Page 1

SP/ Report


Lebanese kidnapped in Kano found -Police

Events that shaped 2013 >>Pages 4,5,18,47

>>Page 11


Gov Yari denies buying $950,000 house >>Page 6 in US

>>Page 6

. . . Putti ng the p e o p l e fi rs t Vol. 3 No. 71


SAFAR 25-26, 1435 AH



Now that the gloves are off! Will Jonathan arrest Obasanjo?


>>Pages 7,8,9

Deportee, 70, can’t find roots in Kano after 40 yrs in Saudi Arabia >>Page 11 Boxing Day tragedy

How ritual killers sell human parts for N300,000 in Jos

33 perish in Benue boat mishap

>>Pages 2,3

Abomination: Father rapes, impregnates daughter

>>Page 13 >>Page 10




How ritual killers sell human parts for N300,000 in Jos

Faces of the suspected ritual killers From Ado Abubakar Musa, Jos


lthough the invasion and counter invasion of villages in Plateau State which often results in killing of innocent people and destruction of property has become a common feature, in the last quarter of this year, there have also been odd and strange criminal activities such as ritual killing, child stealing, raping teenagers among others, that have emerged in Jos metropolis and environ. Before now, the state was free from such terrible acts but recently it has begun to experience the ugly and hideous practices. Recently, the plateau state police command paraded a number of suspects who have been accused of committing different crimes in the state. For instance, the most common and frightening one is ritual killing which has claimed the lives of many people in the state including teenagers. In a case of ritual killing dated 14th November, 2013, three suspects, Auwalu Sani, Nafiu Usman and Alh. Aminu Sale were paraded by the Plateau state police command for allegedly killing Ummi Salma Abdullahi (9) and Hajara Abubakar (12). The tragedy of the nine year old Ummi happened when she was sent in the morning by her grandmother, Hajiya Hasiya Umar to buy Masa (pan cake) in a nearby house. The late Ummi never thought she would not set her eyeball on her family again. On her way back to the house after buying the Masa, one of the suspects, Auwalu Sani called her and sent

The Late Ummi

her back to buy the same Masa for him as a trick to get her into a house and as soon as she returned, Auwalu and his friend, Nafiu Usman conspired and kill her. After a thorough search for Ummi’s whereabouts, her dead body was later found at the back of an uncompleted building at Fillin Sukuwa Area of Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State with her “mouth”, “Tongue”, and “private parts” removed. Auwalu is not a stranger in the area. He has been known to many people including the woman who sells Masa and that was why she (the woman) was able to recognize the very person that sent Ummi for the second time with his usual plate. According to the account of this incident, if Auwalu had killed Ummi in their first encounter before sending her, his inhumanity would not have been unfolded hen contacted, Ummi’s grandmother, Hajiya Hasiya who sent her earlier to buy the Masa said, “As


early as 7:50am, I sent Ummi to buy Masa. She stayed long and did not come back. Realizing something might have been wrong somewhere, I quickly followed her to the house where the Masa is sold. Entering the house, I asked the Masa seller if Ummi had come and she told me she had come for the first time and later came again sent by Auwalu to buy for him too. Continuing she said, “without wasting of time I confronted Auwalu, at his residence, about Ummi’s whereabouts but he denied seeing her for the past three days let alone sending her on an errand. Following investigation and severe punishment, he confessed having a hand in her killing and it was unfortunate”, the grandmother added. A few days before Ummi’s death, a girl called Hajara Abubakar was reportedly missing and eventually, her dead body was found with parts of her body removed at the same area where Ummi’s corpse was found. As a

result of interrogation, the two suspects who admitted the killing of Ummi confessed to have also conspired and killed Hajara and sold parts of her body to the same person that bought that of Ummi, at the price of N 300, 000. 00which they shared N 150, 000. 00 each. According to findings, the tragedy of the 12 year old teenager came when she was sent by her mother to buy traditional medicine at the New Market. Responding to the incident, Mallam Muhammad a district head of Fillin Sukuwa Area, confirmed the incident and explained that all necessary measures had been taken to avert a occurrence of such evil acts in the area, adding that this was not the first time. Muhammad further called on the security agencies to ensure that the culprits were brought to book accordingly. ur correspondent learnt that despite admitting, by the two suspects, to the killing of Ummi and Hajara, the third suspect, Alh. Aminu Sale


After a thorough search for Ummi’s whereabouts, her dead body was later found at the back of an uncompleted building at Fillin Sukuwa Area of Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State with her “mouth”, “Tongue”, and “private parts” removed.

who was allegedly buying the body parts from Auwalu and Nafiu kept denying his involvement in such criminal conspiracy. Concerted efforts were made to interview the suspects at the Jos Prison but were unsuccessful as the authority of the prison refused our correspondent admittance to the prison. In a similar outrageous incident, on 23 September, 2013, a body of a missing security guard was also discovered under a bridge near British America Junction in Jos with his tongue and two eyes removed. The 67year old Audu Namu was reported missing after he left his Tudun Wada home for work but did not return. Speaking on the incident, Augustine Rivi, a brother to Namu narrated that “All of a sudden, we heard that a corpse was discovered one morning and immediately we went to check because we had already filed a complaint of a missing person. On getting to the scene where the corpse was found, we identified Namu by the cloth he was wearing. We also realized that his tongue and eyes have been removed. ontacted, the plateau state police public Relation Officer, DSP Felicia Anslem, confirmed the ritual killing, adding that the police will deal with the people engaged in such act in accordance with the law. She described such death as “unnatural and would not be tolerated.” Anslem warned that, “In the case of ritual murder, the police is using this opportunity to warn that


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How ritual killers sell human parts for N300, 000 in Jos Contd from Page 2 anybody who is found in the act of criminality would be decisively dealt with according to the dictate of the law. So this is to serve a means of warning that all ritualists on the plateau should flee from this state because if you are found in it, the justice would hold you. According to Peoples Daily Weekend gathering, there have been reports of missing two other teenagers of Anguwan Rogo Area between November and December and yet their trace has not been identified. Another incident also confirmed by the PPRO was child stealing which happened in Bokkos town of Bokkos LGA. On the 1st December, 2013, a woman Juliana Zakari of Anguwan Takai of Bokkos Town reported to the police that a week of delivering her baby by Caesarean at a Clinic in Bokkos, one Chundung Ladi Jugu and her Elizabeth Zakari, both of the same address, deceived the postpartum woman where she was on admission in the hospital that the governor’s wife was visiting Bokkos to assist all women who had there babies by Caesarean was finally convinced and gave her one week old baby. Meanwhile Juliana did not know that Chundung had earlier lied to her husband that she was seven months pregnant. The suspect allegedly stole the baby in order to show her husband that she had put to bed. The suspects were eventually arrested with the baby at Bukuru in Jos South LGA of the

state. Also in the last quarter of the year cases of rape were recorded. For instance, the PPRO confirmed a rape which occurred at Tudun Wada where Akindele Olugbemi was alleged to have raped a ten year old Fatima Abubakar. The 53 year Akindele according to our findings confessed to have raped the girl three times. At Nassara Police Divisional Headquarter, three people were equally reported to have conspired and raped a teenager. It was learnt by our correspondent that the three suspects had been committing such crime for many time with innocent girls. ne commonest incident in the last quarter of the year which died down for sometime but resurfaced is attack and counter attack of villages in the state. In recent time, villages of kuka, katu katu kapang, tul, Doron, Rawuta, Dorowan Babuje and Mararraban Foron came under deadly attack where many people were reportedly killed and properties worth millions of Naira destroyed. These attacks are often related to religious and ethnic segregation between the parties involved. But the PPRO in an interview with People Daily Weekend disagreed, saying that the attacks were all the time cause by “cattle rustling” which in turn lead to attacking of one village or the other. The police Spokesperson in her words said, “Actually cattle rustling is the biggest problem which usually result

Some paraded suspects being interviewd by newsmen


House of the ritualists

in attack and counter attack on villages on the plateau. People have now engaged in attacks that have reached to a

Two women suspected to have stolen a baby

The Late Ummi’s grandmother

A baby stolen by two women suspects

level where life does not mean anything to them. So it is very easy for people to kill and that is what is happening. But we are really standing on our feet to see the end of this criminal activity on the plateau. The police is actually working to see it stops. “Again I want to tell people on the plateau that these killings and counter killings in villages have nothing to do with religion

or ethnicity. What is happening is a pure criminal act. And let me use this opportunity to say that may be people do not understand what it means by cattle rustling. Cattle rustling means cattle theft or stealing. So when cattle are rustled, people start killing themselves but it has nothing to do with ethnic or religious clash. It is just a crime related killing,” she said.



Special Report

Events that shaped 2013 In two days, this year will gradually peter out for ever. Nonetheless, it would linger in the consciousness of Nigerians for quite awhile on account of the landscaping political and economic developments which are likely to alter for good the complexion of the nation. Defining moments were engendered by certain actions which prompted definitive decisions. These decisions not only sketched but would shape the structural complexions of the nation, subsequently. Here are just a few of such defining moments of the year 2013.

President Goodluck Jonathan

7 governors and Atiku Abubakar at Yar’ Adua centre after the walkout By Patrick Andrew Walkout that snowballs into nPDP


lbeit, there had been skirmishes, hardly was it imagined that the Peoples Democratic Party’s Special Convention in May would lay in the wreathe for whatever pyrrhic peace there were within the rank and files of the ruling party. That was the defining moment for both the largest ruling party in Africa and indeed the political complexion of the most populous black nation on earth. The seven ‘prodigal’ governors had staged a walkout on the convention just as Dame Patient Jonathan was delivering her speech. The hazy coast over the sudden decision to exit the convention ground was later cleared at the Yar’ Adua Centre where the aggrieved governors along with several members of the National and states Assemblies plus the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as well as ex-national chairman of the PDP- Alhaji Kawu Baraje laid bare

their grievances before the public at an international press conference. Before this though, there was sharp political division in Anambra chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which resulted to a free for all fight at the Eagles Square, venue of the special convention. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar –led group had walked out of the convention ground after the Electoral Committee Chairman, Chief Ken Nnamani announced that it’s only statutory delegates from Adamawa and Anambra states that were to be allowed to vote. The governors that staged a walk out of the ongoing PDP convention were Governors Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto) and Chibuike Amaechi (Rivers). These had earlier been speculated to be behind the move to break away from the PDP. ano and Jigawa Governors were the first to leave followed by governors of Kwara, Adamawa, Niger, Sokoto and Rivers. “We...are worried by the increas-


ing repression, restrictions of freedom of association, arbitrary suspension of members and other such violations of democratic principles by a faction of our party led by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur “Not only has the constitution of the party been serially abused ...all the organs of the party have been rendered virtually ineffectual by a few people who act as though above the law. Unfortunately, it is obvious that that they get encouragement from the presidency whose old calculations are geared towards shutting out any real or imagined opposition ahead of the party’s presidential primaries for the 2015 elections. “As leaders of our great party, we consider it a sacred responsibility to save the PDP from the antics of a few desperadoes who have no democratic temperament and are therefore bent on hijacking the party for selfish ends. While the list of their violations of the tenets of our great party is long, we will highlight just a few: “The National Executive Committee of the PDP at its belated meeting of 20June 2013 approved 20 July2013

for the conduct of a special national convention. However, that date was changed to August 31 without reverting to NEC (the only authority vested with such powers) by a few people, apparently acting on the authority of the presidency. “Notwithstanding the fact that INEC had noted that the PDP congresses in nine states were not properly conducted, the illegal delegates from such states are being paraded at the socalled convention being held today in a cynical attempt to circumvent the law and further bring the name of the party to disrepute. “In gross violation of the PDP constitution, which stipulates that the NEC meeting must hold at least once in a quarter, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and a few people have been running the party like a personal fiefdom without recourse to that important decisionmaking organ of the party. “The NEC of the party accepted the resignation of the former members of the NWC whose offices were affected by INEC observations based principally on the agreement that the affected officers would be returned to their respective offices at the convention. However, against the decision of the NEC and in a not-so-clever bid to exclude some perceived opponents of the few powerful members who are trying to hijack the party, these positions have been made Open to some Yes-men within the party.” Subsequently meetings presumably geared towards reconciliation were rhetoric; the decision to ditch the PDP and merge with another political party was a fait accompli. The nPDP’s merger with the All Progressive Congress (APC), which emergence itself marked another historic political landscaping exercise in November, was a foregone conclusion. Enter the APC he other opposition political parties were largely seen as ineffectual splinter groups. True, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has six governors, the Labour Party one, CPC one, ANPP three and APGA two, their coming together, after what was thought improbable, to form a unified front against the behemoth PDP constituted no little threat to the dominant party that has been on the saddle of authority for 14 years. APC’s arrival on the scene therefore changed the complexion of party politics despite the fact that it is yet to clinch any major electoral victory thus far. Spates of defections majorly from the Senate and House of Representatives have constituted a grand coup


Nyesom Wike, Minister of Education

Dr. Nasir Fagge, ASUU President

against the PDP forcing the leadership to resort to desperate measures to tame the tide. The merger, an obvious tilt towards two-party system, no doubt gives new political verve and certainly credible options to electorates. Emergency Rule with a difference Perhaps, the height of response to aggression against the Nigerian state by the insurgent group that had for months terrorised the North Eastern Nigeria, was the declaration of the state of emergency in May. After dilly dallying for months, President Goodluck Jonathan and the Service Chiefs eventually left all pretenses and feeble attempts to confront the insurgents and the obvious threat to the souvereignty of Nigeria by opting to imposed a “state of emergency” in three states. The stern decision is to curb the increasingly violent attacks by the insurgent group Boko Haram. onathan said the level of violence called for “extraordinary measures”. The decision comes after spate of attacks on security forces and government by Boko Haram in its northeast stronghold in May. In a televised broadcast, the president said, “I hereby declare a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.” Subsequently, Jonathan “immediately” directed more troops be deployed to the areas. The President had made similar move in January 2012 following a spate of Boko Haram attacks, but then that had been confined to specific local government areas in four states. Jonathan had in the broadcast insisted that he merely responded to the yearnings of the larger society “to restore public safety and security”. The declaration, which implies war against the insurgent group, sharply contrasted hitherto claims by security agencies that the insurgents were being suppressed and that the Boko Haram fighters were at the verge of surrendering. Unlike former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who had invoked similar measure two times between 2004 and 2006 and in the process removed democratically elected governors and installed former military officers to manage the states, Jonathan adopted no sure measure. nstead, he declared, “the governors and other political office holders in the affected states will continue to discharge their constitutional respon



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Special Report

Major political and economic developments in 2013 Contd from Page 4


ibilities.” So doing Jonathan ensured that the integrity of democracy through strict adherence to constitutional provisions was not breached. Defining as it may have been, the declaration of the state of emergency has offered perhaps little to dissuade insurgency in the North East as evident by the further request for the extension of the emergency rule in the affected states. It ought to have ceased by November but Jonathan returned to the National Assembly to seek approval for another six months of “war” against the insurgents, who presumptuously based the agitation on faith. Privatization milestone Despite making substantial progress in its bid to generate, transmit and distribute more stable power in the country especially through the Independent Power Plant by the Obasanjo government, darkness occasioned by intermittent power supply remained a huge challenge. Bold steps were taken amidst pessimistic outbursts but the Jonathan administration opted to take the bull by the horns by going Obasanjo’s telecommunication way: to privatise generation and distribution of power. That process was completed and the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) broken into 17 distinct agencies were handed to new owners on November 1. Successful bidders for the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and its successor companies have already provided all necessary guarantees in payments worth over $335.85million, the dark cloud hovering over the power privatization process was lifted. Already, the new owners have assumed responsibilities: taken physical possession of their assets, downsized staff and sent some to training in Germany, Brazil, Canada and other farflung places where expertise training can be obtained. Vice President and Chairman of the National Council on Privatization

PHCN installation planet

(NCP), Namadi Sambo had assured that the fledging privatization of stateowned power companies would be completed on scheduled. “We are hoping that we will meet the target plan for the privatisation of the power sector in Nigeria successfully,” Sambo had assured while speaking at the opening of the 13th Session of the Baroness Lynda Chalker-led Honorary International Investment Council in London. President Goodluck Jonathan had earlier at an interactive session on the sidelines of the D-8 Summit in Islamabad, Pakistani capital, assured Nigerians of stable electricity in major cities across the country by the end of second quarters of 2013. “We have over 1000 megawatts of power that we cannot evacuate due to the weak transmission infrastructure over the years and it was only recently that government started the intervention. But, we have projects that are going on, so before the end of the second quarter, almost middle of next year, most of these projects would have been inaugurated and we will be evacuating power generated. At that time, quite a number of cities will begin to have 24hour of light”, declared the President. Though there are expectedly many fault lines, notwithstanding, the handing over, which was done to concise with the nation’s 53rd independence anniversary, offered fresh breathe and hope to the nation. Beyond that, it would hopefully changed the power supply complexion of the country from the paltry less than 4,000 megawatts to 10, 000 megawatts early on in 2014 going by the assurances of the new owners, rejig the sector and launched Nigeria into the comity of nations with reasonable stable power supply. The magic wand felt in the communication sector is the general expectation here. ASUU mother- of- all- strike eclared on July 1, 2013 and called off exactly six months later, it was by no means the longest in the history of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strikes but indeed the most penetrating, robust and nerves-wrecking for all stakehold-


Members of APC welcoming G4 after the merger ers: government, lecturers, students, parents even extraneous bodies that depend on the universities being in session to survive. he leadership of ASUU remained resolute on the grounds that the state of universities were an eye sore and more so government’s crass neglects of education and failure to honour agreement. The 2009 FGN/ ASUU Agreement was the case in point. ASUU had declared a total, indefinite and comprehensive strike on 4th December 2011 in order to prevail on government to sincerely and judiciously implement the 2009 Agreement it freely entered into with our Union. Specifically, ASUU identified the following key areas that were yet to be implemented: i. Funding requirements for Revitalization of the Nigerian Universities ii. Federal Government Assistance to State Universities iii. Establishment of NUPEMCO iv. Progressive increase in Annual Budgetary Allocation to Education to 26% between 2009 and 2020 v. Earned Allowances vi. Amendment of the Pension/ Retirement Age of Academics on the Professorial cadre from 65 to 70 years vii. Reinstatement of prematurely dissolved Governing Councils viii. Transfer of Federal Government Landed Property to Universities ix. Setting up of Research Development Council and Provision of Research Equipment to laboratories and classrooms in our universities. But the agreement was kept in


the breach. It therefore demanded as much as N3.5 trillion without which its members would not return to the class. Several highhanded acts failed to impress or threaten them until the government opted to come down from its high horse and agreed to 4-point agenda. Whether the exercise was politicized or not as alleged by some, the strike eloquently drew attention to the deterioration in the education sector: which is holistic because lecturers and the state as well are in themselves major contributory factors to the rot. The argument has been that it appears Government is yet unprepared to address the challenges facing the Nigerian University System with the urgency that is required. This trend is dangerous, as it constitutes a threat to the relative peace in Nigerian Universities. There can be no justification for Government’s position given what all Nigerians know about the management of the nation’s resources. It is evident that Government is highly deceptive and is not interested in sustaining relative stability in our universities. If Government can betray our Union on the 2009 Agreement, where is the basis of trust for the impending review that was due for 2012? iven all assurances and government’s desperation to carve a favourable niche for itself especially among the youth and considering its undeclared interest ahead of 2015 general elections, it would be stating the obvious that the ASUU strike and its resultant agreement may hit the nail on the head. It may perhaps


Boko Haram members

change the complexion of funding of education with the lecturers the major winners through sumptuous earned allowances. Super Eagles and Golden Eaglets in the vanguard After 19 years in oblivion, the Super Eagles returned to the apex of continental football when, against all odds, the bunch of fledglings under coach Stephen Keshi, took the continental by storm to emerge winners of the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa in February. The conquest not only redefined Nigeria’s soccer prowess but confirmed known facts that abundant talents need a bit of push to jell and produce expected results. Again, for the first time in 10 years the Eagles secured qualifications to major tournaments: the Nations Cup and the 2014 World Cup finals without subjecting Nigerians to nerves-wrecking permutations. While still basking over the continental conquest, the cadet team, the Golden Eaglets delighted the world with their classic display akin to the mighty Barcelona and Arsenal soccer artistries. It was one FIFA U-17 World Cup victory that was beyond fluke. Instead, sheer individual and team brilliance highlighted the Eaglets performance so much so that the world stood at awe and applauded Nigeria’s win devoid of the usual slur: age cheats. That Kelechi Iheanacho-one of the five Eaglets that won medals for unique performances- attracted not just raving headlines across the world but Man City, Arsenal, FC Porto speaks volume of the gleamed of talents in the squad. These defined Nigeria’s hour of glory in 2013.



News Gov Yari denies buying $950,000 house in US By Ahmed Shekarau, Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Stanley Onyekwere


overnor of Zamfara state, Abdulaziz Yari, has dismissed the report that he purchased a $950,000 mansion in Maryland, United States of America, allegedly from the kickbacks he got from contractors to whom he awarded N25 billion worth of road projects across the state. Refuting the report, the Zamfara state governor who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media, Sani

Abdullahi Tsafe, described the report as a conjecture by the governor’s opponents, who are bent on tarnishing his image. According to him, “This is news to us, however, this is an opposition government, and he has a lot of opponents. I don’t want us to mix up personal issues with official issues. These are issues that we should assess carefully. “ Zamfara is a state where there is a strident opposition, which strives hard to distract the governor’s attention from the good work that he has been doing. This governor has done a

lot to improve the lives of the people. Tsafe advised journalists to avoid stories that have no basis as the story “is merely intended to tarnish the governor’s reputation and nothing more than that”. He therefore pleaded for more time, to enable him get details of the issues and get back to our reporter. But at press time yesterday, over 24 hours after his plea, he did not provide the details as promised. However, documents and information which Peoples Daily Weekend obtained from Public Accountability League indicate that

the governor allegedly purchased a $950,000 lush property in USA, a month after he awarded a N25 billion road contracts across the state in July 2012. The document titled ‘DEED’, indicates that the property was purchased by the governor on August 27, 2012, from K. Hovnanian Hamptons at Oak Creek II, LLC, a Maryland limited liability company, which serves as Grantor to the governor. According to the report, the governor allegedly used the kickbacks he got from the contract to purchase the lush property; hence the pay-

ment and transactions were made one month after he awarded the N25 billion road projects allegedly at inflated cost. “WITNESSETH, that in consideration of the sum of Nine Hundred and Fifty thousand and 00/000 Dollars and other good and valuable considerations the Grantor does hereby grant, bargain, sell and convey with Special Warranty of Title unto the Grantee(s) as sole owner in fee simple all that property situate, lying and being in Prince George’s County, Maryland…”, the document said.

Clergyman urges govt not to delay retirees benefits By Usman Shuaibu


ormer Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and pastor of the first Baptist Church Gwagwalada, Rev. Julius Abiola Ayotunde, has called on the federal government to ensure that benefits of retirees across the country were paid as at when due without delay. He also urged government to be more aggressive and proactive in fighting corruption, so as to stop government officials from diverting retirees funds for personal use. Ayotunde, who made the call in an interview with Peoples Daily during the Christmas in Gwagwalada, added that Nigeria would be good for better if corrupt leaders were punished.

According to him, EFCC and ICPC alone could not stop corruption, adding that only collective efforts by all citizens could stop it. He noted that all what the country needed now were the leaders who could tackle the problems of corruption in the interest of citizenry. On his part, the pastor in charge of ECWA Church Gwagwalada, Rev. Samuel Nadabo, said that the Christians celebrated Christmas every year in order to remember the work of salvation being accomplished by the Jesus Christ in the cross of Calvary. He advised Christians to embrace the teachings of Christ so as to be saved in the Day of Judgment. Nadabo warned Nigerians to shun corruption in anywhere they found themselves and urged them to fear of God in whatever they do.

PDP warns Gov Yari over mass sack of health workers From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau


amfara state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party {PDP} Yesterday threatened legal action against the state government’s alleged plan to sack the entire health workers, who have threatened to embark on strike action next week if he fails to meet their demands. Speaking with newsmen, a member of the newly inaugurated 14-man caretaker committee of the PDP in the state, Ibrahim Danmalikin Gidangoga, expressed concern over the dilapidated state of health sector facilities. Gidangoga, who lamented the mass dismissal of nurses and midwives by the state government for protesting against the state’s refusal to pay the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) as directed by the federal government, has warned the government to revert its decision. It would be noted that the state health workers have been on indefinite industrial action called by the

members of Nigerian Association of Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) before they were subsequently dismissed by the government. While urging the striking workers to press on with their legitimate demands, he urged them to be law abiding adding that the PDP will not fold its hands and allow the government to undermind their interests.

Travellers waiting for commercial vehicles at Gwagwalada along Abuja-Lokoja road, yesterday in Abuja.

Odi people protest non-payment of N37.6bn damages


he people of Odi in KolokumaOpokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa, yesterday protested against the non-payment of N37.6billion damages awarded it by a Federal High Court. The Federal High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, had in February 2013, ruled that the Federal Government should pay the amount as compensation for the Nov. 1999 military invasion of the community. The demonstrators, who carried placards with various inscriptions, chanted songs in their dialect while

``We have won all our cases and the court had ordered that money should be paid to us. ``We are not happy with Jonathan because if the court had given judgment, he should have complied with it in the spirit of the rule of law. If they had not reported to Mr President, we want to inform him through our protest’’, she said. Community leaders ensured that the demonstration was peaceful and the busy East-West Road cleared after 20 minutes of barricade. (NAN)

‘Force can’t end Boko Haram’ From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


Gov of Zamfara state, Alh. Abdul’aziz Yari Abubakar

blocking the major roads. Some women among them wore sack clothes and rolled on bare ground on major roads in the state capital, while touth carried a mock coffin in remembrance of those who died in the invasion. Stakeholders, including Niger Delta human rights organisations and activists, Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), amongst others, participated in the protest. A retired Federal Permanent Secretary, Dr Timiebi KoripamoAgary, said Odi had yet to recover from the aftermath of the invasion.

eadership of the Yoruba Community in the 19 Northern States and Abuja has asked the Federal Government to adopt another approach to tackling the insurgency in the North Eastern part of the country. The leader of the community, Ambassador Mohammed Arigbabuwo who stated this in Kaduna yesterday, said, “the government approach to end the insurgency has not really helped us. Therefore, it will be in the interest of the country to try another approach, which is to dialogue with the insurgents group.

We believe that this will bring about the desired peace and security to propel development”. While identifying youth unemployment as a major contributory factor to insecurity, the Yoruba community Leader urged the Federal Government to go back to the days of Awolowo and Sardauna, by creating farm settlements across the country to encourage youths to go back to farm. He argued that, establishment of farm settlements would not only employ the youths, but reduce crime rate and end security challenges confronting the country. “Today, armed robbery, kidnap-

ping and rape have become very rampant in our society. Only employment generation can help address the challenges and ensure a peaceful country”, he explained. He however urged the Jonathan led administration check its promises to the Nigerian masses and fulfill them,especially, approved but yet to be fulfilled promises made to the Yoruba community in the North. Ambassador Arigbabuwo also called on the Sultan of Sokoto and President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor to work together towards ensuring unity among Muslims and Christians in the country.



Security threat: Will Jonathan arrest Obasanjo? Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan recently exchanged public letters that revealed the underbelly of the political class demonstrating the very core of the crises bedeviling the Nigerian state. News Editor, Abubakar Ibrahim has, in this piece, analysed the presidential probe of serious allegations leveled by Obasanjo and asks whether the law may take its course or the “normal” route in the country.

President Goodluck Jonathan


his hypothetical question may surprise foreigners but not necessarily many Nigerians. Even though the issues involved in the public letters between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and sitting President Goodluck Jonathan, are weighty and straightforward national security matters, the personalities involved can raise debate over the enforceability or otherwise of rules surrounding the matter. Obasanjo had written a letter dated December 2, 2013 to Jonathan to “alert you to the danger that may be lurking in the corner”. In it, he accused President Jonathan of “deceit, deception, dishonesty, incompetence, clannishness, divisiveness and insincerity” that has brought “hemorrhage”

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on the country. However, the most scathing of the accusations bother on national security and its political ramification. Obasanjo stated thus: “Allegation of keeping over 1,000 people on political watch list rather than criminal or security

watch list and training snipers and other armed personnel secretly and clandestinely acquiring weapons to match for political purposes like Abacha, and training them where Abacha trained his own killers, if it is true, cannot augur well for the

initiator, the government and the people of Nigeria. Here again, there is the lesson of history to learn from anybody who cares to learn from history. Mr. President would always remember that he was elected to maintain security for

In his reply to Chief Obasanjo’s letter few days after, President Jonathan, summed up the allegations to mean an intent to “assassinate” political opponents. Jonathan had, in his response on Sunday titled “Re: Before It Is Too Late” said he decided to respond in writing because Obasanjo’s letter was clearly a threat to national security which may deliberately or inadvertently set the stage for subversion. The president also alleged that his predecessor’s letter was meant to instigate members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against him, as well as incite Nigerians from other geopolitical zones against him.

all Nigerians and protect them. And no one should prepare to kill or maim Nigerians for personal or political ambition or interest of anyone. The Yoruba adage says, “The man with whose head the coconut is broken may not live to savour the taste of the succulent fruit.” Those who advise you to go hard on those who oppose you are your worst enemies. Democratic politics admits and is permissive of supporters and opponents. When the consequences come, those who have wrongly advised you will not be there to help carry the can. Egypt must teach some lesson. Presidential assistance for Contd on Page 8


Cover Contd from Page 7

a murderer to evade justice and presidential delegation to welcome him home can only be in bad taste generally but particularly to the family of his victim. Assisting criminals to evade justice cannot be part of the job of the Presidency. Or, as it is viewed in some quarters, is he being recruited to do for you what he had done for Abacha in the past?” n his reply to Chief Obasanjo’s letter few days after, President Jonathan, summed up the allegations to mean an intent to “assassinate” political opponents. Jonathan had, in his response on Sunday titled “Re: Before It Is Too Late” said he decided to respond in writing because Obasanjo’s letter was clearly a threat to national security which may deliberately or inadvertently set the stage for subversion. The president also alleged that his predecessor’s letter was meant to instigate members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against him, as well as incite Nigerians from other geopolitical zones against him. “Perhaps the most invidious accusation in your letter is the allegation that I have placed over one thousand Nigerians on a political watch list, and that I am training snipers and other militia to assassinate people. Baba, I don’t know where you got that from but you do me grave injustice in not only lending credence to such baseless rumours, but also publicizing it. You mentioned God seventeen times in your letter. Can you as a Christian hold the Bible and say that you truly believe this allegation? “The allegation of training snipers to assassinate political opponents is particularly incomprehensible to me. Since I started my political career as a Deputy Governor, I have never been associated with any form of political violence. I have been a President for over three years now, with a lot of challenges and opposition mainly from the high and mighty. There have certainly been cases of political assassination since the advent of our Fourth Republic, but as you well know, none of them occurred under my leadership. “Regarding the over one thousand people you say are on a political watch list, I urge you to kindly tell Nigerians who they are and what agencies of government are “watching” them. Your allegation that I am using security operatives to harass people is also baseless. Nigerians are waiting for your evidence of proof. That was


Will Jonathan arrest Obasanjo?


