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Vol. 9 No. 32

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Contract scam rocks Senate NDDC panel

. . . putting the people first

Blasphemous video: Christians join Muslim protesters in Kaduna

>> PAGE 2

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Zhul-Qadah 8, 1433 AH


JTF bursts bomb factory, kills 35, arrests 156 in Yobe, Mubi >> PAGE 3

Plateau: Fulani, Berom agree to end crisis From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


ope of an end to the incessant bloody communal clashes in Plateau state brightened yesterday as the two major warring sides, the Berom and the Fulani finally agreed to tread the path of peace. Leaders of the two sides held a peace meeting yesterday where they agreed on a number of issues including the banning of grazing of cattle which was identified as one of the causes of the clashes. The meeting which was held in Barkin Ladi was brokered by the Special Task Force (STF) in collaboration with the Plateau state government with leaders of the two sides including Berom farmers and Fulani cattle breeders in attendance. Also in attendance were community leaders from Riyom, Barkin Ladi, Mangu, Pankshin, Kanke, Bogoro and Tafawa Balewa local government areas of Plateau and Bauchi states. The leaders identified cattle rustling, destruction of farm lands, secret killings as other major causes of the incessant conflicts in the villages. Though Fulani leaders in attendance denied knowledge of Contd on Page 2


24th Sept., 2012


BUYING 154.7 250.8 201 0.289 41

SELLING 155.7 252 202.5 0.309 41.5


BUYING 202 257 40 158

SELLING 204 259 42 160

L-R: Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria, Mr.Bisi Onasanya, and Chairman, Prince Afonja Ajibola, during an extra ordinary general meeting of the bank, yesterday in Lagos. Photo: NAN

Bodies recovered as Lokoja floods worsen By Richard Ihediwa with agency reports


ive bodies have so far been washed ashore the River Niger in Lokoja, Kogi state capital even as massive flooding continued to ravage Lokoja and other towns in the state along the

Niger coastline including Ajaokuta, Adankolo, Ganaja, Jameta, Ibaji, Banda and Idah among others. The Nigeria Red Cross said it had recovered three corpses washed ashore River Niger in addition to the corpses of two other male adults, swept away on

Saturday night by the flood at Ajaokuta Local Government Area of the state. The recovery of the five bodies which were immediately buried brings to 11 the total casualty figure recorded in relation to the floods. There were however fears that there could be more casualties

following unconfirmed reports that a boat carrying passengers capsized a day earlier. The Kogi branch Chairman of the society, Mr Mustafa AllahDey, said the bodies were recovered late Sunday evening when they were discovered by Contd on Page 2




Contract scam rocks Senate NDDC panel


By Richard Ihediwa























fresh scandal may be brewing in the Senate as its committee on Niger Delta Development Commission is currently enmeshed in a multi-billion naira contract scam. This is just as the NDDC yesterday presented for approval by the Senate, a budget of N250 billion for the 2012 fiscal year. Sources in the Senate hinted that the scan is coming against the backdrop of allegations that the Chairman of the Senate NDDC Committee, Senator James Manager had cornered majority of the contracts for jobs which the commission allegedly

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of the agency over the leakage of the deal. Meanwhile, the committee yesterday lambasted the commission for late submission of its budget a practice the members described as bad practice. The lawmakers told members of the NDDC board, who appeared before the panel to defend its 2012 budget to desist from the practice of presenting their annual budget towards the end of the budget year. Lashing at the commission, Manager said: “The habit of coming late with the budget is wrong. It is a very bad tradition. I don’t know of any agency that does not have a budget for 2012.”

He however assured that the commission’s budget will be passed by December 2012. On the aspect of budget implementation, James Manager condemned the commission for its very low performance saying the committee would pay close attention through oversight to ensure it implements the 2012 budget to the letter. Out of the N250 billion 2012 budget, recurrent expenditure was put at N17.78 billion, while capital expenditure estimates for developmental projects and programmes was placed at a total of N233.067 billion. Members of the board present at the hearing were the Chairman of NDDC, Dr. Tarilah Tebepah, and Managing Director, Dr. Christian Oboh.

Gunmen kidnap Gov. Yugada’s aide, in-law


Fashola to close mosques, churches over noise pollution, Page 6

requested lawmakers to nominate companies for their executions. Members of the committee are said to be angry with Manager for allegedly hijacking all 30 juicy contracts without recourse to the committee. It was gathered that each member of the committee was expected to get at least one of the contract for the 30 projects, the same way it was shared in the House of Representatives. The members of the committee are said to be mounting pressure on the NDDC management to reverse the deals and carry them along. Source alleged that the chairman of the committee has not been happy with leadership

unmen yesterday in Bauchi kidnapped the former Chairman of Bauchi State Fertiliser Distribution Committee, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar. Abubakar is also an in-law to Gov. Isa Yugada of Bauchi State. Narrating the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bauchi yesterday, Garba Dahiru, a close friend to the victim, said Abubakar was kidnapped at about 5am on his way to the mosque to perform morning prayers.

“He, along with his son and a son to his elder brother were heading to the mosque when some gunmen attacked and took him away in their car. “When he raised alarm, his security man tried to come to his rescue but was shot. The security man died instantly.” Garba stated that the kidnappers were about six in number and that no contact had been established with them since the incident occurred. Hon. Umar Abubakar,

member representing Darazo/ Ganjuwa Federal Constituency and senior brother to the kidnapped person, confirmed the incident in an interview with NAN in Bauchi. “I am just coming and was yet to be briefed on what exactly happened. But I can confirm to you that my brother had been kidnapped,” he said. Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Ladan, also confirmed the incident, saying that one person had been arrested and was helping the police with relevant information. (NAN)

Governor Isa Yuguda

Plateau: Fulani, Berom agree to end crisis Contd from Page 1 night grazing by their men they however agreed that the decision to ban night grazing was appropriate and will go a long way in checking further crisis in the area. Declaring the peace parley open, Plateau state Governor, Jonah Jang, said his administration was committed to restoring total peace before the end of his tenure in 2015. Jang, who was represented by

his Permanent Secretary on Security, Mr. Istifanus Dung Gyang said the peace parley is the conventional approach to peace building in the state. He said since the crisis in the area was traceable to human tussles and misunderstanding, the solution can only be found through dialogue among those involved. “The insecurity in our land is traceable to man and dialogue among men is the only solution to our problem. It is men that make

peace, hence the purpose of the ongoing peace parley among stake holders in the state”. The governor pleaded with the stakeholders to dialogue frankly among themselves and come out with a way out at the end of the meeting. Speaking earlier, the Commander of the STF, Maj Gen. Henry Ayoola said the peace parley was an opportunity for the people to speak out their grievances and resolve their differences as well.

He said the large attendance indicates that all the stakeholders are interested in the return of peace to the area. The Fulani and the Berom have been locked up in serial bloody clashes over farmland and grazing lands resulting in the death of thousands in the last five years. President Goodluck Jonathan had in August this year held separate meetings with the leaders of the two sides during which far reaching decisions were made.

Bodies recovered as Lokoja floods worsen Contd from Page 1 local fishermen. He said the first three corpses might not be from Kogi, adding that they were likely to be among the passengers in a canoe that capsized in a community in Niger three days ago. Allah-Dey said that the five bodies had since been buried, adding the recent discoveries brought to 11, the number of deaths recorded so far as a result of the flood. He said that the flood was still devastating some parts of the state, describing the situation in Ibaji and Idah as becoming too precarious. Villagers in the affected have

been moving around their residence by boats while their houses have been submerged by the flood. There are fears that the situation may worsen as more and more rains have continued to increase the water level of the Niger River. Already the Lokoja end of the Lokoja-Abuja express way providing the major road link between the North and the South has been taken over by the flood with thousands travellers trapped leading to the swelling of the number of stranded persons in Lokoja and other nearby towns. The Federal Road Safety

Commission yesterday issued an official closure of the road with advisory that commuters travelling to Lagos or to Abuja to use the Makurdi-Akwanga axis in Benue and Nasarawa states. The Kogi state FRSC sector commander Mohammed Garba said that the commission had no idea of when the road would be officially opened to traffic. Despite the warnings some motorists have been struggling to find their ways through the flooded road. Efforts by some construction companies to clear the bushes on high lands so as to create a parallel road did not yield dividends as the improvised earth roads also failed. Meanwhile, the situation has

resulted to a business boom for locals as they now charge exorbitantly to ferry stranded passengers across the flooded road. Some youths were charging as much as N1,000 per head to ferry stranded travellers going to Abuja from Banda area to Jamata. However, boats were released by the National Inland Waterways Authority for rescue operations in Ibaji, where hundreds of people were endangered. Some of the stranded travellers said they have been at Lokoja for hours on end as traffic stretched beyond two kilometers. Some travellers said they have been at the flood area for about four days as they could not abandon their vehicles.



Floods: Stop moaning and check poverty, Bafarawa tells govs By Muhammad Nasir


Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, protesting over blasphemy movies, yesterday in Kaduna.

Photo: NAN

JTF bursts bomb factory, kills 35, arrest 156 in Yobe, Mubi From Blessing Tunoh, Yola with agency reports


he Joint Task Force in Yobe state said it has killed 35 suspected terrorists after a gun battle that lasted over 24 hours in the state capital, Damaturu. This is just as the force in Adamawa state on Sunday stormed the bomb factory and hideout of insurgents in Mubi council area of the state recovering a huge collection of arms and explosives and arresting 156 suspected terrorists. JTF spokesperson in Yobe, By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he trial of former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole before a Federal High Court in Abuja was yesterday stalled by the transfer of the trial Judge, Justice Donatus Okorowo to Taraba state. Following the transfer , Peoples Daily gathered that Bankole wrote to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta to allow Justice Okorowo come to Abuja from Taraba to sit on the

Lazarus Eli, in a statement yesterday evening said the raid by the force, tagged ‘Operation Restore Sanity,’ was around Kandahar, Pawari and Pawari Cemetery areas of Damaturu where several weapons and ammunitions were recovered. The force also announced that the 24 hours curfew earlier imposed on Damaturu and Potiskum towns have been relaxed. In Adamawa state, the Commander of the 23rd armoured Brigade, Brigadier General John Nwaoga who led the team that included Police Commissioner Godffrey Okeke and

state director of the SSS conducted journalists round the hideout, an uncompleted building in Shagari lowcost of Yelwa ward, Mubi. Eight rocket launchers, about 200 daggers, 9 AK47 rifles, bows and arrows, locally-made pistols, a machine gun, ready to use IEDs, dane guns and ammunitions were some of the items recovered. Fielding questions, the brigade commander said the task force acted on intelligence reports following weeks of wanton killing of innocent citizens and destruction of telecommunication masts in the area. Nwaoga further explained that

the discovery led the JTF to advise the state government to restrict the movement of residents by imposing a 24 hour curfew after which it launched the operation and made recoveries. Nwaoga urged traditional rulers to be involved and forthcoming with information that would help security agents. 150 men were at the time of filing this report, arrested and detained at the Federal Road Safety training camp while six women and children were rescued from the hideout, adding that innocent citizens would be freed after screening.

Judge's transfer stalls Bankole’s trial matter. When the matter came up yesterday, it was not clear whether the Chief Judge consented to Bankole’s request but the matter did not hold. Already, the prosecution counsel had called two witnesses and intends to call more to prove to the court that Bankole is guilty of the charges preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

(EFCC). At the last hearing of the matter in June 2012, the former Speaker failed in his efforts to frustrate the tendering of documents against him by EFCC, as the trial Judge, admitted the document as evidence and held that since the certification of the documents are valid and not contested by the defence, the court has no option than to accept them. Bankole had, through his lawyer;

Wale Akanni argued that the documents which included minutes of series of meeting purportedly held in the conference room of the former speaker over the purchase of some stationery, were not serially numbered and incomplete. An inconsistency, the prosecutor, Festus Keyamo attributed to typographical error which he said had not, in any way affected the contents of the documents.

he former governor of Sokoto state, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa has challenged northern state governors to fight against poverty and unemployment in the region in order to ease the suffering of their people. Speaking on British Broadcasting Corporation (Hausa Service) monitored by our reporter yesterday, the former Governor of Sokoto State made this comment against the backdrop of President Jonathan last week Thursdays meeting with Northern Governors over floods ravaging the region. Bafarawa noted that if all governors took poverty alleviation seriously and told the president the true situation of their people in terms of poverty and unemployment, it would have been better than the issue of flooding which was a lesser topic of discussion. He urged all governors to provide social amenities and affordable fertilizers for the use of farmers and to create jobs for the teeming youth in their respective states. “Where are the governors when fertilizers meant for the poor are diverted? Only few are given at exorbitant price. Where are the governors when loan to be given to farmers did not reach them? The poor have been suffering for long in this country,” he said. He tasked the governors not to wait for people to die before assisting them, adding that if they had assisted the poor with cheap fertilizer, better roads, security, better drainage system at the grassroots, effect of floodings would not be minimal. When asked if he had done better while in office, he said the people of Sokoto state were better judges, adding that there was difference between yesterday and today in Sokoto state.”We have tried our best while in power most importantly on the issue of security,” he noted. It could be recalled that flooding have been ravaging in the Northern with scores of dead have been recorded and property destroyed. This state includes Adamawa, Plateau, Benue, Gombe, Katsina, Niger State among others.

Blasphemous video: Christians join Muslim protesters in Kaduna From Agaju Madugba & Muhammad Adamu, Kaduna


cross section of Christians were among several hundreds of Muslims who took to the streets in Kaduna yesterday protesting the recent blasphemous video on the prophet of Islam. The Christians led by Pastor Theophilus Danjuma explained that they decided to join the Muslims in solidarity because, according to him, “it is wrong to blaspheme the prophet of Islam.

The Kaduna centre of the Muslim Brotherhood Movement under the leadership of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky organized the peaceful protest during which the participants burnt the United States of America, Israeli and French national flags, to register their anger against the producers of the video clip. Armed security men escorted the protesters from their starting point at the Sheikh Usman Bauchi mosque, on Asikolaiye area of Kaduna metropolis, from where the procession went through the

Dutsinma area, terminating at the Tudun Wada axis of Ibrahim Taiwo road. Some of the placards the carried read, “Death to America,” “Death to Israel,” “No to blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad.” A statement from the organizers lamented that, apart from the outward mockery of Islam, the video presented Prophet Muhammad in a “display of an unspeakable immoral manner and personality.” According to the statement

signed by Malam Mukhtar Sahabi, head of the Kaduna centre of the group, “similarly, the release of this movie at this material time, was a move to institutionalize September 11 event as an annual ritual to portray Islam as a religion of terrorists. “An Israeli was commissioned to produce an anti-Islam film that mocked and ridiculed Islam, Prophet Muhammad and followers of this great religion. “We are aware of the covert operations of agents of America in

Nigeria who are bent on defending American interests at all cost. “They should know that we are ready to defend the personality of our beloved Prophet with the last drop of our blood. “This procession is not for any particular sects or groups of Muslims but for all Muslims because there is only one Prophet Muhammad and he is for all. “We extend our message to the world that we condemn the United States for harboring the perpetrators of the blasphemous clip.”



AEPB and the return of second hand car dealers, others in Abuja


oing by the indiscriminate profusion of second hand car dealerships, motor parks of all colours and hues, car washes and places of worship dotting major streets in Abuja, one would be right to think that there is no authority to regulate such activities in the nation’s capital. A visit to some of the districts, notably Utako, will reveal this eyesore. There is hardly a street not over run by all manner of unregulated commercial activities, with the most common being carwash. The result is congested and dirty streets. Which leaves one wondering what the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) is up to. And nostalgia for the el-Rufa’I era, when such activities were relocated to the satellite towns like; Mararaba, Nyanya, Jabi, Lugbe, Idu, Karimu Kubwa, Gwarimpa, and Kuje. Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) was set up in 1989 by the government to keep the city clean, beautiful and free of street activities that attract unnecessary congregation of people. The Board also has the responsibility of monitoring the environment to check for pollution, degradation and public safety. In a bid to beef up the activities of the board, a task force and mobile courts were set up to try possible offenders or violators of the environmental laws. To that extent, the only notable success of the AEPB is the reduction of road street hawking. As for the satellite towns, the board may as well not be in existent. A mere thought of such places presents a mental picture of dirty streets with pure water sachets littered all over without proper disposal and other unwholesome activities that would mirror these places as unkempt. What could be the reasons? It is believed that some car dealers make up to 300% return on their initial investment annually. The business is lucrative because availability of market for imported used or brand new cars as a result of the poor transportation system in Nigeria. Today, there is practically no brand of car that is not found in the second hand car dealership market. Some of the brands are include Toyota, distributed by Toyota Nigeria; Honda, distributed by Stallion Motors; KIA, distributed by KIA Motors; BMW, distributed by Coscharis Motors and Mitsubishi, distributed by CFAO Motors, among others. To some people, the insatiable desires of expensive and exotic cars by Nigerians especially government establishments and corporate bodies have contributed to proliferation of car dealerships in the federal capital. Nigerian government establishments and corporate bodies like banks and insurance companies are in the

Once upon a time in the not too distant past, Abuja, the nation’s federal capital, was a city to rival the most organized on the continent, and pleasant to behold in the eye to boot. Those were the days when Malam Nasir el-Rufa’I held fort as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). In those days, the ubiquitous second hand car dealers, commercial motor cyclists, street hawkers, unregulated motor parks and such like activities that congested major streets in the city, were moved out of the metropolis to the satellite towns. But two ministers after el-Rufa’i’s departure, the Abuja of old is back with vengeance. What happened between then and now is what this report by Etuka Sunday sets out to unravel.

FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed habit of replacing official vehicles with new ones every year or twice every three years. While the global economic meltdown has forced car sales to decline globally, the Nigerian auto sales has retained its lucrative status, still selling large units at attractive sales margins. They posited that the main buyers of new cars are corporate bodies especially Banks, insurance companies, Manufacturing and transportation companies, whereas private individuals

Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga

mainly in the formal sector buy fairly used cars. An Abuja-based resident and dealer, Mr. Joseph Avihi, who is the manager of Freedom Motors Nigeria Limited around Kubwa 2nd Gate, narrated how he joined auto-sales business and the journey so far. “It all started in 80s when Shagari was in power and after I finished my technical school. I secured a job in a company where I maintained office cars and I drove my ogas (superiors). It was in the

process of driving and maintaining the cars that I joined car sales business in Kaduna. I grew up in the business,” he narrated. According to him, “the real people behind this business are mostly senior government officials. That is why the vehicles are everywhere. Most of the big men have the cars at home so they would call us to pick them up for sale. I have more than thirty cars in my care and they were given to me by big men working in

ministries or those that want to travel abroad,” he said. “I have cars worth more than N50 million, and I don’t even know some of the owners. They work with connection. People would direct them to me that the man is good therefore their cars would be safe in his hands. I don’t know some of them for 3 years except when they come for their money. We work based on trust and understanding, provided their properties and money would not be lost. “I get percentage from the sale of the cars. But aside that, I have my own that I sell because I can’t keep more than ten cars on my own for sale. Last week, someone left his car in my hand and travelled. So that is how we got some of these cars.” For regulations in FCT, he said “they have not been doing much because they said we should go to Tunga- Maje, from there they said Dede and they don’t build the place for us. The whole place is bushy and nobody is going there. So you see they are not serious” he said. The work of A.E.P.B should not be seen in the area of hawking alone; it should be extended to other dirty activities that constitute hazards to people’s lives and blocking traffic. As a result, the government must be contacted to ensure that a permanent site is allocated for auto sellers so as to prevent them from blocking the traffic.



Ritualists abduct 18-year-old girl in Benue From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


ersons suspected to be ritualists yesterday kidnapped an 18 year old girl, Anne Queen Omale in Otukpo local government area of Benue state. Anne who resides on No.1 Harrison Adoga Street with her parents had just graduated from

Wesley High School Otukpo. Her father, Mr. Onyuna Omale who narrated to newsmen the circumstances leading to the disappearance of his daughter said she was sent on an errand to buy bathroom sleepers from Otukpo main market where she was kidnapped by some unknown persons. Anne, who alleged that she

was drugged, managed to send a text message to her parents that read: “As I picked a motorbike to the market, I must have been drugged and later found myself in another state.” “I heard one of the men said they are going to use me for money. Tell my mother to pray for me and others,” Anne said. She added that one of the

ritualists on sighting a rosary on her neck exclaimed that there is great power on the rosary. Mr. Omale said the kidnappers are yet to open any discussion with him instead told his daughter that they are on a mission to use girls between the ages of 5 and 15 years for money ritual. He alleged that the commercial motorcycle rider may have

hypnotized his daughter and then handed her over to the rituals. The 54 year old man said he has since reported the matter to the police and the vigilante in Otukpo. However, efforts to get police reaction failed as either the State PPRO, DSP Daniel Ezeala, or his assistant, ASP Alaribe Ejike did not pick their calls.

Lokoja flood: FRSC advices on alternative routes By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


s the Federal Road Safety Corps enters the fourth day of intensive traffic control and temporary closure of the Lokoja-Abuja road as a result of increase in volume of floodwater on the road, the Corps has appealed for caution among motorists using alternative routes. In a press statement, the Corps Public Education Officer (CPEO), Jonas Agwu, disclosed that the FRSC has mapped out four designated routes for motorists in order to avoid the flooded portions of the highway. According to him, “There is point “A” from Okene enroute Ajaokuta-Ayangba-AnkpaMakurdi-Lafia-Abuja while point “B” is meant for motorists already in Abaji. These motorists should use the Toto-Nasarawa route while point “C” has been designated for motorists proceeding from the South East axis to access Abuja through the Otukpa-MakurdiAbuja road”, he said. In the same, Agwu advised road users from Ankpa to access Ajaokuta – Okene and enter through the Army Barrack road. Furthermore, the CPEC disclosed that “ the temporary blocked portions of the road are Banda village, Nataco junction, Shagari bridge by Zariagi/Kabba junction and Ganaja village by 500 housing units”. However, the Corps also wishes to advise motorists using the optional routes to be more safety conscious due to the unprecedented volume of traffic by obeying traffic rules, and to desist from lane indiscipline, speed violation, overloading and reckless driving in order to ensure sanity on the highway.

L-R: Minister of Land, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Amal Pepple, former Senate President Ken Nnamani, VicePresident Mohammed Namadi Sambo, Secretary General of the Presidency of Republic of Niger, Mamodou Mouunmoun, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, and Minister of National Planning Commission, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, during bi-annual retreat of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, yesterday in Abuja. PHOTO: JOE OROYE

Gunmen kill driver, abduct 2 kids in Benin From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


unmen suspected to be kidnappers stormed the residence of of a Beninbased businessman and industrialist, Juande Iyamu, killing his driver and abducting two of his children. The incident occurred close to the businessman's house located at Iguose, behind 7UP Bottling plant between 7.30 and 8.00 am. The driver simply identified as Dave was said to be driving the abducted children to an undisclosed school when the gunmen struck.

Residents of the area who rushed out of their houses to see what was happening had to retreat upon sighting the kidnappers firing sporadic gunshots. Mr. Iyamu, Managing Director of Yawe water who was visibly shocked was seen venting his anger on government for the porous security system in the society. He however was not willing to speak to the press. Edo Police image maker, Anthony Airhuoyo said he was yet to be briefed by the Ekiadolor police station DPO on the incident.

Religious leaders, scholars meet in Ogun over insecurity By Muhammad Nasir


eligious Leaders and scholars in Ogun state met and discussed issues of insecurity bedeviling the nation and to find a lasting peace between Muslims and Christians. A report monitored yesterday on British Broadcasting Corporation(Hausa service)noted that some scholars in the state said there was need for both the Federal, State and Local government to sensitize people on the dangers of violence and to embrace peace through the various mass media in the country, adding that traditional rulers should play significant roles in the society, in urging people to shun violence and create harmonious relationship

between the two major religions in Nigeria. Malam Nasiru Adamu, a renowned scholar in Ogun said “in every country, not only Nigeria, Scholars are closer to their people in both state and local government because they interact with the poor in Mosques and Churches directly and discuss issues affecting them. The Scholar also adviced the Federal Government to carry all Nigerians along that will bring a lasting peace and development for the good of all Nigerians. “All the crises in this country are triggered by religion and ethnicity. It’s mandatory for all religious leaders to go back to their various Mosques and Churches and appeal to their followers on the dangers of violence.”

Maku reaffirms Jonathan’s commitment to transformation agenda By Stanley Onyekwere


he Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku has reaffirmed President Goodluck Jonathan’s commitment towards the realisation of his transformation agenda for the country through strong accountability process aimed at opening up the corridors of power to Nigerian people for effective participation in governance. Maku who made this point at a town hall meeting organised in Abuja

yesterday, to mark the end of the 3Day national good governance tour of developmental projects in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), said the nationwide assessment of performance by governments at different levels irrespective of political affiliations, was in demonstration of support for the agenda. According to him, the initiative was designed to render accounts of performance of governments to Nigerians through an inclusive scrutiny process that emphaise

good governance needed for the much talked about transformation of the country. “People have lost interest in governance in the past due to the absence of an inclusive process of accountability; and to rebuild the broken trust between the people and the leaders, there is the need for the government to regain the peoples’ trust through opening up the government for the people to participate in”, he said. Earlier in a remark, the FCT minister, Senator Bala

Mohammed, who described the initiative as a mark of deepening good governance and giving back to the masses, said it would ensure the adaption of new trends in governance, in the country. Mohammed while assuring his commitment to repositioning Abuja towards better city through maximization of its full potentials, solicited for stakeholders’ contribution towards achieving the administration’s set goals for the territory and the national government at large.

In a goodwill message, the chairman Senate committee on FCT, Senator Smart Adeyemi, praised the government for the initiative, and promised to take advantage of the process to also inspect ongoing projects in the territory. Stressing the need for introduction of property tax law and Board of internal Revenue for the FCT, Adeyemi said when in place, would ensure the availability of sufficient funds for development of satellite towns in the Territory.



Trauma centre underway for accident victims By Ibrahim Kabiru Sule


he Good Governance tour team was at the Abuja University Teaching Hospital (AUTH), where it inspected the ongoing construction of the N799 Million National Trauma Centre, Abuja. Briefing the team, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Peter Alabi, stated that the Center was conceived with the aim of expanding the existing facility which was originally designed to provide accommodation for only 20 patients. "The complex of the National Trauma Centre at the Abuja University Teaching Hospital has reached 75% completion stage and the facility consists of spaces for accommodation of trauma victim's resuscitation room, recovery room, mini laboratory, radiology unit and intensive care unit, among others", Alabi confirmed. He further revealed that the project, which started in 2009 at the cost of N799 Million, could not be completed at the stipulated time of two years due to lack of funds, noting that because of the renewed interest and commitment of government, the project would be completed in the next four months. He explained that the complex would be equipped with modern facilities for the treatment of trauma victims, mostly emanating from accidents and other traumatic conditions. In his remarks, Information Minister, Labaran Maku said that the project would save a lot of lives in view of the havoc which trauma ailment is wrecking on Nigerians.

Amputee businessman sues hospital for negligence From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


Lagos based amputee businessman, Kunle Ajifolawe, has sued the proprietor of a Lagos based hospital, (name withheld), Dr. Rotimi Akinnola, to a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja over alleged negligence. The court, presided over by Justice Iyabode Kasali, at yesterday's proceedings adjourned hearing on the case to October 30, 2012. Ajifolawe, who had his left leg amputated in 2009 in India, had filed a suit against the hospital for negligence, owing to what he termed the unprofessional manner in which his case was treated by a Doctor at the hospital, which later led to the amputation of his leg. He claimed that when he approached the hospital in June 2009, he only felt a sharp pain in the leg. According to Ajifolawe, he later did an X-ray, but the doctor on duty at the hospital told him there is nothing in the x-ray and advised him to take some pain relieving drugs for arthritis.

Former staff of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) protesting over their unlawful sack by NIMC's management, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

Fashola to close mosques, churches over noise pollution From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, is to meet with religious leaders to address the rate of noise pollution in the state following increasing number of petitions against noise from religious centers. The General Manager of Lagos State Environmental Protection

Agency, (LASEPA), Rasheed Shabi, stated this at Amuwo Odofin local government area, during the inauguration of the campaign against pollution, especially noise, in the state with a major focus on the grassroots. He lamented that noise pollution had been giving the state government serious concern, saying the agency receives

between 10 and 15 petitions against noise pollution daily. Shabi said "Governor Fashola will in the next few weeks invite the league of Imams and church leaders to his office to address noise pollution in the state. "We need to know how many religious houses we have in every local government. The local governments should be able to

meet with these religious bodies twice in a year to stem noise pollution." It would be recalled that religious centers in Nigeria are always characterised by loud speakers that enable them to propagate their gospel beyond their congregations to the general environment, which oftentimes, discomforts the residents.

