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Senators, Taraba indigenes Reps lament want Assembly to Nigeria @ 53 declare Suntai unfit Pages 14

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. . . Putti ng the p e o p l e fi rs t

Robbers kill three in Saminaka Banks raid Vol. 3 No. 58


THUL QADAH 23-24, 1434 AH


• Blow safes with explosives • Female butcher murdered in Benin Page 6

Pfizer Trovan drug controversy latest

Victims petition FG, head for court over $75m breached agreement Page 7-9

Nigerian terror suspect, Babafemi, in New York for trial

Pages 6

Firda’us, a victim of the drug still in pain

Saraki’s role in Kwara’s underdevelopment – Pg 18



In t er vi ew Presidency: PDP may not win in 2015, says former Minister of Power and Steel Successive governments have only paid lip service to power generation and transmission according to former Minister of State in the Ministry of Power and Steel, Murtala Aliyu, who also asserted that the current crisis in the PDP has been reduced to personality conflict. He spoke with Peoples Daily Weekend Editor Hameed Bello and Assistant Editor Patrick Andrew…. Excerpts:


ou were one of those who wanted to chair the ruling party, the PDP, but somehow that couldn’t be. Now, the party is in some internal crisis over lack of internal democracy, and some governors are kicking, it appears the centre can no longer hold. How do you feel about this crisis? I wanted to become the chairman of PDP in the hope that after being in power for 14 years, the PDP ought to have developed into a strong institution that would have straight and clear programmes for the country. I sat down and reviewed certain facts; that the PDP in say Anambra state and the PDP in neighbouring Delta state or the PDP in Bauchi state and the PDP in neighbouring Plateau state are entirely different PDP states. This is because the party has no defined agenda that it forms politically, to be shared by federal, state and local governments or legislators as a driving force. PDP was only an election machine and I thought if I were to be the chairman, I would have repositioned the party to make it a sustainable political vehicle that would move the country forward. I stepped down because I realized that the only way you can pick the chairmanship is when you are patronized by one interest within the government. So long as this continues to happen the party will remain in turmoil, whether it is in control of the government or not. It is not only the PDP but any political part that is not able to structure itself into an institution that can be sustained like the ones we have even in smaller countries like Niger Republic, where some of the parties are twenty and thirty years old. They have defined identities and people come in to buy into the values and cultures of these parties. That’s why you don’t have this kind of movement we have, where somebody is PDP today, and the next day he leaves. Or where

the state assembly and the local government belongs to one party, but immediately the governor changes they now move entirely to another party. This shows lot of weaknesses in the political institutions that leads to break ups. Anybody who wants to see this democracy sustained must really be worried about the way political parties are operating now. If you were to be the PDP chairman, how would you handle the current crisis in the party? Crisis in politics is not a strange thing though the PDP has been having the crises for long period of time. I would have avoided this crisis right from the beginning because politics is about engagement. Politics is about reaching out and aggregating the interest of everybody. It is not possible to say that you can cover everybody’s interest in the party. But if you can meet the substantial portion of someone’s interest there is no problem. If you look at the crisis in the party, it is not a huge or irresolvable crisis. The problem is that it has been reduced to personality crisis, that’s why they are becoming too difficult to solve. Some governors, some legislators and some members of the party are aggrieved and you reach out to them and you will hear their grievances. You take off from there. You can address some of them and you can promise on some of them. What people want is fairness. I think this is the problem: lack of fairness. One of the conditions for truce in the crisis is that the president shouldn’t run, and the presidency and its men are agitating against such condition. If you were the chairman of the party, how would you have ensured that everything is resolved amicably? The truth is that it is not even yet the time for that because in a party where you can lay down fairly

Alh. Murtala Aliyu the mechanism for throwing up candidates. You don’t have to give conditions that somebody should run or not; because if somebody wants to run, that’s fine, you defeat him at the primaries. What if the man … (Cut in) 2015 should be avoided at all cost because this is the period when the PDP is facing a lot of challenges from the opposition coming together. They are strengthening. The PDP had 23 governors before

now, and the others have 13 governors. But as at today, the PDP is left with 16. In a situation where the PDP is seen to have either wronged or deviated from or not fulfilling the aspiration of certain portions of the country, it’s a huge challenge. In 2011, it was a big challenge for the PDP. In 2015, if we don’t put the house in order, it is almost certain that it will be difficult for the PDP to win.

They are also part of the problem because these same governors are the ones that created some of the problems. For me, it is not about supporting anyone but I can appreciate their grievances. I share some of their concerns.


ther countries have shown that the ruling party can lose. And it can happen here! So, this should be a warning to the PDP. My own belief is that rather than think that the President should run or should not run in 2015 we should first hope in getting a fair process for a fresh candidate to emerge. I know the consequences of doing otherwise especially in situation like the one we are in now. So, if the President has made some promises and so on between him and some persons, I think that should be sorted out. If the President has not done that or is just antics these are issues that can be looked at within the party. One of the major problems for this crisis is the president involving himself in the crisis. If I were the president, I would shield myself from the crisis and allow it to be resolved at the party level. If I were to be among the section of the party that is sympathetic to the president, I would have shielded him from getting directly into the trench. Perhaps, why the President

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I n te r v i e w

‘Govt not serious about power’ Contd from Pg 2 got involved is because he is the leader of the party… (Cut in ) In fact, the idea of President being the leader of the party, I don’t know where it came from! I know it started during the Obasanjo era. But the president should not be above the party, and the president can only hold factions or various tendencies within the party to mediate. The G5++ are insisting that the chairman of the party should give way, as the major means of negotiating for peace in the PDP. Do you share their view? If I were the chairman, I will resign. Because by the time you have this kind of quake under you and you still think you have the mandate you have a problem. I was hoping that he would have handled this crisis at the party level, but when he came and started praising himself; then I knew that he was not competent enough to manage the crisis anymore. I recalled that some members of the National Assembly said that they have sided with the breakaway faction, the chairman started screaming about it. The constitution of the party said the moment certain number of the members of the NEC move out from the party, then a party is formed. And that was the situation. hat is required is for the president to move out of the crisis, and then at the party level, the chairman, if I were him, I will resign. For me as a Nigerian, today if the president says he is not going to contest it is a problem and if he insists he is going to contest it is also a problem because the struggles about the presidential race would take over governance at all levels. So in the interest of the PDP and the country, the issue of whether the president should contest is not timely. In other words, you support the grievances of the G7 governors? I would not say I support them 100 %, because I don’t. But I support some of their grievances. They are in a party where internal democracy is put aside. They are also part of the problem because these same governors are the ones that created some of the problems. For me, it is not about supporting anyone but I can appreciate their grievances. I share some of their concerns. Where do you situate yourself in respect of 2015? To be honest with you I have not thought of contesting for political office for now. But there could be the possibility of I going for either the presidency, governorship or the senate. But if the political environment remains the way it is, there is no point. Because there is no internal democracy, there is no way for me. You were once Minister of State in the Ministry of Power and Steel and we know that so much have been invested in the power sector but up till now the nation remains in darkness. What do you think is the man problem with the


sector? Power is a composite sector: if you address one aspect and don’t address the other it won’t work. So far, from my observation most of the investments in the power sector are in distribution. Of course, every government comes with a plan and start but at the end of the day what drives the process is procurement and to award contract upon contract. Therefore, you find out that so much is spent without making any improvement. The components that requires huge investment is generation. In the generation aspect, in 2002, I was in China and I was the one that co-signed the MOU on the Mambila Plateau that was supposed take between 5 and 7 years to complete and generate between 3600-4000 megawatts. Till this moment, I don’t think the project has started. That’s 11 years after, which means it would have been completed by now. The project later technically became unattractive to later players in the sector. If we had that, at least we would have had almost the equivalent of what we are generating today. The hydro power plant takes a long time to put together-5-7 years. So when they say they are building a Zugale dam, it’s not as we are going to have power in the next four years from there, it will take at least some years to be completed and that’s if the government is serious. There is a dam we were building which is not for power generation, but that dam has been on from 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2013; Bi-water was the contractors of the project, which I was part of as a consultant. It’s been going on from the time of Babangida, Abacha and down to Yar’Adua’s era. The moment you don’t put money into such projects, what happens is if you stop somewhere, it will go back to zero. The next point is most of new plants we are buying in the NIPP are gas plants. But we don’t have gas. The local gas industry is in a way not producing enough gas to power these plants, and the power companies are not buying at the correct price because it is in the hands of few guys, who retail the product at higher prices. Therefore, we are erecting more and more gas plants, but we have no gas to power them. Like the plant now in Kaduna that is going to be powered by LPF or so is going to be imported. Because even when the Kaduna

Alh. Murtala Aliyu refinery runs, it is not going to supply the kind of product that is required given the quantity of crude oil that is refined in the Kaduna plant. Even the natural gas plant has not even started. So when a government comes and says we are going to give you 20,000 megawatts, I think its mere rhetorics. We have not planned to supply electricity as a deliberate policy of the government. But it’s good to award contracts to buy generating plants and placed them in any corner of the country. ransmission has some challenges too. Up till now what we have is rail line system. If today you disconnect Kaduna-Jos, the whole of the North would have no power because it’s just one line going. Most serious countries have a system where the power that emanates from kaduna –Jos; then Jos- Makurdi and so on off. Therefore there quite a number of challenges that ought to have been addressed and some of them cannot be done by the private sector. Now that the power sector is unbundled for investors to come in, but even if you are generating power and someone comes and says don’t worry go and generate for me to buy from you a time will come when you either have no money to buy or unwilling to buy because you are not using the power. No private sector would come and invest in transmission because it is only wheel powered from one location to another. But


If today you disconnect Kaduna-Jos, the whole of the North would have no power because it’s just one line going. Most serious countries have a system where the power that emanates from kaduna –Jos; then Jos- Makurdi and so on off.

you can commercialize it, to make investors earn money by conveying power generated from place to place and then see how you can support them, to make sure that it becomes attractive. When you look at distribution, the infrastructure are not in place in most of the transport mechanism facilities. If you go to places like Enugu, Zaria and Ibadan, you find cables that have been there for over 30 years. They have been worn by weather. Also there are transformers that have been there for 30 years; they have been running by the grace of God. And we have so many things like that, that are challenging. So even when you download power into say Ibadan or Zaria, less than 40-80 % will be utilized, because the a lot is lost through this poor infrastructures . So who pays for the loss? I know places in the North east that you connect one house, and the house connects to about ten other houses; and some of the meters are not read. Now these are the kinds of commercial challenges that any investor will take when buying distribution network. The last challenge I would consider is the issue of utility challenge. There areas with houses that are built for few inhabitants, but now have other attachments spring up. So when the transformer is installed in such areas, there is always going to be power problems there. e have a situation where the regulatory authorities are not talking to each other. Also, there is the attitude of Nigerians towards the sector. A lot of times, you find out that people are not willing to pay for energy supply! So there must be change of attitudes. When we are talking about attitude change, it refers to that of the Nigerian, that of the player and that of the government, which is very important. And the way to solve the Nigeria power problem is to sit down and really define the whole sector. I believe that the subsectors should be handled by the relevant government agencies to really provide electricity in this country. There is nothing mysterious about it.


Special Report



Nigeria@53: The pains, the gains

Fifty three years after, Nigeria has been groping in the darkness of political measures that were mostly promising at the infancy of Independence. News Editor Abubakar Ibrahim examines the stages and the impact on the journey so far. Additional reports by Abdulwahab Isa, Adeola Tukuru and Abbas Bamalli


t 53, a man is adjudged to have reached a significant peak in life that enables him to reflect maturely on issues before decision-making as well as a role model whose experience should guide generations behind him or possibly those unborn. That age, is to a large extent, a sign of stability, commonsense and foresight. But experiences are functions of particular patterns of life either internalized locally or acquired from environments different from our own, if it meets our yearnings and aspirations. These experiences could be social, political and economic, among others. And so, in analyzing the journey so far as Nigeria clocks 53 years as a federation, the underlying factors determining the fortunes of the country to date have their roots from the political structures bequeathed to indigenes by the British colonialists at Independence in 1960. It would be recalled that the Northern and Southern Protectorates amalgamated by Sir Lord Lugard in 1914 was an admixture of nationalities with different history and experiences. Specifically, Nigeria is a conglomerate of about 500 tribes with three major ones namely Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba. Other tribes were technically struggling to find identity under those three whose socio-political life were disparate at amalgamation; strange bedfellows united by colonial fiat through several constitutions until Independence. What appears to have lingered or decided our existence as Nigerians, dates back to the political configurations before and after independence. The nature of multi-party democracy saw political associations and alliances carved along the North and South under a parliamentary democracy whose leadership is determined by legislative majority. And so, the cleavages manifested in the outreach of the political parties. For instance, the National Council of Nigeria and Camerouns(NCNC) led by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Action Group (AG) led Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Sir Ahmadu Bello’s Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) all represented the major tribes. However, there were breakaway parties intent on protecting minority or particular interests like the Middle-Belt Congress(MBC) and the Northern Elements Progressive Union(NEPU). NEPU was primarily an antithesis to NPC popularly aligned with the oppressive monarchies.

Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Howbeit, Nigeria was born on a bedrock of a great dream carved out of the earnest hopes and expectations of the people themselves, their desire, ability, determination and commitment to build a one-of-a-kind society that embodied the best of human genius ennobled by a rich and diverse culture that would serve as its context and lifeline. That dream was born out of the palpable vision of a group of brilliant and highly motivated young leaders who were as eloquent as they were passionate, and as responsive and solicitous of the people’s will and support as they were soberly accessible, responsible and reliable even though they had political, ideological and strategic differences and interests which they mostly recognized and enthusiastically debated in the open. They were clear about the complex challenges of masterminding the future of Nigeria and of the fact that success or failure lay in their hands, and they were sober about the enormity of that responsibility. However, at the time, democracy, as a game of numbers, supposedly made it herculean for a group or section to snatch the most coveted seat of the Prime Minister before 1964 or the President in the Second Republic. Of note is that the ’64 election sparked riots from alleged vote rigging. Similarly, there was a comparative western educational advantage that gave leadership of the Armed Forces, the backbone of political leadership, to the South. Analysts believe that, this equation spurred the forceful attempt at turning the apple-cart in January 1966, a miscalculation in Nigeria’s history that destined the country to the three-year civil war

Chief Obafemi Awolowo (1967-1970).But before then, there were interesting developments wherein the four regions of the North, South-East, South-West and Mid-West competed favourably in infrastructure development. Through the years, especially after the fall of democracy, there was considerable détente from politically-induced turbulence. General Thomas Aguiyi-Ironsi tried a unitary process aimed at centralizing control and dousing cleavages but was unsuccessful, given the nature of the putsch that enthroned him but General Yakubu Gowon’s eight- years reign attempted to consolidate the economic gains of his civilian predecessors but hadn’t enough scrutiny inherent in democracy to spur faster development. After his tenure were the short but ideological tenures of Generals Murtala Mohammad and Olusegun Obasanjo which ended in 1979. The return to democracy in 1999 offered hope for a new Nigeria as politicians attempted to bridge the divide by forming national parties that accommodated the diversities that were more palpable in the First Republic but underestimated an already policised military always ready on the sidelines. The National Party of Nigeria (NPN) government led by President Shehu Shagari again offered the excuse for military comeback through flamboyant lifestyles and corrupt tendencies that perhaps could have been contained overtime through legislation, persuasion and punishment. But the crop of soldiers burning for quick change under MajorGeneral Muhammadu Buhari, were not given enough time either. And so for another fifteen years, the nation tottered between hardline

Sir Ahmadu Bello and liberal dictatorships which offered one step forward, two steps backwards but for the burning desire of individuals to reach the peak of their potentials despite the odds, These periods witnessed civil service reforms that have been manipulated to perpetuate wholesale corruption. Another ray of hope emerged in 1999 when a new civilian administration returned. With this time around, it was led by no less a soldier who willingly surrendered power to civiliansObasanjo. However, a critical look at his years, exhumes a potpourri of pluses and minuses which has far-reaching effects on situations today. Though democracy under

Obasanjo departed from the days of military censorships and denial of basic human rights, it shares history as a very volatile regime as far the security and unity of the country was concerned. While it bragged of empowerments, it failed to deliver on major infrastructure especially the electricity needed to catapult industrial growth. His era was full of manipulation of ethnic and religious division especially after the introduction of the Sharia legal system in Zamfara State. The prolonged Plateau crisis and power tussle for control of the soul of the PDP, according

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Special Report


Contd from Page 4 to observers, was among ways of gathering more numbers in the electoral process for continued stay in power. Here again as we approach the 2015 general elections with the polity overheated over the ambition of incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan to run for a second term. But critics of the move believe it is rather a third term through the backdoor by a leader who has already been sworn in twice. For two-thirds of Nigerians who have little or no recollection of that moment on Saturday, October 1, 1960 when the Union Jack came down for the last time in Nigeria, this has the pattern of preoccupation which has to a large degree, distracted Nigerian leaders from governance. And so, as the nation marches towards its 53th anniversary, public commentaries are focused on whether or not there are reasons to celebrate. During the 50th anniversary, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, told a rally in Benin City that, “Many have said that there is nothing to celebrate. I believe that there is much to celebrate.We do not celebrate the problems of the past, but the hope of a better tomorrow.” President Goodluck Jonathan, himself, also said in his 50th anniversary address that. “this is the time to consider our past, so that it can inform our future.” Alhaji Maitama Sule, one of the young Turks amongst the founding fathers of modern Nigeria and once ambassador and permanent representative of Nigeria to the United Nations, put it philosophically.“The purpose of history,is to know the past so that you can adjust the present to inform the future.” For decades, the circumvention of the people’s will in the ascendancy to power by military regimes for 29 of the past 53 years of Nigeria as a sovereign state, stalled democratic governance. Similarly, the indecent mimicking of the same authoritarian process by civilian politicians and political parties which simply negotiated public office and disenfranchised the people, simply perpetuated the same travesty. The specter of battle within the PDP for the presidency between a sitting president and members of his own party, is arguably another round of distraction, that has disrupted the continuity of policy and created the instability, corruption and disunity which has fed the wheel of underdevelopment since Independence. Chairman, Nepad Business Group Nigeria (NBGN), Chief Chris Ezeh on Independence The manufacturing sector in any economy, according to him is reputed to be the engine of growth and the ultimate pillar for sustainable growth and development and steering wheel for the transformation of an underdeveloped economy to an advanced economy. He said the sector all over the world remains the highest employer of labour and contributor to the GDP and so the fastest way through which a nation can achieve sustainable economic growth is


Nigeria@53: The pains, the gains

Sir Michael Okpara

Mallam Aminu Kano

Murtala Muhammed through effective development of its manufacturing sector as it is regarded in the modern world as a basis for determining a nation’s economic efficiency. “Manufacturing has direct and indirect influence on all segments of the economy: farmers and other raw materials providers; middlemen (wholesale and retail) and the final consumers. It is an avenue for increasing productivity in relation to import replacement and export expansion, creating foreign exchange earning capacity, rising employment and per capita income, which causes unique consumption patterns. “Historical evidence from experiences of developed countries like the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and some emerging nations like China, India, Brazil, Malaysia, etc, shows that the manufacturing sector played a critical role in the structural transformation of their economies from a subsistence, low production and low income state to one that is dynamic, sustained and diverse. “This critical sector has however not fared well nor contributed adequately to the growth and development of

Nigeria’s economy. Its capability to generate employment, create wealth, reduce poverty and contribute to gross domestic product, GDP, has been declining over the years. This is as a result of myriads of obvious challenges bedeviling the country. The most critical of these is the inadequate or in some cases near absent of infrastructures that are the oxygen that drives the productive sector. In most cases, manufacturing firms in the country generate 80% or more of their energy needs leading to high cost of production and the resultant uncompetitive prices in the global market. As a result, most organizations have closed down and the consequent is the unprecedented high unemployment and associated social economic problems being experienced in the country at the moment. Furthermore, the sector has also suffered from policy inconsistencies. Nigeria has no effective industrial policy that provides manufacturing at least not in the sense of policy which provides practical solutions to the difficulties encountered by incipient entrepreneurs or emerging manufacturing firms.

