Page 1

Vol. 9 No. 56

Monday, October 29, 2012

. . . putting the people first

N7 bn debt: Police contractors, families to picket NASS, Presidency >> PAGE 2

Woman delivered of triplets in 12 childbirth >> PAGE 8

Zhul-Hajj 13, 1433 AH


FIRS rakes in 3.8bn in 9 months >> PAGE 19

Tension as 15 perish, scores injured in Kaduna suicide bomb attack 2 hurt in Bauchi explosion Reprisals claim 2 Jonathan, Yakowa condemn attack

From Agaju Madugba , Kaduna with agency report


ension gripped Kaduna town yesterday following a suicide bomb attack on St. Rita’s Catholic church, Ungwar Yero in Badarawa area of the metropolis, which reportedly killed about 15 persons and injured scores of others. A spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Yushua Shuaib, however, said eight people were confirmed killed and more than 100 injured. There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Islamist sect Boko Haram had claimed responsibility for similar attacks in the past and attacked several churches with bombs and guns as it intensified its insurgency in the past year. “The heavy explosion also damaged many buildings around the area,” said survivor Linus Lighthouse. Another witness to the Contd on Page 2


24th Oct., 2012

CBN RATES BUYING SELLING $ 154.76 155.76 £ 248.1886 249.792 EURO 202.21 203.516 CFA 0.2885 0.3085 RIYAL 41.267 41.5 PARALLEL RATES BUYING SELLING EURO 202 205 £ 243 247 RIYAL 40 42 $ 155.5 158.50

A woman and her two little children who survived yesterday’s suicide bombing of a church in Kaduna.

Zannah alleges plot by JTF, Sheriff to remove him from Senate By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


enator Ahmad Zannah, representing Borno Central Senatorial District in Borno state said yesterday that the conspiracy to connect

him with a commander of the Boko Haram sect, Shuaibu Bama who was recently arrested by the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno State, was an attempt to declare his seat vacant to pave way for a JTF supervised fresh

senatorial election that would produce Ali Modu Sheriff as the winner. Zannah stated this while reacting to a publication credited to former Borno State Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff

while debunking what he described as the false and malicious allegation that Shuaibu Bama was arrested in his house. He reiterated his position that the suspect was Contd on Page 2



















N7 bn debts: Police contractors to picket NASS, Presidency By Lawrence Olaoye


olice contractors and members of their families, over the weekend, resolved to march to the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock and the National Assembly complex and remain there until they are paid outstanding N7 billion owed them for executing capital projects for the Nigeria Police in the 36 states and Abuja. Arising from an emergency meeting held at the weekend in Abuja, the contractors through their spokesman, Chief Patrick Ojo, pleaded with President Goodluck Jonathan and the NASS leadership to quickly come to their aid in ensuring prompt payment of the debts to save them from further harassments

and embarrassments from their bankers who advanced them loans to execute the contracts. The contractors lamented that they have continued to lose their members to the cold hands of death following frustrations they experienced in assessing their funds just as they are equally faced with threats of losing their properties used as collateral to the bankers who advanced them loans. Ojo said ‘’All our efforts to get the money paid had been abortive; we approached the Minister of Police Affairs; we approached previous and the current Inspectors General of Police, even the Senate Committee on Police Affairs had intervened, all what we got were promises upon promises, we are

fed up; our members are dying and banks are on our necks; they want to auction our properties. We are pleading with the President and the Chambers of the National Assembly to come to our rescue” ‘’When we approached the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade(rtd),he assured us that out of the N7billion,about N998million would be settled while the balance would be cleared when more money is released through special intervention by the Federal Government, but as we speak now, we learnt that less than N100million was being released to cater for those being owed N3million below’’,he further explained. Although the Minister of

Police Affairs could not be immediately reached over the matter, one of his aides who reacted to the contractors’ threat in confidence told Peoples Daily that some payments had actually commenced last week and that the minister was committed to seeing that the debts are paid on time. According to him, ‘’the Minister is on the top of the situation; he is in constant touch with the Inspector General of Police in ensuring that the names of the contractors were verified and authenticated by the IGP before any payment is made. He has directed that the available allocation on ground now be used to settle parts of the debts while others would be settled when further releases are made’’.

Tension as 15 perish, scores injured in Kaduna suicide bomb attack

Constitution review: Reps set for nationwide grassroots hearings, set guidelines Page 37

International 32-34 Digest




Sports Columnist

41-47 48

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Contd from Page 1 bombing, Daniel Kazah, a member of the Catholic cadets at the church, said he had seen three bodies on the bloodied church floor in the aftermath. A wall of the church was blasted open and scorched black, with debris all around. Police have cordoned the area off. Shortly after the blast, angry Christian youth took to the streets armed with sticks and knives. A Reuters reporter saw two bodies at the roadside in pools of blood. “We killed them and we’ll do more,” shouted a youth, with blood on his shirt, before police chased him and others away. A spokesman for St Gerard’s Catholic hospital, Sunday John, said the hospital was treating 14 injured. Another hospital, Garkuwa, had at least 84 victims, a NEMA official said. The Parish Priest, Rev. Father Bonnie Bazah, who said

to be in a critical condition, was first rushed to the Garkuwa Hospital on Sultan road from where he was taken to another health facility. One survivor, Mrs. Veronica Johnson, who was being treated along with her four children at the St. Gerald’s Hospital, said the bomb went off “during consecration when all of us were kneeling down in the church; suddenly, something hit the wall near us and then there was an explosion.” According to her, the explosion hit the children’s and choir sections of the church, hence the higher fatalities among children and youth. Officials of the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) put the number of injured at 49 persons who were taken to various hospitals in the metropolis. As at the time of this report yesterday, medical workers at

the 44 Army Reference Hospital confirmed receiving three corpses while four were deposited at the Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital and a corpse at the Garkuwa Hospital. At the St. Gerald’s Hospital, the Public Relations Officer there, Sunday Nigeria and its unity and development,” he said. The President however, expressed confidence that the war against terrorism would become more unrelenting as the nation would never give in to the forces of terror and retardation. According his spokesman, Dr Reuben Abati, “the persistence of messengers of evil will not prevail over the will of the government and the people to secure peace and safety. “Our efforts to deal with all acts of terror and violence would only be redoubled even as the security agencies continue to receive all the

support they need from government to reverse this unfortunate and unacceptable trend that threatens the peace and stability of our nation,” President Jonathan said. The President commiserated with the Catholic Church, families and friends of the victims of the bombing, assuring them that government’s resolve to deal with the threat of terrorism remains strong. In a related development, an explosion on Ilela Street in Bauchi metropolis late on Saturday injured two persons. Commissioner of Police, Mr Mohammed Ladan, confirmed the incident yesterday, describing it as “not severe”, although two persons were “slightly’ injured”. “There was an explosion along Ilela Street, resulting in slight injury to two persons. “There was minimal damage to physical structures and those injured had been taken to hospital,” he said.

Zannah alleges plot by JTF, Sheriff to remove him from Senate Contd from Page 1 actually arrested in Ali Modu Sheriff’s house on Rabi Road, Old G.R.A, off Damboa Road in Maiduguri. The legislator stated in a press statement signed by his Special Assistant, Usman U. Mustapha and made available to newsmen in Abuja that the, “carefully orchestrated campaign of calumny, blackmail, intimidation and character assassination is all about undoing what Allah has decreed”. He said Sheriff’s, “puerile and confused response” simply confirmed the former governor’s guilt and complicity in the matter, adding that

instead of addressing the core issues raised in the press conference, Sheriff resorted to pulling “the wool over our faces”. “Let the JTF be informed that, even under the terror of the occupation force, that the people of Borno are living, the perpetrators will be shocked with the damning evidences they will see! Let the unwary beware that there is limit to everything, especially, when the people are pushed to the wall, as it were”, the statement added. Senator Zannah challenged both Sheriff and the JTF to provide answers to, “who owns the property on Rabi Road, off Damboa Road in Maiduguri where the suspect was

apprehended, what took the JTF operatives with vehicles make and number (now withheld) to the property on the fateful day, when Shuaibu Bama was arrested and who ordered the killing of Muhammad Yusuf, the leader of the Yusufiyyah Sect?” The statement called on the authorities to summon the then commander of Sheriff’s security outfit in Borno State (Operation Flush), Col. Ben Ahanatu, the then Commissioner of Police, Christopher Deiga and Sheriff himself to explain their roles in the killing of Alhaji Baba Fugu, an octogenarian and many other people arrested and executed, including the invalids on crutches and

teenagers as revealed on YouTube and Aljazeera. It also urged the JTF to investigate the activities of Sheriff’s private militia codenamed, “ECOMOG” during his years in government and even beyond. “These are the issues, among others that the JTF should investigate if they are at all interested and are actually in Borno to tackle the current state of insecurity and not resorting to harassing, intimidating and framing innocent and productive members of the society in order to know those who disagree with Ali Modu Sheriff”, Zannah said.



Suntai’s aides depart Yola for further treatment From Blessing Tunoh, Yola


he remaining three survivors of the Sallah eve plane crash involving Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba state were evacuated yesterday for

further treatment. All three survivors who are Suntai’s security aides were moved amidst tight security until they were safely boarded enroute Abuja to the National Hospital from where they would be proceeding to Germany.

The three survivors were identified as Illiya Dasat who is the governor’s aide de camp; Tino Dagana, the chief security officer; and Joel Dan, the chief detail. Contrary to widely peddled rumours that lives were lost during the last Thursday night

crash, the three aides were evacuated from the wreckage of the plane alive but with various degrees of injury. The Federal Medical Centre where they have been on admission since the incident occurred was filled to capacity with Taraba state government

officials, security personnel and well wishers of the survivors. Adamawa state Governor, Murtala Nyako personally supervised the evacuation alongside the state Brigade Commander, John Nwaogu and other state officials. Similarly the Secretary to the Taraba State Government, Emmanuel Njuwa, led members of the state executive council to the witness the exercise. Reports indicate that the chief security officer and the chief detail appeared to be stable, while the ADC, until he departed Yola, was on life support machines. Director, medical services of the Taraba State Government House, Dr. Ahmed Kara, spoke on the health condition of the governor who has been reportedly flown to Germany for treatment, and his injured aides. “His excellency is very stable and responding positively to treatment which is why I had to stay back and monitor his aides; as you can see they are fine except for the CSO who has an ankle injury, even the ADC has finally come out of coma”.

Minister Lawyer wants AGF to prosecute Sanusi over Ibru’s N191bn seized assets condemns recovered from sacked managing information Act. persons connected with the assets prison break in From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos director of Oceanic Bank, Mrs. “This letter is therefore to you recovered for the purpose of Lagos based legal Cecilia Ibru. with a formal demand of the establishing what has become of Port Harcourt Camps established by flood victims who refused to go to approved centres, near River Niger bridge in Asaba on Saturday. Photo: NAN


practitioner, Mr. Chuks Nwachuku, yesterday, challenged the Attorney-General of the Federation and Justice Minister, Mohammed Adoke, to begin what he termed a proper prosecution of the Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, over what he described as failure to comply with the order of Justice Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court sitting in ikoyi, Lagos, which asked him to declare the whereabouts of N191 billion assets

The court had on October 2, 2012, given the apex bank a 72hour ultimatum to declare the whereabouts of the money and properties recovered from the troubled bank chief. Nwachuku in a letter to the AGF, argued that a case of wrongful denial of access to information has been established against Sanusi, saying the CBN boss is liable to be prosecuted upon conviction to a fine of N500,000 naira as provided for in section 7(5) of the freedom of

Kaduna bomb attack: NEMA officials escape mob From Mohammed Adamu, Kaduna


fficials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on a rescue mission yesterday escaped a mob attack at the scene where a suicide bomber had at about 9:15 am, rammed into the St. Rita Catholic Church, Anguwar Gado, Malali, a suburb in Kaduna. Eyewitness accounts told the NEMA Emergency Response Team (ERT), that the bomber crashed into the walls that fenced the worship centre after his attempt of going into the main building of the church was denied by security men at the church entrance when worshippers were conducting their prayer sessions. However, NEMA ERT officials escaped being lynched as angry youths in the community holding

sticks, machetes and other weapons attacked the agency’s ambulances and other response vehicles which led to the smashing of one of the ambulance’s rear window glass. Meanwhile, eight people including the bomber lost their lives while about 145 others sustained various degrees of injury. The Barau Dikko Specialists Hospital has the highest casualties with four deaths and close to 82 victims receiving treatments followed by the 44 Army Reference Hospital with three deaths and 35 people on admission, Garkuwa Specialists Hospital recorded one death and 15 victims on treatment, St. Gerard Catholic Hospital has 14 victims on treatment and Yusuf Dantsoho Hospital admitted two injured victims.

criminal prosecution of Malam Lamido Sanusi in accordance with the law” he said. The lawyer also alleged that the CBN governor and his associates within and outside government have embezzled and misappropriated the said amount recovered from the former bank chief. The lawyer continued, “The Honourable Attorney General is also requested to order an immediate full scale criminal investigation of Sanusi and all

those assets and with a view to prosecuting and bringing to book any person suspected of wrong doing. It would be recalled that Justice Idris had in his judgement in a suit filed by the President of Progressive Shareholders Association (PSA), Mr. Boniface Okezie, held that the order must be complied with within 72 hours. Okezie, had instituted the action seeking to compel the apex bank to release the information under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

Manchok-Vom road to provide alternative route By Ibrahim Kabiru Sule


he Minister of State for Works, Bashir Yuguda, has affirmed that the 43.2 kilometre Manchok-Vom road in Plateau state has been completed and opened to commuters. He revealed this during an inspection visit to the project by the National Good Governance Tour delegation. . He said the road now provides alternative route for travels to Kaduna as well as linkage of Plateau state with Kaduna state. Yuguda added that the road which is connected to the Eastern Bypass in Kaduna through Kachia, will provide alternative route for tankers lifting petroleum products from the Kaduna Refinery to some states in the North Central geopolitical zone.

According to him, part of the project includes the construction of the road escarpment, which requires the rock excavation of about 30 metres. “The scope of the project involves the construction of 2.75metres wide hard shoulders on either side, drainage structures consisting of four bridges, pipe and box culverts as well as lined drains”, he said. Ancillary works, he explained, include crash barriers, kilometre posts, road signs and markings. In his remarks at the site, the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, expressed delight at the quality of work and urged road users to drive with care, in order to guard against accidents. He noted that the road which was taken over by the Federal Government in January 2012 was executed at a cost of N3.9 billion.

By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


he Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, has condemned Saturday’s jail break in Ahoada Prisons, Port Harcourt, Rivers state, and called on the residents to remain calm, saying that government has beefed up security around the prison to restore peace and order in the area The minister in statement issued over the weekend by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. George Udoh, noted that six prisoners who were critically injured while being prevented by the security officers in the process of escaping from the prison were taken to the hospital and have been returned to the prison. It added that the prisoners who went on rampage broke the office of the Chief Wader, vandalised the prison’s clinic and carted away vital documents before burning part of the building. The minister said measures have been taken to beef up security in and around the prison to re-arrest other four inmates who are presently at large. The statement further appealed to the general public to cooperate with the present government in its bid to transform the prisons service.


Ribadu Report: Dead on arrival? Abdu Labaran Malumfashi


rom the government’s body language, it is safe to conclude that the Ribadu committee report will end up the same way reports do that are opposed to the liking and thinking of those in power. Two statements make that abundantly clear. The Presidency’s claim that the report was leaked so as to embarrass the government and Petroleum Minister Alison Madueke’s description of the report as a mare draft are proof that the last may have been heard about the report which alleges massive corruption in the oil industry, especially in the last couple of years. When in early February the government through the ministry of Petroleum Resources announced a 17man Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force under the chairmanship of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, there was a lot of Kudos from the people and chest beating by the government. The committee, according to a press statement from petroleum ministry then, was set up with a view to enhancing probity and accountability in operations of the Petroleum Industry “consistent with the policies and promises of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s Administration, and underpinned by the yearnings of the people of Nigeria for transparency in the Petroleum Industry”. The committee’s terms of reference were; 1. To work with consultants and experts to determine and verify all petroleum upstream and downstream revenues (taxes, royalties, etc.) due and payable to the Federal Government of Nigeria; 2. To take all necessary steps to collect all debts due and owing; to obtain agreements and enforce payment terms by all oil industry operators; 3. To design a cross debt matrix between all Agencies and Parastatals of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources; 4. To develop an automated platform to enable effective tracking, monitoring, and online validation of income and debt drivers of all Parastatals and Agencies in the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources; 5. To work with world-class consultants to integrate systems and technology across the production chain to determine and monitor crude oil production and exports, ensuring at all times, the integrity of payments to the Federal Government of Nigeria; and, 6. To submit monthly reports for ministerial review and further action. Consistent with what the people have suspected all along, the yet-to-be-released report of

That Nigeria is unashamedly corrupt is axiomatic; and its 2000 rating by Transparency International as the most corrupt country in the world, US State Department’s 2011 report on global human rights report and the report of the Ribadu-led Task Force on oil revenue are proof of that nauseating corruption. But a more poignant confirmation is the government’s practice of dumping in the trash bin any indicting report about corruption in the country. Such was the fate of the 2008 House of Representatives $16 billion power report. Will the Ribadu Committee report suffer the same fate?

President Goodluck Jonathan the Ribadu-led committee, gleaned by Reuters and Financial Times, exposed massive corruption, with hundreds of millions of dollars unaccounted for. According to the report, ministers of petroleum Resources between 2008 and 2011 handed out seven discretionary oil licences, but that $183m in signature bonuses was nowhere to be found, with three of the licences awarded since the incumbent minister, Mrs. Diezani AlisonMadueke was appointed in 2010. The report, as quoted by the foreign media, also suggested that Nigeria “may have lost $29billion in the last decade in the sweet-heart gas deals with major oil companies, such as Shell and Total, just as crude oil theft is reaching an alarming level of 250,000 barrels daily at a cost of $6.3billion a year”. Three of the oil licences were awarded since the current minister, Mrs. Diezani AlisonMadueke, took up her position in 2010, according to the report. Not unexpectedly, while denying giving any discretionary awards, the petroleum minister called the

Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke

Malam Nuhu Ribadu report “a draft”, even though Reuters said that the report it saw was labelled “Final Report.” “It is a draft,” the minister declared, adding that “There will be some areas where the government ... may have a

slightly different opinion ... (and) will put its point of view to the committee.” Reacting on the leaked report, Presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, said that as the committee had not formally submitted its report to

the appropriate authority, the excerpts could therefore not be taken as an official document. According to Dr. Abati, “It is strange that government will set up a committee, that report has not been submitted to the authorities that set up the committee and the report will be found on the pages of newspapers. “The report cannot be taken as an official document because the proper procedure is for committees set up by the government to submit their reports to the government. In principle, this report in the public domain is suspicious because it was not submitted to the appropriate authority. “If every committee set up by government goes above the system to leak reports, there can be chaos. Whoever leaked the report, if indeed the report is genuine, does not mean well. Whoever is behind it is out to embarrass the government.” These reactions did not come as a surprise as they are only consistent with government attitude toward any report that does not go the way of the liking of the leadership. They also raise fears that the report of the Ribadu committee may be dead even before its arrival.



UBA Plaza occupants lost over N1.2bn goods to fire, says chairman


ccupants of the UBA Plaza in Lagos Island, which was razed in an early evening fire on Saturday, lost goods estimated at over N1.2 billion in the incident. Mr. Greg Azubuogu, chairman of the plaza, who spoke on behalf of its occupants, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos. He said the five-storey building on Breadfruit Street, Lagos Island, housed a branch of

the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, warehouses, shops and offices. Azubuogu, who owns a shop in the plaza, told NAN that the fire may have been caused by a spark from electrical wires in the building. “I think that it is an electrical spark that caused the fire because Saturday was a weekend and a holiday. “We take preventive measures whenever we are closing for the day at the plaza.

“We normally put off the control switch, but the fire started from the warehouse on the fourth floor. “It is like the cartons in the warehouse aided the spark, as well

as the spread of the fire,” he said. Azubuogu recalled that the fire was noticed at about 4 p.m., noting that before any aid could come, it had spread to other parts of the plaza.

The chairman, who sells shoes and bags in the plaza, said he lost about N15 million in the incident. He appealed to the Lagos state government to come to their aid. NAN reports that as at Sunday evening, policemen and officials of other security agencies were still trying to prevent hoodlums from looting some wares salvaged from the plaza. (NAN)

Dajo Pottery bags international award in China By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


ajo Pottery, an i n d i g e n o u s manufacturer of marble, ceramic table-ware and decorative ceramic wares has for the fourth time, won the highest award at the Jingdezhen International Ceramic Fair and Exposition in the city of Jingdezhen, China. Speaking to newsmen at the weekend shortly after his arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, the president and founder of Dajo Pottery, Mr. Levi Yakubu, said his company has taken Nigeria to the apex of the sector by being the only African country to win the award. However, Yakubu said the disregard for arts in the country over the years has not been encouraging for young ones to key into such development. In his words, “the apathy and contempt shown to the art of pottery and ceramics has

been responsible for its poor impact on the economy of Nigeria. Traditionally it has always been seen as women’s occupation and hardly any society will give respect to any man who ventures into it...” The founder of the Benue state-based pottery industry further called on the Federal Government to look beyond the oil sector and tap from the vast potentials of ordinary clay which every part of the country is blessed with. This he said will generate employment for the teeming population in line with the Transformation Agenda of the government and also help in achieving the Vision 20: 20-20. Also, Mr. Atsen Ahua, a Swiss-based director of the company expressed the readiness of the company to collaborate with the federal and state governments to train youths in the art of ceramic making if funds and a conducive environment are available.

Jos: STF, police happy over hitch-free Sallah


he Special Task Force (STF) in Plateau state and the state police command on Saturday, expressed happiness over the hitch- free celebration of Eidel-Kabir in the state. The two security agencies in separate statements in Jos, thanked the people of the state for the peaceful celebrations. Maj. Gen. Henry Ayoola, STF Commander, said the feat was made possible through the joint effort of various religious groups and the security operatives. The media officer of STF, Capt. Mustapha Salisu, in a statement quoted Ayoola as saying that youths of various religious and cultural associations are commended for adhering to the voice of the elders by giving peace a chance in the state. “This is a season for appraisal, self-reflection and thanks giving to Almighty Allah for His mercies despite

our imperfections as humans. Similarly, Mr. Emmanuel Ayeni, The Commissioner of Police, called on the residents of Plateau state to imbibe the good spirit of living peacefully and harmoniously with one another. The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Abuh Emmanuel, in a statement credited Ayeni as saying: “We should all sustain this tempo even after Sallah to ensure total restoration of peace to Plateau. “The police are committed to ensuring peace, unity and security of lives and property in the state through provision of adequate security and constructive dialogue with all stakeholders”. He called on the people to continue to be law-abiding and not to hesitate in reporting any suspicious act capable of thwarting the relative peace now being enjoyed in the state. (NAN)

L-R: Leader of Nigerian Technical Aid Corps (TAC), Alhaji Adelakun Gbadebo, member of the TAC delegation to Sierra Leone, Mr. Peter Golshang, ); Mr. Steven Yerima , Mr. Dantata Wallams member of British Humanitarian Group and Door Christian Church, Freetown, Pastor Safa (r); discussing as both groups were set to embark on a field trip to monitor the progress made in the control areas of cholera outbreak in Sierra Leone on Saturday. Photo: Joe Oroye.

Jang appeals to striking teachers to return to work for pupils’ sake From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


lateau state governor, Jonah Jang, has appealed to striking local government workers to in the interest of the pupils in public primary schools, call off their six months-old strike. He said the strike could put the future of the pupils who are mostly children of the less privileged in jeopardy. Jang made the appeal at the conferment of a traditional title of Jarumi (Koghorong) Mwaghavul on the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos, Prof. Sonni Tyoden in Mangu at the weekend. The governor who was

represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Shedrack Best, urged the teachers to resume work and re-open the schools to allow the pupils return to learn, adding that the bulk of people in high places today were products of public schools. He pleaded: “Let us save the grass from suffering by suspending this strike so that our pupils can get education”. Jang described the honour done to the former vice chancellor whom he described as a forward-looking academic, who achieved a lot for the state during his tenure, as well deserved. He said “he is a silent achiever who helped to develop values for which the

government and people of Plateau state are proud”. Various other speakers which included Senator Solomon Ewuga, Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Mr. John Clark and former Minister of Works, Dr. Hassan Lawal, spoke of Tyoden in glowing terms expressing belief that he still has a lot to offer in service to his people and the nation. Tyoden who was grateful for the honour, said there was no contradiction in his proMarxist postulations and acceptance of a traditional title adding, “it is a recognition from my people because of the service I have rendered to them”.

Eminent Nigerians to meet over Bakassi From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he fate of the Bakassi people will be the subject of discussion at a national conference of eminent Nigerian leaders’ in Lagos on Wednesday. This disclosure was made yesterday in Lagos by Sir Olawale Okunniyi, spokesperson of National

Consensus Group (NCG) – an emergent political platform of eminent Nigerian leaders also known as Project Nigeria. Okunniyi said the special national conference of eminent national leaders, key stakeholders and experts on the raging controversy over Bakassi, ceded to the Republic of Cameroon by a ruling of the International Court of Justice

is being organised in conjunction with the Citizens’ Advocacy Group, CAG, an affiliate of PRONACO. He said the national dialogue slated for Wednesday, 31st October 2012 at the Lagos Airport Hotels, Ikeja is scheduled to commence at 11am under the chairmanship of Prof Ben. Nwabueze, the leader of Project Nigeria.



Mark commiserates with Suntai over plane crash


resident of the Senate, Senator David Mark has commiserated with the Governor of Taraba State, Danbaba Dan-Fulani Suntai who was injured in a plane crash in Yola last Thursday just as he prayed God to give the governor a speedy recovery. According to a press statement signed by Special Adviser, Media & Publicity to the President of the Senate, Kola Ologbondiyan, Senator Mark who expressed shock at the news of the fatal accident said that the survival of Governor Suntai in such a huge crash, was an indication that God has a greater purpose for his existence and services to Nigeria .He sympathized with the government and the people of Taraba State urging them "to remain calm and prayerful for the speedy recovery of their beloved Governor". "I sincerely sympathized with the families of those who lost their loved ones in the crash and pray God to give them an eternal rest. It is quite unfortunate but we cannot question God in any circumstances," he said, and "assured of the National Assembly support at all times".

Nasarawa poly releases 2012/13 admission list From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


he management of Nasarawa state polytechnic Lafia, has announced the release of admission lists of successful candidates into its National Diploma (ND), polytechnic diploma, Pre-ND, IJMB, remedial and certificate programmes for the 2012/13 session. This was made known in a release made available to newsmen in Lafia and signed by the Chief Public Relations Officer of the institution, Muktar Wakil. While advising candidates to check their names on the notice board of the institution, the statement advised successful candidates to collect their admission letters from today (Monday), with registration commencing immediately and is expected to last two weeks.

L-R Former Minister of Health Prof. Babatunde Oshotimehin , Secretary General of Norway, Angella Hanron and Minister of State Health, Dr. Mohammed Ali Pate, jointly briefing State House journalists after their meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan on eradication of Polio in Nigeria. Photo: Joe Oroye.

Falana speaks on corruption in magistrates courts today From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


agos radical lawyer and rights crusader, Femi Falana (SAN), will today address a media round table on the theme; "The Role of Lawyers in Combating corruption in the Judiciary in Nigeria", organised by

the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), in collaboration with the Royal Netherlands Embassy, Abuja. SERAP in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, said the event , which is expected to hold at Westown Hotels, Ikeja, Lagos, will commence at

9:00am prompt. Part of the statement reads, "The Media Roundtable is part of our organization's project to reduce corruption and other inappropriate practices in the judiciary, in particular at the Magistrates' Courts level and to improve access to justice for the citizens, especially the

Group lauds CAN for maturity, peace Benue gov's By Abubakar Ibrahim, Abuja


he Northern Brotherhood Movement has praised Christendom in Nigeria for its maturity and understanding despite several attacks on churches, capable of causing general insecurity. In a letter addressed to the President, Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor and made available to newsmen, the Chairman,Northern Brotherhood Movement, Hon. Aminu Mohammed Danmaliki (Dan Maliki of Bauchi) said "as Muslims celebrate Sallah day to mark Eid-el-Kabir to commemorate

the sacrifice made by prophet Ibrahim, we wish to extend our Sallah greetings and hand of brotherhood to you and the entire Christians in Nigeria". This, he said, was a mark of respect and the need to strengthen ties between Muslims and Christians in the light of security challenges facing Northern Nigeria "that led to the loss of lives and properties on both sides. "Having realized that‌ peace, unity and security should not be left in the hands of the three tiers of governments alone, wish to thank CAN for your responsible and Godly decision not to attack Muslims in retaliation over the bombings of

Churches in the North. Your decision has not only shamed the perpetrators of these heinous crimes, who want the violence to escalate, but also portray you as a peace loving association. According to him, "the Northern Brotherhood Movement established to foster brotherliness among Christians, Muslims and the various ethnic groups, will reciprocate your good gesture by embarking on massive campaign against these bombings", adding that "Islam is totally against violence of any form...and will continue to remind the Muslims to follow the true teachings of Islam, which guarantees peace".

Groups, politicians task FG on renewed abductions


ome groups and politicians on Saturday in Lagos, pleaded with the Federal Government to put measures in place to address the renewed spate of abductions in the country. Speaking in separate interviews,the Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, Malam Auwal Rafsanjani, said that an effective security system in the country would help to curb the rising spate of kidnappings. He called for the decentralisation of the Nigeria

vulnerable and marginalized sectors of the population such as the poor and women. "The roundtable will bring together members of the media, Judiciary and the Bar, parliamentarians, members of the academic institutions, and nongovernmental organizations, among others."

Police Force to achieve adequate security coverage of the country. ``The Nigeria Police is too central, if it can be decentralised, it will give room for adequate and proper monitoring, surveillance and security of lives and property,'' he said. Rafsanjani, however, called on government at all levels, to create more job opportunities for Nigerian youths, who, he claimed, usually engaged in the crime. The National Chairman of the African Renaissance Party, Alhaji Yahaya Ndu, said there was need

for the creation of state police. According to him, this will help to check the challenge of insecurity in parts of the country. ``Creation of state police will go a long way in tackling the security challenges that we are facing. Ndu urged government to create massive employment opportunities for youths. The South-West SecretaryGeneral of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, Chief Gboyega Adeniji, said that the gap between the rich and the poor in

the country needed to be closed. ``The ostentatious lifestyle of the rich, flaunted in the face of abject poverty, is a problem and unless and until this is sorted out, the issue will remain the same,'' he said. Gunmen had, on Monday last week, kidnapped Alhaja Obedatu Abudu-Balogun, the 72-year-old mother of Mr. Abiodun AbuduBalogun, a House of Representatives member, representing Ijebu North, Ijebu East and Ogun Waterside Federal Constituency. She was, however, released on Thursday. (NAN)

wife frees 29 prisoners

From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


ife of the governor of Benue state, Mrs. Dooshima Suswam at the weekend in Makurdi, paid over N500, 000 to secure the freedom of 29 inmates detained at the Makurdi Medium Security Prison. Mrs. Suswam who made a surprise visit to the prison, said the gesture was in fulfillment of an earlier pledge she had made to the inmates and the prison authorities to intervene on behalf of some of the detainees. "I am doing this in fulfillment of the promise I made to you all when I visited the prison during the commemoration of the Nation's 52nd Independence anniversary", she said. The First Lady who is also the Chairperson, Northern Governor's Wives Forum therefore advised the freed detainees to be better citizens. "As you regain your freedom today, I urge you all to be of good and proud citizens of your country. You must reintegrate into the society and make the best out of life because you cannot afford to fall back to those acts that led to your incarceration in the first place", Mrs. Suswam urged them.



