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Thursday, July 29, 2021/ Dhuʻl-Hijjah 19, 1442 AH

2618 Days after Malam Wada Maida (1950-2020), founding Chairman, Board of the Peoples Media Limited

Vol. 36 No. 098 N200



. . . putting the people first

The nation awaits rescue of the remaining abducted Chibok schoolgirls

COVID-19: Nigeria surges to highest in over 4 months with 404 cases >>PAGE 4

Court discharges, acquits El-Zakzaky, wife

L- R,: The President of the Organization of Military Sport in Africa (OSMA), Brig Gen. Maikano Abdullahi, Secretary General, international Military sport Council, Col. Dorah Koita, Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of State Barr Abdullahi Mohammed and the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Mr Edet Sunday Akpan, during the investiture ceremony of the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Onu as the Patron of Sahel Military Games by OSMA, held recently in Abuja. Photo; Justin Imo-owo

PDP kicks over Supreme Court judgement on Ondo guber NSCDC nabs wanted notorious bandit pAGE 3

Nigerian missions abroad to deliver passports by mail pAGE 6

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TETFund: Buhari approves N8.5bn for research in 2021 pAGE 4









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18 19-20 21

World Analysis 22 Africa News


World News


Nigerian Consulate in New York to enrol nationals for NIN T he Consulate-General of Nigeria in New York says it is making arrangement to enrol Nigerians within its jurisdiction for the National Identification Number (NIN) in line with the directive from the Federal Government. The Consul-General, Amb. Lot Egopija, stated at a hybrid Town Hall meeting held at Nigeria House in New York for Nigerian nationals within the jurisdiction. Egopija said the Consulate had received a directive from the headquarters (Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to enrol its nationals. The Nigerian envoy said the Consulate would soon conclude arrangements with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). Egopija recalled that when he assumed office few months ago, he pledged to be having regular interactive sessions with Nigerians to get their feedback and to update them with developments at the Consulate. He said that the Consulate had improved services in the areas of passport delivery, passport issuance and also in the processing of passport and visa documents. “Webeen able to reduce the

waiting hours and we have removed our nationals from the street. Before now, we used to have our nationals loitering around the building. “But we have created a holding room to accommodate our nationals and give them a new lease of life whereby they feel they belong to Nigeria House. “We have also improved our consular services in the area of dissemination of information through upgrading our website and making it more friendly. “Also, we have opened a WhatsApp platform to disseminate information to all the members of associations registered with the Consulate to ensure timely communication,’’ he said. Egopija said the Consulate was working with Nigeria Immigration Services (NIS) to get sufficient passport booklets to meet the need of Nigerians within New York jurisdiction. He said that the office had improved on its mailing services and was working with a telephone company to reconfigure a direct phone line in a way that any Nigerian could call and be answered immediately. The Nigerian envoy explained

that the Consulate would embark on cultural diplomacy aimed at promoting Nigeria’s image by organising cultural shows, saying “we need to export our culture”. On trade and investment, Egopija said he was in talks with the New York Chamber of Commerce and would be extending it to other Chambers of Commerce in the U.S. to boost trade relations between Nigeria and the host country. “Nigerians deserve the best from us and we will give Nigerians the best always,’’ he said. The Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, said it was important to interact with the compatriots to better inform them on efforts being made to serve them better and to get feedback from them. “Anytime any agency deliberately sets out to improve its services, it should be commended and I’m happy to participate in this interactive session,” he said. Similarly, a Nigerian community leader, Mr Francis James, commended the Consul-General for his achievements in just three months in office especially the transformation he had carried out to effect positive changes.

“When we see opportunities for change, we must work together and give who wants to truly make this change happen an opportunity to deliver. “I have seen tremendous improvements over the last three months much more than we have seen over the last five years. Ambassador Lot is a man of his words. “He realised that in order to serve better, he needed to engage with relevant stakeholders and he started by engaging some representatives of Nigerian communities led by the Organisation for the Advancement of Nigerians,’’ the official said. James also commended the Consul-General for fixing the problems of Nigerians loitering around in Nigeria House. “I’m not taking these achievements for granted because Egopija can stay for five years and not do anything. I’m happy to tell Nigerians we have the opportunity to turn things around. “We want what is happening in New York to be replicated in our other missions globally. “Dialogue produces better and lasting solutions than protests,’’ he said. (NAN)

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NSCDC nab wanted, notorious bandit By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


he Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), said its operatives arrested a wanted notorious bandit, Bello Galaduma, in Sokoto. The corps in a statement issued yesterday by its spokesperson, Olusola Odumosu, said the arrest was due to the resolve of the Commandant General, Ahmed Audi, in having zero



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Ag. News Editor, Tobias Lengnam AfCFTA: Nigeria needs standard products to compete State Command who responded immediately and laid siege in the favourably – SON

tolerance for all forms of criminal behaviour in the society. Dr. Audi, has commended the NSCDC Sokoto State Command for a job well done in arresting Bello Galaduma, a 40years old suspected bandit, who had been on the wanted list of Security Agencies for more than 2years running. The statement said, Galaduma specializes in liaising with kidnappers by giving them information of persons to be kidnapped.

He also, assisted kidnappers in buying drugs and other items for their nefarious activities. The captured bandit according to reliable Intel, was formerly operating in Niger State before relocating to Sokoto State where luck ran out on him, leading to his capture and arrest by operatives of the NSCDC. The corps said, “the feat was made possible due to actionable intelligence received by the Officers and Men of the NSCDC, Sokoto

Aliyu Jodi area of Sokoto State, where he went to buy drugs and also to satisfy his sexual urge. In that process, the Gallant Officers wasted no time in ending his reign of banditry. “Galaduma is in the custody of NSCDC operatives, and is presently under interrogation and helping with useful information to apprehend other culprits.”

LASG, First Bank partner to provide PHC for Ijeododo community


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R-L: Director Management Systems Certification and Representative of the Director General, Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), Engr. Felix Teddy Nyado, Acting Board Chairman, National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), HRH Alh.Aliyu Abdullahi and the Executive Secretary NSDC Mr. Zacch Adedeji, during the official presentation of quality Management System Certificate to NSDC by the Standard organization of Nigeria, yesterday in Abuja. Photo:Justin imo-Owo.

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Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state (right), presents permanent and pensionable employment letter to newly employed doctors to be deployed to health medical centers across the 44 local government areas of the state, in Kano yesterday.

Buhari congratulates Gov Akeredolu on Supreme Court judgment

By Egena Sunday Ode


resident Muhammadu Buhari has joined members of All Progressives Congress (APC) in felicitating with Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State over the Supreme Court judgement, which upheld his re-election in the October 10, 2020 polls. The President urged the

governor, and all elected leaders of the governing party, to always place the people first in their consideration of development programmes and projects, affirming that the popularity of the APC would continue to depend on performance and acceptance by the electorate, according to a statement by On Wednesday his Special Adviser, Femi Adesina

President Buhari, the statement said, extolled the Ondo State governor for assiduously working for the development of the state, with reforms that continue to attract the goodwill of investors, and insistence that education, health and security take priority. The President noted that the Supreme Court Judgement, preceded by that of the Court

of Appeal, further bolsters the strength and reach of the APC, and its bright chances of consolidation in coming elections, the statement said. It added that the President called on the opposition to sheathe the sword, work for the development of Ondo State, and wishes the government and people a prosperous future.

he Lagos State Government (LASG) has partnered First Bank of Nigeria Plc., in providing a Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) at Ijeododo Community in Lagos State for its residents to have access to improved comprehensive healthcare. Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, at the ground breaking of the centre on Tuesday, said that the PHC would improve the standard of living of the residents of Ijeododo in Iba Local Council Development Area (LCDA). The governor was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that First Bank was supporting the state government in its ‘One Community At A Time (OCAAT) ‘ initiative with the construction of the PHC. Sanwo-Olu said that OCAAT initiative was an integrated, intersectoral and community-based programme that would achieve sustainable improvements in the lives of people living in underserved communities across Lagos State. He said that the initiative was the brainchild of the Secretary to

the State Government (SSG) of Lagos State, Mrs Folashade Jaji, which was approved by the State Executive Council on Jan.18, 2020. The governor acknowledged that health infrastructure was weak in the state, Nigeria and Africa. He said that in spite of the deficiency, the state had risen to the challenge of fighting COVID-19, reducing the impact of the disease on the citizens and keeping the economy open. Sanwo-Olu stressed the importance of providing functional PHCs to fight COVID-19 and other diseases, especially, in the underserved communities. According to him, the state will transform its health infrastructure through the use of quality and medically suitable building materials to ensure sustainability of the structures. The governor commended First Bank for supporting his administration’s quest in building resilient healthcare in the state and increasing residents’ access to quality healthcare. Also, Mrs Folashade Jaji, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), said that

OCAAT was targeted at meeting specific needs of underserved communities by proffering lasting solutions to their needs. Jaji noted that OCAAT typifies sustainability, inclusiveness and transparency that would bring dividends of democracy closer to the grassroots. She said that when the PHC at Ijeododo would be completed, it would bring succour to over 10, 000 residents of the community who had previously travelled miles before accessing healthcare. Commenting, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, the Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria Plc., said that supporting government through building of the PHC was part of the bank’s resolve to spread kindness across various communities. Adeduntan said that the bank had championed this through its philanthropic Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Week, an initiative held yearly to promote acts of kindness. He said that the initiative tagged ‘SPARK’ an acronym for: Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness, gives expression to the bank’s commitment to improving the health and welfare of members

of various communities. He restated the bank’s commitment to continue to support government in its developmental projects, adding that First Bank through CACOVID assisted the government in its fight against COVID-19. Adeduntan advised residents of Ijeododo community to take ownership of the PHC by maintaining it, while stating the bank’s commitment to support the community through the process. Chief Jelili Ododo, the leader of Ijeododo Community in his response , commended the state government and First Bank for the decision to build the PHC in his community. “Our pregnant women used to give birth inside cars on their way to the nearest General Hospital at Igando. “This PHC will bring relief to my people. I plead with government to start the project on time and also ensure its early completion,”he said. Ododo also appealed to the state government to fast track the rehabilitation of the Ijeododo Road to aid easy access to the PHC and commuting within the community. (NAN) (www.


he Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) on Tuesday said that the country needed to produce products that meet international standards to enable her compete favourably on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The Director-General (D-G) of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, said this at the SON’s Capacity Building Workshop for Journalists in Lagos with the theme: “Improved Synergy to Promote Standardisation.” Salim urged journalists to always report issues as they were as their reportage would either make or mar the country. He added that everyone should be vigilant so as not to patronise substandard goods because the impressions that would be formed from such would not be profitable for the country. He said that collective efforts would ensure substandard goods were not in the market. He added that they had met with traders in markets like Alaba, and Ladipo ,and that the outcome of such meetings with some of the association was beginning to yield fruits. Salim noted that the SON had made some changes in the past one year to ensure that things moved smoothly for the country. “We’ve done enough enforcements, discussed about how to stop all these things that are entering our country. We are working assiduously both within, outside and underground, to improve activities of the organisation so that it can serve the country better. “This is very important, because we have the new African free trade, where goods will be crossing borders without too much hindrances. “So what that means for our country is, if our manufacturers are not producing standard goods, they will not cross over to the other countries, because other countries will set standards too and they will expect goods coming to their countries to be up to standard,” he said. He noted that most countries would gladly stop products that were substandard from entering their countries so as to save their nationals from buying fake products and endangering their people. “So it is our responsibility as the SON to make sure our goods in this country are up to standard. We must make sure that substandard goods in the markets decrease. “Governments should make sure that there are consequences and sanctions against any products or persons producing substandard products. “We have to make sure that manufactured goods, building materials are up to standard because in case of collapsed buildings, hundreds of people lose their lives. “So, as an organisation, we know the weight of our responsibility and the job of the journalist is to keep us on our toes to do the needful,” he said. The SON D-G also pointed out that it was very important for the tradition of investigative journalism not to die, adding that such would keep journalists on their toes and discourage the cut-and-paste approach. NAN



TETFund: Buhari approves N8.5bn for research in 2021 By Maryam Abeeb,Abuja


resident Muhammadu Buhari has approved the sum of N8.5 billion for the conduct of ground-breaking research in medicine and other areas in 2021, under the National Research Fund, NRF, scheme funded by the Tertiary Education Trust, TETFund. Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof Suleiman Bogoro, disclosed this on Wednesday at a 3-Day Workshop for Directors of Research and Development of public universities in Nigeria held at the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Training Institute, Maitama, Abuja. Bogoro said “With your support, I made a case to the board of trustees to increase the NRF research grants. Initially, we had a seed money of N3 billion it got exhausted and N1billion was added between 2016 and 2019. “But when I came, I decided to revolutionise it and I said it is not a question of seed money let it be annual money. And that is why I made a case for N5 billion in 2019 alone. In 2020, we raised it to N7.5 billion. “This year, Mr President has approved another N7.5 billon but, guess what, with additional N1 billion that we intend to do ground breaking research around medicine even in respect of the Covid-19 challenge. The TETFund boss said the fund is intending to put money at the Nigerian Medical Research Institute, NMIR to resuscitate their vaccine production. He added that he has scheduled a meeting with the Director General of NMIR, Prof Babatunde Salako, to be joined by brilliant professors of medicine from some universities across the country for the purpose of achieving specific research objectives. Bogoro however decried the failure of research institutes to have the appetite to establish a good relationship with universities for the purpose of promoting research and development, stating that universities are also guilty of disregarding them. He stressed the need for collaboration between the universities and research institutes to know what the institutes are doing and offer assistance where necessary. While urging participants at the workshop to take the initiative of looking at why kidnapping has become so lucrative, the TETfund boss lamented that young engineers and technology experts were rather deploying their expertise to aid the growing wave of abductions across the country. He challenged university professors not to only parade themselves with titles but engage in problem-solving research that will change things for the good of the nation. Earlier, TETFund’s Director of Research and Development, Dr Salisu Bakare, noted that universities are by nature problem-solvers, adding that when universities are not solving problems of the society, the question remains whether they are achieving their mandates.


COVID-19: Nigeria surges to highest in over 4 months with 404 cases


he Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced that 404 additional COVID-19 infections and zero COVID-19 related deaths were registered in Nigeria on July 27, 2021. The NCDC disclosed this on its official Twitter handle on Wednesday morning . The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the additional infections represents the highest number of daily cases recorded in over four months, taking the total tally to 171,728 and 2,134 casualties. This came few weeks after the Government confirmed Delta COVID-19 variant in the country, the nation’s coronavirus infection has been on the rise. The Delta variant is recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a variant of concern, given its increased transmissibility. The variant has been detected in over 100 countries and is expected to spread to more countries. The variant has also been linked to a surge in cases in countries where it is the dominant strain in circulation. There are ongoing studies to understand

the impact of the variant on existing vaccines and therapeutics. According to available data from the NCDC, a total of 4,010 cases have been registered so far in the month of July, a significant increase compared to 1,100 and 1,394 recorded in the months of June and May 2021, respectively. The Nigeria’s public health agency announced that the 404 infections were reported in 11 states. It stated that Lagos State, which had been contributing the highest number, reported 356 in the day under review. This, it added, was followed by Rivers which recorded 18 cases, FCT (7), Ekiti (5), Kaduna (5), Gombe (3), Kano (3), Edo (2), Ogun (2), Bayelsa (1), Plateau (1) and Nasarawa(1). The NCDC disclosed that 39 people have recovered and were discharged from various isolation centres in the country, but no death was recorded on Tuesday. The public health agency added that till date, 164,837 recoveries have been recorded nationwide in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The agency assured that a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), activated at Level 2, continues to coordinate the national response activities. The NCDC added that the country had also tested more than 2.4 million samples for the virus out of the country’s estimated 200 million population. It added that the country’s active cases stood at 4,737 as of July 27. The NCDC however advised that Nigerians must protect themselves from COVID-19, as the virus continues to spread across the country and the variants were circulating. “Take steps to protect yourself from the virus. Get a COVID-19 vaccine, when it is available to you. “Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself and others. “Stay six feet apart from others who don’t live with you. “Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces and wash your hands often with soap and water. “Use hand sanitiser if soap and water aren’t available,” it further advised. (NAN) ( Representative of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Christian Ezekobe (4th left), Director General Nigerian College of Accountancy (NCA), Jos, Dr Kayode Fashua (5th left), Chief of Accounts and Budget, Nigerian Navy, Commodore Kasimu Bushi (6th left) and others during the visit of a delegation of the NCA to Naval Headquarters, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: DINFO NHQ

Synergy among military stakeholders key to tackling insecurity – expert Workshop


rof. Bola Akinteriwa, former DirectorGeneral, Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), says synergy among military stakeholders is key in tackling security challenges in the country. Akinteriwa said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of a two-day regional workshop on security at the University of Lagos (UNILAG). The workshop with the theme: Security Challenges in West Africa; Multiforms and Perspectives, was organised by the UNILAG African Cluster Centre (Africa Multiple), Centre of Excellence in African Studies. He said government efforts in tackling security challenges in the country would not yield the desired result with divisions within the military. ”Let me tell you, there is no better military in Africa than the one in Nigeria. They are the best. When in Dafur, the UN was to post people, they put an Indian to be there. But others said if you want solution to the problem there, go and get the Nigerian military. ”These are the people who are internationally respected. Now, in this case, if we are not doing well here, it means by the time our military are going to the battle field, the enemy within, will send signal to their accomplices and sabotage their efforts. ”That, on its own, is a critical problem to be addressed. If you are able to use your intelligence to fish out those who are working against you, then you are already 50 per cent close to the solution. ”If there is synergy among military stakeholders in fighting insurgency and other vices, this President Buhari led administration will succeed in an unprecedented manner,” Akinteriwa told NAN. He also stressed the need to fine-tune

protocols that allows for free movement of persons within the region, noting that this, if achieved, would bring peace among member countries. ”We must not allow any of these countries in the subregion to leverage on that free movement and create problems for us as a people. ”We should also improve on our foreign diplomacy. We may need to look deeper into the kind of relationship we keep with some of these foreign countries, as not all of them could really be working for our interest,” he said. Also speaking, Brig. Gen. Hassan Mamman Lai (Rtd), said tackling issues of security in the country and the region must remain a concern for all. Lai, who was also the lead presenter at the workshop, stressed the need to always tackle security issues promptly to avoid escalation. ”We must not wait until it gets out of control before seeking solutions. ”We must all show that commitment, we must come together to tackle it collectively, as a group,” he said. Prof. Osarhieme Osadolor, acting Vice Chancellor, Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma in Edo, said insurgency and terrorism had assumed global configuration. Osadolor noted that in West Africa, especially Nigeria, the deep concern about security by all, had led to uncertainty, fear, and worry among citizens, visitors, investors and tourists. According to him, when a society is under seige, investors are scared and wealth creation collapses. ”This explains why security is the main justification for the existence of the state and the main beneficiaries are persons, social groups, objects and institutions, ecosystems and entities. ”The consequences of insecurity are immediate. The challenge is to address the

security issues, as well as other threats to peace and development in West Africa, as a whole. ”I have always advocated the adoption of new security governance with roles and responsibilities shared among all the security sector shareholders in the subregion,” he said. On his part, Prof. Muyiwa Falaiye, Director, Institute of African and Diaspora Studies (IADS) of the university, said the theme of the workshop was apt because the centre had always wanted to do something about security in the country. Falaiye noted that the centre had been working toward organising conferences that would theoretically explain some of the challenges the country had experienced in the area of security. ”That is why this workshop is timely and also fits into the agenda of the Lagos Africa Cluster Centre, as well as, into the overall agenda of the institute of African and Diaspora Studies of the University of Lagos. ”This is just the beginning, there will be many follow ups on workshops, meetings, retreats, conferences and discussions about this important matter of security in the west coast of Africa. ”So, for us at IADS, we are happy to be associated with this workshop, we are happy that the people invited who are knowledgeable, either conceptually or practically about matters of security, have showed up to lend their voices to this issue in our country and sub-region. ”At the end of this workshop, we are expecting to have a clear idea about why we have found ourselves where we are and above all, how we can resolve some of these challenges. ”It is important to note that it is easy to talk about challenges but more difficult to talk about finding lasting solutions to such challenges,” he said. (NAN)

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CVR: PDP calls 1m Nigerians registered so far a referendum against Buhari, APC

By Folorunso Alagbede, Abuja


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the one million Nigerians who have so far registered under the on-going continuous voter registration, CVR, exercise of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, represents a referendum against the bad administration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration headed by President Muhammadu Buhari. The party added that the referendum shows what Nigerians, who are registering for the CVR online now, have against President Buhari and the APC. This, the main opposition party said, bothers on the fact that they (Nigerians) are protesting the poverty, the hunger and starvation in the nation today. Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan said, “we are happy that INEC has come out to reveal that not less than one million Nigerians have so far participated in the continuous voter registration exercise of the commission. “To us, this one million people constitute a referendum against the bad and maladministration of President Muhammadu Buhari as well as the All Progressives Congress (APC) because many of those who are registering now, through the continuous voter registration exercise of INEC, are people who have turned 18, people who have never participated in the registration exercise before, young men and young women out there who are totally dissatisfied with the situation in which the APC has brought our country. “These are the people who are currently engaging the the continuous voter registration exercise. “The referendum Nigerians who are registering now have against the All Progressives Congress as well as President Muhammadu Buhari bothers on the fact that they are protesting the poverty, the hunger and starvation in our nation today. “It is a referendum against the high cost of living. Many of us are aware that a mudu of beans in the Nigerian market is N1,000, that a mudu of garri is N600, that a bag of rice in my own neighbourhood is N30,000, that a bottle of red oil is N750, that 12.5kg of gas which we were buying for N2,000 has become N6,000. “So those who you find now that are registering or those that have registered among the one million that INEC has declared, are coming out to display their anger against the All Progressives Congress as well as the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari”, he said. Speaking on the party’s e-registration exercise, the Ologbondiyan boasted that there is no where it has not covered in the country.


PDP vows to probe its Senators, Reps on role on Electronic Transmission of Election

... Differs with Supreme Court over Ondo guber judgement By Folorunso Alagbede, Abuja


he national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has vowed to investigate the roles played by it’s members at the National Assembly during the voting exercise on the electronic transmission of election results. The party said this at a press conference addressed yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja. The main opposition party, it will be recalled, had vigorously canvassed the use of technology to transmit election results, insisting that most of the controversies and falsification of election occur as a result of the human interface during the result collation at the local government and state collation centres. However, most of its influential members stayed away on the day of the voting exercise. Ologbondiyan, at yesterday’s press conference, disclosed that the party is set to meet with it’s caucus at the National Assembly to investigate

the role of its members during the exercise. According to him, “The Peoples Democratic Party is calling a meeting between the party and caucus in the National Assembly to review the participation of members in the legislative activity of the national Assembly as it concerns the voting on transmission of results”.0 Some of the PDP senators who stayed away during the voting exercise include: Former Deputy Senate President Sen. Ike Ekwewmmadu, Senator Uche Ekwunife, Senator Stella Oduah, Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha, Senator Chimaroke Namani among others. Senate, after the voting, retained an amendment by Sabi Abdullahi, senate deputy whip, who proposed that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) must certify that national coverage is adequate and secure, while the National Assembly must approve the recommendation before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) can transmit election results electronically.

