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VOL. 2 NO. 22 SATURDAY 29 — SUNDAY 30, DECEMBER, 2012 . . . putting the people first

Kogi Gov in critical condition at National Hospital >> Page 3

Wife battering and the Nigerian woman

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SAFAR 15 - 16, 1434 AH


Nigerian leadership, system not effective —Balarabe Musa


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Sights and sounds

>>Pages 9,10&11

NEWS: Gunmen wreak havoc in Borno, Adamawa

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Feature Nigeria under bondage, it’s now wetin we go chop - Presidential campaigner - turned taxi driver He trained as a Journalist; campaigned for a presidential candidate in 2004, but ended up as a cab driver in Abuja. A’isha Biola Raji mirrors the engrossing story and explosive thoughts of Isaac Sajuyigbe…


m a taxi driver by necessity, not by profession. I started journalism training at the Nigeria Institute of Journalism and I’m “unemployable” because there was a problem in my school that has to do with increment in fuel price during Obasanjo’s regime and most of us that were student leaders were rusticated from school. I came to Abuja to struggle but after a few years, in 2004 some of us started a youth programme in the South-West geared towards a possible Atiku presidency. At that time, Nigerians were thinking there was going to be smooth transition as then, it was believed to be a zonal arrangement; every zone will have a term of four years each and each person’s deputy or vice will now take over from him so that, in twenty four years, every zone in Nigeria would have had their turn and the arithmetic would now give way to survival of the fittest, how good you are, and it will continue. I think that arrangement is the best mortal men can make in a country like Nigeria. Along the line, we started hearing by 2002, that there was no Mandela option for OBJ as he decided to opt for a second term and this decision cost him a lot; since then he has not known true peace till now. I will take you back to the year prior to that “problem-year”, from 1999 to around 2003, Nigerians had hope, Africa had hope in Nigeria, the whole world was focusing on Nigeria that there was going to be a renaissance finally in this part of the world. This was due to the fact that people were comfortable; teachers in the villages were building houses, buying cars and there was general optimism that things were going to get better even as suddenly, there was GSM, though one of the leaders governing us said telephone is not for the poor. The problem in Nigeria is due to the fact that the people have collective amnesia, we tend to forget easily, especially when sentiment, tribalism primordial attitudes come in. We don’t even like to look at pages of newspapers or keep record of our leaders’ past antecedents in order to project for the future. Over the years, successive governments in Nigeria have put Nigerians under bondage; Nigerians have been subjected to kini aoje or wetin we go chop (what are we going to gain). Today, when people reduce Abubakar Atiku to “when you see the man, shake him and shake million system,” it pisses me off

because it robs off the man’s greatness. Atiku’s greatness is not because he dashes money out. From 1999 to 2004, Nigeria paraded the most qualified people in the political cabinet who were brought in by a leader and that leader was Atiku Abubakar. People taint his character by saying that during Obasanjo’s regime, Atiku was the one ruling and stealing all the money and bought all the property through privatization and that, when Obasanjo got to know, he was angry with him. Events later proved to us that this was falsehood. El-Rufa’i, one of the later-day enemies of Atiku, whom we all know was brought into governance and prominence by him, was a betrayal because of ambition, sentiment or probably the ‘let us deceive him’ attitude, so that he would get what he wants first. Though I stand to be corrected, El-Rufa’I came out and said, “I privatized about 112 companies, Atiku never bought one nor did he influence me in my job. The only time he came in was when a chief from the Southwest was interested in a company and he told Atiku to talk to me; Atiku called me and he said: “this man asked me to speak to you and I’ve spoken to you, I am not telling you to change the rules because of anybody but if he meets you, tell him I’ve spoken to you or have I not spoken to you now?” That was the only time he ‘interfered’.” Bolanle Onagoruwa, the last DG of BPE (Bureau for Public

Isaac Sajuyigbe Nigeria. You know what? If Muhammad Ali had fought with Mike Tyson in the 70s, he wouldn’t have won because while Ali was an activist fighter, Tyson was crime fighter. To compound this illustration, Brazilian Pele, acclaimed to be football impersonated, cannot be compared with Maradona of Argentina, why because Maradona is of later age of‘get it now!’ while, Pele is a product of the spiritual evolvement of football.

If somebody like Okonjo-Iweala had been under the auspice of a patriotic President, the story would have been different because she is one of the people that have been groomed, that we are looking towards to pull us out of this mess Enterprises), said: “Atiku was the Chaiman of BPE in name alone, we had to smuggle photocopied reports to him because Obasanjo told us not to have anything to do with him.” All what I am saying is quotable because I studied a bit of journalism and I know what propaganda means. All what I am saying are facts; if you raise enough mud, you will get something out of the mud. Atiku is the only person I am sure understands the politics of

Looking at Atiku’s influence, he belongs to the class of people that still have passion for the country. He belongs to the old fashioned Hausa/Fulani man that, when he tells you anything, you should believe him since he upholds the truth. Now these types of people are lacking in our society. The problem of Nigeria is due to the fact that we have not been training youths on leadership. Nigeria went to civil war because

everybody wanted to prove superior. If somebody like OkonjoIweala had been under the auspice of a patriotic President, the story would have been different because she is one of the people that have been groomed, that we are looking towards to pull us out of this mess. Today, they say corruption is the problem of Nigeria but I say no. The problem of Nigeria is leadership. Somebody has AIDS and you are diagnosing Tuberculosis; it is apparent that if one has AIDS, that person is suffering from every other killer disease like Pneumonia, Diarrhea, Tuberculosis because the immune system has been destroyed. This is why leadership problem is more important than corruption which happens to be its offspring. Today, the love of so many, especially in the North, is Muhammadu Buhari. If you ask, people will say, “He is not a thief.” In modern politics, it not just about ‘I no dey tief,’ what if you are not stealing but the people around you are all thieves, what do you do? How many people are you going to sack or punish? But if we have a strong institution just like ICPC, EFCC of which Atiku Abubakar was instrumental to their establishment, especially EFCC, If EFCC had been established without the input of Atiku, it might not have been headed by somebody like Ribadu. After Ribadu left the commission, what we have left of EFCC is only a shadow of its old self. Look at how Dora Akunyili

performed in NAFDAC; from what I gathered, I learnt that, Dora came through Buhari to Atiku because of her integrity. Somebody who could identify all these good hands, including Charles Soludo; technocrats that then, whenever any member of cabinet was talking, I strained my ear to listen because they always had something reasonable and real to say. But these days, I am tired of listening to the current members of cabinet because I don’t have hope in them. They are deceitful and fraudulent. People don’t know Atiku Abubakar and he is not doing enough to let people know him. He lost his mother at the age of five and his father when he was eleven years old, for such a person to rise up to prominence, if it is not God then who did it? His life is like a folktale. I will use my money, my hardearned money to campaign for Atiku because I have discovered one thing about people and money is that, people only know how to share money but don’t know how to sacrifice money. If there are like-minded people like Amaka Aba…. Her father promised her best education but unfortunately, he died. With the money he saved for her, she got admission into the American University, Yola. After her first semester examination, she was the best student and with that, she got scholarship to complete her studies. Atiku is like nettle; karara in Hausa language or werepe in Yoruba language, if you touch it or it touches you, you must scratch your body.




Kogi governor escapes death in auto crash …ADC killed From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


h e governor of Kogi state, Capt. Idris Wada, is presently in critical condition at the National Hospital, Abuja where he was rushed to after an auto crash. The governor’s Aide-de-Camp, ASP Idris Mohammed, died instantly while his driver escaped unhurt. The governor was coming from the annual Igala Education Summit which he declared opened at the Kogi State University, Anyigba when his convoy was involved in the crash on LokojaAjaokuta road. He was first taken to the Lokoja Specialist Hospital but was later moved to the National Hospital, Abuja where he is recuperating. The doctors in Lokoja reportedly

Again, gunmen kill traffic warden, four others in Borno From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


h e troubled city of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital witnessed another tragedy yesterday morning when unknown gunmen invaded Musari ward, killing a traffic warden and four others. The latest spate of violence came barely 24 hours after another group of gunmen carried out separate attacks, killing a prominent businessman, Alhaji Abubakar Gashua and seven others. Spokesman of the Joint Military Task Force, (JTF), Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, confirmed the incident in a statement, saying three suspects were arrested in connection with the attack. “Information available to the task force indicate that unknown gunmen sneaked into Musari Ward, an outskirt of Maiduguri and secretly carried out selective killings of five people, including a traffic warden attached to the Borno state command of the Nigerian Police Force”, the statement added. The incident, according to JTF, occurred between 1-3 am, adding that the security operatives responded to a distress call from the area and arrested three persons, suspected to be the assailants. The statement also explained that an AK 47 rifle with 10 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition were recovered from the suspects, while investigation has been launched to apprehend other fleeing suspects.

declared that his case was beyond their capacity. Kogi state Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Bologi Yabagi, confirmed the incident in a statement. He said the accident occurred at a spot between Prime Polytechnic and Salem University in Ajaokuta local government area of the state. He did not, however, state the cause of the crash. The governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Richard Elesho also said to reporters: “I am very happy to announce to you that the Governor is not dead. He is not dead at all. I don’t want to tell you where he is. The Governor is in a very stable and healthy condition. It is unfortunate that we lost the ADC in the auto crash. I have also heard people saying the driver died. No, it is not true. There were just three

people in the car, the Governor, the ADC and the driver. The ADC died on the spot but the Governor and driver are in a stable condition. If I am bold enough as a colleague to let you know that we lost the ADC, why do I have to lie to you? The Governor is alive hale and hearty but I don’t have to disclose the exact location of the Governor to you; must I? I only have to tell you as a colleague that the Governor is alive. He had a first treatment at the Specialist Hospital, Lokoja. After we left the Specialist Hospital, we left for Government House. But I don’t have to tell you his exact location at the moment.” It would be recalled that Kaduna state governor, Patrick Yakowa, was killed on December 15 along with former National Security Adviser Andrew Azazi

and four others when a helicopter in which they were flying crashed a few minutes after takeoff in Bayelsa state. Also, Taraba state governor,

Danbaba Suntai, was involved in a crash in October along with four of his aides, when a small plane he was flying crashed near Yola, in Adamawa state.

Lawyers give SSS ultimatum to release Al-Mizan journalists


a w y e r s to Al-Mizan newspaper, whose editor and reporter have been arrested and detained by the State Security Service (SSS), since Monday, have given the Director General of the Service, Ita Ekpeyong, 24 hours to release the journalists or face prosecution. The ultimatum was contained in a statement signed by their lead counsel, Sadiq Marafa, and made

available to journalists in Kaduna on Friday. The journalists, Aliyu Saleh and Musa Mohammed, were arrested on Monday in a pre-dawn raid on their houses in Rigasa, a suburb of Kaduna. The SSS had on Tuesday demanded the appearance of the editor-in-Chief of Al-Mizan, Ibrahim Musa as a pre-condition for the release of the detained pressmen.

Why I chose Bajoga –Yero From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


h e week-long debacle over the choice of new Kaduna state Deputy Governor came to an end yesterday with the swearingin of Ambassador Nuhu Bajoga. Governor Muktar Ramalan Yero at the occasion explained that he decided on his deputy because of Bajoga’s age.

The House of Assembly had at an executive session on Thursday, cleared Bajoga for the position in spite of opposition from a section of the southern Kaduna people who insisted that he should retain his position as the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chairman in the state. “I chose Ambassador Bajoga because of his age, for the

benefit of the state because they say age is experience and we are going to work together harmoniously for the betterment of the state,” Yero said after the Kaduna state Chief Judge administered the oath of office on Bajoga at the Banquet Hall of the Gen. Hassan Usman Katsina House. Yero noted further that, “you will never find me

difficult to approach because I know the office of the Deputy Governor and I will do my best to improve on the way I left it”. He re-affirmed his commitment towards continuing with the threepoint agenda of the late Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, to ensure security, unity and development of the state.

Gunmen attack prison, free inmates From Umar Dankano, Yola


eavily armed gunmen numbering about 50 killed no fewer than 10 and set free unspecific numbers of prison inmates in an attack that took place at about 3:00 am in the early hours of Friday in Maiha local government of Adamawa state. In a telephone interview, the chairman of the local government area, Ustaz Jibrilla Mohammed, told the our correspondent in Yola that the Maiha divisional police station, Maiha prisons and the presidential lodge located in the area were razed down

completely. Ustaz Jibrilla further said the gunmen who came in a large number stormed the largely populated town firing heavy gunshots, adding that the gunmen overran the policemen on duty and carted away all the arms and ammunitions and proceeded to the prisons were the inmates were set free. He added that, the next target of the gunmen was the Local Government Education Authority complex and customs area office which were ransacked and set ablaze. Accordingly, the entire town, the eyewitness explained

was thrown into a state of confusion occasioned by gunshots and the smoke emanating from the burning buildings. Contacted, the State Commissioner of Police, Godfrey Okeke, confirmed the incident. The commissioner who was in Maiha as at the time of this report, told journalists in a telephone interview that “nobody should disturb me now, already I am in Maiha, you people should allow me to rest”, and switched off his phone. When our correspondent called the Police Public Relation

Officer, (PPRO), DSP Mohammed Ibrahim, he said they were in Maiha already to assess the situation, adding that only one police officer was killed during the exchange of fire. According to the PPRO, 35 inmates earlier escaped during the pandemonium in which 11 were rearrested this morning, stressing that the district head’s personal house was burnt. It could be recalled that Madagali local government area was two weeks ago attacked by the hoodlums where some policemen were said to have been killed and the police station burnt down.

CPC chairmanship candidate emerges in Gwagwalada By Usman Shaibu


h e electoral committee chairman of G w a g w a l a d a chairmanship primary election in the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in

the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Yakubu Adamu Mohammed, has declared Hon. Yahaya Ibrahim who polled 144 votes to beat other two other contestants, as winner. Addressing newsmen shortly

after the primary election, Malam Mohammed expressed happiness in the manner in which the delegates conducted themselves peacefully during the election. He advised the other two contestants who lost the election

to accept the outcome of the result in good faith. The electoral committee chairman charged the electorate to continue to cooperate with the party’s executives to win the area council chairmanship in 2013.



2012 In Review

People protest on a street in Nigeria's northern city of Kano before the suspension of a nationwide strike by labour unions, January 16. DANA Air crash, June

Bomb explosion at the Jaji Cantonent, Kaduna

Mubi massacre

Fuel tanker explosion at Okogbe in Rivers State

Flooded Lokoja-Abuja Road

Aluu 4, mobbed and killed

2012 Olympic jamboree

Road mishap in Abuja



Photo News 1

. L-R: Kano State, Information Commissioner, Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed, Taraba State Commissioner of Information, Mr. Emmanuel Bello and Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, during the opening of 43rd National Council on Information,recently in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo


. L-R: Minister of State for Education, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike with the Secretary General, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Obong Ikpe Johnny, during the Union meeting with the Minister, recently in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

3 .Anglican

Archbishop of Gwagwalada,, Most Rev. Tanimu Aduda, Chairman, Abaji Area Council, Hon. Yahaya Mohammed and National Coordinator, Jummai Aduda Foundation, Mrs Hawah Aduda,during the official Flag-off of "Abuja Grass Root Association (AGA),"recently in Abuja.


.An elderly man, waits for alms, recently in Area 1, Garki Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo



. Long queue at NNPC filling station this festive period, at Wuse Abuja.







News Relief for commuters as yuletide takes gridlock off NyanyaMararaba route


ommuters on the Nyanya-Mararaba route in the FCT have heaved sighs of relief as the yuletide has taken traffic gridlock off the roads. An investigation by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday, revealed that the routes which usually experience gridlocks nearly every period of the day now have free flow of traffic. Many of the commuters interviewed expressed joy at the turn of events, although they all agreed that the relief was temporary, hoping that the situation could be sustained into the New Year. Mr. Kareem Giwa, one of the commuters interviewed said it was a relief for him and others alike to plan their time and movement and get to their destinations as planned. “I can now get into my car and get to my destination on time without feeling any strain on my knees and ankles. Apart from the health implications of the constant gridlocks on this route, the damage being done to the vehicle is another thing a commuter has to contend with. “It would really be worth the while if the decongestion on this route could be sustained”. Another commuter, Mr. Martins Akuebiowu, also expressed happiness about the ease in traffic on that route, saying the gridlock brought with it a lot of vice on the road. “We the commuters are very pleased with the situation now even when we know that as soon as the Christmas is over, it will return and the snatching of cell phones and ladies’ handbags will continue. “From area one to Mararaba now takes less than 30 minutes, unlike before when we spend about two hours for the same distance”, Akuebiowu said. Madam Hauwawu Suberu, also a commuter, said she was glad about the situation now “because as a working housewife and mother, I can manage my time better now to the benefit of my family. I have more time now to organise my home and still be very effective at the office, I really wish that this relief is not momentary but is here to stay”. (NAN)

Stracomms AGM: From Left, Company Secretary, Mr Nnamdi Oyeka, Chairman Starcomms Plc , Chief Maan Lababidi , Interim Chief Executive Officer Olusola Oladokun and Non-Executive Director Chris Ogbechie at Court Ordered meeting and 14th Annual General Meeting of Starcomms Plc held at Transcorps Hotel Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

Kano earmarks N3.5 bn for new varsity


he Kano state government has earmarked N3.5 billion in its 2013 budget for the provision of infrastructure at its newly established NorthWest University. The state’s Commissioner for Planning and Budget, Alhaji Bello Danbatta, made the announcement while briefing newsmen on the 2013 Budget in Kano on Thursday.

He explained that the money would be used for the construction of a senate building, access roads and provision of other infrastructure at the permanent site of the institution. “A total of 1,000 students have so far been admitted in the new university which is currently operating at it temporary site at Ado Bayero House”, he said.

By Augustine Aminu

PDP stalwart lauds FCT party chairman


he Tungamaje ward chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Gwagwalada Area Council has commended the FCT chairman of the party, Alhaji Suleiman Yunusa Yahaya over his transparent handling of the ward councillorship

primaries that took place on the 27th December 2012. In a statement signed by Alhaji Jide Aliyu, he expressed the chapter’s satisfaction, happiness and fulfilment with the physical presence and monitoring of the primaries by the state chairman, which

According to him, the state government has also set aside N2billion for the completion of work at the 21 newly established institutes. “In addition, N1.5 billion has been earmarked for the construction of 22 craft schools in 22 local government areas of the state”. He also disclosed that the state government would spend N1.5

demonstrated his open door administration, regard for all party members and policy of inclusiveness in the party administration. He said: “Without the physical presence of the state chairman, transparency wouldn’t have been achieved. We are assuring the state


he Bauchi state Tsangaya Education is collaborating with the Sheik Dahiru Bauchi Foundation to train 100 Sara-Suka thugs on morality. The Director General on Tsangaya Education, Alhaji Sayyadi Aliyu Dahiru Bauchi who stated this during the official flagoff of the lectures yesterday, explained that the initiative was aimed at rehabilitating the youths to make them useful members of

chairman of our support in the area of co-operation and moving the party forward in order to win the coming local government election. We are glad that the era of manipulation and malpractices is gone, as such there is nothing to fear. We are sure of victory in the main election.”

Yuguda reiterates commitment to peaceful coexistence From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Bauchi state government has reiterated its commitment towards promoting mutual respect and peaceful co-existence among its citizens irrespective of religious, ethnic and political differences.

The assurance was given by the state governor, Malam Isa Yuguda when he received in audience the leadership of the Christian community who paid him homage as part of the activities marking the Christmas celebration. The governor who spoke

through his deputy, Alhaji Sagir Aminu Saleh, noted that the primary objective of any responsible government is to ensure security of lives and property of its people. To this end, he said, the Bauchi state government would continue to do everything possible to ensure

Bauchi seeks to rehabilitate 100 Sara-Suka thugs From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi

billion on its proposed Independent Power Plant project. The commissioner said that N2.4 billion would also be spent to construct and rehabilitate major roads linking the 44 local government areas in the state. Gov. Rabi’u Kwankwaso had on Monday presented a budget of N235.3 billion to the state’s House of Assembly for the 2013 fiscal year. (NAN)

the society who can be called upon for national development. According to him, we organised such free classes for these youths who dropped out of schools as a result of their indulgence in drugs. Youths was mean to impart Islamic education and to receive moral teaching. “All this are part of effort of the state government to alleviate the menace of drug abuse among youths who are the future hope of the country”, he said. The Director-General said that

the drug addicts in the state will be selected randomly on quarterly basis to benefit from the gesture. He said they will be sponsored by the government after their rehabilitation to study in modern schools or engaged in skill acquisition programmes which can stop them from committing crimes. “The youths indulged in thuggery and restiveness as a result of their indiscriminate taking of drugs. So we believe that if they are rehabilitated, they

would come back to their senses and become good citizens. But if we allow them to continue like this, the society is in problem which is what informed our decision to organise these free classes for them”, he explained. He however stressed that all participants of the free lectures will be given the sum of N2, 000 monthly to assist them on daily needs, adding that the present administration is committed towards revamping both Western and Islamic education.

that people in the state continue to enjoy relative peace. Yuguda while congratulating Christians for witnessing yet another peaceful Christmas, urged them to use the yuletide period to strengthen friendships and establish new ones. Yuguda also assured the delegation that the state government would continue to maintain the existing cordial relationship with various ethnic and religious groups in the state. The chairman, Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state, Rev. Lawi Pokti, had earlier said they were at the Government House to pay homage in commemoration of the Christmas celebration. Pokti explained that Christmas celebration is not merely marking the birth of Jesus Christ but a moment of sober reflection on their faith as it is the manifestation of God’s love and source of salvation to mankind.




Suswam, Ugbah confront each other in novelty match From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


o v e r n o r Gabriel Suswam of Benue state and his rival at the 2011 governorship election in the Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN), Prof. Steve Ugbah, are billed to face each other in a novelty match at the weekend. The match is expected to be part of activities marking the 2012 Ate-u-

Tiv carnival which is an annual event aimed at uniting the Tiv race. Chairman, central planning committee of the event, Mrs. Mngunengen AwunahIkyegh, who disclosed this to newsmen on Friday in Makurdi, said the carnival is further aimed at fostering peace, strength, growth and development in Tiv Kingdom, adding that it seeks to create a tourism

opportunity during which the rich cultural heritage and potentials of the people will be showcased. Mrs. Awunah-Ikyegh contended that through the carnival, the cultural potentials of the state which has unique identity can be exported for economic value, emphasizing that the programmed symposium will help the people to reflect on the socio

Okadaman docked for assaulting woman on Christmas eve


commercial motorcycle rider, S a m u e l Olorundare, on Friday appeared before a Surulere Magistrates' Court, Lagos charged with assaulting a woman on Christmas eve. Olorundare, who resides at Ijesha area of Surulere in Lagos, is facing a two-count charge of assault and stealing. The prosecutor, Insp. Gabriel Ekundayo, alleged that the accused had on Dec. 24, assaulted Mrs. Clementina Fayemi on Enitan Street, by Aguda market. Ekundayo alleged that Fayemi had parked

her car by the market to buy some food stuff when the accused parked beside her car. He said that an argument subsequently arose following a complaint by the accused that when the woman got down from her car she pushed him thereby making him drop some money in his possession. Ekundayo alleged that when Fayemi refused to pick the money, the accused snatched her bag which contained N150, 000 and a N37, 000 Samsung mobile phone and threw it on the main road. The prosecutor alleged that Olorundare then

descended on the complainant and gave her several blows on the face and body and twisted her fingers. He said that one of the fingers the accused twisted was consequently fractured. The prosecutor said that the offence committed contravened Sections 171 and 285 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State. Olorundare, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge and the Magistrate, Mr. Mukaila Fadeyi, granted the accused N50, 000 bail with two sureties in like sum and adjourned the case to Jan. 21, for mention. (NAN)

Villagers protest abduction of children


illagers from O v u m t e , Ayaragu and Ekembe in Ishiagu community of Ebonyi state, on Friday, protested the incidence of abduction of children in their area. The protesters, in their hundreds, mostly aged women and youths, took to the roads chanting war songs and calling on the police and other security agencies to unmask those behind the dastardly act. The peaceful protesters later marched to the Ivo Divisional Police Headquarters, where they gave the police a seven-day ultimatum to unmask the perpetrators.

They said: “Our villages are under siege. Abductors have taken over our villages and we live in fear of the unknown”. We are giving the police one week to uncover those behind the act”. A source close to the Ivo Divisional Police Headquarters who pleaded anonymity, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that one person had been arrested in connection with the abductions. The Police Public Relations Officer, Ebonyi Command, Mr. Sylvester Igbo, confirmed the incident and said that one suspect had been arrested while investigation was ongoing to unmask the

remaining abductors. The aggrieved villagers also visited the house of the president of the Ishiagu Community Development Union (ICDU), Mr. Stanly Anyim, and solicited the intervention of the union in tackling the problem. They said: “We are here to appeal to you to use your good office to stop the spate of child abductions in our villages. Our children are no longer safe in our homes and this crime against them must stop”. A gang of abductors on Dec. 23 and Dec. 24 unleashed terror on the three villages and abducted seven children, aged between three and five years old. (NAN)

economic needs and the challenges that face generations yet unborn in Tivland. “Disunity amongst the Tiv has brought about gross underdevelopment in human, material and economic resources. Over the years, this has gradually affected the economic well-being of the Tiv nation thus leading to our loss of self esteem and relevance among other ethnic groups in the country”. “We have made deliberate efforts to bring in some prominent Tiv sons and daughters that in the not too distant past, seemed to be at daggers drawn against each other for reasons that were not in the collective interest of the Tiv nation”, she explained.

