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Vol. 11 No. 100

Friday, September 27, 2013

. . . putting the people first

Apo killings: FCTA to Constitution Review: demolish uncompleted Reps to revisit state buildings >> Pg 5 police, others >> Pg 3

Thul Qadah 22, 1434 AH


Ibadan records over 20 rape cases monthly – Report >> Pg 3

8,000 Zamfara widows demand mass wedding From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau


ver 8,000 registered widows and divorcees in Zamfara state yesterday

stormed the headquarters of the state Hizba Commission in Gusau, the state capital, seeking for the adoption of Kano state’s mass-marriage practice in the state.

The protesting women, along with orphans, had trooped into the Hizba state headquarters battling to ventilate their grudges to the concerned authorities that they were tired of staying at home

without men looking for their hands in marriage. Speaking on their behalf, the Chairman of the Association of Widows, Sa’idu Alhaji Goshe, said they had so far registered

5,380 divorcees, 2,200 widows and 1,280 less privileged who are virtually willing to acquire their lovely partners but for the inability of the majority to afford Contd. on Page 2

Shekau’s re-emergence, a huge challenge – Presidency By Hassan Haruna Ginsau


he Presidency has described the sudden reappearance of the leader of the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnah Lidda’await wal Jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, as a huge challenge in spite of the progress the nation’s security forces were making against the dreaded insurgents. Responding to the development in an interview on Hausa service of the BBC monitored yesterday in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant to President Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, acknowledged that the reappearance of the sect leader was a set back to the war against insurgency. Spokesperson of the Joint Task Force (Operation Restore Order), Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, Contd. on Page 2

First batch of 800 members of a youth volunteer known as Civilian JTF, helping in combating insurgency, now renamed Borno Youth Vanguard, during their swearing in for three weeks orientation, skills acquisition and civil-security course organised by the Borno state government, yesterday at the NYSC orientation camp, in Maiduguri. See story on Page 3.

20 bureaux de change operators lose licences >> Pg 2

















Stockwatch S/Report

23 24-25

Islam Int’l

26 27-30

Strange World


Confusion over proposed £3,000 visa bond, Page 4







Politics News Extra Sports

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CBN revokes licences of 20 Bureaux de Change operators


he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revoked the licences of 20 Bureaux de Change companies over alleged foreign exchange malpractices. The CBN Governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, disclosed this at Ikoyi Club’s 75th anniversary lecture held in Lagos yesterday. Sanusi, who declined to mention the names of the affected companies said that the promoters would

be charged to court with money laundering. He said that the affected operators bought dollars from commercial banks without accounting for what the dollars were needed for nor the purchasers of the money. The CBN governor said that the apex bank’s investigation showed that commercial banks were importing billions of US dollars in

the country for onward sale to the affected operators. “This week, I have revoked licences of 20 bureaux de change operators and they will be prosecuted for money laundering with the banks,” Sanusi said. He said that Nigeria had taken over from Russia as the highest importer of US dollars which led to the fall of the nation’s local currency at the foreign exchange market.

Sanusi said that the country was importing more U.S. dollars in cash than any other country in the world. He said that the apex bank would continue to protect depositors’ funds and ensure stability of the naira at all times. On banking sector reforms, he said that bad loans of commercial banks cost the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) the sum of N5.1 trillion. (NAN)

PDP crisis: Dokubo wants Obasanjo, Atiku arrested


he leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, NDPVF, Mujahid AsariDokubo, has demanded the immediate arrest and prosecution of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his former deputy, Atiku Abubakar, for their alleged role in the raging crisis within the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. He also asked President Goodluck Jonathan to deal decisively with members of the “New PDP” led by Kawu Baraje, especially the seven governors in its fold, by arresting their associates. Mr. Asari-Dokubo, who stated this in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday in Abuja, however, refused to speak about former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, who he said had not taken sides with either the breakaway group or the mainstream PDP led by Bamanga Tukur. Atiku and the PDP governors of Jigawa, Kano, Sokoto, Kwara, Rivers, Adamawa and Niger States belong to the Baraje faction of the party. They announced the birth of

the faction last August 31. Obasanjo headed the PDP elders team that mediated unsuccessfully in the crisis, though some of the governors are believed to be his political associates. “Obasanjo should be arrested and detained, yes and Atiku (Abubakar),” Mr. Asari-Dokubo said. “They are ordinary citizens of this country they are nobody. They are nobody. I don’t know about Babangida, he has not come out to talk about where he belongs.” The NDPVF leader said there was no need pampering members of

the Baraje faction, noting that with their action, they had shown that they were miscreants. According to him, members of the faction fouled of the Electoral Act by setting up a secretariat for a party that was not in existence. According to him, “Those political miscreants; the president should use a hammer against them. There’s no basis indulging these miscreants; they should be treated as such. “There’s only one registered PDP known to INEC and Tukur is the chairman of that PDP. For the

president to indulge them is a slap on the face of politics. He should have hit them if they go against the law. “If you set up a secretariat for a party that’s not ready, then they should be arrested and detained. There’s no party called new PDP. They should be treated as a lawbreaker.” Reminded of the constitutional immunity of the governors from arrest, Mr. Asari-Dokubo said, “(Since) the governors enjoy immunity, they should pick people around them, then they will know.”

Bode George: S/Court rules Dec. 13 By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he Supreme Court of Nigeria yesterday slated December 13, 2013 to deliver judgment in the appeal brought before it by the former Deputy National Chairman (South) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George and five others, praying the court to set aside their conviction and sentence by the lower courts.

The five-member panel of Justices of the apex court, headed by Justice Mahmud Mohammed slated the date following the adoption of written addresses by both the appellants and the respondent in the matter. While adopting the appellants’ written addresses, their counsel and former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN)

told the court that the testimonies of some of the prosecution witnesses that were dismissed by the prosecution in their reply briefs are relevant to the case of the appellants. He explained that the witnesses, in their testimonies did not state that there was a split of contracts by the appellants as alleged and added that the prosecution increased the elements of the offence against the appellants.

8,000 Zamfara widows demand mass wedding Contd. from Front Page three square meals a day. “Some of these women have spent more than 16 years in widowhood, some 7 years while few of them have clocked two years looking for whom to come for their hands in marriage; that is why I found it necessary to organize this association so that we will achieve the same objective on a common platform”, Goshe explained. The chairman lamented that

the prolonged stay at home was affecting the women. Commenting on the range of bride price expected by the widows and divorcees should their proposal for mass-marriage be accepted by the Zamfara state government, he said 15-year old young ladies expect not less than N20, 000, while those who had attained 21-35 years would be paid N15,000. Those above 35 years, he stressed, were ready to accept

N10,000 as bride price as arranged by the leadership of the association. “Some states in the North have initiated this programme and they have recorded success; and I see nothing wrong should Zamfara, being the first to implement Sharia in Nigeria, adopt mass-marriage for its moral, spiritual and even economic benefits. “We are calling on the state government to please listen to our demands to come in to assist. I am

confident that the administration of Governor Abdulaziz Yari will positively respond,” the Goshe enthused. Responding, Chairman of the state Hizba Commission, Dr Atiku Balarabe Zawiyya, said that the proposal was a welcome development as it is allowed under Sharia system because it will stem the tide of moral decadence in the society. “We will look into the matter; allow us to talk to the

Shekau’s re-emergence a huge challenge Contd. from Front Page had in August issued a statement claiming that Shekau may have been killed in a bloody raid of his hideout in Sambisa Forest in Maiduguri, Borno state, on June 30, 2013. Musa in the statement said: “Intelligence reports available to the Joint Task Force (JTF) Operation Restore Order revealed that Abubakar Shekau, the most dreaded and wanted terrorists

leader may have died. He died of gunshots wounds received in an encounter with the JTF in one of their camps in Sambisa Forest on June 30, 2013. “Shekau was mortally wounded in the encounter and was sneaked into Amitchide-a border community in Cameroon, for treatment from which he never recovered,” the JTF statement had said. But, in a video posted on

Wednesday, Shekau said “The world should know that I cannot die except by the will of Allah. Don’t bother yourselves stopping me because I cannot be stopped. The war is more grievous than you think, and it will consume you all.” Reacting to the video, Okupe said there was nothing to feel shameful about on the part of authorities. This, according to him, is because there were a number of similar cases where the

deaths of Al-Qaeda commanders had been reported by international media, only for them to resurface on videos and dispute the claims afterwards, just as Shekau had done. He pointed out that even in the case of Shekau, the military never confirmed his death in the first place, but only said there was a possibility that he was killed in a gun fight with the group’s members.



News Constitution review: Reps to revisit state police, Electoral Act, others By Lawrence Olaoye


L-R: Acting Executive Secretary, TETFUND, Malam Aliyu Na’iya, member representing North-West in TETFUND, Malam Mustapha Ibrahim, Chairman, House Committee on Education, Hon. Aminu Suleiman, TETFUND Trustee representing North-East, Hon. Victor Bala Kona, and Chairman, TETFUND Governing Board, Dr. Musa Babayo, during the Committee’s oversight visit to the TETFUND headquaters, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Boko Haram: Shettima flags-off training for 800 civilian JTF From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


orno state governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima yesterday flagged off a two-week orientation programme for 800 youth vigilante members popularly known as civilian JTF who have helped security agencies in the hunt for Boko Haram. The youths were mostly from Maiduguri, Jere and Biu local government areas which were

worst affected by the insurgency. Flagging off the training tagged Borno Youths Empowerment Scheme(BOYES) at the NYSC permanent orientation camp in Maiduguri, Governor Shettima applauded the efforts of the youths in the fight against the insurgents. The governor said: “Today we gathered to start what I will call the implementation of an allinclusive blueprint that is aimed at transforming our youths into

becoming more productive by bringing together this first batch of 800 youths drawn from about 10 units within Jere, Metropolitan and 50 each from Biu, Bama, Damboa, Konguga and Kaga local government areas”. Governor Shettima said his government will continue to use the scare resources at its disposal in the fight against terrorism and other crimes which are detrimental to social-economic development of the state.

One of the beneficiaries, Mallam Yusuf Garba promised that the youths will support the state government in all its policies and programmes. According to him, the training has not only inculcated in them knowledge on how they will be self-reliant, but also impact morally on their lives. Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of the implementation committee of the scheme, who is also the state Deputy Governor, Zannah Umar Mustapha said, the 800 youth are taking part in the first phase of the project, while the second phase which will soon be launched would admit another 800 others.

he House of Representatives yesterday disclosed that it would revisit its resolution on issues of state police and amend certain sections of the Electoral Act to allow for the conduct of all elections in the country in one day. Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep Zakari Mohammed, in an interaction with our reporter, also disclosed that the House may also reverse itself on its earlier resolution on local government autonomy in the country. The House ad hoc Committee on the Review of the Constitution chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, had earlier rejected calls to allow for state police and local government autonomy. According to the House spokesperson: “Recent developments in the country have made the creation of state police an inviting option. It is becoming increasingly clear that a centrally controlled police may not suffice, considering the rate of crimes across the country. We are looking at a situation where the states can run their own police and certain crimes would be classified as either state or federal”. Speaking further, Mohammed said that apart from amending the Electoral Act for all elections to be conducted in one day, it would also make the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) introduce biometrics registration so that electoral frauds could be curbed.

Ibadan records over 20 rape cases monthly-Report T here are over 20 reported rape cases in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, monthly, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) has reported. A survey by a NAN correspondent in the old city showed that the menace is fast assuming a dangerous dimension with reported abuse of minors. James Ajibola, the Legal Adviser to the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo state chapter, one of those polled in the survey, said that rape was one of the social vices currently ravaging the society. He said that aside from the fact that it has become an aberration, under-aged girls are now major targets of rapists, leaving their victims with horrible experiences. The legal practitioner said it was very difficult to give an accurate statistic of rape cases, because of a number of factors. According to him, the intervention by various people to settle rape cases out of court had contributed to seeing rapists go

unpunished and thus encouraged more rape cases. “Over 20 new rape cases are recorded on a monthly basis in Ibadan alone, with only one out of 100 per cent rape cases receiving diligent prosecution,” he said. Intimidation and poverty on the part of the victims, he noted, were other reasons why rapists go free. In his own submission, Benjamin Olley, a lecturer at the Department of Psychology, University of Ibadan, described rapists as insane. “The situation in which men have sexual intercourse with underaged girls is abnormal,” he said. He recommended that psychiatric tests be carried out on rapists, wondering why any man, in the name of ritual or power, would defile the opposite sex. Rape victims, Olley said, “are exposed to various sexually transmitted diseases and more often than not, they lose their self-esteem or could even become promiscuous”.

A rape victim who narrated her horrible experience in court during a cross examination felt dejected in her account. The victim, a 25-year old undergraduate student of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, said that the rapist threatened to behead her if she refused to allow him. The two-month pregnant lady narrated that the culprit had other men who collaborated with him to ensure that the illicit act was carried out on her in spite of her plea. “When I was shouting, some men were there, but did not help me,” she said. Another Ibadan based legal practitioner, Jelil Rufai, explained that the Nigerian society was in a serious immorality crisis with different degrees of disintegration in social values and norms. He added that unemployment was one of the root causes of rape, which had conversely led young men to drugs and to their uncontrolled urge for sex. A human rights activist with the

Child Protection Network, a nongovernmental organisation, who preferred anonymity, linked the menace to the high divorce rate in the society. “I will also advise our girls to shun provocative dresses. “If we have quick dispensation of rape cases, it would discourage the offenders,” he stressed. Olabisi Clet-Ilobanafor, the Police Public Relations Officer, Oyo state Command, condemned the crime, saying that men who engaged in the act had fallen below the animal level. She, however, said that the command would soon begin a police community outreach programme against rape. “The programme, when it starts, will aim at enlightening girls on how to avoid being raped by men,” she said. Grace Akinsehinwa, a prosecutor and an Assistant Superintendent of Police, who has prosecuted many rape cases in Ibadan, lamented the increase

in the rate of rape, especially of minors. She blamed many parents and guardians, whose children and wards have been defiled or raped, for not pursuing their cases to logical conclusion. Ms. Akinsehinwa advised all stakeholders to resist all forms of intimidation in the process of getting justice. An Islamic scholar, Siyanbola Amzat, said that Almighty Allah forbids anyone from engaging in rape. “Those who rape would not want to see their love ones raped’’, he said. According to him, “the Sharia legal system required any unmarried man who rapes to be given 100 whips even if he is dying and any married man to be stoned to death.” In his contribution, Sola Mene, a pastor, said that the issue of rape was contrary to the scripture just like other forms of sexual immoralities. (NAN)

Page 4 Report


Confusion over proposed £3,000 visa bond By Evelyn Okakwu


proposal by the United Kingdom (UK) government to charge visitors from “high risk” countries a £3,000 visa bond has stirred reactions from parents and potential students in the UK’s third largest student market, Nigeria, as well as an outcry from members of the government. Last Thursday, the Senate deferred debate on the proposed imposition of £3, 000 visa bond on Nigerians travelling to the United Kingdom, on the grounds that the UK government is yet to implement the policy. Sponsor of the motion, Senator Mathew Nwagwu (Imo/ PDP) said that Nigeria and Britain had long and historic trading, economic, political and cultural relations and were both members of the Commonwealth, United Nations, among others, as well as signatories to several international conventions and agreements. According to him, Section 42 of the 1999 Constitution expressly forbids discrimination against Nigeria for whatever reason. He said: “Article 5 paragraph (m) of the Vienna convention on consular relations of 1963 to which both Nigeria and Britain are signatories specifically forbids a sending state party to the convention from performing functions objected to or prohibited by the laws and regulations of the receiving state party. “In spite of the above laws and conventions, to which the

A UK Visa stamped passport

UK is a signatory, the same UK government has announced the imposition of a £3,000 visa bond on Nigerian citizens travelling to the UK for the first time and I am convinced that the visa bond imposed on Nigerians is selective, discriminatory, obnoxious, vexatious and unprecedented. “The imposition of a three thousand pounds visa bond will place additional barriers, burden and undue hardship on the path of Nigerians intending to travel to the UK for legitimate reasons and is capable of negatively affecting the existing excellent relations between Nigeria and Britain”, he stated. Despite assurances from the UK’s ambassador to Nigeria Andrew Pocock that the scheme, if introduced, would affect very few people, there is still palpable confusion. Last week, senators said the proposed bond is “selective, discriminatory, obnoxious, vexatious and unprecedented”. However, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr. Andrew Pocock, has said the British government is reviewing its plan to introduce a £3,000 visa bond scheme. He also said while there were security concerns in Nigeria, they were not overwhelming in many respects and could be managed. Pocock said this on Wednesday when he visited the Nigerian Stock Exchange to ring the closing bell, and to discuss ways in which more British companies could be encouraged to invest in the nation’s capital

British Prime Minister, David Cameron market. Nigerian government calling Commissioner, after ringing the Reports had emerged on its British counterpart to closing bell at NSE in Lagos, on earlier this year that the British renounce the policy. Tuesday told journalists that, government was planning to However, the British High “We have made it very clear to our implement a new scheme under which some visitors from some Commonwealth countries, including Nigeria, would be asked to pay a £3,000 cash bond Despite assurances from the UK’s in return for visitor visas that ambassador to Nigeria Andrew allowed them to stay in the UK for up to six months. Pocock that the scheme, if introduced, “In the long run, we are interested in a system of bonds would affect very few people, there is that deters overstaying and still palpable confusion. Last week, recovers costs if a foreign national has used our public services,” an senators said the proposed bond is unnamed Home Office official had been quoted as saying in “selective, discriminatory, obnoxious, June. vexatious and unprecedented”. The development had resulted in an outcry by nationals of the affected countries with the

government in London that there is concern about this. So, this is being reviewed and considered in London as we speak now.” Pocock, who said visas were issued to 125,000 Nigerians every year, added, “If we decide that this will become a policy we will tell, firstly then Nigerian government and secondly, the Nigerian people so everyone has all the information they need. This is not a major threat to Nigerians coming to the UK; that I can guarantee.” According to Pocock, the scheme will not be a threat to Nigerians because even if it is implemented it will affect only a fraction of Nigerians who apply for UK visas. He also clarified that, “The visa bond, as it is being called here, is not a £3,000 charge for a British Visa. That is not the case, it is not going to happen now and it is not going to happen in the future. Visa fee, which is what you pay for a visa, will not go to £3,000 or anywhere near it.”



Reps expess concern over privatisation of PHCN By Lawrence Olaoye


hairman, House of Representatives Committee on power, Rep Patrick Ikhariale, yesterday expressed concern over the way the privatization of PHCN was done without carrying along members of the National Assembly. The chairman also expressed anxiety over the wholesome sale of the three sectors of the PHCN which include: generation, distribution and transmission, saying the National Assembly thought that the privatisation would be in stages. Ikhariale who led members of the committee on oversight visit to the Bureau of Public Enterprises, (BPE), Niger Delta Public Holding, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, and National Power Training Institute of Nigeria, [NAPTIN], however cautioned that beyond the privatization of the PHCN, there should be due diligence on the privatization and the operations of the companies that eventually

bought into the sector in order to ensure improvement in power supply. According to him, “We believed in and we have supported the privatization exercise. “There is nothing that could be done now but some of us have reservation on the wholesome, that is generation distribution and transmission. We thought that it should be a gradual thing but wholesale privatisation calls for serious concern” He noted that over 70 percent of the problem being faced by people in the country could be put on the door steps of power, and it therefore means that solving the problem of power is synonymous with solving 70 of the nation’s problem. Responding, Ag. DirectorGeneral of the BPE, Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim, told the lawmakers that in the case of the generation companies, they are expected to rump up the capacity of each Genco from the current low status to about 5000MWs in five years.


Nigeria’s economy on the brink of collapse, says New PDP By Lawrence Olaoye


he New Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), under the leadership of Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, yesterday raised the alarm that the nation’s economy is on the brink of collapse. The breakaway PDP group hinged its pessimism on the inability of the Federal Government to pay states their share of allocations from the Federation Account since July this year. But, the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Chief Samuel Ortom, who briefed newsmen after his interaction with members of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) at the Wadata House headquarters of the party yesterday, dismissed the New PDP claim, insisting that the nation’s economy was in no way threatened as being speculated. Ortom described the alarm raised as one of the gimmicks being employed by the opposition

since the advent of democracy in the country. The New PDP, in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, said “Despite claims to the contrary by the administration in a futile bid to deceive Nigerians, the overwhelming evidence is that the Nigerian economy has been run aground by the present administration and is now comatose. With the massive scale of officially-induced oil theft, the dwindling returns from oil and massive looting going on at the federal level, Nigeria is surely on the brink of economic collapse. “One manifestation of this is the Federal Government’s inability to pay states their share of the Federal Allocation since July. The last time that states were paid was for part of July. The arrears continue to mount by the day. As at today, the states are being owed N336 billion, with N75 billion being the balance of the July 2013 arrears, N121 billion from June augmentation

and over N90 billion as July augmentation. “The implication of this unfortunate development is that the 36 states have become impoverished and unable to meet up with basic obligations, including the payment of workers’ monthly salaries, which many of the states have been unable to do due to lack of funds. Most states have also as a result been unable to meet their obligation to contractors. This dangerous scenario is complemented by the growing rate of unemployment, which presently hovers around 80 per cent. “All these portend very grave danger for our dear country as youth and labour restiveness appears imminent. Nigerians should expect further worsening of the unemployment situation and the loss of jobs, which is inevitable should the Federal Government continue with the present shoddy management of the economy which leaves much room for abuse”, the party stated.

Two killed in Ogun road crash From James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta


t least two people have been confirmed dead while seven others were critically injured yesterday in an auto crash which occurred at the toll gate area of Sango Ota in the Ado – Odo/Ota local government area of Ogun state. The accident involved a white tipper lorry with registration number (Lagos) JJJ 551 ZB was said to have rammed into

traders and commuters waiting to catch buses to their various destinations. The accident, according to the Ota Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Omafu Sunday, who confirmed the accident to newsmen said the brake of the tipper lorry failed making him lose control and crushed nine people out of which two among them died on the spot.

Deportation: Fashola apologises to Igbo From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


agos state Governor, Babatunde Fashola, yesterday tendered an apology to the entire Igbo speaking citizens of the country for the controversy generated by the alleged deportation of Igbo indigenes to their home states, saying “the action of our government was misunderstood.” Fashola who spoke at an event marking the 25th anniversary of Aka Ikenga group, said that he could not allow differences on the subject tarnish the bond and friendship that had been built overtime with the Igbo in the state. “The truth is that I do not have any problem with the Igbo, they know that because the largest herd of cattle I received during my father’s burial came from the Ndigbo. “Those people who came under their many colours are not people I have a problem with,

they are my kindred and my people. “Also, there were people who did not clearly understand me and they have misunderstood words said or misrepresented actions taken in the way that it has pleased them. “To those people, I owe an explanation, not a defence of what has happened and that is partly why am here. “Those who misunderstand that relationship, who think that there is no value in that relationship. “I have come here to correct that because I place a lot of value on that relationship. “And so, if those people have misunderstood me or they have misunderstood actions taken by our government, here, now and today, I offer an unqualified and unreserved apology”, he said. Fashola said the policies of his government would continue to be centred on making life better for the citizenry.

Nigerian youths protesting over lack of employment, yesterday at the National Assembly gate in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Apo killings: FCT to demolish uncompleted buildings By Adeola Tukuru & Chris Alu


inister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, has said that illegal and uncompleted buildings in Abuja metropolis would be demolished. Bala declared this yesterday at a meeting with the House of Representatives Committee on Public Safety and National Security. He said that they would take a decisive action on uncompleted buildings in the FCT. The meeting was centered on

the recent September 20 incident when seven persons, alleged to be members of the Boko Haram sect, were killed by security operatives at an uncompleted building near Apo Legislative Quarters. He said that the FCT administration would no longer condone any delay by developers in completing their buildings after being allocated plots of land. In his words:“The FCT Administration will ensure that all buildings that have exceeded the two year period approved for building will be demolished. “If we cannot demolish, we will make it a police post,

this time around we will take a definite action,” he said. The minister blamed the inability of the FCT Department of Development Control to carry out its mandate on frivolous court injunctions obtained by developers. He said that between 3,000 and 5,000 double allocations existed in the territory due to revocation and re-allocation of plots as a result of court injunctions. According to him, 100,000 illegal buildings have been identified since he took over as minister.




ASUU strike: BUK students give FG ultimatum


undreds of students of Bayero University, Kano (BUK), yesterday in Kano embarked on a peaceful protest and issued the Federal Government one-week ultimatum to meet all the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) or face wrath of Nigerian students. The students who staged a peaceful protest under the auspices of Students Union Government (SUG), BUK chapter, urged the Federal Government to respect and implement the 2009 ASUU/ FG agreement, insisting that the two parties should come to the negotiation table and settle their scores for the interest of Nigerian students. From Edwin Olofu, Kano

Harvest of deaths as Lagos buildings collapse, train crushes man From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


he spate of weak structures collapsing in Lagos is still far from abating even with

the efforts of the state government to either eject persons or demolish buildings that lack integrity as two persons were killed and scores injured when two buildings

collapsed on the Lagos Island. The incident, which happened at about 11pm on Wednesday on the Lagos Island, added to the growing number of distressed buildings

Ribadu berates Shell over refinery


ormer Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Malam Nuhu Ribadu has registered his displeasure with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) for not being able to build a refinery in Nigeria that will end the waste of the nation’s gas and environmental degradation. According to Ribadu, Shell ought to have built refineries similar to the Bintulu Gas-to-Liquid Plant in Malaysia or the new plant in Qatar, after exploiting crude oil for 55 years in Nigeria. Ribadu stated this yesterday at the Shell Club Porth-Harcourt independence anniversary celebration noting that the paradox here is the widespread poverty due to misused resources and untapped potential. By Joy Baba

L-R: President Goodluck Jonathan, First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, and wife of the Vice-President, Hajiya Amina Sambo, leaving UN building at the end of the 68th General Session of the United Nations, yesterday in New York.

NASS to help NNPC fight pipeline vandalism, oil theft By Etuka Sunday


he National Assembly has expressed its readiness to assist the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) curb the prevailing incidences of pipeline vandalism and oil theft around the oil producing region in the country. This was disclosed yesterday in Abuja when the House Committee on Petroleum Upstream paid an oversight visit to the Corporation. Speaking on behalf of the Committee, the Chairman, Ajibola

Muraina, stated that the NNPC remained the life wire of the country and its economy. “The over 150 million Nigerians cannot do oversight function of this important industry and that is why we have been elected as their representatives to come and scrutinise their performance, look into their records, proffer solutions to their problems and challenges, so that operations would continue, and they would generate more funds for the use of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said. On the issue of oil theft, he said

that “the House is proactive under the leadership of Hon. Aminu Tambuwal and has set up a joint committee of petroleum upstream and we have come up with resolutions at the floor of the House at plenary, and we have called on the Federal Government to the implement those resolutions.” Also speaking, the NNPC Group Managing Director, Andrew Yakubu, said the Corporation had recorded a significant improvement in the production level from 2.1bpd to 2.4bpd He described the Petroleum

the issues amicably. According to Yero, “the maturity exhibited is an indication of the state state Assembly’s determination in the quest for the stabilization of the stability and the advancement of democracy in our dear state’. He assured the leadership of his administration’s readiness to cooperate with the Legislature

the living standards of the good people of the state. The Governor urged the new Speaker and his team of principal officers to also work hard towards ensuring unity in the House which according to him is critical in discharging their mandate of formulating laws that will guarantee safety and development of people.