Gen. Yakubu Gowon “The situation was however not like this in the beginning as Nigeria has a thriving industrial sector in the 60s and mismanagement of the economy by the handlers caused the downward trend in this very important sector of our economy. Manufacturing’s contribution to the nation’s GDP rose from 4.4 percent in 1959 to 9.4 percent in 1970, before falling during the oil boom to 7.0 percent in 1973. Essentially, Nigeria’s manufacturing industry has suffered from neglect, since the country’s economy has depended on the petroleum sector since the 1970s”, he said. Education and Nigeria’s Future The chairman Education Sector Advocacy and Reform Committee of the Unity Schools Old Students Association, (USOSA) Chidi Odinkalu, sums up the journey so far in this sector. “The future of every country lies in how it invests in the development,

awareness and productivity of its citizens. This investment is done through education. We used to have a good education system in Nigeria. Until the late 1980s, our universities competed very well with their peers in the world and we had the records of achievement to prove it. Parents were happy to send their children to our public education system, safe in the knowledge that they would equip the children to compete effectively in life. Teacher education systems were in existence and quality of faculty in most schools was reasonably assured. We are no longer able to make any of these claims today. The educational system is in such a bad shape, it has become a threat to co-existence, national productivity and competitiveness, and national security. Consider these:[1] The strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and

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Nigerian terror suspect, Babafemi in New York for trial


Nigerian terror suspect accused of trying to help al-Qaida in Yemen was flown to New York and appeared yesterday in a federal courtroom. Lawal Babafemi is accused of training with members of alQaida in the Arabian Peninsula and using his English skills to help publish the terrorist magazine “Inspire.” Judge John Gleason ordered Babafemi, also known as “Ayatollah Mustafa,” held without bail. No plea was entered. Prosecutors said Babafemi is married with children in Nigeria and helped al-Qaida attempt to recruit people who speak English to engage in acts of terror against Americans. The FBI said Anwar alAwlaki, the American cleric who became the al-Qaida commander in the Arabian Peninsula and was killed in a U.S. drone strike, personally directed $9,000 be paid to Babafemi to assist in his recruitment efforts. Sitting silently at a defense table, Babafemi wore a blue and white striped polo shirt as he listened to the hearing without the help of a translator. His attorney did not object to his being held without bail, but told the judge Babafemi suffers from high blood pressure and asked that he receive medication when he gets to the Metropolitan Detention Center. Investigators said Babafemi was active with al-Qaida operatives from 2010 to 2011 until he was arrested for crimes in Nigeria. He was then turned over to FBI agents to be prosecuted for his alleged terrorist activity.

Blackberry losses $965m in sales, sacks 4,500 staff


lackberry has reported a second quarter net loss of $965 million as a result of a slump in sales. The company has also sent no fewer than 4,500 of its workforce into job market in a bid to stem the losses. The company, had, last week, warned investors that it would report a loss of up to a billion dollars, due to poor sales of its new smartphones. Earlier this week, Blackberry agreed to be bought by a consortium led by Fairfax Financial, its biggest shareholder, for $4.7 billion. Blackberry said it would continue to explore other options while negotiations with Fairfax continued. The company’s financial problems came to a head this year following disappointing sales of its new Z10 smartphone.


Gunmen kill three in Saminaka banks raid From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna & Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


ore than 20 gunmen are reported to have stormed two commercial banks and neighbouring communities in Saminaka, headquarters of Lere Local Government Area of Kaduna State, killing not less than three people and many others critically injured in the early hours of yesterday. An eyewitness told this reporter that the gunmen who came in large numbers wielding sophisticated guns, stormed the commercial banks and surrounding houses and carted away huge sums of money. The eyewitness who identified himself as Habila said the gunmen killed three

•Blow up safes with explosives •Female butcher murdered in Benin security personnel attached to the banks and used Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) to blow up the safes of the banks before charting away monies. As at the time of filing in this report, Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, said he was presently at Saminaka to assess the situation. However, the Public Relations Officer of Kaduna State Police Command, DSP Aminu Lawan, said the attacks were purely an armed robbery operation in which three people were killed , but that the police was on the trail of the robbers. DSP Aminu Lawan called on people of Lere Local

Government Area in particular and Kaduna State in general to avail the police with adequate information that would help in nabbing the fleeing robbers. “What happened today have been confirmed to be armed robbery attacks on the two commercial banks in Saminaka. Three security personnel attached to the banks were killed by the robbers instantly, and several others in the neighborhood sustained gunshots and they are being treated in an undisclosed hospital. “I call on people of Kaduna State to be law abiding and be vigilant as police has

L-R: Alh. Tijjani Abdullahi Mahafi (LAU), former minister, water resources, Dr. Mrs. Salomi Audu Jankada, Hon. Tina Musa , during the press briefing of the 16 representatives of Taraba state on the state of affairs of Taraba politics, yesterday in Abuja, Photo: Justin Imo-owo

PDP national scribe: Court replaces Oyinlola wtih Oladipo By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


Federal High Court, Abuja yesterday affirmed the election of Professor Adewale Oladipo as the National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in place of the former Osun State Governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola. The court sitting before Justice Abdul Kafarati held in the ruling that the election of Prof. Oladipo at the South West zonal congress of the ruling PDP was proper and in compliance with the judgment of the court, as a replacement to Oyinlola.

Justice Kafarati said, in the ruling that the court cannot invalidate its judgment delivered in the matter and ordered national headquarters of the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise Prof. Oladipo as the valid national secretary of the party. The court also accepted the outcome of the extra-ordinary Southwest zonal congress held in Ibadan, Oyo State on March 13 this year, where Prof Oladipo was elected to replace Oyinlola. It would be recalled that the ruling PDP, Ogun state chapter had earlier initiated contempt

proceedings against Oyinlola and two others over his continued claim to being the National Secretary of the Party. The chairman of the Ogun State chapter of the PDP, Adebayo Dayo and Secretary, Semiu Sodipo, who are applicants in the matter want the court to commit Oyinlola and others to prison for allegedly flouting a subsisting judgment of the court, sacking the former governor as PDP’s National Secretary. Joined with Oyinlola as alleged contemnors are factional Chairman of the party, Kawu Baraje and a former National Working Committee member, Sam Sam Jaja.

commenced investigation into the robbery attacks and we are working round the clock to bring the perpetrators to book”. Pastor Emmanuel Joseph of ECWA Gospel Church, Saminaka who resides a stone throw from the affected banks said, the operation lasted more than two hours with the gunmen shooting sporadically to scare people from the scene. In Benin city, the unabated leadership crises rocking the Nigerian Butchers association, Edo State chapter assumed a frightening dimension, with the reported murder of a female butcher. The victim was allegedly shot and killed in Iwinasogie street, Aduwawa Community in Ikpoba-Okha local government area of Edo State. Reports have it that the victim, Mrs. Bose Iwinanogie, aged 44, was killed few metres from her residence on her way to work. But it could not be independently verified the time the butcher was killed. The assailants were said to have parked their car at a distance and waited for their victim to step out of her residence and was shot at a close range and left in her own pool of blood It was learnt that help was not within reach due to the deplorable road leading to the scene of crime. Mrs. Iwinogie was said to be leading a faction of the Edo State Butchers Association operating from the New Benin Market Meat Sellers Association extension in Oredo local government area of the State. She was also said to be among the members that attended the butchers meeting with a Civil Commissioner in the State who attempted to broker peace in the troubled union recently. Spokesman for the association, Osagie Osatohanmwen said there has been a threat on the life of the deceased. Police spokesman, Moses Eguavoen confirmed the killing and said police was already investigating. Eguavoen said no arrest has been made, adding that an autopsy would be conducted on the victim whose “corpse has been deposited at the Guobadia mortuary”.



Pfizer Trovan drug controversy latest

Victims petition FG, head for court over $75m breached agreement

Lives have been lost and emotions have been bruised, but the controversy is still raging. Years after the contentious Trovan drugs was administered by a US drug outfit, Pfizer ostensibly to treat meningitis in children in Kano, it has rendered many parents perpetual mourners for losing their loved ones who became victims of perceived illegal laboratory experiments. The renewed debate has given rise to court actions by the victims who are accusing Pfizer of breaching the agreement to pay them compensation running into millions of dollars.

By Jamila Nuhu Musa and Edwin Olofu


he Kano Trovan Victims’ Forum (TVF) has sued the pharmaceutical firm, Pfizer, for reneging on agreement reached for compensation, while petitioning President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Kano state governor, Dr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso on the matter. They claimed that since the unfortunate incident, which cost the lives of eleven children in Kano state, Pfizer has since gone underground while some prominent Nigerians, mandated to pursue the cause of justice for the Nigerian children in order to get redress have abandoned the struggle, and instead colluded with the giant drug company in scuttling their compensation. They attributed their fate to the political situation in the country, whereby, other issues that concern the citizenry are now matters of secondary importance. In a statement in Kano, signed by chairman of Trovan Victims Forum, (TVF), Alhaji Mustapher Garba Maisikeli, the victims said though the graveyard of the eleven innocent children killed through the recklessness of Pfizer, is a stark reminder of how the US drug company took advantage of illiterate parents of the children, Nigerian government has allowed Pfizer to continue to ridicule the victims, some of whom have been reduced to beggars due to their disabilities even as their hope of gaining education, both Islamic and Western have been quashed. The forum said it is therefore heading back to the Court as justice still seems elusive in the case started since 2006. Towards this end, they have “sued Pfizer and its agents at an Abuja High Court, constituted criminal case against Pfizer in a Kano High Court, and opening up another case in the United States of America”, all to stop Pfizer’s ‘sinister antics’ in the delay of justice to the 187 Trovan trial victims who were used for the guinea pig

Fir’daus, a victim still in pain

experiment. Frantic efforts to contact Pfizer for a comment was unsucessful as enquiries to their contact did not yield result. Reports indicated that the drug war intensified in 2006, when a Nigerian government report after five years; finally saw the light of day indicting a panel of medical experts as well as Pfizer for violating international law. The original lawsuit, demanded billions of dollars in damages for using Kano children as guinea pigs with the experimental drug, Trovan. Pfizer denied the charges, claiming it had saved lives and that they acted ethically within the confines of law. This has proved otherwise as the former director of Nigeria’s version of FDA reportedly, said the agency was unaware of the experiment even though Pfizer produced an approval letter from the Nigerian Ethics Committee, a letter which authenticity was adduced to be doubtful as it was allegedly not produced the

first time Pfizer entered the ancient city of Kano, on its mission to administer Trovan. However, the victims’ nightmare started when an outbreak of the Meningitis killed over 12,000 children in just six months, prompting researchers from Pfizer to initiate Trovan drug trial that could earn them millions of dollars if approved. Years later, Pfizer was to answer for using the children as guinea pigs and it tried to end the more than one decade- long legal battle out of court. The lawsuit had alleged that Trovan was administered in a way that it was never tested before on human beings as it was “part of a class of antibiotics known to have life- threatening side effects”. Children in the control group were said to have been given low doses of a drug known to be effective against meningitis, and the dosage was too low to have any effect, consequently, some of them died while others became permanently dis-

abled, like Shamsudeen Dauda, who cannot stand without being assisted. The lawsuit alleges that Trovan was given in a form never before tested on humans and was part of a class of antibiotics known to have life-threatening side effects. Children in the control group were given low doses of a drug known to be effective against meningitis (doses perhaps too low to have effect). The families involved in the suit say the results from the control group allowed Pfizer to claim Trovan was a superior treatment. Pfizer continues to deny the charges, saying they are “proud of the way the study was conducted,” and that meningitis killed the children, not Trovan. And they’re, of course, committed to bringing “the Trovan matter to a fair and final resolution.” With two Court cases in Nigeria and New York hanging on its neck, Pfizer then initiated a truce through some prominent Nigerians but allegedly bribed

its way out of the pending cases when it issued compensation of $5,000 to each TVF members to withdraw the case. Maisikeli, said the TVF members accepted the offer based on the understanding that the process of compensation would be fair and just. The Trovan Victims Forum claims that some influential Nigerians have now colluded with Pfizer to truncate the pact. In its statement, the forum said “We have noticed with dismay that Pfizer is using some influential Nigerians to cheat the victims instead of working for national interest”. The forum is shocked that Pfizer’s comments while the case dragged, is at variance with the facts of the matter. It claimed that Pfizer has been arrogant and contemptuous in its dealings with Nigerian Government, in respect of the victims’ plight. Stressing that claims by Pfizer,




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also border on lies. For instance, stated TVF, on March, 16, 2001, Pfizer’s chairman and Managing Director, Mr. Robert A. Tade, had on request by Dr Abdussalam Nasidi, Federal Ministry of Health Committee of Enquiry, to produce records of its activities which culminated into the crisis, said “no such records existed or had ever existed at all” There was not even a mention of DNA reference sample, but 8 years later, Pfizer claimed t it has records. Then there is the issue of the dispute over actual number of victims involved in the medical experiment carried out by Pfizer at the IDH Kano, in 1996. According to the forum, “It was clearly stated in an Affidavit sworn to, at an Abuja High Court in 2007 by one Ada Okoroafor on behalf of three Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) namely, Chief Anthony I. Idigbe, Mr. Damian D. Dodo and Mr. Muhammad B. Adoke, that only 1,441 patients were treated by Pfizer. However a year later, 2008 to be precise, at a settlement out- of- court meeting held in the office of former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Chief Micheal K. Aondokaa in Abuja, Pfizer representative, Atiba D. Adams while quoting the former Attorney General of Kano state, Aliyu Umar, when the latter made public the issue, that TVF recorded figure was 192 victims. Adams therefore suggested that

from that information as handed down by Aliyu Umar, 142 patients were ‘unaccounted’ for. The statement emphasised that the number of victims on the first litigation against Pfizer was only 58, thus, according to Mr. Adams, 142 are regarded as ‘unaccounted’, that means 200 minus 58, equal 142. The discrepancies notwithstanding, Pfizer reportedly took into account 200 patients under its health component through which it set up a structured Meningitis Fund for a nominal compensation of $10, 000, 00 USD, which was to be paid to each of the 200 patients involved in the Pfizer drug trial. As the stakeholders touted the contending issues in the media and the court, TVF, stood its ground insisting that there was more to the fracas than meets the eyes, contending that Pfizer actually tested Trovan on over a thousand patients in Kano, and not hundreds as exemplified. “We have in our custody, some enrolment cards with numbers 0001, 0134, 0136 etc. This confirms that Pfizer had treated thousands, not hundreds of patients. In other words it was a four figure affair and this was stated in Pfizer’s sworn Affidavit to be 1,441 trial participants”. This is a confirmation that over 1000 children in Kano were involved in the guinea pig test, says TVF which also disclosed that another relocated victim, Maryam Sani Abubakar Sharada with

The grave of some of the victims who have since passed away

enrolment No. 193, who also got her share of the ill fated trial resurfaced at some point. To stem the tide of the controversy, elder Statesman and former Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, who went together with a team of experts to London, where they signed an MoU as regards Pfizer assured then Governor of Kano state; Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau that Pfizer would compensate 200 victims only, of the drug activity in reference. However, TVF alleged that a key player, and a senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), brought his law firm, Punica into the mix to extort legal fees from Pfizer Inc. thereby tampering with the rights of victims. “This is contrary to Rules 47 and 39(30) (b) of the rules of Professional conduct for Legal Practitioners Act 2007 amongst other provisions of such rules, TVF stated. This is not the first time the giant drug company is involved in such crises, Pfizer’s list of scandals include a 2012 bribery settlement; massive tax avoidance; and lawsuits. The protracted struggle for justice for 192 victims that were affected by the Trovan vaccine trials conducted by Pfizer in Kano, way back in 1996, has continued to rage on; seventeen years after the American pharmaceutical giant rendered many of them incapacitated through the test. Trovan, a Pfizer drug tested

Shamsudeen Dauda, a disabled victim

on 200 children and intended to treat a deadly regional outbreak of meningitis, killed 11 children and left several others incapacitated. This is just as Pfizer, through the Healthcare/Meningitis Trust Fund established in concert with Kano State Government to effect an out-of-court settlement - headed by eminent retired justice of the Supreme

Court, Justice Abubakar Bashir Wali has refuted claims by the Kano Trovan Victims Association (KTVA), headed by Alhaji Mustapha Maisikeli, insisting that the group, and not Pfizer, is wholly responsible for the delay in the payment of compensation to the victims. On May 9, 2009, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, the then governor of Kano State, led a highpowered Nigerian delegation to the final negotiation with the representatives of Pfizer in London - a neutral venue. The meeting discussed the money to be paid by Pfizer as compensation and the modalities of sharing the money. At the end, both parties mutually agreed that Pfizer should pay the sum of $75 million as out of court settlement. Of the sum, $30 million was earmarked for the victims, another $30 million for the construction and equipping of a hospital (including a medical research centre), while the balance of $10 million was dedicated to reimbursement of legal cost incurred by Kano State Government. But instead of this to put the matter to rest, it has only succeeded in raising more dust, resulting in accusations and counter accusations and name calling by the contending groups. Despite an-out-of-court settlement deal, struck between the Kano State Government and Pfizer, the expected disbursement of the $75 million compensation, scheduled to commence Thursday, October 15, 2009 had





One of the victims rendered deaf

8 hit a brick wall. An agreement for the compensation package to the 200 TDT victims was reached after nine years of legal fireworks, which suffered several adjournments between the Kano State Government and the Pharmaceutical giant, which insisted, while the litigation lasted that an acceptance to pay compensation is not an admission of guilt and should not be interpreted as such. However, while the litigation lasted over the years, surviving parents of the victims, who were always present in court to witness proceedings often wore long faces, primarily due to the trauma, agony and pain they were going through in search of justice, because majority of them spoken to confessed they were walking on a tight rope. Peoples Daily Weekend, in an effort to appreciate the mental agony and excruciating pain parents of the victims are going through, as well as ascertain the state of the surviving ones, visited some parents of Trovan Victims Forum (TVF) in Sheka Quaters in the Kano metropolis who are among 194 parents of the victims to see how they were coping with

the situation of their children. These people are paupers, struggling day in day out to raise funds for payment of school fees for their wards, including their upkeep, particularly for those of them in need of urgent medical care. The parents of the affected victims have decried the delay in compensating the victims which they described as a deceitful act. It was apparent that the $30 million for the construction and equipping of a hospital as well as the $10 million for legal cost had been settled, while the $30 million compensation of the victims is still impending. Mallam Da’u Aliyu of Sheka Quarters, Kano, a staff of PHCN, Kano is the father of Shamsu Da’u, a 20-year old, who was affected during the Trovan Drug Test (TDT) by the Pfizer company at the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH), Kano, 1996 when he suffered meningitis. Aliyu is typically a poor man who strives to fend for his family to earn a living. He lives in a remote area in Sheka quarters in a dilapidated house devoid of all luxuries. “It was in the year 1996 when my son, Shamsu, was affected with meningitis. I took him to IDH for treatment and found Pfizer treating the patients in tents. Then they

They just discharged everybody abruptly without notice. It was later that we realised that it was discovered that they used a harmful drug on our children that was the reason they quickly discharged us without notice.

