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Vol. 11 No. 74

Thursday, August 29, 2013

. . . putting the people first

Shawwal 22, 1434 AH

Anxiety over 15-year old girl’s death in Kebbi


>> Pg 5

Lawyer sues Patience Jonathan over Abuja rally By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


n Abuja based lawyer, James Abah, has sued the First Lady, Patience Jonathan, National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the State Security Services (SSS), over road restrictions and blockages during the just concluded Abuja women rally. The plaintiff, in his suit, declared that the Women Peace Rally, which he said, turned out to be a political campaign for the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015, was a breach of his right of movement and the rights of other Nigerians as guaranteed by Section 41 of the Constitution. It would be recalled that thousands of women on August 15, 2013, took part in a rally Contd. on Page 2

UN chemical weapons experts wearing gas masks carry samples from one of the sites of an alleged chemical weapons attack in the Ain Tarma neighbourhood of Damascus, in Syria yesterday. Photo: REUTERS/Mohamed Abdullah

Power tussle grinds Taraba to a halt Suntai cabal ‘dissolves’ cabinet Ailing governor makes TV broadcast Tense atmosphere pervades Jalingo From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos and Yusha’u Alhaasn Jalingo


o w e r tussle between a cabal around the Taraba state governor, Danbaba

Suntai and his deputy, Alhaji Garba Umar on one hand, and between the ailing governor and the state House of Assembly on the other, is currently threatening effective governance of the state.

Court orders Babafemi’s extradition to US >> Pg 2

Suntai, yesterday, purportedly announced the dissolution of the state executive council through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Sylvanus Giwa. There was suspicion that the

plot to sack all members of the cabinet may have been hatched by the ailing governor’s cabal, who had provided a protective wall around him, denying Suntai’s deputy, Umar and members of the Assembly and

other top government functionaries access to him. However, Umar, in his response to the announcement of the sack of the cabinet members early Contd. on Page 2

Confusion over Nasarawa Assembly Rasheed Maina’s reconvenes after return >> Pg 3 attack >> Pg 5

















Stockwatch S/Report

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News Extra


Court extradites Babafemi to US A

Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on yesterday ordered the extradition of a Nigerian, Lawal Babafemi, to the U.S. to answer to terrorism charges. The Federal Government initiated the extradition proceedings against Babafemi, alleged to be member of the terrorist organisation, al-Qaeda. Justice Ahmed Mohammed who gave ruling, ordered that the suspect be handed over to the U.S. Government on or before the expiration of 15 days. “All the document in relation to the suit in the local court plus the charges filed by the Federal Government and other material evidence against the suspect must be transferred along with him,’’ he said. Earlier, Muslim Hassan, counsel to the applicant, submitted that the attempt to extradite the 32

years old Babafemi was for him answer terrorism charges in the U.S. “The suspect also described as `Abdullah’ and `Ayatollah Mustapher’ is wanted for his alleged involvement in terrorismrelated activities. “We are urging the court to grant the prayer in order for the suspect to face justice in a different jurisdiction,’’ Hassan said. But, Sulaiman Yahaya, Counsel to the defendant, opposed the application, stressing that the suspect did not commit any terrorist act on U.S soil to warrant his extradition to that country. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Federal Government exhibited a fourcount charge marked: 13CR109-JG, filed against the accused person before the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of New York.

The application further showed that a bench warrant was issued for Mr. Babafemi’s arrest by a U.S. magistrate. He was charged with conspiracy to provide support to a foreignterrorist organisation, provision and attempted provision of material support to a foreign terrorist organisation, unlawful use of firearms, and conspiracy to unlawfully use firearms. The offences, on conviction, attract a minimum sentence of 10 years and maximum of life imprisonment. Mr. Babafemi, who until now was based in the U.S., fled to Nigeria upon realising that he was to be arrested by men of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The application further reveals that U.S. authorities are of the view that Mr. Babafemi belongs to the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

(AQAP), an affiliate of alQaeda. The applicant said the accused person allegedly travelled to Yemen between January 2010 and August 2011 to train with the group. They also alleged that Mr. Babafemi had been relating with its senior members, including the now deceased Anwar al-Aulaqi and Samir Khan. Mr. Babafemi was alleged to have admitted upon interrogation that he was paid about $8,600 by the AQAP to return to Nigeria and recruit some English speaking individuals to work in AQAP’s English language media organisation. The group had claimed responsibility for series of terrorist activities, including the December 25, 2009, bombing attempt in the U.S. by Nigeria’s Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. (NAN)

Power tussle grinds Taraba to a halt Nigeria judicial system: Endless litigation as an albatross, Page 4



Strange World






News Extra Sports

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Contd. from Front Page yesterday had said the government was intact, urging the people to ignore the directive purportedly dissolving the executive council. But by evening yesterday, another twist was added to the unfolding drama in Taraba state when Suntai was shown on the local television, Taraba Television (TTV) as making a broadcast to the people, in which he thanked them for their sympathy and prayers, while urging them to live in peace. He was also shown to have sworn-in a new Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Gibon Timothy Kataps and the new Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mallam Aminu Jika. Kataps was the attorney general and commissioner for justice in the cabinet that was dissolved yesterday. But, there were fears that the television broadcast may have been stage-managed by the cabal around the governor as journalists in television and radio stations, including the NTA, AIT, FRCN were not at the event. The suspicion that the broadcast

may have been stage-managed was raised by most journalists operating in the state, who pointed out that the voice in the broadcast appeared to be that of a sick man, “but was not distinct”. The atmosphere in Jalingo, the state capital, as at the time of filing this report, was tense as people were confused over the state of governance in the state, even as high wired negotiations were said to have been on between some members of the Taraba House of Assembly and Suntai’s loyalists to ensure the return power to the ailing governor. In the meantime, a lawmaker in the state said they were allowed to meet with Suntai yesterday, but simply told newsmen that the talks with the ailing governor were “meaningful”. In announcing the dissolution at the cabinet early yesterday, Giwa said those who lost their jobs included all the commissioners and special advisers. The Suntai aide, who said the dissolution and appointments were with immediate effect, directed

former members of the state Exco to hand over to the permanent secretaries in their respective ministries. Asked if the development will not throw the state into further crises, Mr. Giwa told a correspondent of the Hausa service of the BBC that, “the reason (for the cabinet shake up) is to strengthen the government”. Asked why Suntai was yet to come out and address the people of the state, three days after his return, the SSA said, “he’ll surely come out to address the public”. But the acting governor, Umar, yesterday urged the people of Taraba to remain calm and go about their normal duties. Umar, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Kefas Sule, deliberations were on at the top to resolve the current impasse in the state. He however said, it was the state House of Assembly that passed a resolution making him acting governor, and that it was the same House that should transfer power back to the governor.

He said he was yet to brief his principal, Suntai, on developments in the state while he was away for medical treatment abroad. The acting governor said citizens would be informed of the outcome of the consultations he intended to have with his boss in due course. In another development, Kefas, has said that no condition was attached to the transmission of a letter of resumption of office by the governor to the state House of Assembly. He stated this yesterday in his office while briefing newsmen shortly after the dissolution of the state executive council. According to Kefas, Section 90(2) of the 1999 Constitution made it categorically clear that the governor was only expected to communicate to the House of Assembly that he has resumed duty, which he did. He said no section of the Constitution compelled Governor Suntai to appear in person before the Assembly before his resumption of duty.

Lawyer sues Patience Jonathan over Abuja rally Contd. from Front Page for the celebration of peace and empowerment of Nigerian women. The rally, which started from old parade ground and ended at the Eagle Square in Abuja, was organised by the NCWS. Abah said he was forced to trek from Wuse Market in Wuse Zone 4 to his office in the Wuse Zone 2 area, and also from Central Business District to Maitama, as a result of the restrictions on major routes. He prayed the court to grant an injunction restraining the respondents in the suit from

restricting movement of Abuja residents or any part of the country, except within the circumstances as guaranteed by Section 41 (2) of the Nigerian Constitution. “I believe the 3rd and 4th respondents aided the 1st and 2nd respondents in conducting an unannounced barricade and restriction of major routes within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). “After waiting for about an hour in traffic as a result of the gridlock, I also saw agents of the 3rd and 4th respondents heavily armed directing and restricting

people from driving through the road linking Wuse Zone 2 to Wuse Market”, Abah said. He also asked the court to order Mrs. Jonathan and the other respondents to publish a written apology to Nigerians and the applicant in two national dailies. This is not the first time a civil rights lawyer would challenge restriction of movement due to the activities of VIPS or associations linked to them. In June 2012, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, demanded that the Minister of Aviation reveal the identity of a

VIP whose movement had caused the partial closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja. Falana, who was on board Arik flight W3 271 on the Abuja to Lagos route recalled that the aircraft had to hover in the air for extra 30 minutes after it approached Lagos due to the closure of the airspace. He also stated that he was reliably informed that the presence of a VIP had resulted in the restrictions of movement within the airport, causing the delay of his flight and thereby endangering the lives of over 150 passengers.




Northern groups laud Jonathan over Odimegwu query From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna


minent northerners yesterday joined other Nigerians in commending President Jonathan’s decision to query the embattled Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), Mr. Festus Odimegwu. In its reaction to the query yesterday, the Joint Action Committee of Northern Groups (JACONG), said though the basis of the query to Odimegwu was not to clear to it, that was a step in the direction which should be followed through. Publicity Secretary of JACONG, Dr Hakeem BabaAhmed, said: “Although I have no details of the exact basis of the query, the fact alone that the administration appears keen to address the seemingly unending series of controversies which are engineered by chairman of the Commission is encouraging. “The Joint Action Committee of Northern Groups had alerted the nation over the potential of the actions and utterances of the NPC chairman to cause major problems for all population-related activities. “We will hope that government will follow through with strong measures necessary to restore full public confidence and administrative integrity in the Commission,” he said. The JACONG had on Monday criticised Odimegu over his inciting comment that past population census exercises were rigged by the North. The group in a statement signed by Dr. Baba-Ahmed said it was vital for President Jonathan to move quickly to stop the farcical decline of the NPC under its current leadership. “Citizens in northern states are urging leaders, particularly governors, to provide a robust defence of their rights and interests which could be compromised by the NPC. “Many of the activities of the NPC have direct bearing on elections, hence the need to restore the required levels of reliability and credibility to the work and operations of the Commission without delay”, it said. The northern groups added that: “The rather muted protests against the scandalous utterances of the chairman may have been informed by hopes that he would retract comments that have the potential to erode all legitimacy to current and future population-related exercises or the administration of President Jonathan will distance itself from the comments”.

L-R: Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman, Minister of Sports, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, Minister of State for Niger Delta, Mr. Garius Ishaku, Minister of Niger Delta, Elder Godsday Orubebe, and Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, yesterday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Pension scam: Confusion over Maina’s alleged return By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


here was confusion yesterday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, over the alleged return of former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, to the country. Airport sources told our reporter that Maina returned

aboard an Ethiopian airline craft. “A lady at the airport spotted Maina the moment he arrived at the airport and alerted security operatives who quickly swooped on him but in the process, we do not know what happened next,” the source said. The source added that in the process of screening, Maina was not seen again, alleging that he might have been taken

away by officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) or even aided to escape from the airport. But when contacted to verify the claim, the NIS spokesman, Chukwuemeka Abua, said that his office was not aware of the report and pleaded for time to verify it. Maina fled the country immediately after he was sacked

as the chairman of the PRTT for alleged embezzlement of pensions funds, amounting to over N400 million. The Senate also alleged that the President was shielding Maina from appearing before it to answer questions relating to misappropriation of the said funds. These issues compelled the Senate to issue a warrant for his arrest.

76,000 Nigerians to perform 2013 Hajj, says NCAA From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


eports said yesterday that 76,000 intending Nigerian pilgrims are expected to perform the 2013 Hajj in Saudi Arabia. Director General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, disclosed while addressing representatives of

approved Hajj air carriers and service providers in the aviation sector at the NCAA headquarters in Lagos. The DG warned all service providers to abide by the law as NCAA will not hesitate to ground any airline that does not adhere strictly to lay down rules, insisting that safety and security should be key in their operations.

He added that the NCAA would not accept any short coming in terms of operational deficiencies, maintaining that airplane, equipment and the crew must be airworthy at all times while passengers should be treated with dignity. He charged the National Hajj Commission and all airline operators involved in the Hajj operations to ensure proper

planning and orderliness. He also reminded airline operators that the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) of Saudi Arabia has warned that female pilgrims under 45 years must be accompanied by a legal male escort listed on their Hajj visa and that flight operators are not allowed to carry kolanuts fruits or similar products.

Stop killing prisoners, Anambra governorship: Court restrains PDP from recognising Amnesty warns FG By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


mnesty International and eight Nigerian Civil Society Organisations have called on authorities in Nigeria to immediately halt all plans to execute further death row inmates in the country. They also asked Nigeria to return to a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty, as being advocated by the international community. In a joint statement by Amnesty International and the eight CSOs, including: Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF-France),

Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) and Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS) expressed deep concern over the practise. The statement said that there were unconfirmed reports that the authorities in Edo state are planning to request a court to change the method of its execution from firing squad to hanging. The organisations also said information they received said prison officers fired tear gas into the cells of the death row inmates on 24th June because those to be executed were allegedly refusing to leave their cells.

Nwoye’s candidacy


Federal High Court in Port Harcourt yesterday restrained the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising Tony Nwoye as the party’s candidate for Anambra state governorship election. The court, presided over by Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, gave the order in Port Harcourt following an originating summons filed by the Anambra state factional chairman of PDP, Ejike Oguebego. The court also restrained PDP

and INEC from accepting the outcome of the primary election conducted by Ken Emeakayi ‘s faction of the party. It said PDP and INEC should stop further action, pending the hearing of the motion for an interlocutory injunction and motion to set aside the interim order. The court adjourned the case to August 30 for hearing The PDP had recognised and given certificate of return to Nwoye who won the primary election conducted by the Emeakayi faction. (NAN)



Page 4 Report Nigeria judicial system: Endless litigation as an albatross From Adesoji Oyinlola & Matthew Irinoye, Lagos


t has been argued over the years that justice delayed is a clear denial, or better still, an attempt to pervert the whole system. Nigeria, as a nation, no doubt, has a fair share of this situation which watchers in the sector have described as very ugly. Investigations have revealed that instances of abandoned litigations across various levels of the Nigeria’s judicial system abound, due largely to the granting of unnecessary injunctions, the unprofessional conduct on the part of lawyers, judges, corrupt practices, and apparent lack of facilities. Former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher was once quoted as saying that over 110,000 cases were pending before Federal and States High Courts in the country. This, no doubt, has brought to fore the slow pace that characterizes administration of justice in the country. The former Chief Justice, who said that although there were other notable challenges confronting the judicial system in the country among which is lack of necessary equipment in the Courts rooms, also noted that the development poses grave danger to the judicial system, stressing further that the inability to provide adequate facility has unnecessarily led to the serial granting of controversial adjournments.


n a related stance, a human rights activist and Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch, Mr. Monday Ubani posited that the snail speed that characterizes the administration of justice in the country has succeeded in entrenching corruption in the society, abuse of office, and sadly, prison congestion, a development that has turned the prisoners to monsters and ended up demonizing the society when they regain their freedom, while the unlucky ones died in a more dehumanizing and or tragic condition. Similarly, a legal practitioner, Ramon Shekumoh maintained that there are certain factors why cases are so prolonged in court. According to him, in Lagos state for instance, cases that are filed on daily basis are so high in volume and the judicial body is short-staffed to dispense those cases within short possible period of time. He added that there are Courts you get to and if the Court list is checked, one would be amazed to see that they have close or more than fifty matters to address on daily basis. While commenting on the scenario painted above, the legal practitioner stated that in practical terms, it is clearly difficult, if

Okey Wali, NBA President not impossible, to meet up with the demand of those cases, saying where applicable, it would amount to undue overwork which at the end of the day may lead to miscarriage of justice.


side that, he noted, the parties involved in a case also contribute to the elongation of matters in court where things that are supposed to be done by them are not judiciously done, and at times lawyers bring in frivolous applications to delay matters in court. In addition, he said one would discover that the hands of the court are tied because parties must be fairly heard before justice is done or delivered in any matter. His words: “When an application is brought before Court, a Court must oblige to take it in, either to refuse or grant it, but the law is that such application must be granted. For speedy dispensation of justice, we need more Judges and Magistrates in a state like Lagos State. “There are other states in the federation where matters don’t take so long in court because the rules of the court say matters are quickly dispensed with, in fact, as at now in Bayelsa state, a civil matter is 18 months and some matters before the expiration of that time frame, such matter would have rounded off. “I have once handled a criminal matter in Bayelsa State that lasted for four months. Within four months, the judgment was delivered,” he added, reiterating further that there should be stronger manpower base in the judiciary. On his part, another lawyer,

Mohd. Bello Adoke, Justice Minister & AGF Mr. Akintunde Olanrewaju, is of the view that court system in Nigeria is very unique. Olanrewaju argued that the presiding Judge or the Magistrate will take his or her time to decide whatever matter that is brought before the court. According to him, in a criminal matter, if the prosecutor has alleged a particular person to have committed an offense, the onus of proof lies on the presiding Judge to determine the efficacy or the authenticity of such an allegation. Under this condition, he noted that the presiding Judge will have to take his time in proving to the court beyond every reasonable doubt that an offense has actually been committed, while also stating that in a civil matter, one cannot run to Court and expect an immediate justice. “The court has to go into it critically and diligently, weigh the evidences, and now take a definite decision on it. That is why delay is a little bit experienced, otherwise there is nothing wrong with the judicial proceedings. It is unique,” he noted.


n another twist, however, a Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta was quoted in a report recently as saying corruption is the single most important factor delaying criminal justice administration in the country. The Judge stated that sleaze in the system cut across judicial officers, police, lawyers, prisons officials as well as in government agencies. While speaking, the Judge said, “Corruption is the only reason that can explain the snail’s

Mariam Aloma-Mukhtar, CJN

speed at which the administration of criminal justice is moving in Nigeria. If corruption is not effectively checked, it will be the curtains for judicial growth in Nigeria.” According to him, corruption has compounded problems of endless adjournments and awaiting trials, forcing simple cases to drag in court for many years. He also named prisons officials, police personnel, lawyers, government agencies and judges, who are not ready to do their job as being responsible for the delays. Justice Auta noted that while some judicial officers “framed out” cases, some lawyers too preferred to go after fast moneymaking contracts to preparing their briefs. The judge added, “Instances abound where a lawyer will attend court unprepared and such a lawyer goes through the motion asking the court for adjournment upon adjournment. Some judges are looking for the slightest opportunity to avoid sitting.”


lso, an Abuja, based lawyer, Barrister Kenneth Anakwe disclosed in a report recently while reacting to the abysmal performance of the country’s legal system that the prevalence of outdated laws constitute unwanted clogs in the wheel of progress of the judiciary. Anakwe further stressed that one major setback in Nigeria’s judiciary today was with the laws that can no longer meet the taste of time, adding that the penal code under which the country tries its criminal offences are laws of September 30, 1960. He explained that the reason

for the delay in dispensing criminal cases was the long period of military rule, saying the lawmakers cannot correct all the wrongs done during the military regime within few years. “One of the setbacks in our judicial system has to do with our laws. The Penal Codes under which we try most of these criminal offences are laws of September 30, 1960. They are old such that they cannot meet the taste of time, and the Judges are not finding it easy. That is why most of these cases go on for over three years. “Everybody agrees that corruption is the cause of Nigeria’s under-development. This issue of criminal law amendment and upgrading of the laws to meet the taste of time is as important as Freedom of Information Act. If we can afford to amend the constitution, we should as well do justice to our criminal law,” he posited. In the light of the above postulations, it is obvious that for the nation’s judicial sector to compete favourably and carry out its duties in accordance with best practices the world over, there have to be drastic change in the scheme of things. Most importantly, leaders, relevant bodies, institutions, other governmental organizations and Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) etc., must develop the political will and muster the courage to face and address the debilitating challenges head long. It is when this is done that the nation can rests on its oars. It is then the conventional saying that “Judiciary is the last hope of common man” can eminently be justified in a country like Nigeria.




Corruption: Mass sack, redeployment loom at Tin Can Island Customs By Dapo Olalekan


omptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko Inde, has said that by the end of August 2013, many officers of the Tin Can command may lose their jobs or be redeployed to other remote commands. The threat came on the heels of complaints that officers give out their passwords to agents to be used in clearing cargoes. Dikko who was addressing the Tin Can island officers on the second day of his tour of commands in Lagos said that unless the command surpasses its revenue target for the month of August, many of them might be sacked. He said, “those of you who have complained that your password was harked and your case is with Aminu Dairo, pack your belongings you are leaving this service, it means that you employ the services of camp boys. “Those who have had hacking problem, pack your things and go to the village and get a piece of land for farming.” Dikko complained that there are too many officers at Tin Can island command and that by the end of August three quarters of the officers will be redeployed to Gombe, Taraba or Nassarawa states where officers are needed. Dikko also warned against holding clearing agents to ransom or delaying cargoes unnecessarily because, “it is when you release the cargoes that revenue can come.”

R-L: Commandant, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), Major-General Shehu Usman Abdulkadir, presenting a souvenir to Niger state Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, during the Commandant’s visit to the governor, yesterday at the Government House, in Minna.

Anxiety in Kebbi over15 years old girl’s death From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


15-year old girl from Jega local government area of Kebbi state reportedly in mysterious circumstances on Monday some residents in the area alleged she committed suicide following a minor family squabble. Family sources who spoke to Peoples Daily on condition of anonymity said the incident occurred that evening after a minor exchange


he Federal Government said yesterday that it had begun the implementation of the International Ships and Ports Facilities Security (ISPS) Code in the ports nationwide. The Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar, announced this in a statement by Mrs. Yetunde Sonaike, Deputy Director, Press and Protocol, in the ministry. The ISPS is an amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention (1974/1988) on minimum security arrangements for ships, ports and government agencies. The Minister said that implementation of the code became necessary so that Nigeria’s ports system would be safe and secured for the benefit of Nigerians and foreign investors in the maritime industry.

“She later drank a small bottle of ota pia-pia (insecticide) and died in the night and was buried on Tuesday morning in Jega,” the source said. The traditional ruler in the area, Sheikh Rimi Jega who confirmed the incident described it as unfortunate and un-Islamic. “Her parents were staying in Ungwan Rimi before they moved over to Sabon Gari and they are very responsible parents. “I do not know what got over her

head to commit suicide. Whoever commits suicide in Islam goes Hell Fire. “I wonder what could have happened to that this girl chose to commit suicide. All efforts to get police response proved abortive. Phone calls and text messages sent to the Commissioner of Police, Sylvester Ome, and the Public Relations Officer, DSP Muhammad Mainagge, were was not responded to as at the time of filling this report.

Aliyu hails query to NPC boss, sack of minister From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna


iger state Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, has thrown his weight behind the decision of President Goodluck Jonathan to sack the Minister of Youth Development, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir and the suspension of the Chairman of the National Population

FG kicks off ISPS as investment fund appoints agents By Abdulwahab Isa

of words with the deceased’s aunt and mother. The deceased’s name was given as Khadija who lived with her parents at the Sabon Gari area of Jega. According to sources, Khadija’s mother had scolded her when she heard of a fight between her (Khadija) and her aunty who also lives with them. “She threatened to kill herself if the family continued to scold her for any wrong doing and that was what she eventually deed.

Meanwhile, renown global financial intuition, Goldman Sachs along with Credit Suisse and UBS have been appointed by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) to manage the various components of Sovereign Wealth Funds. An NSIA statement last night in Abuja quoted Managing Director of the NSIA, Mr. Uche Orji, saying that that UBS was selected to manage the US Treasury Bond portfolio while Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse were selected to manage the investment grade US corporate bond portfolio. Commenting on the appointment of the agencies, Orji, noted that, “this marks another important milestone for NSIA and follows a comprehensive process of review and evaluation of world class candidates for this mandate.

Commission (NPC), Chief Festus Odimegwu. The Federal Government sacked the Minister on Monday while NPC boss got a query over his alleged reckless comments on previous censuses in the country. There are insinuations that Jonathan may have sacked the Minister over his inability to rig the youth election in favour of

the Presidents’ candidate. But reacting, the Presidency said in a statement by Presidential spokesperson, Reuben Abati, who dismissed it arguing that the President had no candidate for the youth election which held recently in Minna. Commenting on the issue while in audience with the

Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission Mr. Kennedy Okpara, Aliyu said, “I am happy that the President queried and suspended the National Chairman of the National Population Commission, please thank the President for me for what he did to the Minister of Youth Development.”

Nasarawa Assembly reconvenes after attack From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


overnor Umaru Tanko Al-makura of Nasarawa state yesterday held a private meeting with members of the state Assembly where it was gathered the governor commiserated with the lawmakers over the unfortunate incident of Tuesday occasioned by protesters who stormed the House of Assembly complex, forcing the legislators to adjourn indefinitely. Al-makura who was said to have arrived the assembly complex along Shendam road at around 11 am, held a closed door meeting with the

lawmakers lasting over half an hour. Sources confirmed to our reporter that the governor commiserated with the lawmakers over the disruption of activities at the assembly by rampaging youth, while at the same time assuring them of adequate security. Meanwhile, the Nasarawa state government condemned the unprovoked disturbance at the premises of the assembly Tuesday by what it described as “yet to be identified hoodlums. Government noted that the attack coming shortly after an engaging session with the governor on the invitation of the House, “is highly

regrettable and by every means undemocratic for any group of persons to embark on violence in expressing their feelings.” In a statement issued to journalists yesterday, signed by Hamza Elayo Mohammed, Commissioner for Information and Ethical Re-Orientation, government strongly dissociated itself from the conduct of the protesters, while sympathising with the lawmakers. The statement warned that government would not condone acts capable of derailing the country’s democracy as well as causing disharmony among people of the state.




2015: Power should shift in Kogi, by Ebira group By A’isha Biola Raji


he Ebira Renaissance Group (ERG) has called for power shift in Kogistateasameansofaddressing what it describes as the poor socioeconomic development of the state since the return of democracy in 1999 and the continued political dominance of a section of the state over others. The group stated this during its official flag-off ceremony at the Federal College of Education, Okene. It also called on politicians from Kogi Central and Kogi West Senatorial Districts to bury their distrust and work together in 2015 towards “rescuing” the state from what it describes as continued state of underdevelopment, where marginalization has destroyed its prospects despite huge prospects of the state. The group’s coordinator, Pastor Joseph Suleiman (Manjoe) said the organizationshouldnotbemisconstrued as a political party as their interest is the developmentofEbiralandanditspeople, adding that the Group is willing to work with politicians, irrespective of party affiliation, as long as they share their vision and mission. He said, “The Ebiras of old were people of character, they never traded their integrity for bloodstained wealth. “These are the values that we intend to rediscover and rekindle for the good of all.” Pastor Suleiman said the Group will interface with stakeholders in the Ebira Project to bring about positive value reorientation among the people of Ebira Land.

Minister okays formal registration for participants By Etuka Sunday


he Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo yesterday declared open the formal registration of all licensed participants in the nation’s electricity market. This was done at a seminar organized to mark the commencement of formal registration of all Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) licenced market participants in the Nigerian Electricity Market. Nebo who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Godknows Igali noted that about 70% of PHCN severance payment has been cleared as the workers await their pension scheme after six months, adding that the Transition Electricity Market (TEM) is the final lap of the reform process which has started already. He maintained that privatised electricity market will create jobs for many and boost the economy in 2020 following the success of a private led power sector. In his remarks, the Executive Director, Operations of the Nigerian Electricity Market (ONEM)/ Market Operator (MO), Bar. Evaristus Mogbo said that the power sector reform is moving from the pre transition stage to the three other stages which include, transition, post transition and long run market operations.

L-R: Chairman, Supervisory Board, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Engineer Hamman Tukur, Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, Minister of State for Power, Hajiya Zainab Kuchi, and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Ambassador God knows Igali, during the inauguration of the Board of TCN, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Be patient with us, Annesty c’ttee urges Nigerians From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna he Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in Northern Nigeria has pleaded with Nigerians to be patient with it describing the process of negotiating with the Boko Haram sect as delicate. Speaking on Tuesday while on a visit to the leadership of the Arewa Consultative Forum

(ACF) in Kaduna, the committee’s Chairman, Tanimu Turaki, also noted that they have had to contend with the various factions of Boko Haram group. However, according to Turaki, the committee has already made considerable progress, having met with key leadership of the insurgent group in the North East. He solicited for support and prayers from all Nigerians for them to achieve their mandate of

From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau he Zamfara state acting governor, Alh Sanusi Garba Rikiji, has directed the state emergency management agency (ZEMA) to immediately relocate the people of Gutsura community in Gummi local government council whose houses were recently submerged and destroyed by the flood. Rikiji, stated this in gutsura village during an assessment visit to the village. The acting

governor, who was in company of some members of the state executive council and state Houses of Assembly said the officials of Zamfara state Emergency Management Agency (ZEMA) should as matter of emergency prepare a temporary camp to Accommodate the victims of the flood. He assured people of the area that, the state government has resolved to ensure their future safety, adding that, “as earlier


restoring peace in the area. According to Turaki, “these insurgents are very intelligent and they are well organized. “We have been to frontline where this crisis occurred in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and North West, North Central. “We have dialogue with critical members of the leadership of this group and we also have dialogue with those outside. “We have made progress at this

direction and last week, we released a video clip of those people who sat in shura and analysed the issue of dialogue from Islamic perception. “They said that all followers of Muhammad Yusuf (late Boko Haram leader) have no option than to embrace the option of dialogue. He urged the ACF to support the committee because, “if we have your support, we know that deep down within us, the committee has succeeded 99 per cent.”