Rear Admiral Ola Ibrahim, CDS

an accusation made against previous administrations, including yours, but it is certainly not my style and will never be. Again, if you insist on the spurious claim that some of your relatives and friends are being harassed, I urge you to name them and tell Nigerians what agencies of my administration are harassing them. “I also find it difficult to believe that you will accuse me of assisting murderers, or assigning a presidential delegation to welcome a murderer. This is a most unconscionable and untrue allegation. It is incumbent on me to remind you that I am fully conscious of the dictates of my responsibilities to God and our dear nation. It is my hope that devious elements will not take advantage of your baseless allegation to engage in brazen and wanton assassination of high profile politicians as before, hiding under the alibi your “open letter” has provided for them. “Nevertheless, I have directed the security agencies and requested the National Human Rights Commission to carry out a thorough investigation of these

IGP Mohammed Abubakar

criminal allegations and make their findings public. Barely 24 hours after President Goodluck Jonathan’s reply, the nation’s security agencies have concluded arrangements to “interview” the former leader, over the allegations he made in the letter. t was also gathered that the move to investigate the allegations had indeed been concluded before the president’s letter was released to the press.


According to a competent source, an inter-departmental security team comprising the Department of State Service (DSS), National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the Police, will carry out the investigation. “The best the security agencies can do under this circumstance is to interview the former president for us to be given the opportunity to know from him what the nation’s security community did not

know before now. “You ought to know that security apparatus does not work like politicians; anywhere and whenever politicians have problems, security agencies tend to steer clear, because they know how they settle their differences. “But in this case, certain issues have been unravelled in form of allegations in the said letter, which in the thinking of those in Contd on Page 9

Even though Jonathan is eager to clear his name in the court of public opinion, the same public may presume an unfavourable outcome given the allegiance of the reporting authorities. According to the special adviser to the president on political matters, Ahmed Gulak, “whether or not the security agencies have set up a team to either have audience with the former president or not remains within the purview of the security agencies. ...Only the office of the NSA or any other relevant security official can answer that question because it is not a political matter but a security one.”



Cover Security threat: ... arrest Obasanjo?

NSA Sambo Dasuki

Contd from Page 8 the best position, requires that further information be sought from the former president. “But the only thing is that he has to be given first charge respect as a former president of the country; it is either the team visits him in Abeokuta or in his Otta farm or anywhere he deems necessary, in order for him to explain details to the team,” he said. e added, “This is very important and needs not to be politicised, because some of the issues border on the nation’s security and security of individuals who are players in the polity.” The nation’s security apparatus, according to the source, was on the verge of visiting Obasanjo in Abeokuta or at his farm in Otta, Ogun State on the “routine” mission, but for the absence of the former leader who is said to have travelled out of the country. Regardless of the arrangement, the source said, it was not meant to be an invitation, likely to be misinterpreted as government’s move against dissenting voices. Besides the security probe, a letter was written to the National Human Rights


Ibrahim Lamorde, EFCC boss

Ita Ekpenyong, SSS Director

And so, even if Obasanjo proved his case, can the investigators dare to publish an outcome unfavourable to the president and Commander-in- Chief? If Obasanjo is indeed found to have leveled spurious allegations, will he be arrested and prosecuted? Similarly, given the public perception of the EFCC and ICPC as lapdogs which bites at the behest of the presidency at opportune times, can they be outrightly open on any stench from the president? Eventhough the NHRC has been courageous on several human rights violations especially as it affects the general insecurity in the country, it got public odium over its recent report on the travail of Mrs. Clara Chime, the detained wife of Governor Sullivan Chime.

Commission(NHRC), by President Jonathan seeking a thorough investigation of the allegations against him, touching on alleged human rights abuses. The letter, signed by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, SAN, had already been submitted to NHRC on the directive of Jonathan. Sources close to the Presidency said that similar letters had been written to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences

Commission, ICPC, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. The two anti-graft agencies are to probe allegations of economic crimes and official corruption against the Jonathan’s administration levelled in Obasanjo’s letter. All said and done, it is clear at this point that the chummy relationship between the benefactor and the beneficiary has become “sour grape”. However, most important are the issues at stake. In law, the

onus of proof lies in the accuser. Can Obasanjo prove his cases? Even though Jonathan is eager to clear his name in the court of public opinion, the same public may presume an unfavourable outcome given the allegiance of the reporting authorities. According to the special adviser to the president on political matters, Ahmed Gulak, “whether or not the security agencies have set up a team to either have audience with the former president or not remains within the purview of

the security agencies. Only the office of the NSA or any other relevant security official can answer that question because it is not a political matter but a security one.” And so, even if Obasanjo proved his case, can the investigators dare to publish an outcome unfavourable to the president and Commanderin- Chief? If Obasanjo is indeed found to have leveled spurious allegations, will he be arrested and prosecuted? imilarly, given the public perception of the EFCC and ICPC as lapdogs which bites at the behest of the presidency at opportune times, can they be outrightly open on any stench from the president? Eventhough the NHRC has been courageous on several human rights violations especially as it affects the general insecurity in the country, it got public odium over its recent report on the travail of Mrs. Clara Chime, the detained wife of Governor Sullivan Chime. Perhaps if the system is full of doubt, the country may have to call in the African Union or the UN to investigate these grave allegations in the absence of impartial arbiters. Lebanon had invited the UN to probe the bomb- death of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.





Abomination: Father rapes, impregnates daughter T

he Police in Lagos State said it had arrested a 36-year old man who allegedly raped and impregnated his 14-year old daughter. The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Ngozi Braide, made this known when he briefed newsmen in Ikeja yesterday.

Braide, who revealed that the girl had been pregnant for the past two months, said that the man claimed to be bewitched. She added that the mother of the girl divorced her father seven years ago. Braide added that the matter was reported at Meiran Police Station of the Area ‘M’ Police Com-

mand. The victim told newsmen that her father brought a native doctor who convinced her that sex was part of the treatment to cure her undisclosed sickness before she was raped. ``My father gives me native soap and sponge probably for ritual

bath always. He once entered the bathroom with me and had sex with me forcefully. ``He took me to bed forcefully several times in his room and when I refused, he threatened to kill me with a knife. Since then, he had been making love to me under the guise that I will be cured”, she said. (NAN)

Kaduna lifts restrictions on movement during sanitation exercise for yuletide


he Kaduna State Government on Friday said it had lifted the restrictions placed on movements during the state’s monthly environmental sanitation exercise. Alhaji Ahmed Salihu, the state’s Director of Environment, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna that this was to enable residents and travelers enjoy the yuletide celebration. He however urged residents to ensure that they maintained a clean environment at all times, saying ``sanitation is a collective responsibility’’. The director warned that residents flouting environmental laws would be sanctioned. Salihu also said the government had deployed all of its 58 solid waste contractors to all the nooks and crannies of the state to ensure a clean environment.(NAN)

Magoro urges Boko Haram to embrace peace


he Senator representing Kebbi south, Retired Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Magoro, has appealed to the Boko Haram sect to embarce dialogue and thus fasttrack development in the Northeast. Magoro told newsmen in Zuru yesterday that the continued violent agitation by the sect has retarded development in the Northeast region and the country. According to the former FCT Minister, without peace, meaningful development could not be achieved and therefore called on members of the sect to embrace dialogue in order to resolve the crises. Magoro, who said that the present leadership of the country was desirous of development, urged security agencies not to relent in the fight against terrorism, adding that everyone must think of addressing the current security challenges. The lawmaker also appealed to Nigerians to pray and work in harmony for peace and progress in 2014. (NAN).

Kano state governor, Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (middle) addressing members of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) led by the party’s governorship candidate during 2011 elections, Brigadier-General Lawan Ja’afaru Isa (left) when the CPC members visited the governor at the Government House, Kano.

Carnival Calabar is revenue driver, says Deputy Gov


he Deputy Governor of Cross River, Mr Efiok Cobham, yesterday gave a pass mark to the annual Carnival Calabar and said its positive impact on the State has been tremendous. Cobham made the remark in Calabar at the Grand Finale of the Carnival Calabar 2013 with the theme: ``Ain’t No Stopping Us.’’ ``From the economic perspective, Carnival Calabar is a revenue driver. From the tourist’s perspective, Cross River has witnessed a large turnout of people in and outside the country participating in the carnival. ``Carnival Calabar attracts over 100,000 costumes, revelers, and a million local and international spectators. It is the biggest street party in Africa.’’ He said the carnival was a unique visual display of innovation and creativity, featuring cultural influences and traditions from the past and present in costumes, drama, dance and music. The deputy governor expressed happiness for being alive to witness the 2013 carnival. The Cross River Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Mr Peter Ojie, also described the Carnival Calabar 2013 as unique and colourful. The carnival was attended by top Nigerian musicians, Nollywood actors/actresses, politicians and international artistes. Officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps provided security coverage for participants in the 13-kilometre walk around major streets in Calabar. It started on Thursday.

Oshiomhole admits mistakes, vows to be a better steward


ov. Adams Oshiomhole of Edo yesterday admitted making several mistakes in the last five years of his administration, but assured the people that he would learn from the past mistakes. He gave the assurance in Benin at a luncheon organised for the All Progressive Congress (APC) party leaders and members in the state and promised to be a better steward to them. Oshiomhole, who claimed that the mistakes in the last five years were

not deliberate and should not be held against him, said that the unity of the state was not negotiable, and that there was need for the party to remain formidable. He said his administration was building a mass movement on the basis of popular participation and promised to improve on service delivery to the people. The governor advised the party faithful to disregard rumour of deregistration of APC members, saying that

Nigerian pilgrims tour holy sites in Mount Carmel, Haifa


ome Nigerians performing this year’s pilgrimage to Israel yesterday prayed at Mount Carmel for God’s blessings for the country in 2014. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent in Jerusalem reports that, the pilgrims also visited Haifa and the ancient port of Akko in continuation of the tour of holy sites. Mount Carmel is considered an important site in Christendom because it is believed that it was there that Prophet Elijah slaughtered 450 prophets of Baal who had led God’s people astray. The pilgrims also prayed in Stella

Maris Church in Haifa, located in the cave where Elijah hid after killing the false prophets of Baal. The pilgrims also took a tour of the ancient port city of Akko, which is located on the Mediterranean Sea. Akko was the capital of the Christian Crusaders centuries ago during their war to reclaim Jerusalem and other Jewish lands. The Port of Akko is important to Christians because it is said that it was from there that St Paul the Apostle, sailed to preach the gospel abroad. The pilgrims will continue their tour with visits to the Golan Heights, the Jordan River and Caesarean Philippi, among others, on Saturday.

politics was a business of numbers and commended the people for tolerating the policies of his administration. Earlier, Chief Tom Ikimi, the APC national leader (South-South), had told the gathering that the registration of new members into the APC would begin soon and stressed that rather than end in January, the party had decided to re-strategise and would release the new programmes for registration and congresses soon. In his goodwill message, Rep Sam-

son Osagie, representing Uhomwonde and Orhiowon Federal Constituencies, advised the governor not to relent in providing good service to the people. He acknowledged that the state had witnessed more development in the last five years, and was counted among the states in the country ``where the governor is working’’. Osagie noted that because of the visible development, investors now visit the state to do business. (NAN)

Experts tie 2014 economic growth to political stability


ome financial experts on Friday advocated the need for sustained political stability and early passage of the budget to boost the nation’s economic growth in 2014. They commended the Federal Government for its efforts so far in stabilising the political environment ahead of the 2015 general elections. The experts made the remarks in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. Mr Harrison Owoh, the Managing Director, H J Trust and Investment Ltd, said that political stability and security would be the yardstick for investments in 2014. According to him, the economy will maintain its growth once the nation is stable.

He urged government to pursue friendly investment laws and stable economic policies to support growth and development. Mr David Adonri, the Chief Executive Officer, Lambeth Trust & Investment Ltd., predicted that the economy and equities market would experience impressive growth in 2014 once the security and political environment were stabilised. Adonri said that “global analysts foresee a very active year for the equities market in 2014 as global economies grow in all directions”. He said that good regulatory framework and improvement in corporate fundamentals would enhance investors’ confidence in the nation’s economy. (NAN)


North-West consume 6million bottles of cough syrup containing codeine – NDLEA From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau


amfara state head office of the Nigerian Law Drugs law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has informed at the National Youth summit organized by National Orientation Agency {NOA} in Gusau that, over six million bottles of cough syrups that contain codeine are being abuse by the youths in the seven states of the north-west on daily basis. The state Commander of the (NDLEA), Mr Yuhana John Mishelia, lamented that, the rate at which Nigerian youths are abusing drugs and other cough syrups that contain codeine is not only worrisome, but dangerous to the Nigeria’s socio-economic and political development. The commander, who was represented by his Deputy, explained that report by the National Neuron psychiatric Center Kaduna, has indicated that, over six million bottles of cough syrups that contains codeine are being abused by the people especially youths and that poised a great danger to the peo-

ple and governments of the northwest geo-political zone. He said the challenges of drug abuse is not unique to Nigeria alone as developed country of the west including United States, England, Spain and other developing countries suffered same problems among its people especially youths. He said NDLEA and other relevant agencies, have been working to ensure the phenomenon is reduced, also challenged parents to redouble effort in monitoring their children’s movements. He called on politicians and those in the position of leadership to redirect their minds in misusing public children in their quest to achieving their political interest. Commenting on the development, Zamfara State Deputy Speaker, Muhammad Abubakar Gummi, described the revelation as ugly, adding that Zamfara State House of Assembly will render a legislative support for the federal government to consolidate effort in fighting drug abuse.

Academic activities to resume at ATBU January 6 From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Management of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) has declared that academic activities will resume January 6, 2014 and urged students to resume in earnest A statement issued and signed by the Registrar ATBU, Ali Deba yesterday in Bauchi , said academic activities for the second semester 2012/2013 session will resume Monday 6 of January. While speaking , the Chairman of ASUU at the university, Dr. Lawan Abubakar said the decision for the resumption date was announced by the senate chamber of the university, where they deliberated on the matter during a marathon meeting.

According to the chairman, “the students will undergo intensive pressure because there will be seven weeks of intensive studies. After the seven weeks, the management of the university will commence a three weeks examination for the students. There will be another three weeks to mark the exams, after which there will be meetings on the results on the departmental, faculty and senate level” “To meet the stipulated time of ten weeks to round up the activities of the second semester that was affected by the strike, it will require be a huge commitment and sacrifice on the part of the students and the lecturers. All academic staff will defer their annual leave to make up for the five months”.


70-year old man, Garba Sale, has been deported back to Kano from Saudi Arabia on Wednesday after 40 years of exile. Sale, who said he was born in Tashar Kuka of Kofar Ruwa in the Kano metropolis, said his family were Fulani herders and he will now begin searching for them as he had no clue as to where to connect with them. ‘’Even though I was born in Tashar Kuka of Kofar Ruwa in Kano, I will now begin to search for my family as we are Fulani herders who moves from one

place to another.’’ ‘’ I travelled to Saudia since during Gowon’s regime and I have never returned to this country even once. I have just returned in order to vote in 2015 elections’’, he said. He added that while there, he was selling herbal medicines to his fellow Nigerians living there. It would be recalled that the authority of Saudi Arabia had on Wednesday commenced deportation of 508 Nigerians who reside illegally in the country. First batch of 80 Nigerians have already been deported to Nigeria. When contacted, deputy commander general, Kano State


L-R: The curator National Museum Maiduguri, Hajiya Aisha Jiddah. Director-General, National Commission for Museum and Monuments , Mallam Yusuf Abdallah Usman, Carator NCMM Yola Alhaji Inuwa Babantata and Alhaji Adamu Haladu uring a courtesy visit to the Director-General of NCMM on his re-appointment for the second term by the curators of Museums from the Northeast States of the Federation , yesterday in Abuja. Photo : Justin Imo-Owo

Kidnapped Lebanese found in Kano-Police From Edwin Olofu,Kano


Lebanese identified as Mr. Hassan Zaid who was Kidnapped on Monday has been found by men of the Nigeria Police Command in the outskirt of Sharada area of the ancient city of Kano. The police spokesman, ASP Musa Magaji Majia who disclosed this in a statement in Kano said the feat was achieved

Saudi deportee, 70, can’t find roots in Kano From Mustapha Adamu, Kano


Hisbah Command, Barrister Nabahani Usman, said 31 of the deportees who were from Kano State have already been deported to the state from Abuja and were taken to Hisbah command. He added that most of the deportees were already repatriated to their respective places after screening as ordered by the state governor, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. He further stated that the command would liaise with the State Hajj commission and National Emergency Management on how to handle those that could not connect with their families.

after the Police blocked all Kano exits, including major and minor roads to ensure that the captors did not leave Kano, which eventually paid off. It would be recalled that on Monday, the Lebanese national was abducted at his factory in Sharada industrial estate by people that are yet to be identified gunmen in a commando style, which left a woman and one other person injured.

“As the search was vigorously intensified, today (Friday) at about 9am, Mr. Hassan was found by a team of policemen abandoned in the outskirt of Sharada unhurt. “The abducted Lebanese has been re-united with his family, and no arrest has been made yet, but investigation is in top gear with a view to arrest the perpetrators of the act”, the Police spokesman said.

Bauchi FRSC records 197 deaths in 286 auto crashes From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


ederal Road Safety Commission FRSC Bauchi State Command has declared that it recorded 197 deaths in 286 auto crashes within the state from January to November, 2013., just as 34,000 officers were deployed nationwide to minimize the high rate of crashes during the season, The State Sector Commander Mr Sunday Henry Olatunji made the disclosure yesterday during a special operation tagged “a suaka Lafiya”, which commenced from 19th December 2013 to the 2nd of January 2014, Olatunji said “the Special operation was an initiative of the commission to ensure safety of

lives during the festive season and arrest drivers who commit traffic offences such as over speeding, overloading, use of mobile phones while driving and invalid driving documents. The commission embarks on such special operations several times in a year to instil the culture of safety in drivers and passengers” According to him, the commission recorded a total number of 1,203 causalities from 286 auto crashes for the year 2013. Out of the crashes, 197 persons were killed while 1006 were injured”. He also appealed to motorist to avoid taking alcohol or drugs before driving; he added is prohibited and dangerous at the same time


Photo Splash

Workers arriving to resume work after Christmas holidays at the Federal Secretariat, yesterday in Abuja


Commercial activities resume at Idmota market, after Christmas break yesterday in Lagos

Children playing with an elephant at the wildlife park yesterday in Jos

A man repairing generating sets at Wuse zone 5, yesterday Abuja

Business picks up after the Christmas holidays at Wuse market,yesterday in Abuja Photo: Justin Imo-Owo


Taraba Govt vows to stamp out criminal activities From Yusha’u Alhassan Jalingo


araba state Government says it will continue to support relevant authorities to stamp out criminal activities in the state. The State Acting Garba Umar made the statement in KarimLamido local government while inaugurating the new police station, First Bank reconstructed by the state government and an office block constructed by the care taker chairman of the local government Simon Mohammed. Umar said the attack on the police station and First Bank months back has caused serious setback not only to the government but the people and economic activities in the area which necessitates the re-construction of the two projects. The Acting Governor expressed happiness with the speed of work to complete the project within a short time adding that security of lives and property should not be left to the hands of security operatives alone, but a collective responsibility by all. He called on the beneficiaries of the gesture to reciprocate government efforts by rendering better service to the people at the grassroots. The caretaker chairman said the decision to embark on construction of a new block at the local government secretariat is to provide office accommodation to staff. Also speaking on the occasion, the business development manager of the First bank PLC, Yola, Tahir Mohammed Yusuf, thanked the state government for it assistance to the bank for providing an office accommodation for the financials institution to operate in the area assuring that the bank will put in its best to delivers in the people.



Black Boxing Day: 33 perish in Benue boat mishap From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


t least 40 persons are said to have died in Benue State during the Christmas period in two separate incidents. Fulani herdsmen and the Tiv farmers once again clashed in Agasha, Guma local government area leaving more than 7

persons dead while over 33 persons died from a boat mishap on River Buruku. An eye witness said the boat mishap occurred at about 8pm when some fun seekers were returning after holding a beach party across the river as part of the Christmas celebration. He added that the boat was actually overloaded with cars

and human beings which resulted in it capsizing. “Before the boat took off, the driver had complained that the number was too much for the boat to carry but they ignored his warning and ordered him to go on and in the middle of the river, the boat capsized “, he said. As at the time of filing this

report, rescue mission was still ongoing to recover those who drowned. Benue State Public Relations Officer DSP Daniel Ezeala who confirmed the death of 7 as a result of Fulani herdsmen and Tiv farmers clash however, said the police is still carrying out investigation to ascertain the cause of boat mishap.

Kano Govt. earmarks N700m for Geographic Information System in 2014


L-R: Acting General-Secretary, Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), University College Hospital Ibadan Branch, Dr. Victor Makanjuola; Branch Chairman, Prof. Juwon Arotiba and Vice Chairman, Dr. Abass Abdulsalami, at a news conference over non-payment of their allowances, yesterday in Ibadan

Man sentenced to death by hanging battles warders in court


Katsina State High Court sitting in Malumfashi on Friday sentenced one Aminu Ibrahim of Rogo Local Government in Kano State to death by hanging, for armed robbery. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the convict, on hearing the verdict, immediately attempted to commit suicide in the court's cell room using an iron bar. He was, however, overpowered by prison warders who struggled with him for minutes before pinning him down and dragging him into a waiting vehicle. Ibrahim was convicted and

sentenced by Justice Abbas Bawale for armed robbery, an offence contrary to section 1, (2) CAP. R.11 of Robbery and Firearms Act, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The charge was filed on October 13, 2011, while the offence was committed in September 2011 on Kafur-Malumfashi road, where victims were robbed of their valuables. In his Judgement, Bawale held that the prosecution had succeeded in proving its case beyond reasonable doubt. He said that the court was satisfied with the testimonies of the

five witnesses, including some of the robbery victims and the investigating police officers, presented by the prosecution counsel, Mr Aminu Garba. The judge said the witnesses had established before the court that Ibrahim was arrested at the scene of the crime during which one of his accomplices was shot dead while others escaped. The court, therefore, dismissed efforts to discountenance the testimonies of witnesses by the defence counsel, Mr A.I. Radda, and sentenced the convict to death by hanging. (NAN)

he Kano State Government says it will spend N700 million to boost its Geographic Information system (KANGIS) in 2014. The Commissioner for Planning and Budget, Alhaji Yusuf Danbatta, made the disclosure at a news briefing in Kano on Friday. He said that the state government had fixed January 2, 2014 for the take-off of the re-certification of landed properties in the state. Danbatta urged land owners to take proper advantage of the re-certification process to secure and protect their properties. On health, he said that the government had earmarked N1.8 billion in the 2014 budget as its counter-part funding for the malaria booster project. The project, he said, would be executed in collaboration with Dangote Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Department for International Development (DFID). On the independent power plant at Tiga and Challawa Goje dams, the commissioner said over N4.9 billion had been earmarked in the 2014 budget for the completion of the plant. He said that the plant, when completed, would boost electricity and potable water supply in the state. It will be recalled that the state had budgeted over N219. 2 billion for the 2014 fiscal year. (NAN)

Etsu Pasali, Usman, wants adequate compensation before demolition By Patrick Andrew


he Etsu Pasali, Alhaji Usman Sule Yusuf, has appealed to the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) and its auxiliary agencies to apply the milk of human kindness in the planned demolition of certain sections for the standard railway station in Kuje. The traditional ruler said no fewer than 1200 houses belonging to Pasali indigenes in portions marked for the demolition exercise will be affected and pleaded with the government to first make adequate provisions for compensation before embarking on the exercise. “We are not against government development plan, what we are demanding is fairness by way

punish Pasali indigenes who conceded their heritage for the nation. Apart from adequate compensation, the Etsu pleaded with the government to consider reducing 250 meters corridor from the railway line to 100 meters stressing that even the Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua Airport Road is not as much as that. Further, he pleaded The Etsu Pasali, Alhaji Usman Sule Yusuf with the government to provide alternative plots of adequate compensation for the owners of the over 1200 houses that to the affected within Pasali area are marked for demolition to make adding that areas slated for farmway for the railway station,” he said land be revoked and redesigned as stressing that it would be unfair to residential area for persons that will be affected by the demolition exer-

cise. “We are appealing to the Honourable Chairman of Kuje Area Council to facilitate the relocation of the affected persons to areas that had been slated for farmlands by revoking and redesigning them as residential areas,” he said. Already, he said that he had written to both the Development Control and AGIS on the need consult with the people before embarking on demolition stressing that the planned action was done without taking the custodian of the Pasali people into consideration. “Apart from the creation of adequate awareness to alert the people about any demolition exercise, the authorities have failed to reach out to the people through their traditional ruler. I have written a

strongly worded letter condemning the act and hope that the people responsible for the disbursement of whatever compensation is meant for the people don’t do otherwise,” he warned. Peoples Daily Weekend recalls that the government has acquired a large expanse of land in Kujea good of chunk with developed properties-for the construction of a standard railway line and a road that is designed to run concurrently with the rail line. Investigations by our correspondent reveal that the authorities are unwilling to compensate the greater number of affected persons except that have legal documents. Even those residing in owner-occupier houses and indigenes are unlikely to be compensated.



Crime Cycle

Stanley Onyekwere 08138559513

Police nab man for impersonating CRIME NUGGET: H American VISA Lottery winner


etectives from the Police Special Fraud Unit in Lagos state have arrested a 26-year old man who allegedly impersonated a winner of an American VISA Lottery, Ubogu Augustine Efe. The information was contained in a statement signed by the spokesperson of the unit, DSP Ngozi Isintume-Agu. According to the statement, the suspect was arrested while asking for a visa at the embassy with the winner’s documents, posing as the actual winner. Isintume-Agu stated that the suspect presented his documents on the same day that the actual winner appeared at the US consulate, claiming to be the winner. “The two applicants appeared at the US Embassy, with the same identity as Ubogu Augustine Efe and with August 25, 1980 as their date of

birth. “They, however, presented different passport numbers, A04659013 and A02804332, to support their applications,” the statement said. The Police unit noted that the development confused the embassy officials, who later handed the suspect to the police for investigation. It was stated that investigation revealed that the person with the passport number A02804332 was the actual winner of the DV Lottery. The statement added that the suspect confessed that he paid N100, 000 to one Kayode, who gave him the information about the actual winner of the lottery. “Kayode is still at large, while efforts have been intensified for his arrest,” the statement added. (NAN) M.D. Abubakar

…arraign woman for allegedly impersonating SPDC staff


or allegedly impersonating a staff member of Shell Petroleum and Development Company (SPDC), a woman, Amaka Ebighi , was arraigned at an Ikorodu Magistrates’ Court, in Lagos state. Ebighi, 28, who resides at No. 23, Addis Ababa St., Ikorodu, is facing charges of impersonation and forgery. The prosecution said the accused was caught impersonating an employee of the company on November 22 and also forged

a document purported to have been issued by the company. “The accused was caught with a document announcing vacancies purported to have been issued by the company. “She also has a fake identity card of the company,” the prosecutor, Cpl. Mary Ajiteru told the court. She said the offences contravened Sections 78 and 361 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. The Magistrate, Mr. B.A. Sonuga, granted the accused bail in the sum of N200, 000 with two sureties in like sum. He said one of the sureties should be an employee of a reputable company operating within the court’s jurisdiction. The court fixed January 8, 2014 for trial of the case. (NAN)

Trader bags six months' imprisonment for cheating

Hon. Justice Aloma Maryam Mukhtar Wuse Zone 2 Senior Magistrates' court has sentenced a trader, Onyebuchi Abah, 34, of Lugbe Zone 5, Abuja, to six months in prison for cheating another trader of N50, 000. The Senior Magistrate, Mr. Aliyu Shafa, sentenced Abah after he pleaded guilty to the two counts of criminal breach of trust and cheating. Shafa, however, gave the convict an option to pay a N5000 fine. He said that the court gave the convict an


option to pay a fine because he is a first-time offender. Earlier, the prosecutor, Cpl. David Udeh, told the court that Mr. Harrison Udebunu of Block 8, Wuse Market lodged a report at the Wuse Market Police outpost on December 14. He said that sometime in October, the convict went to the complainants' shop and collected an orthopedic mattress worth N50, 000 to sell to a customer and return the money He said that the convict disappeared with the money to an unknown destination until he was apprehended on December 14 by the police. The prosecutor said that during interrogation, the convict confessed in writing to having committed the crime. He said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 312 and 322 of the Penal code respectively. (NAN) Man docked over alleged theft of motorcycle worth N120, 000 The Police in Ogun state have charged a 28-year old man, Sunday Achen, before an Ota Senior Magistrate's Court for stealing an unregistered Boxer Bajaj motorcycle valued

at N120, 000. Achen, who resides at No. 48, Dairo St., Ota, Ogun, is facing a one-count charge of theft. The prosecutor, Cpl. Mustapha Abdulkareem, told the court that the accused and two others at large, committed the offence on December 18 at about 7:20 a.m. at Ajegunle in Ota, Ogun. Abdulkareem said that the accused was unlawfully found with an unregistered red Boxer Bajaj motorcycle which he could not satisfactorily explain how he came about it. He said that the offence contravened Section 430 of the Criminal Code, Cap 29, Laws of Ogun State, 2006. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. The Magistrate, Mrs A.O. Abimbola, granted the accused bail in the sum of N100, 000 with two responsible sureties in like sum. Abimbola said that the sureties must be resident within the court’s jurisdiction and should be working in reputable establishments in Ota. She said that the sureties must swear to affidavits of means and provide their Identify cards, as part of the bail conditions. The case was adjourned till March 4, 2014, for mention. (NAN)

ow to stay safe while traveling and socializing during the festive season: It’s still that time of the year again when celebration is in the air. It’s the season of travel, social outing, love and gifts, but note; it is also that time of the year when criminal elements are very active. Of course, they too want to celebrate and ‘flex ‘too. You may need to read, learn and apply the following travel and social outing security tips, so as to enjoy the season: I.

