Page 1

Vol. 12 No. 22

Tuesday, y October 29, 2013


O Oshiomhole causes Confusion over stir at confab Akhigbe’s state st >> Pg 5 fo forum >> Pg 3

Thul Hajj 24, 1434 AH


Russia, Nigeria trade volume hits N40bn >> Pg 19




obe state Governor, Malam Ibrahim Gaidam, has lamented that the military troops deployed to the state to combat the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents are ill- equipped for the assignment. He therefore called on the federal government to provide the soldiers with high profile military weapons for them to be able to tackle the Islamist insurgency plaguing the state. He made the appeal yesterday after inspecting military establishments that were destroyed by insurgents on Thursday, in Damaturu, the state capital. He regretted that while the insurgents were using heavy machinery such as machine guns, anti-aircraft machines, among others, the security men ZHUH RQO\ OHIW ZLWK $. ULĂ€HV to confront them with, which he said was inadequate. “I also observed that the arms and ammunition used by the insurgents are highly superior weapons in capacity which are much higher than what are obtained from our military or &RQWRQSDJH


Ombatse: Al-makura donates N45m, building materials to victims z%DED$ODN\RVKXQVSUREHSDQHO !3J























Agric Feature

28-29 30

7URRSVLOOHTXLSSHGWRĂ&#x20AC;JKW%RNR+DUDP²*DLGDP Cont from page 1 DQ\ RWKHU VHFXULW\ RIÂżFH KHUH LQ Yobe stateâ&#x20AC;?, he pointed out. The governor said while the military, police and other security agents have done their best in defending the state capital, it appeared that they were taken unawares by the attacks last Thursday. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If we had 24-hour surveillance and intelligence gathering by the security agents on the ground, some of this dastardly incidents would have been avertedâ&#x20AC;?, he said. He called on the federal government to prevail on the Defence headquarters to ensure that it provides high profile capacity weapons to the security operatives. He also appealed for more trained personnel on ground and PRUHHTXLSPHQWWRÂżJKWEDFNWKH insurgency even as he added that if the situation does not change, the chances of defeating the insurgency are very remote. The governor visited the 233 Battalion in Kukareta where the insurgents completely overran the camp and destroyed it with the military recording many casualties. He also visited the 232 Mobile Base where he met with women

weeping over their loved ones; WKHVWDWH&,'RIÂżFHWKDWZDVEXUQW down and the state Area Command RIÂżFHDPRQJRWKHUV Gaidam praised the security agents for their ability to repel attacks and urged them to continue to dedicate themselves to the security of lives and properties in the state. He also called on residents of the state not to relent in prayers for Almighty Allahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s help and urged them to continue with their exemplary cooperation with security agents to ensure the restoration of peace and security in the state. The governor has pledged N1 million families of each deceased victim of the attack, and N500 000 and above for the officers and men who sustained injuries to effect treatment. The Commander, 3 Division (Special Operations) in the state, Col. Aliyu Abdullahi and the state Police Commissioner, Rufai Alkali, who briefed the governor about the encounters that their men had with the Boko Haram militants, said that over 30 bodies of militants were recovered with some vehicles and ammunition. The security chiefs told the governor that they will remain committed and would not rest on

their oars to provide security and rid the state of the threats posed by the militants and criminals. Workers in Damaturu hospital said that 35 dead bodies were taken in by the end of last week, some of them still in military clothing. Yobe is among three states currently under a state of emergency imposed by President *RRGOXFN -RQDWKDQ ÂżYH PRQWKV ago to curb the activities of the radical Boko Haram group. Meanwhile, the GOC 2 Division of the Nigerian Army has announced the commencement of drilling exercise to prepare its officers for combat against terrorism in the country. The Commandant of the Division, Major General Ahmed -XEULQ ZKLOH EULHÂżQJ QHZVPHQ in Ilorin, said the exercise was a routine programme. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Every year, we scheduled this activity because it is the only activity that prepares the soldiers on exactly what he is expected to do during operations. They are doing skills at arms. This has to do with the way soldiers handle their weapons. As a soldier, if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how to handle your weapons, you have not started; then you need endurance to withstand the requirement of

operational fatigue. That is why they do obstacle crossing, map reading and the drilling is the bedrock of military discipline. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is designed so that we keep in touch with what makes us soldiers. The importance of this competition cannot be overemphasised. For me, this activity is one of the most important activities in the entire training of the Nigerian Army; because the activities lined up are the major ones through which we acquire sk i l l s , k n o w l e d g e , c o u r a g e , stamina and determination to face the challenges we are facing as an agent of the federal government,â&#x20AC;? he explained. Speaking on security challenges in the country, Jubrin said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Terrorism is mainly the contemporary challenge facing the nation. For our soldiers to be up and doing and up to the task in fighting terrorism, they have to prepare. And preparation is anchored on trainingâ&#x20AC;?. Commenting, Commander, 22 Armoured Brigade, Sobi Cantonment, Brigadier-General Idris M. Alkali, said at the end of the activities, the participants are going to be better prepared to undertake any task of facing contemporary challenges.



Adamawa govt extends empowerment programme to prison inmatesâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Page 6















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t least 40 migrants from Niger en route to Algeria have died of thirst after their vehicle broke down in the desert south of WKH 6DKDUD ORFDO RIÂżFLDOV WROG $)3 yesterday. Police said 19 people survived the ordeal. Dozens of Nigerien migrants heading for Algeria died of thirst in the desert south of the Sahara after their YHKLFOHEURNHGRZQORFDORIÂżFLDOVVDLG Monday, while police said 19 survived. â&#x20AC;&#x153;About 40 Niger people, including

numerous children and women, who were attempting to emigrate to Algeria, died of thirst in midOctober,â&#x20AC;? Rhissa Feltou, the mayor of the main northern town of Agadez, told AFP. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Many others have been reported missing since their vehicle broke down in the desert,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Travellers told us that they saw and counted up to 35 bodies, mostly those of women and children, by the road,â&#x20AC;? said Abdourahmane Maouli,

the mayor of the northern uranium mining town of Arlit. The army has found the bodies of two women and three adolescents, a paramilitary policeman told AFP. No other bodies have so far turned up. However, 19 survivors have been taken to Arlit, the policeman said. According to Feltou, two vehicles carrying â&#x20AC;&#x153;at leastâ&#x20AC;? 60 would-be emigrants left Arlit â&#x20AC;&#x153;around October 15â&#x20AC;?, heading for Tamanrassett, an Algerian town in the heart of the

Sahara. When one vehicle broke down, the other drove on empty, leaving the passengers behind in a plan to ÂżQGVSDUHSDUWVDQGEULQJWKHPEDFN for repairs, the mayor of Agadez said. The migrants, short of water, dispersed in small groups in search of an oasis, Feltou said. After days of walking, five survivors reached Arlit and alerted the army, â&#x20AC;&#x153;who arrived too late at the scene.â&#x20AC;? (AFP)

Ombatse: Al-makura donates N45m, building materials to victims )URPAli Abare/DĂ&#x20AC;D


overnor Umaru Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa state has donated the sum of N45 million as well as building materials worth several millions of Naira to the victims of the recent Assakio crisis. This is coming as the Ombatse Chief Priest, Lega Alu, commonly called Baba Alakyo, failed to appear before the Commission of Enquiry set up by the state government to probe into the Ombatse killings in some parts the state. Making the donations yesterday LQ $VVDNLR KHDGTXDUWHUV RI /DÂżD East development area, Al-makura announced a further donation of ÂżYH WUDLOHU ORDGV RI FHPHQW  FDUWRRQV RI URRÂżQJ QDLOV DQG  EXQGOHVRIURRÂżQJVKHHWV He said government deemed it necessary to assist the people of Assakio as a result of the destruction visited on the community following the recent onslaught on it by the Eggon ethnic militia called Ombatse. While acknowledging that the donations could hardly replace the loss suffered by the people of Assakio, the governor however said the gesture was to enable them start a new life.

He assured the people of adequate security arrangements to protect Assakio from further attacks, with a military post to be sited permanently in the area. Al-makura cautioned the people against engaging in reprisals, stressing that with the Judicial Commission of Enquiry investigating the matter, everyone found guilty will be dealt with according to the law. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nobody indicted by the commission will go scot free. If anyone is found guilty, the court will deal with him appropriatelyâ&#x20AC;?, he assured. The governor noted that he personally set aside his immunity to answer questions before the Commission, stressing that if being the governor, he still appeared before the panel, he does not see any reason why some other persons would fail to appear. Responding on behalf of the people, Alhaji Adamu Ebenya, the Madakin Assakio, thanked the state government for coming to their aid at their time of need. Meanwhile, Baba Alakyo, suspected to be the mastermind of the Ombatse cult killings in the state, yesterday failed to honour the invitation extended to him to

appear before the panel of enquiry. The Commissionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chairman, Retired Justice Joseph Fola Gbadeyan, had announced last Friday, after Al-makuraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s appearance that Baba Alakyo who has been long expected, will appear WRWHVWLI\LQ/DÂżD\HVWHUGD\ But the panel members who arrived the Chief Magistrate Court II, venue of the public hearing along Shendam Road, by 10am, waited in vain for six hours for the arrival of the old man. This compelled the Commission to announce in the open court its decision to adjourn till next Monday, November 4, in expectation that the Ombatse leader will honour the invitation to appear to testify on the allegations against him. Some counsels representing various community interests at the panel urged the Commission to use other means to bring the witness WR/DÂżD But the chairman insisted they had entered into an agreement with leaders of Eggon, the ethnic group of Ombatse, for him to appear on his own. At that point, the Commission sought to know from Barrister Vong Jen, the counsel representing

the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, whether the state government had provided the security sought for Baba Alakyo, by his ethnic leaders, as one of the conditions for him to appear in /DÂżD The state counsel assured that the state government guaranteed the security of Baba Alakyo. But Legal Adviser of the Ombatse, Zamani Zachary Allumaga, told journalists after the session that claims by the state government on the security of Baba Alakyo were not convincing for the Eggon nation to produce the chief priest as agreed. He said in the deal brokered between the Commission and the paramount ruler of Eggon people, the Aren Eggon, Dr. Bala Angbazo, he (Allumaga), was to wait at the palace to receive Baba Alakyo yesterday morning and to lead him WR/DÂżD He added that Baba Alakyo did not turn up at the palace as earlier agreed, adding that he (Allumaga), waited all day at to receive the chief priest to no avail. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rather, we heard the government claims for security; obviously, Baba Alakyo must have sensed this coming, and decided he will not turn upâ&#x20AC;?.


Army denies arrest of ex-Lt.Col. in Yobe over Boko Haram attack


he Nigerian Army has denied a newspaper report that one of its former officer a retired Lieutenant Colonel was arrested in Yobe in an encounter with members of the Boko Haram in the state. The denial is contained in a statement by Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, the spokesman of the army on Monday in Abuja. ``Contrary to the newspaper report, no retired Lieutenant Colonel was ever arrested in any encounter with the Boko Haram insurgents anywhere. ``The Nigerian Army wishes to state categorically that the report was a figment of imagination concocted by some fifth columnists within the media that are desperate to malign the army,’’ it said. The statement said that the denial was borne out of the fact that the report had the tendency to mislead well meaning Nigerians and the public. It recalled that the report claimed the Boko Haram attack took place on October 24 and that it was led by the retired officer. (NAN)

Disabled seek inclusion in SURE-P green book


ersons Living With Disabilities (PWDs) have called on the Federal Government to include them in the Subsidy Re-Investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) green book. Mr Chike Okogu, SURE-P Railway Convener, made the call at a one-day strategic session on integration of PWDs in the SURE-P in Abuja. The SURE-P Green book discusses the operations and modalities for implementing SURE-P programmes at the federal, states and local governments. Okogu, who is also the representative of PWDs in the SURE-P Board, expressed the need to give PWDs a fair share. He said the meeting would come up with suggestions on how best to incorporate PWDs into the programme nationwide. Hajiya Zainab Maina, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, said Nigeria had about 19 million persons living with one form of disability or another. Represented by Mrs Mercy Daodu, Direct of Rehabilitation, she noted that disability issues were too important to be ignored. She commended government at all levels that had tried to put smiles on the faces of PWDs through their various programmers. (NAN)



Nyiam, others heckle Oshiomhole at Benin confab forum From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


onfusion attended the Benin session of the consultation by the Presidential Advisory Committee when a member of the forum, Col. Tony Nyiam (rtd) led some youths to heckle the state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. The governor had openly disagreed with the convocation of a national dialogue by President Goodluck Jonathan. Speaking at the session, Oshiomhole pointed out that nobody convenes a meeting without stating an agenda just as he asked the committee to draw up an agenda for that forum.

He said “from conception, we know we want to talk but we do not know what we want to talk about.” Proceedings were however disrupted when tempers began to flare when Oshiomhole said, “having listened to few comments, I can almost say that my views are very fundamentally going to be different from what I have heard. “The first thing I have asked myself and I shared this comment with the chairman and members when they came to my office on a courtesy visit. The first thing is to ask the question why are we having the national conference? “Of course, the chairman reminded me that we have heard several Nigerians who had at one

time or the other called for Sovereign National Conference. Others have said not sovereign, let’s have national dialogue. “Let us revisit the basis of our common existence; let us discuss how we want to live together. I have since listened to such comments and they have talked on that. “Everything I intend to say is just for the records and for posterity because a day will come when we will remember this occasion”, he said. But even before he concluded his remarks, some youths led by Col. Nyiam (rtd) took over the microphone and shouted down the governor who yielded the floor when another group of loyalists

went into the hall with dangerous weapons, forcing everyone to flee. But before then the governor had objected to spending huge public funds on what he saw as a wasteful venture saying, during President Olusegun Obasanjo’s tenure, money was spent on a similar conference and at the end, nothing came out of it. Earlier, the Committee chairman, Senator Okurounmu had said they were in Benin as part of their tour of the six geo political zones to get inputs as regards the content of the agenda, the duration, choice of delegation and legal framework. In the meantime, the Committee through its chairman has condemned the unruly behaviour of the youths, including Nyiam.

Adamawa state Governor, Admiral Murtala Nyako (right), Niger state Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu (2nd right), Rivers state Governor, Rotimi Amaechi (3rd right), Kano state Governor, Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (2nd left) and Jigawa state Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido (left) when the G-7 governors conferred among themselves at the tarmac of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, yesterday.

Lawmaker advocates 50 % cut in elected officials' allowances


enator Sola Adeyeye (APCOsun), the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, has urged the Federal Government to urgently cut the allowances of all elected and appointed officials by 50 per cent. Adeyeye made the call yesterday in Abuja while speaking to newsmen against the backdrop of the protracted strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities

(ASUU). The senator also urged the National Assembly to henceforth appropriate 26 per cent of national revenue to the education sector. He said this had become necessary because “the enormous rot in the education sector cries for urgent and immediate attention”. He said the ``meagre allocations’’ to the education sector had

turned the Ministry of Education into “a beast of burden” which had over 46 parastatal agencies to attend to. Adeyeye also suggested that beginning from 2014, the national assembly should formulate a law compelling all workers in Nigeria to contribute five per cent of their income as education taxes. He said there was the need to

streamline the large number of parastatals under the Ministry of Education into a manageable few, to reduce the drain on scarce resources. The lawmaker urged the Federal Government to urgently declare an emergency in the education sector by channelling all existing intervention to education, to “end the vicious circle of strikes”. (NAN)

Cholera outbreak: 80 infected in Sokoto From Mahmoud Muhammad, Sokoto


ore than 80 people have been infected, following the outbreak of Cholera in some villages around Kebbe Local Government Council of Sokoto State. There was yet no official an-

nouncement of death as at the time of filling this reports. Confirming the incident of the outbreak, the Director of Heath Care Development in the area, Alhaji Bello Mai-Ghandi, said the outbreak was as a result of the contaminated water released from Katsina and Zamfara states. He said the nine villages af-

fected include: Romo, Bakin-Dutse, Garin-Musa. Others according to him, were: Garin kofa, Dutsen Kuka to mention few. Alhaji Ghandi said the local government council has also approved the procurement of drugs worth a million Naira for the treatment of the victims.

The Director, reminded the victims to desist from consuming the contaminated water, adding that "medical team were also deployed to the scene in order to address the menace with immediate effect. Peoples Daily gathered that there was alleged speculation of death of eight people.


Page 4 Report National broadband plan: Moving from planning to implementation T

he road to an efficient broadband service in Nigeria has been a long and arduous one. Indeed, internet connectivity has come a long way from a single international submarine cable system with 340 GB total capacity installed in 2001 (SAT3) to a total of four cable systems with international bandwidth capacity of over nine Terra bits by 2012. Despite the progress that has been made, Nigeria is still a far cry from achieving what is considered global broadband standards even among other developing countries. The Internet access market is still characterised by the slow and exasperating access to the cyberspace. There have been many bottlenecks to the provision of effective broadband service in the country, ranging from infrastructural challenges to regulation and capacity issues. As at 2012, Nigeria’s broadband penetration rate was put unofficially at 6 percent, which means the country is seeking to achieve 30 percent penetration by the end of 2017. But why is the development of broadband so critical to Nigeria? The reasons are not far-fetched. Internet and broadband have been globally acknowledged as the foundation for the nation’s transformation to a knowledgebased economy. It is also widely acknowledged that broadband infrastructure is an enabler for economic and social growth of the economy. World Bank studies show, that in low and middle – income countries, every 10 percent point increase in broadband penetration accelerates economic growth by 1.38 percentage points. Globally, nations both developed and developing are making elaborate plans to ensure access to broadband internet to its citizens with various countries coming up with broadband plans to address their peculiar broadband needs. Earlier in the year, the president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, approved the country’s National Broadband Plan for the period 2013 to 2018, which aims to significantly improve access to high speed internet services. The five-year plan was developed by the Presidential Committee on Broadband, which was inaugurated by the government in September 2012, and was presented to the president by Minister of Communication Technology Omobola Johnson in June 2013. The main aim of the plan is to increase broadband penetration by five times by the end of 2017. Speaking after receiving the broadband plan, President

Broadband has been globally acknowledged as the foundation for the nation’s transformation to a knowledge-based economy, writes Chris Alu.

Retail service providers have role to play in the broadband implementation process

Jonathan has said, “The successful implementation of the National Broadband Strategy and Roadmap will help to positively revolutionise communications in Nigeria…I thank you for your work and I assure you that the report will be adopted by government and implementation will begin immediately because our people are hungry for information and we are in a hurry to fully integrate our country into the digital communications age.” The National broadband plan outlines a number of ways in which the government aims to achieve this, including: establishing policies that regard ICT networks and installations as critical national infrastructure that qualify for special government protection; promoting transparency of pricing and reduction of rollout costs by encouraging infrastructure sharing and interconnections

and introducing price caps where necessary or when market forces fail; taking necessary regulatory measures to ensure better performance levels in the delivery of broadband services; facilitating rapid rollout of wireless and wireline infrastructure and providing incentives to encourage a national 3G wireless coverage to at least 80 percent of the population by 2018; and the release of more spectrum for broadband services, especially for Long Term Evolution (LTE) However, even as industry stakeholders have commended the move by the Federal Government, many analysts are skeptical about the promises made, noting that in this part of the world, setting up committees, panels and filing reports or drafting policies have never been a problem; but the issue has always been what becomes of those reports or policies thereafter.

However, even as industry stakeholders have commended the move by the Federal Government, many analysts are skeptical about the promises made, noting that in this part of the world, setting up committees, panels and filing reports or drafting policies have never been a problem; but the issue has always been what becomes of those reports or policies thereafter.

Indeed, many industry watchers are slowly beginning to clamour for the implementation of the nation’s broadband policy, which has been ratified by the presidency. The CEO of Airtel, Segun Ogunsanya has been a vocal supporter of the implementation of the broadband policy, stating that speedy implementation of the document could contribute about N190 billion to the country’s GDP. He said, “As it concerns broadband adoption and utilization, there should be Government’s affirmative action targeting the delivery of social and public services over Broadband. The zeal applied by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Federal Government in E-Payment and Cashless Policy initiatives should also be replicated in driving adoption and utilization by the populace,”. The argument for the delay in implementation has always been that the plan is over a five year period and that many of the elements outlined in the policy document are long term when it comes to implementation. Industry analysts advise however, that there are certain elements within the National broadband policy document that are “Low hanging fruits” and as such can be immediately implemented to give a sense of assurance to industry players of the seriousness of the regulators towards implementing the broadband plan. One good example is the release of more spectrums and creation of a guard band for broadband services among the 2.3GHz spectrum operators. The spectrum

currently experiences serious interference from adjacent mutual transmissions among operators. This is one of the few areas that can be immediately implemented by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and also where improvements can be felt by the service providers and the consumers. Minister of Communication Technology, Omobola Johnson, who inaugurated the Broadband Council, said it would help the government to implement a roadmap for a national broadband plan. She said, “Common areas of interest include the implementation of the National Broadband Plan, National Policy on ICT, digital and financial inclusion, local content framework, use of frequency spectrum and National Strategic e-Government Framework and collection of data on ICT sector.” The executive vice-chairman of the NCC, Eugene Juwah said recently, at the Common Wealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) 2013 forum that implementation of the broadband policy would begin at the end of October of 2013. With these in view, it would look like the implementation of the national broadband policy may begin to happen as planned but there are worries and concerns about conflicting reports as Eugene Juwah, in April, said that there would be auctioning of the remaining bands of the 2.3GHz frequency slots as opposed to selling them to the existing operators and using what is left to create a guard band as stipulated in the broadband policy document. According to Juwah, “The commission is also getting ready to auction the remainder of 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz frequency bands… auctioning would enable the telecommunications sector to fast track development and makes it more LTE enabled”. At the recently concluded Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) conference in Abuja, the ICT Minister reiterated the government’s commitment to actualise the National Broadband Plan in its entirety. With conflicting reports like this industry stakeholders remain skeptical about the commitment of the NCC to follow through with the whole of the objectives itemised in the national broadband policy. Only time will tell if the concerns of industry watchers are substantiated.




Reps query Civil Service Commission financial infraction By Lawrence Olaoye


he House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts yesterday slammed the Federal Civil Service Commission for flagrant disregard to financial regulations in its financial transactions.

Oil theft: Navy arrests 9 Nigerians, 3 Ghanaians


he Central Naval Command (CNC) of Nigerian Navy, has announced the arrest of nine Nigerians and three Ghanaians in connection with alleged stealing of crude oil in Bayelsa State. Also arrested was a vessel, MT Frankesen which was carrying 1,092 liters of suspected stolen crude oil from Akassa Community in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. The Flag Officer Commanding, CNC, Rear Admiral Sidi- Alli Usman, while parading the suspects at Brass at the weekend, explained that the naval patrol team of the Forward Operating Base (FOB) FORMOSO, arrested the vessel and the crew members. According to him, though the vessel’s movement log showed evidences of previous voyages to Ghana, as of the time of arrest, it could not tender relevant documents. Giving further details of their mission, he revealed that a local Usman reiterated the determination of the Command to ensure complete eradication of crude oil theft in its area of responsibility in line with the vision of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba

This according to fundings by the committee chaired by Rep Adeola Solomon led to payments of over N11.7million into personal account of a staff of the Commission The over N11.7million paid into the personal bank account of the affected staff was meant for the hosting of an international Conference in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja The Committee has consequently directed the Commission to produce the unnamed staff before it by tomorrow(Wednesday) unfailing while the management of the Commission on the same day would also show reasons why they would not be made to refund the amount to the treasury if they were found wanting in administering such. Adeola while condemning the transactions said, “Why must an

individual be given such a huge amount to be paid into his or her personal account; government money being paid into a personal account? What if he or she runs away with the money? It is illegal and unacceptable; it is against financial regulations. The Committee will get to the root of the transaction; the affected staff should be brought before this Committee by Wednesday”. The Chairman also directed the Permanent Secretary of the Commission, Mr Suleiman Mustapha, to furnish the Committee with the names of the members of Staff that attended the Conference, certificates of participation, numbers of rooms hired at the Sheraton Hotels, Abuja and the names of the occupants as well as official receipts for all the transactions. He warned that if the Committee finds out that the hotel

rooms were occupied by foreign participants, the Commission would be made to refund such money as the foreigners must have collected their estacodes in their home countries for such purpose. It was also discovered that another N493, 000 was paid to another staff to attend another Conference but with no evidence that the affected staff attended the Conference while another N900, 000 was paid to a consultant without deducting the necessary taxes in line with government financial regulations The Committee directed the Commission to liaise with the affected Consultant to refund the N90,000 involved immediately through the medium he was paid failure which the official who authorised the payment should be made to pay back the amount immediately. Also, 151 payment vouchers


onfusion has trailed the report in a national daily (not Peoples Daily) of the death of the former Chief of General Staff, Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe, as the Navy and the family members yesterday denied the report. The Nigerian Navy yesterday urged the public to disregard the story that Akhigbe, a former Navy Chief of Staff, was dead. In a statement, the Director of Navy Information, Commodore Kabir Aliyu, said the report in the media was misleading.

FG mulls investment on coal to power By Etuka Sunday


Kano state Governor, Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso inspecting the on-going reconstruction of the Governor’s Lodge at Mississippi Street, Maitama, Abuja, yesterday.

Confusion over Akhigbe’s state

From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin

amounting to N128million made by the Commission could not be traced as at the time a team of Auditors from the office of the Auditor General of the Federation visited the Commission. Though the Commission came before the Committee with the said Vouchers, the Permanent secretary admitted that three of the payment vouchers were still missing till date. This, the Committee declared unacceptable to it, insisting that the Commission must produce or be ready to make refunds to government coffers.

“The Naval Headquarters has made concerted efforts to authenticate the story with the admiral’s family in the U.S. and it was found out that the admiral is alive,’’ the statement said. It noted that the report appeared on the front page of a national newspaper, adding that: “This shows that the reporter who filed the story did not cross-check his facts with the family before going to the press. “The publication has, therefore, caused the Akhigbe family and Nigerians in general unnecessary embarrassment.’’

The statement advised journalists to authenticate their stories with relevant authorities, especially the death of prominent citizens, in the spirit of objective journalism. Similarly, his elder brother, Chief Joseph Alemon Akhigbe, who spoke with our reporter in Benin yesterday, said his brother was stabilizing in a Smerican hospital. He said “The paper said he died in a London hospital but my brother is in an American hospital stabilizing. The wife, son-in-law and his daughter are with him. My immediate younger brother in Abuja who

spoke to the wife in America confirmed to family members that Admiral is stabilizing; the news of death is totally untrue.” But the latest report made available to newsmen yesterday confirmed that the former Chief of Staff to former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida actually gave up the ghost yesterday around 1pm (7pm Nigerian time) in America. Our correspondent learnt that the former number two citizens of Nigeria died as a result of the shock he had when he learnt that news of his death was already circulating in the newspaper.

n a bid to ensure a secured energy mix for Nigeria, the Federal Government has again showed its interest in the development of vast coal resources for power generation. The Coal to Power initiative, it said when fully explored will increase power generation capacity, thereby assisting the country to overcome persistent epileptic power supply as presently experienced. A statement by the information officer of the Ministry, Grace Njoku, on behalf of the Deputy Director/Head of Press, quoted the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, to have disclosed this yesterday when received in audience, the Zuma Energy Group, led by its Chairman, Dr. Innocent Ezuma. Nebo said that the quantum of coal deposit in the country was large enough to provide electricity to the nation for the next 20 – 30 years, with reserves unproven in the same region. According to him, the President Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration is passionate about the coal-power project, just as he acknowledged that Nigeria cannot solely depend on the thermal and hydro sources of power. The Minister, who expressed optimism that the coal-power project would be a success, also disclosed that the African Development Bank (AfBD) had already indicated interest with regard to the provision of Partial Risk Guarantee (PRG) for coal to power project in the country. Earlier, the Chairman of Zuma Energy, Dr. Innocent Ezuma had stated that the Company looks forward to a joint collaboration with the Government for coalpower development with the hope of ensuring energy security for the country.




Intimidation: Progressive govs, PDM decry clampdown on New PDP members By Lawrence Olaoye


Speaker, Adamawa State House of Assembly, Hon, Umaru Ahmadu Fintiri with the team of consultants during a courtesy call

Adamawa govt extends empowerment programme to prison inmates From Umar Dankano, Yola


he Murtala Nyako administration in Adamawa state has included inmates in Yola prison in its skills acquisition programme with a view to helping them become self reliant once out of detention. Project Manager of the Adamawa state Local Apprenticeship Scheme (LAS), Alhaji Sani Jada, who disclosed this yesterday while briefing

newsmen and researchers during a visit to the Yola Prisons, listed the vocations to include tailoring, carpentry, welding and laundry services. Jada said apart from providing training tools for the inmates, the scheme will also provide them with working tools after they serve their terms to enable them establish their business. “After the training we will give them certificate so that when they serve their jail terms they can come for free tools from government to

set up their business and be self reliant”, he said. In his remarks, the Adamawa state Controller of Prisons, Mr Ekijere Shidi, lauded the support from LAS, which he described as worthy of emulation as it served to engage the inmates in useful ventures. Chief Executive Officer of Royal Criterion Consults, Prof. Abba Gambo, who led the team of newsmen and researchers to the Yola Prisons, while expressing delight over the gesture, said it

was a right step towards curbing unemployment, poverty and crime reduction in the country. “The effort of the Adamawa Government of including inmates in its empowerment programme is indeed laudable. I therefore urge the federal government and other state governments to emulate this wonderful development”, he stressed. He explained that his team was in the state to thoroughly assess various agricultural programmes of the Nyako administration.

Abdulsalami to commission Sokoto state University today

From Mahmoud Muhammad, Sokoto


ormer, Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) will tomorrow commission theN10.3 billion Ultra-modern Sokoto State Owned University.

Gen. Abubakar is the third Head of State, so far invited by Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda to Commission gigantic project executed by his government. It will be recalled that few month back, former, President

Olusegun Obasanjo, (rtd) and also, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida were in Sokoto for similar event. Among projects expected to be commissioned are the Independent Power Plant (IPP) which was started by Governor Magatakarda in order to generate

electricity within in the state. Meanwhile, DSP Almostapha Sani who is the Image maker of the Sokoto State Police Command confirmed that during the exercise, Police will be deployed to strategic point in order to ensure law and order.

