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Vol. 9 No. 14

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Unity Bank wins coveted ISO certification >> PAGE 2

. . . putting the people first

Shawwal 12, 1433 AH

Police arrest Andy Uba mentioned ‘700-year-old in alleged $15m spirit’ in Kano Ibori bribe >> PAGE 3


JTF alerts Maiduguri residents over threat pamphlets

>> PAGE 3

>> PAGE 5

2015: We are ready for PDP, says Buhari …As Sen. Adamu backs bid for northern President From Edwin Olofu, Kano and Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


he National Leader of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), General Muhammdu Buhari (rtd) has said that his party is ready to face the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 general elections. This is just as former Governor of Nasarawa state, Senator Abdullahi Adamu has thrown his weight behind the quest for the North to produce the next President come 2015 General Buhari who may have already started strategic political overtures ahead of 2015, spoke in Kano when he paid a surprise courtesy call on Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano state yesterday. The party leader, who was in Kano to open his party's office said unlike in 2011 when the party was newly formed, the CPC is currently working assiduously ahead of the 2015 elections. He cited intra and inter -party squabbles as the reasons behind the party's failure in most of the states and in the presidential Contd on Page 2

Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar (left), inspecting 40 patrol vans after inauguration, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

Why Nnaji was forced to resign — FG By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem, Abuja & Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Federal Government yesterday said Prof. Barth Nnaji resigned as Minister of Power in order to enhance the credibility of the on-going power sector reforms process. Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, who stated this yesterday after the weekly

NLC wants him investigated meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) said Nnaji was made to resign on Tuesday over conflicts of interest which stem from the involvement of his company in the bidding for the purchase of some Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor companies.

This is just as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to investigate Nnaji's tenure as minister which has been trailed by allegations of fraud and underhand dealings. The former minister had yesterday admitted that a

company he had interest in actually bided to be a successor company but noted that he did not know until during the evaluation of the consortia. Falling short of saying that Nnaji's interest threatened transparency of the process, Maku Contd on Page 2


29th Aug, 2012


BUYING 154.8 245.6 194 0.2748 41

S ELLING 155.8 247 195 0.2948 41.5


BUYING 201 257 40 159

S ELLING 203 259 42 161























Court dismisses Echocho’s suit against Wada, Page 37

International 32-34 Digest








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Unity Bank wins coveted ISO certification for information security By Aminu Imam


nity Bank Plc has won the certification of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for information security. The certification qualified Unity Bank for ISO 27001 ISMS which is an international recognition for the Bank's management practices covering

people, process and technology in the area of information processing. In a notice to the Bank, this month, ISO, which is the world's largest developer of voluntary international standards, said the certification is for a period of three years after which the bank will be re-examined for renewal of the certification. Industry analysts believe the feat achieved by the bank puts it

on international pedestal as a financial brand and guarantees its customers peace of mind in the area of information integrity. Only three other Nigerian banks - First bank, Fidelity and Access have attained this international standardization status. Reacting to the certification, the Managing Director of Unity Bank Plc, Ado Wanka said the achievement is indicative of the

hard work staff, Management and Board of the Bank had put in over the years since the bank came into existence about six years ago. Much more, Wanka said, it is part of the larger plan to rejuvenate the bank and place it on a position to compete locally and internationally. The formal presentation of the certificate to the bank is expected to take place in September this year.

2015: We are ready for PDP, says Buhari Contd from Page 1

election, but noted that despite the problems the party still put up a good performance in the elections. "I am here to open our party office for Kano state. After what happened, by the intra and the inter-party squabbles which ended up from the tribunal to the Supreme Court, we are about to settle down to face you squarely your Excellency." Buhari decried the level of abuse of the constitution and the electoral laws by those at the helm of affairs, saying that in Nigeria the only thing that has not been tampered with by those in power since 1999 is the Holy Book. "Let me quickly remind us from 1999 to now legally we are operating five or six documents; firstly the Constitution of the Federal Republic itself and then the Electoral Act which is derived from the constitution and the most important part of the Electoral Act is how to register political associations into political parties and anybody who wants to participate in elective offices from councilor to the Presidency must have a platform and the

platform must be one of the registered political parties and these political parties are not supposed to be registered until their constitution and their manifestos have satisfied the criteria set out by the constitution of Nigeria. "And then before any election, there will be Electoral Act, 2002 for 2003 elections, 2006 for 2007 elections, 2010 for 2011 elections. We are supposed to work strictly within this parameter but this is Nigeria, nothing is perfect; the only thing they cannot tamper with is the Holy Quran itself," he stated. Responding, Governor Kwankwaso commended Buhari for the friendly visit though they were not in the same party saying it was an indication of tolerance. He said such visit will improve relationship of both party members "since politics is not a do or die affair." Meanwhile, chatting with newsmen yesterday in Keffi, Senator Adamu, who is now representing Nasarawa West in the Senate, said the PDP has no choice but to zone the presidency

to the North in 2015 general elections. He said the party hierarchy must not allow itself to be a willing tool but must stand firm in its decision and ensure discipline within the system. "PDP has no choice than to give north the slot in 2015. The North has the right like any other zone because we deserve it more than any other zone since the country has been divided along north and south", he said. On the issue of state police, Adamu said that the matter has

been reduced to cheap blackmail, a witch hunt. "I think the issue is now becoming an issue of blackmail, if you say you want state police you are on the other side, if you say you don't want state police you are on the other side so I don't want to associate myself with that kind of politics," he added. On the issue of role for traditional rulers in the constitution, Adamu said it should be approved and alleged betrayal on the part of some governors who are kicking against the proposal.

Gen. Muhammadu Buhari

Why Nnaji was forced to resign — FG Contd from Page 1 said his resignation would reassure such investors all over the world and reinforce their confidence in the process. He said the country was working hard to attract foreign investors and needed to reinforce credibility in the process. He said Nanji's exit will not hamper the smooth implementation of the reforms but will instead enhance its acceptability According to him: “He resigned to give credibility to the process of privatisation of the power sector. It will not hamper the process but reassure investors all over the world. This is the intention of the minister following conflict of interest. It will reinforce confidence in the process”. Observing that governance was a continuous process, the Minister remarked that Prof. Nnaji had already set targets for the power sector whose implementation he said had

already led to improvement in power supply in the country, adding that more improvement in the sector would manifest by the end of the year. “We would have loved that Prof. Nnaji who has put in a lot of effort would have been there to complete the process but government is an institution with processes in place. So, his resignation will not affect the process,” Mr. Maku stated. Meanwhile, the erstwhile minister yesterday in a statement denied media reports that he was forced to resign saying he actually resigned of his own volition to retain his integrity which has in recent days come under scurrilous attacks by those he described as "powerful vested interests that were hell bent on besmirching the integrity and reputation" that he had painstakingly built over the years. He said the resignation was also to ensure that there was no spillover of the attacks to the

President. Noting that he had resigned his directorship of all companies he had interest in when he became minister, Nnaji however said that he publicly declared the participation in the privatization process of a foreign company that did business with a company that I had interest in. “This fact came to my knowledge only during the course of evaluating the consortia that were bidding for PHCN successor companies. Consequently, I also voluntarily recused myself from participating in the selection process. These actions, I should think, are in line with the finest traditions of transparency and accountability in governance”, he said. In the meantime, the NLC has said it was pleased with "the forced exit" of Prof Nnaji and urged President Jonathan to to immediately institute a thorough investigation into his tenure as minister in the Power Ministry.

The union in a statement signed by its Acting General Secretary, Chris Uyot described Nnaji as the major problem that militated against the renewed effort aimed at reactivating the power sector. It berated Nnaji for "compromising the office of the Minister of Power with his personal business interests, and being oblivious and a stumbling block to industrial peace and harmony in the industry." It said there are reports of his record of financial recklessness, high handedness and diversion of major businesses meant for PHCN to his private companies as well as companies he has vested interests. The statement said Nnaji refuse to allow the resolution of the contentious issue of severance benefits, but chose to heat up the system by blocking every avenue for dialogue and invited armed military personnel to intimidate workers under spurious pretences.



Police arrest ‘700-year-old spirit’ in Kano From Edwin Olofu, Kano


peratives of the Kano state Police Command has arrested a man identified as Nura Hamza who has been posing as a 700-year-old spirit duping several people of huge amounts of money in the state. The Kano state Police Commissioner, Ibrahim Idris who disclosed this yesterday in the command headquarters, Bompai,

said Hamza, a resident of Kurna Asabe quarters in the Kano metropolis has been posing as a spirit for almost a year and was said to be calling his victims on phone frightening them that he is a spirit and that they must within some specific time deposit money at a particular location. He said one of the tricks Hamza uses on his victims is to claim that he is a spirit of 700 years of age and that he has been moving

round the world helping people, and anybody who fails to obey his instructions and deposit money ‘in a place’, such a person’s life would be cut short. Idris added that the suspect met his waterloo on August 23 following complaints from one of his victims. Some detectives tricked Hamza as well by claiming to have deposited money in the location; then he went to pick the money and was arrested in the

process. He said after the complainant had made several deposits of money amounting to N800, 000 as directed by the suspect, he decided to inform his relatives. “This culminated into the arrest of the suspect after luring him to the usual destination”, he said. He said the suspect had during interrogation confessed to have committed the offence.

The commissioner said items recovered from the suspect included seven pieces of fake 100 US dollars, three bundles of cut to size paper with pretext to be 100 USD and four MTN sim certificates. Others were three motorcycles, generator, and one mobile phone line among others. He said as soon as investigation was completed, the suspect would be charged to court.

Mark, Johnson, Anyaoku to bag NDA doctorate degrees By Richard Ihediwa


L-R: Bauchi state Governor, Malam Isa Yuguda, receiving a souvenir from Deputy Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Babayo Shehu, during the latter’s visit to the governor, yesterday in Bauchi. Photo: NAN

Andy Uba mentioned in alleged $15m Ibori bribe By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


here was a twist yesterday in the controversy surrounding the ownership of the $15 million (about N2.4 billion) allegedly given as a bribe by former governor of Delta state, James Ibori as an oil magnate, one Chibuike Achigbu, filed an application at the Federal High Court Abuja claiming ownership of the money in question. In an application filed on his behalf by a team of 10 lawyers, three of which were senior

advocates, Achigbu said that he gave the money to the former Special Adviser, special duties to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and presently a serving senator, Dr. Andy Uba, for the purpose of financing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2007 general elections. He said that he first sought legal advice on whether he could raise money to donate to support the PDP and its candidates throughout the federation for the purpose of winning the 2007 general elections, adding also that he set a

target of N3 billion which he intended to raise through himself and his associates. According to the application, by April 2007 when the election had drawn near, he had raised money in excess of N2 billion after which he realised that such donations could only be made and accepted through a financial institution. According to him, in order to legitimately apply the fund, he approached Andy Uba to advise him on relevant agencies of government to investigate and

certify that the funds were raised honestly and in good faith with a view to donating same to finance PDP. He said that Uba advised him to deliver the fund to him (Uba) for onward transmission to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), being the agency of the Federal Government sufficiently equipped to give legitimacy to the fund before it could be donated to PDP. In an affidavit he filed in support of the application, Achigbu, an ally of andy Uba said: “Andy Uba was a Special Assistant in the Presidency who offered to take custody of the fund with a view to inviting EFCC to carry out the audit and certification before being donated to the PDP.”

enate President David Mark, Liberian President Sirleaf Johnson and former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, have been nominated by the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) for award of honorary doctorate degree of the institution on Saturday September 8, 2012, in Kaduna. President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will be the special guest of honour at the ceremony for which other African leaders have been invited. The Commandant of NDA, Major General Emeka Onwuamaegbu who informed the Senate President of the decision said the awardees have been chosen because of their outstanding contributions to peace, unity and development in their various fields. Specifically, Onwuamaegbu extolled the virtues of Mark for outstanding performance both as a military officer during his service and uncommon achievements as the President of the Senate. He also noted the former Commonwealth Secretary General distinguished himself as world citizen and brought honour to Nigeria during his tenure.

FEC approves Gurara, Ilesha dam projects for N40.6bn By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he Federal Executive Council (FEC), yesterday approved contracts for the completion of Gurara and Ilesha dam projects in the sum of N40 billion. Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe said both

projects will be completed between 12 and 18 months. According to her, the Gurara project was awarded in the sum of N37 billion while the Ilesha Dam would cost the sum of N3.6 billion. The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku who briefed State House correspondents after

yesterday's meeting, said the Guarara Dam project was conceived to supply water to the Federal Capital Territory through the Lower Usman Dam. In addition, he said, the project on completion would provide irrigation for farmers as well as generate 30 megawatts of electricity.

Maku stated further that the completion of the two phases of Guarara Dam - Lot A and B would provide irrigation land for about 20,000 farmers and generate about 8,000 jobs. Already, he said, a scheme is in place to engage 500 young graduate farmers in meaningful agricultural activities.

Senate President David Mark



The resignation (?) of Barth Nnaji Although the impression created by the presidency is that the Minister of Power, Barth Nnaji, resigned from office on his own volition, there arev indications that Mr. Nnaji was actually forced to resign on Tuesday following series of allegations linking him with attempts to subvert the Federal Government’s power sector privatisation bidding process. Aminu Imam, in this analysis, traces the genesis of the longdrawn controversies the Minister courted during his tenure, which culminated in his inglorious exit.


even days after President Goodluck Jonathan signed performance bond with members of his cabinet, the Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji, on Tuesday, resigned his appointment. It was not immediately clear whether he resigned voluntarily or was forced to do so. But his resignation may not be unconnected with the ongoing crisis in the power sector. It is widely believed that the said resignation is a soft landing given to the former minister. Prior to his resignation, there were reports circulating that Barth Nnaji had an interest in a company involved in the bidding process for two state assets up for sale. It was gathered that Professor Nnaji had substantial interest in two of the firms that bided for the Afam power plant. Reports earlier this week had linked Mr. Nnaji with direct interests in one of the firms shortlisted to bid for the 776 megawatts (MW) capacity Afam power plant, already slated for privatisation by the Federal Government. The plant, consisting of about 18 gas turbines, is considered the most viable of the power plants slated for privatization by the Federal government, given the recent approval of about N500 million for its rehabilitation. Apart from his interest in acquiring the plant, Mr Nnaji reportedly used his privileged position to influence the emergence of one of the firms in pole position to emerge as the winner, an effort that allegedly earned him a gratification of a brand new Prado jeep and cash reward in excess of N89million. It is highly unusual for Nigerian politicians to resign over conflicts of interest in a country that still ranks low on the Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index. However, the reasons may not be far-fetched. Power is a key aspect in the Transformation Agenda of the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and he has made reforming the power sector a priority, and a significant increase in electricity output

would bring him the support of Nigerians who have so far been disappointed with his performance since his electoral victory last year. Nigeria has the world’s seventh largest natural gas reserve, but over the years, governments have chosen to cash in on crude oil sales rather than investing for domestic power needs. The country provides its 167 million inhabitants with only about a quarter of the amount of electricity used by New York City in the United States, leaving those who can afford to use expensive diesel generators and those who can’t to live without any power. The government’s plans to sell 11 distribution and six generation companies in its privatization of the power sector have been dogged with inefficiency and corruption. Economists and investors say a lack of power is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to growth in Africa’s second biggest economy. Chronic power outage is also a major headache for Nigerians. Disclosing that preferred bidders for the 17 companies are due to be announced on October 23, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) said that about $15-$20 billion of investment was needed in the next three years to solve the power crisis, adding that Nigeria’s economy could be growing at over 10 percent as against the 6.5 percent now. Prior to his appointment as minister, which had been vehemently opposed by workers unions in the power sector, Mr Nnaji was the chairman, Geometrics Power, one of the 18 private companies that were granted operational licenses by the Federal Government to undertake the generation of electricity to compliment the effort to boost the country’s available supply capacity. Participation by two companies linked to Nnaji in the power privatisation process had compelled the NCP to cancel the technical bid evaluation process conducted for Afam and Enugu Disco last week. The NCP, after its meeting last Friday, had announced the results

Prof. Barth Nnaji of the technical evaluation conducted for the 25 bids it received last month for the six generation companies (Gencos). From that process, seven bidders were said to have successfully met the cut-off mark of 750 and above during the technical evaluation process and were prequalified to have their financial bids opened on September 25. However, the NCP remained silent on the bidders that were prequalified for Afam Power Station owing to the potential conflict of interest that had arisen during the privatisation process. An NCP source said that before the consideration of the report of the evaluation, Nnaji, who was a member of the NCP by virtue of his position as Minister of Power, had brought it to the attention of the council that O & M Solutions of Pakistan, a member of one of the consortia bidding for Afam, had worked as a contractor for Geometric Power. The consortium, in which O & M Solutions has a stake, is Skipper Nigeria Limited, which had submitted technical and financial bids for Afam on July 17, the deadline set by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) for the submission of bids for the Gencos. The minister also notified the

NCP that Geometric Power had a minority stake in Eastern Electric Nigeria Limited, which had submitted technical and financial bids for Enugu Distribution Company Limited on July 31. He went on to inform the council that owing to his position, he had notified the president of his company’s bid for Enugu Disco, and brought it to their attention that although he has an interest in Geometric Power, he had resigned from its board and transferred his shares to a blind trust. Having been informed of Nnaji’s direct and indirect interest in two companies being privatised, the council decided to cancel the technical evaluation that had been conducted for Afam and disbanded the evaluation team. It also decided to stop the evaluation of the Enugu Disco, which is still ongoing, and would likewise disband the evaluation team. Prior to his resignation on Tuesday, it was gathered that Nnaji had to be excused from the NCP meeting presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, in Asaba, Delta State, at the weekend. The decision to cancel the evaluation for both companies was premised on the fact that all major stakeholders, including the

It is highly unusual for Nigerian politicians to resign over conflicts of interest in a country that still ranks low on the Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index. However, the reasons may not be far-fetched

former power minister, had been asked to send nominees to participate in the evaluation process. Coincidentally, Nnaji, had on Tuesday afternoon welcomed the NCP’s decision to disband the evaluation teams and reevaluate the technical bids submitted for Afam and Enugu Discos in the wake of his admission that some members of the bidding consortia has links to a company he owns. Nnaji said the NCP’s decision to re-evaluate the bids submitted by potential investors for Afam and Enugu Discos was necessary considering that justice should not only be done but also seen to have been done by all and sundry. Nnaji, in press statement endorsed by his special media adviser, Ogbuagu Anikwe, failed to answer questions surrounding his interest for Afam power plant. He also failed to provide answers to questions raised by industry stakeholders on the role of his staff and nominee that participated in the evaluation of the three bids submitted for Afam, and the fact that it turned out that the only company being put forward as having passed the technical evaluation was that same consortium in which he had disclosed that he had interest. Workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) were on Wednesday seen in Abuja celebrating his abrupt resignation. The leadership of the workers union made it quite clear that they will not miss the former Minister of Power as his resignation is a right step in the right direction. According to latest reports, President Jonathan has taken over the direct supervision of the ministry to avoid failures in his promises to deliver stable power supply to the nation.



JTF alerts Maiduguri residents Fuel subsidy probe: Lawyers sue AGF, IGP over threat pamphlets From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


he Joint Military Task Force (JTF), yesterday, alerted residents of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital over the presence of leaflets and posters being circulated by suspected terrorists threatening to attack any person who leaks

information to the security forces on their hideouts. A statement issued by the spokesman of the JTF, Lt- Col. Sagir Musa, alleged that suspected terrorists had been circulating the threat pamphlets in various locations of Maiduguri metropolis. According to Musa, the major message in the publication was that the terrorists warned the public to

desist from leaking their modus operandi and any other information on their activities to the security operatives. He however reminded the public that the following hotlines are still active and information can be passed to security agencies through them: 080-64174066, 080-85464012 and 08054429346.

L-R: Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada, Minister of Aviation, Princess Stela Oduah, and Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Amah Pepple, during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, yesterday at the State House, Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Rep accuses aviation minister of 'sectional agenda' By Lawrence Olaoye


he Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Rep Ismaila Kawu, yesterday accused the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, of pursuing ethic and sectional agenda by denying permission to three foreign airlines to commence flight operations to the nation's capital, Abuja. The minister had recently denied Etihad, Turkish and Emirates airlines the privilege of commencing commercial flights to

Abuja, counseling them to consider Enugu. According to the lawmaker, "there is no justification for her action except that she is a tribalist and no amount of grammar can explain her refusal to grant them the much needed permit because they have enough passengers coming to Abuja "Why must she insist that they land in Enugu? Why does she want them to connect with local airlines to fly their passengers from Abuja to Enugu? This is a clear indication of a sectional agenda the minister is

implementing. She is hell bent on marginalising the north in the aviation industry. While Lagos represents southern Nigeria, Abuja represents Northern Nigeria and why must she deny them permit to land in Abuja? How can a passenger from Benue refused landing in Abuja but forced to go to Enugu? Is this fair or just?" He also alleged that the Minister appointed her kinsmen to head the eight major agencies under her ministry. "I have had cause to institute a parliamentary investigation into the matter on 27th October 2011.

making statements that are capable of bringing disunity, disaffection and disharmony in the nation, because "the North has had enough!". In a press conference held in Abuja, Mohammed Sani and Maryam Shehu, chairman and woman leader respectively, the group scored Princess Oduah high

on developments of aviation in the North. According to them, "from our findings, the Honourable Minister has not stopped any airline from flying to the north. In fact, Emirates airlines and others quoted have not even applied to fly into Abuja".

…as AYC clarifies minister's stance on flights to North


eanwhile, the Arewa Youth Coalition has commended the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah for making the north a priority in her transformation strides in the aviation sector. They also appealed to political office holders from the north to stop

IG warns police on corruption, indiscipline, commissions 40 vehicles IG said the whole essence of crime and criminality. By Lambert Tyem


nspector-General of Police (IG) Mohammed Abubakar, yesterday warned all officers and men that he will not condone any act of indiscipline or bully on civilians from members of the force. Speaking at the headquarters of the police while commissioning 40 operational patrol vehicles, the

removal of road blocks along the highway is to fight corruption in the force. Abubakar was optimistic that the operational patrol vehicles would be used primarily for the patrol of the highways and also are expected to fill the gap created by the recent dismantling of roadblocks by the force across the federation as well as patrolling against any form of

According to him "I want to seize this opportunity to warn officers that will be deployed for this exercise to shun all forms of corruption and unethical conduct and ensure that their firearms are used strictly in accordance with the police rules of engagement. As servants of the people, you must accord maximum respect to the fundamental rights of the citizens at all times".

... want Deputy Speaker, other investigated By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he Public Interest Lawyers League (PILL), has dragged the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, and the InspectorGeneral of Police (IGP) before a Federal High Court, Abuja asking for leave to apply for an order of mandamus to compel the IGP to arrest and commence criminal investigation of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha and Jerry Alagbaoso, a member of the House respectively over their roles and or participation in the bribe scandal involving the chairman and secretary of the House of Representatives' probe committee on the management of the fuel subsidy, Hon. Farouk Lawan and Boniface Emenalo respectively. The IGP and AGF were joined in the suit as first and second respondent respectively. In the motion ex-parte filed through their counsel, Kevin Emeka Okorocha, with the president of PILL, Abdul Mahmud as the applicant is asking for an order granting

leave to him to apply for the issuance of an order of mandamus against the respondents. The lawyers, among other reliefs, want the court to declare that the IGP has a statutory duty to arrest, investigate and commence criminal prosecution of suspects when allegation(s) of crime is made and established, a declaration that the AGF is constitutionally empowered to commence criminal prosecution of persons where prima facie proof of infractions of the law is established as well as an order mandating the police boss to arrest and commence forthwith the criminal investigation of Emeka Ihedioha and Hon. Jerry Alagbaoso, Deputy Speaker and member of the House of Representatives respectively. Other reliefs are, "An Order mandating the first respondent to commence forthwith the criminal prosecution of Hon. Farouk Lawan, Boniface Emenalo, Femi Otedola and any other person(s) connected to the House of Representatives' probe committee on the management of the fuel subsidy bribe scandal.

Briefs 15 trapped as trailer falls on passenger bus From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


5 passengers were on Tuesday, trapped following an accident involving a t r a i l e r c a r r y i n g some building materials and passenger car along the Benin-Auchi-Okene expressway in Edo state. Sector commander of the Federal Road Safety (FRSC)

Ken Nwaegbe who confirmed this to our correspondent, said the accident occurred when the trailer overran its speed limit and crashed unto the passenger bus. The Commander, who c o n f i r m e d t h r e e d e a d at the time of filing this report, said five hours after the accident occurred, as several attempt to tow the trailer failed.

Bank workers reject naira restructuring From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI), has opposed the idea of the proposed naira restructuring at this point, particularly the proposed introduction of N5000 next year.

ASSBIFI, in a statement national president Olusoji Salako and senior assistant secretary general, Friday Inegbedion, on Tuesday, advised that the project be dropped immediately while government dissipates energy on projects that will ameliorate the sufferings of Nigerians.

Why NGF is against creation of state police-Al-makura From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


overnor Umaru Tanko Al-makura of Nasarawa state on Tuesday gave an insight into why the Northern Governors Forum (NGF) rejected the idea of creating a state police for each of the 36 states of the country. In an address he delivered

while declaring open a two-day summit for head of news from the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), held in Lafia, Al-makura, stated that the forum rejected the idea having considered how similar effort in the past was subject to abuse, particularly, during and shortly after the colonial period.



Tinubu’s appointment as Chancellor an insult - PDP From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Southwest, has described the appointment of former governor of Lagos State and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the Chancellor of the Ladoke Akintola University (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso as an insult on the academic community in Nigeria. The party, which called on all stakeholders in the Nigeria's

tertiary institutions, especially the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to stand against the appointment, said: "appointing a man who forged his academic certificates as chancellor of a university will further debase the academic integrity of the country's universities". PDP Zonal Publicity Secretary, Hon. Kayode Babade, said in a statement issued in Ibadan, that "it will be suicidal to holders of academic certificates from Nigeria tertiary institutions if we continue

to debase our academic integrity with appointments of people with questionable integrity as heads of our universities". The PDP said it was not surprised that the ACN governments in Oyo and Osun states could take their worship of Tinubu as their god to the ridiculous level of appointing him as head of a university in spite of his known record as a certificates forger, because the ACN the itself is peopled by men of questionable character. "It is on record that Tinubu

forged certificate of Government College, Ibadan and submitted same to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 1999 as part of his academic credentials. "Tinubu also went further to claim in INEC FORM CF. 001 and the affidavit sworn to at Ikeja High Court of Justice on December 29, 1998 that he did attend and obtained o'level certificate from Government College, Ibadan. "In the same INEC Form CF.

001, Tinubu lied that he was a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the United States. "Curiously however, in the INEC Form he filled in 2003, Tinubu did not include these two academic claims. He simply wrote: 'Not Applicable' on both his o'level and post graduate qualifications, meaning that he (Tinubu) knew that he actually lied about his attendance of Government College, Ibadan and qualification as a Certified Public Accountant."

N2.993 million theft: Police arraigns suspects From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


wo middle-aged men, Friday Omorodion, 28 and Effiong Eyo, 25, have been arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrate Court for burglary and theft of N2.993 million. Omorodion and Eyo, who are facing a two-count charge of burglary and stealing, are former employees of Mozaya Company Nigeria Limited, Shoprite Complex, Alausa, Ikeja. According to the prosecutor, ASP Barth Nwaokoye, the accused burgled a safe belonging to their former employer, Mozaya Company Nigeria

Limited and stole N2, 993 million. He said the offence was committed on August 22, 2012 at about 6.35 am. Nwaokoye told the court that the accused persons claimed that they decided to burgle the company because they were paid a meager salary while in employment with the company. When the charges were read to them, the defendants pleaded not guilty. The Chief Magistrate, A.O. Isaac granted each of them bail in the sum of N500, 000 with two sureties in like sum. He adjourned hearing in the matter till September 26, 2012.

Army hands over 16 arrested undergraduates to police From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


ixteen undergraduate students arrested by men of the 4 Brigade Nigerian Army, Benin over illegal possession of army uniforms and accoutrement have been handed over to the Delta State Police Command. According to the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Charles Muka, the students who were arrested by soldiers at Asaba and Ogwashi-Uku, were handed over to the police for prosecution. Muka said they were students of the Delta State University, Anwai campus and Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku. They were arrested while operating as members of the Nigerian Army Cadet Force and Safety Corps of the Nigeria Cadet Team. The suspects include Peter

Ughinovbe, Ekpeni Freedom, Mustapha Suleiman, Obiche Anthony, Nonye Abel, Akpotu James, Orji Chuks, Willie Ogheneovi and Samson Wisdom. Others are Oshodin Gideon, Ohoshi Ifeanyi, Owugho Solomon, Isaac Ebikebume, Eta Solomon and Edokpolor Hans. He revealed that the suspects confessed that they were illegal members of the organisation. Items recovered from the suspects included 22 pairs of green army uniforms, five pairs of army camouflage uniforms, army berets, belts, boots, anklets, hats, recruitment forms, army cadet certificates, army insignia and logo, pictures of suspects dressed in complete army uniforms, ID cards, among other items. The PPRO said the suspects had been charged to court and used the opportunity to advise parents to warn their children against involvement in crime.

Flood kills 11 in Jigawa From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse


o fewer than 11 persons were confirmed dead in two local government areas of Gumel and Kiyawa in Jigawa state due to massive flood. This was disclosed to our reporter yesterday by the chairman, Flood Disaster Committee, Alhaji Jinjiri Abdulkadir who added that hundreds of hectres of farmlands together with cattle were also

affected. Abdulkadir who is also the Commissioner for Rural and infrastructure in the state, said seven people were killed in Gumel after a building collapsed on its inhabitants while four were killed in Kiyawa after a heavy downpour. He said the affected local governments include Gumel, Hadejia, Kiyawa, Auyo, Taura, Ringim and Kaugama where several houses have collapsed in the process.

L-R: Member, Senate Committee on Education, Senator Sunny Ogbouji, Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Senator Abubakar Bagudu, Director General, Tanzania Education Authority (TEA), Mrs. Rose Lolabuka, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, and Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, during the Tanzania Education Authority official visit to the National Assembly, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Police arrest 100 suspected thugs in Bauchi From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he police in Bauchi state have declared that about 100 suspected political thugs known as Sarasuka have been arrested. The state Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ladan, made the announcement yesterday while speaking to newsmen in Bauchi. He said the thugs were arrested by the command with

dangerous weapons such as cutlasses, knives, among others and are currently remanded in prison custody by various courts. According to him, "there is no day that at least 10 of such are picked up by the different police divisions in the state". He said that the Aberdeen patrol introduced by the command has assisted in arresting criminals citing example of how the police exchanged fire with a gang of

...moves to improve health care delivery From Lawal Sa'idu Funtua, Katsina


he Police in the North-West zone has organised a special workshop with the aim of sharpening the skills of its medical personnel on healthcare delivery. Declaring the workshop open yesterday in Katsina, the Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abdullahi Magaji noted that the workshop was organised on the directive of the Inspector-General of Police. Magaji who stressed the importance of training and retraining on healthcare delivery,

said the police are contributing to the public health through its hospitals spread across the country. "If you look at these police hospitals more than 90 percent of those patronising them are civilians from the host communities. They are contributing seriously to the communities' health needs", he added. In a remark, the North-West Commisioner of Police in-charge of medical services, Dr. Abimbola Macaulay, said the workshop was meant to provide quality in the type of healthcare delivery offered by the hospitals.

hoodlums in Toro leading to the killing and arrest of one and the recovery of weapons. Ladan added that the police also through the operation arrested two car thieves and recovered some stolen vehicles and master keys from them. He said until now, the command was yet to arrest the killers of five policemen along Gombe road and Kano road. He said investigation was on and expressed optimism that the suspect would soon be arrested. In a related development a political thug was on Monday evening killed at the popular Wunti market by Sarasuka who attacked and stabbed him to death. The Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Hassan Mohammed Auyo who confirmed the incident to newsmen yesterday, said the thugs who killed the other thug were on a revenge mission. Giving an account, an eyewitness said that the victim was attacked in his shop where he sold phone accessories and stabbed severally by his assailant.



