Page 1

VOL. 1 NO. 94 SATURDAY 26 — SUNDAY 27, MAY, 2012

. . . putting the people first

Constitution review: Senate has no own position —Ndoma-Egba

RAJAB 5 - 6, 1433 AH


How Nigerian children feed from refuse dumps

>> Page 8

>> Pages 13 & 14

El-Rufai explodes:

Nigeria May not get to 2015 >> Pages 3 & 7

Says: The signs are obvious Buhari was right

Alleges illegal deductions from Federation account


>> Pages 9, 10 & 11

Caretakers at L Gs: The politics, the issues

Juju priests plan rituals for national unity

>> Pages 9, 10 & 11

>> Page 5




Robbers snatch Ogun Speaker’s official car Malabu oil fire guts Alake’s palace From Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji, Abeokuta Speaker of Ogun state House of Assembly, Hon Suraj Adekunbi, on Thursday evening, got a bitter pill as suspected armed robbers snatched his car at gunpoint in a major street of Abeokuta, the state capital, before they dropped him off at the outskirts of the town. Our reporter reliably gathered that, the lawmaker

was behind the wheel in his official Toyota Avensis car, alongside one of his security aides when the armed robbers at about 7.00pm accosted him along Abiola Way. The robbers in a twinkle ordered the Speaker to disembark and get into the back seat of the car with his aide before driving them out from the town; they subsequently released them at Kobape village, which is about

20 minutes’ drive to the state capital. When contacted on phone, the special assistant to the Speaker, Waheed Akinola, denied knowledge of the robbery incident, saying “I don’t think that thing happened.” Similarly, the State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, when contacted on phone, said the police was not aware of the robbery. In another development, fire

incident midnight of yesterday destroyed the ground floor reception hall of the Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, located in Ake area of Abeokuta. The fire was said to have been caused by power surge between 1.30am and 2.00am, however, the quick intervention of residents within the palace according to an eyewitness, prevented the spread of the fire to other apartments.

Pension administration in Nigeria is an abuse of public trust– Lamorde By Lambert Tyem


he spectre of fraudulent activities in pension administration in Nigeria has been described as abuse of public trust. Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde disclosed this while presenting

a paper at a workshop organised by the Certified Pension Institute of Nigeria, CIPN in Abuja. In the paper entitled: “Sustaining the Public Confidence in the Face of Financial Mismanagement and Corruption”, presented on his behalf by Mr. Wakili Mohammed, Director Internal Affairs, Lamorde bemoaned

the mind-boggling scam in the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation. According to him, “it was not so much the mindboggling amount of money that was stolen as the brazen way the looting was carried out and who was doing the stealing that shocked us at the EFCC.” Lamenting the paradox

between the country’s huge natural resource endowment and widespread poverty, the EFCC boss blamed the country’s woes on corruption. He said the only way confidence could be restored in the conduct of public affairs in Nigeria is through the restoration of family values and aggressive law enforcement.

CNS canvasses support for maritime operations in national economy By A’isha Biola Raji


he Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim, has solicited support to aid the operations of Nigerian Navy as a key factor to boosting the country’s economy. The naval chief mentioned this in Abuja on Thursday at the seminar on Economics of Maritime Defence and National Prosperity which was part of the programmes marking the celebration of the Navy Week. According to him, the major

role that is expected of the navy is to have major impact on the nation’s economy. He said:”We must not forget that Nigeria derives 90 percent of her foreign exchanges from oil and gas in our maritime environment and the overriding common goal of all nations is self preservation.” He therefore called for urgent support especially from the national assembly to revitalise the Nigerian Navy to enable it rise to the emerging threats and other challenges. In his opening remarks, the

Insecurity: JNI blames poverty, ignorance From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


he Jama’atu Nasril Islam rose from a meeting of its annual central council in Kaduna on Thursday and identified poverty and ignorance as underlying factors precipitating disunity and insecurity in the country. In a communiqué at the end of the meeting, the JNI urged traditional and religious leaders in the country to assume the special responsibility of counseling political officeholders at all levels on the need for good governance by ensuring that resources are geared towards the betterment of the society. According to the communiqué signed by the group’s Secretary General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, peace and security challenges being witnessed in the country threaten the nation’s survival. The communiqué said, “JNI will sustain the proactive

initiatives such as dialogue and consultations to ensure that people and groups with genuine grievances are listened to by appropriate authorities in the overall interest of harmony and peaceful co-existence which are fundamental to national growth and development… “Leaders at all levels are enjoined to avoid inflammatory statements and exhibit high sense of maturity and restraint in their actions and comments in the interest of peace, security, unity and development. “The meeting notes that government alone cannot shoulder the responsibility for development. It therefore calls on Emirate councils, religious and civil society groups and the business community to collaborate with government in the provision of good health-care, education, employment, security as well as the ongoing anticorruption drive.”

Senate President David Mark who was represented by Senator Ayogu Eze, said there is need to guarantee a safe maritime environment for economic survival and prosperity. Also at the event, the minister of state for defence Mrs. Olusola Obada while revealing a book published by the Nigerian Navy, titled: Total Maritime Spectrum Strategy said, it is important

to give financial support to the maritime policing of the navy so as to be able to protect the waters. The event was however followed by a special Juma’at Service on Friday at the Central Mosque, Mogadishu Cantonment where the Chief of Naval Staff was represented by Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin, Chief of Logistics Naval Headquarters.

scam: Umar faults Senate Committee decision on probe From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


former military governor of Kaduna state, Col. Abubakar Umar, has faulted the decision of the Senate Committee on Upstream Oil Sector to conduct its investigation into the controversial Malabu oil deal in camera. Describing the investigation as long overdue, Umar in a press statement in Kaduna yesterday noted that any confidential conduct of the probe would further upset what he called an already dubious matter. According to the statement, “thankfully, the Senate has decided to conduct a longoverdue investigation in order to determine the truth behind the acquisition, transfers and payments relating to CPL 245(Oil Prospecting License), between the Federal Government and Malabu Oil Company on one hand and the Federal Government and Shell on the other hand. “Though the decision itself comes only after public pressure and the diplomatic interests in the matter refused to relent. It is nevertheless commendable that a public enquiry is ordered into a transaction that stands all logic on its head...”

5 Kano revenue board staff arrested for alleged fraud From Bala Nasir, Kano


ive staff of the Kano state Board of Internal Revenue have been arrested by the police for an alleged fraudulent practice aimed at enriching themselves to the detriment of government. Speaking at a press conference, chairman of the board, Habu Muhammad Fagge, stated that detectives were arranged to meet the culprits where they gave them marked money and wrote an undertaking. “The Board uncovered the syndicate which has been going round collecting money from unsuspecting company owners and so far we have made five arrests.” According to Fagge, the suspects are now under detention at the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for further interrogation hoping for other members of their group to be arrested. He said that the suspects

Kano State Governor, Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso company and N300, 000 payment to be made to the state’s revenue board thereby waiving the sum of N324, 000 to the company arbitrarily.

were arrested last Thursday when they visited a company that was supposed to pay about N774, 000 tax but they demanded N150, 000 for themselves from the




Nigeria may not get to 2015, says el-Rufai This is my honest feeling.” He accused the PDP of exhibiting undemocratic tendencies with impunity adding that Nigerians are gradually getting fed up with the system. “I am 52 years old. I have seen this cycle several times; bad elections, violence following elections, incompetent government, it is usually followed by the fall of that government; it has happed two or three times in my life time. The ruling party is totally undemocratic. There is nothing they do that is democratic. They rig elections with impunity; the electoral bodies, the security agencies are all with them; they have managed to even compromise some of the judges; and we pretend we are in a democracy, we are not. Once you get to that point whereby nobody believes that it is a democracy, the government will collapse. It has happed three or four times”. Asked why he feels the system might collapse, el-Rufai said the

recent political happenings mirror those that led to the collapse of some administrations in the past and warned that there could be a repeat unless the trend is checked. “In 1964, there were bad elections in the west, there were killings and two years later the government was overthrown. In 1983, there were bad elections the west; in Ondo state, the NPN tried to steal the governorship by hook or by crook, there were killings, a few months later Shagari was overthrown. In 1993, there were bad elections which were annulled, Babangida had to leave. There is a pattern to this that people don’t want to look at. That’s why I was surprised when the government was trying to attack General Buhari because he said if elections in 2015 are rigged there will be violence. There is history. History has said that”, he said. See full interview on page 7

Benue bloodbath: Sultan summons peace meeting between Tiv, Fulani

Barewa College old boys mark 50th anniversary, donate to charity, set up foundation

By Richard Ihediwa


ormer Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Malam Nasir el-Rufai has expressed concerns that the country may not get to 2015 under a democratic regime “unless those in power change their strategy” and adhere to democratic principles. He also backed recent statements by the Presidential candidate of the opposition Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), who was recently reported to have said that there will be violence if the 2015 election is rigged. El-Rufai stated this in an interview posted by an online media, Premium Times on its site yesterday. The former minister, who is now a chieftain of CPC was reacting to questions on whether he would run for the Presidency in 2015. Stating that he has no intention to

From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


he Sultan of Sokoto, His eminence Sa’ad Abubakar has ex-

run for political office but to reposition the CPC and use it to oust the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), el-Rufai however, said he fears if the system could be sustained up to 2015. According to him, “I cannot predict with any degree of accuracy what can happen in politics within a few years from now. My priority right now is to rebuild the CPC. To rebuild it into a national party though mergers with existing opposition parties and so on and my hope is that if I am able to lead that and create a new national platform to challenge the PDP and get the PDP out of office, I will be a very happy man whether I am in government or not. “All this talk about 2015 in my opinion is a distraction; on at least three grouses. First the way the country is going, I am not even sure we will get to 2015 unless those in power change their strategy and make progress we would not get to 2015.

pressed the resolve to address the lingering crisis between Tiv farmers and Fulani herdsmen in Benue state.

Toward this end, the Sultan is convening a meeting on Saturday between leaders of the two tribes to find a lasting solution to the crisis. The Sultan, who disclosed this in Makurdi during a courtesy visit on Governor Gabriel Suswam, frowned at the continued escalation of the crisis in spite of efforts made to end

it. He noted that his emirate had set up a committee headed by the Emir of Gombe and the Tor Tiv Ochivirgh Dr. Alfred Akawe Torkula, to fashion out ways of resolving the crisis. “The crisis is still there though minimal but I am here to convene a meeting with leaders of the two tribes to resolve the crisis”, he said.

…As Almakura blames improper boundary demarcation


Sultan of Sokoto, His eminence Sa’ad Abubakar

asarawa state gover nor, Alhaji Tanko Almakura has identified lack of proper boundary demarcation as well as absence of grazing routes as major problems escalating the Tiv farmers and Fulani herdsmen feud. Governor Almakura who was in Makurdi yesterday to attend the commissioning of a central mosque by the Sultan of Sokoto, spoke with journalists, noting that population explosion and modernisation also played a role in intercepting grazing routes as people built settlements along them. He opined that there is the need for communities to define

grazing areas for herdsmen. On effort made to curtail the incessant crisis between Tiv/Fulani in his domain, the governor said he has initiated a community based programme where the people sit down and resolve their issues amicably, adding that there has been effective exchange of security information between him and Governor Suswam of Benue state to nip the crisis in the bud. He also pledged that the recommendations of the Joint Committee set up by both states would be implemented as soon as they finish their assignment.


ld boys of Barewa College (1962 set), has donated assorted food items to orphanages as part of activities to mark their 50 th anniversary or golden jubilee of their admission into the prestigious college. The class also set up a foundation to assist unfortunate members and their spouses in need with a takeoff amount of N5 million under the chairmanship of General Alwali Kazir with two members each from the three geo-political zones in the north to form the Board of Trustees. The orphanages visited were mostly those in the college neigbourhood. As integral members of the BOBA, the class renewed their commitment to the ideals and objectives of the association which has Dr. Umaru Mutallab as President and M.S Abdulrahman as Secretary General. The class also paid a courtesy visit to the Emir of Zazzau and Chief of Wusasa before rounding off the ceremony.



Photo News You can cheat nature: This commercial telephone operator sleeps on duty yesterday at GSM village, in Abuja.

Mango's sellers out for business in Apo village, in Abuja

Pushing the way to earn a living, at Nyanya Abuja.

Mini market at the back of Federal Ministry of Education, Federal Secretariat, on Friday, in Abuja

A massive struggle for kerosene, at NNPC mega station in Abuja, on Friday .

Photos: Joe Oroye, Mahmud Isa and Justine Imo-owo




Juju priests plan rituals for national unity From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Association of African Traditional Religion Practitioners has declared its readiness to make series of sacrifices across Nigeria for the betterment and unity of the

country which is being threatened by insurgence of Boko Haram, corruption and insecurity. The Association in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Yemi Soladoye, noted that members of the association have

been watching different incidents in the country as they unfold but are worried about the instability. "We need to pray traditionally, to our ancestors for forgiveness, to help us to stop all these bad things which are now

happening in this country. We are majorly concerned about the incessant killing of Nigerians across the country and pervading corruption among public and political office holders. "In the past, our fathers

cherished integrity not money or power. It is a shame to embezzle peoples' money. Therefore, we the African Traditional Religions Practitioners are fully ready to rescue our dear country from these crises".

Kwarapoly students, villagers barricade Old Jebba road over blackout From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


bout three villages’ residents including students of Kwara State Polytechnic (Kwarapoly) barricaded the Old Jebba road on Friday, making it difficult for staff of University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) and other passengers to use the road. Our correspondent gathered that the villagers started their protest at about 7 am with series of bornfires. It was learnt that the villagers had complained to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCH) to give them a big transformer which could sustain their villages namely Elekoyangan, Apata Yakuba, Idi Ori and Oyun areas but to no avail which has caused total darkness for some weeks. At about 12 pm while our correspondent was filing this story, a team of anti-riot policemen were drafted to the area but were said to have met with stiff resistance from the protesters.

Group mourns pioneer CPC boss’ death By Sunday Ejike Benjmain


he Abuja branch of the Opiatoha Ki’ Idoma, a Benue state-based socio-cultural group, has described the death of the pioneer Director General of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Chief Emmanuel Ogbe as a loss to the Idoma nation. A cross section of members of the group who spoke to our correspondent, said the death of Ogbe came to them as rude shock. According to retired Maj. Gen. Harrison Adoga, the late CPC boss was an astute public servant, adding that his service to the nation traversed many establishments. Adoga, explained that Ogbe was a philanthropist, who had always desired to empower all Idoma sons and daughters, pointing out that: “His death has created a vacuum that might not be easily closed; our consolation, however, is that he has gone to be with the Lord”. Ogbe was born on April 19, 1942 to a family of Mr. and Mrs. Omale Ogbe in Otukpo-Icho village, Otukpo local government area of Benue state.

L-R: Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeri and Director, Drug Demand Reduction Directorate of NDLEA, Dr. Lawrence U. Opara in a parley at the technical session on how to enhance transformation at NOA Corporate Headquarters in Abuja, on Thursday. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

FG needs to weigh importance of health insurance, says minister By A’isha Biola Raji The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, has restated the significance of health insurance nation to the Federal Government. The minister stated this on Friday in Abuja at this year’s national flag-off ceremony of Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week (MNCHW) organised by National Primary Health Care Development Agency

(NPHCDA), in collaboration with FMoH WHO, UNICEF and other partners. He said reasons why people do not use health facilities could range from ignorance, lack of facilities to financial inability. All these he said, call for the need to look into the health insurance package of the country. According to him, there is need to integrate all the diseases and have a packaged health programme that will

holistically have effect on health thereby reducing maternal mortality rate. He however commended President Goodluck Jonathan for his plan to reinvest part of what is being generated from subsidy removal to aid health accessibility programme. “In this programme, mothers will be paid certain amount of money for attending antenatal care,” he said. He said the President has approved for Federal

Government to spend money on family planning as part of its plan to curb maternal and child’s death. The Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr. Ado Muhammad who was represented by Director of Planning, Research and Statistics, Dr. Emmanuel Odu, said MNCHW is a platform where mothers and their children are reached with necessary drugs and materials aimed at intercepting maternal death rate.

‘Africa contributes one percent of manufactured goods in world market’ By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga has lamented the fact Africa contributes only one percent of manufactured goods in the world market. Aganga said this in Abuja yesterday during a meeting with Nigeria’s development partners. The development

partners present at the forum are the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), the World Bank, European Union (EU), and the Department for International Development (DFID).”Africa contributes less than one percent in terms of Amanufacturing value added because we export mainly raw materials and jobs.”We need to change that;

hence, we launched our National Industrial Revolution Plan which is based on three main pillars. One major pillar is the industry; we want to play in industries where we have competitive advantage, we have competitive advantage in labour intensive sectors because we want to create jobs,’’ the minister said. Responding, Mrs. Marie

Francoise of the World Bank, represented by Mr. Michael Wong said the bank planned to create a data base for all the SMEs in the country with a view to knowing where they are and how to assist them. On his part, Mr. Massimo Luca, EU Trade Counselor, pledged that the union would collaborate with all relevant agencies to boost trade and investment in Nigeria.




No financial recklessness in Appeal Court, says CR By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he Chief Registrar of the Court of Appeal, Barrister Aliyu Ibrahim has said that there was no case of corrupt practices in the handling of the finances of the court. The registrar dismissed as baseless and unfounded, media reports alleging that there are surreptitious moves to subject him and the Acting President of the Court, Justice Dalhatu Adamu, to probe over alleged corruptive acts and tendencies in the handling of the court’s finances in the last nine months. A national daily had reported that there were moves from an unstated quarter to probe the award of contract and alleged misapplication of funds which

have been taking place in the appellate court since Adamu took over in acting capacity from the suspended president of the court, Justice Isa Ayo Salami in August 2011. In dismissing the media report, the Chief Registrar said there was no iota of truth in the fraud allegation, just as there is never any hint of query, investigation of any form or reprimand against the leadership and or management of the appellate court from within or outside the court, stressing that, “So far, up till now that am talking to you, there has not been any petition against me or the acting president, neither is there any reprimand or query from NJC or anybody”. He denied that the salaries of

the justices of the court were not duly paid describing the allegation as the product of illinformed traducers who did not check their facts well. He pointed out that the court only paid salaries upon receipt of allocation from the National Judicial Council (NJC), in the same way that government organisations pay their salary subject to the receipt of allocation from the ministry of finance. “We paid January and February salary at the end of February and that has been the system over years. It is not peculiar to Court of Appeal or to the judiciary. We paid March salary at the last week of that month and in the case of April, we got the allocation from the NJC on the April 30th, and we

paid salary on the 2nd May, three days after we got the allocation. “On the whole, if at all there is any delay in the payment of salary, it is because of the delay of the release of funds from the NJC. So the court cannot pay any salary if the NJC does not release funds for that. Aware of this fact, no justice or staff of the court has complained about delay in the payment of salaries and allowances”, he added. Commenting on the alleged purchase of “frivolous” items for Justices of the court, he said it was the practice of the court to supply justices of the court with items that they need, in line with procurement processes of the court, noting that, “We do all our purchases based on the guidelines and the Procurement Act”.

NOA boss tasks journalists on investigative reporting By Tobias Lengnan Dapam n the light of media speculations that trailed the recent arrest of a suspected terrorist at Radio House, Abuja, the DirectorGeneral of the National


Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeri has charged the media to embrace investigative reporting as a way of assisting security agencies to unravel crimes and suspected criminals. Omeri, who gave this charge when the leadership of Nigerian

Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Zone ‘D’ led by its vice president, Mrs. Veronica Ogbole, paid him a visit in his office, added that, “the more responsible the media is, the more credible it would be as foreign media rely

considerably on local ones”. A statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary of the NOA, Paul Odenyi, urged journalists to verify all information before broadcasting or publishing as the Freedom of Information Bill prescribes.

Educate illiterate farmers on grants, Edo govt counsels Fadama chief From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


he Edo state government has tasked stakeholders in the Fadama III Project to evolve a workable strategy to sensitise and capture all genuine illiterate farmers in the state who met the minimum

requirements in accessing its grants, but were denied. The declaration followed alleged bureaucracy involved in seeking Fadama III grant, which appears to have hindered some ‘illiterate farmers’ from benefiting from the scheme years after it was established by the Federal Ministry of

Agriculture. Edo state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Abdul Oroh, made the appeal when the Leaders of Fadama III made up of six South-south states paid him a courtesy call. Mr. Oroh who expressed concern sequel to petitions before

him including the one that was written by the District Head of Ilushi Community in Esan West local government area of the state, said: “My only problem with Fadama is bureaucracy…I’m besieged here every day by genuine farmers…I urge you to embark on sensitisation.

Sacked Edo taskforce chief fights back, slams N1 billion suit on Oshiomhole From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


wo years after the chairman, Edo state taskforce on Demolition of illegal Structures and Prevention of Street Trading, Col. Felix Igiebor (rtd) was removed, he instituted a N1billion suit against the Edo state government on Thursday

for unlawful dismissal, illegal arrest, inhuman treatment and detention by the government. In the suit filed by his counsel, Brig-Gen. Don Idada Ikponmwen (rtd), at the Federal High Court in Benin, the applicant is seeking the order of the court to enforce his fundamental human rights, following his alleged illegal arrest and detention on May 11,

2010. Also joined in the suit are the Edo state government, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, the Commissioner of Police and the Inspector General of Police. The applicant is seeking among the reliefs a declaration that his detention on the orders of the 2nd respondent constitutes

an infringement on his fundamental human rights to personal liberty contrary to Section 35(1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended. He is also asking the court to declare that the act of the 2 nd Respondent amounts to recklessness and an abuse of power and office without just cause, unconstitutional, unlawful and actionable.

Education minister tasks children on patriotism, tolerance By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he Minister of state for Education, Nyesom Wike, has charged school children to imbibe the virtues in civic and social studies, by being patriotic and tolerating people of diverse social, religious, language and cultural backgrounds. Speaking yesterday at the pre-children's day celebration, the minister of state, who was represented at

the occasion, said that social development can only take place in an atmosphere of peace and security. He explained that in line with fostering the spirit of unity in diversity, the Federal Ministry of Education has embarked on the process of rehabilitating and repositioning unity colleges to their initial role of developing young and detribalised Nigerian leaders who will live as one in a country of diverse social backgrounds, and

regretted that the current armed conflict and kidnapping across the country

have negatively affected the socio-economic development of Nigerian children.

Immigration boss tasks FG to boost intelligence From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he out-going Deputy Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Dr. Babajide Adebowale Brown, has tasked the Federal Government to further empower the Service, particularly in the areas of effective intelligence operations and capacity building. Dr. Brown made the call at Liberty Stadium, Ibadan on the occasion of the formal pull-out ceremony held in his honour on Thursday to mark his retirement, after 35 years of service to the nation. While insisting that the Nigerian Immigration Service required a more effective intelligence unit to man the nation’s land borders, he hinted that “the porousity of the borders could be responsible for the insecurity problems in the country, most of which had been traced to illegal immigrants.”

Bauchi Amirul Hajj charges Hajj officials to be honest From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Bauchi state Amirul Hajj and Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwanu Sulaimanu Adamu, has charged this year’s hajj officials in the country to be honest while discharging their duties The monarch made the call when the forum of executive secretaries of the Muslim Pilgrims’ Board of Nigeria paid him a condolence visit over the death of the former permanent secretary, Bauchi state Muslims Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Usman Ibrahim Ningi in his palace. Alhaji Rilwanu Adamu stated that although death is inevitable, the death of Alhaji Usman Ningi would always be remembered by many due to his good qualities and challenged his successor to borrow a leaf in order to consolidate the successes made by the late permanent secretary.

NANS appoints FMC medical director as patron By Augustine Aminu


he National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has appointed the Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Bida, Dr. Alaba GeorgeOkuku as its new patron. In his acceptance speech shortly after the appointment by

the senate president of NANS, Mr. Kolade Olaluwa, in Bida, Dr. George-Okuku thanked the students for the honour done to him and urged Nigerian students to join hands in the on-going efforts to rebuild the country's democracy by shunning all negative tendencies. The Medical Director tasked

NANS to imbibe the spirit of students in the post independence era who used their movements as student activists to fight for democracy in Nigeria. He advised students not to allow themselves to be used by aggrieved politicians who may want to settle political scores.



El-Rufai explodes: Says Nigeria May not get to 2015 Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja and now chieftain of the opposition Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Malan Nasir el-Rufai in this interview posted by Premium Times took stock of the prevalent political situation and submitted that the nation may not get to 2015 unless leaders change their style of governance. What is your view about the state of the economy of the nation? hey are broke. They have not released first quarter warrant for capitals. No one has been paid. They don’t have money. They cannot even pay states their federation account allocation. They paid only 30 percent in March and did the second installment, I think last week. They have not paid for April. So the country is broke. Ok. So without money; without actual releases for the second quarter, how can you achieve 80 percent implementation? That is one problem. The second problem is that the government is taken up so much money before discussing the federation account in the name of fuel subsidy. This year, by the end march, N 519 billion has been paid as arrears for 2011 for fuel subsidy. Many people don’t know this. The N2.7 trillion that Farouk Lawan’s committee calculated does not include this N500 billion that was deducted this year. So this money goes first before they come to the federation account. A lot of deductions are taking place that are not transparent. There is no money. They don’t have the money to even achieve 50 percent of budget implementation. They will not achieve 50 percent. I am sure of that Is Nigeria really practicing federalism? What is your view on the cal for a Sovereign National Conference? I believe Nigeria is a federation only in name because there is no federation really. There is isn’t. We are just a federal republic in name because a federation means that you have federating units which are strong and independent of the center. Now, apart from Lagos state, every state in Nigeria depends on the center. They wait monthly for handouts from the federation account. That is not a federation. That’s one. We have one police force for the whole country. That is not a characteristic of a federation. In a federation, each state should be able to have its own police force while you have federal police for particular crimes. Thirdly, in a federation, each state should have greater control of its resources. If you look at the 1963 constitution, when we were in a real federation, you will see it. 50 percent of revenues that emanates from a state are retained by the state. Do you support that we


should return to regional government I don’t know whether that is the best thing to do or not. I have not thought about it but one thing that I know is that some of the states are not viable. We need government that will look inwards and try to develop the resources of each states and then the Federal Government can come in and assist those that are poor or not so endowed. That is how federations run. So, I don’t think we are a federation in fact. We are just a federation in name. Would you run for Presidency in 2015? The reasons I am in politics is more defensive than offensive. I am not in politics to contest for any office. I was not in public office on account of politics. I was given all opportunities in public service because of confidence in my ability to do certain things. From advising General Abdusalami from 1998 to 1999 to President Obasanjo asking me to head the BPE and then promoting me to the cabinet as minister in charge of Abuja. They were all based on feeling that I get things done. It is not because I campaigned and joined any political party. I was never a card carrying member of any party until I was nominated as a member of the cabinet and I was required to be a member of a political party. So I was given a PDP membership card overnight. But after I left government, it became very clear to me that unless you are in politics, you expose yourself to the vicissitude of politicians. Umaru Yar’adua went after me, smeared my reputation. He did everything to destroy me because I have no political base. If I had my own political base, he would not have thought about it because politicians know when you have your political base and your capacity for mischief as well because mischief is the first profession of politicians. So during my 23 months of exile , both Nuhu (Nuhun Ribadu) and I discussed this and we said what was happening to us was because we chose to distance from partisan politics and next time we will not make such mistake. This is a message to all young people. Do not ignore politics because at the end of the day politics jumps everything. It can destroy what you have done or you try to do. And this is why we deiced to go into politics, both Nuhu and I from our exile but we had different approaches. He wanted to be into politics to contest election and I

Former Minister of FCT, Malam Nasir el-Rufai wanted to be in politics as a defensive strategy and of course we have taken different paths; he has contested for office. I am not in the CPC to contest for any office. I am frankly not interested in working for government ever again. I think my calling in somewhere else not in government. What if your followers insist that you should run in 2015? I do not believe that I am the only one that can salvage the country. I have been in the public service and the private sector long enough to give you a list of names of hundreds of people that I know that really want to make this country better, they are committed to it but they never had the opportunity. I was able to have the opportunity at a very young age to do some of these things. That is why I am known but I know many that are like me or even better than me and I think that we should open up our minds to the possibility that others that have not been tried could as well do a good job like some of us. Having said that I cannot predict with any degree of accuracy what can happen in politics within a few years from now. My priority right now is to rebuild the CPC. To rebuild it into a national party though mergers with existing opposition parties and so on and my hope is that if I am able to lead that and create a new national platform to challenge the PDP and get the PDP out of office, I will be a very happy man whether I am in government or not.