Zamfara tasks agency over flood victims


stated in Shinkafi and TalataMafara, the state government will solicit the state house of assembly to enact a befitting legislation that will bring an end to the environmental challenges faced by the people in the State. The Executive Secretary to the ZEMA, Alhaji Atiku Sani Maradun, told newsmen that, the agency has already secured a primary school at Gyalange town prepared as temporary camp to relocate the victims, adding that, the

agency is doing its best to ensure the successful completion of the temporary settlement. For the final relocation of the people, the executive secretary noted that, the agency in conjunction with the Gummi local government and the Emirate council were battling hard to secure a land at a safer area. This the Agency said is in order that the people of the entire community can have a convenient place for settlement.

NASS lauds Dutse varsity over employment From Ahmed Abubakar,Dutse


he House of Representatives Committee on Education yesterday commended the Federal University, Dutse, for its adherence to the principle of Federal Character in its employment policy. The House committee chairman, Hon. Aminu Suleiman made the commendation at the

end of the tour of the university’s temporary and permanent site by members of the house committee on oversight function in Dutse the Jigawa state capital. The House Committee chairman, who said that the oversight Visit began three weeks ago noted that the committee was impressed with the compliance of the University to the ederal his words: “ I have

had to query some universities over the lopsided manner of their employment policies. At least in this university the employment reflected the six geographical zones” Suleiman stated that they were at the institution to access facilities and cross check facts to make sure that monies appropriated are properly utilized adding that they will do whatever is possible

to strengthen the new university to be able to discharge their responsibilities. The Vice- Chancellor in his welcome address commended the committee for their cooperation and understanding with the new Universities. He called on them to facilitate the release of funds for the training of academic staff in order to boost the capacity of the new universities.



News BRIEFS Health workers: FG to abide by court order


L-R: Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, President, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama, and National President, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, during the minister’s meeting with striking health workers union, on Tuesday night in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

FG to secure $200m loan for Fadama III project … Approves Bill on cyber-rime


n its bid to upgrade its interventions in the agricultural sector, the federal government yesterday at the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting approved the collection of an interest-free 200m loan from the World Bank to accelerate the Fadama III project across the country. FG also approved a draft bill seeking to detect, prevent and

control cyber-crime in Nigeria submitted to it by the Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, who was also directed by the council to issue the legal opinion required in garnering the Fadama III loan. Also discussed and approved by the council yesterday were a contract for an integrity check on the Third Mainland Bridge, approval for the establishment

of a branch office of the African Export-Import in Abuja and the hosting of the Nigeria Economic Support Group (NESG), holding September 3-5th. The Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, alongside his counterparts in agriculture and finance, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina and Dr Yerima Ngama respectively, disclosed these while briefing State

House correspondents at the close of the meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan. A post-council document showed that the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala brought a memo to council seeking approval to obtain an International Development Association, IDA, credit facility in the sum of USD200 million as additional financing for the Third National Fadama Development project.

Recruitment: Reps query Katsina fed varsity VC From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


ouse of representatives committee on education, yesterday came hard on the Vice Chancellor of Federal University Dutsin-ma, Katsina state, Professor James O.I Ayatse over lopsidedness in the recruitment of staff in the

institution. The chairman of the committee, Alhaji Aminu Suleiman who led members of the committee on oversight visit to the institution, frowned at the situation where the top positions in the institution were occupied by people from the same state. He lamented that “ Kaduna has the highest number of junior

staff more than Katsina and neighbouring Kano state. Its a Federal University and each state of the federation must be represented” The chairman decried a situation whereby one who find himself in a position, makes sure his people dominate the sector, calling on the ViceChancellor to find ways of addressing the recruitment

imbalance. He urged the VC to give priority to Katsina, Kano, Zamfara and Kaduna in future recruitments. Responding, the Vice Chancellor, Professor O.I Ayatse noted that the management of the university had no intention of creating imbalance in the recruitment of all cadres of staff in the university.

ASUU strike: Students protest disrupts traffic at Onitsha bridge From Albert Akota, Abuja & Prince Edward Asaba usiness activities and vehicular movements were completely paralyzed yesterday in Asaba – Onitsha Head Bridge, Delta State, following fierce protest by the South-South/South-East branches of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) over the


continued strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). The protesters numbering over 60,000 took to various streets of Asaba in a fierce manner, singing; “All we are saying, ASUU call off strike, we are tired of sitting, some students have taken to crime, while others, females have taken to prostitution for they

have nothing doing”. Although security agents battled to ward-off the break down of law and order, the students made up of both sexes and clad in dirty-looking clothes, defied police attempts to stop them. Meanwhile, NANS Zone C and the Nigerian University Students’ Association (NUSA), has pleaded with ASUU to accept

the Federal Government offer. Both associations, in a statement signed by Speaker of NUSA, Comrade Shu’aibu Mohammed and the NANS coordinator Zone C, Comrade Adio Friday after a protest match in Lafia, Nasarawa State, said ASUU should accept the offer and return to the classroom while negotiation continued in the interest of students.

inister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, has said that the Federal Government would abide by the judgment of the National Industrial Court on demands by workers. The Minister spoke yesterday at a press briefing in Abuja on the suspended strike by health workers. He said that government had no alternative than to implement the judgment of the court. Chukwu said, “while this implementation of the court ruling is going on, it does not stop government from pursuing any other issues in the court of law but the important thing is that it gets the workers back to work and ensures that Nigerians and other residents within Nigeria and even visitors are availed of the services of health care professionals.” By Abbas Aminu Bamalli

22nd anniversary: NUJ lauds Taraba


araba state Council of Nigerian Union of Journalists has congratulated the people and government of Taraba state on the achievement record as she celebrates the 22nd anniversary of creation. A statement by the NUJ state Chairman, Abdullahi Gambo, stated that Taraba state is among the few states in the North that has remained peaceful and politically stable despite religious and political turbulence that has plagued the region. Gambo urged Tarabans to shun tribal and religious sentiments and embrace peaceful coexistence to move the state forward. He appealed to traditional rulers and religious leaders to sustain efforts in inculcating virtues of patriotism, tolerance, unity and forgiveness in their subjects. Gambo applauded the measure being put in place by the Federal and State governments to cushion the effects of worsening socioeconomic situations in the country. From Yusha’u Alhassan Jalingo.



News BRIEFS MSSN commences training on Islam vocational course


he Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) has commenced six days intensive training on the importance of Islam and means to become self employed by organized Islamic Vocational Course (IVC). During the opening ceremony held at Usman Fodio Islamic Centre Birnin Kebbi, State Chairman and also Amir of the MSSN, Mallam Hassan Alkali said that the aim of the programme is to make beneficiaries become selfemployed and not to allow themselves to be used as political thugs. He added that all Students from Secondary schools across the Northwest zone will participate on the programme including Kebbi state which they would be taking part in a six day Islamic Vocational Course (IVC) with the theme ‘Towards Reawakening of the Umma on its Vision and Mission.’ From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi

Kaduna internal revenue cannot pay salaries, says commissioner From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna


aduna State Government Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) have been said not to be enough, for payment of workers’ salaries according to the state’s Commissioner of Finance, Sunday Katung. The commissioner disclosed this yesterday at a One-Day Workshop on Capacity building (Practical approached and Effect) on Effective Treasury

Management in Cashless transaction, Public Finance and Debt Management in Public service held in Kaduna. According to him, there is the need for the staff to wake up and ensure that all revenue due for the state goes into the state government account. Katung who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, state Ministry of Finance, Sani Aliyu Kudan described the situation as sad. He said, “In reality, there is nothing better than to be

educated, and ones you are educated on an item, then you are no longer ignorant of those items. “Therefore all of us are here to learn. “We should also put what we learn in practice. “In reality, I am a little bit sad that Kaduna state cannot generate enough to pay its workforce. “This is a very sad situation. “So we need to wake up and ensure that any source of revenue that is due for the state should go to the state account.

“This will greatly assist in ensuring that we meet what is required. “We don't need to be going up and down waiting for such meetings to take place before we can settle the salary of our staff," he said. He further expressed hope that all those concerned with the collection of the state revenue will wake up to ensure that the internally generated revenue is actually connected and it's put in the right place.

Delta donates 6, 000 hectares farmland to FG


elta state Government has issued Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O) of 6,000 hectares of farm land which it donated to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) for the development of High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) nucleus farm in Abraka. In a statement by Dr. Oyeleye Olukayode, media aide to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, quoted the state Commissioner of Agriculture, Misan Ukubeyinje, as saying that, “Delta state government has concluded plans for a large scale cassava transformation in collaboration with the federal government through the FMARD and the private sector by the formal acquisition and grant of C-of-O to a large expanse of land approximately 4,000 hectares of land for the cultivation of cassava and processing mill of HQCF.” By Mohammed Kandi

Jonathan praises Nyako’s accomplishments @ 70


resident Goodluck Jonathan has paid glowing tribute to Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa state on his 70th birthday describing the retired Naval Admiral’s life as one of huge professional and political activities. In a congratulatory letter to the governor, President Jonathan said that he joined the people of Adamawa and other well-wishers across the country in rejoicing with him as he reached the landmark age, praying that God Almighty will grant him many more years of model service to his state and country. He said, “I write on behalf of my family, the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to rejoice with you as you mark your milestone 70th birthday anniversary. “In a life that has seen you reach the apex of your professional career as Chief of Naval Staff and Deputy Chief of Defence Staff; By A’isha Biola Raji

L-R: National Secretary, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Ayodele Akele, President, Campaign for Democracy, Dr. Joe Odumakin, and Secretary General, Community Party of Benin Republic, Professor Maurice Fangnon, during the press conference to kick-off the 2013 Chief Gani Fawehinmi Memorial Organisation (GAFAMORG), yesterday in Lagos. Photo: Olawale Rotimi

Zamfara spends N1bn on state radio From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau


amfara state government said it has utilized over one billion naira for the construction of the administrative block and studios, as well as enhancing the services of the state’s radio station. The Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Alhaji Sanusi Rikiji, said this yesterday during the formal flag-off of Comprehensive Training on Information and Communication Technology (ICT), organised by Federal Information Centre in Gusau, the state capital. Rikiji, who narrated the state government’s effort to boost the ICT and information dissemination among media practitioners in the state, said the state ministry of information has provided ICT training centres in some secondary schools and made

adequate provision for training and re-training of the staff of all the state media outfits. Earlier, the managing director, Africa Free ICT, Abel Ishaku, said the programme intends to train 37,000 Nigerians annually in the 36 states of the federation, including Abuja which, giving the breakdown as 10,000 people to participate from each state. “To our credit, we have trained several thousands in the field of ICT with beneficiaries coming from federal, state and local government establishments, with private individual inclusive”, Ishaku added. In a separate interview, the managing director said the course is are liable source for the creation of selfemployment opportunities, adding that this is capable of reducing high rate social vices across the nation.

Aliyu wants review of civil service rules, Army regulation From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna


iger state Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has advocated the immediate review of the civil service rules and the Nigerian Army regulations especially the areas that has to do with retirement age. Aliyu said the suggestion had become necessary as a result of many young men who had served in the civil service and the Nigerian Army but have to retire from the services even when they are still very energetic. Governor Aliyu made the suggestions in Minna on Wednesday when he received the new Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), Commander Major General Shehu Usman Abdulkhadir who will also be retiring from the Nigerian Army next year albeit at a young age. The governor said, “Now that we are producing educated people

in all disciplines, there is a need for us (Nigeria) to review the conditions of service of people in the Military and the civil service. Aliyu said the young retirees could also be used in different positions for the overall development of the states and the country. The Governor promised to assist the Nigerian Army to renovate parts of its barracks and set up a cabinet committee to prepare a position for government against next year’s budget. Earlier, the TRADOC commander Major-Gen. Shehu Abdulkhadir had commended the peaceful atmosphere existing in the state saying government policies and programmes have assisted to achieve the situation. Abdulkhadir also expressed appreciation to the Niger state government for intervening in the rehabilitation of the barracks and for sinking boreholes for use by soldiers and their families.



Money Sense

Eating healthy foods can save you money


espite what some economists say, times still feel pretty tough, and few of us are ready to throw caution to the wind and start emptying our wallets on fancy clothes and food items. According to a survey, people were cutting their food budgets by spending less on healthy food and more on, of all things, junk foods! But a new study shows that you don’t have to live on white bread or cassava flour to save money; eating healthy foods can be just as cost-efficient. The research, found out that eating healthy foods on a budget is as easy as replacing some red meat with less-expensive whole grains and beans. By simply redirecting your food naira from meat to beans, you could save some serious cash and improve your diet at the same time. You could achieve a lot by spending more on whole grains, nuts, and beans could lead to a 25 percent reduced risk in cardiovascular disease. By contrast, taking medications such as statins (those popular cholesterol-lowering drugs) lowers your risk by 20 to 27 percent, at a cost of N140,000 per year. This way, you save money on health care and food.In the long run, it’s better to spend your money at the food market, rather than at the pharmacy. Here are a few tips for sticking to your budget while shopping for healthy food: Buy in bulk: The nice thing about whole grains, nuts, beans, and legumes is that they’re not only healthy, but they’re also usually sold in bulk food bins, which means you get more for your money. Bulk foods like rice, grains, nuts, and dried fruits can cost anywhere from 30 to 96 percent less than their packaged counterparts. Just be sure to

Money Tip Offer discounts on volume instead


hen you have sales, customers tend to take note and wait to buy until your next cash-saving sale. Eliminate this mindset. Charge what your product is worth, but if you feel the need to discount, try offering volume discounts instead. Make prices bold and easy to find. Many people look for the price first and ask questions second. Don’t put a barrier between you and the customer.

Quote Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you’re not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were – David Rockefeller

store bulk foods properly. Some, such as rice, can go stinking if left in your pantry. Buy a bread maker: You might think fancy kitchen gadgets are beyond your financial reach, but you can find them at discount stores for N3500 to N4000. It’ll save you serious dough in the long run: You can make three loaves of whole grain bread from a twopound bag of flour for N200, compared to buying one loaf for N300, and you get it without all the added sugar and preservatives. If you have the time or want a more hands-on experience, you can make bread by hand or give the no-knead method a try. Learn to love fruits: Consider what beans and their cousins, peas and lentils, can do for your health and your wallet. Not only do beans provide us with vital nutrients, such as foliate, iron, and protein, but they also cost a fraction of the price of red meat or poultry. If you’re a little intimidated by them, try taking some basic brown beans and serve them in tasty vegetable burgers. White beans pair nicely with pasta and give your sauces the same substance and body as fat-laden white sauces do. Just be sure to buy dried beans if you can, to avoid the sodium that comes in canned beans. If you do opt for canned, make sure it is from a company that is not typical of using harmful chemical.

…turn your backyard to a garden to meet this need


urning your entire backyard into a vegetable garden is not an entirely new concept. Digging up your lawn and planting vegetables was widely popularized as part of the war effort during World War II. In the 21st century, home gardens are again gaining in popularity, even if homeowners have to completely replace their lawns with vegetable garden beds to grow them. Determine the pathways the occupants of your house use when coming and going into the house via the yard. If there are already finished pathways in the yard that everyone uses, it is best to maintain them as is when you convert the area to a garden. Set aside an area of the yard for a shed to store garden tools and implements, as well as an area for a compost pile and another area to store your trash cans, if necessary. Consider any other ways you use the yard and whether you need to set aside space for these purposes. Remove the existing vegetation. Cut down trees and completely remove their stumps. Pull out shrubbery and small specimen trees. Remove the sod from the lawn with a lawn sod cutter, following the operating instructions of the manufacturer. Sod cutters are available to rent at rental centers and garden centers. Remove any sticks or stones. Till the soil using a tiller with the tines set to a depth of about 6 to 8 inches. Follow the instructions from the rental center or

tiller manufacturer for operating the tiller. Incorporate any organic amendments needed. Rake the soil smooth when you have finished tilling. Lay out the planting plans on paper. Use a scale drawing or a rough sketch, whatever you are most comfortable with. Orient the rows from east to west, if possible, so the maximum amount of sunlight reaches every plant in the row. If your yard is on a hillside, orient the rows so they go across the breadth of the hill, not up and down it. Space the rows approximate-

ly 12 to 18 inches apart. Plan to plant large crops, such as tomatoes and cabbage, in rows with a large spacing and smaller crops, such as lettuce and carrots, in rows with a smaller spacing. Set aside large areas in which to grow vine crops like cucumbers, squash and melons. Pound in 12-inch stakes at each end of the planned rows to mark their location. Attach string connecting the two stakes to further define the row and provide a guide for sowing seeds. Pound in stakes to create a perimeter around the areas designated for

vine crops. Connect the stakes with string to create a border around these areas. Plant seeds and transplants, following the suggested planting times and spacing indicated on the packages of seeds or on the care tag spikes in the pots of transplants. Water the seeds or transplants immediately after planting with a hose-end sprayer set to mist. Check the transplants or seed bed daily, and water as needed to keep the soil moist but not wet until the seeds germinate and the transplants are actively growing.




he way matters stand between the federal government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the strike called by the latter on July 2 which has effectively shut down the university system is not likely to end anytime soon. This is our worry. The FG, represented by a committee headed by Benue state governor, Gabriel Suswam, believes it has met the striking lecturers more than halfway by “releasing” N100 billion for infrastructural repairs in federal universities and another N30 billion to pay the lecturers’ “earned allowances”. Based on this, President Goodluck Joinathan, speaking through his education minister, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, says the university teachers have no reason to prolong their strike. They should call it off in the interest of their students, now idling at home, parents and the nation. However, a disappointed but strikeweary ASUU is saying no. Clearly, it has problems with the releases made by the government. One, it says going by an agreement the two parties signed in 2009 and a 2012 memorandum of understanding (MoU), the money that should be injected into the university system as “stimulus fund” for 2012 and 2013 is N500 billion, not N100 billion. Two, the union suspects that without specifying the source of the N100 billion released, the government may have simply recycled money that already belongs to the universities.“Our Union is very apprehensive of the manner in which

the sources of the initial N100 billion to be used for the stimulation of the process are shrouded in secrecy. We believe that monies that already belong to the university system should not be blocked and recycled. This will not only be counterproductive but will brew even deeper crises in the system. ASUU will not accept this”, the union’s president,


Before ASUU loses public goodwill

Though government is notorious for reneging on pledges, we think ASUU should give it the benefit of the doubt, accept what has been given and return to the classrooms Dr. Nasir Isa Fagge, declared in a letter to the Suswam committee. Three, ASUU quarrels over what it says is a lack of clarity as to how the university system can access the funds the government claims to have released. It says the universities should be able to get the money without much hassle and be trusted to use it judiciously. Says Dr. Fagge, “We are also concerned that a clear procedure or process of accessing the funds by the universities is yet to be defined. This concern is even more germane, given the statement of the Chairman of the Committee (during the last meeting on Monday, August 19, 2013) that the committee is taking some

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

documents to the Due Process Office. “We hasten to add that while due process must be followed, it is the sole responsibility of benefitting universities to respect all the provisions of the Procurement Act. The meaning of your Committee going to the Due Process Office is that it is the one that will be responsible for awarding contracts.We want to make it clear that this will never be acceptable to our union. We believe that monies meant to fund projects in universities should be sent to the universities, just as it is the practice with TETFund.” For these reasons, ASUU says it is in no mood to call its members back to the classrooms. In this battle of wits, the union enjoys a groundswell of public goodwill and understanding. Protest marches have been held in Abuja and some states by student bodies and other civil society groups condemning the government’s refusal to meet ASUU’s “legitimate demands”. Our fear, however, is that though most Nigerians are aware that ASUU has raised issues beyond those of bread and butter, a prolonged closure of the universities will in turn cost the union this massive public support as happened in the past. The government says it will release money periodically into the university system based on its needs assessment. Though government is notorious for reneging on pledges, we think ASUU should give it the benefit of the doubt, accept what has been given and return to the classrooms. After all, the aim of the strike is to save the system, not destroy it.











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Opinion The return of Gov. Suntai By Mary Wilson


saw the arrival photos of this man and felt like crying for him. They brought back the demons I had Ieft behind in the army. Demons from trauma unit; trauma for dealing with boys from Iraq and Afghanistan.First, let me commend the wife. She must have gone through emotional hell and back. I know how that feels. I went through it when my husband was in CHF stage 4. My professionalism deserted me. I did not handle the stages of grief well. I refused to move from Stage 2, and was in permanent denial of our situation. Still in deep grief 5 years later. Whoever suggested a trip back to Nigeria for Gov. Danaba Suntai did a great disservice to him. The photos removed all doubts about his health. Plane, chopper, helicopter crash is not a walk through the park. No matter how angry his supporters may want to be, the man suffered traumatic brain injury secondary to a crash. Indeed, he’s lucky to be alive. His poorly choreographed Abuja de-planning showed symptoms of a man with postTBI. The fellow with his back held him to help coordinate his gait. The man was seen through the picture whispering into his ears. It was like he was telling him where he was. Very sad. So, what is POST TBI? They are symptoms patients experience for weeks, months, even years post-TBI. Some of these symptoms may have manifested; others will still

manifest. PTBI causes a variety of symptoms beginning with COGNITIVE DEFICIENCY. As exhibited by Gov. Suntai His look of askance, his stare showed he had a cognitive deficit. He had to be prompted to wave, to smile, and he clearly did not know he was in Nigeria. If compelled to do more, he will definitely fail that test. PTBI will present with irritability, emotional liability, mood swings, sudden outburst of speech or conduct, sometimes presenting like someone with Tourette syndrome or even a little child with no ability to recognize right or wrong. Fatigue, headache, incontinence of bladder and bowel is not uncommon in PTBI patients. Seizure, sleep disorders such as insomnia will not be uncommon; perceptual motor disorder, somatosensory disorder

are some of the signs. What will follow PTBI? No matter how we may want to slice it, the pictures taken in Nigeria yesterday on his arrival at Abuja totally nailed this man. The fact that he did not say a word to anyone is a sign that the man is a PTBI patient. Unfortunately, there is no established cure for PTBI. There are, however, treatments to help the patients manage their lives. The patients are usually not able to articulate what their symptoms are. This is because secondary to TBI, they suffer confusion; they are tongue tied. Advances in medicine have confirmed that these patients have lifelong psychological and physiological problems in the brain. In view of the fact that the public does not have access to his medical profile, we can only safely guess that he is in the sub-acute stage of his TBI!

His look, his staring into space, his body language is what this profile is based upon. If he can walk around aided by staff and family, then has progressed to the sub-acute stage. Indeed, it does not mean that he is fit to resume the office of governor. That is a responsibility that his health condition cannot accommodate. New symptoms will present with time. Frontal lobe, temporal lobe syndrome are still very likely, Post-Traumatic headache; persistent post-concoction syndrome(PPCS) are still some of the possible signs that may still manifest in this man. Air accidents usually leave some survivors with severe closed diffuse axonal injury, which the governor likely suffered in view of his extended hospital stay. Symptomatology associated with that type of injury is what

Why not leave this man alone to address his health issues? The way it is, he is like a puppet on a string, manipulated by evil puppet masters. He needs to step aside and let the state move on. This flagrant and primitive manipulation of the clause on succession in the Constitution is troubling. Life must move on past any of us with time. We cannot continue to personalize public office. Public office is held in trust for the people, except in Nigeria. We obviously did not learn anything from the Yar’dua debacle. It is quite troubling and one of the reasons why we are trapped in mediocrity. The man still faces several years of clinical care. His priority should be his health and not some silly power play which as it is, he may not be aware of.

the governor is manifesting. He needs to rest and will be isolated from well wishers according to the spouse’s instruction; isolation from the crowd at the airport, is a sign of noise intolerance. Cognitive impairment, processing disorder, which will prevent him from taking questions from the press and definitely from his state house of assembly, blank stare, deer in the headlight look, ataxia (movement disorder) which was prevented by the 2 men who held him at the airport, stress disorder which was what was pleaded by his handlers for not speaking with the people who came out to welcome him. Speech disorder (fluent and or non-fluent) aphasia will prevent him from addressing his House of Assembly are present in this man. Why not leave this man alone to address his health issues? The way it is, he is like a puppet on a string, manipulated by evil puppet masters. He needs to step aside and let the state move on. This flagrant and primitive manipulation of the clause on succession in the Constitution is troubling. Life must move on past any of us with time. We cannot continue to personalize public office. Public office is held in trust for the people, except in Nigeria. We obviously did not learn anything from the Yar’dua debacle. It is quite troubling and one of the reasons why we are trapped in mediocrity. The man still faces several years of clinical care. His priority should be his health and not some silly power play which as it is, he may not be aware of. Mary Wilson is on linkedIn.

Ombatse: Disenfranchisement and violence in Middle Belt By Jacob Zenn


mid the ongoing trial of Kabiru Sokoto – the alleged Boko Haram mastermind of the Christmas Day and Abuja police headquarters bombings in 2011–other testimony relating to “Ombatse” has been largely overlooked. Ombatse means “Time has come” in the language of the Eggon people who inhabit Nasarawa and Benue states. Ombatse was reportedly formed as the result of a revelation received in the leader’s dream that called for male Eggons to “purify society and rid it of social evils such as promiscuity, adultery, crime, alcohol consumption, and smoking.” The government commission hearing the testimony on Ombatse learnt that over1,000 members of the Ombatse militia invaded Nasarawa villages where they killed dozens of Fulanis and members of other ethnic groups in late 2012, and 2013. Ombatse

members are also notorious for their role in the ambush of between thirty (according to the government) and ninety (according to Ombatse’s “chief priest”) Nigerian troops in April 2013, in Nasarawa–a higher death toll than any single Boko Haram attack on Nigerian troops. This ambush–indeed a massacre–has rarely made it to mainstream international media, possibly because of the

Nasarawa’s remoteness and the lack of a “jihadist” news angle (as with Boko Haram) or an oilrelated angle (as with MEND). The Ombatse spokesman explained the purpose of the movement in December 2012: “the invasion of the Europeans, Christianity, and the Islamic jihad changed the status quo. Our forefathers had their own way of worship… Now, what led to us to bring back this traditional

worship is the complaints we receive from our people about the evil and vices that have pervaded our society and our state. These things were not there according to what our fathers told us. The society used to be serene and orderly till the advent of the foreigners.” Boko Haram, as well as one of its ideological predecessors, Maitatsine, also has the “purification” notion in their

The ideological similarities between these disparate violent extremist groups may reflect the influence of pre-colonial belief systems and colonial-era experiences on present-day Nigerians. There is also a common belief that the federal government has not been able to provide sufficient services for people on the margins of society, and as is so often the case among disenfranchised populations, a return to the past is somehow seen as the solution to today’s ills.

ideologies. Boko Haram also has the notion that a return to the pre-colonial era–and restoration of Usmandan Fodio’s Caliphate–is necessary to restore the “dignity” of the Muslims of northern Nigeria. The ideological similarities between these disparate violent extremist groups may reflect the influence of pre-colonial belief systems and colonialera experiences on presentday Nigerians. There is also a common belief that the federal government has not been able to provide sufficient services for people on the margins of society, and as is so often the case among disenfranchised populations, a return to the past is somehow seen as the solution to today’s ills. Jacob Zenn, an analyst of African Affairs for the Washington D.C.-based think tank, The Jamestown Foundation, and a contributor to the West Point CTC Sentinel.