ACN flays FG over Lagos surge Sen. Adamu empowers From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Action Congress of Nigeria has condemned the nonchalant attitude of the Federal Government over the Lagos beach flood which claimed the lives of some 16 citizens because in other climes which put a huge premium on the lives of citizens, this would be regarded as a major calamity From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


he police in Lagos, yesterday, arraigned three men before an Ikeja Chief Magistrate Court for unlawful damage of a fence valued at N4.5 million. The accused persons, Abdulrahman Kehinde, Biodun Olalekan and Lanre Babatunde, are aged 27, 30 and 26 respectively. They are facing a two count charge of unlawful damage and assault. The prosecutor, ASP Barth Nwaokoye, told the court that the accused persons conspired to unlawfully damage the fence, property of Triumphant

compelling the presence of the President. In a statement issued in Lagos by its national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said it is regrettable that more than 10 days after the incident, neither the President nor any representative of the Federal Government has deemed it fit to visit the scene or condole with the families of the

victims. The party in particular condemned the failure of the Minister of Environment to visit the scene of the disaster which was clearly a consequence of climate change especially against the background that this same minister has spent several millions of naira junketing all over the word to attend all manners of conferences on climate change.

N4.5 million damaged fence: Police arraigns 3 suspects Christian Centre, along Henry Carr Street, Ikeja. Nwaokoye told the court that the offence was committed on August 24, 2012 at the centre. The offence, he said is punishable under section 516 of the Criminal Code Cap C17 Vol II Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003. The prosecutor also told the court that the accused persons assaulted one Austin Bassey by causing him body injury on the

left hand side. He said the offence is punishable under section 355 Criminal Code cap C17 Vol II Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003. When the charges were read, the accused pleaded not guilty. The chief Magistrate, A.O. Isaac granted each of them bail in the sum of N200,000 and two sureties in like sum. He adjourned further trial in the matter to October 3, 2012.

135 youths through skills acquisition From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


35 youths from Nasarawa West senatorial district, Nasarawa state, have been selected to benefit from a skills acquisition programme initiated by Senator Abdullahi Adamu, through his Senator Abdullahi Adamu Youth Empowerment Programme (SAAYEP). The scheme is aimed at reducing unemployment and empowering beneficiaries to have decent means of earning a livelihood, which forms a part of fulfilling the senator’s campaign promises to the people. The programme which would last two months, with a consultant hired to train the youths, is expected to gulp N22 million, with focus on cyber cafe set up and management, soap/detergent making, bread

baking, beads making and air freshener/perfume making. Addressing a large crowd that turned out to witness the official launch of the programme which took place on Tuesday in Keffi, Senator Adamu, stated that the programme was meant to “expose the mass of unemployed people in the area. to multiple streams of vocational business ideas and opportunities so as to raise the per capita income of the people and enhance their standard of living”.

Four new cases of polio reported in Yobe


L-R: Executive Director, Foundation for Public Private Partnership, Nigeria, Alhaji Ahmed Isa, Managing Director, Sanbell Odena Engineering Limited, Engineer Abdullahi Bello, and Founder, Foundation for Public Private Partnership, Nigeria, Engineer Saidu Njida, during the press conference on the annual release of excess water above the capacity of Lagdo Dam in Cameroon Republic, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

our new cases of poliomyelitis have been reported in Damaturu, Karasuwa and Gulani local government areas of Yobe state. The World Health Organisation (WHO) Coordinator in the state, Dr. Isa Adamu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday that “the two cases reported in Damaturu were in areas with high security risk. “We cannot risk sending anybody to that area because of the high security challenge in that location.” Isa expressed the fear that except there was improvement in the security situation and immunisation conducted, there might be more fresh cases of polio in the state. The coordinator noted that about 80 rounds of immunisation had been carried out across the state from 1998 to date. He commended the Yobe government for prompt payment of its counterpart funds towards the eradication of polio in the State. (NAN)

CPC resolves 2,760 complaints in 2012 T By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem

he Consumer Protection Council (CPC), said it has resolved a total of 2,760 complaints brought to it by consumers between January and June, this year. According to a document obtained from the CPC by newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, a total of 3,550 complaints were also resolved by the council in 2011. The complaints, according to the document, were lodged by the end users of goods and

services in various sectors of the economy. The resolved complaints were captured in the document entitled: “Data of Sectoral Analysis of Complaints resolved by CPC for the first half of 2012”. The analysis of complaints resolved were classified into various categories which included telecommunications, financial services, health, food, drinks and beverages. Others were aviation, road transport, automobile, education, broadcast, land,

electricity, electronics, accommodation and rent, general products and general services among others. According to the data, financial services sector recorded the highest complaints with 339 in the first six months of the year though it was less than the 475 that was recorded in the first half of 2011. This was followed by electronics which had a total of 292 complaints in the first half of this year as against 253 recorded in the first half of 2011.

The number of complaints on telecommunications services and products during the period under review was 209 compared to 144 recorded last year. In the data, general products, general services and food, drinks and beverages had 114,113,113 complaints in the first six months respectively as against 141, 16 and 53 recorded in the first six months of 2011. In the first half of 2012, accommodation/rent, education, road transport, health had 42, 42, 20 and 7

complaints compared to 71, 29, 4 and 3 in the period under review. Other classification included automobile, utilities, and other unclassified areas which recorded 50, 31 and 1,111 respectively between January and June this year compared to 37, 16 and 198 recorded in the first half of 2011. The Director-General of CPC, Ifeyinwa Umenyi advised consumers to continue to go for quality products and services that would give them value for their money.



L-R: Deputy Director General, Partnerships and Capacity Building, IITA, Dr Kenton Dashiell, Vice Chancellor, Afe Babalola University, Professor Sidi Osho, and Director General, IITA, Dr Nteranya Sanginga, signing a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions to unlock the potentials of Africa’s human, agricultural and natural resources, yesterday in Ibadan. Photo: NAN

L-R: Guest lecturer, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, staff adviser, Association of COMMUNICATION and Language Arts Students (ACLAS), University of Ibadan, Dr Babatunde Ojebuyi, state director, national Orientation Agency, Oyo state, Mr Femi Mapaderun, president, association of communication and language arts students, Mr Gabriel Olodude, during a lecture on the role of the media in attaining sustainable development in Nigeria, yesterday in Ibadan. Photo: NAN

L-R: Special Adviser to Lagos state Governor on Public Health, Dr Yewande Adeshina, representative of the state Deputy Governor , Mrs Riskat Akiode, and Director, Family Health and Nutrition, Dr Omodele Ozunkiyesi, during the grand finale of 2012 world breastfeeding week, yesterday in Lagos. Photo: NAN

L-R: Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba, Director-General, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Professor Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, representative of the president and Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade (rtd), and Chairman, Board of Governors, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Major-General Paul Omu, during the eminent persons and expert group meeting on complex insurgencies in Nigeria, yesterday at NIPSS, Kuru, in Jos. Photo: NAN



JUTH workers begin warning strike over tax


orkers of the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) have embarked on a three-day warning strike to register their rejection of the amended personal income tax. The Chairman of the JUTH branch of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Dr Ewuga Ovye, could not be reached for comments but a top official of the union, who pleaded for anonymity, said that the amendment had created a sharp increment in the workers’ tax rates. “We are not happy that the hospital’s management implemented it swiftly,’’ the source said, adding that the management had been given a 21day notice after which a total strike would be declared. Dr Ishaya Pam, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of JUTH, who confirmed the workers’ action, said in Jos yesterday, that the amendment of the personal

income tax went through required legislative hearings before it was passed and signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan in July last year. “I have told the workers that they should have reacted during the hearings before it was passed. To wait and strike now is inappropriate. “It is also good to note that other institutions in the country have commenced payment of the newly amended tax system and JUTH could not have been an exception’’, he said, adding that the workers should rather approach the National Assembly for an amendment of the law as it had already been passed. Pam said that the management of JUTH had since July, been involved with discussions with different unions on the new tax regime, regretting that the talks did not yield the desired fruits. (NAN)

Benue Assembly demands sack of info commissioner From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


he Benue State House of Assembly has requested Governor Gabriel Suswam to sack the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Conrad Wergba from his cabinet within seven days. The House gave the order on Tuesday at its sitting following adamant refusal by the Commissioner to resign after the expiration of the 14 day ultimatum. It would be recalled that Mr. Wergba had made an uncomplimentary remark when in an attempt to defend government stance on allegation of delay in payment of workers’ salary raised by the House, described the members as arm-

twisting the executive for ‘pecuniary motives’. Consequently, the house invited the Commissioner to appear before it during which he admitted guilt and apologized to members for his comments. Sensing deceit by the commissioner, the House still went ahead to ask for his resignation. Raising a point of order 9Rule 16 (f), the member representing Katsina-Ala East State constituency, Hon.Jato Iana and Majority Leader, Hon. Paul Biam among others condemned the attitude of Wergba in flouting their directive. The Deputy Speaker, Dr. Stephen Onmeje ruled that the commissioner be sacked within seven days.

Policeman arrested for homosexuality with 9 kids From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


policeman has been arrested for sexually cohabiting with nine children between the ages of nine to twelve years old at Kandahar area of Bauchi metropolis. The suspected policeman who is said to be serving in the Bauchi state police command is now cooling his heel in police custody for further interrogations

While confirming the incident to journalist in Bauchi, the Bauchi state Police Commissioner Mohammed Ladan, said “the accused has been detained and we are still investigating; the outcome of our investigation will be made known to the public” According to him, the children, said to have been injured in their anus were taken to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital ATBUTH for treatment.

L-R: Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, and Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, briefing journalists on the Ilesha Water Project in Osun state, yesterday at the State House, in Abuja yesterday. Photo: Joe Oroye.

Jonathan tasks NES on poverty, unemployment By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


resident Goodluck Jonathan has challenged the Nigerian Economic Society (NES) to come forward with more practical steps that could be taken to complement government’s efforts against unemployment and poverty. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 53rd NES annual conference in Abuja on Tuesday, President Jonathan urged the conference to come up with ideas for accelerating skill acquisition schemes aimed at creating employment through entrepreneurship. Represented at the conference by his Chief Economic Adviser, Dr Nwanze Okidegbe, the President commended NES for the

important role it has played over the past 55 years in support of national economic development. The president surge the NES “to find ways of managing the mismatch between educational outcomes and skill demands, to ensure that the educational system provides the skill profiles required by the labour market to enhance the employability of our youths. He assured that his administration was willing to partner with NES and other major stakeholders towards fully actualizing the country’s potentials and improving the standard of living of Nigerians. He therefore called for the support of the stakeholders stressing that, “all hands must be on deck to provide a means to a

sustained better life for our teeming population. Let us therefore, commit to fighting the menace of unemployment and poverty to a standstill”, he urged. The President also noted that priority attention was being giving to Information communications Technology, solid minerals development, manufacturing, aviation and creative industries to develop the sectors that are known sources of job creation and growth. He said Agriculture alone is projected to generate about 3.5 million jobs between now and 2015 along the chain values, while the launched community works, women and youth empowerment programmes launched will employ 370,000 unskilled youths per annum.

NCAT to award HND, PGD soon – Capt Kalu


igerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, will soon start programmes leading to the award of Higher National Diploma (HND) and PostGraduate Diploma (PGD), the Rector, Capt. Chinyere Kalu, said on Tuesday. Kalu said the college had sought accreditation from the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) for the legitimate award of HND and possible degree. “In the same vein, the college

has already put machinery in place to run PGD programmes. She said that the college had been accredited by Trained-Air Plus and affiliated to Embraer Riddle University, Brazil, and Emirate Aviation College, Dubai. “We have signed an MOU with Arik Air for the training of pilots and other courses. This has led to increased capacity and improvement of training pilots and other courses,” she said. The rector said that the college

had successfully established its Minna campus and signed an MOU with the Niger Government for pilot students training. She said the college had acquired B-737 aircraft for cabin crew training, Bell 206 Helicopter, ALSIM AL-X simulator, Gas turbine trainer and Aerodynamics (wind tunnel) trainer. She said all the efforts were geared toward ensuring quality training and retraining of pilots from within and outside the

UNDP worries over growing poverty, unemployment in Nigeria


he UN Development programme (UNDP) on Tuesday raised concerns over the increasing rate of poverty and unemployment in Nigeria. DaoudaToure, the Resident Representative of UNDP, made the observation in Abuja at the 53rd Annual conference of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES). Toure noted that “for almost a decade now, Nigeria has been recording consistently high

economic growth rate that has not produced commensurate employment opportunities and reduction in poverty among its citizens”. He said the situation was what was often referred to by some analysts as jobless growth. He also decried the “available statistics which suggest that the incidence of poverty in Nigeria had indeed worsened between 2004 and 2010.

Toure said the situation calls for concern and attention “given that we are barely less than three years away from the target for achieving the MDG goals on the reduction of poverty and hunger. The representative commended the Nigerian Economic society for beaming its conference searchlight on this all important issue of youth employment and poverty

reduction. Toure who commended President Goodluck Jonathan’s for making youth development and youth employment a cardinal point in his transformation agenda, urged the government to engage in growth patterns that generate jobs on a large scale to absorb the additional labour He said UNDP in Nigeria would continue to support

government activities that were aimed at providing job opportunities for the teeming Nigerian youths and poverty reduction as he expressed the hope that the outcome of the conference would provide a clear and evidence-based roadmap for government, civil society organisations and the private sector for designing appropriate employment and poverty reduction and strategies. (NAN)



Theft: Man gets three year jail term From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


L-R: President, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Engr. Mustafa Balarabe Shehu, Chairman, NSE Abuja branch, Engr. Emeka Ozioko, and a former chairman, Engr. Kunle Mokuolu, during the opening ceremony of 2012 NSE Conference, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

Bogoro: Yuguda lauds peace, return of Hausa/Fulani From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


overnor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi state commended the peace move made by the Bogoro people following the return of over 150 Fulani households as well Hausa traders who fled Bogoro local government area at the wake of the crisis that engulfed the area. Yuguda made the

commendation when the group under the aegis of Sayawa-HausaFulani Peace Movement paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Bauchi on Tuesday. He then called on other communities to emulate the move in order to have lasting peace among the people whom, he said, were created by God to live harmoniously irrespective of ethnoreligious and political differences.

Yuguda pointed out that if God had wanted, He would have created humans as a tribe, race and same religion but rather chose to create people differently in order to appreciate His handiwork. He observed that government could only do little and therefore, people must live harmoniously with one another. An elated Isa Yuguda declared, “Allah, I thank you for the way

and manner you resolved this lingering issue that has given me and others sleepless nights, I am indeed very grateful to you (Allah) for this.” Responding, the communities led by the Hakimi(district head)of Bogoro, Husseini Haruna Yakubu commended the state government for all steps it had so far taken to ensure lasting peace in the troubled area adding that those who fled the area only left in fear of been attacked during the crisis declaring that throughout the crisis period, nobody was touched in the area.

Bauchi assures flood victims of aid FG’s c’ttee meets over insecurity From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


auchi state Governor Isa Yuguda has lamented the loss of farm produce and houses in flood disaster, its negative effect on living standards and assured victims of urgent aid. The floods, according to him, may lead to more calamities if not immediately addressed. A visibly touched Yuguda who was at Kula village in Ganjuwa LGA to assess the situation told the victims to continue taking refuge in the temporary place provided for them by government adding that the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has been directed to take stock of all the places and people affected by the disaster . While inspecting the collapsing Kula bridge which links Bauchi State with other states like Kano,

Jigawa and other parts of the state, he directed the ministries of Works and Special Duties to temporarily salvage the bridge while a comprehensive report would be sent to the Federal Ministry of Works through the Zonal office of FERMA to repair it permanently. At the palace of the Madakin Bauchi who is the District Head of Kafin Madaki, the governor lamented the damage done to one of the monuments of Bauchi Emirate, the Babban Gwani assuring that immediate efforts would be made to restore it to its original architecture. While briefing the governor earlier, the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Ganjuwa local government area, Danlami Isah Siyi disclosed that over 150 households were affected by the flood disaster .

From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


he four-day meeting of eminent Nigerians charged with analysis of the insecurity confronting the country set up by President Goodluck Jonathan Tuesday commenced sitting in Jos, Plateau state. The security meeting held at the Unity hall of National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) with the theme: “Complex Insurgency in Nigeria”. While declaring the meeting open, President Jonathan noted that “terrorism is the most potent threat to Nigeria today, destroying the nation’s human resources and frustrating our economies”. The President who was represented by the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt Caleb Olubolade

said the Federal Government has directed that a comprehensive blueprint on how to combat terrorism in the country, should be developed by the committee . According to him, “Government has been providing logistic support for security and intelligence gathering and has not renegde on such efforts because it is the desire of this administration to sustain the unity and indivisibility of this country". Meanwhile, the Chairman of the meeting and former President Olusegun Obasanjo who was represented by retired Gen Joshua Dogoyaro said, “We are here to discuss a very important subject that touch on the survival of this country, seeking for peace, because without peace our democracy will become useless”.

n Ikeja Chief Magistrate Court yesterday sentenced a 29-year-old man, Bashiru Oshoke, to three years imprisonment for stealing the brain box of a Toyota Coaster bus valued at N120,000 and belonging to one Polycarp Obot. Chief Magistrate A.O. Isaac handed down the jail term while giving judgement in the theft charge preferred against the accused person by the police. The sentence is without an option of fine. The prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Barth Nwaokoye had earlier told the court that Bashiru Oshoke and others at large, on July 30, 2012 at about 10.30 p.m. at Shasha, Lagos, conspired amongst themselves to commit felony to wit: stealing. Nwaokoye said they committed an offence punishable under section 409 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos state 2011. Bashiru Oshoke, was arraigned on a three count charge of theft and malicious damage of property, to which he pleaded guilty. Chief Magistrate Isaac sentenced him to three years imprisonment accordingly.

UniJos tech students honour bizman From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


ational Association of Science and Technology Students of the University of Jos has honoured the Chief Executive, Pamtronic, Engr. Markus Pam for promoting science and technology in the state. Presenting the award on behalf of the student group, President of the Jos chapter, Comrade Ahamed Suleiman said the award of excellence was in recognition of the Pamtronic boss in promoting science and technology through his solar power technology. He urged the award recipient to keep on with the good works of promoting indigenous technology in the country which has greatly encouraged others to take a queue in promoting science and technology not only in the state but the country at large. Peoples Daily gathered that Pamtronic Technology, a Jos based company, is the first indigenous company into installation of solar power technology, solar electricity generation, production of electrical installations and manufacturing of high quality musical system.

Danjuma Foundation donates drugs to 15 Taraba communities


he TY Danjuma Foundation has distributed free drugs worth millions of naira to address cases of river blindness and leprosy in 15 Taraba communities. Miss Funmi Ajala, the Focal Person of the Foundation, said in Jalingo yesterday that the donation was part of efforts to improve the quality of life of rural

communities in Taraba state. She said that about two million tablets of mectizan and three million tablets of albetazole had been distributed to people with the peculiar needs. “The programme is to reach an estimated 360 people affected by leprosy through the provision of multi-drug therapy”. Ajala also disclosed that the

Foundation had procured and distributed anti-lapra drugs and artificial limbs as well as self care training for the affected persons. “In the last one year, the Foundation, through its partner NGOs, has carried out 2,791 eye surgeries out of which 2,422 were cataract cases. “Another 12,061 people received free prescribed and

reading glasses”. She said that the programme, which was being carried out under the Community Health Initiative (CHI) of the Foundation, had also undertaken the renovation and upgrading of facilities in three hospitals across the state. According to Ajala, the upgraded facilities will help

provide leprosy services, while 514 health workers were trained to enhance their operational capacity. “Similarly, the Foundation has rehabilitated about 134 hand pumps in seven local government areas of the state while about 24,000 community members have been trained on good hygiene and sanitation practices”.




Ten tips on how to save your fuel Whether you drive a tiny hybrid or a three-ton SUV, chances are you can squeeze a bit more distance out of each gallon of fuel — and at today’s gas prices, an improvement of just one or two miles per gallon (MPG) can really add up. These ten fuel saving tips have served me well over the years, and they can help you improve your car’s fuel economy and take some of the sting out of high fuel prices. Most of these tips will give you a very slight increase in MPG — but use several together and the gas mileage improvements will really add up. 1. Slow down ne of the best ways to save gas is to simply reduce your speed. As speed increases, fuel economy decreases exponentially. If you one of the “ten-over on the freeway” set, try driving the speed limit for a few days. You’ll save a lot of fuel and your journey won’t take much longer. (Just be sure you keep to the right, so you won’t impede the less-enlightened.) 2. Check your tire pressure Under-inflated tires are one of the most commonly ignored causes of crummy MPG. Tires lose air due to time (about 1 psi per month) and temperature (1 psi for every 10 degree drop); under-inflated tires have more rolling resistance, which means you need to burn more gas to keep your car moving. Buy a reliable tire gauge and check your tires at least once a month. Be sure to check them when they are cold, since driving the car warms up the tires along with the air inside them, which increases pressure and gives a falsely high reading. Use the inflation pressures shown in the owner’s manual or on the data plate in the driver’s door jamb. 3. Check your air filter A dirty air filter restricts the flow of air into the engine, which harms performance and economy. Air filters are easy to check and change; remove the filter and hold it up to the sun. If you can’t see light coming through it, you need a new one. Consider a K&N or similar “permanent” filter which is cleaned rather than changed; they are much less restrictive than throw-away paper filters, plus they’re better for the environment. 4. Accelerate with care Jack-rabbit starts are an obvious fuel-waster — but that doesn’t mean you should crawl away from every light. If you drive an automatic, accelerate moderately so the transmission can shift up into the higher gears. Stick-shifters should shift early to keep the revs down, but don’t lug the engine — downshift if you need to accelerate. Keep an eye well down the road for potential slowdowns. If you accelerate to speed then have to brake right away, that’s wasted fuel.


Quote It is a fine thing to have ability, but the ability to discover ability in others is the true test. — Elbert Hubbard

5. Hang with the trucks Ever notice how, in bad traffic jams, cars seem to constantly speed up and slow down, while trucks tend to roll along at the same leisurely pace? A constant speed keeps shifting to a minimum — important to those who have to wrangle with those ten-speed truck transmissions — but it also aids economy, as it takes much more fuel to get a vehicle moving than it does to keep it moving. Rolling with the big rigs saves fuel (and aggravation). 6. Get back to nature Consider shutting off the air conditioner, opening the windows and enjoying the breeze. It may be a tad warmer, but at lower speeds you’ll save

fuel. That said, at higher speeds the A/C may be more efficient than the wind resistance from open windows and sunroof. If I’m going someplace where arriving sweaty and smelly could be a problem, I bring an extra shirt and leave early so I’ll have time for a quick change. 7. Back off the bling New wheels and tires may look cool, and they can certainly improve handling. But if they are wider than the stock tires, chances are they’ll create more rolling resistance and decrease fuel economy. If you upgrade your wheels and tires, keep the old ones. I have fancy sport rims and aggressive tires on my own car, but I keep the stock wheels with a good narrower-tread

performance tire in the garage. For long road trips, the stock wheels give a smoother ride and better economy. 8. Clean out your car If you’re the type who takes a leisurely attitude towards car cleanliness — and I definitely fall into that category — periodically go through your car and see what can be tossed out or brought into the house. It doesn’t take much to acquire an extra 40 or 50 lbs. of stuff, and the more weight your car has to lug around, the more fuel it burns. 9. Downsize or hybridize If you’re shopping for a new car, it’s time to re-evaluate how much car you really need. Smaller cars are inherently more fuel-efficient, and today’s small cars are safer and roomier than ever. And if you’ve never considered a hybrid, maybe it’s time — hybrids really do work, 10. Don’t drive Not a popular thing to say on a car site, I know, but the fact is that if you can avoid driving, you’ll save gas. Take the train, carpool, and consolidate your shopping trips. Walking or biking is good for your wallet and your health. And before you get in your car, always ask yourself: “Is this trip really necessary?”

Glossary on banking and finance terms


e’ve put together a brief glossary of the most common banking, financial and investing terms that a financial analyst may come across in the course of building a financial model: · Accrued interest: Interest due from issue date or from the last coupon payment date to the settlement date. Accrued interest on bonds must be added to their purchase price. · Arbitrage: Buying a financial instrument in one market in order to sell the same instrument at a higher price in another market. · Ask Price: The lowest price at which a dealer is willing to sell a given security. · Asset-Backed Securities (ABS): A type of security that is backed by a pool of bank loans, leases, and other assets. Most ABS are backed by auto loans and credit cards – these issues are very similar to mortgagebacked securities. · At-the-money: The exercise price of a derivative that is closest to the market price of the underlying instrument. · Basis Point: One hundredth of 1%. A measure normally used in the statement of interest rate e.g., a change from 5.75% to 5.81% is a change of 6 basis points. · Bear Markets: Unfavorable markets associated with falling prices and investor pessimism. · Bid-ask Spread: The difference between a dealer’s bid and ask price. · Bid Price: The highest price offered by a dealer to purchase a given security. · Blue Chips: Blue chips are unsurpassed in quality and have a long and stable record of earnings and dividends. They are issued by large and well-established firms that have impeccable financial credentials. · Bond: Publicly traded long-term debt securities, issued by corporations and governments, whereby the issuer agrees to pay a fixed amount of interest over a specified period of time and to repay a fixed amount of principal at maturity. · Book Value: The amount of stockholders’ equity in a firm equals the amount of the firm’s assets minus the firm’s liabilities and preferred stock. /p> · Broker: Individuals licensed by stock exchanges to enable investors to buy and sell securities. · Brokerage Fee: The commission charged by a broker. · Bull Markets: Favorable markets associated with rising prices and investor optimism.




The sickening hefty payments to ex-Niger Delta warlords


all Street Journal recently reported that Mujaheed Asari-Dokubo, leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, earns $9 million (N1.420billion) annually supposedly for guarding pipelines of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The contract was sealed last year. The paper, which is well respected in the financial world, reported that “Last year, Nigeria’s state oil company began paying him $9 million a year, by Mr. Asari-Dokubo’s account, to pay his 4,000 former foot soldiers to protect the pipelines they once attacked.” According to him, “I don’t see anything wrong with it.” NNPC, the United States-based newspaper gathered from one of its senior officials, is giving $3.8 million (N599.64million) a year apiece to two former rebel leaders, ‘General’ Ebikabowei Boyloaf Victor Ben and ‘General’ Ateke Tom, to have their men guard pipelines they used to attack. ‘General’ Government “Tompolo” Ekpumopolo, maintains a $22.9 milliona-year (N3.614billion) contract to do the same, the official said. The report is yet to be contradicted by government. The trio led the terror gangs that organized oil thefts, bombings and kidnappings in the Niger Delta since Nigeria’s return to democratic rule in 1999. These activities brought oil production down from a three-year high to as low as 500,000 barrels on some days. Apart from these lavish expenditures,

the federal government this year budgeted $450 million on its amnesty programme in the Niger Delta and further billions for the Ministry of Niger Delta and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC). Even as it sinks these billions in only one out of the six geo-political zones, the government of President Goodluck

We believe there is everything wrong with this latest deal. As events have proved, it has not solved the problem. The President must, therefore, find a more transparent and honest way of solving the security challenges in the Niger Delta Jonathan is faced with the Herculean task of providing even the basics, starting with power plants, roads and sewers to a population of 167 million people. As correctly pointed out by the paper, this year alone, Nigeria will spend more on amnesty than what it spends to deliver basic education to children. The government appears to be in a catch 22 situation; it wants peace in the Niger Delta which is needed for the production of the oil that drives the Nigerian economy. Unfortunately even

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

with these hefty handouts, oil thefts have continued without let in the region. According to Mutiu Summonu, the Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), the local subsidiary of Shell International, oil thefts in Niger Delta have increased since the contracts were signed by NNPC. “It’s quite an escalation. If nothing is done, it will continue to increase because more and more people will just come to feel that this is a gold field.” The Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has hinted that the country loses over N2 trillion annually in capital flight to foreign countries which own vessels used to lift about 150 million tons of cargoes including oil products from Nigeria. President Goodluck Jonathan himself recently described as embarrassing a situation where Nigeria has come to be identified as the only country in which crude oil is stolen. "It is embarrassing that it is only in Nigeria that crude oil is stolen. We will be decisive in putting an end to this malaise.” Unlike Dokubo-Asari, we believe there is everything wrong with this latest deal. As events have proved, it has not solved the problem. The President must, therefore, find a more transparent and honest way of solving the security challenges in the Niger Delta. Splashing dollars around is certainly not the way out. Rather, it encourages other former militants left out in the deal to return to pipeline vandalization because they have now seen that it pays handsomely.









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Suswam’s peace initiative and the national security question By Comrade Philip Agbese


he present travails of our nation in the hands of fellow countrymen and women has fully proven to us and the rest of the world that peace is an inevitable exorbitant commodity that if we like it or not must stand up to pay the price. For life to be meaningful anywhere in the world, both government and individuals must consciously work together in unity to sustain this invisible unavoidable ingredient of the cosmic. Politics and not religion, has been fingered as the root cause of this brouhaha because of the selfish manner in which our leaders have allocated the resources of state to themselves and cronies leaving the poor masses to wallow in abject poverty. The foreign governments have blamed the present scenario on our leaders for failing to ensure that there is equity, fairness and transparency in the distribution of social amenities to the federating units. This particular music our leaders do not want to listen to because their ears have become deafened to any sound of reason that intends to contradict their lustful greed for material and money. However, in Benue State Rt. Hon Gabriel Suswam is quite demonstrating to Nigeria and the rest of the world that peace making does not start with the hungry man on the street but the sane, comfortable and rational person in the palatial edifice built with taxpayers’ money, who sees mosquito bite like the hot metals from an AK-47 riffle. He reasons differently from those who believe in using their security votes to defile

the sanctity of human dignity by sponsoring and arming all manner of militia groups to coerce their opponents and silent basket mouths like my humble self. Governor Gabriel Suswam saw the need to ensure that the common people without food in their stomach are allowed to close their eyes quietly at nights when Jehovah has not decided otherwise to sleep and dream big for the future. This is the main reason why the Suswam led administration has invested huge amounts in providing adequate security for the people of Benue state and their visitors that come to add value to their lives. I will not be wrong to say Governor Suswam deserves Mr. Security as a synonym more than Mr. Infrastructure which the international media has ascribed to him because of the numerous sacrifices the present administration has made in terms of financial and moral commitments to see peace walking physically in every nook and cranny of the state. To appreciate the various strategies which Suswam has used to maintain law and order in Benue, one may need to see the cordial relationship between the governor, as the political leader of Benue state, and other political actors whom God has also placed above him or sideby-side with him to deliver the dividends of democracy to his people. Judging from the national scene, you will agree with me that the usual protocol tussle that normally follow Mr. Senate President and his home state Governor does not exist in Benue. This is largely attributed to the fact that Senator David Mark, sees

himself as a father to every Nigerian that appreciates his maturity and unassuming posture while Suswam, by nature, respects every stakeholder in the Nigerian project with a mindset that what belongs to Caesar must be given to Caesar. I want to proudly state that the ever warm relationship between Governor Suswam and his aged Deputy, Chief Steven Ochagwu Lawani is one in a million that others have passionately come to emulate within and outside the Nigerian political landscape. Both leaders had contested the People’s Democratic Party gubernatorial primaries in 2006 and instead of seeing themselves as political enemies came to conceive the matrimony that is skyrocketing Benue State to the promised land. With records to show, Suswam and his deputy have never had any cause to express any form of bitterness or grief at the cause of their harmonious working relationship over the years. Chief Lawani as a matter of fact has used his age, experience, exposure and connections to continuously build bridges of understanding, peace and confidence around the Suswam’s administration. Benue State has become a home to all since Suswam took the mantle of leadership to pilot the affairs of the state. In achieving this, the Suswam’s administration saw the need to moderate the excesses of his people in some areas of life in order to accommodate the teeming population of local and foreign investors coming into the state for developmental purposes. Therefore, when the Suswam’s

led administration on assumption of office in 2007 decided to place a ban on commercial sex hawking on the streets of Makurdi at night, no one saw reasons with him to be quenching a time bomb that was gathering momentum to explode. A good number of us exploded that Suswam had done this to protect his Hudco Quarters personal residence and its environs from the unholy 3Ts trade that helps to serve as succor to our teeming unemployed young ladies and their counterparts from other states that come to serve our men. This initiative the Governor’s wife has continued to impress it on our people as part of her efforts to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS in Benue State, though public commentators have attributed it to the wisdom of the present administration to control crime such as human trafficking, drugs and other related anti-social activities within the state. The decision of the government through a collaborative effort of the Benue State House of Assembly to ban the consumption of local gin popularly known as ‘ogogoro’ few days to the commencement of the 2011 political campaigns is a right step in the right direction considering the ability of ogogoro to trigger high magnitude crisis especially when consumed by the illiterate population. Apart from its negative health implications on the users, it used to be the major tool that disgruntled elements including cultists normally use to cause confusion and charge the atmosphere for pandemonium that most times escalates to high scale palaver.

