icing on the cake is that the product has different variants designed to suit different individuals, regardless of their income earning bracket and age. A visit to any branch of Resort Savings and Loans Plc brings you closer to owning your dream home.

infrastructure, roads, electrical, structural, building, drainages and turnkey projects.. In addition to its turnkey services, the company provides consultancy services, contract operations and project management services to both federal, states, local governments and corporate organizations. In projects where Saraha Homes does not serve as a prime turnkey contractor, its organizational expertise is available for technical

and commercial consulting services. This vastly growing construction octopus now has the following divisions: Road Construction, Maintenance and Repairs, Building and Urban Infrastructure, Water and Land Resource Development, Electric Power and Control Systems, Project Management and Consultancy, Supply and Transportation Services, Personnel Supply.

Thinking outside the box, re-defining mortgage banking in nigeria



United States housing market returns to profit


he United States housing market is finally recovering after six long years of falling prices and tepid demand. Commerce Department reports indicate that prices have finally hit levels that represent the true value of the underlying properties, and this coupled with historically low mortgage rates has motivated capable investors to enter the market once again. Market watchers call it “a housing recovery” and add that the one sector in America actually pulling its weight these days is housing. Indeed, even the Federal Reserve Chairman himself, Ben Bernanke, pointed to housing as the one demonstrably vital area in an otherwise anemic economy. In his testimony to Congress this week he said: “We have seen modest signs of improvement in housing. In part because of historically low mortgage rates, both new and existing home sales have been gradually trending upward since

last summer, and some measures of house prices have turned up in recent months. Construction has increased, especially in the multifamily sector.” This positive news echoed Tuesday’s confidence survey from the National Association of Home Builders, which rose six points to 35 for July. While it takes a reading over 50 to indicate healthy market conditions, the gain was the largest the survey has seen in ten years and the measure put builder confidence at its highest point since March of 2007 — just months after the housing bubble reached its peak. Reading the encouraging statistics, recovering United States mortgage banking giant, Fannie Mae has appointed Timothy J. Mayopoulos, 53, as President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the bank’s board. Mayopoulos who last served as executive vice president, chief administrative officer, and general counsel, will

lead the mortgage giant’s business transformation agenda. Mayopoulos assumes leadership of Fannie Mae at a pivotal point for housing finance. He will succeed Michael J. Williams who announced in January his decision to step down after leading the company’s effective response to the housing crisis and the rebuild of the company since 2009. In the first quarter of 2012, Fannie Mae reported a net income of $2.7 billion and did not require funding from Treasury. The company’s comprehensive income of $3.1 billion in the first quarter of 2012 was sufficient to pay the first quarter dividend of $2.8 billion. To date, Fannie Mae has paid $22.6 billion to Treasury through dividend payments. Fannie Mae was set up by the United States Government to expand affordable housing and bring global capital to local communities in order to serve the America’s housing market.

Fannie Mae has a federal charter and operates in America’s secondary mortgage market to enhance the liquidity of the mortgage market by purchasing or guaranteeing mortgage loans originated by mortgage bankers and other lenders so that they may lend to home buyers. It was the collapse of the gargantuan mortgage bank, which holds trillions of dollars in mortgages,that led to the global economic meltdown in 2007. The crash of the housing market dominated by Fannie Mae and its American rival, Freddie Mac meant that several banks, private equity funds and investors in several countries of the world that invested in the housing market and which funds were guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could not be paid when their funds were due. This led to foreclosures in the United States and in Europe. As the economic meltdown worsened, Fannie Mae and

Freddie Mac took over a foreclosed home roughly every 90 seconds during the first three months of 2010. They owned 163,828 houses at the end of March. The mortgage finance companies, created by congress to help Americans buy homes, had become two of the nation’s largest landlords. Bill Bridwell, a real estate agent in Phoenix was among the thousands of agents hired nationwide by the companies to sell those foreclosures, to recoup some of the money that borrowers failed to repay. In a good week, he sold 20 homes and Fannie sent another 20 listings his way. “We were all working for the government then,” said Mr. Bridwell. For all the focus on the historic federal rescue of the banking industry, it was the government’s decision to seize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in September 2008 that cost American taxpayers the most money. Fannie and Freddie increased American home ownership over the last half-century by persuading investors to provide money for mortgage loans. Their sales pitch amounted to a moneyback guarantee: If borrower defaulted, the companies promised to repay the investors. Rather than actually making loans, the two companies Fannie older and larger, Freddie created to provide competition – bought loans from banks and other originators, providing money for more lending and helping to hold down interest rates. “Our business is the American dream of home ownership,” Fannie Mae declared in its mission statement, and in 2001 the company set a target of helping to create six million new homeowners by 2014. In Arizona, during a housing boom fueled by cheap land, cheap money and population growth, Fannie Mae executives trumpeted that the company would invest $15 billion to help families buy homes. As it turned out, Fannie and Freddie increasingly were channeling money into loans that borrowers could not afford. As defaults mounted, the companies quickly ran low on money to honor their guarantees. The U.S government, fearing that investors would stop providing money for new loans, placed the companies in conservatorship and took a 79.9 per cent ownership stake, adding its own guarantee those investors would be repaid. The huge and continually rising cost of that decision spurred national debate about federal subsidies for mortgage lending. With Fannie Mae no longer requiring government funding now, but indeed paying till date, $22.6 billion in dividend payments to Treasury, it is revealing that the mortgage giant and housing markets globally, have returned to profit.


BOOK REVIEW By Dada Joseph


he issues relating to blood transfusion are so vast but it is disturbing that medical experts are not doing enough to get Nigerians informed of such delicate issues, with one being the fact that the dreaded HIV/AIDs virus could be transmitted by blood transfusion. The truth is that much still needs to be done to enlighten Nigerians better on blood transfusion, as well as the challenges it is facing in the country. That is why Paul Adepoju’s book, Crimson Dynamics is coming at an appropriate time, and it will join other works that had dwelt on the issue of blood transfusion, with the aim of presenting a clearer picture to humanity. The 14-chapter book starts with the definition of blood, its composition, types, regulation of blood cells and volums, before defining flood transfusion. The first chapter then delves into the history of blood transfusion, as well as the ideal blood transfusion system. In the second chapter, the book highlights blood transfusion in Nigeria, while explaining that in times past, the National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (NACA) detected that more than 80 per cent of blood units collected, processed and transfused in Nigerian hospitals were not properly screened, thus resulting in more than 15 per cent of HIV/AIDS infection rate at that time.


Crimson Dynamics: Taking the blood issue seriously With that sorted out, hospitals and medical laboratories took extra precaution in screening donated blood, and those to be tranfused to patients. The result of this is a safer blood transfusion system in the country. However, the system is not without its challenges, which the author lists in chapter three. One of such challenges is voluntary blood donation, which is very unpopular among Nigerians. The author says, “The current situation is so pathetic such that ordinarily, Nigerians don’t even think of blood donation. One of the reasons responsible for this is the low level of awareness and publicing on why it is necessary, and advisable to donate.” (P21). There are also other problems like donors’ involvement, recruitment and retention, while chapter four and five explains another challenge which arise as a result of government and private organisations’ involvement. In chapter seven, the author discusses various religions’ view of blood. Here, the Islamic, Christian, Judaism, as well as the African traditional religion’s take on blood tranfusion is dicussed. It then specifically explains why Jehovah Witnesses refuse blood transfusion, even in a lifeor-death situation.

After listing some of the hurdles facing blood transfusion, Adepoju then gives the solutions towards overcoming such challenges,

and that is, through awareness and encouraging peoples’ involvement. This can be found in chapter 10 and 11. The medical scientist then

returned to the refusal of Jehovah Witnesses to accept blood transfusion, by listing ways towards resolving the debacle. In the final chapter, Adepoju highlights the Blood Drive Initiative (BDI), which has the aim of providing safe and sustainable blood supply through the recruitment and retaining of healthy, voluntary, non-remunerated donors (VNRDs) in accordance with the World Health Organisation (WHO’s) guidelines on blood donation. The author, Adepoju, a medical scientist at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, writes from a professional point of view as it relates to blood transfusion in the country. Crimson Dynamics is written in an easy to understand language, and this makes it possible for someone who does not even have a science background to comprehend the message the author is trying to pass across. While it is important for experts in the medical field to get a copy of the book, it is also necessary for all categories of people to read Crimson Dynamics, so as to have a better understanding of how the blood tranfusion system works. Source: Nigerian Village Square


primaries. No one was killed in the bombing but there is an attempt on the life of the only witness, a judge’s wife, that same night. Another attempt is successful and so starts a murder investigation. Tammy suspects Okpara’s aide who he assumes is in cahoots with their political opponent, Dr. Puene, but the state chief of police orders him to drop the case because he’s wrong. Along the line, the reason to lay off Puene is that he is part of a bigger investigation into the mafia and drugs in the city. Tammy doesn’t drop the case, and the body count quickly rises after the first witness as Puene’s associates, and even Tammy’s partner are killed. I liked Treachery in the Yard because it was a story first and foremost. The police procedural wrapped in the plot is very minimal. What is obvious is that respect for procedure among the Nigerian police is

not a big deal. Even Tammy has no patience for procedure and just does what he needs to do. The nominal procedure is not surprising because most Nigerians know that the N i g e r i a n police lacks resources, like Tammy complains about lack of forensic backing, saying that officers have to rely on “experience, common sense, instinct, judgment.” That said, as short as Treachery in the Yard is – at about 150 pages, it keeps you guessing to the end. It also opened my eyes a bit to what police cases and work may be like in Nigeria. The truth is that the NPF is so far from the rest of the Nigerian society and maybe it is time such stories are told to bring them closer. I certainly look forward to more from Adimchinma Ibe since this is supposed to be the first in a series. Source: Nigerian Village Square

The book front cover

Treachery in the yard: A review By Armsfree Ajanaku Onomo


The book front cover

etective Peterside is drawn into the politics of Nigeria when a bomb goes off at Mr. Pius Okpara’s home. Mr. Okpara is locked in a conflict with a political rival, as both men are seeking their party’s nomination prior to the general election. As Detective Peterside investigates, one murder leads to another and soon events appear to be spiraling out of control. The more he digs, the more corruption surfaces. Soon he is not sure whom to trust, including even his own mentor. This story is set in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Detective Tamunoemi Peterside investigates a bombing at the residence of Pius Okpara, who is contesting for governor in the state


BOOK REVIEW By Paul I. Adujie


rofessors Abi Adegboye and Ibiyemi Dare have written a most fascinating account on how life is lived in Western Nigeria in the book, Owanbe! Yoruba Celebrations of Life. This superb “How-To” Manual details many aspects of Yoruba culture in a conversational, userfriendly manner. It is timely, prescient, and profound. It comes at a time when more and more Nigerians live in the Diaspora. This well written, appealing, and well-documented cultural masterpiece is profound for many reasons, but two immediate reasons will suffice. The first reason is the dearth and paucity of similar writings, documentations, and recordation of how life is lived in Nigeria, and in fact, all of Africa. As a consequence, some nonAfricans have in the past engaged in the blissful ignorance of asserting erroneously, that Africans have no contributions to poetries and songs, and so, poets are John Keats and John Donne and song writers and composers are Beethoven, Chopin and Mozart - all because Nigerians and other Africans did not engage in the good business of documenting and recording our poetries and songs. The second immediate reason for the timeliness of Owanbe! is that, it will facilitate and enhance aspects of Nigerian culture for Nigerians at home and abroad. Owanbe! will be a great wonderful tool in the protection and preservation in the age of globalization and the consequent one way street one way traffic flow of cultural and entertainment information from America-Europe to Nigeria-Africa, without a corresponding bombardment of cultural and entertainment information from Nigeria-Africa to America-Europe. Globalization should be mutually beneficial. Globalization should be crystallizing the ways of lives of the human race, in effect, all the races. In these days when more and more Nigerians and other Africans are increasingly emigrating and settling outside of the African continent, it is crucial to have a Guide Book and a “How-To book, such as Owanbe! Professors Adegboye and Dare’s thoroughly researched cultural precepts are a wonderful read and of immense value, benefit and help for everyone, in fact whether Nigerian, African or not! All that is required is an open mind, all Nigerians, all continental Africans and all peoples of African descent, and all global and universal citizens who are desirous of rich cultural experience which is based on superb presentation and chronology, the ebb and flow of births, celebrations of life from cradle to grave. Owanbe! is highly recommended in today’s world of a shrinking global village, in which Americans imbibe


Owanbe! Yoruba Celebrations of Life: A review

PEOPLES POEM OF THE WEEK Title: life is not a bed of roses By Okougha Christopher Osejie Life is not a bed of roses I wander with gut awe at the world's mystery Its spontaneous lingering and untold history It is not a paddle across the lake or a bed of roses To be lofty and fulfilling comes with the surge of the exodus Moses The pains of the scourging sun comes with the gains of the dazzling dusk Blessed are the dexterous as theirs is industry's tusk

The book front cover Eastern culture of yoga and meditation and Buddhism. Owanbe! offers scintillating details of cultural charts, which follows the call and response, the push and pull of everyday life and the impact of culture which serves to add color and verve at various stages of life of the individuals in the community. In this wonderful book, Nigerian culture is presented chapter and verse in sequential order. Births, naming ceremonies, and the important matter of name choices are amply discussed. Special and unique name choices are explained. Religious influences of African traditional religion, to Christianity and Islam are all explained in moving details. Childhood life celebrations specified, including birthdays, stepping out ceremonies, the place of music, songs and dances and friendships and the best things in life. You even get a guide on how to plan an Owanbe party! As life is lived through the cultural lenses, detailed in this

very ebullient work suffused with empirical data and real life experiences closely observed by the authors of Owanbe, it comes to a point, when “boy meets girl” and marriage is in the air. Marriage of course, like every aspect of life, is lived through cultural norms such as Ifihan, Idana. Etc. and the additions to these African practices being the Christian and Islamic modes of marriage from engagement, weddings to Yigi respectively. Other important cultural milestones which are rigorously chronicled and presented in easy to understand and assimilate, are the importance of celebrations of birthdays, beginnings, pilgrimages, Parapo and community festivals and their importance and profound meanings. There are also the matters of traditional chieftaincies, community festivals such as Osun Osogbo, inaugurations, and funeral ceremonies. Kings, who are referred to as Oba, are

delineated by ranks and hierarchical importance and clout in the various communities and locale, and to cap all these cultural plenteousness and bounties, is the “How-To” plan a community festival! This book also contains exhaustive references and sources, and is a well thought out encyclopedia of our wonderful culture, including recipes for culturally derived Nigerian-African cuisine which will delight the most discerning palate! Owanbe! Earned my two thumbs up! It is a prodigious effort to chronicle, preserve and protect our culture and how life is lived in our part of the world. Owanbe! will rekindle and reinforce these aspects of our culture, just as it provides a window of opportunity for all global and universal citizens worldwide to partake in our vibrant, colorful and very rich and meaningful cultural practices. Source: Nigerian Village Square

The secret is that the future's mar may be today's take Two steps ahead and one foot back is all life's take The ocean of impossibilities comes with the surf of certainties The surf of certainties comes with a dive of activities It's funny that way because destiny wheels at any direction What seems gory to one may be another's attraction The vicissitudes of man's means are sometimes prosperous While some tend to be outrageous The valour of nature is in the tilling of it The essence of nature is in the fitting into it The strong jostle on at the detriment of nature's bad eye The oldest prophecy is that good and evil have drawn a fierce tie Nonetheless what would be would surely come to be Even as the triumph of good has come to be. Source: Online

QUO TE UOTE “Success has nothing to do with avoiding struggle but carrying on believing the struggle will ultimately pass.” –– Mark Brown.