Pilgrimage: Bauchi suspends 13 pregnant women


auchi state government has suspended thirteen intending female pilgrims over pregnancy, directing them to wait after delivery so as to qualify for the next year's hajj exercise. The Deputy Chairman of Amirul Hajj in the state, Yahaya Mohammad Miya, stated this while briefing newsmen on the preparations made so far by his committee on this year's exercise. According to him, "The 13

pregnant women were discovered through a rigorous screening exercise conducted on all the intending pilgrims in the state," adding that they would be replaced with qualified intending pilgrims,and given automatic ticket next year to perform the Hajj exercise. Miya, who is also the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, explained that the 13 pregnant women were discovered from five local government areas,

including Katagum, Misau, Alkaleri, Dambam and Ganjuwa. He stated that the number of pregnant women may increase to 30 as more women are expected to pass through the scanning process. He further disclosed that the screening exercise conducted on the Bauchi and Darazo local governments councils have been cancelled due to some irregularities which necessitated the need for fresh screening

exercise to ensure that only qualified intending pilgrims are allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia. The Deputy Amirul hajj dispelled rumours that the state pilgrims would be airlifted from Kano Airport due to the condition of the Gombe Airport, saying that all arrangements have been concluded to airlift the state's intending pilgrims from Gombe airport as 15 different committees were set up to ensure hitch free exercise.

talk of human beings". "The truth of the matter is that the DG does not want to work with the old staff due to the hatred on us for a reason best known to him", leader of the concerned NIMC staff , Ushie Fidelis, stated. He stressed that majority of them were degree holders, while some are in various schools to acquire additional qualification with the approval of NIMC in principle. According to him, "We have been stagnated for over 10 years and above without promotion. In 2008,we were supposed to sit for promotion interview with our counterparts who left the defunct

DNCR to Federal Ministry of Interior but the management refused us to attend, assuring us that we will be promoted and placed on appropriate level and nobody would lose his/her year of promotion". "Up till the time of disengagement, the backlog of promotion was not cleared even after a directive was given by the Head of Service to clear all promotion arrears not later than November 30th, 2010". It would be recalled that the NIMC declared staff who does not possess the minimum entry qualification of first degree/HND Certificate on July 31, 2012, as

redundant. According to the Director of Corporate Communications, Anthony Okwudiafor, "this is sequel to the Federal Government policy on Civil Service Reform of 2006, requesting all civil servants to improve on their educational qualifications." Okwudiafor explained that in line with this government's directive, NIMC, after taking over both assets and liabilities of the defunct Department of National Civic Registration (DNCR), inherited an over-bloated staff strength that is too big to manage in an IT driven Commission.

Sacked NIMC workers seek justice By Adeola Tukuru


ollowing the decision by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to lay off over 50,000 staff who do not possess the minimum entry qualification of First degree/ HND certificate on July 31, 2012, the aggrieved workers yesterday called on the Federal government to intervene over the "injustice" meted on them by the Director General of the commission. The workers, who addressed newsmen in Abuja, alleged that the NIMC DG was lying, adding that, "even the animal is trainable not to



NAPTIP rescues trafficked girls from Cote d’Ivoire From Matthew Aramunde, Lagos


n Ivorian tribunal in Abidjan weekend struck out a case against four suspected Nigerian human traffickers and operators of a child prostitution ring, which parades Nigerian teenagers, for lack of evidence. The suspects were Blessing Uvitare, 38, Blessing James, 26, Anerica Florence, 29, and Lucky Amadiegu. The President of the Tribunal, Bonke Sylvain, said the suspected traffickers were released because the victims, who should stand as witnesses, had been repatriated by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP). Sylvain had questioned the

…Court frees suspects suspects on their alleged involvement in trafficking of Nigerian teenage girls to Cote d’Ivoire, who served as ‘sex slaves’ by sleeping with many men daily to pay their patrons for release. All the suspects denied involvement in the trade. Uvitare and James, however, said they lived in the same brothel with the girls. Uvitare said, “it was cheaper to live in the brothel than to rent a house in Abidjan.” The Ivorian state prosecutor, Nahi Jerome, also confirmed that the victims had been taken away by NAPTIP. The suspected traffickers were arrested by the Ivorian police,

working with Interpol and a local NGO, Family for the Protection of Human Rights (FEDPH), on Sept. 5. The President of FEDPH, Musa Assemota, said he had notified the Nigerian anti-trafficking agency on the arrest of suspects of child trafficking and 19 of their teenage victims who were caught in the trade on September 5. He said 10 of the teenage girls were repatriated by NAPTIP on Sept. 10 and Sept. 11, while the others refused to go home. Assemota told the court that the NAPTIP officials met with the state prosecutors to explain their mission before the girls were removed.

He said the officials were assured that the case would be pursued against the suspected traffickers without the girls and so, presented pictures of the teenage girls who were repatriated by NAPTIP but the tribunal said it was ‘inadmissible’. Nigeria’s Ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire, Mr Kayode Obajuluwa, said the embassy had been overwhelmed by the number of young girls who escaped from child - prostitution rings that it could not mobilise funds to send them home. The ambassador said he received ``several death threats’’ since he embarked on reforming the consular section of the embassy, which had been fingered by FEDPH, arrested traffickers and victims for issuing consular cards to teenage prostitutes. (NAN)

L-R: Representative of Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Mr. Ayo Omidiji, representative of Benue state Governor, Prof. Saints Gbileksa, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, NICON Insurance Limited, Mr. Emmanuel Akinmolu, and Senior Assistant General Secretary of NURTW, Comrade Frank Uchehana, leading the others corps members, during the monthly walking/jogging exercise, at the weekend, in Abuja. PHOTO: MAHMUD ISA

MDGs: Nasarawa awards more contracts From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


he Nasarawa state government has reiterated its commitment to bringing development to the doorsteps of the people of the state through the provision of basic social amenities. The state deputy governor, Dameshi Barau Luka, made this known recently, at the symbolic presentation of letters of award of contracts for the execution of projects under the conditional grants scheme of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), in his office in Lafia. Dameshi Luka, who represented Governor Al-makura at the occasion, disclosed that the state, in 2007 and 2008, accessed funds for the execution of the MDGs conditional grants which enabled the state to renovate and refurbish a total of 111 Primary Health Care (PHC) centres, in addition to the provision of hospital equipment, as well as the drilling of solar-powered boreholes across the state. The governor, who disclosed that the state is currently intervening in 54 healthcare centres under the 2011 MDGs-CGS intervention, urged the benefitting communities to guard the projects against hood looms Earlier in a welcome address, the MDGs focal person in the state, Yakubu Jafaru Loko, who disclosed that all monies used in the execution of MDGs projects, are not loan but grants, advised the state government to utilise the funds judiciously. Three local governments namely Obi, in Nasarawa south senatorial zone, Akwanga in Nasarawa north senatorial zone and Toto, in Nasarawa west senatorial zone respectively benefitted from the current MDGs intervention projects.

Bauchi condemns bombing of Catholic Church Experts want Fiscal government would do everything now.” From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi possible to track down all The release appealed to all those Responsibility Act amended he Bauchi state criminals in the state and bring affected not to do anything to


government has describing last Sunday morning suicide bomb attack at St. Johns Catholic Church which claimed 10 lives including the suicide bomber with several others seriously injured, as a condemnable and barbaric act of terrorism which governments in the country is fighting hard to eradicate. A press release singed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Isa Yuguda , Mr. Ishola Michael Adeyemi and made available to newsmen in Bauchi yesterday after an emergency Security Council meeting, the state government condemned the attack and assured that

them to book. According to the Council, “there is no way we will allow criminals and terrorists to continue to live among us and continue to terrorize innocent people even in their places of worship, we must join hands to stop these heinous acts.” According to the release, the terrorist acts did not discriminate either by religion, tribe and or political affiliation but targets every citizen of the country saying, “we must all come together to fight these evil men, they live among us and we must expose them at all cost, these wanton killing must stop

aggravate the already tense situation which may lead to the breakdown of law andorder . “Let us allow the security operatives to do their work and eventually track down the criminals, we should please avoid anything that will lead to the loss of more lives and disrupt the peace that we are enjoying in the state.” The government condoled the families of all those who lost their loved ones in the attack, praying God to give them all the fortitude to bear the loss. It also called on them to take solace in God the giver and taker of lives just as he wished all those that were injured quick recovery.


xperts in the economic sector have called for the amendment of the 2007 Fiscal Responsibility Act to ensure accountability and transparency in the country. A statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja and signed by Mr. AbdulGaniyu Aminu, Head of Media, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, said the experts made the call at a discussion on “Values and Importance of Fiscal Responsibility Act and the Role of its commission”. It named the stakeholders to include Prof. Mike kwanashie, a former Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr James Nayeiju,

and Dr. Sylvanus Mordi, the Commissioner representing SouthSouth in the Commission. Others are Mr Eze Onyekwere, the Director, Centre for Social justice, and Dr. Adewumi Abitoye, the Commissioner representing South-West. The statement said that the stakeholders emphasised the need for the Act to be amended to enable the commission to move from moral suasion to one that can ``bark and bite’’ with the requisite power to prosecute offenders. They criticised a situation where the commission is enjoined to recommend violators of the Act to the Attorney-General.



o you have a weakness for spending money on grooming items. You love lotions, soaps, and beauty products. But you also love to save money, and the older you get, the more my frugality wins out over my grooming obsession. Here are a few tips I've learned over the years to pinch a few pennies in the grooming department. 1. Learn to trim hair. I live in a house full of boys, and visiting the local barber shop costs N500 a trip. To save that extra cash, I purchased a nice pair of hair scissors from a beauty shop, along with a set of clippers. I asked a hair dresser friend about what to buy and any tips she had for getting a good home cut. For the boys, we stick to a basic, short, all over buzz cut. This keeps them looking neat and groomed and I can keep them trimmed up every 3-4 weeks without investing anything more


Grooming tips to save you money than my time. For trimming up my own hair, my hair dresser suggested I call ahead for a bang trim, instead of getting an all-over hair cut. It only costs a few bucks and makes my haircuts last longer. When I feel the urge to trim it myself, I turn upside down, put my hair in a ponytail on top of my head, then trim the ends slightly, straight across. I trim lightly so if I make a mistake, there's plenty of room for a stylist to correct my hair. 2. Get fresh for cheap. Teenage boys can get quite smelly. We've tried countless body washes and body sprays, and they just don't seem to last beyond a few hours. To help keep teenagers smelling fresh, try giving them an exfoliate cream. Then, squeeze the juice of

a lime into the bath water and let them soak for 20 minutes. The citrus juice acts as a natural deodorizer and sticks around longer than smelly soaps. You can also rub half a lime directly on smelly feet or underarms for added freshness. 3. Clean up stains on finger nails and toenails by soaking them in cornstarch and water, with a teaspoon of baking soda. 4. Beat the high costs of shaving. Now, this may not work for everyone, but I've found that I can recycle my husband's razors. After a single use on his burly facial hair, his razors don't provide a comfortable shave. However, my thinner leg hair seems to do just fine for a week or two with a recycled razor. Give it

Is your wife pregnant? Take advantage of insurance


eriod of pregnancy is usually a challenging time for the man, the pregnant wife and the rest of the family, until she delivers. This is a period when men in readiness for their wives' delivery make financial preparations to take care of the expected expenses that could eat deep into the purse. Sometimes, some people are taken unawares by developments during and after the pregnancy, leading to running around for financial help from friends up to the extent of going to meet enemies for help. If there was adequate preparation for this critical period, say by taking insurance, all emerging expenses could be taken care of. Here, insurance has come with a reprieve, providing the expectant father and the pregnant woman financial support to take care of the unexpected. Here, Crystalife Assurance Company Limited offers 'Expectant Father's Delight", a life assurance protection policy

Quote Ideas can be lifechanging. Sometimes all you need to open the door is just one more good idea. - Jim Rohn: Motivational speaker, writer

designed to cover the duration of the pregnancy and the three months after delivery, laced with some medical benefits which may arise from unexpected complications/ emergencies arising from the pregnancy or child delivery. This provides a delight to the husband who had only made provision for normal delivery and has not anticipated additional cost that could be up to N100,000 due to the unexpected complications. It is a pure protection-one-year renewable life assurance/medical care cover for the pregnant woman, with maximum benefit

of N100,000. Costs covered are those resulting from medical intervention due to unexpected complications/emergencies arising from pregnancy or child delivery, subject to maximum of N100,000. The minimum and maximum ages at entry are 18years and 45years respectively. Premium per applicant is N9,000. Cases covered include preeclampsia; placenta previa; pregnancy induced diabetics; Anaemia in pregnancy; rupture of the uterus; breech; forceps; evacuation; internal bleeding; miscarriage; ectopic pregnancy; vaginal bleeding and high blood pressure.

a try, and if you notice pulling or a rash, use a new razor instead. 5. Try a substitute. Instead of buying different shades of eyeliner, I mix powdered eye shadow on a wet eyeliner brush to match or compliment my chosen eye shadow. 6. Remove nail polish with glue. To easily remove glitter nail polishes or dark color, paint fingernails with a thin layer of glue before applying polish. Let the glue dry, then polish as usual. The polish will peel off or be easily removed with normal rubbing with polish remover instead of having to soak nails for minutes.

7. Mix and match your colors. Instead of throwing out old nail polishes, try mixing similar colors in one bottle and add a little clear coat to create a new shade. 8. Don't throw out that broken powder compact or eye shadow! Grind up any remaining chunks of powder so you have a fine, loose powder in the compact. Add one drop of rubbing alcohol to the powder and stir with toothpick. Continue adding one drop of alcohol at a time until the powder reaches a creamy consistency. Smooth the top, and allow drying for two to four hours to create an intact powder compact! (Culled from MoneyNing)

4. Open and close the laptop gently, before and after use. Do not slam it down on to the keyboard. Doing so could damage the screen of your computer. A laptop will gently lock shut when the cover is

placed down. 5. Exercise caution when using the Internet. Do not download any unknown software or applications labeled as 'free' onto your laptop, you could be downloading a Virus, a

Virus is a piece of code that is capable of copying itself and typically has a detrimental effect, such as corrupting the system or destroying data. 6. Beware of email attachments from unfamiliar people and delete them as soon as possible. Always keep your antivirus software up to date so that you are aware of any new viruses, adware or vicious spam. 7. Avoid charging your laptop for a long period of time. To extend the lifespan of your battery, unplug the charger each time the battery is fully charged and recharge when it is low.

How to care for your laptop Y

our laptop is a great accessory for work and school as well as travel and for projects. However, it is necessary to take precautions to care for your laptop. By keeping it clean and the software up to date, you can extend the lifetime of your laptop. To properly care for your laptop follow these few simple steps: 1. Keep your laptop clean. Purchase cleaning cloths, dust the screen off lightly and keep the keyboard clean by using air in a can. Never eat or drink around your laptop. 2. Purchase a case or bag for your laptop, preferably a laptop bag with shock resistant features. If you plan on taking your laptop with you to work or school, protect it from extreme heat, cold, and scratches. 3. Keep your laptop away from small children who do not know how to use it. Use and store your laptop on a smooth surface so that it does not fall off and break. Do not leave your laptop in a car, unlocked home, a school locker, or anywhere else that it could get stolen. Your personal information could be at risk.




Ban debates, kill democracy


ast week, the Attorney-General of the federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), spoke down to the nation, and with a strong warning to stop forthwith the debate on the onshore offshore dichotomy in revenue sharing. Reopening and continuing with the debate, he said, would overheat the polity and undermine the institutional integrity and constitutional role of the nation’s Supreme Court which had already ruled on the matter as well as the sanctity of our judicial system. For him, the resuscitation of the debate is a deliberate attempt by some Nigerians to elevate the dichotomy matter to the level of an urgent national issue for the purpose of generating acrimonious wrangling in the nation. With the Supreme Court judgment on it, the minister said, the dichotomy matter was dead and buried, and must be left as such. In all countries of the world, though in varying degrees, those in power try in all sorts of ways to, limit the information that gets to the public about how the country’s affairs are being governed, or block opportunities for a better understanding by the public of the country’s situation in order to make more difficult greater unity among the people, or to check the spread of critical ideas and or progressive thoughts that question existing arrangements and conventional wisdoms. Some do so crudely, and some in such subtle ways that the public suspect little or nothing. Viewed against this backdrop, Adoke’s warning comes as no surprise at all. But it is nevertheless disturbing. Very disturbing, in fact - and not just because it belongs in the category of crude attempts by the ruling powers to curtail debates and keep low the level of awareness among the public about the important issues of especially governance and accountability. It is disturbing because it portrays Adoke as a minister who appears to have totally lost touch with the realities of the country where he is the chief legal officer and as a minister who is not acting and working in synth with the rest of the government in

which he serves. First, we are surprised that Adoke holds the judgement of Supreme Court to be sacrosanct, when even the completely untutored in law knows that our laws and the constitution give litigants and citizens generally the right to approach the apex court with a prayer for it to reverse itself on any issue. Second, we are even more surprised that Adoke seems to have forgotten that there is a constitution amendment process now in progress in the county, which means that citizens now have an opportunity to canvass for the removal,

An even more disturbing aspect of Adoke’s warning is its implication for our country and its young democracy. Debates are at the root of the democratic system of government addition or amendment of any provision of the constitution –including that the abrogation of the onshore/offshore dichotomy in allocation of derivation proceeds be reversed. Third, does Adoke live in another planet as not to know that ours is a nation where there are no settled issues, where, therefore, everything is always on the table, especially at a time like this when the constitution itself is being reviewed? Four, what is the fear? What makes the minister believe that re-opening the debate could generate ‘’acrimonious wrangling’’? Is Adoke saying that Nigerians are by nature an acrimonious lot who cannot conduct themselves properly in the public space when debating issues that concern them? Besides, is it not better to

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”

jaw-jaw than war-war? And, five, if Nigerians cannot debate the issue of how the nation’s God- given resource, their common patrimony, should be shared among its constituent parts, what else is there for debate? But an even more disturbing aspect of Adoke’s warning is its implication for our country and its young democracy. Debates are at the root of the democratic system of government. It is largely because democracy allows debates, the contests between and exchange of ideas, and offers the people alternatives to choose from in terms of visions, programmes and candidates that the system claims superiority over other systems. It is through debates that the governed get to understand their own and their country’s situation and the leaders get to have a good understanding of the needs and aspirations of the governed. Take away debates and what will be left of democracy are its empty rituals. We, of course, understand the fear being entertained in official circles, and which we are sure is largely what has informed Adoke’s warning, that reopening the dichotomy debate and getting the status quo changed will incur the wrath of the Niger Delta states and people and make the insurgents there return to the trenches. Our answer and position, though, is that the nation cannot, on account of this fear alone, ban debates on any issue. Ours is a young democracy that hasn’t yet established firm roots. And it cannot do so when debates on this or that issue are banned, when people are gagged and not given a say in how the country’s affairs are organised and run, and when our leaders claim superior knowledge and conduct our affairs in a cult-like manner. In conclusion, we call on the Nigerian people to ignore the minister and his warning. Let the debates continue. Let the contests of ideas flourish. Let everything be put on the table. And let no self censorship or fears stand in the way of robust and meaningful debates about our country and its future.









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


By Benjamin O. Aduba


ccording to this Day report the former vice President Mr. Atiku Abubakar demanded that the zones be strengthened so that they would serve as former regions. Here is a summary of ideas that came up during annual Newspaper Leadership award ceremonies: 1. From Atiku Abubakar: he called for a review of Nigeria’s political system with the country returning to the regional structure that obtained in the First Republic. 2. From former Lagos State Governor, Senator Bola Tinubu, he called for the scrapping of the Senate as a way of reducing the cost of governance 3. Former Minister of Defense, Lt-Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, decried the overweening influence of governors in the polity. These men are distinguished Nigerians who had served (and still serve) Nigeria at very high levels. The common trend in each of the speakers is dissatisfaction with the Nigeria’s current status. Each one has been responsible for the Nigeria we now have and each has responsibility to right whatsoever is wrong with the country. I however think that each of them has a bad diagnosis of what is ailing Nigeria and their prescriptions accordingly would not heal the sick patient. I will address each advocate’s position and point out why I think the

By Nasiru Suwaid


reat! was my exclamation of relief when I heard of the intentions of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). So we are going to have our own militants up North, I openly pondered, who would at least be fighting for something tangible and earthly and could even negotiate with an archenemy, in so far as the reward is in vast sums of money. It will be unlike the current insurgents who merely believe in an hereafter, which is to kill everybody who you disagreed with, and yours shall be a permanent abode in paradise. Actually it was a crafted piece of media blitz, which progressively filled the information media space in the last few days, when Andrew Yakubu, the recently appointed managing director of the NNPC, visited the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Namadi Sambo, in his office, principally to discuss on the continuation of the company’s exploration activities in the North. Specifically, it is about the concretization of the search for crude oil in the Chad Basin, which has been a continuous exercise for a very long time, with nobody in government circles finding it convenient to pursue it to conclusion, until now when the accepted norm is about private sector led business arrangements; with the highly corrupt and inefficient oil conglomerate still a public owned company despite the year 2015 coming upon us. The history of the oil exploration activities in the North has been a checkered one, with


Why regionalism is bad prescription is wrong for Nigeria Abubakar first. He would like Nigeria to return to the regional arrangement that prevailed during an earlier era. His position assumes that what is wrong with Nigeria can be pin-pointed to the Federal Government. I will like for him to point out any sins of the FG that is not duplicated at the state levels or at any level of government. The FG’s wastes, the corruption, the impunity, greedy party government and greedier opposition, and indiscipline. I see in the state governments the very same things. A combination of the states (zones) will not eradicate any of the sins. The states are not competing for excellence but for incompetence; for who would loot the highest amounts and get away with the loot; for who is most dictatorial; and for who would ignore the wishes of the people the most. Regionalism would not alter the ambitions of Nigerian people especially her politicians. The tribes provide no succor either. The Yoruba is every inch as likely to steal as the Igbo or the Hausa, Edo, Fulani, Ijaw et al. Bola Tinubu next. We all know of Mr. Tinubu’s administration and his role as ACN leader. I cannot distinguish his behaviour from that of say Obasanjo or Mr. Jonathan or

Babangida. Nor is his party any improvement on PDP or his personal life any better than any Nigerian’s. His call for the abolishing of the Senate is the most puerile of all the opinions offered. Why the senate and not the House or why not both. A sizable portion of the state’s resources are wasted on these idle bodies who take two months vacation at a stretch and come back to agitate for raises. The problem is not in the institutions but in their membership. What Tinubu should be proposing is how to elect patriotic Nigerians to the senate. Abolishing the senate makes as much sense as throwing away the baby with the bath water. Why does he not advocate for abolishing the presidency and the presidential air fleet? How about abolishing the judiciary with its dozens of Supreme Court Justices? Why not throw away over forty ministries and their duplicate responsibilities. Tinubu would have been better off if he had suggested that the salaries of the legislators and their allowances should not exceed that of Indian legislators. This would make the Senate and the House less attractive. What is drawing people to these places is the excessive remuneration of being a legislator. We can save money by

reducing the number of senators to two per sate. Where did the idea of three senators come from? We copied from US but US has two. Two senators are adequately representing California and Texas. Each of these states has a population roughly equal to half the Nigeria population and each is bigger geographically than the entire Nigerian nation. Abolishing the senate would not be the way to go to save money. Reducing the compensation would save money and will do so without the disadvantages of a mono cameral legislature as distinct from the bicameral we now have Next Danjuma. Danjuma probably has a point on the powers of governors on the polity. Somebody in these net serves has proposed that a nation with supine lambs breeds upright wolves. We have state legislators who are supposed to be a check on the governors. We have state delegations to Abuja who also represent the state. The governors derive their power from the allocation formula; they have funds. If you cut off the comingling of Local Government allocations from the state government; if you put strong internal controls on security votes; the governors would have no powers. If you strengthen the backbone of legislators to actually dictate and control state

budget process, the governors would fall in line. Why could Danjuma not see where the power of the governors come from and propose the methodology for taming them? Once more we see the enormous resources available to the governors attracting all kinds of people, without public duty calling, aspiring to be governors and spending enormous resources to win the office. What Nigeria needs are not cry babies like Atiku, Tinubu and Danjuma. We need people who would roll up their sleeves and join the government and lead by example, and would be advocating helpful solutions that may not be popular. If there is a restructuring that Nigeria needs, it would be to go back to the Westminster Parliamentary system advocated and then abandoned by Chief Obafemi Awolowo. It will make the Prime Minister sit with the legislators and make laws and make the PM just a regular guy. The presidential form of government is too costly; it isolates the president from the common man; and it forces on the nation many ego maniacs. It makes Nigeria believe that it is another America and a giant of Africa. Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba wrote from Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

We are having our own militants many hopeful pronouncements of discoveries of the black gold in commercial quantities, truncated by a period of truant silence on what is actually happening in the arid dryness of the Chad Basin. More so, as it is within the same geographical axis of the geological belt, as Niger and Chad Republic, where crude oil has been discovered. It is only a an artificial barrier and demarcation of a national boundary that has classified the same geographical area into three distinct national territories. Yet, all these rational facts could not galvanize the national oil company, to seek the extraction of the much needed primary energy source, to the surface of the earth, for the optimization of its potential in increasing the general revenue base of the nation. This is, perhaps, because of the singular notorious fact about a typical government corporation in Africa being characteristically inefficient. As such, globally, the smart wisdom within governmental circles is to dissociate public bureaucrats from involvement in business oriented and profit motivated commercial concerns, because nothing good ever comes out of such arrangements. Thus, you could understand my shock, when the new management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, undertook a short journey from its towers to the Presidential Villa to meet the Vice President with so much fanfare, about its exceptional

capacity and capability to make the dream of an average northerner a reality. For somebody who considers himself cosmopolitan, thus having friendships with all kinds of persons from every nook and cranny of the nation, nothing puts so much strain on such relationships, especially the ones engineered through the medium of the social media, than the usual once in a while spat with a NigerDeltan, who never fails to remind everyone on the almost single commodity of petroleum resources, which sustains the revenue base of the country. It is at those times that the essential pedestrian nature of a typical Nigerian surfaces, when issues of corruption, nepotism, unpatriotism and outright theft against a called son or rather daughter of the soil arises, the adverse chorus is let him or her steal the money, after all it is our

own and isn’t it better for ours to enjoy the loot, than an alien from the tribe of our communal foes. The grand irony though is that countries and economies are never built on the pilfering capacity of individuals from the commonwealth treasury of the greater local, regional or national community. A little dispassionate and realistic analysis suggests that the occurrence and availability of mere unrefined crude oil, does not signpost wealth or development, as natural resource in Africa have never served as a foundation for development, rather it only represents an avenue for personal enrichment and grand corruption. Indeed, the economic predicament of the oil producing states in Nigeria is a clear pointer to such scenario, with the politicians of the region helping themselves to the overall commonwealth of all. Thus, any discovery which only copied the

Any smart observer of the recent happenings in Nigeria would easily decipher the volcanic currents of strategies and projections for the next general elections, when many men and women of power face the inevitable destiny of either a re-election or a reappointment. Thus the visible tone of discussion is always about who succeeds whom into higher office, while the need to identify with the home base aspirations of a politician becomes paramount

same pattern of travesty of leadership down south, shall never be an aspiration that could warrant emulation by the political north. It is a situation that only financially caters for the exploiting militants of the creeks, at the expense of the poor farmers and fishermen that are directly affected by the destructive effect of oil exploration activities in the region. Any smart observer of the recent happenings in Nigeria would easily decipher the volcanic currents of strategies and projections for the next general elections, when many men and women of power face the inevitable destiny of either a re-election or a re-appointment. Thus the visible tone of discussion is always about who succeeds whom into higher office, while the need to identify with the home base aspirations of a politician becomes paramount. As such an effort at an oil find, no matter how disingenuous, would seem great on the retinue of achievements a desperate politician finds desirable to relay on a re-election platform. But any discernible observer knows that profitable matters of private enterprise are only attained through serious efforts at a sober resolve to manage production; a task simply beyond an organization such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, which has a strong phobia for the maintenance of mere refineries. Nasiru Suwaid wrote in from Kano.