The Suswam success story in providing adequate security for lives and properties might not be far from the inter-agency collaboration between the various security agencies in the state under the State Security Committee. These agencies meet from time to time to access and exchange professional information during their meetings and advise the governor on how best to contain anything that is seen as a security threat to the people. He makes the job of the police in fighting crime easier by not allowing politicians to arm the youth for any reason because of ugly tales from the past when political thugs turn themselves to armed robbers when there is little or low patronage after elections. The recent visit of the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Saad III to Makurdi, the state capital and accompanied by Governor Tanko al-Makura of Nassarawa State is another indication that Benue State being predominantly occupied by Christians has continued to sustain the warm brotherly relationship in northern Nigeria as a legacy of the Sardauna leadership. Alhaji AbubakarSaad III who was full of praise for Governor Suswam emphatically stated during the visit that only love can sustain peace anywhere in the world and commended Suswam for being a good brothers’ keeper. Comrade Philip Agbese, President-General, Benue Youths in Diaspora Association contributed this article from Abuja.

How Syria mission messed up our own Kofi Annan By John Elue Madu


watched with keen interest Kofi Annan rise to world preeminence as the United Nations Secretary General. I was happy to see a fellow African rise to such a glorious height, discharging his duties with such grace to the admiration of all. It was for me a reassurance that one day the same world that gave an African a chance to lead the United Nations will be open to elect an African Pope. I was glad to see the man Kofi Annan retire back in native Ghana to savor the fruits of his enviable service to the world. He had earned it and deserved the dignity and respect that comes with such accomplishment. And so it was to my greatest disappointment when I heard that Kofi had been appointed as joint special envoy for the UN and the Arab League for Syria. I am no foreign affairs expert, but a keen observer of events in the world, particularly in that volatile region. I did not need any “expert” to tell me that Kofi was stepping into a very impossible mission, and doomed for failure even before he left from Ghana on that assignment. What was Kofi Annan supposed to accomplish in Syria when even a blind man knows what the end game in Syria is. We have seen it play out in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. We have watched the

drama in Yemen and Bahrain. We have also seen the many other laughable situations in Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco and Sudan. The rest of the world calls it an Arab Spring, but one thing that is prevalent in all the cases is the quirky role of Western powers, particularly the United States of America. The USA, under a clueless, bumbling, inexperienced President Barack Obama, picked sides as the fabrics of the Middle East are torn apart in sectarian conflicts and leadership struggles. The world watched in Egypt as a long ally of the USA, Hosni Mubarak was reduced to rubbish and disgracefully ejected from office to be replaced by a potentially more dangerous team of religious fanatics and military lords. This new team is ready to negate all the gains of longstanding peace treaties between Egypt and Israel and further create tension in that region. Simply put, Syria will end up like these other countries. President Bashar al-Assad will be gone - most probably killed mysteriously, or ignominiously humiliated in a kangaroo court trial and jailed for life or given a chance to live out the rest of his life in another country. The time line for unfolding these events is strictly dictated by the USA. As a result of the imminence of Presidential Elections in America, there is no

expectation of any direct intervention in Syria yet. The world is simply waiting for the bombs to start falling in the New Year after the inauguration of the new President Romney or the reaffirmation of Barak Obama. Neither Obama nor Romney can change this predetermined destiny of Syria. Either of them will quickly start raining bombs on Syria until President Bashar alAssad submits to their whims. Russia, China and the rest of the world knows it. Why then did Kofi Annan pretend like he was not in the know, when even my humble self knows this? Did Kofi Annan simply allow himself to be used as a tool for filling the space in the American timeline? How did he not know that America simply used him to buy time as they fight out the Presidential election? Was Kofi really expecting President Bashar al-Assad to listen to anyone on a mission from the United Nations? The same President Bashar alAssad had described the UN as a joke in an interview with Barbara Walters just a few weeks before Kofi was appointed. sheepishly accepted the assignment like he was some superman who will convince the warring factions in Syria to cease fire and lay down arms by mere negotiation. Such level of naivety from a man of such International exposure,

experience and accomplishment worries me a lot. What was he thinking? His involvement and eventual departure has seriously hurt his image and brand. He is now done with any mediatory assignments anywhere on planet earth including his own village in Ghana. I hate to see this happen to a man many of us admired and respected for his accomplishment. This brings me to the greater issue of the Middle East and the Arab spring. I am compelled to lend my voice to the many others calling for a reasonable approach to the peace process in that region. I am no foreign affairs expert, but my Christian faith assures me that I will one day face my creator in judgment, and I hope that I will get a chance to tap into the mind of God. I will seek to find out from the Creator why there is so much fighting in a region of the world that many deem “holy” and sacrosanct. A region that hosts the holy cities of Jerusalem, Mecca, Medina, Cairo and many others with distinct roles in religious and “holy” books. This region still attracts millions of people who come to participate in a pilgrimage to visit holy sites in fulfillment of a lifelong yearning for spiritual enrichment. I will ask the creator why the world’s most wanted natural endowments of petroleum oil and gas are buried in large quantities under the

sands and desert lands of this region. I wonder if that region would have been left alone in relative peace if oil and gas was not discovered in such vast quantity. I ask myself if the oil wells will ever dry up or if other sources of energy will overtake the need for oil and gas. Is the world ready to leave the Middle East alone if and when it is no longer a relevant player in the world energy equation? As for the leaders and peoples of the Middle East, I will like to ask when they will wake up and understand what is really going on. They are killing one another and fragmenting their societies while the world powers simply suck their oil wells. The UN and America and playing a game of death with human lives in Syria and indeed the entire Middle East. The death of a single American or Israeli is treated with much more respect than the death of a thousand Middle-easterners. Why can’t other oil-rich nations copy the example of the UAE and use their oil revenues to rebuild their countries. I know enough that the leaders of these countries are not acting on their own. They are constantly taking dictation from Western political and economic powers, which have little else to sustain their economies. John Elue Madu is reachable on



Marginalization of majority Igala in Kogi state By Abubakar Akpa


ecent developments in Kogi state (especially the location of the Greenfield refinery and the Federal University in Itobe and Lokoja respectively) suggest that the Igala nation cannot afford to continue to keep quiet and pretend that it is all well. We have watched the great Igala nation criminally marginalized progressively all because we occupy only the number one position (governorship) in the state government. Make no mistake, there is neither enmity nor umbrage against the Okun and Ebirra people, only against their political leaders and administrators whose illusive, greedy and insensitive manipulations of basic truth and data is superimposed on their reckless disregard for due process and blindness induced by a mission of vengeance. There are two hundred and thirty-nine (239) wards in Kogi State (Table 1). Every authentic data (those involving data capture machines) have put the Igala well above 50% of the State, yet the Igala area has ninety-seven (97) wards, representing 40.6% of the number of wards in the State. Kogi West and Central representing about 48% of the State population have one hundred and forty-two (142) wards representing 59.4% of the number of wards in the State. Olatunji Dare, writing in a By Ose Oyamendan


hen I heard the cyclist Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his titles and banned from the sport, I immediately thought of the kids and felt bad for them. Another hero just bit the dust. Here we are, after an Olympics with no heroes like the old days. Of course, if you are a Nigerian kid the reason is simple. No one wants a failure for a hero. But, you keep hoping. What has a man to do without hope? What has a kid to do without heroes? You keep hoping even though you know that statistics suggest that even this dream will fade into a nightmare. No one has to preach to you about it. All you have to do is log on to the Internet and you discover another superstar was not all that super after all. Doping is not exclusive to cycling. It is everywhere. You go looking at the back of a sports institute and it is likely you will find a cache of needles. You go back a few years and you remember Nigeria’s first Olympics gold medal winner, Chioma Ajunwa, stunned the world with her feat and upset a whole nation when she was discovered not to be a superwoman, after all. I feel bad for the kids today. In the scheme of life, sports and entertainment stars are always a kid’s first heroes. Boys

national paper on February 1, and 12, 728 respectively with handiwork of overzealous public 2011, averred that ‘in Kogi, the ten (10) wards each and Bassa, officers who are determined to Igala became the dominant Ibaji, Idah, Igalamela/Odolu and deal a fatal blow to the averred group, and their leaders never left Olamaboro which have voter overwhelming Igala majority. It anyone in doubt of their superior populations ranging between 44, is an open secret that the number numbers, and the entitlement 325 and 70, 161 and which have of wards per LGA is directly they intended to draw from it and only ten (10) wards each! related to the number of that the Yoruba people in the Though the state-wide Councillors in the Local Council State were reduced to a average number of voters per and the number of delegates to permanent p a r t y minority’. conventions at How come the State and then that the National levels. minority has The implications Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text more wards are even greater messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written than the when you contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 m a j o r i t y consider the words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and Igala? Yagba associated a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed West, Ijumu e c o n o m i c to: and Kabba/ empowerment Bunu with that accrues to v o t e r the wards on a The Editor, populations of monthly basis Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, 29, 178; 43, through the 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. 364 and 53, Councillors. Email: let 485 have Where is the SMS: 07037756364 fourteen (14) dominance of and fifteen the majority? It (15) wards each respectively; polling unit (vppu) (i.e. 516.8) is even more disturbing if this while Idah and Ofu with voter is above the actual INEC phenomenon is viewed populations of 44, 325 and 69, recommendation (300), polling holistically. In the blatant 881 respectively both have units have been arbitrarily marginalisation of the Igala, eleven (11) wards each! On an allocated to the extent that the our six (6) LGAs from Benue are agonizing note, Dekina, a State average is extremely very only nine (9) today; now massive Local Government Area high in many LGAs in Kogi East compare this with the five (5) with a voter population of 156, and ridiculously low in many LGAs from Kwara State that are 991 (538% of Yagba West), with LGAs in the West and Central. For now twelve (12) [more than the largest land mass among instance, Dekina has an average doubled!]. Furthermore, Kogi Local Government Areas in of 723.5 vppu whereas the West and Central with less than Nigeria and in fact greater than figures for Yagba West and Ogori/ 50% of the population have the land mass of Bayelsa State has Magongo are 291.8 and 190.0 fourteen (14) Assembly a miserable twelve (12) wards respectively. These examples are Members [56%], two (2) (Tables 1, 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 perfect occurrences so long as the Senators and six (6) Federal below). Compare this also with Igala is at the receiving end Representatives [66.6%]; Mopamuro and Ogori/Magongo (Table 1). however, it is okay for the Igala with voter populations of 16, 303 These are definitely the that constitute over 50% to have

eleven (11) Assembly Members [44%], one (1) Senator and three (3) Federal Representatives [33.3%] (Table 3). The over 50% population is not even demonstrated in the State House of Assembly; so where is the dominance! You also may not believe the fact that the population of the Igala has been subjected to a steady criminal manipulation over the years to the point of extinction as if we stopped marrying and having new children since 1991! Again it is perfectly in order if the Igala is at the receiving end! When you examine the gamut of injustices to which the Igala has been subjected, is it really true to say that Kogi State was created primarily to free the Igala from the marginalisation that was their yoke in Benue State, simply because we are a mere figure head? These injustices and marginalization have continued unabated because the Igala are not prone to violence. However we must state here categorically that nobody has the monopoly of violence and in fact history is replete of the gallantry of Igala warriors. Consequently these criminal manipulations which have put the Igala race at a very serious disadvantage have to be addressed by the INEC, State and Federal Governments if peaceful coexistence must be guaranteed and animosities allayed. The Igala race is now in a dare need of equity and justice! Dr. Abubakar Akpa wrote in from Lagos.

normally go for the sports stars and girls find themselves adoring the entertainers. I look at the list of superstar athletes and entertainers and I don’t think I would have lined up for their autographs if I was a kid today. Growing up, I had one hero whom I lived with. She was my mother. It was not tough for her to be my hero because I saw how much she laboured to raise all eight of us. I always tell myself if I can be half as devoted to my kids when I have them as my mother was to us growing up, I would be the greatest parent for miles and miles. Today, kids do not have that luck because mothers are working tooth and nail from sunrise to dusk. Kids are getting shuttled between parents because divorce is suddenly hip. But, a kid needs role models. I had a few. They were mostly sports stars and, of course, Michael Jackson when he was still black. I loved Muhammad Ali. I adored Glenn Hoddle, Innocent Egbunnike and Stephen Keshi. I was always fascinated by the sheer grace of Mary Onyali. And, there was magic about most of the men and women that anchored the network news that I found captivating. It’s funny how life works. I’ve been blessed to meet most of the people I adored

defecates in a cup? A superstar who loads himself up on drugs and alcohol before he or she gets behind the wheels? A politician! When I was a kid, older folks pitied my generation because they felt they had a better time growing up. I do not know what they will feel for today’s kids. It is not fair. I cannot even buy jerseys with athletes’ names on the back for my nephews and nieces because I’m not sure if that athlete won’t be tainted tomorrow. I don’t want them thinking because they like an athlete who happens to be a pain; it’s okay to be a pain. These days, I have kids who I mentor - children who call, ask for advice and look up to you. I have nephews, nieces and cousins who sometimes seek your opinion on how to navigate this maze called life. For them, you are a hero. And, every time I am around them, it is like I am in front of the headmaster again. I want to set a good example. But, it is not always easy. I have never been comfortable with being someone’s hero. But, the thing about life is that sometimes, you don’t choose roles, they choose you. And, you just have to figure out a way to be great and be responsible. Someone needs to get the message to today’s heroes. Ose Oyamendan is a Nigerian filmmaker residing in Los Angeles, California, USA.


Heroes and zeroes growing up. For the most part, I think I handled myself professionally, trying hard not to gush over them. Once, I told Segun Odegbami, the mercurial soccer star, that I idolized him as a kid. He must have thought I was joking because here I was, young but nevertheless the anchor of the most popular sports programme in the country, telling a potential interview subject I idolized him. That was classic butt licking. But, when I told him the license numbers of the governmentgifted cars of some of his teammates and how I hung

around Best Ogedengbe as a boy living off Liberty Stadium road in Ibadan, he relaxed and told me a few stories from yesterday. You see, heroes forget but kids don’t. Kids look up to their heroes. The heroes help shape their lives sometimes more than their parents. The heroes are important in their lives because they get hung up on heroes in their teenage years when they think, for the most part, that their parents are ancient and they need to be as hip as possible. But, who do they look up to today? A star who may be found tainted the next time he

Once, I told Segun Odegbami, the mercurial soccer star, that I idolized him as a kid. He must have thought I was joking because here I was, young but nevertheless the anchor of the most popular sports programme in the country, telling a potential interview subject I idolized him. That was classic butt licking. But, when I told him the license numbers of the government-gifted cars of some of his teammates and how I hung around Best Ogedengbe as a boy living off Liberty Stadium road in Ibadan, he relaxed and told me a few stories from yesterday.



Abati: The President you don’t know By Raheem Oluwafunminiyi


n the last couple of weeks, the Presidency via its media inner circle, has been having it tough with critics, most especially the hard-nut-to-crack opposition parties, the ‘army of sponsored and self-appointed anarchists’ and also ‘the twittering, pinging, Facebook crowd of the new age’. This tough battle between the President’s men and the rest of the public is coming at a time when Nigerians, more than ever before, see their leaders as some bunch of untrustworthy men who had promised heaven and earth, yet failed to send down the rain (a la Majek Fashek). It is for this reason why few individuals had to be recruited or to be ‘official’, appointed to help give credibility to a government believed to be the most cursed in the world. Of course, such appointments couldn’t have come at a better time, most especially when confusion within the presidency has further cut off whatever filial affection the majority of the people initially had felt for the President. Abati, not known to be politically naive, went all out few days ago to lash out at almost everybody who he believes ‘don’t even know why or how they should attack the President.’ It is ironical that Abati claimed Jonathan is a grossly misunderstood President, while arguing too many people are unfair to him,

criticize him out of ignorance, abuse him out of mischief and lashing at the opposition who ‘doesn’t make things easy at all’. But if President Jonathan had not removed subsidy from fuel in January, had stopped the Boko-Haram menace, had fought the oil cabal who cheated the government and the vast majority of the people of their commonwealth and created an enabling environment for employment amidst other leadership responsibilities, nobody would have given a damn. It is ironic that Abati who began his career as a public affairs commentator and fighter of reckless governments and their visually impaired policies is now the one who looks into the eyes of his progeny, claiming they are ‘wasting their talents lending relevance to thoughtless conclusions’. Abati got it all wrong with most of the issues he raised to support his paymaster. Abati claimed nobody was more committed to the Nigeria Project than President Jonathan, yet that project is fast crumbling before our very eyes. Abati’s claim that ‘ordinary Nigerians know and appreciate this’ is balderdash. If Abati had left the issue of the opposition out as critics of his paymasters, it wouldn’t have bothered much this writer, but because Abati failed to understand that these ‘leaders of the opposition who claim that the President has lost the support of Nigerians’ were only speaking

the minds of millions of Nigerians, it can never be that they ‘represent only themselves and their selfish interests’. Abati should go out and get the performance and support ratings of his paymasters from Nigerians and see how well the opposition would have performed in the public opinion test. The Northern part of the country believes they do not have a leader since Boko-Haram keeps decimating them in their teens by the day, the South-West who seem not to forget history still recall the subsidy removal and how the cabal still breath the air of freedom or where was Abati when tempers rose in that region as a result of the renaming of the University of Lagos to Moshood Abiola University through executive fiat? Kidnapping continues unabated in the South-East; a university vice-chancellor was recently released from a kidnappers’ den. Many more scenes of violence and insecurity permeate that region with no viable solution insight or is the President still not committed to eradicating the menace? The South-South faces threats of secession, while skirmishes by of militants occur week in and out. Abati was being economical with the truth when he argued the President ‘knows Nigerians want infrastructure. That is why he is telling Bi-Courtney to fix Lagos-Ibadan Expressway or get out. That is why he is telling a particular Minister to fix the East-West road and get it fixed

quickly.’ Bi-Courtney should not be told to fix our roads; rather, the company should be blacklisted while those who manage it should be prosecuted for inefficiency and flagrant abuse of contractual agreement. The particular Minister who has continued delay on the East-West road should be sacked for not doing his job and made to face the full wrath of the law for causing unnecessary accidents on that road. With Bi-Courtney and the particular Minister, Nigerians are sure going to wait a very long time to get the needed infrastructures needed to survive. Abati should have told us when an infrastructure like our moribund refineries would start working; he should have told us when infrastructures like good hospitals would be built across the federation, he should have told us when infrastructures like portable borehole would be erected in places like the North rather than just displaying ethical professionalism. If truly the President ‘has directed the relevant agencies to get corrupt persons to answer for their misdeeds,’ why have Nigerians not seen or heard of a high profile case prosecuted by the EFCC? The oil cabal still walks free and Abati knows this. The EFCC under its first Chairman had case files of former governors, yet nobody hears anything about it. The fraud in the Pension Office and Security and Exchange

Commission still begs for prosecution, yet Abati claims what is not. Of what benefit is it to Nigerians if the President runs a modern and open Presidency, gets access to Facebook, Twitter, email, SMS, BB, reads and writes, yet failed to feel the pulse of the people during the subsidy removal saga? Where was Mr. President when the intelligentsia, his immediate community and others, asked that the rule of law prevail in the last gubernatorial election in Bayelsa? Was that election not fraught with the highest form of impunity even when Nigerians pleaded for a level playing field? If the President needs the support of the people to do his work, how come he has refused to re-instate the President of the Court of Appeal, despite pleas from the masses? Of what benefit is it to Nigerians if ‘President Jonathan was the first Nigerian leader to appoint a woman as his Chief Economic Adviser and took affirmative action in political appointments to a higher level by reserving 35% of all appointive positions in government for our women folk’, yet more than 55% of Nigerian women are faced with poverty, disease, neglect and live below a dollar? Abati loves to talk, talk, talk, bringing out issues without hitting on the facts behind the issues. Raheem Oluwafunminiyi could be reached via

The one good seed Jonathan has planted By Anthony A. Kila


egardless of all the reservations or enthusiasm that a voter might have for his government, we are all bound as citizens to observe that the news that President Goodluck Jonathan has signed a performance contract with his ministers is good news. We are to see it as the planting of a good seed necessary for all the desperately needed development and efficiency in the country. As you can imagine, a seed if well planted and nourished, will grow otherwise it will wither and die. The trajectory and eventual outcome of these performance contracts is also therefore, a test for Mr. President’s ability to lead. The signing of these contracts with cabinet ministers took place last week during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting; most members of the Nigerian press corps, probably following the script they were given by the presidency, termed and presented the event as a ceremony to their readers. That, in itsel, is an original perception and expression, but let us leave such analysis for another day.

The President is reported to have remarked that “the performance contract system is aimed at upgrading contract performance by improving quality and accelerated delivery of services to the citizenry through enhanced productivity, accountability and effective service delivery”. Yes, that maybe so, in plain pure English. However, the essence of performance contracts are in the transparency, certainty and accountability they bring to any given project. For projects, transactions and operations to work efficiently, a good performance contract will enable all parties and eventual beneficiaries involved to know exactly what needs to be done, why it is required, how it will be done, what instruments and resources are required, how long it will take, who is in charge of each phase of a project, who is in charge of monitoring and what will happen if projects succeed or fail. Consequences or accountability and transparency are as important as ideas and intentions in management, the President and his aides are therefore,

wrong when during and after the signing of these performance contracts they seem to be going out of their way to reassure the signees that the contract is not to be perceived as a means to sack anybody. The President is reported to have immediately declared that “the exercise is not meant to witchhunt anyone”. By Gosh! Wrong move Mr. President; there is no reason at all to make such a statement. With such a declaration you are being a fox (or a tortoise in Nigerian parlance) rather than a lion. This is the time to be bold and clear, you need to be so in these circumstances not just to prove the point that you are tough but primarily for the country’s sake and even for the sake of your ministers. All ministers working with you need to know that their sanction or reward depends on their performance rating. As President, hence their leader, it is your duty to make these things very clear to all. You need to spell out what you consider a good performance, how you will judge it and what people should expect from you when they underperform or over perform. The advantage of this approach is that there will be no surprise

or drama for anyone; you will not need to soothe any incompetent minister’s pain. By being certain and transparent in terms of expectations, all your ministers will know what will happen to them if they a take a step or another. The only but very important act you owe all members of your team is to be objective in your evaluation and impartial in your judgment. You need to be seen as focused mainly on results and not on people or gossips. One of the possible consequences of such approach is that you might soon discover that the friendliest and conforming ministers are not necessarily the best performing ones. Therein lies your test as a leader, Mr. President. You have to decide if you want performers or conformists in your cabinet. We the citizens and history (your ultimate masters at the end of it all) are waiting and watching to see if you will pass these tests. Rather than say “the exercise is not meant to witchhunt anyone”, the President needs to let his team know that the stakes are high and that any witch caught will be burnt at

stake. The certain and well articulated fear of being punished for underperformance and the joy of being rewarded for achieving are major parts of what will remind your ministers to sit up, implement and seriously monitor these performance contracts in their own departments. Outside the palaces of government, the rest of the citizenry and other stakeholders have a huge interest and duty to emulate, shape, demand and monitor these performance contracts. For all those who use government offices, it means that one can now demand for and expect clear definite timelines from government officials rather than put up with “we are working on it” annoying answer we hear in many offices today. The performance contract is a seed, a good seed that needs to be nurtured with constant care. This simple, relatively cost free exercise is probably the most inspiring act this administration has proposed so far and if well managed it could be the best thing that has ever happened to Nigeria. Anthony A. Kila can be reached on



Man, 52, needs N7m for kidney transplant A

52-year-old man, Mr Joe Magaji, who has been on dialyses since 2010, is soliciting for N7 million for a kidney transplant in India. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Magaji, who is an Abuja-based chartered accountant, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease stage V (CKD5), in June 2010. NAN also learnt that Magaji had been on weekly dialyses at the cost of N138, 000 per month at the Consultant Medical Clinic and

Dialysis Centre, Wuse Zone 6, Abuja. Dialysis is a treatment used to remove waste and extra water from the patient’s body. ”I am a practicing accountant in Abuja, I need support as my salary cannot cope with this bill and my firm is not in a position to foot the bill,” he told NAN correspondent. The Chief Medical Consultant Physician and Nephrologist of the centre, Dr O.A Bamodu, said that Magaji was first seen on June 14,

2010 as a referred case from the National Hospital on account of deteriorating renal function. “Sequel to performed clinical laboratory investigation, a diagnosis of chronic kidney diseases stage V (CKD 5) with background hypertension and diabetes mellitus was made and the patient was commenced on a twice weekly haemodialysis regimen,” the doctor said in a statement. Bamodu said also that the kidney transplant was the definite treatment for Mogaji’s condition.

Motorists wading through bad road after a heavy rain, yesterday morning, in Mararaba, Nasarawa state.

NAN reports that cases of renal failure are on the increase and that the increase in the number of deaths is as a result of the prohibitive cost of carrying out dialysis, coupled with inadequate manpower and shortage of treatment facilities. NAN also learnt that there exist only seven centres in the country, with an un-even distribution, while Lagos State has the highest number of 30 nephrologists in the country. (NAN)

Photo: Mahmud Isa

Bad road: Phase 2 FHA Karu sends SOS to FCT minister By Augustine Aminu


esidents of Phase 2 FHA Karu in Abuja municipal area council of the Federal Capital Territory have called on the FCT minister Bala Mohammed to come to their aid by repairing the access road of the area which is in a deplorable condition.

Writing under the aegis of the Concerned Karu FHA Phase 2 Abuja residents, in a letter dated August 24, 2012, signed by Mr John Arome, secretary of the group, the residents said the access road was repaired some time in 2011 during a function at the EFCC Training Institute and abandoned mid-way.

It read in part, "This road is a total embarrassment to the FCTA as well as the residents in this area. We are referring to the straight road after the EFCC Training School, Karu, into the Phase 2 FHA (TERA ROAD) up to the phase 2 mosque and Hayatu Islamic School." The group said until now, the

residents had used their resources to repair the access road and 'can no longer afford to do so again due to the level of the damage currently'. It called on the FCT minister to use his good offices to come to their aid as the only means of transportation in the area has become Bike.

Bus driver, conductor held for allegedly stealing passenger’s wallet, handset By Stanley Onyekwere


he Police have arraigned a bus driver, Raymond Nnabuenyi and his conductor, Sunday Edeh, before an Abuja Chief Magistrates Court for allegedly stealing a wallet containing cash and a Nokia C2 belonging to his passenger, Foluke Josephine Balogun, en route Wuse. Both accused, Nnabuenyi, 5o of behind VIO, Mabushi and

Edeh, 37 of Karmu were arraigned on Tuesday, before Chief Magistrate Azubuike Okeagu, on a two-count charge of joint act and theft, contrary to sections 79 and 287 of the Penal Code respectively. The Police Prosecutor, Simon Ibrahim, told the court that the matter was reported to the police by the complainant, Miss Balogun, of block 35 Kings Court estate, along Airport road, Jabi, on

August 27, 2012. According to him, she boarded the bus from Airport road junction to Wuse when she was robbed of the said wallet containing N13,000 and the phone valued at N14,000. “The complainant on entering the bus, met other occupants, who she believed were your friends, stole the said items and when she discovered the theft after they had dropped off, you

immediately asked her to drop from your bus without showing concern”, Ibrahim put it to the suspect before the court. Both accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them by the police. Okeagu granted Nnabuenyi and Edeh bail in the sum of N200, 000 and one surety each, before he adjourned the case to September 28, 2012, for hearing.

Suspected car thief nabbed in Utako By Josephine Ella


suspected car thief, identified as Onyebuchi Okoye was yesterday, nabbed in Utako and handed over to the police in the area. This is coming barely two weeks after officials of the Integrated Park Services(IPS), intercepted and arrested some car snatchers who attempted to steal a Honda car along Mpape junction in Maitama. Okoye was said to have ran out of luck as agents of the Integrated Park Services (IPS) pounced on him in the process, handing him over to the Utako Police Station eventually. An eye witness, who pleaded anonymity, told journalists that the suspect was caught by a female official of the IPS, Miss Gloria Matthias at her duty post, when he attempted to force open a Camry car belonging to a senior pastor of the Mountain of Fire Ministry, Utako, where she was assigned. With the support of other security men posted to the church, Okoye was said to have been bundled and handed over to the police which later alleged that he was a “mad man”. Confirming the incidence, the Divisional Police Officer, DPO of Utako division, Abdulbaki Umar, an Assistant Commissioner, said the alleged car thief could have been insane base on their preliminary investigation. He however, said that proper investigation would be conducted on the matter to ascertain the other wise of the claim. Umar also commended the park agent for a job well done, adding that sanity has return to the Utako area since the park and pay agency commence services within the area. “First, let confirm the arrest and hand over of the car thief suspect by the agency. The agency female official single handedly arrested him and was aided by the police posted to the church and brought to us.” ”We commend the effort of the park company for assisting surveillance on vehicles within Utako and environs and I must confess that they are helping the police on surveillance. Let everybody support the police for the task of securing the city,” Umar said. Addressing journalists in his office, the Chief Executive of IPS, Abdul Iliyasu, said his team was assisting car owners mount surveillance on their vehicles in the course of the services. He said similar instances were recorded in recent past with his official preventing criminals from stealing cars from their owners.



Chef carts away employer’s N2.5 million in Wuse By Stanley Onyekwere


male cook, Hounkpaikou Remi of Gishiri village, Abuja, was on Tuesday, sentenced to four months imprisonment by an Abuja Chief Magistrates Court for stealing the sum of N2.5Million from his employer, one Senisa Maina, of no. 29 Cairo Street, Wuse 2, Abuja. Remi, who appeared before Chief Magistrate Azubuike

Okeagu on one count charge of theft contrary to Section 288 0f the Penal Code, was given a summary trial after he pleaded guilty to the offence. While admitting his guilt, he said: “It is true that I committed the crime but I returned the money’; please I want the court to temper justice with mercy as it is my first time and I promise not to repeat such again”. Okeagu, who sentenced the cook, accordingly, with an option

of payment of fine in the sum of N10, 000, said the sentence would serve as a deterrent to others. Earlier, the Police Prosecutor, Simon Ibrahim, told the court that the matter was reported to the police by the employer on August 15, 2012. He said the cook on the same day, while his employer left the house, abandoned his work after committing the crime and absconded with the said sum to Jabi Park, where he was

arrested. “You (the convict) being a cook to the complainant, at about 1900 hours, on the fateful day, while he left the house, stole the said sum belonging to him and ran to Jabi park, which in the process of escaping you were arrested; for having done so, you therefore committed the alleged offence”, Ibrahim put it to him before the court. The prosecutor added that when the convict was arrested, stolen money was found on him and was returned to the complainant (the employer).