Senotor Albert Bassey who is representing Akwa Ibom north-east, kicked against the motion and said the initial proposal made by the committee should be retained. A total of 28 Senators, all from the PDP, voted for the original amendment in the bill that INEC should make decisions on the electronic transmission of election results while 52 Senators, all from the APC, voted for the amendment as proposed by Senator Abdullahi. Senator representing Anambra Central in the nation’s upper legislature, Senator Uche Ekwunife has given reasons for her absence during the voting for electronic results transmission. The female Senator said she is fully in support of electronic transmission of election results, adding that her absence was because she had scheduled programmes in her constituency. In another development, the PDP has kicked against the decision of the Supreme Court rejecting its appeal on the selection process of the APC governorship candidate

in Ondo State, Chief Oluwarotimi Akeredolu. The PDP, in a statement yesterday by Ologbondiyan said, “Once again we say thank you to the Supreme Court. However we insist and in line with the split decision of the Supreme Court Judgement that there is no way that Mai Mala Buni as Governor of Yobe state can also function as National Chairman of All Progressives Congress. “That is totally am aberration of the doctrine and dictates as established in the All Progressives Congress constitution as well as 1999 constitution as amended. We insists that the process that led to the emergence of Gov. Akeredolu was and remains a violation of the APC constitution as well as the 1999 constitution. “Section 183 of the 1999 constitution states that no governor should hold any other position in any capacity apart from the office of the governor. As you know, this was the major ground upon which we went to the Supreme Court”, the party said.

L-R: Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Slyva, Former Minister of Education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, the Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE) Effurun Delta State, Prof..Akpofure Rim-Rukeh and the Acting Dean, College of Engineering and Technology FUPRE, Dr. Godswill Ofualagba, during the University round table 2021 for the development of the FUPRE Effurun, held yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Court discharges, acquits El-Zakzaky, his wife

From: Femi Oyelola Kaduna


Kaduna High court has discharged and acquitted leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shi’ites, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat. Justice Gideon Kurada delivered the judgment in Kaduna yesterday. The Judge who was ruling in the no-case submission filed by Zakzaky upheld a no-case submission and agreed the case lacks merit. Briefing journalists after the secret trial, counsel to Zakzaky, Marshal Abubakar, said the court upheld their no-case submission and

agreed the case lacks merit. The IMN leader and his wife stood trial over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, among other criminal charges since December 2015, following a clash between his followers and convoy of the then Chief of Army Staff, LtGeneral Tukur Yusuf Buratai in Zaria. The court had fixed July 28 for Justice Gideon Kurada, after the prosecution and counsel to the defendants addressed the court on the no-case submission prayer. Briefing journalists after the secret trial, counsel to Zakzaky, Marshal Abubakar, said the court upheld their no-case submission and

agreed the case lacks merit. Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife, Malama Zeenah Ibrahim, was standing trial for sundry trumpedup charges, including that of aiding and abetting culpable homicide punishable by death. In a sharp reaction President of IMN Media Forum, Ibrahim Musa said with the victory in court the false charges filed against them have finally been punctured for good after almost five years of excruciating illegal detention. “This judgment according to him has not only vindicated them and all members of the Islamic movement in Nigeria, but it is certainly a victory for perseverance in the face of

extreme persecution by the Nigerian government. It is a victory for truth and justice against tyranny and impunity. “We, therefore, give praises to the Almighty for yet another successful outing, which further proves to the world that the Islamic Movement and its leader, are only victims of impunity and mischievous plots by both the Buhari-led federal government and the El-Rufai-led Kaduna state government. Since both governments have again failed in court after a fair trial, we expect them to respect the judgment of this honorable court and the course of justice to release them with immediate effect.”




Blasphemy: Court fixes August 18 for hearing of Abduljabbar’s case By Mustapha Adamu, Kano


he Upper Sharia Court, Kofar Kudu Kano under Ibrahim Sarki Yola has fixed the 18th of August, 2021 to allow the lawyers representing Kano state government to present its charges against Shaikh Abduljabbar Kabara before the court. The prosecutors of Kano state government, headed by Aisha Mahmud, yesterday prayed the court to allow their team to present full charges against the accused instead of the First Information Report (FIR) he was earlier arraigned on. “We have additional statements concerning this case, hence we seek this court to give us additional time to bring them before it. “We want to present charges before the court because what is now before the court is the FIR. We seek adjournment by the court to prepare the charges to 25th of August, 2021.” she stated. However, the counsel representing Abduljabbar, Barrister Saleh Muhammad Bakaro lamented that the prosecutors were not prepared for the case even after arraigning the accused and demanding him for 12 days in the Kano Correctional Centre. “It is now 12 days since the accused was brought before the court, it is sad that they have not prepared charges against the accused. “This is evident that they are not prepared for the case especially as the accused is in detention, the court should take note of this” he stated. Barrister Bakaro told newsmen that Sheikh Abduljabbar was arraigned before the Upper Sharia Court for alleged blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad and causing public disturbance. However, the lawyer representing the accuse prayed the court to choose a better date not exceeding 14 days from the arraignment of the accused as provided by the law to which the judge said it is at his discretion and finally fixed the 18th of August, 2021.

Nigerian missions abroad to deliver passports by mail


he Nigerian missions will soon commence delivering passports to its nationals through courier to eliminate the stress Nigerians go through to visit the missions to keep interview appointments, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said. The Permanent Secretary, Amb. Gabriel Aduda, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York that the ministry was already discussing with some courier companies to pilot the scheme. “We have started with a new innovation and we are trying to keep Nigerians from traveling to missions for passport renewal. “We are already talking with some courier companies that will pick passports to the applicants’ doorsteps when they have made all the necessary payments and fill the forms online. “We don’t want them to come to the missions anymore; it will be delivered to them and we have four Consulates to pilot the innovation,’’ he said. Aduda, while reacting to questions from a hybrid Town Hall meeting organised by the Consulate-General of Nigeria in

New York for nationals within its jurisdiction, Aduda assured Nigerians living in the U.S. of improved passport services. NAN reports that some Nigerians raised issues bothering on improved services on visa, passport issuance, delivery and the need to get emergency travel certificates, among others. The permanent secretary, in his intervention, urged Nigerian missions to make town hall meetings a regular feature, adding that without Nigerians in any country, there will not be any need for a mission. He said holding regular meetings with nationals would enable Nigerians hold the Consulates accountable while assuring the consulate in New York of the ministry’s support for sustaining the town hall. Reacting to backlogs of passports, Aduda said that COVID-19 pandemic came with dry spell in the production of passports, adding that it created a problem in all the missions across the world. “In London alone, they had a shortfall of 19,000 passports and they tried to cover the lost ground.

Initially, 10,000 passports were injected and we put more until they were cleared. “The same thing in New York, Washington D.C., and Atlanta; we have a huge gap that we are still ready to fill. Also, back home in Nigeria, it is the same problem. “People applied for passports for months but they could not get them because the booklets were not available. But as I speak, a lot is being done to cover the gaps.’’ Besides, the permanent secretary urged Nigerians living in the U.S to be good ambassadors of the country and encouraged them to engage more with the Consulate officials. “We are mindful that we need to cover the U.S. a bit more because of your size. We are considering reopening the Francisco mission soon. “Perhaps, if need be, we may open a mission in Texas because of the huge population of Nigerians residing there but we will pay attention to San Francisco for now. “Let us see how we can reduce traffic coming from the West to New York, Atlanta and Washington, DC. So we are

working hard to get it done,’’ Aduda assured the Nigerian community that the Consulate was committed to making things easy for them, calling on them to support the mission to deliver better services. On a land donated to Nigerian nationals in Miami, Florida, Aduda challenged the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Americas (NIDO Americas) to take possession of it and build a museum for Nigeria. On ways Nigerians could handle emergency trips to the homeland, Mrs Mosun Onilede, the Immigration Attache, advised Nigerians to apply for Emergency Travel Certificate (ETC). Onilede said ETC allowed Nigerians to travel home on one way and it is valid for only 14 days, saying that such provision can be checked with the Airlines also. NAN reports that the town hall meeting was attended by several Nigerians both in-persons and by virtual, including Amb. Amina Smaila, Consul-General of Nigeria in Atlanta, and Amb. George Edokpa, Deputy Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN. (NAN)


he Nigerian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Jordan, His Excellency, Amb. Faruk Yabo has commended the proactiveness and drive of the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission, Rev Dr Yakubu Pam for his dynamism and initiative of

News MULAC demands apology from Afenifere over comments on prophet Muhammad

From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


he Muslim League, for Accountability (MULAC) has demanded an unreserved apology from the yoruba Socio-Cultural association, Afenifere over a report credited to the group by Sahara Reporters. This was contained in a statement by the

National President, Yusuf Yakubu Arrigasiyyu and made available to media in Kaduna, Yesterday. The statement stated that Afenifere, whose statement was what Sahara Reporters claimed to have reported in the story, should offer an unreserved apology and desist from making an unnecessary comparison between

miscreants and globally respected Prophet Muhammad SAW henceforth. “It is outrightly condemnable, the headline of Sahara Reporters, comparing Sunday Igboho who was on a mission of disintegrating, causing disunity and disharmony amongst Nigerians and whose lawless and illegal actions can never be compared even with the

actions of any peaceful Nigerian Muslim, not to talk of our beloved prophet Muhammad SAW. “The question that remains unanswered is why was it that only Sahara Reporters, as a newspaper or media station broke the news of the statement made by Afenifere and not other newspapers?.

NGO urges religious, community leaders to increase campaign against drug abuse Centre for Ethical Rebirth Among Nigerian Youths (CERANY), an NGO, has called on religious and community leaders to increase campaign against drug abuse ravaging many communities in the country. The President of the association, Mr Chuks Akamadu, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. Akamadu, who said that parents and siblings of drug addicts could no longer talk to their loved ones as the issue had become worrisome, advocated

for separate bodies outside the families such as community and religious leaders to drive the campaign. He added that the bodies would help to reduce the scourge in the society. According to him, traditional rulers on their own should use their chiefs, youth organisations, women and market associations to drive the campaign. The NGO president said that if religious leaders continue to condemn the act, which had become prevalent among youths, both men and women, it would go a long way

to eliminate the scourge. He also called on professional bodies to assist in the campaign against drug abuse, noting that “everyone must play a role to end the scourge. “Drug abuse does no good to the individuals, it destroys mental and physical well-being and brings a lot of stain on the home front. “Drug abuse wrecks the individuals, it wrecks the family and on a larger scale, it compromises national security. “The insecurity that has become pervasive in the country today can be due to drug abuse.”

He also urged Nigerians to rise against the menace, adding that drug abuse was now a national emergency that should bother everyone. Akamadu further said that most Nigerians’ expectation was for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to enforce the laws against the menace. He said that the government agencies were already overwhelmed with too many functions. (NAN) (www.nannews. ng)

Road show on antitrafficking organized by the National Human Rights Commission in conjunction with other stakeholders in Lagos on Wednesday.

Oyetola congratulates Akeredolu over Supreme Court victory From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


sun state Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, has congratulated his Ondo State counterpart, Arakurin

Rotimi Akeredolu over his victory at the Supreme Court. This was contained in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ismail Omipidan, and made available to

the media in Kaduna yesterday. The statement stated that Oyetola, who is a member of the National Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC, also congratulated President

Muhammadu Buhari, National Leaders of the party, members, and supporters of the party in Ondo on the victory, describing it as a “sound and well deserved.”

2020 pilgrimages: Nigeria ambassador to Jordan commends NCPC boss By Albert Akota



actualizing the maiden pilgrimage to the Kingdom of Jordan. He gave this commendation on 27th July,2021 in his official residence in Amman, Jordan, during a dinner organised in honour of the members of the official delegation of the 2020 Pilgrimage to Jordan. The Ambassador who was highly enthused with the visit said

he was very grateful to Almighty God for allowing him and his team to witness this very milestone in the history of Nigeria and Jordan. He added that the entire Jordanian tourism sector came out with pomp and pageantry to receive the first ever Nigerian Christian pilgrims’ contingent and by extension the government of Jordan were excited and

overwhelmed. The No 1 citizen of Nigeria in Jordan further stated that Nigeria had a strong nexus with Jordan which explains why they are helping Nigeria in the fight against terrorism. He stressed that because of the robust bilateral relations between both nations, President Muhammadu Buhari undertook

a state visit to the Kingdom of Jordan in 2017 and. 2019 respectively. Responding,the Executive Secretary of NCPC, Rev Dr Yakubu Pam described the appointment and posting of the Nigerian Ambassador to Jordan as divine. He affirmed that Amb. Yabo “ is the pride of Nigeria”.

Security presence at the Kaduna High Court during the trial of the Spiritual Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria. Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaki, and his wife, Malama Zeenat, in Kaduna on Wednesday (28/7/21)

COVID-19: Foundation works for Hajj, Umrah safety


he World Hajj and Umrah Care Foundation (WHUCF) is working with more than 200 institutions and partners for a new safety mechanism through the implementation of the Hajj and Umrah Safe Corridor programme. This mechanism would be installed in 25 countries worldwide to cater for the health and safety of pilgrims in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pilgrimage for Hajj and Umrah had been significantly restricted for the past two years since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2019. A statement by Mohsin Tutla,

Chairman of the WHUCF, said that this was a momentous effort to help rejuvenate the recovery process of the Hajj and Umrah sector. He said that the organisation had developed new initiatives to educate and re-train industry professionals, developing packages suitable for pandemic pilgrimages and introducing vigilance technologies to preserve high standards of health protocols. “The sequential dismantling of international Hajj and Umrah companies’ performance capabilities is a result of the lack of information, strategic leadership both at home

and from Saudi Arabia and the organisations inert inability to selfdetermine the best course of action to safeguard their finances and resources. “Hajj and Umrah companies over the decades working with Saudi Arabian counterparts had perfected the art of meeting the requirements of regulations issued by Saudi Arabia and by their own governments, when preparing for the pilgrimage, this seamless synchronisation has been disrupted by the Pandemic. “This shift has recalibrated the landscape on how Hajj and Umrah is planned and how the services are to be provided. Where the international

community was listening to the directions of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, they began to monitor the inclinations of the Saudi Ministry of Health.” Tutla said that the WHUCF would be positioned to serve all categories of pilgrims coming from across the globe with the new mechanism and trainings given to members in order to exploit the challenges of the pandemic. He said that technology and innovation would be deployed appropriately for this, adding that such would allow members recoup financial losses. (NAN)

Military representatives from 15 African countries arrive Nigeria in preparation for OSMA sports By Paul Efiong, Abuja


he military representatives from 15 African countries have arrived Nigeria in preparation for the upcoming Sahel games of the Organisation of Military Sports in Africa (OSMA), to be hosted in Nigeria in October. OSMA is a continental organisation made up of the Armed Forces of African Member Countries and it is also, African representation of the International Military Sports Council. Brig.-Gen. Maikano Abdullahi, President of OSMA, at the investiture ceremony on Wednesday in Abuja to honour Sen. George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs as OSMA`s grand patron, said OSMA was focused on unification of Africa. Speaking further, Abdullahi explained that the upcoming Sahel sporting activities would place emphasis on peace and solidarity among African Militaries as well as the whole continent for the development of the continent. He said, “The game will not be a competitive one because is a game for peace and solidarity and there will be no vanquish, no victor; it is for all of us to come for togetherness. ``The game will involve football, marathon race, gulf and others and eight countries in the Sahel region would involve in the games.” Abdullahi applauded Akume for accepting to play major role in the games to be organised in the country. According to him, Akume’s impression has encouraged him to extend the invitation to 15 African countries to participate in the Sahel games in Nigeria. ``Sir, these delegations are here in Nigeria to see how we can scale up OSMA activities to the next level and also to inspect the facilities for the next Sahel games in Nigeria.” Responding, Senator Akume appreciated OSMA`s president and the executive members for including his investiture ceremony as part of their OSMA Sahel game activities. Akume noted that their meeting would help to promote peace and unity as well as strengthening the collective efforts of the Armed Forces of the member countries to defeat common enemy, ISWAP in particular against the security of the sub-region.




Ondo Guber: Supreme court affirms Gov Akeredolu’s election By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja


he Supreme Court of Nigeria, yesterday, dismissed the case brought by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Eyitayo Jegede, against the election of Ondo State governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu. The seven-member panel of the apex court, in a dissenting judgement of four to three held that the appeal was lacking in merit. The majority decision delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, alongside justice Muhammad Tijani and justice, Mohhamed Garba upheld Akeredolu’s election. They posited that the appeal by Olutayo Jegede and the People’s Democratic Party lacked merit since the appellants failed to include Yobe State Governor and chairman caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress, Mai Mala Buni, a party in the suit. The majority decision agreed with the decision of the tribunal that failure of the appellants to include Buni was fatal to their case. However, the minority judgment led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili alongside Justice Ejembi Eko and Ibrahim Salawa held that since APC was the principal and was made a party, there was no need to join Buni in the suit. They maintained that, it was the position of the law that Buni being a sitting Governor cannot be acting Chairman of the APC and was therefore wrong to have submitted the name of Akeredolu to INEC as candidate of the APC. The PDP was dissatisfied with the reelection of Akeredolu by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Sequel to the aforementioned, the aggrieved party went to the tribunal which also upheld his election as well as the Appeal court. The Court of Appeal led by Justice Theresa Orji-Abadua dismissed the petition filed by Mr Jegede while affirming Mr Akeredolu as the winner of the poll. Ruling on the appeal, the Appellate court had out of seven issues raised for determination, resolved four and half in favour of Mr Jegede and the rest two and a half in favour of Mr Akeredolu. Again, not satisfied with the decision of the Appellate Court, Mr Jegede approached the Supreme Court to discountenance the lower courts verdicts.

Undiagnosed, untreated hepatitis kills 124,000 Africans annually, says WHO


he World Health Organisation (WHO) says more than 124,000 Africans die each year as a result of undiagnosed and untreated hepatitis. Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said this in her message to commemorate World Hepatitis Day, aimed at increasing awareness of the disease under the theme: `Hepatitis can’t wait’. Moeti said that the disease inflames the liver and can lead to liver cancer and cirrhosis, calling on all countries to rapidly improve access to services to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease. Hepatitis is a silent epidemic with more than 90 million people living with the disease in Africa, representing 26 per cent of the global total, she noted. The WHO director added that around 4.5 million African children, under five years, were infected with chronic hepatitis B, reflecting an enormous 70 per cent of the global burden in that age group. Moeti said that the global

target of less than 1 per cent incidence of hepatitis B in children under 5 years has been reached, but the African region was lagging behind at 2.5 per cent. She said that most of such ‌ cases could be prevented by eliminating the Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of the disease, during or shortly after birth and in early childhood. “Key interventions against hepatitis B include vaccination at birth and in early childhood, screening pregnant women, and providing timely treatment,’’ Moeti said. She said that countries are been encouraged to integrate the hepatitis B PMTCT in the antenatal care package together with the HIV and Syphilis PMTCT programme, especially after it was found that only 14 countries in the region were implementing the hepatitis B birth-dose vaccine. “Among people who are infected, nine out of 10 have never been tested, because of limited awareness and access to testing and treatment. “Even among countries

offering hepatitis B birth-dose vaccine, health systems are facing challenges in ensuring pregnant women and mothers are tested and that those who test positive are treated. “At the same time, there are many promising developments on hepatitis. With the launch of the first global strategy on hepatitis in 2016, along with increased advocacy in recent years, political will is starting to translate into action. “ Hepatitis medicines have also become much more affordable, with prices as low as $60 dollars per patient for a 12week treatment, she said. Moeti said that African heads of states had committed to addressing viral hepatitis as a public health threat in the Cairo Declaration in February 2020, and that the Egyptian Initiative planned to provide hepatitis C treatment for one million Africans, with South Sudan, Eritrea and Chad already reaching 50,000 people. “Apart from them, Rwanda, Uganda and Benin have

established free testing and treatment programmes for hepatitis and 16 other countries are starting pilot projects in that direction. “To guide action on hepatitis, 28 African countries now have strategic plans in place and at the global level WHO guidelines were launched in 2020 on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B,’’ Moeti said. She added that the WHO Regional Office for Africa was developing training materials in order to help countries implement the five hepatitis core interventions and decentralize diagnosis and treatment. Moeti, therefore, called on all stakeholders in maternal and child health to consider how hepatitis could be integrated into existing initiatives, because health systems play a vital role in preventing transmission by making sure blood donations were screened and syringes were used only once and then safely disposed of. She also called on individuals to seek testing and treatment for


elta Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has called for a National Action Plan on Environment to facilitate the reduction of malaria transmission in the country. Okowa made the call when he received officials of Federal Ministry of Health Partners on Roll-Back Malaria led by Dr Eze Nelson, on advocacy visit, at Government House, Asaba. He said that until certain actions were taken in the



Court adjourns Benue NUJ election matter From: Uche Makurdi



he Industrial Court of Nigeria sitting in Makurdi, Benue State capital yesterday reaffirmed his orders to commit to prison the National President of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Chris Isiguzo, the National Secretary Shu’aibu Leman, NUJ Vice President Zone D, Chief Wilson Bako and the Chairman and Secretary of Benue State Credentials Committee , Iorember Apu and James Shim respectively for contempt of court. Justice Essien who was visibly angry reaffirmed his orders to commit to prison 1st to 3rd defendants and warned counsel to the defendants that, they will be held liable if his orders are violated by their clients and warned them to stay clear. Hon. JusticeI J Essien gave the warning when the matter came up, intimating the court of a petition written against him to the President of Industrial Court Abuja by the National President of NUJ Chris Isiguzo, the National Secretary Shuaibu Leman and Vice President Zone D Wilson Bako, accusing the court of not giving them fair hearing. Also during the hearing, counsel to 1st and 3rd Defendants/ Respondents Barr. Sunday Dickson and Barr. J. K. Shember represented an interested party seeking to be joined in the suit, Bemdoo Ugber, the illegal chairman and counsel to Orduen Dura, Bar. Iortyom Wombo informed that the case is for hearing of Motion on Notice and all parties served have no counter affidavit. Justice Essien then adjourned the case sine die pending when he sorts out himself with the President of Industrial Court.