Grazing reserve bill: Confirmation of timidity and failure By Ike Nwobu


t was just before twilight, and the sun could be seen just awaking from its sleep as a huge red ball in the horizon. It could not have chosen a more perfect timing for such an awakening, just as the time of day was just on point for the slim, loosely robed men having pointed objects sticking out of their backs who had just surrounded the sleepy village. They took strategic and expert positions, and at an agreed signal, the stage was set for explosions, shootings, hacking with cutlasses, piercing with arrows, and finally burning, and in a matter of minutes, the small sprawling community in Agatu, Benue state had been levelled to lifelessness, and been denied the right to the day’s bustle and business. Unfortunately, this was to be the harbinger of many more clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers that would see it spread to many localities in states like Nasarawa, Kogi, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Edo, Delta, Plateau, Abia and Ebonyi, at the behest of disagreements bordering on indiscriminate grazing and destruction of their hard-tended and tilled cash crops. The incessant disagreements between the nomadic Fulani and not just farmers in remote villages of most parts of Nigeria is one that has been nagging and begging for a solution for the past decade or so. The skirmishes resulting from attacks and reprisals have been on a steady incline as time progressed,

leaving a summary the name of destruction of accenting to a life and economy bill, whereas and food, and the the practice Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, law enforcement adds little or text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written content of the nothing to the matter has economic life of contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters continually spread the state. The - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your unknowing and credibility of name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be helpless hands on the intentions addressed to: the matter, the of the bill is still situation spiralling in doubt, and out and out of that is apart The Editor, their control, from the fact Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, reach, process and that nomadic technique. The cattle rearing 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. initial symbiotic is one of the Email: relationship easiest covers SMS: 08134607052 between the to use to flood farmers and the the country nomads which with mischief thirty six states of the federation involved an exchange between makers, illegal immigrants and asking for land to establish cow dung for natural fertilization even terrorists. These are issues grazing portions for the nomadic of the soil, and weeds in form of that need to be summarily and fully herdsmen, in their reasoning, to grass to feed the cows suddenly addressed, before consideration can quell this spate of avoidable clashes broke down, without any trace of be given to it seeing the light of day. and loss of life. the identity of the aggressor, to The Fulani nomads need the All along there have been issues where we are now, and the colossal elite and a governmental support surrounding and underlying this losses borne and incurred as a and intervention. Their weakness issue that are yet to be resolved. It result. This is not also to mention should not control and govern us, is not without a doubt that there the population of displaced and instead, our strength should be whips up ethnic and religious distressed indigenes who have so deployed to organise, enhance and sentiments each time the news suffered as a result of the crisis. help them towards civilization and of the clashes and their exploits After the long wait, some modernization, instead of driving grab the headlines. That remains respite, or so it seems, would be us backward into wild life, culture one unanswered question, which on the way, as a bill attempting of failure and timidity, of course in fact is one that ought to be to address the issue by way of powered by our national corruption thoroughly investigated before any a grazing bill which sought to and wickedness index. consideration be holistically given establish a grazing route for the However, we must not lose to the exigencies of this bill. Already herdsmen, in fact establish a resistance and opposition is brewing sight of the fact that cows and National Grazing Routes and pastoral farming are the base from the South-Eastern part of Reserves Commission to demarcate the country, who cannot simply components of the dairy industry the areas specified for both grazing and of course an undeniable reconcile the rationale in ceding and farming. It was to approach the away precious land to nomads in source of food to most carnivores,


of which the nearly 180 million people of Nigeria are. As such, discourse concerning them ought to be given adequate consideration and attention. But the reason there still needs to be this unnecessary loss of life and limb from clashes of this nature, at this stage of our national life, speaks trebles of our level of developmental growth. The fact that somebody still needs to take a herd numbering nearly a hundred or more, all the trekking from Sokoto to Enugu in search of pasture, is appalling and does not depict a system that is organised totake advantage of the vast volume of trade and business potential in the agricultural sector. Like the title aptly states, the fact that we are still wrestling in opinion and principle whether a farmer needs to still engage in this kind of prehistoric cultivation of animals confirms the timidity and total collapse of a system meant to deliver quality revenue and receivables from the sector. The template of organisation, expertise and mechanisation that has made Israel, Netherlands, Denmark, United States, United Kingdom and Argentina what they are today agriculturally, is not hard to emulate and run; it requires simple political will and meagre investments. There is no talk of disagreement between fellow farmers over where to graze there; as a matter of fact some people have not actually seen a cow in their lifetime in the United States. Ike Willie Nwobu via

ASUU strike and FG’s beggar mentality By Stanley Kingsley


ince the latest episode of university lecturers’ strike hit the Nigerian airwaves about six weeks ago, the reverberations have not ceased to tickle our auditory nerves. The issues are simple. ASUU had an agreement with the federal government in 2009 which was not implemented. They secured anMoU with the federal government in 2010 through a strike. The MoU died no sooner than it was birthed. Now ASUU is up in arms demanding the implementation of the 2009 accord. The first reaction of the FG to this latest agitation backed with a strike was to say, ‘no, we are not aware of any such agreement since we lately came to power’! But following this, it has been instituted a series of ad hoc committees, first, to search for the agreement that had never left the dusty shelves of bureaucracy and, second, to work out a solution that was not found since 2009. This entire macabre dance has persisted because those ruling us may appear gentle but have not allowed their gentle actions to permeate their activities in government. Or else, how can we explain the drafting of politicians in the mould of Gabriel Suswan, the governor of Benue State, and Anyim Pius Anyim, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), to chair sensitive committees set up resolve the matter. But how can a prophet who has not earned honour at home seek to get

honour abroad? Don’t forget that medical students of the Benue State University have been organizing a series of protests and sit-ins to persuade and/or force the Suswan administration to cough out the needed funds to provide the medical equipment required by the Nigeria Universities Commission (NUC) to accredit the medical programme of the institution. Anyim? How did he fare as Senate President to have deserved the SSG portfolio in this government and become chair of a technical committee to proffer needed and urgent remedy to our decadent tertiary education sector? Much as we urge the lecturers to continue the struggle until their demands are met to engender a progressive university system in the country, they must be wary of the use of strikes as a weapon in future. Strikes in an education sector can be likened to a doubleedged which, apart from forcing the authorities to act, also stagnate, frustrate and demoralize students.

They paralyse the scholarly ascent of scholars. Students are human beings and therefore must not be treated like industrial goods. Society cannot afford to waste its material resources, but a society is doomed which wastes the time and energy of its youths, represented by students. The minister of education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’i Ahmed and the minister of state for education, NyesomWike have not helped matters. While Rufa’i Ahmed seems to be flowing along praying that this strike will roll by on its own accord, Wike is busy fighting his benefactor just to land the Rivers State PDP governorship slot for 2015. Again, our World Bank genius and minister of finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala would rather argue that the country is broke and as such government cannot meet the lecturers’ demands aimed at fixing the university system. Her policies have never been felt by the commoners in Nigeria, despite the fact that she enjoys

a heroic status in governmental quarters. She must realize that the developed countries where she was groomed were built up and managed by those who enjoyed free and compulsory education from the state. When former regimes paid scant attention to education, people said it was because the presidents were no graduates, but what about now that the president is a PhD holder. One of the most unanimous national facts is that the standard of education has been on a continuous plunge. And how can government say it cannot meet the demands of lecturers while its officials daily mystify the public with their ostentatious lifestyles. How on earth will a country that is broke spend N1billion on feeding at the presidential villa? Why will a country that is broke continue to maintain about 13 jets in her presidential fleet? Governor Suswam claimed that the issues that led to the strike had been substantially addressed

Much as we urge the lecturers to continue the struggle until their demands are met to engender a progressive university system in the country, they must be wary of the use of strikes as a weapon in future. Strikes in an education sector can be likened to a double-edged which, apart from forcing the authorities to act, also stagnate, frustrate and demoralize students. They paralyse the scholarly ascent of scholars.

with the release of N30billion for immediate release to the universities to enable them pay their staff the earned allowance while another N100billion would go to address the gross deficit in critical infrastructure in the 61 federal and state universities. What Suswan failed to give is a definite timeline for the release of the funds. One wonders if Suswan is not taking education back to pre-2009 promises before the agreement in question was signed. The question is: When will Suswam’s committee submit its spreadsheet of projects to Mr. President? When will Mr. President set up a committee to study the spreadsheet and make recommendations? When will the White Paper of the new committee to be constituted by Mr. President be approved by the Federal Executive Council? When will Mr. President sign the amended White Paper and direct the minister of finance who thinks the government is broke to release the funds? From the way governance is run here, I think this is another journey to nowhere. However, ASUU was quick to reject the merry-go-round exercise, accusing government. The ASUU has accused the federal government of not being genuinely committed to revitalizing public universities through adequate funding and that it was exhibiting a ‘take it or leave it’ and ‘grab-thecrumbs or starve to death’ mentality. Stanley Kingsley wrote in from Lagos.



Comment …What is the problem with ASUU? By Ayodeji Sunday


s an undergraduate, having experienced firsthand the rot that pervades our universities, I became a keen sympathizer with the cause of the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU). I believe that university teachers have the right to good working conditions. Education can only be effective in an environment where we have the right infrastructure, proper funding and necessary motivation for teachers and students alike. And, as far as I was concerned, that’s what ASUU has been fighting for. So, I would usually go any length to stand by their position. However, considering the situations surrounding the current strike, I am beginning to think otherwise. ASUU seems to be changing to a sort of academic oligarchy in which a few people determine the course of the association in a bid to pursue

some sinister interest. Why else would the supposed intellectuals remain adamant in spite of concessions by the government and entreaties from the citizens? Apparently, the desire for personal rewards is paramount in the hearts of the dons as against the commitment to fulfil their roles as nation builders that they are supposed to be. When the Federal Government approved the sum of 100 billion naira for infrastructural facilities

and 30 billion naira for allowances last week, everyone was almost certain that ASUU would call off the strike. But as far as the almighty association is concerned, that might as well be a daydream. Neither the government’s concession nor their students’ plight is enough to make them do what is right. From the way things are, it appears that ASUU wouldn’t mind shutting down the entire economy if only to satisfy their requirements.

Taking a comprehensive assessment of the situation, one even begins to wonder if ASUU’s requests are legitimate in the first place. What do the lecturers have to show for the interventions that have been made in previous times? How has increase in allowances contributed to the improvement of teaching and research in our ivory towers? Rather than being inspired to greater heights of commitment, a good number of our lecturers

Taking a comprehensive assessment of the situation, one even begins to wonder if ASUU’s requests are legitimate in the first place. What do the lecturers have to show for the interventions that have been made in previous times? How has increase in allowances contributed to the improvement of teaching and research in our ivory towers? Rather than being inspired to greater heights of commitment, a good number of our lecturers have plunged to greater depths of indolence and even shameless exploitation.

Egypt, Syria and the West By Charles Onunaiju


n August 14th, the military backed regime in Egypt made good of its earlier threat to clear away members and supporters of the ousted former president Mohammed Mursi, who won the country’s first ever competitive election last year on the ticket of the justice and development party, the political platform of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood which was not even the key political actor in the revolutionary storms of 2011 that swept away the Hosni Mubarak dictatorship emerged the prime political force in the electoral process following the successful revolution for its famed organizational skill and discipline. However, its rule of barely a year, when it hurriedly pushed through constitutional amendment and neglected economic reconstruction and social inclusion, purportedly drew over 30 million signatures, asking it to resign while over 2 million reportedly took to the streets urging the army to kick out the regime. On July 3rd, the military obliged the anti-president Mursi demonstrators and ousted the Brotherhood regime, claiming it has acted in compliance to express national will. The brothers and their supporters mounted street protests and built sit-in, in major cities including Cairo. When the police backed by the army with heavy equipment confronted the protesters, over 500 were killed including about 42 policemen captured by the Muslim brothers armed militants and executed

them. The West in its typical equivocation on anything about Egypt has muted outrage at the heavy-handed dispersal of demonstrators and the attendant bloodshed. Washington has cancelled joint military exercise and said that it would withhold aid. Meanwhile the West, gulf allies and Saudi Arabia have handed the military-backed regime in Cairo about 12 billion U.S dollars that would make any Western cash freeze, insignificant to Cairo. Back in March 2011, when protestors challenged the Baath Party regime in Syria on political reforms following the Arab spring that was then in full swing, the West claimed that president Bashar Al-Assad cracked down heavily and violently on the protesters. Even with no deaths reported of the alleged ‘heavy crackdown’ and the regime making decisive concession on political reforms, an armed insurgency of assorted extremist groups were organized and lavishly funded by the Gulf states, especially the bellicose and tiny Qatar along with Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the West to foment civil war and effect a regime change in Damascus. The free Syrian Army, the so called armed wing of the opposition, a rump of defectors from the Syrian military lured by money and ambition puts up a show of battle, while the fighting forces are the assortment of extremist transnational jihadists, ferried in through Turkey. . Even with the generous cash hand-out to the rebels by the Gulf states, Saudi Arab Turkey and the West, the war was hardly going the way, it was presumed.

Even with lethal weapons freely made available to the rebels, their serial defeat by the Syrian military especially in the battle of Qauysir, the strategic border city and their routing from their Aleppo strongholds means that heavy weapon and huge cash thrown at the rebels by their sponsors are hardly changing the balance of force in the battle field, where the Syrian Army has overwhelming edge. Against the background of the increasing battle-field misfortune of the rebels, the new way to draw the West and in which Washington has been scheming to get itself militarily involved in the Syrian conflict is the alleged use of chemical weapon by the Syrian government. However, Mrs. Carla del Ponte, former prosecutor at the International Criminal Court at the Hague, who under the UN auspicious has travelled to the site of the alleged use of the chemical weapon in March, squarely put the blame on the rebels. But this is not what Washington and Brussels want to hear, so they arm-twisted and cajoled the United Nations to send another mission. Even before the mission could arrive, another chemical weapon use was administered in the suburbs of Damascus, the capital on 21 August. Of course, president Barack Obama had earlier said that any use of chemical weapon would be a game-changer in the conflict, which is, a barely disguised euphemism that, it would draw in western military response. The first question to ask even before delving into the technical detail of who have the ability to deliver the deadly weapon is, who

benefits from the escalation of the conflict and who would benefit from the internationalization of the conflict, which in strict sense means western military intervention. If the use of chemical weapons is the red line for gamechanging intervention of the West, then between the Syrian governmentand the rebels, who is more desperate to draw the red line. The West’s latest pretence of blaming the Syrian government for using weapons that will kill more civilian population than the armed insurgents in a war, the government is clearly winning, might lead the West to undertake one of its numerous military adventures but Syria like Afghanistan, Iraq and even Libya would not become a quite colony, even if the rebels are triumphantly escorted to Damascus to take charge. It is evidently far from any genuine concern for the ordinary Syrians, or their political rights to democratic choice that autocratic and corrupt regimes in the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia run by one family in each of them, could coalesce with Turkey and the West to destroy one, of most Arab pivotal and historic States, known previously for tolerance, stability and moderation.While the West open sabotage of regimes that do not take order from Washington and Brussels are well known, Turkey whose ambitious leadership got soaked in Syria against its well-publicized foreign policy of “zero-problems” with neighbours might actually being obsessed with the nostalgia of the formerly encompassing but defunct ottoman empire. For the

have plunged to greater depths of indolence and even shameless exploitation. I was shocked when during my NYSC year, some of my fellow corps members narrated their ordeals of how they were obligated to buy certain handouts without which their failure was guaranteed regardless of how well they performed in the examinations. Others had to buy expensive gifts like car tyres, refrigerators/ freezers and other items just to persuade their supervisors to ratify their final year thesis. Yet, these are the same people holding everyone to ransom over allegations of unpaid allowances. It is high time ASUU reconsidered its position and made necessary concessions whilst also calling her members to order in a bid to restore our universities to the bastions of academic excellence that they are supposed to be. Ayodeji Sunday, a writer and public affairs analyst, wrote in from Lagos, Nigeria. family run dictatorships in the Gulf States and Saudi-Arabia, they dread anything that smell like republicanism in the region and some have ancient malice to settle with the fiercely republican and socialist Baath regime in Damascus. However, to think that Syria would fall like mango fruit, without repercussion in the region, is naïve. Already, Syria’s tiny neighbour, Lebanon, has been soaked-in and rival bomb attacks that killed several scores is clearly indication of the bleak prospect that the region faces. Russia and China, two key voices in the administration of international legality over the Syrian conflict have clearly made known that regime change whether in Syria or anywhere else that is enforced through international military intervention would only result in the breakdown of international norms of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of state. On Syria, the two permanent members of the security council of UN have maintained a principled stand that the international community can only act to facilitate the political process for settlement and not to militarily intervene to effect a regime. For this principled stance, Russia and China has been variously pummeled and pilloried by the Western media for backing the Syria government. However, both Moscow and Beijing need to maintain vigilance that whatever “game-changing” shenanigans, that West and its allies in the region have up their sleeves must be sufficiently balanced off with “game-stabilizer’ that does not tip the balance of our collective international existence in favour of unbridled brigandage. Charles Onunaiju is a journalist based in Abuja.




FCTA to develop emergency response to disaster By Adeola Tukuru


n its aim to effectively respond to natural disaster in the territory, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration has began development of its emergency preparedness plan. The Administration said the agency will be strategic to coordinating activities relating to disaster management by harnessing various skills and capacity of stakeholders. Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory Administration Engr. John Obinna Chukwu said this yesterday while declaring opening a 2-day UNICEFFCT Emergency Management Stakeholders Orientation Programme titled: “Emergency Planning and Procedures” holding in Kaduna. Chukwu who noted that emergency management requires humanitarian and multidisciplinary endeavour, stressed that all concerned must work concertedly and in cooperative manner. The Permanent secretary of the FCTA was represented by the Director General FCT Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Idris Abbas. G. He said synergy was utmost from all stakeholders provide effective response to emergencies which though not prayed for but have remained inevitable some cases. He called on all the stakeholders to engage in constant communication and note sharing to help them be on the same page to respond to emergencies. “Let me restate as you already know that Emergency Management is a humanitarian and multidisciplinary endeavour where all concerned must work in a concerted and cooperative manner “In this regard, I want to seize this opportunity to recommend constant interaction, open and free communication/access and regular note-sharing among the leaders and officers of the respective Emergencyrelated Agencies in the Federal Capital Territory,” Chukwu stated. On his part, the Director General of the agency said the workshop will enable FEMA have a contingency document for timely and effective response to emergencies and disaster where it occur. He also said one of the major benefit of the programme would be to help the respective actors in emergency response to identify and play thier roles to minimize impacts as it will reduce conflict among them.

Scavengers looking for valuable items in a refuse dump, yesterday at Lugbe, Abuja.

Photo: Joe Oroye

Headmaster says education promotes moral values in children


he Headmaster, DeoGratias International School, Gwarinpa, Abuja, Mr Akindiose Wande, has said education helped in promoting moral values in children.

Wande disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. He stressed that good upbringing was necessary to let the future generations embrace

good moral values and culture of the society. ``The work of the school is to lead the young ones into the values and culture, as well as their way of understanding the

A truck pusher out for business, yesterday in Mararaba, Nasarawa state.

Photo: Mahmud Isa

behaviours and attitudes within their society. ``So that the child is able to find his or her place in the society,’’ he said. The headmaster advocated for greater attention to experiences, values, behaviours, skills and traditions transmitted from one generation to another. He said culture reflected in individual relationship to one another and organised the society, noting, ‘it relates to what festivals and celebrations we have and how we enjoy them. ``Children should be introduced into culture, for them to understand their society, make use of it and contribute to the development of it,’’ he added. He advised children to learn to study and understand their society, know their roles as members and as chains in the historical development of the society. Wande urged Nigerian children to uphold the country’s cultural values for the promotion of national unity. (NAN)

Soap opera, ‘Guzama,’ debuts in Abuja By Stanley Onyekwere


s part of efforts to encourage and showcase young talents in Nollywood, the Guild Entertainment, a Jos based entertainment outfit, has unveiled a block buster epic soap opera titled ‘Guzama’ in Abuja. Speaking at the event which held in Abuja, the producer, Nancy Yeljip, explained that soap opera, portrays

an evil forest where a healing plant can be found by a loved one and it also parades young and talented upcoming artists, who are determined to take the stage in the near future. Yeljip, who noted that, it is important that the industry continues to groom talented young talents who have the passion for acting, however added that the entertainment outfit parades talents who are willing to take over from the likes of Genevive

Nnaji, Omotola Jalada Ekehinde, Uche Jumbo, Jim Iyke and Emeka Ike amongst others. Similarly, the Director of the soap, Sydney Peace more, said it was obvious that there are little or no epic soap operas, which was why the Guild came up with Guzama, ‘not only to break this jinx, but to also unveil those who will take over from those who have dominated the industry for several years.’

She noted that the characters in the soap was well displayed by the team of properly selected casts, which make Guzama a must watch, as they portrayed another innovative style of acting and movie production in Africa. Peoples Daily reports that a regular face in the Nollywood, Tony Goodman, who is supporting the production team, admitted he was amazed when he encountered

the team and their works which prompted him to invite them to Abuja for a premiere; adding that he is convinced that the group will go places judging by what they have achieved with little or nothing. One of the characters, Mac Andy Odey, who played the role of the King of the Kingdom w here the evil forest is set in Abuja, said the soap which he described as a block buster has further deepen his acting skills.



FCT minister urges more capacity building for youth


CT Minister, Bala Mohammed has expressed the need to adequately build the capacity of Nigerian youths to make them proactive. Mohammed stated this when he led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Youth Vanguard on a solidarity visit to the national chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. The minister, who is the grand patron of the group, said building youth capacity had become necessary, adding that such effort would ensure that they were engaged in productive ventures. ``We need more capacities to be built, all the appointed and elected PDP executives are under you; we want you to tell them that these youths need some support,’’ he said. This he said would ensure the youth contributed more positively to the growth and development of the country. According to him, the positive engagement of youths will prevent their being used by some politicians to unleash terror as is presently being experienced in some parts of the country. He commended the Federal Government for taking steps to empower youths through government’s Sure-P programme. The group also passed a vote of confidence on Tukur. Earlier, Mr Beke Apere, national coordinator of the vanguard, said the youth were the engine room of the party. He gave the assurance that the group would work hard to ensure victory for the party in the 2015 general elections. Responding, Tukur thanked the youth for the solidarity and charged them to be strong, transparent, and resolute, as well as always work for peace in the country. The chairman said the group’s visit was an indication that the country had future political successors. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the vanguard is an organ of the party spread across the federation. (NAN)

Houses submerged by flood after a heavy down pour in high density waterlogged area of Kabayi, in Mararaba, on Tuesday. Photo sent by a resident, Agaba G. Adeka

FCT minister orders investigation of collapsed building By Adeola Tukuru


CT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed has ordered thorough integrity and forensic tests of the storey building which newly cast concrete slab crumbled Tuesday killing two workers and injuring one other following that day’s torrential rain. He spoke yesterday during an on-the-spot inspection of the site also directed that the entire building be sealed off to pave way for an unfettered

investigation. In press statement issued by the Special Adviser of Media to the minister, Nosike Ogbuenyi, he said the minister frowned at the tragic incident and commiserated with the families of the victims. He directed the company, Metropole Development Limited, to ensure that the injured worker was given adequate medical treatment and to liaise effectively with the families of the two deceased workers for the settlement of their entitlements.

The minister ordered the FCTA Director of Development Control, Mr. Yahaya Yusuf to involve the Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria (COREN) and the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) in carrying out proper forensic tests on the building. Addressing the Minister, the General Manager of the Company, Mr. Jonathan Suki said the incident is highly regrettable because the company prides itself with a very high safety record and reputation for

compliance with high quality workmanship. He said the tragic incident was the first in the company’s 14-years experience in the construction industry. He assured the Minister that the Management of the company has since consoled with the bereaved families of our workers and already extended preliminary assistance including medical treatment to one other that sustained slight injury. The two dead workers hailed from Kaduna and Nasarawa states respectively.

Board to boost water access in FCT T he FCT Water Board yesterday assured residents that its additional water transfer project from Gurara Dam and installation of new treatment plants will boost water access in the territory. A principal officer in the Planning, Research and Statistics Department of the board, Mr Kehinde Fabikun gave the assurance in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. Fabikun said that although the Lower Usuma Dam was the main source of the board’s supply, water would also be transferred

from Gurara Dam to augment water supply in territory. He also said that the new treatment plants built at the Lower Usuma Dam would boost supply when fully functional. “Formally, we had water treatment plants that we were using before but because of the increase in population, now we have increased the distribution of water even more than before. “We have built another treatment plant which is expected to be commissioned any moment from now; that one was built in Lower Usuma Dam. “We had one there before and

we built another two to make our output to become more than it used to be before. “At the same time, formally we were depending on Lower Usuma Dam to get water across to people but now, there is the Gurara Water Project which we have done. “So, water will come straight from Gurara as well as our dam; the purification and other things, the whole process will be taken care of over there. “The increase of water to Abuja as well as the area councils like Gwagwalada will increase; I know that by the time we open

that one, every household in Abuja will have excess water. “The Gurara, we have finished the access of the water system to Abuja but before everything will function the way we are expecting, it’s after the commissioning of the new treatment plant. “After doing that, I’m quite sure that every household in Abuja will have water; even now our services have improved compared to the previous years.” NAN reports that under the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, effective dam water transfers and linkages of raw water to towns have been

achieved. They include the transfer of water from Gurara Dam to Lower Usuma Dam to the tune of over 100 million cubic litres, to augment water supply in the FCT. Also, raw water supply from Alau Dam to Maiduguri Metropolis, Goronyo Dam to Sokoto; Oyan Dam to Lagos and Abeokuta. Others are water transfer from Ikere Gorge Dam to Iseyin Town in Oyo State, Dadin-Kowa Dam to Gombe, Tiga and Challawa Dams to Kano Metropolis, and Owiwi Dam to Abeokuta Metropolis. (NAN)




Hair stylist in court for alleged assault


he police has arraigned Nkechi Eze, 21, a hair stylist, of Aso, Mararaba, before a Grade 1 Area Court, Aso Pada, Mararaba for alleged criminal intimidation and assault. The police prosecutor, Cpl. Inuwa Maigida, told the court that the case was reported on Aug. 4 at the ‘A’ Division Police Station, Mararaba by Rita Chinawa of Tudun Wada, Mararaba. Maigida said on the same date, Chinawa went to Eze’s parents at Aso to report a bone of contention between their daughter and herself to them. ``The accused also threatened to physically deal with Chinawa,” Maigida said. ``Eze, without provocation used criminal force and assaulted her.’’ The prosecutor said the offences contravened the provisions of sections 397 and 265 of the Penal Code. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the accused can spend up to 10 years in prison if convicted. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. The presiding judge, Albert Maga, granted the accused bail in the sum of N150,000 and a surety in like sum. Maga ordered that the surety must be reasonable, hold a traditional title, possess landed property and reside within the jurisdiction of the court. He said the surety should write an undertaking, promising that the accused would not commit similar offence and adjourned the case to Sept. 9, 2013 for hearing. (NAN)

Labourer, 26, arraigned for stealing sim card


hristopher Musa, a 26-year-old labourer, was arraigned before a Wuse Zone 2 Senior Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing a ``GSM Sim’’ card belonging to Ibrahim Guruwa. Musa, who resides at Mabushi, by Hill Crest Estate, Abuja, is standing trial on one count of theft. The police prosecutor, Sgt. Abdullahi Alhasan, said Guruwa, who also resides at Mabushi, reported the case at Mabushi Police Station, Abuja, on Aug. 21. Alhasan said Guruwa’s bag containing N70, 000, and a techno cell phone was stolen by an unknown person(s) sometime in July during the Ramadan period. The prosecutor said sim card was found in Musa’s possession three days after it was stolen. Alhasan also said the accused confessed to committing the crime during investigation but claimed he found the said card on the ground. In his ruling, the magistrate, Mr Aminu Eri, granted the accused bail in the sum of N50, 000 with a surety in like sum. Eri said the surety must reside within the jurisdiction of the court and adjourned the case to Sept. 5, 2013 for hearing. (NAN)

L-R: Deputy Director, Operations, FCT Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Abdulraheem Muhammed, members of the Board, Alhaji Musa Olaofe, and Sheikh Tajudeen Mohammed Bello, during meeting of members of the 2013 Hajj Team, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Fake army officer docked for allegedly swindling job seekers A n alleged fake army officer, Ochochi Inalegun, have appeared before a Karu Chief Magistrates Court in the FCT and charged with defrauding nine military job seekers of N998, 000. Inalegun, 33, who pleaded not guilty, was arraigned on a five-count charge of impersonation and unlawful possession of fake documents. He was accused of cheating his victims in March 2012 under the pretence of an army officer with connection to give them jobs in the Nigerian Army and Civil Defence Corps.