America in denial: We’re number 29 (of 30) ANALYSIS


S embraces policies and practices that place it at the bottom of advanced industrial nations for social outcomes. Responding to the jingoism around the First Gulf War, Andrew Shapiro's 1992 book, We're Number One!: Where America Stands - and Falls - in the New World Order was a soberminded reality check on how the US really measured up. Just last month, a worthy successor appeared, a short ebook, Decline of the USA, by Edward Fullbrook, comparing the US to the other 29 countries in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) in a series of tables, with only a brief dash of introductory text. Fullbrook is the editor of the Real World Economic Review, the online journal of heterodox economics that emerged out of the empirically-driven "post-autistic economics" movement of the previous decade. The data presented here - challenging presumptions of superiority and leadership with stubborn facts epitomises what the post-autistic movement was all about. The book looks at eight indicators each in seven categories, ranking counties in order along with precise figures for how they score. It also divides them into first, second and third divisions (in sets of 10), which comes in handy for gauging overall performance. Those with some awareness of these sorts of measures will probably not be surprised to learn that the United States ranks next to last overall (go Mexico!), while those who get their information from FOX or other corporate media may be stunned to the point of disbelief. Let's start off by considering the health category, since healthcare is very much in the news in the US, and what's happening with it now so richly illustrates the value of Fullbrook's austere marshalling of stubborn facts. Republicans repeatedly claim that the US has the best healthcare system in the world. And if you're a third-world dictator - the Shah of Iran, most famously - you would probably be inclined to agree. But for actual American citizens? Not so much. The indicators in this category, along with the United States' ranking, are as follows: life expectancy at birth (24), healthy life expectancy at birth (24 [tied] out of 29), probability of not reaching the age of 60 (25), infant mortality rate (25), obesity (30), practicing physicians per capita (23), acute care hospital beds per capita (25 out of 29), psychiatric care beds per capita (25 out of 29). There is no indicator for percentage of people with health care, perhaps because universal coverage is taken for granted in the rest of the developed world, which includes virtually all of the OECD members except Turkey and Mexico. On the combined index of health care indicators, the US comes in at 28, just ahead of ... Turkey and Mexico. Why does the US fare so poorly? It can't be lack of resources, since the US is still the richest nation in the world, and spends far more per capita on health care than anyone else. Political will is another matter entirely, however, as illustrated by the latest fall-out from the Supreme Court's

The US has one of the highest rates of people without health insurance in the developed world healthcare decision: A number of mechanisms at once - most notably related to conservative practices and Republican governors are rejecting narcissistic ones. His over-all approach social policies. Divorce rates and teen expansions of Medicaid that would was a form of rationalisation (making pregnancy rates are both higher in substantially reduce the number of excuses), he went into denial (calling "red states", a result of patterns of people without healthcare - which, of the data "fake and false on its face"), he family formation according to law course, could only help the US' ranking engaged in projection (saying that the professors Naomi Cahn and June in Fullbrook's book. The federal federal government doesn't like Texas) Carbone in their book Red Families government would pay for all the costs and fantasy (claims about how v. Blue Families: Legal Polarisation the first three years and at least 90 wonderful Texas health care is). Here's and the Creation of Culture. Even aside from culture, practices like per cent of the costs in the long run. a short snippet of what Perry said: Even paying 10 per cent, states "We've got some of the finest health "abstinence only" sex education and could make money on the deal, care in the world whether it's MD restrictive access to birth control because fewer people are uninsured, Anderson or UT Southwest, some both make for higher teen requiring more expensive ER incredible health care facilities in the pregnancy rates. In the US, treatment, more people get less country. So the idea that this federal conservative politicians even expensive preventive treatment, etc. government which doesn't like Texas opposed unpaid maternity leave But if you hate the federal government to begin with to pick and choose and no wonder the US is the only as much as you hate poor people, it's come up with some data and say advanced industrial nation with easy to spin this expansion as a bad somehow Texas has the worst health zero weeks of paid maternity leave thing. Texas Governor Rick Perry - care system in the world is just fake - and very low rates of any public who presides over the largest such and false on its face. The real issue here spending in the way of family support. In short, conservatives state - shows us how. Talking Points is about freedom." Memo reported: If you want to finish in last place, really are uniquely responsible for "One in four Texans are uninsured, that's the way you do it - indulging the United States' poor showing in the highest rate of any state. The in unconscious defence mechanisms the family category - the exact Medicaid expansion would cover 49.4 to make yourself feel better, rather opposite of what they tend to per cent of uninsured Texans by 2019, than using conscious coping believe. When it comes to freedom and according to the Kaiser Family strategies that can help you actually however, Foundation. The programme is do better. In the real world, the democracy, broadened to cover Americans within Agency for Healthcare Research and conservatives are not alone in 133 per cent of the poverty line - Quality exists to identify what works mistakenly thinking that the US currently the eligibility for a working and what doesn't - indispensable leads the world, when it's actually Texan parent cuts off at 27 per cent. information if you want to things dragging up the rear among the The federal government will cover the right. But in Perry's hyper-defensive advanced industrial nations. The full cost of the first three years and pay mind, it only exists to make Texas US does score in the mid-range on a 90 per cent thereafter." look bad. And Perry's attitude typifies couple of indicators, but fails But Perry was defiantly proud of the US all too well, as you read abysmally on others: voter turnout Texas. When pressed by a usually through Fullbrook's book. Clinging for parliamentary elections (30); friendly Fox News reporter, who to a false sense of superiority is the female parliamentarians (24); pointed to Texas' last-place ranking on absolute worst strategy for actually gender gap [economic, political, a multifaceted measure of state health attaining superiority. And yet it etc.] (13 -tied); corruption care performance, Perry exhibited seems to dominate American perceptions index (18); press freedom index (26/29); collective bargaining classic conservative behaviour, political discourse. engaging in several ego defence These low rankings are directly coverage (24/25); prisoners per capita


The story is not much different for three other categories: The US scores last in public order and safety (30th) and in generosity (24/24), and 27th out of 30 in income and leisure.

(29/29); support for human rights [international agreements signed] (30). For the category as a whole, the US ranks 28th out of 30. The story is not much different for three other categories: The US scores last in public order and safety (30th) and in generosity (24/24), and 27th out of 30 in income and leisure. There is one category in which the US does dramatically better than any other - education. Although its Number 18 rating is still slightly below average, this is the only category in which it finishes more than a few slots from the bottom. Yet, this is the one category on which you will regularly hear the US get bashed by its own elite political class. The reason for this isn't hard to figure out: It's the only category that conservatives routinely bash the United States for (much less tolerate America-bashing by others). It's part of their war on everything public or governmental, and educationbashing also serves as a scapegoat for all the other failures that conservatives categorically deny. Neoliberals like Clinton and Obama have joined in with conservatives, seeking one more illusory "grand bargain" while dropping almost all talk about the United States' real education problem - its spectacular levels of child poverty (25/26) and economic inequality (28/29). For example, a 2010 international comparison found that US schools which had fewer than 10 per cent of their students receiving free or reduced lunches due to poverty had a reading score of 551 - second only to Shanghai, China. On the other hand, schools with 75 per cent or more in those programmes scored 446 - less than Greece, which scored 483 and received last place. Thus, education the one area the US does relatively well in - is scapegoated to avoid debating the real underlying problems facing the US, where it ranks almost at the bottom. This is precisely the way conservatives want things, and yet the so-called "liberal media" and much of the national Democratic Party goes along with it as well. As I argued in a recent column, even most conservative voters don't want to cut welfare state spending. Yet the Republican Party keeps moving further and further to the right, and Democrats keep trying to compromise with them - getting further and further away from what the American people really want. One reason this pathological dynamic persists can be found in what I've just described - a perverse set of narratives embraced by bipartisan elites, which simply has no place for pesky old facts to get in the way. In the meantime, Fullbrook's book reminds us that there's a rational order in the world - that countries can learn from one another's experience in tackling social problems and challenges, and that by striving to match what already works elsewhere, they can make their own countries better. This is, after all, the Enlightenment faith on which the United States was founded. Real patriots fix problems, they don't deny them. Source: Aljazeera. Paul Rosenberg is the senior editor of Random Lengths News, a bi-weekly alternative community newspaper.



Sudan rejects S Sudan’s oil transit fee offer Madagascar leader to meet ousted predecessor


adagascar President Andry Rajoelina arrived on a remote Seychelles island ahead of a meeting with the man he ousted in 2009, at crunch talks brokered by the regional bloc. His rival Marc Ravalomanana arrived on Tuesday, a Seychelles government source told the AFP news agency. Rajoelina and Ravalomanana were scheduled to meet later on Desroches Island for talks aimed at ending Madagascar's protracted political crisis. And the 15-member Southern African Development Community (SADC), chaired by South Africa President Jacob Zuma, will bring the two men faceto-face on Wednesday. "President Zuma in his capacity as chair of the SADC ... will be attending the meeting in Seychelles on Wednesday," said Mac Maharaj, spokesman for Zuma. The rare meeting will come on the heels of what the army said was an "attempted mutiny". The reasons for the mutiny are not yet clear. Defence Minister Andre Lucien Rakotoarimasy said on Sunday that the mutineers had not made any clear demands. An opposition radio station, Free FM, however, broadcast remarks from a soldier declaring that the mutiny was a coup, announcing "the dissolution of the current state institutions and the installation of a military directorate". The country's communications ministry on Monday accused the station of complicity in a plot against the government, warning that Free FM could face criminal charges. The defence minister said three people, including the corporal who led the mutiny, were killed in a raid near the capital on Sunday. Despite the unrest, Rajoelina flew to the Seychelles' main island of Mahe and was immediately transferred to Desroches, a private island 230km to the south where the talks will be held, a Seychelles official said. Before leaving Madagascar, Rajoelina had confirmed earlier media reports that he would be meeting Ravalomanana. "I will speak sincerely, and I am ready to resolve the crisis and to face the Seychelles meeting, even if there has been disruptive behaviour to create problems within the country," Rajoelina said.

While thirds of the region's oil is in South Sudan, the pipelines and processing facilities are situated in the North. udan has turned down oil production, crippling both financial gap that Sudan reported South Sudan's proposal of a economies. after the South gained higher oil transit fee and an Pagan Amum, South Sudan's independence a year ago. $8.2bn financial deal, ruling out chief negotiator, told reporters that 'Security a prerequisite' any comprehensive settlement of Juba was ready to resume oil Sudan, however, dismissed the outstanding issues by the August 2 exports, if "reasonable" transport fees offer, saying that security remained their top priority and deadline. are agreed on. The offer and its refusal on He outlined a proposal whereby that issues such as South Sudan's Monday came just days ahead of a the Juba would pay up to $9.10 a alleged backing of rebels should deadline imposed by the African barrel to transit its oil through therefore be settled before other Union and the United Nations Sudan. issues are tackled. "We think security is a calling on both sides to reach Khartoum had earlier agreements on issues including oil demanded as much as $36 per prerequisite," Mutrif Siddiq, a transit fees, border demarcation barrel, which includes tariffs and member of Khartoum's delegation taking part to the talks in the and security. transit, processing and port fees. When land-locked South Sudan South Sudan said that "in the Ethiopian capital told reporters. gained independence from Sudan, interest of peace" it was offering He ruled out any it took with it two thirds of the Sudan a financial package, worth comprehensive deal by the August region's oil, but the pipelines and $8.2 billion over three years, which 2 deadline but said he remained processing facilities remained in the includes a cash payment and debt hopeful in the longer term. "It is impossible to be done North. In January, Juba cut off all forgiveness to help fill the massive


within... nine or 90 days, some issues need more time to be discussed and be resolved," Siddiq said. On Saturday South Sudan said it was cancelling planned face-toface peace talks with Sudan after accusing Khartoum of launching a new air raid on its territory. But Sudan on Monday said the raid was in response to the crossing of the rebel Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement - fighters whom Khartoum believes are backed by Juba - into its territory. "We couldn't stay idle, the moment they crossed the border we engaged with them by air force, and now we are engaging with them on the ground," Siddiq said, calling the incident a "stab in the back" by Juba. The negotiations to settle disputes stemming from the South's independence stalled after border battles broke out in March, but resumed in May. Other key proposals in South Sudan's offer include an international arbitration process with a strict time frame to determine where the border lies in contested - and often oil-rich frontier regions. However, the South demanded the disputed Abyei region must hold an AU-UN organised referendum before year end to decide if it belongs to the north or the south. The referendum, provided for in a 2005 peace deal, was supposed to happen in 2011 but was stalled after disputes over eligibility for voting. South Sudan said those eligible to vote would be the Ngok Dinka ethnic group - seen as Southern supporters - as well as anyone living in the Lebanon-sized area for three continuous years prior to 2005. The deal was a "last offer, not a negotiating position," Amum said. "We are left with only nine days to August 2 ... we believe time is over for prolonging lengthy negotiations," he added.

