Page 1




How we converted 60,000 to Islam in five months, by Sardauna >>Page 45

Season of letters: Separating the messages from the messengers >>Pages 4,5

Death of 13-yr-old daughter: Husband to produce wife to face justice >>Page 15

. . . Putti ng the p e o p l e fi rs t Vol. 3 No. 70


SAFAR 18-19, 1435 AH

A presidential ambition under As ruling party threat sinks deeper



Boko Haram’s Kabiru Sokoto bags life jail >>Page 6

>>Page 19

President Goodluck Jonathan


Alh. Bamanga Tukur

Chief Bisi Akande

Elections in emergency states:

Is INEC trapped in politics of 2015? >>Pages 7,8,9





How man sold son to raise money for father’s burial

>>Page 14




Scrap business: When the useless becomes useful

Aluminuim being extracted from AC scraps From Mustapha Adamu, Kano


umping scrapped materials at homes and offices does not mean the end of their usage. We often see materials such as air conditioner, office and home appliances, motor engines etc, dumped at a large area in some markets, loaded on trucks and taken to unknown destinations. We also see some youth roaming our streets, heralding through microphones to buy such materials if available at homes in order to make a living. Business of scrapped materials, popularly known as gwan gwan in Hausa parlance, has been in existence for more than 100 years in Africa, Nigeria. Forget white collar job, dealing on scrapped aluminum, iron, copper wires, plastics and other used or abandoned materials considered worthless by many is turning into making millions.

Peoples Daily Weekend takes a look at this entrepreneur and visited one of the scrap business markets in Kano State and met Alkassim Musa, the chairman of one of the markets association called, Scraps Union Association, Galadima road market in the Kano metropolis who gave an insight on what the business is all about. He said he has been into the business for more than 20 years

long before he finish secondary school. Giving an insight into the business, Musa said the business requires reasonable sum of money to start, considering the quantity of the goods to purchase. “Considering the quantity of the goods to purchase, the business requires huge sum to start. Even though some youths among us start as foot solders who go round the town to buy

some petty materials in homes and also go to refuse dumps to extract some items and sell to us.” According to him, Items they buy during the auction include, air conditioner, photostat machines, computer accessories, generators, alternators etc. “We buy air conditioner, photostat machines, computer accessories, generators, alternators etc. We also buy transformers and other electricity

If somebody among us buys stolen goods intentionally, we will not intervene to help him out. But if somebody buys accidentally, without knowing the status of the goods, our association intervenes and help him out. If it means to pay back, we will contribute to settle the matter.

generating machines from PHCN.” “If we buy the items, we remove the inbuilt metals like copper wire, aluminium, and other items and load the remaining bodies to our customers in other places in Nigeria and beyond. We also take it to Sharada iron company in Kano when it reach one trailer load, for making iron rods.” On how they get the goods and sell to their target customers, Musa said they already have liaised with companies and government organisations to purchase the goods during auction. “We get our goods at companies and government organisations during auctions. We buy from them and dump it here to await our customers from some parts of this country like Lagos, Kaduna and some African Contd on Page 3




Scrap business: When the useless becomes useful Contd from Page 2 countries like Niger Republic, Benin Republic, Mali etc, to come and purchase from us.” “We also get from the youths that roam streets, heralding through microphones to buy the materials from houses at a certain amount or in exchange with a rubber container or cup.” he added. However, Musa explained how they use the scrap materials for, saying they extract some important inbuilt metals and other items from the materials such as aluminium, copper wire. “ We extract some important inbuilt items like condenser, copper wire, aluminium etc from the scrap materials and sell to our customers. The extractors will be paid N100 for each metal removed from the material.” About what the extracted items used for, the chairman said they are used for making aluminium pot and other items made from the metals. “We sell these metals to makers of aluminium pots, local jewellery, wires etc. They melt the metals and produce pots, spoons,

cups etc. Gold smiths also buy for making, rings, necklaces and other local jewellery.” Asked about the price of the commodity, the chairman said it varries according to the type and size of the items but it is measured in Kilogram (KG). “Prices of our commodities vary according to type and size. It is measured in KG. Black iron is sold at N35/Kg, aluminium is N165/Kg, but the price of copper wire is determined according to the market flow at a time. It is sold at the range of N500 to N800.” Asked about the problems they face in the course of their business, Musa said “ like all other businesses, there are some problems bedevelling our business. The major problem is associated to buying stolen goods. If somebody among us buys stolen goods intentionally, we will not intervene to help him out. But if somebody buys accidentally, without knowing the status of the goods, our association intervenes and help him out. If it means to pay back, we will contribute to settle the matter.”

Copper wire pulled out of scrap electronic item

Varieties of scrap items The chairman also stated that their business, like others, is seasonal. It hitches during the rainy season. “ Our business records lower flow during the rainy season because most of our customers concentrate on farming. Hence the market becomes less

profitable.” About the government’s intervention in the business, Musa said they have never appealed for government’s intervention and the government has not expressed the gesture. “ We have never appealed for government’s intervention and

the government itself has never showed its intent to intervene. We want the government to provide us with support for the development of our business.” He finally called on his colleagues to be God fearing and honest for the development of the business.

Packs of condemned AC assembled for sale as scraps



Special Report

Season of letters: Separating the messages from the messengers From Adesoji Oyinlola, Lagos


he last may not have been heard concerning the weighty controversial letter written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to President Goodluck Jonathan where he seriously castigated the latter for encouraging corruption among others. The secret letter written to President Jonathan by the former President had since it became public, attracted mixed reactions from prominent Nigerians and groups. While a section of the people commended the former President for his bold and frank move for alerting the President to some of the wrong doings in his administration, others simply condemned him for unnecessarily overheating the polity for pecuniary reasons. The letter according to sources in the presidency rattled the President and members of his kitchen cabinet that they started strategizing on how best to react so as to douse the flame the letter is generating. In what looks like the confirmation of the jitteriness in the presidency, President Jonathan spokesman, Reuben Abati reacted angrily to the letter from the former president. Abati described Obasanjo’s action as “mischievous and provocative”. He said, “We have noted the publication on several websites of a letter recently written by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. “The Presidency acknowledges that it has indeed received the said letter from Chief Obasanjo. “We however find it highly unbecoming, mischievous and provocative that a letter written by a former Head of State and respected elder statesman to President Jonathan has been deliberately leaked to the mass media in a deplorable effort to impugn the integrity of the President and denigrate his commitment to giving Nigeria the best possible leadership. * Abati however assured that the president would personally reply Chief Obasanjo as he barred all presidential aides from attacking the former president. “While many patriotic, objective and well-meaning Nigerians have already condemned the leaked letter as self-serving, hypocritical, malicious, indecent, and very disrespectful of the highest office in the land, President Jonathan has directed that none of his aides or any government official should join issues with Chief Obasanjo over it. * “The President himself will, at the appropriate time, offer a full personal response to the most reckless, baseless, unjustifiable and indecorous charges levied against him and his administration by the former Head of State”, he said. While the President is yet to personally react to some of the allegations, a new twist crept into the controversy raised by Obasanjo’s letter when some faceless people leaked another letter purportedly written by Senator Iyabo Obasanjo, daughter of the former President where she angrily bared out her mind on some unthinkable treatments her father meted out to members of his immediate family. In the heavily worded letter, Iyabo is said to have said that her father lacks the moral right to condemn some actions of President Jonathan, saying the former President has committed more grievous things than he is accusing Jonathan of. The letter no doubt elicited mixed reactions from Nigerians. While some doubts that the letter actually emanated from Iyabo,

President Goodluck Jonathan others simply pour venom on the former President, saying he has lost the respect of his people. Sources told PEOPLES DAILY WEEKEND that the letter purportedly written by Iyabo was actually written by one of her friends who has been privy to share in the secret agony of the former senator. ccording to the source, some hawks within the presidency who were seriously pained by the action of Obasanjo commissioned the faceless writer to write the highly provocative and insulting letter in a way to whittle down the public image of the former President so as to soften the grand for President Jonathan whenever he choose to react to the offensive letter. The plan by the presidency to unsettle Obasanjo before President Jonathan reply was dead on target. A source close to the Obasanjo’ family said while Iyabo has denied the authorship of the highly provocative letter, sources close to the family said Obasanjo


Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is finding it difficult to believe that his daughter did not actually write the letter. According to the source, all the issues raised in the letter purportedly written by Iyabo were true representation of what has transpired between her and her father in the past. Therefore, Obasanjo was said to have queried the source of the information contained in the letter if at all it was not written by Iyabo herself. Having scored a political goal against the former president in his homestead, the hawks went further to colour the issue with tribal sentiment. The hawks according to the source inundated some prominent northerners of plans by Obasanjo to orchestrate the removal of some of the representatives of the north holding sensitive positions in President Jonathan’ cabinet, saying the President refusal to do Obasanjo’s bidding facilitated the letter he wrote.

According to the source, some hawks within the presidency who were seriously pained by the action of Obasanjo commissioned the faceless writer to write the highly provocative and insulting letter in a way to whittle down the public image of the former President so as to soften the grand for President Jonathan whenever he choose to react to the offensive letter.

Among others, the hawks told some northern leaders that the former chairman of the Board of Trustees (BOT), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), recommended candidates for the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and four other key agencies. He advised the President to remove the heads of the agencies to avoid what he called unnecessary lobbying and distractions. But some of the President’s strategists are querying the motive of Obasanjo’s letter because, in their view, he is seeking to replace some Northerners who are heading the agencies with his candidates. ome Emirs, who worked for Jonathan’s victory in the April election, are said to be unhappy with Obasanjo’s plans to remove Northerners in the agencies. The Emirs’ suspicion of Obasanjo’s agenda followed a call at a meeting of the National Caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by the former President that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, should step down for a Southwest candidate in 2013. Obasanjo made his five demands in a September 16 letter to the President. In the letter, Obasanjo said he had observed with deep concern what he called the continued public outcry over the grossly poor performance of some Federal Government interventionist agencies, which he named. “Some of the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of these agencies are currently being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on allegations of corruption and their integrity in office has been tremendously eroded,” he said, adding: “These mentioned agencies are critical to the realisation of the transformation agenda


Contd on Page 5



Special Report Contd from Page 4 of your administration and their poor performances and low public ratings has (sic) the capacity to undermine the transformation agenda, hence the need to effect leadership changes in these agencies in order to achieve their target goals. Also joining issues with Obasanjo, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha who was mentioned indirectly in the letter as being used to run an assassination squad challenged Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to produce evidence on his claims that President Jonathan interfered with the murder trial of the late General Abacha’s former chief security officer. Al-Mustapha, who is abroad, also denied being used to run an assassination squad to target Jonathan’s political opponents ahead 2015 elections. In his December 2 letter to the President, Obasanjo said Jonathan interfered with the court process to set a murderer free, and organised a presidential reception for him. The former president did not name names, but it was obvious he was referring to Al-Mustapha who was freed by the Court of Appeal in July over the murder of the late Kudirat Abiola. Al-Mustapha’s counsel Barrister Olalekan Ojo challenged Obasanjo to produce evidence to support his claims. In his 18-page letter to Jonathan, Obasanjo said: “Presidential assistance for a murderer to evade justice and presidential delegation to welcome him home can only be in bad taste generally but particularly to the family of his victim. “Assisting criminals to evade justice cannot be part of the job of the presidency. Or, as it is viewed in some quarters, is he being recruited to do for you what he had done for Abacha in the past? Hopefully, he should have learned his lesson. Let us continue to watch.” In his reaction, Ojo said: “To the best of my knowledge, President Jonathan never organised or sponsored any welcome rally to AlMustapha after his release.” Al-Mustapha had been in detention for 14 years before he was acquitted by the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal, after being sentenced to death by a Lagos High Court. Ojo said, “The impression (of Obasanjo’s letter) is that the Court of Appeal caved into pressure from President Jonathan, to that extent, the comment is disturbing, worrisome and unwarranted. “The judiciary should be left alone and not be dragged into politics. The Justices of the Court of Appeal in Lagos that sat over the case are jurists of impeccable character and it is not fair for anybody, no matter how well-placed, to attack the integrity of these judges. We challenge Obasanjo to produce evidence of such interference to make it available to the public.” He added: “My client was discharged and acquitted on the merit of his appeal. Majority of those who commented on the judgment expressed satisfaction. It is most unfortunate that a person like OBJ

Season of letters: Separating the messages from the messengers

Alh. Atiku Abubakar could accuse the President of using his exalted office for such a sinister and morally reprehensible thing. It must be stated that if OBJ has any issue to settle with the President, he should not drag Al Mustapha into it.” n the allegation that AlMustapha is being used by Jonathan to run an assassination squad, Ojo said that the accusation was a demonstration of the enormous hatred Obasanjo harboured for Al-Mustapha. “At no time has he been involved in any such thing. It is totally false. Al-Mustapha is earnestly committed to the promotion of peace and harmony in Nigeria. It is most unfair that such an allegation should be made against him. It is an attempt to give a dog a bad name to hang him. When Al-Mustapha returns (from abroad) he will make a fuller response,” Ojo said. However, as sympathy continue to sway on the side of President Jonathan over the offensive letter by Obasanjo, some prominent Nigerians are not treating the issues Obasanjo raised in his letter with kid gloves, they chorused the need for Nigerians to take the accusation with the seriousness it deserves. Hon. Eddie Mbadiwe is the Deputy Chairman, House of Representative Committee on National Security and Intelligence, repre-


Sen. Iyabo Obasanjo senting Ideato North and South Federal Constituency of Imo State, said the fight against corruption should be done frontally. And it has to start with the presidency. I have said this many times: corruption can be destroyed very easily. If for instance, Eddie Mbadiwe is the President and I say I will not take or give bribe and I enforce it, corruption will die a natural death. So, that’s what the Speaker is saying that the body language of Mr. President tends to gloss over corruption. And he mentioned one or two things where the House is investigating and the presidency set up a counter investigation. I mean, which report of the committees are you going to handle? Is it the one the President set up or the one the House set up? That’s what he means by saying that the body language does not support the fight. On the other issue, I have a lot of respect for former President Olusegun Obasanjo personally, and I think that he thought about this a long time before he wrote that letter. A number of issues were raised which I think should not be dismissed with a wave of hand, because these are fundamental issues. A number of them, he wrote from personal experience. The party side of it, I will leave alone because I am not in PDP but the ones that con-

cern this nation, I think should not be waved away. If for instance, he says there is a Killer Squad being set up to target some people, it’s fundamentally dangerous. That’s criminal. I think that he should in conjunction with other former Heads of State, sit down with Mr. President, the President is much younger than all of them and he is amenable to advice. But you see, leadership can be very simple and difficult. If you are honest with people, it is very fundamental, if I tell you that this is white and tomorrow, I tell you it is black, you can’t trust me. But if I tell you it is white and it is still, for me, that’s what leadership is. And I think that anybody who aspires or is praying for this country must have that character. Otherwise, we can’t make any progress. So, when President Obasanjo said he told him two months ago that he is not going to run, and he later said he was going to run; you know, there is confusion in the whole atmosphere which is very unfortunate for this country. n his part, Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar called on prominent Nigerians to intervene in the face off between the two leaders. Atiku urged those copied by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his letter to President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene.


However, as sympathy continue to sway on the side of President Jonathan over the offensive letter by Obasanjo, some prominent Nigerians are not treating the issues Obasanjo raised in his letter with kid gloves, they chorused the need for Nigerians to take the accusation with the seriousness it deserves.

He said although he was not competent to speak on Obasanjo’s letter because he was not privy to the communication, he however insisted that it was expedient for leaders consulted by the former President before the publication of the letter to intervene and reduce the tension created by the contents. In a statement by his media office in Abuja, Atiku said like every other Nigerian, he was nervous about the allegations made by the ex-President and that those elders mentioned by Obasanjo had a moral duty to add their voices to the issue. According to Atiku, the allegations were too disturbing to be treated with apathy by any political stakeholder like him. He said at a moment of national anxiety or uncertainty, leaders across the country should rise to the occasion and reassure fellow Nigerians about the future. He explained that at a time the rest of the world was looking at Nigeria as a beacon of hope for stability, the content of Obasanjo’s letter should be urgently addressed by former leaders and elders. Former Vice President Abubakar said with the attention of Nigerians focused on the 2015 elections, there was the urgent need to reassure Nigerians. He said, “Our priorities for Nigeria are forging lasting solutions to our chronic unemployment, providing safety and security for all, and vastly improving our failing education systems. President Jonathan’s government has consistently failed to address these critical concerns. “That said, it is on record that I have firmly fought for a democracy where the voters choose their future leaders, not political party bosses. “If the incumbent President insists on continuing to destroy his own party with vindictive internal wars and thinks his record of rising youth unemployment, never-ending violence, corruption and scandals is worthy of another term, then he is welcome to run. We are confident Nigerians will exercise their democratic right to choose new leadership in 2015.” Also, the Northwest Solidarity Forum, NSF, which membership was drawn from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the seven states in the zone, has called on the PDP governors to speak up on the controversial letter written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to President Goodluck Jonathan. The group’s zonal Leader, Alhaji Abubakar Danfulani, said in a statement that the silence of the governors was worrisome to the Forum, explaining that there was the need for them to intervene in a measured manner that will engender reconciliation. “The silence in the camp of the PDP governors is worrisome to us. It gives the Forum the impression that the governors may be sympathetic to the cause of Chief Obasanjo, since he was said to have been responsible for the election of no fewer than 18 out of the 23 of them (out of which five have now defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC).



News Ex-CJN accuses Jonathan of maltreating Salami


Umar Kabir Alias ‘Kabir Sokoto’ (M), stepping out of Federal High Court after being given life sentence yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud lsa

Scores killed as insurgents attack military barrack in Borno From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


nspecified number of soldiers and members of the Boko Haram sect were feared dead yesterday morning in a gun battle when suspected insurgents launched deadly attacks on a military barrack in Bama local government area of Borno state. The latest spate of violence rocking the state came less than three weeks after a similar incident in which the insurgents attacked several security formations comprising of air force base and artillery battalion in Maiduguri. Though details of the incident was not available as at press time, reports from the area, which is about 87 kilometers from Maiduguri, the capital city, indicates that there was serious gun battle between soldiers and suspected BokoHaram fighters who attacked the 202 Tank Battalion. Our correspondent reports that Boko Haram fighters had made several attempts to attack the military formation but the attacks had been

repelled by the soldiers. Witnesses and some security sources said the attackers, in a convoy of dozens of hilux vehicles, attacked the barrack in early hours. It was also gathered that both the assailants and the military recorded serious casualty. A resident of the area who declined identification told newsmen on phone that the attackers succeeded in burning several structures in the barrack as many civilians believed to be visitors and families of the soldiers died in the crossfire. ‘’It was unfortunate that the invaders entered the premises of the barrack and set fire on various buildings. Presently no one can precisely predict the number of casualty recorded from both the militants, soldiers and civilians . As we are speaking , thick smoke is still billowing from the debris of the burnt buildings and vehicles’’, the resident said. He added that about 300 insurgents took the security forces unawares and nearly overpowered them. ‘’For the quick intervention of a fighter jet from Yola, Boko Haram would have had a field day in the en-

tire town. Even with that, they succeeded in carting away highly sophisticated firearms’’, he declared

He held that the convict belonged to an illegal organisation, Boko Haram, and facilitated terrorist acts intended to bomb the Police Headquarters in Sokoto State. He also held that Umar had information about the planning and bombing of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, on December 25, 2011 but failed to disclose such to security agencies. The first charge was punishable with life imprisonment under Section 15(2) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act

2004, and the second charge attracted 10 years imprisonment under Section 7(1) under Terrorism Act, 2011. The judge, however, noted that the police were not able to investigate the circumstance that brought Umar to the Borno Governor’s Lodge in Abuja, where he was arrested on January 14, 2012. He urged them to investigate the matter with a view to bringing to justice whoever was involved in helping Umar to hide in the lodge, no matter how highly placed.(NAN)

The incident caused serious pandemonium in Maiduguri and environs following horrifying sounds of explosions and assault rifles. Similarly, socio-economic activities were brought to a halt through out the day as the violence compelled residents to stay indoors. They reportedly drove into the area in over 20 Hilux vehicles, tricycles and motorcycles from a nearby bush. A statement issued by Major General Chris Olukolade,Director Defence Information in Abuja confirmed the incident saying that Bama barracks was attacked by “terrorists who came from cells located across Nigerian Border with Cameroun through Banki town”. “High caliber weapons such as anti-aircraft and rocket propelled guns were freely used in the attack that lasted several hours”

Terrorism: Kabiru Sokoto gets life jail


Federal High Court in Abuja has sentenced Kabir Umar, alias Kabir Sokoto, to life in prison for the bombing of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, in Niger State on Christmas Day 2011. Justice Adeniyi Ademola, who gave the sentence yesterday, found Umar guilty of the two-count charge against him. Mr. Ademola said, “The prosecution has proved their case beyond reasonable doubt in the two-count charge. Umar is guilty as charged.”

letter from a former Chief Justice shows how President Jonathan turned down advice from the National Judicial Council on the Salami case. President Goodluck Jonathan brushed aside recommendations from the National Judicial Council and the Chief Justice of Nigeria to sack former Appeal Court president, Ayo Salami, ignoring firm arguments by the two authorities that Mr. Salami was innocent of allegations against him. The two authorities are mandated by law to advise the president on such judiciary matters. The government accused Mr. Salami of professional misconduct, but he is widely believed to have been punished for political reasons. A letter to the president by former Chief Justice of the Federation, CJN, Dahiru Musdapher, obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, shows how the top echelon of the nation’s judiciary laboured to have President Jonathan realize Mr. Salami’s innocence in his dispute with Mr. Musdapher’s predecessor, Aloysius Katsina-Alu; and how they advised that punishing Mr. Salami would terribly dent an already integrity-deficient judiciary. In the four-page letter, dated January 27, 2012, Mr. Musdapher informed the president how a committee he named to review Mr. Salami’s suspension in 2011 absolved him, and made it extensively clear why ensuring justice on the case- by reinstating Mr. Salami- was crucial for a judiciary bereft of public confidence. “Your Excellency, this report is not only before the National Judicial Council, it is also at the court of public opinion,” Mr. Musdapher said of the findings of the review committee. “And Mr. President will agree with me that this recommendation no doubt should challenge our commitment to the redemption of the image and credibility of the judiciary.” Mr. Musdapher told the president that the committee, led by another former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mohammed Uwais, found Mr. Salami not guilty of any of the misconduct he was accused of, and recommended his immediate reinstatement. “There was no evidence before any of the National Judicial Council panels or in any of the petitions to justify any findings that Salami PCA contravened the code of conduct for judicial officers by talking to the mass media,” he said in his etter to the president. “…On the whole, there was no evidence to show any form of misconduct on the part of Salami PCA to justify any sanction or punishment.” The committee, Mr. Musdapher informed Mr. Jonathan, also recommended that “…in order to maintain the integrity of the judiciary and to assuage public feeling and restore confidence in both the bar and bench, this committee strongly advises the Chief Justice of Nigeria and National Judicial Council to reconsider its earlier decision on the suspension of Justice Salami PCA and reinstate him back to his position as soon as possible and in that way as-

sure the public that the suspension of Justice Salami as the President of the Court of Appeal is not ill motivated.” The former Chief Justice’s letter to the president came ahead of an official recommendation by the National Judicial Council, that Mr. Salami be recalled. Both calls were rejected by the president. Mr. Jonathan’s firm refusal to reinstate the judge, who finally retired October 2013, spurred widespread allegations that the president’s decision was politicallymotivated beyond the professional breach the government claimed as its reason for suspending him. Mr. Musdapher’s letter appears to back that claim. Justice Salami’s suspension in 2011 was linked partially to his refusal to be elevated to the Supreme Court. More specifically, he was punished for speaking to the media and accusing Mr. Katsina-Alu, who was CJN at the time, of attempting to interfere in the Sokoto state’s governorship election case that was before the Appeal court. He was suspended by the NJC for refusing to apologize to Mr. Katsina-Alu. Mr. Salami’s case became a sore point for political outfoxing between the governing Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the defunct opposition Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN (now All Peoples Congress, APC). The PDP accused the former judge of working for the ACN, hobnobbing with its leaders and dispensing judgments deliberately skewed in favour of the party. Mr. Salami had presided over the Court of Appeal’s upturning of governorship elections in Osun, Ekiti and Edo States, decisions he based on evidences showing that the sacked PDP governors in those states were beneficiaries of rigged elections. The PDP said there was evidence of telephone calls between leaders of the ACN, and the judge. While the ACN, now APC, spoke in defence of Mr. Salami, the ruling PDP, President Jonathan’s party, backed Mr. Katsina-Alu with a spokesperson for the party, Olisa Metuh, recently accusing Mr. Salami of lying against the former CJN. Reflective of the political tinge of the controversy, Mr. Salami was suspended August 18, 2011, just as the Court of Appeal was hearing a suit brought by the presidential candidate of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Muhammadu Buhari, against President Jonathan’s election. Mr. Salami’s suspension was approved by the president even while the matter had gone before a court. After Mr. Katsina-Alu left office, his successor, Mr. Musdapher ordered a review of the case. The Uwais panel found Mr. Salami not guilty, and rather, it criticized Mr. Katsina-Alu in his capacity as CJN then. Mr. Musdapher’s letter provides an insight into how President Jonathan turned down recommendations for Mr. Salami’s recall, rebuffing detailed presentation from the Chief Justice, and the NJC.



Polls in emergency states: Is INEC trapped in 2015 politics?


he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been the ombudsman in the line of the democratic process before the judiciary, that determines due winners of public office after an election. But unfortunately, the body had in so many instances, come under severe scrutiny especially under its erstwhile Chairman, Professor Maurice Iwu during the tenure of President Olusegun Obasanjo. Regular features during previous elections were cases of multiple voting, snatching of ballot boxes, non-display of register or omission of voters’ names, premature declaration of results before collation, late delivery of materials to centres, declaration of votes beyond the number of registered voters, complicity by the police and other security outfits as well as prolonged tribunal cases on end, among others. Other common characteristics of election in Nigeria involves ruling parties in states and the federal levels sweeping elections in “landslide” fashion notwithstanding any practical projections to the contrary. The regular parlance at the tribunals remain constant- irregularities are not widespread enough to alter the outcome of the polls. Local and international observers would always endorse them as “reasonably free and fair”. Put correctly by current INEC chairman Attahiru Jega, one of the most depressing challenges of elections in Nigeria was that they were akin to war. He said, “Pre-election violence has led to the death of many politicians, their supporters and innocent citizens. Widespread intimidation of voters persists and organised thugs spread fear across communities in the build up to elections. “In any case, elections in Nigeria are a winner-takes-all affair, while the loser loses everything akin to payment of reparations by an enemy defeated in a war. In fact, election security has become a lasting issue facing the management of elections in Nigeria. “Several security threats now characterise the electoral process. These include physical attacks on INEC officials and facilities, attacks on security personnel on election duty, misuse of security

President Goodluck Jonathan orderlies by politicians, attacks on political opponents, cyber attacks targeting INEC’s databases, especially the voter register and violence during electioneering. Other threats are intimidation of

voters, snatching and destruction of election materials, among others. “These threats are now exacerbated by insecurity in some parts of the country, thereby making the

According to Shettima, suspending national elections such as in 2015 in any part of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on account of Boko Haram activities would amount to making the insurgents supreme over Nigeria and render the government a defeatist, with grave repercussions for the country.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo conduct of elections in those parts even more insecure.” Jega said that apart from the key challenges, there were what he described as residual problems like the delay in the amendment to the 1999 Constitution and Electoral Act; the completion of the review of electoral constituencies and polling units and the prosecution of election offenders It was in the Obasanjo era, for example, that a former speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’Abba was disqualified on election day in 2007. Ditto to most national lawmakers who opposed Obasanjo’s third term project. There was so much apathy and hopelessness in the electoral system that the appointment of Professor Jega came as a soothing balm. However, reforms initiated by the former Babangida era president of the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities(ASUU) ,

have not absolutely satisfied election observers and participants alike. Misgivings have become legion after several staggered polls in Delta, Ondo, Kogi and the like and lately in Anambra state. Add this up and you may understand why, in February this year, the National Leader of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), General Muhammadu Buhari, accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of unholy alliance with INEC and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). Having gone through presidential elections thrice from 2003 up to 2011, Buhari summed his experience at an stakeholders’ interactive meeting with elected representatives of the party in Abuja where he reasoned that the ruling party may have every reason to ignore any political alliance or merger because it already has INEC, the




Cover Cont from page 7

police and the judiciary on its side. “The country is in the grip of a bad government whose only purpose is to retain power by hook or crook; preferably by crook. PDP does not need a merger or alliance; they are already merged and are in alliance with the police, INEC and judiciary, with access to NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) and pension funds”. What are the likely bases of the former head of state’s observations and pessimism? The strength of his argument tallies with recent political developments, which observers see as a plus for the new mega APC but only sealable through “free and election”. The fallout of the PDP congress in August has added more ammunition to the hopes of the opposition. With the five PDP governors- Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko(Sokoto),Adulfatah Ahmed(Kwara), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) and Murtala Nyako of Adamawa- in their kitty, the sky is the limit as the 2015 general election nears. The defection of 37 PDP House of Representatives members to the APC, has also left the ruling party in the cold or rightly put, a minority with 169 members to 172 of the APC. There are speculations that in no distant future, 22 senators might follow suit. Therefore, the national political map has been redrawn in its favour with voters from large swath of the north (Northwest, Northeast and parts of the Northcentral zones) likely moving on the same page with governors and legislators of APC. The party has the Southwest zone also as a stronghold. With the small portion of the political map likely to be left to the ruling PDP, every official move is viewed with suspicion. And so when Jega, the INEC chairman, on Monday, announced the potential of insecurity to affect the conduct of elections in some North- East states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe under emergency rule where insurgency still subsists, opposition stakeholders quickly smelt foul play. He said, “Unless security situation changes in the zone, the commission would not conduct elections in there”, but expressed hope that the challenges in the North-East would be resolved before 2015”. “If the security is such that we cannot do election, then we may need to fall back on the law to suspend it or postpone it…the situation under a state of emergency is that you cannot conduct a free and fair election. Ideally, you cannot conduct election under a period of emergency.” To Jega, the attitude of the political class was also another problem giving the commission a major headache. “We are concerned about this because even if the management of elections meets the highest standards, insofar as the contestants are unwilling to play by the rules, there will be grave problems.”. In a swift reaction, Borno state governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, has warned the federal government against submitting to the

di, a former governor and current senator from Yobe state, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, said peace will return in the area before the election. He dismissed the pessimism expressed by INEC that peace may still be elusive in the three states by 2015. He expressed confidence that given the level of commitment already shown by the federal government, in few months time, peace will return in the area. He further commended the reconciliation committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan, saying that if their recommendations are obeyed, the insurgency of Boko Haram will soon be forgotten. However, he explained that INEC did not foreclose election in the three states, but that if the state of emergency imposed there continues up till 2015, the states will not have elections. He therefore prayed that God will help to ensure the return of peace in the region such that elections will be conducted there like in every other state. Yobe state governor, Ibrahim Gaidam

APC explodes


Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima antics of Boko Haram by excluding the three states from the 2015 general elections. This is against the backdrop of the displeasure earlier shown by Adamawa State governor, Murtala Nyako to the renewal of emergency rule recently. Nyako had criticized President Jonathan for extending “politically-motivated state of emergency in Adamawa State despite the absence of all conditions that warrant the declaration in the first instance”. According to Shettima, suspending national elections such as in 2015 in any part of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on account of Boko Haram activities would amount to making the insurgents supreme over Nigeria and render the government a defeatist, with grave repercussions for the country. Shettima said: “ the insurgents would presuppose success on their part and itching close to achieving their goals and we cannot allow that ”.