Navy foils 64 attacks, arrests 25 Kaduna Assembly crisis: Yero congratulates new Speaker Mohammad Ibrahim, members of the House for the in implementing policies and vessels in 9 months From Kaduna maturity exhibited in resolving programmes that will improve


igerian Navy has said that it foiled 64 attacks of sea robbery and piracy, two petroleum products vessels rescued and 25 vessels arrested for crude oil theft and illegal oil bunkering between January and September, 2013. The Director of Operations, Navy headquarters, Commodore Joseph Okojie, stated this yesterday at the Naval Headquarters Abuja while briefing journalist on Nigerian Navy’s effort at maintaining strong presence within the maritime environment, for socioeconomic development of the country. Okojie said the Navy, in collaboration with JTF and other security agencies, destroyed about 1,348 illegal refineries, 99 barges, 1,224 boats and 61,844 auxiliary equipment were within the period adding that 1502 suspects were arrested in connection with the illegal refineries. By Joy Baba

identified for demolition. The cause of the collapse of the three-story building on No.15, Alli Street, which fell on another bungalow at No.13 of the same street, is being investigated by officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA. The state fire service and the LASEMA team also carried out rescue operations up to the early hours of yesterday. According to the LASEMA General Manager, Dr. Femi Oke Osanyintolu, buildings in the Island top the list of more than 10 weak buildings that have collapsed in the state in the last nine months. In another incident at the Bolade, Oshodi train station, beside the Arena Market, a moving train crushed a middle aged man to death. The man was said to have resisted all efforts to pull him out of the track while the train was approaching. When contacted, Deputy Director, Public Relations of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr. David Ndakotsu said he will confirm and get back to our correspondent. But he never did up to press time last night.


aduna state Governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, has congratulated the new leadership of the Kaduna state House of Assembly led by the Speaker, Shehu Tahir, and his Deputy, Peter Adamu, as he tasked them on unity. In a congratulatory letter to the new principal officers of the House, Yero commended the

UN gives Kebbi fish farmers 900,000 tons of feed From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi hairman of the Kebbi state chapter of the Fish Farmers Association, Alhaji Hussaini Raha, has received donation of 900, 000 metric tons of feeds, two million fingerlings and 20 smoking kits, from the United Nations Agency for Food and Agriculture (FOA), on behalf of his members.


Raha disclosed this yesterday while briefing newsmen and noted that the association has 2,145 fish pond owners spread across Argungu, Birnin-Kebbi, Bunza, Bagudo, Shanga, Yauri and Ngaski local government areas who produce tilapia and varieties of cat fish. He described Kebbi state as one of the major producers of the

fish, stressing in Yauri fish market attracts buyers from Anambra, Lagos, Nasarawa Niger, FCT and other states. He called on the state government to come to the aid of the fish farmers through the provision of formal training and financial support to boost fish production, generate revenue and boost employment opportunities.

Industry Bill currently before the National Assembly for legislative action as a veritable piece of legislation capable of turning around the petroleum refining sub-sector in the country.

PAN wants FG to ban Importation of new cars From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


he new management team of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) Limited has called on the Federal Government to ban the importation of new cars saying the company is worried by the infiltration of new cars from foreign countries which affect the local automobile industries. The PAN Managing Director, Mr. Ibrahim Boyi, stated this yesterday when he led the management and some staff on a courtesy call at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kaduna state council. He noted that for automobile industries to succeed, government needs to take proactive measures that will protect local industries. He lamented that in the past, PAN had over 4000 employees under its pay roll but stressed that today the situation is so bad that the company is struggling with 250 staff. Boyi however stated that with the takeover of the company by Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), there is going to be a total turn-around of activities that would ensure PAN returns to its past glory.




2013 Hajj

Yola airlifts 532 pilgrims to Saudi From: Umar Dankano, Yola,


he airlift of intending pilgrims from Yola, Adamawa state for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia has commenced with the conveyance of the first batch of 532 pilgrims via Max air boeyin 747 aircraft from the Yola International airport, yesterday.

The pilgrims were from nine (9) local government areas of the southern part of the state who undergone thorough screenings by different officials as well as security operatives before boarding the plane. Commenting on the airlift exercise, the zonal Coordinator of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) in the state

Mallam Zakariya’u Al-Ummah, said all the stakeholders in the airlift exercise are fully prepared for a hitch free operations. Al-Ummah assured the intending pilgrims that all the necessary guidance, orientation and attention would be given to them from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia until the needed success is achieved. Earlier, in a farewell message

for the intending pilgrims, the state Governor Admiral Murtala Nyako, appealed to the intending pilgrims to pray for the peaceful coexistence and stability of the country during their pilgrimage at the holy land. Nyako who was represented by his chief of staff, Alhaji Abdulrahaman Abba Jimeta, said Hajj is an act of worship,

….As Jigawa completes airlift of pilgrims From Dutse




s the last batch of Jigawa state pilgrims were airlifted to the Holy Land in the early hours of yesterday, Emir of Gumel and the Amirul Hajj of the state, Alhaji Ahmad Muhammad Sani, admonished them to abide by the rules and regulations of Islam throughout

the Hajj exercise. The emir made this call while briefing the last batch of the state’s pilgrims at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), in Kano. The flight which took off at 12:05 AM was said to have landed at the king Abdulaziz International Airport in Madina at 05:05. The Amirul Hajj, wife of the Jigawa state governor, Hajiya

Amina Sule Lamido, former Deputy Inspector General of Police Alhaji Uba Bala Ringim and members of the state House of Assembly were part of the pilgrims abode the last flight. Others were pilgrims from four local governments areas of the state which include Ringim,Taura,Yankwashi and Gwiwa respectively. The Amirul Hajj cautioned the

pilgrims to use the opportunity to pray for themselves, the state, local government and the country at large. He call on them to be good ambassadors in the holy land and obey all the rules and regulations of their host. He commended Max Air for the successful completion of the airlift of the state pilgrims at the schedule time.

therefore urged the intending pilgrims not to misuse the opportunity given to them by their creator. He advised them to obey the laws of their host country and exhibit exemplary conduct throughout their stay in Saudi Arabia. In his address, the state Amirul Hajj, Dr. Salihu Bakari Girei, said the state government had provided a decent accommodation for the pilgrims close to the holy mosque in Makkah to ease the performance of their religious obligations. Bakari who doubles as the Commissioner for local government in the state promised to do everything possible within his power to assist the pilgrims with a view to having a hitch free exercise. “Insha Allah, we will do everything humanly possible to comfort our intending pilgrims at home and in the holy land during our cherish pilgrimage”, he stressed. He thanked Governor Nyako for the confidence repose in him and urged all to cooperate with his team for a fruitful venture in the onerous task.

Ogun pilgrims arrive Makkah, perform lesser hajj


Pilgrims converge in front of the Prophet Muhammad’s Mosque after their Asr Prayer, yesterday in Madina.

Photo: Mahmud Isa

Jingir commends NAHCON, Sultan for smooth airlift exercise From Ado Abubakar Musa, Jos


ational Chairman, Council of Ulama, Jama’atu Izalatil Bid’ah Wa Ikamatus Sunnah (JIBWIS), Shiekh Sani Yahaya Jingir, has commended Nigeria’s Amirul hajj Sultan Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar and the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), for ensuring a well co-ordination

and consistency in the on -going airlift exercise of Nigeria’s 74,000 intending pilgrims to the holy land for this year’s pilgrimage which commenced on the 14 of September, 2013. Jingir made this known yesterday in Jos during a press briefing where he said the foresight of the Sultan and that of NAHCON leadership has made the operation easier for Nigerian pilgrims.

“In recent years we have been witnessing achievements in terms of early airlift of our pilgrims to and fro the holy land. “The hajj Commission has been consistent which is as a result of good foresight and proper coordination on the part of the Commission and the National Amirul Hajj. I must commend them for that,” Jingir said. He said the ongoing expansion at the holy Mosque in Makkah as

well as the provision of electric train is to ease transportation of the pilgrims. He called on all intending pilgrims to exhibit good character that is in line with the teachings of Islam, adding that all pilgrims should respect and obey rules and regulations of the Holy land. He further called on intending pilgrims to pray for peace and development of Nigeria.

total of 714 Ogun state pilgrims for this year’s Hajj exercise arrived the city of Makkah early yesterday morning and performed Umrah, the lesser Hajj at the Holy Mosque in continuation of the religious rites. Reports reaching Abeokuta from the Holy land said that the delegation which departed Madina arrived at the Ogun state lodge at 12.30 of yesterday morning and were led by Imam Noah Sodeinde to perform the lesser Hajj which included the Tawwaf round the Holy Ka’aba. Addressing the pilgrims shortly after the rites, Imam Sodeinde enjoined them to spend quality time making supplication and offering prayers for continued peace and development of the state and the nation. The cleric admonished them to make moderation their watchword throughout their stay and to observe the remaining Hajj rites in accordance with the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and as stipulated in the Holy Quran. A pilgrim, Oba Wasiu Ogungbayi, lauded the state’s Pilgrims’ Welfare Board for the smooth transportation of pilgrims from Madina to Mecca and the accommodation provided which he said make them feel “at home away from home”.




Edo judge’s kidnap grounds court activities

From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


ourts across the 18 local government areas in Edo state were yesterday grounded following the alleged abduction of a High court Judge in the state. The High Court Judge, who was identified as Daniel Iyobosa Okungbowa, along with his driver was allegedly ambushed by gunmen suspected to be

kidnappers over three days ago on Benin-Auchi-Abuja road. Edo state Police Commissioner, Mr. Foluso Adebanjo confirmed the report, but denied that the Judge was kidnap. The police boss who ruled out abduction said it was a case of a missing person on his way to Abuja. ``No, it’s not kidnapping, it is a case of missing person. He was travelling to Abuja and it

was along the way he was said to be missing,” Adebanjo said. In a swift reaction, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Benin branch Chairman, Mr. Oriene Akhere condemned the alleged kidnap of the High Court judge whom he demanded for an unconditional release. Akhere made this known yesterday when he led a delegation of the NBA members on a protest to the police authorities where he also

bemoaned the porous security network in the State. Spokesman of the command, DSP Moses Eguavoen assured the group of maximum support to free the victims unhurt. According to the spokesman who described the incident as unfortunate, said: `We are already sharing in your grief, your problem is our problem, your peace is our peace and your trouble is our trouble. The person that was kidnapped

is of the judiciary. Our intelligence gathering is on’’, he said. A security source told our correspondent that the official vehicle of the Judge has been recovered, adding that the gunmen were yet to establish a contact with the families of the victims.

Niger earmarks N1.5bn for hospital expansion From Minna


Members of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Benin branch being addressed by Edo state Police Command PPRO, Moses Eguavoen, during their peaceful protest over the kidnap of Judge Daniel Okungbowa, yesterday at Police headquarters in Benin.

2, 250 get MDGs lifeline in Bauchi

Again, Eggon declare support for Al-makura

From Ahmed ,Bauchi

From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia



ot less than 2,250 poor households are to benefit from the MDGs Conditional Cash Transfer scheme (CCT) in Bauchi state. Permanent Secretary, Bauchi state MDGs, Mallam Muhammad Ibrahim made the disclosure at a one-day sensitization workshop and inauguration of local government implementation committees of the 2012 CCT scheme yesterday in Bauchi. According to him, five local governments, namely Alkaleri, Toro, Warji, Jama’are and Ganjuwa are going to benefit from the 2012 scheme with each having 450 poor households as beneficiaries. He explained that the CCT scheme was a social intervention that seeks to address the issue of poverty in the society, where every month, each beneficiary would collect a token of N5, 000. ``The scheme is an investment in human development, aimed at improving the social status

of the poorest of the poor to enable them send their children to school and to enable their wives and ward have access to health services. ``It is a one year programme where every month, each beneficiary is expected to receive s token amount of five thousand, and at the end of it all, he would be given what is called the exit fund. ``The exit fund was designed to enable the beneficiaries set up a small scale business like knitting or tailoring so as to improve their social status through sustainable source of income. ``Nine local governments benefited in the 2011 programme in Bauchi state and five are going to benefit in the 2012 scheme, it would continue bit by bit until all the local governments in the state are covered”, he said. He said that the 2012 scheme will cost government N374 million, with the Bauchi State Government as well as the Federal Government paying N187 million each as counterpart fund.


he people of Eggon ethnic extraction in Nasarawa South senatorial zone have declared their support for the administration of Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura, urging him to seek re-election come 2015. The group made this known during an interactive session organized by Inusa Abdulkarim, an aide to Governor Al-makura on information and security, yesterday in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital. Various speakers at the occasion jointly condemned the crisis ravaging the state, which they claimed was aimed at destabilizing the administration of Governor Al-makura. A former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman in Nasarawa Eggon, Alhaji Shehu Yamusa, urged the state government to convene a meeting with all stakeholders, including politicians and public office holders in the state to discuss the problems presently afflicting the state, with

a view to finding lasting solutions. While exonerating the Governor from the Ombatse crisis, the former party chairman lauded the deployment of the military to contain the crisis but however advised the government to post the military to areas recently affected to secure the lives and property of the people. Another speaker, Nuhu Mande, from Nasarawa Eggon, attrib unemployment and poverty for youth restiveness in their commnuity. Making veiled reference to the purported 2015 ambition of Labaran Maku, the Eggon elder, maintained that the position of a governor is not a child’s play, stressing that, “one cannot just wake up from a dream and say he wants to be governor. “You cannot play politics in absentia. Do you attend wedding and naming ceremonies of your people? Do you identify with them at their moment of grief? You just cannot come from the blues and say you want to be governor”, Mande said.



iger state government has earmarked the sum of N1.5 billion for the expansion of Minna General Hospital which was constructed during the colonial era. The state government is to expand the health institution through the construction of a separate 134 bed maternity and neonatal section. This is coming just as a private investor has completed plans to establish a N3.5 billion milk factory in Minna, the state capital. The expansion of the Minna General Hospital which will be carried out by a foreign consortium, Mutual Commitment Limited will be completed in 8 months. The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ibrahim Babamini Sule told newsmen after the state executive council meeting yesterday that N1.2 billion of the total contract sum will be for civil works while the balance will be for the importation of equipment to be installed in the hospital. Dr. Sule said the contractor will finance the construction of the project while the state government will repay the money in eight installments of N191.8 million. The commissioner explained that government’s efforts in the area of health care delivery service had achieved results with the construction of three new general hospitals at Sabo Wuse, Naso and Gulu towns while a number of others have been upgraded and provided with modern equipment. The Commissioner for Livestock and Fisheries Development, Dr Yisa Yahaya Vatsa, also at the media briefing, disclosed that a private investor will soon commence the construction of the Dairy factory, adding that feasibility study for the project has been completed.



News Akpabio gets financial prudence award From Mike Etim, Uyo


he Global Peace Movement Group in United Kingdom has conferred Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom state with International Financial Prudence Award. Conferring the award on the Governor at a dinner to mark the end of the 26th anniversary celebrations of the state creation, President of the Group in the United Kingdom, Mr. Mike Oye, said the group conducted an investigation in 24 countries and discovered that Governor Akpabio kept a clean financial slate and that he has no account in the UK or any other country abroad as often speculated by some local media. Oye said the group was impressed with the development strides. Receiving the award, Akpabio dedicated it to the Akwa Ibom people.

Families of slain policemen get N11.5m From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


he Nigerian Police yesterday, presented a total of N11.5 million to 29 next of kin of police personnel who died in the line of duty in zone 5. Seventeen of them got N500, 000 each while 12 others got N300, 000, N250, 000 and N100, 000 respectively. The Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Hashimu Argungu, at the Zone 5 Command in BeninCity, enjoined the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the money. Argungu who represented the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, recalled that the scheme which started some years ago been further re-invigorated by the present police management.

L-R: President, Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Mr. Agele Alufohai, representative of Head of Service, Alhaji Isa Adagiri, and the President, Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria (QSRBN), Malam Husaini Dikko, during the 2013 annual conference of registered quantity surveyors, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Youth protest lawmakers’ jumbo pay By Ikechukwu Okaforadi housands of aggrieved youth yesterday laid siege on the National Assembly protesting what they described the jumbo pay which lawmakers enjoy monthly. The coalition of youth organisations led by their spokesperson, Yemi Adamolekun, said despite their jumbo pay, majority of the federal lawmakers make themselves unavailable to the people by not having contact offices in their various constituencies.


She said the N150 billion annual budget of the lawmakers, made up of 469 people was “too much” in the midst of the pervading abject poverty across the land. She also said the youth were angry because the lawmakers had failed to make public their votes on the recent proposed Constitution amendment exercise, particularly as it affects the controversial Section 29 (4B) of the 1999 Constitution. In his response, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public

Affairs, Eyinnaya Abaribe, who addressed the youth coalition, said that most Nigerians especially the youth are not well-informed on lawmakers salary. He passed the blame on the Executive, saying 97 per cent of the national budget is handled by the other two arms of government. He said the annual budget of the National Assembly does not end with the salaries and allowances of lawmakers, saying there were also civil servants and other ancillary

bodies that the budget takes care of. Offering to make public his pay slips, he said, “the National Assembly budget is just three per cent of the national budget; three per cent of the other two arms of government. The waste is from the 97 per cent represented by the other two arms of government.” He also debunked the claim by the protesters that lawmakers have alienated the people as he said each of them are accountable to their constituents.

W/Africa launches environmental enforcement network By Mohammed Kandi


inister of State for Niger Delta and supervising Minister for Environment, Darius Dickson Ishaku, has launched a network that will combat environmental crimes in the West African the subregion. The group, which is known as the West African Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (WANECE), was recently established at

the ECOWAS Secretariat in Abuja. Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mr. Taiye Haruna, the Minister observed that the problem of hazardous waste was a huge burden for the sub- region. He said: “West Africa is increasingly becoming a destination for hazardous chemicals and near-end-of-life electronics. “The region has few regulations in place to address

the importation of hazardous chemicals and unwanted electronic waste; limited capacity to inspect incoming shipments at ports; and little ability to safely manage hazardous chemicals, and recycling of electronics at the end of their useful life,” he said. According to him, the platform would, “create a unique forum for key stakeholders in the environment sector and participants drawn from

various Regulatory Agencies in the sub-region to share experiences and fashion out best practices in environmental compliance monitoring and enforcement.” In a statement by Sule Oyofor, the Chief press secretary to the DirectorGeneral of the National Environmental Standard and Regulatory Agency (NESREA), Dr Ngeri Benebo, the DG called for urgent need for West African countries to team up to protect the environment.

Jigawa awards N1.9bn additional township roads contract From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse he Jigawa state executive council has approved the sum of N1.9 billion for the realignment of Dutse water project that would end the acute water scarcity facing the state since its creation.


Briefing newsmen shortly after the state executive council meeting yesterday, the state Commissioner for Information, Youths, Sports and Culture, Alhaji Babandi Ibrahim said the contract has been awarded to Dantata & SWOE Construction Company Ltd.

The Commissioner also stated that other resolutions made by the council was the release of over N1.5 billion for the reviewed contract of Dutse metropolitan roads construction with a total cost of over N4 billion which was awarded to CGC Nig. Ltd.

He added that, the council also approved the sum of over N300 million for the construction of Jigawa state Independent Electoral Commission permanent headquarters. He said the contract which was awarded to Yanduna

Ventures Nig. Ltd. was expected to be completed in five months. Babandi said, the council also approved the award of the contract for consultancy services of the same projects to Xmatrix 369 at the total sum of over N21 million.



Money Sense

Make sure you are putting your money to work…don’t just save


hen it comes to savings, there isn’t a right or wrong answer. It ultimately depends on your needs. Most people in our society just go to the bank to put their money in form of savings without asking some simple questions that could add additional kobo to their purse more than what the bank should have ordinarily given them. If you are in this category of people who don’t ask simple questions like “What benefit is in this account for me?” then take it that you may have been losing money for either your ignorance or negligence. Simple! If you are saving for a large purchase or something predictable a few months or years down the road, you can probably find better rates with Certificates of Deposit (time deposits) or possibly a money market fund. This belief is that a savings

Money Tip: Ways to save money Buy clothes and presents in the sales So you need a new suit and the one you like comes in at a cool N75,000. Wait! The chances are that you can pick it up in the sale - and there’s always a sale just around the corner - for N37,500. The same applies for birthday and Christmas presents. Buy in bulk in the sales and you not only save money, but you enjoy stress-free pre-Christmases and no lastminute birthday worries. How saving N12,500 a month now can save you N30,000 next year Do you pay your insurance premiums by monthly instalments? If you do, then consider this: you are probably being charged a premium of between 15% and 20% for the privilege. In other words, if your home and car insurance bill for the year is N150,000, you’re paying up to N30,000 a year in interest by paying monthly. If you are in a position this year to save up for next year’s premiums in advance, you can save money by paying the whole lot in one go. Bin the ready meals If TV chefs can knock up a meal from a bag of random groceries including an aubergine and a packet of sultanas - so can you. Ready meals may be convenient, but preparing your own food saves money. A visit to your library will reveal scores of books dedicated to cooking proper meals in minutes.

Quote “The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” Epictetus: Ancient Greek sage, philosopher

account is the most convenient place to save money, but it might not be putting your money to work. Ask questions like, “What is the interest rate?” This helps you to choose the account you would like your money to be in, depending on where you bank and what type of account you have, but I know that there are other accounts that could put your money to work. According to Jeremy Vohwinkle, a personal finance analyst, “there are many different savings vehicles available, but not all of them are appropriate for every situation. “Most likely, you have already established a savings account at your local bank or credit union, and you may have this linked up directly to your primary checking account to make transferring money to savings easy. A savings account is the most convenient place to save money, but it might not be putting your money to work,” Vohwinkle added. “When using a savings account, it is important to look at the interest rate. Depending on where you bank and what type of account you have, you could be earning anywhere from less than 1 percent up to 4 percent or

more. The problem is that many banks only provide high interest rates for significant balances over a certain amount. If you find you are only earning 0.65percent, after accounting for inflation, you are actually losing purchasing power,” Vohwinkle said. The expert further said: “The best thing about savings accounts

is that they are completely liquid. This means you can access your money on very short notice. You may be able to go online and transfer money from savings to checking, withdraw from an ATM, or stop into your local branch.” For many people, it comes down to having a mix of multiple

savings vehicles. There will be part of an emergency fund in a savings account at the bank, possibly some cash in a money market fund in an investment account, and bonds stashed away for longer-term savings. Whatever the case may be, you want to make sure your money is working as hard as it can.

need the services of a lender. Unfortunately, people seem to wait till the financial difficulty becomes critical before they go seeking assistance of the money lenders. And at that point they become reluctant dealing with you and if they decide, they will increase the lending rate so high knowing full well y you cannot do without them

at that particular time. So it’s advisable you approach them earlier when the crisis has not really deepened. Ideally, it’s expected that everybody desire to have an emergency reserve where they can always go to withdraw at times like this, however due to harsh economic situations this wish seem to have eluded most

people, hence in the event of still having difficulty meeting up with financial demand, it is advised you try to seek assistance from friends and family members who would be willing to help out. Though most people seem to be uncomfortable with this option it’s not much of a bad idea considering that a little assistance from a loved one might be all you need to scale through that financial stress. Though you might have money available in investments or in retirement accounts, generally speaking withdrawing money from your retirement account is a bad idea as it can put your retirement security in jeopardy. At difficult periods, it is still possible to find relief from many other sources and would not be a bad idea; if your financial crisis was borne out of job loss you may be entitled with some unemployment benefits in some jurisdictions. If you were involved in an accident at work, ask about workers compensation, and in some situations you may even qualify for state benefits. If you are through with the present situation, it is advised you try to curb such situation from surfacing next time by saving up an emergency fund which you can withdraw from if it happens again or preferably, get an insurance policy.

Emergency financial crisis: How prepared are you?


requently, in our private or business life, we get hit by emergency financial crisis which we did not expect and we do not know what to do or where to seek help from. When this kind of situation arises, the first thing to do is to relax your mind. Though this might be a difficult task at the moment, it will surely help make you more composed and coordinated in taking decision. Secondly, try to investigate the cause of this emergency crisis; did it arise as a result of a disaster? Either natural or man-made, or was it your cause, simply because of excess spending that your income can not handle anymore. Whatever it is, just make sure you identify it, and then dealing with the root cause is the next step. In the face of the present economic difficulties, facing an emergency financial crisis is no small thing to deal with. However, the first would be to prioritize expenses. A list has to be drawn of all expense with food and shelter top of such list while other exotic spending such as having that exotic weekly dinner has to be curtailed, all other expenses that will lead into a deeper financial mess should also be cut-off After curtailing spending and you still cannot meet up with the expected cash to deal with the crisis, then you should




hairman, Police Service Commission (PSC), Chief Mike Okiro, has presented an anniversary ‘gift’ to a nation desperately in need of a solution to its security nightmare, Boko Haram – a small band of ultra-religionists that has somehow managed to bring our security forces to their wit’s end. Briefing journalists Monday in his Abuja office on the occasion of his first 100 days on his new job, Okiro, a former Inspector General of Police, recommended a “civil security force” made up of youth volunteers, working with conventional security forces, to combat terrorism in the country. “The idea”, he explained, “is the presence of a youth volunteer force, recognised by government and the kitting of these youths for the protection of the people and their environment by the people and under the command and supervision of the local police; my administration intends to explore ways of encouraging such civil security forces who will be affiliated to our local police formations”. Okiro said his ‘novel’ suggestion was inspired by the successes of “civil security forces” in the United Kingdom, Belgium, the United States and Sri Lanka, and lately the “encouraging activities” of vigilantes or ‘civilian’ JTF helping the military in fighting the Boko Haram terror group in the North-east. We wish Okiro were more forthcoming with details such as the

volunteer force’s command structure and whether the volunteers would bear arms or wield sticks and machetes as do the CJTF in the North-east, something that makes them easy pick for the Boko Haram insurgents who, we are told, are better armed than our security forces. Without such detail, we already sense difficultyin implementing the former


Okiro’s 100th day ‘gift’ to the nation

Okiro only came close to making sense when he pledged to “enhance interagency collaboration, intelligence sharing and joint operations”. IGP’s idea. One, at the moment, the nation has too many security forces, conventional and ancillary. With poorly defined mandates, they duplicate responsibility and often stand in each other’s way. Too many hands, it is said, spoil the soup. This is the unfortunate case of the numerous layers of our security architecture. The confusion naturally leads to conflict, which is often violent. Two, the only insight Okiro has provided into the workings of the volunteer force is that it will be “under

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

the command and supervision of the police”. But we know, and so does he, that the police do not have a record of successful partnership with other security agencies. Suspicion and mistrust characterise their relations with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the military, for instance. This unhealthy rivalry hampers, rather than helps, the cause of fighting and preventing crime. We, therefore, fail to see the ingenuity in the Okiro suggestion. We believe what the nation needs to effectively fight all forms of terrorism is not another security force, by whatever name called. What is required is for the existing forces to change their “we versus them” attitude to those of us not in uniform. It is this tendency of the security forces to see everyone who does not belong as the ‘enemy’ that has driven a wedge between them and the civilian population in the heartland of the Boko Haram insurgency, thereby depriving them of quality intelligence that can only come from locals. Okiro only came close to making sense when he pledged to “enhance inter-agency collaboration, intelligence sharing and joint operations”. The work of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in crisis situations around the country, particularly the North-east, has shown that collaboration is a more potent force against the enemy that everyone striking out on their own.











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Opinion 600: How much is too much? By Adekoya Boladale


he title of this piece was borne out of the desire to equate the might of President Goodluck Jonathan with that of King Leonidas of the epic fictional movie ‘300’. In the spirit of patriotism I have decided to envision Mr. President has been twice as powerful as the Spartan King. I hope I am not wrong? For those not following the story, President Jonathan left the shores of Nigeria for New York with an over 30-strong delegation, according to presidential spokesman Dr. Reuben Abati. He struggled to convince Nigerians of the rationale for the hyper-numeric figure. By precedence, it is a regular culture for Nigerian ministers and government officials to travel abroad for official assignments with minimum of ten officials each. Why? One, official assignments abroad are all expenses paid, this means that every delegate no matter the status gets to enjoy free food, shopping allowance, free luxurious hotel suite and a mouth watering first class return ticket with royal hospitality. Who will have such opportunity and not wish to bring an enemy along, after all it is not your father’s money (even though it is the sweat and tax of others). Two, the trip often ends up being a shopping spree hence there should be ample hands to help with bought items.

The truth is President Jonathan left with less than 30 real delegates even though Sahara Reporters reported 26; the thirty officials are individuals who have mental and intellectual contributions to the conference. However, salient questions such as how many officials were in New York as advance team? How many stewards and staff are the ministers, governors, permanent secretaries, director generals, chairmen of agencies and departments, special advisers, senior special advisers, personal advisers, personal assistants taking along, were left unanswered. If Nigeria would ferry 300 delegates to far end country like Australia and appear in ‘just’ two presidential planes how much more New York at our backyard, I think the presidency

took into consideration our financial strength (at least we make trillions of naira yearly even though our states and local governments are still been owed August and September allocations) before pegging the figure at 600. In the words of Abati, “the number of delegates was in proportion with Nigeria size”. Nigeria is over 160 million in population, this means the government must sure that each household, tribe, ethnic group, senatorial district, state and zone is represented in every official outing. With this Abati’s ‘logical’ defense then a lot of us need to start demanding from the government why our various families have been left behind for so long. It is comical that the presidency in all sense of fairness would expect Nigerians to believe

her as against international media and journalists. When last did the presidency hold on to its weakness and shortcomings? When was the last timethat the President uttered words like ‘I am sorry, forgive me’? When was the last time the presidency made full disclosure of the state of our nation before the media makes it breaking news? Yes, Sahara Reporters may have published the news to generate traffic to its website as claimed by Reno Omokri. The focus of every business organization is to make profit but the question is what superior argument has the presidency provided against this claim? Why is the presidency feeling shy to publish the list of delegates in New York as approved by the secretary of the federation and ministry of foreign affairs?

