Page 1

Vol. 9 No. 35

Friday, September 28, 2012

. . . putting the people first

Zhul-Qadah 11, 1433 AH

More female pilgrims deported

N150 L-R: Divisional Head Products Channels of Unity Bank Plc, Mr. Felix Ezeh, Executive Director, Interswitch, Mr. Akeem Lawal, representative of Managing Director of Unity Bank, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed, and VicePresident, Business Development MasterCard, Ms. Ojomuyide Omokehinde, during the Unity Bank MasterCard media launch, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

By Umar Mohammed Puma, Abuja, Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina & Iliya Garba, Minna


ore Nigerian female pilgrims were yesterday deported back to Nigeria from the Holy land despite the 24 hour ultimatum issued by the federal government for the resolution of the dispute. The deported are part of the one thousand Nigerian female pilgrims detained by Saudi authorities for allegedly not being accompanied by a male relative (Mahram) as required by Saudi law. The deported included 102 pilgrims from Sokoto State who Contd on Page 2

2013 Budget: Reps shun Jonathan’s presentation By Lawrence Olaoye


he House of Representatives yesterday said it was not prepared to receive President Goodluck Jonathan who is billed to present the 2013 budget estimate to the joint session of the National Assembly on the 4th of October. The lawmakers resolved at plenary to suspend sittings next week to enable them conduct oversight functions in order to gauge the

level of implementation of capital projects in the 2012 budget across the country. The House, which had in recent times been having running battles with the executive over perceived poor budget implementation, resolved to carry out its statutory functions of oversight as pre-requisite for its receipt of the 2013 budget proposal from the President. Lawmakers posited that it would offend logic for it to begin

Police discover another bomb factory in Kano >> PAGE 2

the process of consideration of 2013 budget when that of 2012 is yet to be satisfactorily implemented to the benefit of the people. Briefing newsmen after the plenary, Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep Zakari Mohammed, told newsmen that the lawmakers would not be available to receive the President next week as scheduled just as he urged Jonathan to shift the date of his presentation to

Fee hike: Katsina varsity students shun registration >> PAGE 3

another convenient time. “There is no way we can leave our oversight functions to receive the President; the House is not ready to receive the budget because it is still working on the implementation of the 2012 budget,” he said. He explained further: “It is not as if the National Assembly is trying to scuttle the budget or out to intimidate any arm of government; it is a matter of Contd on Page 2



BUYING 154.7 250.9 200 0.2867 41

S ELLING 155.7 252.5 201 0.3067 41.5


BUYING 202 257 40 158

Eid ground sale: Ilorin Emirate slams allegation against govt >> PAGE 6

27th Sept., 2012


S ELLING 204 259 42 160

























65-years-old granny nabbed with cocaine on London trip From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


uck ran out on 65-year-old Fatimat Hassan Abike when agents of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on Wednesday, nabbed her as she has concluded arrangements to smuggle 1.740kg of cocaine into London in herbal syrup. The trip aboard a British Airways from Lagos to London was not the suspect’s first, but she was this time found with the drug cleverly packed to avoid detection. The suspect, also named Chika Okoye, packed the banned substance in balloons and inserted them in 10 plastic containers of herbal syrup. Lagos Airport Commander of the NDLEA, Mr. Hamza Umar, told journalists that the suspect has two international passports that bear Hassan Fatimat Abike with number A03348648 and A3771781A. “She was caught during the screening of British Airways passengers to London. The cocaine found in her possession was packed in balloons and prepared into the shape of the plastic bottles. It was also wrapped in black polythene inside 10 plastic bottles of local herbal mixtures. Each bottle was neatly sealed to avoid suspicion” Hamza

explained. The anti-drug agency said preliminary investigation revealed that she also bears the name Chika Okoye and speaks Ibo and Yoruba fluently while her father and mother hailed from Abeokuta and Owerri respectively. The mother of six and many grandchildren, said she currently lives alone in Owerri and sells clothes to earn a living. “I live at Owerri alone because my children are grown up and now

have their families. I sell clothes to take care of myself. I met an old friend two weeks ago and during our discussion, I told him I will soon be traveling to London. “He asked me to deliver some herbal medicine to his sick relative in London. I was only trying to assist an old friend. I blame myself for everything because I should have turned down his request. The drug was detected during search at the airport”, she told her interrogators.

Police discover another bomb factory in Kano From Edwin Olofu, Kano


he Kano state Police Command said it discovered another bomb factory yesterday in the city. Kano state Police Commissioner, Ibrahim Idris who disclosed this, said the factory was discovered in Hotoro Haye, in the remote part of the state capital. Idris said assorted bomb making materials were also found in the operation, which was led by The commissioner, who said the local bomb making industry which was cordoned off by mobile policemen would be demolished.

He added that three vehicles suspected to be the properties of local terrorists, were seized and taken to the police headquarters in Bompai. The commissioner further revealed that some of the materials discovered in the factory were 100 pieces of detonators, which is the main primer for the construction of IED, concentrated salt which they mix with ammonium nitrate, TNT which is a high calibre military chemical for bomb making, battery charger, lap tops, finished IEDs, four AK 47 rifles and about eight fully loaded magazines were recovered.

2013 Budget: Reps shun Jonathan’s presentation Contd from Page 1 procedure. “We can’t break the laws, conventions and procedures. Our laws must be obeyed. As vanguards of democracy, we should be doing the right thing; we should practice what we preach,” he declared. Asked how the extensive oversights through project tours would be financed, Mohammed assured that the House has effectively mobilized its committees for the task. He also intimated that the National Assembly would be expecting the President to present a Supplementary Budget that would be used to cushion the effects of flooding and other natural disasters on victims across the country. Mohammed also informed that the House had begun an amendment of the nation’s money laundering and antiterrorism Act so as to make the law more proactive and in tune with modern threats.

More female pilgrims deported I want to help in addressing our over dependence on foreign goods, Page 29

Inter’l Discourse

31-34 36







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Contd from Page 1 returned in the early hours of yesterday..The pilgrims were transported back to Sokoto aboard a Max Air aircraft. The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, in Abuja confirmed the repatriation of the females to the country. The Manager of the Sultan Abubakar III International Airport, Sokoto, Abubakar Lawal, said , yesterday in Sokoto that the deported pilgrims have since travelled to their respective local government areas. He said that the affected pilgrims are hale and hearty. All efforts to get the reaction of the Chairman of the State Pilgrims’ Welfare Agency, Muntari Maigona, or its Public Relations Officer, Faruk Umar, failed. Meanwhile, in his bid to resolve the diplomatic row between the Saudi authorities and the Nigerian government over the detention of the Nigerian pilgrims by Saudi Arabian authorities, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who is also the head of Nigerian delegation on mediation to Saudi Arabia has pleaded with Nigerians to be mindful of their statements on the issue. The Speaker said this when he received a report on the issue from the Chairman, House Committee on foreign affairs, Rep. Nnenna Ukeje, Tambuwal said, “I want to

plead with Nigerians to be mindful of their utterances on the issue so that we don’t aggravate the situation, we would make sure we use all available means to resolve this issue amicably”. He emphasised that Nigeria and Saudi Arabia have had a long standing diplomatic and spiritual relationship which must be sustained for the interest of both countries. He therefore pleaded with Nigerians to be patient as every step is being taken by the government to resolve the issue. Rep. Nnenna advised that rather than trade words the Federal Government should concentrate on the welfare of the stranded pilgrims who are left at the airport. She commended National Hajj Commission (NAHCON), for suspending the exercise for 48 hours in order to give room for dialogue. However, report just received indicated that the Saudi Arabian authorities have already commenced the release of the detained pilgrims whose Muharrams were identified, and so far, 19 pilgrims are said to have been cleared by the authorities. Meanwhile, the 111 female pilgrims from Katsina state deported from the Hajj, yesterday evening, returned home after their two-day ordeal at the Madina International Airport in Saudi Arabia. The Executive-Director of the Katsina State Pilgrims Welfare

Board, Alhaji Aminu Danbaba who confirmed their return to Katsina to newsmen, stated that the pilgrims are in good health and have since returned to their families. Danbaba said he could not say anything about the fate of the embattled pilgrims until the outcome of the diplomatic effort between the Nigerian government and its Saudi Arabian counterpart. The ordeal of the Katsina female pilgrims began on Wednesday when they arrived Madina International Airport in Saudi Arabia where they were stopped after being found not to be travelling with their husbands or relations. It would be recalled that of the over 6000 pilgrims from Katsina state to this year’s Hajj, about 4000 had already being airlifted to the Holy Land. In a related development, the Niger State Pilgrims Welfare Commission has suspended its inaugural airlift of pilgrims to the holy land for this year’s Hajj operation in compliance with Federal Government directives in order to sort out the lingering crises of Nigerian women detainees in Saudi Arabia. The information officer of the commission, Alhaji Sani Awwal, made this known yesterday to newsmen in Minna. He said that the commission had no option than to comply with the directives of the National Hajj Commission

to suspend the inaugural airlift which was billed to start yesterday. “We had finished the screening of the 500 intending pilgrims from Mashegu, Paikoro and Mariga local government areas, including the medical and the commission staff, when the message of the suspension reached us, we complied with it. “In fact, the pilgrims were already at the Minna International Airport after the completion of their screening at the Hajj Camp, while the carrier, Max Airline, had stationed its plane on the tarmac waiting, when the suspension came into effect. “We had therefore return the pilgrims back to the Hajj Camp, while awaiting further directive from NAHCON, with appropriate measures had been taken toward ensuring the comfort of our pilgrims at the camp, including free feeding and medical care”, he said.Alhaji Awwal assured all intending pilgrims from all the local governments of the state that all of them will be airlifted to Saudi Arabia for this year’s Hajj operation as soon as all the diplomatic clashes are resolved. More than 4,355 intending pilgrims are expected to perform this year’s Hajj operation from the state which will include 22 officials, while the female are to have their Muharam companion so that they can have access into the three holy cities of Saudi Arabia where they can carry out their religious rites.



Policy inconsistency bane of agriculture in Nigeria - Sen. Adamu …says 6thNational Agricultural Show kicks-off By Aminu Imam


ormer Nasarawa state governor and chairman of the National Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria (NAFN), Senator Abdullahi Adamu, has identified policy inconsistency on the part of the Federal

Government as the reason why the nation’s agricultural sector is yet to make any meaningful progress. Senator Adamu stated this yesterday when he led members of the foundation on a courtesy visit on Peoples Media Limited to announce this year’s upcoming National Agricultural Show.

According to him, “Policy continuation is something that is lacking in Nigeria and that is why we still have not got it right. Once a new government takes over power, they usually abandon previous governmental policies or programmes. That is why the

L-R: Chairman, Board of Trustees, National Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria (NAFN), Senator Abdullahi Adamu, National Coordinator of NAFN, Dr. Samuel Negedu, and Deputy National Coordinator, Aishatu Ibrahim, during their visit to Peoples Media Ltd, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

nation presently spends about $3 billion (N480 bn) on agric importation”. The NAFN chairman assured that all is set for this year’s show, which is coming up between October 12 th and 16 th, 2012. Announcing this year’s date, Senator Adamu informed that the choice of the date was made to coincide with this year’s World Food Day, marked annually across the world. He said this year’s show, with the theme: “Promoting Sustainable Investment in Agriculture in Nigeria” will draw attendance from all states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory as well as stakeholders in the private sector including the World Bank. “This year’s show will be the 6th in a series and since its inauguration, the show has continued to grow from strength to strength,” he said and assured that in spite of the security situation, the spirit of farmers have not been dampened. Also speaking, the NAFN national coordinator, Dr. Samuel Negedu, said this year’s show would involve women and youth groups, with a view to encouraging them for more active participation in this and successive shows. In his response, Peoples Media’s Chief Operating Officer, Malam Ali M. Ali said the theme of this year’s show couldn’t have been more apt and assured the foundation of adequate coverage of the event.

Ex-cop to hang for murder of 3-year-old girl From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


n Ikeja High court presided over by Justice Olabisi Akinlade, yesterday, found a 35-year old ex-police corporal, Ikechukwu Nwabueze, guilty of the murder of a three-year old girl and therefore sentenced him to death by hanging. The judge, while delivering judgement on the case, held that the weight of evidence before the court showed that Nwabueze intentionally killed the girl. The convict was alleged to have

FG declares Monday public holiday By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


he Federal Government has declared Monday, October 1, a public holiday to mark Nigeria’s 52nd Independence Anniversary. Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, made the declaration in a statement signed yesterday by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Daniel Nwaobia. While congratulating all Nigerians both at home and abroad, Moro urged them to resolve to build a more united and virile nation “that would be the pride of all Nigerians wherever they live”.

in April 2009, shot at a car in which the parents, the three-year old Kafusara, and her siblings were commuting at Mr. Biggs Junction at Alapere, Ketu. Nwabueze and his colleagues were said to have taken to their heels when they discovered that there was a fatality. However, Nwabueze who was later dismissed from the Police Force was said to have confessed during investigation that he shot dead the little girl. But Justice Akinlade agreed with the evidence given by the prosecution witnesses; the father of the deceased, Sergeant Adeboye James of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba, Prof. John Oladapo, the pathologist who performed the autopsy on the deceased and ASP Atunbi Jeremiah, a police ballistician. Justice Akinlade who noted some inconsistencies in the testimony of Nwabueze, also held that a recanted confessional statement does not necessarily cancel its relevance. The judge said the testimonies of

the prosecution witnesses were not discredited during crossexamination unlike that of the defence. The judge, while passing her sentence, said she was not


From Adesoji Oyinlola, Ayodele Samuel & Ojebola Matthew, Lagos


he Governor of Niger state and Chairman, Northern Governors’ Forum, Babangida Aliyu, has said that Boko Haram insurgency in the northern part of the country is not a threat, compared to corruption and ethnic loyalty threatening to break Nigeria. He said discussing Boko Haram sect as an independent variable when considering national insecurity was a waste of time. According to Aliyu, the threat to Nigerian security by the sect cannot be curbed unless Nigerians decided to live together as one nation and let the national identity of the country overshadow the regional division and ethnic loyalty. Speaking in Lagos yesterday as a guest lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo Institute of Government and Public Policy, tagged, “The search for national security in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects”, Governor Aliyu emphasised the need for elites governing the affairs of the state to concentrate on national unity and integration instead of engaging in endless competition and pursuing selfish interest which he described as major threat to national security in Nigeria.

Fee hike: Katsina varsity students shun registration From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


equel to the increase in registration fees, the Student Union Government (SUG) of Umaru Musa ‘Yar’Adua University Katsina, has directed both fresh and returning students to suspend registration until the fees were reduced. The President of the Union, Comrade Shamsuddeen Badamasi, while giving the directive in an interview with newsmen yesterday in Katsina, stated that students should suspend further registration until the outcome of their dialogue with the state

Achebe releases memoirs 40 years after civil war hinua Achebe’s memoir on the Biafran war was released yesterday, September27 in the United Kingdom and is due to be released in Nigeria shortly and in the US on October11. The book titled “There Was a Country”, is a story about the

convinced of any reason why she should show some leniency. She therefore pronounced: “The sentence of the court upon you is that you be hung on the neck until you are dead.

Boko Haram not threat to Nigeria – Aliyu

brutal three-year Biafran war through Achebe’s eyes, at a time he was a roving cultural ambassador for Biafra during the civil war. The 81-year-old author of “Things Fall Apart” has added his war diary to his more than 20 outstanding works.

government. Badamasi regretted that the increase was much that it may force 60 to 70 per cent of the students out of the university, pointing out that this was capable of rubbishing the vision of its founding fathers. He disclosed that they have written to the university management, the state government, the state House of Assembly, two emirs in the state and department of High Education, expressing their opposition to the fee increase. “We went round to have discussions with these major stakeholders. Our aim is to be able to resolve this issue through dialogue. Based on the response we received so far, we believe the issue would be resolved amicably’ he added. He similarly said that their struggle has received the blessings of the University’s ASUU, disclosing that the lecturers promised not to begin lectures until the issue was resolved. Shamsuddeen, who expressed optimism that the impasse would

be diplomatically resolved, stated that if the dialogue option fails, they have plan ‘B’ to fall on, advising students to remain calm and wait for further directives from the SUG. Giving a graphic account of the new fee, Shamsuddeen noted that returning indigenous students reading science based courses would be paying N50, 000 instead of N15, 000 they were paying before the increase, while non-indigenes would now be paying N88, 500 instead of N31, 500. He added that for the Arts, returning indigenes would be paying N38, 500 instead of the former fee of N14, 500, while nonindigenes would be paying N80, 000 instead of the former fee of N35, 5000.

We made a mistake Yesterday, in our centrespread (pp 24-25), we ran an interview with the Executive Secretary of the FCT Education Secretariat, Malam Kabir Usman, in which we erroneously referred to his title as “acting Executive Secretary”. We truly regret the embarrassment. — Editor



Kidney theft: Bauchi suspends license of private clinic From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


auchi State Government has suspended the medical licenses of a Private Clinic in Bauchi metropolis, Aminchi Medical Clinic, and referred the Medical director to professional body. Following the report submitted to the state government by the Medical Board of Inquiry set up by Gov. Isa Yuguda into the alleged illegal removal of a patient, Mallam Abubakar Buba’s two kidneys, in August 2012. A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Michael Ishola Adeyemi said the investigating board asked the Health Commissioner to also suspend Aminchi as a Health facility in compliance with the 1986 Health Edict No 20 Section 12,sub 1 b. The board of inquiry recommends the suspension of the private clinic and immediate referral of Dr. Sani Adamu, the Clinic owner and his two nurses, Messrs Mijinyawa Abdulkadir Abdullahi and Yusuf Mohammed Zangina to their professional bodies for further investigation and appropriate disciplinary steps. It further charged the state Health Commissioner to review and update the Hospital Registration and Regulating Authority Edict No 20 of 1986, besides activating and strengthening of all Health Professional Monitoring and Inspection teams within the state. The Inquiry body headed by Dr. Robinson Yusuf of Bauchi State Specialist Hospital observed during its investigation that “Aminchi Medical Clinic had not maintained a sufficient reasonable standard of professional ethical practice in view of the deteriorating working relationship with the Medical Director and other staff of the clinic”. It could be recalled that at the peak of the kidney removal controversy, Gov. Yuguda had donated $21,450 American Dollars to enable Abubakar Buba access a definitive treatment abroad.

NEMA moves to avert flooding from Lake Nyos in Cameroon T he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has produced a Lake Nyos Disaster Response Manual to “proactively prepare for the disaster that may arise from the possible collapse” of the Lake Nyos Dam in Western Cameroon. The manual, which was

endorsed yesterday at a ceremony in Abuja by stakeholders, aims to put measures in place to mitigate flood waters from the lake from affecting the people of Benue state. Speaking at the ceremony, the Director-General of NEMA, Alhaji

L-R: Deputy Commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Air Vice Marshal Dickson Dillimono, Assistant Commissioner of Police and representative of IG, Mr. Chinedu Silva, and Commandant, Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre, Major-General John Zaruwa, during a training "Exercise HankakaTsauni 11", yesterday in Kaduna. Photo: NAN


he inaugurated Kaduna State Peace and Reconciliation Committee, yesterday, completed the oneweek long public hearing with a call on residents of the state to embrace peace as the only alternative to development. The committee was tasked with the responsibility to entrench new strategies and reforms that would bring about lasting peace in the state.

might be caused by gradual erosion from rain, wind and lake waters, or as a result of violent volcanic eruption. The DG explained that the report mentioned the possibility of the breakdown of the dam within 10 years, adding that the eventual failure of the dam will result in the discharge of about 55 million cu. metres of water which would result in flooding downstream. “It is estimated that between Cameroon border and River Benue, 50 settlements, including KatsinaAla among others and over 15,000 hectares of land will be flooded”. Sidi said that financial losses had been estimated to be in billions of naira, comprising of crops, residential and commercial structures, utilities and infrastructure, including roads and bridges and other services. The DG said as part of NEMA’s mandate to prevent and mitigate disaster in Nigeria, the agency, in collaboration with Benue State Emergency Management Agency, held a workshop to create awareness, share experiences and to draw up an appropriate contingency response and evacuation plan. Present at the ceremony were representatives of the federal ministries of environment, water resources, science and technology, agriculture, transport, army, police, civil defence corps, the Red Cross and the FRSC, among others. (NAN)

EFCC accuses Atuche of using depositors funds to pay N45m tithe By Lambert Tyem


he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Wednesday, accused a former managing director of Bank PHB, Mr. Francis Atuche of using depositors funds to pay N45 million tithe. According to Wilson Uwujaren, spokesman of EFCC, “Lead prosecution counsel, Kemi Pinheiro, made the accusation while leading key witness, Mr. Solomon Abolaji Ogunsola, a former staff of PHB Mortgages Limited, in evidence before Justice Lateefa Okunnu of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos. “Atuche paid the money from an account of PHB Mortgage

Limited. Pinheiro presented documents in court, some of them e-mails sent as an order to release the sum of N35million to St. Monica’s Catholic Church, Ibusa, Delta state, and another sum of N10 million to another St. Augustine’s Catholic Church. Ogunsola told the court that Atuche sent the money to the two churches in Delta state because he hails from the state. Ogunsola also admitted knowing two companies: Claremount Nigeria Limited and Claremount Asset Management. “He said that Claremount Nigeria Limited had a call account with his bank and the account was owned by Atuche. He explained that the only

Kaduna peace panel completes hearing, says no alternative to peace From Mohammed Adamu, Kaduna

Muhammad Sani Sidi, said Lake Nyos is close to Nigeria and that a 2005 UNDP report has predicted that the dam is at “a point of potential collapse”. Sidi, represented by NEMA’s Director of Administration, Dr. Zanna Muhammad, said the report predicted that the collapse

Declaring the public hearing closed, the co-chairmen of the committee, Alhaji Abbas Dabo and Air Vice Marshall Ishaya Aboi Shekari (rtd), stated that the committee made successful effort during its sittings to achieve a lasting peace, genuine forgiveness and reconciliation in the state. “The fundamental basis to achieve the above objectives is forgiveness which has been entrenched in the teachings of both the Christian and Islamic faiths”,

they said. According to them, “It is a well known fact that to achieve peace and genuine reconciliation in the society, we need to understand one another, accommodate one another, appreciate our differences and make changes where possible. “We need to restore social trust and confidence in the way we deal with each other. An effective mechanism must be devised to resolve disputes and find mutual consensus on the way forward”.

document on the call account’s file was a reference letter which bears Atuche’s name. The document was admitted as exhibit. Also various transactions carried out by Atuche in his statements of account with Claremount Nigeria Limited and Claremount Asset Management Limited were read. Atuche had denied having

anything to do with the two companies. The judge also admitted the accounts as exhibits. The EFCC counsel also led in evidence, one Mr. Andy Uzomor, a staff of PHB Mortgage Limited, who presented a 39- page document before the court as exhibit.

Kano Assembly unable to pass law on commerce, agric in 13 years From Bala Nasir, Kano


renowned Kano-based industrialist, Alhaji Saidu Dattijo Adhama has decried that of the 131 bills passed into law by Kano State House of Assembly in the last 12 years, none is directly on agriculture, commerce and industry. Adhama was speaking at Mambayya House, Kano during a one day Seminar organised by a Kano based commerce and industry oriented group, Enhancing Nigeria Advocacy for A Better Business on Wednesday. The theme of the seminar “The State of Textile Industry and its Effects on the Nigerian Economy: A Study of Kantin Kwari Market”, Kano State drew participants from the textiles industry and marketing sectors of the economy especially from Kano state. Dattijo Adhama stated that he

had virtually studied all the bills passed into law in the state and non touches on these sectors which are the major employers of labour. He lamented that while Kantin Kwari traders are alleging that the Chinese are now left to take over their market from them by also participating in retail business fully, the traders are not helping matters by not uniting themselves to address the problem. Other stakeholders also spoke on issues regarding policy issues which they described to have been the major constraint to the growth of trade and industry in the state and the country in general. Politicians are blamed for most of these because they are not usually honest with some of the policies they designed for these sectors and their subsectors as they usually design them to cash in on entrepreneurs’ for their own selfish interests.



Yuguda’s aide resurfaces three days after abduction From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


op aide to Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi state who was abducted by unknown gunmen last Monday, Alhaji Muhammadu Sade Usama has resurfaced to his family in Bauchi after three days of disappearance. Usama was abducted by gunmen in the early hours of Monday by 5: 15am on his way to the mosque for the early morning prayer after killing his bodyguard. No report of how Usama was released to his family at Railway Quarters of Bauchi metropolis. However, it was gathered from a family source that he was returned to his house early in the morning around six o’clock inside

a red Chevrolet Jeep after which he went straight to his mother before re uniting with the rest of his family members. Both Sade and family reportedly wept at the sight of each other. “Government position over the matter was that we are happy he was re united with his family alive ,in good health, we thank God and we thank all the people that helped to secure his release, we are appealing to people to continue to be their brothers keepers and report any suspicious character to the security agencies because government is committed to provide adequate security to lives and properties of the people”, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor, Mr. Ishola Michael Adeyemi said.

Court remands ‘homosexual’ student in prison From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


300 level accounting student of Benue State University, Makurdi, Ortyom Dyorugh has been remanded at the Makurdi Medium Security Prison for allegedly indulging in homosexual act with a 7 year old boy, Isaac Chivirter Shamigah. Dyorugh was arraigned before a Chief Magistrate Court in Makurdi yesterday, charged with alleged gross indecency. First Information Report showed that the 20 year old BSU student had some times ago forced

Shamigah to an uncompleted building within the quarters and requested him to have oral sex with him. Police Prosecution Officer Sergeant Patrick Sunday also told the court that Dyorough threatened to kill the little boy if he exposed the ungodly act to anyone. But Shamigah could not conceal such disgusting act and revealed it to his parents who did not waste time in reporting the matter to the Criminal Investigation Bureau, CIB of the Benue State Police Command and Dyorugh was arrested.

L-R: Saudi Arabia Ambasssdor to Nigeria, Khaled Abdrabuh, in a handshake with Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu waziri Tambuwal, the envoy's visit to the Speaker, yesterday at the National Assembly, in Abuja. PHOTO: MAHMUD ISA

NECO records improvement in English, Maths From Iliya Garba, Minna


he Registrar/Chief Executive, National Examination Council (NECO), Prof. Promise N. Okpala, has confirmed an improvement in English and mathematics of June/ July Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) when compared with that of last year.

He made this known yesterday at the release of the 2012 June/ July SSCE results at the NECO headquarters Minna, saying that students comparatively performed better in English with 49.44% and Mathematics 50.41%. Okpala said in all the subjects taken during the examination, biology has the best overall result in credit and above with total number of 579,683 (51.77%),

Seadogs to protest in Abuja over Bakassi By Adeola Tukuru & Sunday Etuka

F How children rendered deaf by meningitis regained hearing

adding that they did well in other related sciences. He said measures were taken to monitor examinations by deploying senior staff to man custodian points, adopting daily distribution of sensitive examination materials, using coded answer booklets for different subjects during its examinations thereby eliminating the importation of answered sheets into the examination halls.

ederal Capital Territory Chapter of the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) will hold a peaceful demonstration to raise awareness on the current plight of the indigenous people of Bakassi, the Nigerian enclave that was ceded to the government of Cameroon following the October 10, 2002 judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), on Saturday, September 29, 2012 in Abuja. A press released signed by the President

of the Association, Chief Ogbuehi Dike stated that Seadogs had been involved in the fight for the betterment of the human society through activities, including but not limited to the struggle for the emancipation of the people of Darfur in Western Sudan from suffering and persecution as a result of the lingering war there, via the “Save Darfur Initiative” in 2007 and 2008. “We believe that as an organization indigenous to Nigerians, we owe the people of Bakassi and indeed the entire Nigerians a duty to bring to the fore, the current plight of Bakassi people”, he said.

Eid ground sale: Ilorin Emirate slams allegation against govt From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he people of Ilorin Emirate have dissociated themselves from the insinuation making the rounds that the Kwara state government intends to sell the Muslim praying ground and the Emir’s palace. The President, Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU), Justice Saka Yusuf, told newsmen that the union was neither connected to such unfounded allegations nor believe it. He said "we couldn't have said such a thing. To God, IEDPU never said the government wanted to sell the praying ground and the Emir's palace. Who will the

government sell them to and for what purposes? May be the politicians are at work again". The IEDPU president emphasized that the union is non-partisan and would not be involved in any act that could embarrass Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed or Senator Bukola Saraki. Yusuf explained that the misunderstanding that ensued over the urbanization law was as a result of communication gap, adding that IEDPU's utmost concern was the interest of Ilorin Emirate and not being a watchdog of the government. He added, “whatever happened was never a planned affair, but expression of our people’s apprehension”.



Flood: IDPs vacate public schools From Blessing Tunoh, Yola


ictims of the recent flood that wreaked havoc in parts of Adamawa state, yesterday, vacated public schools where they have been taking refuge, to temporary camps provided by the state government. The internally displaced persons (IDPs) were relocated to enable students the schools who have already missed two weeks to resume a new session. The flood which resulted from the release of excess water from

Gunmen attack former SGF's house, kill 2 cops From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


nknown gunmen have attacked the House of the former Secretary to the Federal Government, Alhaji Aminu Saleh and killed two policemen in Azare, headquarters of Katagum local government area of Bauchi state. It was gathered that the two policemen who were attached to the house of former SGF were attacked while eating around 8 pm on Wednesday night. Residents of the area told our correspondent that the gun men came in a car and on citing the policemen stopped and opened fire on the policemen and took away their guns. A top security source who confirmed the attack, said the gunmen did not target the former SGF but the policemen whom they succeeded in killing and took away their arms. Effort to get the Police Commissioner, Mohammed Ladan proved abortive at the time of filing this report.