A victim who can only move by crawling

Alhaji Mustapher Garba Maisikeli, while granting an interview when his crew visited Peoples Media office in Abuja on Thursday.

injected the drug into my son as a treatment for meningitis. My son’s condition had then deteriorated. I wasn’t aware that they were conducting the TDT until later when it was discovered.” He also lamented the failure of Pfizer to settle the agreed compensation to the victims, saying it is just an act of deceit considering the long time the company has taken to settle the victims. “We have not received anything from Pfizer despite the fact that we have met all the requirements. They asked us to conduct DNA test to ascertain the authenticity of victims and we have done that. The agreement has been reached to compensate us but to no avail. Only 14 victims out of 200 were given the compensation and my son is not among them. This is a very sad development as they have rendered our children incapacitated. My son has become incapacitated for

16 years now. He has suffered brain damage and his limbs are no longer functional. He can’t even sit but can only lie down. He can’t do anything by himself. Nobody in my house can feed him or bath him until I return back home. I have surrendered everything to God.” Similarly, Mallam Ishak Yakubu Umar, also of Sheka quarters is a farmer. He said his 20-year old son, Abubakar Ishak, has become deaf and dumb as a result of the TDT administered by Pfizer in 1996 during his admission into the IDH for meningitis. “My son was attacked by the meningitis and taken to IDH for treatment. They admitted us for four days and later discharged us without giving us any acknowledgement card or paper. They just discharged everybody abruptly without notice. It was later that we realised that it was discovered that they used a harmful drug on our children that was the reason they quickly discharged us with-

out notice. Then my son’s condition became worse until he lost his hearing because the drug had affected his brain. He is still suffering from the disease intermittently. At the time of the Nigerian experiment, Pfizer was developing Trovan for release in the United States, where it was expected to gross up to $1 billion a year. There was a snag, however. The FDA hadn’t approved Trovan for children. Pfizer made itself the largest pharmaceutical company in the world in large part by purchasing its competitors. In the last dozen years it has carried out three mega-acquisitions: Warner-Lambert in 2000, Pharmacia in 2003, and Wyeth in 2009. Pfizer has also grown through aggressive marketing—a practice it pioneered back in the 1950s by purchasing unprecedented advertising spreads in medical journals. In 2009 the company had to pay a record $2.3 billion to settle federal charges that one of its subsidiaries had illegally marketed a painkiller called Bextra. Along with the questionable marketing, Pfizer has for decades been at the center of controversies over its pricing, including a price-fixing case that began in 1958. In the area of product safety, Pfizer’s biggest scandal involved defective heart valves sold by its Shiley subsidiary that led to the deaths of more than 100 people. During the investigation of the matter, information came to light suggesting that the company had deliberately misled regulators about the hazards. Pfizer also inherited safety and other legal controversies through its big acquisitions, including a class action suit over Warner-Lambert’s Rezulin diabetes medication, a big settlement over PCB dumping by Pharmacia, and thousands of lawsuits brought by users of Wyeth’s diet drugs.




Cleric urges prayers against global bloodshed From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


Bauchi Islamic scholar, Mallam Idris Abdul’aziz has enjoined the World Muslim Ummah to fervently pray for an end to the spillage of blood and destruction of lives globally by those he described as enemies of the religion of Islam and the ummah. Abdul’aziz who made the plea

Forum wants Taraba Assembly to declare Suntai unfit

in Bauchi yesterday however attributed the current waves of genocide particularly in the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) countries to validation of the Almighty God. The Islamic scholar therefore appealed to the Muslims ummah especially those on Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, to pray for peace and stability to reign in the world, stressing that without peace there would be no progress

and development, as worship for different faiths would also be difficult. Ustaz Idris Abdul’aziz also urged the Nigerian authorities and agencies saddled with the hajj exercise to honour their obligations to the intending pilgrims during the hajj. According to him, a situation where pilgrims could not trace their luggage three or four months after the hajj exercise and the non-

provision of some food items or other necessary facilities as promised by the concerned authorities, leaves much to be desired. Ustaz Abdul’aziz also said the restriction imposed on pregnant women from performing hajj was against the tenets of Islam. “Even during the times of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) pregnant women do perform the hajj exercise especially those in the early stage of conception though

at that time, intending pilgrims travel on foot, horse and camel backs unlike now when vehicles and aircrafts are being used for the exercise”, he said. Abdul’aziz explained that it was only the circumambulation of the Holy Ka’abah that a pregnant woman is exempted. He observed that the prohibition of pregnant women might not be unconnected with the rigours of the exercise and the delay such pilgrims when giving birth, may cause to flight schedules which could mar the success of the hajj exercise. Abdul’aziz then defended the policy for intending pilgrim to travel with their spouse or muharam, stressing that the policy or injunction was fully endorsed by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

By Stanley Onyekwere


ome Taraba indigenes under the agies of Taraba Peoples Forum (TPF) are calling on the state House of Assembly to declare the ailing Governor Danbaba Suntai incapacitated and swear in the acting Governor Umaru Garba as substantive governor of the state in order to move the state forward. The forum said one year was a good time to declare Suntai unfit, urging the speaker and 16 other members of the legislature to go beyond agreeing that Suntai is not well enough to govern the state, and allowed the acting governor to fully takeover. Speaking on behalf of the forum at a press briefing yesterday, in Abuja, former minister of state, Water resources and Youth Development, Mrs. Salome Audu Jankada, said Tarabans recognized the fact that there is an acting governor in the state but governance in the state has to go on without waiting for the recovery of the sick governor. According to her, the constitution of the country states that if anything befalls the governor; either he dies or incapacitated , the deputy governor automatically takes over, be he a pagan, Muslim or Christian. “Our governor (Suntai) is incapacitated, and we wish him well, but we are saying that if he brought this acting governor as his deputy; and now when he became incapacitated, it is only natural that he takes over from him…one does not fight the will of God… people should stop playing politics with Suntai, because his life is worth more than the governorship position. “Umar since within this one year as the acting governor has done things that gladdens the heart of all Tarabans, because within this short time; our children, husbands, wives and brothers who were not paid their minimum wage got paid the same; and are now collecting their salaries according the minimum wage; also is the payment and upgrading of gratuity due to retirees.

L-R: Chairman of the occasion and Etsu of Kwali, H.R.H Ambassador Shaban Audu Nizzazo III, presenting an award of Inter-Religious Initiative to the President, National Tranquility Movement, Ambassador Mohammed Ibrahim Gashash while his wife Hajiya Amina Ibrahim Gashash is watches, during the conference of Religious Educators, Leaders and Organization (CORELO)’s in Commemoration of the 53rd Anniversary of Nigeria Independence, on Thursday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Nigerians urged to reject new plate numbers By Patrick Andrew


s the date for the enforcement of new vehicle number plates and drivers’ licences draws near, a civil rights activist and Rotarian, Nze Kanayo Chukwumezie has called on Nigerians to do everything legally possible to resist any government move that will

compel the use of the newly introduced vehicle plate numbers and licences. Chukwumezie, who made this known in a chat with newsmen in Abuja weekend, stated that both the new vehicle registration exercise of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Biometric Central Mo-

tor Registration (BCMR) of the Nigeria Police are designed to extort Nigerians of their hardearned money. “The issue of vehicle number plates is one change too many. It has not been long that the one that is being used now, which is about to be phased out, was changed. Telling peo-

Katsina PDP reconciliation talks collapse

From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


oves by the PDP led Katsina state government to reconcile with the New PDP has suffered a major set back as a faction in the New PDP had disassociated itself from the talk. Addressing newsmen, yesterday in Katsina, a pillar of the New PDP in the state, Alhaji Abdulqadir Zakka noted that their loyalty was still with the Baraje led PDP. “Even during the reconcili-

ation I did not say a word but I watched those talking. This is an issue concerning the party but throughout the reconciliation I only saw government side. It is no supposed to be so”, he added. Zakka stressed that even during the reconciliation meeting, those on the government side were only issuing threat to them, adding “all I heard was a threat by the government representatives that we are more dangerous than the opposition APC”. The New PDP stalwart stated that the only way out of the pre-

sent crisis in the state was for the governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shehu Shema to reconcile with the G-7 governors. He said, “we are with the G-7 governors and if the governors want us to reconcile with him, he should talk to them. Because the governor has no future in Nigerian politics without the North”. According to him, the New PDP has gone far in mobilizing supporters in the state, assuring that they would make a strong statement in the state when the time was ripe.

ple that already have plate numbers that almost share the same features as the new one to pay again, is exploitative. It is high time Nigerians went on streets and say enough is enough. We are talking about people being told that vehicle number plates, licences and insurance policies will be cancelled on the first of October whether they expired or not. You have to spend money again to do another one,” he said. Chukwumezie, who has also written an open letter to President Goodluck Jonathan on the development, frowned at the situation where different government agencies are performing the same functions instead of uniting. He called for a centralised system where detailed information could easily be generated instead of subjecting Nigerians to the rituals of registration on frequent bases.


Robbery: Court jails school drop-out for 34 years From Prince Edward, Asaba


n Asaba High Court has convicted and sentenced a 24year old JSS 3 drop-out, Adisa (Surname withheld) from Ogun State to a cumulative jail term of 34 years with hard labour for robbing a policeman. The convicted robber who had earlier made attempt to escape from court some few months ago during trial, was heavily guarded by security agents. Three police patrol vans barricaded all roads leading to the court as the trial Judge found the accused guilty on three of the four counts charge and sentenced him to six years behind bars on the count of conspiracy to commit robbery without an option of fine including hard labour. While the Court slammed him with 14 years each on two counts of robbery, the three count charge at which he was convicted are punishable under section 516 and 402 (1)

N3.7bn IDB loan: Adamawa indigenes want court to stop Nyako By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


High Court of Adamawa state has been asked to stop Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa state from securing over N3.7 billion loan from Islamic Development Bank (IDB). The suit filed by Mr. Dan Kozah, on behalf of some Adamawa state indigenes, is praying the court for an order restraining the governor from sourcing for external loans or granting approval for the sourcing of external loans either from the IDB or any other financial institution during the pendency of the suit. The indigenes of the state who are plaintiffs in the suit, are Engineer Albert Stephen, Dr. Penni Boga and Francis Zira, while defendants are the Adamawa state government, Governor Nyako, Adamawa state House of Assembly and the Attorney-General and the state Commissioner of Justice. In a statement of claim, the plaintiffs accused Governor Nyako of putting machinery in place to secure a loan of $24, 113, 417.00 on behalf of the state from IDB. They said considering the statutory allocation, internally generated revenue and the current debt burden, the state is not in a position to take a loan from IDB or any bank. They also said that due to the Debt Management Office report and the state indebtedness, it is not in the interest of the state to seek any loan, domestic or international. No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.

of the Criminal Code, Cap C21 Vol. 1, Laws of Delta State, 2006. The Court, however, discharged and acquitted the accused on the fourth charge of illegal possession of firearms, as according to the trial Judge, prosecution failed to convince the court that the gun purportedly recovered from the accused at the scene of crime actually belongs to him and was used to carry out the crime. Prosecution counsel from the State Ministry of Justice had told the court that the convict along with one other now at large, on or about the 11th day of November, 2012 raided the apartment of one Inspector Alfred Okoro of the Nigeria Police at No. 9 Chief A. A. Okonkwo Crescent Off Ezenei Avenue, within the Asaba Judicial Division and robbed him of N6, 000 cash and a Samsung handset valued at N25, 000. His daughter was also robbed of her blackberry Curve and two other handsets.



Vice President, Namadi Sambo in a handshake with the former Chairman First Bank of Nigerian, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab during special forum on financing the power sector reforms for economic development at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, on Friday in Abuja with the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. Photo: Joe Oroyo

Apo killings: Reps pledge to ensure justice By Stanley Onyekwere


he Chairman, House of Representatives committee on National Security, Intelligence and Public Safety, Muhammad Bello Matawalle (PDPZamfara) has pledged to ensure justice in unravelling the circumstances that led to the last week killings of some youth in Apo, Abuja by the military and operatives of the State Security Services (SSS). Matawalle made the pledge yesterday when he paid a sympathy visit to some survivors of the incident that are presently on admission at Asokoro General Hospital. At least eight people were killed and several wounded when a combined team of military and SSS operatives stormed an un-

completed building in Apo, alleging that it was a Boko Haram hideout. Circumstances of the shootings remain a subject of controversy, as survivors of the incident insist they were non-violent, homeless artisans squatting in the building. The visit, Matawalle said, was to sympathise with the victims, majority of whom hail from his home state of Zamfara. “I’m here primarily to sympathise and see your conditions because even if for nothing you are from my state and I’m one of your representatives in the National Assembly. Secondly, to hear from you first hand on what really happened, as part of our investigation into the circumstances that led to the unfortunate incident. “We have already commenced

investigations into the issue and I assure you that our committee will ensure justice and fairness in this matter. We will interact with all those involved directly or indirectly to get to the bottom of the matter”, he said. Earlier, the chairman of KEKE NAPEP operators, Apo, Musa Ibrahim told the lawmaker that all the victims including the dead were members, adding that apart from those killed, 11 were shot by the security agencies. Meanwhile, Hon. Sani Umar Dangaladima, of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and member House of Representatives, representing Kaura Namoda/Birnin Magaji Federal Constituency of Zamfara state, has urged the federal government to expedite action on the investigation into the recent killing of nine includ-

ing Zamfara indigenes by security operatives in Apo, Abuja, in order to bring the perpetrators to book. The lawmaker condemned the killing, describing the action as wicked and deliberately done in order to eliminate the less privilege youths from the North engaged in menial jobs to fend for themselves. Dangaladima who made this assertion yesterday, when he spoke to some journalists in Abuja, however, smypathised with the families of the bereaved, urging them to be patient as they wait for the outcome of the report. He said both the federal lawmakers and Zamfara state government would follow the case to its logical conclution, saying that the act amount to breach of human right.

Wada pledges support for private business From Omale Adama, Lokoja


rivate Business Initiatives that are in tandem with the economic transformation agenda of Capt. Idris Wada have been assured of government’s support. The Kogi State Governor, Capt. Idris Wada, who was represented at the commissioning of Ultimate Benefit Integrated Micro – Finance Bank in Lokoja, gave the assurance over the weekend. The governor who described Micro – financing as a develop-

mental tool for poverty alleviation, said the initiative to establish the bank across the 21 Local Government areas was in line with his administration’s agenda of empowering people and communities. Capt. Wada, who disclosed that providing succour for the people was no longer the sole responsibility of government, called on institutions and private individuals to, through articulated programmes, join in the fight against poverty. The Governor disclosed that his administration has so far

pursued programmes and policies that have had direct bearing on the lives of the people, adding that over 4000 youths have so far been gainfully engaged, through his administrations youths empowerment programme. Earlier in his remarks, Chairman of Ultimate Benefit Integrated Micro – Finance Bank, Chief Paul Gowon Haruna said the essence of the bank is to impact on the poor and the financially incapacited. Chief Haruna, called on the State and Local Government Ar-

eas to devote a percentage of their annual budgets to micro-credit initiatives to be administered largely through Micro – Finance Banks. The Chairman commended Kogi State for providing a conducive atmosphere for investors to thrive. Highlight of the bank’s commissioning was the breaking of Kolanut by his royal majesty Dr. Michael Ameh Oboni, the Attah Igala and Chairman Kogi State Council of Traditional Rulers as well as the cutting of tape by the State Governor.

Photo Splash


An ongoing overhead bridge Across Abuja light rail on the outer northern expressway near the Brick-City Estate in Abuja On Friday. Photo: NAN


An elderly man, begging for alms, yesterday in Lugbe Abuja

Young men engaged in fire wood business, yesterday in Kubwa, Abuja

The immediate family members of late Justice Obigeli Nwodo at the funeral mass in her honour at Ukehe Community in Enugu state on Friday. Photo: NAN

Pupils entertaining guests during the prize giving day recently in Garki Abuja



2015: Ex- PDP Chairmen urge Governor Yero to contest From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna


ormer Zonal leaders and Chairmen of Kaduna State’s chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under the auspices of Unity Forum have called on the state gov-

ernor, Muktar Ramalan Yero to contest 2015 election. The members of the unity forum said they have resolved during their meeting to support the governor in the next election come 2015. The leader of the unity forum Dan Bala Ibrahim Palladan dis-

closed this at a meeting held with their members at the PDP state secretariat. “Our position as members of the unity forum is that we have decided to support Governor Yero for the 2015 re-election bid because he is a focused and visionary leader”.

On the factionalization of the party at both state and national levels he said, there is no new PDP in Kaduna State, as there is only one PDP and any other one is counterfeit and nobody should relate with them. “The so called faction is just a ploy by some selfish persons to L-R: Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga; ECOWAS Commissioner for Trade, Customs, Industry and Free Movement, Ahmed Hamid and Minister of Trade, Guinea, Salamatou Bangoura, at an ECOWAS ministers of trade meeting, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Nigeria, not a failed country –Ribadu By Stanley Onyekwere


residential candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Mallam Nuhu Ribadu has dispelled arguments that Nigeria is a failed country, saying that despite its present predicaments, the country still has “great promises” that could be converted to important gains. Ribadu, who acknowledged various socio-political and economic challenges facing the country, expressed optimism of recovery, saying, “I strongly disagree with those writing off Nigeria as a failed country. Agreed, we could do a lot better based on what we have in terms of natural resources and demographic advantages.” The former EFCC chairman spoke Thursday on the topic, “Leadership and National Development: The Missing Link” as part of the activities marking the National Independence Anniversary Celebration (NIAC) organised by the Shell Club held in Port Harcourt. He said in the past 53 years, Nigeria has recorded significant milestones, and “survived severe cold similar to what saw some countries sneezing to death. We

remain standing, though someone wrote that we are standing still!” Ribadu also lambasted those predicting disintegration of the country or those calling for its dissolution saying the average Nigerian poor does not believe in those permutations on regional and religious lines. “Our people are bound by a common goal, the desire to have their lives improved. They are united in the same struggle to have functional public and private

institutions because their sufferings, their poverty and deprivations, have neither ethnic nor religious identities. “And the exclusive sufferings amongst them, like insecurity as a result of religious and ethnic differences, can as well be traced to our politics and ill-advised political decisions and indecisions,” he said. Making commentary on the state of the nation, Ribadu stated that “The country is endowed with

abundant natural resources and brilliant human capital. Yet, the paradox is there is widespread poverty due to misused resources and untapped potentials. “It is therefore true that wherever Nigeria is mentioned, what comes to mind is Boko Haram, oil theft, kidnapping and corruption. Nigeria also lags behind on every world index that signifies progress and development. Our lives are daily deteriorating in a frightening way.”

North’s violence caused by elite, says Dalong From Ado Abubakar Musa, Jos


human right activist and member of the Northern Elders Forum , Barrister Solomon Dalong said the crisis that had been rocking Northern Nigeria and Plateau State in particular emanated from the conspiracy of a small group of people who want to be more powerful than the others but not tribal or religious related. Dalong said this in Jos during a workshop on conflict analysis which was organized by the Are-

wa Citizens Actions for Change (ACAC). He stressed that the use of religion and tribalism to describe the crisis on the Plateau as deceitful perception by some individuals. He added that those perish in the crisis in Plateau state were children of poor, with of the rich unscathed. He emphasized that “so if the whole conflict is socio-religious and ethnic, where are the children of the elite? I will fight in Jos on the day when I see that the crisis is either led by the children of

the Governor or the Gbong Gwom but if the children of the rich cannot fight, then nobody can convince me that the crisis is socioreligious or ethno-religious.” In his remark, the trustee member of Coalition of Northern Youths, Barrister Yahaya Kanam explained that workshop of this nature had already taken place in all states in the North west , adding that similar workshops were currently taking place in the North east and North central geopolitical zones in order to enlighten people .