If Nigeria would ferry 300 delegates to far end country like Australia and appear in ‘just’ two presidential planes how much more New York at our backyard, I think the presidency took into consideration our financial strength (at least we make trillions of naira yearly even though our states and local governments are still been owed August and September allocations) before pegging the figure at 600. In the words of Abati, “the number of delegates was in proportion with Nigeria size”.

Obviously, the government is not far from our definition; an assembly of rogues and thieves with a mutual goal to siphon the resources of our country for the benefits of their generations yet unborn while covering their tracks with lies and deceits. The people who painstakingly voted you into power deserve respect and loyalty not the other way round. They deserve to see you as representing them at every point in time. It is tantamount to foolishness if you fail to give report to your boss when you return from an official engagement. Yes, the electorates are the boss. We are the ‘count’ in country, without us there is no government. We deserve respect from every government official either appointed or elected! The National Assembly should not be spared too, another coalition of sick old men and women who occupy our red and green chairs but have made no significant input to the lives of the people. They allocate trillions of naira to themselves as allowances yet see no sense in authorizing few bucks as survival allowance for the unemployed youth. For Nigeria to move forward, our government must be responsive. We don’t need a Sahara Reporter or any news media whatsoever to give us report about your activities. Make openness and truthfulness your core value and Nigerians will believe more in you than anyone else. Adekoya Boladale @ adekoyabee

Oil theft, Chatham House and the Ribadu Report By Abdulaziz Abdulaziz


he London-based independent think tank, Chatham House, has just released a damning report on the thriving oil theft in the oil richNiger Delta region. The report, more or less a vindication of the meticulous investigation done by the Nuhu Ribadu-led Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force, last year, has once again diagnosed the source of a rabid fiscal malady gradually hollowing our economic fortunes as a country. This disease is no more than the deliberate secrecy shrouding the Nigeria’s oil industry – fromexploration to pricing, regulation and security of the product,thereby providing convenient atmosphere to plunder our commonwealth. While official silence crowns this increasing national tragedy, the symptoms of the self-imposed diseases further manifests by the day. Itis no longer secret that government is staggering to meet its fiscalobligations because of this big cover up in the industry - both the one accounted as oil theft and the one filtering away

into the coffersof those who should be the custodians of this common vault. The news has been ripe in the media that series of meetings of the Federation Allocation Committee ended in naught as there is nothing to share.The executive summary of the Chatham House report, published on the webpage of the think tank, gives the summation of the findings: “Nigerian crude oil is being stolen on an industrial scale. Nigeria lost at least 100,000 barrels of oil per day, around 5% of total output, in the first quarter of 2013 to theft from its onshore and swamp operations alone. Some of what is stolen is exported. Proceeds are laundered through world financial centres and used to buy assetsin and outside Nigeria, polluting markets and financial institutionsoverseas, and creating reputational, political and legal hazards. Itcould also compromise the legitimate oil business. The subject of the Chatham House’s investigation was an aspect covered in greater details by the report of the presidential committee on petroleum revenue, headed

by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. The committee, which was composed of many eminent Nigerians with patrioticzealdid a thorough job in appraising the present situation of the oil industryas regards the revenue drive. It did not only work to “determine andverify all petroleum upstream and downstream revenues (taxes,royalties, etc.) due and payable to the Federal Government of Nigeria” - in line with its terms of reference, the committee equally came up with a lot of insights into how accountability eludes the sector.It was to the credit of the committee that the odious underhand dealings in the name of fuel subsidy handouts to importers was blownoff, leading to investigations that in turn led to arrest andprosecution of many culprits. The report also states, in clear terms, those complicit in the web of frauds that surround the industry,ultimately stepping on the toes of those who felt should not beexposed because they constituted the committee. The report of that all important committee, which was submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan

since October 2012, is yet to be acted upon despite the promise by the president during the handover of thereport to him. What followed, rather ironically, was a campaign ofcalumny against the committee and Nuhu Ribadu in particular on someflimsy bases, in order to rubbish that widely acclaimed report. It is instructive to state here that Ribadu’s resolve to stay above board inthe conduct of that exercise did not go down well with some people at the government level and elsewhere. First, despite leaving a lucrative United Nations job to come and take up the national assignment, Ribadu refused to collect even his entitlements as the chairman of that committee. Not only that, he rebuffed attempts to compromise him thatcame even from unlikely places. This was something that some people that dine on the poisoned pie where not happy with thus they set out to ensure that the report did not see the light of the day. However, while they scuttled the Ribadu Report, they obviously did not envisage that Chatham House would commission a report like this. Thehome-truths the

government refused to heed to, and the prescription jettisoned by the government is now retold by a foreign physician, in the name of Chatham House. What those in government that were falling over themselves to discredit the Ribadu Report forgot, or ignored, was that this mantook up that task as a patriotic Nigerian who was determine to see change happen in his country. He refused to take any pay because he felt he was giving back to his country. In fact, Ribadu suffered political scars because of that personal decision to help a government formed by a different party from his. For him, Nigeria is greater than an individual or a party. But all this goodwill and goodintention was bastardized by some who do not desire prosperity of this country, for their own selfish ends. The question is, now that Chatham House has vindicated Ribadu, will the Federal Government eat the humble pie to now act on the Ribadu Report to same Nigeria from this dire strait? Abdulaziz wrote from Abuja. Email:




How open is Open University of Nigeria? By Tola Emmanuel


he reality of an exponentially growing global population has over the decades mounted severe pressure on social amenities and public infrastructures, and education being the fundamental foundation of any enviable social development has also being affected by this sad reality. Rising to this occasion, policy makers across the world conceived the idea of transferring knowledge through a non-conventional system of higher education which will still retain the relevance of university education and its structure – although students would necessarily not have to be physically present in lectures. This system was to be dubbed the “Open and Distance Learning Mode”. In Nigeria, the open and distance higher education mode had its take-off in 1983 with the establishment of the National Open University, but barely a year after its establishment, it was suspended by the then government. The reasons for such action are perhaps still unknown. By 2001, the federal government of Nigeria resuscitated the model and this received much applause from conscious citizens who expressed high hopes that qualitative higher education would be democratized in the country through the National

with its weak Open University transmitting of Nigeria. signals Till date, the in Lagos National Open Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, state. By its University of text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written mandate, the Nigeria is the only contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters National Open specialist provider University of open and - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your of Nigeria distance learning name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be should admit at tertiary level addressed to: about 500,000 in Nigeria and applicants, but the West African The Editor, at the moment sub-region, but it only has the question to Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, a student ask is how far 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. number of and well has it Email: 120,000, yet gone in fulfilling SMS: 08134607052 there are no the mandate of plan in view making higher to expand the capacities and forced many to withdraw from education more accessible, structures that will make this the system. For those who have flexible, and qualitative to the mandate a reality, not even with resolved to graduate with a growing Nigerian populace? the recent scrapping of satellite certificate, the challenge for them From slow academic calendar to campuses across the country is the non-availability of basic lack of basic learning resources, by the National Universities learning materials particularly inconsistent academic policies, Commission (NUC). - course materials which are bureaucracy in administration, As the only specialist provider expected to be delivered through high cost of programmes and of open and distance learning the CD-ROMs, radio and TV overall insincerity of purpose at tertiary level in Nigeria, the Broadcast, mail, textbooks on the part of the school, the National Open University of and other platforms given that current system and structure of Nigeria must stand up to the the university operates a nonthe National Open University of reality of a growing populace conventional system. Nigeria leaves much to be desired. with the quest for knowledge It is sad absolutely that the After thirteen years of acquisition which is aided by institution’s radio station has in operation, it is rather bothersome technological innovations if the last five years paraded itself as that the Open University of indeed the open and distance an unproductive entity, providing Nigeria has only conducted learning mode is to achieve nothing for the yearning learning convocation once despite the much success in this country. community but outright junk. countless matriculations it The institution should for The station has gained round in has conducted. Students have once look off from the paraded commercial music promotion continually groaned at the slow achievements of yesteryears as against elevating education pace of the institution’s academic and focus on increasing the and knowledge sharing even calendar, a situation which has


knowledge and capacity of the Nigerian populace particularly the work-force. Learning programmes and policies should be locally adapted to meet up with our home needs, instructional materials should be delivered as promised using appropriate media, and there should be a flow of information between the institution and its students. Workers capacity to handle diverse issues as peculiar to the open and distance learning model should be increased through result-oriented trainings, workshops and seminars and conferences. The media undoubtedly plays a crucial role in knowledge transfer and societal advancement, the university should as a point of imminence overhaul its radio station, generate better educational contents, up-skill presenters and increase its transmitting bandwidth for better reception across Lagos and the nation at large. If Nigeria must make any socio-economic development across boards, then education being the bedrock of such developments must be taken seriously and the reality is that the conventional educational system cannot address this educational challenge; this is why the Open University must act swiftly to save this nation. Tola Emmanuel is reachable on tolawrites@

The mistakes that made Nigeria (II) By Ishola Taiwo


igeria’s next ‘national’ disaster was unveiled on January 15, 1966. Much has been said about the “good intentions” of the coup planners. But, good intentions and N200 will purchase a N200 recharge card. In other words, it is pointless (and even morally reprehensible) to try to find excuses for or, attempt to rationalise a poorly executed project that ultimately ended up costing millions of human beings their lives. There are no heroes among the coup planners and their collaborators. They are all equally guilty of a great crime in as much as what they did ultimately served up the death blow to an already tottering edifice (i.e.. Nigeria). The door that they opened was the one through which stepped various monsters of greed and anomie individuals who, in a world that was the right way round, would have most likely lived out their lives as anonymous low-level functionaries of a professional armed forces. 4: After the coup of January 15 1966, the relay of fatal blunders continued. At a meeting attended by a rump of disoriented politicians from the ruling coalition, senior civil servants and the military, the politicians, rather than stand

firm and assert the authority of the civilian government, allowed themselves to be convinced that the best thing they could do - in a manner reminiscent of ones serving up the best parts of a slaughtered sallah ram to a fashionably late guest of honour would be to hand over power to the Army’s General Aguiyi-Ironsi. 5: The next one of the mistakes that made Nigeria followed the success of Ironsi’s coup. After consultations with a small coterie of advisers - namely Francis C. Nwokedi (sole commissioner of the Administrative Review Commission), Gabriel Onyuike (Attorney General), Pius Okigbo (Perm Sec Finance Ministry and Economic Advisor to the Federal Military Government) - and, emboldened by the propaganda of centrists (who described themselves in relation to advocates for regionalism as ‘progressives’), Aguiyi-Ironsi promulgated a decree that turned Nigeria into the centrist State whose ruinous form still remains more or less intact up until the present day. 6: The next mistake was made by Emeka Ojukwu. This was not in his decision to lead the Igbo out of Nigeria but, in the series of decisions that followed his declaration of the fact that the Igbo needed a place where they could feel safe. To fully

comprehend the dimensions of this mistake, cognisance must be given to one other relevant fact: the perpetrators of no pogroms had made no moves to extend the killings into Igbo territory (or areas close to it) - and in spite of the alarms raised by Igbo propagandists, there was no proof that such an intention did exist. From which the conclusion can be drawn that these killings and maiming were not the precursor to an extermination exercise that was targeted at the entirety of a particular people but, was solely embarked upon as a means of removing Igbo from the northern region. However, notwithstanding this, the Igbo political leadership of the time decided to use this crisis as a springboard for the realisation of other ambitions. Which was why, in delineating the composition of their proposed new country (Biafra), rather than be faithful to the declared intention of creating a secure sovereign space for Igbo people, they instead chose to carve out a mini-Nigeria. An ambition that was made apparent when the Biafra whose map was unveiled to the world did not only consist of the Igbo’s homeland, but also included the territories of other non-Igbo - who, just as had been the case when Nigeria itself was manufactured, now found

themselves belonging to a country in whose foundation they’d had no input. In other words, they were now the subjects of a putative Igbo empire. The next blunder was to order an army that should have been trained and reserved for selfdefense to go on the offensive. And after that blunder, Ojukwu compounded the error by first attacking in the wrong direction and then, not stopping at the natural border between east and west. That is to say, rather than remain true to the declared intention of securing the Igbo homeland, he made it clear, through his actions, that leaving Nigeria was a precursor to the establishment of an Igbo empire by force of arms. And once this intent was revealed to those whose territories had been selected to provide the stage on which the drama would unfold, these dragooned extras had no other choice than to seek out ways to confound the Biafran aggressor’s ambition. 7: The final mistake - the seal was made by MKO Abiola. As the winner of what was as fair an election as Nigeria had ever experienced, he had the opportunity to play midwife to the birth of a nation. He most certainly knew enough about Nigerian and African history to

be aware of the flaws that had been deliberately built in to the structures bequeathed by European imperialists. In other words, he knew enough to know what to do to put things right. But, as on previous occasions, his reactionary side overwhelmed whatever revolutionary feelings events might have stirred within him. So, rather than put himself in the vanguard of forces that had aligned to use his denied mandate as a focal point for the struggle to bring about real progressive change, he instead turned to his half-fish half fowl associates and put his faith in them. And of course, the end result of this strategy was not only his personal disappointment but, more crucially, the entrenchment of retrogressive forces who would even go as far as to validate their own ascensions with his status as a martyr for democracy. The unifying theme of all the mistakes that made Nigeria can now be identified: It is the intent, the various attempts, and the single-minded desire of various actors on the political sphere to impose (or validate the existence of) centralised power over the disparate nations that make up Nigeria. Concluded Ishola Taiwo is on linkedIn.



Comment Time to redefine news By Idris Katib


enerally, news is what people are ready to watch, read, hear, absorb or carry about in form of rumours or authentic information because it sounds bizarre, new, newsy, interesting, catastrophic, lawful, unlawful, developmental, offensive, romantic, oppressive, sensational, prophetic, helpful, predictive, indicative or rib-cracking. Different categories of people make the news. However, our media today are rife with mostly negative stories which constitute the news. Sensationalism is the order of the day in today’s media reportage. Without any doubt, people in government, in power, make the most. Many of them have stakes in the ownership and control of the media. So, the media follow them with their activities. Every day, we are informed by the media of visits of ministers and governors to a particular part of a country. More so, presidents of countries of the world with highlights of their socioeconomic, political and diplomatic highlights. Their bilateral and multilateral relations are deeply

echoed. People with knowledge— teachers, academics, scholars—also make the news with their high learning. Since they theorise what many of us do not know or are yet to discover, their speech, their actions and postulations attract the media. Some of them will talk about scientific breakthrough, new research and other issues bothering on society. Among them are psychologists, sociologists, philosophers, economists, law experts, medical gurus, environmentalists, engineers, linguists, political scientists and agro economists. An endless list abounds. Billionaires make news. Names like Bill Gates or Aliko Dangote shake the media whenever mentioned. They move and shake the world at the highest level of entrepreneurship as they have positively influenced so many lives in terms of employment and philanthropy. So when they sneeze, cough or laugh, the media follow suit at every point in time. Sensationalism or yellow journalism is a brand of journalism that pervades a large percentage of our media contents as it

exaggerates negative happenings in the society. Most issues bordering on controversies gain more prominence in the media than those of developmental impacts. Such issues may centre on crime, sex, picketing, protests, teachers’ strike, rape, cabinet reshuffle and the likes. Actors, performers, models, athletes and artists are most favoured by media reportage. Popular ones are echoed and well chronicled in news, sound tracks, feature stories, articles, advertisements and even standalone pictures. Many households read, listen to and view their stories as a way of relaxation and catharsis. Public announcements, paid advertisements, promotion of brands and products, obituaries of highly placed personalities and corporate social philanthropic programmes also constitute important media contents around the world. Bizarre happenings are all over our media contents. A miniature horse that recently made Guinness World Record; and a lady whose two hands were deformed from nine months old but can effectively

write with her toes. Conjoined twins of different nature—some make successful surgery! They are all in the news. Many more! Catastrophic news such as wars, production of WMDs, flooding, storm, hurricanes, fire outbreaks, fatal auto/plane crashes and shipwrecks are happening here or there. They are all well reflected in our media news. Nobody in the world is unaffected by governments. They are ubiquitous making, interpreting and implementing the laws. Because some people—a small percentage of them— somewhere are taking decisions that affect all others, their policies at international, national and local levels fly in the news. That one frequently reads or views issues on immigration laws, government scholarships, ministerial appointments, derivation principle, fuel pump price increase, new vehicle plate numbers, state police debate and international relations and diplomacy is testimonial. Propaganda makes news: power play among leaders in governments entails, subtly, the use of propaganda machinery to

outwit one another. Accusations and counter accusations of politicians and political parties often gain media attention. People in governments, as well as their oppositions, often employ services of propagandists or ‘attack dogs’ to protect their interests and image in the media. Virtually, everything now makes news. The advent of the internet has broken barriers in terms of information access to anyone who cares to be interested. With the available resources of the new media, people now publish what goes on in their bedroom, offices, neighbourhoods, shopping malls and social functions instantly. Barriers of gate-keeping have been removed. The success of Arab Spring was largely attributed to the availability of information on the internet and social media. So are many other events too numerous to mention. I think it is high time for the world’s media to consider development journalism more in their content than propaganda and sensational reporting. Since the media mirror the society, doing so will reconcile our world more than it is at the present. Idris Katib is a public relations practitioner and author based in Abeokuta, Nigeria

Divided Anambra is Obi’s legacy By James Akudike


overnor Peter Obi will leave office next March, by which time he will have completed two terms,something an unprecedented since the time of the old Anambra state. He will unfortunately be leaving a state more divided than when he assumed office. If there has ever been a united and homogenous state in Nigeria’s history, it is Anambra. Not only are the people united by their full embrace of western-rite Christianity, they speak about the same dialect of the Igbo language and have virtually the same culture. There is practically even spread of modern development, with every subgroup parading a substantial number of highly accomplished individuals. Consequently, the feeling of inferiority complex in some people from certain very undeveloped areas which gives rise to a culture of violence against the rest of a given society is absent in the state. It is difficult to make claims of this nature about any other state in Nigeria. The bad news is that Anambra’s homogeneity and unity, which have been a remarkable pillar of the people’s progress for several decades, are now threatened, thanks to Obi’s emergence as governor. Once known as “home for all” in the footsteps of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe who was Nigeria’s very accommodating first president, the state now provides the worst theatre of sectarian politics. Catholics and Anglicans are embroiled in politics of supremacy. Realizing that Catholics are in the majority in the state but the state chief executives have hardly come from within their

fold, Obi has persistently played on the fear of domination. He has thus dragged so many priests and religious into the murky waters of Nigerian electoral politics. Yet, the Vatican has since the pontificate of John Paul 11 banned priests and religious from politics. Obi has manipulated the fact that a member of his family is a priest and another a nun to portray himself as pious. The governor habitually says the Rosary and other uniquely Catholic prayers in public places so as to grab attention. May God forbid that Anambra may well be on the way to becoming Africa’s Northern Ireland where Catholics and Anglicans have for several decades engaged each other in a fight to a finish, and until the signing of the Good Friday Agreement on April 10, 1998, in Belfast, the relationship between Unionists and Republicans was very hostile, with the Irish Republican Army (IRA) launching attacks against British interests and the state. It will be most unfortunate if any person should, for whatever reason, return Anambra to the awful days of debilitating sectarian

politics in Igboland when Catholics and Protestants were at each other’s throats. The Catholic faith was introduced in Eastern Nigeria about 127 years ago by priests from Ireland, a country which waged a long and painful nationalist war against British imperialism. The Anglican faith, on the other hand, was introduced from the United Kingdom. It is easy now to see that the Catholic and Anglican priests took their nationalist war from their home countries to Eastern Nigeria. To end the increasing religious cauldron in the East, Ukpabi Asika, then the East Central State administrator, decided in 1970 to take over schools built by Christian missions which he believed were serving as vehicles for religious intolerance. We deeply regret that Gov Obi does not care taking Anambra to the pre-1970 era in a desperate attempt to enjoy the support of the church with the larger number of followers. Admittedly, Obi’s parochial politics should not have come to serious-minded people as a surprise. No sooner had he assumed office as Anambra State governor than he signaled he

would play politics of divide and rule. In an effort to de-legitimise the government of his predecessor, Dr Chris Ngige, Gov Obi started the propaganda that all the roads Ngige built for the three years he was in office were in his native Idemili area. The governor knew very well that this was far from the truth, but he stuck to it. The whole idea was to set up the Idemili people against the rest of the state. It failed. With the November 16 gubernatorial election fact approaching, our governor has pulled another parochial trick. He says his successor should come from the north senatorial zone, arguing that his position is informed by equity because, according to him, governors have come from the other senatorial districts. Mr. Obi is eager to ignore the fact that at no time have people from any part of the state failed to participate in the gubernatorial contest as candidates; and he is also enthusiastic to gloss over the fact that Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first premier of the Eastern Region, hailed from the north district, just like Asika, administrator of East Central State.

May God forbid that Anambra may well be on the way to becoming Africa’s Northern Ireland where Catholics and Anglicans have for several decades engaged each other in a fight to a finish, and until the signing of the Good Friday Agreement on April 10, 1998, in Belfast, the relationship between Unionists and Republicans was very hostile, with the Irish Republican Army (IRA) launching attacks against British interests and the state.

To state the obvious, the people of Anambra have never cared about the senatorial districts of candidates and governors. What has always mattered to our people is the record of each person in question, and not primordial sentiments. Gov Obi’s campaign to have someone from the north senatorial district (read Omambala or Anambra culture area) as the next governor is merely targeted at one person: Senator Ngige. Obi wants Ngige to lose all moral and psychological right to contest the governorship since he is from the central part of the state. But the people have not been impressed. The irony is that the Obi strategy of ensuring that the successor is from the Omambala area is backfiring. William Obianor, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate handpicked by the governor and a retired employee of a bank where Obi was the chairman, is unknown even among his kinfolk. So many people prefer Dr. Chike Obidigbo, the successful manufacturer from the area who has been chosen by the Maxi Okwu faction of the party as the authentic APGA candidate. Worse is that there are millions of Anambra people who despise the mentality of “we-against-them” which the governor is encouraging in APGA members in the four Omambala local government areas, thus making members in the other 17 LGAs in the state seem to band together against them. In other words, Gov Obi has unintentionally succeeded in setting up APGA politicians in Omambala culture area against the people of the state. James Akudike is an engineer with Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra state




Elderly Gbagi women spinning wool, yesterday at Bwari, in Abuja.

A police officer drinking sachet water while on duty at Emir of Suleja’s palace, on Monday in Suleja

A young girl hawking sachet water, yesterday at Nyanya, Abuja.

A young mechanic apprentice running an errand for his master, yesterday at Apo Mechanic village, in Abuja.

A date fruit seller waiting for customers, yesterday at Durumi village, in Abuja. Photos: Justin Imo-Owo



Abuja market women association honours minister’s wife Cleric tasks By Miriam Humbe While responding, the general. President-General of the Christians on “I am ever committed to association, Mrs. Felicia Sani minister’s wife who said her embers of the Federal who led executive members doors were always open to improve the welfare of the commitment Capital Territory, of the group to the minister’s explore other areas of co- residents and the good people FCT, Market Women residence said the award was in operation and collaboration of the FCT in any way possible; to religion Association yesterday in Abuja recognition of the contributions with a view to taking the therefore, I will continue to do


By Usman Shuaibu


cleric at the Heavenly Kingdom Church International in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bishop EmekaChimaroke, has appealed to the Christians to remain committed to their religion, urging them to keep away from inwardly things. In an interview with Peoples Daily during his consecration ceremony in Gwagwalada said that with the commitments no matter the security challenges faced by Nigerians, Nigeria would not break up. Chimaroke, further said that the position of bishop would energise him to be more committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ. He called on the ministers of God to preach the true gospel of Jesus Christ at their various churches across the country. He further appealed to the Christians to remain committed to their religion, while urging them to keep away from those things that god had forbidden. On his part, the National President of Heavenly Kingdom Church International Gwagwalada, Archbishop John Lai Balogun, called on Muslims and Christians to pray for the progress of Nigeria. He also urged both Muslims and Christians to cultivate the habit of love each other, in order to put aside the religious sentiments faced by Nigerians for a long time now. Balogun, however, frowned at the attitude of Nigerian leaders towards the less privileged ones and asked government to take the poor along in the scheme of things.

bestowed the honour of Life Patron on the wife of the FCT Minister and Founder, AlMuhibba Foundation, Hajiya Aisha Bala Mohammed.

of Hajiya Aisha Mohammed and her non-governmental organisation, Al-Muhibba Foundation to the welfare of members of the association.


he second class Chief of Kuje Area Council in Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Alhaji Haruna Tanko Jibrin, has called on the people of Kuje to be security conscious at all times in the area. He also urged the residents to report any suspicious moment to the Policemen in their environs, noting that the security is everybody concern. Jibrin, who made the call while speaking during the launching of his book entitled “Gomo of Kuje”, said that the book would aid the

that within the limits of the funds available to me as the wife of the honourable minister and through my NGO, Al-Muhibba Foundation”, she said. Wife of FCT Minister and Founder, Al-Muhibba Foundation, Hajiya Aisha Bala Mohammed, [2nd right] being dressed in national colours by PresidentGeneral, Abuja Market Women Association, Mrs. Felicia Sani (left), during the association conferred on her the title of Life Patron, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Miriam Humbe

Karu traders laud AMAC over completion of market By Adeola Tukuru


aru market traders have commended the administration of the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) for the speedy completion of the modern market.

The leader of the association, Suleiman Haliru who spoke to newsmen recently during the inspection of the projects by the council chairman, Hon Micha Y. Jiba said that the Karu community market which has been in existence before the creation of the Federal

Monarch asks Kuje residents to be security conscious By Usman Shuaibu

association to higher heights expressed her commitment to improving the welfare of members of the association as well as residents of the FCT in

entire people of the area to know the historic background of Kuje Chiefdom. He urged the people of Kuje to continue to live in peace and harmony irrespective of their religious, tribal and political inclinations. The traditional ruler also stated his leadership would continue to co-operate and support the FCT administration for the overall development of the area. The second class, however, commended the author of the book for his intellectual abilities,

while advising the other authors to emulate him. On his part, the former Vice Chairman of Kuje Area Council, Hon. Dantani Dogo, who represented the Chairman of the Council, Hon. Ishaku Shaban Tete, hailed Gomo of Kuje (Second class Chief) for his leadership qualities being exhibited in the area. On his contribution, the author of the book, Bright Ikechukwu Oseafiana, urged young authors to devote their time in writing books for the benefits of the society.

Capital Territory (FCT), was never rehabilitated by the past chairmen of AMAC, until the present leadership came on board. According to him, the ward have written to previous administration on how they have suffered in the market for years but no response, until this administration came on board and awarded the contract to build a market that is of international standard, and so many social amenities have already been built by the contractors handling the project. “Now we have been told by the chairman to go to the council to collect our allocation papers, we are all happy about the new development” he said. On his part, the engineer handling the contract, Engr. CharlseEzeani assured that the project is 90% completed and further advised the traders to pray and support the on-going

efforts and sacrifice by the council chairman of AMAC. In his words: “Government requires some level of public understanding and support to carry out important project, the project is five phases and when the phase one is completed the traders will move in and we continue the next phase because we have existing traders before the project commenced.” while responding, the AMAC chairman Hon. Micah Jiba noted that his administration would continue to dish out meaningful projects that will directly affect the lives of AMAC residents. “When I was elected for the second term a councilor of Garki ward for 8 ye I promised to complete every project I started before the completion of my tenure on the office and I will ensure that with a possible period of time, that is my vision,” he said.