A middleaged woman roasting corn, yesterday in Durumi, Abuja. Photo: Justin Imoowo

FCTA pledges support for potato farmers in Abuja By Adeola Tukuru


otato farmers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) may soon heaved a sign of relieve, as the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) yesterday, pledged to offer necessary support to them to enhance food security and employment. The Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) of FCTA, Mrs Olvadi Madayi made the

commitment at the just concluded sensitization campaign on ‘orange flesh sweet potato’ said that the campaign for an improved variety of sweet potato, became necessary following its medical and economic potentials. Madayi, represented by the Director of Agriculture, ARDS stated that the campaign was organised by FCTA in collaboration with Potato Farmers Association of Nigeria (POFAN). “I have been informed that it serves as raw material for the

manufacture of glucose, rich source of vitamin A for good eye sight as well as production of numerous added value products. “The production of this crop will therefore, enhance jobs creation for unemployed youths, poverty reduction and income generation for our farmers,” she said. According to her, ARDS through its crop unit will continue to partner with private organizations to promote projects aimed at crop development in FCT. In his remark, POFAN

National President, Chief Daniel Okafor said the promotion of potato production especially the improved variety was to enhance food security. He said arrangement have been concluded to extend campaign for orange flesh sweet potato to schools. Okafor commended the FCTA for its support in promoting the improved variety of sweet potato, adding that the gesture would no doubt enhance food security in FCT.

Panel-beater arraigned for alleged criminal breach of trust


n Abuja-based panel beater, Taiye Babalola, was yesterday arraigned before a Federal Capital Territory( FCT) Upper Area Court in Kubwa over alleged criminal breach of trust. The Police Prosecutor, Igonor Oshodi, told the court that the offence contravenes Section 311 of the Penal Code. He said that the plaintiff, Musa Oturumi, complained at the Kubwa police station on June 27, 2012 that

he entrusted his Honda car with the accused for some body work. He said the accused person allegedly went ahead to sell the car and converted the proceeds to his personal use. The accused pleaded guilty to the charge. The prosecutor, however, told the court that both parties had agreed to explore an out-of-court settlement. He, therefore, sought an

adjournment, to enable him prove the case, while the parties worked out the terms of settlement. The defence counsel, Mr Hope Imoukhuede, prayed the court to grant the accused bail on “very liberal terms,” to enable both parties settle the matter amicably. The Judge, Alhaji Mohammed Lawal, said that the court usually encouraged parties to explore the amicable rresolution of their cases, rather than litigation.

He noted that it was still advisable to mention the case as the court would still adjudicate if any of the parties breached the terms of settlement. He then granted the accused bail in the sum of N100, 000 with one surety in like sum, who must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court. The case was then adjourned till September 27, 2012 for further hearing. (NAN)

School principals urged to pay attention to girl-child education By Adeola Tukuru


he National President of All Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPPS), Hajia Fatima Abdulrahaman, who doubles as the Principal of Government Secondary School Kuje in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has emphasised the need for the country to pay serious attention to girl child education. Fatima spoke at a public lecture at the Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS), Dutse, Bwari Area Council, titled: “The challenges of women education in Nigeria”, She advised the students to pursue their education to tertiary levels, emphasising that their contributions in the near future would take this country to greater heights. The President enjoined the females students to live a decent life in whatever circumstances they find themselves just as she warned them against disobeying their parents’ wishes and instructions. She admonished them to always work hard as this would serve as a ladder to take them to higher position in life and challenged them to emulate Justice Aloma Mariam Mukthar, who is the first female in the history of Nigeria judiciary to become Chief Justice of Nigeria. Also speaking, the Principal of the School, Hajia Binta Nasir charged students to live an exemplary life worthy of emulation even as she warned them against associating with bad friends. Hajia Binta cautioned them in attending parties, saying, they should always seek permission of their parents before doing anything. The educationist further enjoined the students to shun cultism, examination malpractices and other vices that could frustrate their future ambition whenever they get admission into tertiary institutions. She called on parent to live up to their expectations towards monitoring their wards. On his part, the Chairman of the occasion, Captain Aliyu Garba, retired, who doubles as Barden Bwari, challenged government at all levels to improve the standard of education in the country and attributed the fallen standard of education to poor leadership.




. Refuse collectors trimming and packing tree branches, yesterday in Area 2, Abuja.


A middle-aged man taking nap in his make-shift shop, yesterday in Garki, Abuja.


A beverages seller waiting for clients, yesterday in Jabi District of Abuja.

4. Some wheel barrow pushers waiting for patronage, yesterday in Wuse market, Abuja.

5. Keke NAPEP driver sleeping in his tricycle, yesterday in Garki market, Abuja.



Photos: Justin Imo-owo

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Small Scale Industrialists wants SMEs bank

Mob: 08033644990

L-R: Bauchi state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Hajiya Amina Katagum, the state Governor, Malam Isa Yuguda, Speaker, State House of Assembly, Hon. Yahya Miya, and Group Managing Director/Permanent Secretary, Yankari transport company, Alhaji Ibrahim Sule, during the inauguration of 50 Yankari express buses, on Monday in Bauchi. Photo: NAN

FG assures on completing Lagos-Ibadan express rail by 2015


he Federal Government has said it is committed to ensuring that the $1.5 billion Lagos–Ibadan express rail contract recently approved by the Federal Executive Council, is completed in the next 36 months. The Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar gave this assurance at the contract agreement signing ceremony with the contractors, the China Civil Engineering Construction Company, in Abuja on Tuesday. During the agreement signing ceremony in Abuja, the Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar, said the agreement demonstrated consistency, continuity and commitment of government’s policy to the modernisation of the railway system. It could be recalled that on July 18, the Federal Executive Council approved Addendum No.2: Lagos to Ibadan Standard Gauge Rail Double Track on double formation covering a distance of 156.65km totaling 313.30km double track. Umar said the contract was approved in favour of CCECC in the sum of 1.49 billion dollars inclusive all tax with a completion period of 36 months. He said the project, like the Abuja (Idu) to Kaduna project awarded in January 2009, was to be partly financed by the Chinese Government through a China EXIM Bank concessionary loan facility. “Under the arrangement, the loan facility to the tune of one billion dollars is going to be provided by the China EXIM Bank,’’ he said. He said negotiations had been concluded with China EXIM Bank for an initial 500 million dollars during the negotiation in China. The minister said the balance

of 500 million dollars was expected in due course while the Federal Government was expected to pay the balance of the project fund, which is 530.78 million dollars . Mr Cao Gang, the Managing Director of CCECC, gave an assurance that the company

would keep pace with the terms and conditions of the contract. Gang said the standard gauge on completion would have the capacity to carry 1,000 people at a time and more than 1,200 tonnes of cargo. He said that it would also boost the economic growth of the

country as well as open up employment opportunities for Nigerians. Giving the breakdown of how the express rail will be financed, the Minister revealed that the project is to be partly financed through a $1billion China EX-IM bank concessionary loan facility,

while the federal government will be paying the balance of $5 million. Both parties said they are confident that, unlike the last time when funding constraints frustrated the last contracts, the contract will be completed on time. (NAN)

Traders appeal to Lagos council over upgrade of market


raders at the Rauf Aregbesola Market, Iyana Ipaja, Lagos, have appealed to the Egbeda/Akowonjo Local Development Authority to suspend its planned upgrade of the market. They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos that the notice to quit the market by Saturday, Sept. 1, came to them as a surprise. “We are not against the plan to upgrade the market, but what we are saying is that no trader was consulted about the project and we think this is wrong. ``We own the shops because we bought them from the state government in 2004. “In a way, we are the owners of the shops and so if the government has to do anything on our shops they should engage

us so that we reach an agreement. Rather than doing that, all we got on Aug. 18 was a letter from the local government asking us to pack our things and leave by Sept. 1. Where do they want us to go? This is never done anywhere,” Mrs. Wasilat Bakare, one of the traders lamented. Another trader, Mr. Mike Anabo, said that the only time the local government ever told them about the plan to upgrade the market was when the council asked us to submit the allocation papers. “Sometime ago, they asked for our allocation papers and that’s all. The next thing was that they keep threatening us with forceful eviction. I have not seen where a government you voted for behave in a forceful way. This is a rude shock to us,” he said. Anabo said that the

desperation with which the council was going about the market upgrade had shown an ulterior motive to make money rather than improve the market. He said that the initial agreement with the council was that each trader should pay N250,000 to reclaim his or her stall after the upgrade. “But now, we have heard that it is now N1.2 million each or the trader forfeits his stall. “So what do we call that,” he asked. The council spokesman for the market, Mr. Segun Odumokun said that what the government intended to do was for the good of the traders. Odumokun described as untrue allegations that the traders were not properly carried along in the planned upgrade of the market. He said that the government

Management Tip of the Day When starting a company, get your values right


s a start-up gets off the ground, it has a shortlived opportunity to decide how it wants to do business. With each new hire company culture becomes more entrenched and somewhere after two dozen employees, it tends to cement. Establish a set of genuine

values before your start-up gets too complex. Articulate a coherent philosophy about who you are and how you will work. Also be clear about who you aren’t and what you won’t do. This will make decisions easier and ultimately improve results. Rather than analyzing

each new decision afresh, you’ll have a common foundation from which to make them. If you don’t do this deliberately when your organization is young, the culture will (often rigidly) form itself. Source: Harvard Business Review

had engaged the market executives several times on the development. “Now that things have gone this way, we will in a matter of days brief all the traders about the council’s plan. (NAN)

Nigeria to launch N2.4bn fund to foster ICT development By Muhammad Sada


igeria will soon launch a venture capital fund worth 15 million US dollars (N 2.4 billion) to develop information and communication technology by providing the required technological knowhow to upgrade the status of ICT in the country. The fund would be substantially private-driven and used to finance commercial projects, ideas and initiatives in the ICT sector, Communications Technology Minister Mobolaji Johnson noted recently, in Abuja. According to the minister”Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency would supervise the fund and contribute about $3.6 million to it.”





ACN Plc. has released its H1’12 numbers showing a significant 16 percent leap in revenues to N30.50bn in the year under review, from N26 billion in 2011. Also the company’s profit before tax inched up 11 percent from N3.1 billion to N3.5 billion, while profit after tax recorded a 17 percent growth from N1.8 billion to N2.1 billion. This double-digit growth in turnover was achieved, despite pressure on disposable incomes, largely due to additional production capacity in UAC’s food businesses.

Flour Mills


lour Mills has announced its financial result for the first quarter (Q1) ended June 30, 2012 on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, showing a10 per cent growth in turnover, 32 per cent in profit before tax and 42 per cent in profit after tax. The company ended the Q1 of 2012 with a turnover of N70.7 billion, up from N64.2 billion in the corresponding period of 2011. Profit before tax rose from N3.9 billion to N5.1 billion in 2012, while profit after tax grew from N2.7 billion to N3.9 billion.

World Bank


he World Bank has budgeted 300 million dollars for Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) scheme in Nigeria, Marie-Francoise MarielNelly, Country Director of the World Bank in Nigeria said on Tuesday. Speaking at the 53rd Annual conference of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES), MarielNelly said: “We are preparing a Youth Employment and Social Support operation (YESSO) aiming at supporting the provision of immediate work opportunities and skills development for unemployed youths and women from poor households@. Mariel-Nelly said the 300 million dollars project will cover all parts of the country in up to 20 states.

West African gas pipeline


he multi-billion dollar West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP), established for the supply of natural gas from the Niger Delta to some neighbouring West African countries has been shut down. Operators of the pipeline, the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo), said yesterday that the decision to shut down the facility was due to an unusual loss of pressure experienced around the Lome segment of the pipeline in Togo.

Institute seeks FG grants for cocoa farmers Stories by Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) a n d o t h e r stakeholders have called on the Federal Government to provide grants for cocoa producers to boost it productions in the country. CRIN Director Dr. E.O Aigbekaen said this in Lagos during an interactive forum on export of Cocoa and its derivatives organized by Nigeria Export Promotion Council, NEPC, said CRIN has developed the 24 months early bearing cocoa which has necessitated the Federal Government to give grants to enable establishment of Cocoa seed garden in fourteen cocoa growing states in Nigeria. With this, he said cocoa farmers in the country will have a veritable source of planting materials for their farms “this will greatly minimize the perpetuation and perpetration of the plucking of seeds from their farms for establishing new farms Aigbekaen said that the country has targeted to export one million tones of cocoa to the international market annual. The country as at today produces about 300,000 kilograms of cocoa per annual. He said he lamented that the scraping of the Cocoa board has contributed majorly in crippling value of the product. He said the board always

….NEPC seeks to increase exports to 1m tonnes regulates the cost that comes into cocoa farmer, “they absurd the fall of cocoa on the international market which helps farmers not to run at lost”. He said the government should make infrastructure in the rural area to enable develop youth interest in cocoa farming.

Earlier in his open remark NEPC Area Controller Mr.Olayinka Ibrahim said the council is committed to the promotion of cocoa export in the country. He lamented that Nigeria cocoa has once enjoyed premium price in the international

Bio-Organic boss wants FG to ban flour importation


hief Executive Officer of Bio-organics Nutrient Systems Limited, Dr. Kenny Uzoma Acholonu has appealed to the Federal Ministry of Finance and Federal Ministry of Trade and Investments to list vitamins and minerals premixes as a product that should be on the banned list as now being compiled by the Federal Government. A c h o l o n u w h i l e prescribing measures to resuscitate Nigerian food industry and increase its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product during the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) visit to the company in Lagos said that there was need to Sensitize all flour milling industries in Nigeria that the technology, to

SON DG, Dr. Joseph Ikemefuna patronize made in Nigeria products and services for fortification of flour. “China, Brazil, India and

Small Scale Industrialists want SMEs bank ….US, SMEDAN wants fresh business ideas


he National President of the National Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) Mr. Chukwu Wachukwu, has called for the creation of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)bank to finance SMEs operators in the country. While the United States Department and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) have urged Nigeria’s young entrepreneurs to change their mindset on identification of business opportunities, time management rather than expecting only government to provide the enabling environment for their businesses to thrive. Wachukwu spoke at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the management of Goldmond Limited, also condemned moves by the Federal Government to scrap the National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND). ”NERFUND is the body now funding the industry and so if anybody should tamper with the fund, he is not wishing the SMEs and Nigeria well.” Wachukwu urged banks to support the development of SMEs, saying:”Of all the banks, FirstBank has invested more

market beside the leading position she occupied in the production commodity in the world, but today the country queue up behinds other countries like Ghana in production, quality and export of the produce in the international market.

money in the development of SMEs; the other banks should follow suit to ensure that the SMEs are encouraged through funding.” He disclosed that 95 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product were from the industries, adding that on employment, the industries were taking more Nigerians than any other sector. The president, however, regretted that the sector had not been invigorated enough in funding. The U S through its Embassy in Abuja and SMEDAN advised that rather than waste time on expectations that may never be adequately met, Nigerians should turn every problem to a business opportunity and regard time as a valuable moneyspinner which should be judiciously used. They noted that entrepreneurship requires hard work, patience and determination to bear long-term benefits. Delivering his keynote address, at a forum the Director-General, SMEDAN, Alhaji Mohammed Nadada Umar, said SMEDAN has boosted the development of MSMEs to a large extent. He urged entrepreneurs to develop their own ideas and follow them through to a successful end.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ThinkImpact, an international social enterprise which provides educational services to entrepreneurs, Mr. Garlick said people needed to change their minds from the widely held notion that enterprises are built on money. “Enterprises are built on people who forge trusted relationships and are willing to take risks together. People who are not afraid to fail but learn from their mistakes. People who are determined to surmount challenges that may arise on the way through hard work and sustained communication. “It is impossible to start a successful business right away, from the word go,” he said. He noted that entrepreneurs as problem-solvers and goalgetters do not wait for the government to create a conducive business environment for businesses to thrive but turn those difficulties posed by the failures of the government into business opportunities through which they can create something which would add value to people’s lives and improve the world. “Those who are courageous enough to take that risk, he said, “must understand the different elements of establishing enterprises, which can be quite overwhelming,” he said.

Malaysia are thriving economies because they strongly advice all foreign investors accordingly”, he added. Acholonu said that BioOrganics to be recognised by SON to justify all locally processed cassava flour as part of the agricultural transformation value chain agenda of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture. ”In the food processing industry, the transnational companies such as Nestle, Cadbury/Kraft, Guinness/ Diageo, Nigerian Breweries/ Heineken and a host of others are demanding full international HACCP compliance processes from indigenous Nigerian companies. “It may interest you to know that Bio-Organics Nutrient Systems Limited have scaled five international audits with a cost of over N100 million both in Human Capital training, process redesign and hygienic engineering deployment. Micronutrient blending is about science, art and engineering at their best practices. Also, the standards for vitamins and minerals premixes for the animal feed industry must be upgraded to international standards. For example, KFC, a global brand will demand global standards with respect to the feed additives used to produce all the broiler meat which they offer to the public. “Furthermore, KFC will demand a globally certified ISO22000 with a HACCP compliant processing system in order to thrive in our economy and seize the opportunity our large population offers to them. In the market space where BioOrganics plays a critical role, the SON is our best partner with particular attention to the mandatory fortification standards of wheat flour, semolina, and with vitamins and minerals”. He noted that in the market space where Bio-Organics plays a critical role, the Standard Organisation of Nigeria is our best partner with particular attention to the mandatory fortification standards of wheat flour, semolina, and with vitamins and minerals. He described Bio-Organic as the only internationally certified blending plant with its own indigenous technology in Africa. Technology is key to industrial development and global competitiveness.



launches Yo! Yogurt Rosabon rewards loyal Nutricima classic in Port Harcourt customers through RWIN N Stories from Suleiman Idris, Lagos


osabon Financial Services Limited, one of the foremost financial intermediary and equipment leasing firms in Nigeria, has introduced a new product Rosabon Win-Big-Monthly Investment Note (RWIN). RWIN is a unique fund management product that is linked to a monthly promo. The Managing Director, Rosabon Financial Services Limited, Chukwuma Ochonogor said that, “The product is a way of rewarding our customers. We need to encourage a healthy savings culture in Nigeria. It is bad enough that we are more of a consumer nation.

Nigerians need to be encouraged to put money aside, to build capital that they can use to fund their businesses. Even though the product is not a savings account, but more of a funds placement product, RWIN is our own way of incentivising a savings culture in the country.” Yinka Erhiawe, acting head of the Treasury department, Rosabon Financial Services Limited said, “For every N20,000 that is placed for 30days, an investor gets a raffle ticket. Subsequent raffle tickets will be given out in multiples of N20,000.00. At the end of the 30 days period, raffle tickets are sent to the investors. With this ticket,

the investors are entered into a monthly draw, where they stand a chance of winning either 200,000.00 cash or N80,000 and N70,000 in gift vouchers.” “The beauty of this product is that for every 30 days that your fund stays with us, you get a raffle ticket. And the prize money increases monthly. And to encourage young Nigerians without the funds to be part of this product, a referral programme has been put in place. We will give out one raffle ticket for every 5 tickets that is referred to us within a month. However, referral tickets will only be valid for one month,” Erhiawe added.

utricima, Nigerian makers of healthy consumables, officially launched its Classic variant of the Yo! Yogurt brand into the Port Harcourt market, recently. Introducing the products to the media and other guests at the ceremony, the company’s Assistant Brand Manager, Ayowande Smith, said it was time for Nigerians to have food that supports their health. “The product is packed with ingredients which promote general digestive health and help keep your immunity intact,” he said, adding that aside from its natural taste and feel, Yo! Natural Yogurt is also packed with calcium and other vitamins for general well being. Also speaking at the event, Nutricima’s Integrated Marketing Communication Manager, Mr. Funso Jacob

observed that the product is a careful combination of nature and nutrition science, prepared in the company’s tradition of high quality and “delivered with love to consumers.” “Nutricima has been at the vanguard of promoting optimal nutrition among consumers in Nigeria since it commenced operation in 2005 within its ultra modern manufacturing plant situated at Ikorodu town in Lagos State. “Within seven years of operation, our products are fast becoming the preferred choices of consumers across the nation”, he said The highlights of the event were the performances by comedian, Arinze Baba and a professional dance duo, the Body Language, who dazzled the guests to a time in entertainment.

Windows 8 tablets to cost costumers between $300 and $700


avid Schmoock, Lenovo’s head of North America operations, has announced that the Windows 8 tablets will cost between $600 and $700, while Windows RT


rig Gen David Bitrus (Rtd) born on 3 January, 1954 attended United Missionary Society School Zuru and Tungan Magajiya. He gained admission into Government Craft School Bida in 1970 which became Govt. Secondary School (Eyagi Bida) that year. He obtained the West African School Certificate and the proceeded to Advance Teachers College Sokoto in 1974. He was admitted into the Nigerian Defense Academy as a member of the 19thRegular Course and was commissioned into the infantry Corps in June, 1978. As an infantry officer, Brig. Gen Bitrus attended all relevant infantry courses including the infantry’s officer Advanced Course at US Army infantry centre and school, Fort Benning Georgia. He attended Junior Division Staff Course 1/85 and was a member of command and Staff College Course 14. He is a graduate of National War College now National Defense Colleges Course 12. As a young infantry Officer,

tablets will cost $200 to $300 less than that. Windows RT is the version of Microsoft’s operating system that runs on ARM-based processors – the same kind that appear in most phones and tablets, including Apple’s iPad. Compared to Windows 8 tablets, processors for which will come from Intel and AMD, Windows RT devices will likely be thinner, lighter and more power-efficient on average. However, only Windows 8 will be able to run Legacy desktop software, whereas Windows RT will rely on apps from the Windows Store. It will have a desktop, but only for a few builtin applications, such as File Explorer, Internet Explorer and a special version of Office 2013. “RT will play in consumer and retail at very aggressive price points,” Schmoock said.


Brig Gen David Bitrus (Rtd) Brig Gen Bitrus passed through the rung of appointments in the battalion from platoon commander, staff to second in command (Bn 2IC) thus gaining sound footing and experience in regimental, training and unit administration. The only appointments Brig Gen never held in the battalion as an infantry officer were QM and OC admin. He served in 72 and 62 infantry battalions and 123 Guards Battalion and imbibed fully, the rudiments, characteristics and attributes of the infantry, ‘yielding to nothing.’ Gen Bitrus held other appointments beyond the battalion. He was an instructor at the Nigerian Army School of Infantry (NASI) at various times in the ranks of Lt, Capt and Maj. He was instructor Anti-Tank Division, Senior Instructor AntiTank, Mortar and Platoon Sgts Division and instructor in the

Company Commander’s division. He was also directing Staff at the Command and Staff College. Staff appointments held at higher Headquarters included Staff Captain Quartering Service HQ 2 Division, General Staff Officer Grade 2 Examinations and at a time combined with training at the Army Headquarters. He was also Staff Officer Grade 1 Quartering at Divisional HQ and Deputy Director Supplies at the Defense Headquarters. As a major and later Lt. Col, Brid Gen Bitrus was Military Assistant to CCEO, NDLEA (Late Gen MM Bamaiyi). He was Deputy Commandant NMS from August, 1999 to April 2000 when he was appointed Commandant NMS. At his last post in service he was the Director, Doctrine and Combatant Development at TRADOC. Prominent command appointments were the Camp Commandant, 2 Div Camp and

Commandant, Nigerian Military School from April, 2000 to August, 2003. During the course of service, Brig Gen Bitrus had operational experiences including service at the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Nigerian/ Chad Crisis of 1983 and was with the First Nigerian Unit of ECOMOG and was the first ECOMOG Task Force Commander. In all places he served, Gen Bitrus held extra regimental appointments and was member of many boards and panels as a member or secretary. He was President Mess Committee more than once. He was a member of the board that drafted the Nigerian Army Peace Support Operations Doctrine in 2005. Awards medals and decorations include UNIFIL Peace Medal, ECOMOG Medal, Silver Jubilee, FSS MSS pcs (+) DSS, fwc Brig Gen D Bitrus (rtd) received commendation letters for high integrity and credible performance at the NDLEA; for creating conductive learning

environment in NMS and for credible contribution while on the NA Peace Support Operations Doctrine Drafting Committee. In the course of service, D Bitrus traveled to many countries. His marriage is blessed with 4 children but lost one.

Brig. General D Bitrus (Rtd)



FCTA generates N399m IGR in August - Minister


he FCT Administration (FCTA) has recorded N399 million as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in August as against the N1.472 billion realised in July. Ms Olajumoke Akinjide, the Minister of State for FCT, announced this on Tuesday during the Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) meeting attended by representatives of the six area councils on Tuesday in Abuja. She said that the decline in revenue was because the Abuja Geographical Information System (AGIS) had yet to declare its IGR for the month. “As you have noticed, there was

a sharp decline in the IGR because AGIS was not able to declare its revenue because of a matter it has in court,” Akinjide said. The minister added that N1.62 billion from the Federation Account was available for distribution to the six area councils and that three statutory deductions were being made from the councils’ fund. She listed the deductions to include primary school teachers’ salaries, 15 per cent pension fund and one per cent training fund, totalling N925.61 million. Akinjide gave the net distribution of the allocation to the six area councils as follows: Abaji 102.87 million; Abuja Municipal, N135.03 million; Bwari, N123.52

million; Gwagwalada, N125. 75 million; Kuje, N99.23 million and Kwali, N101.10 million. On the SURE-P programme initiated by the Federal Government, she said it was being funded through monies realised from the partial deregulation of the downstream sector and the SUREP Fund was distributed among the three tiers of government for job creation. “Each state of the federation should emulate what the Federal Government has done. They should be transparent with their accounts and should design a programme which will benefit the ordinary Nigerian in terms of employment creation and infrastructure.’’

She said the FCTA received N170.32 million as FCT area councils’ share of the SURE-P programme Fund for the months of May, June and July. Akinjide gave the breakdown of the total fund distributed to the area councils for the three months as follows: Abaji, N20.89 million; Abuja Municipal, N50314 million; Bwari, N27.87 million; Gwagwalada, N25.50 million; Kuje, N22.35 million and Kwali, N23.39 million. Akinjide said that the SURE-P Fund was to be put in a separate account in each area council so that it could be spent for the purpose it is meant. “The SURE -P Fund as recommended by the Federal Government is to be put in a separate account in each area councils; they should not be comingled with other monies so that this money goes for job creation and critical infrastructure.’’ The minister said that the National Economic Council at the last Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting approved one billion dollars from the excess crude account to be shared among the three tiers of government. She said the FCT area councils were allocated 1.5 million dollars from the account. (NAN)

Flight Schedules Aero

Los-Abj: 06:50, 13:30, 16:30, 19:45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/ Sun); 12:30 (Sun); 16:45 (Sat) Abj-Los: 07:30, 13:00, 19:00 (Mon-Fri/Sat); 10:30, 14:30, 19:30 (Sun), 18:30 (Sat)

IRS Los-Abj: 9:45, 11:45, 2:45, (Mon-Fri); 9:30, 12:45 (Sat & Sun) Abj-Los: 11.30, 3:45, 4.45 (Mon-Fri); 12.00, 14:30, (Sat/Sun) Los-Kano: 6:15 (Mon-Fri); 16:30 (Sat & Sun) Kano-Los: 07:30 (Mon-Fri), 10:30 (Sat & Sun)

Arik Lag-Abj: 07:15, 09:15, 13:45, 15:50, 18:45 (MonFri); 7:15, 10:20, 2:20 (Sat & Sun) Lag-Kad: 10:00, 15:10 (MonFri) Lag-Kano: 12.20 (Mon-Fri);

Commonwealth Business Council sets N1.6tr deal target for Africa By Muhammad Nasir, with agency report

L-R: General Manager Public Affairs, UNTL Kaduna, Senator Walid Jibrin, General-Secretary, NUTGTWN, Comrade Issa Aremu, Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, Trustfund Pensions Plc, Musa Nasr, President NUTGTWN, Comrade Oladele Hunsu, during a one-day sensitisation programme on contributory pension scheme, on Tuesday in Kaduna.

NAAPE dissociates self from those against growth of aviation sector By Muhammad Sada


he National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) has reaffirmed its unflinching loyalty and support to the Transformation agenda of the aviation minister, Princess Stella Oduah, just as it dissociated the union from all those it describes as ‘’not interested in the growth and development of the sector in Nigeria’’. This was disclosed in a press release issued by the S.A media to the aviation minister, Joe Obi, noting that the National President of the Association, Capt. Isaac Balama disclosed this during a Courtesy Visit of the Executive members of the association on the Minister in her office in Abuja on Tuesday, and declared that the Minister was on the right track as far as moving the sector forward was concerned. He stressed that the association is not only interested in, but also ready to galvanize its members to work with the minister to enable her realize her vision for the

….as minister pledges continuous support for NCAT industry. ‘’We are interested in making this industry work, we are interested in supporting the government and we are going to do our best to help her realize her vision for the sector. We are also going to dissociate ourselves from all the people that are not interested in the growth of this sector while also encouraging the people that are committed to moving this sector forward to come forward and join hands with us to move this sector forward’’, Balama stated. The NAAPE President, who said the main reason for the visit was to get a direct clarification from the minister on rumours making the rounds that government plans to sell or privatize the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) as well as stop government funding for the institution from the 2013 fiscal year, expressed satisfaction

with the clarification from the Minister that the rumours were quite unfounded and also dissatisfaction with the slow pace of growth of NCAT and stressed the desire of its members to see the college offer Post -graduate courses to improve the capacity of the industry in Nigeria. Responding, the Minister said it has never been in the plan of government either to sell or privatise NCAT, and allayed the fears of the Association which observed that such a move had the potential of affecting the job security of its members and that those peddling the sale or privatization rumour are only being mischievous and unfair to the government, explaining that towing that line negates the government’s vision to grow the College and reposition it as an aviation training hub on the continent.


he high-powered Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) is spearheading a push by Australian miners into Africa after helping broker about $4.5 billion (N720 bn)in investment and business deals over the past nine months, including Australian investments in the resources sector in Nigeria and Mozambique. The CBC has set an ambitious target of $10bn (N1.6 tr)worth of new deals before the end of this year flowing from last year’s landmark Commonwealth Business Forum in Perth, staged before the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) last October and plans to stage investment forums in Zambia, Nigeria and Mozambique in the next three months to open investment opportunities in the African region for Australian firms. Nigeria’s ambassador to China, Aminu Bashir Wali, has called on China to cut import tariffs on a wider range of African products and encourage more Chinese companies to invest in the continent. While applauding the efforts made so far by both sides to build long-lasting business ties, Wali told China Daily that there is a growing trade imbalance between the two,

strongly in favor of China. “China needs Africa and Africa needs China. But a more harmonious relationship in terms of trade should be established,” he said. “The flow of trade is certainly in favor of China, and two ways of improving that would be to encourage more direct investment into Africa and cut tariffs on African goods and exports.” China’s cumulative investment in Africa has reached $15 billion over the past decade, and investment has been growing rapidly, in particular in sectors such as mining, energy, agriculture and infrastructure. According to the Ministry of Commerce, China’s direct investment in Africa in 2011 surged 58.9 percent year-onyear to $1.7 billion. During his keynote speech at the 2012 Forum on ChinaAfrica Cooperation last month, President Hu Jintao said the two sides should focus on improving trade structure and quality. (NAN) As part of the commitment, he pledged $20 billion in new loans to Africa for infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing and the development of small and medium-sized enterprises. China will also offer 18,000 government scholarships and send 1,500 medical staff to the continent. (NAN)




The things Nigerian women do to their skins in the name of beauty!

Dark woman


ecky, a millionaire and mother of four, is in her 50s; she cringes in trepidation whenever people address her as “madam” because it rudely reminds her that she is aging. She has invested a fortune in toning up her skin, using all sorts of lightening creams; she has also visited a couple of cosmetologists just to pull off a younger look. However, her wrinkled neck and knuckles tell more of her age, contrasting with her facial decorations. One of her kids, Jane, 27, takes after her style. As a

banker in her middle management cadre, she can afford to tone up in spite of her already fresh-looking skin. Nowadays, a number of dark-skinned people are yearning for fairer complexion and the lighter skinned ones want to become even fairer. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 77 per cent of Nigerians use skin lightening soaps and creams on a regular basis, especially females between the ages 15 and 35. Why do women want to change their skin colour? To

attract the opposite sex, to look forever young or even to enhance their self-esteem or could it just be as a result of lack in self confidence? Studies show that many African and Asian women secretly desire this so-called beauty enhancement because they believe the lighter your skin is, the more attractive you look and the more attention you get from the men. However, Equolor, a 27year-old, dark-skinned public servant, says that she does not understand why people want their skin to look lighter. On her part, she is satisfied with her colour.