News destabilize the party in the state, but we want to reaffirm that we cannot be bought over. “We are strongly behind the leadership of Bamanga Tukur and A.G Haruna’s leadership at the national and state levels respectively” he emphasized. Similarly, PDP’s former Zonal Chairman from Southern Senatorial District, Mr. Joseph Sajuru reaffirmed the position of the forum, adding that as a body, they have also declared their support for the incumbent Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero to contest the 2015 gubernatorial election in the state.

1,052 Pilgrims airlifted in Adamawa

From Umar Dankano, Yola


he Executive Secretary of the Adamawa State Pilgrims Welfare Board Alhaji Salihu Danjuma Usman has said that the second batch of 520 intending pilgrims from Adamawa state making the total of 1,052 left the Yola International Airport, to Saudi Arabia. The pilgrims were from both Southern and Northern zone comprising Toungo,Ganye,Jada, Mayo-Belwa,Demsa, Nu man,Shelleng,Michika,M adagali,Mubi North, Mubi South,Maiha,Hong and Song local government areas of the state. Alhjai Usman made the disclosure while fielding questions from Journalists in Yola, stressing that 98 percent visas had been obtained for the state while the rest were in process. The airlift of pilgrims had on Wednesday started with hitches as 71 passengers were left stranded at the Yola International Airport . On Wednesday the Max Air flight carrying Adamawa pilgrims took off at 6.50pm amid grumbles by the stranded pilgrims, their families and officials of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) who criticised immigration officials for delay in processing the travellers documents. Of the 534 passengers scheduled to be airlifted, 463 were released by immigration officials when boarding was still going on. The remaining 71 persons who were later cleared and hurriedly conveyed to the tarmac to join the flight were turned back by Max officials because boarding was over. Commenting , the Executive Secretary of Adamawa State Pilgrims Board, Alhaji Salihu Danjuma Usman, blamed the screening officials for the problem. “We call on all officials concerned with the airlift of pilgrims to be forthright in their duties and realise that these pilgrims are worshippers, so they should be treated with respect,” he said.


N e ws Focus


Senators, Reps lament Nigeria at 53

Senate President David Mark

Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal

Senator Kabiru Gaya

By Lawrence Olaoye and Ikechukwu Okaforadi

the Nigerian project on a very solid note anchored on maximizing the greatest goods for the greatest number of people, most of the modern day Nigerian leaders after the independence era, have been running aground the Nigerian Nation being parochial leaders”, he said. He noted further that the problem of narrow-minded leadership presently afflicting the Nigerian nation has turned most of the state governors to leaders of the ethnic groups they belong to in the states, just like other highly placed public officers in the country with attendant underdevelopment of the country. “For Nigeria to be great as hoped from the beginning, there is need for possible change of mind-set of all Nigerians, both followers and leaders, to the Nigeria project. We need to start seeing ourselves first as Nigerians before remembering any other primordial identities, the needed national orientation used by countries like India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore etc, all that were at the same level with Nigeria in the 60’s but far more developed than it today”, he added. In his contribution, Senator Ganiyu Solomon (APC Lagos west), said at 53, it is regrettable that Nigeria is where it is , when compared to other countries that started the journey of independent nationhood with it. e advocated self assessment to reflect on the nation’s past for the needed insight into how to position her for the future through collective responsibility. Senator Ademola Adeseun (APC Oyo State) harped on the need for the National Assembly to be more proactive in setting the agenda for Nigeria’s development in the coming years, since according to him, the first republic that was rated to be the best era in the nation’s history , was more or less driven by the parliament. Other Senators like Mohammadu Magoro, (PDP Kebbi State), Eyinnaya Abaribe (PDP Abia South), Kabiru Gaya (APC Kano South) etc, in their contributions, submitted that at 53, problems like teeming youth unemployment, poor electricity supply, incessant ethnoreligious crises etc, are not supposed to be heard again, urging government at all levels to be more serious on the development of the country. Similarly, Senate President, David Mark, in his own remarks on the journey so far, said the attitude and behaviour of most Nigerians today are contrary to what the country’s old National Anthem stood for. Anchoring his point on the phrase, “though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand”, Mark said Nigerians today cannot be said to be standing in brotherhood, going by various killings taking place in the country and other vices against both the country and one another. According to him, “If you go back memory lane and you recall our old national anthem, “ though tribe and tongue may differ,

in brotherhood we stand.” The question to ask is: Do we stand in brotherhood today? Or we have completely changed. Are we our brothers’ keeper? “Because if we are our brother’s keepers, we would not do some of the things that we do in this country. If we are our brothers keepers, then we would love our neighbours as we love ourselves”. “There is none of us here, nobody, no Nigerian, no human being that would hurt himself. But we do those things that hurt other Nigerians on different scale. Some on large scale and some on small scale. “We here are all leaders. At every level, we have Nigerians who are leaders. So, we must begin to look inwards and search our minds now so that we can make progress. “We want a nation where truth and justice shall reign, again go back to our old national anthem, a nation where truth and justice shall reign. And once we have this as our cardinal point, I think every other thing shall follow,”, Mark urged. Commenting on the nation’s 53rd anniversary, Chairman, House of Representatives committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep. Zakari Mohammed, said the nation is a work in progress. He said the nation may not have been there but is making gradual progress especially in its democratization process. According to him, the House of Representatives since the advent of the Aminu Waziri Tambuwal’s leadership, has been able to deepen the nation’s democratic tenets with its Legislative Agenda over the years. According to him, the nation’s political firmament is gradually becoming democratized with the current happenings in the country. According to him, the recent merger of opposition parties to form the ll Progressives Congress (APC) has enriched the nation’s political landscape offering the masses a democratic choice unlike before. Commenting on the recent crisis in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mohammed said such was good even for the development of the party as he maintained that such would make the party to look inward and re-strategize if indeed it intends to continue to win elections in the country. He said the merger party has succeeded in putting the ruling party on its toes for it to become even more responsive to the yearnings of Nigerians. He however added that the House has contributed immensely to the democratic development of the country and would continue to do same under the leadership of Speaker Tambuwal till the end of its tenure. Mohammed said the House has continued to ensure that it carries out its constitutional roles of oversight on the executive to ensure the delivery of democratic dividends to the masses in the country.


s Nigeria prepares to celebrate her 53rd Independent Anniversary, there are lamentations among Nigerians that the country has not fared well, considering the numerous socioeconomic challenges she faces. With the unemployment rate in the country measured at 27% by the Nigeria Bereau of Statistics (NBS), and per capita income put at less than one dollar, it obviously does not speak well of a nation that gained independence since 1960, some 53 years ago. Even though the government and the political elite are insistent that the economic indexes indicate that the country’s economy is on the right track, many Nigerians, especially rural dwellers who are predominantly youths, are being ravaged by wanton poverty. This, according to analysts, have spiralled into criminal tendencies such as insurgency particularly that of the Boko Haram sect, kidnapping, armed robbery, just to mention few. Hence the clamour for urgent measures to be put in place by government to stem the tide of unemployment and poverty in the country. There is a general opinion that Nigeria as a country has not thrived positively enough compared to other countries such as Ghana, which gained independence almost at the same time with her. In the Senate, it was lamentation galore on the current state of the Nigerian nation, as Senators described the situation of the country as pitiable, when compared to some other countries in the world that became independent nations almost at the same time with Nigeria. Majority of the Senators who expressed their views on the issue, blamed the challenges of the country on the obvious lack of patriotism among the current crop of leaders in the country. They said that unlike during the era of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello, among others, whose interests were mainly on what policies and programmes will yield majority good for majority of the people, the current leaders are regrettably selfishly inclined. Senator Smart Adeyemi(PDP Kogi West), in his own reflection, said though at independence, Nigeria was considered as one of the emerging great nations of the world, he lamented her present state at 53, making it look as if all hope is dashed. Adeyemi who identified parochialism as one of the major problems of the modern day Nigerians, particularly in the realm of leadership, said “at 53, if Nigeria is governed the way it is supposed to have been governed over the years, we shouldn’t be talking about federal character.” “Unlike patriotic leaders like the late Sir Ahmadu Bello, the late Nnamdi Azikwe, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo etc, who started





Politics Between President Jonathan and ‘rebel’ governors: Who blinks first?

By Adesoji Adesoji Oyinlola, Lagos


he political landscape has witnessed various maneuvering especially between the aggrieved G7 governors, the new PDP on one hand and President Jonathan and the mainstream PDP on the other. The two groups have left no one in doubt that they have a grouse to settle as far as the battle for the soul of the PDP is concerned. The two groups, after several peace parleys, have momentarily sheathed their swords after they agreed to a ceasefire agreement to allow mediators to find a workable solution to the crisis ravaging the party that prides itself as the biggest in Africa, Political pundits are skeptical that the festering wounds the cris has created on both divides can be healed within the short time the committees saddled with the herculean task has to conclude its assignment. Going through the list of demands by the new PDP, which includes sack of the embattled chairman, Alhaji Bamangar Tukur, a promise by PresidentJonathan not to seek a second term in office among others, it is doubtful that members of the mainstream PDP will accede to any of the conditions given by the rival group towards achieving a lasting peace. However, while the new PDP is adamant in their demands, the mainstream PDP seems to be buying time to chart a new course of action. The group has succeeded in seeking for a ceasefire to allow the reconciliation committee led by the party’s BOT chairman, Tony Anenih to wrap up its assignment. There are however indications that efforts by the reconciliation committee to reconcile the feuding factions may result in nullity, going by recent actions perpetrated by the two factions. The recent sack of some selected ministers by President Jonathan is seen as not being in accord with the ceasefire agreement. It is largely believed that those affected by the President’s action are those perceived to be sympathetic to the embattled governors. According to sources, the President is out to weaken the base of his detractors in such a way that will give him considerable control of the PDP national working committee. The aim according to a member of the new PDP, is to pocket the NWC and alienate the highly influential governors in the party, ex-governors and stakeholders, like ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo with a view to limit-

Bamanga Tukur

Sule Lamido ing the chances of aspirants that may be sponsored by them against the President in the PDP presidential primaries. Party sources said the thinking within the President camp is that the control of the NWC is key to winning the presidential primaries. The sacking of the ministers is just one of the many options to be deployed in the days ahead to stultify the party and render the protesting governors impotent and ultimately force them to make do with other options by joining other parties, should the plan to move ahead with the new PDP fails. Explaining further, the source said chunk of the ministers sacked by President Jonathan were perceived to be complimenting efforts by their state executives to rock the boat of the PDP in their quest to wrest power from the President in events leading to the 2015 election. The calculation therefore is to tacitly render those perceived to be working against the rumored

Abubakar Baraje

Rabiu Kwankwaso ambition of the President to contest the 2015 presidential election impotent. “It is just common sense that you cannot continue to empower your opponents, especially when issues pertaining to scramble for control are concerned”, the source said. Continuing, the source said the President is discreetly shopping for loyal party men across the affected states to replace the sacked ministers. Those on the radar of the presidency, according to the source are those perceived to be staunch political enemies of the governors. The plot, according to the source is to create formidable opposition, potent enough to rock the boat of the renegade governors in their individual states. “We re moving towards having similar situation unfolding between the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Ameachi and Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike replicating itself in the states where ministers loyal to

their governors were removed”, said the source. However, the new PDP led by the renegade governors are also not giving up in their quest to press further home their demands for an equitable PDP. The faction led by Kawu Baraje recently commenced some scaring moves to announce its seriousness to fight its course. The recent visit by the new PDP to the House of Representatives is seen as one of the delving moves that has created controversy among PDP members in the house. Not long after the visit that rumor mill was agog with the news that some members of the National Assembly are perfecting plans to impeach President Jonathan. Confirming the fear of the purported impeachment, members of the of the House of Representatives loyal to President Goodluck Jonathan warned that they would not stand by and allow the House to intimidate the

president with threats of impeachment. The members vowed that they would resist any attempt to remove the president from office because of the crisis in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The members who also dismissed report of a plot to impeach the Speaker, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, said although they nursed no such intention for now, they were not happy with the way the Speaker managed the visit by the leadership of the New PDP to the legislature last week. His action, according to a leader of the group, Hon. Bethel Amadi, amounted to an attempt to legitimise the PDP faction, chaired by Alhaji Kawu Baraje, on the floor of the House. Barely a week after the clash at the lower chamber, members of the main PDP and those loyal to the Kawu Baraje-led faction of the party clashed at the senate on Wednesday. Former Governor of Gombe State, Senator Danjuma Goje drew the ire of other colleagues while eulogizing the virtues of the former Governor of Ondo State, late Segun Agagu and described himself as a member of the new PDP with Kawu Baraje as the National Chairman. The Senator representing Kogi West, Smart Adeyemi immediately raised a point of order which was granted by the Senate President. Adeyemi pointed out that Goje had ran foul of the order 53 of the Senate Standing Rule, by “offensive language on the party on whose platform he was elected as a senator” and asked the Senate President to caution him. Supporters of the New PDP and some APC members shouted Adeyemi down. Though Mark immediately intervened and brought the situation under control, the situation has clearly indicated a sharp divide among members of the upper legislative chamber as far as the factional war in PDP is concerned. Also, there are reported cases of the law enforcement agents barring members of the new PDP from opening their offices in some of the states, claiming to be acting on order from above in carrying out the actions. Expectedly, stakeholders in the festering crisis are scheduled to meet on 7th October to reopen the reconciliation effort, it is doubtful that they will achieve any meaningful result towards settling the crisis ravaging the party. Interesting parties are raising the salient issues, should the parley fail to bring peace back to the ruling party, who among the feuding groups blinks first?



Interview Governors shouldn’t determine their successors, says Akpan Jerry Akpan is an Attorney and likely 2015 Guber candidate in Akwa Ibiom. He was Chairman Local Government Service Commission., Special Adviser to Governor Akpabio on political and Legislative Matters. In a chat with our correspondent, Michael Etim, he spoke on a wide range of issues including the removal from office of the former Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Umana Umana.


he sacking of the former SSG, Mr. Umana Umana generated political tension in the state, should he have been removed from office the way he was? Governor Godswill Akpabio, is like a principal, the leader of the party. He is our god in Akwa Ibom State because government is God on earth. He knows who should work with him to achieve the desired goals. You know that the governor and the former SSG were not only brothers but very close friends. Of course, you know PDP and its constitution, is statutorily that if you want to have and you so declare your intention of getting into another office, the position of law is that you should first resign from wherever you are. The action is to provide a level playing ground, so that you

Jerry Akpan would not use your office to have an upper hand over and above other would-be candidates. I am satisfied with the decision. Why are governors al-

lowed to remain in power and contest election for 2nd term in office? Is it logical? We have been against this. But when the constitution has made it clear that you can’t as president, you can’t as a governor, you can’t as a senator or as an elected person, as an elected person, having been elected before, the law says that you can do it. But if you have not been elected before, the law says you should resign first. You are at the mercy of he who appointed you. So, I don’t see any contradiction, at all. The law has made the other one statutory and it has also made the other one clear that if you want to go, you must resign. Many say the way the former SSG was removed was unbecoming? I didn’t see it. In the government of the former governor of

the state Obong Victor Attah, he Attah had three SSGs, Rita Akpan, Grace Ekong, and Effiong Esin. So what is wrong if Akpabio should have two SSGs during his tenure? So, I don’t think you should cry so much about the manner Umana was removed. What is your take on zoning in the state? Zoning enables those sections of the community or state that on normal circumstance would not have been beneficial of the participatory government to benefit. I subscribe to zoning. Zoning enables every section of the state to have a part in the democratic governance. I think it is not wrong. You cannot bar any man from Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District from buying the form. In 2007, you saw people from Eket coming out, you saw people from Uyo coming out, you saw people from Ikot Ekpene coming out, but the majority were from Ikot Ekpene. Is it normal in a democratic process for a governor to pick his successor? It is not normal for a governor to pick his successor, but it is necessary for a governor to take active part in the production of his successor. To know who succeeds him, I repeat it’s not normal. The reason behind that is,

to ensure that the developmental structure that he had put in place be continued from where he stopped, that the human development which he puts in place, be continued, economic development, which he puts in place be continued. So, it is very necessary and very proper for any governor to shine his eyes and be an active participant in the production of his successor otherwise those issues, those matters, provisions which he puts in place for the betterment of the citizenry of the state will definitely tumble. The APC has threatened to take over power from the PDP in the state.Do you see this coming to pass? APC will have no adverse effect on PDP in Akwa Ibom State. Akwa Ibom State is number one state. The PDP in Nigeria is beating its chest that ‘yes’ we are sure of Akwa Ibom. As far as I am concerned, there is no way any other party will penetrate Mkpat Enin. You can’t even think of going to Eastern Obolo or Ikot Abasi. For the whole of Eket Senatorial District, I don’t see APC having its appearance. APC will crumble. It will be very difficult for them to stand firm and anoint one person for president or governor. APC has no root, no bearing, has no power in Akwa Ibom State.

Again, Anambra a pawn in the hands of gladiators By Patrick Andrew


nambra state has always been in the eye of the storm; a political hotbed of some sort. Recall the Mbadinuju’s years when the influence of godfatherism got blown out of proportion. The Governor, it was alleged, had admitted entering into an agreement to remit a certain percentage of the state’s revenue from the federal allocation to his god father, a business tycoon. The tycoon had facilitated his nomination as well as bankrolled his campaign. Well, in recompense Mbadinuju allegedly agreed to surrender the state’s vault to his godfather. Of course, he kept his promise and all went well between him and his godfather. But not with governance which suffered no little hiccup. The state was practically at a standstill: no developmental projects were embarked upon, executed and commissioned. Instead, it witnessed stagnation on all fronts: civil servants were owed for months, unemployment escalated while socio-economic decay hit the roof tops. He had to go and indeed was democratically forced out. Then, came the Dr. Chris Ngige era. Educated by all standards, Ngige hit the ground running to

the delight of the people. He built on the ashes and ruin brought by Mbadinuju’s thin cows’ years and Anambra began to breathe. But that was to the chagrin of the godfather. But who would have thought that Ngige, with all his flaunted exposures and pedigree, would submit to the overbearing godfatherism syndrome even to the extent of genuflecting before a shrine where an oath of allegiance was administered on him. But to the Okija Shrine he had gone and been subjected to native oath. Apparently, the oath proved effeminate and the godfather opted to take laws into his hands. He unleashed his mad dogs on Nigige who was abducted at Government House and taken to Heaven knows in the wake of a disagreement with his godfather. The problem was his godfather, himself a godson of someone higher at the presidency, had enormous powers which he exercised arbitrarily to the extent of deciding who became what, got s/ elected into offices in Anambra. Though Anambra electorates had chosen Peter Obi of the APGA, Ngige’s godfather would brook no such name in Government House and so he let loose his charges and the rest they say is history. The

story is that Ngige’s godfather was no believer in gentleman’s shake agreement. He, it was, that dragged Ngige to the shrine and when Ngige wanted to wriggle out of the native oath of allegiance and be civilized he was forcefully reined in. Peter Obi eventually became governor on the strength of the court. But not without providing a vista for Andy Uba to set the record as the governor with the shortest stay in office: two weeks. He too faced challenges of godfatherism of a different kind. The looming image of late Ikemba Nnewi perpetually haunted him. But he has strove on. Few days to another election, godfatherism has played out again. Now, another business moghuls have dug their feet in. They want their godson to rule. One pulled the string and got the nods of Wadata House, and another the old Otta Farm. One a former banker was nodded into the race, while the other a lawmaker lapped on the urging of the wily farmer and threw his hat into the ring. For the former, it was obvious where the pendulum swings such that even the national headquarters of the PDP danced to the tunes.