EU proposes suspension of Zimbabwe sanctions


credible referendum on Zimbabwe's new constitution will be "an important milestone" toward the suspension of sanctions targeting many leaders and businesses linked to long-time ruler Robert Mugabe, the European Union said. EU ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell Ariccia said on Monday in Harare that the 27-nation bloc was encouraged by reforms in Zimbabwe after years of violence and economic turmoil. Zimbabwe needs to be rewarded to maintain the pace of reforms, but individual travel, banking and business bans imposed in reaction to violations of human and democratic rights will stay in effect at least until after a referendum, he said. A draft of the new constitution was completed on Friday. It must be put to a vote months before parliamentary and presidential elections proposed for mid-2013. Mugabe, 88, joined a fragile coalition with the former opposition after violent elections in 2008. "A peaceful and credible

referendum will justify suspension of the majority of listed people," Dell Ariccia told reporters, referring to individuals who are facing bans. About 110 politicians and Mugabe loyalists are currenlty banned from traveling to Europe and doing business there. EU officials say the bans on Mugabe and his closest associates will not be immediately affected by any easing of sanctions policy. Dell Ariccia said European countries were pleased that Zimbabwe recently hosted the first visit by Navi Pillay, the UN human rights chief. Lawmakers also passed new legislation on electoral reforms and the formation the country's first Human Rights Commission. Zimbabwe was trying to become "like normal countries" but there was more work to be done, he said. "We are taking stock. There are some elements in our view which still need to be encouraged," he said. Development aid, frozen for nearly a decade, will resume

immediately after consultations with the coalition government, he said. Humanitarian aid was never stopped. Britain, the former colonial power, the European Union and the United States remained the country's biggest donors in a decade of economic meltdown.

Mugabe's party on Monday scoffed at the EU announcement. "That's all hogwash. There is no reason why they must keep any of those sanctions. They have an agenda. I don't think their decision will make any difference," Rugare Gumbo, the spokesperson for Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, said.

Sanctions target many leaders and businesses linked to Robert Mugabe, the long-time president



Egypt’s Mursi names new prime minister M ohamed Mursi, the Egyptian president, has named former irrigation minister Hesham Qandil as the country's new prime minister, state television has announced. Qandil has been tasked with forming a cabinet, which he says he will do "in days", in coordination with the president. The appointment yesterday comes 25 days after Morsi was

sworn in as Egypt's first civilian and freely elected head of state. He replaced Hosni Mubarak, who was driven from office by a popular uprising in January last year. Qandil was irrigation minister in the outgoing government of Kamal Ganzuri, whom he replaces as prime minister. "This appointment of a patriotic and independent figure comes after much study and discussion to choose

a person able to manage the current scenario," said Yassir Ali, a spokesman for President Mursi. Speaking at a press conference following the announcement on Tuesday, Qandil said his priority was to fulfill Mursi's 100-day plan (which focuses on five main issues: security, traffic, bread, public cleanliness issues and fuel). Qandil was part of the delegation headed by Mursi to the

EU Summit in Ethiopia in midJuly. He was first appointed as minister of irrigation in July 2011. He represented Egypt in several international conferences on water issues and also worked in the African Development Bank. Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh, reporting from Cairo, said that Qandil had served in various departments linked to irrigation

Vietnam, Philippines slam China garrison plan

Afghan policemen defect to Taliban in Farah province


ietnam and the Philippines yesterday lashed out at China's moves to establish a military garrison in the South China Sea, amid escalating tensions in the disputed waters. Hanoi filed a formal protest with Beijing against the plan outlined by China this week to station troops in Sansha in the disputed Paracel Islands, saying it "violates international law." Manila, which is involved in a dispute over another archipelago, the Spratly Islands, also weighed into the row, summoning the Chinese ambassador to lodge a complaint against the garrison announcement. An intensifying spat over the South China Sea - the site of key shipping routes and thought to have vast oil and gas reserves - has seen a barrage of diplomatic moves between the countries with competing territorial claims. Taiwan, one of several claimants to portions of the Spratly chain, plans to boost firepower at its base on that archipelago's biggest island Taiping from next month, Taipei's coastguard said on Tuesday. Longer-range artillery and mortars are to be added to existing weaponry at the site, in a move that could further stoke tensions in the region. China says it owns much of the South China Sea, while Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia each claim portions. The disputes have become particularly acrimonious in recent weeks, with Vietnam and the Philippines criticizing what they call Chinese encroachment. Beijing's garrison plan "violates international law, seriously violates Vietnam's sovereignty... and is invalid," Foreign Ministry spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi told AFP. China attracted Hanoi's ire and sparked a series of rare protests in the Vietnamese capital - when it last month designated Sansha as its administrative center for the Paracels and the Spratly Islands. The state-backed China National Offshore Oil Corporation also announced it was welcoming bids to explore oil blocks in the disputed waters, a week after Vietnam adopted a law placing the Spratlys under its sovereignty. Nghi told AFP Tuesday that China must revoke its "wrongdoings" and urged "friendly and cooperative" relations in order

and water issues. She said that he was also involved in the Nile Basin Initiative in the African continent and that this signalled that Mursi, who has been trying to rekindle relations with the African continent after years of neglect under former president Hosni Mubarak, was serious about settling squabbles over Egypt's share of the Nile's water resources.


Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, left, has tasked Hesham Mohammed Qandil with forming a new cabinet In this July 20, 2012 file photo shows a fishing ship sails past the Meiji reef in Sansha city in south China's Hainan province.

n Afghan police commander and 13 junior officers have joined the Taliban in the western Afghan province of Farah, in what correspondents say could be the biggest defection by police. They say the commander, named as Mirwais, was in charge of a 20-man checkpoint when he defected on Sunday. The men are said to have taken heavy weaponry, radios and police vehicles including US-made armoured Humvees. Farah is one of the most insecure areas in the relatively peaceful west. The commander was based in Shewan village in the district of Bala Bulak, which was until recently considered a Taliban stronghold. The insurgents were driven out of the area following a series of operations carried out by Afghan security forces. But local officials say insurgents have regrouped in the area recently.

Syria’s President reshuffles top security posts


resident Bashar Assad yesterday reshuffled the generals at the core of his regime's highly secretive security apparatus after last week's bombing that killed four top officials charged with fighting the tenacious rebellion rocking the country, an official said. The shakeup comes as the Syrian regime is fighting to regain the upper hand in its battle with rebels who recently have taken the fight to the heart of government power with attacks on the capital Damascus and the country's largest city of Aleppo. The government official said that Assad appointed Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk, the former head of General Intelligence, to the key post of head of the National Security Council. His predecessor, Maj. Gen. Hisham Ikhtiyar, died of wounds sustained in the bombing, a government official said. Maj. Gen. Abdel Fattah Qudsiyeh, the former head of Military Intelligence, was named the council's deputy chief, replacing a general who was apparently fired. The EU has imposed sanctions on Qudsiyeh for his role in the crackdown on the uprising.



Spain wildfires consume 4 as thousands flee Hundreds of firefighters backed by water-bombing planes battled a wind-fuelled wildfire in northeast Spain that killed four people, including a teenage girl.

Another 23 people were injured, including eight who remained in hospital, the Catalan regional government said on Monday. About 1,300 people were

battling the blaze, including 500 Spanish and 450 French firefighters plus military personnel, police and volunteers, backed by 33 planes and

Wildfires spread quickly across Alt Emporda region near the French border and covered some 13,000 hectares

Prosecutors eye death penalty for Colorado terrorist


rosecutors said Monday they would formally charge Colorado cinema shooting suspect James Holmes next week, but will consult with victims' families on whether to seek the death penalty. Arapahoe county district attorney Carol Chambers, speaking shortly after the 24year-old's first appearance in court, said the charges could include first degree murder but would not normally include terrorism. She said that the decision whether or not to seek the death penalty had to involve victims' families. The first charges will be filed in court next Monday, but amended charges could be laid at later dates. "That's a very long process that impacts their lives for years

we will want to get their input before we make any decision on that," she said of the death penalty decision. Holmes is accused of shooting dead 12 people and wounding 58 others at a cinema Friday in

Terrorist James Holmes appears in court at the Arapahoe County Justice Center on Monday in Centennial, Colorado.

helicopters, said Catalonia region interior minister Felip Puig. The fire remained out of control, he told reporters on Monday evening, but "the outlook is encouraging" because the wind had dropped and the temperature in the area was expected to do the same. "At this stage we cannot say when it will be possible to control the fire," he said. "The conditions are right for the firefighters to attack it overnight," he added, when the aircraft will not be able to operate. Puig said the fire had likely been caused by a cigarette butt or small explosive device that caught fire due to "recklessness or negligence". Among the victims, were a Frenchman and his 15-year-old daughter who died on Sunday after abandoning their car and throwing themselves off a cliff into the sea to escape the approaching flames near the town of Portbou. "From where they jumped you

First US woman to travel into space dies


ally Ride, the first US woman to travel into space, has died after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer, according to her foundation. Ride, 61, broke new ground for American women in 1983 when at the age of 32 she and four crewmates blasted off aboard space shuttle Challenger. She returned to space for a second mission a year later. "Sally Ride broke barriers with grace and professionalism - and literally changed the face of America's space programme," NASA administrator Charles Bolden, a former astronaut, said in a statement on Monday. "She will be missed, but her star will always shine brightly," Bolden said. Ride grew up in Los Angeles and attended Stanford University, where she earned degrees in physics and English.

She joined NASA's astronaut corps in 1978. She was assigned to a third shuttle flight, but training for the mission was cut off after the fatal 1986 Challenger accident that claimed the lives of six colleagues and a schoolteacher.


unseen influence on leaders' moods as they seal decisions on everything from the crisis in Syria to the euro zone's debt woes. "Presidents come and go, but chefs stay," said Gilles Bragard, the French businessman who started the club of chefs to the world's presidents and monarchs in 1977. "I often say that if politics divides, then the table brings people together," he told a news conference in Paris at their latest annual get-together. In a wink at the cooks' importance, the club's name - "Le Club des Chefs des Chefs" - plays on the fact the French word for chef and leader is the same. It could translate as "The Club of Chefs of the Chiefs" or "The Club of

Chiefs of the Chiefs." "I think what I cook can really make a difference to how discussions happen," Daryl

Some of the chefs at the gathering.


ritish prosecutors on Tuesday charged Prime Minister David Cameron's former spokesman Andy Coulson and ex-News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks with phonehacking. The Crown Prosecution Service said it was charging a total of eight people in relation to the scandal at Rupert Murdoch's now defunct News of the World tabloid, while it was taking no further action against five others. The eight will face charges of conspiring to unlawfully intercept the voice-mail messages of some 600 people, who included Hollywood stars Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Jude Law as well as politicians and crime victims. Prosecutors said the other targets included England footballer Wayne Rooney and exBeatle Paul McCartney. The others facing charges include Stuart Kuttner, the News of the World's former managing editor, former news editor Greg Miskiw, former head of news Ian Edmonson, former chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck and reporter James Weatherup.

Italian mayors protest spending cuts


Sally Ride broke new ground for American women in 1983 when she went on her first shuttle mission

Presidential chefs swap recipes for world diplomacy handful of people in the world know that German Chancellor Angela Merkel loves popping over to Paris because of her penchant for French cuisine, while it's best to avoid serving artichokes to French President Francois Hollande. They are the top chefs from the kitchens of the world's leaders, masters of the art of sweetening international relations with a sumptuous meal, who gather in Paris this week to swap recipes and tips on dinner-party diplomacy. If Winston Churchill was right when he said a century ago that "the stomach governs the world," then this club of 27 culinary maestros have an

British prosecutors charge PM's exaide with phone-hacking

Schembeck, head chef from the kitchens of the United Nations who recently cooked for a party of 200 world leaders, told Reuters.

ayors from across Italy, holding up flags and wearing their tricolor sashes, demonstrated in front of the Italian Senate yesterday against spending cuts planned by the government. "We have reached our limits," said Mayor Andrea Marchi of the northern town of Ostellato, echoing big city Mayor Gianni Alemanno of Rome about threats to public services. The mayors planned to meet with Senate President Renato Schifani and the Cabinet minister for relations with parliament Piero Giarda. Graziano Delrio, president of the association of Italian cities, says the cuts will be "lethal" for many cities and that it's not too late for the legislature to modify the government decree. The government of Premier Mario Monti has said it is hoping to save a total of (EURO)26 billion ($31.7 billion) over the next three years with spending cuts in various sectors of government. Monti, an economics professor named premier last November in a bid to shore up Italy's defenses against the European debt crisis, sought to avert another emergency Tuesday. He met with the governor of the autonomous region of Sicily and gave the go-ahead for a plan to prevent default. Sicily reportedly has a (EURO) 5 billion black hole.