Security officer arraigned for allegedly stealing PHCN cables


he police have arraigned Victor Agum, a security officer with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in an Abuja Senior Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing armoured cables. The police also arraigned one Shuaibu Iliyasu, a scavenger, for being in possession of the stolen cables, which value was not ascertained. The prosecutor, Monday Akor, told the court that the case was reported by Titus Zabadi, a staff of PHCN at the Maitama Police Station on Sept. 21. He said that Zabadi told the police that Agum stole four pieces of armoured cables at the company’s power distribution station at Katampe, Abuja. Akor said Agum sold the cables to Illiyasu at Tipper Garage, Katampe, Abuja at N5,000. He added that the cables were recovered from Iliyasu during investigation. Akor said the offence of theft against Agum contravened the provisions of Section 317 of the Penal Code, while Iliyasu’s offence of buying stolen product contravened Section 289 of the code. However, both Agum and Iliyasu pleaded not guilty. If convicted, Agum could be punished with a prison term which may extend to seven years or with fine or with both.

If convicted, Iliyasu could be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 14 years or with fine or with both. The Senior Magistrate, Mr Aminu Eri, granted bail to Agum in the sum of N250,000 with two

sureties in like sum. He said the sureties must be living within the court’s jurisdiction and that one of the sureties must be a civil servant as he adjourned the matter to Oct. 24 for commencement of

hearing. Eri also granted bail to Iliyasu in the sum of N200, 000 with two sureties in like sum and ordered that the sureties must also be living within the court’s jurisdiction. (NAN)



Two show shiners out for business in Mararaba Nasarawa state.

...our love is a natural gift from God, says accused my wife and took her to an herbalist in Auta Balefi near Masaka in Nasarawa State. ``There, the herbalist gave my wife some charms to use while bathing to make her love him and hate me,’’ he said. Ali told the court that in the process of bathing with the charms, the wife’s mother discovered it and confronted the accused. ``The accused admitted that he and my wife collected charm

from an herbalist, dug a five-feet pit and buried some of the charms so as to solidify their love,’’ he said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the offence contravened the provisions of Section 389 of the Penal Code and the accused is liable to two years in prison if convicted. The accused pleaded not guilty, saying their love ``is natural from God’’. The presiding officer, Danladi

Musa, admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N250,000 and two sureties in like sum. Musa ordered that one of the sureties must be a traditional title-holder with landed property and must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court. He ordered the sureties to write an undertaking, promising the court that the accused will not commit similar offence again. Musa adjourned the case to Oct. 3, 2013 for hearing. (NAN)

Woman, 21, wants 11-year-old marriage dissolved


auwa Ali, 21, of Kuta Village in Niger, on Wednesday, dragged her husband to a Grade 1 Area Court, Aso Pada, Mararaba, Nasarawa State, seeking dissolution of their 11-year-old marriage. In her complain, she told the court that she had no love for her husband again and was now in love with another man who was ready to take good care of her. The mother of four said she and the husband, Jibril, 27,

Skye Bank staff in court for defrauding man of N3m he police have arraigned a Skye Bank worker, Popoola Peter, and Michael Auta, in a Karu Senior Magistrates’ Court in Abuja, for defrauding a victim of N3 million. Popoopla, who works in the Garki branch of the bank, and Auta of no fixed address, were arraigned before Senior Magistrate Hadiza Shagari, for joint act and forgery. The prosecutor, Insp. Philip Akogwu, of Asokoro Police Station, told the court that the accused forged the documents of plot No. 510, Lugbe, and sold it to one Chase Ogunleye for N3 million. Akogwu said that during investigation, it was discovered that the accused formed a common intention, by forging the land documents, in order to defraud the victim of his money. He said offence contravened the provisions of sections 79, 364, 312 and 322 of the Penal Code. In her ruling, Magistrate Shagari admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N500,000 each and two reliable sureties in like sum. Shagari adjourned the case to Oct. 7, 2013 for hearing. (NAN)

Cattle farmer in court for allegedly hypnotising another man’s wife cattle farmer, Halilu Muhammadu, 26, of Gurku Village, Mararaba, was yesterday arraigned in a Grade 1 Area Court, Aso Pada, Mararaba for hypnotising and stealing’’ another man’s wife. The accused who pleaded not guilty in court, said their love ``is natural from God’’. In his suit, the petitioner, Jibril Ali, 27, of Gurku Village told the court that Muhammadu took advantage of the misunderstanding he had with his wife, Hauwa , 21, of same address. ``Muhammadu hypnotised


of Gurku Village, Mararaba, Nasarawa State, had been having problems in recent times. She said ``we don’t agree on most issues and he always beat me up on the slightest provocation. ``I have lost love for him; all I want is for the court to separate us. ``I am not interested in this marriage any longer,’’ she stressed. The presiding officer, Danladi Musa, asked Jibril if he would like the court to grant his wife’s wish,

to which he responded: ``no’’. He said ``the marriage is blessed with four children and I know that somebody somewhere is deceiving my wife to leave her matrimonial home. ``I still love my wife and I really need her back, so, I will like the court to give us some time to go and resolve the matter,’’ he pleaded. However, the wife objected the husband’s request, saying ``giving my husband even one hour is too

much; all I need right now is a divorce certificate.’’ After listening to both parties, the presiding officer said: ``the husband has pleaded for more time to settle the matter but the wife has objected. ``The court will, nonetheless, grant the husband’s request of settlement,’’ he said. He then adjourned the case to Oct. 7, 2013 for continuation of hearing should the couple fail to settle out of court. (NAN))

Reckless driving lands man in court


he police have arraigned a driver, Ehinze Omongbal in an Abuja Magistrates Court for allegedly causing injury to one passenger and damaging two cars. The prosecutor, Sgt. Jeremiah Elijah, told the court that Omongbal was arrested on Aug. 25 for dangerously driving a Volkswagen bus with registration number XA3 ANW. Elijah said the accused drove recklessly along Galadimawa Road, Abuja, and rammed into a Nissan Almera car with registration number RBC 02 AH, belonging to one Musa Bashir. ``The accused also ran into a Honda Accord car with registration number FST 533 AZ belonging to Muhammed Ibrahim of Kaduna Road, Abuja, and damaged both cars in the process.’’ The prosecutor added that the offence contravened sections 28 (1) and 508 of the Road Traffic Act. The Magistrate, Mrs Binta Dogoyaro, granted bail to the accused in the sum of N200,000 and two sureties in like sum. She ordered that the sureties must have a fixed and traceable address within the jurisdiction of the court and adjourned the case to Oct. 24, 2013. (NAN)




Bill to empower SON punish fake, 08033045613

products agents underway -NASS - Pg 20

Osun has least of unemployment index in Bureau of Statistics’ recordAregbesola - Pg 22

L-R: President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ABUCCIMA), Mr. Solomon Nyagba, former Chairmen, Otunba Dele Oye, and Mr. Peter Okolo, during the opening of the 8th Abuja International Trade Fair, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

NDIC to prosecute CEOs of failed MFBs Stories by Abdulwahab Isa


igeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has handed a warning to the Chief Executive Officers of Microfinance Banks, MFBs to guard jealously public deposit funds entrust in their vault or risk prosecution in the event of misappropriation. To give the new offensive onslaught against fraudulent MFBs CEOs the desired bite, NDIC has constituted a special taskforce comprise of the personnel of Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFFCC) , the police and other law enforcement officers and the team is currently going through various documented cases of abuses and fraud in some collapsed MFBs. Managing Director of NDIC,

Umaru Ibrahim disclosed this in Abuja yesterday when members of National Association of microfinance Banks (NAMB) visited him in his office. Ibrahim specifically stated that the Corporation has established a Task Force to ensure that such corrupt officials are brought to book. “One thing that came out this issue of failed Micro finance Banks is that some people abused the trust given to them. And that is why we have established a task force comprising of officials of the Attorney General’s office, the ministry of justice, the police, EFCC and other relevant agencies to go through all these cases of fraud and misdemeanor perpetrated by these people and ensure that they are prosecuted. They will be prosecuted because

we will not allow them go free to serve as a deterrent to others. These are funds that were given to them to keep in trust; they had no rights whatsoever to misappropriate the funds. I enjoin you as an organisation to continue to sensitise your members on this issue and it can be enhanced by evolving a very good framework for risk management. This is an issue that bedevils the industry and micro-finance banks are not an exception”, he said. He described MFBs a very important segment of the financial sector which according to him, necessitated a basis for the regular on-going initiative in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to train operators and board members and get them

CBN confirms Rislanudeen Muhammad Unity Bank Ag. MD


he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has confirmed the appointment of Rislanudeen Muhammad as the Acting Managing Director of Unity Bank Plc, a statement from the bank announced yesterday. This is coming on the heels of the departure of Ado Yakubu Wanka, who retired earlier this month. The appointment of Rislanudeen Muhammad was contained in a letter to the Bank dated September 20, 2013, signed by CBN Director of Banking Supervision, A. O. Idris. Rislanudeen Muhammad was the Executive Director, enterprise risk management. An alumnus of three prestigious business schools; Harvard, London and Lagos, Muhammad started his banking career over two decades ago with the Center Point Bank,

one of the nine legacy banks that merged to build Unity Bank Plc in 2006. He holds a B.Sc Economics from the Bayero University, Kano and an M.Sc in the same field from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He sojourned through various directorates of the Bank making him highly attuned with its operations and the sector in general, and no doubt, particularly suitable for the position. Prior to his confirmation, he held various positions in the Bank including steering the North-West Directorate, which comprises of its offices in Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi states. Rislanudeen is part of the Management team that built the strong corporate governance culture which Unity Bank is reputed to have as well as the

impressive results of 2012 in which gross earnings grew by 16%, while total operating expense declined by 8%: interest and similar income growth by 30%, impacting positively on its cost to income ratio. Rislanudeen Muhammad is a member of a number of professional bodies including the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN), the Nigerian Institute of Management Consultants and the Nigerian Economic Society where he is a life member.

certified. He said the Corporation will not take lightly, issue of delay payment of premium by the MFBs and put the premium collected from MFBs at N397 million leaving an outstanding sum of N44 million . Ibrahim warned that NDIC will have no choice but to invoke the principle of ‘no premium, no cover’ to any defaulting MFBs. Earlier in his remarks, President of NAMB, Chief Jethro Akun lauded management of NDIC on Umaru Ibrahim especially in the area of building confidence in MFBs sector as well as organising frequent capacity building for the operators. However, he advocated for a policy review on the issue of unit branches, stating that, cash centers and branches be allowed in markets and designated areas within the local governments; a development he said was in line with the regulatory guideline and policy framework of MFBs.

Financial analyst tasks CBN on inflation rate - Pg 20

Exchange Rates CBN as at26th September, 2013 Buying



















MANAGEMENT TIP OF THE DAY Find a champion for your business case When preparing a case for a new project or initiative, be sure you have someone at a senior level who will lobby for it. Look at each member of the committee: Whose goals and concerns will your project most directly address? Reach out and ask what his or her department is trying to achieve in the coming year. Get a sense of what big projects are under way and which efforts need more support. Explain how your

initiative can help fill in gaps or address trouble spots. Of course, having someone influential on your side does little good without a strong case that meets a business need, a solid project concept, and well thought-out financials. If any of those elements are missing, even a powerful champion can’t help you. Source: Harvard Business Review




Bill to empower SON punish fake products agents underway -NASS By Abdulwahab Isa


ore concrete steps are to be taken to deal with the activities of fake product handlers and their agents as a bill to empower Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) to punish offenders is set to be passed in to law by October. The chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Commerce and Industry, Hon.

Mohammed Ogoshi Onawo disclosed this yesterday when he led other members of the committee on oversight function to the organization headquarters in Abuja. He said the bill, which has since been laid before the House, will accord more enforcement powers to the SON to enable it, arrest and prosecute importers as well as sellers of fake products in the country when passed. The chairman described as

grossly unacceptable the release of only 26 per cent of the capital budget to the organization in September and promised to address the situation with support of his colleagues in the House. Onawo, while commending the management of SON for the tireless fight against substandard products in the country, urged it to focus more on cement, fuel and generating sets, among others, which fakes

Equipment display at the International Print Expo, on Wednesday in Abuja.

he noted are in various Nigerian markets. “We commend your efforts despite all the challenges, but we would like SON to do more into the quality of cement being sold in the country. The same thing we will like to do with fuel, because we all now that adulterated fuel has made many people to lose their families”. Earlier, the Director General of SON, Dr Joseph Ikem Odumodu has said that out

Photo: NAN

Financial analyst tasks CBN on inflation rate


financial analyst, Mr Henry Boyo, yesterday in Lagos charged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to promote lower inflation rate in the country. Boyo, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that the current 8.2 per

cent inflation rate was too high for any economy to grow. ``No economy can prosper under the current inflation rate of 8.3 per cent. ``The average inflation rate in developed economies of the world is not higher than two per cent,” he said. The analyst said

that despite the reduced inflation rate in recent months, the price of consumer products were still high. ``The drop from the peak of 12 per cent to 8.2 per cent cannot be linked to a fall in the price of consumer goods,” he said. Boyo said that the fall in inflation

had not matched increased employment opportunities or structural development in the country. NAN reports that the current inflation rates stand at 8.2 per cent from the peak of 12.3 per cent, the lowest since Sept. 2012. (NAN)

Lekki free zone: Lagos grants waiver on import, export licence to investors From Ayodele Samuel,Lagos


he Lagos state government has offered to grant attractive policies and incentives such as complete tax holiday from all federal, state and local government taxes, rates, customs duties and levies to willing investors that patronise Lekki free trade. The waiver, Lagos government said, will cover import and export licenses, duty-free capital goods, consumer goods, machinery,

equipment and furniture, dutyfree, tax free import of raw materials and components for goods destined for re-export or permission to sell 100 per cent of manufactured assembled or imported goods into domestic the market. Governor Fashola, who spoke at the opening ceremony of Eko Expo 2013 trade fair, themed: “Promoting Nigerian products towards a sustainable employment generation”, said his government is undertaking initiatives that will guarantee

not only the sustenance of a proper business model but more importantly the expansion of industrial production activities in the State. “This I strongly believe is the only way by which the problem of unemployment can be effectively addressed” he said. Represented at the event by the Commissioner for energy and mineral resources, Engr. Taofiq Tijani, he promised that his administration will continue to provide a thriving environment with exponential

potentials to attract both local and foreign direct investment in the area of manufacturing, real estate, tourism, oil and gas. He also used the occasion to gear up support for locally made products in the country as against placing preferences on imported goods. The practice, according to him, impacts negatively on the business growth and the development of the country. “We need not delude ourselves with the misconception that Nigerians will patronize made in

of N54million capital budget earmarked for the organization this year, only N14million has been received while the agency generated N1billion. Odumodu lamented that fighting substandard products was like treating malaria where one uses paracetamol which does not cure, rather than going for the root cause. He applauded the committee for promising to pass a bill that would enable the organization to arrest and prosecute importers of fake drugs into the country. The director general, while soliciting for more support of the House, said “we do not have a metrology laboratory in Nigeria that insures that measurement is the same. If one makes a mistake it could be very dangerous”. “There are sub-standard products everywhere in the world but here in Nigeria it creates certain inconsistencies. But we are starting a journey that would put Nigeria on the map of the world as anything accepted in Nigeria would be accepted anywhere in the world”, he said. He explained that SON has introduced an accreditation system for manufacturers to go through certain processes and until their products are certified, they won’t be allowed into the Nigerian market. Odumodu also informed that the organization has commissioned the Enugu laboratory with its equipments, some which are the ones used for testing rods, blood, and equipment for tyres, windscreen and MPG cylinders, among others.

First Bank clarifies position on of International Commercial Bank (ICB) Ghana


N Holdings Plc. on behalf of First Bank of Nigeria Ltd. (‘FirstBank’) wishes to clarify its position on the media reports sourced from the recent Bank of Ghana (BoG) announcement regarding the approved application for the acquisition of International Commercial Bank (ICB) Ghana by FirstBank from ICB Financial Group Holdings AG. Acquisition talks with ICB Financial Group Holdings AG remain ongoing and an outcome of these discussions will be communicated in due course.



Tax alert Tax relief for pioneer companies


he Nigerian Government has over the years put in place many different and overlapping incentive schemes to attract both local and foreign investment. Tax exemption is generally regarded as an industrial investment device; many developing countries like Nigeria offer it as one of their major incentives. Basically, tax incentives are designed to encourage investments in certain preferred sectors of the economy and sometimes geared towards attracting inflow of foreign exchange to complement domestic supplies for rapid economic development. Tax exemption otherwise known as tax holiday is one of the most widespread tax incentives. Tax exemption simply means a period of exemption from payment of taxes imposed by the government and this may be complete or partial. The granting of pioneer status, for instance, gives a company a preferred position in getting established, usually through exemption of income tax payment. A pioneer company is a company that engaged in manufacturing, processing, mining, servicing and agricultural industries whose products have been declared pioneer products on satisfying certain condition as determined by the Industrial Development Coordinating Committee (IDCC) of the Government under the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act Cap 179 LFN 1990. The pioneer tax holiday is for an initial period of three years or subject to further extension of two years or five years (once and for all without further extension). Enabling Act Act Chapter 179 laws of the federation of Nigeria (LFN) 1990 but first enacted by Decree No22 of 1971 and commenced on 1/4/1970. Commencement Date 1st April, 1970 “An Act to repeal and reenact, with major changes, the industries Development

Revenue House

to meet conditions set. Tax Relief Period

Alhaji Kabir Mashi (Income Tax Relief) Act and to make provision for tax relief for certain industries that may be issued with pioneer certificates by the minister and other matters ancilatory there to”. Conditions: Industry is not being carried out on a suitable scale as required and there are prospects for further development in the industry or its product. If it is in the public interest to encourage the industry or its product. Application may be made for the inclusion of a product on the pioneer list Mode of Application All application to be addressed to the Minister. State the status of the company. Give details of qualifying capital expenditure to be incurred. Give sources of qualifying capital expenditure and estimated cost. Specify location of Assets. Date of production of pioneer products. Any by product not being a pioneer product. TERMS OF PIONEER CERTIFICATE Must be in terms of the application to which it relates. Specify permissible by-

products to be produced. Specify period within which company must be incorporated and conditions to be endorsed Pioneer status will only be issued from a date when company was incorporated and shall be effective from a date not earlier than the date on which the application was submitted to the minister or date of incorporation, which ever is the later. Any other condition will be specified by the minister The minimum Tax relief period not exceeding five years to be stated 3(6)(a-b) Amending of Pioneer Certificate to Add New Product Section 4 (1) – (3) allowed a company during its pioneer period to make application in writing to the Minister to add a new product.RETROSPECTIVE PIONEER OPERATION Where a pioneer certificate is to be operative from a retrospective date, all acts shall be treated as not having been closed or not having happened and all taxes paid (if any shall be repaid as soon as may after the expiration of three months from the production day. PRODUCTION DATE No later than one month when the company is going into commercial production (marketable quantity), the company shall apply in writing for the certification of its production date. Not later than one month after the production date or any extended period granted by the FIRS, the company shall make application in writing to the FIRS for the certification of the amount incurred as qualifying capital expenditure prior to the production date. Cancellation of Pioneer Certificate A Company may apply for cancellation If a company contravened any provision of the Act or failed

i) Commencing from the production date, it shall continue for three years (but can be extended):ii) for another one period of two years (if the standard and rate of expansion are satisfactory), local raw material utilization expansion, training and development of Nigerians, Government Policy Priority) iii) Five years (once and for all). TRANSITION FROM PIONEER STATUS Conditions of Old Trade or Business of a Pioneer Company The old trade shall be deemed to ceased permanently at the end of the tax relief period. The pioneer company deemed to have set up a new trade on the day next following the end of its relief period. All capital expenditures incurred and used by a pioneer company shall be deemed have been incurred on that day next following the end of its tax relief period. Where it incurs a Net loss, that loss shall be deemed to have been incurred on the date on which its new trade commences i.e. it will be allowed to deduct all the losses brought forward from the pioneer period The company must submit to the FIRS a list of its assets for certification. At the end; the FIRS will issue a certificate of qualifying expenditure. The Board is expected to issue the company for each year, the amount of income as ascertained and loss as arrived at (if applicable). Treatment of Capital Allowances and Losses A capital expenditure incurred shall be deemed to

have been incurred on that day next following the end of the pioneer period. I.e. regardless of the number of years granted a pioneer company, all capital expenditures incurred in line with the provision of the second schedule within the periods shall be deemed to have been incurred after the Tax relief period. For losses incurred within the pioneer period, the cumulative amount will be deemed for computing total profits to have been incurred on the day, next following the pioneer period i.e. it will be allowed as a deduction in the new business. DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED BY FIRS Memorandum and Articles of Association Certificate of Incorporation Answer to standard questionnaire Pioneer Certificate issued The period approved Production date Products and by-products For a going concern, the Audited accounts ended before the production date to be furnished (regardless of the number of months). Rendition of Returns The conditions governing the submission of tax returns in CITA are applicable to a pioneer company. One year from commencement of production date. Period of one year successively. Last year of the relief period. Example: Kano Money Lender Ltd was granted a pioneer status commencing from 1st July, 1999. The company has 31/12 as its accounting date. The period granted was for five years. At the expiration of the pioneer period, it submitted accounts for the years ended 31st December, 2004 and 2005 you are given these additional data

A pioneer company is a company that engaged in manufacturing, processing, mining, servicing and agricultural industries whose products have been declared pioneer products on satisfying certain condition as determined by the Industrial Development Coordinating Committee (IDCC) of the Government under the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act Cap 179 LFN 1990. The pioneer tax holiday is for an initial period of three years or subject to further extension of two years or five years (once and for all without further extension).




Osun has least of unemployment index in Bureau of Statistics’ record-Aregbesola


oordinating Minister for the Economy/Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iwealalast Thursday in Abuja launched the Federal Government’s Youth Employmentand Social Support Operation (YESSO). Osun state Governor, Ra’ufAregbesola was at the launch. In interview with journalistsshortly after the event, he said the implementation of the Osun YouthEmpowerment Scheme (OYES) has made Osun the safest state in the country. Abdulwahab Isa was there. Excerpts: May we have an insight into how the OYES came into being? I came about the idea of engaging the youth when I realised that ouryouths, especially the educated ones, were idle. The OYES was part ofmy campaign and everybody thought it was a joke. But as soon as I gotmy mandate, I started implementing the programme. We found out thatabout 20 percent of our youths were unemployed, and we realised thatthe conventional employment would hardly make any impact and that theonly way we could bring in a fairly large number of the unemployedyouth would be to engage them in community, social and public work. We categorised them into Green Gang (for environmental beautificationand greenery), Sanitation Czars (for sanitation), Public Works Brigade(maintenance of roads, public buildings and infrastructure), Paramedics (emergency services and primary health support), TrafficMarshall (maintenance and sanity on the roads), Sheriff Corps (maintenance of communal peace and order) and Teacher Corps (volunteer teaching inpublic schools). In fact, to our amazement, the first advertisement attracted 250,000applicants and we picked 20,000 without any primordial consideration.We gave the beneficiaries discipline and leadership training. Withoutthe orientation, most of them would not know why they should have been thatengaged. The programme attracted unwarranted condemnation from thosewho don’t even know why the society exists. When people queried why we asked graduates to be cutting vegetation, I asked what else they would do. Why does your administration considers the OYES a viable alternativeto the conventional recruitment? Look, how many offices do we have, as a government, to employ 20,000people? The total number of staffers in the employment of Osun stateis less than 20,000. So, where are the offices to give

Rauf Aregbesola these youthswhite-collar jobs? We moved on to engage them in what would benefittheir communities. It was not stressful. A cadet does not have to workfor more than two or three hours a day and they don’t work throughoutthe day; they have time to do other things for themselves. Goodenough, so many of them took advantage of it to get themselves intoother things. Some went into trading, some went into cooperativearrangements. Many of them are successful, as we made it clear from thebeginning that the scheme was not going to be a permanent engagement.If you serve for two years, we expect you, with the training you havereceived on leadership and training and the time you have to do thingsfor yourself, to put your heart together and get something doing. Wenormally give the beneficiaries of the scheme the first option. In anyemployment opportunities in the state, we give them 60 percentconsideration. What happens to the cadets after their two-year engagement? The first set exited in March this year; some of whom were taken intodirect employment and teaching in the public schools while some areworking for themselves. Of course, there would be some who are still not engaged, for whatever reasons. It’s a pity there are such people. But essentially, the scheme has helped the state to manageunemployment to a considerable level. In the publication of theNational Bureau of Statistics, Osun has the least unemployment indexin Nigeria, and that in poverty index, we are second to Niger state. Iwant to believe this is not unconnected to the OYES. Do you see the YESSO

launched in Abuja as a right step by theFederal Government to tackle unemployment at the national level? One is quite happy with this World Bank initiative, in conjunction withthe Federal Ministry of Finance, but it is still scratching thesurface. Given the high number of youths who are in the peak of their productivity, something more drastic must be done, and my suggestionis that the Federal Government should match each state’s efforts atyouth empowerment scheme to reduce unemployment rate in Nigeria. Thiswill help to eliminate insecurity because, to me, all the securitythreats are the manifestation of unemployment of the youths, who couldbe restive and be manipulated for bad things. I am miffed, disturbedand worried by the spate and scale of insecurity in the country andthere cannot be any solution to it outside providing something for theunemployed youth. If a person has something, he/she will not have timefor all sorts of vices such as kidnapping, insurgency and evenrobbery. The message I want to pass here is that the Federal Government can putan end to the scourge of unemployment and the consequent insecurity, bycreating a programme through which each state’s efforts in youthempowerment are matched. Let there be such a programme and see itspositive effects. Our OYES, despite the criticism that itsbeneficiaries have nothing to do other than cutting grass, has paidoff in terms of eliminating insecurity and ensuring youths’contentment. I am not saying this cannot be improved on. Better ideascan come for improvement. But I am saying that within the limit

of what we have done, Nigerians must look at every opportunity to createemployment for themselves. Those who want to go into farming or anycooperative body to pursue one trade or the other let them go into it. We must create a conducive atmosphere for this huge army of employedyouths to get engaged creatively and productively. In a population of about 160 million, the people in the age bracket of18 and 30, which is the most productive age of everybody, cannot beless than 80 million. If there is an opportunity for these 80 millionpeople to earn N20, 000 each a month, that would amount to N160billion a month, and over N1.9 trillion a year. What we are wasting,by not engaging these youths and providing them with productiveengagements and opportunity is that, if there is an additional N1.9trillion entering the Nigeria’s economy through opportunities for thisarmy of unemployed youths, there would be a lot of improvements. Thatis my take, because by merely creating opportunities for these youths, you are expanding the economy. With what you are paying the youths engagedin the OYES, they can hardly engage in exotic materials. So, it cannotincrease inflation, if inflation means money chasing scarce commoditiesand therefore, having to pay excess for their full values. To what extent has the OYES helped to tackle insecurity in your state? Osun is the safest state in Nigeria. These are not esoteric things!When you engage the segment of the society with the highest potentialfor mischief, what you have done is simply eliminating threats tolives and property. If you don’t have productive areas to engage theyouths, they would engage themselves in all sorts of societal menace.Insecurity is at the barest minimum in Osun state. Is this scheme sustainable? Don’t forget that the N200 million we are paying the 20,000beneficiaries of OYES monthly filters into the economy of the state,to the extent that whatever you pay them as allowance will end up in large parts of the economy; because aperson earning N10, 000 monthly would hardly go for exotic materials; he would only use the money for basic necessities like food andclothing. So, if the economy of the state is the basis of revenue tothe government, for as long as there is a government and thisinjection into the economy, the government would get something. Thescheme is sustainable and selfsupporting, as long as humanconsciousadministrators are still

in the state. The OYES is a lifeline for the youths to take care of their lives.Whatever they want to do with their lives is their choice. Of course,some of them are into farming. They are free to choose whatever theywant to do with their lives. They would know that we give them alifeline for two years within which they can make anything out oftheir lives. We believe that with the takeoff training we have giventhese youth, they have no reason to fail in life if they are genuineabout themselves and their aspirations. They don’t work for more thanthree days in a week, and for each day they work, they hardly work forthree hours. The OYES is for all in the state. We have Hausa and Ibo in it; thereis no discrimination. Our own scheme is open to NCE, OND, HND andfirst degree holders. For me, there can be no worse abandonment of responsibilities if theeducated youth are left to roam the streets. It is quite depressing. We give the beneficiaries all necessary support and expose them to opportunities for self improvement. A large percentage of them arehappy with the scheme and there is a heightened interest in it nowmuch more than when we started. How much of input did the World Bank get from Osun to have come upwith the YESSO? All I know is that the YESSO is an adaptation of our own OYES. By thetime we assumed office and were preparing to put the OYES together, wevisited and told the World Bank what we were doing. It interested them and they sent people to come and understudy us. So, our OYES providedthe background and basis for the YESSO. Does the state give the OYES participants any takeoff grant to dosome other things on their own after their engagement? This question is like asking whether anybody gives you a takeoffgrant if you leave your own job. Ours is an intervention scheme. Allgovernments should be doing what we are doing rather than raise issues that will not help the discourse. How many governments are doing whatwe are doing? Let us be creative in the way we engage government. Howmany governments can willingly pay N200 million every month whichamounts to N2.4billion every year? Are we manufacturing money in Osun? Don’t forget that nobody forced us to do this. We on our own realisedthe significant.