By Chido Onumah


hose who are sounding jubilant and triumphant over President Jonathan’s decision to “suspend” the introduction of the N5,000 note should read and reread the report in the national dailies of last Friday. It is déjà vu all over again! According to the Guardian, “The Senate yesterday expressed displeasure over the way the Executive arm handles the resolutions of the Upper Chamber, saying it threatens the mutual respect and understanding with which the two arms of government are expected to perform their constitutional duties for the progress of the country. “Essentially, the lawmakers decried the statement credited to the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, in the media to the effect that the Senate resolutions concerning the controversial N5000 note were


The N5,000 note déjà vu not binding. N5,000 note be suspended for now. is on hold.” It is important that we read “Coincidentally, the This is to enable the apex bank to the lines. The government disclosed that it was do more in terms of making between stepping down the introduction of Nigerians understand why it government has not said it is abandoning the N5,000 note i t s by the Central harebrained Bank of Nigeria decision to ( C B N ) . introduce the Presidential Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text N5,000 note. Spokesman, Dr. messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written What it is Reuben Abati, contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 saying is that responding to words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and Nigerians, in inquiries last a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed their typical night, said “the to: slow way of introduction is appreciating being suspended The Editor, government for now to enable Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, policies, need the CBN do more time to be enlightenment on 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. educated on the issue. Email: let why they “He further SMS: 07037756364 s h o u l d said: ‘Yes, understand P r e s i d e n t Jonathan has directed that the proposed it in the first place. So, this particular government implementation of the new for now, the full implementation policy with all its detrimental

effect. So the new note is “being suspended for now to enable the CBN do more enlightenment on the issue”. For Nigerians, an idle and angry bunch, distracted by Facebook, Twitter and Blackberry, whose favorite past time is to oppose anything the government says, a few extra billion on mass enlightenment by the CBN won’t be a wasted effort. That process of enlightenment started yesterday via Reuben Abati’s pronouncement. Who says the government can’t turn around and introduce the note by October 1, 2012, and if not, by January 1, 2013? Its action of January 1, 2012, is still fresh in our memories. “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” Chido Onumah is on Facebook.

widening the global fault-lines between Islam and the West and for decades, they have been responsible for translating books and opinion articles from other languages into English in order to accelerate the movement of anything that smears Islam and Muslims into the Western media bandwidth. Poster-boy/girl of the hate industry, people like Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, are treated like stars while their hate theologians and apocalyptic spiritual leaders like Pat Robertson, Rev. Bill Keller, Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell, Benny Hinn, etc routinely provide spiritual blessing for the ceaseless onslaught. These putrid Islamophobes and Zionists intoxicated with hatred towards the Muslims, truth and justice, spew out their ceaseless Islamophobic rhetoric. Islamophobic rhetoric that inevitably have translated into acts of bias, discrimination and even violence against Muslims. Strangely, it seems too easy to make a career in Islamophobia in America. Finances are readily available to right-wing special interest groups that negatively influence media coverage in the U.S. while extreme Christian evangelical groups are free to

preach and export standardized packages, crammed with newly minted anti-Islam rhetoric to hasten the Armageddon. Their power and influence transcend the boundaries of America, and their actions, an influential factor on the American foreign policy, have effects in the remotest parts of the world. We are not talking about people raving on a street corner downtown. These virulent Islamophobes like Dutch politician Geert Wilders who sought re-election to the Dutch parliament last week, have a powerful platform at their disposal, or are allowed unfettered access to powerful platforms by reporters and editors in what are considered mainstream publications. So far more than 20 people are reported dead as a result of the protests which according to Reuters, less than 0.001 per cent of the so-called ‘Muslim world’ is estimated to be involved in. This is both tragic and unacceptable. It is now clear that the singular impact of violent protests and fiery speeches have been loss of lives and destruction of properties, and not protection of the honour of the Prophet (SAW). God has honoured the Prophet in truth and nobody can strip him of this honour till the end of time. Muslims have a right to peacefully protest and, if they want, to use boycott as a mean of showing their anger. But to move from there to attacking embassies or holding ambassadors responsible for the decisions and actions of few nuts in their countries, worst still, to engage in wanton violence against people or property is to leave the field of legitimate complaint and enter one of criminality and mob justice. Disu Kamor is the executive chairman of the Muslim Public Affairs Centre Nigeria, and is reachable on


The anti-Islam video and Islamophobia By Disu Kamor


hris Stevens, the United States ambassador to Libya, and three others with him, were violently attacked and wrongfully killed on September 11, 2012 in Libyan’s eastern city of Benghazi. The finger of suspicion has been pointed at Libyan extremists who, the Libyan President, Muhammad Magarief confirms, pre-planned the attack, with the protests serving only as cover. It goes without saying that those who killed these innocent men acted outside the framework of Islamic teachings as ambassadors are guests in their host countries. Besides, nothing justifies the killing of innocents due to an obscure film that aims to insult Prophet Muhammad who God Himself has elevated in status. By killing these men who had nothing to do with the film, the killers certainly did more to offend the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) than this film could have ever done. Their actions will never bring relief to any grievance and will only serve to foster discord and misunderstanding about the Islamic faith. More importantly, their actions go against the mercy, love, patience, and justice that the Prophet (SAW) embodied on a daily basis, despite many provocations and more bizarre attacks by a few around him. According to the most credible reports, the repulsive film which was written, produced, and directed by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, an EgyptianAmerican Coptic Christian who hates Muslims. Nakoula is a felon convicted in California on bank fraud charges, for which he received a suspended 21month sentence and was fined $790,000. According to press reports

the low budget movie was filmed last year and starred sixty actors who recently released a statement stating that they were never told that the movie was about the prophet Muhammad (In fact, one of the actors, Lily Dionne, has sued the film producer for grossly misleading him because the actors had been told they were making a film An historical Arabian Desert adventure). The actors also maintained that most of the offensive language was later dubbed over their images and the 79 cast and crew members have since released a statement claiming they were taken advantage of. The film, screened last June in a near-empty Hollywood theater, was a flop that barely registered on anyone’s radar. Shortly after the screening of the film, Nakoula was reported to have contacted another EgyptianAmerican extremist and Copt Christian, Morris Sadek, 70, who for decades has led an antiMuslim campaign in the U.S., Sadek, who has an extensive email list that included many Egyptian media outlets and journalists, then started promoting the Arabic version of the trailer on his numerous websites and Facebook page. Also enlisted was Pastor Terry Jones, the Qur’an-burning Florida pastor, and Steve Klein, an antiMuslim activist in California. The American civil rights groups say Klein trained militant Christian groups in addition to promoting anti Muslim materials online. Nakoula got Sadek’s help in promoting and distributing the film but Sadek’s efforts caught the interest of some Egyptian reporters who consequently covered the story extensively in the local Egyptian media. A few days later the Egyptian satellite channel Al-Naas called for a protest in front of the American Embassy in Cairo on Sept. 11. Upon hearing this,

similar groups in Libya also called for a mass demonstration on the same day in Benghazi. Meanwhile, Al-Azhar, a major seat of religious authority in the Sunni world, condemned the film but called for a calm and measured response. Although the initial protests in both Egypt and Libya had been largely peaceful, ignoring the scholarly warning from the Al-Azhar led to devastating consequences. From the sequence of events, it is easy to see that the film, Innocence of Muslims, is a work of an evil alliance that labours to ensure that malicious attacks on Islam are sustained. From Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses in 1989, the Danish cartoons in 2005, the burning of the Qur’an by the nutty Florida pastor Jones in 2010, to the mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik who regards Islam as “the enemy”, argues for the violent annihilation of “Eurabia” and calls for the deportation of all Muslims from Europe based on the model of the Beneš decrees, the list goes on and on. From their language and common motives, this cold and rogue alliance continues to use provocative sounds and images as hidden weapons to stir up the Muslims. The U.S. Islamophobia industry has well oil machines that have been responsible for

From Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses in 1989, the Danish cartoons in 2005, the burning of the Qur’an by the nutty Florida pastor Jones in 2010, to the mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik who regards Islam as “the enemy”, argues for the violent annihilation of “Eurabia” and calls for the deportation of all Muslims from Europe based on the model of the Beneš decrees, the list goes on and on



What is the purpose and role of government? By Paul I. Adjie (Esq)


s there government in Nigeria? Where are the organs of government in Nigeria? Local, state and federal? What are the purpose and functions of government, at municipal, or local, state and federal government levels? What is the role of government in the lives of Nigerians? Government is profoundly absent in the lives of a majority of millions f Nigerians. But why? Why is government so profoundly absent in the lives of Nigerians or why are various levels government in Nigeria not modulating Nigerian lives? Why is government not performing its basic or elemental functions? These were the questions on every lips this weekend as a friend and I, traversed Bayelsa and Rivers States. On Saturday September 15,

2012, a friend and I, including hundreds of thousands of other Nigerians in their thousands, “enjoyed” and “basked” in the standstill traffic that is Choba, Port Harcourt in Rivers State. What is the matter with Nigerian federal, state and local governments? Why has all strata of governments in Nigeria abandoned Nigerians? This sense of utter neglect and shameless abandonment were the unanimous assessment of all who endured the road torture and chaos which is now commonplace in Nigeria. The Port Harcourt Yenagoa road is quite possibly the worst road axis in Nigeria, and this is beyond dispute, this week proved it twice! First, there was the incident in which a tractor-trailer with loads or consignment of timber, overturned spilled its goods on the highway, and there was no efforts by any agency of our governments to clear the mess

and so the road was clogged and impassable for about 72 hours. And there was no crane or heavy equipment to move the tractor-trailer and the dumped goods away from the highway in order to unclog it! And so it were, that for over three days, Nigerians in their hundreds of thousands endured the indignity of having to wallow through three-feet high mounds of mud or portor-portor to get there from here on the East-West Road axis. Why does the Federal Roads Safety Corps not have heavy equipment and tow vehicles to remove broken, damaged and or vehicles involved in accident out of public streets and highways? Why is there no presence of traffic wardens, traffic police, soldiers and other sundry uniformed services to clear clogged roads and to direct traffic on our roads, to assure easy ebb and flow of traffic as a national duty?

Why is it that municipal, or local, state and federal levels of government do not see it fit, to attach importance to the flow of economic activities and reduce the loss of man-hours, by ensuring that traffic flows? Why would all levels and strata of government in Nigeria exhibit a lack of concerns when economic activities grind to a halt as road arteries are clogged and economic activities are frozen to a frigid pulp? Why would any reasonable government, local, state or federal and any combinations therewith, ignore the unbearable mental stress and unnecessary tension borne by a majority of her citizens traffic logjams on a daily basis and as a matter of fact, a nationwide phenomenon? And allow life to grind to a complete halt? Nigeria is not at war, and yet, worse things seems to manage to happen in Nigeria than in war zones where governmental

authority is absent and anarchy is the rule! What is the purpose of government in Nigeria if it cannot even It cannot repair roads, it cannot operate water supply or clear garbage from public space? It is becoming glaringly clear that government in Nigeria cannot control traffic, as exemplified by the blockage of a major roadway as a timber-trailer overturned in the first road incident which is explained above Then, in quick succession, there was a second incident of road chaos in Nigeria this week, to which I personally bore witness, as I endured untold hardships, it was the road chaos at Choba junction, Choba, the community made famous by the establishment of the University of Port Harcourt. Paul I. Adujie (Esq.), a lawyer, lives in New York, USA.

Confronting simple problems with complex solutions By Adewale Francis Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo Da Vinci


good summary of Steve Job’s autobiography by Walter Isaacson could be aptly put: “simplicity”. Job committed his entire life to turning complex human technological problems into a simple easy to handle tech marvel anyone and everyone can use. No wonder people of all hue will readily pay any price to lay their hands on any Apple products. The current regime in Nigeria on the other hand could easily enter the Guinness Book of Record for turning simple problems into nightmares for everyone. The regime is well known for recommending complex palliatives to simple problems. Some of their recipes for what ails our land are often mostly “hit and miss” badly thought out proposals without a grand view of the impact on the society. One can run through a gamut of the current government’s miscues since Jonathan’s election to the highest office in the land. For instance, when it found it was paying too much to oil barons who are exploiting the oil subsidy to make quick money. What did they recommend? Their first thought was not to apprehend the criminals but to abruptly remove oil subsidy. When the Central Banks discovers that the cost of printing notes is too much, the first thought was not to find out why foreigners own the patents to the notes in the first place, and how the cost of printing the notes could be reduced. They came up with an unconstitutional policy restricting how much notes Nigerians could withdraw from a bank, all in the name of

cashless banking. And now the same Central Bank thinks that the new solution is not to address the systemic inflationary indices, but to print more notes in higher denominations. The Central Bank imbroglio is atypical of Jonathan’s administration ineptness. The regime has never found a problem they can’t turn into a hydra-headed monster even if it comes to them with a simple solution wrapped in a manger! Their pronouncements on economic structures of the country are as firm and arrogant as some of the religious fanatics they are fighting in the northern part of the country. Whatever problems lurk on the horizon, be it economic, social or structural are imagined primarily as hydra headed political problems, orchestrated by the enemies of the regime and the only way out is to “settle” the opponent by throwing the poor and the dispossessed under the bus. It does not matter if such opponent is a terrorist. The victims of their nefarious acts must be made to pay the cost of transporting their abuser to Aso rock, where the killer will be feted and received with pomp and pageantry. Of course, what inevitably pass as governance in Nigeria is money changing hands between politicians and top civil servants of all hue. No thoughts on building infrastructures and systemic structures that can stand the test of time. Inevitably while the politicians and their accomplices in government shower money on themselves and their children the poor masses in our country pay dearly for the cost of such inept governance. Sad as this may appear, this problem do not begin with the Jonathan’s administration. The genesis could be traced to his predecessors particularly the infamous Obasanjo regime.

Obasanjo’s adventures in power could at best be termed the lost decade for the country, more because of the opportunity lost than any other factor. He had been in power in the 1970s and many thought his second coming would at least be a corrective one, albeit with lessons learned. Sadly, his eight years as a civilian president could serve as a public administration case study on the pitfalls of visionless leadership. What began with hope and pageantry with an unusual inclusion of many of Nigeria’s best technocrats’ home and abroad, mutated into corrupt, bloated and wasteful regime that left more Nigerians in poverty than any other civilian regime in the history of our country. Obasanjo’s neglect of the institutions and infrastructures that he inherited will take Nigeria at least another decade to repair and restore. For those who doubt this assertion just take a drive on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, or the eyesore called the Asaba-Onitsha bridge gateway. The Jonathan’s regime is hell bound in outdoing Obasanjo record of nonperformance in office. At the height of Obasanjo’s debt repayment hypocrisy, he famously referred to the cell

phone “GSM” revolution as perhaps his greatest achievement, an achievement for which his regime contributed nothing in terms of infrastructures and policy mechanism other than setting up proxy telephone companies owned by retired military officers. And now Jonathan’s is on the cusp of making such claims with power distribution in the country, even though all it did is to collect rent for foreign corporation who will gouge ordinary Nigerians in the guise of providing electricity. “Why is our country in such a dire straits?” a friend of mine asked me casually on a recent trip back from the heartland. My first retort is to point to other countries in Africa undergoing the same pain, but realizing that my friend will not take such a pessimistic answer from me while we are on 15 hour flight together I decided to take my time to answer him. More so, when he knew that my knowledge on public administration in developing countries is well known. So I gather my thoughts and pointed out to him point blank that no developing countries will ever get out of doldrums if it spends

The federal government as currently set up is over bloated and needless. If we need a legislature at all, we do not need a bicameral body, membership there should also be part time with a strict instruction to meet for three months to set policy direction for the executive, approve budgetary allocations unless there is a special session called by the executives

90% of its income on payment of salaries to politicians and public servants and less than 10% on infrastructural development. He immediately asked me what should we do, I told him what we need is a public will and constitutional amendment to force every government in Nigeria to raise taxes it will use to pay salaries for itself out of a general fund, while all income accruable from our natural resources and dedicated levies are paid directly into an enterprise account for building and maintenance of infrastructures, like hospitals, roads, educations etc. Politicians and their comrade in civil service salaries will only be paid by the people impacted by the structures they build. This may not be a perfect fix to the problems of leadership in our country but it is at best the best place to start. Of course, for this idea to work, we need to make governance a community affair. The closest government to the people is often the ones that impacted them most. The days of sitting in Abuja to preside over the cost of repairing water-works and drainage in Ilesa should be over. The federal government as currently set up is over bloated and needless. If we need a legislature at all, we do not need a bicameral body, membership there should also be part time with a strict instruction to meet for three months to set policy direction for the executive, approve budgetary allocations unless there is a special session called by the executives. The executive arm should also be pruned; the federal and state governments should have no business managing sports and cultures. These are practical simple solutions to anaemic problems, but our governments are used to chasing shadows. Francis Adewale is reachable on



Indigent students to receive N15m scholarship By Adeola Tukuru


ome indigent students from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), studying in various parts of the country, are to receive an estimated N15 million scholarship as the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) has approved the amount for this purpose. The Supervisory Councillor

for Special Duties, Mr. Sunday Alabi, who revealed this yesterday, said the council’s executive committee, gave the approval in a bid to encourage and promote universal access to education for all eligible students in the council. Alabi said the intention of the present administration to develop the human capital of the electorate, has prompted the council to continue to be

responsive to the scholarship needs of students in both secondary and Tertiary Institutions. According to Alabi, the scheme was approved for deserving students studying accredited courses in various higher institutions of learning across the country, to enable them to be more committed to their academic programmes. ”It the earnest desire of the

leadership of the council under Hon. Micah Jiba to assist students in the council in acquiring good and qualitative education and also to have better understanding about the world of the elite, that is why the leadership of the council has made qualitative education a top priority in his agenda for the residents of the council. “This administration has

Teenager jailed for stealing car battery

Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital under construction inspected by journalists, during the Good Governance tour, at the weekend in Abuja.


Photo: Joe Oroye

27-year-old man stabbed to death by friends in Gwagwalada By Usman Shuaibu


27- year -old man in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Hashim AbdulSalam was last week, stabbed to death by his friends following an argument over a missing

handset. An eye witnessed account has that the victim’s assailants inflicted injuries on several parts of his body with sharp objects before he was pushed into a river. The father of the victim, Mallam Abdul-Salam Sani, who our reporter met in his state of grief, has appealed

security agencies and other relevant agencies to ensure justice is done in the matter by punishing the perpetrators accordingly. A concerned resident, Mallam Ahamadu Yahaya linked the tragic death of the deceased to hard drugs being taken by the youths. When contacted, the

Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Gwagwalada confirmed the case. He said that it was being transferred to the Federal Capital Territory Command for further investigation. Meanwhile, he said four suspects have been interrogated by the men of the police so far.

Cleaner carts away master’s cash, other property


22-year-old cleaner, Ifeanyi Ohamara has been sentenced to one year imprisonment by an Abuja Senior Magistrates Court for carting away property belonging to his master. Ohamara of Zone 5, Kabayi, Mararaba, Nasarawa state, was however given an option of N2,000 fine by Senior Magistrate Ann Akobi, who convicted him of the crime. Police Prosecutor, Abdullahi Adamu had told the court that the case was reported at the Wuse Police Station by James Okpe, a security guard attached to Professor Sylvester Monye.

the intention to groom children in the council and prepare them for the future challenges. It also wants to inculcate in them the zeal to keep abreast of whatever is happening in their chosen field of endeavour as well as the entire world; we do not want our society to produce illiterates, that is why this scholarship grants has been approved”, he said. This was as he said that the scholarship scheme would be transparent and based purely on merit.

He said that Ohamara worked as a cleaner in Monye’s residence at 7 Bimbu St., Wuse 2, Abuja. Adamu said that between September 17 and September 20, 2012, Ohamara stole his masters N48,000, a wall clock and a drinking cup. He said that during investigations, the cup and wall clock were recovered from Ohamara and he confessed to stealing the money. The prosecutor said that the offence contravenes the provisions of Section 289 of the Penal Code. Ohamara pleaded guilty and begged the court for mercy, saying, “I work as a cleaner in the house,

the woman who contracted me is responsible for my salary but she has not paid me for two months now. “I was very broke and could not afford transportation from my residence to my place of work and that made me very frustrated. “I admit to stealing the money but the cup and wall clock were part of the items that were no longer in use at the house and my boss asked me to dispose of them. “I was wrong not to have shown the items to my boss first, of which I am sorry, I have also returned part of the stolen money and promise to pay off the balance. There is no justifiable reason why I stole the

items, but I am begging the court to have mercy on me,’’ he said. His counsel, Mr Ikechukwu Innaemeka, urged the court to tamper justice with mercy as the convict had shown remorse. Akobi said that the circumstances were not enough reasons for the convict to steal. She said that Ohamara should have begged his boss for assistance instead of stealing and that he had not shown reasons why he should not be convicted. Akobi said that she had listened to the plea of the counsel for leniency and would, therefore, not give a maximum punishment for the offence of theft. (NAN)

n Abuja Magistrates’ Court has sentenced a teenager, Abdul Usman of Mpape village, Abuja, to six months imprisonment for theft. Police Prosecutor Musa Abdullahi told the court that the matter was reported on September 17, 2012 at the Mpape Police Station by Olatunji Bashiru of Mpape village. Abdullahi said that the convict, 18-year-old burgled the car of the complainant and stole the car’s battery valued at N12,000. According to him, the offence contravenes Section 288 of the Penal Code. The convict, who pleaded guilty, begged the court for leniency. Magistrate VeraTukura handed the down the sentence without an option of a fine. (NAN)

Fruit sellers appeal for rehabilitation of market By Usman Shuaibu


he Chairman of fruit sellers in Dei-Dei, Mallam Aliyu Bakori, has called on the Chairman of the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Hon. Micah Jiba to rehabilitate the roads linking the fruit market in Dei-Dei. Bakori, who spoke to Peoples Daily in his office in DeiDei lamented that the rains was making the place muddy. He further lamented that despite the revenue being generated by the authorities of the area council no structure had put in place in the market as he urged the authorities of AMAC to rehabilitate the roads which were not longer motorable. He also complained that the traders were being confronted with the problem of security as the market was not fenced by the leadership of AMAC.



Indigenes storm Transcorp in protest of non-payment of compensation By Josephine Ella with agency report


ome indigenes of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) yesterday, stormed the venue of the FCT Interactive Town Hall Meeting, with placards to register their displeasure over the non-payment of compensation on land acquired for the development of new districts and other public infrastructure in the territory. This was happening while the FCT Interactive Town Hall Meeting to round up the National good Governance Tour was taking place at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton. The protesters, who barricaded

the access road to the Congress Hall, carried placards with different inscriptions such as “Who paid? Who received? The rumoured huge compensation for our acquired ancestral lands, officials or conspirators”. Other inscription on the cards reads: “Correct God’s mistake if you know better, God made us indigenes of the FCT, `”FCT laws and policies should benefit the people not only political parties, “Our farmlands taken, our livelihood decimated, our homes destroyed, our children violated”. Asked what their grievances were, the spokesman for the protesters, Mr Isa Abubakar, told the News agency of Nigeria (NAN)

that the indigenes wanted the FCT Administration to address the plight of indigenes by approving and paying them compensation. He said that youths in the territory were peaceful and law abiding, hence their resolve to embark on a peaceful protest to register their grievances. “We are indigenes of Abuja who want peace; we don’t want to engage in criminality to register our complaints. We are saying that, nobody has compensated us or our fathers for our lands that have been taken over by FCT authorities for development purposes. “What we want is for the administrators of Abuja to do the

right things for the indigenes,” Abubakar said. Meanwhile, the FCT Minister, Senator. Bala Mohammed, responding to the prosters said that the administration was putting finishing touches on resettlement projects in and around the city to permanently address the problem. He said that the administration would address the issue of indigenes’ compensation through integration and proper resettlement. He said the administration inherited a lot of the problems associated with demands for compensation by indigenes and was working toward putting an end to it.

Gbagyi indigenes protesting non-payment of compensation for their houses and farmlands acquired for the development of new districts, during the Town Hall Meeting, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Carpenter accused of inflicting injury on fellow


he Police yesterday arraigned a carpenter, Ogbonna Onu, 28, of 1st Avenue Gwarimpa, Abuja, before an Abuja Magistrates Court for allegedly inflicting injury on a fellow. Onu, who was arraigned on a two-count charge of joint act

and causing hurt to Mr Abidemi Ogunkoya, was said to have conspired with two others now at large to beat up the complainant. Police prosecutor, Friday Idi told the court that Ogunkoya of Karmo, Abuja, reported the case at the Life Camp Police Station on August 24, 2012.

“There was a misunderstanding between Onu and Ogunkoya, which led to a fight during which Onu beat-up Ogunkoya,” Idi said. He said Ogunkoya sustained injury on his right hand, and that the offence contravenes the provisions of Sections 78 and 240

of the Penal Code. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty. Presiding Magistrate Habiba Bello granted Onu bail in the sum of N200,000 with one surety in like sum and adjourned the case to October 8, 2012 for hearing. (NAN)

Traders, consumers in Abuja lament high cost of beans


raders and consumers have decried the high cost of beans in the Federal Capital Territory ( FCT) and its environs, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. A market survey in Abuja yesterday showed that there has been a jump in the price of the varieties of beans to the chagrin of consumers and traders alike. NAN reports that the price of beans has doubled over the past four months. For instance, brown beans that were sold for N160 in January now sells N500, while the white variety

jumped from N120 to N400 during the period under review. Abubakar Sule, who sells beans in Utako Modern Market, FCT, attributed the high cost of beans to the unrest in parts of the North and flooding in the beans producing states of Niger, Zamfara and Yobe. Another beans traderin Karu, Idris Buba, also blamed the situation on the state of insecurity in the country. ‘’Every farmer around troubled regions is afraid to go to his farms; and as if that was not enough, flood came and swept away the farms and even the little storage facilities,’’ he

said. On the part of consumers, those interviewed said they were not finding it funny at all as beans remained one of the commonest staple food items that used to be available for every family. Mrs Chinyere Amadi, a shop owner at Wuse Market, was alarmed at the high cost of beans at the market. ‘’Can you imagine that beans is now more expensive than rice; it has never happened before no matter what, but now that is the reality. ‘’My children don’t eat white

beans; I have to buy brown beans for N500, the amount I used to buy three times the quantity I buy now, thus making my budget that was tight before to be tighter now,’’ she said. Bolaji Dada, a resident of Karmo also noted that the high cost had made it impossible for many families to provide the variety of meals derivable from beans. ‘’We use beans for moi-moi, akara (bean cake), make soup and even combine it with rice; but with the price now, many households may not be able to afford it,’’ Dada said. (NAN)

Why Mpape must go, explains FCT Minister By Josephine Ella


he Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed has explained that structures in Mpape must be dismantled because the area portend high security risk to the territory. However, Senator Mohammed, who spoke yesterday at the FCT Interactive Town Hall Meeting at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja did not give detail of how the area had constituted threat as he claimed. The citizens forum was organised by the FCT administration to hear the views of residents on their yearnings and aspirations. He said, there was no going back on the planned demolition of the area, but due to the human phase of the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, the FCT administration has halt the exercise in line with the President’s directive until after the rains. He said his administration was not insensitive to the plight of the people but was obligated to ensuring a safe environment for all Abuja residents. “We are demolishing and we will continue to demolish until the master plan is restored and our environment is secured. I have nothing against Mpape residents. “President Goodluck Jonathan as part of his compassion for Nigerians implored us to postpone the demolition until after the rainy season, Mpape has to go, it is posing a great security threat to the city, Mpape can’t stay, we must do it, it must start one day,” he said. He said that the administration had concluded arrangements to build an estate to resettle those that would be affected by the demolition in Mpape. On the high cost of rent in the city, the Chairman Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Smart Adeyemi said a bill that will control rent and estate development in the city will be sponsored in the Senate very soon. Adeyemi said since most of the vacant estates in the city are being built with stolen funds without any need to pay back loan, cost of rents in the city have remained high. According to him, when property developer are made to pay property tax on their properties either being occupied or not, they will be forced to give out thousands of vacant houses in the city out at very cheap price thereby crashing the high cost of rents in the city.






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NNPC assures of petrol supply in 2 days

Mob: 08033644990

Nigeria to seek help at World Infrastructure Summit 2012 By Chris Alu


As the fuel scarcity continues to bite, several Conoil tankers were found tucked away in a remote part of Katampe District of Abuja weekend. Up until yesterday Mike Oduniyi, of Conoil’s corporate communication unit did not pick his call to explain why the tankers were there. PHOTO: MAHMUD ISA

U.S. trade with Nigeria, others hits N7.7 tr in six months By Aminu Imam with agency report


he total volume of bilateral trade between the United States (U.S.) and Nigeria as well as other countries in the sub-Saharan Africa reached $48 billion (N7.68 trillion) in the first half of 2012. A report released by the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration Market Access & Compliance/Office of Africa stated that the trade volume represented a decrease of 24 % compared to the same period in 2011. According to the report, in accordance with the seven per cent growth of U.S. exports to the world, U.S. exports to subSaharan Africa, which are mostly composed of machinery, increased by 4.5

By Abdulwahab Isa


gain, the Director-General of the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Arunma Oteh and the staff of the commission may be heading for a collision following a twist of the long drawn battle at the commission at the weekend. The commission's staff, it was gathered had frowned at the harassment by uniformed security personnel attached to the v, alleging that the activities of the security were a direct order by the DG. Our correspondent's investigation revealed that the grievances of the staff are also connected to alleged non-compliance of the directives of the former board of SEC by Oteh. A document obtained by our correspondent dated September, 2012 and titled: Issues of urgent attention", revealed that the workers are demanding that the DG comply with the board's directive on the issue of contract staff that she engaged upon


The report put the figure at about $11 billion, representing only 1.4 %of total U.S. exports to the world. It named South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Ghana, and Benin Republic as the top five African destinations for U.S. products. It explained: "While exports to South Africa decreased by four per cent and exports to Nigeria remained constant, exports to Angola increased by 14 percent, to Ghana by 10 % and to Benin by seven per cent. The report disclosed that U.S. imports from sub-Saharan African decreased by 29 %in the same period, falling to $27 billion and representing only 2.4 per cent of total U.S. imports from the world. "This decrease was mostly due to a 32 % decrease in U.S. mineral fuel and oil imports. There was about 19 % decrease

of precious stones and metals imports from sub-Saharan Africa. "U.S. imports from subSaharan Africa originated, for the most part, in Nigeria, Angola, South Africa, Chad, and Congo. U.S. imports, which is mostly oil from Nigeria dropped by 44 %, from Gabon by 76 % and from Ghana by 57 %. The only major increases of U.S. imports from sub-Saharan Africa originated in Tanzania and in Senegal". The U.S. report stated that AGOA imports in the same period reached $18.7 billion, representing 29 % less than in the same period in 2011. It attributed this to a 32 % decrease in petroleum product imports. "Petroleum products continued to account for the largest portion of AGOA imports with an 88 per cent share of

overall AGOA imports. "With these fuel products excluded, AGOA imports almost exclusively dominated by raw materials - were $2.17 billion, decreasing by 2 % as compared to the first half of 2011. "AGOA imports of chemical and related products increased by nine percent, imports of agricultural products by 52 % and imports of textiles and apparel by one per cent. However, AGOA imports of minerals and metals decreased by 19 % and AGOA imports of transportation equipment decreased by four percent", it said. The report listed Nigeria, Angola, South Africa, Chad, and the Republic of Congo as the top five beneficiaries of AGOA. Other leading AGOA beneficiaries included Gabon, Lesotho, Kenya, Cameroon, and Mauritius.

Arunma Oteh, SEC staff crisis deepens assumption of office. Another issue in contention, it was further gathered, is the unanimous decision by the DG to deploy an unregularised contract staff called Mr. Omotayo Adeleke, who once served as the DG's technical Adviser to head the Internal Control department of the commission. They argued that a moral burden on Omotayo will frustrate any attempt to check any administrative excesses, therefore they want him removed.

Corroborating the story, a source who spoke to our correspondent, but preferred anonymity, said the staff are also asking Oteh to revert her earlier decision on the redeployment of one Mr. Oluwatobi Oyefeso, whom the board had posted to head the Nigerian Capital Market Training Institute (NCMTI). However, according to the source, upon resumption of office after the expiration of Oteh's suspension, she redeployed him to the commission to

head the Research & Market Development (R & D) department without the board's approval, a move they allege was a contempt of the board of the commission. It could be recalled that a fortnight ago, policemen were drafted to the premises of the Abuja headquarters of the commission, following moves by the leadership of the staff union to oppose management decisions on promotion and internal postings.