Prosecutor Bulus Samuel told the court that the accused had paraded himself in full army camouflage and swindled the ``desperate job seekers’’ before his arrest. Samuel alleged that after the victims waited for months without getting the appointment letters as agreed; they reported the case at the police station. He said that the accused person was arrested and 77 copies of certificates belonging to other victims were found in his house following a search. The prosecutor said that 50 copies

of passport photographs and N60, 000 were also recovered from the accused person. Samuel said that during interrogation, Inalegun confessed to the alleged crime. ``The accused confessed that he was doing the business with a naval commander, whom he identified, as Osita Young. ``He told police interrogators that he gave Osita and one Jonah, a lieutenant, the sums of N280,000 and N180,000, respectively to start the job process before he was caught. The offences contravened

Sections 97, 312, 322 and 132 of the Penal Code and if convicted the accused person would serve 13 years in prison with an option of fine or both. Chief Magistrate Hadiza Dodo granted him bail in the sum of N1 million and a reliable surety who must be a Federal civil Servant not below grade level 12. Dodo ruled that the surety must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court and his addresses verified by the prosecutor. He adjourned the case to Sept.18,2013 for hearing. (NAN)

Theft: Court strikes out suit for want of diligent prosecution


n Abuja Magistrate Court yesterday struck out a case of housebreaking and theft for want of diligent prosecution, and discharged the accused, Sunday Elisha. The magistrate, Mrs Rosemary Kanyip, said the absence of the nominal complainant in court after several adjournments indicated that he was not ready to continue with the case. She said it was not fair to continue to keep the accused in prison when the complainant, who was supposed to be

the first prosecution witness, had not appeared in court since the case was mentioned on June 6. ``From the records of this court, the accused was granted bail on June 6, but could not perfect his bail conditions. ``From what the prosecutor just said, it is obvious that the nominal complainant is not interested in the case. ``In view of the above, the application of the counsel to the accused is hereby granted, the accused

is discharged for want of diligent prosecution,’’ Kanyip said. The prosecutor, PC Arziki Kaura, had earlier complained to the court that he was not able to locate the complainant, Mr Bashir Sambo. Kaura said Sambo had travelled abroad, and urged the court to exercise its discretion in the case. The counsel to the accused, Miss Eguasi Cynthia, from the Legal Aid Council, had applied for the case to be struck out, saying the nominal complainant had abandoned the suit.

Elisha was arraigned on June 6 for allegedly colluding with another accused, now at large, to commit the offences. The prosecutor said the accused trespassed into Sambo’s house in Dambata, Abuja, and stole an HP mini lap top computer, a Compaq computer and other items, all valued at N216,000. He said the offences contravened sections 80, 346 and 288 of the Penal Code. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. (NAN)

Student convicted for obstructing traffic, assaulting public servants


n Abuja Senior Magistrates’ Court have sentence sentenced Emeka Godwin of Tudun-wada Village to six months in prison for obstructing traffic and assaulting some police officers. The magistrate, Mr

Mohammed Anka, however gave the convict an option of paying a N3,000 fine. Anka said the sentence would serve as a deterrent to other offenders with similar intention. The convict, while pleading guilty to the two-count charge,

begged the court for leniency and promised not to repeat such act. Earlier, the police prosecutor, Cpl. Victor Ojong, said a team of police detectives from Lugbe Police Station had on Aug 14 arrested Godwin while he was obstructing traffic.

Ojong said Godwin, who claimed to be a 24-year-old student, had resisted being arrested by the officers and engaged them in a fight. He added that the offence contravened sections 148 and 246 of the Penal Code. (NAN)




Cooperative societies to tap into N200bn micro funds – SA, 08033045613

- Pg 22

Aganga decries importation of pre-paid meters

- Pg 20

L-R: Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yarima Ngama, Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, and Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, jointly briefing journalists on the Federal Executive Council (FEC) decision on the state of the nation’s economy, yesterday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo:JoeOroye

FG seeks advisers for $100m Diaspora bond By Abdulwahab Isa


he Federal Government is looking for an international bank and a local lender to act as financial advisers for a $100 million diaspora bond to be issued by the end of the year, the Debt Management Office said yesterday.

The advisers will coordinate investor road shows and support the bond’s registration with U.S. and British authorities, the DMO said. The DMO expects to offer a coupon of around 350 basis points above the five-year U.S. treasury bond for the bond, which will have a

5-year tenor. Nigeria is the world’s fifthbiggest destination for international remittances after China, India, the Philippines and Mexico, with 5 million Nigerians living abroad sending money back to relatives, according to Western Union.

Customs boss threatens to shut down APMT over poor working conditions

From Dapo Olalekan Lagos


equel to complains in respect to container scanning and positioning, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Alhaji Dikko Inde Abdullahi has threatened to close down the APMT terminal in Apapa, Lagos. Dikko issued the threat Tuesday in Lagos at an interactive forum with freight forwarders on the provisions of the newly introduced customs portal; The Nigerian Trade Hub. Dikko was reacting to complains by freight forwarders on the poor working conditions at the APMT terminal scanning site which has not be tarred even after seven years of concession. Other complains by stakeholders centered on delays experienced in positioning of containers for scanning. Visibly enraged CG lambasted the terminal operators for disobeying directives issued

...Says ‘I remain the CG of Customs’ to it by different Ministers of the Federal Republic who had visited the terminal. He said that if a better atmosphere is not provided at the terminal for agents and customs officers, he will use his powers to close down the terminal. “I will close down the terminal until the condition that custom officers can operate properly is met” “Many ministers have come here and they report this issue, but I will show them the power of customs” Dikko charged the freight forwarders to use their importers to resist the APMT by diverting cargoes meant for the terminal to other terminals. “This issue of APMT, I have said it times without numbers, we allowed them to be doing what they do in Nigeria, and they cannot go any other country and

operate the way they operate here” “It is only when you give them work that they can operate, if you don’t bring containers they cannot operate, tell your importers to desert them, they are not the only people carrying containers. The last time I visited Ports and Cargo, it is owned by a Nigerian but look at the equipment they deployed there, but APMT is packing your money and building another country, we should hold them responsible”, he said. Freight forwarders took turns to speak at the meeting and they expressed happiness with the bold steps promised by the CGC, as according to them ; all complains given over the years have been falling on deaf ears. Reacting to the recent reports about the expiration of his tenure in office, Dikko reiterated that he still remains the Comptroller General of Customs.

Nigeria is increasing the amount it borrows overseas to around 40 percent of all debt over the next three to five years, from 12 percent, seeking lower funding costs. Nigeria issued a $1 billion Eurobond last month and plans to raise an additional 80 billion naira ($505 mln) in global depository notes this year. Bids for the diaspora bond adviser role are due on Sept. 26. Citibank and Deutsche Bank DE> acted as advisers on the Eurobond, which was four times oversubscribed. Nigeria received $10 billion in remittances from citizens living abroad last year, out of $40 billion sent back into the continent in total, Western Union Co said in June.

NPA boss endorses Kano Trade Fair, seeks support - Pg 20 Exchange Rates CBN

as at 28th August, 2013 Buying



















MANAGEMENT TIP OF THE DAY Refuse to participate in a cut-throat environment


t’s demoralizing to have a boss who pits you against your colleagues. Don’t give in to this dynamic. Instead, collaborate with coworkers to find your own ways of working together that don’t ratchet up the competition. Tell your boss how you feel about the situation, but be diplomatic and constructive. If he thinks you’re complaining, he won’t take your concerns seriously. Discuss it with your colleague(s) first and then

meet with your boss, perhaps together. Say you’d like to stop vying for the spotlight, because it’s distracting you from doing your best work. Ask if he can avoid putting you in competitive situations (and give a few examples, in case she’s not tuned in to her own behavior) so you can both be more productive—to the benefit of all. Source: Harvard Business Review



Industry Aganga decries importation of Pre-paid meters Company News

AFC arranges Transcorp’s $215m Ughelli power plant acquisition


he Africa Finance Corporation in conjunction with the United Bank for Africa Plc, First City Monument Bank Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc has provided a $215m debt financing facility for the acquisition of Ughelli Power Plc. The aggregate commitment of AFC for the acquisition is $55m, according to a statement made available on Tuesday. Nigeria commenced restructuring and reform of its electricity sector in 2000 with the issuance of the National Electric Power Policy to unbundle the sector and establish a regulator, with a mandate to create and develop a competitive electricity market.

Power: FG signs N78bn MoU with Chinese firm


he Federal Government on Tuesday signed a N78bn ($500m) Memorandum of Understanding with the Xian Electric Engineering Company Limited of China for the execution of transmission projects in the power sector. The N78bn, a loan obtained from the China Exim Bank, will be used for the construction of power transmission infrastructure across the country. The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said the loan was negotiated by the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala when President Goodluck Jonathan visited China recently.

New workers’ payroll system saves FG N120bn


he Federal Government has saved a total of N120bn on personnel cost between 2007 and now through the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System. The Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla, said this on Tuesday in Abuja while making a presentation on the Peer Review Mechanism during the visit of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and the Peer Review Team of Permanent Secretaries to his office. The AGF noted that the IPPIS had also led to the streamlining of personnel process and payroll thus eliminating the incidence of ‘ghost’ workers.

Stories by Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


ith dearth electricity metering system becoming a big issue in the country, Minister for Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga, has called for a revamp of the power sector, which would enable local manufacturers of prepaid meters get a return for their investment and also ensure that Nigeria becomes self-sufficient in the manufacturing of pre-paid meters. Aganga offered the suggestion recently in Ogun State during a factory tour of Memmco Nigeria Limited, an indigenous firm that manufactured pre-paid meters pointed out that no country can transform its industrial sector if it relies solely on importation. The Minister harped on opportunities in the power sector noting that investors are sure to get a return for their money because of the uniqueness of the sector. “This government is geared

Aganga Olusegun towards revolution and the transformation of the industrial sector is in line with the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan. There is need for us to develop our local content policies or else the plan to create more jobs would be defeated. This is a collective responsibility by the government and the private sector

in order to ensure that Nigeria becomes a haven for investment.” The Chief Executive Officer of Memmco Engineer Kola Balogun however expressed dismay that ever since the company went into the production of prepaid meters, they have not received enough support from the government. He further pointed out that

he decided to go into the venture with a vision to build a brand that would be recognized globally. “We have not received enough support from the government sector. Why should we import when there is a company that produces pre-paid meters here in Nigeria.? We understand that the market is there, but the level of patronage has been discouragingly low. We need about 50% of the market to break even.” Balogun noted that so far, the project has gulped N8 billion and has been able to create 45 steady sources of employment. “We solicit government support and the necessary patronage,” he said. The “We have not received enough support from the government sector. Why should we import when there is a company that produces pre-paid meters here in Nigeria? We understand that the market is there, but the level of patronage has been discouragingly low. We need about 50 per cent of the market to break even,” he said.

NPA boss endorses Kano Trade Fair, seeks support


he Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Malam Habib Abdullahi, has endorsed the Kano Trade Fair, organized by the Kano Chamber of Commerce and Industry, calling on all Northern states to support and ensure full participation in the fair. Speaking when he received an Award for Excellence from the Kano Chamber of Commerce, executive members in Lagos, he said the annual Kano Trade Fair should serve as a mobilizing forum for all the Northern states. He said that the fair was an effective avenue for the Northern states to showcase their

potentials and attract investors to their states in various spheres of business endeavours. He noted that the organisers of the fair should impress on participants to change their orientation of participation from exhibition to displaying their potentials, so as to attract investors. He further stated that the authority would not only ensure the full participation in the 34th edition of the fair this year as a corporate partner, but would also support the organisation of the fair to ensure its overall success. While commending the level of the organisation of the previous fairs hosted by the

Chamber, Malam Abdullahi urged the organisers to strive to maintain the standard, so as to achieve the desired result. Abdullahi also applauded the plan by the Chamber to introduce innovations that were aimed at accommodating the changes in the national and world economy, noting that the Authority would also partner with the Chamber by recommending and sending resource persons from the organisations that would facilitate the commerce week to be held during the trade fair. Malam Abdullahi equally challenged Chambers of Commerce in other landlocked areas to emulate what the Kano

Chamber of Commerce was doing so that the whole economy would experience the desired growth. Earlier, the president of the Kano Chamber of Commerce, Alhaji Farouk Rabiu, had told the managing director that the Chamber was pleased with the participation of the Authority in previous fairs hosted by the Chamber. He said innovations which the Chamber had introduced to the forthcoming edition of Kano Trade Fair that the innovations were expected to expose participants to new business opportunities through training, seminars and workshops on commerce and investments.

food fair aimed at promoting the development and diversification of Nigeria’s export trade; assisting in promoting the development of export-oriented industries in Nigeria; provide technical assistance to local exporters in such areas as export procedure and documentation, transportation, financing, marketing techniques, quality control, export packaging, costing and pricing, publicity and in other similar areas.” While urging Nigerians to patronise locally made products, Obidike advised manufacturers to get accustomed with export market requirements. “Apart from exposing the exporters to opportunities in the Japanese markets, Nigeria is yet to maximize exports across countries of the globe. It is also important to develop exportation of valueadded products to other countries and boost earnings from non-oil exports,” she added. Also NEPC Board Chairperson, Mrs Grace Clark

at the just concluded Institute of Food Technologists, (IFT 13 – Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) Food Labeling and Food Expo, which was held in Chicago, Illinois, United States of Africa (USA), said the Council will organise a series of step-down trainings on quality and packaging for export. Mrs Clark, who led a delegation of some Nigerian exporters to the event which drew over 1, 150 exhibitors, said Nigeria’s participation was borne out of the need to expose our SMEs in the food produce sector to modern trends and technology involved in the export of food to the United States market, given the global concern on food safety. She pointed out that the training programme and food expo provided a veritable platform for quickening the acceptability of Nigerian food exports to the global market which presently is valued at about $4.2 trillion. Mrs Clark observed that given the

Nigerian population, the market had a tremendous potential for partnership with the United States firms in food processing, handling and distribution. “It is in fulfillment of President’s Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda to diversify the economy from oil to non-oil that the Council facilitated the participation of some Nigerian SMEs to the capacity building programme and expo”, she added. The Chairperson also commended the efforts of the Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, David I. Adulugba Esq. at ensuring manpower development in the Council. She expressed the Board’s confidence in Mr Adulugba’s effort and hoped that the laudable export development programmes initiated under his leadership would continue to boost export trade. The event was organised in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture/Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA/FAS).

NEPC partners Japan, US on training


he Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has partnered the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) to train Nigerian manufacturers on the importance of product and business profiling. NEPC and JETRO in a workshop organised to strengthen their ties in Lagos, explained that profiling enhances the acceptance of product and its producer in the market. Acting Zonal Coordinator, NEPC, Lagos, Mrs Evelyn Obidike noted that it was important for exporters to brand their products to meet international standards. “We observed that some of our exporters still don’t understand the importance of creating profile for their products and market especially to Japan. This is why we have brought experts from Japan to explain what is needed to meet Japan and other international markets, she said.” “We also have a trade exhibition, otherwise known as




Exploring printing and publishing industry for self–sustenance

Donnatus Okoye From Hauwa Anaja, Abuja


mall businesses in Nigeria have continued to employ millions of youths as the need for employment increases. The case is not different with Mr Donnatus Okoye, who after graduating from Federal University of Technology Owerri with a degree in petroleum engineering, decided to explore the opportunities printing and publishing offered. “I’ve been doing this business since my university days in 2005/2006. When I was in school, due to sponsorship problems, I decided to get the printing jobs of a few school associations, so when we want to print small calendars, jotters, brochures and so on for new students, I get the job and do it. “Also, when a new semester begins, if they need to print anything, I rush to get the job, then take it to a printing press and get my commission from there. That’s how I was able to take care of myself while in school,” he recounts. Donnatus says his employment didn’t have to wait until after youth service, especially as he wasn’t called to serve early. “After graduating I couldn’t go for youth service so I came back to Abuja, and began to go to offices, shops and plazas asking them to allow me do complementary cards for them; business invoices, letter headed

papers, shopping bags and so on, I will go and print them and get my commission, I did that until I was called for youth service”. He continues; “after my youth service, I continued the business because I didn’t have a job until it was increasing gradually and a day came I got a big job of doing a book that fetched me quiet a good sum of money. That was when I decided to establish a printing press of my own and buy some of the equipments I could afford.” According to Donnatus, the business of printing and publishing is about the easiest business to start, but demands a strong zeal to learn on the job. ”If you’re not one who is sharp and wise you cannot just start it, you have to learn it. It’s all about the zeal in you to learn if you really want to learn, you can easily pick it up and you won’t have to go anywhere to learn it; you’ll learn from the small-small work you do or get and by the time you must have done a few jobs for a while, you should be able to understand the basics of the business because there are a lot of processes in printing. “Printing is not like photocopying it has a lot of stages and all these stages are the things you learn by the time you understand them, you can now say you know the printing business,” he explains. He adds that the printing industry offers great employment opportunities, but

involves numerous challenges. “Printing business is the simplest business anybody can do from my own point of view, even someone who didn’t go to

printing machine

school can do it. You can wake up one day, go to shops and tell them you print cards, invoice and leather bags and all you need to do is to go to the place they print and give it to them and go back and fold your arms, collect the job when it’s done and get your interest and you move on. “You might decide to be the one to operate the machines or to supply or sell the machines whatever you choose printing is broad. It also includes car branding, shirt branding, business flyers; they are all aspects of printing so there are lots of opportunities in printing. “However, there are lots of challenges. One, if actually you want to establish this business properly you need big money it involves huge capital because; first of all you have to rent an outlet or office complex some people don’t even have offices in plaza, they keep their machines in their homes, and go out to get jobs, and when they get it they do it in their homes. “You need power supply and you know the electricity challenge in Nigeria is also a problem like my own machine now you can’t switch it on and off anyhow, you have to take some steps and with the way power is not steady, you need to get a big UPS that will manage it or else it would be faulty easily. It also needs a big generator

like the “lister” generator that can take the machine and the generator requires diesel so, it’s not easy but with God we are growing gradually. “You also need to market the business very well. You have to put yourself out there and market yourself else you will just be sleeping in your shop. People print all sorts of things everyday so you have to come out and get them to patronise you,’ he notes. From a young boy who walked the streets seeking jobs to print, Donnatus is now an employer of labour, who is also very optimistic that his petroleum engineering degree will still be put to good use in the near future and employ more youths. “There are new technologies now and I know the future of printing and publishing is brighter. I also believe there’s still something for me to do in petroleum engineering am just waiting for God’s time. This business has supported me in so many ways, the suit and shoe you see me wearing I got them from this business so the business is supporting me, but there’s so much out there that needs to be done to reduce unemployment and impact on people’s lives and I believe my best is yet to be seen, this is our time to make things happen and build a brighter future for our children,” he concludes.




Substandard products reduced by 50 percent -SON DG

...Gives 3 months ultimatum to traders By Kerem Kurugh


Kaduna state Governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero (left), presenting a souvenir to head of 46 businessmen from Pakistan to Kaduna state, Mr. Zafar Mehood (right), during their visit to the governor, yesterday in Kaduna. With them is Nigeria’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Ambassador Dauda Danladi (middle).

Cooperative societies to tap into N200bn micro funds – SA


ooperative Societies established under the Ethics and Value Office in the Presidency will tap into the N220 billion Central Bank Nigeria (CBN) micro-finance. The fund, launched by Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Governor of CBN, for Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) was set up to develop Micro-finance and small scale businesses in the country. The Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Value, Mrs Sarah Jibril, announced this at the inauguration of the Environmental Ethics and Safety Corps in Abuja on Tuesday. Jibril said that the cooperative societies would be expected to use

the funds to develop community farms to boost food production. She called on women to be modest in their dressing in order to promote good cultural values, and urged families to take the lead in the campaign against immodest dressing. “It is unethical to dress in immodestly; it is inhuman, cultural and environmental pollution to dress exposing parts of your body; in fact you are polluting our social site,’’ she said. Jibril said that her office was collaborating with Education Research Council to develop civil and ethics curriculum in schools in order to promote good ethical values.

She also canvassed for the employment of ethical officers in the Federal Ministry of Environment. “We just celebrated the National Ethics Day and we are moving on to celebrate it at the international level. “We have established laboratories in the six geo-political zones to disseminate information for people to see the impact of good values and ethics,’’ she said. The aide urged new members of Environmental Ethics and Safety Corps to campaign against social vices, adding that the highest percentage of crime being committed in the country today was financial crime. In his remark, Permanent

Secretary, Ecological Fund Office (EFO), Alhaji Goni Sheikh, described the involvement of youth in environmental issues as a `welcome development’. Represented by Mr Shaibu Yakasai, Director, Pollution Control, Sheikh said that the objectives of Vision 20:2020 would be difficult to achieve without environmental sustainability. Sheikh said that his office had been intervening in some parts of the country to address erosion, flooding and other ecological problems. “We need to reach the people in rural areas and we are ready to partner with you to create friendly environment,’’ he said. (NAN)

Dealers in petroleum products in FBN profit before tax hits N55.1bn Benin protest imposition of levy


ealers in petroleum products in Benin City yesterday protested the imposition of N120,000 nnual levy on them by Oredo local government council. The traders were led by Chief Ehichioya Osaze, Chairman, Lubrication oil section of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG). He said that it was wrong for the traders to pay levies to the Local Government for an item which was on the exclusive legislative list of the constitution. Osaze said that his members were being overtaxed by the state and local governments contrary to existing laws of both the state and the Federal Government. “Our members were asked to

pay N120, 000 levy each year. “We were told to pay the money in cash within seven days, but before the end of day, they raided our shops and carted away our products to Urhokpota Hall where they have a cell for defaulters”. Osaze criticised the action of officials of Oredo Local Government, describing it as unconstitutional and violation of their fundamental rights. When contacted, Mr Osamuyi Akenbor, the official in charge of revenue collection on behalf of Oredo local government, said he was operating a legal business. He said that his firm was licensed by the council to raise revenue from traders, but not for the products the traders were selling.(NAN)

Kerem kurugh


irst Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc. has announced profit before tax of N55 .1 billion as half year result of its 2013 operations compared to N535 billion realized in 2012. Gross earnings rose to N194.8bn in the six months to June 30, from N180.9bn in the same period last year. According to a statement from the FBN on Tuesday, net interest income increased by 3.6 per cent from N108.9bn in 2012 to N112.7bn. “Non-interest revenue of N44.1bn, up 2.4 per cent year-on-year (June 2012: N43.1bn); operating income of N156.9bn, up 3.2 per cent yearon-year (June 2012: N152.0bn); profit before tax of N55.1bn, up 3.2

per cent year-on-year (June 2012: N53.5bn). Total assets of N3.4tn, down 2.3 per cent quarter-onquarter (March 2013: N3.5tn) but up 6.1 per cent year-to-date (December 2012: N3.2tn),” the bank said. It said its total customer deposits of N2.6tn was an increase of 0.9 per cent quarter-on-quarter from N2.5tn in March 2013. This, it said, was an increase of 6.4 per cent from N2.4tn in December 2012. The statement quoted the Chief Executive Officer, FBN Plc, Mr. Bello Maccido, as saying, “Over the first half of 2013, the performance of the group remained resilient, delivering year-on-year growth of eight per cent in gross earnings to N194.9bn.

he high level of fake and sub-standard products in the country has been reduced to 50 per cent in the last three years, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has claimed. SON Director-General, Mr Joseph Odumodu stated this at the national sensitisation workshop on zero tolerance for sub-standard products organised for the National Association of Nigeria Traders (NANTS), Abuja Odumodu who said the level of substandard goods in the market was above 80 percent in 2011 which was one of the worst in the world, expressed delight at level of reduction. He said ``fake and substandard products chased away good products which led to factories being closed down and hundreds of thousands, million becoming jobless. “Today, sub-standard goods in the markets have dropped and it is around 50 per cent; we are committed to reducing it to 30 per cent by the end of the year,’’ he added. He said the agency would continue its zero-tolerance campaign against substandards products, adding that a new legislation is currently being worked on to penalise marketers of fake products. “A lot of products are not registered, we gave a deadline and the deadline expired in June but people who have registered are less than five per cent of the products. “Why are they avoiding registration?; it is because they know they are not selling the right products and they don’t want us to subject them to any evaluation and that is why we are doing this sensitisation. “After this exercise, from September, we will carry out inspections in the market to remove products that are unregistered,’’ he said. The director general who asked for the cooperation of the traders in the fight against the substandard products said ``one way you will help is by registering the product if you are an importer or manufacturer. “If you are just a retailer, you must insist the importers or manufacturer shows and gives you a copy of his registration or SONCAP certificate for his products.



Stock Watch

Report as at Wednesday, August 28, 2013




Special Report

How Kebbi state is tackling rising insecurity K

ebbi state, which was carved out from Sokoto state, has until recently been one of the most peaceful state, in Nigeria. Although, since Nigeria started experiencing the problems of insecurity in some parts of the North, the state has never witnessed any insurgency from the Boko Haram sect, but for some few months now the residents in the state have been living in fear arising from recent security lapses, particularly in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital. It could be recalled that in July this year, the Emir of Gwandu and the Chairman, Kebbi state Traditional Council, Major Gen. Muhammadu Bashir (rtd), implored people in the state to be vigilant. The Emir thereafter ordered some unknown groups of people who were used to sleeping in various mosques across the state capital since the beginning of the justconcluded Ramadan and who still remain there without anything to do to leave the state. “We don’t know you and where you people came from; please leave my state. This is not how to practice the religion”, he said. This is coming on the heels of the discovery, in the early hours of Monday 19, August, 2013, of a local security guard who was discovered killed at a shop near the state Secretariat and the State Police headquarters in Birnin Kebbi. The security guard, one Malam Shekari was suspected to have been killed by armed robbers, who invaded the shop and carted away an unspecified amount of money and some essential commodities from

Ahmed Idris recounts how recent security challenges being experienced in Kebbi state are fast becoming worrisome, putting people in the state more on the edge because of fear over the safety of their lives and properties. the shop. Narrating the incident to People Daily in Birnin Kebbi, the owner of the shop, Alhaji Umaru Shukura said the guard was killed around 4.a.m on Monday morning. “I was alerted on Monday morning that my shop security guard, Malam Shekari Gwadongwaji has been killed by armed robbers in front of the shop. “ I rushed to the scene to discover his body with matchet wounds and a construction digger buried in his chest which pierced through his back,” he said. “Malam Shekari, before his death has been our guard for a year now and we have never experienced such an incident like this since the shop was opened three years ago”, saying they are situated very close to the state’s police headquarters. “I cannot quantify the amount and commodities stolen in the shop because the place is still under lock,” Shukura said. Speaking to our correspondent the PPRO, DSP Mainagge said that 67 suspected members of the Boko Haram sect have been charged to court by the Police in the state. “We have rounded up many suspected members of the sect; we have so far screened out 67 suspects and

have charged them to court for alleged terrorism offences,” he said. DSP Mainagge although confirmed that no weapon was recovered from the suspects during the raids on the hideouts in the state but said, “We gathered intelligence from sister organisations, especially from neighboring Sokoto, Zamfara and Niger states and we immediately swung into action. “The operation was carried out by a team, led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police, which carried out raids on weekends at different locations under the State Command,” he explained. According to him, no casualty was recorded during the operation and those suspects that were not found wanting were set free after thorough investigation. The state commissioner of police, Mr. Sylvester Omeh, who later spoke to newsmen on phone after the press briefing, advised that care should be exercised when reporting delicate issues, such that it will not fuel the already fragile situation. The Kebbi state governor, Usman Sa’idu Nasamu Dakingari, while expressing his dismay over the recent security challenges in the state, said that

Kebbi state governor, Usman Sa’idu Nasamu Dakingari people should be vigilant. He stated this at the swearing-in of the two newly appointed Qadis, adding that the people of the state should be vigilant as the security in the state is become paramount. “We have been facing these

challenges, but I pray we should overcome them; Kebbi state has always been a peaceful state in the North and Nigeria at large’’ he said. It could be recalled that on July 11, the authorities intercepted some weapons from a suspected member of the Boko Haram sect who was trying to pass through the state to Sokoto, the seat of the Caliphate, when the operation

took place. The suspect was arrested when operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) and soldiers of the 1Battalion of the Nigeria Army, Birnin Kebbi, while on a joint patrol intercepted a petrol tanker loaded with arms and ammunition at the Sokoto and Kebbi state border. A petrol tanker belonging to Total Nigeria Plc., with Reg. no: Kano XE 147 RAN and fully loaded with various high caliber dangerous weapons, described as weapons of mass destruction, was said to be heading for Sokoto from Kano when the security agents, acting on a tipoff intercepted and arrested the vehicle with its occupant. The arrest, which took place at a village called Malisa, between Sokoto and Kebbi states in Gwandu local government area of the state, was made possible last Thursday night, however it was said that two out of the three occupants of truck escaped into the bush on sighting the security operatives, while the third person who was arrested was promptly taken to the headquarters along with the tanker. According to reports circulating around the state, it was alleged that some wealthy individuals in the society, who are allegedly in sympathy with the Boko Haram and its insurgent activities, are the alleged sponsors of the huge cache of arms and were

planning to beef up those already on ground in Sokoto, with the aim of lunching a heavy attack on the seat of Caliphate during the month of Ramadan. It was further revealed that the Total petrol tanker was travelling on a direct route to Sokoto but that because of the heavy security check points along the road, decided to follow a longer, distant rural road leading from Kano to Birnin – Gwari in Kaduna state, to Tegina-Kontagora road in Niger state, through Yauri, Koko in Kebbi state before being intercepted at Malisa village. Addressing journalists on the arrest and impounding of the vehicle, the commanding officer, 1Battalion Nigeria Army, Birnin Kebbi, Lt. Col. Sunday Ayorinde Ilori stated that the joint effort of the security agents on patrol paved way for the arrest of the tanker and the occupant, adding that those who took to their heels on sighting the security men would soon be apprehended. Col. Ilori, who praised the gallantry efforts of the security operatives, also urged members of the society to be very vigilant and feel free to report any suspicious movement around them to the security agents. He said, while showing journalists samples of the arms and ammunition that were stockpiled in the petrol tanker, that the caliber of the weapons intercepted, especially the

labourers sit on top of a truck along Anka-Sokoto road PMG, is enough to destroy a whole city within a day. The commanding officer, who did not entertain question from newsmen, said investigation was still on-going. He explained that the security agents alone cannot achieve peace without the concerted efforts of the members of the public, adding that any useful information given shall be treated as confidential. “The efforts of Nigerian Army and that of the SSS in curbing the activities of the insurgents have started yielding results, which led to the arrest of the suspect with 3 AK 47 guns, 1 RPG Tube, 2 Bombs, 790 rounds of 2.7 millimeter bullets”, Col. Ayorinde said. He called on law abiding citizens to continue to cooperate and support the Government in trying to stop insurgency in the state and the country in general. The suspect, Ahmed Yusuf from Hadeja in Jigawa state informed our correspondent

that he was hired by two people, whom he mentioned as Musa and Mohammed, to take the weapons to Sokoto after an offer of N500, 000 (Five hundred thousand naira) but that he rejected the amount. According to the suspect, the owners of the weapons then threatened to kill him and any member of his family if he refused to carry out their assignment. In a related development, also in July, the Deputy Commandant, Operation of the vigilant group in Kebbi state, Mohammed Lawal arrested 5 cable vandals, including a police constable, in Kardi/Ambursa Area Development Council of the state. While narrating the incident to Peoples Daily, Mohammed Lawal said that his men caught the cable thieves while uprooting the cables. The DC Operation confirmed that among those in custody was a police constable, who was arrested along with the 4 others and the police constable’s identity card and

other bank documents found in his possession have been seized. “We arrested 5 of the vandals, including a police constable on the spot; we have his identity card and bank documents in his possession as our evidence. We have handed them over to the police for further investigation”, the DC Operation said. The PPPRO said he would not comment on the matter because the commissioner of Police wasthen not in town. On 24th and 25th of August, two operations were carried out by unknown gunmen at Aliero Quarters in the State’s Commissioner of Land Housing’s House, Alhaji Mohammed Rhah, which was near the SSS Headquarters,

during which one person was killed while the other victim, who was standing near the police checking point beside the petrol sales point, was killed. The Special Adviser to the Governor, Alhaji Argungu said that it was unfortunate, and lamented that such killings and attacks by gunmen is becoming so alarming but however assured the people of the state to remain calm as the state security agencies in the state were working had to curtail the menace in the state. Recently, the State’s Director of SSS, Alhaji Ibrahim Katsina, while speaking on the current security challenges in the state to journalists appealed to the general public “to please join hands together in order to move this state and Nigeria forward”.