FAAN complements security at international airports From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


R-L: Governor of Niger state, Dr. Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu, with former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), during Gowon’s visit for a one-day National Prayer rally, on Saturday in Minna, Niger state.

he Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said it is complementing security at the four operational international airports in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt with the introduction of sniffer dogs and anti-terrorism squads. The agency said in Lagos that the additional measures are in order to enhance safety and security at these airports, as contained in the aviation road map of the Ministry of Aviation. “This measure, which will be extended to the other airports in the country later, in line with the

transformation agenda of the Federal Government in the aviation industry, designed to provide world-class facilities and services at all Nigerian airports”, said Yakubu Dati, FAAN’s General Manager for Corporate Communications. ”At present, all Nigerian airports have a full complement of modern security equipment, handheld metal detectors, CCT cameras, x-ray screening machines and 3D scanning machines. This is in addition to 24 hours security patrol on the airside by the aviation security personnel and the presence of Police Bomb Disposal Units in the terminals”, he told reporters.

Mark, Oshiomhole Al-makura wants review of pension scheme congratulate that the new pension scheme is should be content with their Cardinal Onaiyekan From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia the best rather than for states to gratuities”, he stated.


overnor Umaru Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa state has blamed the subsisting pension scheme for the failure of state governments to create employment for the high number of youths who graduate from higher institutions across the country. The governor in a chat with journalists who paid him Sallah homage in Lafia shortly after the Eid prayer, stated that unless the present pension scheme is reviewed, youths will continue to suffer this “bad policy”, adding

commit huge resources for paying retired workers. While noting that retired civil servants continue to receive emoluments even after leaving service, he said the situation has made it impossible for state governments to employ fresh workers and called for the contributory pension scheme to be nationalised. “People who have worked, earned some living and helped government to reach some standard, but who have benefited from employment over time,

Al-makura pointed out that emoluments of retirees continue to be a huge drain on the scarce resources of most states across the country, making it impossible for governments to empower youths through employment. He emphasised that he was not against workers getting their entitlements, being the first governor to implement the new minimum wage but that it has become necessary to do away with the old pension scheme to “allow for an even, holistic development”.

Delta flood victims get Dec. 15 deadline to quit “illegal” camp


ore than 300 persons displaced by flood in coastal communities such as Oko, near Asaba, in Delta state, have resisted the state government’s attempts to relocate them to flood victims’ camps in Asaba. The people, who are taking refuge at some unaffected areas at the Asaba end of the River Niger Bridge, claimed that they could not abandon some of the belongings, which they had salvaged from the flood. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the people are living in makeshift homes built with materials such as cement bags, mats, wood, and discarded roofing sheets on both sides of the bridge. From their new abode, the people still go fishing on the fringes of River Niger with nets and canoes. NAN also reports that the Delta state government had made four attempts to relocate the people, through persuasion and threats of forced evacuation, all to no avail. The displaced persons insisted that the only condition that would make them to move to the camps was if they were

allowed to move with their belongings, which included beds, chairs and electronic items. However, at the people’s meeting with Dr. Tony Nwaka, the Commissioner for Bureau for Special Duties, who coordinates all the camps set up for flood victims, it was resolved that the “Bridgehead Camp” should remain for the time being. However, the government gave the people December 15, 2012 as deadline, after which they would either join other flood victims in designated camps or return to their communities. “After listening to them this time and seeing the situation, we have decided that the best thing is to allow them to remain there for some time. “Truly, they have some of their property which they cannot take to the camps or leave behind. The collective decision is that we will, from Sunday, be taking food and other materials to them at the Bridgehead. “But we have also agreed that they have up till December 15 to remain there,

after which they will be moved to the camps if the situation has not normalised by then or else they will be compelled to return to their communities”, Nwaka told NAN. “I have told them that after December 15, bulldozers will move into the place to pull the shanties down”, he said, adding: “I am going now to brief the governor on the agreement I have reached with them”. Mr. Samuel Obi, one of the leaders of the flood victims at the bridgehead camp, confirmed the outcome of the meeting, saying: “It is okay by us; we hope that by Dec. 15, we would have left here to resume living in our communities. “We were lucky to have salvaged some of our household items; it is not possible for us to abandon them and move into the camps with our children. “That was why we came here to build these emergency shelters and we have been sourcing our food by ourselves”. Obi added: “But now the government has listened to us, they have agreed to bring food to us and we have agreed to cooperate with them”. (NAN)

By Ikechukwu Okaforadi & Osaigbovo Iguobaro


enate President, David Mark, has congratulated the Archbishop of the Catholic Diocese of Abuja, John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, over his recent elevation to the rank of a Cardinal, by Pope Benedict XVI, urging him to use his new position to promote peaceful coexistence among Nigerians. In a congratulatory message to the cardinal, which was issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, Mark said this elevation should spur him for greater service to humanity, adding that it was in recognition of his hard work, dedication and steadfastness. He described Onaiyekan as a dependable, diligent and an unshakable soldier of Christ, who stands to be counted when it

matters; expressing confidence that he will as always do Nigeria proud at the Vatican. In a related development, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state has congratulated the Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Diocese, John Onaiyekan, on his elevation to the position of Cardinal by the Vatican. In a congratulatory message, Comrade Oshiomhole said “On behalf of the government and good people of Edo state, I congratulate His Grace on his elevation to the exalted position of Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI. “The elevation is a clear testament to your priestly life of selfless service which has been a channel of blessing to all men and women who have come in contact with you.

Floods destroy 200 hectares of rice farms in Edo


ore than 200 hectares of rice farms have been destroyed by flood in four communities of Etsako Central local government area of Edo state. Mr. Killian Onuobi, the Secretary of Osomegbe Rice Farmers Association, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ekperi that the devastation affected Udochi, Annegbette, Udaba and Osomegbe communities. “I was not making a vague statement when I said that more than 200 hectares of rice farms were destroyed in the four communities of Etsako Central. “I have about 25 hectares of rice farm myself and my farm is small, compared to bigger rice

farms devastated by the flood in the communities”, he said. Onuobi said that many of the farmers borrowed money to cultivate their farms. He bemoaned a situation in which the farmers would be unable to pay back the loans they took since flood had washed away their farms. “This was not what we bargained for but we have every reason to be grateful to God for sparing our lives to tell the story. “The affected communities are the largest growers of rice in Edo state. “It is a pity that many of us could not salvage anything from our farms as the flood came unexpectedly”, he said. (NAN)



Fulani women catching fun, during Sallah at Millennium Park, Abuja

Children having a good cheer, during the Sallah celebration, at Wonderland Park, Getting a water pumping machine started at Aco Estate Airport road Abuja yesterday, Abuja.

Hawking the motor spare parts at Area 1, Abuja.

Mechanic checking a car’s engine at Gudu mechanics’ village Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo, Joe Oroye, Mahmud Isa


Security operatives bar journalist from covering Jonathan's Uyo visit From Mike Etim, Uyo


hat was supposed to be an eventful visit by President Goodluck Jonathan to Akwa Ibom state was nearly marred when overzealous security operatives confronted journalist and barred them from covering events at venues visited by the President. In spite of the official tags given and worn by journalist for special identification by the state's Commissioner of Information, Mr. Aniekan Umana to cover the events, security operatives still restricted media men from gaining access to the venues. Appeals by the chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ), Uyo chapter, Mr. Joe Effiong for the operatives to allow journalists into the banquet hall where guests had gathered, and where the President and the Governor were to make their speeches fell on deaf ears. The chairman of the correspondents chapel of the NUJ, Mr. Inem Akpan Nsoh, was warned by the operatives that if he did not move his men from the gate leading into the banquet hall, he would be shot. When all entreaties with the security operatives mostly the SSS failed, the chairman of NUJ, Mr. Joe Effiong ordered journalist to boycott the meeting at the banquet hall.


Lagos okada ban will stem road accidents, say traders, others S ome traders in Lagos state have commended the state government for banning commercial motorcycles, popularly called "okada", in the state, saying that it will reduce road accidents to the barest minimum. The traders, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday, commended the government for prohibiting commercial motorcycles from operating on some highways in

certain parts of the state. They said the measure was necessary, as part of efforts to reduce road accidents across the state. Mrs. Iyabo Ogundare, a trader at the Balogun Plaza Trade Fair, stressed that the ban on commercial motorcycles was in the public interest. She said that although the ban had created inconveniences for commuters, it was still the best decision to restrict the operations of

okada to certain areas. Ogundare noted that road accidents involving commercial motorcyclists had been so rampant, adding that motorcyclists were often very reckless. She said that it was better to ban on the operations of commercial motorcyclists so as to enhance road safety. Mr. Chukwuma Oyema, a trader at the Okokomaiko market, told NAN that a large number of road

How fuel scarcity marred Eid festival in Ibadan From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


rtificial fuel scarcity disrupted celebration of Eid festival in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital and its environs as long queue re-surfaced at filling stations. Our correspondent visited few patrol stations where fuel was sold at between N150 and N200

depending on the area; many other petrol stations remained locked. The situation however, hindered the usual heavy traffic that characterises the city as there was easy free flow of traffic observed at along highways. Hundreds of Ibadan residents resorted to long distance trekking while thousands of commuters were stranded at major motor

parks. Motorcycle operators popularly known as okada seized the opportunity to explore the masses as they charged astronomical fares. Government officials declined to make comments or give reasons for the scarcity while Apata depot of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was under heavy security with offices closed.

accidents on Lagos roads involved commercial motorcycles. He said that a visit to the accident and emergency wards of some hospitals would make one to appreciate the ban on okada in a pragmatic way. "You need to observe the way these motorcycle operators ride on the highways. They ride their bikes with so much recklessness, as if human lives have no meaning to them. "It is easy for people to condemn the ban on commercial motorcycles but I think people should pay routine visits to accident wards of hospitals. "They would discover that majority of the patients there are victims of motorcycle accidents; they would then be in a better position to appreciate the ban on okada, he said. Oyema stressed that there was no need to be unduly sentimental about issues relating to the protection of people's lives, reiterating that the ban was the best step to take in the circumstance. (NAN)

Kwara gov laments road crashes From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


wara state governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has described the multiple accidents in the state on the eve of Sallah and on Sallah day in which about 20 people lost their lives on Oloru-Jebba road, at a time the state was still nursing the wounds of the flooding in parts of the state, as shocking and unfortunate. Governor Ahmed, in a condolence message to the families of the victims, lamented that the accidents were indications of the urgent need for collaboration between the federal and state governments on the repair and maintenance of federal roads in the state. In a statement by Chief Press Secretary to the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abduwahab Oba, Governor Ahmed lamented the poor state of federal roads traversing the length and breadth of the state as worrisome.

Amanyanabo of Okpoama Kingdom, Bayelsa state, King Ebitimi Banigo (l), with his wife, Princess Effiom-Bassey Pelebo Banigo during their coronation in Okpoama on Saturday

Woman, 46, delivered of triplets in 12th successive childbirth A 46-year-old housewife, Malama Delu Alhaji-Ali, of Unguwar Namanda village, Faskari local government area of Katsina state, on Saturday gave birth to a set of triplets in her 12th consecutive childbirth. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Correspondent who visited the area reports that the woman was delivered of the triplets at the Comprehensive Health Care Centre in Faskari. Hajia Binta Suleiman, the Nursing Officer in charge of the health centre's maternity ward, told NAN yesterday

that both the mother and her three baby boys were in stable condition. Suleiman said Delu was delivered of the babies unassisted, adding, however, that she had been on admission in the hospital in the last four days when officials noticed that her expected date of delivery was fast approaching. "Delu attended regular antenatal clinics, and she was advised to go for an ultra-scan where we noticed that she was expecting triplets", Suleiman said. Suleiman said the triplets were the first set recorded in the hospital this year

and urged Delu's husband and relations as well as the local government authorities to assist her by ensuring that she has access to nutritious foods. Meanwhile, Hajia Sa'adatu Faskari-Ahmad, the wife of Faskari local government council's caretaker committee chairman, has donated some clothes and cash to the woman and her newborns. Faskari-Ahmad congratulated Delu, stressing that the triplets were a rare and extraordinary blessing from Allah. Responding, Delu expressed appreciation for the gifts and the

support she received from the hospital workers. She told NAN that the triplets came in her 12th childbirth, while all her previous eleven births were single babies. Delu, however, recalled that before giving birth to the triplets, she experienced some abnormalities during the initial stage of the pregnancy. She said that although the responsibility of taking care of the three children would be quite challenging for her, she hopes to overcome the challenge. (NAN)



Prospects and challenges of Managing a business in Nigeria Compiled By Muhammad Sada


oing business in Nigeria can be good and bad. On average, news stories about Nigeria are typically negative. Despite the country's problems, it has proven to be a magnet for companies and investors. Its natural resources, skilled workforce and robust economy make it ideal for investment. Unfortunately, underdeveloped infrastructure and corruption make doing business difficult. Nevertheless, investors continue to see profits in Nigeria. Untapped resources Nigeria is primarily known as an oil producer. However, the country is rich in many other resources that are yet to be exploited. Sectors such as agriculture, mining, semiprecious and precious stones and other resources have taken a back seat to the petroleum industry. These present opportunities for investors. Thriving economy

The Nigerian economy is the third-largest in Africa and the largest in the West African region. Despite the global downturn, Nigeria's stock market performance is considered one of the strongest in the world in 2010. Additionally, the country is expected to see a GDP increase of 7.53 percent in 2010, one of the highest in the world. These factors are key indicators of a robust economy that is good for business. Large population As of 2010, Nigeria is believed to have about 150 million people. The country's large population means that businesses are not short of customers. The telecommunication sector, for instance, expanded by 34.2 percent in 2009, an increase spurred by customer demand. Desire for Foreign Investment The Nigerian government recognizes that foreign investment is key to the country's development. Thus, it offers incentives to investors

that use local materials and hire citizens. Investors can obtain "Pioneer Status," which affords a tax holiday for qualifying companies. A break

type of business you pursue - being a city or country person; wanting to travel or sit at your computer; liking to meet people or work on the phone. This activity will help you create a foundation for choosing from small business ideas, making business decisions, and setting clear goals. It is best to do this exercise with someone else and share your vision. If you can't, write it down to make your vision more concrete.

doubt have accumulated many. Write down all the work responsibilities you've had; think about the varied tasks you know how to complete. Make sure this list is complete -- there should be at least 10 distinct items. • Things you like to do List the things you enjoy doing. This may not be as easy as it sounds. This list should be at least 10 items long. Stretch beyond your hobbies and interests that spring to mind immediately. If you're stymied, ask people who have known you for a long time -- particularly people who knew you as a kid -- what they have seen you doing when you're happiest. Keep these three lists in an accessible place (for instance on your desk) for several weeks, and when small business ideas come to you, jot them down in the proper category. Ask people who know you well for their input or to help you jog your memory. Figure out what the market needs So far, you've been looking inward to come up with your business idea. Now it's time to look outward to discover an unfilled need that you can meet with your product or service. There are plenty of "Top 10" or "Hot New" business lists out there. These may stimulate some ideas, but the best business ideas will come from you and will be based on who you are and what the market is looking for. So while you're doing your soul searching and list making, put up your antenna and look out for business opportunities.

How do i come up with a winning business idea?


eveloping large or small business ideas is a matter of creating a vision, leveraging your strengths and determining what the market needs. These three steps should get you started. Create a vision Determine what you're good at and what you like to do Figure out what the market needs Create a vision Close your eyes for a few minutes and conjure up a detailed image of what you want your life to look like in 5 years. Be as specific as possible. Where do you live? How do you spend your days? What kind of work do you do? Do you work alone or with other people? Who are you surrounded by? What do you do when you aren't working? Don't limit yourself to these questions; create a vivid vision of yourself, touching on things that are important to you. These are all personal issues that will impact the

Quote And while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department. – Andrew Carnegie

Determine what you're good at and what you like to do It's often useful to look inside yourself to figure out what you like and dislike, and where your talents lie. It's one thing to come up with a winning business idea. It's another to come up with one that fits your skill set and interests you. Your business has to keep you excited so you can thrive over the long haul. One of the best ways to do this is to make three separate lists: • What you're good at Everyone is good at something and many skills can be the foundation for a business. You might be naturally organized or have a knack for fixing things. You may be so used to your skills that they don't immediately come to mind, so assemble this list by observing yourself for a few weeks with an eye out for your aptitudes and by asking people who know you well for their impressions of what you excel at. • Skills you've acquired over the years Whether or not you've worked in a conventional environment, you no

from taxes means more profits for investors. The country actively courts investors from around the world to invest in many key sectors.

I n a d e q u a t e Infrastructure Although Nigeria is one of the world's largest oil suppliers, the country's infrastructure is underdeveloped. The roads connecting the country's regions are bad, making transportation of goods difficult. Even more crucial is the country's epileptic power supply. Nigeria's power stations are in bad shape and in some cases; pipelines leading to power stations are either not maintained or vandalized. Corruption Nigeria has been ranked as one of the most corrupt nations in the world. In fact, it lost more money to graft than any other country in the world between 1970 and 2008. However, over the last eight years, the country's anticorruption agency has worked to discourage corruption by arresting and prosecuting offenders. Unfortunately, corruption remains an issue that increases business costs and limits efficiency.

Things to observe in setting up your Business Plans Common Startup Mistakes or most people, starting a business is an exciting time during which they are invigorated by the possibility of success and the fun of tackling new challenges. It is also a time to make lots of mistakes! Many of the mistakes entrepreneurs make during the startup phase can be avoided. One of the best ways to steer clear of foibles is to talk to established business owners about what they learned during the process. Ask your attorney or accountant for referrals to business owners who have relevant experience and attend trade association meetings and talk to people in the industry you are entering. No matter how much research and preparation you do, you will make mistakes when you start a business, but the common errors listed here may help you avoid a few. Common mistakes include:


Incorporating too quickly The first step for many people when they launch a business is to file with the state office of incorporation. While incorporating is an appropriate step for many businesses, it pays to wait until your business idea is well formed before taking the plunge. The reason: the concept of your business and therefore the name is likely to change during the first few months of operation. Not researching the market A frequently overlooked component of business start up is determining whether the target

market for your product or service will buy from you. The best way to derive the answer to this question is to ask them. Arrange to speak to as many of your potential customers as possible. Questions to ask include: Would you buy my product or service? Where do you currently obtain this product or service? How much would you be willing to pay for it? What do you like/ dislike about your current provider? Where would you look for this product or service when you need it? Wanting to over-use an attorney Attorneys' hourly fees add up extremely quickly and newlyminted business owners are often shocked by their first few legal bills. The temptation when you start is to involve your attorney in all aspects of your business for counsel and drafting of documents. Many business owners quickly learn that it pays to do your own research, draft your own documents, and call on the expertise of your attorney to refine your work. Spending too much money on office space and decorations A nice office and great computer equipment make many entrepreneurs feel as though their dream of entrepreneurism is coming true. While one of the pleasures of launching a business is setting up an office that you are proud of, expensive trappings have put many businesses out of business before they got off the ground.





Power privatization: Where is the transparency?

hen in the mid 80s the Babangida administration embarked on a policy of commercialization, and later privatization of public enterprises, it gave reasons which even today remain valid. The public corporations had become a drain pipe on government resources, gulping billions, even trillions of Naira, without results. Public servants appointed to manage the corporations turned them into personal goldmines while the services they were supposed to offer to the public remained epileptic at best or did not exist at all. Since the Babangida administration came to an end in the early 90s, each successive government has kept faith with the policy. Unfortunately no government has made a success out of it, be it the Abacha regime, the Obasanjo and later Yar’adua governments, or even the present Goodluck Jonathan administration. A fortnight ago, Bureau of Public Enterprises announced the sale of power distribution companies that emerged from the unbundling of the Power Holding

Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to some “successful bidders”. But the results of the bids have been greeted with public anger and scorn. The reasons for public anger are not far-fetched. The winners of the bids are corporate organizations allegedly promoted by well known former and present public officers.

We agree with critics of the exercise that the whole thing was a race in the dark with little or no transparency On the winning list are the Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Company Limited, Interstate Electronics, Aura Energy Limited, Vigeo Power Construction, Sahelian Power SPV and 4Power Consortium. Between them, these companies have taken control of power installations in Yola, Ibadan, Eko, Ikeja, Port Harcourt, Jos, Abuja etc. Those who disagree with these sales, including staff of PHCN,

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”

argue that it is morally wrong to reward those who brought NEPA, the predecessor to PHCN, to its knees through corruption and incompetence, with these public assets of inestimable value. Indeed, it has been pointed out that PHCN assets including over 400 hundred buildings and undeveloped properties in Lagos, Abuja and other cities, thousands of plants, turbines, transformers, vehicles and millions of electric poles worth over N5 trillion, have been sold to investors of questionable credibility at the paltry sum of N200 billion. Like the previous privatization exercises which led to the crippling of such highly viable public enterprises like NITEL, NICON, the Daily Times etc., this particular exercise carries with it some ill wind. We agree with critics of the exercise that the whole thing was a race in the dark with little or no transparency. It will be a great disservice to this country if the power sector is crippled the same way NITEL was killed in the name of privatization. We call on those involved in this exercise to have a rethink for the love of our father land.









“To be a reputable, profitable, innovative and technologically reliant media company offering world class services and products”


By Collins Uma


was going to write on something entirely different from this but, as I sat down to write, news filtered in about a massacre that had happened at Mubi, Adamawa state. I chose to pause that and see if I could get more details on the massacre and address the issue of the senseless depletion of our productive workforce and the perceived determination of our Commanderin-Chief and his lieutenants to do nothing about tackling the menace from the roots besides issuing frequent press releases condemning the ‘dastardly acts’ and pledging in front of cameras to bring the ‘perpetrators to book’. Over 40 students from different tertiary institutions in the state had been rounded up gunned down in cold blood one after the other after the gunmen called each person’s name. That there was a list means that this killing was deliberate and planned. It would make no sense here to rehash what other commentators have said about the lack of crime prevention capabilities by our security agencies. The facts are as glaring as they are heartbreaking. I was interested in the Mubi story because the mountainous Adamawa State happens to be one of the least educationally developed states in Nigeria and, according to the 2007 Canback Global Income Distribution Database (C-GIDD), the state is one of the poorest in Nigeria

By Abdulrazaq Magaji


enyan parliamentarians caused a continental uproar recently when, with all the myriad of problems facing Kenyans, they approved new, huge take home pay packages at the end of their current term in January. To say the Kenyan economy, currently weighed down by a costly anti-terror war in Somalia, is struggling is to say the least. But that is the least consideration on the minds of the parliamentarians; the struggling economy must be further weighed down by high parliamentary expenditure to support the false lifestyle of parliamentarians. A law is a law especially if that law emanates from people supposedly elected to serve the people. Fair enough! Thankfully, President Mwai Kibaki rejected the new package for the MPs. One African leader who was not amused by the Kenyan parliamentary ‘coup’ against the people of Kenya was President Macky Sall of Senegal. A few months ago, President Sall took one look at the balance sheet and decided the economy could not accommodate the two chambers of the federal parliament. Convinced that the interests of Senegal were better served by a single-chamber parliament and, luckily, since he did not need the backing of parliamentarians who most likely would have stopped him anyway, President Sall simply took out the upper house of the parliament believing his action would conserve funds for developmental projects. As was the case in Kenya, his ‘unilateral’ action caused an uproar but, unlike in Kenya, the uproar did not come from the struggling Senegalese; it was from those who benefited from the status quo and who expectedly saw the move as dictatorial. Snippets from Dakar,


Okafor’s law and the rest of us with a GDP of $4,582,045,246 (compared to Lagos state’s $33,679,258,023, for example). So, killing off any number of its bright minds in institutions of higher learning is an act that is bound to set the state and, by extension, the nation, back by many years. While we were still reeling from the shock, horror, and heartlessness of that, the social media in Nigeria went agog with news and pictures of young men lynched in Rivers State after they were reportedly arrested by local vigilante following a robbery. The state is not one of the educationally less developed in Nigeria and according to the C-GIDD, oil rich Rivers State has the second highest GDP in the country ($21,073,410,422). Question now is, if Northern Nigeria has become a killing ground because of poverty and illiteracy, what would the lynching of the youth in Rivers state be blamed on? There is an invisible thread that runs through these two killings: frustration with the status quo. Both the Mubi and the Rivers’ killers each took on the roles of Counsel for prosecution, Judge and Jury as they summarily passed sentence on their victims who, to them, represented the structures and processes they, the killers, were up against.The incidents mentioned have exposed how we have become our own worst enemies.

The ruling PDP did not kill these Mubi and University of Port Harcourt students. Nigerians killed them; Nigerians killing Nigerians. We were not like this. There was an interplay of various factors, the end result of which is our present state which is no different from that described by Thomas Hobbes as living in ‘continual fear, and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short’. Chief among the factors that worked to ensure Nigeria’s retrogression into these doldrums was our election of incompetent leaders. The incompetence is so gnawing that most Nigerians have tacitly withdrawn the liberty and individual rights they ceded to the state as part of their obligation in the social contract and have proceeded to become governments of their own, taking laws into their hands. This is the ugly truth. We were fooled in 2011, shame on us if we are fooled again in 2015. This is where Okafor’s Law comes in. It is a law that is believed to govern the degree of continued interaction between a man and a woman between whom a relationship had existed. The origin of the law and how it got its name remain unknown, the things we learn from the World Wide Web. Anyway, it states that a man who has been involved with a girl for some time and whose performance

in the bedroom was commendable can always go back and sleep with her again whenever he wants no matter what situation arises (breakups, different lovers etc). I do not know the veracity of this claim but I think President Goodluck Jonathan seems to believe so much in it. He has done it before; he will do it again; if we let him. Nobody wants a perpetuation of the status quo and, for this reason, 2011 is a mistake we must never repeat. We are the young damsel and Mr. President is the Don Juan that thinks he is the best thing since blue biro. Okafor’s Law must not apply to us come 2015. There are other entities in Nigeria that also think they have us wrapped around their little finger and can do with us whatever they want. For now I will only mention the South African giants, MTN and DSTV. Nothing else explains the ridiculous ‘Win an Airplane’ promo by MTN and the capricious hike in cost of service by DSTV in spite of the poor services rendered by these two. As Fela said, we are suffering and smiling while they use us again and again, like fools. Okafor’s Law in action. Are we going to allow it? I do not put the blame on Nigerians though. We have bodies created to regulate the high-handedness of companies like these, the Nigeria Communications Commission, for

capital of Senegal in the aftermath of the move, indicated an upswing in support for the president. Nigeria’s former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, can best be described as an impossible neighbour to have next door. His eight-year rule has been has been described, even by some of his diehard fans, as an avoidable and costly mistake for his countrymen and women. But like all mortals, President Obasanjo has his good sides too. One of his major contributions to constitution-making in Nigeria, which cannot be denied even by the harshest Obasanjo basher, is the robust case he made more than two decades ago for a unicameral or, single-chamber, legislature. President Obasanjo literally hit the bull’s eye when he argued then, in one of his books, that a bi-cameral or, double-chamber, is unwieldy and wasteful for developing countries. Pity is that on two different occasions, first as a military leader and later as an elected president, President Obasanjo had the opportunity to make the difference but demurred. More painful is that he had the opportunity to make amends in his second coming in 1999 but blew it, wasting precious time and money to attempt an elongation to his tenure. There appears to be one major advertised benefit for doublechamber parliaments; according to its proponents, it allows for checks and balances. The impression one gets is that the upper house, supposedly made up of ‘cool, levelheaded’ people, is capable of checking the supposed excesses of their supposedly ‘hot-headed’ juniors in the lower house. But that is where the attraction ends. Aside being financial sink holes, what obtains in most African parliaments is

duplication of roles and functions. Nigeria has two unwieldy, often bickering and scandal-prone houses in its National Assembly with some 459 federal legislators who, according to Central Bank governor, Lamido Sanusi, gulp one quarter of the federal budget. A reasonable representation, you will agree, for a country with an estimated population of 160 million, except that, for equal measure, spending a quarter of the federal budget for the false lifestyle of a few is an unreasonable expenditure profile in a vast plain of poor, struggling people. If the need for checks and balances is one of the main benefits of a double -chamber legislature, perhaps that aim would have been better achieved through a single-chamber assembly with a good mix of the supposed cool-headed and supposed hot-headed. To better achieve this, and still illustrating with Nigeria, the present 350 federal constituencies could be retained. Since the cost of running the National Assembly is unacceptably high, these federal legislators should operate purely on part-time basis and be paid sitting allowances. This is about the only way to bait professionals to come into the National Assembly, as the parliament is called in Nigeria, without having to abandon their professional callings and take politics as full-time business as is the practice today. Of course, there should be

constitutional provisions to take care of special and under-represented groups such as the physically challenged, women, labour and youth groups. Unless we are advocating outright scrapping of African parliaments - many of them are mere money-guzzling rubber stamps anyway - a unicameral or single-chamber legislature, such as is being practiced in Ghana and other African countries, where cabinet positions are occupied by elected members of parliament, is probably one of the best options. The attraction with the Ghana arrangement is that it creates a synergy, a healthy political arrangement where ministers are able to talk back to parliament regarding the needs of their constituencies, update their constituencies as to happenings in parliament as well as press the case of their constituencies at cabinet meetings. Though there have been instances where some former ministers in Ghana say the arrangement could be taxing and should be reviewed, there is nothing to show that the arrangement is about to be jettisoned because it is working. Perhaps those who criticise the Ghana arrangement should pause and reflect on Nigeria where unelectable people are rewarded with juicy cabinet positions.