All this talk about 2015, in my opinion is a distraction; on at least three grouses. First, the way the country is going, I am not even sure we will get to 2015 unless those in power change their strategy and make progress we would not get to 2015. This is my honest feeling. Secondly, if you are talking of 2015, now when the current elected officials have not even spend complete one year, it is a complete distraction to start thinking of re-election when you have not delivered on the current one. Thirdly, for a party like the CPC that hopes to merge with many other political parties and be at the fore front of a broad coalition against the PDP, it is too early to talk about 2015. Why do you think Nigeria might not get to 2015? I am 52 years old. I have seen this cycle several times; bad elections, violence following elections, incompetent government, it is usually followed by the fall of that government; it has happed two or three times in my life time. The ruling party is totally undemocratic. There is nothing they do that is democratic. They rig elections with impunity; the electoral bodies, the security agencies are all with them; they have managed to even compromise some of the judges; and we pretend we are in a democracy, we are not. Once you get to that point whereby nobody believes that it is a democracy, the government will collapse. It has happed three or four times. When where those times

government collapsed for similar factors? In 1964, there were bad elections in the west, there were killings and two years later the government was overthrown. In 1983, there were bad elections the west; in Ondo state, the NPN tried to steal the governorship by hook or by crook; there were killings, a few months later Shagari was overthrown. In 1993, there were bad elections which were annulled, Babangida had to leave. There is a pattern to this that people don’t want to look at. That’s why I was surprised when the government was trying to attack General Buhari because he said if elections in 2015 are rigged there will be violence. There is history. History has said that so Buhari didn’t need to say it and it is the truth and the PDP should understand that if they rig the 2015, they will not survive the aftermath. They will not live to enjoy the fruits of their rigging. They should understand that everybody is up to his necks in anger and frustration. Take it anywhere. They need to understand that is not Buhari talking; ask any man in the street, they will tell you the same thing. Nobody has the monopoly of mischief or violence; it is just that some of us has chosen to be reasonable but if the other side continues to be unreasonable and act with impunity and boast about it we sill response in..(inaudible)




Feeding from filth

Thousands of Nigerian children still search refuse dumps for daily bread By A’isha Biola Raji


omorrow, children all over the country would be celebrating World Children’s Day. However, as many young ones engage in celebrations laced with exciting activities, many others would be wallowing in filth and hard life even in many wealthy countries including Nigeria. At a time their counterparts in other climes are celebrating better education, better homes, better clothes and better living standards, thousands of Nigerian children are still roaming the street, without education and good homes with many of them scavenging for a living at numerous refuse dumps in various cities across the country. Apart from the children of the rich and the struggling middle class, most children in the country are daily subjected to untold hardship as their parents struggle to provide for them in the face of scathing economic hardship in the country. Due to the hardship that has gripped many homes many of these children are involved in many dehumanising and life threatening jobs, ranging from very tedious vocations to scavenging for a living. Child scavenging is not relatively new in Nigeria. Many of them are now competing with adults as they dig through refuses in search of abandoned materials that could be sold for some money which goes to support the family upkeep. Statistics show that the number of children involved in scavenging is growing by the day as those already involved become a recruiting point for their friends. These children are constantly running the risk of serious health problems, social deviations and economic abuses. A check by Peoples Daily Weekend shows that many of the children at refuse dumps are victims of child abuse especially child labour. Many of them started by going to the refuse dumps to dispose refuse for the family. During their runs, they will stay back to try to forage the filthy dumps with the view to get some “valuables” that could be used for play or for sale. Every morning, while their peers are heading to the schools, these youngsters are sent to the dumps with loads of refuse

Many Nigerian children labour in refuse dumps generated by the family and neigbours. For the family, it is chore but for the neigbour it could be followed by a fee which goes back to the family. After series of visit to the dumps, the youngsters will begin to form groups and delve into scavenging for material ranging from household property to used electronics and wears including shirts, shorts and shoes. While some of the items are brought to the family where they are washed or repaired and used, many others are sold to dealers, who take them to recycling dumps (Panteka) for sale. Speaking to Peoples Daily Weekend in Idu, a satellite town in Abuja, a kid scavenger in who simply gave his name as Tanko said his mother always send him to the dump to dispose refuse and encouraged him to help neigbour with their refuse for a fee. “I come to the refuse dump (boola) everyday to dispose refuse for my mother. I also dispose refuse for neigbours and I give the money I collect from them to my mother”, said

Tanko, who said he was nine years old. Asked how he moved from refuse disposer to scavenger, Tanko said he met some youngsters at the dump, who introduced him to scavenging. “People come here to see whether they will get something from the rubbish. Some families have money and they throw away things even when they are still good. So we look for such things. Sometimes if they are very good items that can be used at home, we take them home and the others we sell to some people who buy them to sell to some companies”, he said. Items Tanko takes from the dump includes cutleries, plates, children shoes and electronic equipments. Sometimes, we get good items such as shoes and sometimes we get electronic which we sell to electricians. Sometimes some of those things will be good”, he said. Another kid scavenger, who gave his name as Bala has a wheelbarrow, which he said was hired for him by his mother. Smeared with dirt and filth, Bala, who said he is 11 years has

already started doing waste disposal with some adults. “My mother hired the wheelbarrow for me and I join other “mai boola” refuse disposers to pack refuse for people”. He said he makes from N300 to N500 a day, which he gives to her mother. One devastating issue is that these children are denied education and at the same time exposed to serious health and social hazards. While Bala said he was in school but had to drop when his parents could no longer afford his education and that of his siblings, Tanko said he has never been to school. The two kids, whose case mirror the ordeal of thousands of others in the country yearn earnestly for education as the hinted the reporter. “I am always sad when I see other children going to school every morning” said Bala. “I wish to go to school Tanko bemoaned” A look at the kids show signs that they have been running serious health risks as they are very ill equipped for the job. Asked if they are aware of the

risk they are running, the kids gave different answers. However, on the whole, they did not see any health hazard in the job they do. “My mother did not tell me that I will have disease”, Tanko said though his body showed signs of rashes. Apart from health hazards, the kids are daily exposed to adults with deviant characters and run very high risk of imbibing habits such as drinking, smoking and fighting among others that could hamper healthy psychology in them. Many Nigerians and organizations have been worried over this and there have been several moves to salvage the situation. One of the key approaches is poverty alleviation. This can be achieved through rigorous fight against corruption in such as way that money being siphoned from the system could be directed to improve living standards in the country. All that is necessary must be done to save the situation as the future of the nation is indeed in danger unless a drastic step is taken to rescue the future of the Nigerian child.





Caretakers at L Gs: The politics, the issues •As moves to grant autonomy to councils intensify.

By Richard Ihediwa, Sam Egwu, Lokoja, Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos, Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin, Uche Nnorom, Makurdi.


arlier in the month, the House of Representatives passed a resolution describing as illegal and unconstitutional the constitution of caretaker committees by state governors to govern local government areas in the country. That resolution followed the adoption of a motion to that effect by Rep. Friday Itulah, who drew the attention of the House to the practice arguing that such is capable of throwing the nation into a state of lawlessness if not checked. Despite its unconstitutionality, currently, 25 state governors have extended their iron rules to local councils with caretaker committees in clear breach of section 7 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which states that “The system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is under this constitution guaranteed; and accordingly, the government of every state shall subject to section 8 of this constitution, ensure their existence under a law which provides for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils.” Section 8 principally deals with issues of creation of local councils and boundaries matters among states and local

governments. Though the constitution places the power to provide the legal framework for the administration of local councils on states, it never conferred on the state such powers as substituting “democratically elected” leaders at that tier of government with “appointed” ones. While almost all the states have at one time or the other used caretaker committee, states currently operating in this breach include Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Nasarawa, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Yobe and Zamfara. States such as Benue and Abia have not had elections into local governments since the last five years and the same applies to many others in the list of autocratic 25 as many of them have refused to conduct local government elections since incumbent governors took over. Reports have it that currently, only 126 local government areas, out of the 774 councils in Nigeria are run by democratically elected officials. In effect, the state governors have decided to jettison the same democratic system that brought them to office and turned the local councils, which is actually a third tier of government into fiefdoms over which they exercise a sort of despotism by arrogating themselves extra-constitutional powers of appointing their stooges and errand boys, most of who are grossly

unqualified as task masters and conduit pipe managers to harness the resources meant for that tier. Currently elections into local councils in most of the states of the federation are no longer drawn from constitutional ordering or timing but at the discretion of the governors who exercise them in the breach of the law. On the whole state governors have since declared a state of emergency on local governments despite their much orchestrated stand on democracy. The governors have even called the bluff on court ruling declaring caretaker committees illegal. Such court ruling include that of the Ekpoma High Court presided over by Justice T. Akomolafe- Wilson which on May 16, 2012 declared Local Government Councils Caretaker Committees in the state illegal, describing the practice as ‘executive rascality’. The Court, in a suit filed by Tony Okonigene against Edo State Government and Attorney General of the state over the dissolution of local councils pronounced the action as illegal and ordered the state governor to conduct council elections immediately. A further look at the errant states shows that all the political parties are guilty of the democratic malfeasance perpetrated by the governors as it cuts across states controlled by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Progressive Grand Alliance

(APGA), Labour Party, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) among others. Pro- democracy groups worry that the leadership for of these political parties have refused to persuade the governors to restore and uphold democratic order in the councils even as the Presidency has not taken any serious threat to ensure strict compliance to the provisions of the constitution in the face of clear breach which when seen in the light of section 1 of the constitution which bars control of any part of the country through undemocratic means. Section 1 reads: (1).”This Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on the authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.(2) The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed, nor shall any persons or group of persons take control of the Government of Nigeria or any part thereof, except in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. (3) If any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail, and that other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.” Pro-democracy groups argue that use of caretaker committee violates not only section 7 but section 1, thereby by implication could be seen to be near an offence that could be considered as treasonable. Contd on pages 10 & 11



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Caretakers at LGs: The politics, the issues Contd from page 9 The resolution of the House collaborates the position of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation , Mohammed Bello Adoke who had condemned the system of appointing caretaker committees for local government councils as being against the tenets and letters of the constitution. The minister, who made his position known during his screening as a ministerial nominee by the Senate last year vilified governors of violating section 7 of the constitution by dissolving elected officials and appointing caretaker committees to run the affairs of local government council areas. Adoke had said, “Let me also state clearly that the appointment of caretaker committees is illegal and unknown to law, but regrettably, nobody has challenged this constitutional lapses. We will look at it and try to redress the situation.” Stakeholders are however not happy that since the declaration by the Attorney General that the use of caretaker committee was illegal no drastic step has been taken by his office to ensure respect and compliance to the dictates of the law. Several reasons have been adduced for the refusal of state governors to conduct elections for democratically elected local councils. These range from lust for perfect control of power machinery in states to the quest for overall control of resources including those constitutionally belonging to the local government areas. State governments find the funds allocated to local governments too attractive to overlook. They device means to ensure that they not only have access to them but to control them. Local governments earn their tenure to their obeisance to the state governments. Some elected council executives have been sacked or impeached at the instance of governors especially when they refuse to yield to the totalitarian yoke of the state chief executive especially when it comes to issues of finance. Consequently, local governments are stifled of funds for development as state governors exert total control on the Joint State and Local Government Account. The quest to have complete control of the resources in this account lead to the appointment of stooges as caretakers who are removed based on the whims and caprices of the governor. It has however been discovered that state governors have now perfected alliances with their houses of assembly to destroy democratic structures in the local government areas as many state legislative houses have since approved some form of legislations to pave way for the appointment

Governor Rotimi Amechi, Chairman, Governor’s Forum of caretaker committees despite the provisions of section 1 of the constitution which provides that any law that is not consistent with the provisions of the constitution remain null and void to the extent it is inconsistent to it. Already some states such as Edo, Benue among others have been operating this law despite its unconstitutionality. Drawing from the list presented in the House of Representatives, one of the states that have failed to conduct local government election in the last five years is Benue. In the five years of his administration, Governor Gabriel Suswam has failed to conduct local government elections. Instead the governor has continually appointed caretaker committees and re-appoints them after every six months. Only recently, caretaker committees that have spent over a year in office were dissolved amidst controversies which resulted in bickering and squabble in the local government councils. Most of the ousted caretaker committee chairmen, who performed woefully, struggled hard to be retained but failed in their bid to do so. The bickering was worsened by the alleged role played by the Deputy Governor, Steven Lawani and the state PDP chairman, Emmanuel Agbo who were accused of influencing the reappointment of the sacked caretaker committee chairman of Okpokwu Local Government, Mr. Robert Idoko, who has been in that office for over a year, to the chagrin of certain elements in the state. The squabble is coming on the backdrop of the argument by the

aggrieved elements that the reappointment of Idoko was in violation of an Act passed by the state state House of Assembly that no chairman should be retained after six (6) months in office. However, Governor Suswam has pledged to conduct local government elections in November this year, but this has been received with serious skepticism by some stakeholders and interest groups in the state as they argue that there is no structure on the ground to show that the government is serious to match words with action. Reacting to the pledge by the governor, a top politician in the state, Mr. Andrew Tyavkase said the governor must be queried for not conducting the elections in the last five years. “Why has he failed all these years to conduct LG election? Is he saying that his government is incapable of holding elections? He queried. He further accused the governor of not having a clear cut agenda for the third tier of governance in the State and so has adamantly refused to conduct local government elections. Also reacting to the issues, a member of the House of Assembly, Hon. Patrick Iorember of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) maintained that the state government has failed to hold election because the governor wants to continue having control over the local councils. “I can tell you why they have refused to conduct local government elections in the state. It is because the PDP government wants to continue to exert control over the councils”, he said. Iorember’s position is

particularly coming against the backdrop of thinking by some elements in the state that the PDP will not be able to win elections in some local government areas with the current influence of opposition parties especially the ACN. Others, who commented on the issue, insist that it was not the best for the state. While an analyst, Cornelius Ode noted that the governor wants the ruling PDP to continue to hold swell in the local government areas, another political commentator, Mr. Everest Apine expressed disappointment on the issue noting that it is not healthy for the development of the third tier of government. He said only an elected local government will impact positively on the lives of the rural people as they would be made to be accountable to them as against hand-picked chairmen whose mandate is strictly to pay salaries, without embarking on meaningful developmental projects. The story is the same in Abia, state where the Governor Theodore Orji led state administration has continued to shift the date for local council election since he assumed office and presently there are no signs that election would be conducted in the near future. The same is the case in Plateau state, though the state government had since promised to ensure that elections take place this year. In Edo state Governor Adams Oshiomhole had dissolved the elected 18 local councils and in their stead appointed Transition Committee Chairmen otherwise called Caretaker Committees to

preside over the affairs of councils pending the conduct of Local government election. Things went awry when at the expiration of approved tenure of the unconstitutional committees, the governor wrote to the House of Assembly for extension of time. Eventually, the governor was offered ‘a blank cheque’ as legislators simply mandated him to conduct local government election when funds are available. Tempers flared, especially in the camp of helpless opposition parties who described the decision as a deliberate attempt to subvert the wish of the governed and muzzle the independence of grassroots local governments. This is basically because it is only the governor that determines when the state has “enough money” to conduct the polls and he can decide that the fund is not there perpetually and could argue that he has the backing of the house. Those in support of the decision of the legislature argue ironically that such will give all the party and the state government time to fully prepare for the local government elections whenever the governor fixes it. Those kicking against such insist that the resolution of the Edo house has no force of law and that the governor must immediately conduct the elections in line with the ruling of the court. As the controversies rage with the state government yet to comply to the court order even when it has not yet appealed the ruling, developmental projects in the local government areas have come to a halt as the caretaker committees do not have the Contd on page 11

Hon. Nwabueze Okafor, National President, ALGON



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Caretakers at LGs: The politics, the issues Contd from page 10 required mandates to execute certain projects. Currently, there is a growing animosity in the grassroots on the part of those initially nursing ambition to be elected chairmen and councilors who are now to wait indefinitely as if forgotten. Opposition parties are of the view that government at the grassroots level is been surcharged in terms of the revenue accruing to them against the backdrop of the fact that the life-span of Transition Committee is one year. However describing the position of the state as “executive rascality” the court in declaring the use of caretaker committee after the dissolution of councils as illegal, ordered that the state should immediately conduct the elections despite the resolution of the House. However, while reacting to the development, the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Louis Odion, who confirmed the court’s judgment, said that the state government would appeal against it. Former Esan North East Local Government Chairman John Yakubu in his opinion, described continuous use of Care-taker Committees by state governors, including Edo, an a celebrate move by governors to steal public funds meant to develop local councils thereby making them appendages of state governments. The story is the same in Anambra where there have not been local government election since the exit of former Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju in 2002 at the expiration of the council officials elected in 1998. The election planned by Mbadinuju could not hold following some disagreements among political stakeholders. Since then the state is yet to conduct any election into the local governments. In Kogi state, the story is the same though some key politicians are now mounting pressure on the new state government under Governor Idris Wada not to thread the path of other governors but to conduct election into councils. A key political activist in the state, Barrister Mohammed Shaibu described the use of caretaker committee as a source of huge concern to the nation. He said the failure of the local governments to deliver on their mandates could be traced to the fact that they felt not responsible to the welfare and development of the grassroots as their loyalty does not lie with the electorate but the governor who appointed them. In his own contribution, a stalwart of opposition ACN, Alhaji Halidu Jibrin, said the use of caretaker committee has effectively shut out the electorates from the dividend of democracy at the grassroots as they have been denied of a government structure that they could call theirs. As the arguments continue,

Hon. Friday Itulah moved motion against caretaker committees the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) has started closing ranks to battle the governors on the issue. ALGON is particularly not happy that the state governors were exerting absolute control on councils as well as hijacking their funds and powers. National President of ALGON, Nwabueze Okafor, said that the system can only function well when the three tiers of government as entrenched in the constitution are allowed to exist, saying that running local governments with sole administrators was one of the impediments to growth of democracy in Nigeria. He said the failure of some states to conduct local government elections had continued to hinder local governments from performing their constitutional roles. Okafor said: “We are very concerned, we are doing something and we have initiated a process where we can constructively engage the governors who are very keen to develop the local government system in Nigeria on this. We have initiated that process to appeal to governors who have not had elections to conduct election in the councils so as to have a functional local government system in the various states.” Nwabueze said ALGON had also concluded plans to send memoranda for the autonomy of local governments to the National Assembly Constitution Committee to ensure their independence. He said the association would consult the state legislatures to seek their support for the total freedom of the local governments.

Interestingly, even the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has also registered its rejection of the practice though it has failed in taking steps to end it. However, it was gathered that the leadership of the party has started working on convening a meeting with governors elected on its platform over the refusal of some of them to conduct local government elections. The party’s spokesman, Chief Olisa Metuh, in an interview said the party was worried at the refusal of the governors to put in place elected executives at the third tier of government. Meanwhile legal luminaries in the country have joined in condemning the use of caretaker committee while demanding urgent steps by government to end the practice. Already the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has condemned the practice saying it has resulted in the failure to guarantee the existence of democratic structure at that tier. Commenting NBA President, Joseph Daudu said, “We condemn the attitude of some state governments, which had deliberately refused to allow the conduct of elections into local government councils and in breach of the clear wordings of the Constitution set up an illegal entity known as caretaker committees which has consequently resulted in the failure to guarantee the existence of democratically elected officials at that tier of governance’’. On his part, Lagos radical lawyer and rights crusader, Bamidele Aturu, posited that running local government administration with caretaker

AGF Mohammed Bello Adoke condemned caretaker committees committee is against the norm. He said: “It is nothing but an illegality. Those governors practising it know that they are practising illegality, but they persist because it is an avenue to pacify and compensate their acolytes. “There is no other name to be given to it but to declare it illegal. It is a practice that runs contrary to the principles and tenets of Section 7 of the 1999 constitution.” Also commenting on the issue, former Commissioner of Justice and Attorney General of Abia State, Mr. Awa Kalu said there was no argument to support the use of caretaker committee in a democracy since such has not been provided for in any of the nation’s law books. He said, “Can we have an interim governor, can we have an interim President under the letter and spirit of the constitution? If we cannot have an interim President or governor or interim Vice President or interim Deputy Governor, then it is the same argument in respect of local government councils. There is no provision for interim local government officers in the constitution. “Section 7(6) of the constitution provided for the funding of the local government councils from the federal and state governments purses, but states have continued to breach the relevant section of the constitution without batting an eyelid to the detriment of the local councils and the retrogression of the rural dwellers, to whom the local government administration was meant to bring development to.” Reacting to the issue, former

chairman of the NBA Ikeja branch, Mr. Adekunle Ojo said the use of caretaker committee to run the affairs of the local government councils is an aberration of the highest order. “The use of caretaker committee is an aberration. It is nothing but a short cut to the reality. If by virtue of Section 7 of the 1999 constitution, the local government is to be run by democratically elected officials, then whatever or whoever is in office at the local government level, in whatever capacity they may be called, except by an election, is occupying office illegally”. He explained further that the use of caretaker committees came into existence through the local government laws of each state, adding that such laws are inconsistent with the constitution and that if the affairs of the states are run by a law, then it is totally wrong to circumvent the running of the affairs of the local councils by another set of laws which, according to him, contravenes the constitution. On the whole, Nigerians appear to have reached a consensus against the governors on the use of caretaker committees, which is a complete subversion to the dictates of the constitution. Pundits opine that the way out is for the National Assembly to take the bull by the horn and initiate and further the process that will guarantee fiscal and operational independence to the local government as expected by the spirit and letters of the law which is in line with the wishes and aspirations of Nigerians.



Special Report

Repositioning the NYSC for greater performance By Jamila Nuhu Musa


igerians, who undertook the national youths’ service otherwise known as NYSC, in its early stage, have a recollection of wonderful experience in the places where they served. It was a period when most Nigerian graduates, fresh from the universities looked forward to serving their fatherland as the case was. They had the mindset to concretize the aim of then Head of states, General Yakubu Gowon who, through the promulgation of Decree No. 24 of 1972, set up the scheme to reconstruct, reconcile and rebuild the country after the Nigerian Civil war. It is said, that the unfortunate antecedents in our national history at the time gave impetus to the establishment of the Scheme and as indicated by the Decree, “with a view to the proper encouragement and development of common ties among the youths of Nigeria and the promotion of national unity”. Many Nigerian graduates therefore undertook the national service with good memories to last a lifetime afterwards. Decades after, yours truly got a call-up letter too after graduating from the university to serve in the then Bendel state, where I was to be posted to a community called Umunede, close to Agboh, after the camping phase of the scheme at Abraka, another community in the state. I recalled earlier how my senior brother prevailed on me to proceed to Bendel for the service even though some members of my family agreed that the place was far and the journey would be too tedious for a young girl in her twenties at the time. It was then agreed that a change be effected through the NYSC administrators. But my father and my brother were adamant. So to Bendel state I went after staying at home for over a month even though my colleagues had long reported to their places of assignment. Another attempt to change my posting while at the camp in Abraka failed as the request by my parents was turned down by the camp commandant who had my name penciled down and even forwarded to the secretariat to thwart any further move “because that was not the aim of the scheme”. That was then, now the situation of national service is entirely different. However, some examples will

Director General of NYSC, Brig.-Gen Nnamdi Okorie-Affia suffice to prove that the service, when I undertook it was memorable for all of us as we were well treated by the host communities. We had maize, yam, plantain, fresh fruits and palm oil brought to the corpers’ lodge free because we were “government pikin” sent to help the people. Water was fetched for us by the children in the community school where we taught, they would clean our rooms and wash our clothes. We enjoyed free ride from commercial drivers and bought things at a cheaper rate at the Umunede market and were hosted by the chief of the village to a sumptuous meal once a week. It didn’t matter to him whether you ate their type of food or not. It was the first and the last time I tasted Akpu, a traditional dish eaten by the people. The headmaster of the school recommended that some of us to be retained to work in the school, a request which the chief of the village sanctioned with the explanation that the children enjoyed the way we taught and they were both going to inform the state secretariat of the NYSC, and local government chairman to that effect. The situation is certainly different now for corps members serving in that state, now known as Delta state, and many other states in the country,

making many to believe that the scheme has lost its relevance. The almost four decades of the scheme has witnessed controversies especially with the killing of corps members during the 2011 elections. This is aside many lives of corps members lost in road mishaps or in ethnic clashes across the country and the hardship they face generally in performing their roles. The development brought to the fore the need to review the NYSC Act at several occasions. In some quarters calls were even made for its scrapping, a matter which nearly dealt the scheme a deadly blow before it found its feet again when some voices rose to the occasion and doused the tension. They posited that the killings of the NYSC members particularly was occasioned by security lapses and poor intelligence gathering on the part of security operatives in the country. They pointed out that the incident did not in any way vitiate the fact that corps members viewed the assignment as service to the nation and thus accepted it with utmost interest and a sense of responsibility. The development has since called for urgent measures to be taken, forcing the management of the NYSC to go back to the drawing board in its quest to

reinvent the scheme and restore confidence of Nigerians, especially parents. Concrete steps were therefore taken to enhance security of corps members, improve their welfare and enhance their economic status through entrepreneurial training. According to a fact sheet of the NYSC because security is cardinal in the optimal performance of corps members in whatever assignments, the scheme in the first quarter of this year concretized the concept of establishing a Distress Call Centre towards enhancing security of corps members, It is indicated that if such initiative was taken earlier it could have safe guarded them in the first place. According to the fact sheet the centre, located at the NYSC national headquarters is an “innovation to assist corps members in getting rapid intervention in case of threat to their lives”. Towards this end, the IT based Centre has data of all corps members across the three batches including their telephone numbers and numbers of security agencies, traditional rulers and prominent personalities in all the corps members locations. Any call put through the centre indicates the name and particulars of the caller with the place of service. Adding that in the event of threat, the centre alerts the nearest security agencies for rapid response. Expectedly, the initiative has in no mean way boasted the morale of corps members in the country to an extent. But it is not only security problems that have bedeviled the scheme. The NYSC have been faced with a myriad of problems ranging from inefficiency, poor funding and burgeoning population of graduates who, after their national service would continue to roam the streets hunting for jobs that are not available. There are also issues of mismanagement and more recently raping and kidnapping amongst others which have been sore points of the scheme. However, a lot of efforts have been made to improve the image of the scheme. Apart from the Distress Call Centre initiative, another interesting initiative is Combat management through Martial Art training. It is an area that has been neglected in most spheres so in the case of the NYSC, the initiative is to help corps members to be combat ready in case of sudden attack or assault. It is to assist in their

physical fitness and in equipping them with the requisite skills for self defence. It would be recalled that a female corps member, Grace Ushang from Cross River state was raped and killed in 2011 when she reportedly went out to buy food in the community where she served. Other areas which the NYSC management is said to be tackling the problems of corps members is the introduction of skills acquisition and entrepreneurship programmes in the course content of the NYSC with a view to raising entrepreneurs to drive the economy of the nation. This aims at reducing to a barest minimum, the situation of unemployment in the country as it is worrisome that young Nigerians after their studies and national service go cap- in- hand seeking jobs that have apparently disappeared. In the same bid, the number of departments at the NYSC has been increased from 7 to 11 to institutionalize the concept, though prior to the policy, the scheme had complemented federal government efforts at reducing unemployment through the NYSC/MDGs’ War Against Poverty. (WAP) The fact sheet showed that presently the NYSC has trained and empowered over 1,376 corps members in Agro Allied ventures/businesses in the last one year. An interest free loan of two hundred and twenty nine million, five hundred thousand naira was released to corps member beneficiaries of the training as soft loans at zero per cent interest rate, to kick start their businesses. It would seem that the measures taken by the management of the NYSC in recent times is yielding fruits. The scheme is reported to have reviewed its activities in tandem with the present a d m i n i s t r a t i o n ’ s transformation agenda. The policy commenced with the batch ‘A’ corps members who were posted to the four critical sectors of the economy namely education, healthcare delivery, agriculture and infrastructural/public works. It is expected that the scheme will continue to leverage and build on the gains so far recorded and in the long run boost the federal government’s Universal Basic Education, enhance food security, increase qualitative rural healthcare and improve infrastructure, amongst others for the benefit of the country.