NDE trains 50 on post SADTS in Niger From Yakubu Minna



ational Directorate of Employment (NDE), has

commenced the training of 50 beneficiaries on Post Sustainable Agricultural Development Training (SADTS). The Director General

of the agency, Malam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo disclosed this in an interview in Minna. He said the organization has designed the training

to advanced their knowledge in business especially in agriculture.

Some youths off-loading relief materials during the distribution of the relief materials to victims of attacks in Dong Jos North LGA, Plateau State on Wednesday (28/7/2021)

Contribute toward surmounting developmental challenges, Okowa charges appointees By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba


elta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, on Tuesday, charged political appointees in his administration to contribute to efforts of the state government in surmounting socio-economic and developmental challenges confronting the state. Okowa gave the charge while

swearing in eight new Special Advisers at the Government House, Asaba. He remarked that appointments made by him so far were not to fulfill requirement of Section 196 of the Constitution, but was a deliberate effort at bringing into governance, men and women of impeccable character and vast knowledge on how to tackle unemployment,

poverty, anti-social vices, suspicion and distrust. “I expect concrete, measurable inputs from everyone of the new set of appointees as I do of all that came before them. “It has been my observation that many appointees, all too frequently, are content to bask in the prestige of the office without really proffering ideas and concepts to the many

developmental problems that confront us,” the governor said. He stated that his administration believed that the stability, peaceful co-existence and prosperity of the state depended on the ability to run an all-inclusive government peopled by men and women that could oil the wheel of Stronger Delta vision.

ECOWAS Parliament Speaker laments Africa’s low ICT know-how

Director Relief and Rehabilitation, Plateau State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Mr Walman Simon (2nd R) presenting relief materials to the District Head of Dong in Jos North LGA, Plateau State, Chief Adagwom Nyam for distribution to the victims of attack in his community in Dong Jos on Wednesday (28/7/2021). With them is the Director Search and Rescue, (SEMA) Mrs Juni Bala

Okowa calls for environmental action plan to reduce malaria transmission By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba


management of the environment, investments in the treatment of malaria would be ``a scratch on the surface’’. He thanked the global partners for the inclusion of Delta among 13 states for the programme, and assured that Delta would contribute its counterpart funds. “There is no doubt that malaria has been a major public health problem in this country and to that extent, we are worried because it disturbs the family life. “I must commend the Federal

Ministry of Health and global partners for all the support over the years. Yes, it is good that we invest in Insecticidestreated mosquito nets and other preventive measures but we must concentrate on how to take care of the environment to reduce malaria transmission to barest minimum. “Until we do that we will find ourselves spending money on daily basis without achieving much because the impact will be marginal. “I must commend you for

this advocacy because it will also help us to work towards reducing the level of transmission in the environment. “The issue of stagnant water is creating problems for us but we are very glad that this advocacy campaign is very vital and the support of the states is truly needed in this regard. “We will as a state try to stay focused and I will find out what is needed for the counterpart funding from the state. “I am committed to doing what ought to be done as a state in

order to truly get the programme started in the state,” he said. The governor said that the state offered free medical attention to pregnant women and children under-five years, adding that those set of persons were very vulnerable and needed a lot of attention. “We are able to fund the payment of their premium in our Contributory Health Commission and it has helped us a lot in the last four years and it is hoped that governments after us will continue with it,” he stated.


he Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Mr Sidie Tunis, lamented on Tuesday that Africa, especially the ECOWAS sub-region, was lagging behind in Information Communications Technology (ICT) know-how. Tunis was speaking at the opening of the ECOWAS Parliament’s De-localized meeting on Telecommunications as Development Factor in West Africa, holding in Winneba, Ghana. A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) diplomatic correspondent, who participated in the virtual meeting quotes Tunis as saying that African countries may never make technological advancement without embracing ICT. Tunis noted, however, that ECOWAS Parliament was bringing the issue to the front burner, to enable member states

to brainstorm on how to use ICT in advancing development and policies in their countries. “Organisations use ICT to organise trans-national networks in response to international competitions. ICT is transforming societies and fueling the growth of the global economy. “Permit me to state the obvious that a lot of the challenges bedeviling our sub-region already have their solutions in ICT. “Therefore, the deliberations of members of the joint committee over the next few days should lead to sound recommendations for our community as the region is currently affected by waves of violent extremism, terrorism, humanitarian crisis and global pandemics. The speaker said that member countries of ECOWAS must consider the merits of latest

technological advancements, innovations and intelligence as viable tools to curb insecurity in their countries. “After all, evidence shows that societies mired in violent conflict are often characterised by a lack of development and shortages of economic opportunities. “So, we must strive for the return of peace in our sub-region as it remains the key component to sustainable development.” Tunis commended Ghana for becoming a major ICT hub in West Africa with the decision of tech companies to situate their continental headquarters in Ghana. In his remarks, the Speaker of the Ghanaian Parliament, Hon. Alban Babgin, said the theme of the meeting was apt and reflected the growing recognition of the importance of ICT in dealing with

myriads of problems faced in the sub-region. Babgin said that in recent times, ICT services had become an indispensable tool in the development of every facet of society, whether in the health, education, agriculture or trade or industry sectors. “Indeed, telecommunications play an increasingly vital role in enabling the participation and development of people in communities and nations disadvantaged by geography, whether in rural areas of developing nations or in the global society and economy. “As you may all be aware, the sub-region is confronted with various challenges such as drug trafficking, child trafficking, proliferation of and trafficking in small arms, organised crime, money laundering and

terrorism. “Cybercrime and insecurity in the maritime space in the Gulf of Guinea are issues that require immediate attention. “For this reason, countries in the sub-region through data collection and data sharing are strengthening their collaboration and existing cooperation with international agencies. “ICT offers us new opportunities to better manage conflicts and build peace, especially at the local levels of our societies,” Babgin said. The theme of the meeting is: “The Role of Telecommunications and Information Technology in Achieving Regional Development, Peace and Security and Human Rights’’. The meeting which commenced on July 27 is to end on July 31. (NAN)



News Nigeria’s real estate market will only thrive with collaborations — housing expert


real estate expert, Mr Jide Odusolu says the Nigerian housing sector which remains the largest real estate market in Africa requires more collaboration for it to thrive. Odusolu spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja, on the side-line of the on-going 15 International Housing Show in Abuja. According to Odusolu, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Octo5 Holdings, without collaborations, the housing deficit cannot be addressed. NAN reports that the annual Housing Show brings together experts and industry players to proffer solutions to challenges affecting the real estate and construction sector. According to the Octo5 Holdings boss, focusing on individual balance sheets alone will deprive the entire industry from taking advantage of possibly the largest real estate market in Africa. “This is a potential 200 billion dollars market and we need to consider this huge potential and collaborate more so the industry can grow and we can fix the housing deficit.’’ Odusolu said that the housing deficit, currently put at between 17 million and 22 million would not be met with government providing only a few houses in urban areas. He stressed that the only means by which a real attempt could be made at bridging the gap was for government to focus on provision of concessions to the housing industry so the private sector could take the lead. “We are not asking for government money, what we need are physical (infrastructure) concessions to make it viable for housing industry players to meet the needs of this huge market,’’ Odusolu said. (NAN)



Letter to the Editor


JAMB release 14,620 results under investigation, withholds 93 candidates’ results Maryam Abeeb, Abuja


he Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board( JAMB) has cleared and released the UTME results of 14,620 candidates hitherto under investigation, while results of 93 candidates have

been withheld. This followed the consideration and further approval of the recommendations of the investigators by the Board’ management at a management meeting held on Tuesday, 27th July, 2021.

“You will recall that the Board, in its earlier release, stated it would still review the results of the 2021 UTME exercise and any candidate found wanting would have his/ her result withheld. Out of the withheld results, thirteen were discovered to have been involved

in examination infractions after they were released and the one earlier withdrawn brought the total of the results that have been withdrawn to fourteen. In a similar vein, the results of 332 blind candidates who wrote their examinations this month were released.

Passage of the PIB, at last


oth chambers of the Nigeria’s revenue, a move industry experts said National Assembly (parliament) at the time could put billions of dollars have passed a bill that overhauls of offshore oil investments at risk. Now nearly every aspect of the country’s oil it has changed its stance in an attempt and gas production, putting a project to balance its immediate revenue that has been in the works for two demands with the need to lock-in longdecades one step closer to presidential term investment for its oil industry. assent. It happened July 1. Legislators Key changes to the bill would lower had been hashing out details of the the royalties for new production from bill since President Muhammadu deepwater oilfields to 5% from 7.5% and Buhari presented an initial version in boost the production level that triggers September last year, but an overhaul higher royalties from 15,000 barrels per has been in the works for some 20 day (bpd) to 50,000 bpd. But company years. executives said that “terms are not The chambers had been expected sufficiently competitive to stimulate the to vote clause by clause on the more desired new investments.” They noted than 400-page long report, but instead that Nigeria got just 4% of the $70 quickly approved the full package. billion invested in sanctioned projects Each chamber made changes before in Africa between 2015 and 2019. approving the package, and the Last year, oil industry analysts had senate lowered the share of money warned Nigeria’s oil output could fall for oil-producing communities to 3% sharply without reforms. Now they are while the House approved 5%. The saying the changes to the bill “show that chambers then sat together (the government) and accepted the senate’s listened. They recommendation. recognise the The package also includes need to attract a string of changes sought investment, by oil majors, including not just in the There is one amended royalties and Nigerian context contentious fiscal terms for oil and gas but globally in the production, and the transfer change. It is section energy transition. of state oil company NNPC’s 240 that upholds the The competition is assets and liabilities to a to be more 3% recommended going limited liability corporation intense, and this created by the bill. It also in the original bill for is a move in the divided the stakes in the host communities right direction to new NNPC Limited evenly attain and attract in place of 5% between the finance and investment.” recommended However, petroleum ministries, but they by the House of also said that not would not allow for public share sales without further Representatives. all the gas terms government approval. the bill were This will not please in Leaders agreed earlier good enough to this year to sweeten the host communities spur development, terms for oil companies in and may spark fresh which Nigeria has an effort to attract much said it wants for its unrests there. needed investment in an “decade of gas.” era of shrinking global There is one cash for fossil fuel production. The contentious change. It is section 240 country has sweetened the terms of that upholds the 3% recommended in a sweeping oil reform bill in a bid to the original bill for host communities attract much needed investment to its in place of 5% recommended by the oil industry, people closely involved House of Representatives. This will with the legislation said. not please host communities and may The proposed changes signal a shift spark fresh unrests there. by Africa’s largest oil producer and We salute the this 9th National show the impact of an increasingly Assembly for delivering the PIB competitive environment in the in record time, after almost 20energy business after 2020’s global year delay. Warts and all, the draft oil price collapse and an expected shift legislation, if and when assented to to renewables. by Buhari, will bring about sanity in an Nigeria in 2019 had fast-tracked industry plagued by crass corruption a law to boost its take of offshore oil and opaqueness.

Security escorting Spiritual Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaki, and his wife, Malama Zeenat, to Kaduna High Court for trial on Wednesday (28/7/21)

FG inaugurates blood screening equipment he Federal Government has inaugurated the National Blood Transfusion Service’s (NBTS) Apheresis blood component separation system and automated blood screening equipment. The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said at the inauguration in Abuja, that it would improve access to safe, quality and affordable blood and blood products in the country. Ehanire said that with the high technology equipment, the manufacturing of plasma-derived medicinal products (PDMPs) would satisfy the blood product needs of the country in the near future. The minister urged investors to collaborate with NBTSs to invest in it. “We anticipate that with the introduction of safe, quality


blood component separation and automated screening, NBTS will be able to satisfy critical blood product needs in a timely manner for local demands in our hospitals and as well export to neighbouring countries. “This is commendable as it shall through internally generated revenue, recoup government’s investments, being a wellmeaningful initiative. “In time, through the production and sale of a suitable range of therapeutic blood products, plasma and plasmaderivative medicinal products regionally and internationally; this will establish Nigeria’s National Blood Service as a key player in transfusion medicine in sub-Saharan Africa,” he said. According to him, this will also create jobs, wealth and yield additional income for

development, thus reducing the pressures on the national budget through revenue generation. “The use of advanced technology presents ample opportunity for broad-based collaborations and partnerships as interested stakeholders will be invited to invest in the large-scale production of plasma derived products,’’ he said. On the passage of the National Blood Service Commission Bill, Ehanire said that an early assent by the President would guarantee NBTS service speedy growth and development of blood products in Nigeria. Similarly, the Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunimbe Mamora, commended the NBTS for improving number of voluntary blood donors and ensuring uninterrupted blood services nationwide.

Mamora, therefore, assured the agency of the ministry’s supports and commitment toward ensuring safe, quality provision of necessary blood and blood components in the country. Dr Omale Joseph Amedu, the National Coordinator, NBTS, said that the provision of automated blood screening and various blood components would ensure appropriate clinical use of blood in hospitals. Amedu said that it would also reduce laboratory turn-around times and minimise transfusiontransmissible infections such as HIV, hepatitis B & C and syphilis and reduce adverse transfusion reactions and events in blood transfusion recipients. “NBTS will become a more effective and efficient coordinator and regulator of blood services in Nigeria.

“This will ensure that all who are resident in Nigeria have access to safe blood when needed and in an equitably distributed manner. “The impact of this for the country’s health indices will be a testament to the contributions of NBTS to the country’s health sector,’’ he said. On his part, Prof. Innocent Ujah, President, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) represented by Dr Ahmed Attah, said that the commissioning of the equipment would improve the country’s health indices. In the same vein, Mr Salisu Idris, Country Director, Safe Blood for Africa Foundation (SBAF) urged the government to allocate more funds in the health sector to improve service delivery. (NAN) (



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Dilemma of Abuja

buja is seriously faced with the problems of internal displacements. For instance, Boko Haram insurgency has displaced about 2.4million Nigerians in the Lake Chad basin of our country. There is also many unresolved displacement issues which arise due to the jihadist violence, armed banditry, farmers-herders conflicts and many more. Nigeria’s displaced populations continue to rise as this violence and conflicts continue unabated. Therefore, as the country battles security challenges, one of its attendant consequences is the displacements of persons and Abuja is not an exception. It is true that Nigeria’s displaced population are vulnerable, without sufficient source of livelihood, thus the burdens of provisions falls on governments. This also applies to the FCT. Though Abuja has not been affected by internal conflicts and generalized violence directly, it is the Nations capital and seat of government and so it is a city that accepts everybody and it is for everybody and the indigene of neighboring states also runs to it for succor in the period of adversity, as a result Abuja is dealing with the ongoing tasks of responding to a fluctuating but always sizeable internally displaced populations. Some of this conflicts that has caused the need to camp the internally displaced person are conflicts over assess to land, citizenships and broader questions of identity. Indigenous groups have always reportedly prevented settlers from having access to lands or business or assessing jobs and education. Internal displacement in Abuja are also as a result of flooding and erosions. For example violence between Muslims and Christians in Jos, a nearby city to Abuja in 2010, has led to influx of many to Abuja for temporal shelter and this is happening unabated since then and this numbers are increasing by the day. In Abuja itself, the issue of adhering to the original master plans of Abuja has put many residents at risks of loosing their homes and livelihoods and this has compounded the issue of dealing with how to cater for the many internally displaced persons and this is because of the compelling needs of the governments dealing with the issue of urban slumps under the urban renewal programmes and strategies. It is to the credit of the Minister of the FCT. and his administration that it has a resettlement plans for the IDP,s to provide alternative accommodations for the hundreds of thousands of displaced persons expended anytime there is crisis in the city or the country in general. Violent competitions for land, political power

and oil wealth especially in the Delta regions of the country, the dreaded Boko haram insurgencies and the ceding of Bakassi to cameroun has made thousands of persons moved to Abuja and without a settlement plan becomes IDP,s in Abuja. In Abuja today, the Minister has outlined a legal and policy framework which he puts in place to oversee a comprehensive state response to the IDP,s issue. The Minister has also approved a holistic implementations of the African union protocols and conventions in dealing with the internally displaced persons in the city. The united nations conventions for the protections and assistance to the IDP,s as been implemented in Abuja through the Minister, covers all causes of displacements. The National responsibilities of dealing with the issues of displacements lies with the governments at all levels in Nigeria and this the Minister admits in his responses to the issue of internally displaced persons. Today in Abuja, it is only when the response at the local governments is ineffective that the city administration is called upon for supports as the Minister has always put in place measures that has always made the area council equiped to deal with the IDP,s issue abinitio. In order to cover the gap and ameliorate the plight of the internally displaced persons in Abuja, the Minister has set up a ministerial committee that he saddled with the responsibilities of drafting an IDP,s policy for the FCT to assist in registration and issuance of identity cards, prevention and reduction in terms of internal displacements, to allocate responsibilities to organs and agencies of governments, nongovernmentals and civil societies organisations. The committees work culminated in the FCT policy of displacements which was prepared, handed over to the government and adopted during this Mallam Mohammadu Musa Bello,s administration. In the absence of a legal and institutional framework which the Minister has always advocated, provision of assistance, protections, reintegration and resettlements of IDP,s which were hitherto undertaken by organs of governments on an adhoc and reactive bases has stopped in the FCT due to the fact that the ministerial draft policy for the assistance and supports to the displaced persons has allocates responsibities to the different arms of governmental agencies for the different aspects of the short, medium and long terms response to internal displacement and the benefit are there for all to see. Jamila Musa, Abuja




China, western world and human rights revolving doors

By Jerome-Mario Utomi


he reported remark by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin at the just concluded 47th session of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council, calling on Western countries to reflect deeply on their own human rights abuse, has again brought to our consciousness the troubling realty that despite the widening strides by pro-democracy advocates to advertise the virtues and attributes of democracy over other forms of government, the balance of power within the last decades appears to be shifting. The Envoy said in parts; I want to stress that it is these Western countries that are using human rights as an excuse to exert pressure and interfere in other countries’ internal affairs based on political motivation, false information, lies and rumors. It is these Western countries that proclaim themselves to be ‘judges’, pointing fingers at and humiliating the human rights situation in developing countries, which violates the purposes and principles of the UN Charter,” That was not the only discomforting word from Wang Wenbin. Again, listen to him; ‘They claimed welcoming criticism from outside. However, when China and other developing countries express reasonable concerns about their human rights problems, they appear to be extremely uncomfortable or even unacceptable, adding that their claim that China engaged in “microphone diplomacy” and “interference in internal affairs” were typical double standard behavior and fully reflected their deep-rooted arrogance, prejudice and hypocrisy. He finally urged the West to take effective measures to solve their serious human rights problems at home. Clear enough! The above position becomes easy to admit when one

remembers that China was recently described by a report as a nation that just experienced a period of economic growth, the likes of which the world had never before seen. There also exists growing insistence that China’s model of development is superior to that of the west. China’s model, the piece submitted, blazes a new trial for other developing countries to achieve modernization and offers a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence, as western talk about democracy, is simply a pretext for robbing poorer countries of their sovereignty and economic potentials. However, beyond this praise, there exist in the opinion of this piece, ingrained paradoxes that is not only newsy but characterizes as a revolving door this latest outburst by China Separate from the realism that China was in the past reputed for receiving such accusations of human right abuses from the Western countries, many commentators/ reports are uniformly laced with similar judgments. One of such report stated; China, ‘interestingly’, is ruled, increasingly dictatorially by an unelected communist party that puts people in prison for their convictions and limits all forms of free expressions and associations. Apart from being ruled, ‘increasingly dictatorially, it essentially noted that Europe’s biggest powers- Germany, France and the United Kingdom-along with Poland, Spain and the Scandinavian countries, maintain/ believe that China is undermining human rights, democratic ethos, rules and standards. The country’s fundamental obstaclesare its government’s reluctance to appreciate development plans and reform programs from a rights-based perspective. Directly and indirectly, it adversely

affects the infusion of human rights principles of participation, accountability, transparency and nondiscrimination towards the attainment of equity and justice in development initiatives. As clarified by the United Nations Independent Expert on the Right to Development, for a programme to be tagged development, it must require a particular process that allows the realization of economic, social and cultural rights, as well as civil and political rights, and all fundamental freedoms, by expanding the capabilities and choices of the individual. In the same style, while writing on the well considered topic; The Old World and The Middle KingdomEurope Wakes Up to China’s rise, Julianne Smith and Torrey Taussig noted that Chinese president xi Jinping’s consolidation of power has shaken Germany’s confidence in China’s future political stability. They explained that in the name of national security, the Chinese government detained over one million Muslim Uighurs in the western province of Xinjiang in “reeducation camp.” To many in Germany and across Europe, these developments raise troubling questions over what a Chinese-led world would look like. Just before you hastily conclude, wait till cast a glance at the next paragraph that says something new and different. German industry, the report added, is growing concern about Chinese technological progress. German business leaders who have long supported deeper economic ties with China are now apprehensive about China’s state-led quest for technological supremacy at the expense of German companies. The Federation of German Industries released a widely cited report cautioning companies to reduce their dependence on the Chinese market.