Stock Watch

Report as at Thursday, September 26, 2013





This ASUU strike worsened Nigieria’s education crisis – Sokoto state varsity VC What kind of politics do we play in Nigeria? an is a political animal, so in whatever community you may find yourself as an individual and as human being, politics would be played, but what is important is the politics we play; you know, as a political scientist,and I can say there is good political and there is bad politic; good politics is the one in which there is a kind of convergence in terms of aspiration, values, vision of where the society should go, between the leader and the led; when you get to this point where there is this convergence that involve values, vision, aspirations, then we can say that between the leader and the led there is good politics because, at that point the leader knows what the people want, the people also have the ability to give or direction or rather the path that the leadership should go. The leadership is prepared to listen to the people, to talk them into confidence, so, such convergence is very rare in most societies and that is why you discovered that the politics you found in many societies is wrong politics. Nowadays, there is no more convergence; in terms of values and where you have this total divergence- what you then have is corruption, bad leadership, autocracy,


Vice Chancellor of the Sokoto State University, Sokoto, Prof. Nuhu Yaqub is Professor of Political Science. Until his appointment he was former, Vice Chancellor University of Abuja. In this interview, with Mahmoud Muhammad in Sokoto, the professor spoke severally on the current political situation of Nigeria politics, among other sundry issues. Excerpts: dictatorship, where the leader just feel that he knows everything. There is no society where the leader absolutely knows everything; that person is not a God, nobody is God, no leadership should arrogate to themselves God’s virtues. But you discover that in most societies, their leaders assume they know everything, that they know more than the people; to them, the people don’t know anything therefore, the people should swallow whatever comes to them. In such a situation, especially in the African setting, you begin to get examples of leaders that bad; if you take for example, when military come in to power , from the time the military came in, you discover that whatever they have presented against the civilian leadership of the First Republic is insignificant, because their credentials cannot stand; Why? Because, during the First Republic,

we had a leadership that was accountable to the people. Can you imagine that the late Sardauna was once asked by the Customs, in Kano airport, to declare what he brought in after performing the Hajj exercise, that he shouldeither pay a certain levy for some contraband itemor forfeit such items and it is on record that he instantly issue a cheque to them; Today, who woe betide you as a Custom officer, for you to challenge the president or even a governor on anything; so, if we had such leaders who would respect the law, who else can say he or she is above the law? Infact, what even pains me, as a political scientist, is when people say we have democracy in Nigeria. We don’t have that yet;what we have is a civilian form of dictatorship. The leaders are there, up there, who believe they know everything whereas they don’t know anything. I’m particularly appalled with what is happening now at the

L-R: Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Sen. Uche Chukwumerije; Minister of Labour, Chief Emeka Wogu; permanent secretary, ministry of education, Dr. Macjohn Nwaobiala and former Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’i, during a meeting with joint committees on education on ASUU strike in Abuja recently

federal level; you could see, only about some days ago, the president changed his ministers. Of course, he has the right, but for goodness sake, it is nothing short of abusing the mentality of Nigerians, because it was so obvious the president decided to sack ministers who are either linked to the (7) seven governors that are opposed to his ambition in becoming the president come 2015. And as somebody remarked after the sudden episode occurred,‘for goodness sake, why don’t you use performance criteria to judge ministers that should be removed from offices’; because if you use performance criteria, certain ministers, particularly those of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, a number of the ministers that are there now would fail to meet up such a criteria; someone also mentioned the Minister of the federal Capital Territory (FCT). That is the point I am making about the impunity, about leaders assuming that they know more than the people. Such types of leaders actually insult the sensibility of Nigerians. For goodness sake, where and in which country in the world can the so-called First Lady,who is the permanent secretary of a ministry in her home state, doesn’t even stay in her station and nobody talks? This is what worries me. So politics is played in any society but we have to define what kind of politics we are talking about. If we don’t retrace our steps you know, we are actually going near the cliff and this country can be worse for it. If you compare our situation now with what it was when we fought the civil war,from 1967 to 1970, Nigeria has changed very fundamentally. In that generation, there

Prof. Nuhu Yaqub

were people who actually sacrificed themselves and paid the supreme price to make sure that Nigeria is one; there are people that are still alive from that civil war era, who believe that there is still one Nigeria;however, even among them, some of them are now beginning to have doubts about the indivisibility of Nigeria now. This is a problem; because at the moment we have leadership that actually does not know where the compass is, where we are going or where are we leading to? Or what is the aspiration and basic needs of the people, etc. Nigeria now, is going through a very terrible period, because the cost of living is high, people cannot take their children to school. Look at what is happening now, academic staff are on strike for over three months now and nobody thinks that the nation is losinganything, but the PDP-led government is spending huge sums of money to purse irrelevant things.This is the problem, which is very terrible . What then is the way out of this situation that Nigerians are in today? The way out is to actually institute what is called responsible politics. You have to get the leadership that would be so sensitive to the needs and aspirations of its people; the people would also have inputs to make. When you define the development of any society, such development

is about the people, not projects. You can put up the best buildings as the one they are putting in Dubai, but if the people do not share in your aspirations those projects would just become whiteelephant projects. If you read the book written by the leader of Dubai, Sheikh Al-Maktum, he said development is not all about buildings or projects we are putting up, but how do we put up buildings that people will use, that people will identify with; the result of what we are seeing in Dubai is the happiness of the people. Because there is convergence between the leadership’s aspiration and the people’sneed, and the fact that there is convergence in terms of welfare of the leaders and welfare of the people, So, we can actually have a good example from there to draw for this country. What are the challenges in terms of the collapse of education in the country? There are several challenges in the Nigeria’s education sector. These challenges include the fact that we don’t have facilities to educate our population; for instance, a few days ago, the former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown,when he came to Nigeria said that there are over 20 millions of the schoolage students or pupils that are not going to schools, especially at the primary level. What this means is that we are going to

have a generation children in the next 20 years to come that are totally left behind in the scheme of things, and yet we spend a lot of money on irrelevant things. Our leaders today are busy buying aircrafts, especially aircraft for themselves and buying expensive vehicles for government officials whereasother Nigerians are left to fend for themselves;, even if you say they are not contributing to the economy, at least they are paying taxes. We equally don’t have enough facilities, this is the first challenges. The second challenge is that the teachers are not sufficiently motivated to do their work, so a lot people do not go for teaching profession again, because they don’t see themselves actually developing a good career by going into the classroom to teach. Today, Japan is very-very deficient in material resources; in fact, it is the world worst resourceendowed country in the world, but what Japan did is to invest on human capital. Besides that, they also motivate their teachers. Japan is one the countries of the world where teachers are well paid, better paid than most workers. People would naturally gravitate to where they can make ends meet and their need can be met sufficiently to take responsibility of their children’s education, build or acquire houses and also live reasonable lives; so we need to step backward to reflect.If you don’t motivate themyou might as well say goodbye to our educational system. What I mean here is that, some of us who went to school have teachers that are well dedicated but they are not earning the best salary in the world; but are conscientious. This spate of strike we are having today in the educational sector is the worst think that happened to education system in this country. I have been saying it and I would continue to say it, ASUU has a problem, in deciding at a point in time that they would not give instruction to our children. This is because, there is no human being in the world that every second they are not learning something new, so education is not

acquired; only when you are in the classroom, education is acquired. Anywhere you are, even crossing a road you need to now how to do it, because if you don’t take time you will be knocked down by motorists. So, in a normal setting, whereby a student, for instance, says,‘I want to do medicine or engineering’, that they want to specialize on a particular field, then you have to have a couple of teachers who are specialized in this areas, who also want to teach them; for goodness sake, lectures should not for any reason decide at this point in time that they won’t teach students because government has not fulfill our obligations we should actually bring in conscientious into what we do we should show responsibility in to what we do. If the government is not willing to listen to you, at least for sake of our children, we should also make sacrifices. It is also a question of better approach; ASUU, as well as other unions had entered into an agreement with government, why can’t you they go to court for goodness sake, to ask the court to interpret the content of the agreement; that is another way.Has ASUU gone to court to demand the interpretation

of the agreement reached between the government and the unions? I’m waiting to see that judge in the judiciary system that would turn black to white where two parties that entered into agreement. These are some of the challenges in our education system. Does Sokoto need state-owned University? Yes! Because our logo says: “It starts from here”, it means, “Knowledge is domesticated. I believeSokoto state University should have been started 20 years ago. Remember when Ahmadu Bello University was set-up,some of the Premier’s ministers told him:“You should only create university for southerners; let them come ,we don’t have the kids that will attend now, but today, ABU has become

the largest University in the South of Sahara; that is vision . If Sokoto state University was started 20 years ago, we may not have had students or teachers of Sokoto origin today, but the word: University is not a local or higher institution, but it implies universality. You are actually operating at global level. Sokoto state University, by the vision of its founding fathers, is a university of world-class standard and we have to have a conducive academic atmosphere for learning. In fact, from the admission offered this year, students of Sokoto state origin dominate, even in terms of employment, Sokotoindigenes dominate; so also, all the other staff. Some of the staffare

Sokoto state University, by the vision of its founding fathers, is a university of world-class standard and we have to have a conducive academic atmosphere for learning

from outside the country, while some others staff are from Nigeria, but a lot of them come of Sokoto state; we have a mixture. What made America a super-power or giant nation today in the world is because of the roleplayed by nonAmericans, people that came from other places with skills to add value to the people. So,Sokoto state University is attracting staff and students from everywhere and internationally, because we are setting high standard. We don’t recruit people with third—class. So the university standard is excellence. Sokoto deserve to have this university. It is good that they started it now; besides, the tertiary institution is moving in the right direction. Universities are agents of change, agents of empowerment. For example, in the 70’s, I knew less than what I now know. The people we trained at this university will come one day and train others in order to sustain it. How soon would the academic calendar commence? This interview was taken place Friday 13 September this 2013. In the next one month activities will kick-off at this state university, insha’Allah.

Some university students walking the streets of their campus instead of being in their lecture theatres




Neglecting the Holy Qur’an (II)

Allah says: “And the Messenger has said: “O my lord, indeed my people have taken this Qur’an as [a thing] ignored (abandoned).” [alFurqan: 30] In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All Praise is due to Allah! We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our evils and bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and final messenger to mankind. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon His last and final Apostle, his Household, his companions and all his followers until the end of time. Last Friday we read about what the Qur’an should be to us in terms of belief, regards, respect and demonstration. We have also read the need for the Qur’an be allowed to penetrate us, live with us, change us and lead us out of all problems into endless bliss and happiness in the next eternal life, after the ephemeral one experienced in this world. Today, by the grace of Allah, we will delve gradually on those vectors which serve as clear or murky manifestations of this Ummah’s tendencies of neglecting the holy Qur’an either in part or in whole over the millennium. We read and believed that when the Messenger of Allah, (pbuh) was departing this world at the end of his divine sojourn, he left for the Ummah two golden relics; the Qur’an and the Sunnah! The former as the complete embodiment of Allah’s messages to His servants and the later the compendium of all the Prophet’s actions, words and apparent approval of his affairs required by the Muslims in all times ahead. While promised to preserve the Qur’an in its original form, content and context, He did not promised to do the same with the traditions of His Messenger. However, the Prophet forewarned

anyone with the intention of corrupting his Sunnah to find his permanent abode in the Hell fire! Allah says:

to the celebration of Allah’s praises. Such is the guidance of Allah. He guides therewith whom He pleases, but such As Allah leaves to stray, can have none to guide.”[az-Zumar: 23] In another place Allah says: “Say: “Whether ye believe In it or not, it is true that those who were given knowledge beforehand, when

“Indeed it is we Who have revealed it (the Qur’an), and it is indeed We Who are its guardians” [al-Hijr: 9] Indeed neglecting the Qur’an necessarily means its complete abandonment such that people do not have anything to do with it as regard recitation, By Husain Zakariyya memorization or Yawale making references with it; far away from +234-8052952900 (sms only) this notion! The type of neglect I am going to enumerate and explain is the king which Allah it is recited to them, fall down on Himself warns against it. It is a their faces In humble prostration. neglect to use some parts or sections “And They say: ‘Glory to Our Lord! of the Qur’an which only support truly has the promise of Our Lord our objectives or actions at a given been fulfilled!’”They fall down on time and space. Chapters and verses their faces In tears, and it increases which do not support our issues their (earnest) humility.”[al-Isra’i: of the moment will be archived 107-109] under lock and key! I am going to Therefore, the conduct or explain those disregard, disrespect position that must be observed and desertion which though are when the Qur’an is recited is by sometime subtle and latent, because listening it with complete attention, they are usually over shadowed with attentiveness and contemplation. show-off and pretext, in sha Allah! The heart must be filled with fear Bismillah: and hope. Hope in glad tidings Firstly: Absence of apt and and mercy, and fear in His stern sustainable attention: warnings and mind catching Muslims who, when the Qur’an is being rehearsed, pay no special concentration, interest and concern rather keep on doing or saying things irrelevant and unrelated matters, such as chit-chatting, reading other materials or even watching an action or Dracula movie! Such people consider the Qur’an as just another ancient solo music, or simply just like ordinary music. Allah says: “Allah has revealed (from time to time) the Most beautiful Message In the form of a Book, consistent with itself, (yet) repeating (its teaching In various aspects): the skins of those who fear their Lord tremble thereat; then their skins and their hearts do soften


admonitions. Allah says: “When the Qur’an is read, listen to it with attention, and hold your peace: that ye may receive Mercy.” [al-A’raf: 204] The conduct needed here, is that whenever the Qur’an is rehearsed, all worldly discussions, relaxations and actions MUST be exited and shut down! Only Qur’an should be heard! It should be heard not only with the two ears, but with every part of the skin, the entire feelings and the thoughts! The shouting of Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!! At the of every intonation; the falling and rising However, in the alternative and worst scenario, put of the player, and finish your affairs. When you are free, as to spare yourself to your Lord, you can now listen to His words with full humility and submission! Secondly: Reading or listening with absent mind: The Qur’an, when it is either read or heard, the senses must be very busy in their full capacity to contemplate, reflect, ponder and

mull-over every aspect in order that a near understanding and comprehension of the messages and meanings of the ayat can be achieved. That is why Allah in many places caution us to ponder over every segment of the Qur’an with the intention of grasping the import. Allah in His infinite mercy, made the Qur’an easy to grasp and understand. He says: “So have we made the (Qur’an) easy In Thine own tongue, that with it Thou mayest give glad tidings to the righteous, and warnings to people given to contention.”[Maryam: 97 And: “Verily, we have made This (Qur’an) easy, In Thy tongue, In order that They may give heed.”[adDukhan: 97] And: “And we have indeed made the Qur’an easy to understand and remember: then is there any that will receive admonition?”[alQamar: 17, 22, 32 and 40] And in Sura Muhammad, Allah asked, thus: “Do they not then earnestly seek to understand the Qur’an, or are their hearts locked up by them?”[Muhammad: 24] Therefore, reading the Qur’an without any effort exerted to understanding the message therein is a glaring sign of neglecting it. This is because by applying at-tadabbur, we will know when we will smile, shed the tears, offer prayers or ask for pardon and protection. In fact, our emotion will be active, changing with every meaning and message of each ayat and Surah. It is this fluctuation of moods that make the Qur’an extremely different from any type of book! It is the ‘earnestly seek to understand the Qur’an’, which distinguish it from man-written literature, history, myths and legends or simply text books! That was why Allah made this close resemblance with a reciter or listener without pondering leading to understanding as someone whose heart in locked up; and by extension a sick or already dead mind. “Do they not then earnestly seek to understand the Qur’an, or are their hearts locked up by them?” (Muhammad: 24)




ll people of goodwill and of all faiths must condemn al-Shabab for its gruesome deed at Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. No one serious enough about their creator can butcher innocent people as was done in Westgate earlier this week. These culprits are indeed faithless and must be brought to justice. As traumatic as the Westgate tragedy is, it must teach thoughtful Kenyans and others that the largest number of victims of al-Shabab are not Kenyans, Ugandans, or others, but Somalis in Somalia. Al-shabab has imposed an incredible tyranny on the population and has disabled them from rebuilding their wartorn country. The international community, including Africans, have been not only oblivious to the plight of the Somali people, but have turned them into a disposable political football since the collapse of their state in 1991. For over 16 years the world watched warlord terrorists rape, loot and kill Somalis with impunity. In some instances, members of the international community used the warlords as clients to affect their agenda in Somalia. For instance, the value of the Somali shilling against the US dollar appreciated significantly in late 2005 and early 2006 as the market in Mogadishu realised that there was a flood of dollars coming into the city. The source of these was American intelligence sources that supported some of the warlords against what later became known as the Union of the Islamic Courts (UIC). The UIC defeated the warlords and created peace in Mogadishu for the first time in 16 years and without any help from the international community. Rather than engaging with the UIC, the US and its African clients considered them as terrorists and Ethiopia was given the green light to invade and dismantle it. Ethiopian forces took over Mogadishu on December 25, 2006, and the prospect of a peaceful resurrection of Somalia perished. The brutality of the Ethiopian occupation has been documented by human rights groups. Resisting the Ethiopian occupation became the rallying cry for all Somalis. Some of the toughest challengers of the Ethiopian war machine were segments of the UIC militia known as al-Shabab. Their valour endeared them to many Somalis and this marked the birth of al-Shabab as we know it today. Had the international community and particularly the West productively engaged the UIC, I am confident that al-Shabab would have remained an insignificant element of a bigger nationalist movement. What does Kenya have to do with the mess in Somalia to attract al-Shabab’s wrath? The massacre of innocent people at Westgate is not the first time al-Shabab murdered people in public places in Kenya. I personally know one of the Kenyan MPs that al-Shabab tried to murder while he was consulting with members of his constituency in a mosque in the Somali enclave in Nairobi. Somalis and Kenyans agree that al-Shaab is a


International Nairobi massacre and genealogy of the tragedy

Kenyan forces in the Somali port city of Kismayo

terrorist organisation which engages in heinous acts. What is also no longer debatable is that Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia two years ago, and its occupation of parts of Southern Somalia, have give al-Shabab an excuse to export its terror. Kenya’s original rationale for invading Somalia was to protect its citizens and tourist-based economy from al-Shabab’s predations. For many this argument seemed reasonable as al-Shabab was accused of kidnapping several expatriates from Kenya. According to a US official who spoke on condition of anonymity, there were credible reports that the Kenyan government had planned on gaining a strong sphere of influence in the lower region of Somalia long before the al-Shabab-affiliated incidents. Somalia’s neighbouring states were prohibited from being members of the African Union military force (AMISOM) which was operating in Somalia, however, Kenya ignored this edict and sent it troops into the country. But as the cost of the occupation skyrocketed, Kenya sought financial help from friends but failed

to gain enough resources to sustain the project. The war’s financial strain compelled Kenya to join AMISOM. Kenya’s effort to crush al-Shabab and bring the so-called Jubaland region under its control has also been costly in terms of civilian displacements and deaths. It took Kenya over a year to wrest the Port of Kismayo from al-Shabab. Although most Somalis welcomed the liberation of Kismayo from alShabab, they were dismayed that Kenya did not behave as other AMISOM forces in the country. First, Kenyan forces refused to allow the Somali government to take charge of the city, particularly the airport and the seaport. Second, the Somali president sent a delegation to Kismayo to talk with the Kenyans and also assess the situation in the region. The Kenyan commander rebuffed the team and sent them back to Mogadishu straight from the airport. Third, Rather than turning the region over to the Somali government and assisting it with securing the area, as other AMISOM forces have

done elsewhere, Kenya has been empowering a warlord who now claims to be president of the region. Finally, The regional organisation, IGAD, of which Kenya is an important member, met earlier this year and decided that the airport and seaport in Kismayo should be turned over to the Somali government. Kenya did not openly challenge the decision during the meeting but reneged on it after the conference. Kenya’s behaviour in the Kismayo region and its involvement in undermining the Somali government have alienated most Somalis. Furthermore, the regime in Mogadishu has very few resources and the capacity to force the Kenyan forces out of the country. The African Union and IGAD appear to have no desire to push Kenya to cede the region to the government in Mogadishu, and as the stalemate continues it has become another political distraction and a source of instability in the country. Most Somalis originally thought Kenya had been a benign neighbour since the collapse of the Somali state in 1991, but Somali feelings have

Kenya’s original rationale for invading Somalia was to protect its citizens and tourist-based economy from al-Shabab’s predations.

hardened since the occupations and consider Kenya as a hostile government. Unfortunately, the terrorist group, al-Shabab, wants to exploit these legitimate Somali grievances against the government of Kenya. But most Somalis loathe what al-Shabab stands for and the atrocities it has visited on innocent people in Kenya, Somalia and others in the region. Given this, what must then be done to turn this tragedy into a victory for Somalis and Kenyans? First, all of us must tend to the injured and those families who lost their loved ones. Second, since alShabab’s main operations base is in Somalia, and since it has inflicted the greatest damage to ordinary Somalis, the international community should understand that the terror group must be defeated in that country. To do so, the EU and the US who support AMISOM must appreciate that only a professional and well-resourced Somali security force will drive alShababinto the sea. Consequently, they can divert half of AMISOM’s budget to this endeavor. Third, Kenyan President Kenyatta and his government must heed legitimate Somali grievances against the occupation and urgently work with the Somali government and withdraw its troops from southern Somalia. Finally, the Somali government and particularly its top leadership should wake up to the fact that they have failed to inspire the Somali people and move them into massive civic mobilisation that will be the most effective defense against al-Shabab. Source: Al Jazeera




Court upholds Taylor’s 50-year jail sentence


harles Taylor lost his appeal against a war crimes conviction yesterday, judges confirming a 50-year jail term against the former Liberian president for encouraging rebels in Sierra Leone to mutilate, rape and murder victims in a decadelong civil war. Presiding judge George Gelaga King said Taylor had provided advice and encouragement to Revolutionary United Front and Armed Forces Revolutionary Council rebels, knowing full well the kinds of crimes they were committing. “Their primary purpose was to spread terror. Brutal violence was purposely unleashed against civilians with the purpose of making them afraid, afraid that there would be more violence if they continued to resist,” he said. “Governments and the international community were also afraid that unless the RUF’s

…Amnesty International hails ruling


and the AFRC’s demands were met, thousands more killings, mutilations, abductions and rapes of civilians would follow.” Taylor, 65, sat impassively throughout the reading of the

judgment, rising at the end to hear his sentence. He was to be transferred from the seaside detention center that has been his home since 2006 to a British maximum security prison.

Judges last year convicted him on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for aiding and abetting the rebels who murdered, raped and pillaged their way through neighboring Sierra Leone during an 11-year civil war which cost some 50,000 lives until 2002. Meanwhile, Amnesty International (AI) yesterday hailed the decision of the Court’s upholding of the conviction. The organization said the development should send a clear message to leaders across the world that no-one is immune from justice. Commenting on the decision of the court to uphold the conviction, Amnesty International said that, “the conviction of those responsible for crimes committed during Sierra Leone’s conflict has brought some measure of justice for the tens of thousands of victims”.

‘Shame, shame, shame,’ Mugabe tells US, Britain



imbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe yesterday berated the United States and former colonial power Britain and its allies for trying to control his nation and its resources, telling them to remove their “illegal and filthy sanctions.”

“Shame, shame, shame to the United States of America. Shame, shame, shame to Britain and its allies,” Mugabe, 89, said in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly. “Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans, so are its resources. Please remove

your illegal and filthy sanctions from my peaceful country.” Mugabe said the sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States violated the U.N. Charter on state sovereignty and condemned them as a “foreign-policy tool to effect regime change”. The United States and the European Union imposed sanctions on Zimbabwean state firms and travel restrictions on Mugabe and dozens of his associates after a violent 2000 election, and at the start of sometimes violent seizures of whiteowned commercial farms for black resettlement. Mugabe did not refer to the lifting of EU sanctions on Sept. 17 against Zimbabwe Mining Development Corp., which will allow the diamond-mining firm to sell its diamonds in Europe.

He said sanctions constituted a form of hostility and violence against his government, which was only trying to redistribute land to the majority of landless Zimbabweans. “Our small and peaceful country is threatened daily by covetous and bigoted big powers whose hunger for domination and control of other nations and their resources knows no bounds,” he said. He said that if the sanctions were intended to unseat him from power “the results of the recent national elections have clearly shown you what they can do.” M u g a b e , w h o has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, overwhelmingly won a July 31 vote extending his 33-year rule. His main rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, denounced the poll as a “huge fraud.”

Nigeria, Russia foreign ministers meet in New York


ussia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met on September 25, 2013, with his Nigerian counterpart Viola Onwuliri on the sidelines of the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York. The discussion was focused on the topical issues of bilateral relations in political, commercial, economic, and other spheres. Foreign Minister Lavrov emphasized the necessity to release seven Russian crewmen of the MV MyreSeadiver in the nearest time. Mrs. Onwuliri, in her turn, vowed to facilitate the release in every possible way. The ministers also exchanged opinions on the key aspects of the global and regional agendas, including the settlement of conflicts in the African continent.

R-L: President Ellen Sirleaf of Liberia, President Goodluck Jonathan, President John Mahama of Ghana, and President Macky Sall of Senegal, and Nigeria’s Permanent Representative in the United Nations, Professor Joy Ogwu, during the presentation of the Transformation Agenda for Sustainable Development in Nigeria and Africa, on Wednesday at the UN Millennium Plaza, in New York, USA.

Al-Shabaab carries out fresh attack in Kenya


wo Kenyan police officers have been killed in an attack on a security post near the Somali border, with the suspicion falling on the same armed group behind the deadly siege at a Nairobi mall which left scores dead. The attack yesterday took place in the town of Mandera. Regional police chief Charlton Mureithi said that in addition to the two police officers killed, three others were injured and 11 vehicles destroyed. The attack came hours after the Somalia-based al-Shabab group threatened that violence would continue until Kenyan troops were withdrawn from Somalia. The group’s leader, Ahmed GodaneShaykhMukhtar Abu Zubayr, warned the Kenyan public there was no way they could “withstand a war of attrition inside your own country”, in a statement posted on the internet late on Wednesday. “Make your choice today and withdraw all your forces,...” Godane said. “Otherwise be prepared for an abundance of blood that will be spilt in your country, economic downfall and displacement.” Meanwhile, forensic experts from around the world, including the US, Britain and Germany, continued their work yesterday at Nairobi’s Westgate mall, carrying out fingerprint, DNA and ballistic analysis, said police spokesperson GatiriaMboroki. She said she had no details on what the experts had found so far in the bullet-scarred, scorched mall and that their work was expected to take a week. At least 18 foreigners are now known to have died after al-Shabab fighters attacked the mall last Saturday, firing from automatic weapons and throwing grenades. They took many shoppers hostage and the siege lasted several days.

Al- Shabaab gunmen




Iran wants nuclear deal in months- Rouhani I ranian President Hassan Rouhani says he wants to reach a deal with world powers on Tehran’s nuclear programme in three to six months. He told the Washington Post he saw a resolution of the issue as a “beginning point” in easing US-Iran relations. MrRouhani said he was fully empowered by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, to negotiate on the issue. Yesterday, Iran held talks with the P5+1 group of world powers on Tehran’s uranium enrichment programme. In a rare encounter between US and Iranian officials, Foreign Minister Mohammad JavadZarifmet US Secretary of State John Kerry as well as diplomats from the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany in New York. President Rouhani has been in New York this week for the UN General Assembly, and has been giving interviews to US media.

Iranian media has accused CNN of “distorting” comments he made in answer to a question about the Holocaust. Asked about a timeframe for resolving the nuclear issue, President Rouhani told the Washington Post: “The only way forward is for a timeline to be inserted into the negotiations that is short. “The shorter it is the more

beneficial it is to everyone. If it’s three months that would be Iran’s choice, if it’s six months that’s still good. It’s a question of months not years.” Despite years of hostility between the US and Iran, Mr Rouhani said that if he and President Barack Obama got together they would both be “looking at the future”. “The notes and letters and


exchanges between us are in that direction, and they will continue,” he said. “We need a beginning point. I think that is the nuclear issue.” He added: “After resolution of the nuclear issue there are no impossibilities in term of advancing other things forward. Everything is possible after the settlement.” On Tuesday, MrRouhani told the UN General Assembly that he was prepared to engage in “timebound and results-oriented” talks on the nuclear issue. Iran has been negotiating with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany, since 2006 about its nuclear programme. The West suspects Tehran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon, a claim strongly denied by Iran. President Obama has welcomed the new Iranian president’s more “moderate course”.