Politics Constitution review: Senate has no own position-Ndoma-Egba Senate Majority Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba in this interview with Richard Ihediwa throws more light on the position of the Senate on various burning national issues and submitted that only the Nigerian people have the right to decide what goes into the constitution How would rate the performance of the Seventh Senate in the last one year? t has been a remarkable and eventful one year. If you look at the statistics, I think since 1999, this is perhaps the most productive year in terms of number of bills and motion passed. They were not just motions but very topical motions, motions that touched on the roots of fundamental issues in our polity. Also, if you look at the number of investigations and the nature of those investigations, you will notice that they go straight to the heart of accountability in the governance process. If you also take the historical role of the Senate in terms of stabilisng the system in times of crisis, you will also recall that we started 2012 on the note of the labour strike on the issue of removal of fuel subsidy. Again, it was the intervention of the Senate that saved the situation. So, if you look at the legislations, advocacy and the historical role of the Senate in stabilising the polity, I think it has been a very eventful and fruitful one year. Some critics see the Senate as being too close to the executive and they fear that if it continues this way, the legislature will become a rubber stamp of the executive. What is our take on this? I don’t know if the constitution contemplated anything otherwise in terms of the issue of closeness you raised. First of all, if you check our constitution, for you to contest in any election, you must be sponsored by a political party. The executive is a product of the PDP, the majority of the legislators are products of the PDP, so essentially, it is one government. You cannot have a party being in opposition with itself. The fact that we are in the legislature does not make us an opposition and the kind of opposition that is contemplated in the Presidential system is totally different from the kind of opposition that is contemplated in a parliamentary system. So under the presidential system, the opposition that you seek may not be from the parliament but from political parties. What we have is a constitutional role. The Senate,


Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba like the executive and the judiciary and all our public institution are creations of the constitution which prescribes the powers of each arm of government or each institution. That same constitution also delineates those powers and provides for the relationship between one arm and the other. So our role is purely constitutional and we should not be judged by our antagonism to the executive or our closeness to the executive. We should rather be judged with whether or not we are playing our roles as prescribed by the constitution. That is what we should be judged by. The perceived closeness notwithstanding, has it stopped the Senate from its oversight? Has it stopped the Senate from conducting investigations into areas that we believe investigations should be conducted? It hasn’t. So it is our ability to carry out our constitutional responsibility that is the critical question and not whether we enjoy social friendship with members of the other arm of government. We are aware that the overhead budget of the

National Assembly was slashed in the 2012 budget. Did this in any way affect your oversight function? Of course it did but let me also quickly make this additional point by saying that as the National Assembly matures, you find more efficient ways of doing things. We are learning. We have been learning since 1999 till now and don’t forget that of the three arms, we are the youngest and the most traumatised. Whereas the other two arms have existed in one form or the other even during military regimes, in our case, we are abrogated each time there is a military intervention and then restored when there is an episode of democracy and abrogated again. So we have been most traumatised and our growth and development have not been consistent as the other arms of government but we are learning and as we learn, we find more efficient ways of doing things. Of course, if we had more money, probably we would have done more. So we are building on capacity and that capacity is giving us greater efficiency. The Senate is set to

commence another round of constitution amendment. How prepared is the Senate for this exercise? People ask this question against the backdrop of the fact that the issues tabled are very serious ones including fiscal federalism, removal of immunity clause for which the governors are not happy and what have you. Well let me make a clarification. There are two components to the constitutional amendment process. You have the constitutional requirement and then the political process of engagement to arrive at a national consensus on issues. The constitutional requirement provides the mechanics for constitutional amendment. The political process provides the dynamics for that process. So you must combine the mechanics and the dynamics for you to achieve a constitutional amendment. What do I mean by that? The constitutional provision says you start the process and it is approved by two-third of the state assemblies. What is the implication of the approval by the state houses of assembly? It

means that you must have arrived at some from of national consensus before you can get the two-third. So while the process may begin with us in the National Assembly, you must create a process of national engagement to make sure that those areas that you have identified have the national discussion; robust national discussions around those issues to lead to a national consensus. That is when you can get that two-third that is required. So we have tabled areas, in our view, require amendment. We have invited memoranda from the public. We are going to provide a forum for robust engagement and debate for the Nigerian people but we cannot alone midwife the political process that will lead to that consensus. Civil society, state governors, state assemblies, and others have to be involved for us to build a consensus. It is not always that you take consensus for granted. I will give you an example. In the last exercise, we proposed autonomy for the National Assembly and state assemblies. When it went to the states, they approved autonomy for federal legislature but refused their own autonomy. So when you ask how ready we are, I will say that you should judge us by our antecedent. For the first time in the political history of this nation, not only did we succeed in amending the constitution, we did so not once not twice, but three times. So that means that the jinx has been broken. I think the only other time before now that the constitution was amendment was in 1963 when it was amended to create the then eastern region. In that one, the process was reversed. You had the political consensus that now resulted in the constitutional process of amending the constitution but where we find ourselves today, we have to start from the constitutional process to the political process. So, I think that from our antecedents, we have always exhibited the willingness, the courage and the ability to push the constitutional amendment through but in doing so we must not force our views on the Nigerian people, can only ventilate the views of the Nigerian people. Contiuned on page 14



Politics Senate has no own position-Ndoma-Egba Continued from page 13


ne of the key issues tabled for discussion is that of fiscal federalism. However some people fear that if we do that some states especially those in the north might find things very difficult. Personally, do you think it is ripe for Nigeria to practice fiscal federalism? I think it is time for us to practice fiscal federalism. You cannot practice federalism without fiscal federalism. The foundation of federalism is the fiscal element of that federalism. So, if you just talk of federalism without the fiscal component, then you are just practicing cosmetic federalism and not true federalism. So the two must go together. That is the foundation of every federalism, including our own. Now, when we talk about states, you will recall that when we debated the motion by Senator Adetunbi on the state of our economy, I made my contribution and I have been very consistent on my position that inasmuch as we have provision for the creation of states, we should also have provisions for the voluntary merger of states. Why do I say so? If you look at our economic history, from independence, and look at the trajectory, when we had the three regions up to when we had the four regions, you could see, you could feel, you could touch economic growth in the real sense, not the statistical economic growth that they will tell you inflation has reduced, growth rate is this and that percent but it is not translating to employment out there. You could see real growth; you could see the competition among the regions. And you could see that at some point, the economy of the then eastern region of Nigerian was the fasted growing economy in the world. It was so because at that point, the component units of our federation were viable entities. They could stand on their own and that is why they were generating income and remitting to the center. If you now take that up the12 state structure, you could see some viability but by the time you got to the 19 states structure, you began to see question marks about the viability of states. So, as far as I am concerned the viability of our federal component was evident from the three regional structure, to the four regional structure and clearly to the 12 state structure. After the 12 state structure, the viability of states became doubtful. Where we are today, there is no doubt that our structure is not economically

viable. It may be politically convenient, but economically unviable. When we talk about viability of states, we went past that point a long time ago. So our federalism is no longer based on the viability of states because the component units of our federalism have since the 19 state structure been unviable. That is why we have been unable to see real development. This is because we now have components that instead of contributing to the federal purse are absolutely dependent on the federal purse for their sustenance. So, in my view we need to go back to a fundamental political restructuring of the polity if the units have to be economically viable. Another issue tabled for discussion is that of rotation of executive offices, that is, the position of the President and state governors. How do you see this, especially against the backdrop of calls to use merit as a criteria for such offices instead of zoning? Let me say that the role of the National Assembly in the constitutional amendment process is both formal and informal. Informal in the sense that we can generate discussions on issues but that is the much we can do and then the formal is that we eventually ratify. What we are doing now is that informal process of generating and guiding discussions. It does not mean that we have a position. Our position at the end of the day will be determined by the memoranda we get, the debates from Nigerians and our summary of those debates. We are not approaching this issue with any preconceived notions or positions. So we don’t have any position on that. I have my own views on the question you asked and it is a view that is public. I have said it and I will say it again that the issue of federal character or rotation cannot be with us forever. It is only a stop gap measure that is designed to address some immediate challenges. But with time, Nigerians are going care less where people come from when

Ndoma-Egba we begin to really deliver on the expectations of Nigerians. The way people feel hunger in the north is not different from the way people in the south feel hunger. It is because of the primordial state of politics that people care where their leaders come from. We will get past that point and when we get past that point federal character and rotation will be outdated. Nigeria today is faced by very serious security challenges. How, in your opinion can we achieve a permanent solution to the problem? You know the mistake we keep making in Nigeria is to create a dichotomy between people and government. As long as we have that dichotomy, we cannot go anywhere especially in the area of security except we


I think it is time for us to practice fiscal federalism. You cannot practice federalism without fiscal federalism. The foundation of federalism is the fiscal element of that federalism

want a complete police state, you know the kind of big brother that George Orwell envisaged in his novel, 1984, where government will be eavesdropping on every conversation including conversations between husband and wife, among children and so on. If that is what we want, then we must be ready for the consequences. Security everywhere in the world is a collaborative thing. The people must be involved; government must be involved; everybody must be involved. As child growing up, if you see a stranger in the village, the first thing was to alert the chief and the chief will investigate and if the stranger came to visit somebody, that person he came to visit will guarantee his stay. So everybody was involved. As children, anything we did was of interest to all the elders in the community. But today, if you see a strange man move into a building you stay, many people will not report. People will keep quiet and hope that government will come and find out. Who is government? Nigerians are worried that resolutions of the National Assembly especially from its probes are not implemented because they do not have the force of law. Is the National Assembly, thinking of

amending relevant sections of the constitution to make its resolution have the force of law? It is a way out. People have told me with a bit of cynicism when we embark on any probe that nothing will come out of them. Again, I go back to the constitution that created us and gave us our powers. If you look at section 88, it empowers us to expose corruption, inefficiency or waste with a view to making legislations to reduce such. Right now the powers we have stops at exposing corruption. The moment we have exposed it, we have fulfilled our constitutional mandate. All the agencies that you have to investigate and do other things are all under the executive. The ones that will try are in the judiciary. So constitutionally, the moment we have exposed corruption, we have fulfilled our mandate. You cannot give yourself more powers than the constitution has given you; that will be lawlessness. When we talk about rule of law, it means that you will stay within the ambits of the law. We cannot begin to react to the popular or mob demands and then you go outside the constitution. You cannot. Are we thinking of amending that section to give more powers to the National Assembly? There is a bill to that effect pending in the National Assembly. I believe that like any other legislative issue, there will be argument for and argument against. So it is difficult to say now that it will pass or it will not pass. But I know that there is a bill that seeks to amend the provision of the constitution to make resolution that have been passed in a particular manner and with a certain number of votes binding on the executive Recently former head of state, Muhammadu Buhari was reported to have said that there will be more bloodshed if the 2015 election is rigged. How would you react to this? I was not there when the statement was made. I read it in the newspapers but I think the language of elders should always inspire hope and reconciliation. Next week, the nation would be celebrating Democracy Day. What is your message to Nigerians? In spite of our challenges and the problems we have had, there is still no option to democracy. Somebody said democracy might be the worst form of government but that there is nothing better than it and I agree with him. We should keep faith with our democracy and all of must join hands in deepening it.



Man In The News Obasanjo again

Who is Baba afraid of after all? By Richard Ihediwa


ince he left office, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has never been lacking in controversy. When he eased himself out as Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustee, many thought that the former President, who was widely believed to have tried to elongate his tenure to a third term, would go into the shadows for sometime, but that was not the case. Obasanjo was in the news again this week and federal lawmakers are calling for his head over his recent comment describing them and some judicial officers as criminals and rogues. He said the same goes to members of the state houses of assembly and the police. That was on Tuesday, at the fourth annual national conference of the Academy for Entrepreneurial Studies in Lagos. The former President took a leave out of his retirement and lambasted the National Assembly saying there were criminals in the two chambers of the National Assembly and wondered what manner of laws they will be making for the nation. Obasanjo had said; “Integrity is necessary for systems and institutions to be strong. Today, rogues, armed robbers are in the state Houses of Assembly and the National Assembly. What sort of laws will they make? “The judiciary is also corrupt. During my tenure, many of the corrupt judges were removed. Some are still there. If the Judiciary becomes corrupt, where is the hope for the nation? Justice, no doubt, will go to the highest bidder.The judiciary did not see anything wrong with a former governor but the same set of evidence was used to sentence him in the United Kingdom.” About the police Obasanjo said; “The police are even worse. Well, I will not lament. I will only say let us understand our problems and emphasise the good ones. The problem is that the diligence that was being undertaken before people are appointed or elected is no more today,” Since then federal lawmakers have been calling the former President names and challenged him to be bold enough to mention names with the House of Representatives ordering an inquest into the issue. On the other hand the judiciary and the police had remained almost mum.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo However, the questions some people ask are; is something wrong with the former President? Why should he not just keep quiet instead of always trying the foment trouble? Is his own hands clean? On the other hand some other people ask; are there indeed criminals and rogues in the National Assembly? Are there such elements in the judiciary and the police? Are we at home with the realities if there are such elements in these critical institutions? While the earlier batch of questions are representative of questions from politicians including members of the National Assembly, the later represents to a large extent, the questions ringing in the minds of ordinary Nigerians who see these institution in not so good lights. However, Obasanjo’s statement is instructive as the nation is now in dire need of legislations that will enable anti-corruption agencies work effectively. This will not be the first time Obasanjo or a Nigerian of very high repute would accuse the National Assembly of being replete with people or questionable character. It would be recalled that former Chairman, Senate

Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Senator Nuhu Aliyu in 2008 threw caution to the winds to say that the National Assembly was replete with people of questionable character including those he said he had arrested and detained when he was in the police. At the House of Representatives, the Obasanjo accusation was thrown up by the Deputy Minority Leader, Suleiman Kawu, who submitted that “Obasanjo lacked the moral authority to call lawmakers rogues and armed robbers.” Although Speaker Aminu Tambuwal initially obliged him, he quickly stopped Kawu when he started raining abuses on

Obasanjo. Kawu accused Obasanjo of being without a good reputation and that such a man had no “moral authority to call lawmakers armed robbers”. The House later resolved that its Committee on Ethics should look into the issue. The Senate on its own part said it would not drag itself into any exchange of words with the former President but urged him to name the bad eggs. Senate spokesman, Enyinnaya Abaribe, announced the Senate’s position at a news conference on Wednesday. According to Abaribe, “The National Assembly has great respect for the person of the former president of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and

Obasanjo was in the news again this week and federal lawmakers are calling for his head over his recent comment describing them and some judicial officers as criminals and rogues. He said the same goes to members of the state houses of assembly and the police

the National Assembly can never engage in any ‘talkback’ to the president. “We actually feel that the former president would help the National Assembly and Nigeria in the new spirit of transparency and openness to assist the assembly by naming those that he knows as either rogues or criminals,” he said. Critics are already looking at the issues critically even as some Nigerians insist that the matter must not be swept under the carpet. Some of them believe that Obasanjo, being a former President who had access to serious information about people and issues, could not have just spoken out of empty air. They believe that Obasanjo has some hard facts and collaborate with the Senate in urging him to mention names. On the other hand, some analysts opine that the House of Representatives is simply grandstanding instead of facing the facts especially as some members are now in court over allegations of fraud. Currently, former Chairman House Committee on the Capital Market, Herman Hembe and his deputy Emeka Azubuogu have been charged to court over allegation by the Director General of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Arunma Oteh, that he demanded for bribe of N44 million to influence the Capital Market probe as well as collecting huge sums of money for foreign trips he never made. On the flip side, one is quick to remember that the former President has been having very high doses of accusations of corruption and it might be based on this that Kawu averred that he had no moral standing to accus the legislature. However, that Obasanjo had been accused of corruption in the past does not necessarily mean that he cannot point out rogues when he sees some. Obasanjo is still to answer to the allegations of under-hand deals in the privatisation of government owned firms levelled against him by witnesses at the Senate privatisation investigation last year. In any case, the former President is reputed to be fearless. Now there is a challenge for him to prove that as the Senate is still waiting for him the mention the names of the rogue legislators so that it can take it up from there. The take of Nigerians is that this matter must not be wept under the carpet.




Agbokim Falls: Falling water with seven faces By Richard Ihediwa with agency reports


ver seen the Agbokim Falls? Agbokim Fall is one of the most scenic of all falls in the country. Other scenic falls in Nigeria include the Gurara Falls, the Assop Fall, the Azimili River Fall among others but none is as unique as the Agbokim Falls. Already, tourists are demanding that it should be listed among the seven wonders of nature in Nigeria. Agbokim Fall is located in Agbokim in Cross River state, a scenic town 17 kilometers from Ikom and 315 kilometers from Calabar, the state capital and not very far from the Nigeria- Cameroon border. What makes the Agbokim Fall unique is that this beautiful and breathtaking waterfall consists of seven streams, each cascading over seven steep cliffs which provide seven-faced falls. From the hilly sides, the falls cut the picture of running pillars of water crystals crashing on the base below with roars and white foams. Agbokim waterfall is actually on the Cross River, where it descends in terraces, through the tropical rainforest. The fall is surrounded by lush greenery, valleys and steep hills which are enveloped in a rainbowlike aura. Its freshness is captivating and has an alluring serenity. Cross River (Oyono), from which the state derived its name is the main river in the state. it originates from

Agbokim waterfalls at sunset

Agbokim waterfalls Cameroon where it takes the name of the Manyu River. Over its last 80 km to the sea its flows through swampy rainforest with numerous creeks and forms an inland delta near its confluence with the Calabar River, about 20 km wide and 50 km long between the cities of Oron on the west bank and Calabar, on the east bank, more than 30 km from the open sea. The delta empties into a broad estuary which it shares with a few smaller rivers. At its mouth in the Atlantic Ocean

the estuary is 24 km wide. The eastern side of the estuary is in the neighbouring country of Cameroon. The Cross River forms a boundary between two tropical moist forest ecoregions, the Cross-Niger transition forests which lie west of the river, between the Cross and Niger Rivers, and the Cross-Sanaga-Bioko coastal forests, which lie to the east between the Cross River and the Sanaga River of Cameroon. However, the river's pillars at Agbokim are a spectacular falling sheet of water where it descends in terraces, through the tropical rainforest. When at the falls, you will see lush greenery vegetation all over the valleys and steep hills which are enveloped in a rainbow like aura. The fall is one of the sights that give the journey to the Obudu Cattle Ranch unique. There is no way you will be travelling to Obudu Cattle Resort without passing through Agbokim Waterfalls. It is very attractive and a good tourist spots which is highly recommended for picnics. In fact many tourists state that they have not seen and fall as beautiful as Agbokim

Fall. Unlike some falls that dry up or reduce in velocity and force in the dry season, the Agbokim Fall remain full and in top form all year round. At the 2011 Calabar Carnival a cross section of foreign tourists who shared their impressions about Cross River were full of admirations for the spectacular Water Falls which they described as one of the best in the world.

One of the tourists, Italian Stefano Dannielli said he has never seen any Water Falls as beautiful as Agbokim especially relating to its seven different sources of flowing waters and the beautiful green lurch around the water falls. To get to the Agbokim Falls, one has to get to Calabar and then move to Ikom where he would connect the Agbokim town. The area around the fall provides excellent spot for picnics, landscape watching, bird watching and relaxation. Cross River state has many tourist attractions including the famous Obudu cattle ranch, the Rain forests of Afi, from the Waterfalls of Kwa, the spiralling ox-bow Calabar River which provides sights and images of the Tinapa Business Res ort, Calabar Marina, Calabar Residency Museum and the Calabar Slave Park along its course. There is always a thrilling adventure awaiting the eco-tourist visiting Cross River State. Other tourist attractions are the Ikom Monoliths (a series of volcanic-stone monoliths of unknown age), the Mary Slessor Tomb, Calabar Drill Monkey Sanctuary, Cross River National Park, Afi Mountain walkway canopy, Kwa falls, Agbokim waterfalls, Tinapa Business Resort and the annual Calabar Carnival that takes place during the Christmas period.

Agbokim waterfalls in full rainy season





I’m a very transparent person — Angela Okorie — Page 24

I N S I D E:




Relationship Why I love other women’s men Diary of a single girl Being a single girl in Joburg is not easy; this is why I love to use men who aren't mine


arrived home to find my water outlet pipe raging water into my garden and as I waltzed into my garage to get my hammer, I started to think back to when my brilliant brother taught me what to do when these types of things happen. He so kindly and patiently assisted my mom and sisters through most of our home issues over so many years to make us into the very independent women we are today. I still refer to him as ‘my MacGyver’ and everyone who comes into contact with him concurs, he is amazing with some Q20, duct tape and a Swiss Army knife. I got to thinking about a few years back when I was so adamant to buy a bakkie. With the full knowledge that a girl walking into a dealership with the dreams of owning a double cab would not be taken seriously, I dragged a good guy mate with me. He was instrumental in the car I bought as well as helping with the basics of diesel driving, information I still impart to new 4by and diesel drivers. Fast forward to ten months ago, I dragged another man in my life to help me buy my first mountain bike. Along with a very patient sales guy, they kitted me out with what is now one of my favourite toys. The trick to taking someone with specific knowledge is they know what you need, what makes it comfortable and what makes you look cool to the outside world.

When I started doing triathlons, I then needed a road bike, so off I dragged a triathlon specialist with me to same sales person. (Although at this stage he must have thought I was a bit of a swinger.) My new friend assisted with additional shoes, bike and accessories for the new sport. Arriving at my first triathlon, a 20 year tri vet took one look at my bike and insisted on removing all the stickers, puncture kit, gloves, socks and extra water bottles. I was horrified, but accepted that he knew more than me and proceeded to do the race not looking like a complete newbie. Today a work mate asked me if there was a starter kit for newbies. It got me thinking of all the other women’s men I called upon to help me on a daily basis. I consider myself so lucky to have a circle of experts that I can call on at any stage to off advice, set up my gear, and guide me on my paths of life experiences. On few occasions I have bribed them with food. I do remember an evening before the Half Iron Man race where I needed to learn how to change a tire on my bike or like the time I won an Ipad and needed help with the setup. Luckily I am a good cook. The other people I do need to thank are the very understanding wives of all my guy mates that very patiently accept that they share their guys with

me on occasion with no complaints or jealousy. So my top list of places to find people I ask for assistance have to be: 1. Work mates; they are an invaluable source of information for sports gear, gift ideas and the occasional man advice on relationships. 2 . The ‘expert’ in the store; contrary to many people’s beliefs, most of these guys are genuinely there to help you and will offer a constructive viewpoint. 3 . The IT Nerd @ the office; they can also be the IT nerd of a close friend. Normally very happy to assist setting up new phones, gadgets and computers. I have on many occasions managed to get software upgrades, phone switches and gadget advice in exchange for some

Ferrero Rocher. 4 . The sports expert; often their enthusiasm overshadows your immediate needs, but if you are quite specific on what you can afford, they will tell you their own best options before settling down to the normal man’s vocabulary and imparting some valuable insights. They can often be found at dinner parties. Sometimes single. At the end of the day it is important to always have an opinion on what you are looking for or to get done. The last thing you need is an iPad set up of metal music when you are a pop chick because you said you did not care what music was loaded. Always set a budget and be comfortable saying what you are and what you are not prepared to spend. It does not leave a great taste in your mouth when you walk out of a store having overspent your budget getting gear you probably don’t need because you were bullied or too intimidated to say no. So pick your team of experts and men to borrow. Treat them kindly. You never know when you are going to be giving them a call again. Source: Dreamskygirlsa



Beauty Tips Top 10 beauty health hazards

Eyeliner Eyeliner has been around for centuries and is popular with many women as a way to frame eyes and make them stand out. However, although in most cases eyeliner is no cause for concern, applying any product so close to your eyes can come with its risks. Not only are many eyeliners made up of chemicals which can cause irritation, but applying the product too close to the inner corners of your eyes can lead to blocked tear ducts. To keep your eyes healthy, use a natural kohl eyeliner, avoid applying too close to the tear ducts, and replace your eyeliner after three months.

Tight ponytails You may not think about your health when considering how to wear your hair, but your hairdo not only affects how you look, it can also affect how you feel. Wearing your hair in a tight ponytail can strain the connective tissue in the scalp, leading to headaches as well as hair breakage and loss. Wearing your hair in a tight braid and wearing headbands can also have similar effects. If you feel a headache coming on, let your hair down to help ease the symptoms.

Hair dye While ditching your hair dye may seem like a scary prospect, continuing to colour your hair could have even more frightening results. The chemical paraphenylenediamine (PPD) is thought to be behind up to 80 per cent of allergic reactions to hair dye. While most of these reactions are relatively minor, including blisters and skin sores, PPD has been linked to more serious conditions such as permanent hair loss and, in rare cases, even death - although this link has yet to be confirmed. As allergies to PPD can develop at any time, it is important to perform a patch test every time you colour your hair. It may also be worth swapping to safer chemical-free or wash-out dyes. Hair straightening products

Many women opt for salon straightening treatments to help keep curly or unruly hair poker straight for months at a time. However, in 2011 the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a health warning over the risks of exposure to the carcinogen formaldehyde found even in straightening products listed as formaldehyde-free. Whilst salon workers who regularly use these products are at the most risk, it is still wise to avoid the dangerous chemical by manually straightening hair with blow-drying and straightening irons instead.