Then there is the long-standing issue of Chinese hackers stealing foreign industrial and technological secrets. The heightened frequency of Chinese hacking led the German government’s cyber security agency to warn German companies about the growing risk of Chinese cyberespionage. That came on top of a 2017 case in which German intelligence agencies accused China of creating fake LinkedIn accounts to connect with more than 10,000 German citizens, including lawmakers and government officials, in order to gain information, recruit sources, and infiltrate the Bundestag and government. Germany, it says, is not alone in its awakening. French president Emmanuel Macron, recently declared an end to ‘‘European naivete’’ on China. Macron also invited Merkel and jean-Claude junker, the president of the European commission, to join his meetings with Xi in order to present a united front. The message was clear: Europe will resist China’s attempts to divide it. Many European countries are experiencing what one senior EU official described as “China fatigue,” the report noted. These grievances are having a mounting effect on German policy toward China. Merkel, now refers to China as a “systemic competitor,” Similarly, Several European countries have tightened up their screening of Chinese investments. In 2018, the German government, citing national security, blocked a Chinese investor from buying Leifeld Metal, a leading German producer of metals for the automobile, space, and nuclear industries. It was the first time that the German government had voted a Chinese takeover. The move was followed by a new law giving the government power to block a non-european investor from buying a ten percent or higher stake

(down from 25 percent) in a German business. The law includes media companies, a sign that Germany is worried about Chinese information influence. Some European countries have grown disenchanted with china’s behaviour; they have started to push for a more coherent EU wide strategy. A recent EU white paper on china labeled Beijing a “systemic rival promoting alternative models of governance” and called on the EU to pursue a more reciprocal relationship with china and to strengthen its own industrial base.It concluded. As the debate rages, two things stand out. Western countries must provide answers to questions raised by the Chinese government. They are in this order; “Why do they(Western Countries) turn a blind eye to issues in Western countries such as the systematic discrimination against ethnic minorities including those from Asian and African descent, infringement on the rights of indigenous people, large-scale human rights violations in immigration detention centers, killing civilians in overseas military operations, military intervention resulting in a large number of civilian casualties and displacement and unilateral coercion measures that seriously damage human rights Why do they never criticize their partners for this on the UN Human Rights Council? Why do they turn a deaf ear to the criticism of the international community? For its part, China must recognize that ‘authoritarianism may do well in the short term, but experience clearly shows that only democracy produces good government over a long haul’. Utomi is the Programme Coordinator (Media and Policy), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), Lagos. He could be reached via;

Last year, the US played the stigmatization game when naming the coronavirus, which was a blatant violation of WHO rules, and even withdrew from the organization. This year, it called a few of its allies to deny the ChinaWHO joint research on the global tracing of COVID-19 origins, and brazenly made intelligence organizations to lead the origin tracing work. Making hypes of the “lab leak theory,” Washington has a clear goal - to shift the blame for its inability in pandemic control and oppress China. What’s really in the mind of those American politicians yelling “America is back” is still “America first.” Egoism is all they worship. More and more evidence shows that there was something doubtful about the early spread of COVID-19 in the US. The international society is totally justified to request an origin tracing investigation into the US, but Washington has always turned a deaf ear to the concerns of the rest of the world. As of Monday, July 26, over 13 million Chinese people have signed an open letter demanding that the WHO investigate Fort Detrick. Many foreigners also launched online petitions on social media, saying the whole world wants to know the truth about the origins of the novel

coronavirus. Stephen Kinzer, senior fellow with the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University, said that Fort Detrick, which had cooperated with Japanese war criminals, is still a research center of the US for biological warfare. An investigation into the lab would be “interesting,” he added. However, a US media organization revealed an internal warning from the US government that persuaded government officials “not to pursue an investigation into the origin of COVID-19” because it would “‘open a can of worms’ if it continued.” While putting aside the questions raised by the international community, the US is bragging about its support for multilateral approaches. For Washington, the so-called multilateralism is only used to serve its own interests. Such hypocrisy would only hurt the genuine multilateralism that aims at international cooperation. The essence of the American “multilateralism” is indeed forming cliques and pursuing bloc politics, which forces US hegemony on others. The second phase of the origin tracing study proposed by the WHO has been opposed by multiple

countries because it turns over the conclusion reached in the first stage of the work that the virus could have been originated in multiple countries and regions, and because it takes the so-called lab leak in a Chinese facility as a focus of the study. Is such a work plan ignoring common sense and science, and seeing China as the only respondent a response to the “lab leak theory” speculated by the US? Is it launched to help the US oppress China politically? A British scholar said Washington is now wielding coalition politics to scapegoat the WHO, and is coercing the organization in multiple situations. Obviously, the US’ returning to the world’s largest international organization in public health, was not for enhancing global antipandemic plan, but for spreading political virus to poison China. For the US, politics comes before science. There’s nothing it wouldn’t do to tarnish China. American magazine Wired said in an article that what some Americans want is not an answer, and they are just using origin tracing, a long and complicated scientific process, to deepen people’s doubts, slander China, and distract from political problems at home.

However, the US is obviously having a misjudgment believing forming cliques would help it sidetrack the world. The US cannot represent the international society, and is not qualified to point fingers at others. Now more and more countries recognize the first-phase conclusions of the origin tracing and oppose politicizing the matter, which fully indicates that origin sourcing must adhere to genuine multilateralism, and must be led by WHO member countries based on extensive consultations. Origin-tracing needs cooperation rather than discrediting, truth rather than lies, and respecting science rather than political manipulation. Over the past year, the US political manipulation over origin tracing has brought enough troubles for US citizens. At present, the pandemic is deteriorating in the country, and even American media said there was not enough time left for the US government. If Washington continues unilateral practices in the name of multilateralism, it will be further isolated and bring more pain to the Americans. (Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy and international affairs.)

“America first” the largest strike against multilateralism

By Zhong Daily




he seven-day moving average of new COVID-19 cases in the US as of July 23 was 40,246, an increase of 46.7 percent from the week before, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the US. However, the resurging numbers means nothing to some American politicians. Instead of working on pandemic control at home, they are going on with their same old tricks, stigmatizing other countries, labeling the virus, and politicizing the origin tracing work. To beautify its practice of discrediting other countries and undermining global anti-pandemic efforts, Washington has frequently employed the “multilateral organizations” and “partner countries” rhetoric, intending to speak for the international society. What the White House has done totally goes against the consensus of the international society and is a kind of pseudo-multilateralism from head to foot. The arbitrary political manipulation of the US has brought severe damage to the global cooperation on the fight against COVID-19, and caused huge troubles for the WHO.




Aftermath of the End SARS movement- focus on legal reform

By Julia Myron


t is imperative that we reconstruct our legal and judicial systems. We could follow the steps of countries like Cameroon that are rebuilding their penal code to create a more equitable society. Nigeria needs to start its development from the criminal justice systems as this is the backbone and foundation of any successful democratic institution. There needs to be an aggressive review that will implement human rights principles as a standard practice in our policing and detention programs. Nigeria is at a pivotal point in our history where democratic ideals and human rights principles are at an all time low. Indeed, Nigeria has been ranked 12th by the fragile state index list curated by the Fund for Peace . Nigeria is currently experiencing a high level of insecurity such as terrorism in the North, banditry and kidnapping, conflict between the herders and farmers in the north and separationist groups. It is true that these conflicts have been caused by an increase in poverty, unemployment, and a vacuum in leadership. However, we must

also acknowledge the lack of legal structures that has escalated the conflict in Nigeria. It is easy to complain about the president and political officers in Nigeria but the truth is that Nigeria has been a failing country even before President Buhari assumed office. This is not in any way an attempt to absolve him from blame, however, this article is an invitation to look deeper at the structural and systematic failures in our institutions that give bad leaders the ammunition to do the worst kinds of damage before their tenure is over. T h e b i g g e s t examples of such structural failure is the criminal justice and judicial systems in Nigeria. The end sars protest of 2020 was a small manifestation of the problem in the criminal justice system. Police

brutality, arbitrary detention, lack of adequate legal representation, torture and degrading punishments, poor prison facilities,corrupt judges, amongst others are some of the problems in the justice system. It is common knowledge that there cannot be peace without justice and strong institutions. Indeed a strong criminal and judicial system are

is evident that the only people who have access to justice in Nigeria are the mega rich. Of course, there are consequences to the inequalities in access to justice and these consequences are exhibited in facets of the society. For example, jungle justice is still widely practiced in Nigeria: this is a practice which dictates that a petty thief can be stoned, beaten or burned to death. It is clear that citizens do not trust the legal system to administer justice. This mistrust allows for anarchy and chaos in a society. Further, the conflict between the herders and farmers in the North is also proof of the failures of our legal system. Both parties should have the forum to cite their grievances in a court of law and have their disputes settled by judges; however, this has not been the case. Property law in Nigeria is highly underdeveloped. This is the reason why Nigeria is not the first choice for foreign investors e.g Twitter and other tech companies. It is imperative that we

Of course, there are consequences to the inequalities in access to justice and these consequences are exhibited in facets of the society. For example, jungle justice is still widely practiced in Nigeria: the benchmarks of any successful democracy. Therefore, one has to wonder what kind of democracy Nigeria is when the criminal justice system is virtually non-existent. It

reconstruct our legal and judicial systems. We could follow the steps of countries like Cameroon that are rebuilding their penal code to create a more equitable society. Nigeria needs to start its development from the criminal justice systems as this is the backbone and foundation of any successful democratic institution. There needs to be an aggressive review that will implement human rights principles as a standard practice in our policing and detention programs. There needs to be a robust anti- corruption program to be implemented for criminal justice workers including judges, lawyers and police officers. This will also include a reporting system for gross misconduct and a system of transparency for all civil officers. This reform program will take time and effort but the only way to save Nigeria from becoming a failed state is to revive its justice system. Julia Myron is an International lawyer, Transitional justice practitioner. She has experience working in human rights advocacy across three continents.

A need for female youth rebirth in Nigeria By Wahab Rianat


ife of teenage and early youth stage is said to be fun. You get to hangout out with friends, date different men for money, for position and for sex. You tend to practice what others do by flirting with men at bars, clubs, hotels and even in beaches. You dress indecently and have tons of male friends that took you as a friend in public but give you hot romance in secret. You get introduced to different alcohols and gins, you learn to smoke, to club , to take hard drugs. You no longer respect the elders and even your parents. Many called it an interesting life but ladies, let’s ask ourselves, Is that how to live life? It’s unfortunate to say that these type of ladies end up regretting and they always tried to cover up the stigma or the scars these past had caused them. Some would relocate to other countries, while some without options will end up committing suicide or go into depression to cover up the shame. So ladies who are we trying to impress? Friends who never wanted the best for us, friends who wanted their friends lives to be ruined just like theirs or men who only wanted to enjoy temporary moments with us and trust me, men like that might give comments like “baby you are hot”, “you are sexy”, and seem to appreciate ladies with indecent dressings, ladies who smokes, drinks and visit clubs but trust me they know deep down in their hearts that these ladies do not have the qualities of a good housewife and they wouldn’t want such ladies to be their future wives and no mother in her right senses

would allow his son marry a lady with tattoo drawn on her body, nose, lips, stomach and every part of the body pierced with earrings, a dress that shows her almost her full cleavage, or a lady who visits night clubs frequently. Some parents contribute to the moral laxity of their female children. A scenario whereby a lady brings home weird friends with crazy outfits and introduced them to her mum and then she smiled and kept silent, such lady automatically would have the impression that her mum was satisfied with her friends and before the mother would realized the damage she had caused, the lady would have committed several abortions, sleep with men in hotels for money and even get addicted to drugs. As a lady, you can be exceptional if you want to, and if you ask me how, I will tell you how. The way a lady fancy a smart ,rich and handsome guy, is the same way a man also admire an intelligent, s m a r t , industrious and good-looking ladies. You don’t have to be a beautiful lady without brain because the two B’s work together. So you have to be a lady with beauty and brain. The formula B2 is what every lady should posses. So plus your beauty, you have

to be a critical thinker, you must have analytical skills, technology friendly, and what have you. Getting a good grade from school, having a good job and been independent is the greatest achievement a woman could ever have, that way men will give you respect and trust me, a man and not just any man but a responsible man will approach you. Be the kind of a lady a man will look at and say “wow! that lady has the quality of a good wife”. A man who tells you are “ugly” just because you didn’t expose your boobs is only trying to degrade your self esteem. A lady should always appreciate herself, look into in the mirror and tell yourself “you are beautiful” and

parts doesn’t make you beautiful, if you are ugly then you are damn ugly even if you expose the whole boobs or go nude. A story to consider, a lady known as Zainab was raped by five men during her first year in the university. The story started when she had friends who changed her mindset about her lifestyle. She was no longer the lovely Fatimah that she was used to be, she wanted to feel among and enjoy her new friend’s company, she drinks alcohol, hang outs in clubs and so on. Trouble started when she decided to date men for money. Unknown to her, she was dating two cultists who were best friends and they never knew they were dating the same girl, as time will have it, they caught her tricks and abducted her. These men invited their friends to join in the feast as they raped her brutally. They rejected her in three hospitals and after she survived the accident,she had to relocate to another hostel because she couldn’t withstand the shame. Stories worst than this had happened and will still occur if measures to curb moral laxity is not adopted. We all have duties to perform starting from the parents; monitor your children on the movies they

It’s unfortunate to say that these type of ladies end up regretting and they always tried to cover up the stigma or the scars these past had caused them. Some would relocate to other countries, while some without options will end up committing suicide or go into depression to cover up the shame. you don’t have to wait for a man to compliment you before you do. And who says you can’t slay without exposing sensitive part of your body, there are lot of women who dressed in clothes that are in vogue and yet they don’t expose their body. Revealing your body

watch, where they visit, know the kinds of friends they keep, study their lifestyles, , talk to them about sex related topics, teach them how to behave like a responsible woman to be. Individual development; birds of a feather flocks together they say, choose positive people as your friends, create a circle of friends who derive joy in seeking knowledge, friends with great ambitions, with great future plans. Educational systems should improve more on programs that would teach and orientate youth on the importance of good morals, and the disadvantages of adopting a bad lifestyle. Government should create more educative programs, empowerment and scholarship programs to encourage the youth on studying well and as well as developing a good career in order to avoid them depending on men for money or to avoid giving the men chance to exploit them and use them to their advantage. I suggest the movies, music industries and the internet sites which promote pornographic contents should be banned by the Government. Movie and music industries can no longer produce entertainment without the inclusion of a nude lady, or of people who drink alcohols and drugs, internet had been flooded with nude pictures either uploaded by the victims themselves or someone else. A situation whereby teenagers upload their nude pictures online to seduce men or to just for the fun of it and all these cause 80% spread and growth of moral laxity in Nigeria. Wahab Rianat is a Public Affairs Analyst.



Bida Poly Rector tasks students on hard work

From Yakubu Minna



ector of the Federal Polytechnic Bida, Dr. Abubakar Abdul Dzukogi has advised Nigerian students to work hard for attainment of good academic performance. He gave the charge at the matriculation ceremony of the newly admitted 3,500 students for 2020/2021 academic session. Dr. Dzukogi reiterated the institution’s zero tolerance for indecent dressing, examination malpractice and other social vices. He warned students against actions that are detrimental to overall development of the institution.


NOUN appoints 3rd Deputy VC for technology, innovation


he National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has appointed Prof. Monioluwa Olaniyi as the third Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Institution, following the approval of the University’s Senate. A statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by Ibrahim Sheme, Director, Media and Publicity of NOUN, the varsity appointed the female professor as the pioneer DVC in charge of Technology, Innovation and Research. According to the statement,

the appointment makes the the University the only one in Nigeria with three Deputy Vice Chancellors and also makes Olaniyi the second female emerging as DVC since the inception of the school. Prior to her appointment, she was the Dean, Faculty of Sciences. The letter of appointment by the Registrar of NOUN, Mr Felix Edoka, the statement reads: “I am pleased to inform you that the Governing Council, at its 66th meeting held on 14th July, 2021, approved your

appointment as the pioneer Deputy ViceChancellor (Technology, Innovation & Research) following your election by the University Senate at its meeting held on 7th July, 2021. “As Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Technology, Innovation & Research) you are expected to report to the Vice-Chancellor and to assist him in the day to day administration of the university.” In a related development, the Governing Council also approved the appointment

of Prof. Isaac Butswat as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) Administration, with effect from July 14, also for a period of two years. According to the Registrar, Butswat is also to assist the ViceChancellor, Prof. Olufemi Peters, in the day to day administration of the university. Butswat was hitherto the Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and replaces the immediate past DVC, Prof. Justus Shokefun, who served from 2019 to 2021. (NAN)

Niger govt to sustain support for farmers From Yakubu Minna

Buhari to complete 700MW Zungeru Hydropower Plant December - APC -LAC By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


ne of the support groups of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the APC Legacy Awareness and Campaign, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari will complete the 700MW Zungeru Hydropower Plant is scheduled for completion at the end of 2021 - it will be one of the biggest power plants in the country. In a statement issued yesterday and signed jointly by the Director General of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Moh Lukman, the former National Publicity Secretary of APC, Lanre Issa-Onilu, the Youths representative in the APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Ismael Ahmed and Tolu Ogunlesi, the group said abandoned projects inherited by the APC government, including: the 40MW Kashimbila Dam and Hydropower Plant; the 10MW Katsina Wind Farm; and the 30MW Gurara Hydroelectric Power Plant, which has been completed and

concessioned to the private sector in 2020. The statement titled ‘President Buhari’s Administration Power Sector Scorecard’, said Buhari has even initiated new Projects, including the private-sector-led Azura Power Plant in Edo State (460MW), for which the financial close was facilitated in 2015/2016, and which was completed in the first quarter of 2018, several months ahead of schedule. “The Buhari Administration also built the Afam Three Fast Power Plant, with a capacity to generate 240MW of electricity. Following a competitive bidding process, that new plant has been sold, alongside the neighbouring Afam Power Plc (966MW installed capacity), to Transcorp Plc, in demonstration of the administration’s belief in the managerial capacity of the private sector. “The Energizing Education Programme: This was designed to supply clean and reliable energy (Solar and Gas) to Federal Universities and Federal Teaching Hospitals across the

country. So far, four Universities have had their power plants completed and commissioned: BUK (Kano), FUNAI (Ebonyi), ATBU (Bauchi) and FUPRE (Delta); while others are ongoing in the first phase of the programme. “The Energizing Economies Programme: A complementary programme to the Energizing Education, this time targeted at markets and economic clusters across the country. Completed projects include sections of Sabon-Gari Market in Kano, Ariaria Market in Aba, Abia State and Sura Shopping Complex in Lagos. “The National Mass Metering Programme: This was launched in August 2020, in line with a presidential directive to ensure that all Nigerians receiving electricity from the national grid are metered. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been tasked with providing the 60 billion Naira for the first phase of the NMMP, with a target of 1 million meter installations. As of May 2021, more than 500,000 meters had been delivered to the Discos, and more

than 280,000 installed. The NMMP is ongoing. “The Solar Power Naija: This was launched in April 2021 to deliver 5 million off-grid solar connections to Nigerian households, as part of the Economic Sustainability Programme of the Buhari Administration, under the oversight of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. “The Solar Power Naija initiative is expected to generate $10 million in annual earnings from import substitution. In addition to the homes that will be covered, the programme will also see the deployment of solarpowered grids to Primary Health Centres (PHC) and Unity Schools nationwide.” The group also made reference to the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI), also known as The Siemens Power Programme, saying “This is yet another manifestation of President Buhari’s emphasis on Governmentto-Government initiatives, for tackling some of the most pressing challenges facing the country. “The PPI is a partnership between

the Governments of Nigeria and Germany, and a multinational firm, Siemens AG of Germany, to upgrade and modernize Nigeria’s electricity grid, in three phases, over the next few years. President Buhari has since approved the payment of Nigeria’s counterpart funding for the preengineering segment of the PPI, and the relevant contract was signed earlier in 2021. “The PPI alongside a host of other investment by the private sector and Development Finance Institutions like the World Bank, African Development Bank, Central Bank of Nigeria and others will attract more than $3 billion of new investment into the transmissions and distribution segments of the value chain.” It also said the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) is providing grants to support the deployment of 200,000 Solar Home Systems, as well as a nationwide rollout of mini-grids, positively impacting the quality of life for millions of Nigerians

Imo Assembly recess, ill-timed, smacks of incompetence – PDP chieftain By Musa Baba Adamu




iger State Government has flagged off the third Niger wet season agricultural inputs and equipment fair with hope to improve the process of production for increased output. The event took place at Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi International Conference Centre, Minna. The Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello represented by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development Alhaji Zakari Haliru Jikantoro explained that the fair will provide another opportunity to assess new technologies in the agricultural value chain. Also speaking, the commissioner of agriculture and rural development represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dr Idris Usman reiterated the determination to transform the agricultural sector in the state. He noted that the state is implementing paradigm shift from dependence from oil to non - oil sources of revenue. He added that it would not relent in its support for agriculture in the state as all efforts to ensure that farmers have improved varieties of seeds and other quality inputs and farming equipping are given priority.



From left: Chairman, Governing Board , National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), Abdulfatai Ibikunle; Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Sen George Akume and Director-General of NLRC, Lanre Gbajabiamila, during the National Gaming Conference on repositioning the gaming industry for better performance in Lagos on Wednesday (28/7/21).

Women societies urges Kebbi govt, lawmakers to pass Child Right Bill From Ahmed Idris Birnin Kebbi


ebbi State Coalition of Women Civil Societies of Nigeria have called on the Kebbi State Government and the State Lawmakers to urgently pass

the Child Right Acts and Violence Against Person with Probition bills in to law in order to reduce the high level of crimes and insecurity in the State. Addressing the women participants yesterday at the premises of the Ministry of Women

Affairs and Social Development, the cordintor of the programme and the State Executive Director Association of Women living with HIV/AID in Nigeria Mrs. Esther Hindi said that the State Lawmakers need to passed the Child Right Acts and Violence

Against Person with Probition Bills which will go a long way in reducing the crimes in the State. Mrs Esther who is also the cordintor of secure our lives organisation in the State said that the theme of the meeting is “Women Dialogue on insecurity”.

social activist, Collins Opuruzor, yesterday took a swipe at the Imo State House of Assembly, led by Paul Emeziem, for embarking on eight weeks recess, saying that the Assembly has achieved nothing within the period of its sitting. The activist blamed the leadership of the Assembly for incompetence and for being a rubber-stamp of the State Governor because it failed to allow itself more time to execute more legislative work after the devastating periods of COVID-19, EndSARS protest and the recent PASSAN strike which lingered for too long. The activist who is the current Director-General of New Media in Imo State PDP further accused the 9th Assembly of being willing tools in the hands of the executive arm. He said, “It’s unfortunate that the current Imo state House of Assembly, is only bent on carrying out the instructions of the governor. “Tell me what they have achieved within this period of Covid-19 lockdown, EndSARS protest and PASSAN strike? Absolutely nothing. “If they were competent enough, they would have known that they needed more time to cover the trying periods which frustrated the legislative process. “The leadership of the 9th

has nothing to offer. That’s why they are acting the governor’s script. “The speaker and members of his cabal are only bent on witch-hunting the minority members and denying them of their legislative rights. “The only thing speaker Paul Emeziem achieved since his emergence, was demotion and suspension of members. Let’s see where this leads them to.” The Speaker, Paul Emeziem, had on Tuesday, announced the commencement of 8 weeks recess for the Assembly.