The governor however said Professor Jega has not committed any sin by his proposal, and commended him for making early preparations. “I think he (Jega) is being sincere because if he had an ulterior motive, he wouldn’t reveal the issue now. He could have waited till when Allah spares our lives in 2015 and he would announce the exclusion of the states by which time, politics could be intense and every segment would be dealing with its own political issues. “I expect that as a strategy, Borno and Yobe states and indeed any place so affected by the insurgents, should be the main focus for conduct of the 2015 elections by the INEC; so that we send a clear message to those who want us to go into extinction that we will not cave in to their violent needs, we will move on. “I am very much aware of our constitutional and moral obligations to secure the lives and property of our citizens as a primary duty. We are working round the clock to live to that obligation no

matter the circumstance and we will remain focused and committed.” He added however “If need be, there could be a special date for elections in these affected states such that there can be massive security deployment to man everywhere to ensure the smooth conduct of the elections. By that we will triumph over evil. “But suspending the elections even in a polling unit mainly on account of Boko Haram will be a setback in the fight against terror; it will not be good for us as a country and it is bad for our reputation abroad. “It will make mockery of the sacrifices made by those who laid their lives to defend our constitutional democracy. We will be insulting their memories that we should preserve. I am eternally optimistic, without being blind to realities and challenges that with our determination, insha Allah Borno will be very stable sooner than later”, the governor stressed. In a chat with our Senate correspondent, Ikechukwu Okafora-

PC warned President Goodluck Jonathan and the Chairman of INEC, Prof.Jega, against alleged plans to depopulate and disenfranchise the people of the states where it has strong followings. Rising from the 7th regular meeting of its Interim National Executive Council (NEC) chaired by Chief Bisi Akande in Abuja, the party’s communique said: “The APC has earlier alerted the nation of the strategy of the Jonathan administration to depopulate areas where our party is strong to suppress voters’ turnout in the Northern and South-west states through deliberate exacerbation of insecurity. “We suspect that wittingly or unwittingly the recent declaration of INEC that elections are not likely to take place in states under state of emergency is in furtherance of this agenda. “The APC hereby warns that it will not accept the deliberate disenfranchisement of large swathes of our citizenry. APC will fight to defend the right of every eligible Nigerian voter to vote. We also want to alert the federal government that any attempt to extend the state of emergency without any justification, will be resisted by every lawful and constitutional means. “The APC has always believed that it is a combination of carrot and stick that will resolve insurgencies that parts of our nation face. President Jonathan should therefore live up to his responsibilities by ensuring that every part of Nigeria is safe enough for elections, as our citizens expect nothing less”, the party further said. The party also expressed concern over alleged threats by PDP to procure a pliant judge to declare the seats of the G-5 governors vacant, in spite of the Supreme Court decision in the case of Atiku in 2007. APC expressed reservations

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Polls in emergency states: Is INEC trapped in 2015 politics? Contd from Page 8 over the inability of the INEC to conduct the 2014 and 2015 elections, citing alleged inability to do so in Imo, Delta, Jigawa and Anambra states. No Nigerian should be disenfranchised – PDM The Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, stated that the state of emergency declared in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states should not be an excuse to stop elections in those states in 2015. National Chairman of PDM, Mallam Bashir Ibrahim said, “Jega’s latest pronouncement is in tandem with the now familiar strategy of the Federal Government to prolong the insurgency in those states, continue emergency rule and use these as an excuse to disenfranchise millions of voters in that zone because it knows it cannot win a free and fair election in those states. Clearly, there iss no love lost between the Federal Government under President Jonathan and some sections of the country.” “It is the constitutional duty of government to cater for the welfare and security of its citizenry. Hence, no eligible Nigerian voter should on account of insecurity not caused by him or her, be excluded from voting in the 2015 polls, contrary to INEC’s plan. Let the FG resolve the crisis in the North East and all over country in order to have a peaceful, free and fair general election. We will resist any attempt to disenfranchise Nigerians under any guise.” “Instead of disenfranchising citizens for no fault of theirs, the PDP-controlled central government should as a matter of urgency tackle insecurity in the North East... We at PDM shall continue to plead with our fellow men and women not to lose faith in their country but to come out en masse to make their votes count and make the necessary changes in 2015. Speaking to our correspondent, Edwin Olofu in Kano, a social critic and Second Republic parliamentarian, Junaid Mohammed said: “I have seen the statement credited to Professor Attahiru Jega, and I don’t think he was misquoted, because he would have denied it if he was misquoted. What the image man of INEC is now saying wouldn’t work because this is not the first time Jega is making such statement. What he said is being seriously contemplated by some people in power which is the thinking of the federal government. Or he is trying to fly a kite. You can dismiss what Jega said… but one should keep his gun powder dry and be prepared to face it because this issue is going to come back before 2015. But above all, I think Jega is ignorant of the constitution and clearly he is part of a sinister group in the PDP and the presidency , who are imagining that they can rig election themselves back to power post 2015 by disenfranchising all areas of the north. Where

Adamawa state governor, Murtala Nyako

Henry Okah President Goodluck Jonathan is massively unpopular and will not be elected. We are equally aware that more states are going to be declared state of emergency, to ensure that Jonathan get elected by wining from the areas where he comes from and the Igbo South –East. For the record it must be emphasized to Jega that he has no power to unilaterally disenfranchise the areas of the north and Rivers state”. INEC’s solution Ahead of 2015 general elections, Prof Jega is calling for the amendment of the 2010 Electoral Act to make the commission unanswerable to any authority. “Though INEC is independent, there is need to address Sub Section 3 of Section 150(8) to read as follows, INEC should not be under the control any authority or persons”, Jega said. At a retreat this week organised by the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, the INEC boss sought amendment of Section 76 of the Constitution to empower the commission to determine the date to hold elections into both chambers of the National Assembly. Jega also said it was high time Nigeria establishes the Electoral Offences Tribunal as a way of checking the excesses of recalcitrant politicians. He argued that to ensure a better performance in future general elections, those found guilty of elec-

toral offences should be banned from holding both electoral and party offices for 10 years from the date of conviction. The INEC boss further recommended that the Commission be allowed to fix election dates, and increase the Seven-day Presidential run-off timeline to 21 days, while qualifications of an electoral candidate should include possession of a voter’s card. Other requests include power to disqualify candidates who evidently do not qualify for the position applied for, and notify the relevant political party accordingly. Jega also submitted that it was impossible for INEC to include all political parties on ballot papers, and suggested meeting with parties, with a view to trimming the number to a manageable figure. He also called for amendments to Sections 77(2) and 117(2) of the Constitution, to allow for Nigerians in the Diaspora who are of age and are interested to cast their votes. By and large, the reality of the 2015 elections seem to revolve around the ambition of President Goodluck Jonathan who apparently has other ways of electoral success if revelations by former President Olusegun Obasanjo are true. Obasanjo had warned the President in a letter leaked to the media last week, of clandestine and unconventional methods lined up towards 2015. Some of the spine-chilling ones involves

the training of Abacha-style killer squad. Though he did not specify the targets, Obasanjo went on to say that 1000 politicians are in government’s watch list. Another spine-chiller which seem to borrow credibility to the Obasanjo theory was the testimony of leader of the movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta(MEND) over the October 1, 2010 Independence day bombing. The MEND leader, now imprisoned in SouthAfrica, Mr. Henry Okah, in May last year insisted that President Goodluck Jonathan’s agents sponsored the March 15, 2010 and October 1, 2010 bombings in Warri and Abuja respectively for political considerations, in a 194-paragraph affidavit deposed to in the South Gauteng High court in Johannesburg, South Africa in Case No: A570/10. The allegations first came to light in an interview Okah granted Arabic satellite television, Aljazeera, in October 2010, weeks after the blast. In the interview, he blamed the attacks on Jonathan’s aides and claimed he was arrested for refusing to influence MEND, to retract its claim of responsibility. He said the March 2010 car bomb blast (which occurred on March 14, 2010) at the Government House Annex, Warri, where South-South governors were in an amnesty meeting, was intended to pave the way for the removal of Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan for the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe. “It is my belief that President Goodluck Jonathan’s government working with a faction of MEND planned and executed the bombings of 14 March 2010 and 1 October 2010. “The purpose of the 14 March 2010 bombing in my opinion was to create an atmosphere of insecurity in Niger Delta where President Goodluck Jonathan at that time, was fighting to oust the governor Mr. Emmanuel Uduaghan whom President Goodluck Jonathan intended to replace with his Minister for Niger Delta, Mr Godsday Orubebe,” Okah said in the affidavit. On the Independence Day bombing, which claimed 10 lives, Okah said it was meant to sway public opinion against the North and some of its leaders who were planning to run against Jonathan in the April 2011 presidential election. He stated, “The bombings of 1 October 2010 were also intended by President Goodluck Jonathan government to create anti-North sentiments nationwide in order to galvanize support from other sections of Nigeria against other Northern candidates in the Presidential election. “Under the arrangement, MEND, I believe, was not to claim responsibility for the bombings which the Nigerian government hoped to pin on General Babangida and other Northern elements. The claim of responsibility by the

central group for a bombing, possibly carried out by a faction of MEND, punctured the plans of President Goodluck Jonathan to round up his opposition and hold them in custody until after the elections.” Meanwhile, APC Interim Chairman in Rivers State, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, has advised President Jonathan to address the nation on crucial issues raised in Obasanjo’s letter . He also advised President Jonathan “to tell Nigerians if he did assure General Obasanjo as stated in his letter that he would not contest the 2015 general election and if, he did, to adopt the Mandela option and forgo the 2015 general election if truly he loves this nation. This will make him not only a statesman but also our own Mandela and thereby save our nation the trauma his perceived candidature for 2015 is causing the nation.” Dr. Ikanya described the issues raised in General Obasanjo’s letter as too weighty to be swept under the carpet and cautioned against attacking the messenger rather than addressing the message,. “We will not like to pass any judgment at the moment until we hear from Mr. President on some of the issues General Olusegun raised, particularly the allegation that the President is setting up a Presidential Strike Force to carry out terrorist attacks on political opponents and the one pertaining to the diversion of $49.8b from the Federation Account” . Dr Ikanya asked: “Has Mr. President any hand in the current plot to destabilise PDP as contained in the letter and trying to sacrifice Tukur for all his alleged muddling in the affairs of the party? What of the current effort by some of Mr. President’s aides to cause confusion in Rivers State through the ill-advised attempt by the minority lawmakers to impeach Governor Chibuike Amaechi?” “Mr. President must address the nation on all these allegations one by one and reassure us on our future as a nation”, he stressed. “He should also address the massive corruption going on as alleged by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, and the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. Keeping quiet on these serious and unfortunate issues is not helping matters. “Our nation has suffered enough and Mr President must be seen as providing the leadership he was elected to deliver”, Dr Ikanya concluded. Howbeit, the political climate, deducting from the conventional and unconventional options available in the battle for 2015 speaks volume of bleak expectations of a transparent transition except a miracle happens. Besides, there seem to be little will to implement the electoral laws even if amended with legal costs being one of Jega’s major complains. Barring any change, the unconventional tactics, God forbid, may




FG ignores threat by NUPENG/ PENGASSAN, set to sell 4 refineries By Abdulwahab Isa


he Federal Government yesterday set up a 13 member steering committee chaired by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezian Alison Madueke with the mandate to come up with modalities for the sale of four nation’s refineries. The refineries are: Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited (PHRC) I, Port Harcourt Refining Company

Limited (PHRC)11, Kaduna Refining & Petrochemical Company Limited (KRPC) ; and Warri Refining & Petrochemical Company Limited . The move may ignite fresh industrial unrest by oil workers on the platform of NUPENG & PENGASSAN which have voiced opposition to sale of refineries by staging a protest against it last week within the precinct of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC),

Abuja Headquarters. They fixed January to carry out their protest should government fail to rescind its decision on the sale. A statement issued by Bureau of public Enterprises (BPE) Head, Public Communications Chigbo Anichebe yesterday listed other members of the steering committee to include, Minister of Finance/ CME, Minister of Power, Minister of Labour , Minister of National Planning, Minister of Mines and Steel

Development and Minister of Justice/AGF. Others are, Chairman of the Extractive Sub Committee of the NCP, Special Adviser to the Vice President on Economy, Group Managing Director of NNPC, and Director General of BPE, Group Executive Director (Refineries), NNPC , MDs of Refineries Scheduled for Privatization while Director (Oil and Gas), BPE is the Secretary of the committee . -

Gov. Murtala Nyako (L) and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), during Buhari’s arrival in Yola, Adamawa state

Doctor, 53, arraigned for theft


he police yesterday arraigned Tom Ohikere of Green House Estate, Kubwa, Abuja, in a Wuse Zone 2 Senior Magistrates’ Court Abuja for allegedly stealing medical equipment worth more than N1.6 Million. The prosecutor, Sgt. Abdullahi Adamu, said that on Oct. 22, Mary Enang of suite 2B, Ilube Plaza, Wuse 2, Abuja, reported the case at the Wuse Zone 3 Police Station, Abuja. Adamu told the court that Enang reported that on Oct. 21, the accused, a 53-year-old doctor

and six others, now at large, stole some of her husband’s medical equipment. He said that Enang listed the stolen medical equipment to include a `Rife medic’ and a `physiospect’ valued at N1.663 million. According to Adamu, the physiospect was recovered from the house of the accused during investigation. He told the court that the accused was arraigned on a two-count charge of joint act and theft contrary to sections 79 and 287 of the Penal

Code. The accused however pleaded not guilty the charges levelled against him. The Senior Magistrate, Mr Christopher Oba, granted him bail in the sum of N2 million with a reasonable surety who must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court. He said the surety must be a civil servant on not lower than GL 10. Oba then adjourned the case to Feb. 21 for further hearing. (NAN)

IPMAN wants FG to ban private depots, revive ailing state-owned ones


he Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) yesterday urged the Federal Government to ban private depots in the country and concentrate on reviving ailing government-owned depots. The acting Chairman of the association in the country’s South-East zone, Mr Chukwudi Ezinwa, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu. Ezinwa said the proliferation of private depots across the country would always be a major challenge for the revival and effective operation of government-owned depots in the zone. ``Private depots do not care who you are, whether or not you are a marketer. They do not want to know, once you pay money into their account. It is wrong. ``So government should ban pri-

vate depots and focus on their depots. If the depot is working, our business will be flourishing. But if the depots are not working, we have a problem. ``If our depots are working, a person can use N1 million to run his filling station. But if depots are not working, before you run a filling station, you will need at least N10 million. ``Let me elaborate on the depots that are under my command. None of the depots are working now in full capacity. ``Port Harcourt depot is working in full capacity, Aba depot is not working, Makurdi depot has been comatose for almost 13 years, Enugu has been moribund for over 11 years.`` On the availability of petroleum products during the yuletide, the chairman assured people of the South-East zone of adequate supply of the products.

He said measures had been put in place by petroleum marketers in the zone to ensure the constant distribution of products to states during the yuletide. ``My assurance to our people is that we will do our best to make sure that there are enough products to serve everybody. ``We are making our contacts to make sure that PMS comes in a very large quantity so that people will not suffer this season. ``I want to assure the people that we will not have scarcity. Products will be in all nooks and crannies of the states we are controlling,’’ Ezinwa said. He added that IPMAN would meet with members of the National Assembly and governors in the zone to work out ways to fight pipeline vandalism.(NAN)

Bank robbery syndicate arrested in Benue From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


he Bemue State Police Command yesterday apprehended a 3 man armed robbery team that specializes in robbing banks and their customers within and outside the State. Parading the robbery suspects at the State headquarters, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adams Audu said Special Antirobbery squad had a distress call at about 4:30pm that armed men had besieged the Guaranty Trust Bank, GTB in an attempt to rob the bank. He disclosed the names of the suspects to include; Messrs Tyer Ayaka, Samuel and Cletus Aber, adding that they had already forced themselves into the banking hall after brandishing their charms and scaring away the bank’s security men at the gate when they were eventually arrested. According to Police Commissioner, items recovered from the suspects include; one revolver pistol with five rounds of live ammunition, one red Toyota Matrix car with registration number ABC 723 AS as well as one GTB ATM card.. In the same vein, the State command’s Intelligence unit acting on information, arrested six fraudsters whose names were given as Joseph Yavihi, Abado Abraham, Toryila Auber and Charles Ajiilima at GTB as they attempted to defraud unsuspecting customers who had come to the bank for transaction. The suspects were identified by one Mrs. Comfort Ogar of DSTV,Mission Wars, Makurdi whom they duped of over N100,000.00. They are to be charged to court after police investigations were concluded.

Gaidam admonishes Muslims on benefits of Qur’anic recitation From Uche Uche, Damaturu


obe state Governor, Alh. Ibrahim Gaidam has appealed to all Muslims to embrace the habit of reciting the Holy Qur’an, stressing that enormous benefits are to be derived from such noble practice. He made the appeal yesterday on the occasion of the closing the 23rd edition of the Yobe state Qur’an recitation completion held at the Yobe state Mosque and Islamic center, Damaturu. He said the present administration attaches great importance to such great learning and has therefore

maintained a policy of motivating those who demonstrate higher level of performance through issuance of gifts in both cash and kind which includes allocation of hajj seats. He also advised all Muslims to endeavour to invest in such noble cause, pointing out that there are abundant rewards for every contribution made towards successful organization of such competition. He equally called on the winners who would be representing the state in the impending national competition, to strive harder to make it at that level so that they would represent Nigeria at the international level.


Why OkonjoIweala must answer 50 questions-Reps By Umar Muhammad Puma


he House of Representatives committee on finance stated yesterday that the minister of finance has been credited with so many controversial statements regarding the nation’s economy and as such there is need for her to answer the 50 lingering questions. Chairman of the committee, Rep. Abdulmumini Jibril said the minister was quoted in many occasions as saying that Nigeria’s economy is one of the most fastest growing economy in Africa, and yet, 80 percent of the country’s total annual budget spending still goes into recurrent expenditure. “If the nation’s economy is one of the fastest growing economies, what exactly is growing the economy, what role does government play in the said economic growth?” He stressed that since the arrival of the minister in 2011, she has been canvassing for the reduction of the recurrent expenditure, which according to her, “more money would be made available to capital spending which is critical to growing and diversifying the country’s economy”. “How far has government succeeded in making these necessary cuts; and where exactly have these cuts been made in this effort to reduce recurrent expenditure? In other words, based on real amount spent on capital expenditure, how much reduction was made in 2011 against 2010, in 2012 against 2011 and in 2013 against 2012?”. “The same minister is known to be celebrating a single-digit GDP growth. But speaking recently at a breakfast dialogue with some members of the organized private sector in Lagos, organized by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), the minister was quoted as saying: “We are growing, but not creating enough jobs. That is a very big challenge…We need to grow faster. I think it needs to grow at least 9 to 10 percent to drive job growth the way we want.” “Don’t you agree that a good finance minister managing an economy like ours should be celebrating a GDP growth as high as 20 percent annually? Why is it that our economy cannot grow beyond a single digit? How many jobs are being created as a result of these said growths? In which sectors of the economy are these jobs created? If in private sector, what contributions is government making to further assist these private sector firms?”, he added.


ollowing the inability of previous contractors to successfully complete the Farin Ruwa hydropower project, with the state said to have lost a whopping N6bn so far, the Nasarawa state government has concessioned the facility to a Ukrainian firm, Stroy- Alyans Construction Company Ltd. Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura disclosed this yesterday in Lafia, shortly after inspecting water facilities at the Lafia treatment plant, in company of the managing director of the company, Vasyl Pastushyng.



Zamfara insecurity: Gunmen invade state capital, kill one G From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau

unmen numbering about 50 invaded Damba area in Gusau, Zamfara state capital, and carried out an uninterrupted three-hour operation at the early hours of yesterday, killing one person and leaving behind scores of residents injured, mostly women following refusal to either part with money or compliance with sexual

demands. An eye witness, Malam Muhammad Sani, told newsmen that, the gunmen, about 50 in number wearing mixed uniforms of Police and Army were Fulani and Yoruba speaking by tribe, no house did they spare in their search for money, other valuables and beautiful women. Malam Sani narrated that, “We heard gunshots and a woman from

our neighbourhood screaming for help as she was handled by the gunmen in her effort to escape the attack, just then my junior brother came out with a hoe to rescue her, not knowing that the attackers were armed with dangerous guns, he sneaked back to hide inside his room. “They pursued but could not get him, unfortunately, they met with another who was rushing to hide

L-R:: Chairman,, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Abuja Council, Comrade Chuck Ehirim Executive Chairman, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) Hon. Micah Jiba, and the Head of Department of Works, AMAC, Mr. Alhassan Zakwoyi, inspecting a comprehensive motorised borehole at Waru village in Kubusa ward, during during. FCT NUJ's media tour of projects in Abuja Municipal Area council to the centre, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Photo; Justin Imo-Owo

into his apartment, and they shot him dead after refusal to obey their order”. Another survivor who identified herself as, Aina’u, said, she only heard a man’s voice asking her to wake up and accept his love if she too had no money like her sister in the other room, stressing that, even before she answered him, the gunman started robbing her breasts and trying to remove her under wears. The ill-luck was nearly the same with another woman next to the house; a widow with six children who addressed herself as Dubu Hassan, said they collected the sum of 10,000 naira from her out of which they dashed her back 500 naira to feed her orphans for breakfast. She further narrated that, some of them wanted to sexually assault two of her beautiful young spinsters asleep. It would be recalled that, a gunman had informed of invasion of the state capital, this came in an audio clip recorded by an alleged Police Senior Officer on a telephone call, now in circulation. It said the dangerous group will extend its operation to some places in Gusau, the state capital. All efforts to contact the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Lawal Abdullahi as at press time proved abortive as his cell phone numbers could not be reached.

Nigeria deploys 700 soldiers to Liberia ...charges troops on high performance From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


ust as another batch of 700 officers and soldiers of the 311 Battalion of the Nigerian Army were yesterday deployed on a peace keeping mission to Liberia, the Nigerian Army authority charged its men on the need for high level of

performance in their mission areas. General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Garba A. Wahab made the call during the pre-deployment graduation ceremony for the batch at the Nigerian Army Peace Keeping Centre (NAPKC), in Jaji, Kaduna yesterday.

"Beware of any ugly incidents that could tarnish your professional image; the Nigerian Army will not accept any situation where members of its troops are disarmed or seen as a soft target due to carelessness or cowardice," the GOC stated. Similarly, in his welcome ad-

dress, the Commandant NAPKC, Major General Salihu Uba urged the officers and soldiers of the 311 battalion to be good ambassadors of the country saying "You must always remember the confidence reposed in you as ambassadors of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Nigerian nation in general".

FG declares Wednesday, Thursday public holidays By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


he Federal Government has declared Wednesday, 25th December and

Thursday, 26th December 2013, as Public Holidays to commemorate the Christmas and Boxing Day Celebrations. Similarly, Wednesday, Janu-

Nasarawa concessions Farin Ruwa electricity project to Ukrainian firm From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia

Al-makura explained that the Ukrainian firm is expected to collaborate with the state government in order to facilitate the reactivation of the construction of the hydro power plant in Farin Ruwa, which he said have stagnated as a result of inefficiency on the part of previous contractors, with the state losing close to N6bn, with nothing to show for it. “What we did when we came in was to look for a credible, efficient organization that are into hydro power enterprise and we are able to secure the services of this company from Ukraine, who have agreed to concession this project”, Al-makura

explained further. Stroy-Alyans, according to Almakura, is expected to generate 20 mega watts of electricity from the Farin Ruwa hydro power project, with the company expected to run the power plant for the next 25 years before finally handing over the project. Al-makura also explained that because the Ukrainian firm is also into dam building, as well as portable water engineering, he took the opportunity for the officials of the company to inspect the Lafia water works that was built over 30 years ago.

ary 1, 2014 has been declared as Public holiday to mark the New Year. Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, who made

the declaration on behalf of the federal government enjoined all Christian faithful and Nigerians in general to extend the spiritual benefits of Christmas to others.

FG takes over Katsina VVF Centre From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


he Federal Government yesterday formally took over the operations of Katsina Vesico Vaginal Fistula, VVF, centre which was now named National Obstetric Fistula Centre. Speaking during the formal presentation ceremony, Minister of Health, Processors Onyebuchi Chukwu, disclosed that with the taking over of the centre, the country now has two centres in Katsina and Abakaliki. He noted that it was the Katsina State government through

the national council on health that requested for the takeover of the centre by the Federal Government. Speaking at the ceremony, Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema thanked the federal government for taking over the operations of the Babbar Ruga VVF centre which he said would go a long way in benefiting the whole country. Shema who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Abdullahi Garba Faskari stressed the state government’s effort in providing rural communities access to health care services and mobile ambulance for persons in the remote areas.


Photo Splash

Tailors working to meet Christmas deadline at Kasuwan Waya yesterday in Bauchi


Traffic build up at Berger junction, Lagos, on Friday (20/12/13), as people travelled out for Christmas

Shoppers making their purchase at tomato and pepper market, at Zuba Abuja

A group from Suleja in Niger State at the rivers street carnival yesterday in Port Harcourt

People patronising second-hand clothes at Wunti market yesterday in Bauchi. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo


Experts express concern over high recurrent expenditure in 2014 budget


ome experts have expressed concern over the high recurrent expenditure estimate in the 2014 federal budget which proposed 72 per cent for recurrent expenditure and 27 per cent for capital expenditure. They expressed their concern in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos. NAN reports that the 2014 budget of N4.6 trillion is lower than the N4.9 trillion budget of 2013. Also the capital expenditure in 2014 is 27 per cent of the total budget against 31.3 per cent in 2013, while the recurrent is 72 per cent compared to 68.7 per cent in 2013. The experts said that that high vote for recurrent expenditure could pose threat to national development and also on government’s plan to increase job creation for Nigerians. Mr Wale Abe, the Executive Secretary of the Financial Markets Dealers Association (FMDA), said that higher recurrent expenditure than capital expenditure showed that Nigeria was still a consuming nation. “Having a budget with higher recurrent expenditure than the capital expenditure means that the country is moving backwards, but this should not be so. “Unfortunately we are going into elections by next year and this means that most of the votes for job creation could go into private hands,” he said. Mr Adekunle Makinde, Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Electrical Electronics Engineers (NIEEE), said that government should ensure that it utilised all the money voted for job creation in the 2014 budget. He said that it would be premature to criticise the budget without going through it to see how the critical economic and social sector allocations are. “Looking at the 27 per cent that goes to capital vote, one will discover that the capital projects to be executed in the 2014 will not be enough. “The recurrent funds will have no effect on the masses, but the rich men,” he said. Makinde however, said that that Education was allocated two per cent of the budget as against 10 per cent suggested by the World Bank. He urged the government to increase the allocation of education sector to make way for growth in the sector. (NAN)



Director-General, National Orientation Agency, Mr. Mike Omeri (L), presenting the commemorative Nigerian centenary celebration flag to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin ImoOwo

Soldiers storm police station in Minna, hold officers hostage

From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna


he relationship between the Nigerian Army and the Police in Minna, the Niger state capital suffered a major blow on Friday when soldiers, numbering about 100 from the 31 Artillery Brigade, Minna stormed a Police division and held the officers and Men hostage for over one hour. The Soldiers were said to have stormed the police station in three load of trucks at about 10:30am to demand explanation from the police on why one of their men was said to have been manhandled by the police in the previous night leading to sustaining of injury. Trouble was said to have started when the soldier in question (name withheld) was involved in

a car accident with a civilian and this led to a hot exchange between the civilian, which our reporter later learnt that he is a son of a retired Wing Commander in the Nigeria Air-force and drew the attention of the police who came to scene. The Soldier and the Wing Commander’s son were later taken to the police station for a possible settlement by the police but on getting to the station and argument was said have occurred between the police and the soldier, leading to the manhandling of the soldier. Also, a lieutenant in the Army from the Artillery Barack in Minna was said to have gone to the police station and pleaded for the release of the Soldier, promising that the Army Authority will han-

Federal road projects in Kano gulp N97bn-Minister

By Miriam Humbe


inister of State for Works, Alhaji Bashir Yuguda, has said that the federal government spent more than N97 billion on various road projects in Kano State. Alhaji Yuguda, who revealed this while on an inspection visit to some of the projects in Kano, said that most of the projects were ready to be inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014. ``These are part of the pledges Mr President made during his

campaign in the state in 2011 and he wishes to complete them so as to work out more’’, he said. Some of the projects constructed in Kano state include Kwandila bridge, flyovers and expansion of road networks as well as the KanoMaiduguri dual carriage way and Kano-Katsina road. Present at the occasion were PDP chieftains that include the Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic Aminu Wali, Senator representing Kano Central Bashir Garba Lado and Alhaji Mohammed Sani Abacha.

dle the matter and the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) promptly released the soldier to him. On getting to the Barack, a Captain, whose name was given as KC Ezigbo whom the soldier was handed over to, demanded to know why and who injured his Man and when the soldier narrated his ordeal, the Captain was said to have ordered his Men to go and bring those policemen that tortured and injured the soldier. In commando style, the soldiers stormed the police station, seized the armoury and disarmed all the policemen on duty who were caught unaware by the invasion and in the process beat up those that tried to resist them. It took the intervention of the state police commissioner, Nsirim Desire who call the Artillery com-

mander in Minna, Brigadier General Christ Ilouga to ask his Boys to return to the Barack. This led to pandemonium as people ran for their lives for fear of a possible exchange of gun fire. The Police Relation Officer of the state command, Mr. Richard Oguche when contacted on the incident said the police command was taken by surprise by the invasion of the soldiers. He however said that the situation was under control and that no life was lost nor injury sustained during the fracas. All attempt to get the reaction of the military Authority could not yield any result as the command could not be reached for his comment. He was said to be addressing his men as a result of the incident.

Jigawa College of Legal Studies to run NCE programmes – Provost


he Jigawa College of Islamic and Legal Studies, Ringim, has been granted approval to run the National Certificate in Education (NCE) programmes, the Provost, Dr Abbas Abbas, has said. Abbas told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Dutse that the approval was granted by the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE). He said that the commission delegated a team led Dr Sani Aliyu to inspect facilities in the institution before the approval was granted. Abbas stated that with the development, the college would com-

mence NCE programmes next year with the first batch of the 2013/2014 academic session. He noted that before the approval was granted, the school ran diploma and certificate courses. He stated that the school would commence the NCE programmes in Languages, Primary and Junior Secondary Schools Education, Arts and Social Sciences as well as Islamic Studies. Abbas attributed the successes recorded in the institution to the commitment by Gov. Sule Lamido to ensure that tertiary institutions in the state were well funded. (NAN)

NDLEA apprehends two drug barons in Kaduna


he NDLEA in Kaduna said it had arrested two `drug barons’ through tip off by some community members. Mr Mohammed Jibrin, Kaduna State Commandant of the agency, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Friday. He said the duo had negatively influenced several youths as they were instrumental to their becoming addicted to several substances. `` Within the last 72 hours, we

had a breakthrough in arresting two drug barons in Kaduna. ``In the first arrest made in Kwoi, Jaba LGA, the community members said they were fed up with one Goddy. ``Some members of the community complained that he is destroying their youths with cannabis sativa for years. He is the biggest dealer in that area. ``We got him on Wednesday and he is undergoing investigation. But because the courts are on

Christmas recess, we cannot charge him until the courts resume work’’, Jibrin said. The commandant further disclosed that one Austin was arrested on Friday by operatives on patrol the Kaduna-Abuja highway. ``Our men intercepted large consignment of cannabis sativa (Indian hemp) wrapped in empty cement bags. ``The weeds were being conveyed in a truck which had earlier been seized by our operational of-

fice in Zaria. ``The suspects are still with us here in Kaduna with the exhibits for proper documentation’’, Jibrin said. According to him, the two suspects are in NDLEA’s custody pending when the Federal High Court resumes work. Jibrin advised youths to steer away from drugs and unconventional substances, as they had led to commission of crimes, deteriorating health conditions and death. (NAN)



Crime Cycle

Stanley Onyekwere 08138559513

Child trafficking: How man sold son to raise money for father’s burial


rama played out when one Kingsley Ubani, 26, from Eziama Nsulu in Isiala Ngwa North local government area of Abia state, admitted selling his threeyear-old son to raise money to bury his father. Ubani said this in Umuahia when the Abia State Police Command paraded two child trafficking suspects and 19 pregnant teenagers/young persons, recently. He said that he sold his three years-and-eight-month old son in November 2012 at the rate of N260, 000 to a woman who is now at large. “I told my wife that I don’t have money to bury my father who was in the mortuary at that time and she approved of the transaction,” Ubani said. According to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Commissioner of Police in Abia, Mr. Usman Tilli, had earlier told newsmen that the suspect was arrested following a tip-off. He said that investigations led to the recovery of the child who had been handed over to the grandfather for care and protection.