Scientist recommends sweet potato flour as alternative to wheat


Rwandan Agricultural Scientist, Mr. Kirimi Sindi, has advised African countries to use sweet potato flour for confectioneries as an alternative to wheat. Sindi, in a paper presented at the ongoing 16th Triennial Symposium of International Society for Tropical and Root Crops, in Abeokuta, Ogun, noted that sweet potato is rich in Vitamin A. His paper was entitled "What is the consumers' perception of bakery products made with Vitamin A rich sweet potato and wheat?" The scientist said that the consumption of sweet potato could eliminate Vitamin A deficiency common in many parts of the continent. "Sweet potato is better than wheat because it is cheaper while imported wheat is costly", Sindi said. According to him, flour made from potato and cassava can be used to bake bread, doughnut, biscuits and cakes, reducing production cost by 15 percent. (NAN)

Lagdo Dam in Cameroun early this month, sacked over 500 communities in the state. Consequently the state government had evacuated and camped victims in nearby public schools across the state where they have been receiving attention and relief from agencies and individuals. The Commissioner For Special Duties, Salisu Hayatu Zumo, stood in for chairman of the State Emergency Relief Committee and secretary to the state government Kobis Thimnu at the official flag off of the relocation which started in Yola North local government. While presenting relief materials to the evacuees at Yola North, Hayatu urged them to be patient, assuring that the state government is committed to alleviating their suffering.

L-R: Edo state Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Malam Muhammad Sani Sidi, and Special Adviser to the President on Aviation, Captain Usman Shehu Iyal, during NEMA delegation’s visit o the governor, yesterday in Benin City, the state capital.

Respect court decisions, ECOWAS tells member states By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, yesterday, commenced its 2012-2013 legal year amidst calls on member states to respect and execute the decisions of the court. President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadro Desire Ouedroago in message to the special court session, said although member states have executed most of the decisions of the court, "greater sensitiasation and awareness needed to be reinforced in our member states, with the view to improving the execution rate of those decisions". Ouedroaga whose message was delivered by ECOWAS Vice President, Dr. Toga Gayewea Mcintosh, said that the ECOWAS parliament was concerned about the implementation of the decisions of the court. He said all parties within the community must be knowledgeable about the community laws and accept the legitimacy of the court's

pronouncements and to get community citizens to know about the court. Meanwhile, the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, has expressed concern over the failure of some

member states to appoint a competent authority for the enforcement of the court's decisions. The AGF said Nigeria is among the few countries that have complied, adding that"the reluctance of other member states

to comply with the provision of Article 24 has become worrisome as the inability to enforce the decisions of the Community Court within jurisdiction of such member states raises some questions as to the effectiveness of the Community Court of Justice".

ormer Speaker of Benue state House Assembly and House of Representatives member, Hon Emmanuel Yisa Orker Jev has described lawyers as defenders of the rule of law; adding that they have a serious responsibility to ensure the survival of the nation's democracy. Jev who is representing Buruku federal constituency of Benue state, further tasked

lawyers to serves as catalysts of good governance and accountability by holding those entrusted with public resources accountable to the electorate. Speaking while delivering an alumni lecture entitled "The role of a lawyer in a fast changing world", organised by the Advancement Office of the University of Jos, Jev highlighted the role played by the Bar to be that of promoting and sustaining democracy in Nigeria and should be best

described as a vehicle which drives the rule of law. He said "this is more so because the last hope of the common man in this country is the judiciary. The result of rule of law is nothing but justice; rule of law therefore thrives when ministers in the temple of justice contribute their quota". He therefore concluded the bar must play the role of checking political and electoral violence for the interest of democracy.

brother, and wondered why for once, the police will not own up to the wanton destruction of innocent Nigerians by its personnel. In her words, "there is only one version to all these stories making the rounds that is true and that is the police shot my brother. It was five days after his wedding and according to the friend he had gone to drop off, there was no argument nor was there any resistance to any move by the police to arrest him, all he said he heard was that at the approach of the now 'mystery' policeman was "who is

there?" followed by staccato of gunshot which felled my brother", she said. Narrating further, Mrs. Nonyenlu also rued explanation given by the DPO on the night of the incident stressing that he could neither explain why he got to the spot and met Ugo gasping for breath and stood akimbo until the petrified friend of the deceased came back with the wife and other neighbours who now rushed the victim to the nearest hospital. In a related development, colleagues of the deceased at the University of Lagos where he was

to round off his masters degree led by the coordinator of the course, Dr. Soji George, were in the family home of their dead colleague whom they described as a jolly good fellow whose contribution to the department would be hard to be equaled by any student. They pledged to help in unraveling the culprit behind the dastardly act as well as contributing to his burial arrangement. Oguchukwu Ozuah, 39, was allegedly murdered by a policeman attached to Anthony Division in Lagos last Thursday.

Lawyers responsible for survival of democracy, says Rep From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


Slain man's family condemns police for 'lying' From Matthew Aramunde, Lagos


he family of late Ugochukwu Ozuah who was allegedly mowed down by the police last Thursday, has described the defense put up by the authorities of the Nigeria police as shameless and distasteful. Mrs. Nkechi Nonyelu, a relation of Ozuah who wept throughout the period the interview lasted, was visibly angry with the explanation the police authorities are branding as circumstances surrounding the killing of her younger


Floods: Minister implores Benue people to be resolute From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


he minister for Culture and Tourism, Chief Edem Duke, has said that the flood disaster which hit Benue state is surmountable if the people will remain resolute and take their destinies in the hands. The minister, who was in Benue to declare the World Tourism Day exhibition open, maintained that Benue state remains a flag bearer in culture and tourism in the country, adding that not even the flood challenge facing the state at this time could alter this fact. He however, frowned at the attitude of Nigerians in appreciating their culture and tourist areas around their environment. “It is unfortunate that we do not attach any importance to tourist attractions around our environment. We are consciously working on the self belief of Nigerians to value the tourist potentials they have around their environment”, Duke said.


Iwuanyanwu dismisses possibility of Igbo president in 2015


PDP chieftain in Imo state, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, yesterday dismissed the possibility of a president of Igbo extraction emerging in 2015 without an effective zoning arrangement. Iwuanyanwu, three times presidential aspirant, said this at a press conference in Owerri, where

he advocated for the inclusion of zoning of political offices in the constitution. He said the six existing zones should be given equal opportunity to produce the president of the country through a zoning arrangement. Iwuanyanwu added that for any zoning policy to be effective

and meaningful, it must be in the constitution. He said the Igbos have qualified and experienced people capable of leading the country. The PDP chieftain identified internal politics and selfishness as part of factors militating against the aspiration of such people. He also canvassed for the

Disable school pupils get 238 tricycles in Katsina From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


Nigeria can exit polio using national strategic plan – WHO By A’isha Biola Raji


he outgoing Country Director of World Health Organisation (WHO) to Nigeria, Dr. David Okello, has called for the implementation of the National Strategic Plan as a means to eradicating polio and other diseases in the country. Okello made these remarks yesterday in Abuja at a group lunch organised for him by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to celebrate his end of tenure in Nigeria. According to Dr. Okello, Nigeria is the only country in Africa still battling with polio virus and the solution is to implement the strategic plan. He further advised that, the national health bill is the tool that will facilitate its implementation and should therefore, be passed. He said: “The health bill is a way of funding the strategic plan, the concept does not depend on the Ministry of Health alone. It is sad if they don’t want it just because of one sentence”. He however called on the media to play the major role of getting the bill passed. Dr. Emmanuel Odu, Director Planning and Statistics who represented the Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr. Ado Muhammad, said the outgoing Country Director has worked hard to harmonise the health sector and through his good leadership attitude, has rendered special help especially in eradicating polio. Also present at the send forth were representatives of USAID, UNICEF, CDC, Rotary and the chairman, Health Reform Organisation of Nigeria (HERFON) Dr. Ben Anyene.

autonomy of local councils, saying the constitution should be amended to allow the councils total control of their funds. He said state government’s control of the council funds was responsible for the failure of the local government system, as it had made it impossible for any council chairman to embark on projects beneficial to their communities. (NAN)

L-R: Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Lawan Ngama, Director General, Budget Office, Dr Bright Okogu, during a meeting with House Committee on Finance on the 2013-2015 medium term expenditure framework and fiscal strategy paper, yesterday at the National Assembly, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

AUN schools students on study techniques By Sunday Etuka


he American University of Nigeria (AUN)Yola,has organized a workshop to enlighten its students on how to improve the quality of their work, grades, social life, and save time by adopting the SQ3R (Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review) study technique. A statement signed the university spokesman and Assistant Vice President for PR & Communications, Mr. Abba Abubakar Tahir indicated that the Career Services office of the AUN organised the workshop for a select group of students who will in turn act as SQ3R trainees for the AUN community. The workshop was moderated by Ms. Jelena

Zivkovic of the university’s School of Business and Entrepreneurship. Training students with the skill set to train others will provide a better way to transfer study habits. “Students need help to read better, more effectively and efficiently,” said a staff member from Career Services. Ms. Zivkovic said the study technique is “just one of the numerous techniques that can be used to enhance study and encourage students to stick with what works best”. Participants at the workshop ranged from students who have trouble reading to those who find reading boring, struggle with reading assignments, and fail

to remember what they read, simply want to improve their grades or want to help others develop their reading habits. In attendance were firstyear students, sophomores, juniors and seniors. The Honors Society was also represented at the workshop. After the workshop, participants were divided into groups to test their understanding of the subject. In the groups, one participant volunteered to instruct, another volunteered to provide the instructor with feedback, while others listened. The Career Services office organized the train-the-trainer workshop to help improve grades. Trained students will teach other students the study skills they have learned.

atsina State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), has distributed 238 tricycles worth N5.7 million to disabled primary school pupils across the 34 local governments of the state. Distributing the tricycles yesterday at the board’s office complex, the executive-chairman of the board, Alhaji Dikko Suleiman noted that the physically challenged children were part and parcel of the basic education programme. He stated that the funds used in the purchase of the tricycles were part of the intervention funds for education of children with special needs, adding that such children deserve to be assisted to be useful to the society. According to him, each of local government would receive seven tricycles where he said five would be shared to disabled primary school pupils while two would be given to junior secondary school pupils. Suleiman who tasked the beneficiaries to properly use the tricycles to effectively pursue their education, called on the local government education secretaries and wealthy individuals in the community to be assisting the beneficiaries in maintaining them. Similarly, the chairman said the distribution of the tricycles would be a continuous one as according to him, last year alone a total of 170 of such tricycles were distributed to disabled pupils. Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, the education secretary of Rimi local government, Alhaji Surajo Dalhatu expressed appreciation over the initiative while calling on the well to do in the society to assist government in this direction.

Suswam frowns at neglect of Benue in maritime industry From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


enue state governor, Gabriel Suswam, has decried the neglect of the State in marine industry of the nation despite its status as one of the highest producers of cash crops.

The governor who aired his views at the 7th annual shipping career summit held at the Benue State University, Makurdi, yesterday, also called on the Federal Government to hasten the dredging of River Benue so as to boost economic activities in the state. Represented by the state’s

Head of Service, Hon. Mike Iordye, Suswam stressed that it has become necessary to do so at a time when other modes of transport like rail and road are failing. He further contended that the dredging of the river would go a long way in easing transportation of farm produce, especially now that the Federal Government

desires the export of Nigeria crops to foreign lands. The chief executive officer of Ships and Ports Communication Company, Mr. Bolaji Akinola regretted that the nation is yet to tap from the abundant potentials of the maritime industry that can employ more than five million youths annually.


Don charges journalist on decent dressing From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Head of Department Mass Communication, Federal Polytechnic Bauchi, Alhaji Hassan A. Hassan has charged journalists in the country to always dress decently and corporately so as to maintain the dignity of the profession and as the mirror of the society. Hassan who gave this charge over the weekend while addressing thousands of students at the special congress organized by the department, said journalists as watchdogs have the responsibility of educating and imparting good values in the people. He however lamented that some Mass Communication students who are prospective journalists, dress indecently pointing out that the manner of dressing would determine their integrity in the society.


Flooding poses huge threat to national food security – Minister By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he Minister of Environment, Hajiya Hadiza Mailafia Wednesday said that the unprecedented flood that is currently ravaging parts of the country poses a big threat to national food security. Fielding questions from State House correspondents after the weekly FEC meeting, the Minister

argued that flooding is a natural disaster for which the government cannot be blamed. According to her, over 5,000 farmlands were washed away by the flood across the country with Kogi state being the worse hit. The Minister said, “What we have done in the last couple of months is to consistently educate people, calling the attention of government and individuals to the

need to move away from flood plains. “Where you have in a country, well over 5,000 farmlands washed away,then the chances are that there is cause for attention. It is of national interest. So, all what we are saying is that, it is a national emergency. “We have also seen a number of infrastructure both federal and state owned that have been

JOHESU aborts planned strike, wants health minister sacked By Muhammad Nasir and Aisha Biola Raji


Bauchi church lauds govt over bomb attack From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Bauchi Catholic Diocese has expressed appreciation for the concern shown by the government and people of Bauchi state who commiserated with them over last Sunday’s suicide bomb attack at the St. Johns Catholic Church. A Press Statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ishola Michael Adeyemi made available to newsmen in Bauchi, said that Bishop of the Bauchi Catholic Diocese, John Malachi Golten described the visit of government officials and the Emir of Bauchi as a demonstration of oneness as well as value for human life irrespective of ethno-religious differences. It stated that Bishop Golten prayed God Almighty to prevent recurrence of the ugly incident just as he called on both Christians and Muslims in the state to continue praying for divine intervention in the security challenges in the state and the nation in general. Also speaking in the statement, the state CAN chairman, Reverend Lawi Pokti appealed for more security measures to protect worshipers in the state. Speaking earlier, the state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Sagir Aminu Saleh said the state government was seriously touched by the ugly act and commiserates with the victims .

submerged, there are likely threat to food security, challenges that have to do with the health of people in some areas”. Still on Kogi flood that has rendered the Lokoja-Abuja road impassable, the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen assured that the alternative routes being worked on by the trio of Julius Berger, Dantata and Sawoe as well as RCC would be ready on Thursday.

L-R: Deputy Chairperson, House Committee on Diaspora, Hon. Betty Apiafi , Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim , Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Abike DabiriErewa , during a visit by the committee to the SGF, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


mbattled former Managing Director, Intercontinental Bank Plc, (Now Access Bank), Erastus Akingbola, yesterday told Justice Habeeb Abiru of Lagos High Court in Ikeja, that the bank was not involved in any share buy-back. The former bank chief while being cross-examined by counsel to the Economic Crimes and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), Mr. Emmanuel Ukala. Akingbola stated that there was no truth in the assertion of the prosecution that the bank

N49.1bn theft: ‘Intl Bank not involved in share buy-back’ bought back its own shares. Akingbola is standing trial, along with Bayo Dada, for alleged theft of N49.1bn belonging to the bank. Akingbola also said that there is no book on the so much talked about standard banking practice. Akingbola who was responding to questions by EFCC counsel, Ukala on how funds are usually transferred according to “standard banking practice” said “for about 40 years I have been

in banking, i have never seen any book on standard banking practice. Ukala had alleged that the transfer was authorised by him verbally without any document backing it. Ukala also accused Akingbola of using variant names to buy shares for himself his wife, Anthonia; and his son, Akinyemi. He said Akingbola had to foist the shares on the bank when he encountered losses.

Gun-running cartel in police net From Matthew Aramunde, Lagos


emesis has finally caught up with three suspected robbers , who specialize in inter- state gun running deals as three of them were arrested and paraded by the Lagos state police command on Tuesday. Speaking with journalists at the command headquarters in Ikeja, Manko Abubakar Umar, Lagos state police commissioner said that on September 23, officer in-charge of Lagos State AntiRobbery Squad SARS, Abba Kyari upon receiving information that one Uche Okeagbu was arrested

by the police around iIlemba Hausa area in Ajangbadi in Lagos. He said, “The suspect was arrested on the suspicion that he belonged to a deadly gang of armed robbers, who specialize in bank robberies and gun running. During interrogations, the suspect confessed to police detectives that he and members of his gang have made fortunes from looting banks across various states in the country. “According the suspect, he got a whopping N2.1million as his share of the loot, when members of his gang stormed the Shere

town of Kwara state branch of one of the old generation banks operating in the country. He got the money, when his gang also looted banks in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state and Ibadan, Oyo state.” CP Manko further said that other members of the gang are Emmanuel Ezeani, aged 23 and Nonso Nwauagwu, aged 22 teamed up with Uche Okeagbu, the prime suspect as well as others to terrorize Lagosians, kill innocent persons and shot three police officers on duty and carted away money, handsets and other valuables possessions from people.

he Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) has call off its strike in view of the National Industrial Court order that within the next three month, the court will call another hearing on October 8 to mediate on the issue. It however called on President Goodluck Jonathan to sack the Health Minister. The disclosure was made yesterday by Comrade Ayuba Wabba, National President Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria at the headquarters of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria in Abuja. Wabba said that after the union strike action of May7, 2012, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity looked into their demand culminating in the agreement of May 10, 2012 namely submission and implementation of Presidential Committee Report on harmony in the Health Sector, promotion of health professionals from CONHESS 14-15,Implementation of 2008 Job Evaluation Report as well as review of retirement age to 65 years. Wabba noted the demand for reconstitution of various Management Boards dissolved since September, 2001 with a view of ensuring equitable representation of Professional Associations and Unions, but as at July 16, 2012, none of them had been met satisfactorily. It was also agreed at the meeting that status quo in the trade dispute be maintained, adding that none of the issues agreed between the union and the federal Ministry of Health had been implemented, Wabba said. Despite this, he said, the Minister of Health through a circular dated August 29,2012 to all the CMDs/MDs interpreted “status quo” to mean government’s initial step, i.e continuation of non-skipping of CONHESS 10. On his part, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu insisted that all the demands of the unions were met.



Pension scam: Group accuses Senate of plotting Maina’s sack By Albert Akota


youth based organisation, Forum of the National Youth Leaders (FNYL), has accused the Senate of pressurizing President Goodluck Jonathan to sack the embattled Chairman of the Presidential Task Team on Pensions Reform (PTPR),

Abubakar Maina. Former President of National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS), Comrade Etuk Bassey Williams, who disclosed this in Abuja during the forum’s conference on the state of the nation, said Senate’s attempt to pressurise the President was a way of making him cave to the

unwanted impeachment threat on him. He described the removal plot as an attempt to replacement Maina in order to continue their corrupt practices as has been revealed in many cases. Bassey reiterated that the forum was not unaware of the constitutional right of over-sight

by the Senate over Ministries, Department and Agencies, but said it does not in any way make them the implementer, persecutors or judge which they are obviously assuming on the matter. He fsaid that the achievements of the PTPR should rather be lauded and encouraged by all Nigerians.

Mothers with their children at the displaced people's camp, yesterday in Makurdi, Benue state. They are taking refuge in the camp due to the flood that submerged their houses. Photo: NAN

Works minister reads riot Flood: Kogi set to mitigate acts to permsec, others sufferings By Adeola Tukuru


he Minister of Works, Mike Onelemenme, has charged the Permanent secretary, Directors, Heads of operation and others in the ministry that their evaluation performance henceforth will be based on their ability to deliver in their various responsibilities. Onelemenme gave this charge during the signing of performance agreements by the Permanent secretary, stating that everyone would be held accountable for actions in the Federal Ministry of Works. He explained that the essence of the performance agreement was to hold every staff of the ministry

who is not able to deliver on the key performance accountable, through the indicators contained in the performance agreement. In his words: “I have signed these agreement with Mr president and it is also flowing down in the ministry of works, everybody will be held accountable about what is happening in the Federal ministry of works and of course the president will also hold me accountable in terms of service delivery to the country”. “We are all in this together. Whether we succeed or fail, we are going to do it together. Everybody in this ministry will be held accountable to his or her immediate boss”.

From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


he Kogi state government has set machinery in motion to urgently reduce the negative effects of the flooding that has ravaged the state by encouraging massive food production after the waters have receded. Disclosing this in his office during an appraisal of the extent of devastation with SEMA officials, the Deputy Governor and Chairman, State Emergency Management Authority (SEMA), Yomi Awoniyi, said that a postflood management mechanism is already in place to address the food shortage likely to follow the flood.

According to him, “there is the concern that there will be scarcity of food after the flood because several farmlands have been washed away by the flood across the country: "Kogi being the most hit and as a way to mitigate the effect, we have keyed into a programme to access rapid maturing seedlings to enable fast growth of farm products". He added that while the state government is encouraging communities not affected by the flood to increase in their food production, there was an ongoing assessment of affected farmlands with the hope to provide compensation to farmers as an incentive to encourage them back to the farm.

Kano trains 5,400 women in poultry farming From Edwin Olofu, Kano


ive thousand and four hundred women in Kano state have so far been trained in poultry production under the Kano state government’s women and youth empowerment programme. The state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Baraka Sani, disclosed this at the 8th Bi-monthly review meeting of Commercial

Agriculture Development Project (CADP) in Kano on Wednesday. Baraka disclosed that the state government had also trained one thousand five hundred youths under the farm mechanization programme as part of efforts to make them selfreliant and boost food production in the state. “This government is convinced on the need to prioritize agricultural development in order to reduce the level of poverty

among our teeming population. “This will also increase the revenue generation capacity of the state and most importantly ensure food security”, she said. She noted that the impact of CADP especially at the rural communities, where the provision of farm access roads had opened their hitherto inaccessible communities in state, had yielded positive results. The commissioner assured the participants of the state

government’s commitment toward prompt payment of counterpart fund and other logistics for the success of the project. She called on the project managers to support those who graduated from the state farm mechanisation and livestock institutes. The participants were drawn from the seven states that made up the North-West geo-political zone.

NAPPMED warns against fake drugs By Usman Shuaibu


he President, Nigeria Association of Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers (NAPPMED) in Niger state, Chief Ugwu Kevin, has warned medicine dealers against selling fake drugs to their clients. Kevin who gave the warning during the annual meeting of the association, which was held at Madalla town on Tuesday, noted that the association was created to fight quack medicine dealers in Niger state and its local government areas. He said that his administration would continue to provide purposeful leadership capable of satisfying the aspirations of the members, urging the executives to join hands with him to move the association forward. Speaking at the occasion, the chairman of NAPPMED in Suleja local government, Felix Eke, advised the medicine dealers in Suleja to transact their business with fear of God. He also urged the members to obey the rules and regulations guiding the association, saying that the leadership of the association has constituted a task force to checkmate the activities of the quacks in the rural areas. He therefore, appealed to the chairman of Suleja local government, Yunusa Adamu, to assist the association whenever the need arises.

Kumuyi charges Jonathan on Nigeria’s problems By Lambert Tyem & Julius Aminu


s the country prepares for its 52nd independence anniversary, , General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor Williams F. Kumuyi Wednesday charged the leadership of the country to remain focused and find solution to the nation’s problems. Kumuyi made the remarks in Abuja while speaking on a fourday programme by the church titled: ‘Divine connection for full freedom”, scheduled between Friday and Monday as part of its activities to mark the independence anniversary. He said he was in Abuja for the programme between September 28th and October 1st 2012, which would be transmitted live to other parts of the world, and to also sympathise with victims of the recent flood disasters across the country. The pastor believed that it will take a focused leader to take the country to its promised land in the light of all the challenges facing it. He therefore advised the leaders to take heart and to look at the future with believe that the problems would be solved.



Start export brokerage business without capital


o you know you too can earn reasonable amount of income when you start a home-based export brokerage business? Some individuals who are into export brokerage business in Nigeria make millions secretly right in the comfort of their homes, just by connecting local exporters with foreign buyers of solid minerals and agricultural commodities. Undoubtedly, Nigeria has a high comparative advantage in the over many countries as far the production of cocoa, cassava, yam tubers, snails, Ginger, bitter kola, Arabic gum, Charcoal and other natural resources are concerned. As such, lots of manufacturing companies in Countries like the USA, Germany, UK, China, France, Japan and India have started looking towards Nigeria to source for cheap export of industrial raw materials for the manufacturing of finished goods. Therefore, your job as an export broker is to find and link up foreign buyers to reliable suppliers of exportable commodities in Nigeria who will do the shipment. If the deal is successfully and shipment is made then, you are sure to be paid a certain amount of money as commission or finder's fee. Just imagine you got a foreign export contract for the supply of 50 metric tons of charcoal or

ginger and the percentage commission due to you as the broker is $30/metric ton. You are sure to pocket the sum of $1500 for just that one deal alone without lifting a single bag of charcoal or ginger. Lets even say the export contract is only just 10metric ton which then means you will pocket the sum of $300. Multiply the above amount with N160 (exchange rate) and tell me what kind of business in Nigeria will fetch you such money when you seat at home? Indeed export brokerage business is a very profitable and doesn't require huge start up capital. The basic requirement needed to start an export brokerage business is. 1. Have a working knowledge of export business. 2. Your ability to use a computer (even if you don't have a computer of your own, you can use a cyber cafĂŠ) 3. Your ability to find serious foreign buyers of agricultural and solid minerals raw materials. 4. Your ability to get links to reliable local suppliers of exportable agricultural and solid minerals commodities in Nigeria. 5. You need an email addresses and phone number to enable you start. Once you have above

requirements in place, then you on your way to start a profitable home based export brokerage business in Nigeria. However to become a real successful export broker and to start generating monthly income, you will need to get more information on the following. 1. The different ways to get foreign buyers of exportable commodities directly. 2. Where to get local suppliers in Nigeria 3. How to attract and get export contracts from foreign buyers. 4. The best and safe method of payment. 6. How to get the most current internationally approved commodity price list that will help you in fixing a reasonable price that will attract foreign buyers and also give enough profit. 7. Locations in Nigeria where you can get cheap agricultural and solid minerals to buy. 8. Apart from been able to facilitate export contracts, you will also discover how to also make some extra income as a consultant to people who have interest in becoming export brokers. Remember, the difference between the rich and the poor is information. Take action now so that your financial dreams will become a reality this year.

reassure themselves even when doubts set in. Know what investors don't need from you You may be passionate about your idea and how it will change the world but you may have to keep that aside when meeting the investor. Their passion and yours may not meet. You need to come up with a convincing analysis backed by facts and figures. Expect issues like what is the estimate market size that your idea targets? Chances are your product or idea may not be another Facebook

aiming at the world's billions of people so the earlier you get hold of the facts and the possible limitations of your idea offering the better you will look before an investor. What to do when you get invited to pitch investors When you get the call or email setting up an appointment with a potential investor it is time to focus. More importantly get your figures and data organised. Your preparation will depend on a variety of factors; the location (can you do a PowerPoint presentation there?), time estimated for the meeting, number of persons involved etc. Concluded

Special saving tips for your startup funding (II) Knowing what investors want While it is a general truth that Investors invest to get returns sooner or later there are some other subtle reasons why funds get doled out to some startups while others get nothing even after pitching tens of venture capitalists. Investors want to feel good about their investment. Some of them want to invest in daring ideas and ride the risks for ultimate glory or failure. However some are more traditional and conservative in their approach and want to see some strong underlying principles and signs that you are building a viable company. More importantly investors want to appear smart and so may be swayed to invest on startups that look cool, already has several thousand users or visitors and gets reasonable mention by the media that matter. That way they can

Quote I believe the true road to preeminent success in any line is to make yourself master of that line. - Andrew Carnegie

Investing in penny stocks: Identify under-valued ones (1)


ruly , the stock market fluctuates, but do you know that the laws of physics do not apply in the market? We're not trying to tell you that stocks never undergo a correction, but the point is that stock price is a reflection of the company you are buying into. Think of a partially informed investor as a partially informed surgeon; the mistakes could be severally injurious to your financial health. Do you have passion for investing in 'penny stocks'? - I mean those common shares of public companies that trade at less than N1? What you must know is that like other stocks, penny stocks present a high risk for investors, who are often lured by the hope of large and quick profits. Particularly, when buying pressure pushes the share price up, the rise in price entices more people to believe the hype and to buy these shares as well. Investment advisors believe that penny stocks can be highly volatile and subject to manipulation by stock promoters and 'pump and dump' schemes. In pump and dump" scheme, manipulators first purchase large quantities of stock, then artificially inflate the share price through false and misleading positive statements. Just like any other stocks, all penny stocks carry some risks, but there are ways that you can lower these risks. One of the best methods of

penny stock investing is to find undervalued penny stocks. An undervalued penny stocks offer a great deal for investors. These stocks are priced well under their market value, and they are a great investment. Financial advisors believe that understanding how to determine whether a penny stock is undervalued or not does not have to be impossible or include complex equations, noting that an "undervalued penny stock is a terrific investment opportunity, but you must be able to determine which penny stocks are accurately undervalued and which are better left untouched." They identified some steps that you can take to help determine which penny stocks are undervalued, and which of these stocks should be avoided. These investment experts believe that the financial health of a penny stock is one aspect used to identify undervalued penny stocks. "Do some research and know how much working capital and how much debt are carried by the company.