Edo checkpoints: Expert recommends psychiatric test for police From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


special supervisor has recommended periodic psychiatric checks for officers and men of the Nigerian police that are to be drafted to the various checkpoints across Edo State. Speaking at an interactive session with newsmen at the

weekend in Benn City, Chief Eddy Ogbomo commended Governor Adams Oshiomhole foresight for prescribing death sentence for kidnappers.. Ogbomo suggested that “the implementation for that anti kidnapping Bill may trigger another round of uncertainty in the cause of enforcing the law. Police must undertake periodic checks of their conduct. I wrote

in that regard to the former police Inspector General of police’’, he said. He however expressed concern over the undeserving alarming rate of human rights abuses in the hands of law enforcement Agents before investigation of suspected kidnappers are concluded. “Some Policemen could be bias in their judgment, thereby

witch-hunting certain individuals within their environs which they feel could be threats to them because of their disposition on issues. They could go extra mile, frame-up innocent individuals”, he alleged. He described as unacceptable unlawful arrest and detention, adding that in a situation when suspects are arrested and beaten to pulp before trial.

he leadership of both the Progressives Governors Forum ( PGF) and the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) yesterday decried the alleged intimidation of the seven aggrieved governors on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), commonly referred to as the G7. The bodies also condemned some agencies in the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan for clamping down on some members of the breakaway PDP in the country. The Progressives Governors, in a statement issued yesterday, condemned the Nigeria Police for forcefully dislodging the aggrieved PDP governors from a meeting at the Sokoto Lodge. Findings however revealed that the governors were not dislodged as an official of the breakaway PDP, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, yesterday clarified that the governors and the leadership of the breakaway PDP merely used the Sokoto Lodge venue of their meeting as a decoy, disclosing that the meeting was never meant to hold there in the first place. But the PGF condemned the purported disruption of the aggrieved governors meetings statiththe that “the disruption of a peaceful meeting by the police is not only crude, condemnable and unwarranted, but is a reflection of government’s growing intolerance and an affront on the democratic rights of Nigerians. “It is evident that the federal government is unlawfully using the police for its illegal and nefarious activities for the purpose of intimidation aimed at imposing the Bamanga Tukur-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on other party members and Nigerians. The Progressive Governors Forum finds it unacceptable that Nigeria Police has been reduced to partisan agents and attack dogs that only serve a part of a political party when the levels of insecurity in the country are so high. It is reckless to take partisan contest to levels of warfare as the federal government has done because this would only weaken the capacity of security operatives in responding to real security challenges.” The progressives governors also condemned the alleged persecution of other members of the splint PDP including Senator Aisha Al-Hassan, Senators Bokola Saraki, Danjuma Goje and Governor Rotimi Amaechi. While expressing solidarity with the PDP aggrieved governors, the PGF also called on the National Assembly to direct the Police to stop the alleged persecution of the factional PDP members.


News G7 govs divided over Jonathan's confab PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2013

By Lawrence Olaoye


here are indications that the aggrieved governors on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), commonly referred to as G7, have failed to arrive at a consensus over their participation or otherwise in the proposed National Dialogue to be convened by President Goodluck Jonathan. The aggrieved governors, who are in the forces behind the factional PDP under the leadership of Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje include those of Adamawa, Admiral Murtala Nyako, Niger, Dr. Mua'zu Babangida Aliyu, Sokoto, Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, Jigawa, Alhaji Sule Lamido,

Kwara, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, Rivers, Rotimi Amaechi and Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano state. These governors have consistently sang discordant tunes over their participation in the proposed National Confab. While some of them are drumming support for the dialogue, others are kicking against the talks. For instance, Sokoto state governor approved of the Confab and empanelled a 32 member committee to represent the state at the talk. This was contained in a statement signed by his Senior Special Adviser, Media, Mal. Sani Umar and the committee, which still subsists, is being headed by the

former Minister of Youth Development, Inuwa Abdulkadir while Alh. Muhammadu Mainasara Ahmad will serve as the Secretary. In the same vein, the Niger state governor charged the northern elites to participate and contribute immensely in the proposed national conference with a sole aim of fostering unity and peaceful co-existence in the country. Governor Aliyu said the idea of organizing the conference by the presidency is a right step towards the right direction considering the enormous tension in the country. On the contrary, the Kano state governor condemned the call for a national conference, saying the conference will be a Pan-

dora’s Box that will create disunity among the Nigerians. Governor Kwankwaso explained that the conference is not only unconstitutional but also a waste of time and resources. “In my opinion the national conference is a colossal waste of resources that ought to be utilized to solve the socio-economic problems clogging the progress of our country" and pointed out that the resources that will be wasted in organizing the conference should be channelled to improve other sectors. Similarly, the Jigawa state governor described the proposed national confab as unconstitutional and vowed not to send any delegate from his state. He said the proposed dialogue lacks constitutional backing and

is also a flagrant abuse of democratic institution; therefore his government would not be party to it. He stated that, "the only solution to the country problems is good governance and also leaders should abide by due process, rule of law and ethics of leadership". According to him, "such conference is a fruitless effort and could not make any positive impact to the country. “It is a flagrant abuse to democracy, when we have the Senate and members of the House of Representatives that are legally and democratically elected to represent any constituency in discussing any national issue," he added.

Niger govt assures steady water supply to Minna, environs From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna


iger state ministry of water resources Commissioner, Hajiya Hadiza Abdullahi yesterday said the problems militating against regular supply of water in Minna and its environ will soon become a thing of the past. The Commissioner said in order to improve water supply in Minna and its

environs, the state water board has reactivated and established booster stations in various parts of Minna the state capital. A statement by the ministry's Public Relations Officer, Ibrahim Saba said the extension and upgrading of water supply pipelines has enabled continues water supply to areas like Bosso estate, upper parts of Tudun Natsira,Top Medical, Barkin Salle as well the

provision of alternative pipeline to Type 'B' Quarters and reticulation line to Morris community. It said the present administration was making efforts to provide new pipeline extension to new layouts in Minna due to the rising development in the state capital in order to improve the quality of lives of the people as well achieve good health of Nigerlites.


Umaru Musa ‘Yar’adua University, Katsina plans to execute the following under the 2012 TETFund Library Development Normal Intervention: Lot 1: Supply of ICT related Library Equipment Lot 11: Supply of various volumes of Assorted Textbooks on Natural and Applied Sciences Lot 111: Supply of various volumes of Assorted Textbooks on Management/ Social Sciences/Local Periodical Subscription Renewal Lot 1V: Supply of various volumes of Assorted Textbooks on Education/Humanities/ Law/ Heins Online Law Journal Subscription. Interested and competent contractors with experience in the similar work are requested to submit pre-qualification documents arranged in the following order for consideration. 1. Evidence of Registration Incorporation of company by Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) 2. Company Income Tax Certificate for the last three years (CTC) 3. Evidence of Registration with the University in the relevant category 4. Company Audited Accounts for the last two years ( CAA) 5. List of key staff with evidence of proficiency and experience 6. Evidence of financial capacity and banking support 7. Verifiable list of similar works successfully completed in the last two (2) years with names of clients, evidence of award and completion 8. Equipment and Technological capacity 9. VAT Registration and evidence of VAT Remittance 10. Evidence of Registration/ Payment of training contributions to the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) 11. Evidence of Community and Social Responsibility (CSR) All documentation should be submitted to the office of the registrar in an envelope/ marked 2012 TETFUND LIBRARY INTERVENTIONS to reach him not later than three (3) weeks from the date of this publication. Please note that this is NOT an invitation to tender and only successful applicants will be invited to tender. The University does not enter into correspondence on account of unsuccessful applications.

Signed Abdu Halliru Abdullahi, FNIM Registrar and Secretary to the Council

Group Managing Director/CEO, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Mr. Phillips Oduoza (right); presenting the Most Valuable Performer (MVP) award to Mr. Olagbaju Oladele Sunday a third time winner, while the Executive Director, Human Resources and Customer Service, Obi Ibekwe watches during the special recognition awards ceremony for UBA MVPs at the Bank’s Head Office in Lagos at the weekend

N5bn SURE-P funds: Group threatens to sue Gov Yari From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau


he Northern Youth Assembly (NAY), Zamfara state chapter yesterday, has threatened to drag the state government to court over failure of Governor AbdulAziz Yari Abubakar to explain the where about of N5 billion SURE-P funds received from the federal government. At a press conference yesterday in Gusau, the state capital, by the state Chairman of the association, Mannir Mu’azu Haidara, lamented the state government’s silence to account for all the monies been collected from the federal government meant for alleviation of poverty in the state under the SURE-P

programme. “There was no forum which governor Yari brought to the knowledge of the people of the state the monies collected from the federal government to improve the living standard of the people in Zamfara state. Mannir Haidara further challenged that, with the collection of monthly allocations from federal government, doubled with sure-p funds, at the same time, the state government is yet to settle payments for the release of May/June 2013 WAEC examinations results for Zamfara state students. “It would not be fair should NYA fold its arms to continue watching Zamfara state people being driven into abject poverty despite viable gestures offered by

the federal government”, he added. The Chairman said, “Zamfara state has come a long way since its creation seventeen years ago with abundant potentials capable to guarantee development in all sectors, but suffice to say that the state has fallen down the development ladder, a trend that government must reverse and place the state on the map of development and progress”, Haidara has challenged. He also called on the state government to as a matter of urgency, utilize the available resources in tackling security situation in the state which, he described as the cause of suffering from a crippled local economy.


Photo Splash

L-R: Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Senator Femi Okurounmu, Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue and Dr Akilu Sani Indabawa, Committee Secretary during a courtesy visit by members of the Committee to the Governor in Benin City, yesterday.

Arms destroyed by insurgents at a Police armoury in Damaturu on Thursday.

L-R: Chairman, Governing Board, National Universities commission (NUC), Dr Ahmadu Ali (l), being congratulated by the NUC Executive Secretary, Prof. Julius Okojie, at the inauguration of the Board, yesterday in Abuja.Photo: Justin Imo-Owo


President Berom Community in Abuja and environs, Engr Markus Choji Dye (left), congragulating the Finacial Secretary of the Association, Dinah Sam Dinah while Dachung Dinah Treasurer look on during their Inauguration at Merit House, Abuja, Sunday night. Photo: Joe Oroye

Photo: NAN

Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (left) and the Ona of Abaji, Alhaj Baba Yunusa (3rd left), at a Zonal Consultation Forum on National Policy on Public Safety and Security in Abuja, yesterday. Photo: NAN



Reps call for efficacy test on new malaria vaccine By Abbas Aminu Bamalli, with agency report


he House of Representatives Committee on HIV and AIDS, Malaria Control, Tuberculosis and Leprosy, has advised that the newly discovered malaria vaccine should be tested on Nigerians for efficacy. The committee chairman, Dr Joseph Kigbu, who told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), yesterday in Abuja, said he has had reports that the vaccine did not offer full protection.

He said the fact that the clinical trial of the vaccine proved effective in one country did not mean that it would work in other countries. “It is said that the vaccine offers only about 50 per cent protection, if it offers about 50 per cent, then that is not good enough, so, we ask the question, has it been tested on the Nigerian population”. Dr.Kigbu asked. He said, “When you have a drug or you go to the market for mass production, you want to try it on your population, if you try it on the Kenyan population and

it works, it does not mean it will work on the Nigerian population, these are the areas we are asking questions”, he said. Kigbu, however, applauded the discovery of the vaccine, saying that it would fast track efforts put in place to eliminate malaria. He advised that further research should be conducted on the vaccine to increase its efficacy to 98 per cent, like the polio vaccine. The chairman said Nigeria had adopted environmental

sanitation as an effective strategy to get rid of mosquito vectors. According to him, not less than 60 million long lasting insecticide treated nets had been distributed in Nigeria, adding that the most effective strategy for controlling mosquitoes was the indoor residual spraying, saying however that the method was expensive. The chairman called on the Federal Government to increase its financial commitment for the elimination of malaria in the country.


KEBBI inaugurates 41– man committee on national dialogue

From Ahmed Idris Birnin Kebbi


ollowing the ongoing National Dialogue, Kebbi State Government has set up a 41–member committee to serve in the forth coming NorthWest consultations on National Dialogue. In a statement by the chief Press Secretary to the governor, Alhaji Abubakari Muazu, the committee would be inaugurated by the state governor, Saidu Usman Dakingari Tomorrow. Members of the committee have already been served with the letters of appointment by the Secretary to the State Government, adding that the committee would serve and articulate the position of the state during the National Dialogue.

Fashola reaffirms commitment to maintain law, order in Lagos From Matthew Irinoye, Lagos


President Goodluck Jonathan (m) cutting a cake with the Presidential Pilgrimage team after an Inter-denominational Church service tagged “a day with Jesus for Nigeria in Israel” in Jerusalem on Sunday.

Abductors of monarch demand N50m ransom From Mike Etim, Uyo



palace source said the monarch was seen being driven in the abductor’s bus to Mbo local government area where he was again picked up by a speedboat and driven into the high seas. The abduction of the monarch coincided with last week’s Youth restiveness in the oil producing Eket and Esit Eket oil producing area. Apparently dissatisfied by Exxon Mobil attitude towards their demand, the youth demanded over N200 billion from Exxon Mobil as royalty for their operations in their area.

bductors of the Paramount Ruler of Esit Eket Edidem Ubong Bassey Assam in Akwa Ibom state have demanded for a ransom of N50 million before they can release their captive. The where about of the monarch who was abducted at about 2pm on Monday last week from His Palace while sleeping is yet unknown. Over 10 gunmen had stormed the palace of the monarch in a bus shooting sporadically into the air and carried the Monarch

The angered youth, as part of their confrontation had also brought normal working activities in Mobil to a halt following the expiration of the 7 days Ultimatum given to the oil firm to meet their demands. In a another development, Fishermen under the Umbrella of Famous Fishing Organization (FFO) in Unyenghe Community, Mbo local government area of Akwa Ibom State have asked for compensation of N250 billion from an oil exploration firm, Universal Energy Resources Ltd (UERL) According to the spokesman

of the group, Mr. John Harry, the fishermen are asking for the compensation as a result of oil spill from the company’s explorations which affected their waters. He said the company was responsible for about 2000 barrels of crude oil which was emptied on the Edet Akpa River, thus causing pollution. When contacted, the Public Affairs Officer of the company Mr, Aniefiok Iwaudofia, confirmed the spillage but said only three barrels of crude was spilled into the river and not 2000 barrels as alleged by the Community.

he Lagos state governor, Mr Raji fashola has reiterated his assurance to maintain law and order in the state. The governor, in a message through the Attorney General of Lagos State, Mr Ade Ipaye during the 2013 National Convention of Magistrates’ Association of Nigeria tagged “ Career Magistrate - The Way Forward” said the place of magistrate is very important in judicial adjudication. The governor said the essence of having magistrate court along side the high court in the resent court buildings is to provide the necessary amenities to enhance adjudication of justice. He added that the Lagos magistrates are with current technological tools so as to meet up with their counterparts in the other part of the World. In her remarks, the Lagos State Chief judge, Justice Ayotunde Philips charged the magistrates never to entertain any form of fear while delivering their judgments. “Don’t make your judgment based on the fear of Supreme Court, be patience and listen to both side. The Lawyers would always write petition, so whether you are right or wrong the petition must come” she added. Justice Philips however, urged the magistrates to be focus on their chosen career, promising that the electronic filling will soon be introduced to the Lagos magistrates which would enable the litigants to file their matters on line.




NIALS calls for unification of criminal, penal laws By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he Director General of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Professor Ephiphany Azinge (SAN) yesterday advocated regular reviews of criminal laws by States to help in eradicating the disparity in the development of criminal laws in the country as a whole. Addressing stakeholders’ meeting on the proposed unification of criminal and penal laws in Nigeria, organised by the Institute in Abuja yesterday, Azinge said some States are more advanced and proactive in the review of the criminal laws

and punishment. The NIALS’ boss said the idea of a unified criminal law for the country has been mooted in several discussions owing to the many challenges from an attempt to carry out same, adding however that the glaring challenge stems from the fact that all states are constitutionally empowered to create applicable criminal laws. Another major challenge for unification, he said is the difference in some accepted values reflecting differences along the Northern and Southern divides and pointed out that the institute, in undergoing a rigorous study

of criminal and penal laws, discovered that unification of the criminal laws is possible, in spite of the differences in cultural backgrounds and beliefs. He said some of the offences have similarities in definitions, ingredients and sometimes, even in punishments. Azinge, while calling for complete overhaul of Nigerian law, charged the National Assembly to rise up to their responsibilities of coming out with laws that would address the challenges of the moment. Stakeholders in the meeting also called for the unification of the criminal and penal laws in the country, pointing out that the

Niger state governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu [middle] on inspection tour of the Minna City Centre project. With him is the Commissioner for Local Government, Alhaji Yusuf Garba Tagwai, in Minna yesterday.

Police arrest man for selling fake appointment letter in Gombe From David Hassan, Gombe


40-year-old man, Mr Jerome Anthony has been arrested by the Gombe Police Command for selling fake appointment letters of the Nigerian Prison Service (NPS) to applicants in the North East. Addressing newsmen at the weekend in Gombe, the Police Public Relations Officer of Gombe state police command, DSP Fwaje Atajiri,

said the suspect was arrested on Thursday in Tumfure area of Gombe town while trying to sell the appointment letter to an applicant. The PPRO further disclosed that the suspect had so far sold fake appointment letters to many applicants in Adamawa,Taraba, Bauchi and Plateau states. He aid since the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kudu Nma was posted to the state, efforts have been made to rid the state of crime.

DSP Atajiri warned criminals against engaging in any crime as the police will not watch and see people committing crimes. In an interview with newsmen shortly after paraded by the command, the suspect said he was an Inspector in the Nigerian Prison Service in Adamawa state command. He said that he only printed eight copies of the appointment letters and even the one he sold at N100,000 the person was yet to pay him.

dual of legal system operated in the country remains a problem in dispensation of justice. The one-day stakeholders meeting deliberated on the draft bill, prepared by NIALS for a law to establish the unified criminal

ASUU, ASUP strike worries Bauchi Head of Service From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Bauchi State Head of Service; Mr Abdon Dalla Gin has expressed disappointment over the manner in which the federal government was toiling with the future of the students in Nigerian tertiary institutions across the country The Head of Service who made the remark in an interview with newsmen in Bauchi yesterday said continuous strikes in Nigerian varsities has only ended up creating halfbaked graduates who are not employable, adding that the situation has compounded the rate of unemployment in the country. According to him, by refusing to meet the demands of ASUU and ASUP, they should consider the plights of the students and honour its own part of the agreement. “I think the federal


angote Group has emerged among Africa’s top 10 most valuable brands in 2013 in a survey conducted by African Business Magazine, a pan-African business magazine. The survey tagged: “The Brand Africa 100 table”, Dangote emerged as the most valuable

brand in the consumer goods sector with an African brand value of 216. However, the brand emerged the 8th most valuable brand when placed against brands from other sectors. “The Brand Africa 100” table was established in 2011, in recognition of the growth of African brands, which were beginning to challenge global brands in Africa or lead global

brands in new categories such as telecommunications. Commenting on the recognition of Dangote brand, the magazine stated that: “… But what is perhaps a little more surprising is that Dangote, the largest manufacturing conglomerate in West Africa, and Globacom, the Nigeria-based telecommunication provider, are also in the lists. Both brands

government should be sincere and honour its own part of the agreement it made with these unions so that normal academic activities can resume in our varsities. It is very sad that universities’ academic calendars are disrupted because of frequent and unabated strikes. The victims of this strike are the students”, he said. The Head of service disclosed that because of the problem of half-baked graduates been employed in some federal government agencies; the state civil service has continued its capacity building programmes and promotional exams for civil servants to enhance their efficiency and productivity. He However appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the federal government to sheathe their swords and resolve their differences so that the four months old strike can come to an end.

Old Nok sculptures for Germany exhibition tomorrow By Abubakar Ibrahim


he famous Nok sculptures derived from the old traditions of the village of Nok near the Jos Plateau region of Nigeria, will be displayed in Germany from October 30, 2013. The over 100 sculptures recovered by the archaeologists of Frankfurt’s Goethe University would be displayed in a dialogue with contemporary works from Ancient Egypt and Greek-Roman Antiquity. A press release signed by

Dangote now among top 10 most valuable brands in Africa From Suleiman Idris, Lagos

laws in Nigeria to, among other issues, regulate criminal conduct, public order, promote an orderly society, foster collective obligation and duty towards the preservation and protection of life and property.

have managed to win the hearts of the communities in which they operate.” Declaring brands as an asset, the magazine stated that the aim of Brand Africa 100 is to identify, acknowledge and promote African and global brands that are catalysts for Africa’s growth, reputation and value. Explaining its method at

the head of information, Städel Museum said, the Nok terracotta figures rank among the earliest examples of African sculpture discovered in more than 200 excavation sites in Nigeria within the past eight years. The statement added that, while the exchange between these cultures was blocked by the Sahara 2000 years ago, the show at the Liebieghaus offers the opportunity to compare the entirely independently created Nok sculptures with the art of contemporary cultures around the Mediterranean.

••• Emerges best consumer brand in Africa arriving at the brands’ ranking said “the study involved a comprehensive research among consumers 18 years and older, living in representative countries in metropolitan sub-Saharan Africa regions to draw up a list of the most admired African and global brands in Africa. Each respondent was asked to mention the five local and global brands they admired.



Money sense

Overworked:The plight of the small business owner


ow is it possible for the owner of a small business to be so overworked, so involved and busy and still do not make the income they need? How is it that an intelligent, educated and hard-working person can devote hours and hours of their time, sometimes working late into the evening, with stress that they bring home to their family, and then not even make the money they really should be making? It seemingly violates natural law! How can it even be possible? A business owner can have all kinds of brilliant ideas; consultants can provide them with stellar advice; seminars, webinars and classes can tell them all sorts of things they ought to do and maybe they should do them. But who has time for it all? A business owner is typically so busy just handling what they’ve already got on their plate that there is just no time to do anything else. The overwork can be unbelievable! For most, try as they might, they never seem to be able to get on top of it all. It’s sort of like a treadmill that is going ever-so-slightly faster than they can run. The “to do” list mounts up and, though the business keeps going, the amount of work required can be enormous. The effort expended by a small business owner is Herculean at times. If there is one common denominator of small business owners or practice owners, it’s the fact that they work hard, continually. However, there is another side to this. When speaking of hard work which doesn’t get you anywhere toward your goal, this is overwork. When a person is working and working, yet isn’t winning the game they set up for themselves, this isn’t about being a hard worker, this is about being overworked and overwhelmed. But do they have to work that hard? Can it really be true that they have to do all of this hardwork, devote their life to it and then in the end not really get ahead? One is apt to just sum it up with, “Life is like that” or “Well, that’s how running a business is” or just “You take what you can get.” After years of trying, years of working 50-plus hours a week, pouring heart and soul into the business, one tends to “face the facts” and “get real” about things. To understand overwork, one has to understand organization: All business owners tend to know their particular field pretty well. A dentist generally understands dentistry. A veterinarian can handle animals. A mechanic can

fix cars. This isn’t the problem. For them to be in business at all, they normally have to be pretty decent at it. So where do they get bogged down? On the business end of things, they never really had any formal training in organization or management. Everything they do is through trial and error. Therefore that’s

the part of their life that gives them the most trouble. Does the dentist worry about root canals? Does the veterinarian worry about spaying a dog? No! These are fun for them. These can even be relaxing at times, compared to finance and business issues. That’s because these are the areas that they were

trained in. These are the areas they are certain of. This is what they’re skilled in. Their entire trouble lies in the fact that they never learned how to organize. They never learned how to manage. There are procedures of organization. There are methods and skills involved in managing. Every

…and how to avoid getting overworked


acking proper organization, the office staff mishandles the customers, the materials and accounts. They neglect what they are supposed to do, there was never a system set up to handle it correctly, or the employees never fully learned the workable systems that are in place. One or two staff members then end up doing everything to keep the place running. This creates overwork. There are always a minority of people around who just seem to be able to run a bigger show. They have more going on and still have time to do other things in life. What’s the difference? Are they better, smarter,or have more ability?They’re just better organized.. Every business is somewhere on this scale. At the low end of the scale we have an office that falls all over itself and bumps into walls when one person walks in. They can hardly handle any volume. No need to promote or drum up additional business if anyone additional walked in it

would just swamp the place. At the high end of the scale we have a business that can handle huge volumes of people, incredible production volume, and tremendous numbers of jobs. The place is efficient, busy and full. Even if there aren’t a large number of employees, somehow they can handle it all and no one is under serious strain. The “ceiling” on any office’s production capabilities is its degree of organization. In other words, every office has an invisible limit to the amount of work and production they can do. This is determined solely by how organized the place is. If you try to push an office beyond its “ceiling” this results in overwork. If you push the production very far past this ceiling, it creates chaos for the business owner, whose only solution is to simply work later into the night and skip meals. If you notice an invisible ceiling in your practice, just realize that you’re looking at

the limit of your business’s organizational skill. It just isn’t set up to handle or generate more traffic than that. It will coast along in that fixed area, getting a bit better or a bit worse, but won’t move into a different range. The solution is to organize the business. Locate the jammed up internal flows, locate who is overworked, discover who doesn’t know their jobs or company policy. Find out who has the entire work landing on their desk. Chances are you’ll find out it’s the business owner. Now that you know what the problem is, you can do something about it. Restructure your office duties. Delineate more clearly who does what. Train your staff on the underlying laws and principles of organization. Teach the staff their jobs better. Switch the physical traffic flow in your office so it doesn’t all pile up in one place. Change the schedule. Put your best staff in charge, getting someone else to cover for them.

specialized field has its own knowledge and skills and running a business is no exception. Being overworked in a business is not a symptom of having too much to do; it’s a symptom of too little organization to handle what’s going on! Almost any volume of work can be handled comfortably so long as it is properly organized. It all depends on having an owner and a staff who understand organization and management— and these subjects can take some real work to learn. Thus, the “overwork” of any business owner is actually “underorganization.” The specific skills and tools of management just aren’t known, so any time the traffic gets too high, it exceeds their know-how and overwhelms them. They become overworked and don’t know what to do to get out of it. They need to make a good paycheck, so they have to keep the traffic coming in. Unfortunately, they are actually running their day-to-day operation well above their real knowledge and ability to organize! The work stacks up around them, they get backlogged and they just stay there for years. Now that becomes “just how their business runs.” One has to get the real picture of what’s happening here: The business and its employees are actually creating the “overwork” by not really knowing how to handle that flow of traffic. The “overwork” is actually an illusion. This isn’t a natural part of life. It’s created. The reality of what’s happening is that the business needs certain amount to survive in any given week or month. Therefore, they must flow certain volume of production and traffic through the place.

Money Tip: Set aside a bank account purely for household bills and set up a direct debit each week to cover these ongoing costs including rates, water, electricity, body corporate fees (if applicable) gas to reduce the pain come bill time.

Quote I had to make my own living and my own opportunity! But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them–C.J. Walker




Youths in other regions need training too, Mr. President N158 billion would have been spent on the Amnesty Programme by the end of next year when it is expected to wind up, from its inception in 2009. Ordinarily, no one should raise any concern about the series of expenditures on training and retraining of Nigerian youth for gainful employment in various fields of human endeavour.

Musa Yar’adua did. And the late leader did so out of genuine concern for the plight of the teeming restive youth from the Niger Delta whose condition had been worsened by the deteriorating environment in the region occasioned by oil exploration, but much more so by bad governance. We think President Jonathan should emulate Yar’adua’s altruism by according similar attention to the worsening condition of youths in other regions of Nigeria too. For instance, while various studies We are however have linked the kidnapping in the South-east, the Boko Haram constrained to note the phenomenon in the North-east, as glaring nepotism of the well as the ‘Area Boy’ syndrome Jonathan administration in the South-west to different reasons, the findings of most, if not which has turned a blind the studies have linked these eye to the uncertain future all criminal behaviours to the rising of the army of youths in unemployment and the consequent in the respective areas. other parts of Nigeria and poverty For us at Peoples Daily, President concentrated attention Jonathan needs not be reminded of his Oath of Office as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in which he pledged to preserve Indeed, if anything, the federal the Fundamental Objectives government should be commended for taking such gigantic steps towards and Directive Principles of State Policy as enshrined in the nation’s human capital development, most especially training of youths who are Constitution, and also made a commitment that he will not allow expected to be future leaders of our country. We are however constrained his personal interest to influence his official conduct or decisions. to note the glaring nepotism of the We feel it bears noting here, even Jonathan administration which has if to remind President Jonathan turned a blind eye to the uncertain that showing equal concern for future of the army of youths in other the army of unemployed youths in parts of Nigeria and concentrated other parts of Nigeria in much the attention on only those from Mr. same way he has shown for those President’s own region. in his home base, may be the magic No doubt, President Jonathan wand he requires to put Nigeria did not originate the Amnesty back in good stead. Programme, late President Umaru

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ast week Wednesday, President Jonathan, at the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja, approved N807 million for the training of 2,700 Niger Delta youth who are nonmilitants. According to the president’s spokesman, Rueben Abati, the nonmilitant Niger Delta youth are to be trained in information technology and in agriculture in continuation of an existing programme with the federal ministry of agriculture, at the cost of N258.7 million and N549 million respectively. The Minister of State for Niger Delta, Dairus Ishaku, while providing details on the training, disclosed that the government has attached the youths to employers for job recruitment after the training. The latest training programme approved by the federal executive council is an addition to the multibillion Naira that the federal government has been spending exclusively on youths from the Niger Delta region since 2009. In addition, next year alone, the federal government plans to spend over N88 billion on the Amnesty Programme. Of this, 30,000 ex-militants are expected to take home N23.6 billion as stipends, while N35.4 billion is to be spent on “re-integration of transformed ex-warlords”. The balance of N3.699 billion is set aside for what was described as ‘presidential amnesty programme’. The planned expenditure on the Niger Delta youth in 2014 is N16 billion higher than the N72 billion being spent this year on their training. In fact, it is estimated that











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Opinion ASUU: As blackmail takes upper hand By Julius Ogar


ome big industrial blackmail is taking place right now with varying public perception as to the dynamics. It involves the intractable dispute between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). For some time now, government has taken to spreading the impression that ASUU’s demands are just centred on the earned allowances of its members. But this is far from being the case. And one must ask: What if it is? Why can’t university teachers get their accumulated and legitimately earned allowances after nearly four years when those of politicians who contribute nothing to the economy are paid with amazing regularity? Why shouldn’t teachers get their own share when all around them unemployed and unproductive” contractors live in golden mansions and go for holidays or treat headaches overseas? With students docile and getting tired at home, parents worried over the future of their wards, lecturers themselves beginning to be wearied by an unduly prolonged struggle, the pressure is caving in on ASUU on all sides. The pressure which is now openly engineered as evident in the protest by so called market women and other hirelings is typical of government’s subversion in attempts to break the backbone of labour unions. Now ASUU is being blackmailed as selfish and uncaring towards the plight of undergraduates, when indeed, it is the government that has been, and remains uncaring about the education of ordinary Nigerians

who cannot afford to attend private and foreign tertiary institutions. To win the argument as it were and divert attention from real issues, the government through the Finance, Information, Education and other ministers, has serially accused ASUU of trying to cripple the economy by making undue financial demands. Pray: between university teachers and the Federal Government, who’s crippling Nigeria’s economy? It cannot be other than a profligate government with 10 aircraft in its presidential fleet; a government that embarks on unwarranted global junkets with hundreds of aides, lodging in some of the world’s most expensive hotels at public expense; a government whose cabinet member blatantly dares, orders and takes delivery of amour-plated vehicles costing more than the quarter of a billion naira and for no plausible reason? Who is ruining Nigeria’s economy when government officials are transferring capital abroad as school fees for their kith and kin? In saner climes, the public would have poured out on the streets against the government for its uncaring attitude to a very crucial sector of development.