Tilli said that the police had on November 11, 2013, also arrested another suspect, Chimere Sunday of Osisioma local government area of the state for selling two of his children. He said that upon investigation, one of the children was recovered, adding that the buyers were on police wanted list. Also, Tilli said that the 19 pregnant teenagers / persons, who were also paraded, were rescued from an illegal charity home at Umuobia Housing Estate, Olokoro in Umuahia North local government area of the state. “A team of policemen from the command raided the home during which the pregnant girls between the ages of 15 and 23, including a nursing mother, were rescued,” he said. Tilli said that the son and daughter-in-law of the operator of the illegal home were arrested while the prime suspect, Mrs. Nma Achumba, was at large. He said that Achumba hitherto operated her illegal charity home in

Aba, but decided to relocate to the rural area due to police crackdown on traffickers in the commercial city. “We have given child traffickers a lot of chase in Aba and they now relocated to the rural areas,” he said. Reacting to the development, son of the operator of the illegal charity home, Mr. Uchechukwu Ohuabunwa, said that he had severally advised his mother to stay away from such illegal business. “I don’t know where my mother is at the moment though she told me that she was going for our father’s burial. “I had earlier told her to let go of this business but she did not listen,” Ohuabunwa said. Meanwhile, Tilli has assured residents of the state of a crime free Yuletide. He said that his confidence stemmed from the fact that the Command had cracked down and arrested notorious armed robbers and car snatchers who terrorised the area.

…as court remands mother in prison over alleged murder of 2-year old boy


n Ebute Meta Magistrate’s court in Lagos has remanded a woman, Titilayo Oladele, in prison custody over the alleged murder of her two-year-old son, Opeyemi. Oladele, 20, who resides at No. 23, Imota St., Ikorodu, Lagos, is facing a one-count charge of unlawful killing. The Magistrate, Miss Y.B. Okusanya , said the accused should remain in custody, pending advice from the Office of the State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Okusanya adjourned the case till February 3, 2014, for continuation of hearing. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the plea of the accused was not taken by the court. Earlier, the Prosecutor, Cpl. Cyriacus Osuji, had told the court that the accused committed the offences on Nov. 16, at Ajagunro Imota in Ikorodu, Lagos. According to him, the accused was impregnated by an unknown man, who subsequently refused to take responsibility for the child.

“The child was always sick and the accused didn’t have money to take care of him; and the accused strangled the baby and he died on the spot,” the prosecutor said. Osuji said that an eye-witness saw the accused when she wanted to drop the deceased in the bush and reported the case to the police. The prosecutor said that the offence contravenes Section 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. Bizman arraigned for allegedly cheating customer of N272, 000 A businessman, Nnamdi Eze, 24, of Lugbe Zone 1, Abuja appeared in a Wuse Zone 2 Senior Magistrates’ Court, for allegedly cheating his customer of N272, 000. He was charged with criminal breach of trust and cheating. The prosecutor, Cpl. Paul Anigbo, told the court that on Dec. 15, Alhaji Abdullahi Aliyu, of Lugbe Zone 5, lodged a report against the accused at the Lugbe Police Station. He said Aliyu reported that

sometime in 2012, he entrusted the accused with food stuffs to sell and remit the money to him. Anigbo said that the accused sold the food stuff and refused to remit the money as earlier agreed by both parties. According to Anigbo, during police investigation, the accused confessed to using the money to solving some family problems. He said that the offences contravened the provisions of sections 312 and 322 of the Penal Code. News Agency reports that after the charges were read to the accused, he pleaded not guilty. The Senior Magistrate, Mrs. Folashade Oyekan, admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N200, 000 with two sureties in like sum who must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court. She ordered that the sureties must have a reasonable means of livelihood and must depose to an affidavit of means. Oyekan adjourned the case to February 3, 2014 for hearing proper.

CJN Mariam Aloma Muktar

Bricklayer charged with neglecting pregnant lover


bricklayer, who allegedly impregnated his girlfriend and abandoning her, has appeared before an Ojo Magistrates’ court, Lagos. Emeka Okechukwu, 30, who resides at No. 27, Orisan St., Ajangbadi, Lagos, is facing a charge of failure to provide the necessities of life for the lady and the unborn child. The Prosecutor, ASP Godwin Eze, told the court that the accused committed the offence on September 15 at the address mentioned above. “Ever since the accused impregnated one Chinwe Ahanwan, he has refused to take good care of her and the pregnancy.

“Ahanwan, who was not happy about the situation decided to report to the police; but investigation is still ongoing as more evidence will be brought to the court”, Eze said. The prosecutor said that the offence contravened Section 245 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 245 prescribes two years imprisonment for the offence. The accused pleaded not guilty to the offence. The Magistrate, Mr Taslimi Shomade, granted him bail in the sum of N50, 000 with two sureties in like sum, and adjourned the case to January 27, 2014 for mention. (NAN)

Native doctor docked over alleged robbery


n Ilorin Magistrate’s court has remanded a native doctor, Kadri Rafiu, in prison for alleged armed robbery. The prosecutor, Cpl. Oderinde Abideen, told the court that the accused was arraigned on two count charges of conspiracy and robbery. Abideen said Rafiu, along with three others now at large, attacked and robbed workers of an independ-

ent oil marketing company at Akerebiata area of Ilorin of the sum of N4 million on November 13. According to Abideen, the accused was later arrested and confessed to committing the crime. The Magistrate, Miss Mercy Abikoye, ordered the accused to be remanded at the Mondala Prison, llorin and adjourned the case to January 13 for mention.



Human angle

Woman who beat daughter to death still on the run From Ado Abubakar Musa, Jos


ollowing the death of Balki Abubakar who was allegedly beaten to death by her mother, Aisha Abubakar, in the last three weeks, at Anguwan Rogo Area of Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State, the primary suspect, Aisha Abubakar who suddenly disappeared after the incident has not yet been apprehended and her whereabouts has not been traced by the police. When contacted for the second time on whether the suspect has been arrested, the Plateau State Police Relation Officer, DSP Felicia Anslem, said the suspect was yet to be arrested but effort was being made to get her arrested. According to our findings, since nobody can trace Aisha’s hide out except Abubakar (her husband), the hope of the police in getting Aisha into their custody lies on Abubakar. According to the police, the lack of cooperation from the husband has been the major obstacle in apprehending the suspect. During the occurrence of the sad incident, Abubakar (Aisha’s husband) was said to have travelled to Port Harcourt where he works, and as soon as he returned to Jos, he was invited by the police to provide Aisha. According to the Anguwan Rogo Divisional Police Officer, Abubakar Umar the husband of the suspect has reported himself and agreed to make her (suspect) available, admitting that he had communicated with her by phone but could not specifically identify her where about. “Abubakar has reported himself to us but refuse to tell us where she is. He admitted talking to her on phone and promised to make her available”, the D.P.O said. Mallam Adam Mainama is the father of Abubakar. When Peoples Daily Weekend correspondent visited him at his Nassawa residence to ask him about the incident and Abubakar’s where about (his son), said Abubakar was not around and on the issue of Balki’s death, the police had mounted pressure on Abubakar and told him to provide the suspect but that it would be very difficult for any member of his family to travel to an unidentified village in Riyom L.G.C. to search and bring her to the police even

though the police have promised to attach to them two police officers to the village, saying that the said area was not safe. The grandfather revealed further that Abubakar told him he had already communicated with her (Aisha) by phone to honor police investigation and promised to report herself on Monday next week to the Anguwan Rogo Police Divisional Headquarter for investigation. “My son told me that he had spoken to his wife on phone to report herself and she vowed to make herself available to the police next week Monday for investigation and we hope she comes”, the father said. According to the father, what pains him the most was that when the incident occurred, the suspect ran with the remaining children to an unknown village and up to this time he did not hear the account of their situation, adding that if she had not run following the incident, the case would have been very simple. “I must frankly tell you that I am sad to hear that Aisha ran with the remaining children after the incident and refused to tell us specifically where she is. If she had run alone and left my grand children, that would not have been a big deal to me. My mind has not been at rest”, she added. he late Balki was said to have lost her mother’s N 40 on her way to a shop to buy maggi but another source revealed that she lost her mother’s N 50 which she was sent with to buy sweet potato but stayed long and could not get it at last. This invariably means according to sources that the cause of the merciless beating centers on the token amount of money. Soon after the incident, various sympathizers of the late Balkis have expressed virtually similar factors which


*Police relies on husband for clue

are in precursor the cause of the beating. The Chief factor according to the sympathizers cannot be dissociated from “poverty” that has been a common phenomenon across the Nigerian society. Responding to the incidence, Barrister Solomon Dalong is a human rights Activist and explained that “poverty” is the sole “precursor” of Balki’s death. He said, “the bottom line of the incident cannot be detached from poverty which has weight in our country and can result to the action committed by Aisha. It is possible that the father of the deceased does not discharge his responsibility as a husband and as a result, the mother might have transferred her aggression to her daughter. The activist further said, apart from poverty, the attitude of the mother toward money could also serve as a factor that led to the demise of Balkis, adding that probably the mother loves money which she could not bear the loss of the N 40 that her daughter lost. “If the mother loves money and very materialistic, she could commit hasty act or even go beyond that. So Aisha could fight her daughter if she extremely loves money. So the merciless beating of Balkis cannot be detached in any way from the two factors I told you”, the activist added. Dalong however called on parents to be patient, Godly and control their aggression in that children in general are victims of “economic problem” in Nigeria and so should not be injust to them as they are innocent. He said, “I am calling on all parents to be patient and God fearing at all time. If par-

The late Balkis

ents believe that God is the controller of everything, then they should accept whatever comes their way. Parents must

Abubakar continued saying he did not know Aisha’s where about but promised to provide her to the police. It is very obvious that Abubakar is now in a dilemma of either he provides the suspect next week Monday to the police or be declared wanted.

also control their aggression because both parents and children are victims of economic problems in the country and they (children) have to be considered anytime they offend their parents. ow Abubakar has returned from Port Harcourt and reported himself to the Anguwan Rogo police Divisional Headquarter and the police has insisted he must make Aisha available. Abubakar continued saying he did not know Aisha’s where about but promised to provide her to the police. It is very obvious that Abubakar is now in a dilemma of either he provides the suspect next week Monday to the police or be declared wanted.





Why APC’ll dislodge PDP in Kaduna come 2015 -Dr. Bello

Dr. Mohammed Sani Bello is a Kaduna-based educationist who plans to aspire for public office under APC come 2015. In this interview with newsmen among them Muhammad Ibrahim, he analyzes the performance of the PDP government in the state since 1999 and concludes the state is backward assuring that only an APC government can bring back the state’s lost glory.


ow do you view the administration of PDP in Kaduna state since

1999? I believe even the blind know that things are not well especially in Kaduna state. You know, going back to history in 1999, PDP came into government in many states and the Presidency. PDP won the election by popular votes. However, even as at that time in Kaduna state the election was rigged right from 1999. This is because, as you know, in Kaduna state, majority of us because of our educational background and the cosmopolitan nature of the state, are progressives. So, at the beginning, PDP was seen as the conservative in its political activities and so our educated elites and those who struggled for power and good governance became followers of the APP and voted the APP candidate. Kaduna state being the central state in the northern part of the country and then PDP was like anointed to lead the country and Kaduna became a victim and was snatched in favour of the PDP. Historically, the election that ushered PDP government in Kaduna state was not without fault and in democracy, what is normally obtained is that since election is the foundation for the emergence of government if the election is faulty, you will discover that the performance of the government will also be faulty. However, I must confess that between 1999 and 2007, during the first and second terms of Governor Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, he did what you now say on comparative basis much better than what we witnessed from 2007 to date. So you can say that there was average performance in spite of the kind of election that took place in 1999 and the one that took place in 2003. From 2007 to date, it is like Kaduna state is cursed. The leadership came through the normal rigging process and then all of a sudden somebody who was elected to serve as governor for 4 years got himself appointed as the vice president of the country and he left. It wasn’t his leaving that was the problem but during the period he held sway as governor, he tried to lay a foundation he thought was really genuine in term of education, health and other sectors in accordance with the so-called eleven point agenda. But soon after he left, we realized that much of them were really not genuine and because they were not genuine, his successor late Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa could not implement them and if anybody was in doubt as to the fact that those programmes were not genuine the person that succeeded late Yakowa was the Commissioner of Finance to then Governor Namadi Sambo and he became the governor, he

too could not implement any of the programmes initiated by his former governor and mentor. Everybody knows that Governor Murkthar Ramalan Yero is vice president’s boy from onset. Nobody is in doubt in the state. If anybody would have accused late Patrick Yakowa of non-implementation of those eleven point agenda initiated by Namadi Sambo either on account of religious or tribal sentiments, we have seen it now that Murkhtar Yero has been the governor for about a year, he has not implemented any of the eleven point agenda of Namadi Sambo. The treasury of the state is said to be empty and the lack of performance is said to be based on the empty treasury in the state. Meanwhile, every other state in the country other than Kaduna state has recorded an increase in terms of revenue either from the Federation Cccount or internally generated revenue. But in Kaduna state, what we are been told every day is that there is no money. Where is the money accruing to the state from the Federation Account going to? What is it being used for? We don’t know and believe me sincerely, it is because of these and many other factors that we members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have resolved to dismantle the lackadaisical government of Mukhtar Yero to dislodge it completely and then bring back our dear state, Kaduna into a sure path of progress and development. You are talking of taking over the leadership of the state in 2015. How are you sure that the people of the state are solidly behind APC? The adage that “You also see it” is a clear manifestation of the current circumstance the people of Kaduna state are in. It tells every wellmeaning individual in the state that there must be change, because we cannot continue like this. The way we are today if we continue beyond 2015, then it is like we have all voted to go into what will be beyond our imagination in terms of backwardness because those of us who are living and active will be dying of poverty because poverty is the only thing that this government is bequeathing on the populace. So we have to as a matter of necessity unite and then resolve to change the present leadership in the state for our own interest and the interest of the future generation to come, if not, we will not be forgiven. I want to believe that the good people of Kaduna state are desirous of change and they are truly behind us that is, those of us who have been leading the change process. So, I have no doubt in my mind that the whole state without any fear that the people are really in need of positive change that will transform the entire state. I am also convinced

that the good people of the state will pursue this change with all that it takes to ensure its realization in 2015. How do you envisage Kaduna state under the leadership of APC come 2015? I happen to be the only person in Kaduna state who has participated from the beginning to the end in terms of the merger and process that brought APC. And I can tell you one of the things that we brainstormed, debated and came to terms with, has to do with the issue of manifesto. You know, in Nigeria and particularly in Kaduna state, we have been so unlucky that none of the governors that have rule this state have ever worked in accordance of the manifesto of PDP. During the time of Mohammed Makarfi, he was simply interested in the rural and urban areas in terms of the provision of infrastructure and that was the only thing he did. There was nothing about human development but tried to a certain level in infrastructural development, though even the physical development were not done in a sustainable manner so that things can continue. You can even see that the motivation for most of those thing were to give out contracts. ow in APC, we have been monitoring everything and we know that all over the world successful democracy, their activities of the programmes are anchor on their manifestoes. Because of lack of adherence to manifestoes when Namadi came as governor, so unprepared, he came up with the eleven point agenda. The whole agenda did not do anything and whatever one does was seen to be eleven point agenda without any effect to generality of the people of the state. When late Yakowa came in, he also did not anchor any of his programmes on the PDP manifesto. As a matter of fact, if you ask Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero today what is the real highlight of PDP manifesto, l am sure he don’t know. So, under APC, we have made it very clear that whoever aspire to serve as governor or as President, he must be very conversant with the manifesto of the party that is the starting point and then in the manifesto if you care to check, you will discover that everything to do with development has been captured but because it is not possible to take every aspect of it at a go, they are listed in order of priority. So depending on the critical need of the state, you are expected to take the manifesto and then prioritize on the programmes and activities that you must do to get the state developed. So l can assure you that APC government in Kaduna state is going to turn around things like magic because the manifesto is so ribose and it is workable, it was prepared by people who are tested


Dr. Mohammed Sani Bello and they know what is at stake in the society in terms of physical and human development. We have some models like Lagos and other States rule by the opposition party before 1999 and now if you visit such states, you see for yourself the real transformation we are talking about. The transformation in those states does not stop on physical development but also in the human development. It is surprising that the area boys that those who visit Lagos used to see are no more because they have either been rehabilitated, gainfully employed or some have gone back to school. That is why APC in government in Kaduna state is sure of transforming the state to the dream of its founding fathers. Looking at the complex nature of Kaduna that has caused a lot of crisis in the state, how will APC government handle such situation and ensure peace in the state? You see, when you are talking of peace, Nigeria is not the only country where you have complexity of religion, ethnic and other differences. Go to any country, the issue of nationality or religious differences has never been a barrier in the wheel of development of the country. In fact, it is the opposite in many places. The genesis of crisis in Kaduna state can traced and also identified, because some few selfish individuals realize that on their merit of what they stand for, they cannot occupy leadership positions and so they decided to use sentiments as a vehicle to actualize their leadership ambi-

tions. If there is sincerity of purpose from a leader, the issue of whatever crisis we are talking of will not arise or lead to what we experiencing in the society, because everybody or every section is carried along in all spheres of life. So, the kind of leaders that will always exploit religion or ethnic differences are the kind of leaders that are inadequate and have nothing to offer the people and so they have to hide under the guise of religion, tribal or ethnic differences to perpetuate their evil desires and to cover for their shortcomings. or me, if APC happens to be in government and if by the grace of God I happen to be the leader of that government, the issue of religious or ethnic crisis in Kaduna state will have be a thing of the past, because if you check my records, you will discover that there hasn’t been any place that I have served without you seeing a balance of positions among all the people working with me, irrespective of whatever differences we may be talking about. Transparency, rule of law, accountability and good governance are the four pillars of good governance in any society by a leader and anything to do with crisis will not be there. Crisis arises from dissatisfaction or a feeling of not being treated fairly. So, why should I, after been given the mandate to lead the people, not treat them fairly? Anybody looking for the treasury will always try to look for religious or ethnic differences to cover up such devilish acts.





PDP will still rule Kwara in 2015 – Hon. Illiasu How far have you been able to address challenges and problems facing the people of your constituency? My people were facing a lot of challenges at the initial stage before this current democracy. In 1988, when I started involving in Kwara politics, in Oloru, my home town, there was no electricity despite the fact that Shao which is about nine kilometers from my town had got electricity many years back. The dam constructed in 1980 was completely broken down. I wrote a memorandum through the state government to Biwater Company to assist us and it was done. Since then, we have been enjoying regular water supply. As for electricity, Shao, a town closer to us had its electricity in 1979-80. I approached the state government when I learnt that former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) was visiting Kwara State in 1990, I wrote a memorandum and forwarded it to the Government House. The memorandum which enumerated what my people needed and our plight was read by Gen. Babangida while he was addressing us. I later made the photocopy of the speech and I wrote another memorandum to then Minister of Power, Nura Imam, through our Military Administrator, Alwali Jaji-Kazeem. In 1993, the electrification project of my town started and in 1997, we had electricity in Oloru. Today, more than 30 communities have benefited from this electricity in my constituency. We are happy that there are many basic amenities on ground. But what makes me sad today is that since I was elected to the Kwara State House of Assembly, I have not been able to see my State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfattah Ahmed. I have a project now designed for my community which is tarring of township roads. It has been re-appearing in annual budgets of the state for the past five years now; but unfortunately, it has never seen the light of the day. Every year, the House approves N100 million or N120 million for that purpose, but at the end of the day, our hope would vanish. There is another bridge that annually cuts off my community and Jeunkanun community during the rainy season. If we approach local government, they would tell us that there is no money to implement that project. Whenever I complain before my colleagues, they would tell me not to complain again because the Kwara State University is sited in my constituency. I am happy that the university is in my local government, but the tuition fees of that university is N100,000.00; tell me how many of my people could afford this money to send their children to this university? They can’t even afford N1,000.00 primary school charges. My people are employed as messengers, labourers, cleaners and vigilante; while other areas have their people as administrative and management staff. So, in what way have we benefited? All we are asking for from the state government is to make our roads motorable. Each time I asked the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works about the Oloru road, he would tell me that it has been approved but no cash backing. What is your reaction to the defection of G-5 governors to APC? Before, they were G-7 and now we learnt that they are G-5. But only one person would be president at a time. Let me tell you, the crisis in PDP was caused by Bukola Saraki, because he wants to contest for president in 2015. This is somebody who ruled Kwara State for eight years and allegedly sold off all our parastatals. We did not like Bukola Saraki right from the beginning. It was Baba Saraki we loved and we are trying to transfer that love to him. When late Governor Muhammed Lawal took ANPP from late Dr. Olusola Saraki, I was the one that prepared PDP grounds for Baba Saraki. If I did not do that, would Bukola be able to be Governor of Kwara State? Go and ask him, he knew what I am saying and his God knows this. So, I give these G-5 few months now, they would

Honourable Illiasu Ibrahim, a member of the Kwara State House of Assembly representing Ipaye/Molete/Oloru constituency, has continued to weather the storm in his quest to offer democracy dividends to his constituents. In this interview with our correspondent in Ilorin, Olanrewaju Lawal, the former Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, speaks on the secret behind his influence in his constituency and other national issues: Excerpts.

Hon. Illiasu Ibrahim become nothing and be as useless as church rats. The real politicians in PDP are at the grassroots. Go and write it down, PDP will rule this state again. You were suspended by the state House of Assembly for championing a struggle against alleged corruption. What is the latest development? The whole issue started on May 17, 2012. I was away to perform pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. A colleague called me and said “things have gotten rotten in the House.” I made enquiries and she told me that they had concluded arrangements to impeach the Speaker. As a Chief Whip, I felt concerned, because members would think that all principal officers were party to what the Speaker did. When I returned from the holy land, I went to greet the Speaker and narrated what happened to him while I was away and he thanked me for always advising him on different issues. I told him that when Hon. Bio Ibrahim was the Speaker, he always called all members and informed us about the total sum of money the state government allocated to the House; how the House would spend it and the balance. I told him his predecessor, Hon. Babatunde Mohammed also followed the same path. But the Speaker did not follow these paths. The first blunder he committed was selection of standing committees without consultations with principal officers. He just distributed papers which bore the names of the committee members and their executives. I challenged him that he did not have the powers to do that, but he told me and others that he had executive powers to do that. When he checked the House rules, he could not get the portion where he had such powers. I told him that this was parliament which is different from State Executive

Council where the head was Commissioner and had powers to do anything. All members must deliberate on issues and reach agreement collectively as against only one person dictating to others. When Dr. Bukola Saraki came around, the issue was raised and he advised Atunwa to always carry others along. The Speaker also denied secretaries of House committees their sitting allowances. I plead with the Speaker on the need to reason and approve the allowances and he later called the Director PFS and approved their entitlements. The Speaker, despite my honest and sincere advice to him, went ahead to award contract of cleaning the House Assembly complex to a firm with the sum of N18 million without the knowledge of other principal officers and members of the House. He signed the agreement all alone. Meanwhile, somebody had sent in N2.5 million quotation which he didn’t approve. He went ahead to award the contract to the former. He also went ahead to award another contract to the tune of N33.88 million. I have in my file all the drafts he used. That is another offence. Now, the big trouble started when we were to go to Malaysia. Before members of the House knew what was happening, the Speaker had bought our flight tickets. When he informed us about the trip, I blamed him for not demanding for the file used by his predecessors. I told him that, all members were supposed to be part and parcel of the decision making instead of him alone making such decision. I asked him how much the State Government approved for the trip. How much was our Basic Travelling Allowance (BTA) for 12 nights? My investigations revealed that the Speaker cut down our 12 days stay in Malaysia to eight nights instead of increasing it to 15 nights. If someone wants to travel to Malay-

sia, a business ticket is about N1.2 million, while economy class is about N300,000.00. But our Speaker bought N1.2 million business ticket for all of us telling us that he wanted us to be comfortable. In the past, I told him, if we were going to such a foreign trip on official assignment, his predecessors would give us our money and we used to go and buy economy tickets for ourselves and the remaining balance shall be used to buy things for the people of our constituency. I asked him that when he told us that he wanted us to be comfortable; would our people at our constituencies be comfortable too? I told him when we returned from the trip that, I would demand for the details of the trip from him. When we returned, I discovered that there was difference of N900,000.00 on 24 members. If I had that money, I would be able to take care of my people at my constituency. In Malaysia, the Speaker booked for $140 per night five-star hotel for us while there were five-star hotels that cost $20 or $40 per night. Just few months after he assumed as a legislator, the Speaker contested for chairmanship of the Nigerian Speakers’ Forum even when he knew he was a new comer. He committed not less than N200 million into the campaign and, at the end of the day, he failed. When we returned from our trip, I discovered that N135 million was approved by the state government. For our trip to USA in 2008, led by the former Speaker, Hon/ Bio Ibrahim who was also a former Minister of Sports and Transport, N80 million was approved and out of this money, each member got not less than N2.5 million. We were able to take care of our people in our various constituencies. But with N135 million now, no member benefited up to N1million. Therefore, I wrote an eight-point petition and forwarded it to the Speaker to give explanations. In fact, the chairman of the panel that investigated the matter told me that Atunwa, whom I alleged of misappropriation of House funds, ought to have been suspended but that unfortunately instead, the petitioner was suspended. Hon. Kamal Fagbemi, the chairman of Ethnics and Privileges Committee who investigated the matter came to meet me in my legislative quarters after Kwara South caucus meeting. He explained the resolution of the caucus that I should be persuaded to withdraw my petition. But Fagbemi told me that, all members knew that I was on the right path and should continue. I swear to God who made me, he was here in my house. Hon. Fagbemi also went through the petition again and we assessed it. Hon. Fatai Bakini also read it and commended me. I later discovered that my colleagues whom I was fighting their course had betrayed me. Bukola Saraki told them to suspend me and all of them did that even when the House rules do not give them such powers? But I thank God that I am alive today. My suspension was a good thing for me. I was able to travel abroad and in the process treated myself. I came back healthier and regained my strength. When I resumed on 17th of August, 2012, I was isolated for ten months until May 2013/ There was no microphone on my seat; I could not contribute to issues on the floor of the House and when they asked me to go to my normal seat, I thank God. I was made a member of the Committee on Health and Environment. My five months’ salary is still with them. They have not paid me till now.



Tribute Tributes to the Great Emancipator Chief (Dr) Solomon Daushep Lar (1928-2013) Compiled by Gabriel Gwajime


y his death, our nation has lost a quintessential patriot, inspirational leader of men, visionary statesman, and consummate political icon. His demise is a monumental loss to the people of Plateau State, the Middle Belt region for whose every cause he was an unrelenting champion over the past half century, and the Nigerian nation for whose peace, unity, and stability he gave his all.” - President Goodluck Jonathan. *** As Governor of the old Plateau State and founding Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), [Lar] distinguished himself as a man of immense integrity, enviable humility, and astute gentility. He believed in Nigeria’s multiculturalism. For him, our diversity should not be a crucible for breeding suspicion, antagonism and division, but a fountain which showcases the boundless creativity and multifaceted richness in Nigeria. -Senator (Dr) David A. B. Mark, President of the Senate. *** As a former Governor of Plateau State in the Second Republic and Charman of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the late Chief Lar was a nationalist, absolute believer of true democracy and statesman both in his outlook and accomplishments. His uncommon humility and mature disposition were brought to bear even in the exalted leadership positions that he held. His selfless contributions to national development will remain invaluable and an inspiration to this and generations yet unborn. -Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Speaker, House of Representatives. *** From the Northern Parliament, Chief Solomon Daushep Lar stood tall in the struggle for the nation’s independence. His voice rang out for the Middle Belt. As a Governor of the then Plateau State, his passion was not only to emancipate the people, but uplift the living standard of the people both in the urban and rural areas. He constructed dams, hospitals, schools and provided the people a unique voice through the Plateau Television, now renamed Plateau Radio Television Corporation amongst other strides. -Da Jonah David Jang, Governor, Plateau State. *** It is instructive to note that as the Executive Governor of the old Plateau State [on] the platform of the defunct NPP, Chief Lar served as an excellent statesman. Indeed, the old state then experienced a period of unprecedented peace, tranquility and development. His quest for impacting on the lives of the ordinary people permeated all sectors of the then larger Plateau State. His reign saw marked improvement in infrastructural development in the old Plateau State. -Bukar Goni Aji, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

Brief Biodata Chief (Dr) Solomon Daushep Lar, CON, LL.D, (the Walin Langtang), died in a United States hospital in October 2013 after a protracted illness. He was former Legislator; former Minister; first Executive Governor of old Plateau State; first National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party; Adviser Emeritus to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and member PDP Board of Trustees. The late Chief Solomon Daushep Lar was buried on Friday, December 13, 2013. Following below are extracts from select tributes to the “Great Emancipator.” *** Dr. Lar was a notable democrat; a peaceful and sociable man who played politics without bitterness. A detribalized Nigerian of incomparable status, Chief Lar was the first civilian Governor of Plateau State (1979-1983) on the platform of Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP) regarded as an Igbo party and under the leadership of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. He was fearless, courageous and exhibited high level of integrity in his national political relations and career. He was a bridge and consensus builder. .. He left many indelible marks on the sands of Nigeria’s political history and would be remembered for his mobilizing powers; mature and dispassionate views on issues. -Anyim Pius Anyim, Secretary to the Government of the Federation. *** He lived a good life and touched many lives, including my good self. My family and I commiserate with the family at this period of grief. -Ambassador (Dr) Sir Abu Obe. *** As a father, you loved, nurtured and believed in me every step of the way. You always listened to me, and wanted to know how I was faring at all times. You were not just a father to me, but to the several children you raised as your own, many of whom were not related to you. Along with Mum, you taught me the right values and urged me to excel. You taught me how to love, care, share, give, and serve. You taught me how to be sensitive to people’s feelings and to treat everyone the same. Most importantly, you taught all your children how to fear, revere and love God. Politically, you were not just my pillar, but the pillar of millions of people in Plateau, the Middle Belt, and Nigeria as a whole. -Hon. Beni Lar (Daughter). *** Like the Biblical Solomon, Chief Lar recognized the overwhelming responsibility of his position in Nigeria as people flocked to his house from different regions. During his days as Governor of Plateau State in the late 1970s, he connected easily with the significant others and his problem-solving approach to politics gave him considerable influence within Plateau, the Middle Belt region and beyond. -Senator G.N.S. Pwajok. *** Baba Lar, the great emancipa-

The late (Dr) Solomon D. Lar tor, first civilian Governor of Plateau State, pioneer Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, former chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees and Adviser Emeritus to former President Olusegun Obasanjo will forever be remembered for his democratic credentials and uncommon wisdom, vision and courage. -Senator Joshua C. Dariye. *** ndeed, the death of Chief (Dr) Solomon Lar, is a tragic loss not only to his family but to the entire Middle Belt and Nigerians in general. He will always be remembered for the exemplary humility, great vision, wisdom and maturity which he brought to political leadership in Nigeria as a legislator, executive governor, pioneer National Chairman of PDP and highly revered elder statesman with his white handkerchiefs of peace. -Rt. Hon. (Dr) Adolphus Wabara. *** Chief Lar was an exemplary leader and an astute politician. A great nationalist, he believed in the oneness and indivisibility of Nigeria. He was a great patriot who served his fatherland meritoriously and passionately. He discharged his duties with loyalty and dedication. He was highly principled, honest, transparent, accountable, hardworking, firm and incorruptible. His, was a life of humility, patriotism and selfless service. Indeed he was a role model of good leadership. -Senator (Dr) Ibrahim Mantu. *** It has taken decades of knowing Chief Solomon Lar as he handled various challenging national assignments to conclude that the circumstances of our initial interaction following our assumption of


power in 1983 could have been ore auspicious. Knowing him in recent years has persuaded me that we all have to do our duties to the best of our understanding believing that this country is greater than all of us. The important thing is that at the end of the day history will record his legacy as one of selfless service to his fatherland. He towers among several progressives who preached and practiced politics without bitterness. He carried on with a patriotic zeal in the service of his fatherland even in the face of odds. -Major Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), former Head of State. *** When military dictatorship terminated [Solomon Lar’s] Emancipation programme as the civilian Governor of Plateau State and put him in prison, he came out stronger and more committed to the cause of Democracy and a just social order. We both joined the left-of-centre Social Democratic Party during which I emerged as the President of the Senate in 1992 under very difficult circumstances. Chief Lar became a pillar of support as he became not just one of my principal advisers but a political father. He guarded and encouraged me to remain steadfast, not to disappoint the Nigerian people; and to always stand by the truth. -Dr. Iyorchia Ayu is former President of the Nigerian Senate and former Minister of the Federal Republic. *** It is indeed very painful and heartrending that His Excellency died at a time when his unrivalled experience in politics and social development is most needed, however you should be consoled by the sterling and unrivalled legacies he left behind. -Senator George O. Akume, Senate Minority Leader. *** For his long and most fulfilled life as well as his immense contributions to communal, state and national development, I urge the family members to take solace that his place is assured amongst the eternal heroes of the Nigerian nation. -Alh. Bamanga Tukur, National Chairman, PDP. *** Chief Lar stood firmly for the less privileged hence he was referred to as the “emancipator.” Indeed, his life of selfless service manifested in all the public and leadership positions he occupied at various times including member of the House of Representatives, Governor of old Plateau State, Minister of Police Affairs, Cheiftaincy Title holder of Walin Langtang or as pioneer National Chairman of the PDP. -Rt. Hon. Gabriel T. Suswam, Governor of Benue State. *** Chief Lar was a consummate politician and a committed democrat who was passionate about the rights and welfare of the common man. He was a courageous fighter for justice and equity; a leader,

champion and hero of the Middle Belt people of Nigeria, and a patriotic nationalist who built bridges across ethnic and religious groups to foster national unity. - Gen. T. Y. Danjuma *** Your nationalist approach to issues of governance, your statesman’s position on nation building and unity; the true “Emancipator of our time,” and the progressive voice of participatory democracy are all but a few of your illustrious legacies. -Comrade Abba Patrick Moro **** He was a dedicated Christian and a selfless leader, always willing to sacrifice personal comfort for the greater good. A man of great wisdom, eh simplified complex sociopolitical problems and resolved many conflicts. He will be remembered for his sense of history and sense of mission which propelled him to serve our people in the Middle belt in particular and Nigeria as a whole, with an unwavering and unconditional dedication. -Prof. Jerry Gana, President, Middle Belt Forum. *** Chief Dr. Solomon Lar was an inspiration to my late husband and former Senate President of Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, the Oyi of Oyi. …Furthermore my husband and I had very fond memories of Chief Solomon Lar as I was often regaled with various accounts of his political pragmatism, selflessness and absolute commitment to duty as a statesman and political leader, during his days as the first National Chairman of the PDP. -Senator Margery C. Chuba-Okadigbo. *** or me personally, Chief Solomon D. Lar has been a trustworthy friend, a reliable colleague and a dependable political ally. I would like at this juncture to recall with pride that of all the chief executives and other high profile political leaders in the Second Republic, Governor Lar was the only one who courageously reported to me about the impending top military conspiracy to topple our democratically elected government. …May I use this opportunity to appeal to His Excellency, President E. Goodluck Jonathan … to use his good offices to ensure that a national monument or an important national institution is named after Chief (Dr) Solomon Lar in order to immortalize his name and his enormous contributions to the development of democracy in our country. -Alh. Shehu Shagari, former President of Nigeria. *** The late “Baba Lar,” in his lifetime, was a nationalist and a political colossus in Nigeria to reckon with. His demise is not only a great loss to his immediate family and the people of Plateau State, but to the entire nation as his wise counsel shall be greatly missed… Solomon Lar lived a useful life worthy of emulation… -Dr. Alfred Akawe Torkula, Tor Tiv IV.