A man and his son, with their farming tools, sit on a camel along the Sokoto-Anka road

The state security agencies in the state have assured that they are working had to curtail the menace in the state.

The efforts of Nigerian Army and that of the SSS in curbing the activities of the insurgents have started yielding results, which led to the arrest of the suspect with 3 AK 47 guns, 1 RPG Tube, 2 Bombs, 790 rounds of 2.7 millimeter bullets

Abubakar Shekau-Boko Haram leader



Mother Earth

Hole in Antarctic ozone layer may be adding to global warming


he hole in the planet’s ozone layer may be shifting wind patterns and cloud cover over Antarctica in a way that could be triggering slightly warmer global temperatures, a new study finds. Using computer models, researchers examined how the ozone hole may be altering winds in the jet stream over the Antarctic region, pushing clouds closer to the South Pole. These changes in cloud cover could affect how much of the sun’s radiation

is reflected by the clouds, leading to a slightly warmer planet, the scientists said. “We were surprised this effect happened just by shifting the jet stream and the clouds,” study lead author Kevin Grise, a climate scientist at LamontDoherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in New York, said in a statement. [Top 10 Ways to Destroy Earth] As the clouds migrate toward the South Pole, the amount of energy they can reflect is reduced, which means more radiation can

reach the ground, Grise explained. How much the ozone hole may be warming the planet is unknown, but Grise and his colleagues estimate an increase of less than 0.09 watts per square foot (1 watt per square meter) of energy could be reaching the ground. This type of warming is still a much smaller effect than the global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions. The study’s findings may help climatologists develop more accurate predictions of future climate

conditions in the Southern Hemisphere, Grise said. It started with a hole Ozone is a molecule that consists of three oxygen atoms. These molecules are highly concentrated in the lower portion of the stratosphere, a layer of the atmosphere located about 12 to 19 miles (19 to 31 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface — about twice as high as commercial airplanes fly. The Earth’s ozone layer prevents most of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet light from reaching the ground, protecting all the life forms

on the planet’s surface. In the early 1980s, scientists discovered a hole in the ozone layer that forms over Antarctica during the Southern Hemisphere’s spring months, from September to November. This thinning, which can decrease the ozone concentration by as much as 70 percent, was caused by the rampant use of human-made chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), organic compounds that were once widely used in cooling systems and aerosols. In 1987, the Montreal Protocol banned the use of CFCs worldwide, and despite the persistence of the ozone hole, the international agreement has had demonstrable effects. Earlier this year, observations from the European Space Agency’s MetOp weather satellite indicated that the hole in the ozone layer is shrinking. In 2012, scientists reported that the ozone hole was smaller than it had ever been in the previous decade. Future climate change Grise anticipates that as the ozone layer recovers, the jet stream will shift less. But increasing levels of greenhouse-gas emissions could affect midlatitude wind patterns, which might push the jet stream poleward. “You have sort of this

tug-of-war between the jet being pulled equatorward during the summer because of the ozone recovery and the greenhouse gases pulling the jet further poleward,” Grise said. “What the clouds do in that scenario is an open question.” Because predicting cloud behavior is so difficult, the computer models used in the research could be underestimating clouds north of the jet stream that get pulled toward the equator. If this is the case, these clouds would reflect more light, which could counteract the slight warming effect described by Grise and his colleagues, said Dennis Hartmann, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle who was not involved with the new study. “(T)his is certainly a very interesting topic and potentially important from a practical perspective of predicting Southern Hemisphere climate and even global warming rates,” Hartmann said in a statement. Grise and his colleagues intend to investigate these dynamic possibilities in future research. The detailed findings of the new study were published online July 19 in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. Source:

Ozone Depletion News Air Pollution


ore than two million deaths occur globally each year as a direct result of human-caused outdoor air pollution, a new study has found. In addition, while it has been suggested that a changing climate.

A satellite view of the status of the ozone layer over the Antarctic pole on Monday.

Because predicting cloud behavior is so difficult, the computer models used in the research could be underestimating clouds north of the jet stream that get pulled toward the equator

Climate Change Fossil fuel companies have been funding smear campaigns that raise doubts about climate change, according to the latest issue of Index on Censorship magazine. Environmental campaigner Sauven argues that some of the characters involved have previously worked to deny the reality of the hole in the ozone layer, acid rain and the link between tobacco and lung cancer. 'Self-Cleaning' Pollution-Control Technology Environmental scientists show that air-pollution-removal technology used in "self-cleaning" paints and building surfaces may actually cause more problems than they solve. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) Chlorofluorocarbons are to blame for global warming since the 1970s and not carbon dioxide, a researcher claims in a controversial new study.



Mother Earth ICRC calls for better response to needs of families of missing persons By Mohammed Kandi


nternational Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had called for a better and broader response to the needs of the families of missing persons due to armed conflicts and natural disasters. In a statement by Marianne Pecassou, the head of the ICRC team dealing with the missing, it said “Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are separated

from thier loved ones in such situations.” ‘The families will tell you that what they need more than anything else is to find out what happened to the person who vanished; unfortunately, in too many cases, that question may never be resolved,” Pecassou said. She, however, noted that beyond this needs, “Sometimes, the need stems from legal issues relating to the unresolved status of the missing person. These issues

can involve such matters as inheritance, property, marital status or even the custody of children.” According to Pecassou: “There can also be financial needs, caused by the costs involved in searching for the missing relative or in supporting the family if the person who disappeared was the main breadwinner.” Similarly, Milena Osorito, the mental health and psychosocial support adviser at ICRC explained

that “there are often huge psychological needs as well. These can involve emotional isolation, feelings of guilt, anger, depression or trauma and tensions among family members or with members of their communities.” The families of missing people frequently find themselves grappling with uncertainty. Most societies have religious or cultural rituals to deal with death,” said Ms Osorio.

Kano Govt threatens to revoke contract for water project


Residents of Mubi in Adamawa state who are facing acute water scarcity queued up in their hundreds to obtain the little available potable water

ano State Government has said that it had given contractors laying water pipes from Challawa Water Treatment Plant to Gwauron Dutse Water Works in the state two weeks to speed up work or have the contract terminated. The State’s Commissioner for Water Resources, Dr Yunusa Dangwani, gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Tuesday. “You know this project is very dear to the government and people of Kano State,’’ he said. Dangwani said the state government awarded the contract about 10 months ago to end the perennial water scarcity in Kano metropolis. He said: ‘’As a long term solution to perennial water shortage being experienced in the area, the state government decided to purchase 1,000 mm ductile pipes to be laid from Challawa to Gwauron Dutse to boost water supply in the metropolis.’’ He lamented that the contract that was expected to be completed in the next four months, was only about 40 per cent executed. ‘’I am not really satisfied with the work being carried out and I told the contractor that within two weeks there must be appreciable progress, otherwise the contract will be terminated,’’ he said. The commissioner said that officials of the ministry would continue to monitor the project, to ensure its speedy completion within the contractual agreement. The contract was awarded at N140 million. (NAN)

Scientists raises alarm over induced global warming By Mohammed Kandi, with agency report


n international panel of scientists has warned that sea levels could conceivably rise by more than three feet by the end of the century if emissions continue at a runaway pace. They also found with near cer-

tainty that human activity was responsible for most of the temperature increases of recent decades. The level of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, is up 41 percent since the Industrial Revolution. Emissions from facilities like coal-fired power plants contribute, the scientists stated in their new report.

The scientists, whose findings are reported in a draft summary of the next big United Nations climate report, largely dismiss a recent slowdown in the pace of warming, which is often cited by climate change doubters, attributing it most likely to short-term factors. The report emphasizes that

the basic facts about future climate change are more established than ever, justifying the rise in global concern. It also reiterates that the consequences of escalating emissions are likely to be profound. “It is extremely likely that human influence on climate caused

more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010,” the draft report said. “There is high confidence that this has warmed the ocean, melted snow and ice, raised global mean sea level and changed some climate extremes in the second half of the 20th century.”



Emergency Update YOUTH FOR PUBLIC SAFETY By Abubakar Jimoh

Mitigating the impact of water pollution


NEMA’s North-West Zonal Coordinator, Musa Ilallah, organizing other civil groups to assist in taking inventory of participants at a one-day interactive session on disaster management education in Kano state

NEMA develops framework on disaster management

Stories by Mohammed Kandi


ational Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has developed a National Disaster Recovery Strategy and Framework (NDRSF) to enhance efforts towards proper management of disasters, as well as the victims. The agency had also commenced special training on Camp Coordination and Camp Management for the stakeholders to strengthen preparations ahead of NIMET’s predicted 2013 flood and other disasters. Representing the DirectorGeneral of the NEMA, Muhammad Sani-Sidi during a presentation of draft NDRSF for adoption

by stakeholders at a workshop in Abuja, NEMA’s Director of Training, Engineer Daniel Balarabe Gambo, said that the document was developed in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and The World Bank. He noted that the effort was to expedite the process of recovery from disaster situations and complement other existing policy frameworks for operational efficiency and effectiveness of disaster management in Nigeria. Sani-Sidi urged the stakeholders to make their inputs to the document designed to specifically address the scourge of flood and its related impact to also provide a “new road map capable of pre-

venting possible effects of floods and associated risks in 2013 and beyond the rainy seasons. “The strategic priorities of the Agency is to reposition the country by providing a solid foundation and frameworks for building a national and community resilience to reduce all related disaster risks towards actualising the gains of any developmental strides aimed at total transformation for rapid socio-economic development of our great country”, he reiterated. On the training of the stakeholders on Camp Coordination and Camp Management, he said it was targeted at the State Emergency Management Agencies, SEMAs, which will hold in Lagos for the southern states and Akwanga, Nasarawa state for the North.

4,000 IDPs were registered in a camp in Baga town by NEMA. Meanwhile, North-East zonal information officer of NEMA, Abdulkadir Ibrahim said on Monday that the relief items were necessary to assist the victims of the attack in Dumba village of Kukawa Local Government Area, where about 44 persons were reportedly killed. Ibrahim, who noted that the displaced persons were mostly fishermen and farmers from

Dumba village, informed that the zonal coordinator, Alhaji Mohammed Kanar, had led a team of officers to register the IDPS at the camp. He said the displaced persons were provided with mattresses, blankets, mosquito nets, buckets, cups, plates, wax prints, guinea brocade, bathing soap, sanitary pads, and detergents. According to him, they were provided with food items like rice, maize, guinea corn, millet, vegetable oil, palm oil, Indomie, salt, sugar and milk.

…As LG chairman applauds Agency on displaced persons


hairman, Kukawa Local Government area of Borno State, Lawal Alhaji Kole, has lauded the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for setting up rehabilitation camp to shelter to shelter over 4, 000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), who were rendered homeless by the recent attack suspected to be carried out by the Boko Haram insurgents. Kole, who gave the commendation in a statement, commended the agency for providing the victims relief materials, over

n recent times, water pollution appears to be one of the dreadful environmental challenges facing Nigeria as many rivers and streams have become contaminated by mostly natural and man-induced activities. Water pollution involves contamination of streams, lakes, underground water, bays, or oceans by substances harmful to living things. There is no doubt that all living organisms largely depend on water for their survival and means of livelihood. Some live on it, while others drink it. Also, the survival of man, animals and plants depend on water that is moderately pure but these organisms cannot survive when they take water loaded with toxic chemicals or harmful bacteria. By human nature, water has always been a dynamic resource for human subsistence. However, the power conferred by fossil fuels and modern technology saw people having access to safe drinking water; rerouted rivers, pumped up deep groundwater, and in the process had polluted the earth’s water supply as never before. As Nigeria grows along socioeconomic and political facets, it has suffered series of human induced water pollution especially in the Niger-Delta region of the country. Although blessed with abundant Crude Oil which amount to unprecedented economic boom for Nigeria and the people, resident over there have had their vast land and water surfaces widely contaminated with mostly oil spillage following drilling and industrial activities often carried out by multi-national oil companies. The oil spills and burn-off of petroleum and natural gas at industries, as well as clearance of vegetation have seriously damaged the land, vegetation, and most waterways in the region. This phenomenon has resulted to a number of health issues for inhabitants, living thousands death since the discovery of crude oil in 1950s. A study carried out by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in collaboration with International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) noted that several activities have accounted for water pollution in the country. Among these are petroleum products which get into water mainly by means of accidental spills from ships, tanker trucks, pipelines, and leaky underground storage tanks, pipeline vandalism. The study found that the petroleum products comprised chemical substances used that are meant to kill stray animals and plants on farms or in suburban yards; unethical disposal of agroindustrial hazardous wastes; excessive organic matter like fertilizers and other nutrients

used to promote plant growth on farms and in gardens that find their way into water; floodwater from croplands, strip mines, and roads; improper dumping of debris. In a bid to combat the problems of water pollution in Nigeria, the Youths Against Disaster Initiative (YADI) has called for the immediate review and implementation of various Nigerian Environmental Use Regulation in which most of solutions are contend. YADI posits that the environmental protection agencies should be repositioned along technically and administratively strata, with mandate to set standards for land use, environmental utilities, and industrial activities in the country. Recalled that in 1988, Nigerian government established the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) to address problems of desertification, oil pollution, and land degradation, YADI concluded that the FEPA recorded only little or no success. Similarly in 1995, the weaken and fragmented Environmental Agency witnessed further inept performance after the execution of a famous writer, late Ken Saro-Wiwa and other nine Ogbonis following their public demonstrations against environmental degradations in the Niger-Delta. Meanwhile, effective and formidable public enlightenment programme is needed to be reinforced against dumping of contaminant by individuals and industries into waterways. This will require the collaborative efforts of both public and private individuals to discourage people from such actions. Also, households and farmers should adopt certain precautionary measures in their use of garden pesticides and fertilisers to avoid contaminated run-off and eutrophication. Excessive use of fertiliser by famers and agroindustries must be discouraged in the country. YADI confirmed that “the cadmium in fertilizer derived from sewage sludge can be absorbed by crops. If these crops are eaten by humans in sufficient amounts, the metal can cause diarrhea and, over time, liver and kidney damage.” “Lead can as well get into water from lead pipes and solder in older water systems. Through such circumstance, children exposed to lead in water can suffer mental retardation,” the group noted. Moreover, there is the need for ethical afforestation practices by the farmers. These include environmental protection , using traditional techniques such as planting of different crops in a single field at once to cover the ground more evenly, thereby reducing erosion and increasing soil fertility; planting and maintaining farmland trees and hedgerows, also to reduce erosion.



Emergency Update Strengthening civil groups in disaster management By Sanya Adejokun


igeria’s National Disaster Framework describes disaster management as a multijurisdictional, multisectoral, multi-disciplinary and multi-resource initiative. It recognises the importance of federal, state and local governments, civil society organisations (CSOs) and the private sector to discharge their respective roles and responsibilities and complement each other in achieving shared goals of disaster management. The document then stipulates that the tiers of government, relevant ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), the military, police, para-military and civil society organisations (CSOs) shall develop their capacities in disaster management. In addition community institutions shall acquire disaster management capabilities as first responders, and Emergency Management Volunteers (EMV) shall be established to compliment the organised structures. Disaster Response Units (DRUs) shall be established in different military formations across the country to provide assistance to civil authority during emergencies. This stipulation was no doubt a consequence of the global paradigm shift in approaches to disaster management during the last 12 years or so from relief-centric to a multi-dimensional approach. The role of NGOs in this context therefore assumes added significance. For the avoidance of doubt, NEMA has sought to involve CSOs in its programmes and activities especially the numerous workshops it organises every now and then. However, for these organisations to function more effectively there is the need for them to rely less on foreign aids, and for government through NEMA, SEMAs and other MDAs to develop a systematic funding arrangement for them in their annual budgets.


ver the years, the lack of a well-coordinated network between the government systems and the NGO sector and also among the NGOs themselves have no doubt hampered efforts to effectively administer the Nation Disaster Management Strategy. The NEMA Establishment Act of 1999 gives the body the power “to coordinate the activities of allvoluntary organisations engaged in emergency relief operations in any part of the Federation”. The important function of NGOs is that of being a link between the Government and the community. The importance of these roles is highlighted through

South-East Zonal Office of NEMA organised Emergency Evacuation Drill exercise for Federal Civil Servants yesterday in Enugu state its integration into all the three stages of disaster management including, pre-disaster during disaster and post-disaster phase.


tatistics show that the occurrences of disaster as well as magnitude increased tremendously with the phenomenon of global warming but when these hazards strike, the communities are the first to react, irrespective of their profession, status, cast or culture. Community based organisations are therefore essential to serve both as first responders and specialised agents to attend to victim’s needs. Examples of how these organisations can be as relevant as government agencies can be seen in the activities of Red Cross. Over the years, Red Cross staff and volunteers have always been those to get to disaster scenes first. They also prepare citizens against future occurrences by training them on how to administer first aid in addition to educating residents of disaster prone victims on the need to evacuate. Following the 2012 floods in many parts of the country, the Red Cross has assisted scores of families to rebuild their swept away homes in many local governments

of Kogi State. CSOs and NGOs therefore have responsibility during the predisaster phase to generate awareness educate, train, establish community task force. More than governmental agencies, they could also be more effective in setting up community disaster management committees and teams, establish management strategies, and conduct simulation exercises.


ome experts have added that these groups should equally be encouraged to conduct vulnerability assessment and coordination with government and non-government agencies. As soon as disasters strike, trained volunteers will certainly be useful in assisting officials and providing first aid, sanitation and hygiene, damage assessment and assistance to external agencies bringing relief materials. And if properly trained and empowered, CSOs may be in charge of providing technical and material support for safe construction, revival of educational institutions and restoration of means of livelihood and assist the government in monitoring the pace of implementation for various reconstruction and recovery programmes as seen in the example of the Nigerian Red

Cross. For many years, volunteerism and humanitarianism have taken flights from the country. This coincided with the abolition of Civics from the primary schools. With this, organisations like Boys Scout, Girls Guild, Man O’War and many others ceased to exist. Deliberately encouraging SCOs and NGOs could thus be a way of teaching members of the society especially youths on how to become involved in volunteerism once again.


ccording to the 1997 World Disasters Report, humanitarianism is "a way of acting: carrying out actions which are and are perceived to be, impartial, neutral and, by extension independent from political religious or other extraneous bias”. There is thus a need to encourage NGOs and CSOs already active at communities, local governments, states and even at the national level to me more and more involved and active in emergency management. Evidence has shown that CSOs and NGOs are usually more effective in the management of certain tasks. A well-coordinated approach giving a lead role to these bodies with linkages with larger NGOs and local emergency man-

agement committees will go a long way in institutionalising the role of NGOs in disaster risk reduction.


s presently constituted, NEMA has a staff that is less than 1,000 and most states are yet to have effective emergency management agencies experienced in handling situations arising out of natural disasters, further highlighting the benefits derivable from arming CSOs and NGOs. It will therefore, be in the interest of effective disaster management in the country for NEMA to set out a determined approach to registering NGOS and CSOs involved in this endeavour for proper integration into its programmes and activities. These bodies must not be made to rely solely on foreign funding for their activities. The Nigerian Red Cross has been complaining about the neglect that it has been subjected to by the Federal Government over the years despite the fact that it was established by an Act of Nigerian parliament. Sanya Adejokun is National Coordinator, Journalists Against Disaster Initiative and can be reached via adesanyaa2001@yahoo.




Writing – for health and happiness? D

ecades of research have shown that writing down your emotions has concrete health benefits - even helping wounds heal. But as more and more people publish their intimate feelings online, could they be doing themselves more harm than good? High-profile coverage of cyberbullying might make sharing your deepest emotions online sound like a bad idea, but when it comes to the risks and benefits of writing online, advice is mixed. The American Academy of Pediatrics, for example, suggests questions about social media are included in visits to the doctor, a move prompted by worries about cyber bullying, internet addiction and sleep deprivation. On the other hand, blogging about health problems has been shown to improve feelings of social support, especially when that support is lacking from family and friends. Traumatic experience Exploring the connection between well-being and writing down your emotions goes back decades. In 1986, long before the ubiquity of blogs and social media, Prof James W. Pennebaker published seminal research showing expressive writing could make people healthier. He had the idea after finding that people who had had an early traumatic sexual experience were more likely to suffer health problems later in life, including cancer and high blood pressure. Talking to Health Check's Claudia Hammond, Prof Pennebaker said he realised it was because that experience was a secret. “That just led me to ask the obvious question... if secrets are so bad, what if we brought people into the lab and had them in some way just disclose them?” He asked college students to write on four consecutive days, for 15 minutes each time. One group were asked to write about the most traumatic experi-

There are risks and benefits to sharing your emotions on-line ence of their lives, ideally one that was a secret, while the other wrote about superficial things, such as the shoes they were wearing. ‘Emotions bottled up’ Tracking their visits to the student health centre in the months before and after writing, he found that the group who wrote about a traumatic experience went only half as much as those who wrote about superficial things. Professor Laura A. King, who edits the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, says this research finally proved what people had suspected all along. “Everyone sort of had this idea: if you keep your emotions bottled up it’s going to make you sick, or you’re going to get an ulcer, or

James Pennebaker's top tips for expressive writing • • • • •

you’re going to have a psychological disorder. And Jamie’s work was really the first time that people had evidence that this was the case.” Prof Pennebaker’s work inspired a generation of psychologists to research the health benefits of expressive writing. Not every study replicated his result, but many did, including some with truly remarkable results: a recent New Zealand study, for example, found that when older people wrote about traumatic experiences two weeks before having a skin biopsy, their physical wounds healed nearly twice as quickly. In today’s world, however, where emotions are shared freely on blogs and social media updates, might the benefits of expressive writing be wearing off? A study in 2006 that did not show strong results gave Prof Pennebaker pause for thought.

“They got very weak effects, and I hate hearing that. But it doesn’t shock me, because I do think people are connecting differently than they have in the past.” Heartfelt blogs Yet some research shows that writing about difficult experiences online can be helpful. Teenagers with social-emotional difficulties benefited from writing about their thoughts and feelings in blogs, researchers at the University of Haifa in Israel found. Participants were assigned to one of six groups, including one that wrote in blogs open to readers but closed to comments, another in blogs open to comments, and one group that kept private computer diaries. Though writing about their feelings helped all the groups, those who wrote in the blogs that were open to comments were helped most.

This contrasts with one of Prof Pennebaker’s recommendations for expressive writing - to do it for yourself. But Prof Azy Barak, one of the study’s authors, says he was not surprised by the results. “I think online writing is individually perceived and felt as a private experience, despite its actual openness and publicity.” There is a risk that heartfelt blogs might elicit harmful negative responses, and Prof Barak emphasises that monitoring is essential with therapeutic blogging. ‘Get involved in life’ However, they did not find it was a big problem in their study. Out of hundreds of comments, only a few were deleted for being abusive. “Quite the opposite - we were impressed by the many readers who volunteered to help bloggers in emotional distress.”

Ask yourself if you need to write. If you find yourself thinking about something too much, dreaming about it or obsessing about it in some way, writing could be beneficial. Promise yourself you'll write for a minimum of 15 minutes a day for three or four days. Don't worry about spelling. Write for yourself, not for an audience: this is not a letter to someone, this is for you. Plan on destroying what you've written, though whether or not you actually destroy it doesn't matter.