TRAVEL SECURITY - Always pre-plan your journey and ensure the vehicle is in good working condition. - Discuss travel details only with immediate family members. - Avoid night driving, and make less use of your high value cars that easily mark you out as a potential target. - Stick to major routes and avoid lonely routes with bad roads and poor visibility. - Don’t give ride to strangers, including persons dressed in uniforms, as they may be criminals in disguise. - Beware of techniques used by criminals to force unsuspecting victims to stop. It is also established that motorists are most vulnerable when: - Waiting for the gates to be opened for them at residences. - Driving through a terribly bad spot that requires slowing down completely with little chance of escape or when parked on a spot along lessbusy-roads without alighting from the car. II.

SOCIAL OUTINGS - Always let close family members be aware of your movements. - Avoid late outings unless it is absolutely necessary (even then ensure you are accompanied). - Avoid crowded places. - Always take your mobile phone with you, in the event you need to make emergency calls However, in the likely event of an attack or incident, please remember the following: - The general rule is “NEVER” attempt to run - DO NOT resist or panic, just stay calm and cooperate. - AVOID eye-to-eye contact with the assailants, but respond to instructions and questions calmly. - Don’t make sudden movements without first seeking their permission - e.g. unfastening your seat belt as they may misconstrue your intention. - Implore them not to use their weapons as you will cooperate fully. - Focus your energy on survival, maintaining self-respect and dignity. - Inform them if you have any medical condition. - Request to speak with your relatives, close associates, and give them the facts unemotionally. - Don’t attempt to call the Police when it is not safe to do so. - Report to the nearest police station and company security control room when it is safe to do so. Culled from




Can PDP curtail the APC onslaught?

President Jonathan By Lawrence Olaoye


he opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) is obviously the latest bride in the polity. Strange bedfellows, hitherto regarded as strong political foes, are flicking together. All hands are on deck for a purpose, clear and simple: getting the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) out of Aso Rock and some other Government Houses in the states by 2015. Going by current developments, PDP seems to be having a Herculean task curtailing the onslaughts from its unrelenting traducers. Within a short period of time since the registration of the mega opposition APC, the ruling party has been variously traumatized and debased, leaving its leadership at a quandary. The coordinated opposition from the ever vibrant defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the effervescent Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) coalescing into the mega APC has proven to be too much for the ruling party to contain. Apart from the attacks from the opposition, the ruling party itself has not been able to manage its internal wrangling, leading to an implosion that it has yet to acknowledge. According to the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, the crisis rocking the rulings party is as a result of the inability of certain stakeholders to come to terms with change he had introduced into the running

Buhari of the party. Evidently, some members of the ruling party are so used to impunity and averse to due process that the preachments by the former governor of the defunct Gongola state are falling on deaf ears. Tukur, when recently asked the real issues plaguing the PDP responded that the efforts of his National Working Committee (NWC) to kick-start reforms have been rebuffed by the members. According to him, the real issue causing tension in the ruling party is the ambition of some of its critical members in 2015. To him, those who felt he is constituting a stumbling block to their political ambition are at the fore-front of campaigns against his leadership of the party. He said “If you check it very well, the people who say Tukur must go cannot lay hand on one reason to justify their wish. I did nothing to violate the constitution of the party. I did nothing to wrong anyone. I did nothing to soil my hands in anything. My conscience vindicates me every time. So I am free as the PDP National Chairman.

Bamanga “Now some people say I am not a friend of the governors. But they forgot that during my campaign, I visited all of them one by one to sell my programmes for the party. We started with the process of reconciliation and asked estranged members to return to the party. Some people opposed it. “We said in PDP, internal democracy should start with transparent elections and in some cases, consensus. But those who opposed to reform preferred selection and imposition of candidates during elections. They preferred the way of dictatorship rather than being democratic. And when these are not allowed, then they say Tukur must go”. The National Chairman however urged members of the party to key into the agenda of reform in order to make the PDP Nigeria’s strongest and most dependable party. This call has never been heeded by some stakeholders who are hell bent on decapitulating the party should their ambition be frustrated ahead of 2015. Already, the party is on its knees as five of the seven

Akande Bisi aggrieved governors on the platform of the party have already fused (decamped) into the opposition. Although two of the aggrieved governors, Niger and Jigawa governors, have resolved to stay back in the ruling party, the PDP leadership would only be fooling itself if it feels comfortable with their presence in the party. The general feeling is that they are only in the PDP in their bodies and not in spirit. There are indications however that some other governors within the ruling party may also be bidding their time as they are being wooed by the APC leadership to dump the PDP. The opposition which is obviously waxing stronger has stepped up its membership drive by approaching the bigwigs of the ruling party including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, his Vice, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, General Theophilus Danjuma , Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and other critical members of the PDP with a view to winning them over to its side. Apart from this, aggrieved members of the ruling party are decamping in droves to

According to the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, the crisis rocking the rulings party is as a result of the inability of certain stakeholders to come to terms with change he had introduced into the running of the party.

the opposition APC across the country. The bandwagon bug is beginning to bite those politicians who believe that they would be allowed enough space to operate in the mega opposition party. But the question is whether the APC would be able to sustain the momentum as the 2015 general election approaches. National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, does not think so. According to him, the bigger the APC gets, the bigger its challenges. During a recent interaction with newsmen in his office, Metuh maintained that the euphoria attending the exodus of members of the PDP into the APC would soon fizzle out when real begins politicking ahead of 2015. He predicted that the leadership of the APC would begin to appreciate the business of managing a big party beginning from its leadership selection process. Truly so, this is becoming evident in some of the states as the original foundation members of the APC have begun to resist their new members. Those five governors of Adamawa, Kwara, Sokoto, Rivers and Kano states have had to contend with pockets of opposition in their states as they strive to take over the leadership of the APC. Except in Rivers state where Governor Rotimi Amaechi has been clandestinely sponsoring the opposition in anticipation of his eventual exit from the PDP, other governors are

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facing some forms of opposition in taking over the structure of the APC in their states. In Sokoto, Governor Aliyu Wamakko is struggling with his predecessor, Attahiru Bafarawa over the leadership of the party apart from the refusal of his Deputy, Alhaji Muktar Shagari, to follow him to the APC. In Adamawa, Governor Murtala Nyako is facing stiff opposition from the foundation members of the APC like Gen. Buba Marwa over the leadership of the party in that state. Similarly, Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso is currently contending with his predecessor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau and his followers over his alleged attempt hi-jack the leadership of the party in the state. Kwara state governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, in spite of the weight of his political godfather, Senator Olusola Saraki, is still yet to be accepted by the Kwara’s APC highest echelon. Comments from the decamping governors are also not helping matters. This is because they have consistently maintained that they are all joiners in the APC and this stance promises to ignite another political wildfire with the potential to destroy the bourgeoning opposition party in the country. Apart from the anticipated internal schism expected in the APC owing to its growing size, the ruling PDP has perfected a sharp membership recruitment strategy which it intends to deploy by 2014. A source within the party disclosed that its leadership wants the APC to exhaust its strategies before going to work at the grass-root for its massive membership drive. The PDP has also challenged the decision of the five aggrieved governors on its platform to join the opposition APC. Ditto the decision of the 37 lawmakers on the platform to the PDP in the House of Representatives. The outcome of the suit promises to be a game-changer in the political calculus in the country. Apart from this, analysts believe that President Jonathan reluctance to interfere in the electoral processes in the opposition states of Anambra, Edo and Ondo states was strategic. Though the uninitiated may regard such action as anti party, the politically informed believe that it was a strategy that would work in the President’s favour in 2015 should he eventually make up his mind to contest the Presidency. According to pundits, already most of the governors appreciate Jonathan’s departure from the politics of do-or-die in those states and they may mobilize support for his reelection at least in their states. Apart from the political goodwill expected to follow Jonathan’s free and fair election gestures, the leadership of the party has drawn up an agenda for reconciliation of its remaining aggrieved members. Recently, the PDP National Chairman met with the remaining governors on the platform of the party and a confidence vote was passed on him. Similarly, Tukur met with the leadership of the National Assembly in Abuja where far reaching decisions


Can PDP curtail the APC onslaught?




The PDP has also challenged the decision of the five aggrieved governors on its platform to join the opposition APC. Ditto the decision of the 37 lawmakers on the platform to the PDP in the House of Representatives. The outcome of the suit promises to be a game-changer in the political calculus in the country.

on how to counter the APC’s offensive was considered. It was gathered that the issue of the right of first refusal for serving members of the National Assembly be considered and this has given a sense of stability and responsibility to the lawmakers who have been saved the hassles of having to struggle with their political godfathers to get their party’s tickets against 2015. At the resumption of official duties in 2014, the ruling party has perfected plans to set up a high powered panel, consisting of respected party men to interface with critical stakeholders in the party and others with a view to consolidate the party’s hold on power across the nation. The panel, which is to be headed by a trusted party man, would be empowered to negotiate with power brokers across the country and such moves is expected to neutralize all the efforts so far made by the leaders of the APC. The panel would be made to visit the 36 states of the federation and the FCT and would interface with stakeholders who are considered to have the electoral ‘Midas touch’. Tukur’s leadership has also resolved to engage the opposition in media war and to ensure that all the efforts made by President Goodluck Jonathan in his transformation agenda are taken to the public domain for the electorates to judge for themselves. Considering the counter offensive planned by the ruling party, the APC would have to do more to remain on the crest of its current popularity as the PDP would begin to unfold its strategy beginning from the first quarter of 2014 while the opposition would be busy sorting out conflicting interests within its fold.




PDP at war with Nigerians, Ribadu From Umar Dankano, Yola.


ormer Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, has said that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had been at war with Nigerian for 13 years now. The All Progressive Congress (APC) chieftain accused the PDP of performing below expectation and explained that lack of focus and provision of dividend of Democracy are some of the reasons why Nigerians are defecting from the PDP to the APC in droves. Ribadu made the observation known in an interview with newsmen in Yola yesterday stressing that, due to the rejection the party is suffering throughout the country, it has been casting aspersion on the integrity of the APC adding that Nigerians should not be deceived by the ranting of the dying party. “Nigerians should not be deceived by the aspersions and mischief being promoted by the PDP leadership against the APC calling it an old wine in a new bottle. What they are saying is not true, they are blinded by their desperation to cause confusion because of the wind of change currently blowing in the country,” he said. He added that the people who are defecting to APC are doing the bidding of Nigerians who wants a change of government. “Thus that are defecting to APC are going to where Nigerians want them as that amount to answering the clarion call of Nigerians for Good Governance and the entrenchment of the rule of law”. He stressed. “They are leaving the failed party that has relegated their aspirations to the background to a party that will salvage them from the current lacklustre government that has nothing to show for the 13 years in power’’. He observed Ribadu added that more than 13 years after its coming, the PDP government has not opened a new road throughout the country saying that is the height of irresponsibility. “Since the coming of the PDP no new road project was initiated throughout the country, is that not the peak of irresponsibility?” he queried. Commenting on the exchange of letters by President Jonathan and former President Obasanjo, he endorsed former President Obasanjo letter to Jonathan as a good development saying Obsanjo deserves commendation for coming out bold to say what many people knew but we're reluctant to say it out to the leadership of the country.

Civil servants checking for their names to enable them obtain biometric data capturing and access control gate system, at the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation in Abuja.

Yobe restricts movement for Saturday council polls


he chairman of the Yobe State Independent Electoral Commission, Mohammed Jauro Abdu, yesterday confirmed the readiness of the commission to hold local government elections in the state today. Mr Abdu in an interview in Damaturu, the Yobe state capital, said all the sensitive and nonsensitive materials have already been dispatched to all local government headquarters for distribution to polling units in the

areas. The chairman said four wheel drive vehicles have been provided to electoral officers to reach areas with difficult terrain assuring that the exercise will be a success. He stressed that the commission is ready for a hitch free election and called on people of the state to come out en mass to vote for candidates of their choice and to cooperate with electoral officers and security men to ensure a successful exercise.

The 3 Division of the Nigerian Army had in a statement signed by its spokesman, Capt. Eli Lazarus had announced restriction of movement of vehicles and persons during the election. The restriction, according to the statement, is between 8AM to 3PM, pointing out that only essential service will be allowed in the discharge of their duties. While wishing the people of the state a peaceful election and a prosperous new year, the state-

ment enjoined the electorate to cooperate with security agencies and avoid any act capable of breaching the public peace during and after the election. The coalition of political parties in Yobe state had few weeks back passed a vote of confidence on the YOSIEC ahead of the election as the People’s Democratic Party in the state backed out of the election claiming that it is ill timed because of the current security situation in the state.

Grow GDP through housing development in 2014 – El-Salem boss


he Federal Government has been urged to boost Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2014 through aggressive development of the housing sector. Government has also been called upon to clear all hurdles impeding the take-off of the new Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company to ensure its effective take-off in the first quarter of 2014 as poor mortgage development has been the bane of Nigeria’s housing sector. Managing Director of ElSalem Nigeria Limited, Mr. Ben Gbade Ojo who made the calls

said “In every country, there is an engine room for the growth of the economy. With over 16 million housing units needed to adequately house Nigerians, the Nigerian housing sector can serve as that engine room that will industrialize and grow our GDP. “The slow growth of Nigeria’s manufacturing sector can be radically transformed through concerted efforts to bridge the housing gap as this will spur massive production of building materials like iron, paints, roofing, electrical, furniture, cement, tiles, marbles, etc and thus revitalize the manufacturing sector and provide

employment opportunities for millions of Nigerians. Although government has been thinking endlessly along these lines, 2014 should be the year to effectively implement the vision. Unemployment and slow industrial growth can be effectively tackled by passionately addressing the housing sector problems in 2014”. Speaking further, Mr. Ojo said “Mortgage finance is still inadequate. Only a microscopic percentage of Nigerians has access to mortgage finance. All hurdles impeding the take-off of the new Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company should be cleared to ensure

its effective take-off in the first quarter of 2014 as poor mortgage development has been the bane of Nigeria’s housing sector. “To boost mortgages in Nigeria, government should come up with modalities to enable Nigerians access the nearly 4 trillion naira now available in the contributory pension fund for housing development, bearing in mind the housing sector’s catalytic effect on employment, GDP growth and living standard of the people. As long-term funds, the pension funds are suitable for mortgage development. “

Group kicks against automatic tickets for PDP legislators


group in Akwa Ibom yesterday in Uyo said the alleged move by the PDP to give automatic tickets to both its state and national legislators was not progressive. Mr Ekong Umoh, the Public Relations Officer of the group called Forum of Former Elected Leaders of Council, Ikot Abasi Federal Constituency in Akwa Ibom,

said this while speaking with newsmen. Umoh said the forum believed that automatic tickets to contest elections were unrealistic, untenable and counter-productive. ``The development will not only create more problems in the party, but will be a way of rewarding lazy lawmakers,’’ he said. Umoh urged PDP legislators

to return to their respective constituencies to gauge their level of popularity among their constituents, and not stay back in Abuja to clamour for automatic tickets. He said it was surprising that the lawmakers were seeking automatic tickets ``after conspiring with people outside the PDP to ridicule President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration’’.

``There is simply no way the PDP can offer automatic tickets to both state and national assembly members, especially the present national assembly members. ``Many of them have displayed disloyalty and stayed in opposition to the very party which brought them into office. ``These lawmakers openly contradict and undermine gov-

ernment’s well-intended policies. Now they want to blackmail and arm-twist the same government for automatic party tickets. ``Politics is a game of interest, and sometimes very complex contending interests, which explains why it is laughable for someone to idle away and expect automatic ticket,” the forum spokesman said.



Special Report

Nigeria on the world scene in 2013: A bitter, sweet year By Hassan Haruna Ginsau


igeria has seen a somewhat bittersweet year on the international scene. Despite securing a non- permanent member seat on U.N’s Security Council, there was a sour development as Nigeria was put on the map for all the wrong reasons when the U.S designated Boko Haram and Ansaru as Foreign terrorist organisations (FTO’s). Nigeria was elected into the U.N’s 15 member Security Council in October, receiving the two- thirds required from the 193-member U.N. General Assembly to serve a two-year term on the U.N. Security Council from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2015. Securing the seat had been a priority in the Government’s diplomatic ambitions with Nigeria drumming up support from ECOWAS states, the AU, as well as some permanent and nonpermanent members of the council; support that eventually forced Nigeria’s sole challenger in the form of Gambia to stand down for West Africa’s slot on the council, replacing Togo. It’s the fourth time since independence that Nigeria is being elected to the UN Security Council. It is also the second time (2010-2011 and 2014-2015) that the country will be elected to the Council under the Goodluck Jonathan Presidency. Nigeria though, despite being on the council will not enjoy the veto power that the 5 permanent members; the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France enjoy. Nevertheless, Nigeria will enjoy a strong voice in matters dealing with international peace and security, in places like the Central African Republic and more recently South Sudan. Even though Nigeria’s election may have more prestige than significance attached to it, President Jonathan nevertheless maintains that Nigeria welcomes her election into the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member. “On behalf of the Federal Government and people of Nigeria, I wish to convey my sincere appreciation of the support of all member-countries of the United Nations who voted for Nigeria’s election to the Security Council. I believe the endorsement of Nigeria’s candidature for the Security Council seat by the vast majority of membercountries is a glowing expression of support and encouragement for Nigeria’s active participation in the promotion of peace, security and political stability in Africa and other parts of the world.” said the president. In a separate and unrelated incident that the president probably wouldn’t have such positive remarks for, the U.S blacklisted Boko Haram and Ansaru as FTO’s in November. News of the “designation”

A UN security council meeting caused major panic amongst Nigerians who obviously felt more affected by a “designation” than an election into the Security Council. Many Nigerians, a people who love to travel, feared travel restrictions, and those who are more confined to the country’s shores feared the worst in form of the U.S sending troops to our soil. The U.S state department described the move as “an important” step to help Nigeria “root out violent extremism”. Under law this means that US regulatory agencies were instructed to block business and financial transactions with Boko Haram, thus becoming a crime under US law to provide material support to the group. In a move to allay Nigerians’ wide- ranging fears, leader of a U.S delegation who visited the country early this month, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Nigerians had nothing to fear from the designation. She stated that the FTO designation didn’t imply in any way more scrutiny on Nigerians travelling to the United States. “Nigerians who have nothing to fear, who are not in any way connected to Boko Haram have no reason to be concerned about this” the secretary told reporters. Also, responding to whether U.S troops and drones would be used on Nigerian soil, Commander, U.S Africa Command, General David Rodriguez stated that U.S troops would not be used in the struggle against Boko Haram.

He said the U.S was more interested in helping Nigeria develop its own skills in handling the challenge. eeing as the two groups at present do not present much of a threat to the US directly, things may not be that bad. The US’ Immigration and Nationality Act which says that; “In general.-The Secretary (of state) is authorized to designate an organisation as a terrorist organisation if the Secretary finds that the terrorist activity or terrorism of the organisation threatens the security of United States nationals or the national security of the United States.” which at present Boko Haram to a large extent does not. The US government has already applied a “foreign terrorist” label in June,2012 to Abubakar Shekau, Abubakar Adam Kambar, and Khalid al Barnawi, who are leading


figures of the militant group.The action froze any assets they had in the United States, and barred US citizens from any transactions with them. It was among the first such action the US government had taken against Boko Haram, but fell short of demands from some US lawmakers and the Justice Department to designate the entire group as a FTO, which they have now done. There had in the past been calls from the Nigerian government not to designate the group as a FTO when the then National Security adviser General Owoye Andrew Azazi and Nigerian ambassador to the United States Prof. Ade Adefuye formally requested the US not to include Boko Haram in its terror list, in fears that it would make it more difficult for Nigerian citizens to travel to the US and further affect bilateral trade between the two countries.

Also, responding to whether U.S troops and drones would be used on Nigerian soil, Commander, U.S Africa Command, General David Rodriguez stated that U.S troops would not be used in the struggle against Boko Haram.

But if past examples of countries that have Islamist terror cells are anything to go by things may not seem too rosy. Countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and more recently Somalia, all of whom have Islamist terrorist organisations have come under US drone attacks. On November 1st, Hakimullah Mehsud, leader of the Pakistani Taliban was killed in a US drone strike. Leaders of Al- Shabaab and Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP) were killed in Somalia and Yemen respectively, all in US drone strikes. S drone strikes have revealed alarming civilian casualties, especially in Pakistan where an estimated 286 to 890 civilians been killed, including 168 to 197 children. The Nigerian government themselves only declared Boko Haram and Ansaru as terrorist organisations in June. Ansaru has conducted several kidnappings of foreigners living or working in Nigeria, most notably the kidnapping and execution of 7 foreign workers in Bauchi in March. The US may of course delist the groups as FTO’s if circumstances as to why they were listed change, or if “the national security of the United States warrants a revocation”, as in the cases of organisations such as the Khmer rouge of Cambodia, the Armed Islamic group of Algeria, or the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group. For the most foreseeable future though at least, Boko Haram and Ansaru it seems will remain “designated”.



Kofar Matar dyeing pits: Attracting tourists and commerce to the ancient city of Kano


he Kofar Matar Dye Pits are a very historical place for the people of Kano. Established in 1498, the Kofar Matar pits situated in the city centre, goes as way back as 500yrs plus. It has been constantly in use ever since, and a lot of tourists come from all over the world to see it. Interestingly, they still use the same method they did use in those days. The Kano indigo-vegetable dyeing pits are one of the most fascinating aspects of the old city. Various designs are folded into the material before dyeing and the fabric is often beaten to achieve the shiny, decent appearance. The techniques employed to obtain this look are unmatched around the world. And, although the methods they use are ancient, these lush works of art on fabric have remained extremely popular and have continued to be in great demand. There were dyeing pits in Zaria as well as in Kano those days when they were all still at use. Today, only the famous Kofar Mata pits of Kano have survived – they have also become a much liked tourist attraction. Tourists are delighted to know that the pits they are looking at were actually founded in 1498 and the dying process has not changed in centuries. The Tuaregs have always been good


customers of the Zango fabrics. They are also known as the “Blue Men of the Desert” due to the fact that for them, the indigo fabric is left natural after the dye and not fixed with salt and vinegar so that when it is washed, it dyes their faces and hands blue. Quite beautiful, you’ll say. On just a single visit, one may not easily appreciate the efforts that are being put in to produce the final work on a fabric from the pits. It is an amazing trip to take to the famous Kano dyeing pit where clothes that originally came in plain white colours are dyed and transformed into patches of colours, patterns and designs. At the entrance of the Kofar Mata Dyeing Pits, hordes of activities are in full swing. Girls and women also hawk their goods which include some gourds of fresh nono (fresh cow milk) sitting pretty on their heads, others also hawk kola nuts, groundnuts, and other items. The Kano dyeing pit, which was until recent years, open and unguarded is completely cordoned off from public view. Unless you walk into the place, it is not possible to see the ancient structure where young men and women sweat it out in the scorching sun dyeing cloths.

Work in progress

Traders displaying the finished products to buyers

One of the finished products on display

Tourists cashing in on finished products





Notable tips for decorating your living room D

ecorating your living room is a good idea. It will save you money and give you significant knowledge about interior designing. Also, you can do it as a pass time or a hobby. But, then things could also go wrong and you could make a fool out of yourself. Therefore, it is always better and recommendable to get your hands full with some ideas about how to go on with decorating your living room. So, here are a few things to know before you take the plunge to decorate your living room. It is always advisable to set off with a plan in your mind and a generic outlook of what your living room should be like. It does mean that you should know every head and tail in advance but a general idea will add the icing on the cake. It will help you during the decoration. As behind every successful project, there is a strategy and a plan, same should be applied here. You should do a lot of research work before deciding on the look of your room. Just go through some magazines or catalogues, or better you can surf on Freshome and search for the designs, colors or styles you are longing for. Just tear the page of the design which you like and keep it aside for future reference. After you get a collection of different designs, try to choose those designs which catch your interests and ideas the most. It is agreeable that a lot of confusion will also prevail but you should be able to think and act fast and come to the conclusion as confusion will eat your time and take you nowhere. Also, once decided, you should not regret. So, you should also decide carefully and be firm by sticking to the decision. Lighting plays a significant role in the success of your decoration. It does create a good ambience. It adds to the shine and glitter of the room, also making our moods shine

and glitter. It can spur our senses and raise our oxytocin levels which are responsible for emotional joy. Also, scented candles can bring in an additional spark to the room. Choosing the right furniture is as essential as oxygen is for our body. After choosing, placing the furniture in a proper way is also equally important. Mostly, you should not place the furniture lined up against the wall. Your room will be looking smaller by this kind of arrangement. Another thing important is making use of the right curtains. Your efforts may seem like a flash in the pan if the curtains are not proper. Mostly, choose the curtains which match he color of the furniture. So, do not lose it all in the last minute just because of one silly mistake. Adding to the most important things, flooring is also another thing that should be kept in mind. It is essential for furnishing. The coverings of the floor can be tiles, carpet or wood. You should see to it that it should be of a similar colour or a darker shade than the walls. There should be proper amount of free space for the functioning of daily activities, for example, walking; or else, the room will appear like a furniture shop. Any cool accessories could add a zing to your room. You could pick up some pieces from craft shows. Mostly, accessories should be artefacts, goodies or some items that you treasure. One could use plants, flora or trees to provide a kind of natural beauty to the atmosphere of the room. It will also fill in the empty spaces. Some interesting paintings can really bring in a wave of deftness to your room. It acts as a style to your room.

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Genevieve Nnaji to star in Elizabeth Daniel’s “Folly“ >>P35

Kofar Mata dyeing pits: Attracting tourists and commerce to the ancient city of Kano >>P19

Why I bought Michael >>P36 Jackson’s Jacket, by Odegbami’s daughter

Stylish in Ankara blouse >>P29



Pet world

The secrets of cats behaviour By Dr. Marty Becker


ost dog owners come into the veterinary office with their canine companions devotedly following them. Tails wagging, the dogs look up at their people with adoring eyes. Most cat owners, on the other hand, wrestle a cardboard box into the exam room, reach in like a magician and pull out not a rabbit, but an angry feline. For their efforts they get covered with furry shrapnel and sometimes raked with claws until their face and arms look like so many tic-tac-toe games. (It doesn’t have to be like that, by the way.) As a lifetime pet lover and practicing veterinarian of more than 30 years, I’ve noticed a few things about cats. And so for all you cat owners, here’s the Secret Code of Cat Behavior (or What Cats Know but Won’t Tell You). · Strategically place your hairball. If you have to hack up a hairball, toss it like a trophy onto something visible and valuable, like the new leather couch. If you can’t reach that in time, an Oriental rug is an appropriate substitute. · Know the enemy and embrace him. If mom is entertaining, determine quickly who hates or is allergic to cats, race immediately to that person and leap into his or her lap. Mom’s watching, so he won’t dare push you off and will even fake affection by stroking you and repeating, “Nice kitty. Niiiice kitty.” · Wear fur proudly. You must always select clothing in sharp contrast to your own fur color on which to rub, leap or audition for the president of the Hair Club for Cats. Again, dare to share. · Be Johnnie on the Spot. As a courtesy, always accompany guests to the toilet. Your job is to sit and stare like you’re a peeping-tom cat. If you get some really good shots, post them on the Internet and make a lot of bucks. · Let out your cat scratch fever. If someone claims to love cats and that all cats love him or her in return, lull that person into thinking you’re a Stepford Cat. When his or her guard is dropped and the perfect cat lover begins to bask in a snapshot moment, show utter disdain, lay claw tracks across the expensive hosiery or silk tie, or turn unexpectedly and give a quick nip deep enough to test someone’s blood type. · Find out what’s behind door No. 3. Never allow closed doors in any room except when you need to trap the dog. To crack open a closed one, stand on your hind legs and jackhammer it with your forepaws, scratch it like you’re headed for China or put your paws underneath it and keep pulling. Or just throw yourself against it repeatedly. Once the genie appears and opens the door for you, change your mind and walk away. · Play paper weight. If you come across somebody doing homework,

Two lovely playful kitten in a basket, the majestic cat paying bills or reading a magazine, settle down on the paper. This may entitle you to flying lessons, but when you get back on the page and you will - make sure that you take everything with you - pens, pencils, other papers - on your next scheduled flight.