Lead story

A presidential ambition under threat *As ruling party sinks deeper

President Jonathan

VP Namadi Sambo

By Hammeed Bello


he Peoples Democratic Party, PDPcontrolled central government is grappling with an acid test of its continued survival as the ruling party on account of the intense and uncontrollable opposition from the All Progressive Congress (APC). The largest party in Africa, as the PDP touts itself, is obviously not having the best of time as it struggles to remain relevant in the face of persistent threat to its structural integrity. And, if the ongoing wave of defection by governors, members of the National Assembly and party leaders continues unabated, it is doubtful if the PDP will still remain as formidable a platform for the prosecution of the presidential and governorship elections in some states. Already, five PDP governors: MurtalaNyako of Adamawa, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko of Sokoto, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers and Abdulfatai Ahmed of Kwara states have left PDP for APC. And, from their body language, it is only a matter of time that Sule Lamido of Adamawa and Babangida Aliyu of Niger states respectively, will join their colleagues in the APC, despite their tongue-in-cheek stand that they remain in the PDP. There are feelers also that some governors from the northern and southern states are making last minute consultations to dump the PDP for the APC in the New Year. The feelers from the National Assembly are also not favourable to the PDP. While 37 PDP members of the House of Representatives have defected to the APC despite the concerted but fruitless effort to stop them by the party headquarters in Abuja, there are indications also that 40 more members of the ruling party will embrace the APC in the New Year. If this happens, the PDP will become the opposition party in the House, while the APC becomes the majority party with the instrument to call the shots, including determining who gets what, and who remains or not. Already, the members have given indication of a leadership change when the House resumes from the New Year break. But, it is not clear whether the Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and his deputy, Emeka Ihedioha will be affected by the change. The 37 members who declared for the APC are from four out of the five G7 states whose governors earlier crossed over to the APC. Adamawa state PDP members whose governor, Murtala Nyako, is also part of the G7 governors are yet to declare for the APC, perhaps due to the factor of the PDP national chairman,

Senate President Mark

Alh. Bamanga Tukur, who is also from the state. The picture will be clearer when the House resumes in January. While members of the Adamawa state executive council have all defected to the APC in support of Nyako, members of the House of Representatives from the state loyal to the governor are likely to do same in the New Year, thereby shoring up the numerical strength of the APC in the House and consequently raising their firing powers. In the Senate, what will likely play out in the New Year is that, senators whose governors have defected from PDP to APC, will likely toe the line of their colleagues in the House. For instance, Senator BukolaSaraki is in tandem with his state governor, Abdulfatai Ahmed who sees him more as a political leader. Kano state PDP senators will likely go with Kwankwaso, ditto senators from Sokoto and some from Rivers. lthough the defecting members of the House, for now, have ruled out the possibility of impeaching the President, the evolving numerical superiority of the APC lawmakers in both chambers is, however, a worrisome factor which could be used to frustrate any unpopular decision. Section 143(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) specifies how the President or Vice-President may be removed from office, while subsection (2) states that “Whenever a notice of any allegation in writing signed by not less than one-third of the members of the National Assembly:(a) is presented to the President of the Senate; (b) stating that the holder of the office of President or Vice-President is guilty of gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of his office, detailed particulars of which shall be specified, the President of the Senate shall within seven days of the receipt of the notice cause a copy thereof to be served on the


Speaker Tambuwal

holder of the office and on each member of the National Assembly, and shall also cause any statement made in reply to the allegation by the holder of the office to be served on each member of the National Assembly. It would be recalled that on Thursday, the PDP made two conflicting demands from both the House of Representatives Speaker, AminuTambuwal , and the Federal High Court, Abuja on the defection of 37 of its members to the All Progressives Congress. While the PDP released a statement in which it requested Tambuwal to declare the defectors’ seats in the House vacant, in the court, it also asked for an order compelling them to return to its fold. In the statement by its National Publicity Secretary,Olisa Metuh, the party argued that since the 37 lawmakers had renounced their membership, the Presiding Officers of the House must declare their seats vacant without any further delay. The PDP said that a court order which the 37 lawmakers referred to while announcing their defection on Wednesday was wrongly interpreted. At the Federal High Court, Abuja, the PDP asked that the 37 lawmakers’ defection should be declared “null and void.” It warned that their defection could lead to a breakdown of law and order in the National Assembly and the entire polity if not reversed. In the suit filed by its counsel, JoeKyari Gadzama (SAN), on Thursday, the PDP maintained that the defection contravened the order made by the Abuja FHC on December 17, 2013, when counsel to the 37 lawmakers tried to move a motion for interlocutory injunction, seeking to stop a plan to declare their seats vacant. The PDP also asked for “a mandatory order that the 37 legislators revert to the status quo pending the hearing of the plaintiffs’ motion on notice for interlocu-

Although the defecting members of the House, for now, have ruled out the possibility of impeaching the President, the evolving numerical superiority of the APC lawmakers in both chambers is, however, a worrisome factor which could be used to frustrate any unpopular decision.

PDP Chair Tukur tory injunction.” As an alternative to the mandatory order directing the lawmakers to revert to the status quo, the PDP asked for “an order setting aside the earlier order on parties to maintain the status quo pending the hearing of the motion for interlocutory injunction.” In an affidavit in support of the motion, which was deposed to by one TajudeenAyeni, the ruling party averred that the subject matter of the suit bordered on the alleged “intention” by the plaintiffs to defect to the APC: “When this matter came up for hearing on December 17, 2013, counsel for the plaintiffs sought to move a motion for interlocutory injunction but this was resisted by the 1st and 4th defendants/ applicants counsel. The honourable court then made an order suomoto that status quo be maintained.” The PDP argued that, in spite of the order, the 37 legislators decamped to the APC. It stressed that the defection was aimed at putting it (PDP) at a huge disadvantage ahead of the next hearing date in the matter, which is January 22, 2014. he party said, “It is necessary for this honourable court to reverse the action of the 37 plaintiffs which is clearly in disobedience of the order of this court. “The action of the 37 plaintiffs, if not reversed, is capable of dissipating the res in this matter and may also lead to a breakdown of law and order in the National Assembly and affect the entire polity.” Gadzama had earlier, in a letter, informed Tambuwal of the suit filed by the party in a bid to reverse the defection of the 37 lawmakers. In the letter, he stated, “We have today filed a motion on notice, which has already been served on your office, seeking to overturn the purported movement of the 37 plaintiffs to the APC. “It is in the light of this that we enjoin you to act in obedience to the order of court and direct the plaintiffs to revert to the status quo ante bellum. “Anything contrary to this will send out wrong signals to Nigerians and the world that federal legislators have no regard for the law and constitution which they have sworn to uphold.” The letter added that the action of the 37 lawmakers “if not contained, may lead to a state of anarchy.” The defection of the lawmakers had given the APC a simple majority in the House, increasing its numerical strength from 135 to 172, against PDP’s 171.




Homes Exotic and classy living room ideas I

n the collection for this week, here are some lovely modernday living room ideas that are generously classic and good enough for your maximum comfort. These contemporary living room ideas are photos that show a good sense of taste about the most beautiful living rooms in the contemporary department. In today’s modern world, with more and more people travelling around the developed world, many of whom are fast graduating into the middle and the upper class of society, a lot more people equally want to add a class of touch to their interiors. This is to make them enjoy the high level of comfort experienced on air planes and at five star hotels right within their walls. The living room is also the very first place visitors step into while in your home before they gain access into the entire building. Don’t you think the lights plus the pillows in the sofas make the room look prettier? Because those are definitely the accent decors that beautify rooms like this.

Mixing browns, beige, coffee and white always look great together, like the one in this picture. Guess earth tones just add up well!

e n i z a


d n e k e We

g a M ent

m Entertain


ps Beauty Ti

Royal blue on silver; so grand and >P29 > formal on ladies

od Kannywo




d Bollywoo

Senator Grace Bent: Strong advocate of intertribal marriage >>P23

The benefits of cabbage juice >>P30

How the Tortoise fooled the Elephant and Hippopotamus that he was stronger




Human Angle

Man whose hand was severed, reattached to his leg By Anna Hodgekiss


octors have successfully reattached a man’s severed hand after it was attached to his ankle for a month. On November 10, Xiao Wei’s right hand was severed due to an accident at work. He said: ‘I was just shocked and frozen at the spot, until coworkers unplugged the machine and retrieved my hand and took me to the hospital.’ At his local hospital in Changde, in China’s Hunan province, doctors said they were unable to save his hand. But they suggested that doctors at the larger regional hospital may be able to help. Mr Wei said: ‘I am still young, and I couldn’t imagine life without a right hand.’

Seven hours after the incident, he arrived at the other hospital in Changsha. Doctors here were hopeful they could re-attach the hand, but not right away. So, in order to stop the severed hand from dying, they attached it to his ankle. One of them explained: ‘His injury was severe. Besides ripping injuries, his arm was also flattened. ‘We had to clear and treat his injuries before taking on the hand reattachment surgery.’ Nearly a month after his hand was severed, Xiao had recovered enough to undergo re-attachment surgery. While he will need to undergo several other operations, doctors are confident he will regain full use of his hand again. Source:

A Chinese man who had his right hand severed in a work accident had it attached to his ankle for a month to keep it alive

Mr. Wei said: ‘I am still young, and I couldn’t imagine life without a right hand’

While he will need to undergo several other operations, doctors are confident Mr Wei will regain full use of his reattached hand

Commenting on the case, Mr Wei’s doctor said: ‘His injury was severe. Besides ripping injuries, his arm was also flattened. We had to clear and treat his injuries before taking on the hand reattachment surgery’



Womanhood Senator Grace Bent: Strong advocate of inter-tribal marriage incessant attacks. In September 2009, Grace Folashade Bent wrote a formal letter to Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Mohammed Adamu Aliero, protesting the excessive felling of trees for road construction. The IlesaOsun State born politician is married to retired Major Jackson Bent from Adamawa-south constituency of Adamawa state in north-east Nigeria. For her, stepping into the murky political waters was a calling, an opportunity to serve her people. “I came into politics because it is a calling. Politics is using

Senator Grace Folashade Bent


race Folashade Bent is a Senator who was elected in April 2007 and served one full term till 2011 on the People’s Democratic Party platform in the Adamawa South constituency of Adamawa State. Born October 15, 1960, Senator Bent schooled at the University of Calabar she was a students’ union activist. She received a BA (Hons) in English and Literary Studies in 1998, and an MSc in Political Science and International Relations in 2003. She has a doctorate of Public Administration from Indiana State University, USA.

Before her election into the senate, Grace Folashade Bent was political adviser to the PDP National Chairman, Audu Ogbeh, Assistant Producer for NTA Kaduna, and Managing Director of Jack Ventures Nigeria. She has published a book titled Women in Inter Ethnic Marriages in Nigeria. Senator Grace Folashade Bent became chair of the Senate Committee on Environment. In April 2009, following a visit to South Africa, Senator Bent sponsored a motion to issue travel advice to all Nigerians traveling to South Africa to be wary of

power to defend the weak and serve the people. I started in the university where I played

responsible activism. Politics is not dirty; the players are the ones playing it dirty”, she said. She speaks Yoruba, Ijesa dialect, and writes Hausa and some Bachama languages clearly. In Adamawa, some people call her ‘Gogo’ (a Fulani word that connotes cherished big aunty). Her marital life: “I am a very successful beneficiary of inter-ethnic marriage. I have a wonderful and Godfearing husband, one in a billion. He believes so much in me, he is a pillar for me, after God. He didn’t just want me to be a baby factory, a house wife; he wants mankind to benefit from my potentials. “I have known my husband for 32 years and we have been married for 25 years. My marriage is a sensitive aspect of my life that I do not joke with. Parents should allow their children to follow their earts once they can see sincerity. I am not saying that it has been a bed of roses, but inter-ethnic marriage is a potent tool of social integration. Most political elites are in inter-ethnic marriages so there must be something good in it”, she said. How they met and married: She says: I met my husband when he was a young army officer. I used to believe that soldiers were bullies; that they beat up their wives. That fateful day, I was going to a mechanic workshop. I had an accident with my brother’s car and was walking down the street in Kaduna, wearing an Ankara Buba and Iro. Suddenly, a car pulled up behind me and the driver with his co-occupant asked to give me a ride. But my parents had taught me never to accept a ride from strangers. That was why my father bought me my first car at 16. I later found that the person with him was his

best friend, the current National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki. I initially refused the offer, later I accepted reluctantly and asked him to take me straight to where I was going. He took my home address but I didn’t expect to see him again because I had very strict parents. But he later started coming around to my house. This continued for one year and he stopped coming. But six months after, we met again through a friend that we both shared. From there, we started courting; he proposed marriage while I was in the university and we eventually got married. I cook for him, he loves good food. It is not always though. I get him perfumes, he loves them too. Her task of raising four children: She says: Our design was for me to be through with child bearing before starting active work life. I was a housewife then but did a few things by the side. I did some acting while working with the Nigerian Television Authority. I featured in some Hausa soaps. I had a Christian-based musical group because I love to sing and dance. What inspires her glowing looks: She says: It is innate; I just love to look good. I dress to stand out, I don’t follow fad. I love good jewelery. I love diamonds. I love good shoes, I love classy clothes, I feel happy looking good, it’s not because I want to flaunt it. Your dress sense says a lot about who you are. I don’t like wearing attires that expose the body, but I love to be different in my looks. About being a grandmother: It is great and exciting. One of my grandsons lives with me. His mother is rounding off her programme in school. I love them and nothing could be better than cuddling them.

From there, we started courting; he proposed marriage while I was in the university and we eventually got married. I cook for him, he loves good food. It is not always though. I get him perfumes, he loves them too.



Kiddies World

With Nami Hassan Kadir 08130693795.



Mambilla Plateau


he Mambilla Plateau is a plateau found in Taraba State of Nigeria. This plateau, is Nigeria’s northern continuation of the Bamenda Highlands of Cameroon. The Mambilla Plateau has an average elevation of about 1,524 metres (5,000 ft) above sea level, leaving it as the highest plateau in Nigeria since no other plateau in Nigeria rivals it in elevation. Some of its villages are situated on hills that must be at least 1,828 metres (5,997 ft) high above sea level. Some mountains on the plateau and around it are over 2,000 metres (6,562 ft) high, like the Chappal Waddi(more appropriate name: Gang) mountain which has an average height of about 2,419 metres (7,936 ft) above sea level. It is the highest mountain in Nigeria and the highest mountain in West Africa if the Republic of Cameroon’s higher mountains like the Mount Cameroon are excluded as mountains in west Africa, even though they are sometimes included among mountains found in the west African region. The plateau developed on basement complex rocks.Tertiary basalts also occur on the Mambilla plateau and are mostly formed by trachytic lavas and extensive basalts, occurring around Nguroje. The Mambilla Plateau measures about 96 km (60 mi) along its curved length; it is 40 km (25 mi) wide and is bounded by an escarpment that is about 900 m (2,953 ft) high in some places. The plateau covers an area of over 9,389 square kilometres (3,625 sq mi). Gang (‘Chappal Waddi’) Mountain is found at the northeastern flank of the Plateau. Location The Mambilla Plateau, cradle of the Bantu-speaking peoples (Zeitlyn & Connell, 2003; Griffith, 2007; Martin, 2009),and inhabited for over four millennia, is found in the southeastern part of Taraba State of Nigeria under Sardauna local government area (the former Mambilla District set up in January 1940, which became known as ‘Mambilla Local Authority’ in 1970, and then as ‘Mambilla Local Government Area’ in 1981) .[7] The current ‘Sardauna’ title is believed to be an inappropriate cognomen for this historically famous spot in Africa, given that the combination of three local government areas in one, which was the tenuous basis for the appellation has since ceased to exist. The plateau has its south and eastern escarpments

standing along the Cameroonian border, while the remainder of its giant northern escarpment and its western slope are in Nigeria. Climate The climate of the plateau is comparatively cold. Daytime temperatures hardly exceeds 25 °C (77.0 °F) making it the coldest plateau in Nigeria. Strong winds prevail during the daytime, and the rainy season lasts from midMarch until the end of November. As a result of its high elevation, the plateau experiences temperate weather conditions but on a smaller scale due to its location in a tropical environment. Rainfall The rainy season on the Mambilla Plateau is associated with frequent and heavy rainfall due to orographic activities on the plateau involving moist winds from the south Atlantic Ocean in southern Nigeria and the steep edges and escarpments of the plateau.The Mambilla Plateau receives over 1850 millimetres of rainfall annually. Topography The Mambilla Plateau is hilly with deep gorges and travellers are constantly passing from one panoramic view to the other. The plateau is entirely covered by soil with occasional occurrence of granite. Drainage The plateau is dissected by many streams and rivers; notably among them are the Donga River and Taraba River, with both having their sources on/from the Mambilla Plateau. Vegetation Vegetation on the plateau comprises low grasses with trees being noticeably absent except for man-made forest planted by German colonialist during the period of German administration of the cameroons (c. 1906-1915) and other Nigerian government tree planting programs. The eucalyptus tree is the dominant tree is these man made forest as a result of the easily adaptability of the eucalyptus tree to the harsh climatic conditions on the plateau. The abundance of low lush green grasses on the plateau has attracted a large number of cattle,whose advent begiining during British rule affected the plateau’s vegetation. This has resulted in overgrazing of the plateau and has created problems between the cattle herders, referred to as the fulanis, and the indigenous people, the Mambila.


Disney Angle

Scoobydoo and friends

Tom and Jerry

Sleeping beauty


Kiddies World


With Nami Hassan Kadir 08130693795.




How the Tortoise fooled Elephant and Hippopotamus that he was stronger O ne day, the tortoise met the elephant who trumpeted, “Out of my way, you weakling, I might step on you!” The tortoise was not afraid and stayed where he was, so the elephant stepped on him, but he could not crush him. “Do not boast, Mr Elephant, I am as strong as you are!” Thus spoke the tortoise, but the elephant just laughed. So the tortoise invited him to be there on his hill the next morning. Before sunrise the tortoise ran down the hill to the riverside where he met the hippopotamus who was just on his way back into the water from his nocturnal feeding. “Mr Hippo! Shall we have a tug of war? I bet I am as strong as you are!” The hippopotamus


laughed but agreed. The tortoise produced a long rope and told the hippo to hold it in his mouth until the tortoise would shout, “Hey!” Then the tortoise ran back up the hill where he found the elephant already getting impatient. He gave the elephant the other end of the rope and said, “When I say ‘Hey!’ Please pull, and you will see who is the strongest.” The tortoise went back to the hill slope where he could not be seen and shouted “Hey!” The elephant and the hippopotamus pulled and pulled but they were of equal strength. They both agreed that the tortoise was stronger than they had expected. Never agree to a wager with a party that you cannot trust. The tortoise let others do the work for him, while he got the credit for it.

Msendoo Ijir relaxing at home

ACTIVITIES Using the right colours, shade the image below. Describe the action and show your work to your teacher for correction. Cheers!

How to make a toy computer


mall children find computers fascinating. Many people have found that their children will not leave their side while they try to get some work done on the computer. Now you can have your child complete his own work on their own toy computer.

Instructions Gather cardboard boxes that resemble the shape of toy computer parts. This should include a monitor, keyboard and a tower if necessary. If you have the boxes from your computer lying around, use those. Paint the boxes in a neutral color such as grey or beige. This will make the child’s toy computer more lifelike. If your child is old enough to handle painting, ask him to help you create his new toy computer. Mark outlines for the keys on the keyboard box

using a felt tip marker. Also draw a matte looking frame around the monitor box to create the screen effect. For extra features, create a letter document or a fun picture on the monitor with which to engage your child in pretend play. Cut rectangular slits in the tower box to allow your child to place an old CD or disk inside of it. You can also cut a small hole, about the size of a nickel, in the tower box and tape a cotton ball on the inside to simulate a power button that your child can press to turn on the toy computer. The cotton ball will give the cushion feeling of actually turning on a computer. Place the new toy computer on a desk near yours and allow your child to enjoy hours of safe creativity and enjoyment so you can get a little work done yourself.



Get it right!


With Gabriel Gwajime

Explanation of Christmas and Boxing Day

Christmas Day ithin few days, it will be Christmas. Many people (including non-Christians and pagans) celebrate Christmas in their own way. This writer conducted a research to get some explanations on Christmas and related matters. According to TimeAndDate. com, Christmas is one of the most festive holidays in many countries around the world. It is a Christian holiday in memory of Jesus Christ’s birth and most people celebrate the day on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar.


What do people do on Christmas Day? There are many ways to celebrate Christmas and people in different countries blend their cultural traditions with more universal Christmas celebrations. It is common for many households to have decorated Christmas trees. Many homes are also decorated to fit the Christmas theme prior to and on Christmas Day. Many workplaces hold Christmas parties in the weeks leading to Christmas Day. Many people have a day off work and spend time with their families and loved ones on Christmas Day. Festive activities include exchanging Christmas presents, joining in Christmas feasts, and listening to Christmas-themed music or movies. For some cultures, Christmas is an exclusive family affair that sees relatives travel from different geographic regions to unite at this time of the year. Other people may choose to openly invite friends to a Christmas buffet or pot luck lunch or dinner. Christmas Day is a special day for children who receive gifts that they have been longing for. Many children believe in Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, a figure who is believed to provide Christmas presents to children. In some countries, some children write “letters to Santa” a few weeks before Christmas Day, asking for a gift that they desire most. Christmas cards are also exchanged among adults and children prior to Christmas Day. Many churches have special Christmas Day services, some of which include carols, choirs, joyous singing, and meet-andgreet opportunities after the church services. Many churches are beautifully decorated and may include a crèche or miniature Nativity scene. Some large-scale Christmas church services are televised for those who cannot attend a church service. Public life Christmas Day is a public holiday in many countries worldwide, including Australia, Canada, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, the United States, amongst others.

may come from a custom in the late Roman/early Christian era, wherein metal boxes placed outside churches were used to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of Saint Stephen, which in the Western Church falls on the same day as Boxing Day. “In Britain, it was a custom for tradesmen to collect “Christmas boxes” of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year. This is mentioned in Samuel Pepys’ diary entry for 19 December 1663. This custom is linked to an older English tradition: Since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts and bonuses, and sometimes leftover food.”

Government offices, educational institutions, many businesses and post offices are closed on this day.

Background Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the Son of God. His birth date is unknown because there is little public information about his early life. There is disagreement among scholars on when Jesus was actually born. Majority Christians celebrate Jesus’ birthday on December 25 (a day that is also commonly acceptable by governments around the world). Many Orthodox Christians, however, celebrate Christmas Day on or near January 7. Others even do this in October. The word “Christmas” comes from the old English “Cristes maesse”, or the mass of Christ. It is probably that the Christmas date of December 25 was chosen to offset the Pagan celebrations of Saturnalia and Natalis Invicti. It may also be that the celebration of the birth of the “true light of the world” was set at the time of the December solstice because this is when the days in the northern hemisphere began to have more hours of sunlight. Christmas holiday customs derive from various cultures, including Teutonic, Celtic, Roman, West Asian and Christian. 12 Days of Christmas o get the meaning of this too, this writer contacted Wikipedia.Com and got the following explanation: “The Twelve Days of Christmas are the festive days beginning on Christmas Day (December 25). This period is also known as Christmastide and Twelvetide. The Twelfth Night of Christmas is always on the evening of 5 January, but the Twelfth Day can either precede or follow the Twelfth Night according to which Christian tradition is followed. Twelfth Night is followed by the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6.”


Christmas gift or present? According to, the words “gift” and “present” mean the same thing, but which one to use depends on the occasion. These are the most common collocations (word combinations) for each holiday: “a Christmas present,” “a Birthday present,” “a wedding present,” “a Valentine’s Day gift,” “a Mother’s Day gift,” “an anniversary gift.” Boxing Day Many people in Nigeria think because the day is so called, it means people engage in the sport of “boxing” on this day. But according to (the free encyclopedia), Boxing Day is traditionally the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts from their bosses or employers, known



Typical gifts received on Boxing Day as a “Christmas box.” It further explained, “Today, Boxing Day is better known as a bank or public holiday that occurs on 26 December, or the first or second weekday after Christmas Day, depending on national or regional laws. It is observed in the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and some other Commonwealth nations. “In South Africa, Boxing Day was renamed to Day of Goodwill in 1994. In Ireland, the day is known as St. Stephen’s Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Stiofáin) or the Day of the Wren (Irish: Lá an Dreoilín). In many European countries, including notably Germany, Poland, Scandinavia and the Netherlands, 26 December is celebrated as the Second Christmas Day. In Australia and Nigeria, Boxing Day takes place on 26 December and is a federal public holiday.

Origins Also, according to Wikipedia. com, the exact etymology of the term “Boxing Day” is unclear. There are several competing theories, none of which is definitive. The European tradition, which has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions, has been dated to the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is unknown. It is believed to be in reference to the Alms Box placed in places of worship in order to collect donations to the poor. In ancient, pre-Christian Rome, Saturnalia was a Roman celebration during which slave owners would switch roles with their slaves. Gift giving was a part of Saturnalia and benevolence to slaves was a practice which may have influenced the later December tradition of boxing and presenting of gifts to people of lesser status. Also, it

Festive activities include exchanging Christmas presents, joining in Christmas feasts, and listening to Christmas-themed music or movies. For some cultures, Christmas is an exclusive family affair that sees relatives travel from different geographic regions to unite at this time of the year. further explained: “Boxing Day is a secular holiday that is traditionally celebrated on 26 December, the day after Christmas Day, which is also St. Stephen’s Day, a religious holiday. When 26 December falls on a Sunday, Boxing Day in many Commonwealth countries and former British dominions is moved to 27 December. In the UK, Boxing Day is a bank holiday. If Boxing Day falls on a Saturday, the following Monday is given as a substitute bank holiday. On the occasion when Christmas Day is on a Saturday – with Boxing Day on the Sunday – the following Monday (27) and Tuesday (28) of December both become bank holidays. “In Scotland, Boxing Day has been specified as an additional bank holiday since 1974, by Royal Proclamation under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971. “In Ireland – when the island as a whole was part of the United Kingdom – the Bank Holidays Act 1871 established the feast day of St. Stephen as a non-movable public holiday on 26 December. Since the creation of the Republic of Ireland following partition in 1920, only Northern Ireland officially continues to use the British name ‘Boxing Day.’ “In the Australian state of South Australia, 28 December is a public holiday known as Proclamation Day and Boxing Day is not normally a public holiday. The holiday for Proclamation Day is observed on the first weekday after Christmas Day or the Christmas Day holiday. Nowadays, Boxing Day is popular in Australia as the first day of a Test cricket match held at the MCG. A Test match is also often held in South Africa starting on Boxing Day. “In New Zealand Boxing Day is a statutory holiday; penalty rates and lieu time are provided to employees who work on the day.