L-R: Director of Organisation All Progressives Congress (APC) Professor Ussiju Tahir Medaner, Secretary National Caretaker / Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee APC, Sen. John James Akanudoedehe and the Chief of Staff the Chairman National Caretaker / Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee, Abdullahi Yusuf Gashuwa, during the inauguration of the APC Congress Committee, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

APC inaugurates ward congress C’ttee, as Buni harps on prioritising party interest By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday inaugurated the party’s Congress Committees for all the States of the Federation, even as the National Chairman of the party, Mai Mala Buni, charged them to prioritise the interest of the party in the discharge of their duties. Speaking during the inauguration, the National Secretary of the party, James Akpanudoedehe, who represented the chairman, said “On behalf of the National Chairman of the Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of our Party, and Governor of Yobe State H.E. (Hon) Mai Mala Buni, I welcome you all to the National Secretariat of our great Party, and thank you for coming, despite the

short notice. “In continuation of the rebuilding and repositioning processes of our Party, our Ward Congresses to produce the Ward Executive Committees and the delegates at that level, will take place this Saturday, 31st July 2021 and you’ve been chosen to superintend over that Exercise. “There’s no doubt that within this room are the crème-de-lacrème of our Party; our first team for any competition. Therefore I urge you to keep the interest of the Party first and foremost within your hearts. The success of this Exercise depends so much on you. “The unity of our Party also depends on the outcome; and the outcome essentially depends on your supervision of the issues and the overall conduct of the Exercise.

Do not forget that the CECPC reserves the power to recall the team, or any of its members whose conduct is below expectation; afrerall, he who hires, can also fire. “You’ve been urged to encourage consensus arrangements, where possible. Article 20 of our Party’s Constitution and the Guidelines for the Congresses shall be your guide. Gentlemen and Ladies, let me state once again that your loyalty is to the Party; and you should be at your very best. “You’ll be given the necessary briefing and materials for the conduct of the Exercise. I wish you the very best in this endeavour. “May I also offer some words from our National Chairman and Governor of Yobe State, HE.Hon. Mai Mala Buni, for our Party faithfuls. He said that I should remind our Party members through

this avenue, that a political Party is an organisation of persons who have subscribed to the ideals and rules of the group. “Such rules include internal mechanisms for handling and solving disputes. Therefore the practice of running to the public space without exploring the internal mechanisms of conflict resolution is not available; and not only unhealthy, but an affront on the Constitution of the Party. Meanwhile, the Party’s Congress Committees were represented by their respective State Committee Chairmen. The Congress Committees of the Party are delegated with the responsibility of conducting, supervising, monitoring and giving feedbacks to the Party on the outcome of the Ward Congresses in all States of the Federation.




AAC boasts of winning Anambra, asks INEC to ensure level playing field By Christiana Ekpa


he African Action Congress (AAC) has expressed confidence in winning the November 6 Anambra governorship election, urging the electorates to vote massively for its candidate, Obi Sylvester Chukwudozie for progressive governance and total transformation of the state. In a statement issued yesterday by the National Chairman of the party, Leonard Nzenwa, AAC said its governorship candidate is a grassroots politician, the best candidate to take Anambra State to the next level, implement people-oriented projects, deliver dividends of democracy and run an inclusive government as power belongs to the people. “He will implement AAC’s laudable progressive manifesto adjudged to be the best in Nigeria as it is rooted to deepen our emerging democracy and raise the people’s standards of living. “AAC calls on the Independent National Electoral Commission to provide a level playing field for all the political parties contesting the forthcoming gubernatorial poll. The election will be a litmus test on the integrity and credibility of the commission to conduct free, fair and acceptable elections, and its preparedness to handle, organize and oversee the much awaited 2023 general election.” Accordingly, the party demanded for the use of electronic voting and electronic transmission of results in the November governorship election in Anambra State as INEC earlier said, adding that this will further strengthen the nation’s electoral process and justify its use in the 2023 presidential election contrary to the fears expressed by some members of the National Assembly. “AAC urges eligible citizens to take advantage of the ongoing continuous voter registration exercise by INEC to register and obtain their permanent voter cards. Ensure they vote for candidates of their choice and their votes counted and count in the overall result. The mandate of the people must be accepted and respected by all stakeholders in the electoral process. “The party enjoins all the political parties and their candidates to carry out issuebased campaigns devoid of character assassinations and violence that impeded our democracy. The era of garrison politics is over. Together, we will build a strong, united, progressive and equitable democratic nation. We are all in it together”, the party said in the statement.

Current hardship to be child’s play if APC is not sacked - Bamgbose to Nigerians By Musa Baba Adamu


he National Coordinator of Concerned Advocates for Good Governance (CAGG), Olusegun Bamgbose, has asked Nigerians to be more concerned about sending the All Progressives Congress (APC) packing from Aso Rock in 2023. Bamgbose said the hardship Nigerians currently face would be child’s play if they eventually allow the APC win the Presidential elections in 2023. “There is no guarantee that things will get better if APC wins the election, there is

however high possibility that things will get worse. Another 4 years of APC in government will certainly be hellish and may portend danger to the economic and political wellbeing of Nigeria,” he said on Wednesday. He said all hands must be on deck to oust APC from power in 2023, adding that the ruling party has perfected plans to present a puppet from the South as their consensus candidate. He said “The hidden agenda behind this is to ensure that the cabals still hold power, while ensuring that nothing much will

change, in other words, excuses, will still be the order of the day,” he added. “They will equally ensure that the security situation gets worse for Nigerians to start regretting they voted for a Southerner. “The only way out is for APC to be chased out of power come 2023. I seriously doubt if Nigerians can endure four more years of APC in power after 2023. “The time is ripe for political stakeholders to devise ways and measures of ejecting APC from power come 2023, except this is done, there may be no hope of

better Nigeria. “The consensus candidate of APC will have to agree with the cabals to ensure that the status quo is maintained. Tinubu is never in the picture as a consensus candidate of APC. “He won’t be considered because they see him as someone prone to rebel against them in the nearest future. It’s therefore advisable to start preparing on how to get rid of the APC presidency come 2023. The surest way for Nigeria to move forward is to ensure that APC does not return to power come 2023.”




INEC CVR: Group raise suspicion, demands forensic audit to verify figures By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


demand has been put to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately conduct a forensic audit on the generated and appropriated figures of the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) in order to reveal the true position of things. This demand was contained in a joint press statement issued on Monday in Osogbo during a press conference held by the Forum of Progressive Political Parties (FPPP) led by Idowu Omidiji, the Osun State Chairman of the African Democratic Congress (ADC). According to Omidiji who spoke on behalf of his colleagues,

Bello Adebayo from the Labour Party and Remi Ayanlade from the Young Progressives Party (YPP), the forum had observed with serious concern, the geometrical and skyrocketing figures emanating from the website of INEC on a weekly basis of the ongoing CVR in Osun state. He noted that these had made it imperative to update and brief the media and call the attention of the National Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and his entire management to the scenario playing out in Osun state which is just one out of the 36 states in Nigeria. While declaring that the outcome of the CVR exercise was totally suspicious and unexpected to the forum, Omodiji expressed

surprise that in both Anambra and Ekiti where gubernatorial elections were to hold before the 26th July, 2022 election in Osun, the figures as copied from the INEC website indicated that as at 26th of July, 2021, Anambra state is having 65,014 fresh eligible voters while Ekiti state whose election will come up in June 2022 has just registered 19,043 new and fresh voters. According to him, “Our own Osun State has miraculously registered 259,450 fresh voters. We dare say that there is no sufficient, logical, political or economic justification for such an outrageous figure. “It is also public knowledge that the ongoing CVR for fresh voters is being conducted online via the INEC website using the availability

of internet, is it not a miracle that a state like Osun which has one of the lowest and weakest internet penetrations, which is very far below that of Rivers, Kano, Abuja and Lagos states in terms of internet connectivity, usage and penetration has registered close to 300,000 persons in less than 30 days? “We make bold to say that the Forum of Progressive Political Parties in Osun state is greatly worried by the continuing reflection of events as being displayed by INEC.” The ADC Chairman declared that it was also worrisome and ridiculous that the CVR figures revealed that the new voters in the entire highly politically inclined North West, North East, South

South and South East geopolitical zones combined together were far below what Osun state alone has generated in the last twenty-one days. “This puts the integrity of the ongoing CVR exercise of INEC in question. “We have been tutored and received briefings by an array of young ICT compliant gurus and engineers and we are convinced beyond reasonable doubts, going by the avalanche of evidences and available information at our disposal that the electronic server and few unscrupulous elements in INEC might have been compromised to fill an inexistent and unrealistic number from the backend of the INEC server”, he concluded.

Politicians should have other jobs apart from politics – Tonye Princewill By Christiana Ekpa


From left: Chairman of APC in Enugu State, Dr Ben Nwoye; former Governorship Aspirant of the party, Chief Okey Eze; former APGA Governorship Candidate, Mr Ugochukwu Agbala; APC Chieftain, Chief Anike Nwoga and Women Mobilizer, Lolo Ngozi Nwangwu, during APC’s harmonisation meeting in Enugu on Wednesday (28/7/21).

Ondo guber: Supreme Court Justices delivered sound, faultless judgment – APC By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo has described the Supreme Court judgment of the state governorship election of October 10, 2020 as sound and faultless. While saying that the APC was thrilled by the resolve of the apex court to uphold the decisions of the lower courts on the petitions filed by the PDP and its candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, the party maintained that “the truth is always constant.” The APC said the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) should appeal to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, “where the party and its governorship candidate take exception to the collapse of their petition.” While emphasizing that APC sympathizes with the PDP over the internal crisis rocking the

party, the Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, Alex Kalejaye, in a statement, challenged the PDP to reorganize itself and present a productive opposition to the performing government. Following the Supreme Court Victory, the APC urged Akeredolu and his deputy, Lucky Ayedatiwa “to put the legal gymnastics and distractions behind them, and focus on their selfless approach to governance, in the interest of every resident of the state, irrespective of party affiliations.” “The APC family expresses profound appreciation to all the parties and stakeholders, including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the legal teams, chieftains of the ruling party, and the electorate, for their contributions and support while the legal battle lasted.”

In a related development, the National Secretary of the APC, John James Akpanudoedehe, has commended the Governor Akeredolu’s Supreme Court Election Victory. In a statement he issued in Abuja yesterday, Akpanudoedehe said “All Progressives Congress (APC) rejoices with the government and good people of Ondo State over Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision upholding the victory of Rotimi Akeredolu SAN in the last governorship election in the state. “The apex court dismissed the appeal by Eyitayo Jegede and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on the grounds that it was incompetent. “Fondly and popularly referred to as ‘Aketi’, the Governor Akeredolu administration is now poised to redouble the

tempo of quality service delivery and consolidate its giant strides in the critical areas of education, healthcare delivery, infrastructure development, security, youth empowerment and industrialization. “For many residents of the Sunshine State who joked that Akeredolu has turned the state into a busy construction site, it rings true for a man who is truly passionate about the development of his independentminded, enlightened and progressive people and state.” It said the Governor has followed up his people-oriented policies with several other developmental initiatives which are returning Ondo State to its deserved status and consolidating on the landmark and progressive legacies of late Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin, the first civilian governor of the state.

n All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain in Rivers State, Prince Tonye Princewill, has said that Nigerians should not allow jobless politicians to occupy political offices. According to him, a politician should have daytime jobs and should be professional in a particular field so he is alway able to bring something to the table. “We shouldn’t have politicians who don’t have daytime jobs. We should have politicians who are bringing something to the table. Politicians with wealth of experience in the real world,” the ex APC governorship aspirant in Rivers said. “They don’t necessarily have to be businessmen; they can be professionals of any sort. But it is very good when you bring that experience to the political space. A lot of people go from school to politics and I don’t think that is ideal. Everyone has their own unique perspective and this is mine. “As a businessman, I have learnt how to use money well and how to develop opportunities, and like a CEO of a major multi-international in Nigeria told me, the politicians don’t understand the language of business, so they can’t create the environment for us to strive. “And I think that’s very important because the largest employer of labour should the Small-Medium Scale Enterprise. “So if the largest employer of labour is the Small-Medium Scale Enterprise, it means the politicians should be helping the Small-Medium Scale Enterprise and if they don’t understand the Small-Medium Scale Enterprise like the multiple taxations, cheap and affordable capital and skills development for staff, then there is a problem. “If they don’t understand those issues there’s no way they can create an environment for businesses to strive and of course, it means that the unemployment issues we have in Nigeria will continue to rise just to say that Nigeria by 2050 would probably be the third-largest country in the world, and if we don’t sort out the employment issues of this generation then we have a major problem ahead of us”, he said.

Gov. Doye Diri of Bayelsa (L) presents a souvenir to the Chief of Army Staff (CAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, during the CAS’s visit to the Government House in Yenagoa on Wednesday (28/7/21).

Ogun LG polls: Low turnout, bad signal for democracy – PDP’s Olumide Jones By Musa Baba Adamu


he low turnout recorded during Saturday’s local government elections in Ogun State has continued to generate reactions from stakeholders in the state. A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olumide Jones, has described voter apathy across the councils as a bad signal for democracy. Jones, in an interview, expressed worry that the people of Ogun State were not interested in choosing who would govern them at the grassroots level. This, he said, could be attributed to the failure of those elected into power to ensure the people enjoy the dividends of democracy. He noted that the low turnout of voters alluded to the fact that

people have lost faith in the APC led Government in Ogun state, saying it is also a bad sign for the nation’s nascent democracy. “It is a bad sign when people are no longer interested in how they are governed, because of the way the leaders are ruling the masses. “People are not happy again. They can’t even speak their mind. They don’t have faith in the government again because of the way things are in the land. “Also, the result from various polling units attested to the fact that people didn’t come out to vote because they are fed up and the government has failed,” Jones said. The former senatorial candidate, however, said “We will continue to encourage our people to just patiently wait to vote for a party that will bring true and positive change to Ogun state and

the nation come 2023.” He spoke further that, “there is hunger in the land. Nothing seems to be working right since 2015. Economic and security situations have become determined to have the worst record in the history of the country. “Gone are those days that you can speak out, but now, everyone has been gagged. People can’t sleep with two eyes closed. Even villages are now deserted because of the fear of insecurity in the state and the country at large. “It’s a bad sign for people to be fed up to the extent of not being willing to go out and vote. It’s a bad signal for democracy. “People are no longer interested in what is happening because their voices have never been heard. “It has become a case of APC members alone in governance and this is because people are tired. It’s

obvious everywhere you go. “APC government has failed Nigerians. It is what we can all see everywhere in the country, and that’s why we are saying that it is only the PDP that can give better governance to the people. “We have ruled Ogun for eight years and People can see the difference. I am not saying we are perfect without flaws, but I can assure you that we have the understanding of the grassroots challenges, and with the new set of young people coming into the party with a good ideology, I believe we will change the country at all levels and Ogun State in particular,” he emphasised. Recall that the APC won in all the 20 local governments of the state, while the newly-elected Chairmen and councillors were inaugurated on Monday by Governor Dapo Abiodun.



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NEITI, EFCC sign pact to enforce sanctions in Extractive Sector T By Etuka Sunday

he Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on joint cooperation to enforce sanctions in the extractive sector . The Chief Executive Officers of the anti-corruption agencies, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji and Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa while signing the MoU, renewed and re-affirmed their commitment to partner and collaborate in the fight against corruption in Nigeria’s extractive sector. Under the MoU, signed by the two organisations, NEITI and the EFCC by the MoU agreed to cooperate in the areas of information and data sharing, joint operations, prevention and remediation actions on governance, processes and corruption issues in Nigeria’s extractive sector. Other areas of cooperation and partnership include regular capacity building and trainings, participation in fraud risk assessment efforts, Investigation, prosecution and management of information and compliance and enforcement of sanctions. Other specific areas of cooperation are on issues emanating from NEITI audit reports with specific reference to financial misconduct. Both agencies also agreed that the modalities for the collaboration and partnership “Must be based on the implementation of the EITI principles and the NEITI processes and within the operational mandate of the EFCC”. The Head, Communications and Advocacy, NEITI, Obiageli Onuorah in a statement said, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji lauded the formalization of the partnership and cooperation.

According to Dr. Orji, “In the past there were assumptions that NEITI can only bark, but cannot bite. With the MoU signed today with the EFCC, the MoU have provided NEITI with the teeth which have been missing. We can now bark and bite. “NEITI has expertise in the oil, gas and mining sector and EFCC has expertise in investigation and prosecution of crimes in extractive sector operations. This partnership is therefore designed towards blocking leakages, hold people accountable and increase government revenues”. Dr. Orji stated that “As an agency, we are very proud of the courage and excellence that this institution has exhibited in the face of challenges”. He added that by the MoU, “NEITI’s relationship with the EFCC has been strengthened and anchored on a procedure that has been formalized”. He noted that “Though there is an already existing relationship between NEITI and the EFCC, there is need to further deepen and strengthen the collaboration through the expansion and widening of areas of the cooperation so as to push the boundaries of accountability in the management of Nigeria’s extractive wealth”. He advised Nigerians to channel their minds to modest and legitimate means of livelihood and work to add public value in their areas of national assignment for the benefit of Nigerians. The EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, assured NEITI of its commitment and support towards achieving the goals of the MoU. “We have given you our teeth for us to bite together. Here at the EFCC, we have the Extractives Industry Fraud Section established to deal with issues in the extractive industry. We have strengthened efforts at the Airports to

ensure that there is sanity in the way our minerals are accounted for”, Mr. Bawa stated. According to Mr Bawa, “We know what our two agencies stand for. There are areas that NEITI cannot reach that we can reach. This MoU therefore, is about prevention, enforcement and coordination to rid our country of economic and financial crimes in all its ramifications and especially in the

extractive industry. The EFCC Boss noted that the MoU is clear on what is expected of his agency and assured of his commitment to implementing it to the letter. “We at the EFCC believe so much that if we can block the leakages in revenue especially in the extractive sector, Nigeria will not need to borrow a kobo from anywhere to fund its budget”, he emphasized.

He commended the efforts of new management in NEITI to support the ongoing fight against corruption. You will recall that during an earlier meeting of the leadership of the two anti –corruption agencies, the NEITI Executive Secretary and the EFCC Chairman committed to rid the country of corrupt practices and malfeasance in the nation’s natural resource governance.

L -R:Mr. Tony Ibeziako, Head, Primary Markets, Nigerian Exchange Limited; Ms. Josephine Amuwa, Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Mr. Temi Popoola, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Exchange Limited; Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs, NCC; Mr. Soji Akimuele, Head, Government Relations, Nigerian Exchange Limited, during a Courtesy Visit to the Commission recently.

Cloud Computing: important in fostering digital economy growth – DG NITDA C loud Computing has been referred as the as the essential way of delivering services especially in database, networking, artificial intelligence and analytics over the internet, to offer faster innovations, flexible resources, reduced IT costs and better security. This was according to the statement by the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), while making his keynote address at a Webinar organised by Galaxy Backbone, in collaboration with Zadara, a cloud computing company base in California, United States of America. Mallam Abdullahi expressed his excitement at the theme of the event; ‘Cloud Services and the Journey Towards a Digital Economy’. He averred that the COVID-19 pandemic has globally accelerated digital transformation. He said, “According to McKinsey’s survey, the pandemic has accelerated the digitization of customer interactions by several years, with a global adoption

acceleration of three years.” Abdullahi stated that in March 2020, the virus took the world off the streets and forced everyone to make use of their phones and other devices for work, education, entertainment and socialization. The NITDA boss added that demand for online services during this period skyrocketed and cloud computing played a crucial role in migrating processes online quickly, easily, efficiently and conveniently. He opined that it was at this point that working remotely, adopting technological innovation ecosystem strategies to contain the virus, protect jobs and observing virtual engagements in government circles has become the new normal. He further explained that, according to data from Gartner, in 2020, the combined end-user spending on cloud services was about $270 billion and is expected to increase by 23.1 percent this year to reach $332.3 billion and $397.5 billion by next year, 2022. “With respect to this, it is therefore necessary for the adoption

and implementation of cloud computing in enhancing existing business models and deploying new innovative procedures”, he added. The Director General further expressed his pleasure at the efforts of Galaxy Backbone in providing reliable, efficient, and robust cloud services to Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), as well as the private sector in Nigeria. This effort, he said, will accelerate the Nation’s journey to the digital economy and create opportunities for growth in the digital economy. He asserted that, in Nigeria, private and public sectors have made tremendous progress in cloud computing adoption. He also expressed his delight at the partnership between Galaxy Backbone and Zadara which was borne out of the implementation of the National Digital Economic Policy and Strategy by NITDA under the exemplary stewardship of the Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim

Pantami. “At the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), we will align the implementation of the Nigeria Cloud Computing Policy (NCCP) and the Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT to support this partnership”, the DG disclosed. The Policy will encourage a cloud-first strategy in government with goals which are set to ensure a significant increase in the adoption of Cloud Computing among Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by 2024, Kashifu asserted. He also urged both Galaxy Backbone and Zadara to explore more opportunities while laying emphasis that many promising trends to watch this year include hybrid cloud, distributed cloud, serverless computing, cloudbased disaster recovery, platform as a service, and edge computing. “Also, don’t forget that the golden rule in business is customer-centricity; your service quality and customer loyalty

are critical to your success. As a regulator, we must protect you and your customers. Therefore, I will advise you to constantly meet your Service Level Agreements (SLA) with your customers and by so doing, earn their loyalty”, the DG concluded. The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Galaxy Backbone, Professor Muhammad Bello Abubakar in his earlier remark stated that Galaxy Backbone over the years have invested a lot in building a digital technology service infrastructure adaptable to the changes around. He said they have evolved and re-engineered their operation to deliver a more efficient service in terms of connecting all the 36 states of the country. The MD stated that the partnership is mainly on cloud computing with infrastructure and storage as services which are leveraging on data domestication and sovereignty. He gave assurance that through the partnership with Zadara, they will deliver on cloud service needs.




Women Empowerment, Our Priority - NEPZA MD By Etuka Sunday


he Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) 2nd Deputy President, and the Managing Director, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Prof. Adesoji Adesugba has said supporting women empowerment was one of the priorities of the Chamber. Prof. Adesugba who was speaking during grounding breaking ceremony of the Women Arise Development Humanitarian Initiative (WADHI) Women Incubation Centre in Partnership with ACCI Tuesday said one thing the Chamber does is paying serious attention to gender issue. He said we need to support women in whatever they are doing and no matter our social believe, the difference is clear whenever the women are in charge. “We could see from when women took over the management of ACCI, things began to work and still working. We can also say that whatever you are seeing here today is a combination of ideas from the women we have here.” A statement by the Media/ Strategy Officer, ACCI, Olayemi John-Mensah said, the 2nd Deputy President congratulated the management of WADHI for all their initiatives in supporting the women and for raising this Centre for the women adding that we look forward to seeing more initiative coming out from here. The DG ACCI, Victoria Akai said the Chamber’s partnership with WADHI is a collaboration to establish a digital incubation Centre to support capacity

development of Women and also to promote women financial literacy. She said the partnership also looks at how to link women to international market especially in the context of Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) adding that before we talk of diversifying, we have to look beyond our borders. “The best way to expand trade is to build the capacity of women. Women understand the

etiquettes of business better and that makes them the bedrock of the economy.” According to the DG, Abuja is seen as a non-commercial city but the people that can truly make it a commercial city are women because they are the ones seen everywhere selling one thing or the other. “The importance of women going into business is not only for economic gain but to also inculcate entrepreneurial skill

into their children. One very important thing is to support our women and also help them build same into their children.” She lauded ACCI members and EXCOs for their support for the women, “the men have never said no to any initiative that will benefit women but always there to give their full support. The convener WADHI, Mrs. Esther Eghobamien Mshelia said the incubation Centre is the womb that will birth great

things for the women and what we have come to witness today is the handing over of the site physically after all the necessary documentations had been done. “The building is for a modular business incubation Centre that is being built out of containers and it is to show that they can recycle things. There will be digital training and financial management services for women and also a trading platform”, she said.


he Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has restated its commitment to continue to strengthen collaboration with judicial institutions in Nigeria. Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde in a statement said, the collaboration was in a bid to further protect the telecoms infrastructure in the country. Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, gave the assurance during a courtesy visit by a high-powered delegation of the Kano State Judiciary to the chief telecom regulator at the NCC Kano Zonal Office, in Kano, over the weekend.