“Why would I want to spend so much money trying to change my skin colour especially now that we know the damage it can cause to the skin?” she asks. “I think if women were comfortable with their looks, they wouldn’t venture into such extremes.” Dumebi, a 40- year- old banker, says that she thinks people who bleach their skins have complex issues, adding that if you are proud of your skin colour you wouldn’t want to change it. Angela a 25-year- old student, says “a little enhancement of the skin completion is not a bad idea

but once it gets out of control, it becomes an issue. You see some ladies who have fair faces and black necks or have green veins or stretch marks as a result of bleaching.’’ She also says that some ladies want to change their skin colour because they feel men are attracted to lightskinned ladies. Mr. Adetoun Ajiboye, a psychologist, says that the issue of bleaching or toning has to do with social conformity and inferiority complex, explaining that a woman may see another lady, admire her looks and decide she wants to look like her. “For instance, if a lady is trusting God for a husband and probably the last four ladies she knew who got married were light skinned, she may begin to think, OK, if I’m lighter in clolour, I would probably get a husband. “Another thing is the feeling of inferiority and low self-esteem; some ladies have this misconception that the lighter skinned ladies are more beautiful, so they begin to feel inadequate with their darker complexion and start using creams to change it.” Ajiboye says that the decision to bleach is a function of the mind and such people should ask themselves: why do I want to change my skin colour? Is it to look “beautiful’’ or because being light-skinned is the vogue? A dermatologist, Dr Olarewaju Falodun says: “After some research I did on the era of slave trade, I discovered that the lighterskinned slaves were given better treatment and they were sold for a little more. “So over time, people felt that being lighter gives a greater advantage somehow and that is how this thing came into our part of the world. “I also read somewhere that people have this notion that the lighter your complexion is, the more beautiful you are, which is very wrong.’’ Falodun explained that

bleaching and toning is the same thing because the products that are used for either purpose are things that will lighten or bleach the skin. “In our own context, toning appears to be more acceptable and when you talk about toning, it is ok, but when you say bleaching, then people look at you as somebody that has committed a crime.” “Really for a greater majority of people, they want to do bleaching and they just call it toning.” There are several agents women use to lighten the skin which include hydroquinone, steroids and kojic acid. Studies show that hydroquinone is a naturally occurring compound and it is commonly found in skin lightening creams and creams meant to reduce age spots or blemishes. “Hydroquinone lightens your skin by breaking down cells that produce the skin pigment melanin. After four weeks of using a

hydroquinone-containing product, you should notice lightening of the area to which you applied the cream.” Melanin is what gives the skin its colour and it is nature’s way of preventing the skin from the sun’s harmful radiation. According to studies, prior to 2006, creams featuring hydroquinone could be obtained over the counter in the U.S., but since then the Food and Drug Administration banned it because of its potential toxicity. Falodun also says that there are severe side effects of using these lightening creams which include predisposing the skin to injury. “ The skin is meant to be a particular layer thick, by the time you do a lot of bleaching, the skin becomes very thin and that is not good. “So, the tendency for the skin to easily get injured is very high and when injury is there,

Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu. His Ministry has warned of the damaging effects of skin bleaching

healing is very poor. “If someone who has bleached the skin goes for surgeries, wound healing is also very poor. There have been instances when one does some procedures, you realise that when you use your instrument to pick the skin, it begins to tear apart.” He says that these agents, especially in hydroquinone, cause patchy discoloration and pigmentation, adding that steroids give rise to diabetics when used over a long period of time. Other side effects include ugly stretch marks, bad odour from some of the agents and infections to the skin. “Some people are allergic to some particular components of those bleaching agents and they can have idiosyncratic reactions. Some people can even have allergic dermatitis form these agents.” Falodun notes that some studies have also shown that some of these bleaching agents predispose people to cancers because the protective layer of the skin called melanin is being removed. The dermatologist says that older women experience more severe side effects as their skin is less likely to heal faster than the skin of younger women. He says those who discontinue the use of these lightening agents will eventually get their skin restored, while for others, the skin colour may become uneven. Sunday, an owner of a cosmetic shop in Abuja, claims that many ladies in the Federal Capital Territory want to change their skin colour. “Even mothers come to my shop to get lightening cream for their children saying the children are celebrating birthdays, adding that a package can cost N15,000 “Whenever I ask them why they want me to mix cream for them, many say, I’m travelling home for the Xmas and I want to find a husband, so I want my skin

A young woman making up her face to be lighter and glowing.” Emeka a 30-year-old banker, says some women want to become lighter in colour because they believe being fair is beautiful, adding that such is a misconception. Another bachelor, Fortune, a 32-year-old businessman says: “it is unhealthy and indecent, I

see no reason why women should change their natural colour to achieve temporary satisfaction. I am easily turned off y them.” Mrs. Ogbue, a church minister, says that people who want to change their skin colour do not appreciate God’s beauty. “So when you see someone

who has bleached for a long time and you see the way their skin looks, then nobody will tell you it is wrong.” The truth really is: whether you are dark or light skinned is immaterial because your colour does not determine who you are, neither can it set your achievements high. (NAN)


Commissioner tasks communities on drains clearing


he Jigawa Commissioner for Environment, Hajiya Hassana Adamu , has called on communities in the state to regularly clear their drainage canals as part of measures to check flooding in the state. Adamu, who made the call during an inspection tour of Maigatari Local Government Area of the state, urged the people to desist from indiscriminate dumping of waste in drains and other strategic locations. She said that clearing of drainage canals was necessary to control the perennial flooding and outbreak of diseases. “Drainage clearing exercise is essential to control flooding,” she said, adding that the state government had adopted effective flood and erosion control measures to protect the people and the environment. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that four persons lost their lives, while 25 houses and more than 1,000 farms were destroyed last week due to floods in Kiyawa and Dutse local government areas of the state. (NAN)

Commissioner decries lukewarm attitude to sanitation


he Adamawa state government has warned that the lukewarm attitude of the people toward the monthly environmental exercise would no longer be tolerated and that arrested defaulters would be punished. The state Commissioner for Environment, Mrs Arziki Sawa, gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yola. Sawa said that ministry, which was resuscitated three months ago, decided not to take punitive measures against defaulters yet to give the people time to adjust and voluntarily take part in the programme. “The people we arrested during the last exercise were warned and released; that will be the last warning because next time, we will be tough on defaulters.” While noting that the exercise was not restricted to the state capital alone, Sawa said staff of the ministry in local government areas would be directed to ensure compliance in the rural areas, particularly at the local government headquarters. She, therefore, urged members of the public and organisations to give full support to the ministry by actively participating in the renewed effort to keep the state clean. (NAN)


Weather prediction still stands — NIMET A

meteorologist, Mrs Mary Iso, has said that weather predictions by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) in some states still stands.

Iso, the Meteorology Manager at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) restated the predictions while speaking with the News Agency of

Nigeria (NAN), in Lagos. She, however, said that most weather conditions or predictions could change, and may not start at the exact time expected.

“I have not seen any change in what we said; whenever there is a forecast, there is always plus and minus. “The last prediction still stands and what was given is still applicable; for now there is no change.’’ NAN reports that the South West is experiencing a cold weather with the moist wind coming from the ocean. The weather is expected to last till the end of August before the onset of the second phase of the rainy season. (NAN)

Nigeria’s municipal waste mgt system is inefficient, complex, says director


Jambutu, one of the flooded wards in Yola following the release of water from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon Republic. Photo: NAN

Flood destroys crops worth millions of Naira in Kano


lood has washed away several farm land in Doguwa Local Government Area of Kano State destroying cash crops worth millions of Naira. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the flood was as a result of overflow of a river located between Doguwa and Tudun-Wada Local Government Areas. An eye witness told NAN in Kano on Tuesday that villages affected included, Burji, Dogon, Kawo and Gimawa.

NAN reports that the river over-flowed its banks as a result of persistent rainfall in the area. When contacted, Dr Yunusa Dangwani, the state Commissioner for Water Resources, said he was not aware of the incident. He, however, said the State Government had taken measures to avert any disaster from its 17 dams located in different parts of the state. On Tudun-Wada dam, he said repair on four gullies that were

recently discovered on the dam had commenced. He said the committee set up by the State Government to assess the condition of its dams had submitted an interim report. “We have taken the report to the state executive council and the report is being analysed. According to the report, there are two dams that need urgent attention, Tudun-Wada and Kafin Chiri and government is doing something about them. (NAN)

Investors plead for preservation of Kuramo Beach


he Kuramo Tourism Investors Association appealed to the Lagos State Government to retain the Kuramo beach as the only public beach in the state. The Secretary of the association, Mr Micheal Onuwaje, made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. NANreports that the association made its position known following the closure of the beach by the state government following an ocean surge that killed about 16 persons on Aug. 18. Onuwajedescribed the beach

as one of the international tourist destinations in the country. According to him, the Kuramo beach is the only public beach in Nigeria where tourists are not restricted. “All we are asking government is to retain Kuramo beach as a public beach because it is the only beach that attracts tourists,’’ he said. Onuwajeadvised the government to carry the association along in its decisions on the beach and on ways to develop it to attract more tourists. “We are expecting that government should give us some

reprieve as partners. “We need to be carried along in what government is planning to do right now because we are stakeholders. “We are hoping to hear from government what they have for us,’’ he said. Onuwajesaid that it was the responsibility of the management committee of the beach to provide the necessary safety equipment in the beach. “The committee was appointed by the Lagos State Government and it is its responsibility to manage and provide the necessary equipment at the beach,’’ he said. (NAN)

igeria’s municipal waste Management is inefficient and complex, says Mrs Olufunke Babade, the Director, Pollution Control and Environmental Health Department, Federal Ministry of Environment. Babade said this in Lagos at a three-day National Stakeholders’ Workshop on the Review of the Draft National Policy on Municipal Waste and Agricultural Waste Management. She said that the complexity arose not only because of the huge quantities of waste produced by the modern society, but because of differences in the composition of the waste. According to her, municipal waste management posed a great to human health and well-being. She said that it also endangered ecosystem resources, thereby worsening vulnerability to climate change and a c c e l e r a t i n g l a n d degradation with adverse impact on the nation’s economic activities. Lamenting the method of waste collection and improper disposal method, Babade said: “Unmanaged dump sites are spontaneously burned by scavengers emit large amounts of Unintentional Persistence Organic Pollutants (UPOPs) in the environment.’’ She noted that the pollutants were highly toxic and accumulated in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. She said that exposure to these toxic substances caused death, illnesses, including disruption of the endocrine, reproductive, immue systems and neuro-behavioral disorders and cancers. The director underscored the need to protect Nigeria from exposure to the adverse effects of Persistence Organic Pollutants (POPs) caused by unsustainable municipal and agricultural waste management. She said that the Federal Ministry of Environment, in collaboration with the UNDP, was implementing a four-year project titled “Less Burnt for Clean Earth’’ designed to minimise of dioxin emission from open burning sources. (NAN)



Niger Disaster Management Agency raises alarm over bridge across River Kaduna


he Niger Disaster Management Agency has called on the Federal Government to hasten the repair of the Wuya Usman bridge across the River Kaduna to avert its possible collapse due to erosion menace. The agency’s Director General, Alhaji Mohammed Shaba, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna. He said that the repair works must be carried out to prevent the bridge from collapsing and cutting off the northern parts of the country from the south on the Bida-Ilorin route. Shaba, however, said the state government had begun some repair works around the base of the bridge, adding: “but the Federal Government must move fast and carry out the

repairs so it will be permanent and avoid the disaster’’. He advised drivers plying the Bida-Mokwa-Ilorin road to be careful when approaching the bridge as workers were carrying out emergency works on its base. Shaba said the Agency had also issued an alert on Bida-Minna road users, and barred trucks from using the highway until the repairs were carried out on a spot after Kataregi town. On reports of floods, the commissioner said the agency had received complaints from five local government areas of Rafi, Shiroro, Munya, Lavun and Mokwa where farmlands had been flooded even as there were no loss of life. “We have yet to receive any report of injuries or loss of life due to floods at the weekend. But flooding of farmland had been

reported in the affected communities, mostly in the riverine areas of the state as predicted by NIMET. “We are working closely with the authorities of the three hydro dams of Shiroro, Kanji and Jebba on the control release of excess water in order to avoid damage to farmlands and home of farmers living along the river banks.’’ Shaba said the state

government had set up a committee under the leadership of the Commissioner for Environment, Hajiya Hadiza Abdullahi, to examine areas prone to flooding in Minna and other major towns and villages, to ensure that proactive action was taken. He urged members of the public to provide information to the agency on disasters in their

communities, saying the agency was prepared to offer assistance to such communities within a short period. The director general advised people living along the river banks to relocate in their own interest, and farmers on river banks to desist from doing. Shaba said that they stood a risk of their lives and farm produce. (NAN)

Don advises Delta on flood management


Lecturer at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Dr Oguejiofo Okoye, has told the Delta Government to take proactive measures to safeguard flood-prone cities in the state. The don made the call in Asaba on Tuesday at a seminar on “Flood Early Warning Management,” organised by the state’s Ministry of Environment in collaboration with the UNDP. He said the seminar was organised to work out strategies for sensitising the public on the problems associated with flooding. The lecturer said the seminar would also look into factors like poor drainage and refuse disposal that contributed to flooding in urban cities. He said that apart from the construction of canals and drainage, refuse bins should be provided in strategic locations, where people could dump their refuse to prevent them from using water channels as refuse dumpsites. Okoye, who teaches Environmental Studies at the university, stressed the need for the state and municipal authorities to re-invigorate their environmental inspectorate divisions to enforce public compliance with waste disposal guidelines. Speaking on the same vein, Mrs Valerie Nnodu, who is also a lecturer in the university, accused women and youths of promoting flooding by blocking gutters with garbage and solid waste generated from their homes. Stressing the importance of flood education, Nnodu urged relevant authorities to use the media to conduct public enlightenment on flood management practices. She said the public needed to be sensitised on waste materials that caused flooding. Nnodu urged the government to implement existing flood control measures by developing integrated

action plans for collaboration between the ministries of works and lands and other ministries. The Commissioner for Environment, Mr Frank Omare, reiterated the commitment of Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan to institute proper flooding control measures in the state. Omare, who was represented by Mr Khalil Okoro, Acting Permanent Secretary of the ministry, described the theme of the workshop as ‘germane’, saying it would assist the government in planning towards flood management. (NAN)

Typhoon damage cuts off Taiwanese island


aiwan authorities airlifted water and food to Lanyu Island yesterday after Typhoon Tembin knocked out infrastructure and cut off air and sea links to the rest of the country. The island suffered wind gusts of more than 200 kilometres per hour and 5 metre waves, according to the semi-official Central News Agency. The storm knocked out electricity to over half of the island’s population and cut off its fresh water supply. It crippled the airport and harbour, and destroyed the only petrol station and supermarket for the island’s estimated 4,700 residents. Lanyu, also known as Orchid Island, is located 75 kilometres east of Taiwan’s coast. Tembin was downgraded to a tropical storm Tuesday. It was expected to hit South Korea by Friday.

Officials of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) officials with some of relief materials brought for those displaced in Adamawa state by flood. Photo: NAN

Ocean surge: NEMA reiterates need to remove wrecked ships


he National Emergency Management Agency has reiterated the need to remove wrecked ships from the Nigerian Coastlines as a precautionary measure against maritime disaster. Dr Charles Agbo, the Director of Planning and Research and Forecasting of NEMA, gave the advice, while inspecting the Kuramo Beach, following last week’s ocean surge in Lagos that claimed many lives. Agbo said that the Federal

Government was committed to preventing maritime disaster at all cost. According to him, the first step towards that is to ensure the removal of all wrecked ships from the nation’s coastal area. The director said, “The Federal Government has ordered the removal of all wrecked ships in the Nigeria coastal area. “That order will be enforced in order to reduce ocean surge and we urge everyone to comply.” Agbo also said that there were

many wrecked ships on the nation’s coastline, especially at the Oniru Beach. “We are in the peak period of rainfall and anything that can cause disaster should be avoided. “There will be more assessment of the coaster areas from time to time so as to stem the incidence of rising ocean tide,’’ he said. He advised all those involved in maritime activities to be very observant and careful in order to prevent further disaster. (NAN)

Agency urges Nasarawa Govt. to evacuate residents from flood-prone areas


r Richard Abimiki, the acting Director of National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Nasarawa State, on Tuesday advised the state government to evacuate residents from flood-prone areas of the state. Abimiki, who gave the advice in Lafia, told newsmen that the state government should evacuate the people from these areas as precautionary measures to prevent further loss of lives and property. “We don’t want a situation

where people would die and property lost before measures are taking,” he said. According to the acting director, the agency’s findings revealed that Lafia, Farin-Ruwa, Kokona, and Wamba among other areas could be affected by flood in no distant future. He attributed the flood experienced in the state to farmers, who farm along river banks and those building houses on water ways.

The NOA acting director, therefore, advised the people, who have the habit of blocking water ways, to desist in order to prevent flooding and unpleasant consequences. While calling on the state government to ensure that people in the danger zones were enlightened on why they should not block the water ways, Abimiki urged government and the public to take weather warnings seriously. (NAN)



Yuguda on revenue sharing: Nationalism or Political Opportunism? (I) By Maiwada Danmallam


nce upon a time, Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi state was a darling of the youth, a new face of hope, a fair representation of the northern dream of ideal leadership. These put together, gave Yuguda the rare honour of being the only aspiring governor to scale the hurdle of election banditry with ease by the support of thousands of youth who stood solidly by him, giving life to the now famous phrase “a kasa, a raka, a tsare”- a strict policy of safeguarding popular votes against state manipulation advocated by his, then principal and presidential candidate of his party, General Muhammadu Buhari, with whom he had since fallen out with due to the proverbial ”irreconcilable differences.” To the consternation of thousands of his admirers, Yuguda’s conduct turned out to be something different from the principles and ideology that they fought to protect – a fight to insulate their future from the tyranny of the state at the polls. This struggle was instrumental to ushering Yuguda into office free of charge, his victory ship fuelled solely by the will of the people – albeit his first term election anyway. Then, it was a triumph prodded by the aura of his personality, the charisma of Gen. Buhari and the overwhelming sympathy generated by his traumatic experience in the hands of his former friend turned foe, former Governor Adamu Mu’azu – yes, the same Muazu of the botched PDP chairmanship contest fame (a subject I will discuss another time). In essence, Yuguda’s journey to the government house was smooth, joyous and filled with “Great Expectations” (scholars of Charles Dickens would know what I mean). As the saying goes, the rest is now history. While in many endeavours, the future can be predicted with a fair margin of accuracy, in politics it can only be speculated due to variables that are subject to sudden and unexpected changes. Horse trading, concessions, alignments, sometimes even jettisoning long held ideological orientations to accommodate newly developed personal ambitions. That, however, should not be confused with unjustifiable abdication of trust and responsibility which has been turned into a culture by politicians in contemporary Nigeria. It is in this regard that I wish to delve into the recent manifestation of this syndrome that has become a defining character of the upper, or more appropriately, ruling class, which has sent Yuguda tumbling towards an imminent political suicide that could crash his political career. I used to view the governor as an agile, sagacious, intellectually equipped and inventive enough to fit the profile of the desired crop of next face of leadership in the North, as well as Nigeria whose limit could only be assumed to be the sky. Whilst not claiming to be an expert judge of character, yet I always rely

Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi state on my instincts to deduce the innate potentials/capacities/inclinations of people –particularly from their utterances, actions and personal conduct. Perhaps, that may explain my pain and anger when I read an interview with Governor Isa Yuguda in Daily Trust of Sunday 26th Aug. Apparently desirous of a higher calling after his present and final stewardship of Bauchi state, Yuguda went out of his brief to help in confusing millions of Nigerians, most of whom rely on him and his northern colleagues to lead them out of the quagmire caused by the vexatious issue of abrogation of the onshore/offshore dichotomy. He probably did it in order to project an acceptable face to the south, particularly South-South, where, going by the Nigerian way, the next president would drive the bulk of his support and votes, as well as where the safety and political future of any political office holder lies. Such belief, going by the power of incumbency, may be founded on our recent experience of how former President Obasanjo solely anointed late President Yar’adua and ensured his smooth sailing into the villa. Hence, the rush by the likes of Yuguda to start warming themselves into the political psyche of the South-South’s political juggernauts shouldn’t be a surprise. One thing, however, that Governor Yuguda fails to appreciate is the treachery of the mind which has the capacity to turn illusion into reality. It also has the uncanny ability of providing a lush oasis in the middle of a barren desert. In politics, such mind games are known to be dangerously deceptive and capable of terminating and sending an

otherwise promising career into oblivion. I expect a politician like Yuguda, who once displayed a rare ability of denying an incumbent governor the pleasure of retiring into the chambers of the Senate, as is the trend, not to be this naïve in his political calculations. At least, he should know that one does not buy respect and love by twisting facts and standing history on its head. Respect is earned and reputation wins (note that I don’t mean “RIG”) votes. In a weird turn of events, Yuguda, either by desperation or miscalculation decided to delve into an issue that northerners for long justifiably feel cheated and aggrieved about. Given his wholehearted support to maintaining a skewed formula of revenue sharing, which has been proven to be unjustifiably in favour of SouthSouth, Yuguda may be digging his own political grave at home, albeit inadvertently. Instead of adopting the safer path of discretion on this issue, many pundits will demand to know from Yuguda the fundamental basis defining his recent unguarded utterances. Many Nigerian’s would

like explanations, if he indeed has anything convincing to say, on how his “Excellency” colleagues from the Niger Delta region, both present and past, spent the billions of dollars accrued to the region by the instrumentality of the derivation formula. Also, how far reaching have the institutions created to placate the region been? Despite the establishment of the NDDC and the Ministry of Niger Delta the region still wallows in abject human and infrastructural poverty. Perhaps, Yuguda should be reminded that Nigeria is the only country in the world that has a particular Ministry exclusively catering for a particular region to the chagrin of the rest. Right minded Nigerians would be inclined to ascertain the financiers and the underlying motive of the insurgency in the region in the first instance . Afterall, we all know that the official reason given boardering on environmental devastation is at best flimsy. This is premised on the fact that addressing environmental challenges has yet to become an integral part of the brick and mortar projects currently being

Given his whole-hearted support to maintaining a skewed formula of revenue sharing, which has been proven to be unjustifiably in favour of South-South, Yuguda may be digging his own political grave at home, albeit inadvertently

implemented (if any) by the institutions created to play nanny in the Niger Delta. It is also not out of place to demand to know the logic of the oil producing states laying claim to resources 200 nautical miles into the ocean, when it is apparent even by judicial consideration that such a demand was insensitive, outrageous, obscene and disgustingly selfish as was evident in the Supreme court judgement that denied these states such privilege. Certainly, Governor Yuguda is not unaware of the insensitivity of the elders of the region, currently at the helm of affairs in Nigeria, as was evident in the virtual cornering and concentrating of all “juicy” political appointments in the hands of South-South indigenes. A confirmation of this executive insensitivity could be seen in the recent revelation by the Wall street journal, which has been echoed by numerous local newspapers about the multi-billion Naira rip-off being paid ex- (but simply dormant) Niger Delta militants to safeguard oil pipelines. Wouldn’t it be more sensible for Yuguda to demand from the presidency explanation as to whom these pipelines should be safeguarded from? Is it nuclear science to understand that one shouldn’t give a dog a bone for safe keeping? It is preposterous to believe Yuguda, or anybody at that, is assuming these pipelines need protection from anybody other than the Tompolos and Dokubos of this world! In any case, Yuguda need not cry more than the bereaved by standing logic on its head on the issue of onshore/offshore dichotomy abrogation, for which he is advocating for halting of any idea of a revisit, with a view to addressing the imbalance caused by the skewed formula, especially in the face of rising poverty and banditry in the North, which was a direct repercussion of the economic downturn of the North partly caused by the policy (and to the kleptomania of northern leaders). Apparently, Yuguda’s call came as an antidote to the call made by the more realistic and equally agile Governor of Kano state, Dr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso and a host of other well meaning Nigerians. Yuguda’s claim of bastardisation of the Niger delta, apparently to justify his call, blew up in his face when an umbrella body of 18 civil rights groups in the Niger Delta, under the “Amalgamated Niger Delta Youth for Peace Initiative” led by the President, Henry Nwabueze, claimed that the derivation money flowing into the region is not making any impact on the people. This, they said, is because the money is being diverted to private accounts in Nigeria and abroad. Yuguda’s energy should have been channelled towards finding the answers to questions raised by these civil groups from his colleagues in the Niger Delta. Dammallam writes from Katsina



Catholic Church bans women from wearing traditional head wraps amid security fears


atholic church has banned its female congregation from wearing headwraps amid security fears St Theresa’s Cathedral Church in the south-eastern state of Enugu, introduced the measure saying the tall headwraps - known as a gele formed a ‘barricade’ when women sit together on a row. At a mass on Sunday, Reverend Father Uche Obodoechina explained that the ban would take effect from September 9 because the geles make identification difficult. ‘Please, in view of the present security challenges, the church has urged women to stop coming to Sunday service with big headgears and bags to enable security men know when bomb will be smuggled into the church,’ he told worshippers . The church has directed security men at the church gate to seize big headgears and bags. ‘This measure is aimed towards enhancing the security of the faithful during Sunday mass’ he added. Geles have been worn by women for generations and are usually worn by females with a traditional attire, for special occasions like weddings, naming ceremonies, burials, church services, and religious celebrations. The gravity-defying wraps come in different fabrics such as damask, brocade. Among women, one of the most popular fabrics is a metallic cloth made from jacquard.


hree thieves snatched a backpack containing the relic from a priest aboard a train. The pack was later found ditched in some tall grass near a train station north of Rome. A trio of thieves aboard a train stole a priest’s backpack containing a vial of the late Pope John Paul II’s blood on Tuesday, but police recovered the relic a few hours later, authorities said. The relic was found in a stand of reeds and grass near the railway station in the seaside town of Marina di Cerveteri, where the thieves had gotten off the train, said state railways police official Domenico Ponziani. Police said the priest began his journey aboard the train in Rome and was heading to a sanctuary

Late Pope John Paul II

The decision to ban them was meet with surprise as Catholic churches in Nigeria usually state that women must cover their heads during a mass. But the crackdown is thought to be in reaction to a series of attacks by militant Islamist group Boko Haram on churches in northern and central Nigeria in recent months as part of an insurgency that has killed hundreds. Earlier this month gunmen opened fire on an evangelical church during a service in central Nigeria, killing at least 19 people. Boko Haram has also attacked

Banned: A woman wearing a gele at a church in Lagos

Muslim figures as well as a range of other targets, including the United Nations building in the Nigerian capital Abuja. In mid-July, a bomb went off near another church in Okene, but there were no casualties. President Goodluck Jonathan said in June that Boko Haram was seeking to incite a religious crisis by attacking churches in an attempt to destabilise the government. Mr Jonathan described how the group had moved from targeting local rivals to government institutions and now churches. Source

A church previously destroyed by militants Boko Haram in Jos, Nigeria. The group is also thought to be behind an attack which left 19 dead in Lagos

Backpack containing vial of Pope John Paul II’s blood stolen in Italy, later recovered north of the capital where the relic was supposed to be put on display for admirers of the Polish pontiff, who died in 2005. When the priest got off the train at Civitavecchia, a port city and rail hub, he realized his backpack was missing. He told police that a man who was traveling aboard the train with two others had distracted him by asking directions, before the trio got off the train a few stops before his, according to Ponziani. After a few hours of searching, police found the relic, without the

backpack, apparently tossed among the reeds, Ponziani said. The blood was contained in a tiny glass vial inserted into a reliquary in the form of an open book with gilded pages. Police were searching for the thieves and said it wasn’t clear if

they had realized what the vial contained and tossed it away, or had planned on coming back later to retrieve the relic from the station’s wayside. John Paul’s relics have gone on display in several parts of the world.

The Vatican has put the Polish-born pontiff on the road to possible sainthood. Last year, his successor, Benedict XVI, beatified John Paul in a ceremony to mark the last major step before sainthood. Source:

A small vial containing late Pope John Paul II's blood presented as a relic inside Santa Maria del Prato church in Genoa, Italy, in December. The relic was stolen from a priest aboard a train on Tuesday, but later recovered by police.




Obama knocks Republicans, courts students in campaign swing P

resident Barack Obama told college audiences in two political battleground states on Tuesday to beware of the rhetoric from the Republican Party’s

convention in Florida. “This week in Tampa, my opponents will offer you their agenda. It should be a pretty entertaining show,” Obama said

Ann Romney tells Republicans Mitt ‘will not fail’


itt Romney’s wife, Ann, has painted a loving portrait of her husband at the Republican convention, on the day he became the party’s White House nominee. In her prime-time speech, the would-be first lady spoke of her “real marriage” to a steadfast partner and father. Correspondents say the address aimed to show the human side of the Republican, who lags behind President Barack Obama in likeability ratings. Mr Romney will challenge the Democratic president in November’s elections. Opinion polls show Mr Obama neck-and-neck with Mr Romney, who will deliver his big speech to the convention today. Tuesday’s proceedings came to an end with a tubthumping speech by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who told delegates in Tampa that Mr Romney would tell Americans “the hard truths” they needed to hear as he sought to fix the economy. ‘From my heart’ Highlighting Mr Romney’s image problem, a new opinion poll suggests the former Massachusetts governor’s favourability rating is the lowest of any major party nominee since Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Mrs Romney, 63, told the audience she wanted to “talk to you from my heart about our hearts”, saying of her husband, “you really should get to know him”. She talked about the way her husband helped her deal with multiple sclerosis and breast cancer. “I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a ‘storybook marriage,’” she said. “Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And those storybooks never seemed to have chapters on MS [multiple sclerosis] or breast cancer. “A storybook marriage? No, not at all. What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage.”

She addressed criticism from Democrats over her husband’s successful private equity career. “Mitt will be the first to tell you that he is the most fortunate man in the world. “But as his partner on this amazing journey, I can tell you Mitt Romney was not handed success. He built it.” Mrs Romney ended by pledging: “This man will not fail. This man will not let us down. “He will take us to a better place, just as he took me home safely from that dance.” Mr Romney, 65, appeared on stage and kissed his wife as she concluded her remarks, to a standing ovation from the audience. Speaking after Mrs Romney, Chris Christie stressed that Mitt Romney was right man to take control of a struggling US economy. “Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to put us back on the path to growth and create good paying private sector jobs again in America,” he said. “It’s time to end this era of absentee leadership in the Oval Office and send real leaders to the White House.” Abortion and Wall Street The speeches followed a roll-call of party delegates and a lively voice poll in which state delegates called out their team’s allocation of votes. Altogether, Mr Romney secured 2,061 votes, bringing him comfortably over the crucial 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination. Vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan was also given the Republican party’s official stamp of approval on Tuesday. He will speak to the convention in a much-anticipated speech on Wednesday night. There were attacks on Mr Obama, with House Speaker John Boehner saying “his record is as shallow as his rhetoric”. Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said the president has “never run a company. He hasn’t even run a garage sale or seen the inside of a lemonade stand”.

Ann Romney: Mitt 'will take America to a better place'

during a campaign stop at Iowa State University. “I’m sure they’ll have some wonderful things to say about me, but what you won’t hear from them is a path forward that meets the challenges of our time,” he said. On the campaign trail for a two-

day college tour, Obama highlighted differences with the Republican nominee, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, on issues important to younger voters, including alternative-energy sources, tax cuts for wealthy Americans, gay marriage and

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, on Tuesday.

women’s rights. He reminded listeners that because of his signature healthcare reform, known as Obamacare, students could continue to receive health insurance through their parents. Romney has pledged to repeal the law. “Maybe we should call his plan, ‘Romney doesn’t care,’” Obama said. Obama also accused Republicans and their supporters of stretching the truth in a multimillion-dollar ad effort to get him out of the White House. “They’ll just make stuff up if they have to. They’re doing it already,” he said at a second event at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. “Sometimes — how do I put this nicely? — they will just fib.” Obama, who relied heavily on university student support in the 2008 election, is making a concerted effort to energize the campus vote as the new academic year begins. On campuses, Obama has highlighted his administration’s efforts to increase federal student aid while reducing student debt. Romney has countered with the claim that Obama’s “failed” economic policies are responsible for joblessness among younger Americans. “Under President Obama, ‘hope and change’ has failed the youth of America,” said a full-page ad by the Romney campaign in the Iowa State Daily newspaper.