MTN and the National Broadcasting Commission, for DSTV. According to the NCC, their mission include the ‘consistent enforcement of clear and fair policies that protects stakeholders, ensures efficient resource management, share industry best practices and deliver affordable, quality telecom services’. We know they do nothing like that except, maybe, ‘resource management’. We know what that means in Nigeria. How about the National Broadcasting Commission? They say their functions include ‘Receiving, Considering and investigating complaints from individual and bodies corporate, regarding the contents of a broadcasting station and the conduct of a broadcasting station’. Don’t tell me there have been no complaints about DSTV’s excesses. We are our own problem. Our redemption therefore will begin whenever we choose to look the government and all these other entities in the face and say “enough is enough”. I am not talking about ranting on social media from the comfort of our homes. I am talking about face to face, offline engagement. We are our own solution. Until then, however, we will continually be pushed to the brink where bestiality and barbarism hold sway. Like Mubi. Like Aluu. Collins Uma is on twitter @CollinsUma

African parliaments: The road not taken

If the need for checks and balances is one of the main benefits of a double -chamber legislature, perhaps that aim would have been better achieved through a single-chamber assembly with a good mix of the supposed cool-headed and supposed hot-headed

Aside saving cost, singlechamber parliaments with provisions for special and underrepresented groups could be made even more cost effective if parliamentarians operate part time and receive sitting allowances. The present money guzzling parliamentary arrangement in places like Nigeria where many see a ticket to the National Assembly as a road to instant wealth does not encourage many serious minded people to go to the legislature: it is either they cannot afford the money for that purpose or do some of the unprintable things people do in the name of seeking a seat at the National Assembly, or they are unwilling to abandon their professions. Whatever the case, the present arrangement in Nigeria excludes some of the best brains whose professional background could enrich legislations. And to think that the love of lucre has tempted many to quit school to jump into the murky waters of politics points to the need to re-order priorities. Now, who will bell the cat? The snag here is that many African parliamentarians would prefer to tread the ignoble path of the Kenyan parliamentarians. This is for the simple fact that many African parliamentarians, especially in Nigeria, place politics ahead of productive business ventures and will get red in the eyes in the course of fighting any change to the present order with the proverbial last blood. And that, precisely, is why ever struggling and ever murmuring Africans will continue to groan for some time to come under the burden of maintaining their parliamentarians. Abdulrazaq Magaji can be reached on


By Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu


igeria seems on the march again. After the experiences of 2007 general elections, which made Nigeria a “do or die” country, we seem to have re-enacted our nigerianness – the right way of doing things. The outcome of the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states, under the watchful eyes of President Goodjoe, gives one hope for a brighter future. These two separate electoral situations are clearly, a departure from the past. I have reasons to argue, and stubbornly too, that they would have been different under an Olusegun Obasanjo. But remember it started with election of principal officers of the National Assembly. In his time, Obasanjo saw elections as reward. He used elective offices to reward his loyalists. That was basic reason he worked very hard, using EFCC an instrument, to ensure his deputy, Atiku Abubakar, was denied the opportunity to be president in 2007. Not only did he stop Atiku, he also ensured he was chased out of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Theophilus Danjuma underscored this when in a newspaper interview he stated that loyalty to Obasanjo as President ought to be same loyalty to Obasanjo as military head of state. In that interview, Danjuma made reference to situations when Atiku challenged Obasanjo, the Commander-in-Chief, to their consternation. He said he did not believe that the President (Head of State) should be challenged in the manner Atiku did because as soldiers, loyalty is blind and brooks no questions. Obasanjo and Atiku would entertain the nation and international friends too, to a spectacular movie with the Petroleum Technology By Emmanuel Onwubiko


olitical historians have recorded that the interface that Africa has had with invading foreign forces were in two parts, namely: cultural and political. When the invaders besieged the continent nearly two centuries ago, the political forces from the West were accompanied by their spiritual bedfellows. As a result of the aggressive evangelical work, most traditional Africans embraced these foreign religious belief systems but nevertheless retained some aspects of their original African value system. One of the original African cultural value systems retained by Africans is the African symbolism attached to the arrival of ‘new born’ seen as the arrival of new life. Nigeria, the largest African country, is better known for this beautiful cultural value attached to new born but because of dearth of standard health facilities caused by political corruption and economic crime perpetrated by the political elite, a lot of children have died during child births even as infant mortality has become the most troubling health challenge that confronts twenty first century Nigeria. Sadly, successive political administrations since independence in 1960 have paid only lip service to the critical issue of tackling the unprecedented high infant mortality rate in the country and this reality has made Nigeria a laughing stock in the international community as a nation that is richly endowed with mineral resources such as crude oil and solid minerals but also as the nation with some of the worst cases of high infant mortality annually. President Good luck Jonathan, who is a former lecturer in a tertiary institution, has told Nigerians of his passion to stop this dangerous trend.


Past and new realities of Nigerian politics Development Fund (PTDF) as scene. the necessary documents. This process states. Of course, that will be followed Allegations and counter-allegations made party primary elections mere by public protest with a couple of guys flew and Nigerians shuddered in academic exercises. shot at and killed. Then press disbelief. Though nothing came out of That was our story before the statements from Senior Advocates the many revelations both men made divine will turned the table to give of Nigeria and embedded lawyers, about how the PTDF was Nigeria a lame Goodjoe. Yes, I call him will be issued asking losers to explore administered for them, most lame because despite being thrown judicial avenues to correct any Nigerians who followed the ‘fight’ were onto the national stage by the ‘do or wrong. of the conclusion that there was no die’ philosophy, he heeded the advice We are all too familiar with such way Atiku would succeed Obasanjo. of Mahatma Ghandi understanding situations where lawyers ask those It worked. Atiku’s sin was simply that ‘an eye for an eye leaves everyone who had been cheated out in a ‘do or because he disagreed with Obasanjo. blind’. Very bright students don’t die’ election to approach the And since Obasanjo had the yam and often, radically, depart from the tribunals. Of course, they expect to the knife, he decided get those briefs. who to give a slice We are aware to. He gave it to that to ensure Umaru Musa that PPA does not Yar’adua, now late. win Abia state, Under that its candidate, Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text situation, Obasanjo, Theodore Orji, messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written fearing that Atiku’s was imprisoned. contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 movement to A court was used words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and another party, and by the Obasanjo with General administration a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed Mohammadu to achieve this. to: Buhari rearing his AlsoinLagos,PDP challenge from the got all the federal The Editor, north, would lead to support it needed Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, a total routing of the to ensure that PDP, declared that M u s i l i u 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. elections that year Obanikoro won. Email: let would be ‘do or die’. These tendencies SMS: 07037756364 And it came to pass. obviously led to He threatened it. He fears prior to the delivered it. What Nigerians teachings of their masters. They Edo and Ondo elections that Goodjoe remembered most from that election modify them and bring out the goods would copy his predecessor and was that candidates relocated to in the teachings. I think, I may be impose his party on those states. We Abuja. Almost all PDP candidates for wrong, that this is exactly what saw Adams Oshiomhole crying wolf governorship, senate or House of Goodjoe has tried to do with the at every turn over Tony Anenih’s Representatives elections relocated to elections in Bayelsa, Edo and Ondo obvious strengths. Even in Ondo, Abuja and were tumbling over states. It showed more particularly in Olusegun Mimiko knew that the themselves to get Obasanjo’s attention Edo and Ondo. While Bayelsa has been powers that installed Oluesegun and blessing. He was the ultimate a PDP-controlled state, Edo and Ondo Agagu as governor despite his failure kingmaker. PDP tickets were then are in opposition hands. And given in 2007, were still within PDP. Their determined from his bedroom. So, that PDP used to call the shots in those fears were confirmed. I am sure that while some were busy campaigning, states, I am sure that a President in most Nigerians even feared that PDP or wasting scarce funds mobilising the mould of Obasanjo would have may play the card it was used to. support at the home base, those with insisted in his party men being But, nothing is static. I think this longer reaches were in Abuja signing declared winners of elections in those may be the guiding understanding

behind new electoral evelopments in our country where votes now count. We all know the damage such nasty past did to our national psyche. I am not sure it is such a pleasurable disposition that we all will like to be stuck in it. So, advancement here means that things are done differently. And that is why Goodjoe, to my mind, seems to be doing. Even when he appeared at campaign venues of his party in both Edo and Ondo states, he looked seriously uninterested. He did not create any air of impression that PDP must capture (their language) those states again. So, we may be arriving somewhere gradually. The basic foundation for positive development and good governance is the superiority of the electoral wish of the people. Of course every contestant wants, and even desires, to win. But the people are supreme. This is the commonest understanding of democracy. It has to do with the people. Not the President. Once the people are allowed to elect their governors, senators, representatives, assemblymen or even councillors, they are empowered to ask questions and seek accountability. Those ‘elected’ from a godfather’s bedroom are answerable to the godfather. We have seen it happen. Rasheed Ladoja in Oyo state was accountable only to late Lamidi Adedibu that was why his impeachment was easy. I believe that Goodjoe’s radical departure from the past is a positive sign for our country. It means returning power to the people. It means making the elected to become, indeed, servants to the people. It means empowering the people to demand for performance results. Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu’s professional profile is on LinkedIn

overarching health system and financial impediments for governments and end-users to access life-saving commodities is made worse by the lack of awareness of how, why and when to use them, preventing women and children from accessing and using appropriate commodities”. They also submitted thus: “Other system barriers to these commodities include the severely under-resourced regulatory agencies in low-income countries, which lead to delayed registration of commodities, lack of oversight of product quality and general inefficiencies; market failures, where return on investment is too low to encourage manufacturers to enter the market or produce sufficient quantities; and user supply and demand challenges such as limited demand for the product by end-users, local delivery problems and incorrect prescription and use”. President Jonathan needs to work like a “lion” with the needed creative zeal to be able to minimize the unprecedented high rate of infant mortality in Nigeria. Statistically, Nigeria is ranked as one place in the World whereby infants and new born are endangered species requiring special, urgent, comprehensive, effective, transparent and result-based measures to overcome rapidly to save our new born from pre-mature deaths. From we learnt that the health statistics published by all respected and highly respected health authorities in the World have returned unpleasant report on the high rate of infant mortality in Nigeria. In April 2010, The Lancet published a worldwide study on maternal mortality conducted by

But what are the causes of high infant mortality? As stated by the WHO in its 2005 World Health Report “Make Every Mother and Child Count”, the major causes of maternal deaths are: severe bleeding/hemorrhage (25%), infections (13%), unsafe abortions (13%), eclampsia (12%), obstructed labour (8%), other direct causes (8%), and indirect causes (20%). Indirect causes are things such as malaria, anaemia, HIV/AIDS, and cardiovascular disease, all of which complicate pregnancy or are aggravated by it. Forty-five percent of postpartum deaths occur within 24 hours, over 90% of maternal deaths occur in developing countries. In comparison, pregnancy associated homicide accounts for 2 to 10 deaths per 100,000 live births, possibly substantially higher due to underreporting. Unintended pregnancy is a major cause of maternal deaths, so says World Health Organization. Worldwide, unintended pregnancy resulted in almost 700,000 maternal deaths from 1995 to 2000 (approximately one-fifth of the maternal deaths during that period). The majority (64%) resulted from complications from unsafe or unsanitary abortion. As can be seen from the scientific facts produced by health experts, President Jonathan should note that his “pro-new born health revolution” will require profound political will and the necessary resources to achieve. In doing this, the current government must put politics aside and render quality health care for the benefit of our new born and pregnant women. Emmanuel Onwubiko is on Facebook.


Jonathan’s ‘new born’ revolution He was once recently quoted in the media as saying that his resolve to stop the high rate of infant mortality was because of what he witnessed in his biological family where a lot of infant mortality cases were recorded. He vowed to institute what I may call the ‘Jonathan’s new born Medicare revolution’ aimed at delivering quality pre and post-natal Medicare to pregnant ladies and their new born. The United Nations Secretary General Mr. Banki Moon has provided institutional support to President Jonathan’s lofty health ambition to bring succor and good Medicare to Nigeria’s new born. The United Nations has subsequently appointed the Nigeria’s President as co-chairman of the United Nations Commission on life saving commodities for women and children along with the prime minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg. This appointment is seen in human rights circle as the necessary tonic for Nigeria to overcome these dangerous threats to life confronting pregnant women and our unborn children. In a recent article published in major Nigerian newspapers titled “Saving the lives of women and children” both President Jonathan and Prime Minister Stoltenberg made a profound commitment to the reduction of the high rate of infant mortality. These two leaders, one a Nigerian and the other a Norwegian, have through this well written article provided germane reason why infant mortality has remained a dominant health challenge even in this twenty first century that has seen several health related innovations and inventions by scientists. They jointly argued thus; “The

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at Washington University. For the first time in decades, researchers are reporting a significant drop in the number of women dying each year from pregnancy and childbirth. From total maternal deaths of roughly 525,000 in 1980 to about 342,900 in 2008, the IHME analyses utilizes new and better country data and a more sophisticated statistical method that draws from birth records, national surveys census and surveys of siblings deaths. The new findings from 181 countries also show an annual decrease of 1.3% in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) - the ratio of number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. However, Nigeria moved in the opposite direction with a 1.4% increase each year, from 473/ 100,000 in 1990 to 608/100,000 by 2008. For every woman who dies, twenty will face serious or long-last medical problems. The report indicates that 99 percent of women who survive severe, life-threatening complications often require lengthy recovery times and may face longterm physical, psychological, social and economic consequences. The chronic ill health of a mother puts at risk surviving children, who depend on their mothers for food, care and emotional support. According to it, reducing maternal mortality is one of the targets of the Millennium Development Goal 5 (Improving Maternal Health). It is the Millennium Development Goal that has shown the least progress since 2000 and the one that reveals the greatest disparity between rich and poor.


I have seen a light at the end of a very dark tunnel and I am prepared to walk into its full circle – alone – or with whoever cares to come with me - Malam Aminu Kano in his letter to British colonial authorities resigning his office as a school teacher to join the anti-colonial struggle, November 1950.


he life and politics of Mallam Aminu Kano qualify him to be identified as the only politician of note in Nigeria who expressed and tried to implement revolutionary ideas. His views were rather heretical and full of contempt for traditional institutions and colonial Britain’s indirect rule in which they played a pivotal role. In his resignation letter quoted above, he stated, among other things, that “I fanatically share the view that Native Administrations, as they stand today with all their too trumpeted ‘fine traditions’, are woefully hopeless in solving our urgent educational, social, economic, political and even religious problems. I cannot tolerate them because of their smell…” In the beginning, he was not alone. While in Sokoto, he became a member of Jam’iyyar Mutanen Arewa, a Northern cultural association that would evolve into a political party and became the dominant party in Northern Nigeria during the First Republic. However, in 1950, he led a splinter group of young radicals out Jam’iyyar Mutanen Arewa, to form the Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU). The journey through the dark tunnel had begun. He was harassed, his followers beaten, By Reuben Abati


arring any other development of equally impactful effect, the great event of the year 2012 for Nigerians would probably be the floods that submerged many communities across the country, forcing a rude awakening about the reality of climate change and Nigeria’s share of this global phenomenon. Which is ironic in one sense more than any other, for when President Jonathan travelled to Rio de Janeiro to attend the Earth Summit, known as Rio+20, in June, many had criticized him for paying attention to “an irrelevant subject.” The principal lesson lies in how Nigeria shares with the rest of the world, the increasing challenge of climate change and its consequences, described in the Rio+20 document as “an immediate and urgent global priority.” The floods were caused according to the experts by excess rainfall, which resulted in the overflooding of Rivers Benue and Niger and their tributaries, from Taraba, to Adamawa, Kogi, all the way to the states of Southern Nigeria. Natural disasters had always seemed to the average Nigerian like something that affects other people, and seen on CNN, and if there had been any knowledge of floods, it was regarded as something rare, occurring as a marginal reminder of the Biblical Flood. But this year,


Sule Lamido: The lone comrade

imprisoned and even killed. He national assembly took sides with was often rigged out of electoral the governors against Aminu victories. Kano. That did not stop him from The whole drama came to an spreading his revolutionary end when the military sacked views which soon positioned him politicians and banned all political as the leader of the talakawa or parties in the end of year coup of commoners. The rough tactics of 1983. With politics in the military the leading party depleted his cooler, Sule Lamido returned to followership. Military private life until it was time to form intervention in 1966 banned parties under the military led by NEPU together General Ibrahim with the other Babangida. He was parties of the among the first republic. politicians who put Alhaji Sule together the Lamido was People’s Solidarity perhaps too Party (PSP), one of young to be one the political parties of the followers that were of Aminu Kano disbanded by the in the colonial military regime in Emmanuel Yawe era and in the favour of two First Republic. parties -the 08024565402 But he was one N a t i o n a l of the notable R e p u b l i c a n young radicals that teamed up Convention, NRC, and the Social with him to form the Peoples Democratic Party, SDP, in 1989. Redemption Party, PRP, when the He then emerged as the pioneer military started the march back chairman of the party (SDP) in to the barracks and out of politics Kano state. in 1978. In 1979, he was elected With the creation of Jigawa out into the Federal House of of the old Kano state, Lamido Representatives. became the pioneer chairman and But the honeymoon was later the governorship aspirant of shortlived. There was a great rift the party until the military between Aminu Kano and the two disqualified him. In late 1992, Sule governors elected on the platform Lamido was elected the National of his party. While Aminu Kano’s Secretary of the SDP. He was thus radicalism was tampered by age a core actor in the victory of Chief and exposure, his two governors- M. K. O. Abiola in the 1993 Abubakar Rimi in Kano and presidential election which was, Balarabe Musa in Kaduna- were however, annulled. still spitting fire like he did in his In 1994, under the Abacha 1950 letter to the colonial government, after the two parties authorities. Sule Lamido and other were disbanded, Sule Lamido young radical legislators in the became the chairman of the Board

of Directors of the Nigerian Agricultural and Co-operative Bank, NACB, his first ever major political appointment. In 1995, he went onto the National Constitutional Conference as an appointee of the Federal Military Government but the seeming romance between the politician and the military terminated too abruptly once the politician became a critic of self- succession. It culminated in his arrest and detention in early 1998 by the regime. When Sule Lamido was released from detention later that year, he rejoined his political group on the national platform called the G-34. Subsequently, the group formed the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, under which he contested governorship of Jigawa state in 1999 but lost. That same year, then President Olusegun Obabsanjo named him as his foreign affairs minister. He returned to Jigawa in 2003after serving as minister and went straight into opposition leadership against the ANPP government led by Saminu Turaki. He later clinched the gubernatorial candidacy of the PDP, emerging as governor on May 29 2007. I consider Kano which, to me, means the present day Kano and Jigawa states, my second home. I lived a good four years in Kano as a young journalist with the Kano state-owned Triumph Newspapers, then a very popular newspaper. I became an editor for the first time in my career in Kano in the mid 80s. I had not, however, visited

Jigawa since he became governor in 2007. Last week, I was ‘home’ and was privileged to go round to see the giant strides the state has taken under his leadership. His performance in mass mobilization, education, rural development, infrastructure, agriculture etc is stellar. Later at the end of my ‘home’ visit, a brother arranged a dinner with the governor. It was a sumptuous dinner. Unfortunately, he kept “commiserating” with me because there was no bera, rat meat (a special delicacy of my Tiv people), on the menu. I soon discovered that this frequent ‘commiseration’ with me over bera was a clever way of dodging penetrating questions about his political future. There have been speculations of late about his candidacy in the next presidential elections and anytime our discussions veered toward that issue, he returned to bera. For the whole one hour or so that we spent together, the governor refused to be dragged into the topic. For a journalist, I left his house a sad man. Here is a man with a rich political cv –one rare to find among the governors of the North and even South. There is hardly a governor today who has heldon to his beliefs about the common man and gone through the vicissitudes of democratic politics in the pursuit of those beliefs like Sule Lamido. He stands alone among his comrades. Nigeria should not allow his vast experience to waste after 2015.

President Jonathan and the floods (I) the floods reminded us all of how vulnerable our lives have become, and the sameness of both the rich and the poor in the face of natural disaster. Houses were submerged, farmlands were flooded, persons were displaced; the rich and the poor cried. This conflict between man and nature playing out on our shores, underscored the pivotal place of environmental challenges in the unmaking of human habitats. With water, an indispensable resource unleashing its power, the ordinariness of every man was exposed. Steven Solomon writes sentiently in his book *Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization (2010),* that “by grasping the lessons of water’s pivotal role on our destiny, we will be better prepared to cope with the crisis about to engulf us all.” That pivotal role is ambiguous. We had failed to pay attention to this. In many of the affected communities, houses had been built on riverbeds, along flood plains, and reclaimed land, and for decades, persons had gotten used to living in those places, naturally and successfully, having no reason whatsoever to imagine the kind of tragedy that crept upon the land this year. When the floods finally recede, many of the affected houses would no longer be habitable: adjustments have to be made by both people and the authorities.

In the meantime, we can look back, with pleasure, on the quality leadership that was demonstrated in managing the effect of the floods and in providing immediate relief for the affected persons. The incident brought government closer to the people; it highlighted the value of strategic institutions such as the National Emergency Management Agency, which deployed human and material resources nationwide, and worked with other agencies such as the Red Cross, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and the state governments to ameliorate the people’s suffering. Deservedly, NEMA has received fulsome praise for its efforts. Needless to state that NEMA and other government agencies were responding to a strong charge from the very top, for as the flooding occurred, President Jonathan immediately directed that all relief measures should be mobilized to assist the states and the people. The moment called for leadership. And the President took charge as expected. He also promptly set up an Inter-Ministerial Technical Committee led by the Minister of Environment to go round the country to assess the extent of the floods. That Committee presented its interim report to the President at a meeting attended by state governors and the leadership of the National Assembly. The following

day, President Jonathan addressed the nation and announced a 17.6 billion Naira relief fund for all the states, which was immediately made available for their use. All the affected states had set up displaced persons’ camps and were actively providing feeding, accommodation and health services. Further, President Jonathan constituted a National Flood Relief and Rehabilitation Committee co-chaired by Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Mr. Olisa Agbakoba, to raise funds to complement government’s efforts in assisting the flood victims, and to mobilise the general public to support the initiative. With these steps, the administration had pushed the management of the flood crisis to the level of high national priority, generating nationwide empathy in the process. In addition, President Jonathan announced that he and Vice President Namadi Sambo will visit the affected states. In the week that followed, Nigerians saw their President, without his trademark attire. This had given way to simple shirt and trouser, rolled up sleeves, and a face cap. The President travelled to Kogi, Rivers, Delta, Anambra, Bayelsa, Taraba, Adamawa, and Benue states. He went from one camp to the other, identifying with the

people, empathizing with them. He listened to their stories. He shared their agony. His own village in Bayelsa had also been submerged. When he went home to his village, Otuoke, he met his compound flooded up to chest level. In Kogi, he was told that a man who took a loan for his farm, and had lost everything, contemplated suicide. Everywhere he went, the President took a message of hope, advising the victims not to commit suicide, but to remain confident that with government on their side, there is hope. Together with the state governors, he thanked the relief agencies and all the persons who had come to the rescue of the victims. He didn’t listen to official versions alone; he personally invited spokespersons of displaced persons to lay their concerns before him. There had been a baby boom in many of the camps: women who had given birth in the camps brought their babies to the President. He carried the babies, and posed for photographs with them and their mothers, the most impressive being a photograph of the President with four new-born babies and their mothers at the Makurdi camp. Dr. Reuben Abati is Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to President Goodluck Jonathan



FCT indigenous contractors urges FCT minister to pay up N3bn debt By Stanley Onyekwere


here are indications that all is not well with the Association of Indigenous Contractors of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as they are geared for a show-down with the authority of the Territory over alleged non-payment of their indebtedness in the sum of N3billion. This is coming on the heels of threat from the Association dismay over what it described as the ‘unnecessary delay in payment of matured bills’ (payment files with Minister’s approval) for months without recourse to their plight. Part of their grief is that since January, 2012, no payment was made until in June, 2012, when a little of the outstanding debts were paid. On the whole, the indigenous contractors are being owed a whooping sum of close to N3 billion. It was gathered that they are also vexed with the prompt payment to multi-national contractors leaving them at the mercy of loans they got from banks and other sources who threatens to seize their collaterals. Investigations revealed that in October, 2012 alone, multinational contractors were paid a sum of N6 billion. These include Arab Contractors, Gilmor, Setraco, SCC and Salam amongst others. However, it was revealed that the meeting, presided over by its Chairman, Chief E.J. Ehikwe, came to an uncontrollable stage when it was announced that one of its Board of Trustee member, Chief C.Y. Ezeji, died out of frustration of the plight of his

unpaid contract sum and another executive member is currently receiving medication in India. Also sources at the FCTA confirmed that the non-payment to indigenous contractors in total preference for multi-nationals recently pitched the Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed and the Minister of State, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide. Besides, the contractors while expressing concern about the development decried that without the payments, it has become difficult to pay artisans, who contribute immensely to the sustenance of the society.

At a meeting of the Association last week, some members threaten the Executive for alleged insensitive to their plight and warned that they would take to the streets if their issue is not given urgent attention. As a backdrop of the meeting, the Association has given the FCT Administration a two-week ultimatum to effect payment of outstanding debts on all Matured Bills. It was also gathered some aggrieved members complained that the Executive of the Association have not allowed them to meet with the authority of the FCT over their payment.

Another grievance of the Association is that on several occasions they have written to the FCT minister requesting to have an audience to find amicable ways of settling the outstanding debts but at each occasion, the request was turned down. In an attempt to reach the Senior Special Assistant on Information Management System, to the FCT minister, Hajia JJemila Tangaza and the Special Assistant to the Minister on media, Mr Nosike Ogbuenyi , on phone prove abortive as they didn’t reply the text messages sent to them and they weren’t picking their calls.

Children having a good cheer during the Sallah celebrations at Wonderland Park, Abuja on Saturday. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Traditional ruler tasks residents to shun violence By Adeola Tukuru


he traditional ruler, Etsu Bako in Kwali, Yakubu Wuwa Bako has called on residents of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to celebrate this year Eid-el-Kabir in a peaceful atmosphere and shun violence. The traditional ruler gave the charge in his Sallah message to

residents of Kwali area council. Etsu Wuwa said the celebration called for rather sober reflection than usual attitudes of some youths who were fond of riding motorcycles indiscriminately to disturb the peace of others. The traditional leader also explained that some of his subjects have been charged to ensure peace and tranquility in the

community during and after the festivity. On the coming area council election, Etsu Bako said the community needed nothing but credible candidates who would deliver dividends of democracy to his people, adding that the serving chairman of the council, Joseph Shazin is one such. Etsu Wuwa also pleaded to the

contractors handling Gwagwalada – Lokoja expressway and the Federal Government to speed up the construction process as it would reduce incessant hiccup experiencing during festivities along the road. He therefore called on the motorists to always exercise patient on the road, taken into consideration its narrowness.

Labourer docked for criminal breach of trust, cheating


labourer, Bashir Abdullahi, 28, of Gwarimpa Village, Abuja was last week arraigned before an Abuja Magistrates Court for alleged criminal breach of trust and cheating. The Police Prosecutor, Mr Philip Simon, told the court that one Margaret Yohanna of Karmo Village, Abuja, reported the case

to the Life Camp Police Station, Abuja on Oct. 20,2012. Simon said the complainant reported that in the second week of August, the accused came to her shop and allegedly collected 19 bags of cement and promised to pay at the end of the month. He said that the items were valued at N33,250 but that the accused allegedly refused to pay

the money. The prosecutor said the accused ran to an unknown destination but was, however, arrested on Oct.19, 2012 at Kado Village, Abuja. He said that during police investigation, the accused admitted collecting the 19 bags of cement and did not pay. Simon said the offences

contravene sections 312 and 322 of the Penal Code. The Magistrate, Mrs Habiba Bello, granted the accused bail in the sum of N30,000 with one surety who must be reliable and living within the jurisdiction of the court. Bello, however, adjourned the case to Nov. 5, 2012 for further hearing.(NAN)

AEPB bans street begging, hawking


ommercial sex, street begging and trading are prohibited under the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) Act of 1997, the agency has stressed. Mr. Joe Ukairo, the Head of Information and Outreach Programmes of the board, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, that these activities constituted a social menace and could not be allowed. Ukairo made the clarification against the background of appeals buy hawkers for the provision of alternative location to enable them to conduct their business activities and earn a living. “There is no sentiment; street begging, trading and prostitution are prohibited under the AEPB Act of 1997 Section 35. ”These are social menace; the Social Development Secretariat has done so much trying to rehabilitate the commercial sex workers and beggars. “We arrest and prosecute them and hand them over to the Society Against Prostitution and Child Labour, which takes them to the rehabilitation centres,” he said. Some of the hawkers who spoke with NAN, said that they resorted to hawking because they could not afford the high cost of renting shops inside the market. They, however, commended the efforts of the AEPB to sanitise the environment in the federal capital city. The hawkers said that if given a suitable alternative such as the gardens around the market, they would go off the streets. One of the hawkers, Baba Yusuf, said: “I am speaking the minds of many hawkers selling around here; if we are given these two gardens which are not being used, we will keep them clean and safe. “We are not outlaws but we don’t have where to sell our goods; we cannot afford shop rents inside the market and must make ends meet so we just have to hawk around the streets. “If these places mentioned can be given to us or an alternative place, we will surely move out of the streets.’’ Miss Chidinma Nwachukwu, a trader in the market said : “If government will succeed in its war against street trading, so many things should be put in place. “So many things should be put in place to check the menace of street trading; jobs should be provided to reduce this street trading and before you take away what one has, you should provide an alternative. Another respondent, Mr Ade Kunle, urged the AEPB to ensure that the two gardens around the market were utilised for the intended purpose, to avoid harbouring unquestionable characters. “Those gardens are for recreation and relaxation and definitely not for miscreants, drug addicts and loafers; we should be serious with ourselves, please,” Kunle said. (NAN)



Sallah : Aduda gives out rice, money to Muslims By Augustine Aminu


A lady selling automobile lubricants at Gudu market Abuja

Photo: Joe Oroye

enator representing the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Philip Aduda, over the weekend distributed about 600 bags of rice to Muslim faithful in the six area council and 62 wards for the celebration of eid-el-Kabir. Speaking at the event, the senator’s Special Assistant, Mr. Samuel Danjuma, said the gesture is aimed at reaching out to Muslim brothers who can’t afford to buy food items for the celebration. “I urge you all to reflect on the lesson of this period and pray for peace in our country, support government policies and on our own part we promise continual effective representation at all levels of government”. He urged Muslims to always imbibe the lessons learnt from the Holy Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W) and urged them to continue to pray for the country’s unity, especially at this trying period. Some beneficiaries of the items donated expressed gratitude to the senator for the gesture and prayed for God’s guidance upon him.

NGO trains 61 youth in FCT

Sallah: 100 physically challenged women, others get bags of rice, cash A By Josephine Ella


bout 100 physically challenged women and other less privileged persons at Karimajiji disabled settlement along the Airport Road and the Yangoji Leper colony in Kwali Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory(FCT), over the weekend received bags of rice, wrappers and cash donation from the Social Development Secretariat of the FCT. The gesture was part of a Sallah package sponsored by the Social Development Secretariat for the less privileged. Speaking, the Secretary, Mrs Blessing Onuh, who celebrated Sallah with the physically challenged in the area said the secretariat was committed

towards improving the welfare of the beneficiaries. She presented to each of the group 10 bags of rice, 150 wrappers each and an undisclosed sum of money. Mrs Onuh in her remark enjoined the physically challenged persons to use the period of Sallah as a period to dedicate themselves to the service of the Almighty God. She also enjoined them to believe in themselves, saying, ”there is ability in disability”, as she warned them to desist from the act of begging which contravenes the AEPB Act of 1996. This was as she also notified them that the FCT administration would do everything possible to continuously address their

plights and that of the commoners in the territory. The women at the Karmajij centre were earlier trained during a partnership programme organised by the Society Against Prostitution and Child Labour in Nigeria(SAPCLN) and the secretariat in soap making, bead making, and several other artisan skills. A brief training had also been organised for other less privileged persons at the leper colony by the Abuja Lokoja way. Speaking earlier during her welcome address, the SAPCLN Coordinator, Mrs Grace Adogo commended the FCT Minister and Minister of State, Bala Mohammed and Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide respectively for their unrelenting support towards improving the

lives of the physically challenged. She also advise them not to go back to the street begging and use the skill they have learnt to keep themselves busy especially at this time the country is in need of such skills. Mrs Adogo urged the FCTA to increase its collaboration with SAPCLN so that many lives will be affected. Earlier SAPLCN on its own donated items to the physically challenged persons at the FCT centre for rehab of physically challenged at Bwari. The coordinator, who led a team of her staff where they gave rams, and brief party for them, also urged them not to give hope. On their parts, the beneficiaries of the gesture commended them and urged them to do more.