Two-year-old Lavinia Ramirez plays piano concert to 200 guests S

he had been learning the instrument for just six weeks when she played Mary Had A Little Lamb before a live audience in Plymouth, Devon. Her music teacher Matej Lehocky said she was 'bright' and her talent was 'unheard of'. 'To play at her age is something extraordinary, something very special,' he said. 'Usually children that young are not able to control themselves or do what they are told. 'Normally they just run down the keys and get bored.' Mr Lehocky added she had shown great maturity for a person as young as her and although there were moments she would get distracted, she had something exceptional. Neither of Lavinia's parents, Ian and Jenna, who work as managers at a local Tesco, play instruments. Jenna, from Ivybridge, Devon, said: 'I don't know where Lavinia gets her brains from she's more intelligent than me.

Prodigy: Lavinia Ramirez has been labelled the 'mini Mozart' (Picture: SWNS) 'Before she was two she could write numbers and letters and recognise them in books.

'She told me what a trapezium was the other day; I didn't know. 'She seemed to be on the toy

piano all the time so we asked her if she wanted to learn, and she said she would.' Young Lavinia, who has just

turned three, will be hoping she can fulfill her promise and title of 'mini-Mozart'... no pressure then.

Thrillseekers flock to Utah Mole Man’s £1m Mole Hole sells at desert 'playground' to auction minus the tunnels get adrenaline fix T his roofless shell, which has been sold at auction, was previously owned by the socalled Mole Man - an elderly eccentric who dug out a labyrinth of tunnels up to 8m (26ft) beneath the house. At just over £1.1million you might expect a decent size basement. They've all been filled in since William Lyttle was evicted six years ago but his legacy remains: the new owners have named the plot the Mole Hole. It was sold with permission for two new houses after stiff bidding saw the guide price of £750,000 outstripped. When the site is developed, the occupants will enjoy the benefits of living in a conservation area in a trendy part of Hackney, north London.

Filled in: William Lyttle built a maze of tunnels under his old home (Picture: Colin Davey)

Sitting himself: Andy Lewis (Picture: Caters)

Terrifying: Andy Lewis walks a highline 76m (250ft) above ground (Pictures: Caters)

Prince Charles’ 31-year-old uneaten wedding day toast sells for £230

lunging more than 245m (800ft) from the top of a cliff or 'slacklining' between two giant peaks isn't everyone's cup of tea. But for some thrillseekers, the discovery of what is being dubbed 'the world's biggest playground' has been a revelation. Adrenaline junkies travel from far and wide to fine-tune their climbing, slacklining and basejumping skills at the Fisher Towers playground. The amazing outdoor park has something for adventurers of all abilities, with rocks ranging in size from 11m (35ft) to the 245m (800ft)

Echo and Cottontail towers, which take five days to climb. Scott Rogers from Denver, Colorado, is just one daredevil who can't get enough of the park. The 24-year-old has spent more than 40 days testing his skills in Utah's Moab desert alongside friends Andy Lewis and Hayley Ashburn. Mr Rogers said: 'Spending time here is just unbelievable. There is nowhere else in the world you can have so much fun. 'Fisher Towers has been a playground for many people but it wasn't until recently that jumping off the towers became a priority.

Royal toast: Prince Charles' wedding day toast sells for £230 (Picture: Reuters)



slice of toast left over from Prince Charles' breakfast on the morning of his wedding to Princess Diana has sold at auction for £230. The piece of bread was kept as a memento by Rosemarie Smith following the 1981 wedding, which was watched by 750 million people worldwide. Mrs Smith, whose daughter worked for the royal family for nearly three decades, described how she acquired the toast, which was kept on her shelf in a cup. 'At the time my daughter was a maid at the palace and one of her duties was to collect Prince Charles'

breakfast tray from outside his room,' she said in a press statement. 'I was with her in the corridor and saw that Prince Charles had left some toast on the tray. 'I had been thinking about a keepsake from the wedding and saw the toast and thought to myself: "Why not?"' The toasted breakfast treat was sold to a British buyer. A spokeswoman for the auction house added: 'The slice of toast went to a UK buyer. 'There were two telephone bidders fighting it out for the slice. It was exciting.



The sports drink myth: They ‘don’t boost energy and can be harmful’ T

hey claim to increase energy levels and help you exercise better. But specialist sports drinks are a waste of money and could actually be harmful, say researchers. They warn that rather than being beneficial to our health, popular brands such as Lucozade and Powerade contain large amounts of sugar and calories which encourage weight gain. The academics from Oxford and Harvard universities also accuse the manufacturers of ‘misleading’ gym-goers by convincing them they are on the verge of dehydration. They point out it is probably more dangerous to drink too much liquid because it can cause the deadly condition hypernatremia, where brain cells swell up. The sports drinks market in Britain rose 10 per cent last year to more than £1billion. Around 440million litres of products are drunk annually – enough to fill 400 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Although the drinks are marketed at gym-goers, they are also bought by office workers who just want an energy boost. The study published in the British Medical Journal looked at


ut there were also problems with diagnosis and treatment. After their sight loss, three of the ten people ended up in residential homes. Yet timely steroids — which cost a few pounds — can prevent what the paper calls ‘large healthcare costs and catastrophic psychological and social costs’. The authors say there must be increased awareness of GCA and recommend a mandatory ‘fast track’ treatment. The good news is this has now been piloted in Southend — GPs have been taught about GCA and advised to send people with symptoms to specialist teams for fast treatment. Over previous years, a quarter of 28 people seen at hospital were diagnosed with GCA only after suffering sight loss. But since the system was introduced, just one in 14 people seen had lost vision before diagnosis. The scheme was not expensive as its key features were educating doctors and devising new systems. This is a small pilot scheme, but Southend University Hospital rheumatologist and PMR specialist Professor Bhaskar Dasgupta is thrilled by the results. ‘The swift treatment has transformed outcomes. The time from start of symptoms to start of treatment has reduced considerably, from 46.5 days to 31.5. However, there is progress still to be made in terms of educating patients to see their GP earlier if they have suspicious symptoms.’

'Lack of evidence': Wayne Rooney's new Powerade advertisement 104 products, including sports drinks, protein shakes and trainers, and studied more than 400 health claims made in adverts. In one 1997 advert for Lucozade Sport, footballer Alan Shearer is seen saying the drink is ‘designed for top athletes’. He adds: ‘It delivers fluid and

energy fast so I’m always on top of my game.’ In 1985, former Olympic gold medallist Daley Thompson endorsed Lucozade. A TV advert showed him drinking a bottle as he waited for traffic lights to change before sprinting off. In another, Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney is seen

drinking Powerade and is shown scoring a goal against his body double, who has only drunk water. The researchers warned that, despite such claims, there is a ‘striking lack of evidence’ the drinks do any good. Deborah Cohen, investigations editor at the BMJ,

said: ‘These misleading messages filter down to everyday health advice by company-sponsored scientists who advise high-profile sports bodies. ‘For instance, fear about dehydration has become gospel and influences what we drink when we exercise. It’s a triumph of marketing over science.’ The authors also warned that protein-shakes are no better than drinking milk. Their study, to be shown tonight on BBC1’s Panorama, concluded: ‘There is a striking lack of evidence to support the majority of... claims related to enhanced performance or recovery. The absence of highquality evidence is worrying.’ A spokesman for GlaxoSmith-Kline, which makes Lucozade, said: ‘More than 40 years of research and 85 peer-reviewed studies have supported the development of Lucozade Sport and all our claims are based on scientific evidence that has been reviewed by the European Food Safety Authority.’ Coca-Cola, which makes Powerade, said: ‘Sports drinks are among the best-researched beverages in the world. There is a wealth of scientific research that can be relied upon.’ Source:

When a stiff jaw means you’re losing your sight (II) A group of experts is about to start a formal medical and financial evaluation of the Southend scheme to see how something similar can be rolled out across the country. Lord Wills, a former minister, has taken up the issue of GCA after reading Daily Mail articles about people going unnecessarily blind. ‘It shocked me to read that sufferers, who are often elderly, so frequently have their symptoms dismissed as the aches and pains of ageing. ‘It is terrific that the Mail has exposed what is happening. This isn’t about spending lots of money. The failure to prevent blindness is costing Britain hundreds of millions of pounds a year because people who lose their sight later in life become dependent and can end up needing full-time residential care.’ Lord Wills started campaigning about the issue, organising a debate in the House of Lords. That revealed the Department of Health didn’t even know how many people go blind each year as a result of GCA. The Department of Health has now agreed to take part in an evaluation of the Southend study.

Tragic delay: Dennis was diagnosed with giant cell arteritis after losing the sight in both eyes years apart and then suffering a stroke (posed by model). All it can take to stop someone going blind is 60 milligrams of prednisolone — that’s around £1.20 to stop a life being wrecked and many tens of thousands being spent to support someone

who has gone blind. It was 60 milligrams of steroid that I believe saved me. But I am one of the lucky ones. I think of Barry Peck cycling in his shed. He says: ‘It makes it harder

to come to terms with what’s happened when I know that my sight could have been saved if I was diagnosed earlier.’ Concluded Source:



INEC’s dilemma over party deregistration ANALYSIS Recently, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) threatened to deregister 46 more parties in addition to seven already deregistered and this move has attracted public reactions. In this piece, Ikechukwu Okaforadi writes on the dilemma facing the electoral umpire at the face of the provisions in the 2010 Electoral Act.


fter deregistering seven political parties in December for failing to win a seat at any level of government, INEC recently threatened to deregister 46 other nonperforming parties. This is based on the claims by the Commission they unviable because they failed to equally produce an elected member for any of the public offices. The seven political parties earlier deregistered are: Democratic Alternative, National Democratic Council, National Action Council, Masses Movement of Nigeria, Nigerian Peoples Congress, Nigerian Elements Progressive Party and National Unity Party. Those recently threatened with deregistration by INEC include Action Alliance (AA), Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD), African Democratic Congress (ADC), African Liberation Party (ALP), African Political System (APS), African Renaissance Party (ARP), Alliance for Democracy (AD), Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP), Change Advocacy Party (CAP), Citizens Popular Party (CPP), Community Party of Nigeria (CPN), Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), Democratic Alternative (DA), Democratic Front for Peoples Federation (DFPF) and Democratic Peoples Alliance (DPA), to mention just few. Aligning with this move by INEC, many political observers have opined that Nigeria’s democracy will only be meaningful if the opposition parties are tremendously trimmed to engender a more robust opposition politics. These opinions came on the background of existing 63 political parties that participated in the 2011 elections, most of which did not field candidates during elections. Analysts have equally decried the apparent lack of ideology in the Nigerian political system. This is precisely the fact since majority of the manifestoes presented by these 63 parties before they were registered as parties were almost the same, with only mere linguistic differences. There had been suggestions coming from various quarters that INEC should stop funding parties

so that those that lack feasibility will either fade out naturally or go into coalition/merger, so as to become strong enough to win elective positions. In addition, most of the stronger opposition parties, including the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), have condemned the proliferation of political parties, pointing out that most of them merely serve as tools in the hand of the ruling party for dividing and ruling opposition politics in Nigeria’s democratic context. According to the CPC Secretary, Buba Galadima and Chairman of ACN, FCT chapter, Mr Faruk Osuma, since the INEC decision to deregister nonperforming parties is in line with the 2010 Electoral Act, and was not done with bias, people should not see it as a witch hunt. Some other political parties and organisations like the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) and Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), hold a contrary view. They argue that the parties should be allowed to exist side by side with the bigger opposition parties since multi party system has always been the joy of democracy. They argue that deregistration will only shrink the opposition space and clog the development of Nigeria’s democracy. These sympathizers and promoters of smaller parties have argued that the move by INEC to deregister any party contravenes the 1999 constitution which provides freedom to form and belong to associations; political or otherwise. Topmost in their points is that political parties in other democratically advanced climes

Prof. Attahiru Jega have never existed solely for winning elections. They insist that most parties in Germany and Britain; even the big ones, do not field candidates in elections but exist for various political, economic reasons and as pressure groups to the ruling party. As it is today, fund is a necessary ingredient which drives politics in Nigeria. On the basis of this, most observers have expressed worry over the financial status of most of these small parties. While a lot of them suffer from paucity of funds, a good number depend solely on the grants from the INEC for survival. Against this background, analysts have posited that Chairmen of these small parties use them as a means of livelihood, in addition to ‘a negotiation ground for positions or for other incentives’, other than to really win an elective position. It would be recalled that the above scenario played out in the build up to the 2011 general elections, where about 44 political parties, most of which did not field a candidates, unanimously adopted President Goodluck

It would be recalled that the above scenario played out in the build up to the 2011 general elections, where about 44 political parties, most of which did not field a candidates, unanimously adopted President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as their Presidential candidate

Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as their Presidential candidate. After the elections, some of them began to push for all inclusive government that will extend Ministerial and Special Advisers and Special Assistants positions to them. They claimed that because they adopted the candidature of President Jonathan and campaigned for him at the grassroots, they should therefore be compensated with appointments. These small political platforms, in reaction to the threat by INEC, had counter-threatened to sue INEC over its decision which they unanimously insisted that it negates the provisions of the 1999 constitution on basic human rights, freedom of association and freedom to form political groups for the purposes of election. To underscore their seriousness in pursuing what they refer to as their inalienable human rights, some of the parties in this category, in June this year, instituted a case in the Federal High Court, Abuja against INEC for a breach of their basic human rights. It would be recalled that after 1999 elections contested by PDP, All Peoples Party (APP) now ANPP, Alliance for Democracy (AD) now ACN, many politicians seeking political relevance began to form political parties to enable them participate in the future elections. But by the time INEC released the guidelines for the registration of parties, according to the 2002 Electoral Act, these politicians were disappointed as they alleged that the guidelines were stifling. Some of the parties who could not meet the INEC’s registration requirements then instituted a suit

against the commission. The suit progressed from Federal High Court and eventually to the Supreme Court then headed by Justice Mohammadu Uwais. On November 8, 2002, Justice Uwais, in a lead judgment, held, among others, that the INEC’s powers to issue the guidelines contravened the 1999 Constitution and therefore pronounced the guidelines invalid. This judgment opened the democratic space, leading to 28 political parties contesting the 2003 elections. In the same vein, as to what transpired in 2002, these current 46 parties, including the 7 earlier deregistered, had already gone to court hoping to replicate what transpired in 2002. This move has put INEC in a critical condition, particularly as it cries over insufficient funds to implement its policies and project, not to talk of meeting up with the subventions which the 2006 Electoral Act mandated it to give to political parties. To aggravate the situation of INEC, the Chairman, Attahiru Jega, shortly after assuming office, pointedly said that his administration will only stick to the decision of the court. This statement points to his readiness to uphold the rule of law, as being championed by President Goodluck Jonathan. On one hand, party deregistration by INEC is justified by the Act of the National Assembly as contained in the 2010 Electoral Act, which has given a new guideline. Though this new rule comes from a statutory body empowered for such purpose, the role of the Judiciary in reshaping such actions by INEC cannot be underestimated. While the decision of INEC is in consonance with the 2010 Electoral Act, the Judiciary may decide otherwise. This has put the electoral umpire in dilemma as to whether to stick to the powers given to it by the legislature through the 2010 Electoral Act or adhere to the decision of the Judiciary as the Chairman has always promised. Though the case is still at the Federal High Court, there are several factors without prejudice, which indicate that the affected parties might win the case against INEC. This is particularly considering the fact that a competent court and the apex court in the country, headed by a reputable Justice had earlier taken a judgment that favoured the affected parties. In addition to this, Nigeria is signatory to various international treaties which seek to uphold freedom of association and speech, therefore, proscription of small political bodies would be viewed as a contravention to these treaties, and by extension, a threat to basic human rights in Nigeria.



Osun Assembly revokes appointments of 184 council workers


he Osun House of Assembly yesterday in Osogbo resolved that the appointments of no fewer than 184 local government workers be revoked. The assembly said it took the decision because the appointments, which were made between November 2010 and now, were "illegal".

The assembly announced the decision after receiving the report of its ad-hoc committee set up to look into the recruitments. The decision followed a motion to that effect moved by Mr Timothy Owoeye, the Majority Leader, which was seconded by Mr Olalekan Afolabi. Earlier, while presenting the report ,the Chairman of the

committee, Owoeye, explained that the appointments were illegal as they were made when the Local Government Service Commission was not in place. Owoeye also said there were discrepancies in the date of request for appointment and approvals as well as the number of requests and the approval given.

The affected officers were spread across Irepodun; EdeSouth; Ede-North; Isokan; Boluwaduro; Orolu; Ayedaade; Olorunda; Iwo and AtakumosaWest local governments. Meanwhile, the assembly also ordered that every process in the appointment of permanent secretaries and directors in the state should stop immediately.

L-R: Senate President David Mark, with Plateau state governor, Mr Jonah Jang, during the funeral service for late Senator Gyang Dantong, yesterday in Jos. Photo: NAN

A' Ibom to conduct regular training for budget officers


he Akwa Ibom state government said it would conduct regular training and promotion examination for budget officers in the state. Pastor Nicholas Ekarika, the Permanent Secretary, Budget Office, said this yesterday at a workshop on Budget Improvement Techniques in Uyo.

It was organised by the state budget office in collaboration with DSB Consult for officers in the state budget office. Ekarika said that at the end of the workshop, the officers would be assessed, while those who were not trainable would be asked to leave the service. "I promised my staff that being a professional and an

officer of the government that takes charge of budget preparation, implementation and monitoring, we will have regular training programme.'' Ekarika urged the participants to take the training programme seriously, saying that their future in office would be determined by what they make out of such training programmes.

"For the first time, the state was able to hand over the budget estimates in September, a development which gave the state House of Assembly enough time to look at it.'' He said that as a result of the synergy between the budget office and the state House of Assembly, the budget was passed within the year.

Benue Speaker urges Muslims to pray for peace during Ramadan


he Speaker, Benue House of Assembly, Mr David Iorhemba, has called on Muslims in the state to use the period of Ramadan to pray for peace and security of the state. Iorhemba made the call on Tuesday in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr

Yakubu Imanche, in Makurdi and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). He said that there was the need for Muslims to pray for peace because they were in a state of grace in which anything they requested from God would be answered. The speaker also urged them to

sustain the long-existing peaceful and cordial relationship with their Christian counterpart in the state. Iorhemba enjoined the Muslims to imbibe the teachings and lessons of the period such as selfdiscipline, kindness and sacrifice so as to attract blessings from God. He appealed to them to live their

lives in conformity with the teachings of Prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon Him) who was not partial and dishonest in his dealings. The speaker charged them to show love to all and sundry irrespective of their religious inclinations.

NGO advocates internal reforms in INEC to improve efficiency, credibility


lliance for Credible Election (ACE), an NGO, on Tuesday in Abuja called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to embark on internal reforms to improve its efficiency and credibility in the future elections. The Deputy General Secretary of ACE, Mr Asuzu Echezon, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that it was imperative for all departments in INEC to discharge their responsibilities with minimum problems. ``This reform will help the commission achieve its objectives of conducting free, fair, transparent and credible elections in Nigeria. `` Echezona urged INEC to embark on aggressive voter education as voter apathy has persistently taken the shine off many elections in recent times. ``We wonder whether it is actually voter apathy or something is wrong with the voters' register, it is either something is wrong with the voter register or people are not willing to cast their votes. ``Based on our experience in the just concluded Edo election, there was massive turn out, INEC has to critically reexamin the whole voter register and come out with original document that the people can trust. `` He explained d that 1, 677,99 voters registered for the July 14 Edo governorship election but noted that only 647,698 eligible voters cast their votes because many could not find their names in the register. ``Consistently, we have been seeing voter apathy, we have also observed that many people had not been able to find their names in the voters' register during Edo state governorship election. Echezona urged INEC to accord priority to the logistic problems to avert delay in the movement of men and materials to the polling unit in good time. He recalled that voter registration cost the tax payers a colossal amount of money, saying that imperfections yet abound in this all important exercise in the electoral process.

Bill to amend Kwara joint account law passes first reading


bill seeking to amend the Kwara Joint Local Government Account and State Joint Account Allocation Committee Law yesterday sailed through first reading on the floor of the House of Assembly. The Majority Leader of the House, Abdulkareem AbulGaniyu, who represents

Share-Oke-Ode constituency, moved the motion for the first reading of the bill. The motion, which was seconded by Hon. Nimata Ibrahim, enjoyed the support of all members of the house. The Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Gana Issa, who presided over the proceedings of

the House, committed the bill to the Rules and Business Committee to prepare it for second reading. The House in another resolution urged Gov. Abdultafah Ahmed to consider the inclusion of the ecological control fund programme in the 2013 budget of the state.

It unanimously took the decision while receiving the report of its Committee on Energy, Works and Transport following a petition by Amule community of Ilorin on a collapsed bridge and erosion problem. The House stated that the inclusion of the ecological fund would allow the state government

to cater for environment-related disasters. It also urged the state Ministry of Environment and Forestry to provide refuse bins in areas where they were not available in the state. The lawmakers said such a measure would prevent the dumping of refuse in drains.



PPA sacks South East Excos By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


L-R: ECOWAS President, Ambassador Kadré Ouedraogo, with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, during PDP chairman's visit to ECOWAS secretariat, on Monday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

Gov. Al-makura to rejoin PDP, as Tukur moves to reconcile factions By Lawrence Olaoye


ndications emerged yesterday that the Governor of Nassarawa state, Alhaji Tanko Al-makura may return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as soon as the internal crises in the state party's chapter are resolved. Speaking yesterday during a visit to the national leadership of the PDP, the leader of a faction of PDP in the Nassarawa state, Dr. James Angbazo, said that the Nassarawa governor still remains a member of PDP at heart but has been bidding his time to return to the party because of the crisis rocking the state chapter of the party. According to the factional leader, the same people who manipulated and denied Al-makura PDP ticket are still the ones that are in charge of the affairs of the party in the state despite the flawed congress that was condemned by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and Al-makura is concerned that he will suffer the same treatment again if he returns to PDP on their watch. "Al-makura is a bonafide member of PDP; he is scared because of the incumbent state exco because they might deny him

ticket again". Angbazo lamented that PDP lost the last governorship election to a relatively new party, adding that they were ashamed of the dismal electoral performance of the party in the state even as he accused the state exco of working at cross purpose with the founders and leaders of the party in the state. Also speaking the former governor of Nassarawa state and immediate past Secretary of the Board of Trustees of PDP, Dr. Abdullahi Adamu, attributed the defeat of PDP during the 2011 governorship election to protest vote against the PDP candidate, Akwe Doma, who took over from him in 2007. According to Adamu, his successor abandoned the projects he inherited and performed far below expectation which led to strikes in the states and when the people got the opportunity to shove him aside, they did so with their votes during the last election. He traced the genesis of the crisis in Nassasawa PDP to the era of Akwe Doma when cracks developed within the party two years after he came into office. Adamu told the National Working Committee that the crack deepened last

year when the present executive committee breached all the rules on the conduct of PDP primaries and swapped the offices amongst themselves against the agreement reached by stakeholders in the party. He appealed to the NWC to revisit the INEC letter of March 5 which declared that there were no primaries in some states, including Nassarawa and conduct fresh primaries in the state in order to give sense of belonging to PDP members that were denied participation during the flawed congresses. In his response, PDP National Chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur expressed appreciation to former governor Adamu for giving the NWC objective insight into what led to the impasse and electoral misfortune of PDP in Nassarawa state. He declared that it is common knowledge that Nassarawa is a strong base of PDP and for the party to have lost the state, there must be an underlying problem. Tukur gave assurance that he put in motion machinery to reconcile all members of the party in the state and ensure that level playing field is provided for all members of the party to participate in the affairs of the party.

Oshiomhole's victory, red card to brigandage, godfatherism, says Ajimobi From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


yo state governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has said that the victory recorded by his Edo state counterpart, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, in the July 14, 2012 gubernatorial election has put paid to the activities of promoters of gangsterism, brigandage and godfatherism. He said this on Monday evening while receiving Comrade Oshiomhole who was in Ibadan to commiserate with him over the passing away of his mother, Alhaja Dhikrat Abeje Ajimobi last week. Governor Ajimobi, while congratulating Comrade Oshiomhole on the well-deserved return as governor of Edo State, said that his

victory at the polls would serve as an encouragement for people like him who never believed in those vices. “Let me congratulate you on your hardwon but well-deserved return as governor of Edo State. With your victory, you have encouraged many of us who never believed in gangsterism, brigandage, godfatherism, subterfuge, perfidy,'' he said. Governor Ajimobi expressed appreciation to his Edo state counterpart for finding time to come to Ibadan to commiserate with him, saying, however, that he was not surprised ``because politically, we are brothers; intellectually, we relate a lot; courageously, we are partners and in open-mindedness, we are very much in tune.''

He recalled that the wish of her late mother was for her to see him as governor for just one day, stressing, however, that God made it possible for her to see him as governor not for one day, but for 417 days before her passage to the great beyond. Governor Oshiomhole, in his remarks, thanked God that the late Alhaja Ajimobi lived a fulfilled life and died at a ripe age. “I believe that our Mama will be happy for what you (Governor Ajimobi) has been able to accomplish in life,'' he said, just as he prayed for the forgiveness of her sins, and that God should grant her eternal rest. He said democracy has come to stay in Nigeria pointing out that electorates are tired of rigging and determined to ensure all vote counts.

he Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) has dissolved the Executive Committees of the party in the five South-East States of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo as well as the South-East zone. According to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, the sack was to kick-start the redeeming and repositioning of the Party. Speaking at the end of the party’s NWC meeting in Abuja yesterday, the National Chairman, Chief Sam Nkire, said the action was in line with the PPA’s constitution and was aimed at repositioning the party in the zone for future elections. According to Nkire, the action became necessary after several attempts aimed at reconciling differences within the states Executive members proved abortive. “We found out that it had become impossible for some of the state executive members to work in harmony, as a result of irreconcilable differences, in-fighting and in some cases fictionalization,” he said. The affected officers have been directed to hand over all party property in their possession to the Administrative Secretaries in their states, while awaiting the announcement of the reconstituted caretaker Committee members of the states and the zone, pending fresh congresses. The PPA boss however appealed to party members across the country to remain ever loyal, insisting that the Party is poised to be victorious in more states of the federation than it did in 2007.

Dabiri condoles with families of Nigerians in US crash By Lawrence Olaoye


hairman House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Rep Abike Dabiri Erewa, has condoled with families of five Nigerians who died in a car crash in New York, US on Sunday morning. In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, the lawmaker expressed sadness with the death of five promising Nigerians including two children. She urged the parents, families and friends of the deceased to take heart, describing the deaths of the Nigerians as “shocking, sad and painful’’. Dabiri-Erewa prayed God to grant the deceased eternal rest and their loved ones the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss even as she called on Nigerians to adhere to traffic regulations at all times. It will be recalled that five Nigerians, including two children, were killed at the early hours of Sunday in a car crash near the Van Wyck expressway in Queens, New York, where three of the eight persons in the vehicle survived the accident. The accident occurred when the SUV in which the victims were travelling swerved after speeding through two red lights, slammed into a concrete pillar, rolled over and burst into flames. The victims were said to be indigenes of Imo, and had attended a two-day annual convention of the Arondizuogu Patriotic Union National Congress of North America. It was also learnt that some of the passengers were ejected from the vehicle, including a 26year-old man, whom rescue personnel found sitting on a curb. The driver, a 45-year-old woman whose name has not been made public resides in the Bronx and was taken to the hospital in critical condition. The third survivor, a seven-year-old boy was in stable condition.