Time to halt deliberate provocation of Muslims

or most of the penultimate week, the Muslim world was restive. The cause of the restiveness can be located in the blasphemous video that caricatured Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).Expectedly, the Islamic world reacted violently. The anger against this deliberate provocation of Muslims incensed by a such profanely irreverent movie reverberated across the world. From Asia to Africa and from the Middle East to the Far East, the Muslim world was in a convulsion of anger. Finding an opportunity too good to miss, a mob, a significant proportion of which, we dare say, was ignorant of the teachings of the Holy Prophet, took the law into their hands. Under this convenient veneer, they wreaked havoc. The first sign of trouble came from Egypt. Here, demonstrators scaled the walls of the US embassy, tore down the American flag and burned it because the movie was reportedly produced in that country. The demonstration spilled over into Libya. Anti-US anger was deadlier in Benghazi, the second largest city after Tripoli, and where last year's revolution that overthrew Libyan strong man began. The impact reverberated across the world. By the time the irate demonstrators were done with America's embassy in Benghazi, its ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens and three of the embassy staff were wasted. The

building was reportedly torched by the riotous demonstrators. The late envoy was easily the most famous of innocent victims of that avoidable chaos. We take exception to violence. We, however, frown at deliberate and willful provocation

We strongly suspect that the whole drama was choreographed for a precise outcome. And going by the global vicious reactions, the designers may have achieved their goal which, this flippantly obnoxious movie, typifies. We denounce, in the strongest terms, the makers of this and similar disparaging portrayals of the Holy Prophet previously done in cartoons and editorials. We blame far right and extremist groups, intent on pitting Muslims against others for what has happened, and thereby widening the gulf between the Muslim world and the West. We strongly suspect that the whole drama

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”

was choreographed for a precise outcome. And going by the global vicious reactions, the designers may have achieved their goal. Islam is clear about violence. It vehemently disapproves of aggression. Its literal meaning is "Peace". We are, therefore, at a loss why the mayhem. In a twinkle of an eye, the demonstrations spread to Pakistan, Lebanon and Yemen. It stretched into Africa, berthing first in Sudan. In Nigeria, demonstrators conducted their protests in a peaceful and desirable manner. It's remarkable that Nigerian Muslims have demonstrated, by their peaceful action, that Islam is not violent thus disappointing those responsible for that design. From Kano, to Ibadan and from Kaduna to Bauchi, Plateau, Muslims exploded the stereotyping of Islam and its adherents. In Kaduna, Muslims were joined by Christians in open denunciation of the offensive video. This shows that the revulsion it sparked was not one-sided. It is crucial for Muslims to realize that those intent on denigrating Islam and its Prophet will not cease to misrepresent both. Is it every time they must resort to violence? Islam, as a religion, values knowledge and scholarship. The ulama and the ummah should invest more in both. Thankfully the peaceful demonstrations in Nigeria against that reprehensible movie have proved that.









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By Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye


he inimitable Dame, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, has been in the news again. She hardly disappoints. Perhaps, before your read this piece, Mrs. Jonathan would have returned from Germany where she had gone “to have some rest,” or receive medical treatment, or both, depending on who you choose to believe between the media, opposition parties and Aso Rock spokespersons. Or her husband, our president, would have decided to come clean about her exact state of health and whereabouts. But the latter may eventually not happen. Indeed, President Goodluck Jonathan understands this game very well. So, he is not unduly perturbed by all the din saturating the polity because of what his wife chooses to do with herself or not to say about her health condition. Yes, he does not “give a damn” because he knows full well that no sooner than his wife’s plane touches down in Abuja, and she sweeps across the red carpet like the marvelous Dame that she is, than she would stumble onto another controversy which would immediately and effectively kill and bury the present one over which the media and the opposition have raised ear-splitting cries. And so life goes on. Who, for


A Dame like Patience Jonathan instance, is still talking about her controversial appointment as Permanent Secretary in Baylesa State or the famous purchase, (or is it donation or lending or all three?) of posh cars scandal that embarrassed us all during the African First Ladies Summit in Abuja recently. But the problem with always refusing to “give a damn” about public opinion and hoping that each controversy would soon burn itself out and be forgotten is that, like we all know, all postponed evil days only offer temporary relief. They always have ways of returning at very inconvenient times to haunt the person concerned. And so, the best, timetested option has always been to be open and tackle matters as they come. Now, even though the story about Mrs. Jonathan’s alleged illhealth had already appeared in the media, probably, before the president thought about how to manage the information about it, what would it have cost him to immediately confirm it, if it was true? Or summon his wife out of her “rest” to briefly show herself to the nation, to see if that would solve the often intractable traffic situation in Lagos or bring down

the price of fish in Oyingbo market? Well, I can appreciate the psychology of the “most criticized president in the world.” I can imagine him wondering what his battalion of implacable critics would do with such information at that time. Would they join him to pray and wish his wife quick recovery or find ways of reaping some emotional and political capital out of his trying moments? Well, while his dilemma is somewhat understandable, it does not constitute sufficient reason for underlining the damaging impression that his paid advisers are incapable of generating a sound response to such a simple development. Now let’s see it this way. Assuming the president woke up the next morning after the media broke the news and mustered the will to tell us that his wife was sick, how would that have enhanced some lives at Ilaje or affected the taste of cassava bread? Now, even if he decides to do that tomorrow morning, will that change the colour of his hat? Is his wife a copresident? Would there be any vacuum created by her absence since she does not occupy any statutorily established office at the presidency? Or would she be

compelled by any law to hand over to some “deputy wife” – a harrowing nightmare dreaded by many wives – if the nation hears that she is sick? Who, by the way, is that human being who has never fallen sick? As a permanent secretary in Bayelsa, she is already on a permanent leave, so what is the matter? Why unduly complicate what is otherwise a simple, straightforward matter? Okay, I think I understand now. The president may have been worried that he might be asked why his wife was receiving medical treatment abroad while other Nigerians like her patronized local hospitals, more so, when he recently announced that foreign medical travels by public officials and their relatives would no longer be allowed by his administration. If he had no faith in Nigerian public and private hospitals and so had to use public fund to ferry his wife to a German hospital, why should he expect any other Nigerian to? This would naturally remind one of the edifying example of Mrs. Cherry Blair, wife of the former British prime minister, Tony Blair, who was delivered of a baby in a public hospital while her husband was in office, and stayed

with ordinary Britons in a public ward. Given her earning as an upper-drawer lawyer, Mrs. Blair could afford the services of any quality hospital anywhere in the world, but she chose a British public hospital to demonstrate to the people that under her husband’s watch, public hospitals in Britain have not lost their value. So, by underlining her preference for foreign hospitals over local ones, what point then was Mrs. Jonathan making about the health of Nigerian hospitals during her husband’s tenure as president? That probably explains why the Presidency insists that she has gone to Germany to rest. But that only makes the matter worse. Why would the wife of a Nigerian president go all the way to Germany at a heavy cost to the country to just “rest” when there are countless comfortable spots where she could do that in Nigeria, and at less cost? In a more serious country, this may become a strong campaign issue and might grossly lower the popularity of an incumbent. It may even bring down a government! Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye is reachable on

Africans created religion to enhance tolerance By Farouk Martins Aresa


magine a world without the fear of Nemesis. Africans had to create the fear of God in a disorderly world where everyone was for himself and God for us all. Most of the religions believe in one God in one form or the other, so one would not expect any rivalry since converts would be attracted according to the goodness of each faith. Indeed the logical appeal for non-African religious diversion should be peaceful coexistence, not division. Atheists everywhere are waiting to be proven wrong, to change their ways and succumb to the savior of each religion. Some of these atheists think the worst of religious beliefs as unscientific, brainwashing and cause of the worldly wars; expecting the poor and the weakest to fight on opposite sides only to be rewarded in heaven. When Africans were denied cedit for human origin and religion, they were taken as slaves, blessed and told to accept faith as written by new God. It generated some self-hatred and complex. New Muslim or Christian is unlike their original creation. Africans find it embarrassing that any of their countries is associated with these radical religions. Indigenous African religions are traditionally peaceful and hardly look for people to convert by peace, force or incentives. Therefore, it is sad that whenever there is some flare up amidst the new world radical Muslims, there is some echo in some Sahel part of Africa. Nevertheless, Muslims were well tolerated in the modern countries of South and West Africa

where people practiced their religions without hindrance. While tolerance of religion is the standard in Africa, Nigeria became the Country of two extremes where Usman Dan Fodio’s brand almost obliterated the Hausa great religion. Saving the Hausa from Boko Haram back into motherland with their brothers has become an elusive task. What is undisputed is that the adaption of new brands of Christian and Muslim religions into African Empires of Ghana, Mali and Songhai were relatively peaceful compared to the coming of Usman Dan Fodio with his fire brand of Muslim across the Sahel. Black scholars have written about Christians before Christ in Africa. See this writer’s Oduduwa before Christ – Yoruba World Exploration and Yoruba Religious Model for World Peace. By the time of crusade or jihad, forceful elements noted mostly amongst the Barbarians had crept into most religions apart from these two. The brutal behaviours of these crude people were adopted into the same religions that were supposed to civilize humans. The definition of civilize changed, which was simply the ability to get along with one another and coexist peacefully in the communities. They lost African origin of religion. While some groups are stereotyped by the behaviour of a few amongst them, it is up to their silent majority to rise up and lead in putting an end to the distasteful acts. Each time a loony punk head cloaked like a saint in freedom of speech, throws fire at Jesus, Mohammed or Buddha’s Siddhartha just to disrupt or put on hold our civilized way of life at

their mercy, we cannot afford to always put world police and soldiers at alert. We did not see uproar by Buddhists when Taliban Omar performed distasteful act in Afghanistan destroying the statues of the two Buddha they saw as idols worshiping in 2001. Actually most of the protest came from scholars, Christians, international cultural organizations and atheists denouncing elimination of our rich anthropological history. Before then Bamiyan statues were destroyed by Emperor Aurangzeb and another attempt was made by the Persian king Nader Afshar in the 18th century. A great religion must not encourage alarmists to provoke extremists to justify the suspicion of the atheists eand communists that relegated religion to the underground in other to foster national unity. It has generated lack of trust and suspicion in countries that were once willing to learn from other cultures before this incessant violence anytime the name of a prophet is derided,

be it that of Sango, Jesus Christ Superstar, Mohammed, Buddha, or Ogun. We are at a boiling point where intolerance and uncivilized behavior has become the very weapon of mass destruction especially within JudeoChristians and Muslims. Both claim Abraham as their father and share some prophets. We also know both religions suffered greatly in their early days in the hands of non-Christians and nonMuslims. This ardent belief in the face of adversities converted most around ancient Rome and Mecca. Thinking about the amount of suffering and persecution the disciples of Jesus and their followers went through, one would never expect a crusade from the same people. So was Mohammed that had to flee persecution before he was strong enough to return in victory. Farouk was one of his persecutors until he changed sides only to be gracefully welcomed into the fold of the followers of Mohammed. The fear of religions has never been greater because of violence

If religion wants to expand its base, the dwindling number of people going to Church or Mosques is not the way to do it. Many of those buildings are turning to museums. The beneficiaries are the new non-denomination believers of God filling their houses of worship with people, no matter their religious affiliations. Many have become the nouveau riche pastors at the expense of those looking for alternate means of salvation

associated with them. Some Muslims have become so easily provoked; few have created a culture that is at a discord with other democracies. While some countries like Indonesia show tolerance, it is not the same in Arabian countries and Pakistan. They restrict foreign religion in their countries but they take advantage of open societies to propagate theirs, outside home. One professor at Harvard just came out with the hypothesis of Jesus as a married man. May be we should keep our fingers crossed, and brace for another riot. If Christian had gotten upset at every mention or less classy reference to their prophet, the Muslim could have found other ways to express their justifiable anger without actually rising up in arms to dislocate the daily life of atheists and innocent people as Boko Haram did. If religion wants to expand its base, the dwindling number of people going to Church or Mosques is not the way to do it. Many of those buildings are turning to museums. The beneficiaries are the new nondenomination believers of God filling their houses of worship with people, no matter their religious affiliations. Many have become the nouveau riche pastors at the expense of those looking for alternate means of salvation. Some African pastors and imams claim they have reAfricanized the religion taken from them. We will believe them when they stop exploiting their followers and start cleaning up their fetish behaviour, though better than the fetish in religions of mass destruction. Farouk Martins Aresa is on Facebook.



PHCN sale: The caveat emptor By Femi Falana


idding consortiums tied to retired military officers and serving political office holders are alleged to have been shortlisted by the Management of the National Council of Privatisation to buy the assets of the Nigerian people in the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) at give-away prices. Apart from the embarrassing fact that retired public officers who committed serious economic and financial crimes have become so audaciously daring to the extent of openly engaging in money laundering by buying public assets, it is the height of shameful impunity on the part of the National Council of Privatisation to sell the PHCN to the unpatriotic individuals who have diverted and cornered the public funds earmarked for the uninterrupted supply of By Ahmad Salkida


rowing up as a child in Maiduguri, Borno state left me with vivid memories. There were clear memories of affinity, of love, of trust, of sharing and good neighbourliness. By the way, I was born Christian, and raised as one but I counted Muslims amongst my closest friends, and in no way was any sense of difference ever highlighted. The adopted line of “home of peace” seemed very fitting. Today, that epitaph mocks the state, its people and government. On a recent duty visit to Maiduguri, what I saw showed how easy it is for society, indeed, for civilizations, to die. Maiduguri, indeed what was known of Borno, the Kanuri civilization has died a painful, shameful death, with no loved ones at the funeral. If you live in Abuja as I do, and pick the official lines from the media you will go with the impression that “the economic life of Borno state” is comatose but that with the gallant efforts of the security forces, things were returning to normalcy. To associate Borno State with any form of economic or social life today is to engage in an ugly, nauseating joke. The soul and personality of the Borno under which I grew up died unsung. Among my friends, when Borno lived, we played together. The Muslims were friendly, generous and accommodating to non Muslims. We lived together, shared each other’s clothes. What determined who wears the best shirt and jeans amongst our group of Muslim and Christian friends is not the ownership of these clothes but rather, who has the most important date that day. I remember with nostalgia how I used to hold a container of water and pour it for my Muslim friends to perform their ablution and the same set of friends will always wait for me by the gate of the local church that I attended

electricity in the country. properties in Lagos, Abuja and Aside the over $16 billion Under the law, due diligence other cities in the country, invested in the power sector is mandatorily required to be thousands of plants, turbines, under the Olusegun Obasanjo carried out before the transformers, vehicles and Administration the recent privatisation of review of any public electricity enterprise. Does tariff has the National increased the Council of r e v e n u e Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text Privatisation generated by messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written want Nigerians PHCN from contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 to believe that in N96 billion to words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and the course of N300 billion a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed investigating per annum. To to: the ongoing trade off such suspicious h u g e The Editor, transactions, it investments did not confirm for the sum of Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, that serving and N200 billion is 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. retired public tantamount to Email: let officers were an economic SMS: 07037756364 linked with the crime of companies gargantuan shortlisted to purchase the PHCN? millions of electric poles worth dimension. To add insult to injury,the over N5 trillion are being Since President Goodluck assets of PHCN including over 400 undersold to corrupt “investors” Jonathan has sacked a Minister buildings and undeveloped at a paltry sum of N200 billion. for attempting to buy two of the


Tears from Maiduguri with my parents when it was closing time so that we could embark in our desired exploits. This became such a routine that sometime in 1997 I found myself converting to Islam. No one gave an ultimatum that if I or anyone for that matter did not convert the heavens was going to collapse. One thing was evident then, my conversion neither unsettled any Christian families that I know nor did it affect my relationship with my friends. As it turned out, I am now a Muslim and one of my good friends, who grew up a Muslim, met an enterprising Idoma lady who converted him to Christianity. They are married, live happily with their children in Abuja. Maiduguri was very peaceful until February 2006 when the first major crisis broke out. Then again, in July 2009, when the Islamist insurgents declared war on secular institutions. Now death and its fear dominate the space. As Chinua Achebe’s legendary character noted in the celebrated novel, Things Fall Apart, ‘they have put a knife in the things that bound us together .” While it was obvious that the 2006 crisis in Maiduguri was mainly an attack on Christians and their institutions by rampaging Muslim mobs, the 2009 uprising led by late Mohammed Yusuf had a slightly different motivation. Today, there are many faces of the calamity in Maiduguri. There is the ugly face among Muslims, and there is the pathetic face of the calamity among the hapless Christian community and there is a troubling, complicated face created and stoked by the government forces. Maiduguri is flattened, a scene of chaos, grief and fear. People are afraid to talk about anything not only to strangers but even to their neighbors because some have pitted against one another or serve as informants to either sides of the

conflict. Security agents, who should be responsible for safeguarding lives and properties, are apparently turning against the people they are paid and trained to protect. The operation to restore order in Maiduguri by the Joint Task Force of security agencies seems to produce more terrorists than it eliminates. When children witness the brutal killings of their parents with little or no consolation, they grow up to become spiteful of every representation of civil obedience. According to Sadiq Abba, a teenager, seen with a bullet wounds to the leg in Maiduguri, his only crime when soldiers shot him according to him was that, he falls within the age group of the insurgents. In Maiduguri, if you are close to a scene of violence two things happen, it is either you get blown or shot up by the bomb or bullets of the insurgents or when the JTF arrives on the scene you assume the status of an enemy even if you are not one. If you are saved from any of these two evils then pray to be far from another scene of an attack. On a seemingly normal day, when there is no attack at a given time in the city, the fear and trauma of people wondering whether the car next to them at a

traffic light or security check point would explode or when one is caught between cross fire can be devastating. According to a Pediatrician at the University of Maiduguri, apparently, in Maiduguri today, most people especially children in the most violent areas are likely suffering from post traumatic stress disorder or prolong grief, yet there is no consolation for them. And nobody is interested in these problems especially when the bombs and assassinations are still going on. Instead, how to eat and survive the day is everybody’s preoccupation. A nine year old boy that goes by the name Ahmed (surname withheld) told me how his father was beaten for throwing a sachet of water from his car window, close to a check point, “my father was asked to roll on the ground while me and my younger sister watch how the soldiers flogged him.” Another teacher rickety car’s tyre went burst close to a military check point sent people scampering for safety was sadly beaten to a coma. Some said he was lucky to be alive. Where is the rule of law in this city? More complicated is when Christian places of worship are bombed and Christians especially

In Maiduguri, if you are close to a scene of violence two things happen, it is either you get blown or shot up by the bomb or bullets of the insurgents or when the JTF arrives on the scene you assume the status of an enemy even if you are not one. If you are saved from any of these two evils then pray to be far from another scene of an attack

power generation companies, serving and retired public officers should not be allowed to buy PHCN with stolen money being laundered through the dubious privatisation being conducted by the National Council of Privatisation. Let the Federal Government continue with the noticeable improvement in electricity supply while those who are genuinely desirous to invest in the power sector should be advised to set up their own plants and compete with PHCN. However, in view of the undeniable fact that arrangements have been concluded to hand over the PHCN to serving and retired public officers whose sources of wealth are questionable, LET BUYERS BEWARE as the illegal sale will be revoked sooner than later. Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), is a rights advocate. Igbos are slaughtered like animals. Their only crime was that they are Christians and the Muslims that condemn these killings are not spared either. For many Muslims, sealed lips is the only guarantee of staying alive but the average Christian views this silence as cold complicity. Most security agents, civil servants and politicians, serving and retired in the state that have fallen by the bullets of the insurgents are Muslims that is why it is difficult to convince most Muslims that this war is being fought on their behalf. In Maiduguri, apparently, the only people the security excuse most of the times are Christians just like the way the insurgents have also spared some Muslims. These have further increased suspicion and animosity between the two religions. One religion is seen as having the sympathy of the JTF and the other as having the sympathy of the insurgents. Apart from the people, the once serene and beautiful environment of Maiduguri that welcomes you with the sweet fragrance of Churai or turarai wuta, locally made perfumes, now bears painful memories of loved ones that have died and continue to suffer. The infrastructure is in ruins, many schools are destroyed, businesses are grounded and many residences are deserted. Many Christians now bury their dead like the Muslims because there is hardly any space in the mortuaries. Where are the memorable traditional eateries in the city, like the Gudum local restaurant in Abaganaram where we use to feast with tasty Kanuri dishes such as Ndalai, brabusko, Karasu, and miyan kuka with a lot of traditional spices. Can I ever go back to Dikwa to eat burtutu, aquatic frog? Can I ever move freely in Hausari to buy danwake in the morning? I miss the way the people play in wedding festivities, such as the wushai wushai in the night. Ahmad Salkida is an Abujabased freelance journalist.



Education, healthcare: We must all act now By Bobby Udoh


t is clear to most Nigerians that for us to have a developed nation, we must first have affordable & qualitative education for all Nigerians. And to ensure we reduce the number of the trained manpower lost to avoidable deaths, we also need affordable & qualitative healthcare. What is not clear to most Nigerians is that these critical areas in desperate need of intervention, requires the involvement of a critical mass of citizens to move these areas from its current state of collapse to a first class level. In fact, the need for citizen participation wouldn’t diminish if we had a credible government and that means, with the current political leadership, the demand is more urgent. Whilst we must engage government at all levels to ensure they do their part, the focus of this article is on what we can & must do. It is true that we all have different passions and areas of interest but Education and Healthcare needs all hands on deck to get to ship of national development sailing. A critical mass of citizens is needed to give time and money to build infrastructures at public schools. If we bring our ‘small’ contributions under the banner of a social or religious organisation, it adds up to enable significant impact. Classrooms, tables, chairs, teaching aids, staff quarters & offices, sport facilities,

libraries, hostels, school bus, etc. are some of the things we can provide for our public primary & secondary schools. The main difference a school makes is determined primarily by her manpower and that is her academic and non-academic staff. We can support the teachers training colleges by providing for their needs; organise exchange programmes with good foreign schools for our public school heads and departmental heads; train teachers on new teaching techniques and tools; undertake research into curriculum that will produce Nigerians with relevant skills for our development; organise Teachers Conferences and Awards Night to keep them abreast with latest teaching developments and to recognise the efforts of those who are excelling; and many others ideas we can generate. We must make teachers know we place a high value on the role they play in nation-building. We need an army of volunteers to provide extra curriculum training such as sports, career counselling & mentoring, health e n l i g h t e n m e n t , entrepreneurship, technology development, agricultural projects, etc. We the volunteers should also volunteer our time & expertise to activities such as infrastructural projects, taking students on excursions, support sporting events, personal development mentoring, community development with the students, and many other areas.

It requires a long term mindset but wouldn’t take up to 5 years for us to see the significant impact our effort would have yielded. Besides, citizen participation will make the students & teachers feel valued and the government & their agencies sit up as the searchlight will be put on them. Another big outcome will be more Nigerians sending their children to public schools which will reduce the huge financial demands that make many of us undertake unethical practices. The essence of education is not just to learn how to do something but also how to make that something better. Citizen participation in public school education will enable the generation of solutions to many of our problems today and problems of the future. Citizens are needed to participate in the provision of buildings for training schools, health centres, general and specialist hospitals; and hospital equipment like beds, treatment machines, power generator, pharmacy, ambulances

(helicopters, car, bikes and boats), staff quarters & buses, etc. We can improve the quality of work by our health professionals by bringing those with best practices from across the globe to our hospitals, training schools and health conferences. We should sponsor some of our doctors, nurses/midwives, technicians and hospital administrators for training overseas. We can also hold appreciation & award nights to recognise their efforts. We don’t need to be medically trained to get involved in our healthcare sector. Our time volunteering can be used for building projects & property maintenance, patient support, fundraising activities, health enlightenment campaigns (mobilisation of people and the distribution of literature), etc. One key area we urgently need volunteers is first aid. It is said that Nigeria has the second highest road accident mortality rate in the world and most of the victims could have survived if they got to

The essence of education is not just to learn how to do something but also how to make that something better. Citizen participation in public school education will enable the generation of solutions to many of our problems today and problems of the future

hospitals on time and if the first people who came to their rescue knew what to do. Therefore, we need many more Nigerians to get trained as first aiders to ensure we reduce the number of lives lost. We also need more Nigerians to become members of organisations such as the Nigerian Red Cross. To build a developed Nigeria, our education and healthcare sector cannot rely solely on the efforts of government. It requires the involvement of individuals, social groups (Alumni, Clubs and Associations), private corporations through their CSR and religious organisations. The church is the biggest change agent in our society because of her huge influence on her members, her huge manpower (same members) and financial resources. Now is the time for them to focus more on primary & secondary level of education and to make it affordable & accessible for all Nigerians. We can no longer sit quiet whilst 80% of the congregation can’t afford the education provided by their church yet they give their ‘widow’s mite’ & time to the church. I plead with you my fellow citizen of our beloved nation Nigeria to get involved in the nation-building activities that will build for our nation a first class educational and healthcare sector. Nothing else will guarantee the quality of life we desire for ourselves and our coming generations. Bobby Udoh is reachable at

Corruption: Applicability of the law By Olutoyin Adeyinka n some countries today, corruption is gradually being addressed and given the necessary attention since it is generally accepted that corruption undermines progress and unity. Furthermore, it is now a task that must be accomplished if the United Nations Objectives on the Millennium Development Goals are to have meaning at all. For example in December 2011, some UK MP’s were sent to jail for fiddling with their expenses and others are currently under investigation for corrupt practices. I am one of the few political pundits who believe that if you have strong institutions to address the issue of corruption or make some persons no matter how highly placed as examples, then corruption will be curbed or eradicated in our country. By now, Nigerians should have risen above discussions, seminars, talkshows, and conferences on corruption as I believe there is a plethora of literature on the subject matter already. I am more inclined and determined to educate Nigerians on the provisions of the law which places high level of probity, accountability, transparency on all public office holders. But what we have in our political clime is a


flagrant disregard for law, abuse of office, intimidation by public officers using the instrumentality of the state to harass and oppress the people they are meant to serve. Under the Nigerian constitution’s public officers are President, Vice President, Governor, Deputy Governors, Permanent Secretary’s civil servants, public servants, etc. We have laws in place but we don’t have strong institutions to address the menace of corruption. The judiciary is already enmeshed in corruption and not independent enough to deal with corrupt officers. Some serving public officers or ex-public officers are using or have used their position or the instrumentality of the state to empty the treasury, build mansions, and established business enterprises. There is much evidence on how public officers both retired or serving have assumed positions of authority to amass wealth and have done so in flagrant disregard for the law and provisions of the 5th schedule to the 1999 Constitution. Paragraph 6: ‘’ A public officer shall not ask for or accept property or benefits of any kind for himself or any other persons or account of anything done or omitted to be

done by him in the discharged of his duties’’ 6(2) “For the purpose of sub paragraph 1 of this paragraph, the receipts by a public officer of any gifts, or benefits from commercial firms, business enterprises or persons who have contracts with the government should be presumed to have been received in contravention of the said paragraph unless contrary is proven’’. (3) “A public officer shall only accept personal gifts, or benefits from relatives or personal friends to such extent and on such occasions as are recognized by custom.” 8(1) “No person shall offer a public officer any property or gift

or benefit of any kind as an inducement or bribe for the granting of favour or the discharge in his favour of public duties.” 9 “A public officer shall not be a member or belong or take part in any society the membership of which is incompatible with the functions of his office.” 11 “Subject to this provision of this Constitution, every public officer shall within three months after the coming into force of this code of conduct or immediately after taking the oath of office and thereafter, at the end of every four years or at the end of his term of office, submit to the Code of Conduct Bureau a written declaration of all his properties ,

The laws are prescribed but enforcement of is a militating factor against eradication of corrupting in Nigeria. Where do we go from here? We need to start proffering solutions to the myriad of problems bedeviling our state. The above provisions of the law are a great weapon to be used against corrupt officers

assets and liabilities and those of his unmarried children under the age of eighteen years. “Any property or assets acquired by a public officer after any declaration required under this constitution which is not fairly attributable to income, gift or loan, approved by the code shall be deemed to have been acquired in breach of the code The code of conduct prescribes punitive measures against violations of the provisions of the code of public officers. Anyone found guilty of violation are asked to submit to the following: a) vacation of office or seat in any legislature, b) disqualification from membership of a legislative house or from holding public office for not exceeding ten years, and) seizure and forfeiture to the state of any property acquired through abuse of office. The laws are prescribed but enforcement of is a militating factor against eradication of corrupting in Nigeria. Where do we go from here? We need to start proffering solutions to the myriad of problems bedeviling our state. The above provisions of the law are a great weapon to be used against corrupt officers. Olutoyin Adeyinka is on Facebook



Man convicted for stealing cough syrup


Stone breakers at work in Lugbe New Extension Abuja.

Photo: Joe Oroye

Woman allegedly inflict multiple injuries on 12-year-old step daughter By Josephine Ella


12-year-old girl allegedly brutalized by her guardian, Mrs. Blessing Anago is presently in the custody of the Social Development Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA). The victim, Rita Anago, a student of the International Community School in Wuse, Abuja was allegedly maltreated by her guardian who inflicted multiple injuries on her body. Addressing journalists on the incident, the Director Gender of the secretariat, Hajiya Amina Abubakar said investigation has commenced into the circumstances that may have cause the various degrees of injuries on her body. She said that the victim was observed to be very sick during a Physical Education (PE) session with blood and pus stain on her cloth

which she struggled to conceal. When interrogated by the school management, Rita was said to have been taken to the school bay where she was examined and her entire body was discovered to be dotted with various injuries suffered at different times. Abubakar added that disturbed by the pathetic situation of the young girl, the school wrote to the Social Development Department of the FCT, requesting their intervention to rescue the young girl who appeared to be tortured by her guardian. The letter to the Social Development Secretariat, written on September 14, 2012, and signed by Mrs. Jan Okpanachi, the Superintendent of the school reads in part: “I am writing to you concerning a student in our school named Rita Anago, who joined the school just a session. During PE class it was noticed that she had blood and pus stains on her shirt”.