Benue police battle ready for New Year festivity —PPRO From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


enue state police command has pledged to deploy all its officers to nooks and crannies of the state during the New Year celebration to ensure a hitch free festivity. The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) DSP Daniel Ezeala who made this promise in a chat with journalists in Makurdi yesterday, noted that the Christmas festivities in the state was absolutely crime free and commended officers for being alert. He said men of the force would be deployed to all churches during the New Year eve and the actual New Year services to protect worshipers from criminal minded

people. “All our men will be on ground during the New Year to ensure security of lives and property. The state Police Commissioner, Christopher Katso, will deploy armed policemen to all churches during the New Year eve services and New Year services. Our patrol teams are also working round the clock. We will not rest on our oars”. He however, frowned at the use of firecrackers by youths warning that it is prohibited and anyone caught using them would be arrested. The Police spokesman posited that with bomb explosions rocking parts of the country these days, throwing of firecrackers was no longer fashionable.

FEDERAL COLLEGE OF EDUCATION (TECHNICAL), GUSAU, ZAMFARA STATE INVITATION FOR PRE-QUALIFICATION OF CONTRACTORS/SUPPLIERS FOR 2012 TETFUND BOT SPECIAL INTERVENTION PROJECT The Federal College of Education (Technical), Gasau wishes to bring to the notice of interested competent and reputable Contractors/Suppliers that the College would carry out works and procurement of furniture under the 2012 TETFund BOT Special Intervention Project. • • • • • • •

LOT 1: Construction of Education Resource Centre/Voc. & Tech. Complex LOT 2: Construction of Studios for Technical Drawings & Fine Arts LOT 3: Construction of Workshops for Metalwork, Automobile, Woodwork & Electrical Electronics LOT 4: Construction of Classroom Block LOT 5: Construction of VIP Convenience LOT 6: Procurement of Furniture’s for Studios/Workshops Equipments LOT 7: Procurement of Equipment for Building, Woodwork, Metal work, and Automobile workshops

Pre-qualification Requirement: • Certificate of Incorporation/Business Registration • Current Tax Clearance Certificate for the last three (3) years • Value Added Tax Registration Certificate • Verifiable Evidence of previous experience in area of interest • Company Profile • Three years Audited Accounts/Evidence of Financial Capability • Evidence of compliance with Pension Reform Act, 2004 • Evidence of compliance with the statutory provision of Section 8 (1) – (3) of the Industrial Training Fund Amendment Act, 2011 Submission of Documents: The application of Pre-Qualification must be submitted in sealed envelopes and boldly marked “PRE-QUALIFICATION DOCUMENTS FOR LOT .....” and should be addressed as follows: The Registrar, Federal College of Education (Technical), Gusau, Zamfara State. Closing Date: Eligible Contractors/Suppliers are expected to submit relevant document within Three (3) weeks from the date of this publication and the pre-qualification documents will be publicly opened for processing at 10.00 a.m on 21st January, 2012 at the College Conference Room, FCOE(T), Gasau. Only qualified companies will be short listed and invited to Tender Please Note that: The pre-qualification invitation shall not be construed to be a commitment on Federal College of Education (Technical), Gasau, Zamfara State nor shall it company to make any claim what so ever and or seek any indemnity from the virtue or such company having responded to the advert. The College is not obligation to include your company on its list contractors. Signed REGISTRAR

the part of entitle any College by under any



Tourism in pictures





Sights and sounds By Abubakar Jimoh, Aisha Biola Raji, Ali Abubakar Abare, Agaju Madugba & Olanrewaju Lawal


ederal Government’s decision to increase the pump price of petrol on January 1 st, 2012 set the tone for criticism of its policies, with the discontentment of the blunder expressed through the Occupy Nigeria protests, which further threw up issues of waste, inefficiencies, corruption, insecurity etc, all of which threatened to tear the nation apart, up till the tail end of 2012. It started with the fuel subsidy protests and continued with the Dana air crash in Lagos as well as the helicopter crash in Jos. The year also ended with an unmatched flood disaster, more helicopter crashes, more avoidable deaths, more condolence visits/ messages and state burials. As the government and its agents showed less ability to protect the citizens, more organized crime and terrorist activities also hit the headlines during the year. Kidnapping The spate of kidnappings continued to give the country an embarrassing reputation. Over the past few years and in the year under review, reported cases

of kidnapping in the country arose, with many cases remaining unsolved. In some instances, the victims are never found and the culprits are never apprehended. The African Insurance Organisation (AIO) has said that Nigeria accounts for a quarter of kidnap for ransom cases reported

worldwide in the last one year. The Organisation confirmed that Nigeria is now the “Kidnap for Ransom Capital of the World” Accounting for 25% of Global Kidnappings. In a bid to increase the ransom payable by their victims, the kidnappers now specialize in kidnapping monarchs, home video

actors and actresses, traditional rulers of big towns, high profile business tycoons, politicians, children and relatives of wealthy people. No other incident proved the tremendous growth of the monster than the abduction of Professor Mabel Kamene Okonjo, mother of the Minister of Finance, Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, at Ogwashi-Ukwu, Delta state. The 82-year-old retired professor of sociology, University of Nigeria, UNN, Nsukka, was rescued after 5 grueling days. It was not however clear if government paid the ransom demanded by the abductors. Though there was a school of thought propounded by the minister which says that her mother’s kidnap was not unconnected with the battle she had had with the fuel subsidy cabal which was trying to frustrate her efforts to sanitize the sector. Popular Nollywood face, Nkiru Sylvanus was also kidnapped during the year as well as other Nigerians and their relatives. In the very eyes of our security agencies, kidnapping became a booming industry in 2012 and some dare-devil criminals kept on smiling to the bank.

Contd on pages 10




Sights and sounds Contd from page 9 Flooding The year 2012 will be remembered for the unprecedented flood disaster that befell the country towards the end of the year. From Bayelsa to Delta to Kogi, Lagos, Jigawa and others, the water bodies tore into the homes and farmlands of millions of Nigerians, killing and destroying properties worth billions of naira. Not even the hometown of President Goodluck Jonathan was spared, his family home was also swallowed by the rampaging water. While global warming was fingered, experts also blamed government and its agencies for not doing enough to either mitigate the effect of the disaster or reduce its impact after repeated fore-warnings. While the worst form of food crisis was feared within the period, the flood also swallowed the busy Lokoja- Abuja expressway. The most affected local government however remained Ibaji in Kogi state as the whole of it was kept under water. State governors, religious groups, humanitarian and

President Goodluck Jonathan civil society groups responded quickly by rushing to the scenes, providing temporary accommodation for victims and other relief materials. The President also responded in a nationwide broadcast where he announced the supplementary provision of N17 billion to be shared among the states involved for them to

Those who thought that was the end of the trouble were however mistaken as government’s efforts to clean up the mess in the fuel subsidy regime has also caused a lot of noise

Flood victims

Mr. Steven Oronsaye use in helping the victims. He also set up the Dangote and Agbakoba-led flood relief committee to raise additional funds for the victims. Fuel subsidy controversy The Federal Government announced a total withdrawal of fuel subsidy on January 1 st and plunged the entire nation into a serious industrial crisis. Organised Labour and its allies made the country ungovernable for days before government soft-pedalled and implemented a partial removal of the subsidy which brought the pump price of fuel from N141 to N97. Those who thought that was the end of the trouble were however mistaken as government’s efforts to clean up the mess in the fuel subsidy regime has also caused a lot of noise. While some indicted fuel

Professor Kamene Okonjo subsidy scammers are facing trial in courts, marketers have been on the neck of the entire country, insisting that government has no right to

withhold their payments in the name of investigation. This has caused series of avoidable fuel scarcities in parts of the country, especially Lagos and Abuja. The latest being the promise of government to ensure there is abundant fuel during the yuletide. This is not the case despite the N161 billion approved for the settlement of some outstanding claims. Corruption Nigeria remained at the bottom of the heap on the global corruption index, having been ranked the 35th most corrupt country in the world by Transparency International (TI). The Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force (PRSTF) recently submitted its report to President Goodluck Jonathan. However, the substance of the assignment and the farreaching findings and recommendations have been overshadowed by the altercation between committee chairman, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu and his Deputy, Mr. Steve

Contd on page 11




Sights and sounds

Dr. Doyin Okupe Contd from page 10 Oronsaye at their session with the President. That has dealt a blow to the chances of the report being implemented. The President’s official attack dog, Dr Doyin Okupe has also come out to lambast Ribadu, accusing him of doing a shoddy job that cannot be implemented. The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on December 12, 2012 arrested Aminu Lamido, the eldest son of the Jigawa state Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano on his way to Cairo, Egypt over $40,000 money laundering allegations, among other major landmark corruption cases. Insecurity and jungle justice The bombers and other murderers also had a field day during the year. Students and religious places were the major victims while the Military Cantonment in Jaji and Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) also came under attack 20 worshippers were gunned down at the Deeper Life Bible Church, Okene Kogi state. The massacre of about 46 students of the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi and Adamawa state College of Health Technology and four other University of Port Harcourt students also commanded headline for weeks. Apart from the above, in the late January 2012, no fewer than 200 bodies were deposited in the various morgues following a bomb explosion that rocked Kano city. This was followed by several explosions

Mal. Nuhu Ribadu and a gun attacks in Bayero University also in the city leading to the deaths of no fewer than 15 people in April, 2012. States like Yobe, Borno, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa etc also recorded series of attacks and inter-tribal clashes that led to the deaths of many. Air crashes In June 2012, the nation recorded the catastrophic crash of Dana Air plane into the densely populated neighbourhood of Iju-Ishaga, a Lagos suburb. It resulted to the death of all 153 people on board and at least 10 on the ground. This was traced to technical negligence on the part of the airline ownership.

Aminu Lamido

The crash of the Cessna 208, 5N-BMJ on a hill at the NNPC depot near the Yola International Airport in Adamawa state involving Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba state and his four aides triggered a nationwide alarm. Suntai was said to be an aviation enthusiast who spends tax payers’ money on aircrafts even though his state is among the poorest in the country. Not up to two months after Suntai was transferred to Germany for further medical attention, the nation was thrown into another sad moment when Kaduna state Governor, Patrick Yakowa and immediate-past National

Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu Security Adviser, Andrew Azazi along with four others died aboard a naval chopper which crashed in Bayelsa state. Education The sector continued to witness mass failures in major examinations. In the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination conducted by West Africa Examination Council (WAEC), 80% of the candidates that sat for the examination could not come out with minimum of five credits. According to a report, Two hundred and sixty two thousand, six hundred and fifty one candidates, representing 62.3 per cent of

Nkeiru Sylvanus

the 406,108 who sat for the November/ December exams failed to score up to five credits including English Language and Mathematics. Health Appreciable progress was however made in the health sector with the eradication of guinea worm and polio virus among other health issues. Maternal and child diseases as well as deaths were reduced to the barest minimum as the reforms of Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu bore fruits. This progress was nonetheless hampered by the series of industrial crisis witnessed in the sector in the course of the year.




Appraising performance of FGN’s 2012 Budget A

ny hope that the Minister of Finance (also co-ordinating Minister for the economy), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s second coming would bring about best practices in budget process was first dispelled when the 2012 Appropriation Bill was laid before the National Assembly, with barely a working week before December 31, 2011. Consequently, the 2012 Budget only came into effect in the middle of the first month of the second quarter. The budget is based on the following assumptions: Aggregate expenditure proposed for the 2012 fiscal year is N 4.749 trillion, an increase of 6%over N 4.484 trillion appropriated for 2011. Recurrent expenditure proposed for 2012 budget consumed a whopping 72% of the expenditure while capital expenditure was a mere 28%. Recurrent expenditures can be simplified to mean those expenses that “recur” yearly such as salaries, while capital expenditure are those for new or ongoing projects such as building refineries and roads. According to Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, on-going capital projects will receive priority in the budget implementation. Oil production of 2.48 million barrels per day (mbpd) up from 2.3mbpd for 2011 with the benchmark oil price of US$72/ barrel, which was a cautious revision from the US$75/barrel approved in the 2011 Amended Budget, an exchange rate of NGN155/US$ with projected GDP growth rate of 7.2% and projected inflation rate of 9.5%. Fiscal deficit is projected at about 2.77% of GDP in the 2012 Budget compared to 2.96% in 2011. The N4.749 trillion total budget for the 2012 fiscal year, as seen by the table above, is a significant increase over the amount appropriated for 2011. However, the recurrent expenditure for 2012 reflects the bloated nature of our government. Many critics have pointed out that in a situation where you have a Minister, a Minister of State, and several PAs and SAs in one ministry, you are bound to have a bloated government.

On Friday, April 13, 2012, the President signed the 2012 Appropriation Bill, changing it into the 2012 Appropriation Act and thereby giving Nigerians their 2012 budget. Abdulwahab Isa, in this analysis, gives an insight into the performance of the budget, or lack of it.

Besides the Executive Arm, the cost of the Legislative branch is also astronomical, which prompted industry observers to ask how the nation can have development when the recurrent expenditure eats up so much of the annual budget. Recall the controversy that trailed the uncontroverted statement by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that the National Assembly ate up too much of the annual budget. Note that the budget supposedly includes N881 billion for fuel subsidy (N72 billion per month) even though N300 billion was deducted for fuel subsidy in January and February alone. This means the figure is unrealistic. In the wake of the January mass protests against the removal of subsidy on petrol, the Federal Executive Council was constrained to rejig the budget earlier submitted to the National Assembly just before Christmas last year. The 2012 budget, as noted earlier, was designed, according to President Goodluck Jonathan, with the underlying theme of “fiscal consolidation, inclusive growth and job creation”. Government hopes to achieve these objectives by paying due attention to “macroeconomic stability, structural reforms, governance, and building institutions and investment as

priority areas.” Regrettably, given the tradition of late presentation which hitherto has characterized the nation’s budget enactment process, the President’s very late submission was seen as a red flag signal that successful implementation would be impaired, as legislative debate on the level of performance extended well into the third quarter of the year. Economic and budgeting experts have expressed worries over the ability of the Federal Government to successfully implement the budget. Although, Dr Okonjo-Iweala had in October said that 56 per cent of the 2012 capital budget has so far been released to the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as at July 20th, experts have expressed doubt over the figure, saying that gauging its performance with the realities on ground leaves room for concern. Ultimately, the question is whether or not President Jonathan’s expectations of fiscal consolidation, inclusive growth and job creation has been successfully achieved. Notably, without macroeconomic stability, it would be an uphill task to “institute structural reforms, or improve governance or successfully build adequate institutions and investments as envisaged.” High inflation and interest rates above 10 per cent have serious retrogressive impact and exclude macroeconomic stability, yet, no overt strategies exist in the 2012 budget to promote beneficent interest and inflation rates as monetary policy reform is sadly disregarded. In this event, the CBN’s consistent mop-up of excess liquidity will continue to distort and destroy the economy and make President Goodluck Jonathan’s expectations of inclusive growth and job creation an unattainable dream. Macroeconomic stability is characterised by a social environment predicated on low inflation rate (not more than 0 – 4

per cent as in successful countries), so that income values will be preserved, but more importantly, there can be no industrial regeneration when our industrialists borrow at over 20 percent. In the same manner, inflation rate above 10 per cent reduces the purchasing power of income earners and constrict demand for goods and services, with falling industrial capacity utilisation as collateral. The product of such disenabling environment are rising unemployment, poverty and insecurity, which are not consonant with macroeconomic stability. The conflicting price signals coming from the latest inflation numbers from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), with headline and food inflation trending upwards, while core inflation rate continued to moderate for the fourth consecutive month. This, according to experts, has created uncertainty as to the appropriate policy stance at this time. Many economic experts are also of the view that despite the high interest rates, additional shocks to the economy emanating from the devastating floods, imported inflation and the upward adjustment in electricity tariffs continue to stoke inflationary pressure. Although, many observers have commended the fiscal authorities for keeping the fiscal deficit firmly in line with the 2012 budget and improving the revenue

profile of the Federal Government by plugging several of the fiscal leakages, they have called on the government to significantly increase capital spending and increase its focus on improving on governance and transparency in the public service. Many Nigerians have also urged the Federal Government to put a stop to its borrowing to finance the nation’s budgets, that government’s recurrent budgetary expenditures were not serving the needs of Nigerians as expected. It could be recalled that in the 2012 fiscal year, N744 billion was borrowed to finance the revenue shortfalls in the year’s budget of N4.877 trillion. The Nigerian public will ultimately groan under the pressure of debt service charges, which may gulp up over 30% of federal revenue. The real sector will consequently be crowded out by government’s huge appetite for loans and our hope of industrial rejuvenation, and economic growth will dim, as increasing job losses are propelled by spiralling inflation and a disenabling environment, Similarly, a rapidly increasing debt burden without commensurate infrastructure and human capacity enhancement is not also synonymous with macroeconomic stability. A quadrupling of domestic debt to over $35bn within five years, without improvement in social and infrastructural structures, is an aberration of macro-economic stability. In the light of little correlation between budget sectoral allocation and performance, most Nigerians have lost faith on the impact of the by now routine government’s pronouncements of nominal values of sectoral allocations. In any event, allocations for health, education and power sectors have remained way behind best practice budget ratios; for example, while the UNESCO recommendation for education is about 25%, the 2012 budget allocates less than 10% to this critical sector.



Vox Pop

Our New Year resolutions A New Year's resolution or commitment is what a person makes at the end of the year. It may be one or more personal goals , projects, or reforming an old habit . The key element to a New Year's Resolution is that, what sets it apart from other resolutions is that it is made in anticipation of the New Year and new beginnings. People commit themselves to it generally and plan to do so for the whole length of the year.


y name is Ikechukwu (I.K); I am a businessman as well as an employer. My new year's resolution is to settle down as married man, there are certain things best known to me that I did in 2012 that I will not like to continue with in 2013.

By Comfort OminyiOdu


M Benjaminand

Ibrahim Khalil Bello


ccording to Khalil, "My New Year resolution is simple and short; I have resolved to pursue my PhD in Organometallic Chemistry at Monash University in Australia. I will divert my energy into achieving this feat God willing.




Benjaminand I'm a management consultant.In 2013, I will be closer to God in order to receive more from him because I found out that,closeness to God is the secret for success. I also want to be at peace with all and to render helping hand to people as much as I can to increase my integrity.

M Amaka

y name is Amaka,I am working with I f e s i n a c h i company as a ticket writer. I am asking God for long life, prosperity, wisdom and understanding and to better the New Year for me and my family.January last year was hell for all Nigerians but we are hoping for a better January this year.In essence, I want to be a changed person in 2013.



y name is David a practicing Christian and an engineer. I want to achieve more wealth and fame come 2013 in order to better my life and all who depend on me.




Juduciary: Landmark judgements J

u s t i c e must not only be done by Judges, it must be seen to be done. Justice must be transparent and predictable so that the affairs of men are ordered according to the dictates of the law. There are notable judgements in the year 2012 which opened in with the sack of the Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Usman Saidu Nasamu Dakingari of the PDP from office by the Supreme Court in February 25, 2012. The apex court ordered INEC to conduct a fresh election into the governorship position of Kebbi state within 90 days and set aside the ruling of the Sokoto Division of the Court of Appeal, which upheld Dakingari’s election on the ground that the court erred in law when it deferred the reason for its judgement to outside the 60 days allowed by the constitution. The apex court consequently set aside the judgement of the court and in its place upheld the judgement of the Kebbi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which had earlier nullified the governor’s election and ordered a fresh one. Then in March 1, 2012, a Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed a suit seeking to compel INEC to recognize the Chekwas Okorie led national officers of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA). APGA’s vice national chairman (South), Benjamin Duru filed a suit seeking an order prohibiting INEC from relating with the party in any manner which is inconsistent with the decisions reached at the September 2, 2009 national convention where the party officials were elected. The court also said since Okorie did not convene the September 2009 national convention, he cannot demand to be recognized by INEC for the election which held in that convention. The court held that the convention took place during the pendency of Okorie's appeal against the judgment of an Abuja High Court which upheld his suspension from APGA and recognized Umeh as chairman; as such it amounted to an abuse of court process. Moreover, the court said the convention was an utter disregard of the judiciary which had earlier ordered that status quo be maintained. Justice Aliyu dismissed the suit for lacking in merit and competence. On the 6th of June, 2012, a Federal High Court in Abuja sentenced a 34-year old herbalist Mathew Sonoma to seven years imprisonment with hard labour for defrauding a diplomat, Ambassador Sam Edem of N715 million. The Warri based herbalist who will serve the jail term at Kuje Prison in Abuja was convicted for contravening section 7 (2) (b) of the Advance Fee fraud and other related offences act 2006 otherwise known as 419.

The year 2012 has witnessed remarkable activities in the nations’ judiciary. There had been some landmark judgements from across the courts in the country. Sunday Ejike Benjamin takes a review of some of these remarkable judgements in the year 2012.

The herbalist popularly known as “Dr. Perebokowe Ogah” was jailed by Justice Gabriel Kolawole on conviction of duping the diplomat N715 million and concealing the amount in a secret account he opened with false name of Tunwere Mathew Ejoor at Oceanic Bank Plc. Warri branch in Delta state. In his 66 page judgment, Justice Kolawole described the action of the convict as barbaric adding that the evidence was overwhelming against him that he wanted to conceal the money by opening a secret account and transferring the money during police investigation. The Judge also held that the claim of the convict that the money was payment for services he rendered to Edem cannot hold water because of his failure to disclose the nature of the services when called upon to do so. The Judge held that the seven year jail term with hard labour should be a reasonable penalty for the convict as prescribed under section 7 (2) (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud Act 2006. The Supreme Court had on October 10, 2012 put paid to the legal tussle seeking to upturn the election victory of Governor Seriake Dickson. The apex court had, in a unanimous judgement affirmed the election victory of Governor Dickson in the governorship election held on February 11, 2012 in the state. The judgement read by Justice Walter Onnonghen, who led four other justices of the court dismissed the appeal filed by the Change Advocacy Party (CAP) against the governor. In the petition earlier filed by the party which was dismissed by the

Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, the party said Dickson was not qualified to contest the election which he won on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). But the court in its decision said that the publication of the list of candidate and the sponsorship of the candidate are not the same. “There is a difference between publication of the list of candidates and sponsorship of candidates for election. The 1st respondent (Dickson) was validly sponsored by the 3rd respondent (PDP) and the fact that his name was initially removed and restored did not affect the validity of his sponsorship by his party”, the court held. On November 20, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal brought before it by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and its governorship candidate in Adamawa state, Mr. Markus Gundiri challenging the decision of the State Governorship and Legislative Election Petitions Tribunal and the Court of Appeal which upheld the election of Governor Murtala Nyako of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The apex court, in a unanimous decision dismissed the two appeals challenging Nyako’s election brought before it by ACN and its governorship candidate in Adamawa state. The appellants asked the court to nullify Nyako’s election on the grounds of substantive non compliance to the Electoral Act and other criminal allegations against the Respondents. The judgement which was read by Justice Clara Ogunbiyi said the appellants failed to prove the civil and

criminal allegations preferred against the Respondents, adding also that the onus lies on the appellant to prove their allegations, which the court noted, the appellants failed to do. According to the apex court, in its judgement, the appellants’ appeal,” is devoid of merits and it is hereby dismissed, there is no order as to cost. on November 29, 2012 a Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed the suit brought before it by a coalition of Civil Society groups against the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister f Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) where-in they sought information on how the $12.4 billion Gulf oil windfall in the country between 1988 and 1992 was spent. While dismissing the suit, the trial Judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole noted that although the plaintiffs meant well for the country and wanted a country free of corruption, but that they lack locus standi to file the suit, saying that the suit is not justiciable and it is status-bar, having been filed more than 12 calendar months after the said Pius Okigbo Panel report was submitted in 1994

or when it was claimed to have been found in 2005. Six civil society groups led by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, under the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009 had approached the court seeking to compel the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, to disclose how the $12.4 billion oil windfall money that accrued to the Federal Government between 1988 and 1994 under the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida was spent. The apex court, on December 7, upheld the appeal by the suspected assailant of the former minister of information and communication, Professor Dora Akunyili, Jude Ugwu. The Seven man panel of Justices presided over by Justice Datijo Mohammed, affirmed the lower courts’ decision which held that there was no substantial evidence linking the accused, Jude Ugwu with alleged attempted crime. Jude ugwu alias "Agada" and four others were charged before an Abuja high court for attempted murder of Prof. Akunyili when he was traveling through Anambra to Delta state in 2003, at the time she was the Director General of the Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC). According to the charge, a bullet tore through her headgear when the accused persons fired at her car, an allegation the accused person subsequently challenged its competence of evidence against him The same day, the court sacked Hon. Chudi uwazurike, a member of the House of Representatives, when it dismissed his appeal challenging the decisions of the lower courts which upheld Hon. Austine Nwachukwu as the validly nominated candidate of the PDP for Okigwe south federal constituency of Imo state. Justice Walter Onoghen who led five other Justices, dismissed Hon. Uwazurike's appeal for lacking in merit and competence, describing the application as most frivolous

Contd on Page 15

On the 6th of June, 2012, a Federal High Court in Abuja sentenced a 34-year old herbalist Mathew Sonoma to seven years imprisonment with hard labour for defrauding a diplomat, Ambassador Sam Edem of N715 million.