· Be a knit wit. If mom’s into crocheting or knitting, curl up quietly in her lap and pretend to catnap. Then spring into action by grabbing the yarn and causing her knitting needles or crochet hook to plunge sharply like a trophy catfish has just hit the bait. She’ll

A cat staring menacingly at an object

try to distract you and pick up the slipped stitch. Ignore her efforts to calm you, close your eyes again and prepare for strike two. · And remember, early to bed, early to rise. Get plenty of sleep both during the day and in the evening, when your people want

you to play. That way, you’ll be fully rested and ready to rumble with Sleeping Beauty anytime between 2 and 5 a.m. And never forget the No. 1 rule of being a cat: When in doubt, blame the dog. Mailonline




Mrs. Talatu Jang: Fighting poverty through agriculture


rs. Talatu Ngo Jang, wife of Plateau state governor, Jonah Jang can best be described as the most experienced of Nigeria's first ladies, having played that role three times, beginning from those days her husband, Jonah David Jang was military administrator of Benue state and later, Gongola, now Adamawa state. That experience adequately prepared her to offer more to the people under the present democratic dispensation. Her belief is that poverty can be drastically reduced in the state and the realisation of that goal is the fulcrum of her current campaign in Plateau State, with her Women in Agriculture and Youth Empowerment Foundation as platform. Very often people fail to realize the impact a kind word, a touch, a smile, a listening ear, an honest complement or even a pat on the back, makes in the lives of the people. It has the capacity to positively change attitudes that may be the tonic for a permanent change in the social and economic lives of people. Mrs. Talatu Jang, the First Lady of Plateau State believes a lot in the power words of encouragement to turn people’s lives around for the better. She is doing a lot of that and more using her Women in Agriculture and Youth Empowerment Foundation (WAYE). Aware of the high level of poverty among women and youths in the State, she saw her emergence as the First Lady in a civilian government as a perfect opportunity to get involved personally, in improving the welfare of the people. She conceived the idea of a foundation that would be the vehicle through which she would reach them and started the WAYE foundation. Slowly but surely, the foundation is taking on more students and lending them tools to forge a better life for themselves. “I decided to set up the WAYE Foundation to help women and young people to learn new skills so they will be ready to earn some money and feed themselves and their families,” Mrs. Jang said. WAYE Foundation is a non-governmental and non-profit development organization founded in June 2007 by the wife of Jonah Jang, the Plateau State Governor. According to the foundations website, “it aims to empower women and youth in the state to live more productive lives contributing positively to the economic and moral fabric of our society, keeping them off vices that lead to destruction of lives.” With a vision of a society where poverty has been eliminated, its mission is to help women and youth to realize their own potentials and to be holistically developed at sustainable levels. It strives to have this target group, free from poverty, through strategic advocacy, social and economic empowerment in partnership with other donors, and ensure commitment to management of their resources with transparency and accountability. The major objectives of the foundation include setting up a skill acquisition centre in order to empower the target group economically and socially; linking up beneficiaries with organizations and agencies where they can access micro-enterprise loan facilities; building the capacity of peasant women and youth on farming and preservation, in order to improve on their economy and be selfreliant; partnering with any organization or government, to promote the ideals of WAYE Foundation; and rendering reproductive health services including HIV/AIDS and VVF care and rehabilitation. As a Nurse and a mother who knows the needs of the women and youths, she ensured

Despite the that WAYE focused on four core areas that successes would address the basic needs of the target WAYE population. With human development and has reskills acquisition, sustainable small scale agcorded, riculture, micro enterprise development and reproductive health as the thematic areas, the it is not First Lady has continued to touch the lives of the people using the foundation. These units of WAYE were established to facilitate the training of target indigenes of the state in these areas of human endeavour, and indeed when fully developed, to serve the entire nation to alleviate the daunting challenges of poverty confronting women and youths. Since its inception, the First Lady has not looked back in her desire to help women and youths to realise their potentials and be holistically developed at sustainable levels. WAYE has achieved most of its targets without especially that of setting up a skill acquisiits chaltion centre. She put up a massive edifice at lenges. “We Doi, Jos South local government area of the do not have state, which houses a skill acquisition centre, money to run reproductive health centre, and a small the place,” laments scale agricultural unit. She has also trained Mrs. Jang. “I am many women in vocations such as tailoring, doing it on my own. knitting, hairdressing, beads making, fish So if international farming and other agricultural practices and NGOs can support computer. us with money It has also introduced and exposed peasthat would be good. When ant farmers to the modern method of farming, including preservation of farm produce people graduate, we have and marketing, in its sustainable small-scale to give them things to do and agriculture scheme. It has a demonstration machinery to use.” farm to avail trainees the avenue for practiRecently, WAYE issued cal work, while making fertilizer available to certificates to 450 women during the farming season. graduating trainThe micro enterprise development unit of ees. The WAYE trains women and youth in production and marketing of produce in a way that will be profitable to them. Just as the name implies, it is the development section of the foundation where trainees go through a Mrs. Talatu Ngo Jang comprehensive exercise on how to establish small-scale businesses and grow them. figure, revealed at the 5th & 6th Joint GraduBecause it is a healthy woman that ation Ceremony of the foundation, brought thinks of business, WAYE has a Reproducto 1091, the total number of people that the tive Health Unit, which addresses the major foundation has trained since its inception. health concerns of women. It attends to the Commending Mrs. Jang, during the treatment, care and rehabilitation of women inauguration of WAYE in 2007, First Lady, with various kinds of ailments including Dame Patience Jonathan said, “With this Vesico-Vaginal Fistula (VVF), HIV/AIDS, project, poverty would be tackled headlong, Maternal and Child Health challenges among and women and youths will be empowered to others. It has continued to organise series of face the challenges of unemployment in the workshops to promote good health, treatstate and the nation at large.” ment and awareness for the VVF. Mrs Jang still hopes that, in no distant “Being a centre that mostly provides future, the mustard seed that is today WAYE for women’s needs, it was capped up with Foundation would ultimately blossom and a hospital that specializes in women mediprosper into A World of Hope that will offer cal needs, where women especially in the succour, comfort and sustainable livelihood neighbouring villages, can receive free medito an even greater number of indigent people. cal attention from experts,” the First Lady For her humanitarian and developmental explained. projects, the First Lady has bagged several Leading rallies to create awareness on awards. The unassuming woman would alcancer, organizing workshops on cancer and ways smile and say, “Yes I have lots of them. screening participants, and planning to set But I am most concerned about bagging the up screening centres in the seventeen local greatest award of all- the Almighty God’s government areas of the state, Mrs Jang ultimate crown.” consistently shows that as a nurse, she truly Talatu Ngo Jang has always been kind believes that health is wealth. and amiable. Her professional calling as a As a gracious and amiable mother too, nurse prepared her adequately for that. She Mrs Jang, under the auspices of WAYE has touched many lives in a positive way as a has continued to show unalloyed support nurse and as wife of the governor. to the poor and the downtrodden in many Born on the 25th of July, 1952 to the famother ways. She has donated to many charily of Mr. and Mrs. Yusufu Dawyaro of Kwoi, ity homes, donated sewing and knitting in Jabba Local Government Area of Kaduna machines to widows, sponsored medical State, Talatu attended the Christian Trainbills of patients including those with cancer ing Institute, Kwoi, where she obtained the and acid burns and to crown it all, she built a First School Leaving Certificate in 1967. She three-bedroom bungalow for the family who immediately enrolled at Wusasa Training have a triplet after five children and lived in a School, Zaria and came out in flying colours one-room apartment. as a Nurse. Not satisfied with General Nurs-

ing, Talatu proceeded to the Kano General Hospital to study Midwifery in 1975. She worked at the General Hospital Kano, the Mount Sinai Hospital, and Nigeria Airways Hospital in Lagos. She met a young Air force Officer, Jonah Jang, who fell head over heels in love with her. According to the Jonah, who later wedded her in 1972, “she demonstrated those rare virtues of true womanhood, devotion and selfless love which won his heart and endeared her to him.” Young Jonah rose to become a two- time Military Administrator of the then Benue and Gongola states in the 80s, later a one-star General and, today, the Executive Governor of Plateau State. As an unassuming and virtuous woman, she was able to handle the responsibilities she encountered as the wife of this great man with grace and so much decorum, nurturing her husband, her six children and eight grand children at the same time. A naturally modest and caring person, Talatu has always had an uncommon love for the poor and the downtrodden. It is her desire to ameliorate the plight of these people, empowering and giving them a sense of belonging that led to the establishment of Women In Agriculture and Youth Empowerment Foundation, WAYE Foundation. A devout Christian, Mrs Jang is widely travelled, loves farming and speaks Jabba, English and Hausa fluently. She would be remembered as one who utilized her God-given privilege, time and resources to touch the lives of the poor and the forgotten.



Kiddies World

With Nami Hassan Kadir 08130693795.



Life and times of Sir Ahmadu Bello


ir Ahmadu Bello (June 12, 1910 – January 15, 1966) was a Nigerian politician, and was the first premier of the Northern Nigeria region from 1954-1966. He was the Sardauna of Sokoto and one of the prominent leaders in Northern Nigeria alongside Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, both of whom were prominent in negotiations about the region’s place in an independent Nigeria. As leader of the Northern People’s Congress, he dominated Nigerian politics throughout the early Nigerian Federation and the First Nigerian Republic. Early life He was born in Rabbah, Sokoto State. The son of a district head and heir to the Sokoto Caliphate, his great-grandfather was Sultan Bello, the founder of Sokoto and son of the revered Shaykh Usman Dan Fodio. Ahmadu Bello received his education first at the Sokoto Provincial School, the only modern school at the time in the Sokoto province. Then, he proceeded to the Katsina Teacher’s Training College. After spending five years at Katsina, he was appointed by the Sultan to become a teacher at the Sokoto Middle School, his former school which had undergone rapid transformation. In 1934, he was made the district head of Rabbah, four years later; he was promoted and sent to Gusau to become a divisional head. In 1938, he made an unsuccessful bid to become the new Sultan of Sokoto. The successful sultan immediately conferred upon Sir Ahmadu Bello the traditional, now honorary, title of Sarduna, alternatively spelled Sardauna, and elevated him to the Sokoto Native Authority Council. In 1948, he was offered a scholarship to study local government administration in England. Ahmadu Bello took the scholarship sensing

he needed to shore up his knowledge about the process of governance. Political life A f t e r returning from England, he was nominated to represent the province of Sokoto in the regional House of Assembly. As a member of the assembly, he was a notable voice for northern interest and embraced a style of consultation and consensus with the major representatives of the northern emirates: Kano, Bornu and Sokoto. In the first elections held in Northern Nigeria in 1952, Sir Ahmadu Bello won a seat in the Northern House of Assembly, and became a member of the regional executive council as minister of works. Bello was successively minister of Works, of Local Government, and of Community Development in the Northern Region of Nigeria. In 1954, Bello became the first Premier of Northern Nigeria. In the 1959 independence elections, Bello led the NPC to win a plurality of the parliamentary seats. Bello’s NPC forged an alliance with Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe’s NCNC (National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons) to form Nigeria’s first indigenous federal government which led to independence from Britain. In forming the 1960 independence federal government of the Nigeria, Bello as president of the NPC, chose to remain Premier of Northern Nigeria and devolved the position of Prime Minister of the Federation to the deputy president of the NPC, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. Bello’s greatest legacy was the modernization and unification of the diverse people of Northern Nigeria. He was assassinated on 15 January 1966 in a coup which toppled Nigeria’s post-independence government. He was still serving as premier of Northern Nigeria at the time. Ahmadu Bello was often criticized for not seeing a unified Nigeria as a whole but rather a unified north as he viewed the Igbos as “The Jews of Nigeria” as they had a sense of dominating where ever they went and often publicly stated he would rather have a nonNigerian do a job than have a nonNortherner. The Ahmadu Bello University is named after him. His portrait adorns Nigeria’s 200 naira note, and he is survived by three daughters, one of whom died in 2008.


Disney Angle

Hansel and Gretel Superwoman




Kiddies World

With Nami Hassan Kadir 08130693795.




Clever Jackal gets away from lion O ne day long ago, Jackal was trotting through a narrow, rocky pass. As he often did, he kept his nose to the ground as he ambled along, to catch the odd scent. “Never know when I’ll happen upon my next meal,” he thought to himself, although it was highly unlikely that he would find a rat out in the midday heat. But perhaps he could catch a lizard or two. Suddenly he was aware of a movement ahead of him in the pass. “Oh, no!” Jackal moaned and stopped dead-still in his tracks. Lion was coming toward him. Realizing that he was too near to escape, Jackal was filled with fear. He had played so many tricks on the great Bhubesi in the past, he was sure that lion would take this opportunity to get his revenge. In a flash Jackal thought of a plan. “Help! Help!” cried Jackal. He cowered down on the cliff path, looking above at the rocks. Lion stopped short in surprise. “Help!” Jackal howled, using the fear he felt

in the middle of his chest to accentuate his cry. Jackal glanced up at Bhubesi. “Oh, great Nkosi! Help! There is no time to lose! See those great rocks above us? They are about to fall! We shall both be crushed to death! Oh, mighty Lion, do something! Save us!” And Jackal cowered even lower, his paws covering his head. Lion looked up, most alarmed. Before he even had a chance to think, Jackal was begging him to use his strength to hold up the overhanging rock. So, Lion put his brawny shoulder to the rock and heaved. “Oh, thank you, great King!” yelped Jackal. “I will quickly fetch that log over there to prop under the rock, and we will both be saved!” With that Jackal bounded out of sight. Lion was left all alone to struggle under the weight of the unmoving rock. How long he remained there before Lion became aware that it was another trick, we will never know. But this much we do know: Jackal continued to live by his wits!

Junior Ahmad Shekarau


Using the right colours, shade the image below. Describe the action and show your work to your teacher for correction. Cheers!


How to make a super easy kite


hat child wouldn’t love to feel the tug of the wind on a string? Kites have been mentioned throughout history for over two thousand years! Their uses have been extremely varied. Did you know that kites have been used in battles (warriors judged the distance needed to travel by measuring the line), as a fishing technique (fishermen allowed the kites to appear as a bird over the water dropping a *bait* line in), for study of the weather (air currents, wind velocity, temperatures), and much more? Of course there was the famous experiment by Ben Franklin on electricity. Man’s desire to fly has also been touted by kites. Most of all they are just plain fun! Here is all you need to make your super easy kite (appropriate for flying in light winds): • 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper (construction or copy/printer paper) • Tape (heavy masking tape recommended) • Stapler • Crayons, Markers, Glitter (things to decorate your kite)

• 10 ft. Lightweight string or yarn • Toilet paper tube (or 1” x 3” piece of cardboard to wind string) • Scissors • Plastic bag(s) cut into spiral strips (optional for tail) Directions: You can decorate your kite before or after creating it. Fold paper in half as indicated by dotted line. Next, fold paper down and back towards center and staple to center. Fold down the opposite side also to center and staple as before. Now place a piece of strong tape on the center of the kite, approximately 3 inches from the “top.” Cut a hole through the center. Finally, tie on your string or yarn through the hole, winding the remaining length around your cardboard. Optional: Add on spiral ribbon or plastic streamers for colorful tails. You’re now ready to fly! Have fun!



Get it right!


With Gabriel Gwajime

The 50 most important English proverbs


very culture has a collection of wise sayings that offer advice about how to live your life. These sayings are called “proverbs.” It’s good to know the really common English proverbs because you hear them come up in conversation all the time. Sometimes people say the entire proverb to give advice to a friend. More often, someone will say just part of a proverb like this: You know what they say: when the going gets tough... (Read No. 5 below to learn the rest of this proverb and what it means.) Learning proverbs can also help you to understand the way that people in English-speaking cultures think about the world. This is a list of some of the most important and wellknown English proverbs. Below each one, there’s a simple explanation. Note that some of the meanings of these phrases have shifted over the years, so a proverb might have originally had a different meaning than the one I explain. 1. Two wrongs don’t make a right: When someone has done something bad to you, trying to get revenge will only make things worse. 2. The pen is mightier than the sword: Trying to convince people with ideas and words is more effective than trying to force people to do what you want. 3. When in Rome, do as the Romans: Act the way that the people around you are acting. This phrase might come in handy when you’re travelling abroad. You will notice that people do things differently than you’re used to. 4. The squeaky wheel gets the grease: You can get better service if you complain about something. If you wait patiently, no one’s going to help you. 5. When the going gets tough, the tough get going: Strong people don’t give up when they come across challenges. They just work harder.

6. No man is an island: You can’t live completely independently. Everyone needs help from other people. 7. Fortune favours the bold: People who bravely go after what they want are more successful than people who try to live safely. 8. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones: Don’t criticize other people if you’re not perfect yourself.

In continuation of our “Get It Right” series, this week, courtesy of, we bring to you “The 50 Most Important English Proverbs.” Enjoy your reading: in need, you think of creative solutions to your problems.

9. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst: This seems pretty clear.

37. A penny saved is a penny earned: Save your money.

10. Better late than never: This one’s clear, too.

38. Familiarity breeds contempt: When you’re around someone for too long, you get tired of them and annoyed by them.

11. Birds of a feather flock together: People like to spend time with others who are similar to them.

39. You can’t judge a book by its cover: Things sometimes look different than they really are. A restaurant that looks old and small might have amazing food, for example.

12. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer: If you have an enemy, pretend to be friends with them instead of openly fighting with them. That way, you can watch them carefully and figure out what they’re planning.

40. Good things come to those who wait: Be patient.

13. A picture is worth a thousand words: Pictures convey emotions and messages better than written or spoken explanations.

41. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket: Have a backup plan. Don’t risk all of your money or time in one plan.

14. There’s no such thing as a free lunch: Things that are offered for free always have a hidden cost.

42. Two heads are better than one: When two people cooperate with each other, they come up with better ideas.

15. There’s no place like home: Your own home is the most comfortable place to be.

43. The grass is always greener on the other side of the hill: People tend to want whatever they don’t have.

16. Discretion is the greater part of valour: Sometimes it’s important to know when to give up and run away, instead of always acting brave and maybe getting hurt. 17. The early bird catches the worm: You should wake up and start work early if you want to succeed. 18. Never look a gift horse in the mouth: If someone offers you a gift, don’t question it. 19. You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs: When you try to do something great, you’ll probably make a few people annoyed or angry. Don’t worry about those people; just focus on the good results. 20. God helps those who help themselves: Don’t just wait for good things to happen to you. Work hard to achieve your goals. 21. You can’t always get what you want: Don’t whine and complain if you don’t get what you wanted. 22. Cleanliness is next to godliness: Be clean. 23. A watched pot never boils: If something takes time to finish, don’t watch it too closely because it will seem like it’s taking forever. 24. Beggars can’t be choosers: If you’re asking for a

44. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you: Don’t do mean things to people.

favour from someone else, you have to take whatever they give you.

careful not to make them angry or say bad things about them.

25. Actions speak louder than words: Just saying that you’ll do something doesn’t mean much. Actually doing it is harder and more meaningful.

31. All good things must come to an end: You can’t keep having good luck or fun forever; eventually it will stop.

26. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: Don’t try to improve something that already works fairly well. You’ll probably end up causing new problems. 27. Practice makes perfect: You have to practice a skill a lot to become good at it. 28. Too many cooks spoil the broth: When there are too many people trying to lead and give their opinions, it’s confusing and leads to bad results. Jobs and projects should have one or two strong leaders. 29. Easy come, easy go: When you get money quickly, like by winning it, it’s easy to spend it or lose it quickly as well. 30. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you: If someone’s paying you or helping you out, you have to be

32. If you can’t beat them, join them: When you try to change someone’s behavior and it doesn’t work, you might have to change instead. For example, if you’re trying to get your classmates to focus on studying but they want to party, maybe you should just party with them. 33. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure: Different people have different ideas about what’s valuable. 34. There’s no time like the present: If you need to do something, don’t wait until later. Do it now.

45. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link: If one member of a team doesn’t perform well, the whole team will fail. 46. Honesty is the best policy: Don’t lie. 47. Absence makes the heart grow fonder: Sometimes, it’s good to be away from your partner, because it makes you want to see each other again. 48. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink: If you try to help someone, but they don’t take your advice or offers, give up. You can’t force someone to accept your help. 49. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch: Your plans might not work out, so don’t start thinking about what you’ll do after you succeed. Wait until you’ve already succeeded, and then you can think about what to do next.

35. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: Different people have different ideas about what’s beautiful.

50. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself: Don’t trust other people to do important things for you. You have to do things yourself to control the quality of the results.

36. Necessity is the mother of invention: When you’re really

Courtesy: http://www.




Moving memoirs of 2nd World War prisoners By Patrick Andrew with agency report


early 70 years after the Second World War, some 1800 pieces of surviving Nazi-era graffiti scrawled or scratched on the walls of those terrible cells, still exist. There are seen at the head quarters of the Gestapo, the hater highhanded agents of Adolf Hitler. Interestingly, these memoirs have been preserved for posterity to read and they create into the minds of the prisoners most of whom were sentenced for trumped up charges. Further, thanks to Werner Jung, director of Cologne’s Nazi Documentation Centre, all those messages have been collected into a powerful new book called Walls That Talk. And are written in Russian, French, German, Polish and even occasionally in English, the messages all tell us much about the horrors of the time, the feeling of the prisoners, their hope, desire and expectations. Thus, behind every scratch and daub is a story like that of Tola, who was arrested on May 5, 1944, and taken to a special Gestapo compound on the outskirts of Cologne. There, she was tortured and interrogated about the resistance cell, before being transferred to the HQ of the Cologne Gestapo on Appellhofplatz. She was subjected to the ordeals just because her lover-Lolek, a handsome young Polish soldierthat had been sentenced to forced labour, belonged to an underground group-called the ‘Warrant Officers Organisation’. The inscriptions were repeated thousands of times over, not just in these cells, but in many similar places all over Hitler’s Third Reich. Understandably, many of the messages concern loved ones, who wanted to share their last moments with in the memory of their loved ones. They wrote moving letters that contained hope ever when their situations seemed hopeless. According to,

Jung’s Nazi documentation contains several touching letters that were neither delivered nor read by those for whom they were meant. One such is a Russian girl called Vallya Baran, whose body was found in a rubbish dump. Of course, the building on Appellhofplatz, one of the largest Gestapo headquarters in Germany, was the site of perhaps thousands of murders. From 1943 to 1944, when the murder of prisoners was frenetic, atrocious murders were committed there at random. In Cologne, a transportable scaffold of gallows was installed, which could hang seven people at a time. After they were murdered, the bodies of the prisoners were taken to the local rubbish dump. There was where the body of Baran, who left the following message on the wall of her cell was found. She had written: ‘Here was held in custody Vallya Baran, who was betrayed by her own Russian compatriots. My husband and I were both put away in one cell. ‘Another three Russian civilians and one prisoner of war were in the same cell. They had pistols. We will be facing the gallows. My only regret is to be separated from the beloved husband and the whole wide world. Other messages written by those facing the scaffold are more succinct, but no less affecting. ‘Vulotshnik has lived 21 years and was hanged,’ reads one, simply. It is the youth of the prisoners that is particularly shocking. Some of the messages read like the love letters of teenagers. ‘Oh, girls, why is our youth such a botch-up? I am now 18 years old, pregnant and would love to see my first-born child. Well, this will not be possible, I have to die,” wrote another. ‘We have been imprisoned here for six weeks,’ wrote an unnamed woman. ‘We are four Frenchwomen and the time is getting quite long for us, but we live in the hope to see France again one day. ‘Our beloved fatherland and

our beloved family, and we also have a sweetheart like all young women and these sweethearts are in Germany prisoners of war or whatever else they are held as. Our most tender thoughts are with him.’ Those words must have been emotionally choking, yet the prisoners endured the ordeal and thought it necessary to leave a memorabilia. What would you make of this from a father full of hope to his baby girl? Translated, it roughly reads: ‘Greetings, my wife, your husband writes from far away. Far behind the wall at the Gestapo he suffers agony, when looking to the window. But freedom and the dear little daughter are far away from him. ‘In vain he scribbles on the walls, writing letters to his dear wife. His wife’s photograph appears on the wall, and the dear little daughter is in his arms. ‘You will grow up and be big, and support your mother in her old age: Steering the car with a steady hand, flying over the beloved country’s expanses. Don’t forget, remember, look at your father’s photograph.’ o doubt, this is one of the most affecting letters written by the Russian, who suspected that he would not survive the attentions of the Nazi secret police. A woman called Danilova Tosya wrote: ‘How I would like to be free, see my beloved boyfriend. Meet all of my friends again, and above all my beloved boyfriend Peter and kiss [him] like I used to. ‘Oh, [my] lover, I will probably never see you again and never again kiss your lips! I am so sorry about all of this, that I am unable to do anything at all, neither break apart the iron door nor the bars!’ Even in the face of certain death, the defiance shown by some of the prisoners is astonishing. ‘The court has convened and the trial is nearly over, the judge passes the sentence,’ wrote one female Russian prisoner to her mother. Apart from expressing hope,


A cell and corridor in a Gestapo prison in Cologne in 1945, including a cot where prisoners slept, left.

Tola returned to Cell Number 4 almost 50 years after she scratched her lover’s name into the wall. There are also letters written by other inmates in the cell. the prisoners also captured certain personalities that had ochestrated their ordeals. One such was the head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler. ‘There he sits with a malicious grin on his face, that fat, toadeyed slave-driver. The prosecutor demanded we be condemned to death by firing squad. I have gone through 40 severe tortures. Mum, dearest mother, stop, don’t cry, it’s pointless to mourn for your daughter.’ They refused to be emotional wretched moreso as their cells were shared by several inmates. One former prisoner, Ferdi Hülser, recalled after the war that there was nowhere to sit or lie down in his cell, which held 30 people. ‘If I remember correctly, there was just a barrel into which we could relieve ourselves,’ he later said. ‘There was no window, no light, it was pitched dark. Initially, I was in chains. ‘We believed that they would just kill us there, leaving us to die there without food, drink or ventilation in the heat. We were groaning with pain. Five days and nights I spent like that, without any sleep.’

As the prisoners waited, they could hear the screams of those being tortured in the lower basement. The violence was unspeakably brutal. One female prisoner, Käthe Brinker, was tortured by a Gestapo officer called Hoegen. ‘I was tied up and they put me, upside down, on a chair, Hoegen lifted my skirt and beat me terribly with a thick, wooden club,’ Brinker said. ‘The abuse lasted from nine in the morning until six in the evening, only interrupted for three-quarters of an hour.’ Another Gestapo man would kick her in the back of the neck, call her a ‘sow’ and a ‘whore’, and she would then be gagged with a towel and then beaten until she was unconscious. She was then dragged across the floor with her face down, so that her mouth and nose were terribly cut. hile some were tortured, other prisoners were forced to remain in their cells for days and weeks on end without any questioning at all. The waiting could be another form of hell — and the Gestapo knew it. Predictably, the food — or what passed for food — was disgusting. In one cell, a prisoner wrote a song on the wall, filled with dark humour. ‘We are born to eat two potatoes, a plate of soup with one long maggot. Hitler gave us the potato leftovers and instead of lard 25 whacks on the a**e. Chorus: Potatoes, potatoes, potatoes, oh you potatoes, putrid and full of maggots! For these rotting potatoes we have been working three years!’ Beat this for words of encouragement: ‘Girls, don’t surrender to them!!’ insisted Gasukina Lidija. ‘These sons of bitches! Be courageous and brave, even if you’ll be punished harshly.’ Finally, in March 1945, Cologne was liberated by the Americans. Many survived the mental, physical and emotional ordeal and even had the gut to revisit their former torture chambers as well as read their inscriptions. In June 1945, one former prisoner revisited his cell and wrote: ‘Stayed alive.’ Another who came back was Tola. After Cologne, she was sent to the concentration camps in Ravensbrück and Mauthausen, where she was liberated in May 1945. In 1991, she visited Cologne for the first time since the war, and saw her message in Cell No 4. She laid down some flowers in memory of those who died, which included Lolek, whose love had caused her to suffer so much.




s p i T y t u a Be H

Natural remedies for healthy hair growth

air loss affects both men and women. While genetics plays a role, there are other factors, including hormonal imbalances, an underactive thyroid gland, nutrient deficiencies and insufficient scalp circulation. In addition, there are many foods that offer vitamins and minerals that support healthy hair. Here are the top foods and natural remedies that can help boost healthy hair growth. Get enough essential fatty acids Walnuts Essential fatty acids are specific fats that are critical to the proper function of your body. Your body is not able to produce these fatty acids on its own, so it is necessary that you eat foods containing them. Ramp up collagen production with Vitamin C Collagen surrounds the hair strands but as we age collagen breaks down, causing hair to be more vulnerable to breaking. The best way to boost collagen is not through some expensive medical procedure, it’s by getting more vitamin C. Foods high in vitamin C include: citrus fruits, strawberries and red peppers. Supplementing with 250 mg daily can help boost collagen production which has the added bonus of reducing wrinkling. Boost Bioton Biotin, a water soluble vitamin of the B complex, encourages hair and scalp health. Dietary sources of biotin include nuts, brown rice and oats. Boost Keratin production with MSM Methylsulfonylmethane aids in the production of keratin (a protein in the hair) while doing double-duty to strengthen hair follicles. In one study 100 percent of people who supplemented with MSM showed reduced hair loss and increased growth in only six weeks. Leafy vegetables, such as Swiss chard, cabbage and watercress, contain a small amount of MSM. Raw vegetables contain a higher amount than cooked vegetables because heat causes some of the msm to volatilize. However, you still receive some when you eat cooked asparagus or beets. Those who like to eat alfalfa also receive MSM when ingesting its nutritious leaves.

Compiled by Miriam Humbe Eat Iron Rich Foods Iron is also essential for hair growth and can be found in blackstrap molasses, green leafy vegetables, leeks, cashews, dried fruits, figs, and berries. To help your body absorb iron, you’ll need enough vitamin C. Give your hair a mineral boost The minerals silica and zinc are also critical for hair growth. Take 500 mg of silica two times daily and 30 mg of zinc once daily. Food sources of silica include cucumber, mango, green leafs, beans, celery, asparagus. Natural Organic silica is also found in horsetail herb. Among some of the foods high in zinc are pumpkin seeds, fresh oysters, brazil nuts, eggs, pecans. Avocado contains many proteins and vitamins, including A, D, E and B6 as well as magnesium, folic acid, amino acids, copper and iron, all of which can help with both hair growth and nourishment. Add the herb saw palmetto into your diet A study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine reported that saw palmetto (serenoa repens) may increase hair growth in men. Hair growth improved in men taking 400 mg of a standardized extract of saw palmetto and 100 mg of beta-sitosterol (from saw palmetto) daily. Historically, saw palmetto has been used by herbalists for hair loss in both men and women. Rejuvenate hair follicles with b-complex vitamins 100 mg daily of a B-complex supplement that includes biotin and vitamin B6 can reduce hair thinning by increasing scalp circulation and rejuvenating hair follicles. Prevent breakage with Vitamin E Vitamin E is required to nourish damaged hair and to prevent breakage. It aids the body’s ability to manufacture keratin within hair strands to reduce breakage. Supplementing with 400 IU of vitamin E can be helpful to restore locks. Some foods high in vitamin E include sunflower seeds, almonds, pine nuts, dried apricots, cooked spinach and olives.

Compiled by MIRIAM HUMBE




Stylish in Ankara shirt blouse P

atterns have proven to be an extremely important trend this season thus giving Ankara an opportunity to flourish. But now, it is definitely not your usual traditional skirt and blouse ensemble. What is obtainable now is cropped tops, high waist shorts, Peplum tops and pleated skirts. Both new and established designers are now transforming modern pieces into African chic. And you should too. Here are some stylish and inspirational shirt ideas to help you rock new trends of Ankara all year long. They are absolutely gorgeous on both skirts and trousers alike and are corporate and yet, so casual.

Pots & Pans



Tuwon semolina da Miyan Kubewa (Okro)

With Hajiya Ramatu Usman Dorayi Ingredients: Okro 3 Hot chilli (Atarugu) 2 Long pepper (Tatasai) 4 fresh tomato or one large tin 1 Onions(Alubasa) 5 Garlic Ox tail Cow ribs Dried fish Spices: Maggi, curry, bajji, coriander, turmeric, Method: Marinate ox tail and cow ribs. Chop in garlic, onion, and a little bitter chilli. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Blend tomato, chilli and long pepper. Pour mixture into the marinated meat add a little salt to your taste and stock cubes. Allow tomato puree to marinate with the meat for about 10 minutes. Soak dried fish in hot water and clean, pour fish into the soup and stir; allow to simmer for half an hour. Pour a little "Kanwu"(bicarbonate of soda) and pour the okro. Allow to boil for 15 minutes Meanwhile, pre-heat water to boil and pour grounded semolina, use a whisk or wooden spoon to stir for about three minutes and allow to heat. Use wooden spoon to turn the semolina. Pour half a cup of water to soften it, cover the pot and allow to simmer. Serve or dish out as desired.