“When taken to the nurse for investigation, it was discovered that she has serious wounds all over her stomach, leg and back which she explained were result of many beatings at various times with a double koboko,” the letter read. Meanwhile all efforts to get the guardian failed as refused to pick her phone. It was gathered from neighbours of the victim at the multi-tenanted apartments on Agadez street in Wuse 11, where she lived, that Rita is the step daughter of Mrs. Blessing Anago. A neighbour who pleaded anonymity said they were happy that the case of Blessings has been taken care of by the FCT Administration as they had wondered what the little girl had done to the woman who takes pleasure in beating the girl always among the other kids. However, investigation revealed that said Rita who has

been in the custody of the secretariat for about two weeks now is doing well. She is also being escorted to school by some welfare officers to prevent any attempt by Mrs. Anago to take her back without explaining her reason for the serial abuses evidenced with the healed and healing wounds on Rita’s body. The director of gender, who commended the effort of the International Community School, called on all residents to report all forms of abuses meted out to innocent and defenceless children in the territory to the secretariat for appropriate action insisting that tenants and teachers should lead in this direction. She emphasised that all children living in the territory were constitutionally protected under the Child Right Act which the secretariat which has a mandate to enforce this on behalf of the FCT Administration.

22 cleft lip patients undergo surgery in Bwari – Consultant


ver 22 cleft lip patients have undergone corrective surgery at Bwari General Hospital, Dr Saidu Bello, a Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon, has said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme was sponsored by the Cleft Lip Foundation (Nigeria) in conjunction with The Smile Train, an NGO. Cleft lip and cleft palate are facial and oral malformations that occur very early in pregnancy, while the baby is developing inside

the womb. It is a physical split or separation of the two sides of the upper lip and appears as a narrow opening or gap in the skin of the upper lip. The separation often extends beyond the base of the nose and includes the bones of the upper jaw and upper gum. Bello told NAN yesterday in Bwari, that the one week free surgery began on Sept. 22 and will end on September 30. NAN recalls that a similar programme was undertaken in May this year at Karshi General

Hospital where 38 patients benefited. He said over 18 surgical operations had been carried out, while 10 patients were discharged and eight placed on admission at the hospital. Bello who is a director with the foundation, said the programme began two years ago and that 235 patients had benefited. According to him, the cost of each surgery could be as high as N400, 000 depending on the hospital. “I felt as a Nigerian, I should do it myself to help my people, and that

is what drew me into giving free medical attention to the patients. “After every programme, we usually go back to the hospital after two months for review,’’ the Dr said. A beneficiary, Mrs Nana Abdulkadir, 23, said she had lived with the problem since birth, adding: “It was a miracle that today my sorrow has been turned into joy, thanks to cleft care”. Another patient, Mr Daniel Bule, said he was excited about the surgery and was anxiously waiting to see his face when he fully recovers. (NAN)

ne Amos Sijo, 28, of no fixed address was yesterday sentenced to three months imprisonment by a Gudu District Upper Area Court in Abuja for stealing a cough syrup. He was, however, given an option of paying N3,000 as fine. The Police Prosecutor, Mr Christian Munonye, had told the court that the accused stole three bottles of Benylin Syrup at Judith Pharmacy Store at Apo, Abuja on September 26, 2012. Munoye said the matter was reported on September 26 at the Durumi Police Station by one Mrs Judith Ogedegbe of Durumi, Abuja. “The accused went to Judith Pharmacy Store at Apo Sparkly Plaza, pretending to buy some drugs when he stole the drugs. They were valued at N1,950. “The bottles of syrup were recovered from the accused during police investigation’’. The accused pleaded guilty to the charge and begged the court for leniency. “I was sick. That was why I went to steal the medicines,’’ he said. (NAN)

Farmer bags five months imprisonment for theft


n Upper Area Court in Gwagwalada was on Wednesday sentenced Yakubu Ayuba, 26, to five months imprisonment for stealing a pumping machine belonging to one Ibrahim Yunusa. Presiding Judge, Alhaji Babangida Hassan gave the convict an option of N20, 000 as fine and ordered that the recovered pumping machine be returned to Yunusa. Police prosecutor, Inspector Martha Paul told the court that Ayuba stole the machine from the farm where it was being used. She said that the machine valued at N14, 000 was sold to an unknown person at N5, 000 by the convict, adding that the incident happened on September 22, 2012. The prosecutor told the court that the convict was arrested on September 22 following complaints lodged at Gwagwalada Police Station by Yunusa. She said that the machine was recovered during Police investigation, adding that the convict was arraigned on a onecount charge of theft. The convict pleaded guilty to the charge and begged the court for leniency, saying that he stole the machine to be able to settle his wife’s medical bill. (NAN)



V I O officials attacked with cutlasses, stones in Mabushi By tanley Onyekwere


hree men have been sentenced to six weeks imprisonment each for assaulting some officials of the Directorate of Road Traffic Services(DRTS) popularly called VIO in Mabushi, Abuja. An Abuja Senior Magistrates Court which handed the judgement to the convicts , Hamza Musa, 22; Nasiru Sani, 20, and Nasiru Mudi, 23, all of Apo-Dutse, Garki, Abuja, however, gave them an option of N6,000 fine each. One Bala Kado of the VIO unit in Mabushi, was said to have on August 27, 2012, reported the incident to the Garki Police Station. Police Prosecutor, Mohammed Garba had told the court that the convicts and others, now at large, jointly attacked the complainant and his colleagues with cutlasses and stones while they were on duty. The prosecutor further told the court that the convicts, had earlier pleaded not guilty to a four-count charge of criminal conspiracy, force and assault, causing hurt and mischief, which contravenes Sections 97, 267, 246 and 327 of the Penal Code. However, at the first mention of the case on September 5,2012, they changed their plea and pleaded guilty to the charges. The presiding Magistrate Aliu Shafa, therefore, sentenced each of them to one week imprisonment for the offence of joint act with an option to pay a fine of N1, 000. They each, bagged two weeks imprisonment with an option to pay N1, 000 fine for the offence of force and assault; and another two weeks imprisonment with an option to pay N2,000 fine each for the offence of causing hurt. Shafa also sentenced each of the convicts to two weeks imprisonment for the offence of mischief with an option to pay N2, 000 fine. The Magistrate ordered that the convicts should pay a compensation of N100,000 to the VIOs or serve another two weeks imprisonment each, following an application by the prosecutor for N196, 000 compensation to be paid for the damaged vehicle.

Police nab driver over mysterious death of conductor T he police have arrested a bus driver at Shereti village in Kabusa for allegedly killing his conductor, Bala Akuki. The suspect was said to have fought the conductor for allegedly stealing N5,000 from their daily till.


he police yesterday arraingned one Samson Daniel of Area 1, Abuja, before an Abuja Senior Magistrates Court for snatching a woman's hand bag. The prosecutor, Sgt. Abdullahi Adamu, told the court that on Sept. 22, 2012 one Faith Nwaeze of Mpape, Abuja, reported the case at Utako Police Station. Adamu said the complainant was waiting to get a bus at Berger Gate around 11.30 p.m. in Abuja, when the accused and one other, now at large, conspired and beat her up. The prosecutor said that the

conductor a night before he died. The neighbour, who pleaded anonymity said he over-heard the driver and the conductor fighting in the night over the alleged missing N5,000. “They were engaged in a serious fight,’’ the neighbour

was said to have told the police. NAN learnt that preliminary investigations by the police revealed that the conductor might have been strangled. The source said the police would soon arraign the suspect. (NAN)

Man abducts traffic warden after beating traffic light


middle-aged man, eking a living with a small sewing machine, yesterday in Apo village, Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

Farmers appeal to FCTA to earmark land for farming


armers in Abuja have urged the Federal Capital T e r r i t o r y ( F C T ) administration to earmark land for farming activities, the News Agency of Nigeria reports. The farmers told NAN on Wednesday in Abuja that currently

Court fines man for snatching lady's handbag By Sunday Etuka

A police source, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the suspect denied the allegation, saying that the conductor died of stomach upset However, a neighbour told the police that the driver had a serious fight with the

accused also dispossessed the complainant of her handbag, containing N4,000 cash, Nokia E68 phone valued at N43,000 and other valuables. He said that during police interrogation, the accused confessed to the crime, adding that it contravened sections 79 and 287 of the Penal Code. The accused pleaded not guilty to the offence. Senior Magistrate Vera Tomtukura granted the accused bail in the sum of N50,000 and a surety in like sum. Tomtukura said that the surety must be a civil servant and reside within the court's jurisdiction.

they utilised undeveloped plots owned by individuals since the FCT Administration(FCTA) had not designated area for farming. NAN reports that most of the roasted corn along the major roads and streets and the cooked ones were planted on some undeveloped areas of land by some local farmers. A corn farmer, Alhaji Mohammed Hamza said that agricultural production would increase, if the FCT administration provided some hectares in Abuja for farming. “I don’t know if this is not done in other developed cities of the world; I want to believe that no country can do well without farming, no matter how rich that country may be. “It is my belief that if the government of FCT had planned for farming activities, we would have also produced other food crops other than maize in larger quantities. “The little efforts are made from lands yet to be developed by individuals who bought them. We decided to use them to plant corn and other food crops,” Hamza explained. Also speaking, one of the farmers, Mrs Hannah Ezorenyi, said she had discovered in the course of her

subsistence farming practice that Abuja land is fertile for farming. “If land is provided for farming activities besides infrastructural development, Abuja will also record high production of food crops. “I must confess to you as a farmer that FCT land is highly fertile for crop production. I am urging government to create special portions of land for farmers to start producing food crops in larger quantities for both subsistence and commercialisation”, he said. Reacting to the farmers’ request, Head, Division of Forestry Department at the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Mr Amaobi Ihejirika, affirmed that Abuja has rich soil for farming. Ihejirika said that government was aware of this fact and that efforts were ongoing to provide some hectares at Kuje and Karshi areas for farming. “The FCT administration is making plan to acquire some hectares of land at Kuje and Karshi areas to engage local farmers,” Ihejirika said. He, however, encouraged farmers to form co-operatives to be able to seek financial assistance from the government. (NAN)

Karu Upper Area Court, Abuja, on Wednesday sentenced a 27-year-old man, Lawrence Iduh of 18, Mutairu Street, Bariga, Lagos, to three weeks imprisonment for abduction. The presiding Judge, Alhaji Umar Kagarko, however, gave him an option of N3,000 fine. Kagarko said it was the wish of the court to give a heavier punishment but decided to tamper justice with mercy following the convict’s plea of guilt. Kagarko also told the convict to be of good behaviour and respect traffic warders on duty. The prosecutor, Inspector Philips Akogwu, had told the court that Iduh criminally abducted Traffic Warder Grade 3, Emmanuel Amos, of Asokoro Police Division, on September 25, 2012. “Iduh drove the car No.AKD878XC from Power House Junction with the officer on the bonnet to ECOWAS Junction,” he told the court. Akogwu further said that during investigation, it was discovered that Iduh beat the traffic light and was trying to escape arrest. The prosecutor further told the court that the convicts, had earlier pleaded not guilty to a four-count charge of criminal conspiracy, force and assault, causing hurt and mischief, which contravenes Sections 97, 267, 246 and 327 of the Penal Code. However, at the first mention of the case on September 5,2012, they changed their plea and pleaded guilty to the charges. The presiding Magistrate Aliu Shafa, therefore, sentenced each of them to one week imprisonment for the offence of joint act with an option to pay a fine of N1, 000. They each, bagged two weeks imprisonment with an option to pay N1, 000 fine for the offence of force and assault; and another two weeks imprisonment with an option to pay N2,000 fine each for the offence of causing hurt. Shafa also sentenced each of the convicts to two weeks imprisonment for the offence of mischief with an option to pay N2, 000 fine. The Magistrate ordered that the convicts should pay a compensation of N100,000 to the VIOs or serve another two weeks imprisonment each, following an application by the prosecutor for N196, 000 compensation to be paid for the damaged vehicle. (NAN)



A motorcycle mechanic doing what he knows best, yesterday in Apo village, Abuja.

An onion seller waiting for patronage, yesterday in Garki Market, Abuja.

A physically challenged man setting out for the day's business, yesterday in Bwari, Abuja

People patronising second hand clothes, yesterday in Karu market, Abuja.

A barber attending to his client, yesterday in Kubwa, Abuja.

Photos: Justin Imo-owo






- Pg 20

Genesis Electricity assures NNPC of quality power supply to PHRC

Mob: 08033644990

Union Bank’s Q 2 profit rise to N13.6 bn From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


nion Bank of Nigeria Plc has declared a profit of N13.6billion for the second quarter ended June 30, 2012. The bank's unaudited result made available to the Nigeria Stock Exchange showed a Profit after Tax (PAT) of N13.6 billion as against the loss of N44.01 billion recorded during the corresponding period last year. The report also showed a profit before taxation (PBT) of N9.793 billion as against N65.679 billion loss posted last year. It was the PBT plus deferred tax income of N3.758 billion that gave the profit of N13.6 billion. Total comprehensive income for the period also rose to N11.99billion as against the loss of N43.50billion posted during the corresponding period last year. This translated to earning per share of 221 kobo compared to the loss of 326 kobo recorded in 2011. In the same vein, the equity skyrocketed to N188.37billion from a negative of N184.960 posted during the comparative period. Similarly, the Group recorded a PAT of N16.14billion, compared to a loss ofN40.30 billion posted during a corresponding period last year. Likewise, the group assets grew 1.07 percent to N1.049 trillion from N1.038 trillion recorded last year. The Group's total comprehensive income rose to N19.475 billion, compared to a N39.410 billion loss posted in 2011.This also translated to earning per share of 251 kobo as against a loss per share of 305 kobo recorded last year. The bank's shareholders' fund rose to N188.37 billion from a negative of N184.96 billion while the Group equity increased to N207.92 billion from negative N164.852 billion posted in 2011. It would be recalled that in the

first quarter, the bank posted an unaudited gross earnings of N25.51 billion (Group N29.84billion) while Profit after Taxation was N6.32 billion (Group N7.62 billion). The performance is attributed to full re-capitalisation, injection of new capital; support from AMCON with the clean- up of bad loans; faster service delivery to customers and other growth spurring polices of the Osibodu led management. The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mrs. Funke Osibodu had, while presenting the first quarter, earlier said "with this result, the bank has indeed begun to move forward in the right direction. We have been able to turn around our loss position of the previous years and more significantly, we now have a healthy and positive shareholders' fund".

L-R: Former FCT Minister, lt.-General Jeremiah Useni, President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Mines, and Agriculture, Mr Solomon Nyagba, and former Abia state deputy governor, Dr Chris Akomas, during the opening ceremony of 7th Abuja International Trade Fair, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

Nigerian Content Devt. Fund hits N15.7 billion

By Abdulwahab Isa

‌Onne Port phase four project for completion in 2014

il companies in the country have contributed $100 billion (N15.7 billion) to the coffers of the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF) since inception of the scheme in 2010. Meanwhile, the $2 billion (N320 billion) Phase-4 jetty under construction in Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone (FTZ), Port Harcourt, is expected to be completed in 2014. The Executive Secretary, Nigerian

Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Ernest Nwapa, said the contribution level was as at this month. Nwapa said this Nigeria Oil and Gas Trade and Investment Forum 2012 organised by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment and Orlean Invest West Africa Limited, in Port Hacourt at the weekend, that designated accounts for NCDF and procedure for payment of one per cent


Unity Bank, Interswitch launch Holy trip MasterCard By Abdulwahab Isa


nity Bank Plc, in partnership with MasterCard worldwide and Interswitch Nigeria yesterday launched three variants of MasterCard's products in line with the cash-less policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN). The products, which the Bank and its strategic partner described as a step towards reducing cash in the economy include: MasterCard Verve Debit card, Holy trip MasterCard and MasterCard prepaid card. Speaking at the lunch of the products yesterday, Unity Bank's Executive Director (Central), Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed, representing the Managing Director/CEO Ado Wanka said the products are very beneficial to numerous Unity Bank's customers and other Nigerians . The holy trip MasterCard is a prepaid card that enables Muslim and Christians pilgrims pay for

goods and services with ease while on pilgrimage, while the generic MasterCard enables the holder to be in control of his/her finances whether on business trip or leisure trip. The Bank also has MasterCard verve debit card that grants users access to both local and foreign finances. One of the common feature to the three products is that the card holder need not be an account holder of Unity Bank.

In her remarks, Country Director of MasterCard, Miss Omokeyinde Ojomuyide commended Unity Bank for the taking the lead to launch product that take peculiar need of the pilgrims. Also speaking, Interswitch Nigeria Director Infrastructure Processing , Hakeem Lawal described the event a major milestone that has put Unity Bank ahead of it peers in banking sector.

sum had been set up for the initiative. "The new fund would be used as a pool to attract and facilitate venture capital. Professionals will run the NCDF and it is expected to close all the identified gaps in the old fund", he said. According to him. the fund would be managed by the board of NCMB and was different from the $350 million Local Content Fund, which was put together by NNPC in 2007 to serve as a working capital for Nigerian companies that got service contracts in the industry. Nwapa said: "In this case, you need to demonstrate the bankability of an investment and the board will begin to talk to you. "You are going to show a business plan and prove that the investment will be able to repay the loan. "The fund will not be managed by engineers or officials of the board. It will be managed by a proper fund manager with international best practices. So, there is no question of utilising the fund for what it is not meant for," he explained. Nwapa said the vision of the NCMB

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presentation. Don't overdo this step. Your audience isn't interested in your full CV and you could alienate them if you brag. Lastly, be sure to explain upfront why your audience should care about what you're going to tell them. Be sure to answer: What's in it for them?

was to grow the fund and use it to attract other financial players who would leverage on it such that Nigerian service providers would do business knowing that the fund was available for them to use. He called on Nigerian investors to take advantage of the immense opportunities which the Nigerian Content Act had created for them. "Even if you create these opportunities and Nigerians do not take them, the board would not become manufacturers. "The board would only protect the rights of manufacturers, so Nigerians should take advantage of the law," Nwapa said. Speaking during the tour of the FTZ, Head, Commercial, Intels Nigeria Limited, Iuri Tarmulus, said that the construction work at the zone was being handled Property Development Company Limited and over 9000 piles had been sunk at the new jetty. "Over 30 million cubic meters of sand had been used to sand-fill the new jetty and $500 million had so far been invested therein and the total projected amount to be invested in $2 billion." Iuri said about 95 per cent of oil and gas companies operated from the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone, adding that it possessed over four kilometers stretch of jetties, with over four million square kilometers. According to him, Onne port now prides itself as producer of what is tagged: Christmas tree, a technical machine used in the process of oil exploration, a great achievement by one of the occupying company at the port.




Honeywell Flour


or the financial year ended March 31, 2012, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc has paid out N1.19 billion worth of dividend. The dividend, which translates to 15 kobo per share for every 50 kobo share, showed an increase of 15 percent above the 13 kobo paid the preceding financial year. Chairman of Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Oba Otudeko told shareholders at the 3rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company held in Lagos on Tuesday, that the recommendation was in line with the dividend policy of Honeywell in providing shareholders with steady, growing and sustainable dividends. According to Otudeko, the financial year ended March 31, 2012, was a remarkable one for the company as Honeywell Flour Mills posted improved performance in spite of the various challenges, especially in the area of raw materials, energy and logistics.

Genesis Electricity assures NNPC of quality power supply to PHRC By Muhammad Nasir


n a bid to resolve the recurrent power supply challenge to the Port Harcourt Refinery Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Genesis Electricity(GEL), in partnership with General Electric (GE) have commenced the fast-track implementation of Gas-fired Captive Power Project(CPP) to guarantee quality and uninterrupted electric power supply to the

refinery. A statement issued yesterday by Doyin AdeleFadipe, Snr. Vice President, Legal and Corporate Services, Genesis Electricity, speaking during a courtesy call on the Group Executive Director, Refining and Petrochemical, Engr. Anthony Ogbuigwe at the NNPC Towers, Abuja, the Regional Sales Director, Middle East Africa, Cees-Jean de Maaker of GE (General Electric) affirmed the readiness of the partnership to provide reliable and

qualitative electric power supply to the refinery facility. Mr. De Maaker stated the excitement of GE to partner with a professional and competent local company such as Genesis Electricity Ltd, and he informed that GE is committed to ensuring full technical support across the spectrum of Power Plant installation, commissioning and subsequent long term management of the operations of the Genesis Electricity's captive power plant investment.

Deloitte Global


eloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) recently announced aggregate member firm revenues of $31.3 billion for the fiscal year ending 31 May 2012, marking the network's highest revenue ever. The company's aggregate revenues grew 8.6 percent in dollars - the strongest revenue increase since 2008. Deloitte member firms experienced growth across all three major geographic regions, led by exceptional results generated in Asia Pacific, the Americas, and a number of developing markets, as well as across all business lines and industry sectors.

Oak Pension


ak Pensions Limited, one of Nigeria's leading Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) in the Country has said, it has set plans in motion, in a bid to attaining stronger capital, better human resources and improved technology so as to deliver a more efficient service as a PFA. This is following the successful completion of its merger deal with CRIB Pension Fund Managers Limited and Evergreen Pensions Limited, which have all collapsed into OAK for combined business operations. By this development, all contributors under CRIB and Evergreen now come under the management of Oak Pensions.

L-R: Managing Director, Multi Choice Nigeria, Mr. John Ugbe, Managing Director, Mnet Africa, Mrs Biola Alabi, Zonal Director, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr. Armstrong Ndachaba, General Manager, DSTV/GOTv, Mr. Mayo Okunola, Regional Director, DSTV Media Sales, Mrs Biola Adeogun and Nollywood actor, Joseph Benjamin, during the media launch of Walka 7 DSTV mobile, recently in Lagos.

Arik Air has showed disrespect to SGF -Aviation stakeholders By Muhammad Sada


rik Air has been accused of showing utter disrespect to the office of the Secretary to the Federal Government of the Federation, who directed all parties to sheath their sword, following his intervention in the Arik air imbroglio with aviation workers union. This was contained in a statement signed by Capt. Balarabe Usman, who described the act as incorrigible and arrogant display of disregard for constituted authority.

According to the aviation veteran, " We were amazed by a circular from the embattled airline which permanently blacklisted the Managing Director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. George Uriese, from boarding any of its flights, barely 24 hours after a peace meeting chaired by the SGF, Sen. Pius Anyim Pius who directed all parties to sheath their swords". Capt Balarabe, President of Aviation Stakeholders Squaretable, described the action by Arik air as a further confirmation of their

unethical deviant behavior, and disrespect for the persons and offices of the, Sen. Pius Anyim, Secretary to the Federal Government of the Federation, Senator Hope Uzodinma, Chairman, Senate committee on Aviation, Hon Nkiru Onyejeoka, Chairperson House of Representative Committee on Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, Minister of Aviation, and Managing Directors of FAAN, NCAA, AIB, NIMET amongst several distinguished Nigerians who were part of the highly publicised meeting where the decision was taken.

for the Cocoa Association of Nigeria, Robo Adhuze said this yesterday in Akure, the Ondo state capital. "In the past five years, Nigeria has done so much to raise output, and what we are seeing now is the result of that", Adhuze said. The government encouraged farmers to expand their farms, replace old trees and also taught them good practices, he said. Last year, eight new varieties of cocoa, with shorter maturity periods and higher yields per hectare, were introduced, he said.

Ondo state, the biggest producer, is expected to increase output to 90,000 tons from less than 77,000 tons last year, Adhuze said, adding production should also rise in Cross River and Edo. Nigeria ranks behind the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia in cocoa production, according to the International Cocoa Organization. Shipments of the beans represent the second- biggest foreign exchange earner for Nigeria, Africa's leading oil producer, according to government figures.

Cocoa output will rise by 20% in the new season - Industry group From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


ocoa output from Nigeria, the world's fourth-biggest producer, may rise by as much as 20 percent in the season that starts on Oct. 1, as new farms begin production, an industry group said. Cocoa trees planted four to five years ago in western, eastern and midwestern regions of Nigeria will begin to bear fruits in the 2012-13 season and raise the country's output to at least 300,000 metric tons from 250,000 tons last year, spokesman

Shell opposes PIB, says it'll stifle oil and gas investments By Muhammad Nasir


il giant, Shell, has complained about the fiscal terms proposed in the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, saying the bill would hurt the industry if approved by the National Assembly. The Managing Director, Shell Nigeria, Mutiu Sunmonu, who described the tax provisions in the proposed law as grossly 'uncompetitive', said if passed into law without amendments, they are capable of stifling investment and making offshore oil and gas projects unviable. Mr. Sunmonu's statement on Wednesday seemed a response to the views of participants in the recent stakeholders' forum organized by the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative on the PIB, which is before the National Assembly. "A balanced PIB is what is required - one that will provide optimal revenue to the government, whilst providing sufficient incentives for new investments to fuel growth," Mr. Sunmonu said. The new law, the Shell boss said, must also "take local business challenges into consideration as well as the impact on existing investments. What we have seen of the draft PIB to date does not indicate a bill that fits these criteria." Disagreeing with Mr. Sunmonu, a former Legal Adviser and Group Executive Director, Corporate Services of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Yinka Omorogbe, said the revised fiscal and tax provisions in the draft law is good for the country and the growth of the petroleum industry.

Zenith Bank wins ‘Best Performing Africa Investor’ award By Muhammad Sada


leading international investment and communications group, known as A (i) 40, has announced Zenith Bank Plc among the winners of its prestigious Africa investor Index Series Awards that held recently at the New York Stock Exchange during the UN General Assembly. Very notable among the awards is the Africa investor’s Ai 40 Investors’ index, which captures the top 40 of the largest and most liquid publicly-traded stocks across Africa, ranking them by market capitalisation and by liquidity, as measured by the average daily value traded in US dollars. Zenith Bank Plc won the Ai 40 Investor index award as the Best Performing Africa Investor (Ai) 40 company with the bank’s stock closed at N16.30 on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, up 33% year-to-date.



Miners association decries high rate of dependency by miners From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


iners Association of Nigeria, Bauchi state chapter has decried the high rate of dependency on government by Nigerian miners. This lamentation was made in a press release issued by the association and signed by its publicity secretary, Babayo Sanusi Adamu.

Galoji who urged Nigerian youth to be selfreliant explained that the activities of miners in the country would drastically reduce unemployment stressing that mining not only offer employment opportunity to the vast populace of the country but also gives lucrative jobs to the teeming populace. According to the association, '' our prime

objective is to educate, create awareness and explore opportunities in the mining sector by taking responsibility in helping both the state and Federal Government to invite foreign investors and partners to stimulate local miners and to empower them by establishing strong relationship between the government and mine workers.''

L-R: Coordinating Director, Support Services Group of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Osy Chuke, and Executive Chairman of FIRS, Alhaji Kabir Mashi, during a meeting with House Committee on Finance on the 2013-2015 medium term expenditure framework and fiscal strategy paper, yesterday at the National Assembly, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Obsolete safety management to blame for Nigeria's aviation problems By Ibrahim Kabiru Sule


he general manager, Safety Management Systems (SMS) in the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), John Onyegiri has described safety management in the country as a traditional one, a situation which is not viable to the aviation industry. Delivering his keynote speech during the recent

aviation sector Professionals conference in Lagos, Onyegiri identified what he termed "national culture" as the sole cause of air disasters in Nigeria. He added that, "When you don't address why accident happened, it will happen again." Hence, the introduction of new changes in to the sector would be difficult. He therefore inclined the

future of aviation business in the country on the safety of passengers by first understanding the hazards that would mitigate air accidents and bring about safety of passengers. Onyagiri then urged Nigerians not to give up on safety in view of the challenges in the aviation sector, saying, air accidents would drastically reduce with the rigorous application of Technology, Training and Regulation (TTS).

CellTrust partners on mobile kids presidential voting session By Chris Alu


ellTrust incorporation has partnered with kids to provide a text messaging-based youth polling program, as part of this year's Kids Voting Arizona initiative. The Youth Presidential Poll program, which kicked-off on August 27th, is part of youths' activities towards making their voice heard and taking advantage of their democratic rights as an important part of growing up and being responsible citizen. The program is part of SMS technology to be used

to check mate polls activities by CellTrust Corporation, and allows the youth participating to send their poll responses, retrieve upto-date results and engage in discussions through a nonpartisan, safe text messaging channel a head of the presidential election in USA. "CellTrust is also providing them with the ability to engage with visiting youths via their preferred channel through mobile phone," said Dr. Kevin S. Ruegg Ph.D., CEO and Executive

Director of the Arizona Bar Foundation, said. "We chose to partner with CellTrust because of their foundation in mobile communication security, and the mobile expertise to keep the information shared by participants in Kids Voting Arizona confidential." The company has administered such designed to individualized and interactive campaign that will engage young mobile phone users and encourages adult voter turnout, by helping to stimulate family conversations within households.