Mascara Mascara can harbour bacteria that is transferred into the product after each application and which can reproduce in the

dark, warm environment of the mascara tube, potentially leading to eye infections. To help reduce the health risks associated with your mascara, make sure you store your mascara in a cool place and replace it after three months. Also, avoid applying your mascara in the car or on a journey as the motion can cause scratches to the eye during application which can also lead to infections. Lipstick your makeup can also mean sharing infections. It is impossible to tell by looking at someone if they have an infection as some viruses can be contagious even before they begin to show. Sharing lipstick could lead to catching cold sores, while eye makeup is the most risky and can lead to eye infections such as the extremely contagious conjunctivitis. If you must share makeup, minimise risk by wiping off the top layer before use.

Apparently the average woman eats four to nine pounds of lipstick in her lifetime. Given that a 2004 study revealed that up to 28% of lipsticks contain chemicals that can cause cancer, this is a pretty scary statistic. A 2007 study by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics also found that more than 50 per cent of lipstick brands tested contained lead. Look after your health by switching to natural, organic brands of lipstick, particularly if pregnant. Fish pedicures

In the last few years, fish pedicures have soared in popularity across the world, with people flocking to doctor fish spas for help with psoriasis, eczema or simple pedicures in which the fish nibble away at dead skin to leave areas smooth and soft. However, just as quickly as popularity grew, health reports were issued over the perceived dangers of this treatment. Reports state that fish pedicures could spread viruses such as HIV and hepatitis. While the risk is thought to be low, it is advised that those who carry a blood-borne virus, have any open cuts, or who have recently waxed or shaved their legs should avoid getting this treatment. Shared beauty products It can be tempting to borrow your friend's lipstick when you've forgotten your own or to lend your best pal your mascara when she asks, however sharing

Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids You may not have heard of Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids (AHAs and BHAs) but they are commonly used in many beauty products, including anti-wrinkle and acne creams. Both AHAs and BHAs act as skin exfoliants, sloughing off dead skin cells. However, alongside potential side effects such as burning, swelling and skin irritation, the chemicals have a fairly dangerous side effect in that they drastically increase the risk of UV skin damage, therefore increasing risk of skin cancer. If you must use these products, make sure you use a high SPF daily to minimise risk of sun damage. However, exfoliating skin with natural skin scrubs may offer a gentler solution to applying acids. False nails While false nails applied properly should pose little risk to your health, long term use, or using cheap acrylic or poorly fitted nails, can damage the nail bed, lead to fungal infections between the false and natural nail and lead to natural nails coming off. Furthermore, some nail bars use acrylic nail products containing the chemical methyl methacrylate (MMA), which has been linked to respiratory problems and severe allergic reactions. Reports have also suggested that overexposure to the ultra-violet lamps used to fix artificial nails can also increase risk of skin cancer. Yahoo! Lifestyle Network



Peoples Tech When your car refuses to start (I) By Richard Ihediwa


hen one gets into his car and turns the ignition key, the expectation is that the engine should respond by cranking and starting. However, many people do not always have it that easy. They have to mutter some prayers before turning the key, believing that by sheer luck and providence, the engine should start. Such people include those with bad batteries, kick starter problems, injector or carburetor problems among others. Sometimes, detecting which system has the problem could be a herculean task especially for those who are not very technically inclined or those with very little experience on the workings of cars. If your car refuses to start when you have an important engagement to catch, it can be very devastating. However, it is more devastating when this happens in the middle of heavy traffic. Cars do not understand your emotions or your schedules, they pack up when components fail and would not move unless the problem is solved. One of the major causes of failure of cars to start is bad battery. When your battery packs up, you could get people to push your car to start if it is manual drive, but if it is an automatic drive, you have more problem and can only get going if you get another battery. It is therefore good to ensure that your battery is in good condition always. Under normal circumstances car batteries last up to two year, though this depend on a number of factors including size of battery, extent of use and the charging system in the car.

Faulty cars can lead to serious disappointments As a rule vehicle batteries do not just pack up without reason and most times there are warning signs which a lot of motorists ignore There are a few but very important steps you must take to ensure you are not embarrassed by battery failure. Ensure that you get a battery that matches the size of your engine and electrical load of your vehicle. When you use a low capacity battery for higher engines and electrical load, the tendency that the battery will buckle under stress after a few months is very high. At starting, all the energy required to turn the engine is derived from the battery. If the engine is heavier than the battery

Choose battries that suit the energy need of your car

power, it will wear it out fast. Cars which have electrical features such as automatic windows, central lock, high tech music system, high capacity head light, radiator fan among other electrical appliances should use batteries with not less than 65 to 70 amps. Using batteries below 65 amps may result to stress on the cell and lead to damage. No matter the size of the battery, ensure that it is not overused. Ensure that your lights are off when the vehicle engine is off. Leaving your headlights on for several minutes when the car is off can bear stress on the battery and damage the cells. Also at start up, some vehicle radiator fans are wired in a way

that they start when the ignition is turned on. The result if that the battery is given the load of getting the engine to start as well as keeping the fan running. Consider changing the order. You can connect the fan via the alternator so that it starts only when the engine is on and the alternator has started working. Also if the car has some other system problems such as injector or carburetor problems, do not try to use the battery to get them working by over starting the engine. This will damage the cells. Take care of the problem. Also, ensure that the battery is not over loaded. Some people make use of a lot of equipments even when the vehicle is off. Imagine a driver whose leg is on the brake pedal with the brake lights on and at the same time trying to shut his electronic windows while the stereo is on. Such practices bear pressure on the battery. Another problem that leads to battery failure is that of faulty charging system. Cars are fitted

with alternators which restore used battery energy. Also alternators are designed with switches that disconnect that battery thereby allowing equipments to run on current generated from the battery. When the alternator is bad, it will no longer supply power to the engine, the vehicle will be left to run on the battery and this will kill the cell in a matter of hours. Also if the charging system is faulty, it will not replace used battery energy and this can damage the cells in a matter of days. Also using a charging system lower than that specified for your car can also damage your cell. Over charging resulting from faulty cut-out switch can also led to cell damage. Some batteries may fail to recharge not because the alternator is bad but because the battery terminals and the cables heads may be dirty. This will cause partial contact between the battery head and the cables and hinder free flow of electric current from the alternator. Regular cleaning of the battery terminals with soap and water will help. Another problem that can be responsible for battery failure is faulty wiring system. This is usually when some major equipment in the car refuse to go off even after the ignition is switched off. Sometimes due to switch failure, equipments such as electronic window motor, seat adjustment motor, A/C compressor among others which running might not be noticeable could still be left working while the car is off and after some hours, the life in the battery is sapped. If your new battery always go dead in the morning and you have checked your alternator then faulty switch could be the culprit. Get an electrician to trace the problem. In the interim, consider removing the ignition cable from the battery when you are ready for a long pack.

Ensure your alternator is working well



Healthy Living Helping kids deal with computer stress M ost kids often spend hours at the computer. So it’s important for parents to know about the causes of repetitive stress injuries and how to prevent them. Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) are conditions caused by placing too much stress on a joint, and they vary in type and severity. Most RSIs are linked to the stress of repetitive motions at the computer or overuse injuries in sports. RSI in kids may occur from heavy computer or video game use, texting, playing musical instruments, or the repetitive motion of sports like tennis. An RSI occurs when stress is placed on a joint, pulling on the tendons and muscles around the joint. When the stress occurs repeatedly, the body does not have time to recover and becomes irritated. The body reacts to the irritation by increasing the amount of fluid in that area to reduce the stress placed on the tendon or muscle. Conditions that result in RSIs include: Carpal tunnel syndrome: swelling inside a narrow “tunnel” formed by bone and ligament in the wrist; the tunnel surrounds nerves that conduct sensory and motor impulses to and from the hand, leading to pain, tingling, and numbness. Cervical radiculopathy: disk compression in the neck, often caused by repetitive cradling of a phone on the shoulder.

Kids can be protected from RSIs Epicondylitis: elbow soreness often called “tennis elbow”, Ganglion cyst: swelling or lump in the wrist resulting from jelly-like substance that has leaked from a joint or tendon sheath. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy: a condition characterized by dry, swollen hands and loss of muscle control; consistently painful. Tendonitis: tearing and inflammation of tendons connecting bones to muscles. Fortunately, only a small percentage of kids have RSI.

You can help prevent RSI by taking preventive measures and redesigning your home computer environment. Prevention Preventive measures can help kids avoid RSIs altogether: They include. Always remind kids to sit up straight. Slouching or crouching over the keyboard can place undue stress upon the neck, back, or spine and lead to an RSI. Tell kids to avoid tensing their shoulders. Legs should be positioned comfortably and feet should be flat on the floor or on

a footrest with the legs and hips perpendicular (between 90100 degrees) relative to the spine. Remind them that pounding on the keyboard is unnecessary and can hurt them and the keyboard itself! Using a light touch to type is best. Also, be sure that they don’t reach for the keys; if so, the keyboard should be moved closer. Kids should maintain a 90-degree angle between the wrists and elbows and the upper part of the arms. Fingers and wrists should remain level while typing. Taking frequent breaks is also important for preventing RSIs. Kids can lose track of time and forget to take breaks, so make sure they rest their eyes, back, wrists, and neck every half hour or so. Stretching, getting a snack or a drink, or walking or taking a bike ride can help kids avoid future pain. Eye twitching; sore, tired, burning, itching, or dry eyes; blurred or double vision; and increased sensitivity to light are all symptoms of eyestrain, so tell kids to look away from the computer and focus on something far away every once in a while. Proper lighting of the workspace will also help to prevent eyestrain. Many times, RSIs are caused by using the wrong tool for the job. Because most computer systems are designed for the body of a 25-year-old man, be sure to get chairs, monitors,

input devices, and keyboards that are suitable for your kids’ size Treatment Repetitive strain (also called cumulative trauma) symptoms include tingling, numbness, and searing pain, which indicate the presence of progressive nerve and muscle damage. If your child complains of excessive fatigue or stiffness in the neck or back or any of these other symptoms, a visit to the doctor is in order. Treatments for RSI vary; your doctor may prescribe cold treatments to reduce swelling and pain and rest to reduce irritation and speed up healing. Once the swelling and pain has gone away, the doctor may suggest a rehabilitation program to exercise the muscles slowly and prevent loss of movement in the joint. Another part of treatment might be anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the pain.

It is unhealthy to expose a toddler to cumputer

Remove body hair and feel more attractive Men are taking a greater interest in personal grooming and in body hair removal, once seen as a typically female affair.


en are taking a greater interest in personal grooming and in body hair removal. Once seen as a typically female effort, it has slowly made its way to becoming a socially acceptable male effort too. The number of male customers for body hair removal has been steadily increasing and with over 60% of women saying they prefer a man who is interested in personal grooming, that number is sure to keep rising. When done correctly, hair removal can leave you feeling more hygienic and more attractive to the opposite sex. However, not all methods are for everyone, every skin type or even every body part. Trimming Trimming body hair is an easy way of looking after your appearance without going overboard. Trimming the hair

obviously doesn’t remove it, but it certainly gets rid of the excess and it keeps things clean and tidy which may make it ideal for ideas for areas such as the brows, armpits and the pubic region. There are also no side-effects. The downside, however, is that the effects of trimming are very short-term and regular attention is required to keep things in order. Shaving This is easily the most common form of hair removal because it is cheap, quick and reasonably straightforward to carry out, making it an attractive option for the modern man. However, despite its convenience, shaving has the disadvantage of being one of the most temporary forms of hair removal: depending on the area shaved, results only last for up to 24 hours. Additionally, skin

irritation and ingrown hairs are also a common side-effect of shaving, especially for men with sensitive skin. When shaving, always shave in the direction in which your hair grows; to combat skin problems associated with shaving, invest in a quality razor and change the blade (or sharpen it) regularly. After shaving, moisturising the shaved area or apply after-shave balm. Tweezing Using tweezers is ideal for getting rid of the odd stray hair anywhere on the body or for

tidying up certain areas where there is not much body hair in the first place. However, tweezing can be painful, and like most forms of hair removal, ingrown hairs are a possibility. Additionally, because tweezing requires you to remove one hair at a time, it is not a worthwhile form of hair removal for those wishing to get rid of a large area of hair. Before tweezing, it is worth having a hot shower or splashing warm water over the desired area in order to open the pores of the skin and thus facilitate hair removal and reduce pain. When tweezing a hair out, pull gently in the direction of hair growth so as to reduce the risk of ingrown hairs or skin irritation. Threading Threading is actually one of the oldest methods of body hair removal and involves rolling twisted threads over hairlines to remove unwanted hair. It is a difficult technique that takes practitioners many months to perfect, so you likely won’t be doing this alone or at home. It is inexpensive, fast and slightly

uncomfortable but requires a very skilled practitioner. Unfortunately, threading only works on flat surfaces and removes hair in straight lines, making it more suitable for the face and other small regions and unsuitable for larger or curved regions. Waxing This form of hair removal involves spreading heated wax over the desired area and then using a strip to remove the wax and the hair along with it. This technique is effective and can last for up to four weeks. Additionally, waxing is cheap and waxing kits are readily available, allowing you to do it yourself in the comfort of your own home. Caution must be taken however, as the pain of waxing is an inescapable truth, especially for first-timers, and while it guarantees a hairless body, it can also lead to skin irritation and ingrown hairs. To combat ingrown hairs, thoroughly exfoliate the problem area and generously moisturize to encourage the new hair to grow normally.


With Aunty A'isha

Sights and sounds Children's Day: Celebrating innocence


hildhood is perhaps the best part of anyone’s life as during this time we enjoy life to the fullest. Children do not know what sorrow is, they do not know the harsh realities of time and go about being happy in their own merry world. Children’s day is a special day that aims to celebrate childhood, the most wonderful stage in the life of a person. Universally children’s day is generally celebrated on the 1st of June but not regularly. The International Children’s day has its origin at the World Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland for the well

schools have some or the other events lined up on this day and this is one day that children look forward to. And now due to the huge inroads made by satellite television, you will invariably find channels beaming out different programs to attract the children’s attention on this day. The earlier memories that come to my mind about children’s day are the excitement and anticipation that I and my friends used to have. It was a huge occasion for all of us and we really wanted to take part in all the activities and win those prizes as well. In those days, all my

PAGE 23 08082071393.


Cats and dogs


man and his wife had a golden ring. They didn’t know it was a lucky ring. One day they sold the ring for a little bit of money but they then became poorer and poorer. The couple were so poor that they could no longer feed their cat and dog. The dog told the cat that they had to get the lucky ring back so they could have money and food again. The cat agreed and told the dog that he knew where the ring was kept. The cat caught a mouse and they all went to the house where the ring was kept in a casket. The mouse made a hole in the casket and got the ring out. The cat took the ring in his mouth. The dog and the cat rushed home to give the ring back to their masters. The cat jumped from treetop to rooftop and got home much more quickly than the dog that could only run. Because the cat arrived first, the masters decided to treat him with lots of food and lots of care. Unfortunately, they were not so kind to the dog that came home later. The dog did not forgive the cat’s selfishness and since then dogs and cats have never been friends.


being of children. In India, 14th November, is celebrated as Children’s day, this day commemorates the birthday of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister. Pt. Nehru liked children very much and he was often photographed with them and it is perhaps very apt that his birthday is celebrated as children’s day. Pt. Nehru is seen as a special child of India as he was the country’s first Prime Minister which it achieved after a long struggle for freedom and independence. On this day, all the school organizes different types of fun activities for children. Communities and cultural clubs also organize different activities for children. There are also different types of competitions held on this day and prizes are distributed to the winners. It is that one day in the year when we not only celebrate childhood but also remember one of the most prominent leaders in the history of India. Almost all

friends aimed for those prizes on children’s day as most of them were tickets to some ride in an amusement park. Now, what better than this can be a gift to a child? I remember taking part in a quiz competition with my friend, and we won the first prize there. The prize was a book on fairy tales and let me tell you this is one of the most treasured possessions in my collection of books. Children’s day is celebrated on different days in different countries across the world. In Nigeria, it is celebrated on the 27th of May, in Japan, it is celebrated on the 5th of May, and this day is known as Kodomo no hi, in Israel, it is celebrated on 9th October, in Hong Kong, on 4th April. Children all over the world look forward to that day when children’s day is celebrated in their country as this is the one day when they can enjoy and celebrate the joy of childhood. Article Source: Denis Tyler


round 1000 B.C. much of Africa was covered by small villages of peoples who shared languages that were similar to one another. Among these people are the Bantus. Basically, because the languages they shared were known as Bantu, these people

The Bantus, in local costumes

are referred to as the Bantu people. The Bantus lived in small villages that were governed by a chief, council, or by elders. These villages were typically made up of extended families, but marriage among people of different villages was common.

The locations of Bantu villages were temporary. They tended to remain in one location until the resources in that area were exhausted, as life became more difficult, or the ground less fertile, they would move on to a new location.



With Aunty A'isha 08082071393.


Tortoise and the Igbako



he Tortoise family nibbled at what little food there was, but no one was satisfied. Tortoise said, “When I had plenty of food, everyone ate of it. Now I have food that does not satisfy, everyone must share in the dissatisfaction”. So he set off for the palace and asked the Oba to assemble all the animals. When all the animals were gathered, anticipating a huge feast, Tortoise brought out his tiny igbako and said, “Igbako, what is your duty?” The igbako replied, I make tiny lumps of iyan, I make tiny lumps of eba, such that the whole world eats but is never full. The animals grumbled as they struggled for the little pieces of food that appeared. “Ask igbako to make more food!” they yelled. And Tortoise asked igbako to do its duty again and again until the tiny igbako broke. And there was still not enough food. The animals were angry. “Go back and get another one”, they yelled at the tortoise. For the third time, Tortoise flew with borrowed feathers to the ocean over many rivers to see the water goddess. He cried out to her “Help me, my family starves, igbako is broken again. Please give me another one.” The water goddess came out and asked him, “Did you break your promise and share the igbako with others?” “Oh no”,

replied Tortoise, “I would never do that. I kept my promise, yet igbako broke.” “Well then, I’ll give you something else this time – a rod built so strong, it shall not break” said the water goddess. She gave Tortoise a rod and returned into the ocean. “Rod, what is your duty?” asked Tortoise to which the rod replied, I whip the disobedient I whip the greedy till their skin is white with pain. And the rod began to whip Tortoise. “I shared my big igbako, I shared my small igbako, I shall not keep this rod for myself”, Tortoise said to himself and he picked the rod and his borrowed feathers and flew back home.

When he got home, he gathered his family in the room and asked the rod, “Rod, what is your duty?” The rod replied, I whip the disobedient I whip the greedy till their skin is white with pain. The entire Tortoise family received a good whipping. After that, Tortoise took the rod to the palace where all the animals were waiting for him after their disappointing feast. “Rod, what is your duty”, Tortoise asked. Again the rod replied, I whip the disobedient I whip the greedy till their skin is white with pain. Every animal present received a whipping as they fled back into the forest The end

Zainab Musa Adamu


Make your own loop paper Bonka Step 2 Ask an adult to help you with this next part. Ask grown-up for help What you need: •Long strip of black card •Glue or sticky tape •Black and pink card to make the ears •Scissors •White card/paper to make the eyes •Black felt tip Step 1 Take the strip of black card and stick the two ends together to make a loop.

(remember to ask a grown up to help you). Stick them between the two ears. Use a felt tip pen to draw a small dot in the centre of each eye.


Cut two ear shapes out of black card. Then cut two smaller ear shapes out of pink card, and stick them on top of the larger black ear shapes. When you have done that, stick an ear on each side of your paper loop. Step 3

Next, cut out two small white circles to use for the eyes

Step 4 Stick some cotton wool onto the top and bottom of your loop paper Bonka to finish!

Name and paint the above picture with beautiful colour, show your work to your teacher for correction. Cheers!



Kannywood Tiwa Savage writes song for Grammy Award winner, Monica


his must be a soaring time for one of Nigeria’s top female singers, Tiwa Savage as she has achieved another milestone just days after her Pepsi multi million naira deal. Tiwa just got a writing credit for American R&B star, Monica. It is learnt that Tiwa Savage wrote the song, ‘Catch Me’ for Monica’s 2012 Deluxe ‘New Life’ Album. This is one of Tiwa Savage’s obligations at Sony’s ATV

Publishing unit as a singer and songwriter. Monica is a Grammy award winning singer. She broke into international fame with her duet with Brandy with the hit single, The Boy Is Mine. Tiwa Savage left her banking job in the UK to start a music career in Nigeria. Her debut single, Kele Kele Love became an instant hit in Nigeria. She was recently signed by Mavin Records owned by Don Jazzy.

Genevieve joins D'Banj as verified twitter account users


opular Nollywood star, Genevieve Nnaji, who recently turned 33 this month, has landed another milestone in her life as a celebrity of repute. This time, the celebrated actress got her twitter account, Genevievennaji1 verified by twitter. She now joins D’Banj, who got his own twitter account verified last month. It is still unconfirmed if Genevieve is the second Nigerian celebrity that already has a twitter account verified. Her twitter handle now carries the prestigious ‘blue mark’ sign. Twitter only verifies accounts of its users when they have amassed a sizable number

Genny of followers. As at press time, Genevieve has about 140171 followers.

I don’t always do the love thing –DaBeat


ustice Okafor a.k.a Dabeat production is a musician/ producer. He says; “The biggest songs I’ve produced are Oti yan yan by slim Joe and 1005 naira by Mallam Spicey.” In this interview, he speaks on his music and other issues. Excerpts: Please tell our readers about yourself? My name is Justice Okafor a.k.a Dabeat production. I’m a music producer, singer and song writer. What is the biggest song you’ve produced so far? Oti yan yan by slim Joe and 1005 naira by Mallam Spicey, that’s beef between Terry G and Mallam Spicey. How many albums do you have to your credit? I have 5 albums. When did it all start? I’ve been singing professionally and producing since 2000. How did you debut into the entertainment world? I have loved music since I was a child, so I think my love for music got me into music industry. Which song brought you to the limelight? Oti yan yan, 1005 naira and chocolate! What inspires your songs? It is basically my current mood. If I make lots of money I sing about money. If I’m in love, I sing love songs. Do you always fall in and out of love? (Laughs) I don’t always do the love thing anyway. Are you married or seeing someone? Single and I’m not seeing anyone. What are you working on right now? Just did slim Joe’s new single, Konga’s

DaBeat, 2Face and a friend

new single, and I’m presently working with two artists on two different labels: M21 records and Morgan Entertainment. How is the music industry now compared to when you started? Wow! I’m very far from when I started. Thank God, I’m advancing every day. Back to personal life, what do you look for in a woman? She has to be a very good and understanding woman. Will you marry from the entertainment industry? My wife must not be in the

entertainment. I can marry a woman of any form. So how far can you go with your female fans? They remain my fans, no intimacy no matter what. What advice will you give anyone who is aspiring to join the industry? He or she has to be ready to face anything that come his/her way and have to be consistent, patient, hardworking and determined. And finally, he or she has to be prayerful. You recently celebrated your

birthday in a high profile manner. Which of your guests surprised you the most? (Laughs) 2Face Idibia. Why? Because he still came to show me love despite the fact that he just came back to Nigeria that night. I did not include his name in the broadcast because I knew he travelled. So you weren’t really expecting him? Yes, because he wasn’t in town. But when Faze told him he was going for my birthday, he said he will come with them alongside Rock Steady too, so they drove in a convoy to the club, that’s big love he has for me. Which other stars were at the party? Faze, Mr Raw, Konga, Slim Joe, Mallam Spicey, Rock Steady, Mezaya, Msix, Dj Roland of Eko Fm/ choice Fm. What will you say to your fans? Wow. I address them as my best friends. I love them like the air, which means, I can’t do without them. What is your happiest moments. When I see people dancing hysterically to the song I produced, and they don’t know that the producer of the song is among them, it makes me happy. Anything else you want to add? Yes, I want to say special thanks to my family, Chief and Mrs. A.C Okafor, my sound clinic crew, my manager Mr Vartex, and to all the people that showed me love at the birthday: A.G Rich, Loud Films, Morgan ent. M21 Records, M21 Night club and M21 Gallery.



Funke Akindele's wedding plan to Oshodi Big Boy, Almaroof threatened


ccording to First Weekly Magazine reports, the wedding plans of Sultry Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele to Oshodi, Lagos big boy and property merchant, Alhaji Kehinde Oloyede Almaroof on May 26, 2012 appears to be cluttered by controversies. While the prominent actress is said to be making elaborate plans for the wedding, sources have said that she has lost her rating as a well-loved Nollywood actress with her proposed engagement to a man, alleged to be one of the boys in Oshodi, Lagos before hitting it big in property business. Moreover, Kenny Doo, as Almaroof is fondly called in his base at Oshodi, is said to be married to a beautiful lady called Detoun, who is believed to have a popular fabric shop in Oshodi and said to have four children for him. A source revealed that Al-Mahroof’s marriage to Detoun has never been without crises as the couple are said to fight almost on a daily basis. A source said that about two other women have children for Al-Mahroof. “What do you expect; he is a big boy and ladies flock around him. I know that two other women have children for him apart from his wife that bore him four children,” the source said. When asked if the couple are still living together, the source answered in the affirmative, “yes, they are still married but they fight every time.” But one of Funke Akindele’s close friends claims that Kenny Al-Mahroof is divorced. “They started dating about a year

Funke and Almaroof ago and Funke did not meet any woman in his home. He told Funke that he was married before, but has divorced his wife. “And, what is wrong in marrying a divorcee? As far as I’m concerned, Al-Mahroof is single because he is divorced. What we should do is pray for them and wish them the best,”

I’m a very transparent person -Angela Okorie Ali Nuhu, Omotola Jalade star in upcoming Can you please introduce Tell us about the yourself? movie? Couture: Lookbook Movie, ‘Last Flight to Abuja’ My Name is Angela Okorie. I am It’s about girls that are

a Nollywood actress and was born and brought up in Cotonou. I am from a family of 5 and I’m number 3 in the family. I schooled at LASU and presently reading theatre Arts at the University of Lagos. I’m married with a son. Tell us about your journey so far? I did my first film in December 2009, and since then, I have shot over 50 movies. I am enjoying every bit of it. It was after I shot the film called Holy Serpent produced by Coruma International Production that Jobs started coming from here and there. What are the challenges faced on the job? Yes, a little bit with my colleagues, especially with the ones that were there before I came, so many but I thank God for today. What is it about you that people don’t know? Nothing, I’m a very transparent person. I don’t know how to hide myself. What are you working on right now? I’m working on a movie in Asaba.

desperate for the prince. They want him and his money. They are fighting to get to him, and I’m playing Mercy, she is a wayward girl who also wants the prince. Who are the other artists in the film? Mercy Johnson, Muna Obiekwe, Lawrence Lurrenz Onuzulike, Angela Okoli, Mary Uranta, Diamond Okechi. The producer is Uche Nancy and the director is Andy Nwakalor. Do you encounter any difficulty playing a wayward girl? No; not at all. It’s not difficult at all, because I have a good director directing me. What are your words to your fans? I love them so much and they should always watch my movies. I will never disappoint them.