Gwagwalada council chair assures of completion of ongoing projects By Adeola Tukuru


he Chairman Gwagwalada Area Council in the FCT, Alhaji Zakari Angulu has pledged his administration’s commitment to the completion of ongoing projects in the area. The Chairman gave this assurance in a Sallah message over the weekend that ongoing projects in the area council would be completed before the end of his tenure in 2013 and

also urged the Muslim faithful to take advantage of the Ed-el-Kabir celebration to strengthen the peaceful coexistence of people in the area council. He attributed the success recorded by the council, particularly in the area of infrastructure development, to the peaceful environment in the area. The council boss, therefore, called on youths to remain law abiding and urged them to imbibe the culture of tolerance in line

with the teachings of the prophet. “Gwagwalada Area council is known for its peaceful coexistence, so, I encourage every resident particularly the Muslims to strengthen the peace by emulating the teachings of Prophet Mohammed.’’ Angulu commended the staff and political office holders in the council for their support in ensuring that dividends of democracy were delivered to residents of the council. In his words : “Leaders do not

make themselves, they are made by the people and when you are opportuned to be at the top, you must have the people at the back of your mind. “It is true that Area Councils in the FCT are faced with serious challenges of inadequate funding but we have been able to carry our staff along. “We have been able to make them understand that we owe the people a lot and this was achieved by the manner in which we manage our resources.”

non-governmental organization (NGO), known as Life International Foundation Incorporation, over the weekend trained 61 youths in Dutse community ,Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The President of the NGO, Dr Olu Wilson said that the youths were trained on catering, soap making, sewing, hair styling and other skills. She also donated items worth millions of naira to the community during the closing ceremony of a one week skill acquisition programme, saying the gesture was aimed at assisting the less privileged. The president expressed hope that the skill acquisition programme would enhance the socio-economic status of the participants. The trainees were presented with sewing machines, grinding machines, motor cycles as well as certificate of participation. Wilson also presented the trainees with an undisclosed amount of money to enable them to start their businesses. In his remarks at the occasion, the Head of the Community, Chief Ibrahim Dangana, expressed appreciation to Wilson for her concern for the less privileged in the community. One of the trainees, Mr Terhide Sebastian, expressed thanks to God and to the NGO for introducing the programme to the community. “This is what I use to hear on radio and television, but today, I am witnessing it happening in my community,” he said.





INSIDE - Pg 20 Sterling Bank PAT hits 64 per cent

Mob: 08033644990

FIRS generates N3.81tr revenue in 9 months


he Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says it generated N3.81 trillion as revenue in nine months. The FIRS made the claim yesterday in Abuja via a statement signed by Mr Emmanuel Obeta, its Director of Communications. “With this amount, the FIRS has surpassed the N3.6 trillion provisional annual budget estimate nine months into the year, with oil taxes recording N2.399 trillion and N1.406 trillion for non-oil. “The collection represents increased revenue collection performance of about N890 billion, when compared to the total collection of N2.91 trillion for the same period in 2011.’’ The statement said that the

FIRS had so far collected and remitted the sum of N23.30 billion tax revenue due to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) for the first nine months of 2012. It said that the amount represented “Pay-As-You-Earn’’ (PAYEE) tax and Personal Income Tax (PIT) collected from FCT residents. This, it added, reflected an increase in tax collection in the period, when compared to the N21. 94 billion remitted to FCTA for the same period in 2011. “In 2011, the service recorded N955.19 billion tax

collection in the first quarter, N985.30 billion in the second quarter and N974.65 billion in the third quarter,’’ the statement said. The statement said that the 2012 figure represented a remarkable increase in tax collection, which comprised N1.172 trillion in first quarter, N1.267 trillion in the second quarter and N1.366 trillion in the third quarter respectively. It also said that the N23.30 billion so far remitted to the FCTA represented a considerable increase in FIRS’ collection and remittance, when compared to the N23.24

billion figure in 2010. “A breakdown of the collection, from January to September shows that the sum of N2.027 billion was realised in January, N2.691 billion in February, N3.133 billion in March, N2.721 billion in April and N3.044 billion in May. “The figure recorded in June was N2.221 billion, N3.055 billion in July, N2.463 billion in August, while N1.947 billion was generated as tax revenue in September. “Remarkably, FIRS has taken steps to bring more potential taxpayers into the tax net through the establishment

of Satellite Tax Offices (STO) across the FCT’s major markets in 2012,’’ it said . The statement, nonetheless, called for more collaboration and partnership among relevant stakeholders so as to actualise the service’s determination to expand the country’s revenue base. It said that part of FIRS’ strategies was to improve taxpayer’s education and services, processes and procedures, while bringing tax administration closer to taxpayers in order to enhance voluntary tax compliance. (NAN)

Reconstructed Hajj terminal speeds up of Hajj airlift By Muhammad Nasir


he Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAN) says the airlift of pilgrims for 2012 Hajj was completed on record time. A statement issued by FAAN’s GM (Corporate Communications), Yakubu Dati sad unlike in the past, the pilgrims this year, enjoyed a transformed and reconstructed Hajj terminal. Pilgrims, particularly the ones flying through Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abjua; Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano and Kaduna terminals enjoyed the remodeled terminals. The whole facilities have been reconstructed and fitted with modern amenities to provide comfort to the pilgrims. The terminals are very clean; well run, and features an array of conveniences; modern bathrooms, wudu area and easily accessible and well ventilated masjids. The remodeling of the terminals is very significant, as it marks a departures from the previous ad-hoc arrangements, this is a testimony of the authorities determination to enhance and safeguard the welfare of the pilgrims, by eliminating undue hardships and difficulties experienced when Nigerians perform their religious obligations. The renovated Hajj terminals at Kano, Kaduna, Abuja and Sokoto are apart from the 11 terminals undergoing remodeling in the first phase of the airport remodeling project being spearheaded by the transformational leadership of the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah.

R-L: Vice-President Namadi Sambo, Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Rong Yansong and Chinese Counsellor for economic and commercial, Mr. Li Jinzaqs during Chinese Vice minister's visit to the Presidential Villa in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye.

Prices of building materials rise in Delta


rices of some building materials have recorded further increase in the last four weeks in Delta, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. An investigation by NAN revealed that some of the items, whose prices shot up, included sharp sand and granites. The survey showed that a tipper-load of sharp sand, which formerly sold for N22,000 in Ughelli, Asaba, Warri and Sapele in September, now cost N23,000.

Besides, a tipper-load of granite, which cost N52,000 at Agbor, Ughelli, Warri and Asaba in September, now sells for N53,000. Some building materials’ dealers told NAN that the slight increase in the prices of the items could be attributed to the effects of flooding. Mr John Adebayo, proprietor of Adebayo Concrete Industry in Asaba, said that the flooding of some riverside communities in

the state had made it extremely difficult for people to dredge sharp sand. “Due to the current flooding of many riverside communities in the state, most of the sand dredgers have abandoned their sites. “It is only a few of them who now struggle to bring sharp sand with their canoes to the dry land where we are made to pay additional charges,’’ he said. Adebayo, however, said that

Management Tip of the Day To persuade a listener, establish common ground


t's one thing to give a smooth presentation. It's another to move the people in your audience to do something. To accomplish the latter, figure out what you have in common with the people in the room, and speak to the audience at that level.

Think about the values, interests, shared experiences, or challenges that you share so you can reference them in your dialogue. This is tougher to do with a broad audience like a group of seminar participants from a variety of organizations

and industries. The overlap won't be immediately evident, because there are so many perspectives and backgrounds to consider. So you'll need to work hard to find it, but that work will pay off. Source: Harvard Business Review

in the next few weeks the prices of sharp sand and granite might reduce because the flooding was receding. He reiterated that the flooding was the major factor responsible for the increase in the prices of building materials. He noted that during the rainy season, prices of building materials were usually low because of the low activities in the building or construction industry. However, prices of some building materials such as cement recorded a slight reduction in the last four weeks. The survey indicated that a bag of Dangote, Elephant and Ibeto brands of cement, which cost N1,750 in September, now costs N1700 in Agbor, Asaba, Ughelli and Warri . Similarly, a market survey by the Delta Ministry of Economic Planning, which was made available to NAN, also confirmed the slight reduction in the price of cement. (NAN)



COMPANY NEWS Canadian envoy


he Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Chris Cooter, has stated that Canada is currently working on strategies aimed at increasing its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Nigeria within the next few years due to enhanced confidence in the Nigerian economy. Cooter disclosed this during a meeting with Nigeria’s Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, in Abuja. The Canadian envoy noted that as part of efforts to strengthen trade and investment relationship between the two countries, more Canadian companies had already indicated their willingness to invest in infrastructural projects across Nigeria. He explained that the move was a follow-up to the NigeriaCanada Bi-National Commission meeting held between the Minister of Trade and Investment; Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, in Abuja recently.



s the Federal Government and labour representatives move to resume the deadlocked talks with workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria over their factitious pension fund, there are indications of fresh obstacles to successful negotiations. Essentially, the House of Representatives Committee on Power is not in favour of giving a special treatment to the embattled PHCN workers in the ongoing privatization exercise. Saturday PUNCH investigations showed that members of the House Committee Chairman on Power, led by Patrick Ikhariale, want the issue of PHCN workers resolved in accordance with the provisions of the 2004 Pension Act, which makes the employee to contribute 7.5 percent of his salary, and an equal amount from the employer.



he Nigerian College of Aviation Technology’s (NCAT) has received over N1.2 billion of insurance claim from Composite insurance group, Alliance & General Insurance (A&G) Plc. The Nigerian College of Aviation Technology’s (NCAT) is a major client of the Alliance & General Insurance (A&G) Plc for many years, NCAT suffered a major loss following the crash of one of its aircrafts two years ago, which lead to insurance claims from A&G.

DMB’s total assets, liabilities grows by 0.8 per cent Stories from Ngozi Onyeakusi , Lagos otal assets and liabilities of the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) have increased to N20.4 trillion, at the end of August, 2012, representing a growth rate of 0.8 per cent when compared with the level at end of July, 2012. Available data at the CENTRAL Bank of Nigeria (CBNs) website indicated that funds were sourced mainly from mobilisation of time savings & foreign currency deposits (N537.1 billion) and disposal of Federal Government securities (N251.8 billion). The funds were used, largely, for the acquisition of foreign assets (N245.9 billion) and unclassified liabilities (N203.5 billion). At N12.5 trillion, DMBs’


…discount houses drop by 12.1 per cent credit to the domestic economy fell by 2.0 per cent, when compared to the level in the preceding month. On a month-on-month basis, DMB’s credit to the private sector rose by 0.4, while credit to the government fell by 14.5 per cent relative to the level in the preceding month. Central Bank’s credit to the DMBs fell by 18.9 per cent to N275.7 billion at end-August 2012. The specified liquid assets of the DMBs stood at N5.2 trillion, representing 39.0 per cent of their total current liabilities. This level of liquid assets was 2.6 percentage points below the preceding month’s ratio of 41.6, but 9.0 percentage points above the stipulated minimum ratio of 30.0 per

cent. The loan-to-deposit ratio was 45.7 per cent and was 34.3 percentage points below the stipulated maximum target of 80.0 per cent for theindustry. On the other hand, Provisional data showed that total assets and liabilities of the discount houses stood at N282.0 billion at end of August 2012, representing a decline of 12.1 per cent below the level at the preceding month. The development was accounted for, largely, by the 63.0 and 14.9 per cent decline in claims on banks and other assets, respectively. Correspondingly, the decline in total liabilities was attributed, largely, to the 54.1 and 12.3 per cent fall in borrowings and other liabilities, respectively.

Discount houses’ investment in Federal Government securities of less than 91-day maturity fell to N19.3 billion and accounted for 9.2 per cent of their total deposit liabilities. Thus, investment in Federal Government Securities was 50.8 percentage points below the prescribed minimum level of 60.0 per cent. At that level, discount houses’ investment on NTBs declined by 12.6 per cent below the level at the end of the preceding month. Total borrowing by the discount houses was N15.4 billion, while their capital and reserves amounted to N34.6 billion. This resulted in a gearing ratio of 2.1:1, compared to the stipulated maximum target of 50:1 for fiscal 2012.

FirstBank sponsors Team Naija to CyberLympics


igeria’s quest to grow and deepen local capacity in information security received a boost over the weekend following the sponsorship of Team Naija by First Bank of Nigeria Plc to the finals of the global Cyberlympics taking place in Miami, United States of America. Information Security involves the protection of information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, perusal, inspection, recording or destruction. The Global CyberLympics is an international cyber security competition that seeks to build capacity across nations, create awareness for global cyber defense and promote global peace. Team Naija and Team Broken Cipher of Sudan will represent the African continent and compete against teams from other continents at the finals which kicks off on October 29,

2012. Team Naija’s four-man contingent comprises Abolusoro Oluboyede David (FirstBank staff), Nasiru Abimbola Jaiyeola (FirstBank staff), Oluseyi Akindeinde

(Digital Encode) and Adewale Obadare (Digital Encode). FirstBank’s spokesperson, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney said the Bank considers the

opportunity to support Nigeria’s contingent to the CyberLympics as another platform to promote youth empowerment and contribute to the growth of information security in Nigeria.

Sterling Bank PAT hits 64 per cent


terling Bank Plc continued its impressive performance in the third quarter with almost a double in gross earnings and 64 per cent increase in profit after tax. Interim report and accounts of the bank for the third quarter ended September 30, 2012 showed substantial growths across key performance indicators, improving prospects for considerable improvement in dividends for the current business year. The report indicated 92.6 per cent growth in gross earnings, underlining the success of the bank’s bank-focused business strategy.

Interest income had doubled by 109.9 per cent while net interest income jumped by 84 per cent. Profit before tax thus rose by 58.5 per cent. Sterling Bank grossed N50.74 billion by third quarter 2012 as against N26.35 billion recorded in comparable period of 2011. Interest income leapt to N39.56 billion in 2012 compared with N18.85 billion in corresponding period of 2011. While interest expenses

Earnings Report for Banks Source:Pro-share Nigeria

Sterling Bank MD, Yemi Adeola increased from N8.97 billion to N21.37 billion, net interest income also nearly doubled from N9.88 billion to N18.19 billion. After taxes, net profit distributable to shareholders increased from N2.74 billion to N4.49 billion. Earnings analysis showed earnings per share of 29 kobo for third quarter 2012 compared with 22 kobo in similar period of 2011. At current share price, the net earnings indicated strong doubledigit returns for Sterling Bank. It should be recalled that the outstanding issued shares of Sterling Bank had increased in the last quarter of 2011 following issuance of scheme shares to shareholders of the defunct Equatorial Trust Bank, which Sterling Bank had acquired last year.



NSE All-Share Index drops by1.54 per cent Stories from Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


arket activity on the floor of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) last week closed on a bearish note as the NSE All-Share Index opened the week at 27,296.35 closed at 26,876.07, thereby depreciating by 420.28 points or 1.54 per cent while the Market Capitalization of the listed equities decreased by N133.221 billion (1.53 per cent) to close at N8.565 trillion. The low turnover recorded, was largely as a result of brief trading activity during the week as the market opened for three days due to a two-day public holiday declared by the Federal Government of Nigeria on Thursday October 25th and Friday October 26th 2012, to commemorate the feast of Eid elKabir. A review of the activity also showed that a turnover of 794.043 million units of shares valued at N8.515 billion exchanged hands in 14,048 deals was recorded compared to 1.859 billion shares valued at N16.350 billion traded in 28,383 deals. The Financial Services sector dominated the activity chart (measured by turnover volume) recording the highest trading volume of 659.759 million units of shares valued at N6.377 billion traded in 8,298 deals, representing 83.09 per cent, 74.89 per cent and 59.07 per cent, of the volume, value and number deals executed on the stock market respectively during the week. The Consumer goods sector

followed with a recorded volume of 44.008 million shares valued at N1.719 billion traded in 2,733 deals. The top two sectors accounted for 703.767 million shares valued at N8.096 billion traded in 11, 031 deals, thus accounting for 88.63 per cent, 95.08 per cent and 78.52 per cent of the volume, value and number of deals respectively. Similarly, the Banking subsector was the most active with a volume of 595.989 million units of shares. Activity in the subsector was mostly driven by shares of Zenith Bank Plc, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated Plc and First Bank of Nigeria Plc which accounted for 281.873 million shares, representing 47.30 per cent, 42.72 per cent and 35.50 per cent of the turnover recorded by the subsector, sector and total volume for the week. Analysis of the transaction revealed that traded during the week were 600 units of New Gold Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) valued at N1.573 million exchanged hands in 4 deals in contrast to a total of 4,700 units valued at N12.488 million transacted the previous week in 12 deals. There were no transactions in the Federal Government Development Stocks, State/Local Government Bonds, and Corporate Bonds/Debentures sectors. All the sectorial indices depreciated. The Bloomberg NSE 30, Bloomberg NSE Consumer Goods , Bloomberg NSE Banking , Bloomberg NSE Insurance Index, Bloomberg NSE Oil/Gas Index and NSE Lotus II Indices depreciated by -1.85 per cent


E (+.37.44 per cent YTD), 1.45 per cent (+297.25 per cent YTD), 3.23 per cent (+55.79 per cent YTD), -0.07 per cent (-5.74 per cent YTD), -0.63 per cent (28.84 per cent YTD) and -0.52 per cent (+38.13 per cent YTD) respectively. The N6 Billion 17.25 per cent 2017 Series 2 Fixed Rate Notes of FMBN SPV Issuer Limited, issued under the N100, 000,000,000 Residential Mortgage Backed Securities Programme was listed on 24th October, 2012 by way of introduction. It is 100 per cent irrevocably and Unconditionally Guaranteed by the Federal Government of Nigeria. An additional 252,104,285 ordinary shares of Studio Press Nigeria Plc was listed on Wednesday 24th October 2012 following the conclusion of its Special Placing with Federated Resources Nigeria Limited. A review of the equity price movements indicated that twenty two (22) equities gained while thirty-nine (39) equities recorded price declines and prices of one hundred and thirty eight (138) equities remained constant. When compared with

the preceding week, twentyseven (27) equities gained while forty-six (46) equities recorded price declines and prices of one hundred and twenty five (125) equities remained constant. Nestle NigeriaPlc. led the gainers table appreciating with N11.50 kobo, followed by Cap Plc. with N1.90 kobo and Academy Press Plc. with N0.69 kobo. Other stocks that gained appreciation during the week under review include Beta Glass Plc. gaining N0.59 kobo, Flour Mill NigPlc. N0.49 kobo, Vita foam N0.34, DN MEYER Plc. N0.30 kobo, Cutixplc.N0.20, Portland paints & products Nigeria Plc.N0.18 kobo and Nigerian Bags Manufacturing Company Plc. N0.12 kobo. On the other hand, Nigeria Brew Plc. led the losers table shedding N3.85 kobo, followed by PZ Cussons Nig. losing N3.45 kobo and Guinness Nig. N2 00 kobo. Other stocks that recorded loss during the week include First Bank Plc. N0.80 kobo, Ashaka Cement Plc N0.79 kobo, Zenith N0.70 kobo, and Cadbury Nig. Plc. N0.55 kobo, UBA N0.41kobo, Arbico Plc. N0.40 and Access Bank Plc. N0.40 kobo

A&G Insurance pays over N1.2bn claims


lliance & General Insurance (A&G) Plc said it had paid claims amounting to over N1.2 billion to Nigeria College of Aviation Technology’s (NCAT) aircraft which took place in 2010. The firm said it also spent over N250 million on one of the College’s most prestigious aircraft, 5N-CAG that crash landed months ago to be ferried to Denmark for repairs. The Company’s Chief

Operating Officer (COO), Mr. Dotun Onipede, reaffirmed the company’s resolve to settle claims, adding that the aviation mishap that took place in NCAT, Zaria will be a thing of history as the company is on ground to fulfill all its commitment. He further said: “it is in our character to face challenges of this nature as it can be seen in our records in the insurance industry. He noted that the company


attitude of settling claims promptly has placed it among the reputable insurance firms in the country. “Our consistency in the payment of claims has strategically placed us as a well-established and reputable insurance company with high level of integrity.” Recall that on 23rd May, 2010 a plane belonging to NCAT crashed during the process of landing by a trainee pilot, however there was no causality

but the plane a model, TAMPICO TB9 plane was totally wrecked with many of its components totally bruised, including the propeller, the engine, the sliding gear, the fartewells, the wings and the plane curling. The firm however, assured its resolve to restructure its business in line with the standards expected of them in the industry in accordance with regulatory provisions.

Source:Pro-share Nigeria

cobank Transnational declared gross earnings of N254.4 billion in its 3Q, 2012 earnings. This result represented a 63% year-on-year improvement over the N155.9 billion it made in 2011. Provision for doubtful debts soared 8.8% to N13.5 billion from N12.43 billion over the same period last year. Profit before tax was N30.5 billion, up 11% from N27.5 billion made during 3Q, 2011. Net income arrived at N24.1 billion, up 26.1% from N19.1 billion from the corresponding period in the preceding year. ETI’s share price closed at N12.1, up 15% from the onset of the year.



he African Financial Markets Initiative (AFMI), managed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), hosted a Pan-African Stakeholder Workshop from October 22 to 24, 2012, at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Tunis. The workshop offered a unique opportunity for policymakers and market participants to share experiences and contribute to discussions on critical issues facing the development of local currency bond markets in Africa. In contrast to other regions in the world, few African countries can effectively access capital in their domestic markets. This is because African capital markets are for the most part at an early stage of development and therefore are generally small, illiquid and lacking a full range of financial and investment products. However, financial sector development, including matured local currency bond markets, is paramount to successful and sustainable economic growth in Africa.

Nigeria Stock Exchange


he All Share Index commenced the week on a negative note, shedding 9 basis points to rest at 27,272.57. The banking sector was predominantly bearish as profit taking activity was the order of the day. All the banking participants recorded a loss with the exception of Zenith (+1.10%) and Wema (+3.51%). Notable price depreciation was recorded by Access (-2.13%) and UBA (3.26%). The market capitalization of the bourse is N8.69 trillion and year-to-date performance stands at 31.56%.



Kigali conference: African leaders, academics debate economic transformation By Muhammad Nasir


undreds of leaders and scholars from Africa and around the world will gather in Kigali, Rwanda, from October 30 to November 2 to debate the continent’s prospects for sustainable and inclusive growth in the context of the international economic crisis. Organized each year by the African Development Bank (AfDB) the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the 7th annual African Economic Conference will be held in Kigali under the theme “Inclusive and Sustainable Development in an Age of Economic Uncertainty.” The conference is the most comprehensive event held each

year on Africa’s economy and development, discussing macroeconomic prospects, as well as trade and finance and development policy in a global context. Africa has grown strongly over the past decade. Having weathered the economic crisis, the continent’s average growth is expected to rebound to 4.8 percent in 2013. The region now faces the challenge of translating that growth into effective poverty reduction and sustainable human development, through employment creation, the establishment of quality social services, and expanding opportunities for political and economic participation. The conference will examine the possibility of pursuing these

objectives in the face of a worsening international economic environment, volatile food and fuel markets, and falling levels of exports, remittances and official aid. “African policy-makers are by and large continuing to realize their quest for growth and improved well-being in their countries,” said Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank. “However, in a difficult international environment, the question is how to meet the investment requirements to continue to forge ahead.” Participants will examine the key drivers of growth in Africa. With a growing number of countries on the continent producing or exploring for oil, the conference will look at the

possibility of using profits from extractive industries to spur economic diversification and investments in social capital and human development. “Africa’s vast natural wealth can create opportunities to accelerate human development,” said Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. “It can provide the basis for infrastructure development, economic diversification, new jobs and businesses, and the domestic resources to fund quality services and social protection.” Trade with developed and emerging economies presents additional opportunities for growth and so does regional integration, which can unleash the full potential of Africa’s

l-R: Vice Chancellor, ABU Zaria, Professor Abdullahi Mustapha, and FirstBank`s Executive Director, PSN, Alhaji Dauda Lawal presenting the cheque.

‘Don’t tamper with independence of CBN’ – Ex. CBN Legal Adviser cautions From Matthew Aramunde, Lagos


former Director and legal adviser to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) , Prince Anthony Olatujoye has advised National Assembly to shun all entreaties to tamper autonomy the CBN stressing that the economy will benefit immensely from an independent Central Bank. He gave the advice when he presented a memorandum to the bill for an Act to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria act (No7) 2007 to the House of Representatives joint committee on Banking and Currency and Justice recently . Sounding a note of warning, Olatujoye noted that he had

carefully examined the proposed Central Bank of Nigeria act 2007(amendment) Bill 2012 and concluded that the rationale for same appears unclear and therefore it is capable of pushing Nigeria to unnecessarily take the back seat on the fundamentals of modern Central Banking. Speaking further, he said if the proposed amendments are allowed to pass, Nigerian may be the only country in the 21st century to downplay the objectives thus pushing this virile institution into the realm of mere appendage or instrumentality of government. Noting that the proposed amendments hinged on essentially two pillars which are the composition and chairmanship of the board of CBN

and the power to consider and approved the banks annual budget, he averred that in line with global best practices and the general principle of Central Banking, there are three areas namely; Personal Independence, Financially Independence and Policy Independence in which the influence of government must be either excluded or drastically curtailed because setting goals for CBN (by Government) subordinates the banks to government control. On composition and chairmanship of the board of the CBN which is one of the focal point of the CBN act 2007 (amendment) bill 2012, he said the current composition of a Governor which shall be the Chairman, for Deputy

Governors, the Permanent Secretary, five Directors and the Accountant-General of the Federation is akin to the provision in the CBN Act of most countries in the world which is in line with international best practice. He expressed concern over proposed amendment seeking to exclude Deputy Governors from board membership and appoint in their stead, Directors of National Planning Commission, Federal Inland Revenue Service whom he argues, lacks requisite credentials to understand the dynamics of modem CBN. ”A CBN whose board is dominated by civil servants, not abreast with the rudiments and principles of Central Banking will forever have sleepless night” Olatujoye stated.

investment and business environment. To that end, the participants will look at how barriers can be removed and regulations improved to allow people to benefit from trade. With the number of youth in Africa set to double by 2045, and 27 percent of them currently unemployed, the conference will also look at the potential behind Africa’s present and future workforce. “Creating employment for young people isn’t just crucial for social cohesion and stability. It creates a virtuous cycle of productivity, innovation, economic growth and fulfillment,” said ECA Executive Secretary Carlos Lopes. The African Economic Conference is organized as a series of open thematic debates, combined with sessions that review policy research from across the continent. The conference provides a will provide a uniquely open forum for political leaders, academics and emerging talents from the continent to discuss solutions to Africa’s most pressing development challenges.

Research institute confers award on medical plant firm, prof. Oso By Muhammad Nasir


he International Institute for Training, Research and Economic Development (IITRED) is conferring a distinguish award for excellent service delivery on Nigeria Medical Plant Development Company (NMPDC) and Professor B.A. Oso of the Afe Babalola University. A statement issued by the President of the Institute, Mr. Sani S. Dawop said Professor Oso will receive the award prize for outstanding innovation in oil and gas-bioremediation for oil pollution control and environment, while the NMPDC will receive the prize for outstanding breakthrough in agricultural researchdomestication and commercialization of Artemisia annual into drugs against malaria at the Distinguish Research Seminar/prize Awards Dinner at Sheraton Hotel in Abuja on Tuesday October 30,2012. Dawop said a lecture will be delivered by Professor A.P. Onwualu, DG. Raw Materials Research and Development Council with the theme “Achieving National Transformation through Commercialisation of Research and Development Outputs”. Also to speak at the occasions are: Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos, Professor Hayward Babale Mafuyai, Pharmacist Zainab Sherif, MD Nigeria Medicinal Plant Development Company and Dr.Charles Agulanna, Acting DG Projects Development Agency (PRODA).