Hajj: Pilgrims’ luggage will arrive early this year, says Kabo Air’s spokesman Aminu Hamza is the Manager, Corporate Affairs, Kabo Air Limited, one of the designated carriers for this year’s Hajj operation that has just commenced. In this interview with Maryam Garba Hassan, he talks about the measures the airline has taken to ensure a hitch free Muslim pilgrimage and the safety of its 27,673,000 pilgrims, the issue of waiver which causes delay in the arrival of pilgrims’ luggage from Saudi Arabia, etc. Excerpts:


Manager, Corporate Affairs, Kabo Air Limited, Aminu Hamza

he airlift of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for this year’s Hajj has just commenced. How ready your airline is for the exercise? We are fully ready for the operation. Our airline conducted this year’s inaugural flight to Saudi Arabia with 517 pilgrims on board, from Kano on September 19; all necessarily arrangements have been concluded for the operation. How many pilgrims is the airline going to transport? We are going to airlift a total number of 27,673,000 pilgrims from 12 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. We are going to operate a total of 57 flights, using three 747 Boeing aircraft with the capacity of 540 passengers. We are going to operate two flights daily while a third one will be kept as a back -up in case of any eventuality. One of the fundamentals of Hajj airlift is to ensure that your aircraft and staff are ready as well as all other logistics and I assure Nigerians that everything is ready to ensure a hitch free exercise. Last year, we were able to beat the deadline and this year we are determined to complete the airlift on timeas soon as the problem is restored. The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has set aside October 17 as the deadline for the completion of the airlift. With two 747 Boeing aircraft I am sure we will beat the

deadline. Two years ago, some of your planes encountered technical problems during the airlift of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia. What measures have you put in place to prevent a repeat this year and to regain the confidence of Nigerians in your services? One thing you should know is that no aircraft that is not airworthy is allowed to fly or take part in the airlift of 95,000 Nigerians by both the Nigerian and the Saudi Authorities. That incident you are talking about happened in Adamawa state in 2010 and the problem was caused by hydraulic leak. An aircraft can develop technical problem at any time and when that problem happened, our engineers fixed the aircraft in a matter of hours. To avoid

that, we have taken steps to ensure that we don’t encounter any problem this year. The issue of standard food given to pilgrims on board has been one of the major complaints from pilgrims. What is your airline doing to ensure that this year’s pilgrims get value for their money? The authorities certify the people to provide food for the pilgrims before they are awarded the contract; they also inspect the premises where the food is prepared and the quality of staff to ensure that they can provide pilgrims with standard food on board. Again, NAHCON penalizes any airline that gives substandard food to pilgrims. You can interview

Only Nigeria’s pilgrims defy the law and carry more than the 8kg luggage allowed each pilgrim to airport; that is the standard weight for hand luggage. Every pilgrim is entitled to 40kg - 8kg hand luggage which the pilgrim carries on board while the 32kg is carried on the aircraft as the main luggage. Nigerian pilgrims come to the airport with more than one hand luggage and when you confiscate the other luggage it becomes a problem; that extra luggage isn’t part of the contract between the airline and the pilgrims.

any of our pilgrims to verify this since we have started airlifting. In what way have you addressed the issue of late arrivals of pilgrims’ luggage to the country? The problem was not from us; there is what we call waiver which Saudi Arabia gives to airlines to enable them take pilgrims’ luggage in bulk to the airport and then to their countries origin. Last year, the waiver was not given to us on time, and that made us to operate 7 to 8 flights without pilgrims’ luggage up to the time we completed the airlift. At the end of the return exercise, we contracted a cargo company that brought the remaining luggage to Nigeria. It is a twoway matter; aside from the issue of waiver, the pilgrims also contribute to the problem. Only Nigeria’s pilgrims defy the law and carry more than the 8kg luggage allowed each pilgrim to take to the airport; that is the standard weight for hand luggage. Every pilgrim is entitled to 40kg - 8kg hand luggage which the pilgrim carries on board while the 32kg is carried on the aircraft as the main luggage. Nigerian pilgrims come to the airport with more than one hand luggage and when you confiscate the other luggage it becomes a problem; that extra luggage isn’t part of the contract between the airline and the pilgrims. Most times the weight of hand luggage collected for one aircraft is more than that of the main

luggage. In a situation like that, we sometimes have no option but to leave some luggage at the airport once we finish boarding because we have time for landing, boarding and take –off to give space for other aircraft from other countries to land and begin boarding within the time stipulated. What is the situation of waiver for this year’s hajj operation? The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria is working towards getting the

waiver early to avoid what happened last year and the previous years but I don’t know how far they have gone. With the early arrangement, I am sure we will not encounter any such problem again. What arrangement have you made to ensure an improvement in your services compared to the previous years? We try to improve our services every year because we believe it is the quality of our services that has kept us in business for this long. The

company has been in existence for more than 30years, it was registered in 1980. We have made adequate arrangements to ensure a hitch free airlift Nigerian pilgrims to and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabiaand back home. How many states have been allocated to the airline this year? We have 12 states, including the FCT. They are Adamawa, Borno, Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Yobe, Kogi, Kwara, Ondo, Sokoto and Niger.

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Muhammad Musa Bello



Fundamental conditions of Islam's testimony (IV) T

hus, from what we have been discussing all these weeks on this important topic, one can easily realized that those who believed in the true oneness and unity of Allah, do so sincerely without any partner. While those who nurse hidden hesitation away from the knowledge of their fellow human beings as regards the oneness of Allah also do so, but with consociate of other gods with Him. This type of conviction is as bad as null and void. In fact such beliefs are described as ''shirk el-akbar''; major polytheism, ditheism or theism. Such, is simply a belief that rejects the conventional tenets of Islam; it is invalid in both essence and purpose! The second part of the Kalimah is: ''Muhammadur Rasulullah''. It means, I bear witness also that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. This segment is as vital as the first part. The simple logic is that believing in the unity of Allah and submitting to Him without any reservation or hidden associates is not sufficient to make someone a Muslim, without believing in the messengership of Muhammad, and in its finality, as well as accepting him as the only model for all his or her spiritual and temporal life, cannot be qualified as Muslim. that is the 'Tauhid of Risalah' is as significant as the 'Tauhid of Ilahiyyah'; believing in the worthiness of Allah as the only Deity adorable in accordance with the teachings and examples of His Messenger. The complete or partial absence of this belief totally negates and voids the conviction of the first part of the kalimah. This is the abysmal ditch which the socalled quranists and qadiyanists fell into. The former do not believe in the Messengership of Muhammad, while the later vehemently rejected his finality to prophecy. Both are adherent to heretic conviction. They believe in imperfect and deficient Islam. such 'islam' cannot be called the Islam that is acceptable to Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala! There is also another fanatical group who hold the conviction that Prophet Muhammad was not a human being of the hominidae family, rather he was an incorporeal or ethereal being believed to have independent precognition and powers to affect the course of human events. This belief is also a wide deviation from the

'Aqeedah' of the Ahlus-Sunnati Kalimah has six conditions wal jama'ah (or mainstream which must be met completely Sunnists). by every Muslim who attains The correct position of the recognition and acceptability to central Islam is that be addressed so. If any of these Muhammad was a full human being with human ancestors and progeny. He was perfect By Husain Zakariyya man with Yawale s t e r l i n g qualities of +234-8052952900 (sms only) e n v i a b l e standard and paradigm. he was indeed chosen by Allah to be conditions is incomplete, one's His last and final Messenger to Islam remains mere ruse! all creations. He was first The conditions are; repository of Allah's message to 1. Unflinching declaration of the world with impeccable and conviction in the prophecy of faultless characters. The Quran Muhammad, secretly. testifies that Muhammad was a That is to say, one must accept human being with emulative genuinely the prophetic position patterns of behaviours. Allah of Muhammad secretly in his or says: her mind. This type of belief is ''Muhammad is no more than only attested and witness by an apostle: many were the apostle Allah alone. Thus, Allah will be that passed away before Him. if the first witness to anybody who He died or were slain, will ye then assumes he or she believes in the turn back on your heels? if any did messengership of Muhammad turn back on His heels, not the (SAW). least harm will He do to Allah. but 2. Unflinching declaration Allah (on the other hand) will accepting the genuinely the swiftly reward those who (serve prophetic position of him) with gratitude." [al-Imran: Muhammad, openly. 144] This instance serves as the The second part of the confirmation of the inner


declaration in the first place that was only known by Allah, to the hearing of the people, so that they can bear witness to the declarant in both worlds. 3. To accept him as your role model in obedience to all that he commanded or prohibited in his teachings. That means you must follow his entire teachings and practise them openly and without being selective and fastidious in what you practice. 4. Believing him in whatever he said of the past events or generations, as well as of the future. This condition is emphatic on the need to trust him in whatever he said happened in the past, and anything he prophesized to happen in the future. Any doubt in any of his traditions in these regard is tantamount to outright disbelief. 5. To love, adore and to be passionate about him above all other sentiments, feelings and affections. To respect and protect his integrity with whatever you have including one's parent, offspring, wealth and dear life!

One must possess the will and courage to sacrifice the entire human race and their belongings in protecting the integrity of Muhammad, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him! 6. Preferring him, his teachings and statement over and above anybody no matter his status, statue, power, wealth, followership, and whatever! He must be favoured above all Messengers and Prophets of Allah, saints and holy men. in fact he must be placed above all creations whoever and wherever they may be in all or outside the planets. Muslims feel more degraded and dishonoured whenever the honour and reputation of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is slighted, insulted or affronted by anybody; Muslim, Christian, Jew and pagan, dead or alive. Thus, any Muslim who does not feel aversely demoralized and disheartened by the offender, will cease to be a Muslim in the sight of Allah, and before his fellow Muslims, the next second! Thus, the essence of believing in the prophethood of Muhammad is attain the status of an earnest discipleship during his life time, a follower and adherent in his absence, until the end of time, nay forever! anybody who, for whatever reason, supports, aid and abate, or play tepidness in the circumstances relagating or debasing the prestige and honour of the Muhammad (SAW), is not one of his follower, notwithstanding his or her any explanation absolving him or her! Finally, the whole essence believing in these conditions as they are, and without hesitation or delay, is to submit entirely to the will of Allah and worship Him alone. thus, the kalimah comprises of two parts; negation or repudiation of any associate to Allah in worshipping Him. And the second part is reinforcement of the worthiness of Allah as the only and only deity to be surrendered to, entirely. any presumed conviction that was founded on shaky belief, is not good enough to withstand standing before Allah in worship. May Allah in His infinite mercy accept our love, adoration and beliefs in Him and in His unity, as well as acknowledge our respect for His Messenger (SAW). May He also continue to guide us aright in the midst of every tribulations and misfortunes, till the end of time!


By Abdullahi Salihu


n June 17, Malam Buba Ahmadu, a resident of Bununu, a town in Bauchi State, took his 25-yearold son, Abubakar, who complained of stomach pains, to the hospital. On arrival at the Aminci Clinic, located in Bauchi city centre, Mijinyawa Abdulkadir introduced himself as the “doctor’’ in charge. After listening to the patient, Abdulkadir recommended scanning and when the result of the scanning was out, he concluded that Abubakar was suffering from appendicitis, which could only be removed via a surgical operation. The surgery was carried out and the two kidneys of Abubakar were removed in the process. However, Abdulkadir and Yusuf Zingina are now facing criminal charges before a Bauchi magistrate’s court since Abdulkadir is not a qualified medical doctor. They two were arraigned before the court for criminal conspiracy and for conducting an illegal surgery which led to the removal of Abubakar’s kidneys. The police said that the duo were facing charges which included “criminal conspiracy, attempt to commit culpable homicide, causing of grievous hurt and impersonation’’. The accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. Abubakar is currently undergoing dialysis treatment at the Abubakar Tafawa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi. The Bauchi State Government acted swiftly as the clinic was sealed, while the state chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) promptly set up a committee to investigate the matter. The report of the committee revealed that Abdulkadir and Zingina, who performed the surgery, are only theatre nurses and not medical doctors. The committee, chaired by Dr Magaji Dachi, said: “The removal of the two kidneys of the patient during surgery in a private clinic was not done under the authority of any doctor. “The surgery was carried out without the knowledge of the clinic’s medical director by two theatre nurses working in the clinic,’’ it added. In an apparent show of concern, the Bauchi State Government released N3.5 million for Abubakar’s treatment. The Commissioner for Health, Dr Sani Malami, who presented the cheque to the victim’s parents, said that Abubakar’s mother and elder brother had agreed to donate a kidney each for a kidney transplant surgery which would be carried out on him in India. He said that the government would also foot the bill for the medical tests that would be carried out on Abubakar and the preparations for his trip to India. Malami said that what


Havoc of quacks in health sector: The Bauchi incident

Only qualified personnel should be patronised in all health-related matters. happened to Abubakar was a wake-up call for the ministry and other stakeholders in the health sector to do more in terms of regulating the activities of private clinics in Bauchi State. The commissioner, who addressed journalists on the issue, pledged to overhaul the existing regulatory structure put in place for medical practice in the state. “This incident is a wake-up call for us to strengthen our supervisory and monitoring mechanisms. “We are now in the process of restructuring the whole process. This incident means that there are some areas where some vacuum, which ought to be filled, exist. “I am assuring members of the public that the ministry will address all the salient issues pertaining to regulating the standard of medical profession, so as to curb unnecessary threats to lives,” he added. Malami announced that the ministry had constituted medical teams in each of the three senatorial districts of the state to carry out periodic inspection of private health facilities and public hospitals. Commenting on the issue, Dr Yusuf Misau, the NMA Chairman in Bauchi State, advised members of the public

Health Minister, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu to be wary of dubious medical practitioners. He said that there were over 400 qualified medical doctors in the state, serving in both private and public health institutions. A pharmacist, Alhaji Ibrahim Saleh, said that the incident was a wake-up call for the authorities to intensify

public awareness campaigns on topical health issues. He, nonetheless, bemoaned the perceptible confusion of most people regarding the specific roles of individual health workers. “Most people, especially those in local communities, hardly distinguish between a doctor, a

pharmacist or a nurse. To them, virtually all health personnel are ‘doctors’ and so they patronise them for medical diagnoses and treatment. “I remember a time when somebody came to me, with his mouth foaming. On the recommendation of a so-called ‘medical doctor’, he had ingested a drug meant for insertion into the anus. “The drug, Anusol, is used for treating pile; it is never taken orally but it is usually inserted into the anus. “That exemplifies the dismal state of the current situation. There is the need for the government to strictly monitor the operations of clinics and patent medicine stores across the state,’’ Saleh said. Analysts are, however, quick to point out that the Bauchi incident is not a case of a person seeking medical care at the wrong place as Abubakar went to an accredited health facility. They, therefore, underscore the need for regulatory agencies in the health sector to strengthen their monitoring mechanism across the country. “Tangible efforts should be made to forestall the recurrence of the Bauchi incident in other parts of the country,’’ some of them say. Source: NAN



Anti-Islam Film: Muhammad and Freedom of Expression (III)

Tens of thousands of people on Saturday protested on the streets of Nigeria's second city of Kano against an anti-Islam film made in the US that has stirred outrage across the Muslim world By Dr Aliyu U. Tilde


n fact, the caricatures and their publications were politically motivated. There is nothing that prevents the author to fight against terrorism using his own trade. The Muslim World would have supported him if he had done so without resorting to insults. If his caricature had depicted Ben Laden, al-Zawahiri, al-Zarqawi or Abu Hamza, for example, few people would have cared to respond and it would have passed unnoticed because, justifiably, these are the actual perpetrators whose terror does not differentiate between Muslims and non-Muslims. But going beyond these figures and capturing the Holy Prophet is clearly intended to insult Muslims and court attention. Beyond the selfish urge for recognition which the author sought and got, I cannot see how the cartoons have helped the cause of the West against Muslims. I have not heard a single Muslim, not even the most nominal, who supported the publication. For the first time, all Muslims rallied to support one cause: the defence of Muhammad. That is a plus for Bin Laden and his group, and a minus for the West. Iran is not left behind. While we try to test the limits of freedom of expression by reviewing cases on the matter, Iran followed a shorter route. It run a competition

on the holocaust, depicting it as a Jewish fabrication. This move is calculated to spite the West since, from its position of guilt, economy and power, the West is very sensitive to anything it regards anti-Semitic. However, I beg to disagree with my Iranian brothers on two reasons. One, in any case, we must realise that in a war of insults, Islam will be the loser. As al-Qardawi has repeatedly said, Islam is not against Jews, people to whom it has given sanctuary whenever they were expelled from Europe in the Middle Ages; it is only against Zionism, the political ideology that has deprived Palestinians of their land and right to dignified living. Two, on the one hand, the West has long lost it sense of things sacred. It does not even spare God, as we have seen in the comments of Nietzsche and Council in Heaven above. To Muslims, on the other hand, we cannot make a caricature of Jesus or Moses; both are Holy Prophets and Messengers of God; we believe in them and pray for their peace, as we do to Muhammad. As for Mary, we regard her as the greatest woman that has ever lived. Not only our cousins, the Jews and Christians, we are not even allowed to insult the idols worshiped by others because, as God said in the Quran, “the idolators will insult God (in return) out of ignorance.” The best option for us,

therefore, is to uphold the Islamic values of respect to the religion of others, along with whatever they regard sacred or that which will touch their deep feeling. If the Gay News and Otto Preminger cases were brought before a Muslim jury, nothing would have prevented their conviction for blasphemy. This is the stand of Islam which will never change. I understand that suppressing the temptation to retaliate in kind requires a strong resolve. But this is exactly what God has prescribed in the Qur’an on this matter when he said: “You shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those who received The Book before you and from those who worship many gods. But if you persevere patiently and guard against evil, then that will be a determining factor in all affairs.” Here, I completely agree with Prince Hasan bin al-Talal of Jordan, who called for dialogue

and for the evolution of an international code that will streamline ethics such that contradictions like these are minimised. If, as in this case, on the one hand, blasphemy against Christianity is regarded an offence by the European Court on Human Rights or by the domestic legislation of countries like Britain and, on the other, it is also regarded an offence throughout the Muslim world against both Islam and Christianity, then we have a common ground for an international legislation that will protect religion and its values against the vilificatory excesses of reckless authors. The excuse that there will be a difficulty in arriving at a sufficiently clear definition of religion is not a valid excuse because we may equally argue that few things are sufficiently clear in law or at the inception of any legislation. Law always starts somewhere; then it is refined over time in accordance

The best option for us, therefore, is to uphold the Islamic values of respect to the religion of others, along with whatever they regard sacred or that which will touch their deep feeling. If the Gay News and Otto Preminger cases were brought before a Muslim jury, nothing would have prevented their conviction for blasphemy. This is the stand of Islam which will never change

with demand. International legislation on ethics is required also to protect other religions from excesses in the Muslim world. For example the Taliban destroyed an ancient Budhist idol and the international community was handicapped to do anything other than condemnation. The Muslim world did not support the destruction because such actions are against its long standing teachings and practice of tolerance and respect for other religions. In Egypt , Syria , Iraq , India , etc, for example, Islam has for centuries preserved even the idols of past civilisations whose religions have become extinct. The call for dialogue between Muslims and the West was long made in 1998 by Khatami, the former Iranian President, as an alternative to Huntington’s clash of civilisation. Carried by its sense of victory, the West was less interested in any dialogue. In its place we now have a dialogue of violence: terror attacks, missiles, nuclear weapons and, now, cartoons. So, both the probability of this civilisational dialogue and the prospect of that legislation on international code of ethics are bleak because from all indications, as Prince Hasan has observed, Muslims and the West are in a cold war which is not cold at all. Concluded Dr Aliyu U. Tilde is a renowned columnist based in Jos




I want to help in addressing our over dependence on foreign goods C

an you introduce yourself? I am Hauwa Abubakar, I have been married for almost 25 years and the marriage is blessed with three boys. I have been a carpenter for almost 17 years. Presently, I am doing my adult education programme at Dawaki, in Suleja, a school for women who want to be literate. At the moment, I run a business Centre called Iqra Craft in Da’awah Co-operative Investment Society, where I teach about 100 orphans and widows in Madalla, Niger state. The Centre was registered under Niger state in 2010 but I have been running it for 8years. We just acquired a plot for the permanent site for the Centre. At the Centre, I teach my students wood work, carpentry, art and craft and paint work but the girls and women are more interested in sewing and kneading. I run the Centre free of charge to encourage young people who are not going to school to start a business at a young age. What motivated you to become a carpenter? I developed interest in carpentry about 17 year ago because my husband is also a carpenter and an artist but before then I was a fashion designer, because my interest in carpentry surpasses that of the fashion designing, I concentrated on the former. Another reason why I became a carpenter is my fear of the kind of hardship widows are subjected to when their husbands die and leave them with children to cater for. I believe if these women are educated or self-reliant before their husbands’ death, they will not find it difficult to continue from where the husband stopped. How do you cope with your business and the home front? I organize myself in such a way that I plan for everything. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are my working days while on Saturdays and Sundays I go to school in the morning and in the afternoon I attend to my home front. I take my time to teach my students because carpentry is all about calculations and once you miscalculate a measurement, you will have problem. How do you market your products? I sometimes take them to trade fairs. Some years ago, I took some of my work to Niger state under Niger pavilion, this year I took them to Kaduna Trade Fair under Gusau pavilion but the market was bad. The problem with our trade fairs is the low turnout of people which is

Hajiya Hauwa Abubakar is a woman carpenter with many years’ experience, a wife and a mother of three. She is the Founder of Iqra Craft in Da’awah Co-operative Investment Society, a Centre where young orphans and widows learn carpentry, art and painting.In this interview with Maryam Garba Hassan, she talks about her flair for carpentry, challenges she is facing as a female carpenter in a male dominated business among others.

Navy Captain Jamila J.S Malafa

Hajiya Hauwa Abubakar

responsible for low patronage of our local products. I also market them during Da’awah (Islamic gathering) within the FCT because some of my works are Islamic art work on wood. Who are your customers? Women patronize me more than men. I get contracts to make furniture for brides to be and household appliances such as wooden spoons, stools, chopping boards, etc. I also make handcrafted Arabic scriptures on wood, clock, logo for schools and institutions, aquarium and kitchen cabinets. Some of our works are in Madalla close to Madalla Training Centre. What is the reaction of

people when they see you at work the first time? Sometimes people make jest of me when they see me working. Most of the time women tell me that I am wasting my time being

a carpenter. Another thing is that people sometimes don’t like patronizing me because I am a local carpenter. I am determined to make it in life and don’t care about what

Another reason why I became a carpenter is my fear of the kind of hardship widows are subjected to when their husbands die and leave them with children to cater for. I believe if these women are educated or self-reliant before their husbands’ death, they will not find it difficult to continue from where the husband stopped

people say.I want to use myself as an example to our youth to be self-reliant. This is one of the reasons why I am teaching orphans at a tender age and the widows on how they can make a meaningful life even when they did not have the opportunity to be educated. Another reason I am a carpenter is to help in my own way in addressing the issue of over dependence on foreign goods. We have people that are creative and intelligent and looking for the opportunity to make a difference in the country if given the chance. Today, the products of some of our local carpenters can compete favorably with foreign goods. When you go to Kubo, the home of furniture in the FCT, you will see what I am talking about. The work displayed by the road side can almost pass for foreign furniture that, means we have talented people. Who gave you the most support? I get support from people especially women but there are two women who gave me the most support, they are the first wife of the Emir of Suleja, Muhammed Lawal Ibrahim, Hajiya Usai and Chief Librarian at the National Assembly, Hajiya Aisha D. Umar. They encouraged me to work hard and live my dream. What are the challenges you face as a woman carpenter? Of course, the issue of funds is always a major problem to small entrepreneurs like me. Because I use qualitative woods in my work, I spend a lot on my work and what I get at the end of the day can not cover what I spent. I always want to make my customers happy, that is why I go extra miles to please them. I learnt about government’s You Win Program and I have just applied in the second phase of the programme and I hope my application will be considered. What is your advice for the young generation? They should try anything they want to do in life so long as it is legal and not against their religion. Sometimes people have a way of making others feel bad about what and who they want to be and how they want to live their lives. Don’t listen to them and don’t be afraid of trying to live your dream.




US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 2012 What the polls aren’t telling us about the 2012 US election

here has probably been more discussion of polls, sample, design, questioning technique, and of course, results of opinion polls, in this election than ever before. As someone who has made his living doing polls for the last 35 years, I can say candidly: it’s a mixed blessing. It’s a mixed blessing because elections ultimately shouldn’t be about polls, and they shouldn’t be about poll results— they should be about issues, themes and concerns. Part of the problem with focusing on polls and poll results to the exclusion of the discussion of broader issues is that the political class and commentariat comes to believe that anything that is recorded in the polls is of great importance, and anything that isn’t is somehow not important. In this election, with the focus on approval ratings, swing states, and sample design, we’ve lost sight of the fact that the real issues in the election, the real issues that the electorate cares about, are simply not being focused on. What are these issues? First and foremost, the American people believe that the country is adrift, lacks leadership, and lacks the policies necessary to address the trenchant problems facing the nation. They recognize that we’re facing a fiscal crisis, they recognize that neither side has a clear approach, and they also recognize that without some degree of conciliation and compromise, we are unlikely to be able to systematically address our problems relating to tax

Douglas E. Schoen policy, entitlement policy, spending, and most of all, the economy and economic growth. To be sure, these issues were discussed with at least a little frequency earlier in the year, but as

we are now down to two major candidates, President Obama and Governor Romney, there’s been less and less focus on what the American people want to hear about. There has been less emphasis on what citizens

are concerned about, and more and more focus on voting issues: why Romney is sinking, why Obama is increasing his support, and what constitutes a gaffe, shrewd politics, or a good attack ad.

times since May 1, his campaign said, with an additional seven visits during the earlier primary campaign. The president has the edge in Ohio six weeks out from Election Day, helped by signs of an improving economy. A Washington Post poll on Tuesday showed Obama with a lead in Ohio that was outside the poll’s margin of error. Even on handling of the economy, where Romney until recently has had an advantage, Obama now leads. A new CBS/New York Times poll also shows Obama ahead in the state and ahead in Florida, which along with Ohio is the most important of the 10 or so battleground states that

will decide the election. Such states do not reliably vote Democrat or Republican and are the target of a dizzying amount of campaign ads. The White House expressed confidence. “As time progresses, you know, the field is looking like it’s narrowing for them,” campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters aboard Air Force One as Obama headed for Ohio. “And so in that sense we’d rather be us than them.” For Romney, Ohio was already challenging because of the state’s better-than-average economy. The jobless rate in Ohio stands at 7.2 per cent - almost a full percentage point lower than the national average. The good news

hurts Romney’s assertion that Obama’s policies aren’t working. Romney warned at his first Ohio stop Wednesday that the nation’s debt could grow to almost $20 trillion if the country re-elects Obama. The debt is now at $16 trillion and growing. The candidates also exchanged attacks over trade policies with China, an issue for working-class voters whose livelihoods have been affected by competition from Chinese manufacturers. “When people cheat, that kills jobs,” Romney said at an Ohio rally Tuesday. “China has cheated. I will not allow that to continue.” Obama on Wednesday accused Romney of showing “newfound

Put another way, we are facing a broad-scale crisis of democracy that the media has and is systematically ignoring. It’s a crisis of democracy because most Americans have given up on our system, they are skeptical that President Obama will be able to solve our problems, and they believe that while Governor Romney is a problem solver, they are increasingly convinced that he does not necessarily have the right stuff to be president of the United States. To be sure, some of these issues and concerns will be addressed in October in the presidential debates, whether by accident or design. But it would be a profound mistake to believe that because the race has been so engaged, and because we have so many surveys, so many attack ads and so many speeches, that somehow the concerns of the American electorate are being addressed. Senator John McCain has a joke he likes to tell, which bears repeating. The Arizona senator often tells an audience that has frequently noted that the approval rating of Congress is down to 10 percent. He then pauses and says he’s been looking all over, and he has yet to locate that 10 percent. Neither have I.

Polls show Obama creeps ahead in Ohio U

S President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney have been again in the crucial battleground state of Ohio, with a special urgency for Romney as new polling shows the president edging ahead there less than a week before early voting begins. A day after his address to world leaders at the United Nations, Obama was speaking at two universities in the Midwestern state, hoping to generate the kind of enthusiasm among young voters that helped fuel his victory four years ago. Romney was making three stops in major cities during a bus tour aimed at drawing a contrast with Obama on the economy, which remains the top issue for voters before the November election. Both candidates in the tight race recognise how critical Ohio’s 18 electoral votes will be. Losing the state would dramatically narrow Romney’s path to the 270 state-by-state electoral college votes required to win the White House - and no Republican has ever lost Ohio and won the presidency. With early voting set to begin in Ohio on October 2, time is running out. The candidates are also preparing for their first of three debates next week, the next chance for Romney to make a high-profile, widely broadcast case for the presidency. Obama’s visit marks his 13th trip to Ohio so far this year, his campaign said. Romney has visited the state 10



outrage” on cracking down on China, and Obama campaign spokeswoman Ben LaBolt criticized Romney’s own investments in Chinese companies. “How can we trust Mitt Romney to stand up to China when he profits from China breaking the rules?” LaBolt said in a statement. The Obama campaign said the president has brought more trade cases against China in one term than President George W. Bush did in two. The Obama administration filed a complaint this month with the World Trade Organisation over Chinese subsidies to its auto and auto parts industries, the latest in a series of actions dating back to 2009 to protest what US manufacturers say are the unfair advantages China gives its own companies. Romney has vowed to issue an executive order in his first day in office labeling China a currency manipulator, a designation that would trigger negotiations between the two countries and could ultimately lead to US trade sanctions against China. The Obama administration has not been willing to take that step, which is opposed by the influential, non-governmental US Chamber of Commerce. Working to close the gap in Ohio, Romney’s campaign released a new ad Wednesday featuring Romney speaking to the camera and acknowledging his opponent’s good intentions. “President Obama and I both care about poor and middle-class families. The difference is my policies will make things better for them,” he says.