The mere fact that government appointees have their wards attending well funded universities abroad is enough to cause an outrage among the citizens to demand for social justice. Indeed, this fact alone is proof that governments aids and abets the decay which obtains in the education sector at home and are unprepared to deal with it. This is economic sabotage in capital letters. Indeed, it amounts to treason on the part of the leadership because by neglecting their social responsibilities, they are compromising the future of the state. As part of its strategy, government bated ASUU with some N30 billion – an amount that nowhere relates to the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the union in 2009 and 2012; but ASUU would not bite this bate from a government which can dole out funds to Nollywood or blow away almost N100 million just to re-grass the National Stadium while thinking that education can do with piecemeal funding. Recall that the President himself has revealed the government’s attitude to the industrial crisis by

For the government, it must come to terms with the fact that like politicians, teachers at whichever level deserve their rewards on earth. It must give them that reward here and now because not all of them are likely to go to heaven.

dismissing it as “politics”. Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala has also echoed that refrain. The President does not see that his education minister is more engrossed in the politics of destabilising Rivers State, than attending to his duties as a minister. Feelers indicate that anytime a government negotiating team meets (confront is the right word) with ASUU, they speak with a note of finality with buried innuendoes to the effect that either the dons take whatever is offered (as if it were a dash), or be prepared to starve or perhaps, lose their jobs. In other words, there’s a palpable lack of integrity or sense of commitment to address the problems of poor infrastructure in the universities. It is not merely obligatory, but also a simple logic of natural justice that all parties keep to the terms and honour the principles of a negotiated agreement. It is therefore immoral for no less a party than the government to break the terms of an agreement and expect anything shot of civil disobedience. In the present circumstance where government is archetypal Machiavellian, bigger and worse strikes are to be expected if the attitude does not change. However, ASUU must share part of the blame for losing the sympathy of Nigerians. It is its just desserts given the underhanded roles some its members play in undermining academic discipline and excellence. Many of them have helped in the propagation of what Dr. Eddie Iroh and Prof. Okello Oculi (can’t remember the exact originator of the term), have identified as STDs or Sexually Transmitted Degrees. Others have abandoned full-time engagement as

scholars to become entrepreneurs, showing up in theatres to take stock of which students have paid for some self-published book, or designated lecture notes, and then disapperaring for most of the semester. All these tendencies over time have helped to erode the credibility of ASUU whenever it seeks to present genuine grievances as is happening now. For the government, it must come to terms with the fact that like politicians, teachers at whichever level deserve their rewards on earth. It must give them that reward here and now because not all of them are likely to go to heaven. Above all, it must realise that Nigerians deserve qualitative education at all levels, otherwise it must stop these pretensions about Vision 20: 2020 because education is the shortest route to that destination. The government must accept the responsibility for the wholesale corruption which has caused the collapse of the educational system in Nigeria. For now, the one-sided pressure mounting on the union to call off the strike, is in my opinion, unwarranted. Such calls would only be balanced if there were a counter pressure on the government to be responsible and to take the transformation agenda beyond televised rhetoric. Agreement is agreement; and even though politicians may not have the character of keeping their words, government as an institution must show the example of being in the forefront of fulfilling simple commitments both to organised groups like ASUU, and to the entire society. Julius Ogar writes from Abuja

Memo to committee on National Dialogue (II) By A.H. Gimba

Consider the on-going aberration in the Rivers State where in State is being undermined by the Federal Government. Is this the challenge of democracy or the abuse of democracy by Federal Government? Consider the nomenclature of six geopolitical zones. How defined? Consider the Governor’s Forum. What place in a supposed federation? Consider the problems of banditry and almost low level warfare in Zamfara, Kaduna, Taraba, Benue, Nassarawa etc. Talk not of Northeast in this regard. Consider the oil theft and pipeline banditry. Think of available technology to solve this. Security challenge or political eunuchism? Consider the kidnapping industry. Consider corruption. Consider the impunity and

indiscipline of public officers in the country. Ever heard of the G/O and FI again? Consider the routine murder of security forces in several parts of the country. Does any public officer have any right to forgive murder of security forces? Onshore & offshore dichotomy. Consider the lopsidedness of the Revenue Allocation Formulae. Add to the multiplicity of federal institutions for the SouthSouth, exactly how much goes there now? Federation or confederation? Abuse of the Federal Character Principle enshrined in the constitution. The list of the challenges are endless, and Mr. Goodluck Jonathan’s administration is not solely responsible for all of them. But I insist that these are problems of the failure in governance rather than of our population or in its diversity. The President is not governing well in the true spirit of the

democracy as contained under paragraph 33 and in accordance with his speech to UN General Assembly. Moreover, the National Assembly on its part, must stop being a trading outpost and of egocentrism. In the event however, that I am wrong, then; Mr. President’s speech is an admission of his lack of effectiveness and capacity to govern the country and his resort to externalities is tantamount to failure. The current security challenges and his failed economic stratagem in the country is its testimonial. As a corollary, the deliberations of the Conference must be sacrosanct against the President as Chief Executive. The deliberations of the Committee should be binding on all institutions within the Federation. This is especially so since the Senate President has echoed the President in the establishment of the Committee. Had the National Assembly deliberated in the interest of the nation, the nation would have

been spared of these aberrations. But having agreed to what obviously would have been its turf, then, it is inconceivable that the deliberations should again be turned over to an institution whose very existence in the first instance, is to avoid the cauldron. They have abetted it, being collateral to non-performance of the Executive. The President must accept that binding motions on the floor of Conference Agenda immediately upon the commencement of its proceedings. Elections are signposts of true democracy, but elections per se, do not guarantee democratic values within the polity or with its practitioners. Therefore, the membership of the Conference must be credible representative of the people not necessarily through elections. An admixture will suffice. The capacity of our political class in election manipulations in connivance with electoral and security apparatuses, is unsurpassed.

Allowances (if any) payable to members of the conference must avoid the kind of unacceptable salaries and perquisites “enjoyed” by the members of the National Assembly. Members of the conference must not be sponsored at public expense to travel abroad in relation to their work during sittings. This is to avoid the current abuse where Nigerian law makers are on board every aircraft departing from the country. The challenges are local, the prescription must be topical. Prayers The Roman Empire is long gone along with its Emperors, but, its rich history lives and marches-on. Therein, should we draw useful lessons. The Nigeria State must not be allowed or turned into the Emperor’s “If not me, then catastrophe”. Towards this, every available arsenal is fair by the patriots. Arise Nigeria. Concluded A.H.Gimba,




Oduah: Clan, party and democracy Abdullahi Musa


mbued with hubris, Femi FaniKayode was at his rabid best during the ‘democratic’ reign of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. So bad was it, that during the gladiatorial encounters between Obasanjo and Atiku, Femi voiced that he did not like sitting in Cabinet with the Vice President. But so was Umaru Dikko during the reign of Alhaji Shehu Shagari. We are not reviewing the performances of former political actors. What we are doing is connecting the thread, to show the link between the past and present. Stella Oduah is a serving Minister, from the South East of Nigeria. The clan system is extremely strong in the SouthEast, just as the tribe is in the South- West, and Islam in the Hausa-speaking North. To serve as a Minister while hailing fro the South- East, one needs guts. This is so because the clan is one’s first god. Allegiance

By Omozuwa Gabriel Osamwonyi


he unclaimed Mo Ibrahim Prize for Advancement in African Leadership tacitly says Africa’s leadership crisis remains unabated. Since the yearly prize which is awarded by the London-based Mo Ibrahim Foundation to former African heads of state was instituted in 2007, only three winners have emerged. The prize is awarded to those whose policies and services enhanced peoples’ quality of life, fostered development in the areas of education, health and security. To be eligible, such leaders must have credibly transferred power in consonance with democratic tenets to their successors. There is no shortage of opinion about why the prize for the fourth time in five years has not been won. Some Afro-optimistic pundits who think Africa’s problem is her image say this development is a public relations nightmare. They are clamouring for a downward review of its eligibility criteria. For me, this call is ill-advised. It is a subtle campaign for the celebration of mediocrity. If heeded, it will defeat the essence of the prize, which seeks to rejuvenate Africa’s inept leadership by popularising principles of goal-directed leadership. Let me give a worm’s-eye view of why the British-Sudanese mobile communications tycoon and philanthropic billionaire, Mo Ibrahim’s initial prize of US$5 million and subsequent $200,000 annual payment to winners seems elusive. It is alleged that a former ruler of Somalia, Mohammed Siad Barre, just before the collapse of his regime in 1991 exultantly said: “When I leave Somalia, I will leave behind

to federal government and defense of Constitution are simply meaningless phrases coined by the English men, but of no consequence. Someone wrote that she created new directorates and staffed them with SouthEasterners. But what did he

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expect? Would she be retiring to Birnin Kebbi after her sojourn as Minister? So when people go into federal service, they go with blinkers on, they are there to serve the person who appointed them, their clans who promoted them, and their self- interest. To them Nigeria does not and cannot exist as long as the clan does. How are political parties

financed in Nigeria? They are financed principally from government coffers. Even when businessmen donate, it is recognized as loan to be paid back through unadvertized contracts. Were Oduah to be upright, balanced, and true Nigerian, would that feather her political ambition in the South-East? They would surely direct her to

go and contest in Kano, whose airport she supported instead of that in Enugu. Nigeria is such an impossible political proposition. Democracy works best in a cosmopolitan manner. But we are rabidly clannish.

The cap you wear or refuse to wear cuts you off from certain societies, to which you are theoretically entitled to membership. Is Oduah guilty according to English law if she went against procurement law and budget? But will she be guilty according to her clan laws? No! She was sent by her clan to partake in the national robbery

going on in Abuja. If Hausafulani people have no control over their own people who take part in the national robbery as either politicians or federal civil servants, then they are entitled to their own foolishness. Why foam at the mouth when others act naturally? That more than 70% of federal projects went to South-South; where else should they go, Bama? In practice, the federal government or sytem no longer works. Why not turn over all airports to states to either run or close them down? Divide the federal budget of agriculture to states equally, and leave the Minister with overheads for tour purposes. You can do that with many other Ministries. Igboland keeps dishing out pretty ambassadors: Kema Chikwe, Bianca Ojukwu, and now Stella Oduah. They delight our eyes but kill our airports. Abdullahi Musa,

Why Africa lacks Laurel-winning leaders buildings but not people,” “after me, chaos.” This after-me-chaos spirit appears to be widespread in Africa. Some African leaders reluctantly relinquish power and gloat over the failures of their successors. In fact, some outof-office leaders create political climates that foil innovation, peace and progress. It is against this backdrop that the Mo Ibrahim prize is best appreciated. Since, it seeks to foster a culture of peaceful and credible power transfer. Largely, Africa is no longer ruled by narrowed-minded tyrants whose mission is to turn the continent to a cemetery of misspent opportunities. Yet, the democratic credentials of some African leaders are questionable. As their sit-tight demeanour, makes no room for mentoring and succession planning. They forget the maxim: “In the leadership relay, it makes no difference how you run, if you drop the baton.” The 23-year rule of Zine Abidine ben-Ali of Tunisia and his fall at the wake of mass revolt portrays the danger of “sit-tight-ism.” Several African leaders are just realising that deploying Machiavellian intelligence for self-perpetuation

in power is ultimately destructive. In many parts of Africa, there is a strong link between money and power. Money begets power. Leadership positions are vendible. They go to the highest bidders. Political marketers determine who and who occupy key public offices. This discourages many highly competent, value-driven and legacy-building patriots from seeking public offices. This fairly explains why in recent history, Africa has become a case study of the tragedies of accidental leadership. Tutelary leadership is common in Africa. Many African leaders are puppets in the hands of powerful godfathers. When leaders are tutees of ideologically deficient power-mongers, can they deliver the dividends of democracy? No. Kleptocracy will be the order of the day. National resources will be plundered to gratify private wants. Wherever aristocratic thieves rule, thieves gain, the people suffer. Policymakers often say Africa’s long-term development is in jeopardy, because of resource gap. Available capital for investment is insufficient to guarantee sustainable

development. Hence, a vital component of NEPAD’s strategic plan is the Capital Flow Initiative (CFI). This claim is not entirely apodictic. Particularly, against the backdrop that Africa has lost over US$1.8 trillion through illicit capital flight in four decades. The actual problem is not resource gap, but leadership ineptitude, poor management of resources, plus pervasive corruption. Corruption is the bane of Africa’s underdevelopment. It has mutilated the essence of leadership, making good governance a mirage. Kleptocracy with a veneer of democracy prevails. It seems comparatively easier to teach pigs, principles of hygiene, than to teach some leaders about the merits of internalising the principles of accountability and transparency in governance. Is it surprising then that no one won the awards this year? Again, the prize remains elusive, because, the dehumanising conditions poverty has subjected many Africans to have not awakened the slumbering imagination of insensate leaders. Over the years, African leaders have failed to create prosperity for the majority.

Tutelary leadership is common in Africa. Many African leaders are puppets in the hands of powerful godfathers. When leaders are tutees of ideologically deficient power-mongers, can they deliver the dividends of democracy?

Their socio-economic agendas make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Hence, 80.5% of Sub-Saharan Africans live on less than $2.50 (PPP) per day. The war on poverty is fought mainly in the soapbox. Education, which veritably extricates people from generational poverty trap, is largely ignored. Poverty has beclouded the horizon of African youths with hopelessness. Hence, many muster suicidal mettle to cross the Sahara in search of better life. With prescient leadership, youth unemployment would have been a footnote in Africa’s history and not a present debilitating realty. As long as leaders do not create the enabling climate for the industrialisation of our economies, youth unemployment may make many African states frail. By the way, we need to expunge the patronising expression “our leaders of tomorrow” from Africa’s political idiolect, since our leaders are not deftly handling the existential threats confronting youths. Africa will no longer be seen as a place of ineffective leaders, if many will take cognizance of the wise counsel of Harriet Tubman: “Leave no brother or sister behind the enemy line of poverty.” Every stratum of power in Africa will be superintended by skilled leaders when followership is not separated from leadership. Leadership laureates will no longer be a rarity in Africa when followership makes it impossible for the overclass to impose leaders on them. Omozuwa Gabriel Osamwonyi, wrote in from Abuja



Comment Digitization 2014: Options before NTA By Emmanuel Onwubiko


ave you ever imagined what social life would be like, especially in rural Nigeria, if the new private owners of our electricity power provided electricity but your television sets cannot transmit programmes? The above scenario will not only constitute an embarrassment, but deny poor Nigerians, who make up almost 90 percent, their only viable avenue for viewing electronic activities in Nigeria and beyond. Besides the blackout of programming contents it will significantly deny them their inalienable fundamental constitutional rights to political participation; freedom of expression and other basic freedom through which effective social cum media communications can be enhanced. In the event of this, the political objectives enshrined in section 15(1) (2) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria would also have being abridged and/or out rightly violated. Specifically section 15(1) and (2) of the Nigerian Constitution provides thus; “the motto of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be Unity and Faith; Peace and Progress” and “accordingly, national integration shall be actively encouraged, whilst discrimination on the grounds of place of origin, sex, religion,

STATUS, ethnic or linguistic association or ties shall be prohibited”. The above graphically represents the scenario that may play out by next year June, if Nigeria fails to effectively transit from the mostly analog television transmission to the twenty first century compliant digitization of television transmission. My allusion to denial of these basic constitutional rights specifically of poor Nigerians find basis in the fact that out of the estimated ten million television sets in use across Nigerian households, over eighty percent do not currently enjoy the satellite services that meet the standard digitization of television transmission which only multi choice, and NTA –Star Times have capacity and/or license to deliver. Now to the important question of, What is digitization? Innocent Pascal Ihechu and Uwaoma Uche, of the Mass Communication Department of the Abia State University, Uturu, Abia State, in 2012 authored a scholarly piece to clarify issues relating to the digitization of television transmission with effect from mid – next year. In a brilliant academic publication titled; “The challenges of digitization of broadcasting in Nigeria,” the duo stated thus; “Digitization is the current trend in broadcasting, both in Nigeria and the world over. The International Telecommunication

Union, ITU, set 2015 for the entire broadcasting stations in the world to go digital. Nigeria set 2012 for broadcast stations in the country to be digitized”. But as I write, Nigeria is yet to put the essential infrastructure to achieve this goal and we have less than one year to the deadline. Although Nigeria is yet to transit from analog to digital transmission, it is encouraging to know that the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) now headed by the Acting Director General, Mallam Musa Mayaki, has gone a step further by inviting the STAR TIMES of China for partnership with a view to commencing a pilot Digital Television Transmission (DTT). It could be recalled that in 2008, during the Africast, the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), had discussions with Star Communications Network Technology of Beijing on the possibility of working together to build a pilot DTT platform. To ensure that the objective of the partnership was not misplaced, a three man team was sent to Rwanda to inspect a similar DTT project, newly completed by Star, and they came back with a favourable report based on which NTA management (then under Alhaji Usman Magawata) decided rightly to go into the joint venture. The Nigerian government through the federal

ministry of information approved this revolutionary business partnership. From available record, test transmission commenced in Lagos and Abuja in January 2010. The project was commissioned by President Goodluck Jonathan on the 29th of July 2010. The NTA/STAR TIMES currently run transmission of about 32 channels in Lagos, Abuja, with Kano and Port Harcourt to commence transmission in November 2010, while Yenagoa, Bayelsa state and Lafia, Nasarawa state have also joined. By late 2010, the commercial heartland of South East which is Onitsha and the former Northern Regional political capital of Kaduna had gone live on the NTA/Star transmissions. Such is the incredible stance of the forward looking management team at the Nigerian Television Authority. But as the 2015 deadline approaches for transition from analog to digital television, the current partnership structure between NTA and Star Times may undermine national pride because Nigeria has yet to significantly invest in this joint venture so that these partners could operate as effective national carrier from June next year. A top official of NTA/STAR TIMES Mr. Maxwell Loko speaking with the print media indicated that a fundamental review of equity

structure in Star Times between NTA and STAR Times (the Chinese firm) is in the offing, to allow NTA greater equity in the organization, which is presently configured at a ratio of 70:30 in favour of the Chinese company. A director of NTA-Star TV Network Limited, Mr. Maxwell Loko, who gave the indication, said the current equity structure was as a result of what was brought to the table by both partners at the beginning of the partnership. Some commentators with considerable knowledge of the economy said NTA can approach government to give sovereign guarantee so it can obtain favourable foreign loan from a friendly country to enable it become the largest equity holder in the emerging structure of NTA/STAR TIMES so that the over 80 percent households that may be shut out, should Nigeria not meet the June 2015 digitization deadline, can be covered, at affordable rate. NTA now has 32 stations most of which are in state capitals what happens to the remaining 77 stations or community stations serving rural areas if this financial lifeline for effective digitization of NTA transmitters is not achieved before June, 2014? Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko; Head; Human Rights Writers’ Association Of Nigeria; blogs@www.huriwa.blogspot. com;

That Ted Cruz pun, apology my foot (I) By Qansy Salako


he Republican Texas Senator, Ted Cruz, recently stepped on quite a number of unprotected balls with his latest pun on the Obamacare healthcare law. He said to his fellow tea baggers at a rally: [Quote] “You may have noticed that all the Nigerian email scammers have become a lot less active lately. They all have been hired to run the Obamacare website.” [Unquote] That was enough to set the whole Nigerian blogosphere and internet discussion groups afire as many educated Diaspora Nigerians have since been falling atop each other to express their outrage over how they feel violated, dehumanized and insulted by the political quip. You would think Ted was a Nigerian senator, governor or president. It was former US secretary of state, broda Colin Powell, who had complained about Nigeria and its “culture of corruption” some 15 years ago, followed by some CNN documentary mentioning Nigerians and bank robbery and now Cruz. It is at each of these unremarkable events that I am reminded that Nigerians actually do have what they call “sensibility,” because bored Diasporic Nigerians never wasted the opportunity to do public letters with signature drives seeking apology from perceived wrongdoers based outside Nigeria. This new round of pretentious indignation over Cruz’s reminded

me of one embarrassing event that happened to me sometime in 1992 or 1993. I was still in academia back then on a research faculty position at UC Davis, California. We were about 30 staff in my Institute which is within the Internal Medicine Department/School of Medicine in Sacramento. I got to the office one morning and found about 20 copies of a 419 letter stickered on my office door. UC Davis Campus Police had circulated the letter the day before to alert the university community of what the Nigerian advance fee fraud letter looked/read like and to warn everyone to be careful not to fall a victim of the rising syndicated crime wave. The letter was unmistakably Nigerian with its wazobia name of the writer, inferior grammar and the familiar stupid plot. I was the only Nigerian-American on the staff. Unbeknownst to me, the rest of the staff had decided to pull a Ted Cruz on me by sticking their copies of the letter on my door, slipping some under it and scrolling some in the pocket of my lab coat that was hung in the central area for lab coats. I whistled in to begin the day’s work, thinking of my ongoing experiments, the manuscript and the staff training manual that I would work on. I made to turn my door knob, then saw the papers on the door. I perused one and noticed they were all copies of the same letter that I had seen the day before. I looked sideways and saw that about five of our staff were already gathered by the copy machine

a few feet away. Immediately, I realized what was going on – ee wo o, these people wanted to catch my first reaction. I thought to myself, this is not the time to feel or behave like an insulted Nigerian. So instead, I turned on my Nigerian sense of humor and went to the group by the copy machine whose number had somehow risen to about eight and said: “I suppose I’m gonna have to come up with a new trick since you won’t fall for this one anymore.” Everybody had a hearty laugh, including to my horrors, visiting medical fellows from Taiwan and France and the two professors who started and own the Institute. Other Nigerians might have handled the same event differently, of course. In fact, some might have started a letter of protest to the university’s HR or even the president. But I was able to choose my method because I only felt embarrassed not insulted. I didn’t take it personal. My characteristic Salako self confidence remained intact and unshaken throughout the ordeal. Neither did I surrender my ego to easy bruising nor did I have any attention deficit disorder that needed to be cured with protest letters, faxes or phone calls over a shame that I know is bigger than me. I won’t have brain-drained to faraway UC Davis anyway if my country was not being run by a group of rogue leadership. I personally have no problem with whatever reaction any Nigerian chooses to exercise against global ridicule that we as Nigerians have

condemned ourselves to live in. There are 160 million of us; reactions to events are bound to differ. I just wish reactionary Nigerians with sensitive egos could direct half of their lame indignation activism to those ruining our country and disrespecting the citizens every day. Indeed, there are millions of well hinged Nigerians with demonstrated intellect and hard work and who are making remarkable contributions across all economic sectors all over the world. But somehow, these good Nigerian qualities are regressed compared to the dominant criminal traits that have come to define us all. For about 40 years now, we as Nigerians have watched helplessly as our country gradually became defined to the world by state run corruption, a brand of worldwide fraud that is based on mutual stupidity of the scammer and scammed, drug trafficking, identity theft crimes, etc, not to talk of ritual killings for money at home. Ted Cruz is only 42 years old. He had probably lived all of his adult life seeing the Nigerian 419 fraud becoming a new reality across the world, reading ubiquitous news about official recklessness and stupidity of our leaderships and probably concluded by the time he became a senator that the Nigeria nation state is one giant criminal enterprise. I know a lot of Nigerians who hold similar opinion and they are neither white Republicans nor Democrat Latinos. The Nigerian self pride is naturally

crude and oftentimes misplaced. Nigeria is the only place you would see dirt poor citizens walking or pushing menial carts in dignity even as they wait in sealed off streets for their commissioner, minister, senator, governor or president to drive or fly past. I am not even sure Nigerians know how and what they feel. Nigeria is where you would find the most cheated and disrespected human being alive claiming the happiest living and yet hating to be born in Nigeria, more than anywhere in the world. Go figure. The contents of some of the letters written to Cruz are a different kettle of fish. The logical thread in most of the letters is to remind Cruz that Nigerians are the most educated immigrant subset in the US with significant contributions across the American economic spectrum and that the Nigerian criminals are a tiny minority not representing a proportion higher than in any other population group. Beyond that, the supporting logic in some of those letters ranges from the absurd to our official state of delusion. One Nigerian who actually wrote in support of Cruz stated in his own letter: “To silence these protests, please Senator, challenge them to a debate about Biafra and why the division of that country is the answer to all the problems. Thanks for being realistic and truthful.” Qansy Salako wrote in from Abuja

To be continued



Farmers in Abaji urged to embrace ATA programme By Usman Shu’aibu


ome farmers in Abaji Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been urged to embrace

the Federal Government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), in order to boost food production in the territory. The Director in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Dr.

Charles Momo, who gave the charge, during a courtesy visit to the Ona of Abaji, urged the farmers to take an advantage of ATA programme, by getting registered as genuine farmers

in the area. Momo said that the programme was meant to boost food production as well as create job opportunities for the teeming youths in the area and

A local make shift restaurant (Mama-put in local parlance), waiting for Patronage, yesterday at Jabi Park, Abuja.

the country at large. The director, who appealed to the farmers to register at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture or any registration centre close to them within the six area councils in the FCT, added that “two bags of fertilisers, at a 50% discount, will be given to farmers each after registration.” Responding, the Ona of Abaji, Alhaji Adamu Yunusa, who thanked the director and his team for the visit, described the initiative of ATA as a good boost to the agriculture sector in the territory.

..As farmer urges FCTA to enforce law on bush burning

Photo: Justin ImoOwo

By Usman Shu’aibu

Pastor charges parents, youth on good morals By Stanley Onyekwere


he General Overseer of Salvation Victory Church International, Gwagwalada, Abuja, Dr. Danladi Godwin Diko, has charged parents and youth on the need to be imbibe and teach good morals as well as core values of the society, so as to contribute in reshaping and repositioning the society on the path of progress. He said the society has lost its core values and morals, as it seems not to be teaching them again, and living a righteous lifestyle is no longer seen as an important thing, therefore it calls for both parents and youth should seek ways to be guided on the path of return to godliness and righteousness. According to him, “Why we

have all these bombings and other problems around us are because, these children are not thought and nurtured with the right morals from their homes; many of them didn’t grow up living with their parents”. Speaking at the church’s choir concert, tagged: “Lift Him Up”, which held recently at the church premises in Gwagwalada, the cleric added that “because the society has degenerated from core values and our youths have lost their morals, it is then the duty of the church to bring them back on the right path”. “The Bible says that righteousness exalts a nation but sin destroys it; so when we have youth that are righteous, it will help in reshaping and repositioning our society on the path of progress.”

Diko said that parents have roles to play in the aspect of counseling while bringing up the children at their tender age by being role models and good counselors to them; just as children should learn to listen to their parents, so as to live a righteous lifestyle. Also, he added that political leaders have a critical role to play in transforming the youth as their role model in the society, saying that “if they compromise by importing policies and ideas that are ungodly, then they end up corrupting the society. But when they allow Godly values to permeate into their lives, definitely, the society will become better”. Commenting on the theme, the cleric said: “From the Bible, the Lord commands that when He is

lifted up, He shall draw men unto Himself; and the church believes that Jesus is the head of the church and we stand by everything that will project Him.” “And the benefit of the concert is to bring the youths together and withdraw them away from the societal music and bring them closer to God, so as to re-fire, reorientate and transform them into better members of the society; as a church we understand that it is also our duty to help in teaching and imparting the right values on young ones. A choir concert is a time where other choirs from different churches, on invitation, converge and share together, rejoicing before the presence of God with singing, drama and other presentations.

… As Judge, Archbishop task leaders to live exemplary life By Usman Shu’aibu


judge in charge of the High Court in Gwagwalada area council of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Justice Mwada Balami, has called on leaders in the society to live an exemplary life worthy of emulation.

This is just as the National President of the Heavenly Kingdom Church International (HKCI), Archbishop John Lai Balogun called on leaders at all levels to intensify efforts to providing basic necessities of life for the needy especially those roaming about the streets.

Balami, who made the call while addressing Christians during the celebration of the 16 years of the establishment of the Heavenly Kingdom Church International, in Gwagwalada, at the weekend, however appealed to leaders to always place emphasis on the welfare of the less-privileged ones

in the society. According to the Archbishop, “If our leaders fail to provide basic amenities for the disabled people, God would question them on the Day of Judgment.” The cleric however, urged citizens to pray for the leaders and progress of the society at all times.


s the dry season approaches, a farmer in Gwagwalada area council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Idi Haruna, has called on the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), to enforce the law against bush burning, so as to save farms and trees from wild fires. Haruna, who made the call in an interview with Peoples Daily, in Gwagwalada, also urged the leadership of the FCT Agriculture Secretariat to deem it necessary to begin campaign against bush burning across the six area councils. He said the farmers had, over the years, during this period lost their crops, as according to him, they recorded huge lost in economic crops such as cashew, banana, maize, rice and beans, including oranges and mango trees, as a result of bush burning. He therefore appealed to the FCT administration to employ forest guards from communities to check bush burning in their domains, as it was the responsibility of the government to do everything possible to protect crops as well as trees from menace of bush burning. According to him, it would be meaningless if those responsible for bush fires were not prosecuted by the government of the day in the territory. Also, he urged the government to assist farmers with fertilizers and farm inputs, so as to boost agricultural production all year round.




An overloaded commercial bus with passengers and goods, plying along Karu/Jikwoi road, yesterday in Abuja.

What remains of a structure of a garden demolished by Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), during the removal of structures along the pathway of the Abuja railway corridor, recently, in Abuja.

Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) officials on duty, at Kubwa in Abuja, recently

A Gbagi mother showcasing her rich culture, yesterday in Central Area, Abuja.

An overview of popular Nyanya Wednesday market Abuja, during one of its market days, recently. Photos: Justin Imo-Owo




3 sisters arraigned for assault, intimidation


he police have arraigned three sisters, Esther, 34, Glory, 17, and Mercy, 23, of One-man village, before an Upper Area Court in Mararaba, for alleged assault and intimidation. The Police Prosecutor, Cpl. Stephen Kwaza, told the court that Anna Dung lodged a report

against the accused at New Nyanya Police Station. Kwaza said that the three sisters conspired and beat up Dung, while threatening to kill her. He said that the accused inflicted some wounds on Dung, adding that he was later

hospitalised at the Primary Health Care Centre in New Karu. He said that the offence contravened Sections 97, 267 and 397 of the Penal Code. However, the three accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges. The presiding judge, Mr.