South Korea urges North to give up ‘outdated’ attitude


outh Korea’s top interKorean policymaker urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) yesterday to give up its outdated attitude that boosts confrontation between the two Koreas. “North Korea (DPRK) is repeating its old way of behavior by strengthening its condemnations of the comments made by our authorities’ officials and news media reports,” Unification Minister RyooKihl-jae said at an academic forum hosted by the Institute for National Security Strategy. Pyongyang should recognize that this kind of attitude will not provide any help to improve inter-Korean relations, Ryoo said, urging the DPRK to change its confrontational attitude.

Ryoo, however, noted that Seoul will not be rattled by shortterm fluctuations in the DPRK’s attitude, saying South Korea will focus on setting up solid foundations for inter-Korean relations from a long-term perspective. Touching on the DPRK’s delay of family reunions, Ryoo said inter-Korean relations, which made progress after the reopening of the Kaesong industrial complex, stopped moving forward after the DPRK’s unilateral delay of the reunion of families separated by the Korean War (1950-53). Seoul and Pyongyang originally planned to hold the reunion event this week for separated families, who failed to meet their relatives for decades since the Korean War ended in a ceasefire, but the


yesterday that the death toll from the 7.7-magnitude powerful earthquake could rise as some


DPRK unilaterally announced its postponement until a normal atmosphere is created for dialogue between the two nations. In regards to the DPRK’s nuclear program, the minister

said more changes should be made to advance into a new stage, adding that it was still difficult to believe the DPRK’s sincerity toward its intent to dismantle its nuclear program.

areas are still inaccessible due to lack of roads. The minister, in a policy statement on the earthquake that struck parts of southwestern Balochistan province on Tuesday, informed the National Assembly that 348 people are confirmed dead. He said C-130 military cargo planes started transporting relief goods to the affected areas yesterday. He said the earthquake has affected a 500-kilometer area in Balochistan and Awaran and Kech are the most affected areas. The minister said 1,000 Army personnel are also involved in

helping the affected populations. ChaudhryNisar said the armyrun National Logistic Cell has also been mobilized to transport relief goods to the quake-hit areas. He advised the political parties to avoid point scoring on this national tragedy and instead demonstrate unity. The federal ministers Abdul QadirBaloch and Jam Kaml visited the worst affected areas yesterday where they were briefed over the rescue and relief operations. The ministers were informed that the Army has set up a medical camp in Mashkil area and doctors and surgeons are treating the injured.

Pakistan earthquake death toll may rise – Minister akistan’s Interior Minister ChaudhryNisarAli Khan told the parliament

Survivors search through the rubble

Asia & Middle East

Indian police killed in Kashmir attack


ilitants dressed in Indian army uniforms attacked Indian police and soldiers near the border with Pakistanyesterday, killing nine people and triggering calls for talks between the prime ministers of the rival nations to be called off. Just a day before the twin assault in the disputed Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he would meet his Pakistan counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly on the weekend. The leaders of the nuclear-armed neighbors are expected to discuss rising violence in Kashmir. Indian Kashmir’s chief minister said the assault was an attempt to derail the talks. A group of three gunmen attacked a police station in the morning, about 10 km (6 miles) from the border with Pakistan, killing five policemen. They then hijacked a truck and raided an army camp, security forces said. One civilian was killed. The militants killed three soldiers during hours of fighting at the camp, near the town of Samba. While helicopters hovered overhead, a Reuters witness heard sporadic explosions and gunfire as Indian forces closed in on, and eventually killed, the gunmen who were holed up in a building. “All the three militants have been killed in the Samba army camp operation. Three army men including a lieutenant colonel rank officer are dead,” said army spokesman Rajesh Kalia. India’s state-run television news channel quoted interior minister SushilkumarShinde as saying the militants had entered from Pakistan. Pakistan’s army and government were not immediately available for comment. India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars since independence in 1947 over Muslimmajority Kashmir, which they both claim in full but rule in part. India has accused Pakistan of supporting militants fighting security forces in Indian Kashmir since 1989. Militant strikes in India’s Kashmir, as well as shooting and mortar fire between Indian and Pakistani forces across the border, have risen this year after a decade of falling violence. Some Indian officials fear that a new wave of Pakistan-based militants from Islamist groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba will turn to India as Western troops leave Afghanistan next year. In a separate incident, the Indian army said it had killed at least a dozen militants from a group of 30 it said had crossed over from Pakistan into northern Kashmir. Lieutenant General Gurmeet Singh said that operation was still going on.



International Political uncertainty in Italy after Berlusconi threats


talian President Giorgio Napolitano canceled his attendance at a conference yesterday because of what he called disturbing political developments after center-right supporters of Silvio Berlusconi threatened to walk out of parliament. Italy has lurched closer to a crisis since Berlusconi, a partner in Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s coalition government, was sentenced last month to four years in prison, commuted to a year under house arrest or in community service, for tax fraud. Late on Wednesday, Berlusconi’s allies made their latest threat to bring down the government, saying they would resign if a special Senate committee meeting on October 4 voted to strip the 76-year-old media tycoon of his seat in the upper house. Letta has said that Italy needs political stability while it struggles to emerge from more than two years of recession, rein in a 2-trillion-

euro ($2.7-trillion) public debt, and bring its budget deficit under control. As the latest bout of political brinkmanship preoccupied Rome, rumors swirled that Italy faced a renewed downgrade of its government debt, sending the Milan bourse lower and pushing up borrowing costs on benchmark 10-year bonds. Napolitano, who had been due to attend a conference on post-war premier Alcide De Gaspari, sent a message to organizers excusing himself and saying that “a sudden political development that is institutionally disturbing” required his attention. How serious a threat the latest move presents is difficult to assess given a series of contradictory signals from Berlusconi’s allies in parliament, who are divided between a faction of hardliners and more conciliatory doves. Yesterday, Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi, a member of


Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (FI) party, said the center-right had no joint commitment to stand down. “The resignation of the parliamentarians is a decision which will depend on the conscience of each individual,” he told RAI state radio. But Letta’s center-left Democratic

Party (PD) said the threats could undermine the government as it grapples with problems ranging from strained public finances to the fate of big Italian firms including Telecom Italia and national carrier Alitalia, both embroiled in complex takeovers.

Russia, China issue joint Syria statement


he parliaments of China and Russiayesterday released a joint statement on the crisis in Syria, stating that negotiation is the only feasible resolution to the issue. The joint statement was signed by the foreign affairs committees of both China’s National People’s Congress and Russia’s Federation Council. The statement said the two countries are very concerned about the situation in Syria.

Turmoil, civilian casualties, refugee flows, ruin of cultural heritage and other tragic events have made the crisis one of the most horrible tragedies in the world, it said. The people of China and Russia hope for an early settlement to the crisis, the restoration of peace and an end to the bloodshed, it said. The two countries hold that the threat of forces or external military intervention is absolutely unacceptable.

The two countries are worried about reports of the use of chemical weapons and support an accurate and objective international investigation into reported incidents and refer the survey report to the Security Council of the United Nations, it said. We welcome the decision of Syrian leaders to join the Chemical Weapons Convention as well as the Russia-U.S. framework agreement on resolving the issue

of Syrian chemical weapons, said the statement. The people and legislative institutions of China and Russia hope for an early convening of the second international conference on Syria in Geneva, it said. Dialogue and the willingness of seeking compromise is the only way out to resolve the crisis, relieve the severe calamities of the Syrian people and avoid more negative changes in the Middle East situation, the statement said.

Thirty-five more people were injured in the landslide and floods that battered several states nationwide caused by the

two storms, Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said. Chong said that 312 cities of 14 states have declared state of emergency and another 250 municipalities have declared state of disaster. More than 58,000 people in the country were evacuated. The hardest-hit region was La Pintada, a mountainous village in the southwestern Guerrero state, which was swamped by a massive mudslide last week, leaving dozens of people dead. Rescue workers were still seeking the villagers missing, though most of them were presumed dead. The two storms, which hit Mexico’s Pacific and Atlantic coasts respectively within 24 hours Monday last week, have affected 1.5 million families and forced about 350,000 people to leave their homes, according to official sources.

Mexico storms death toll rises

Rescuers struggle to get to victims of a bridge collapse


he death toll from the twin storms, known as Ingrid and Manuel, that ravaged Mexico last week has risen to 139,

while 53 others remained missing after their village was buried in a landslide, authorities said Wednesday.

Europe and Americas

Hackers steal Michelle Obama ID data


ackers stole millions of social security numbers by cracking open the networks of large US data brokers, reveals an investigation. The ID details of US First Lady Michelle Obama and many other famous people were exposed by the hack attack. Journalist Brian Krebs tracked the information back to hackers who ran an online market for confidential data. He found they got their data by compromising computers sitting on the data brokers’ corporate networks. In March, Krebs, as well as the FBI and US Secret Service, started looking into how the website was getting hold of social security numbers and other details of many famous Americans. The mysterious website, which has now been closed down, published confidential information about Bill Gates, Beyonce Knowles, Jay-Z, Ashton Kutcher and many others. The investigation into showed it had bought its information from another site, called SSNDOB, that advertised itself as a market for just such private data. SSNDOB sold data records on individuals for as little as 50 cents (30p). The records of about four million Americans seem to have been accessed via the data-selling site. In early summer, wrote Krebs in a blogpost, SSNDOB had itself been attacked and its database stolen, copied and widely shared. Analysis of the SSNDOB database by Krebs and forensic computer expert Alex Holden, of Hold Security, revealed the ID data being sold had come from machines sitting on the internal networks of several American information aggregation firms. Compromised computers or systems at LexisNexis, Dun & Bradstreet and Kroll were all named by Krebs as the sources of the data. In the commercial world, the three firms are well known for providing businesses with data about potential commercial partners and customers. The open access the hackers enjoyed meant they could run their own queries about individuals via the databases of the three firms.

Michelle Obama



Strange World

Woman earns engagementring by making 300 sandwiches for boyfriend


ew York Post journalist, Stephanie Smith, truly believes the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. After her boyfriend told her she is 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring, Stephanie got cooking and started a blog to document her progress. She is currently at sandwich #176. Stephanie says her relationship to her boyfriend, “Alexander Skarsgård look-alike” Eric, has always been centered on food. They met at a restaurant, he cooked her dinner on their second date, and they’ve hosted numerous dinnerparties together, so she knew how important food was to him. And there was nothing he liked more than sandwiches. “To him, sandwiches are like kisses or hugs. Or sex,” the young journalist says. The two NewYorkers had been going steady for about a year and even moved into a cozy apartment together, but Stephanie was wondering what it would take for Eric to finally pop the big question. She found the answer one day, after she made him her first turkey on whole wheat bread, with mustard, lettuce and swiss cheese. “Honey, this is the best sandwich ever!” Eric told her in between bites. When he was done, he dropped the bomb on her: “You’re, like, 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring.” That was it, the secret to the marriage proposal she had been dreaming of. Stephanie didn’t really know how to cook, but she was willing to learn and she wasn’t one to back down from a challenge. Smith’s friends weren’t exactly supportive of the idea. “How ‘Stepford Wives’ of you!” one of her single girlfriends said, while another told her “It’s not 1950! It’s chauvinistic! He’s saying, ‘Cook for me, woman, and maybe I’ll make you my wife.” Even her own mother had some doubts. “Honey, can you even cook?” she asked. But Stephanie wasn’t going to let all the negativity get between her and her goal. Plus, she didn’t share her friends’view of the whole situation. “Some say I’m just desperate to get engaged, hardly. I don’t have to be,” Stephanie writes on her 300 Sandwiches blog. “Eric didn’t say ‘cook me 300 sandwiches or I’m leaving you!’ He gave me a challenge—a dare, to some degree—and the type-A, Tracy Flick side of me can’t stand being challenged. I will prove to him and the rest of the world I can make the 300 sandwiches.” She started the 300-sandwichchallenge with an easy ice-cream sandwich and moved on from there, but at about ten sandwiches

into the project, she realized things were moving at a slow pace. She was already in her mid 30′s and making just three sandwiches a week wasn’t going to win her the engagement ring too soon.

“How would I finish 300 sandwiches in time for us to get engaged, married and have babies before I exited my childbearing years?” she asked herself. So the young journalist stepped up her

game, making snacks for breakfast, lunch and dinner and whenever she wanted to get herself out of the dog house. So far she has cooked 176 different sandwiches for Eric, and learned a whole lot about food

Stephanie (L) with her boyfriend Eric

in the process. Her creations have grown more complex with each month, but Stephanie says her boyfriend smiles and says “thank you” regardless of what’s on the menu. “You women read all these magazines to get advice on how to keep a man, and it’s so easy,” he told her. “We’re not complex. Just do something nice for us. Like make a sandwich.” After she posted an article about the project in the New York Post, Stephanie triggered a storm of negative reactions from feminists all around the world. But the couple say some people have taken the whole thing too literally, and that the blog itself was only meant “as a light-hearted joke between boyfriend and girlfriend”. “I presented it to the world because I thought at least one person would find the humour in the idea of sandwiches for an engagement ring,” Stephanie said. Stephanie says that the experience has brought her and Eric closer together. They enjoy doing the groceries together and planning dinners, and although Smith still wants a ring on her finger and live happily ever after, she says she has put a lot less pressure on the 300 sandwich race, instead enjoying every moment they spend together cooking.

Man spends $65,000 on World tour of celebrity graves


or most people, an ideal holiday involves gorgeous natural surroundings, famous landmarks and fun activities, but for 38-year-old Mark Dabbs the perfect vacation is all about visiting celebrity graves. So far he has spent around £40,000 ($65,000) traveling across six continents and visiting the final resting places of over 200 famous people. From the grave of kung-fu legend, Bruce Lee, in Seattle, to the glass coffin of communist leader Mao Tze-Tung, in Beijing, Mark Dabbs, a male nurse from England, has trekked every continent, except Antarctica, in search of famous tombs. He say it all began 20 years ago, when he visited the final resting place of American president John Fitzgerald Kennedy, in Virginia, USA. He just found it fascinating and since then he has traveled the world in search of more celebrity graves, dragging his siblings and sometimes even his girlfriends along with him. Mark admits most people don’t share his passion for tracking down and visiting the macabre attractions, but says he can’t think of a better way to spend his summer vacations. He considers each tomb a museum that tells the story of

a person’s life and he doesn’t mind spending around £2,000 ($3,200) every year on at least 2 or 3 trips to satisfy his curiosity. Mark estimates he has spent at least £40,000 ($65,000) on his macabre hobby since he first started visiting graveyards.

Mark Dabbs has had his picture taken with over 200 celebrity graves around the world, but ranks those of Bruce Lee, Leon Trotski and John F. Kennedy as the top three on his list. He’s also visited the final resting places of Wild West legends Buffalo

Mark at Bruce and Brandon Lee’s graves

Bill and Calamity Jane, Charlie Chaplin’s grave in Switzerland, and those of Beethoven, Karl Marx and Johnny Ramone, among others. He’s now trying to locate the graves of all US Presidents and British Prime-Ministers, so he can add them on his list.



Weekend Revue

Give your man enough bedroom food, no girl can snatch him – Aisha Falode

Aisha Falode


he is fondly called the First Lady of Sport Journalism. Aisha Falode, who now anchors a popular talk show that focuses on the home, sure knows how to do her things in the male-dominated industry. In a recent chat, she confessed that she now know better what men

really want and that if she ever get married again, no lady will be able to snatch her man. Arguing on what really keeps a home, she said “See no pretences. If you talk to 10 men, 90.9 per cent of them, that is almost a 100 per cent will tell you that what goes on in the bedroom is much more important than what is in the plate on the

Kanye West claims he’s world best rock star

Kanye West


im Kardashian’s partner Kanye West has been blowing his own trumpet again – claiming he is ‘the number one rock star on the

planet’. The 36-year-old ‘most modest artist ever’, took yet another opportunity to illustrate his own brilliance in an upcoming interview. “Iknow how to make perfect, but that’s not what I’m here to do. My 2010 album ‘My beautiful dark twisted fantasy’ could be considered perfect”. He has been lampooned in the past for taking himself far too seriously – with an iconic episode of South Park seeing him make love to a fish after he failed to understand a simple joke, despite being a self-appointed ‘genius’. However, it would seem the star has managed to gain some perspective after bragging on Zane Lowe’s Radio show – due to air on Monday night.

Kim Kardashian to portray an alien on American dad



he same week Kris Humphries made a cameo as himself on ‘The Mindy Project’, Fox has announced that his wife of 72 days is also headed to the network. Kim will voice an alien on a late season episode of ‘American dad’, sources have confirmed, adding that the animated series is coming as a love interest for the main

character of Roger. Kim has appeared on other hits such as “How i met your mother’ and ‘Drop Dead Diva’, though she won’t actually be seen on screen this time around. The reality star has supposedly been complaining of boredom in her everyday life as a mom to North West.

table. Talk to them. That is what they go after when they go after girlfriends. The girlfriends don’t cook for them. It is what they do with these men that take the men to them. Lets not pretend as women. “Be creative. ‘Daddy, it’s me and you tonight.’ Recreate that old time and they will enjoy it. Even when they are in the process of straying,

they remember that my wife can give me what I want. Even if they want to, they are held back because the woman is fantastic, and they are wondering why they are wasting their time with these small, small girls”, she said. She further adviced women to “Forget about food. Although it is also important, those people they are going out to see are not cooking for them. That is the truth. Lets be frank about it. Perhaps, if I was as matured as I am when I got married, I could keep my home. But I wasn’t mature. If I get a second chance today, God help the lady

that will come and take my place. She will have to toil for it. “This is the time for women to wake up. Keep your relationship. Keep your man, whatever it takes. What is it that he is going to look for outside? I will give him double at home. This is what men want. We brought them to the programme on how to sustain your marriage, and they told us verbatim. Forget about the food. It is the food in the bedroom that is more important. Maybe in the days of our mothers, you know they were traditionalists, they were not adventurous”, she concluded.

Abuja artists set to award top celebrities in October By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


rtists in Abuja, the nations capital have concluded arrangement to award top celerities government and private individuals who have distinguished themselves in the act of charity. The award with the theme: ‘Nigeria goodwill ambassadors award 2013/top celebrities on the runway charity’, will recognise people who contribute immensely to societal transformation on October 31st, 2013. Speaking yesterday in Abuja during a press briefing, the organiser of the award, Ambassador Chris Odey said, “what the artists are doing is to encourage people who have contributed immensely in the act of charity. “These are people who promote youth development, create awareness and advocate on human right causes such as; Child trafficking, gender equality, child right act, girl child education, empowerment programmes, rehabilitation centers, breast cancer, HIV/AIDS, free medical check up, orphanage and destitute. The event which will take place at Sheraton hotel, Abuja, will have Mrs. Merit Gordon Obua as chief guest while Winnie Mandela will be the international Patron.

Top celebrities to be awarded will include; Eefy, Mo Abudu, Yvonne Nelson, Oluchi Orlandi,

Julius Argwu, Isabella Ayuk, Don Jazzy, Dele Momodu and other respected celebrities.

Yvonne Nelson



Weekend Revue Geoffrey Rush joining Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gerard Butler in ‘gods of Egypt’


eoffrey Rush has closed a deal to join Nikolaj CosterWaldau and Gerard Butler in Summit’s epic fantasy ‘Gods of Egypt’, Hollywood Reporter has

Geoffrey Rush

said. It said Alex Proyas is directing the project, whose story is set in motion when one ruling god, Set, kills another, Osiris. When Osiris’ son Horus fails in his attempt to get revenge, and has his eyed plucked out, it’s up to a young human thief in love with a slave to help defeat the mad god. Coster-Waldau is playing Horus. Butler is in talks to play Set, the god of the desert. Rush will play the sun god Ra, the father of Set and Osiris who is also Set’s ultimate target. Proyas will share screenwriting credits with Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazamat. Basil Iwanyk will produce via his Thunder Road Productions banner along with Proyas and his Mystery Clock Cinema banner. Rush, who has spent the last decade nicely chewing scenery as the pirate Barbossa in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, has ‘The Book Thief’, the adaptation of the Markus Zusak novel, coming out in theaters November 15th, 2013.

Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg sell Sony on raunchy animated film ‘Sausage party’

John Utaka to feature in Nollywood movie

N has reported that Super eagles star, John Utaka has delved into acting and that he is set to debut in

superstar actors and actresses like Yvonne Hays; Theodora Ibekwe; Collin Archer Pearce; Atto Erick; Marie Gomez; Nana Churcher; Lanre Balogun; DJ Ozzy and Tim Uche.

Cameroun, South Sudan queens make 2013 Miss World top 10 finalists


ews filtering in from Indonesia indicated that two of Africa’s representatives at this year’s World Pageantry currently holding in Bali, Indonesia have made it through the top 10 final contestants. Camerounian beauty queen, Denise Valerie Ayena and South Sudan’s queen, Manuela Mogga were the chosen ones to represent the African continent for the big crown. Denise Valerie Ayena (Cameroon) and Manuela Mogga(South Sudan) came through to this point following their diligence and brilliance in the competition so far. Amongst the top 10 contestants who made the list were Heslewood

(England), Baderna (Italy), Jordan (USA), Marie Agapioy (Cyprus), Lorphelin (France), Young (Philippines), Sancler Frantz (Brazil), and Zaiachkivska

(Ukraine). These 10 beauty queens would go head to head for the 2013 Miss World crown to be held on tomorrow in Indosia.

Finalists at the Miss WOrld beauty Pageant

My ex-husband is a coward – AfroCandy

Evan Goldberg


Seth Rogen


ollywood Reporter has revealed that Sony Pictures Entertainment and Annapurna Pictures are partnering on what is being envisioned as an R-rated animated film titled ‘Sausage party’ from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. It added that Rogen and Goldberg, coming off the success of ‘This is the end for Sony’, packaged the project with Annapurna and presented it to the studio, which signed on to co-finance it with Annapurna. Written by Rogen, Goldberg, Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir from a story by Rogen, Goldberg and Jonah Hill, the film will be directed by Conrad Vernon (Shrek 2, Monsters Vs. Aliens, Madagascar 3) and Greg Tiernan. The film will be produced by Megan Ellison, Rogen, Goldberg and Vernon. While Hill, James Weaver, Hunter and Shaffir are executive producers. Nitrogen Studios Canada in Vancouver will handle all CG animation, design, production and post-production. Sony Pictures will release the film worldwide and the studio is eyeing a release date in 2015.

the Nollywood movie, ‘Battered’. The film is scheduled to premier at the Odeon Cinema in Greenwich, southeast London, on September 28, 2013. John will be acting alongside

AfroCandy Ashton Kutcher

froCandy, the Nigerian soft porn actress is one woman who does not hide her feelings and this time, she has taken her ex-husband to the cleaners by calling him a coward. Aside calling the man despicable names for abandoning her and her kids since 2007, she was also bitter that he had painted her black. In her words, the mother of two said: “Well, I wouldn’t care about what a disgruntled exhusband is going about saying. I am not a ‘hooker.’ I have not hooked up with his father, his brothers or anybody he knows before. Every allegation against me is false, merely based on assumptions and hearsay. “I guess you should be asking me how I managed to single handedly raise the children he abandoned me with since 2007. When he abandoned us, he went to Nigeria and sold the home I struggled to build for us. I did not ask him for a dime”, she claimed.



Reporter’s Diary How authorities and militants took Nairobi battle to Twitter

Al-Shabaab say this picture shows two of their fighters in the Westgate complex


hile international attention has been drawn to the dramatic stand-off at the Westgate shopping complex in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, both Kenyan authorities and al-Shabaab militants have been trying to broadcast their messages about the attack on social media. Even before the Westgate shoot-out, al-Shabaab had been trying to use English-language Twitter accounts to broadcast its message to the wider world. However, accounts thought to be used by the group had already been shut down by Twitter twice in the past nine months.

Each time, however, the account has re-appeared under a slightly different name. During the attack on Westgate, an al-Shabaab linked account began putting out messages saying the attack was in retaliation for Kenyan forces’ “crimes” in Somalia and referring to “fighting the Kenyan kuffar [infidels] inside their own turf”. That account in turn was suspended and others have appeared over the course of the siege, all of them using similar language, causing confusion over which one, if any, was genuine.

Gloating On Tuesday, yet another account was created, and an alShabab spokesman confirmed to the BBC that it was their account. As of Tuesday afternoon, it was still active. Like the previous accounts, it has also taken to gloating over the attack and urging Kenyans to put pressure on their government to withdraw forces from Somalia. One message reads: “You could have avoided all this and lived your lives with relative safety. Remove your forces from our country and peace will come #Westgate.” The account also tweeted

Kenyans have been lining up to donate blood for the victims of the attack

a photo originally posted by another, mainly Arabiclanguage, account affiliated to alShabaab claiming to show two of the attackers inside the shopping complex. This feed has managed to stay on Twitter since being set up on 1 May. It has also been giving updates during the current crisis, some of them in English. Clearly aware of how the crisis is being covered in the international media, it refers to rumours that Samantha Lewthwaite, the British widow of one of the bombers that carried out the 7/7 attack in London in 2005, is involved in the Westgate

attack, even using the “white widow” nickname given to her in the press. Confusion Kenyan security officials have also been tweeting prolifically throughout the crisis, with police providing many announcements in the form of tweets. The inspector general of Kenya’s national police service, David Kimaiyo, announced after the crisis began on Saturday that the area was surrounded by police and appealed for the public and media organisations to stay away from the scene. He has been giving a regular stream of updates ever since, as has the account for the Kenyan police. However, verifiable facts about the situation inside the mall have at times been difficult to come by, with an apparent lack of co-ordination in the messages being given by different branches of government. For example, on Monday the Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed said in a US television interview that “two or three” Americans and one British woman were among the attackers. On the same evening her cabinet colleague Joseph Ole Lenku sent atweet stating: “All terrorists are male”. Also, on Monday evening, several official accounts began to suggest the crisis was drawing to a close. “We’re in control of #Westgate”, read one message from the interior ministry, while other accounts linked to Kenyan security forces re-tweeted congratulatory messages about the operation. However, it soon became clear that the operation was in fact continuing and that not all of the attackers had been apprehended. But arguably the most important use of social media by the authorities is to rally Kenyans behind the security forces as they respond to the attack using the hashtags #WeAreOne and #WithOneAccord, a reference to the Kenyan national anthem. The prevailing mood among Kenyans on Twitter appears to be one of support for the operation against the militants and a feeling of solidarity in a time of crisis. Kenyans are among the most active users of Twitter in Africa and have also been using social media in order to come together and organise initiatives to help the victims of the attack. Many shared information about where to give blood blogger Robert Alai shared a picture of children on rollerskates holding placards urging Kenyans to donate blood. Others shared stories of Kenyans bringing food to journalists covering the siege and the security forces posted near the centre. (Source: BBC News)




Nigeria’s problem is not state creation but how to harness their potentials –Rep Hon. Emmanuel Isaac Ukoete is Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) House of Representatives member, representing Ukanafun/Orukanam Federal Constituency of Akwa Ibom state. A journalist by profession and an astute humanitarian and one-time General Manager of Akwa Ibom Transport Company; in this interview with Etuka Sunday, he bared his mind on the controversial issue of local government autonomy, among other sundry matters. Excerpts:


hat has been your experience as a first timer in the National Assembly? My experience has been very wonderful; first of all, I appreciate the mandate given to me by my people to represent them here and as you know, the House of Representatives is an institution which has its rules and regulations; so, as a first timer, the experience I am getting here is laudable and I must say that I am studying the proceedings of the institution itself, its rules and regulations as well as its modus operandi, how things are done; most especially in the area of legislating good bills for the interest of the people and I think, so far, so good; I am catching up fast.


ow do you rate the performance of this present Assembly with that of the previous ones? Incidentally, I have seen a big difference, most especially in the area of welfare of the Nigerian masses; I must tell you that the Seventh Assembly are a peopleoriented Assembly, who are working together with one voice, in order to satisfy the yearnings and aspirations of the people and they are doing well to ensure that the masses restore their confidence on them. I have also seen the patriotic zeal from the mindset of the members, to protect the citizenry in the overall; at the same time, I am also seeing their readiness to work in synergy with other arms of government, that means the Executive and the Judiciary and also, the Seventh Assembly have exhibited accountability and probity.


s a PDP member and a stakeholder and with what is going on, don’t you think this is the end of the party? As human beings, we must have differences; but I think no matter how the situation is or how dichotomized its members might wish to be, I believe that the party would bounce back stronger than it was; you know, the party has experience. And when you look at the history of political parties in Nigeria, it is only the PDP that has brought Nigeria into the flourishing experience of regime change; from military to civilian administration, and the party has been ruling for the past 13

years now and therefore, this is one landmark in our democratic journey that should be well applauded. Often times, you get into dichotomy before you discover that the genesis of the inducement of this crisis is from an individual and not a collective thing; there are also individual differences here and there but I believe the party members, as a collective whole, would come to terms and harmonize all these differences, so that at the end of the day, the party would become stronger than what it is today; so for me, I remain a blue-blooded PDP member, nothing like new or old.


ome of your aggrieved colleagues sanctioned the Speaker over the Baraje-led or G-7 members’ visit, and are calling for his impeachment. What is your take? In the first place, in my own personal opinion, the Speaker is a humble man. I have known him for some time now and you know, humility is the greatest weapon a man can use in protecting himself, and that is why, with humility I believe even mistakes can be forgiven but at the same time too, looking at the collective opinion of the House, if they say the Speaker is good, that means he must be good. As the leader of the House, he has to play soft and not to allow the winds of political activism currently going on to distract his attention in administering the affairs of the lower legislative chamber; because once he allows it into the hallowed chambers of the House, then it is capable of polarising the House; it is capable of also causing a serious damage and setbacks to our nascent democracy as well as rubbishing the good image of the House.