News Extra

Lions, tigers and heirs! Trio of America’s first ‘liligers’ are born after big cat cross-breeding at Oklahoma zoo • Trio were born to male lion and female liger at GW Interactive Zoo • The first liligers were thought to have been born in Russia last year • Zoo already has litter of tiligers - parented by male tiger and female liger By William Turvill


f the idea of a liger – a cross between a lion and a tiger – still fascinates you, then have a look at these adorable new-born ‘liligers’. The trio were born to Simba, a male lion, and Akara, a female liger, in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, at the end of last month. Animal handlers at the GW Interactive Zoo claim they are the first liligers to be born in the United States – after the world’s first were born in Russia last year. GW Zoo president Joe Schreibvogel said: ‘We have birthed America’s first baby liligers. ‘They are unique because of their parentage - a mix between a liger and a lion produces a different animal to a tiger and a liger, for example. The balance is different. ‘They’re tanned with dark spots and as they get older their uniqueness will really come out. We’re excited to see how they develop.’ The new arrivals are not the first unusual hybrids to be born at the zoo, which is also home to tiligers, a cross between a white male tiger and a female liger. Mr Schreibvogel added: ‘They were all conceived naturally. ‘You can’t just put an adult lion and adult tiger together and expect them to breed, it doesn’t happen that way. ‘They need to be raised together as babies, and at about four years old they might naturally breed. ‘Simba and Akara were raised together, which is the only reason they chose to mate with each other.’ The GW Zoo is home to a number of exotic animals and is asking for donations to help with costs for animal care. (

The world’s first liligers are thought by animal handlers to have been born in Russia last year

These liligers - born to a male lion and a female liger - are the first of their kind to be born inside the US

According to the zoo, parents Simba and Akara were raised together and that is why they mated

Liger Akara mothered the liligers, who join a group of tiligers - crossed between a male tiger and female liger

This lion, Simba, is the father of the triplets, who were born in November at the Oklahoma zoo




Never tell your wife about Taj Mahal


aj Mahal is regarded as one of the eight wonders of the world, and some Western historians have noted that its architectural beauty has never been surpassed. The Taj is the most beautiful monument built by the Mughals, the Muslim rulers of India. Taj Mahal is built entirely of white marble. Its stunning architectural beauty is beyond adequate description, particularly at dawn and sunset. The Taj seems to glow in the light of the full moon. On a foggy morning, the visitors experience the Taj as if suspended when viewed from across the Jamuna River. Taj Mahal was built by a Muslim Emperor, Shah Jahan who died in 1666 C.E. in the memory of his dear wife and Queen, Mumtaz Mahal at Agra, India. Queen Mumtaz was believed to have borne 11 children for her husband. It is an “elegy in marble” or some say an expression of a “dream.” Taj Mahal (meaning Crown Palace) is a Mausoleum that houses the grave of Queen Mumtaz Mahal at the lower chamber. The grave of Shah Jahan was added to it later. The queen’s real name was Arjumand Banu. Taj Mahal was constructed over a period of twenty-two years, employing twenty thousand workers. It was completed in 1648 C.E. at a cost of 32 Million Rupees. The construction documents show that its master architect was Ustad ‘Isa, the renowned Islamic architect of his time. Expert craftsmen from Delhi, Qannauj, Lahore, and Multan were employed. In addition, many renowned Muslim craftsmen from Baghdad, Shiraz and Bukhara worked on many specialized tasks. The entire mausoleum (inside as well as outside) is decorated with inlaid design of flowers and calligraphy using precious gems such as agate and jasper. The main archways, chiseled with passages from the Holy Qur’an and the bold scroll work of flowery pattern, give a captivating charm to its beauty. The central domed chamber and four adjoining chambers include many walls and panels of Islamic decoration. The Taj Mahal is considered to be the greatest architectural achievement in the whole range of Indo-Islamic architecture. Its recognised architectonic beauty has a rhythmic combination of solids and voids, concave and convex and light shadow; such as arches and domes further increases the aesthetic aspect. The colour combination of lush green scape reddish pathway and blue sky over it showcases the monument in ever changing tints and moods. The relief work in marble and inlay with precious and semi precious stones make it a monument apart. Taj Mahal represents the finest architectural and artistic achieve-

ment through perfect harmony and excellent craftsmanship in a whole range of Indo-Islamic sepulchral architecture. It is a masterpiece of architectural style in conception, treatment and execution and has unique aesthetic qualities in balance, symmetry and harmonious blending of various elements. Integrity is maintained in the intactness of tomb, mosque, guest house, main gate and the whole Taj Mahal complex. The physical fabric is in good condition and structural stability, nature of foundation, verticality of the minarets and other constructional aspects of Taj Mahal have been studied and continue to be monitored. To control the impact of deterioration due for atmospheric pollutants, an air control monitoring station is installed to constantly monitor air quality and control decay factors as they arise. In addition, future development for tourist facilities will need to ensure that the functional and visual integrity of the property is maintained, particularly in the relationship with the Agra Fort. The Taj Mahal, an immense mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage. It no doubt partially owes its renown to the moving circumstances of its construction. Shah Jahan, in order to perpetuate the memory of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631, had this funerary mosque built. The Darwaza, the majestic main gateway, is a large threestorey red sandstone structure, completed in 1648, with an octagonal central chamber with a vaulted roof and with smaller rooms on each side. The gateway consists of lofty central arch with two-storeyed wings on either side. The walls are inscribed with verses from the Qu’ran in Arabic in black calligraphy. The small domed pavilions on top are Hindu in style and signify royalty. The gate was originally lined with silver, now replaced with copper, and decorated with 1,000 nails whose heads were contemporary silver coins. The Taj Mahal’s pure white marble shimmers silver in the moonlight, glows softly pink at dawn, and at close of day reflects the fiery tints of the setting Sun. the Taj also hosts the most exquisite shops in India which makes it a tourist hub. From an octagonal tower in the Agra Fort across the River Yamuna, Shah Jahan spent his last days as a prisoner of his son and usurper to the empire, Aurangzeb, gazing at the tomb of his beloved Mumtaz, a sure reason you must not tell your wife about Taj Mahaj, except you can cope.

Panoramic view of Taj Mahal

Side view of Taj Mahal

Interior view of Taj Mahal

Compiled by MIRIAM HUMBE




Royal blue on silver; so grand and formal


his romantic colour scheme aptly portrays the magic of a dark blue evening sky speckled with sparkling silver and white stars. The combination of royal blue, silver and white is ultimately grand and formal, while the white elements of your accessories and attire will soften the effect, rounding it off perfectly.

Pots & Pans PAGE 30



[beans pudding]

With Hajiya Ramatu Usman Dorayi

Ingredients: Beans flour Kuka Kanwa Grounded pepper Oil Salt Preparation: Wash your hands. Pour 2 cups of beans flour in bowl. Add half a cup of kuka and 3 table spoons of potash [kanwa]. Mix into a smooth paste dough. Boil hot water and use your hand to drop the dough in ball shapes into the hot water and allow boiling for about 12 minutes. To serve, pour away the boiled water, and allow danwake to cool for three minutes. Pour oil, grounded pepper, salt and cooking cubes and mix. Some people add lemon, (lemun tsamiyar).

Beans porridge

Cabbage juice


Cabbage juice

hile cabbage is usually fill the blender. Add some a food that is more than of the distilled water to apcringe worthy, it’s not proximately the 2/3 mark on without its benefits. It’s wellthe blender. Blend on high known as an anti-inflammatory speed for one minute or unand a source of lactic acid, maktil completely blend. ing it a common natural treatRepeat the process with ment for gastritis and intestinal two more batches. Pour into afflictions. It also has a reputabowls, cover with plastic tion for fighting the good fight wrap and let stand at room against cancer and heart disease. temperature for three days. It has long been known to setAfter three days the cultle digestion problems and help tured cabbage juice will be heal ulcers. There is an easy way ready to drink. Strain it first to keep your refrigerator stocked to separate the liquid and Fresh cabbage is credited with me- the pulp; throw the pulp with this healthy juice. dicinal properties Pin It away and put the liquid in the refrigerator. Ingredients: Repeat the process when the first batch • 3 cups (675 g) chopped green cabbage starts to get low. This time, put 1/2 cup from • 1 3/4 cups (435 ml) water the original batch into the new batch. This Preparation: speeds the culturing process, and this batch Wash and chop enough of the cabbage to will be ready to drink in only one day.




Plight of the Nigerian woman, by Shekarau


ay we know madam?



My. Name is Hauwa Shekarau; the National President of FIDA in Nigeria. FIDA is a Spanish acronym for the International Federation of women lawyers.

How would you compare the rights of the Nigerian woman with those of other women from developed countries. As a Christian I know that when God created the man and the woman; he created them equally. Though he created the man first after which he created the woman to be a help mate unto him, but it is quite clear that he created them both as humans. However, the European woman has a better privilege than her counterparts in Nigeria. Though the lot of the women in this countries may not have reached the Ideal situation, it is certainly better than that of the woman in Nigeria. There are a number of laws in these countries that are not practicable in the countries in question. Take for example the case of marital rape which is a crime in most of these European countries. In developed countries a man cannot have sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent just because he is her husband. In Nigeria, on the other hand there is no such thing as a marital rape. The moment a woman has given her consent to marry a man it means that she has consented even to the most derogatory demands from him. Not regarding the fact that such could be injurious to the woman. Also the woman in most of these developed countries is more financially empowered then the Nigerian woman. Even in African countries, Nigerian women rank lower than most of their counterparts in terms of gender disparity with their male counterparts It would interest you to note that in countries like Ruanda, Uganda, Botswana, South Africa women fare better than their counterparts here in Nigeria. In Uganda women are allowed to aspire for political positions as a result of Affirmative action. Here in Nigeria, the story is quite different. We have been clamouring for the government to entrench the affirmative action to bridge the gap between the position of men and women in governance. But that has not happened. Although when you consider the position and status of the Nigerian woman in 1960, or even two decades ago to that of the woman in the present Day Nigeria, then you would indeed say that the Nigerian woman has improved in status gradually. But considering the fact that we have given ourselves the exulted position of been the giant of Africa, we must realise also that there is much to be expected in terms of the treatment meted on the average Nigerian woman, compared to her likes even in other African countries. Research has shown that most of the victims of violence against women are usually assaulted by close relatives; what is your take on that? Yes I agree with you that there has been various reports about women been sexually assaulted by their close relatives In fact in my capacity as the National President of Fida I have seen several cases of women who have been assaulted not by strangers, but by their close relatives. The cases of strangers committing this act is always rare. You would have gotten over ten cases of women been abused by


iolence against women is a crime that cuts across different segments of the society in various ways. Over the years Nigerian women have done their best to improve upon their social, as well as legal status. In this interview with Evelyn Okakwu the National President of the international Federation of women lawyers, Nigeria speaks on some of the challenges faced by the Nigerian woman and the possible ways to avoid such challenges. has given her consent willingly. How has the government fared in eliminating of this menace in your opinion? I would commend the efforts of the government to the effect that it has succeeded in the signing of some international treatise aimed at eliminating the menace. But we must take cognisance of the fact that before these international treatise can become effective they have to pass through the normal process of law making in Nigeria, which is what is referred to as domestication. Until that is done, the Nigerian woman will remain unable to enjoy the benefits provided by that international treaty. So as it stands, Nigeria is like a country merely paying lip service to this treatise Also section 55 of the Nigerian Penal code also allows a man to chastise his wife to correct her provided he does not cause her grevious bodily harm. That provision of the law sees a woman as a child who is liable to be chastised by her husband where she does wrong but the man is above correction. When he goes wrong their is no one to chastise him. A closer look at the section in the penal code will disclose that the man can beat up his wife based on that provision of the constitution; a man can beat up his wife thoroughly. Provided he does not cause her to loose her limb or her eye, as the case may be. For a government that wants to secure the rights of the Nigerian woman I must say that such a provision is an aberration and should be expunged without delay.

Ms Hauwa Shekarau acquaintances before coming across that of a stranger abusing a woman, Now haven said that it is also necessary to note that sexual violence is a crime that is often perpetrated in the secrete. More often than not it involves a whole planning process. It is a premeditated Act. It is not a the kind of act that one would plan to do with the company or with the partnership of a stranger it must involve a well known partner. Does that mean therefore that the crime has nothing to do with the perpetrator’s level of respect or otherwise, for the woman? I think it goes a little beyond share disrespect but has more to do with a power tussle. If you take the picture of the scene of rape for example, you would discover that the person or group of persons involved are usually on an opposite stand. One is dominating the other. It happens because a party in the act is compelled to submit either forcefully or with the use of other illegal means. Sexual violence has over time been proven to be a power tussle. An act that takes place mostly because the person dominating in the act wants to proof his strength. This is mostly displayed with the use of fear, torture or other negative influence. Sometimes even when the victim gives her consent out of fear that a refusal to yield may lead to greater danger, the act has been committed even

though the victim may not object at the moment when the act is perpetrated. Take the case of a lecturer and his female student for example, the lecturer knows he has a stake in the students forward movement and he decides to use it against the woman for selfish reasons I think the first step is for the woman to be smart, disciplined and make use of the law enforcement agencies around. I remember a case that took place during my school days. When a girl was been abused by a lecturer. She went to the law enforcement agencies and together, they came up with a plan to make credible evidence against the man. Fortunately for the girl, the man fell into the trap and that turned out to be the girl’s saving grace. The man was eventually expelled and the young lady got vindicated. Do you think the case of such violence between the man and the woman has more to do with the man than the woman? I must state here that a lot of young ladies are actually to blame for this problem in schools. They will not read their books, but prefer to go about having fun rather than minding their businesses in school. Yet at the end of the day they just want to excel after writing their exams. What this does is that it makes them prone to all forms of abuses. As a matter of fact the nature of some of this cases in tertiary institutions makes it worthy of note that the woman has not been abused because she

But a lot of women still prefer to stay in their marriage despite these issues, do you think they feel as bad? The problem is that we live in a society where a woman is respected only because she is married. It’s a social problem. Though in resent times the trend is becoming better; in the past a woman was merely dependent on her husband for financial empowerment but that trend is gradually taking a new turn because women lately are becoming great bread winners so the tendency to be exploited based on certain prerogative of the man is reducing. How about women who may want to leave but are scared for certain reasons? I would like to state here that marriage is based on equal consent of both parties. Where such does not exist the marriage is headed for the rock. Also some people may want to go out of the marriage but may be facing certain challenges and that is what FIDA is here for. Our goal is to fight for women who may be in danger but are afraid to fight for themselves or to protect themselves. We help them deal with the situation. We provide the necessary succour for women who need legal backing in their relationships.




Ukeme’s hunting expedition


keme was a little boy who lived with his parents in Ikonneme, a village in Abey Kingdom which was very close to the other end of Calabar town. He was a diligent boy. Every morning when he woke up from sleep, he would roll away his mat from the floor. He would sweep the floor of the hut and the entire compound; he helped with the washing of the plates used for dinner of the previous night. And while his mother prepared their breakfast, he would ensure that he released the fowls from their cage and the goats from their pen so that they can go about looking for what to eat. They had two dogs in the compound called Jack and Tiger which usually accompanied Ukeme’s father on hunting most nights. They were very brutal dogs which every child in the village was afraid of. But the dogs were friendly with Ukeme because they knew him very well. He also saw to the feeding of the two dogs. Ukeme’s father was a hunter. His name was Akan. Often when he got a good kill from his hunting, he would bring it home and share the bush meats among all his neighbors. Then he would carry what was left to the market to sell. Ukeme’s mother sold petty items like crayfish, ground pepper and salt in a shed in front of her hut. Every school day when the other children were going to school, Ukeme would put on his shirt and follow them even though he was not a pupil of the village primary school. His parents could not afford the payment to enroll him. He would tell them funny stories on their way to school. The school children liked Ukeme so much and always wanted him to come to school with them. But the headmaster often drove him back home because he was not registered. Ukeme made friends with most of the school pupils so he could learn from them what they had learnt in school. ‘Father I would like to go to school like the other kids.’ He told his father one day. ‘My son, all fingers are not equal.’ His father replied. ‘Father, but I have learnt that I won’t be able to do too well without sound education. That is why I want, so much, to go to school.’ ‘Ukeme, there are different kinds of education; the white man’s education and our traditional education. I will teach you the latter if you cannot get the former.’ He held his son close. ‘How about me teaching you the ways of the jungle so that you can become a great hunter like me?’ ‘I will appreciate that.’ ‘Don’t you worry. You will get to learn there is so much out there in the jungle that is very relevant in our day to day life. You will become a great man.’ That was how Ukeme began to learn from his father the rudiments of

hunting. The first being never telling anyone what he saw in the forest at night. Some nights he would go with him into the forest to hunt. This was not ideal and Nne, Ukeme’s mother tried to object. But his father was determined in giving his son the only training he could since he could not afford a formal education for him. One night, as they set out to go hunting, Akan called his son while checking to ensure that his hunter lamp was well saddled on his head. ‘My son there is something I want to tell you.’ ‘What is it father?’ Ukeme asked. ‘If you must be a very good hunter,

firstly you must never say the things you see in the forest to anyone. Then you must be very wise, patient and meticulous.’ ‘Father you have told me that again and again. But what is meticulous?’ ‘It means paying attention to details; overlooking nothing.’ ‘Hmm, and why should I not say the things I see in the forest to anyone?’ ‘People will simply conclude that you are strange. ‘Out there in the jungle everything counts. Every little detail, every little sound. The animals are very clever out there. You just have to be able to outsmart them or you won’t return

Ukeme, there are different kinds of education; the white man’s education and our traditional education. I will teach you the latter if you cannot get the former.’

home alive. ‘It sounds scary. I am scared.’ ‘Don’t be scared. Remember I am with you.’ They went ahead into the forest that night with the two dogs leading the way. Ukeme was armed with a catapult and his father was carrying his gun. A goat skin bag was hanging on his broad shoulder. After many hours in the in the forest, with the cold piercing through their skins, and the darkness straining their eyes, they still had not hunted down any game. This was very unusual as Akan was a skillful hunter and his dogs and been well trained in hunting. The night was unusually calm with no animal in sight. This was so strange. They hadn’t even spotted any animal. On a normal hunting event, even if he had not gotten any kill of so many hours, his dog would have gotten down enough squirrels, grasscutter, marmot and other edible rodents. But that particular night they had not as much as chased after any such games. At such unusually hunting expedition, Akan usually held on to patience. He had taught Ukeme that patience was the surest weapon of a hunter. He urged his son to follow quietly further into the forest. They went on and on not knowing when they walked into the forest of the spirits. Just as they crossed their human boundary which was marked by a huge but inconspicuous iroko tree which ordinary eyes could not easily see, something strange happened. The silence of the night suddenly changed into a piercing cacophony of every forest sound. The whistling of the cold breeze; the mixture of every animal cry; the rushing sound of a million waterfalls together with an eerie laughter of the spirits of the forest. The sounds echoed louder and louder and Ukeme and his father could not stand it. They covered their ears with their hands to save them from the tingling noise. Their dogs scampered back out of sight. Ukeme was scared. ‘Father,’ he called out, ‘Let’s get out of here.’ From nowhere appeared many fairies led by a beautiful lady with long dark hair that reach down to her waist. She was more beautiful than any woman they have seen. She had the size of a human and not that of a fairy. So she looked bigger than the other fairies. All of the smaller fairies were dutifully attending to her because she was the fairy princess of the forest of the spirits. Some were making up her face, others were treating her hair. Even as she approached Ukeme and his father, they were attending to her pedicure and manicure. Ukeme was scared because the lady and her fairies were not walking like humans. They were floating as they moved towards them. To be continued……




Dayo and Odun Aluko’s love story


ow they met On Wednesday the 14th of Nov 2007 at a departmental symposium in Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife, the paths of two people crossed; apart from being in the same department, they were also both class governors. Dayo who was in his final year had seen Odun a couple of times, but they had never spoken to each other. After the programme, they bumped into each other on the way out and happened to be going in the same direction. That evening they talked from 5pm and didn’t realise when the clock struck 11pm. Dayo had to spend the night at a friend’s house nearby. From that moment on, they shared what Dayo describes as “mental attraction”. They had a lot of common interests. Their friendship started with the big brother- little sister relationship, to the school father- school daughter twist. He constantly gave her tips on how to survive OAU (of course while keeping his real game plan to himself) eventually, they grew on each other. The couple speak on the first impression: Odun: He was a nice guy. Someone I could confide in and look to for direction. I also saw him as a good leader. Dayo: She struck me as someone with a good heart, well brought up, with a very “teachable” personality. You might ask, love at first sight? Attraction, yes. Love no!

she didn’t swallow it! Then I asked her to marry me and in the midst of the shock she said yes. I couldn’t go down on my knees because her legs trembled in shock and I had to support her . Odun: If he had proposed on the anniversary of our first

Toasting and Courting: Dayo: After being friends for a while Dayo and Odun Aluko I felt it was time to take things a notch higher. I was to leave school soon, so I asked her if my graduation would be “the end of the book or the end of a chapter.” Odun: I opted to end the chapter. I found the “book/chapter” line witty and very funny. Many chapters after, here we are. We had our first date was at Spices in New Buka, OAU. It went really well. We courted for about five years and eventually got married exactly five years and three days after first speaking to each other. While we were courting, when we have issues, we mostly settled through no holds barred face to face discussions. We do not involve third parties no matter what.

Proposal: Dayo: I never had any doubts about her all through while we were courting. There was a day she said to me “Dayo we are in this together we would succeed together” At that point I knew she was my wife. Odun: He had always been my guide and always pushed me to succeed. He has always been heaven made for me and I trust him. I proposed to her on my birthday; 12th June 2011.I was hanging out with my brothers at their house and Odun was around. She was oblivious of what I was up to. In the midst of all the merriment, I played our song (Julio Iglesias’s version of “I can’t help falling in love with you”); I held her close as we slow danced to the song. Naturally we shared a kiss. I had the engagement ring in my mouth all the while and I passed it to her. Thank God

kids would come first. This made the transition f r o m

If he had proposed on the anniversary of our first meeting, I would have suspected because I felt it was about the time he popped the question. Proposing on his birthday took me totally off guard. I love the method he came up with. It was very intimate, private and different.

meeting, I would have suspected because I felt it was about the time he popped the question. Proposing on his birthday took me totally off guard. I love the method he came up with. It was very intimate, private and different. I was in total shock and I could barely stand. He had to support me though I didn’t get to see him go down one knee. How did you feel about giving up the perks/independence that comes with being a bachelor/spinster? Odun: I gave up being all about myself and became more selfless .I told myself that marriage is not a prison or bondage and that with understanding and love everything would be fine. Dayo:I had tuned my mind to the fact that I can’t hang out with the boys as often, and also that my wife and future

bachelorhood to marriage easy for me. I gave up night crawling and I have become more analytical reacting to some and not everything. The wedding: The wedding preparations started about six months after we got engaged. Our parents accepted and respected our choices without any hassles .The planning period was one of self discovery and sacrifice. It was hectic but we had a fair idea of what we wanted our wedding to look like so that was a guide. In all the planning phase got us closer in a different way. Making decisions, meetings with vendors etc. It was a real display of team work and it really put paid to any doubts we nursed. For the couple, the major concern was how the wedding would go.

I never doubted or had jitters before the marriage. They had about 700 guests at the wedding. How did you feel when you heard the words ‘I do’? Odun: I felt fulfilled. Dayo: I felt reborn and really good. Honeymoon We spent our honeymoon in Ghana. It was for one week. Some of the sights and places we visited were Elmina castle, Aburi botanical garden, The suspended bridge, Akosombo lake, Labadi beach, Mokola market, Kwame Nkruma Memorial park. Life after the honeymoon so far has been good and we try to take it all in as reminders in future to always help refresh the marriage. We joke about telling ourselves in 10 years time “do you remember when.....” Advice: Odun: Marriage is a beautiful thing. A lot of people run away from it because of the fear of giving up their freedom and independence, but a little sacrifice here and compromise there, the sky is the limit. Dayo: marry your friend, someone you feel very comfortable with. Nollywood and novels are premeditated. Never use them as yardsticks for what a marriage or partner should be. Be mindful of what you expect from marriage. Getting married does not solve your problems however marriage provides a platform to share your life and all it entails with someone who means the world to you.



Entertainment Xtra My sickness is spiritual, 80 million property not for medical bill – Veteran Fuji artist, Kollington Ayinla


eteran Fuji artist, KollingtonAyinla popularly called 'Kebe N Kwara' is having some tough time in his health and finances. The Fuji icon is battling ulcer and typhoid fever and has been in and out of the hospital for several months. After spending his fortune on the strange illness, Ayinla admitted to Encomium magazine that his sickness is spiritual in nature. He has since put his mansion in Alagbado area of Lagos state Nigeria on sale for 80 million naira. A couple of months back, it was reported that you were seriously ill. They even said it was a strange ailment and that you were hospitalized in a private hospital. What is the true situation of your health? What happened was that most of your people don't do their investigations very well before writing their stories. I left hospital a long time before they reported that I was sick. They even said a governor's wife visited me at the hospital and when she was leaving her car killed somebody along Lagos Abeokuta Expressway and many other things that are not true, I had left the hospital for about two months now. Even the day the story came out I was not around, I was in Osogbo, Osun state performing at an event alongside MusiliuHarunaIshola. The effect of this is that if anybody wanted to invite such an artiste for a show, they would consider meticulously because they may also believe the person was truly sick. That's unfair. But were you not truly sick then? Nobody is above sickness. And the body also needs rest. Anybody can fall sick at anytime, including the doctors taking care of the sick. So, what are we saying? I was sick but I was already out of the hospital, going about my normal duties as a musician before they reported that I was not feeling fine. Do I look sick? Definitely, no. What was the nature of the sickness? I had ulcer and typhoid. How many days did you spend in the hospital? I spent up to two weeks. Which hospital was that? That's Hamkad Hospital, AbuleEgba, Lagos. Who were the people that came to your aid? A lot of people. I am using this medium to say a big thank you to them all. But I must specially thank Governor BabatundeRajiFashola for his support. He was the first person WasiuAyinde (K1 de Ultimate) rushed to and informed him of my health

Kollington Ayinla situation. And immediately, the governor responded very well. K1 also called on Governor RaufAregbesola in Osun State. Immediately the governor was told about my condition, he quickly sent money to me. I really appreciate what Governor Fashola and his counterpart in Osun, Aregbesola did for me. May God continue to be with them. And equally, K1 de Ultimate really tried for me. If not for his effort, these two governors wouldn't have known anything. He called and told them I must not die. They should do everything within their means to rescue me, and they surprised me. I pray God will be with WasiuAyinde as well in all his endeavour.

But we learnt it was a strange ailment and not all that medical… (Cuts in )Yes, it's a strange ailment. It's spiritual. That's the best way of describing it. But I thank God I am still alive. My health condition then was worsened by the poor economic situation of Nigeria, nothing is working. Everything is paralysed. I kept thinking to the extent that I wanted to sell my property. If the government had not turned everything upside down, people like myself are not supposed to be suffering likes this. And the irony is that most of these people in government were not that bad before coming to power. It's only after getting there that they turned oth-

erwise. We pray that they change and remember the day of accountability. At times, I wonder if this wasn't the same Nigeria. Even when Babangida was there, things were very much better. I released a lot of albums to inform Nigerians about the happenings in the country and even beyond. In an ideal society, the government owes people like us a great responsibility. It was reported days back that you have put this mansion for sale, how true is it? It's true. When you don't have money, you use whatever you have to get what you want. I don't have money, and I need money. I can't just be looking at the building, I can't eat it. I need to convert it to money. But not the whole property that I want to sell. It's just this uncompleted structure directly opposite us (show reporter the building). I need to make that clarification so that people out there won't be misinformed. I am only selling part and not all the property here. This is where I live. How long have you been working on the house before you decided to sell it? I have been building if for about 14 years. Had it been I am financially okay, I should have finished it. I am tired of falling sick all the time. Let me sell my property and have money to do other things. I also want government to assist me; I don't want to be suffering in silence. So, you're still interested in selling it? It's worth N80 million now What do you intend to do with the money? I will use part of the money to build another small bunga-

low within this compound. I will demarcate the place. Also, I will invest the rest of the money in a business that will be generating more money for me. If you can recall, in 1984, I established Kollington Fish Depot, at Adura Bus Stop, Lagos Abeokuta Expressway, Lagos. Everything was okay then but later I took ill. It was so bad that I had to sell the depot to take care of health then. May God save us from domestic antagonism. Lets agree that your sickness has been spiritual all this while, what have you been doing to address it? I put everything in the Hands of God. Also, I don't relent because if you're being chased by a masquerade, you keep running. That's why I am crying out loud and clear so that whoever God has sent to me can help me. I can't continue to be hiding my broken hand. Did you inform your children of the decision to sell the property? Yes, they are aware of my decision but there is nothing they can do about it. Most of them are in United States of America. They are all in school. It's after their education that they can start working. They all supported that I should sell it and spend money on whatever I like. There is problem all over. It's because I voiced out, that's why you have the privilege of knowing all these. A lot of people face tougher times than I do but they don't want their situation known to the public. As for me, I can't be suffering and smiling at the same time. Whatever people like, let them say.

Katy Perry, John Mayer debut 'Who you love' music video


he couple stopped by “Good Morning America” for their first televised interview together, premiering the clip for their duet. “You love who you love,” sing John Mayer and Katy Perry in their new single together, and their new video revealed that “who you love” is someone with whom you’re willing to ride -- and fall off -- a mechanical bull. The two stopped by Good Morning America to debut their music video for “Who You Love,” which shows couples riding mechanical bulls in slow motion. Mayer and Perry also saddle up in front of falling fireworks, and sing to each other throughout the video. The appearance marked their first television interview together. “We don’t know exactly what kind of body language we’re supposed to be exhibiting at the moment,” joked Mayer of the onscreen nuances. “You get too close, it’s a little too touchy-feely, and then you get too far, they say, ‘I don’t see chemistry.’” Perry added, “They’ll see chemistry in the video.” Of the track off Mayer’s latest album, Paradise Valley, Mayer said he had the chorus of “permission” in his head for years. He played it for producer Don Was, who suggested Perry add her vocals. At first, Mayer admits he was hesitant, but, “The more I thought about just the music part, it made sense; even if I didn’t know Katy, it would’ve made perfect sense.” Still, the opportunity to sing “Who You

Love” with the ones they love adds something special, they both said. “It is a pretty big moving target to be couple and have a song, but I think there’s an authenticity to it,” said Mayer, while Perry said, “It transcends us; it’s more about the message of the song.” Mayer also spoke about wrapping his first tour after his throat injury, and Perry shared her schedule as a newly-appointed UNICEF Good-

will ambassador. Off screen, the two took a photo with Will Ferrell and Baxter the dog from Anchorman 2, who were also in the GMAstudio. The couple revealed their “Who You Love” single cover art earlier this month, shot by Mario Sorrentiand featuring Perry in a slip, lying on a velvet couch with her arm around a casually dressed Mayer, who is sitting on the floor and playing a guitar.




Timberlake, Beyonce have year's top iTunes albums


pple has announced that the diva's selftitled album is only behind Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience." Beyonce's fifth album sold more than 617,000 units in three days. Albums from Imagine Dragons, Jay Z and Drake round out the top 5. Macklemore& Ryan Lewis have the top-sell-

ing song with "Thrift Shop." Their hit, "Can't Hold Us," placed fifth. Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons and Pink's "Just Give Me a Reason" ranked second, third and fourth, respectively. "Skyfall" is the year's top-selling movie and "Breaking Bad" is the leading TV show.

I wanted to quit acting Bradley Cooper


merican Hustle, Bradley Cooper told GQ that he considered quitting acting while struggling early in his career. The actor - who would go on to become an A-lister said his decision changed following his breakout role in 2009 ‘The Hangover’. According to him, “I became frustrated and disillusioned while working as a struggling actor on Alias as my role on the J.J. Abrams TV series was reduced. “I would only work three days a week,” the American Hustle star said in the January issue of GQ. “And then for the second season, I got even more sidelined. I was like, ‘Ugh.’ And then next thing you know, I was like, ‘I want to fucking kill myself.’ ” Despite having another job lined up, he asked to be written off the show, against the advice of his friends and handlers. “J.J. was like, ‘OK,’” Cooper said. “He probably would’ve fired me, anyway.” “If I continued it, I was really going to sabotage my whole life,” he tells GQ, adding: “I think work was getting fed up. The one thing that I’ve learned in life is the best thing

I can do, to embrace who I am and then do that to the fullest extent, and then whatever happens. The more steps I do to not do that, the farther I am away from fulfilling any potential I would have.” “I was doing these movies, and I got to meet Sandra Bullock and meet these people and work with them. And I’m sober, and I’m like, ‘Oh, I’m actually myself. And I don’t have to put on this air to be somebody else, and this person still wants to work with me? Oh, what is that about?’ I was rediscovering myself in this workplace, and it was wonderful.”