ACN can’t be trusted with power, says PDP By Lawrence Olaoye


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday said the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) cannot be trusted with power. The party in a statement made available to newsmen by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, stated that “the last week’s local government election in Ogun state which was massively rigged by the ACN has again exposed the Party as a league of incurable dictators

who are not interested in advancing the cause of democracy.” The PDP also said the ACN has consistently proven that Nigerians cannot entrust it with power. “With the unfortunate outcome of the last week’s local government election, the ACN has smashed all doubts as to its carefully chosen course in the unrestrained suppression of the electoral wishes of the people.” Metuh said that democracy is in grave danger in all the ACN controlled states with

the stubborn insistence of the Party that what counts is the whimsical decision of the cabal in its leadership and not the vote of the people. He added “prior to the election, our Ogun state chapter alerted the nation to the distortion in the voter’s registers and of the massive build up in instruments of violence by the ACN. It also noted the flagrant abuse of the electoral laws and the Ogun state Independent Electoral commission’s guidelines.” “This brazen assault on

democracy climaxed on the election day when the snatching of ballot boxes, seizure of result sheets and unrestrained violence were engaged by the machinery of the ACN controlled state government. In spite, voters defied intimidation and made their choice. “ The PDP demanded to know why the results of the election were not declared at the ward level as required by law instead of the state capital where the outcome of the election was conveniently

R-L: Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC) Edo state chapter, Comrade Charles Oronsaye, Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Edo state chapter, Comrade Emmanuel Ademokun, presenting a card to the state Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on his reelection, yesterday in Benin City.

NLC not for sale, Omar tells PDP By Muhammad Nasir


he Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday told the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that it is not for sale as it would not support any party based on pecuniary gains. The NLC in a statement issued by its President, Abdulwaheed Omar denied the allegation raised by the PDP in Ondo state that labour leaders and other prominent Nigerians who attended Governor Olusegun Mimiko's governorship declaration were financially induced. The state chapter had, through its Publicity Secretary, raised the allegation recently but the NLC in a statement signed by its President, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, had expressed surprise at the comments. Omar stated "Are we to believe that the PDP has succeeded thus far through financial inducement and not principles to gain such

tremendous power in our political landscape? A party that does not believe in the acknowledgement of performance and peopleoriented programmes? For the avoidance of doubt, neither the Nigeria Labour Congress nor its officials will ever consider monetary benefits in the choice of who to support in the union collective quest for good governance" According to him, "it is obviously crass opportunistic to conclude that NLC is financially induced before they openly endorse and give support to the candidate of a party that is well known to have associated with from inception." The NLC president noted that they supported Dr. Mimiko during his campaigns for his first term in office and that they have been supporting him in the course of his ongoing first term. He said they have no reasons not to campaign for him because of his remarkable performance in his last administration to be re-elected.

Omar stressed the need for NLC to support any candidate based on certain principles, performance and background to be very high on the list. He added that Dr. Mimiko is of a political party nurtured, and sustained by Nigerian workers. "It will therefore be surprising that anyone in his right senses will assume that NLC have to be financially induced to endorse its own candidate," he said. "No political party should assume everyone is for sale. If anyone or organization is, we are certainly not. We vigorously campaigned for our immediate past President, who has been re-elected Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole because it was our collective decision that he runs for that office in the first instance aside from the fact that he has proven beyond doubt that he is well focused on running a people-driven government that has translated into massive development of the State,"

Omar stated. Omar said NLC will continue to give the same support to Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, who in less than four years has also transformed Ondo State beyond what other parties could do in eight years of maladministration. He said that NLC are not politicians, but they know who can fulfill their collective desire for good governance and accountability and that they are ready to support the candidate without descending to the pedestrian considerations of bereft and largely inept politicians such as the Publicity Secretary of the Ondo State branch of the PDP. Omar said the NLC will never be blackmailed out of this desire and that Nigerians know which party should be held responsible for turning them into commodities that can be purchased at will for political brigandage and that Nigerians also know which persons or organizations are purchasable.

doctored and fictitious results announced. The Party further regretted that while President Goodluck Jonathan has laid a solid foundation for credible elections and is consolidating on it, the ACN which parades itself as a champion of democracy is busy pulling down the pillars of democracy by truncating the people’s right to choose their leaders. “It is pertinent to compare what is happening in the ACN states as regards the conduct of local government elections to the patriotic zeal the President has ensured that the will of the people prevailed in the successive elections starting with Anambra state governorship election of February 10, 2010; culminating in the recent Edo governorship election,” he stressed. PDP alleged that the ACN is not ready for democracy stating that “A political party which cannot be trusted to conduct a free and fair ward election, the least in the federation, will certainly drag the process into the abyss were it to be in charge of the state and federal elections. The summary again is that the ACN has proved itself unworthy of the mandate of the larger Nigerian polity.”

Unilag to honour ANPP chairman, others By Umar Mohammed Puma


he National Chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, (ANPP), Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, is to be honoured with the Distinguished Alumni Award of the University of Lagos. The Institution's Alumni Association stated in a letter dated April 10, 2012, that his nomination for the award was arrived at after a "thoughtful consideration" of his contributions towards national development, especially in his area of calling. The letter was signed by bothits President, Prof. Olayide Abass and Chairman of the Award Committee, Barr. Tunde Fadahunsi. The occasion is scheduled to hold at the University Auditorium, Yaba, Lagos on Friday, July 27 as part of activities to celebrate the Institution's Golden Jubilee anniversary. Dr. Onu attended the University of Lagos where he graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Chemical Engineering in 1976.



DSTV B’ball tourney: Dodan Warriors second Final Eight match


odan Warriors Basketball Club of Lagos yesterday recorded their second victory in the 2012 DSTV Men’s Final Eight Basketball League with a 7359 win over city rivals Lagos Islanders. The win puts them a step ahead of the rest and would advanced into the next round provided they win their last preliminary match against Yelwa Hawks of Bauchi in

Group A of the tournament. The team, which was third in the last edition, had in their opening game on Monday at the Indoor Sports Hall, National Stadium, Lagos, beat KADA Stars of Kaduna 89-54. Their Coach, Daudu Adeke, in his reaction said the match was tough because some of their players who had left the team were playing for their opponents. “I knew we were up for a

challenge but I could not predict which side was better knowing full well that we have some of our players who left to the opposing team. We did great and came out as winners though my players made some errors and which is bound to happen in any game,” he said. Adeke said that the team was going back to the drawing board to work on their lapses and hoped to count record more successes in their next match.

Jerry Edwin, captain of the team also said the match was tough and that officiating was poor. “Wining was our only option and we thank God we won our game, our opponents gave us a tough match but we prevailed,” he said. Lagos Islanders Coach Emmanuel Okolo said he expected the match would be tough as both teams played in qualifying series. “We took the lead in the first

Former Eagles coach faults Keshi on Mikel, Osaze, Taye

By Patrick Andrew


ormer Super Eagles coach and Assistant Director, Technical of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), James Peters, has discountenanced Stephen Keshi’s insistence on leaving out some Super Eagles’ old brigades in his rebuilding plan of the team. James Peters, who applauded efforts aimed at rebuilding the Eagles, however, said such

rebuilding would only achieve limited successes if it were based exclusively on domestic league players. The ex-Flying Eagles coach, who was relieved of his duties as the Assistant Director, Technical, two years ago argued that to rebuild the Eagles exclusively on the domestic league players would amount to building without sound structures on ground and, therefore advised Keshi to reconsider his decision to exclude some experienced players from

the new squad. “We are re-building on the wrong way. I think the building should start from the grassroots, not on the top because you do not re-build with old wood, if you have old woods and you want to bend it, it would break with ease, but if you have a flesh wood it would bend, not break because it is flexible, flesh and in good health,” he philosphised. Elaborating on his analogy, Peters said that blending the old and new players would make for a better team instead of bringing together only players from the domestic league who may lack the needed international exposure and depth to play in

Mikel, Osaze, Taye, left out in Keshi’s new Eagles

some crucial matches. Accordingly, Peters faulted Keshi’s decision to leave out the likes of Osaze Odemwingie, John Mikel Obi, Kalu Uche, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Dele Adeleye, Taye Taiwo among others. “No, Keshi is wrong on this because if you look at the homebased players you would discover that there are gaps in the team, gaps which the likes of Osaze could fill. He could also decide to use Mikel as a defensive midfielder (which he plays for Chelsea), an attacking midfielder, a libero or any other role he may finds him fit to serve. “What I expect from Keshi or any other coach is to find ways of blending both the foreign and home-based players to forge a new team. This will make the rebuilding process visionary and desirable with prospects for succeess,” he said. Peoples Daily Sports recalls that Keshi has insisted on starting a fresh team without some of the established players whom he found wanting in his scale as they failed previously to match expectation or even indicate readiness to work with him in the rebuilding plan. However, Austin Okocha, Raufu Ladipo, among others have called for change of heart regarding the excluded older players because their experiences would be needed at the nations Cup finals.

and second quarter of the game and we lost few of our free throws in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, we came back strong but one of my players conceived a technical foul in the last minute which led to our losing the game,” he said. It will be recalled that the team won all their 14 regular season matches to emerge the winners of the Atlantic Conference t and reach the Final Eight.

Federation Cup

Ilorin to host Heartland, Lobi Stars as Calabar awaits Pillars, Prime showdown


he semi final matches of this year’s Federation Cup competition promise plenty of thrills and frills with the battles shifting to two of the nation’s preferred destinations of recent. The UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar and the Ilorin Township Stadium come to the fore as the much-soughtfor glamour of the oldest football competition in the land steadily but surely returns. Only last week, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola presented to the leadership of Nigeria Football Federation, led by the President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, a brandnew, all-silver giant trophy for the competition, for which Lagos State has a fouryear agreement with NFF to stage the grand finale. This year’s grand finale, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, has already been set for Sunday, August 26.

18th NSF: Lagos seeks corporate sponsors


he Lagos State Government has called on corporate organisations to avail themselves of the platform the forthcoming 18 th National Sports Festival in Lagos would offer them to showcase their businesses. The Deputy Governor, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, made the call yesterday while briefing the newsmen in Lagos on the sponsorship and leveraging opportunities in the festival, tagged “Eko 2012”. The Games will hold from November 27 to December 9. “The Eko 2012 Games offers a life-time opportunity not only

for producing talents and cementing the bond of our national brotherhood and friendships as a people but also for our corporate citizens to benefit immensely from the various sponsorship platforms that are available.” Orelope-Adefulire, who is also the Chairperson, Local Organising Committee (LOC), assured sponsors and partners that they stood to enjoy high net worth dividends on their investment. “Whatever your business and capacity, there is something you can sponsor, there is a role you can play. No contribution

is too large. No partnership is too insignificant, come and join us to ignite the spirit of friendship,” she said. The deputy governor said that the State Government would deploy cutting edge, innovative media campaigns and marketing strategies to report the games, entertain sports lovers and market the sponsors. Orelope-Adefulire assured the athletes of best facilities, the most conducive environment and the most competitive spirit to show their raw materials and earn medals. “We are determined to fast

track and accelerate the speed of our preparations as we hit the home stretch toward the last weeks and days before the opening ceremony,” she said. The highlight of the programme was the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with sponsorship marketing agencies. Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas, a sports philanthropist said it was time to unveil plans for the sports festival. “Let us learn from what is happening at the Olympics and know that it is a good example for the festival,” Okoya-Thomas said.

Gov Babatunde Fashola



Flying Eagles fail to fly in Rwanda


lying Eagles’ streak of losses in recent times are yet to abate as they lost yesterday to their Rwandan counterparts in a friendsly duel decided at the Stade Regional de Kigali. However, unlike the previous cases when they were barely average, the junior Eagles were a vastly improved side that created several chances though failed to utilised them in the match. The hosts were not entirely better than the Eagles who could have escaped with a draw but for loss of concentration five minutes from time that allowed France-based striker Bon Fils Kabanda to make hay. “It was a good match and a draw would have been a better result for us,” said Flying Eagles coach John Obuh after the encounter watched by a fair crowd. “But we should not lose sight of the real purpose of this match, which is to prepare for the real game in Tanzania on Sunday. We hope to make the necessary corrections from this outing for a good result in Dar es Salam.” He added: “We cannot afford to be dejected, rather we

should pick ourselves up and be positive going into the game in Tanzania.” It was a cautious start by both teams with the lively Charles Mwesigye Tibingana coming close to getting the opening goal for the home team after just 12 minutes when his header from inside the box flashed narrowly off its mark. Nigeria responded immediately. Chidi Osuchukwu’s shot from distance screamed wide and minutes later, striker Alhaji Gero’s full-blooded effort was deflected for a corner. The classy Osuchukwu then carved out one of the best chances of the day on 42 minutes, when his left-footed shot from inside the box was somehow scrambled by Rwanda goalkeeper Olivier Kwizera for a corner. Both Gero and Shehu Abdullahi, playing at right back, also saw their efforts fail to hit target in the dying moments of the first half. After the restart at the same stadium that the Super Eagles held Rwanda to a goalless draw in February, Aminu Umar’s shot from an acute angle crashed against the side netting. Nigeria dictated the pace in the second half as they introduced several of their top players like Aliyu Mohammed, Uche Agbo, Jonah Usman, Harrison Egbune, Hassan

Abubakar and Yahaya Adamu. On 63 minutes, Emmanuel Sebanani ought to have put Rwanda ahead, but he wasted a very big opening. Agbo also threatened the Rwanda goal at least twice and in between substitute goalkeeper Jonah Usman was cool as cucumber when he saved a goal-bound header by Rwanda. Rwanda, who recently defeated Tanzania twice away from home, are billed to host Mali in a 2013 African Youth Championship qualifier same weekend that Nigeria are up against the Ngorogoro Stars of Tanzania. The Flying Eagles will depart Kigali for Dar es Salam Thursday afternoon ahead of their own qualifier.