Management Tip of the Day


Out of time? Give some away

t's counterintuitive but true: Spending time helping others leaves you feeling as if you have more time, not less. Research shows that giving to others can make you feel more "time affluent" and less timeconstrained than if you choose

to waste your extra time or spend it on yourself. Next time you need a break from a busy day, don't do something mindless like surf the web. Sure, you might enjoy it, but it won't make you feel any less pressured. Instead, pick an

activity that helps someone else: Bring your co-worker a cup of coffee or edit your daughter's school essay. What's even better is that duration doesn't matter. Whether you give away 10 minutes or an hour, you still end up feeling less constrained.

he regional coordinator, World Infrastructure Summit for Africa and president of Initiative for Infrastructure and Modern City Development (IIMCD), Mr. Daniel Omonze has said that demand for infrastructure is outstripping supply all over the world and urged for new strategies to address the deficit. Omonze, in a statement issued yesterday, said infrastructure funding will be at the fore front of the 3rd world infrastructure summit taking place at the Ramada Apollo, Amsterdam holding on the 14-15 November, 2012. The event is expected to attract over 250 key decision makers for those working to fund global infrastructure projects from around the world, together with governments, sponsor/ developers and institutional investors will form the core of the delegate audience, which will be complemented by banks, financial advisers, legal advisers, infrastructure funds, technical advisers and other organisations key to the successful delivery of any infrastructure project. The IIMCD boss also stated that the World Infrastructure Summit Gala Dinner, tagged: ''An Evening with the government of Nigeria'' has been dedicated to the government of Nigeria to highlight its plan to fill the over $150billion infrastructure funding gap before the year 2020.

UBA receives ISO 27001 certification By Chris Alu


he United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), has received the ISO 27001 certification, the highly prized standard for information security management systems conferring greater integrity. ISO 27001 is the best practice specification that helps businesses and organisations throughout the world to develop a best-in-class Information Security Management System (ISMS). "The feat further validates UBA's commitment to continuously strengthen the security of services provided to customers," Charles Aigbe, divisional head, Marketing& Corporate Relations Directorate of UBA has said. Aigbe also said the certification also accentuates the bank's deliberate efforts towards combining best-of-breed technology with the best of manpower to create and be the industry benchmark in risk management. He said that, "The security of the bank's systems and information is essential to its safety and soundness, and to the privacy of customer financial information. As a result, UBA has put in place and maintains truly effective information security as it continuously integrates processes, people, and technology to mitigate risk in accordance with risk assessment and acceptable risk tolerance levels.




NNPC assures of petrol supply in 2 days By Muhammad Nasir



PEC's reference crude oil basket price rose to $108.15 a barrel on Friday from $105.88 the previous day, OPEC said yesterday. The reference basket comprises 12 crudes: Algeria's Saharan Blend, Angola's Girassol, Iran Heavy, Iraq's Basra Light, Kuwait Export, Es Sider from Libya, Nigeria's Bonny Light, Qatar Marine, Saudi Arabia's Arab Light, Murban from the UAE, Venezuela's Merey and Oriente from Ecuador.


he Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has vowed to supply petrol nationwide within two days to avert the current scarcity of the products in the Federal capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and other parts of the country. The assurance was given at the weekend by the Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Dr. Umar Farouk Ibrahim, in an interview in Lagos that the corporation had taken prompt measures to eradicate queues in filling stations, adding that the

NNPC had strengthened its distribution mechanism with 200 trucks daily, in addition to its usual 100 tankers. "NNPC has taken measures to end the current fuel scarcity being witnessed in Lagos and some other parts of the country. "Additional 200 trucks of petrol will commence loading and distribution of products on daily basis to ease the ongoing distribution challenges,'' Farouk said that the corporation had a stock of petroleum products that could serve the country for many months. "Currently, about 6.6 million litres of petrol is being distributed across the country on daily basis,''

he said. The NNPC spokesman said that one of the major challenges militating against effective distribution of petrol was the shutdown of the System 2B. He said that the system - which is a major pipeline that evacuates between nine to 11 million litres of fuel from Lagos to Ibadan, Ilorin and the northern part of the country - was shut down due to vandalism. "I want to assure Nigerians that the NNPC has stepped up fuel supply to marketers for effective and efficient supply of fuel to Nigerians,'' he said. He called on members of the public to desist from panic buying, saying that there

NEITI urges agencies to recover N1.57 tr from coys



cobank has disclosed that its new 'Rapid Transfer' product has been specially designed to facilitate easy transfer and access to funds across the nation in all 32 African countries where Ecobank is represented. The bank also said the product has been comprehensively packaged to enable customers, easy payment across African borders, without the hassle of sourcing for foreign exchange, especially when the payments are being made in the local currencies of both the transfer and the receiving countries Disclosing this in Lagos while unveiling Ecobank Rapid Transfer "Back to School" campaign, Funwa Akinmade, Product Head, Domestic Products, Ecobank noted that the Rapid Transfer is an Ecobank proprietary to send and receive money in all Ecobank branches in Nigeria.



otecna Destination Inspection Ltd. yesterday said that in fulfillment of its contractual obligation, it had trained 1,731 officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) since 2006. The Corporate Relations Manager of the firm, Malam Aminu Mohammed, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the firm had trained far and above the 350 customs officers approved in the contract.

Union Bank


nion Bank of Nigeria Plc, one of the largest banks in Nigeria, has selected Misys to support it as it enhances its international trade operations. The bank will implement an integrated front-to-back solution from Misys with the bank's existing applications, supported by the highly skilled implementation team from Misys.

was no reason for possible fuel scarcity and also called on the major and independent petroleum marketers to cooperate with the NNPC to ensure that petroleum products were adequately distributed. He urged the marketers to desist from hoarding the products and dispensing fuel with only one nozzle at their filling stations. The spokesman said that the Department of Petroleum Resources would not hesitate to close any erring filling station. It was gathered that some filling stations now sell petrol at between N100 and N110 per litre in some parts of Lagos, due to scarcity.

By Muhammad Nasir


Shareholders of First Bank of Nigeria Plc at their extra ordinary general meeting, yesterday in Lagos. PHOTO: NAN

FCMB partners Lagos on renewable energy project From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


irst City Monument Bank Plc (FCMB) has supported the Lagos State Electricity Board's (LSEB) Renewable Energy project by funding 2,500 rechargeable solar lamps for the state to distribute to school children. The Lagos state Electricity Board's Renewable Energy project aims at maximising power supply through independent power projects (IPPs) and improving public lighting for the citizens of the state. A remarkable aspect of the initiative is the provision of solar light bulbs to students and the rural communities. According to the FCMB's Group Head, Corporate Communications,

Mr. Ikechukwu Kalu, "We have participated in this Renewable Energy project in partnership with the Lagos State Electricity Board because the project is in line with the moral direction of giving back to society which we share with the Lagos State Government. At FCMB, we believe that the communities in which we operate must benefit from our presence". Mr. Ikechukwu Kalu went further to say, "The rechargeable solar energy lamps will not only support the beneficiaries in their quest for knowledge which will eventually lead many out of the vicious cycle of poverty, but provide opportunity for students to be introduced to the essential paradigm of renewable energy and

environmental sustainability". The General Manager, Lagos state Electricity Board, Damilola Ogunbiyi believes that the provision of solar light bulbs to school children in the state by FCMB will have a significant impact on their living conditions. "Our aim in providing solar bulbs for school children is to enhance their efficiency and promote studying habits in them. We see FCMB as not only our bankers, but also as our energy development partners in this laudable initiative", he said. Since the inception of FCMB's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Unit, the bank has partnered with the Lagos state government on a number of initiatives to the benefit of its host communities.

Epic Petrochemicals to establish N1.6 tr refinery in Bayelsa By Muhammad Nasir


pic Petrochemicals, a Nigerian firm is set to establish a $10 billion (N1.6 trillion), 100,000 barrels per day refinery at Oporoma in Bayelsa state. The company is teaming up with Sino Asia Energy Company Limited as technical partners and HSBC Global as financial partners.

Managing Director of Epic refinery, Sir Barango Mathew Wenke Jnr. disclosed that preliminary works had already begun at the 1,000 hectare site and that the company is awaiting approval from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in order to commence actual construction. The CEO also disclosed that the company would complete construction of the refinery no

later than 24 months after the DPR approvals have been secured. Wenke Jnr. said HSBC, the refinery's financial partners, would provide additional $20 billion for investment in Nigeria's upstream oil sector after the refinery was completed. He said the funds would be used for the buying over of choice oil blocks, and establishment of retail outlets.

he Chairman of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Ledum Mitee has called on relevant government agencies responsible for custody and management of the extractive resources revenue to take practical steps to recover the sum of $9.8090 billion (N 1.57 trillion), representing outstanding recoverable funds due to the Federation Account from oil and gas companies operating in the country. A statement issued by NEITI's director of communications, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji said Ledum Mitee, while speaking at NEITI stakeholders forum on PIB in Lagos Mitee explained that this huge amount which is equivalent to N1.3 trillion at the current exchange rates is huge enough to wipe out the current fiscal deficit in this year's federal budget. The NEITI Chair gave assurance that for the board under his leadership to translate NEITI objectives into visible impacts in the life of citizens, the revenue accruing to governments as revealed by NEITI Audits reports have to be recovered and paid to the coffers of the Federation. "The profound significance of the NEITI process in the regard arises from the salient highlights from the said audit reports. The reports, for instance, reveal that the Federal government earned a total sum of 269 billion USD from the oil sector within the period 1999-2008. Within this period, 92 billion USD was received from oil-specific taxes, the sum of 5 billion USD from non-oil specific taxes from oil companies whilst 172 billion USD was received from sales of government equity crude". He expressed delight on the interest so far demonstrated by the National Assembly in the NEITI process and the Petroleum Industry Bill. The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed described NEITI's interest in the PIB as fundamental and reinstated the expectation of Nigeria that the PIB should help Nigeria overcome the syndrome of resource curse common to most resource rich nations.



Fuel scarcity may worsen if... – NUPENG By Muhammad Nasir


he National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Worker (NUPENG) says the scarcity of petrol, which hit Lagos and other neighbouring states in the country, may persist if the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) does not put measures in place to urgently repair the Arepo distribution pipeline vandalized recently by hoodlums.

In the same vein, NUPENG urged NNPC and oil marketers to ensure massive importation of petroleum products, especially in the last quarter of the year, which is associated with increased economic activities and people travelling to other parts of the country, to prevent recurring problem of scarcity. The western Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, Tokunbo Korodo made this known, explaining that fuel scarcity, which took Lagosians unawares, has

spread to Ogun, Oyo, Ondo and Kwara states and may likely affect other areas if the distribution pipeline is not immediately repaired to boost the supply chain of the product. "We are aware that NNPC is making efforts to tackle the scarcity by evacuating products with trucks. That method may help to an extent but it cannot be effective as distribution through the pipeline. For instance, the vandalized pipeline carries between 9 and 11 million litres

of fuel on daily basis. So, evacuation of fuel by trucking cannot be efficient as the pipeline to meet the increasing demand by users", he stressed. Meanwhile, the Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Mr. Fidel Pepple, in a statement, attributed current fuel scarcity to the shutdown of System 2B, a major pipeline that evacuates between nine to 11 million litres of petrol from Lagos to Ibadan, Ilorin and the North due to vandalism

by oil thieves recently. He said, "The Corporation had stepped up distribution through tankers. I want to assure Nigerians that NNPC has stepped up fuel supply to marketers and distributors for effective and efficient supply of fuel to Nigerians. We have raised the daily supply of fuel from the Folawiyo Tank Farm from 150 tankers to 250 tankers, MRS from 100 to 200 tankers, Capital Oil to 300 tankers, NIPCO to 70 tankers and AITEO to 100 tankers. Fuel delivery and supply to Port-Harcourt, Aba and Calabar had also been augmented and that bridging to the North had equally enjoyed robust supply". Also, the NNPC said it is trying to collaborate with security agencies in order to repair the pipeline to enhance product distribution to the affected states. Investigations revealed that the recent damage is not the first time the Arepo pipeline is being ruptured by oil thieves, as some individuals residing within the community, who spoke under anonymity, explained that vandals often open the pipeline to divert petroleum products.

W/Africa crude: High Nigerian exports cap prices

W L-R: President, Aviation Stakeholders Square table, Captain Balarabe Usman (rtd), members, Mr. Joseph Ebereku, and Alhaji Abba Useini, during a press briefing on the probe N4billion Aviation Intervention Fund disbursed to Arik Airline and the need to transforming the industry, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

NIM president urges FG to rehabilitate refineries By Muhammad Nasir


he Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) at the weekend in Abuja has urged the Federal Government to urgently resuscitate the refineries to solve the petroleum products scarcity presently facing motorists. The call was made by president of the institute, Dr. Michael Olawale-Cole at a thanksgiving service to open the 51st Annual National Conference of the Institute. Olawale-Cole also called for public participation in the establishment and management of the refineries to boost the availability of petroleum products. He said the establishment of refineries by individuals would reduce the cost of products and eliminate importation, in addition to providing employment avenues for Nigerians. ``Government should do all that is possible to keep all refineries working, that itself will improve the number of people who are given employment in this nation as

against giving employment to foreign economies,'' OlawaleCole said. He advised the government to always give adequate enlightenment for any new programmes, saying that the fuel subsidy removal protest caused the government a lot of embarrassment.

According to him, government can only earn public confidence if adequate enlightenment is carried out on issues. He said the institute had contributed immensely to national development. Olawale-Cole said the institute had trained many managers and given free

training to more than 300,000 National Youth Service Corps members who wished to become private members. He said the institute had also been involved in top level leadership training for managing directors, directors and chairmen locally and internationally.

Total targets Africa for ambitious output growth


rench oil group, Total is banking on a string of African projects to help fuel a 25 % rise in output over the next five years, with growth accelerating after 2015 to top 3 million barrels of oil and gas a day for the first time. Europe's number three oil and gas company told investors yesterday that 70 percent of the fields on which it is basing its forecast for the 2015-17 period are already either producing or in development. Three of the projects that will help deliver the post-2015 surge are Egina (Nigeria), Kaombo (Angola) and Moho (Republic of Congo) - all west African projects in deep and ultra-deep water an area where Total is a self-

proclaimed specialist. Total and other top oil firms like BP and Shell are ramping up spending on exploration, often in relatively underdeveloped regions like Africa, to take advantage of the historically high price of oil, which averaged $113.6 a barrel in the first half of 2012, up 2 percent on the year. At its annual investor day in London, Total also announced it had joined the race to exploit the potentially huge resources offshore Mozambique in East Africa, where it already has operations in Uganda and Kenya. Total stressed its output projection of 3 million barrels of oil equivalent a day for 2017, up from about 2.4 million today,

was not a production target, but an estimate of capacity based on an assumed oil price of $100 a barrel. Much of Total's output comes from projects where it is not the operator and where national governments can claw back production when oil prices rise. For 2011-2015, Total forecast output to grow about 3 percent a year on average. The company said it planned to sell assets worth between $15 billion and $20 billion in the period up to 2014 as part of a bolder approach to managing its business, which has seen it buy and sell assets more frequently and also merge its refining and chemicals businesses. (Reuters)

est African crude oil differentials steadied yesterday with a large Nigerian crude export programme for November balancing Asian buying tenders that will absorb cargoes loading over the next two months. Asian end-consumers have bought at least seven West African crude cargoes via tender over the last week and more tenders are pending, traders said, as refiners from India to China restock after a lull during the northern hemisphere summer. Supply from Nigeria, Angola and other West African producers is likely to be ample over the next three months, traders said, as oilfields return from maintenance turnarounds. Nigeria's crude oil exports are due to hit a six-month high in November as almost all its oilfields pump near recent peak levels, provisional loading programmes showed on Monday. The Federal Government is to due sell around 2.12 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in November in 72 full or part cargoes, up from 2.05 million bpd scheduled to load in October and 1.84 million bpd in September. Nigeria is due to export 380,000 bpd of Qua Iboe in November from 368,000 bpd in October, loading programmes show. The 11.4 million barrels will load on 12 cargoes. Qua Iboe was assessed steady at around dated Brent plus $2.10. Six full cargoes and three part cargoes will load over 230,000 bpd of distillate-rich Forcados in November, up from 194,000 bpd in October. Forcados was buoyed by strong demand for crudes which can produce large quantities of heating oil ahead of the northern hemisphere winter. (Reuters)



By Chris Alu


he Association of Nigeria Courier Operators (ANCO) has raised alarm over the growing activities of illegal operators and urged the Courier Regulatory Department (CRD), the industry watchdog, to stem the tide. Illegal courier operators are those people or companies operating the courier businesses without licenses. Some of the unregistered operators also operate as Bureau de Change showing the changing

Kebbi gold mine: Investors urged to give indigenes priority

Association raises alarm over quacks in courier business nature of activities of illegal operators. Apart from denting the image of the sector, the activities of the illegal operators are taking large chunks of legitimate operators businesses and profits. The president, ANCO, Toyin Olufade called for concerted effort in the fight against illegal


he Governor of Kebbi state , Usman Sa'idu Dakingari has been called upon to ensure that foreign investors in gold mining in the state should pay more priority to indigenes especially in the area of job opportunity. The Kebbi indigenes resident in Kaduna made the call in a communiquĂŠ signed by the Publicity Secretary, Garba Muhammad after its executive meeting yesterday in Kaduna. The Governor had announced plans to start gold mining in Zuru and Yauri local government areas of the state. A Chinese contractor is to handle the Zuru axis while South African and Russian contractors would take the Yauri area. While commending Dakingari for attracting investors to extract some abundant minerals that will generate revenue and provide job to teaming unemployed youths in the State, the association also called on the governor to ensure that no stone is left unturned in ensuring that the investors respect and fulfill all constitutional rights of host communities. "We are also calling on the authority to ensure adequate environmental pollution regulations of international standard in order to protect the environment and the community against any pollution hazards",Muhammad said. It could also be recalled that Dakingari had promised that his administration would promote agriculture and reduce the suffering of the farmers while assuring the people of the state that revenue from removed fuel subsidies, would be invested in agriculture.

logistic, courier sectors; even the airline is not spared,"Olufade said. ANCO is also worried that illegal operators are bent on preventing the sector from achieving its full potentials. But McDennis Igbo, head, Public Relations Unit, CRD, said that the issue of checking quacks and other nefarious activities would


t has been revealed that smartphones shipped globally will hit 1.7 billion in 2017, with emerging markets seeing particularly strong growth, in a report by telecom analyst firm, Ovum. In the report, the telecoms

analyst firm state that 450 million smartphones were sold in 2011, of which around 160 million were sold in emerging markets. China alone accounted for around 66% of smartphones sold in emerging markets, and Ovum estimates that smartphone shipments could reach nearly 57% of total

devices sold in emerging markets by 2017. It has been observed that the growth of smartphones in emerging markets will see a corresponding growth in online services such as cloud, storage, and purchasing based on mobile money transactions. "However, mobile


STV, Nigeria's biggest cable television company, recently launched the iDrifta and Walka 7 - adding up to its variety of ground-breaking devices following the current achievement of the Drifta, USB plus Walka, DStv Mobile. The General Manager of DSTV mobile Nigeria, Mayo Okunaola noted that " the iDrifta is a plug and play mobile DVB-H receiver specifically designed for Apple mobile devices and It is

operators seeking to gain a slice of the growth in low-cost smartphones in emerging markets through whitelabeled devices will struggle to gain traction in the market and achieve the same success as the more established brands," concludes Putcha, the expert on behalf of Ovum telecom analysts.

L-R: Enugu state PDP Chairman, Chief Vita Abba, Chief of Staff, Enugu state Government House, Mrs. Ifeoma Nwobodo, Enugu state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Joe Mmamel, and Chairman, Enugu-East local government area, Mr. Cornelieus Nnaji, during the inauguration of Enugu 2012 cultural and tourism fiesta office, on Friday in Enugu. Photo: NAN From Ngozi Onyeakusi

MFBs groan under huge annual tax burden

espite continued outcry for lack of funds for onlending to the informal sector, microfinance banks still pay huge amount of money as tax. For instance, Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO) Microfinance

Bank Limited paid N1.2 billion tax to government in 18 month period. Also, Unical Microfinance Bank Limited, Calabar, Cross River, pays tax to the tune of N7 million per annum to government. This is just two out of over 800


microfinance banks operating in the country, who also pay taxes to government. If the huge amount of money spent on taxation by these micro institutions can be invested in these banks for sustainable micro financing, it can go a long way in reducing across

DStv Mobile introduces the new iDrifta and Walka By Muhammad Sada

be tackled headlong when a Commission for the industry comes on stream. CRD is currently an arm of Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) making it the latest operator and regulator simultaneously. However, as presently constituted, CRD barks but lacks the power to bite.

Smartphones shipped globally to hit 1.7 billion in 2017 By Muhammad Sada

From Muhammad Adamu, Kaduna

operators and urged members to play their role by informing authorities about the unlawful business. "We should identify the illegal practitioners and forward our findings to the authorities, because we lack the legal backing to intercept or prosecute them. They are too many of them now in the transport,

portable and lightweight, and will allow users with Apple devices to enjoy all of the great entertainment they've come to expect from DStv Mobile . In the light of DStv Mobile devotion to remain at the vanguard of modernization and improvement, the iDrifta is an accepted sequence in the company's stratagem: "In order to continue to inspire, entertain, and delight our subscribers, it is critical that we offer them the very latest worldclass devices," says Okolona. "The fact that Apple's mobile devices are so popular, and that

subscribers using these platforms will now be able to access our offering, makes this launch even more exciting for our brand."The recommended price for the iDrifta is N 19,500 in the Nigerian Market but whether price will shore up or down when the product finally circulates remains unknown. " In addition to the iDrifta, DStv Mobile introduced the Walka 7, unveiled first in Nigeria. The Walka 7 is a total handy television with improved visual class and no other device is vital to view. "The move to launch in Nigeria first was to satisfy

the growing appetite for mobile TV in the Nigerian market," stated Okunola. The Walka has a 7inch viewing screen that can be personalized through 4 facet ratio settings to enhance the viewing experience. To boost, the device has a battery life of 6 hours and audio is delivered via 2, 1.5 watt speakers. The price in the Nigerian market is set at N18 , 900. The two devices-iDrifta and Walka hit the Nigerian market at the MultiChoice centers last Thursday in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kaduna, Benin Asaba, Aba, Onitsha and Lagos.

the country. Part of the objectives for establishing microfinance banks as stated in the policy framework by the Central Bank of Nigeria reads: "provision of diversified, affordable and dependable financial services to the economically active poor, which otherwise would have been excluded, in a timely and competitive manner, to enable them undertake and develop long-term, sustainable entrepreneurial activities." Operators now wonder how this objective be achieved when microfinance banks are paying huge amount on taxation. In view of this, operators are pleading with the governments for tax rebate to enable them have enough fund to serve the low income people. Godwin Ehigiamusoe, managing director of LAPO, urged the Federal Government to consider microfinance banks in terms of tax payment so as to reach a number of low income people.




Flooding: NIMET’s prediction of calamity has come painfully true By Ibrahim Kabiru Sule


t could not have come at the prepared time, but the flood disaster which ravaged the city of Jos, late in July, had prompted authorities concerned into action. The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) had, in its annual prediction of weather, warned of unusual flooding in some coastal states in the south and others in the north. It advised proactive measures to prevent or reduce the extent of destruction that the expected floods would cause. The problem was that the NIMET advisory came too late for the residents of Jos. In a statement signed by Mr. Elezor Obende, NIMET said it had “observed wetterthan-normal soil surface moisture and ground water conditions in some parts of the country…” Evidently, the subsequent peak rainfall experienced especially in the northern part of the country which, as a result, caused flooding in most part of the region, had lent the warning more weight. NIMET’s Director General, Dr. Anthony Anoforum, said that states to be worse hit are Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Katsina and Jigawa, in the north. “The rains will leave in its trails devastation and destruction reminiscent of similar incidents recorded in some parts of the country some months ago,’’ he warned. Sequel to the warning, a vigorous enlightenment campaign mounted to advise

Governor Adams Oshiomhole paddles a canoe during his visit to the flood-ravaged communities of Udaba, Ekperi, Osomhegbe, Udochi , Agenebode and Ilushi. communities to clear water ways. However, this did little to avert the imminent disaster or tragedy. From Adamawa to Katsina, from

Partly submerged houses in Adamawa floods

Kano to Niger, Jigawa to Lagos was a long trail of submerged homes, destroyed farmlands and loss of lives. Heavy downpour in Jos

caused an overflow of dams, inflicting much destruction in terms of collapsed houses and deaths. About 39 people were reported killed and over

200 homes were either submerged or destroyed as a result. However, later development had it that 9 more bodies had been found, raising the number of causalities to 47, and the number of displaced surged to 3,000. The acting Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in the Northcentral zone, Mohammed Abdulsalam, confirmed that nine bodies were “pulled out of the rubble of caved in buildings”. According to him, more casualties would have been recorded if some residents had not relocated to the homes of friends in other parts of the local government. He further said over 200 houses were destroyed. “So far we have 47 persons confirmed dead and about 36 still missing. We have over 3,000 people in displaced camps and the immediate concern is to give them some comfort by providing relief materials”. Just as the government and victims of the flood were counting the losses, an outbreak of diseases was reported in the camps of the displaced. Medical official of

the Federation of Muslim Women Association in Nigeria in the state, Tawa Abdulrahama, said “There are already high cases of cholera among victims of the flood” with about 65 people being treated with cases of cholera and dysentery. In the North-western state of Katsina, several villages were washed away by flood due to a prolonged torrential rain, resulting in huge loses of homes, farmlands and properties across the affected local governments. The Executive Director of the state Rehabilitation and Emergency Relief Agency (RERA), Alhaji Hassan Rawayau, disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Katsina and confirmed that “Thousands of houses were damaged by the floods in all the affected local government areas, while 146 farms were destroyed in Kusada area.” About 15 local government areas of the state were worst-hit. They are: Mai’adua, Kusada, Kurfi, Batsari, Safana, Jibia, Katsina and Bindawa. Others were Kankia, Ingawa, Dutsi, Daura, Sandamu, Matazu and Mani local government areas. Aftermath of the flood,

Rawayau continued, had led to the death of two persons in Safana, Mani and Daura local government areas respectively and one person in Kurfi council area. The Executive Secretary, who was on a sympathy visit, also stated that a team of experts was dispatched to assess the situation. A discharge of hydroelectric dams in Niger State was largely believed to be the cause of flood that claimed five lives in the worst hit local governments of Wushishi, Chanchaga, Bosso and Mokwa, with properties worth millions of naira destroyed. Niger state’s Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) Director General, Alhaji Mohammed Shaba had told newsmen that the devastating flooding that recently ravaged over 10 local government areas of the state was as a result of heavy downpour and discharge of excess water from the neighbouring republics of Cameroon and Benin, including Jebba, Shiroro and Kainji thermal stations and properties worth of N500 million were destroyed by the flooding. “There are over 300 internally displaced camps running at Mokwa, Shiroro and Borgu as we speak”, Adding that the “State is already in the process of having two separate abodes for these people in the down streams during the wet season and the dry season so that they can continue with their economic activities uninterrupted”. The agency is currently running an enlightenment campaigns on the media as well as deployed its staff around the state as a reactive step to stem further recurrence of the disaster in the state. Late in August, this year, a flood disaster struck Adamawa, ravaging eight local governments, which was caused by the annual release of water from Lagdo Dam, in Northern Cameroun. It is evidently clear that the incidence of flooding in the vicinity local governments of Adamawa due to the annual water releases from Lagdo dam in Cameroun has been a recurring tale, and the spillover effects always leave the residents of the area at the disadvantaged situation. The situation left sour tastes on the tongues of people in Numan, Madagali, Demsa, Mayo Belwa, Yola South, Yola North and Guyuk, and prompted an untimely squalid-like camping life the victims have inured to.

Albeit there had been an announcement to the people in the area to leave the area, it is claimed that the warning came very late. One of the victims of the flood lamented that they came to know the information barely 24hours to the release, which was grossly inadequate for them to evacuate their families and belongings. There are however strong indications that further release may soon be made from the Dam, as heavy rains persist. Record has shown that Authorities of Cameroun had alerted Nigerian government, Adamawa state government and NIMET over the release of water in a letter signed by Mr. David Sinou, Cameroonian Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria. A copy of the letter showed stamp of Nigerian Foreign Affairs Ministry, indicating acceptance of the letter on August 23 rd , 2012. In fulfillment of a bilateral agreement between the two Countries, Sinou wrote the letter in line with article III paragraph 3 of the Fifth Session of the Joint Commission of the Nigeria/ Cameroun Convention on exchange of information on natural activities in the Lagdo River and Lake Nyos in Cameroun, which had always transferred spill-over disasters to Nigeria. Certainly, the 121 thousand people currently on the different camps in seven local governments of the state

will for long continue to rue their dead ones. According to the Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Secretary, Mr. Shadrack Daniel, the Agency has set up 23 camps for people displaced by flood from Lagdo Dam in neighboring Cameroun. Recent figures released by the State’s Emergency Agency indicate a rise in the number of causalities. It stated that “so far we have recorded 30 deaths from the flooding caused by the release of water from Cameroun”, with many people still missing or unaccounted for while bodies were being recovered in trickles from the flooded rivers. Meanwhile, in sympathy visit to affected local governments, the Ministers of Water Resources, Sarah

Ocheckpe, and her Environment counterpart, Hajiya Hadiza Mai lafia were on ground together with the Director General of NEMA, Moh’d Sani Sidi to assess the situation. Flood onslaught then hit Kano, bringing ten local governments to their knees and resulted in killing 15 persons, with properties estimated to worth N15 million washed away. Alhaji Shehu Maitama who is the Director Operation in the State’s Rehabilitation Agency has confirmed this to News Agency of Nigeria, NAN in Kano. He gave the affected local governments as: Bebeji, Gabasawa, Garun malam, Karaye, Doguwa, Tudun wada, Bagwai, Nassaraa and Sumaila. The news was not different in the neighboring Jigawa state as flood destroyed houses and

Just as the government and victims of the flood were counting the losses, an outbreak of diseases was reported in the camps of the displaced. Medical official of the Federation of Muslim Women Association in Nigeria in the state

Flood-ravaged Udochi community in Etsako Central Local Government Arae of Edo State.

farmlands worth millions of naira. Kiyawa, Gumel and Ringim local governments recorded high loses. Distributing relief items to the victims in Ringim local government, the NorthWest Zonal Cordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mallam Musa Ilallah, disclosed that 11,500 people were displaced by flood, which recently ravaged parts of Jigawa and Kano states. He gave the breakdown as 10,000 and 1,500 persons were affected in Kano and Jigawa, respectively. There has equally been same flooding in Nasarawa and Benue states, with similar attendant consequences of loss of lives as well as destruction and loses of farmlands and houses. Pundits have attributed the flood disaster to both natural and human factors. The world’s climate change issue typifies the natural cause, as the lion share blame is heaved on the human actions: blocking of drainages through indiscriminate refuse dumping, poor environmental planning, building on water ways etc. Above all, the prior issue of warning by NIMET could have proved decisive in ameliorating the catastrophe if heeded by relevant bodies concerned and the populace.