Summit sets release dates for 'Allegiant,' 'Gods of Egypt,' 'Step up all in'


he third film based on Veronica Roth's books and the Greek mythology picture will both hit theaters in 2016. Lionsgate's Summit announced release dates for three of its upcoming projects: ‘Step Up All In’, ‘Gods of Egypt’ and ‘Allegiant’. Step up All In, the next installment in the popular dance franchise, will open in theaters on July 25, 2014. The 3D film will star Step Up regulars Ryan Guzman, Briana Evigan, Stephen “tWitch” Boss and Misha Gabriel.Trish Sie is helming the pic. The Step Up franchise began in 2006. Step Up All In will be the fifth film in the franchise. The pic will open against Paramount's Hercules pic, which stars Dwayne Johnson and is directed by Brett Ratner. Summit slated both period epic Gods of Egypt and YA adaption Allegiant for release in 2016. God of Egypt, starring Gerard Butler, Geoffrey Rush and NikolajCoster-Waldau, will hit theaters on Feb. 12, 2016. Butler plays Set, the merciless god of darkness, who has usurped Egypt’s throne. Bek (BrentonThwaites), a defiant mortal, enlists the aid of the powerful god Horus (Coster-Waldau) in an unlikely alliance against the evil overlord. Alex Proyas directed the pic. Currently Universal's Untitled Illumination Entertainment project is also slated for release on that February date. Allegiant, the third film based on the hit YA novel by Veronica Roth, will open in theaters on March 18, 2016. The first film in the series, titled Divergent, will hit theaters March 21, 2014, and the second, Insurgent, will come to theaters on March 20, 2015. The films star Shailene Woodley and Theo James. The story is set in a futuristic North America where people are divided into groups based on the traits they most value. Woodley and James, play two young people who join the "Dauntless" group, which is considered the bravest group of people in the society.




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LETTERS By Tayo Ogunbiyi


hief Olusegun Obasanjo, aka OBJ, Nigerian former military Head of State and two-term civilian President, is again living up to the image of an unofficial watchdog of the country, which he had carved for himself. His recent, widely publicized stinker to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, aka, GEJ, simply follows the tradition of numerous others he had written to successive Heads of State in the country in the past. Former Presidents Shehu Shagari, Ibrahim Babangida, Sani Abacha and Umar Yar’ Adua have had to contend with the venomous pen of OBJ at one time or the other. On the recent “pen bombing” of GEJ by OBJ, one would like to state that OBJ is not saying anything new. It is obvious that GEJ is apparently overwhelmed by the enormity of the challenge of governing a nation as complex as Nigeria. There seems to be a dearth of wellarticulated policies and programmes that could bring about the much needed succour for the masses. What we seem to be seeing is an uncoordinated form of governance. On the issue of corruption, except for his hypocritical followers, whose gods are their bellies, it is quite obvious that the GEJ administration is yet to demonstrate that it has the much needed political will to decisively tackle corruption in high places .The recent aviation scandal suffices. Till date, the report of the administrative panel set up by the presidency to probe the scandal is yet to see the light of the day. Perhaps, the most dastardly act a government could commit is to shield corrupt public officials. On the issue of ethnicity and tribalism raised by OBJ in his lethal missive to GEJ, one has also had to express such concerns. Suddenly, ethnic and tribal sentiments are taking centre-stage, like never before, in our country. While it is true that every man, first and foremost, belongs to a ethnic group on the ground of birth, it is equally true, and importantly so, that in a multifaceted and intrinsically complex nation like Nigeria, the presidency must not be seen to be either overtly or covertly fanning the ember of tribalism. Having said all these, however, one would like to state that OBJ is a fundamental part of the whole problem our nation is presently grappling with.


Peoples Daily Weekend welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed to: The Editor, Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. Email: For one, OBJ practically foisted GEJ on Nigerians like he did the late Shehu Umar Yar’Adua. Twice, OBJ had actively participated in the process that produced our leaders, and twice, his choices have left the nation in very precarious situations. The needless crisis occasioned by the health challenges of late President Umar Yar’Adua is still fresh in our memories. Against all calculations and popular anticipations, OBJ was reported to have imposed GEJ as the running mate to the late President Umar Yar’Adua in the run up to the 2007 presidential election. The rest, as they say, is now history. Insinuations have been made in certain quarters that OBJ vigorously supported both late President Yar’Adua and GEJ for selfish reasons. Those who made this allusion based their argument on the premise that OBJ saw in both of them, weak characters who he could exercise unrestricted control over. He, probably, saw in their personalities, character flaws he could latch on to indirectly hold on to power by being the power behind the throne. Unfortunately, while it may be true that the two personalities might not really look like their own men, OBJ could not really achieve his objective because his supposed ‘puppets’ were hijacked by other equally potent political interests and forces with similar goals. Seeing that his anointed ones were defying his authorities,

OBJ suddenly became an Apostle of the good of the nation. He fired a deadly salvo at the late Umar Yar’Adua in the wake of his mismanaged health crisis. Now, Jonathan is next on the firing line of this obviously angry Owu warrior. Like GEJ, OBJ has had his own fair share of opportunities to write his name in gold, but he wasted it. One is yet to see a Nigerian twice as lucky as OBJ. He never had the ambition to rule on the two occasions that fate beckoned on him to lead our nation. It was reported that he reluctantly agreed to mount the saddle after the death of his principal, late General Murtala Muhammad in 1976. With regards to his second coming, it allegedly took persuasions from certain ‘powerful’ individuals before he agreed to contest the 1999 general elections. Till date, aside OBJ, no other Nigerian has had the privilege of ruling the country for eleven years (1976-1979 and 1999-2007). Equally, no other Nigerian has missed the opportunity to be a national hero like OBJ. It was under his administration that the decay of federal infrastructure across the country got to an amazing height. It was, equally, under him that elections became a ‘do-or-die’ affair. The acts of impunity committed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under his administration was legendary. Though, he was a civilian ruler, OBJ ruled

in such a fashion that made people take him for a military dictator. Lagos State had a taste of this when it had a running battle with OBJ over seized local government funds. Yet, at the tail end of his rule, OBJ attempted to extend his hold on power. In his characteristic self-righteous posture, he was to later reveal that he would have had his tenure elongated if he had intimated God about it! What we need now is a conducive political environment and a united front to ensure that the country truly fulfills its potentials as the giant of Africa. We do not need the unnecessary distractions of men who are part of the reason why a famous writer alluded to this generation as a wasted one. Today, Nigeria is the sixth oil exporting nation in the world but could not fix her refineries. Ours remains a country where children jump and shout each time public power (electricity) is restored. In all honesty, our nation can do without the meddlesomeness of OBJ and his cotravelers, who erroneously believe that they have the magic wands to move the country forward. We have had enough of people like OBJ. He and his like should quietly enjoy their retirement and leave Nigeria alone. As for President Goodluck Jonathan, rather than resorting to desperate measures to perpetuate his Presidency, he should take a cue from the lives and times of the late Nelson Mandela, who shunned all divisive tendencies to reconcile his country to the path of unity and prosperity. GEJ should avoid, like a plague, hypocrites and charlatans who daily parade the corridor of powers to tell him lies for selfish reasons. These are the same people that told late General Abacha that he was the best. He should concentrate on doing all he could to genuinely move the country forward. He should toe the line of honesty, sincerity, transparency, forgiveness, love and patriotism. History beckons on GEJ and what history will say about him is determined by what he does now. Ogunbiyi writes from Ministry of Information and Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja




Lar: Shepherd boy destined to shepherd his people By Stephen O. Bamigbele


angtang – The sleeping town in the North of Plateau State never saw such a mammoth crowd of mourners. It was a harvest of tears, wailing, shouting and some jostling to touch the casket containing the remains of the illustrious and begotten son, the only Iroko tree in their forest, Chief SolomonDaushep Lar arrived for final burial. Thousands of mourners including President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, former Head of State Rt. General Yakubu Gowon and his wife, General T.Y. Danjuma former Minister of Defence, the Senate President and a host of leading PDP politicians led by the Chairman Alhaji BamangaTukur,captains of industry and members of various professional organizations were there to bid him their optimum farewell. Chief Solomon Lar was an erudite, astute and extra-ordinary politician that remained a titan and formidable bridge builder that linked the North and the South for many years so that Nigeria could remain a united entity. He saw tribalism as the biggest obstacle that could hinder the unity and progress of the country.

Chief Lar believed in “politics without bitterness.” He once said “I don’t believe that for one to be successful in politics, you have to kill your brother or your friend. So, also, to struggle for a high office by the use of force indicates meanness of spirit. I will never besmirch by political opponent.” Chief Solomon Lar started from a humble beginning as a rustic Sheppard Boy in a small Taarok community near Langtang, rearing his family’s flock. One day, he took this writer through his grazing route beginning from his farm house where he showed me a light wooden bed on which he slept without mattress. As a dashing upright and enterprising young man, he came into limelight when he was appointed a Junior Minister in the office of the late Prime Minister Alhaji TafawaBalewa. In 1966, the military overthrew the government of Alhaji TafawaBalewa in a bloody coup that claimed the lives of many leading politicians and top military officers. All the ministers who survived the coup went into hiding. The day after, I saw a taxi cab parkednear my office window with someone beckoning to me to come. It was my friend Solomon. “Take me to your house now,” he

ordered. My house was just 100 yards away to my office. After narrating his ordeals from Lagos to Jos we started to monitor the situation in the country through my radio, telephone contacts. One day after our meal Chief Lar, speaking with all seriousness, asked “where do I go from here? After a deep thought, I suggested that he should try and enroll in Nigerian Law School – then in Lagos to study Law. Although he bought the idea but we discussed the implications and the challenges involved.” We all agreed that he should go to discuss the issues involved with other friends and relations. At that time, his wife, now Professor Mary Lar, was the Principal of the Government’s

Girls Secondary School, Soba in Kaduna State. Chief Lar was given free accommodation for his family for the duration of his stay at the Law School Lagos by the present Shoun of Ogbomosho Oba OyewunmiJagungbade. After his graduation he set up a Law Chambers in Jos and groomed his son the late Barrister Stephen Lar to takeover when he went into politics and joined the Nigerian People’s Party (NPP). The late chief became a close Political Associate of the Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe the leader of the NPP whom he acclaimed to be his hero. Chief Lar detested ethnic chauvinism that could destroy the unity of the country. He was

Chief Solomon Lar was an erudite, astute and extra-ordinary politician that remained a titan and formidable bridge builder that linked the North and the South for many years so that Nigeria could remain a united entity.

in enigma, icon of emancipation, an extra-ordinary peace maker and bridge builder. The last public appearance of Chief Solomon Lar was sometime in September this year when he and Professor Jerry Gana led a delegation of Middle Belt Elders to President Jonathan to protest the non-payment of compensation to those whose churches and houses were burnt, during the April 2011 postpresidential election. Before his body was committed to mother Earth, President Jonathan paid glowing tributes to Solomon Lar who, he said, went into politics not to make money but to serve his people and emancipate them. Professor Mary Lar, his widow, told the gathering that before the demise of her husband, he held her hand and gave messages to Nigerians, Taarokcommunity, Plateau people and the PDP to remain as one. Chief Solomon Lar was dynamic, untainted and a political giant. He had taken his position among the very greatest before he died. Adieu S.D. You fought a good fight. May your soul rest in perfect peace. Bamigbele is former Associate Editor,New Nigerian Newspapers,Kaduna.

NASS and constitutional reform By Austin Asadu


ecently, a distinguished panel of constitutional scholars, legal experts and technocratic avatars gathered to brainstorm on the modalities and mechanisms of delivering a holistic constitutional reform process that would encompass the whole gamut of the Nigerian, social, political, cultural, religious and economic experience. This conference of Nigerian legal/constitutional apparatchiks had the likes Dr. Ishaya Habu, Dr. B.E. Mijah, Prof. B. Baker and Barr Oshunkoya based mainly in the Diaspora e.g. U.K, Canada, the U.S, South Africa & Hongkong converged in London to produce an academic journal titled: ‘Constitutional Reform in Nigeria: Issues, Perspectives, Challenges and Opportunities’ and dedicated to Alhaji Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa, the Clerk of the National Assembly. This book explores ‘the legal framework of constitutional development in Nigeria, with special attention to topical issues from a legal standpoint while bringing together selected random thoughts, ideas and opinions of ordinary citizens on the review process. This approach gives the opportunity to review the outside feel of the citizens on the review process’.

The contributing academic scholars and editorialists observed that: ‘in August 2010, this unwavering and undaunted administrator and visionary was made Clerk to the National Assembly of Nigeria. The gentleman had told his principal officers that he was only just beginning. And as part of the strategies for providing the critical support services and infrastructure for effective legislation, he reengineered the bureaucracy of the legislature focusing on human capital resource development, infrastructural development and the re-orientation of the work ethics of the staff of the National Assembly’. Moving to the critical issue of constitutional reform, the scholars, whose views do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the CNA, posited thus: ‘to ensure effective participation by the people, the Parliament and the mechanism for the review of or making of the constitution must accommodate the involvement of people at all levels who devote time to the process to deliberate on the content of the constitution. Parliament in the conduct of the process and in order to ensure that people participate in the process, should write and receive memoranda (oral and written), organize focused group

discussions, organize debates, conduct the business of the review process in local languages and also widely publicize the process to attract widespread participation’. They advised that ‘Parliament must act on the side of the people to ensure that the composition of the constitution making body reflects existing diversity such as language, religion, gender, ethnic groups etc. Where such diversity or any other manifestation of diversity is not reflected, the final document cannot claim to be ‘democratic, legitimate and reflective of the views of the majority of the people’. They observed that another vital role which parliament is expected to play in relation to the people in the process of constitution making is to ensure

that the process is transparent and open. There should be no ‘no-go areas’ ad no hidden agenda’. Also in order to ensure authenticity, parliament should ensure that the product of the process is annotated, published and widely distributed among the populace’. Accountability is another critical element in the process of constitution making, it requires that periodic report is made by the constitution making body to the parliament, or to the people as the case may be. On autonomy, Parliament was advised to play the role of ensuring that the body and process of constitution making is autonomous of and not dependent on government. Such a body as well as the process must also

Accountability is another critical element in the process of constitution making, it requires that periodic report is made by the constitution making body to the parliament, or to the people as the case may be.

be independent of government control. Parliament should enact an Act establishing the body and legitimizing the process. Such an Act should insulate the body and entire process from governmental control and influence legitimacy. It is the place of Parliament to ensure that whatever constitution the people will have to live under and obey enjoys popular recognition and acceptance. As part of the role of Parliament, there should be a national referendum to test the popularity and acceptability of the draft constitution. Such a draft constitution should enjoy at least 51% percent votes consenting to its suitability and adoption, they urged. As a whole the book, ‘Constitutional Reform in Nigeria Issues, Perspectives, Challenges and Opportunities is quite instructive, illuminating, timely, insightful and thought provoking and is indeed required reading for our policy makers, legislators, administrators, constitutional scholars, experts and the general public as the country contemplates another round of constitutional review, amendment, reform and national dialogue by whatever name ascribed. Austin Asadu, a public Affairs analyst, sent in this piece from Garki, Abuja



Comments Gulma Drone: A step towards technological advancement By Moshood Isah


t was all excitement as president Goodluck Jonathan unveiled the first indigenous unmanned aerial vehicle, UAV, named GULMA, built by the Nigerian Air Force in Kaduna. According to the president, the giant technological breakthrough of various sectors, particularly the Armed Forces, are pointers to the country’s potential for greater deeds. In his speech at the unveiling ceremony, President Jonathan said: “We must not forget the lesson of this encouraging moment in our nation’s history; that as Nigerians we are capable of great deeds. “In the same manner, we must not forget that ahead of us still lie challenges that we must surmount. We must, therefore, stay focused on our common national purpose. “Today marks another landmark moment in our nation’s history, as we gather here to witness the unveiling of our country’s first indigenous unmanned aerial vehicle, which has been designed and constructed by the Nigeria Air Force. Young officers from Nigerian Air Force School of Engineers, Aircraft Design Centre, Kaduna, dazzled the Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Ita Okon Bassey-Ewa when they displayed to him an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, UAV, referred to as drone, which could fly non-stop

for about four hours at 3000 feet. The drone was conceptualized, designed and built by them in Kaduna under the direct supervision of the Provost of the Nigerian Air Force, NAF Institute of Technology, Prof. Emmanuel Ezugwu. According to officials of the Institute, the drone’s empennage was about three meters while the wing span was about half a meter. The four officers, all Flight Lieutenants, said it was a threeyear effort in collaboration with Cranfield University of United Kingdom with funds from the Federal Government. The officers who asked that all the credit for the breakthrough be given to the Commandant of the school and Chief of Air Staff pleaded that their names be not mentioned in the press. Nigeria doesn’t lack in competent and skillful workforce who are ingenious in creative initiatives that can compete with the very best in the world, especially in the area of technological advancement. Though GULMA may be another creative ingenuity which dream is now being realized, similar innovations were celebrated but without further incentive or improvement on the initiatives. We are living witnesses to various innovations and inventions by Nigerians which unfortunately have not been nurtured to maturity. For instance just last year the international media were agog with the news

story of Nigerian girls who created a generator that produces electricity for six hours using a single liter of urine as fuel. Also about a decade ago a student of Bayero University, Kano modeled an aircraft though pint in size but awesome in concept. It is therefore cheering development that the latest locally made drone in the country is designed and built by young officers of the Nigerian Armed forces. This is a very good idea and more of this should be encouraged in the country as it will go a long way in yielding the fruits of science and technology in the country. It can be recalled that this initiative is not the first of its kind by the Nigerian Armed forces. The latest drone tagged “GULMA” is a notable improvement on the previous ones christened “Amebo 1 and 2”

respectively. Thus if the young inventors, both within and outside the armed forces get the right support and incentive, this kind of inventions will just be a stepping stone towards better things in the country. The pertinence of this new initiative cannot be overemphasized. Besides its diverse military application, unmanned aerial vehicle provides mankind with a range of benefits in disaster management, power line surveys, law enforcement, telecommunications, weather monitoring, and aerial imaging/mapping. It is also rapidly becoming an important tool in news coverage, environmental monitoring, and oil and gas exploration. It is also a step in the right direction in a bid to fight the insecurity situation of the country. More so, it may also attract foreign intelligenciers to

the country and thus also help instigate other form of initiatives to help fight crime and other prevailing insurgency in the country. In a nutshell, I want to laud the effort of the Nigerian Armed forces for its initiative towards bringing the nation in tandem with the developed nations when it comes to innovation via science and technology. This is despite their commitment and doggedness in the protection of the nation’s sovereignty against internal and external aggression. The force has also done a lot in keeping the nation abreast of current trends around the world of technology. This also serves as challenge to civilians and encouragement to budding inventors. Sapele street garki 2 Abuja

The latest drone tagged “GULMA” is a notable improvement on the previous ones christened “Amebo 1 and 2” respectively. Thus if the young inventors, both within and outside the armed forces get the right support and incentive, this kind of inventions will just be a stepping stone towards better things in the country.

Killing innocent soul by endless industrial strike By Labaran Saleh


t is unfortunate that immediately after the members of Academic Union of Universities (ASUU) called off their 5 month old strike which had demoralised and invariable demoted most innocent students for another academic year, doctors in government-owned hospitals have commenced an industrial action which paralysed medical activities in hospitals. The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) had on December 15, 2013 directed its members to embark on nationwide strike. They claim the the strike is to protest the poor condition of service of doctors in the nation’s hospitals, inadequate funding, infrastructure and equipment upgrade of the nation’s health sector. Surprisingly consultants and resident doctors were not available in the hospitals to attend to scores of the patients that thronged the hospitals. Also, there were no doctors to attend to the patients at the emergency units of most of the hospitals including psychiatric centres. Some patients on admission were seeing in some of the hospitals appealing to the doctors to find alternative way of resolving their grievances with the government instead of embarking on strike.

They said that the striking doctors should consider the health condition of the common people. It is saddening that the medical doctors would rather go on strike while poor patients continue to die due to their unwholesome actions. The strike is ill-timed and amounts to one too many, considering the fact that ASUU just suspended their 5-month old strike. Industrial action should be the last resort for aggrieved workers to press home their demands. It now seems as if the strike are organised for political reasons rather than for genuine causes. It is alarming and worrisome that the health workers prioritize their welfare and convenience above the health of Nigerian citizens when it is a known fact the health of the people is the index for measuring the wealth of the nation. Arm-twisting the Government with flimsy excuses while innocent citizens die in hospital is unreasonable. We are aware that top government officials who may likely be the targets of the strike, do not patronize public hospital as they enjoy such services and medical facilities abroad. Not only the patients, many families of affected have suffered needlessly and lost their loved ones due to the insensitivity and self-centredness of those driving the health sector.

I therefore support the arguement of many Ngerians that it would be in the interest of the nation and health of the people for the striking doctors to go back to work, while they explore other avenues, especially dialogue. There is no basic reasons for unionists to hold the nation on ransom by embarking on their incessant strikes. Over the years, consciously or unconsciously Nigerians have granted ample political space to the unions that they now used against the interest of ordinary citizens. I believe the federal legislators should act promptly to ensure that Nigerian trade unions should

limit themselves to industrial/labour issues that directly affect their membership without having negative consequences on Nigeria as a whole. It may not be out of place to advocate Margaret Thatcher treatment on our labour unions if they continue to go on unnecessary strikes. It would be recalled that in the 1970s when British trade unions became law unto themselves, their activities were badly affecting the populace. It was reported no week of the month went by without an industrial action by one trade union or the other. Life was very miserable for the average UK citizen. Until Margaret Thatcher took them on and

Arm-twisting the Government with flimsy excuses while innocent citizens die in hospital is unreasonable. We are aware that top government officials who may likely be the targets of the strike, do not patronize public hospital as they enjoy such services and medical facilities abroad.

tamed them for good. More than two decades on, British labour unions are yet to recover. A similar scenario was also noted in South Africa where the power of trade unions has been curbed. The government should therefore examine and review the labour in the country to curb their excesses. The government should do all within his powers to resolve all issues that lead to labour disputes and strikes in both educational and health sectors. It should evolve proactive measures that will overcome the problems. Necessary actions should also be taken to ensure that the right conditions were created for Nigerian medical professionals to stay at home and avail Nigerians of their skills and expertise instead of migrating to other countries. It would not be out of place to also urge that the National Assembly should ensure the quick passage of the National Health Bill to regulate the sector and improve our medical facilities. Government at all level should explore the option of creating a special intervention fund that would facilitate the rapid establishment of more centres of medical excellence across the country. Labaran Saleh Abuja


N225m Armoured cars: Police arrest Dino Melaye over protest against Aviation Minister

than deserves to b impeached to save d country from imminent collapse. Someone who is shamelessly shielding d corrupt officials in his govt; who is biasesd, grossly sentimental, and tirelessly working to disintegrate d country for personal interest, doesn’t deserve to pilot its affairs.

Umar Baba Adamu says In fact, Dino Malaye is not wrong by the protest against the Aviation Minister. This is the right time for every Nigerian to stand up firmly to fight for our dear lovely country, Nigeria. The way sums of money are missing and being stolen in this country is becoming too much. The Finance Minister has just done her stealing, Nigeria funds are just missing in govtparastatals like shop in the market. If I have the opportunity, I will do the protest more than Dino Malaye. Nigeria’s foreign reserve is empty; oil subsidy money is nowhere to be found. Now, the Minister for Finance is doing her own. Aviation Minster has done her own. You see, by the time every minister continues like this by stealing and misappropriating Nigeria’s funds, what will be our fate?

‘Missing’ $49.8bn: NNPC, CBN hold crisis mgt meeting today

His letter, their response

Daniel Nii Ronaldo Ashrifie says: Well said. Even though I’m not in Nigeria, the way and manner in which u put the story up has given me a very clear and vivid picture of the situation there.

Old sodier Angelo says:

If Nigeria is to be the so-called “giant of Africa,” now that Obasanjo’s letter has cracked the kernel is the time. It is not modeling Nigerian system after American system that matters; it is going the American way that matters. Obasanjo has shaken the pillars and the walls are suffering. His letter has shown that so many apples are rotten in the streets of “Denmark”; it is time they are cleaned;otherwise, putrefaction will breed infirmity. Nigeria, a country on auto-pilot

Dangers of delaying motherhood until 30 Michealolosho says: That’s an interesting development in the science of natality. But d question is how financially n morally prepared d individual is…. I strongly doubt if a lady of age 25 can properly take good care of a baby.

Save Nigeria, impeach Jonathan, APC urges NASS Ibrahim, ikhalilmusa@ says: Sincerely speaking, this Jona-

Moses Johnson says: This should be the platform for the Finance Minister to “start the corruption fight,” thereby demonstrating her commitment to installing due process and integrity in the conduct of government affairs.

Kuje residents’ nightmare over looming massive FCDA demolition

Lucas says: There is no doubt that government owns the land and can take over any area for developmental project. However, I want to advise the FCDA Development Control spokesperson (MrKaluEmetu) to do things and act in fear of God and all sincerity. If you are the one who just came back from office to receive such notification, how easy will it be for you to gather money and put things in order if you are not opportune to enjoy public money? I Pray that God will have mercy on you for that statement that: “21 days [notice] is enough for anybody that the property(ies) was marked to relocate.

Let’s be WISE. Obasanjo’s letter to President Jonathan: Before it is too late (I) Dr Godwin Ukeje says:

Well said!! no matter what, the truth MUST be told….Let’s ignore the source and act right based on it. If I may ask: why are those so called ‘men of repute’ keeping mute? The biblical Saul (persecutor of Christians) was converted to Paul (the evangelist). Listen to the WORD and let it transform us, and pay no attention to the SOURCE.


Online Comments

One is even made to pay huge amounts when the pre-paid cards get lost, damaged or broken. This “service charge” should be stopped.

Obasanjo’s letter to President Jonathan: Before it is too late (I) OLUWATISE Albert. says:

I think we should stop saying bad things to OBJ whom in some School of Thought had taken him to be a God sent to Nigerian democracy, while others believe he is the MANDELA of Nigeria. He must have brought the so called president GEJ to power. There is nothing too bad for Him to show Him the way out of the ASO ROCK VILLA, if truly he is the God sent all because He OBJ knew why,when and how he brought him to power. We need not to disturb ourselves much about all these.

Mixed reactions trail Obasanjo’s letter to Jonathan OmoneHary says:

Jonathan, please,implement BRSISN quick to respond to all these accusations, and everybody will keep quite. The fact that Nigeria has never monitored the economy, nor had a credible instrument to fight corruption and criminality, so your implementing the project means making it possible.

Obasanjo’s letter to President Jonathan: Before it is too late (I) Muhammad SabiuBambam says:

Nigerian politicians we don’t know who is good and who is not good.A shrew runs from odor and said it is rat who has odor

Obasanjo’s letter to President Jonathan: Before it is too late (I)

Abah Felix says: It’s divine intervention. PDP is at the verge of collapse. I had a vision where Ahmadu Bello, Zik, Balewa, Awolowo and Aminu Kano rounded a man who held an umbrella. They were beating the umbrella and the man with broom. The man was trying to escape but couldn’t.

Obasanjo’s letter to President Jonathan: Before it is too late Mac Anthony says: Obasanjo…… Obe…. Obasanjo….. You are talking plenty. You ruled with Murtala, then yourself from 1975-1979, 1999-2007. For this number of years, what did you do with Nigeria? Let me remind you. You leveled Udi& some other communities in South South with your military power. Power/ Electricity wasin a total a mess. Your predecessor inherited militancy. Anyway, you brought communication though you still have your cuts. You became a glutton of power when you sent executive bill for third term. You played international politics with Bakasi landmass and Cross River State is suffering the consequences today. 2face said no body holy pass me…, a novelist said the beautiful ones are not yet born. Obasanjo please, advise your friend secretly. That is what a friend should be.

Obasanjo’s letter to President Jonathan: Before it is too late (I) Mo - says: Dear Chi, Apparently your CHI from your village has deserted you. While not supporting Obasanjo or Jonathan, if you are to compare governance of both parties (which by the way has many flaws) who will come out with more credit to his governance? In the past few years of Jonathan’s regime, what exactly has gone right? Devaluing the Naira, Boko Haram insurgents, privatizing federal government industries (PHCN/Refineries), failing aviation industry, the distressing state of education and corruption at its peak! All he has successfully done is touring the globe (like Globe Troupers) with his many unnecessary entourage and setting up farce panels. I laugh! Nigeria is a typical example of one of the

many horrific plane crashes we have experienced in Nigeria…we all can see it coming but what are we doing about it? Where is Farouk Muhammad Lawan and all the fuel subsidy fraudsters listed today? With all the noise made about seeing to justice? What was the end result of “Occupy Naija” which made world headline news? Obasanjo, in his regime, had the decency to stabilize Naira against Dollars, dealt promptly and appropriately with Boko Haram insurgents, managed public offices better than the lousy government we have now and the educational system was by far better! But corruption as always, is a cloak adorned by them all. I pray the likes of you will not make it to rule Nigeria because you will only follow in the footsteps of your uncle GEJ. And so you know, most of the farm produce you consume comes from Obasanjo’sfarm, chew on that while you wallow in the bile of ethnicity.

Maiden edition of NYG surpass expectationsMinister’s aide Heritage

sandycares_24@yahoo. com says:

I totally disagree with you Ahmed, Julius has always been like that even before he got the appointment so I want to believe you do not know him at all for you to have said he was skinny before he got the appointment… So,nauna money make am big abi? Well, NYG, like you said, is a good platform for talent discovery and I also want to add that talent won’t just be discovered but also will be nurtured by the commission after the event to keep them in good shape for future tourney.

Maiden edition of NYG surpass expectationsMinister’s aide Ahmed whailzheritage@yahoo. says:

This Julius Ogunro guy is just growing big by the day. Meanwhile, before he got that appointment, he was so skinny… Na waoo. Our money done suffer. Well, good job all the same. The NYG is a good platform to discover young talent for future tournaments.

Reps to probe PHCN service charge

TruesageIdowu says: This service charge should be scrapped. It is nothing other than corruption at work. Imagine if the telecommunications company has to collect service charge for the mobile phones you buy with your personal money. After all, most pre-paid meters are acquired by customers.

Goodluck Jonathan

Olusegun Obasanjo




Big Ideas 2014: Invest in people

By Jim Kim, President at World Bank


ne of the great privileges of my job is that I have the opportunity to talk with leaders from throughout the developing world about the most fundamental aspects of their economies. Almost without exception, they ask me about formulas that will help them create business environments that will lead to good-paying jobs. They ask me about other countries that succeeded, and given my connection to South Korea, many ask me about how they achieved their economic “miracle.” The roots of the Korean success story are complex but many observers believe that the government’s willingness to invest in people, even before many thought they could afford to, was one of the keys. Just 10 days ago, I was in South Korea and I was reminded once again about its investment in education. In 1959, when I was born in Seoul, Korea’s per capita income was roughly $150, and less than 5 percent of the adult population had graduated from college. Today, Korea’s per capita income is $23,000, and 80 percent of its college-aged young people are in higher education. Korea’s education system is not perfect – leaders there worry about too many young people going to college and their long hours of studying (law enforcement actually breaks up student study sessions if they go beyond 11 p.m.). But just after the Korean War, at a time when Korea’s GDP was lower than many sub-Saharan African countries, Korea invested in its young people’s education. Today, the result is known around the world, especially after Korea recently received the highest overall math score among nations on OECD’s PISA rating system.

Girls’ education is a great example. In the short- and medium-term, it saves lives. In fact, about half of the reduction in child deaths globally over the past 40 years is linked to the education of girls – that’s over 4 million lives saved.