Ali Nuhu

M Angela Okorie

any top Nollywood stars will be at the world premiere of the film, Last Flight to Abuja, which will take place on June 8 at Troxy Cinema in London. Last Flight to Abuja is the eagerly anticipated film from Obi Emenloye – director of the widely acclaimed 2011 movie, The Mirror Boy.

Some of the stars expected at the premiere, are Omotola JaladeEkeinde, Jim Iyke, Ali Nuhu, Jide Kosoko, Olumide Bakare, Uru Eke, and Anthony Monjaro. The premiere is shaping up to be the biggest Nollywood premiere ever held in the UK, with 2000 guests expected to be in attendance.

Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde The premiere will feature a red carpet reception, film screening, as well as a Q & A session. There will also be an after party, where guests will be able to mingle with the stars, and take pictures with them. The premiere will be anchored by Nigerian comedian and compeers, Okey Bakassi.

Funke’s friend said. Meanwhile, findings revealed that Al-Mahroof is a rich young guy, who started making money for himself when his mother was the Iyaloja (market leader) of Oshodi. Kenny’s mum, Alhaja Al-Mahroof, according to sources, once reigned as the second in command to Alhaja Abibat Mogaji, the Iyaloja General of Lagos and mother of ACN National Leader, Ashiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Those in the know told First Weekly that Funke, nicknamed Jenifa, based on her role in her celebrated movie; ‘Jenifa,’ was not aware of the full marital status of Kenny Doo before she agreed to walk down the aisle with him, and that even after the truth was exposed, she has refused to change her stand. The source said a fight later ensued between Alhaja Al-Mahroof and Alhaja Mogaji which made the former defect to the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State. It was learnt that Alhaja AlMahroof always sponsored her son, Kenny Al-Mahroof to contest elections in Oshodi under the banner of the PDP. Kenny contested the 2007. House of Representatives election to represent Oshodi-Isolo Federal Constituency under the PDP but lost. He also served as the Personal Assistant to a former Minister of Works. Kenny Doo, sources revealed, now shuttles between Nigeria and London for his property business and lives in a modest mansion in Magodo area of Lagos.

It was gathered that another source of trouble for Funke is the fact that the Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), whose government has been supporting Funke Akindele’s movies through advert patronage, and which uses her as a model for its programmes through the State Inland Revenue Board, may be angry at her choice of Almaroof, a PDP member, as husband. Meanwhile, some of the fans of the successful actress have come hard on her for planning to settle down with another woman’s husband, and for picking a semiliterate as hubby, when she has the choice of getting a single man, who would match her class. The dark-skinned diva was said to have bursted into tears, when she was confronted by close associates, who condemned her for damning the consequences of her marriage to Almaroof, when she has several choices. Her reason for weeping, as later explained, is because she felt that she has waited enough and that now that she met someone who would take her as a wife and make her happy, people do not seem to be happy, but rather have chosen to condemn her. Many of her critics wondered why on earth she would agree to be a second wife, they also asked why with the level of her exposure and education as a University of Lagos law graduate, she opted to settle for a man, who is barely educated and who has four kids from another woman already.



Hollywood/Bollywood Justin Bieber: I nearly quit music!


f all the songs penned for his new album, Justin Bieber wrote one for Mariah Yeater and one for Selena Gomez. He also dedicated a single to his fans. It’s the title track on “Believe” and its lyrics include the line: You kept my heart from falling. Why are these words so meaningful? Because Bieber nearly quit the music business, he told The Hollywood Reporter Sunday night at The Billboard Music Awards, and his supporters kept the young singer going. “I think it’s so important to me because it’s about my

fans and how much they’ve helped me,” Bieber said of the song. “They really have kept my heart from falling because they’ve always been there and supported me and cheered me on.” Bieber admitted “there were so many times when I just wanted to say, ‘enough is enough, I don’t want to do this anymore.’ But, thank goodness, he pushed forward and was rewarded for his efforts with a standing ovation at the aforementioned awards ceremony, where he won Top Social Artist and performed his latest single. “Believe” comes out on June 19.

Snooki: Evicting herself from Jersey Shore House!


nooki is not quitting Jersey Shore, but she is evicting herself, so to speak. She’ll no longer be living in the same house as the rest of the cast, as she’s secured her own private place nearby. The expectant mom is taking her pregnancy seriously, choosing to live near the Jersey Shore house rather than in it for obvious reasons. Surrounding yourself with drunken, loud roommates while pregnant? Not the best move. Surprisingly, Snooki realized this! Due in early fall, filming this summer for Snooki will mean she’ll be in prime popping position. This is all the more reason for her to have a place of her own. Between this and a sober Situation (who just got out of rehab), it’s shaping up to be the lamest, and possibly last, season of the Shore. Who wants to see adults making mature decisions?! That’s what


mitabh Bachchan makes his first attempt in Hollywood, sharing screen with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire in director Baz Luhrmann’s film The Great Gatsby. In the film, Big B

plays Meyer Wolfsheim. The superstar is seen doing a small cameo. “I play Meyer Wolfsheim for about a few seconds… yaa…by the time you look down on your popcorn to pick another morsel, I’d be gone from the film,

kind of short service,” Big B posted on his blog The Great Gatsby is an adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald’s book of the same name. DiCaprio plays the titular protagonist in the film.

Bikini for Sonakshi, an absolute NO!


her new reality show is for. Speaking of, watch

the Snooki & JWoww trailer!

Kate Gosselin: I’ve made peace with Jon!


re the years of public feuding between Jon and Kate Gosselin finally a thing of the past? She certainly hinted as much on the Today, show recently. Kate, who’s still being stalked by some freak, told Ann Curry that she and her ex have made peace and are working together to raise their children. “I can honestly say it’s more peaceful than it’s ever been,” said the 37-year-old. “I feel that a really big weight has been lifted off my shoulders.” Despite all the bad blood - just last month, she hammered Jon for flaking on child support - Kate had

Amitabh Bachchan steps into Hollywood

nothing but praise for him this time around. “He’s really been positive and more available and it’s just less stressful. I feel like he’s been working with me more, and the kids notice,”

she said. “And that’s good. Because I’ve always just wanted that peace, not just for me, but for them and we’re finally to a point where it’s happening.” To think, all the time and energy that Kate spent dragging Jon’s name through the mud on TV and Twitter can now be saved for her huge brood. “I can take that emotional energy that was so wasted in that area and put it back towards the kids and taking care of them,” she told Curry. This seems like a novel concept but whether it lasts more than a week, is question for another day.

onakshi Sinha says she is very uncomfortable in donning a bikini on screen. “It’s a complete no-no to bikini because I am not that kind of a person. I have been brought up in a certain way. I have certain restrictions that I follow and I don’t see any reason to change it because if the audience has accepted me fully clothed, then why would I resort to it?” said Sonakshi Sinha. The 24-year-old will soon be seen in her upcoming film Rowdy Rathore in her desi avatar. She is said to be continuing the same desi look in the rest of the films too. The desi look will carry on in Joker, Once Upon a Time Again, Dabangg 2, Son of Sardar and Lootera. “I am a normal Indian

girl who wears jeans and T shirts normally. Born and brought up in Mumbai, so I am used to wearing clothes like that,” Sonakshi Sinha added. Sonakshi also revealed that she will never do a very bold scene like the one Vidya Balan did in The

Dirty Pictures. “It was a great film and Vidya’s performance was fantastic. I respect her so much as an actress after that film, but it takes guts to do something like that. I don’t think I will be able to pull it off with the restrictions that I have,” she said.

Sanjay Kapoor marries again?


arishma Kapoor’s personal life is all rocky and not at all going smooth. The actress is said to be staying away from her husband, in Mumbai.

Her husband lives in Delhi. The latest buzz is that the actress’s husband is planning to marry again. The bride is apparently his good friend. Sunjay Kapoor

who is very close to Priya Sachdev, who is a model and socialite, now plans to take the relationship to the next level. As a source is quoted as saying, “Sunjay and Priya appear to be extremely serious about each other. They want to keep their past behind and start anew.” During the promotion of her latest film Dangerous Ishq, Karishma avoided all questions that revolved around her personal life. Sunjay was earlier married to fashion designer Nandita Mahtani, from whom he got a divorce just a few days before he tied the knot with Karishma.




Choose towel racks to match bathroom’s interior


owel racks for bathrooms can be practical and attractive, adding to the interior decor. While people can hang towels on pegs or hooks, the towels do not dry properly on them in most climates especially during the rainy season when dampness becomes the order of the day. Additionally, the towel can easily slip from the hook and form a moist heap on the floor. Actually, towel racks for bathrooms are one of the most essentials of the bathroom fixtures. Towel Racks Types Towel racks come in several shapes and sizes. In the more humid climates, a heated radiator or rail for towels is a helpful fixture. These are usually powered by electricity to add some warmth and heat-dry the towels hanging on them. Most bathrooms have wall racks from which the towels can hang. These may be the width of a towel or half the towel with the intention that the towel will be folded in half length-wise before being hung. Then, the bars come in several other shapes and sizes such as a stand-alone rack with multiple rungs where one or more towels can drape. Some racks come out from the wall and have four or more rungs for hanging more than one towel in the same space with enough room between for some air to circulate. Some are made for hand towels and are usually placed near the sink. The materials used in manufacturing towel racks range from metal to glass, resin to wood. Any imaginable material sturdy enough to handle the weight of moist towels is appropriate. Some materials are selected mainly

for design style and others are only serviceable for the function with basic design. Selecting the Right Towel Racks

Most of the time, care is taken that the towel racks match the other hardware installed in the bathroom and the style enhances the decor.

Burnished or brushed brass may be wonderful for rooms with provincial decor. White solid or chrome may work with white tiles or bathrooms with color and white trimmings. Most of the time, basic racks fit a variety of decor design styles. Selecting towel racks also means taking into account the space where they will be installed, and how many racks are desired. One rack in a room that services multiple people is definitely inadequate. If space is limited, creative spacing and fixtures that feature more than one rack in the unit may be helpful. Installation Professionals can install the racks for a minimal price. Many building supply stores have experts willing to do the work or they have recommended workers. Additionally, building supply stores will have employees that can guide home and business owners through the steps to install the towel racks. Different types of walls will pose different challenges to

installation. Most newer homes come with racks already included in the finished bathroom, but sometimes more racks are needed or the home did not come equipped with towel racks. Walls with tile require drilling through the tiles and usually require a professional. For walls with drywall, finding the studs in the structure of the wall behind the drywall is important. The towel racks must be secured to the studs and not just bolted to the drywall that is not reliable to hold weight. Tools needed are generally a drill with bits that fit the bolts and a screw driver that fits the bolts. The Bathroom with Racks While towel racks for bathrooms are not the eyecatching focal point of the room, they are greatly missed when they are not installed. Finding a place to hang a wet or damp towel can become a problem. Completing the room, towel racks are necessary fixtures for normal bathroom use.




Pots & Pans

With Hajiya Ramatu Usman Dorayi

Extraordinary objects to ease your cooking Use the tools on hand to create the perfect meal. From baking soda, banana peels, baby oil, and beyond, you can make working in the kitchen a lot easier. For instance, there is much more to using a hair drier, it can also be used to dry your salad. There's lot more.

Shoehorn to remove corn kernels A clean shoehorn has at least two uses in the kitchen: scrape the wide end along a cob to remove the kernels and use the narrow end to gently release baked goods such as cupcakes, small pies or muffins from their tin.

Dental floss as slicer Because your brush is not enough to remove everything from your mouth, a dental floss is recommended. But held taut, fine floss can slice layers of cake, soft breads, soft cheeses, butter and plenty of other soft foods more effectively than a sharp knife.

Hair dryer as salad drier If you have rinsed and spun your salad, but the leaves are still wet, set your hair dryer on a cool setting and wave it gently over the leaves. Make sure there isn't hair sticking from the drier.

Wood rasp as lemon zester A clean, fine metal rasp from a toolbox works perfectly as a zester for lemons, limes, oranges and other citrus fruit. Its tiny raised nubs scrape the fruit's skin to create perfect zest.

Scissors as herb chopper Use clean household scissors to snip fresh herbs and spring onions into salads or mixing bowls. Scissors are also perfect for cutting steam vents in the crust of a pie before it goes in the oven.

A teaspoon as a ginger peeler When you find it impossible to peel ginger without losing some of the flesh, try this. If you're right-handed, hold the ginger in your left hand and, using a teaspoon; firmly scrape the edge of the spoon along the knob with your right. The papery skin will peel straight off.

Plastic drink bottle as a funnel Cut off the top third of the bottle and turn it upside down. Now you can easily funnel left - over sauces, gravies, kidney beans or even grease into containers for storage or disposal.

A coffee filter as a gravy strainer Beef and poultry drippings from a roast make the most delicious, flavoursome base for gravy, but are often packed with grease. Save the flavour and lose the fat by straining the cooking juices through a paper coffee filter.

Flowerpots as kitchen tool Store serving spoons, whisks, tongs and other kitchen tools in flowerpots on the bench top. To make the pots more decorative, you could paint each one in a different pastel or bright colour




Surviving the newborn days: A guide to bringing home your baby Y

ou are finally coming home with your baby! This is a wondrous and memorable occasion, as you embark on a new chapter of life: motherhood. However, coming home with a new baby can also be a stressful, busy time, as Baby and you adjust. It certainly may require taking some time to figure everything out when you have brought home that bundle of joy. Here are some tips you need to be abreast of which are essential in surviving the newborn days. What to Do Beforehand Clean the house: cleaning the house before your due date is a great way to survive the newborn days. Once you come home with Baby, you will be tired and too busy with Baby and the volume of visitors thronging your home to catch a glimpse of your baby to worry about dusting and vacuuming. Do it all ahead of time, and you will be thankful when you return to an already clean home. Cook food and freeze it: This is a fabulous way to survive the newborn days! Cook up big servings of things like soups and stews and divide it up and freeze it. You will have a good supply of cooked meals on hand to rely on for the first few days. Prepare Baby’s necessities: This might go without saying; but make sure you have set up Baby’s crib, bouncer seat and changing area. Having powder, bottles, and open packs of diapers waiting will help you survive the newborn days. What to Do Once You Are Home Accept any and all help: It is natural for a new mom to feel guilty about accepting babysitting help. Put that guilt aside; accepting help from family and friends will help you rest, which will in turn help you take care of Baby. To survive the newborn days, rely on your close ones and don’t be afraid to designate tasks you really need done - like the laundry or shopping to re-stock the kitchen. They are all dying to help, anyway, so it’s a win-

Baby. Prepare quick snacks or small meals and store them in the fridge. Things like vegetables, sandwich meats, salads and cut fruit are great for grab-and-go nourishment. Eating several small meals is also easier than three large ones. Sleep when baby sleeps: Your grandmother may probably have told you this. She should know; so take her advice! Forget the endless to-do list. Take naps day and night with baby and you will feel much better. Don’t tip-toe: When baby is asleep, forget tiptoeing around. Carry on business as usual to help you survive the newborn days. Not only will Baby sleep through the vacuum, television, and chatter (for many, it’s actually a sleep aid!); it will help Baby get used to the routines of day and night. Shower: Once you are home with Baby, you will find

win situation. Don’t be afraid to send them home: truly, family, friends and neighbors will come trooping in at this time. Send the guests home when you are tired. They will understand that you and Baby need rest. If you don’t tell them to leave, some of them will surely overstay their welcome and that only leaves you tired and worn out. Survive the newborn days by politely telling them it is time to leave because it is “Baby’s naptime” or “time for Baby to feed.” Turn off the ringer: Turning off the phone ringer at times of rest will definitely help you survive the newborn days. This goes for cell phones and other devices, as well.

Prepare the night feedings: If you breastfeed, you might want to put baby within reach to make night feedings easy. If you bottle feed, measure formula powder before bedtime, and fill bottles with the correct amount of water and set aside. Warm water is a preference; room temperature will do fine. Then when baby wakes hungry, you can quickly add pre-measured formula to water, shake, and voila! Eat: Sounds simple, but this is important. You will probably find yourself skipping meals here and there while caring for Baby. To survive the newborn days, you will need to remember that feeding yourself is just as important as feeding the

showering daily falls by the wayside. But you can still shower to feel rejuvenated. To survive the newborn days, strap baby securely in car seat or bouncer, and place them just inside the bathroom door. Keep the door open a bit to let steam out, then jump in and lather up. This way, you can peek around the curtain anytime you get anxious - don’t worry; Baby will still be there and probably sound asleep! Get out and about: It might seem easier to hole up in the house with Baby, especially if you didn’t shower or just feel worn out. But if it is nice outside, getting out in the fresh air will do wonders for you and Baby. Survive the newborn days by taking Baby for a stroll, to the mall, or just to the salon or super store. You will feel a million times better by the time you get home!



Do you have old pictures for memories? Send them to

From the archives

POWER MIKE VS. THE LEOPARD: Nigerian wrestling legend Power Mike Okpara vanquishes Australian matman Mustad the Leopard in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. (1974)

The Nigeria Airways Crew that brought Boeing 727 to Nigeria for the first time in the 70s lead by Capt Frank Osakwe. (2nd from Left)

Peugeot 404: One of Nigeria's most popular car in the 70s and 80s.


Chemistry Lesson Chemistry Problems

Compiled by Joy Baba


ast week we looked at how to solve problems with Pythagorean theorem. This week, we will consider how to solve chemistry problems. In this series, we will focus on steps on how to: deal with percents, organise information, and algebraically mix chemicals using an equation Chemistry Basics There are numerous careers that deal with the mixing of chemicals. So, it is important to know how to mathematically handle chemistry problems in order to understand what they mean and how to prepare specific quantities of chemicals. For instance, if 5 liters of 15% hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ) solution was in a container, we should be able to determine

the actual amount of acid there is in the solution. It turns out, only 15% of the solution is acid; the rest is water. To best handle this mathematically, using a table will help. The table below will help us organize information. When dealing with 5 liters of a 15% solution, the 5 liters is a volume. The 5 liters needs to be placed in the volume column. The 15% represents the strength of the acid solution. The greater the percent, the

stronger the solution. When placing the percent into the table, first convert it to a decimal. Since percent means “out of 100,” we need to divide the 15 by 100 to get 0.15. This number must be placed under percent. The neat part of using this table is that it can be useful to get the actual amount of acid in the solution. The table has been set up so that the acid can be found by multiplying across, which means multiplying the 5 times

the 0.15. Since 5 times 0.15 is equal to 0.75, we need to place the 0.75 into the table under the amount of acid. The table helped us to determine that 5 liters of a 15% solution contains only 0.75 liters of acid. This must mean the rest of the solution, or 4.25 liters, must be water. As we will see in the following section, this process is important for solving problems that combine chemical solutions.



rganize files for backup:

Organizing electronic files requires two things. i.e. You need to easily find what you need and for easy back up. Here is the concept. We recommend the best practice of sorting your files into two groups: for static and dynamic files. Static files: Files that are no longer changing (Old files), these are easier to back up. Dynamic files: Files that still are changing. These need to be backed up more carefully so that you have recent data, and if you get corrupted or virus-infected files, you can go back as many days as you need to get clean, usable files. Archiving static files Your set of static data is the big one, usually. This is the data that often creates huge backups that are hard to do. Since it is not changing, you can drag and drop the data into an external hard disk, keep it and your are covered. You keep two copies: the copy on the external drive kept in a safe place, and the copy still on your computer. Note about safe place to keep your flash and external hard disk: You need moisture/heat and magnet free locket or drawer to keep you external storage device, this system works. Additionally, a static-free, temperature controlled, fire proof, low humidity environment most also be considered. You can double bag the hard disk in airtight zip-lock bags and you have made it waterproof, too. Backing up active data The best practice for active and dynamic data is to back it up every day, but also to get the data off site each day as well. Backup is for those crazy emergencies when things just go wrong. Get it to another location so that if something happens where the computer is (fire, flood, burglary, your child’s experiment, etc.), the backup is not trashed at the same time. Far and away, the easiest, most reliable and least expensive way to do this is with online backup. ·It goes off every day (as long as the computer is running). ·The data is encrypted so it is secure.


Bello Abdul’Azeez +234 805 113 0075

How to organize and backup files and folders ·You can easily get back data from a particular day. That is a big help when you are testing files for which backup was the last one before the virus got in. ·Your files go to a safe location. (Just don’t use Uncle Chinedu’s Home Garage Offsite Backup Service. Use an established and legitimate service.) Other options for daily backup: Manual backup is an unreliable option. It is an extra task that can be forgotten, and can become so time consuming and inconvenient that it gets postponed again and again. Automated backup using software to store backups to hard disks/ drives has problems as well. The wrong disc or hard drive connected, or just left in place past its time in the rotation, and the backups will fail. Recommended system

to organize files and folders

PART ONE: Create three folders to hold all your files. Folder #1: (Perhaps call it “WIP” for “Work In Progress”.) Is for files that are active and can still change, even if it may not happen soon. Folder #2: (Perhaps call it “Complete” or “Completed Work”. Is for files that are no longer active. Perhaps for you this would be finished work files. Folder #3: (Perhaps call it “Archived”) is for files MOVED from folder #2 AFTER you have copied them to another storage place, like an external hard drive. This way you always know what files have become static (Folder #2), and you can easily find them and copy them to the backup location. You don’t spend lots of time sorting

Backup is for those crazy emergencies when things just go wrongs

through files. The same folders can exist in each master folder. After you copy the contents of Folder #2 to the backup location, you move everything in it into Folder #3, and Folder #2 becomes empty. You end up with two copies of your archive (static) data: ·One copy is in the Archived Work folder ·Another copy is on the external hard drive PART TWO: Daily online backup for active files. The active, dynamic files are all in the two folders “WIP” and “Completed Work”. There is no old / static / archival data in them, because you have dragged and dropped such data into the “Archived Work” folder. Now set your online backup service to backup and protect these two folders only, since your other data has been archived to an external hard disk. When the “Completed work” folder grows in size, connect the external drive and copy the data to it, also moving the entire contents of the “Completed Work” folder then to the “Archived work” folder. The online backup service will give you a daily backup of your changing data to a secure and safe location offpremises. The external disk and the computer each back each other up with identical copies of the rest of the data. You do not need to ever adjust the folders that the online backup is set to protect, since the same folders always hold the correct data. When files are organized like this, you usually find it very manageable and the amount of data which can be easily handled by an online backup account. Online backup is far and away the most reliable way to do this, and if you figure out the amount of time you will spend doing backup any other way, is a great savings at a reasonable price.



F Guide to custom- made suit Compiled by Jamila Nuhu Musa


good custom-tailored suit is an investment and should be approached as such. Knowing the do’s and don’ts beforehand can save you time and money when you’re at the tailors. Bespoke or Made-to-Measure? Know the Difference. Bespoke is a word that gets thrown around all too often in the customtailoring world, so much so that some tailors have called for regulation of the term. Traditional bespoke tailoring consists almost entirely of hand-worked fabric, and requires several fittings throughout the process. This is in contrast to made-to-measure, in which the measurements are taken beforehand, and then the suit is constructed according to those specifications, with very few or no fitting sessions. Be Honest About Your Body Type. Whether you’re 6’5" or 5’6", have the body of a professional athlete or that of King Henry VII, a well-tailored suit can only make you look better. Be sure to know the specifics of dressing for your body type, as different proportions require different sartorial dimensions to properly accentuate a frame. Larger gentlemen often make the mistake of buying even larger suits, so as to hide their bulk under a pile of fabric. Extra and unnecessary fabric not only costs more, but gives the appearance of a sloppy dresser. Leave your insecurities at the door, and go for a fit that hugs your body. Don’t Take Your Own Measurements. Play safe. Get a tailor to take your measurements for you (they usually charge some amount), and while you’re there, Talk To Your Tailor! When a tailor hands you a list of your measurements, it won’t be the blueprints to build an anatomically correct statue of yourself; it will be the specifications for a garment of some sort. This is why it’s important to have a conversation with your tailor about what kind of fit you want the suit to have. You may decide that showing the standard half-inch of shirt cuff visually lengthens your already considerably long arms, and that maybe a quarterinch would be more appropriate. Maybe you’re going to stick to your New Year’s resolution and put an extra few inches on your biceps at the gym, and want the tailor to leave room for them in the arms of the jacket. Good tailors will ask you the right questions about the fit of your suit, and the most experienced ones won’t need to. In any case, make the effort to have a dialogue with your tailor when you’re getting measured, as the measurements

are the most important part of any suittailoring process. Get a Suit That You’ll Actually Wear. You’ve had your measurements taken (by a tailor hopefully). You’ve picked a sensible style, and a classic fabric colour, but you’re worried that you may be missing an opportunity to get something truly special made. The salesman did say they could do

whatever you want, right? Maybe some velvet trim, or some pronounced chalkstriping? You see everyone around you wearing two-button jackets, maybe you should be different and go for three, or even four? This line of thinking is common when guys get a suit tailored for the first time. They have a few suits that they’ve bought off the rack already, and want to do something different with their

custom-made experience. A good vendor will have hundreds, if not thousands of fabrics to choose from. Not to mention a wide array of style choices to be made regarding lapels, vents, buttons, etc. Take a minute to think about what occasions you’ll want to wear the suit in and make your sartorial decisions accordingly. Remember, it’s the nearperfect fit of custom-tailoring that makes you stand out, not the wool-trim on your lapels. Don’t Forget the Extras Surgeon’s cuffs? Ticket pockets? Natural Shoulders? It’s the little things that make a custom-tailored suit truly yours, so don’t miss the opportunity to eschew some of the traditional off-therack conventions that plague modern menswear outlets. Surgeon’s cuffs allow the buttons on the jacket sleeve to be undone. The waist or “ticket” pocket (so named for the train tickets that the century English gentlemen would store in it) has come full circle, and is seen on many modern designs. Natural shoulders are a must for any athletically built man — you don’t need shoulder pads doing the work of shaping your suit when your own shoulders can do it for you. Why not make it a 3-piece? It’s always a good idea to get a vest made with your suit. It usually doesn’t cost much extra, and 3-piece suits are coming back in a big way, although you can easily ditch the vest and wear just the jacket and pants. Remember, buying a customtailored suit involves more than just walking into a store and picking a fabric. Know your fit and the basic styles ahead of time, and you can’t go wrong.




Huge investment in electricity is key for massive economic development

NSE market indicators record marginal growth By Augustine Aminu with agency report


total of 389.26 million shares worth N2.95 billion were traded in 3,435 deals on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Friday. This was against the 486.96 million shares valued at N2.86 traded in 3,711 deals on Thursday. Transactions on the Exchange closed for the week on a positive note as the market indicators recorded marginal growth of 0.1 per cent. The market capitalization, which opened at N7.085 trillion, grew by N5 billion to close at N7.090 trillion. Oando led the price gainers’ table with a gain

of 76k to close at N15.96 per share. Dangote Flour gained 29k to close at N6.09 per share, while CCNN chalked up 24k to close at N5.29 per share. FBN gained 21k to close at N11.41 per share, while University Press appreciated by 18k to close at N3.93 per share. On the other hand, NewGold led the losers chart, shedding N13 to close at N2,436 per unit. Unilever trailed with a loss of 75k to close at N28.30 per share, while UACN lost 50k to close at N35 per share. Access Bank depreciated by 17k to close at N6.66 per share, while Zenith lost 10k to close at N14.80 per share.