Afrigrowth’s initiative: Turning job seekers into real employers E

conomists estimate that over 40 million Nigerians are unemployed, while 20 million of that lot are said to be unemployable. The analysts contend that even though high unemployment is not peculiar to Nigeria alone, it is particularly serious given the correlation between youth joblessness and criminality. In this country, this is disturbing because of its present intractable security challenges. And they agree that pragmatic efforts should be made to expose the youth to entrepreneurial capacity building schemes and skills acquisition programmes. Observers are worried that millions of youths or fresh graduates are roaming the streets looking for jobs, while many of them are still living with the fantasies of the good old days when fresh graduates were able to pick and choose from available “white-collar jobs’’. They note that the vagaries of the world economy have significantly created abysmal unemployment gaps across the world, thereby narrowing the career choices available to youths in particular. Against this backdrop, Afrigrowth Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, decided to organise several youth empowerment programmes, aimed at preparing the youth to become employers of labour instead of job seekers. At the “Afrigrowth Youth Mentoring Seminar’’ recently organised for youth corps members in Abuja, Mrs Dayo Keshi, the President of Afrigrowth Foundation, stressed the need to encourage the youth to start up enterprises which could better their lives. She noted that the era of ready “white-collar jobs’’ for college graduates had gone forever, adding that youths now had to be more adventurous and exploit their own potential for selfemployment purposes. “Over the years, Afrigrowth Foundation has engaged in youth mentoring because we believe everybody has his or her own uniqueness. “We decided to empower

Programme Officer, T.Y. Danjuma Foundation, Mrs. Lady Amedormey (l), President, Afrigrowth Foundation, Mrs. Dayo Keshi (middle), presenting a certificate to Chiamaka Oguonu, a participant in the Afrigrowth Enterprise Development Training, at a graduation ceremony in Abuja recently.

youths via this mentoring exercise so as to let them know what it takes to succeed in the emerging civilisation of the 21st Century. “In this era, the (NYSC) service year should not be a period to idle away time; it is a period to brace for the future,’’ she said. Keshi said that the foundation was primarily set up to tackle problems associated with youth unemployment and poverty. She said that the foundation was promoting poverty alleviation by initiating and supporting youth empowerment programmes so as to develop pragmatic techniques for self-sufficiency. Mr Frank Ekpunobi, the NYSC Coordinator for FCT, said that the world had evolved to “a do-it-yourself stage’’. He stressed that ideas were fundamental to the functioning of the contemporary world, adding that in order to survive in the modern world; the innate

ideas of individuals ought to be harnessed to express their creative energies. However, perceptive observers insist that the oil boom era in Nigeria’s economic history had somewhat derailed innovation and creative skills of the citizens, causing illusion among the youth as well. They, nonetheless, note that experiences of the past have shown that a lot of

Nigerian youths have the capacity to invent and fabricate assorted equipment, adding that such qualities ought to be harnessed and developed appropriately. Amb. Joe Keshi, the Director-General of Braced Commission – an agency set up to promote the economic cooperation and integration of states in the South-South geopolitical zone – said that rapid advancement of

Mr Steve Obeta, the Director of Corporate Affairs, Federal Inland Revenue Service, however, advised the youths to avoid complacency in their self-improvement efforts. He underscored the need for people to diversify their knowledge so as to adapt to the current social realities

technology had rendered a lot of people jobless. He noted that the skills’ gap in Nigeria was quite huge, attributing the development to the country’s over-reliance on petroleum resources over the years. Keshi, however, stressed that there were many potential job opportunities in the agriculture sector, adding that the sector could conveniently provide employment for about 30 per cent of the country’s unemployed persons. “For instance, there are great opportunities in fish farming, snail farming and other agro-based concerns because they have ready markets,’’ he said. Furthermore, Keshi noted that most Nigerian families did have personal lawyers and doctors, adding that youths in such professions could exploit such opportunities. “Besides, many people in the sports industry do not have personal accountants

and lawyers; people could also explore such opportunities,’’ he added. Keshi, nonetheless, advised the youth to place less emphasis on making profits when they initially set up ventures, urging them to undertake volunteer services so as to acquire practical entrepreneurial skills. “You can start up any business with very little amount and grow in it; the money you spend on buying Blackberry handsets is enough to start a small business. “You can also obtain small loans from financial houses, which would be eager to render financial assistance once they are sure that you have good business proposals,’’ he said. Mr Steve Obeta, the Director of Corporate Affairs, Federal Inland Revenue Service, however, advised the youths to avoid complacency in their self-improvement efforts. He underscored the need for people to diversify their knowledge so as to adapt to the

current social realities. Obeta emphasised that it was not imperative that one should take up a career that was consonant with one’s field of study. “Make efforts to improve your skills and capabilities; your gifts and talents are not enough for you to succeed. “You must learn about what is in trend and become relevant to the society even if it means going back to school,’’ he said. He cited Steve Jobs, the late Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc., as a role model, saying that Jobs took elective courses in Calligraphy when he was in the university and later used the knowledge in designing Apple computers. Obeta also noted that some Nigerian dignitaries such as Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Chief Rotimi Williams and Prof. Wole Soyinka, who excelled in their chosen careers, did not have first-class degrees, adding that they became celebrities out of sheer creativity and determination. Sharing similar sentiments, Mr Tomi Akingbolugun, the Managing Director of ROSEBUD Hotels, said that youths should strive to always use the time they frittered on trivialities for

worthwhile ventures which could generate revenue. He said that youths should be willing to render volunteer services that would enable them to earn exposure and recognition, adding: “When you give service, your skills will be consequently exposed and recognised.’’ He urged youths to initiate business plans and consult agencies like the Abuja Enterprise Agency for expert advice on small-scale enterprises. Besides, Akingbolugun said that a lot of employment opportunities existed in the supply of alternative power sources such as inverters or converters, entertainment and property management, among others. Mrs Lady Amedormey, the Programme Officer of TY Danjuma Foundation, however, stressed the need to differentiate between a job and a career. She said that a job involved individual efforts to earn a living, while a career was that which someone would pursue with a passion. “However, your passion should influence your career,’’ she added. All the same, Amedormey stressed that the current unemployment situation in the country necessitated the adoption of some pragmatic measures; adding that such

Job seekers at a recruitment centre in Abuja recently

Minister of Labour, Chief Chukwuemeka Wogu

consciousness propelled TY Danjuma Foundation to finance some NGOs that were genuinely interested in curbing youth unemployment. She, nonetheless, said that youths should not wait for huge funds before starting up a business, adding that businesses could be established with a little capital, while efforts were made to expand their capital

base. “When you start a small thriving business, the banks will come after you,’’ she added. Mr Obikwelu Bright, a participant of the seminar, conceded that the workshop had opened his eyes to the realities on the ground. Another participant, Miss Mercy Shinkut, said that the seminar had equipped her with a sense of direction and

commended Afrigrowth Foundation for the opportunity. Mr Charles Eguaaba, one of the beneficiaries of the foundation’s youth mentoring programmes, said that he now operated a successful snail farming business after undergoing an internship programme organised by Afrigrowth. He said that he had been earning a living from his snail farm. Analysts, however, note that such youth empowerment programmes are in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda, particularly the YouWin initiative. Under the initiative, there is a training arrangement for potential entrepreneurs in business procedures and management. Observers, therefore, believe that youth empowerment programmes akin to those of Afrigrowth Foundation should be encouraged, as they would be useful in efforts to tackle the country’s unemployment crisis. “The organisation of business training and youth empowerment programmes would go a long way in addressing the menace of unemployment, particularly among young Nigerians,’’ some of them add. (NANFeatures)


PEOPLES DAILY, MONDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2012 08028402920

NJC’s double-speak on Salami’s recall The National Judicial Council (NJC) is a body responsible for the discipline of erring judicial officers. In August last year, it suspended Justice Isa Ayo Salami as the President of the Court of Appeal and recommended to President Goodluck Jonathan to retire him from service with immediate effect. The president acted on the recommendation of the NJC but deferred his compulsory retirement. Unfolding events after the suspension of Justice Salami and NJC’s pronouncements on the matter show what many suspect double-speaking on the part of the NJC. Sunday Ejike Benjamin reports.


he problem with the suspended President of the Court of Appeal started when former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu recommended him for the office of Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Salami turned down the offer and instead of allowing the matter to be handled by the NJC, headed then by Justice Katsina-Alu, he addressed a press conference where he accused Justice KatsinaAlu of asking him to compromise the judgement in the governorship election petition appeal of Sokoto state which the CJN “arrested” and prevented a duly constituted Court of Appeal panel from delivering. The matter raised serious dust in the judiciary as it brought into public glare the rot in the judiciary. NJC waded into the matter and suspended Salami on August 18, 2011 following the recommendation by the Justice Ibrahim Ndahi Auta-led panel, which found him guilty of insubordination. Salami, according to NJC was found guilty of perjury, by lying under oath that former CJN asked him to compromise the appellate Court’s judgement of the Sokoto State governorship election petition. The council asked him to apologize to Katsina-Alu, an apology which Salami refused to do but insisted on his allegation against the former CJN. He was asked to go on an indefinite suspension pending when the President will approve the Council’s recommendation for compulsory retirement. Justice Dalhatu Adamu was consequently appointed in an acting capacity as the President of the Court of Appeal pending when the issue would be resolved. Salami sued the NJC along with other members of the council that served on the the investigative panel that recommended his suspension and compulsory retirement. Though he has withdrawn his suit following the intervention of well meaning Nigerians and stakeholders in the justice sector, some suits relating to his suspension are still before a federal high court in Abuja. The immediate past CJN, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, on October 14, last year, raised a 29member stakeholders’ Judicial Reform Committee, headed by a former CJN, Justice Muhammadu Uwais. A sub-committee of the panel, including Justice Mamman Nasir, Justice U. Kalgo and

Justice Ayo Salami Justice Bola Ajibola, asked the CJN and the NJC to reinstate Justice Salami back to his position. The committee upheld the decisions of the sub-committee and recommended Justice Salami’s reinstatement. Nine months after his suspension, the NJC reinstated him following the recommendation of a three member panel led by a justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Aloma Muhktar, (now CJN) that Salami be reinstated immediately. But The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN) said the Federal Government will not act on NJC’s recommendation to reinstate Salami because the matter is subjudice. “No responsible government will act on it in the present circumstances of the case. The matter is subjudice. As soon as the judiciary put their house in order, the federal government will make its position on the matter known” he stated, adding also that a lot of misperception has trailed the NJC recommendation. He recalled that on August, 2011 NJC forwarded a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan suspending Justice Salami at same time recommending his retirement. “The Federal Government immediately approved his suspension and forwarded the aspect on his retirement to the

National Assembly and put on hold the issue of retirement. The government appoints an Acting President of the Court of Appeal. “On 11th May, 2012, NJC recalled the suspended President of the Court of Appeal and forwarded its recommendation to the President. There are several litigations by way of processes served on the President on the issue and until there are resolved, he cannot act”, he noted and that put paid to further action on Salami matter by the federal government. Recently, the imbroglio created by the consistent refusal by President Jonathan to recall the embattled Salami appears set to be resolved following new tunes emanating from the NJC which said that it is within its vested constitutional powers to recall and reinstate Justice Salami and does not require the President’s authority to do so. This position was contained in a reply filed in a case instituted by some persons on behalf of the registered Trustees of a nongovernmental organization, Centre for the Promotion of Arbitration, bordering on the interpretation of the powers of the NJC, vis a vis the powers of the President as it relates to the exercise of disciplinary power over justices of the Court of Appeal as enshrined in the constitution. The group, among other reliefs sought asked court to determine whether NJC’s recommendation for the recall of

Justice Salami has not put an end to all disputes relating to his suspension and recall. The plaintiffs contended that NJC has no power constitutionally to recommend the suspension of Justice Salami to the President for ratification to which the President acted upon ab initio, without any laws backing such actions. They also faulted Jonathan’s reappointment of the Acting President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Dalhatu Adamu, on a permanent acting capacity without the constitutional approval of the NJC and outside the relevant laws in the circumstance of the case. They argued that the non implementation of the recommendation for the recall of Justice Salami by the NJC is a breach of the constitutional function of the Council. It also stated that the only instances where it exercises its powers in conjunction with the President is in appointment and removal of judicial officers which do not extend to its powers over reinstatement or recalling of suspended judicial officers, which according to it, is exclusively exercised by the Council. The Council emphatically submitted that it is not required to have recourse at all to the President in exercising its power to reinstate Justice Salami and that it is within its vested constitutional powers to recall and reinstate Justice Salami as the President of the Court of Appeal. Furthermore, the NJC posited that by virtue of section 238 (5) of the Constitution, the Acting President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Dlhatu Adamu, cannot be reappointed after the expiration of three months without recommendation of the NJC and that his continued stay in office is unconstitutional and illegal. The presiding judge, Justice Adamu Bello adjourned further hearing in the matter till Friday 4th December, 2012. In a twist to its submission to the court, it was gathered that the same NJC gave President Jonathan the nod to extend the tenure of Justice Adamu for another three months. The President had in fact sought and received the imprimatur of the Justice Mariam Alloma Mukhtar-led NJC. In a letter titled; request for the extension of the appointment of the Acting President, Court of Appeal: Hon. Justice Dalhatu Adamu, CFR, the President had on 16 August, 2012 written to the NJC requesting for approval to reappoint Justice Dalhatu

Adamu. And in its reply on the same day (16 August, 2012), in a letter with reference no. NJC/PFRN/ A.1/1/302 and titled; re-request for the extension of the appointment of the Acting President, court of appeal: hon. Justice Dalhatu Adamu, CFR, the NJC obliged the request of the President. Part of the letter, which was signed by the CJN and Chairman of the NJC reads, “The NJC hereby recommends to Your Excellency the reappointment of Justice Dalhatu Adamu as Acting President, Court of Appeal from 23rd August to 23rd November, 2012 in accordance with the provision of Section 238, Subsection (5) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.” But, NJC, in its recent meeting changed its position on the fate of the embattled Salami. It resolved on Salami’s early retirement with full benefits as a way out of the logjam over his career. In arriving at the decision which the council leadership reportedly mandated the members to keep sealed lips about, the members were said to have projected into the possibility of the pending suits terminating before his original due date next year and found none; considered the possibility of the appointing authority shifting ground and found none and reportedly decided to use their assumed exclusive reinstatement power in a way that would not gall the presidency; hence the decision to get him to turn in his premature retirement notice, withdraw his suits challenging his suspension and seeking to determine his lawful employer, seek Jonathan’s understanding to restore him to office, get him his full entitlements including when on suspension, get him the full retirement honours, then get him to bid the bench, the polity and ultimately the public consciousness goodbye, all within a month. Justice Mariam AllomaMukthar, who is the council chairman, was reportedly mandated by the council to communicate the idea to Salami, in company with the council’s deputy chairman, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, a reason for a subsequent meeting in Justice Mukthar’s office. Salami, it will be recalled, had been out of office for 14 months and was due for retirement on October 14, 2013.


466 benefit from university scholarships in Bayelsa


he Bayelsa Government has said 466 students have so far benefitted from its university scholarship scheme spread across 100 institutions in 30 countries. The state Ministry of Education and the Scholarship Board made this known at a media briefing in Yenagoa on Thursday. The ministry and the board gave the score-card of the board since the inception of the Gov. Seriake Dickson’s administration. The Commissioner for Education, Chief Adikumo Salo, said the students were studying in various disciplines relevant to the immediate and future manpower needs of Bayelsa. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the commissioner also explained that government had earmarked N1 billion for the scheme in 2012. He said that 100 out of the 141 beneficiaries for post graduate scholarship programme had started lectures while orders were being delayed by the conditional admission process in the United Kingdom. Salo said the Dickson’s administration inherited two undergraduate and post graduate scholarship schemes in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Malaysia, adding that all tuition fees had been paid.(NAN )


Jonathan makes case for early child education P

resident GoodLuck Jonathan has said the application of knowledge and policy implementation of early childhood education would assist in developing the country. Jonathan made the remark in Port Harcourt while opening the Third National Conference on Kindergarten Education. Jonathan, represented by the Minister of Youth Development, Alhaji Inumo AbdulKadir, said that sound education was also key to national development. “Education is not a privilege but an inalienable right of every child, we must make appropriate investments in early childhood education to achieve our lofty goals,” Jonathan said. He said that investment in early child education was a step

in the right direction. In a paper, a former World Bank Vice President, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, said that education was vital for the development of any society. She said that early childhood education would address the problems of inequality and societal dislocation, stressing that review of the National Policy on Education was on course. Ezekwesili said that six core areas of development that could enhance education in the country were early childhood education, basic education, secondary education, tertiary education, special education and informal or adult education. She urged the public and private sectors, including nongovernmental organisations,

stakeholders and community leaders to take kindergarten education seriously. Ezekwesili also urged the federal and State Governments to make early childhood education accessible as practised in Finland, which had the best early child education in the world. Also speaking, the member Representing Opobo/Nkoro Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Mr Dakuku Peterside, said the event would enable the forum to examine the role of early childhood education in the development cycle of a child. “If Nigeria is to fulfil its potential, we must unlock the potential of our children and give them a great head-start in life and limitless opportunities.

L-R : Secretary General, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Obong Ikpe Johnny Obong, National President NUT, Comrade Michael Alogba and Minister of State for Education, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, during the Minister's meeting with the Union Members, recently in Abuja.

Kwara to increase incentives for teachers By Tobias Lengnan Dapam with agency report


n its determination to encourage teachers in the state to live up to expectation, Kwara state Government recently announced that it would increase its package of incentives for teachers on its pay roll. The Permanent Secretary, Kwara State Ministry of Education, Alhaji Lamidi Alabi, who made this announcement in Illorin, the Kwara state capital added that the initiative will also help improve the standard of education in the state. Alabi said the measure would act as a check on the exodus of teachers from the state and to encourage those who fled the state to come home. He explained that the incentives would entail giving loans to teachers in various capacities and giving them training opportunities. The permanent secretary further said that government had already commissioned the Kwara Resource Centre to train and produce the right calibre of teachers for the state. Alabi said that 500 teachers had already received training in the centre, adding that the capacity acquired would enable them to teach effectively. He said the government would continue its free education policy, warning schools against illegal fees collection by the Parent Teachers Association or the school management.

“This requires more than conventional education and industry. It requires systematic planning and early preparation,” he said. The Rivers State Governor, Mr Chibuike Amaechi, said he would forward a bill to the state’s House of Assembly, to make education compulsory at all levels. He said the move would compel parents to send their children to school from their childhood, noting that offenders would be made to face the wrath of the law. The wife of the Rivers State Governor, Mrs Judith Amaechi, said the initiative was targeted at promoting social justice, calling for legislative backing to achieve desired results.(NAN)

Photo: Justin Imo-owo

LASU to offer world class postgraduate training by 2014


he Vice-Chancellor, Lagos State University, (LASU), Prof. John Obafunwa, on Saturday said that the standard of postgraduate training in the institution will become world class in the next two years. Obafunwa told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview in Lagos that the turn-around taking place in various sectors of the institution was to enable the university to improve its standards. He said that the upgrade of facilities for postgraduate training in the institution was borne out of the need to have qualified manpower to contribute to the development of the institution and the economy. “Right now, in the postgraduate school, we have about 1,600 postgraduate students and there are plans currently in place to increase the

staff strength at the senior level. “We are actually trying to monitor in the various faculties as well and trying to ensure that the various faculties and departments have postgraduate programmes. “We just finished a process of advertising, interviewing and accessing individuals at very senior levels so as to meet the minimum requirement for National Universities Commission (NUC) accreditation in many areas. “We have been trying on our part to encourage our lecturers to acquire doctorates because you can only supervise a PhD if you have a PhD yourself,” he said. Obafunwa noted that it was out of place for the institution to spend the limited resources available in sending persons abroad for postgraduate training when it had the ability to

achieve the same task. “It is not good enough to say we are going to be sending people abroad and be paying heavily to fund their postgraduate programmes. “In-house, we should be able to have postgraduate programmes well rooted and this we have set in motion. “But I can assure you that in another 12 to 24 months from now, virtually all the departments would experience a serious turn-around in terms of postgraduate training. “We also want to be sure that we can effectively carry our undergraduate students along as well, by way of strengthening the staff in the various departments in order to get the required manpower to cater for them,” Obafunwa said. He said that efforts were on to ensure that LASU was rated as one of the best in the training

of postgraduate students in all accredited departments. ”I know where we are doing great in the training of postgraduate students, such as the Medical School, where we currently have about eight postgraduate students. “We also have others in Education, Law, and Social Sciences but I still think it is not good enough and we are working hard to improve on it. “I want to believe that other universities across the country have thought about all these and are also trying to look into upgrading the level of their postgraduate training in that direction. “We all know it is capital intensive but then if we must get there, we must also invest in attaining that desired height for the growth and development of our ivory towers and our nation at large,” he said. (NAN)



Why over 10m children miss out on school in Nigeria, by UNESCO director A

s a prelude, she said: “Education and skills for young people are the key to Africa’s future development. Yet millions of young people in the region have not completed primary education, and millions more have never been to lower secondary school. These young people, especially women and the rural and urban poor, are not equipped to join the ambitions of many African countries to achieve middle income status in the coming years. First and foremost, these young people must be given another chance to learn basic skills such as reading, and skills in relevant

Nestle educate teachers on water preservation By Stanley Onyekwere with agency report


estle Nigeria Plc, has launched Water Education project to raise the awareness of teachers’ on how to curb water challenges in the country. Speaking during the launch at the weekend in Abuja, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Nestle Nigeria Plc Mr. Martin Woolnough, added that the project was to emphasise healthy hydration habits and better water conservation behaviours. Woolnough said that water had become one of the most pressing environmental issues in Nigeria, representing a serious long term risk to business and the general society. .”Though we have enough fresh water across the world, more prosperous and increasing urban population, combined with the impact of climate change, is making water scarcity a serious reality in many parts of the world, including Nigeria. “Nestle Nigeria is determined to play a leading role in tackling water challenges. “Nestle has developed, over the years, an outstanding expertise in water. ”The expertise extends to sustainable water resource management, reduced water withdrawals, increased reuse, use of alternative water source, improved water efficiency and knowledge on healthy hydration science.’’ Woolnough said that teachers who participated in the workshop were expected to train other teachers and students on water conservation. ”I am deeply convinced that our modest effort to raise awareness on water issues among school children through the WET project is part of the solution to water challenges,” he said.

Nigeria has the highest out-of-school population in the world, with over 10 million children missing out on vital skills that will help them find jobs, the 10th Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report has shown. The report further shows that of the 775 million illiterate adults in the world today 36 million are in Nigeria alone. More disturbing, however, is the revelation that this situation isn’t going to resolve itself anytime soon. Against this backdrop, our reporter, Ahmed I. Shekarau had an online chat with the Director, EFA Global Monitoring Report under the United Nations Education, Social and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Pauline Rose, on ways that Nigeria can address the immediate and long term challenges of educating its teeming population. trades. Only then can young people fulfil their potential and achieve their aspirations. “ Given the shocking revelations about Nigeria’s out-of-school population in the latest study by Global Monitoring Report, in what ways do you think Governments in Nigeria could work to tackle the illiteracy challenge? This year’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report shows that Nigeria has the largest number of children out of school – over 10 million are in this situation. Even more worrying is that this number is increasing. This means that there is a big danger that we will fail the future generation of young people in giving them the basic skills they need. The Nigerian government needs to do far more to show financial commitment to ensure that all children in the country have access to schooling. They also need to give a second chance in education to over 7 million 15 to 24 year olds in the country who have not even completed primary schooling. Do you think Governments-at the three tiers in Nigeria-are committing enough resources to addressing the challenge of illiteracy? Unfortunately, there are no data available in the Report this year that provide us with information on the amount that the three tiers of Government are committing to education. This makes it extremely difficult to plan, and so it is important to ensure that we have such data in the future. Given Nigeria’s vast oil

Pauline Rose wealth, it is likely that more could be done to put funds into education. Will meeting the 26% UNESCO budgeting target for the education sector help Nigeria reduce the level of its illiterate population?

The Global Monitoring Report uses a benchmark of 20% of government spending. Nigeria needs to make sure it reaches this benchmark to reach the large numbers in the country who lack basic literacy skills.

Did the latest G l o b a l Monitoring Report reveal the impact of corruption on the performance of the education sector in Nigeria? This was not the topic of the Report this year. The 2008 EFA Global Monitoring Report focused on governance of e d u c a t i o n , highlighting the importance of ensuring that funds reached schools, and are distributed to overcome social inequalities. In what ways do you think civil s o c i e t y organisations could collaborate w i t h Governments to reduce the huge out-of-school population in Nigeria? In many countries, civil s o c i e t y organisations play an important role in reaching large numbers out of school. But they often can only work on a small scale. It is important that governments support these organisations to ensure that the millions of young people needing a second chance are reached.

VC applauds Jonathan on UNESCO bio-technology institute at UNN


he Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Prof. Bartho Okolo, has commended President Goodluck Jonathan for approving an international institute of biotechnology for the institution. Okolo made the commendation in a statement signed by his Communication Secretary, Mr Gabriel Ndu, in Nsukka, Enugu State, on Wednesday. He said the approval had once

again demonstrated the commitment of Mr President to improve the quality of education and research work in the country’s universities. “I commend Mr President for his determination to improve the quality of education in the university as it will make it one of the best in the world. “The institute will host international conferences as well as collaborate with other institutions in the country and in Africa to advance bio-technology

education in the sub-region. “The institute is the first of its kid in Africa, its benefits will not be for Nigeria alone but Africa in general,’’ he said. Okolo said the institute would lay emphasis on food security, bioresources conservation and tropical diseases. He added that it would attract erudite scholars across the globe who would bring their wealth of experience to bear in academic research. “The UNN thanks individuals

and organisations that made the realisation of the dream that started six years ago a reality. “Our especial appreciations go to Prof. Ruqqayat Rufa’i, the Minister of Education, Prof. Julius Okojie, the NUC Chairman, and the management of Education Trust Fund. “I promise that UNN will provide the enabling environment to see that the institute lives up to its mandate as well as realise its objectives,” he said. (NAN)



blister is a defense mechanism of our body. It is an area of the skin wherein the outer layer (epidermis) separates from the next layer (dermis). A clear liquid called serum collects within this gap while the epidermis re-grows from beneath. Serum is the component of blood that remains after clotting agents and red blood cells have been removed. It seeps out from the surrounding tissues as a reaction to trauma. The serum serves as a cushion that protects the tissue underneath, guarding it against further damage until it heals. Other bodily fluids may also form within the bubble, such as pus if it becomes infected. Blood may also form within if the blister is a result of sub-dermal bleeding. This is when a tiny blood vessel near the surface of the skin ruptures and blood seeps into a tear between the skin’s layers. This usually happens when the skin is pinched, crushed or squeezed very tightly. Blisters form as a result of trauma on the skin. For instance, blisters on the feet may arise because of too much pressure from tight shoes. Blisters on hands may form if an area of the skin is rubbed intensely, such as when a person does not wear protective gear while doing strenuous activities like biking. Blisters may also form due to certain medical conditions such as chicken pox, herpes, and pemphigus. Smaller blisters are known as vesicles. On the other hand, larger blisters that are typically more than half an inch are known as bullae. Causes of blister There are many causes of blisters. These include: · Irritation Blisters can be caused by physical and chemical irritation, as well as extreme heat or cold. Physical irritation may result from friction, such as when the skin is rubbed too intensely. For example, foot blisters may develop due to wearing tight and uncomfortable footwear. Blisters may also form as a reaction of the skin to a chemical irritant. An example of a chemical irritant is a chemical weapon known as a vesicant, which has the ability to cause large blisters on the bodies of those come in contact with it. Blisters may also arise due to burns, even sunburn. Frostbite may also trigger blisters, which start to develop when the skin is re-warmed. • Allergies: Allergic contact dermatitis, which is a form of eczema, may bring about the formation of blisters. This is caused by an allergic reaction to a chemical, such as poison ivy, detergents, and solvents. Blisters can also develop due to allergies to insect bites and stings. • Medications: Some medications like furosemide and nalidixic acid can cause mild blisters. Others, like doxycycline, increase the sensitivity of the skin to sunlight, thus increasing the risk of having blisters from sunburn. In more severe cases, medications can trigger serious blistering disorders like erythema multiforme and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), which causes harsh skin damage to at least 30 percent of the


How much do you know about blister?

surface of the body. • Skin conditions: Some autoimmune diseases have blisters as a symptom. An example is pemphigus, wherein blisters form if pressure is applied to an area of the skin. The blisters easily burst and this increases the chance of infection. Other diseases include bullous pemphigoid, which causes large blisters to form typically in people over the age of 60, and dermatitis herpetiformis, which is a disease wherein same-sized and shaped itchy blisters form on the back, elbows, knees, and buttocks. • Infections: Examples of infections that result in blistering

are chicken pox and shingles (caused by the virus varicella zoster), bullous impetigo (caused by the bacteria called staphylococci), herpes types 1 and 2, and coxsackievirus infections. Symptoms of blisters Blisters usually manifest as a swelling on the skin’s surface that contains fluid. Some blisters may be painless, while some may be sensitive to pressure and cause discomfort. Blisters may form singly or in clusters, depending on what caused them to develop. Blood blisters are colored dark and are normally more painful than other blisters. Infected blisters contain yellow

or green pus. Like blood blisters, they are painful to the touch. The skin surrounding an infected blister may appear red or there may be thin red streaks. It may also feel warm. In most cases, the fluid within the bubble is slow reabsorbed by the body as new skin grows under it. The skin on top then dries and sheds off. This whole process takes around three to seven days on the average. How blister is diagnosed If you consult a doctor regarding your blister(s), he/she

will ask you regarding your family and medical history, current illnesses and medications you’re taking for those, and if you have been exposed to allergens and chemicals. The doctor will make his/her diagnosis depending on your history and on the appearance of your blisters. If an allergic reaction is suspected, the doctor may recommend you to undergo patch tests to identify the allergens responsible for it. In worse cases, the doctor may conduct a skin biopsy wherein a small patch of tissue is removed and sent to a laboratory for further examination. Blisters are usually caused by physical and chemical irritation. However, blisters that form without any apparent causes may be a sign of a medical condition. If this is so, the doctor may advise you to undergo more tests to trace the cause of blistering. Prevention of blister There is no way that you may prevent blistering when you have a medical condition, such as a skin or autoimmune disease. However, blisters arising from skin irritation may be easily prevented. As much as possible, minimize friction. If possible, apply talcum powder or petroleum jelly on blister-prone areas in order to reduce friction. Wear the appropriate socks, footwear, and other protective gear if needed. Blisters are more likely to develop on moist and warm areas, so make sure that you keep your hands and feet dry. Avoid exposure to chemical irritants that may trigger eczema, which can then bring about blistering. Stay away from and remove possible sources of allergens such as curtains and plants.

First aid of blisters


f a blister isn’t too painful, try to keep it intact. Unbroken skin over a blister provides a natural barrier to bacteria and decreases the risk of infection. Cover a small blister with an adhesive bandage, and cover a large one with a porous, plasticcoated gauze pad that absorbs moisture and allows the wound to breathe. If you’re allergic to the adhesive used in some tape, use paper tape. Don’t puncture a blister unless it’s painful or prevents you from walking or using one of your hands. If you have diabetes or poor circulation, call your doctor before considering the self-care measures below. How to drain a blister: To relieve blister-related pain, drain the fluid while leaving the overlying skin intact. Here’s how: • Wash your hands and the

blister with soap and warm water. • Swab the blister with iodine or rubbing alcohol. • Sterilize a clean, sharp needle by wiping it with rubbing alcohol. • Use the needle to puncture the blister. Aim for several spots near the blister’s edge. Let the fluid drain, but leave the overlying skin in place. • Apply an antibiotic ointment to the blister and cover with a bandage or gauze pad. • Cut away all the dead skin after several days, using tweezers and scissors sterilized with rubbing alcohol. Apply more ointment and a bandage. Call your doctor if you see signs of infection around a blister — pus, redness, increasing pain or warm skin.



onstipation is defined medically as fewer than three stools per week and severe constipation as less than one stool per week. Constipation usually is caused by the slow movement of stool through the colon. There are many causes of constipation including medications, poor bowel habits, low fiber diets, abuse of laxatives, hormonal disorders, and diseases primarily of other parts of the body that also affect the colon. The two disorders limited to the colon that cause constipation are colonic inertia and pelvic floor dysfunction. Medical evaluation for the cause of constipation should be done when constipation is of sudden onset, severe, worsening, associated with other worrisome symptoms such as loss of weight, or is not responding to simple, safe treatments. What is constipation? Constipation means different things to different people. For many people, it simply means infrequent stools. For others, however, constipation means hard stools, difficulty passing stools (straining), or a sense of incomplete emptying after a bowel movement. The cause of each of these “types” of constipation probably is different, and the approach to each should be tailored to the specific type of constipation. Constipation also can alternate with diarrhea. This pattern commonly occurs as part of the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). At the extreme end of the constipation spectrum is fecal impaction, a condition in which stool hardens in the rectum and prevents the passage of any stool. The number of bowel movements generally decreases with age. Ninety-five percent of adults have bowel movements between three and 21 times per week, and this would be considered normal. The most common pattern is one bowel movement a day, but this pattern is seen in less than 50% of people. Moreover, most people are irregular and do not have bowel movements every day or the same number of bowel movements each day. Medically speaking, constipation usually is defined as fewer than three bowel movements per week. Severe constipation is defined as less than one bowel movement per week. There is no medical reason to have a bowel movement every day. Going without a bowel movement for two or three days does not cause physical discomfort, only mental distress for some people. Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence that “toxins” accumulate when bowel movements are infrequent or that constipation leads to cancer. It is important to distinguish acute (recent onset) constipation from chronic (long duration) constipation. Acute constipation requires urgent assessment because a serious medical illness may be the underlying cause (for example, tumors of the colon). Constipation also requires an immediate assessment if it is accompanied by


Constipation: Facts, causes and treatment

worrisome symptoms such as rectal bleeding, abdominal pain and cramps, nausea and vomiting, and involuntary loss of weight. In contrast, the evaluation of chronic constipation may not be urgent, particularly if simple measures bring relief. How is constipation diagnosed? The first thing your doctor will check for will be for physical changes- growths or narrowingto the colon itself. There are several tests that can be done, including enemas and x-rays. If the problem is deemed to be anatomical (physical) then steps will be taken to correct the problem and thus alive the constipation. Other tests will determine if the problem is functionalsomething wrong with the intestines or muscles that control digestion and excretion. These tests include swallowing marker pills over several days that show up on x-rays to help the doctor see where exactly the problem may be. However in many cases, the constipation is not related to anything that serious and is simply diagnosed as “nonspecific”. Causes of constipation A frequently over-looked cause of constipation is medications. The most common offending medications include:Narcotic pain medications such as codeine. Habits that cause constipation Bowel movements are under voluntary control. This means

that the normal urge people feel when they need to have a bowel movement can be suppressed. Although occasionally it is appropriate to suppress an urge to defecate (for example, when a bathroom is not available), doing this too frequently can lead to a disappearance of urges and result in constipation. Diet Fiber is important in maintaining a soft, bulky stool. Diets that are low in fiber can, therefore, cause constipation. The best natural sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Laxatives One suspected cause of severe constipation is the over-use of stimulant laxatives (for example, castor oil, and certain herbs). An association has been shown between the chronic use of stimulant laxatives and damage to the nerves and muscles of the colon, and it is believed by some that the damage is responsible for the constipation. It is not clear, however, whether the laxatives have caused the damage or whether the damage existed prior to the use of laxatives and, indeed, has caused the laxatives to be used. Nevertheless, because of the possibility that stimulant laxatives can damage the colon, most experts recommend that stimulant laxatives be used as a last resort after non-stimulant treatments have failed. Hormonal disorders Hormones can affect bowel movements. For example:

• Too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) and too much parathyroid hormone (by raising the calcium levels in the blood) can cause constipation. • At the time of a woman’s menstrual periods, estrogen and progesterone levels are high and may cause constipation. However, this is rarely a prolonged problem. • High levels of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy also can cause constipation. Diseases that affect the colon There are many diseases that can affect the function of the muscles and/or nerves of the colon. These include diabetes, scleroderma, intestinal pseudoobstruction, Hirschsprung’s disease, and Chagasdisease.Cancer or narrowing (stricture) of the colon that blocks the colon likewise can cause a decrease in the flow of stool. Central nervous system diseases Some diseases of the brain and spinal cord may cause constipation, including Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, andspinal cord injuries. Pelvic floor dysfunction Pelvic floor dysfunction (also known as outlet obstruction or outlet delay) refers to a condition in which the muscles of the lower pelvis that surround the rectum (the pelvic floor muscles) do not work normally. These muscles are critical for defecation (bowel movement). It is not known why

these muscles fail to work properly in some people, but they can make the passage of stools difficult even when everything else is normal Treatments for constipation There are many treatments for constipation, and the best approach relies on a clear understanding of the underlying cause. Home remedies: The best way of adding fiber to the diet is increasing the quantity of fruits and vegetables that are eaten. This means a minimum of five servings of fruits or vegetables every day. For many people, however, the amount of fruits and vegetables that are necessary may be inconveniently large or may not provide adequate relief from constipation. In this case, fiber supplements can be useful. Fiber is defined as material made by plants that is not digested by the human gastrointestinal tract. Fiber is one of the mainstays in the treatment of constipation. Many types of fiber within the intestinebind to water and keep the water within the intestine. The fiber adds bulk (volume) to the stool and the water softens the stool. There are different sources of fiber and the type of fiber varies from source to source. Types of fiber can be categorized in several ways, for example, by their source. The most common sources of fiber include: Fruits and vegetables, wheat or oat bran.