Intelligence gathering, key to national security NOWA Stories by Joy Baba


he Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), Maj.Gen. Sanni Audu, on Thursday in Abuja said intelligence gathering were crucial factors in decision making on issues of national security. Audu gave the advice at the graduation ceremony of participants at a National Security Training/ Seminar organised by Defence Intelligence Training School and Galilee International Management Institute of Israel. Audu, who was represented by the Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence, AVM Abdullahi Shehu said policy decisions must be taken with every assurance that the elements of uncertainty were eliminated or reduced to the barest minimum. He added that the gathering and interpretation of intelligence were crucial factors in decision making on issues of national security since this cannot be achieved through mere clairvoyance, but through intelligence. “The challenge of intelligence vividly explains the new drive of the agency to contribute to developing the nation’s manpower, especially in the areas of intelligence and security,’’ he said. Audu said national security was the dynamics of a state’s ability and readiness to deal effectively with external and internal threats such as those caused by rival states, organisations and parties. The CDI further said the inherent challenges in these developments point only in one direction, which is the imperativeness of mastering contemporary situations with a

view to having a lead into the future,’’ he added. The school according to Audu had embarked on systematic upgrade of its facilities within available resources, adding that the vision of the school was to provide requisite skills and knowledge on national security alertness. Also speaking at the ceremony, the Commandant of the school, Commodore Adekunle Olawunmi, said the seminar was aimed at expanding the participants’ understanding of current security issues noting

that the seminar would also increase the participants’ capacity for innovative planning and implementation of policy in response to national security challenges. “The need for a national security seminar cannot be over emphasised. This is more so since national security is intelligencedriven: it is only ideal to say that good intelligence is analysisdriven” Olawunmi further stated. He also said a good analyst never presumes anything, least of all the plans of the adversary

since intelligence collection process from receipt of the primary information until its maturity enables the intelligence organisation to map out its plan.’’ Twenty four persons, drawn from the military, State Security Service, National Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigerian Immigration Service, Central Bank of Nigeria, ICPC and some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), took part in the seminar Two persons from South Africa and Kenya also participated in the seminar.

L-R: Wife of Chief of Naval Staff and President of NOWA, Hajiya Aminat Ibrahim and immediate past President of the association, Mrs Grace Ibrahim during the commissioning of the NOWA ultra modern guest house, yesterday in Abuja. Photo- Joy Baba

commissions ultra modern guest house


he Naval Officers’ Wives Association, (NOWA) yesterday in Abuja commissioned an Ultra Modern Guest House. Speaking at the event, the wife of the Chief of Naval staff and national president NOWA, Hajia Aminat Modupe Ibrahim said the Guest House was built to ease difficulties accommodation for Naval officers and other military officer who are not resident in Abuja since their line of duties entails a lot of travelling. According to Hajia Modupe, the Guest was designed in such a way that that it will provide guests with decent and comfortable rooms making it a home away from home. She further said the guest house was located in Asokoro for guaranteed security purposes since the area has high military presence, water supply and electricity. Also speaking at the event, the special guest of honour and immediate past NOWA president, Mrs Grace Ibrahim said NOWA has always had the interest of their husbands at heart and that is why it has undertaken a venture to make life comfortable for military officers and members of the civil community who spend most of their time serving the nation in different official assignments in Abuja.

Minister urges security agencies to develop ability to detect cyber crime T

he Minister of State for Defence Mrs Olusola Obada, has urged security agencies and stakeholders to develop the ability to detect and respond to cyber crime. Obada made the call at the opening ceremony of the twoday 2012 World Cyber Security Conference, organised by the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) Abuja in collaboration with New Horizons Systems Solutions. The minister who was represented by a Director in the ministry, Mr Abiodun Salami said as the tools and techniques developed by cyber criminals continue to become more sophisticated, it is imperative that we also continue to develop the ability to detect and respond timely too, to these threats and intrusions, while increasing the cost to the attacker.’’ She further said the ability to track objects in space and

monitor own spacecraft was vital hence it was incumbent on the security agencies to develop and enhance their capabilities to discern and identify warnings of hostile actions in space for necessary passage of same to appropriate authorities. This according to the minister, is to enable the authorities take informed decisions, appropriate mitigation measures or response. Space and cyber situational awareness are therefore essential to reducing mishaps, misperceptions and mistrust. It is equally important to note that Internet access from various platforms has brought tremendous opportunities and challenges on the effective use of these information c o m m u n i c a t i o n technologies,’’ she added. The minister said the theme of the conference, “Exploiting the Cyber and Space Resources to

meet Contemporary Security Challenges‘’, was appropriate in view of the prevalent cyber and security challenges facing countries in general and Nigeria, in particular. I, therefore, look forward to rich discussions that will engender pragmatic approaches to meeting security challenges facing our dear country,” she said. In his response, the Chief of Defence Staff, (CDS)Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin, said that from the theme of the conference, it was only proper for DHQ to collaborate with relevant stakeholders, from security, communications and financial sectors, to ensure the success of the conference. Petinrin, who was represented by Maj.-Gen. Abiodun Amao, the Chief of Research Development, said the schedule of the conference was timely in view of the contemporary security challenges facing the

country and the world. “You are quite aware of the high profile hacking incidences against major corporations and institutions around the world and within our country. The nature of the attacks has taken the form of infiltration of systems or confidential information to be compromised or stolen. Here in Nigeria, our defence and security institutions have not been left out. We are also aware of similar experiences with other security agencies’’, Petirin said The CDS further said that the threat posed by the Boko Haram sect through online reports of their activities needed to be effectively checked though so far, the military had achieved success in the deployment of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) surveillance and tracking equipment to locate criminal elements in the society and

perpetrators of the Boko Haram menace. However, further successes will be achieved if we appropriately apply cyber technology and space researches to tackle the country’s contemporary security problems Petirin added. Speaking earlier at the ceremony, the Chief of Defence Communication, AVM Ndubisi Amu said that the conference was aimed at building the knowledge and awareness gathered , especially following last year’s conference, on the latest development in cyber crime and its threat to national security. Amu said that the conference was also organised with a view to developing strategies to curtailing the threats since cyber crime undermines the competence of security agencies and exposes our information management system to grave danger, ‘’ he stressed.



Reporting right, reporting safe (IV) Being a paper presented by the Editor-in-Chief of Peoples Daily newspaper, Malam Rufa’i Ibrahim, at the All Nigeria Editors Conference last week in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state. THE ROLE WE SHOULD PLAY AS A COMMUNITY hat role should we as a community of working journalists – reporters, sub-editors, line editors, feature writers, columnists, cartoonists and all –play to help bring about a new and fuller understanding of the current situation in our country and the fashioning of new responses and strategies for overcoming the challenges, which, if left to persist, could lead to disastrous consequences? We must realise that, in many ways, we as a community are a powerful lot. Information, which is our business, is power. By and through our work, we help to set the agenda of public debate and discourse. But what kind of agendas have we been pushing or helping to set for public discourse in the country? Today, there is, in my view, a lot that should worry us about the nature, content and direction of public debate in Nigeria and the role being played by the media in this. It seems to me that, on balance, we promote reckless actions, verbal mis-steps and the politicians’ tedious divagations above thoughtful actions and deep convictions, and nonissues over real issues. Consider, for instance, the debate about state police, which is itself an issue of security, and how the media, far from helping to get attention and thinking focussed on the real issue at stake, seems to be doing just the opposite. Clearly, if our chief concern in this matter is our security as a people and a country, then the real is not what tier of government controls the police but how to make the institution efficient, responsive to society’s needs, operationally independent, less corrupt and, above all, democratically accountable to the Nigerian people. But much more worrying is the issue of the debilitating insecurity situation in especially the Northern part of the country, and the perspectives that have shaped official responses to the problem. Before now, the dominant perspective was that the Boko Haram elements especially were irritants, an unnecessary digression that should be wiped out so that the country could move on. This is the dominant perspective even now, except for the new dimension added to it, namely that the Boko Haram


Some national dailies on display at a news stand insurgency is part of a Northern conspiracy against a Southern president. The solution or response too remains the same: send in the soldiers and the tanks and kill them all. And the shooting and killing has been going on. Unfortunately, our mainstream media have bought into both the official perspective and the preferred solution. Thus, when in 2009 the late President Yar’adua sent in the soldiers with a clear and firm order to attack and kill all the irritants and, in a scotched earth fashion, almost 1000 people, including many disabled young men who knew nothing about Boko Haram were killed, our mainstream media hailed the action, and, in fact, even called for more blood. That was most unfortunate and a big shame on our part; more so that it took a foreign media organization, Aljazeera satellite television, to record and feature, one year later, some of the atrocities committed that time. What is even most unfortunate in this matter is that, in spite of the fact that it is now all too obvious that the official diagnosis of the problem as the treatment prescribed have been proven to be wrong, a section of the media does not seem to be convinced and seems to be still pushing for a strong arm, militaristic response to the problem. Why should we as a community support and endorse this course of action on

the part of the Nigerian State? The Nigerian State has always been an oppressive, even murderous one that thinks little or nothing of killing its own citizens, especially the poor ones whose conditions and sufferings are to be blame largely on the State itself in the first place. We in the media need to work to encourage and help to direct thinking, in both official circles and among members of the public in Nigeria, along healthier lines. We must help to give new meanings and purpose to, and set new and better agendas for public debate and discourse in the country. We have to work to encourage our leaders and policy makers to try to understand fully and guage correctly the size of our problems and to craft appropriate responses to them. We owe this to the millions of Nigerians out there whose patronage, support and

understanding have been helping to keep us in business. REPORTING SAFE There is not much to say about this second leg of the topic of this paper. For, it is closely related to the first leg. We all know as a fact that even when the journalist is working diligently and reporting with a sense of responsibility, he still incurs the wrath of interests and forces whose secrets, pieces of dirty laundry or shady deals he might have exposed in his report. When the reporter is not reporting right, he offends all parties to the story and thereby endangers his own personal safety and that of his organisation. When the reporting is right, the risks and dangers are minimized. It is clear and obvious that it is by our reporting events

When the reporter is not reporting right, he offends all parties to the story and thereby endangers his own personal safety and that of his organisation. When the reporting is right, the risks and dangers are minimized. It is clear and obvious that it is by our reporting events rightly that we ensure our individual and organisation’s safety

rightly that we ensure our individual and organisation’s safety. CONCLUSION The journalist, even at the best of times, works under difficult conditions - and not just because of submission deadlines and the risks he faces daily It is much more so for the journalist covering war or insurgency situations. The risks and dangers he faces daily are real, immediate and grave. Besides, the system within which he operates exerts its own pressures and imposes on him certain limitations-as shown in this paper. But even with all the risks and dangers and the systemimposed limitations, the journalist still has ample room and opportunities for asserting himself and making the most of the situation. It is my view that our reporters and editors, are not asserting themselves and maximising the available opportunities enough to ensure effective coverage of the country’s insecurity situation. This shortcoming, in my view, has resulted in a kind of reportage that fails to capture the full extent, nature and full implications of the situation. In a word, our reporting of the situation is not right; its quality, nature and direction give one cause for worry. And, because of this, the reporting is not safe. Concluded


Veterinary council organizes professional training for members By Mohammed Kandi


eterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN) has said it would be organizing a professional Continuing Education Seminar (CES) for its members to boost their standards, expand knowledge and efficiency in the profession. The Registrar of the Council, Dr. Markus Avong made this known at a press conference organized by the council at its headquarter in Abuja. Dr. Avong said “the acceptance as a life-long obligation is the continual improvement of one’s Professional knowledge and competence is actually a part and parcel of the Veterinary Oath which registered Veterinarians swear to”. The seminar, which would come up by 27th September and the 11th of October, would be held in the Northern and Southern part of the country respectively. Avong also informed that that the CES was compulsory for all registered Veterinary Surgeon, stressing that any member, who fails to attend the CES for three consecutive times, would lose membership.


Minister emphasizes soft lending rate to farmers By Mohammed Kandi


inister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, has reiterated the need to ensure that Nigerian farmers access loans at affordable interest rates. Addressing the press during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), between his ministry and Tony Elumelu Foundation in Abuja, the minister said there was a need to sustain increased lending to the agriculture sector, noting that it

would attract more foreign direct and local investments to the system. Dr Adesina also disclosed that the agreement was about “unleashing the potentials of the country’s agriculture”. The minister commended the foundation for investing in the horticulture sub-sector, adding that the partnership would enable the foundation to develop the seed sub-sector. “What we are doing is to ensure that the seed sector grows from its current level of below

500,000 tonnes to two million tonnes annually,” he said. In his remarks, Elumelu, the proprietor of the foundation, observed that some African countries were not growing because of wrong policies. He appealed to the Federal Government to allow his foundation to turnaround the Abuja Commodity Exchange. “Our foundation has acquired appropriate technology to power the commodity exchange. We did similar thing in Rwanda and the result is there for all to see in that

country,” Elumelu, a former chairman of the House of Representative Committee on Power, said. Also speaking, Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Bukar Tijani, emphasised the need to create a synergy between the public and the private sector. He said that the era of the private sector being pushed out of the system was over, stressing: “The missing link has been to get the private and the public sector to work together.”

Niger govt. to establish Shea butter factory


irector-General, Niger State Export Promotion Council, Alhaji Ahmed Kontagora, has said that the State Government is discussing with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Bank of Industry to establish a Shea butter factory. Kontagora, who disclosed this at a press briefing in Minna, said “Niger state government is talking with UNIDO and Bank of Industry with a view to establishing a Shea butter refinery in the state; this is because in the whole of Africa there is no Shea refinery.” “We are also talking with some cosmetics factories that use Shea butter as their major raw material with a view to establishing their factories in the state”, Kontagora said. The D-G, who did not say when and where the refinery would be sited in the state but said that discussions with UNIDO and the bank was on, explained that the world market value of Shea nuts stands at $3.8 billion, adding that one tone of Shea nut in the state now sells for between 250, 000 and N300, 000. “Presently Nigeria accounts for 57 per cent of world supply of Shea nuts, adding that “Niger State produces 70 per cent of the Shea nuts being exported”; he stated adding that the refinery would attract pharmaceutical and vegetable oil industries to the state. Also speaking, Dr Hadiza Mohammed, Permanent Secretary of the council, said that the Global Shea Alliance would hold its next meeting in Abuja and Niger. “The Global Shea Alliance has agreed that Abuja and Niger State cohost its next annual conference on March 13, 2013”, she said. (NAN)

Farmers harvesting agricultural produce

IFAD-assisted programme receives N2.1bn for 2012 projects execution — Coordinator


he Community-Based Agricultural and Rural Development Programme (CBARDP) has received N2.1 billion of the N2.7 billion approved budget for the 2012 projects implementation, Alhaji, Abu Kankia, the National Programme Coordinator, has disclosed. Kankia told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Katsina on Tuesday that the money was received from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the major financier of the programme, as well as the participating states and local governments. The money, he said, covered the period January to August 2012 and represented 78 per cent financial performance.

He spoke on the sidelines of the 16th Supervision Mission of the programme led by the IFAD Country Programme Manager, Ms Atsuko Toda, with other IFAD and Federal Government officials, IFAD consultants and NAN as members of the team. The programme is being implemented in the seven northern states of Borno, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara. The mission is aimed at assessing progress being made in the implementation of the identified projects, with a view to identifying and addressing challenges, identifying innovations, success stories for possible replication and upscaling. Kankia said that the improved funding facilitated the attainment of

remarkable achievements compared to the previous years when many states were incapacitated due to the non-release of funds by both the governments and IFAD. He attributed the “tremendous” achievement recorded, particularly in Borno, Jigawa, Sokoto and Kebbi States to the seed money provided by the respective state governments to support the programme well as the payment of arrears of monies owed the programme. According to him, significant achievements were recorded in programme’s component areas of Awareness and Capacity Building, Rural Community Development and Community Infrastructure Development. Others are Rural Enterprise Development, Sustainable

Agricultural Development and Gender and Vulnerable Groups Development, among others. NAN reports that Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara had achieved 100 per cent government buy-in into the programme as the respective state governements sponsor projects in local government areas not covered by IFAD while the UN agency is sponsoring projects in only nine local governments in each state. The missions will only Katsina, Zamfara and Kebbi States during the 14-day exercise from Sept. 16 to Oct. 3, 2012. The programme, which got three-year extension by IFAD due to its positive impact on the rural poor is due for closure in March 2013 after eight years of implementation. (NAN)



Al-Makura harps on agriculture to tackle the Sahelean nutrition crisis


overnor Umaru Tanko AlMakura of Nasarawa State has called on all tiers of government to make serious commitment to improving agriculture in order to save the country from hunger. He made the call in Lafia recently while opening a one-day meeting organised by UNICEF DField office, Bauchi for Top makers from 10 states of the federation. Al-Makura said the only panacea to eliminate hunger that was threatening more than one million children in the Sahel By Mohammed Kandi


he moves to ensure that the Nigerian youths, who are mostly unemployed and vulnerable to various anti-social activities in the country are gainfully self-employed and participate in the effort towards changing the face of agriculture from its traditional methods to modern, optimistic and entrepreneurial approach has received a major boost. This is coming on the heels of a closed-door interactive meeting by the youths themselves and the subsequent initiative of the Federal Government via the agriculture ministry, when during the weekends; it rolled-out the “Young Employment in Agriculture Program”, bringing together young farmers, persons in agro-business, aspiring entrepreneurial-minded youths from different parts of the country to brainstorm on the way forward. Interestingly, the outcome of the gathering brought about a new generation of young commercial farmers who preferred to be called the ‘Nagropreneurs’. This group of youngsters expressed readiness to help transform the agricultural sector as well as contribute their quota towards feeding Nigeria today and in the future. The essence of the strategic conference was to generate ideas, develop policy directions and to widen the data-base of prospective business tycoons that would expand and strengthen Nigeria’s economic potentials through agrobusinesses within short possible time. Meanwhile, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, in his stimulating address assured that the primary objective of the interactive session was to create 1 million young agricultural entrepreneurs in the country by 2015. “We are here today to address a major challenge of how to feed our nation today and well into the future. Unless we take drastic actions, these youth will be confronted with no jobs and the repercussions on society and national security will reach an unprecedented height,” the minister warned. According to him: “This population explosion has had a dramatically negative effect on youth employment as an ever

region was the need for Nigerians to utilise the nation’s vast agricultural potentials. He noted that the most vulnerable groups to the threats of disease, illiteracy, ignorance and poverty were women and children. “It is, therefore, a clarion call on all and sundry to come together to explore possibilities of saving our people from imminent hunger. “The only panacea to the threat of hunger is our will to utilise the huge agricultural potentials which nature has

endowed us with. “To this end, we must overcome the lip service syndrome to realise our dream of achieving food sufficiency, food security and, indeed, other development needs.” Al-Makura said that his administration placed a high premium on the provision of basic social amenities to the people. He said that since he assumed office in 2011, he had shown keen interest in synergising with UNICEF and other development partners with a view to meeting the development aspirations of

the people. “It is pertinent to reiterate that improvement in the living conditions of the citizenry requires collaborative efforts at all times. This means UNICEF alone should not be left with this enormous responsibility,” he stressed. “Similarly, Government alone cannot shoulder the burden; it is, therefore, necessary that all hands are on deck to achieve the desired goals,” the Governor said. Al-Makura said the state government had already signed the Programme Implementation Agreement (PIA) with UNICEF,

remaking that the agreement was aimed at actualising the objectives of the fund for 2012. “Accordingly, efforts are being completed to ensure the release of the Nasarawa state counterpart contribution to facilitate the replication of projects of the fund so that additional communities would benefit in the state.” Earlier, the UNICEF Nigeria Representative, Mr Ibrahima Fall, emphasised an integrated approach, in which all relevant sectors should work collaboratively to address the nutrition situation in the country.

Youths and modern agriculture in Nigeria

Youths venturing into poultry farming increasing number of youth enter the workforce, with limited prospect for employment. There are simply not enough jobs to keep up with the growing youth population.” “No sector has greater capacity to create jobs as quickly and sustainably as the agriculture sector. The agriculture sector is already large contributing over 40% of GDP and 70% of all employment. It has an unprecedented potential for growth,” he explained. Dr Adesina also informed that: “No nation has succeeded in driving sustainable economic development without fixing its agricultural sector. The evidence is all around us. China, India, Vietnam, Thailand are today big players in the world economy. By transforming its agriculture, China was able to lift 440 million people

out of poverty within ten years. That is more than twice the population of Nigeria. All these nations started by building on the solid foundation of agricultural transformation.” Having generated manifold of

ideas on the plight of the young farmers, the minister assured that the outcomes would be documented for immediate considerations and presentation to President Goodluck Jonathan by the youths themselves.

No sector has greater capacity to create jobs as quickly and sustainably as the agriculture sector. The agriculture sector is already large contributing over 40% of GDP and 70% of all employment. It has an unprecedented potential for growth

However, Yahaya Ish’haq, President for the GEJ Initiative for Youth Development, said despite concerted effort being made by the Federal Government to increase agricultural productions in Nigeria, very little benefits are felt by the ‘real’ farmers as the right people targeted for such programmes were not captured in the end. He lamented that most incentive being provided by the government went to the wrong people, adding that, “until there is political will, honesty and transparency in the whole process, nothing positive would come out of the efforts.” Similarly, Deputy Coordinator, Youth Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture (YISA) in Adamawa State, Zia-ulhaq Salihu, advocates for access to land ownership for the farmer, finance and other technical supports so as to liberate them from hitherto the practice of traditional and hash farming system. He however lauded the Federal Government and the Ministry of Agriculture for convening the programme and expressed optimism that the effort would bring about positive changes in the agricultural sector, saying “it is an endeavour in a right direction”. Nevertheless, young people are encouraged to venture into agrobusinesses (commercial farming) across all the value chains of agricultural commodities to facilitate the attainment of food security in Nigeria in particular and the continent and the world at large. It is also expected that governments at all levels would buy into the effort and make available finances and other logistics required to drive the system effectively. The farming system must be seen to be as dynamic and flexible as possible while the teaming potential 1million farming youth populations in the country must be assured of government’s continuous support at all times.





he importance of Ohio and Florida in the past two presidential elections has folks looking ahead to the big swing states in November—and it could be a bigger crop than in past years. This election cycle, there are somewhere between nine and 12 swing states— depending on who is counting. This week, the New York Times accounted for nine swing states, and a USA Today/Gallup poll provided a breakdown of 12 swing states. In addition, Politico issued its own swing state list with 11 states. Real Clear Politics has a much deeper pool of undecided states based on an average of current polls about the 2012 presidential election. It has nine states that are definitely battleground states and another 12 which aren’t firmly in the Obama or Romney camp. Why swing states matter so much It’s all because of the electoral college, America’s unique way of picking a president and vice president, and an integral part of the Constitution. If you need a primer, a presidential candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the election. For 48 states, it is a winner-take-all election within each state, with the winner getting every electoral vote. (Nebraska and Maine use a proportional vote system.) Article II, Section 1, Clause 2, of the Constitution first spelled out the electoral college system and while there have been some tweaks over the years, it remains in place. The electoral college isn’t going anywhere in the near future, so the Obama and Romney camps must decide which states to target in what will likely be a very expensive campaign. Back in 2008, there were just six swing states in play at the end of the election, while the 2004 campaign featured 11 swing states. The New York Times list for 2012 includes Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The USA Today/Gallup list has the same nine states as the New York Times, with the addition of New Mexico, North Carolina, and Michigan. The Politico list excludes Michigan and calls New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin “soft” swing states. The Real Clear Politics projected electoral map adds Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, and Montana to the list of potential swing states. Perhaps the most interesting swing state on the list is Pennsylvania, which Barack Obama carried easily in 2008, beating John McCain by 13 percentage points. George H.W. Bush was the last GOP candidate to take Pennsylvania, in the 1988 election. (Bill Clinton took it in 1992 when Bush ran for reelection.) But since 2008, the balance of power in Pennsylvania has shifted west of Philadelphia, and the Commonwealth has a GOP governor and state house. In neighboring New Jersey, Real Clear Politics hasn’t given the Garden State to Obama yet. New Jersey also went easily to Obama in 2008 by 15 percentage

A closer look at the battleground states

A divided Michigan in 2004. points but it has powerhouse Governor Chris Christie as a close Romney ally and potential vice presidential candidate. The third state that will get a lot of attention will be Michigan, the state where Mitt Romney grew up. And as usual, Ohio and Florida will be in play up until Election Day. One thing that seems very unlikely is an electoral college result that would send the contest to the House of Representatives, unless a third-party candidate emerges. Contested elections are rare, with the House picking a President in 1800 and 1824 after a candidate couldn’t secure a majority of electors in the general election, and the Supreme Court’s decision to stop a recount in Bush v. Gore in 2000. (There was also an issue with the 1876 election.) The key to watch: which states get the most campaign spending in proportion to their electoral counts. A Conservative Look at the 2012 Battleground States There are some states that Republican Mitt Romney is nearly certain to win, such as Utah, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. While Romney will have an edge in these conservative-leaning states, Obama will do equally well in liberal states such as California, Hawaii, New York, and Vermont. What remains is a number of battleground states, also known as swing states, and they can go either way. George W. Bush did well in these states in 2000 and 2004, and losing one less state could have cost him the election in either year. Likewise, Obama cleaned up big time in 2008, defeating John McCain in 9 of the 10 contests listed here. The number

of traditional toss-up states actually increased by three due to Obama’s unexpected wins in North Carolina, Virginia, and Indiana. The big question heading into the November elections is whether voters in these states will be more in 2008 mode, the year of “hope and change,” or in 2010 mode, the year of the tea party. Most of these states were relatively close in 2008, and the blind enthusiasm towards the Obama campaign will be hard to match. This could give Romney a little extra edge, knowing that it will be difficult for Obama to get the same turnout from four years earlier. The other good news for Romney is that these states were home to a majority of the big-time tea party victories in 2010, and the enthusiasm from those voters does not appear to be waning. Let’s have a close look. Florida In what will likely be the most expensive state in 2012, Florida delivers the third largest elector haul behind Texas and California. Republicans have 2-1 majorities in the state legislature and hold nearly all state-wide offices. The state was also tea party rich in 2010, when Marco Rubio was elected to the US Senate in a landslide, conservative star Allen West won a congressional seat, and farleft liberal Alan Grayson was ousted from office. (29 electors in 2012; Obama 51%, McCain 48% in 2008) Virginia After voting for Republicans for president in every election since 1968, Virginia voted for Obama in 2008. Since then, however, Virginia has had a bit of a tea party comeback in the state and the Republican Attorney General has been a leading opponent of Obamacare. (13

Electors; Obama 53%, McCain 46%) Wisconsin While not originally on the radar, Wisconsin was added to the list following two big tea party wins in 2010 when conservative Scott Walker won the governorship and Ron Johnson defeated a popular incumbent for a US Senate seat. While liberals in the state were able to force a recall election against Walker, it appears that he is likely to win that election too despite a multimillion dollar union campaign to oust him. (10 Electors; Obama 56%, McCain 42%) Ohio Perhaps the second most important state behind Florida, Ohio might be the purest swing state in the country. It has voted with the winning president in every election since 1964. Had George W. Bush lost Ohio in either 2000 or 2004, he would have lost the election. In 2010, Republicans swept the state. Jon Kasich defeated an incumbent Democrat for the governorship, Rob Portman won election to the US Senate by 17 points, and the GOP picked up 4 congressional seats. (18 Electors; Obama 52%, McCain 47%) Indiana Like Virginia, Indiana voted for the Republican nominee for president in every election since 1968, until voting for Obama in 2008. While many do not believe Obama will likely win Indiana again, few thought he would four years ago either. (11 Electors; Obama 50%, McCain 49%) Colorado Colorado was one of the more disappointing states for conservatives in 2010. In an attempt to stop the establishment at any cost,

the tea party gave Ken Buck the senate nomination against a weak Democrat incumbent, but he lost steam after winning the nomination and the tea party enthusiasm waned. They also lost the governor’s mansion after supporting a third party candidate and destroying the Republican nominee. On the upside, George W. Bush won the state twice, Republicans netted two congressional seats in 2010, and Mitt Romney is far more disciplined than the 2010 statewide candidates were. (9 Electors; Obama 54%, McCain 45%) North Carolina President Obama eked out a win in North Carolina in 2008, but it will probably be a difficult hold in 2012. The Democratic National Committee is throwing everything they can at the state, including holding their national convention there. Voters recently voted overwhelmingly in favor of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in the state, and Obama vocally expressed disappointment in the vote before embracing gay marriage altogether. The right-to-work status of the state has also been a major area of conflict between the liberalism of the Obama administration and the natural conservatism of the state. (15 Electors; Obama 50%, McCain 49%) Pennsylvania While Pennsylvania has voted Democrat in five straight presidential elections, the races are usually close. Republican Pat Toomey won the US Senate seat held by longtime nemesis Arlen Specter in 2010, while the GOP also picked up a win in the race for governor and ousted 4 Democrats from congress. Along with Wisconsin, it may be one of the more difficult states for Romney to secure a victory, but a win here means he is winning contests Obama won by double-digits previously. (20 Electors; Obama 55%, McCain 44%) Missouri The only toss-up state that McCain won in 2008, Missouri should be a safer bet for Romney in 2008. A whopping 71% of Missourians voted in favor of a referendum slapping down President Obamaâ•™s healthcare mandates. Democrat senator Claire McCaskill is vulnerable and Romney can probably run on one word alone here: Obamacare.(10 Electors; McCain 49.4%, Obama 49.3%) Michigan Obama’s biggest swing-state victory in 2008 came in Michigan, a 16 point shellacking of John McCain. But Republicans rebounded two years later, taking the governorâ•™s race by an equally large margin and winning nine of 15 congressional seats. Romney is also from the state where his father was once a popular governor. That adds up to the race being a lot close than it was four years ago. (16 Electors; Obama 57%, McCain 41%)