Habila Abundaga, granted bail to the accused in the sum of N300, 000 each with sureties and ruled that the sureties must be civil servants who lived within the court’s jurisdiction. He later adjourned the case to Nov. 3 for further hearing. (NAN)

Cultural entertainers playing traditional African guitar to the admiration of some fun seekers at Mellenium Park, at the weekend, in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Man bags 2 months imprisonment for stealing


n Abuja Magistrates’ Court yesterday sentenced a 26year old man, Matthew Amaechi, of Kubwa Village, to two months imprisonment with hard labour for stealing. Magistrate Emmanuel Iyana jailed Amaechi after he pleaded guilty to the offence but gave him an

option to pay a fine of N5,000. He said the sentence was to serve as a deterrent to those who might want to engage in similar acts. Earlier, the prosecutor, Mr. Simon Ibrahim, told the court that Felix Daniel of Israel Plaza, Wuse 2, Abuja, lodged a report against the convict at the Utako Police Station

on Oct. 23. Ibrahim said that on Oct. 16, the convict forcefully opened the complainants car and stole the sum of N28,000. He said on Oct. 23, the convict returned to the same spot where the complainant usually parked his car with the intent to steal but was

apprehended by security men. He also said that during police investigation, the convict confessed to have committed the crime and the sum of N26,000 was recovered from him. The prosecutor added that the offence contravened the Penal Code. (NAN)

Court adjourns case of former Kogi governor’s son to Nov. 26


n FCT High Court has adjourned hearing in case filed by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Mustapha Audu, son of former Kogi governor on Nov. 26. Justice Abubakar Umar adjourned the case at the instance of the EFCC Counsel, Mr. Sam Ugwuegulam, who failed to field his third witness for testimony.

“In the interest of justice and fear hearing, this case is further adjourned to Nov. 26 for hearing at the instance of the prosecution,’’ the judge said. Mustapha is standing trial alongside his wife, Zahrah Audu, and their company, Constructor Guild Ltd., for obtaining the sum of N18 million from one Nike Kolawole. The EFCC alleged that the

accused persons collected the sum under the guise of building a four bedroom apartment at Ruskin Terrace in Katamkpe Extension, Abuja, for the complainant. Earlier, the EFCC counsel filed a motion dated July 22, seeking an order of the court to grant him leave to call a third witness, Mailafia Yakubu, who investigated the case.

Ugwuegulam said that he attached the additional statement of his witness in the affidavit before the court. He, however, apologised for his inability to field the third witness, saying that the witness had proceeded on annual leave outside the country. The counsel to the accused, Mr. Okechukwu Ajunwa, did not oppose the application. (NAN)

Police arraign guard for alleged negligence


he police yesterday arraigned a 23-year old security guard, Adams Salifu, of Covenant Security Ltd, Mpape, Abuja, in a Kado Grade 2 Area Court, Abuja, for negligent conduct. The prosecutor, Mr. Simon Ibrahim, told the court that Christy Iliya of No 53 Wushishi Crescent,

Utako, Abuja, reported the matter at the Utako Police Station on September 27. Ibrahim told the court that the accused was on duty when he negligently allowed some unknown persons to enter the premises and steal some valuables. He listed the valuables to include

a 40 inch television, an iPad and a laptop, all valued at N437, 600. He said that the offence contravened the provisions of Section 196 of the Penal Code. Section 196 states whoever does any act of negligence, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six

months or with fine or with both. The presiding judge, Alhaji Ahmed Ado, granted the accused bail in the sum of N20, 000 with one reliable surety in like sum who must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court. He then adjourned the case to December 17. (NAN)

INSIDE FCT COURTS Driver docked over alleged mischief


25-year old man, Isaac John, yesterday appeared before an Abuja Senior Magistrates’ court sitting in Wuse zone 6, for alleged mischief. Police prosecutor Audu Bitrus told the court that Mr. Julius Ukochukwu of Jabi Upstair reported the case at Life Camp Police Station in Abuja on October 21. Bitrus said that in May, John of Jabi Daki Biyu was entrusted with a Nissan Sunny car belonging to the complainant for commercial purpose. He said that John removed some parts of the car valued at N70 000 and converted the vehicle to his personal use. The prosecutor added that all efforts to recover the items from the suspect proved abortive, adding that the offence contravened Section 323 of the Penal Code. Senior Magistrate Abdullahi Illelah granted him bail in the sum of N100, 000, with one surety in like sum who must a resident at a defined address within the jurisdiction of the court. He adjourned the case to November 4 for continuation of hearing. (NAN)

Court remands man for destroying factory fence


Kuje Magistrates’ Court has ordered that a 31-year old driver, Ikechukwu Ogoke, be remanded in prison custody for destroying the fence of a factory, valued at N894, 200. Ogoke, who resides at Lugbe, Abuja, is standing trial on charges of joint act, criminal trespass, mischief and attempt to commit an offence. The Magistrate, Okeagwu Azubuike, ordered that the accused be remanded in Kuje prison, till November 4 after Ogoke pleaded not guilty to the charges. The prosecutor, Cpl. Ocheche Samuel, told the court that one Okukoni Andrew, owner of the factory, reported the case at Kuje Police Station on October 22. Samuel said that the accused and one Ebuka, now at large, broke the fence of the factory located in Gudaba in Kuje. He alleged that the accused destroyed the fence with the intent to steal. The offence, he said, contravened the provisions of sections 79, 342, 326 and 95 of the Penal Code respectively.(NAN)



INSIDE, 08033045613

JMG to supply plant worth N1.3bn to MTN Nigeria - Pg 21

Gas–to– Power– plants: NDPHC racing to fill a vacum - Pg 20

L-R: Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Nikolay Uvovichenko with the Managing Director, COSMOS Engineering , Engineer Isaac Eghiaruwa, during the Ruaaian- Nigeria business forum meeting, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Russia- Nigeria trade volume hits N40bn - Envoy By Hassan Haruna Ginsau


rade volume between Nigeria and Russia has hit $250 million (approximately N40 billion) as the country met yesterday to deepen their bi-lateral ties. Russian envoy to Nigeria, Ambassador Nikolay Udovichenko made this known yesterday in Abuja while fielding questions from journalists during the RussiaNigeria business forum. When asked about the trade volume between Nigeria and Russia, Udovichenko said the figure stood at $250 million, adding that, “due to our efforts we can lift it significantly, and I’m sure the result will be effective”. Talking about the business relationship between the two countries, the Ambassador said “business relations are in a good stand and Russia is doing everything

to improve them” adding that, the forum was conceived as part of the effort to improve trade relations. He said the forum would be efficient and yield positive results for both Nigeria and Russia’s economies. “I think that we can lift not only bilateral trade but our cooperation on different fields including the investment sphere” the envoy added. He thanked the Nigerian government for hosting the forum, adding that both countries could further improve bilateral relations in economic and humanitarian issues, as well as foreign politics considering Nigeria was now a nonpermanent member of the U.N Security Council The Ambassador further expressed Russia’s interest in developing bi-lateral cooperation in different fields not only the economy,

including investment, energy, trade, and agriculture. The forum was designed to bring together various Russian and Nigerian businesses, entrepreneurs, investors, in order to foster closer relationships. Speaking earlier, Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. (Mrs) Viola Onwuliri represented by Acting Director, Trade and investment Division of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr. Momoh Sheidu Omeiza urged the two economic communities to collaborate and contribute more significantly to the economic development of each other’s countries. He said that “each of the 36 states of Nigeria including the FCT has appreciable levels of development, and they look forward to joint ventures and partnership with the Russian business community in the areas of agriculture, power,

Railway unions task mgt on disappearance of IGR funds From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


he leaderships of the Senior Staff Association of Communication, Transport, and Corporations (SSACTAC), Nigerian Railway Corporation branch and the Nigeria Union of Railway Workers (NUR) have charged the management of the Corporation to devise a safer strategy to protecting the corporation’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from disappearing from coffers. The bodies also tasked the management to improve its effort and strategies at IGR base of the corporation. President of SSACTA, Muhammed Yunusa and his NUR counterpart Benjamin Okoro said the IGR serves as the only source

of funds through which the welfare needs of staff are addressed. The unions decried the poor trainings of staff in 2013 and requested the NRC to improve on the training programmes for staff in the coming year with ultimate poise to improve workers’ performance. “It has becomes very expedient on the part of the Management to widen its stream of revenues in order to earn more and, as equally important, protect same from leakages that are vicious enough to deplete the IGR and, by implication, impoverish the Management with attendant adverse effect on the Corporation and its staff”. Also part of their demand include, the upgrade of the Railway Staff Industrial Clinic to a modern status , human capacity and facility enhancement, extension of Clinic’s

service hours to 24 hours a week, the upgrade the staff clinics in Bauchi, Zaria, and Minna to standards that conform with National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). They explained that accredited officers should be allow to diligently scrutinise and supervise all the Railway contracts to ascertain that contracts are executed to subsisting specification that gives value for the money paid for the jobs. Both leaders said “the Corporation must significantly achieve a high level of operational safety, ensure durability and longevity of life of its limited rolling stock and other facilities which are procured and or rehabilitated in the Federal Government’s quest to transform the rail transport industry for job creation and commuting comfort of the citizenry”

mining, health, manufacturing, education, tourism, energy, housing, ICT etc.” he said. Speaking on the ministry’s activities in foreign direct investment, he added that “the aim is to link businesses and attract investors into various sectors of the Nigerian economy, and propagate made in Nigeria products to the external market.” Sheidu urged Russian participants to explore Nigeria’s vast investment opportunities, and make the necessary business linkages that will foster Nigeria and Russia’s bi-lateral relations. The forum had presentations from the National Import Promotion Council of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Investment, and The Export Promotion Council, all of whom outlined the conducive economic climate in the country, highlighting numerous business opportunities, investment incentives, natural resources, hospitality, and robust economic policies.

Rocket Internet to launch online car purchase order in Nigeria - Pg 22 Exchange Rates CBN as at 25th September, 2013 Buying



















MANAGEMENT TIP OF THE DAY Tailor your coaching to specific learning styles


n effective coach meets people where they are. As you coach your employees to develop their skills or improve their performance, set them up for success by understanding how they learn best and adjusting your methods accordingly. Some people may prefer learning in the moment, through intense experience and goal-directed action. Others may favor retaining information reflectively, through sustained meditation and analytical thinking. Coaching will likely involve some combination of these two

approaches. With people who prefer an active style of learning, for example, communicate dynamically and encourage on-the-job experiments. With reflective learners, communicate thoughtfully and allow adequate time for them to rehearse quietly on their own. By tapping into their preferred styles, you will engage employees more deeply and find an approach to learning they feel motivated to follow. As a result, they’ll make greater—and faster—progress toward their goals. Source: Harvard Business Review



Energy Company News

FAAN deploys modern security equipment in MMA


he Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has deployed a next-generation security equipment at the international terminal of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos. The equipment, which is located at nine different passenger checkpoints in the newly expanded ‘D’ and ‘E’ Departure halls of the terminal, is part of a large-scale upgrade of the airport’s security network….

No increase in airfares —NCAA


he Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority says it has not authorised any increase in airfare by any airline in the country. A statement signed by the General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA, Mr. Fan Ndubuoke, advised travellers to be cautious and ignore any misleading information. The statement read in part, “The NCAA’s position further clarifies Arik Airline’s…

Apple, Facebook options reflect hopes for stock gains


he options market is reflecting a higher probability of large upside moves in Apple Inc and Facebook Inc stock when both companies report quarterly earnings next week, Reuters reported. Stock of Apple – the largest US company by market value – is down one per cent since January 1 while Facebook shares are up 95…

816,934 new jobs generated in six months —NBS


he Nigerian economy generated a total of 816,934 jobs between the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013, the National Bureau of Statistics has said. The NBS said this in the fourth quarter 2012 and first quarter 2013 Job Creation Survey, which was released in Abuja on Sunday. The survey was jointly…

Gas–to– Power–plants: NDPHC racing to fill a vacum By Etuka Sunday


t the height of Nigeria’s economyic boom in the early 70s and 80’s, manufacturing firms engaged in ‘rat race ‘ scrambling for space in the highbrow Lagos state Oba Akran Avenue industrial layout to site plants and office space. In Nigeria, manufacturers not only discovered huge market with vast population, they also located in the country relatively stable power supply. Dunlop Nigeria plc, Hoesch, Tower Aluminum; May & Baker, Berger Paint Plc, and numerous clustered firms that dotted Lagos state, the South and Northern part of Nigeria thrived largely due to conducive business atmosphere that prevailed at the time occasioned by a relative stable power supply. Regrettably, with time Nigeria’s electricity power supply plummeted to an abysmal low generation of 1, 500 MW in 2000. Today Dunlop and its allies not only closed their operations in Nigeria due to low power supply, they have relocated to neighbouring countries that have a relative steady power supply. Successive governments had evolved strategies aimed at improving power supply including the option of privatization of the power sector, a process that enables government divesting its control to allow private operators play active role in generation and distribution. However, the novel idea to tackle the challenge posed by power supply remains the formation of Niger Delta Power Holding Company of Nigeria (NDPHC) which came in to existence shortly after the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) idea was conceived in 2004. The idea was to “fast-track government funded initiative to stabilize Nigeria’s electricity supply, while the private-sector led structure of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) of 2005 took effect.” Originally, the NIPP was anchored around “seven medium sized gas-fired power stations in the gas producing states, and the critical transmission infrastructure needed to evacuate the added power into the national grid. A commitment to electrify host communities in the vicinity of the power stations and major substations gave rise to the distribution component of the project. As a follow up, in August 2005, the National Council of State and the National Assembly approved an initial funding of US$2.5 billion for NIPP from the Excess Crude Oil Account

(ECOA) which statutorily belongs to the Federal, state and local governments. The Federal Government therefore incorporated NDPHC

Egbema Power Plant, Owerri, Imo state; Gbarain Power Plant, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State; Geregu II, Ajaokuta, Kogi State; Sapele II, Sapele, Delta State;

According to him, the NIPP projects had aided the realisation of improved power generation across the country, confident that with additional

Geregu power plant recently commissioned by President Goodluck Jonathan, at Ajaokuta, Kogi state

as a limited liability company to serve as the legal vehicle to hold the NIPP assets using private sector-oriented best business practices. In 2008, after a protracted and intensive debate on the way forward, the National Economic Council (NEC) agreed to set aside an additional US$5.375 billion from the ECOA as a Power Emergency Fund to complete NIPP which was interrupted by the change of government in 2007 subject to the approvals of all the state legislative houses. To implement the decision, in January 2009 NEC inaugurated the NIPP Steering Council chaired by the then Vice President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, with six state governors and four ministers as members. The NIPP Steering Council is now the Board of Directors of NDPHC chaired by Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo. The NIPP generation assets comprises ten gas-fired power plants with a combined design capacity in excess of 5, 453MW at (ISO) conditions and 4, 774MW (Net). Each of the power plants has been incorporated as a subsidiary company of NDPHC. The plants are: Alaoji Power Plant, Aba, Abia state; Ihovbor Power Plant, Benin City, Edo state; Calabar Power Plant, Calabar, Cross River state;

Olorunsogo II, Olorunsogo, Ogun State; Omoku II, Port Harcourt, Rivers State; and Omotosho II, Okitipupa, Ondo state. According to reports, the country has spent over $8 billion building the power plants and is expected to make $6 billion from divesting 80 per cent of governments’ shares in them. Some of the plants have been completed and some are in their last phase of completion. However, the Managing Director, NDPHC, Mr James Olotu, has assured Nigerians that the ongoing NIPP would contribute to the country’s power generation when completed. The DG said that some of the projects would be delivered by the end of first quarter of 2014, saying that about 5,000 megawatts would be added to the national grid when all the 10 projects had been completed. “Nigeria will soon witness economic and industrial development, as the completion of all the power plants will play a pivotal role in the development of the critical sectors of the economy. “Power is pivotal to economic and industrial development of Nigeria. “With these power stations in operation, epileptic power will give way to full electricity supply, which will improve the service delivery of industries,’’ Olotu said.

434 megawatts from Geregu power plant, it would improve electricity supply, with Kogi and Abuja metropolis being major beneficiaries. The simple-cycle mode plant consisting of three Siemens SGT5-2000E gas turbines with generation capacity of 434MW was constructed by Messrs Siemens AG and Siemens Limited Nigeria and is sited in Geregu in Ajaokuta local government area of Kogi state. The station has a switchyard to evacuate outputs to the national grid at 330kV through the existing switchyard of the 414MW privatised Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Geregu Phase-1 power station and Ajaokuta 330/132kV transmission substation. The NDPHC, which oversees the construction of projects under the NIPP initiative, contract for the construction of the new plant was executed with Siemens in April 2010 as the last of the power plants to be contracted but is now the first to be completed. Olotu recently confirmed that two out of the 10 NIPP projects have been inaugurated, while others will be completed and inaugurated by the first quarter of 2014. He expressed optimism that Nigeria will overcome its current power challenges 2014 at the completion and handing over of the 10 power plants.




JMG to supply plant worth N1.3bn to MTN Nigeria Stories by Chris Alu


o enhance efficient and effective communication through its channel, MTN Telcoms has awarded contract job to a tune of N1.3billion to JMG generators to supply 12 capacity high voltage generator plants to power most of its stations in Nigeria. The generator plants which are of 12 capacity magnitude will be supplied to MTN switch

locations in Asaba, Lagos, Kano and Ibadan. The installation will provide Nigeria with enhanced network coverage to meet the population’s increasing mobile communications capacity requirements. The initial three-month installation project will encompass the supply and installation of six 2,000kVA, three 1,500kVA and three 1,250 KVA generator sets.

The Managing Director JMG Generator, Mr. Mazen Jubaili, said “the company has a proven pedigree of delivering world class power solutions for significant projects in Nigeria and it is a strong endorsement of our work that MTN Communications has entrusted us with this contract, We look forward to commencing work on the project and bringing our renowned technical expertise to bear in overcoming any challenges”, he stated

Jubaili, added that, they would ensure that the generator sets are delivered on time. “We are confident the mobile communications power infrastructure upgrade will be successfully concluded to specification and on schedule to meet the urgent demand for increased mobile network services and quality of service in Nigeria.” Also Mrs. Lynda SaintNwafor, Chief Technical

officer, MTN Nigeria, said “ as a leading member of Nigeria’s generator industry and with an excellent reputation in their area of competence to clients, JMG is ideally positioned to deliver the power infrastructure upgrade to meet MTN’s expectations”. She explained that, MNT is building on a cordial relationship with JMG, this project will enable MTN to further enhance our reputation for providing a world-class cellular network across Nigeria, Nwafor also said that MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd offers mobile network services and business solutions to more than 45 million subscribers and currently provides network coverage to almost 90 percent of Nigeria’s.

Undersea cable investments hit $3bn -CEO, Main One


he Chief Executive Officer of Main One Cable, Mrs Funke Okpeke has said that both Main One Cable Company and the West African Leading open access broadband provider have so far invested a total sum of $3 billion in undersea infrastructure with landing point in the country. She explained that with such Deputy Governor of Bayelsa, Rear Adm. Jonah Gboribiogha (rtd) (left) receiving security car keys from the MTN foundation huge investment, there would be Acting Senior Manager,Sales East zone, Mr Onamari Harsefall (right), yesterday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa enough broadband for internet uses that can give millions of Nigerians bandwidth capacity they need for last mile deployment and he Nigerian networks cause adverse health Sanni identified some of responsibility to protect the effective communication network C o m m u n i c a t i o n s effects,” he said. the challenges faced by the infrastructure in our locality system. According to her, Main Commission (NCC) has Sanni expressed telecommunication providers from vandalism, stealing and One in collaboration with First declared that telecommunication displeasure at the way people to include ‘’criminal’’ vandalism other abuses,’’ he said. masts mounted at strategic places vandalised and stole parts of equipment, destruction of Mr Demain Ude, who City Monument Bank (FCMB) for effective communication was of the telecommunication cables during road construction, represented Etisalat, pointed out would use the facility to invest in not injurious to health. infrastructure and called for a theft as well as community and that telecom infrastructure was much needed infrastructure to Its Director of Technical change of attitude. government interference. critical to all human security and unreached areas assuring, “we Standards and Network Integrity, “There is the need to protect Also speaking, the Executive communication activities as well look forward to landing our cable Mr Balarabe Sanni, made the telecom infrastructures from Commissioner in-charge of as data collection and processing to many parts of the country before the end of the year, she stated. clarification while delivering stealing, vandalism and other stakeholders management, Mr and needed protection. The latest investment adds a paper entitled “Protection harms. Okechukwu Itanyi, noted that Mrs Ukachukwu Ohiagu and of Telecommunication ‘’There is need to discourage the forum provided an avenue for Mrs Chinwe Ejiofor from Airtel to the growing rich catalog of Infrastructure” at a unauthorised diversion to the consumers, service providers and Globacom respectively undersea cable telecommunication stakeholdersforum in Okigwe, other uses of the parts of the and the regulator to address said that not tampering with infrastructure in the last five years Imo. infrastructure,’’ he said. consumer related issues. the telecom infrastructure which includes Globacom’s 10, Sanni said that contrary The director maintained Itanyi, who was represented made communication easy and 000 Kilometers’ Glo-1 cable worth $800 million. to people’s fears, the energy that the radio frequency of the by Dr Olufemi Atoyebi, the efficient. MTN has also landed its WACS dissipated by the cellular base broadcast stations was 10,000 Assistant Director of Consumer NAN reports that some of stations carried little radio- watts compared to that of the Affairs, said the theme the participants complained of system worth $600 million and frequency (RF) signals and posed mobile telecommunication was imperative as telecom the high tariff charged by the ACE cable promoted by Orange no risk to humans. which was between one watt and infrastructure had direct and providers, fraudulent promotions Telecom of France worth $700 He said that exposure 10 watts. indirect impact on the spread of and difficulty in retrieving million which also lands in Nigeria. These fresh investments are in guidelines had been developed Sanni pointed out that many service and quality of service. stolen lines after the mandatory addition to the South Atlantic 3 (or by the International Commission base stations were needed for Itanyi described the registration of the lines. on Non-Ionizing Radiation effective communication, adding development of telecom Mr Okechukwu Emmanuel SAT-3) cable under Nitel, which to provide protection against that vandalising them led to poor infrastructure as an important accused the telecom providers experts have variously estimated established effects from RF fields. or no services experienced by phase in the life of the telecom of making the consumers pay for to worth in excess of $600 million. Ms. Opeke said the company’s “Considering the very low subscribers. industry, saying it was the blood any penalty imposed on them by reputation lies in its reliability exposure levels and research He asked individuals not that sustained the industry. NCC. collected to date, there is no to buy stolen and vandalised “It is obvious that without He called on the Senate which has earned it a somewhat convincing scientific evidence telecom equipment and that they telecom infrastructure, there will to enforce any decision taken preferred wholesale infrastructure that the weak RF signals from should report any one found be no telecom service. against the telecom providers to service provider among major telecom operator and, ISPs. base stations and wireless doing so. ‘’It is our collective enable them to sit up.(NAN)

Telecom infrastructure safe for human life -- NCC





Rocket Internet to launch online car purchase order in Nigeria By Chris Alu


ne of the world largest online incubator, Rocket Internet has announced plan to introduce an online website known as .www.carmudi. com into the market place, where people can search for any vehicle of their choice and buy in Nigeria. The platform it says, will also provide opportunities for sellers to transact sales of their cars online with a click. The Managing Director,

Asia Classifieds Rocket Internet Mr.Koen Thijssen stated this, at Technology Crunch in Berlin while explaining Rocket focus on the emerging market classifieds space. He explained that the opportunity when launched, will offer buyers and sellers the privilege to purchase motorcycles and commercial vehicles online. According to him, the launched operations will take place in Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar,

targeting almost 700 million people in all countries. Thijssen said that Rocket Internet’s operational expertise will leverage on the global network to provide easy and accessible platform through Carmudi website to reach market leadership in most countries shortly after opening its website. He said the company will continue to roll-out platforms that will open doors of opportunities to people and at the same time bring the global

market together. “After having successfully developed our vehicle websites in five emerging markets in the past couple of months, we are very excited to continue our global roll-out and unify all of our services under our new brand name Carmudi. So far, across all markets we have already signed a large number of vehicle dealers and agents, registered extremely fast growing traffic on our websites and received great feedback from our users.

Senator Oluremi Tinubu displaying one the books printed by AFKAR others L-R Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, AFKAR, Mr. Allen Ballard, Executive Director (Finance & Admn.) Vintage Press Nig. Ltd. Mr. Ade Odunewu, Legal & Personnel Manager, Mrs. Adesola Falaiye others during the Opening week of AFKAR Printing & Publishing Company Limited, Ikeja, Lagos recently.

Non-interest banking system encourages business culture amongst Nigerians-Businessman


businessman, Malam Umar Shehu, said the introduction of noninterest banking system in the country was one of the best ways of encouraging Nigerians to imbibe the banking culture. Shehu, who is the Chairman of Rifcon Consulting firm, stated this on Monday in Gusau while speaking with journalists on the new banking system. He said his firm, which offered consultancy services to financial institutions, observed very poor response to banking culture by many Nigerians, especially Muslims and Northerners. This, according to him, is due to the none acceptance of

interest in banking under the Islamic law. He said the emergence of Jaiz Bank, a fully non-interest driven bank, as well as the opening of interest-free units by two conventional banks in the country, was fast changing

the trend. Shehu said that though the new banking system reflected only about two per cent of the conventional banking, the concept would likely support and enhance CBN’s implementation of the cashless

policy in Nigeria. He said his company would continue to create awareness among Nigerians to enable them develop banking culture in order to check the risk of carrying huge sums of money around. (NAN)

13 ships to discharge petroleum products at Lagos ports


he Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) yesterday said that 13 ships laden with petroleum products had arrived at the Lagos ports. The information was contained in the NPA’s daily publication, the ‘’Shipping Position,’’ just released in Lagos. It said that two other motor vessels carrying general cargo had arrived at the ENL terminal and

were waiting to berth. The publication also disclosed that the NPA was expecting the arrival of 58 vessels from Oct. 28 to Nov. 29. It said that of the 58 vessels expected to arrive, 27 of them would sail in with containers. It also said that 18 of the vessels were expected to arrive at various terminals at the ports with vehicles.

The publication also said five of the vessels would arrive at various terminals at the ports with petroleum products, including fuel, kerosene and diesel. It also said that four of the vessels would sail in with general cargo; three of them would carry food items, including buckwheat and frozen fish, while one vessel would arrive with other products. (NAN)

NAPEP urges Nigerians to support FG’s poverty reduction programme


he National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) yesterday urged the populace to support the Federal Government’s “Innovative Ideas Platform’’ of the poverty reduction programme. The Innovative Ideas Platform involves the empowerment of poor families with skills and funding for self-employment. A statement issued by Mr Danladi Kobi, NAPEP’s Public Relations Officer, credited the National Coordinator of NAPEP, Malam Mukhtar Tafawa-Balewa, as saying that the platform would reduce poverty and enhance national development. ``I urge every Nigerian to join the government to work through its innovative ideas as it will improve development in the country. ``The innovative ideas will provide the extreme poor the means and ability to increase their productivity by embracing the use of simple modern input and tools,’’ Tafawa-Balewa said. He said NAPEP was targeting extremely poor households, who were captured under its ``Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme (CCT)’’. The coordinator said that the CCT Scheme was one of the intervention programmes carried out by NAPEP toward at reducing poverty in the country. He noted that CCT, also known as ``In Care of the People (COPE), focused on women, children, the poor, the aged, the physically challenged, victims of Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) and Persons Living with HIV and AIDS. Tafawa-Balewa said NAPEP had collaborated with state and local governments to ensure uniformity in the implementation of programmes and stressed that poverty and wealth creation featured prominently in the Federal Government’s transformation agenda. He said that more than 500 NAPEP staff members had been trained and retrained on the CCT scheme and deployed to collect the biometric data of the core poor in various states. The coordinator said the organisation had risen to the challenge of delivering on its mandate to the poor and that the effort would enhance economic development in several communities. He gave an assurance that NAPEP would fulfil the aspirations of the Jonathan administration as it played a unique and pivotal role in the reduction of poverty. (NAN)



Stock Watch

Report as at Monday, October 28, 2013




Special Report

Behind the wheel, Saudi women hope for new gains S

everal Saudi women boldly got behind the wheel at the weekend, including one who managed a 45-minute trip through the nation’s capital, seeking to ignite a road rebellion against the maleonly driving rules in the ultraconservative kingdom. It’s been a little more than two years since the last time women in Saudi Arabia campaigned for the right to drive. Now activists are calling for women to get behind the wheel again Saturday, and they hope reforms made by the monarchy since then have readied the deeply conservative nation for change. Encouragement poured in via the Internet. “Take the wheel. Foot on the gas”, said one Twitter message on the main site: women2Drive. Another urged: “Saudi women, start your engines!” In the early hours of the protest, security forces mostly held back from challenging the women drivers, activists said. Some reported that women drove directly in front of police patrols. “We want women from today to begin exercising their rights,” said Wajeha alHuwaidar, a Saudi women’s rights activist who posted Internet clips of herself driving in 2008. “Today on the roads is just the opening in a long campaign. We will not go back.” The plan, she said, is for women who have obtained driving licenses abroad to begin doing their daily errands and commuting on their own. “We’ll keep it up until we get a royal decree removing the ban,” she told The Associated Press. The campaign’s official start follows the 10-day detention last month of a 32-year-old woman, Manal al-Sherif, after she posted video of herself driving. She was released after reportedly signing a pledge that she would not drive again or speak publicly. Her case, however, sparked an outcry from international rights groups and brought direct appeals to Saudi’s rulers to lift the driving ban on women – the only such countrywide rule in the world.

Umm Ibrahim sits behind the wheel of her vehicle as she drives in Riyadh.

A protest supporter, Benjamin Joffe-Walt, said there were confirmed reports of at least several women in the driver’s seat in the capital, Riyadh. One of them was Maha al-Qahtani, a computer specialist at Saudi’s Ministry of Education, who said she drove for 45 minutes around the city with her husband in the passenger seat. “I wanted to make a point,” she said in a telephone interview. “I took it directly to the streets of the capital.” Web message boards set up on Twitter and other social media carried unconfirmed reports that some women also got behind the wheel in the eastern city of Dammam and elsewhere. Joffe-Walt said some Saudi men claimed they drove around dressed in the traditional black coverings for women in an attempt to

confuse security forces. A YouTube page urged supporters around the world to honk their car horns for the Saudi women. But conservative forces also counterattacked on the web. One video – denouncing the “revolution of corruption” – featured

patriotic songs and a sinister-looking black hand with red fingernails reaching for the Saudi flag. One Facebook, a hard-line group had the message for Saudi women seeking the right to drive: “Dream on.” No arrests or violence were immediately reported.