Blunt Christie tells Republicans it’s time to face fiscal truth


ew Jersey Governor Chris Christie accused Democrats of refusing to tell Americans the truth about the depth of the country’s deep fiscal woes on Tuesday in a pugnacious keynote speech in support of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Christie delivered the main speech of the evening at the Republican National Convention. The rotund, combative governor drew sustained applause from the thousands of delegates who gathered to formally nominate Romney as their candidate to face Democratic President Barack Obama in the November 6 election. Christie, a popular surrogate for Romney who had been on his short list of potential vice presidential running mates, had tough words for Obama and other Democrats. “They believe that the American people don’t want to hear the truth about the extent of our fiscal difficulties ... and need to be coddled by big government,” Christie said. “They believe the American people are content to live the lie with them.” Christie, known in part for seeking to curb government spending by reducing the influence of teachers’ unions in New Jersey, joined other Republicans in calling for an overhaul of federal entitlement programs such as Medicare, the health insurance plan for seniors, that are driving much of America’s debt problem. Democrats have attacked

Romney’s vice presidential running mate, Paul Ryan, for proposing a plan in the U.S. Congress to change Medicare, the government health insurance plan for seniors, for Americans under age 55 in order to save money. “Tonight, our duty is to tell the American people the truth,” said Christie, whose effectiveness as an economic messenger has been undercut recently by a slumping New Jersey economy that has shed jobs and now has the fourth-highest unemployment rate among U.S. states - which at 9.8 percent tops the

national average of 8.3 percent. “Our problems are big and the solutions will not be painless,” Christie said. “We all must share in the sacrifice. Any leader that tells us differently is simply not telling the truth.” Christie suggested that Obama is more interested in being popular than in making tough decisions. “There’s only one thing missing now: leadership. It takes leadership that you don’t get from reading a poll,” he said. “You see, Mr. President, real leaders don’t follow polls. Real leaders change polls.”

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie points as he delivers the keynote address to delegates during the second day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 28, 2012.



Half measures and the limits of legitimacy in American politics ANALYSIS By Mark LeVine


s Republicans gather in Tampa for their Convention, controversy continues to swirl around the comments by Republican senatorial candidate for Missouri, Todd Akin, regarding the supposed natural ability of women's bodies to "shut the whole thing down" when they've been "legitimately" raped, and in so doing avoid pregnancy. Given this supposed natural talent, it's not surprising most Republicans have no problem cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood; women's bodies are apparently perfectly capable of ensuring that anything truly unplanned won't lead to pregnancy. Everyone else is out of luck, (apparently) deservedly so. Of course, Mitt Romney wants Todd Akin to withdraw from the Senate race; not because what he said contradicts official Republican Party policies, but precisely because it so closely adheres to them. The Republican Party establishment understands that it must maintain an incredibly difficult balance between the large majority of the party who either actively support an ultraconservative agenda and slight majority of American voters writ large who will not support the extreme social, political and economic agenda favoured by the Party's core constituency. It's hard to know where the fine line is located, in good measure because Americans remain the most politically ignorant populace of any mature democracy, with the views of the average American far removed from the mainstream of science. Consider that upwards of half the US population believes that human beings were created by God "pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so", and another third believes in intelligent design, fully eight in 10 Americans deny what is today referred to as "realitybased" science. If the numbers are this high for such a fundamental principle of modern science, it's not surprising that Americans are so easily confused by more complex debates on other crucial public policy issues, from healthcare to drug policy. Of course, the term "realitybased" science should be redundant, since what is supposed to differentiate science from ideology, faith or economic and political interests is precisely its grounding in observable events occurring in the real world. But as we learnt during the Bush administration, reality apparently isn't all it's cracked up to be, and in fact those

Americans buy about $30bn worth of Saudi oil every year, which is "largely offset by the tens of billions of dollars the Saudis and other Gulf countries spend on US weapons in return" [EPA] in power often scoff at the "reality-based" world of facts and non-partisan, empirical argument. Most Al Jazeera readers have no doubt come across the famous Bush administration quote, since attributed to Karl Rove, making light of what "we" - he and other masters of the universe derisively referred to as the "reality-based community". Rove defined this community (mostly composed of supposedly left-wing journalists, academics, scientists and activists) as being composed of people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality... That's not the way the world really works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality - judiciously, as you will we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors‌ and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do". Rove's remarks, as the allusion to empire indicates, were made in reference to the foreign wars and occupations launched by the Bush administration. But

in fact, they perfectly capture the way domestic policy was administered under Bush as well, a dynamic that has sadly continued well into the Obama administration where, despite early promises to base policy more on science and the public interest ideology and corporate greed continue to dominate most every aspect of his administration's governance. There are several reasons behind this dynamic. The first has to do with the immense power industries such as the chemical, petroleum, agribusiness and tobacco industries, have had for more than a century to shape public opinion and knowledge in a manner that directly contradicts science. As David Michaels showed in his 2008 book Doubt is Their Product, about the power of the tobacco industry to sew confusion over the extent of the danger posed by cigarettes to the health of smokers, when immensely wealthy and political powerful corporations have unlimited funds to discredit mainstream scientific consensus it produces a level of cognitive dissonance among the public. When faced with such contradictions, the majority will


more often than not to turn against, or at least ignore, science rather than turning against the corporations trying to fool them, at least for a while. Corporations are selling them products which, at least in the short term, make them feel good or make their lives easier, while scientists are invariably demanding that people make exceedingly difficult changes to most every facet of their lives (what they eat, smoke, drink, drive, wear, use in their homes) or face personal and collective disaster. Until disaster is staring them in the face, most people would rather ignore reality and continue with negative behaviour. A 2010 Boston Globe article, explained how avoiding such cognitive dissonance is "a natural defence mechanism" to avoid confronting the alarming level of political ignorance of most Americans, which is in fact "one of the best documented data in political science". The more uninformed people are, the more likely they are to hold extreme views that are non-open to challenge by "reality-based science", creating a feedback loop that makes it even harder to open

The President's half measure and willingness to "compromise" with Republicans has done little more than slow down a car that was speeding towards a cliff. It might take a bit longer to get to the edge, but the momentum of decades of irresponsible policies will ultimately push it over nonetheless.

them to empirically grounded arguments that challenge their present beliefs and actions. One of the most important weapons to fight the kind of motivated reasoning that has brought the US to this sad state is precisely the kind of critical, humanistic educations that are under threat at all levels of its education, from elementary and high schools dominated by antiscience school boards to universities whose budgets for humanities are shrinking to historic lows. Given the corporate takeover of American politics (and education), it's not surprising that both political parties are treating citizens much as corporations do - trying to get them to buy programmes and policies that are either ineffectual or harmful to the long term health of the country, even if they channel significant resources and wealth to some sectors of the economy and segments of the population. President Obama can make the case that he has expanded health coverage for millions of Americans will at least hold the line as on reproductive health - even here, the reality is that the number of uninsured Americans has grown during his presidency, while roughly half of women who require publicly funded reproductive services don't get them. But the reality is that on most of the major issues, from bailing out banks to the drug war, energy policy to climate change, arms sales to foreign policy more broadly, the difference between the two parties is much more rhetorical than it is substantive. The President's half measure and willingness to "compromise" with Republicans has done little more than slow down a car that was speeding towards a cliff. It might take a bit longer to get to the edge, but the momentum of decades of irresponsible policies will ultimately push it over nonetheless. The mainstream media is little better than the government, refusing to connect the dots that link so many policies together into a toxic system. I experienced this dynamic first hand last week when I appeared with the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman on the HuffPo Live, the new web-based network of the Huffington Post. The topic was America's addiction to Saudi oil, and how it has long impacted US foreign policy in support of one of the most oppressive regimes of the last century. Friedman, who explained that he's writing a book about current US energy policy away from reliance on fossil fuels - ironic for a man who's most famous book argues that everyone can and should drive a Lexus and still keep their olive trees - admitted to host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin that US-Middle East policy is "all about oil". Aljazeera



Abolish Senegal Senate to fund flood relief, says Sall Egypt troops step up campaign against Sinai militants


enegal's President Macky Sall has called for the country's Senate to be abolished, with the money saved going to pay for flood relief. He had cut short a visit to South Africa to deal with the severe floods, which have claimed at least 13 lives. Speaking at Dakar's airport, he said he would introduce an emergency bill to abolish the upper house.

The money reserved for the Senate, more than 12m euros (ÂŁ9.5m; $15m), would go towards preventing further flooding. Although the low-lying suburbs of the capital, Dakar, flood during most rainy seasons, this year has seen exceptionally high rainfall across West Africa. It is estimated that thousands of people have been left homeless.

Residents were reported to have taken to the streets of the capital to denounce the government for failing to act faster and were dispersed with tear gas. President Sall acknowledged the importance of the Senate in a democratic system, but said "the relief of the suffering of the people is more important than the Senate, for us to stop the floods that cyclically affect our

country", the Spanish news agency Efe reported. In May, the World Bank pledged $55.6m to help Senegal improve its flood defences and storm water management, particularly in Dakar's suburbs. The country has been typically held up as an example of a successful African democracy, with an established multi-party system and division of power.


gyptian security forces have killed 11 militants since launching an offensive in the Sinai peninsula earlier this month, the defence ministry has said. The operation, launched after 16 border guards were killed in an attack on 5 August, has also led to the arrest of 23 suspects and seizures of weapons. Forces would be redeployed on Wednesday to "complete the hunt for terrorist elements", the ministry added. The build-up of troops and heavy weapons has caused concern in Israel. Since 1982, when Israeli troops withdrew, Sinai has remained under a special security regime mandated by the peace treaty the two countries signed in 1979, which restricts Egypt's freedom of military action. On Monday, Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi stressed that his country was committed to all international treaties and, without naming Israel, said no other states should worry about its actions in Sinai. "Egypt is practising its very normal role on its soil and does not threaten anyone and there should not be any kind of international or regional concerns at all from the presence of Egyptian security forces," he said. Checkpoints Egypt launched "Operation Eagle", which has involved thousands of troops backed by tanks and heavy equipment, after the 16 border guards died in a raid on their base near the Rafah crossing with the Gaza Strip. After killing the soldiers, the militants crossed the border with Israel in an apparent attempt to carry out another attack. However, they were killed in Israeli air strikes. No-one has said they were behind the attack, although suspicions have centred on jihadist groups which are known to operate in eastern Sinai. In the first few days of Operation Eagle, security forces carried out several raids on alleged militant hideouts, but none have been reported since. Troops also set up checkpoints on main roads and around the main towns of northern Sinai. Initially, some were targets of hitand-run attacks. The campaign is being led by the Defence Minister and head of the armed forces, Gen Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, who was appointed by President Mursi in a shake-up of the military's leadership on 12 August.

Floods affect the suburbs of Senegal's capital Dakar every year

Archbishop Tutu refuses platform with Blair


rchbishop Desmond Tutu has said he will boycott an event in protest at sharing a stage with Tony Blair, former British prime minister, over his "morally indefensible" support of the US-led Iraq invasion. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate decided to withdraw as a speaker on Tuesday at a one-day leadership summit in Johannesburg on Thursday after "wrestling with his conscience and taking counsel", his office told organisers. "Ultimately, the archbishop is of the view that Mr Blair's decision

to support the United States' military invasion of Iraq, on the basis of unproven allegations of the existence in Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, was morally indefensible," Tutu's office wrote to organisers. Blair's office said he was "sorry" the Archbishop had decided to pull out. "Obviously Tony Blair is sorry that the archbishop has decided to pull out now from an event that has been fixed for months and where he and the archbishop were never actually sharing a platform,"

his office said in a statement. Blair's office acknowledged the pair's different approaches to Saddam Hussein's regime. "As far as Iraq is concerned, they have always disagreed about removing Saddam by force. Such disagreement is part of a healthy democracy," Blair's office said. The US-led coalition overthrew the Iraqi dictator in 2003 but also unleashed violence that killed tens of thousands of people. Blair is the final guest speaker at the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit whose organisers

expressed regret at Tutu's "unexpected" withdrawal, saying his contribution would have been invaluable. "At no point had Archbishop Tutu indicated his discomfort at speaking at the same conference as Prime Minister Blair and therefore his withdrawal was unexpected," Hylton Kallner, Discovery's chief marketing officer, said. Other speakers at the summit include Garry Kasparov, former chess grandmaster and opposition Russian politician.

that has rocked Libya, including attacks on shrines across the country. "I withdraw my resignation and I am ready to continue my mission," he added. Abdelali also criticised what he described as a "ferocious media war" waged against him. On Sunday, an aide told AFP news agency that Abdelali quit "to protest against congressmen criticising the government and to defend the revolutionaries", referring to former rebels who now form part of the country's security services. That same day the newly elected General National

Congress, or national assembly, accused the interior ministry's High Security Committee of being lax or even implicated in the destruction of shrines, including those of Sufis. The High Security Committee comprises of former rebels who fought Muammar Gaddafi's forces last year in the conflict that ended in the dictator's death last October. The rebels had taken over security in the country after the fall of Gaddafi's regime before they were integrated into the ministry of interior's forces. Dozens of people took to the streets of Tripoli on Sunday and Monday to protest the violence,

which also included double car bombings in Tripoli that killed two people as Muslims celebrated the feast of Eid al-Fitr a week ago. Islamist hardliners on Saturday bulldozed part of the mausoleum of Al-Shaab AlDahman, close to the centre of the Libyan capital. The demolition came a day after hardliners blew up the mausoleum of Sheikh Abdessalem al-Asmar in Zlitan, 160km east of the capital. According to witnesses another mausoleum, that of Sheikh Ahmed al-Zarruq, had been destroyed in the port of Misrata, 200km east of Tripoli.

Libya interior minister withdraws resignation


ibyan Interior Minister Fawzi Abdelali has said he withdrew his resignation announced two days earlier, amid criticism over a surge of violence, including destructions of shrines. "When I submitted my resignation, I thought I would be relieving many people. But it seems that my resignation will further complicate security and I have decided to withdraw it," Abdelali told a news conference in Tripoli on Tuesday. Abdelali had resigned on Sunday after coming under fire for the performance of security forces during a surge of violence



Asia and Japan and North Korea hold talks in Beijing Middle East


apan and North Korea are set to meet on Wednesday in their first face-to-face talks in four years. The talks, in the Chinese capital Beijing, are expected to last for at least a day. Ties between the countries have long been strained amid decades of mutual distrust, though they periodically try to

resume dialogue with the ultimate and so far elusive goal of establishing formal diplomatic relations. Japanese media say they will focus on the return of the remains of Japanese nationals who died in the north of the Korean peninsula during the second world war. The talks come as governments and analysts seek clues about the emerging foreign policy of North Korea's leader Kim

Jong-Un, who took over after his father Kim Jong-Il died in December. The issues that have long bedevilled Japan-North Korea relations, however, remain largely the same so it is unclear how much, if any, progress can be made in the encounter. Reports suggest Japan may raise the issue of the abduction of its citizens by Pyongyang to train spies in the 1970s and 1980s - a

major point of contention. Choi Jong-Kun, professor of politics at Yonsei University in Seoul, told Al Jazeera: "The talks are very low politics, but also humanitarian as well, between both countries." North Korea has returned five of the abductees and says the rest are dead, but Japan wants more information. Japan stressed that the meeting in Beijing was ''preparatory'', but that it

could lead to other discussions. "We have been working based on the principle of settling the unfortunate past and on restoring normal relations," Japan's chief cabinet secretary Osamu Fujimura said in advance of the talks. From a security standpoint, Japan also remains wary of North Korea's past ballistic missile tests over its territory or aimed at its airspace as well as underground nuclear experiments in 2006 and 2009 and threats of more.

Death penalty upheld for Mumbai attacker


Ties between Japan and N Korea have been under strain, especially after Pyongyang's ballistic missile test [AFP]

ndia's supreme court has upheld the death sentence of the only surviving member of group behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. A Mumbai court had convicted 24-year-old Mohammed AjmalKasab of murder, waging war against India, conspiracy and terrorism in May 2010 and sentenced the Pakistani national to death. The sentence was confirmed by the Maharashtra high court in February last year. The judges also rejected his claim that he had been denied a fair trial. "In view of the nature of the gravity of his crime and the fact that he participated in waging war against the country, we have no option but to uphold his death

Court rules 32 guilty over Indian killings


court in the western Indian state of Gujarat has convicted 32 people for their involvement in the 2002 riots . The Ahmedabad court also acquitted 29 others on Wednesday in the case known as the NarodaPatiya massacre. Among those convicted are former minister Maya Kodnani and BabuBajrangi, a former leader of the hardline Hindu group Bajrang Dal. Nearly 100 people were killed in the Muslim-dominated NarodaPatiya area of Ahmedabad in one of the worst incidents of the 2002 riots. In some of India's worst inter-faith clashes since independence in 1947, about 2,000 people died in a wave of anti-Muslim unrest triggered by a train fire in which 60 Hindu pilgrims were burnt alive.

The attacks hit two luxury hotels, a Jewish centre and a packed train station which killed 166 people [Reuters]

The Hindu pilgrims on the train were returning from the town of Ayodhya, another flashpoint for religious unrest after a mosque was destroyed in 1992 by Hindus, leading to separate riots that killed thousands of people, mostly Muslims. Muslims were blamed for starting the train fire in the village of Godra. Hindu groups who pledged to take revenge went on the rampage through Muslim neighbourhoods in towns and villages across Gujarat in three days of violence following the incident. The government of Gujarat, which is still headed by NarendraModi, a leader of the Hindu nationalist BJP, was accused by rights groups of tacitly supporting the rioters.

UN chief meets Iran leaders before NAM summit


Hardline Hindu groups went on a rampage in Muslim neighbourhoods in towns and villages across Gujarat in 2002 [EPA]

penalty," Supreme Court Justices AftabAlam and CK Prasad ruled on Wednesday morning. It was not immediately clear what Kasab's next step would be, but legally he can still appeal to India's president for mercy. GopalSubramaniam, prosecutor, hailed the verdict as "a complete victory of the due processes of law". "It was a case argued in a completely professional and dispassionate manner," said Subramaniam. Kasab and nine other attackers rampaged through Mumbai for three days in November 2008 attacking two luxury hotels, a Jewish centre and a packed train station. Kasab and an accomplice carried out the assault on the station, killing 52 people.

an Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, is meeting Iran's highest leaders in Tehran on a visit described by the Islamic republic as a diplomatic coup over its foes US and Israel. Ban, who was to go on to attend a summit of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) states on Thursday and Friday in Tehran, was said to be determined to use his trip to call for Iran to take "urgent" action over its disputed nuclear drive, its human rights record and the conflict in its ally Syria. "Iran has a crucially important role in the region, especially when it comes to Syria. I am going to discuss this with [Iran's] supreme leader," he said on Wednesday on his arrival. Ban was to meet Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, SaeedJalili, later in the day, Iranian media said. He began his visit by briefly seeing Iran's parliamentary speaker, Ali Larijani. Although the UN chief is a regular attendee at NAM summits - which gather 120 developing nations, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the UN member states - both the US and Israel criticised his presence in Tehran. The US state department said such a visit "sends a very strange signal with regard to support for the international order", stressing that Iran was "in violation of so many of its international obligations and posing a threat to neighbours".


Europe and Americas

Ukraine court rejects Tymoshenko appeal


kraine's highest court has upheld the guilty verdict against Yulia Tymoshenko, former prime minister, who is in jail on abuse of office charges. Tymoshenko, currently in hospital, was jailed last October for seven years, which has been confirmed by Wednesday's ruling. Tymoshenko was an architect of Ukraine's 2004 Orange Revolution that promoted democracy and a runner-up in the 2010 presidential election. She was sentenced to seven years in prison in October 2011, when she was found guilty of exceeding her powers while negotiating a gas contract with Russia while she was prime minister. Her supporters say the trial is politically motivated, initiated by her opponent, the pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich, to keep her out of October elections. The government denies the accusations. Russian President Vladimir Putin, Tymoshenko's counterpart in signing the gas deal, has said there was nothing illegal in her actions. The European Union condemned Wednesday's court decision "We stress the importance for the Ukrainian authorities to take concrete steps to address the systemic problems of the judiciary," Michael Mann, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said. Judge Alexander Elfimov said as he was reading the ruling that the court had "found no grounds to uphold [Tymoshenko's] appeal" of the verdict, and that the prison term is "adequate to the gravity of the crime". Lawyers for Tymoshenko are appealing the conviction in the European Court for Human Rights.

Michelle Martin is particularly loathed for letting the two of her husband's victims starve to death [File: AFP]


Romney affirmed as Republican nominee


op Republicans have sharply criticised US President Barack Obama's economic record during the first full night of their convention, and praised Mitt Romney as a leader who could restart a stagnant economy. Romney arrived in Tampa on Tuesday to join his fellow Republicans, and delegates officially voted to affirm him as the party's presidential candidate. The evening was capped by primetime speeches by his wife, Ann, and the keynote presenter, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Christie accused Obama of "absentee leadership" during his combative address. "Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths that we need to hear to put us back on the path to growth and create good-paying privatesector jobs again in America," he said. Ann Romne, in her speech, tried to counter her husband's widespread image as a wealthy businessman who many Americans believe is out of touch with those affected by the economic crisis. "We got married and moved into a basement apartment... shared the housekeeping and ate pasta and tuna fish. Our dining room table was a fold down ironing board," she said. She also mentioned that she is the granddaughter of a Welsh coal miner who was "determined that his kids get out of the mines".

In the face of criticism by Democrats that Romney and his fellow conservatives are waging a "war on women", Ann was sure to appeal to American women in her speech. "Sometimes I think that late at night if we were all silent to listen we could hear a collective sigh from the moms and dads across America who made it through another day... and you'll hear the women sigh a little bit more than the men,"

she said. "We are the mothers, we are the wives... I love you women!" Romney, who had originally planned to arrive in Tampa on Thursday to accept his party's nomination, decided to make an earlier appearance on Tuesday to be on hand for his wife's turn at the podium, a campaign official said. Republicans seeking to salvage the convention faced a stiff challenge: to help Romney make

an aggressive, memorable argument to voters that he should replace Obama, while being careful to show sensitivity to those at risk from Hurricane Isaac, currently menacing the Gulf Coast. Delegates gathering for the typically festive and partisan event were also under pressure to avoid the appearance of unseemly celebration with the storm approaching.

The 'Romneyville' protest camp was named after the 'Hoovervilles' of the Great Depression.

Hurricane Isaac makes landfall in Louisiana


il production in the area has nearly ground to a halt, and ports and coastal refineries curtailed operations as Isaac approached. The Alliance refinery in Belle Chasse, which is owned by Phillips 66 and produces 247,000 barrels a day, lost power on Tuesday night, the Times Picayune newspaper reported. But the company said it had already shut the facility down. The storm has brought high winds, soaking rains and storm surges that will pose the first major test for multibillion-dollar flood protections put in place in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city and coast seven years ago.

Forecasts from the US National Hurricane Centre showed the storm possibly taking direct aim at New Orleans. "Many parts of the state could see 24 to 38 hours of tropical storm-force winds," Governor Bobby Jindal told a news conference earlier. "We're going to see a lot of downed trees and power lines ... We need people to stay safe." Storm surge flooding is already occurring in coastal areas of southeastern Louisiana, the National Hurricane Centre said in an advisory. Earlier, the Army Corps of Engineers closed for the first time the massive new floodgate on the largest storm-surge barrier in the

world, at Lake Borgne, east of New Orleans. Isaac is bearing down on New Orleans seven years after the government's botched handling of the much bigger Hurricane Katrina became a political disaster for President George Bush. "Isaac has finally formed into a hurricane, so we are officially in the fight and the city of New Orleans is on the front lines," Mitch Landrieu, New Orleans mayor, said. About 50,000 people were set to evacuate the city. "People here are, understandably, cautious," Al Jazeera's Tom Ackerman reported from New Orleans.

"They are confident that the enhancements to the levee system, particularly the wall that is nearly finished, will protect the entire city of New Orleans from significant damage." Isaac achieved hurricane status shortly after President Barack Obama gave warning on the likelihood of significant damage from flooding. Obama told people in its path to take the "big storm" seriously and to follow directions in a televised statement from the White House. "I want to encourage all residents of the Gulf Coast to listen to your local officials and follow their directions, including if they tell you to evacuate," he said.


president, presented state awards to the wounded mufti, Ildus Faizov, and relatives of the slain religious leader, Valiullah Yakupov.

Putin called for interethnic harmony and said of extremists: "You cannot defeat a unified, multinational, strong Russian

nation because on the side of truth and justice are millions of people who fear nothing, who cannot be intimidated and know the price of peace." The killing of Afandi highlighted the violent tensions that persist in Dagestan, even as neighbouring Chechnya has become relatively pacified and orderly after two wars in the last 20 years between separatists and Russian forces. Clashes with extremists and attacks on police occur almost daily in Dagestan. Muslim fighters say their strugglle is for a separate Islamic state in the strip of provinces along Russia's southern border, and they sometimes target mainstream Muslim leaders, who have the backing of regional authorities and Moscow.

Suicide bombing kills Russian Sufi scholar

Muslim Sufi leader has been killed in a suicide bomb attack in the Russian republic of Dagestan, according to Russian news agencies. Said Afandi, a leader of Sufi Muslims in the region, and five of his followers were killed onTuesday night by a female suicide bomber in an attack at Afandi's home in the village of Chirkei. There was no immediate claim of responsibility or identification of the bomber, but the attack could be linked to tensions between Sufis and the Wahhabi sect Afandi was a frequent public critic of Wahhabism. In July, a senior Muslim religious leader in the republic of Tatarstan was shot dead and the republic's chief mufti was wounded when a bomb struck his car. In a visit to Tatarstan on Tuesday, Vladimir Putin, Russian

Tuesday's deadly bombing may be linked to tensions between Sufis and the Wahhabi sect [Reuters]



Man posts himself to girlfriend as a prank - but almost dies when couriers lose delivery address for three hours


fun-loving boyfriend decided to surprise his partner by posting her an unusual present - himself. But the joke went horribly wrong when the delivery was delayed and he almost suffocated to death. Hu Seng, from Chongqing city, southern China, got a friend to tape him into a box, which he had paid a courier firm to deliver to his partner, Li Wang. Another friend was waiting at his girlfriend's office to film the surprise when he jumped out. In a horrifying twist of fate, however, the unsuspecting couriers mixed up the address and instead of 30 minutes in the sealed box, Mr Seng was trapped inside for nearly three hours. the box had very little air inside and was too thick for Mr Seng to make a hole in it. By the time the package had arrived at his girlfriend's office where a friend was waiting to record her surprise on camera Mr Seng had passed out and had to be revived by paramedics. 'I didn't realise it would take so long,' admitted Mr Seng. 'I tried to make a hole in the cardboard but it was too thick and I didn't want to spoil the surprise by shouting.' A spokesman for the courier firm said: 'If he'd told us what he was doing at the start we would not have taken the parcel. 'Even when we accept animals they have to go in special containers so they can breathe.'

Jack in the box: Hu Seng curled up inside a large box and got a friend to help him tape it shut

INSET: Post man: The unsuspecting couriers got lost on their way to his girlfriend's office and Mr Seng was trapped in the sealed box

Thug handcuffed a trick-or-treat prankster to a washing line and stuck a lit firework between his buttocks


lorry driver who handcuffed a teenage trick-or-treater to his washing line and stuck a lit firework between his buttocks has been jailed. Stephen Gregory, 54, pulled down the terrified teenager's trousers and whipped him with a cane and a riding crop, before lighting the banger to terrify the teenager last Halloween. The firework was removed before it went off and the victim was then attached to Gregory's washing line with a pair of toy handcuffs in front of laughing onlookers. Gregory admitted two counts of kidnap and two of assault causing actual bodily harm at Derby Crown Court on Monday. Jailing him for 14 months, Judge Michael Cullum said: 'This is about a somewhat bizarre and extreme example of horseplay. 'You behaved inappropriately to a youth who had been knocking on your door causing you irritation. 'The fact you repeated what you may have seen as lighthearted punishment makes it far more serious.' The court heard Gregory flipped after the boy, who cannot

Trick-or-treat: The court heard how the boy had played 'knock and run' on Gregory's door on Halloween last year be named for legal reasons, was playing 'knock and run' with his friends and had knocked on his door in Smalley, Derbyshire, three

times on October 31 last year. Julie Warburton, prosecuting, said the teenager had intended it as a joke but it annoyed Gregory because it made his dog bark and meant he had to repeatedly answer the door. Derby crown court where the court heard how onlookers had watched and laughed as Gregory removed a lit firework from the boy's bottom Another teenager chased the boy and brought him back to the house, where Gregory 'pulled his trousers down'. Miss Warburton added: 'He hit him with a cane on the bottom and thighs. 'The victim managed to escape, amid shouting from his friends, but the second teenager caught him and brought him back to Gregory's house again in a headlock. 'His trousers were again pulled down and a lit banger was put between his buttocks. The court heard it was removed before it exploded as a group of onlookers laughed. Miss Warburton said: 'He was then handcuffed by both wrists to a washing line and had to stand on tiptoes, although both his feet were still touching the ground.'

Jailed: Stephen Gregory, 54, was so enraged by a teenage prankster on Halloween that he beat him with a cane, pushed a lit firework between the youth's buttocks and handcuffed him to a washing line The victim was then struck with a riding crop across the legs and buttocks, leaving marks 70 centimetres long. The boy then ran home in tears

and his mother told the court he was 'shaking, crying, hysterical and gasping between breaths'. The incident was reported to the police and Gregory was arrested. Quentin Robbins, defending, told the court Gregory had never been in trouble before. He said: 'He has an awareness of the humiliation that he caused that young man. 'This incident, these hours or minutes of madness, can't be explained by Mr Gregory. 'He has brought shame upon himself. The fact is that this isolated incident is clearly out of character. 'He is a man who will not trouble the courts again.' The teenager who brought the victim back to Gregory's home will appear before a Youth Court after he admitted false imprisonment. Judge Cullum ordered the destruction of the toy handcuffs, cane and riding crop. Speaking after the case, Detective Constable Michelle Crilley, of Derbyshire Police, said: 'This was clearly a case of a young boy playing trick or treat that ended in a terrible ordeal for him. 'I am pleased that the offenders pleaded guilty so the victim did not have to relive the events through a trial.'



Excessive bed rest can lead to muscle atrophy, says Physiotherapist M

r Charles Gado, the Chief Physiotherapist at the Abuja National Hospital, says movement is necessary for humans and other animals to live healthy lives and avoid muscle atrophy. He said without movement, bone density would reduce while the muscles would deteriorate. The chief physiotherapist made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. NAN reports that muscle atrophy is the wasting away of the muscle. In most people, muscle atrophy is caused by not using the muscles enough. People with sedentary jobs, medical conditions that limit their movement, or decreased activity levels can lose muscle tone and develop atrophy. This type of atrophy can be reversed with exercise and better nutrition. “The muscular system in conjunction with the skeletal system and the nervous system is very important for movement and none of these systems can function properly without the other.” Gado said that prolonged bed rest was detrimental to the body because it could reduce movement and lead to muscle atrophy. “In short, what you see when you have a prolonged rest on bed is what we call muscle atrophy. The muscles gradually starts losing its bulk and that is what muscle atrophy is. “Once it loses its bulk, it loses its strength, it loses its normal physiology; you see a patient that is agile, strong and active

A survivor of a bomb attack rests at a hospital bed. suddenly becoming very weak and cannot do any activity. “So even for a healthy human being once you are restrained on bed for a long period, you actually lose your strength. You become weak; in fact it goes a long way to even affect the skeletal system because it makes the skeletal system to become less dense and more prone to breakage.” The physiotherapist said prolonged bed rest could not be defined as a specific time for atrophy to occur because the deterioration differed from person to person.