Ten years on: The question of Israel and Palestine (I) ANALYSIS By Yousef Munayyer


ow will the Israeli/ Palestinian question evolve over the next ten years? It is hard, actually impossible, to predict the future. However, it is possible and important to analyse trends and extrapolate trajectories given well-established facts. In the areas of American politics, Palestinian politics, Israeli politics, facts on the ground and media and public opinion, we can see strong arguments for trends (or the lack thereof) that suggest a direction in which the Israeli/Palestinian question is moving. We've come to learn from the current Presidential campaign that Israel is as important an issue in American politics as it has ever been. Under President Barack Obama, according to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, US-Israeli security cooperation is "unprecedented". Likewise, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak noted that US-Israel security ties during Obama's administration are at the "highest level they have ever been" and that the "administration is consistently strengthening the depths of Israel's security abilities". Despite this, Obama's Republican challenger Mitt Romney has, along with his allies on the right, attacked Obama during the campaign for not being close enough to Israel. This has effectively moved the boundaries of acceptable positions on Israel in the American political discourse further to the right and is undoubtedly due to the efforts of pro-Israel interest groups. This is also occurring in the context of American public opinion that has not seen significant changes in regard to favourability toward Israel while favourability toward Palestinians markedly increased in recent years. Yet while interests groups and their effects on American politics have certainly created a pro-Israel bias in American mediation, they are able to do so in conjunction with a constant which hasn't changed in the past two centuries and isn't likely to change in the next decade: the American electoral cycle. Every four years the United States has Presidential elections and pro-Israel interest groups have proven a consistent ability to use these domestic constraints to hold first-term presidents in check. For this reason, presidents who have engaged in Israeli-Palestinian peace making have done so in their second terms. Take Camp David and Annapolis for example: both came in the final years of the Clinton and Bush presidencies. Obama, who sought to engage early by merely asking the Israelis to comply with obligations and freeze settlement building, realised quickly that he didn't have the political capital in his first term to actually use leverage

No American president has shown - and unlikely to ever show - the willingness to bare the political costs by imposing comprehensive agreements to settle the disputes between Israel and Palestine [REUTERS] against a recalcitrant Israeli Prime Minister. This, in turn, creates a situation where Israel, particularly when it is governed by the settlementaddicted right, prefers first term Presidents. This explains why the self-proclaimed most pro-settlement Israeli government in history has clashed with a first-term American president who engaged early and backed, more overtly than ever before, his opponent. But even presidents in their second term are limited in their abilities to gain traction on Middle East peace. The nature of the peace process is the reason why. The Oslo process was supposed to be akin to Gilligan's "three-hour tour", instead the "interim agreements" that were aimed at yielding a peace in a few short years turned into an odyssey. The peace process has been dominated by agreements and frameworks which have emphasised gradual steps, obligations, implementation, and verification. With Oslo, we had interim agreement I and then interim agreement II, with President Bush's 2003 Road Map we had Phases 1, 2 and 3. At the outset, Phase 3 was supposed to conclude by

2005 and yet well after President Bush left office, President Obama is still struggling to get the Israelis to implement their first phase obligation, a settlement freeze, and has failed to do so. From Inauguration day, a second term President has about three years (some would argue less), to expend his political capital before the attention of all the players shifts to their potential successor in the lame duck election period. The drawn out nature of these agreements makes their implementation practically impossible in such a short time period, especially because the actor which has to relinquish control over land (Israel) constantly has an incentive to put off such actions, retain the land and its resources, and wait for the next administration. The alternative to gradually implemented agreements is imposed comprehensive agreements. But this takes even more political capital, and no president - first or second term - has shown the willingness or interest to bare the political costs of attempting this. This is the Catch-22 of US mediation and given that it is


structured around the long constant American electoral system and pro-Israel interests groups, which seem to be increasingly effective in moving political discourse inside the beltway, this is unlikely to change. The signing of the Oslo accords created significant divisions in the Palestinian polity. Since then, divisions have grown in size and number, in large part due to the role of the Israeli occupation. The death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 2004 compounded this problem. Arafat was synonymous with the political party Fatah, but for many he was also synonymous with the Palestinian cause. His passing and the political changes that followed in presidential and legislative council elections created a widened rift between Hamas and Fatah. All of these divisions have led to serious questions about the need for truly representative Palestinian institutions, including calls to reinvigorate a dormant Palestine National Council. These calls are likely to continue to grow. The Palestinian Authority (PA) also faces significant challenges. It was created with the intention of being a temporary vehicle which

From Inauguration day, a second term President has about three years (some would argue less), to expend his political capital before the attention of all the players shifts to their potential successor in the lame duck election period.

would transport the Palestinians to statehood in the West Bank and Gaza. Two decades since the start of the Oslo process, the West Bank is filled with more settlements and settlers today than ever and is severed from the Gaza Strip whose prospects for sustainable development are consistently declining. What is the purpose of the PA if not to deliver statehood? In the absence of progress toward selfdetermination, the PA has diverted focus from this difficult question by focusing on economic development. Here too there are serious challenges. Financials crises are becoming commonplace as the PA regularly struggles to meet payroll for employees. The prospect of insurmountable debt looms as an economy built primarily on donor dollars has reached the physical limits of its growth under the constraints of the Israeli occupation. To be relevant in the absence of political progress the PA must be able to prove its administrative worth, but the infrastructure of Israeli apartheid places hurdle after hurdle in the way. Area C of the West Bank, under full Israeli control, makes up 60 per cent of the territory and is 100 per cent off limits to Palestinian private investment. This is a chokehold on the Palestinian economy. Instead of showing signs of relaxing restrictions in Area C, the Israelis have only intensified them as the political interests of the settlement communities take centre stage in Israeli politics. Source:



Kenyan Amisom soldier kills six Somali civilians

S Egypt sentences 14 to death over Sinai attacks

ix civilians have been shot dead by a Kenyan soldier advancing towards the alShabab stronghold of Kismayo, the Kenyan army has confirmed. The soldier has been detained pending an investigation, it said, noting the incident followed a militant attack. Somali army spokesman Adan Mohamed Hirsi earlier told the BBC it had been "a deliberate killing". Meanwhile, the Hizbul Islam group has announced that it is leaving the al-Shabab militant organisation. Kenyan troops intervened in Somalia a year ago after a spate of cross-border attacks blamed on the al-Qaeda-linked alShabab. It was the first time Kenyan troops had been sent abroad, except as peacekeepers.

Sunday's shooting happened about 50km (30 miles) from Kismayo, the largest city still in militant hands. Mr Hirsi condemned the killings and asked the Somali government to take action. "This incident is very hurtful," he told the BBC's Somali service, saying a group of young men were shot outside a shop in the village of Janay Abdalla. They were reportedly queuing to buy sugar. In addition to those killed, two civilians were seriously wounded, Mr Hirsi said. Kenyan military spokesman Col Cyrus Oguna said the incident happened shortly after al-Shabab militants attacked Kenyan soldiers who were escorting people to collect water from a well in the village, killing five civilians and one soldier.

"Later on in the day, several people approached KDF [Kenya Defence Forces] defensive positions, where a KDF soldier allegedly opened fire killing six people," he said in a statement. "The soldier was disarmed and has since been put on guarded seclusion," he said, adding that appropriate action would be taken after the investigation. Col Oguna said the Kenyan operations in Somalia should not be judged by this "unfortunate incident" and that the "utmost care and concern for civilian safety" were taken. Kenyan forces have in the past been accused of causing civilian deaths in Kismayo by shelling al-Shabab targets from ships operating off the coast. Some 10,000 people have fled Kismayo in the past week, the United Nations refugee


n Egyptian court on Monday sentenced 14 militant Islamists to death by hanging and four to life imprisonment over attacks on army and police forces in the Sinai Peninsula last year. The men, members of a militant group called Tawheed and Jihad, were charged by the prosecutor with killing three police officers, an army officer and a civilian in attacks carried out in June and July, 2011. Eight of the 14 death sentences were in absentia, court sources said. The verdicts were met with cries from the accused against President Mohamed Mursi, the Islamist head of state elected this year and who the defendants blamed for the court's decision. "Mursi is an infidel and those who follow him are infidels," shouted one defendant. Others cried "God is Great" as they listened to the judge from inside the metal cage in which they stood during trial sessions. Egypt's Sinai has suffered from faltering security since President Hosni Mubarak was swept from power in a popular uprising in February 2011. Egypt's army and police launched a sweep after a raid that killed 16 Egyptian border guards in August.

Some of the prisoners behind bars

Kenyan troops have covered more grounds

agency estimates. Al-Shabab has been forced out of the capital, Mogadishu, and several other towns over the past year but still controls much of the countryside in south and central Somalia. However, it still stages frequent attacks. On Saturday, gunmen shot dead a member of Somalia's new parliament in Mogadishu. Mustafa Haji Maalim was gunned down after leaving a mosque in the southern Waberi district following evening prayers, witnesses said. The dead lawmaker was the father-in-law of former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, and is the first parliamentarian to be targeted since a new 275-member assembly was selected in August. No-one has so far claimed the attack, though al-Shabab has previously vowed to kill government officials. On Thursday, a double suicide attack in Mogadishu targeting a restaurant recently opened by Somalis from the diaspora killed 18 people. Hizbul Islam spokesman Mohamed Moalim told the BBC that his group still wanted the African Union mission to leave Somalia but welcomed the new president and parliament as a "positive development". He said the split was due to long-standing ideological differences, such as his group's opposition to the use of foreign jihadis. Since the overthrow of President Siad Barre in 1991, Somalia has seen clan-based warlords, Islamist militants and its neighbours all battling for control.

Street battles erupt in Guinea refinery town


treet clashes broke out on Sunday in the Guinean industrial town of Fria, home to RUSAL's huge alumina refinery, after local youths armed with knives and guns attacked suspected black market fuel salesmen, witnesses and officials said. At least 20 people were injured in the fighting which ran for several hours before regional security forces arrived in the afternoon to break it up, witnesses said.

"Some youths ... were angry at some traders who, according to them, were selling diesel stolen from the refinery on the black market," a resident told Reuters, on condition of anonymity. "Several of them were attacked and the merchants retaliated." Guinea is the world's top supplier of the aluminum ore bauxite and holds rich iron ore deposits, but is struggling to attract investment due to political turmoil, rampant

labour strife, and a government review of mining contracts. The 630,000 tonne per year refinery in Fria, owned by Russia's RUSAL, the world's largest aluminum producer, has been shut since April following a labour dispute. "The youths find it unacceptable that people are taking advantage of this difficult period for the community by stealing diesel and reselling it," said

an official at the plant, asking not to be named. A government official was not immediately available to comment on the clashes in Fria, about 160 kilometers (99 miles) north of the capital Conakry. Canadian gold miner Semafo Inc. said on Sunday it had resumed some administrative work at its Kiniero mine in Guinea, around a year after locals attacked the operation, forcing it to shut and employees to be evacuated.

Ivory Coast to admit Ghana flights, keep land, sea borders shut


vory Coast will reopen its airspace to flights from Ghana but keep land and sea borders with its neighbour shut, said the Ivorian government , after a series of deadly attacks last week in Abidjan and at a border crossing. "After 48 hours of observation of the movements of people and goods between the two countries, it is decided that only the air borders will be opened from Monday," the office of President Alassane Ouattara said in a statement read on state television. Ivorian airspace would reopen to Ghanaian flights from midnight, the statement said. Ivory Coast closed its border

with Ghana on Friday after the raids, during which Defence Minister Paul Koffi Koffi said eight people, including six attackers, were killed. The country's Interior Minister Hamed Bakayoko previously said the attacks on the army and police were launched from Ghanaian territory. The assaults were the first since August, when near-daily raids on security forces revived fears of renewed instability a year after a brief civil war killed more than 3,000 people. Ivorian officials said the attacks, and a series of similar raids last month, were organised by allies of

former president Laurent Gbagbo, many of whom now live in exile in neighbouring countries including Ghana. Ivory Coast, the world's top

cocoa producer, is recovering from a decade-long political crisis that ended last year with a brief civil war that killed more than 3,000 people.

A jet belonging to Ghana airlines


Asia and Middle East


Chinese court has jailed former police chief Wang Lijun for 15 years in a scandal involving one of the country's most ambitious politicians and the murder of a British businessman. The court in Chengdu in southwest China said Wang received the sentence for "bending the law for selfish ends, defection, abuse of power and bribe-taking", according to the state-run Xinhua news agency. He was found guilty on four charges, including seeking to conceal the murder of businessman Neil Heywood in November 2011. The court found that Wang,


Ex-police chief jailed in China scandal the former police chief of Chongqing municipality in southwest China, tried to cover up Heywood's murder at the hands of Gu Kailai, the wife of Bo Xilai, one of China's most controversial and ambitious politicians. Wang was given a comparatively light sentence because he helped turn in a number of police accomplices, who received shorter sentences. In August, Gu was sentenced to a suspended death sentence, which effectively means life in prison. The ruling Communist Party must now decide whether Bo will face charges and what his future political career may be. His downfall has thrown a roadblock in front of a leadership handover

that was due to take place at a party congress later this year but which leaders might now have to delay to January. "It has caused a rift in the party which is far from solved yet, which is why the incoming president Xi Jinping disappeared for two weeks most probably," said Willem Van Kemenade, a Beijing-based China analyst and lecturer at

the Clingendael Institute for International Relations in the Netherlands. "An accommodation between the dominant faction and the Bo Xilai faction has to be realized to assure a harmonious [party] congress where some degree of unity prevails." Wang sealed his fate at a trial a week ago by admitting the charges, according to an official

Riot closes China Foxconn factory


he company that makes Apple's iPhones suspended production at a factory in China on Monday after a riot involving as many as 2,000 employees at a dormitory left 40 people injured. The fight, the cause of which was under investigation, erupted on Sunday night at a privately managed dormitory near a Foxconn Technology Group factory in the northern city of Taiyuan, the company and Chinese police said. The company and police said the violence was not work-related and grew out of a personal dispute, but comments posted on Chinese Internet bulletin boards said it might have erupted after a security guard hit an employee. A police statement reported by the official Xinhua News Agency said 5,000 officers were dispatched to the scene. The technology blog Engadget noted that a riot at Foxconn's

Chengdu factory that broke out in June was apparently caused by a dispute between workers and a local restaurant order. An "undercover report" by a Chinese news outlet cited by Engadget claimed that the Taiyuan factory produced the back casing of Apple's new iPhone 5 and suffered from "harsh" management policies. The Taiwanese-owned company declined to say whether the factory was involved in iPhone production. It said the facility, which employs 79,000 people, would suspend work on Monday and reopen Tuesday. Foxconn makes iPhones and iPads for Apple and also assembles products for Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard. It is one of China's biggest employers, with about 1.2 million workers in factories in Taiyuan, the southern city of Shenzhen, in Chengdu in the west and in Zhengzhou in central China.

Wang Lijun

Ahmadinejad says Iran ready to defend against Israeli attack


ran does not take seriously Israeli threats of attack, but is prepared to defend itself, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday, while saying that Israel has "no roots" in the history of the Middle East and would be "eliminated." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has hinted Israel could strike Iran's nuclear sites and has criticized U.S. President Barack Obama's position that sanctions and diplomacy should be given more time to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Iran denies that it is seeking nuclear arms and says its atomic work is peaceful, aimed at generating electricity. "Fundamentally we do not take seriously the threats of the Zionists. ... We have all the defensive means at our disposal and we are ready to defend ourselves," Ahmadinejad told reporters in New York, where he is due to attend the U.N. General Assembly. "While we are fully ready to defend ourselves, we do not take such threats seriously," he said, speaking through an interpreter.

Ahmadinejad alluded to his previous rejection of Israel's right to exist. "Iran has been around for the last seven, 10 thousand years. They (the Israelis) have been occupying those territories for the last 60 to 70 years, with the support and force of the Westerners. They have no roots there in history," he said. The modern state of Israel was founded in 1948. "We do believe that they have found themselves at a dead end and they are seeking new adventures in order to escape this dead end. Iran will not be damaged with foreign bombs," Ahmadinejad said, referring to Israel. "We don't even count them as any part of any equation for Iran. During a historical phase, they represent minimal disturbances that come into the picture and are then eliminated," Ahmadinejad added. In 2005, Ahmadinejad called Israel a "tumor" and echoed the words of the former Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, by saying that Israel should be wiped off the map.

Police barricade the street to quell the riot


account of the hearing published by Xinhua. Only official media outlets were allowed inside the courtroom. "As for the crimes that the prosecution has alleged, I understand them, I admit to them and I am repentant for them," Wang told the court in Chengdu, according to an earlier account.



Europe and OIC Secretary General sets off for UN General Americas Assembly, defamatory cartoon tops agenda Georgian prison scandal draws preelection criticism from Russia


ussia criticized Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's government a week before a parliamentary election in the former Soviet state, saying that a prison abuse scandal raised questions about its ability to protect its citizens' rights. Russian leaders have frequently depicted the proWestern Saakashvili as a dangerous hothead since a fiveday war in which Russian forces routed his army in 2008 and set back his hopes of bringing the South Caucasus nation into NATO. Eager to retain control of Georgia's parliament in the October 1 election, Saakashvili's ruling party is trying to ward off a challenge from a coalition led by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, who the president has labeled a Kremlin stooge. The threat the National Movement faces from Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream coalition has grown since television channels that back Saakashvili's opponents showed footage of torture and rape in a state prison, prompting days of protests. The election is particularly important for Saakashvili and his allies because Saakashvili is barred by law from seeking a third term in a presidential ballot next year and legislation increasing parliament's power is to take effect after next year's vote. Russia has avoided taking sides before next week's election, but a statement by the Foreign Ministry's human rights envoy, Konstantin Dolgov, on Monday said that Moscow "is following the dramatic development of the situation in Georgia with concern". "The shocking footage of torture ... once again makes one wonder about the real capability of the Georgian authorities to guarantee the adherence to human rights and provide for the rule of law," Dolgov said in the statement. Dolgov also suggested that it raised questions about Georgia's adherence to international antitorture conventions. He called for a "thorough and unbiased investigation" and urged United Nations and European antitorture committees to evaluate the situation. Saakashvili's government says the footage, which showed guards beating, punching and humiliating prisoners, as well as inmates being raped with objects, was recorded by guards who were bribed by unspecified people with political motives.

By Abdulkadir Isa


he Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, left the OIC General Secretariat in Jeddah for the United States to participate in the proceedings of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) due to take place in New York on 24-29 September 2012. The Secretary General will start his visit with participation in

the Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the American Islamic College in Chicago on 21-23 September 2012. He will also hold a special meeting with figures from the Muslim community in the city and a number of press meetings. He will also take part in the Annual Coordination Meeting of the OIC Member States' Foreign Ministers on 28 September 2012 on the sidelines of the UNGA. The Coordination Meeting will address many current dossiers and issues, chief of which are the defamatory

film and Charlie Hebdo's derogatory cartoons on Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), the Palestinian cause, the Syrian file, Somalia, the situation of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and other issues. This was stated in a press conference held on Tuesday 18 September 2012 at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah to clarify OIC's position on the reprehensible film targeting the person of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), and the current measures taken by the

OIC as well as its planned actions for the future. He said that the efforts made by the Organisation over the past few days have enabled the General Secretariat to accord the issue of the 'indecent' film the highest priority on the agenda of the Annual Meeting of OIC's Foreign Ministers next week. The meeting will discuss all initiatives with a view to reaching a plan of action and specific mechanisms to address the rising tide of incitement against Muslims.

whatsoever to power, no challenge to the status quo" and guaranteed another four years for a legislature long considered a rubber stamp for Lukashenko, who has ruled the former Soviet nation since 1994.

"If this time anyone has doubts about the choices of the Belorusian people ... then I don't know how I should run the elections," the president said in televised remarks. Every poll since Lukeshenko's

rise has been criticised as undemocratic by Western observers. "We saw in some places there were some people. But, you know, the turnout in this country is based also on what happens during the early voting day, and the turnout was quite high for the early voting, around 26 per cent is the official tally," said Matteo Mecacci, the head of the observer mission for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which fielded 330 monitors. "So, I think that is a peculiar system." Lukashenko's landslide win in a 2010 presidential election triggered a mass street protest that was brutally suppressed, and any rallies after the parliamentary vote would be certain to draw a similar harsh response. Longtime opposition figure and politician Stanislav Shushkevich told Al Jazeera there were "no democraticminded people" on the country's election comission and called the vote "a joke". The opposition had hoped to use this election to build support, but 33 out of 35 candidates from the United Civil Party were barred from television, while the stateowned press refused to publish their election programmes. About 40 candidates from communist and leftist groups critical of Lukashenko still ran, but they weren't expected to make it into the parliament, which has been fully occupied by government loyalists since the last three opposition members lost their seats in 2004.

Opposition shut out in Belarus election


fficial results in Belarus' parliamentary election have delivered an overwhelming victory to parties allied with President Alexandr Lukashenko, meeting predictions by opposition groups who boycotted the vote and claimed it would again be rigged for the president. Central Elections Commission Chairwoman Lidiya Yermoshina said on Monday that 74.3 per cent of eligible voters had turned out and downplayed more sceptical assessments by independent election observers, saying that only official turnout tallies would be considered. There were no runoffs, and Yermoshina said that all but one of the 110 seats in parliament had been assigned. Jonah Hull, reporting from Minsk, said the election represented "no challenge

Officials at the collation centre

Abu Hamza and Babar Ahmad extradition approved T

Babar Ahmad, 37, has been held in UK custody without trial for nearly eight years


ember states of the United Nations have confirmed their commitment to fight illegal arms trading to protect children in armed conflict. The pledge was made during the review conference on the programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons which took place from 27 August to 7 September 2012. In a press statement released by Dr. Bukard Weth, Press AttachĂŠ, Embassy of Republic of Germany, the Minister of State Link said, "The conference on Small Arms Programme of Action is a major step forward the international

he European Court of Human Rights has given its final approval for the extradition of five major terrorism suspects from the UK to the US. The court's highest judges said they would not re-open the cases of Abu Hamza al-Masri, Babar Ahmad and others. The decision means that the extradition of the five men, wanted for years by the US, is likely to happen within weeks. Each man said they would face inhumane treatment in the United States. In a brief statement, the Home Office said that it welcomed the decision and would work to ensure the extraditions would happen as quickly as possible.

Mexico arrests 35 police in drug raids community has undertaken to step up its commitment to fight illegal firearms and protect women and children in armed conflict. We would have wished for a more ambitious result. Yet for all United Nations member states to agree on a common goal and a concrete measures to reach this goal is in itself an important contribution to conflict prevention and disarmament". He also said "This process spurs us to keep working for arms control and disarmament, for example through an International Arms Trade Treaty."

Health officials the dead during the raid



fisherman survives 26 Man burglarizes homes Alaska hours floating in fish crate to watch films on internet A

The 21-year-old even left lubricant and towels next to the computers in some cases, according to police


n Oregon man has burglarized multiple homes - not to steal, but to watch pornography on victims' computers, police said. Antone Owens of Eugene has been arrested and charged with menacing, coercing and burglary, NBC affiliate NewsSource 16 reported. The 21-year-old even left lubricant and towels next to the computers in some cases, according to police.

An investigation began after a rash of suspicious break-ins near Owens' home, NewsSource 16 reported. Last fall, one homeowner reported that an intruder had entered her home and watched pornography on her computer multiple times, NewsSource 16 reported. In a separate incident, one homeowner's son awoke to find the intruder in his bedroom. In March, another woman

said she arrived home to find lubricant, towels, a cell phone and porn on her computer monitor. As she called 911, she saw a man outside her glass door. She said he threatened to break the door and kill her before he pulled on the lock, came inside, snatched back his lubricant and cell phone and ran away. Cops are looking for further information on the break-ins and are asking other alleged victims to step forward.

n Alaska fisherman survived for a day floating on frigid ocean waters in a plastic fish crate after his boat sank and said he kept up his spirits by singing. Ryan Harris, 19, told the local newspaper in Sitka, Alaska, that he sang songs like "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" to keep himself awake through the night as the fishing crate bobbed on the waves. Harris told the Sitka Sentinel that he gave himself a "pep talk," saying for hours on end: "I'm Ryan Hunter Harris and I'm not going to die here." Harris and his fishing partner, boat skipper Stonie Huffman, went into the water late on Friday when their 28foot vessel sank off Sitka, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Huffman found a survival suit in the debris, donned it and was able to swim to shore before flagging down rescuers, the Coast Guard said. But Harris spent an estimated 26 hours in the plastic fish tote before he was found by another fishing crew, the Coast Guard said. The fishing crew called for help, and a Coast Guard helicopter crew hoisted Harris to safety on Saturday. He was in relatively good shape when spotted by the other fishing crew, despite his ordeal at sea, Coast Guard Petty Officer Grant DeVuyst told Reuters. "He was active. He was waving his arms," DeVuyst said. "He was conscious." Emergency medical responders who examined Harris reported that he had "just a couple of minor injuries," DeVuyst said.

British man 'paid for his own murder after Thai wife plundered £7,000 of his savings to hire hitmen'

Finn throws Olympic distance with old Nokia

Rescue Workers at the scene of the murder of Mr Phillips, who was gunned down by hired hitmen while he was riding his motorbike


A mobile phone made by Nokia is pictured in this photo illustration taken in Warsaw.


Finnish teenager won a mobile phone throwing contest on Saturday by hurling his old Nokia phone 101.46 meters. The annual contest is one of many offbeat events such as wife-carrying that are held in the summer when normally reserved Finns like to celebrate the

warmer weather with silliness and outdoor sport. Ere Karjalainen, who beat around 50 contestants, including some who had travelled from England and India, said he had practiced only once and prepared mainly "by drinking". Not that the skills are

totally comparable, but he bettered the gold medal javelin throw at the London Olympics by nearly 17 meters. Finland is home to Nokia and is one of the world's most mature mobile phone markets, with people paying for tram tickets and parking spaces with their phones.

retired rail worker was gunned down by hitmen after his young Thai wife used his money to pay professionals to carry out the kill, say police. Stephen Phillips, 59, from Torquay, Devon, was shot dead last month as he rode his Honda motorbike near his home in the remote village of Baan Phai, about 250 miles north-east of Bangkok. Mr Phillips' 29-year-old wife Wilaiwan, and two Thai men, one believed to be her Thai-Chinese lover, have been charged by police with conspiracy to murder. Officers think the former Network Rail supervisor may have unwittingly given his wife the money to pay for his own murder. The hitmen shot Mr Phillips in the abdomen and both legs before a final bullet was fired at his head - a shooting which shows all the hallmarks of a classic 'hit'. It is believed Mr Phillips had recently taken out a £200,000 life insurance policy

and almost £12,000 had been withdrawn from his bank account in the weeks leading up to the shooting, it was reported in The Sun. owever, Wilaiwan, whom Mr Phillips met on the internet, has denied any involvement in her husband's death and said the couple had been cheated out of £7,000 by underworld mobsters in an investment scam. She told police: 'These men were not local. They travel from province to province and cheat everyone. 'My husband was angry with me. He said he was going to meet him.'

Mr Phillips



Obese kids wreck their taste buds S

COFFING salty junk food “numbs” the taste buds of obese kids — making them eat even more, a study revealed yesterday. They find it harder to distinguish specific flavours than children of normal size. And that means they need


ommon painkillers like ibuprofen and naproxen are considered risky for people who’ve had a heart attack. And now a large study suggests those risks do not go away with time. “Based on this, we have to assume that if you’ve ever had a heart attack, you should use NSAIDs with caution, and only in consultation with your doctor,” said Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, chief of cardiology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. NSAID stands for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In a study of almost 100,000 first-time heart attack sufferers, researchers found that those who used the medications afterward were more likely to have a repeat heart attack or die over the next five years. In the first year after the heart attack, 20 percent of NSAID users died, versus about 12 percent of non-users. Death rates in both groups then declined over the next four years. But NSAID users’ rate remained about double that of non-users. The findings suggest that painkiller use “should be on the list of things you talk about with your doctor” soon after a heart attack, said Tomaselli, who was not involved in the study and is immediate past president of the American Heart Association (AHA). NSAIDs include over-thecounter painkillers like aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve), as well as prescription arthritis drugs known as COX-2 inhibitors. With the exception of aspirin, which is known to cut the risk of heart attack, the safety of NSAIDs for people with heart disease has long been in doubt. It started with COX-2 inhibitors, which were linked to increased risks of heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. Two of the drugs rofecoxib (Vioxx) and valdecoxib (Bextra) - were pulled from the market in 2004 and 2005; a third, celecoxib (Celebrex), is still prescribed. Studies since then have also raised questions about over-thecounter NSAIDs. Since 2007, the AHA has advised that people with heart disease first try acetaminophen (marketed as Tylenol) or aspirin when they need pain relief. If that’s not enough, an NSAID, at a low dose and for a short time, may be needed. Some studies have suggested that of the NSAIDs, naproxen is safest for the heart - but that’s still being studied.

extra food to get a taste “hit”. Researchers believe encouraging children to discover different flavours could reverse the trend — and help them shed the flab. Doctors asked 200 youngsters — half obese and half of normal weight — aged

from six to 18 to identify different flavours on paper strips. All were variations of the five sensory tastes — bitter, sweet, salty, sour and savoury. The normal-size children were ten per cent more likely to distinguish all five flavours.