The first major driving protest came in 1995 and was met by a heavy response. Some 50 women who drove their cars were jailed for a day, had their passports confiscated and lost their jobs

Photograph by Amena Bakr, Reuters

Earlier this week, a group of women drove around the Saudi Embassy in Washington to protest the kingdom’s ban on female drivers. Similar convoys converged on Saudi diplomatic missions in other cities around the world. In November 1990, when U.S. troops were deployed to Saudi Arabia before the invasion to oust Iraqi troops from Kuwait, about 50 women got behind the wheel and drove family cars in one of the first acts of defiance against the ban. They were jailed for one day, their passports confiscated and they lost their jobs. The reforms made by King Abdullah in recent years have been cautious, showing his wariness of pushing too hard against influential ultraconservatives. But given the overwhelming restrictions on women in

the kingdom, where the strict interpretation of Islam known as Wahabism is effectively the law of the land, even the tiny openings have had a resounding effect. Perhaps one sign of the impact of the changes is the loudness of the backlash by conservatives against Saturday’s driving campaign. Around 150 clerics rallied outside one of the king’s palaces this week, some accusing Abdullah’s top ally, the United States, of being behind calls to let women drive. A prominent cleric caused a stir when he said last month that medical studies show that driving a car harms a woman’s ovaries. Those opposed to the campaign have also used social media to attack women activists or have urged people to harass female drivers. The defiance could bring difficult choices for

the Western-backed Saudi authorities who have far have escaped major unrest from the Middle East turmoil. Officials could either launch a crackdown on the women and facing international pressure or giving way to the demands and angering traditional-minded clerics and other groups opposing reforms. It also could encourage wider reform bids by Saudi women, who have not been allowed to vote and must obtain permission from a male guardian to travel or take a job. The government has given mixed signals about how it will deal with the campaign, illustrated by a statement put out this week by the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of police. The ministry warned against marches or gatherings under the pretext of the driving campaign. It said violators “disturbing public peace” will be dealt with firmly. But activists have interpreted the statement to mean that police will crackdown on men who try and attack or harass women drivers, said Hatoon al-Fassi, a Women’s History professor at King Saud University in Riyadh. She pointed out that women have made clear they aren’t holding gatherings on Saturday; women will simply drive in a show of defiance of the ban, perhaps on the pretext of running errands. “We are feeling a more positive environment. There is a general atmosphere of acceptance,” al-Fassi said. “The public is positive and the reactions on social media are beautiful.” Still, the statement’s language also caters to conservatives because it harkens back to charges of “violating public order” that were levied against a female driver arrested in 2011. In a sign authorities do not want the driving campaign to grow too bold, police have privately told the campaigners not to speak to the media, according to one activist who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retribution. The driving ban — imposed because clerics warn that “licentiousness” will spread if women drive — is unique in the world

A Saudi woman poses in this picture to illustrate driving a car in Jeddah. (Reuters / Susan Baaghil)

and is the most symbolically weighty of the restrictions on women in Saudi Arabia. But it’s hardly the only one. The first major driving protest came in 1995 and was met by a heavy response. Some 50 women who drove their cars were jailed for a day, had their passports confiscated and lost their jobs. In June 2011, about 40

women got behind the wheel and drove in several cities in a protest sparked when a woman was arrested after posting a video of herself driving. Individual women continued to flout the ban, and one woman was arrested and sentenced to 10 lashes. The king overturned the sentence. For Saturday, campaigners hope to bring

out bigger numbers. They claim to have 16,000 signatures on a petition of support, a quarter more than in 2011. This time, they say they understand the laws better and have the full support of male relatives, and they argue public attitudes are changing. They have posted online videos of themselves driving in recent weeks,

A Saudi woman opens the door of her family’s car to get a feel for what it is like to sit behind the wheel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Saturday 18 June 2005. Photograph by EPA/Waseem Obeida

with some showing passing male drivers giving them a thumbs-up in support. State newspapers have published articles and opinion pieces almost daily on the debate, something impossible only a few years ago. Al-Fassi, who also writes for the state-run daily Al-Riyadh, said that two years ago she was barred from publishing an article that mentioned women’s driving and had to change the wording. “This time I wrote a long article and not a single word was changed. It is unprecedented,” she said. A string of “firsts” since the 2011 driving campaign have cracked open the door. Women were granted the right to vote and run in the 2015 municipal elections. Thirty women were given seats on the Shura Council, an advisory body to the king and government. The largest university in the world for girls opened just a few years after the opening of the kingdom’s first major mixed-gender university. Two Saudi female athletes, including a judo player, competed in last year’s Olympics. Four women were granted licenses to work as lawyers. A law criminalizing domestic abuse was introduced, with a state-backed ad campaign against abuse of women. (Source: world.time. com)




We are against this ‘envelop system’ of budgeting by the Executive – Rep Hon. Isa Lawan is an All Progressives Congress (APC) member, representing Guzamala, Kukawa, Mobbar and Abadam Federal Constituency of Borno state. Before coming to the House of Representatives, he was elected three times as councilor and also three times as chairman of Guzamala local government council of Borno state; and based on his hard work, his people have asked him to run for the Senate this time around. In this interview with Aminu Imam, he bared his mind on the controversial corruption scandal rocking the aviation ministry, among other sundry matters. Excerpts:


hat has being your legislative experience so far?

What I can say is that the Seventh Assembly is doing well compared to the previous ones, because we have been legislating on issues that affect the masses, such as unemployment, fighting corruption and performing oversight duties with the aim of complying with the terms and conditions of the nation’s budget. Also, very important is that we found ourselves committed to this task of ensuring that the right thing is done at the right time. Also, on my personal experience, as a first timer, I have gained a lot in the hallowed chambers of the lower House. Having served three times as councillor and also three times as local government Hon. Isa Lawan chairman, I have learnt a which is of the Executive; lot. So, all what people don’t because it is a duplicate of that understand is the difference budget, some organizations between a legislator and the such as the Ministries, executive; both of them perform Departments and Agencies two different functions. A (MDAs), do implement legislature is to legislate on unauthorized budgets which issues but cannot implement is unconstitutional. So, if such it; even issues like resolutions departments are spending and recommendations are such budgets that were not still subject to the Executive appropriated and signed into for implementation. Because law, how will you know the all the problems that we are source of their expenditure? having and what you have been They only defend what we hearing from newspapers and approve for them to spend radios are all from the side of and that is what we to go on the Executive, ranging from oversight to do. Secondly, it is corruptions, job racketeering not all issues that they disclose and so forth, because they to us; we, as members of the are the implementors. The National Assembly, all what National Assembly doesn’t we do is that, during budget implement anything; whatever defense, they come with their we all end up with in the budget to defend it. Let me chamber, we communicate it to the Executive for further action. Why is it that you don’t uncover shady deals in the course of your oversight functions? I can tell you that there are issues that people don’t know of the Executive on how they implement their budget. You may well be aware that there are two sets of budget; the first is the budget that is appropriated and signed into law and another budget

I am clearly telling Nigerians that the National Assembly don’t know anything about the issue and we did not appropriate money for the cars, and there is no lawmaker that will sit down and approve money for such a purchase that worth over a hundred and twenty seven million Naira. We, in the National Assembly are using just Toyota Camry in four years, so how can they do that? They need to come and explain to us why they did that and how they did it. What is the National Assembly doing to curtail this act of the ministries?

tell you, there is a policy that is not favourable to us at the National Assembly and indeed Nigerians, is the issue of ‘Envelop system’, the system is totally unacceptable to us now because it contradicting many issues; it is such that somebody brings you a budget for you to approve so that it can be passed into law, but after that, they go back to their office, sit down and apply what they call the envelop system; it is what we cannot explain and if you try to find out what it is, they would tell that the policy has been there since. Like the issue of BMW cars purchase deal involving the Aviation Ministry; we did not appropriate money for the purchase of the two BMW cars.

I can tell you that this is a total failure of government; it is the Executive that should act fast before we respond to such issues. It goes to tell you what the government of PDP is; as at today, corruption, nepotism and sectionalism have taking over the government of the day. They, the PDP government, are also not working according to the party manifestos. Look, I am from the APC, but I am using the opportunity of this medium to advice the Executive that they should keep to the party’s manifesto. We, from the opposition and indeed, the National Assembly, are against corruption and we would still be correcting there wrong-doing until they come to order, for the betterment of Nigerians. As an opposition member do you support the gall for the sack of the

I am clearly telling Nigerians that the National Assembly don’t know anything about the issue and we did not appropriate money for the cars, and there is no lawmaker that will sit down and approve money for such a purchase that worth over a hundred and twenty seven million Naira. We, in the National Assembly are using just Toyota Camry in four years, so how can they do that?

Aviation Minister? I believe that every wrongdoing has its own punishment. If after investigation she is found guilty then the law should take its course. What is your take, as the opposition party, on the proposed National Confab? What we, from the opposition, are trying to explain to Nigerians is that we do not have any concrete confidence in this PDP-led administration, because they have done nothing for us to see and recommend them; all what has been going on is corruption, insecurity and sowing seed of discord and that is why we do not have confidence in them. We have not seeing any thing that they have executed or even implemented; look at the unemployment rate and even job racketeering scandal rocking some ministries and agencies. What have they done? Nothing, as far as I am concerned. How can the issue of insecurity be solved in Borno and its environs? These things are natural disasters; it can happen anywhere, be it man-made or not; because I can tell you that nobody knows the cause of this insecurity in the state except Almighty Allah alone. What has been your achievement so far to your constituency? I have done a lot to eradicate poverty; within the first six months, I was able to distribute one thousand motorcycles to the youths in all constituencies, one thousand pumping machines for water and also supplied over 500 electricity-generating machines for them, more than that, I also donated over 16 million naira as take-off grants to all the four constituencies for small and medium-scale businesses; all this were within the first six months. I will also continue to do more for them, by the grace of God.



KEBBI STATE OF NIGERIA MINISTRY OF WORKS AND TRANSPORT HQTR, HALIRU ABDU SECRETARIAT COMPLEX, BIRNIN KEBBI. ADVERTISEMENT AND INVITATION FOR BIDS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF ROADS IN KEBBI STATE. The Ministry of Works for and on behalf of the Kebbi State government will receive bids for the Construction of Roads in Kebbi State. until 12.00pm on Friday, November 8th ,2013, at the office of permanent secretary, ministry of works & transport HQ, Haliru Abdu secretariat complex, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State. The road Projects are as follows:i. Construction of Zuru Township roads. ii. Construction of Utono Junction-UtonoMakawa road. Bids shall be submitted in a sealed envelope on the bill of engineering measurement and evaluation (BEME) included in the contract documents to be obtained from the office of permanent secretary, Ministry of Works and Transport HQ, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State. The sealed envelope shall be clearly marked for each individual road (in the lower left hand corner). The bids will be opened at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, November 11th 2013, at the office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Transport HQ, Birnin Kebbi. Bids are invited for the item of works as spelt out in the Bill of Engineering Measurement and Evaluation (BEME) collected on the specified road. The successful bidder must: • Show knowledge and understanding of the geographical terrain and other geo-physical features of Kebbi state and specific area where the project will be executed.

• Show clear evidence of execution of similar civil engineering project in Kebbi State. • Show clear records of payment of corporate taxes, PAYE, for personnel/employees, VAT, Kebbi State Tenders Board Certificate. etc. • Present clear evidence of having in its employment the requisite civil engineering and other competencies required for the execution of a project of this nature; and • Present such other information and competencies as may be requested or indicated by the Director Civil Engineering Department, Ministry of Works and Transport, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State. Bids may be held by the Kebbi state government for period not to exceed (15) days from the date of the bid opening for the purpose of reviewing the bids and investigating the bidders’ qualifications prior to the contract award. All contractors/subcontractors who are debarred, suspended or otherwise excluded from or ineligible for participation on the execution of any civil engineering or complex engineering contract in Nigeria may not undertake any activity in part or in full under this project The Kebbi State Government reserves the right to reject any or all bids or to waive any informalities in the bidding. Alh Musa Muhammad Kamba Permanent Secretary, For: Hon Commissioner, Ministry of Works and Transport, Haliru Abdu Secretariat, Birnin Kebbi




Brazil and China scramble for agricultural influence in Africa


hina and Brazil have identified agriculture as central to their development efforts in Africa, confident in the belief that they can make valuable contributions based on their own agricultural success. China trumpets its ability to feed 20% of the world’s population on roughly 10% of the world’s arable land, while Brazil can boast of agribusiness-led commercial production of soya bean and ethanol as well as its promotion of smaller-scale farming. Last month, the DirectorGeneral of the United Nation (UN)’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, José Graziano da Silva, stressed the importance of south-south co-operation in advancing agricultural development in developing countries. “It is time for Latin America to increase its contribution to African development,” Graziano told African and Argentineans agriculture ministers in Buenos Aires, Argentina. What has been the experience of Brazil and China in agriculture in Africa? do they offer a new paradigm of south-south development co-operation? A collection of essays published last month by the Institute of Development Studies concludes that there is no single Chinese, Brazilian or African position. “China and Brazil have very different interests and priorities, and within these countries there are intense contests between different approaches, reflecting domestic political dynamics,” says the IDS bulletin China and Brazil in African Agriculture. “On the other hand, Africa’s 55 countries are hugely diverse, and any new development encounter arrives on the back of a very complex agrarian history and political economy.” The case of Brazil is particularly interesting, since it offers two distinct models. The first consists of large-scale farming for the production of soya and ethanol, backed by the ministry of agriculture, livestock and food

Agricultural experts from China offer tips on rice planting to farmers in Dakar, Senegal.

supply, which describes itself as the ministry for agribusiness. The second emphasises integrated rural and social development in Brazil’s poorest regions through programmes designed to ensure the provision of technical support and credit for family farmers. Both approaches are evident in Africa. The ministry of agrarian development (MDA), a supporter of the family farm sector, has drawn on Brazil’s ‘More Food’ programme, focusing on improving farmers’ access to equipment, machinery and agricultural technologies, including tractors, through the provision of concessional credit. Ghana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique have been given credit and signed a technical co-operation agreement. Shipping of machines and equipment will begin this year. The challenge, says the study, is to avoid subsidised technologies that end up benefiting wealthier farmers. At the other end of the spectrum is the involvement of agribusiness. In Ghana, for example, the Brazilian company, Constran is building an ethanol plant, des-

ignated for export to Sweden, partly to get round European tariffs on Brazilian ethanol imports. So the $306m (N49bn) project involves Brazilian technology and European investment in an African country. Competing visions such as these mirror Brazil’s complex agrarian economy, says the study, and the outcomes will depend on how African governments, farmers, entrepreneurs and civil society organisations absorb, shape and apply the models on offer. While Brazil is a new player in Africa, China has been involved in African agriculture for more than 40 years. Lila Buckley, senior researcher on China at the International Institute for Environment and Development in London, writes that Chinese agriculture co-operation tends to be heavily technocratic, reflecting China’s own experience. It has established more than 40 agricultural demonstration centres on the continent and provides agricultural assistance combined with infrastructure development. The latter includes

dam construction with technical training, the provision of inputs and storage facilities, and facilitating links between agricultural ministries and communities. While the Chinese official line is that China’s agricultural experience can be of benefit to Africa, Chinese NGOs have offered more critical perspectives. A project officer at a Chinese NGO told Buckley: “Aid is supposed to help local people develop by introducing China’s experience. But people forget to ask whether this is appropriate or not. Chinese people don’t understand African history or the development situation.” There is also concern about the suitability of China’s intensive agriculture model, which has achieved increased food production but only at the cost of the heavy depletion of water and soil, intense fertiliser use – which causes high pollution – and heavy energy consumption. The emphasis on technology transfer above other factors also worries some experts. “The Gates Foundation is spending $1bn (N160 bn) on

Photo: Zheng Zheng/Xinhua

agriculture technology,” an agriculture policy adviser at the Chinese Academy of Science told Buckley. “But not all technology is necessarily useful for Africa. In China, rural development started with land tenure reform, not with technology.” Buckley notes that despite rhetoric of mutual benefit, China has generally taken the lead in designing and implementing agriculture projects, with only passive participation from African partners. This has led to frustration on both sides and project failures, as in the case of the Xai-Xai irrigation scheme in Gaza province in Mozambique. When the scheme failed, one Chinese participant complained: “We are here to help farmers, but the farmers are not interested in agriculture.” Kojo Sebastian Amanor concludes that South-South cooperation – though frequently framed as path-breaking – builds upon pre-existing forms of international development, neoliberal frameworks, and the expansion of capital in Africa. Source: Science Africa

AFAN urges Jonathan, others to show commitment to agric development


he National Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria (NAFN), an NGO, at the weekend, urged President Goodluck Jonathan and other leaders to participate in the forthcoming annual National Agricultural Show, to encourage farmers. Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the organisation, and former Governor of Nasarawa state, made the call when he fielded questions at a forum of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

Adamu, while sensitising Nigerians to the forthcoming seventh edition of the show, said the presence of a country’s leader at such an event would indicate to the people that he (the President) is on the driving wheel of the transformation process. “We plead with the government to show the way. I went to Kenya, I saw the president of the Republic of Kenya attend agricultural shows not once. When Mbeki was in government in South Africa, I saw him at a show. If Nigerians wake up and

see their dear president at an agricultural show, it’s a symbolic, positive expression that Mr. President is on the driving wheel of agriculture. “He doesn’t have to have half a hectare of land in his place to say he is a farmer; but because he is the father of this nation, his being seen there says a lot. “We are still pleading; it’s about the nation; it’s about agriculture; this thing we are doing will outlive us; so we want the leadership to identify with it. If the president

is coming there you can be rest assured it will be like blowing a whistle. “In some countries, National Agriculture Show is a public holiday; in Ghana here, they declare public holiday to make it possible for people who want to attend to attend,” he explained. The Foundation, being the organiser of the event, usually partners with the Federal ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and AFAN, and using the platform to commemorate the

World Food Day celebration. The show also promotes agrorelated activities and exposes the country’s potentials with a view to improving the economy and enhancing the development of the agriculture sector as well as income generation among the people. Adamu, who is also the Chairman, Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, decried the country’s inability to meet its commitment to allocating 10 percent of its national budget to agriculture. (NAN)



By Mohammed Kandi, with agency report


he U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with Ashden, a United Kingdom-based energy charity, announced a new award for innovators who use or supply clean energy technologies to increase production in the agricultural sector. The contest is open for entries until November 5, 2013. The winner will receive an award of


USAID and Ashden launch ‘new energy for agriculture’ award up to £40,000 (approximately $64,000 or N 10.24m) at a ceremony in London, on May 22, 2014. USAID is supporting this award through its Powering Agriculture Grand Challenge for Development, an initiative that is engaging a broad range of

innovators to find new ways to bring clean energy to farmers. “Ashden is a well-respected organisation that understands the energy needs in the developing world. This collaboration is the perfect opportunity to amplify the efforts of our Powering Agriculture Grand Challenge

program, and we are proud to be joining with Ashden for this award,” Science Adviser to the USAID Administrator, Dr. Alex Dehgan said. The USAID-Ashden Energy for Agriculture Award will carry out the work of supplying renewable energy or energy efficiency products or services to improve agricultural processes in developing countries. These

innovations are designed to help farmers to mechanise their operations, improve irrigation, or add value to agricultural products through processing or refrigeration. Ashden founder and Director, Sarah Butler-Sloss said, “We are looking for innovative, market-based sustainable energy solutions to increase rural farmers’ agricultural yields and incomes.”

FG registers 13, 000 dry season farmers in Adamawa


A vast farm land allocated for the 2012/2013 dry season farming by the FCTA, in Kutunku area of Gwagwalada area council in Abuja

Road-map for cassava-based animal feed system in Africa on the way–IITA By Mohammed Kandi


op international researchers will meet with decision makers, business people, and other stakeholders working in the Nigerian cassava sector in the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, to draw a roadmap for a cassava-based animal feed system. The meeting, which is coming up between October 28 to 30, according to a statement by Godwin Aster, IITA’s media assistant is aimed at developing a road-map for a cassava-based animal feed system that will highlight action plans for adding value to the cassava business in Nigeria. “The road-map will have a potential to serve as a model for all cassava-producing countries in Africa. IITA Deputy DirectorGeneral, Partnerships and Capacity Development, Dr Kenton Dashiell, said “We need to seize this opportunity to harness the benefits of every part of the cassava crop for national development, income-generation, nutrition enhancement, and

poverty alleviation.” “Nigeria, the world’s top cassava producer, is transforming its cassava sector and strengthening the value chain of the root crop to make it more competitive,” he explained. “Reforms in cassava-growing countries in Africa, backed by supportive government policies and improved varieties developed by agricultural research centers, have significantly raised the productivity of cassava. In Nigeria, annual production of cassava climbed to 52.4 million tons in 2011,” he said. Meanwhile, the increase in production of cassava roots is also generating 5 – 7.5 million tons of wet peels (10 – 15% of whole tuber), as farmers and industry rev up processing of cassava. Dr. Iheanacho Okike, a researcher with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) based in IITA, says the peels could contribute largely to the income of farmers, and provide additional economic options for livestock and fish producers if converted to animal feed. “Additional benefits accrue

to consumers due to increased production of milk, meat and fish, and the additional availability of maize and other grains that could otherwise have gone into the feed system,” he said. The IITA-hosted meeting involves representatives from many international research institutes and is organized by the Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century, the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) and co-hosted by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD). According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, “animals raised on cassava have generally good health, good disease resistance, and a low mortality, and require few, if any, antibiotics in their feed.” Dr. Claude Fauquet, GCP21 Director notes that “When the cassava transformation agenda of Nigeria is completed, the production of cassava byproducts (peels) is expected to reach 2 million tonnes dry matter per year… this is the perfect time to set up a feed manufacturing system on an industrial scale.”

he Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has said it had registered 13, 335 farmers for the 2013/2014 dry season farming in Adamawa. The Federal Director of Agriculture in the state, Dr. Walia Hamman, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yola. Hamman said that the development followed the successful implementation of the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) in the state. He added that the dry season farming scheme was the first of its kind, introduced by the Federal Government. “Following the successful implementation of GES across the country, government has come up with special dry season farming to improve agricultural production capacity. “Under the scheme, 13,335 rice and maize farmers have been captured for the kick-off of the 2013/2014 dry season farming in the state,” Hamman said. He said that the programme

was designed to enable farmers have direct access and contact with the Federal Government. Hamman listed areas to benefit under this phase of the scheme to include Tikno, Duwam and Lake Gerio in Demsa, Lamurde and Yola-North local government areas, respectively. According to the director, registered farmers would receive improved seed varieties and fertilisers directly from government at 50 per cent subsidy rate. He said that the project was planned to improve the dry season farming system, as well as to enhance production capacity. The overall objective, Hamman said, is to attain national food security. The director also listed other local government areas that would benefit from the programme to be Fufore, Gombi, Numan, Song, Mubi-North and Mubi-South. The list also includes Guyuk, Shelleng, Yola-South and Girei local government areas. (NAN)

Female farmers in Kano want fertilisers


emale members of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), in Kano state, at the weekend, called on the State Government to include them as beneficiaries when distributing fertilisers. Leader of the women farmers, Hajiya Fatima Kiru, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano that government should also give them implements for irrigation farming. “We are calling on the state government to give special consideration to our members in the distribution of fertilisers for this year’s dry season farming’’, Kiru said. She said the call was necessary because members of the association produced about 500,000 bags of rice during dry season farming in the state.

“Our members produced no fewer than 500,000 bags of rice annually in dry season farming, hence the need to consider us in any support government plans to give farmers’’, Kiru said. She also called on the government to ensure early distribution of the inputs so as to receive them in time. Kiru advised the government to take appropriate steps to ensure that only registered farmers had access to the fertilisers to check diversion and illegal activities of middlemen. “We have about 200 women cooperative societies in each of the 44 Local Government Areas of the state. If government can provide us with adequate fertilisers, we can produce twice the number of bags of rice we are producing now’’, she added. (NAN)



Special Report

2015 election and calls for active women participation From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


s early as the colonial era, the marginalisation of women has been the standard practice in the Nigerian political system. Although, there has been a gradual improvement in women political participation in recent time, despite this, women are still not adequately represented considering their 50% nation’s population. Till date, Nigerian women still encounter a number of problems while venturing into politics. There is large scale discrimination from the men-folk, both in voting for candidates and in allocating political offices. Among other problems facing women is lack of adequate political education as they constitute a larger percentage of the political illiterate group in Nigeria as well as lack of adequate finance to bankroll political activities s in the country. Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina, who believes women are still underrepresented in government, called on women to adopt strategies to increase their participation in decisionmaking processes. “The low representation of women in government persists. In the general elections of 2003, women made up three per cent of elected officials”, she stated. “In 2007, they made seven percent and in 2011, they made up about five percent. There are no female governors and there is tangible number of women among the 774 local government chairpersons. “In 2013, out of the 564 board members appointed into various government institutions and agencies, only 65 women were appointed which is only 12 per cent of the total appointment, while 449 men were appointed. “Also out of the 103 board chairpersons appointed, only three were women, which is only three percent of the total”, she further stated. Sharing the same position with her, Lagos state governor, Babatunde Fashola and his Edo state counterpart, Adams Oshiomhole are calling for increase women participation in the coming 2015 electioneering year. The duo, leading speakers at the three-day National Women Conference (NWC) 2013, organized by Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials,

Panelists addressing participants at a Women in Parliament forum, supported by the UK Department for International Development, and Democratic Governance for Development (DGD II) Project of the UNDP

COWLSO, themed: ‘See beyond today: Enhance the quality of life’, held in Lagos, said that “the country will be better-off when it is ruled by women”. Fashola said “the need for it was clearly stated in Lagos last week, when the state appointed the first female Head of Service (HOS); If you add this to the female deputy governor and the other six female members in the executive cabinet and seven female members in the state house of Assembly, coupled with a female Chief Judge and Accountant- General, it shows the reason why Lagos state has achieved thus far” . “I think that our country will be better when it is led by women because the world leading economy is led by woman. I say this because they have worked with me and they have solved May challenges for

the state,” he added. Oshiomhole, on his part, said, “Not everyone is happy with the situation of the country, and due to that, we have raised different suggestions that the office of the President, Governor and others should be rotated among the ethnic and geo-political zones in the country. But I believe that the time has come for us to also begin to alternate between man and women for political post. The various ethnic groups are all about women.” “So if the men, since 1960, have ruled the country, maybe it is time we humble ourselves and allow our people to do what the British did some years ago. When the UK economy had crisis, they elected a woman, Late Margaret Thatcher, to lead the country’s government. And the point was that UK, under the woman, returned its economy

that was faced with huge challenge, to a better state.” “We also saw what they did in India, when a woman led the government of the country. All these showed that there isn’t any question that we shouldn’t create a level-playing field, where any man or woman can attain whatever he or she desire regardless of his or her gender”, he further stated. He, however, called on women in the country to help address the challenge facing the country because, according to him, they spend more time with the children at home than the father and they are charged with the responsibilities of inculcating good moral and values into the child. “And the reason for this was that today, people don’t want to do some jobs anymore because they term it as un-lucrative. I

So if the men, since 1960, have ruled the country, maybe it is time we humble ourselves and allow our people to do what the British did some years ago. When the UK economy had crisis, they elected a woman, Late Margaret Thatcher, to lead the country’s government. And the point was that UK, under the woman, returned its economy that was faced with huge challenge, to a better state.

don’t know how the country can achieve its aspiration if people weren’t satisfied with the work they are doing except that it translate into huge cash. Gombe state Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, on his part called on women to show keen interest in the political system of the country, saying “women participation in politics is pivotal to social and economic development.” Dankwambo believes that women have over the years proved their mettle in the scheme of things, adding “they have been playing critical roles in enhancing the quality of life of the citizens of the country. “Nigerian women have proved their mettle to be more than mere bench warmers in our social, economic and political lives, even in our male dominated society; Nigerian women have carved a niche for themselves in various human endeavours and in many areas, they have outperformed the men,” Dankwambo emphasised. He singled out the exploits of women in the private and public sector, saying they have impacted positively the agriculture, health and education, adding that “women in Lagos have distinguished themselves in these areas”. Emphasising the need for annual women conference, the governor said “it would not only expose the women to issues of national interest but prepare them to play active role, especially in politics.” According to him, “Conferences like this encourages women to participate actively in politics by getting them more enlightened, letting them know what they should do and how they should be good people, to let them know how they would mobilise and how they can also be supported, knowing and bringing to their information and their notice that being a woman is not an inferior quality, a woman is as good as any other man if not better.” Eunice Akinwande, who attended a similar conference, said in Nigeria, women in politics still face many problems, citing the role of culture as a contributing factor. Regarding women’s representation in that country’s parliament, she said, “In Nigeria, we are not doing very badly with a 35 percent representation and we are climbing for 50/50 representation.”




Afghanistan: Countdown to US withdrawal ANALYSIS


or three years, the world’s eyes have been focused on the Arab uprisings and subsequent events, but now the attention is going to turn to Afghanistan as US-led foreign troops prepare to leave the country next year. Even though some foreign advisers will remain, the NATO withdrawal will bring an end to the military response of President George W Bush against Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers, which was launched with lofty promises after the September 11 attacks on the US. It is undeniable that the war has been very costly. Today, the Taliban are stronger than they were immediately after their eviction from Kabul. The militancy has spread far beyond the country’s borders, and the mission that President Barack Obama called a “just war” is reaching its finale without its most important aims fulfilled. It is difficult to think of an Afghan more congenial than Hamid Karzai that Washington could have found to install in power following the removal of the Taliban in 2001. As he prepares to leave office after the April 2014 election, President Karzai is sharply critical of NATO, remonstrating that “on the security front, the entire NATO exercise caused Afghanistan a lot of suffering, a lot of loss of life and no gains, because the country is not secure”. NATO and the US have accused Karzai of unreliability and corruption, but they ignore the Afghan reality. President Karzai has to voice the deep antagonism felt against foreign troops in the country and cannot remain silent about civilian casualties. He is mindful of the fragile nature of Afghanistan’s military and police forces, which NATO undertook to train and equip. As many as 50,000 desertions are haemorrhaging Afghanistan’s security forces every year. The latest high-profile defector was a special forcescommander who joined the Hizb-e-Islamiorganisation, a Taliban-affiliated group, taking with him guns and high-tech military equipment. Corruption has been a sad historical fact in a country that is among the most impoverished in the world. Ceaseless wars since the 1970s - wars in which external powers, the US, the Soviet Union and Afghanistan’s neighbours have been active participants - have made Afghanistan’s destitution all the greater. Western accusations of corruption against the Karzai administration are self-serving at times, and ignore the West’s own corrupt practices in the course of the Afghan war. Military occupation and offence to the occupied go together. Afghans have suffered cruel losses and humiliation again and again during the past twelve years, under Soviet occupation in the 1980s and before. Afghanistan’s ethno-tribal

US troops are preparing to leave Afghanistan in 2014

society requires its rulers to be close to their subjects in ways that Western governments have not fully understood. A leader who imposes the will of a foreign master on fellow Afghans risks his credibility, his authority and worse. It should come as no surprise that in his final months in office President Karzai has thus far put up stubborn resistance to US pressure to grant complete immunity from prosecution to US troops who may be left behind for training Afghan security forces and for defending Western strategic assets. The departure of US and NATO troops in 2014 will be another landmark in the 35-year history of Afghan wars. The symbolism of the Soviet retreat in 1989 was greater because it happened as the Soviet empire was collapsing. The circumstances for the US empire are not so precarious, and NATO’s immediate future is not in doubt. However, in Afghanistan and outside, there are going to be those who will see this withdrawal as another defeat of a great power. The US will continue to struggle

to justify its claim that the Afghan mission has been a success. Once fervent supporters of the mission to eliminate terrorism and redesign society now realise the Afghan project’s grim realities. Even those less partisan may conclude that it has been a missed opportunity in several respects. The legality and morality of US drone attacks across the AfghanistanPakistan border, and increasingly in other countries, is a subject of open debate, raising questions about laws of war, human rights and national sovereignty. The impact of this debate on international relations is going to be an enduring legacy of the Bush and Obama administrations. That legacy will continue to evoke memories of the tense relationship between Obama and Karzai - who was the US choice to be the leader of Afghanistan but who could not entirely support Washington’s agenda. For all his charm, elegance and urbane manners, Karzai is still an Afghan who cannot remove himself enough from his fellow countrymen to please the US. He will be remembered as a president whose

true authority was always limited, but was held responsible for many of the failures of others. More than a decade after the US went to Afghanistan to eliminate the Taliban and al-Qaeda, the curtain is about to close on one more episode in the country’s endless wars. In 1989, the Americans were euphoric about defeating the Soviet occupiers with the Mujahideen’s help in a proxy war. As the Americans prepare to bail out in 2014, the old fog of euphoria has lifted, and it is possible to argue with greater certainty that, ultimately, Afghans do not need a major external power to fight the enemy. Words attributed to two of the best known Afghan warlords of modern times are informative. In the 1980s, when Washington was the Mujahideen’s main backer against the Soviet Union, Ismael Khan said: “The Americans want us to continue fighting but not to win, just to bleed the Russians.” Another anti-Soviet commander, Ahmad Shah Masood, remarked: “We will not be a pawn in someone else’s game; we will always be Afghanistan.”