The leadership gave in to his own version of the primaries, which of course Tony Nwoye won. But Nicholas Ukachukwu steps in with court injunction over tax issues. Again, the court decided the fate of PDP flag bearer, as it would seem. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had supervised the primaries conducted by the recognised state PDP chairman in the state, but that didn’t go down well with Wadata House whose choice is Nwoye and so Ibrahim Shehu Shema supervised exercise was affirmed as authentic. However, INEC has accepted the Ukachukwu as the legitimate. In all of these, there seems to be the hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob. The godfathers are at it again. Two prominent godfathers with enough resources to bankroll Anambra for 10 years without blinking are at each other’s throat. The people matter not. What does is ego, depth of pocket and whose battalion of political thugs is the largest. And the PDP? Well ever enamoured of Anambra conflicts and of course unscathed in some peculiar ways, seems reasonably unperturbed. The PDP again seems

lackadaisical, unperturbed and carefree. It was that way in 2007 and 2011. They always do. Whoever wins matters not, what does is the ultimate goal. They have a trump card: They would rather the godfathers battled it out at the gubernatorial level but form a common bond at the presidential elections. They are wont to get just that. It has always been that way and it would be foolhardy to play it differently. And so Anambra again is a pawn in the hands of fierce gladiators, both within and beyond.

Andy Uba



Special Report Contd from Page 5

Nigeria@53: The pains, the gains

The specter of battle within the PDP for the presidency between a sitting president and members of his own party, is arguably another round of distraction, that has disrupted the continuity of policy and created the instability, corruption and disunity which has fed the wheel of underdevelopment since Independence.

Gen. Muhammadu Buhari

Gen. Sani Abacha the ensuing shutdown of the public university system, will be 90 days old on the day we’ll be celebrating 53 years of our independence. Today, the strike is 84 days old. Keeping smart young people idle for this long constitutes a high risk to themselves, their parents and to public safety and security; Adult literacy rates (15+), are well below 50% of the population: 38.38 for women; 59.38% for males or an average of 48.66% for the adult population or a total adult illiterate population estimated to be about 21,823,300 Notwithstanding the commitment in the Universal Basic Education Act to free and compulsory basic education for all children in Nigeria, UNESCO estimates that over 10.5 million children in Nigeria do not have access to education. Net primary school enrollment is 90.94%, falling to 80.87% for the girl child; Net secondary school enrollment is 26.95% - 24.93% for girls and 28.88% for boys. The geographical variations within Nigeria are stark. North-east Nigeria, for instance, has average net secondary school enrolment figures of less than 6%. Nigeria ranks last - 136th - of 136 countries surveyed by UNESCO with reference to public spending on education as a proportion of GDP:

Olusegun Obasanjo

the proportion of public spending on education in Nigeria as a percentage of our GDP is 0.89%. Education expenditure as a proportion of Gross National Income (GNI) is not much better - 0.85% or 167th out of 168 countries. These figures are grim. They must worry every parent, adult, citizen or community. These statistics also create categories of citizens, with large proportions being consigned into avoidable impoverishment with grave national security consequences. And they call into question the sustainability of our political economy, governance and development plans, including, in particular the Vision 20:20:20. It is clear the policy environment for education as a guarantor of our national development needs a fresh look by all interested in the future of Nigeria. Government cannot clearly do education alone but it is also clearly not doing enough. The education unions are also not doing enough. Alumni networks are too indifferent and agnostic and must become more involved in education policy. And the regulatory environment for private providers of education must be strengthened. Education is too important to be abandoned to government, the profit imperative or any one set of interest

Gen.Ibrahim Babangida

Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua

President Goodluck Jonathan alone. The model of education policy design and governance needs attention by all interested”. Health The Dean, faculty of Vetenary Medicine, University of Abuja, Prof. Olatunde Peter Agagtonna said inadequate facilities in the health sector and the poor state of the sector generally are some of the major challenges in the country. He said, “If not for the efforts in the last

few years, by now the health sector would have totally collapsed. “I think gradually things are beginning to be in order, but we are yet to reach the desired level for a nation of 160 million people, as the facilities on ground are not enough. That is why you see some people prefer to go to India and other developed countries for treatment due to inadequate facilities on ground”, Peter said. According to him, in the

last few years there are a lot of improvements compared to 10 years back, saying, “go to the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital and you will see some changes, from the equipment and the personnel. If this tempo is sustained, we will be able to meet the target”. Prof. Albat Bankole Okunkoya, who is the Technical Co-Chairman of Rabies In West African (RIWA) project said, “if I look at my background when I was young the way things were done, health was a serious matter. If you look at what is happening now, health is now commercialized and it is now difficult for us to compare it with those days”. He said, in those days when a patient go to hospital, drugs were given free of charge and also treatment free of charge, but now, no person will do that to you today, So “I would not be able to say that is an advantage now that there is a high level of unemployment in the country”. The Prof said there are always challenges in all sectors, like agriculture and education but in health, the challenges we have is finance. “But the major problem that I know is a human problem”, he said.


News Focus


Collapsed infrastructure in the North (III)

Saraki’s role in Kwara’s rot From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


ike the stories of past government administrations in Kwara State, which entails abandoned projects and huge debt left behind for their succcessors, Dr. Bukola Saraki, the immediate past Governor of Kwara state has left not only abandoned projects, but huge debt impoverishing the state. The immediate governor has also continued to jump from one controversial investigations to the other without being nailed since he left government in May 29, 2011. This time, he is being probed for alleged mismanagement of defunct Society Generale Bank of Nigeria (SGBN), federal allocations to Kwara State when he was the Governor and N17 billion bond he sought for at the Security Market for capital projects in the state. It would be recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) invited Dr. Saraki for questioning on allegedly mismanagement of these funds just as he is having political cold war with President Goodluck Jonathan’s camp in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). To many critics of Dr. Saraki, even though the time of investigation seems inauspicious because of the seething political environment, he had mismanaged the State and its economy to his personal benefits. This much was demonstrated when Chief Iyiola Akogun, a former Commissioner in Kwara State and a petitioner to EFCC during and after Saraki’s administration, in a statement issued to our Correspondent, said the exact debt profile of Kwara remains the exclusive knowledge of Peoples

Gov Ahmed inside an aircraft

Democratic Party powerbrokers, no thanks to the administration of former Governor Bukola Saraki, which, perhaps for the first time in our country, refused to give any handover note. “Apart from the undisclosed debt profile, the Kwara people, through this administration, are currently servicing the repayment of N17 billion bonds the Saraki administration raised in the guise of providing infrastructure. For the record, the Bukola administration claimed to have obtained the bond to execute the following projects within a period of two years beginning from 2009: Kwara State Truck Plaza; International Aviation College; Asa Dam Mixed Use Development; New Secretariat; Commercial Agriculture Phase II; KWASU; Ilorin Water Distribution project; and Kwara Advanced Diagnostic Centre. Of these eight projects, the PDP government said it wanted to execute in two years (2009-2011) with the N17b obtained in the name of our people, only three (KWASU, Aviation College and the Diagnostic Centre) can be said to have been executed – and half way too. To whose pocket has this huge sum gone, whilst public fund is being used to repay the bond? “As if that was not enough, another N1.2b loan not approved by the legislature was taken by the PDP government in the run-up to the 2011 poll. The new N10b from GTB has already been included in the 2012 budget even before seeking the prior approval of the House of Assembly; so the House was railroaded into approving it when lawmakers discovered the amount during budget approval discussion. The repayment period is said to

Gov Ahmed inspecting an aircraft at Aviation College be 42 months at the rate of 15 per cent interest. The new loan, tagged legacy and continuity loan, is, in the words of the PDP government, for the completion of the same set of projects which President Goodluck Jonathan had commissioned, and for completion of some road projects and Ilorin Urban System for which billions of naira had been sunk during the Bukola regime . “The people of Kwara cannot be subsiding irresponsible and unaccounted borrowings for which commensurate benefits have not been received by the people. Whilst the act of the borrowing is always

known, the spending of the money borrowed has always been shrouded in secrecy.” kogun who reject the claims in some quarters that Saraki was being victimised by Presidency and his political enemies in PDP said if he did not soil his hands in dirty deals, there was no channel his perceived enemies could get to him. He argued further that any time he went to EFCC to tender both oral and documentary evidences against Saraki’s alleged corrupt administration, information would have been leaked to Saraki on who came to the Commission to report him, before he returned to Ilorin. “ What I knew about Bukola Saraki is that he has dirty hands and pretends to the whole world that he is innocent. He is not victimised. I am not saying that there is no Obasanjo’s EFCC or Jonathan’s EFCC which are victimising their political enemies. But Saraki’s case is different. He claims that he is being persecuted because he exposed oil subsidy thieves. He can’t expose thieves while he is also not a clean man”. Reacting to Saraki’s interrogation by EFCC, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of History, Faculty of Art, University of Ilorin, Dr Saad Y Omoiya said in an exclusive interview with our Correspondent that the Saraki administration in Kwara State was unfortunate, noting that he warned the Kwara state House of Assembly from approving N17 billion bond sent to the House by Dr. Saraki because it was a means to siphon people’s money. The Historian said he told the legislators during the public hearing on the bond that as a former staff of Aviation College in Zaria, Kaduna state, he observed


that the College did not operate to its full capacity since its creation. Omoiya added that the lawmakers were forewarned that the bond was a means to steal government money, saying that no State in Nigeria started a Cement factory that had not closed down. “I warned those in the house that if they approved that bond, posterity will not forgive them. I went further to tell them that Bukola and his family don’t have any property in Ilorin. They don’t even have any relations that are living in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital. That if there is any problem on this bond, Kwara’s younger generation will revolt against them.” The Historian wondered why an indigent, civil service state government which depends on federal allocation, would go for such loan and therefore, the former governor ought to have prosecuted and sent to jail immediately he left office. “Like Rev. Samuel Johnson defined the fall of Oyo Empire”, he said, “when the cup of inequity was full, God’s punishment now rain on the people. It is Bukola’s cup of inequity that is getting full. Whatever he says, there should be thorough investigation. If he claims to have borrowed money, they should ask him what he did with federal allocations in his eight years of misrule. He should provide answers to how he spent Local government Allocations as well as State allocations.” r Omoiya added that during Saraki’s tenure, he “behaved as if there is no tomorrow, he behaved as if he is representing


Contd on Page 19


Saraki’s role in Kwara’s rot Contd from Page 18


od”. “He behaved with impunity. He behaved recklessly and God did not favour him. He is arrogant; he saw Kwara State more or less as his inheritance. But people of Kwara State are not all fools. Our people have shown him that they are beyond being inheritance. The only advantage he and his father enjoy was that federal structures imposed their family on Kwara State. The Federal Structures use Police, INEC to pronounce election results for them. When his father left the ruling party and operated on the platform of ACPN, what did he score? He didn’t win a single seat. It is clear evidence that they are nothing.” The Senior Lecturer who questioned the output of Shonga Farm allegedly owned by the Kwara State government and the private sector, asked Bukola Saraki to account for the loan given to the Zimbabwean farmers. Dr Omoiya also want the federal government and it agencies to stop shielding Dr. Saraki and other politicians and public office holders under investigation so that the nation can be sanitised the nation of corruption. Similarly, while speaking with our correspondent, a former Chairman of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Barrister Salman Jawondo, described the investigation of the embattled Senator as long overdue. Jawondo noted that the Shopping Mall popularly known as Shoprite are allegedly owned by three people; Taiwo Amusan, Chukwuka and one Messrs Guru. he legal practitioner recalled that the International Vocational Centre sited at Ajase-Ipo was not commenced by Dr. Saraki but rather, started by Governor Abdulfattah Ahmed. Jawondo said the Vocational Centre land was long approved by the Traditional Ruler of of Ajase-Ipo, but that the Saraki’s administration did nothing on the land until federal government showed up to inspect the site after it had released counterpart funds. According to him, the Monarch was surprised that since the land was allocated to the state, and federal government had released the fund, the state government did not commence construction of the Centre. The legal practitioner, who faulted the water project allegedly embarked by Saraki’s administration, said the project was co-funded by federal and state Governments but the fund was allegedly was diverted. “I was the Special Assistant to Sen. Salman when the water reticulation started. It was part of the constituency projects. While N500 million was allocated for Sen. Salman constituency projects, the Senator allocated N250 million to the water reticulation before he left office. “The money was increased to


N1.6billion. In fact, it was River Niger Basin Authority that was handling the project. The state also contributed the money. Now, he is claiming that he used part of N17 billion bonds for water reticulation. Where is the water, where is the money?” On Kwara Advance Diagnostic Centre, Barrister Jawondo said despite the building of the Centre, it was not owned by Kwara State while the multimillion Herald Newspaper head Office building was demolished by Saraki’s administration. Barrister Jawondo faulted Agriculture Projects, Shonga Farm, street light claimed to have been done by Saraki’s administration through N17 billion bonds. On Street light, Jawondo questioned N1.2 billion Saraki claimed he spent on New Yidi road to Asa Dam road saying “even if we are to construct street lights from Nigeria to Ghana, we cannot spend N1billion.” Speaking on the management of the International Aviation College, Barrister Jawondo said the place was not meant to stable because the Speaker, Barrister Abdurasak Atunwa, who is the Alternate Chairman and one time Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance are signatory to the College accounts stressing that the Staff could only suggest the amount they needed but would not know the actual amount allocated to the College. Similarly, Jawondo alleged that the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (Sure-P) money due to the State since March 2012 is not distributed as designed by federal government to appropriate quarters. “The money are sent to Local and State governments, there is a local government in this State that was given N2 million twice out of N5 million meant for them. Now, they are not giving them anything again. These Local Governments would ask about the money, but were told that they are keeping it for them.” Jawondo concluded that Dr Bukola Saraki is not victimized by his perceived political enemies, urging the EFCC to do a thorough job by prosecuting him to a logical conclusion. “If you are saying that they are persecuting you, why did you allow your enemies to persecute you? Why did you commit certain things they can use to persecute you? Nobody is persecuting Bukola Saraki, it is the deeds of Bukola that are persecuting him. “If you have access to EFCC, you will discover that many people have written to the EFCC reminding them about Bukola’s case. But because he has many people in power, these petitions did not see the light of the day”. However, Senator Bukola Saraki has said that his current political travails was connected to the political crisis in the ruling PDP. The Senator also stated that he would not be surprised if another anti-graft agency invites him for questioning soon. Speaking with journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, he explained that the factional members of the PDP were not waging any personal war against


News Focus

Fly-Over constructed by Saraki’s administration. President Goodluck Jonathan. “This issue is not in any way personal. It is not against anybody. These are the issues that border on the future of this country which was created and developed many years ago with this democracy. There must be a terrain to discuss. This perception that some people are against the president is wrong; or that if it’s former President Obasanjo that’s in power, it won’t happen. The people who say this do not mean well for this country. It is not whether Mr President is strong or weak. If Obasanjo comes back now, same issues will still be fought for”. n his invitation by the EFCC in relation to the bond issue, he said he was not asked to bring more documents on the matter, adding that he had cleared all issues on the N17 billion bonds to the anti-graft agency. He said the state government went through stringent and rigorous measures to get the bond, adding that Kwara State government was the first state. On the withdrawal of his security personnel, Senator Saraki said the issue would be resolved, adding that the issue should not be personalized, trivialised or personalised since it is a legal matter. The EFCC has also denied embarking on political war against those opposed to “the powers that be.” The EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, made the clarification in Abuja at a workshop on Economic Crimes Reporting for journalists. He said that the notion that the agency had been going after those out of favour with the powers that be, is the creation of the media. “Even in the midst of contrary evidence, a section of the press has been so swayed by this stereotype


Dr Saad Omoiya that they are unwilling to shift to their gaze. Our activities won’t be determined by who does what with government. We are not going to be drawn into political issues. We are doing our job and we will continue to do our job. We want the understanding of the journalists”. Explaining why the commission was withholding information on some of its activities, Lamorde said sometime people were invited just to confirm certain facts and not because they had been found guilty. He said, “If at the early stage of investigation it is just to confirm certain facts, we

Barrister Jawondo faulted Agriculture Projects, Shonga Farm, street light claimed to have been done by Saraki’s administration through N17 billion bonds. On Street light, Jawondo questioned N1.2 billion Saraki claimed he spent on New Yidi road to Asa Dam road saying “even if we are to construct street lights from Nigeria to Ghana, we cannot spend N1billion.

don’t want to give it publicity until we are sure. Anybody can be invited for questioning. “At times, publicity affects the direction of investigation and the main investigation itself. Maybe it is this individual information that you want to use to get to other level of investigation. Once it is mentioned, other people are alerted. You know in Nigeria, somebody can set this building ablaze because he wants to cover up his track, records can be destroyed; people can even be killed. “So many things could happen. We are not saying we don’t want to give this information; it is a question of trust. I don’t think there is a deliberate effort on our part not to release information.” amorde regretted that individuals who had been indicted by previous administration or declared not fit for public office, still found their ways back to government because nobody remembered or investigated their past. Nevertheless, as Dr Bukola Saraki continues to pass through different hurdles of prosecution, it is believed that he may escape Nigeria’s prosecution just like James Ibori, Dieprieye Alamieyeseigha and other former governors unless strikes.



H ome s

Cane furniture: Quite stylish yet affordable choice


ow would you like to have a superb and exquisite patio? It is very possible you are dreaming of having that luxurious furniture that will make your garden or patio look unique and magnificent. The question is whether you do have the financial capability to make this happen. Most homeowners do long to have their patios and gardens look different and yet very stylish. There are many designs and styles of patio furniture to choose from which are made from different kinds of materials such as metals, plastics, and woods. Cane or rattan furnishing is one sort of wood that is ideal as both indoor and outdoor furniture. This because it is so bendable into just about any furniture shape you need. For those who love traditional furniture, this serves their purpose really well. Nearly all property owners choose rattan furniture for patio because they naturally weigh lighter than those created from metal, plastic or other forms of wood. And due to its lightweight attribute, moving rattan furniture from one place to another tends to be much less difficult and yet, really suitable for your needs.