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


espite the Israeli limits imposed on its ability to deliver goods and services to Palestinians, the PA is still consistently expected to maintain security coordination with Israel which in turn creates points of contention between Palestinian citizens and the PA. This cannot be sustained over the long term and efforts to do so will only feed into the inevitable weakening of the PA, possibly to the point of collapse. It is common to hear that Israelis and Palestinians both want a two-state solution. Indeed, polling of the Israeli public and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza yields this finding (barely, nowadays). But upon closer inspection it becomes hard to conclude that what Israelis want is a two-state solution as conventionally understood. Majorities of Israelis oppose the removal of most of the settlements and a majority opposes the division of Jerusalem. So while Israelis say they support a two-state solution, they are also saying they oppose the steps necessary to achieve one. What this means, in essence, is that a majority of Israelis support the status quo. The traditional left of Israeli politics has all but disappeared. The Labour party, a historic powerhouse, does not have a viable path to political power today. Politics are dominated by the right and the kingmaker in Israeli coalitions is the Yisrael Beiteinu party of Avigdor Lieberman, who himself lives in an Israeli colony in the West Bank. The settlers have grown significantly in number over the past 45 years, and so it should come as no surprise that their interests are increasingly reflected in governing coalitions. The Kadima experiment, a party born out of Likud, has failed and is unlikely to be repeated. Polls indicate that votes that went to the Kadima party in the past would essentially be divided up, mostly to the right. There are two possible ways this can be drastically altered. The first is overwhelming American pressure that brings down an Israeli governing coalition. For the reasons outlined above it would be an understatement to call this unlikely. The second is a genuine organic social movement in Israel that mobilises to bring down the political right. While popular protest in the form of the J14 movement has shown some signs of cohesion, it is organised primarily around socioeconomic issues and not opposition to colonialism, raising serious questions about any challenge it can pose to the ever growing settlement enterprise. About a decade ago I remember listening to an influential left-wing Israeli politician speaking about the two-state solution and likening it to a falafel sandwich. He urged the audience to think of a sandwich with three falafel balls in it, each representing a claim: a claim to a Jewish state, a claim to democracy, and a claim to the Occupied Territories. He said the Israelis could

No American president has shown - and unlikely to ever show - the willingness to bare the political costs by imposing comprehensive agreements to settle the disputes between Israel and Palestine [REUTERS] not have a Jewish majority and be a democracy while ruling over millions of Palestinian non-citizens. Thus, they had to sacrifice one, the Occupied Territories, to enjoy a still satisfying falafel sandwich. Perhaps the simplest of the final status issues negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians is the route of the border. Certainly, the question of refugees and the division of Jerusalem is regarded by most to be more difficult. But even the simpler of these issues could not be resolved during the Annapolis conference due to Israel's insistence on keeping two major settlements, Ariel and Maale Adumim. Ariel, which is the most problematic, is deep inside the West Bank and has almost tripled in population since the start of the Oslo process. It has generally held that global public opinion is largely sympathetic to the Palestinian plight while public opinion in the United States is more sympathetic to Israel. While this remains true today, it is changing. It is hard to map or measure changes in the discourse on Israel/Palestine in any comprehensive and systematic way. However, anyone following closely will admit that there is a marked shift in the

discourse today as compared to ten years ago or even five years ago. This is due to a variety of reasons. First, Israel's continued occupation and its willingness to entrench it belie any claims that it is temporary or for purposes of security. The occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is now 47 years old and in a mere three years it will turn 50. Do not underestimate the psychological impact the halfcentury mark will have. By this point, the majority of the world and the vast majority of Palestinians, will not be able to remember a day before the Israeli occupation. Indeed, by then Israel will have been occupying these territories for 73 per cent of its existence as a state. Second, technological advances have shaken the Israeli state's control over the imagery and information that reaches the outside world. Israel bombardment of Gaza was a prime example. Despite a dearth of Western reporters, local feeds via satellite and the diligent work of a few Al Jazeera English reporters innovating with Twitter were able to bring the horrific reality of war-torn Gaza to the world instantaneously. Similarly, imagery of the killing of civilians on an aid flotilla to Gaza rifled around


the world, forcing Israeli PR to spin themselves dizzy in an attempt to reshape the story. The everyday horrors of occupation are making their way to the screens of Americans in ways they never did before. This is not because they were not happening before, but because the vehicles to deliver them were absent. Third, the mainstream media is forced to reconcile its reporting with the representations of reality that these technological advancements are producing. Numerous stories and aspects of occupation have been covered simply because they have been exposed or brought to the fore by social media. Likewise, editorialists must react to this more attuned reporting. When the mainstream coverage does fail, blogs exist today to act as uncensored checks with much quicker turnaround, accuracy, and visibility than a letter to the editor that may or may not survive the filters of an outlet uninterested in being exposed or embarrassed by its publication. Over time, the discourse will continue to open. Today the images, videos and stories from the West Bank and Gaza are harrowing and they

The everyday horrors of occupation are making their way to the screens of Americans in ways they never did before. This is not because they were not happening before, but because the vehicles to deliver them were absent.

are falling on increasingly receptive ears among western audiences. But the West Bank and Gaza still lag behind in certain technological capabilities. Smartphones have yet to permeate the mass market and internet, especially DSL or faster, is limited to the more affluent urban areas. 3G capability is also unavailable in most areas and when it is, it is from Israeli based settlement antennae in Area C which is out of reach for most Palestinians. Is it any surprise then that Israel monopolises control over the network grids and allots limited frequencies to the Palestinians? In the immediate short term it means little will change, overtly at least, but the situation will grow continuously unsustainable into the future until a major paradigm shift away from the two-state framework happens. Until that major shift, minds will be quietly changing as the facts on the ground and the realities of occupation continue to shape opinions. When the shift happens, and what will immediately precede it is impossible to know, given the stability of American and Israeli political trends the catalyst may well come from major change on the Palestinian end forcing the others to react in ways inconvenient to them. By this point, where the PA factors into this, if at all, probably isn't relevant. It is not a matter of if, but when. The only question remaining in my mind is how many more weapons will be shipped from Washington to Israel to take the lives and freedom of how many more Palestinians in the course of protecting how many more settlements that they will build. Concluded Source:



UN members divided over response to Mali crisis Zimbabwe’s Mugabe wants elections in March


imbabwean President Robert Mugabe wants to hold elections in March, court papers showed on Thursday, a timetable that could cause tension with his coalition partners and regional leaders who first want reforms to avoid a repeat of 2008 poll violence. Mugabe, who has ruled the former British colony since independence in 1980, was forced to form a government with rival Morgan Tsvangirai, now prime minister, three years ago after the disputed 2008 election. Under the terms of the powersharing deal new elections must be held by next year. Mugabe's ZANUPF party wants the vote held as early as possible, while Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change says it should come after the adoption of a new constitution and electoral, security and media reforms. The Supreme Court ordered Mugabe last month to announce dates for by-elections to fill at least 26 vacant parliamentary seats by the end of September. The president has made a fresh application to the High Court, arguing the cash-strapped government cannot afford to hold the by-elections, and said he intended to hold a general election in six months' time anyway. "The applicant's desire is to hold harmonised elections in the last week of March 2013 and a proclamation to this effect will be made at the appropriate time," the president said in the application. Mugabe said the government would need $270 million to fund the by-elections, a referendum on a new constitution and the general election. The president also said in the court papers that the referendum would be held in November. Tsvangirai's position on the general election date has been backed by leaders from the Southern African Development Community bloc who have leaned on Mugabe to hold off polls until reforms are agreed and implemented. The president can constitutionally trigger a general election by dissolving parliament, but Mugabe is expected to seek consensus with his coalition partners on a poll date.

Robert Mugabe


.N. members appeared deeply divided on Wednesday as they sought to resolve the crisis in Mali, with France and some of Mali's neighbors backing possible military intervention, while the United States said the West African nation must first have an elected government. A special U.N. session on Mali, held on the sidelines of the annual General Assembly, was intended to devise a plan for a nation that descended into chaos in March after a military coup toppled the president, leaving a power vacuum that enabled local Tuareg rebels to seize nearly two-thirds of the country. Islamist groups have since hijacked the rebellion in the north, imposing strict Islamic law in regions under their control and spurring fears that religious extremist fighters could further destabilize the region. Islamist groups including the al Qaeda-linked Ansar Dine have carried out public whippings of alleged adulterers and destroyed UNESCO-

listed shrines of local saints in the ancient town of Timbuktu, arguing such worship was un-Islamic. "There is an urgency to act to end the suffering of the people of Mali and

to prevent a similar situation that would be even more complicated in the Sahel and the rest of the world," Malian Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra told the General Assembly.

Mali"s Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra

France, Mali's former colonial power, called on Wednesday for the U.N. Security Council to adopt as soon as possible a resolution enabling military intervention in northern Mali, a call that has been supported by some West African nations that fear Mali's chaos will spread beyond its borders. French President Francois Hollande warned that Mali's territorial integrity should be restored as soon as possible and that any lost time would only complicate matters. He said he wanted a resolution on Mali to be approved within weeks. France has ruled out intervening directly, but has promised logistical and intelligence support. Hollande's calls were echoed by some of Mali's neighbors, including Niger, whose foreign minister, Mohammed Bazoum, told delegates that only an armed intervention supported by friendly powers could eradicate insecurity in the region.

Dos Santos sworn in, pledging social improvements


ngola swore in an elected president for the first time in its history, with longserving leader Jose Eduardo dos Santos taking the oath for a fresh fiveyear mandate on top of his 33 years at the helm of Africa's No. 2 oil producer. Dos Santos has been in power since 1979 and is Africa's second-longest serving leader after Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Until his MPLA party comfortably won an election last month, he had never been elected directly into office. Angola's violent past - the country emerged from a 27-year civil war a decade ago - meant that

Jose Eduardo dos Santos

the August 31 election, which the MPLA won with 72 percent of the vote, was only the third ballot since independence from Portugal in 1975. A presidential election in 1992 was aborted mid-way and a 2008 vote only elected lawmakers. Dos Santos introduced a new constitution in 2010 which stipulated that the leader of the winning party in a general election becomes president. "The fact that only today we hold a formal inauguration ceremony means that this time all the previous possible doubts have been clarified," Dos Santos said after taking the oath. Opposition parties and civil society activists had called last month's election one-sided and accused the MPLA of using the national elections commission to rig the vote. However, foreign observer missions gave the vote broad approval. The setting of the ceremony under a soaring rocket-shaped monument in honour of the southern African country's first president Agostinho Neto, whose death from illness opened the way for Dos Santos

to reach power - remembered Angola's past. But Dos Santos' speech was mostly about the future. "In this new mandate, the government's first priority is to maintain political stability by promoting, defending and consolidating peace," the president said. Silver-haired Dos Santos, 70, campaigned on a platform that presented him as the best guarantor of peace since the Soviet and Cubanbacked MPLA won the civil war against UNITA rebels supported by the United States and apartheid South Africa. He has also taken credit for overseeing rapid economic growth and infrastructure reconstruction, backed by an oil boom. But the election campaign also revealed a popular clamour for better distribution of national riches, with many Angolans calling for improved access to jobs, education, and services. The MPLA says it has cut poverty levels from 68 percent of the population in 2002 to around 39

percent in 2009, but admitted in the campaign that it needs to do more. Dos Santos said the government would "dedicate more resources to improve social conditions for people, families, especially those that have little or almost nothing for survival". Dos Santos' critics say his party has excessive control over public administration and uses it mainly to retain power. Opposition party UNITA, which came a distant second in the election with 19 percent of the vote, and two smaller parties filed complaints with the national elections body and Angola's top court, but had their appeals thrown out. The three parties have said, however, they will take their seats when the new parliament begins work on Thursday. A newcomer to the parliament will be Manuel Vicente, the former CEO of state oil company Sonangol and whose swearing-in as vicepresident on Wednesday is widely seen by analysts as a step towards a managed succession plan by Dos Santos.

Sudan, South Sudan ‘agree oil deal’


udan and South Sudan have reached a deal on border security and oil production that will allow oil exports from South Sudan through Sudan to resume, say spokesmen for both sides. The leaders of the two neighbouring countries made the partial breakthrough after four days of talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. But a number of key issues remain unresolved, including disputed regions. The two countries came to the brink of war earlier this year. After fighting over oil facilities and disputed land broke out, the United Nations threatened both

sides with sanctions if they did not reach a comprehensive agreement. Few details have been released, but negotiators for both sides said that a demilitarised border buffer zone between the two countries had been agreed. They also said that an economic agreement had been reached to allow South Sudan's stalled oil production to be restarted. But a solution was not found to the disputed flashpoint region of Abyei, or on a series of border zones claimed by both countries. The prospective deal therefore falls short of the comprehensive agreement called for by the UN.

Omar al-Bashir of sudan hugs his Southern counterpart Salva Kiir


Asia and Middle East


he UN's refugee agency has warned that as many as 700,000 people could have fled Syria by the end of the year, a huge increase on its previous estimate. Some 294,000 refugees have already left Syria, and the UNHCR is appealing for money to help deal with the crisis. Most of the refugees are housed in camps in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. A UK-based activist group said that Wednesday was the bloodiest day of the 18-month-old conflict so far, with more than 305 people being killed. Rami Abdel Rahman, from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the figure included only those whose names had been


Syria refugees to reach 700,000 by year’s end - UNHCR documented. "If we count the unidentified bodies, the figure will be much higher," he said. The observatory (SOHR) said 199 of Wednesday's dead were civilians. The SOHR is one of the most prominent organisations documenting and reporting incidents and casualties in the Syrian conflict. The group says its reports are impartial, though its information cannot be independently verified. Other groups estimated Wednesday's death toll to be considerably higher. The UNHCR said between 2,000 and 3,000 refugees were fleeing the

violence into neighbouring countries every day. "Many refugees are arriving with only the clothes on their backs," said Panos Moumtzis, the agency's regional co-ordinator for Syrian refugees. "Some have been displaced many

times before leaving Syria. They need humanitarian assistance from day one." The agency said in March it estimated that about 100,000 people would have fled by the end of the year. The agency said it was urgently

Japan vows no compromise on islands row


apan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has insisted that there could be no compromise with China on the ownership of a disputed island chain and denounced attacks on Japanese interests. "So far as the Senkaku islands are concerned, they are an integral part of our territory in the light of history and of international law," Noda told reporters at the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, referring to an archipelago in the East China Sea that China knows as Diaoyu. "It is very clear and there are no territorial issues as such. Therefore there cannot be any compromise that could mean any setback from this basic position. I have to make that very clear," he told reporters. "The resolution of this issue should not be by force, but calmly, through reason and with respect for international law." China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told his Japanese counterpart Koichiro Gemba at the United Nations on Tuesday that Japan had been guilty of "severely infringing" its sovereignty, according to Beijing's foreign ministry. "The Chinese side will by no means tolerate any unilateral

action by the Japanese side on the Diaoyu Islands," Yang told Gemba, according to his office. A Japanese official in New York confirmed that the talks had been "severe," but noted the two sides had agreed to maintain a dialogue. The dispute erupted into an angry war of words between Beijing and Tokyo after the Japanese government took the previously privately-held islands into public ownership, but Noda insisted this move had been misinterpreted. "Part of the Senkaku islands that was held by a private citizen was transferred to governmental possession in order to ensure the stable management of it," he said, according to an official translation. "It is not a new acquisition. It was held under the private ownership of a Japanese citizen and was a transfer of ownership within Japanese law," he said, adding: "We have explained this to China at length." "But it seems that China has yet to understand that and, because of that lack of understanding, there has been an attack or acts of violence and destruction against Japanese citizens and property there," he complained.

Vulnerable Syrians seeking refuge elsewhere

Japanese with flags protesting against row

Iran accuses West of nuclear ‘intimidation’


ahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's president, has accused the West of nuclear "intimidation" in speech to the UN general assembly which was boycotted by the US and Israel. But the Iranian president steered clear of toxic remarks about Israel in his final appearance at the UN summit before he stands down next year at the end of his second term as president. "Arms race and intimidation by nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction by the hegemonic powers have become prevalent," Ahmadinejad said in Wednesday's speech. "Continued threat by the

uncivilised Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality," he added. Iran faces mounting international pressure over its nuclear ambition, which western powers say hides a bid to develop a nuclear bomb. Iran denies the charge but there has been mounting speculation that Israel could launch a military strike against Iran's bunkered nuclear facilities. Barack Obama, the US president, told the UN assembly on Tuesday that the US will "do what we must" to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.


trying to prepare for winter, warning that many of the refugees were still living in tents. For much of the past 18 months rebel groups have been fighting against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.


Europe and Americas Drug leader 'El Taliban' capturedMexican Navy


he Mexican navy has said it had captured one of the leaders of the Zetas drug cartel, a notoriously brutal gang reported to be breaking apart due to an internal feud. The navy said on Wednesday it had caught the man it believed to be Zetas boss Ivan Velazquez in the central state of San Luis Potosi, in a boost to outgoing President Felipe Calderon's efforts to crack down on the violent cartels. The Zetas have perpetrated some of the most sickening acts of Mexico's drug war and continued to expand even as rival gangs joined forces against them. They are now regarded as one of the two most powerful drug cartels in the country. Velazquez is due to be paraded before the media on Thursday morning as is customary with such captures in Mexico. The suspected gang leader surrendered to the navy in the city of San Luis Potosi without a shot being fired, an eyewitness told Reuters. Known as "Z-50" or "El Taliban," Velazquez has been one of the leading figures in the Zetas. Formed by a group of army deserters in the late 1990s, the gang acted as enforcers for the Gulf Cartel before splitting with their employers in 2010. Longstanding rivalry between the Zetas' top leader, Heriberto Lazcano, and his second-incommand Miguel Trevino has exploded into violence, raising fears the hostilities could bring a fresh wave of bloodletting. The Zetas boast 10,000-plus gunmen, and the prospect of them fighting for control of local trafficking networks and smuggling routes has alarmed security experts. However, the split also brings benefits for the government, as members of the gang inform against former colleagues. Earlier this week, Mexican news magazine, Proceso, reported that Velazquez had switched his allegiance to the Gulf Cartel due to a rupture with Trevino, citing messages posted online.


Clinton says US will ease import ban on Burma goods


ecretary of State Hillary Clinton says the US will ease its import ban on goods from Burma, a key part of remaining US sanctions. Mrs Clinton announced the move during talks with Burmese President Thein Sein in New York. She said the move - the latest in a series - recognised "continued progress toward reform" in Burma. Earlier, the speaker of Burma's parliament said that his country's reforms were "irreversible".

Shwe Mann, a powerful figure who recently had US sanctions against him lifted, said the government intends to establish a multi-party democratic system and market economy. Thein Sein - the former top general who now leads a nominally civilian government following elections in November 2010 spoke at the UN General Assembly on Thursday. Under his administration many political prisoners have been freed and censorship

eased. The Aung San Suu Kyiled opposition is now part of the political process and holds a small number of seats in parliament. "In recognition of the continued progress toward reform and in response to requests from both the government and the opposition, the United States is taking the next step in normalising our commercial relationship," Mrs Clinton told the Burmese president. She said she hoped the move would give Burmese people more

Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi (left) with Mrs Clinton

opportunities to sell to the US market. Thein Sein said he appreciated the move - which is the latest in a series of such steps since the process of reform in Burma got under way. The US lifted a ban on investment in Burma in June. Both the president and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi are currently in the US. Earlier this month, Ms Suu Kyi - who spent years under house arrest - received a top honour, the Congressional Gold Medal. She had also called for the sanctions to be eased. In Burma's commercial capital Rangoon, a spokesman for her National League for Democracy party welcomed the move, saying it would be "good in the long term". Mrs Clinton said consultation on additional steps would continue. Thein Sein still faces opposition within Burma's military to political reform, observers say. But Shwe Mann, the Burmese speaker, described a good working relationship with Ms Suu Kyi. Speaking in Singapore, he said: "She is not my enemy, and I am sure I am not hers. She has good qualities and she loves her country. We share the same ambition - to serve the nation and people." Shwe Mann is now playing a central role in mapping out the future - and is widely viewed as a likely presidential candidate.

Brazil court orders YouTube to remove anti-Islam film


Brazilian court on Tuesday banned an online anti-Islam movie that spawned violent protests across the Muslim world and gave YouTube 10 days to pull the film's trailer from its website. The decision by a state court in Sao Paulo, home to a large Middle Eastern immigrant community, came hours after Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff criticized "Islamophobia" in Western countries in a speech at the United Nations. The lawsuit against the

controversial film was brought by a Brazilian Muslim group, the National Islamic Union, against YouTube owner Google Inc for posting on the Internet a film it said was offensive and a violation of the constitutional right to freedom of religion. In his decision, Judge Gilson Delgado Miranda said the case juxtaposed freedom of expression and the need to protect individuals or groups of people from action that might incite religious discrimination. Miranda concluded that

banning something illegal should not "offend" freedom of thought and expression, according to the ruling posted online by Estado de S. Paulo newspaper. It wasn't the only Brazilian court ruling against Google on Tuesday. Earlier, an elections court ordered the arrest of Google's most senior executive in Brazil after the company failed to take down YouTube videos attacking a local mayoral candidate. The legal challenges underline broader questions about Google's responsibility for

content uploaded by third parties to its websites, such as the antiIslam video, which mocked the Prophet Mohammad and sparked a wave of protests and violence in the Muslim world. Fifteen people were killed in Pakistan during demonstrations over the video on Friday. People involved in the film, an amateurish 13minute clip of which was posted on YouTube, have said it was made by a 55-year-old Californian man, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.

‘Basic agreement’ reached- Greek government


Ivan Velazquez

reek finance minister Yannis Stournaras says the three parties in the country's governing coalition have reached a "basic agreement" on the austerity package for 201314. The measures are likely to be presented to Greece's international lenders on Monday before going before parliament. The cuts are necessary if Greece is to continue receiving bailout funds. Earlier, Greece announced plans to sell most of its 34% stake in the gaming monopoly Opap.

Mr Stournaras said there were "very few details left to work out" on the austerity package. The deal comes the day after 50,000 anti-austerity protesters took to the streets of Athens. The spending cuts are reported to be worth at least 11.5bn euros ($14.8bn; £9.1bn) and are a condition for Greece to receive the next 31bn-euro instalment of its international loans. The Greek government hopes to be able to present a final package of measures to the summit of eurozone finance ministers on 8 October.

Greek protesters on the streets



Wakeboarder’s severed finger found in lake trout months Later A human finger found inside a fish at Idaho's Priest Lake has been traced to a wakeboarder who lost four fingers in an accident more than two months earlier. Fisherman Nolan Calvin found the finger while he was cleaning the trout he caught Sept. 11. He put it on ice and called the Bonner County, Idaho, sheriff's office, the SpokesmanReview newspaper reported. Detectives were able to get a fingerprint off the severed digit. They matched it to a fingerprint card for Haans Galassi, 31, of Colbert, Wash., and called him Tuesday morning. Investigators learned that Galassi lost four fingers from his left hand in a June 21 accident on the same lake where the fish was caught. "The sheriff called me and told me he had a strange story to tell me," Galassi said Tuesday. "He said that a fisherman was out on Priest Lake, and I pretty much knew exactly what he was going to say at that point. "I was like: Let me guess, they found my fingers in a fish." The fish was caught about eight miles from where Galassi had lost his fingers, the sheriff's office said. Galassi had been on a camping trip at the scenic lake when he

Trout swallowed human finger

decided to go wakeboarding. He told the newspaper his hand got caught in a loop in the towline, and he couldn't pull it out before the line

tightened behind the boat that was going to pull him. When he finally broke free, he didn't feel much pain. But then he looked at his hand.

Billionaire offers ÂŁ40m reward to any man who can turn his gay daughter straight

"I pulled my hand out of the water and it had pretty much lopped off all four fingers," he said. "It was a lot of flesh and bone, not a lot of blood." He was taken by helicopter to a Spokane hospital. Galassi has been undergoing therapy twice a week for his injured hand. He still has half of his index and pointer fingers on that hand.

"I can still grip things and grab and hold the steering wheel with it," Galassi said. The sheriff's office offered to return the finger, but Galassi declined. "I'm like, 'uhhh, I'm good,'" he said. Detective Sgt. Gary Johnston of the sheriff's office said the agency will keep the digit for a few weeks in case Galassi changes his mind.

Man tries to sneak into Spain disguised as car seat


Hong Kong billionaire Cecil Chao Sze-tsung (left) Gigi Chao had married her long-term girlfriend (centre) in France.

man who skillfully attempted to conceal himself inside a car seat was busted trying to sneak into Spain illegally last week, the Daily Mail reported. The 20-year-old immigrant from the West African country of Guinea reportedly went to great lengths to hide from border patrol at the Beni-Enzar crossing between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla. He and the two other Moroccan men with him appeared to have pulled apart the car's passenger seat cushioning,

efusing to accept the gay union, he pledged the fortune to any potential male suitor able to walk the 33-year-old University of Manchester graduate down the aisle at a traditional wedding. The famously promiscuous Hong Kong businessman dismissed 'false reports' of his daughter's lesbian nuptials and insisted she was still single. 'I don't mind whether he is rich or poor - the important thing is that he is generous and kind hearted,' he said of the ideal husband for his daughter. 'Gigi is a very good woman with both talents and looks. She

Acused sliced out cushion to accommodate him


is devoted to her parents, is generous and does volunteer work,' he told the South China Morning Post. Same-sex marriages are not recognised in Hong Kong. According to reports, the spat between Mr Chao and his daughter erupted last week when she announced at an event in Beijing that she tied the knot with her long-term lover, Sean Eav, five months ago. A regular on the city's social circuit and in celebrity magazines, Mr Chao has never been married. Gigi is the oldest of his three children with three mothers. In addition to the dowry, he

has also offered to start his potential son-in-law up in his own business. He said the prize money was 'an inducement to attract someone who has the talent, but not the capital, to start his own business'. According to the BBC, Miss Chao said she found her father's plan 'entertaining' and wouldn't give it too much thought until an actual suitor had been found. Miss Chao graduated from university in 1999 with a degree in architecture. She went on to work for two years with prominent British architect Sir Terry Farrell.

leaving only the metal frame, the Mail reported. The man then slid in behind the caging and one of his co-smugglers sat on top of him, the paper reported. Even police who detained the trio had to hand it to them, calling their efforts to get by undetected "unique and innovative." The two Moroccans were arrested for people smuggling. The man in a car seat disguise was detained, brought before a judge and kicked out of Melilla, according to the Mail.



Women born prematurely are twice as likely to suffer major complications during their own pregnancy


omen born prematurely are twice as likely to suffer major complications when they become pregnant themselves, research has shown. They are at increased risk of problems including gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia, in which abnormal amounts of protein can kill both mother and child. A study of more than 24,000 women by the University of Montreal found one in five of those who were delivered before 32 weeks, which is considered extremely premature, experienced at least one serious problem during pregnancy. This compared to one in ten of those born at full term. Professor Anne Monique Nuyt, a neonatologist at the University of Montreal in Canada, said: ‘Many scientists consider pregnancy as like an open window to the future cardio and metabolic health of a woman.’ Overall, 19.9 per cent of women born very early had at least one pregnancy complication, compared with 13.2 per cent of those between 32 and 36 weeks and 11.7 per cent for those at term. Prof Nuyt said the findings, published online in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, suggest physicians monitoring pregnancies should be asking patients about their own births. However, she pointed out that obstetricians frequently screen for these pregnancy complications and a strong association does not

Warning: Pregnant women are more likely to suffer complications including high blood pressure and gestational diabetes if they were born early (file picture)

Prof Nuyt said that given the high survival rate of premature babies over the last 30 years - eight per cent of births are premature it is possible the condition may contribute to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular problems later in life. Dr William Mundle, spokesman for the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, said physicians must

think about this when speaking with patients in assessing risks. He added: ‘This is really interesting and important information as a counselling tool. But really, we would want to see other studies that confirm this information before we start adding a huge extra burden, in terms of the worry that pregnant women have.’ Source:

bese children as young as five are showing dangerous signs of ill health that can dramatically increase their risk of a stroke or heart attack later in life, researchers have warned. A review of research has found that young children who are obese or overweight already have raised blood pressure, cholesterol and other factors that can increase their chances of having a stroke or heart attack by up to 40 per cent. Experts said the findings were much more dramatic than had been expected and were extremely worrying. The findings, from Oxford University, were published online by the British Medical Journal. It study comes as New York City passes a ban on large-size sugary drinks to help tackle obesity and related health problems in the US. MPs are now calling on the government to introduce similar legislation in the UK. The team analysed the results of 63 studies involving 49,220 healthy children aged between five and 15 years old. The studies measured weight and one or more known cardiovascular disease risk factors,

such as high blood pressure, high either overweight or obese. much greater than we anticipated. cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Dr Carl Heneghan, reader in “The magnitude of the effect of Body mass index is a evidence-based medicine at the obesity upon increasing calculation of weight divided by University of Oxford and a co- cardiovascular risk in children is height squared, with a figure of author on the paper, said: “The deeply worrying in terms of their between 25 and 30 classed as relationship between obesity in future risks of heart disease. overweight and more than 30 as children and cardiovascular risk “Obesity is one of today’s most obese. factors such as blood pressure was visible, yet highly preventable In an accompanying editorial, Lee Hudson and Russell Viner at the UCL Institute of Child Health in London, say this r e v i e w “provides a s t a r k illustration of the probable threat that childhood obesity poses to disease burden in the population.” Official figures show that in 2010/11, a third of A review of research has found that young children who are obese or overweight children aged already have raised blood pressure, cholesterol and other factors that can increase ten and 11 were their chances of having a stroke or heart attack by up to 40 per cent.

health problems. The good news is these risk factors can readily be reversed with exercise, good diet, and maintaining a health a weight. Based on what we have found policymakers should make the epidemic of obesity in children as a priority for urgent public health action.” Dr Matthew Thompson, reader in primary health care at the University of Oxford, said: “Being overweight as a child is more than just about appearance – many children’s hearts and blood vessels are already getting damaged when they are overweight or obese. “Young people, their parents and doctors, and our politicians are in this together – we need to find better ways that we can put a stop to the obesity epidemic. New York’s banning of oversized sodas is exactly the type of public health intervention we need at this point. “Knowing that your heart and blood vessels are already damaged by being overweight or obese might help children and their parents put changes in place to change eating and lifestyle habits.” Source:

prove premature birth was the cause. Previous studies have shown that adults with a low birth weight associated with premature birth - are more likely to develop heart disease and metabolic conditions, such as diabetes, later in life. Again, however, she

Tiny trigger? One in five women who were extremely premature experienced a serious problem during pregnancy, compared to just one in ten of those born at full term (file picture). emphasised the distinction between low birth weight and premature birth. Prof Nuyt said: ‘The lower the birth weight, the higher the risk for those diseases occurring in adulthood.’ The study found a greater number of prematurely born women had higher diagnoses of chronic high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

Research: Obese five-year-olds showing warning signs of stroke and heart disease O



Why politicians sit-tight in power- Jonathan By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said Nigerian politicians hold tenaciously to power because of the fear of the unknown. This is coming as the President added that the electoral reforms embarked upon by his administration would continue to ensure that the choice of the people emerged at elections. He spoke at a high level breakfast meeting on the Nigerian economy organised by the African Business Roundtable in New York. Addressing the audience which was made up of former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, former United States Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, international investors and captains of industry from Nigeria, he noted that Nigeria has numerous problems but his government has decided to prioritize its options in order to systematically deal with the challenges. He assured the investors that he would do everything to sanitise the investment environment to attract the much needed investment and create jobs for the teeming youth who he observed make up the majority of the nation’s population. The President who explained that this critical segment of the society could not be ignored as they were the ones that needed housing and jobs, was confident that Nigeria could join the elite group of the world economies between 8 to 10 years as it has been proved in other countries

that it does not take eternity to solve the development problems of a country. Speaking on Nigerians in Diaspora who want the opportunity to contribute their quota to the development of the country, President Jonathan pledged to carry the Nigerian people along in the governance process even though he conceded that it was not possible to involve all in the administration of the country at the same time. “We have a lot of egg-heads in Nigeria. Unfortunately, not all will be ministers but we appoint them into teams where we have challenges to help address them.