Hon. Emmanuel Isaac Ukoete


hat is your take on the controversial issue of local government autonomy? My own stand is that it could be ideal if the local government councils become autonomous in the management of their own affairs, but at the same time, when this autonomy, if eventually it comes, my question is: would the local government chairman be able to manage the huge allocation that would be given to them? Or would they not make themselves rich and forget about the development of the councils? Or would their autonomy, in itself, not turn to become disastrous to them or even turn them into becoming masters of what to do, which may be against the initial plan of those who grant them the power? So, my fear is that the current nature and character of our local

government chairmen, where they allow barrage and greed to beclouded their sense of vision, then the envisaged benefits and objectives of the autonomy may not be achieved; but for me, the local government areas could have their autonomy so that development can get to the grassroots directly, however, a framework should be put in place at the grassroots, to guarantee the effective utilisation of funds.


hat have you done for your constituency people so far? I have tried my best, given the present day geo-political scenario in Nigeria, in the sense that there have not been much federal presence to our impoverish people, who are yet to fully benefit the dividends of democracy; but all the same,

Left to me, I would say that no state should be created again, because even the number of states that we have are enough for us to develop

we are still working, besides what the state governor, His Excellency, Godswill Akpabio is doing to open up roads into the hinterland and interior villages, which was also captured in my constituency. Aside that, I have been able to use my position and initiative to bring in the Niger Delta Development Company (NDDC), to open up two major roads in my constituency; from Inin Ekotsien to Nsein, which was done by the NNDC; I have also provided scholarship grants to them, because I believe that for you to be able to develop a society prospectively you should be also be able to develop the people as well; I have provided the tools that will help them develop their intellectual capacity within the environment for them to become leaders of tomorrow, and one of such things was to grant 50 students scholarship to higher institutions; I also gave out 15 cars to the people to alleviate their poverty. I am also making plans to help the women in the area, by assisting them through microfinance to boost their petty business, by this December; especially for those that are into agricultural and buying and selling, tailoring and even aquaculture. Last year, I provided a vocational training scheme, to the people of my constituency, although the state government is still working on the other aspects of the scheme.


o you support the creation of state?

Left to me, I would say that no state should be created again, because even the number of states that we have are enough for us to develop; I mean, harnessing the potentials. The people that are agitating for state creation are not looking at the criteria; rather, they are looking at equating it to the other zones, which is wrong. There are criteria that a state must meet the before it is created, rather than allowing political sentiments to be the only factor, which will be misconstrued by the people. Our problem in Nigeria is not state creation but how to harness the potentials we have for the commonwealth of the people and the country, so that the standard of living of the people will be improved and the country can guarantee employment opportunities for the people.




Coffee, cola and energy drinks could ‘slow brain development’

By Sarah Griffiths


eenagers who drink too much caffeine could be affecting their brain development, Swiss scientists have warned. Children and young adults guzzling the equivalent of three cups of coffee - three cans of energy drink or approximately one large bottle of cola - could be unconsciously reducing the amount of deep sleep they enjoy and slowing their brain development. Humans and other mammals display particularly intensive sleeping patterns during puberty and their brains mature fastest at this time. However, scientists exploring the effects of caffeine on rats found the maturing processes in

the rodents’ brains were delayed. The study was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) which is concerned that children and young adults’ caffeine consumption has soared by over 70 per cent during the past 30 years. The foundation said children’s exposure to caffeine will only grow as the drinks industry is posting its its fastest-growing sales in the segment of caffeine-laden energy drinks, causing some scientists to worry about possible health risks caused in young coffee-addicts and soft drink fans. Researchers at the University Children’s Hospital Zurich, found that in pubescent rats, caffeine intake equating to three to four cups of coffee per day in humans results in reduced deep sleep and a delayed brain development.

Children and young adults guzzling the equivalent of three cups of coffee - three cans of energy drink or approximately a large bottle of cola -could be unconsciously reducing the amount of deep sleep they enjoy, thereby slowing their brain development

In rats and humans, the duration and intensity of deep sleep as well as the number of synapses or connections in the brain increase during childhood, reaching their highest level during puberty and dropping again in adult age. Reto Huber, who led the research, said: ‘The brain of children is extremely plastic due to the many connections’ and when the brain begins to mature during puberty, a large number of these connections are lost. ‘This optimisation presumably occurs during deep sleep. Key synapses extend, others are reduced; this makes the network more efficient and the brain more powerful,’ he said. The scientists administered moderate quantities of caffeine to 30-day-old rats over five days and measured the electrical current generated by their brains. The deep sleep periods, which are characterised by slow waves, were reduced from day 31 until day 42, well beyond the end of administering caffeine. Compared to the rats being given pure drinking water, the researchers found far more neural connections in the brains of the caffeine-drinking animals at the end of the study.

Caffeine consumption in drinks such as cola and coffee plus energy drinks could slow down brain development in teenagers, Swiss scientists said

humans’, the many parallels in how the brain develops raises the question of whether children’s caffeine intake is harmless, the scientists said. Source:

The slower maturing process in the brain also had an impact on behaviour. Rats normally become more curious with age, but the rats consuming caffeine remained timid and cautious. Professor Reto believes more research should be done to explore the brain’s maturing phase in puberty, when many mental diseases can break out. If the rat brain differs significantly from

A study by the government regulatory agency Health Canada concluded that the average person can have up to 400mg of caffeine a day without experiencing negative affect, such as anxiety or heart problems. Here is the caffeine content of a number of popular drinks

Why going to the gym could make you fat A By Emma Innes

quarter of gym users gain weight when they start exercising, according to a new study.

Luisa Zissman, runner-up in The Apprentice, said she goes to the gym to earn ‘brownie points’ before a night out

The new gym-goers pile on the pounds because they allow themselves a treat after working out. The survey found that 39 per cent of people burn as little as 300 calories during each visit to the gym making them susceptible to weight gain if they then treat themselves to a high-calorie snack. The poll found that regular gym sessions gave dieters a ‘feeling of complacency’ which made it more difficult for them to stick to their recommended daily calorie intake. Diet firm Forza Supplements polled 1,000 gym users on their diet habits. It found that 26 per cent of gym users actually put on weight after starting regular exercise. A further 49 per cent said that their weight had stayed the same while just 27 per cent said that they had lost weight. The survey revealed that most keep fit fans go the gym between three

and four times a week - exercising on average for between 40 minutes and an hour. Four out of ten users burn between 300 and 500 calories in a session though a quarter manage only 200 to 300 calories, 10 per cent just 100 to 200 calories and four per cent less than 100 calories. More than a third of people allow themselves a treat after going to the gym - most typically a chocolate bar such as a Kit Kat - 233 calories for a four finger bar - or a glass of wine - 190 calories. Another reason why going to the gym can make you fat is that users have far bigger appetites than people who do not exercise. The poll revealed that 53 per cent said their exercise sessions substantially boosted their appetite. Many gym users also exercise regularly ahead of a night’s partying. Almost half of fitness fans said they would work-out prior to a big night out

to ‘compensate’ for the calories they would consume later. And 42 per cent of gym goers felt that by exercising regularly, they had earned the right to deviate from controlled diet plans. Many celebrities admit to using the gym to earn ‘brownie points’ prior to a night’s partying. Luisa Zissman, runner-up in The Apprentice, said: ‘Who hasn’t had a guilt inspired exercise session? ‘We all do it - work out furiously in the gym to get “brownie points” ahead of a night on the town. ‘You know you are going to consume a stack of calories by boozing and drinking - so why not burn off a load beforehand.’ Forza Supplements managing director Lee Smith said the survey showed many dieters struggle to lose weight despite exercising. He said: ‘Battling the bulge is the toughest thing many of us do. Source:

A quarter of gym users gain weight when they start exercising, according to a new study. The survey found 39 per cent of people burn as little as 300 calories during each visit to the gym



Abia lawmaker appears in court for alleged impersonation, forgery


n Umuahia Magistrate Court presided has commenced hearing in the alleged impersonation and perjury brought against, Ikedi Ezekwesiri, a sitting member of Abia House of Assembly. Ezekwesiri is representing Umunneochi State Constituency, was on July 17, arraigned by the Police on a five-count charge of impersonation, forgery and false information. The Counsel to the accused, Mr Isaac Anya, at the hearing, raised a motion urging the court to mandate the prosecution to provide extra-judicial materials, including written testimonies of prosecution witnesses to the accused. Anya urged the court not to allow the prosecution to use ``tactics ambush’’ to deny the accused person justice by refusing him adequate facility on the matter. The Prosecuting Counsel, Mr Sampson Onyemuche (ASP), urged the court to dismiss the application because there were two processes of commencing criminal trial. ``One is by information at the High Court, while the other is by summary trial at the Magistrates’ Court,’’ he said. Onyemuche said extrajudicial materials would not be a prerequisite or one of such facilities that the accused was entitled to at the inception of trial at the magistrates’ court. According to him, demanding it is tantamount to a legal summersault whereby the case will be turning from summary trial to trial by information. The Magistrate, Mrs Elizabeth Kalu, adjourned the case to Nov. 25, 2013, for ruling. Ezekwesiri is been tried for allegedly declaring himself to be a legal practitioner in the INEC Form C.F 001 on Jan. 31, 2011. The lawmaker also allegedly gave false testimony on oath preparatory to the assembly election contrary to Sections 192, 117 of the Criminal Code. He allegedly altered and mutilated the INEC Form CF 001 by inserting the word ‘businessman’ instead of ‘legal practitioner’ as earlier professed and presented same to the police, contrary Section 468 of the Criminal Code. The lawmaker also allegedly presented to INEC and the police a ``B. A’’ in Law certificate bearing Eze Ikedichi with 3rd Class degree instead of pass by the Abia State University. (NAN)

L-R: Project Director, UNDP Nigeria, Dr. Mourtada Deme, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, and Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Media, Hon. Victor Afam Ogene, during the opening of international experience sharing conference on media and elections agenda, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Taraba: Umar’s acting governorship is legal, says former Speaker By Lawrence Olaoye


former Soeaker of the Taraba State House of Assembly, Alhaji Habu Ajiya Isa, has described as constitutional the acting governorship of the Alhaji Garba Umar of Taraba state. Isa, who is also a lawyer, described any assertion to the contrary as unfounded and mere political rantings. Responding to a statement credited to the state former Commissioner for Information, Emmanuel Bello, that Umar’s position was illegal, the former Speaker insisted that the Acting Governor derived his powers from the resolution of the Assembly.

“Umar whom all Tarabans know is loyal and committed to peaceful coexistence of all the people. For the past eleven months,he has implemented programmes and policies designed by his boss. He has also never failed to declare his loyality with prayers for the quick recovery of his boss. He also has a duty to protect his boss from impostors”, the former speaker said. “The lawmakers were convinced that the governor they met was not the source of the letter of resumption sent to the House. Their efforts to set up a medical panel was blocked when, by proxy, the state executive council was dissolved. Left with no other option in the interim, the State Assembly

passed a resolution mandating Umar to continue in acting capacity “, the legal practitioner said. He said Tarabans are fed up with people speaking on behalf of Govermor Dambaba Suntai urging them to allow him to dpeak gor himself by addressing a Town Hall meeting where all issues relating to his health dtatus would be discussed and resolved. According to him,” the Assembly is the only organ with power of removal against a state governor but the lawmakers declared that the governor should go on medical vacation and resume work after he must have been certified medically fit”, asking why are they afraid of a medical examination of the

governor. “By proxy, the state Executive council was dissolved because this cabal is afraid a medical examination will confirm that the governor is incapacitated. Also if truly the governor wrote the said resumption letter, why has the governor not come out to defend himself? Why are they speaking for him? “In any case, many of these issues are subjudiced and I will urge those still speaking on the matter to wait for the outcome of the judicial process. The whole nation knows that the Acting Governor is in place because of the stalemate created by those desperately pushing to impose a sick man on the state”, the former lawmaker said.

Delta Assembly suspends lawmaker for alleged misconduct


he Delta State House of Assembly on Yesterday suspended Mr Edoja Akpodiete, representing Ughelli North I State Constituency for six months, for alleged gross misconduct. Akpodiete’s suspension followed a motion moved by the Deputy Speaker of the house, Mr Basil Ganagana. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the house had on March 5, suspended the lawmaker for one month for violating its rules and

regulations. Moving the motion, Ganagana said that the suspension of the lawmaker would enable him to take correction for his misconduct. Ganagana said that the suspension would also serve as a deterrent to other members, who would want to sabotage the efforts of the legislature. He alleged that some members of the house had been plotting to impeach the Speaker, Mr Victor Ochei, in spite of the achievements recorded by

the assembly, under Ochei’s leadership. The motion, seconded by Mr Martin Okonta, representing Ika South State Constituency, was unanimously adopted. The house also passed into law, a bill amending the Remuneration, Salaries, Allowances, Gratuity and Pensions of Public Office Holders Law 2013. The passage of the bill was sequel to the presentation of a report on the amendment bill, by the Chairman, House Committee on Establishment,

Ethics and Privileges, Mrs Pat Ajudua. Meanwhile, the assembly has adjourned plenary to Oct. 15, to enable members to participate in the bye-election for the Delta Central Senatorial seat, scheduled for Oct. 5. The speaker said that the adjournment was equally to enable members to participate in the 2013 International Bar Association conference as well as this year’s Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference. (NAN)




Uduaghan lauds infrastructural development in Delta Assembly


Gov Uduaghan (3rd from right) listening to Engr. Adeleke Olarenwaju (Project Engineer,1st left) while Rt Hon (Engr.) Victor Ochei, Speaker, DTHA (1st right) and some members of the Delta State House of Assembly look on during the Governor’s appraisal visit to the DTHA.

House committee bemoans selective project implementation


he House of Committee on Labour and Productivity has said it would not accept selective implementation of national budgets. Mr Essien Ayi, the Chairman of the Committee, made this known during the committee oversight visit to the Minister of Labour and productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu in Abuja. He frowned at the non execution of some projects captured in this year’s budget. Ayi said the committe had visited some of the parastatals

and discovered that some of the capital projects that would have benefited Nigerians were abandoned. “We are here to assess the performance of the budget in terms of the current, overhead and the capital projects. “To see the level of releases, the percentage of releases, the percentage at which the funds have been accessed. “To see how you have done as a Ministry and whatever we see will form the 2014 budget. “However, I must say that

from our visit to NDE, there are some important projects that were abandoned which were important to the Nigerian people. He advised the minister to personally looked into some of the issues raised particularly on the stipends of Sure-P beneficiaries. Responding, Wogu promised the committee that all the projects budgetted for would be completed before the end of the year. The minister said that the

ministry and its parastatals performed according to funds released to them. He said the ministry had migrated to IPPIS and was not directly in charge of funds. “The management of personnel cost is exclusively handled by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation. “I want to assure you that by the time you come back for this type of visit, those project you talked about will have been completed.” (NAN)

elta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan has expressed satisfaction with the infrastructural transformation of the Delta State House of Assembly complex. The Governor, who gave the commendation while appraising ongoing construction projects embarked by the Delta State Legislature within the complex, said that his observation stemmed from the high profile professional approach to the projects. He urged the staff to reciprocate the legislature’s innovative gestures of providing conducive environment by discharging assigned responsibilities creditably. He added that adherence to quality specifications by the contracting firms especially the administrative and e-library project, underscores the need for maximum efficiency from the staff as it was an attestation to the pragmatic approach to governance by the leadership and the entire legislature, an arm he described as a dependable partner in government’s resolve to impacting positively on the polity. Governor Uduaghan equally maintained that the significance of such innovative projects revolves on this development. Speaking also during the visit, the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Victor Ochei, disclosed that the decision to embark on the projects was as a result of the Governor’s infrastructural development agendum.

Ex-ANPP chairman eyes Bauchi guber in 2015 From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Bauchi state Chairman of the old All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Alhaji Sani Shehu, has indicated his interest to vie

for the gubernatorial seat of Bauchi State in the 2015 general election on the umbrella of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Shehu made the declaration yesterday while talking to news men in Bauchi. He said

“by 2015, Bauchi State needs credible leaders who grew and stayed in the town in order to bring positive change and socio economic development of the people.” According to him, since their party now merged with APC, he

will contest under the APC. He denied any disagreement over the leadership of APC in Bauchi state,saying that there was no disagreement if all stake holders will abide by the guidelines released by the national leadership of the party.

He reiterated their commitment to chase out PDP led government that he alleged spent over 13 years without meaningful development in the state and pledged to make a difference if he wins the Bauchi guber seat in 2015.

UPP calls for harmonious relationship between executive, legislature


hief Ogbuehi Dike, National Publicity Secretary, United Progressive Party (UPP), yesterday in Abuja called on the executive and legislature to harmonise their relationship in the national interest. Dike, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that the measure would go a long way in moving the nation forward. He said the major friction between the two arms of

government was in the area of checks and balances, which was not good enough for the country. The scribe, however, urged both arms of government to always resolve their grievances amicably, to ensure good governance. He said that there must be conflicts in politics, but both arms should find ways of resolving the conflicts, to enhance good governance in the country. Dike advised the two arms to cooperate in the areas of policy

formulation and implementation, to develop the country and ensure the well-being of the people. “Good relationship should be built between the legislature and the executive, especially the legislature which is the temple of democracy,” he said. He explained that the presidential system of government stressed the need for separation of powers between the two arms, unlike in the parliamentary with fusion of power.

Dike attributed the conflicts between the executive and the legislature in the discharge of their responsibilities to lack of clear demarcation in Nigeria’s presidential system of government. This, he said, had always made it difficult for both arms to avoid conflicts, especially in the areas of national interest. Dike said the executive sometimes overstepped its bound in the discharge of its constitutional

duties by disagreeing with the resolutions of lawmakers at the expense of national interest. ``What matters is that good relationship should exist among the various tiers of government because they complement each other in a democracy. ``If there are conflicts between the two arms, the judiciary is there to interprete and proffer lasting solutions in order not to degenerate into anarchy,’’ Dike said. (NAN)



News Extra

2015: TRADOC chief charges politicians on good conduct From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna


s 2015 general polls draws nearer, politicians, army and other security agencies conduct themselves in the best of manners devoid of overzealousness and reckless behaviour. The Commandant, Nigerian Army Training and Doctrine

Command (TRADOC), Major General Usman S. Abdulkadri gave the advice recently when he paid a courtesy call on the Niger state Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Desire D. Nsirim at the state’s Police Command headquarters, Minna, Niger state. “I would ask you not to allow yourselves to be drawn into political activities, let politicians

do their politics while we should also perform our duties because we must not be seen to be partisan. However, we must correct any wrong, while government takes the credit,” he said. He reiterated that members of the security agencies were only meant to be seen, not to be heard but that they would only be heard when they performed their

statutory duties efficiently. According to him, the nation depends on the members of the Armed forces and other security agencies for her survival, saying “if we fail, we should forget about that geographical expression called Nigeria, and by God’s grace we shall not fail. He commended the army and the police for the cordial relationship between them.

FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed (middle) briefing journalists yesterday, after a meeting on the killing of seven squatters at Apo, in Abuja. With him are Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide (left), and Chairman, House Committee on Public Safety and National Security, Hon. Bello Mutawalle (right).

Sokoto govt awards N9.8m contract to Chinese coy From, Mahmoud Muhammad, Sokoto


he Sokoto state government, has approved award of contract at the cost of 9.8 million dollars to a Chinese company, for the commencement of feasibility study on the exploration of metallic and nonmetallic resources in the state. At a joint press briefing by

Sokoto state Commissioners of Solid Mineral Resources, Alhaji Dahiru Maishani Yabo, and Commissioner of Environment, Dr. Jabbi Kilgore after a state executive council meeting yesterday, they said the exercise was informed by the existence of abundant mineral deposits in the state, and the need to improve economic development for the benefit of the people.

Similarly, the state has approved establishment of a mini-cement factory in order to compliment efforts of the Northern Nigerian Cement Company (CCNN) in the provision of cement. “Our noble state is endowed with several deposits of minerals, so his Excellency has concluded plans to explore the resources by partnering with the Chinese

Company.”This investment would no doubt, go a long way in enhancing economic development of the state”, they stated. In the same vein, government approved the award of contract for construction of access road and parking spaces at the new NYSC permanent orientation camp at Wamakko, hometown of the governor, at the cost of N165m.

Coordinator appeals to Gov Yari to reconsider appointment of Amirul Hajj


overnor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara state has been advised to reconsider appointment of the state’s Amirul Hajj for the 2013 exercise, Malam Ibrahim Wakkala Mohammed, for cogent reasons bordering on efficiency. Zonal campaign coordinator for Governor Yari in 2011, Alhaji Bello Babba Namalam Kaura, while speaking to newsmen in Abuja, recalled that when the former SSG of the State, Alhaji Hassan Atto was made Amirul Hajj for Zamfara, the pilgrimage was successful,

but Wakkala’s performance was nothing to write home about as pilgrims experienced some difficulties when he served as Amirul hajj in 2012. He attributed the problem of accommodation in Madina experienced by pilgrims at the time, and the reason they were stranded at the airport during the 2012 exercise to “lack of experience”, when Wakkala, who is also the incumbent Deputy Governor of Zamfara State was given the responsibility to moderate affairs of the pilgrims.

Alhaji Kaura, who was member of the 2012 Pilgrims Welfare Board, went on to say that, “The exercise was marred by irregularities, especially when the state’s intending pilgrims had their passports dumped at the Government Lodge instead of the Pilgrims Board, giving room for opportunists to “hijack other peoples travel documents thereby, leaving the true intending pilgrims stranded”. “This made Governor Yari to set up an investigative committee to find out the immediate and remote

cause of the difficulties faced by the state’s pilgrims in both Madina and at home in 2012”. He pointed out that the committee was headed by the same Deputy Governor, who demanded that the operational staff be sacked and the pilgrims’ board be dissolved, including the chairman and secretary of the board so as to allow for proper investigation. Afterwards, according to Kaura, the committee allegedly discovered that the sum of N137m of pilgrims Hajj payments was misappropriated.


F6 registers 53 mining cooperatives in Zamfara


bout 53 mining cooperatives in Zamfara state have been registered by the federal ministry of mines and solid minerals, to operate as an entity, in efforts to sanitise their activities in the state. The development was announced yesterday, in Gusau, the state capital by the Minister of Mines and Solid minerals, Architect Musa Muhammad Sada represented by the ministry’s director on artisanal and small scale miners, Mr. Obiora Azubuike. He said about 70 percent of the targeted miners have been captured to benefit from the programme for safer mining. The minister disclosed that, the federal government had purchased 3 mining machines in preparation for installation in Bagega, Kwali and Kadauri under Anka, Bukkuyum and Maru local government areas respectively. “After the installation of the machines, mining activities will be much easier and viable than local methods, as even the last dust which was dumped under local mining techniques could be utilised to separate more gold from it”, he contended. From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau

Gombe: NOA decries high rate of exam malpractice


he National Orientation Agency, (NOA), Gombe state, has decried increase in examination malpractice in schools across the country, as students can no longer defend their results in tertiary institutions. Director of the Agency, Mr. Ado Solomon, was speaking in Gombe, during a Senatorial stake holder’s forum yesterday, tagged, “The raising integrity standard in the conduct of examination in schools, towards zero tolerance’ organised by the agency, held at Dukku community school. He said examination malpractice has led to irreversible loss among students, adding that any country that engages in the act loses international credibility. In order to curb the menace of examination malpractice at secondary school level, the federal government saw the need to enact a law that will punish offenders. From, David Hassan, Gombe




Some Interesting Facts


id you know apples are more effective at waking you up in the morning than coffee • Did you know room temperature is defined as between 20 to 25 C (68 to 77 F) • Did you know an octopus pupil is rectangular • Did you know the hyoid bone in your throat is the only bone in your body not attached to any other • Did you know the Australian aircraft carrier QANTAS stands for Queensland And Northern Territories Aerial Service • Did you know the movie Pulp Fiction cost $8 million to make with $5 million going towards actor’s salaries • Did you know there are only 4 words in the English language which end in ‘dous’ (they are: hazardous, horrendous, stupendous and tremendous) • Did you know the oldest word in the English language is ‘town’ • Did you know cats can’t move their jaw sideways • Did you know grapes explode when you put them in the microwave • Did you know its physically impossible for pigs to look up at the sky • Did you know your most sensitive finger is your index finger (closest to your thumb)


• Did you know ‘Bookkeeper’ and ‘bookkeeping’ are the only 2 words in the English language with three consecutive double letters • Did you know Venetian blinds were invented in Japan • Did you know the average golf ball has 336 dimples • Did you know the word ‘Strengths’ is the longest word in the English language with just one vowel • Did you know the movie ‘Wayne’s World’ was filmed in two weeks • Did you know the Amazon rainforest produces half the world’s oxygen supply • Did you know a group of frogs is called an army • Did you know a group of rhinos is called a crash • Did you know a group of kangaroos is called a mob • Did you know a group of whales is called a pod • Did you know a group of

geese is called a gaggle • Did you know a group of owls is called a parliament • Did you know the first sailing boats were built in Egypt • Did you know Brazil is named after a tree • Did you know Brazil covers 50% of the South American continent • Did you know Brazil borders every country in South America except Chile and Ecuador • Did you know Hilton was the first international hotel chain • Did you know the brand Nokia is named after a place in Southern Finland • Did you know Monopoly is the most played board game in the world • Did you know 96% of candles sold are purchased by women • Did you know 42% of men and women 25% don t wash their hands after using a public toilet • Did you know if you filled a

flattened into a sheet the size of a tennis court • Did you know Jamaica has 120 rivers • Did you know the only animals that purr are cats • Did you know a cats urine glows under a blacklight • Did you know white cats with blue eyes are usually deaf • Did you know cats have a peripheral vision of 285 degrees • Did you know small dogs usually live longer than larger breeds • Did you know domestic cats dislike citrus scents • Did you know cats can jum jump p up to 7 times their tail il le lengt ngth h • Did you know China manufa factu cturer erss 70% off the wo world rlds toys toy • Did Did you know The Great eat Wall Wall off Chi China a is app approx xima imatel tely y 6,43 6,430 0 Km lon ng (3,9 (3,995 95 mil miles es)) • Did you know paper origin or ginate ted d from f om China ina

Say what?