“It can take a week, a few months or longer depending on the body type, age and gender of the patient in question. “Apart from bed rest, the patient’s health and nutritional input prior to the particular bed rest are other factors that determine the rate of muscular deterioration.” According to Gado, when a patient is advised to go on bed rest it does not mean that the patient should not do anything, which is the general misconception. He said bed rest was often recommended to enable certain

structure tissues of the body to rest in order to promote healing. He said that while the tissues were resting, other body parts should remain active. “There are certain things that can be done. One is for us to start increasing our physical activity, even before you are asked to go on bed rest. ”Two, the truth is bed rest for certain ailments, is going out of fashion. For example if you have severe back pain or severe neck pain, you’re asked to go on bed rest or if you are heavily pregnant they ask you to go on bed rest.

“Nobody does that (anymore) because they know that it is detrimental to the person’s musculature or the muscular skeletal system. So certain minimal prescribed activities are required that you can do even on the bed.” Gado said there were exercises that people could do while on bed rest. ”There are simple exercises that you can do to maintain some level of muscular activity even (while) on bed rest. “You can do deep breathing exercises, take a deep breath and blow out. “These are simple things you can do. You can easily shrug your shoulders up and down in bed; you can easily pull your legs forward and backwards slowly on the bed. “Those are simple exercises you can do. All you need to do is to do them repeatedly. You can say okay I decide I want to do it 10 times and have two minute rest and repeat it again. Those are very simple things you can do.” He advised people who worked long hours at a desk to periodically get up and walk around to exercise their bodies. He said diseases such as polio, Lou Gehrig’s disease and neuropathy could cause muscle atrophy. The physiotherapist told NAN that full recovery was not always possible once atrophy occurred. He, however, added that with the right diet and exercise, a diseased or disused muscle could be revived. Source: NAN

Another reason why breast is best: Mother’s milk promotes a healthier gut


he benefits of breast milk have long been appreciated, but now scientists have found yet another reason why mother’s should try and use their own milk rather than formula. A team at Duke University Medical Center found newborns fed breast milk develop a healthier gut compared to those on infant formula. This is because lab tests revealed a mother’s milk fosters unique colonies of microbiotic flora that aid nutrient absorption and boost immune system development. Study leader Dr William Parker, said: ‘This study is the first we know of that examines the effects of infant nutrition on the way that bacteria grow, providing insight to the mechanisms underlying the benefits of breast feeding over formula feeding for newborns. ‘Only breast milk appears to promote a healthy colonization of beneficial biofilms, and these insights suggest there may be potential approaches for developing substitutes that more

A mother breastfeeds a day old baby. Although 80% start breastfeeding only 20% reach six months

closely mimic those benefits in cases where breast milk cannot be provided.’ Earlier studies have shown that breast milk lowers the incidence of diarrhoea, influenza and respiratory infections during infancy. It also protects against the later development of allergies, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and other illnesses. As scientists have learned more about the role intestinal flora plays in health, they have gained appreciation for how an infant’s early diet can affect this beneficial microbial universe. In their study, the Duke researchers grew bacteria in samples of infant formulas, cow’s milk

and breast milk. The samples were incubated with two strains of E. coli bacteria – necessary early inhabitants of the gut that are helpful cousins to the dangerous organisms associated with food poisoning. Within minutes, the bacteria began multiplying in all of the specimens, but there was an immediate difference in the way the bacteria grew. In the breast milk, bacteria stuck together to form biofilms - thin, adherent layers of bacteria that serve as a shield against pathogens and infections. Bacteria in the infant formula and cow’s milk proliferated but it did not aggregate to form a protective barrier. Dr Parker said: ‘Knowing how breast milk conveys its benefits could help in the development of infant formulas that better mimic nature. ‘This could have a longlasting effect on the health of infants who, for many reasons, may not get mother’s milk.’ The Department of Health recommend mothers to

breastfeed their babies for at least six months. Figures released last year revealed 81 per cent of mothers start breastfeeding, however over half have quit by the time their baby is six weeks. Just one in five continue to six months. Cracked nipples, infections such as mastitis and problems getting a baby to latch on can all hinder breastfeeding. Dr Gabriela Panayotti, from Duke, said: ‘This study adds even more weight to an already large body of evidence that breast milk is the most nutritious way to feed a baby whenever possible. ‘We know that babies who receive breast milk have better outcomes in many ways, and mother who breast feed also have improved health outcomes, including decreased risks of cancer. Whenever possible, promoting breast feeding is the absolute best option for mom and baby.’ The findings have been published in the August issue of the journal Current Nutrition & Food Science. Source:



Court dismisses Echocho’s suit against Wada A

Governor Idris Wada had been inaugurated adding that such actions made the case a post election matter. Justice Kafarati held that the Plaintiff’s suit is an abuse of court process as he (Echocho) has a similar suit pending before a federal high court in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital. The Court further held that the Plaintiff did not have the locus to institute an action to challenge the said election because he never participated in it and dismissed the suit and awarded a cost of N100, 000 against the plaintiff. It will be recalled that before the emergence of Wada as the flag-bearer of the PDP in the Kogi state governorship election of December 3, 2011, Jibrin Isah emerged as the governorship candidate of the

Jibrin Isah Echocho party at the January 9, 2011 governorship primary election held at the Lokoja township stadium and was so returned as the flag bearer of the party for the April 26, 2011 General elections. Unfortunately, the victory of Echocho was short lived as the federal high Court sitting in Abuja on February 23, 2011 extended the tenure of five state governors beyond May 29, 2011, Kogi state inclusive. The Court of Appeal had also ruled that the tenure of five governors including Kogi state had not expired, hence the postponement of the general election in Kogi State and four other states of Adamawa, Bayelsa, Sokoto and Cross River. However, INEC evoked the

jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in Appeal No:SC/357/2011 vide it’s notice of Appeal dated July 14, 2011 asking the court to set aside the judgments of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal elongating the tenure of the Governors and to also to dismiss their claim. The Supreme Court acceded to INEC’S appeal and granted all her reliefs/prayers on the January 27, 2012, stating clearly that the tenure of former Governor Ibrahim Idris and four others ended on 29th May 2011. Echocho, through his counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) approached the court with a suit praying the court to nullify Wada’s election on the ground that he was the validly nominated standard flag bearer of the PDP in the state.

Self interest propelled our support for Tambuwal, says ACN From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he leadership of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said enlightened self-interest and survival of party manifesto propelled its support for the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal above other candidates from South West zone. The National Secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Muhammed disclosed this at the monthly lecture of Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ), Oyo State Council tagged ‘Hot Seat’

From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


By Sunday Ejike Benjamin Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday dismissed the suit brought before it by a Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi state, Alhaji Jibrin Isah Echocho challenging the December 3, 2011 election of Capt. Idris Wada as governor of the state. Echocho had prayed the court to invalidate Wada’s election on the ground that he was the winner of the first primary election conducted by the party in the state and that his name was submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and same was never withdrawn before the primary that brought in Wada was conducted. The trial Judge, Justice Abdul Kafarati while delivering judgement in the suit held that the suit was a post election matter, which ought to be filed before the Kogi state governorship election petition tribunal and not a regular court, adding that the Court has no jurisdiction to entertain the matter as it cannot convert itself into an election petition tribunal. He further held that the subject matter of Echocho’s suit was the December 3, 2011 governorship election in Kogi state and that issues to be determined was whether the court has jurisdiction to entertain the suit and whether the plaintiff has locus having not participated in the said election. However, the court held that the plaintiff instituted his suit over two months after election was conducted and concluded and the governor

My senatorial ambition splits PDP, Pwajok admits

held at Iyaganku press centre, Ibadan. The party scribe explained that Tambuwal was the only candidate who determined to sanitize National Assembly, uphold principle of check and balance and prepared to support progressives dream to rescue power from conservatives at the center. He said, despite the fact that PDP is controlling three quarter of the National Assembly but has failed to provide solution to the nation’s challenges rather they run things wrongly and arrogantly zoned key offices to those who will dance to their

tune. According to him, the speaker has not disappointed us, we have satisfactory light, he has been able to divide PDP that constitute majority. He described President Jonathan’s statement that, he will shock opposition by 2013 as lamentation of failure, insecurity and corruption. Lai Muhammed added that, Mr president inherited both asset and liability of his predecessor maintained that he is responsible for whatever happen to Nigeria. “If the President can’t adhere with the heat in the

kitchen, he should get out because ACN will perform better.” He said. He promised that opposition party would criticize him the more beyond 2013 saying provision of infrastructure amenities suppose be his priority and must catered for sufficiently. The party chieftain hinted that, President Jonathan has done nothing worth of commendation when examine resource at his disposal. He averred that its very difficult to woo investor to Nigeria due to insecurity, poor road network and corruption.

he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) aspirant for the Plateau North Senatorial zone, Mr. Gyang Pwajok yesterday acknowledged that his decision to bow to the pressure on him to contest the bye-election triggered division within and outside the PDP but insisted that he was sure of victory. Apparently reacting to the criticism against his candidature, especially that he hailed from the same Du village with Governor Jonah Jang, Pwajok said after series of consultations, fingers were pointed at him urging him to contest the bye-election which sparked up contending issues that reminded them of their political, religious, ethnic and location differences. On the rumour that Pwajok is only standing a gap for Jang before the 2015, the former of Chief of Staff to Jang said nobody knows tomorrow because tomorrow is in the hand of God but could not say yes or no as to whether he would give way to Jang in 2015 Plateau north Senatorial election. Pwajok told newsmen that he considered the clarion call on him to contest the bye-election as a worthy honour for him to step into shoes of late Senator Gyang Dantong and possibly expand the shoes disclosing that he needed the resourcefulness of ideas to continue from where Dantong stopped as the late Senator did his very best before his died. He pledged to restore peace to the troubled state saying “I will focus on developing, supporting and overseeing the implementation of policies that will promote peace and security, anchored on a deep respect for humanity, the dignity of man and focused on the poorest of the poor and most vulnerable in my constituency,” Pwajok said “Towards these aspirations, some of our immediate goals include; reconciliation and reconstruction, security sector reforms, increased focused on land matters and reclamation, review of constituencies and other critical constitutional amendment matters”. He argued that crises are caused by unemployment in the state but that crises cause unemployment as businesses and houses are destroyed in the process. According to him, people who cannot afford three square meals can afford guns and suggested that the cost of gun should have been invested into more fruitful venture. The former Chief of Staff to governor Jang lamented the colossal destruction following years of bloodbath in the zone and pledged that if elected he would liaise with stakeholders to initiate a policy of reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation to heal wounds, restore mutual confidence and resuscitate development.



Edo Guber: Airhiavbere slugs it out with Oshiomhole at Tribunal From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


he legal fireworks over the eligibility of the Edo state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to contest the July 14th governorship election in the state based on his academic qualification has begun. Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd) has replied to the submission made by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) under which the governor contested and won the election. In the PDP's Candidate reply to the ACN response in the suit EPT/ED/G/01/2012, posited that Governor Adams Oshiomhole and ACN candidate was not a fit and proper person to contest the July 14, 2012 governorship election as a result of academic qualification as provided for in the Nigerian constitution. According to a copy of the PDP candidate's reply which was submitted to the Governorship Election petition Tribunal by the sixman legal team led by Chief Efe. L. Akpofure, (SAN), the particulars of Gen. Airhiavbere's petition include that "there was no Iyamoh Primary school, Iyamoh in 1957" and that "the 1st respondent was barred from enrolling into and entering primary one in 1957 having not attained the minimum age of six years by the provision of Western Region of Nigeria Gazette no. 17 vol. 5 dated 5th April, 1956". In addition, the legal team stated that "the 1st respondent dropped out of the Secondary Modern School in

the second year and did not complete the mandatory three years course at Blessed Martin Secondary Modern School, Jattu-Uzairue, which he claimed to have attended between 1963 and 1965"as well as the "unexplained discrepancies in the academic certificates presented". Also "the petitioners state in reply to paragraph 27 of the said reply that publication in the newspaper like the Nation Newspaper does not cure the effect of the

continued campaign carried out by the 1st and 2nd respondents beyond the prescribed campaign period as stipulated by law". Members of the PDP's legal team maintained further that "the petitioners aver in reply to paragraph 23 of the 2nd respondent's reply to the petition that the 1st respondent is not educated up to school certificate level or its equivalent contrary to section 177 (d) of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria and

infraction of section 182 (1) (j) of the same constitution (as amended). More so, the team insisted that "in specific reply to paragraph 24 of the 2nd respondent's reply to the petition, the petitioners state that the 1st respondent (Oshiomhole) is not the owner of the secondary Modern school certificate and the altered testimonial presented to the 3rd respondent and the 1st respondent does not have primary school leaving certificate".

L-R: Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita Enang, former Kwara state Attorney General, Alhaji Saka Abimbola, and former Minister of Justice, Hon. Musa Elayo, during a launch of Class of 1985 Nigeria Law School members organised by Senator Enang, yesterday in Abuja. Photo Mahmud Isa

Politicians want Nigerians enlightened on N5,000 note


he National Secretary of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) Mr Gilbert Agbo, on Wednesday advised the Federal Government to enlighten Nigerians on the benefits of N5,000 note proposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Agbo, who gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said: “I want to believe that the CBN governor knows what he is doing by introducing the N5,000 note, but Nigerians are waiting to be educated on

the need for the note.” Agbo said the general impression of most Nigerians was that the note would increase inflation to an unbearable level. “In other countries, we have denominations that are higher than 5,000 and the negative impact that it had on their economy is inflation. “The CBN governor is a reputable economist and Nigerians need to know what led to the idea of introducing the new note,’’ he said. Agbo called on relevant

agencies to assist the apex bank to enlighten Nigerians with local dialects before introducing the notes. He said Nigerians needed to be more patient with Federal Government’s new policies. On his part, the National Chairman of the Republican Party of Nigeria (RPN), Alhaji Shittu Mohammed, said the note was not necessary as the prices of items would increase. “It is quite uncalled for to introduce the 5, 000 note as it will create inflation in the economy. If you bring the note

out now, Nigerians will hike prices’’, he said. The National Chairman, Movement for the Restoration and Defence of Democracy (MRDD), Alhaji Danjuma Mohammed, said introduction of the note was an indication that the country was not improving. “The introduction of the note is simply the reflection of the weakness of the currency. Something has to be done, there must be a reason for introducing the N5,000 note. Let us wait and see before reacting,’’ he said. (NAN)

5 parties to contest Jigawa LG bye election From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse


ive political parties have indicated their interests to participate in the next month Garkon Alli and Madaka councillorship bye elections to be conducted by the Jigawa State

Independent Electoral Commission. The interested political parties include the Accord political party, APGA, MDJ, PRP and PDP. The chairman of the State Electoral Commission Alhaji Muhammad Sani Ahmed said

screening of the candidates will end today and the final list of the contestants would soon be released on 3rd-5th of September. He said over fifty adhoc staff would be recruited for the bye elections to be held at Garkon Alli ward in Kiyawa local

government and Madaka ward in Gagarawa local government area. Alhaji Muhammad Sani Ahmed said the bye elections will only be conducted in seven and six polling units in Garkon Alli and Madaka wards.

Payments to exmilitants, threat to national security - ANPP By Umar Muhammad Puma


he All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) has described the report about the payment of about N5.6 billion to some Niger Delta exmilitants annually for guarding oil pipelines in the Niger Delta, as a national disgrace, and a threat to national security. In a statement issued yesterday by the National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Emma Eneukwu, the party said the party because of the seeming crass absurdity of the story, it had chosen to ignore it until the Federal Government, last weekend confirmed ‘this mindboggling national disgrace’. “To start with, the fact that this disclosure was first publicized by a foreign news medium is a patent ridicule to the image of our great nation in the comity of nations. For some time now, Nigeria has been engaged in various vigorous strategies in international public relations and marketing in a bid to gain the world’s confidence in our fight against corruption so as to lure them in to invest in the country. But this damning admission of an award of a shady and illegitimate contract without the knowledge of the relevant National Assembly committees overseeing the activities of the NNPC by the Federal Government has blatantly shown the hypocrisy and ineptitude of this present government to the whole world”. He added that “we believe that this is a threat to our national security because the truth of the matter is that the apparatus of national security has been put into the hands of ex-militants with no proven background in oil-facility security”. Eneukwu said the Nigerian Navy, the Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, are the legitimate government security bodies to whom such monies should be apportioned to. ANPP wondered why the government left the Police in a less than desirable state of welfare and turned to former militants, who already have almost half a billion dollars budgeted to be spent on them in 2012 alone. The party then called on the National Assembly to rise up to its duty by probing the alleged payments made to the ex-militanats. “We believe in a united, peaceful, stable and prosperous Nigeria, and we maintain that body language and perception are as powerful as potent weapons of mass destruction, therefore those that represent the people of Nigeria must not lose sight of the big picture – that of the integrity of the nation as an entity,” the ANPP stated.



PDP sponsored IPAC crisis – Okereke By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


mmediate past Chairman of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Osita Okereke, has blamed the acrimony which recently erupted in the leadership of the Council on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He warned that any attempt to impose unpopular candidate on IPAC, against the will of majority of the parties, would spell doom for both PDP

and the Nigeria’s nascent democracy. Speaking yesterday to some journalists in Abuja, over the recent impasse that trialed the IPAC election, Okereke also alleged that the plot was part of the PDP’s game plan to perpetuate itself in office beyond 2015. He admitted that his tenure has actually expired, but insisted that due process must be followed in electing the new set of leaders for IPAC.

He dismissed the claims by some political parties that he does not want to step down, saying he is ready to hand over to a properly elected Chairman and Secretary. “I insist that what they did yesterday was a kangaroo election, because it did not conform to the IPAC Code of Conduct. Moreover the umpire which is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was not there to observe the

election as our Code of Conduct demands,” he stated. Speaking further, he expressed surprise over the sudden aspiration of Muhammed Shittu, who was the former Secretary of IPAC, to be the Chairman of the Council, saying he lacks both the credibility and resources if not for the sponsorship from PDP. It would be recalled that the purported IPAC election was conducted amidst controversy,

Al-makura has no plan to return to PDP

L-R: Senate President David Mark, in a hand shake with commandant, Nigeria defence academy (NDA), MajorGeneral Emeka Onwuamaegbu, during the latter's visit to the senate president resident, yesterday in Abuja.

By Miriam Humbe


ontrary to speculations making the round, Governor Umar Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa state has said he has no intention of returning back to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Al-Makura's Senior Special Assistant on Media and Public Affairs, Alhaji Sani Musa Mairiga made the declaration yesterday. Clearing the air while addressing newsmen in Abuja yesterday, Mairiga said that AlMakura was betrayed by the PDP prior to its gubernatorial primaries, because there was no level playing ground which necessitated his decamping to the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC. "I want to categorically state here that Governor Umar Tanko Al-makura has no plan to go back to PDP as being speculated because doing that would amount to biting the fingers that fed you." The SSA described Al-makura as a man of proven integrity who would never let his people down, thereby calling on the people of Nasarawa state to disregard this hearsay, describing it as the figment of the imagination of those who want to cause disaffection between them and the governor. The media spokesman also said there was a cordial working relationship between the executive and the legislative arm of government in the state, because they are all working for the betterment of Nasarawa state. While commending the legislative arm for the harmonious working relationship, he called on them to maintain the tempo.

Plateau bye election: Dungs contests on DPP platform From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


olonel John Dungs has finally chosen to contest the Plateua North Senatorial bye-election on the platform of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP). The Senatorial seat became vacant after the gruesome murder of the former Senator, Gyang Dantong in Riyom during the mass burial in Maseh village of Riyom Local Government Area. Dungs after receiving the party’s ticket at the party’s secretariat debunked the rumours making the rounds that his party denied him the platform to contest the bye-election into the position. He stressed that he has the followership and all that it takes to obtain victory but appealed to

the constituents to come out and vote for him for effective and responsible representation. It would be recalled that both the late Senator Dantong and Dungs hail from Riyom LGA and contested against Dantong and the choice of the Chief of staff to Governor Jonah Jang who also hailed from Du village with Jang gave Dungs edge over Jang’s candidate. Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian (NANS) has said the association would throw its weight behind any candidate regardless of party affiliations just as it described the choice of the former Chief of Staff to governor Jonah Jang, Mr. Gyang Pwajok as the PDP candidate as mere imposition of an unpopular candidate against

the wishes of the constituents. The former NANS Vice President and Director Research and Planning NANS secretariat, Comrade Prince Miaphen, said the PDP’s candidate was a one time lecturer and Adviser to Governor on Educational matter and has failed the students and therefore does not represent the interest of the students in any way. He condemned the decision of PDP and the state government to single handedly hand-pick Pwajok as the party’s candidate insisting that the students are adequately sensitized to vote against the government’s candidate in protest for neglecting the interest of the students. According to him, the party’s attitude is undemocratic and the

Obasanjo deserves commendation- Zamfara PDP chieftain From: Salisu Zakari Maradun, Gusau


ormer Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Talata Mafara Local government, Zamfara State, Alhaji Musa Abubakar Kwandawa has commended former President Olusegun Obasanjo for his endorsement of the Jigawa state governor, Dr. Sule Lamido, as the

during which INEC directed through a letter, the suspension of the exercise, but the parties defied the letter and carried on with the election. Meanwhile, the PDP’s National Organising Secretary, Abubaka Mustapha, and the National Secretary, Olagunsoye Onyinlola, were present in the purported election and approved the emergence of Shittu as the new National Chairman.

presidential candidate come 2015. Kwandawa made the commendation in Gusau, capital of the state while speaking to our reporter within the week. But this commendation is coming several weeks after the former President has denied ever making such statement. According to the PDP

chieftain, Obasanjo made a good suggestion considering the fact that the governor has done a lot for the state. He said “I think this man has made a sensible suggestion despite his old age. He added “Coming from the west, south or north is not what matters; what matters is how to move this country forward and that anybody,

provided he or she is a Nigerian can make similar comment” While commending the former President, Kwandawa advised those who are opposing the idea to think twice as it means well for the nation. “Anyone who goes to Jigawa today can testify to the fact that Lamido deserves the position of the President.”

students will not support the PDP unless it reverses and gives room for open, free and fair primary elections to usher-in a candidate that reflects the wishes of the delegates and the entire constituents. Miaphen stressed that Pwajok is the architect of the failure of Jang’s administration having occupied a very important position in the administration first as the Director of research and planning and then the Chief of Staff saying as far as they are concerned, the administration is the worst government in terms of students’, government relationship. He lamented “Go to the tertiary institutions in the state and see the infrastructural decay and we have had course to meet him and urged him to advice the governor on the need to improve the infrastructures; but up to this time that I’m talking to you, he ( Pwajok ) seized communication with us”. According to him, the state is the worst in payment of scholarship to students as other states paid twice what the Plateau state is paying the indigenous students stressing that the students leaders are already putting heads together to put a stop to a situation whereby politicians use and dump them.



Contract scam: Okupe threatens to sue Benue Government for N5 billion By Lawrence Olaoye


he Senior Special Assistance to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe, yesterday threatened to sue Benue state government for N5 billion over allegation that he collected money and refused to execute contracts awarded his company, Value Trust Investments Limited. The President's aide argued that contrary to the allegation that he abandoned the contract, the Benue state government was to pay him N358 million having completed 40 percent of the project worth N2.3 billion. Okupe who was summoned to Benue owes him N358 million

the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday to state his position over the controversial contract in Benue state presented various documents to newsmen to prove that his company did not abandon any contract. Addressing journalists, Okupe said "the contract was 230 kilometres of road at the cost N10 million per kilometre when the contemporary prices elsewhere and everywhere in the country was between N30 and N35 million. The price was reduced because we came in with chemical from South Africa that could reduce

the cost of construction in the rural roads." According to the document presented by Okupe, signed by Engr. Charles -Mary N. Avul, the Commissioner for Works in Benue state dated January 23 2007, " the above contract was awarded to Value Trust Investment Ltd on April 29 2004. The contract was for initially for a period of 24 months and is being currently extended to April 30 2007. The contractor has done about 40% of the work" Another document presented by Okupe dated June 18 2007 signed

L-R: Director-General Mimiko Campaign Organisation(MCO),Mr Akin Adaramola, Director, Publicity and Media Relations, Mr Kolawole Olabisi, Mrs Stella Oluwatuyi, and Ondo state Commissioner for Education, Mr Remi Olatubora, during a press conference to the flag -off of the re-election Ondo state Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, yesterday in Akure.

by the Ag. Managing Director of Value Trust Investment Ltd, Engr. Fred Ejiofor presented an Interim Payment Certificate (IPC) requesting for payment of N358,762,934.90 for additional jobs done, to which the Benue state government refuse to pay. "Having done an approved 40 percent of the job of N2.3 Billion and only paid N545 million after deductions of VAT, after an additional N358 million was done, the Benue state government refused to pay," he alleged. He said he wondered at what time he bolted away with the state money when his company had done 40 percent of the job, adding that if he had abandoned the project, Benue state government under George Akume, would not have paid him thrice, when the company presented certificate of payment three times. However, Okupe challenged the former governor of Benue state, Senator George Akume and the incumbent governor, Gabriel Suswam to speak the truth on the terms of the contract, adding that Value Trust Investment Ltd asked for variation for the contract, since the terms of the contract have terribly changed. Okupe said that the company asked for variation of the contract in April 2007 as the cost of equipments had increased and there were provisions for variation, but the Benue state government ignored the request. The Senior Special Assistance to President explained that there was a remarkable increase in the unit prices of construction materials such as

Chairmanship aspirant advocates strict supervision of local govt From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


chairmanship aspirant in the forthcoming local government elections in Benue State Hon. Godwin Donko has advocated for stiffer and strict supervision of the third tier of government in the country to avoid embezzlement of scarce funds meant for execution of projects for the rural people. Hon. Donko who is contesting under platform of the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) decried

the massive looting in the local government by persons whose delight is to enrich themselves to the detriment of service to the poor rural people. He said with prudent management of resources by the operators, life would be made meaningful for the local people, adding that this is his intention in vying for the chairmanship position of Makurdi local government where he has once served as transition chairman for six (6) months.

Hon. Donko frowned at large scale financial mess he saw during the period intimating that he inherited a debt profile of over N200 million, salary wage bill of N49 million and another N8.2 million in form of certification interest. "I cleared all these and in addition embarked and completed a befitting ultramodern education office in Makurdi, a model clinic at Modern Market, 3 block of classroom with detached toilets

at Fidi, electrified 4 villages, completed box culverts as well as renovated 3 abattoirs", he said. The chairmanship aspirant also lamented over the poor internally generated revenue of the LGA, noting that those who man the markets are fraudulent, promising to raise the IGR by engaging persons who can be trusted. Local government elections are bid to hold in the state on November 24th 2012.

Reps summon CBN Governor over cashless policy, N5, 000 notes By Umar Mohammed Puma


he House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency yesterday said it will invite the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, and his management team on the issue of the cashless policy and the proposed introduction of N5000 note Briefing newsmen, the chairman of the committee, Rep. Jones Onyereri (PDP) Imo state, said

“We believe that Nigerians deserve to know whether there is a short, mid-term and long-term strategy that will bring any benefits to the system as a result of this introduction, and the intervention of the house is to ensure that due process is followed and the rule of law adhered to, and we assure you that we will also be mindful of the effect of this or any other banking policy on the ordinary citizens,’’ Onyereri said the committee would be looking into the

consideration of the new notes including cost of implementing the policy to government, the inflationary trend, devaluation implication and cashless policy derivative. He said that the committee had not received any information from the CBN on its plan to introduce N5, 000 notes in the economy. “Whereas we fully respect the separation of powers enshrined in the constitution and the CBN’s autonomy as provided by the

Central Bank Act 2007 as amended as well as the Banking and Other Financial Institutions Act, we have a responsibility to the Nigerian people to engage the executive on issues that may have a far reaching effect on the national economy and affect the day to day lives of the ordinary Nigerian.’’ He said the house, which had oversight responsibility over the banking industry, would set up the processes to immediately address the matter.

cement, granite, bitumen reinforcing steel among others, adding that the price of diesel, which was at that time N20 was increased to N90; that he said resulted in tremendous increase in the cost of equipment-driven site operations. "The prices of diesel, one of the major raw materials of the ingredient has gone up to N90 litre from N20, the prices of cement, bitumen and wages of the workers gone up, the government of Benue state refused to our request for the contract variation", Okupe said. He further said that the job was neither abandoned nor terminated, saying, "the non-payment of the IPC 4 certificate of N358 million was the major reason why VTIL, failed to complete the roads as scheduled, though, the certificate was for work already done. Okupe also said that the Benue state Government Executive Council said that the only way this matter could be resolved was through arbitration as both the EFCC, Federal Ministry of Works have all inspected the work done. Explaining why Okupe was summoned, the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Olisa Metu, stated that after the meeting with him the party expressed shocked, adding "we invited Dr. Okupe because this matter is in the court of public opinion, but what we discovered from the documents he presented is shocking."

Awonyi hails Gov.Wada’s court victory


he Deputy Governor of Kogi, Mr Yomi Awoniyi, has described the Federal High Court judgment that affirmed the candidature of Gov. Idris Wada “as a victory for democracy. This is contained a statement issued by Awoniyi’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Michael Abu, in Lokoja on Wednesday. It stated that the affirmation of Wada as the winner of the Dec. 3, 2011 governorship election was a victory for the state. The statement called on those who went to court to join hands with the administration to move the state forward. It stated that victory was geared toward the collective development of the state, adding that it came at a time the state was celebrating its 21st anniversary. “Our administration has begun road construction project and several interventions in the health and education sector,” it said. According to the statement, within a short time, the people will begin to see rapid development in the state. It stated that the task of building a virile Kogi lied in the collective efforts of the people, noting: “since the state has won its litigations development will be rapid.’’ The statement commended the judiciary for remaining the bastion of democracy. (NAN)



Scribe says squash federation to shift emphasis to age-group competitions


Sunshine Stars FC

Sunshine Stars vow to avenge loss to Esperance of Tunisia


n official supervising the Sunshine Stars of Akure, Mike Idoko, has vowed that the club will avenge their 0-2 loss to the Esperance of Tunisia on July 7 in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun. Sunshine will leave the country tomorrow for the match in Tunisia. Idoko, the Executive Director of Ondo State Football Agency (ODSFA), said in Akure, that

the team was going to Tunisia to redeem their image. “This is because the team will work hard, because the champion’s league is a competition for men and not boys. “We were on the brink of qualification, but we must redeem our image by also trying to defeat Esperance in their backyard,’’ Idoko said.