Thoughtfully written and carefully monitored written blogs are not the same as the unbridled world of social media emoting. Prof Pennebaker himself jokes that in ten years he can imagine a new therapy of "Shut up - keep it to yourself!" But he thinks that even in a world that tends to wear its heart on its sleeve, people's individual differences are the key to whether expressive writing can help. People who are very controlled could still benefit from writing, but for those who ruminate about a negative event as soon as it happens a better strategy might be simply to stop it. "Try to get involved in life, in events and actions where you're not able to think about it as much." (Source: BBC)

Writing down your deepest feelings can even help your physical health




Could al-Qaeda have helped Yemen kick its oil habit? ANALYSIS

By Johnny West


ad the thwarted al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) attack on Yemen’s oil industry succeeded, its impact would have been immense. This country of 25 million people now suffers greater dependency on oil exports than its neighbour Saudi Arabia, although it produces 50 times less. A generation ago, when Yemen didn’t know it had oil, the country’s biggest source of foreign exchange was Yemenis themselves, the two million worked across the Gulf and sent remittances home. That broad source of income played into politics then, underpinning Yemen’s democratic experiment in the early 1990s, just as the rise of the petro-economy did later in entrenching Ali Abdullah Saleh’sauthoritarianism, which led to the current political crisis. There’s hardly any oil left, but judging by current efforts to diversify, nobody will find any other way to develop the Yemeni economy until the last drop has gone. Yemen would have done better if it had never discovered oil, or had left it in the ground. It might have seemed different in the 1980s, when the American Hunt Oil came prospecting. Yemen has always been a poor nation in the Gulf, the only country in the Arabian Peninsula not to have found ample reserves of black gold. An influx of cash then seemed to promise Yemen the same fate, to a greater or lesser degree, as the rest of the region - gleaming urban landscapes and universal services, at least for the citizens. Yemenis might have gone from being guest workers to having guest workers of their own. In fact, they were caught in the worst of all worlds. There wasn’t enough oil to generate that kind of economic development. But there was just enough to generate a few billion dollars a year for the political elite to mismanage, pay for an expansive security state, and create an economy now firmly based on rent seeking. The politics of Yemen changed. From the 1960s the two Yemens had seen ideological struggles, which engaged the rest of the Arab world, between the Imamate of North Yemen, the Marxists of South Yemen, and then the ascendancy of Saleh’s General People’s Congress, followed by the reunification of the country. But even if the structures surrounding Saleh’s rule were authoritarian, he started out as a flexible leader, adapting to evershifting forces in tribal alliances and the politics of the region. He had to be. He didn’t have enough patronage to be able to impose his

Protesters during a march in Yemen rule in the early years, he had to co-opt and cajole and negotiate. It is no coincidence, by the way, that the other rulers in the Arab world, known for their “moderation”, such as Hussein and Abdullah in Jordan and Hassan and Mohammed in Morocco, faced the same political economy. They may or may not have been “liberal” by personal conviction but the obsession in Western media coverage of these countries on whether King Hussein liked fast cars or King Mohammed speaks fluent English totally misses the point. Their “moderation” or “liberalism” simply reflected the hands they had been dealt as rulers. They were not in a position to be self-sustaining regimes. They needed friends, both in the region and within their own societies, and the large expatriate classes represented a kind of proto-middle class, ideal from a political point of view because it was largely politically in absentia. And so it was with Saleh and

Yemen. Reunited Yemen held free elections in 1993 that were groundbreaking in the Arab world, and although the country faced huge problems, it escaped the worst forms of tyranny at a time when much more of the world was ruled by dictatorship than today. Then oil rose up. Scaled production began in the early 1990s at about 200,000 barrels a day. It peaked at 450,000 barrels a day in 2001 and has been declining ever since. But current production levels are enough to account now for over 70 percent of government income, and over 90 percent of the country’s exports. On paper, the discovery of oil took the Yemeni economy to a different league. GDP per capita was about $300 in 1995 and has now risen to nearly $1,500. But progress in things which matter to ordinary people has been far spottier. Poverty has increased in both relative and absolute terms in the last 20 years, as has GINI, the measure of economic inequality. Unemployment has nearly

doubled, even just as a percentage, and that’s if you were to believe official figures, which nobody does. Malnutrition is widespread. Of course, Yemen had a political and social elite before oil. But it scaled up and became intricately connected to the new source of wealth. One insider told me on a visit recently that the international oil companies present were widely suspected to be making direct payments to Yemen’s nebulous armed forces and security establishments “for their protection” - a story we have seen play out with Shell in the Niger Delta. Gas deals which seemed to value the country’s resources at rock bottom prices were not formally investigated, and an activist who openly questioned them fled for his life to Singapore. Oil yielded enough money to fight over, but not enough to bring any benefit to the population once the elite had taken its share. The decline in production has been predicted for so long that grand

Their “moderation” or “liberalism” simply reflected the hands they had been dealt as rulers. They were not in a position to be self-sustaining regimes.

plans to diversify the economy, involving an endless round of initiatives and loans and aid talk, have been going for nearly a decade now. With no real results. On the political front, the rising pressure to democratise was to some extent encouraged by falling oil revenues, although for a time the effects of declining production were kept in check by the rise in the world price of crude from $20 per barrel in 2003 to a new normal of around $100 per barrel by 2010 . By the time protesters went onto the streets in 2011, some of Saleh’s most important allies were also willing to abandon him because he wasn’t bringing home the goods. Most experts now give the oil industry five to ten years at best. But lack of progress in diversifying the economy will continue as long as the oil is pumping. Political and business elites will remain focused on extracting the last drop of rent. Nothing could ever have justified the human cost of an al-Qaeda attack, or the economic consequences of such violent disruption. But it is a tragic irony that, had it succeeded, an attack could have sped up the end of two decades of arrested development in Yemen, brought on by an industry which has never been worth the fuss. The economy of a country of 25 million people now depends on an oil industry which produces a litre and a half of crude per person per day. It’s time for the country to run on something else. Source: Al Jazeera



International Liberia university to ‘admit’ some failed students


iberia’s main state-run university has agreed to admit 1,800 school-leavers who failed this year’s

admission exam, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says. Sirleafsaid she had held talks with officials at the University of


Liberia over the failure of every single candidate who took the exam. Nearly 25,000 school leavers failed the test, with officials saying they did not have a basic grasp of English. She told the BBC Focus on Africa programme that the university, one of two state-run universities in Liberia, had set a higher standard for admission this year, leading to the mass failure. Sirleaf did not say why the university, based in the capital Monrovia, had agreed to admit 1,800 students after discussions with her. Responding to critics who accuse her of failing to improve education standards since she was elected president in 2005, MsSirleaf said: “I’m sorry, they’re

just dead wrong.... There’s no quick fix.” School enrolment had “quadrupled” under her government, she said. “The second phase now is quality education. That’s a more difficult task,” MsSirleafsaid. “You’ve got thousands of teachers in our school system, some of them with only a high school education. You don’t turn that over in three or four or five years,” she added. Liberia is recovering from a brutal civil war that ended a decade ago. Sirleaf was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2011 for her efforts to end the conflict that killed more than 200,000 people and destroyed the West African state’s infrastructure.

Lakes countries for talks. The worsening situation around Goma, which is near the border with Rwanda, is stoking tensions between the two neighboring countries, which like always since the 1990s accuse each other of involvement in attacks. The flare, if not contained, could once again pose a serious threat to the stability of the Great Lakes region, where a mini world war sucked in several countries between the late 1990s and the early 2000s. Since Aug. 21, the M23 and FARDC being supported by the United Nations intervention brigade

have been fighting 15 km from the town of Goma, leaving 15 civilians dead and several others injured. The casualties were reportedly caused by explosives thrown into the town. The M23 is a group of former rebels of the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP), which was routed out in early 2009. Some CNDP fighters were then integrated into the army, before launching a new rebellion in April 2012, citing the failure of the government to implement the peace accord signed on March 23, 2009 between the two sides

UN, Congo army pound M23 rebel positions


he UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) yesterday sent helicopters on bombing missions against the M23 rebels in the Central African country’s troubled eastern province of North Kivu. A spokesman of the UN mission MONUSCO said its helicopters opened fire at the positions of the rebel group early in the morning, 15 km north of the provincial capital Goma. The shelling by both aircraft and artillery was part of support for the government forces FARDC in attacks on the ground against the rebels. The M23 rebels also said in a statement that the Congolese army and the U.N. intervention brigade attacked its forces in Kanyaruchinya and Mutaho, to the north of Goma, with infantry, air strikes and heavy weapons. An African intervention brigade under MONUSCO had previously engaged in the fighting after the rebels caused civilian casualties in Goma. On Monday, the M23 condemned bombardments by FARDC and the UN mission, vowing “to retaliate against the attacks very soon.” For the past week, Goma has again hit headlines with the rebel forces reportedly approaching the town from nearby hills. The Congolese army has been

UN troops in a village in DRC battling the M23 rebels for nearly a week with the support of the 3,000-strong U.N. brigade, which has a special mandate to neutralize armed groups in the mineral-rich nation. There have been conflicting reports on the DRC death toll. Several people are known to have died, including civilians, but the military is keeping the death toll a secret. The rebel group briefly occupied Goma in late November last year, before pulling out under the pressure of the 11-member bloc of the Great

US court indicts Nigerian Al-Qaeda member By Hassan Haruna Ginsau


n indictment was unsealed yesterday in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York, charging a Nigerian citizen with providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, alQaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and using high-powered firearms in furtherance of that crime. According to court documents, the Defendant, 33 year old

LawalOlaniyiBabafemi between approximately January 2010 and August 2011, traveled twice from Nigeria to Yemen to meet and train with leaders of AQAP, the Yemenbased branch of al-Qaeda. The United States is currently seeking the extradition of Babafemi, also known as “Abdullah” and “Ayatollah Mustapha,” from Nigeria. At the request of the United States, the Nigerian government has commenced

extradition proceedings against the defendant in July 2013. The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch. She acknowledged the continued cooperation and assistance of the government of Nigeria in terrorism matters affecting both nations. Babafemi assisted in AQAP’s English-language media operations, which include the publication of the magazine “Inspire.” At the

direction of the now-deceased senior AQAP commander Anwar al-Aulaqi, Babafemi was provided by AQAP leadership with the equivalent of almost $9,000 in cash to recruit other English-speakers from Nigeria to join that group. While in Yemen, Babafemi also received weapons training from AQAP. The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Egypt Brotherhood rejects ‘terrorism’ charge


fugitive leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has denied accusations that his group is committing acts of “terrorism”, following the coup that toppled the country’s president. Mohammed el-Beltagy’saddress, comes as the Brotherhood plans new demonstrations to defy a crippling security crackdown that has put most of its senior and mid-level leadership behind bars. Among those detained rcently was 25-year-oldUScitizenMohamedSoltan, the son of outspoken Brotherhood figure Salah Soltan, family and security officials said. El-Beltagy, a former politician with the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, is wanted himself on accusations of inciting violence and has been hunted by authorities for nearly three weeks. In a videotaped message, el-Beltagy said that authorities were trying to turn a “political crisis” into a security problem by accusing his group of orchestrating a terrorism campaign. Egypt’s media, almost uniformly anti-Brotherhood after the closure of Islamist television stations, have described the crackdown as a “war against terrorism”. “Don’t be fooled by these lies and deception that aim to label us with terrorism, violence, [and] killing ... at a time when the hands of the coup regime are drowned in blood,” el-Beltagy said. El-Beltagy went into hiding earlier this month after authorities violently broke up protest encampments held by supporters of President Mohammed Mursi, overthrown July 3 by the military after days of mass protests against him. Hundreds died in the crackdown, including el-Beltagy’s daughter. In retaliation, Mursi supporters attacked police stations, government buildings and churches. Hundreds of Brotherhood members, the group’s top leaders and Mursi supporters were arrested, many accused of orchestrating and taking part in violence. Airport authorities also said on Tuesday that well-known Egyptian cleric Yousef al-Qaradawi, based in Qatar, would be arrested upon entry to the country. Qaradawi is a Brotherhood ally and has spoken out vehemently against Abdel Fatah El-Sisi, the military chief who led the coup. The current bout of violence is the worst in Egypt’s two and a half years of turbulent transition. More than 1,000 people, mostly Mursi supporters, were killed in the raids and other violence since mid-August. Violence has waned in the past few days.



International Asia & Middle East UN Council set for Syria clash as West readies attack … Iran’s Khamenei says US intervention would be a disaster



he United Nations Security Council was set for a showdown over Syria on yesterday after Britain sought authorization for Western military action that Russia called premature. U.N chemical weapons experts investigating an apparent gas attack

that killed hundreds of civilians in rebel-held suburbs of Damascus made a second trip across the front line to take samples. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pleaded for them to be given the time they need to complete their mission. But the United States and

European and Middle East allies have already pinned the blame on President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. Even if Russia blocks U.N. approval, U.S.-led air or missile strikes on Syria look all but certain, though the timing is far from clear. That has set Western leaders on a

collision course with Moscow, Assad’s main arms supplier, as well as with China, which also has a veto in the Security Council and disapproves of what it sees as a push for Iraqstyle “regime change” - despite U.S. denials that President Barack Obama aims to overthrow Assad. Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain would propose a resolution yesterday at the Security Council in New York, seeking authority to take “necessary measures” to protect Syrian civilians. Sure of a veto, it seemed part of diplomatic strategy to isolate Moscow and rally a broad coalition behind Washington. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier in the day that any attack would be folly. One of his deputies responded to Cameron by saying the Council should wait for the U.N. inspectors’ report. “It would be premature, at the least, to discuss any Security Council reaction until the U.N. inspectors working in Syria present their report,” Vladimir Titov said. Ban pleaded for unity in the Security Council after more than two years of paralysis during which Syria’s civil war has split the Middle East on sectarian lines and fuelled rival camps in the world body along divisions that echo the Cold War.

Series of deadly bombs strike Baghdad


series of bombings across Baghdad killed 42 people and wounded 160, police and medical sources said, extending the worst wave of violence in Iraq in at least five years. A police source said that a series of car bombs and suicide bombers exploded in the capital city, as well as in a town outside Baghdad, in at least 10 separate locations. The deadliest attack struck in the Jisr al-Diyalaneighbourhood of southeast Baghdad, with at least seven people killed and 21 others wounded, police and a hospital source told AFP.

But blasts also went off in other neighbourhoods including Kadhimiyah and Sadr City. “We are poor people, and all of our things have been burned, and our home has fallen to the ground,” said Marwa, an 18-year-old resident of Shaab, a north Baghdad neighbourhood where four people were killed. “The politicians are fighting over positions and not looking after us,” she continued. “The people are homeless because of these explosions. Who is going to compensate us? Who is going to compensate the youth?”

It is the latest in a wave of increased nationwide violence that has caused concern that Iraq is on the edge of a return to the sectarian war that left tens of thousands dead in 2006 and 2007. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Sunni fighters linked to al-Qaeda frequently carry out such coordinated attacks targeting Shia Muslims, whom they regard as apostates. Security forces have carried out wide-ranging operations in recent weeks in a bid to combat the unrest, arresting hundreds of alleged fighters

and killing dozens of others. The Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has pledged to press on with the anti-insurgent campaign, but analysts say the government should focus on resolving anger in the Sunni Arab community over perceived illtreatment by the Shia-led authorities and security forces. On August 6, at least eight car bombs and several roadside bombs killed 31 people, while 47 people died in a spate of explosions and gun attacks in the capital on August 10. Five days later, 24 people died in nine bombings in Baghdad.


officials say. Ten people are still trapped under the debris of the threestorey building, home to about

a dozen families. The incident took place at about 04:30 India time (23:00 GMT). An official said a second building had also collapsed but it was empty. Correspondents say such incidents are common in India and are often blamed on poor construction practices. The 12-year-old buildings were part of a residential complex set up by the stateowned Vadodara Urban Development Authority, reports said. “Eight bodies have been retrieved and six injured evacuated so far,” Vadodara District Collector VinodRaosaid. The building came crashing

down when the occupants were sleeping, officials said. NarendraModi, chief minister of Gujarat state where Vadodara is located, said he had sent a minister to the site of the accident and that rescue operations were continuing. Soldiers and civilian volunteers were involved in the rescue operations, digging through the concrete to get to those still trapped under the rubble. The state government has ordered an inquiry into what caused the collapse. State Finance Minister Nitin Patel said the families of the dead would receive compensation of 200,000 rupees ($3,046; £1,957).

India building collapse kills eight t least eight people have been killed in a building collapse in the western Indian city of Vadodara,

Rescuers struggle to get to victims

“Syria is the biggest challenge of war and peace in the world today,” Ban said in a speech at The Hague. “The body entrusted with maintaining international peace and security cannot be missing in action. The Council must at last find the unity to act. It must use its authority for peace.” Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei yesterdaysaidU.S. intervention in Syria would be ``a disaster for the region’’, the ISNA state news agency reported. After supporting Arab uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa in 2011 as examples of what Khamenei called an Islamic awakening, Tehran has steadfastly supported the secular President Bashar al-Assad, its main strategic ally in the Middle East. ``The intervention of America will be a disaster for the region. The region is like a gunpowder store and the future cannot be predicted,” the agency quoted Khamenei as saying.

S Korean president urgesNorth to dismantle nuclear programme


outh Korean President Park Geun-hyeyesterday urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to give up its nuclear weapons program. “North Korea is still adhering to the nuclear weapons development despite oppositions from international communities in unison,” President Park said in her opening address for the plenary session of National Unification Advisory Council (NUAC), a state body that gives advice on DPRK policies to President Park. Unless the DPRK dismantles its nuclear program, national unification and peace would go farther away from the Korean Peninsula, Park said, stressing that the DPRK should “put down nuclear weapons from its hands” immediately. Park’s comments came amid easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula after the two Koreas agreed to reopen the jointly operated factory park in the DPRK’s border town of Kaesong and hold reunion of families separated by the Korean War (195053) in late September. Park said that the family reunion and the Kaesong industrial complex’s normalization can be achieved because foundations have been accumulated for building trust between Seoul and Pyongyang with patience. The country’s chief executive noted that if denuclearization in the DPRK makes a clear progress, higher level of cooperation between the two countries can kick off.




International UK drafts Syria UN resolution


he UK put a resolution to the UN Security Council yesterday “authorising necessary measures to protect civilians”

in Syria. The resolution would be put forward at a meeting of the five permanent members of the council, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said on Twitter. Mr Cameron said in another message: “We’ve always said we want the UN Security Council to live up to its responsibilities on Syria.” “Today they have an opportunity to

do that,” he said. The draft resolution would condemn the “chemical weapons attack by Assad”, he added. Mr Cameron will chair an emergency meeting of the UK’s National Security Council to discuss possible responses to the crisis. Mr Cameron said the world could “not stand idly by”, and French President Francois Hollande said France was “ready to punish” whoever was behind the attack. Meanwhile, in a briefing to journalists, joint UN-Arab League envoy to Syria LakhdarBrahimi said: “It does

seem clear that some kind of substance was used... that killed a lot of people” on 21 August. But he emphasised that any military action needed Security Council authorisation. Earlier a team of UN weapons inspectors resumed work investigating a suspected chemical weapons attack on 21 August. The UN secretary general said they needed four days to end their probe. Ban Ki-moon added that they would need more time after this to analyse their findings.


He also called on the council to act together. Russia and China have previously vetoed resolutions critical of Syria and may block any text deemed to approve military action. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that “attempts at a military solution will lead only to the further destabilisation” in Syria and the region. MrLavrovemphasised the need for a political solution in a phone call to MrBrahimi, the foreign ministry in Moscow said. Russia, China and Iran have previously warned against launching an attack on the war-ravaged country, where more than 100,000 people are thought to have died in two years of fighting. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned yesterday that US intervention would be a “disaster” for the region. “The region is like a gunpowder store and the future cannot be predicted,” Mr Khamenei said, according to Iran’s Isna news agency. Stocks have fallen on global markets and oil prices have shot up amid growing concern about an impending attack. The Syrian government has strongly denied that it used chemical weapons and blames opposition fighters for the attack. The US says it will release its own intelligence report into the incident in the Ghouta region surrounding Damascus the coming days.

US marks Martin Luther King ‘I have a dream’ speech


he US will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March for Jobs and Freedom, the civil rights rally at which Martin Luther King Jr made his historic “I have a dream” speech. President Barack Obama is to mark the occasion in Washington DC with an address from the same spot. Members of the King family and veterans of the march will also be present. Mr Obama, the first black US president, has described the 1963 protest as a “seminal event” in American history. The march was considered a catalyst for civil rights reforms in the US. President Obama is due to deliver his address at the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall just after an organised ringing of bells by churches and other groups at 15:00 local time (19:00 GMT), to mark the exact time that Martin Luther King spoke on 28 August 1963. Mr Obama will be joined by former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, as well as prominent African Americans. On Saturday, thousands of people, including King’s eldest son, marched to the Lincoln Memorial to mark the milestone anniversary. Half a century earlier, Martin Luther King had led some 250,000 protesters down the same strip and delivered his famous speech from its steps. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character,” he said, in one of

the most celebrated pieces of American oratory. His address marked the peak of a series of protests against racial discrimination that had begun when seamstress Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat for a white passenger in 1955. Her action sparked a bus boycott campaign across Montgomery, Alabama. King became a dominant force in the movement and so was called on to make the final speech at the march. He advocated the use of nonviolent tactics such as sit-ins and protest marches, and was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1964. Four years later, his assassination led to mass riots in more than 100

US cities. In an interview on Tuesday with a radio show, President Obama said he imagines that King “would be amazed in many ways” about the social

progress made since that speech. He cited the prominent role of many African-Americans in the political and business spheres, as well as equal rights before the law.


Europe and Americas Italy saves 300 migrants off Sicily


ore than 300 migrants most of them believed to be Syrians - have been rescued from two overcrowded boats off Sicily, Italian officials say. A four-day-old girl born at sea was among the migrants, a coastguard commander said in the port of Syracuse. The baby and her mother are in good health, the commander added. The latest arrivals are among thousands who have made the hazardous crossing from North Africa to Italy or Malta in open boats this summer. The baby girl was in a rickety fishing boat packed with 191 passengers. “We found her with the umbilical cord still attached,” coastguard commander Luca Sancilio said. The other boat was carrying about 150 migrants. It was also taken to Syracuse. “There are now more Syrians than anyone else. This is a really dramatic exodus,” said MrSancilio, who was quoted by the AFP news agency. However, the nationalities of the migrants are still being verified as many do not have passports. Late on Tuesday the Maltese armed forces rescued 102 men and 13 women from a dinghy the second boatload of migrants to arrive in Malta in 24 hours. Earlier 84 migrants were picked up from another dinghy off Malta. Migrants arriving clandestinely by boat in EU states are assessed to see whether they have genuine grounds for seeking asylum in Europe. Both Italy and Malta have urged their EU partners to do more to share the burden of housing irregular migrants. Many boatloads have headed across the Mediterranean to escape turmoil and violence in North Africa since the Arab Spring erupted in 2011.

Eight killed in Brazil factory collapse


irefighters searching the rubble of a collapsed building in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo have found another body, taking the death toll to eight. A further 26 people were injured when the two-storey factory, under construction in the Sao Mateusneighbourhood, collapsed. Two of the 36 people who are believed to have been working in the building at the time are still unaccounted for. It is not yet clear what may have caused the collapse. According to city officials, the construction work did not have the necessary permits and two fines had been issued already in relation to the work carried out. Edilson Carlos dos Santos, a

lawyer for the owner of the site, blamed the engineering company hired to work on the building for the collapse. Mr Santos said the company, SalvattaEngenharia, had been installing lift shafts and staircases at the time of the collapse on Tuesday. The engineering company denied the allegations, saying in a statement that it had not yet received the keys to the building “because the works he [the owner of the site] had agreed to carry out had not been completed”. Some 60 rescue workers continue to search the site with sniffer dogs. They dug holes into concrete walls with sledgehammers and removed metal sheeting in their attempt to find the missing construction workers.

Building collapses of this kind are common in Sao Paulo - Brazil’s largest city - and particularly affect structures that are either poorly maintained or

still under construction. Home to 11 million people, Sao Paulo is one of 12 Brazilian host cities for next year’s World Cup.

A rescuer attempts to reach victims



Strange World

Monk spends 50 years building giant ‘junk Cathedral’ J usto Gallego Martinez, an 86-year-old farmer from Spain, has spent the last 50 years of his life singlehandedly building a large cathedral in a suburb of Madrid, without any architectural knowledge or construction experience. Considering the sheer size of Justo Gallego’s junk cathedral, almost 40 meters (131 feet) tall, with its large dome and spires

towering over nearby apartment buildings, it’s almost impossible to believe it’s the work of a single man. But it just goes to show how far people can stretch their limits in the name of a higher purpose. In Gallego’s case, it was his faith and love of God. His mother was very pious and he grew up with a deep Christian faith and an overwhelming desire to dedicate

Martinez’ cathedral

Man gets diagnosed with chronic lateness condition


or as long as he can remember, 57-year-old Jim Dunbar has never been able to make it to appointments on time. His friends and family always thought he was making excuses, but after a recent doctor’s appointment, for which he was a half-hour late, Jim was diagnosed with incurable lateness. Jim Dunbar used to always tell people it wasn’t his fault he couldn’t make it on time for anything, but they never took him seriously. Even as a five-yearold he remembers constantly being late for school, football matches and holidays. As an adult he has left women waiting for him on first dates, lost several jobs, turned up to meals with his friends

Jim Dunbar

hours after the set meeting time and even showed up for funerals long after they had started. Recently, Jim tried to catch a movie at the local cinema, in Forfar, Scotland, and knowing his lateness might get in the way, he gave himself an 11-hour head start to make sure he got there on time. Dunbar knew the movie started at 7 pm, but despite his best efforts, he arrived 20 minutes late. After going through countless similar experiences, he finally decided to talk to a doctor about his problem. He was a half-hour late for his appointment at a Ninewells hospital, but he finally got an answer to the question that had been bugging him for a lifetime – “Why can’t I be on time?”

himself to the Creator. After working as a farmer and as a bullfighter, Don Justo, as everyone calls him, joined a Trappist monastery, where he spent eight years as a monk. He was forced to leave the monastery in 1961, after he contracted tuberculosis, but promised himself that if he survived the illness he would dedicate his life to building a a chapel in the name of the Lady

of The Pillar (the Blessed Virgin Marry), who he prayed to during the ordeal. His prayers were answered and he stayed true to his vow, laying the first brick of what would become a unique cathedral, almost 50 years ago. Most people thought Don Justo was crazy to take on such an epic challenge, but he never paid any attention to their insults, instead focusing all his efforts on his project. He never had any formal plans for his cathedral, nor did he have the necessary construction materials, but he put his faith in God and knew it would all work out in the end. Martinez has spent every morning for the last half century gathering all kinds of discarded everyday objects as well as building materials leftover by nearby construction companies from their own jobs, and fitting them in his grand design. The columns of his junk cathedral were molded using empty oil drums, and the cover of one cupola is made out of cut up food tubes. Don Justo says his cathedral is partly modeled on St. Peter’s Cathedral in the Vatican, but also features elements from the White House, various medieval castles and Madrid churches. Justo Gallego worked on the

cathedral mainly by himself, occasionally getting help from his six nephews and volunteers, and although he always worked in a hurry, hoping to see the whole thing finished, there’s only so much one man can do. The shell of the edifice may be almost complete, but he still has much work to do. There are thousands of windows to paint, the central dome has yet to be covered, the floor is bare and the spiraling staircases are only half done. Don Justo is well aware he might not live long enough to see his masterpiece finished, but still he says ”When I look at what I’ve created, it overwhelms me and I give thanks to the Lord.” The junk cathedral of Mejoradadel Campo has never been authorized, but so far the town council has tolerated the illicit structure. Ever since Gallego’s amazing story spread on the internet, his life’s work has been bringing in a steady flow of tourists. It has become a local icon, and Don Justo hopes it will one day serve as a fully functional cathedral, although chances of that ever happening are very slim. ”It’s very difficult to get a license now,” architect Pablo Queralto told the BBC. ”For example the bricks don’t meet minimum standards, either in themselves or the way they’ve been laid.”

Toilet paper that costs $17 a roll


f you’ve recently run out of things to spend your mountains of cash on, you may want to try the outrageously expensive Hanebisho toilet paper. It’s considered the most luxurious and most expensive toilet paper in the world. From the $91,500 crocodile skin t-shirt to the $97,060 GRV goldRally car wax, we’ve featured some pretty outrageous things the world’s rich and famous like to spend their money on, but none as crazy as the Japanese exclusive toilet paper known as Hanebisho. For people who feel their derrière deserves the best money can buy, there’s simply no alternative to this beautifully adorned work of art. As you can see in the photos below, a threepack of Hanebisho will set you back ¥5,000 ($51), while the eight-pack can be yours for ‘just’ ¥10,000($102), which means a single roll ranges from $13 to $17. That’s a whole lot more than what the average person spends on toilet paper, not to mention the darned thing is just 2-ply. At this stage, you’re probably wondering what on Earth makes Hanebisho toilet paper so special that people are willing to spend a small fortune on it? Where do I begin? First of all, Hanebisho paper is made only with the highest quality wood fiber pulp imported from

Hanebisho toilet paper rolls Canada, and treated with water from the clearest stream in Japan, the Nyodo River (which ranked first in the 2010 Japanese National River Water Quality Ranking). The production process is similar to that of pancakes – if the heat from the burner is too high, the bottom will burn and the middle will be dry, so to make sure each Hanebisho turns out perfectly soft, the toilet paper is dried more slowly than usual methods to make it nice and fluffy. The production process is adjusted for temperature and humidity on a daily basis, so no two days’ production methods are the same. Once the paper is ready, the maker of each roll writes their name and date of production on it, before sending it to the company

president for inspection. For the last 10 years, he has tested every Hanebisho roll on his own skin to make sure it fits the set standard of quality. The rolls are then sent to the design department, where “the most fastidious of fastidious artisans” decorate them with intricate patterns, ensuring that the design remains stylish no matter where the toilet paper is torn. Sounds pretty impressive, right? But wait, there’s more! The packaging of Hanebisho is just as amazing as the product itself. Each roll is carefully wrapped in Tosawashi (a special Japanese paper from Kochi Prefecture) and placed in decorative boxes handmade by Kyoto artisans. The inside of each box is covered




Why three cups of tea a day keeps the dentist away A By Jenny Hope

comforting cup of tea brings a smile to most people’s faces. And now, according to scientists, it might make that smile just a little bit brighter. Researchers have claimed that drinking at least three cups of tea a day can help keep your teeth in good condition, reducing the risk of decay. A review of existing studies found that black tea helped combat two types of bacteria – Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus – that are both associated with tooth decay and gum disease. The most effective ‘dose’ of tea was three to four cups a day,

according to study leader Dr Carrie Ruxton. And scientists found that black tea continued to fight decay, even if it had some sugar added to it. Green tea appeared to have a similar effect – and also helped prevent bad breath by neutralising sulphur compounds that contribute to the condition. Dr Ruxton, whose review is published in the British Nutrition Foundation’s Nutrition Bulletin, said there was good evidence that tea drinking protects against tooth loss. ‘Evidence specific to black tea suggests that three to four cups a day could help to reduce levels of bacteria in the mouth,’ she said. ‘I’m sure this news is set to be welcomed by dentists and hygienists

alike as they continue to educate the nation on the need for greater oral care.’ She said when bacteria in the mouth reacts to carbohydrates, it produces acid that dissolves tooth enamel, resulting in damage that leads to fillings or tooth loss. Black and green teas appear to reduce inflammation and prevent the adhesion and growth of bacteria that start the chain reaction, she said. Tea contains antioxidant ingredients known as flavonoids and catechins, tannin-type substances, that have an anti-microbial effect. The review also shows green tea could aid weight loss, by boosting energy expenditure and burning up more fat.