Connection: Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, 1990 - Jou Jou, a captive chimpanzee, reaches out it’s hand to the head of legendary primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall. Source:



NSC defends N96.6m Abuja National Stadium re-grassing Stories by Albert Akota


he National Sports Commission (NSC) ( ) has h defended the N96.6 million re-grassing work at the National Stadium, Abuja. Alhaji Shehu Ibrahim, Director, Stadia and Facilities NSC, said the pitch had been regrassed to meet FIFA standards, irrespective of the outcome of the inspection of the House Sports Committee. The House of Representatives Committee on Sports on Wednesday inspected the pitch, as part of its oversight functions. The committee, led by its Chairman, Godfrey Gaiya, had described the N96.6 million used for the re-grassing of the pitch as ``doubtful’’. Ibrahim, however, said the pitch could rank among the best anywhere in the world, contrary to the views of the legislators. “Some Nigerians don’t have the knowledge of what it takes to have a pitch. It does not mean

DG NSC, Gbenga Alegbeleye

that if you have rain water drop on the field, it automatically drains up. No, it doesn’t happen that way. “First of all the grass is not synthetic, it’s a natural grass and anything natural needs moisture and nutrients to grow and part of these nutrients is water. “So,, we don’t expect that the p

24 teams jostle jost e for fo N5m at financial soccer competition


ot fewer than 24 teams will vie for honours in this year’s `All Financial Institutions’ Football Competition, to kick-off on Oct. 2 at four designated centres across the country. The competition is being sponsored by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Abuja, as part of its corporate social responsibility. Ugochukwu Okoroafor, Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, told newsmen on Thursday in Abuja that preparations were in top gear for the competition. He noted that N5 million had been set aside as prize money for the event. Okoroafor, who was represented by Martins Ogwuda, Head, Events Management, CBN, said the winner of the competition would pocket N2 million, while the second place finisher would cart away N1.5m. He said third and fourth place finishers would go home with consolation prizes of N1m and N500, 000 respectively. “A competition of this magnitude creates opportunities for business and social interaction among players, officials and staff of competing institutions. “It also serves as a platform for the promotion of unity, harmony and peaceful co-existence among

key players in the nation’s financial system,’’ Okoroafor said. The Peace MFB FC of IjebuOde; Unity Bank, Kaduna; Sadiqma MFB, Minna and Alekun n MFB, Odogbolu, would slug itt out in group A, with Lagos as its centre. Ikeja MFB, Lagos and thee Office of the Accountant-Generall of the Federation, Abuja, are also o in group A, while Kwali MFB, Abuja; Badawa MFB, Jos and d Enterprise Bank, Kaduna aree in group B at the Minna, Nigerr centre. Others in the group are: Federal Inland Revenue Service, Abuja; Johan Investment, Lagos and Biaji MFB, Abuja. Group C teams, to play at thee Owerri centre are: First Bank, Lagos; Union Bank, Lagos; Union n Assurance, Lagos; Amju Uniquee MFB, Warri; Access Bank, Lagos and Maida MFB, Zaria. Group D teams, which willl play in Lafia are: the CBN, Abuja; Kaka Dusa, Bida; Dadinkowa, Jos; Tangale MFB, Gombe; Ajenee MFB, Otukpo and Ogirikpa MFB, Makurdi. Mohammed Sanusi, Directorr of Competitions, Nigeria Footballl Association (NFA), said the NFA A was collaborating with the CBN N since football was a source off national pride, without any ethnicc or political coloration.

moment you have water dropping on the pitch, it just drains up. It must take between 15 and 30 minutes to drain up, depending on the intensity of the rain. “The drainage system we have in the pitch is not like the one we have in the local stadia. That of the Abuja stadium is completely underground,’’ g , Ibrahim said.

Anthony Agboni, a Julius Berger Plc consultant, expressed disappointment over the comments of the legislators, saying it demeaned the quality of work done on the pitch. Agboni said the committee should have commended both the NSC and the company for a job well done, rather than ``rubbish a six-month effort to revive the pitch. “If the field should just drain instantly when raining, it means that the pitch was poorly constructed. “We have different styles of constructing a football pitch; we have a sand-based football pitch and in that case, there is no component of nutrient in that area. ``In sand-based pitch, play is done purely on sand and there is no water retention anywhere during rain. “But in the case of the Abuja stadium pitch, it has a wellmodified foot zone, to be able to get for the g the nutrient required q

plant to grow and to retain the moisture content. “If the tar system is adopted here, it means that the grass will not survive during the rainy season and the tendency of holding the nutrient will not be there. “All you will see is a completely different colour and a lot of lynching which will cost a lot of maintenance,’’ Agboni said. The contract to rehabilitate the pitch was awarded to Julius Berger Plc in January. The scope of work completed includes the removal and replacement of the top soil, and the planting of the approved specie of grass. The grass was also wellwatered and nourished until its roots were established. Others include the maintenance of the pitch, watering and trimming of the grass, as well as the provision of new water sprinklers for the stadium.

Keshi ponders Dike, Omeruo, Reuben return


h he Super S Eagles E l boss, b Stephen Okechukwu Keshi has said he cannot wait for the t trio of Bright Dike, Kenneth Omeruo and Gabriel Reuben to get back into full fitness as the Brazil b 2014 World Cup beckons. Team’s Media Officer quotes Keshi as saying from the United States where he has gone on a short visit to his family that the three players gives him a lot of t options in the major departments of the game. Dike is a power playing striker, Omeruo, a central defender and Reuben a combative midfielder with w an eye for goals. “I am in touch with the three of

th them and d have h been b praying i with ith them and for them because Nigeria and their club sides need them because they are at their prime and very good at what they are doing. So I will want Nigerians to join me in praying for them so that they can return to action on time. Keshi also spoke on Mikel’s first premier league goal for Chelsea last weekend since joining the London side seven seasons ago. “I have been trying to reach him but to no avail but am absolutely delighted because I always tell him he can do it whether at club or national team level but he has to move closer to the goal area. He has done it on one or two occasionswith occasi occ asions onswit with h the the national nation nat ional al team team

Oboabona Ob b becomes happy man at Ritzespur


he Super Eagles defence ace, Godfrey Oboabona has dispelled news making the t rounds that he was not being featured at his new club because he f can’t speak the Turkish language. Rather he says he is happy at Ritzespur FC in Turkey and has been well taken care of by the b management of the club in the best possible way. p “So far I have played two games for f the club and even scored in one of the test matches but you will

Godfrey Oboabona

Gabriel Gabrie Gab riell R Reub Reuben euben en

and there should be nothing a g special about his scoring for Chelsea but a lot also depends on what Coach Mourinho wants him to play for the club. I am sure the goals will start pouring in for him now”, he said. recall that I did not do pre-season with the club and the manager is trying to see my potentials before he throws me in but so far they have been very professional in the way they treat me.” Oboabona reveals that at times he will not be dressed for a game and yet he will be paid his match bonus. “That shows the amount of respect they have for me and I must say to all concerned Nigerians that I am very happy in Turkey. “I can confidently say that sooner than later I will become a regular at the club, I just pray against injuries”, he said.



Sports promotes 14 Enyimba calls for ITTF grassroots players televised league to T encourage fairness


he Chairman, Enyimba International Football Club of Aba Felix AnyasiAgwu, has said that the regular telecast of Nigerian Professional Football League matches would help in instilling fairness. Anyansi-Agwu who disclosed this to newsmen, said that putting league matches on television would also help in ensuring that players get to fully exhibit their talents. He said Enyimba International’s week 34 encounter against Akwa United FC of Uyo in Aba on

Enyimba squad

Wednesday buttressed his contention as the match lived up to its billing. Enyimba beat their opponents 1-0 to climb to the summit of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) standings with 55 points from 34 matches played. “Our team’s victory was not a fluke, and the game was a continuation of our transparent kind of football in Aba. “It was a live game which many people have watched, and I wish we will continue to have this kind of live games elsewhere in the league.

“This way, there will be fairness and the players can continue to exhibit their talents,” Anyansi-Agwu said. He said live telecast of matches would further aid the league’s development, and reduce ugly incidents. The chairman of Enyimba International however praised the performance of Akwa United during the game. “They showed their desperation in the match through the way they battled relentlessly for the points at stake.

he Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) has said that 14 of the 30 grassroots players currently participating in the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)-sponsored training programme in Lagos would be promoted. Anderson Bankole, NTTF Technical Director said in Lagos that the players would be promoted to the cadet level at the end of the programme. Bankole said that the programme meant for grassroot talents commenced on Sept. 21 and would end on Sept. 28. He said that that the ITTF would select the best eight male and six female players at the programmes to boost the current squad of cadet players in the country. “The federation is picking 14 athletes, eight males and six females to join the cadet group that will be representing the country in future international competitions. “We intend to promote such players to the cadet stage, based on the laid down programmes to help in strengthening the skills of the grassroot players,’’ Bankole said.

According to Bankole, there will be quarterly training for the selected 14 athletes at the programme, stressing that the motive is not only to discover but also to monitor and nurture them to stardom. “These young players needed to be engaged constantly in order for them not to forget what they have been taught and also to keep them in shape,’’ he said. He, however, assured that the quarterly training programmes would not disturb the educational pursuit of the selected athletes because the training would be during the holidays. “The training will not disturb their schooling because we know the importance of going to school and it goes along with the laiddown rules to blend sporting career with academic pursuit. “The training will be four times a year and will always be during their holiday periods, so as to blend both their schooling and training without one disturbing the other,’’ he said. The NTTF technical director advocated for more sponsors for the sport so as to have more competitions for the players.

Tunisia face FIFA’s hammer after dissolving FA

T Tunisia Players warming up

unisia face the prospect of a FIFA ban after sports minister Tarek Dhiab allegedly asked Zurich to dissolve the Tunisia Football Federation. The relationship between Dhiap and FTF boss Wadii Jarii has been frosty following a longstanding feud between the two that dates back to February. FIFA have promptly reacted to Dhiap’s correspondence warning that any interference from the Tunisian government into the affairs of the FTF will lead to Tunisia’s suspension from all FIFA competitions and activities.

Shehu Adamu

Captain blames Heartland FC management for home draw Stories by Albert Akota


he Captain, Heartland FC of Owerri Chinaedu Efugh, has attributed the team’s unimpressive performance in week 34 of the ongoing Globacom Premier League to the club management’s insensitiveness. Egugh disclosed this in a reaction after the team’s goalless draw with Sunshine Stars FC of Akure, on Wednesday in Owerri.

The captain said that the draw, even on Heartland’s home grounds at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri, should serve as a warning to the club management over players’ unpaid allowances. “The team’s unbecoming attitude will make the management know that something is wrong with the team,’’ he said. According to the captain, his team mates have been protesting against their backlog of unpaid

allowances and sign on fees by the club management. “The development, I must confess, led to the players’ nonchalant attitude during the match, the players are depressed and there is no way you can get the best from a disenchanted person. “Nobody eats promises if that is what the management thinks, all of us have dependants to cater for and there is virtually nothing one can achieve when he

is overburdened with unsettled domestic challenges,” Efugh said. He appealed to the club’s management to salvage the situation by settling its outstanding indebtedness to the players. Meanwhile, the Chairman of the club, Fan Ndubuoke, said that all debt cases concerning the club’s players had been settled, stressing that the players were only being mischievous. “We do not owe any of the

players. We have settled all their debts; the players must have other grievances different from the settled debts,’’ Ndubuoke added. According to him, the management of the club, will, after the current season, embark on a complete overhaul of the club for better results. Heartland FC now occupies the 11th position on the log, with 46 points from 34 matches and with four outstanding matches.



Ozil’s father sues fake agent


esut Ozil’s father has filed a charge against an agent who allegedly falsely claimed to represent the player during transfer talks with Manchester United, Express reports. Ozil, 24, became the most expensive German player ever when making the €50 million switch from Real Madrid to Arsenal on the last day of the transfer window. Now, Mustafa, Mesut’s father and agent, has filed a charge against the unknown agent, who allegedly forged his signature on a document, which enabled transfer talks with Manchester United to begin. The document dated August 7, 2013, was leaked to Ozil senior, who will press charges. “I would have never deemed it possible what some dodgy people

Mesut Ozil

venture to do,” Ozil told the paper. “Someone wanted to make contact with Manchester in my name and even signed with my name. That is no trivial offence. We will get to the bottom of it,” he said. Following the transfer to Arsenal, the agent Francois Gallardo had claimed that Ozil senior had shopped his son around most of the European top teams. However, Ozil senior firmly denied this claim, saying: “As you can see, that’s wrong. You don’t need to offer a player of Mesut’s class to any club in the world.” United also missed out in their pursuit of Thiago Alcantara who joined Bayern Munich and Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas while Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera was also the subject of a bid from Manchester United but claimed he never spoke to the club.

Sports Vieira says coaching is the problem for England youngsters


atrick Vieira says England’s failures at major tournaments are down to coaching standards rather than foreign talent playing in the Premier League. Football Association chairman Greg Dyke recently stated that the national side need more English players starting regularly in the top flight. “In the 1992-93 season, the figure for English players in the starting line-ups of Premier League clubs was 69%. Ten years later, that figure was down to 38%. Last season, another 10 years on, the same figure was down to 32%.” Vieira, now Manchester City’s elite development squad coach, added: “I believe the game has changed and if the game has

Chelsea midfielder out for six months C helsea midfielder Marco van Ginkel will be out of action for six months after undergoing knee surgery. Van Ginkel, an £8.4m summer buy from Vitesse Arnhem, lasted just 10 minutes of his full debut after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament. The Netherlands international, 20, landed awkwardly under pressure from Swindon’s Alex Pritchard early on in Chelsea’s third-round League Cup win. “Stay strong Marco, you have our support, you will be back stronger. Get well soon my friend. Team-mate Michael Essien tweeted his support: “Stay strong will be back stronger. The Chelsea number 16 starred for Netherlands in this year’s European Under-21 Championships, having already made his full senior debut last year.

Marco van Ginkel

Falcao double keeps Monaco Reading sign Southampton on top of French Ligue 1 striker on loan


adamel Falcao heads the table of Ligue 1 scorers with seven goals after netting twice to help leaders Monaco record a 3-0 win over Bastia. Emmanuel Riviere gave Claudio Ranieri’s side the lead before Falcao, 27, who joined the club in the summer for a reported £50m, added two more with low shots from inside the area. Paris St-Germain, who drew 1-1 with Monaco on Sunday, beat

Valenciennes 1-0 thanks to a firsthalf stoppage-time goal from £55m-signing Edinson Cavani. The former Napoli striker was fed a pass by Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic before firing in an angled drive from eight yards. Monaco has 17 points from seven games, two points ahead of PSG, with Marseille a point behind in third place and Lille fourth on 13 points.

Marco van Ginkel


eading has completed the loan signing of Southampton striker Billy Sharp until January. Sharp, 27, arrived at St Mary’s for £1.8m from Doncaster in January 2012, but spent much of last season on loan at Nottingham Forest after helping the Saints get promoted to Premier League. By moving to Championship side Reading he is reunited with manager Nigel Adkins, who signed him for Southampton. Sharp will be in the Reading squad for Saturday’s game against Birmingham. Following the move, Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino has drawn a line under Sharp’s time at the club and does not think he’ll be able to earn a reprieve like fellow striker Tadanari Lee. “He was never a player who was part of my plans. Our squad is closed; we have the right number of players so there is no coming back.

Billy Sharp

Patrick Vieira changed that means we need to change our methods. England have not gone beyond a World Cup quarter-final since they reached the last four in 1990 and have only won it once, in 1966. Their best performances at the European Championship came when they reached the semi-finals in 1968 and 1996. Their recent shortcomings England have not been past the first knockout round of a major tournament since 2006 - have come amid a backdrop of foreign influence in the Premier League, with many believing it is having an adverse effect on the national side. Last season, the number of English players under the age of 21 competing in the Premier League dropped to its lowest level and during the summer transfer window, there were 137 signings by top-flight clubs but only 25 (or 18.2%) of those were English.

Pique, Arbeloa clash over penalty row


pain team-mates Gerard Pique and Alvaro Arbeloa clashed on Twitter on Wednesday night after Real Madrid had beaten Elche with a 94th-minute penalty. With the signalled added time already played referee Cesar Muniz Fernandez saw a pull by Elche midfielder Carlos Sanchez on Pepe inside the area, and pointed to the spot for a penalty which Cristiano Ronaldo converted to win the game for Madrid. Replays suggested that it had been Pepe who pulled Sanchez to the ground, and the decision should have gone the other way. This provoked complaints from Madrid fans who remembered that Muniz Fernandez had ruled out what seemed a good goal by Sevilla defender Cala at the Camp Nou recently. Asked about Pique’s tweet in his post-game press conference Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti was short and to the point. “He should think about playing and not talking,” Ancelotti said. “He is better on the pitch than off it.”



Sports Haye set to rust Fury after fight delay D

avid Haye has scotched suggestions he will be hampered by ring rust when he finally meets British heavyweight rival Tyson Fury in Manchester on 8 February. Haye was due to fight Fury at the Manchester Arena on Saturday but pulled out after suffering a cut in training. Haye has not fought since a knockout of Dereck Chisora last July and has fought only twice since 2010. Haye, 32, responded to charges of carelessness and

suggestions from some quarters that he does not want to fight 25-year-old Fury. “If people knew how vain I was, they’d know that having a big gash across my forehead isn’t something I’d do purposely,” said Haye, a former two-weight world champion. “For people to insinuate that I headbutted the wall to get out of this fight is ridiculous. “I’ve heard people say: ‘Why was he sparring so close to a fight?’ Most world champions spar up until that point, Carl

Froch spars even closer to a fight. “I wouldn’t have signed for the fight if I didn’t want it. I could have gone a million different ways; this fight doesn’t mean anything to me. “I didn’t even want to be thinking about Tyson Fury in 2014, 2014 was meant to be all about getting a world title shot. “But I can’t be crying about it. George Foreman got a cut in one of his final sparring sessions before the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ and the fight was delayed six weeks, it just happens in boxing.

Laura Robson

Robson hits Hungary in February for Fed Cup


ritain will begin their Fed Cup campaign in Budapest in February. Britain, captained by Judy Murray, will compete in the Europe/Africa Group I in the Hungarian capital. Should they make it through they will a have World Group II play-off in April. A team of Heather Watson, Laura Robson, Anne Keothavong and Johanna Konta successfully negotiated the Europe/Africa Group I stage in 2013 but lost to Argentina in Buenos Aires in the World Group II play-off. British number two Watson missed the tie against Argentina

with illness and was replaced by Elena Baltacha in the 3-1 defeat. The loss means Murray’s team are still looking to climb out of the Europe/Africa zone and into the second tier of the elite level. A total of 17 countries, including Belgium, Croatia, Holland and Belarus, will compete in the event which begins on 3 February. The teams are split into four groups with the winners of each playing each other for the two places available in the World Group II play-offs. Keothavong will not feature in 2014 as she has retired from tennis for a career in broadcasting.

McIlroy shuns Seve Trophy

S David Haye

America’s Cup: Ainslie wants British team


ir Ben Ainslie wants to win the America’s Cup with a British team after helping Oracle Team USA fight back to defeat Team New Zealand. Oracle was 8-1 down in San Francisco but won eight successive races to take victory and international sport’s oldest

trophy. Although the America’s Cup was first held in Britain, no British boat has triumphed in the competition’s 162-year history. But four-time Olympic gold medallist, Ainslie, drafted in partway through the competition after New Zealand had won

four of the first five races, said the messages of support he had received proved there was interest in the sport in Britain. Ainslie admitted to thinking about his friend Andrew Simpson, who died in the same San Francisco harbour in May during a training session, as he crossed the line for victory in the final race. Oracle were docked two points for illegally modifying their boats in the build-up and then saw New Zealand win eight of the first 11 races for the 8-1 lead. But eight successive wins saw the team bankrolled by American billionaire Larry Ellison retain the trophy they won in 2010.

cotland’s Paul Lawrie has criticised six of his Ryder Cup-winning team-mates - including Rory McIlroy for opting out of next week’s Seve Trophy. Lawrie is part of the Great Britain and Ireland team that will aim to record a seventh consecutive win over Europe. But as well as McIlroy, Luke

Donald, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Lee Westwood will not play at StNom-La Breteche Golf Club in Paris. GB and Ireland’s 10-man squad will be led by Sam Torrance, while his European counterpart, Jose Maria Olazabal will have to do without fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia.

Rory McIlroy

Wiggins wins silver in World Championships trial

S Team USA’s shock America’s Cup win

ir Bradley Wiggins missed out on a first road world title as Germany’s Tony Martin took a third consecutive time trial gold with a commanding ride in Florence. Wiggins, 33, overhauled Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara in the final third of the 57.9km course to win silver - as he did in the 2011 Championships. But Martin had built a lead from the start and came in 46.09 seconds ahead. After his Giro d’Italia campaign faltered amid crashes and illness and fellow Briton Chris Froome supplanted him as Tour de France champion, Wiggins

had hoped to crown a strong finish to the year before his return to track cycling next season. The 33-year-old completed a commanding victory in the Tour of Britain on Sunday, but ultimately Martin’s power and his experience of the Florence course, gained during Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s team victory earlier in the event, proved too great to overhaul. Wiggins had beaten Martin en route to time trial gold at London 2012, but, having recovered from the fractured scaphoid that disrupted his Olympic preparation, the German was always in command of the race.

. . . putting the people first



Emenike desperate to score more goals


uper Eagles striker, Emmanuel Emenike, has admitted he is desperate to start scoring goals for new club Fenerbahce after a switch from Spartak of Moscow. Emenike is a proven goal scorer and had fired four goals in as many matches for Russian club Spartak before his bigmoney switch to Fenerbahce in the summer. “I need a goal. Not having a goal makes me to be disappointed. I hope that soon I will contribute to the team with some goals,” Emenike told Fenerbache are second on the Turkish league table with 12 points from five matches, same as leaders Besiktas but have an inferior goals difference. They reportedly shelled out 13 million Euros for the striker, who was Goal King at the 2013 AFCON in South Africa. Interestingly, that has not been the case for the big striker with the Super Eagles as he returned to action earlier this month after an injury layoff to score against both Malawi and Burkina Faso. He may feature for Fenerbahce in Sunday’s away clash at Genclirbirligi after he missed last weekend’s home game against Elazigspor due to a slight knock.

Emmanuel Emenike


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QUOTABLE QUOTE Zamfara state has never recorded any high profile criminal capable of joining Boko Haram. Even the attacks we’re faced with are done by itinerant violent groups, not indigenes of the state. — Mallam Ibrahim Muhammad, Zamfara state Commissioner for Information, on victims of the latest Apo killings from the state

How the West helps its African allies to lose elections T

he duplicity of the West at election time in Africa is evident. In Kenya’s recent election there were threats such as that made by Johnny Carson, former official in the Obama administration who warned Kenyans that voting for particular leaders will ‘have consequences’. It is the argument of this article that future historians will wonder the extent to which the ICC indictments of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, Hon. William Ruto, then leading contenders for political high office in Kenya at the time, failed to influence the outcome of the elections in favour of western favoured political alliances in Kenya. In the end, what was supposed to be the biggest trump card in their interventionist policy became the West’s Achilles heel. The year 2013 will define the nature of elections on the continent. In 2013, Mali had a non-contested Presidential election in the midst of a civil war. In Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe beat the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and returned to state house for five more years. In Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta beat his near rival, ex-Prime Minster, Hon. Raila Odinga’s Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) to clinch a victory and become Kenya’s 4th President since independence. If this trend is repeated, opposition parties in Africa are in for more losses. Election losers will always scream foul play without examining the reasons for their monumental failures at the ballot box. One factor which is already emerging is that political parties, especially, those deemed to be allied to the West, are performing badly at the ballot box (Ghana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Angola are a few examples). The extent to which political parties use elections and electioneering to deal with social issues relating to shelter, food and social justice, instead of as a process of appeasement of the West, and the national ruling elites largely determines the outcomes. In fact, it is a widely acknowledged fact that political parties and groups allied to the West, will continue to lose elections at every juncture. The Western alliance in Kenya led a sustained campaign of intimidation, innuendo and blackmail from junior diplomats in Western embassies and high commissions. They recruited willing Kenyan and African accomplices in this mission. Firstly, the former UN Secretary

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President Robert Mugabe General, Kofi Annan, who was then head of the AU Panel of Eminent Persons, jetted into Nairobi, with the usual fanfare, to ‘warn’ Kenyans that it was ‘not in their interest to elect politicians indicted by the ICC’. The former UN secretary general was closely followed by former US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton with a similar threat. They were closely followed by Johnny Carson, a former Deputy Secretary of State for African Affairs in the Obama administration, who warned Kenyans that electing people facing charges at the ICC will ‘have consequences’. These threats were closely linked to the West’s obsession with indicting African leaders at their court called the ICC. Hence, the ICC did not only become a gigantic distraction, but an electioneering issue in the case of Kenya. The ICC has become a weapon in the arsenal of the ‘political rehabilitation of imperial hegemony in Africa’, what Isa Shivji refers to as the ‘moral rehabilitation of imperialism’. It is my view that this has to be rejected for its neocolonial intentions, and also as a celebration of the emerging strong judiciaries in Africa. African judicial systems and non-state actors are equal to the task of ensuring justice for victims of unequal development, of violence against women and children, and against colonial abuse on the continent. The Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni did not mince words, when he congratulated Kenyans during the inauguration of the Uhuru Kenyatta Presidency: ‘I want to salute the Kenyan voters on one other issue – the rejection of

the blackmail by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and those who seek to abuse this institution for their own agenda’ (Daily Nation, Thursday, April 11, 2013). In effect, Africans can no longer be expected to do the bidding of the West on every single issue. It is a salutary lesson for the West. As the renowned British journalist, Robert Fisk said in relation to the western response to the Syrian crisis: ‘what was amazing was the sheer audacity of our leaders (Western) in thinking they could bamboozle their electorates with their lies, trumperies and tomfoolery’. If Western leaders cannot do that to their electorates, Western Ambassadors also failed to do that to Kenyans and Zimbabweans. Another factor in the Kenyan election, and perhaps in the case of Zimbabwe, was the desperate attempts by ambassadors from Western nations overriding interest of Western (AngloAmerican) to elections in their ongoing competition for African resources with China. Elections have always been and remain a means through which the West imposes economic, social and cultural conditionalities on African nations. Closely allied with the ICC is the new donor (Western) interest in some African countries. Donor support is usually critical to the effective delivery of elections because of the cost, and the unwillingness of many African governments to commit resources to such important national events. However, the intervention of the western donor nations in African elections goes beyond trade. Western NGOs provide ‘training’ and capacity building to a select number of parties considered ideological soul mates. Western nations align themselves with ‘political’ civil society to pursue anti national, pro-foreign agencies, and unwittingly, become anti-patriotic in their endeavours to please their western financiers. The Egyptian revolution which toppled Hosni Mubarak was founded on the principles of ‘bread, freedom and social justice’. The same underlying principles also influence voting patterns in many African societies. To this we must add ‘sovereignty’. The

Western interventionist approach can be viewed as a direct threat to the sovereignty of African Republican interests. In the case of Kenya, Western intervention allowed President Kenyatta to position himself as pro-Kenyan, defending the Republic’s interest against those ‘who will sell Kenya to the highest bidder’. President Uhuru Kenyatta took up nationalist, anti-neocolonial approach during the contest. Being charismatic and youthful, he was believable, convincing and articulate, presenting himself as the person to take Kenya youth to the next phase of development: a digital heaven. His opponents in the CORD alliance were left trying to craft a populist approach bordering on land and the ICC. At times, they sounded more like public relations officers of the ICC in Kenya. It is therefore not surprising that some sections of Kenyan society began to regard the CORD alliance as mere protégés of the West, or at best puppets acting on the behest of their western ‘minder’. While these external factors were important, it is the internal dynamics of the nation that determines the winners and the losers. All said, old colonialtype interventions employed by some Western nations to gain advantage in Africa, does not always work. It did not work in Kenya and Zimbabwe, has not worked in Ghana, and is likely to fail elsewhere. Threats of sanctions, withdrawal of aid and donor funds, and threats against individuals who have rejected the Western narrative on the ICC will not work either. All said and done, national concerns such as youth unemployment, high cost of living, devolving power to the people, housing, roads, maternal care, milk for school children, women’s empowerment, issues which were discussed at the grassroots level during elections. These issues are more likely to influence voting patterns than which country gets a greater share of contracts from African governments. In Kenya, President Kenyatta showed that the sovereign interest of Kenya, and ‘bread, freedom, and social justice’ were far more important to Kenyan voters than the ICC. Political parties need mobilisers with a sense of dedication, purpose, patriotism and discipline to campaign effectively. Mass mobilisation and effective political parties win elections. Nothing more, nothing less. As Ghana’s former leader, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah said in the 1950s, ‘organisation decides everything’. Agun Mod contributed this article to Pambazuka. org.

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Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 27, September, 2013  
Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 27, September, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 27, September, 2013