Economy wobbled in 2012 —Jawondo Education 2012 witnessed near zero improvement in the sector. While the nine new universities established by the Federal Government took off, no appreciable improvement in general terms. Massive students’ failure persists in various examinations. I must however praise the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) for the revolution taking place in the conduct of JME which has significantly reduced exam malpractices and guarantee early release of results. Nigeria needs to invest massively in Education. Education must be free and compulsory at primary level and free at other levels with more emphasis on practical and skill acquisitions. Nigeria has the resources that can support this. Economy The economy remains in shambles with the masses wallowing in abject poverty. While the increase in petroleum pump price has led to increase in poverty rate, the SURE-P programme remains a mere slogan as it has not translated to any meaningful positive impact on the lives of Nigerians. The much talked about increase in power supply remains a mirage. Nigerians are ending the year with acute shortage of fuel with its attendant unofficial price increase. As if this is not enough, government continues to amass both domestic and foreign debts at an alarming rate but with little or nothing to show for it in terms of corresponding growth and development. While the government canvasses sacrifice on the part of the

Barrister Salman Jawondo is a former Kwara state Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA). He reviewed the past year in this interview with Olanrewaju Lawal and gave the economy as well as the country’s policy makers less than a pass mark for their performance.

people, the government officials and political office holders and their cronies live in affluence. Corruption has been elevated to status of a culture with anticorruption war reduced to comedy and mere tool of persecution of perceived opponents and or those

who have fallen out of favour with the powers that be. To grow the economy and develop the country, the cost of governance must be reduced and corruption must be confronted headlong. It is suggested that the salaries and allowances of political office holders must be

structured along that of the civil service or the university system and should be made public. There should be massive transparent investment in infrastructures, energy, education etc. Security Security has been at the lowest ebb in 2012. If it is not Boko Haram, it is kidnappers or armed robbers. Nobody is safe. Even though the government claims to be on top of the situation, what is feasible is that the government is under the situation while the terrorists are steps ahead of the government. Corruption, politicisation and underfunded, unmotivated and inefficient police system among other factors have combined to make the country vulnerable. Employment Unemployment rate particularly among the youths and graduates remains alarming and unprecedented. Employment generation remains mere slogan and political propaganda by government. Insecurity and unemployment are interrelated as an idle hand is the devil's workshop. Suicide bomber is ready to kill and die because he has no means of decent, productive and hopeful living. A kidnapper wants money to live and

election. The apex court held that no court had no jurisdiction to determine who a political party should sponsor. The same apex court had imposed Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi as the lawful candidate of the PDP for the state governorship election in 2007 and sacked the party’s anointed and sitting governor, Sir Celestine Omehia. The apex court also imposed Ifenayi Araraume as the governorship candidate of PDP in Imo State, though the party had chosen Charles Ugwuh as its candidate for the 2007 governorship election. But the apex court’s panel unanimously held on 7th December that it was the exclusive preserve of a political party to choose its candidates for election. December 16 was the day the

Supreme Court dismissed an appeal brought before it by the National Democratic Party (NDP) seeking to nullify the election of President Goodluck Jonathan because he won the 2011 Presidential election based on the second time table released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). In a unanimous decision, all the seven Justices of the apex court who sat on the panel held that the appeal lacked merit. Affirming the decision of the court of appeal, the Supreme Court held that the NDP did not acquire any vested right since the so called rights had collapsed with the cancellation of the first time table by INEC. According to the apex court, “INEC has the sole responsibility to

fix dates for elections and to my mind if INEC fixes date for elections and for whatever reason, be it logical, I do not think anyone has a cause of action against INEC for cancelling an election (not held) and rescheduling elections for another”. A Federal High Court, Abuja on December 20 set aside the October 6, 2012 bye-election into the office of senator representing Plateau North Senatorial District and Barkin-Ladi State constituency, following the death of Senator Gyang Datung and Hon. Gyang Fulani respectively. Senator Pwajok, who was elected under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in replacement of Senator Gyang Dantong who was murdered during one of Jos crises. The trial judge,

Barrister Salman Jawondo

enjoy life, so also the armed robber and even petty thieves. Way out include massive deliberate and strategic investment in and development of employment generating industries, promotion and protection of genuine Nigerian investors and industrialists and businessmen. Security agencies and agents must be well funded, paid, motivated and trained. There should be drastic reduction in the cost of governance and paying lip service to anti-corruption should cease. Politics Politics has remained a game of winner takes all and those who are not with us are against us and must at all cost be destroyed. The President has not helped matters either. While his body language points to the fact that contrary to his promise to serve a term, he is ready to have a shot at the Presidency in 2015. He has not been courageous enough to be categorical on the issue taking unbrage on time factor. His opponents have read between the lines and are preparing against him. The battle for 2015 has started and hence the polity is being heated up. The elections in Edo and Ondo states appeared an improvement on the previous ones, deregistration of parties by INEC is a welcome development and more of such parties should go in 2013 in order to sanitize the political landscape. It is suggested that the President should take the bull by the horns, demonstrate courage and sincerity by being a man of his words and not be carried away by the allure of office.

Juduciary: Landmark judgements Contd from Page 14

which the court cannot entertain. Similarly, a Federal High Court in Lagos same day ordered the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to pay the owners of a vessel M/T Agbonmien, $39 million for unlawful detention and sale of the contents of the vessel. In his verdict over the matter, Justice Okon Abang held that the vessel was illegally detained and ordered the agency to pay the owners of the vessel the judgment sum without delay. According to the judge, investigations by the police revealed that NIMASA and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) sold the large quantity of Kerosene the vessel carried to the NNPC offshore, and eventually rendered the vessel moribund. Again on December 7, 2012 the Supreme Court made another landmark pronouncement on when it held that political parties had absolute power to determine their candidates for elections, even as it confirmed Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson as the lawful governorship candidate of the PDP in the state. A full-panel of the court consequently dismissed an appeal by the former governor of the state, Timipre Sylva, challenging the decision of the ruling party to dump the first primary election won by him, in place of the second one won by Dickson, in presenting a candidate for the 2012 Bayelsa governorship

Minister of Justice, Bello Adoke

Justice Aloma Mukhtar

Justice Adeniyi Ademola, in his judgement ordered INEC to conduct another election within 90 days. The court also granted a consequential order against the duo of Sen. Gyang Pwajok and Hon. Kaneng Gyang Fulani to stop parading themselves as representatives of the affected constituencies with immediate effect. The judge further ordered the affected lawmakers to vacate their office as Senator and House of Assembly member respectively, having ordered a re-run of the said 6th October, 2012 bye-election conducted by INEC. Justice Ademola also awarded a N5 million cost against the electoral body in favour of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in Plateau state, the applicant in the matter.

Acting President Court of Appeal Dalhatu Adamu



Cover Interview System and leadership, not effective -Balarabe Musa A former governor of old Kaduna state, Alhaji Balarabe Musa is a social critic and also National Chairman of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) as well as National Chairman of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP). In this interview with Agaju Madugba, on 2012 says Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gunpowder which is capable of exploding any moment, due to what he describes as bankrupt and corrupt leadership across all levels of government.


ow do you assess the outgoing year 2012 in terms of its impact on the Nigerian people? The year 2012 has been like the previous years for a very long time. The situation gets worse every year. That is the state of the nation and we do not expect anything better even in 2013, as long as the cause of the negative state of the nation is still there. The cause is the social and economic system controlling all developments in the country and the leadership produced by the system. As long as they continue, we can only see things get worse because the system and the leadership are based on self-interest first and public interest second or incidental. That is why we have a situation of free for all that has resulted in the present disabling level of corruption, stealing and criminal waste of resources, evidenced by poverty and even hunger, high level of unemployment, insecurity and mindless political leadership. This has been the case in Nigeria since the Second Republic and every year, the state of the nation continues to deteriorate. In the absence of a fundamental change, 2012 has been bad and 2013 will be worse. And, this is what we have been suffering for a very long time. Each year is worse than the previous year. How do you think we can reverse the trend? It is not a trend. It is more than that. It is the negative state of the nation. A situation in which anything goes and nothing fundamental and beneficiary to the people happens. What is directly responsible for this, as I said, is

the socio-economic and political system controlling all developments in the country and the political leadership produced by the system which is both based on self-interest first. That is what is responsible for this situation. There was a time, particularly during the colonial times and the First Republic, when public interest was primary and self-interest was second. That was during the colonial period and the First Republic and, because of the leading role of public interest, we registered some progress but starting from the Second Republic we began to see this level of corruption, stealing and criminal waste of resources and the negative state of the nation arising from that. During the colonial times and the First Republic, we did not have this level of poverty and unemployment. We did not have this level of insecurity, we did not have this level of collapsing public service, we did not have this level of stealing. I can tell you that we did not have this level of stealing. During those two periods in our history, nobody

Alhaji Balarabe Musa could organize violence leading to loss of lives and property and get away with it, we did not have this level of poverty, hunger and unemployment. Nobody could steal a kobo of public funds and get away with it. But today, if you are the favourite of the President, Governor or local government chairman, or anybody appointed by them, you can steal anything and get away with it. It appears there has been so much bloodshed this year, in 2012. Do you also attribute to the same problems you outlined earlier? It is part of it because it is organized violence. Organized violence pays more than legitimate business. An armed robber can be paid N5 million for an operation. Election rigging can be organized with


What is directly responsible for this, as I said, is the socioeconomic and political system controlling all developments in the country and the political leadership produced by the system which is both based on self-interest first

billions of Naira. For example, anybody aspiring to be a governor of a state in Nigeria will spend about N10 billion and out of that amount about N3 billion will go to armed thugs of all varieties. That is the situation. So, what is the way out? The way out is to change the system. When you change the system then public interest will be primary while personal interest will be second. Protection of public interest should be of paramount consideration for even the self interest. We should abandon this leading role of private enterprise in the economy. It is a free for all affair, it can only lead to disaster. Do away with this privatization, deregulation, and commercialization. Do away with them then you will see the primary role of public interest, you will see the legitimate role of enlightened self interest and we will see stability and progressive development of the country. But as things are today, under this situation where money power is of primary concern, the dignity of the human person is secondary or even incidental, you cannot get peace, stability and progress. All you get is anarchy and eventually, a destructive force. That is what we are waiting for in Nigeria today because we do not have a credible leadership that can avert it. That is why you see what is happening in the

country. Today, it is unsafe to move about in Kaduna. You see soldiers and policemen everywhere. Why? Are we at war? This is how we live. And it is simply because of the system of self interest and the corrupt leadership produced by the system. When you talk about corruption, we have appropriate laws and even institutions that should be able to handle it and related issues? Have they worked? Do you not see thieves parading the whole country? Have you not seen convicted thieves moving about even freer than you and me with even security escort? Are you saying that the law is not effective? How can the law be effective when the system and the leadership are not effective? We have a situation where the law is based on class interest. Look, if you have a case against somebody or the state or any organization today, before going to court, before relying on the state apparatus to get your right, the first thing you think of is, how much time will I waste going to the police or to the court. Do I not run the risk of turning into the accused instead of the complainant? If I have to go to the court, can I afford the legal fees? So, the system is available only for the rich and powerful and the evidence is clear.



Cover 2013 Budget: Experts express doubt over government's implementation As 2012 fizzles out, the question on the lips of economic watchers is: Can the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration provide positive macro-economic indices in 2013? Aminu Imam highlights the contending issues.


i g e r i a n s may be excused for the feeling of déjà vu, as these are the same expressed objectives and strategies of previous administrations’ failed budgets. In the appropriation bill for the 2013 fiscal year, Nigeria's federal government is proposing a N4.92-trillion spending plan, representing an increase of c.5% over the N4.7-trillion appropriated for the 2012 fiscal year. The aggregate expenditure figure comprises of N1.54 trillion for capital expenditure, N2.41 trillion for recurrent expenditure, N380.02 billion for statutory transfers and N591.76 billion for debt service. There is an observed shift in the percentage of recurrent expenditure to total expenditure, which is estimated to decline to around 69% of aggregate expenditure from 72% in 2012 budget, while capital expenditure as a share of aggregate spending is estimated to 31% in 2013 from 28% in 2012. In recent years, recurrent expenditure has been larger component of Nigeria's annual national budgets, even as the country's largely inadequate physical infrastructure came under enormous pressure from population growth and lack of maintenance. The budget was underpinned by some assumptions which include a projected oil production level of 2.53 million barrels per day, up by 2.02% from the 2.48 million barrels per day projected for 2012. The benchmark oil price was set at US$75/barrel, a modest increase from the US$72/barrel approved in the 2012 Budget; However, the National Assembly have this month jerked up the oil price benchmark upwards to $79. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was estimated at 6.5%, down from the 6.85% projected in the Fiscal Strategy Paper. The downward revision of the growth rate was against the backdrop of severe floods experienced in some parts of the country which would consequently impact on economic activity in 2013, particularly agriculture. The gross federally collectible revenue is projected at N10.84 trillion, of which the

total revenue available for the federal government's budget is forecast at N3.89 trillion - up 9% over the estimate for 2012, and resulting in a fiscal deficit of N1.03 trillion - down from N1.11 trillion in 2012. In our view, the need for Nigeria to successfully develop its non-oil sector and generate revenues from alternative sources cannot be over emphasised in view of the country's vulnerability to future oil shocks. However, on the positive side, fiscal measures stated to take effect on the 1st of January, 2013 in a bid to develop the agricultural sector. Machinery and spare parts imported for local sugar manufacturing industries to attract 0% duty and a 5-year tax holiday for "sugarcane to sugar" value chain investors. Furthermore, import duty and levy on raw sugar will be 10% and 50% respectively, while refined sugar will attract 20% duty and 60% levy. In addition, 10% import duty and 100% levy will be applied to both brown and polished rice while all commercial aircraft and aircraft spare parts imported for use in Nigeria will now attract 0% duty and 0% VAT. Also, machinery and equipment imported for use in the solid minerals sector will attract 0% import duty and 0% VAT; and in order to encourage the production of mass transit vehicles in Nigeria, duty on Completely Knocked Down components (CKD) for mass transit buses of at least 40seater capacity, will be 0%, down from 5%. Analysts say they expect Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth to recover moderately to above 7.0 percent in 2013 from 6.6 percent in 2012, with FBN Capital forecasting 7.3 percent real GDP growth next year. “Despite the sluggish economic situation in advanced economies, the loose global liquidity conditions will ensure a relatively robust oil price next year,” said Samir Gadio, an emerging markets strategist at Standard Bank London have said. Gadio expects inflation to reach single digit in the first quarter of 2013, on the back of high base effects in the data time series, but to drift higher later

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance in the year and average 11.4 percent in 2013, from a twelve month average change of 12.1 percent as at November 2012. Analysts say the low rate environment in developed countries, coupled with accommodating liquidity conditions and Nigeria’s attractive fixed income yields, should underpin sustained capital flows to the country next year. Nigeria’s nominal GDP should rise to $305 billion in 2013, from $270 billion at year end 2012, according to Renaissance Capital estimates. The country’s growth potential remains robust, regardless of further movement on reforms, which is a positive for 2013’s outlook, note FBN Capital. The partial removal of the petrol subsidy in January, reduced the arbitrage opportunities in the oil marketing sector, and helped to firm up dollar reserves and the naira. Other reforms expected for 2013, include conclusion of the privatisation of electricity assets, the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), and the effective take-off of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF). Nigeria’s oil price vulnerability however remains a key worry for analysts. “At this stage, we still feel the exchange rate will hover around 156 – 158 in 2013 if the oil price remains robust, yields in developed countries low, and

Dr Shamsudeen Usman, Minister of Planning

global liquidity conditions favourable,” said Gadio. However, many industry observers have expressed greater concern over the House of Representatives adoption of a $79 benchmark assumption, given global risks, and Nigeria’s on-going fiscal and export dependency on a single commodity. Some have said that the priority for Nigeria has got to be increasing its rate of savings. Although, the price could go either way,.were oil prices to fall, they say, Nigeria would currently be left very vulnerable, with no sound mechanism for being able to smooth spending, let alone provide a counter-cyclical boost to the economy. It could be recalled that even though the 2011 revenue projections were predicated on $75/barrel and oil prices remained above budget benchmark , government has failed to satisfactorily explain why these fortuitous events did not wipe out or significantly reduce the value of the 2011 deficit. Also, the accommodation of the N971bn fuel subsidy budget, which is N83bn or 9.35 per cent higher than the N888bn that is currently being spent in the 2012 fiscal year is surely going to increase the 2013 deficit; i.e. about 20-25% of the 2013 budget already. Many Nigerians have also decried the Federal

Government’s borrowing to finance the nation’s budgets, with many saying that government’s recurrent budgetary expenditures were not serving the needs of Nigerians as expected. It could be recalled that in the 2012 fiscal year, N744 billion was borrowed to finance the revenue shortfalls in the year’s budget of N4.877 trillion and in the coming 2013 draft budget of N4.929 trillion, another whopping sum of N727 billion has been earmarked for borrowing to make up the expected revenue shortfalls. Altogether, economic and budgeting experts have expressed worries over the ability of the Federal Government to successfully implement the 2013 budget, saying its performance on the current fiscal year has not shown that any positive change would be seen from the trend of the past. The issue of performance of the 2013 budget is very vital, therefore government should put in place a participatory budget performance monitoring and evaluation system, which will involve all critical stakeholders to periodically appraise and report on its performance. According to the experts, the government must ensure that it implements the 2013 budget in a way that will be felt by Nigerians.




E-mail: Phone: 08082071393

If you have any relationship story you want to share with our esteemed readers, please send to the above address. Let's share your love story.

Still love her? Here are four simple ways to get your ex-back


o u r ex-girlfriend has just walked out your door and you feel hopeless and alone. What is your next step? That depends on if you want her back or not. If you do not want her back,

Approximately after a week of the breakup, your exgirlfriend will either be very happy to hear from you or she will not

simply accept the breakup and move on. However, if you want her back in your life, you must institute some strategies which will enable you get her back. Step 1: You must give your exgirlfriend space and time. Yes, we all know it's difficult to do especially when you are feeling very vulnerable as well as hopeless but you must exercise restraint in not calling her, sending texting messages or emailing her. How can your exgirlfriend miss you if you are always pestering or contacting her? I have news for you, she cannot. You must allow a time frame where your ex-girlfriend can think about her actions while deciding if she wants to come back into the relationship which she ended with you. Step 2: You must remain civil while

being a gentleman. The surest way to ensure you never get your ex back is to begin to attack her verbally. Even if the breakup in your eyes is her fault, do not get offensive. You must show kindness and understanding during this time. Wait for your ex to contact you and if she does contact you, speak kindly and gently. Step 3: After about a week of the breakup if you have not heard from her, feel free to telephone her with the excuse of checking to see if she is alright. Do not request that she call you back, merely allows your ex to know that you are concerned and are only checking to see if she is doing fine. If your ex does not pick up the phone leave a kind message and if she does not call you back, you can be rest assured that, more than likely, she is not going to. Approximately after a week of the breakup, your ex-girlfriend will either be very happy to hear from you or she will not. There is no in between with this situation. If your ex-girlfriend does not telephone you back, do not call again. If you want your exgirlfriend back, sending a nasty message to her phone will not make her to come back to you therefore, mind your manners and leave your anxiety to yourself. Step 4: If your ex-girlfriend does call you back, take a deep breath for this is a good sign. Ensure that you are not pushy but ensure that you speak your mind in a mild-loving manner. Inform her that you miss her and want her back and that you would like to meet faceto-face to discuss a possible reconciliation. After this, leave it up to her to make the next move. You must be prepared at this point to accept what happens either way. There is a great possibility you will get her back but there is also a chance you will not. Be an adult as well as mature about it either way, which occurs. If you do not get your exgirlfriend back then you must be prepared to move on with your life while accepting the current circumstances. If she comes back to you, both of you can then work out your differences while working toward the future both of you wanted in the first place.

Heart Matterz With A'isha Biola Raji

Re - I am in dilemma; I'm in love with one but attached to the other Hello dear Ahmad, I read your story and I don't think you have any problem. The most important thing to look at in marriage is love, since you are not in doubt of your love for Shamsiya, listen to your heart. Come to think of it, ethnicity should not be a barrier in

marriage, make your parents and friends understand this. Let them know your happiness should come first and that, if they force you to marry Halima your tribal girl, you might end up being unhappy. Most especially, pray for God's guidance.

My fiancée and I both have genotype AS, we love each other is there a way out I am Rabiu Zakari, I am 43 years old and still single. I have always found it difficult to fall in love and I've been skeptical about marriage. My mother is still alive and being her only child, she has been pestering me to get married so she could have grandchildren to spend time with. At a point, God answered her prayer and I met Uwani. She is a very beautiful, God fearing and kind and patient woman. With her, I forgot all my fear about marriage and focused on how to settle down to a blissful life with her. We have been dating for two years. Three months ago, we decided to tie the knot and

both families have been very supportive. Having come from a family with history of Sickle Cell Anemia myself, my uncle advised that we both go for genotype test. I knew I could be AS but I had faith that, my Uwani would definitely turn out AA. My hope was dashed when the result came out and we both tested AS which signifies that, we might have children with complete Sickle Cell Anemia SS. I don't want to lose the only woman I love and I also don't want to endanger the lives of my unborn children, am at a cross road, what do I do? —Rabiu



Beauty Tips

Beauty nest with Ameera I

t 's the festive season and looking good and feeling good! Ameera here compiles a list of fun facial tips and tricks that won't break the bank - to leave you with clear, healthy, glowing skin from the comfort of your home. Step 1 Every facial should start with clean skin so it is important to use a cleanser suitable for your skin type. Invest in a good cleanser and do not use soap or shower gels as a face wash. Why is soap so bad? Our skin's ph balance is more acidic while soap is more alkaline. It breaks down our natural lipid barrier and ultimately dries out the skin leaving you with a "tight" feeling. Top 5 cleansers: -Khiels Ultra Facial Cleanser for Normal skin -Origins Checks and Balances for Combination skin -Dermalogica Essential Cleansing Solution for dry skin -Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit for oily/acne skin -Clarins One Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser for all skin types A natural alternative is the lemon facial cleanser. It is easy

Ameera Abraham to make, and delightful to use. It doesn't lather though but it gives a deep clean and it is suitable for all skin types. 1 tablespoon natural yogurt 1 teaspoon lemon juice 2 drops essential lemon oil Mix all the ingredients together and apply to the face and neck with a cotton pad in a circular motion. A double cleanse effectively takes off oils, dirt and make up. It leaves you feeling refreshed and uplifted with the lovely lemon scent. Step 2 -

To get healthy glowing skin it is imperative to exfoliate. Dead skin cells leave your skin looking dull and feeling very pasty. Ameera advises you to exfoliate once or twice a week. Slough off dead skin cells to reveal new skin with these top 3 exfoliators: -Origins Modern Friction for Normal/Combination skin -St.Ives Apricot Scrub for all skin types -Neutrogena Visibly Even Skin Polishing Enzyme Treatment for Acne prone skin The best at-home exfoliator is easy to use and all you need is some water and some baking soda and voila your face is as smooth as a baby's.