Scientists found that black tea continued to fight decay, even if it had some sugar added to it

Researchers have claimed that drinking at least three cups of tea a day can help keep your teeth in good condition, reducing the risk of decay Regular consumption increases energy expenditure by four to five per cent, while fat oxidation the elimination of fat that would otherwise be stored - goes up by 10 to 16 per cent. Dr Tim Bond, spokesman for the industry-backed Tea Advisory Panel, said ‘A relatively little known benefit of tea until recently has been its potential for reducing the risk of dental caries. ‘This benefit is thought to be due to a reduction in inflammation in the oral cavity and prevention of the adhesion and growth of bacteria linked to periodontal disease. ‘In terms of weight management, Dr Ruxton’s published review found further supporting effects for green tea when consumed by overweight and obese adults.

‘How green tea might contribute to weight management needs further research, but this latest research review suggests that the catechin ingredients could impact on satiety and thermogenesis and may counter the reductions in metabolism seen when body weight falls. ‘This latest research review already adds to the many health benefits associated with the humble cup of tea including heart health benefits and links with reduced risk of cancers. ‘As a result, British people should continue to enjoy their traditional life long habit of drinking tea to help enjoy the many proven and emerging health benefits’ he added.

up late, but there’s also many attractions like gaming and Facebook and texting and many teenagers are doing this into the early hours of the morning and delaying sleep even further.” Psychologist Jane Ansell set up the charity Sleep Scotland to help

children with special needs establish good sleeping patterns. However an increasing amount of the charity’s workload is now spent working in mainstream schools with teenagers. Source:


Half of teenagers sleep deprived, say experts By Eleanor Bradford


ore than half of all teenagers may be sleep deprived, according to experts. A combination of natural hormone changes and greater use of screenbased technology means many are not getting enough sleep. Research has suggested teenagers need nine hours’ sleep to function properly. “Sleep is fundamentally important but despite this it’s been largely ignored as part of our biology,” said Russell Foster, Professor of Circadian Neuroscience at Oxford University. “Within the context of teenagers, here we have a classic example where sleep could enhance enormously the quality of life and, indeed, the educational performance of our young people. “Yet they’re given no instruction about the importance of sleep and sleep

is a victim to the many other demands that are being made of them.” ‘All-nighters’ At One Level Up, an internet cafe and gaming centre in Glasgow, I found a group of young people who are used to very late nights. “There’s things called ‘grinds’ which we have on Saturdays which are an allnighter until 10 in the morning,” said 17-year-old Jack Barclay. “We go home, sleep till 8pm at night and then do the exact same thing again. I like staying up.” Fourteen-year-old Rachel admitted occasionally falling asleep in class because she stayed up late at night playing computer games. “If it’s a game that will save easily I’ll go to bed when my mum says, ‘OK you should probably get some rest’, but if it’s a game where you have to go to a certain point to save I’ll be like, ‘five more minutes!’ and then an hour later ‘five more minutes!’, and it does mess

up your sleeping pattern. “For me it takes me about an hour to get to sleep and I’m lying there staring into nothing thinking ‘I’m going to play THAT part of the game tomorrow and I’m going to play THAT part of the game the next day.” Research has shown that teenagers naturally veer towards later bedtimes and are later to rise in the morning, possibly because of the hormonal changes that occur during puberty. However Prof Foster said electronic equipment accentuated this natural night-owl behaviour. He explained: “The data that’s emerging suggests that these computer screens and gaming devices may well have a big effect in increasing levels of alertness. “That will make it harder to get to sleep after you’ve stopped playing. “The great problem with teenagers is that you’re not only biologically programmed to go to bed late and get

The increasing use of screen-based technology is in part blamed for disrupting sleep



We’re in charge, says Kogi governor

Speaker, Nasarawa state House of Assembly, Hon. Musa AhmedMohammed (middle), addressing PDP youth during their sympathy visit to him over Tuesday’s attack at the Assembly, yesterday in Lafia. With him are some members of the Assembly.

From Omale Adama, Lokoja


overnor Idris Wada of Kogi state yesterday declared that he is in full control of the conduct of government business of the state since he assumed the mantle of leadership about eighteen months ago. The asssertion of his authority is coming on the heels of the 27th anniversary of the creation of the state and the insinuations in some quarters that there was nothing on ground to celebrate in the state. He maintained that it would amount to a wasteful venture at the expense of the people of the state whose scarce resources were committed to useful projects if he should embark on campaign of calumny against his immediate predecessor. While addressing the people of the state, the governor disclosed that it was the wish of the detractors to see him and his predecessor engaging in war or words over the ubiqitous uncompleted projects embarked upon by the former administration of Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, insisting that they will be disappointed. According to him, these projects were for all intents and purpose meant to uplift the standard of the people of the state, adding that abandoning them to start other ones will amount to duplication of projects and creating unhealthy relationship between him and the former governor. ‘Our focus is on human development’, he declared just as he added that it was this belief that informed the numerous welfare packages the administration has embarked upon for the people of the state. He assured that in no distant time, Kogi will become a haven for industrialists in following various memoranda that have been signed with foreign investors who have shown interests in investing in the state. The governor commended the people of the state for their unflinching support to his administration and urged them to keep faith with his mandate which promises enduring legacies.

Photo: NAN

PDP: Tukur’s removal won’t resolve crises, says party stalwart From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


eoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart in Bauchi, Alhaji Bashir Bukar Rimin Zayam, has said that the removal of the party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, will not resolve the challenges facing the party. Bukar who is the Assistant Publicity Secretary of PDP, Bauchi State Chapter, stated this yesterday while addressing newsmen. He said

“removing Bamanga Tukur can’t take us anywhere. If you remove him today, you will appoint somebody tomorrow and some people may not welcome 100% ideas and programme of the new leader” The Secretary added that every leader has his own challenges in his domain but the challenges could be addressed with patience , dialogue and understanding in the best interest and well being of followers without recourse to their removal.

He advised those agitating for Tukur’s sack to have a rethink and offer constructive criticism that will move the party and the nation forward. Bukar said “People should understand that PDP is a big party and once you have a big party, you are going to have a complex situation. It is the ability to manage those complex situations that will determine how far you can go in the future. So, we are hopeful that we are going to surmount them and work as a team towards

2015. He added “We have our challenges like every other families; but for us, they are not insurmountable. It’s part of life; I don’t see anything out of the ordinary but in PDP, dialogue is part of us. When we meet, we will understand each other as a family and some suggestions will be accommodated.” He advised members of the party to cooperate with the leadership in order to move the country forward.

Group advocates commission for national integration By Lawrence Olaoye


group, Transformation Agenda Solidarity Forum (TASOF), yesterday called on the government to establish an agency that would promote national integration and take care of indigeneship problem. The group in a communique signed by Dr. Aboki Zhawa, on behalf of its National Executive Committee (NEC) stated “The Forum identified national unity as the true basis for Nigeria’s greatness and called for

more seriousness in the promotion of national integration as provided in the letters of Section 15 of Nigerian Constitution. The Forum recommended the establishment of a Federal Agency or Commission that will be statutorily mandated to implement all the provisions of the constitution that deals with national integration. Such agency or commission when established will take care of the indigeneship problem which is increasingly tearing some parts the country apart.”

TASOF, President Goodluck Jonathan’s support group stated that it seeks to propagate the imperative of unity and national integration as a veritable means of evolving a truly strong, progressive and indivisible nation. While commending the achievements of Jonathan’s administration in the areas of power, agriculture, education and other sectors, the group also flayed the continuous stay at home by university lecturers despite the efforts of Mr President who

has sufficiently responded to the demands of ASUU. The forum called on ASUU to return to class immediately in the interest of our children who are the direct victims of this unnecessarily prolonged strike action. The group also encouraged the people to continue to support Jonathan’s administration and ignore the antics of desperate politicians and cynics whose stock in trade is the undue vilification of the President and his government to score cheap political point.

PDM ceases to exist as movement - Chairman


lhaji Bashir Ibrahim, the Chairman, Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), yesterday said the PDM ceased to exist as a movement following its registration by INEC as a political party. ``PDM ceases to be a

movement as claimed by some politicians. It has transformed into a political party,’’ he told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. He said the decision to register PDM as a political party was taken by members of the

movement. ``Look at our trajectory from 1994 to date, our plan has been implemented step by step until the movement is transformed to a political party. ``It is time for the members of the movement to watch their

languages as we all agreed to break from the past and transform into a political party.’’ He, however, said that the party still stood to its objective of being a bridge linking the northern and southern parts of Nigeria. Ibrahim said although there

were deviations from PDM’s principle, the party would regain the original values of the movement. He said the PDM would unify the people and bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. (NAN)




PDP Convention: I’m in the race to win- Women Leader aspirant By Lawrence Olaoye


n aspirant to the position of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Woman Leader, Mrs. Ngozi Bernadette Orubebe, has said that he was in the race to win at the party’s National Congress on Saturday.

She said, “I am in the race to win ,to unify and bring the women folk together so that they can speak with one voice in all fronts in line with the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan. Both the President and his wife, Dr Mrs. Patience Jonathan have done well for the Nigerian

Women since assumption of office and PDP as the ruling party needs a vibrant National Woman Leader for mobilisation and organisation to enhance women chances in the scheme of things”. “Why clamor for a consensus candidate or adoption of a particular Candidate? Is it

that some people are afraid of election? To me, they should allow all us to for the contest. Once this is done transparently, the losers will embrace the winner and congratulate him or her and the party will move forward since all of us can not be the National Woman Leader at the same time,”

she declared. The aspirant who expressed absolute confidence in the ability of the leadership of the party to conduct a free and fair convention for the party also promised to ensure that Nigerian women cast their votes for the party at all elections come 2015.

Why I want to be Anambra governor, by Ngige By Umar Mohammed-Puma


frontline aspirant for the November 16th governorship election in Anambra state on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Chris Ngige, yesterday said the would want to become the governor of he state so that he could implement the blue print he set for himself in his first coming. Ngige, while responding to questions when he went to submit his nomination form at the party’s headquarters in Abuja yesterday, said the blue print he intended to implement has since been jettisoned by the Governor Peter Obi’s administration. H said “I can tell you that I had a blueprint drawn up way back when I was governor; part of which I implemented before I left but since APGA’s administration came on board, it has only been able to do only 7% of the development roadmap the state .” Commenting on the rumour that the incumbent has conceded the slot to the people of Anambra North in the state and the effect on his candidature, Ngige said “The zoning plan can never work against my candidacy. First and foremost, the people of Anambra state, the three zones in the state, are one entity. We do our things together and we do not segregate.” Ngige alleged that Governor Obi only wanted to use zoning as a ploy to install a stooge as his successor. He said “What has manifested is that the incumbent governor wants to hand pick somebody from Fidelity Bank, an entity where he was Chairman before becoming the governor. Now he wants to bring back an Executive Director of the bank to govern the state. So all along when he was preaching zoning to the north, the people know better. There is great lamentation and mourning by the people of the Anambra north over what have befallen them.” He explained that the conduct of the APC governorship primary in Anambra became necessary in order for the party to keep to the dictates of the electoral law. Ngige said it was not true that his open endorsement by Governor Okorocha was meant to give him an edge over other contestants. Responding, APC National Secretary, Alhaji Tijani Tunmsa, assured the aspirant of the party’s readiness to hold an open, transparent contest, adding that whoever comes out the winner of the ticket will get the party’s support at the November polls.

L-R: Member, House Committee on Education, Hon. Simon Mwadkwon, Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Hon. John Dyegh, and Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, Dr. Shuaibu Musa, during the committee’s oversight visit to the institution, yesterday in Bauchi. Photo: NAN

Anambra: Uba, others snub PDP, as party gives certificate of return to Nwoye By Lawrence Olaoye


enator Andy Uba yesterday snubbed the invitation of the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to explain his roles in the parallel primary conducted in Anambra state, where he emerged as the party governorship flag bearer. This is even as the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, presented a Certificate of Return to Tony Nwoye, the winner of the primary conducted by Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema led committee, which was appointed by the Party. Commenting ahead of the certificate presentation to Nwoye, Tukur said “If we do things transparently we will always arrive at our destination. Our party needs level playing field, accountability and transparency. Anambra people gave you (Nwoye) this certificate on a free and fair ground,” he said. In his remarks shortly after

...Congress screening c’ttee postpones exercise

collecting the certificate, Nwoye called on Andy Ubah, Nicholas Ukachukwu and others who lost out to join hands with him so that PDP would be able win Anambra state in the November 16 governorship election. According to him, it pays for PDP to be in power than for the opposition, adding that the state chapter of the party will make the national leadership of the party proud. Fielding questions from journalists, Nwoye said that winning the primary did not come as a surprise, but the free, fair and transparency of the election was what surprise him. “I am appealing to Andy Uba, Nicholas Ukachukwu and others who felt aggrieved to come so that we can win Anambra. Governor Peter Obi has done his best but PDP wants to take over. We want Anambra to be free from insecurity. The capital city

is not habitable and our people are going to neighbouring states to stay. We are coming to put smiles on the faces of our people,” he said. Nwoye however explained that the court case in Port Harcourt was not binding on him because it was not the state Chairman, Ken Emeakayi, that conducted the primary where he emerged as winner but the party national leadership. It would be recalled that PDP leadership on Tuesday summoned Senator Andy Ubah, Chief Chris Uba, Ejike Oguebego, Chief Benji Udeozor and Mrs. Tonia Nwankwu to explain their role in the parallel congress conducted in Anambra state, where Ubah was declared the governorship aspirant of the party. In a related development, the PDP Convention screening committee yesterday postponed the screening exercise for the candidates jostling for the vacant positions in the

party’s National Working Committee (NWC). Chairman of the committee, Senator Ndoma Egba told newsmen that the exercise was postponed till tomorrow because the navigation was not well publicized. According to him, the committee also resolved to shift the date in order to allow the zones involved carry out extensive consultations with a view to arriving at possible agreements among themselves. This he said would help in making the Congress easier to conduct if all involved could arrive at an understanding ahead of the exercise. Asked how those who would feel aggrieved at the outcome of the screening exercise would get redress only few hours before the Convention, Egba said the Appeal Committee would sit through the night to address any possible grievances from the candidates.

Ubah emerges LP flag-bearer for Anambra guber election


n oil magnate, Mr Ifeanyi Ubah, yesterday in Awka, emerged the Labour Party governorship candidate for the Nov.16 Anambra gubernatorial election. Ubah was declared winner by the National Chairman of the party, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, after a voice vote and raising of hands from the 1,137 delegates who participated in the primaries. Nwanyanwu said that Ubah was the only aspirant who picked and returned his nomination form on schedule and was, therefore, a sole aspirant of the

party for the governorship race. He said that Article 24 of the party’s constitution allowed the selection of a candidate by acclamation, show of hands or through a secret ballot. ``Where you have one aspirant after the close of nomination forms and return, the congress will vote yes or no, and the constitution allowed him to decide how a winner will emerge.’’ The chairman urged the party’s members to go back home and work assiduously for the party and Ubah’s victory at the polls since the votes must count.

``What you have done now is democracy in action and who becomes the governor of Anambra State will be decided by Anambra people and nobody else.’’ Nwanyanwu urged INEC and the Anambra Government to allow the people to cast their votes, stressing that anything contrary would be resisted legally. According to him, Anambra people are tired, they want change and somebody who will give them good governance. (NAN)



News Extra

Zamfara offers scholarship to 15000 orphans From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau


he Zamfara state government has concluded arrangements to offer scholarship to 15,000 orphans to undergo studies at various academic institutions of higher learning through the state Zakkat and endowment board. Speaking at a special gettogether organized to celebrate the first batch of the 8,000 orphans currently enjoining scholarship, Governor Abdul-Aziz Yari expressed happiness on the scholarship scheme introduced to the orphans in the state. According to him, the programme which was initiated by Senator Ahmad Sani had started producing university graduates and other potentials in the society. One of the graduating orphan, Adamu Mohammed a graduate of Biology from Usman Danfodiyo

University Sokoto and a now working with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Zamfara state said the scheme was designed to transform orphans through academics. “I’m a symbol of transformation from the orphanage to a federal government employee and I know what it takes to be an orphan but Alhamdulillahi, I’m now a graduate with a very good class of degree’’, said. Earlier on, the commissioner for religious affairs, Professor Abdullahi Muhammad Shinkafi explained that the programme was designed to target orphans with potentials but could not make it to the western school system due to lack of support. He added that arrangement was on the pipeline to capture additional 7000 orphans in the programme to complete the number up to 15,000.

Asaba airport to airlift pilgrims to Holy Land From Adesoji Oyinlola, Lagos


he Delta State government is to collaborate with the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) to airlift pilgrims from the Asaba International Airport to the holy lands overseas. Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State said his administration would work with the NCPC to ensure that there were no hitches in the airlifting of the pilgrims, stating that neigbouring states should also be allowed to make use of the airport to travel on pilgrimages.

Speaking in Warri when a team of the NCPC led by its Executive Secretary, Revd. John Kennedy Opara, paid him a courtesy visit, the Governor observed that the use of the Asaba International Airport to airlift pilgrims was a welcome development. He said that pilgrims from Delta State do not abscond but use such trips for spiritual and moral reasons, adding that his administration has also mapped out programmes to ensure that pilgrims also find time to study the agriculture programmes of places like Israel during pilgrimage.

Group slams Okorocha over abortion rights Act


here Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha has been criticized by Catholic Medical Practitioners Association over the abortion bill which the governor recently signed into law. The law, which was sponsored by the Majority Leader and member representing Ahiazu Mbaise state constituency, Mrs. Adekunle Ihuoma, is to be cited as “Imo State of Nigeria, Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law Number 12 of 2012”. According to the new law, every woman shall have the right to enjoy reproductive rights, including rights to medical abortion in cases of sexual assault, rape, incest and where the continued pregnancy endangers the life or the physical, mental, psychological or emotional health of the mother. The law also states that “every woman shall have the right to take decisions about her health needs and requirements.”

The law was very specific that a woman “shall have the right to determine the processes concerning reproduction in her body.” However, the decision of the state government on the bill does not go down well with members of the Catholic Medical Practitioners Association, who have described the law as anti-God. Chairman of the association, Dr. Phillip Njemanze, while reacting to the new law, said “the law is anti-God, dehumanizing and totally unacceptable to the association.” “The law is devastating. With its signing into law by Governor Okorocha, abortion has been legalized in the state and anybody, just anybody can now ask for abortion as a right in the state.” He recalled that the National Assembly had earlier rejected the bill, especially as it was against humanity, noting that the law would encourage human trafficking.

L-R: Factional President, National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Comrade Yakubu Shendam, Special Adviser to the President on Youth Council, Ahmed Bala, Nollywood Actor, Emmanuel Ehumadu, and factional NYCN National Treasurer, Aminu Ataso, during the faction’s press briefing on the mid-term report of President Goodluck Jonathan administration, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Peace corps’ tie with UN will curb insecurity-Bauchi Commander From Bauchi




he Bauchi State Command of the Nigeria Peace Corps has said that the organisation affiliation to the United Nation Global Impact will greatly assist the country in addressing problems associated with insecurity. The State Commandant of the corps, Mr. Patriot Maxwell who stated this during an interview with newsmen in his office in Bauchi lamented the manner in which security has been limited

to use of arms and weapons, instead of a collaborative effort on the part of everybody in the country. He said, “one of the ways is to partner with countries who are experienced in this area”. The Commandant who revealed that the Peace corps in the state was training over 5000 youths in the area of conflict mediation and peace initiative, who would be posted to all the local governments in the state to engage youths in creative programmes that would keep them away from social vices.

He appealed to the council caretaker chairmen of local governments to support the youths posted on assignment in their areas, saying it would boost their confidence and encourage them to accomplish the task ahead of them. While saying that the Peace corps in the state would continue to partner with other security agents in the state to maintain law and order, he called on the media to promote the activities of the corps as its objective is to maintain peace and empower youths in the state.

ACF constitutes peace campaign committee By Albert Akota


he youth wing of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has constituted a seven-man committee to partner with the I Sign 4 Peace project in order to help take the campaign for peace to youth in the northern region. The committee is to map out plans on how to reach out to the grassroots through the I sign 4

peace project, with a mandate to submit report within three weeks on how the project could be implemented in the region. Speaking with newsmen on a courtesy visit, president of the forum, Mallam Babangida Lawani, said the forum is the closest to the grassroots and familiar with the immediate need of the people and remains the major stakeholder on the issue of peace and security in

the region. Lawani said the project was timely and in accordance with the aims of the forum and would always support every initiative aimed at improving the lot of the people. Stating the aim of the visit, the project coordinator of I sign 4 Peace, Mr Charles Olufemi Folayan, said it was to formally present the work plan of the project to the representative of the 19 northern states.

Nigeria has no alternative to peace -Emir of Zazzau From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


mir of Zazzau and Chairman Kaduna State Council of Emirs and Chiefs, Alhaji (Dr.) Shehu Idris has said Nigeria has no alternative to peace because the cost of anarchy is too colossal to befall the nation. He stated this while flagging off a peace rally organized by the Focus Youth for Progressive

Peace Initiative in Nigeria (FYPPIN] in his palace yesterday. The Emir said the programme with a theme; “National Peace for Sustainable Development” was timely as it was time for all Nigerians to embrace peace in all aspect of national life. He said, without peace, no meaningful development takes place and urged Nigerians to infuse and imbibe every attribute

that will propel peace nationwide. The Emir stressed that peace was one of the most powerful tools and ingredients for growth and development and so, Nigeria cannot fold its arms and watch peace elude the country. The royal father also advised the youth to strive to protect their future and avoid all acts capable of jeopardising it. He said Nigeria will never disintegrate.


Photo Splash


L-R: Chairman, Health and Management Care Agency, Dr. Kolawole Owoka, Board Chairman, Wetlands Health Services Limited, Dr. Tari Sekibo, and Executive Director, Wetlands, Professor Charles Amanze, during the Health and Management Care Agency Nigeria, South-South Providers’ Forum, yesterday in Port Harcourt.

MD/CEO, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim (right), presenting a gift to NDIC Director, Strategy Development Department (SDD), Dr. Nurudeen Awwal (left), after two decades of meritorious service to the corporation, recently in Abuja. With them is NDIC’s Head (Communication & Public Affairs), Mr. Hadi Sule Birchi (middle).

Senator Gyang Pwajok (left), presenting gifts to children in an orphanage, `Vision Foundation’, on behalf of Corner Stone Foundation, yesterday in Jos.

L-R: Oyo state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mohammed Indabawa, little Temilope Mabogunje, whose father died in active service, and Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Clement Adoda, during the presentation of group personnel accident insurance to little Temilope, yesterday in Ibadan.

Laboratory scientists working at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba, Lagos, as health workers resume yesterday. Photos: NAN



Malawi FA broke ahead of crucial World Cup qualifier against Nigeria Stories by Albert Akota


he Flames may be unable to raise the needed funds for their trip to Calabar in time to face the Super Eagles on September 7 having used up the bulk of their annual budget. The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) told media yesterday that the Flames require about $121, 212 to travel to Nigeria. FAM had spent most of its annual allocation on participating in the regional Cosafa Cup held in Zambia as well as World Cup qualifiers against Kenya and Namibia. “We don’t have the required amount of money. Government has indicated the funds that were used during World Cup qualifiers against Kenya and Namibia were part of the 2013/14 national budget,” FAM general secretary Suzyo Nyirenda was quoted. “We were not aware of this arrangement; we have been taken unaware because, to us, expenses that were incurred prior and after Kenya and Namibia games were settled by funds within the 2012/13 financial year which ended on June

Judiciary workers hit Port Harcourt for NASAJ games


Malawi players 31, 2013. This unavailability of funds means the Flames will be unable to camp for four days in Botswana where they had been scheduled to play a friendly match against the Botswana national team. If they are unable to travel, they

will forfeit the three points on offer to Nigeria and may also be punished by Fifa. However, officials remain optimistic that the government will come to the team’s rescue. Malawi released a list of 23 players that will take on the Super Eagles next week.

Enyimba top NPFL tables


Bishop Onyeudo - Now leading scorer in league

nyimba returned to the top of Nigeria Professional Football league after they thrashed Gombe United 3-0 in a Week 28 game yesterday. Enyimba now have 45 points, same as champions Kano Pillars but are back on top based on a superior goals ‘difference. On-form striker Ifeanyi Edeh put ‘The Peoples Elephant’ ahead in the 10th minute, before Bishop Onyeudo doubled the lead in the 27th minute, scoring against his former team. Veteran striker Emeka Nwana put the icing on the cake for Enyimba with 55th minute strike, Onyeudo has now scored 12 goals to lead goals scorers’ chart. The former Gombe United striker said that he is happy with his goals. “I am happy as ever to score in the game; I will keep doing my best to get more goals, “Onyeudo declared.

he Judiciary workers in Nigeria are set to hit Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital for its annual Chief Justice of Nigeria sports competition billed from 23rd of October to 5th November. Making this known to newsmen yesterday in Abuja, the National president of the Sports Association for Judiciary (NASAJ) Mr. Emeka Ndili said that the 19th editions will witness unprecedented remarkable because all the logistics are in placed to ensure smooth and hitch free before and after the fiesta. According to Ndili, ten sports would be feature at Port Harcourt, football, handball, badminton, chess, tabletennis, athletes, scrabble, draught, ayoo and volleyball for both male and female categories except football and draught for only male. He said the competition was put together by courts and other judicial bodies throughout the federation to honour the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Hon. Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar who also doubles as grand patron of the federation. Ndili quickly pointed out that NASAJ has put measure in place to ensure the games free from mercenaries because the association would not hesitate to punish any unity found guilty. He commended the Chief Justice of Nigeria, River

FCT League: NSCDC FC reach second round after 2-1 loss to RODNAB FC


he Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) FC yesterday qualified for the second round of the ongoing 2013 FCT League in spite of it’s a 2-1 loss to RODNAB FC. The Coach of the NSCDC FC Gideon Gaiya who expressed happiness after the match at the Area 3 Sports Complex, Abuja, said his boys did not playing according to instructions. Joel Okoye of RODNAP FC scored the two goals for his team at the 2nd and 48th minute of play while Benson Davidson of NSCDC FC scored the lone goal for his team at the

74th minute. Gaiya said his team’s loss to their opponents was due to the lack of concentration of players during the match. “Players can be funny because they had the chance but were over confident, they felt that they had already qualified even if they lose or win the match, but I tried to explain to them that every match is important. “We have 10 points now, and we are already qualified for the second round; we hope to win the league”, he said. RODNAB FC Coach Ewendu Paul said that he was happy with the team’s

performance adding that although they played under pressure they were still victorious. “We came in late for the match due to some obstructions on the road, and my boys had to play under pressure, but I am happy that we won,’’ he said. “We have seven points to our credit now, and I hope that we will qualify for the next round. The match which was earlier scheduled for noon was delayed due to RODNAB FC late arrival at the venue. The FCT League matches began on the Aug. 19 and will come to an end on Sept. 15.

Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar

state government and Local Organising committee, (LOC) for working tireless to ensure the event witness hitch free. “I want to thank everybody especially the Chief Justice of Nigeria Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, Rivers state government and the LOC for putting everything in place for the 19 editions because the games will mark unprecedented for judicial workers in helping them both physically and mentally ahead of its herculean task. “I want to appreciate the good people of Rivers state for warming the ground ahead of our rival because I know the loving people will turnout for the annual games to mark a huge success, “he said. Meanwhile, the last edition which was held at Uyo, the Akwa-Ibom state capital witness Federal High Court emerged the overall winners of the tournament with 12 gold, 6 silvers and 8 bronzes, followed by Akwa-Ibom state judiciary with 12 gold 5 silvers and 2 bronzes, while FCT High Court 2 gold, 4 silvers and 3 bronzes, Court of Appeal 1 gold, 5 silvers and 5 bronzes, National Judiciary Institute 4 silvers and 8 bronzes, Lagos State Judiciary, 4 silvers and 1 bronzes, Federal judiciary service Commission, 1 silver and 5 bronzes; Supreme Court of Nigeria, 2 bronzes; while, Sharia Court of Appeal went home with 1 bronzes.