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The £6m Christmas tree: Japanese department store unveils festive foliage covered in gold • • •

Expensive tree on display at Takashimaya depart ment store in Tokyo Covered in gold decorations Part of a gold exhibition in the city

By Lucy Waterlow


t’s another three months till Christmas but if you want to deck the halls in truly ostentatious style, you better start saving now. For only those with the very deepest of pockets will be able to afford a very bling Christmas tree that was unveiled in Japan today. The Takashimaya department store in Tokyo displayed a £1 billion yen (£6m) festive tree. It has gold branches which have been adorned with cups, pots and candle stands, also made from the precious metal, and topped with a gold star. To add some festive colour, it was also decorated with red baubles, bows and

flowers. The Christmas tree is on display as part of the gold products exhibition in Tokyo that is taking place this week. A security guard stood watch beside the exhibit to ensure nobody tried to help themselves to an early Christmas present by taking one of the expensive decorations. But the Christmas tree wasn’t the only exhibit on show worth millions. A pair of gold Chinese lions weighing 80kg were on show that are also worth £6m. Meanwhile, there was also a 1.8kg pure gold dragon that costs 27.5 million yen (£171,000). Source:

Worth their weight in gold: The lion is 40kg and the dragon 1.8kg

Midas touch: These lions and dragon statues are made from gold

Valuable: A security guard stands next to the gold tree




Dr. Hajo Sani: Resounding voice in the cause of girl-child education By Miriam Humbe


r. Hajo Sani is a silent achiever in every sense of the word. She is an educationist, author and policy analyst. She served as the second minister in the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development from 1997 to 1998. After that, she founded Women and National Development (WAND), an NGO that focuses on the education of the girl- child as antidote to the numerous problems and obstacles facing women. She was elected Secretary General of the West African Women Association (WAWA), in 2003. She joined the Society for Family Health (SFH) in 2003, the largest NGO focusing on public Health issues in Nigeria since 2003. While speaking on her childhood, she said, she had a humble beginning with sound educational background, very rare privilege for the girl-child coming from her part of the country. She enjoyed the love and care of her parents, Alhaji Umaru Maina- Danmalikin Mubi Emirate and Hajia Zainab Maina a prominent woman leader. Till today, her parents remain strong pillars in her life. Her father was very concerned about her spending long years in school before getting married. But fate allayed those fears. She got married early and continued with her education to a very high level. She started her education in Unguwan Sarki Primary school, Kaduna to class six. In 1970, her parents were transferred to Ankpa in the old Kwara State (now Kogi State) where she completed her primary education in a Roman Catholic Mission School. Her secondary education was also in a famous mission school, Ochaja Secondary School still in Kogi State-Igalaland. She has so many childhood friends from there. One of them, Mrs Abeni Ilona from Idah has remained close to her from their first day in the college. To be married and educated is a matter of determination on one’s part and spousal understanding and support on the other. In this century, women all over the world are doing well in all spheres of development. What is required is the enabling environment to excel to contribute more to national development. She remembers with nostalgia how combining motherhood with her studies prevented her from enjoying the social aspect of university life like most of her contemporaries. But with her children, she feels blessed for having them early and thinks it was a worthy sacrifice. As an author, she does not share in the view that Nigerian literature is going down. Her opinion is that new writers now are writing better works than their predecessors. “Why people are still valorising the canon is because we are used

nation will attain the highest level of development.” She is so particularly passionate about the issue of the girl child education because of the importance of education to women which is a direct beneficiary. As an educationist, she grew in the teaching career in an exclusive girls’ school and saw in these young girls the dreams and aspirations of future women leaders. “The educational system should open up more opportunities for the girlchild to excel through gender friendly policies, implementation of policies that increases enrolment, retention and withdrawal of the girl- child for whatever reasons should be taken seriously”, she advised. It was her desire to contribute in this area, that made her to establish a nongovernmental organisation, NGO called Women and National Development (WAND) in 2001. he focus of WAND is supporting girls’ education based on policy thrust: Education for Greater Participation. WAND has implemented a number of projects such as preparatory classes for certificate examination for girls, payment of examination fees, provision of uniforms, books and donation of teaching aids to female schools, among others. Her interest in writing stemmed from that of reading. As a youth, she read a lot on fiction, history, current affairs, and books of different religions, everything on paper. She engaged in a number of literary works, presentation of papers, produced journals and edited magazines. While in GGSS Dutse, she set up a literary society that produced the best school magazine: The Flash. In 2001, her first published book, ‘Women and National Development- The Way Forward’ was presented to the public. The NERDC of Federal Ministry of Education assessed and recommended it for use in higher institutions. It is also being used in two universities of Ohio and Illinois in the United States for African Studies. “For me, this is a great achievement which has encouraged me to write more. I also co-authored many books on education. One was edited by resource unit of University of Jos, on Gender Mainstreaming in Higher Education. The main thrust of my writing is to make women’s work and achievements visible because with visibility comes power”. “I always advise the younger generation not to (be in a) hurry in life. Slow and steady make a long journey (easier). To achieve that requires humility, commitment, determination and focus. Always aspire to be the change agent, to contribute your quota to national development”, she said. She is a holder of the prestigious national honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger, OON.


Dr. Hajo Sani

to them. But, to me, we have wonderful set of (especially) novelists and poets in Nigeria now. The only setback is that people are not reading most of them due to promotional and marketing impediments. Once the publishers begin to do what they are supposed to do, the writers will be widely read and appreciated more”, she said. Sani thinks that Nigerian women are very resourceful; determined and committed to the course of the nation but lack goodwill from the men. “The political atmosphere is very tight and the men are very slow towards giving space in politics for women to go up. “However, the women in leadership positions are striving hard and exhib-

iting such qualities that eventually will make it possible for power to come to us. However, sincerely speaking, I think it will take a while”, she said. She believes that in comparative analysis, women in Nigeria face more challenges politically than those in Liberia where the scenario is different. “In Nigeria, there are credible women with such potentials to climb the number one seat but the ladder is still steep. It will only take a while but she believes it will happen.” o achieve that, women need to come together, strategize and form a critical mass. This, according to her, one day; “a woman will lead this country and when it happens, the


She remembers with nostalgia how combining motherhood with her studies prevented her from enjoying the social aspect of university life like most of her contemporaries. But with her children, she feels blessed for having them early and thinks it was a worthy sacrifice.




With Nami Hassan Kadir 08130693795.



The famous Axum of Ethiopia

Disney Angle


xum was contemporary to the Roman and Greek civilisations of antiquity. The Axumite kingdom in northern Ethiopia was a seafaring nation. Its influence and suzerainty often extended across the Red Sea to include parts of to-day’s Arabia and Yemen. Axum was a force to reckon with and the Rome king wrote a letter to the king of Axum asking him to help keep the silk route open and free from Persian pressure, which at that time was interfering. Axum’s greatness is still to-day visible from the archaeological remains which we still see. The obelisks of Axum have no match in the world. No one to this very day has been able to give satisfactory explanation of how it was done, transported and erected. One of the fallen obelisks, the biggest by far, is carved on all four sides.

Nature lovers have a lot to see in Tigrai. The mountainous nature of the Region invites mountain climbing. There are also a number of bird sanctuaries in the area and many species of birds that are endemic to the region. A German expedition in 1906 to the area in and around Axum has recorded what they saw and studied in four volumes. They also did some reconstruction in pictures of the ruins in Axum. Yet, there is a great deal more hidden under ground, which is waiting for archaeological scholars to discover and record. To-date the archaeological work was almost all done by foreign scholars, but now that Axum and Mekelle University, among others, has opened an archaeological department and there is a great deal of hope that Ethiopian scholars will emerge and conduct research.

The Lion King

Bugs Bunny


Kiddies World


With Nami Hassan Kadir 08130693795.


Smiley Caterpillar

Here’s a smiley, slinky critter you can make from clay and wire. What you’ll need: -Polymer clay in purple, white, and black 22-gauge -permanent-colored copper wire -Toothpicks How to make it:

-Roll 6 or more balls of clay for the caterpillar body and head. String them onto a piece of wire that’s long enough to hold them all in place, then bend the body into the shape you want. Refer to page 2 of this PDF for a helpful diagram. -Insert the antennae wires into the head and add the



antennae balls to the other ends of the wires. -For eyes, press the small purple balls into the head. Press the white balls onto the purple ones, then add the tiny black balls onto the white circles for pupils. -Use a toothpick to shape the mouth.


The King’s Magic Drum


friam Duke was an ancient king of Calabar. He was a peaceful man, and did not like war. He had a wonderful drum, the property of which, when it was beaten, was always to provide plenty of good food and drink. So whenever any country declared war against him, he used to call all his enemies together and beat his drum; then to the surprise of every one, instead of fighting the people found tables spread with all sorts of dishes, fish, foo-foo, palm-oil chop, soup, cooked yams and ocros, and plenty of palm wine for everybody. In this way he kept all the country quiet, and sent his enemies away with full stomachs, and in a happy and contented frame of mind. There was only one drawback to possessing the drum, and that was, if the owner of the drum walked over any stick on the road or stept over a fallen tree, all the food would immediately go bad, and three hundred Egbo men would appear with sticks and whips and beat the owner of the drum and all the invited guests very severely. Efriam Duke was a rich man. He had many farms and hundreds of slaves, a large store of kernels on the beach, and many puncheons of palm-oil. He also had fifty wives and many children. The wives were all fine women and healthy; they were also good mothers, and all of them had plenty of children, which was good for the king’s house. Every few months the king used to issue invitations to all his subjects to come to a big feast, even the wild animals were invited; the elephants, hippopotami, leopards, bush cows, and antelopes used to come, for in those days there was no trouble, as they were friendly with man, and when they were at the feast they did not kill one another. All the people and the animals as well were envious of the king’s drum and wanted to possess it, but the king would not part with it. One morning Ikwor Edem, one of the king’s wives, took her little daughter down to the spring to wash her, as she was covered with yaws, which are bad sores all over the body. The tortoise happened to be up a palm tree, just over the spring, cutting nuts for his midday meal; and while he was cutting, one of the nuts fell to the ground, just in front of the child. The little girl, seeing the good food, cried for it, and the mother, not

knowing any better, picked up the palm nut and gave it to her daughter. Directly the tortoise saw this he climbed down the tree, and asked the woman where his palm nut was. She replied that she had given it to her child to eat. Then the tortoise, who very much wanted the king’s drum, thought he would make plenty palaver over this and force the king to give him the drum, so he said to the mother of the child— “I am a poor man, and I climbed the tree to get food for myself and my family. Then you took my palm nut and gave it to your child. I shall tell the whole matter to the king, and see what he has to say when he hears that one of his wives has stolen my food,” for this, as every one knows, is a very serious crime according to native custom.

Little Miss Malaika 2013, Chelsea Badbore

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




Rare undersea discovery could extend your life H

umans have made incredible health strides and are living longer lives than ever. Many of the maladies that struck down our ancestors have for the most part been completely eliminated – everything from tuberculosis, to polio to malaria. Today, the biggest killers stem as much from our lifestyles as from microscopic bacteria and viruses. One of the worst of these is heart disease, and specifically high blood pressure. It’s a slow, but efficient killer that robs many people of what should be the last 10, 20 or 30 years of their lives. Part of the reason that heart disease is so prevalent and intractable is that it often requires massive changes to one’s lifestyle— changes that are not easy to make. Everything from radically altering ones diet to implementing serious exercise routines. And while it’s never too late to start, people often realize the true danger only when it’s too late to make the changes and the damage is done. Now, however, there may be a scientific breakthrough that could have an impact on high blood pressure comparable to penicillin’s ability treat infections or quinine’s effect on malaria. Scientists are claiming that they have now isolated unusual ingredients in a rare seaweed discovered by fishermen off the coast of Korea that offer incredible health benefits— including the ability to restore blood pressure to normal levels.


ancer “smart bombs” aren’t the only way new biotech drugs can sneak inside diseased cells. Another way in is what’s called “small molecule” medicine. You’ve probably taken lots of “small molecule” drugs or you know somebody who has — everything from aspirin and Prozac, Lipitor, Celebrex, and Viagra are all “small molecule” drugs. Smaller, lighter molecules let those drugs and hundreds like them slip right into your bloodstream and through cell walls. This is why diabetes patients need insulin shots and not a pill. Insulin has mol-

Human heart Dr. Haengwoo Lee, a renowned biochemist living near Seattle, Washington conducted a massive 15 year, multimillion dollar clinical study on these two ingredients. The first is Seanol, an extremely rare seaweed extract from Ecklonia Cava that’s proven to be 100 times more powerful than any land-based

antioxidant. That’s because it stays working in your body for 12 hours, compared to landbased antioxidants that work for 30 minutes. “Its secret is its make-up of special polyphenol antioxidants that are a whopping 40% lipid (fat) soluble,” Dr. Lee explains. “Unlike nearly all land-based antioxidants that are water

soluble, Seanol’s protective compounds can get into things like the fatty tissues of your brain and penetrate all three layers of your cells, including the outside, the oil-based cell membranes, and your DNA.” Indeed, Seanol is so powerful, it’s the only FDAapproved Ecklonia Cava marine-algae extract in

How molecule drugs could save millions ecules too big, so you need to inject it right into your veins instead. The breakthrough is combining “small molecule” chemistry with breakthrough biology. And another company could soon make shareholders rich… because they ALREADY own the brand new cutting edge of “small molecule” biotech. Up to 170 million people worldwide have hepatitis C. It killed writer Allen Ginsberg. It almost killed stuntman Evel Knievel too. Along with Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, singer Natalie Cole, and actress Pamela Anderson.

You can have it without knowing it, at first. Until you start feeling tired. Then you can’t eat and lose weight. You might get a rash on your palms. And you turn yellow, as your liver starts to fail. And up until now, there was no cure. But this company’s breakthrough new “small molecule” drug… just now coming out of FDA trials… might be it. In trials, patients who had learned to live with the disease suddenly had zero trace of hepatitis in their blood, six months after starting treatment. And the drug is cutting that treatment time in half. That’s a full

“clinical cure.” And that’s just the beginning. This company has another “small molecule” breakthrough lined up that looks like it could put an end to HIV. Plus a third “small molecule” biotech med in the pipeline that could END inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. The key is the size. See, being tiny makes these new drugs much easier to absorb. Combine that with bioengineering, and you can also make each drug target only certain cells. Together, that gives you a stronger, faster drug but with much fewer side effects.

existence. The second ingredient is Calamarine, a deep-sea omega-3 discovery that delivers 85% more DHA omega-3s to your heart, brain, joints, and eyes. It’s known to combat everything from fatigue and poor memory, to vision problems, joint pain, mood swings and depression. With that research in mind, Dr. Lee combined Seanol and Calamarine with a high dose of vitamin D to form Marine-D3, the newest supplement in the fight against age-related illnesses and high blood pressure. According to the CDC, about 1 in 3 U.S. adults has high blood pressure, which increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, the two leading causes of death in the United States. Increasing your omega-3 intake can reduce high blood pressure, and because it’s difficult to get enough omega3s in foods like fish and nuts, many people turn to supplements. Dr. Lee found that Calamarine delivers some of the greatest concentration of omega-3s known to science, and has been able to formulate it without any fishy burps or aftertaste. Combined with Seanol’s ability to reduce body inflammation, as well as help cells get the nutrients they need to thrive, stay healthy and protected, Marine-D3 is able to boost a body’s entire well being. The makers of Marine-D3 are so confident that you’ll see fast dramatic results from this product, that if you aren’t happy after two full months, simply return the unused portion and they’ll buy it back. They’ll even give you ten dollars extra just for giving it an honest try! That kind of faith, combined with Dr. Lee’s exhaustive research, shows that Marine-D3 really is a one-of-akind product.

It’s the perfect combination. Most of this wasn’t even possible until recently. But thanks to today’s faster computers, companies like this one are computer-screening millions of molecular combinations at once. Simulate it on the computer, and you can do it much faster. And at a much smaller cost. So you can do more and take more risks to get the right research. Already, it’s paying off. This company’s sitting on over a billion in cash… with blockbuster partnerships lined up with Big Pharma sluggers like Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, and over 500 other collaborations worldwide.



Beauty Tips Extra Compiled by Nami Hassan Kadir

Enhancing Beauty with vegetables, fruits Herbs, vegetables and fruits are all rich in one mineral or vitamin, and they help in the maintenance of the skin, hair etc. Each and every fruit or vegetable or pulses has its own advantage in a number of ways 1) Banana is useful for face uplift. Its pulp used without or with yoghurt as a face mask is very effective to make skin free of blemishes. For removing the blemishes from hands, rub the slices of unripe banana over them. Also you can mix a few drops of coconut / olive oil or a little honey to the pulp of unripe banana to make an excellent face and hand pack. 2) Orange keeps away skin problems. Collect orange peels and dry them in sun. Grind and use as a facial mask. They are extremely good for toning the skin. Soak the orange peels in boiling water let it stay overnight. Strain in the morning and use it as a cleanser. 3) Peach. A paste of peach applied on the face as a mask is very good for dry skin. 4) Cucumber. It has a nature of cleansing, soothing and mild astringent effect on the skin. Grated cucumber with a little milk can be applied on the face for refreshing the skin. Wiping the skin with cucumber slices can benefit oily skins. Removes dark circles under eyes. 5) Carrots Keep skin tight and avoid wrinkles. Carrot

is a rich source of vitamin A and is used as one of the important ingredients for nourishing creams and face masks. Add milk or cream to juice of carrot and apply it before bathing. A paste of milk and carrot is very effective for removing the swelling around the eyes. 6) Potato. It helps in cleaning the skin blemishes. Grate potatoes and extract the juice and apply it to the skin. Potato juice has a tightening effect and it helps in reducing puffiness around the eyes. Mix milk or cream and a pinch of turmeric powder in smashed potatoes. Apply this as a face pack. Grind the raw potato, wrap it in a thin cloth and keep this cloth covering over the eyes. This removes the eye blackness. 7) Coconut oil. Best for hair growth. Daily or weekly, thrice applied and massaged, makes roots stronger and helps in growth of hair, blackens hairs, strengthens the roots and also gives cooling effect to brain. Massage it over the body, weekly or once before bathing. It keeps the skin younger and prevents wrinkles and dryness.



s p i T y t u a Be

Compiled by Nami Hassan Kadir

Nail polish designs


his is the most commonly used nail product available. Nail polish, also known as nail varnish is a type of lacquer which is used by ladies to add some colour and character to their nails. Applying nail polish is the most simple way to add some life into nails, whether this is a set of seductive red nails for Valentine Day, or a set of multi-coloured nails for a music festival. Nail varnish has plasticizers, which forms polymer chains and space them to make the film flexible when the coat has been applied. Ladies love nail polish at easy nail art, as it’s the easiest way girls can get started designing nails. You may not have any desires to be a nail technician, or to learn complex nail application techniques, however with nail varnish, you can create a beautiful set of vibrant nails. In recent years, companies such as nails inc have innovated the way we use nail polish by creating textured effects. These special types of lacquer range from fuzzy, feathered nails and glitter nails. Make sure you take a look at your recommended nail polish list. Artificial Nails – Or “Fake Nails” Fake nails are perhaps the more common name for artificial nails. However the term fake really does nail art no justice. The types of artificial nails you’ll find to buy in street retailers are made of plastic, applied using glue and depending upon quality

could last for a day to perhaps upto 5 days. When speaking about fake nails, this is typically the type of nail treatment most people are referring to. Artificial Nails are what savvy nail enthusiasts will ask for when they are getting their nails done. There are 2 main approaches used in artificial nail treatment. These are nail forms and nail tips. Nail forms are placed over the nail. This forms the shape and length for the artificial nail. Acrylic is then applied over this, and nail form is removed. Nail Tips are made of plastic, similar to the “fake nails” you can buy in the high street or from supermarkets. These tips are then applied with glue at the natural nail’s end. When this has been applied, liquid acrylic will be placed over the nail to finish the application. Acrylic nails and gel nails are the most common types of artificial nail application. Nail art, whilst common amongst females, is also used by some men. Artificial nails and nails art is popular among some class of people to enhance a feminine look. However it is becoming increasingly more popular among guitar players. When guitarists play without the use of a pick, it is important that nails are in perfect condition to play. For this reason, many guitar players look to apply

acrylic nails. How to do nail art Hopefully we’ve cleared up some of your questions about what nail art is. Next of course you’ll be wondering how to do nail art. Our easy nail art tutorials have numerous guides and nail tutorial that will help you design beautiful nail art, along with learn some of the basic principles of acrylic and gel nails. Please check out our easy nail art tutorial page to start learning how to do nails from home today. You can also check our our nail art video tutorials. Lastly, if you’re just looking for some design inspiration or motivation, head over to our nail art designs gallery and take a look at our photos. I hope that you now have a better understanding of what nail art is, and hopefully you’re inspired to start learning. Please share your designs and journeys with us, and I look forward to hearing from you all. Don’t forget to subscribe to our site & newsletter to receive expert tips and to be notified of our latest articles. One last point. Some girls are crazy about the length of their nails. But lengthy nails are in need of additional consideration. If you paint them by utilizing designs in scrolls, waves and zigzag patterns then you become the centre of attraction at events. Thanks for reading

well manicured toes and finger nails

Designer nails


Nail designs for long nails

Compiled by Miriam Humbe



African men’s casual wear


ost modern African wears are made in western-styled pant suits, shirts, dresses and shoes. Others continue to combine the old with the new, wearing traditional clothing, along with Western styles. Kaftans, which are also called boubous, are full-length embroidered robes. These kaftans, which today are mainly worn by East African women, were originally only worn by West African men. Made from cotton or silk, kaftans button down the front. They are also the traditional female clothing of many countries in West Africa such as Mali, Senegal and Ghana. The fashion wears are also exotically made in casual and corporate outfits. They’re simply suitable for lovers of fashion no matter their tastes.