Moisten your face with water; apply the mixture (it should be of a paste like consistency) around your face avoiding the eye area in circular motions and rinse off with warm water. Top tips: A teaspoon of baking soda can be added to your cleanser for a deeper clean and gentle exfoliation The water and baking soda paste serves as a great mask for acne prone skin! Step 3 Always apply a face mask after you exfoliate as this will restore your skins lost nutrients and will also help heal or repair existing concerns as well as refreshing your skin. Masks are a great way of feeding your skin with nutrients on the outside and toning your skin. Homemade masks are good because of their freshness and high nutrient content. Below are a few recipes that Ameera has tried and tested, "I'm sure you'll love them too"! Moisture mask What you need: 1 teaspoon Honey 1 whole Avocado 1 teaspoon Flax seed oil (optional) Mash the avocado and mix with the honey and flax seed oil. Apply on the face avoiding eye area. Leave on for 15-20 minutes

and rinse with warm water. Brightening mask What you need: 1/2 cup unripe papaya or paw paw 1 teaspoon plain yogurt 1 teaspoon honey Blend all ingredients together and apply on face avoiding eye area. Leave on for 8-10 minutes. This mask tends to have a tingling sensation so don't panic if you feel it. If your skin is sensitive you can use ripe papaya instead, however this contains less papain - the active brightening agent. Rinse off with cool water. Clarifying mask What you need: 1 tablespoon Rose Water 1 tablespoon Sandalwood powder 1 tablespoon Turmeric Mix into a paste and apply on face avoiding eye area. Leave on for 15 minutes then rinse off with cool water. Step 4 All good facials end with the application of a suitable moisturizer. It is important to keep the skin moist and supple to prevent premature aging. Even oily skin needs to be moisturized. Ameera's top 5 moisturizers are: -Dr Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion for Oily/Acne skin -Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion for Dry skin -Estee Lauder DayWear with SPF15 creme for Normal skin -REN T-zone Balancing Day Fluid for Combination Skin -Philosophy "Hope in a jar" moisturizer for All skin types Top tip: Always wear sunscreen on your face and body regardless of the season to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. A teaspoon amount should be applied over the face and reapplied throughout the day. For the body, the equivalent of a small glass should be applied. An SPF of at least 20 is recommended. Ameera Abraham is qualified aesthetician and the Creative Director at a luxury Nail spa and Wellness centre in Abuja. She is passionate about beauty! Mail online



Learning Book Review

With Augustine Aminu 07038749120

Apocyle by Osieka Osinimu Alao Title: Author: Genre: Number of Pages: Publication Year: Publisher: ISBN:

Apocyle Osieka Osinimu Alao Poetry 103 July, 2012 Hybun Publications International 9789788449102

Indefinite cravings Edidare Rotimi Ogunjobi Poetry (Epic) 98 June 4, 2012 Lagos Literary Imprint (xceedia)


m a z o n Online Stores, & 10 Ondo Street, Bodija, Ibadan-Nigeria. Short Description: Edidare is an epic poem, a didactic narration based on an excerpt from a book by D.O Fagunwa. Edidare tells the story of a group of adventurers on a journey to a far country in search of the fruit from the Tree of Enlightenment. Along the way they discover Edidare, a place of indescribable filth and suffering .

New trees in an old forest (short title) Title:

Author: Genre: Number of Pages: Publication Year: Publisher: ISBN:

Contemporary Nigerian Art in Lagos Private Collections; New Trees In An Old Forest Jess Castellote (Editor) Non-Fiction (Contemporary Arts) 302 2012 BookCraft Limited 978 978 8135 88 -3

"Contemporary Nigerian Art in Lagos Private Collections; New Trees in an Old Forest", is a 302 page Book chronicling works of art in Lagos Private Collections. This Book documents, visually and, in text, Nigerian Art in the Collections of 48 Lagos Collectors. We have also incorporated images of 289 artworks of 100 artists spread across these Collections. The book is edited by Jess Castellote, an architect and art critic

with a comprehensive knowledge of Nigerian art; it is published by BookCraft Limited. This publication has given Contemporary Nigerian

Desktop Software 4.7 to 6.0 must be installed on the computer. The BlackBerry smartphone must be running B l a c k B e r r y ® DeviceSoftware 4.3 to 6.0. On a Mac Pc, complete the following steps: 1. Close the BlackBerry Desktop Software if it is open on the Mac computer. 2. Open Terminal. 3. Type cd / A p p l i c a t i o n s / BlackBerry\Desktop\


"Apocyle" is a sequel to "Epidocyle" published in 2011. The poems published herein display a thoughtprovoking odyssey of life that will offer fresh and profound outlook on life and living.

Title: Author: Genre: Number of Pages: Publication Year: Publisher:

How to flash a Blackberry phone manually

Art, more exposure and, in a structured manner. The narrative portion of the book provides a minimum of historic and critical analysis, to assist in the understanding of the Lagos Collections. Contributors include; Professor Dele Jedege, Professor of Art History at Indiana University, Bloomington; Tobenna Okwuosa - Art Lecturer at NDU, Jess Castellote and Sammy Olagbaju Lagos-based art Collector.

a y be due to ignorance or intentionally, you may brick your lovely Blackberry Smartphone that is you may damage its operating system beyond usable limits(am talking about software problem here not hardware) .In such situations a factory reset or full flashing may be inevitable. You should however note that it is not all problems that warrant flashing of the blackberry phone infact in the event of minor problems like hanging, freezing just remove your blackberry battery and put it back(Soft reset) you should be okay. However if your problems with your blackberry phone goes beyond the above mention, then Follow the steps below to get your blackberry phone back to live: (Note:If using BlackBerry Desktop Software v6.1 and newer, please this is not the place for you.) However, If using BlackBerry Desktop Manager v4.3 to v6.0, please keep reading. Warning : Back up the all the data from the BlackBerry smartphone to a computer (Some models have an onboard memory, be sure to back this up as well before proceeding) On a 32-bit Windows XP to Windows 7 operating system (OS). STEPS: 1. Connect the smartphone to the computer. 2. On the computer, click Start > Programs >Accessories >Command Prompt . (Note: For Windows Vista® and Windows® 7, right-click and run as Administrator.) 3. Type cd C: \Program Fi l es \Common Fi l es\Res ea r ch In Mo t i on\App loade r and press ENTER .4. Type loade r . exe / resettofactory and press ENTER . On a 64-bit Windows XP or Windows 7 OS, complete the following steps: 1. Connect the smartphone to the computer. 2. On the computer,

click Start > Programs >Accessories >Command Prompt . (Note: For Windows Vista and Windows 7, right-click and run as Administrator.) 3. Type cd C: \Program Fi l es (x86)\Common Fi l es \Res ea r ch In Mo t i on \App loade r and press ENTER . 4. Type loade r . exe / r es e t t ofa c t o ry and press ENTER . Note: BlackBerry®

Contents/MacOS/ and press Enter. 4. Type ./ bbdmresettofactory Note: In the Mac OS X environment, if the BlackBerry smartphone has a password set, you must specify that password within the command. For example: . /bbdm -passwo rd 12345 r es e t t ofa c t o ry (where 12345 is the BlackBerry smartphone password).



Healthy Living

Runner forced to amputate leg after chest infection, fit again F

or many of us, struggling out in the cold this season to exercise sounds like a nightmare. But for Debbie Grosch-Squance, it's something she feared might never be possible. Debbie, a mother-of-two from Plymouth, lost her right leg after a chest infection spiralled out of control. She became severely ill with a flesheating bug and in order to save her life, doctors had to amputate her right leg. Today, she says she is fitter than she has ever been and also slimmer and she hopes her story will inspire others in similar situations. Her problems began after she developed a nasty cough and chest infection. 'I've always been fit and healthy but this chesty cough really knocked me for six,' she told MailOnline. 'My GP advised me to take paracetamol and ibuprofen but then two days later I began to experience a cramp-like pain in my right calf. It got progressively worse and nothing would ease it.' After another visit to her GP she was provisionally diagnosed with DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and advised to go to hospital. What she didn't know then was that she was actually suffering from necrotising fasciitis, a deadly flesheating bug. 'I was told my chest infection was caused by the Strep A virus and sometimes it can mutate for no apparent reason and start attacking soft and healthy tissue,' said Debbie, 47. 'Before the amputation I was a keen runner - half marathon standard - and I'd done a 10k the week before. 'When I arrived at hospital the pain was getting worse and worse and I just wanted it to stop. I had some blood taken and a doctor came to speak to me when I was shown to a bed. That was the last thing I remember until 12 days later.' In the days that followed, Debbie's family, including her husband Tony and her two teenage daughters, watched in despair as her condition deteriorated. The day after her admission, still undiagnosed, she began to go into toxic shock as the toxins began to affect her major organs and her blood pressure dropped to zero. She said: 'I'm told that doctors and other medical staff began to frantically try to get lines into my body and things looked very grim. I was taken down to theatre immediately and my leg cut open and it was then that the diagnosis was changed from DVT to necrotising fasciitis.' The flesh-eating bug had ravaged her right leg and there were worrying patches of black tissue appearing on her fingers and trunk. Doctors removed the dead tissue from Debbie's legs and placed her in a morphine-induced coma in intensive care. She then went into cardiac arrest and her devastated family was told it was unlikely she would survive the night.

Debbie with her husband Tony and teenage daughters after her leg was amputated due to the flesh-eating bug that nearly killed her 'When I was brought round 10 days later, my leg was basically just bone between my knee and ankle. It was in such a bad way that the doctors told me I needed to make a decision.' One option was to have reconstructive surgery. But this would involve numerous operations with no guarantee they would work and she would still need a stick to walk. The other option was to have an amputation above the knee and be fitted with a prosthetic leg. In the end, the decision was made for her. While considering her options, she took a turn for the worse and spent four days battling for her life. 'On Easter Sunday I signed the consent form to have my right leg amputated above the knee. It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made, but even today I think it was the right one. Being wheeled down to theatre knowing I was going to lose my leg was also very surreal. 'Even when I came round, I felt so much better than I had for ages. Tony, my husband, remarked on how much better I looked already. I knew then that I had made the right decision.' From the very beginning, the seeds of hope were sown that Debbie would eventually be able to run again. 'Basically, my whole life as I knew it ended that day and I knew I would have to re-start my life all over again. I set myself small goals along the way, but always with the ultimate aim of being able to run.' Her personal trainer before the tragedy, Naso Shemetras, also visited her in hospital.'She came to see me in hospital and promised I would get fit and again and I would run again,' says Debbie. 'And she really did a lot to help me back to fitness - I was back in the gym a month after leaving hospital, when I was still on one leg and crutches.' Naso later went on to win the Exorex Personal Trainer of the Year award for her remarkable work with Debbie. 'Once I was able to walk with a prosthetic leg without the aid of crutches or a walking stick, about nine months post-amputation, I walked the

Race for Life and was ready for the big challenge - returning to running.' It was a painstaking journey but with advice from another amputee, she began to make progress. 'He advised me to start by jumping from my good leg onto the prosthetic foot to gain confidence in my prosthetic leg and I practised this every day. I then tried the hop/skip style of running, where you jump twice on the good foot and then land on the prosthetic foot and repeat. This got me moving a bit faster. 'I then felt ready to try step over step running, so accompanied by my husband Tony, and a belt round my waist so he could hold me up whilst attempting it, we went to the local athletics track. 'It was hard work and the first few steps I made were very clumsy and awkward, much like a baby elephant. It was exhausting and I realised just how hard this was going to be.' She then enlisted the help of running coach Julian Wills. 'I was very nervous to start with. He had to teach me how to run completely from scratch, as I could hardly put one foot in front of the other.

'It was exhausting - my own leg had to learn how to run alongside a mechanical leg which was quite alien to it, and a lot of the practise was to re-train my brain.' Today, six years after losing her leg, Debbie says she is fitter and more active than ever. She now runs twice a week, cycles and swims as well as working two jobs as a supervisor of a pre-school and an admin assistant. 'I was a keen runner beforehand, so I was pretty fit, but I'm definitely fitter now - and slimmer. I am now quite obsessive about my health and fitness now. The whole experience has really made me value everything and appreciate it. I'm also fitter because you use so much more energy exercising with a prosthetic leg. 'I had to learn how to run up and down kerbs, but hills were my biggest fear. Uphill is hard work - as an amputee, I already use up to 100 per cent more energy to run, but running up hills is like climbing a mountain - and Plymouth has plenty of hills! 'Running on the pavements is a whole new ball game, too. The obstacles are many - cracks in the pavement, people, dogs, children, drains, sharp bends and kerbs.' Running downhill is particularly scary. 'I've fallen over a few times running downhill - usually at bus stops, much to the amazement of waiting passengers, but never hurt myself, thankfully. 'When I took part in my first run with able-bodied people, I ran it in 22 minutes - probably double the time I would have been able to do it in normally. It was 1.5 miles, which doesn't seem a lot - or it certainly didn't when I had two legs. But that was then and this is now, and it was a challenge for me. 'I trained hard and even though I had to stop a couple of times to catch my breath, I got my first medal and was proud of my achievement. 'Above all, the important thing is I survived the whole original ordeal and I'm here today with my family.'

Painstaking: Debbie had to learn to run again from scratch


With Aunty A'isha

Sights and sounds

Celebrating New Year

Children celebrating New Year


e w Year's Day marks the end of one year and beginning of the other. New Year is celebrated by all countries that measure yearly calendars. Most countries across the globe follow the Gregorian calendar and celebrate their New Year's Day on January 1. In several countries January 1 is a holiday. Grand bashes, balls and parades are organized to welcome the New Year and bid adieu to the old. The tradition of celebrating New Year's Day is said to have started by Romans circa 153 BC. Romans celebrated their New Year on March 1 according to old Roman calendar. After a series of changes in calendar, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII instituted the Gregorian calendar still in use today, and set January 1 as New Year's Day. Celebrations for New Year's Day begin on the eve of the New Year on December 31. Late night parties and bashes are organized to give farewell to the year gone by and welcome the New Year. Just as the clock strikes for midnight, people hug everyone around and wish each other a 'Happy New Year'. Cakes are cut and firecrackers are burst to give a celebratory welcome to the upcoming year. On the New Year's Day people wear bright new clothes and spring clean their houses. At several places people follow the tradition of 'first footing' and do not leave the house before someone comes in first. First footing person should ideally get some gifts and is accorded a warm welcome by the people. Later, people move out to exchange greetings and New Year gifts with their friends and dear ones. Popular New Year gifts include cake, flowers, chocolates, decorative and New Year Greeting cards. The idea behind exchanging gifts and greetings is to give warm wishes for a New Year and strengthen the bond of love shared with dear ones. There is also a very strong tradition to make New Year Resolutions on January 1. This is done to give away old bad habits and adopt better ones. Some of the most popular New Year resolutions include giving up junk food, no more telling lies and being on time. Though it has been noticed that many people fail to keep their resolutions a week after New Year's Day, the importance of making a fresh New Year's Day resolution every year is still the same. Several countries observe a holiday on New Year's Day. And in some countries, especially those dominated by Christians, they have their Christmas holiday extended till New Year's Day. A popular trend is to go out for vacations in tourist places. Those who are unable to go in far off places go out for picnics, camping, trekking etc. A huge rush is also observed in malls, theaters and restaurants as many people especially, youngsters celebrate the New Year's by moving out with their dear ones.



How the moon was kind to her mother


ee, mother," cried the Moon, "I have brought you part of everything that was on my plate. I ate only half of the feast for I wanted to share it with you." So the mother brought a gold plate and the food that her unselfish daughter, the Moon, had brought her heaped the plate high. She ate it, and then she turned to her three children, for she had something important to say to them. She spoke first to the Sun. "You were thoughtless and selfish, my daughter," she said. "You went out and enjoyed yourself with no thought of one who was left alone at home. Hereafter you shall be no longer beloved among men. Your rays shall be so hot and burning that they shall scorch everything they touch. Men shall cover their heads when you appear, and they shall run away from you." And that is why, to this day, the Sun is hot and blazing. Next the mother spoke to the Wind. "You, too, my daughter, have

been unkind and greedy," she said. "You, also, enjoyed yourself with no thought of anyone else. You shall blow in the parching heat of your sister, the Sun, and wither and blast all that you touch. No one shall love you any longer, but all men will dislike and avoid you." And that is why, to this day, the Wind, blowing in hot weather, is so unpleasant. But, last, the mother spoke to her kind daughter, the Moon.

"You remembered your mother, and were unselfish," she said. "To those who are thoughtful of their mother, great blessings come. For all time your light shall be cool, and calm, and beautiful. You shall wane, but you shall wax again. You shall make the dark night bright, and all men shall call you blessed." And that is why, to this day, the Moon is so cool, and bright, and beautiful. The End


Formal dresses for kids this New Year Formal dresses are very suitable for a formal party or evening party where you can expect to meet some high level people. You will want to look polite, sophisticated, and elegant. And so does your kid, so Kids Formal Dresses are perfect options for them.



With Aunty A'isha 08082071393.



The lake of Mura


n c e upon a time, there was a woodcutter who lived with his mother in a village called Kabuki. His name was Kushi, he used to go to the forest daily to cut wood and then made toys out of them. Thereafter, he sold the toys in the market. He was a great devotee of the god and used to go to his temple daily. One day, the god appeared before him and said, "Oh son! I am pleased with you. Ask for anything and I will grant it to you." Kushi bowed to the god and said, "Oh god! I do not want anything for myself, but I do want a lake for the villagers that would help them to earn a living." The god said, "All right! As you like," and disappeared. Next day when Kushi went to the forest, he was happy to see a beautiful lake there. But when he was going to sell the toys, he saw a boatman with his boat in the lake. The boatman said to him, "The god has sent me to help you. Sit in the boat, I will take you across the lake." Kushi sat in the boat and crossed the lake. This way, he began to cross the lake every day. One day while he was returning from the market, he heard a cry, "Help! Help!!" He ran towards the voice. He saw a boy and a girl running towards him. They said to him, "Please help us! Two hunters are following us. They want to kill us." Kushi assured them and look to a nearby cave. "Stay here. Do not be afraid. I will bring food for you," Kushi said.

Kushi came back to his house and asked his mother to pack one box of rice and some extra soup along with his lunch every day. After a few days, his mother became curious to know the secret of the extra lunch; she wanted to know who her son was feeding daily. At last, Kushi agreed to tell her but begged that she should not tell anyone. He told her everything and the place where the girl and the boy were living. The next day, his mother went to the forest and was surprised to see the lake there. She also saw the boatman with his boat in the lake. She asked the boatman, "How did a lake, a boat and a boatman appear here? Where are the boy and girl? Although the boatman was afraid of telling the secret, yet he told it to Kushi's mother. "The god was pleased with Kushi and gifted him with this lake and asked me to work

as a boatman. The girl and the boy are sister and brother and have been sent to test Kushi. The lake will dry the day when the sister and brother will not get food. " But Kushi's mother could not believe it. She mixed pebbles in the rice for the children. Both of them fell ill. Kushi prepared a medicine out of herbs and shrubs and gave it to them. They recovered from illness. When he was returning home, he saw that the water level of the lake had reduced. He could not understand the reason. Next day when he was going to work, he heard the sound of pebbles in the lunch box of the children. He threw the food aside and went to work. Both sister and brother remained hungry. In the evening, he saw the water level of the lake went down more. Kushi became sad. He prepared food himself and served it to the children. The level of the lake again rose. One day, the hunters came and asked Kushi's mother the address of the sister and brother. According to the condition, she did not tell the address, but she waved her hand towards the cave. As soon as she waved her hand, she became a statue. The lake also dried and a deodar tree appeared in the dry lake. When Kushi returned from the market, he was very sad to see the dry lake. He did not go to his house; instead he prayed to the god and wept bitterly. The god was kind enough and blessed him. The lake was filled again by the drops of his tears.

Rahmah Abdulsalam

ACTIVITIES Using colours of your choice, paint the images below. Describe what the girl in the middle is doing and write down the lesson you have learnt from her action. Have a wonderful new year. Cheers!


Decorate your room with popcorn this festive season If you are tired of eating popcorns try something new: Decorate your room with them. This is how you can do it. All you need is: 1. A thorny stem of a plant or a bush. 2. Popcorns. 3. A bowl. What to do: Pick up a thorny stem from a plant or a bush - if it has leaves,

remove them. Put popcorn on the tip of each thorn carefully. Avoid pricking yourself. Put some mud in a bowl and fix your stem in it. Use this popcorn arrangement to decorate your room. You can also paint the popcorns to make them look brighter. Once the popcorns lose their colour or begin to fall, use something else. Just do it!




Hauwa'u Isa is a budding song writer, singer and actress. She has been in the Kannywood industry for the past four years; in this interview with Nasiru Isa Mu'azu she shares her experience on how she played 'cripple' in a film and other challenges. o w long have you been singing? I've been singing for the past four or five years but I also act in movies, though music is my strong point. I have always loved singing right from childhood, and when I told my father he made fun of me asking if I knew what it took, and that singing required talent saying he was not sure if I had the talent, not withstanding, I continued to write my songs. Do you mean that you started writing songs before you started singing? Yes, after listening to some songs in Hausa movies I decided to give it a try. So I started trying my hands at writing some of the songs, imitating what I heard from the movies. The first studio I went to was Adam A Zango's studio. I told him I wanted to make an album and after that I wanted to shoot the music videos and I wanted him to direct and produce it. He asked me to bring one of the songs which he asked me to sing. After listening to the song he told me he was travelling and that he would hand me over to one of his assistant called Saidu Govinda to help me make some corrections. Then I did not know all the technical details that go with song writing. So after the corrections I sang the songs and it was recorded. When he came back he was very happy with it. He asked me what I'd like to do. I told him I wanted to finish the album. He advised me to first observe how it was done, then after that I could decide what to do. So I joined his studio and started featuring in some of his movies. You are among the very few singers that did not have any problems with their parents concerning this business. Is that right? Well, initially my father thought I was just joking, when he realised I was serious, he had no problem with it but you know how these things go, while he had no problem with it some relatives were not as accommodating. They kept telling him not to allow me continue but he ignored them and gave his blessing and advised me on the need to remember my upbringing and all he did to bring me up. My mother also did not object

Hauwa'u Isa to it and you know as a mother who was constantly around me, she was the first to know about my interest in singing. Mothers know about such decisions of children because they are the ones at home with the children and they are the ones they share their problems with before going to their fathers. So is the album out now? Not yet but I'll be releasing the audio very soon. The reason it's not out yet is because of some logistical issues. I am featuring a couple of big names in the industry like Maidawaiya, Abubakar Sani and Baban Chinedu so it will be out very soon. So what sort of songs should we expect from this album? I have a couple of love songs, one on HIV and some others. Why is it that our musicians concentrate more on love songs than other topics? As a musician one should be

versatile in the different types of songs one sings a bit of this and a bit of that, even the marketers prefer songs that have deep meaning so that even after your death those songs will still be relevant. How do marketers come into it? Well we are all together, after doing the album you offer it to them to market for you or you could decide to market it yourself. What sorts of problems did you face in the industry? A lot of problems, but none that I can readily recall now. So which of these tracks is out or are you still an unknown artist? I will not say completely unknown because I have appeared in a couple of movies, like "Na mama jo" and "Babban Yaro". There are a couple of them that I have had special appearances in. In "Na mama jo" you acted



' I was a cripple but rejected another cripple who loved me' H


the 'cripple' how were you be able to interpret the character considering that those kind of roles are the most difficult to portray convincingly? I had good directors who helped me understand and interpret the character. The story was about discrimination; even though I was a cripple myself in the film, I was rejecting another cripple who was in love with me. Do you have a better understanding of the kind of problems people with disabilities face? It is all about educating the public on what people with disabilities face. I had serious problem getting the character right, it took some effort to even twist my fingers and legs and at some point the producer was angry with me and was already considering getting another actress to do it. So, yes! I can say I have a good understanding of how they feel. What are the problems the industry faces? A lot of problems, the biggest being lack of cooperation amongst artist especially the females. I want to use this opportunity to call on all to join hands and make it stronger than it is right now. Among all the songs in the album, which one was the most difficult to do? None at all, but I had a major problem getting the entire artists. I featured in some of the songs. Some don't live here so it was difficult getting everybody together for the songs but it is a lesson well learnt. What is your advice to young girls like you who want to join the industry? If you are joining the industry make sure you come in knowing what the industry is all about. They should also make sure they have their parent's blessings before joining if not it will backfire, and to remember the adage about what "a parent sees sitting down a child will not see it even if he/she climbs the highest mountain". It is wrong for young girls to run away from home to join the industry and they should realise that anything done without a parent's blessing will most likely end up in heartache and sorrow, so girls should always consider their parents' wishes before they make such decision.

Nollywood 2012 in retrospect Nkiru Sylvanus' kidnap A B D U C T I O N


e s s than a week after the kidnap of Prof. Kanene Okonjo, mother of Nigeria's Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, kidnappers in Owerri,

the Imo State capital reportedly abducted Nkiru Sylvanus, an actress and a Special Assistant on Public Relations to the Imo State governor, Rochas

Nkiru Sylvanus and Kenneth Okolie

Okorocha. Nollywood and its many fans were thrown into a state of panic before actors Nkiru Sylvanus and Kenneth Okolie were released by their abductors in Owerri, Imo State. Sylvanus who is one of the Senior Special Assistants to the Governor and Okolie a former Gulder Ultimate Search winner were reportedly shooting a movie in Owerri when the former was reported missing. Apparently, kidnappers had abducted Sylvanus and Okolie from the famous Concord Hotel in Owerri on Sunday morning, December 16, 2012. Their release came barely 24 hours after concerned friends wrote an open letter to the IG of Police. It is was rumored that the sum of N80million ransom was paid by her family. The kidnappers had asked for the sum of N100m

Tuface wedded Annie secretly



u f a c e Idibia has stunned everyone; entertainment journalists, fans and friends alike when he secretly wedded Annie Macauley whom he engaged on Valentine 's Day this year. Everyone had been waiting anxiously for the date of the wedding to be announced; hoping it would be the mother of all weddings. There had been big plans by many including diehard fans and journalists to be right there at the venue no matter what it would take. But Tuface had beaten everyone to the game. Reports had it that in a private registry wedding in Lagos attended by only close family members including the parents of the bride and groom, Tuface had said 'I do' to the love

of his life. It was deafeningly quiet; so hush hushed that most of Annie's friends were not present including Idibia's

close friends and associates. Fans who heard this were somewhat disappointed. It wasn't what they had expected.