John Obuh

More squash sponsors needed for development

T Austin Eguavoen

Eguavoen rues Enyimba’s exit, says they underrated Prime FC


ormer Super Eagles coach and now Enyimba’s gaffer, Austin Eguavoen, has lamented Enyimba’s shocking defeat to lower division side Prime FC and exit from the Federation Cup. Prime had on Monday in keeping with the surprise element in the Federation Cup defied the odds to beat one of the favourites for the trophy and two-time African championsEnyimba 2-0- to seal a semifinal spot. Enyimba controlled the game, but Prime took their chances very well to add ‘The People’s Elephant’ to their growing list of scalps. Taiwo Mayegun and Christopher Akpo scored in either half to give the Oshogbo-based side a famous victory over last year’s finalists. “The first goal weakened my team until the second goal was scored, but we have to carry on. We tried but we underrated them and this cost us a place in the semifinal. We got punished for that, kudos to Prime,” Eguavoen said. Eguavoen also attributed their loss to their late arrival in Ibadan for the game. “A lot of factors worked

against my team and one of them is fatigue. We travelled from Bauchi to Ibadan didn’t even have up to 24 hours of rest before this game. I am not a coach that likes to give reasons when my team loses, but you would agree with me that Prime were properly rested for this game,” he said. However, a defiant Eguavoen has insisted their shock cup exit will not derail his team’s title chase. “We still have chance to win the NPL title as we are still very much in the race and so we will shift our attention there now from the Federation Cup,” he said. Six-time champions Enyimba are third on the table on 52 points, six points behind leaders Enugu Rangers with four rounds of matches to be played. Meanwhile, former general secretary of the NFF, Taiwo Ogunjobi, was full of praise for Prime, predicting that the Oshogbo team would make it to the final. “I am very happy for Prime FC, they are a good side and I see them making it to the finals. This is the beauty of the FA Cup” the Osun State FA chairman said. The semifinals will be decided in Ilorin and Calabar on a yet-to-be-named date.

he Nigeria Squash Federation (NSF), has applauded the organisers of the just concluded Ikoyi Country Club Championships, for including the federation‘s U-16 players in the competition which sharpened their competitive edge. The NSF’s Secretary Evelyn Fabunmi made this known yesterday in Lagos stressing that such sponsorships were needed by players to develop their game and to put up with the rigours of a competition. “We were involved with the just concluded Ikoyi squash competition; they included our U-16 players to participate on demonstrational basis. “They were happy, the experience made a huge impression on them, we will be looking forward to more of such opportunities, if not for anything for the


oach Ibrahim Maku of Kano Pillars Basketball of Kano, yesterday reaffirmed his club’s determination to reclaim the title of the ongoing DStv Men’ Basketball League final in Lagos. Maku disclosed this shortly after his team defeated Police Baton of Lagos 67-52 in its first match of the 2011/2012 season final. The coach noted that Pillars, the only team that has ever won the competition for three consecutive years in 2008, 2009 and 2010 was also set to redeem its image. “We were dethroned by Royal Hoopers of Port Harcourt last season. We eventually came fourth at

exposure,’’ Fabunmi said. Fabunmi also said that the NSF was already making projections on how it could work with Cargolux one of its partners to co-sponsor the body’s 2013 U-16 Squash Championship. “From next year, they will partly sponsor competitions for our cadet teams, which may be a yearly event,’’ the NSF secretary said. When asked about the level of preparation being made by the federation in the buildup to the 2012 Lagos Open Squash Championships, She said and added that that all necessary arrangements are in place. “Arrangements are at an advanced stage and we intend to use the forthcoming Lagos Open competition to grow the sport and our plans are still feasible,’’she said. The 2012 Lagos Open is slated to hold from Aug. 19 to August, 26.

DStv Basketball League: Kano Pillars set to reclaim title that season. This season we had completed all arrangement to bounce back to reckoning and polish our image,” he said. The coach who noted that his club started well at the final said that their first victory had further given them more confidence to excel at the final. “We are going to approach our remaining matches with as much zeal as the first one to ensure our total victory,” Maku said. According to Maku, the club was not in form last

season which he said affected its performance and loss of title. “This season, we acquired five new seasoned players and which had further strengthened our team,” he said. The coach added that the support from the Kano State government was another morale booster for the players, stressing that the team has no reason not to reclaim the trophy this season. “The trophy rightly belongs to us and we are set to reclaim what rightly

Kano Pillars Basketball team during one of the matches in the DSTV Basketball championships

belong to us. The people and the government of Kano State are anxiously waiting for us with the trophy. “We enjoy so much support from our state government and I think to whom much is given, much is expected,” he said. Maku said that although, the competition appears competitive and that every team was all out to make impact, his team would capitalise on their weakness to make the difference. He also added that although, some of his players were observing the Ramadan fasting, he said he believed it would not affect their performance. In other matches, Dodan Warriors of Lagos defeated Kada Stars of Kaduna 87-64 while Lagos Islanders defeated Yelwa Hawks of Bauchi 57-54. The other two teams in the competition were Dodan Warriors of Lagos, and Niger Potters of Minna. The eight teams were in two groups and would play on round robin to determine the top four teams for the classification qualifiers scheduled for Friday. The final would hold on Saturday at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos.



Carroll warns Liverpool


Andy Carroll

ndy Carroll has told Liverpool they will not force him out of Anfield. Carroll has been left fuming with Kop boss Brendan Rodgers who made it clear he would be happy to sell the England star over the summer. Liverpool have blocked Newcastle’s bid to take the Geordie striker back to the North-East on loan, insisting they will only agree to a permanent move. But now Carroll is ready to dig his heels in and make

it as hard a possible for Liverpool to seal a deal because he is so disgruntled at the way he has been treated. Liverpool appear happy to do business with anyone if they come up with around £20m, but Carroll is less than keen to move on if he feels it doesn’t suit him. Any interested club would HAVE to match his £65,000-aweek wages. The only way he would consider moving on slightly reduced terms is if he can return to Newcastle.

Carroll has linked up with his Liverpool team-mates at their pre-season training camp in Boston this week and is due to meet Rodgers for more talks today. He will insist that with three years left on his contract, he is in no mood to be shipped out to a smaller club if he feels it does not suit his career ambitions. The stand-off is the first big test for Rodgers since moving to Merseyside from Swansea in the summer, aiming to bring his style of passing football with him.

Munich keen on Man City midfielder


ayern Munich has turned their attentions to Manchester City midfielder Nigel De Jong after cooling their interest in Spain international Javi Martinez. Martinez, also a mooted target for Manchester City, has been on Bayern’s radar for the past year, but chief executive officer Karl-Heinz Rumenigge

admits his side is unlikely to sign the Spaniard after describing Athletic Bilbao’s £31.3m valuation of the midfielder as “indecent”. And according to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Bayern will now pursue a move for De Jong, who is tipped leave City this summer. De Jong, who joined City from Hamburg in 2009, managed just 11 Premier

League starts last season a far cry from the 60 league starts he racked up during his first two full seasons at the club. The 27-year-old is out of contract at City next summer and manager Roberto Mancini is reportedly willing to sanction the sale of the Holland international, who is available for a fee of £7.8m.

Lucas won’t leave – report


he agent of Brazil star Lucas Moura believes that Manchester United will not raise their bid for his client, leaving any deal in tatters. Lucas, 19, was thought to be close to a switch from Sao Paulo to the Red Devils, but the two clubs have failed to agree on a fee after

Manchester United’s •35 million bid was rejected. Now, with Sao Paulo reported to have changed their mind over a sale should they receive an increased bid, agent Wagner Ribeiro has claimed that the Premier League side have reached their limit for Lucas and a deal will not take place.

AC Milan contact Arsenal over Bendtner


erie A outfit AC Milan have opened talks with Arsenal over a deal for want-a-way striker Nicklas Bendtner. The Gunners have told Denmark international Bendtner he can leave the club this summer, following an unsuccessful loan spell at Sunderland, where he fell out-of-favour with manager Martin O’Neil. Bendtner did manage to score eight times in 31 matches, but a number of off field issues meant O’Neil pulled the plug on making the transfer permanent at the end of the season. Arsenal are desperate to offload the 24-year-old in a bid to raise cash for other business, but finding a buyer for the player has been difficult, with talks breaking down with both Malaga and Benfica. However, Italian giants AC Milan are now ready to try and strike a deal, after opening talks with Arsenal over a £7.5 million move over the weekend. The talks prompted

Arsene Wenger to omit Bendtner from his squad for the pre-season tour of Asia, with the Gunners boss hopeful that Bendtner will

For Sao Paulo, the decision not to sell represents a major financial gamble. Lucas’ economic rights are currently 80% owned by the club, with the player retaining the remaining 20%, but from August 1 that ownership share will fall by 10% under the terms of his contract. be sold by the time they return in early August. Milan are willing to wrap up a move quickly, but only if the fee is right, with the club looking for a cut price alternative following the sale of Zlatan Ibrahimovic to PSG last week.

Van Persie in Juventus sights


uventus are preparing a second bid for Robin van Persie which, significantly, will be close to the £20 million threshold set by Arsenal. The Italian champions have already had a £10 million offer rejected but are emerging as an increasingly serious threat to the two Manchester clubs in the battle for Van Persie, particularly as the Arsenal captain himself is understood to be attracted by a move to Serie A. No formal second offer has gone in but, according to sources in Italy, Juventus have remained in contact with Arsenal and will make a significantly improved offer. Juventus are also prepared to make Van Persie the highest paid player in their history, with wages of around £190,000 a week on a potential five-year deal. Manchester United and Manchester City have also had respective offers of around £10 million and £12 million rejected, but are yet to return with second bids. Arsenal will not listen to offers below £20 million and, having got £24 million for Samir Nasri in similar circumstances last year, regard the first round of offers for Van Persie as completely unrealistic. If it is decided to sell Van Persie and Juventus are now massively out-bid, however, there is an obvious attraction in sending him to Serie A rather than a Premier League rival.

Nigel De Jong If a deal cannot be struck yesterday next week, Sao Paulo risk losing nearly •4 million off any equivalent value transfer, with many believing that this financial reality will see further developments made in the coming days.

Cuadrado links Fiorentina


iorentina have s i g n e d Udinese’s Colombia midfielder Juan Cuadrado on loan with an option to sign him permanently. The 24-year-old, who has made nine international appearances and scored two goals, moved to Udine from Independiente Medellin in 2009 but has made only 22 appearances for the club. However, his performances while on loan at Lecce last season have persuaded La Viola to make their move for him.


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

Kuba extends Dortmund contract


akub Blaszczykowski has brought an end to speculation about his future by signing a new four-year contract with Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund. The Poland captain had become a top target for several European clubs following his performances at UEFA EURO 2012, but he has now shown his commitment to last season’s German league and cup double winners by putting pen to paper on a new deal. “I am very happy to be remaining in Dortmund,” he said. “There are not many clubs who have so many fans and who have achieved what we have done over the past two years. I am very happy about this new contract.” Blaszczykowski joined Dortmund from Wisla Krakow in 2007 and was a major component in the side which dominated in Germany last season. “I played the way I want to play, and that is how things should continue,” added the 26-year-old on the club’s website. “We want to do better in the Champions League too, and we have the quality for it.” Despite winning the domestic league and cup, Dortmund crashed out of the UEFA Champions League in the group stage after suffering a similar fate in the UEFA Europa League in the previous season, and that is one thing Jurgen Klopp’s side will be looking to change this season.

Koscielny signs new Arsenal deal


rsenal defender Laurent Koscielny has signed a new contract reported to be for three years with the North London club. The Gunners began talks with Koscielny, 26, earlier this month, with manager Arsene Wenger having made keeping the centreback at the club one of his summer priorities. France international Koscielny arrived at the club from Lorient in summer 2010, establishing himself as one of the Gunners’ key performers and starting 85 games. Wenger said he was delighted to have secured the defender’s signature, hailing him as a player who “has been outstanding for us over the last two seasons”. Koscielny said: “I am delighted to have reached agreement with the club. I have had a fantastic time here and look forward to an exciting future with

Arsenal.” Koscielny has won four caps for France, and played the full 90 minutes in their Euro 2012 quarter-final defeat to Spain. His impressive form had seen him linked with moves to Inter Milan and Barcelona, although it is not thought either club made a firm inquiry.

Laurent Koscielny

Kelly commits to Cottagers


ulham full-back Stephen Kelly has signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him at Craven Cottage until the end of the 2013-14 seasons. Republic of Ireland international Kelly established himself as a key part of manager Martin Jol’s plans last season and has now committed himself to the

club. “I’m delighted that it’s sorted now and I can hopefully continue on from last year,” Kelly said. “It was a really good end to the season with the way we finished off, the way we were playing and I just hope we can continue on with that again. The 28-year-old told the club’s official website: “Last season was fantastic for me,

playing pretty much every game from Christmas onwards. To cement myself as the number one rightback was great and hopefully I can continue on with that this season. “To sign another contract here is fantastic. I’m delighted to be staying at the club and I just want to carry on with the progression I’ve made over the last year or so.”