BPE set for effective delivery, says Onagoruwa By Augustine Aminu


he Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Ms. Bolanle Onagoruwa, has pledged the determination of the Bureau to carry out the reform agenda of the Nigerian government in order to bring about efficiency and effective service delivery. This was made known in a press statement signed by BPE Spokesman, Chukwuma Nwokoh after receiving a delegation of “Lawyers in the Media Forum (LIM)” led by its Chairman, Mr. Charles

Odenigbo, in her office in Abuja this week, Onagoruwa said that to fast track the reforms, the Bureau is working in concert with the relevant government agencies to pass the necessary Bills to give the reforms legal backing. The DG expressed delight that the present administration is keen on the early passage of the reform Bills and that given the enthusiasm it had showed “the Bills will soon be presented to the National Assembly for passage”. She scored the Bureau high in the discharge of its mandate and noted that

though there were few bad cases in the privatisation programme, these were largely due to challenges with sectoral policies and harsh operating environment. She gave several examples of successful privatisation and pledged her administration’s commitment to a continuous process of improvement in areas that were found wanting. While promising to collaborate with the association in its mandate, especially in the area of sensitisation, the BPE boss urged it to be a defender of the defenceless.

Onagoruwa noted that often times, top government functionaries and those in top positions in the society are deliberately and maliciously maligned and defamed “but because they cannot speak out, they are assumed guilty to the detriment of reputations that have been painstakingly nurtured over a career life-time” The Chairman of LIM, Mr. Charles Odenigbo, said the members decided to embark on the visit to get first hand enlightenment on the challenges buffeting the privatisation programme in Nigeria.

TUC, ASSBIFI, hail CBN’s directive on credit flow to private sector


he Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) on Friday hailed the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) directive for enhanced flow of credit to the private sector. The ASSBIFI President, Mr. Sunday Salako, told the

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, that the development would improve the activities of the private sector operators. NAN reports that the CBN on Wednesday directed banks to put in place appropriate measures to enhance the flow of credit to the private sector.

The apex bank noted that there was the need for banks to facilitate the flow of credit on activities with the potential to induce economic growth within a short period. Salako said that the development would boost economic growth and increase Nigeria’s gross

domestic product. He urged the Federal Government to guard against factors that would militate against the enhanced credit flow. “You cannot give somebody money to invest in a business and expect a positive result if the enabling environment is not

there. “It will be difficult to repay the loan,’’ the unionist said. He urged the government to provide good roads, improved electricity and necessary infrastructure that would guarantee effective utilisation of loans.

The General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, Chief John Kolawole, also hailed the directive, and expressed the hope that it would boost business activities. He noted that funds constraint had been a major hindrance to the operations of the private sector.



Business Interview Nigeria financial services sector is resilient – Fisho Mr. Deji Fisho is the Director, Risk Asset Management Group, Treasury, Operations and Customer Service in Fortis Microfinance Bank. In this interview with Augustine Aminu, he spoke on the challenges in the financial institutions in Nigeria and the way forward.


ow would you assess the health of the Nigeria banking industry especially the micro-finance sector? We live in an inter-connected world. Nigeria is no island. There are a lot of issues in the global community which will naturally impact on our financial sector. However, we can say the Nigeria financial services sector is resilient. A lot is happening but we believe that with what government is doing the players and the industry will become stronger. What is your view on cashless economy? We believe in cashless economy. Here in Fortis, we have started to look at the issues and that is what led us to the implementation of what we now call Fortis mobile money. So, if we have done all that investment in that area, it means we believe in it. It is the way to go; it is the way of the future. We are not the only country that is doing it. Countries across the world are doing it. In the West, in the Gulf region, other African countries like Bostwana, Angola, Ghana, South Africa are doing it. It is the way to go. It’s got obvious advantages for the customers. You don’t have to carry cash. You are not a potential victim of robbery. It makes travel light and easy. It brings down cost for operators in the financial services. As we are going cashless, you don’t have to always set up bank branches, you sign-on agents, who can be super markets, filling stations, “mamaput”, hospitals, post offices and so on. So it will integrate the society. It is expected that it will bring cost down. It is also expected that it will open employment for all categories of people, directly and indirectly. So it has clear advantages. It is the most definite way to go. What does the government need to put in place, to ensure smooth cashless society especially giving illiteracy level? Mobile money is not a complicated process you don’t have to be educated to be able to operate your simple phone. So, to that extent, it will work. Government should strengthen infrastructure especially in the areas of power, ICT and telecoms. All these will impact on the quality of services that the customers of mobile money will eventually get. We also need to embark on public enlightenment and education across board. Government has to spend a bit more money in advertising and publicising the

Deji Fisho program. The truth is that the early users for mobile money will be the people in the lower income strata and also the people in the suburbs. City dwellers and the elites already have some kind of solution at the moment for their funds. They are going to be the later users. Its ongoing, the journey is not a five or 10 years journey, but what is needed is commitment to what we have already started How would you assess the ongoing banking reform? We expect that the reform will enable the players in the sector to be able to intermediate more; to lend more; to provide more services for the customers at lower cost and accessibility. Those are the sorts of things to expect from the reforms. Hopefully in the days ahead we will see more of the outcome. What have been the challenges so far in achieving these reforms? Whatever challenge we face as a people, as a nation, they are not unique to us. That is the truth. People have faced challenges; people have overcome. We have got all kinds of example. We have got countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, china. You even now have the Gulf States that are beginning to make impact in the world. You have UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman. You also have countries in the African continent.

You have Botswana, Kenya, and Ghana. What that says to us is that the challenges can be overcome. And not only with money; yes, we need some money, but we need the will power. We need purposeful leadership; we need compatriots who will support positive government policies. We need a people who are determined to pull themselves and their country from the challenges that we face. We are saying that these problems can be overcome. Other people have overcome theirs. So we can overcome ours. Again the statement of the problem is that everybody understand Nigeria problem: you talk of power, you talk of aviation you talk of health, and you speak of education. But the flip side is that all of these challenges also present opportunities.

It means that anybody who will look at education today, there is opportunity. If you look at health, finance, safety and security, education, construction, there are opportunities. Instead of focusing on the problems, we have got start to think of how we can turn the problem around into opportunities. Nigeria is a big market of a hundred and sixty million people; a lot of them young and vibrant. We just need to get a couple of things right and this country can easily as it has been predicted become one of the top 20 economies by 2020 Since you came on board, how would you describe the level of acceptability of your bank? Micro finance is well suited to communities. There is no doubt that there is a whole lot more work

We expect that the reform will enable the players in the sector to be able to intermediate more; to lend more; to provide more services for the customers at lower cost and accessibility. Those are the sorts of things to expect from the reforms. Hopefully in the days ahead we will see more of the outcome

to be done. Nigerians have been receptive. Micro finance formerly is new but in an informal sector it’s not new. Nigerians have been doing micro credit such as esusu ajo and those kind of things for many years. What do you project for the Fortis micro finance banks in Nigeria? I project that the bank should continue to play in that sector; to continue to add value and make a difference with the women. This is something that I hold close to my heart. This has to do with the development of vocation. Now, if you look at the figures, we have got about 70 per cent of the population that are 30 years and below; that will give you about 99 million Nigerians. That means we have lot of young people in the country. If we cultivate that population well, that is potential energy for the country. Now there are different ways to engage that segment of the society, however, two key areas come to mind. Agriculture and agro allied. That will be way to engage the youths. We must grow the ago allied sector. The agro allied sector is not limited only to farming. There is a value chain. It has to do with a whole range of things including packaging, herbicide, equipment, logistics, seeds and so on. It is a fairly long and deep value chain. Another area where we will engage our youth will be vocation. We need to be able to standardize the vocation such as plumbing, carpentry, tailoring, photography, electrical works. We must standardise them and encourage young people to go into these vocation whether they are educated or not. In particularly, we want to give serious attention to educated people so that you don’t have graduates without jobs. Are you working on any project at the moment to achieve this? Fortis is not government. It is going to be government that will lead the framework. But Fortis supports cooperatives in these areas. We support women in these areas. We train women and youth in literacy, in micro finance, in simple book keeping among others. But if we are going to be able to make a difference, we got to do a whole lot more because the issue is national. We are speaking of over 90 million youths. In Fortis and in other areas where I am involved, we will continue to do whatever it is we can do. I mentor youths. I teach free of charge in schools; just like we are giving back to the society. We are passionate about development in the country



Business News Shettima inaugurates agric Poverty Alleviation: NAPEP transformation team disburses N1.5b to less privilege


ov. Kashim Shettima of Borno on Friday in Maiduguri inaugurated the newly constituted blamed Agriculture Transformation Team of the state government. Shettima said at the ceremony that the constitution of the committee was aimed at finding solutions to the numeous challenges in agriculture sector. He noted that the long period of neglect of the sector occasioned by the discovery of crude oil created the many challenges confronting the country today, including the problem of food insecurity. He said it was sad that Nigeria spent more than N20 trillion on food imports annually. “Nigeria has become a dumping ground for almost every food item from any country because of our inability to put to use our agricultural potential.” The governor said that members of the team were

selected on merit and urged them to live up to expectations. The Chairman of the team, Alhaji Ibrahim Ali, pledged the commitment of the members toward reviving agriculture in the state, to provide employment for the teeming unemployed youths


The statement said NAPEP had been carrying out the scheme to alleviate poverty, and that the current disbursement of N1.5 billion had the highest number of households to be reached since the scheme started in 2007. It said that the scheme was being financed by the MDG office as a Social Safety Net Programme designed to

PHCN partners security agencies to curb vandalism of its facilities – Manager will do all that is possible within our


anager, Public Affairs, PHCN Kubwa Business Unit, Mr. Samuel Onu, says the district is partnering with security agencies to curb the vandalism of PHCN facilities in the area. Onu made this known in Abuja on Friday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). “Yes, our cable networks are being vandalised and the moment some portions are vandalised people always think that such areas are deliberately

This week at the Exchange

rading activities on the Nigerian bourse remained bearish for the third consecutive week due to unrelenting bargain hunting witnessed in most trading days of the week while the Central Bank of Nigeria kept its monetary policy rate on hold at 12% for the fourth time in a row citing the need to balance inflationary concerns with slowing growth as the basis for retention. Furthermore, Equity Market sustained downwards movement to open the first trading day of the week pessimistic due to continuous speculative trading as envisaged in our Sentiments Analysis Report with NSE Index sliding by -0.32% while the bulls re-surfaced on the bourse in the second session as the key market indicator closed northwards by +0.15% due to renewed and weak bargain activities witnessed in some sectors on the main board. Market resumed downtrend in the third session after closing green previously as sell pressure outweighed bargain hunting to record -0.12% loss while similar outlook was recorded in the fourth session as the key market indicator slides further by -0.43%. Conversely, trading activities on Friday closed northwards


he National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) has started the disbursement of N1.5 billion to 19,440 households under its ‘Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme’. This is contained in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja and signed by Mr Danladi Kobi, NAPEP’s Chief Press Secretary.

marginally as sentiments turned positive. Consequently, the key benchmark indices inched up by +0.06% while market closed the week with aggregate loss of -0.66%. Further analysis on acquiring banks since transaction date showed that the share price of Access Bank Plc has recorded 34.55% gain, followed by FCMB with 8.97% gain while Union Bank Plc leads the chart with 69.86% gain. However, Sterling Bank recorded -6.30% loss while ETI also closed negative with -2.49% loss recorded. See the tracking table below However, the All-Share Index in the week under review moved

put in darkness; but of late we have not recorded any such incident. “However, we are working hand in hand with the security agencies to curb the vandalism of PHCN’s infrastructure and they are quite up and doing. On the distribution of free prepaid meters to customers in the district, Onu appealed to them to be patient, adding that the management was making efforts to ensure that the meters go round. “Our customers are kings, and we

reach to make them comfortable. “In this respect, we have started with this issue of free metering, and I want to use this medium to tell our esteemed customers that they should be patient that these meters will go round and everybody will have his or her premises installed or metered.’’ Onu decried the ill-treatment of PHCN officials by some consumers in the district and urged them to desist from the attacking the officials while carrying out their lawful duties. (NAN)

arrest “intergenerational transfer of poverty’’. “The poorest households are provided with cash grants to enable them send their children to school and attend primary health facilities. “Since February, more than 500 staff of NAPEP have been trained and sent out to target and capture the biometric data of the core poor in 27 states of the federation,’’ the statement added. It quoted Mr Shehu Jafiya, the Executive Director of Ecobank, who supervised the disbursement, as saying that the transparent manner in which the scheme was executed by NAPEP and Ecobank justified the confidence NAPEP and government reposed in the bank. “He said that Ecobank only disbursed the money to beneficiaries with valid identity cards,’’ the statement said. “NAPEP is also fulfilling the aspirations of the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan because it plays a unique and pivotal role in poverty alleviation.’’

Equity Market dips by -0.66% in the week as bearish sentiments persists down by -0.66% to close at 22,232.36 as against a decline by -1.07% recorded last week to close at22,381.11. In the same vein, the market capitalization in the week depreciated by N47.43 billion (US$316.25 million) to close at N7.09 trillion (US$47.25 billion) as against depreciation by N76.96 billion (US$513.08 million) recorded last week to close at N7.13 trillion (US$ 47.56billion). The total volume traded in the week closed at 1.73 billion units valued at N15.10 billion (US$100.68 million) compared with 1.84 billion units valued at N13.86 billion (US$92.38 million) exchanged in 20,421 deals last week. The volume transaction in the week when compared with the previous week data moved down by -5.85% as against downwards movement by -17.63% recorded last week. Weekly value went up by +8.98% as against negative position of -28.39% recorded last

week. The volume traded in the top ten most traded stocks for the week represented 78.33% of the entire market volume transactions and their total value accounted for 58.84% of the market value. Financial Services sector emerged the most traded sector in the week in terms of volume. The volume traded in the sector this week alone closed at 1.29 billion units, valued at N8.88billion and exchanged in 11,342 deals compared with 1.11 billion units, valued at N8.86billion and exchanged in 11,484 deals in the preceding week. The volume traded in the sector accounted for 74.71% of the entire market compared with 60.57% of the ratio recorded last week. Goldlink Insurance Plc led the market volume for the week to displace IHS Plc as top traded stock on the transaction volume chart last week. The sector’s volume

transaction was mainly boosted by trading in the shares of the companies in the top-ten category. Conglomerates sector followed with 197.47 million units valued at N505.04 million and exchanged in 767 deals compared with 48.81 million units, valued at N97.05 million and exchanged in 423 recorded in the sector last week. INDEX MOVEMENTS NSE All-Share Index opened the week on a negative note with -0.32% loss, bearish sentiments dominated the week while ASI closed negative on Friday by 0.06% with negative market breadth. In the week under review, all NSE sectoral Indices closed negative as NSE Oil & Gas recorded the highest loss by 2.41% while NSE 30 closed with the lowest loss by -0.28%. Top 10 Gainers & Losers of the week The numbers of gainers in the week closed at fifteen (15) compared with twenty-four (24) appreciations recorded last week. Transcorp Plc topped the gainers chart for the week with +23.29% appreciations. Other gainers in the top ten appreciation class are outlined below. Thirty-four (34) stocks recorded price decline of different magnitude in the week under review compared with thirtynine (39) stocks declined in the previous week. NASCON Plc topped the losers chart for the week with-22.38% depreciation.



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Katsinawa and prospects Re: Sovereign wealth fund of Katsina – Songhai initiative By Hassan Bako


griculture, till date, remains the major occupation of more than 75% of the population of people occupying what is today known as the Northern Nigeria. Also the tilling of the soil for the cultivation of the vast agricultural land in the North is on a subsistence basis, leading to the production of food for consumption leaving little or nothing for export to enable the country earn foreign exchange. However, with the recent signing of the pact between the Katsina State Government and Songhai regional centre, and the commitment of the governor to the project, with the sum of #3.4b approved for the project, Katsina State Agriculture is in for a new dawn. But Katsina, situated in the North-West, is one state where the rain-fed agriculture covers a land area of more than 24,192 square kilometers of which 67% (about 1.60 million hectares) are devoted to cultivation over the season. With the other environmental conditions, the state has been divided into three agro-ecological production zones which offers advantage of growing a wide range of crops such as maize, sorghum, rice, sugar cane, beans, cotton, groundnut, cassava, potatoes etc. There are several irrigation sites distributed all over the state and more areas are being developed for dry season agriculture to compliment rainy season farming. Some of the large water bodies used for irrigation purposes annually include the Jibia dam where more than 3,000 hectares are being cultivated as well as the Sabke and Zobe dams. Notable among the agricultural produce cultivated during irrigation season include pepper, onions, lettuce, cabbage, carrot, pumpkin, sweet melon, wheat, mango, guava, Irish potato, banana and other assorted vegetables. Apart from rain-fed and irrigation farming which the people undertake they also engage in orchard development and livestock production. In fact a wide variety of mango,

WRITE TO US Peoples Daily Weekend welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed to: The Editor, Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. Email: citrus, guava, pawpaw and Date-palm are presently grown in small peasant holding for local consumption as fresh fruits. On livestock production, the state excels in ruminant animal production with capital asset of one million cattle, 3 million goats and 2 million sheep. Tied to the livestock is the production and conservation of folder crops which constitutes significant component and contributes to the aggregate commodities and agricultural productivity of the state. Thus, in furtherance to its commitment in boosting the agricultural sector in Katsina state, the present administration of Governor Shema recently entered into an agreement, popularly known as the Katsina – Songhai initiative through which the administration intends to spend the sum of N3.4 Bn to actualize the pact. Essentially, the agreement between Songhai farms and the Katsina state government is for a period of three years beginning this year 2012. As part of the agreement there would be the establishment of a Technology Park for applied research which includes the provision of Soil improvement facilities, crop genetic improvement facilities, post harvest facilities, renewable energy facilities and establishment of an industrial park for primary production and agro forestry. To demonstrate its commitment for the timely take-off of the implementation of the agreement with the Songhai farms, Katsina state government has set aside Mairuwa dam in Funtua Zone, Sabke dam in Daura and Zobe dam in Katsina zones where the pilot scheme is to start. Interestingly, in each of the three Senatorial

zones where the sites would be located, structural facilities such as hostels, accommodation for instructors/trainers, lecture halls, dormitory and students canteen and guest houses for accommodation services would be provided. Other facilities to be provided are roads, drainage, electricity, water distribution systems, administrative block with office accommodation, rural supermarket for marketing the products, restaurant, and well equipped and furnished conference centre among others. Indeed, to ensure sincerity in the implementation of the Songhai – Katsina Initiative agreement, it was resolved that the Songhai regional centre in Benin Republic shall submit to Katsina State government a quarterly and detailed report of all participants in the Songhai – Katsina Initiative and upon successful completion issue them certificate of participation and all other benefits in accordance with the terms and conditions of the agreement. Similarly, the Katsina State government shall pay Songhai regional centre the agreed project sum, while at the conclusion of the agreement, the Songhai Regional centre shall provide advisory services to the Songhai – Katsina Initiative project on a consultancy basis and the scope as well as cost of such services shall be agreed upon by both parties. Added to that was the fact that the Songhai regional centre in PortNovo Benin, shall engage their representatives in Nigeria and other Katsina state indigenes to perform any aspect of the SKTI project it may deem fit, but shall not assign, transfer or sublet their obligations

under the agreement in whole or part without prior written consent of Katsina State government. Such were the move initiated by the current administration of Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema to add value to agriculture through the Songhai Initiative. Governor Shema in the last five years of his administration has demonstrated an uncommon passion for eradicating poverty in Katsina State through policies and programmes tailored towards human empowerment and development. An assessment visit to the state will not only confirm the unprecedented good governance taking place under the administration, but will also establish the fact that with purposeful leadership, there is hope for Nigeria. There is the need therefore, for all the stakeholders in the Nigeria project to support Governor Shema’s initiative and commitment towards food production and agricultural development. The persistent hunger across the country is not only deadly, but a forerunner to anarchy if urgent measures are not taken to address the problem. There is no doubt, that lack of food security undermines national economy. The success in the drive to attain the goals of food security and economic development is premise on good agricultural policy and adequate financial backing as demonstrated by Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema of Katsina State. And as a clear demonstration of their support to this initiative, some prominent indigenes in the likes of former civilian governors’ Lawal Kaita, Sa’idu Barda, Ambassador Magaji Mohammed, seasoned economist Abidu Yazid Rafindadi, Engineer Ahmad D. Ahmad Galadiman Daura, seasoned farmers Aliyu Saulawa, Sule Kofar Sauri, Surveyor Murtala Safana, all witnessed the signing of the SKTI agreement. It is hoped that when fully operational the SKTI would be of immense benefit to the majority of the over six million populace in Katsina. Hassan Bako wrote from Nagogo Rd, Katsina, Katsina state



Opinion Of legislature, executive and democratic development in Kogi state By Yahaya Tanko


he shocking verdict of the Supreme Court nullifying the tenure extension earlier granted to the Alhaji Ibrahim Idris administration, threw up a fresh challenge in Kogi state. Either by omission or commission, the revered justices of the Supreme Court did not expressly state who should be sworn in as the new governor of the. Indeed, opinion leaders, grass root elders and top players from different political divide, made conscious attempts to leverage on this “judicial slip” to their respective advantage. Thereafter, what played out was a cacophony of legal gymnastics, political rhythm and constitutional dialectics. For twenty four hours, the otherwise laid-back and quiet Confluence state, was in the news for all the bad reasons. The local and international media feasted on the postSupreme Court crisis. The constitutional flux gave birth to two groups. A school of thought argued that the winner of the Saturday December 3, 2011 governorship election, should be sworn in as the new chief executive. Another group differed, arguing that the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, was the rightful person to assume office as acting governor. Proponents and opponents of these sharply-divided groups, had leaders and foot-soldiers from political parties and public service within and outside the state. Typical of every battle for political power in Nigeria, the foot soldiers engaged in verbal and literary fisticuffs. Human, psychological and financial resources were rolled out, to further their positions. However, on Friday, 27 th January, 2012, Captain Idris Wada and Arc. Yomi Awoniyi were sworn in as the governor and deputy governor respectively. The spontaneous but

simple ceremony had the necessary trappings of officialdom and seal of authority. Curiously, political happenings in the state, do not suggest that things were in the right perspective. The action, inaction and body language of some stakeholders gave rise to doubt about their acceptability of the new administration. The ultra-rigid, sometimes selfish, posture of some individuals and leaders, diffused and deflated every attempt of having a harmonious, cordial and resultoriented relationship between the new administration, legislature and political elites in Kogi state and beyond. Perhaps being an apostle of the political school of thought, which posits that conflicts are necessary impetus that propels socio-economic growth and political development, Captain Idris Wada remained undeterred by these negative occurrences. He set rolled out his administration’s programme, while exploring vagaries of democratic mechanism to resolve the postswearing-in crisis. Demonstrating the qualities of a true democrat, responsive professionalin-politics and altruistic

administrator, Wada released the olive branch by extending hand of sincere fellowship to all aggrieved persons, groups and associations either in the state, Abuja and wherever. At every fora, he preaches peace, soliciting the support of all Kogites irrespective of political differences. Realizing that a people or state in perpetual crisis, irrespective of its solid political and economic programmes, can never experience meaningful institutional and infrastructural development, the governor explored every legitimate and reasonable measure to broker peace, unity and smooth working relationship with all and sundry. Quite unlike the usual Nigerian politician whose action is at variance with their vocal effusion, Captain Wada is “working the talk”. Between January and April 2012, the new administration, through the Governor and his Deputy, made concerted efforts to preach peace and continuity to every aggrieved stakeholder and group. Somehow, the crisis has thrown into the fore, some sterling qualities of Wada hitherto unknown by his

That the accomplished pilot turned governor, did not cave in to pressure, restrained from verbal-warfare, but showed tremendous respect and recognition for all his political opponents demands applause and encomium from all

political supporters, opponents and critics. That the accomplished pilot turned governor, did not cave in to pressure, restrained from verbalwarfare, but showed tremendous respect and recognition for all his political opponents demands applause and encomium from all. That Wada and his team have been able to forge ahead with the development agenda of Kogi state, in spite of apparent distraction from certain quarters, is very commendable. The new administration has displayed in action, deed and words, its total commitment to the re-awakening and re-ordering of development initiative in the state. The administration has within a short period, evolved solid programmes, which if pursued vigorously, will uplift the socioeconomic status of the state. A careful analysis of the governor’s transformation agenda, when juxtaposed with the realities on ground reveals appreciable achievement. Somehow, within a short period, the new administration has made impact in education, environment, health, agriculture, road, commerce and industry, rural electrification, water, social welfare, security and civil service reform. Though the administration is moving at a pace never experienced in Kogi, the collaborative understanding and support of all and sundry is required, to fully realise the developmental blueprint of the new administration. Pragmatic strategies and measures should be evolved to continually re-orientate indigenes and residents about the multiplier effect of peace and tranquility. All critical stakeholders should realise that enduring peace and harmony is needed for meaningful growth and development of Kogi state. Yusuf Tanko writes from Maitama District, Abuja

Seeing subsistence farming as employment opportunity By Ayodeji Peter Ogundare


ne of the problems facing the country today is unemployment as the rate of unemployed youths in Nigerian is very high. Farming is the oldest form of occupation, as mankind right from the beginning has made subsistence farming that entails the production of crops for family consumption as an occupation. In Nigerian, statistic shows that about 70 percent of its estimated 167 million inhabitants are engaged in subsistence farming. The three basic requirements for human survival today are food, clothing and shelter, of which food tops the list for man. Because of white collar jobs subsistence farming as an employment opportunity has been neglected by

many youths. It is a great morningspinning business that provides job opportunities for millions of unemployed Nigerian youths who are longing for white-collar jobs across the globe. It is a multi-functional farming which plays a significance role in the economy and consumption of food for both rural and urban dwellers. To improve cultural practice on subsistence practice in other to give the highest yield possible for consumption and sale of crops to generates income, good management practices such as planting of crops at the right time, use of fertilizers as crop yields would be increased, control of paste and diseases by adequate doses of recommended fungicides and insecticides, farm planning and use of improve crop varieties. All the food and vegetable crops produced such as cassava, rice, beans, plantain, groundnut, mangoes,

pepper, and so on connotes carbohydrate, protein, mineral, fat and oil, vitamins and water constitute what the nutrition needs called balanced diet which are essential for the nourishments of the body. They supply the bulk of the balanced diet for healthy human growth and such aforementioned crops and many others are consumable and marketable for sale to generate income in order to beat unemployment. Subsistence farming gives room for some of these crops harvested to be kept in the barn for safety; some are consumed while other products are marketable for sale. It is an attractive area of adequate employment opportunity which should be embraced by youths in the country. The sale of food items stored in the barn during critical moments also goes along way in cushioning the effects of food scarcity in certain periods.

Subsistence farming is common in all parts of Nigeria which serves as a major business venture especially in the northern part of the country and requires less capital. It will be recalled that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration has resolved to initiate some measures to put an end to the farmer’s plight. The measures particularly aimed at strengthening various value-change activities that will add value to the country’s farm produce, while boosting the revenue of subsistence farmers. In the light of this, the youths in the country should see subsistence farming as an employment opportunity. Ayodeji Peter Ogundare Department of Mass Communication University of Maiduguri.