More than a decade after the US went to Afghanistan to eliminate the Taliban and al-Qaeda, the curtain is about to close on one more episode in the country’s endless wars.

The Obama administration’s attempts to launch negotiations with the Taliban on concrete matters have not brought success. At times, President Karzai has felt left out, and has reacted with his own overtures to the Taliban. Such overtures have not pleased the US, which has appeared to undermine Karzai’s independent initiatives. The recent arrest of senior Taliban commander LatifMehsud by the US angered the Afghan president, because it was reported that his government was trying to recruit Mehsud as a go-between for peace talks. As the departure of foreign troops draws closer, many in Afghanistan and its regional neighbourhood are concerned about the future. There are questions about next year’s presidential election taking place in a peaceful and orderly manner, and whether the new government will be stable. What will the Taliban and members of Pakistan’s political and military establishments with links to the armed group do? How will Saudi Arabia and Iran, representing the Sunni-Shia struggle for influence in the Muslim world, affect Afghanistan as the country tries to stand on its own two feet? Will influential players of the international community help Afghanistan? Or will they walk away like they did following the 1989 Soviet retreat, leaving regional powers and Afghan factions to fight it out? Such haunting possibilities are going to occupy minds more and more as US and NATO troops prepare to leave Afghanistan. Source: Al Jazeera



International Sudan’s al-Bashir pledges to resolve Abyei dispute


udan’s President Omar al-Bashir has pledged to resolve the territorial dispute over Abyei, as voting continues in an unofficial referendum on the region’s future. Abyei’s Dinka Ngok ethnic group organised the referendum to demand integration into South Sudan. The Arabic-speaking Misseriya

oppose the vote, saying they want Abyei to remain in Sudan. Mr Bashir said he would work with South Sudan to find a solution. Abyei abuts both Sudan and South Sudan - which seceded in 2011 - and is claimed by both countries. A 2005 peace deal that paved the way for a Southern vote

Al- Bashir

on independence in 2011 was supposed to give Abyei a separate referendum on whether to be part of Sudan or South Sudan. However, the two sides cannot agree on who is eligible to vote in the referendum and so it has not been held. Mr Bashir said he and South Sudan’s President SalvaKiir would continue to look for a solution that “can bring satisfaction to the local communities there”. Hundreds of people voted for a second day yesterday in the referendum organised by local leaders of the DinkaNgok ethnic group. Ballot are papers are marked with two symbols - a pair of clasped hands symbolising a vote to be part of Sudan, and a single hand if people want to join South Sudan, AFP news agency reports. The Misseriya, who move back and forth through Abyei grazing their cattle, have rejected the referendum. “What happens in this

referendum is none of our business. We don’t care about it,” Abyei’s top Misseriya chief, MukhtarBaboNimir, told AFP. South Sudan also says that it is opposed to the unofficial referendum. The African Union and United Nations have warned that the referendum could enflame tensions between the two countries. The UN has some 4,000 peacekeepers in Abyei. On Sunday, the AU Peace and Security Council said it was unable to visit Abyei because of “obstruction” by Sudan. Khartoum had “contrived security reasons”, it said. Abyei’sDinkaNgok residents are culturally and ethnically allied to South Sudan and backed its rebel army during decades of civil war against Khartoum’s rule. However, the Arabic-speaking Misseriya people also see it as their ancestral homeland and want to remain in Sudan.

South Africa wants ANC off US terror list


outh Africa is pushing the US to lift travel restrictions on top African National Congress (ANC) officials still designated as terrorists for their role fighting white minority rule. This comes after ANC stalwart and businessman Tokyo Sexwale was briefly detained at JFK International airport on a recent trip. Former ANC leader Nelson Mandela was only taken off the terror list in 2008.

MrSexwale was imprisoned along with Mr Mandela on Robben Island. He is also a senior official with FIFA, football’s world governing body. His lawyer Leslie Makhabela told South Africa media that US immigration officials “alleged he posed a threat to international security.” “The South African government has repeatedly raised this matter with the

US and will continue until this matter is sorted,” said international relations spokesperson ClaysonMonyela, reports the South African Press Association. Wits University’s ViceChancellor and political analyst Adam Habib says it is unacceptable that the f o r m e r h o u s i n g minister is still considered a terrorist by the US and has called on the government to intervene to have all the names removed.


Congo army says it captured rebel stronghold, peacekeeper killed


overnment forces said they captured the rebel stronghold of Rutshuru on Sunday in the third day of fierce fighting in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in which one U.N. peacekeeper was killed and another injured. Following two months of relative

calm in the region, fighting flared on Friday after peace talks in neighboring Uganda broke down when M23 rebels demanded a full amnesty for their leaders. President Joseph Kabila last week ruled out a blanket pardon. Three days of victories by

Congo army troops advance on a tanker

government forces have raised the prospect that the army could defeat Congo’s most important rebel group, ending a 20-month uprising which has displaced tens of thousands of people. Army spokesman Colonel Olivier Hamuli told U.N. radio Okapi that government forces had recaptured Rutshuru, some 70 km (43 miles) north of Goma, the largest city in eastern Congo. Rutshuru had been taken by the rebels just over a year ago and was serving as a regional base. The army, which is attacking the rebel enclave in north Kivu province from

the north and south, took the town of Kiwanjayesterday, a day after wresting the strategic outpost of Kibumba on the Rwandan border. “We are consolidating the zones we have conquered,” Hamuli had earlier told Reuters. He refused to discuss rebel requests for a return to peace talks in Kampala, saying: “We will continue to do our jobs as soldiers.” M23 said in a statement on Sunday it had withdrawn its troops from Kiwanja, accusing the army of sending in fighters in civilian clothing to try to draw U.N. troops into the conflict. M23 threatened to withdraw its delegation from the stalled peace talks in Kampala unless there was an immediate end to hostilities. It said it would then launch a large-scale counter-offensive. The U.N. mission in Congo (MONUSCO) said the Tanzanian peacekeeper was killed during fighting with M23 in Kiwanja.

Three Egypt policemen shot dead


hree Egyptian policemen were killed yesterday when masked men attacked a checkpoint in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, security sources said. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants have stepped up attacks on soldiers and police since the army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July. The majority of the attacks have been carried out in the largely lawless Sinai region, although militants have on occasion extended their campaign into major cities. Three men in a car and one on a motorcycle approached the checkpoint before dawn and fired at the policemen “to make sure that they were dead”, a security source in Mansoura said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “This is another attack in the series of terrorist attacks against the police,” he said, saying the violence shows the intent of “revenge” against the security forces. He did not specify who had carried out the attack. State-run newspaper AlAhram reported that 60 bullet casings were found at the site of the attack. The police were conducting search operations to locate the perpetrators, but no arrests had been made, according to an emailed statement from the interior ministry. The army-backed interim government says it is fighting a war on terror, and makes no distinction between the Sinai-based militants it calls “terrorists” and ousted president Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood. Since Mursi’s ouster, the state has launched a fierce security crackdown on the Brotherhood, killing hundreds of members, arresting more than two thousand, and banning the movement. The Brotherhood, Egypt’s oldest and biggest Islamist group, denies any links with militant activity.




15 killed in 4 days in Bangladesh poll protest violence


t least 15 Bangladeshis have been killed and hundreds wounded in all-too familiar political violence, police said yesterday, the second day of a strike led by opposition supporters demanding elections be held under a nonpartisan administration. Four people, including a youth, a truck driver and a ruling party activist, were killed yesterday, police said. The violence began on Friday. The stand-off between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her arch rival, former premier Begum Khaleda Zia, is nothing new. The Acting General Secretary of Khaleda’s opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, said the government could not be trusted to conduct a credible election. “Because, in this country, the political parties do not trust each other,” he said. “We had the system earlier, but unfortunately this government amended the constitution and brought in the partisan government.” Corruption-plagued

Bangladesh is one of the poorest nations on Earth, but the tension is a fresh threat to the garment export industry which has already been rocked by a string of deadly factory accidents over the past year. Hasina talked with Khaleda by

phone on Saturday, but they failed to defuse the crisis. The women have alternated as prime minister for most of the last 22 years, most of the time barely speaking to each other. Hasina has offered the

formation of an all-party government to see through the elections with her staying as head of government. Bangladesh has already been hit by a wave of violent protests over war crimes convictions and more than 100 people have been killed in protests and counterprotests this year.

The scene at the site of the car bombings in Mosul

Israel shoots down Gaza rocket, readies prisoner release


alestinians in the Gaza Strip fired two rockets at a southern Israeli coastal city yesterday, and Israel’s Iron Dome interceptor shot down one while the other fell into the sea, a military spokeswoman said. Within hours, Israel’s air force bombed what a military spokesman described as two concealed rocket launchers in northern Gaza. There were no casualties. The pre-dawn salvo against Ashkelon, about 12 km (7 miles) north of Gaza, was unusual given the relative restraint of Palestinian militants since last November’s war between the coastal enclave’s Islamist Hamas rulers and the

Jewish state. There was no claim of responsibility for Monday’s launches. They may have been meant to spoil the U.S.-sponsored peace talks that Hamas’s rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, resumed with Israel in July. To bolster Abbas, Israel is due to free 26 Palestinian prisoners this week. During the previous prisoner release, in August, Gaza militants fired rockets across the border and Israel responded with air strikes. Hamas has called on Abbas, who holds sway in the Israelioccupied West Bank, to abandon peacemaking and form a new

Palestinian power-sharing government. The Islamist faction has also signaled readiness to go to war, taking responsibility last week for a tunnel which the Israelis discovered running into their territory from Gaza and said was likely intended for kidnapping soldiers or setting off underground explosives. But the sands are shifting for Hamas, which has tipped into financial and political crisis after being cut off from neighboring Egypt by the new, military-guided interim government in Cairo. Hamas’s ties with former backers Iran and Syria have similarly deteriorated and in Gaza

its authority has at times been challenged by more radical armed Islamists. Abbas’s administration, which was expelled from Gaza in a 2007 Palestinian civil war, has kept Hamas in check in the West Bank. So has Israel, whose troops seized two Hamas lawmakers and 23 other Palestinians in the West Bank on Monday, according to Abbas’s administration. Israeli authorities did not immediately comment on the arrests. The Israeli military spokeswoman said a mortar bomb was fired across the border from Gaza on Sunday, but caused no damage or casualties.

China Tiananmen Square car blaze kills 5 people


hinese state media have said at least five people died and 38 others were injured after a vehicle crashed in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Three of those killed were inside the car and the other two were bystanders. The square was evacuated and quickly reopened after the vehicle went into the crowd in front of the Tiananmen rostrum at midday. Images posted online showed a vehicle in flames, amid barricades. There has been no explanation for the crash. Other pictures on social media showed a column of smoke rising from the scene of the crash. Three people inside the vehicle died, Beijing police said on its official microblog account, adding that one female tourist from the Philippines

and a male tourist from Guangdong province had also died. Senior leaders from both the central government and the local authorities in Beijing and the Ministry of Public Security have

visited the scene, it said. An investigation is under way and the injured have been taken to hospital, Beijing police said. Tiananmen Square was the scene of the 1989 pro-democracy

Police inspect the scene after the crash in Tiananmen Square in Beijing yesterday

protests which were ended by a military crackdown. The site is generally kept under very tight security both because of its proximity to key political institutions and so that is does not serve as a hub for protesters and petitioners. Incidents do occur, nonetheless. In 2011, a man set himself on fire at Tiananmen Square following what officials said was a legal dispute, close to the square’s portrait of Chairman Mao. Two years before that, three people set themselves on fire in a car at a busy intersection near Tiananmen Square over what the authorities called personal grievances. In 2000, several members of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement were arrested for protesting at the square.

Asia & Middle East

UN envoy arrives in Damascus amid clashes


he UN-Arab League envoy LakhdarBrahimi arrived in Damascus yesterday for talks with Syrian government officials, amid reports of fierce fighting in and around the capital city. In his visit, which started yesterday, he is expected to meet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Foreign minister Walid al-Muallem. Brahimi has been trying to build support for peace talks planned in Geneva next month between the government and the opposition. The so-called Geneva II peace talks, backed by Russia and the US and due to take place on November 23, have been repeatedly postponed amid wrangling among the Syrian opposition, and a dispute over which countries, including Iran, should participate. Making the task harder for Brahimi has been the refusal of 19 powerful rebel groups in Syria to take part in the conference, saying that negotiating with the Assad government would be an act of betrayal. “We consider it just another part of the conspiracy to throw our revolution off track and to abort it,” said a joint video statement read out by Ahmad Eissa al-Sheikh, head of the Suqur al-Sham brigade. They gave warning in the statement, posted online on Sunday, that anyone who attends such talks would be committing “treason, and ... would have to answer for it before our courts”. Brahimi’s visit comes amid heavy fighting between Assad troops and rebel forces in and around Damascus. The clashes come a day after opposition activists reported the death of Shia fighters from the Lebanese Hezbollah armed group after rebels blew up a building where they were based in Damascus’s SaidaZeinab district. Assad’s forces, backed by Shia fighters from Lebanon, Iraq and Iran, have been gaining ground around the capital since last month, storming several rebel-held suburbs and choking off supplies to others in the east and south. Although neither side appears to have the strength to gain a decisive edge over the other in the two-anda-half-year-old, the government’s offensive has bolstered its position in the lead-up to the expected international peace talks. The visit of Brahimi to Damascus is part of an extensive regional tour. He has already visited Iraq, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.





US spied on 60m Spanish calls in a month – report


…Madrid demands explanation

he U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) recently tracked over 60 million calls in Spain in the space of a month, a Spanish newspaper said yesterday, citing a document which it said formed part of papers obtained from ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Spain’s government has so far said it was not aware its citizens had been spied on by the NSA, which has been accused of accessing tens of thousands of French phone records and monitoring the phone of German chancellor Angela Merkel. Spain on Friday resisted calls from Germany for the European Union’s 28 member states to reach a “no-spy deal”, similar to an agreement Berlin and Paris are seeking,though Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the country was looking for more

information. El Mundo newspaper yesterday reproduced a graphic, which it said was an NSA document showing the agency had spied on 60.5 million phone calls in Spain between December 10, 2012 and January 8 this year. The newspaper said it had reached a deal with Glenn Greenwald, the Brazil-based journalist who has worked with other media on information provided to him by Snowden, to get access to documents affecting Spain. El Mundo said the telephone monitoring did not appear to track the content of calls but their duration and where they took place. Meanwhile, Spain has urged the US to give details of

he candidate backed by the prime minister of Georgia has won the country’s presidential election, exit polls and partial results show. The Central Election Commission published results from country’s 75.38 percent of polling stations on Sunday, showing that the ruling party’s Giorgi Margvelashvili was winning with 62.18 percent of votes, while his closest rival Davit Bakradze from the outgoing President Mikheil Saakashvili’s party, had managed to reach only 21,84 percent., With Margvelashvili’s imminent victory in an unusually calm and predictable election, Bidzina Ivanishvili, Georgia’s prime minister, has cemented his political control. Bakradze, who now heads the opposition in parliament, quickly conceded defeat. Tamar Zhvania, the Central

Election Commission chairman, said the elections were free and fair. “Voters have expressed their will at the polling stations and voted for their candidates,” Zhvania told the Associated Press news agency. “It is very important that everything was conducted in a peaceful environment, there have not been violations that could effect the results of the elections.” Although Ivanishvili may now make more progress in decreasing tensions with Russia, he has maintained the pro-Western course set by Saakashvili. The main uncertainty is over how Ivanishvili intends to govern and whether he is willing to see Saakashvili jailed. During nearly a decade in power, Saakashvili put Georgia on the path towards democracy. However, he also deeply

any eavesdropping amid the reports. The US ambassador to Spain, who had been summoned by the EU minister, vowed to clear the “doubts” that had arisen about his country’s alleged espionage. The minister said such practices, if true, were “inappropriate and unacceptable”. An EU delegation is to meet officials in Washington to convey concerns. The officials from the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs are shortly expected to speak to members of the US Congress and security officials to gather information about the recent allegations of US

spying on European leaders and citizens. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also sending German intelligence officials to Washington to demand answers to claims that her phones were tapped for a decade. The monitoring allegedly peaked on the 11th December, and there was a lull over Christmas. It is not clear how the alleged surveillance was carried out, whether it was from monitoring fibre-optic cables, data (including metadata) obtained from telecommunication companies, or other means. Reports say the NSA collected the numbers and locations of the callers and the recipients, but not the calls’ content.

Georgia chooses new president T


angered many Georgians with what they saw as the excesses and authoritarian turn of the later years of his presidency. Ivanishvili has promised to step down next month and nominate a new

prime minister, who is almost certain to be approved by parliament. UnderGeorgia’snewparliamentary system, the next prime minister will acquire many of the powers previously held by the president.

UK News of the World phone hacking trial begins


he trial of ex-News of the World journalists accused of phone hacking began yesterday at the Old Bailey. Rebekah Brooks, former News International chief executive, and Andy Coulson, former News of

the World editor, are accused of conspiring with others to listen to voicemails. It is also alleged that Ms Brooks and Mr Coulson conspired to commit misconduct in a public office.

Brooks (L) with Coulson during a hearing on the phone hacking allegations

The trial of eight defendants who deny the charges begins with jury selection. The trial concerns allegations of wrongdoing at the News of the World before it was closed down in July 2011 after claims that journalists had hacked the mobile phone of murder victim MillyDowler. Ms Brooks was editor of the newspaper between 2000 and 2003 before being made editor of The Sun. She went on to become the chief executive of News International. It is alleged that she conspired with others at the newspaper to intercept communications between October 2000 and August 2006 by listening to mobile phone messages. She faces two further counts of allegedly making corrupt

payments to public officials and two final accusations that she allegedly conspired to pervert the course of justice by removing and concealing evidence. Mr Coulson faces the same alleged phone hacking charge as Ms Brooks. He and Clive Goodman, the newspaper’s former royal editor, face two counts of conspiring to make corrupt payments to public officials. Ian Edmondson and Stuart Kuttner, the newspaper’s former head of news and managing editor respectively, are also accused of involvement in the same alleged phone hacking. The final three defendants are Ms Brooks’ husband, Charlie, her former personal assistant at News International Cheryl Carter, and Mark Hanna, the company’s head of security.

Europe and Americas

Fernandez coalition loses clout in midterm vote


rgentine leader Cristina Fernandez’s allies took a beating in Sunday’s midterm election, shrinking her congressional majority, snuffing out chances of a constitutional change to allow her a third term and kicking off the contest to succeed her in 2015. Voters chose half of the lower house of Congress and a third of the Senate in the midterm. Re-elected in 2011 on promises of increasing state control in Latin America’s No. 3 economy, Fernandez’s political coattails were trimmed by inflation, clocked by private analysts at 25 percent, while heavy-handed currency controls and falling central bank reserves have dented confidence. “Seven of every 10 votes cast today went against the government. This election was a triumph for the opposition,” said local political analyst RosendoFraga. Candidates sponsored by opposition leader Sergio Massa won the House of Deputies’ contest by a 10-percentage-point margin in the key province of Buenos Aires, according to exit poll announced on local television. Buenos Aires province is home to 40 percent of Argentina’s population and most of the country’s agricultural output. The Buenos Aires loss was expected to shrink the majority that Fernandez’s allies have in Congress to just a few votes. “Our majority in the House and Senate will continue,” Defense Minister Agustin Rossi told reporters. Massa, the mayor of the affluent Buenos Aires town of Tigre, headed his own list of candidates for Congress and is seen as a possible, businessfriendly presidential contender in 2015. “Tomorrow, we start with a new political map,” said Buenos Aires mayor Mauricio Macri, another possible presidential candidate who promises a shift toward marketfriendly policies. Other exit polls announced on television showed Fernandez’s candidates losing in key provinces around the country.




Strange World

Aquaman can hold his breath underwater for 22 minutes



n 2010, Danish freediver Stig Severinsen jumped into a pool filled with sharks and held his breath for 20 minutes and 10 seconds, breaking the previous Guinness World Record for the longest time breath held voluntarily. Two years later, the fearless Stig did it again, somehow breaking his own remarkable record by holding his breath for a staggering 22 minutes. If there’s such a thing as a real-life Aquaman, it’s this guy. Severinsen – who has a Ph.

D. in medicine and a master’s degree in biology, is known for participating in the most extreme challenges, including swimming in freezing water. Before setting his first breath holding world record, he swam 236 feet – about 72 meters (14.5 more meters than Wim Hof, the previous record holder), in the below-zero waters of the North Sea. After taking a few breaths of air, he dived feet first through a hole carved in the ice. As soon as he was in the water, he started swimming to the next

hole wearing only in his signature blue Speedos. The triangleshaped hole was 72 meters away and there wasn’t another escape route mid-way, which made the challenge extremely dangerous. After reaching his destination in just 96 seconds, the 40-year-old daredevil lingered in the freezing hole a little longer, as if to prove the cold didn’t affect him very much. You’d think that after swimming that distance in heartstopping water he immediately jumped out to find some warm clothes, but our hero just stood there with his elbows on the ice, smiling and thanking everyone as if he was in a hot tub or somewhere in the Bahamas. After such an experience, the fact that he can hold his breath for dozens of minutes doesn’t even seem that extreme anymore. Nonetheless, nobody in the world can do it, except him. When trying to beat his own record for holding his breath under water, back in 2012, Stig was accompanied only by his brother, a medic, who constantly monitored his vitals. Before starting the stopwatch, he did his signature routine called pre-oxygenated static apnea, which involves inhaling pure oxygen. By eliminating the nitrogen and carbon dioxide,

which make up over 78% of the air we naturally breathe, he was able to saturate his lungs with oxygen, which helped him undertake this extreme exercise. But in order to conserve the precious oxygen. Severinsen also arranged for the water in the pool to be around 30 degrees Celsius so he could lower his heart rate down to an impressive 30 beats per minute. After 20 minute and 10 seconds, this incredible human had already beaten his own record, but he decided to stay an additional one minute and 50 seconds just for fun. In the end, he managed to hold his breath for exactly 22 minutes. Apparently, Stig is some kind of a super-human or humanfish hybrid with a lung capacity of 14 liters, twice that of the average person. In addition to his incredibly strong lungs, the 40-year-old has also always had a thing for water, especially ice-cold water. When he was young, he liked to go “Viking Swimming” – diving in ice holes. He also played underwater rugby and underwater hockey. He is the author of a book called “Breatheology”, in which he describes the breathing routine that he goes through before any death-defying challenge. In short, meditation and control are key as panicking would require him to

burn more oxygen. Using his technique, Danish Microsoft project manager Troels Hviid, a student of Severinsen’s, managed to deep dive in the Red Sea. He explained that he took a big breath and immersed himself in the water. “But the panic quickly grabs you, and I had to work on the mental side to stay calm. You have to generate a lot of positive thoughts to preserve oxygen,” he explains. Stig also teaches at the Breatheology Academy, where he trains other athletes, including cyclist Alberto Contador, the science of breathing. His lessons are not cheap as he charges as much as $10,000 per week to teach extreme breath holding to every adventurer who can afford it. Are you ready to find out Stig’s real secret? This real-life Aquaman says his most important skill is being able to detach himself from his body and fight through the pain. “I’m not different from any other person,” he claims. “I just have the ability to shut down the sensory register for pain and discomfort.” Still, after breaking Hof’s record, he confessed he had never been so cold. “I’m not a crybaby, but it was very unpleasant and very noticeable.” But that didn’t stop him from chilling by the ice hole.

of the average human. Although his eyes get glazed over when the current passes through his body, rendering him temporarily blind, this Indian Electro-Man can withstand enough electricity to power a hot-plate. If an ordinary person were exposed to that much

power for just a fraction of a second it would cause permanent muscle damage and stop their heart. But Raj Mohan Nair is not the world’s only human conductor. Two years ago, I wrote about Slavisa Pajkic, another extraordinary man from Serbia, who can withstand

high voltage. His case is somewhat different though, as according to some report he has no sweat and salivary glands. Scientists say the current might not even be passing through his body, but only through the skin which acts as natural insulation.

Meet the super-human immune to electrocution


tenth of an amp is enough to kill an ordinary human being, but Raj Mohan Nair is anything but ordinary. This human conductor is able to withstand several amps of electricity passing through his body without suffering any bodily harm. Electricity Mohan or ElectroMan, as Raj has come to be known all around the world has an amazing super-power. Just a small amount of electricity can be fatal to most humans, but this man can conduct several amps and survive unscathed. There’s nothing super-human about his looks, but connected to an electrical power source, Raj Mohan Nair can do extraordinary things. He doesn’t shoot lightning bolts from his hands or anything, but he can power up a light bulb or an electric blender by grabbing two live wires and allowing massive amounts of current to pass through his body. He might not seem like a superhero worthy of his own comic book, but it’s a lot more than the rest of us mortals can withstand.

If these wires touched any other human’s body, the electricity would cause their organs to fail and stop their heart, but not Mohan’s. With one wire in his mouth for better conductivity and the other anywhere else on his body, Mohan lets the electrical current run through him and into whatever other device he’s trying to power on. The story of how Electricity Mohan first discovered his gift is just as unbelievable as his superpower. Raj lost his mother when he was seven years old. Heartbroken, he tried to commit suicide by climbing a transformer and grabbing one of the live wires. To his amazement, nothing happened. That’s when he realized he had been blessed with a gift from God. Since then, he has been shocking (pun intended) the world with his immunity to electricity. But how is this man able to withstand up to 10 amps of electrical current without literally frying? Daniel Browning Smith tested Raj Mohan Nair’s resistance to electricity using a multimeter, and found that his body is over 10 times more resistant than that

Pete the dog




Worried by side-effects, surprising numbers of women are turning to oldest birth control method of all. But at what risk? By Clare Goldwin


harliegh Avent never has to remember to take the Pill. She and husband Paul don’t have a supply of male contraceptives in their bedside cabinets either. In fact the couple, who’ve been together for seven years, don’t make any sort of special preparations before they make love. Because they’ve chosen to rely on the oldest contraceptive system there is: the withdrawal method, in which the man withdraws from the woman’s body just before climax occurs. In an age when there have never been more options to prevent pregnancy, it would be easy to assume that Charliegh’s approach is rare. But it seems she’s one of a growing number of women who are rejecting conventional contraceptives and going back to basics. Recent research in the U.S. revealed that a third of young women there had used withdrawal at least once to prevent pregnancy, far more than had previously been thought. As it’s not a medically approved form of contraception, it’s not

Bad experience: Maisie Hill, 33, suffered from depression and much lower libido as a result of being on the Pill

known exactly how many women in the UK rely on the withdrawal method, but nevertheless forums on popular mothering websites are littered with conversational threads from women in their late 20s or 30s admitting that they do it - successfully or otherwise - or quizzing those who have tried it for advice. While it’s thought, realistically, that eight out of 100 women get pregnant using the Pill, with withdrawal the rate is closer to 20 per cent. As GP Dr Anne Connolly, Chair of the Primary Care Women’s Health Forum, says, this risky method not only fails to protect against sexually transmitted infections but it’s playing ‘Russian roulette with unplanned pregnancy’. So why are women taking such risks when it comes to contraception? Is it because so many men are reluctant to have babies and this is a way to increase the chances of getting pregnant while leaving your partner thinking he’s in control? Or is it simply because women today are increasingly cavalier? For many, like Charliegh, it’s simply a reaction against the Pill and other hormone-based contraceptives, and the effect that they can have on women’s bodies. Invented in 1960, the Pill is now taken by nearly four million women in the UK, but over the years many women have reported side-effects of varying severity from changes in weight and skin, to depression and lowered libido and in very rare cases blood clots. Recent research, for example, suggests at least one in six British women on the Pill will suffer from lowered sexual desire, while another study suggested women on a certain type of pill were three times more likely to have a mental illness than those who were not on any medication. Charliegh, 33, explains that in the past she has tried several types of Pill - from the combined pill (which uses oestrogen and progesterone hormones to

Dissatisfaction: Many women have turned to the withdrawal method because they are not pleased with the Pill’s effects on their body

Risky? Charleigh and Paul Avent are happy with their decision to use the withdrawal method

stop ovulation), which gave her migraines, to the progesteroneonly mini pill, which, she says, not only gave her extensive acne on her face and back, but failed to prevent her falling pregnant. Charliegh, who runs her own jewellery business, went on to have a miscarriage and - deciding the mini pill was too unreliable next tried the copper coil, which prevents pregnancy by stopping a fertilised egg implanting in the womb. ‘But this gave me excruciating stomach pains so I had to stop,’ she says. ‘My nurse then suggested the progesterone-only contraceptive injection but this made me bleed every day for six months.’ Not long after, Charliegh found herself single so contraception wasn’t an issue, but when she met her husband Paul, 43, an engineer, in late 2006, she couldn’t face trying any more. For the first month the pair used condoms, but like many couples they felt these lessened the

intimacy between them and they didn’t view them as a long-term option. ‘The coil gave me excruciating stomach pains so I had to stop. My nurse then suggested the progesterone-only contraceptive injection but this made me bleed every day for six months.’ Charliegh, from Newbury, Berkshire, adds: ‘We knew very early on that we were going to be together for the long term - I think you know when you meet “The One” - so we talked and decided to try the pulling-out method and found that this is the one that works for us. ‘There are no unpleasant side effects for me either.’ She says that while their sex life has tailed off a little since having their two daughters, the technique doesn’t diminish the intimacy between a couple, or make lovemaking any less pleasurable. ‘I think you still have the closeness doing it this way,’ she says. ‘There’s making love and having sex. Sex is just for pleasure. Making love is because you want to be together. How intercourse ends doesn’t have an impact on that.’ For others, using withdrawal is part of a broader desire to keep their bodies free of chemicals and artificial hormones. Lara Bincham, who works with horses, has been relying on her partner Wayne, 32, to ‘pull out’ for six years, ever since they got together. ‘We started using condoms, then after about six months discussed what we were going to do long term,’ she says. Twenty-eight-year-old Lara, from South London, admits she’s never tried the Pill, and previously relied on condoms, but says: ‘Once I was in a serious relationship, I

preferred the idea of keeping things natural. ‘I’ve got a lot of friends who’ve been on the Pill and found it changed their whole hormonal balance. ‘One of my friends got quite depressed, another gained a lot of weight and when she came off the Pill found it very hard to lose the weight. It all put me off the idea. ‘I started to research what else I might be able to do and started plotting my cycle to avoid my fertile time and using withdrawal as well.’ After her first son was born and she was unable to work out her cycle because breastfeeding had stopped her periods, Lara relied on withdrawal alone. Like Charliegh, she too says that doing this hasn’t made love-making less enjoyable for her or Wayne. ‘We’ve never been five-timesa-night people, but we’ve always had a healthy sex life and that’s something that’s continued since having children,’ she says. Jane Knight, a fertility nurse specialist who is also director of Fertility UK (the body that promotes ‘natural family planning’, also known as the NFP method) says demand for practitioners is currently high because of a vogue encouraged by mobile phone apps that claim to help work out when a woman’s likely to get pregnant - for wanting to return to more natural methods. Natural family planning, which is NHS approved, involves teaching a woman to understand her body’s cycle through changes in body temperature, and learning how to calculate - and avoid having sex during - the fertile window when conception can occur.