Taking power through technology in the Arab Spring ANALYSIS


he Internet can make that which is on the opposite end of the world seem very local. Yet this can both distort or amplify reality. For example, while the recent "Innocence of Muslims" video served as a catalyst for the dissatisfaction felt toward the lack of Western support toward the Arab world, the protests and riots would not have occurred without YouTube and Vimeo. The ways by which newer and older media come together can turn slander into reality, changing what counts as truth in today's world. This raises a key question: Have the revolutions of the Arab Spring done more for social media than vice versa? After two years of fieldwork in Egypt, I have learned the 'digital war' is here to stay in Egypt. From 70+ year old military generals' use of Facebook to release announcement, to the Muslim Brotherhood's use of hackers, leaders from the entire range of Egypt's political factions are striving for the upper hand in this fight. We may forever debate the importance of social media in the uprisings of 2011 in the Arab world's most populous nation. Some argue that social media empowered activists to coordinate and communicate the actions that sparked the revolt. Others, in contrast, argue that social media was a double-edged sword, and in some cases prevented activists from directly confronting the old regime. Skeptics point out that regimes are effective at using technologies to spy and subvert, citing Iran's Green Revolution of 2009. Further, they argue that less than 5% of Egyptians use Facebook and/or Twitter. 'Hiding behind one's laptop' or 'being an IPad activist' are the types of pejorative statements I hear in my interviews with activists and organizers over the past two years. I have also noted that a reliance on social media technologies often makes 'real' that which may not exist for most or any, as was the case with the "Innocence of Muslims" video. Those popular on Twitter to speak about Egypt for example may not even be in Egypt, yet are often widely re-tweeted and used as sources by some journalists, given the 24 hour news-cycle. Scholars and critics understand that revolutions happen in waves, and that at certain early stages social media technologies play a more salient role. How do we step away from these binaries? By looking at Egyptians today. Unlike what we hear from most Western media, social media technologies are no longer the domain of solely the left, liberal youth, but instead empower different

Those popular on Twitter to speak about Egypt for example "may not even be in Egypt", yet are often widely re-tweeted and used as sources by some journalists, given the 24-hour news-cycle [Reuters] agendas held by parties across the political map. More than ever, many realize that via social media they have an opportunity to shape the political future of a nation in a way they never have before. This does not mean that their 'digital actions' substitute for their physical ones - but that instead they work in tandem, and are used to reach diverse audiences. Social media, perhaps thanks to the international and domestic hype, has a cache in Egypt that it did not have before the events of 2011. These technologies, seen as modern and 'liberating, have been embraced by many throughout Egypt's population, including by those without a computer or Internet access. How has technology changed power in Egypt? I believe in four major ways: 1. Infiltrating the media elites: Egyptians recognise that 'older media', such as television and radio, though accessed by most, tend to be biased. Still State TV, run by the ruling military, remains most popular, and

domestic corporate media channels are self-serving and volatile in their coverage. Yet activists have explained to me that they can influence some of these media from the 'outside in' by documenting videos of protests, creating credible blogs, and tweeting stories to influence both international and domestic journalists. I saw these strategies in action in July, 2012 at a recent 23000+ person sit-in in Mahalla, the birthplace of Egypt's labour movement. While this protest was sparsely reported on by the mainstream media, I observed how activists were using video cameras, blogs, and Facebook/Twitter connections to force this coverage from the outside-in. These forces can potentially bring new voices into the mainstream media culture. 2. Who needs Internet access?: Though more Egyptians than ever have begun to access the Internet particularly after last year's uprising, activists have realised that they can shape power and their perception within working class


I have never been in a nation where Marxism, Islamism and militaristic authoritarianism are on as many people's lips at the same time. All these destinies and futures are possible

communities without an Internet connection. Media activist collective Mosireen, for example, uses low-cost video cameras and projectors to train community members throughout the nation to document military abuses and project these videos on walls within their own communities, in a project called Askar Kazeboon (aka; 'The Military Are Liars'). Realising that they can make a difference as a media arm to various progressive and leftist issue-driven campaigns, Mosireen has used tactics of media production and distribution to disrupt false propaganda, fight against military trials, and promote living wages and rights to housing. While these are issuedriven rather than parliamentary or presidential ones, they speak to the use of social media to affect to shortterm profound changes. Tools of telling and distributing stories are in the hands of local communities. 3. Linking the Street and Digital Worlds: Despite being seen by one leader I met as a 'sissy man's game', the Muslim Brotherhood has begun to enhance its social media presence via Twitter and its websites. The Brotherhood see their power in their ability to 'work the street' and organise via Mosques throughout the nation. Yet they also realise that their media presence is seen as archaic, and that their international reputation is now increasingly important with the election of President Mohammed Morsi. Brotherhood members have begun to embrace tools of outreach to engage with domestic and international

audiences, building diplomatic connections, and hoping to influence older mainstream media. 4. We need new tools: "We were the kings of social media, and now our enemies are catching up with us." With these words, Ahmed Maher, 2011 revolutionary hero and cofounder of the April 6th Youth Movement, explained to me that today's battle for political power has two-fronts. While liberal and leftist parties need to gain more power in the street to catch up with a 50+ year military regime and 80 year Muslim Brotherhood, they also need to discover new tools that can continue to influence the political environment. Blogger and activist Hossam Hamalawy of the Revolutionary Socialists, for example, explained to me an effective website could serve as a real-time organiser for the labour leaders his party is starting to network across the country, and thus make possible more powerful strikes and future uprisings. What for Lenin was the newspaper could be a website for Hamalawy. And a website's ability to connect leaders realtime could shape the power of a movement. Activists and politicians in today's Egypt have now fully embraced the tools of social media not just to support the creation of political capital but also to subvert the competition. Technologies to spy, hack, and leak are all part of the environment, and all actively used by the different political activists with which I spoke. The all too easy narrative that liberal/leftist youth and their technologies are out of the game simply doesn't stand up to reality. Instead activists understand that their longer and shorter term strategies must both exist, and that they must engage the digital and physical worlds to achieve their goals. I have never been in a nation where Marxism, Islamism and militaristic authoritarianism are on as many people's lips at the same time. All these destinies and futures are possible, and are all being contested in the public sphere, which increasingly is intertwined with new digital technologies. As one friend, a cabdriver from inner-city Cairo neighbourhood Imbebba told me, "We will watch, listen, and if we do not like what we see - we will rise again." Ramesh Srinivasan is an Associate Professor in Media/ Information Studies at UCLA. He has given several major invited talks, including recently at LIFT in 2009 ( 5520100). He holds an engineering degree from Stanford, a Masters degree from the MIT Media Lab, and a Doctorate from Harvard University. Culled from Al-Jazeera'



South Africa strikes: Sacked platinum miners reinstated African migrants found dead off Morocco coast


pain's maritime rescue service has found 14 bodies in the sea and rescued 17 people after a boat carrying migrants from Morocco began to sink in the Mediterranean. Search operations are continuing because one of the migrants said about 70 people had been on the boat, a rescue official told the Associated Press on Friday. A coast guard plane spotted the boat on Thursday afternoon following a tip that it had left Morocco and was heading to Spain. Those on the boat are believed to be from sub-Saharan Africa. Each year thousands of suspected illegal immigrants from Africa try to reach Europe by setting sail in small, fragile boats.

African migrants found dead off Morocco coast

Strikes at South Africa's platinum, gold and coal mines have cost the country millions


he world's biggest platinum producer, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), has agreed to reinstate the 12,000 South African miners sacked for taking part in an unofficial strike. It had agreed to take back the miners if they returned to work by Tuesday, the National Union of Mineworkers said. South Africa's mining sector has been hit by a series of wildcat strikes, which have cost millions of dollars. Dozens of people have been killed in strike-related violence. The miners were sacked three weeks ago.

"They agreed to reinstate all the dismissed workers on the provision that they return to work by Tuesday," NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka told the Reuters news agency. He said he expected workers would return to their posts and "that will mean the end of the strike". Amplats said in a statement: "Employees who do not return to work on Tuesday... will remain dismissed and/or be subjected to the illegal strike disciplinary action and will not be eligible for any of the benefits mentioned above."

The company said it was offering the miners a one-off hardship payment of $230 (£140) to facilitate their return. Calm may now be returning, with many mining companies agreeing to higher wage demands, but in the longer term, more miners are likely to be laid off. And while the unrest has shaken the authorities here, there is no sign that it has prompted the sort of radical steps many are calling for, our correspondent adds. Strikes at South Africa's platinum, gold and coal mines are estimated to have cost the country more than $1bn.

More than 40 people died in violent clashes between police and striking workers at a platinum mine in August. South Africa is one of the world's biggest producers of precious metals. Analysts say workers across the industry are disaffected with the NUM and other mainstream unions, regarding them as too close to the employers. The workers had been demanding 6,000 rand ($1,800; £1,100) in monthly pay, more than three times their current average salary.

Guinea Bissau ‘coup leader Pansau N'Tchama held’ By Abdulkadir Isa


n army captain accused of trying to mount a coup in Guinea Bissau has been arrested, reports quoting the country's military say. Capt Pansau N'Tchama is accused of being behind an army barracks attack last week that left six people dead. The army seized power during a presidential election in April. The country's transitional government, which was appointed by the army, has accused former colonial power Portugal of involvement in the attack. Capt N'Tchama was arrested on the island of Bolama and was being transferred towards the capital Bissau, military spokesmen said. Capt N'Tchama had

recently returned from Portugal. He had been undergoing military training there since July 2009, security sources told the AFP news agency. Several other arrests have been made since last week's attack. The transitional government has said supporters of former Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior, who was ousted in the April coup, were behind last week's attack, as well as Portugal. Guinea-Bissau has a long history of coups since independence from Portugal in 1974, and no elected leader has finished their time in office since. Instability has turned the country into a prime drug smuggling spot between South America and Europe.

Guinea Bissau has suffered a civil war and several military coups


Asia and Middle East


our Chinese maritime surveillance ships have been spotted in territorial waters around disputed Tokyocontrolled islands, Japan's coastguard has said. The ships entered Japan's 12nautical-mile territorial waters


Japan says Chinese vessels in disputed waters around the East China Sea islands at around 02:00GMT on Sunday and sailed out to the contiguous zone after a few hours, the coastguard said. It said the Chinese ships were not

the same as those which spent several hours on Thursday in territorial waters around the islands claimed by both Tokyo and Beijing. That incursion provoked a strong protest

by Japan. The so-called contiguous zone is an area that extends a further 12 nautical miles beyond the territorial waters. Tensions have risen in recent

Australia to target economic ties with Asia

Typhoon SonTinh kills dozens in Philippines


he death toll from Typhoon Son-Tinh in the Philippines has risen sharply to 24, as casualty reports come in from isolated central islands and the far-flung south, the government said. Drowning and landslides were given as the cause of 11 deaths on small islands in the country's mid-section, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said in its latest tally on Saturday. The other 13 victims were carried away by flash floods, buried by landslides, hit by falling trees and flying debris, electrocuted, or died from exposure to the cold, it added. The official death toll from the typhoon, which was classed as a weaker "tropical storm" when it passed over the Philippines, had previously stood at six on Friday. Eight fishermen from the central and southern Philippines remained missing at sea, the government agency said. Rescuers are also still searching for a man believed buried in a landslide on the main southern island of Mindanao, it said, adding that more than 15,000 people displaced by the storm were still sheltering at government buildings and receiving disaster aid.


The chain of uninhabited islands has been claimed by Japan and China for more than 100 years [Steve Chao/Al Jazeera]

Syrian jets 'bombard' Damascus suburbs

n ambitious plan aimed at maximising links with booming China and other Asian economies will power Australia into the world's top 10 wealthiest nations by 2025, the government has said. By engaging in more business with China and India in particular, Australia aims to lift Asia's impact into its economy to one third by 2025, from 25 per cent now. "Whatever else this century brings, it will bring Asia's return to global leadership, Asia's rise. This is not only unstoppable, it is gathering pace," Prime Minister Julia Gillard said on Sunday. The sweeping policy blueprint, titled "Australia in the Asian Century", sets a series of goals for the next 13 years to seize upon Asia's rapid ascent as a global economic powerhouse. The plan has few specific policy announcements, but targets Asian tourism and greater expected demand for food and education to match Asia's appetite for mineral resources that has fuelled a long mining boom in Australia.

Israeli airstrike kills one in Gaza attack



yrian fighter jets have bombarded eastern suburbs of the capital, Damascus, activists say, continuing air raids despite an internationally brokered ceasefire supposed to take hold two days ago. Warplanes reportedly hit the adjacent suburbs of Zamalka, Arbeen, Harasta and Zamalka on Sunday. Videos posted online purporting to show the aftermath showed huge plumes of smoke billowing over rooftops. A statement by the Harasta Media Office, an activists' organisation, said electricity, water and communications had been cut and dozens of wounded at the Harasta National Hospital had been moved as the bombardment closed in. Activists also reported fighting in the nearby suburb of Douma, where rebels have been attacking roadblocks, and clashes in Qadam district. Damascus suburbs have played a major role in the 19month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, both in terms of peaceful protests and armed resistance.

months over the islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, which lie in rich fishing grounds. The seabed in the area is also believed to harbour mineral reserves.

Typhoon Son-Tinh has battered more than 30 provinces in the central, eastern and southern Philippines [EPA]

The suburbs of Damascus have played a major role in the uprising against Assad [Reuters]

n Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip has killed a Palestinian fighter and wounded another, after they fired mortar shells at Israeli tanks involved in an incursion near the southern town of Khan Yunis, Palestinian medics and eyewitnesses have said. Gaza security sources said that Israeli tanks had entered into east Khan Yunis in a village called Qarara, opening fire at civilian houses in the area early on Sunday. The dead man was named as Kamel Qarara, 25, a member of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Gaza's ruling Hamas movement. The wounded man, not immediately named, was also a member of the group. The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said the men were killed during a confrontation with the Israeli tanks in Qarara. Gaza secuirty sources said an Israeli drone had fired a rocket at the group of fighters. An Israeli military statement confirmed a strike by the Israel Air Force (IAF) but not that Israeli tanks had entered the Palestinian territory and come under Palestinian fire.


Europe and Americas Ukrainians cast ballots in parliamentary poll


arliamentary polls have opened in Ukraine, with world heavyweight champion boxer Vitali Klitschko emerging as an unlikely challenger to the ruling party in place of the jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko. Polling stations will close at 8pm (18:00GMT) on Sunday with exit polls expected swiftly afterwards. The strategic former Soviet nation, nestled between the European Union and Russia, is holding the first election since Tymoshenko lost to President Viktor Yanukovych in a bitterly fought contest in 2010. The 2004 Orange Revolution leader was jailed less than two years later on abuse of power charges brought by Yanukovych's Regions Party that both Tymoshenko and many Western nations saw as vendetta on the part of the president. Sunday's election to the 450seat Verkhovna Rada is seen both as a warm-up for the 2015 presidential ballot and a chance for voters to pass judgement on a jailing that has isolated Ukraine from EU states. First voters in capital Kiev, some disillusioned, some hopeful started to arrive at polling stations early in the morning. "I don't expect anything from this election. It will not change anything neither for me as a citizen, nor for the country in general," said Kiev resident Nina who was one of the first to vote. "Everyone hopes for the better me including ... I hope we will elect deputies who are decent and respectful of our nation," said Mykhailo Symonenko, another early voter. Opinion polls suggest that Yanukovych's alliance with the Communist Party and a top centrist politician will retain its narrow lead, while Tymoshenko's opposition bloc will grab second place by the slimmest of margins. But trailing in hot pursuit in third is the UDAR (Punch) party of Klitschko - an opposition sympathiser who has served in the Kiev city council and now has the chance to expand nationally.

Opinion polls suggest that Yanukovych's alliance will retain its majority after the vote [Reuters]


Lithuanians vote in second round of election


ithuanians are voting in national elections, two weeks after austerity-weary voters evicted a centre-right coalition in the first round of a general election. Left wing and populist opposition parties were on course to form the next government provided they win the run-off ballot which opened at 05:00 GMT on Sunday. Lithuania's 3.3 million inhabitants face an unemployment rate of 13 per cent and declining living standards, as well as high energy costs since the country closed its Soviet-era nuclear power plant in 2009. With just 73 of the seats in Lithuania's 141-member parliament having been won in the first round, the run-off is crucial for a trio of parties as they seek to raise their clout within the likely coalition. Two centre left parties, the Labour Party and the Social Democrats, finished first and second in the first round, while the governing Conservatives, unpopular for cutting pensions and public wages had come third. Labour's first-round tally was 18 and the Social Democrats' 16, while

the populist Order and Justice earned six, making a total of 40, meaning they may need to bring a fourth ally on board to hit the minimum

majority of 71. Immediately after the first round, the two left-leaning parties launched talks on forming a coalition with the

Order and Justice party. But they have yet to strike a formal deal, pending the results of Sunday's ballot.

Kubilius' four-year-old Conservative government has failed to reap the rewards of a recovery with voters [AFP]

Indian prime minister reshuffles cabinet


anmohan Singh, India's prime minister, has reshuffled his cabinet in a bid to overhaul his government's

image ahead of state and national elections taking place over the next 18 months. Seven new ministers and 15

Salman Khurshid, 59, replaces the 80-year-old SM Krishna as foreign minister [AFP]

junior ministers took the oath of office, at a brief ceremony on Sunday to mark the changes aimed at bringing in younger faces to the cabinet. The most notable appointee was Salman Khurshid, who is the new foreign minister, as Singh undertook the biggest reshuffle since his 2009 re-election. Khurshid, 59, replaces the 80year-old SM Krishna, while his post as the law minister goes to Ashwani Kumar, a spokesman in the prime minister's office told the AFP news agency. Five senior ministers had resigned over the weekend to allow the introduction of new faces in the ministerial line-up. Speaking to journalists after the swearing-in ceremony, Singh said he expected that his new team would remain in office up until the next general election which is due

in spring 2014. "Probably this is the last reshuffle," Singh said at the presidential palace in the capital New Delhi. The long-awaited changes gained urgency after the Congress Party-led coalition government was hit by a wave of corruption scandals. The revamp also filled several vacancies after a key ally opposed to recent economic reforms quit the coalition. Narayanan Madhavan of the Hindustan Times told Al Jazeera that Sonia Gandhi in her capacity as president of the Congress Party had a big say in the appointments. "Sonia Gandhi has put her people in place, Gandhi is involved as she is president of the ruling party, she has influence over the prime minister, Manmohan Singh," said Madhaven.

Indonesia nabs suspects in US embassy plot


ndonesia's anti-terror squad has arrested 11 people suspected of planning a range of attacks on domestic and foreign targets including the US embassy and a site near the Australian embassy. The suspects were arrested in raids Friday and Saturday in four provinces, national police spokesman Suhardi Alius said. He said the suspects belonged to a new group called the Harakah Sunni for Indonesian Society, or HASMI. "From evidence found at the scene, we believe that this group was well prepared for serious terror attacks," Alius said. Police seized a number of bombs, explosive materials, a

bomb-making manual and ammunition, Alius said. They also found a 3kg gas cylinder filled with highly explosive material, which had been assembled at a house in the East Java town of Madiun. Videos and images of attacks on Muslims in various parts of the world were also recovered, he said. Alius said the group planned to target the US embassy in Jakarta and a plaza near the Australian embassy and the local office of US mining giant FreeportMcMoRan. It also planned to attack the US consulate in Surabaya and the headquarters of a special police force in Central Java, he said.

Police seized a number of bombs, explosive materials, a bombmaking manual and ammunition [Reuters]



Assessing Gov. Gaidam’s effort to end Boko Haram violence By Alhaji Yusuf Alhaji


n the wake of the relentless reign of terror that Boko Haram has been visiting on Yobe State and other states in the northeast recently, what are the governors in these states doing to contain, checkmate, neutralize, or eliminate the group and its murderous ideology? Well, I am the first to admit that this is an unfair question because under our present federal arrangement, security is the exclusive preserve of the Federal Government. The Federal Government controls the nation’s entire security apparatus—the military, the state security service, the police, etc. State governors are at the mercy of the federal government on security matters. Nevertheless, no responsible state government should fold its arms and watch helplessly as lives and hopes are cut short and as the confidence and comfort of the living are torn to shreds. Fortunately, Yobe State governor Ibrahim Gaidam has been intensely invested both emotionally and logistically in finding enduring solutions to the problem of Boko Haram. For instance, as far back as July 2009 when the Northern Governor’s Forum (NGF) convened an emergency meeting in Kaduna to proffer solutions to the Boko Haram problem, which was then in its beginning state and which killed scores of people in Borno State, he was one of only three governors who personally attended the meeting. The two others were Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State and then Governor Mohammed Namadi Sambo of Kaduna State. Writing in the popular NigeriaWorld website, Dr. Robert Sanda, an Alberta, Canadabased public commentator, had this to say on the implication of the shunning of the NGF emergency meeting by northern governors at the time: “We can excuse governor Ali Modu Sheriff’s absence since the brunt of the destruction was borne by his state and even a one-day absence at this crucial time would appear insensitive. Governors Muazu Babangida Aliyu and Namadi Sambo as the chairman of the forum and host governor, respectively, can be said to be under pressure to attend the meeting. Thus, (in my opinion, at least) the only governor deserving of credit for attendance is Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe state.” Dr. Sanda was certainly correct in his assessment. Watchers of the Boko Haram problem in the northeast would tell you that from 2009 to now, Governor Gaidam hasn’t wavered even one bit in his

Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam commitment to tackling the Boko Haram problem in northeastern Nigeria within the limits permitted by our restrictive federal arrangement. The governor is deeply aware that although security agencies are owned, operated, and controlled by the federal government, they are severally underfunded, illequipped, and could use some help from state governments. In the light of this, in the last few years that Boko Haram insurgency reached epidemic proportions in the north, he has extended massive logistic support to federal security agencies operating in Yobe State. For instance, the governor has donated more than 150 Hilux four-wheel drive vehicles to various security agencies operating in the state. In another remarkable show of support for the efforts of federal security agencies to rein in Boko Haram, the governor has made available his campaign headquarters in Damaturu to serve as the operational base of the Joint Task Force (JTF). Similarly, the governor made available a newly built boarding school at Kuka-Reta Village in Damaturu Local Government, to serve as the temporary headquarters for the newly established 233 Tank Battalion of the Nigerian Army until the federal government is able to build a befitting permanent barracks for the battalion. And, realizing that the

police are chronically underpaid and, as a result, unmotivated to put their lives on the line in the protection of lives and property, the governor pays monthly cash-ration-allowance to policemen serving in the state in addition to whatever the federal government pays them. These are only illustrative examples of the many ways the governor has risen to the occasion in support of security forces drafted to the state to curb the Boko Haram violence that has engulfed the northeast region in the past three years. Of course, these efforts are merely complementary to the federal government’s rather inadequate efforts. But the governor obviously realizes that security agencies merely attack the symptoms of a larger problem. They are not equipped to get at the deep roots of the problem, which can be traced to poverty and indoctrination. That is why he has embarked on one of the largest mass employment schemes I have seen in this country in a long while. The government has provided employment—and therefore a valid, secure source of livelihood—to over 10,000 youngsters in the last one year since Boko Haram violence started affecting Yobe State. Of the 10, 000 young people the governor employed, up to 3, 600 have bachelor’s degrees, the Higher National Diploma (HND) and the National

Certificate in Education (NCE). This category of people was employed on a permanent and pensionable basis. The other 6, 570 hold the Ordinary Diploma (ND) certificates and have been engaged under a special empowerment scheme in which they will be paid N15, 000 per month until they get a permanent job or decide to further their education. Those who decide to go back to school will get government scholarship. This, without a doubt, is an admirably creative and kindhearted way to engage the youth and distract them from the attractions of violence. The governor also knows that not everybody in the state has the educational qualification to take advantage of his mass employment scheme. Illiterate or barely educated people who live on the fringes of mainstream society can be—and indeed often are—the pool from which Boko Haram and other violent groups recruit would-be mass murderers. This explains why his administration sent thousands of youths to the Sani Abatcha Youth Development Center in Kano to train in such skills as GSM handset and generator set repairs, knitting, hair plaiting, carpentry, etc. Not only did the governor opened this training opportunity, he also ensured that all participants in the programme were fully resettled with the tools they need to practice what they have learnt

free of charge. The governor has also provided up to 500 Keke Napep tricycles to uneducated and unemployed youngsters in Damaturu, Potiskum, Gashu’a and Gaidam towns, especially in light of the ban on the use of Okada motorcycles because Boko Haram used Okada motorcycles to launch surprise attacks on innocent people. Had the governor not stepped up to find alternative means of livelihood for many of these former Okada riders, we can only imagine what they would have resorted to. The governor’s efforts must be anchored on the age-old wisdom that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Although the Boko Haram scourge is multifaceted and can’t be reduced to one single cause, no one can deny that joblessness is one of the important causes of the group’s emergence, growth, and its paradoxically surprising attractiveness to young adults. Providing employment to people who would otherwise have been seduced by the warped ideology and financial reward of Boko Haram is surely a great way to tackle the violence in the northeast in the long term. The result of this measure won’t be immediate, but its efficacy will be appreciated in the near future. As a deeply religious person who believes in the power of prayers, the governor is also complementing his efforts with prayers. He has sponsored select Muslim scholars from across Yobe’s local government areas to travel to Saudi Arabia to offer special prayers for peace and prosperity in the state and Nigeria in general. This is in addition to the millions of naira he spends habitually to comfort people who have been victims of Boko Haram attacks. For example, the Yobe State government has paid N50 million as compensation to victims of the recent unfortunate Potiskum cattle market attack and has provided support to families of victims of that particular attack. Given the constraints that state governments face in security matters in Nigeria, Governor Gaidam’s efforts to restore peace, hope, and confidence in the once peaceful Yobe State are nothing short of remarkable. He deserves both our praise for what he has done to improve security and our sympathy for the toll that the Boko Haram violence exerts on a people whose lives he has been working so hard to improve. Alhaji Yusuf Alhaji, a public relations specialist, wrote from Bolori Ward, Maiduguri Metropolitan Council



Boiled or stewed meat is better for your heart than burgers or grilled steak


or many of us, there’s nothing quite like a nice juicy burger. But new research suggests it could be bad for the heart – particularly if you have diabetes. The scientists, from the University of Illinois, say cooking methods that create a crust - i.e. the crispy borders of meats prepared at very high temperatures - produce proteins called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These are associated with plaque formation in the arties, which hardens them and increases the risk of a heart attack. More traditional cooking methods, such as boiling or stewing meat, did not carry the risk. The worry is that diabetics are already at an increased risk of heart disease because it accelerates the damage of the blood vessels in our body, especially the heart. It also accelerates the formation of plaque, causing the

arteries to narrow. Heart disease and stroke are the top causes of death and disability amongst type two diabetics. At least 65 per cent of them die from some form of heart disease or stroke. ‘Diabetics have been advised for years to bake, broil, or grill their food instead of frying it,’ said lead researcher Karen ChapmanNovakofski, a professor of nutrition. ‘That’s still true, but if you have diabetes, you should know that AGEs - by-products of food preparation methods that feature very high, intense, dry heat - tend to end up on other tissues in the body, causing long-term damage.’ ‘AGEs are higher in any kind of meat, but especially in ground meat,’ she added. ‘If you put hamburgers on the grill, you’ll likely have a higher AGEs content than if you chose a whole cut of meat, say round steak or chicken.’


Drug used to treat alcohol addiction could destroy deadly brain tumours

drug used to treat alcohol addiction could help destroy deadly brain tumours, research has shown. For more than 60 years, disulfiram has been used as part of therapy to wean people off alcohol. It makes the body acutely sensitive to alcohol, producing an unpleasant reaction. Now scientists believe the drug could offer new hope to patients with glioblastoma, the most common and deadly form of brain cancer. Unlike most drugs, disulfiram is able to penetrate the ‘blood-brain barrier’ - a physical and molecular wall that keeps toxic substances out of the brain. Laboratory tests have shown that the drug is effective at killing cultured glioblastoma cells. This is especially true when disulfiram is combined with gemcitabine, one of the few chemotherapy drugs that can cross the blood-brain barrier. Each year around 5,000 people in the UK develop malignant brain tumours. Only around 27 per cent of patients in England diagnosed with glioblastoma survive for a year or more. Because disulfiram is already a licensed drug with a known safety record, it could have a fast passage to clinical trials as a brain cancer treatment. Study leader Dr Weiguang Wang, from the University of Wolverhampton, said: ‘We’ve been studying the cancerfighting properties of disulfiram for over a decade, so it’s very exciting to have reached a stage where clinical trials may be possible. ‘These latest findings suggest that the drug may work by transporting copper into the cancer cells, generating destructive free-radicals that build up and kill the cell. ‘Glioblastoma cells tend to have much higher levels of copper than normal tissues, meaning additional copper may tip them over the edge while sparing normal tissues.

More traditional methods of cooking meat, such as boiling or stewing, did not carry the risk If you’re fighting this build up of plaque anyway, consuming products containing AGEs could worsen the cardiovascular complications of diabetes. In the study, the scientists compared the 10-day food intake of 65 study participants. They found that people with

higher rates of cardiovascular complications ate more of these glycated products. For each unit increase in AGEs intake, a study participant was 3.7 times more likely to have moderate to high risk for cardiovascular disease. Eating less saturated fat and more fruits, vegetables, and fibre

are important for people with diabetes, but this study shows that food preparation may be important too, added Professsor Chapman-Novakofski. Boiling or stewing meat would reduce your AGEs intake further. And scrambling an egg with cooking spray instead of frying it leads to a significant reduction in AGEs, she said. However, more research is needed before definite recommendations can be made. Professsor Chapman-Novakofski and her colleagues are planning another study in which they will examine past AGEs intake of diabetes patients. ‘These findings are preliminary, but they give us ample reason to further explore the association between AGEs and cardiovascular risk among people with diabetes.’ The study is published online in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition.