Page 21

Allocation: Area Councils, stakeholders share N2.6bn for June T By Stanley Onyekwere

he Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has disbursed a total sum of N2,660, 740, 632.40 billion to the six Area Councils in the FCT and other stakeholders as its share of statutory allocation for the month of June 2021. A breakdown of the figure shows that there was a minimal drop of revenue from N2,724,546,444.33 billion disbursed in the month of May to N2,660, 740, 632.40 billion in the month of June. The figures released indicate that the sum of N773, 574, 574.28 million was made available for distribution to the six area councils, while the sum of N1,887, 166,

058.12 billion was made available to other stakeholders, bringing the total sum to N2,660,740,632.40 billion. However, distribution to area councils show that the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), received N188,477,690.83 million, while Gwagwalada got N177,472,859.50 million and Kuje received N108, 501, 865.37 million. Also, Bwari Area Council received N84,657,261.97 million, Abaji got N117, 435, 546.65 million and Kwali received N97, 029, 349.96 million bringing the total sum to N773,574,574.28 billion disbursed to the six area councils. Furthermore, distribution to other stakeholders include:

Primary Teachers which gulped N1,526,230, 256.60 billion, 15 percent Pension Funds took N226,478,989.57 million, One percent Training Fund gulped N26, 607, 406.32 million, while 10 percent Employer Pension Contribution gulped N107,849, 405.63 million, bringing the total sum to N1,887, 166, 058.12 billion. According to the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, who presided over the 155th Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC), meeting appealed to council chairmen and stakeholders to show understanding and make judicious use of the allocation. Aliyu explained that the decline in the allocation was as a result of drop in the statutory revenue

allocation from the federation account. She added that a tripartite meeting comparing the officials of FCT Administration, Area Council staff and the leadership of the Department of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage (DOAS) would be called with a view to upscaling the revenue generation in the territory. She also affirmed that the administration would not continue to work at cross purposes in the face of dwindling revenue generation in the nation’s capital. Aliyu, who used the occasion to call on the FCT Primary Health Care Board and stakeholders to intensify campaign against the outbreak of cholera and other severe acute

diarrhea diseases in the Federal Capital Territory, also described the spread as unacceptable. While calling for more commitment on the part of all stakeholders, the minister however commended them for showing understanding in the distribution of monthly allocation to area councils and other stakeholders. Those present at the 155th JAAC meeting include the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, Ag. Secretary Area Council Services Secretariat, Mrs. Omolola Olanipekun, Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council, Abaji Area Council, Bwari Area Council, Kuje Area Council, Vice Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council and other critical stakeholders.

Gov. Doye Diri of Bayelsa (Middle in the front row); the Chief of Army Staff (CAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya (4th, R); members of the CAS’s entourage and members of the state cabinet during Yahaya’s courtesy call to the Government House in Yenagoa on Wednesday (28/7/21).

NCC Strengthens Judicial collaboration to tackle telecoms service challenges By Etuka Sunday


Addressing the judicial delegation, Danbatta said, while the Commission is doing everything within its regulatory mandate to enforce compliance among licensees as well as collaborating with stakeholders to protect telecom infrastructure, some individuals indulge in willful damage of telecom infrastructure, vandalism, telecoms facility theft, and fibre cuts, among other crimes. He said these criminal acts conspire to degrade the quality of service (QoS) in the country, and since the NCC has no prosecutorial power, the need to strengthen collaboration with the judicial arm of the government at all levels has become expedient. “NCC does not have prosecutorial power in criminal acts committed by the citizens and

licensees which are inimical to the progress of the sector; and we appreciate the ways and manners such criminal cases are being dispensed by the judiciary. This is a testimony to the kind cooperation NCC has been enjoying from the judiciary,” he observed. According to Danbatta, the Commission will never fold its arms while unscrupulous citizens cause havoc on telecommunications infrastructure since that affects the quality of service innocent citizens enjoy. “Therein lies the importance of the judiciary in the work that we have been assigned by the government to do. We very much appreciate this cooperation with the judiciary and we are committed to ensure that the cooperation grows stronger and stronger going forward,” he said.

According to him, the recently-concluded NCC Judges Workshop held in Abuja, was a very important initiative of the Commission to continuously collaborate with members of the judicial arm of government through updating them with the trends and regulatory dynamism of the sector with a view to improving their knowledge for effective dispensation of justice. Earlier in his address, the Chief Registrar of Kano State High Court of Justice, Abdullahi Ado Bayero, who led the delegation commended the efforts of Prof. Danbatta and NCC in fasttracking digital transformation of governance and other sectors of the economy, adding that Judiciary, as a whole, has recognised the necessity and

inevitability of digital justice system as well as full integration of ICT-based court system in the administration of justice. He said this position is well entrenched in the National Judiciary Information Technology Policy (NJITP), 2021 and is consistent with the NCC’s objective and strategic intervention to advance ICT knowledge and training for various public institutions in Nigeria. “It is in line with the above that the Kano State Judiciary is determined to explore all necessary avenues and opportunities to integrate ICT-based court systems as well as digitised justice delivery systems for efficient and effective administration of justice in the state and we request NCC’s intervention in this regard,” he said.

L-R: Chairman, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Prof AK. Usman, Deputy Executive Secretary (Services) UBEC, Dr. Isha Kolawole, Executive Secretary, National Senior Secondary Education Commission ( NSSEC ), Dr Benjamin Ogbole Abakpa, The Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission ( UBEC ) Dr Hamid Bobboyi and the Deputy Executive Secretary (Technical) UBEC, Dr Bala Zakari , during a familiarization visit by the NSSEC Executive Secretary to UBEC office, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Food security: FCTA moves to boost livestock sub-sector By Stanley Onyekwere


he FCT Administration has stepped up efforts at delivering quality animal health care services and strengthening the capacity to respond swiftly to the prevention of emerging infectious diseases. To this end, the FCT Administration has inaugurated Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Speaking during the inaugural ceremony held in Nyanya, FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, noted that the livestock sub-sector provides enormous business and commercial opportunities that could help facilitate job creation

and poverty reduction as well as the attainment of food security and improved livelihood for the citizenry. The Minister, used the occasion to flag-off the free antirabies vaccination campaign and distribution of inputs to livestock farmers in the FCT. She also lamented that the economic and social viability of the livestock sector was threatened by the increasing outbreak of animal diseases particularly those that are highly communicable and zoonotic by nature. According to her; “studies have shown that the majority of diseases that afflict animals are zoonotic, capable of causing

not only huge fatalities in both animals and humans but economic losses as well. “In Nigeria, we have witnessed notable zoonosis such as Anthrax, Monkeypox and Ebola. Other contagious diseases such as Rabies and Lassa fever, Avian Influenza, Rinderpest, Peste des Petits Ruminants amongst others”. Aliyu, however, pledged that the FCT Administration was leaving no stone unturned to ensure the sustenance of the sector through the implementation of innovative strategies to boost productivity and help enhance systemic capacity and preparedness to

combat emerging and infectious animal diseases even before they occur. She used the occasion to reveal that the Administration has concluded plans in establishing a Special Livestock Industrial Processing Zone in the Paikon-Kore grazing reserve, aimed at boosting the livestock production and processing, while promoting peaceful, mutually-beneficial economic partnerships between herders and pastoralists, creating jobs, and enhancing food security. The minister, commended all those that have contributed to the success of the veterinary diagnostic laboratory,

particularly the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, on the milestone achievement of creating a vehicle for facilitating quick animal health care service delivery to the residents of the FCT, in line with the food security enhancement policy of the current administration. On his part, the Ag. Secretary FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Mr. Prospect Ibe, also emphasized the importance of the project, stressing that the implementation of innovative programmes would help to reposition the agricultural sector towards increasing food production and improving the livelihood of FCT residents.


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world news

Covid: No quarantine for fully jabbed US and EU travellers


eople who have been fully vaccinated in the EU or US will not need to isolate when coming to England and Scotland from an amber list country. The change will come into force at 04:00 BST on Monday. Currently, only people who received their jabs in the UK can avoid quarantine when arriving from amber list countries, except France. The UK government said the rule change would help to reunite family and friends whose loved ones live abroad. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it would apply to people who have been fully vaccinated with a jab approved by the EU or US. Travellers will still need to take either a lateral flow or PCR test predeparture and a PCR test on the second day after they arrive. Under-18s will be exempt from isolation, and some will not have to test, depending on their age. It come as a further 27,734 cases were reported in the UK, bringing to an end a seven-day run of falling case numbers. Wednesday’s case figure was, however, down significantly from a week ago, when 44,104 cases were reported. Another 91 deaths within 28 days of a positive test were also reported. Tougher rules will continue to be in place for France, which is on the amber list but still requires travellers to quarantine when they return, even if they are fully vaccinated. Mr Shapps said this advice would reviewed at “the end of next week” as part of the rolling assessment of travel rules. As well as reopening to the EU and the US, international cruises

will also be allowed to restart from England. It is not yet known whether Wales or Northern Ireland will adopt the same changes. Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said Wales wanted more information about how approved jabs would be verified. The travel industry has long been pushing for this change in a bid to make it easier for tourists or expats to visit. Airlines UK, which represents big carriers, said the move would offer “a lifeline for thousands of businesses reliant on international inbound travel”. Joss Croft, of trade association UKinbound, said it would “allow the £28bn inbound tourism sector, which supports over 500,000 jobs across the UK, to finally restart”.

But what about children? • Children under 18 who are ordinarily resident in the US and EU will be exempt from isolation • Those under five years old do not need to test at all • Children between the ages of five and 10 will only need to complete a PCR test on day two after arrival • And 11 to 17-year-olds will need a pre-departure test and a PCR test before or on day two Although US citizens will soon be able to avoid quarantine in England, they are being urged not to travel to the UK by their country’s health protection agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the US border is currently closed to the UK, as well as many other countries, except for US citizens.

The UK and US have set up a taskforce to discuss a travel corridor, although earlier this week the White House said it had no plans to lift Covid-19 travel restrictions for nonAmericans. But Prime Minister Boris Johnson told LBC on Wednesday that “we’re talking to them the whole time”. Family and friends reunited For 70-year-old Patricia Duncan in Spain, the changes will mean she can travel to England and be on hand to support her daughter ahead of an operation - without needing to isolate. “I have another friend with mental health issues who is desperate for me to visit,” she says. “Normally I travel three or four times a year to see my family and friends, and it’s been a long time. So I’m very glad that is happening.”

But Fiona Clarke in Portugal says the cost of Covid testing is still a barrier for her to visit family in Brighton. “I think we’ll look very carefully, we’ll wait and see what happens with the testing,” she says. Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said she had “real concerns” over the plan - saying: “Each individual US state does things differently,” she said. “They don’t have a National Health Service that has a vaccine programme like we do with the certifications. “So we’re really concerned about making sure that new variants do not come into the UK and that we do have a system that identifies where we have variants of Covid where infection is and we’re able to isolate it.” Source: BBC

When a governing party is over 100 By Yi Fan-Correspondent


anu PF celebrates its 68th anniversary this year. Far away in China, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has just marked its centenary this month. The two political parties have a lot in common. They enjoy an intimate friendship which began from their respective struggle for liberation. Now, when Zimbabwe is striving towards a prosperous, upper middle-income society by 2030 and China towards its Long-Range Objectives through the Year 2035, a closer look at what the CPC has done in the past centenary and what it is going to do next could offer some inspirations for both countries. What has the CPC done? The 20th century witnessed the CPC taking on a mission of founding New China and delivering a better life to the people. Growing the economy In 1960, China’s per capita GDP was US$89 by 2019, it soared to over US$10 000. From 1978 to 2020, China’s economy grew by

over 40 times at an annual rate of 9.2 percent on average, with the most complete industrial system in the world. Eradicating absolute poverty The CPC has succeeded in lifting 770 million people out of extreme poverty from 1978 to 2020, contributing over 70 percent of global poverty alleviation efforts. Under the leadership of CPC GeneralSecretary and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the government adopted a targeted approach and locally-tailored measures. Wealthier provinces have been paired up to help the impoverished ones. Thanks to the relentless, nationwide efforts, absolute poverty has been eradicated in China by 2021. Delivering long-term social stability Long-term stability hinges on not only fast development, but also the commitment to equity and justice. China is a country with over 1,4 billion people. Any small challenge will become big when multiplied by 1,4 billion. President Xi Jinping has made it clear

that no one will be left behind in pursuit of development. Facing the impact of Covid-19, the CPC has, as always, put people and life first. It effectively coordinated Covid-19 response with economic and social development, and put life and work back to normalcy within a short span of time. How did the CPC do it? Putting the people first The CPC represents the interests of the Chinese people. It is not a party of segmental interests or electoral politics. The political game of “opposition for opposition’s sake” and endless partisan strife is thus avoided. In handling challenges from economic and social issues, it proceeds from the overall and long-term interests of the Chinese people, makes resolute decisions and ensures that they deliver. Hence, it is able to maintain policy consistency, and make long-term, sustained investment. Adapting political theories to the Chinese context The CPC is able to fit imported political theories into Chinese realities and raise the idea that

China should “blaze a path of our own and build a socialism with Chinese characteristics”. All things considered, the CPC is different from the capitalist parties in the world. It is also different from the communist parties in other countries. Embracing self-reform The party has bravely embraced self-reform, no matter how painful it is, and grows up by reforming itself every step of the way. Since its 18th National Congress in 2012, the CPC has stepped up self-supervision, by taking steps to deter corruption, in both mindset and institution. A large number of corrupt officials, be they “tigers” or “flies”, have been brought to justice. This anti-corruption campaign has responded to the expectations of the people, and gained great popular support. As many people would say in China, the CPC at 100 is still in its prime. It has realised its first centenary of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. And it is rallying and leading the Chinese people on a new

journey toward realising the second centenary goal. The Zanu PF at its 68 anniversary is also brimming with new vitality. As a party of five million members and a people’s party committed to unity, peace and development, it is determined to take the country to new heights. As both the Zanu PF and the CPC are leading their respective countries forward, the two have much to do together. Apart from mutual learning on governance experience, the two parties could together seek greener and higherquality development. Yes, vaccine cooperation shall come on the top of the list. In addition, infrastructure connectivity, digital economy and green economy promise vast potential. The two parties will continue to render mutual support in international relations. All in all, the two parties may learn from each other, benefit from cooperation, jointly promote the stature of the developing world, and forge ahead together toward the post-Covid era. The author is a Beijing-based observer of international affairs.



e w s

Stray lion captured in Kenyan town


lion has been captured in a town just south of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Residents of Ongata Rongai had spotted the big cat hiding in a narrow alley. It had strayed in from nearby Nairobi National Park. The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) was called in and the animal was “darted and immobilised” so it could be moved. The lion has been taken to a “veterinary facility for observation and collaring before being released back to the park”, KWS says. In a tweet, it thanked the public for their co-operation and urged people to call wildlife officials should other lions were found in urban areas. Nairobi National Park is a major tourist attraction and is home to lions, leopards, buffaloes and rhinos among other wild animals. It is not the first time lions have wandered into residential areas causing alarm.

Morocco arrests ‘red notice’ Uyghur activist


he authorities in Morocco have confirmed the arrest of Uyghur activist Yidiresi Aishan (also known as Idris Hasan). He was detained on his arrival in the North Africa nation from the Turkish city of Istanbul last week. The Moroccan security services said that the Chinese national was detained at Casablanca airport because of a “red notice” from Interpol. China was seeking his extradition for belonging to a terrorist organisation, Moroccan officials said. His wife first broke the news about his arrest, posting a call on Twitter for help: Uyghur activists say he has been arrested for denouncing the Chinese government’s oppression of the mostly Muslim Uyghur minority group - as part of a wider campaign to hunt down suspected dissidents abroad. They have been calling on social media for the deportation to be stopped as they say his life will be in danger. The 33-year-old computer engineer is a father of three and has been living in Turkey since 2012. He also works for an online Uyghur newspaper. Source: BBC


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Tanzania’s Samia Suluhu Hassan gets Covid jab in policy reverse P eople in Tanzania are being actively encouraged to get Covid-19 vaccinations in a dramatic change of policy for one of Africa’s most populous countries. A vaccination drive gets under way after Tanzania rejects its former president’s Covid scepticism. At the front of the campaign is the new President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, who just got her jab. The man she replaced, John Magufuli, played down the virus, calling for prayer instead of vaccines and masks. After he died in March of heart complications, Ms Samia set up a task force on coronavirus. Officially, the country of 58 million people has recorded 29 deaths with coronavirus and 858 cases but there are fears the true numbers are greater. The World Health Organization recently warned of a surge of cases across Africa, reporting a week-on-week rise in deaths of 43%. At the weekend Tanzania received just over one million doses of the single-jab Johnson & Johnson vaccine, under a global scheme to help poorer countries

President Samia has assured Tanzanians that the Covid-19 vaccines are safe Tanzania’s government several vaccines since childhood fight the virus called Covax. Getting her jab on Wednesday, and was taking this one because has also banned unnecessary gatherings to stop the virus President Samia said: “We are not she knew it was safe. One part of Tanzania has spreading. an island and that is why now we When Magufuli died, there already been vaccinating people are starting vaccination.” She urged all Tanzanians to get - the semi-autonomous islands were rumours he had caught vaccinated and said the country of Zanzibar started their own coronavirus himself. He had taken the view campaign about two weeks ago, would get more doses. that Tanzania did not need She said she had received using China’s Sinovac vaccine.

Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue and his love of Buggatis and Michael Jackson


or years the fortunes of Teodoro “Teodorin” Nguema Obiang Mangue mirrored those of his country, Equatorial Guinea, as it rose to become one of sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest oil producers. The son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo enjoyed a lavish lifestyle in California and France. His good times abroad contrasted starkly with the lives of most of his fellow citizens, who saw little trickle-down from the oil revenue. Now the funding for his lifestyle has been exposed as embezzlement, as Teodorin faces a criminal conviction in France, sanctions in the UK and a record for corruption in the US. But back home the 52-year-old remains vice-president, in pole position to succeed his father, 79. ‘Relentless embezzlement and extortion’ Teodorin spent time in California as far back as 1991 when he enrolled at Pepperdine University in Malibu. He eventually bought a $30m mansion in Malibu and his other assets in the US included a Ferrari car and Michael Jackson memorabilia. This came out in 2014 when the US justice department forced him to surrender the assets in a settlement after finding he had paid for them in a “corruptionfuelled spending spree”. “Through relentless embezzlement and extortion, Vice President Nguema Obiang shamelessly looted his

Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue in 2012 government and shook down businesses in his country to support his lavish lifestyle, while many of his fellow citizens lived in extreme poverty,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell in a statement. Money from the sale of the assets was meant to “be used for the benefit of the people of Equatorial Guinea”. ‘No longer a haven’ In 2016, Swiss prosecutors seized 11 luxury cars belonging to him. The cars - among them a Bugatti, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentleys and Rolls Royce - were sold at an auction for about $27m. Some $23m was to go to social projects in Equatorial Guinea. Then, in 2017, it was France’s turn to clamp down on Teodorin when a court convicted him of embezzlement and ordered the seizure of his assets in the country. He was given a three-year suspended sentence in absentia

and a 30m euro fine, and his luxury assets in France were seized. One of his seized properties in Paris is worth over $120m. Under a French law all this wealth is to be redistributed to the people of Equatorial Guinea. The judgment was upheld by the top appeals court, which rejected his protestations of innocence and his argument that French courts had no right to rule on his assets. “With this decision... France is no longer a haven for money embezzled by senior foreign leaders and their entourage,” Patrick Lefas of Transparency International France, which was party to the case, said in a statement (in French). Finally, last week the UK slapped “anti-corruption” sanctions on Teodorin and four other figures from Zimbabwe, Venezuela and Iraq. The UK said his collection of

Michael Jackson memorabilia included a $275,000 crystalcovered glove which the later singer had worn on his 1980s Bad tour. The sanctions will see the UK impose asset freezes and travel bans to prevent named individuals channelling money through UK banks or from entering the country. UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the new sanctions targeted individuals who had “lined their own pockets at the expense of their citizens”. A warning to others Despite his legal troubles abroad, Teodorin keeps his place at the top of Equatorial Guinea’s political establishment. His father is Africa’s longest serving leader and has been described by human rights organisations as one Africa’s most brutal dictators. While the president himself is the key figure, his son is “relatively well known as a personality in west and central Africa given the international media coverage he has attracted”, says Africa analyst Paul Melly. “The action that has been taken by judicial authorities in some European countries against alleged corruption by some African presidential families is a sign of the risk of potential damage to credibility and access to development funds that some regimes might face,” he adds. “But such cases are very much not typical of today’s sub-Saharan Africa.”



N e w s F r o m A SI A China’s Maritime Silk Road port city Quanzhou added to UNESCO World Heritage List By Jiang Bo, Vice President of International Council on Monuments and Sites


istorical sites in east China’s port city of Quanzhou won the World Heritage status of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on July 25, bringing the total number of the country’s UNESCO World Heritage sites to 56. The UNESCO accepted “Quanzhou: Emporium of the World in Song-Yuan China” as a cultural property on its World Heritage List amid the ongoing 44th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Fuzhou, capital of east China’s Fujian province. The project “Quanzhou: Emporium of the World in Song-Yuan China” reflects the unique and outstanding spatial structure that combined production, transportation and marketing of the port city of Quanzhou during a particular historical period. Comprising 22 functionally and spatially connected historical sites, it demonstrates the key institutional, social and cultural factors that contributed to the spectacular rise and prosperity of Quanzhou as a maritime hub of the East and Southeast Asia trade network during the 10th to 14th centuries AD, said a report by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the committee’s official advisory body. Quanzhou, known as Citong in ancient times, has a history of more than 1,300 years. During the Song and Yuan dynasties in Chinese history, approximately the 10th to 14th centuries AD, Quanzhou thrived in the flourishing international marine trade. Merchant ships that sailed from the Quanzhou Port reached as far as the Gulf of Siam, the Java Sea, the Strait of Malacca, and even the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf.