Suntai’s case against Taraba Assembly goes to Court of Appeal


Taraba High Court yesterday referred the case filed by Gov. Danbaba Suntai against the speaker of the state House assembly and the legislature to the Court of Appeal for guidance and direction. In a ruling in Jalingo, the trial Judge, Justice Ali Andeyangtu, said the matter required the interpretation and application of Section 190(2) of the 1999 constitution as amended. The section deals with transmission of letter and resumption of duty by a governor. Andeyangtu said that in view of the importance of the case to the people of the state, there was a need to send it to a superior court for a judicial pronouncement that would become a reference point. The lead counsel to the state assembly, Mr Yusuf Ali (SAN), had earlier filed a motion asking the court to transfer a section of the case that related to the interpretation of the constitution to the Court of Appeal. He said that transferring the case to the appellate court was pertinent because no previous judicial pronouncement had been made on the section of the constitution in the country. Ali quoted Section 295(2) of the 1999 constitution as amended to support his claim. Mr Alex Izinyon (SAN), counsel to Suntai, argued that the issues involved in the case were based on facts and asked the court to dismiss the motion for reference and determine the case on its merit. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Suntai and the legislature on Sept. 30 opted for out of court settlement, which the court granted them time to do. The out of court settlement has failed, thereby giving room for the continuation of the case. The case was adjourned pending the decision of the higher court. (NAN)


Tambuwal urges legislators to respect rule of law


he Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, yesterday in Abuja, called on members of the legislature to live by example by abiding to the rule of law . Tambuwal said this in Abuja, at a two-day workshop organised by the Joint Committee of Rules and Business of the Senate and the House in collaboration with the National Institute for Legislative

Studies and Democratic Governance for Development Projects. The theme of the workshop was “Legislative practice and procedure.” He said legislators must not see themselves as being above the law, and must, therefore, subject themselves to the rule of law in carrying out their legislative functions. Tambuwal explained that while the law protects lawmakers over

comments made on the floor of the House, it does not extend to illegality perpetrated by a legislator. “You will find also as you discuss the privileges and immunity of legislators that while the law protects the parliamentarian over comments made on the floor of the house, that privilege does not extend to any illegality perpetrated by a legislator. “In other words, being a

President Goodluck Jonathan (L), with President Shimon Peres of Israel, during a bilateral meeting in Jerusalem, yesterday.

Ekiti guber: Group accuses APC leaders of imposing Fayemi By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


civil society group, the Congress for Credible Elections (CCE) has accused the leadership of All Progressive Congress (APC) of banning other worthy contenders from vying for the governorship position of Ekiti state on the platform of the party. This is even as it threatened to sue the leaders of the party, including Senator Ahmed Bola

Tinubu, Bisi Akande and Lai Mohammed, over their plot to give automatic ticket to the incumbent Governer Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti state in the forth governorship election in the state. In a communique signed by its protem co-ordinator, Ayoola Akintade, at the weekend, CCE faulted the decision on automatic ticket by the APC leaders, saying it is ‘ill-motivated, ill-timed, illinformed and despotic in all its

ramifications. Rising from deliberation, in which the purported decision of the APC leadership was discussed, CCE wondered why a democratic, inclusive and progressive leaning political party like the APC would seek to adopt a notorious procedure that it had severally accused its opponents, particularly the PDP, of being guilty of. While pointing out that this practice has been categorically

APC to constitute interim committees in Nasarawa state soon


tanley Buba, the Nasarawa State Co-ordinator of the Harmonising Committee of All Progressives Congress (APC), said yesterday that the party’s interim committees in the state would soon be constituted. Buba said this in Lafia while addressing APC stakeholders and members from Doma and the Nasarawa West Senatorial Zone, who paid him a visit at the party’s

parliamentarian does not place you above the law. Indeed, it imposes on you a responsibility to abide by the law at all times,” he said. Tambuwal also challenged the legislators to enforce accountability on public office holders through effective oversight and investigative hearings so as to facilitate rapid development of the democracy. Tambuwal expressed the hope that the workshop would enrich the knowledge of participants and improve on the workings of the parliament and democracy. “Sometimes, especially in political matters, you will find that practice can be so different from theory, this particular workshop seems to cover practically all areas of legislative practice. “By the end of the day, participants will, no doubt, improve their knowledge of the whole system of parliamentary democracy. “The discussion on the Bill Process will hopefully throw more light on the complexities involved in passing any law in a bicameral legislature. “Most of the work is actually done by committees and we try as much as possible to involve the public in the lawmaking process. “We believe fervently that democracy can only grow when people choose to participate and influence the process for the collective good. (NAN)

secretariat. He said the exercise would be at the party’s unit ward, local government and zonal levels in the state. ``By the grace of God, very soon you will hear the announcement in that regard,” the co-ordinator said He said the Nasarawa state APC had received the template, regarding the constitution of the interim leadership, from the party’s national

body. The co-ordinator said the template showed that all former officials of the defunct CPC, ANPP and ACN which merged into APC were classified as automatic members. He assured that ``the exercise will be transparent in order to carry everybody along in the progressive scheme’’, and enjoined members of the party to ensure unity.

Buba said the next step after this would be to ensure the registration of party members and the issuance of membership cards. He called for members’ active participation in the exercise, and urged them to take the message to their various homes and towns. He assured the party of the ``unalloyed support’’ of members of the forum, so as to enable it succeed ``come rain, come shine’’.(NAN)

rejected as undemocratic and autocratic, CCE said “We of the CCE, wish to ... unhesitantly and irrevocably condemn in the strongest terms, the arrogant and high handed disposition of the APC leaders exemplified by Bola Tinubu, Bisi Akande and Lai Mohammed.” The group regretted that the leadership of APC has exposed themselves as unrepentant and unapologetic hypocrites for initiating a practice that they seek to condemns others for adopting. “Without mincing words, the purported decision of the APC leadership is totally illegal, unconstitutional and even criminal as it contravenes extant provisions of the Electoral Act as amended and we have briefed our solicitors to seek legal redress at the appropriate time if the trio of Tinubu, Akande and Lai Mohammed do not rescind their deeply unpopular, retrograde and reprehensible decision”, the communiqué said.




Dankwambo appoints 21-member committee on National Dialogue

Kwara LG poll: PDP rejoices with people From Olanrewaju Lawal,Ilorin


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara state has commended the people of the state for the support and cooperation towards the successful conduct of last saturday council poll. The party in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Alh Mas’ud Adebimpe, expressed the party’s satisfaction over the unprecedented large turn out of voters for the election. “As a party, the message passed by the massive turnout in all the 15 local governments areas where the election took place was adequately decoded, that our party was not only acceptable but that we shall together take our dear state to the next levels. “The party specially thanks all our teeming supporters , party elders , stalwarts and members across the state for the high level of supports , love and acceptability of PDP as demonstrated in the large turn out recorded during the exercise.”


Governorship candidate of PPA, Mr Godwin Ezeemo, holding the party’s flag; while PPA National Chairman, Chief Sam Nkire, addresses campaign rally, yesterday in Onitsha.

PDP crisis: Baraje group explores fresh options ...shops for funds By Lawrence Olaoye


ontemplating that the ongoing reconciliation being brokered between them and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may break down, the Alhaji Kawu Baraje’s led breakaway PDP has begun to explore alternative platform to actualize their political ambition by 2015. This became evident yesterday when its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, in a communique he released after the Sunday meeting of the Baraje Group, disclosed that a Mobilization and Contact Committee has been set up by the group. The committee, according to the communique, was mandated to explore other options available to the party should the dialogue with President Goodluck Jonathan fails to yield any positive result. Kano state governor, Dr. Rabi’u

Kwankwaso, had earlier outlined the options before the group to include reconciliation with the present leadership of the PDP and the President; registering a fresh political party ahead of 2015 general elections; merging with the opposition mega party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and adopting an existing platform to prosecute their 2015 ambitions. According to the communique “The meeting enlarged the Mobilisation/Contact Committee to include more sitting governors and ex-governors. The Committee was mandated to explore other options available to the party should the dialogue with President Jonathan fails to yield any positive result for its future political activity as the vision and mission of the party cannot be derailed by any force or group of people no matter the ploys and plots.” In apparent move to shore up the financial base of the group, the

meeting set up a Fund/Finance Committee mandated to source for extra funds to run the party. The group disclosed that it “meeting reviewed all our Court cases so far and counselled the legal team to ensure that our water-tight cases are professionally handled and ensure success in all the cases involving the party henceforth. Confirming the suspicion that the group may have been frustrated in the reconciliation meeting with President Jonathan, it stated “The meeting noted with sadness that instead of President Jonathan to critically examine and act on some of the issues we raised, our members in various states of the federation are being persecuted, humiliated through the unfair use of state powers, arrested and put into prison as is the case in Baylesa and Gombe States just to demonstrate its disdain for peace and plot to destroy the party. “To further demonstrate

that they don’t want peace in the party, Tukur has continued with his hidden agenda by setting up parallel chapters in states where he has nobody backing him to ensure that PDP is destroyed without any remedy.” It explained that some of their demands include the need to reverse the impunity in Rivers State, uphold the result of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum election that saw Governor Amaechi winning 19 to 16 votes against Governor Jang. Others it said include the removal of Alh. Bamanga Tukur as our party National Chairman and ending the impunity in Adamawa State, among other demands. The group lamented that their demands have failed to receive the blessing of Mr. President, adding that “we see all these as attempts by the Tukur’s faction to destroy the party seeing that they have no stake in the party anymore.”

National Confab: Sokoto NGOs advocate sovereign national conference


he Coalition of Non Governmental Organisations in Sokoto State (CONSS) has called for a sovereign national conference, rather than the proposed national conference. The Chairman of the coalition, Alhaji Ibrahim Shuni, said this yesterday during zonal public hearing in Sokoto. He said that the sovereign national conference the coalitions was advocating should be devoid of

any preconditions or limitations. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the zone comprises Sokoto North, Sokoto South, Binji, Gudu, Tangaza, Silame, Kware and Wamakko local governments. “We consider the call for the proposed national conference as very vague and undefined and it is being diversionary and inadequate. “The Federal Government

should not fund the conference so as not to influence it. “It should be funded by international donor agencies or organisations. “Powers should be devolved from centre to the states and local governments,” Shuni said. NAN reports that the event on Monday was for the civil society organisations and the general people of the state from the Sokoto Central Senatorial Zone.

The Chairman of the 32-man state committee that conducted the public hearing, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, said the proposed conference had “come at the right time” when Nigeria was in dire need of it.’’ Abdulkadir, a former Minister of Youth Development, therefore, appealed to the people of the state to make their written and oral submissions freely to the committee. (NAN)

ov. Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe has appointed 21 persons to serve as the state’s National Dialogue Advisory Committee. This is contained in a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Abubakar Bage, issued in Gombe yesterday. The statement named Alhaji Usman Faruk, as the Chairman of the committee, while Mr Magallen Dedan would serve as its Secretary. According to the statement, the committee is mandated to study issues in the upcoming National Dialogue. Other terms of reference of the committee are, to make recommendation to government concerning the conference agenda and also mobilize citizens in the state to participate in the conference. (NAN)

Confab: Chairman says turnout is impressive


hairman, National Conference Advisory Committee, Dr Femi Okunroumu, yesterday expressed happiness over the impressive turnout by Nigerians at the different venues of its sittings. Okunroumu, whose committee is in Benin for the South-South zone, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin yesterday. ``Nigerians have accepted the need to have this conference. We have been to four centres Minna, Akure, Jos and Calabar, and the turnout has been impressive and overwhelming. ``In all the centres, Nigerians came from the rural areas, even from the remotest villages to make presentations to us and there are ``no-go areas at all. ``We are to listen to all Nigerians and I am happy that the turnout has been encouraging to the extent that we requested for bigger halls,’’ he said. The chairman noted that ``we have been listening to different groups and views, but no single group who threatens to dismember Nigeria has come before us’’. He said that ``Nigerians all over the world are entitled to submit their views, but they must not be in the committee to air their views. They have our e-mail address. ``Let them submit their memo to us and their views will be acknowledged. This is the essence of the committee. ``That is why we are going round to know what are the things agitating the minds of Nigerians. (NAN)


Kaduna Speaker’s impeachment: Court fixes Dec. 6 for judgment From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


fter three hours of legal battle for and against the suit on the recent impeachment of the Speaker of the Kaduna state House of Assembly filed by the ousted Speaker, Hon. Mua’azu Usman Gangara, the court has adjourned till December 6, 2013 for judgement on the matter. The matter which started with the hearing of a plenary objection to the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case was moved by the counsel to 18 defendants, Yunus Ustaz Usman (SAN. The senior learned counsel also said he would rely on a certified copy of the proceedings at Kaduna Assembly on August 14 and supports his motion on point of law. According to him, the High Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the matter in dispute because it is an issue of discipline and removal of the 1st and 2nd Plaintiffs which is an internal affair of the Kaduna House of Assembly. “No court has the right or jurisdiction to quash the 1st and 2nd Plaintiff removal as speaker and deputy speaker of KDHA respectively, doing so, will amount to justice tisiblu. Section 285 and 296 (1) of the 1999 Constitution is clear on the conduct of internal affairs of the Federal and State House of Assembly. An elected member can go to court if he’s being removed from the house or is not allowed to discharge his/her legislative duty. But when an hon. Member is removed from selective post, he cannot asked the court to intervene because this is an internal affair of the house. Barr. Usman (SAN) added that the originating summon cannot be heard by the court because it is hostile to the party. He therefore called on the court to strike out the case because it court lacks jurisdiction to hear the matter. In his own response, counsel to the Plaintiffs, Barr. Samuel Atung, Esq. said he vehemently opposed the application as he had already filed a counter affidavit to that and a written address dated October 25, 2013 and filed on the same day. And he will rely on all the provisions. According to Barr. Atung Esq. the matter before the court is a parliamentary matter which the court has jurisdiction to hear. Barr. Atung Esq. added that the case before the court fall within the jurisdiction of the court as contained in Section 92(12) of the 1999 constitution as amended. The Judge, Dogara Mallam after listening to arguments and counter-arguments from both counsels thereby fixed December 6 this year for judgment on the matter.


News Extra

NUT lauds Al-makura for improving schools From Maaji Dandaura, Lafia


he Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has commended Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura of Nasarwa state for constructing more primary schools and renovating many others in the state. He has equally been applauded for implementing the N18,000 minimum wage for civil

servants, including teachers in the state. Chairman, Nasarawa state chapter of the NUT, Comrade Francis Jatau Tete Yohana, made the commendations while speaking to journalists in his office in Lafia. Yohana said the construction of more primary schools and renovation of many others was a clear indication that the governor is truly ready to uplift

the standard of education in the state. The NUT chairman who recently assumed office said that his priority is to ensure that he creates harmony between teachers and the Nasarawa state government. He lamented that the teachers have been suffering in the area of welfare as many of them have not been promoted for years. Comrade Francis Jatau Tete

Yohanna said even those teachers that were given promotion and the yearly increment such promotion and yearly increment are not being implemented by the state Government. The NUT chairman further decried that teachers have not been enjoying training and therefore urged the state government to train them so that they can contribute to better the education sector in the state.

Jonathan felicitates with Oba of Lagos at 70


Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, briefing State House journalists, during his visit to the State House, in Abuja, yesterday. Photo: Joe Oroye

resident Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated Oba Rilwan Babatunde Akiolu I of Lagos as he attains the age of 70 years today. President Jonathan, in a statement signed by his media aide, Reuben Abati, lauded the monarch whom he said, “has exhibited exemplary wisdom, courage, selflessness, philanthropy and dedication to the service of his people since his ascension to the revered throne of Lagos over ten years ago”. The president also assured that the federal government will continue to work diligently, in cooperation with all other tiers of government in the country, towards progressively improving the living conditions of Nigerians.

Fire kills 24 people in 9 months in Gombe


o fewer than 24 people lost their lives and property valued N105 million destroyed in fire incidents in Gombe between January and September, 2013. The Director of the State Fire Service, Mr Ishaku Maidoki, made the disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Gombe. Maidoki said the department

saved 700 lives and property worth N5.2 million from the fire disasters, adding the service received 144 emergency calls during the period. He stressed the need to sustain the cooperation between the service and the public, while reiterating the determination of the service to save lives and property in the state. He also charged the citizens to ensure that all electrical appliances

in their homes and business areas were always switched off when not in use. The director said women who use firewood for cooking should ensure that the fire was properly put out after cooking to avert outbreaks of inferno. He commended the state government for the provision of water in the directorate and other

public places. Maidoki said the state government had assisted the fire service in responding promptly to emergency and distress call. “Availability of water will always help to reduce the challenges we face during operations, especially in getting water from far places like Wuro, Julli and Kwadon”, he said. (NAN)

Chinese firm partners Niger on N1bn health centre By Mohammed Kandi


iger state government in collaboration with Mutual Commitment Nigeria Limited has earmarked the sum of N1.49 billion for the construction of Maternal and Neonatal Centre in Minna. In a statement by Musa Umar Bologi, Senior Special Assistant on Press Matters, Office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Saidu Ndako Idris Kpaki,

the SSG disclosed this at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Niger State Government and Mutual Commitment Nigeria Limited yesterday in Minna. Kpaki explained that the signing of the MoU is another milestone in the history of the state, as the present administration led by Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, is committed at providing qualitative, affordable and accessible healthcare delivery

services to the people of the state. The SSG expressed optimism that the partnership between the two sides would advance the cause for humanity, stressing that the health sector is another vital area where government is working assiduously to improve the health status of the people. In his remarks, the Commissioner of Health and Hospital Services, Dr. Ibrahim Babaminin Sule revealed that the 134 capacity bed Maternal

and Neonatal Centre was designed to meet the Millennium Development Goals. According to the commissioner, the essence of the collaboration is to add value what the present administration is doing in making Niger state one of the three top economies in the country by the year 2020, especially in the health sector and charged the development partners to complete the project within schedule.



News Extra

Jigawa youths differ on National Conference From Dutse




he National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) in Jigawa state has distanced itself from from the national

conference called upon by President Goodluck Jonathan. The group which was reacting to recent press conference purported to have been credited to one Aminu Aminu indicating support for the proposed national

conference said such statement does not reflect the views of its members. NYCN in a statement signed by its Chairman, Comrade Nura Yakubu said, “It is untrue that the council supports the national

conference under whatever guise”, adding that, “in as much as the council holds opinions on national and state issues, it usually take a position after deliberations by the various arms of its leadership”.

The statement further distanced the council from the conference and the position while at the same time advised youths in the state to remain focus and resist any attempt to be misguided by certain individuals.

Apprentice arraigned for alleged murder From Omale Adama, Lokoja


25-year-old tailoring apprentice, Miss Gloria Ugbede was yesterday arraigned before a Lokoja Chief Magistrates Court for allegedly killing her boy friend, Omachonu Ukubile in a hotel chalet. Ugbede of Ichala-Ibaji in Ibaji Local Government of Kogi state, charged with Culpable Homicide contrary to section 221 of the Penal Code was said to have committed the offence on September 29. The prosecuting Police officer, B.A. Nwadiea Esq. told the court that the accused on that fateful day, accompanied Ukubile of Ejule-Ojebe also in Ibaji, to Debanjesi Hotel, Bishop’s road Idah. According to him, a few minutes after they arrived and entered the hotel chalet, the deceased started coughing and foaming saliva from his mouth and was rushed to Odoma Clinic in Idah where he later gave up the spirit. Nwadiea told the court that Police investigation into the case was in progress as he opposed admitting the accused to bail on the ground that the offence was capital in nature. He also told the court that she would jump bail and prejudice police investigation if granted bail as he urged the court to refuse any application for her bail. The Chief Magistrate, Mr Alhassan Hussein said he shared the opinion of the prosecuting counsel without prejudice regarding the material placed before the court. Hussein therefore ordered that the accused be remanded at Federal Prisons, Idah and urged that the case be transferred to Chief Magistrates’ Court, Idah for convenience of the parties.

L-R Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules & Business, Sen. Ita Enang, Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, and Deputy Speaker, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, during a Workshop on Legislative Practice and Procedure, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Governor Yero in Germany to attend exhibition on Nok culture From Muhammad Ibrahim, Kaduna


overnor of Kaduna State, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero has reportedly left the country to attend an exhibition on Nok culture in Germany.

A statement issued yesterday by his Director on Media and Publicity, Ahmed Maiyaki, indicated that the programme will be organised by the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, in collaboration with Frankfurt’s Goethe University with support

from the National Commission for Museums and Monuments of Nigeria. It said that the programme slated for Today will avail Yero the opportunity to woo investors in to the state. The statement said the

Governor will also meet with German investors on the sideline of the exhibition to exploit the possibility of inviting them to establish businesses in various sectors in the state ranging from culture and tourism, agriculture and solid minerals.

WARSO adopts passenger manifest By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


he General Assembly of the West African Road Safety Organization (WARSO), has adopted a common template of the passenger manifest for use by member countries within the West African Sub-region. Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), in a statement issued yesterday by its Corps Public

Education Officer (CPEO), Jonas Agwu indicated that the resolution was part of decisions arrived at the WARSO 5th General Assembly which took place at Ougadogou, in Burkina Faso. According to the statement, “the adoption of the passenger manifest was justified by the need to ensure easy identification of road crash victims on inter-city trips in commercial vehicles,

within the sub-region. Member countries were further enjoined to customize the passenger manifest to suit peculiarities in different countries and a legislative frame work to precede its enforcement”. Meanwhile, the WARSO General Assembly also directed member countries to accede and ratify the Vienna and Geneva Convention on road signs, markings and designs in order to

conform with global contemporary standard on road construction. The statement further said that the FRSC was commended for sustaining its status as lead agency on road safety management and traffic administration by complying with all the 5 pillars of the United Nation’s Decade of Action on road safety through enforcement of traffic regulations on safety helmet, establishment

Amosun gives N2m lifeline to ailing movie star ‘Pa Kasumu’ From James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta


he Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has donated the sum of N2m towards the medical treatment of ailing Nollywood Yoruba actor, Mr. Olukayode Olugbenga Odumosu popularly known as Pa Kasumu. Making the donation on behalf of the Governor at the Mushin,

Lagos State residence of the actor, Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Taiwo Adeoluwa said that the Governor heard about Pa Kasumu’s illness on the television and was deeply worried about his health condition. “There was no formal request for help from the Governor of Ogun State. Like everybody else, we heard the news that you are indisposed on the television and he

instructed us to go and find out the exact state of health of Pa Kasumu. It was at that time that somebody said he’s from Ogun State. He didn’t even realise that you are one of us”, the SSG said. The Governor noted that Pa Kasumu typifies the large pool of successful indigenes of the state that have served the nation in their various areas of endeavour and expertise and must not be left to

suffer in his trying period. Governor Amosun also called on colleagues, family members and well wishers of Pa Kasumu to rally round him for support, saying more than anything else, he needed to be shown love at this particular time. Speaking, the Co-ordinator of the “Save Pa Kasumu initiative”, Mrs. Olajide Idowu while thanking Governor Amosun for the

gesture, noted that the donation was unprecedented as no state government, group or individual had made such a singular donation to the course of saving the life of the ailing actor. Responding, a visibly sick Pa Kasumu thanked the State Government for the lifeline and requested other public-spirited individuals and corporate bodies to come to his aid.



Rangers give new coach trophy target Stories by y Albert Akota


nugu Rangers have appointed former Flying Eagles coach John Obuh as coach with the task of winning a trophy for them. Obuh replaces Okey Emordi, who quit his post on the final day of the past season. Obuh promised at his presentation to halt Rangers almost three decades barren run of trophies. “It is an honour for me to be saddled with the task


of leading Rangers back to a trophy-winning side it used to be. It’s a big challenge, which I hope to carry out successfully,” he vowed. Obuh has long been linked with Rangers ever since he quit as coach of the country’s U20 team, but several Rangers top officials have denied this connection. Obuh has coached several clubs including Sharks, Kwara United, Niger Tornadoes and Wikki Tourists

Eagles lose 0–1 to Jordan


disappointing Eagles ‘B’ team fell 1-0 to Jordan in a friendly played in Amman yesterday. A first half penalty goal by skipper Hatem Aquel proved to be the difference between the two teams at the Amman International Stadium. In the 42nd minute, Rabiu Ali was adjudged to have pushed down Yousef Rawashdeh in the 18-yard box and the referee awarded a penalty, which was converted by Jordan captain. That was the first time both countries will go head-to-head and the first half was not as adventurous as both sides didn’t create many scoring opportunities. The first attempt at goal by Nigeria came in the 22nd minute when Christian Obiazo

fired wide from about 35 yards. In the 36th minute, Ugonna Uzochukwu’s effort inside the six-yard box from an Oghenekaro Etebor free-kick was blocked by Jordan goalie to deny Nigeria a goal. Goalkeeper and skipper Chigozie Agbim was called to duty once and he made a save. The Super Eagles put up a poor show in the second half as Jordan were so confident and dictate the pace. They had no shot on target in the second half. Jordan almost increased the tally when a free header hit the cross bar in the 78th minute. The introduction of Ifeanyi Edeh and Barnabas Imenger to the attack line brought urgency into Eagles game but didn’t yield any positive result.

Eagles defender Egwuekwe

Gunmen attack Sharks captain

Obuh in Rangers presentation yesterday

U17 World Cup: Eaglets favourites for q/finals


olden Eaglets are hugely fancied to beat Iran today and reach the quarterfinal of the FIFA U17 World Cup in the UAE. The game will kick off 5 pm Nigerian time with the winners taking on the winners of Uruguay/Slovakia match in the quarterfinals. The Eaglets have the edge over Iran as far as this competition is concerned having reached the final six times more than any other country and winning it three times, a feat only matched by Brazil. Eaglets are favourites to go through to the last eight, but they must be careful with Iran, who has enjoyed some good results against Africa opposition in their last two appearances. Iran beat Mali 1-0 in the 2001 tournament and defeated Gambia 2-0 in the 2009 edition. Iran are appearing in this competition for the third time after their first participation at Trinidad and Tobago 2001 was disastrous for them as they failed to get a point, losing all three games to finish bottom of their group. However, they reached the Round of 16 in their second attempt in 2009 after they finished as group leaders with wins over the Netherlands and Gambia, before they lost the second round game to Uruguay 2-1 after extra time. At the current championship, Iran drew 1-1 with Argentina, drew with Canada and beat Austria to finish second in Group E with five points behind group winners Argentina. Eaglet’s assistant coach Nduka

Ugbade has predicted victory overr Iran. “We have been keeping tabss d on all our likely opponents and I paid so much attention to thee a game between Iran and Austria on Friday which they won byy a 1-0 margin,” stated Ugbade, who captained Nigeria to win the trophy in 1985. “The Iranians are a good side no doubt but with all modesty, we should be able to cope well against them.” Ugbade said the Golden Eaglets are not being carried away after an impressive first round performance where they scored an impressive 14 goals in three matches including a 6-1 thrashing of defending champions Mexico. “Of course, we are getting

harks captain, Odinga Odinga escaped death yesterday afternoon when h was attacked by gunmen in he A Agbor-Nchia, near Port Harcourt. Confirming the incident to newsmen, Odinga said one of t gunmen was Sharks attacker, the A Adurlur Nwaka. Odinga said he was accosted b Nwaka and four gun-wielding by individuals believed to be his f friends inside a supermarket w where the Sharks skipper was doing some shopping. “It was a scary incident as N Nwaka said he was bent ‘gaining revenge’ over an incident that occurred in the past. His license was recently w withdrawn at the club by officials and he blamed me for it,” Odinga said. The Sharks captain was eventually rescued by men of t Nigeria Police who promptly the reacted to the situation. “I want to thank God for sparing my life and also the Police f the swift manner in which the for reacted and doused a potentially f fatal situation,” he said. The five gunmen escaped as soon as the Police arrived at the scene. better since we defeated Mexico and the boys did well against Iraq on Friday with a 5-0 win, but I have no doubt that we would overcome the Iranians if we can correct some specific lapses we have noticed,” he noted. The Eaglets will again be without Africa U17 top scorer Isaac Success, who is nursing a hamstring injury. The hard working Taiwo Awoniyi is again expected to stand in for him with Kelechi Iheanacho spearheading the charge for goals.

Kelechi Iheanacho




Hungarian Embassy presents Sensolite bed to NFF


he Embassy of Hungary in Nigeria has presented a Sensolite Health Bed to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for the National Teams. Making the presentation in Abuja yesterday, Hungary’s Secretary of State (Minister of Foreign Affairs), Mr. Peter Szijjarto, who was in the Nigerian capital for the reopening of the Embassy of Hungary in Nigeria, disclosed that generations of Hungarian National Team players had used the special bed to enhance their fitness before international matches and tournaments. “We are delighted to make this

presentation as we look forward to collaborative ventures in the football sector between our two great countries,” Mr. Szijjarto, himself a former Hungarian international, said at the occasion. He was accompanied to the presentation at the new NFF headquarters (Sunday Dankaro House), National Stadium, Abuja by the Ambassador of Hungary to Nigeria, Mr. Zsolt Mario, the Consul-General, Mr. Endre Deri and other dignitaries from the Embassy of Hungary. President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, presently at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in

the United Arab Emirates, was represented by the Vice President, Chief Mike Umeh, who hailed the gesture by the Embassy of Hungary, saying: “I stand here to assure you all that the Sensolite Health Bed which you have so graciously presented will be deployed to good use by the federation. “For your information, the football house has ten National Teams, which it holds in trust for the Federal Government of Nigeria. Most of these teams are always actively engaged and in camp for one competition or the other, and will find this excellent equipment most useful.