Constructors of collapsed buildings should be prosecuted Prof. Danladi Matawal is the Director General of the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI). In this interview with Joy Baba, he gives an insight into the causes of building collapse in Nigeria as well as other burning housing issues in the country. What exactly is the mandate of NBBRI? igerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBBRI) has a lot of mandates. We address issues pertaining to local building and construction materials so as to determine the most effective and most economic method for their utilization within our environment. We also look at issues of architectural design to suit the Nigerian climatic conditions particularly with respect to lighting, ventilation, comfort and humidity. These has to do with the design and performance of functional building, local construction foundation. We look into bridge building, especially in problem soils within our environment as well as issues that have to do with roads design and construction best suited to the Nigerian environment. Also the institute looks at local construction and building operation and methods that will increase their effectiveness within our peculiar environment. This is in addition to road safety, economic and social aspect of roads and transportations, structural designs of bridges that will suit us and all classes of engineering materials as well as ensuring the promotion of research output through consultancy services and special support services to medium and small scale enterprises in the areas of training among others. So NBRRI has numerous mandates given to it, our functions do not overlap. They are very peculiar. NBRRI is purely a Research and Development institute. We have research officers; we have a National Research laboratory complex in Otta, Ogun state where three research departments are domiciled. These include the building research department, the road research department and the engineering research department. We have pure research staffs. We also have long term plan of getting a training institute, that is, the NBRRI academy that will train manpower for continuous professional development Do you send reports to Government to help enforce rules and regulations of local buildings? The primary mandate if


summed up means we need to build capacity. When researches are conducted, the finding needs to be applied. Every Research and Development result comes up in a technical report format. Reports are sent to government and our parent ministry, that is, the Ministry of Science and Technology. We also send to very cognate ministries who have seats on our board of governors like Ministry of Works, Housing and Urban development, Federal Capital Territory Administration and all state governments and their department of works. We organize conference and workshops from time to time to look at the issue I had earlier mentioned and send out our reports to relevant agencies. Recently, your agency organised a workshop in Abuja on building collapse. What informed the conference? There has been the issue of incessant building collapse in different parts of the country in the recent times. The frequency of the tragedies has been of concern to the agency. This frequency is not a normal event when you compare Nigeria to other part of the world in the sense that building collapse. In other climes, this is what is heard once in a while. We are worried because when it occurs, you have loss of lives, economy and materials. NBRRI decided it was time to intervene and one of the avenues was to organize a technical workshop to create awareness. We have done researches and travelled to other parts of the world and discovered buildings don’t collapse in other parts of the world like it happens in Nigeria. So something is wrong somewhere and we believe that we can help by getting people sensitised on the issues. So what is responsible for incessant collapse of building in Nigeria? Has it to do with lack of regulations? The use of poor material is responsible primarily for this situation. Also lack of adherence to design specification can cause a building to collapse. Those in charge of supervision also have their fair share of blame because of poor supervision which has led to a lot of problems. Skilled man power is most times not available and this is another big problem which must be

Prof. Danladi Matawal addressed. Does your supervision include checking of quality of material or just following laid down rules on construction sites? It has to do with the two. The process of supervision entails that when materials are brought to site, they should be inspected and somebody must make sure they are according to specification. Specification of ratio of water to cement must be adhered to no matter how small the quantity is. Every site must have a signboard stating the name of project, the client, the designer, architect, engineers, the mechanical electrical engineers, quantity surveyors and the supervision team. If you see this on any site, there is proper arrangement for supervision. All these are not found on most sites which means there is no supervision in a lot of sites. Do you extend such supervision to residential houses? We often insist on supervision on every structure as long as human beings will be there either business or residential. This is also in the interest of the owners. The owners should do minimum consultation before embarking

on building projects. This will help the laborers do their work meticulously. Most private entrepreneur don’t do consultation before embarking on building projects. That is why 70 percent of buildings that collapse belong to private entrepreneurs. The secondary categories of buildings that collapse are those that belong to government. Many states and local governments don’t institute proper machinery for supervision. Corporate organisation like banks records the least building collapse. Theirs is very minimal. Are there punitive measures for owners of collapsed buildings to serve as warning to others? In fact there should be random check to make sure things are in place on sites. Road collapse claims more lives than building collapse. The law of the land should punish these people and not COREN. There is high degree of insincerity in Nigeria. Some of these construction engineers are taken to court and the case last for a while. The judge is not a builder or an engineer, so he might not know what wrong materials on sites are or how things are put in place on sites. What is obtainable in other countries is that they set

up technical committees with lawyers and engineers and their decisions are binding at the end of the day. What measure is government or NBRRI taking to make sure standards are maintained? We are doing a lot of things. That is one of the major reasons we organize workshops like the recent one we held in Abuja. Our aim is to create awareness among the people. This will help the appropriate regulatory authority to take note and punish erring professional. There should be a national committee with members drawn from professional bodies that will go from city to city to check if the municipal authorities are doing their work. If they are doing their work and any one is trying to frustrate their work either politically or otherwise, then we take it up nationally. After the workshop, we classified our intervention into two categories, we have the short term intervention measure; we have the intermediary intervention measures and then the long term intervention measure. The short term interventions include sensitization, creating awareness through the media and so on. The workshops and conference we organize are also part of the short term intervention measure. There are intermediate measures that can be pursued like some of the recommendations to form committees to go round and evaluate the level of adherence to supervision principles and monitoring principles and regulatory issues. The long term measure we have identified is what will lead to the development of NBRRI academy since we lack skilled manpower. This development is not a one day issue. A curriculum will be developed and will be domiciled here. Every stake holder will be involved in building a curriculum that has global outlook and would be effective, pragmatic for artisans and workmen so that we won’t have complains about buildings. There will also be continuous professional development in the academy for professionals in the field who have stayed long in the field and need to come back for refresher course and new ideas on building



International French president visits Kabul, meets with troops and Afghan leader


rance's new president, François Hollande, reaffirmed Friday during a visit to Kabul that France will withdraw 2,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012. He spoke after meeting with French troops stationed there and holding talks with the country's president, Hamid Karzai. Giving a joint news conference with Karzai, Hollande said he had come to tell French troops that "their task has come to an end in Afghanistan."

But he also stressed France's ongoing cooperation with Afghanistan, saying he and Karzai had discussed details of their nations' strategic partnership agreement. "After 10 years of European military engagement in Afghanistan, now Afghan security forces are taking the responsibility of their own security, and it is time for us to leave," Hollande said. "But our cooperation and relationship will not end. In January this year, Afghanistan and France signed the strategic

partnership agreement, and based on that, we will be increasing our assistance in other fields. "After the end of this year, our military trainers and mentors will remain to help Afghan security forces. As President Karzai emphasized, we will be focusing on the health sector, education, civil services, agriculture sector, energy and water and many more. We will also be helping in the economic sector." Karzai praised France as a longstanding ally of his country.

"France has been our friend for a long time now -- we have relations for the past at least 150 years. They helped us before jihad, during jihad and after jihad," he said. This visit follows Hollande's announcement at the NATO conference in Chicago that French combat troops would withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of the year. As part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, French trainers will remain in the country longer.

Syrians protest after morning prayers, opposition activists say


yrian protesters spilled out into the streets after morning prayers Friday as regime forces shelled various opposition neighborhoods, activists said. Planned protests were under way in various neighborhoods including the capital Damascus

and the provinces of Homs, Hama, Aleppo and Deir Ezzor. As the protesters gathered, regime forces shelled the Homs neighborhoods of Sultanieh and Jobar, opposition activists said. Security forces killed at least eight people in Syria on Friday, including seven in Hama

province, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria. One more person was killed in Qusair town in Homs province, the group said. The United Nations said there is no fallback plan to deploying monitors to some of the nation's

Syrian military officers inspect a damaged bus following a deadly explosion on Wednesday.

Al Qaeda militants killed in Yemen clashes, officials say


hirty-eight al Qaeda militants were killed in clashes with Yemen's military, local security officials said yesterday. At least 15 troops also died in the violence Thursday morning in the southern provinces of Abyan and Lahjj, the officials said.

Dozens were also wounded in a fierce battle involving several army brigades and the air force, state-run news agency SABA said. Militant leaders and foreign elements were among those killed, the news agency said. The Yemeni government this week blamed an affiliate of al A Yemeni soldier sits next to the grave of a comrade who was killed in a suicide bombing earlier in the week.

Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula for a massive suicide bombing Monday that killed more than 100 soldiers. Jihadist websites posted a statement purportedly from the group, Ansaar al-Sharia, claiming responsibility for the attack. But CNN could not independently verify the authenticity of the statement. The partially lawless Middle Eastern country has become a central battleground in the fight against al Qaeda. The terror network's leader recently called for an uprising against the nation's new president. The Yemeni branch of the group calls itself al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula; Ansaar alSharia is an affiliate of AQAP.

most embattled cities. U.N. monitors on the ground in five cities are making "all possible efforts to stop violence" and have had "some dampening effect," Secretary-General Ban Kimoon told CNN's Christiane Amanpour. However, they have not managed to completely cease the violence, he said. Ban said the full cadre of observers -- 300 -- authorized by the Security Council last month would be on site in the coming days. "They are patrolling every day, whenever possible," he said. "They try their best to cease this violence. It requires strong political will at the level of President Assad, and also it requires full cooperation by the opposition forces." As protests continue, a report by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria noted the growing power of forces opposed to President Bashar alAssad. "Whereas government forces had previously been responding primarily to demonstrations, they now face armed and wellorganized fighters -- bolstered by defectors who joined them," the report said.

Attorneys in Zimmerman case want evidence sealed


lorida prosecutors and George Zimmerman's defense attorney want certain evidence -- including emails, cell phone records and

Florida prosecutors and George Zimmerman's attorney

Egypt to pick Islamist or military man as president

Hosni Mubarak


he Muslim Brotherhood said yesterday its candidate in Egypt's first free presidential vote would fight a run-off next month with ex-air force chief Ahmed Shafiq, the last Prime Minister of deposed leader Hosni Mubarak. This week's first-round vote has polarised Egyptians between those determined to avoid handing the presidency back to a man from Mubarak's era and those fearing an Islamist monopoly of ruling institutions. The run-off will be held on June 16 and 17. The election marks a crucial step in a messy and often bloody transition to democracy, overseen by a military council that has pledged to hand power to a new president by July 1. The second round threatens further turbulence. Opponents of Shafiq have vowed to take to the streets if he is elected. But to supporters, Shafiq's military background offers reassurance that he can restore security, a major demand of the population 15 months after Mubarak's ouster. A victory for the Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi could worsen tensions between resurgent Islamists and the powerful army, which sees itself as the guardian of the state. Christians and secular liberals anxious about their own freedoms and the fate of Egypt's vital tourist industry will fret about a promised Brotherhood push for Islamic law.

statements -- sealed until his trial in the death of Trayvon Martin. Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda, in a motion filed Thursday, requested a judge seal statements Zimmerman made to law enforcement officers, some of which he called "contradictory." The prosecutor said some of Zimmerman's statements were "inconsistent with the physical evidence and statements of witnesses." He did not provide details of the evidence or statements. The state, citing pretrial publicity, said it wants names and addresses of witnesses kept out of the public record. It asked the same thing for crime scene and autopsy photos, a 911 recording of the incident and cell phone records of Martin, 17. It said those phone records would identify a witness.



Wellness Zone

Phyllis Ogo Ogah +234 80 58425746 (sms) only

15 simple rules for easy fat loss

HW veggies cooking


ello friends and sorry for last weeks break in transmission. We are still on the weight loss train so this weekend we will be looking at how to help you achieve a lean healthy body while remembering to exercise daily. Like I said in one of my earliest editions, there are no short cuts to weight loss, the most important factor is discipline, and others are eating right and getting your butt out of the couch. Dear friends, Follow these simple tips, for a lean and healthy body. 1. Eat 4-6 small meals day a day instead of the usual 2-3 large meals. Eating frequently will help regulate and boost your metabolism to burn more calories. 2 . Consume whole foods


that are high in fibre and low in sugar, such as lean protein sources (lean beef, chicken, fish, and whey protein), fruits & vegetables (oranges, apples, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, peppers, asparagus, carrots, nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios & walnuts), and whole grains. 3 . Eat low-glycemic carbohydrates such as vegetables, whole-wheat products and oatmeal instead of refined processed carbohydrates which usually come in a box or a bag. 4 . Consume 25-35 grams of fibre per day. Fibre will help satisfy hunger pangs as well as control insulin and blood sugar levels which tend to promote fat storage.

5. Eat some type of lean protein at each meal. Protein helps to satisfy hunger and provide the necessary building blocks to maintain lean body mass while losing body fat. 6 . Consume adequate amounts of healthy fat foods such as olive oil, walnuts, almonds, Omega-3 fortified eggs, or other Omega-3 products. Healthy fats are great antioxidants as well as help with brain function and many other essential processes that take place in the body on a daily basis. Essential Fatty Acids, according to clinical studies, could also help prevent certain diseases. To guarantee you’re consuming enough Omega-3 supplement your diet with EFA Icon 7 . Eat 5-10 servings of fruit and vegetables a day to meet your micronutrient needs. Vegetables also contain a good amount of fibre and help to control appetites and curb hunger. 8 . Consume Green Tea or Water instead of calorie-filled drinks such as soft drinks. Green Tea has many health benefits and you should be drinking 1ml of non-caffeinated fluid for every calorie that you consume. This works out between (8-12) 8oz glasses of Green Tea or Water a day. 9 . Balance your fat intake for the day. One-third should come from saturated fats, 1/3 from monounsaturated fats, and 1/3 from polyunsaturated fats.

Again, ensure you’re consuming antioxidant-rich Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids by incorporating EFA Icon into your nutritional plan. 10. Consistent fat loss requires good habits. If you want to create good habits, then you need plan. Therefore, map out your meals every day and follow them. If you follow your plan everyday for 2-3 weeks, you will form habits that become part of your daily routine and part of your life. 11. I n c o r p o r a t e “superfoods” into your meal plan on a daily basis. Some examples are salmon, low-fat plain yogurt, tomatoes, spinach, mixed berries, whole oats, mixed nuts, olive oil, flax seeds(or flax meal), green tea, and various beans. 1 2 . Keep total fat intake under 30% for the day. This can easily be accomplished by avoiding “extra” fats such as butter, sour cream, mayonnaise… This doesn’t mean you have to completely eliminate these items, just use them sparingly and avoid adding them to foods whenever possible.

1 3 . EXERCISE! Yes, you can lose weight just by changing your eating habits. But very few people succeed long-term - and it takes much longer to lose fat when they don’t exercise. And something most people don’t realize is, just how critical ingesting the research-proven Protein to Carbohydrate ratio is to optimizing the results of your workout efforts. I hang on a pedometer to keep track of my steps when I don’t go jogging. The World Health Organisation standard for healthy adults is 10,000 steps a day. 1 4 . Record what you eat and drink. You will be amazed by what you find. Keeping a food journal is critical to your success because you need it to evaluate and analyze your current eating patterns. If your fat loss efforts are stagnant, the answer can usually be found in your food journal. 15. Follow the 90% rule. If you can follow your plan 90% of the time, you will soon see unwanted fat melt off your body. However, if you find yourself breaking these rules more than 90% of the time, your chances of failing increase significantly.

HEAL TH TIP FOR THE WEEK HEALTH Positive thinking has been found to boost the body’s immune system to enable us to fight off infection Keep moving!




Nigeria’s 4x100 relay gold winning team Blessing Okagbare (L), Damola Osayomi, Gloria Asumnu and Agnes Osazuwa at the last All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique.

AFN Golden League 5th leg holds in PH today By Patrick Andrew


he tracks will burn today in Port Harcourt, the Garden City and hosts of the 5th leg of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria/Niger Delta Decvelopment Commission Golden League. There, athletes battling for reckoning will take on their counterparts some of who are currently in camp in preparation for the London Olympic Games scheduled for July 27 through August 12. Already, 100m champion Ogho Oghene Egwero, one of the more than a dozen Team Nigeria athletes camping in Atlanta, USA returned to participate in the race. Also, expected to feature in the increasing exciting league are the likes of Josephine Ehigie, Patience Okoro, Tosin Adeloye, Sirika Oluoma, among other upcoming athletes. Besides the grassroots athletes, some of whom were in fine vein of form at the previous legs in Owerri and Abeokuta, as well as those that recently participated at the Ibile Games in Lagos, will vie for honours. Coordinator of the AFN/NDDC Golden League, Yusuf Alli, confirmed that the likes of Blessing Okagbare, Gloria Asunmu, Oludamola Osayomi and all other members of 26 athletes that have secured qualification for the Olympic Games are likely to feature in the race which is an innovative approach by the current leadership of the AFN to up performance. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s London Olympics training camp in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, will be wind-up on Democracy Day, May 29.

The closure of the camp which was opened since March 3, will enable the athletes to return to the country to participate in the final phase of trials in Calabar as well as the African Senior Athletics Championships billed for Porto Novo, Benin Republic. Tony Ohaeri, who confirmed this also disclosed that Delta State has the highest number of athletes that will represent Nigeria in the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. Out of the total 78 athletes who have qualified to represent Nigeria in the two games, Delta State has 12 athletes who will participate in the Olympics. The state is followed by Ogun and Ekiti States who have five athletes each for the Olympics, while Imo State

has four , Edo, Cross, River and Bayelsa have 3 athletes each. Abia, Anambra and Oyo have two each while Adamawa, Benue, Ekiti, Kano, Kwara and Lagos State have one athlete each making a total of 47 athletes for the Olympics. For the Paralympics, out of 31 qualified athletes, Enugu State has the highest number of five athletes, followed by Oyo State with four, Anambra and Imo have three each Abia, Delta, Edo, Ogun each followed with two while Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Bauchi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Ondo, Osun and Rivers States have one athlete each in the Paralympic team. On the whole 22 states have athletes in the Team Nigeria for the Olympic/Paralympic Games.

5,000 civil servants for FEPSGA walking, jogging exercise By Albert Akota


o few than five thousand civil servants are expected to participate in this month’s Federal Public Service Games, (FEPSGA) walking and jogging exercise. The president of FEPSGA Mr. Victor Orji who disclosed this said that the exercise would witness unprecedented attendance following increased awareness of the essence of physically and mentally fitness among public service officials. “Civil servants in federal ministries, agencies and parastatals have intensified their readiness to troop the national stadium for the mandatory keep fit exercise.

“We are working in conjunction with the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, (SWAN) FCT chapter and National Orientation Agency, (NOA) for the first time in history of FEPSGA, “he said. Among the top personnel expected in today’s exercise are the Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Isah Bello Sali, the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil defence Corps, (NSCDC), Dr Ade Abulorin, the Director General of the Nigeria Tourism Development Cooperation, (NTDC), Otuba Olusegun Runsewe as well as the Director General of National Orientation Agency (NOA) Mr. Mike Omeri. Orji urged civil servants resident in Abuja to turn up for the monthly exercise to improve their physical fitness.



Leagues: La Liga toughest of the lot, Mourinho claims

Jose Mourinho


ose Mourinho believes winning La Liga was the toughest of the seven league titles he has sealed in coaching stints in his native Portugal,

England, Italy and Spain, the Real Madrid manager said on Wednesday. Real wrapped up the title with a 3-0 win at Athletic Bilbao, that maintained their seven-point lead over Barcelona with two games left and ended their bitter rivals’ three-year stranglehold on the Spanish league championship. Mourinho became the first coach to win a domestic league in four different major countries following his two titles in Portugal with Porto, two in England with Chelsea, two in Italy with Inter Milan and now one in Spain with Real. “It was the most difficult,” the 49-year-old said in a television

interview. “Bilbao put out their best team, the stadium was full and the team wanted to win and fight, which is the way it should be.” Getting the better of Barca, where he was an assistant under Bobby Robson in the late 1990s, will be a particular source of satisfaction for Mourinho, who has made a habit of needling his former employers during his two years in the Spanish capital. “I think that they themselves, champions and a club with a great tradition, know that we deserve this league title.” Mourinho, the ‘Special One’ who plans to return to the English premiership, the one

league he has described as the most glamourous and entertaining, has remained an enigma. He is fashionable, thoughtful and dynamic and would hardly stomach anything that does not go down well with him. Though he says he desires a return to the EPL and has subsequently been linked with Man United and touted as the Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor-inwaiting, the boisterous Portuguese has remained evasive on which club he would likely pitch his tent with in England. Besides, the flamboyant manager known for his taste of players: dynamic, exuberant, skillful, abundant in flair and

equally aggressive in play and somewhat controversial: Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos. Pepe alone has had more red cards than any other player in the la Liga. Mourinho enjoys controversy as shown by comments on the UEFA Champions League being more important than the World Cup and his often criticisms of referees especially when things are done according to his dictate. But he’s also a crowd drawer, wants his team to adopt styles of play that dwells on talents, aggression, hunger and absolute dominance. He could be hysterical when players or officials act in a manner that contravenes his ethics.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored 46 goals four short of Leonel Messi's 50

Iker Casillas

“ Messi


a Liga served up yet another two-horse race this season, as Real Madrid ended three years of domination by Barcelona to win their 32nd title. Barça had the consolation of taking the individual honours, with Lionel Messi amassing a record 50 goals to top the scoring charts by four from Cristiano Ronaldo, and Victor Valdes conceding fewer goals than any other keeper in the league. Yet while Jose Mourinho remains firmly in command at the Bernabeu, it is all change at the Camp Nou, with Josep Guardiola having called time on his tenure. As the top two were breaking all records, another league was taking place a whole 39 points behind the champions. Valencia once again made third place theirs, earning them a place in the UEFA Champions League, while Manuel Pellegrini’s Malaga, whose galaxy of stars gelled to good effect, will go into the competition’s preliminary round. Newly crowned UEFA Europa League

Real had to dethrone Barcelona because they were the better of the two, have players of greater character, focus and play better football: aggressive, purposeful and entertaining in terms of goals scored and the manner of scoring such goals

Why Real prevail in Spain’s titanic tussle champions Atletico Madrid took one of the other two remaining European places alongside season revelations Levante, who never ceased to amaze throughout only their second season back in the top flight. Interestingly, according to Jose Mourinho, Real had to dethrone Barcelona because they were the better of the two, have players of greater character, focus and play better football: aggressive, purposeful and entertaining in terms of goals scored and the manner of scoring such goals. Star performers Bilbao’s young lions Picking a standout performer among the young players that have fired Marcelo Bielsa’s Athletic Bilbao to the Europa League and Copa del Rey finals is no easy task. Oscar de Marcos, Iker Muniain and Ander Herrera have all made

significant contributions to a team that may have had its ups and downs in the league but has a big future ahead of it. Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid) The best keeper in the league after Valdes and Iker Casillas. The young Belgian had a hard act to follow in replacing David de Gea but exceeded expectations. Isco (Malaga) A habitual presence in Spain’s national youth teams, the midfielder proved a key signing for Malaga and now has his sights set on London 2012. The stat 100: Despite sealing the title with two games to spare, Real Madrid kept their foot on the accelerator and ended the season with 100 points - the highest tally ever recorded in the Spanish league. Jose Mourinho’s side drew

four and lost just two of their 38 matches. Key moments 21 April 2012: After trimming Real Madrid’s lead from ten to four points, Barcelona entertained their old rivals at the Camp Nou with designs on cutting it to one and blowing the title race wide open with four games remaining. As it happened, however, Barça suffered their only home loss of the season, leaving their championship aspirations in tatters. 4 March 2012: Real Zaragoza scored twice in the final six minutes to complete a dramatic comeback at home to fellow strugglers Villarreal and collect three ultimately crucial points. Occupying the relegation zone for 27 matchdays and bottom of the table for 17, Los Maños were seemingly down and out in February only to engineer an

amazing escape act, winning their last four games to avoid the drop on the final day of the season. 13 May 2012: After being drawn in arguably the toughest group in the UEFA Champions League and rubbing shoulders with the stars, Villarreal suffered relegation in the final seconds of the season. Out of the danger zone going into the final game of the season against Atletico Madrid at El Madrigal and with their destiny in their own hands, the Yellow Submarine was sunk at the last. Radamel Falcao’s late header put them on the precipice and when Raul Tamudo struck an injury-time goal to give Rayo Vallecano victory over Granada, Villarreal toppled over. Six years after almost making the Champions League final, they now join Sporting Gijon and Racing Santander in the second tier.





Germany remain team to beat, says Meinert

s reigning champions, Germany will be the team to beat when the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan 2012 kicks off in mid-August. The achievements of the country’s youngsters in securing the title in their own back yard two years ago still live long in the memory, with the team famously winning all six games, scoring 20 goals and conceding just five along the way. Germany are among the favourites to win this time around too, not least because they come into the competition on the back of success at the UEFA Women’s Under-19 Championship. Just as importantly, though, is the fact that they will be coached in Japan by Maren Meinert, who guided them to victory in 2010. The 38-year-old has been in charge of the U-20 team since 2005 and has led the side to no fewer than three European triumphs and one world title in that period. spoke exclusively to the 92-time former Germany international, who also won the FIFA Women’s World Cup as a player in 2003. There are just over three months left until the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup gets underway. How much are you looking forward to it? Very much. The World Cup takes place every two years and we still remember the last one at home in Germany. It’s always a highlight for the players and the coach. We’re glad to be going and are preparing ourselves for it. How do you and your players feel about Japan hosting the event? I’m happy Japan were able to take on the task of hosting, as it’s not easy to organise a World Cup at short notice. I’m a big fan of the Japanese style of play and I know that women’s football is very highly regarded there. It’s always nice to play a World Cup in a country like that. Germany 2010 is still quite fresh in people’s minds. Can it be topped? The tournament in Germany was unique, and it’ll be hard to beat that.

‘We need to improve defensively as we conceded a lot of goals through quick counterattacks, while at the other end we lacked that cutting edge. On top of that, we need to work on our fitness in order to cope with the demands of playing in Japan’

It’s clear that youth football is constantly progressing, so we hope that at least the attendance numbers and the atmosphere in Japan will come in just behind Germany (laughs). How do you analyse your opponents? It must be easier for the senior team coach Silvia Neid to get hold of video material... The first game is difficult, especially if you play against an African team you

‘In general, teams’ fundamental styles of play don’t usually change. For instance, the Brazilian U-20s don’t play any differently to the senior team or the previous U-20 team. You can prepare yourself in some way for that’ might never have seen before. We experienced that at Russia 2006 when Korea DPR were our first opponents. They outplayed us, which was something we hadn’t reckoned with. In general, teams’ fundamental styles of play don’t usually change. For instance, the Brazilian U-20s don’t play any differently to the senior team or the previous U-20 team. You can prepare yourself in some way for that. But principally we look at ourselves. Our aim is to train players, so we hold back on analysing our opponents. But in the rest of the tournament we will be working with a scout who will observe the other teams and help us prepare. Who are favourites to win? We’re one of the favourites. As hosts, Japan are up there, as well as Brazil and USA, who have a very good U-20 team this year. In my opinion it’s one of the best USA U-20 teams I’ve ever seen. And we also know there’ll be a surprise package. In Germany, Colombia reached the semi-finals. Who could have predicted that? Is it an advantage or disadvantage to go into the tournament as defending champions? It doesn’t matter, it’s not a burden. We’re happy to be world champions, but as a German team there is always a certain level of expectation, which is absolutely fine. Winning the European Championship was obviously a great success for Germany. Is there still room for improvement? To be honest, we didn’t play very well at the European Championship, apart from the second half in the final against Norway. We had a lot of problems. We were fortunate to beat Spain and had a hard time against

Luisa Wensing

Lena Lotzen

Dzsenifer Marozsan

Maren Meinert

Switzerland and the Netherlands. We need to improve defensively as we conceded a lot of goals through quick counter-attacks, while at the other end we lacked that cutting edge. On top of that, we need to work on our fitness in order to cope with the demands of playing in Japan. In 2010 you had players like Alexandra Popp, who was awarded both the adidas Golden Ball and the Golden Boot for best player and top scorer respectively. What’s the situation this year? A World Cup is inherently a good

stage for players to make their cases. In Luisa Wensing, Lena Lotzen and Dzsenifer Marozsan, we had three players from our age category playing for the senior team at the Algarve Cup. It’s up to the girls to play themselves into the limelight. I think we have several candidates who will be able to make the step up in the medium-term. I don’t want to name names as I’ve come to realise that players can often take huge strides in both directions - positive and negative - in a relatively short amount of time. Each player has to be responsible for her own success.