AY and Basketmouth set to fight over wife's Acura car gift


h e last may not have been heard about the mess top Nigerian comedian, Ayo Makun otherwise called AY, have gotten himself into, as trouble is brewing for him with the latest development that may culminate into a fierce war between him and colleague, Basketmouth. Shortly after AY posted on the internet his wedding anniversary and Christmas gift to his wife, an N8.5million car gift, the Delta State University graduate has come under attack from fans who berated him for showing off. AY did what his usual thing, tendering an apology after getting into a mess for his actions. Hours ago, a twitter follower with the name 'Sky High' tweeted at Basketmouth but mentioned AY in the tweet, "Basketmouth, you are my favourite Naija comedian, I know you spoil Elsie but biko (please) don't pull an AY & brag about buying wifey a car you actually bought for yourself." The above quoted tweet got to AY on the wrong side as he quickly lashed out at Basketmouth claiming he (Basketmouth) created that account to publicly insult him under the guise of another twitter account user. "Golden225 (Sky High's twitter

handle) Basketmouth, you obviously created this twitter account for this mission. When you are done, let me

know. I wish you all the best," AY tweeted at both Sky High and Basketmouth.

Davido disrespects Monarch‌.beaten to stupor


r o u b l e looms for Nigerian young artistes who have suddenly become multimillionaire courtesy of their record label or management for their works of art, which have shot them to limelight. This popularity and affluence seems to be having negative impact on them. Remember the last time; Wizkid was enmeshed in a sex scandal with a woman old enough to be his mother. Davido, popularly called Omo Baba Olowo had some ripples with a cab man that led to Police hunting him about in Lagos.

Annie Macaulay and Tuface

Enebeli Elebuwa and Pete Eneh for burial January 2013


h e r e are reports that the bodies of Nollywood veteran actors; Pa Enebeli Elebuwa and Pete Eneh will be laid to rest in January 2013. The talented actors died in late 2012 after being treated at the hospital for different illnesses. Pete Eneh died in Enugu on Thursday, November 15, few weeks after one of his legs was amputated due to infections. Enebeli died at an India hospital on Tuesday, December 5, after he was believed to be recovering from his illness. He had been bedridden for a reported partial stroke which he suffered from for close to two years.

Late Enebeli

Late Pete Eneh

As you are reading this, the songster, David Adeleke a.k.a Davido is in the black book of His Eminence, Oba Saheed Elegushi. What happened? It was after the party of the Dynamix awards which took place at Voodoo Lounge, Elegushi beach. A reliable eye witness said that B-Red was heavily drunk and was arguing with the King when Davido moved forward to touch the king, a taboo in African culture. In a flash, the monarch delivered a hot and dirty slap on Davido's face and asked the royal guards to

mercilessly beat them up. While this was going on, Davido's bouncers, gathered, attacked the royal guards making the king too to order that they should be included in the royal beating. Though, Davido and B-Red, having realized their mistake after the whole show, prostrated and apologised to King Saheed, they were thoroughly embarrassed. 'These guys are digging their own grave. What exactly is wrong with these young spoilt brats'? Someone in the crowd asked rhetorically.

Birthday: Seyi Sodimu presents wife with N10m GL 450 Benz Jeep 'Love Mi Jeje' crooner Seyi Sodimu presented his wife a Mercedes Benz GL 450 as her 40th birthday gift. The season seems to be the season of artistes giving out gifts to their wives who are always at home while they are out there performing for days. Remember, Ayo Makun recently gave a powerful auto to his wife too for Christmas and their fourth wedding anniversary. Seyi's beautiful wife Tolu Sodimu celebrated her 40th birthday and the darling husband Seyi gave a gift she will remember for a long time. A brand new Mercedes Benz GL 450 Jeep shipped to Nigeria from Washington DC. This ride cost Seyi a whopping N10million.




Kareena Kapoor-Khan and Priyanka Chopra Bury the Hatchet! K

areena Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra have constantly been at loggerheads with each other, taking constant digs at each other, insulting each other indirectly. Kareena Kapoor once ridiculed Priyanka on Koffee With Karan for her accent, prompting PC to comment on Bebo's thenbeau, now hubby Saif Ali Khan's accent as well. The

two pretty actresses have even gone to the extent of sharing boyfriend, Shahid Kapoor. But now it looks like Kareena and PC are letting bygones be bygones. If rumours are to be believed ... Recently, the two actresses were spotted together at Imran Khan's housewarming party where both of them were invited, and they were so friendly with each other. According to a source to Mid Day, "The two were seen sharing a

conversation by onlookers. "Everyone present in the room was surprised to see Kareena and Priyanka talking non-stop with each other. They were in each other's company for more than an hour and had even taken a corner of the house to themselves. They kept on giggling and laughing throughout." The source even revealed that it was just two of them indulging in the conversation, and no one else with them. "They just came face to face and started talking."

Kate Beckinsale swaps incognito grey floppy hat and sunglasses


Delilah and Wretch 32 get cosy after late night party session


hey're two of the UK's biggest upcoming music stars, who've already written and performed together. But it seems that it's not just their music that they have in common, as Delilah and Wretch 32 were spotted looking cosy as they left The

Staying close: Singers Delilah and Wretch 32 leave The Rose Club together in the early hours of Friday morning

Rose Club together in the early hours of Friday morning. The rising stars of the music world might have already worked together, but it seems that they play together too as they stayed close to each other after their night out. The friends couldn't stop

chatting after their clubbing session, sticking together as they made their way to their respective cars. Although the pair had obviously had a great night, they made a point to leave in different cars at 3am, although they headed in the same direction away from the central London venue. It seems that Delilah's night didn't end there, as she wrote on Twitter that she was still awake at 10am and hadn't made it home: 'Still awake. How does this always happen to me. Haven't made it home yet,' she wrote. The 22-year-old singer songwriter, who collaborated with Wretch 32 on the track Don't Be Afraid, looked as stylish as ever dressed from head-to-toe in black. Making the most of her curvaceous figure, the star wore a skin-tight all-in-one bodysuit, paired with thighhigh, black lace-up boots. Embracing her usual style of glamorous grunge, Delilah, whose real name is Paloma Stoecker, added an on-trend, black Zara coat with leather lapels.

fter a long flight with her husband and daughter earlier that day, the chances are that Kate Beckinsale landed in Los Angeles with one thing on her mind: pampering. And it seems like the British actress got what she wanted when she was seen walking along the pavement with her feet in disposable flipflops, a sure sign that she had been in the pedicure chair. The 39-year old star of Underworld smiled broadly as she walked in the Californian sunshine with her husband, director Len Wiseman. Earlier that day she had made a dramatic entrance in LAX Airport when she was seen sashaying through arrivals in a grey hat and matching cashmere layers. Maybe she thought she was in danger of being mobbed at the airport and it appeared that she was not keen to be noticed as she headed out from the airport to a waiting car. The actress topped her brunette locks with a grey hat and opted for muted chic with a matching scarf and cashmere layers as she returned from holiday with husband Len, also 39, and daughter Lily. It looked although Kate was wearing the same scarf as earlier, albeit with a more casual outfit. However, as typical of most men, practical and laid-back Len was

Happy couple: Kate Beckinsale and Len Wiseman looked very much in love as they ran some post-holiday errands

wearing the same get up as he had worn for flying in to the USA just hours earlier. Missing from their trip to do errands was Kate's 11-year old daughter Lily, whose dad is celebrated character actor Michael Sheen. It is likely the Total Recall actress and her family enjoyed a dose of winter sun in Mexico, where she usually takes a winter holiday each year. The actress's appearance comes after it was revealed Kate was notified that she had a small California state tax lien totaling $1,052. Hardly a king's ransom for the actress who has enjoyed box office success with films Total Recall and Underworld.



Homes How to make your home guest-friendly


t 's in our culture. We love to entertain or to crash into friends and relatives' homes. Providing an awesome experience for your guest should be complimented with a relaxing guest bedroom. You may not always have enough space for them but creating an ambiance of comfort is all you need to be a fantastic host. Here are a few tips: Give them a bed you would actually be comfortable sleeping on Fresh smelling linen guarantees better sleep. Even if your guest room hasn't been used in awhile, the linen can still smell of dust or mildew. Provide freshly washed sheets, and go the extra mile by spraying it with lavender water, or any linen spray you might have. Be hygienic by sunning pillows in the open air or having them cleaned. You can make do with using antibacterial and mite resistant pillows, and have thrown away old ones made of foam or filler. Test the bed mattress yourself. Check for bed mites and other foul odours. Thin bed mattresses that you can drape over an original bed mattress can be bought for instant comfort. Air mattresses are fine for young guests, and those staying for a few nights. Make sure the room and bathroom are clean. Cleaning it two weeks ago won't cut the deal. Dust and cob webs accumulate in days. Make the room guest friendly Remove unnecessary furniture and equipment that will make the room crowded. Clear some closet space for the guest so that they can unpack their belongings. Provide hangers for their clothes, and clear tops of dressers and tables for personal items. Provide a night lamp by the bed and even a flashlight or hall light if they have to walk down the hallway to the bathroom at night. Decorate your guest room with a purpose by providing a clock, some artwork and a mirror they can use when dressing up. Make sure windows are covered with the proper window nets and curtains for privacy. It doesn't matter who your guest is. They will surely appreciate your efforts to make them feel at home. Your guest room is a reflection of who you are. A sloppy guest room made without effort spells a lousy home keeper too busy for her own family.

Quick tips for a touch of class


h e t h e r it's your family or friends visiting, if you want people to come away with a good impression after being in your home, you need to put in the extra effort and add all the little extras that will make them feel like they're being treated like royalty. No, these tips won't turn your place into a hotel, but they will give your home that touch that makes all the difference. Any guest who stays between five minutes and five days will know that you're that person who knows his hospitality. In the bathroom Clean towels This is critical even if you're the only one who ever sees the inside of your place.

Nobody wants to walk around with wet hands. Note: Your pants are not a substitute for a towel. Liquid hand soap Washing your hands isn't just a common courtesy, it's imperative. Clean hands can help you prevent disease. You'll keep yourself and your guests healthy and clean with a little soap. New unopened toothbrush Have you ever forgotten your toothbrush while on a trip? Sure, your guest could just go to the store and pick one up, but having one on hand says that you're thinking of them. Toothpaste & mouthwash Chances are if they forgot the toothbrush, they forgot the toothpaste

and mouthwash as well. Since you need those things anyway, keep the extras on hand in your guest bathroom; when you run out, dip into that supply and hit the store when you can. Garbage can (with garbage bag) This one is more for you than for them. Guests generate trash. If you don't want them to leave it on the floor, give them a can. I f you don't want to spend time cleaning the can, use a bag. Air freshener The bathroom is a place where we generate putrid odours; it's a fact. But you don't have to share your smell with your guest (or force them to share with you). Air spray or even matches can work wonders.

Extra toilet paper There is nothing more embarrassing than having to ask for toilet paper. Don't put your guest in that situation; have extra on hand and make it visible. Hair dryer If someone is vacationing and staying at your home, a hair dryer is clunky to travel with. Keeping one on hand, even if you're bald headed goes a long way in giving your guest the unforgettable experience. Medication Think head and stomach here. Your guest medicine cabinet should have something for headaches, stomachs and diarrhoea.




Wife-battering and the Nigerian woman By Sandra Umeh and Deborah Akpede


a t t e r y is an act of using intimidation to establish power and control over another person, and such intimidation is often expressed through beatings. In many societies, women are at the receiving end of this intimidation. Also, a large number of battery cases occur in developing societies where many cultures perceive women as playing a second fiddle. In recent times, this genderbased domestic violence has assumed an alarming dimension. A legal icon, Prof. Itse Sagay, notes that although many cases of wife-battering are not documented, a large number of them have resulted in deaths and dissolution of marriages. He says most victims of domestic violence opt for judicial separation to save themselves from untimely death. He, however, notes that many still stay in the pain and anguish to save their marriage for the sake of their children's future. He blames battery on inadequate enforcement of laws, noting also that some victims do not report cases to the appropriate authorities. He urges enactment of a specific legislation to check this abuse of women. Sagay notes that there are non-governmental organisations willing to help victims of battery to seek justice. He advises women to make use of such organisations. The Chairman of the Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Onyekachi Ubani, notes that some developing societies including Nigeria see battery as a family matter to be handled internally. He says that in such societies, women erroneously accept battery as part of marriage. Ubani identifies economic hardship as a major cause of domestic violence. “A lot of husbands are finding it increasingly difficult to meet their financial obligations in the home. This leads to the twin evil of frustration and violence," he says. He says that in developed countries, women are known for their contributions to the running of the home, and that in such countries, battery is minimal. “The situation is different in Nigeria where men bear the financial burden and expect total “They get easily irritated at the slightest provocation, and resort to beating the women,'' he says. Ubani urges spouses to exhibit a high level of mutual tolerance to avoid battery and the effects of divorce.

A marriage counsellor, Patrick Ebiem, agrees that battery is one of the major reasons why women file for divorce. “Some women in Nigeria are suffering from this domestic violence. Many men beat up their wives for frivolous reasons," he remarks. Ebiem also notes that many battered woman still want to keep their marriages because of the value the Nigerian society places on marriage. “Some battered women are enduring their marriages; they refuse to file for divorce because of their children's future. “They don't want to be single mothers or divorcees,'' he says. He equally urges amicable resolution of conflicts by couples, saying that broken homes have turned many children into social miscreants due to lack of parental training and care. A victim of battering, Joke Olaiya, says she lost two pregnancies to regular beatings by her husband. “I was in coma for three days and the baby was dead before it was taken out of my womb,'' she laments. Another victim of violence, Mrs. Yetunde Akintoye, believes that drunkenness by men fuels battering. She claims that her husband

removed one of her teeth while beating her when he was drunk. Mrs. Rhoda Adereti, a psychologist, identifies transfer of aggression as another cause of battery. “Many men transfer aggression to their innocent wives, which may result from loss of jobs, query from office and others," she says. She advises women to stop dating men who show traces of violence. This, she says, will save women from being victims of battery in marriage. “It is better not to enter the relationship, especially when the lady has seen traces of violence in the man. “You cannot afford to keep staying with a man that beats you always. One day, he may even kill you. Pastor Humble Ololo of the Assemblies of God Church in Lagos, says Christianity and other religions condemn wife-battering. “Men are not allowed to beat their wives. Women are not expected to beat their husbands,'' he preaches, and advises couples to settle misunderstandings amicably. He is of the opinion that desperation to be married pushes many women into wrong relationships that can lead to battering. The cleric urges battered

women to also seek divine intervention. According to the President of the Oshodi Customary Court, Alhaja A.I. Olorunimbe, battery is a good ground for dissolution of a marriage under the Nigerian law. “The court does not treat an allegation of battery with levity because it can lead to loss of lives. Sometimes, it is the women that push their husbands to the wall through their abusive words, disobedience, or lack of care. But some men are just too wicked that no matter what the woman does, they believe a wife is a servant and battering her is necessary," she says. The judicial officer called for enlightenment of men on the evil of drunkenness, smoking and drug addiction which, she says, fuel battering. A lawyer, Mr. Afolabi Orekoya, urges government to put in place stiffer penalties against battery to reduce the menace. “Government is not treating the matter with the seriousness it deserves. When a battered wife goes to the police station to report her husband, the police will tell her to go and settle it with him, and that they cannot interfere in a couple's internal matter," he says. Orekoya wants governments to adequately support agencies

and non government organisations that take care of battered women. A lawyer and social critic, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, preaches that marriage is for companionship and love, and should be devoid of violence. “A man who batters his wife has descended to the level of an animal. This is not the plan or purpose of God for marriages. It portrays lack of confidence,'' he says. Adegboruwa calls for the establishment of a social welfare institution in Nigeria for monitoring marriages. This, he says, has become necessary because of Nigeria's cultural milieu which denies women the opportunity of being heard, but gives men increased opportunity to molest women. He also advocates women education and empowerment, arguing that the majority of domestic violence has to do with poor education and low financial empowerment. Analysts urge gender sensitisation training for security agents, judicial officers and lawyers with a view to combating domestic violence. They also urge passage into law the Domestic Violence Protection Bill, 2006 still before the National Assembly. Source: NAN




Do you have old pictures for memories? Send them to

Northern Premier, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello congratulates the Waziri of Dikwa, late 60s

Biology students at Queen's college, Lagos - 1959

Wole Soyinka is arrested in 1965

The Nigeria Post Office in Badagry, Lagos State. 1975

Major-General J.T.U.Aguiyi-Ironsi, centre, leader of Nigeria's new federal military government and Supreme Commander of the Nigerian Armed Forces, poses with four of his military governors, in Lagos, Nigeria, Jan. 24, 1966. From left to right; Major Hassan Usman Katsina, Lieutenant Colonel F.A. Fajudi, Major-General Aguiyi-Ironsi,Lietenant Colonel C. Odumegwu-Ojukwu and Lieutenant Colonel D.A. Ejoor.




With Augustine Aminu

Find the words from the 12 Days of Christmas song (listed at the bottom) in this Christmas word search puzzle. Circle each letter one by one. Each letter of 12 Days of Christmas word search grid may be used in more than one word. When the word Search puzzle is complete, read the remaining letters left to right, top to bottom, to learn an interesting fact about the 12 Days of Christmas.

12 Days of Christmas Word Search Puzzle T


























































































A Real Lagos Child

The tongue -If you have white on your tongue, you should get it checked out. It could very well be a fungus. -A yellowish coating means that you may have either a fever or stomach problem. -A pale pink shade could be indicative of disease as well. -Your tongue has thousands of taste buds located on its surface. -Sometimes taste buds will grow too much, and you will appear to have a hairy tongue. -We have four basic types of taste buds. The salt and sweet taste buds sit at the tip of the tongue, while sour taste is along the sides, and bitter taste is at the base. -The tongue does not house all of the taste buds. Approximately 10% of them are found on the palette and cheek. -Tongues can pick up a fifth taste, which is known as glutamate. -Eating something cold, in particular, changes the way that your tongue perceives taste. Doing so will often detract taste from whatever the next item that you eat or drink is. -The front part of the tongue is extremely flexible, and this is the part that is most often associated with the mechanism of speaking. -The front of your tongue also moves food around your mouth so that you are able to properly chew it up. -Every tongue has its own tongue print. -Tongue is the strongest muscle in the body. -The tongue is the only muscle in the entire body that is only connected on one end. -Skeletal muscle comprises the majority of the tongue. The tongue is covered by a mucus membrane. Tongues are generally rough in their texture.

○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

Proverbs and wise sayings "A man does not wander far from where his corn is roasting." "A rat is not born a rabbit." "A tiger does not have to proclaim its tigritude." "A traveler to distant places should make no enemies." "A tree does not move unless there is wind." "A tree is best measured when it's down." "A tree is known by its fruit." "An old man is there to talk." "Fine words do not produce food." "Give me a push from my back" does not mean give me a hunchback."





Compiled by Jamila Nuhu Musa

Do you know what your necklace says about you?


i d you know that the type and colour of the necklace you wear give people an impression about you? Wearing the right piece is what really makes you stand out as a lady. The colour of the necklace also speaks for itself. Blue necklaces for instance suggest purity and quietness. Even as they can also make you feel bold and confident, according to Grace Coleman, a beauty expert in Accra, Ghana, she also said Green is often the choice to balance your psyche, she explains that green is the colour of life, and fertility. “So it is believed in some cultures to mean, change, growth and prosperity.” Coleman said that White necklace is her favorite “you see white symbolizes new beginning”. Coleman is even convinced white necklaces gives you luck and removes obstacles from your part. Sounds superstitious? For red necklaces, she points out that men like it when their women wear red hot necklaces, they believe red increases their energy and may assist in conquering sexual dysfunctions ‘. So it is really not the fault of ladies that they have become drawn to necklaces so much so that every outfit has a necklace to match it perfectly.



Business Nigerian economy recorded positive growth in 2012 —MD, Enterprise Bank


o w would you assess the Nigerian economy in the last twelve months? I think there has been a positive growth when you look at where we were coming from, especially when you study other economies. You have to also take it in the context of the financial infrastructure, which provides the bedrock for any concrete development and once you have the financial institutions doing well, by implication, you will see it rubbing off on the economy generally. A high percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is from agriculture and you will see how the government has focused on the sector, especially, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and there has been a tremendous growth in terms of increase in production. We have been able to a certain degree to address the issue of fuel subsidy, which is also a big issue as far as this economy is concerned. I strongly believe that all the fundamentals necessary for economic growth have been made and that is why you see even in the financial sector, there is an improvement in our earnings and profitability. On a general note, I think there is a lot of improvement in the nation’s economy. But the growth appears not to be in tandem with development. The job creation initiatives by the Federal Government have not really impacted much with manpower utilisation still in the negative? Part of the problems we have in Nigeria is the non-availability of basic data on the economy. In certain economies, when figures are reeled out, they can be confirmed. But in Nigeria, it is always very difficult for you to access whether there is an improvement or not, because the basis and method of capturing the information is very faulty. If you go to the National Bureau of Statistics today to go and find out the number of jobs created last month, it would be difficult to get such data. I can tell you that there is quite a number of industries in the economy that are doing very well, the oil and gas, the banking sector and even the manufacturing companies are beginning to come up. But don’t forget that globally, there is economic slow down because of low growths. If you take it in that context, I believe that things have changed for the better. People that used to get free money have reduced, because things are being done properly and it will take some time in terms of acceptability and in terms of capturing the needed information for us to be able to appreciate the kind of reforms that

Ahmed Lawan Kuru is Managing Director of Enterprise Bank, which metamophorsed from the former Spring Bank Plc, in August, last year. In this interview with Aminu Imam, he reviews the current profile of the banking industry in particular and the nation’s economy in general. Excerpts:

Ahmed Lawan Kuru are being done in other economies. You said the banking sector has been stabilised, but there is still this lingering issue of business unfriendly interest rate regime. How can we grow the economy and develop under such situation? Interest rate is a function of so many things like inflation, price stability. As a country, you have to decide what you want to do first. I believe that CBN is more interested in price stability and that is why you will see the CBN putting all sorts of measures to ensure that the rate of exchange is contained in such a way that the value of naira does not depreciate further than it was last year. Now in a country where you are struggling to empower people and increase production, obviously, you will have issues with the interest rate. In a country where the savings culture is very low, there will be a challenge in that area. Most of the people in Nigeria are consumers. Hardly will you find people saving money for the long haul because of the inflationary trend. So, unless we are able to address the issues of inflation, price stability, the issue of interest rates will continue to be a challenge. But if we look at what has happened in the last three to six months, interest rates have been coming down and I think the target

of the CBN is how to stabilise it to a single digit. I read in the papers that some banks are charging 36 per cent and obviously, I do not see why a bank would be charging that much, because what business would you do today that would make you to pay that kind of interest rate. I don’t know the source of such information, but if you say banks are charging an average of 15 to 22 per cent today, then, I will agree. Honestly, it is coming down. Go and check with the money market operators and you will see that is it coming down. With our type of economy, it cannot just come down over night, because there are so many factors that affect the interest rate that you charge on facilities that you grant. The bank is just an intermediate institution. However, I think the measures that have been put in place by the CBN, by the first and second quarter of next year, you will see how stable the interest rates would become. How has it been since you assumed duties? It has been challenging and rewarding. If you recall when we came on board when the CBN, through AMCON interview in our banks, we had ensure that the bank was fully capitalised and what we are confronted with was to how to clean the house and position the institution for business. Because,

since 2005, when the bank came up with one issue or the other and we came on board, there are so many issues confronting the organisation. What we did was to prioritise to have a three to five year plan and work through it. By the grace of God, we have done substantially well. You know you cannot turn around an institution within one year. This was a 15 year battered business and usually when you start building from foundation, it is easier, but when you are renovating a property, you have to do a lot of changes. It has been exciting and we have made considerable progress on what we set out to achieve. What about the legal issues besetting the operations of the bank? Incidentally, Enterprise Bank

came into being August 5. Obviously, there are people along the line who have been mistaken Enterprise bank for Spring Bank but we try to find time to explain to them that if there is any issue that relates to Enterprise Bank, we tell them to go to NDIC. Luckily, we don’t have many legal issues. I can tell you that this is a brand new bank. It has nothing to do with any legacy being. Our operating licence was given to us on August 5, 2011 and we try to focus on driving Enterprise Bank. Generally speaking, in respect of the banking industry, what should be the strategic focus on Nigerian bankers now? The future of Nigeria’s banking industry is in the retail side and quite a number of banks, if not all, have tried to position themselves in the retail arena. But retail business takes time to kick in. There are some banks that are doing very well, because they have been around for so long and able to gather momentum, sometimes, even by default in building their retail profile. So, most of the banks in Nigeria today are building retail profile and the only way you can address the retail market is by building retail products and I can tell you that there is no bank in Nigeria today that has less than 30 consumer products. They have all sorts of products and that is why you see that in the pages of the newspapers, these products are being promoted. So, consumer products have a direct link with retail sector and that is the future of the industry. There are so many consumer products available in the industry today. So, many products are out there and gradually the industry is moving to a level where it would be driven by these products. We are building all our credits around these products since we have realized that there is no inner purchasing power for somebody to buy a car or do something. So we have to now develop products and build programmes around them, so that they can be effectively delivered. It eliminates all the bureaucracies of lending since there is already a product to address that need.