Pots & Pans PAGE 30


Beef and pea casserole Simple and quick to prepare casserole is a good main recipe or basic recipe to add to your menu. You can double the beef mixture to have a creamier casserole. With a simple garden salad of romaine lettuce, tomato, and cucumbers, it makes a great meal. Ingredients Original recipe makes 8 servings 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided 1 (16 ounce) packaged rigatoni pasta 1 (10 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup 3/4 cup sour cream 1 (10 ounce) sliced and drained beef chunk 1 cup frozen peas, thawed 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder 2 1/2 teaspoons onion powder 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese Directions Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and pasta, and cook until soft, about 8 to 10 minutes; drain. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together mushroom soup, beef and peas. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Stir cooked pasta into beef mixture until well combined. Pour pasta mixture into a 9x10-inch casserole dish, and spread out evenly. Top with Parmesan cheese, and spray the top with a bit of cooking spray. Bake in a preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool for five minutes, then serve.

Banana breakfast drink Ingredients: 2 small ripe bananas peeled 2 cups of milk 2 tablespoons of honey 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla flavour Preparation:

Place bananas, milk, honey and vanilla in a blender. Cover. Blend until smooth and frothy. Blend at low speed and pour into a highball glass. Garnish with the same type of berries that you chose to make your smoothie. Serve

With Hajiya Ramatu Usman Dorayi



10 phrases men hate to hear from women To you, it’s just a few words. To him, it’s a short sentence that he’ll never, ever forget. Here, the seemingly innocent observations that can really rock a relationship. By Anna Davies, REDBOOK. “I really don’t respect you.” “My wife and I probably use the word ‘respect’ about as much as we use the word ‘love.’ Both words were in our wedding vows,” says Dave, 36, about why the R-word is just as important to him as the L-word. “And when I hear that she doesn’t respect me, it’s almost like her saying she doesn’t love me. Luckily, she’s never said it-precisely because we had a whole conversation about how we’ll never throw around that word like that.” Your tummy is so cute! “Please, call it what it is-a beer gut!” jokes Chad, 38. All kidding aside, the men we spoke with said that they have the same body image issues as women, which means that making fun of him when he’s gained a few will make him feel insecure too. “I love when you get all mad.” Is he fuming because he’s behind a car that’s oh-soannoyingly crawling along in the left lane? Sure, it’s fine to make a joke, but Jeff, 40, suggests making it at the other driver’s expense. “I know I can get worked up about minor stuff, but when I hear this, I feel like it’s harder to be honest about my feelings when it comes to things that really matter to me, because I’m worried she’s going to shoot me down.” “He acts like such a baby when his team loses.” “This is something I’ve overheard my wife say on the phone to her friends,” says Charles, 38. “I know she’s talking about me, but she uses the same voice she uses when she’s talking about our 3-year-old having a temper tantrum.” While no one likes to be talked about behind their back, guys are especially sensitive to lack of loyalty. “Yes, the way he freaks out when his team blows a playoff game is funny-but if he’s not laughing, it’s best to keep it on the DL, at least while your husband is in earshot. There’s another reason: “When I hear her talking about me to her friends when she thinks I’m not listening, I can’t help but wonder what else she may talk about.” “Do whatever you want.” Unless you’re saying this with a

smile because it’s his birthday or he just bought a winning lottery ticket, when guys hear this, their stomachs sink. “I feel like I’m on a game show. Just tell me the right answer!” begs Bryan, 29. Men everywhere agree: If you have something in mind, spill it instead of making him play a guessing game. “Do you think I actually believe you?” This ties back to respect, says David, who asks, “If she doesn’t believe me, then why are we even trying to have a conversation?” If you’re questioning his honesty and integrity-and not whatever lie you think he may be covering up-that’s what you two need to have a serious discussion about. “You’re just like your dad.” “I love my dad, but when my girlfriend is scowling at me and saying that, I don’t want to be like him,” says James. And even if he and his father get along great, it’s not always ideal to compare them. Instead, speak directly to whatever he’s doing that’s bothering you.

All kidding aside, the men we spoke with said that they have the same body image issues as women, which means that making fun of him when he’s gained a few will make him feel insecure too.

“What do you think that was about?” When said in the bedroom, this phrase hits below-the-belt-literally. Performance issues happen, and the more you ask about them, the more likely they are to come (er) up again. “Sometimes things don’t work the way they should, either because I’ve had too much beer, or am stressed out, or just because. And trust me, I’m obsessing over it...and I’d like to at least pretend you aren’t too,” says George, 40. If it only happens once in a while, just

let it go. “Should I call the emergency room and let them prepare?” “I admit that my D.I.Y. projects may have landed me in the emergency room once or twice in the past, but reminding me only makes me feel like an idiot, and more likely to mess up,” explains Avery, 28. “If you’re nervous about your guy cleaning the gutters, powering up the lawn mower, cutting down branches, or wielding a glue gun, the best way to get around it may

be to discreetly hire a pro while his mind is on something else. “Are you sure we can afford that?” “The worst is when she says this in front of a salesman,” says Chad. “I feel like I’m a failure.” If you’re heading out to buy a big-ticket item and don’t want to blow the budget, research prices beforehand and use phrases like, “This seems over our target,” so it sounds strategic, not like you and your guy are scraping the bottom of your savings account.



City of wrath By Dayo Ògún


daleh’s anger burned along with the blazing sun. His singlet was soaked already. It stuck to his back irritatingly even as sweat trickled from his balding pate into his eye, stinging him sharply. He transferred the polythene bag in his right hand to the left so he could wipe his face with his already soaked white handkerchief. Shopping in Wuse Market was a tedious exercise on a normal weekend; on a Christmas weekend like this, it was customized mayhem. Everyone hurried like shopping was going out of fashion and they wanted a last piece of the action. The shop owners also put in a last minute effort during this season to make some fat cash. This would fuel their holiday activities in the village during the end of year festivities. He watched two Ibo cloth sellers about twenty meters away as they both pulled a prospective customer in opposite ways, towards their shops. She was a young lady and their efforts had put a frustrated frown on her face. Adaleh read her lips as she mouthed words. Una dey craze? Leave me alone ABEG; I no dey buy anything. A sharp jerk of her hands made them relent and they gave up on her. Parking his car had been an uphill task; he had circled the parking lot, searching for an empty spot. For his trouble, he had been sideswiped by a beautiful young girl who had been driving a Kia Picanto. The argument and the shouting that ensued over who was to blame for the minor bash left him with a throbbing headache and a drastically reduced esteem for beautiful women. Beauty and brains; guess you can’t have both at once, he thought as he forced his way through the sea of humanity thronging the textile stalls in the eastern wing of the market. Dodging a malo, who obviously thought his wheelbarrow was a Formula one car, he swore under his breath and asked himself for the umpteenth time why he had even bothered to come shopping today of all days. He smiled at the question. Of course he knew why he went through this stress. The women in his life, that’s why he bothered. It was always about them, he thought cynically. Mummy, Kauna, and Adorah. They were the reason he put in the hours he did at the bank, never mind the fact that those hectic hours had given him an ulcer at thirty-one. He loved them, there was no doubt about that; he loved the bliss that he saw on their faces when he brought them those gifts that his fat salary afforded him. He lived for such moments. Oga, see correct Rolex’, a young hustler called. Adaleh glanced at him and the boy flashed him a wristwatch wrapped in cloth.‘Na original, bros; na real gold o. He hesitated, and the boy, sensing a sale, came closer. ‘Oga, na correct, check am. The boy unwrapped the cloth and he saw a gold-colored watch. He was tempted to buy; after all, he had gotten present for every other person so far except himself. For his mum, he had gotten ten whole yards of the finest and most expensive guinea brocade

A sharp cry of terror rent the air

he could find. His mum’s penchant for clothing was something he would never understand; she had loads and loads of yet unsown clothing material and yet she hungered for more. Adaleh chuckled; he would continue to buy them for her as long as it made her happy. He was the man of the house after all with his father gone; the fellow might as well be dead for all he cared. Damn the damned bastard to hell and back again. His mum was a different matter altogether and she deserved all the love he could shower on her and much more. For Kauna his younger sister, he had bought a new Blackberry phone. It was the model she had been hankering after since the last time he visited them in Lokoja, and he knew he would not know peace if he did not buy it. It didn’t matter if he brought her heaven as a Christmas gift, instead. She was due for her convocation in February and Adaleh was saving to surprise her with a car gift then. He thought of Adorah and his smile

grew wider: her gift was the most important to him, and he felt in his pocket for the small case. Adorah was his fiancée and he planned to pop her the question on Boxing Day. His heart skipped and his eyes grew dreamy as he imagined how he would go about it. It had to be romantic; it had to be just right and unforgettable, at least for her. He was aware that women placed a high premium on how their beau proposed to them, even when they already knew the answer to the said question. A sheepish look appeared on his face as he walked on, seeing himself get down on one knee, right in the middle of the street, in front of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Maitama, the very spot where they had met four years ago after a Sunday Service. Marry me, my love; would you? That’s what he would say on that day, staring into those innocent eyes of hers that always looked as if she was perpetually experiencing a pleasant surprise. He was still seeing those eyes when he stubbed his toe on an outcropping on the

The next words that he heard turned his blood into ice in his vein. ‘He don steal my prick oooo! Make una come o. Help,’

tarmac. Damn. He stumbled, reaching out to steady himself, he held on to a shoulder belonging to a middle aged man clad in buba.. It was then that hell nudged him. A sharp cry of terror rent the air, and Adaleh was startled, his eyes searching for the source. It was the man whose cloth he had clutched to steady himself. The man’s eyes were frantic and filled with terror. They were fixed on Adaleh who still held on to his tunic. ‘Haaa! Nye nu num aka oh! Save me, pls’. Heads turned towards them. The man grabbed his polo shirt with two hands and Adaleh could feel the strength in them; such strength could only come from a terrified man. The next words that he heard turned his blood into ice in his vein. ‘He don steal my prick oooo! Make una come o. Help,’ To Adaleh, it seemed to be a wicked joke, and he remained speechless, staring at the man. No, no, no. It’s got to be a joke, can’t be real, he thought as he desperately searched for what to say but it seemed that his tongue was married to the roof of his mouth. A big man wearing a T-shirt that barely covered his protruding belly elbowed his way through the rapidly gathering crowd and said in a gruff voice ‘What’s happening, Oga? Wetin happen for here?’ Blinking rapidly, Adaleh tried again to speak but only a croak came out of his mouth. The other man whose face was a picture of bewildered terror blurted out: ‘This man, he touched me, and my something ran through my body’. He paused and looked wildly around. ‘I check my tin and my tin, e don disappear o’. A low murmur round through the gathered crowd as people processed this piece of information. Excited voices tittered. A trailer honked. Somewhere afar off, Adaleh could heard a baby wailing plaintively. The man clutched at his shirt, still hollering and the crowd pressed closer. Adaleh could see the young girl who had been harassed earlier by the traders; she was struggling behind taller onlookers to see what the trouble was all about crowd. He felt he was in some sort of nightmare and he begged to wake up. He searched the faces that stared at him for help but he found no sympathy in them. Then his eyes alighted on a slender light skinned man who was staring at him with a funny look. When their eyes met, the man averted his eyes quickly and turned away. A slap brought him back to the dilemma at hand. It was the big man in the T-shirt. Another blow to his face filled his mouth with the coppery taste of blood and his tongue gained freedom ‘Ah, no be me o, I’m a banker. Please, I don’t know this man. I no do am anything o’ he babbled in terror as blood leaked out from the corner of his mouth. The sight of blood ignited the crowd. Another slap, a kick, and then the blows came down on him like a hurricane. Source: Abuja Writer’s Forum



I love this stranger; I don’t even know his name


t all started about one and a half year ago. At that time I was in a relationship for more than three years. Now, I am engaged to be married and we live together. Being in a long relationship, I kind of forgot how it is to be liked and admired by another man. Romance was gone between me and my partner and everyday problems and issues were making us into this boring, stressedup couple. I was feeling lonely and really invisible. Then it happened. Everyday I take the bus from the same stop at the same hour in the morning, going to work. One morning, I got up on the bus and soon enough I noticed a tall, fitted, athletic guy about my age or maybe a couple of years older. He looked good and smelled good. I liked him but at that time I had almost zero self confidence so I didn’t even think he would notice me. Strangely enough he did notice me. He moved closer to where I was seated in the bus and he stared at me for the entire trip. He got off the bus a few stops before me and that was it. Or so I thought. The next morning he was in the bus again. Again, he noticed me, again he stared at me the entire trip. It felt so nice. I liked the attention. I felt embarrassed but compelled to stare back at him. He seems romantic. Tanned skin, shaved head, dark eyes. I really enjoyed his attention. Soon enough we started to meet in the bus almost every morning. I started to feel very excited about seeing him and very dissapointed when we failed to be in the same bus. I started to be more caring with how I looked and what I wore. I even got out and bought some new clothes. I was gaining back my self confidence and I loved it. I never thought this small innocent flirt would do any harm to anyone, not myself, not my boyfriend, nobody. After all, who doesn’t flirt from once in a while? fter a while our flirt transformed from innocent looks and smiles into long, sultry stares, a brush of bodies by “accident”, a wink and even a bit of stalking. I mean, if I wasn’t there when the bus reached my stop he would get off the bus and wait for me in my stop or other times he would get off the bus and wait a couple of stops further. Sometimes I did the same. The whole situation was flattering and exciting. From time to time I would feel a bit guilty with my boyfriend but I would get over it soon enough thinking


In the meantime I got engaged. Then we had some problems, money problems, then some other problems with some family members. Life got complicated and I had a bad period where I didn’t feel like flirting or anything anymore. So I ignored my “mystery guy”, as I like to call him, for a good handful of times and eventually he quit. e was obviously avoiding me. On a couple of occasions we did happen to be on the same bus but I was still upset and grumpy and he let me be. Then the bad period passed and as of the start of this summer I began feeling better and more alive. I got tanned, I changed hair, I bought new clothes. I had a good spring and I was looking forward to summer. One day my mystery guy happened to be on the bus. I haven’t seen him in over a month, if not longer. I was glad to see him. I looked good that day and so did he. I smiled at him and he was obviously surprised by my good mood. Soon enough our flirts came back with a vengeance. We started to stalk each other again and flirt heavily. We still didn’t talk though. Then I realized that I started to think about him more and more every day. I thought about him at work, I thought about him at home when I was alone, I even thought about him at night, with my fiancé sleeping next to me. I started to think more seriously about how it would be if we’d talk. I started to be more interested in him, to wonder about his character and I really found myself wanting to know his name, his age, if he is with someone, just to know him better. hen I started to feel something in the pit of my stomach every time the bus would approach my stop. Then I realized my hands were slightly shaking every time he got closer to me. My palms were sweating every time he touched me “by mistake”. I started to pray for the bus to be very crowded so he would get pushed against me. Then I realized that without knowing I fell in love with him. I did. I do. I am in love with him so damn much. For the past month or so he is the only thing on my mind all day and all night. I constantly think and dream about him. I really want to properly meet him. But he never ever intended to approach me again after that time he followed me and I ran away. And I am too shy to do it and I don’t even know if he wants it.


Love’s in the air that it was just an innocent flirt and that I didn’t even talk with the guy, not even once. I was kind of afraid to talk to him. First of all because of my boyfriend and secondly, I was afraid that somehow it would ruin the fantasy, you know? I liked that sense of mystery. So I avoided talking to him. One time he stayed in the bus and he got off at the same stop as I did. He followed me. I real-

ized he wanted to talk to me and I panicked. I sped up and ignored him and eventually he quit. For a while after that happening I tried to avoid him. I took the bus at another hour and then sometimes I took a cab or drove to work. Then I went back to the bus and we started to meet again. The flirts continued for long but he never tried to approach me again and I was happy with that.

I thought about him at work, I thought about him at home when I was alone, I even thought about him at night, with my fiancé sleeping next to me. I started to think more seriously about how it would be if we’d talked.


This week we met in the bus every morning. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday...they were good days. He got so close to me. He didn’t even got off the bus at his stop. He does that sometimes. He misses his stop and stays in the bus just to be close to me. He calls his friends and he tells them to go ahead without him cause he’s going to be a little late. I get off at my stop and he stays in the bus...I assume he is taking another, longer route to his workplace. And he does that just to be close to me. ut the yesterday something happened. I got on, he was there. He came close to me. I was very sleepy and tired. We had our small routine of looking at each other and smiling but then I was not really up to it. I was feeling a bit sad. I am in love with him but I am also engaged. I am very torn. A million thoughts and feelings were crossing my mind yesterday morning so I was kind of down. I think he took my sad face as a sign or rejection again. Or maybe he just decided he’d had enough. He got off the bus at his usual stop and he didn’t even turn his head to look one more time at me as he usually does. Then today I was in the bus at “our” usual hour and he was not there. I felt something was wrong. I got in the bus and then I thought better and got off 2 stops later. I wanted to see if he’ll be in the next bus. He was. I got up and he looked surprised to see me get on the bus at that hour and at another stop than my usual. The bus was really crowded. I got pushed in him. I smiled and excused myself flirty. He was very serious. He moved away and made room for me. Then at the next stop he got off the bus almost running. It was not even his usual stop. It was obvious he just got off because of me. He took the bus at another hour to avoid me and then when he saw me he barely could wait to get off. I don’t know what happened. Why did he change so suddenly? Why is he avoiding me like that, all of a sudden? I am so sad today. love him with all my heart. I want to know him. I want to talk to him. I think about him and I don’t even know his name. This makes me so sad. I feel like crying today. And tomorrow is damn Saturday and the Sunday. Two days of torture because I don’t work on weekends and I won’t see him. I don’t know how I’ll make it through to Monday. I am so, so sad.



Nollywood Ini Edo excited meeting Amber Rose PAGE 34


ni Edo, at the venue of the recently held beauty pageant, Miss Earth, couldn’t hide her excitement for being one of the judges of the pageant and to have the opportunity of meeting the international entertainer, Amber Rose, for the first time. The expression on Ini’s face beside Amber obviously connotes that she is happy to be at the event. ‘Oh my God! Could this be me!’ seems to be the expression on her face. She flaunted her Channel bag, valued at about N1.58 million, as many times as possible before Amber, the same kind of bag Genevieve rocked at the event some months ago, trying to let her know that as she (Amber) is a big celebrity in the U.S so is she (Ini) a big celeb here in Nigeria. The Channel bag, some say is an exact copy of the original Channel, that Ini, in her widest dream will not spend that much on a mere bag that will only have a few naira note, atm cards, driver’s license, lip gloss, mascara, hand-mirror etc.