Salt is added to processed food to give it flavour. And high levels are added to junk food such as crisps, takeaways and biscuits. The study was carried out by researchers from Germany’s Berlin University. Team leader Dr Susanna

Wiegand said: “Obese children can identify taste quality less precisely. “This could help develop strategies of obesity prevention. And nutrition education could focus on taste preferences.” Source:

What hasn’t been clear is whether the risks connected to NSAIDs change over time. The new findings suggest the drugs “have no apparent safe treatment window among patients with (heart attack),” lead researcher Dr. Anne-Marie Schjerning Olsen, of Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte, told Reuters Health by email. The study, reported in the journal Circulation, is based on records from 99,187 Danish adults who suffered a first-time heart attack between 1997 and 2009. Based on pharmacy records, 44 percent were prescribed an NSAID at some point after the heart attack. (During the study period, ibuprofen was the only NSAID available over the counter in Denmark, according to the researchers.) Over the follow-up, nearly 29,000 people had a repeat heart attack or died of cardiovascular problems. The risk was higher among NSAID users, even when Olsen’s team

accounted for patients’ age, other medical conditions and certain other factors. Both Olsen and Tomaselli said this type of study can only point to a link between NSAIDs and heart risks, and cannot on its own prove cause and effect. But, Tomaselli said, a number of studies have now consistently uncovered the same

pattern. And there are biological reasons to believe non-aspirin NSAIDs could be risky to people with heart disease, he added. There’s evidence, for instance, that the drugs may affect blood clotting, blood vessel function and blood pressure. A limit of the current study is that the researchers do not know why people were using

NSAIDs, or exactly what dose they were on. “We don’t know if taking them once in a while, for your sore muscles, would have the same risks” as more chronic NSAID use, Tomaselli said. But it’s best to be cautious, he said, and talk with your doctor about all pain reliever use. Olsen noted that in Denmark, NSAID use among heart patients “has not declined at all” since the potential hazards have emerged. “I therefore think we need better education, particularly of general practitioners, who tend to prescribe these drugs to many patients,” she said. The fact that some NSAIDs are available over the counter may also lead consumers to believe they are completely safe, Olsen noted. “People need to know that NSAIDs are still dangerous to patients with a history of (heart attack),” she said, “even five years after their event.” Reuters. Com

After heart attacks, pain drugs’ risks seem to last

I therefore think we need better education, particularly of general practitioners, who tend to prescribe these drugs to many patients. The fact that some NSAIDs are available over the counter may also lead consumers to believe they are completely safe. People need to know that NSAIDs are still dangerous to patients with a history of (heart attack), even five years after their event



Insecurity: Bafarawa confers with Buhari

Al-Makura committed to solid minerals development – Aide

By Lawrence Olaoye

By Miriam Humbe

‌calls for unity and political cohesion


ormer governor of Sokoto state, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa has met with the Presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change in the 2011 Presidential election, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, over the need to tackle the challenge of insecurity and other sociopolitical problems facing the north. The meeting held behind closed doors deliberated extensively on matters of urgent national importance as well as those problems facing the north in particular. Bafarawa who briefed newsmen after the meeting with the former Head of State said "It is quite alarming the rate at which unemployment, illiteracy, poverty, insecurity are bedeviling North particularly now. Therefore, it is important to tell ourselves the truth and unite so as to bring back the region on the right track." The former governor who expressed worry at the latest turn of events in the north called on the leaders to stop playing politics with the future of the region so that it could be able to match up with the other regions in the country in terms of development. He called on northern politicians to be more committed in the development and future of their people and learn not to be antagonist to rightful approaches on building new North devoid of religious

and tribalistic differences. He said, "We can not wait for anybody to come and help us overcome our present predicament. Our house is in tattered situation, it is reprehensive to shun our responsibility of ensuring truthful solution to the survival of our people. We need commitment and trust in a united ways to re-construct those factors that break our

unity, stability, political cohesion and progress so that it can become solid again" Bafarawa equally warned some northern politicians that are hiding under the name of the region in order to destabilize the progress and stability of the region to desist from doing so. The former governor, who described Buhari as a forthright person with passion

for the development of the country, said northern unity is non-negotiable and unless the leaders accept their failures and insensitive approach toward the improvement of the yearnings and aspirations of their people, they are committing the same mistakes done to the region some years back and that there might not be second chance to solving the problem.

L-R: Minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Zainab Maina, Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa'I, and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, recently at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye


asarawa Staete Governor, Umar Tanko Al-Makura is committed to the development of the abundant mineral resources the state is endowed with. The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media Relations, Alhaji Sani Musa Mairiga, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Abuja at the weekend. Mairiga explained that when Governor Al-makura assumed office on May 29, 2012, he found out that his predecessors did not pay the needed attention to solid minerals development thereby denying the state of huge amount of money that would have been used in providing social amenities to the people. The SSA media said his boss is presently according adequate priority to the issue of solid minerals development because it would make the state depend less on federal allocation and the people would enjoy more democratic dividends. "In no distant time, Nasarawa state would start enjoying its thirteen percent derivation fund as is the case in oil producing states in Nigeria because governor Almakura is leaving no stone unturned in his quest to ensure that the state uses its God's' given resources to better the living standards of the people." He further stated the present administration in the state is pursuing the issue of solid minerals development with vigour, calling on the people of the state to accord the administration of Tanko Almakura the necessary support and understanding in its desire to take Nasarawa state to the promise land.

Mark, Tambuwal charge ECOWAS Parliament on regional integration By Richard Ihediwa Mohammed Umar Puma



enate President David Mark and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwa yesterday charged the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament to rise up to the challenges of proper integration in the sub region as the needed ingredient for development. They made the charge when they separately played host to the visiting ECOWAS Parliamentarians in the National Assembly. Mark in his office noted that such integration was required to facilitate political and economic cooperation. The Senate President urged

member nations to work towards ensuring the improvement in the volume of trade between and among countries in the sub region. "We must work to create the enabling environment for free movement of goods, services and rights of residence as well as establishment as stipulated in the ECOWAS protocols". Mark canvassed that all barriers militating against free flow of goods and services within the sub-region must be dismantled, urging member countries to desist from belligerent policies or programmes that are capable of retarding efforts at building an ECOWAS of people with one destiny. He also implored his colleagues to pass similar (uniform) legislations within the

sub-region so that any discrepancies in terms of implementation or operation should be erased. Besides, he called for synergy between and among member countries to tackle the security challenges in the region. According to Mark, "we must feel at home within the subregion. We are one people only separated by languages influenced by our colonial masters". Leader of the delegation and Speaker of the National Assembly of Republic of Benin, Mathurin Cofi Nago commended the Nigerian Government for the continued support and sustenance of ECOWAS parliament. Mathurin however called for synergy in the activities of

the ECOWAS parliaments, saying that the objective is to build an ECOWAS community that will be a pride among other parliaments across the globe. Similarly, Tambuwal called for called for closer working relationship among parliament's member countries in order to tackle insecurity and terrorism in the sub-region. He said "There is a need for all our parliaments to come together and work in harmony, in order to ensure that we, as a people and as leaders in our respective parliaments, engage ourselves, with a view to proffering parliamentary solutions to address the challenges facing the region". The speaker attributed insecurity as a challenge to the sub- region and stressed that only

sustained peace could guarantee development in West Africa. "In the past, we have had the challenges of war in Liberia and Sierra Leone, you can see that security and stability of the West African region is key and important to its development,'' the speaker said. He urged the sub-regional body to convene a meeting of heads of parliaments of the subregion to address the challenges facing the area. "I will suggest that you convene a meeting of the heads of parliaments of West Africa sub-region here in Nigeria and we are willing to host you here in Nigeria," he said. Earlier,Mr. Nago, told the Speaker that the sub-region was confronted with problems of insecurity, poverty and integration.



‘You wrecked Ondo,’ Mimiko tells Agagu From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Olusegun Mimiko Campaign Organisation (MCO) yesterday berated the immediate past governor of the state, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, over his snide comments in the media and the allegations that he was on the verge of being probed by the state government. Agagu had at the weekend alleged that the state government was about probing his activities as governor. He had also boasted that his administration was the best

thing that has ever happened to the state. But Mimiko said the exgovernor should be in jail and ought not to parade himself as a man of integrity given the parlous condition he left the state following his sack by the Court on February 23, 2009. According to a release issued by the Director, Publicity and Media Relations of the campaign organisation, Mr. Kolawole Olabisi, Agagu’s tenure was hallmarked by high level profligacy, deliberate and brazen heist of the people’s commonwealth, and high spate

of abandoned projects and financial commitments deliberately made to constrain the Mimiko’s government. He stated “Agagu is ever wont to tell the whole world that he left a sum of N38billion in the coffers of Ondo state for Dr Olusegun Mimiko. This is nothing but bare-faced lie and an admission that Agagu as governor did not even know the state of the finances of a state he presided over for six years. No wonder he never even handed over despite the fact that he had over six months to do so between Justice Nabaruma-led Tribunal

Judgements of July 2008 to February 23, 2009 when he was finally sent packing. “The true position is that Agagu left behind a sum of Thirty Four Billion, Two Hundred Million Naira (N34.2b), but sadly, he left for the in-coming government a debt profile and other liabilities that stood at a staggering One Hundred and Seventeen Billion Naira (N117b)! This is, about 300% over and above the value of the liquid assets. “Apart from this, Agagu incurred an extra-budgetary expenditure of One billion, two

hundred and fifteen million naira (N1.215bn) on contingency and overdrawn votes without legislative approval in Year 2008 alone! “Yet he went ahead to prepare the 2009 Budget without accounting for this extrabudgetary expenditure. It must be emphasised here that indeed, had some interest groups within and outside the state then had not gone to court to seek for an order for embargo on the state accounts in some banks where the bulk of the N34.2bn was lodged, Agagu would have not left a kobo in the coffers of government,” he stated.

Kaduna ACN raises alarm over LG elections From Nasiru Mu'azu, Kaduna


L-R : Wife of FCT Permanent Secretary, Mrs Grace Anthony-Ozodinobi, wife of Premier KZN - South Africa, Mrs Kwazulu Natal, and wife of FCT Minister, Hajiya Aisha Bala Mohammed, in a group photograph after receiving their awards at the on-going International Leadership and Management Development Summit, yesetrday in Duban, South Africa.

S/West PDP urges compliance on registration of aggrieved members From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the SouthWest has urged the party organs in the six States in the zone to ensure total and strict compliance with the directive of the party’s National Chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur on the 30 days grace for the registration of former members of the party that are willing to return to its fold. The party however said the directive was only for former members and not for those who have not left the party, adding “The registration should be done in the party’s old registers in the Wards and not new ones.” Zonal Publicity Secretary of the party, Hon. Kayode Babade, who made this call in a release issued in Ibadan, said no State chapter of the party should issue new registers for the exercise, adding that “the clarification has become necessary to avoid misconception.” The PDP National Chairman last week issued an ultimatum to

all aggrieved members and those who left the party but are interested in coming back to do so within 30 days. The party directed Ward chairmen and secretaries to ensure that such returnees are registered without any inhibition, reiterating that anyone not allowed to go through this process should report such hindrance(s) to the next level, and up to the national secretariat of the party. Directing strict compliance with the directive, the South-West

PDP said with total reconciliation of all aggrieved members and those who left the party, it was confident that very soon, the party would begin to sing the slogan of PDP, one family, once again. “What has been directed is that our former members who are willing to return to our family should go and register in their various wards. For clarity, the registration should be done in the party’s old registers because the exercise is not to re-register members who have not left the

party. “Soon, the party may have to do a computerised registration and that will be made known to all our members when it will be done. We also wish to welcome our former members, including former governor of Ekiti state, Dr. Ayodele Fayose, who have returned to the party and urged those who are still sitting on the fence to also reunite with the PDP family so that we can all begin to sing the new slogan of PDP, one family, once again together.”

Judge’s transfer stalls Bankole’s contract inflation trial


he N894 million contract inflation case the EFCC preferred against the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, could not hold in Abuja on Monday. This followed the recent transfer to Taraba of Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court who had been handling the case.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the case file has since been returned to the Registrar of the court to be reassigned by the Chief Judge, Justice Ibrahim Auta. The EFCC had in June 2011 filed a 16-count charge of contract inflation against the ex-speaker. Bankole has denied any wrong doing, saying the

charges were politically motivated. Meanwhile, Bankole has written to the chief judge requesting that Okorowo be allowed to continue with the case even while in Taraba. According to him, the progress recorded in the matter will amount to naught if the judge is not allowed to continue with it. (NAN)

aduna state Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), yesterday raised the alarm over the actions of the state Independent Electoral Commission Chairperson, Mrs. Hannatu Biniyat, who had allegedly refused to give the party election materials which have already been distributed to other parties. Biniyat had earlier raised concerns over the leadership of the party in the state, stating that the party is in crisis and that the electoral body will need to ascertain the true leaders of the party in the state. It was however gathered that the electoral umpire the letter written inviting the party to a stakeholders meeting in preparation for the local government elections soon to take place was withdrawn. The reason the electoral body gave for the withdrawal was for it to ascertain the true leaders of the party in the state. The Acting Chairman of the party in the state immediately organized a visit to the state electoral body to clarify the issues that were raised by the body. In a phone interview with the ACN Acting Chairman, Auwal Isa Gote, he confirmed that a meeting was held where the chairperson of the electoral body made the request which was complied with but yet has refused to distribute the election materials to the party. He also indicated his dismay over a statement made by the chairperson of the electoral body saying she needs to seek clarification from government. Also the National women leader of ACN, Hajiya Hafsat Baba has disclosed that the action of the chairperson of the electoral body would erode all the good works the government of Kaduna state has done to ensure peaceful and fair local government elections within the state.



Akwa Ibom indigenes in Abuja score state govt at 25


L-R: Senate President, David Mark, Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, and Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament/ Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, during the 2nd ordinary session of the ECOWAS Parliament, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

ACN receives PDP, Saraki men in Kwara, warns against crack down on chieftains From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has warned of an imminent crackdown on its members in Kwara state in the aftermath of the massive defection of prominent members of the PDP and ACPN to its fold in recent times. In a statement issued yesterday in Akure by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party expressed concern over the provocative statements that have been emanating from the PDP government in the state before,

during and after the defection of their former loyalists to the ACN “It has become fashionable for the PDP controlled government in Kwara State to find in the ACN a ready scapegoat for its maladministration, incompetence profligacy and anti -people policies which have totally alienated the long suffering people of the state from their under performing government,” the party lamented . According to the party, “It is no longer a secret that Kwara state government is owing its workers several months of unpaid salaries. However in its usual penchant for looking for a scapegoat for its shortcomings, the

state government has perfected plans to arrest and detain ACN chieftains whenever the workers goes on strike as if the workers need to be instigated by anyone to demand their legitimate rights. “To keen watchers of Kwara State politics, this will not come as a surprise as the ACN was also held responsible for the violent protest that greeted the ban of commercial motorcyclists in the state recently, and a strident call was made for the arrest of ACN chieftains when the representatives of the government were booed and pelted with missiles at the Muslim praying ground last August,” the party added “The profligacy, scandalous

massive deductions by the state government of funds meant for local government councils, incompetence, cronyism , and anti -people policies of the government has brought such untold hardship to the people and left the state underdeveloped that the people are left with no choice than to leave the sinking PDP in droves and embrace ACN “For a government that has repeatedly proclaimed to the world that the opposition is dead in the state, the recent massive defection of its former loyalists was bound to jolt and send it to overdrive especially given the quality of the political giants that left to join the ACN.

Politicians want national dialogue to improve economy


he National Chairman, New Nigeria People’s Party, (NNPP), Mr Gilbert Agbo, said on Monday that the Federal Government should encourage national dialogue in a drive to improve the economy. Agbo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the country could not move forward unless pressing issues were properly discussed. “We should be able to talk on issues that will make Nigeria grow

not on the things that will be on the interest of a few persons. “The powers that the few, the very insignificance percentage are enjoying cannot be exercised in the interest of the majority. “We should be able to discuss on a continuous basis from time to time and gradually there will be change,’’ he said. Agbo said those against national dialogue would be troubled of what might become of their cases but added that that should be neglected.

He said that democracy could only thrive if the Federal Government allowed national dialogue. “The nature of talk should be determined, Nigerians should be allowed to talk frankly, we must remove impediments. “Those who do not allow the interest of the country at heart should not discourage the government,’’ Agbo said. He said the foundation in the country had not been strong enough

for the country not to engage in dialogue. Agbo said the dialogue should be able to nurture the several branches of democracy. On his part, the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) National Chairman, Alhaji Shittu Mohammed, said that there were lapses in the constitution that should be opened for national dialogue. Shittu said national dialogue was a tool to any meaningful development in the country. (NAN)

Orji’s aide tasks government parastatal agencies, organisations on IGR


gencies and parastatals of government in Abia have been charged to ‘’look inward’’ in order to boost their internally generated revenue (IGR) to augment government’s subventions. Chief Lucky Akabuike, the Special Adviser to Gov. Theodore Orji, gave the charge in an interview with the News

Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia yesterday. He urged some agency staff to stop blaming the government for any lateness in the payment of their salaries, saying that their respective management ought to supplement shortfalls in subventions. Akabuike contended that “most agencies of government

were given subventions to add to what they make from the services they render to the public. “In the past, some of these agencies and parastatals loaned money to the state government to pay salaries because they generated quite enough.“ Akabuike charged the management of those

government organisations that owed their staff two to three months salary arrears to explore new revenue generation avenues to address the challenge. On employment generation, Akabuike said that the resuscitation of the moribund Golden Guinea Breweries Plc. would create employment for

s Akwa Ibom state clocks 25 years, indigenes of the state resident in the FCT have expressed mixed feelings on the development strides so far recorded by the state government. Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday, some of the indigenes described the rate of development in the state as “unprecedented” as others rated it as “moderate”. Mr Thompson Akpabio, a Chief Superintendent of Immigration, said the administration of Gov. Godswill Akpabio had done exceptionally well in “infrastructural and educational development in the state”. Akpabio, however, noted that a lot were still needed to be done “in the areas of job creation, rehabilitation of rural roads and youth empowerment”. “The moribund state-owned industries and other public enterprises need to be rehabilitated and made to function effectively in order to create more job opportunities for the teeming number of youths in the state,’’ he added. Mr Uford Ekpo, an accountant, trailed the quest for a political identity by the people of the state. “From the then South Eastern State, to Cross River State, and now it is Akwa Ibom State. The journey and the tasks were not easy,’’ he said. “Like the Americans who recognised the greatness of God in their currency, Akwa Ibom recognises God in its name and this connotes the vision of its founding fathers.’’ Ekpo, who stated that the present administration had done “fairly well”, added, “but we have not yet fully gotten there”. He, however expressed optimism that “we will surely get there if we make it a God fearing society”. Nyabuk Udoh, a business lady, agreed with the current slogan of the state which says “Akwa Ibom is now okay”. “Akwa Ibom is certainly okay, looking at the free and compulsory education up to the Senior Secondary School level, need to be commended,’’ she stated. She, however, urged the state government to “now pay attention to the development and rehabilitation of inter-Local Government road networks” which she described as “dead traps”. Another indigene, Mr Ubong Ndem, a financial consultant, stated that “Akwa Ibom is now model for other states, it is a success story”, adding, it could not be better than this.” Ndem urged the Akpabio administration not to relent, but to “make Akwa Ibom to really become the most vibrant socio-economic destination of the country”. NAN reports that Monday, Sept. 24, 2012, has been declared as public holiday by the state government, as part of the events to commemorate the Silver Jubilee celebrations. Akwa Ibom State was created on Sept. 23, 1987 as the 21st state in the federation by the Ibrahim Babangida regime, along side Katsina state. (NAN)



Flamingoes 90 minutes away from quarter-finals berth By Patrick Andrew


he Flamingoes were in fine form against their Canadian counterparts on Saturday, but were denied the maximum points by their claw footedness in front of goal. Today, they returned to action when they tackle hosts Azerbaijan, who were thrashed 4-0 by Colombia in the opening game. The game is a must-win for the Flamingoes. Already, coach Peter Dedevbo had promised to ring tactical changes that would yield the needed offensive discipline and ensure that the Flamingoes play with objective and execute their plots with telling effect. The match is a must win for the Flamingoes because the Colombians as leaders of the group would berth at the quarter-finals if they beat FIXTURES Azerbaijan vs Nigeria Colombia vs Canada France vs PRK USA vs Gambia

Canada meaning that Nigeria must defeat Azerbaijan to harbour hope of sealing a place in the knock out stages. Of course, the Flamingoes would square up against the spirited Colombians in the final group game while Canada would take their turn against seemingly weak hosts. Thus a good result against Azerbaijan today would put them in good stead and probaably less pressure when they meet Colombia. Nigeria and Canada are in second and third spot respectively while Azerbaijan are at the bottom of the group. Whether Dedevbo elects to retain Chinwendu Ihezuo, who frittered away several begging chances, or pairs her with Mabel Effiom and Chidinma Edeji, the coach would sure charge them to deliver. With Sarah Nnodim taking charge of the defence line along withn Victoria Aidelomon while Oluchi Ofoegbu charges the engine room, one expects to the Flamingoes to pump in goals to restore

Presidential awards tonic for 2016 Paralympians, says Emoghavwe


Oluchi Ofoegbu confidence ahead of the hectic clash against Colombia on Friday. Meanwhile Korea DPR confront France hoping to improve on their 11-0 whacking of fledglings Gambia even as USA play the Africans with a view to securing some credibility after losing their opening game.

18th NSF: Jonathan to flag off Games Torch movement today


resident Goodluck Jonathan will today in Abuja flag off the movement of the ‘Torch of Unity’ to mark the official countdown to the forthcoming 18th National Sports Festival scheduled to be held in Lagos from November 27 through December 9 A statement signed by the Dr Kweku Tandoh, the SecretaryGeneral, Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the festival tagged Eko ‘2012, said that President Jonathan would be joined at the event by all the state governors. “The festival torch is expected to go round all the other 35 states of the federation and the FCT during a 60-day period before arriving in the host state, Lagos. “So, every state in the federation will have the torch with them for some days, thereby creating awareness among the people in those states,” he said. Tandoh noted that the torch symbolised unity and friendship which, he said, were some of the ideals of the sports festival.

“The torch also symbolises the unity and friendship that is engendered by the spirit of the sports festival.” He recalled that the games was conceived after the civil war as one of the tools of building friendship, unity and togetherness among the various

federating units of the nation. He also added that Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, the Lagos State Deputy Governor, who is also the LOC Chairman and the committee members, would used the occasion to test-run other activities geared towards the festival.


“We are so happy that President Jonathan rewarded us, and he made us proud when he said that we were worthy of emulation,’’ Emoghavwe said. The three-time paralympic gold medalist said that apart from the presidential awards, the cash reward by the National Sports Commission (NSC) was another source of motivation for the athletes ahead of the Rio games. It would be recalled that the NSC had earlier given each paralympic gold medalist, $7,500; silver medalist $5,000, while each bronze medalist received $2,500. “It was only in 2000 Commonwealth Games in Manchester that we were selected to be given winning bonuses and currently, the minister has extended it. “There were loads of challenges in terms of finance and technical input, but I just thank God that our travelling to South Korea for a training tour boosted our performance. “You get a better result when you move an athlete out of his country to where he will focus very well and we were able to manage the challenges with the help of the minister who deemed it fit to send us on a training tour,” he added. Emoghavwe won gold for the country in power-lifting in three paralympic games. His first attempt was at the 1992 Barcelona games when he lifted 48kg. He also finished top of the 60kg and 67.5kg categories at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and 2000 Sydney games respectively.

Gov Ahmed kicks off Governor’s Cup in Ilorin

G President Goodluck Jonathan with the Paralympians.

Photo: Timothy Ikuomenisan

NFF denies pay Eagles win bonus for drawn games

he Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has debunked reports that it paid each Super Eagles $10,000 for each the three drawn games since February. A wire service had yesterday

onday Emoghavwe, the President, Paralympic Committee of Nigeria, has predicted that the paralympians would win more medals at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Emoghavwe made the prediction in reaction to the honour bestowed on the national honours bestowed on the six gold medalists at the 2012 London Paralympic Games by President Goodluck Jonathan. Apart from the awards, they along with others that won silver and bronze respectively as well as other paralympians who though could not win medals were rewarded with cash prizes for excelling where their ablebodied counterparts failed woefully. “The disabled sports has never had it so good and the nonrecognition of the disabled athletes by Nigeria’s past leaders had dampened their spirit,’’ he said. However, Emoghavwe said Mr President’s gesture has changed all that stressing that both the Paralympic committee and the athletes would redouble efforts to surpass the London achievements at the 2016 Games in Rio, Brazil. “To whom much is given, much is expected. I remember vividly when a former president said we should come and receive a golden handshake, when our counterpart in China we performed better than, were given $10 million, and a house each. “Then, we came back and many Nigerians did not even know that we travelled for the Paralympic games.

quoted a player and an official who supposedly confirmed such payment but it later posted a retraction after the NFF reacted to the story. According to Spokesman of the football federation, Demola Olajire, the NFF is a responsible

organisation that would not breach processes adding that the players were paid due entitlements and nothing more. Each drawn game fetches the players half of the full bonus which is £10,000 meaning that they got £5,000 for each of the drawn games against Rwanda, Malawi and Liberia.

ov. Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara yesterday kicked off the maiden Kwara Governor’s Soccer Competition at the Kwara Football Academy pitch, Ilorin, with 386 schools jostling for the trophy. Ahmed, who was represented by Alhaji Toyin Olokooba, the governor’s Special Assistant on Sports, said he was delighted with the turnout of schools for the tournament. According to him, the turnout of schools has shown that the tournament will be interesting and that the schools are happy with the competition. “We thank God that we planned it and we try to put hands together. The Technical Committee has done a wonderful job and at the end, we are now seeing the result

today”, the governor said. He added that the 386 schools had been grouped into eight centres across the state for the competition which would be played on knockout basis. The winner in each centre, according to him, will come for the finals in Ilorin between October 2 through 9. He explained that the avenue would enable them to get some promising young talents in the game. Ahmed also said that the government had partnered with a telecommunication outfit for the sponsorship of the tournament from the quarterfinals. It would be recalled that Barakat Community Secondary, Ilorin lost 2-4 to Benedict Comprehensive High School, Ilorin in the opening match.



Nigeria to host African Junior Swimming Championship


igeria will host Zone 2 African Junior S w i m m i n g Championship scheduled to hold between November and December this year. The competition, which is expected to feature various countries from West African region, will take place in Akure, Ondo state caqpital, though the

exact date is yet to announced Making this known to Peoples Daily Sports in Abuja, national coach to the Nigerian Swimming Federation (NSF), Saheed Obadinu, said that no fewer than 15 countries are being expected during the annual swimming competition. Already, he said, a committee has been set to ensure the smooth

hosting of the event adding that the competition will expose budding talents in swimming especially now that the nation is expected to begin early preparations for subsequent international sports competitions. “We have a lot of talents in this country especially in the area of swimming, majority of them

train on their own in their various states and we need them around in order for them to gain more exposure of the game, “ he said. Obadinu described non participation in the area of swimming at the just concluded London Olympic as a set back to the country’s rating and performance. He spoke on the challenges

facing the swimming federation especially in taking parts in competions. “We are having problem of facilities and finance. Fund is just the basic thing. There are no sponsorships but we are happy that multimedia agencies and other groups are developing interest and wants to partner with us.”