Merritt points to Xiang as hurdles favorite


change in technique has made Aries Merritt the hottest high hurdler in the world, but the American on Monday refused to brand himself the favourite for the London Olympics. That honour belongs to 2004 Games champion Liu Xiang of China, Merritt told reporters on a sunny day at the US Olympic training camp in Birmingham. “This is his third Olympics and this is my first, so he has way more experience than me,” Merritt said. “I have experience when it comes to the world stage, like world championships, but on the Olympic setting, it is a different stage and he has the experience and has a championship.” Three times in recent weeks, though, the American has clocked world-leading times of 12.93 seconds while Liu rested a nagging back. “I still believe he is the favourite even though my competitions have been phenomenal,” Merritt said. Only Liu (12.97) and US world champion Jason Richardson (12.98) have also dipped under 13 seconds this year. A different approach to the first hurdle has put Merritt, who turns 27 on Tuesday, in elite company. He took a risk in the offseason by switching his run-up to the first hurdle from eight to seven steps. “Something had to be done if I was going to be able to compete with Liu, if I was going to be able to compete with Dayron (Cuban world record holder Dayron Robles),” Merritt said. The change has been dramatic. Merritt, whose personal best before this year was 13.09 seconds in 2007, roared onto the scene to defeat Liu for the world indoor championship. “It really helped with me gaining momentum (in the race),” he said of the change. Being healthy and training more consistently also contributed. He said he realised that if he runs 12.93 or faster the gold might be his, but was also keen to convince listeners there was no pressure. “I am not a reigning Olympic champion. I am not a former Olympic champion. I don’t have the world record,” he said.

London Games: Rule out Bolt in 100m to your peril, Frater warns peers

Usain Bolt amaican sprinter, Michael Frater, has warned Yohan Blake, Asafa Powell, Tyson Gay and others against being taken in by the current travails of World and Olympics 100m champion, Usain Bolt ahead of the London Olympics which formally begins this weekend. The sprinter said it would be dangerous for anyone to bet against Bolt' retention of the medals he won four years


ago in Beijing. Bolt won the 100m in a time of 9.58 seconds to break the previous record of 9.85 seconds held by Asafa Powell. According to Frater, (l) "wouldn't bet against" Usain Bolt retaining his Olympic 100 metres title in London, despite lingering concerns over his fitness and the threat to his track supremacy from compatriot Yohan Blake. "Usain Bolt is a phenomenon," Jamaican men's team captain and 4x100m relay squad member Frater said atJamaica's training base at the University of Birmingham in central England on Tuesday. "I wouldn't bet against him winning again". Bolt, who saw training partner and younger rival

Blake take in his world title in Daegu, South Korea, last year after he was disqualified from the final for false starting, has had a far from vintage season so far. He withdrew from last Friday's Monaco Diamond League meeting, where he had been due to run the 200m, with what his coach Glen Mills called a "slight" problem. Bolt then travelled to Germany to see renowned sports doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt but Don Quarrie,Jamaica's track and field team technical athletics manager, said the 25-year-old triple Olympic champion fromBeijing would be "ready to run in London". "I can't really give details regarding his present form but I'm quite sure he is ready to go. He his 101 percent,"

Quarrie told reporters. "He has been working out on the track (at the University of Birmingham) and his performances are close to what he was doing before the 2008 Olympics." A few hundred schoolchildren watched a handful of Jamaican athletes going through some warm-ups and lighttraining on Tuesday in glorious sunshine and under cloudless skies at the leafy campus in the southern suburbs of England's second city. The training group did not include Bolt or fellow Olympic sprint champions Veronica Campbell-Brown and Shelley-Anne FraserPryce, while Blake and former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell were also conspicuous by their absence, much to the

frustration of a large media gathering. Asked if he knew where Bolt was, Quarrie retorted: "If you know, tell me. I don't know why he didn't come. I'm sure the other Jamaicans were here on his behalf," he added. Jamaican team manager Ludlow Watts predicted London could be in "for a surprise" in the 100m final. "They are both looking well in practise and I can tell you you will see even more surprises," Watts said of Bolt's highly-anticipated showdown with Blake, who beat him in both the 100 and 200 at the Jamaican trials in late June and early July. "But nobody has forgotten Asafa (Powell), because when you have great sprinters lined up in the final any mistake can mean disaster.”

Okagbare hopes to N upset rivals for London medal

Blessing Okagbare crosses the finishing line in Monaco to win the Samsung Diamond league for the second time after beating Carmelita Jeter and Shelly Ann Fraser in London a week earlier

igeria’s medal hope in the women 100m event at the London Olympics Games event, Blessing Okagbare, believes she can upset the pecking order at the Olympics and outshine her 100 metre rivals from Jamaica and the United States. The 23-year-old has hit form at the right time, dipping under 11 seconds twice this month to record victories at both the London and Monaco Diamond League events against her fellow competitors for sprint gold. Okagbare, a bronze medallist in the long jump in Beijing four years ago, now has genuine belief she can add a medal in the 100m in London. “My recent win in Monaco has boosted my confidence,” Okagbare said. “I think I’m ready to face the world. I’m just going to go out and do my best. “I’m aiming for a top three overall. If I get the gold, I’ll take it. Whatever happens I will accept my fate.” At Crystal Palace earlier this month, Okagbare scored a surprise win over defending Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica and reigning world champion Carmelita Jeter. She then followed that up with victory in Monaco, clocking a season’s best 10.96sec. Although her rivals from Jamaica and the United States remain the bookmakers’ favourites, Okagbare says she is unfazed by the prospect of lining up against them in London. “You race with them from day to day. It’s not any different at the Olympic Games,” she said. “They are not threats to me. When I went to Beijing, I was 19 and I got the bronze medal. This year it feels different.”

Idowu keeps BOA guessing on his medical records


riple jumper Phillips Idowu has yet to hands in his medical records has requested by the British Olympic Association (BOA), according the British Olympic officials. Idowu pulled out of Britain's final Olympic training camp in Portugal which prompted the BOA to invoke a clause in their team member's agreement that allows them to ask for information from an

athlete that "could impact on their performance at the Games". BOA spokesman Darryl Seibel said yesterday that they had yet to receive that information. "Yesterday our chief medical officer Dr Ian McCurdie wrote to Phillips and also to his agent and asked him to provide, on a strictly confidential basis, any medical information relating to his injury and

ongoing treatment," Seibel said. "The purpose is to add clarity to the picture and understand the exact nature of the injury and the ongoing treatment for it. As you and I speak now we have not received that." Idowu is set to compete at the Games on August 7 and is among the gold medal favourites having claimed silver in Beijing four years ago.

The 33-year-old pulled out of his last event in Oregon in June but said stories suggesting he was injured were "rumour mill". A month later he pulled out of the London Grand Prix citing "muscle tightness". He is likely to be someway short of peak condition should he recover in time for the Games having competed in only three competitions this year.

Philip Idowu



The agent of Brazil star Lucas Moura believes that Manchester United will not raise their bid for his client, leaving any potential deal in tatters.

Casey Stoney is the perfect choice to captain Team Britain Olympic women's football team, according to her club manager.

QPR are considering loaning out Joey Barton to a Football League club to speed up the serving of his 12-match ban. Andre VillasBoas has suggested Luka Modric has been badly advised over his "revolt" as he maintained that Tottenham will not waiver in their valuation of the player. David Price will defend his British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles against former Olympic champion Audley Harrison in October.

James Dall says Arsenal cannot afford to rely on the possible availability of Abou Diaby and Jack Wilshere.

Phillips Idowu is "disappointed" after the British Olympic Association made public a request to see his medical records.

. . . putting the people first



Barcelona wins first match under new coach


arcelona's first game under new coach Tito Vilanova ended in a 2-1 friendly win away to German Bundesliga club Hamburg yesterday. With a host of players missing, including those who helped Spain to glory at UEFA EURO 2012 and the injured Lionel Messi, Vilanova sent out a youthful-looking side in a match held to mark Hamburg's 125th anniversary. Dani Alves gave the Catalans an early lead and, while Tolgay Arslan hauled Hamburg level. Barcelona then scored what proved to be the winner shortly before half-time when 18-yearold prodigy Gerard Deulofeu knocked in a loose ball. Barcelona's next friendly comes away to Moroccan club Raja Casablanca in Tangier on Saturday.

Coaching role for Inzaghi


C Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi has ended his playing career to take over as the club's youth-team coach. The 38-year-old made just seven substitute appearances for the Rossoneri last season, scoring the final goal of his 22year career with an 82ndminute winner in his farewell appearance, a 2-1 win over Novara on 13 May. Inzaghi ends his career second on the all-time goalscoring charts in European competition with 70, bettered only by Raul's 77, and in all he scored 126 times in 300 appearances for Milan. He added 25 in 57 caps for Italy, who never lost a match in which Inzaghi scored. The striker had been linked with moves to Watford, under new coach Gianfranco Zola, or Malaga but has signed a twoyear contract to coach Milan's Allievi Nazionali (national students), their junior squad.

Lionel Messi, was missing in action


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QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE If change - positive change - will ever come to this clime, it will not be engineered by those who are benefitting, without conscience, from the present cesspool of cor ve cor astor Tunde Bakar e corrrosi osiv corrrupion — P Pastor Bakare to President Jonathan

A question of honour for INEC, NBA T

he honour of two apparently distinct and different bodies INEC and the NBA has been clearly challenged by two of their stakeholders and for everybody’s sake these two bodies cannot afford to pretend that the challenge was not thrown. INEC is the Independent National Electoral Commission, Nigeria’s apex electoral regulator; INEC would like to and does define itself as the country’s main agent for democracy. This is not true; at most, it is one of the agents, but let us leave the clarifications for another day. They are not the only ones with self-presentation and identity crises. The Nigeria Bar Association is the umbrella professional association of all lawyers admitted to the Bar in Nigeria. In presenting itself, the NBA places emphasis on being a non-profit association engaged in the promotion and protection of human rights, the rule of law and good governance in Nigeria. That is very true but their main calling card is that only active NBA Full Members, i.e paying members, can engage in practicing law in this country. Let us start with the electoral commission. INEC and its chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega were recently openly accused by the newly re-elected Governor of Edo state, Adams Oshiomole in relationship to the just concluded election in that state. The governor is accusing the Commission and its chairman of logistical incompetence that led to the long delay in distributing electoral materials to designated polling centres; he is also accusing the Commission and its chairman of gross administrative and managerial incompetence for deploying a certain Mr.Ishmael Igbani, who according to Oshiomole, has a reputation for presiding over several rigged elections in the region, including Edo state in 2007. The governor is also accusing the Commission and, by extension, its chairman, of deliberately manipulating the voter register to create confusion in the state. Oshiomole raised his concerns before the election and reiterated them after the election that he won. These are very serious

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INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega

indictments of the mode of operation of the electoral commission and its head, the chairman, has to clear the commission’s name. Professor Jega has to do more than that, his integrity was called directly into question by the governor and he has been asked by the same governor to take responsibility for these malpractices. It is a question of honour for INEC and its chairman and they need to say or do something about. By repeating these accusations even after he won the election, Governor Oshiomole is doing the country a huge service. It is an honorable thing to do and we

should all be grateful to him. He could have just pocketed his victory, maybe go on to teach his party members and those close to him how to win elections and leave the rest of the system, the Nigerian system, to rot. We all do that when we just take care of our own personal important but tiny interest and do nothing about the Nigerian system. Of course, sometimes we have no choice but to send our children to private schools, and to go to private hospitals or even go abroad for treatment when we can afford it. Let us be clear, for those that can afford it that is all legitimate, it is human and understandable but the honorable and I daresay noble thing to do will be to raise the flag and to call the attention of those in charge to oversee the failing schools, bad roads and hospitals that are not working as they should do. Professor Jega cannot let these levels of accusation pass without doing anything about it. He needs to come to save the honour of the Commission and indeed his own personal honour. There are no two ways about it Oshiomole can either be wrong or right but Jega needs to prove it. If the Chairman holds that the governor is wrong then

By repeating these accusations even after he won the election, Governor Oshiomole is doing the country a huge service. It is an honorable thing to do and we should all be grateful to him. He could have just pocketed his victory, maybe go on to teach his party members and those close to him how to win elections and leave the rest of the system, the Nigerian system, to rot. We all do that

he needs to tell us his side of the stories and better still give us facts to prove the governor’s allegations are wrong. The people of Nigeria need to be assured that the Chairman of its electoral commission appreciates the importance of his role and that he fully understands what is unacceptable of him and that he is willing to live up to such expectations. In doing so he should reserve the right to denounce and even sue those that accuse him of falling below such expectations. If the Chairman on the other hand holds that the governor is right then he needs to take full responsibility of his misdoings, apologize to all and tell us what he intends doing to redeem himself. Taking responsibility is generally honorable and he needs not worry about further consequence, Nigerians are not only tolerant we are even indulgent. The Nigerian Bar Association, too, recently had its elections and sadly Emeka Ngige, the defeated presidential candidate of the association, is crying foul. He is making very precise accusations, including that which says the body that handled the elections perpetrated gross malpractices and high level of corruption. For a body that calls its members learned and holds the monopoly of legal practice in the land, this is unacceptable. The NBA has too small a population and has too important a reputation and stake in the society for the executives to get away with anything below a perfect election. If they want to remain worthy of the status of their peers across the globe then members and executives of the NBA need to feel insulted and eager to defend their honour from such attacks. Emeka Ngige can either be wrong or right but NBA needs to prove it. It is not enough to give declarations to the press; they need to do so with facts and before the law. It is a question of honour for the NBA, if Emeka Ngige’s allegations are wrong then he needs to be disciplined for it but if he is right then all those that are guilty need to be disciplined. Anthony Kila is the Director, European Centre for Advanced and Professional Studies based at Cambridge, London, UK

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Peoples Daily Newspaper, Wednesday, July 25, 2012  
Peoples Daily Newspaper, Wednesday, July 25, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Wednesday, July 25, 2012 Edition