We meet monthly. Soon our economy will be what you will be proud of,” he declared. In his comments at the occasion, Mr. Tony Blair urged Nigerians not to always accept the stance of the opposition on issues as they were not speaking for the majority of the citizens but a few vested interests. While urging for support for President Jonathan, the former British leader praised his effort to reform the political and economic sectors of the country, which he observed was a difficult but necessary thing to do. Citing the case of the deregulation of the downstream

sector of the petroleum industry and other critical areas, he told the President that this was a moment of opportunity and therefore, he must have the courage to proceed with the planned economic reforms even though he noted that they would cause anxiety. In her contribution, Ms. Rice observed that for the first time, news emanating from Africa has turned from the negative issues such as AIDS, famine and wars to positive news about opportunities existing in the continent. She congratulated President Jonathan for his efforts in repositioning the country

L-R: Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, and wife of Lagos governor, Mrs Abimbola Fashola, during the fourth Lagos Central Senatorial District town hall meeting, on Wednesday in Lagos. Photo: NAN

Councillors threaten to impeach Kwali chair over alleged non performance By Adeola Tukuru


ouncillors in the Kwali Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have threatened to impeach the Chairman of the council, Hon Joseph Shazin, alleging that his administration has brought no development to the people in the council. Councillor representing Pai ward in the council, Hon. Musa Iyah

Pai, who dropped the hint in an interview with journalists, alleged that fund generated from the council and those from the Federation Account have not been utilize for the benefit of the people. He claimed that the recent project tour by the council was ‘another jamboree show’ by the chairman. Responding to questions on what he has personally done to better the lives of his people in the area, he said

that a major culvert that linked his ward and Gwagwalada area was singularly finance by him. The councillor said most strategies adopted by him and his people to enable the executive arms of government in the council to look over their plight have always been futile. “The so-called project tour was another political jamboree of show, he have not executed any project as far as my ward is concern

because of greed and politics, since inception my people have been in darkness with no assistance from the government,” he alleged. Pai further alleged that his people have been marginalized, adding that a transformer that was recently send to his ward was still laying fallow with no provision to get it installed, making life very unbearable for the people who elected him into office.

Ex Abacha aide blames country’s woes on bad leadership From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


ormer press secretary to late head of State General Sani Abacha Chief David Attah has blamed bad leadership for the insecurity problems confronting the nation Chief Attah who made this assertion during an interview with newsmen in his Makurdi residence lamented the poor state of infrastructure in the country in midst of huge resources. “It is shocking, and how can we explain the mirage of calamities befalling us? The roads are not safe, the air not safe and now, the waters are not safe. But, God has blessed us with human resources, natural resources but we are disloyal to ourselves by mismanaging them through grand corruption”. “Today, you open newspapers, you read about leaders stealing billions of naira meant for projects with the public interest being abandoned. No body is being punished and it does not leave any good impression to the citizenry,” Attah regretted. The former Press secretary to Gen. Abubakar Abdulsalam further noted that the founding fathers of the nation had good vision which the present leaders have completely deviated from, maintaining that there was need for all Nigerians to do a retrospect. He out rightly condemned the winner takes it all syndrome inherent in the country’s political system, saying it is bad for growth of our nascent democracy. “There must be peaceful coexistence among the political apparatus in the country. The majority may have their way but the minority must have a say. That is democracy. It is all about service to the people but not for selfish aggrandizement,” he stressed. The elder statesman advised President Goodluck Jonathan and wondered why the present crop of leaders are so power drunk that they barely finish a term before clamoring for another even when leadership performance is progressively getting worse.

Plateau Assembly issues 14-day ultimatum to MDAs on budget implementation


he Plateau House of Assembly has directed Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state to submit their budget performance report for the year “within 14 days”, or be sanctioned. The Speaker, Mr John Dabwan, gave the ultimatum at the sitting of

the assembly yesterday. “The MDAs have just 14 days to comply with the directive or face the wrath of the assembly,” he said. Dabwan said the ultimatum was with immediate effect and in line with the oversight functions of the assembly which had to do with accountability. The speaker noted that oversight

was the “chief corner stone of democracy which must be taken seriously by all concerned”. According to him, oversight functions of the assembly cannot be taken as a mere routine as it was crucial to efficient service delivery. The speaker also summoned a stakeholders meeting on the current

strike by local government workers in the state to hold at the assembly on Oct. 2. He said the legislature was stepping in to tackle issues responsible for the five months strike due to its negative effect on the workers and the economy of the state. The speaker vowed that the

assembly would ensure that all the issues in contention were solved. Dabwan regretted that the impasse had lingered for too long and dragged the state’s economy backward, adding that solving the issues would enhance peace in the troubled state. (NAN)



PDP has run out of ideas, says ACN From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has called on all Nigerians to brace up for tougher times ahead as it alleged that the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has completely run out of ideas. The opposition party in a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that rather than address the issues raised in its criticism of the central government’s inept handling of the multiple tragedies and calamities the country is currently reeling under, the PDP has characteristically embarked on a flight of fancy and daylight

hallucination. “To accuse the Action Congress of Nigeria of politicizing national disasters and calamities when it actually only criticized President Jonathan’s lack of capacity, pro activeness, and coordinated response to these natural calamities and disasters depicts the paucity of the thought process of the People’s Democratic Party led Federal Government “the party said. “How can the attempt to draw the attention of Nigerians to the inept handling of the problems confronting the country be disparaged as attention seeking? How long did it take for any minister or high ranking government official to visit the scene of the flooding

for an on the spot assessment? Why would a President, just fifteen minutes away from the scene of the worst flooding ever witnessed in the country fail to visit for immediate assessment? How many days after the disaster did it take the Federal Government to belatedly take any action? Where are the concrete adaptation and mitigation measures to prevent a future occurrence of this disaster if it occurs elsewhere in the country tomorrow? “In other saner climes where a capable President and not a trainee President is in charge, the President would have made a stop over with pronouncements about support, relief materials and expression of sympathy for the

victims,” the party explained. While conceding that flooding is a global phenomenon, the party insited that it was unfortunate that despite the huge sums the country has expended on attending international conferences on the impact of climate change, the government has been unable to come up with concrete adaptation and mitigation measures to avert these disasters or respond in a coordinated, timely and robust manner whenever or wherever they may occur, the party said. The AC said the PDP’s response was a recklessly rabid disposition to repel at all times any criticism no matter how constructive.

L-R: Niger state Governor, Dr Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu, Ekiti state Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, and Mrs Francisca Emmanuel, during a Public Lecture on the search for National Security in Nigeria, yesterday in Lagos.

SGF reopens debate on “State of Osun” By Lawrence Olaoye


ecretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim, yesterday declared that the change of Osun state to the State of Osun by governor Rauf Aregbesola was unconstitutional. Anyim made the remark during a courtesy/advocacy visit by the House of Representatives

Committee on Diaspora, when a member of the committee, Ajiboye Famurewa introduced himself as reprepresenting “the State of Osun.” “That is unconstitutional,” Anyim said. And all the lawmakers laughed. “Let me also say that, even though in a lighter mood, that the State of Osun issue should be a serious matter; and for me, a very serious matter. We should not trivialize issues

regarding our nationhood more particularly where it could be interpreted anyhow to affect the unity of the country. “The constitutional name for each state should be upheld more particular by parliamentarians. Ordinary local politicians can try to politick with it, but not those of you who are to keep the country in shape and in firm stand. “But I think that there is nothing like the State of Osun in

the Constitution; we have Osun State, just like any other State. And we should honour our constitution that is the foundation of the basis of patriotism in the first place. We must have faith in our nation; we must have faith in our constitution. We must live it, we must preach it and we must act it. The State of Osun is not in the constitution, it is Osun State,” he concluded.

Lawmaker tasks states, FG on quality leadership


en. Solomon Ewuga (CPCNasarawa) yesterday in Abuja tasked the federal and state governments on quality leadership for the people. Ewuga told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that “Nigeria has a leadership problem that must be checked, to attain true democracy, as the nation marks 52 years of independence’’. “We have a problem of leadership and whatever kind of government we have is predicated

on the quality of leadership that the government has.’’ Ewuga said if the people were governed by good leaders, “they will be able to gauge their happiness’’. He said the absence of good governance in any polity might result to chaos, and called for a leadership that would mobilise the country to harness its quality values. The lawmaker added that if the measure was to be adopted, Nigeria would regain its pride in the

international community. On true democracy in Nigeria, Ewuga said the extensive years of military intervention had hampered the process of democracy. “We must look at the number of years the military intervened and the number of years democracy had worked. That will enable us to know whether the democratic culture is truly entrenched, “ he said. “Most Nigerians were born in

the period of military rule, so the military psyche has not left our attitude. So we cannot say that democratic ideals have been established in our subconscious. (NAN) “Until that is done, we will not really say that democracy has really been established; but we are working towards it, “ he said. Ewuga, however, said ”the issues of terrorism and kidnaps cannot threaten the nation as the civil war did, we are still able to stay together as one people”. NAN

Nigeria at 52: Our leaders must remain Focused – Kumuyi …Sympathizes with victims of flood disasters By Augustine Aminu


s the country prepares for its 52nd independence anniversary, Pastor Williams Kumuyi, General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church Pastor has charged the leadership of the country to remain focused and find solution to the nation's problems. Kumuyi made the remarks while speaking to journalists in Abuja on a four-day programme by the church titled: "Divine connection for full freedom, fruitfulness and security" beginning from Friday as part of its activities to mark the independence anniversary, in Abuja. The cleric who said he would be in Abuja for the programme between Sept. 28 and October 1, 2012 also sympathised with the victims of the recent flood disasters across the country. The pastor believed that it will take a focused leadership to take the country to its promised land in the light of all the challenges facing it. He therefore advised the leaders to take heart and to look at the future with mindset of believing that the problems would be solved since it was God that put them in the position of authorities. Kumuyi advised the leaders to use of all the resources that God has given the nation, the manpower, the wisdom the fortitude and everything to make sure that they map out solution to the nation's problems through wisdom of God. He said, "my message for our leaders is number one to take heart and to look at the future with a mind set of believing, sometimes when problem overwhelm us and we are not able to settle down to look with focus and determination, we might be so shaken that we are wondering whether if there is a future for our country. "To start with we know that there is a God in heaven, we know that God has appointed us whoever we are as leaders to be in this particular place at this point in time so that we look onto God and take heart and make use of all the resources that God has given to us, the manpower, the wisdom the fortitude and everything to make sure that we map out solution to our problems through wisdom of God. "So my message to our leaders will be to remain focused knowing that this time that God has put them there we are going to find solution to the problem we have and make sure that the live of the people are well secured and well provided for."



Tukur denies receiving N1 billion donation By Lawrence Olaoye


he National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, yesterday denied the report that four PDP governors from the North East zone of the country donated N1 billion for his 77 birthday and launching of his biography. An on-line news service had reported two days ago the governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa state, Danbaba Suntai of Taraba, Isah Yuguda

of Bauchi and Ibrahim Dankwabo of Gombe state donated N250 million each to offset the cost of Tukur’s birthday and launching of “the Global Villager”, his biography. Special Assistant (Media Matters) to the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Ujudud Shariff, said in a statement made available to newsmen that the report was false and misleading as Tukur never for donation from the governors. “Dr. Bamanga Tukur had

never, at any time, requested or solicited for monetary donations for the launch of the book whether from any state government, public officer or any private individual. All donations were voluntary made by friends and associates of Alh. Bamanga Tukur whose family arranged and fully sponsored both his 77 th birthday celebration and the book launch. “Therefore, this premeditated calumnious report by Sahara Reporters was, at

best, an interesting piece of fiction and junk journalism which has become a thriving past time of some sections of the media”. Ujudud declared that the report was part of an agenda to blackmail the PDP National Chairman and to deprive him of his popularity among PDP supporters and stressed that the agenda will fail. “We therefore, call on the sponsors of the offending on-line news organ (Sahara Reporters) to cease or desist from this

mischief of spreading falsehood and disaffection among Nigerians and PDP members. “It is also important, fair and a professional decency for media outfits like Sahara Reporters to be factual in their news reports, rather than exploiting readers occasional disposition to their news medium to cast aspersion on the PDP National Chairman and, at the same time, take the gullibility of reading public and event watchers for granted”.

You cannot declare Senator Borrofice ‘s seat vacant – ACN From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Action Congress has warned against moves by the leadership of the Senate and the ruling the People’s Democratic Party to declare vacant the seat of Senator Ajayi Boroffice representing Ondo North Senatorial District who recently decamped from the Labour Party to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The opposition party in a statement issued in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said under the nation’s constitution and laws it is only the courts that can make the determination that a legislator’s seat has become vacant just as it warned the David Mark led Senate to desist from its arm twisting tactics to gain undue political advantage. According to the party,

Boroffice has violated no provision of the 1999 Constitution as amended or any extant law when it made the decision to dump the Labour Party for the Action Congress of Nigeria and this latest attempt to arm twist and declare Senator Boroffice’s seat vacant came only after months of overt and covert pressure to make him to join the ruling People’s Democratic Party failed. The ACN while assuring David Mark that it will resist his boot jack manipulations also called on all it’s members in the Senate to resist and fight this act of illegality and barefaced provocation aimed at destabilizing the party ahead of the October 20 Ondo state governorship election. The party recalled that since the dawn of democratic government, some thirteen years ago, the nation has witnessed opposition Senators defecting to the ruling PDP without any threat of sanction.

CPC carpets Maku over comment on Senate By Umar Muhammad Puma


ollowing his apology over disparaging comment to the Nigerian Senate by the Minister of Information Mr. Labaran Maku, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has warned President Jonathan against appointees like him who are capable of alienating his government from the true feelings of the people thereby engendering strained relationship with other arms of government. The opposition party in a statement issued by National Publicity Secretary, Engr. Rotimi Fashakin, said " It is in the interest of the President to keep the Minister of information tethered to rationality so that much damage is not done to the affairs of the state through unadvised demeanor." Recall that Mr. Labaran Maku has described the resolution of the Senate on the introduction of the N5000 note by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a mere opinion which was not binding on the government. The Senate President, David Mark, thereafter referred to the Information Minister as characteristically careless in speech.

"As a Party, we have noted the trajectory of Mr Maku's performance as a Minister of the Federal republic of Nigeria and quite convinced that he, being caught in self-denial of his past radical posturing, is desperately in search of an identity". The statement further stated "Mr Labaran Maku is in the league of garrulous Information Ministers that have used the position as platform for showy aggrandizement of self rather than honing the organs of the Executive for fostering Citizens' education on Citizenship and improving the political space in non-partisan manner. "He seems to have penchant for stifling divergent opinions from the government he serves and invariably, his political Party. It smacks of immaturity and political rascality for an appointed public official like himself to crudely lampoon elected representatives of the people, be it at the state or Federal level, just for the purpose of showing fawning subservience to his benefactor. Who does not know that the Senate resolution on the proposed currency restructuring was closer, than the FG's position, to the people's?"

Edo state Deputy Governor, Dr Pius Odubu (2nd right), surrounded by jubilant supporters after the Election Tribunal struck out the petition by PDP candidate, General Charles Airhiavbere filed against the re-election of the state Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday in Benin.

Why Ondo Deputy Governor shunned live debate From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Mimiko Campaign Organisation (MCO) on Thursday debunked insinuations that the State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ali Olanusi shunned the live debate organised by the Nigerian Election Debate Group, (NEDG). According to a press statement issued by MCO's Director of Publicity and Media Relations, Mr Kolawole Olabisi, the Deputy Governor did not deliberately shun the debate for Deputy Governorships candidates but had to be prevailed upon by

unfavourable security reports which pointed to the fact that the opposition was planning to unleash violence on his person. "We have since been justified by the high level of indecency, foul languages and brazen hooliganism displayed by supporters of the oppositions at the venue. "Indeed, it was sad that for this display of lack of decorum from a people whose stock in trade are attacks and bare-faced lies; Ondo state earned a public excoriation from the Chairman of the Group, Aremo Taiwo Alimi who publicly condemned what he termed as

highest level of indiscipline and hooliganism displayed at the debate by the members of the opposition. "Indeed, he had stated that the development was the worst exercise they have had since the group started the debate in 1999. Alimi had called on security agencies to watch out during the election given the terrible occurrence. "The LP was aware of such plans and that was why our Deputy did not turn up and not for any other reasons as the opposition tried to adduce all in their desperation to get at us.

CPC tasks FG on good governance


ongress for Progressive Change (CPC) yesterday in Abuja called on the Federal Government to “embark on true democracy to actualise good governance in the country”. The CPC National Chairman, Prince Tony Momoh, made the call during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). “Good governance needs to be looked at in the context of what you are asked to do and how well you do it,’’ he said. He noted that the true test to assessing good governance was to find out how much the people had a say in the way they were governed. The national chairman stated

that the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria specified what government should do to ensure the welfare and the security of the citizens. “The constitution says that citizens are the owners of sovereignty, and from the constitution government derives all its powers and authorities. “The evidence of good governance reflects in how much democracy is being practised in terms of welfare and social justice. “So, democracy in the area of sustaining good governance has not been working perfectly well in Nigeria,’’ he said. According to him, chapter 2 of the Constitution explicitly outlines

what everybody is supposed to do vis-a-vis political, social, economic, educational, cultual, environmental and foreign policy. Mr. Olaitan Agbeja, a public commentator, also called on the government to make chapter 2 of the Constitution a fundamental right. Agbeja said that there would be great development at the grass roots if local ggovernment autonomy could be positively considered in the ongoing constitution review. He added that creation of State Police would enhance good governance and strengthen security in the entire country. (NAN)


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2012 With Tobias Lengnan Dapam 07036990957

Genevieve, Stephanie, honoured at movie premier in Washington


wo of Nigeria’s most delectable queens of Nollywood, Genevieve Nnaji and Stephanie OkerekeLinus, were yesterday honoured at the world premier of the much-awaited film that came alive at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts 2700 F St NW, Washington,

DC 20566, has revealed. The duo, who featured in the Hollywood/Nollywood film titled Doctor Bello, alongside international stars like; Isaiah Washington, Vivica A. Fox, Jimmy JeanLouis and others was yesterday celebrated at

Washington DC, USA. According to one of the organizers of the event, “A private reception was held immediately after the World Premiere at the Kennedy Center, where the international actors from Nigeria met their counterparts in Hollywood.

Action from the Olympic opnening ceremony vidoe

James Bond and Queen’s London Olympics video among best 10 in UK


poll of British television views to pick the top ten moments that changed British television forever includes the launch of Big Brother in 2000, the appearance of James Bond and Her Majesty The Queen at the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony and the moon landing in 1969, Hollywood reporter has revealed. It would be recalled that the Olympics Opening Ceremony was more dramatic and historic when James Bond and the Queen flew, using Parachute into the Stadium. Hollywood reporter indicated that the top 10 moments have been revealed on the eve of the launch by TV legend Joanna Lumley (Ab Fab) of YouView, the long-gestating free-to-air and Internet-connected television service backed by a lineup of Britain’s free-to-air broadcasters.

It said that the YouView partner the Internet and telecom provider TalkTalk, and asked the British public to choose the moments that have changed television forever – so far. The top 10 was topped by the appearance of the Queen and Daniel Craig as James Bond at the start of the Olympics. Television historian Professor Jonathan Bignell said what made the television moment so iconic was the juxtaposition of the Queen and James Bond together. “Viewers gazed in wonder and puzzlement, pride and laughter: is this really the Queen? The moment beautifully broke the boundaries between fact and fiction, and in doing so made its mark worldwide,” Bignell said. YouView is a major partnership between the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Arqiva and Internet suppliers British Telecom and TalkTalk.

R-L: Genevieve Nnaji and Stephanie Okereke-Linus

Aki and wife in vacation on America


int-sized Nollywood actor, Chinedu Ikedieze, popularly known as Aki,

is at the moment staying off work in the United States of America with his beautiful

Stevie Wonder to perform at Obama’s LA fund raising concert


ne of America’s leading vocalist of the 80s, Steve Wonder, has sign on to sing at Barrack Obama’s fund raising concert in Los Angeles, Hollywood reporter has confirmed. Wonder, according to the report, will join other artists like; Katy Perry, Jennifer Hudson, Jon Bon Jovi and Earth Wind, who were already penciled for the great event. The Fire evening performance which will be aimed at raising money for Obama’s reelection campaign at the Nokia Theater, is

scheduled for October 7th, 2012. Hollywood reporter further indicated that the concert which is tagged, “30 days to victory” will be produced by Ken Ehrlich and members of Obama’s Entertainment Advisory Council (EAC), It said that the tickets for the great event were already being sold online by the Obama campaign, start at $44 each. Also, Hollywood reporter added that a $25,000-per-person dinner, co-hosted by Jefferey Katzenberg, will be held after the concert at Wolfgang Puck’s WP24.

Chinedu Ikedieze and his wife Nneoma, popularly known as Aki

wife, Nneoma, revealed. The one half of Aki and Pawpaw, as sources revealed to, travelled to ‘God’s own country’ with his wife in order to relax and spend ample time with his better half. Further revelation indicated that the lovebirds will be due to return to the country very soon. Aki is one of the popular actors in Nollywood. His marriage in 2011 put speculations that his friend, Pawpaw was under pressure to also walk down the aisle just like he (Aki) did.

Wizkid part’s ways with manager


ultiple reports in the media have claimed that EME artiste, Wizkid has closed down business with manager of five years, Osagie Osarenkhoe, has revealed. The incident, as reported, happened in June but was

shielded from the media so as not blown out of proportion. It said that Osagie who works with management outfit has been the one handling business matters relating to Wizkid until recently. Reason for their break-up

was still not known; reliably gathered that it might bother around clash of interest between Wizkid and Osagie. However, it was revealed that Osagie still has good working relationship with Skales and other EME artistes.

Angelina Jolie battles liver disease, needs transplant


Stevie Wonder

ccording to the latest news from National Enquirer magazine, Hollywood movie star, Angelina Jolie is currently suffering from a deadly liver disease (Hepatitis C) which she contracted in her teenage years due to alcohol & drug http:// abuse. has revealed. The report further stated that Angelina Jolie‘s liver

disease is the cause of her constant weight loss and that the actress is awaiting liver transplant. However, Angelina Jolie’s spokesperson said the news is not true. She claimed her frequent weight loss is due to stress of constant travel and her role as a mom. The spokeswoman further stated the actress often forget to eat and drink because she is always on the move.

Angelina Jolie battles Liver disease needs transplant


CAF Champions League s/ finals: Ahly are beatable, Sunshine Stars declare


n spite of their pedigree in the continent where they have won the CAF Champions League for a record six times, Nigeria’s CAF Champions League flag bearers, Sunshine Stars, do not see Al Ahly as invincible. Sunday Emmanuel, who spoke for the team, said yesterday that the Egyptian team, who are their opponents in the semi-finals of the CAF club’s fiesta, are beatable and would therefore not be stumbling block to their quest for the ticket to the final of the continental fiesta. Emmanuel, who joined Sunshine Stars from Enyimba this year, is confident that Al Ahly are beatable after Kano Pillars achieved same feat in 2009 in the playoff round of the CAF Champions League. “We have huge respect for Al Ahly for their achievement on the continent. But to say it’s impossible to beat I’ll totally disagree. Afterall, Kano Pillars have once defeated them. So in the game of football anything is possible. Mind you they are also not invincible,” said the midfielder. The Sunshine Stars’ man further went ahead to predict that the Egyptian club will suffer a 3-0 defeat in Ijebu-Ode on October 7 when the first leg takes place. He also doused fear that the Akure Gunners will be match-rusty owing to lack of competitive games since the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) has ended. “I’m confident we can beat them 3-0 in the first leg. That’s the kind of scoreline we need and we will just wait for the second leg after that. But our focus now is the first leg. “Really it doesn’t matter that we’ve not played competitive football after the league ended. I also want you to remember that we and Al Ahly are in a similar situation because their league has been suspended for a while but I know we will overcome them,” Emmanuel said.


NSC embargos new capital projects


he National Sports Commission (NSC) says it will not embark on any new project until year 2020 when the existing ones must have been completed. The Director General of the NSC, Dr Patrick Ekeji, who disclosed this yesterday, however said the main reason for the embargo was because of lack of funds. According to Ekeji, most of the projects appropriated for since 2009 including the 44 mini-sports centres are yet to be completed. “The funds have not been available and the Federal Executive says we should prioritise and we are prioritising. Mini Sports Centres are part of the capital projects of the NSC and we have done our best within the limit of the funds at our disposal. “Not all the funds for capital projects have been released in all of these years and it is not deliberate that government is not releasing them,’’he said. Ekeji stressed that budgetary allocations are usually actualised only when the funds are available. “Budget releases are contingent on the amount of money available to the executive. When expectations are not met, it is the responsibility of all of us in the arm of government including the National Assembly to work together. “From 2009 till date (four years), the total appropriation for the NSC is in the sum of N12 billion but the total amounts released is N7 billion plus,” Ekeji said. He said that out of the over N7 billion released, N2 billion was set

aside for the rehabilitation of the eight stadia that hosted the FIFA U17 Championship tagged “Nigeria 2009.” “We have included the N250 million released by government directly to each of the eight States that hosted the world championship for the upgrading of their stadia. “What it means is that we have included the N2 billion in the expenditure because it is part of the appropriation. In the actual sense what we got in 2009 was less than N1.2 billion.

Which means the release is little above 50 per cent and this amount is supposed to be spread to various projects over the years, these expenditures are verifiable,” he added. The DG further stated that apart from the NSC lacking funds to complete its capital projects, funds for the maintenance of sporting facilities have not improved to any significant level. He pointed out that the challenges associated with running a government office were enormous

Muhammadu Usman Mangal receiving the Coommassie Cup from the Grand patron of Katsina Polo Club, Alhaji Dahiru Mangal

Jonathan charges Flamingoes to win FIFA U-17 Women World Cup


resident Goodluck Jonathan has charged Nigeria’s junior women team, the Flamingoes, to go all out and win the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Azerbaijan. Alhaji Tukur Mani, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Iran, who has concurrent accreditation to Azerbaijan, Armenia and Kazakhstan, delivered the President’s message to the team and their officials in Baku. The Deputy Head of Mission in Azerbaijan, Garba Bello, said: “Amb. Tukur Mani, while

President Goodluck Jonathan

but maintained that the Commission would always be alive to its responsibilities. “There is no government office that does not have challenges but the accounting officers are expected to be innovative for things to move forward. “The easiest thing to do is to run away from problem, but we have no option than to face it. At best, consultants will present paper work and recommendations which are persuasive, the desire, spirit and determination to carry through lies on Nigerians,” Ekeji noted.

delivering the message of President Goodluck Jonathan to the team and their officials, urged them to excel. “President Jonathan said we should boost the morale of the players and inspire them to go far and win the tournament. “God willing, the team has started doing what the president urged them to do by beating the host nation

Azerbaijan 11 – 0 on Tuesday before their fans. The match of yesterday (Tuesday) was a display of high skill and cohesion in the Flamingoes team. “Even in the opening game against Canada, Nigerian girls showed good football, although they drew at the end. It was obvious that Nigeria was a better team than Canada in the game.