2013 AYC: Advantage Ghana, Cameroon


Golden Eaglets


wo Nigerian boxers with Repton Boxing Club of London, Umar Sadiq and Ben Falaja have declared their intention to represent Nigeria if called up by the authorities. The boxers said this at the end of a three-day third annual International Bout with Lagos Boxing Club held between September 21 and 23. The first leg of the two-legged bout was held at Ikoyi Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos while the return leg was held at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos. Lagos Club won the first leg 4-2 while Repton avenged with a 4-1 victory in the return leg. Sadiq and Falaja said that they were willing to assist Nigeria with their wealth of experience and exposure to help bring back the lost glory of the sport in the country. According to them, Nigerian boxers are talented, but needed exposures for them to withstand

Two London-based boxers opted to represent Nigeria and overcome their foreign counterparts at international competitions. Sadiq, 24, from Kano State,said that he took to boxing as a way of recreation while schooling in London. The 81kg boxer who said her mother was from Benue, said he was discovered by the Repton Club while representing his school and he had since won several competitions in London. Sadiq who sealed his club 4-1 victory in the return leg of the bout against Wasiu Balogun of Lagos Club, said that he was in Nigeria’s camp during preparation for the just-ended London 2012 Olympics. “But I was dropped because I sustained injuries,” the dark

complexion Sadiq said, adding, however, that he was still willing to fight for Nigeria if he was invited. “I am still willing to use my experience and exposures to help Nigeria regain its feat in boxing if I am called to camp again,’’ Sadiq said. Falaja, 23, from Ijebu-Ode, Ogun, said that his ambition was to be among Nigeria’s boxers for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics in Brazil. The 69kg boxer who in the second leg of the bout outpunched his Lagos Club rival, Ganiu Hammed, said he was also discovered by Repton Club. The light complexion boxer of British mother said he developed love for boxing since he was six

Niger’s coach salute Golden Eaglets


unior Menas of Niger’s coach Soumaila Tiemogo has applauded the Golden Eaglets following his side 10-1 aggregate loss to the Nigerians in the 2013 African Under-17 Youth Championship qualifier. The Nigerien youngsters were handed a 4-1 defeat in Niamey with a further 6-0 defeat at the weekend in Calabar. Tiemogo, who recently led his side to win the 2012 Airtel Rising Stars Tournament in

Nairobi, said his boys gave a good account of themselves against a better team. “I think we played well over the two legs but we met a wellorganised team,” Tiemogo said through an interpreter. “The Nigerian team simply outclassed us and I think there is nothing to be ashamed of because we were beaten by a very good team.” It would be recalled that Suleymanu Kabirou,the Junior

Menas’ captain, had raised an alarm that it would be an uphill task for them to avenge their 4-1 loss against the formidable Nigerian lads. “We were shocked with the good handling of the ball by the Golden Eaglets,” Kabirou reportedly said after the first leg game in Niamey.” It was as if we were watching football on a playstation machine.” Similar view was expressed

years old and that he had won several national and international clubs championships. Falaja’s father, Mr Abayomi Falaja, who was present at the bout, also said that Nigeria has lots of sports potential in Diaspora who could help Nigeria regain its lost glory in sports. “I play table tennis, but my son said he loved boxing and I gave him all my support. I just hope he will be called to the camp for him to express his determination,’’ he said. Falaja’s father, a former Lagos State table tennis champion, then urged sports administrators in the country to ensure that discovered talents were exposed for sports to thrive in the country. by coach Tiemogo after the second leg 6-0 loss. He refrained from picking any single player as the best amongst the Golden Eaglets, saying that the strength of the Nigerians lie in the fact that they play as a team with a very strong mentality. “Football has gone beyond individuals, though I saw some good players on the Nigerian side, what impressed me most are their collective style of play. They are a good team that simply outclassed us,” he added.

hana and Cameroon posted comfortable home wins in 2013 African Youth Championship second round, first leg matches at the weekend. Ghana turned back Morocco 4-1, while Cameroon beat neighbours DRC 2-0. World champions in 2009, the Black Satellites will now fancy themselves of marching into the tournament proper after the return leg in Morocco in a fortnight. At last year’s AYC staged in South Africa, Ghana failed to go past the first round, while Cameroon were beaten in the final by six-time winners Nigeria. There were also three away draws defending champions Nigeria forced South Africa to a 1-1 draw, while home teams Zambia and Burkina Faso could only manage 2-2 draws with visitors Mali and Gabon, respectively. Egypt, who finished third at the 2011 AYC, were 2-1 winners at home over Angola. Benin stopped Senegal 3-1 in Cotonou as they hope to return to the big stage after they hosted the tournament seven years ago and qualified for the World Cup. The overall winners of these seven second round clashes will in first weekend of October join hosts Algeria in March for the AYC with the semifinalists earning the right to represent Africa at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Turkey in June.


Morocco 1

Cameroon 2

DR Congo 0

Zambia 2

Mali 2

S/Africa 1

Nigeria 1

B/Faso 2

Gabon 2

Egypt 2

Angola 1

Benin 3

Senegal 1

• Algeria qualify automatically as hosts



Klitschkos pays tribute to his conqueror, Sanders


itali Klitschko has paid tribute to Corrie Sanders, calling the late South African heavyweight, who murdered by armed robbers over the weekend, stressing that he was “the most difficult opponent I ever fought”. The 41-year-old WBC champion told Germany’s Sport Bild Plus yesterday, “Corrie was fast and could give and take a punch. His

style was very dangerous and did not suit me. I was very pleased to be able to win my fight against him.” Sanders (46), who died on Sunday after being shot in an armed robbery, beat Vitali’s younger brother Wladimir by technical knock-out in Hanover, Germany, in 2003. He stopped the Ukrainian, who now holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles, in the second round in a major upset


PUBLIC NOTICE IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE PROBATE DIVISION BIRNIN KEBBI, KEBBI STATE Whereas the person whose name is set out in the first column here under died date and place stated in the said column. whereas the person whose address had claimed relationship with the said deceased is set in the second column here under has applied to the High Court of Justice for GRANT OF LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION of the personal property. Notice is hereby given that the said LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION will be granted to such person unless a notice to prohibit the grant there of is filed in the Probate Registry High Court of Justice Birnin Kebbi, within TWENTY-ONE DAYS from the date of publication of this notice.

to win the WBO title. Sanders fought Vitali in Los Angeles a year later for the vacant WBC heavyweight title, but lost by a technical knock-out in the eighth round. The Klitschko brothers expressed condolences on their Facebook page on Sunday after hearing of Sanders’s death. “We were shocked to learn of the sudden death of Corrie Sanders and we want to express our sincere condolences to his family,” they said. “We will remember Corrie as a great person both inside and outside the ring. He was a great fighter with a big

heart who always positively represented the sport of boxing.” Harold Volbrecht, who trained Sanders for the first 14 years of his career as a professional, said on Monday, “He stayed with me and my family until he got married. He was like a son to me. “I took over as his trainer for his first professional fight (against King Kong Dyubele in April 1989),” Volbrecht told Sapa. Volbrecht said he had been fortunate to train some of the leading SA boxers, including former IBF lightweight champion Philip Holiday and IBF and WBA superfeatherweight champion


wiss Roger Federer continues to lead the men’s tennis rankings issued on Monday by the ATP, while Victoria Azarenka continues to top an unchanged top 10 in the women’s rankings.

APPLICANTS FOR GRANT Mary Aminu Unguwar Rugo Area Sokoto State.

Who died on the 25th day of January, 2012 Dated at Birnin Kebbi on the 20th day of September, 2012 Signed: SABIU BALA SHUAIBU Probate Registrar

PUBLIC NOTICE IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE PROBATE DIVISION BIRNIN KEBBI, KEBBI STATE Whereas the person whose name is set out in the first column here under died date and place stated in the said column. whereas the person whose address had claimed relationship with the said deceased is set in the second column here under has applied to the High Court of Justice for GRANT OF LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION of the personal property. Notice is hereby given that the said LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION will be granted to such person unless a notice to prohibit the grant there of is filed in the Probate Registry High Court of Justice Birnin Kebbi, within TWENTY-ONE DAYS from the date of publication of this notice. SCHEDULE DECEASED NAME & ADDRESS Insp. Samuel Inalegwu Nigerian Police force Dakin Gari Division Kebbi State Command

APPLICANTS FOR GRANT Aboh Samuel Nepa Quarters, Yauri L.G.A. Kebbi State.

Who died on the 11th day of March, 2012 Dated at Birnin Kebbi on the 17th day of august, 2012 Signed: SABIU BALA SHUAIBU Probate Registrar

PUBLIC NOTICE IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE PROBATE DIVISION BIRNIN KEBBI, KEBBI STATE Whereas the person whose name is set out in the first column here under died date and place stated in the said column. whereas the person whose address had claimed relationship with the said deceased is set in the second column here under has applied to the High Court of Justice for GRANT OF LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION of the personal property. Notice is hereby given that the said LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION will be granted to such person unless a notice to prohibit the grant there of is filed in the Probate Registry High Court of Justice Birnin Kebbi, within TWENTY-ONE DAYS from the date of publication of this notice. SCHEDULE DECEASED NAME & ADDRESS Insp. Abdullahi Iliyasu Nigeria Police Force Communication Dept. Kebbi State Command.

APPLICANTS FOR GRANT Nasiru Abdullahi Tugar Boko Magama L.G.A.

Who died on the 22nd day of August, 2012 Dated at Birnin Kebbi on the 20th day of September, 2012 Signed: SABIU BALA SHUAIBU Probate Registrar

Corrie Sanders the sport.” Volbrecht said Sanders, a keen golfer, had hoped to turn professional and play on the Champions Tour after he turned 50.

Federer remains top on men’s tennis rankings

SCHEDULE DECEASED NAME & ADDRESS Cpl. Aminu Adamu Nigeria Police Force ‘A’ Dept. State Headquarters B/Kebbi, Kebbi State Command.

Brian Mitchell. But he was closer to Sanders than any of the other fighters he trained. “Corrie was different because he stayed in my house,” Volbrecht said. “We were much closer because I gave him daily advice. We had a very good relationship. He was a brilliant all-round sportsman. “A lot of people assumed he had a powerful punch because he was a big guy, but he did not pick up heavy weights. His hand speed and accuracy made him so effective. “Muscle means nothing in boxing, and Corrie knew it. He understood the techniques of

Roger Federer, Victoria Azarenka, leaders of the men and women charts

With no movement in the leading 10, Federer stays on 11,805 points, ahead of Serbia’s Novak Djokovic and Britain’s Andy Murray. The latest ATP top 10 as of Sept. 24 with the previous ranking in parenthesis: 1. (1) Roger Federer, Switzerland, 11,805 points 2. (2) Novak Djokovic, Serbia, 10,470 3. (3) And y Murray, Britain, 8,570 4. (4) Rafael Nadal, Spain, 7,385 5. (5) David Ferrer, Spain, 5,960 6. (6) Tomas Berdych, Czech Republic, 4,965 7. (7) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France, 4,520 8. (8) Juan Martin del Potro, Argentina, 3,850 9. (9) Janko Tipsarevic, Serbia, 3,285 10. (10) John Isner, United States, 2,610 In the women’s category, Azarenka, a Belarussian, leads with 10,265 points ahead of Maria Sharapova, and Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska. 1. (1) Victoria Azarenka, Belarus, 10,265 points 2. (2) Maria Sharapova, Russia, 8,435 3. (3) Agnieszka Radwanska, Poland, 8,295 4. (4) Serena Williams, U.S., 7,900 5. (5) Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic, 6,690 6. (6) Angelique Kerber, Germany, 5,085 7. (7) Sara Errani, Italy, 4,755 8. (8) Li Na, China, 4,526 9. (9) Samantha Stosur, Australia, 4,200 10. (10) Marion Bartoli, France, 3,800.

Watson beats Lisicki to set up Sharapova match


ritain’s Heather Watson beat world number 30 Sabine Lisicki in straight sets to earn a second-round clash with Maria Sharapova in Tokyo. The 20-year-old, who came through two matches in qualifying over the weekend, saw off Germany’s Lisicki 6-4 7-6 (7-3) at the Pan Pacific Open. Watson next faces Sharapova, who had a firstround bye as the second seed. British number one Laura Robson has risen to 57 in the world after reaching her first WTA final on Saturday. The 18-year-old had planned to play in Tokyo but her run to the final in Guangzhou, where she was beaten 6-3 5-7 6-4 by SuWei Hsieh, meant she was unable to make it to Japan for the qualifying rounds. Watson, ranked 78th, will hope to close the gap in the developing battle for the British number one spot in Tokyo, although she faces a huge test against Sharapova in round two. The pair have met once before, with the Russian prevailing in three sets at the 2011 US Open. However, Watson will be buoyed by her victory over Lisicki, who was ranked 12th in the world in May.

A solitary break was enough to give the Briton the opening set as she saved four break points and, after two breaks apiece in the second, Watson dominated the tie-break, moving to 6-1 and converting her third match point. Tokyo boasts a strong field,

with Serena Williams the only top-10 player absent. World number one Victoria Azarenka begins her campaign against Tamira Paszek on Tuesday. Ninth seed Marion Bartoli, 10th seed Caroline Wozniacki and 11th seed Ana

Ivanovic were among those to progress on Monday. Meanwhile, Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska has become the fourth player to qualify for the end-of-season WTA Championships in Istanbul on 23-28 October.

School Sports: Team Lagos athletes begin camping today


thletes who will represent Lagos State at the 5th National School Sports Festival in Port Harcourt in October will commence camping today. The Secretary of the Lagos State School Sports Association, Wale Adenekan, who disclosed this yesterday, said that the athletes would be camped at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere. According to him, 159 athletes and 22 officials selected from schools in the state are expected to be involved in the closed camping. Adenekan explained that the excercise was to ensure that the state topped the medals table at the Games, being organised by the Nigeria School Sport Federation (NSSF) from Oct. 11 to Oct. 24.

“We are determined to finish at the top of the medals table; we have young talented students in the state that can help us to achieve this target. “We want to surpass our last performance in Calabar, Cross Rivers, where we won over 200 medals and placed second on the competition’s log. “We have selected the best from schools in the state. They will be in camp from Sept. 25 to Oct. 9 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium before they depart for Port Harcourt,’’ Adenekan said. He said that the state’s team would compete in athletics, boxing, chess, gymnastics, handball, karate, judo, scrabble, table tennis, taekwondo, weightlifting and badminton.

Adenekan hoped that many of the students would become future champions, representing the state and country in international competitions. Lagos State was second on the medals table at the 4th edition of the festival in Calabar with 89 gold, 72 silver and 80 bronze medals.

Lagos Gov. Babatunde Fashola



Brief Liverpool prepare move for Leverkusen’s Sam Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers continues to trawl Europe for a new winger signing. The latest wide player under consideration is Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Sidney Sam. German sources say Reds boss Rodgers has received glowing reports from scouts about the 24 year-old and is now preparing the groundwork for a January move.

Chelsea zero in on Milan’s youngster Cristante Chelsea are eyeing AC Milan youngster Bryan Cristante. Just 17, Cristante has already tasted Champions League football with the Rossoneri, becoming the club’s youngest player to do so. It’s emerged Cristante is now unsettled at Milan with Juventus and Chelsea monitoring developments closely.

Vidic wanted by Barcelona Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic is back on the radar of Barcelona. Cadena SER says Barca are tracking Vidic as they seek a new quality centre-half signing. Barca coach Tito Vilanova has asked Barca to test the ground about Vidic’s availability, though those close to negotiations say it is a long shot.

Inter , Juventus tracking Quintero Pescara midfielder Juan Fernando Quintero is attracting big club interest. Gazzetta dello Sport says Juventus and Inter Milan are interested in the 19 year-old Colombian. Quintero is on-loan at Pescara this season from Atletico Nacional.

Liverpool’s Kelly to return ‘next year’ Liverpool’s Martin Kelly hopes to return to action next year after injuring his knee in the English Premier League club’s 2-1 defeat by Manchester United, the defender said on Monday. Kelly was forced off the pitch after falling awkwardly in the dying minutes of Sunday’s match. “What I can say is it’s not the worst injury I’ve had and for sure I’ll be fighting for my place next year when I’m back fitter and stronger,” Kelly said on his Twitter account. The form of the England defender has been a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing season for Liverpool who are third from bottom without a win from their opening five games.

Mancini going grey over City as Wenger is buoyant


lthough both Arsenal FC and Manchester City FC are unbeaten and well-placed in the Premier League table on nine points, Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger was clearly the happier, after his side drew 1-1 at the fortress-like home of Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City on Sunday. Arsenal played the better football at the Etihad Stadium, as City failed to hold on to the lead given to them by Joleon Lescott’s header shortly before halftime. Laurent Koscielny’s 82nd-minute blast past Joe Hart, after the ball had rebounded off Lescott in a crowded area, was justice for the Gunners who, in playmaker Santi Cazorla, boasted the best player on the pitch. City have now drawn three of their opening five games, conceding sloppy goals and failing to rediscover the firepower that took the league by storm this time last year. Last season they scored 17 goals and conceded five in their first five games. This time those figures read 10 and seven. On top of that, City surrendered a 2-1 lead against Real Madrid, to lose 3-2 in their Champions League opener and Mancini is again struggling to deal with the antics of maverick striker Mario Balotelli, leaving the Italian on the bench again on Sunday along with Carlos Tevez. “I think we need to improve our defending at setpieces because this has been a problem for us this season,” Mancini told City’s website. “We can do better and we need to work on this area. We are finding it hard not to concede at the moment and we are probably two points worse off than we should be so far this season.


helsea have been handed a date with either CONCACAF Champions League title holders Monterrey or the winners of the Asian Champions League in the semi-finals of the Club World Cup. Monterrey beat Santos Laguna 3-2 on aggregate in an all-Mexican final to book their place in the competition, while the winners of the elite Asian confederation competition will not be known until November 9-10. The match will be played in Yokohama

CAF has handed a two match suspension to Algeria international Rafik Djebbour following the incidents that occurred during the Libya-Algeria faceoff in the first leg of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations final qualifying round played in Casablanca, Morocco on September 9. The Fennec Foxes broke the goalless stalemate near the end of the meeting, sparking anger from Libyan supporters and players, which resulted in a brawl. Algeria football federation had published a report saying its players were pounced upon by their Libyan counterparts during the affray. The ban means the 28-year-old Olympiacos striker will not take part in the return leg billed for October 14 in the Algerian city of Blida, and will miss his side’s first game at the South Africa 2013 if they eventually book a place. Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic says Djebbour absence is no fatality for the team. Dynamic Togolais, DYTO, became the new champions of Togo at the end of the 33rd round of the division league played during the weekend. The military club are on top of the table with 55 points and can no longer be outmatched by close rivals AS Douanes, 2nd on 45 pts +10 and Unisport, 3rd on 45 pts +4. Douanes missed a chance to abridge their five-point gap from the leaders on Saturday when they lost to Tchaoudjo A.C 1-0, likewise Unisport, who were crushed 3-0 by Foadan during the weekend. DYTO will play host to Semassi, who are fourth with 44 points, during the final match day of the 2011-2012 season slated for next weekend. The new champions kept their stranglehold on the league table through 24 rounds.

Arsene Wenger

World Clubs Championship: Chelsea to face Monterrey or Asian champions

CAF tosses Djebbour out

Dynamic Togolais are champs

Roberto Mancini

on December 13. The other quarter-final tie pits the winners of the play-off between New Zealand side Auckland City, who won the Oceania Champions League, and the champions of the J-League, which may not be known until December 1, against the African Champions League winners (to be decided November 9-10). Copa Libertadores champions Corinthians lie in wait in the semi-finals. The Club World Cup takes place in Japan between December 6 and 16. Manchester United are the only English side ever to win the global title, lifting the trophy in 1999 and 2008. English sides have lost the final on six occasions, while this will be Chelsea’s debut in the competition. THE QUALIFIED TEAMS ARE:

Chelsea jubilating after winning the UEFA Champions League trophy

Four men arrested in Liverpool vs Man Utd match


our men were arrested during the m a t c h betweenLiverpoolandManchester United at Anfield on Sunday, Merseyside Police have confirmed. Following the release of the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s findings, both clubs paid tribute to the 96 victims of the tragedy 23 years ago on a poignant day in the north-west, which passed

largely without incident. However, a 22-year-old man from Manchester was arrested inside the stadium on suspicion of breach of the peace and later bound over. In addition, a 31-yearold man from Knutsford, a 22-year-old man from Doncaster and a 19-yearold man from Manchester were also arrested on suspicion of criminal damage, theft and ticket

touting and theft respectively. The latter two arrests were made outside the stadium and all three men were later released on bail pending further enquiries. Following the match, there were reports of unsavoury behaviour and chanting between the two sets of supporters while the Manchester United fans were waiting to be allowed to leave the

Chelsea Corinthians Monterrey Auckland City Winners of 2012 AFC Champions League Winners of 2012 CAF Champions League Winners of 2012 JLeague

stadium. Merseyside Police have subsequently confirmed that a man was ejected from the ground for making an offensive gesture in the direction of the away supporters after the final whistle. The police also announced, however, that “no arrests were made for chanting and the game passed peacefully with the vast majority of the fans behaving impeccably throughout the game.”



i// Britain's Heather Watson beats world number 30 Sabine Lisicki to earn a second-round clash with Maria Sharapova in Tokyo. ii// Lionel Messi supersedes Cristiano Ronaldo as the Spanish press pack hungrily sniffs out the slightest whiff of conflict, writes Phil Ball. iii// Ireland lose two wickets in eight balls after a break for rain in their World Twenty20 group decider against West Indi. iv// Bath duo Michael Claassens and Dan Hipkiss are cited by the RFU for alleged foul play in Saturday's defeat by London Irish. v// England manager Roy Hodgson has said he 'reluctantly accepted' John Terry's decision to retire from international football.

i ii

p i c t o r i a l

vii// US Ryder Cup wildcard Brandt Snedeker holds his nerve to win the PGA Tour Championship by three shots from England's Justin Rose.





vi// Roberto Mancini has admitted he "possibly" pushed striker Mario Balotelli after the final whistle of Manchester City's 1-1 draw with Arsenal on Sunday.




Funny sign

Source: Reader's Digest



ACROSS 1 Two-legged creatures (6) 4 __ up, strengthened (6) 10 High winds (5) 11 Oxidises (5) 12 Tall trees with needle-shaped leaves (7) 13 Old corsetry item (5) 15 Overhead tennis shot (5) 20 Packets (7) 22 French word for ‘Tuesday’ (5) 24 Vacant (property) (5) 25 Precious green stone (7) 26 Evades (6) 27 TV presenter Ms Rantzen (6)

* Only 14% of Americans say they've skinny dipped with the opposite sex. * "60 Minutes" on CBS is the only TV show to not have a theme song or music. * Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of their birthplace. * Most boat owners name their boats. The most popular boat name requested is Obsession.

DOWN 1 Music by Ravel popularised by Torvill and Dean (6) 2 Large mountain wild cats (5) 3 1980s US supersoap (7) 5 Full of enthusiasm (5) 6 Steals (7) 7 Cease (6) 8 OT song (5) 14 Experienced prickly sensation (7) 16 Appendages (7) 17 Be in great plenty (6) 18 UK country south of Suffolk (5) 19 More savage (6) 21 Nimble, supple (5) 23 Fish of the carp family (5)

* 100% of all lottery winners gain weight. * An average American will spend an average of 6 months during his lifetime waiting at red lights. * The Olympic flag's colors are always red, black, blue, green and yellow rings on a field of white. This is because at least one of those colors appears on the flag of every nation on the planet.

Yesterday’s answer

* Cats can hear ultrasound. * In a recent survey, Americans revealed that banana was their favorite smell. * In all three Godfather films, when you see oranges, there is a death (or a very close call) coming up soon. Source: Weird facts

Quick CrossWord (34)

THE son of TV's Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, Robert Irwin follows in his father's footsteps - as he handles this dangerous beast. Source:

. . . putting the people first



Wembly may host Euro 2020 finals


ngland would be keen to stage the semi-finals and final of Euro 2020 if UEFA President Michel Platini's plan to hold the tournament across Europe became a reality, English FA chairman David Bernstein said yesterday. Platini's idea of having matches in 12 or 13 European countries with the final stages in one venue will be discussed by UEFA's executive board in December with a decision made early next year. Bernstein told a media briefing at Wembley: "Clearly Wembley is incredibly highly thought of by UEFA and it is something we will probably push for. Turkey have expressed their wish to stage what will be a 24-team tournament in 2020, but their bid will be dropped iPlatini was so impressed with Wembley's staging of the 2011 Champions League final between Manchester United and Barcelona that UEFA awarded the 2013 final to Wembley as well, which coincides with the FA's 150th anniversary celebrations. After England's unsuccessful bid to FIFA in 2010 to stage the 2018 World Cup finals, Bernstein said the FA would not want to get into any kind of bidding war to stage the tournament. Apart from July and August's London Olympics and the Paralympics which followed, England last hosted a major soccer tournament when they staged the first 16team Euros in 1996. In a sense Platini's idea takes the Euros back to how they were staged from the first finals in 1960 through to 1976 when a continental-wide qualifying competition ended with four teams playing the twosemifinals, a playoff and a final in the same country. That format was dropped when the tournament was expanded to eight teams in 1980 Result Rayo Vallecano 0 R/Madrid 2* * Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace. The win ensures that Real Madrid cut Barcelona's lead to eight points


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QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE I came to see my brother, General (Muhammadu) Buhari, to discuss the way forward and how we can unite the North — Alhaji Dalhatu Attahiru Bafarawa, nor for mer Sok oto sta te g over ormer Sokoto state go ernor nor,, on his recent visit to Buhari in Kaduna

The N5000 note controversy as metaphor L

ast week the presidency ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to suspend work on the currency restructuring exercise it had embarked upon, which involved the introduction of a new N5000 note as the highest denomination of our currency and the replacement of the lowest denominations with coins. The suspension, according to the president's spokesman, Rueben Abati, was to "enable the CBN do more enlightenment on the issue" that is, to make Nigerians "understand why it proposed it( restructuring) in the first place." In effect, the presidency has ordered the CBN back to the drawing board. Given the din generated by the controversy, the direction of the debate and the passionate language that characterized many of the contributions to it from even some of the major actors, it would be a surprise if the suspension did not turn out to be the death knell of the proposed restructuring. Suspension is often a short step to outright cancellation, which makes Lamido Sanusi's proposal almost certain to join his predecessor, Charles Soludo's------------- in the annals of the history of currency restructuring initiatives that never took off the ground. What with both chambers of the National Assembly concurring on a resolution calling on the president to halt all further action on the restructuring exercise! But the presidency itself needs to take a dose of its own medicine. And so does the National Assembly. Both need to go back to the drawing board themselves, and while there do a thorough reassessment of their roles in the N5000 note saga -roles that far from showing both institutions and the country itself in good Iight, actually betray a disturbing level of unseriousness and lack of clear vision and commitment on the part of those who run our affairs. In many ways, in fact, the N5000 note controversy is a study in Nigeria, the best of its kind in recent months. It is an almost perfect metaphor for the muddle, confusion and self-service that go for governance in Nigeria. Consider, first, the CBN and its governor. Sanusi went to town with the policy before and without doing the first thing first: mobilizing public opinion in its favour. He and his bank didn't or couldn't see the need for it, for first making all necessary efforts to kind of fly a kite, put the idea in the public space and get the public to buy into it, so that he, the bank

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FOR THE MASSES By Rufa’i Ibrahim

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, CBN Governor and members of the public will be on the same page. Sanusi and his team did very little, if anything, to even get the media to buy into the idea and play along. Maybe Sanusi thought or believed that the problems in the economy he sought to address through his initiative are all too obvious and the benefits to the public and the economy of the proposal are so self-evident that a public campaign would amount to a waste of time and resources. Perhaps Sanusi and his team believed that they were by their initiative not only out to strengthen our currency and fix the economy but also trying to save us from ourselves. This perhaps was what informed the team's initial perception and treatment of the public misgivings and opposition to the proposal as a perverse gesture slapped by largely ignorant Nigerians on economic experts and gurus to whom we should be showing gratitude instead of complaining. Whatever the case, there is a whiff of arrogance in the way Sanusi and his team went about things, especially at the beginning. Perhaps it is both the kind of arrogance that is so common among officials and which often so quickly comes to the fore in their dealings with the members of the public and the kind, in Sanusi's case at least, that sometimes comes from intelligence. Both kinds of arrogance leads officials to take too many things and the public itself for granted, often at huge costs to

their organisations or institutions and the nation itself. Consider, next, the presidency or the government itself. The presidency gave the CBN the initial go-ahead and went on, even in the face of deep and widespread public opposition to the proposed restructuring, to give its approval. The CBN governor is answerable to the president. The president lives here with us, not on Mars or Jupiter. It was clear to all living in this country that Sanusi and his team did not do the first things first; they did nothing, in fact, to sell Nigerians to their ideas. One would have thought, therefore, that the presidency would have insisted and, in fact, ordered, that Sanusi and his team go about things the right way. But it did not. The Economic team, headed by Finance Minister Okwonjo Iweala, only hailed and approved the proposal. In part, it is also arrogance that is play here. Mrs Iweala, known for her aloofness and patrician incomprehension of the Nigerian masses and their suffering, most probably didn't think there was a need to court public support. She and the president, deluding themselves that they can always and any time face down, or scuttle, through bribery and dividing people along the country's many fault lines, any organised opposition to their policies, always prefer to do things by decree - just as they did on new year when they removed the fuel subsidy. But it goes much deeper than this. Jonathan and his men believe basically that Nigerians are incapable of thinking for themselves, and even more so of organising protests against policies that they believe impact negatively on their lives. Did Jonathan not say, just last week, when talking about the fuel subsidy protests of last January, that the protests were not spontaneous and genuine, but organised and sponsored by his political enemies, who lured innocent Nigerian out to the streets with bounteous offers of good food, bottled water and money? This kind of belief, or

attitudinal position, finds practical expression in many of the president actions and policies when dealing with the public. It is what must have informed the decision by the government, as announced by the Attorney- General and Justice Minister, Bello Adoke, to ban Nigerians from re-opening the debate on the Onshore/Offshore dichotomy issue. Even as they generally think that Nigerians are a docile lot, with the mental age of eleven, members of the Jonathan administration still harbour a mortal fear of debates, and of anything that offers the people opportunities to understand their own and their country's situation and to work together in unity to change it. And, now, the National Assembly. The legislators have been quick to seize the opportunity created by the controversy and the confusion to create the impression of being, unlike the CBN and the presidency, decidedly on the side of the people. And they must have scored some high marks with many unsuspecting and the nottoo- observant Nigerians. The concurrent resolutions of both the Senate and the House have been what forced the presidency to issue the CBN the suspension order. But here too, arrogance is clearly on display. But much more than this, there is abuse or misuse of power -and, this, in both chambers. In both chamber the debate was passionate, though the quality of the contributions clearly left a lot to be desired, and didn't show a good grasp of the issues on the part of most of the Lawmakers. And in many cases, reasoned arguments were substituted with verbal attacks on Sanusi and the CBN that came close to outright insults. Doubtless, there is a sense in which the legislators' angst is understandable. Sanusi and his team did not think it fit to intimate them of the initiative and seek their support. Any legislature anywhere in the world would feel slighted and belittled by this. But in its reaction the National Assembly did worse than both the CBN and the presidency. Both the Senate and the House constituted themselves into the judge, the jury and the executioner. Up till the time they passed their resolutions, neither the Senate nor the House invited Sanusi and his team to give their own side of the story and clarify any matters not understood by the lawmakers. Is this failure to summon Sanusi simply an oversight on the lawmakers' part? Hardly. It is simply, in my view, a clear case of abuse of power by the legislators and crass arrogance -things which the three main actors in the N5000 note saga share in common and which have been the bane of out development as a nation

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

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Tuesday 25, September, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Tuesday 25, September, 2012 Edition

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Tuesday 25, September, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Tuesday 25, September, 2012 Edition