CBN is more interested in price stability and that is why you will see the CBN putting all sorts of measures to ensure that the rate of exchange is contained in such a way that the value of naira does not depreciate further than it was last year.




How armed robbers took over Ilorin/Jebba road

From Ahmed Iidris, Birnin Kebbi


t was meant to be a beautiful Thursday, supposedly filled with activities and plans for upcoming Weekend, little did the family of Mallam Salihu Mohammed Jega know that, God had destined it to be opposite of this. The family, on 7th June, 2012, woke up early morning to receive tragic news of the death of their bread winner, Salihu Mohammed Jega who was attacked by armed robbers at Bode-Saadu, along Jebba/Ilorin road. According to Issa Mohammed Koko, eye witness and friend to the deceased, he and Salihu were on a journey to Lagos when they were ambushed by armed robbers along Ilorin/Jebba road. He said his friend was killed but he (Issa) narrowly escaped death and he was taken to hospital. After Issa was discharged, he narrated their ordeal to Peoples Daily Weekend. He and his friend Salihu had left Jega, a village in Kebbi state around 7pm to Lagos. He said, "We boarded a commercial vehicle 'Young Shall Grow' luxurious bus with registration number XC381. "On arriving Kwara state along Ilorin/Jebba road, we were attacked by armed robbers who instantly killed about three passengers including my friend, Mallam Salihu Mohammed Jega who was sitting close to the driver." According to him, the vehicle was driven by one Eugene Odoenaram and the journey was smooth until shortly after they passed Bode Saadu at about 0300hrs, the bus stopped at a road block mounted by the robbers. He said, "there were more than fifteen of the armed robbers with different kinds of

Bullet ridden arm of a victim ammunitions." He said the robbers started shooting sporadically into the air and shouting at the passengers, "Come down! Raise your hands up! Bring your money and phone! Lie down!" He said he was however surprised to know that, there was a policeman among the passengers. "I was surprised when I realised that we had a police officer, who was actually

Sani Usman, a survivor on his bed

a DPO inside our car and he had a pistol with him. "As the police officer was trying to remove his pistol, one of the robbers covering him asked what he was doing. He said he was just trying to reposition himself. "At last the officer brought out his gun and started shooting. He killed two of the robbers and even followed the rest into the bush and started exchanging bullets with them,

it was just like a drama or film,'' he said. Confirming the incident to Peoples Daily Weekend, the DPO, Birnin Kebbi police division, in Kebbi state, AP Sanni Zuberu said that it was a bad experience but that is what he had been trained for. The DPO explained that one of the robbers ordered him directly to bring out his money and lie down while he was pointing his gun at him. He said, "I brought out my pistol and shot at him rapidly at a close range and simultaneously fired at two other robbers even as I dived for cover in the nearby bushes from where I continued to shoot at them,'' he said. He added that the rest of them started running and jumping into the surrounding bushes. According to him, the driver however called out for everybody to come inside the bus, that they might come back. He said, "I picked up the single barrel gun of the first robber, I fired a shot that hit him on his back, I tried to search for the rest of the guns as I saw another robber on the ground but there was serious shouting of disagreement from the passengers that I should enter the vehicle before they re-group and come back for us,'' he said.

Issa however commended the police officer for his bravery. In a similarly event, on 19th of November, a family of Mallam Usman also woke up one morning to receive a terrible news as one of their brothers, was attacked and killed. Mallam Idris Usman, brother to Sani Usman was also a victim of armed robbery attack at the same spot. Sani also narrated his brother's experience to Peoples Daily weekend. He said his brother; Idris Usman was attacked on 19th of November 2012 also on his way to Lagos for business transaction. He and his friend were attacked by the hoodlums; while he was shot on his hand and mouth, his business partner from Kamba died on the spot. Sanni said they were coming from Dunbago village via Jega, "my brother was travelling with a tanker driver along Mokwa to Jeba road when some armed robbers started shooting at them and the bullets hit him on his left hand and left jaw and he was rushed to Shaken clinic and maternity at Bode Saadu for first aid before he was brought to the Federal Medical Centre and has since been referred to Sokoto Teaching Hospital where they will remove the bullets from his body.''





roliferation and use of automatic weapons by armed robbers has called for great concern.Where do you think they are getting their arms from? Not until recently, theft in Nigeria has been executed with locally made guns, knives, sticks, bows and arrows and other local weapons, but today the proliferation of arms in Nigeria is traced to our immediate neighbours like Chad and Niger.Ethno religious crisis in Nigeria has helped in proliferation of arms in to the country too, that is where our armed robbers get sophisticated weapons and the only way to reduce it is for all Nigerians to put their hands on deck through prayers and leaders must take bold action to address the issue. Whoever is guilty of gun running should be arrested and prosecuted without fear or favour no matter what his status. Doing so will serve as a deterrent to others. These days most armed robbers operate with automatic weapons. Are you not afraid of hunting them down? I told you it is a joint operation between Inspector General of Police, Special AntiRobbery Squad (SARS) and the State Police command. During operation, I don’t fight them in the real sense; the law enforcement officers engaged them. In most cases, I only assist in tracing them. I have no fear and I also want you to know that armed robbers are cowards. How many years have you spent in combating this crime? It all started about 14 years ago in Azare, and to the best of my knowledge, since we started this joint operation the menace of armed robbery has reduced greatly in the north. You will recall in the past that armed robbers b l o c k e d highways with sophisticated weapons

Alhaji Ali Mohammed Kwara, a hunter and community security expert in this interview with Ahmed Kaigama, speaks on his modus operandi, threats and synergy with the Bauchi State Government in addressing criminal activities in the state.

Armed robbers: We have eliminated old bandits- Ali kwara in broad day light, we have arrested many of them some of them were punished, though some were released. But the armed robbers you see today are different from the ones you used

Alhaji Ali Mohammed Kwar

to hear of. They form a ring with different networks. Presently the ring of armed robbers we have are mostly young boys and girls, our effort in the past has helped us eliminate the old bandits terrorising the neighbourhoods. This young generation of armed robbers were recruited due to proliferation of arms and lack of employment.It is easy for selfish and wicked people to use unemployed youth and to lure them to thievery, we have identified their network and we will soon cut the chain. Sir, you just completed an operation in the Northeastern states, did you record any success? Alhamdulillah, we thank the A l m i g h t y A l l a h . W e undertook an o p e r a t i o n , jointly carried out with the Mobile Policemen unit and Police Anti-Robbery Squad facilitated by the IGP. I was

attached to the State Police Commands in each state and it was a success. The regional tour started when we followed a group of bandits led by Ali Bakar, we knew him very well because we once arrested him, but having served his jail term with no repentance, he still chose the path of banditry. In fact, we learnt that he has formed a group with North east as his primary constituency for operation. We followed the gang from Bauchi to Gombe, and from Gombe we rounded them up in Adamawa state. We had a serious battle with them and the Policemen attached to me over powered them and they ran and abandoned two(2) AK 57 riffles, 129 rounds of ammunitions and a Volkswagen Golf car.Also in the booty we found N49,000 (cash). They fled to Yobe, and intelligence report reached us on the intention to launch an attack in Gombe. We wadded in and with the help of the Gombe Police Command and the Inspector General robbery squad, we intercepted them at about 2:00 am. Four of them died during fire exchange and we also recovered a vehicle, four AK 47 and 329 rounds of live ammunition. Operations like this require lots of funds. How do you source for funds to carry out your operation? As you may be aware, I am a business man and also a hunter. I was well to do before I opted for community policing. It might a l s o interest

you to know that I own a construction company. The present governor of Bauchi State Mallam Isa Yuguda, has been a major financier, though not directly in most cases. We first met when he was minister of transport; he appreciated my work and pledged to be of help.Much did not happen until he assumed office as governor. I had done some jobs for the previous administration and owed me outstanding balance. He appropriated the balance and awarded me fresh contracts to bridge the shortage of funds crippling our operation. He has continued with this gesture where I executed projects at the Bauchi State University Gadau campus, in Itas Gadau local government area of Bauchi state. So far, I have been awarded building jobs, with some yet to be completed. He gave me nine different contracts worth hundreds millions some are on-going, while some have been completed and I did a good job for the state, that was the reason why he keep patronising me. That was the support, I got from the state government, he patronised me and out of my profit I used the money to fight criminals. Do you have a record of the armed robbers you have arrested? They are uncountable, we have arrested many, we have recovered many arms and rounds of ammunition, and we have succeeded in all parts of the country. How do you think Nigeria will be free from crimes? Honesty, Justice, fairness and punishing the perpetrators of armed robbery act without fear or favour is the only way to curb armed robbery in the country.



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Corruption: The 37th state of thefund federation Re: Sovereign wealth

“Corruption has become a state of the Federation, drawing its weekly and monthly allowances from the Federation Account unabashedly” – Lagos lawyer and activist, Fred Agbaje


a t e l y , the Nigerian media has been awash with opinion, analysis and editorials on the spiralling rate of corruption especially under the President Goodluck Jonathan led administration. The war against graft is now an issue of national interest in public discourse in the light of Nigeria’s consistent top rating in global corruption index and its eroded image in the comity of nations. More damning is the lethargic approach the President Jonathan administration has adopted in fighting corruption. As most Nigerians would readily agree that if the menace of corruption is reduced by 50% then more than half of Nigeria’s problems become effectively solved. The long term iron-clad impunity of Nigerians political elite has escalated in recent time under the nose of President Jonathan’s Administration resulting in the disappearance of a whopping N5trillion in just two years as revealed by Punch investigation. The gargantuan sleaze over the years has left an estimated 11, 886 federal government projects abandoned across the country according to Professor Kole Omotoso. No surprise, the Gallup Poll and KPMG Report ranked Nigeria the second most corrupt country in the world and most corrupt in Africa respectively. Another study by the Economist Intelligence Unit, says Nigeria is the worst place for a baby born in 2013 but just days earlier Mr. Jonathan braved up in a media chart on National TV… “I can assure Nigerians and the global community that this government is fighting corruption frontally, we have dealt with political corruption, the corruption in fertiliser procurement and corruption in the oil industry. There has never been a time corruption in the oil industry has been attacked in all fronts. The effort this government has put in fighting corruption, I don’t


Peoples Daily Weekend welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed to: The Editor, Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. Email: think any other person has done that”. Going forward, he gave an insight to how he intends to fight Corruption using the staggered elections in Edo and Ondo as a template. These and many more scams unraveled on a daily basis across all sectors of the economy , indicate that special attention at the ongoing constitution review process need be given not only to the removal of immunity clause and severe (if not capital) punishment for corrupt leaders, but appropriate laws to strengthen the relevant anti-corruption agencies so as to fast-track prosecution of cases. The fuss by the anti-graft agencies about their efforts in the anti-corruption war have so far failed to translate prosecution of indicted individuals to conviction for any of the ex-Governors accused of enriching themselves through corrupt means save for James Ibori, former Delta State Governor, who was only sentenced with the help of a British court and Olabode George. A situation where Dr. Peter Odili secured a court injunction to shield himself from prosecution makes one wonder if such corrupt persons still enjoy some form of immunity even after leaving office. They employ the services of lawyers skilled in delaying court processes with unnecessary adjournments. Such injunctions have turned the Nigerian judiciary to a laughing stock. A slap on the wrist treatment of high profile offenders have inspire would-be-looters and emboldened those neck deep in the act. Nigerians clamour for scrapping or merger of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with the Independent Corrupt Practice and Other

Related Offences Commission (ICPC) as a way of strengthening the commission in the anti-graft war, should have a rethink as such move will not only hamper the fight but exacerbate the present endemic corruption. I am not an advocate of multiagency approach in tackling the gargantuan graft in various sectors but if this argument is to be won on such numbers, then Nigeria is behind when compared with other countries around the world. For instance, China has 3, 563 agencies fighting its corruption and related offences, the Philippines with 94 million people has 18 anti-graft agencies, Argentina with 40 million population has three anti-graft bodies and Australia has four anti-graft agencies. In Africa, Ghana with just 24 million people has three, South Africa with 49 million has four and several countries around the world with more than two agencies waging war against corruption. To the government of the day, of paramount importance should be the harmonization of the workings of the anti-graft agencies so as to avoid duplicity of functions and to eliminate waste of public funds considering it now cost as much as N9.32billion, from its 2013 budget, to run the EFCC in a year without any guaranty of convicting a single accused person. The Western countries today are more advanced and developed not because of the absence of corrupt persons but by means of effective anti-graft agencies which are empowered with the right constitutional framework, making them strong enough to ensure whoever, be it a common criminal or looter of public funds, is prosecuted and convicted, thereby serving as a

deterrent to others. The bogey of Boko Haram, unemployment, rising crime rate, poverty are all concomitant effect of sleaze. The attack of the Police SARS headquarters in Abuja by a new Islamic sect is a testament that no part of the country is safe and no one, leaders, looters or political office holder will be spared if the country is left to continue in its steep downward trajectory. To give a boost to the anti-graft crusade, grey areas in the law establishing them need to be revisited. A look at the Plea bargain for instance, former Governors of Edo and Bayelsa states Lucky Igbinedion and Dieprieye Alamieyeseigha were accused of gargantuan corruption, after pleabargains with the EFCC, the former saw 191 charges against him reduced to just one upon conviction and thereafter asked to pay a paltry N3.5m while the latter was sentenced to only two years imprisonment. Offences that would have at least guaranteed life behind bars after forfeiture of all assets and illgotten wealth to the state. Such is tantamount to a slap on the wrist which will only inspire other looters. Unnecessary adjournment of cases and congestion of the regular courts have lead to calls for special courts to try corruption offenders. To fight corruption, President Jonathan must first give priority to political corruption by powerful politicians and their immediate cronies. He must throw his weight behind the leadership of the anticorruption agencies in their quest to go after corrupt persons and prove to Nigerians beyond doubt by his actions that he is not in tacit support of corrupt practices oozing from close quarters around him. He must ensure that laws that would engender speedy prosecution and conviction of corrupt persons are reviewed by the National Assembly. President Jonathan has got enough time in his administration to combat Nigeria’s monumental corruption and to see that it cease to exist in aphorism as the 37th state of the federation. Theophilus Ilevbare




Justice Uwais And Internal Democracy Among Parties T

he former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mohammed Uwais, was recently in the news when he accused the National Assembly of killing the major components of the electoral reforms, including internal democracy. According to Uwais, who was speaking at a workshop in Abuja organized by the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre in collaboration with the McArthur Foundation, the National Assembly destroyed the electoral reforms to “serve parties’ interest” rather than democracy. In what appears to be one of his bluntest public criticisms of the manner the electoral reforms were tampered with, former Chief Justice Uwais lamented “a situation where candidates who won primaries were short-changed by their political parties made it difficult to achieve a flawless electoral process. No sincere Nigerian can fault these honest criticisms by retired Chief Justice Uwais, who headed the Electoral Reforms Committee set up by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua. By openly showing his concern over this issue, Justice Uwais must be commended for his candour and sincerity. How can any sensible nation that assembled eminent Nigerians to produce credible electoral reforms throw away the major components of such reforms? Internal democracy is not only the

responsibility of the ruling PDP but also of the opposition political parties. Unfortunately, our political parties only pay lip service to democracy. Commitment to democracy seems to dominate the key points of the constitutions and manifestoes of Nigeria ’s current political parties. In reality, however, they are allergic to anything democracy stands for. Such is the kind of hypocrisy that attends the conduct of the leaderships of Nigeria’s political parties. In fact, the success or failure of the electoral system depends largely on the commitment and sincerity of political parties to promote internal democracy. As honestly observed by Justice Uwais, the electoral process would be harmed greatly if political parties insist on imposing candidates other than those duly elected by the voters at the primaries. Sadly, however, even the so-called opposition parties which perceive themselves as better alternatives to the ruling PDP are no less guilty of destroying internal democracy. For example, the current internal crisis of confidence rocking the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) was caused by the selfish and undemocratic policy of the substitution and imposition of candidates. In Kano State for example, it is on record that Mohammed Abacha resoundingly won the gubernatorial primaries in December 2010, but a

clique in the party national headquarters in Abuja withheld the results because the outcome did not favour their own preferred aspirant for the office. To the outrage of the voters that openly and freely expressed their choice, the party leaders substituted Mohammed Abacha with Colonel Lawal Ja’afaru Isa (rtd) who was decisively defeated by the former. Col. Isa, with only 78,000 votes at the primaries, replaced Mohammed Abacha who won 144,000 votes! If the will of the people should count, how can a man who won only 78,000 votes become a party candidate at the expense of the aspirant that won 144,000 votes? Where is the commitment to democracy an d j u s t i c e b y t h e C P C leaders? Is the will of the CPC national leaders superior to the will of the voters? If the party leaders had a ready-made candidate, why did they conduct the gubernatorial primaries in the first place? In fact, if they had no desire to respect the results, why must they waste the time of the voters? This miscalculation remains the biggest moral burden on the CPC national leaders. The inherent injustice in the imposition of candidates has no place in democratic practice. They should not run the CPC like the Chinese Communist Party and pretend that

they are democrats. In fact, the CPC could have captured at least nine states in the North during the 2011 general election, but lost the opportunity because the party national leadership took the will of the voters for granted. Former Justice Uwais deserves our praise for coming out to tell our political parties the bitter truth they don’t want to hear. Opposition parties cannot take the moral high ground to attack the ruling PDP for lacking democratic principles when they themselves are tarred with the same brush. The CPC national chairman, Chief Tony Momoh, has a credible pedigree as a distinguished lawyer. It is, however, sad that a clique in the party could be allowed to destroy internal democracy under his watch. The current reformation and reconciliation efforts in the CPC will go nowhere as long as the party leadership doesn’t discard the undemocratic practice of imposing candidates, which led to the debacle of the party during the governorship and House of Assembly elections in 2011. Does the party expect to face the 2015 elections with this undemocratic tendency or mentality? Repeated blunders can lead to fatal consequences. Bakori, an advocate of internal democracy, lives at No. 58, Isa Kaita Road , Kaduna

Bala Mohammed’s effort to reposition FCT should not be derailed


ince his appointment as FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed has been doing his best to reposition the FCT for enhanced growth and accelerated development as the nation’s capital city. He has proven to be a selfless and hard working leader. In fact, he is even being rated as one of the most outstanding ministers so far appointed for Abuja. But it now appears as if some never-do-wells and other disgruntled elements in the society have been using a section of the print media to not only attack and blackmail him but to distract his attention from concentrating on the good things he is doing in Abuja in line with Mr. President’s transformation agenda. To say the least, hardly has any minister been thrown into the murky waters of politics the way Senator Bala has been and yet he is still able to maintain his cool. The minister has been criticised, slandered, blackmailed and even libelled within the past few months or so; yet he has continued to do his best for the FCT. That Bala Mohammed has so far remained calm in the face of provocative attacks and criticisms must no doubt be attributed to his humility, wide exposure, journalistic experience, administrative acumen, patience and his simple, humble

family upbringing. The recent of such attacks and open hostility or vilification of Senator Bala and his team of dedicated workers at the FCTA/FCDA is the editorial opinion published in The Peoples Daily newspaper of Wednesday December 19, 2012 in which the paper attacked the minister without any justification whatsoever. This time around the editors do not seem to be happy with the stand of the minister when he reiterated the determination of the FCTA to continue with its demolition exercise. He had, according to the newspaper, become insensitive when he told the Senator Adeyemi-led committee that the FCTA plans to demolish 31 more estates built in Abuja in order to sanitize the federal capital city. In spite of such vilifications and unwarranted attacks, Senator Bala has remained undeterred and undaunted in the cause of holistically implementing the provisions of the Abuja masterplan in an effort to reposition the FCT and to make it one of the best cities where things work. The primitive war being waged by his critics through the use of some media platform has not deterred him from pursuing his laid down objectives of moving Abuja, the FCT, forward. In the recent editorial, he was

accused of demolishing structures and proposed demolishing of more illegal and unapproved structures in some estates, adding that such action will deny people residential accommodation. But what are the facts on ground? Are the affected houses actually not illegal structures? Available information has indicated that all the affected structures which were recently pulled down were approved by the FCTA as required by law. The Development Control Department which is the organ responsible for issuing such approvals has categorically denied issuing any such approval to the estate owners. Those who purchased the affected houses have also not secured such building plan approvals individually, according to the Department. So why should the Hon. Minister be a subject of undue criticism? Is the newspaper saying that the FCT should allow acts of illegality to remain unchecked simply because it will benefit some few selfish people even if they are poor? If this is the case, why would an armed robber be executed by hanging even though it was discovered later that the money he robbed from the rich people were given to some poor people in many villages? The case of Anini in Edo State and Abokaro in Plateau State are all clear examples of

what we are talking about. Also the recent arrest and prosecution of armed robbers in Bauchi, where it was discovered that the thieves removed valuable properties from some rich fellows, sold them off and later distributed the money to some poor youths and the aged at Azare is a clear example of how such cases should be treated. Illegality cannot be legal because of the person’s actions. No doubt, such criticisms against Senator Bala are attempts or efforts to either discredit or distract him, which are being made by members of the opposition or by persons who are desperate to score cheap political points having possibly failed to secure one or two personal benefits from him. But such efforts have not affected the Minister’s dogged determination to continue the good work he and his team are doing in the FCT. For example, as far as the provision of infrastructures is concerned, all parts of the FCT are being attended to and the indigenes are the beneficiaries. There has been no discrimination whatsoever. He has continued to lead his team on the path of development, prosperity and accountability for the FCT. Biu, a veteran journalist, sent in this piece from Abuja




Finance minister is our problem —House Chairman House C'ttee on Pension


i r , we have just witnessed the presentation of 1,500 pumping machines to your people and the construction of drainage in your Constituency. What informed this gesture? It is in line with the national policy programmes being implemented under the present Speaker of the House of Representatives, RT. Honourable Aminu Tambuwal, where at the end of every budget by the House, each member will submit his or her proposal to the Speaker and after giving approval, such member will go to his or her constituency and implement a significant project that will assist his constituency by making a meaningful impact on his/her electorates. That was what I did, I submitted my proposal on agriculture and I was given the go ahead to purchase pumping machines of the number you saw, amounting to N100 million. So we are going to share these machines to people of this constituency through the Ward level in the areas of Dandi and Arewa local governments respectively. Aside the National Assembly policies, I have much concern for my people in my constituency that is why I requested the items in my submission with the sole aim to boost farming in the two areas under my constituency. Hon. is this your first donation since you assumed office as Member House of Representatives? No, how can it be my first donation? You can go round and ask the two local governments I'm representing. I' think I have touched the lives of the people by giving them dividends of democracy. You see, this is not my first term in the House; this is my third term because my people are concerned about me too. You are the c u r r e n t Chairman, H o u s e Committee on Pension, how have you been able to perform your d u t i e s especially as the Federal government is w o r k i n g t o w a r d s transforming the Pension

Honorable Ibrahim Bawa Kamba is a member Representing Arewa/Dandi Federal Constituency of Kebbi state, and Chairman, House Committee on Pension in the National Assembly. Recently he distributed agricultural implements to the people of his constituency. In this interview with Ahmed Idris, he laments that the Finance Minister Mrs. Ngozi OkonjoIweala is a cog in the wheel of Nigeria’s economic progress. Commission? I'm doing my best to see that we are able to bring all fraudsters, thieves and culprits of the national economy to book. But in the process of doing our jobs, most especially in my committee, we always encountered serious problems with the Minister of finance, Dr. Ngozi Okojo Iweala. Initially, we invited this woman to face our committee on Police pension but she turned down our letter. We served her with another one, she refused to comply, we served her with another one again, she refused to come then we issued a warrant of arrest, but she seems to be untouchable and up till today, she did not respond to our request which is very unfortunate. In fact, she has been a stumbling block to the House and that was way we wanted her removed because she delayed the payment of Police pensioners and others, she refuses to release funds to the agencies and parastatals under the federal ministries. Okonjo is a problem to Nigeria's economy because she advices

Mr. President wrongly. Apart from your achievements under the agricultural sector, what have you done to empower youths under your constituency? If you talking about youths, I know the dilemma of the

Honourable Ibrahim Bawa Kamba

youth in the country as a whole not only in my constituency. When it comes to assistance, we have been assisting them. In this regard, I have purchased 500,000 NECO and WAEC forms and distributed them to 60 candidates who failed their last examinations to enable them resit and qualify for the subjects they failed. Moreover, I was able to serve 40 unemployed youth with job opportunities in various capacities, like Police, B a n k s , Customs, Immigration and Nigerian Civil Defense and Security Corps. What is y o u r assessment on the leadership of Kebbi State? Governor S a i d u Dakingari has done well for the people of Kebbi State; in fact, he has transformed the young state to our expectation. He executed many projects in the state capital and i n

the rural areas respectively. Almost all the 21 local government areas of the state have received dividends of

I'm doing my best to see that we are able to bring all fraudsters, thieves and culprits of the national economy to book. But in the process of doing our jobs, most especially in my committee, we always encountered serious problems with the Minister of finance democracy. What is your hope for y o u r constituency? I want to leave a legacy in my constituency particularly in the areas of agriculture, electricity, water supply and construction of feeder roads, in fact my aim is to live up to my people’s expectation.