Homemade Apple Juice


ry this recipe at home and you will be quite surprised with the result, because it tastes heavenly. You are bound to find that it tastes better when it is served cold. So, try this delicious natural juice splash and savour‌‌. Preparation Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes Makes: Three cups of apple sauce Ingredients: Apples - 4 medium size crunchy sweet apples Sugar - 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup Lemon Juice - 2 tablespoons Water - 1/2 cup Ice cubes as needed Cold water as needed Preparation: Wash apples well. Peel them, deseed

them, and chop them. Take them in a microwave safe bowl. Now add sugar and water in it. Cover with the lid. Put this in microwave for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and mash them little. Transfer this to a blender and make into a smooth puree. Pour this into a dry airtight container and store in fridge. To make juice, take a glass and add few ice cubes in them. Now add small amount of apple sauce and fill it with water. Enjoy cold. Note: You can store the apple sauce up to three days in the fridge. If you need to store for longer time, freeze them in ice cube trays and once frozen collect all the cubes inside a ziploc bag.



2. Tonto Dikeh never misses being noticed, at event grounds, at social functions anywhere, she is always noticed and this makes her not to escape the prey eyes of the press, she always has something worth writing about, most especially when she released her music tracks.

5. Afrocandy: she is always fond of her controversial talks and nude pictures so as soon as she pecks on it we bounce on her.


1. Mercy johnson is number one on my list this year, since she gave birth to her baby, she has been all over the news, from reducing of weight to shooting on movie locations, to the controversies of her payment and all of that, she has not ceased from being in the news at least once in 2weeks.

9. Tiwa Savage: Mavin first lady Tiwa, who just got married about a month ago has always being talked about since she married to Tee Billz till and after the wedding Tiwa savage Balogun doesn’t leave the news scene.

8. Don jazzy: Ceo Mavin records has not left the Nigerian entertainment talked about because he is always giving a peg to write on, though controversial things happened around him this year, but he still isn’t fed up and ready to continue striving harder.

4. Davido: the young artiste who loves to live big and show what he get doesn’t miss being in the news, this year surrounded with a lot of controversies, he still made some people smile, from his birthday celebration charity to his skelewu dance competition, though it has been really tough on him as the controversies with his track Skelewu never ceased to leave the news for days at a go.

7.Peter Okoye: he seems to be always in the news more than his brother on an individual basis, the artiste who just got married has not always been in the news since his marriage news flew to the air, before and after the wedding he feeds the press to what to write about him

6.Jim Iyke: of course we all agree that the young charming actor doesn’t miss being in the news since his deliverance news broke, anything he does is used as a peg to write 10. Less I forget, karen Igho made the number 10 in my list this year, the big brother contestant is known for her great fashion sense and other controversial actions and she beats the press to that all the time

3. Omotola Jalade Ekehinde doesn’t always miss her big shows and events that is why anywhere she goes to for a social function, our eagle eyes are always on her, she really achieved a lot this year to cap it all.




Police Wahala (Part 1) S chool Road glistened in the drizzle. The bus wobbled from side to side like a drunk groping homewards. An oncoming vehicle blasted its full headlights into the bus driver’s eyes now and then, and the razor-sharp headed man slowed down and cursed as violently as a motor tout. Two men sat in front with him. The other sixteen passengers were crammed tight into four rows of iron seats. Some of them sighed, grumbled, hissed, at the bus’s wobbly motions. Some cracked jokes about its battered insides, and giggled like men high on tobacco. Bede was preoccupied with himself. He always remembered Fela’s song about suffering and smiling whenever he entered a bus that was jam-packed, and how he often felt smelly afterwards, because he could sniff varied human odours on his clothes, aside from the exhaust fumes. Yet Bede didn’t mind being swayed back and forth. He imagined he was on a horse-back, enjoying a harmless bumpy ride. The rocking movements suited his present state of mind. It took his blues away, birthed by the incident which had soured his day. He was glad he didn’t board the bike. He would have been wet by the time he got home. He was in a hurry to flee the office premises; to put the incident with his boss behind him, the instant the bell dinged six. So he had flagged down a motorcyclist. Just as he made to sit astride the bike he thought he shouldn’t take his anger home, since his face might still be flushed with ire. Really, it wasn’t wise to walk irate into the sitting room, for it would disquiet Chisom. The doctor at the medical centre advised her, some months earlier, to avoid provocations, to always monitor her blood pressure. Although Bede often longed to share with her his stressful encounters with his boss, he was often compelled to act more mannish by bottling up his feelings in order not to worsen her condition even more. When the cyclist noticed Bede no longer wanted to ride with him and was turning towards a bus that had stopped a few yards away, the man lashed at him: ‘It’s your type who gets killed on the road, confused and stupid, walking around like zombies, thinking stupid things.’ Bede stopped in mid-stride. He clenched his jaw and fists. ‘You should fling yourself across the road so a tanker would crush your bones,’ he thought of hitting back. But then he reckoned the cyclist might be having a rough day like him, and so, ambled away in silence, advising himself not to direct his frustration at somebody else. Now Bede was sitting in the middle row by the window. A drowsy man sat huddled next to him wearing a tatty Panama hat. A dusty red handkerchief peeked out of his bark-brown safari shirt. He had the air of a pensioner, humbled against his will, yet uncomplaining, and content. Bede thought he looked ill, too, because an unpleasant woodsy smell wafted from him. The man might have swigged some herbal potions or smeared himself with a kind of poultice. As the bus buckled along the dim road,

Bede wished he had not bought the fuel. Instead of his boss to express his appreciation, the man had derided him, like a houseboy. If Bede himself weren’t such an experienced driver, armed with the daring skills required for shunting without scratching cars, he would have been sitting in the depressing queue, waiting for the next supplies from who-knows-where. But the hippo of a boss behind that desk didn’t appreciate his efforts at getting fuel on time. Perhaps, next time, Bede would watch the whole scrabble, like some spineless driver who was huddled over his wheel, praying to God to assist him obtain half a gallon after the fracas had died out. Like a typical Nigerian. Mr. Brutus Achu was really lucky he did not have to fight his way through a rowdy line of fuel-seekers at the filling station. Bede always made sure the fuel in the car’s tank was sufficient enough to get his boss through the weekend. The man did not know how difficult it was to get even the quantity he had bought that afternoon. All he was worried about was the little change his poor driver had salted away – in case of exigencies. As a driver, you never can tell what might befall you on the road. Being on the road is like going to bed; you might wake up with a pain; or worse, stay dead. Bede ran a hand on the rusty edge of the seat in front of him. His boss couldn’t pretend he didn’t know that sometimes the pump attendant wanted you to tip them, before they would sell. After all, they could say their supplies had dried up just when it got to your turn. What would you do? Fight them? At most, you would rave and roll your vehicle away. Bede caught his shadowy reflection in the cracked windowpane, and eyeballed it, like it was his boss’ face glaring back at him from outside. Next time he would sit idly in his car and watch other drivers breach the queue. He would not shrug a shoulder, even when someone swerved around him to take over his place. He

would return to the office and tell Mr. Achu flatly that none of the filling stations had fuel. Everybody knew the fuel scarcity had forced most of them to shut down. He had almost headed to Aba, since it housed some major depots, he would add, keeping an eye on the tremor on his boss’ brow. But Bede couldn’t risk using up the little fuel in the tank, only to get to one of those crookedly managed filling stations whose meters had been reset to cheat a driver of the actual quantities he had paid for. Besides, you might drive the over-fifty kilometres to Aba and find out that there was nowhere you could obtain fuel still. It would be reckless to drive even further to Uyo, simply because you wanted to re-fuel at a proper filling station. The only option was black market. Bede would watch his boss’ face swell a few inches, and, finally, he would smile inwardly when the tight-fisted man approved more money for him to buy adulterated fuel from the thriving roadside fuel hawkers. ‘Driver, take it easy!’ someone shouted in panic. Bede gasped in alarm, nearly flying off his seat. His hands gripped the front seat fast, so his chest didn’t slam into it. The old man toppled sideways, elbowing him in the ribs. Bede winced, turned to heave him off his body, but paused as he saw the humour in the way the man’s head lay, like a throw pillow, in his lap – as though the man expected a pat on the head. Bede didn’t smile or laugh. He only felt awkward, and sat still. The bus had pitched to an abrupt halt. Squashed-up between the door and a male passenger’s legs, the conductor was craning his neck out the window. ‘Where did you keep your mind?’ a plump woman scolded the driver. She was sitting in front of Bede. She had a sickly sweet oily smell, and reeked of mackerel. ‘If not for God, you would have crashed us all into the car in front of you.’ ‘Ndo,’ the old man told Bede, pulling

himself languidly away from his body and back into his own seat. ‘I hope you didn’t hurt yourself?’ Bede asked. ‘Old soldier never dies.’ The man grinned, and glanced away towards the bus conductor. Bede rubbed his ribs, thinking there was something rueful in the Old Soldier’s grin. He tried to picture the man’s life, if he lived alone, if he had come all the way from the village to demand for his pension, like the thousands who often assembled at the municipal council secretariat whenever he went to drop some stationeries with the finance/supply office, but he heard someone hiss, ‘Every time!’ He switched his gaze away from the old man. It was the conductor, a man older than Bede, who had hissed. Now he was grating his teeth viciously, like a snake. He reached a hand to the ceiling and flicked on the bulb. A wan yellow glow seeped into the air. ‘In the rain?’ someone asked. ‘They are still there?’ The tone rang with disbelief. ‘It is not yet bedtime for them,’ another retorted. It was quarter to seven, his watch said. Bede didn’t peep out of his window. He knew what had caused the near-collision. Mr. Brutus Achu should come and tear these men to pieces for doing nothing, save to stand at nearly every junction harassing motorists, he thought. He made only three-hundred naira after hours of quarrelling at the filling station, whereas these uniformed men made twice that amount in five minutes. ‘Haven’t they taken enough particulars for the day,’ Bede grunted out, but nobody paid him any attention. All the passengers were fuming as well. ‘Everywhere, queues,’ the man sitting directly behind him lamented. ‘Our country has become a land of queues.’ The story continues…



Romance Olawale and Omolabake Obaremo’s envious love story


he love story of Olawale and Omolabake Obaremo is quite an envious one. The love birds took time out to share the story of the beginning of their love and how they are looking ahead into the future.

How did you meet your partner? We were in the same camp (Lagos) during our NYSC orientation programme, in fact the same platoon, but we weren’t friends until after the camp. He came to my local govt to register only for him to realise that wasn’t where he should register. We saw each other and exchanged pleasantries and phone numbers What was the attraction? Well, I wouldn’t say we really liked each other initially, probably we did but maybe we were both denying our feelings. I remember him telling me that he used to dislike me so much in camp, because according to him, I always had boys around me and I was an attention seeker, lol. So, he always ‘abused’ me each time he saw me.

Did you at any point have doubts about him/her while you were courting and before the wedding? At all. The Proposal When did you realize that he/she was the one? That would be when we started courting, because he was totally different. He was able to control me properly and I saw the qualities I always wanted in a man. Did you have to give up any vice (tangible/intangible) in order to be with him/her since it had gotten to the marriage stage? I was the all out fun kind of girl, so I had to curb that.

What was your first impression of him/her? Hmmm, I met him for the first time in camp, but he wouldn’t remember. My first impression of him was that he was a snob. There was an issue about our university ID cards, I approached him thinking we finished from the same school, he just gave me this look and responded with a sharp “NO”. Maybe the impressions he had about me made him respond that way. Was it love at first sight? Well, I wouldn’t know if it was love at first sight, but I am sure there was an attraction. If not, how else would one explain that out of over 4000 ladies in camp, I was the one he kept noticing and ‘abusing’. The Courtship How did you ask her out? Were you friends at first? Yes, we were friends for a short while, calling each other on the phone and asking about each other’s welfare. Then it was more like seeking each other’s advice on issues concerning NYSC and place of primary assignment.

Olawale and Omolabake Obaremo

How long was your courtship? A year. How did you make up after fights? We understood each other perfectly and never really had a ‘fight’ while we courted. So making up after a misunderstanding wasn’t much ado.

How did you feel about giving up the perks/independence that comes with being a bachelor/spinster? It was very easy for me when I realised he was the one. I knew I would be becoming a better person with him, so there wasn’t any fear whatsoever about losing my independence. The line between respecting one’s spouse and fearing them is very thin. How have you been able to draw this line clearly in your marriage? Before we got married, we were friends, a lot of people actually thought he was my brother because of the kind of relationship we had. Even after marriage, my husband has continued with that friendly disposition and it’s so easy for me to see him as a friend, a brother, a father and a husband. I respect him a lot, even the book of God says ‘Husbands, love your wife’ and ‘Wife, respect your husbands’. A wife should always strive to please her husband and not make him angry, that isn’t fear, its respect.

Where and when did you share your first kiss? He says on our first date, but I say after that when I went to his house. Well, on our first date, we had a bet while playing snooker. I was the first to win, then I told him to kneel in front of me in public, which he did. Thereafter, it was his turn to give the terms of the bet and he said if I lost, I would kiss him. So I lost, although not intentionally, I had no choice but to kiss him. He sees that as our first kiss, but I don’t.

The Wedding Were your parents ever against your choice of partner? What reasons did they give? Ordinarily, we thought my father would be against our relationship, but to our surprise he wasn’t. I am from a Muslim home and he’s a Christian. As the only girl, my father had always reiterated the fact that he wanted a Muslim son-in-law. But to God be the Glory, he met my husband and never objected.

Where did you go to on your first date? We went to see a movie, DUE DATE. How did it go? It was a romantic comedy, we laughed over it. Afterwards we played snooker, had a couple of drinks together and went to our respective homes.

How was the experience like planning the wedding? All I can say is to God be the glory. Every wedding comes with the stress of making the day a perfect one. Did you experience any pre-wedding jitters or cold feet at any point? Not at all. Did you have a big ceremony or a small ceremony for your wedding? We had what l call a medium sized ceremony. How did it feel when you finally said “I do” to your soul mate? There wasn’t any difference because we were already both committed to each other, saying the I DO was just a re-affirmation of that. The Honeymoon Where did you spend your honeymoon? In a hotel in Lagos. How long was it? It wasn’t a long one because we both had to get back to work. Any word for young people out there who are getting into the world of marriage? PATIENCE! That’s the word and the key to any successful marriage. Patience is one virtue a wife or husband must have. With

that and the Almighty God with you, your marriage is on a solid rock. How have you been able to merge raising a family and your various careers? We have one kid now. I wouldn’t say it has been a bed of roses, especially having to take care of the baby, the home, and also not lagging behind at work. It’s just the grace of God and also my supporting husband. He has a way of making all the stress go away and he is so understanding. Based on your experience in marriage, will you choose wives or husbands for your children or you will rather let them explore the world and make their mistakes? What are your reasons? No, no, no. I’d prefer they explore, but I will be with them all the way to guide and counsel them. If my dad hadn’t allowed me and insisted on my marrying a Muslim, only God knows who I would have married. And I couldn’t be happier with another man, that I am sure of. What has been your secret of keeping your marriage going? Friendship. This goes a long way in every marriage. Without friendship, a marriage will feel boring, monotonous and depressing. I don’t believe its love that holds a marriage, if it was, there won’t be divorces out there. Love is necessary, yes. But friendship, care and understanding are the ultimate. Then finally, always reference God.



Entertainment Xtra Kelly Handsome, M.I. Reconcile, Thrill Port Harcourt Fans with Joint Performance


elechukwu and M.I. Abaga may to clap for themselves, as it looks like the two rappers have put aside their long running feud in the interest of peace

and collaboration. The rappers have been spotted on stage in Port Harcourt recently rocking the crowd in a joint performance.

Tonto Dikeh confused why people celebrate Christmas


ollywood top actress Tonto Dikeh confesses she doesn't understand why Christmas (Jesus Buffday) is celebrated on December 25. According to Tonto, from Genesis to Revelation, there is no place it was written that Jesus Christ was born on December 25th. Thus, she inquires: "Why December 25th?"Tonto Dikeh, popularly called Poko, is so confused that she has started the open discussion of this topic on Facebook.

"Why I Converted To Islam' - Former Nollywood Actress Speaks Out


ollywood actress Vivian Metchie, who has recently divorced, says she recently adopted the Islamic faith because she found the Christian faith too confusing. “Yeah it is personal. I understand the Koran more than the Bible. All of a sudden, the Christian confusion was driving me nuts. My dad was catholic, my mum was Deeper Life, I married someone in the Redeemed Church and then all of a sudden, the few religions had something bad to say about each other. I just couldn’t take it anymore. A friend of mine who is

close to me said that once you are grounded on the word, it wont be confusing. Unfortunately, maybe I wasn’t grounded in the word, but I still could see what I see. But in my quest and study and research, I don’t know: I was probably looking for peace. Yeah! That was what I was looking for and I found it in the Koran.” Vivian, the mother of 4, who has adopted Fareedah as her Muslim name, explains that her decision was well received and respected by her dad who has since stopped calling her by her native name and now calls her Fareedah.



Entertainment Gists

Genevieve Nnaji to star in Elizabeth Daniels’ ‘Folly” S

tar actress, Genevieve Nnaji is not a face most movie buffs see in too many movies these days. She selects which flick to feature in, and for those who can also afford her bills, she gladly agree to appear in their movies. Report now reaching confirms that the queen of African film is set to star in a new movie entitled ‘Folly’ which is a flick by fast-rising actress turned movie producer, Elizabeth Daniels. The pretty lady has succeeded immensely in breaking the boundaries of a typical Nigerian movie production and has raised the bar to an enviable height.

Though still young, the highly gifted and hardworking lady has set an indelible mark in the movie industry. Her last work, ‘Behind The Melody’, which featured Ini Edo, Jim Iyke and several other A-list names, was a mega success. As we further gathered, ‘Folly’ will also have the expertise of Desmond Elliot in it. Some have been whispering it that the new film will definitely be the next best thing to happen to Nollywood. ‘Folly’, a big budget movie which has a female politician from United State of America (USA) as partner, is already in its final stage of shooting.

Mariah Carey says she’s done having kids


ariah Carey, the mother two celebrated singer, says she is done with having kids. The mom to 2-yearold twins says the decision is a joint one with her hubby Nick Cannon. Speaking at a live television show, Mariah revealed that the decision against increasing their their brood -- ever. “Here’s the thing. I’m responsible for the kids for like forever. They didn’t ask for this lifestyle but here they are,” Carey explained. The couple wedded in 2008 and only two years celebrated the birth of their lovely twins: Moroccan Scott and Monroe. Only recently, the happy couple commemorated their five years together with their annual vow renewal ceremony. This year, the glamorous couple held an elaborate ceremony in Disneyland in front of 250 guests. They arrived in a Cinderella-inspired pumpkin carriage, and stepped out to the moonlit ceremony in costumes fit for royalty. Mariah donned a gorgeous white gown, inspired by Cinderella and a tiara to match. Her hubby perfectly matched in a dashing Prince Charminginspired ensemble. They look right out of a Disney movie! The couple brought their adorable twins, Moroccan Scott and Monroe to also celebrate their second birthday. That was the most adorable part of the celebration. “Dem Babies,” as the couple lovingly dubs the twins,

turned two the same day as their wedding anniversary. The toddlers were dressed in outfits matching their parents. Little Monroe wore a white dress like her mom, and baby Moroccan was a mini Prince Charming! Too cute! However, the duo would not be expecting their little one. No, never, according to Mariah Carey. Meanwhile, Old feuds die hard, but Mariah Carey and Eminem never quite made up. The rapper, now 41, famously claimed that he and the “Art of Letting Go” singer hooked up after meeting in 2001. Carey’s pointed response on the matter was her 2009 smash “Obsessed,” which inspired a video that featured Carey in male drag as, presumably, Eminem himself. On the Sunday, Dec. 22 episode of Watch What Happens

Live!, Andy Cohen broached the topic to the diva herself during a round of “Plead the Fifth” -asking Carey to say three nice things about Emimen. Her response was sweetly sarcastic. “They come in a package that you can carry wherever you go. People love them around the world, and they’re tasty. You can have peanut or the regular kind,” Carey sniped. “Oh my god, I love it!” a gleeful Cohen replied. The Grammy winning star further asserted herself as the “original” diva -- claiming that her fans named themselves “lambs” before other unnamed divas (ahem, Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters) nicknamed their own contingencies. “I would never be so presumptuous as to name people,” she sniffed.

Kanye West sued for copy right violation


icky Spicer, 56, filed a suit yesterday in Manhattan Supreme Court that accused the rapper of using his voice without permission on his current hit single (and in its notorious video depicting Kim Kardashian topless on a motorcycle). The Yeezus track pulls from Spicer’s childhood soul group, the Ponderosa Twins Plus One, and his lead vocals on the track “Bound.” Spicer recorded the track, and its familiar “fallin’ in love” refrain, when he was 12 years old, reports the New York Daily News. He had previously lived in an orphanage before being discovered by a music publisher at a talent show. Listen to the original track and compare to West’s below. “Mr. Spicer’s voice is sampled exactly as he recorded it and his voice… is heard several times,” charges the suit, which requests that West pay Spicer or cease and desist in use of his vocals. It also names West’s record labels Roc-A-Fella Records, Universal Music Group, Island Def-Jam Music and Rhino Entertainment as defendants. Kanye West and his labels have not responded to the lawsuit, but the hip-hop star has remained reliably vocal on other topics lately: he revealed that his next album will be more aesthetically streamlined and possibly only eight songs, crooned contentious opinions about Michael Jordan’s basketball career and launched into a tirade against an interviewer who questioned his attempts to conquer the fashion industry. Hear the Ponderosa Twins Plus One’s “Bound” and West’s “Bound 2” below:


Entertainment Xtra


Why I bought Michael Jackson’s jacket, says Odegbami’s Daughter Yemisi May Odegbami, best known as May7ven, has been described by many as the Queen of UK Afrobeats. The Nigerian-born singer, songwriter, dancer, producer, and entrepreneur debuted in 2008 in the UK with her single ‘Hands Up’. In this interview with Chizy’s Spyware, she explains why she bought Michael Jackson’s jacket.


t is already the end of the year; give us a summary of what you have been working on? What have I not been working on recently? I have been doing a lot of collaborations lately against my better judgement or wishes, but I had to listen to my team when they said ‘you do not really mingle and you have not really collaborated with many artist’ so, if a song sounds good enough, then I will do it. I did a collaboration with Chingy and 2face called ‘fallen’. 2face is one of the biggest in the African music industry and I love him to bits, so to get a song with him is phenomenal. I also did a collaboration with Alexander Burke, and another one with Mr 2kay. My new single should be out in a few weeks. How was it working with Alexander Burke on ‘Ooh La La (Remix)’? Burke contacted my management team in November 2012 with the intention of working with me, D’banj or Wizkid. She was a fan of the music and wanted to get in the afro beats circle. Admittedly, I think she has got one of the most amazing voices, but I was never a fan of the music she put out, so I chose not to work on the project. I was also aware that these other guys (D’banj and Wizkid) also refused to work on the project for their own reasons. Her team were persistent, so I thought “what harm is there anyway”, as long as I can make the song credible irrespective of what the song is like. I eventually worked on the song and she loved it. In a nutshell, it was a cool and interesting project to work on. Are there plans shoot a

video for ‘Ooh La La (Remix)’? There is a contractual agreement in place, so there will be a video. What upcoming projects do you have planned? Do you have any tours scheduled? I intend to put out a few singles, after which there would be a tour in the second quarter of 2014 Are there any international artist you will like to collaborate with, and why? Usher, simply. If I can get Joe, fine, but Usher is the ultimate because when he dances, I want to challenge him. Yes, I want to dance with him. Musically, he is probably the most consistent, persistent and credible artist in the music industry. I have a lot of respect for him. What should we expect from you in 2014? 2014 should be renamed ‘year 20 & May7ven’. It is going to be worse next year for people who do not like me because we will be putting out a lot of songs, new videos, and my album will also be out in 2014. My style will develop even more; it will blossom more than what you already think is crazy. So, be warned, you have not seen anything yet. Do you think there is a space for Afro beats UK artists in the African (Nigerian) music industry? There is, but it is tough. I am not sure which one of us is going for that challenge because it seems no one has really thought about it, we tend to just put music out. My target is the UK and the international arena, so I am not concerned with Nigerian or Afro beats UK alone. I do not believe there should be a separation between Afro beats UK and Afro

Michael Jackson’s customized jackets

beats Nigeria. How do you ensure your fans remain satisfied and excited about your work? That is challenging for artists at any level, even Lady Gaga has to do some work. For me, it is about developing more to exceed their expectations, giving more in performances, in music that I produce, and in videos that I shoot. You mentioned Lady Gaga, this leads to my next question. People tend to compare you to Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj. Would you say they inspired your style? do not intend to be boastful, but my style has been out before they were; Lady Gaga has only been around since 2010, while I have been around since 2006. My hair turned white a few years before Nicki Minaj or Lady Gaga’s hair turned white. If anything, I am influenced by the Grace Jones and Lil Kim of this world. For fans who are inspired by your style, which designer would you like to introduce them to? It’s very hard for people to get the kind of clothes I wear because I mix and match items from a number of designers, and I tend to pick items from brands that are not well known so people do not easily copy. I am usually styled by different designers including Roooi, Silvia and Mama Sam. I like Louis Vuitton a lot, but I tend to go for the discrete ones which do not have their logo all over them; Alexander McQueen is another one of my favourite designers. I like bespoke products, which are not readily available to the public; everything I wear on stage is


Nicki Minaj

May 7ven- Yemisi made, I never buy off the shelf. Do you keep in touch with your African roots (Nigeria)? Yes I do. My father lives there. I cannot get away from it because I was born in Nigeria, and I still eat African food. I am very cultured and still believe in the old traditional values. What is the experience like when you go back to Nigeria? If I am being truthful, I lock myself up in a hotel when I am in Nigeria on a business trip. Are you involved in any charity work? Yes, I am involved in a lot of charity work. We have a school in Nigeria, a sports and entertainment academy for kids (11-16 yrs old). The academy was built by my father in 2009, and my sister and I look after the entertainment side of things. We educate the kids and sharpen them up to develop in the areas of sports and entertainment. My sister and I also set up a UK charity, which aims to look after disadvantaged kids. Your last word for all the African Women out there trying to make an impact in their various industries? Believe in yourself and make sure you are the best at what you do. If you want to be a doctor, a dancer, an artist, whatever it is, just be the best at it. Do not get distracted; invest in yourself and never give up. Apart from your white wig, what other item can’t you do without? My phone; because I need to talk to everybody, including my team and my family. What are the 5 most important items in your hand bag? I never leave my house without

Lady Gaga’s hair

my make-up kit in my bag, my dairy, my wallet, cash point cards and glasses. Everything else is junk. What’s the most expensive item of clothing you have ever bought? It was a jacket that was previously owned by Michael Jackson. By the way I am Michael Jackson’s biggest fan. What’s the craziest thing a fan has ever done for or to you? A fan had been trying for a few years to get my phone number; he eventually tricked his way into getting it through family and friends. That was so crazy. I also get the occasional marriage proposal. What is the one accessory that makes you feel sexy? My underwear. There are certain types of underwear which regardless of what I’m wearing on top, once I know I have got this thing underneath, I feel really sexy. When was the last time you used public transport? his week actually, I used the train to rehearsals. Before now, I was very spoilt. For 15 years I never took public transport because I have always had a car. I had a car accident two months ago, hence I had to get rid of my car. I started taking cabs everywhere. There was one incident where I was in a cab for so long trying to get somewhere that was not very far, the cab driver said “why be in the cab, why not just jump on the train?” I got on the train and arrived at my destination in 10 minutes. So now, anytime I need to go somewhere and I don’t want to be late, I just jump on the train. What is the beauty project you cannot do without? My mac powder.




Entertainment Flakes


D'banj To celebrate 10 years on stage


apo Oyebanjo, popularly known as D'banj, is gearing up to celebrate his 10th year in the Nigerian Entertainment Industry come 2014. The world has watched Oyebanjo grow in his career and it is no doubt that in 2014, one of the biggest events is expected to come out of DMK Media. Details of the celebration are yet to be disclosed, but insiders say it is going to be one of the major things that will happen to the nation's entertainment industry in 2014.

Don Jazzy ‘s father to feature in Kelani’s new movie


opular music producer, Don Jazzy’s father, Enebeli Collins, has just been confirmed to feature in Tunde Kelani’s new flick entitled “Dazzling Mirage”. Collins, it was learnt, would play a lead role as Kunle Afolayan’s father in the movie. Other actors to feature in the movie include Lala Akindoju and Bimbo Manuel.

Senator Ganiyu Solomon celebrates 54 birthday in Lagos


enator Ganiyu Solomon, the Mushin, Lagos State born strong politician clocked 54 on Friday. The Senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial District in the upper legislative chamber, gathered friends and well wishers at his Omole, Lagos State office, to mark the feat. The ceremony was a low key. Eminent personalities, including his party chieftains were in attendance.

Feyisekemi Akinwale wins next movie star Africa loaded


eyisekemi Akinwale has been adjudged winner of the 2013 Next Movie Star Africa reloaded edition. The 19-year old Ondo State born, beat other finalists to win star prize of a brand new SUV, cash prize and movies roles. Ola Adebolu, Nwanma Odefa, Vaveni Shiuywene and Imoh Chimezie, who emerged first, second, third and fourth runners up respectively, will also get cash prizes and movie contract for their efforts. Veteran actress, Racheal Oniga, who was also one of this edition's judges, announced the winner. She was joined by the president of the Independent Television Producers Association of Nigeria, ITPAN, Stephen Osezua, renowned actress and director, Pat Oghre-Osezua. Akinwale, a French student of Ekiti State University, exclaimed when she was declared the winner. Elated Akinwale said:"Thank God". She described her victory as an act of God because " I wasn't expecting that at all. I am just too excited to say much".