The Flamingoes will end their group campaign with a match against Columbia at Bayil Stadium in Baku on Saturday. Meanwhile, with her five strikes against Azerbaijan in Tuesday’s 11 – 0 victory, Nigeria’s Chinwendu Ihezuo set a new tournament record for most goals by an individual in one game. She overtakes Germany’s Kyra Malinowski and Korea Republic’s Yeo Minji, who each netted four against South Africa and Nigeria respectively during the 2010 edition.

at Bayil and Dalga, respectively. Groups C and D second round matches were played on Wednesday with Brazil defeating Mexico 1–0 and Japan pounded New Zealand 3–0. The Black Maidens of Ghana had a 5–0 easy ride over Uruguay, while China held Germany to a 1–1 draw. Nigeria tops Group A with 4 points beating Canada to second place on goal aggregates. Third is Colombia with 3 points while host Azerbaijan without a win or a draw. In Group B, Peoples Republic of Korea tops the table with 4 points, U.S. has 4 points also, France has 2 points and Gambia, a new entrant into the U-17 Women World Cup

has no point yet. Atop of group C is Japan, the 2010 silver medalist having 6 full points from their two straight wins. Mexico and Brazil have 3 points each while New Zealand has no point yet. China and Germany are at the top of Group D with 4 points each. Ghana, with a 5–0 win over Uruguay, has 3 points and Uruguay has none yet. If Japan defeats Mexico in the last Group C game on Sunday, they will join the league of teams to have won all their group matches in the history of FIFA U-17 Women World Cup since inception. The others are Nigeria, Germany and Spain in previous editions.

… As teams end recess today


fter observing two days of rest, members of the Flamindoes along with their peers participating in the FIFA Under 17 Women World Cup in Azerbaijan resume training today ahead of this weekend’s final group matches. Two matches are scheduled each in Groups A and B, and the Flamingoes, who shocked the hosts Azerbaijan 11-0 on Tuesday, will take on Colombia at Bayil stadium in Baku. The other two teams in Group A will play their last group matches at Dalga Arena in Baku. Similarly, Group B matches slated for Saturday will feature the U.S. taking on People’s Republic of Korea while Gambia tackles France



Hard work gave us victory over Azerbaijan, Flamingoes coach

Tornadoes management places Tenger on indefinite suspension


ansur Abdullahi, the Assistant Coach of the Flamingoes, said the victory over Azerbaijan at the ongoing U-17 Women’s World Cup was based on hard work and composure of the players. Abdullahi, who was quoted by a news agency, indicated that the team resolved to step up its game after the 1-1 draw with Canada and noted that the hard work paid off handsomely with the 11-0 bashing of the hosts. According to him, the team became better composed after their first match even as some of the players that had debuted on international scene against Canada became well adjusted and were able to improve their performance. The coach said the first group match opened their eyes to lapses which led to their missing many scoring chances that could have been converted. He said that they had worked hard on all the lapses resulting in the resounding 11-0 victory against the hosts, Azerbaijan. Abdullahi said the players got support from Nigerians which motivated them and that the presence of the Nigerian Deputy Ambassador to Iran, Manga Bello, also gave the girls courage. “The girls are proud of what the people have being doing for us in terms of support, they were happy to see the Deputy Ambassador on the field.


he President, Nigeria Swimming Federation, Babatunde FatayiWilliams, has said the Ondo State government would host the maiden Africa Zone II Junior Swimming Championships in Akure from Nov. 7 to Nov. 12. Fatayi-Williams disclosed this on Wednesday in Akure when he led the federation’s delegation to the inaugural meeting of the Main Organising Committee (MOC) to prepare for the tournament. He listed the countries that made up Africa Zone II as Nigeria, Republic of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea Others are Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. Fatayi-Williams praised Ondo State for being

Iliya Garba, Minna


Chinwendu Ihezuo “Messages from the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Aminu Maigari, and other board members of the association are encouraging. “The presence of the Technical Officer of the association, Siji Olangunju, also helped the girls to apply the right techniques at the right places as we taught them during training,’’ he said. He said the team would play against Colombia on Saturday, which was the last group match for the team and they had no fears at all. The coach said the team would rest on Wednesday and then continue training on Thursday against their next match.

17 African countries for swimming championships in Akure one of the homes of swimming champions, saying it would be a unique opportunity for Africa to see what it is known for. “We feel that since the state has an Olympic size swimming pool and has produced talented swimmers in the past, it will be an honour for them to host the championships,” he said. He said it would be an opportunity for the countries to know that instead of travelling outside the continent for competitions, it was time for Africa to learn each other’s culture. The Chairman, Ondo State Sports Council, Bamido Omogbehin, said the date for the event would be convenient and that the state

I have not left Pillars yet, Ganaru declares


Coach Mohhamed Babaganaru

ano Pillars coach Mohammed Babaganaru has confirmed that he is being courted by the management of Kwara United over the vacant manager’s position at the club. However, the coach said that does not mean that he has left Kano Pillars to join the Ilorin side whose sponsors-the Kwara State government desperately want to see excel in the Nigeria Premier League. The NPL title-winning coach confirmed that he was indeed shortlisted by ‘The Afonja Warriors’ for interview for a possible employment, but said he is still a Kano Pillars Coach. “Kwara United want me. I have been shortlisted for interview by the club and they have contacted me to that effect. We

had young swimmers that would make Nigeria proud. “We produce swimmers of international repute and we already have them on ground, so, we will host the tournament and win it since we have the facility,’’ he said. In his contribution, the chairman of Ondo State Swimming Association, Bobola Adeniyi, said the competition would aid the state’s preparation for the National Sports Festival. “We now have an edge over other states because the tournament will be used to prepare our athletes for the National Sports Festival in Lagos from Nov. 27 to Dec. 9,’’ he said. are yet to talk, nothing is agreed, so I am still Kano Pillars Coach, where we have started training ahead of new season,” he said. Peoples Daily Sports had penultimate day quoted a wire service which stated that Ganaru was scheduled to attend an interview for the post of Head Coach of Kwara United on Wednesday. “Even if I attend the interview, it does not mean I have joined Kwara United or I have left Kano Pillars, let us wait and see.” Babaganaru has already notified his current employers Pillars of the Kwara interest but was yet to be informed of their reaction or decision on his pending exit. The former El Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri coach won league title last season with Pillars in his first attempt as head coach. Several top coaches including Alphonsus Dike, Justin Tenger and Festus Allen have also been short listed for the top Kwara post.

or alleged unguided utterances in the media, the management of Niger Tornadoes has placed the club’s Technical Adviser, coach Justine Tenge, on indefinite suspension. Tenger was alleged to have accused the management of keeping him in the dark about sundry preparations for the 2012/2013 National League campaign, a statement the management considered ‘an act of insubordination.’ The Management also fired back by stating that his position as the technical adviser of Niger Tornadoes has not impacted positively on the team and it further alleged that he failed to impose discipline of players both in the camp and in the field of play. The management took the decision during a crucial meeting on Tuesday. The members also took the opportunity to peruse the technical report submitted to the management. “We took this decision because we feel the Technical Adviser has gone beyond his boundaries. He is supposed to be sober for bringing Niger Tornadoes to relegation, but rather than doing so he resorted to uncomplimentary statements even when the management has not sat down to look into his technical report,” the Media Officer, Mallam Suleiman Isah “He will remain on suspension indefinitely and everything to make the club compete favourably in the National League is being done to repackage the club for next season.” “We don’t intend to sack him now because management felt that his report after the 2011/2012 season has not been thoroughly deliberated because the report was very scanty and does not meet the best practices in football management, so this decision to keep him on suspension may make him to reflect on his mistakes.” Peoples Daily Sports recalled that this would not be the first time that the technical crew of Niger Tornadoes would be subjected to disciplinary action would be taken against them by the management of the team. The management themselves had come under fire from the sponsors, the Niger state government that wanted to ensure that the team remains in the elite football, but to no avail.

Confusion as 2013 tickets go on sale


here was confusion and uncertainty as the first phase of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations ticketing went live on Wednesday. The local organizing committee had gone on a nationwide bus tour the previous day to hype up interest for the 2013 event while unveiling a number of stations where the tickets would be sold. Phase one ticket prices range between R50 and R200. Individuals purchasing Category 1 and 2 tickets before the official draw (26 October 2012) will receive up to 10 per cent

discount and those buying Category 3 will receive up to 20 per cent discount on ticket. But there was outcry and frustration as Super Spar outlets opened their doors on Wednesday morning. A number of supporters claimed they could not locate any Spar to purchase their tickets and the 2013 Afcon hotline proved pointless to others. The lack of information coming from the SA Football Association (Safa) did not help the situation either. The Safa official website was more like an outdated notice board with little or no information at all about the 2013 Afcon.

Those outside the country have an option to buy online but that will only happen after the final draw set for Durban on October 24. This phase will continue until December 20, at which stage phase 3 will kick in from December 21 right up to the tournament. The 2013 showpiece gets underway on January 19 and will run until February 10. The matches will take place at Soccer City (Johannesburg), Moses Mabhida Stadium (Durban), Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (Nelson Mandela Bay), Mbombela Stadium (Nelspruit) and Royal Bafokeng Stadium (Rustenburg).

Justine Tenger




LOSS OF DOCUMENT This is to inform the General Public of the loss of Original Certificate of Occupancy in respect to Plot 568, Mabushi District, FCT, measuring about 1582.69 with old file No. MISC 11,302 and new file No. MISC 55491 bearing Vic Dan, belonging to Hajiya C. Mero Yesufu. All efforts made to trace the missing document proved abortive. If found, please contact the nearest Police Station or AGIS. The General Public should please take note.





LOSS OF DOCUMENT This is to inform the General Public of the loss of origional Certificate of Occupancy in respect to Plot 1156, BO6 Mabushi District, FCT, measuring about 171sqm with old file No. MISC 1993 and new file No. MISC 57690 bearing Mohammed Ahmadu, belonging to Hajiya C. Mero Yesufu. All efforts made to trace the missing document proved abortive. If found, please contact the nearest Police Station or AGIS. The General Public should please take note.

Alex Song

Love for Barca, trophies made me turn back on Arsenal, says Song


lex Song has said he joined Barcelona from Arsenal in order to win trophies, adding that he had no fears about facing Cristiano Ronaldo in next month’sclasico. Song, 25, who spent seven seasons at Arsenal without picking up any medals before signing for Barca for •19 million in August, told Catalan daily Mundo Deportivo he had left the Gunners because he wanted silverware. “I am hungry,” he said. “I have never won anything. I have come here to play a lot of games and win everything.” Once he was made aware of Barcelona’s interest last summer, he said he had immediately decided to go there. “In July, Barca spoke with Arsenal and Arsene Wenger came to tell me about it,” he explained. “It was difficult to convince him and also to say goodbye, as he helped me and my family a lot when I arrived at Arsenal aged 17. But when you love Barca, you cannot say no. A train like this only passes once in a lifetime and you must catch it.” The Cameroon international, who has already been given the nickname Songito by his former Gunners team-mate Cesc Fabregas, played at centreback in last Saturday’s 2-0 La Liga win over Granada at the Camp Nou, despite being seen as a midfielder during his time in the Premier League. With regular Barca centre-backs Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique injured, it looks likely that he will play in defence against Real Madrid in the season’s first La Liga clasico on October 7. Song said playing in defence was nothing new for him, adding: “I play wherever the coach asks me. I have played there many times (for Arsenal) when there were injuries, and I have finished games in defence having started in midfield.” Although playing in defence against Madrid would mean having to handle Ronaldo, Song said he had enough experience for that job. “Of course we are

stronger with Pique and Puyol at centre-back, but I am ready and have already played against Cristiano in the Premier League,” he said. “I have not just begun playing I am not 17 or 18 years old. I have played over 200 games for Arsenal, and have nothing to worry about. I will not think about stopping Cristiano if it happens.” Since arriving in Catalonia, Song has often been compared to fellow midfielder Yaya Toure, who played centre-back in the 2009 Champions League final for Barcelona before leaving for Manchester City in 2010. Song said he preferred to make his own name than being compared to others. “I cannot compare myself to him,” he said. “He is a great player and I have a lot of respect for him. But I have not come here to be the new Toure, but to be myself.” Meanwhile, Barca president Sandro Rosell said the club would do everything in its power to ensure a contract extension is agreed with Xavi. Rosell said: “We will do everything we possibly can and I think he also wants to finish his career here. He is a role model, a legend.”






Song with Cesc Fabregas, who was also in Arsenal with him



Our zoo, our stadium L

ately, there have been agitations over the state of our sports facilities. True, these are grossly inadequate in terms of number. Indeed, there are far less than what would ordinarily be required to meet the need of our teeming youths going by the number of the nation's youth with vested interest in sports as career. Sadly, the few available facilities have in the usual Nigerian factor (whatever that means) suffered gross lack of care and are consequently in dilapidated shapes. One recalls that the National Stadium Lagos was the aesthetic master piece on completion in 1973. Its prestige and elegance were such that it was seen as the symbolism of Africa, its people and the new dawn in sports facilities for the black people. And it continues so but

only for few years before the Nigerian Achilles heel made its presence manifest: poor maintenance culture. And so the Lagos edifice went under and became not just a sorry sight, dilapidated and ugly, but it took a grotesque shape; enough to be spurned by the men of Epicurean Era were they to make a choice on facility to use. The story is the same in Ibadan, Enugu, Bauchi, Kaduna, Port Harcourt, perhaps with the UJ Esuene Stadium having some exceptions. Such was the state when the COJA Games was to be held in 2003 in Abuja, that a brand new facility had to be conceived and delivered. Again, it was unique in cost, design and aesthetic taste. Yes, it was yet another pride for Africa. No, forget the outrageous, astronomical, prohibitive cost; it was sublime in appearance and quite befitting of the status of Nigeria as the acclaimed

to indulge in invalid sleep than rise up to the challenge of meeting the giant of Africa. task for which But like everything they were Nigeria, the mut set in engaged. again. The once pride of the No, the stale continent became the complaint has reference point of always been dilapidation, a classic lack of sufficient example of irresponsible provisions for maintenance culture or maintenance. rather disdain for day and within two days abodes of both wild and One recalls that for the use aesthetics. the task would have be mild rodents, prohibitive Ironically, a key of the Abuja facility during finished with less than 10 reptiles and the den of matches, the NFF is department in the National persons engaged to carry robbers. sometimes made to cough Sports Commission (NSC) is out the task. While one applauses the out between N100,000 to the stadium facilities Don't doubt this because Minister of Sports' decisive N150,000 for after the which is meant to cater for the records are there. No, act: querying of the officer match clean-up. And yet, the maintenance needs of not the number of persons in charge of the Abuja a cursory look at the venue the various facilities across engaged but the sums facility, one dares to ask; soon after such matches the country. However, expended on it. what about other would reveal few nearrather than bear this Yes, funds are needed to facilities? Is this public bare handed persons doing responsibility, the persons, maintain these facilities engendered disciplinary the cleaning for N150 per supposedly experts, prefer but were the officers in measure a temporary one charge conscientious and or will it be sustained? less avaricious in execution Bolaji Abdullahi would of their duty the decay in surely be counted an Bolaji Abdullahi would surely be counted an these facilities would have achiever were he to succeed been greatly reduced. in forcing the officers to achiever were he to succeed in forcing the Our stadium facilities come alive to their officers to come alive to their responsibilities. It everywhere are zoos where responsibilities. It would would alter for good the ugly description of our our children would prefer alter for good the ugly to go and have a view of description of our stadium stadium as zoos and render the facilities ready reptiles because like the as zoos and render the and in good stead for training purposes. cases of Abuja and Lagos, facilities ready and in good there have become the stead for training purposes.

WATCH DOG By Patrick Andrew

FCT badminton coach dreams gold medal at Abuja tourney


he Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Badminton Coach, Ahmed Bako, says he is hopeful that his players will surpass their previous three gold medals at this year’s Abuja City National Badminton Championships. Bako said yesterday in Abuja that although the players had done well in the last two editions, he hoped they would beat their records by emerging over all winners of the 3rd Abuja City National Badminton Championships that began on September 24 in Abuja with 27 states participating. Bako said the FCT had 30 players in the competition,

comprising 16 males and 14 females for the U-20 and senior categories. “We are always prepared and we hope to beat our last year’s record of three gold medals. “If we can beat that good but if we can’t and we can maintain what we have well too but we pray not to go less than the three,’’ he said. Bako said the FCT’s participation in the competition was part of its preparation for the 18th National Sports Festival, scheduled for November 27 to December 9 in Lagos. “Our participation will help us see how well we have prepared and see what areas we will look into before the festival. “After the championships we’re going to have only

Neither Messi nor Ronaldo on my mind, says Falcao


tletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao has said that he is more concerned with helping his team do well this season than fighting Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the Pichichi award as the leading scorer in La Liga. Falcao struck twice in last night’s 4-2 win over Real Betis to take his tally to seven in five league games this season, leaving him one clear of Barcelona ace Messi at the top of the scoring charts. Last season Messi won the Pichichi with an astonishing 50 goals, four ahead of 2011 winner Ronaldo, with Falcaothird on 24 goals in his first year in Spain following his big-money move from Porto. Falcao’s superb start to the season - he also netted a hat-trick in the UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea and got goals in both of Colombia’s FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers earlier this month - suggests he could challenge Messi and Ronaldo to finish as top scorer, but the 26-year-old insists that is not his driving force. He said: “I didn’t say I wanted to compete with Cristiano and Messi. I simply want to score goals to help my team, nothing more. At the end we’ll see where I am. The most important thing is that the team fulfils their objectives. We are competing with 19 other teams, not only against Madrid and Barça.”

Atletico’s win over Betis saw them move into second place in La Liga on 13 points, two behind leaders Barça. Falcao limped out of the clash in the 53rd minute with an injury, and Atletico coach Diego

Lionel Messi

Simeone will be keeping his fingers crossed that his star striker will be fit for this weekend’s trip to Espanyol. Falcao said in AS: “I hope to be able to face Espanyol even though I have some pain and I had to retire early.”

Radamel Falcao

one and half months before the festival, so, this competition has come at the right time because we will use it to test our players’ ability,’’ he said. He noted that out of the 10 slots given to each state for badminton at the festival, the FCT would only utilise eight because proper plans had to be made to accommodate them. “The fewer you go with, the more committed they will be and you will be able to tactically appraise them better than when you have a large number. “Also, the female teams are stronger than the male teams so our strength will lie with the female teams,’’ Bako said. The coach disclosed that the players would resume camp anytime in October to fully prepare for the sports festival. The championships will end on Saturday.

Heartland sack 14 players


he management of Heartland FC of Owerri said yesterday that it would disengage 14 of its players before the beginning of the 2012/2013 Premier League Season. Fan Ndubuoke, the General Manager of the club, disclosed this said the move would not only in compliance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the club’s management reached with the Imo government, but to the required quality of players constitute the team. “The MoU is for the club to generate 50 per cent of its financial resources. The state government has reached an agreement with the club’s management on the joint

funding of the club’s financial obligations. “As a result, the club can no longer maintain the payment of the salary of its 32 players,’’ Ndubuoke said. He said the players to be disengaged were those found wanting in the areas of discipline and performance. Ndubuoke added that the club would soon begin negotiation for a striker and two midfielders to fortify the club’s attacking force. The manager admitted the poor performance of the club at the just concluded premier league, and said it was due to technical problems. Heartland finished eighth on the table with 51 points.

were obliged to report for testing at a particular time and place. “It was observed that in some instances, athletes failed to “report” to doping control at the assigned time. “As no written procedure was available for doping control staff in these

situations, no consequences for failing to appear seemed to be enforced by the IOC or relevant IF.” The report recommended that advance notice ABP testing only be carried out in very specific situations, saying that it opened the door for manipulation.

Athletes escape sanction for missed drug tests, says report


ome athletes failed to report for blood doping tests at this year’s Olympics but escaped sanction, an independent report into doping procedures at the London Games has revealed. The Independent Observer (IO) report, compiled by a

nine-man strong team and published by world antidoping agency, WADA, said several missed appointments had occurred but blamed the confusion over tests relating to the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP). The ABP programme, making its first appearance at

a summer Games, was designed to allow testers to compare blood tests with an athletes’ existing blood profile, thereby helping identify unusual patterns or anomalies. However, its introduction proved problematic. “The process by which athletes were notified of their selection

for such tests can be improved, however,” the report said. “Given that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) deferred to the relevant International Federations (IFs) the responsibility to notify athletes of these tests, athletes




3 P I C T O R I A L

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Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets believes the Catalans need to play better, score quicker and be more solid in defence despite their his 100% start to the La Liga and Champions League campaigns. Chelsea captain John Terry is banned for four matches and fined ÂŁ220,000 for racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. Top seed Victoria Azarenka withdraws from the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo ahead of her quarter-final against Angelique Kerber. Colchester's Lee Purdy will take on American Carson Jones at the Alexandra Palace in December. Chris Gayle passes fifty as West Indies dominate England in the Super Eights after Sri Lanka beat New Zealand in a "super over". London Welsh fly-half Gavin Henson is expected to make his debut against Stade Francais next month.




The Solomon Islands, a hotbed of football passion in the Pacific, have the chance to revive some of their past glory during looming Brazil 2014 qualifiers provided they can overcome some recent inconsistent performances.



Say what?

Source: Reader's Digest

FACTS * Percentage of American men who say they would marry the same woman if they had it to do all over again: 80 * Percentage of American women who say they would marry the same man: 50 * Percentage of men who say they are happier after their divorce or separation: 58 * Percentage of women who say they are happier: 85 * Average life span of a major league baseball: 7 pitches * Percentage of bird species that are monogamous: 90 * Percentage of mammal species that are monogamous: 3

Source: Weird facts


Quick CrossWord (37) ACROSS 1 Goods from abroad (7) 5 Stalin’s empire (inits) (4) 9 Rattling sound of cutlery or crockery (7) 10 In need of sharpening (5) 11 Leader of the tribe or clan (5) 12 Scruffy (6) 14 Lion or tiger eg (3,3) 16 Heavy, indigestible (6) 18 Kept man (6) 19 Fault (5) 22 Wedding attendant (5) 23 Failed an exam, in America (7) 24 In addition, more (4) 25 Retreat or seawater (3,4)

DOWN 2 Florida holiday resort (5) 3 Unpopular (3,2,6) 4 Come to light (4,2) 6 Adorned with bosses (7) 7 Famous London hotel in Picadilly (4) 8 Block of frozen water (3,4) 10 Be killed (4,3,4) 13 Cross-pollinated flowers (7) 15 Professional hostess of Japan (7) 17 Chinwag (6) 20 Scraped together (5) 21 David __, 18th-century Scottish philosopher 94)

Yesterday’s answer

This Victorian cottage that comes with its own cave. Aptly named Rock Cottage, the three-bedroom house in Tettenhall, Wolverhampton is up for sale. Source:

. . . putting the people first



Terry banned for 4 matches


helsea captain John Terry has been banned for four domestic matches after a hearing found him guilty of racial abuse, the English FA said yesterday. Terry appeared before a Football Association disciplinary committee over charges that he racially abused Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand in a Premier League match last October and he was acquitted over the incident in the law courts in July. "(John) is disappointed that the FA commission has reached a different conclusion to the clear not guilty verdict of a court of law," Terry's solicitors were quoted as saying in British media. "He has asked for the detailed written reasons and will consider carefully before deciding whether to lodge an appeal." Terry has also been fined 220 000 pounds ($355,00) and the penalty is suspended until after the outcome of any appeal which must be received within 14 days. "The Independent Regulatory Commission will provide written reasons for its decision in due course," the FA said in a statement. Chelsea play title rivals Arsenal in the Premier League tomorrow and is due to face Manchester United in the league and League Cup during the last week of October. The 31-year-old Terry retired from England duty on Sunday ahead of the FA disciplinary procedure, saying his position in the national team was "untenable". Terry had previously been England captain but on two occasions had the armband taken away by Coach Fabio Capello, in 2010 after revelations about his private life and in February over the Ferdinand allegations, a decision that led the Italian to quit. Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was handed an eightgame ban and 40 000-pound fines last December for racist abuse of Manchester United defender Patrice Evra. Suarez used "insulting words" towards Evra during the game on October 15, with the Frenchman saying he had been insulted "at least 10 times."


0803 0805 0803 0805 0803

QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE On August 2 2012, the agency (NIMET) wrote to the governors of some states informing them that, based on our observations and predictions, their areas were most vulnerable to flooding — Dr y An uf or om, DG eria Dr.. Anthon Anthony Anuf ufor orom, DG,, Nig Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) on this year’s devastating floods in some states

Why Muslim anger against America persists E

vents since the anti-Islam video and cartoon were released have served to open my eyes to why some people in the Muslim world would continue to deny the holocaust. For a student of history who taught the subject at the highest level possible, I do indeed believe there were dark days in Europe when Jews were hunted down, their women, children and all, and either hacked down in the streets or sent to gas chambers. This is a historical fact and attempting to deny it merely serves other purposes. Never mind the fact that, in their attempt to right that wrong, Jews and their Western allies are perpetrating a modern day genocide on an unimaginable proportion, not against the descendants of their former tormentors but against a people who had no hand in the extermination of Jews. Put bluntly, the hateful and hurtful Israeli occupation of Palestine must end. For many in the Muslim world, the temptation is always there to deny the holocaust as a way of getting even. Holocaust denial, despite all talk of freedom of speech, unsettles hawkish Jews and their equally hawkish friends in the West. To these hawks, denial of the holocaust is the worst crime anyone could commit. Nothing else pushes a blind hawk to the edge. To a lesser degree is the idea of a second holocaust when some people talk of wiping off Israel. While this is true, the average Jew and his unquestioning friend in the West see nothing wrong in denying or depicting Jesus; after all Judaism has, for the past two thousand years, denied him. Till date, the average Jew still regards Jesus as an impostor; not a great prophet and messenger of God, as Muslims revere him or, as some Christians call him, a saviour and God. What this boils down to is that the average Jew and his friends in the West will most likely celebrate rather than condemn any depiction of Jesus. And here is the dilemma for the average Muslim. Very early in life, the Muslim child is taught to show respect for all prophets of God including Jesus. They are taught to consider their faith incomplete if they deny any of the prophets of God. The Muslim, right from an early stage in life is aware, in line with the teachings of the Qur'an, that Jesus performed his first miracle as a baby in the arms of his mother when he spoke in defence of her. The Muslim child is taught early in life to attest that

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GUEST COLUMNIST Abdulrazaq Magaji

US President Barack Obama Jesus raised the dead, made the blind see and cured a leper. The Muslim child is made aware that Jesus performed these and several other miracles by the power of God, according to the Qur'an and, as Jesus is recorded in the Bible, 'by myself, I can do nothing'! Every pre-Madrasa going Muslim child believes Jesus was crucified, saved from death and taken up by God; just as Jesus himself referred an 'adulterous generation' to the sign of Prophet Jonah. And what is the sign of Jonah? For three days and nights, Prophet Jonah was alive in the belly of a

whale, not dead and, certainly not spiritualized! The Muslim child is taught that Jesus, this great prophet of God, was not killed, but was lifted to heaven by God and that he will come back to complete his mission on earth. What is more, Muslim parents teach their children to revere Mary, the mother of Jesus, who has a whole chapter named in her honour in the Qur'an. The problem here is that while some people see nothing wrong in casting aspersions on prophets and messengers of God, others are taught to show respect for them and, if need be, defend them. That has been the basis for the violent, often deadly protests in Muslim countries, each time some cartoonists or amateur film makers depict prophets. But the Muslim is in a dilemma because they cannot cast aspersions on prophets of God as doing that amounts to apostasy; it amounts to abandoning the faith. Protests similar to the ones that greeted the anti-Islam video and cartoon are likely to be staged in the Muslim world if some Copt or Jew depicts Jesus. As a result of their dilemma, I believe some Muslims simply devised the idea of denying the

Those who ignited this round of terrorism, in the United States and France, are shielded from blame under some curious fundamental rights. And as we talk, someone somewhere, under the guise of freedom of speech may be perfecting another provocative video or cartoon that will seek to draw out 'Allahu Akbar' chanting Muslims, making bonfires of the Stripes and Stars and shouting 'Death to America' with the ultimate aim of projecting Muslims as violent and intolerant

holocaust to get even since such denials hurt some people. If you asked any Iranian Mullah or the most moderate of Muslims, they are unlikely to provide convincing reasons as to why they deny the holocaust. Just as you are most likely going to draw a blank if you questioned the most unrepentant Islamophobic on the rationale behind depicting prophets. They both know they are insincere in their denials; a matter of ego boosting. Do me I do you! That's the name in my native Nigeria. It is just as well that some members of the cast and crew of the vexing video have gone public to tell the world they too are surprised at the rate at which their film was reworked to depict Prophet Muhammad and denigrate him. One of them even said at no point was the name of Prophet Muhammad mentioned in the original work and that some members of the cast were sent death threats if they spoke against the film in public. It is interesting that some people in the West talk glibly of freedom of speech when it suits them but go on to set barriers when it hurts. Many people have been killed and are under threat of being killed for exercising their fundamental rights of denying the holocaust just as fatwas have been proclaimed against people who depicted and denigrated prophets of God in the past. There is good reason to believe that there is much to the war on terror than the world is made to believe. To Washington, the death of the American ambassador to Libya, unfortunate as it is, is a terrorist act; no point addressing the genesis of the act. Those who ignited this round of terrorism, in the United States and France, are shielded from blame under some curious fundamental rights. And as we talk, someone somewhere, under the guise of freedom of speech may be perfecting another provocative video or cartoon that will seek to draw out 'Allahu Akbar' chanting Muslims, making bonfires of the Stripes and Stars and shouting 'Death to America' with the ultimate aim of projecting Muslims as violent and intolerant. Such provocations only serve to draw many people in the Muslim world to the fold of Al Qaeda and its carbon copies. Fear is such provocations serve to fuel Muslim anger against America and do not help make America - and the world - safer.

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

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 28, September, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 28, September, 2012 Edition

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