Golden Eaglets edge out Akwa United 1-0 Stories by Albert Akota


he Golden Eaglets eventually kept intact their winning streak on the domestic front when they beat the reserve team of Nigeria Professional Football League side, Akwa United 1-0 at the Uyo Township Stadium yesterday. The Golden Eaglets started the game on a bright note immediately referee Mfon Akpan signalled the kick off and they kept the momentum despite the poor condition of the pitch. In fact, Chidiebere Nwakali would have given the Eaglets their first goal of the match as early as the 5th minute of the match when his pile driver from outside the box was touched away by goalkeeper Ukeme Oscar in goal for the home team. Some two minutes later, Jacob Njoku was almost lucky from the same spot as Nwakali’s when his shot went straight into the net amidst sea of legs only for the referee to rule offside to the dismay of everyone. Yet Njoku was back some few minutes later when he sent

Golden Eaglets players with Coach Manu Garba a through ball for Isaac Success to fire home the first goal of the

match in the 20th minute. From then on, it was a

ding-dong affair with little separating the two sides. But

Rangers beat Lobi Stars 2-1 in Enugu


he Flying Antelopes moved up the league table after a narrow victory over the Makurdi visitors yesterday Christian Obiozor was the cynosure of all eyes as his two goals gave Enugu Rangers all three points in the battle against Lobi Stars in a week 28 game of the Nigeria Professional Football League played in Enugu. Obiozor who joined the Flying Antelopes during the mid-season transfer window was in splendid form all through the game as Rangers garnered 42 points from 28 games. Lobi Stars had approached the game with all seriousness as they pressed forward from the blast of the whistle. It did not take long before they were rewarded on 15 minutes. Lekan

Agunloye’s fine pass found Joshua Agbanye who wasted no time in shooting past Emmanuel Daniel in goal for Rangers. But the boys from Makurdi relaxed after the goal and that gave Rangers players all the confidence to take the game to Lobi Stars. The defence line of Lobi was subjected to a barrage of attacks and in the 40th minute, Obiozor nodded in Sunday Chinedu’s corner kick. Rangers continued from where they stopped in the first half and just five minutes into the second stanza, Obiozor popped up again to finish Chinedu’s inviting cross which gave Terkaa Melai in goal for Lobi Stars no chance to react. Rain played a major part in the half as it did not allow the players express themselves in the second half. But Rangers held on to emerge victorious and garnered 42 points so far. Lobi will face Nasarawa United this weekend and they must win to move away from relegation zone.

All the results

Nigerians in Abidjan urge D’Tigers to win 2013 Afrobasket title

Wolves 4 Kaduna United 0 Nembe 2 Kwara 0 Sharks 2 Wikki 1


ome Nigerians residing in Abidjan, the Ivorian economic capital, have urged the National basketball team, D’Tigers to win the 2013 edition of the African Basketball Championship

Heartland 2 Pillars 0 Rangers 2 Lobi 1 ABS 1 Akwa United 0 Enyimba 3 Gombe 0 Nasarawa 4 Dolphins 0 Shooting Stars 2 El Kanemi 0 Sunshine vs Bayelsa (Today)


almost towards the end of the first half, Success and Taiwo Awoniyi made an inspired one-touch combination but the latter’s final shot was held firmly by goalkeeper Oscar to keep the score-line at 1-0. As expected, the second half started fast and furious after the home team made some changes to their starting line-up. The Golden Eaglets’ crew later brought in Clement Ogbobe and Nansel Selbol for Olumide Akofe and Njoku respectively. Injured Goalkeeper Sunday Alanpasu also gave way for former National Under-15 goal tender, Abdulazeez Abubakar. But the two sides were unable to score any further goal. Meanwhile, in the stadium to watch the game were Chief Effiong Johnson, Chairman of Akwa Ibom FA and a board member of the NFF, veteran coach Charles Bassey, Mr. Shina Phillips of the NFF/Pitch Awards as well as a host of local officials and fans who went home satisfied. “It was a good game and I’m impressed with the performance of the Golden Eaglets in spite of the poor condition of the pitch, “said Johnson afterwards. “ The Golden Eaglets are still work in progress

KSG pay 70 percent sign-on fees


Lobi Stars players in sorry mood

(Afrobasket). This was the dominant view of Nigerians who responded to agency survey on the ongoing Afrobasket in Abidjan yesterday. They were of the opinion that the team possessed the potential to win the title, if the players remained focused and committed. One of them, Mike Ejike, an Abidjan-based Nigerian trader said that the team had the opportunities of winning the title for the first time judging by the crop of players in the team. “With what we have seen the team play, this is indeed a good opportunity for us to win the basketball title for the first time,’’ he said. Wariso Nkemji another Nigerian Businessman said the team only required the right attitude for each game to win the championship. “The skills are there, I think that what the team needs is the right mindset for every game, they really have what it takes,’’ he said. Another Nigerian, Festus Efe called on the D’Tigers not to underrate any team but remain focused on winning every game. “Having shown this level of brilliance by progressing unbeaten to this state, the expectation of Nigerians is to win the title,’’ he said. Nigerians have been coming out massively to support the team since they began their campaign in the tournament. Nigeria, which is making its 25th appearance since the premier edition of the championship in 1965.

he Kwara State government has continued to motivate players of the state-owned club by paying their sign on fees The Kwara State government has released funds for the payment of 70 percent of Kwara United players’ and officials’ sign-on fees for the current league season. Kwara United media officer, Olayioye Ajide said the management of the club effected the prompt payment of the sign-on fees. According to Ajide, the players and the technical crew will now smile to their banks as they have vowed to justify the payment with scintillating performances and results. “This gesture of release of fund and immediate payment of players and officials’ sign-on fees portrays how the state government loves the state’s darling team and we have Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed to praise for motivating the club in all ramifications,” Ajide said. The management commended the governor who has been attending to the demands of the club as manifested in the presentation of brand new coaster bus and a bus to cushion the effect of the team’s weekly journeys. The payment, in the words of management, is a fulfillment of the promises by the state government under the leadership of Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed to ensure the state darling team has all that it takes for them to win the much coveted league shield.


Chelsea set to hijack Atsu from Spurs


helsea look set to beat London rivals Tottenham for the second time in the transfer market this summer as they close in on Porto winger Christian Atsu. The Blues sensationally snatched Brazilian forward Willian for £30million shortly after he had completed a medical at White Hart Lane - and Jose Mourinho is prepared to deny his former assistant Andre Villas-Boas another signing. The Spurs boss, who gave Atsu his debut at Porto, has been tracking the 21-year-old since it became clear that he would not sign a new contract at the Estadio do Dragao. Liverpool also made a £5million offer for the young Ghana international as he entered the final year of his contract this summer but failed to agree a fee leaving Chelsea best placed to sign him for as little as £3.5million. With six creative midfield players - Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Andre Schurrle, Juan Mata, Victor Moses and Wilian - now at Stamford Bridge it is not clear if Atsu will be used immediately or sent out on loan.

Christian Atsu


Newcastle keen on Gomis, Ba N

ewcastle have rekindled their interest in signing Lyon striker Bafetmibi Gomis and could bring former St James’ Park star Demba Ba back to the club on loan.. The Magpies have been desperate to secure a second striker since agreeing a loan deal with Queens Park Rangers for Loic Remy in early August. The deal was followed by a bid of around £7 million for Gomis being accepted before the planned move stalled. Gomis is in the final year of his contract at the Stade de Gerland and, after refusing to sign an extension, was ostracised from the squad. Complications over both a sell-on percentage due to his former club Saint Etienne and a fee for his agents had hit hopes of a deal, and Lyon chairman Jean Michele Aulas indicated that Gomis would return to the first team squad. This led Newcastle to retract their bid but with less than a week left until the transfer window closes they are understood to have reopened discussions. Meanwhile, Ba has emerged as a surprise target after having left in January. He moved to Chelsea for £7 million after a stellar 18 months at St James’ Park, but has found first-team opportunities limited. With the two clubs beginning discussions over a loan, it remains to be seen whether Ba would be open to a return to the north-east.

Demba Ba

Tiendalli rejoins Swansea S wansea City has re-signed Dutch defender Dwight Tiendalli on a three-year

deal. Tiendalli was a hugely successful presence in the Swans’ line-up last season, having been released at the end of the 2011/12 campaign by FC Twente, making 25 appearances and impressing in the full-back role when Neil Taylor was injured. He was even called up to the Netherlands national team by Louis van Gaal, and went on to make two appearances for his country, although his days at the Liberty Stadium appeared numbered after his deal expired this summer and a new contract had not been agreed. Yet the south Wales side confirmed on Wednesday that terms had been agreed on a fresh deal that will expire in 2016.



Christian Eriksen

Spurs to spend Bale fee on £12m-rated Eriksen


ottenham are making a move for Danish wonderkid Christian Eriksen. Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reports that Spurs hope to make the 21-year-old Ajax midfielder their fifth signing of the summer, using some of the money they are set to receive for the world record sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid. Franco Baldini and Daniel Levy are currently locked in negotiations with Ajax director of football Marc Overmars - Spurs have made an initial £8million bid, but Ajax are believed to be holding out for £12m. After Chelsea stole in for their top target Willian, Spurs believe Eriksen to be an ideal alternative, and according to De Telegraaf, 10 million Euros will be enough to secure the services of Eriksen, who has one year remaining on his contract. The playmaker has long been on the radars of the top European clubs after he burst into the first team aged just 18. He scored nine goals in Eredivisie last season and was a key performer, adding a goal, as Ajax beat Manchester City 3-1 in the Champions League group stages.

Kondogbia at verge of Monaco move Wakaso swaps Espanyol


eoffrey Kondogbia has told Sevilla he is leaving, with Monaco thought to have offered the €20 million needed to trigger his release clause. Earlier this week, reports suggested that the France international midfielder, who has been linked with clubs including Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint Germain, was close to finalising a move to the big-spending Ligue 1 outfit. The €20 million included in this is going to be deposited soon with the Liga de Futbol Profesional, according to the footballer, who this afternoon did not attend training so he has not been able to personally say goodbye to his team-mates.” Sevilla president Jose Maria Del Nido had previously said the club did not want to sell Kondogbia, and that he and investors the Doyen Group who reportedly own 50% of

the player’s rights had agreed that he would stay for another season. However, the complicated arrangement by which Sevilla

Kondogbia (F)

signed the player from Lens in summer 2012 meant Del Nido and his club were powerless to control the situation.

for Rubin Kazan


hanaian winger Mubarak Wakaso is set to join Russian side Rubin Kazan from Espanyol for a reported fee of €6m, the Spanish club confirmed yesterday. Espanyol and Rubin Kazan have reached an agreement yesterday for the transfer of Mubarak Wakaso to the Russian team, as soon as he has passed a medical with his new club. The 23-year-old only joined the Catalans from Villarreal last summer and his only season with Los Pericos was dogged by disciplinary problems as he was sent-off twice and picked up a further 13 bookings. Wakaso apologised to everyone involved at the club for having pushed the move through. Wakaso




Cuban hurdler Ortega aims for US move A

top Cuban hurdler who defected earlier this month says he now wants to be reunited with his mother in Florida. Orlando Ortega, 22, criticized the Cuban sports authorities in a

phone call to the Associated Press news agency from Padua in Italy. “It was an extremely difficult and tough decision, but I made it and I won’t look back,” said Ortega. Ortega came sixth in the 110m hurdles final in the London 2012

Olympics. But this year his form has been much worse. He failed to get beyond the qualifying round in his event at the world championships in Moscow recently. The Cuban authorities

suspended him for six months for insubordination after he refused to compete in a June trial event in Russia. In early August he abandoned the Cuban team in Spain, after the World Championships in

Moscow. He was regarded as one of the island’s top athletes and his defection is seen as a big blow, coming after the decision by fellow Cuban hurdler Dayron Robles to move his career to Monaco.

US Open 2013: Teenager shocks Stosur


ormer champion Sam Stosur became the most highprofile casualty of the US Open first round with a shock defeat by American teenager Victoria Duval. Number 11 seed Stosur, the

2011 winner, led by a set and 4-2 but 17-year-old qualifier Duval came through 5-7 6-4 6-4 on a stunned Louis Armstrong Stadium. Duval’s only previous Grand Slam appearance came as a

wildcard at the 2012 US Open, where she lost to Kim Clijsters in the first round, and she came through qualifying to reach the main draw this time round. The daughter of Haitian parents and ranked 296th in the

world, Duval claimed her first win against a top-20 player in two hours and 39 minutes. Stosur, who made 56 unforced errors to her opponent’s 35, said: “I let every single opportunity slip away and made too many errors.

Anthony Ogogo

Ogogo out of Mayweather, Alvarez fight due to injury

O Victoria Duval (R)

Price splits with long-time coach


ritish and Commonwealth heavyweight champion David Price has parted company with trainer Franny Smith. The split comes after Price, 30, suffered back-to-back defeats to American Tony Thompson.

Franny has always been a huge part of my career and after discussion we’ve agreed this is the best way forward,” Price told The Liverpool Echo. Price is expected to meet promoter Frank Maloney in

September to discuss if their partnership will continue. Liverpudlian Price, who has also had former world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis in his corner, has taken time out since last month’s defeat to Thompson, 41, to

consider how to rebuild his career. He was considered a world title prospect after winning the first 15 fights of his professional career, but lost in round two to Thompson in February, and was stopped in the rematch in round five.

lympic bronze medallist Anthony Ogogo has been forced to pull out of a fight on next month’s Floyd Mayweather Junior v Saul Alvarez undercard. A “niggly” hand injury has prevented the 24-year-old Lowestoft boxer from competing in Las Vegas on 14 September. An opponent had yet to be named for what would have been the middleweight’s fourth professional bout. “I want to get as good as possible as quickly as possible and be in big fights myself not fighting on a Mayweather undercard but on an Ogogo promotion defending world titles. Ogogo has won all three of his fights, two by stoppage, since signing with Golden Boy Promotions and turning professional earlier this year.

IOC bans Yanit for testing positive


David Price

uropean 100 metres hurdles champion Nevin Yanit has been banned for two years after the Turkish athlete tested positive for banned substances. Yanit, 26, who won the title in 2010 and 2012, failed a doping test during a competition in Germany in February. Turkey has been hit by a series of doping scandals at a time when Istanbul is bidding to host the 2020 Olympics, competing against Tokyo and Madrid. The International Olympics

Committee IOC selects the host city on September 7. Earlier this month, the Turkish Athletics Federation gave two-year suspensions to 31 athletes for drug offences, including Esref Apak, who won a silver medal in the hammer at Athens Olympics in 2004. Russian shot-putter Anna Avdeyeva has also been banned for two years for a drugs offence. Avdeyeva, 28, tested positive for the banned substance oralturinabol from a sample taken in Moscow on 30 July.




CL draw: Clubs jittery as new players, England D coaches know opponent today I

avid Moyes did very well but he did some good things at Everton. I think United thought a long time about making a good choice for their next manager after Sir Alex Ferguson and they know what they are doinghe will do well. The big changes: Three of last season’s Premier League top four has new managers David Moyes at United, Manuel Pellegrini at City and the return of Jose Mourinho at Chelsea. The big signings: Fernandinho (Shakhtar Donetsk to Manchester City, £35m), Willian (Anzhi Makhachkala to Chelsea, £30m), (Stevan Jovetic (Fiorentina to Manchester City, £22m) Roberto Soldado (Valencia to Tottenham, £26m), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla to Manchester City, £22m) , Andre Schurrle (Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea, £19m), Paulinho (Corinthians to Tottenham, £17m), Jesus Navas (Sevilla to Manchester City, £16.9m) , Andy Carroll (Liverpool to West Ham, £15m), Dani Osvaldo (Roma to Southampton, £15m), Victor Wanyama (Celtic to Southampton, £12m,) Wilfried Bony (Vitesse to Swansea, £12m) The big sales: Carlos Tevez (Manchester City to Juventus, £7.9m), Gervinho (Arsenal to Roma, £7m) New manager David Moyes faces a big test retaining Manchester United’s Premier League crown but arguably an even bigger one trying to return them to the sharp end of the Champions League. Manchester City, who are ranked 22nd in Europe in Uefa’s seeding system, hope their new boss Manuel Pellegrini repeats his habit of chucking the coefficient out of the window. In 2005-06, he took Villarreal (ranked 24th) through qualifying and to the semi-finals.

t has been a turbulent summer for Europe’s leading clubs as transfer market get closer. Champions League holders Bayern Munich and the rest of the top five in UEFA’s European club rankings likes Barcelona, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United have all changed their manager, as have big-spending Manchester City and Paris St-Germain. With the Champions’ League group stage draw taking place in Monaco today football pundits take a look at how the continent’s elite sides are shaping up for the new European campaign.


Defending champion Banyan Munich player Ajen Rouben with CL trophy



T Carlos Tevez


ith the arrival of Carlos Tevez, Juventus look a very strong team and AC Milan has made some good signings in the last few months, but we don’t really know how well the new players like Gonzalo Higuain will settle in at Napoli. The big changes: Last season ended with speculation over Antonio Conte’s future as Juve boss but, of last season’s top three, only Napoli have a new man in charge - Rafael Benitez, who has been handed the proceeds of the £55m sale of Edinson Cavani to PSG and has been spending heavily to reshape his squad. The big signings: Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid to Napoli, £32m), Kevin Strootman (PSV to Roma, £14m), Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich to Fiorentina, £13.5m), Angelo Ogbonna (Roma to Juventus, £11.4m), Mehdi Benatia (Udinese to Roma, £11m), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid to Napoli, £10.5m), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City to Juventus, £7.9m), Gervinho (Arsenal to Roma, £7m), Fernando Llorente (Atletico Bilbao to Juventus, free) The big sales: Edinson Cavani (Napoli to PSG, £55m), Marquinhos (Roma to PSG, £27m), Stevan Jovetic (Fiorentina to Manchester City, £22m), Dani Osvaldo (Roma to Southampton, £15m) .

he big changes: New managers at Nou Camp and the Bernabeu for a start, in the shape of Gerardo Martino and Carlo Ancelotti. Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone is actually the only manager from last season’s top six in La Liga to still be in his post. The big signings: Neymar (Santos to Barcelona, £50m), Isco (Malaga to Real Madrid, £26m), Asier Illarramendi (Real Sociedad to Real Madrid, £26m) Carlo Ancelotti has won 59 of 117 Champions League matches that he has managed (50.43%, excluding qualifiers); a better win percentage than Arsene Wenger (46.05%), Guus Hiddink (41.30%) and Marcello Lippi (50.00%). PSG won 63% of league matches under Ancelotti (36 of 57). At Chelsea his win rate was also 63% in the league. In Italy, it was 57% - 61% with Juventus, 58% with Milan and 49% with Parma. The big sales: Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid to Monaco, £52m), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid to Napoli, £32m), Roberto Soldado (Valencia to Tottenham, £26m), Thiago (Barcelona to Bayern Munich, £22m), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla to Manchester City, £22m) Jesus Navas (Sevilla to Manchester City, £16.9m) La Liga: It would be a significant failure if Real and Barca did not progress at least as far as the semi-finals.

Messi and Neymar

Pep Guardiola


ayern and Dortmund will be just as strong this season. They showed us already last year how good they are and they are two of my favourites to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League. Bayern, especially, will be a threat. And, if Dortmund keeps their team together and Robert Lewandowski for example stays, then they are a very good team also. The big changes: Can Pep Guardiola maintain Bayern’s brilliance from last season or even improve on it? That’s the most interesting question in German football right now. There is no change at Dortmund or Schalke but Sami Hyypia is now the sole man in charge at Leverkusen - there was an uneasy partnership with Sascha Lewandowski last season. The big signings: Mario Gotze (Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich, £32.5m), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Shakhtar Donetsk to Borussia Dortmund, £24m), Thiago Alcantara (Barcelona to Bayern Munich, £22m), Luis Gustavo (Bayern Munich to Wolfsburg, £15m), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (St Etienne to Borussia Dortmund, £11.4m) The big sales: Andre Schurrle (Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea, £19m), Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich to Fiorentina, £13.5m), Bayern are one of the favourites to win the competition. Dortmund is easily quarter-final material again, with the potential to kill a giant or two. Thiago Alcantara and Mario Gotze have strengthened what was already a superb Bayern team. The latter looks set to play a pivotal role but there’ll be a lot of rotation to keep everyone happy.





Some Interesting Facts

013 is the first year since 1987 that consists of four different digits. •At the time of your birth, you were, for a few seconds, the youngest person on the planet. •If you spell out the numbers in order, the first time you get to the letter “a” is at one-thousand. •We’ve all been here forever. Every bit of matter we see has been here since the beginning of time and it always will be. •A monkey was once tried and convicted for smoking a cigarette in South Bend, Indiana. •Happiness is a skill. You can learn it and it’s not hard. •Except when breeding, the Common Swift spend their entire lives in the air, living on the insects they catch in flight. They drink, feed and often mate and sleep on the wing. •Baby rabbits are called kittens. •Baby puffins are called pufflings. •Costa Rica is statistically the happiest nation on Earth. •Worms communicate by snuggling. •If you blend a sea sponge, it will re-form back into a sea sponge. •The Beatles used the word “love” 613 times throughout their career. •Every year, millions of trees grow thanks to squirrels forgetting where they buried their nuts.

Leisure •On the day of his assassination, Martin Luther King Jr. had a pillow-fight in his motel room. •The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We’re all made of star dust. • The happier you are, the more

antibodies your body generates – up to 50 percent more, in fact. • Penguins only have one mate their entire life and “propose” by giving their mate a pebble. • Cows have best friends. • Cuddling releases Oxytocin which helps speed healing and recovery from physical wounds. • Otters hold hands when sleeping so they don’t drift away

• There’s a type of jellyfish that lives forever. Turritopsisnutricula • Wayne Allwine (the voice of Mickey Mouse) and Russi Taylor (the voice of Minnie Mouse) were married in real life. • We now have less crime, a lower death rate and longer life expectancy than at any other time mee in human history.

Say what?



Milan Roskopf of Slovakia broke his own previous world record in June 2009 by juggling three motor saws 62 successful times in a row. His previous record was 35.

. . . putting the people first


QUOTABLE QUOTE The permanent voter’s card in 2015 will ensure that only the legitimate voter can vote. Dead people can no longer vote, unless the voter cuts his finger — Prof. Attahiru Jega, Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

SPORTS Between Suntai who crashed a LATEST

UEFA warns Shakhter over sheep ritual before CL play-off


azakhstan champions Shakhtar Karagandy have been warned that they could face disciplinary action if they slaughter any more sheep before European games, UEFA yesterday. The UEFA Competition department has written to FC Shakhter Karagandy and informed them that animal slaughter was not acceptable in or around our competitions and that the club would face sanctions if it happens again. Animal rights group PETA last week called on UEFA to ban the ritual slaughter of animals after reports that Shakhter had killed a sheep before their Champions League playoff tie at home to Celtic which they won 2-0. We’re very grateful for UEFA’s swift and firm action condemning such cruel and archaic practices”, said PETA’s Mimi Bekhechi in a statement.

UEFA bans Fenerbahce for 2-year over match fixing


enerbahce have been removed from the Europa League and banned from next season’s Champions League as part of a match-fixing case. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) had allowed the Turkish side to complete a two-legged Champions League qualifier against Arsenal, which they lost 5-0 on aggregate, while their appeal was considered. But their original two-year UEFA ban was upheld after club officials were judged to have helped fix matches in order to win the 2011 Super Lig title.

Emmanuel Emenike


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plane and boy who dared to fly


id you read the article “End of an Assignment” by Tim Newmann that clinically analyses how the system works in Nigeria just from a Lagos point of view? Well, I did over the weekend and found myself shaking my head to what the British expatriate oil worker catalogued as some of the problems with Nigeria. In all fairness, I always want to differ on some of the issues that people raise that has to do with Nigeria not working as it should especially when such person just does that from a corner then hopes to paint the whole court yard in the same colour, but to some extent, I will say that Tim Newmann was not far from right. But he has finished his assignment and written about his experience with a promise to come back to Nigeria in time to come. It is our duty as Nigerians then to make sure that when he visits again, he will see a new Nigeria that would surprise him; that is if it’s achievable within the time frame. Over the weekend, two incidents were reported in the news media - the returning home of the governor of Taraba state, Danbaba Suntai, who was involved in an air crash on October 25th last year and had been undergoing series of treatment abroad and the story of a young boy who dared all odds and took an indescribable risk to stowaway in an Arik Air flight from Benin to Lagos inside the wheel well compartment of the plane. While almost all the newspapers had the picture(s) of the governor being assisted off the plane on their cover with headlines that dwelled more on his inability to perform certain social gestures like waving at the crowd or acknowledging cheers, little attention was given to Daniel Ihekina who may have broken a record of some sort in the world. The Suntai reports focussed on the less than five minutes reception accorded the governor with aides barring journalists from getting close. In other climes other than Nigeria and some certain African countries, a leader that is ill usually announces that he or she isn’t physically sound and the citizens understand and send their sympathy and wishes. At times, you see flowers being gathered for the ailing leader; crowds might gather close to the hospital where such person is admitted and light candles to hold vigil. Prayers are offered, placards bearing good will messages are displayed and the media covers these activities all in a bid to have their leader recover

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Gov. Danbaba Suntai quickly. But in Nigeria, it is not so and the people are not to blame. In a country where the government and the people have a wide divide, there is tendency for animosity to set in. It is always assumed that the level of government in Nigeria that should be closest to the people even at the grassroots level is the local government but not in Nigeria. The state governments have seen to it that the local government system is in perpetual comatose and only functions by proxy. In some states, elections of local government chairpersons have not been held for close to seven years and just recently, when the National Assembly had just finished the Constitution review process in which they threw the local government autonomy bill away, some governors came openly to state that they are against the agitation. People in government in Nigeria only court the masses during elections when they need but quickly abandon them immediately after the objective is achieved. A lawmaker who was hitherto throwing banters with folks in his ward suddenly starts appearing with armed policemen blaring sirens who treat those very people responsible for the new status of the their principal as potential threats. While this is going on, information is severed from the people even with the Freedom of Information Act having been signed into law. In so many occasions, governors of states have been reported to

have taken ill but the aides of such officials come out to tell outright lies and give misleading information on the whereabouts of the elected or appointed person. When these cases are managed in this sinister manner, it achieves one objective; it creates awareness of the issue that they always intend to hide. As the lies keep coming the people, who may have genuine reasons to be aware of the whereabouts of their leader, their president, their governor, their first lady, would suddenly become angry. They will now start demanding to know the truth; sympathy gives way to annoyance. The people will feel they are been taken for fools and will revolt against such manoeuvres. When eventually the person surfaces, like in Taraba governor who has been incommunicado for 10 months, the people would be eager to see for themselves the true picture of the situation. It then becomes a mockery; the place of pity and sympathy in their hearts is replaced by giggles and a we-knowthey-were-lying look. The patient who is the victim of an ailment or an accident also becomes the victim of bad image management perpetuated by his team. What would be the consequences if Suntai had been put in a wheelchair and brought out of the plane instead of the pitiable picture splashed across all the national dailies? For Pete’s sake, the man survived an air crash and people have that in mind. But for his aides to attempt painting a make-believe image of a man hale and hearty all for the sake of political office is the height of irresponsibility and stupidity. Those championing the governor to go on and resume work are doing so with a clear different motive; they have suspicious aces up their sleeves but the whole plot may backfire. I wish Governor Suntai all the best but if his condition is not stable enough for him to continue in office, as Obasanjo said, he should take the path of honour and let his family look after him. He just had a set of twins while in a German hospital; he has a duty to be a good father to those babies. Now to the Hollywood thrillerstyled action of 15-year old Daniel

Ihekina who beat airport security in Benin, got into the plane and flew in the tyre hole of an Arik plane from Benin to Lagos. One question this incident should be making us ask is, has desperation gotten even into our teenagers? What was the young boy thinking when he took what I would describe as the biggest risk of the century. How did he succeed and come out alive? This is a boy who I will presume has never been on an aircraft before, never knew the dangers involved in the act he was taking and was determined to get on that plane. He packed his bag, planned accurately, watched the planes take off and land and plotted his strategy. This boy is intelligent, bold and fearless. I say that because of the short time he was able to get accustomed to the immediate compartment of the wheel well and stay there without falling off even when the plane landed. Imagine being holed up in that tyre compartment with the noise, flying at 5000 feet and you are still there, hanging on; never stop believing that something will go wrong. That is the mind of a man. His desperation led him to leave Nigeria and live the good life abroad as reported that he thought the plane was bound for America. It is unfortunate the kind of attention that was meted out to the boy on landing. The picture of a policeman dragging him along as a common thief is criminal itself. Yes, he may have breached security protocol and endangered lives but how could they have just arrested the young boy who could have been dazed after his self-planned ordeal? Even Umar Farouk Abdumutallab who tried to bomb a US jetliner was given medical attention immediately the plane landed. But the security officials, who failed in their duty to properly guard the airport, were quick to show him off like a trophy instead of giving the young chap medical attention and also trying to understand how that incident occurred; find out the breaches and failings in the system that made it easy for a boy that young to have gained entry into the aircraft. For the boy, Daniel Ihekina, there is something in him that Nigeria will tap from if he is trained adequately. He has a mindset that will be an asset sometime in the near future. For him to have looked death in the eyes at 5000 feet altitude for 40 minutes, he will make a special agent if adequately groomed. Ahaoma Kanu lives in Wuse, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory

Published by Peoples Media Limited, 35, Ajose Adeogun Street, 1st Floor Peace Park Plaza, Utako, Abuja. Kano office: Plot 3, Zaria Road, Opposite Kano State House of Assembly. Lagos Office: No.8 Oliyide Street, off Unity Road, Ikeja, Lagos. Tel: +234 814 292 9046. Cell: +234 802 443 2099; 803 7007 759. e-mail:; ISSN: 2141– 6141

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Thursday 29, August, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Thursday 29, August, 2013

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Thursday 29, August, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Thursday 29, August, 2013