Mr. Universe to visit Nigeria in 2014


r Universe Musclemania champion, Tryone Tseye Ogedegbe, has indicated interest to storm Nigeria in 2014.The 29-year old Briton, born to Nigerian parents, is an investment Analyst, who lives in London, from where he travels to compete in various international body building competition. Ogedegbe is proud of his Nigerian roots, which he traces to Delta State to the illustrious Ogedegbe family that produced the likes of former Super Eagles goal keeper, late Best Ogedegbe and Nathaniel Ogedegbe, who resides in the United States of America. Besides his Mr Universe crown, which he won in June in Miami, United States of America, Ogedengbe is also the top shot in the pro short division, Musclemania Universe 2013, overall champion muscle mania Briton, Men'Open and Musclemania Britain 2012. On his next plan, Ogedegbe in his words said:"I plan to come to Nigeria in 2014 to be part of the launch of the Paul Okoku Greater Tomorrow Foundation for the less privileged kids

D'banj's Koko mansion Season 2 to hold next year


igeria's super star, D'banj is said to have perfected plans to hold his popular reality TV show, Koko Mansion season 2, in 2014. Ladies across the country are said to be on the edge in anticipation of the reality show. A very dependable source close to the singer revealed that date and venue have not been fixed yet but there are all indications that the show would hold next year.



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Now that Obasanjo has spoken up on the economy By Kayode Ojo


n recent times, little else has stirred heated debate in the country like former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s open letter to President Goodluck Jonathan. While there are several aspects to Obasanjo’s ‘letter bomb’ that better informed and more cerebral reviewers than this writer have analysed, what is of major concern here is the former president’s statement that, “on the economy generally, it suffices to say that we could do better than we are doing.” As far back as primary school, this writer recalls that teachers hardly ever awarded 100 percent marks to any pupil, no matter how brilliant. And their reason was always that one can always do better. This then is an obvious truth of life that everyone is familiar with: no matter how well you do in any field of endeavour, you can always do better. Taken in this light, Obasanjo possibly meant well when he reechoed the time-honoured principle aimed at urging President Jonathan to do better than he is doing in the economic sector. However, a couple of paragraphs down the line in his letter, Obasanjo dropped all pretence of meaning well and levelled an allegation of theft, or complicity in theft, at the Jonathan administration with regards to the sale of the nation’s crude oil. It was unfortunate enough that the former president made such a serious charge without offering any verifiable proof; he deepened the malice in his accusation by declaring: “The letter


Peoples Daily Weekend welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed to: The Editor, Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. Email: of Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria to you on non-remittance to Central Bank buttressed the allegation.” Clearly, Obasanjo was referring to the CBN governor’s recent letter to Jonathan in which the theft of $49.8bn from the sale of the nation’s crude oil was insinuated. As of the time that this writer sat down to put together this article, the CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, had come forward to admit that his $49.8bn missing oil money charge was a mistake. He even tried to revise the purportedly missing amount to $12bn. But considering that at the press conference where the CBN governor admitted his error he looked completely humbled and disoriented, no discerning Nigerian can be expected to take any new thing that the CBN governor says at face value. Arising from this turn of events, Obasanjo ought to tender a public apology to President Jonathan for

relying on reckless and unverified information to vilify the nation’s Commander-in-Chief. Indeed, this writer can safely surmise that, considering the former president’s well-known vitriolic and unforgiving disposition, if he had been at the receiving end of the charge that he had levelled at Jonathan, Obasanjo would have reacted by spewing unprintable names or worse. Moreover, while no one has any right to question Obasanjo’s right as an elder statesman to speak up on any issue of national importance that takes his fancy, it stands to reason that he himself should be willing to give account of his stewardship if he is to have the moral high ground to call the performance of the incumbent president into question. In essence, now that Obasanjo has spoken up on the present state of the nation’s economy, it is only fair to ask what sort of economic legacy he left

behind after eight years as president. After all, if the economy is not doing as well as it should, it simply cannot be true or fair to insinuate that the poor performance of the economy began on the very day Jonathan took office. While the buck now stops at Jonathan’s table, equity demands that we uncover where the rot began. To be clear, this is not a case of leaving the message to query the messenger as no Nigerian can ever accept that Obasanjo is a messenger in any capacity. As one analyst observed while commenting on the Obasanjo ‘letter bomb’, Obasanjo himself is the message. This writer could not agree more, for indeed, Obasanjo in his deeds, utterances, and entire existence is a holistic message that would continue to be examined in great detail by virtually all discerning Nigerians now and well into the future. In this light, it is only fair to ask certain pertinent questions, with specific regards to the economy, which Obasanjo is now posturing to be so concerned about. How did the nation’s economy fair under Obasanjo for eight years? Was he able to unbundle NEPA/PHCN, something that Jonathan achieved in two years? Was he able to stop the racketeering of fertiliser distribution that plagued the agro-economic sector throughout his eight-year administration, a scam that Jonathan has effectively ended? These are just a few of the many questions stirred by Obasanjo’s foray into the nation’s present economy. Kayode Ojo sent this piece via




The puzzles confronting Nigeria By Dr Olapade Agoro


he saddening, terrifying and horrifying news of Boko- Haram insurgents again penultimate Friday morning attacking and bombarding army barracks in Bama 78 kilometers from Maiduguri Borno State with reckless abandon and in the trail freely suing rocketpropelled guns all these on the wake of an earlier one at an air force base also in Borno State where about 30 air force officers were reported killed and four highly expensive aircraft destroyed must be enough to tell all those who cared to listen that Nigeria is at war with itself. That President Goodluck Jonathan could own up agreeing that the scenario “is a very challenging moment “ although an undercurrent statement but enough to tell us all that he must

not only be feeling terribly concerned but unsafe. The House of Representatives members in tandem with CBN Governor currently having running battle with Coordinating Minister of the economy and Finance Minister Dr. Mrs Ngozi Okonjo – Iweala over the glaring poor state of the economy must be conclusive of the fact that the mad man hears only its own voice otherwise the ranting by Okonjo- Iweala over a spill can of milk. Only a fool will fail to see that the economy fastly drawing down on its Foreign Exchange Account deposit is not only ailing but terribly roaming on the cliff of disaster. That APC the newly formed and registered political party is not only creating waves but forcing the ruling party PDP to its seeming end and irrelevancy rather than constituting a laugh-

ing matter must be seen a dangerous signal for the political future of Nigeria. Unfortunately PDP the political party of Mr. President that is at its senseless war with and within itself must be said is lacking good cause to curry public pity. Hidden however from the

public glare is the fact that President Goodluck Jonathan’s kin’s men and women rather than be nationalistic in the thoughts and planning have resorted to subterranean method employing their old tactics going back to creeks to sabotage Nigeria’s economic interest using oil to fight

Only a fool will fail to see that the economy fastly drawing down on its Foreign Exchange Account deposit is not only ailing but terribly roaming on the cliff of disaster.

the nation. It was part of this game plan that of recent landed Alhaji Asari Dokubo in trouble in Benin Republic a bad situation which President Goodluck Jonathan unexpectedly saved. The warning must therefore hereby be sounded that Nigeria and Jonathan are at war on three dangerous fronts that if not timely checked and addressed could consume all of us. The nations statesmen and women have it a duty calling on them to meet soonest possible convoking a National Peace Conference to address our currency of parlous situations before they are blown out into non controllable. *Dr. Olapade Agoro (Aladura Patriarch), Owa’Tapa of Itapa Ijesa land, National Chairman, former Presidential Candidate; National Action Council (NAC) (World stage

8 Steps to take today (II) By Miranda Hitti WebMD Feature Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD Healthy Living Step No. 4: Upgrade your diet


illiams, a nutritionist for a dozen years, says her diet advice isn’t about eating certain foods and avoiding others as much as it is about awareness and choices. Here are her pointers: • Replace “I should” with “I choose.” So instead of “I should be eating morefruits and vegetables,” it’s “I choose to eat more fruits and vegetables” or “I choose not to,” because it’s more powerful language,” Williams says. “It shows that you’re in control, you’re making the choice. So if you choose to or you choose not to, you make the choice and you move on.” • Skip the guilt. “Usually, whenever someone feels guilty about something, it feeds right back to the behavior that they’re trying to get rid of,” Williams says. “So if someone is an emotional eater and they say, ‘I know I shouldn’t be doing this,” it implies more guilt and judgment on themselves, they feel worse, and then they end up eating to comfort themselves.” • Choose to plan. Stock your pantry with healthy fare and bring healthy snackswith you so you’re prepared when you get hungry. “When we’re really hungry, our physiology kicks in and that’s when we’re craving the hamburger and fries; we’re not craving a salad,” Williams says.

Healthy living starts right now. Experts tell you how • Slow down and savor your food. Don’t watch TV, work, or drive while you’re eating. “A lot of people tell me, ‘My problem is that I really like food,’ but I think that’s a really good thing,” Williams says. “If you really enjoy food, sit down and enjoy your meal. You’re much more likely to feel psychologically satisfied if you don’t multitask while you’re eating.” • Shoot for five to nine daily servings of varied fruits and vegetables. Cover the rainbow of fruit and vegetable colors to get a good mix of nutrients. “If you’re not getting the rainbow, you’re probably not getting all the nutrients that you need,” Williams says. Healthy Living Step No. 5: Manage stress As a wellness coach trained in stress management, Williams recommends making two different plans to handle stress. • Routine maintenance: Develop positive coping skills, such as meditation and visualization, and look for activities, such as yoga or exercise, to keep your baseline stress level in check. • Breakthrough stress: Find ways to handle stressful situations that flare up without warning. For instance, Williams says that after a stressful meeting at work, you might run up and down the stairs a few times to burn off anger, or retreat to a bathroom stall to take a few deep breaths and refocus. Williams also shares three

other stress management tips that you can start using immediately: • Check your perspective. Ask yourself, “Will this matter to me a year from now?” If not, why are you getting so wound up? • Volunteer. Helping to meet other peoples’ needs may make your own problems seem smaller. • Keep a gratitude journal. Write down the positive people, events, and things that you’re thankful for. “It really switches the focus to, ‘Wow, look how much I have,” Williams says. “Most stress is caused by wishing things were different than they are now.” • Breathe. One of the breathing exercises that Williams recommends is to count your breaths for a minute, and then try to cut that number of breaths in half for the next minute. Healthy Living StepNo. 6: Sleep better If you have trouble sleeping,

try these tips from sleep medicine specialist Lisa Shives, MD, medical director of Northshore Sleep Medicine in Evanston, Ill. • No TV or computer two hours before bedtime. It’s not just because the TV and computer are stimulating; it’s also because of their light. “We’re very sensitive to the cue that light gives you that it’s time to be up and about,” Shives says. She recommends light, calming reading lit by a lamp that doesn’t shine directly into your eyes. • No heavy exercise close to bedtime. Light stretching is OK, but vigorous activity will heat up your body’s core temperature, which makes it harder to sleep. “If you’re working up a sweat, you’re working too hard right before bed,” Shives says. • Take a hot bath. That will heat up your core body temperature, but when you get out of the bath, your core temperature will fall, which may help you get to sleep. Plus, the bath “relaxes

Breakthrough stress: Find ways to handle stressful situations that flare up without warning. For instance, Williams says that after a stressful meeting at work, you might run up and down the stairs a few times to burn off anger, or retreat to a bathroom stall to take a few deep breaths and refocus.

you mentally,” Shives says. She adds that having a hot, noncaffeinated drink, such as chamomile tea, may also help. • Set a regular sleep schedule. When Shives treats insomnia patients, she tells them that although they can’t make themselves fall asleep, they can make themselves get up at a certain time the next morning. And though they may be tired at first, if they don’t nap, they may start sleeping better during the following nights. “We’re going to get nowhere if they take big naps during the day and keep a very erratic sleep schedule; it’s chaos then,” Shives says. • Don’t count on weekend catch-up sleep. If you have chronic sleep problems, you probably can’t make up for that on the weekends. But if you generally sleep well and have a rough week, go ahead and sleep in on the weekend. “I actually think that’s good for the body,” Shives says. • Don’t ignore chronic sleep problems. “Don’t let sleep troubles linger for months or years. Get to a sleep specialist earlier rather than later, before bad habits set in,” Shives says. • Prioritize good sleep. “This is as important as diet and exercise,” Shives says. She says that in our society, “we disdain sleep, we admire energy and hard work and [have] this notion that sleep is just something that gets in the way.” Source:




Insurgency: An Xmas festival without bloodsheds By Fatima Goni


bout a month to the Chrismas festival, we woke up to learn about attacks at airforce base by Boko Haram fighters in Maiduguri. Few weeks later, precisely a week to the Xmas D-Day, another bombshell was dropped when another group of insurgents attacked another military base in Borno. The bad news was indeed scary. Scary on what might happen on Xmas Day itself against the backdrop of past incidences where suicide bombers detonated explosives at religious centres during festivities. While anticipating more deadly attacks from the suspected terrorists, the good tidings was broken at the eve of the Xmas Day by the Director Defence Information, Major General Olukolade that the terrorists had suffered loses as the military tracked and killed the insurgents who attacked the army barracks. The military spokesperson was emphatic that the military operations to track insurgents who had carried out the predawn attacks on Mohammed Kur Barracks, Bama, had led to the destruction of over 20 vehicles conveying escaping terrorists. The vehicles were the ones used during the attack on the barracks and were sited through air surveillance as the terrorists were making efforts to cross the borders back to their haven in Cameroun. Although a good number of the insurgents escaped with bullet wounds while some had been arrested while over 50 of them died in the course of exchange of fire with ground troops in the ongoing operations to apprehend fleeing terrorists. While there were media report over alleged abduction of wives of military personnel by Boko Haram, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno on a visit to Abuja told the media that that the affected women kidnapped by the Boko Haram sect in Bama, Borno State, had escaped from their captives. He said: “Three women were kidnapped and luckily they escaped. So Boko Haram is not holding unto the women and kids as at the moment.” While development were unfolding, just before the Xmas day, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed D. Abubakar reassured Nigerians that the Police had set in motion comprehensive operational strategies to boost security

National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki

effectively during this year’s Christmas season and beyond. In a statement issued by the Police spokesperson Frank Mba, it disclosed that all the strike Forces and specialized units of the Force, including the Police Mobile Force (Mopol), Counter Terrorism Unit, Special Protection Unit, Federal Highway Patrol and Explosive Ordinance Department have been adequately mobilized to join forces with the conventional Police Force in providing water-tight security. The statement further disclosed “that covert operations, round-the-clock surveillance, and robust vehicular patrols are

being intensified, while particular attention is now constantly paid to strategic public places, including places of worship, recreation centres, shopping malls, business plazas, motor parks, strategic highways, government installations and other important locations so as to forestall any possible criminal activity and guarantee the safety of the citizenry.” The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) also mobilised other stakeholders and state governments in a bid to efficiently manage disasters in the event of any emergency in Nigeria during the Yuletide.

While the assurances were being made, the sceptics continued to doubt the sincerity of security agencies to tackle likely security breaches during the religious festival. It was therefore positive development that on Christmas Day there was never a report of insurgent attacks or suicide bombing or explosions during the festivity. Surprisingly to the amazement of most of us, our security men have indeed proved cynics wrong that they can actually put trouble-shooters in check. Gladly, the story became entirely different and heartwarming as no single case of

While development were unfolding, just before the Xmas day, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed D. Abubakar reassured Nigerians that the Police had set in motion comprehensive operational strategies to boost security effectively during this year’s Christmas season and beyond.

security breach was reported in any part of the country during the Xmas celebration. This is indeed a welcome development. If not for the efforts of the hardworking security personnel the State House Abuja could have been overrun considering the daring exploit of the Boko Haram in the past attacks in various states in Nigeria including Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Gombe, Kogi, Niger, Sokoto and Abuja. The attacks on United Nation House, the Police Force Headquarters, religious centres, and recreational centres among others are gory tales of the past as the activities of Boko Haram have now been confined to bordering towns to Cameroon. The media and the public should continue to encourage and support our security in their war on terror by promoting peace, national security and political stability. While terrorism and insurgency remain a global challenge and a source of continuing concern in some countries, Nigeria has done comparatively better with remarkable progress in reducing the incidence of terrorist attacks within its borders to a reasonable level. The military have done so much to reverse the tide of terrorism Security agencies should also continue to build on the successes they have achieved so far against terrorists and their sponsors. With the recent security success recorded during the recent Chrismas Celebration, indications are that our security have not only lived up to expectation, but have displayed their readiness to secure the lives of its people using everything at their disposal. While calling on government to continue to match its words with actions, to see to the end of insurgency in the country, Nigerians equally have vital roles to play in this regard. It is on this note that I wish to enjoin Nigerians, irrespective of tribe, religion, political or ideological persuasion to support genuine efforts aimed at making Nigeria a peaceful place for everyone, including foreigners. The task of building the Nigeria of our collective dreams and aspirations is for all Nigerians and solely that of those in authority. Happy Chrismas and New Year to everyone Fatima Goni Kofar Dukawuya Kano City


reality on ground. Maiden edition of NYG surpassed Ogwashi-uku expectationsDam: Chinese Minister’s aide experts carry out assessment Adamu says: Those states failed to survey participate in the event only denied the young talent in their states the opportunity to competes with their mates in the NYG. The Minister and the National Sports Commission are indeed doing a wonderful job by putting up such a fantastic event for talent hunt. Ahmed says: This Julius Ogunro guy is just growing big by the day meanwhile before he got that appointment he was so skinny. ....Na wa oo our money done suffer. Well good job all the same. The NYG is a good platform to discover young talents for future tournament. Heritage says: I totally disagree with you Ahmed, Julius has always been like that even before he got the appointment. So I want to believe you do not know him at all for you to have said he was skinny before he got the appointment….. so did he suddenly developed protruded stomach because he was appointed? Well NYG like you said is a good platform for talent discovery and I also want to add that talent won’t just be discovered but also will be nurtured by the commission after the event to keep them in good shape for future tourney.

Celebrating ICAO day and prospects for Africa’s aviation Mbuanza says: Angola took a very important step recently in having its national carrier partner with Emirates. There are also plans to improve competition in the country’s airline industry.

Kano bans street begging Oshomah says: Best law passed so far by the Kano House of Assembly and perhaps the most outstanding law in the whole of the Northern region in 2013.

Online Comments

Solomon Igwe says: Is there any hope that the January date for the take off of the project will materialise? We are hopeful that the project will eventually bring relief to our suffering by ensuring availability of water and electricity.

2015 elections: Jega advocates absolute autonomy for INEC Sunny Peters says: I agreed on what Prof. Jega said or is demanding,We were told that INEC is independent but based on what the chairman has said INEC is far from being independent. For Nigeria to have credible leaders, INEC must be a neutral arbiter neither supporting any political party or candidate in any election. Rather it should give equal support to all parties and candidates and ensure a level playing field for all. With this in place, masses of Nigeria will heave sigh of relief. Further, the people will have confidence in INEC and will be willing to turn up to cast their votes trusting that it will count. Besides, they will build confidence in the system and on their leaders and hopefully things will begin to work well in the country.

Kwankwaso’ll add value to APC, says Rep Muttaqa Babire Sumaila says: May Allah safeguard our beloved party APC, and make it the country leading party…… ameeen!

National Dialogue: Omokri’s APC vows new convoluted logic (I) era after PDP John Shriber says: defections Andrew Williams says: President Goodluuk will not listen. The Shoeless President seems not to be aware of the


Another fix is a little more expensive but more useful to a consumer. Or you may get an email saying you have won a sweepstakes and they want you

Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso checking account number so that they can deposit your winnings into your account. This type of fraud increased by almost 50 per cent and made up over a quarter of all card fraud. In addition to this, many of these fraudulent credit repair companies are also offering and selling seasoned primary user accounts to unsuspecting clients. Permaculture One says: But whether a place of residence or business all the other human needs addressed by Permaculture are also present, in support of such shelter. Estimates that 40% of rivers and streams are unfishable and unswimmable and 50% of lakes and ponds are unfishable and unswimmable. You are the power person and your home is your happy lab.

JIBWIS tasks FG on street begging Sani Aminu says: Hum! UZTAZ have smelled Money.

Obasanjo’s letter to President Jonathan: Before it is too late (I)

Dr Godwin Ukeje says: Well said!! No matter what, the truth MUST be told….Let’s ignore the source and act right based on it. If I may ask, why are those so called ‘men of repute’ keeping mute? The biblical Saul (persecutor of Christians) was converted to Paul (the evangelist). Listen to the WORD and let it transform us, and pay no attention to the SOURCE. Lets be WISE

Femi Fani Kayode Banigo Precous Charles says: The Obasanjo letter to President Goodluck Jonathan was not only in bad taste but in bad fate as well. After all when obasenjo was on the saddle he did not fare better than Jonathan. Apart from the GSM which he brought to Nigeria, Obasanjo’s administration was woeful and did little or nothing to impact positively on the lives of citizens. Under him, even the Nigeria Police was a serious threat to ordinary citizens as they were often deplored against the people. One wonders at Obasanjo’s false sense of patriotism. Besides, if he meant well and was a true Statesman, he ought not to have made public what was supposed to be a private and confidential letter to his immediate successor. Of course, we all know that Obasanjo has been a major cause of the political problems in the PDP and wants to cause crises in Nigeria for his selfish interest. But now I am happy that Goodluck Jonathan has not back down from doing his job of being the president of Nigeria and daring Obasanjo to substantiate his allegations. Jonathan should simply ignore Obasanjo, the clownish fellow and concentrate on the job of leading Nigeria out of the woods, which Obasanjo did little to liberate.

Fani-Kayode urges APC stakeholders in Adamawa to close ranks for victory in 2015 One Nation says: Self delusion. The governors from other states other than the Southwest defected from their parties because they lost the confidence of their people. Okorocha of Imo state and

Amaechi of Rivers have moved their bases to Lagos and do not come home any more. Prety boy, stop the self delusion

We didn’t aim to be the biggest airline in Africa–Arik Air boss Austen Ade says: I write to express my disappointment in the way Arik run its affair in Nigeria without regards to their customers’ feeling. I was booked to travel to UK from Abuja on 19th December for an official engagement. Arik put me on transit to Lagos on 9am flight only to abandon us at the domestic wing for hours, though they later came up with stories that the flight was overbooked. Another version given by Rasheed the Station Manager laid the blamed on us for not coming on time, despite the delay. He promise to give us preferential treatment. Sadly, the next day we were still put on the second flight to London w36101. Certainly if they continue this way their business may crumble as one of the duty managers called on all those hurt by the treatment to go to court to seek redress.

Celebrating ICAO day and prospects for Africa’s aviation

Mbuanza says: Angola took a very important step recently in having its national carrier partner with Emirates. There are also plans to improve competition in the country’s airline industry.




Big Idea 2014: Stop Selling (and dtart marketing)

By Tim Williams, Author and consultant to marketing agencies, perpetual student of positioning strategy


f you’re the leader of a professional services firm and you’re cracking the whip to get your business development person to make more cold calls, 2014 is the year you should stop cracking. Outbound sales activities like cold calling have always produced only modest results, and today’s avoidance-enabling technology only makes it easier for prospects to hide from your phone calls and ignore your e-mails. Traditional new business prospecting methods are becoming less and less effective. Management genius Peter Drucker preached, “The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous.” In other words, the goal of marketing is to make a product, service, or company so relevant and compelling that it literally sells itself. If you think this is hyperbole, consider captivating products like the iPhone. Can you imagine ever seeing an iPhone salesman? Instead, zealous customers are lined up in front of Apple stores for hours. If your firm would spend more time and energy developing and marketing a relevant, differentiated “product,” you could spend a lot less time and energy trying to sell it. Your firm is not as differentiated as you think it is Bain & Company asked company executives if they agreed with the statement “Our company is highly differentiated.” 80% said yes. But only 8% of customers agreed. This is “confirmation bias” in action, and it causes company executives to overlook the very foundation of a prosperous, profitable firm: a clear positioning strategy. Firms with a compelling positioning strategy don’t just have prospective customers; they have followers and advocates. While this

dynamic is readily apparent in the mass market (Starbucks, Apple, Porsche), it’s just as true in the world of professional services. When you’ve done the work necessary to build a company that has followers, you have a brand in demand. You have prospective customers who actively seek you out, rather than having to track them down with a direct sales effort. In my years of consulting with advertising agencies, I’ve consistently observed that the more focused the firm, the less prospecting they have to do. In fact, the most focused firms of all do virtually no traditional sales prospecting. They do, however, invest an above-average amount of time marketing their brands. Make it someone’s job nless you make this someone’s job, marketing the firm can easily fall into the realm of good intentions. Trade the money you might have spent on a “sales” professional and instead appoint the equivalent of a Chief Marketing Officer, whose responsibilities include such areas as: * Insuring that the firm has a well-designed and engaging website, with the firm’s positioning strategy clearly showcased on the home page. Seeing that the website is constantly refreshed and updated with new infor-


mation, examples, case studies, and current biographies. * Developing and overseeing a content strategy based on thought leadership in your category, manifest in the form of a meaningful blog, white papers, online newsletter, or other forms of intellectual capital that demonstrate your firm’s expertise and provide useful information and insights to your current and prospective customers. * Creating and maintaining an active social media program that serves as a content distribution network for the firm. This includes developing and maintaining profile pages for the firm and its key executives on the major social networks and actively sharing appropriate news, information, and insights on social networks. Regularly reading and posting to appropriate blogs and publications. Fostering relationships with relevant bloggers and online publishers. * Sponsoring, publishing, and publicizing proprietary studies that highlight the firm’s expertise. Showcasing the firm’s intellectual capital on information-sharing sites like Slideshare and Scribd. Packaging up and branding individual services and products in a way that allows the firm to earn recurring revenues from its intellectual property.

In my years of consulting with advertising agencies, I’ve consistently observed that the more focused the firm, the less prospecting they have to do. In fact, the most focused firms of all do virtually no traditional sales prospecting. They do, however, invest an above-average amount of time marketing their brands.

* Overseeing an online search optimization program for the firm, including tagging content and identifying keywords to help optimize organic search. * Telling the firm’s story via guest columns in the trade and business press, particularly publications read by target prospects. Actively identifying opportunities to publicize the firm’s intellectual capital by monitoring reporter queries using services like HARO. * Actively seeking opportunities for key executives of the firm to speak and present at major conferences, contribute guest blog posts, or serve as interview sources for reporters and editors. Ensuring that the firm is well represented at major industry functions and events. * Building and maintaining a permissionbased list of prospects and influencers and sending appropriate periodic e-mailings (featuring useful information of interest to the prospect, not news about the firm). * Measuring and refining the firm’s online presence and social media footprint using online analytics tools. he late British adman Paul Arden advocated that you should “Give away everything you know, and more will come back to you.” This is an incredibly effective marketing approach for professional services firms, but it absolutely hinges on one thing: having a clear positioning strategy. So as you wrestle with the question of how to attract more business in 2014, muster the courage to stop selling and instead do a better job of marketing, starting with a commitment to focus on what you do best. Remember, what professional services firms ultimately sell is expertise. You can be an expert in something, but you can’t be an expert in everything. (Linkedin)





Big Idea 2014: The distinction between media and tech crumbles

This post is part of a series in which LinkedIn Influencers pick one big idea that will shape 2014.


hat will define media and technology in 2014? The end of defining labels. As these two industries converge, the silos will disappear, leaving an integrated mix of content and distribution companies. That co-mingling will enable more ambitious goals and bigger, riskier bets to push the boundaries of the business. Is Netflix a media or a tech company? It’s both. And it doesn’t matter any more. What does it mean that the biggest of the media giants, Disney, is producing original content for Netflix that will skip traditional broadcast distribution and reach consumers solely through Internet pipes? It means the industries that have so long defined Northern and Southern California will transcend labels, with new relationships up and down the West Coast. “Television” is any video, not a device. Forget about “web video” versus “television.” The line is evaporating. Ask any teenager what TV shows he or she like; you’ll get a list of favorites watched on Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go. Next year “TV” will be increasingly be liberated from that big electronic device, as we see more apps like Disney’s ‘Watch ABC’ that enable live streaming from anywhere. TV sets, those giant things in your living room, are useful for playing video games, streaming a Pandora or Spotify app, showing photo slideshows, but if you want live television, you won’t be stuck sitting on the couch.

By Julia Boorstin, CNBC Correspondent, covering the business of media and entertainment Forget about the distinction between Media and Tech Companies. This year we saw Microsoft start a division to produce original scripted content to deliver through its XBox platform, hiring a TV veteran, Nancy Tellem to oversee it. Next year we’ll see Microsoft start to release its original shows, joining Amazon, Netflix, and of course the studios, looking to draw consumers’ sub-

Forget about the distinction between Media and Tech Companies. This year we saw Microsoft start a division to produce original scripted content to deliver through its XBox platform, hiring a TV veteran, Nancy Tellem to oversee it. Next year we’ll see Microsoft start to release its original shows, joining Amazon, Netflix, and of course the studios, looking to draw consumers’ subscription dollars.

scription dollars. Whether they’re subscribing to Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Satellite TV, they’re paying, and media and tech companies are-- and will--continue to work together -- and as frenemies-- to grab more consumer attention and dollars. There will be no more line between “Mobile” and “Desktop” -- because everything will be mobile. It will have to be. The amount of time people spend on their smartphones will continue to skyrocket. Now we talk about “apps” and “websites,” and we wonder whether a website is optimized for the web. In 2014 Facebook and

LinkedIn will both generate more than half their revenue from mobile-- as Twitter now does. A glance at a smartphone will become more important to those social giants-- as well as advertisers and media companies-- as a click on a desktop computer. Whether its enterprise companies helping businesses access their files, retailers encouraging consumers to shop, or content and distribution companies offering up content, everything will be oriented towards mobile users. (Linkedin)




Relics, heritage of the Australian Aborigines

Aboriginal Music of Australia The didjeridu is a unique musical instrument found among the Aboriginal people of northern Australia. It is an end-blown, straight, trumpetlike instrument traditionally made from a termitehollowed eucalyptus branch. The didjeridu is played by men to accompany singing and dancing during communal ceremonies and clan songs. The player must inhale through the nose while blowing into the instrument (a method known as circular breathing) in order to keep a constant drone (sustained tone) over which rhythmic, voiced sounds are interjected by the same player. Gordon Gahan/Photo Researchers, Inc./”Kwa (Dance of the Crows)” performed by Ash Dargan, didgeridoo, from Corroboree-Do (Traditional Ceremonial Didj Dance) (Cat.# Indigenous Australia IA2048D) ©and(p)Indigenous Australia. All Rights Reserved.

Aboriginal Body Painting Body painting is an essential part of the artistic heritage of Aboriginal Australians. Aboriginal people use ochre, a natural pigment, to create paint for use in traditional rituals and ceremonies. Complex series of symbols convey many different meanings. The images used in body painting recur in Aboriginal rock art and artifact decoration. Contemporary artists also incorporate the symbols in canvas painting. James Hackett/Leo de Wys, Inc.