The drug could help fight brain tumours (pictured) as it can penetrate the 'blood-brain barrier' and overload the cancer cells with copper, which helps kills them.

Disulfiram is currently used to discourage alcoholics from drinking ‘The idea of using copper to tackle cancer was first suggested by UK scientists in the 1920s. ‘But this is the first time that scientists have found a way of successfully transporting excess copper into cancer cells and shown how this can be combined

with conventional chemotherapy treatment to help kill glioblastoma cells. ‘We’re now working on the best way to deliver dilsulfiram and hope to begin clinical trials in cancer patients as soon as funding can be secured.’

The research is published in the British Journal of Cancer. Dr Julie Sharp, from Cancer Research UK, which owns the journal, said: ‘One of the big challenges in cancer treatment is how to successfully kill tumour cells without harming the surrounding tissues. ‘Drugs like this one, which can both penetrate the blood brain barrier and increase the sensitivity of cancer cells to chemotherapy, could play an important role in overcoming the problem of resistance to help improve the outlook for people

with brain tumours.’ Sarah Lindsell, head of The Brain Tumour Charity, which funded the research, said: ‘We see first-hand the devastating effects that glioblastomas have on patients and their families and this research could be a foundation to improve treatment and extend life expectancy. ‘It is only through funding much-needed research that we can offer real hope to people who are diagnosed with a glioblastoma in the future.’ Source:



Constitution review: Reps set for nationwide grassroots hearings, set guidelines By Lawrence Olaoye


he House of Representatives has concluded arrangements for the flag –off and holding of the Peoples’ Public Sessions on the review of the 1999 Constitution across the 360 federal constituencies in the country. The Peoples’ Public Sessions is the initiative of the House of Representatives to achieve a more participatory, inclusive and transparent review of the Constitution. According to the Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the House Ad hoc Committee on the Review of the Constitution, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, in a release made available to newsmen yesterday, the Sessions will bring the process of Constitution review closer to the people and will extend to all the nooks, crannies, villages, communities, grassroots and towns throughout Nigeria. Guidelines for the conduct of the sessions indicate that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, will perform the flag – off ceremony for the sessions this week. Each of the Sessions in the 360 Federal Constituencies, according to Ihedioha, will be organized by an independent Steering Committee of Stakeholders that include the member of the House representing the Federal Constituency who will be the facilitator; members of the State House of Assembly in the particular Federal Constituency; the Local Government Chairmen within the Constituency and one representative of the following Organizations in each Federal Constituency, i.e the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC), and the Nigerian Bar Association

Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (NBA). Others are the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and other Student Groups, the National Youth Council (NYC) and other Youth Organizations, the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) and other Women Organizations, the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), and the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE). Stakeholders, such as Ethnic Nationalities, Women, Youths,

Students, Town Unions, Professional Organizations, Civil Society Organizations, Religious Organizations, Traditional Institutions, Political Parties, Artisans, Labour etc, and indeed all Nigerians have been invited to attend the Sessions and contribute their views. Decisions at the Sessions shall be reached, as much as possible, by consensus but where that fails, decisions will be reached by voting, and the views of the majority shall prevail. Voting shall be by show of hands or voice vote To ensure that all participants fully understand the issues before voting is conducted, the Steering

Committee shall ensure that each item to be voted on is explained to the people in the language prevalent in the locality. A tentative template of the issues to be discussed and voted on at the Sessions has been produced by the House of Representatives to serve only as a guide, as each Federal Constituency is free to indicate, in their report, other issues they consider as requiring amendment or inclusion in the Constitution. Issues that have been identified in the template include, among others, recognition of the six zonal structure; creation of states; structure, funding and creation of local governments; residency, citizenship and indigeneship question; justiciability of economic and social rights; fiscal provisions; independence of states’ legislatures and amendments of the exclusive legislative list to devolve more powers to the States. Others are fiscal federalism; abolition of States Electoral Commissions; removal of Immunity clause; establishment of State Police; zoning and power sharing; terms of office of the President and Governors, regarding whether they should be for a single term of 5, 6 or 7 years or a renewable term of 4 years; independent candidacy; voting age; improved representation for Women; rights of persons with disability; voting rights for Nigerians living in the Diaspora; a unicameral National Assembly; presidential or parliamentary system of government; role for Traditional Rulers in the Constitution and further electoral reforms. At the end of the Sessions, the Deputy Speaker explained, each Steering Committee shall submit a video recording and written reports of the proceedings of the Sessions to the Clerk of the Committee on the Review of the Constitution not later than seven days after the Sessions.

Colleagues laud Justice’s Adekeye virtues on retirement


riends, colleagues and well-wishers yesterday paid glowing tributes to Justice Olunfunlola Adekeye of the Supreme Court, who retired from the bench on Oct. 22. They spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after a thanksgiving service at St. Matthews Anglican Church, Maitama, to mark her 70th birthday and retirement from public service. Justice Mary Odili of the Supreme Court described Adekeye as a great woman. “A great woman, who is leaving the judiciary in a glorious way and the Lord has been very kind to her and to all of who worked with her.” “I shared very special moments

with her and I see today as quite emotional because she is one person I would have loved to be with me at all times. Justice John Afolabi Fabiyi of the Supreme Court, recalled that he was appointed as Supreme Court Justice with Adekeye same day. “We started at the Court of Appeal together and we were appointed to the Supreme Court same day. “She is rated very high and respected and has worked tremendously well.” Fabiyi mentioned the presidential election judgment of December 2011, as one of the numerous landmark judgments delivered by Adekeye. “We took part in many cases

together and let me mention the presidential election matter, which we handled together on Dec. 28, 2011. “She was the lead writer and we gave her the full support and there was no problem at all.” Fabiyi wished Adekeye good health in retirement. Justice Edward Ojuolape, a former Chief Judge of old Ondo State, said her role as the second female judge of the Supreme Court impacted greatly on the women in judiciary. “We grew up together and as a young girl, she was very intelligent and focused. “She became a lawyer at a young age and rose to become the second female judge of the Supreme Court,”

he said. The celebrant told NAN that she owed her strength and successful retirement from the judiciary to God. The service, which was attended by the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Aloma Mukhtar, also featured a special thanksgiving for the celebrant’s son’s wedding and a book launch. There was also a thanksgiving celebration for her 35th coronation anniversary as “Adimula of Ifewara’’. Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, the Primate, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, prayed for good health in her retirement and challenged her not to relent in promoting moral values in the church and the society. (NAN)

Implement Ribadu’s oil revenue report, CPC tells Jonathan By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he opposition Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately commence the implementation of the report submitted by the Mallam Nuhu Ribadu led Oil Revenue Task Force without delay. The party in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Fashakin, warned that Nigeria being a monoeconomy, the government must be seen to be supporting efforts at maintaining probity in the oil industry. The opposition noted the highlights of the Ribadus’ reports to include the N86.6 billion in cash from generous exchange rates over the 10-year period had disappeared; the NNPC had been getting 445,000 barrels per day of crude oil for local refining and consumption but had been selling itself this oil at cut-down prices, a practice that had cost Nigeria $5Billion in potential oil revenue in the same period. It added that Nigerian oil ministers (between 2008 and 2011) handed out seven discretionary licenses, with $183million in signature bonuses missing from the deals just as another $1.5 billion (in unpaid royalties) was being owed by Addax. It lamented that Nigeria remains the only country in the world that sells its crude through international oil traders rather than directly to refineries, deals usually enmeshed in opacity. The CPC also noted N137.57Billion debt owed by Shell for gas sold. The party stated “The corruption in the oil industry has reached the crescendo in the 13year reign of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) with unbudgeted trillions of naira (ostensibly used in corrupting the electoral process in 2011).” Furthermore, it noted that despite a six increments in the pump price of petroleum products between 1999 and 2007, PDP governments seem unfazed about hurts and the pains inflicted by the heist and the deliberate purloining of the nation’s oil resources under their watch. “It is, without doubt, the reason that a new generation of people has been ennobled into the super-rich Nigerians, on behalf of the rest of us,” CPC said. “The CPC Party has always postulated: the Jonathan administration is not only the most corrupt in the nation’s history but it is also capable of throwing the Nigerian state into unrecoverable downward spiral of economic depression,” the statement said.



Nigeria’s future depends on PDP, says OBJ From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


ormer President Olusegun Obasanjo, at the weekend asked Nigerians to review ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) thirteen years in governance, saying it will determine the past, present and future of the country. He made this remark at the South-West caucus meeting of the party held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, saying though the largest party in Africa is not sufficiently disciplined; it cannot be compared with any existing party on the continent. The immediate past Chairman, Board of Trustees of the party also tasked electorates to review critically the PDP’s leadership style at the national, zonal, states and local government levels before 2015. “Let the electorates review

our party since 1999 at all levels of governance, we have tried our best.” Obasanjo, who denied rumour about his plans to dump the party, maintained that his resignation as BOT chairman does not paint the party bad as being insinuated. “I am not leaving PDP as being rumoured around, my resignation as BOT chairman does not mean I exit from the party. PDP gave me relevance in politics,” he said.

He, however, commended party members over the performance of PDP candidate, Olusola Oke, in last Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo state where the party emerged second, adding that the outing was not a bad one despite the inability of PDP to win the election. He said “There is no perfect election. Whatever might be the shortcoming of the election should be overlooked, since such might not necessarily

upturn the table. We should accept defeat and start looking forward.” In his welcome address, the Zonal Chairman of the party, former Ekiti state governor, Segun Oni, said the performance of the PDP in the Ondo State election was a pointer to its acceptability as a party in waiting to form the next government in the zone. “Our party has shown clearly by the performance in the Ondo State election that we

hold the future in the SouthWest. We are the party of promise. Our people have seen through the falsehood and deceit of the ACN and are yearning for change. We are the change that the South-West needs and wants,” Oni said Among the dignitaries present include, National Secretary of the party, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Minister of State FCT, Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, former senators and former house reps members.

Edo, Ondo polls show maturity of electorate – Group A civil rights group says the successful conduct of the recent polls in Edo and Ondo States show growing awareness and maturity of the Nigerian electorate. This is contained in a statement issued by the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law in Onitsha, Anambra on Saturday. The statement entitled: “Why Ondo State Election Results are Beyond Judicial Revocation’’, was signed by Mr Emeka Umeagbalasi, the Chairman of the group. “The good lesson is that in no distance future, indiscriminate filing of election petition cases in courts will fizzle out if the polls’ results continue to reflect the true wishes of Nigerians. “For instance, most of the 1,695 existing federal and state electoral seats in the country were judicially unrevoked after the 2011 general elections. “Unlike in previous elections where petitions were filed in almost all of them, a reasonable number of the seats were not judicially contested. “However, most of those contested were judicially affirmed particularly the 31 governorship seats. “It is our total submission that the July 14 and Oct. 20 governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States are an appreciable improvement in Prof. Attahiru Jega’s Nigerian election midwifery. “We commend INEC, the election monitors and observers, the Transition Monitoring Group and Women Arise for their dogged roles that made the Ondo polls a success,’’ it said. (NAN)

L-R: PDP South-west Vice-Chairman, Chief Segun Oni, FCT Minister of State, Mrs Olajumoke Akinjide, Minister of Police Affairs, Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd) and former PDP National Vice Chairman, Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo at a caucus meeting in Ibadan on Saturday

Jonathan lauds Gov. Akpabio on projects


resident Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday lauded Gov. Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom for initiating quality projects in the state. The president made the commendation in Uyo while inaugurating the new Governor’s Office built by the Akpabio administration. He had earlier on arrival for a one-day working visit performed the groundbreaking ceremony of a 30,000-seater stadium in Uyo. Jonathan, who recalled his earlier visits to Akwa Ibom as a

director in the defunct Oil Mineral Producing Development Areas Commission (OMPADEC), noted that the state had really been transformed. He commended the state governor for providing critical infrastructure in the state. “I will not hesitate to visit the state as far as it has to do with development,” Jonathan said. Jonathan said that Akpabio’s successor would face serious challenges if he or she did not perform as his predecessor. The News Agency of Nigeria

(NAN) recalls that the president was in the state in June where he inaugurated the e-library project and a 15-km Aka-Nung Udoe road. The new Governor’s Ofice, described as an architectural masterpiece by the State Information Commissioner Aniekan Umanah was completed in 12 months by Julius Berger Construction Company. The office consists of a conference room, a lounge, a multi-media studio, a press centre and an executive council chamber with video conferencing facilities, among others.

Welcoming the President to Akwa Ibom, Gov. Akpabio said his administration would remain focused on the transformation programmes of the state. Akpabio said he had more projects to execute as part of his uncommon transformation agenda, adding: “this is not the end of projects that would be commissioned in the state.” He said the governor’s office was built to project the corporate image of the state to visitors and that all the facilities were of world-class standards. (NAN)

Sen. Okoroafor advocates women’s empowerment


en. Onyeka Okoroafor, has stressed the need for the government and public spirited individuals to give special attention to the empowerment of women in Nigeria. Okorafor expressed the view in Abuja on Saturday during the launch of a N100 million women economic empowerment by Ohuhu Welfare Union, Abuja branch. He said the empowerment of women translated to the empowerment of children. Okoroafor , a Third Republic senator from Ohuhu, represented the chairman of the occasion, Sen. Eyinnaya Abaribe, Chairman, Senate Committee on Information

and Media. According to him, the empowerment of women is important considering that she is the one who feels the burden of the family. ‘’When the child or husband is hungry, it is the woman that feels it. “When there is no food in the house it is the woman who lacks sleep over what her children will eat,’’ he said. Okoroafor advised women not to relent in their efforts to empower themselves as part of efforts to enhance their sustainability. However, he advised Ohuhu women to reach out to other Ohuhu sons and daughters yet to identify with the union.

Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, a former Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission, urged Ohuhu women to be hard working, focused and have a mindset on how to be self- employed. In a speech the President of the union, Mrs Nwakolam Ohadiugha, said the union was committed to empowering its members to enable them to establish their own businesses. She said that those who had secured loans were able to turn around their finances and enhance the welfare of their families. ‘’It gives us a renewed courage to move forward to fulfil our mission of empowering our women to support

their families. ‘’In furtherance of our economic efforts ,we have also acquired a 2,500 hectare piece of land in Gwagwalada to build female hostels that will accommodate first timers or transit visitors to Abuja. ‘’Our loan scheme has yielded fruits as beneficiaries have started new businesses while the existing ones are being expanded,’’ Ohadiugha said. NAN reports that most of the beneficiaries of the Ohuhu loan scheme were present at the event to showcase their wares. Ohuhu is one of the six clans in Umuahia and located in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia. (NAN)


Ondo guber poll: ACN didn't suffer setback – Lagos Speaker


he Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Adeyemi Ikuforiji, on Friday in Lagos said that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) did not suffer any set back from the last gubernatorial election in Ondo State. Ikuforiji told newsmen during the Eid-el Kabir prayers at the Epe Praying Ground that the ACN made tremendous progress in the election since it had not been on ground in the state. ``You need to understand that, two years ago, ACN did not have any ground at all in the state. “ACN has been able to prove that it is a party to reckon with.'' The lawmaker said that since the re-elected Gov. Olusegun Mimiko could not score twice the votes secured by the ACN, it showed that much would soon be desired by the party. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission on Oct. 21 declared Mimiko of the Labour Party, the winner of the election. The commission declared that he polled 260,199 votes while the PDP and ACN candidates, Chief Olusola Oke, and Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, polled 155,961 votes and 147,512 votes respectively. On the PDP's recent win of the Ikoyi/Obalende Local Council Development Area of Lagos State through an election petition, Ikuforiji said that the ACN would regain the council area through an appeal. NAN reports that the Lagos State Election Petitions Tribunal recently declared Mr Babajide Obanikoro, of the PDP, the winner of the council election. The tribunal upturned the election of the ACN's candidate as announced by the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission. In a message to Muslim faithful on the Eid-el-Kabir, Ikuforiji said that Nigerians should be willing to make sacrifices that would move the country forward. He urged leaders to always see themselves as servants. Ikuforiji urged that the leaders and the led should reason together on how the country would overcome its challenges. ''We should not look at leaders as if they come from another planet; we should cooperate with them for the betterment of this nation.'' The speaker appealed to all Nigerians to embrace peaceful coexistence and tolerance in the interest of Nigeria's advancement. (NAN)


Okunnu hails FG for containing terrorism


lhaji Lateef Okunnu, the President, Ansar-ud-deen Society of Nigeria (ADS), on Saturday commended the Federal Government's Joint Task Force for curtailing the activities of terrorists in the country. Okunnu told the New Agency

of Nigeria (NAN) that the efforts of the task force had helped a lot in checking the heinous activities of terrorists' particularly in the North. The former Federal Commissioner for Works also sympathised with state

governments and victims of recent flood disasters in the country and prayed to God to protect the nation against future disasters. On the Eid-el-Kabir festivities, he urged Muslims worldwide to always emulate the exemplary

Deputy Governor Of Taraba, Alhaji Garba Umar (m),with newsmen after a meeting in Jalingo, on Saturday

life of Prophet Ibrahim while celebrating. Okunnu said they should ensure their activities were guided by the teachings of the Holy Qu'ran, adding that such were emulated by the prophets. ``The celebration of Eid-elKabir this year should be with fear of Allah as a major consideration. ``We should be reminded of the exemplary life of the father of the faithful, prophet Ibrahim, his son Ismail, and wife Sayidat Hajara, on their total submission to the will of Allah. `` In the course of your celebration, let your activities be strictly guided by the teachings of the Holy Qu'ran and the Hadith of the Holy Prophet Muhammad,'' he said. He said the lessons from Eidel-Kabir were sacrifice and absolute submission to the will of Allah, adding that God should be praised for ``sparing our lives.'' ``We should forever praise Allah for His mercies toward us, for it is not our own making that Allah has spared our lives to witness many more Eid-el-Kabir celebrations,'' he said. Okunnu also wished the Muslim faithful performing this year's Hajj a most rewarding Holy Pilgrimage. (NAN)

Politicians express diverse views on state of origin


ome politicians on Saturday expressed different views on the statement by Senate President David Mark that Nigeria should embrace state-of-residence instead of the state-of-origin currently in use. The politicians expressed their views in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. NAN recalls that Mark made the statement while addressing the media in Quebec, Canada, after the opening of the 127th InterParliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly. The ceremony had as its theme: "Citizenship, identity, linguistic and cultural diversity in a globalised world". Mark said that discarding the

state-of-origin for the state- ofresidence would help to cement relationships in the country. He said that the issue should be accorded priority attention at the ongoing constitution review. Mark had wondered why somebody who had lived in a town different from his home town for 20 years, performing all necessary civic responsibilities could not become an indigene of the place. Reacting, Mr Sunny Moniedafe, the former Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), supported the senate president. ``I totally agree with Mark on this issue. We have millions of people including myself who were born and have lived in states other than that of their parents.

``Such people must, as a matter of urgency, be treated as bonafide indigenes of those respective states they have lived in all these while. ``Anyone who thinks otherwise must have ulterior motives which must not be tolerated," he said. The National Secretary of the Democratic Peoples' Alliance (DPA), Mr Sam Onimisi, did not agree that Nigeria should do away with the issue of state- of- origin. According to him, residency is a choice but state- of-origin is enduring. ``In the absence of a reliable welfare package for citizens of all categories, the state-of-origin remains preferable," he said. The Lagos State Chairman of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Mr Godfrey Lemchi, described the statement as "a political rhetoric".

According to him, the 1999 Constitution is fashioned along the line of encouraging ethnic rivalry. ``Presently, we are a country that place parochial, ethnic, regional, religious, political and selfish interest etc above national interest, growth and stability. ``And this is due to the fact that it provides the leaders the necessary impetus to continue to exploit us. ``If our leaders should provide economic stability, adequate health and housing, eradicate poverty and offer equal opportunity for all, the state-of-origin issue will take care of itself," he said. The Deputy National Chairman of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), Alhaji Musa Umar, also expressed support for ethnic integration. (NAN)

Cynthia's murder: Lawyers hail FG plan to ban `rape drug'


awyers and social critics on Friday commended the Federal Government's move to ban the sale of the 'date rape drug', allegedly used to kill Miss Cynthia Osokogu. They gave the commendation in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. The Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday in Abuja resolved to ban the sale of rophynol drug.

`Rohypnol', clinically known as Flunitrazepam, a sedative with hypnotic effect was used to lure late Osokogu to complacency and later killed. The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, said after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting that the government planned to ban the drug because of the need to curb its disastrous use. He said that the Act No. 43 of 1989, which established the

National Drug Formulary and Essential Drugs List, empowers it to prohibit importation and manufacturing of any drug not on the list. A Lagos based lawyer and founding member of the African in Democracy and Good Governance (ADG), Mr Edwin Nebolisa, said the decision appropriate. He said that the ban was informed by the ugly trend of the abuse of the drug by the youths, and stressed the need to check the

excesses of youths, which was becoming worrisome. He also said that pharmacy stores and hospitals should be discouraged from dispensing such drugs because it had become a means of facilitating incidence of rape. A facilitator with the Legal Defence and Assistant Project (LEDAP), Mr Noel Brown, also aligned with the decision of the government and advocated the ban of other sedative drugs. (NAN)


Ex lawmaker laments lack of progress in Zamfara state From Salisu Zakari Maradun


ormer member of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Sani Takori,has lamented the lack of development in Zamfara state compared to some of its counterparts created twenty years ago. Takori, who was also a former Commissioner for Justice in the state, also suggested that those who had governed the state before be made to account for their stewardship to the people. According to him, it is unfortunate that out of the number of states that were created along with Zamfara it is only the state that is yet to justify the amount of money it collected from its creation to date. Takori who disclosed this while speaking exclusively to our reporter in Gusau, also explained that the state is yet to get good leaders who have its love at heart, saying all those who led it some few years back only built themselves and their families. He explained further that the failure of the previous leaders of the state had become an eye opener to the electorates, who for long, have been yearning to have a completely transformed state within those years. The lawmaker, who was in Gusau to celebrate his Eid-ElKhabir festival, also declared his intention to contest the governorship position by 2015 so that he could make his contributions to the general transformation of the state. “I am telling you this is the only right time to act, otherwise we will continue to remain behind,” he stressed. Commenting further, Takori said the people who ruled the state have failed it, and by extension, the entire people with whose mandate they ruled, adding, “ therefore I am contesting, by God’s grace, come 2015 general elections; even if I don’t have money,’ he explained. He further revealed that should he be given the opportunity to rule, he would make sure that money politics is put to rest. “Wwe cannot go anywhere so long as we recognize money as the only weapon that can win elections. Money politics has gone for long in almost all the nations across the globe, and thus Nigeria should be one of them so that we can be identified among the best in the world.


ANPP wants NASS to probe Ribadu’s report By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


ll Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) has called on the National Assembly to look into the recent report by Nuhu Rebadu’s committee, which indicted the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), with a view to ascertaining the true situation of things in the corporation. In a statement issued yesterday by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Emma Eneukwu, the party said that this has become important to ensure

that the committee set up to look into the Ribadu Committee’s report does not cover up vital facts which will help to purge the corruption in NNPC. The party also urged President Goodluck Jonathan not to water down the gravity of the revelations by claiming that because the Ribadu Committee had not formally submitted its report to the appropriate authority, the report in the public domain is suspicious. According to ANPP, “We wish to ask whether the Leadership newspaper report of a forged

Export Clearance Permit of more than one and a half billion dollar is also suspicious. “Or the letter written by the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga to President Goodluck Jonathan, promising to investigate the source of the discovered fake document in his Ministry and brief the president accordingly.” Based on this, the party stated that the Nigerians have a lot to fear from the Government if 24 million barrels of crude oil can afford to leave the shores of this nation under suspicious circumstances.

Okpoama Kingdom’s Council of chiefs at the coronation of His Royal Majesty, King Ebitimi Banigo, the Amanyanabo of Okpoama Kingdom, Bayelsa state, on Saturday

Osun LP asks Jonathan, EFCC to probe Aregbesola’s role in Ondo election From Inumidun Ojelade, Osogbo


he Osun state chapter of the Labour Party (LP) has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to set up a probe panel to investigate the activities of the state Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola before, during and after the last Governorship election in Ondo state. Chief Bankole Afilaka, the state chairman of the party, said at a press conference held at the party’s secretariat in Osogbo that

Aregbesola’s activities in the last few weeks needed to be investigated by the Federal Government if truly President Jonathan is the Chief Security Officer of the country. He alleged that Aregbesola abandoned government activities in the state which he was elected to govern during the electioneering campaigns of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Governorship candidate in Ondo state, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu. Afilaka also challenged

Aregbesola to explain to the people of the state how much he spent to finance the governorship campaign of the ACN in Ondo state, alleging that the governor committed huge amount of money to the Ondo state governorship election. He stated that “The Labour Party in Osun state condemns the actions and activities of Ogbeni Aregbesola before and during the Ondo state governorship election. Aregbesola should tell the world how much he spent to finance Mr.

Cleric says Nigeria's problem is lack of fear of God


he Chief Imam of Festac Town, Alhaji Hamzat Ediowu, on Friday linked the challenges being experienced in the country to lack of fear of God. The cleric, who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, called on Nigerians, especially the political class, to fear God in everything they do. ``These various challenges

It expressed fears that this developing graft in the NNPC, which has been reported by international media and social network, is capable of ridiculing Nigeria in the comity of nations. The ANPP therefore submit that instead of trying to sweep this glaring and damning disclosure under its long-worn carpet, “This present PDP government should own up to the decade-old daylight robbery of the whole federation, and apologise to the hapless Nigerian citizens who are the unfortunate victims,” ANPP stated.

we have in our society and in the country today is as a result of lack of fear of God. If you fear God, you will know that what is good for you is what you expect for others. ``Whatever you will not accept from others, you should not do it to them. Nobody want to be killed, nobody want to be kidnapped,'' Ediowu said. He said that ``Hajj is one of the pillars of Islam which also demonstrate a clear

international brotherhood of human race''. Ediowu said that the significance of Ed-El-kabir could not be overemphasised, noting that it was a clear indication for all Muslims to fear God whether in the secret or in the open. ``God, does not need the blood of the animals we used in the sacrifice, neither does he need the meat of the animal. It is the fear of God in us that he requires.

``God does not want anything that will bring about discrepancies, disturbances, war and so on that can destabilise the nation, that is the essence.'' Ediowu, while calling on the Muslim to be peaceful and law abiding, however, said: ``all of us are one before God''. Meanwhile, Gov Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State has urged Nigerians to continue to pray for sustained peace and

Akeredolu, the ACN candidate in Ondo state. We hereby demand an open apology from Aregbesola for abandoning his primary functions as the Governor of Osun state and concentrating on Ondo state.” Commenting on the victory recorded by Governor Olusegun Mimiko in the last election, Afilaka said his victory of Mimiko was a victory of the masses over godfatherism, adding that the struggle for the freedom of Osun state has begun with Mimiko’s victory.

progress in Nigeria and the world. Wamakko made the call in his Sallah message to Nigerians issued by his Special Assistant on Press Affairs, Abubakar Dangusau, in Sokoto on Friday. He urged the people to be steadfast in the worship of Allah so as to reap His blessings. ``The Muslim Ummah should also strengthen the ties of kinship and imbibe the spirit of sacrifice that Eid el kabir symbolises,'' he said. (NAN)



NBB of C predicts better professional careers for Lagos boxers


odwin Kanu, President, Nigeria Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C), has said that amateur boxers in Lagos State had a better chance of excelling in professional boxing. Kanu made the remark during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday night at the 35th edition of the Lagos

monthly programme, “Saturday Boxing Show,’’ which took place at the University of Lagos. According to him, regular competitions are the only viable means through which budding talents from the grassroots could be discovered and nurtured to amateur and possibly professional stardom. “I think Lagos boxers have a very bright career

in professional boxing due to the regular competitions they engaged in every month. “If we can produce very good amateur boxers, then we can equally produce good professional boxers who can rub shoulders with their international counterparts,’’ he said. The NBBof C president noted that Lagos had distinguished itself from

other states through its monthly programme which had put the state in a vantage position. He added that Lagos State boxers would excel at the forthcoming 18 th National Sports Festival scheduled for Nov. 27 to Dec. 9 in Lagos. He also praised the Lagos State Boxing Hall of Fame (LSBHF), promoter of the

competition, for sustaining the programme. In the nine-bout competition which is a build-up to the sports festival, Muda Owolabi of Alausa boxing club defeated Dauda Azeez of Day by Day club in the 49kg category. Otto Joseph of Paramount Club and Adedeji Adekunle of

Diamond Club outpunched Rasheed Aremu of Ajetunmobi Club and Hammed Rufai of No Shaking Club in the 60kg and the 64kg, respectively. In the 49kg bout which was the only female category, Funmi Adekunle of Golden Weapon Club lost to her Champion Club opponent, Mutiat Adebayo.

By Patrick Andrew

Federation (NFF). The first meeting between the two nations at full international level

was when they clashed in a 1991 World Cup qualifier when Nigeria triumphed 6-0 on

aggregate. Nigeria again beat Cameroon in the final of 2004 AWC 5-0, before

both countries met in 2010 edition in the semi final with Falcons victorious 5-1.

The Falcons have the needed experience and depth capable of producing the desired result and coach Kadiri Ikhana believes the Falcons can only be their own enemies if they failed to retain the trophy. But he’s not working for failure. Before they departed for Bata, Ikhana had drilled the team to a near-perfect physical and mental shape and is in no doubt that they can successfully translate that into action today. However, they need to be cautious against a Cameroon side renowned for physical play, a tactic they had deployed several times to the detriment of their opponents. Nonetheless, the Falcons can rely of the experience of Perpetua Nkwocha, Stella Mbachu, Faith Ikhide, Esther Sunday, to plot their way around the physically daring defence line of the Lionesses. Though they may be without the services of Desire Oparanozie and Francisca Ordega, who have not been released by their new Russian club, the Falcons will in no way be short on quality, depth and experience to contain the Lionesses in a game that will set the pace for both teams. The Lionesses will boast of Ajara Nchout Madeline Ngono, Jannette Yango, and Bella Francoise leading the charge against the Falcons, the match will surely be exciting and a good group opener.


uper Falcons, the current champions of the African Women’s Championship (AWC), will begin the defence of the trophy today when they take on the Indomitable Lionesses in Bata, Equatorial Guinea. The Falcons will surely be on revenge mission because it was the same Lionesses that punctured their stride to the 2013 London Olympic Games, a defeat that lowered the prestige of the delectable African champions. The six-time African champions were upset by Cameroon in the qualifying rounds of the 2012 London Olympics. They lost 4-3 on penalties after aggregate scores stood at 3-3. The Super Falcons are yet to lose to Cameroon at the AWC. Even then, the Cameroonians are equally hell bent on sustaining their new found form against the Nigerians, whose technical crew have the task of winning the trophy as part of their contractual deal with the Nigeria Football

AWC: Revenge on the card as Super Falcons tackle Lionesses in opening duel

Precious Dede

Eaglets trounce Junior Syli Stars again


Perpetua Nkwocha

he Golden Eaglets posted an impressive 4-0 drubbing of their hosts the Junior Syli Stars yesterday in Conakry to qualify for the next round of the African Junior Championship on a 7-0 aggregate. The Eaglets won the first leg qualifier 3-0 in Calabar a fortnight ago to now set up a final qualifier between the winners of the match between Mali and Algeria in the middle of November. Yesterday, the Eaglets led 2-0 by first half with goals from Alhassan Ibrahim and Isaac Success. Success scored again in the second half to complete his brace with goal scorer Ibrahim and Ifeanyi Matthew

outstanding for the visiting Nigerians. Musa Yahaya completed the rout with a fourth goal for the Eaglets. Nigeria have won the U17 World Cup thrice in 1985, 1993 and 2007, but the class of 2012 are proving to be unstoppable as they have

won their two qualifiers against Niger and Guinea home and away. They have also scored 17 goals and conceded only a goal in the process. The African Junior Championship will be staged in Morocco in April.