Hijab-wearing boxer dreams of Olympic gold A

fghans, who competed at the recent amateur world champions for women, brought a new perspective to the sport. They were cheered by a small crowd of hijab-wearing women who watched the tournament in Qinhuangdao, China. But one who drew attention in her bid to reach the London Olympics could be denied because of fears over her safety – inside the ring. Flyweight Sadaf Rahimi suffered a setback when her bout against Poland’s world No 6 Sandra Drabik was stopped after just a minute and 26 seconds. Now Rahimi, 18, is relying on a wildcard from the organisers to compete in London. Officials say the safety of boxers is paramount. “It is the number one concern in women’s boxing,” says International Amateur Boxing Association president Wu Chingkuo. “We will make this clear to the International Olympic Committee tripartite commission when we meet in July to decide who shall benefit from the wildcards,” Wu said. Rahimi has been seen as an automatic choice for a wildcard after media representatives seized upon

her quest to represent Afghanistan, where women’s sport was banned under the Taliban regime that was toppled in late 2001. But she now faces an anxious wait

“My bout was hard and my opponent very good. Of course, it is my dream to go to the Olympics and fight for my country. But I will wait and see what the organisers decide,”

Sadaf Rahimi after the gulf in standards between boxers in her country and those in the Americas, Europe and Asia was exposed in Qinhuangdao.

said Rahimi, who had trained in Britain before the tournament. “I will be sad if I don’t go but just coming here has been a great

experience.” Her compatriots, Sumaiya Azizi, 18, and Shamila Husainzada, 17, were also beaten in the first round. “Of course there is a big difference between us and the other boxers. But to come and see the tournament has motivated us to do well,” said Rahimi. “Just being here, flying the Afghan flag for other Afghan women, is also positive.” Her coach, Hedayatullah Mohmand, is the secretary general of the Afghanistan Boxing Federation. He said just appearing at the championships was a milestone for the boxers. “It is the first time Sumaiya Azizi and Samila Husainzada have seen and fought in a professionally rigged ring. It’s been an important experience for them. Now we know what the technical level is,” he said. Wu said the Afghans and other female boxers from emerging regions, such as Africa, would be offered more intensive training sessions to bring them up to the international standard. Ireland’s Katie Taylor and other top female boxers have criticised the wildcard system, intended to favour fighters from developing countries.

They say the best athletes should be chosen for the Olympics. “Hopefully the organisers will make the right decisions when handing out those wildcards. We need to showcase women’s boxing with the strongest field,” said Taylor, after winning her fourth straight world lightweight title. Safety was also on the mind of another fighter from Afghanistan, the naturalised Danish featherweight champion Diana Nadim, who is fearful of returning to the country from where she fled as a child. The former Under-19 European 60kg champion escaped to Denmark with her mother and sister after her father, a general in the Afghan army, was executed by the Taliban when she was eight years old. “I would love to go back to Afghanistan to help coach and inspire the girls like Sadaf. But the situation is too dangerous,” said the 22-yearold, who was beaten 26-13 by Sweden’s Mira Potkonen. Nadim’s coach, Gunnar Berg, said she may be targeted by militants if she returned to Afghanistan because Denmark has soldiers in the country, fighting the Taliban.

Gebrselassie seeks 10 000m qualifiying time


thiopian running legend Haile Gebrselassie will today attempts to qualify for the 10 000m at the London Olympics, running in his preferred distance in Hengelo, the Netherlands. The race on Sunday is being used by the African distance running powerhouse as a qualifier for the Games and will see Gebrselassie – a double Olympic gold medallist at the distance in

1996 and 2000 – race against 12 of his countrymen. They include Sileshi Sihine, Imane Merga and Gebre Gebremariam, who have all gone under 27 minutes for the 10km. Former marathon world record holder Gebrselassie, who has not been picked for the Ethiopia team over 26.2 miles (42.195km), is trying to make what would be his fifth Olympics at the age of 39. The four-times World 10 000m

champion is on form, having won the 10km Great Manchester Run in northwest England last week in 27min 39secs. “I thought I could have run faster but I didn’t push it. I’m happy with my form. It’s good enough to run 26min on the track,” he said. The men’s 10 000m is the highlight of the weekend’s meeting although South Africa’s doubleamputee Oscar Pistorius will be the main attraction in the 400m.

We are targeting Olympic gold, says NWF president


he Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF) has affirmed its resolve to win at least a medal at the forthcoming London 2012 Olympic Games slated for July 27 to August12. The federation’s President, Chimdi Ejiogu, said yesterday while speaking the series of preparations that the weightlifters have been subjected to as part of efforts to put them on competitive mood for the Games. “We are going there with a spirit to win,’’ he said stressing that it won’t be a jamboree. In spite of the bold declaration about its intentions at the London Games, Ejiogu refused to categorically state the number of medals the weightlifters would win,

but he was convinced that they would win a medal. “We will win at least one gold medal, which to me is better than 200 silver medals,’’ Ejiogu said. He pointed out that the country’s sports would be the biggest beneficiary, if the two athletes that would represent Nigeria could win gold medals at the global sporting fiesta. Chimdi added that the federation would ensure that only two of its athletes were eventually selected to represent the country. “We will check our strategy, our response and also the physiological condition of each of the athletes and select the best. Those who are in camp right now are medal hopefuls and we are monitoring them to know the best

to represent us in each category,” he said The weightlifting boss pointed out that the last Commonwealth Games in India where Nigeria emerged as the best in weightlifting, was a sign of a new dawn in the federation. “Before I became the president of NWF Nigeria had always been banned from attending international competitions because of drug-related offences. “When a Nigeria tested positive in India, Nigerians were expecting it was in weightlifting, but we finished tops in the sport. It would be recalled that four weightlifters, comprising two males and two females are currently in camp in Owerri, preparing for the London Games.


Wikki vs Sunshine vs Rangers vs Wolves vs ABS FC vs Akwa Utd vs Jigawa vs Lobi vs Gombe vs Heartland vs Gebrselassie

Kaduna 3SC Kwara R/Stars Tornadoes Dolphins Ocean Sharks Enyimba Pillars



Gymnastics: The sport, the passion Complied by Richard Ihediwa with additional reports from Wikipedia


ymnastics is one of the sporting activities that have continued to hold spectators spell bound Athletes engage in very daring moves that could have fatal consequences in the event of a miss. Gymnastic involves the performance of exercises requiring physical strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, and balance. It typically involves the women’s events of uneven bars, balance beam, floor exercise, and vault. Men’s events are floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings, vault, parallel bars, and high bar. Gymnastics evolved from exercises used by the ancient Greeks, that included skills for mounting and dismounting a horse, and from circus performance skills. Participants can include children as young as two years old doing kindergym and children’s gymnastics, recreational gymnasts of ages five and up, competitive gymnasts at varying levels of Exercises of the ancient Greeks began with athletic feats performed by each individual according to his own notion. The youth were encouraged to combine amusement with exercise. In time, this kind of exercise was incorporated into a system that figured prominently in the state regulations for education. In fact, the period for exercise or gymnastics was equal to the time spent on art and music combined. The Federation of International Gymnastics (FIG) was founded in Liege in 1881.By the end of the nineteenth century, men’s gymnastics competition was popular enough to be included in the first “modern” Olympic Games in 1896. By 1954, Olympic Games apparatus and events for both men and women had been standardized in modern format, and uniform grading structures (including a point system from 1 to 15) had been agreed upon. Artistic gymnastics is usually divided into Men’s and Women’s Gymnastics. Typically

men compete on six events: Floor Exercise, Pommel Horse, Still Rings, Vault, Parallel Bars, and High Bar, while women compete on four: Vault, Uneven Bars, Balance Beam, and Floor Exercise. In some countries, women at one time competed on the rings, high bar, and parallel bars (for example, in the 1950s in the USSR). Though routines performed on each event may be short, they are physically exhausting and push the gymnast’s strength, flexibility, endurance and awareness to the limit.

Vault In the vaulting events gymnasts sprint down a 25 metres (82 ft) runway, jump onto or perform a roundoff entry onto a springboard (run/ take-off segment), land momentarily, inverted on the hands on the vaulting horse or vaulting table (pre flight segment), then spring off of this platform to a two footed landing (post flight segment). Uneven Bars On the uneven bars (also known as asymmetric bars), the gymnast performs a routine on two horizontal bars set at different heights. These bars are made of fiberglass covered in wood laminate, to prevent them from breaking. Gymnasts perform swinging, circling, transitional, and release moves, that may pass over, under, and between the two bars. Movements may pass through the handstand. Gymnasts often mount the Uneven Bars using a springboard. Balance Beam The gymnast performs a choreographed routine up to 90 seconds in length consisting of leaps, acrobatic skills, somersaults, turns and dance elements on a padded beam. The beam is 125 centimetres (4 ft 1 in) from the ground, 500 centimetres (16 ft 5 in) long, and 10 centimetres (3.9 in) wide. The event requires, in particular, balance, flexibility, poise and strength. Floor Gymnasts perform a choreographed routine up to 90 seconds in the Floor Exercise event. They must choose an accompanying music piece. The routine should consist of tumbling lines, series of jumps, dance

elements, acrobatic skills, and turns, or piviots, on one foot. Pommel Horse A typical pommel horse exercise involves both single leg and double leg work. Single leg skills are generally found in the form of scissors, an element often done on the pommels. Double leg work however, is the main staple of this event. The gymnast swings both legs in a circular motion (clockwise or counterclockwise depending on preference) and performs such skills on all parts of the apparatus. Still Rings The rings are suspended on wire cable from a point 5.75 meters from the floor, and adjusted in height so the gymnast has room to hang freely and swing. He must perform a routine demonstrating balance, strength, power, and dynamic motion while preventing the rings themselves from swinging. Parallel Bars Men perform on two bars slightly further than a shoulder’s width apart and usually 1.75m high while executing a series of swings, balances, and releases that require great strength and coordination. High Bar A 2.8 cm thick steel or fiberglass bar raised 2.5m above the landing area is all the gymnast has to hold onto as he performs giants (revolutions around the bar), release skills, twists, and changes of direction. By using all of the momentum from giants and then releasing at the proper point, enough height can be achieved for spectacular dismounts, such as a triple-back salto. Leather grips are usually used to help maintain a grip on the bar. Flying rings was an event similar to still rings, but with the performer executing a series of stunts while swinging. It was a gymnastic event sanctioned by both the NCAA and the AAU until the early 1960s Scoring: A gymnast’s score comes from deductions taken from their start value. The

start value of a routine is calculated based on the difficulty of the elements the gymnast attempts and whether or not the gymnast meets composition requirements. The composition requirements are different for each apparatus. This score is called the D score. Deductions in execution and artistry are taken from 10.0. This score is called the E score.[15] The final score is calculated by taking deductions from the E score, and adding the result to the D score. And since 2007, the scoring system has changed by adding bonus plus the execution and then adding those two together to get the final score. Source: Wikipedia

Digest PAGE 46


Heartwarming story behind picture of young boy feeling the President's hair...


t is a surprising image of the most powerful man in the world bowing down to a young boy. Barack Obama is seen bending over while a five-yearold in a white shirt and red striped tie touches the top of his head, with a curious, calculating look on his face. The photograph from the Oval Office of Mr Obama showing his human side has recently become an internet sensation And now, the story behind the ‘touching’ picture has been revealed. The image was taken by White House staff photographer Pete Souza in 2009 – five months after Mr Obama began his presidency. The young boy is five-yearold Jacob Philadelphia whose father Carlton, a former Marine, was departing his White House job after working at the National Security Council. It is customary for departing staffers to request a

Little Jason Philadelphia, centre, asked the president if their hair felt the same back in 2009; White House photographer Pete Souza captured the moment family photograph with the president. According to the New York Times, once the pictures were taken, the family prepared to leave, but not before Mr.

Philadelphia’s two sons asked the president one question apiece. Jacob shyly asked the commander-in-chief if his hair was like the president’s, saying

in the softest of voices: ‘I want to know if my hair is just like yours.’ The president couldn’t hear, and asked the five-yearold to repeat his question. He then replied: ‘Why don’t you

touch it and see for yourself?’ It was at that moment that the President folded himself at the waist and offered the crown of his head for the little boy to feel. He encouraged Jacob by saying, ‘Touch it, dude!’ That’s when photographer Mr Souza took the now-iconic picture, which the Times says has slightly ‘awkward composition.’ After he felt the President’s head, Jacob issued his verdict to the room: ‘Yes, it does feel the same.’ Since the Ford administration, White House staff photographers have picked new pictures to display on a weekly basis. He told the Times that the picture became an ‘instant favourite’ with the staff, and said: ‘I think people are struck by the fact that the president of the United States was willing to bend down and let a little boy feel his head.’ The photo still hangs in the West Wing today - while a copy is also proudly hung in the Philadelphia family’s living room.

Fists fly in Ukrainian parliament in clash over language law


ay what you like about their adversarial style, but at least the great and good of British politics keep the fisticuffs for the Commons bar. In Ukraine, though, a politician was left with blood streaming down his face last night after a brawl erupted in the main chamber of the parliament. Violence broke out over a bill that would allow the use of the Russian language in courts, hospitals and other institutions in the Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine. Members of the pro-Western opposition, who want to take Ukraine out of Russia’s shadow, traded blows with lawmakers from President Viktor Yanukovych’s party, which bases its support in the Russian-speaking east. The wounded man, opposition legislator Mykola Petruk, was taken to hospital after he suffered

an apparent blow to the head. Politicians have frequently scuffled in the Ukrainian parliament. A fierce fight in December 2010, which sent at least six lawmakers to the hospital, started when members of Yanukovych’s party threw chairs and punched opponents who had been blocking legislative work all day. During a fight in April 2010, the parliament speaker hid behind an umbrella as opposition lawmakers threw eggs and smoke bombs to protest a naval pact with Russia. Ukraine is deeply divided into the Russian-speaking east and south, which favors close ties with Moscow, and the Ukrainianspeaking west, which wants Ukraine to strengthen links with the West. The opposition demanded an investigation into yesterday’s scuffle. Savage: Lawmakers from pro-presidential and opposition factions fight in the parliament session hall in Kiev, Ukraine.

Chaos: A politician reaches over the bench to slam a fist into one of his rivals (left), while the grey-suited man seen crawling over the furniture is seized by the leg as he falls.

Bloodied: Opposition politician Mykola Petruk receives first aid after the scuffle, which broke out over a bill that will allow Russian to be spoken in official buildings



From the Pulpit Living as a citizen of heaven


n this message, I want to share with you how to live your life as a citizen of heaven rather than an indigene of this earth, as strangers and pilgrims on the earth and not a permanent resident. “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” (Heb 11:13-16 NKJV) How to live your life? · Be born again. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 KJV) You need to give your life to Jesus Christ thereby becoming a new creature. “Wherefore if any man is in Christ, (he is) a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new.” (2 Cor 5:17 ASV) Towards the end of this message, I will show you how to be born again. · Be renewed in your mind. This comes by the help of the Spirit of God as you continuously study and meditate in the word of God. Eph 4:23-24 says, “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (NKJV) You cannot put on the new man and live a life of righteousness and holiness unless you daily renew your mind in the word of God. “And be not conformed to this world: but

be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Rom 12:2 KJV) The key to life transformation is the renewal of mind via the word of God. Such transformation helps you to view life from God’s perspective contained in the word of God. It takes a renewed mind to do what Eph 4:25-32 says and that’s what God wants you to do. “Therefore, putting away lying, let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (NKJV) Doing what this scripture says is a mark of a truly transformed life. May you experience this in Jesus’ name. · Make the most of your time here on earth. Don’t live as if you won’t die or you’ll live forever on earth as it is at present. Ps 90:12 says, “Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.” (NLT) Grow in wisdom; don’t live as a fool. Be wise. (Eph 5:15-20) Those who live their lives as strangers and pilgrims on the earth

LIBERA TION LIBERATION AREN A ARENA By Rev. Abel Duniya Gospel Power Liberation Ministries, Abuja GSM: 08033155167


any Christians today are no longer living as those who are aware of the devices of their enemy, the devil. The Word of God states that the devil is roaming about seeking for whom to devour and his greatest targets are children of God. Many people who do not take heed will be deceived by the devil, who has already unleashed his devices against mankind. His ultimate aim is to take many off the covering of God and to lead them to hell where they will spend eternity in pain. God, who knows that we must be wary of the schemes of the devil continue to remind us daily of the risk we run when we live our life without checks. It is one of such reminders that I bring to you today

by the leadership of the Holy Spirit. I do not know your spiritual level now and the trials and temptations that have been defeating you, but I must bring the caution from God to you as He has instructed me. God has instructed me to tell you to read 1 Corinthians 10. That is the message He has for many people today including you. The scripture reads here; “1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed

no longer live the rest of their time in flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. (1 Peter 4:2) ·Lay up your treasures in heaven. Those who see themselves as permanent residents of the earth don’t lay their treasures in heaven. They heap up wealth, live for themselves alone and delude themselves that they can continue to enjoy forever like that rich fool. But death will put an end to that when they least expect. The story of the rich fool is told in Luke 12:1821. Jesus says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt 6:19-21 NKJV) How do you lay up your treasures in heaven? By being generous to God and His causes on the earth such as paying your tithes, giving offerings and contributing financially and materially to God related projects and programmes like gospel advancement, church building etc. The other way of storing your treasures in heaven is by being generous to fellow human beings especially the needy, orphans and widows. “If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD — and he will repay you!” (Prov 19:17 NLT) James 1:27 says, “Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.” (NLT) Those who don’t store their treasures in heaven are not involved in these types of giving. All their treasures are here on earth, and though they are rich while alive are poor after death for they have no

GREEN PASTURES By Pastor T.O. Banso GSM: 08033113523 treasures stored ahead in heaven. · Don’t be attached to this world. That means you don’t get carried away by the activities of this world, your success, your progress and all that this world offers because you know that it won’t last. “Those in frequent contact with the things of the world should make good use of them without becoming attached to them, for this world and all it contains will pass away.” (1 Cor 7:30-31 NLT) It’s not all that glitters that is gold. What this world offers is deceptive, and you have to be careful that you’re not deceived. That’s why the Bible warns about the deceitfulness of riches. (Matt 13:22) · Set your mind on the things that are above. Carnal Christians and unbelievers focus their minds on the things of this earth. They are concerned about earthly things. “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Col 3:1-4 NKJV) Serious Christians set their minds on things above, and not on things on the earth. They know that they in this world but they are not of this world just as Jesus told the Jewish leaders, “You are from below; I am from

above. You are of this world; I am not.” (John 8:23 NLT) I pray that you will live as a citizen of heaven. May you live as a stranger and pilgrim on this earth, and not live to pursue vanity, and lose your soul. “And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process? Is anything worth more than your soul?” (Mark 8:36-37 NLT) TAKE ACTION! If you are not born again, kindly say this prayer now: “0 Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you Jesus for saving me and making me a child of God” I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible believing, Bible teaching church in your area where you will be taught how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things becoming all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. May the Lord be with you.

Take heed lest you fall them: and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye

may be able to bear it. 14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. 18 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? 19 What say I then? that the idol is anything, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? 20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. 21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. 22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? 23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. 24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth. 25 Whatso-

ever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake: 26 For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof. 27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. 28 But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof: 29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience? 30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? 31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: 33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. (KJV) Think about all these and pray God to help you overcome. Amen.

BIG PUNCH “Obasanjo does not have credibility in Nigeria. Remember he was dragged to court by his own son accusing him of sleeping with his wife.” Deputy Minority leader of the House of Representatives, Suleiman Kawu, reacting to allegation by former President Obasanjo that there were rogues in the National Assembly

SATURDAY 26 — SUNDAY 27, MAY, 2012

Nigeria: The systematic reduction


or the umpteenth time Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Governor of Central Bank, tells the Nigerian people the difficulties that lie ahead. The economy is at risk, and will continue to be at risk unless its structural weaknesses are addressed. ‘The key concerns [are] slowdown in global economic activities, particularly in the United States, Europe and China; slowdown in domestic output, especially sharp decline in agricultural output and oil and gas; possible softening of crude oil prices in the international market with potential fiscal revenue loses; and the likely pressure on foreign exchange market and exchange rate,’ Sanusi told journalists on May 22, 2012. ‘Others are the inflationary threat that has resurfaced in the first quarter of 2012, after having moderated in the fourth quarter of 2011; imminent increase in electricity tariff, which may lead to inflationary pressures; high interest rates in the face of declining GDP output and security concerns in the country.” Sanusi further pointed out in 2011 alone Nigeria lost about $7 billion to Oil Thieves. Imagine what is likely to happen in the event of a fall in oil prices: civil servants, from local to federal level, will not earn salary; millions of families will not be able to feed themselves; children will not continue their education; markets, from Lagos to Onisha to Yenagoa to Kano to Maiduguri will collapse, farmers will instantly plunge into penury, ongoing projects everywhere which could stimulate the economy will stop: overall, a general climate of misery will envelop the nation, the misery compounded further by imposition of more financial burdens on the people, through higher tariffs on electricity, water, health and other services. Life, for this otherwise great and vibrant nation, will come to a halt. Remember that last month the Minister of Finance warned that if the present trend continues Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product [GDP] could collapse. What will not stop, however, are the usual business of governance, rooted in profligacy of the highest order, plus, of course, the Oil Theft. We are moving towards a new and critical phase in the gradual


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reduction of Nigeria in well being and in stature. We are all accustomed to the fact Nigeria has no control over its oil, and the endemic theft of this strategic resource has reached an unprecedented scale, and apparently there is nothing that can be done about it. But there are other thieves, other cabals wrecking havoc on the economy.Take the case of what

Tribune [14/5/12] calls the Telecom Thieves. The paper refers to an affidavit submitted to an Abuja high court on May 9, 2012 by Mr Solomon Ogundele, NITEL’s Principal Liaison Officer (PLO) to NCC between 1994 and 2000, and leader of the Nigerian team that drafted and prepared the first Interconnection Agreement with the Private Telecommunications Operators (PTOs) in Nigeria, including MTN. The gist of Ogundele’s deposition, as quoted by Tribune, is as follows: ‘At the inception of deregulation in the telecommunications industry in Nigeria, NITEL would have made more than One Trillion Naira for the Nigerian government. It could not make the aforementioned amount due to the fact that NCC did compromise its statutory and regulatory functions by fraudulently allowing MTN and others to use the telecommunications highway which only NITEL possessed at the inception of deregulation, free of charge. NCC has been colluding with MTN to ensure massive capital flight from

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Nigeria to South Africa with severe debilitating effect on the exchange rate of the Naira and the Nigerian economy as a whole. Its imposed, fraudulent Interconnection Agreement did divert the huge revenues that NITEL would have made on its telecommunications highways to MTN and others. ‘In 2006, Albert Mashi, the then Managing Director of Nigeria Telecommunications Limited did, at a press conference reported by ThisDay newspaper of 30th March, 2006, cry out that MTN was damaging NITEL’s Optic Fibre Cables. The estimated cost of the systematic, nationwide damage done to NITEL’s Fibre Optic Network by MTN was in the region of Thirteen Billion Naira (N13bn). This fact of deliberate destruction of NITEL’s infrastructure was brought to the attention of NCC with whose collusion, MTN has, till date, failed/refused/neglected to pay compensation to NITEL. I was deeply involved in the interconnection issues by virtue of my former position as General Manager (Operations) of NITEL. MTN and NCC have, for many

years, been working together jointly and have embarked on, and continue to engage in, activities radically inimical to the Nigerian economy and Nigerian interests and because of the dubious and anti-nationalinterests relationship that exists between them, any complaints, grievances, disputes or accusations against MTN directed, lodged, forwarded or submitted to NCC will not see the light of day or be acted upon by NCC.’ ‘To all intents and purposes, NCC has accorded MTN the status of a National Carrier, through the backdoor. To a large extent, MTN is essentially or substantially operating illegally in Nigeria and NCC has failed to exercise its statutory and regulatory control over it. Despite the fact that MTN has embarked on massive destruction of NITEL’s plants and equipment under the guise of expanding its network, NCC has failed/refused/neglected to exercise its statutory and regulatory control and NCC was so reckless in liquidating NITEL that it created the situation where NITEL has also been compelled to settle invoices of

MTN and others running into several billions of Naira which NITEL cannot verify with its own internal data because NCC prevented NITEL from doing so. The telecommunications industry in Nigeria has a cabal and MTN and NCC are prominent members of this telecommunications industry cabal.’ The truth or otherwise of these allegations is yet to be determined, but judging by the facts about the Petroleum sector, it would surprise no one that Nigeria has no control over the massively lucrative telecom industry, or that Nigeria did watch helplessly as its national assets were being systematically destroyed by a foreign company in broad day light, and for so long. What is more, we have witnessed the absolute collapse of NITEL, the national carrier, and the phenomenal rise of the others. What we have been saying in the last few weeks is that in the last few years Nigeria has been losing control over its institutions, its strategic resources, its common wealth and, ultimately, its own affairs. Because of that systematic loss of control, things are happening in Nigeria which can not happen anywhere else in the world. Is there any other country which derives its income solely from petroleum but turns the industry into a Free Thieving Zone, where no law applies, no accurate records exist, no concern for the future, and where no thought for the well being of the bona fide owners and primary beneficiaries, Nigeria and its people, is ever countenanced? To worsen the situation even further, the Nigerian people seem to have lost control over their political destiny. Democracy Thieves, the supreme cabal, have stolen the lion share of Nigeria’s democracy. All the cabals and all the thieves in the oil industry, in the telecom industry, in the banking industry, in governance industry, and in all other sectors are very active in the political sphere and have almost wrested democracy from the Nigerian people. They handle democracy in exactly the same manner as they handle oil. Oil flows in their direction and in their interest, so must democracy. If the situation were to persist, what would happen eventually?

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, Saturday, May 27, 2012  
Peoples Daily Newspaper, Saturday, May 27, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Saturday, May 27, 2012 Weekend Edition