Other investments in people – job training, nutrition, health care, to name a few – also result in medium- and long-term benefits. Each offers solid returns for individuals, their communities and their countries. Economists use the more impersonal term “human capital;” in basic terms, it means investing in people and their future-as well as our own. irls’ education is a great example. In the short- and medium-term, it saves lives. In fact, about half of the reduction in child deaths globally over the past 40 years is linked to the education of girls – that’s over 4 million lives saved. Over the long-term, educating girls creates more national wealth. One study found that countries investing in girls so they all complete the next level of education would lead to lifetime earnings equivalent to 54 percent of annual GDP. Countries can invest in their people in many ways, such as providing quality health care. In Turkey, for example, health indica-


tors a decade ago ranked behind most other European and middle-income countries. Infant and maternal mortality rates were among the highest in the region. Millions of families were shut out of health coverage, and children and the poor suffered the most. Turkey’s unhealthy citizens were also harmful to its economic growth. Just 10 years later, Turkey’s formal health insurance covers more than 95 percent of the population. Infant mortality dropped more than 40 percent. In addition, Turkey’s economy grew solidly and created good jobs. For decades ahead, Turkey’s investment will likely reap dividends; its healthy population means a reduction in health costs and a higher performing workforce. These kinds of investments in people provide them greater opportunity, dignity and prosperity. Moreover, giving people a hand up unlocks a vast resource of untapped talent and energy that we need in order to take on the world’s biggest challenges – like

Jim Kim ending extreme poverty and fighting climate change. f we invest in people, we will not only spend our public and private resources more wisely, we will also enjoy the fruits of their labor for generations to come. In Korea, I visited Yonggang Middle School, where groups of students gave English-language presentations on climate change and leadership. They impressed me so much that I told another audience later – only half in jest – that the World Bank Group could recruit future workers at that middle school. That’s what happens when countries invest in their people. It unleashes innovation, which can create miracles. (Linkedin)





Big Ideas 2014: The year of the entrepreneurs By Richard Branson, Founder at Virgin Group


014 will be a year of many big ideas, because it will be the year of the entrepreneur. This year has seen the growing trend of entrepreneurship being embraced as a positive way to create the jobs of the present and the future. From being a dirty word in the past, now entrepreneurship is increasingly being celebrated and encouraged - as it should be. There has been a surge in the excitement surrounding start-ups, from Silicon Valley to Silicon Roundabout and beyond. Many internet start-ups came to fruition, and big businesses went public, creating enormous wealth for their founders. That generation are now setting up new businesses, helping to create more jobs and stimulate more innovation. Jack Dorsey from Twitter didn’t rest on his laurels after launching Twitter, he is now taking Square from strength to strength and I expect to see more entrepreneurial ideas from Jack and his peers in the coming year. I believe 2014 will be the year of the entrepreneur more than just in California. When visiting Africa, Australia, Europe, South America and the US this year, there was a real appetite for entrepreneurship wherever we went. We launched Virgin StartUp in the UK, and are receiving lots of applications from new businesses hungry to succeed. In South Africa and the Caribbean the Branson Centres of Entrepreneurship are overflowing with talented individuals eager to unleash their ideas onto the world. With the right support (financial and otherwise) they can and will. The entrepreneurs who will succeed in 2014 will need to focus upon having a purpose beyond profit for their business. A great

example of this in the British Virgin Islands is an entrepreneur named Gumption, who we gave a loan to start a glass-bottom boat company. He has paid back his entrepreneurial loan in full, and is now focusing upon his company becoming a force for good, helping protect turtles as well as entertain tourists. echnology is helping every business, large and small to move forwards, which will only increase in the coming year. Now, entrepreneurs can build compa-


nies at a fraction of the cost in the past. All of the little things that used to add up to big headaches for new businesses, from accounting to website development, are now available to small businesses, giving them the same capabilities as large enterprises at a cost they can afford. Because of this, new entrepreneurs have more time to think about the bigger picture and work out how to grow their business, rather than fretting about every detail.


on’t get me wrong, there are still a thousand and one things for every entrepreneur to focus upon, and you need a great team of people around you and good delegation skills to utilise them. But now new businesses have more of a fighting chance. So, what is your big idea for 2014? Why not decide to set up the business you have always wanted? Screw it, just do it! (Linkedin)



Archive Native American Architecture

Ocmulgee National Monument Ocmulgee National Monument near Macon, Georgia, contains a reconstructed earth lodge with its original clay floor, ancient burial mounds, and other Native American artifacts. A museum shows other aspects of the lives of the ancient Mound Builders who resided in the area. John Elk III/Bruce Coleman, Inc.

Inuit Summer Hunting Camp: In the past, the Inuit were chiefly a nomadic people who hunted for sustenance and followed their game’s seasonal movements. Although many Inuit now live in fixed settlements throughout Nunavut, a region in northern Canada, some maintain their traditional hunting customs. Pictured here is an Inuit standing next to his summer house, a tent made of walrus or seal hides. Wolfgang Kaehler

Natchez Village House Native Americans in the Southeast typically lived in villages, as in this Natchez settlement reconstructed in Mississippi. The Natchez built rectangular houses supported by upright poles with branches woven between the poles. Clay plaster then covered the supports. Roofs were thatched with local materials. Leland M. Roth, used with permission.

Preparing Hides This illustration of a Comanche encampment by American artist George Catlin shows women preparing buffalo hides. Native American women of the Great Plains were expert at working buffalo hides into leather. Most of the hides were made into clothing or sewed together to make coverings for tipis. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC/Art Resource, NY

Navajo Female Hogan A female hogan houses the Navajo family and is larger than a male hogan where ceremonial rituals take place. Hogans have wooden frames; packed clay or mud seals the frame, providing insulation in winter and keeping the heat out in summer. Hogan in the Navajo (Diné) language means “home place.” Leland M. Roth, used with permission.

Pueblo Bonito, New Mexico Chaco Culture National Historical Park, in northwestern New Mexico, contains archaeological remains of the Anasazi culture. Pueblo Bonito is the largest and best-preserved of the more than 13 major ruins in the park. The 10th-century building is believed to have contained 800 rooms. David Muench/ALLSTOCK, INC.

Wanapum Mat House: Native Americans of the plateau along the Columbia River constructed houses of reed mats, like this Wanapum house in Washington. Supporting the house is a frame of shaped wooden poles, which slope inward toward the top. Mats woven of tule reeds cover the frame. Wanapum today remember their parents’ descriptions of mat houses and built this example so that their children would remember the traditional houses of their people. Courtesy of Department of Energy, Hanford.

Iroquois Longhouse The Iroquois nations of Eastern North America built dwellings called longhouses from saplings, usually of willows. Several related families lived together in a single extended house. Each family unit had its own space. This reconstructed longhouse is in Iroquois County, New York. Nathan Benn/Corbis

Tipi Housing: The tipi (or tepee), a portable, tentlike structure, was popular with nomadic Native American tribes because it could be dismantled and reassembled when they migrated. Animal hides were stretched around a framework of poles to create a cone-shaped enclosure with a chimney opening at the top. A flap served as the door, and animal skins were used for insulation on the floor. James Heil/Redux Pictures

Taos Pueblo The Taos Pueblo in New Mexico is typical of the apartment-style housing made from adobe by Tiwa-speaking Native Americans. Inhabited since at least the 13th century, the Taos Pueblo currently houses about 200 people. Kathleen Campbell/Liaison Agency

Great Speeches



How we converted 60,000 to Islam in five months, by Sardauna Speech delivered by Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna Premier of the Northern Nigeria at a meeting of Muslim World league held in Mecca Muharram, 1383/1964 AD Dear Brothers, Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu


our days ago, I felt highly honoured when I was invited to speak at a dinner party given by the Pakistani Ambassador on trends of Islamic affairs in the world. Again, I am being called upon this afternoon to address another very important and distinguished gathering of Muslims from all over the world. Before so doing I must apologise to my listeners for my inability to attend the meeting of the Muslim World League which I am proud to belong to. I am confident that you will appreciate that as a head of a young emerging region of Nigeria I always have commitments to attend to most of the time. Your Excellencies: I have been greatly honoured by being selected as the first member of the Constitute Council of this Organisation and I must admit that both myself and my people are very proud of this highest honour. Despite the fact that I had not been able to attend the previous conference, yet, I was able to pursue with all the vigour at my disposal the required expansion of our great religion. Some years ago, I had the privilege of discussing problems confronting our religion of Islam with some Muslim Heads of States. There I made it quite clear that differences exist in some schools of thoughts in connection with how to deal with these Islamic problems. In one school, it has been stressed that the best formation would be that of Arab League, and another school to which I belong feel that we ought to have one organization for all Muslims as God has enshrined in His Holy Book, “The Qur’an”, where it has been emphasized that Muslims are brothers wherever they may be. It is a most difficult task for any individual to carry out a big expansion work of our great religion. It is therefore necessary for us to bring our heads together and formulate a master plan and efficient organization which will be able to withstand the present day world of competition. I have personally devoted my life to the cause of Islam, and because of that, I am prepared to sacrifice, and I am sacrificing already, all that I Posses towards that cause. It will please you dear brothers, to hear that in my endeavour to expand the religion of Islam, I have by the grace of God been able to convert some 60,000 non-Muslims in my region to Islam within a period of five months, i.e. from November, 1963 to March, 1964. Prior to this remarkable achievement, I have successfully been able to build several mosques in as many suitable centres as possible having regard to the resources at my disposal. These mosques have proved to be a great source of encouragement towards Islam particularly amongst the communities of areas where many people have been newly converted. Futhermore, the government of Northern Nigeria of which I am the head, has made arrangements whereby religion is taught in all government schools. Throughout the region there are over a million copies of Qur’an in schools scattered about in every corner of

towns and villages. A Qur’anic Teachers Training College has been opened and an Arabic Faculty has also been opened as part of Ahmadu Bello University. During the colonial era in my country, our learned sheiks were treated with contempt by the imperialists and the result was that they (the Sheiks) do not show any interest in the world current affairs which resulted in the slow progress of Islam. However, my government has now created an Islamic Advisory Committee consisting of learned sheiks who advise me and my government on means of promoting Islamic religion, culture and unity among the people. This committee has very useful work and there is already a sign of achieving our goal. The enthusiasm shown by all, particularly the young ones who are the leaders of tomorrow, is remarkable. I am giving the first report of the committee to our league for information. It is not enough just to accept the advice of the committee but action must follow. Private Qur’anic and Islamic schools are being reorganised and assisted financially by my government. new society under my patronage has just been formed and has been given the name Jama’at el-Nasrul Islam. Its activities cover the whole of Northern Nigeria and a copy of the report on the formation of the society and its constitution is also available for the information of yourselves, my beloved brothers. The society has already embarked on a large scale programme for the training of Muslim missionaries and opening of primary schools one of which is already in operation. A magazine in Nigerian vernacular and English has started to be produced for the improvement of Islamic general knowledge among the masses.


Dear Brothers. You can see that the programmes on which I am working requires a large scale of international organization as is done by the Christian missionaries. I am therefore appealing to all of us to come together and work out a master plan with all its implications, financial or otherwise especially as there are other forces working against us. In this regard, I may refer to the tremendous financial aid that the Christian missionaries are receiving all over the world from Europe, America, and other Christian countries because of which they are able to provide hospitals, welfare clinics, schools and other amenities, which owing to lack of similar financial aid, we are in no position to provide at present. It is also fitting at this juncture for

Sir Ahmadu Bello Sardauna of Sokoto me to mention the numerous attempts being made by the Jews to enter under-developed countries to get them to their side. Barely two years ago had they offered a sizeable amount of loan to the federation of Nigeria. The offer was accepted by all the Governments of the Federation except we in the North who rejected it out right. I made it vividly clear at the time that Northern Nigeria would prefer to go without development rather than receiving an Israeli loan or aid. We took this step only in good faith as Muslims, but not in anticipation of any assistance forthcoming from any of our sister Muslim countries up till now we have not found any alternative but I hope that our brothers that are better off will take note of this. have only given these examples to show how genuinely we in Northern Nigeria have been at times suffering and how single handedly we have been working for the cause of Islam and which we shall continue so long as our lives last. I have earlier spoken of conver-


It will please you dear brothers, to hear that in my endeavour to expand the religion of Islam, I have by the grace of God been able to convert some 60,000 nonMuslims in my region to Islam within a period of five months, i.e. from November, 1963 to March, 1964.

sion of non Muslim to Islam. I would like to say that this is only the beginning as there are other areas we have not yet tapped. I hope when we clean Nigeria we will go further-afield in Africa. Dear Brothers, I now wish to turn to the activities of our great secretariat. There is no doubt that all of us here witnessed the efficient way the secretariat, under the direction of our able Secretary General, has been carrying out its duties. We are most grateful to the Secretary and his staff and I hope that the high standard of work set up will forever continue to be maintained. I also wish to use this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Saudi Arabian Government and in particular his Majesty King and his Prime Minister Amir Faisal for their keen interest and initiative in organizing this responsible organization and its constituent council. May, Allah reward them with Jannah, Amen. must also ask all Muslims to do away with three differences of lour, personal gains and petty jealousies and come together and work for the common good of this religion which can act, if strictly followed, as the contenting factor of the existence of our world. Finally, I wish to stress the importance of action rather than words. If we must achieve our aims, all Muslims must unite and act together and I am convinced that Allah will help us in this great task that we face. I pray that deliberations and resolution of our league will be in the cause of Allah. To Him alone we entrust our deeds and to Him alone we look for help and guidance.





Struggle for power in South Sudan W

hen South Sudan seceded from the north to become an independent nation in 2011, the former deputy culture minister aptly described his new country as an injured creature unable to walk. “Our country, as it stands today, is a four-legged animal but the legs are broken,” JokMadutJok said in a documentary aired by Al Jazeera. “The first leg for any government is a disciplined military. We have problems with the way our military functions today. That’s a broken leg. We have civil society, right now it is very weak. The third leg is delivery of services. It is hard to deliver security …The fourth leg is political unity. We had political unity in the days leading up to the referendum [which led to independence]. Since the referendum, we have been having difficulties uniting our ranks. So right now the animal is standing on four crooked legs. If we do not fix these legs, the future is going to be very, very difficult.” That grim assessment was accentuated by the revelation this week that President SalvaKiir had foiled a coup orchestrated by a disgruntled faction in the army, which backs former vice president RiekMachar. Machar was sacked in July when the president dismissed his entire cabinet. Fighting continued to rage on Tuesday in the capital Juba. More than 450 people have been killed since violence erupted on December 15, according to officials. Thousands of people have been sheltering in United Nations buildings in Juba after fleeing their homes as the fighting began. Many observers had predicted that Kiir was always going to have a hard time running the country after falling out with Machar. Both men are former rebel fighters and senior figures in the governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, which led South Sudan to independence after a civil war with Sudan that lasted 22 years. Earlier this month, Machar denounced “dictatorial” behaviour by Kiir, revealing the bitter divisions within the SPLM. According to a statement released by the president, the coup plotters swung into action on Sunday after an SPLM meeting in Juba. An unidentified person fired in the air and escaped, the statement said. That incident was followed later by an attack on the army headquarters near Juba University that went on until Monday. Kiir says the government is in “full control of the security situation”, but the fact authorities moved swiftly to impose a dusk-to-dawn curfew means the coup plotters have caused real panic. Significantly, the president - who often wears suits complete with his trademark widebrimmed, black cowboy hat - addressed the nation in full military uniform, underlining the gravity of the problem he is dealing with. “Your government led by the SPLM has articulated the ideals of democracy in the party as well as in the government, and I will never deviate from them at any cost. The SPLM is fully committed to the peaceful and democratic transfer of power, and will never allow political power

South Sudan President SalvaKiir to be transferred through violence,” said Kiir. But the president’s political opponents would beg to differ. South Sudan’s constitution, enacted by the ruling SPLM, gives the president wide-ranging powers, including sacking elected governors for the country’s 10 states. The president also has powers to choose his own members of parliament. Healing divisions in the SPLM is not going to be easy. The Dinka, the largest and most powerful ethnic group of which Kiir belongs, have been accused by the Nuer, Machar’s tribe, of monopolising everything from politics to the army. Last February, the president ordered more than 100 army generals to retire in a bid to reorganise the military, but the move did not impress many. “Kiir is being opposed by a group led by his former vice president who think he

has diverted from the party vision,” said a South Sudan journalist, who declined to be named fearing reprisals. The new crisis adds to a host of problems that South Sudan, the world’s newest country, is facing and has done little or nothing to solve them. Corruption is widespread and reaches into ministerial levels. Last August, an investigation unearthed 11,000 fake names on the police payroll, with another 16,000 considered suspect, putting half the force in doubt. Allegations of corruption have raised questions on whether Kiir’s administration can ensure accountability when it comes to public spending. Despite high hopes that secession was going to provide a chance for lasting peace, South Sudan continues to reel from violence. The country is awash with automatic weapons, many in the hands of civilians

But the president’s political opponents would beg to differ. South Sudan’s constitution, enacted by the ruling SPLM, gives the president wide-ranging powers, including sacking elected governors for the country’s 10 states. The president also has powers to choose his own members of parliament.

and security forces accused of poor discipline. Last October, rebels killed at least 41 people and wounded scores in a gun attack in a remote part of the country’s restive Jonglei state. The rebels are loyal to militia leader David YauYau, a former colonel in South Sudan’s military. Yau first rebelled against Juba after he failed to win a parliamentary seat in the last elections, accusing the ruling party of rigging the vote. South Sudan has also yet to mend relations with Sudan, which it accuses of backing Yau. Yet it needs Sudan’s oil pipelines to transport its crude oil, the only thing that brings big money to its coffers. The two nations have also bickered about rebel activity in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, with Sudan accusing its southern neighbour of backing the rebels there. But the real fight lies with Abyei, an oil rich enclave that straddles the border between South Sudan and Sudan and is claimed by both countries. A referendum to decide which country its inhabitants belong to was shelved amid disagreements. In October the Dinka, with close ties to South Sudan, voted in an unofficial referendum but the Arab Misseriya, who are close to Sudan and use Abyei to graze their cattle, did not take part. Both countries did not endorse the referendum, and the Abyei question remains unresolved. For many South Sudanese who voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence, a bigger question is how their country, which fares poorly on the UN Human Development Index, can move on. And many would agree with former minister JokMadutJok that until the country’s wobbly legs are fixed, the future will be bleak. Source: Al Jazeera



News Extra

Countries with the most migrants in Britain • In 1951 there were 1.9million non-UK born residents in England and Wales • By 2011 the figure had leapt to 7.5million, or 13% of the population • Census records show how India overtook Ireland as number one origin

By Matt Chorley, Mailonline


he number of foreigners in the UK has quadrupled in 60 years, new figures showed to-

day. Immigration accounted for almost half of the population increase since 1951, a study by the Office for National Statistics said as it released details of the top 10 countries people moved from during each decade. It reveals major changes in where people come from, with more than a third of Irish-born residents arriving before 1961 and 86 per cent Poles arriving since 2004. In 1951 – when Winston Churchill became Prime Minister for the second time – there were 1.9million people born outside the UK in England and Wales, equivalent to 4.5 per cent of the population. But by 2011 this figure had leapt to 7.5million, or 13 per cent. The surge was driven in part by people forced to leave their home counties by war, political instability and poverty, the ONS said. The availability of jobs and education also draw people to move to Britain. In recent months the government has moved to curb access to benefits, housing and health care for migrants to reduce the ‘pull factors’ which make the UK appealing to people from across the globe. The detailed breakdown of immigration shows how people move to the UK from more and more countries. In 1951 the top 10 countries, including Ireland, Poland, India, Germany and Russia, accounted for 60 per cent of the foreign born population. However in 2011 the figure was just 45 per cent, with Jamaica, Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh and South Africa now in the top 10. The ONS said: ‘This shows that the population has become more diverse, with the non-UK born population in 2011 less dominated by the top ten non-UK countries of birth.’ For five decades Ireland topped the league table as the country from which the most migrants moved to the UK according to the census.

However in 2011 those born India had become the largest group, with Ireland falling to fourth. ‘Migration of Irish-born to the UK stretches back to the famine of the 1840s in Ireland and was associated with rapid industrialisation in Great Britain throughout the nineteenth century,’ the ONS said. ‘This group has declined in absolute numbers over the decades, whereas many of the other top ten non-UK countries of birth have increased. ‘This is likely to be due to those who arrived a long time ago dying and not being replaced by younger migrants in the same numbers.’ In 2011 those born in India were the largest group of people not born in the UK at 694,000 he biggest increase in the Indian population happened between 1961 and 1971, when the number almost doubled from 157,000 to 313,000. In 1971 those born in India accounted for 10% of the whole nonUK born population, the ONS said. As the number of Irish-born migrants has fallen, arrivals from Poland have risen. In the decade from 2001 to 2011 there was a 10-fold increase in Polish migrants in England and Wales, after EU movement restrictions were lifted. The ONS said: ‘In 1951 Polishborn was the second highest ranking group making up 8% (152,000) of the total non-UK born population. ‘This was a result of Polish migrants arriving during and after the Second World War. The number of Polish-born residents declined, largely due to mortality, until the 2011 Census, when 579,000 were recorded in the resident population. ‘This was almost a ten-fold increase from 58,000 in 2001; it was a result of Poland being admitted to the European Union in May 2004 along with a number of other central-Eastern European countries.’ The UK government is now concerned about the lifting of restrictions on migrant workers from Romania and Bulgaria from next month.


In 1951 the top 10 countries, including Ireland, Poland, India, Germany and Russia, accounted for 60 per cent of the foreign born population. However in 2011 the figure was just 45 per cent, with Jamaica, Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh and South Africa now in the top 10.

Ministers have refused to publish forecasts for how many people might arrive from the two countries. But each time a country has joined the EU there has been a sharp increase in the numbers moving to Britain. In 2011 there were 29,000 Hun-

garians who in the six years after joining the EU, accounting for 59 per cent of the Hungarian-born nationals. There were also 63,000 Lithuanians (65 per cent) and 43,000 Slovakians (75 per cent). In addition, 68 per cent of the 80,000 Romanian-born residents

and 54 per cent of the 46,000 Bulgarian-born residents arrived following Romanian and Bulgarian accession to the EU in January 2007, although transitional controls on these countries will not be lifted until 01 January 2014, the ONS said. (




Alleged $48.9bn unremitted crude oil sale: Sanusi’s whistle blowing, NNPC’s headache By Abdulwahab Isa


arely six months left of his tenure as Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), one expects Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to get busy more with politics of succession than a whistle blowing job he assumes. By June next year when he steps down from CBN with a declaration that he is not interested in second tenure; the Kano born prince will go down in the annals of CBN Governors as one that cuts dozens of controversies in his bravest five years tenure. Giant bankers of yesterdays - the likes of Erastus Akingbola, Cecelia Ibru ; Executives of defunct Intercontinental Bank plc, Oceanic Bank and others who hitherto, bestrode the banking landscape like colossus, would package a distasteful farewell message for Sanusi. Also in this group are members of the National Assembly – Senators and their counterparts in the House of Representatives would heave sighted a big relief for an exit of a man that exposed their lavishly ostentatious style by declaring to the world that 25 per cent of Nigeria current budget is voted as their upkeep. However, the slightly built diminutive CBN governor remains unperturbed. He loses no sleep and carried on, with courage hurling more attacks instead of restraint. The man, in the discharge of his duty of watching over government income and expenditure, has caught a bigger controversy that will outlive him and his tenure at CBN. His latest frantic memo dated September 25, 2013 to President Goodluck Jonathan in which Sanusi detailed how government-owned oil firm, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) mindlessly diverted huge amounts being crude oil sales proceeds between January 2012 and July 2013 put allegedly at $48.9 billion, has sparkled a national outrage . The CBN governor said, for all crude oil sales within the period, the NNPC paid only 24 per cent proceeds into the federation account, and diverted or stole the remaining 76 percent - totaling N8 trillion. Since the news of huge diversion became a public knowledge, the eggheads both at the NNPC and the parent ministryPetroleum Resources have lost sleep. The bad news came at a time when the nation’s cashcow –NNPC - has acquired the reputation of conducting its

NNPC Headquarters, Abuja

Minister of Petroluem, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke

transactions in best of secrecy. The operations of NNPC what it lifted and what it sold on behalf of the federation is a transaction - shrouded in secrecy, known only to the inner caucus of NNPC and the ministry. Sanusi has not been the first to raise an alarm over the NNPC diverting money meant for the federation account. During President Olusegun Obasanjo’s tenure and Chief Gaius Obaseki as GMD of NNPC, the erstwhile Chairman of Revenue Mobilsation, Allocation and Fiscal

Commission (RMAFC), Engr. Hamman Tukur was on a relentless battle with the NNPC over willful non remittances which later came to what was then known in public circle as N445 billion NNPC debt owed to the federation account. After serial denials, the NNPC management admitted. At the end of the day, a repayment plan was worked and NNPC on monthly basis has been remitting N7 billion to the Federation Account Allocation Commission (FAAC). That is by the way. Sanusi’s

CBN Governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

letter was the last straw that broke NNPC’s camel’s back. The weighty revelations contained in Sanusi’s memo, which he has denied as source for its leakage, left the Goodluck administrations with a heavy burden. The better part of last week was devoted to reconciliatory meetings geared towards establishing what was outstanding on NNPC side. At a grand finale meeting chaired by Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi

Okonjo-Iweala with all drama persona –Sanusi, Petroleum Minister Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke; NNPC GMD Andrew Yakubu, officials of DPR and other top government functionaries present, the Minister unequivocally declared: “We are here to talk to you about the issue of the $49.8bn that has been in the press as amount missing from the federation account, we just said we should come together and talk to you because we have received many Continued on page 49


Statistician General of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale



Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

NNPC GMD, Mr. Andrew Yakubu

Alleged $48.9bn unremitted crude oil sale: Sanusi’s whistle blowing, NNPC’s headache Continued from page 48

enquires, obviously this has been in the media and topical.. What we have done so far shows that for the $49.8bn, there are some perhaps misconceptions or misunderstandings that led to this number, and we have been able to come to the conclusion to this amount. There are some shortfalls that both the NNPC and the Ministry of Finance have been working on for quite sometime and even the CBN. So, this is an ongoing matter and we will get to that through the FAAC which you are all aware of. We will address that issue as well, but the first point is about the $49.8bn to clarify that we have been able to identify the various accounts for this amount.” However, she conclusively declared that “to summarise, we have been able to get to the bottom of $49.8bn that was indicated in the CBN’s memo. You have heard the Governor say, he was giving you the context but also due to the way the accounting for the crude was read, some of it that was being lifted for other parties to the tonne of $25bn was said to be missing but is not. We have accounted for it. So, the bulk of the $49.8bn has been accounted for. That is what reconciliation exercise is all about. So it is very clear this it is not missing. The Second point however, for the domestic crude, you heard the Petroleum Minister say that both Finance and NNPC have been in discussion. It is every month after FAAC, we reconcile our figures. So it is not that these things are just left, we reconcile. Because of

that reconciliation for the period that the CBN mentioned of January 2012 to July 2013, we looked at a shortfall of about N1.7 trillion in equivalence of $10.8bn. That is the amount we have been discussing. And, of course, NNPC has been disputing some of it. This is an ongoing reconciliation and it will still continue. We have to do it and we do I every month. So that is what we are talking about now. We thought we would address you now, then continue with our work until we can come to terms on what is actually the shortfall and what is due to come into the federation account, the Finance minister said. Earlier in his preliminary remarks, CBN governor Sanusi who was making first his pub-

lic speech defended his action memo to the President but denied its leakage to media. Sanusi said CBN never issued a public statement or made a press statement on the matter but added however that “CBN wrote a letter to the President which unfortunately found its way to the press and that letter was addressed as an invitation to begin investigation. It was not an end or conclusion of an audit or investigation. So conclusions drawn before investigation were premature and that is why we should take note.” He said CBN has been concerned just as the Finance Minister at the declining excess crude despite the fact that all price was high. “We were concerned at what

we saw as a gap between what we had in our records as the value of the crude shift by NNPC and the amount repatriated as equity to the federation account. And what we had in our records was $65bn shift by NNPC and about $15bn returned as equity to the Federation Account. After the letter to the President, we discovered the following: that out of the $65bn that NNPC shifted, $24bn did not belong to the NNPC, it was crude that was paid by all companies as tax and royalty and shiftment of NPDC and so on. That explains half of the N50bn. Now, where the outstanding issues are that Ngozi referred to, are with the $28bn domestic crude which has been taken by the NNPC. From our records, we have received $16bn and the shortfall

Sanusi said CBN never issued a public statement or made a press statement on the matter but added however that “CBN wrote a letter to the President which unfortunately found its way to the press and that letter was addressed as an invitation to begin investigation. It was not an end or conclusion of an audit or investigation.

of $12bn. And we are told that gas shortfall has always been part of ongoing discussion with Finance and Petroleum and NNPC so this is where we are”, explained CBN governor. On her part, Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Alison said: “we have held a very robust reconciliation meeting over the last couple of days and come to a very clear understanding that the said amount, most part had been accounted for. There is a shortfall which has already been mentioned but that shortfall has been known for quite sometime. It is an open record in FAAC and has been discussed severally. It has been acknowledged by NNPC, but the extent of the shortfall has also been disputed by NNPC for quite sometime. So, we have been in ongoing reconciliation efforts on that particular shortfall. It is our intent now going forward to hold even more aggressive reconciliation efforts to try and come to an agreed medium in terms of what those shortfalls actually end up being so that can move on from there. Let me also just add quickly that why these concerns issues of revenue shortfalls and so on, the actual product that produces these revenues, which is our crude production, as you know, has also been under a lot of pressure which has to do with crude oil theft”, she explained. However, going forward Sanusi may have goofed in the bogus $48.9 billion funds allegedly cited by his letter which himself recanted. His whistle blowing will go a long way to purge NNPC of the secrecy surrounding its operations.




Asuquo dumps Pillars for Sunshine


hooting Stars midfielder Philip Asuquo has joined Sunshine Stars ahead of Nigeria champions Kano Pillars. “Asuquo negotiated to join us for the new season, but he has now informed us that he has finally agreed to join Sunshine Stars,” disclosed Pillars spokesman Idris Malikawa. The creative midfielder, nicknamed Iniesta after the Spain star, has already agreed personal terms with Sunshine and was even in Akure to put pen to paper in that

respect. He was part of Sunshine Stars pre-season buildup in Rojenny, near Onitsha, last week. He was also a transfer target for Bayelsa United, who will feature in next year’s CAF Confederation Cup. Asuquo has featured for several clubs including Plateau United, Crown FC and Kwara United. He has also been capped by Nigeria at ‘B’ level.

Enyimba signs 4 West African stars


Niger international star Bachar has joined Enyimba

ederation Cup holders Enyimba have signed four players from across West Africa ahead of the new Nigeria season next year. The six-time champions have signed players from Niger Republic, Mali, Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia. “We have four new foreign players in our team now, Mohamed Bachar(Niger Republic), Moussa Kasse(Mali), Koffi Romeo(Cote d'Ivoire) and Momo Blamo Junior, a Liberian," an inside source said. Bachar is a 21-year-old right full back who last played for AS Douanes of Niamey and has been capped by Niger Repubic at U17 and full international levels, while Moussa Kasse, a striker, joined from AshantiGold of Ghana. Ivorian striker Koffi Romeo came from COK in Cote d'Ivoire and Momo

Blamo Junior played for L.P.C Olier of Liberia. Former Ghana international Joetex Frimpong made his name at Enyimba before he headed to Europe. After a two-year absence, two-time African champions Enyimba will return to interna-

tional football next year when they feature in the CAF Champions League.

Enyimba targets CAF Champions League trophy


nyimba will hope to get off to a winning start in next year’s Champions League when they clash with Togo’s Ange de Notse in the prelims. The two-time African champions are back in international football after a two-year ab-

sence. And goalkeeper Femi Thomas said that they hope to get off to a flying start on February 9, when they host Ange de Notse. “We are preparing hard for the game; we will do all to beat Ange de Notse,” Thomas said. “I played against the club in a friendly match in 2006 when I was with the U20 national team, though it has been long, we won 3-1 then. There are no small teams again, so we won't let Nigerians down." Enyimba, who finished as runners-up in the Nigeria league last season, have embarked on a massive re-organisation following the departure of coach Salisu Yusuf to El Kanemi Warriors. Last month, Ange de Notse won a first-ever Togolese league title after they recorded 59 points from 30 matches, two point’s more than closest rivals Douanes. Femi Thomas wants to continue to celebrate with Enyimba

Asuquo - Has settled for Sunshine Stars

Clubs kick against abridged league


igeria league clubs and the League Management Company are headed for another collision over plans for an abridged season. Majority of the clubs kicked against such a plan last season and this forced the LMC to jettison it. The clubs’ argument is that such a format would mean drastically reduced funding by their financiers. The new 2013/2014 league season will begin in February immediately after the Championship of African Nations (CHAN) in South Africa. The season will also be expected to end in May to allow for the preparation for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Faced with a tight schedule, the LMC are now likely to split the 20team championship into

Chairman LMC, Ndoka Irabor two groups with the top two clubs from each group clashing in a round-robin playoff to determine the league champions. Club managers recently met in Abuja to insist on a formal notification on the year-long extension granted the LMC by the NFF congress in Warri.