Copa Lagos saves Sand Eagles


he organizer of Copa Lagos Samson Adamu has come to the rescue of the Sand Eagles and Nigeria. He has paid the way for the team to travel to Dubai where they are scheduled to compete. The team had

threatened to stay put until they receive their promised monies from the NFF. Adamu can confirm paid the sum of 1 million naira in order to avoid any punitive measures by FIFA. The Sand Eagles will

defend the Copa Lagos later on this year against Argentina, Lebanon and as rumored either the RSA or Italy NFF President, Aminu Maigari has reportedly told the team he will make it up to them when they return.



Azarenka seals year-end number one spot with win over Li


Juan Martin del Potro

del Potro downs Federer as Paris Masters starts today


uan Martin del Potro will be in high spirit today when the Paris Master serves off following his victory over world number one- Roger Federer at the Basle’s Swiss Open. The Argentine held his nerve in a final-set tiebreak to beat a dogged but out-of-sorts Federer in a game that was nervy, especially in the final set. The Argentine outplayed the world number one in the opening set, breaking in the fifth game before taking it 6-4. But Federer, seeking a sixth title in his home event, hit back in the second to win 7-5 in the tiebreak. Del Potro, 24, saw off four break points in the decider before taking control in the tie-break to win 7-3. In the pair’s first meeting since the Swiss beat Del Potro 19-17 in August’s epic Olympic semi-final at Wimbledon, it was the Argentine who got off to the better start. The world number eight converted his first break point in the fifth game, using his 6ft 6in frame to patiently pound away from the baseline while waiting for a mistake from the Swiss. Opportunities for Federer, 31, to respond were rare, with him only winning five points on bighitting Del Potro’s serve in an opening set lasting only 34 minutes. The second was much more keenly contested, although Federer again struggled to find any kind of fluency. The Swiss could not convert his first break point of the match, in the second game, when Del Potro dug himself out of a hole with a powerful forehand before all but dashing Federer’s hopes of a break with a wonderful down-the-line winner.

The defending champion survived three deuces in game five to remain on serve at 3-2 and, in his next service game, conjured up successive aces when questioned at 30-30. Two of the eight places at the year-end World Tour Finals, which begin on 5 November at London’s O2 Arena, remain up for grabs. The final qualifying event, the Paris Masters, starts on Monday. Both Federer and Del Potro, who qualified by reaching the quarterfinals in Basle, are assured of their places. Little drama followed until the 11th game when a stunning forehand crosscourt passing shot from Del Potro created the 2009 US Open winner’s first break point of the second set. Federer responded immediately with a gorgeous winner of his own to recover to deuce before seeing out the game to lead 6-5. The local favourite struck first in the tiebreak, going a mini-break up at 2-1 when Del Potro netted, and served out to take the second set in 64 minutes. In the decider, Federer could not take advantage of three break points in the third game, and spurned another opportunity in the seventh. Serving to take the match into a final-set tiebreak, Federer - who had won 13 of their 15 previous meetings - was under pressure at 15-30 but rained down a hattrick of aces. However, it only postponed the inevitable, and Del Potro - who won in Vienna last week upon his return from a month out with a wrist injury converted the first of three championship points in the tie-break.

ictoria Azarenka, of Belarus will finish the year as world number one after a 7-6 6-3 win over China’s Li Na in her final round robin match at the WTA Championships on Friday. The Australian Open champion managed the two wins she needed in the round robin competition to end 2012 in top spot by beating Germany’s, Angelique Kerber on Wednesday and then Li. Azarenka now faces world number two, Maria Sharapova in the semi-finals with the Russian, who beat Sam Stosur 6-0 6-3 on Friday, having already sealed first place in Group B before playing the Australian who could not reach the last four. Poland’s fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska will play Serena Williams in the semis, after overcoming

seventh-seeded Italian Sara Errani 6-7 7-5 6-4, in the longest match ever played at a WTA Championships; which lasted three hours, 29 minutes. Azarenka becomes the 11th year-end number one, since the WTA began its rankings in 1975 and the fifth this century. “It’s kind of difficult to believe that a little girl from Belarus is on that list,” the 23-year-old said. “But it’s really an incredible achievement. “When I started to play tennis I had this big picture in my head that I want to be there. Back then it was so far away. It was like pretty much touching the sky,” added Azarenka. The Belarussian broke Li when the eighth-ranked Chinese served for the first set at 5-4 and was forceful in the tiebreak, winning it 7-4.

18th NSF: Kickboxing federation insists on pretournament clinic for officials


he Kickboxing Federation of Nigeria (KFN) says its forthcoming refresher course will be used to assess the competence of its officiating personnel for the 18TH National Sports Festival (NSF) KFN’s Secretary, Bisi Odubote, said on Saturday in Lagos, that the programme would keep the officials abreast of the current trends in the sport. The compulsory clinic meant for states’ Associations Technical Officials is expected to hold from Oct. 29 to Oct.

30 at the National Stadium, Lagos. “The KFN is working hard to make sure that its officials are familiar with the current trends in kickboxing,” she said. Odubote added that the idea was to ensure that officials were well grounded in the rudiments and application of the rules at the forthcoming 18th NSF slated for Lagos in November. According to her, exams will be conducted to ascertain those that will be deemed fit by the KFN to officiate at the biennial sports fiesta, adding that

the two-day clinic would be handled by internationally certified resource persons. “The resource persons for

our programme can be said to be among the best hands in the business,’’ she explained. Odubote emphasised that the importance of the clinic was anchored on the KFN’s need to produce competent technical officials that were selected purely on merit.

Chief Patrick Ekeji

Governor’s Cup: Lopez-Perez, Dinu are male, female champions


nrique Lopez-Perez of Spain and Cristina Dinu of Romania over the weekend emerged winners of the men’s and women’s singles of the second leg of the 12 th Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championships. Number 5 seed LopezPerez, upset number two seed, Ruan Roelofse of

Sani Ndanusa, President NTF

South Africa in a tough 60, 6-4 encounter to cart away the 15,000 dollars prize. Number five seed Dinu also repeated her wining streak in the first leg by beating Conny Perrin, the number three seed, 62, 6-3 to win the 25,000 dollars in the category. Both Lopez-Perez and Dinu also recorded the

same feat at the first leg of the two-legged championships on October 20 and thrilled spectators at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan with their brilliant performances and skills. Lopez-Perez said after the game that he was happy to have won the first and second legs of the tournament, saying the performance would encourage him to do better in the next edition. “The match was tough but I am happy that I won twice. I enjoyed my stay in Nigeria and I will be here again in 2013,’’ he said. Similarly, Dinu said she would dedicate the trophy to her parents for supporting her. Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos also played with Ladi Balogun, Managing Director of the First City Monument Bank (FCMB)

and Sanni Ndanusa, President of the Nigeria Tennis Federation in an exhibition tennis match. Fashola while presenting cash award and trophies to winners of the tournament, commended them for fair play and hitch-free tournament. He also commended the sponsors of the tournament, saying that they had promoted the tournament to international standard. “I commend the players, the organisers and sponsors for ensuring that the tournament was a huge success, I believe this will attract more tennis players to the country during the next edition,’’ he said. The championships which began on Oct.13 was jointly sponsored by FCMB and telecommunications company, Etisalat Ltd.



Casillas says Essien is Real’s weak link Messi hopes to maintain


eal Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has revealed that Michael Essien was the club’s weakest link during their Champions League defeat to Dortmund. The Spanish giants were beaten 2-1 by the German side during their Champions League game on Wednesday night. Essien looked uncomfortable against pacy Dortmund pair Lukasz Piszczek and Marco Reus on Wednesday and goalkeeper Iker Casillas acknowledged the left side of defence was a problem. With Marcelo, Fabio Coentrao and Alvaro Arbeloa sidelined, the former Chelsea midfielder has been filling in at left back. Casillas says the Germans exploited Essien’s frailties in a position he is not comfortable. “It’s true that they (Borussia Dortmund got a lot of joy down our left wing,” the Real and Spain captain Casillas told reporters. “You noticed it a lot in the game. We are suffering a lot of injuries and Khedira’s is another setback,” he added. The latest injury to Real Madrid’s German midfielder Sami Khedira comes at a tricky time for the La Liga champions with a potential banana skin awaiting them at Real Mallorca late yesterday.

form, soars higher


Michael Essien

Inter brush aside Bologna


nter continued on their impressive run up the Serie A table when they brushed aside Bologna 3-1 away from home to hand them their seventh win on the road. Gaby Mudingayi made a turn against the club he transferred from in the summer and he was instantly thrust into the starting line-up for the second game running. But it was Bologna who came closest in the second minute when Alessandro Diamanti curled in a set-piece which whiskered past the near post. Diamanti was running the show for Bologna and he fired in a cracker towards the goal, off an exquisite back heel from Alberto Gilardino 11 minutes in, but it shot across the face of goal to go

out at the far post. The lead was claimed by Inter when Andrea Ranocchia’s height played to his advantage as he rose above his marker to head home off a set piece, to add to his impressive form this season 27 minutes in. Manolo Gabbiadini was handed his first start to campaign and he came out in the second half buzzing to make an impact on the game. He nearly did when he took a shot at goal, after some onetouch football, but it went outside of the near post, just 30 seconds into the half. However it was Inter who got on the score sheet again when Diego Milito tapped in a cross from close range to give the Nerazzurri a 2-0 lead 52 minutes into the

game. The goal marked Milito’s first ever goal scored in October. Despite being two goals to the worse, Bologna’s spirit was not down and it was Nicolo Cherubin who gave the Rossoblu a life line when he headed home a set-piece six minutes later. A fight broke out on the sidelines between the officials on either bench, seeing Stefano Pioli and Beppe Baresi both being sent to the stands. Inter responded with more fantastic play when Estebian Cambiasso headed home an assist from Rodrigo Palacio just after the hour mark. Despite Bologna’s efforts in front of goal, the margin was too big for them to make a comeback as they fell to a loss.

ionel Messi hailed Barcelona’s form after their 5-0 win at Rayo Vallecano. The forward scored twice in the rout to take his total in the Primera Division to 182, joint tenth on the league’s list of all-time top goalscorers. The victory also made it eight wins from nine games at the start of the season for the Catalans and strengthened their position at the top of the table. “We feel really comfortable on the pitch,” the Argentinian said on the club’s official website. “It’s important that we keep on winning and we hope to continue on form. We’re having really bad luck with injuries, but we’re all playing at a high level.” Barca coach Tito Vilanova praised Messi, but focused on his work-rate. “We’re very pleased with Leo, but I’m sticking with what he did in the 89th minute, when we were up 5-0 he ran back 30 metres to defend a corner kick,” he said. David Villa was also on

Again, Aluko impresses in Hull City’s win


Robin van Persie, Man Utd’s talis man: He scored in United 3-2 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge yesterday

igeria winger, Omatsone Aluko made yet another impressive display for English Championship side, Hull City on Saturday as he capped his display with a well-taken goal as Hull overcame Bristol City 2-1 at Ashton Gate. Aluko’s goal which arrived in the 8th minute exemplified class and quality. The 23-year old exchanged passes with Jay Simpson before producing a super finish to give his side the lead. Aluko has been in great form this season. He has scored for Hull in Championship games against Bolton (September 1), Millwall (September 15) and Blackpool (October 2). However the Hull City manager, Steve Bruce was critical of Aluko and his teammates despite the win. “The better team won, no doubt about that, but if I have to be critical the chances we missed have been typical of us. In a few games this year we should have been out of sight, but overall I have to be very pleased indeed with the way we performed. “We are playing the way I want to at the moment. We like to pass the ball around and have some very good footballers. “Some of our football was excellent and to come away from home and create the chances we did was very satisfying,” he said.

Lionel Messi

target as he continued his comeback from serious injury. Vilanova added: “He needs to continue gaining rhythm and minutes on the pitch. I think we, and the Spanish national team, are managing his recovery well. He gets better each day.” Cesc Fabregas got another of the goals and he claimed Barca will be “spectacular” when they get all of their injured players back. “We played our best game of the season,” he said. “They went toe-to-toe with us and they made it difficult for us to play out of the back. Rayo’s players went all out in the first half and that favoured us in the second, that’s when the spaces started to open up. “We need to be proud of this team. We’re going through a complicated moment in terms of injuries, but we have a big enough squad to keep things moving forward. When we’re back to full strength we’ll be spectacular.”



2013 Nations Cup finals

Ambrose dreams African conquest

C Black Stars to camp in Port Elizabeth


hana FA officials at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium have inspected facilities to be used by the Black Stars during the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. GFA President Kwesi Nyantakyi and assistant coach Maxwell Konadu arrived in Port Elizabeth on Thursday to inspect facilities where the Black Stars will be based during the tournament. This came just one day after the Black Stars were drawn in Group B to be based in Port Elizabeth to face DR Congo, Mali and Niger. The Ghana officials, keen on effective planning for the competition, inspected the Garden Court Hotel and the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium which will be used by the Black Stars during the tournament. But they were unhappy over the state of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University pitch which will serve as the training ground for the Black Stars during the competition. They have now received assurances from officials of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) that the training facility will be improved before the tournament starts. “We had to come here to see the facilities for ourselves to ensure that they were up standard before the tournament starts,” Nyantakyi told “We are very happy with the team hotel and the stadium where our group matches will be played. We have some concerns about the quality of the training pitch and officials of the LOC have assured us that it will be put in a good shape before we arrive for the tournament.” The Black Stars will open their campaign against DR Congo before playing Mali and Niger.

Andre Ayew

entre-half Efe Ambrose is convinced that Nigeria have enough “quality” to conquer Africa next year in South Africa. The Africa Cup of Nations gets underway on January 19, 2013 and Ambrose has remained bullish of the chances of the Super Eagles. The Celtic defender also acknowledged that the

continent have “good teams” that will feature in the championship next year. Ambrose, who has made 16 appearances for Nigeria, did not fail to spell out the recipe of conquering Africa. “There are good teams in Africa and we know that. To be the best in Africa now, you have to beat the best. For us, we are getting there but if we must get

there we will have to work hard and show more determination. “I believe we have the coaches, the quality (in the team) as well as the support. I believe with all of these we can go there (in South Africa) and conquer,” said the former FC Ashdod centre-back. Nigeria are drawn in Group C with Afcon holders, Zambia, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia.

Efe Ambrose

Desailly warns Black Stars against opponents


arcel Desailly wants the Black Stars to be confident of beating any opponentGhana-born former France international Marcel Desailly feels the Black Stars should not be afraid of anyone at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. The Black Stars are among the favourites for the title in the competition to be held in South Africa from January. But the presence of countries like Ivory Coast, champions Zambia and Nigeria means that the Black Stars are not the overwhelming favourites. Ivory Coast are the firm favourites for the title because of some of their top players like Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure and Kolo Toure.

Zambia tackle Norway for Eagles

Despite the presence of these top players Desailly says the Ghanaians should not be afraid of meeting any side if they are to grab the first title since 1982. “We are Ghana, we should be able to say no matter who is coming we just have to respect and do our best,” the 1998 World Cup winner told BBC Sport. “But we also have to be careful a little bit. Let’s be very very focused on the main objective, which is to play well from the start. “We have had problems in the past where we have not shown the personality you expect from Ghana.” Ghana were drawn in Group B to face DR Congo, Mali and Niger.


ambia are to host Norway in a warm-up on January 14 as they leave nothing to chance after they were grouped with Nigeria for the AFCON. Highly placed sources at Football House in Lusaka said that the game will be Zambia’s final friendly before their January 21 opening 2013 Africa Cup Group C game against Ethiopia. Nigeria and Burkina Faso are the other teams in Zambia’s first round group. ”Norway are coming to play us on January 14 Ndola. Negotiations over the friendly are almost concluded,” the source said. “Zambia will fly into Ndola from Johannesburg where they will be camped just to play this game then immediately head back to South Africa.” Norway’s visit will be the first by a Scandinavian national side to Zambia. The source said Zambia is expected to go into full residential camp after Boxing Day in Johannesburg at Garden Court Milpark. Zambia will play all their Group C matches in Nelspruit in Mpumalanga. “Coach Herve Renard wants to camp the team in Mpumalanga but a site has yet to be selected so for now, the team will camp as usual in Johannesburg,” the source said. Meanwhile, the Zambia B side with probably a couple of first team players will travel to India on November 19. The team of fringe players under Renard will later return home on November 30.

Felix Katongo

Ex-Eagles urge support for Super Eagles


riday Ekpo, the former Super Eagles defensive midfielder, has appealed to the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to render necessary assiatnce to the Stephen Keshi-led technical crew to prepare the Eagles for the 2013 Nations Cup finals. Ekpo, specifically advised the body to organise the right kind of friendly matches that would sharpen the team’s competitive edge for the tournament. “Poor planning has always been one of our problems when going for competitions. The NFF should have a pragmatic plan for the team, ahead of the competition. “The NFF should organise

friendly matches with countries that have also qualified for the AFCON to give them the right kind of exposure,” he said. Also, Teslim Fatusi, a member of the gold winning U-23 squad at the Atlanta 96’ Olympic Games, said that the coach should be given a free hand to invite players for the team. “The NFF should not interfere with the work of the coach. He should be allowed to invite and make the final selection of players that will make the team,’’ he said. Olabode Babington, a former player with the defunct Stationery Stores FC of Lagos, said the NFF should provide the team with all the required

support for the team to succeed at AFCON. ‘’Both manpower and financial resources should be made available to the team to enable it to be able to standout at the competition,’’ he stressed. Similarly, Taiwo Oloyede, an ex-international, implored the NFF to motivate the team by giving it all the necessary incentives. ‘’The NFF should make funds available to motivate the team for a good performance at the elite football tournament,’’ he said. Tayo Balogun, a renowned sports analyst, stressed that the Stephen Keshi-led coaching crew should work more on the defensive side of the team before

the competition. He also advised that the team should be camped in a country that has similar weather conditions with South Africa, to enable the team to be able to acclimatise properly. .“We have a formidable attack, but I think the coach should work more on the defence,’’ he said. The Super Eagles is grouped alongside the defending champions, The Chipololpolo of Zambia; the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia and the Stallions of Burkina Faso. Group C matches would be played at Mbombela in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa.













F A/ Victoria Azarenka is one win away from ending the year as world number one with a hard-fought victory at the WTA Championships in Istanbul.

B/ Welshman Jamie Donaldson hits a course-record 62 to lead the BMW Masters on 10 under par after


the first round in Shanghai. C/ Audley Harrison says he will carry on boxing despite his 82-second knockout against David Price this month. D/ The U-17 World Cup has been unveiling stars of tomorrow for a full quarter-century. FIFA tooks through some of the tournament's world-renowned graduates. E/ England captain Alastair Cook welcomes back a "contrite" Kevin Pietersen into his Test squad ahead of the forthcoming tour to India. F/ England name uncapped prop Mako Vunipola in their autumn Test squad and recall wing Ugo Monye and flanker James Haskell.




avier Hernandez’s controversial winning goal gave Manchester United a dramatic 3-2 victory against nine-man Chelsea at Stamford Bridge yesterday. The result ensured Alex Ferguson’s side reduced the gap on Roberto Di Matteo’s Premier League leaders to just one point, but the Blues were left fuming at the performance of referee Mark Clattenburg. Chelsea had recovered from falling behind to a David Luiz own goal and a Robin van Persie strike to level through goals from Juan Mata and Ramires when Branislav Ivanovic was sent off for a 63rd-minute foul on Ashley Young. More contentious, though, was the second yellow card shown to Fernando Torres five minutes later, after the referee had decided the striker dived following a challenge by Jonny Evans. Replays suggested there had been contact between the two players and the decision sparked fury on the Chelsea bench that led to a touchline altercation between Ferguson and Di Matteo’s staff. Worse was to come for the home side, with substitute Hernandez clinching victory in the 75th minute with a closerange finish from what appeared to be an offside position. The events of the final half hour ensured the match ended in controversy but before that it had already been a thrilling encounter. The pre-match handshake between Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole, together with the absence of John Terry who is serving a four-match ban for racially abusing Ferdinand’s brother, Anton removed a potential flashpoint. But the subsequent 90 minutes more than made up for it. It was United who started the game with the greater urgency and were clearly driven by the motivation to keep Di Matteo’s side within their sights at the head of the table. While United quickly got into their stride, attacking fluently down their right-hand flank,

Chicharito scorer of the controversial goal Chelsea’s defence looked disjointed and nervous, and the absence of Terry was telling. Petr Cech was called into

Torres was Red carded



Drama, angst as United beat nine-man Chelsea action after less than three minutes when van Persie drilled in a stinging left-foot shot from outside the area. But the home goalkeeper had no chance of preventing United taking the lead 60 seconds later after Wayne Rooney had worked his way to the byline and pulled back for van Persie, whose shot crashed off the post and into the net via the back of Luiz. The second came just eight minutes later after another lightning move down the United right. Goalkeeper David De Gea started the move by rolling the ball out to Ferdinand and it ended with van Persie sweeping the ball home from Antonio Valencia’s low cross. Chelsea looked in desperate trouble, while United were rampant. Slowly, though, the home side worked their way back into the game and when they were finally able to play to their strengths in the attacking third, the momentum of the game shifted dramatically. Suddenly it was De Gea who

was the busier of the two keepers and the young Spaniard kept his side in it before Mata eventually halved the deficit shortly before the interval. Rooney fouled Eden Hazard on the edge of the United area, allowing Mata to curl a precise free-kick around the wall and beyond the reach of De Gea. Di Matteo’s side continued where they had left off after the break and were level eight minutes into the second period when Ramires headed home from Oscar’s cross. At that point the game was perfectly poised, before an

incident-packed five-minute spell left Chelsea with nine men and United poised for victory. Ivanovic was first to see red in the 63rd minute when he tripped Young as the United winger was bearing down on goal after being played in by van Persie. And when Torres followed five minutes later, it was always going to be an enormous task for Chelsea to hold on. But their sense of injustice was further fuelled by Hernandez’s strike after the Mexico forward turned home Rafael’s drilled cross.












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* The fertility rate in states that voted for George Bush is 12% higher than states that favored John Kerry. * The chicken is one of the few things that man eats before it's born and after it's dead. * The number of US college students studying Latin is three times the number studying Arabic. * If you hook Jell-O up to an EEG, it registers movements almost identical to a human adult's brain waves. * Some dogs can predict when a child will have an epileptic seizure, and even protect the child from injury. They're not trained to do this, they simply learn to respond after observing at least one attack. * 32 out of 33 samples of well-known brands of milk purchased in Los Angeles and Orange counties in California had trace amounts of perchlorate. Perchlorate is the explosive component in rocket fuel.

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Yesterday’s answer

In control: This young boy sits on top of a camel in Saudi Arabia, where racing the animals is a popular sport. Source:

. . . putting the people first


QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE I am the deputy governor, so I cannot be sworn in as actting governor. My boss is sick and is recovering, so I'm still deputy governor. – Alhaji Garba Umar, Deputy Governor of Taraba state speaking on Gov. Danbaba Suntai whose plane crashed on Thursday in Yola, Adamawa state.

SPORTS Noise makers and false prophets LA TEST LATEST

Bayern record run ended by shock Leverkusen win


ayer Leverkusen claimed a shock 2-1 win at Bayern Munich yesterday to claim their first win at the Bavarians for 23 years as the Bundesliga leaders' record winning streak came to an abrupt end. Having set a German league record last weekend with their eighth straight win since the start of the season, Bayern were left stunned as defender Jerome Boateng scored a late own goal to give Leverkusen the three points. Despite the defeat, Bayern still enjoy a four-point lead at the top of the table, while Leverkusen are fifth. The visitors took the lead when Leverkusen captain Simon Rolfes found Andre Schuerrle on the wing, who threaded his pass through the Munich defence for striker Stefan Kiessling to tap in on 42 minutes. Bayern levelled on 77 minutes thanks to a header from striker Mario Mandzukic, but Leverkusen were not be denied their first win in Munich since October 1989. Boateng managed to get his head in the way as Leverkusen attacked, but the ball flew into the top left-hand corner and past goalkeeper Manuel Neuer on 86 minutes. There was also drama in Hanover as Borussia Moenchengladbach came from 2-0 down to score three goals in nine minutes to enjoy a 3-2 win and claim only their third league victory of the season to go ninth with Hanover tenth. Earlier, VfB Stuttgart striker Vedad Ibisevic headed a late winner to seal his team's 2-1 home victory over Eintracht Frankfurt. On Saturday, defending champions Borussia Dortmund and Schalke had to dig deep as they returned to domestic action still in the glow of their midweek Champions League triumphs. Results CAF U-17 Gabon 4 Angola 0 Cameroon 1 Benin Rep. 1 (1-4 aggre,) Mali 1 Bostwana 0 (6-7 aggre,)


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Power corrupts, but lack of power corrupts absolutely -Adlai Stevenson.


spent two days in Akure, Ondo state, a few weeks before the election which last week returned the governor to office for a second term. Two days were too short to get a real feel of the possible outcome of the election, but it was obvious even in that brief moment that the Ondo gubernatorial election was going to be bitterly contested. Labour Party was fighting desperately to retain the only State it had control of. The Governor was fighting on all fronts to stop the bullodozers of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the sharks released by the People Democratic Party (PDP) to see if they could upset a delicate apple cart in Ondo State. The stakes were very high indeed, and it was easy to see that it was going to be a bruising battle. The governor of Ondo won his re-election bid in an election which has yielded many interesting pointers. Coming only a few months after the governor of Edo state, Comrade Adam Oshiomhole, had won his own re-election battle despite spirited efforts by the PDP to re-take the politically strategic state, the Ondo election threw up an interesting pattern. Is INEC better when it conducts single-state elections or are governors becoming more adept at defending their turfs? Ideally, it should be the former because it is obvious that single gubernatorial elections generate less quarrelling over logistics and results than they do during general elections. Still, its capacity to improve overall performance can only be judged during general elections. Edo state showed an election at which everything was thrown at the governor by the PDP, but he survived on his own credibility, as well as the fierce defenses of his party, the ACN. The PDP lost, and graciously accepted defeat. In the case of Ondo, Governor Olusegun Mimiko stood like a lone ranger, assailed by the twin forces of the ACN which was desperate to stamp its hegemony in the south-west, and the PDP which is seeking a foothold in a region where it can barely breathe. The ACN swaggered around, and gave notice to Mimiko to vacate the office by its supreme confidence that it will win. As it turned out, the PDP came second, beating the ACN to third place in an election which should register as a landmark humiliation for it. There ought to be some serious soul-search in the top echelons of the ACN, following the rout in Ondo. Who knows, a few sobering conclusions may register in minds

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FIFTEEN MINUTES with Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed

Gov. Olusegun Mimiko long convinced of the idea that Yoruba people and the ACN are one and the same thing. Ondo people said they are not; and offending and arrogant postures which suggest that all Yoruba people must pay political allegiance to a power structure created above their heads will now be humbled by the obstinate independence of Ondo voters. In Ondo, and to a lesser extent in Edo State, the fallacy of political and ethnic boundaries coinciding has been badly exposed. There is a profound lesson in the rejection of the ACN by Ondo voters; by the stubborn insistence of Edo State voters to vote for it instead of PDP, and the increasing tendency of voters across the country to resist linkages between their ethnicity and their politics, or between parties and so called strongholds. This speaks of potentials for emergence of political structures, movements and alliances that will break down barriers, provide citizens and voters with credible choices, and reduce the stranglehold of ethno-religious politics on the nation. The PDP’s assured confidence that it can rough it up and still emerge victorious in key elections is being badly dented. Without the cover of general elections, its contests take place more openly; its opposition is getting better in fighting back, and it is losing ground in important elections. The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has lost elections that have deep symbolic significance for its fortunes, and its present state. It lost

an election recently to the PDP in Zaria, an event which would have been inconceivable, a few months ago, even with the success of Igabi in its kitty. The maneuvers around its Renewal Committee report which are seen as fights for the life and soul of the party could do either of two things: provide a significant and strategic assessment of its weaknesses and strengths, as well as chart a practical way forward; or represent a final seal on its fortunes as factions and interests fight over its implications and implementation. The lessons for the ACN, CPC, APGA and the ANPP are quite obvious, if they care to look for them in the elections which have taken place recently. They cannot compete with the PDP because unlike them, the PDP is a contraption of rich and powerful people from all the nooks and crannies of the nation who are in it for money and power. With more power they make more money. With money, power is guaranteed. They can buy up voters, compromise electoral and security operatives, and even buy up opposition candidates. Opposition parties which set up camps around ethnic sentiments or are thinly-veiled personality cults cannot harm the PDP. On the other hand, the PDP should not presume that its reach and cult-like control over power and sources of wealth is guarantee that it can continue to rule Nigeria as it wishes. Politicians who are versed in the old ways of doing things may be very surprised by the turn of events in the next few months. Firstly, it may be difficult to continue to paper over the serious limitations and the incompetence of President Jonathan by invoking false enemies and hostilities to his being a southerner, from the south-south and Ijaw. Ijaw people like all other Nigerians know when to draw the line when one of their own proves particularly incapable of exercising responsibility, and it amounts to gratuitous insult to say that people from one part of the country will continue to tolerate incompetence and corruption because they are taking place under the watch of one of their own. Secondly those politicians who

bank on President Jonathan’s pitiable record to make political fortunes are likely to find, at great cost, that records alone do not determine the fortunes of the PDP, or elected people. Projections which presume bloc votes of tribes or regions and religions during elections are founded on false assumptions as well. The ACN may pledge to deliver Yoruba people’s votes, but Ondo has proved that this cannot be guaranteed. The CPC is still firmly rooted around the person of General Muhammadu Buhari, and he is therefore both its greatest asset and greatest liability. Nigerians outside many parts of the North want to see leaders like the General in charge of the affairs of our nation, but majority would want to see leaders in political parties which are rooted in their lives, and which can win elections and form governments at states and the federal level. The ANPP cannot seem to decide whether it wants to be a local party changing hands by the day from one rich man to the other; or be part of a national regeneration process which should break down barriers. Other ethnic parties such as the APGA appear content to live as ethnic parties, and operate in constant fear of the PDP. There are many scenarios which are being discussed in meetings and other forums regarding Nigerian politics. Many of these are anchored around false prophesies. One of this is that the Jonathan administration will continue to weaken the North politically, using every means at its disposal, until 2015 when he is safely back in the Villa. The falsehood in this scenario is that the North will submit itself like clay to President Jonathan’s designs and ambitions to be molded. Another falsehood in that Senator Tinubu and General Buhari will engineer a far-north/south-west political alliance to defeat the PDP. The fact, however is that Tinubu’s control over Yoruba land is only marginally firmer than General Buhari’s control over much of the north-west. A third falsehood is that Nigerians will continue to be played by their leaders as pawns in ethnic politics. The fact, however, is that the current levels of anger, poverty and insecurity could compel millions of Nigerians to look for political solutions beyond what is provided by the present leaders. Bit by bit, Nigerians are beginning to question the political status-quo, and may ultimately insist that every citizen, except the politicians who amass power and wealth at our expense, has been a victim of the destructive and divisive politics which have brought our nation to its knees.

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Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday 29, October, 2012  
Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday 29, October, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday 29, October, 2012 Edition