Protest of 1988 Bicentenary Celebration Australia’s 1988 Bicentenary was a year-long celebration of the 200th anniversary of permanent European settlement of the continent. But for many Aboriginal people, the occasion symbolized invasion, dispossession, and occupation. Here, thousands of people gather in Sydney to protest the celebration and to call attention to injustices against Aboriginal people, including a disproportionately high death rate among Aboriginal people in police custody. Matthew McKee/Corbis

Aboriginal Australians Protest Government Plan A community of Aboriginal Australians burns a government proposal on “native title” land claims issued by the government of Prime Minister John Howard in 1997. Aboriginal groups denounced the government plan as a way to circumvent native title in order to benefit wealthy landowners and developers. David Hancock/AFP

Aboriginal Children at School Children from Australia’s outback listen to their schoolteacher during class. From 1883 to 1940, students of Aboriginal heritage could be officially and legally prohibited from attending Australia’s state-run schools. In response to protests from indigenous communities, federal funding for education programs increased in the 1990s. Bill Bachman/Photo Researchers, Inc.

Aboriginal Classroom, Late 19th Century In the 19th century many white Australians regarded traditional Aboriginal culture as uncivilized and inferior to their own. Aboriginal children were often segregated from white children in separate schools where they were taught about white society, forbidden to speak their native language, and required to wear European clothing. This photograph of an Aboriginal classroom was taken around 1894.

Colonial-Aboriginal Conflict In the 19th century, as British colonists expanded into Australia’s interior, conflicts with Aboriginal people became more frequent. Many Aboriginal people died in battles against better-armed colonists, who sought to claim traditional Aboriginal lands for mining, ranching, and farming. This illustration dates from 1852. Coo-ee Historical Picture Library

Dot Painting Dot painting is a well-known technique of contemporary Aboriginal art. The artist uses a stick or brush to paint thousands of dots that form a larger pattern or picture, often related to stories of the Dreaming. In Aboriginal religion, the Dreaming refers to the creation of the world. REUTERS




Marco Polo (1254-1324)


arco Polo, Venetian traveler and author, whose account of his travels and experiences in China offered Europeans a firsthand view of Asian lands and stimulated interest in Asian trade. Marco Polo was born in Venice, one of the most prominent centers of trade in medieval Europe, into a merchant family. Venetian merchants of the day traded regularly throughout the Mediterranean region. They also maintained trading posts in port cities on the Black Sea, where they obtained silk, porcelain, and other goods that came from China over the Silk Road, an ancient trade route linking China with Rome. Little is known about Marco Polo’s early life, because his own account of his travels, published later in his life, is the primary source of biographical material about him. Polo probably received a fairly typical education for children of merchants at that time, learning how to read, write, and calculate. Marco Polo’s account is also the primary source of information about the travels of his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo Polo, who were jewel merchants. They left Venice in 1260 on a commercial venture to the Black Sea ports of Constantinople (now İstanbul, Turkey) and Soldaia (now Sudak, Ukraine). From Soldaia they continued farther east to trading cities on the Volga River in present-day Russia. In 1262 a war broke out behind them and prevented them from returning home, so they proceeded farther east to the great Central Asian trading city of Bukhara (in presentday Uzbekistan). After three years there they joined a diplomatic mission going to the court of Kublai Khan, the Mongol ruler of China. The khan received them warmly and expressed a desire to learn more about Christianity. He asked the Polo brothers to return to Europe and persuade the pope to send Christian scholars who could explain the religion to him. Niccolò and Maffeo journeyed back to Europe in 1269 to satisfy the khan’s request. The pope appointed two missionaries to accompany the Polos on their return to the Mongol court. The party set out in 1271, this time with Niccolò’s son Marco. Soon after their departure from Acre (now ‘Akko, Israel) the missionaries became concerned about hazardous conditions along the route and abandoned the embassy. The three Polos continued the journey. Judging from Marco’s account, they most likely traveled overland through Armenia and Persia (now Iran) to Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, north through Persia to the Oxus River (now Amu Darya) in Central Asia, up the Oxus to the Pamirs, across the mountains and around the southern edge of the Takla Makan Desert to Lop Nur (in present-day Xinjiang Uygur (Uighur) Autonomous Region in western China), and across the Gobi Desert. In 1275 they reached the summer court of Kublai Khan at Shangdu (about 300 km/about 200 mi north of present-day Beijing). Marco’s account records that the khan warmly welcomed the party and arranged accommodations for them. The Polos spent the next 17 years in China. Kublai Khan took an immediate liking to Marco, who was an engaging storyteller and conversationalist, and sent him on numerous diplomatic missions throughout his empire. Marco not only carried out his diplomatic assignments but also regaled the khan with interesting stories and observations about the lands he visited. His missions took him to Sichuan Province in southern China and Yunnan Province in the southwest, as well as northern Burma (now Myanmar). Marco reported that apart from entrusting him with diplomatic missions, Kublai Khan also made him governor for three years of the large

commercial city of Yangzhou. Most modern scholars doubt this claim, but it is possible that Marco held some sort of post at Yangzhou, because the Mongol rulers of China routinely appointed foreign administrators to oversee the affairs of their Chinese subjects. According to Marco’s travel account, the Polos asked several times for permission to return to Europe, but Kublai Khan appreciated the visitors so much that he would not agree to their departure. In 1292, however, the khan relented and permitted the Polos to return if they would serve as escorts for a Mongol princess traveling by sea to marry the Mongol ruler of Persia. The party departed from the southern Chinese port city of Quanzhou (in present-day Fujian Province) and sailed to Sumatra, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), southern India, and the Persian Gulf. After seeing the princess safely to Iran, the three Polos traveled overland through Tabrīz to Trebizond (now Trabzon, Turkey), where they took a ship to Constantinople and then to Venice, arriving home in 1295. Contemporary accounts hold that when Marco Polo returned, the youth of Venice flocked to his home to hear his stories about the lands he had visited. Marco himself became known as il milione (“the man with a million stories”) and Marco milione (“Marco Millions”), and the courtyard of his home became known as the corte del milione (“court of il milione”). arco soon became involved in a naval conflict between Venice and its commercial rival Genoa. In 1298 he fell captive, along with 7000 of his compatriots, when the Genoese navy defeated a Venetian fleet in which Marco was an honorary commander. During his year of imprisonment he passed the time by telling stories. His tales attracted the attention of a romance writer from Pisa named Rustichello, who had written two popular romances about King Arthur. Rustichello recognized Marco’s stories as fascinating material. He prepared an account of Marco’s travels in a literary dialect of French, the most commonly used language for works of adventure and romance. Rustichello frequently embellished Marco’s story. For instance, his description of the Polos’ arrival at Kublai Khan’s court strongly resembles a scene in one of his Arthurian romances, and his description of battles also followed formulas that he had used in earlier works. Nevertheless, the book was extremely popular, and translations soon became available in Latin, Italian, Venetian dialect, English, and other languages. The English translation of the original title of the book was The Description of the World. Later editions and translations of Marco’s travel account have appeared under


Marco Polo Famous Italian traveler Marco Polo journeyed to the court of the Mongol ruler Kublai Khan in 1275, where he quickly became a favorite of the khan. He traveled throughout Asia on diplomatic missions for the khan, returning to his native Venice in 1295. His account of his explorations is considered one of the most famous travel guides in history. THE BETTMANN ARCHIVE several different titles, including Il milione, The Book of Marvels, The Book of Marco Polo, and The Travels of Marco Polo. After his release from prison Marco returned to Venice, where he died in 1324. Marco Polo’s account of his travels exercised deep influence on European readers. Cartographers looked to it for information about Asian lands, and merchants drew inspiration from it when they planned commercial ventures. Portuguese mariners studied it when they decided to seek a sea route to India in the 15th century. Genoese navigator Christopher Columbus owned a Latin translation of the work, which he read carefully. His copy still survives, along with his handwritten annotations in the margins. Columbus relied heavily on Marco Polo’s geography when planning his own voyage to reach Asian markets by sailing west from Europe. In the 20th century some scholars have raised questions about the accuracy of Marco Polo’s account. Some have even suggested that he did not actually travel to China but rather told stories that he heard from others who did go there. Doubts have arisen largely from the fact that Marco’s work does not mention several distinctive characteristics of Chinese society. Such omissions include the use of chop-

sticks as eating utensils; the drinking of tea; the use in written language of ideograms—that is, characters representing things or ideas without expressing pronunciation; the binding of girls’ feet to prevent normal growth (tiny feet were considered to enhance women’s beauty); and the existence of the Great Wall, a fortification running along the northern and northwestern frontiers of China. n response to the critics, other scholars have pointed out that Marco lived among Mongol rulers rather than Chinese subjects and therefore would have had little or no exposure to chopsticks, tea, foot-binding, or Chinese written language. As for the Great Wall, it did not exist in its present form until the 16th century, long after Marco’s death. Furthermore, many of the ambiguities in Marco’s account are attributable to Rustichello, who cast the work in a form that he thought would be popular. Finally, Marco’s account recorded many aspects of Mongol and Chinese society in convincing detail. These features include the Mongols’ road and postal system, the careers of Mongol administrators in China, Kublai Khan’s personality, Mongol court life, and descriptions of important cities such as Shangdu, Khanbaliq, Hangzhou, and Quanzhou.


The Journey This medieval manuscript illustration shows Marco Polo—along with his father, Niccolò, and his uncle Maffeo—beginning their famous trip from Italy to China in 1271. Polo’s book, The Description of the World, for a long time was the only account of such places as China, Thailand (then Siam), Japan, Java, Vietnam, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon), Tibet, India, and Myanmar (then known as Burma). The book also served as a stimulus to Christopher Columbus’s journey to the New World in 1492. The colored illuminated manuscript here dates from 1375. THE BETTMANN ARCHIVE/ Corbis




South Sudan crisis: Ethnicity, politics and oil By Hassan Haruna Ginsau


nthe 15th November, 1991 an estimated 2,000 civilians were brutally killed in the town of Bor, an event popularly known as ‘the Bor Massacre’. The massacretook place in an area predominant to the Dinkaethnic group during the Second Sudanese Civil War. The massacre was carried out by mostly Nuer fighters from SPLA-Nasir, led by Riek Machar, the country’s ousted VP and now rebel leader, and armed Nuer civilians. In the harsh years of war which followed, an estimated 25,000more people died from famine as their cattle were either stolen or shot, fighting having displaced them from the land they used to farm on. At the time, Riek Machar described the incident as “propaganda” and “myth”.In 2012, he publicly apologized for his part in the massacre. South Sudan, the world’s newest nation is like many other African countries, one with a scarred and bruised pastjust simmering and waiting for a slight chance to surface. As early as the 19th century intrusion by Arabs and eventually the British, ethnic groups in Sudan have been pitted against each other by the colonial powers. Of South Sudan’s five main ethnic tribes, and 10.8 million people, the Nuer (5%) and Dinka (11%) are the largest. The Nuer tribe, of which Riek Machar belongs, were the tribe that resisted disarmament most strongly during the country’s war. Members of the Nuer White Army had often bloody clashes with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), of which President Salvar Kiir is now the commander- in- chief. Shortly after fighting erupted two weeks ago in the South Sudan capital Juba on the 15th December, ethnic tensions started rising with both Dinkas and Nuers killed. Fighting quickly spread beyond the capital Juba, to the region around Jonglei state where Bor is located, an area prone to ethnic instability. At least 500 people were reported to have been killed and over 800 other people were injured. The town of Bor which was captured by forces loyal to ex VP Machar, and subsequently taken back by government troops under Kiir, a Dinka, is seen by many to have been more personal to Kiir who’s clansmen come from the town. Human Rights Watch have reported that both Nuer and Dinka were killed during early fighting in Juba because of ethnicity. From the beginning of the conflict when President Kiir accused his ex VP


Kiir whom he had removed from power on July 24th in a “reshuffle” that saw him sack the entire cabinet, of which no official reason was given, there have been whispers of political tensions bubbling in Juba, with many of the aggrieved former ministers taking sides

with Machar. Though not everyone is convinced they are capable of carrying out a coup, President Kiir does have political opponents, many of whom were recently locked up. They includedseveral former ministers and officials of the

Shortly after fighting erupted two weeks ago in the South Sudan capital Juba on the 15th December, ethnic tensions started rising with both Dinkas and Nuers killed.

Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) who were dismissed in July. His opponents that are free would be viewed as members of the governing SPLM party ‘dissatisfied’ with the way things are been run, and secondly and more significantly soldiers who werein the national armyof the old enemy in Khartoum. One of the old members of the army in Khartoum, Gen Gadet allegedly ‘sprang into action’ after reports of his fellow Nuerswere being killed came out of Juba. A combination of military and political strength between Gadet and Machar, both Nuers could spell out trouble for Kiir. South Sudan is the most oil dependent country in the world, with oil exports accounting for almost the totality of exports, and for around 80% of gross domestic product (GDP), directly and indirectly. South Sudan has vast natural resources,albeit mainly oil, and due to decades of conflict, the resources are largely untapped. In a resource hungry world, there are legitimate fears that the country’s oil could now play a major role in the on-going conflict, with Machar last week declaring his rebel troop’s capture of the key oilproducing Unity state where fighting has now halted production. More recently rebels seized oil wells and captured half of the capital of the state. In the first step of direct mediation attempts by the African community, Presidents of neighbouring Kenya and Ethiopia held “constructive” talks in Juba in a bid to halt fighting. The two leaders and other East African countries would “do their best to resolve this problem amicably”, the Ethiopian foreign minister revealed on Thursday. Yesterday, East African regional leaders from the eight-member IGAD bloc met in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. All of this though stops short of direct talks between the two protagonists; Kiir and Machar. Roughly two million people have already died as a result of war, famine and disease caused by past conflicts in the country. Four million people were displaced at least once (and often repeatedly) during the country’s ‘second civil war’. The civilian death toll is one of the highest of any war since World War 2 and was marked by a large number of human rights violations, particularly by the government; including slavery and mass killings. Let’s pray and hope that something that started as an “attempted coup” targeting President Salva Kiirdoesn’t mutate into something that threatens the being of the whole country.



Special Report

Nigerian public figures and their worst quotes of 2013 By Ghana News -SpyGhana. com


very once in a while, Nigerian public figures are saying things that become history, unfortunately, sometimes bad and shameful history. Here is the list of the worst 10 quotes of the year 2013 in the descending order. 10) “I am the best rapper in Nigeria. If you have an opposing opinion, now is the best time to keep it to yourself” Rapper Yung6ix having his imagined Kendrick Lamar moment. Dear Yung6ix; make good music, put out an album, put your name out there. Maybe then we’ll take you seriously. 9) “Any academic staff who fails to resume on or before December 4, 2013 automatically ceases to be a staff of the institution and vice chancellors are also directed to advertise vacancies in their institutions.” This was stated by Nyesom Wike, the Education minister, in the middle of the lingering ASUU strike. This caused even more problems and deepened the crisis. Wike’s press conference during which he was screaming at the microphone and yelling threats became an instant visual manual for government officials on how not to act in public. 8 8) “I was not a tribalist when I had a long-standing and intimate relationship with Miss Bianca Onoh, an Igbo lady…” Femi Fani Kayode, the former aviation minister and presidential spokesman, while he had so many disastrous statements, he got more than he bargained for when in defending himself against tribalism attacks, bizarrely claimed to have had a sizzling relationship with Bianca Ojukwu, widow of the late Biafran warlord. He was forced to recant when she threatened to sue him for every penny. 7) “We have stolen billions of dollars, what did you do? We steal because you never stoned us for it.” Governor Rotimi Amechi of Rivers state makes provocative statements one after after another. His latest one was dropped at a tribute event for Nelson Mandela some weeks back, and it was both an indictment on himself as it was on his docile followers.

6) “Come, sit on my laps and I will show you a level of grace you do not understand.” According to Ese Walters, repentant adultress and misguided victim, senior Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of the Commonwealth Of Zion Assembly must have been using these cringe worthy lines to score with wide-eyed members of his female congregation. The most surprising part of this line is that it actually works. His sweet roll came to an end when she published a tell all blog post revealing the pastor’s many sexcapades. Pastor Fatoyinbo is yet to deny Walters’ claims. And is yet to give that robust response. 5) “As the president, I don’t know him (Abu Shekau) and don’t know if he is dead or alive; you journalists will know more than us. You are the ones who talk to Boko Haram.” n a presidential media chat, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan pronounced the words never to be spoken by a country’s chief security officer. In denying the whereabouts (and maybe existence) of Abu Shekau, Boko Haram’s point man, Mr. President took the war on terror 10 steps back. 4) “Yes, Patience Jonathan is my Jesus Christ!” Now this would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. And true. Evans Bipi of the Rivers state house of assembly was speaking from the bottom of his heart when he declared dame Patience Jonathan (aka mama Peace) his deity as she was responsible for his political career so far. 3) “I cannot categorically tell you one now… the one we are going to make use of is going to be made known by my oga at the top…” Mr Obafaiye Shem, former Lagos state commandant of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps was asked a simple straight forward question by the hosts of Channels tv’s daily breakfast show. “What is the website of the NSCDC?” It became his undoing as he went on a rambling routine that did not produce the answer to the question but succeeded in shedding light on the pathetic state of affairs of our public institutions. 2) “We do not pray for accidents but it is inevitable… we do everything to ensure that we do not have accidents, but it is an act of God.”


Stella Oduah, Aviation minister addressing journalists 3 days after 16 people lost their lives in the Associated airlines crash that was ferrying the remains of Olusegun Agagu, a former aviation min-

ister. Of course, as it turned out, God had nothing to do with this particular crash as the Accident Investigation Bureau revealed that a malfunctioning engine and a wrong call by the pilot was

Now this would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. And true. Evans Bipi of the Rivers state house of assembly was speaking from the bottom of his heart when he declared dame Patience Jonathan (aka mama Peace) his deity as she was responsible for his political career so far.

most likely the cause. 1) “You are a widow… go and die” h dear! Edo state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole became this year’s face of insensitivity when he was recorded on video, yelling at a poor widow displaying her wares illegally by the roadside to go and die. He later had tea with his victim and rewarded her generously but still, that image lingers.

O is a premier news source that cover daily news of Africa, Ghana, all the World, about universities, culture and etc




Nigerian Capital Market: Emerging from the challenges of global meltdown By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma


ive years after the meltdown of the Nigerian capital market, some investors and operators appear to have shaken off their investment shocks by describing 2013 as the year of recovery and consolidation. The stakeholders say that their new enthusiasm about the nation’s portfolio climate stems from the rebound of high rate of securities transactions, the recovery of the national economy and the rising public confidence in government and governance. In the first week of December 2013, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) overall transactions grew from a loss position, recorded during the downturn in 2008, to a level considered as one of the best in the frontier market today. The stakeholders say that the major drivers of the market growth developed from the strict adherence to corporate governance and zero-tolerance to aberrations by the regulators in the year under review. Other key growth indicators of the market are regulatory reforms and initiatives, as well as strong financial fundamentals posted by publicly quoted companies. Apart from the licensing of market makers by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2012, the introduction of securities lending, short selling and consistent monetary policies contributed to the market stability. Specifically, the stability of the exchange

Oscar Onyeama, President of the NSC the market. Oteh debunked claims in some quarters that the recent growth in the market would soon fizzle out, saying: `The capital market is not driven by euphoria but by fundamentals of different sectors of the economy represented on the exchange.” She said that the financial sector had re-

Capital market regulators need to show more concern on how to improve the participation local investors in the market to avoid another round of meltdown in the event of investment outflow by foreign investors.

rate at N157 to a dollar throughout the better part of 2013 encouraged more foreign investors to remain in the capital market, while stemming capital flights and encouraging foreign investments in local debt papers. Available securities transactions at the NSE as at Dec. 9, 2013 showed that the equity market grew by 37.96 per cent year-to-date. The visible market growth made the Nigerian bourse to be rated the best investment destination in sub-Saharan Africa. The All-Share Index of the Exchange in the period under review appreciated by 37.96 per cent year-to-date to close trading at 38,738.15 points, as against the opening index of 28,078.81 points. The Index, a measure of the market direction, grew by 34.5 per cent in 2012. The market capitalisation, which opened trading for the year at N8.98 trillion, grew by N3.41 trillion to close trading on Dec. 9 at N12.39 trillion, reflecting a growth of 37.97 per cent. In spite of the market growth, the NSE witnessed only the listing of Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) and Infinity Trust Mortgage (ITM). Providing an insight into the market performance in the period under review, Ms Arunma Oteh, the Director-General of the SEC, attributed the growth to some factors. She said that the factors included the concerted efforts of operators and regulators as well as the Federal Government’s reforms and initiatives, aimed at boosting activities in

corded appreciable growth. “The banking sector is leading because globally, everybody recognises the bold steps which Nigeria took to address the challenges facing the financial sector. Besides, many people recognise that Nigeria is, indeed, the preferred investment destination in spite of the challenges,” she said. Oteh said that SEC was monitoring the current reforms in the nation’s economy, including the government’s privatisation programme, so as to ensure that privatised companies were encouraged to get listed on the local bourse. She also said that efforts were underway to create an enabling environment for energy companies operating in the upstream and downstream sectors, as well as telecommunications companies to also get listed on the stock exchange. Mr Okechukwu Unegbu, the former Pres-

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Co-ordinating Minister of Economy ident of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), said that the market’s growth could also be attributed to the activities of market makers and the impressive financial results by listed companies. He, however, said that the Federal Government must make the national economy investor-friendly by reviewing the nation’s business laws. Unegbu also called for a reduction in the nation’s domestic debt and the effective implementation of the 2014 budget with a considerable emphasis placed on infrastructural development. On his part, Mr David Adonri, the Chief Executive Officer, Lambeth Trust Investment, noted that the stock market growth this year had surpassed the performance of 2012. He said that increasing investors’ confidence and internal reforms, especially the commencement of market, had affected the market positively this year. Further, he said that the stability and growth of the capital market would be sustained if the regulatory framework remained effective. However, Adonri, underscored the need for the Federal Government to pursue sound fiscal and monetary policies that would be market-friendly in the years ahead. He stressed that the regulatory initiatives could only be meaningful if local investors took due advantage of new and dynamic frameworks, current market trends and improved companies’ results to increase their stakes in the bourse. Nevertheless, Dr Doyin Salami of the Lagos Business School expressed reservations about the gains so far recorded in the market. Salami, an economist, expatiated that his queries about the much-touted market growth were due to the dominance of the activities at the NSE by foreign portfolio investors. He said that as at Dec. 5, 2013 foreign portfolio investment profile in the nation’s

Available securities transactions at the NSE as at Dec. 9, 2013 showed that the equity market grew by 37.96 per cent year-to-date. The visible market growth made the Nigerian bourse to be rated the best investment destination in sub-Saharan Africa.

bourse amounted to about N13 billion dollars. Salami solicited the encouragement of domestic retail investors, even though he welcomed new foreign investments in the nation’s economy, particularly in the equities market. ``Capital market regulators need to show more concern on how to improve the participation local investors in the market so as to avoid another round of meltdown in the event of investment outflow by foreign investors,” he said. Salami said that the regulators must evolve strategies and create pragmatic policies aimed at increasing local investors’ participation in the nation bourse. He said that the active engagement of domestic investors in the nation’s portfolio investment would only be visible and sustainable if concerted efforts were made to make ongoing reforms investor-friendly. He, nonetheless, described the current situation in which emphasis was placed on market automation to the detriment of local investors as a dangerous trend. In spite of the optimism and misgivings about the growth of the country’s capital market in 2013, Salami said that tangible efforts should be made to address the waning confidence of local investors in the market come 2014. He blamed the limited confidence of local investors in the market on their alleged alienation by the government in efforts to mitigate investors’ losses after the 2008 meltdown. Market analysts underscore the need for regulators to quickly embark on another round of investors’ awareness campaign nationwide. They say that such awareness campaigns would be handy in efforts to assuage the fears of investors and provide the much-needed technical knowledge on the dynamics of the capital market. The analysts also urge the Federal Government to honour its earlier pledge to remove market-based taxes for the system. The elimination of stamp duties and Value Added Tax (VAT), among other levies, as promised by government in December 2012, would aid efforts to create the much-needed market liquidity, they add. The analysts also urge market regulators to strengthen the Investor Protection Fund (IPF), while resolving the recurring menace of unclaimed dividends. (NANFeatures)






Mourinho: Lack of goals may “kill me” C

Jose Mourinho

helsea manager Jose Mourinho admitted his side’s lack of goals in games is starting to take a physical toll. The Blues were nearly left to rue their lack of cutting edge against Swansea City but still managed to record a 1-0 victory. The Stamford Bridge outfit have failed to capitalise on their superior quality in recent times with Mourinho hinting that he may have to revert to defensive tactics to accommodate his misfiring forward line. But against Swansea, Mourinho believed it was forces outside his players’ control that kept Chelsea from not scoring more than the solitary goal. “They kill me,” Mourinho said. “Every game I'm tired in the end. “At half-time we all should be relaxed with a comfortable result and we weren't and the first thing that happens in the second half was probably the biggest chance of the game. “After that we had a clear penalty, after that the goalkeeper made another fantastic saves from [Frank] Lampard's shot, because the ball was going in the corner and had a deflection. “Deserved victory, important victory, and today I can say that the biggest responsible for the lack of goals was their goalkeeper, because he made three or four big saves. “David's pass just in front of me was good, Mata control and pass was fantastic, Eto'o attacks the ball perfectly. “My striker made the right movement to attack the ball, he did well, the goalkeeper made a fantastic save.” Chelsea now turn their attention to a topof-the-table clash against Liverpool but will be without the services of midfielder Ramires after the Brazilian picked up his fifth yellow card of the season.

Thiago wants Ribery to beat Messi in Ballon d'Or


hiago Alcantara has claimed that Franck Ribery should win the Ballon d'Or over Lionel Messi after Bayern Munich's trophy haul in 2013. Ribery, who won Uefa's Best Player in Europe award having helped his team to an unprecedented German treble, is in the final three-man shortlist alongside Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. “He (Messi) is the best in the world, but I understand the sport is a team game and Ribery has won more titles this year. I think that it is why he should win the Ballon d'Or," Thiago told reporters. “Messi will always be looked at with a magnifying glass and negative news is always looked for. Thiago Alcantara

Arsenal top EPL table with West Ham win


heo Walcott struck twice and Lukas Podolski netted a third as Arsenal came from behind to win at West Ham and go back to the top of the Premier League. Arsenal dominated the first half but fell behind as Carlton Cole tapped home after Wojciech Szczesny spilled a shot. The Hammers wasted chances to double the lead and Walcott equalised with an effort that Adrian should have saved. Podolski crossed for Walcott to nod Arsenal ahead before lashing in to drop West Ham into the relegation zone. Results elsewhere saw them slip from 17th and a point outside the bottom three to 19th and two points inside it. Arsenal forward Theo Walcott has now scored in each of his last four Premier League appearances against West Ham The Hammers have won only one of their last 11 league games and will be desperate to respond at home to West Brom on Saturday. Arsenal, by contrast, ended a run of four games in all competitions without victory and lead second-placed Manchester City by two points. City beat Liverpool, who were top of the table at the start of the day and would have leapfrogged Arsenal had they won the late kick-off. West Ham's threat was now being posed

on the counter-attack, Mohamed Diame testing Szczesny after a powerful run, while, at the other end, Cazorla, Giroud and Mikel Arteta went close. Arsenal weaved many a pretty pattern but lacked end product, with nobody on hand to convert Mesut Ozil's cut-back, before Giroud failed to connect with a low Kieran Gibbs cross from invitingly close range. Gibbs and Giroud - seeking a first goal in seven appearances - looked on in disbelief and Arsene Wenger cut a frustrated figure at half-time. Their disappointment was compounded when, within a minute of the restart, Szczesny spilled a Nolan drive straight into the path of Carlton Cole and he made no mistake with the simplest of finishes. Arsenal looked rattled and after Szczesny saved from Matt Jarvis when one-on-one, Joey O'Brien headed wide and Carlton Cole prodded off target; both when in glorious positions to double the lead. Buoyed by their multiple reprieves, Wenger's men poured forward and Adrian made a fine double stop to deny Cazorla and Ozil. With West Ham seemingly resigned to defeat, Podolski lashed into the bottom corner after a Walcott cross and Giroud's layoff.

The Gunners in good mood




Valdes recovers from calf strain

Weekend Fixtures

Barclays Premier League West Ham United v Aston Villa v Hull City v Manchester City v Norwich City v Cardiff City v


arcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes says he has recovered from a right calf strain and is fit to return to the team after the Christmas break. The 31-year-old sustained the injury during Spain's humbling 1-0 defeat to South Africa in a friendly on November 19 in Johannesburg, the site of their 2010 World Cup victory. Valdes, who has revealed plans to leave the Spanish champions when his current contract expires in 2014, said last week he was targeting a return in Barcelona's league match at home to Elche on January 5.

West B/Albion Swansea City Fulham Crystal Palace Manchester United Sunderland

Sunday Everton v Newcastle United v Chelsea v T. Hotspur v

Victor Valdes

Southampton Arsenal Liverpool Stoke City

Manchester United look to extend winning streak


Manchester United players during training

The Red Devils racked up a fifth successive win in all competitions on Boxing Day when they came from two goals down to defeat Hull City 3-2 away from home. Their talisman Wayne Rooney was again a key performer, providing an assist for the first goal, a superb volley of his own for the second, and put pressure on James Chester for the own goal which ultimately handed United all three points. Rooney’s goal was his 150th in the Premier League in the colours of Manchester United, making him just the second player to score 150 or more for a single club. Thierry Henry’s 175 goals (scored for Arsenal) will be Rooney’s next target. United will be without Phil Jones and Marouane Fellaini due to injuries, while Antonio Valencia is suspended following his red card against Hull. Rafael and Robin van Persie are doubtful, there are concerns over Danny Welbeck, but manager David Moyes will be happy to have midfielder Michael Carrick back in the frame after coming through a substitute appearance against the Tigers. United will be facing Norwich for the second time this season, having knocked them out of the Capital One Cup with a 4-0 rout back in October. However, the Red Devils’ last trip to Carrow Road in November 2012 ended in a 1-0 defeat after a superb goal from the Canaries’ Antony Pilkington.