Iniesta agrees to 3-year extension B

arcelona's Spain playmaker Andres Iniesta has agreed to a three-year contract extension with the La Liga champions until 2018 when he turns 34, club president Sandro Rosell said on Thursday. The contract includes an option for further extensions on an annual basis depending on how often Iniesta plays, Rosell told a news conference. A product of Barca's academy, Iniesta joined the

club in September 1996 at the age of 12, made his first-team debut in a Champions League game in October 2002 and has gone on to help the Catalans win 21 trophies. One of the greatest moments of his club career came in the Champions League semifinals in 2009 when he scored a dramatic late goal at Chelsea that sent Barca through to the final. He is a hero to Spaniards after netting the extratime winner against Netherlands in South Africa in 2010 that secured the Iberian nation's first World Cup.

United out to avoid unwanted hat-trick


anchest e r United will look to avoid a third straight home defeat in the Premier League when they host West Ham United on Saturday. Kick-off at Old Trafford. The Red Devils suffered back-to-back home 1-0 losses against Everton and Newcastle United in their last two league fixtures at home, and cannot afford an unwanted hat-trick if they are to revive their hopes of getting back into contention for a place in the upper echelons of the table. David Moyes’s team is placed a lowly eighth, 10 points adrift of leaders Arsenal and seven from the top four spots that qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League, meaning there is plenty of ground to be made up. However, they are still far better off than their opponents, who are placed 17th – just one point and one position above the dreaded relegation zone. The Hammers’ struggles have dialled up the pressure on manager Sam Allardyce, who saw his team grind out a goalless draw at home to bottom-of-the-log Sunderland last weekend. It was a result that had West Ham fans booing their team off the pitch upon full time at Upton Park, and Allardyce admitted that the supporters were right to vent their frustrations. Man United have often looked better away from home their

Weekend Fixtures

Barclays Premier League Liverpool v

Crystal Palace v Newcastle United Fulham v Manchester City Manchester United v West Ham United Stoke City v Aston Villa Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion Hull City Sunday Southampton v Hotspur Swansea City v

Manchester City continue title pursuit in London


anchester City’s pursuit of title chasers Arsenal will resume when they head over to Craven Cottage to take on Fulham today afternoon. The Sky Blues staked their hunger in becoming a title contender when they defeated the Premier League toppers 6-3 in a nine-goal thriller last weekend. Manuel Pellegrini’s men were in scintillating form and the way the league leaders were taken apart at times gave Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger something to keep him up at night. It was a performance which confirmed the overflowing quality in City’s team but they however were dealt two plays just days later in the Capital One Cup win over Leicester. Sergio Aguero and Pablo Zabaleta both limped off in the encounter, ruling them out for the trip to London and most likely even longer. Meanwhile, along the river Thames, things have been far from fruitful for René Meulensteen’s men. Only one win since October 21 has put them in contention to be a favourite to go down next season as they sit second bottom in a tightly compacted foot of the Premier League table. Things need to turn around quickly for the Cottagers as they head into the Christmas break and they will hope that City’s still much needed improvement on the road front will be delayed for one more fixture.

Norwich City v Tottenham Everton

FIFA Club World Cup Guangzhou Evergrande FC v Atletico Mineiro Bayern Munich v Raja Casablanca French Ligue 1 St Etienne v Nantes Bastia v Montpellier Nice v Evian Thonon Gaillard Reims v Ajaccio Sochaux v Rennes Toulouse v Guingamp Sunday Marseille v Bordeaux Lorient v Lyon Paris Saint Germain Lille

comfortable 3-0 win at Aston Villa last weekend is a prime example of this but they desperately need to turn Old Trafford back into a place that visiting teams fear travelling to. Taking on a struggling West Ham could be the perfect match for Moyes and co. to kick-start an improved home run that returns the Theatre of Dreams to a fortress for the Red Devils.

Cardiff City


German Bundesliga Borussia Dortmund v Hertha BSC Eintracht Braunschweig v 1899 Hoffenheim Hamburger SV v 1. FSV Mainz 05 SV Werder Bremen v Bayer 04 Leverkusen Sport-Club Freiburg v Hannover 96 FC Nürnberg v FC Schalke 04 Sunday Borussia Mönchengladbach v V fL Wolfsburg Italian Serie A Livorno v Udinese Cagliari v Napoli Sunday Bologna v Genoa Atalanta v Juventus Roma v Catania Sampdoria v Parma Sassuolo v Fiorentina Torino v Chievo Verona v Lazio Internazionale v Milan Spanish La Liga Villarreal v Sevilla Atlético de Madrid v Levante Granada CF v Real Sociedad Sunday Espanyol v Real Valladolid Getafe v Barcelona Athletic Club v Rayo Vallecano Celta de Vigo v Osasuna Valencia CF v Real Madrid




CHAN 2014: Salami, Zango, Agbim confident of making team

Chigozie Agbim


ome Home-Based Super Eagles players said they were confident of making the final 23-man list for the Championship of African Nations (CHAN) in South Africa in January. The competition will hold between Jan. 11 and Feb. 1, 2014 would focus more on home-based players. More players in camp will be dropped at the weekend after the two sent home on Tuesday by Stephen Keshi, the team’s Head Coach. Bayelsa United midfielder, Mohammed Ajia and El-Kanemi of Maiduguri defender, Reuben Ogbonnaya were dropped on Tuesday from the 30-man team in camp for ``low productivity’’. Keshi is working towards presenting a final 23man list to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) before the Jan. 3, deadline. Shooting Stars FC of Ibadan striker Gbolahan Salami said in Abuja that it would not be the end of life if he did not make the final list. “If I do not make the team, that is not the end of the world; I still have a long way to go,’’ he said. Salami noted that it was not his first time of coming to the Eagles camp and later dropped. According to him, making the final list this time will be his greatest joy. “This will be an opportunity for me to lift the

CHAN trophy; I had a good tournament playing in the U-20 and U-23 teams. “I know the joy that follows when a team wins trophies,’’ Salami said. Umar Zango, Kano Pillars defender, said invitation to the national team was a privilege but noted that it would be a disappointment if he missed out of CHAN. He said that he would always do his best to prove his worth in the team to ensure he made the final list. Zango said he was confident that the home-based team would excel at the 2014 CHAN because of their exploits in the international friendly match against Italy on Nov. 18 in London. The team’s goalkeeper, Chigozie Agbim, said he would keep doing his best in spite of the presence of four other goalkeepers in camp, including Golden Eaglets’ Dele Alampasu. Agbim also said that he was not scared about Alampasu’s performance in camp as they were all working for the same purpose which is to win the CHAN. Four players, including Bendel Insurance FC duo of central defender Obannu Erhune and central defensive midfielder Ikeleji Bello were invited as a replacement for those evicted. The others are Warri Wolves’ midfielder, Ewenike Achibi, and Mfon Udoh, who recently moved from Akwa United FC of Uyo to Enyimba International FC of Aba. Keshi had said earlier in the week that he had begun a gradual process of elimination by substitution to enable him to have a formidable squad for CHAN.

Gbolahan Salami

FEPSGA 2013: NSCDC clinches male basketball gold


FIRS middle and NSCDC during the game

he National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC's) male basketball team won the gold at the ongoing Federation of Public Service Games (FEPSGA) in Makurdi. The NSCDC out-dunked Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) 62-31 to win the gold. Ministry of Information won the bronze after beating Ministry of Education 30-25. The seven teams registered for the event holding at the Aper Aku Township Stadium, Makurdi. Coach Samuel Nuhu of the Ministry of Information said that even when the team's target was to win the event's first prize, it had to settle for bronze. “In the game of basketball, just like every other game, you win some and lose some. We are grateful to God that we had a bronze to show for all our efforts. We hope to come out stronger at the next edition as this is our first outing’’ Nuhu said. The basketball is one of the 14 events registered for the 10-day Games scheduled to end on Dec. 21.



Weekend Digest

Swirls of colours and mesmerising shapes captured by photographer during her trips across China’s breathtaking terrain

By Tara Brady


ull of stunning colours and swirling shapes, the furrows on these fields create a mix of mesmerising patterns. The fascinating photographs were captured by amateur photographer Zhang Ning, 51, during trips across her native China. 'I am very lucky that my country China is so diverse and large,' said Zhang Ning, from Dongguan, Guangdong, China. 'It can provide me with numerous opportunities to shoot different landscapes, cultures, traditions. 'The pictures of these spectacular lines are from my trips in Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guizhou provinces. 'These three provinces are a paradise for photographers. 'All of them are rich with stunning geographic landscapes and sceneries, as well as folk cultures, colourful people and different religions. 'These pictures show how beautiful the landscape is, and they also send a message that it is a very tough and harsh life for those who have shaped the landscape.' The provinces, located in southwest China, are where the landscapes are very hilly and people have to make the most of the mountains. They build these spectacular terraces for more effective farming. Zhang Ning says: 'I have been told by someone looking at my pictures that they never realised China was so beautiful. 'This kind of reaction makes me so happy. 'I like to take a lot of pictures with a human element in it. 'I want to show people that behind the romantic beauty, there is a lot of hard work involved in these remarkable patterns. In one spot, there were more than 3,000 layers of rice terraces starting from the foot of the mountain side to the top. 'Just think how much time and walking this includes for the farmers, let alone the planting and harvesting labour.' The breathtaking Hani Rice Terraces are found in the mountains above Yuanyang, in south-west China. They are often described as the 'stairway to heaven' because of the vast layers of land reaching heights of up to 2000 meters above sea level. The Hani people's ancestors came to the steep mountain area 2,500 years ago. n their struggle against the difficult terrain they transformed the land into terraced rice paddies where they grew rice to make a living. The creativity of the Hani people has not only transformed the area into a fertile area to grow rice but also a place of artistic beauty. In recognition, the Ming Dynasty emperor granted the title of Skillful Sculpture to the Hani people and the fields have been officially acknowledged by UNESCO as a World Cultural and Natural Heritage site. Over quite a long period of time the local people have cultivated a great number of rice species in their farming activities. The site is protected by the laws of the People's Republic of China and support enough rice for hundreds of thousands of

Stunning: This colourful photograph was taken in Dongchuan, China, by photographer Zhang Ning on one of her many trips around the country

Tranquil: These fascinating photographs were captured by amateur photographer Zhang Ning, 51, after trips across her native China

Don’t be fooled, this is not a painting but the stunning landscape in Dazai, China, captured by photographer Zhang Ning

Natural wonder: The patterns and terraces in Yuanyang, China, are often referred to as the stairway to heaven

The entire field is irrigated with spring water from the forest above to rejuvenate and prepare for the next growing season

people. Yuanyang county lies at an altitude ranging from 140 along the Red River up to nearly 3000 metres above sea level in the Ailao mountains and is about 50km north of the border with Vietnam. During the winter to early spring season the entire field is irrigated with spring water from the forest above to rejuvenate and prepare for the next growing season. There is only one harvest per year for the Yuanyang Rice Terrace and planting occurs from March to November every year. (mailonline)

Zhang Ning says: ‘I have been told by someone looking at my pictures that they never realised China was so beautiful.



Healthy Living

8 Steps to take today (I) By Miranda Hitti WebMD Feature Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD


ealthy living is within your reach, starting today. Sure, healthy living is a long-term commitment, not a flash-in-thepan fad. But there are steps you can take right now that will make today healthier than yesterday and pave the way for healthy living tomorrow, too. Here’s your checklist of practical healthy living tips that are ready to go. Let’s get started. Healthy Living Step No. 1: Take stock Your first step toward healthy living is to get a handle on your health status right now. Here’s your to-do list: • Make appointments with your doctor and dentist. Catch up on your routine screening and immunizations, and take the opportunity to ask your doctor any questions you might have. • Gauge your girth. Measure your height and weight to check your BMI, and measure your waist circumference to see if you’re overweight and if your waistline is put-

Healthy living starts right now. Experts tell you how ting your health at risk. •Assess your activity. How much physical activity do you get in a typical week? How intense is that activity? How much variety do you get in your activity, and how much do you enjoy it? The CDC recommends that adults get at least two and a half hours per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or one hour and 15 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, plus muscle-strengthening activities at least two days per week. • Keep a food diary. Write down everything you eat for a day -- and no fair skipping the items you’re embarrassed about. “The idea is to write it down ... without judgment,” says Kathianne Sellers Williams, MEd, RD, LD, a nutritionist, wellness coach, and personal trainer with Cafe Physique in Atlanta. “You can’t change what you’re not aware of or don’t acknowledge.” • Check your mood and energy. Healthy living includes emotional wellness and adequate rest. How has your mood been lately? Are you experiencing any symptoms of depression or anxiety? Do you usually

sleep well for seven to eight hours a night? • Consider your social network. How strong are your connections with family and friends? Are you plugged in with social or spiritual groups that enrich your life? “People have a fundamental need for positive and lasting relationships,” C. Nathan DeWall, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky, tells WebMD. If you’re not thrilled with the answers to some of those questions, remember that the point is to figure out where you are today so you can set your healthy living goals. It’s not about being “good” or “bad,” “right” or “wrong.” Healthy Living Step No. 2: Put out fires If you know that you have chronic health problems, whether it’s heart disease,diabetes, depression, arthritis, or other conditions, treatment is an obvious priority for healthy living. The same goes for risky behaviors, such as smoking, and addictions of any kind. Addressing these issues typically isn’t a do-it-yourself task.

Why you should visit the dentist today


isiting the dentist is no picnic, in all reality, what with trepidation associated with the dentists surgery is a house of pain akin to the television classic “Hammer house of horrors” A visit to the dentist is therefore not the average person’s idea of a fun trip. There seems to be no age predisposition old, young, middle aged, neither is there any sexual preference male or female. We all desire healthy, clean and beautiful teeth. It is the desire of the dentist to encourage visits to the surgery, increase awareness, offer services of the preventive, curative types. As the maxim, ‘prevention is better than cure’ in health care is, it is most true as in dental health, this column will seek to let readers realize the visits to dentist surgery should be as routine as serving any piece of machinery or equipment. The body literarily speaking, being the machine. Regular dental visits inculcates a culture of preventive oral health and indeed general being for all. A visit to the surgery is of great benefits as enumerated below •The dentist would be able to detect any developmental anomalies most especially in children, examination of the oral cavity and tissues may reveal medical conditions. The oral cavity most often may be showing the earliest symptoms of medical ailments, for example anaemia, several vitamin deficiencies, viral, bacteria, fungal infections (candidiasis) in adults many salient chronic conditions such as diabetes mellitus, autoim-

mune diseases, clonn’s disease, bowel syndrome may manifest in the oral cavity. Ulcers which may be the signs of more occult general medical conditions also manifest. The dentist will be able to examine and ask relevant questions about the general well being. A regular routine oral check up or likened to a car (M.O.T) ministry of transport check will entails dentists examining all teeth and surrounding tissue, the health, vitality, cleanliness, colour as sometimes disocolored teeth may be due not only to stains, from coffee, tobacco, colanuts, colored food substances, dyes, beetroot etc. Examination would reveal evidence of excessive salts like fluoride in the water. It could also be as a result of exposure of poisoinous substances like lead, copper etc . The presence of color producing bacteria –chromogenic bacteria which may produce a black band stains around the teeth in children/adults alike usually a source of concern. The gum tissue may be excessively dark, a dentist will be able to reassure that this is normal due to presence of the pigment of melanin. The dentist is able to reassure affected individuals there is no abnormality. The dentist through examination that anticipate malocclusion problems that is a situation whereby the teeth become maligned, erupting in the wrong places, misdirected or failure to erupt, missing causing, gaps, protruded, through increased angulation retroclined etc. the dentist is able to use aids like radio-

graphs (X-rays) to vividly explain the situation and available treatments (intervention). The dentists would be glad to offer services like a frank oral health education prevention regime including best dietary advise to prevent oral health diseases. A visit to the dentist should be interactive whereby questions regarding infection control are essential that dental gloves, face masks and sterilizing units for instruments be in place – This is a right of the patient, it also protects against quackery. Hence mirrors, probes and instruments be sterile and aseptic. Diagnostic aids like dental x-ray machines most often are a requirement for best practices – whilst this may not necessarily be compulsory. It is essential. Questions about specific treatment will be gladly answered by your dentists. The dentists is able to explain alternative treatments should

Partner with your doctor. Make the phone call today to schedule that appointment. Healthy Living Step No. 3 Move more Here are Williams’ top tips for increasing physical activity: • Make it fun. Go on a hike, walk with friends, take a bellydancing or karate class, or whatever you enjoy. “There’s no need to stick to cardio equipment in the gym if you’re dreading it and you don’t like it,” Williams says. “Find something that’s fun.” • Keep track of it. Make a note of your physical activity in your date book or calendar. “Put big Xs on the days that you exercise,” Williams says. “Keep a visual record that you look at frequently” as a reminder and motivator. • Set a weekly goal for activity. To build your confidence, “make the first goal so easy that you say, ‘I know I can do that,’” Williams suggests. She recommends weekly goals because if you set a daily goal and miss a day, you might get discouraged; weekly goals give you more day-to-day flexibility. And at

the end of the week, reward yourself with a visual reminder of your accomplishment, such as buying flowers for yourself. • Work activity into your day. “Ten percent of something is better than 100% of nothing. So even if you have 10 minutes, it’s better than zero minutes,” Williams says. She suggests taking a 10-minute walk before lunch or walking up and down the stairs when you’re feeling drained and tired. Other ideas include wearing a pedometer to track how many steps you take per day (health experts recommend shooting for 10,000 steps per day) and working with a personal trainer (double up with a friend to lower the cost) to create an exercise routine. If you’re curious about how many calories you’re burning, try using WebMD’s Fit-o-Meter, a fitness and exercise calorie calculator. But of course, physical activity is for everyone, whether you’re trying to lose weight or not. Source: http://www.webmd. com


Dr. Samuel Omodele Awosolu 08108155239 (SMS only) such subsists. Records of treatment are kept confidential. These are not shared with third party except in mediolegal situations or with the consent of the parents/custodians in the case of a minor. Ethics makes it essential that dentist provide maximum satisfaction and comparable standard of oral health care for their patient treatment needs with the least discomfort to the patient from the period of entry into the surgery till subsequent departure from clinic including post consultation period. The dental team are trained to be courteous the environment should be friendly both in its dicor and color scheme. Cleanliness is paramount, Education leaflets often available whilst in the reception area. The use of the media via websites of dental practices endears the

Examination would reveal evidence of excessive salts like fluoride in the water. It could also be as a result of exposure of poisoinous substances like lead, copper etc . The presence of color producing bacteria –chromogenic bacteria which may produce a black band stains around the teeth in children/adults alike usually a source of concern.

patients to be practice. Feedback mechanisms and suggestion box (satisfaction box) have been used by some surgeries in recent times. Efforts should be made to keep tineously to appointments at the surgery to avoid delays, lost manhours. Accessibility of dental clinics also essential, every effort is made by dentist that all members of the society are considered in access to service. The presence (location) in the ground floor of premises use of ramps to ensure wheel chair access or people with mobility problems access. Baby mother friendly and children friendly corness in the waiting room endears the patient to a not too hospital setting. Newer practices are using children programmes cartoons, posters, soft relaxing music to make the dental experience more pleasant state of the are. Intra oral cameras are made to depict oral situations visually. They could even be mailed or printed. Interactive services are available at some surgeries. Recommended oral products or display can be easily accessed by patients. The drawback for many may be financial however the presence of health insurance schemes makes this less of a burden. A twice yearly visit to the dentist or at the least once a year is to be recommended for all and sundry. Do not wait until you have symptoms of oral health problems before visiting the dentist


Side Talk


with Jacinta David

The season of open letters A

nother issue on top of SideTalk’s desk is the popular letter saga going on across the country. Nigeria has gradually gone back to the letter writing days with our political actors showing off their intellectual prowess with the aid of the pen. First, it was the seemingly endless 18-page story of a former president of Nigeria who wrote, accusing the incumbent of many crimes. The most controversial aspect, however, was the counter letter attributed to the daughter of this same former president. The drama, however, was staged when the news hit the country that the former President’s daughter had denied knowledge of the said letter. This report was shortly refuted again by the same former president’s daughter who called the reporters mad people saying she could not have denied a thing she knows she had done deliberately. However, in her reaction to the rumour that disputed her authorship of the highly controversial letter, Senator “Iyb” was said to have given further reasons why she gave up on her father, claiming that she was the writer of the said letter. SideTalk gathered that when Baba was approached by journalists to confirm the source of the letter, he allegedly insulted the reporter, asserting that his daughter had no knowledge about the letter. This was after another poorly written letter resurfaced on the Internet, purportedly written by the retired General’s daughter. In the letter, his daughter denied having knowledge of the controversial letter. However, in her reaction, the Senator flayed the calculated attempt by some media organizations to disassociate her from the letter, saying that she cannot retract the letter as well as the position she had taken regarding her father. Senator “Iyb” had allegedly blamed the reporters for relying on the social media in the following words: “No, no, no, that is not true. How can you live by social media? That is part of the problem with Nigeria; people want to be flying rumours. I have not told anybody o! It is early morning here

Politics of fugitives




Goodluck Jonathan and I just woke up and if I were you I would just ignore them,” she was reported to have said. “Nobody can say that I told him that I didn’t write it. I am not a liar. I will not back away from what I wrote and there is nothing that is there that is a lie. In the last four years, how many of them have spoken to me? They are all mad people,” she added. She further stated that her present

strained relationship with her father resulted from her recent discovery that her father will never change from manipulating people. The nature of the controversies baffled SideTalk but the most intriguing of issues relating to this is the way political and personal differences are interrelated by people who regard themselves as leaders of the nation.

he next issue on the stables of SideTalk pertains to the recent headlines about the political fugitives roaming Nigeria’s political groups. Recent reports have revealed that a whopping 37 of these political actors drifted from one arm of the political group to another. The news has been received in various ways by political critics across the country. While some consider the drift as one of the greatest signs of danger for the ruling party of the nation; others ask what the opposition thinks it will achieve from the recent development. According to the proponents of the first point; this is the first time in Nigeria’s history when a ruling party would automatically be reaped of its members in such quantum. Indeed, if the previous happenings have not played clear roles in telling the party that danger lies ahead for it in the coming elections, these present happenings should go a long way to pass the message across to the party’s leading class. Yet, the proponents of the last argument hold that the opposition is just creating the room for a repetition of what it has all condemned in the recent past. According to reports, these people have accused the ruling party of being gross failures. Yet, they give open arms to major players in the party that they have allegedly called a group of failures. Invariably, what this means is that the opposition is opening its arms wide to receive a collection of failed actors and, as such, the next episode may indeed be a repetition of yet another nightmare for the people of this beloved country of ours. Furthermore, there has been a growing fear that this political group may indeed be springing up another separate class of people identified not only by ethnic differences but more dangerously by religious affiliation.

The fake SA interpreter C ontroversial developments across the globe caught the interest of SideTalk this week as stories about the infamous interpreter at the burial ceremony of one of the world’s most celebrated statesman, Nelson Mandela, turned out to be fake. According to our source: “The bogus sign language interpreter at Madiba’s memorial did not only startle the audience with his obvious inefficiency, he also prided himself with the saying that he had translated for years at big events for SA’s ruling party and government.” Yet, our source gathered that: “Investigating is still going on to find out how a selfdescribed schizophrenic said to have been involved in mob killings got such a sensitive job in which he stood close to US President Barack Obama and other world leaders.” The story even went further to reveal that the controversial sign language

interpreter was receiving treatment at the Sterkfontein Psychiatric Hospital west of Johannesburg before the event. More details hold that the hospital declined giving information to journalists about the interpreter’s psychological state as at the time of filling in this report. Based on the information at our disposal, SideTalk could not help but ask certain question?: Could it indeed be that this African country of black and white is really this corrupt or is it indeed likely to assume that certain persons have indeed been involved in some form of dubious plans to rubbish the name of the great leader of the SA? Is it possible that this interpreter who must have gone through some form of auditioning, before being awarded such contract, came out successfully by merit despite such serious imperfections?

Who exactly could one hold responsible for such a noticeable misdemeanour? Whatever the answers SideTalk hopes that the future would not hold other shocking revelations from this

country which has suffered many years of racial discrimination. Our prayer too, is that, the persons responsible for coordinating events traceable to this great leader will not repeat this sort of misdemeanour any time soon.

Nelson Mandela’s fake memorial interpreter stands next to President Barack Obama

BIG PUNCH “I still insist that it is the right time for Jonathan to be impeached. He must, so that this nation will be saved. Yes, I agree with the public opinion on this.” —Abubakar Tsav, former Police Commissioner urging Reps Speaker to impeach President Jonathan


The practice of mercy


hose of us who come from various European lineages are not blameless,’ Bill Clinton, former President of the United States, said in a lecture at Georgetown University on November 10, 2001. He went on to say: ‘Indeed, in the first Crusade, when the Christian soldiers took Jerusalem, they first burned a synagogue with 300 Jews in it, and proceeded to kill every woman and child who was Muslim on the Temple Mount. The contemporaneous descriptions of the event describe soldiers walking on the Temple Mount, a holy place to Christians, with blood running up to their knees. I can tell you that that story is still being told today in the Middle East and we are still paying for it.’ Bill Clinton had, in fact, severely diminished the scale of the crime. ‘On July 15, 1099, when [the] motley crew of wealthy princes and tattered peasant warriors traveling on foot [from all around Europe] breached the wall of their main destination, Jerusalem, the violence was even worse,’ the journalist Melissa Rossi writes in What Every American Should Know about the Middle East. ‘The Crusaders slaughtered almost every resident of the town; so much blood filled the streets that the mild accounts have it flowing above their ankles.’ The orgy of sacrificial butchery started on July 15, 1099, and went on for three most gruesome days. ‘When the carnage stopped,’ Sir Steven Runciman states tersely in his authoritative A History of the Crusades, ‘the streets were running with blood.’ Reflecting back on the gigantic tragic enterprise, of which the the sack of Jerusalem was only a part, albeit the focal point, The Times of London stated in an editorial on 27th October 2001: ‘Few would dispute that the Crusades involved war crimes on a massive scale, a whipping-up of religious hatred for the purposes of pillage and political consolidation in fractured Europe, a largely unprovoked war waged against a deeply cultured people.’ That was a moment of history which must never be forgotten by Muslims in particular and by people of whatever age or place. What, however, should be of particular interest to us and to discerning minds is the sequel. When Pope Urban || launched the war on Islam he expected three outcomes, at the very least — the extirpation of the Muslim ‘race’, Christendom’s control over Muslim territories and resources, and the death of Islam. But the rape of Jerusalem had robbed Europe of its innocence. If there was anything

as self rape, Europe had indeed committed it. Jerusalem returned to Islam about ninety years after its sack. But for Europe under the spell of Papacy there was no life without Jerusalem. So the struggle to reconquer the Holy City only intensified, and the entire continent was galvanized and cajoled to fight Islam for nearly four hundred years, nonstop. On April 13, 1204 the army of Pope Innocent |||, sent to effect the final reconquest of Jerusalem, entered instead the City of Constantinople, the capital of Christendom, and set to do what the forces of Pope Urban || did to Jerusalem in 1099 — only worse. Speros Vryonis, in Byzantium and Europe, as quoted by Wikipedia, gives a vivid account of what happened: ‘The Latin soldiery subjected the greatest city in Europe to an indescribable sack. For three days they murdered, raped, looted and destroyed on a scale which even the ancient Vandals and Goths would have found unbelievable. The French and others destroyed indiscriminately, halting to refresh themselves with wine, violation of nuns, and murder of Orthodox clerics. The Crusaders vented their hatred for the Greeks most spectacularly in the desecration of the greatest Church in Christendom. They smashed the silver iconostasis, the icons and the holy books of Hagia Sophia, and seated upon the patriarchal throne a whore who sang coarse songs as they drank wine from the Church’s holy vessels.’ Furthermore: ‘The estrangement of East and West, which had proceeded over the centuries, culminated in the horrible massacre that accompanied the conquest of Constantinople. The Greeks were convinced that even the Turks [i.e. Muslims], had they taken the city, would not have been as cruel as the Latin Christians. The defeat of Byzantium, already in a state of decline, accelerated political degeneration so that the Byzantines eventually became an easy prey to the Turks. The Fourth Crusade and the crusading movement generally thus resulted, ultimately, in the victory of Islam, a result which was of course the exact opposite of its original intention.’ Pope Innocent ||| who had launched the ill fated expedition was said to have been filled with shame and outrage on what Christians had done to Christians in the name of war on Islam. He wrote: ‘How, indeed, will the church of the Greeks, no matter how severely she is beset with afflictions and persecutions, return into

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Ibraheem Sulaiman

Former US President, Mr. Bill Clinton ecclesiastical union and to a devotion for the Apostolic See, when she has seen in the Latins only an example of perdition and the works of darkness, so that she now, and with reason, detests the Latins more than dogs? As for those who were supposed to be seeking the ends of Jesus Christ, not their own ends, who made their swords, which they were supposed to use against the pagans, drip with Christian blood,

they have spared neither religion, nor age, nor sex.’ Lamenting further, the Pope said: ‘They have committed incest, adultery, and fornication before the eyes of men. They have exposed both matrons and virgins, even those dedicated to God, to the sordid lusts of boys. Not satisfied with breaking open the imperial treasury and plundering the goods of princes and lesser men, they also laid their hands on the treasures

The Times of London stated in an editorial on 27th October 2001: ‘Few would dispute that the Crusades involved war crimes on a massive scale, a whippingup of religious hatred for the purposes of pillage and political consolidation in fractured Europe, a largely unprovoked war waged against a deeply cultured people.’ That was a moment of history which must never be forgotten by Muslims in particular and by people of whatever age or place.

of the churches and, what is more serious, on their very possessions. They have even ripped silver plates from the altars and have hacked them to pieces among themselves. They violated the holy places and have carried off crosses and relics.’ alahudin al Ayyubi or Saladin, was the great man destined to liberate Jerusalem. The extraordinary event was the exact replica of the liberation of Jerusalem by Caliph Umar, itself the exact replica of the liberation of Mecca by Prophet Muhammad. No person killed, no home destroyed, no woman violated, no property seized, no church desecrated. ‘The articles of capitulation were signed on Friday the 2nd of October, the Feast of St. Leger. By a strange coincidence, it was the 27th of Rejeb, the anniversary of the blessed Leylat el-Miraj, when the prophet of Islam dreamed his wonderful dream, and visited in his sleep the Holy City which his followers had now recovered after ninety years of Christian occupation,’ Sir Stanley Lane-Poole wrote in his celebrated work, Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem. ‘Never did Saladin show himself greater than during this memorable surrender. His guards, commanded by responsible emirs, kept order in every street, and prevented violence and insult, insomuch that no ill-usage of the Christians was ever heard of.’ ‘Thus did Saracens [i.e.Muslims] show mercy to the fallen city,’ Sir Stanley wrote further. ‘One recalls the savage conquest by the first Crusaders in 1099 when [Generals] Godfrey and Tancred rode through streets chocked with the dead and dying, when defenseless Moslems were tortured, burnt, and shot down in cold blood on the towers and roofs of the Temple, when the blood of wanton massacre defiled the honor of Christendom and stained the scene where once the gospel of love and mercy had been preached. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” was a forgotten beatitude when the Christians made shambles of the Holy City. Fortunate were the merciless, for they obtained mercy at the hands of the Moslem Sultan.’ Furthermore: ‘If taking of Jerusalem were the only fact known about Saladin, it were enough to prove him the most chivalrous and kind hearted conqueror of his own, and perhaps of any, age.’ Salahudin, then, purified the Holy City as Umar had done. Islam had returned in full glory. Salahudin invited the Jews and made them settle as full citizens. Christians retained their privileges and holy sites. Jerusalem became the City of God, once again.


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Saturday 21st December, 2013  
Saturday 21st December, 2013  

Saturday 21st December, 2013 Weekend Edition