Peoples & Places Benue big boy, ‘Iron’ gives out brother in style


ll eyes will be on Oturkpo in Benue State this weekend as a talk-of-the-town marriage holds between Sunday Okpacho Adah and his beautiful bride, Ella. Sunday, younger brother of one of Oturkpo’s big boys, Friday “Iron” Adah, and Ellah have reportedly enjoyed a romance akin to that of Romeo and Juliet and are now poised to “shake” the ancient town to its foundation today. “Iron”, we learnt, has invited an impressive array of VIPs to the ceremony in order to “spoil” his sibling and Ella a bit. Here is wishing the Adahs a sweet matrimonial adventure. Amen!


with Sonde Abbah 0803-2159-249 (sms only, pls)

Orubebe: From Pauper to Billionaire “


e feel very ashamed and embarrassed. Orubebe was one of us. He was attending meetings, sleeping on the ground with us, and we nominated him to be appointed a minister.” With these words, Asari Dokubo, leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, mirrored the “embarrassing” story of the minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Peter Orubebe. Only but yesterday Orubebe was more or less a pauper. Then it happened. No sooner was he made a minister than he allegedly acquired properties in choice areas of the capital city. Properties whose total value is reportedly in the region of over a billion naira. According to Anti-Corruption Network, which exposed ‘Orubebe-gate’ recently, the minister has been indulging in shenanigans in the award of contracts worth nearly #30 billion. Translation: Monumental corruption. Orubebe, not unexpectedly, denied the allegations. But he has been unable to explain how he acquired the expensive properties overnight. How did he rise overnight from virtual penury to fantastic fortune? Inheritance? Magic? Abracadabra?

Senate President, David Mark: Will he also attend attalk-of-the-town wedding to be held in his hometown?

He has been unable to explain how he acquired the expensive properties overnight. How did he rise from virtual penury to fantastic fortune? Inheritance? Magic? Abracadabra?

Peter Orubebe

Serena: In a class of her own


ot so long ago she was written as a spent force. Plagued by niggling injuries, she was a shadow of herself as she stumbled and staggered from one lawn tennis match to the other. That was then. Since the second half of the year, Serena Williams has been in smashing form. And it shows in the enviable trophies she has won between then and now: Wimbledon,

Serena Williams

the US Open, Olympic gold medals (single and double events) and the WTA championship. Despite this incredible haul, the African-American iady who was in Nigeria recently with her sister Venus, says she is aiming higher “I definitely think I can improve some more”, she said ominously. Ominously for her opponents, that is. The tennis queen is truly back!




Is Bajoga political calculation for 2015? By Agaju Madugba


he recent hullabaloo over the position of a Deputy Governor for Kaduna state is perhaps another indication that the southern Kaduna people may never hold common stand on issues that affect them. Following the death of Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, recently who hailed from Fadan Kagoma in Jema'a local government area of the state, his erstwhile deputy, Alhaji Muktar Ramalan Yero, from the predominantly Muslim northern Kaduna was sworn in as Governor in line with constitutional provisions. The development rendered the office of deputy governor vacant, and given the sharp religious divide existing between the northern and southern Kaduna people, a Christian from southern part of the state was expected to occupy that position. And, as usual, the matter became something of concern for the southern Kaduna people, who started falling over themselves as they opposed the nomination of Ambassador Nuhu Bajoga, from Jaba local government area of the state. Whatever the arguments, what some of the people may not have also realised is that the choice of Bajoga may not be unconnected with the politics of 2015. With a deputy governor who comes from a section of southern Kaduna with the highest concentration of Muslim Hausa/ Fulani in the area, Yero is more likely to garner more votes from there when he contests the governorship position in 2015. More votes than he may get from the Kataf or Kagoro or Ninzo communities, areas which may as well be described as headquarters of the Bajoga opposition wing. Kaduna has been described as a miniature Nigeria, an appellation which may not be unconnected with the multiplicity of ethnic and religious groupings with equally diverse languages. Apart from the Hausa/Fulani and Gwari found mainly in the northern part, there are well over 35 other ethnic nationalities, all located within the southern Kaduna state axis. With skyscraper ambitions as represented in the southern Kaduna's quest to have a state of its own, the Babel of voices from that section of Kaduna state and the diverse cultures of the people have over the years remained perhaps the greatest obstacle to the realization of their goals and seem to indeed confound their

Ambassador Nuhu Bajoga problems by the day. Although the area has a sprinkling of Muslim Hausa/Fulani population, southern Kaduna is predominantly a Christian community. For decades, the people have consistently screamed marginalization and domination by the Hausa/Fulani in the state. The cry may be justified though, given that since the creation of the state in 1976, late Yakowa was the first Christian to be governor of Kaduna. Even with its Southern Kaduna People's Union (SOKAPU), perhaps the greatest undoing of southern Kaduna is the inability to take a unifying position when it comes projecting a single candidate to represent the entire people of the area. Just as discordant tunes trailed who should be deputy governor, the southern Kaduna people in 2007 could not arrive at a consensus candidate for the PDP governorship primaries that

year as the late Minister of Works, Garba Ali Madaki and Senator Isaiah Balat insisted on slugging it out together against other PDP candidates from the northern divide. Expectedly, both eventually lost the bid. When the position of deputy governor became vacant, various groups from southern Kaduna began the search for a candidate with even one group

suggesting candidates for Yero. Another group claimed that Bajoga would not fit into the role expected of a sound deputy governor. But an elder from southern Kaduna, Barnabas Yero, had dismissed the antagonistic posture against Bajoga as youthful exuberance arguing that those groups came up after Yakowa's death in order to cause confusion and heat up


Even with its Southern Kaduna People's Union (SOKAPU), perhaps the greatest undoing of southern Kaduna is the inability to take a unifying position when it comes projecting a single candidate to represent the entire people of the area

the polity. "We remember as well that late Yakowa was also accused and criticized for accepting to serve as the Secretary to the State Government simply because he was a one-time Minister and the same Yakowa rose to become a governor in the state, the first to be so elected from southern Kaduna," Yero, a legal practitioner said. He noted further that, "some people are concerned about age and we wonder if the brain diminishes in performance at the age of 60 or 70. We know that President Obama is far younger than his deputy. And even if we come back home, Stephen Shekari (first deputy to Makarfi) was far older than Senator Makarfi and both performed wonders. Let the young ones wait for their turn. The office of the deputy governor is for the whole state irrespective of political party. But a PDP chairmanship position is for a political party only. So how can the position of a chairman of a party be more important than that of the deputy governor?" It is just as well. The House of Assembly few days ago confirmed Bajoga as the deputy Governor even though the nominee was absent at the executive session of the House. "It is quite unfortunate that the southern Kaduna people could carry out such disgraceful attitude in public," Malam Suleiman Ningi Yakubu, a journalist who incidentally hails from Jaba told our Correspondent in an interview while reacting to the wrangling among the southern Kaduna people over Bajoga. According to him, "in a more civilized society, we ought to think of what will be beneficial to a larger section of the people but some of our people decided to embark on a smear campaign against Bajoga because of their selfish interests, at a time we are supposed to be mourning the death of Yakowa who was from our place. They have shown the world that we are not civilized. We should have used Yakowa's death as an opportunity to reconcile our differences but some people prefer to employ the pull-him-down syndrome because Bajoga is the last man standing. Bajoga has always been an achiever. When he was at Ashaka Cement, he used his position there to help our people but it seems some of them have forgotten so soon. And some people were arguing about age without realizing that Bajoga can easily call the governor to order if Yero exhibits youthful exuberance in the course of administering the state."



Weekend 2012: We depended on luck instead of hardwork —Abdullahi Stories by Albert Akota


h e Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, has given a verdict of disappointment at the performance of Team Nigeria at the London 2012 Olympics. The Minister, who made a review of the country’s performance at the London Olympic Games, said that poor preparations marred the country’s chances at the games. He said, “Our inability to win any medal so far is a disappointment for the teams and Nigerians. But we must have the courage to see it as it is. This is a clear testimony to how far our sports have fallen behind. He, however, said he would not indulge in a buck passing game but would take the dismal performance as “an opportunity to rebuild. Abdullahi said everyone in sports administration must face the reality and work the way forward from such outing. “In Atlanta ‘96, those some won one medal but in Beijing they finished high. They accepted their poor situation and reworked their system including financing. In London they are standing boldly at the third position. This is one opportunity we cannot allow to pass us by. “We have been hoping too much on luck, but for once, God is telling us he’s not a magician; we must work hard to succeed. He said that the just concluded

…Good for NFF —Maigari

Super Eagles players celebrating victory against Venezuela National Sports Festival in Lagos would take the first major step culminating with better outing at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 from where the real projection can be taken for Rio 2016. Abdullahi further said that five

specific sports will be listed and given priority for the future Olympic participation of Nigeria. Their federations will also be fully reorganized to meet the new challenges of winning medals at the Olympics. Meanwhile, the President of the

Maryam Usman Team Nigeria's weightlifter at the 2012 London Olympics

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Aminu Maigari, has passionately said that the outgoing year was a good one for the country’s football. He said that the country’s national teams were able to qualify for all the international competitions they had prepared for. “This is a very good year for the NFF and for the football family because we have achieved so much in qualifying for different competitions. “We had at least four Nigeria Premier League clubs that played continental matches and all the teams performed well,” he said. Maigari said that they had to contend with numerous issues when they first came into office in 2010. “We could not qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and our football lagged behind, but we were able to overcome all our challenges. “That was why we brought in a new coach to come and coach the Super Eagles, like most countries did, to rebuild and I think it’s been good so far,” he said. He described the peace that is currently reigning in the affairs of

the glass house as his greatest achievement, considering the crises they met on ground. “We had started this administration on a very rough note, taking the NFF to court became the norm for our antagonists, but we have put all that behind us now. “One must start by thanking God because of the sanity and peace flowing within the family, one will ever remain grateful to the Secretary to the Federal Government, Chief Ayim Pius Ayim. “Our collaboration with the Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC) also helped to stabilize things; that are one of our biggest achievements, thus far,” he added. Mr. Maigari also said that he intended to meet with Coach Stephen Keshi to ensure that necessary steps are taken to ensure a good outing for the team at the 2013 AFCON in South Africa holding in South Africa. He lauded Nigerians for their support for the achievement so far and called for fervent prayer to ensure the Eagles return home with the trophy the country won last 1994 in Tunisia.



Yobo blasts Osaze T

h e Super Eagles Captain, Joseph Yobo has advised West Bromwich Albion striker, Peter Osaze Odemwingie to "grow up." Odemwingie since Sunday has been attacking the Super Eagles' head coach, Stephen Keshi, Yobo, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the local media and a section of fans via social media networking site, Twitter after he was dropped from the nation's squad. Yobo while talking yesterday morning from Turkey believes that Odemwingie has a genuine case but has presented it "in the wrong way." The Fenerbahce centre-half also revealed that it is the second time that Odemwingie is including him in his rant. The 32-year-old defender did not fail to identify that Odemwingie was not the only high-profile player left out from Nigeria's Africa Cup of Nations

provisional squad. "The coach should be given credit (for his provisional squad). He cannot pick everyone. For me, Kalu Uche is a surprise one missing on the list. We have Obafemi Martins not on the list too. But only the coach can explain why. "I think I can understand his (Odemwingie's) frustration. I think he is left out not for football reasons. He has been very disrespectful. "Osaze is responsible for his problem. He's been fighting everyone and he needs to grow up. This is the second time he's calling me out. He needs to go look in the mirror. He did so in 2010 and later apologised. He should know better because he's not the (Lionel) Messi of Nigeria as there have been other top, top players before him. He might be saying the right things but he's doing so in the wrong way," Yobo said.

Joseph Yobo

NFF sure of Ameobi for AFCON


he Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has allayed fears over the availability of striker, Shola Ameobi for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. The Newcastle United Manager, Alan Pardew said this week that the forward will not be playing for the Super Eagles at next year's Afcon over reasons he initially refused to disclose. "Shola (Ameobi) won't be going (to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations). The national team manager (Stephen Keshi) knows the reasons, which I am keeping to myself," Pardew had declared. Keshi has subsequently said that he was oblivious of the reasons Pardew had

hinted about as he had never met nor spoken to the Newcastle United Manager in his life. The Super Eagles coach however revealed that after speaking with the striker on Christmas day that there was a clause in Ameobi's contract which would require him the benevolence of Pardew to allow him takes part at the Afcon. The NFF has however expressed confidence in securing the services of the player for the competition. "We have not official received any correspondence from Newcastle to the effect that Ameobi has such a clause in his contract but even if we do, that will

Shola Ameobi

not be a problem," Executive committee member of the Federation, Chris Green said. The NFF chief also expressed reservations about the news from Newcastle relating to the clause in Ameobi's contract. "Why would such a clause exist when the contract was signed over two years ago when Ameobi was not eligible to play for Nigeria? If there was to ever be such a clause, it would have been to prevent him from playing for England at the European championships because at that point, he was eligible to play for the Three Lions and not the Super Eagles," he reasoned. The NFF will proceed to make a complaint to the world football governing body, FIFA over the situation should Newcastle proceed with their threat of stopping Ameobi from playing for Nigeria at the 2013 Afcon. "If we go to FIFA, Newcastle will lose because article 31 (1) of the Fifa statutes clearly states that if a player is eligible to represent any federation, no clause of the player's contract at his club can restrict him from playing for his country. "If any such clause exists, it will be declared null and void. It's unfortunate that they think they can stop the player. If he doesn't play for us at the AFCON, its Newcastle that will lose because we will go to FIFA and stop him from playing for the club during the period," he said.

The former Everton man also revealed that the 2013 AFCON in South Africa will be his swansong in the continent's premier football championship. He also believes that next year's Afcon will be tougher as "there are no minnows any longer" but wants to win the African title as a parting shot. "There is no minnow's any longer in football. Many people didn't give Zambia the chance to win the last Nations Cup but they did. So we know that everyone now wants to beat Nigeria. "I'm going to try to win this one. It is my last Nations Cup as I won't have to deceive myself. I want to leave and allow the younger ones to have the chance to play," said Yobo. Yobo is Nigeria's most capped player with 87 appearances and could hit the 90-mark when the Afcon gets underway on January 19.

Shittu shuns Nigeria for Millwall FC


i l l w a l l defender, Danny Shittu has told the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) that he will not be available for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. The 32-year old defender was included in Nigeria's 32-man provisional squad by head coach, Stephen Keshi but he has now opted out of the competition. Shittu sent the NFF an e-mail on Thursday morning to make known his position. "Yes, we received an e-mail from Shittu yesterday morning and we are still studying the situation. "We cannot make an official statement until we are through with studying this, executive committee member of the NFF, Barrister Chris Green said. The Millwall manager, Kenny Jackett had declared last week that he would persuade the defender not to join the Nigerian squad for the AFCON. Shittu, who is the assistant captain of Millwall, has played 14 games for the championship side this season.

Ghanaian trio exit Dolphins


o l p h i n s FC of Port Harcourt has said that it Ghanaian players James Amankwei, Owusu Addae and Seidu Abuu have headed for greener pastures. Owusu, who won the Nigeria Premier League with Dolphins in 2011, joined the Port-Harcourt side from Heartland, while Amankwei also joined

from the Owerri side after several seasons at JUTH FC. Abuu made his NPL debut with Dolphins last term. "I have offers from other Nigerian teams, but I might consider a move to Malaysia, where there is a serious proposal," Amankwei said. Bayelsa United are one the clubs

interested in Amankwei since club gaffer, Ladan Bosso, remains a long time admirer of the Ghanaian. Report had it that the duo of Addae and Abuu are also considering offers abroad. The trio made history as Dolphins emerged the club with the largest foreign contingent last term.

Danny Shittu



Cazorla warns Arsenal's opponents S

a n t i Cazorla has warned Arsenal's rivals that his midfield partnership with Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere is developing rapidly, ahead of today's home game with Newcastle United. The Gunners have strung together three successive Premier League wins, with the midfield trio starting together against West Bromwich Albion, Reading and Wigan Athletic, and contributing a total of six goals. Those results helped Arsenal briefly climb up to third in the table, although they now find themselves in seventh place after their fixture against West Ham United on Wednesday was postponed because of a transport strike in London. But with Newcastle next to visit the Emirates Stadium, Spanish midfield star Cazorla believes the best is yet to come from his compatriot and 20-year-old Wilshere, who signed a new contract to keep him at the club until 2018 earlier this month after 17 months out with injuries. Cazorla added: "He (Wilshere) has amazing potential. Every day he is gaining more confidence, he is forgetting about the injury, and he is a key player that can influence the result in a game. Wilshere has made eight Premier League starts since his comeback in October, although

he has yet to score in the league. Arsenal were dumped out of the League Cup by third-tier side Bradford City and go into the meeting with Alan Pardew's Newcastle trailing leaders Manchester United by 16 points, albeit with a game in hand. Wilshere says he never doubted that he would extend his stay in north London and paid tribute to manager Arsene Wenger's role in his development. Alan Pardew admits injuries and suspension mean he will send out an inexperienced side at the Emirates. The Newcastle manager is without most of his first-choice midfield after Vurnon Anita and Jonas Gutierrez became the latest additions to an already over-crowded treatment room. Dutch international Anita left the pitch on a stretcher with ankle ligament damage during Wednesday's 4-3 defeat at Manchester United, a result that leaves the north-east club still searching for an away win in the league this season. Argentina midfielder Gutierrez is sidelined for at least a week after an injection to cure a persistent knee problem, while Yohan Cabaye, Steven Taylor, Hatem Ben Arfa, Ryan Taylor, and Dan Gosling are already out long-term. Ivory Coast international Cheick Tiote

Santi Cazorla returns from suspension, but that is offset by defender Mike Williamson starting a onematch ban after reaching five bookings. Midfielder James Perch is likely to drop into the back four to cover. Newcastle remain five points above the relegation zone after suffering defeat in seven of their last nine league games, and Pardew confessed: "We've got numerous injuries, which leaves us with a very inexperienced midfield.

Olympic medallist turns professional


Anthony Ogogo

o n d o n 2012 bronze medallist Anthony Ogogo has signed his first professional contract, with his debut paid fight set to be announced shortly. Middleweight Ogogo, 24, has joined Los Angeles-based promoter Golden Boy Promotions. Ogogo has been contemplating whether to turn pro since his podium finish at London 2012. He produced a memorable Olympic moment when he upset Ukraine's world number one Ievgen Khytrov in a thrilling bout on his way to a bronze medal. He said in October that he may have to forego his "massive desire" to go to Rio 2016 in favour of turning professional.


Benni McCarthy


ô t e d'Ivoire's coach Sabri Lamouchi has announced his list of 23 players to compete in the 2013 Afcon finals in South Africa. The list was unveiled during a press conference at the Ivoirian Federation's headquarters in Abidjan-Treichville. As expected, midfielder Jean-Jacques Gosso and winger Kader Keita, both without a club at the moment, will not be part of the continental showpiece, as won't CSKA Moscou's striker Seydou Doumbia who has been struggling for a long time with a back injury. Without any surprise, Shanghai Shenhua's forward and Chelsea's legend Didier Drogba will lead the Elephants in South Africa, together with Gervinho and Salomon Kalou at the forefront of the Côte d'Ivoire attacking force. Crowned African player of the year for the second time in a row, Yaya Touré will run the show in the midfield, while his brother Kolo, back in action with Manchester City, keeps his spot at the heart of the defence. Despite a huge lack of game time with Paris Saint-Germain, Siaka Tiéné managed to secure the confidence of the coach and will be in competition with Arthur Boka for the left-back position. Called-up for the friendly against Austria, Brest's young defender Ismaël Traoré will make the trip to the rainbow nation, as will former Séwé Sports' goalkeeper, Badra Ali Sangaré, third choice between the posts behind Copa Barry and Daniel Yeboah.

Ogogo's exploits in London dramatically raised his profile and attracted the attention of numerous promoters, including former world champion Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy organisation and the Barry Hearn-owned Matchroom Sport. He opted to join Golden Boy, who released a statement which said a date, venue and opponent for Ogogo's professional debut will be announced shortly. Anthony Ogogo played for Norwich City FC as a junior but has been competing in the boxing ring since the age of 12 Ogogo's honours list also includes a European silver medal (2012), Commonwealth Games silver medal (2010) and Junior Olympics gold medal (2004).

McCarthy, Mathoho withdraw from camp h e South Africa National team known as Bafana Bafana has asked Benni McCarthy and Erick Mathoho to leaved Johannesburg the training camp of the team due to injury. It is a risk for the duo to play for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations due to injuries, a huge disappointment for Orlando Pirates striker McCarthy and Kaizer Chiefs defender Mathoho. McCarthy is suffering from a troublesome hamstring while Mathoho has a knee injury. "It is a blow when any player called up

Ivory Coast name 23 man squad

for the national team pulls out due to injury. It would have been a great situation to have both of them here," said national team coach Gordon Igesund. Meanwhile, Ayanda Patosi and Andile Jali were given a break from training as a precautionary measure. Both have niggling ankle injuries but are expected to join their teammates at training yesterday. Due to club commitments, Englandbased Kagisho Dikgacoi and Dean Furman, as well as Darren Keet, who plays in Belgium, will not be part of the training camp.