Valencia appoint Pizzi as new coach

Juan Antonio Pizzi


alencia, which has received a takeover bid from a Singapore billionaire appointed their former Argentine striker Juan Antonio Pizzi as their new coach. The 45-year-old, who just led San Lorenzo, the Buenos Aires team supported by Pope Francis, to the Argentine league title, replaces Serbia's Miroslav Djukic who was

sacked last week afer just six months at the helm of the Spanish club. "Valencia have finalised a deal with Juan Antonio Pizzi to make the Argentine the new manager of the club. He will be joined at Valencia by fitness coach Alejandro Richino and assistant Manuel Suarez," the club said in a statement. The six-time La Liga champions sacked Djukic, 47, after Valencia's 3-0 loss at second-placed Atletico Madrid which left the team in ninth place in the league table. Pizzi played for Valencia as a striker during the 1993-94 season. Last week Valencia announced that Singaporean businessman Peter Lim has made a bid to take over financially stricken club and wipe out its debt. The club has been looking for investors since principal creditor Bankia refused earlier this month to refinance the combined €306 million debt the club and its foundation has with the bank. Valencia president Amadeo Salvo said Lim placed a deadline of January 15 for the club and its creditors to decide on his offer. Lim, 60, has a net worth of $2.05 billion, making him Singapore's fifth richest man, according to Forbes.

anchester United will look to extend their winning streak when they take on Norwich City at Carrow Road today.

English Barclays Premier League Table Pos

Team P

1 Arsenal







18 12 3 3 36 18 18 39

2 Manchester City 18 3 Chelsea

W 12







18 11 4 3 33 18 15 37

4 Liverpool 18 11 3 4 43 21 22 36 5 Everton









6 Newcastle U.









7 Manchester U









8 T. Hotspurs









9 Southampton 18 7 6 5 25 18 7 27 10 Stoke City









11 Swansea City









12 Hull City









13 Aston Villa









14 Norwich City









15 West B/Albion 18








16 Cardiff City









17 Crystal Palace 18








18 Fulham









19 West Ham U.









20 Sunderland












Oliseh, Tshabalala to honour Glo/CAF awards in Lagos


wo prominent African sports personalities, Nigeria’s Sun- cer Special” and soon earned the prestigious accolade of day Oliseh and South Africa’s Carol Tshabalala have been being the first female sports anchor of major TV show, engaged by the organisers of the 2013 Glo-CAF Awards to “Mabaleng” previously hosted by Robert Marawa and Martin Locke. anchor the prestigious event scheduled for 9 January in Lagos. She also hosted the 2003 and 2008 “Miss South Africa A statement made available by Globacom to newsmen said that Oliseh, Nigerian ex-international and former Super Eagles’ captain and Miss South Africa teen” pageants. In 2011, she had the esteemed honour of hosting the bigand Tshabalala, an award winning South African sport television presenter, MC, radio presenter and ring announcer (Boxing), will gest soccer accolade in the world- The FIFA Ballon D’or in add glamour to the event scheduled for Eko Hotel Convention Cen- Zurich with CNN anchor- Pedro Pinto. She has been involved in such prestigious productions as tre, Victoria Island, Lagos. A prolific defensive midfielder in his playing days, Oliseh played The 2010 World Cup preliminary draw (broadcast live across for popular clubs such as AFC Ajax of Holland, Borussia Dortmund the world), 46664 Nelson Mandela concert, All Africa Games, Comrades and City to City marathons and the (Germany) and Juventus F.C. of Italy. Currently a football pundit, Oliseh, played 63 international World Karate Cup. She has also covered matches, scoring four goals for Nigeria. He played at the World two Olympics and Paralympic Cups of 1994 and 1998. He was also a member of the Nigerian Games, the Commonwealth Games in AusOlympic gold medal winning football team of 1996. He is mostly remembered for scoring the winning goal in the tralia and the FIFA group stage match against Spain in the 1998 World Cup, as Nigeria World Cup in Germany 2006 and prevailed 3–2. A throw-in deep in the Spanish half, headed clear by a defend- the 2010 FIFA er, was met by an on-rushing Oliseh who fired an explosive shot W o r l d from 25 yards that took Spanish goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta Cup. completely by surprise. Oliseh, who captained Nigeria during the 2002 African Cup of Nations, retired from professional Sunday Oliseh football in January 2006 at the age of 31. He was recently tipped for the position of Head of Technical Department at the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF. Tshabalala on the other hand is a foremost sports television presenter and journalist. She currently anchores various programmes on Football, Boxing and Rugby for Supersports and she is a regular feature on their channels. Tshabalala began broadcasting in 2000 for the youth sports programme “Sportsbuzz”. Within a year, she was a field reporter for the soccer show, “Soc-

Carol Tshabalala



Weekend Digest Nixon’s Resignation, 1974

After the Watergate scandal ruined his Presidency, this iconic image – Richard Nixon waving goodbye as he boards a helicopter at the White House on the day his resignation – was taken in 1974.

The Kent State protest rocked Ohio after President Nixon announced he was sending troops into Cambodia. What was meant to be a peaceful protest gained the attention of the Ohio National Guard, which fired at the crowd and killed four. This image of a young woman crying over the dead body of a student was taken by John Filo and won him a Pulitzer Prize and became one of the most iconic images of the 1970s.

Fire on Marlborough Street, 1975

Boston Herald photographer Stanley J. Forman snapped this picture in 1975 after a fire broke on out Marlborough Street. The tragic tale goes that the two individuals depicted, Diana Bryant and Tiare Jones, jumped from their building just seconds before a fireman tried to grab them to save their life. Diana Bryant was pronounced dead at the scene, while the little girl survived. The powerful photograph won a Pulitzer Prize and also paved the way for Boston and other states to mandate tougher fire safety codes.

This picture was taken literally a second before the Japanese socialist Party leader Asanuma was stabbed to death on live TV by a right wing extremist. Photographer Yasushi Nagao, whose modest response was that he was in the right place at the right time, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for the shot and became one of the iconic photos of the 1960s. The remarkable ice tower, which is at least 26 metres high and around 20 storeys, is made from blocks taken from the nearby Songhua River. It is one of the main attractions at the annual Harbin Ice and Snow Festival, now in its 40th year. The event sees thousands of tourists flock to the city, near to the China and Russian border, for the festival every year. According to organisers, 10,000 people were employed to complete hundreds of ice and snow structures - some of which measure more than 26 metres tall and 117 metres wide.



Healthy Living Exercise benefits in diabetes management W

elcome dear readers to a wonderful time with me on Wellness Column this weekend, it is a special weekend in that Christmas is few days away and many persons living with Diabetes have got numerous choice to make between what to eat during the festivities and how to spend the time during the holidays. Last week, we took a look at Diabetes and the food we eat, thank you for your contributions, it must be emphasized that the write up in this article is not exhaustive, but rather a guide to assist us make informed decision on better ways to manage blood glucose control as found in Diabetes. This week, we shall look into benefits of Exercise in persons living with Diabetes and it is in view to encourage those who have been exercising to continue and those who have not made up their mind, the need to do so urgently with the cooperation of your health care professionals. Exercise effectively combined with diet helps to modify indicators of body composition known to be associated with insulin resistance. The combined results of many studies show the importance of working at community levels to reduce obesity by reducing caloric and fat intake while at the same time increasing opportunities for increased physical activity and raising the perceived value of exercise. People with an apple shape, with a bigger waist than hips, are at higher risk of developing the metabolic syndrome or diabetes. People with a pear shape, with wider hips than waist, are at less risk. Types of Exercises: 1. Aerobic Exercise: Aerobic

exercise uses large muscle groups and requires oxygen for sustained periods. It is usually performed for 20 to 6omins depending on the health status of the individual and the frequency can be up to 4 to 7 times in a week but should be moderate. People with type 2 diabetes should accumulate 150 minutes of moderate-intense aerobic exercise each week, spread over 3 non-consecutive days Aerobic Exercise 2. Anaerobic Exercise: Anaerobic or resistance exercise uses large muscles which do not require oxygen for short periods of exercise. It is usually recommended for 15 to 20mins and about 2 to 3 times in a week though with good health status, one can do more. People with diabetes should be encouraged to perform resistance exercise 3 times a week.

Anaerobic Exercise Exercise in Diabetes management is a cornerstone of glucoregulation and brings about 30 to 50% of risk reduction for persons living with type 2 Diabetes. The benefits of Exercise includes the following: a. Reduction of stress. b. Reduction of blood pressure c. Decrease insulin resistance d. Increase insulin sensitivity e. Improved neural and muscle function. f. Decreased level of triglycerides. g. Blood glucose regulation. Advice before starting an Exercise program: • Drink adequate amounts of water • Ensure that footwear is appropriate to protect feet from injury and keep them dry

Best ways to achieve oral health G ood oral health is an integral part of general well being. The word oral signifies literarily the mouth and surrounding tissues to include the teeth, tongue, hard tissues the bones of the jaws and facial complex. We all deal with what good oral health is, what associated problems can occur from poor oral health, myths and facts about oral health (This will include old wives tales). The column does not intend to replace the necessity to visit your oral practitioner regularly. Rather, the goal is to increase awareness, encourage simple preventive measures to ensure good oral health. The first in the series of articles will deal with essentially problems that can be seen in poor oral health. TOOTH DECAY: The tooth is a living tissue, consisting of several parts, both visible and invisible. The main parts are the croun and the roots. The gums often hold the tooth in the bones of the jaw healthy oral health in dudes healthy gums and soft tissues, hard tissues and the joints of the facial complex. There are two sets of teeth everyone gets in a life time. The first (primary) dentition is sometimes referred to as milk or deciduous teeth. They begin to show in the mouth between the ages of six month and close to three years. Some children might even erupt earlier or are born with

teeth contrary to perceived beliefs, there is really abnormal in such cases. These milk teeth number twenty in all, ten in each jaw, ten in upper jaw, ten in lower jaw, they are smaller than the permanent teeth. There are different types of teeth which also correspond to function and location. Front teeth are incisors are shaped to help out pieces of food. The canine teeth are shaped to help tear the food. The canine is a corner teeth located at the corner of the month. The premolars and molars are posterior teeth. The deciduous dentition has no premolars. But it has molars. The secondary or permanent dentition replaces the primary or deciduous dentition. It starts replacing from about six years till completion between eighteen and twenty years. The permanent dentition number thirty two. Tooth decay is the commonest oral problem and it is preventable, early treated if detected early, hence the read to visit the dentist regularly. Tooth decay occurs more in some teeth than others mainly as a result of morphology of the teeth. These teeth especially the molar and back teeth are highly susceptible to dental caries (Tooth decay). The areas of the teeth most susceptible are the occlusal or biting surfaces. These surfaces are rough and have weak points in the tooth structure – pits and tissues. There are a lot of factors necessary to be in place before tooth decay

occurs. These factors include presence of refined carbohydrate (sugars). There needs to be bacteria which are normal residents in the mouth. These bacteria act (feed) on the sugar and in so doing produce on acid byeproduct which eats the tooth. There is no truth in any worms being responsible for dental caries (tooth decay). The tooth structure consists of outer enamel – very hard and similar to bone. An inner dentine which gives the color to the tooth, the dentine is sensitive and below the enamel surface the pulp, the soft centre of the tooth with nerves, blood and it is the part of the tooth contains nutrients for the tooth. It is therefore important to remove the debris or food particles from the tooth by regular brushing daily do prevent accumulation of plaque. The use of toothpaste laden in the fluoride also encourages the strengthening of the outer part of the tooth Surface, the enamel. The benefit is most obvious in the growing dentition. However not all areas benefit from fluoride in the toothpaste. By the nature of geography, some areas have a high fluoride water content, in such areas fluoride may indeed be detrimental as it makes the enamel mottled and could become absorbed in bone. Enamels is bone like in biochemical structure the regular visit to the dentist once a year will detect any incipient lesion before they develop. The earlier carious (decay) lesion are detected and treated by


With Isaac Yakubu Akogu, 08176179496, • Wear some form of diabetes identification, such as a bracelet or necklace • Ensure exercise partners know how to recognize and treat hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose) • Test blood glucose prior to activity • If your blood glucose is >14mmol/L (252mg/dl), do not exercise • check for ketones in case of people living with type 1 diabetes • If your blood glucose is <6mmol/L (108mg/dl), eat 15 grams of carbohydrate • Have glucose source readily available throughout the Physical activity program • Special precautions need to be taken where treating hypoglycaemia would be difficult, such as scuba diving, rock climbing etc Exercise recommendations: 1. People living with diabetes who have complications like peripheral or autonomic neuropathy are advised to undertake non weight bearing exercises like swimming, rowing, bicycling, arm and chair exercises. However, they following exercises are contraindicated, treadmill, prolonged walking, jogging and step exercises. 2. Persons with complications of Nephropathy do not require exercise that will increase blood pressure and renal perfusion. Low to moderate intensity exercises are therefore recommended, however, high intensity exercises are not recommended. The importance of physical activ-

ity or exercise in persons living with Diabetes is indeed enormous. It is recommended in all persons living with or without Diabetes. People need to be taught about hypoglycaemia and precautionary measures to take to avert such emergencies should need be. For anyone intending to undertake any form of exercise, it is important to consult with your healthcare team to plan effectively. Until I come your next weekend with another interesting article on Diabetes Education, I wish to use this medium to express a special Christmas celebrations to our numerous readers within and outside Nigeria, lets exercise to keep fit and bring the blood glucose under strict control. Dear readers, endeavour to participate in this special quiz as a handsome reward awaits the winner. Send your answer by sms via the number shown above.

QUIZ 1. A benefit of physical activity specific to type 2 diabetes is that it: a. Builds strong bones b. Increases insulin sensitivity c. Lessens stress d. Decreases risk of injury


Dr. Samuel Omodele Awosolu 08108155239 (SMS only) the dentist. Preventive measures like cleaning the teeth to remove dental plaque / calculus (hardened plaque), topical use of fluorides use of general fluoridation in the population. The other worrisome aspect is something referred to as ‘feeding bottle’ caries occurring in children. The pressures of modern everyday work especially amongst professionals makes childcare a chore most parents do not have adequate attention, hence use of nannies and day-care, whilst that is not really a problem, it brings to fore the case of pacifying children do have comforters laden with sugary substances. The child (infant) that cries incessantly is pacified with feeding bottle and often goes for sleep with this bottle – Dental caries is contact dependent hence the design of using toothbrush to remove food contact from the tooth surface. Nutrition as essential in oral health and should be balanced. There are good dietary habits that contribute to good health include: 1. The consumption of as little sugar containing food as possible 2. The avoidance of sugary foods between meals 3. Eating all you want at meal

times 4 Eating fruits and bodies building foods 5. Finishing meals with fibrins foods like carrots, garden eggs, fruits and vegetables. The foregoing dental caries is a chemical parasitic process which in summary subsists of two stages namely 1. Fermentation of starches and sugar (food particles) by a variety of micro-organisms to produce acid. 2. The decalcification or softening of the hard tooth structures – removing of calcium crystals from the enamel outer covering of the tooth viz dentine and the dissolution of the softened residue. The most significant inter play in dental cares occurs between the saliva, micro – organisms, diet, time – ( the longer the food particles remain in the mouth the higher the chances of dental decay in the coming weeks, other topics of oral health care, prevention, myths treatment of dental problems and where to find dental care will be discussed. Questions can be emailed to 08108155239 (text only)



From the Pulpit

Twenty reasons you must GREEN PASTURES give thanks to God (III)


lory be to God! Today, I want to bring you the concluding part of this message by showing you more reasons give thanks to God. If you missed previous parts of this series, ask your vendor or access them on-line. What are the other reasons to give thanks to God? · Because of his provision. Whatever provision God makes available to us, whatever good supplies we receive from the Lord we need to thank him for it. There is nothing we have that we have not received from him. We must be careful not to be familiar with the provisions of God in our lives. God’s provisions should not be taken for granted. God’s benefits are benefits not rights. Benefit, in this context, is an archaic word for an act of kindness (not reward for labour). We must not be deceived to say that our hands have gotten our provisions for us and therefore become ungrateful. Thank God for the provision of food; thank God for the provision of water; thank God for the provision of good health etc. Before you start eating, do you thank him for providing you the food? Before you drink water, do you thank God for the provision of the water? You may think that’s going too far. You think it is for school children. No, these are not minor things. You should learn from our Lord Jesus Christ: “Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you’ ” (Matt 26:27 NIV) Before the miraculous feeding of about 5,000 people, the Bible says in John 6:11 “Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He

did the same with the fish” Learn to give thanks to God for both what you consider as small and the big provisions of God. · Because of his healings and miracles you have enjoyed. As said earlier, only the Samaritan leper came back to give thanks for his healing. Luke 17:16 says he threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. When last were you on your knees thanking God for healing you, for giving you good health, for the miracles you have received? Somebody says he has never enjoyed a miracle. But you are a miracle – you are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Ps 139:14) Your sleeping and waking up is a miracle. Your travelling and returning safely is a miracle. Should you wait until when you are involved in an accident in which all the occupants of the vehicles die and you survive before you know that God has been protecting you? Which one do you think is better: not to have an accident at all or to survive an accident? But which one do we always consider as a big testimony that we like to listen to in church? This is how the devil has been cheating us from thanking God and receiving the blessings God would have showered on us for doing this. It is the effect of negative mindedness. We think falling sick and being healed is a better and greater miracle than enjoying divine health (not falling sick). Whatever you don’t appreciate, you don’t celebrate. Whatever you don’t value you don’t cuddle. Whatever you don’t appreciate will depreciate (in your estimation). Don’t despise any longer the healings and miracles of God in your life especially the ones we are wont to overlook.

· Because of the people he sent or arranged to bless you. Don’t despise the people God has arranged to bless and help you. A man without help – the help of God and the help of man – will fail in life. There’s nothing like a self-made man; somebody is only failing to acknowledge the role of some people in his success. He is either proud or lying. Learn to thank God for the people God has brought across your way in life to assist you and help to realize your dream and carry out your life’s assignment. Titus was a son to Paul in the ministry and was very helpful in his ministerial assignment; he thanked God for the help that he was to him and his availability in the work of ministry. “I thank God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you. For Titus not only welcomed our appeal, but he is coming to you with much enthusiasm and on his own initiative. And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel. What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help” (2 Cor 8:16-20 NIV) · Because of the joy God gave you turning your mourning into dancing. A time of mourning is usually a time of pain and sorrow and thanksgiving at such a time (acting on the Word of God that in all circumstances we should give thanks to the Lord) is, in all honesty, a sacrifice – you are doing it by faith, you are not really enjoying it. But it is sweet when God turns things around for you, wipes away your tears and gives you a new song. That is a wonderful

By Pastor T. O. Banso GSM: 08033113523 time to thank God. Unfortunately, some people do everything except this most important thing – giving thanks to the Lord. We should be able to sing like David: “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever. (Ps 30:11-12 NIV) Because God has turned our wailing into dancing, we ought to give thanks to God. · Because God will do more for you. When we appreciate the kindness of God in our lives and others, we position ourselves to be recipients of more from God. Those who thank God get more from Him. An ungrateful person shall go empty handed. If God requests from us or demands from us thanksgiving, we had better realized that He needs it from us. So who are you not to offer thanks to God for all His manifold blessing in your life? When you count your blessings one by one, as said by that song writer, you will be surprised at what the Lord has done for you. Make thanksgiving to God for yourself, your family members, your loved ones and for everyone, for kings and all those in authority. (1Tim 2:2) Make it your lifestyle. The more thanksgiving you make, the more thankworthy events God will do for you. Don’t forget, ingratitude is a sin. If you don’t know how to show

appreciation, the sea of kindness for you will dry up. I have given you 20 reasons why you must thank God. You will not be honest if you say there is none of them that justifies why you should give thanks to the Lord. Because you have a reason to praise the Lord, I urge to begin right where you are. Now that you have heard these things blessed are you if you begin to do them. TAKE ACTION! If you’re not born again, kindly say this prayer now: “0 Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you Jesus for saving me and making me a child of God” I believe you’ve said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible believing, Bible teaching church in your area where you will be taught how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things becoming all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. May the Lord be with you.

Explicit command on the permanence of marriage Matthew 5:32; 19:39; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Deuteronomy 22:13-21; 1 Corinthians 6:9,10; Galatians 5:19-21; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:17,18; Romans 7:2,3; Matthew 18:21,22; Ephesians 4:3032; John 8:3-11.


he difference between the Pharisees’ interpretation and Christ’s interpretation is the difference between night and day or the difference between darkness and light. Matthew 19:3-9 is very important and helpful in understanding Matthew 5:32 because it is a fuller explanation of what our Lord puts here in a summarised form. He emphasised the sanctity of marriage. In His teaching, He referred to God’s original plan, “at the beginning” before the law

of Moses. When God created the woman to be a helpmeet for the man, He made that great pronouncement: “They shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). “They twain shall be one flesh” (Matthew 19:5). “They two shall be one flesh” (Ephesians 5:31). Christ’s conclusion and command is logical and binding: “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder ” (Matthew 19:6). In God’s original plan, the marriage union is indissoluble. The perfect plan of God is that a man should leave father and mother and be joined to his wife and that they should become one flesh. Certain other ties are broken but this allimportant “one flesh” tie is final and permanent. 3. EXPLANATORY CAUTION AND THE

By Pastor W.F Kumuyi PRESERVATION OF MARRIAGE Matthew 5:32; 19:9; 1:18-21; John 8:41-44; Genesis 2:18-24; 3:11,12,17-21; Romans 7:2,3; 1 Corinthians 7:10,11,39; Ephesians 5:25,28-31; Colossians 3:13,14. “Saving for the cause of fornication” or “except it be for fornication” (Matthew 5:32; 19:9) will need proper understanding. Generally, when the word

fornication is used alone in a verse of Scripture, it refers to immorality of every kind. But when the words fornication and adultery appear together in the same verse, then each word takes on a specific meaning. (See Mark 7:21; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Galatians 5:19). Compare the words man, woman. When the word, man, is used alone in a verse of Scripture, it can stand for both men and women (1 Corinthians 10:13;

Luke 9:62) but when both man and woman appear together in the same verse, the word man will be restricted to males (1 Corinthians 11:3,7; 1 Timothy 5:16). In Matthew 5:32; 19:9, fornication refers to the sin of immorality before marriage. In the Old Testament, fornication before marriage or adultery within marriage was punishable by death (Deuteronomy 22:13-22). In the New Testament, fornication and adultery are terrible sins but not unpardonable sins. If the fornicator or the adulterer realises the enormity of his or her sins, God will forgive and restore him/her fully to divine fellowship. Then God’s Word commands us to “forgive one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).

BIG PUNCH Interpreting those remarks an expression of defeat or helplessness, amounts to reckless scare mongering which can only serve the purpose of needlessly instigating fear among the populace and bolstering the confidence of criminal and unpatriotic elements – President Jonathan reacting to Media report on his comments on war against terrorism


Jerusalem as lesson


ehold,’ the Quran declares, ‘God is Infinite, All Knowing.’ Consequently: ‘The East and the West belong to God: wherever you turn, there is His Face.’ [2:115] In other words every person, every community, every nation, and indeed all of humanity belong to God, or as Prophet Muhammad says, constitutes God’s Family. God has willed that His Family should be of different colors, tongues and faiths. How will the world be if it were composed exclusively of good people only, or of bad people only, or of one religion only, or of one civilization only? – without Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Jews, Muslims, without the ever evolving ideologies, philosophies, thoughts, trends. A world bereft of infinite contrasts and varieties, incapable of encompassing all the possibilities of human ingenuity will indeed be extremely monotonous, suffocating, unworthy. God’s space from which people can seek fulfillment and progress is all-encompassing, and need not be closed or denied. We close the discourse on Jerusalem, at this season of Christmas, by reflecting on what can be considered a foremost lesson to be derived from its history. Let’s recall that Pope Urban || had sought to create one European superstate, with a common faith and a common identity and he thought that the war on Islam was the best strategy to achieve that supreme goal, and Jerusalem the best focal point. He therefore sent the armies, drawn from all the countries of Europe, to capture Jerusalem, ‘the land hallowed by the feet of Christ’ from Muslims and occupy the heartland of Islam. The Pope, in what was to be the greatest tragedy of all, refused to take into account of the fact that Jerusalem was also the land hallowed by the feet of David and Solomon, even more significantly, the land hallowed by the very presence of Muhammad. So, the Pope, in what the American historian and philosopher, Will Durant, in The Age of Faith, called a bold extension of papal authority freed all European slaves, debtors, sinners, criminals and murderers who would fight Islam, promising each and every one of them eternal life. The result was astounding. According to Will Durant: ‘Thousands of vagrants joined in the sacred tramp. Men tired of hopeless poverty, adventurers ready for brave enterprise, younger sons hoping to carve out fiefs for themselves in the East, merchants seeking new markets for their goods, knights whose enlisting serfs had left them labor less, timid spirits shunning taunts of cowardice joined with sincerely religious souls to rescue the land of Christ’s birth and death.’ Further: ‘Propaganda of the kind customary in war stressed the disabilities of Christians in Palestine,

the atrocities of Moslems, the blasphemies of the [Moslem] creed. Fabulous tales were told of Oriental wealth and of dark beauties waiting to be taken by brave men. In many cases women and children insisted upon accompanying their husbands and parents, perhaps with reason, for prostitutes soon enlisted to serve the warriors.’ These were the conquerors of Jerusalem. The victory was at first sweet and enthralling. But the dire, natural, consequences were to follow inevitably — once genocide is initiated and perpetrated, who knows when and where it will eventually end? When the Muslim ‘race’ and Jewish ‘race’ were exterminated in Jerusalem, the matter didn’t end there. Soon the Christian ‘race’ became the victim of genocide in Constantinople in the hands of the army deployed by Pope Innocent |||. The moral quality of the European hordes continued to deteriorate, more and more. When Salahudin liberated Jerusalem some ninety years after its unusual and unprecedented sack, the morality had all but disintegrated. One incidence suffices as an example. The terms of the surrender of the Holy City included the payment of the equivalent of fifty dollars for every man, less for women and children, itself an act of magnanimity and benevolence from Salahudin, who also gave the invaders forty days to leave. Majority of the people, being poor, could not pay, while according to Sir Stanley Lane-Poole, the bourgeoisie, money in hand, paid their own ransom, and left for Europe. As time was running out for the thousands left stranded, the Caliph began the frantic search for a way to free them all. In the midst of all this, a strangely pathetic scene, in the words of Lane-poole was to be witnessed by the Caliph and the people. ‘The Patriarch [of Jerusalem], who had neither morals nor conscience, carried off the treasures of the churches, gold chalices and monstrances, and even the gold plate of the Holy Sepulcher, besides a vast hoard of his own, which had been better spent on ransoming the poor who still remained,’ he wrote. ‘When the emirs urged Saladin not to let the old rascal make off with his plunder, he replied, “No, I will not break faith with him,” and the Patriarch got off like the rest for his ten besants, or fifty dollars.’ In short the Patriarch, in the moment of supreme crisis, had turned his back on his people and looted the Church. ince then Europe had become addicted to genocide, which, time after time, it had perpetrated on races all over the world, which it inflicted on itself in the First and Second World Wars, causing upon its own race death and destruction the like of which humanity has never witnessed before


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Ibraheem Sulaiman

Pope Urban II or after, which it visits upon other nation at will even today, which it is likely to repeat again and again in the future on other races and on itself. The motivation for genocide remains strong, Islam being the strongest. The reason to wage war on Islam is always there, thanks to the alliance between what Uri Avnery, the indefatigable 90 year old Israeli peace activist, the Emperor and the Pope, and it can be conjured at the slightest opportunity. So when Pope

Benedict XV| launched A vicious attack on the person of Prophet Muhammad, Uri Avnery responded promptly and appropriately, in the context of the evidence of history. ‘There is no escape from viewing [Pope’s attack] against the background of the new Crusade of Bush and his evangelist supporters, with his slogans of “Islamofascism” and the “Global War on Terrorism” – when “terrorism” has become a synonym for Muslims,’ Avnery

‘For Bush’s handlers, this is a cynical attempt to justify the domination of the world’s oil resources. Not for the first time in history, a religious robe is spread to cover the nakedness of economic interests; not for the first time, a robbers’ expedition becomes a Crusade.’ He added ominously: ‘The speech of the Pope blends into this effort. Who can foretell the dire consequences?’

wrote in 2006. ‘For Bush’s handlers, this is a cynical attempt to justify the domination of the world’s oil resources. Not for the first time in history, a religious robe is spread to cover the nakedness of economic interests; not for the first time, a robbers’ expedition becomes a Crusade.’ He added ominously: ‘The speech of the Pope blends into this effort. Who can foretell the dire consequences?’ slam, Jerusalem and Muslim resources, which in today’s context, means the vast oil and gold reserves God has bestowed on Muslims, remain the dominant reason for war on Islam. Yet the lesson of Jerusalem shows that you can not treat others unjustly without hurting yourself even more. Genocide has never succeeded over life, and this should serve as a warning to those who think that genocide and exclusion can serve their purpose. ‘It is interesting that the Muslims, who pursued in the main a tolerant and inclusive policy in Jerusalem, maintained control of the city longer than either Jews or Christians, whose exclusive vision actually jeopardized their rule,’ Karen Armstrong observes. ‘In times of crisis, it is often healing to look back at our roots and discover from the wisdom of the past some lessons for the future.’ From that perspective, the atrocities being perpetrated by the state of Israel and its continued desecration of Jerusalem are most likely to shorten rather than prolong the Zionist stranglehold on the Sacred Territory. Sadly the world appears to have written off the Christian stake in the Holy City, emphasizing instead only the claims of the Jews. Uri Avnery, however, harbors no illusions about the future. After decades of occupation, he wrote in an article in 2008, Israel has failed to defeat the Palestinian Struggle. The Israeli political and military leaders are in this regard, neither more stupid nor more cruel than their predecessors – the Dutch in Indonesia, the British in Palestine, the French in Algeria, the Americans in Vietnam, the Soviets in Afghanistan, who have in their individual, unique ways, failed to defeat a freedom movement. ‘Our generals,’ Avnery asserted, ‘may top them all only in their arrogance – their belief that they are the smartest and that the “Jewish head” will invent new patents that all those Goyim [i.e. Non-Jews] could never think of.’ But Palestine will eventually prevail. ‘After all, the end is not in doubt. The only question is how much more killing, how much more destruction, how much more suffering must be caused before the occupiers arrive at the inescapable conclusion,’ he stressed. This is perhaps the inexorable direction the future is going, as taught and demonstrated by Jerusalem.


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Saturday 28th December, 2013  

Saturday 28th December, 2013 Weekend Edition

Saturday 28th December, 2013  

Saturday 28th December, 2013 Weekend Edition