Photo shows a model of an ancient commercial vessel at a museum in Quanzhou, southeast China’s Fujian province. (Photo by Xing Han/People’s Daily Online) Quanzhou Port, a maritime asset left by ancient Chinese people, has witnessed the advances of the Chinese nation in promoting maritime civilization. There were mountains of perfume ingredients, gems, precious lumber, gold and silver accessories on the market of Quanzhou; even the Port of Alexandria, the perfume center in the Mediterranean region, registered a perfume trade volume less than one-tenth of that of Quanzhou Port, as depicted by Marco Polo. During his voyages from 1405 to 1433, which have been hailed as a sailing legend in the East, famous Chinese navigator

Zheng He also left footprints in Quanzhou. At the Holy Islamic Tombs of the Lingshan Mountain in Quanzhou stands a stone tablet which shows how Zheng He led a fleet of ships, the world’s largest one back then, to the Persian Gulf. Quanzhou has greeted envoys and vendors from Southeast Asia, Persia, Arab countries, India, Ceylon, and even the Mediterranean region. The city is to some extent a natural museum of different religions as it is home to the Tianhou Temple, which worships Chinese sea goddess Mazu, as well as temples, mosques, and churches of various

religions including Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Manicheism originated in Persia, Nestorianism that has its origins in Syria, as well as Christianity introduced from the Mediterranean region. Underwater archaeological activities related to numerous shipwrecks have given people a glimpse of the influence of Quanzhou, a window into maritime civilization, in the world’s maritime history. A shipwreck originally built in the 13th century and discovered at the Houzhu Harbor of Quanzhou in 1973 is so far one of the earliest Fujian-style ocean-going vessels. The ship, with a streamlined design and watertight bulkhead structure, represented a remarkable achievement of ancient China in shipbuilding. The ship was evidently fully loaded. The cargo discovered in it included a rich variety of perfume ingredients and many kinds of other goods. The perfume ingredients on the ship, which varied from frankincense, agarwood odour, sandalwood scent to logwood, pepper and ambergris, vividly demonstrated the booming trade at the Quanzhou Port, and unrolled a painting about ancient maritime trade network. As an important city along the ancient Maritime Silk Road, Quanzhou serves as a witness to the friendly exchanges between peoples. It is a unique oriental port city that integrates the charms of the long history, rich culture, and characteristic products of China, an inclusive and wonderous city where civilizations converge, and also a place featuring globally representative maritime cultural heritage before the Age of Discovery. The UNESCO and the ICOMOS believe that the ancient port of Quanzhou qualifies as a World Heritage site with outstanding value to all mankind.

Lhasa-Nyingchi railway in SW China’s Tibet injects vitality into areas along route By Xu Yuyao, People’s Daily


hasa-Nyingchi railway, the first electrified railway in southwest China’s Tibet autonomous region, has made travel easier for local people, stimulated local residents’ enthusiasm for starting businesses and finding jobs, and boosted development of industries, injecting fresh vitality into the development of areas along its route since it opened to traffic on June 25. Linking Tibet’s Lhasa and Nyingchi cities, the railway has provided southeast Tibet with access to railway services for the first time in history and marked full coverage of all 31 provincial-level regions in China by the country’s Fuxing high-speed trains. As of July 22, the railway that passes through lofty mountains and high ranges had handled 95,000 passenger trips accumulatively. The majority of the passengers on the Fuxing bullet trains of the railroad are tourists, people visiting their families, and students. In addition, more and more local residents also choose the new way for travel. “We have met many people who came specially to take the Fuxing high-speed trains that run in the plateau region,” said Yangzom, a staff member of Lhasa railway station. As many people have been attracted to taking the Fuxing bullet trains that run on the Lhasa-Nyingchi railway, the number of people taking trips to Nyingchi for sightseeing is rising rapidly, according to Yangzom. “I’m from Mainling county of Nyingchi city. More than ten years ago when I was in junior high school, if I wanted to travel from my hometown to Lhasa, I needed to get to Nyingchi city first, and then wait for vehicles to Lhasa that didn’t have a scheduled departure time,” said Yangzom. “While the trip from my hometown to Lhasa used to take me three to seven days,

it now takes about three hours,” Yangzom added. Although it has been only a month since

LosangTenzin opened a labor intermediary company in his hometown. Besides the main pain point of insufficient capacity for

Photo taken on June 25 shows the first Fuxing bullet train from Lhasa, capital of southwest China’s Tibet autonomous region, to Nyingchi city of the region, running on the railway linking the two cities. (Photo by Jiao Hongtao/People’s Daily Online) Lhasa-Nyingchi railway entered official operation, LosangTenzin, a resident in Nang county of Nyingchi city, has made many trips on the railway. “It has made travel so convenient and easy,” said LosangTenzin, who can still remember his first trip to Lhasa when he was little. “At that time, vehicles going from Nang county to Lhasa had to climb over towering mountains. During my trip to Lhasa, a sudden heavy snowfall trapped all the vehicles in the mountains. I shivered with cold in the back of a small truck,” he recalled. After graduating from college,

transportation of labor, the safety of labor during transportation is also an important concern for a labor service company. Since a large part of the road from Nang county to Nyingchi was in mountains, LosangTenzin felt so anxious every time his company took villagers from the county to Nyingchi that he called frequently to see if their trip went well. Since the Lhasa-Nyingchi railway opened to traffic, the company only needs to arrange drivers to pick up villagers at train station, according to LosangTenzin, who added that train trips not only cost less, but are much safer compared to the company’s old way of transportation.

“The development of railway has brought new opportunities to us. It has facilitated the movement of people and made cities including Nyingchi see an increasing inflow of people. I’m going to open a restaurant in Nyingchi so as to make the best of the new opportunities,” LosangTenzin said. Similar stories as that of LosangTenzin are happening constantly in areas along the route of the Lhasa-Nyingchi railway. Ma Chunlin, a tourism practitioner and also photography blogger in Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan province, has been thrilled about the news that the Lhasa-Nyingchi railway officially opened to traffic. Many photography enthusiasts in Chengdu gave up the idea of taking photos of peach blossoms in Nyingchi when they heard the high cost of flights, said Ma, who explained that air tickets to Nyingchi have been hard to get during the peak tourist season in spring and many photography enthusiasts had to buy pricey business class tickets in the past. “Since trains from Lhasa to Nyingchi are now available, we will recommend that tourists fly to Lhasa first, and then go to Nyingchi by train if they have difficulty buying plane tickets to Nyingchi. In this way, the transportation problem that used to bother tourists can be significantly eased,” Ma said. “The opening of Lhasa-Nyingchi railway has further enriched services and activities in the tourism industry of Nyingchi,” said Zhang Rundong, deputy head of the tourism development bureau of Nyingchi city. Nyingchi city is making great efforts to attract companies providing local car rental services and ride-hailing services, in a bid to ensure that travelers coming to the city by train can enjoy better tourism services, according to Zhang.




Kenyans sue the British army over fire at wildlife sanctuary


inus Murangiri was crushed to death by a vehicle as he rushed to help put out a fire at a Kenyan wildlife sanctuary which was hosting a training exercise by the British army. Despite all the publicity over the fire in March, his death has not previously been acknowledged. Although there is no suggestion the British army was directly involved in the death of Mr Murangiri, his widow has now told the BBC she wants a speedy investigation into how her husband died and the cause of the fire, and for the findings to be made public. The fire, which has been blamed on the military exercise, destroyed about 12,000 acres of land at the privately owned Lolldaiga conservancy in central Kenya, home to animals such as elephants, buffalos, lions, hyenas, jackals and the endangered Grevy’s zebra. One British soldier allegedly wrote in a Snapchat post: “Two months in Kenya later and we’ve only got eight days left. Been good, caused a fire, killed an elephant and feel terrible about it but hey-ho, when in Rome.” The official cause of the fire has not been made public but the incident is at the centre of an environmental lawsuit brought by a lobby group and almost 1,000 local residents. Residents say the scale of the wildfire at the conservancy was unprecedented - they say it lasted for at least four days as thick plumes of smoke filled the sky, making it impossible to move. They say it smelt like a barbeque, although the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has denied claims that five elephants and a calf were killed. Some elderly people say they suffered burning eyes, while local preacher Duncan Kariuki, 43, said his one-year-old child had to be hospitalised for smoke inhalation. A spokesperson for the British High Commission said the army had conducted an internal investigation into the fire but because “this is part of an ongoing court case, it would be inappropriate to comment any further”. The Lolldaiga conservancy - about 49,000 acres of hilly bushland with a backdrop of the ice-capped Mount Kenya is part of the Laikipia plateau, where hundreds of thousands of acres was seized by the British during the colonial era, leading to land disputes which continue to this day.

The location on the equator is ideal for harsh environment training

British soldiers hold military exercises at the Lolldaiga conservancy every year It is just 70km (45 miles) from the Lewa conservancy, where Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton in November 2010. A few kilometres to the south are the newly refurbished Nyati Barracks, a £70m ($97m) facility also known as British Army Training Unit Kenya (Batuk), that hosts thousands of British troops every year for massive exercises in Lolldaiga, which offers ideal conditions for harsh environment training. It has been used by the British army for over a decade, according to local residents. There are also joint exercises with Kenyan soldiers. But local support is dwindling - at least among residents living nearby who spoke to the BBC. They said they had become accustomed to hearing loud explosions, gunfire and lowflying aircraft near their homes,

throughout the day and night. The 994 signatories of the lawsuit have several complaints: • Their right to a clean and healthy environment has been violated • Military standards on the safe conduct of training including ignoring sustainable use of the environment and the health of the immediate community - were broken • Wildlife escaping artillery fire at the conservancy have invaded their homes and destroyed their crops • They want the British army and the conservancy to bear responsibility for ecological damage to a water catchment area. The community is hoping to use an environmental impact assessment report that they commissioned to back up their claims. “Living near this training

camp has been difficult, especially because of the wildlife that has been destroying our farms and attacking our schoolgoing children. The number of wild animals roaming in the village increased significantly after the fire,” said Mr Kariuki, who is one of the petitioners. Macharia Mwangi of the African Centre for Corrective and Preventive Action (ACCPA), which is also part of the lawsuit, said he was not opposed to the presence of the British army in Kenya, and nor did he want the training to stop completely. “What we oppose is continued devastation of the environment and ecosystem of close to 5,000 people.” Lawyers for the British army in June asked the environment court to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing the Kenyan courts lack jurisdiction over the matter. The court will rule on the request

later this month. Karen Gatwiri has not yet signed the petition, but she has been struggling since she lost her husband during the fire. The BBC found her with her two boys, aged four and two, in a small town about an hour’s drive from the conservancy. They live in a rented three-room wooden shack whose interior is lined with pieces of tarpaulin to keep out the cold. She has converted one of the rooms into a kiosk for selling household items, but business is slow. There were no goodbyes with her husband, she said, and there has been no communication about his death from the conservancy or any authority. Her husband’s workmates told her that he died after he fell from a vehicle and was run over. Records at the local morgue indicate that he died instantly from head injuries suffered on impact. The conservancy has now admitted the death for the first time, but says it wasn’t obliged to publicly announce it as it happened on private property. “I feel bad that his death was unacknowledged because I have all the documents [death certificate and burial permits] to show that he died. They have not respected me as the mother of his children by not telling everyone how he died,” Ms Gatwiri said with a trembling voice. “I want the truth to be known - investigations should be done and justice sought for me and my children. Because the truth is that he died at the conservancy [during the fire].” The UK High Commission in Nairobi told the BBC that “we were saddened to learn of the death of an employee of Lolldaiga conservancy” and that the conservancy had “been in close contact with the family”, making all necessary arrangements. “Linus was a valued member of the conservancy and our thoughts remain with his family, to whom there have been several private ex-gratia payments,” the conservancy’s general manager Harry Hanegraaf said in a statement. Ms Gatwiri however insisted she had not received any money from the conservancy. “We are no longer eating as we used to, I’m not able to educate my eldest child, and I can’t pay the rent - I have to beg from my relatives. If Linus was still alive I wouldn’t be struggling like this.” Source: BBC



PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay july 29, 2021


How China lends: truth and reality By Huang Dongfang




politicians and scholars in some developed countries believe they should not lend to developing countries, and also deny these countries the chance to borrow elsewhere.


n March 2021, Georgetown Law, the Peterson Institute for International Economics, AidData, Center for Global Development and Kiel Institute for the World Economy of Germany jointly issued a report titled “How China Lends: A Rare Look into 100 Debt Contracts with Foreign Governments”. Through a comparison of 100 sovereign debt contracts signed by Export-Import Bank of China (China Eximbank), China Development Bank (CDB), Chinese state-owned commercial banks and Chinese government departments and 142 sovereign debt contracts signed between Cameroon and bilateral, multilateral and commercial creditors, the report points to the differences in the lending rules between China and mainstream Western institutions such as the Paris Club in the four aspects: First, Chinese contracts contain unusual confidentiality clauses, which were introduced around the time of the inception of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). According to the report, confidentiality clauses would give rise to the problem of “secret debts” to countries across the Global South, and make it difficult for the West to calculate those countries’ debt sustainability. Second, contracts offered by Chinese official creditors expressly commit borrowers to exclude the debt from restructuring in the Paris Club or any other multilateral restructuring, which hinders the implementation of the core principles of the Paris Club. Third, Chinese contracts contain cross-default and cross-cancellation clauses, which tend to give China relational power over countries of the South and stronger influence over their domestic and foreign policies. Fourth, Chinese loans to foreign countries require the maintenance of special accounts for the purpose of risk management, taking up the foreign exchange reserves of countries of the South and affecting the precision of Western analysis of those countries’ debt servicing ability. Actually, the argumentation method and process of the report lack scientific basis, and its conclusions are untenable. Problematic contract samples The samples used in the report are seriously flawed. For example, the source of the contract samples is unclear, and the choices of samples and comparison methodology are subjective and biased. Therefore, the conclusions are hardly convincing. The samples represent base evidence for the research and conclusion of the report, and the legality, authenticity and relevance of the source of evidence directly determine the neutrality, credibility and scientificity of the conclusions. While claiming all the contracts were obtained from open sources, the report accuses China of keeping sovereign loan contracts confidential and not transparent. The report does not explain a contradiction: How the researchers obtained their information if the contracts were confidential. The report examined 100 sovereign debt contracts signed between 24 developing nations and China from 2000 to 2020, and compared them with 142 sovereign debt contracts signed by Cameroon between 1999 and 2017. The problem with this approach is the mismatch and lack of heterogeneity of the country chosen for comparison: Cameroon is only one country, and

Xi Jinping its financing needs and development structure are not sufficiently diverse and heterogeneous. Comparing a benchmark country with little variety and a group of 24 countries with great variety reduces the validity of the research conclusion. Another problem of the report involves comparing 100 bilateral sovereign debt contracts of China with 142 multilateral and bilateral debt contracts of Cameroon. Of all the Chinese contracts, the 76 contracts signed by China Eximbank include preferential government loans, preferential buyer’s credit and buyer’s credit; the eight CDB contracts are in the category of development financial loans, which are basically commercial bank loans. In comparison, Cameroon’s contracts are mainly signed with multilateral development banks, with more favorable terms than the ones offered by China Eximbank. Within the international development financing market, multilateral development banks, bilateral government aid agencies, development financial institutions and commercial banks are fundamentally different in their function, which is why government preferential loans, development loans and commercial loans constitute different types of loans, with different earning levels and means of risk prevention and control. The method used in the report, which is like comparing apples and oranges, makes the intent questionable. A scientific and neutral research report would choose to compare the preferential loan contracts of China EximBank with similar contracts of government-backed institutions of preferential loans such as Agence française de développement (AFD), Japan International Cooperation Agency and KfW of Germany. The failure of the report to provide equal numbers of similar bilateral sovereign loan contracts offered by Western countries reveals two things: First, the research method of the report is flawed, and the correlation between evidence and conclusion is insufficient. Second, the report seeks to make China the target for all while avoiding an assessment and judgement of bilateral lending institutions in the West. On confidentiality clauses According to the report, Chinese contracts contain “unusual” confidentiality clauses, which prohibit borrowers from disclosing clauses or

the existence of debts. However, the principle of confidentiality is widely applied in international loan contracts, and the practice of not disclosing detailed information about the terms of loans is also quite common. With few exceptions, creditors and sovereign debtors normally do not publish their contract texts in full. There is no uniform public disclosure standard or practice for bilateral official lenders. Even the authors of the report themselves admit “almost all OECD official creditors and nonOECD creditors have not publicly released their loan contracts.” Similar confidentiality clauses can be found in the official bilateral debt contracts of the AFD. The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), the Islamic Development Bank, the OPEC Fund for International Development and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development all require the borrower to keep the documents and letters of the lender confidential. Even the Asian Development Bank has confidentiality clauses in its loan agreements. Debtor governments usually would not publish the text of their loan contracts either. The above-mentioned examples show that setting confidentiality clauses is a common practice for lenders, yet the report singles out China, which is either due to a lack of understanding of common commercial practices or out of ulterior motives. Besides, China is not an OECD member, nor a party to the OECD creditor reporting system, the OECD Export Credit Group (ECG) or the Paris Club. Thus, it has no obligation to disclose its loan information. On ‘No Paris Club’ clauses According to the report, close to three-quarters of the debt contracts in the Chinese samples contain the socalled “No Paris Club” clauses, which expressly commit the borrower to exclude the debt from restructuring in the Paris Club of official bilateral creditors and from any comparable debt treatment. The report maintains that such clauses are inconsistent with China’s position and attitude on signing the G20 Common Framework for Debt Treatments. Such a one-sided conclusion picks only opinions in their favor. Without proper framing of the argument, it takes the Western model of sovereign debt treatment as the best option for the international community, and attempts to obstruct the efforts of emerging creditor countries to build a new scheme for sovereign debt

treatment. By underscoring the issue of Paris Club clauses, the Western countries are actually attempting to bring China into their framework of debt rules, while taking a step back lowering lending limits, and, at the same time, “softly absorb” the potential influence of China’s foreign lending with their framework of rules, and share in the reputational benefits of China’s sovereign lending. The principles of the Paris Club reflect merely the interests of Western creditor countries and are not recognized by other emerging creditor countries. Arrogantly asking others to observe the rules shows a lack of “basic courtesy”. Commercial and official bilateral creditors that are not party to the Paris Club have no obligation to abide by these principles. Over recent years, the international development financing market has gone through big changes, and the size of lending of Paris Club countries has dropped. That said, the current global debt governance system is still dominated by the “Paris Club - IMF - World Bank” structure of the West. But, with its expanded scale of China’s sovereign loans and the lending practice with Chinese characteristics, a new order that is more friendly to developing countries is in the making. By calling into question the “No Paris Club” clauses in Chinese contracts, the Western countries are interfering in the free choice and internal affairs of debtor countries, casting a hegemonic shadow on the cause of international development financing. The signing of loan contracts containing “No Paris Club” clauses between debtor countries and China is entirely based on the principle of equality and mutual benefit. It is a choice made by the debtor countries for the best of their national interest. All countries should respect the right of other countries to make their own choice, instead of taking the rules of the Paris Club as universal norms that must be observed by all. In regulating the sovereign debt market, the Western countries have not given full consideration to the development financing needs of developing countries. Even worse, they have set obstacles for developing countries to make their own choices, and sacrificed their development rights to protect the so-called “Paris Club standards”. This is putting the cart before the horse. To put it bluntly,

On special contract terms According to the report, compared with their peers in the official credit market, Chinese lenders offer contracts containing more elaborate repayment safeguards as well as cross-default, cross-cancellation and stability clauses, which gives them an advantage over other creditors. This conclusion ignores the particular context of China’s outward lending. To achieve sustainable development, developing countries need to fill a huge infrastructure gap. Since the early 20th century, the Chinese government and state-owned banks have provided a large amount of infrastructure loans to low-and middleincome countries. However, as infrastructure investment and financing often involve substantial capital and increased risk, meeting the financing needs of developing countries has been a thorny issue. To ensure the safety of their sovereign loans, Chinese creditors have included commonly-accepted clauses such as cross default and cross cancellation in the contracts. CDB is in essence a commercial bank. Compared to China Eximbank, it has a stronger need to manage credit and liquidity risks through contract terms and make use of credit enhancement instruments when lending to highrisk borrowers. Nevertheless, the text used in China’s loan contracts is the one generally accepted by the market and the terms are consistent with the principles of fairness and balance of rights and obligations of parties concerned. As the times change, China’s presence in the international sovereign lending has become more significant. The international community needs to foster an objective view of China’s overseas sovereign lending. Taking the financing needs of receiving countries as the top priority, China does not hesitate to take risks that other lenders cannot or are unwilling to take. This requires Chinese financial institutions to improve risk control mechanisms. Despite their dire need for financing in infrastructure and other fields, commercial loans to developing countries, especially infrastructure loans, have been limited for a long time. This has become a major challenge to the world economy. The main reason is that infrastructure investment and financing requires significant capital input and involve a longer payback period. In the past two decades, China has provided a large amount of bilateral loans to developing countries through policy and commercial funds, giving them important financial support for growing the economy, creating jobs, improving infrastructure and promoting industrialization. And, policy loans provided through the bilateral channel is not a Chinese invention. Major Western countries all have similar official development financing institutions. The only difference is that these institutions have been on a decline. On the surface, such a decline is a manifestation of the budget constraints facing Western governments, but fundamentally, it is the result of liberal market ideology that makes livelihood projects a more likely beneficiary of ODA. As a result, infrastructure projects urgently needed by developing countries

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NATIONAL SHAME: 10 Nigeria Athletes Disqualified From Olympic Games Over Anti-doping Negligence By Amaechi Agbo


here is disunity in the camp of the Team Nigeria at the ongoing 2020 Olympic Games in Japan as the ministry of youth and sports development is currently running out of time and ideas on how to salvage a national opprobrium after 10 out of 23 athletes representing the country at the ongoing 2020 Olympic Games in Toko, Japan have been disqualified from taking part in the track and field events, scheduled to start on Friday, July 30. The disqualification was as a result of the affected athletes and indeed the ministry of youth and sports development along with the Athletic Federation of Nigeria, AFN negligence in ensuring that the athletes entered in for the events properly conducted domestic testing programmes as enshrined by the World Anti- Doping Rules. The rule stipulates that athletes are expected to have taken three out-ofcompetition tests before the commencement of the Olympics or any other Athletics competition. In a release Wednesday by the Athletic Integrity Unity, AIU, it noted that Nigeria is the worst affected country by the breach in the rule and consequently classified Nigeria among “Category A ” of countries who failed to comply with the rules. A total of 18 athletes are among those to be evicted from the Games with Nigeria accounting for over 55% of the number with 10 athletes scheduled to vacant the Games village from Team Nigeria’s camp. “Despite significant Improvements in the domestic testing programmes in countnes categorised as being the highest doping risk to the sport under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules (Anti-Doping Rules), 18 athletes from the final entries for the Tokyo Olympic Games are not eligible to compete because the minimum testing requirements under Rule

Sports minister, Sunday Dare.