U-20 Women’s World Cup: Fans charge Falconets to remain focus


occer fans have advised the Falconets to remain focused as they take on their Mexican counterparts today in the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan. The Falconets, who are earning to go a step further than the last edition when tyhey lost in the final to hosts Germany, defeated South korea 2-0, drew 1-1 with Brazil and won 4-0 against Italy to top Group B with seven points. A former Super Eagles Assistant Coach, Joe Erico, who described the Falconets as a strong team that would put up an astonishing performance as they did in the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, said all the coaches need is to remain alert and be tactically disciplined. “The Falconets are a strong side that will meet the expectations of Nigerians since they have proved themselves in the preliminaries. “I believe in their strength and strategy, because if you go back memory lane to the last World Cup where they clashed with the German team in the final, you will realise that they have what it takes to win the trophy in this ongoing competition. “After all, they broke the record that no West African team had ever made it past the quarter-

finals of any FIFA Women’s World Cup,’’ Erico said. Nduka Ugbade, an ex-international, said that the group qualifiers were different from the knock out stage and as such, they (Falconets) needed to step up their game to remain in the competition. “I am happy with their performance in the group stage, but they need to focus better in the knock out stage because this is the determining stage. “If you win, you remain in the competition, and if you lose, you crash out. That is why it is necessary for them to focus better here,” he said. Gloria Akujobi, the Media Officer of the Flamingoes, urged their (Falconets) coaches to watch the pattern of play of their opponents and develop strategies to counter and win them. “The coaches should develop a synchronising pattern of play between the mid-fielders and attackers so that they could have more ball possession which will ultimately lead to goals. “They must have watched the Mexicans play during the preliminaries and therefore should understand their game pattern to be able to counter them. “It is left to the coaches to determine whether it will be a one-on-one or group marking of their opponents in their next match,” she said.

he Nigeria Squash Rackets Federation (NSRF), said yesterday that it was shifting emphasis to organising more age-group competitions, to enable the federation to replace its ageing players. Evelyn Fabunmi, the federation’s secretary, who disclosed this in Lagos, said that the federation would begin the age-group competitions with an U19 closed tournament. “The age-group competition for boys and girls will afford the younger ones to gain more experience and will also enable the federation to discover talented replacements,” Fabunmi said. She lamented that the federation lacked

age-group competitions, saying that the situation had greatly relegated junior squash players to the background. “The older ones are well-travelled in the game; so the likes of Jonathan Peters, Tunde Ajagbe, Sodiq Taiwo, Yemisi Taiwo, amongst many others, need to be replaced. “If we do not start to find possible replacements for our ageing national players now, then there is the possibility that the game will suffer at the professional level. “We have to discover, develop and encourage talented players in their young ages and expose them through competitions,” she said. Fabunmi praised the sponsors of the just-

ended Cargolux Open and the Lagos Governor’s Opens for involving the U-19 and U-16 age-categories in their tournaments. “Tournament like the Cargolux Interclub Open and the Lagos Governor’s Open that involve the youths are laudable. “If we can have many of such competitions holding throughout the country, then it will really bring progress to the game in Nigeria,” she said. The secretary, however, urged parents and guardians to allow their children and wards to get actively involved in the game. She also charged corporate organisations and public-spirited individuals to sponsor squash competitions.

Tourney director says hockey league standard impressive


alter Imoedemhe, an official of the ongoing International Energy Insurance (IEI) Premier Hockey League, says the standard of the competition is higher when compared to the previous

editions. Imoedemhe, the Tournament Director, who assessed the tournament in Abuja yesterday, said the presence of foreign-based players had raised the standard. He said that while 14 teams took part in last year’s event, 17 teams, including nine male and eight female were participating in this year’s competition. According to him, the winners of both the male and female categories would represent Nigeria at the Africa Cup for Club Champions later this year in Zimbabwe. “The standard is very impressive and high; last year we had just 14 teams in both the male and female categories and this year we have 17 teams. “Because most of the players playing outside the country are around to play for their clubs the standard is impressive, this is the first time this is happening,” he said Imoedemhe said the defending champions, Heartland of Owerri, Imo State, could not participate in the tournament due to lack of resources but noted that they would still represent Nigeria with the winners at the competition in Zimbabwe. On players who sleep at the corridors of the hockey pitch at the National Stadium, Abuja, he said it was the responsibility of their state governments to provide accommodation for them and not the federation. He said federation had the responsibility to ensure that players were in good health, adding that the welfare of the players should be their private arrangement. “This is an open tournament and clubs that play in it can bring their players here and take care of their welfare so, it is not the responsibility of the Federal Government or the federation. Also, the Director, Development, Nigeria Hockey Federation (NHF), Omi Brown, corroborated him and stressed that the federation had made arrangement for food subsidies for the players. He said the organisation would award medals to winners and certificate of participation to everyone that has participated in the tournament.

Steeplechaser banned for 10 years

F Falconets celebrating after scoring against Italy

rench steeplechaser NourEddine Gezzar has been banned for 10 years after a second positive drugs test, the French athletics federation said in a statement on Tuesday. Gezzar, who came fourth in the 3 000 metres steeplechase at the European championships, missed the London Olympics after being provisionally suspended following

a failed test for erythropoietin (EPO) at the French championships in June. The Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed his appeal that there had been errors in the testing process. He had already been suspended for two years in 2006 for testing positive for nandrolone and finasteride.



The season is over. Clubs are counting their blessing as well as losses and would like to make amends and even beef up their squads where noticeable lapses exist. And the transfer market remains agog just as it was 24 hours after major European leagues dropped the curtain. And so to keep abreast with latest rumours, we begin daily doses of movements within the market both for players and coaches like.

Milan complete Bojan deal


Bojan Krkic

C Milan has confirmed that they have completed a season-long loan deal for Roma striker Bojan Krkic. Bojan, 22, arrived in Italy from Barcelona for •12 million in 2011, but failed to produce his best form during his debut season and slipped down the pecking order. Now with Milan in the market for a striker following the sale of Zlatan Ibramimovic to Paris SaintGermain, manager Massimiliano Allegri has added the player to his squad for a year.

Real Madrid in Debuchy link


panish midfielder Javi Martinez has completed a German record transfer to Bayern Munich from Athletic Bilbao. Martinez, 23, successfully completed his medical tests after the release clause of •40 million release clause was met by the German giants following tough negotiations. Rummenigge admitted

it was “a high fee” but that the player would indirectly take a share in the •40 million spent. Reportedly Martinez has agreed on a salary cut of up to •2 million per year. However, it now appears that the deal has been done, eclipsing the previous German transfer record, also set by Bayern when they signed Mario Gomez from Stuttgart for a reported •33 million.


Leverkusen signs Rensing


ayer Leverkusen have s i g n e d goalkeeper Michael Rensing on a one-year contract. The 28-year-old former Bayern Munich custodian joins on a free transfer after spending last season at Cologne, who told Rensing he could find himself a new club this summer following their relegation to the second division. Bayer managing director Wolfgang

Holzhauser said on his club’s website: “We have signed an experienced and high quality back-up for our number one, Bernd Leno. We made this move as we are involved in three competitions.” Rensing, who has made more than 100 Bundesliga appearances, joined Cologne in December 2010 after being released by Bayern that summer.

Southampton signs Zambia player


outhampton has bolstered their strikeforce with the signing of Zambia forwardEmmanuel Mayuka from Young Boys. The 21-year-old has signed a five-year deal at St Mary’s after passing a medical with the newlypromoted Premier League side. Mayuka has already been granted a work permit and Saints are now awaiting entry clearance for the deal to be fully ratified, which is expected to happen before the end of this week. Mayuka joined Maccabi Tel Aviv from his first club, Kabwe Warriors, four years ago, before signing for Young Boys in 2010. The striker scored 32 times in two seasons at the Swiss club and has also impressed at international level, becoming the joint-top scorer in Zambia’s successful 2012 CAF Africa Cup of Nations campaign.

Real Madrid in Debuchy link


eal Madrid have upped their search for a new rightback, as Jose Mourinho suggested that the club could do more business before the summer’s transfer window shuts on Friday. Lille’s Mathieu Debuchy and Internazionale’s Maicon are the names in the frame, according to various reports in the Spanish media yesterday morning. Mourinho said at his pre-Supercopa second leg press conference on Tuesday that the next few days could see players both coming and going at the Bernabeu.

Manchester City to sign Nastasic

Matija Nastasic


anchester City is close to signing Serbia defender Matija Nastasic from Fiorentina for about £12m. The 19-year-old has been a long-time target of City manager Roberto

Tottenham set to land Lloris


ottenham Hotspur is on the brink of agreeing a £12 million deal to sign France international keeper Hugo Lloris from Lyon. Tottenham are noted for their frantic activity in the final hours of the transfer window and, after agreeing a deal with Fulham to sign midfielder Moussa Dembele. Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has confirmed that Spurs have stepped up their pursuit of Lloris in recent days, with manager Andre Villas-Boas viewing the 25year-old as a better long-term option in his first team than 41-year-old Brad Friedel. Shakhtar Donetsk forward Willian remains a firm target for Spurs and his eagerness to move to North London should see the deal concluded before Friday.

Walcott want to stay at Arsenal

Porto reject •50m bid for Hulk


Moussa Dembele

Spurs land Dembele from Fulham


ulham midfielder Moussa Dembele is on the verge of joining Tottenham Hotspur after the west London club revealed they have accepted a bid for the Belgium international. Dembele was missing from Fulham’s squad for their 1-0 League Cup second round defeat at Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday, and the Cottagers confirmed after the match that the 25-year-old was having a medical with Tottenham. With money to spend from this week’s sale of Luka Modric to Real Madrid, Dembele, who joined Fulham from AZ Alkmaar in 2010, is seen by Spurs manager Andre VillasBoas as the ideal replacement for the Croatia midfielder.

orto has rejected a •50 million Zenit St Petersburg offer for striker Hulk, club president Pinto da Costa has said. Da Costa’s comments came soon after the Russian club claimed to have withdrawn their offer for the Brazil international, who has been a Porto player for the last four years. Zenit had appeared on the verge of clinching a deal, with Premier League clubs having been priced out of the transfer. Hulk has long been linked with a switch to Chelsea, and had also interested Tottenham, but Porto’s asking price - in excess of £40 million has proved a stumbling block.


nugu Rangers are close to an agreement with South African Premier Soccer League side, Ajax Cape Town, over the sale of defender James Okwuosa to the Ikamva side. The transfer window in the PSL closes on Fridaywhich means both sides must conclude the transaction for Okwuosa to

play in the 2012/2013 season with Ajax. General Manger/Vice Chairman of the team, Ozor Paul Chibuzor, confirmed the development. Ajax has proposed a percentage to the Enugu side whenever Okwuosa is sold to any foreign club. Okwuosa is a big, toughtackling defender, who also gets goals for his team.

Theo Walcott


heo Walcott looks set to stay at Arsenal this summer after holding amicable talks with manager Arsene Wenger on Wednesday. It is understood the 23year-old gave verbal assurances over his short-

Manchester United set to off-load Rooney


Ajax close in on Ranger star


Mancini. Defender Stefan Savic is expected to move in the opposite direction as Mancini looks to add reinforcements to his Premier League-winning squad. Striker Roque Santa Cruz, 31, could also leave before Friday’s transfer deadline, with Malaga and Real Betis keen on a loan deal. Santa Cruz has barely figured since being signed by Mark Hughes from Blackburn Rovers for £18m in 2009.

anchester United are said to be preparing the groundwork for a £40m transfer for Wayne Rooney Rooney’s relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson has broken down, with United now ready to cash in on the England striker. With Robin van Persie, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez, Ferguson feels he has enough options in attack to cope without Rooney. Hernandez has publicly

term future but has yet to sign a new deal. Arsenal’s latest offer of a five-year £75,000-a-week contract was rejected by Walcott last Friday but the club are now convinced the player wants to stay. Arsenal had previously been prepared to sell their winger if he did not agree to sign a new contract by Friday. He has scored 42 goals in 222 appearances and won 28 England caps during his time at the club. declared he is ready to accept the challenge of replacing Rooney. But Ferguson does not feel Rooney’s performances and commitment since then have justified the £250,000-a-week contract he was handed.

Wayne Rooney



1994 Selecao were best Brazil ever produced, says Parreira


hat’s your verdict on a generation of Brazilian players that should be hitting their peak comeBrazil 2014? How does it compare with previous generations? At the end of the day, you can only rate a team at the competition itself. InBrazil there are always emerging talents and promising players. In my 40 years of football I must have heard someone say “he’ll be the new Pele” dozens of times and then they fall short. That’s valid for whole generations: you have to prove yourself on the pitch, when it counts. This generation is promising and talented but we’ll only see what they’re really made of come 2014. Neymar’s involvement makes this, perhaps, one of the most gifted crops we’ve had in recent years. He’s a class apart.


You’re a clear example of just how much FIFA World Cup success can shape a career, aren’t you? How big an impact has that 1994 win had on your profile? The World Cup is the pinnacle, the highest point of any player or coach’s career. You could have achieved millions of positive things, made mistakes, had successes and failures, but when you win a World Cup that’s what will be remembered. And I’ve had more of a sense of that in recent years: it’s very striking how people treat you, the way they respect you and see you differently. When I’m introduced it’s as “Carlos Parreira, world champion”. It’s now 18 years since we won the World Cup, yet just the other day I was stopped twice on the street by English people, who greeted me and said “you’re a legend”. It’s a stamp, a label you wear with pride for the rest of your life.

That’s why we didn’t let the criticism get to us. At that conference, after I’d given my talk, they prepared a video and sent a copy to everybody. It had my photo on it and the title they gave it was My Way, like the Frank Sinatra song. (laughs) If there hadn’t been all that pressure after so long without FIFA World Cup victory, would you have approached USA 1994 any differently? Would the team’s style of play have changed? No, no. The team was criticised so heavily that, after we won, we didn’t need to say anything. People said “They won, but without jogo bonito”. But what is beautiful football? It’s playing effectively, knowing how to defend, how to attack and getting results. And we did all that: we became champions without losing a game. And it wasn’t a ‘Europeanstyle’ team, far from it. That was never the case, it was just a stupid label someone came up with. There were no European principles behind the building of that team. We CONTINUED ON PAGE 46>>>

A lot of people were quite disparaging about that Seleção, even though it won the world title. Do you still get a sense of that sometimes? Time goes by and nobody remembers things like that. What goes down forever is winning the title, full stop. It was a title win that ended a 24-year drought, during which period we’d never even reached the Final. If you look back, it was a very good team. Taffarel is among the best keepers Brazil have ever had. Jorginho and Aldair (were among the best ever in their positions) too, as was Branco. I don’t want to compare him with Nilton Santos [a world champion in 1958 and 1962), who was a class apart, but Branco was one of the finest left-backs Brazil ever produced. Dunga was a great midfielder in that organisational and defensive role of his, while on top of all these players we had Romario and Bebeto. We had a team that was technically very good, which was why we won. It had quality as well as the other vital ingredients you need: togetherness, the right players, good planning and hard work from the coaching staff.


Carlos Alberto Parreira, known for his in-depth affair, piercing analysis and knows the game inside out, mingles freely with the first-hand experiences coaches and has been coach at no fewer than six FIFA World Cups, takes a look at sundry issues, including his World Cup experiences, the Selecao and not the least rave of the moment Neymar. Parreira, a member of FIFA’s Technical Study Group for the Olympic Football Tournaments at London 2012, relishes his world title success with A Seleção in 1994.

That 24-year title drought put huge pressure on the squad’s shoulders, right? The pressure was enormous; in fact that was our toughest opponent. We couldn’t get our heads round it. You’d pick up the paper, look at what was written and think “My God, we’ve not been world champions for 24 years and these people, instead of supporting us, are making things harder: they want to bring us all down.” Fortunately we had a very experienced coaching staff me, (Mario) Zagallo, Moracy Sant’Anna, Admildo Chirol, Americo Faria so we didn’t let the criticism get to us. We had our own path to follow, our way of doing things. If there’s one thing we’re particularly proud of from that win is the fact we did everything our own way. On that note, back in 1997 or ’98 I gave a talk to European coaches on behalf of UEFA. I was treated as a special guest, as the coach of the reigning world champions. In my presentation I included the ten main ideals (behind our success): commitment, pride in pulling on the yellow jersey, etc. And the main one was instilling in the players that the World Cup is a short competition with no margin for error. So, we had a motto in the camp: maximum efficiency and zero errors. We only had one goal and that was to reclaim the title the whole squad’s minds were focused on that.


What goes down forever is winning the title, full stop. It was a title win that ended a 24-year drought, during which period we’d never even reached the Final. If you look back, it was a very good team






PEOPLES DAILY, THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2012 Brazil ever produced, says Parreira <<< CONTINUED FROM PAGE 44 put the emphasis on Brazilian football values: we played a back four which has forever been a characteristic of Brazilian teams; we used zonal marking; we controlled possession and played one-touch football. Those were the characteristics of that side. When it came to defending, we'd bring eight players behind the ball, just like Brazil did in 1970 under Zagallo: when possession was lost, everybody got back. It was eight in our case because Romario and Bebeto were special players, who'd never been taught how to help out in defence. The European sides were surprised by how organised and physically fit we were. We went through that World Cup without being in real danger. Do you know how hard that is? To play a full World Cup without being forced onto the back foot? There wasn't a single game when Taffarel had to be our best player, that's because we were solid defensively. When you mention the small margin for error at a FIFA World Cup, it makes us realise just how hard it must have been to make decisions such as taking Rai out of the starting XI. Is that really the case? Of course, but you have to be firm and prepared for the consequences. Rai was our biggest name, our captain. He was struggling following his switch to European football, to Paris Saint-


CoachCarlos Alberto Parreira

Germain, in 1993. He spent a period out of their side and leading up the World Cup he'd not had a holiday for two years. It all hit him too hard. When he came back into the Brazil squad, I gave him a starting place even though he wasn't at his best. He began (USA 1994) as a starter until, after the group phase, I decided to give his place to Mazinho, who was more versatile. Against USA in the Round of 16, he played in three positions: when Leonardo got sent off he filled in at left-back, then he switched to the right and he ended the game back in the centre of midfield - alongside Mauro Silva and Dunga where he kept his place for the rest of the Copa. Technically he was very good, but he wasn't a midfielder with attacking flair. The only reason I only didn't replace Rai with a more attacking player was because there wasn't one around at the time. Rai was the most attacking, followed

by Zinho, who was another starter. Indeed, if you look at the papers from the time, there was no clamour, no outrage that a certain player or other should have been selected. Neto was a good attacking midfielder, but he couldn't establish himself at national-team level. We experimented with Rivaldo too, in fact he made his Seleção debut under us against Mexico. He did well but didn't really click; we couldn't be sure enough about him to select him. Later on, of course, he grew a lot as a player and was incredibly important in that 2002 (World Cup) win.

so much. The pattern of play, the demands on them, the level of responsibility and the technical quality required are all different, as is the level of criticism you receive because the eyes of the whole world are on you (with A Seleção). Some don't let it get to them and even thrive on it, while others are weighed down by the yellow jersey. For example Branco, in 1994, came into the squad off a run of injuries and, after recently going back toBrazil, he wasn't getting a game at Corinthians. But, not only had he been a Brazilian champion under me at Fluminense in 1984 he also

When you talk about a player being unable to "establish himself at national-team level", what do you mean exactly? Do you need different criteria to assess a player in the Seleção as opposed to at his club? That's vital, things change

The pattern of play, the demands on them, the level of responsibility and the technical quality required are all different, as is the level of criticism you receive because the eyes of the whole world are on you (with A Seleção).

Samsung Diamond league

Bolt, Rudisha, 13 Olympic champs set to light Zurich today


sain Bolt, the Olympic 100m and 200m champion and 800m world record-holder David Rudisha will headline a stellar track and field line-up at today’s Diamond League meeting in Zurich. Bolt and Rudisha are just two of 15 newlycrowned Olympic champions on show at the sold-out Letzigrund Stadium, where 14 reigning world champions will also feature. In his only postOlympic race this year, Rudisha will try to beat the mark of 1min 40.91sec he set in winning the 800m at the London Games, and will have compatriot and regular pacemaker Sammy Tangui on board to ensure a blistering first lap. Three other Kenyans Anthony Chemut, Timothy Kitum and Leonard Kosencha will also run alongside Ethiopian teenager Mohammed Aman, British duo Andrew Osagie and Michael Rimmer, and American Duane Solomon in what promises to be a fascinating race. Bolt, who is fresh from his second successive triple gold medals haul at the Olympics, again races in the 200m,

played spectacularly at the World Cups in 1986 and 1990. He treated those World Cups like a kick around in his back garden, with no pressure. That makes a difference, which is why I didn't think twice about selecting him. And he came through for us when we needed him: as well as scoring that winning goal against the Netherlands, in that game he also nullified the threat of [Marc] Overmars, who was their most dangerous player. However, sometimes these situations don't go your way, isn't that right? Was that what happened at Germany 2006? What happens, sometimes, is that situations

coming off the back of victory in Lausanne earlier this month in 19.58sec, ahead of Dutch runner Churandy Martina and compatriot Nickel Ashmeade. Martina and Ashmeade will both be in Zurich, along with American Wallace Spearmon and Jamaican duo Warren Weir the Olympic bronze medallist and Jason Young, with six of the field having already clocked sub-19.95sec season’s bests. The strong Jamaican influence continues in the 100m, where world champion and Olympic silver medallist Yohan Blake could again steal Bolt’s thunder. Blake lit up Lausanne when he raced to victory in 9.69sec to move into second place on the alltime performers list, which he now shares with American Tyson Gay. Bolt leads the way with the 9.58sec he set when winning at the 2009 Berlin World Championships. Gay and Jamaica’s Nesta Carter, second and third behind Blake in Lausanne, are also on the start list, along with US duo Ryan Bailey and Darvis Patton, another Jamaican in the shape of Michael Frater, and Trinidad’s Keston Bledman. Only France’s

European champion Christophe Lemaitre and St Kitts a n d Nevis veteran

Kim Collins, w h o w a s axed f r o m t h e Olympics by team officials after an apparent r o w o v e r visits to see his w i f e , h a v e failed to break the 1 0 s e c barrier t h i s season. Elsewhere

on the track, Russia’s Yuliya Zaripova h a s forsaken pacemakers

in her bid to better the world record she holds in t h e 3 0 0 0 m steeplechase,


Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross of the United States faces no less than six of her opponents in London over the 400m. The men’s 5 000m might be missing the presence of Britain’s Mo Farah, who claimed a memorable distance double on home turf at the Games. But his training partner, Galen Rupp, will be running in a h i g h -

force themselves upon you, in a certain way. What I mean to say is, when things are going right it's hard to make many changes because, at the end of the day, you're getting the right results. I think that's part of what happened with the team at the 2006 World Cup. We tried to make a tactical plan work including four players who'd virtually never had any defensive responsibility: Kaka, Ronaldinho Gaucho, Adriano and Ronaldo. It was such a talented attack and it went so well for a long time, like at the Confederations Cup (2005) with Robinho in place of Ronaldo, that it didn't raise many concerns. But, for the reasons that everybody has spoken about many times some players not being in the best shape, a slight shortage of the commitment you need for a tournament like that - we weren't able to carry our form into the World Cup itself. Sometimes that's the way it is: when an idea starts going right you get carried along with it, for better or for worse. quality field arguably much tougher than that at the Olympics because countries are not restricted to just three entries. No less than nine Kenyans and six Ethiopians will compete, making Rupp’s team tactics alongside fellow Americans Bernard Lagat and Lomong Lopez crucial over the 12-anda-half-lap race.



J O K ES Illiterate family One day mother called her son and asked him 4 x 4, the boy said twelve, and mother started beating him. Just then the father came in and asked what was the problem, the mother answered, I asked him 4 x 4 he don't know it. The father now asked the mother, you too what is the answer, mother said is 14, the father said GOD saved you I thought you don't know it.

Fat woman A conversation in the court between a judge and a fat lady. JUDGE: Lady why did you hit the conductor with your umbrella? Fat Lady: When I got down from the bus he shouted ' room for nine more'


Quick CrossWord (16)


ACROSS 1 ATM code (3,6) 8 Private healthcare organisation (inits) (4) 9 Movie devotees (4-5) 10 National banking system (4) 13 Tiny shop, booth (5) 16 Comprehensive (3-2) 17 Calms (5) 18 Chosen few (5) 19 Got up (5) 20 __ Sissons, newsreader (5) 24 Things that wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work (4) 27 having different and jarring rythms (3,2,4) 28 Line of track 94) 29 Placating (9)

DOWN 2 Tall garden flower (4) 3 Christen (4) 4 New Zealand native (5) 5 Obtains by work (5) 6 Eager desire to know (9) 7 Noisy party-goers (9) 11 Plunderers (9) 12 Moisturising lotion derived from nuts (6,3) 13 Adopt a praying position (5) 14 Vegetable used in turkey stuffing (5) 15 Withholds (5) 22 Kit up (5) 23 Continuous humming sound (5) 25 The Thames of Oxford (4) 26 Author unknown (4)

Yesterdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s answer

Squaddie Derek Derenalagi is aiming for glory in the London Paralympics - five years after he was declared dead in a Taliban bomb attack. Source:

Beware of the MICE! 'Tube staff' warn commuters to tuck trousers into socks after 'attacks' Source:

FACTS 20. Human hair is virtually indestructible. Aside from it's flammability, human hair decays at such a slow rate that it is practically non-disintegrative. Hair cannot be destroyed by cold, change of climate, water, or other natural forces and it is resistant to many kinds of acids and corrosive chemicals. 21. The acid in your stomach is strong enough to dissolve razorblades. Hydrochloric acid, the type found in your stomach, is not only good at dissolving the pizza you had for dinner but can also eat through many types of metal. 22. The surface area of a human lung is equal to a tennis court. 23. Sneezes regularly exceed 100 mph. 24. Approximately 75% of human waste is made of water. 25. The average person expels flatulence 14 times each day. Even if you'd like to think you're too dignified to pass gas, the reality is that almost everyone will at least a few times a day. Source: Weird facts

. . . putting the people first



Plateau Queens, I-G Babes qualify for semi-final


lateau Queens of Jos and the I-G Babes have both joined the semi-final lineup in the women competition of the 2012 IEI National Premier Hockey League Finals in Abuja. Both teams led Group B of the competition, thereby joining the Yobe Desert Queens of Damaturu and Bayelsa Queens of Yenagoa in the last four stage of the annual competition. They had drawn goalless in their final group match at the astro-turf hockey pitch of the Abuja National Stadium for Plateau Queens to come first after ending with five points from three matches. The I-G Babes finished second with four points from three matches, shutting out Edo Flickers who also had four points from three matches after the latter had also drawn goalless with the Kaduna Flickers female team. Plateau Queens will now meet Group A runners-up Yobe Desert Queens in Thursday’s semi-finals, while the I-G Babes will take on Group A winners Bayelsa Queens in the other semi-final pairing. Meanwhile, in women competition’s classification matches played on Wednesday at the same venue, Benue Amazons of Makurdi which finished fourth in Group A beat the Kaduna Queens 2-1. Ondo Flickers, third-place winners from Group A, also triumphed 3-0 against Edo Flickers which had finished third in Group B. In the men’s competition, Yobe Desert Warriors of Damaturu and the Kaduna Flickers male team had already qualified for Friday’s semi-finals from Group A. The final Group B matches will come up today.

Azarenka, Kvitova roll into third round


orld No 1 Victoria Azarenka rolled into the third round of the US Open with an emphatic 6-2 6-2 victory over Belgian qualifier Kirsten Flipkens yesterday. Azarenka, who needs her second grand slam title after winning the Australian Open this year, will face 28th seed Zheng Jie of China in the third round. Fifth seed Petra Kvitova reached the third round with a 6-4, 6-3 win over France's Alize Cornet.


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QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE Some people say the young ones are better, we have tried the young ones but some of them have found themselves in prison with various allegations of corruption. — Ex-President Obasanjo

Sifting fact from fiction (II) D

etails outlined in the United States (US) governments report on the September 2001 terrorist attacks (the 9/11 Commission Report) provided the justification for the Allied invasion of Afghanistan to oust the very people they had empowered in the first place in 1979-1989. The report says Afghanistan was seen as 'the incubator for Al Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks'. Yet the same report which acknowledges that the US and Saudi Arabia funnelled billions of 'dollars worth of secret assistance to rebels in Afghanistan fighting the Soviet occupation..' would have us believe that Bin Laden and his comrades part of those same rebels, on the other hand, 'received little or no assistance from the United States.' ! p56 This disavowal or disowning of Bin Laden can be sifted from the facts already stated and admitted. This is what Hillary Clinton was so courageously trying to address in the speech cited last week. We must understand the true facts of our reality if we are to make any kind of real progress. So Fact 1: The US indeed by supporting Afghan 'rebels' helped empower - incubatethe Taliban and Al Qaeda and therefore helped propagate the particular ideology espoused by Al Qaeda. The 9/11 report in its analysis of the rationale behind the attacks against the US takes pains to show that it is derived from a minority, extremist view of Islam which they trace through the Wahabi Islam and specifically to the writings of Sayyid Qutb. Fact 2: Justification for killing especially in an organised manner by groups of individuals, countries or alliances can be based on any range of ideas - religious, racial, monetary, delusionary etc. For instance, the invasion of Iraq was sold to those who participated on a false premise: on a fictitious charge that Saddam Hussein was in possession of nuclear weapons. (That should mean something as we watch a literal repeat of that play as the United States, goaded on by Israel, guns for Iran as we speak.) Fact 3: Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq was never associated with Al Qaeda. Page 66 of the 9/11 report tells us surprisingly, 'that there was never any evidence Iraq cooperated with Al-Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks

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CAR TEL OPIA CARTEL TELOPIA By Aisha Yolah 08086296783 (text only please)

Late King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia against the US'. Yet the allies still found a way of targeting Iraq in their so-called War on Terror. Muslim societies like all other great civilisations have thrived by their ability to build, improve,educate and enhance human existence. The ability to cause death and destruction has never served any people in the long term. What the West would call democracy, Muslim scholars would say are the basic Islamic principles of consensus and consultation that will not allow for extremist views to take hold or last for any length of time. The rise of the specifically Saudi Arabian or Wahabi strand of Islam is one of the few exceptions. Fact 4: A series of strategic, political alliances from the early 20th century specifically helped incubate and spread of the minority (extremist) Wahabi school of thought. These alliances continue to shape our current reality both positively and negatively. Ordinarily the views of the austere 19th century teachings of Muhammad ibn AbdulWahab (who was opposed by his own father AbdulWahab and his brother Salman Ibn AbdulWahab) might not even have left their hometown in the Hejaz, but for a very cunning pact with a local chieftain. The political pact or alliance made between Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, who had until 1902 been one of a

number powerful Arabian chiefs and the cleric Muhammad AbdulWahab provided insurance for both. The pact guaranteed Saud and his descendants' political power over all conquered territory, while the latter would exercise complete ideological control. A second brilliantly calculated strategic alliance with the British by Al Saud ensured military supremacy over all other political rivals in return for his support against the (Muslim) Ottoman Turks in the run up to World War I. Finally with the discovery of oil, Saud chose to give the major licences to the Americans, much to the disappointment of the British in return for US protection till this day. Fact 5: Terrorism or organised violence is not caused by poverty but rather by a number of varying circumstances or events that are not specific to any religion or ideology or economic condition. Poverty or injustice of any sort only provides fuel for violence. Indeed violence is not peculiar to any one group, people or culture unless specific conditions exist. The 9/11 Report tells us that the 23year-old Bin Laden stood out in Afghanistan of the 1980's not because he showed 'evidence of religious learning but because he had access to some of his family's huge fortune'! This is because violence of any sort needs

financing as well as ideology. Ask any experienced general. Fact 6: Most of the 19 who the US accuses of carrying out the September 2001 attack were not from Iran or Iraq or Afghanistan but rather Saudi Arabian or of Gulf state citizenship (Kuwait, UAE, etc). All of these countries were and are allies of the US, yet it is their citizens who not only espoused ideology that justified hatred of a whole country (the US) or a whole ' civilisation'. Being well-off they also managed to mobilise the resources to carry out operations like the 9/11 attack. So it is not poverty or personally felt injustice that drove that particular group of attackers but careful indoctrination and deep pockets. Though the 9/11 report insists on locating the breeding ground for their radical, fringe ideology, in a commonly found human condition - 'when people lose hope, societies break down and countries fragment , the breeding grounds for terrorism are created' - it also admits that really 'terrorism is not caused by poverty'. I would say this unfair demonising of every poor Muslim as a potential terrorist is a strategic means by which Muslims can be stigmatised and seen as ready tools for so-called 'radicalisation'. More fiction to fit prejudiced view points. We all know life is more complicated than that. Fact 7: Foot soldiers for any insurrection whether Marxist or Christian or Irish or Davidian arise or are recruited on the basis of some justification. Such justification has to be grounded in some 'negative' it cannot be 'let's fight because everything is fine'. So labelling today's terrorism as Islamic terrorism is misleading, counterproductive and crucially: a tragic distraction from reality. The questions to ask of a 'terrorist' are not what is your religion or reason but rather who gave you arms, money and support? Once that financier is found, then you can ask: why. We can conclude, given the facts, that it is the historical support given to theocratic fiefdoms or oppressive cabals to kill alternative viewpoints, including majority Islamic trends, cause discontent and loss of hope, fuelled by geostrategic interests to invade/ occupy certain countries at all costs - that is the cause of our troubles. Concluded

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Peoples Daily Newspaper, Thursday, August 30, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Thursday, August 30, 2012 Edition