Enyeama wants to be world’s best


h Super he S Eagles E l goalkeeper lk Vincent Enyeama has disclosed that his target is to be the best goalkeeper in the world. The Lille OSC man revealed this after helping his club to a 1-0 victory away to Nantes over the weekend and in the process keeping his ninth clean slate in the Ligue 1. “It’s about work, work and even more hard work. I believe in hard work. I have been watching videos and looking at my mistakes. I keep striving day and night to correct them,” Enyeama told his club’s website. “When I make a mistake, I am hard on myself….more than I could get on someone else if he made the same mistake. “That’s the way I am. I have set very high standards for myself. I believe I can be the best goalkeeper in the world,” Enyeama concluded The former Enyimba skipper has been in blistering form since returning from a season long loan to Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel.

between our two countries in the football sphere. As the champions of Africa and one of the most flamboyant teams in world football, we have something to offer to Hungary, which also has something to offer us in the technical area.” The NFF Vice President then presented a football autographed by players of the Super Eagles, as well as a personalised football jersey to Mr. Szijjarto, and another one for the Prime Minister of Republic of Hungary, His Excellency Viktor Orban. NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu gave the vote of thanks at the occasion.

Eaglets will thrash Iran today, coach believes

Chidera Ezeh

Vincent Enyeama

Why I quit Enugu-Emordi F ormer Enugu Rangers coach Okey Emordi has said he threw in the towel because of interferences in his job by top officials. “I must say that the condition of service for me has been greatly breached by the club management,”

(R)Emordi in training

“We are also aware that Hungary remains a nation with a rich footballing history. That country gave the world illustrious names like Ferenc Puskas, Zoltan Czibor and Sandor Kocsis, to mention but a few. We recall the great exploits of the Magnificent Magyars across the globe in the 1950s and 1960s, and also commend the present efforts of the Hungarian football authorities to restore the old glory and pride of Hungarian football. “Let me assure your Excellencies that the NFF is positively disposed to the offer for collaborative joint ventures

he said. “How do you explain a situation where players are imposed on me by the general manager (Paul Chibuzor) or how do you explain the registration of ineligible players which led to our disqualification from the continent? “All these and more as well as my inability to transform the team to a trophy-winning side due to the above mentioned interferences, pushed me to take this decision. “I wish the club well and hope that whoever takes charge of the team after me will be given the chance to do his job without external interferences in technical matters. The administrators should concern themselves with proper administration of the club.” Former Enyimba coach Emordi, who was named CAF Coach of the Year in 2004, further informed that he quit his post soon after Rangers pipped visiting El Kanemi Warriors on the final day of the season to place fifth on the table.


he Golden Eaglets coach Manu Garba has said he does not expect Iran to drag them into a penalty shootout today. Nigeria battle Iran for a place in the quarterfinals of the 2013 FIFA U17 World Cup in the UAE. “We would ensure that we win this game within the regulation time and we are looking at the possibility of not allowing the game to be dragged into a penalty shootout,”said Manu. “Yes, I agree that Iran has been making progress since they started but they won’t progress beyond the second round at the expense of Nigeria on Tuesday.” All the same, the Eaglets are leaving nothing to chance and have perfected penalty kicks in training. It would be recalled that a penalty kick cost the team dear

at the CAN U17 finale, when they lost 5-4 to Cote d’Ivoire after a pulsating 1-1 draw. “Against Iran, there won’t be any margin for errors and we what you to pay proper attention to everything we have done and would do for this match, “Manu further told the players. Manu said he was not under any pressure rather he has the belief that destiny already had something in store for Nigeria to win yet her fourth title on an Asian soil. “All Nigeria’s previous victories, in 1985; 1993 and 2007, were all in Asia and we are here again in Asia in 2013 and I think history favours us to win this trophy. “But we are not talking about winning the trophy now, rather we are talking about Iran and Insha Allah (by the grace of Allah), we shall win our match against Iran.”




Platini calls for World Cup expansion U

EFA president Michel Platini believes FIFA should consider expanding the World Cup to 40 teams in the coming years, with greater representation from outside of Europe the key focus. FIFA president Sepp Blatter recently revealed his desire to see more African

teams participating on football’s biggest stage and Platini believes expansion is viable given the number of countries currently competing at international level. Africa and Asia, who have 5 and 4.5 spots available at the World Cup, would benefit most from Platini’s proposal and the Frenchman insists there would be little

Toure meets FIFA over racist abuse

Yaya Toure (R) complaining to referee over racist chanting at CSKA


aya Toure has had a meeting with the FIFA’s anti-racism chief to discuss events in Russia last week when he was allegedly racially abused by some CSKA Moscow supporters. The Manchester City midfielder spoke to Jeffrey Webb, the head of FIFA’s anti-racism task force, on Sunday after his club’s 2-1 defeat to Chelsea. Webb had said he wanted to hear about Toure’s experience of being abused after the BBC reported they had “a good conversation” and that the former Barcelona player agreed to help Webb’s task force “in any way”. Webb also met Piara Powar, the executive director of European anti-discrimination body FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe), in London on Saturday to talk about the incident in Moscow. UEFA is conducting an inquiry

to discover why, after Toure reported the abuse to Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan, the official did not follow new guidelines and halt the game so spectators could be told to stop. Webb said he supported FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s stance that heavier punishments are required for clubs where racism isn’t addressed, including expelling them from competitions. Toure had suggested black players should boycott the 2018 World Cup in Russia unless the problem is addressed. However, CSKA Moscow, who denied Toure had been racially abused and had claimed he was the only person to hear anything, blamed a British smear campaign. CSKA general director Roman Babaev told the Daily Telegraph: “The British do constantly try to find any reason to smear Russian football.

disruption to the current format of the World Cup. “It’s good for everybody,” Platini told The Times. “I totally agree with Mr Blatter that we need more African and Asian (countries). But instead of taking away some European, we have to go to 40 teams in the World Cup.

Madrid hit out at Clasico referee



“Making observations about the play, reports wo days after Barcelona beat Real Madrid 2-1 in the first clasico of the season at the Camp in the Catalan press said Ronaldo could face a ban Nou, controversy continued to surround the if it was proven that he used stronger language than the referee had thought. performance of the match officials. Coverage of the refereeing in AS included the Madrid felt they should have had a penalty with the score at 1-0 to Barcelona, and both coach Carlo statistic that Madrid players were shown five Ancelotti and players including Sergio Ramos aired yellow cards in the game while Barca only received two, even though the Catalans committed more grievances immediately after the final whistle. The official Madrid club site highlighted the fouls. The Madrid-leaning paper also claimed Lionel challenge in question, by Javier Mascherano on Messi should have been given two yellows and Cristiano Ronaldo inside the area. Ronaldo had continued his complaints when been sent off, one for a high foot similar to that for talking to Barca players including Captain Carles which Gareth Bale booked, and the other for a dive later in the game. Puyol in the tunnel. Lip-readers for Spanish TV PUBLIC NOTICE station Cuatro said the Portugal attacker had insulted an official by ABUJA CHICKEN SELLERS ASSOCIATION OF calling him a 'piece of with Sergio NIGERIA (ACSA) Busquets responding by calling his THE GENERAL PUBLIC IS HEREBY NOTIFIED THAT THE ABOVE NAMED opponent a ‘crybaby’. Undiano Mallenco booked ASSOCITION HAS APPLIED TO THE CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION (CAC), ABUJA FOR SUBSTITUTION OF THE FOLLOWING TRUSTEES: Ronaldo for his protests after the 1. ALHAJI ABUBAKAR BELLO 2.ALHAJI UMAR FARUK Mascherano incident, with his 3. MAL. MUHAMMADU ALI 4.MAL. MAGAJI ADAMU report saying the card had been 5. TANKO MUSA shown in response to him.

Gnabry pens new Arsenal deal


rsenal forward Serge Gnabry has signed a new long-term contract with the club. Gnabry, 18, has been rewarded for his impressive performances for the Gunners this season, including a display that brought about his first goal for the club in the 2-1 win at Swansea last month. The new deal comes just over a year after he penned his first professional contract in the summer of 2012, after catching the eye in Arsenal’s under-18 side. “Arsenal is a great football club and I’m so happy to be here and sign a new contract. For me, now it’s all about working hard and developing my game,” Gnabry told the club's official website. "I’ve had some good opportunities recently in the first team, which has given me extra confidence, and this will only improve my game. I’m looking forward to giving my

“We can add two African, two Asiatic, two American and one from Europe. I support this idea totally. “Football is changing and now we have 209 associations. There are more countries so why reduce? Forty is not so bad. You have three days more of competition and you make more people happy.”




Serge Gnabry

best for this club in the years to come.” Gunner’s manager Arsene Wenger added: “We signed Serge Gnabry because I believe that he will be a great player. He's nearly there now, and competes for a regular place in the team in the Premier League. "He has technical ability,

he has power, he has pace, he has finishing quality and he can give a final ball. He's a powerful offensive player and I believe that he will be a great player for Arsenal Football Club.” Gnabry, who made his debut for Arsenal last season, has racked up nine appearances for the club and has scored one goal.




Sports Williams can get better, says coach Eilidh Child

Child wins Scottish Athlete of the Year


orld Championships relay medallist Eilidh Child has been named Scotland’s Athlete of the Year. The 26-year-old from Perth won bronze in the 4x400m in Moscow, following her fifth place in the 400m hurdles. Child was part of the winning 4x400m relay team at the European Athletics Indoor Championships, having finished runner-up in the individual event. And she also won the 400m hurdles at the European Team Championships in Gateshead. Child saw off the challenge of five other short-listed athletes; Eilish McColgan, Laura Muir, Libby Clegg, Susan Partridge and Chris O’Hare. Clegg collected the Para Athlete of the Year award for the second successive year after silver medals in the T12 100m and 200m at the IPC World Championships.


erena Williams’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou says the world number one can do even better next year. Williams retained the WTA Championships on Sunday, her 11th title of the season, to improve her 2013 record to 78 wins with only four defeats. American Williams, who came from behind to beat Li Na in three sets in Istanbul, has won 20 more matches this season than she has ever managed previously. As well as winning 25 sets

by a 6-0 margin, the 17-time Grand Slam winner has also become the first woman to win more than $10m (£6.19m) prize money in a single season. “She loves playing tennis, she loves winning, she wants to stay number one, she wants to keep on winning - and she wants to be better,” added Mouratoglou. Even at the age of 32, Williams says she cannot imagine life without playing tennis. Roger Federer, also a 17-


Boston Red Sox in good mood

time Grand Slam champion, is 49 days older than Williams and the Swiss has experienced a slide down the men’s world

rankings this season. In contrast, Williams has had arguably the most successful season of her career.

Rose, Smith, Joshua win at Sheffield


lackpool’s Brian Rose outpointed Argentina’s Javier Maciel in Sheffield to earn a shot at the WBO lightmiddleweight title. Rose, 28, was awarded the

fight on a split decision - 117111, 113-115, 116-113 - but the announcement was booed by sections of the crowd. Heavyweight prospect Anthony Joshua won his second

Brian Rose (L)

World Series Game 4: Boston Red Sox beat St Louis Cardinals oston Red Sox tied the best-ofseven World Series at 2-2 with a 4-2 victory against St Louis Cardinals. Left fielder Jonny Gomes, only playing because of a late injury to Shane Victorino, hit a three-run home run off relief pitcher Seth Maness in the sixth inning, silencing a record crowd of 47,469 at the Cardinals’ Busch Stadium. The Red Sox went into the game on the back of successive losses while starting pitcher Clay Buchholz, struggling for fitness, lasted only four innings. Key fielding errors were a feature

Serena Williams

of those Red Sox defeats and another error by Jacoby Ellsbury gave experienced slugger Carlos Beltran the chance to drive in the first run of the game for the Cardinals in the third inning with a double. Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew tied the game for the American League side in the fifth inning, his sacrifice fly driving in David Ortiz, before Gomes made it 4-1. Matt Carpenter cut the deficit to 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning when his single scored St Louis pinch hitter Shane Robinson. But John Lackey, working as a relief pitcher for the first time in

nine years, and closer Koji Uehara prevented any further Cardinals runs. The game ended when Uehara picked off pinch runner Kolten Wong, who was trying to steal second base.

pro fight via a second-round stoppage of veteran Paul Butlin. Olympic champion Joshua, 23, finished his opponent with a huge right hand. Meanwhile, Liverpool supermiddleweight Callum Smith extended his 100% record with a sixth-round knockout of Ruben Acosta to win the WBC international title. Smith, 23, dominated the centre of the ring in Sheffield, showing explosive power to register the seventh stoppage of his nine-fight career. Argentine Acosta, who had lost eight times in 40 previous outings, was knocked down in the sixth round. Rose’s fight was chief support to Kell Brook’s victory over Vyacheslav Senchenko and it was the most controversial engagement of the evening. The Englishman suffered a cut to the bridge of his nose as Maciel appeared to have the better of the early rounds, landing with uppercuts with unerring regularity. Rose withstood a fearsome barrage in the eighth and arguably had the better of some gruelling exchanges down the stretch as his

opponent tired. However, the 29-year-old Maciel, a former challenger for the WBO middleweight crown, looked to have done enough to at least earn a draw. The announcement of Spanish judge Fernando Laguna’s card, which had Rose winning 117111, was greeted by disgruntled murmurs. The vacant WBO belt is contested by Demetrius Andrade and Vanes Martirosyan in Texas on 9 November. Joshua made short work of Italian Emanuele Leo on his pro debut earlier this month and his second paid fight was equally onesided. Butlin, 37, demonstrated a big heart to make it through the first round but caved under a crunching right hand in round two. The game Butlin, his left eye gushing blood, clambered to his feet but the referee called a halt to proceedings 50 seconds into the round. It was also a satisfactory night’s work for Beijing Olympian Kal Yafai, 24, who boosted his perfect record to nine victories with a points win over Spain’s Santiago.

NFL at Wembley: Francisco thrash Jaguars


he San Francisco 49ers condemned the Jacksonville Jaguars to their eighth successive defeat at Wembley in the latest NFL International Series game. The 49ers, Super Bowl runnersup last season, scored six touchdowns in a 42-10 victory, their fifth in a row. The Jaguars, owned by Fulham proprietor Shahid Khan, are scheduled to play four games in London between 2013 and 2016. But a one-sided defeat by the 49ers will have won the Jaguars few new fans in their second home. The encounter was the second NFL game to be played at Wembley this season following the Minnesota Vikings’ 34-27 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. And with the NFL determined to expand into new markets there

will be three games at Wembley next season, including the Jaguars versus the Dallas Cowboys. Jacksonville went into the game against the 49ers as rank outsiders and they were soon behind through a 19-yard touchdown by running back Frank Gore. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick


demonstrated his own running skills with a 12-yard touchdown as the 49ers led 14-0 after the first quarter. Vernon Davis added a third touchdown early in the second quarter after Kaepernick faked a hand-off to Gore and floated a pass over the top of the Jaguars’ chaotic defence.








4 1. New York Red Bulls beat Chicago Fire 5-2 to claim the MLS Supporters’ Shield and LA Galaxy held Seattle Sounders 1-1 to take third place in the Western Conference as America’s top flight play-off picture became clear. 2. Fernando Torres lifted Chelsea into second place in the English Premier League after his late winner against title rivals Manchester City, while Sunderland won their first league match of the season.


3.England’s Stuart Broad says he does not regret not walking when umpire Aleem Dar failed to spot an edge in the first Test against Australia in the summer. 4. Real’s experiments didn’t pay off, but they will learn lessons in defeat 5. Shaka Hislop, Steve Nicol, Paul Mariner and Chris Murphy pick out the week’s star Premier League performers.




Manchester City goalkeeper may face axe after 9 avoidable errors in 2013


oe Hart’s rut is quickly developing from a drama into a crisis. The once dependable goalkeeper of England and Manchester City was at fault again on Sunday as Chelsea beat City 2-1 making it a staggering nine errors that have led to goals in 2013 alone. Manuel Pellegrini refused to back his keeper in the wake of this latest error against Chelsea. He said: we are going to see the best way to arrange things. What do I think about the goal? I won’t talk about it. What do I think about my goalkeeper’s performance? I repeat, the analysis I do with individual players I do with the players.’ Hart tracks Rickie Lambert’s 18-yard shot but it squirms out of his grasp and between his legs, allowing Steven Davis to prod in an easy finish from close range. You could also ask questions about his reaction time to Gareth Barry’s own goal. Andy Carroll’s shot in stoppage-time is hit firmly but straight at the stopper. Alas, it passes between Hart’s hands and legs and creeps over the line. No great harm done as City was already cruising 2-0 but doubts are rising. James Morrison takes possession outside the box after England fail to clear and hits a shot through a crowd which Hart fumbles into his net. The ball moves in the air but Hart appears to be caught between trying to catch or parry. The result is that he flaps the ball into the net. The goal gives Scotland a shock 11th-minute lead, but England fight back. Roy Hodgson said: ‘I wouldn’t leave Joe out of the next game because he made that mistake but like everyone else, the competition for places is getting stronger.’ A famous defeat and one that convinced some of the remaining believers that Hart’s form had become a problem. He actually played quite well in this game but gave away the second goal when he flapped at Peter Whittingham’s cross. Hart had become tangled with Aron Gunnarsson (something he was guilty of for the third goal, too) and allowed the ball to drop over his head, leaving Fraizer Campbell with an easy header. The goal allowed Cardiff to go ahead 2-1. One point dropped and Manuel Pellegrini later insisted he would always pick on form not reputation. City looked like they would get a point but Hart played his part as they blew. He came charging off his

line in an effort to block Andreas Weimann, who had gone clean through for Villa. He didn’t even come close to winning the ball. Not his biggest clanger but a costly mistake. Manuel Pellegrini was rather frosty in discussing Joe Hart’s position after his goalkeeper’s latest clanger on Sunday allowed Chelsea to beat Manchester City. But, if Pellegrini does act and drops the England No 1, what can we expect from Costel Pantilimon, the man waiting in the wings? He is a huge Romanian of little stature in the game. The goalkeeper on Manchester City’s bench is an enormous 6ft 8ins and is the tallest player in the Premier League. Or at least he would be if he had actually played a game. As you would expect, the 26-year-old has been a distant No 2 to Joe Hart. He arrived at the club on loan from Poli Timisoara in August 2011 and signed on a £3m permanent deal in February 2012. But he has only been used in Cup competitions so far, making 12 appearances and keeping an impressive seven clean sheets. Without doubt the run to the final of last season’s FA Cup. He kept four clean sheets in five games in the competition and was initially promised a starting place in the final against Wigan, but Roberto Mancini instead fielded Hart in the defeat. Not really. Last season he claimed he would leave in the summer, not least because his inactivity was hurting his chances with the Romanian national team, for whom he has won 16 caps. He said ahead of the cup final: ‘The technical staff and everyone know that I want to leave after the season is finished. I am only sure that I want to play that’s what is best for me. The manager of the national team tells me every time I speak to him, “Please try to play more” so it’s also important for my country as well as for my career.’ He grew up in Romania to two deaf parents he has no issues with his hearing and stayed in the Romanian leagues until City signed him in 2011. Romania legend Gheorghe Hagi brought him to Poli Timisoara as a 19-year-old in 2006. He said: ‘Of course he is tall but there is more to him than that. He has great reflexes and even then he had very good technique. Then there is his character. He is a very serious and hard-working guy who is a great talker. He always loved to learn. He also has good movement

Vital: Hart became tangled with Cardiff’s Aron Gunnarsson from two corners, allowing Fraizer Campbell to head home twice

Pressure: frustrated Manuel Pellegrini failed to publicly back Hart

Error: A mix-up between Joe Hart and Matija Nastasic saw Fernando Torres steal in to grab the crucial winner for Chelsea on Sunday

and is good on the ball, as you have to be as a modern keeper.’ Ribery was able to beat Hart at his near post with a long-range shot, while the goalkeeper got a hand to Robben’ s strike but was again beaten at his near post. The goals put City 1-0 and 3-0 down. After the game, Pellegrini said: ‘He continues with the trust

of all the team so we hope he will recover from what he did last match. That is not only Joe Hart’s responsibility; it was not only him who was guilty for what happened. He has an important amount but I always talk with all the players. We analyse all the goals.’

The latest sorry episode. Willian hit a hopeful pass and Hart came surging off his line to intercept. He got a touch too close to team-mate Matija Nastasic, who attempted a headed back pass but succeeded only in nudging the ball over his goalkeeper’s head, putting Fernando Torres through on an open goal. A real calamity.



Some Interesting Facts


id you know in American supermarkets peanut butter is one of the most frequently purchased items • Did you know ostrich meat is the leanest of all red meats • Did you know banana plants can grow as high as 6 meters (20 feet) tall • Did you know blueberries are very high in antioxidants • Did you know the grapefruit gets its name from the way it grows in clusters like grapes on a vine • Did you know a pumpkin really is a fruit • Did you know laughing lowers levels of stress and strengthens your immune system • Did you know once a women reachs the age of 30 they lose 1% of their bone mass every year thereafter (by the time a women is 50 she will have lost 20%) • Did you know the surface area of your lungs is roughly the same size as a tennis court • Did you know England’s first great industry was wool • Did you know the average age at which America’s presidents have taken office is 54 • Did you know according to manufacturer Spalding the average lifespan of an NBA basketball is 10,000 bounces • Did you know the word ‘almost’ is the longest in the English language with all the letters in alphabetical order • Did you know a pip is one of the spots on dice or domino • Did you know the most commonly used word in English conversation is ‘I’

• Did you know the number 2 is the only number greater than zero that when added to or multiplied by itself gives you the same result (4) • Did you know the word ‘taxi’ is spelled the same in English, German, French, Swedish, and Portuguese • Did you know ablutophobia is the fear of bathing • Did you know achluophobiais the fear of the dark • Did you know acrophobia is the fear of heights • Did you know agoraphobia is the fear of wide open spaces • Did you know aichmophobia is the fear of needles and pointed objects •Did you know akousticophobia is the fear of noises • Did you know amathophobia is the fear of dust


• Did you know atychiphobia is the fear of failure • Did you know brontophobia is the fear of thunderstorms • Did you know catoptrophobia is the fear of mirrors • Did you know dendrophobia is the fear of trees • Did you know gatophobia is the fear of cats • Did you know heliophobia is the fear of sunlight • Did you know helminthophobia is the fear of worms • Did you know herpetophobia is the fear of reptiles • Did you know hippophobia is the fear of horses • Did you know iatrophobia is the fear of doctors • Did you know ichthyophobia is the fear of fish • Did you know melissophobia is the fear of bees • Did you know melophobia is the fear of music • Did you know myrmecophobia is the fear of ants • Did you know ombrophobia is the fear of rain • Did you know ornithophobia is the fear of birds • Did you know siderodromophobia is the fear of trains • Did you know tachophobia is the fear of speed • Did you know zoophobia is the fear of animals • Did you know a lions feed once every 3 to 4 days • Did you know lion’s can’t roar until the age of 2 • Did you know an office desk has 400 times more bacteria than a toilet • Did you know you have over 600 muscles

Say what?



Concentration: A young boy gets his head down in class at a public elementary school in Quezon City, east of Manila. Source:

. . . putting the people first



Success tips Golden Eaglets for world title


he injured Nigeria U17 vice captain believes his colleagues can rule the world with or without him in the squad Golden Eaglets striker Isaac Success has predicted a splendid outing for his teammates at the Fifa U17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. The lanky forward who is battling with fitness after copping a hamstring injury against Sweden in the second group game is of the opinion that his teammates would get the job done in their second round tie against Iran. “I feel bored and sad that I got injured but I believe that we have so much quality in this team and I have no doubt that we can win this trophy. It’s painful not to have been involved in the last match against Iraq but I’m so happy we won the match.” “We have enjoyed so much support from the NFF and many Nigerians, we can’t afford to disappoint them. Maybe it could have been better if I’m playing but I know that with or without me, we can win this trophy,” concluded Success. The Golden Eaglets have responded well without the presence of the BJ Foundation Academy forward scoring six goals.

Zambia engage Jordan, Egypt for friendly matches


ambia has booked two November international friendly dates against Jordan and Egypt. The Football Association of Zambia said in a statement on Monday that both dates will be away in the opening 14 days of November. Next months’ friendly outings will be new coach Patrice Beaumelle’s second and third games in charge following his bench debut in Zambia’s 2-0 loss to Brazil in another friendly in Beijing on October 15. Zambia will initially travel to Amman on a non-FIFA friendly date on November 3 to face Jordan.


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QUOTABLE QUOTE “It might interest you to know that at the time you are saving on behalf of the states, they are having shortfall in receipts on the monthly payments from the FAAC needed to keep the development going in their states. – Gov Fashola while rejecting FG’s proposed saving through the Sovereign wealth fund

The norm for civil-military relations in Nigeria


ast week, I participated in the interactive session on civil-military relations at the 2 Division of the Nigerian Army in Ibadan. The programme was organised by the new civil military department of the army under the command of Major General Bola Koleosho. The purpose was to promote cordial civil military relations. There was a large presence of civil society, community and religious leaders at the five-day event. Indeed, cordial civil military relations is the base on which the modern state is constructed. Military might in the modern state is conceived as a tool for protecting members of the society from external aggression. In this context, the role of the military is one of protectors of citizens and the community. This new conception is a radical departure from the previous approach where power and the use of military might was conceived as being an instrument for the gratification of the ruler. Indeed, for most of human history, rulers and the law were synonymous. The law of the land was what the rulers wanted and the exercise of power was rooted in arbitrariness. The modern state is able to promote cordial civil military relations on the basis of the exercise of the rule of law, which developed in the context of the transition from authoritarianism to democratic culture. One of the major principles of political science is that although force is a central element in political systems, it cannot on its own sustain a polity. Rousseau reminds us that even the strongest is never strong enough to remain the master unless he is capable of transforming force into law and obedience into duty. In Nigeria however, the colonial security apparatus was established to control and extort the people and not to protect them. Not surprisingly, the security culture that developed was one of repression with an emphasis on coercion and general lack of civility towards the civilian population. Following independence, the democratic regime lasted only six years before the military took over. This meant that democratic culture did not have enough time to impregnate the security forces. The Second Republic was short lived and the Third Republic never took off. It was only with the Fourth Republic that we have had sustained civilian rule for fourteen years. Unfortunately however, the Fourth Republic has been marred with a serious crisis of insecurity. The Nigerian citizen has long endured a culture of intimidation by the country’s security forces. Law enforcement agents have since colonial times developed a culture of reckless disregard for

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Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Azubuike Ihejirika the rights of the people. The legal framework has not helped matters given our colonial heritage of laws against vagrancy, illegal assembly, wandering, and illegal procession. The state is constructed as an edifice against citizens who are assumed to have a natural tendency to break laws and must therefore be controlled, patrolled and constantly surveyed. Not surprisingly, citizens learn to fear and avoid law enforcement agents. The ordinary Nigerian sees security agents as potential violators of their security rather than providers of their security. The reality of state security for ordinary people then becomes the perception of insecurity. This negates the principle of cordial civil military relations. The fact of the matter however is that security is a good thing. It is the function that guarantees that people and states are free from violence at the local, national and international levels. Security is conceived in modern states to provide the framework that guarantees that the ordinary people are free from external aggression by enemies of the community and internal subversion that can ruin their lives. This means that the purpose of state security is not to protect the people who occupy positions of state power but to protect the ordinary people. The Military has ruled Nigeria for 29 out of the 53 years in which the country has existed as an independent entity and has impacted strongly on the country’s culture and institutions. Military rule ultimately impacts negatively on society by generalising its authoritarian values, which are in essence antisocial and destructive of politics.

Politics in this sense is understood as the art of negotiating conflicts related to the exercise of power and ensuring that the rights of the people are respected. The specific legacy from the military is therefore the fabrication of a political culture oriented towards the imposition of a command and control structure on the political process. The Fourth Republic has been marred by several sources of instability. The Niger Delta amnesty remains fragile. Ethno-religious conflict in the ‘middle belt’ with its epicentre in Plateau state continues to grow. An Islamist insurgency in Nigeria’s North East is spreading to other parts of the country. These conflicts are fuelled at the national level by deepening poverty, an expanding demography as well as ethnic, religious, social and economic grievances. These grievances point to a crisis of democratic consolidation in which citizens are not seeing the dividend of the democratic transition that occurred in 1999. The escalation of the insurgency in the Northern states culminated in the declaration of a State of Emergency by President Goodluck Jonathan in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. The state of emergency was justified by the fact that the militant insurgents are very well armed with the most modern deadly weapons and have deployed these sophisticated weapons, and their familiarity with the local terrain to inflict repeated heavy casualties on both the security forces and the civilian population. They appear to have been so well armed that they exposed the apparent initial unpreparedness of the Nigerian State to respond to and apprehend the insurgency. There has been repeated and very disturbing allegations that some of the features of conflicts include human rights abuses and other horrendous crimes in the theatres of conflict, including Law enforcement extremism, unaccountable or ‘rogue’ law enforcement, general violence against women and sexual violence against both male and female genders, all of which crimes are encouraged by a pervasive sense of impunity. Over the past year or so, the capacity of the military to confront the armed insurgents has improved considerably. The capacity of the insurgents to strike in the cities has noticeably declined. Their

response however has been to use hit and run tactics in rural and isolated regions. Their method has been to operate using uniforms of the armed forces and this unfortunately creates a lot of confusion in the mind of the public as people, who appear to be soldiers, but is in reality insurgents, attack and kills them. This situation of confusion can have a very negative effect on civil military relations as citizens begin to conflate the military and mass murder. Within the military itself, it appears that a ‘political economy’ may have developed around the security challenges in Nigeria, with the effect that certain elements may be deriving financial benefits from the prevailing state of insecurity, especially from the resources budgeted for the prosecution of the counter-insurgency and from the extortion of citizens. It is of particular concern that there seems to have developed a culture of silence with respect to the impact of the security conflicts on civilian populations in the theatres of conflict, with the effect that the severe trauma to which the victims of these conflicts are subjected are not being addressed or even acknowledged. Given the huge security challenges facing the country, it is important that Nigeria as a nation devises effective strategies that will stem the insurgency and create conditions for the protection of human rights and the deepening of democracy. The armed forces have a significant role to play in this regard. Nigerians are particularly concerned about the rules of engagement for military operations within the civilian population. The National Security Adviser to the President has informed us that there are military operations in 32 states of the country. This means that the normal process of police being in charge of internal security issues no longer operates. At the same time, the military have not been traditionally trained to engage in this arena and their rules of engagement might not be suitable for the new role thrust upon them. It is important in this context to publish, debate and revise the rules of engagement to ensure that they are in conformity with human rights principles. The senior army officers in Ibadan argued that the rules of engagement, which are tailor made for each operation, are restricted documents, which cannot be shared and discussed. My response was if they remain restricted, then the good intentions of improving cordial civil military relations will be lost. Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim is Director, Centre for Democracy and Development, Abuja.

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

Peoples daily Newspaper of Nigeria, Tuesday 29, October, 2013  

Peoples daily Newspaper of Nigeria, Tuesday 29, October, 2013

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