Didier Drogba

WEEKEND FIXTURES Barclays Premier League Sunderland v Tottenham Aston Villa v Wigan Fulham v Swansea Man Utd v West Brom Norwich v Man City Reading v West Ham Stoke v Southampton Arsenal v Newcastle Sunday Everton v Chelsea QPR v Liverpool




Memories of 2012, Germany correspondent Stephen Uersfeld picks out Borussia Dortmund’s DFB-Pokal final triumph over Bayern Munich as his highlight

Alan Pardew had called for the Football Association to take action over Sir Alex Ferguson’s misconduct towards officials during Manchester United’s 4-3 win over Newcastle on Boxing Day

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech praised Rafa Benitez for his side’s defensive improvement after the Blues kept consecutive Premier League clean sheets for the first time in more than a year

Radamel Falcao is keen to see out the season with Atletico Madrid as a gesture of gratitude to club president Enrique Cerezo scuppering Chelsea and Man City’s hopes of landing him in January

Australia captain Michael Clarke hits his 22nd Test century to become his country's highest run scorer in a calendar year




How massive debts cripple Kwara economy, education From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he essence of government loans is for infrastructural development and the servicing of basic items needed by the people. But the reverse is the case in Kwara. The more the state economy is plunged into debt, the more the people get impoverished. It would be recalled that the N30 billion bond collected by Dr Bukola Saraki's administration as well as loans sought by local government chairmen were meant to fund Kwara state University (KWASU), water supply in Ilorin, Metropolitan Square, Ilorin Cargo and Aviation College, road projects among other capital projects. Despite the loan which is now repaid monthly with N800 million deduction from federal allocation, residents of Ilorin have not been supplied potable water as promised. Besides, people at the grassroots are

even finding it difficult to sponsor their kids to primary and secondary schools. Apart from bad roads linking rural areas to the cities, low turnout in schools by both pupils and teachers are now the regular feature of the education system. Aside that the loans are hardly used for what they are sourced for, the fact that they have to be serviced regularly with high interest rate makes it difficult for people to enjoy from the allocations that enter the state purse. A group, Patriotic Youth Initiative for Poverty Eradication (PYIPE) has disclosed that more than 75 percent total population of people living in Kwara state lives in extremely poverty. State Coordinator of the group, Yusuf Muftau Animashaun who stated this in a statement noted that the result was due to economic constraint. "The overwhelming majority of them are women and young people in rural communities. The

number of people living in poverty has increased dramatically and the risk of falling into poverty is higher for low income earners. Residents of rural households are poorer because they have fewer economic opportunities and less or no skill to earn a living." Animashaun who suggested community youth enterprise programmes to alleviate poverty among the youths said government need to provide vocational skills, life planning education and microcredit for communities. In some instances, pupils in public primary schools cannot go to school because their parents cannot afford just school uniform, sanders and exercise books. Then, the question begging for answer is what is the significance of government budgets on the life of people? What are the roles of Ministry of Education and SUBEB on public schools? Where is the international and domestic fund for education development in the state? Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed's over N8


Despite the loan which is now repaid monthly with N800 million deduction from federal allocation, residents of Ilorin have not been supplied potable water as promised. Besides, people at the grassroots are even finding it difficult to sponsor their kids to primary and secondary schools

Abdufatah Ahmed, Governor Kwara State

billion budget is also yet to manifest in the lives of the people. Contrary to the expectations of the people, education sector was been ridden with decay while students drop out of school on a daily basis due to poverty. The intervention of Education Sector Support Programmes In Nigeria (ESSPIN) in some rural areas relieve parents who are fighting hard to make ends meet. Funded by the British government, ESSPIN is an organisation with a mandate to ensure that all children of school age are returned to school. At Kaima, a town in the state, pupils were not going to schools because of lack of books, school uniforms, shoes and bags all of which were provided by ESSPIN. On December 4, 2012, 2,355 pupils were given uniforms, sanders, books, school bags, socks by the organisation. At the ceremony held at various schools including Vobera, Nasarrawa Gatte, Tenebo,Tunga Garuwa, Hamdallahi,Nuku, Bani Sullia, Olori,Dada,Bani Moshe, Ka'Agbona, Adogun,Degeji, Nomadic Gorobani, London, Moshe Gada, Gwaria Labe,Tunga Zabarma,Camp and Gwetekuta primary school, it was a dream come true. Pupils with old and bad knickers got new ones. Those with bare foot smiled home with sanders while parents who watched behind the scene praised ESSPIN for coming to their rescue. But the concern of people of the area was that if the organisation leaves Nigeria in year 2014 as planned, what would become of education sector and pupil in Kwara state. Like Musa, a pupils of Gwetekuta primary school, his future was still bright as he expressed happiness over the gesture of the gifts. While speaking at a point of distribution, Kaima LG Chairman, Alh Abubakar Sidiq Ahmed noted that with the intervention of ESSPIN in his area, a number of children roaming the streets during the school hours has reduced. He promised that if the local government is properly funded, they would sustain the programme of the organisation. The Chairman of Challenged fund, Mrs A A Kolawole in her speech noted that if foreign organisation like ESSPIN is helping people of the state, "what about us". Kolawole who disclosed that in the past, 40 pupils are regular pupils in a primary school in Kaima said the population has increased to 140 plus, stressing that local government should not stop the N10,000 pay monthly to support N15,000 salary pay to twenty teachers employed by ESSPIN. The Permanent Member three of SUBEB, Alh Sulyman Dadi who appealed to ESSPIN to extend their activities to Lafiagi, said in his speech at Kaima that the contribution of ESSPIN has really developed the education sector in the state. In his remark, the team Leader of ESSPIN in Kwara, Mrs Emma Mba disclosed that six teachers employed by her organisation who were not ready to stay in Kaima have been replaced by new teachers that are ready to stay in the community. She added that the sustenance of the programme was left to the community and government stressing that if the people are hostile to their visitors, it would be difficult for teachers to stay within their community.




Immigration: Its plan to tarnish image of Minister, says aide Salihu Dantata Mahmud is the Director of Publicity, Arewa Youths for Peace and Security, he was also the former National Secretary of the de-registered Action Party of Nigeria and now, Personal Assistant to the Honourable Minister of Interior, Abba Moro on Media. In this interview with Adeola Tukuru, he bares his mind on the controversies surrounding the recruitment exercise of the immigration service, saying critics are at work to tarnish image of the minister. Excerpt.


ecently some national dailies took up the issue of alleged fraudulent practice in the immigration service as regards recruitment. What is your own opinion on the matter? In the first place, the reports were unfair to the honourable minister as they did not seek to speak or hear his own side of the story. As a veteran journalist myself, I know that they are supposed to have balanced the story by speaking with all the parties involved, and not just publishing what they heard or were told by people, even if such reports are meaningful, the imbalance makes it meaningless. It was based on this fault that I responded on behalf of the Minister by refuting the section of the report that said special consideration was given to the Honourable Minister as the supervising Minister and he in turn gave the allotted slots to only his local government. And I responded by saying that the Honourable Minister is a true Nigerian who does not believe in tribalism, religious consideration and has zero tolerance for malpractices and fraudulent practices, as such he cannot succumb to allocating appointments meant for his state to his local government alone. And I continued by saying that since it is being rumored that cabinet reshuffle is imminent, it is very possible that some critics are at it again to malign the image of the minister. Is that why the FG or minister cancelled the exercise, don’t you think it would have been better to set up an investigative panel to look into the matter? Well, as an appointee, I cannot decide for the Minister what steps to take or what to say, mind you, the Minister is a public figure and there to serve the interest of Nigerians, the cancellation as you said might have been the outcome of their consultation with the stakeholders, when I say stakeholders, I mean the Minister, the Presidency, Permanent Secretary and even the immigration Comptroller General as well as

Salihu Dantata Mahmud the board members of CIPB, as the Minister may not have taken the decision alone. You reportedly said Nigerians should put away sentiments and work as one to achieve one goal, peace and unity. Were you referring to some people? Because I know it was the Peoples Daily Weekend that first reported the scandal, followed by the Daily Trust and This day, were you referring to the media? I have reasons for saying that, you know am a Northerner from the northcentral, same as the Minister too, except if we say that my state, Kwara and the Minister’s state Benue are no longer in the north. You see if the reporters had sought the Minister’s angle or the Permanent Secretary’s they would have had a better report to present to the public. If the reporters had fully interacted with the Minister before putting up the report, I wouldn’t have responded at all, after all am also a media man, and that is my immediate constituency. If the immigration as one of the

Paramilitary forces under the ministry decided to goof, how is it the problem of the Minister? The Minister is not an angel to know what is happening everywhere at every time. So, it is very possible that he is not aware of what was going on and he was innocently accused. It was this particular aspect that pained me so well and moved me to quickly respond. Let me tell youwithout fear or favour, that it is not only agencies under the interior Ministry that are

involved in employment racketeering, I can reliably tell you that the FRSC, Customs Service and police do it at all times. I had a particular case of an applicant who told me on condition of anonymity that he bought his appointment letter with the sum of five hundred thousand naira (N500, 000) through a customs syndicate. Where were these reporters when these were happening? So I had expected a general report that could unravel such syndicates that engage in the selling of appointment letters in order to put a stop to it, and we have the EFCC and the ICPC in existence, to look into such things. And don’t forget the fact that the syndicates do not operate alone, they operate with the connivance of insiders of the affected government agencies. The applicants too who, desperately purchase employment letters are criminals, if not why accept to buy appointment letters illegally. Hence forth, they should all be prosecuted together; I mean the buyers and the sellers, to serve as deterrent to others. As a newly appointed Personal Assistant to the interior Minister, what expertise are you going to bring to the ministry? Like I told you earlier, I am an activist media man, I don’t believe in bureaucratic bottlenecks, I like doing things candidly, even if it will infringe on my own rights as a person. I have worked in other government institutions before including the interior ministry briefly; I was

I had a particular case of an applicant who told me on condition of anonymity that he bought his appointment letter with the sum of five hundred thousand naira (N500, 000) through a customs syndicate

Personal Assistant (Private) to the then Special Assistant to the Internal Affair Minister on security, Major Lawal Bala Gusau (Rtd) during Abdulrahman Okene’s tenure as minister. And it was in the same ministry that I got to know Alhaji Yayale Mahmud Ahmed, then a Director in charge of business and citizenship in the early nineties. So am going to ensure that members of my community, the 4 th Estate of the realm, my respected pressmen have access to the honourable minister when necessary, especially when it has to do with issues of national importance. And also, am going to do what is right, when it is right and how it is right on issues of the ministry which has a lot to offer to the nation, and there are strategies to be employed in achieving the set objectives of the ministry and the cooperation of the media is paramount in achieving results. Tell us about your relationship with the minister, which you said dates back to when he was a local government chairman. Comrade Patrick Abba Moro, the interior minister is a man that I knew from the time he was a local government chairman, and also as chairman of the Benue State chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) it was his laudable and remarkable achievements as Okpokwu council chairman in Benue State that made me have great respect for him so it is not as if we are just knowing each other. That was what informed my comments in some national dailies that he is a reputable person who believes in the oneness of the country and an elder Statesman, who is credible and a Comrade, who hates sectionalism. My accepting to serve him at this crucial time is as a result of these sterling qualities of his. If not, as a former national scribe of a party, what am I looking for as a Minister’s aide? These are questions that might likely come to the minds of people.



From the Pulpit Reflecting on 2012 with Thanksgiving



h i s year ends on Monday. This is the time to reflect on the year before we bid it farewell. As individuals and as a nation, we need to give thanks to God for keeping us alive to see this day. Despite all the overwhelming security challenges of the year in the country, we can still say that Nigeria is a "land for which the LORD your [our] God cares; the eyes of the LORD your [our] God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year." (Deut 11:12 NKJV) We need to thank God for all that He has done for us in the year. Don't be an ungrateful child of God. All your hopes and aspirations may not have been achieved this year but you cannot deny God's kindness upon your life. As this year comes to an end, you need to offer sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the Lord not an avalanche of grumbling. (Ps 107:22, 116:17, Amos 4:5) If you're godly, you will thank Him. "May all who are godly be happy in the LORD and praise his holy name!" (Ps 97:12 NLT) Give God thanks for all His mercies upon your life. Give Him thanks forallHismarvelousworks.Manythings God did for you this year that you weren't even aware of - victories over unseen battles. Thank Him for these also. (Pss 106:1, 107:1, 118:1, 136:1-3) Let your heart desire be like that of the psalmist in Ps 30:12: "To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever." (NKJV) Whatever you've received from the Lordthisyearisnotaright;itisaprivilege, therefore you must be grateful for everything. There is nothing you are qualifiedforfromGod;yourqualification,

as a child of God, is in Christ Jesus. When you show gratitude to God, you give Him theopportunitytorepeatinyourlifewhat He has done for you - His kindness in your life. Whatever is rewarded is repeated.Ifyoudonotknowhowtoshow appreciation, the sea of kindness for you will dry up. The Bible tells us the story of nine ungrateful lepers. "Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, 'Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!' So when He saw them, He said to them, 'Go, show yourselves to the priests.' And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, 'Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?' And He said to him, 'Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.'" (Luke 17:12-19 NKJV) Jesus healed these ten lepers but the healing manifested on their way to show themselves to the priest as required by the law. While nine of the lepers went away without returning to Jesus, if only to confirm that they had been actually healed,onlyonelepercamebacktothank him for the healing. And it is instructive that the Bible remarks that the leper who came back to show gratitude was a foreigner. The New Living Translation rendersthewordforeignerasSamaritan. Samaritans were despised by Jews yet the despised Samaritan was the one who


The call and ministry of spiritual watchmen (I)

s we look at our privilege in the New Testament, we will have to glorify God who has called us unto himself, into His own presence, so that we can be what the Old Testament people could not be. In the Old Testament, only few people were able to come near to God to such a point that He would make them watchmen, prophets and the people who would reveal His glory and light to the nation. These were few people specially selected so that they would be able to reveal His mind, His will and His word to their own generation. But in the case of those of us who have come to know the Lord today, all of us are called to show his will, His light, his word and his mind to our generation. In Israel in those days, watchmen were very significant to the city of Jerusalem because that was their capital city. The choice of the watchmen was personally looked into by the king himself who wanted vigilant watchmen on the towers and walls of Jerusalem. The watchmen were very close to the captains of the army of Israel because of vintage and strategic position they held for the protection, preservation and security of the city. Anyone chosen to that position of being a watchman was actually regarded as a trustworthy, vigilant and wise person, having love, passion and compassion for the capital city of Jerusalem and for the nation of Israel, His responsibilities were great, and so were also his rewards. Watchmen were necessary not only for Jerusalem but in every city of Israel in those days. These were vigilant servants of the nation and they were for protection and security of the nation. They were also warning to the

nation of Israel so that they would remain in peace and rest. God referred to the prophets and spiritual leaders of Israel as watchmen over Israel. As we look at the call and ministry of spiritual watchmen in the word of God, you need to apply this to yourself because if you are a child of God, this is the calling God has given you. “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman, unto the house of Israel; therefore hear the word at my mouth and give them warning from me” (Ezekiel 3:17) In the scripture above, Ezekiel was called by God Himself to be a watchman unto the house of Israel. But we must first of all ask ourselves, what kind of person was Ezekiel? What was his relationship with God? What qualified him to become a watchman over the house of Israel? Why was he called to be a watchman when others were not? If you look at it from the beginning, you will see that Ezekiel had a relationship with God. “The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest.....the hand of the Lord was there upon him” (Ezekiel 1:3) The priest was a person who was concerned for the nation, making atonement for the sins of the nation. Obviously, he could not make atonement for the sins of others if his own had not been cleansed, forgiven and atoned for. So, the very first thing we notice about Ezekiel and every watchman that God Himself specially selects is that his own sins are cleansed and atoned for. A time must have come in your own life when you go on

had the courtesy to come back to thank Jesus. And to him Jesus said, "Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well." TheAmericanStandardVersionrenders the latter part thus: "Arise, and go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole." That comment of Jesus suggests that the other nine lepers were only healed but not made whole. Showing gratitude to God for His mercies, His kindness will makeyou,yourhome,yourmarriageetc. whole. The nine lepers that didn't return to thank Jesus for his healing were most probably Jews because they were not foreigners. They must have seen Jesus as one of them. They took him for granted. That's what a lot of people do. Hit and run! But you should never take God for granted at this time of the year and always. God does not owe you anything.Don'tbecometoofamiliarwith His goodness. If anyone should take God for granted, he should have been Jesus Christ as the Son of God but he never did.Hegavethanksalways."AndHetook the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks,brokethemandgavethemtoHis disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude." (Matt 15:36 NKJV) Again in Matt 26:27, he did the same thing. "Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you.'" (NKJV) Mk 8:6, 14:23, Lk 22:17-19 and John 6:11, 23 all record Jesus' giving thanks to God. He never took God for granted. Familiarity breeds contempt but not in Jesus' relationship with God. No wonder the Bible tells us to give thanks always for all things. "Giving thanks always for all things to God the

By Pastor T.O. Banso GSM: 08033113523 Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph 5:20NKJV) Col 3:17 also says, "And whatever you do in word or deed,doallinthenameoftheLordJesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." (NKJV) The Book of Psalm severally underscored the need to give thanks to God for all His goodness and kindness. We are told to come before His presence with thanksgiving. "Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms." (Ps 95:2 NKJV), Ps 100:4 says, "Enter into Hisgateswiththanksgiving,AndintoHis courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name." (NKJV) Ps 105:1says,"OhgivethanksuntoJehovah, call upon his name; make known among thepeopleshisdoings."(ASV)Howagain might we give thanks to the Lord? Ps 147:7 says, "Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; Sing praises on the harp to our God." (NKJV) As the song writer says, "Count your blessings, name them one by one and it willsurpriseyouwhattheLordhasdone" In the remaining few hours of this year, take stock of your life, and thank God for all that the Lord has done for you. Ingratitudeisasin.TosaythatGodhasn't done anything for you to deserve your thanksgiving is to be ungrateful. Don't be


Pastor W. F. Kumuyi your knees before the Lord, and you repent of your sins with sorrow and agony of heart. This is because sinner cannot make atonement for the sins of other sinners; a sinner cannot be a watchman over the souls of other sinners. A person who is careless and live under the clutches of Satan cannot be a watchman over other people, to deliver them from the power of darkness. In verse three of chapter one of the book of Ezekiel, we are told that the word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the prophet. He has a living relationship with God and he had been so reconciled with God that he was on talking terms with Him. So then, if you are watchman over the souls of others, obviously, you are very conversant with the bible, and as you read the bible daily and regularly, the word of the Lord is always coming to you expressly. Then, in the later part of verse three: “...the hand of the Lord was there upon me” This means that he was under the control, authority and power of God; that means he was controlled by the word of God in everything he did. In

the Old Testament, only a few people were in such a condition. But in the New Testament, all those who profess to be born again are supposed to be under the control of the mighty power of God. So, to be a watchman, you should be born again, and the hand of the Lord should be upon your life. It is only then you can be a real effective vigilant watchman over the souls of other people. “And he said unto me, son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee” ( Ezekiel 2:1) In the passage of scripture above, we see that Ezekiel was available to God; any time God wanted to speak to him, he was available. Are you always available for God to speak to you? Before you take a decision, in the actions of your life and as you live from day to day, are you always available for God to speak to you? “And the spirit entered into me when He spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me” ( Ezekiel 2:2)

like those ungrateful nine lepers. Thank God with your words, with your songs, with all that is within you and with all that you have. I wish you a prosperous New Year! TAKE ACTION! If you are not born again, kindly say this prayer now: "0 Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you Jesus for saving me and making me a child of God" I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible believing, Bible teaching church in your area where you will be taught how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things becoming all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. Happy New Year in advance! See you in 2013 if the Lord tarries!

In the Old Testament, they were not baptised in the Holy Ghost. But there were times when some of these specially selected people had the privilege of the Spirit of God coming upon them and entering within them. Today, it is a privilege that after you are saved can be sanctified, and after you are sanctified, you can be baptised in the Holy Ghost. Unfortunately, there are many people today who are neglecting the privilege of sanctification and baptism in the Holy Ghost. There are even some people that we cannot definitely say they are truly born again, and that they are living in holiness, in complete freedom from outward sin. Are you really a child of God and your sins have been totally taken away? Can you say that your wife is happy and grateful to God that she has married a real Christian who will not ill-treat her? Can people at your place of work testify that you are a true child of God? Can your employers testify about your Christianity? Can they see honesty, sincerity and humility in you? Let’s not forget, Ezekiel was a saved man before he was chosen to be a watchman over the house of Israel. A part from salvation, you must be very sure that you are sanctified and that the adamic nature has been taken away from your heart. More so, you must be baptised in the Holy Ghost so that every part of your life, conversation, ministry, outreach and involvement in the ministry of the work of God in the church will be totally under the control and anointing of the spirit of God. (To be continued)

BIG PUNCH “Since there is quality before the law, the government should stop giving the impression that the lives of certain Nigerians are more precious than those of others.” – Femi Falana criticising the federal government for paying more attention to Yakowa and Azazi ahead of other victims of the last helicopter crash in Bayelsa


The war of the vultures


s there a religious crisis in Nigeria? The answer, of course, is a resounding no, even though the powers that be want Nigerians to believe there is one. what belies their claim is the simple fact that in every sector of life where people benefit, enrich and strengthen one another, conflict is rare and far between. In the market place which is the hub of human activity, where the widest and most complex possible variety of people converge and interact for their good, and derive their livelihood and sustenance, hardly does conflict and conflagration arise. People sell goods to willing and able buyers, totally oblivious of background or origin or ethnicity or religion. People buy what they can afford or what mostly appeals to them or satisfies their needs, from whoever and wherever they can find it. In hospital, people look for a cure from whichever doctor, the only bias they can afford is expertise; the more skilled is the more sought after. In industries, classrooms, laboratories where creativity which helps uplift the quality of life, there is no space for conflict. In many other affairs vital to life, trade, health, transportation, manufacture, agriculture or whatever, the criteria in majority of cases are excellence, competence, integrity, expertise and dependability. When bias overrides those criteria danger looms. For benefits to flow freely and with maximum effect, human interactions must be natural and unencumbered. Leave the people alone, Prophet Muhammad said in relation to trade, they will enrich one another. This is the essence of interdependence. Even in the murky politics of Nigeria which is riddled, as it is often claimed, with religious cleavages, God is rarely mentioned, and conflict based on faith rarely occurs. Quest for power and privilege and self aggrandizement overrides all considerations for God or for religion. Power mongers of course sometimes fight, but their war is similar to the war of the vultures: at peace when the carcass is bountiful and can go round, at war when it is scanty and can not go round. So cabinets, even of the most diverse combination, do enjoy


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peace and tranquility because the yields at their disposal are plentiful, and they can afford to diligently maintain the doctrine of honor among thieves. War of 'ethnicity' and 'religion' will certainly ensue in the event of draught, just as vultures devour one another in the event of hunger or willful denial of access. Thanks to the infinite resources available to them to share, over and over and over again, those at the helm here in Nigeria are perhaps the most hearty and boisterous politicians in the world. They, as governors and above, as legislators or ministers, always appear supple, in body, in dress, in demeanor, in life styles; their ever ready burst of laughter means that they believe that every thing is alright with the country they manage, not a country brought low by poverty and penury. War, to them, is the most remote of all possibilities except when there is a threat of denial of access. In that case, even a struggle over who occupies the chair of local government, the lowest in the hierarchy of the power structure, can result in a human tragedy of biblical proportion. In principle, what is called religious crisis amounts to no more than this - the war of the vultures. Human beings live in the first instance as families and neighbors, where interactions are most involving and deep. Neighbor in normal circumstance prefers and in most cases does live in peace and harmony with neighbor, because they share the same environment and mutually benefit each other. And this is precisely where the practice of faith begins. Faith entails being good to the neighbor. This is how people in Nigeria have lived, this is how they want to live, like every human community in the world. The necessity for people to live together in peace and harmony has always been the goal of Islam. Peace is better than war. Zachary Karabell, in People of the Book, whose thought we shall follow in this and next paragraph tells us how Islam has, throughout its history, sought to integrate rather than divide people of diverse faiths, cultures and races and how that policy and attitude has helped build Islam and build human civilization. Islam, he says,

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WEEKEND Ibraheem Sulaiman

The Ka’abah emerged as a dominant force on the world stage through an eruption of intellectual and philosophical creativity that has rarely been exceeded: 'this flowering of inquiry, this preservation of knowledge and advancement of math, science, and philosophy took place in an environment where Muslim rulers welcomed and invited interaction with the people of the Book, [that is, Jews, Christians and others of Higher Religion].' The undoubtedly massive and sustained intellectual and cultural osmosis, resulting from the heated, passionate embrace of coexistence fostered by Islam an embrace which, to be sure, was to be expected where many faiths and cultures and civilizations converge, sometimes friendly, often competitive, occasionally contemptuous, and now and then violent - ignited a cultural renaissance, first in the Muslim world, then across the world. Every body profited. As Karabell

puts it: 'Muslims ruled, but the People of the Book thrived; between them they created a jewel, a golden light.' Vibrant societies are often the product of unexpected and jarring interactions with strangers, and society become rigid, brittle and complacent when not forced to confront alien groups. In Muslim Spain for example, Muslims, Christians and Jews lived side by side, and they in turn were connected to international communities of other Muslims, Christians and Jews, whom they visited and traded with, and who visited and traded with them. Of course there were occasional conflicts and wars. But there were also creativity and knowledge, science and culture, prosperity and renaissance, and above all, there was the rebirth of humanity. The truth, however, is well stated by Karabell. 'Muslims, Christians and Jews are entwined, but their history is as varied as the story of the human race. It points in no one direction, or in

all directions,' he emphasizes. 'If conflict is what we want to see, there is conflict. But if peace is what we are looking for, then peace is there to be found.' If religion is not the threat, if it is not the crisis, where then is the threat, the crisis? One major threat to Nigeria among others, is the unprecedented plunder of its resources that has been going on nonstop and unrelentingly in the last few years. Punch [25/ 11/12] reports that from the Petroleum Task Force report; the Minister of Trade and Investment's report on stolen crude; the House of Representatives fuel subsidy report and investigations into the ecological fund, SIM card registration and frequency band spectrum sale, Nigeria lost more than $31 billion, or N5 trillion. The Oil sector in particular has since become an uncontrollable sieve, with Nigeria struggling in vain for the control of its oil resources against plunderers of all shades and sizes, and from all parts of the world. Punch reports that, in June, a special naval team impounded a French ship, MT Vannessa, at Brass Loading Terminal, Bayelsa State, for allegedly stealing 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the country. These and other thefts and plunders in every sector and at every level of government have cumulative effects: a vicious war rages on between poverty and prosperity, the later employing scorched earth policy, depopulating the domain of prosperity, reducing it to ashes. So despite the unprecedented wealth of their country, the predominant majority of the Nigerian people - more than one hundred million so far - live in absolute poverty. "It remains a paradox that despite the fact that the Nigerian economy is growing, the proportion of Nigerians living in poverty is increasing every year," Statistician General of the Federation, Dr Yemi Kale, lamented some months ago. The meaning is clear: what belongs to the people does not reach the people. No threat to Nigeria is at the moment more potent, and the threat escalates menacingly in leaps and bounds, every minute!

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: +234-09-8734478. Cell: +234 803 606 3308. e-mail:; ISSN: 2141– 6141

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Saturday 29, December, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Saturday 29, December, 2012 Weekend Edition

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Saturday 29, December, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Saturday 29, December, 2012 Weekend Edition