15 of the Antt-Doping Rules were not met by ‘Category A’ Federations. “In addition, two athletes from Kenya were replaced by the Nattonal Federation prior to the submission of their entries to World Athletics. “Nigeria is the most affected country, not meeting the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 for 10 athletes,” part of the statement read. Under the framework of Rute 15 governing National Federation Anti-Doping Obligations, which came into force in January 2019, National Federations are accountable for ensuring appropnate anti-doping measures are in place in their respective jurisdictions. Among other things, the Rule sets out minimum

requirements for testing on the national teams of ‘Category A federations deemed to have the highest doping risk and considered as a threat to the overall integrity of the sport. The statement further stated “The key requirement in Rule 15 is that an athlete from a ‘Category A’ country must undergo at least three nonotice out-of competition tests (urine and blood) conducted no less than 3 weeks apart in the 10 months leading up to a major event. Only then do they become eligible to represent their national team at the World Athletics Championships or the Olympic Games. “For the year 2021, the seven identified ‘Category A’ National Federations are: Belarus, Bahrain, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and

Ukraine. The relevant data for the number of athletes from each federation for whom the testing requirements of Rule 15 were also stated. In the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympic Games, the ‘Category A’ Federations. in partnership with their respective National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs), generally made significant progress with respect to their domestic testing programmes. “National Federattons must play their part in supporting anti-doping efforts. The eligibility rules for athletes from ‘Category A’ countries are very clear and compliance is essential for cementing the required long-term changes and ensuring a level playing field for clean athletes,” said David Howman, Char of the AlU Board.

“| must underline that there have been significant improvements in anti-doping efforts in most ‘Category A’ countries thanks to this rule. It is clear that the relevant National Federations in conjunction with their NAOOs have started to take their testing responsibilities seriously, and | thank them for their efforts, but there remains a long way to go in some circumstances,” he added. Nigeria was included in Category A at the start of 2020 following a continued period of weak domestic testing levels. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) is the independent body created by the World Athletics that Manages all integrity issues both doping and non-doping for the sport of athletics. The remit of the AIU includes anti-doping, the pursuit of individuals engaged in age or competition results maniputation, investigating fraudulent behaviour with regards to transfers of allegiance, and detecting other misconduct including bribery and breaches of betting rules. Team Nigeria In Dilemma With track and field events set to commence on Friday, Team Nigeria is currently in disarray over the unwholesome development. Although the names of the 13 successful athektes have not be revealed, the disqualification of the 10 athletes will hugely delepete Nigeria’s chances of podium finish with many athektes already sent packing from day one. The AIU requires that all athletes representing their countries at the Olympic Games are adequately tested in the lead-up to the event. By this, all athletes are expected to have taken three out-of-competition tests before the commencement of the event, a rule Nigeria failed to comply with. Blessing Okagbare, Tobi Amusan, Ese Brume, Divine Oduduru and Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, who fall under the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System.

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Rivers Angels thrash AS Police in CAF Women’s Champions League qualifiers

CAF Slams one-year ban on Enyimba captain, Oladapo Augustine

By Amaechi Agbo



igeria’s sole representatives at the maiden edition of the CAF Women’s Champions League WAFU Zone B qualifiers, Rivers Angels of Port Harcourt Tuesday thrashed AS Police if Niger Republic 5-0 to qualify for the Semi-finals of the zonal elimination. The Nigeria Women Football League, NWFL 2021 champions are through to the semi final after Maryann Ezenagu scored a brace and registered an assist while Oghenebrume Ikhekua and Alice Ogebe were also on target as the Angels neutralised the firepower’s of the Nigeren police. Oghenebrume Ikehua scored the first goal of the game for Rivers Angels in the 13th minute during a dominating display from the Nigerian Champions. Kick442 reports that Alice Ogebe’s shot hits the post ten minutes later as Rivers Angels scored two goals which were disallowed for offside. In the 36th minute, Vivian Ikechukwu’s powerful cross finds Alice Ogebe who tapped in for the second goal of the game. Six minutes from halftime, Maryann Ezenagu’s header hits the crossbar before Alice Ogebe finally scored the third goal for the Jewels of Rivers. Maryann Ezenagu increased Rivers Angels’ lead to four in the 60th minute as she also scored the fifth goal in the 77th minute. After its 2-0 win over Hasaacas Ladies FC of Ghana coupled with the recent triumph, Rivers Angels occupy the first position in Group B with six points from two games and have qualified for the semifinal.

By Amaechi Agbo nyimba International FC captain, Oladapo Augustine has been handed a one-year ban from football-related activities by the Confederation of Africa Football, CAF over doping. The ban was one of the series of decisions the continent’s football body took on Tuesday. Oladapo was found guilty of taking a banned substance during their quarter-final match against Pyramids of Egypt in the 2021 CAF Confederation Cup CAF in a release noted that the result of the player Oladapo Augustine urine test in Bottle “A” which was collected in match N °153 between Pyramids FC (Egypt) Vs Enyimba FC (Nigeria), played on 16th of May 2021 in the frame of Total CAF Confederation Cup 2020/2021 was considered positive due to the presence of a prohibited substances “Prednisolone/ Prednisone”. On 18th June 2021, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) was informed of the result and asked the player to indicate if he wishes to request the analysis of sample “B”. On 22nd June, CAF received the reply of Enyimba club through NFF indicating

Uche Enyimba captain, Oladapo Augustine that the player has elected to not request the analysis of the ‘B’ sample. The club had indicated that any trace of the prohibited substance might have resulted from the prescribed medication the player was on during the same period, and they have communicated the club’s doctor’s report detailing the medications that were prescribed. The player Oladapo Augustine was provisionally

suspended from all football activities until a final decision is rendered by CAF Disciplinary Board. According to CAF, Mr Oladapo was represented during CAF Disciplinary Board hearing held on 14th July 2021 by the club’s physician as well as the club’s lawyer. The Board indicated to the representatives that the player never applied for a therapeutic use exemption and that he is in charge of the substances that

enter his body. The Team physician has highlighted the clean record of the player and that he had no intention for any enhancing his performance by consuming these medications. CAF Disciplinary Board decided to suspend the player Augustine Oladapo from all football related activities for a period of twelve (12) months from the date of notification of the provisional suspension namely 4th July 2021.

Balogun to NFF: If you want to produce next Messi, Ronaldo, provide Infrastructure By Amaechi Agbo


uper Eagles defender, Leon Balogun has challenged the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF to do the needful for the development of the game in the country if they want to produce the next ‘Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo’ from the team The Rangers of Scotland

defender who discloses this in a video trending on the internet noted that provision of infrastructure such as accommodation, home base for the team as well as good pitches are key to the development of the game in the country. “Why can’t other players perform in the super Eagles?,” the former Brighton and Hove Albion

started in a radio programme “Well, we have to be honest, we are not being provided with the best infrastructure. It starts with accommodation and goes on to pitches and all those kind of things. “I know I am very outspoken and some people when they hear that, they might come after me but I don’t care.

“If you say you want the next Messi coming out of Nigeria or the next Ronaldo or whosever, you have to make sure that back home in Nigeria, we have the best possibility. “Why don’t we have a base in Nigeria like we have St James’ Park in England? We don’t have something like that.” Super Eagles of Nigeria

for over decade do not have a particular home stadium for their home matches. The team’s home matches have been moving from Delta, Uyo, Benin and recently to Lagos, a situation stakeholders agree is inimical to the development of football and stability of the team.

tier Prudent Energy Handball Premier League, will be in charge of the National Under 20 Female Handball team. The Lagos Seasider coach has made her mark in the league by being one of its top coaches as the team have consistently finished on the podium of the top tier league for two years. She would be assisted by Coach Isiaka Atanda, who led Adorable Angels of Ilorin to win the Prudent Energy Handball Premier League title on their debut in the top tier league. Coach Justina Akpulo, coach of the experienced top handball league side Imo Grasshoppers will coach the National Under 18 Female Handball Team and

will be assisted by Opuena Yekorugba, the head coach of Bayelsa Queens, who recently got promoted to the Prudent Energy Handball Premier League 2021 in the just concluded National Division One Handball League in Benin City, Edo State. The Chairman Caretaker Committee of the HFN, Mr. Samuel Ocheho said the decision to appoint coaches was to change the balance in favour of the feminine gender in the sport and he believes it will spur them to greater height. “Prior to this time, our national teams, especially the female teams, lacked gender sensitivity in the appointment of coaches”. Ocheho said

“Therefore in line with the Olympic spirit , we have decided to change the balance in favour of the feminine gender. I believe that this will go a long way in developing and creating an achievable career path for our ladies”. Ocheho also reiterated that the appointment of the female coaches would greatly benefit the national teams as they have operated in the highest level of Nigeria handball and would bring their wealth of experience to bare in the discharge of their duty which is in response to the clamour from stakeholders to give room for development of female coaches. “I believe our national teams

would be better for it as they (the female coaches) have operated at the highest level of Nigeria Handball and I believe they will bring their wealth of experience to bear on our National teams. This in response to the call from handball stakeholders to give room for development of our female colleagues in their chosen coaching career and we believe that they will justify the confidence we have reposed in them”. Ocheho concluded. Their appointment is expected to last one year with an option of another year which is subject to the review of performance after which appointment can be rolled over as deemed necessary.

HFN Appoints female coaches to lead national junior Tlteams


he Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) have appointed top female handball coaches Bukola Duru and Justina Akpulo to coach the National Under 18 and 20 Female Handball Teams respectively. The coaches, in statement from the HFN secretariat on Tuesday, were selected not only for their experience and capabilities as top coaches but also in the spirit of equity, fairness in giving female coaches the opportunity to make an impart in the continued development and growth of handball in Nigeria. Coach Bukola Duru, unquestionably the only coach in the Male Category of the top

Property Feature By Mashe Gwamna



n Estate Surveyor and Valuer (ESV) Oladiran Ofi, has viewed the profession as one of the widest and deepest professional practices within the built environment. Ofi, stated this in a chat with Our reporter in Abuja. “This profession in view of its wide spectrum curriculum encompasses Land Administration, Valuation, Property Management, Plant and Machinery Valuation, Project Management, Estate agency, Arbitration, Property Taxation and Rating, Environmental Impact Assessment, Feasibility and viability studies, Building construction, Facility Management and host of

PEOPLES DAILY, thursday, JULY 29, 2021


ESV widest profession within the built environment -ESV. Ofi

An Estate Surveyor and Valuer (ESV) Oladiran Ofi

other stakes in the built environment makes the

profession to standout. “It goes without saying

that a well-trained Estate Surveyor and Valuer from a reputable University or Polytechnic must have undergone various courses that cuts across many disciplines that have impact in the environment, such as Architecture, Land Surveying, Building Construction Law (as it relates to land, contract Tort Arbitration etc) Town Planning, Valuation, Sociology, Philosophy etc.” He said with all the fields of studies, it is necessary to acknowledge that the practice of Estate Surveying and Valuation, adding that, “since the knowledge and training

of a qualified Estate Surveyors and Valuers covers Economics, Engineering, Estate Management, Law and Sociology among others, it then means that only those Estate Surveyors and Valuers who have actually excelled that will be able to meet the requirement for sufficiency and currency of knowledge in practice. “It is therefore incumbent in the Valuer to continually expose themselves to contemporary international practices, laws and conventions, so that the quality of their service meets the required standard.”

Nigeria, Cameroon border bridge will facilitate 17 million housing deficits international trade - Fashola not realistic -Fashola By Mashe Umaru Gwamna

By Mashe Umaru Gwamna


he Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola recently, described the numbers of empty houses in the country as overwhelming just as he disclosed that the claim that the country has over 17 million housing deficits is not realistic. Fashola spoke in Abuja shortly after he inaugurated the newly reconstituted Board of Directors of the Federal Housing Authority, (FHA) under the chairmanship of Senator Lawal Shaibu. While disputing the 17million housing deficits’ figure, the minister said the claim could not be justified because of huge numbers of empty houses that are scattered around the country. “There are housing deficits in urban areas no doubt but there are empty houses in the rural areas and even in the urban centres where there is deficit. There are many empty houses across the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Lagos, Port Harcourt , Onitsha, Asaba. There are empty houses all over the major urban centres of Nigeria,” Fashola said. He charged the new board to build more federal housing estates like the one they built in Gwarimpa and others to accommodate many Nigerians and also charged the new 13-board member to explore the ongoing development agenda of the present administration, especially in the area of job creation. He said one of the priorities of the government is building of infrastructure which, according to him, has helped in creating jobs for the teeming population in both the formal and informal sector. Fashola also challenged them to deliver on the mandate of the agency by embarking on building of new cities and other housing projects in order to cater for accommodation needs of Nigerians. He added that the policy of the government is to deliver affordable housing, acceptable to Nigerians, saying that the agencies are the implementing arms “for housing delivery through FHA.


he completed border bridge at Mfum community between Nigeria and Cameroun and the Ikom bridge will facilitate international trade between the two countries when inaugurated. The Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola, made the remark while inspecting the two -lane bridge over the Cross River at the Cameroun and the Nigeria new Border at Ekok /Mfum and the new Ikom Bridge in Cross River State. “This is the A-4 Axis coming from Calabar to Maiduguri through Ogoja to Katsina-Ala. So you will expect more volume of trade. And it is no accident that Cross River State bears its name. It is actually the River that named the state. That River opens to the sea and the Gulf of Guinea. And so high impact on international trade is expected”, he said. According to a statement signed and issued by Boade Akinola, D (Press and Public Relations), stated that Fashola said “We have had very strong relationship with Cameroon in terms of trade and business and if you go to Aba, Enugu, Abakaliki, for example, this is the route that facilitates trade, agro produce, merchandise, manufactured goods from Aba in Abia State.’’ The Minister explained that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration’s strategy of planning and execution of infrastructure projects was yielding results through successful completion. “This is a very strategic infrastructure to take Nigeria to the future for many more decades to facilitate relationship between brothers and sisters in Cameroun and Nigeria and to strengthen the bond of relationship in a joint development with the Republic of Cameroun and Nigeria.” Fashola said, adding that ‘’We are now entering the season of completion of infrastructure projects.” The Minister while speaking with journalists after inspecting both the Nigeria /Cameron Joint Border Bridge at Mfom /Ekot and the New Ikom Bridge at Ikom in Cross River Stated noted that these

The Minister of State for Works and Housing Engineer Abubakar D Aliyu delivering his speech on behalf of the Minister of Works and Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola at the event . bridges would increase the prosperity as we speak, the job is 92% completed, of the people, facilitate hundreds of with the time lapse of 68%. We are moving jobs, movement of agro produce and faster than the scheduled time, so by end manufactured goods, joint border patrol of October we should be done with the that would lead to security efficiency and bridge.” According to him “the Road Lane position both nations to take the benefit of Marking has also been done. the free trade zone agreement. The Federal Controller of Works in Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade who was represented by the Cross River State, Engr. Bassey Nsentip State Commissioner for Works, Engr. disclosed that several road projects were Dane Osimasu at the sites of the inspection progressing without hitches in the State. The Executive Chairman of Etung said the Minister is a conceptualizer , implementor and committed to road Local Government Council Cross River development in the state. He assured the State, Hon. Nkom Etuk praised the Honourable Minister that counterpart Ministry of Works and Housing for the funding from the state would always remarkable job done on the bridges. The Ajassor Community be provided where it is necessary in Representative, Hon. Victor Njor said the infrastructure development projects. The Director Highway Bridges and border bridge has enchanced joint border Design Federal Ministry of Works and patrol linking Cameroun and Nigeria Housing, Engr. Emmanuel Adeoye said within their community and the people during the inspection of Ikom bridge, “The shall come out en mass when the bridge project was awarded in October 2018 and will be inaugurated soon. The border bridge between Nigeria it is due to finish by 7th November, 2021.” The Director said, “The rate at which and Cameroun is funded by the African the contractor is working, by the end of Development Bank while the Ikom bridge October it should be finished. Right now is through the Sukuk bond.

. . . putting the people first



SPORTS The Yoruba have won their agitation latest

Playing in China was the best moment of My career Ighalo


ormer Super Eagles striker, Odion Ighalo has disclosed that playing for Chinese Club Changchun Yatai in the Super League was one of the best moments of his career. The former Manchester United attacker stated thisp in an interview when he was asked about his move to the Middle East. “Well, I will say when I signed my deal with China. It was a good contract. And I was pleased q biggest transfer in the history of both clubs. “I went there and played for two years. I did so well with the team. I played about 50 or 52 games with 36 goals. It was one of the best moments in my career life” he added. Ighalo who collected the highest goalscoere’s award at the 20219 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt joined Manchester United on loan after his time with Yatai. During his two-and-ahalf-year stint in China, the 32-year-old scored 46 goals in 72 appearances in the Chinese Super League and also won the Chinese FA Cup in 2019. He also laced his booth for newly promoted English Premier League side, Watford. He joined Alshabab in Saudi Arabia in 2021 where he has scored 9 goals in 13 appearances. Taye Taiwo and Oduamadi

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he Yoruba are an exceptional people; precocious, tactful, urbane and temperate. They are about the most sophisticated of the ethnic groups in Nigeria. They know when to pounce, when to retreat, and when to negotiate. For the Yoruba, it is about the collective. It is always about the whole. Group interest does not succumb to the sway of individual ambition. They live by the winsome ‘’kparapo philosophy’’, and the ‘’omoluabi element’’ is never musty. Let me detour. A united Nigeria remains the most operational means of preserving and protecting the variegated interests of those within the territory. While the ‘’big three’’ -- Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba – jostle for sectional dividends, they forget that there are other groups -- the presumed minority ethnic nationalities -- in the phylum. Nigeria has over 250 ethnic nationalities, but are the supposed small lot lesser citizens? Should the interest of the ‘’big three’’ be the governing aspiration and grail of other groupings in the taxonomy? Have we asked what the Affade in Yobe state; the Afizere in Plateau state; Afo (Eloyi) in Nasarawa state; the Baushi in Niger state; the Boki in Cross River, the Annang in Akwa Ibom, and many other classes under the Nigerian family tree want? Some apostles of secessionism have even conscripted these ethnic nationalities into their abstract territories by fait -- without considering their peculiarities. The arrogance of the Igbo, the Yoruba and the Hausa is largely responsible for the parlous state of the country. Nigeria should not rise and fall on ‘’this big three’’. Nigeria is bigger and stronger than any of this group on which the country currently pivots. A united Nigeria guarantees freedom – to exist -- for the small ethnic genus. As I have always said, a united Nigeria remains a viable venture for all. End of detour. I have followed

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Guest Columnist By

Fredrick Nwabufo Twitter/Facebook/Instagram: @FredrickNwabufo agitations for selfdetermination by the peoples of southern Nigeria, and my interest is piqued by the crusading techniques of the agitators from the southwest. Even in potentially combustible situations, they have managed to arrest their emotions and keep their demons in the abyss. Although they took their agitation to the streets a number of times, they have always been circumspect about when to retreat and not go off the deep end. Tact is a weapon the Yoruba deploy masterfully in knotty situations. Instead of going ‘’all-head-in’’, they step back and dispatch the greatest ammunition in the armoury of human civilisation. Tact does it for the Yoruba. On Thursday, the Ilana Omo Oodua, the group crusading for an independent Yoruba nation led by Banji Akintoye, released a manual to guide its members in their cause for self-determination. They declared: ‘’NO TO VIOLENT STRUGGLE’’. This declaration comes in the heat of the arrest and detention of Sunday Igboho, the firebrand agitator, in Benin Republic. Here is a demonstration of great percipience by the Yoruba nation agitators: “We, Yoruba, lead in the

methods achieved their purpose of self-determination or autonomy for their nations; all they succeeded in doing was to generate confrontations and wars with the governments of their countries.’’ By denouncing violence and emphasising peaceful methods for achieving selfdetermination, the Yoruba nation agitators have judiciously submitted to Nigeria’s laws while not obviating their agenda. It also wins them more sympathy. This is in contrast to the approach of their sibling crusaders in the Lower Niger Area who unleashed violence on security agents and citizens, threatening critics, destroying property, and ended up turning their region into Aleppo in Syria. Violence achieves nothing but death, broken bones and spilled blood. Self-determination is a universal right, but taking up arms to kill citizens and security agents of government is terrorism. Really, in all the agitations across divides, the endgame is not to secede. The 2023 presidential election is the Venus flytrap with nectar attracting all kinds of creatures. I believe by that time these agitations will taper off. The agitations are ‘’precious material’’ for political negotiations. The Yoruba are playing their cards right. Tact has won this ‘’agitation’’ for the Yoruba.

choice of the peaceful and law-abiding path to our goal of a separate country of our own. And we the servants of the Yoruba nation in this struggle faithfully operate, and will always faithfully operate, with methods of peaceful organisation, peaceful demands, peaceful propaganda, peaceful protests, peaceful legal actions, peaceful political persuasion, and peaceful negotiation. We will push for negotiating tables, and never push for street brawls or any other kind of conflicts. And if we find, among our people, any nationalist activist person or group that is inclined towards violence, we will encourage them to turn instead to peaceful and law-abiding means. ‘’After careful studies of the records of separatist movements in our world, we are persuaded that the peaceful approach is more likely to succeed. Various nationalist agitations in various countries of the world have, in the course of the past century, employed violent means at various times while striving to achieve their Twitter/Facebook/ nationalist goals. Yoruba Instagram: @FredrickNwabufo groups engaged in serving the Yoruba nation need to note carefully that none of these uses of violent or terroristic Reps allege fraud, order Navy to halt recruitment exercise -News


say the President is speaking out “ Istrongly and taking what could qualify for a strong stance for the first time ever. Why? The President has always given to aloof posturing in matters of states, his political party and issues that bother on governance at almost all levels.

Na today?

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