Ini Edo


Justin Bieber’s rumoured girlfriend opens up


acque Rae Pyles was spotted boarding a private jet together to watch the Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez boxing match on September 14 in Las Vegas, and while she insisted she is single, she is very keen to spend more time with the 19-year-old singer. Asked by E-News if she is intended to meet up with Justin again in the near future, she responded: “Yes, definitely.” Jacque, also 19, also revealed what she looks for in a man, and she admitted the ‘Beauty and a Beat’ hitmaker embodies these same qualities. She said: “You know I just like someone with a sense of humour. Someone that can make me laugh. Like if I’m down, they can just lift my spirits and make everything better.” The pair have known each other since they were 14, and Jacque explained their friendship has been “growing since” then. She added: “Well I’ve actually known him since I was 14. I’m 19 now, so it’s been five years ... We met because I was in a girl group for Nick Cannon called School Girls and he was in the movie that we were filming, so from there we just became friends and hung out a lot, and it’s just been growing since”

Justin Bieber

I don’t care about Nigeria’s bad situation —Rukky Sanda


ake the roll call of controversial Nollywood stars, one name that will surely not be missing, apart from that of Tonto Dikeh, Emeka Ike, Cossy Orjiakor, Jim Iyke, is Rukky Sanda. The Lagos State-born actress cum producer, who reportedly funkified her real name, Rukayat Adesanya, to Rukky Sanda, is not new to controversies just like her pal, Tonto. reported that though she is not one of the busiest actresses in the Nigerian movie industry or her selfproduced movie known to be a blockbusting film, adding that she is one of the celebrities in the country who live in one of the highbrow areas of Lagos and also cruised around with an expensive ‘mobile home’, which some of the veterans in the industry can’t boast of or have hope of acquiring. Though Nigerians go through many challenges caused by poor leadership, which has continually failed to make life worth living well for its citizens, the entertainment industry has provided a cushion for many Nigerians to rely on when they

need to get cheered up. Little wonder most Nigerians care much about those who entertain them and give them something to cheer about. That explained the criticisms some Nigerian celebrities faced during the January 2012 Occupy Nigeria protest when some of them threw their weights behind the Federal Government on fuel subsidy. Speaking with in an exclusive interview (conducted on October 1, 2012, in Lagos), when asked what she would like God to do for the country if given the opportunity by the Creator to make such request, Rukky Sanda stated that she will asked God to make Nigeria fair, but noted that she isn’t complaining about the bad situation of the country since she is living large. In her words, “I pray that the country would be fair.” When asked to explain what she meant by Nigeria being fair, Rukky explained that, “I can’t complain (of the bad situations in the country) because I have a good life, I am lucky [for that] and I thank God [for that also], but I pray that the less privileged ones get what they want.”

Rukky Sanda




Kim Kardishan, Kanye West host Oprah


ndia Today has reported that couple Kim Kardashian and Kanye West took their fans by surprise when they recently hosted television Icon Operah Winfrey. It said their recent selection of friends circle, including Beckhams, has made a lot to wonder. Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian posted a photo on instagram showing herself partying with Kanye West and the unlikely pair of record producer P Diddy and media mogul, Oprah Winfrey. According to the reports, the group was attending a birthday bash of founder and CEO of Inter scope records, Jimmy Lovine. While new mother, Kim Kardashian beamed in the picture and flaunted her voluptuous figure, Kanye kept it casual at the event. Oprah looked happy hanging out with the boys as she tweeted, Loving late night with the fellas!

I’ve taken my share of lashings: Chris Brown


apper Chris Brown said he too had his share of problems and that he is a changed man now. In 2010, the 23-year-old was condemned for physically assaulting his then girlfriend Rihanna. “You have to go through the struggle before you can get to the good part. I don’t try to lash out at people, or be as mad or impulsive as I used to be,” quoted Brown as saying. “I got to the point where it’s only so much you can take from the master, you feel me? I’ve taken my fair share of lashings,” he added.

Chris Brown

Oprah Winfrey


Britney Spears struggles to give up food


inger Britney Spears is trying to shed extra weight by cutting down her food intake, but she admits she is finding it very hard, India Today has said. It added that the 31-year-old is preparing for a twoyear residency in Las Vegas, which starts in December this year. She will have to perform nearly every night, and to ensure she’s in the best shape she is currently working on her body and fitness, reports added. “I ate six times today, so I’m not always diligent with the food because I love food. It’s really hard (to cut down) but you know, you have to do it,” Spears said. Nevertheless, she said she feels better when she is fit. “I feel better though when I’m lighter, I do. My spirits are higher ... but it ‘s just, you love pizza sometimes. It just sucks, man. It sucks,” she added.

Britney Spears

Kanye West

Justin Timberlake releases new track ‘TKO’


inger, Justin Timberlake has premiered a new track ‘TKO’ online. The 32-year-old singer-actor has unveiled the song as the second cut to be lifted from his upcoming album ‘The 20/20 Experience - 2 of 2,’ reported Ace Showbiz. The track has been produced by Timberlake’s longtime collaborator Timbaland. Timberlake’s new album ‘The 20/20 Experience - 2 of 2’ will be released on September 30. The collection will feature new collaborations with Jay Z and Drake and serves as the follow-up to the multi-million-selling ‘The 20/20 Experience,’ which topped charts earlier this year.

Justin Timberlake



Entertainment Interview

‘Why I left lecturing for entertainment’ Director, Dabo TV

Hajiya Fatima Aminu Dabo’s passion for the entertainment industry has driven her to establish the first private entertainment television outfit in Kano. In this interview with MUSTAPHA ADAMU, Hajiya Fatima talks about her dreams for the entertainment industry and the challenges facing the industry among other things.

Can you tell us about yourself? I graduated in 1992 from the Usman Danfodiyo University Sokoto, where I studied Biochemistry and I later picked up my Masters of Science degree in Biology at the Bayero University Kano. I lectured at the Kano State Polytechnic for 12 years before I decided to resign from the public service to pursue my dream in the entertainment industry. Part of the strategies for achieving this dream is to be trained as a media person, particularly in television production and fashion design. So how did your entertainment career begin? My interest in entertainment started way back, when I was a kid. I was at the forefront of all entertainment activities during my primary and secondary school days. However, I came to discover that what I was doing was not what I really wanted to do even though I love doing it. So when I retired from service, I just decided to pursue my dream. So, after my resignation from the public service, I relocated to Abuja where I opened a fashion design outfit and from there I became interested in expanding my horizon to what I call ‘Fashion entertainment’ and entertainment in general. I leased a theatre at the Art and Craft Village, Abuja for a year. I started training people on different aspects of entertainment, such as drama, comedy, dance and music. My sole aim is to move the entertainment industry in the North to the next level in terms of professionalism and global standardisation. My theatre group was moving on fine, but along the line, I received a notice to move out from that area, which I did. Initially, I was worried that after committing a lot of resources into the theatre I had to leave the studio. At that time, I was faced with a challenge of what will I do. It then occurred to me that I could move into television production and that was my break through. I started a TV programme with the help of my already developed proposals of the rising stars and Muryar Arewa. It was during the development trend of these programmes I came to learn almost every aspect of TV production. I learned editing, camera handling and all other things that I needed to know on media production. My staying in Abuja has really helped me in understanding a lot about the entertainment industry and it was while I was in Abuja that the idea of having the present entertainment outfit was conceived. How did the idea of establishing Dabo TV center come about? The fact that I already achieved my dream in entertainment and TV production, I just developed in my mind the idea of imparting the knowledge that I had acquired to the young men and women with the sole aim of taking away from roaming the street. I find it disgusting to see young men and women becoming bad elements in the society as a result of unemployment. This made me to develop the idea of establishing this center for the development of our dear state. Establishing the Dabo TV center must have

been capital intensive? I started preparing for the establishment of this school with N50, 000.00 in my account. So you can imagine how it is to pursue a multimillion naira dream with N50, 000, but here we are counting our successes. Being a teacher, there is nothing more acceptable to me than imparting knowledge. That has been my driving force and the reason why I established the Dabo TV center. What are the

challenges you faced while trying to establish Dabo TV center? One of the challenges I faced was discouragement. Out of the 20 persons that I sought their advice on my intention 19 discouraged me. But I was determined not to be discouraged for the simple fact that I wanted to succeed. The first thing I did was to make a research

on why people think that what I am trying to establish will not work. And the first thing I came to understand was that people believe that the prerequisite for any institution’s admission is paper qualification. Being that I was going to be dealing with individuals the majority of whom have no paper qualification people believe it won’t work. So, I said

to myself if I can remove this single barrier, the bulk of the problem will be solved. So we made it a kind of vocational training center where the minimum prerequisite entry requirement is the will to be trained. What other special provision does the center offers? Well being a woman from Kano state, I have this deep concern on how women are faring in the

My sole aim is to move the entertainment industry in the North to the next level in terms of professionalism and global standardisation.

state. This has made us developed a programme where women from the grassroots will be involved in what we do. We have designed a training for women on media that will suit women especially women of the Hausa community. It is a training that will empowered women with the skills of photography and other aspects. You came at a point when the Kano state government is trying to establish a film institute. Don’t you think that this will hinder you chances of succeeding? You see part of the motives behind the establishment of this school is to complement the efforts of the government on empowering the youth with the needed skills. Therefore, the establishment of the state film institute will not hinder the success of our centre. I intend to work hand in hand with the state’s institute when it commences operations, and also I have strong feelings that we will make good partners for the progress of the state. It seems the partnership has already started going by your programme that led to the training of 5 women each from the 44 LGAs in conjunction with the Kano State Government? At the inception of this school, I wrote to the Kano state government, telling them of what we do, and also our intention to train women on photography and printing. The most interesting part of it all is that, the Kano state Governor approved the request for the sponsorship of the training of 220 women in this school. That is five women from each of the 44 local governments in the state. We hope to continue with that and I am optimistic that the school will serve a positive role in transforming the movie industry not only in the state but the country as a whole as well as boost our manpower development. Do you have a plan in place to partner with Kannywood? I have zeroed in my mind to keep learning. I learn new things almost on a daily basis. Moreover, I used to tell my friends from other parts of the country when they complain about the movies being produced by Kannywood that, Kannywood industry is being characterised by people that are more or less in it by accident or by chance. Most of them did not go through any form of conventional learning compared to those in the Nollywood movie industry. They region lacks skills acquisition centres where every interested individual can go and register to learn an aspect of movie production even if the person has never seen the four walls of a classroom. These are people with less technical skills but highly productive and imaginative. I believe with training more positive results would be obtained from the gesture. I want to make people understand that they can learn a skill in movie production and also be certified for it. So far, we are planning to partner with Kannywood in order to develop the film industry



Entertainment Flakes


Funke Akindele set to launch perfume line


opular Yoruba actress, Funke Akindele, will in few weeks time launch her perfume line, Jenifa. The perfume, which is said to have already been in circulation, will any moment from now be officially launched and introduced to the general public. Akindele with this latest move, is joining the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Parker and Nick Minaj, who also own their line of perfumes.

Annie Macaulay, Tuface Idibia expecting second child


igeria pop star, Tuface Idibia and Annie Macaulay, are said to be expecting their second child months after their superlative wedding in Nigeria and Dubai. Idibia’s publicist, Efe Omoregbe, confirmed the pregnancy few days ago. Before now, the rumour mill has been rife about the couple’s next baby. Macaulay, according to Efe, is expected to deliver the bundle of joy in four months time. Recall that Annie had a baby girl, Isabella for Tuface aside five children from two other ladies, Pero Adeniyi and Sunmbo Ajaba.

Marie Miller emerges winner of Miss Earth Nigeria


25 year old model and video vixen, Marie Miller, has emerged the overall winner of the 2013 Miss Earth Beauty Pageant, which took place last Sunday at the prestigious Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos. The new queen walked away with a N3million one year salary and a brand new 2013 Toyota Avensis. Miller will also be representing Nigeria at the Miss Earth Pageant World scheduled to hold later this year. The second and third runners up, Amarachie Uwakwe and Damilola Akinsanya, also won an award for Miss Amity, while the first runner up, Bibowei Kiri Tessy,won the prize for Best Swim Suit. The event, which was cohosted by joseph Benjamin and Tope Adeniru, had in attendance some Nollywood actors such as Fred Amata, Ejike Asiegbu and Segun Arinze. Also present were Ibinabo Fiberesima, the president of Actors Guild of Nigeria organizer of the beauty pageant, Zik Zulu Okafor, Lancelot Imasuen, Charlse Novia, Fidelis Duker amongst others. D’banj, Timi Dakolo and few other international artistes thrilled the audience their music.

Miss World 2013: Protesters threaten to wreck ‘whore contest’


his weekend will see the final ten contestants parade before millions of viewers in the glittering finale of Miss World 2013. But the glitz and glamour of the iconic competition has been overshadowed by an ongoing outcry from some protestors who have threatened to attack the pageant, which they have branded as a ‘whore contest’. The US embassy in Jakarta warned that: ‘Extremist groups may be planning to disrupt the Miss World pageant…potentially through violent means,’ The growing movement has prompted the government to order the entire event be moved to Hindu-majority Bali, where extremist influence is minimal. Originally only the early rounds were due to take place on the island, with later rounds and the September 28 final to be held in and around the capital Jakarta. But some hardliners are now claiming they will travel to Bali to protest. Haidar Al-Hamid, head of the East Java province branch of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), told The Jakarta Globe: ‘We are going to protest against it, because it is unacceptable.’ Al-Hamid said that the group planned to head to the island on Saturday, although they will face a tough time as main entry points will be heavily guarded. However, Adjie S. Soeratmadjie, corporate secretary of TV network RCTI, which is broadcasting Miss World and helping to

organise the pageant, told the paper: ‘We are confident that the police will do everything necessary to ensure safety.’ In a nod to conservative public opinion, organisers have decided that the contestants will not wear bikinis during the ‘beach fashion’ round of the event. Instead, they will cover up with garments such as sarongs, which avoid revealing the body shape. Despite the axing of the bikini round, protests are rife and almost 500 police, including traditional Balinese security personnel known as pecalang, have been deployed to guard Miss World venues as a result. The final will last several hours and contestants will don Indonesian-designed dresses as well as being faced with a question and answer round from a panel of judges before a winner is crowned. Julia Morley, chair of the Miss World Organisation, told AAP that the decision to ban the swimsuit section was taken in order to show ‘respect’ for the hosts and other participating countries. ‘I don’t want to upset or get anyone in a situation where we are being disrespectful,’ she said. The decision comes after a series of controversies surrounding Western singers performing in Indonesia. Last year Lady Gaga cancelled a concert in the country when radicals threatened to burn down the venue where she was performing in protest at her outlandish outfits.

Protests. Miss Phillipines Megan Young (C) on the catwalk, extremists are threatening to attack the pageant’s final which they have dubbed ‘pornography’



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2013 Hajj: How far have we gone? By Maman Tahir


ajj as we all know is a pillar in Islam. Its obligation is established on the authorities of the Qur’an, Hadith and

Ijmac. In the Qur’an Allah says: Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah. Those who can afford the journey: But if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures (Qur’an 3:97). In the Hadith, the Prophet (SAW) is reported to have said that: Allah has made the observance of Hajj obligatory on you, so observe it. (Related by Muslim) There is unanimity of the Muslim Jurists on the obligation of Hajj at least once in a life time of a qualified Muslim. As a religious duty it has rules that guide its observance. For Hajj to be acceptable by Allah, certain requirements must be fulfilled. Some of these requirements have been laid down in the Qur’an and others in the Hadith and yet a few in the Ijmac. In the Qur’an for instance, the verse quoted at the beginning of this address mentions capability-al- istita’ as a condition without which Hajj does not become obligatory on a worshipper. The capability referred to in the verse according to leading exegetes means provision for expenses covering the exercise on one hand and safety and security of the pilgrims throughout the trip on the other. In another verse which appears to be a follow up to (Qur’an 3:97), adequate provision is emphasized and piety (right conduct) is described as the best of such provision. The verse reads thus: And take a provision (with) you for the journey, but the best provision is (piety) right conduct. So fear me o ye that are wise. (Qur’an 2:197). The piety or right conduct implies the observance of the rules of Hajj solely for the sake of Allah and according to its rules. When this is done, the Prophet (SAW) is reported to have assured pilgrims with these qualifications of Allah’s forgiveness and admission into the Paradise.


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: Muslim Jurists have also added maturity, physical and mental fitness as well as freedom as other requirements of Hajj. Fulfillment of these requirements makes Hajj obligatory on a Muslim and failure to perform it thereafter is a sinful act according to the unanimity of the Muslim Jurists. Hajj Operation in Nigeria Hajj operation in Nigeria has a long history. There was evidence that prominent Muslim leaders in the pre-colonial Kanem Borno, Hausa land and later the Sokoto Caliphate observed the rites of Hajj and made adequate provisions for the welfare of pilgrims from their domains in the holy land. Despite these supports especially from the government, Hajj operation in Nigeria from that of 2008 adjudged the best in the recent times by President Umaru Musa Yar’adua has been characterized by undue hardship and difficulties suffered by Nigerian pilgrims. In fact, the sadness, anger and frustration caused by the failure of Hajj operations in Nigeria cannot be quantified. However, the fruits yielded by the new policy were equally challenged by the tedious responsibilities of daily inspections of the accommodations and problems linked with some pilgrims’ lack of orientation on how to use facilities provided in the houses. There

were quite few cases when pilgrims stayed little above one hour at the Hijra station due to the inability of the General Car Syndicate to provide buses for the pilgrims who were due to depart to Makkah and thus give way to the incoming pilgrims. This often caused ripples between the Hijra officials and the Saudi authorities. There were few times when the network system delayed pilgrims’ processes. There also occurred cases when the mixture of Nigerian pilgrims with pilgrims of other nationals in one bus caused delay at the station due to the inability of other nationals to process their accommodations in good time. Despite all that, the average time spent by the majority of the pilgrims at the station ranged between 10 to 30 minutes. On November 12, 2011, the Amirul-Hajj and Leader of the Federal Government Delegation to the 2011 Hajj, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’adu Abubakar, mni, CFR, alongside NAHCON Chairman, undertook an inspection tour of the Nigerian accommodations in Madinah. At the end, the Sultan expressed happiness with the new arrangement and commended NAHCON for its continuous foresight and innovations in ensuring that Nigerian pilgrims do not only attain hajj mabrur, but enjoy maximum comfort. It is good news that this new arrangement was a great success.

There is no doubt that all is not well with some of the services of the tour operators. It must be stated in clear terms that the most important thing in the Hajj operation is the perfection of the airlift. It beats my imagination how those tour operators carry out their duties without meeting the requirements from the Nigerian Civic Aviation Authority, NCAA. This is where the knotty issue of rescue comes in. The question begging for an answer is; how do we have a reliable airline to handle this situation? We should recall that in 2007 after the Hajj, pilgrims to be airlifted back home by one the airlines were stranded at airport in Jedda for quite some days. However, one airline Tradecraft had to come to the rescue. The same airline ended up evacuating almost all the international pilgrims that year. Similar incident occurred in 2008. At the end of the day, Tradecraft had to come in on a rescue mission again. With the efforts on ground made by the Tradecraft which was established eight years ago, it is the hope of many intending pilgrims that there is the need for NAHCON to set aside Tradecraft permanently on rescue mission. Pilgrims are also of the view that the Commission should come up with certain ideas of encouragement for the best performing airline. Though I remember at the last stakeholders meeting on Hajj before the commencement of the airlift of this year’s Hajj, the Sultan of Sokoto Saad Abubakar warned all the airlines and tour operators not to relent on their efforts to take their responsibilities with all seriousness, also commended the effort of Tradecraft airline for their giant stride in the rescue operation. He called on airlines that have some technicalities with their particulars to ensure that all is well. About 75,000 Nigerian Muslim Pilgrim are expected to take part at this year’s Hajj exercise in Saudi Arabia, our hope and prayers is for the religious exercise to be a hitch free. Tahir wrote from Bauchi, Gombe Road



Nigeria’s political police By Julius Ogar


erhaps, beginning from Alhaji Tafa Balogun, respective heads of the Nigeria Police Force have been as bad as they come. In addition to its notorious and battered image as a corrupt and under-performing security organisation, the police have compounded its problems by becoming unduly partisan in the affairs of the state. Though the current Inspector, General Mohammed Abubakar, had enjoyed some high approval rating prior to his confirmation as the substantive IG, but thus far, he seems to be running the militia wing of the Peoples Democratic Party and not the Nigerian Police. He has overseen the shutting down of the “alternative” PDP’s secretariats in Abuja and PortHarcourt. Meanwhile, the police have pretended to be ignorant of the parallel office set up by David Jonah Jang for the Presidency’s faction of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum in spite of it being an illegitimate body.

The IG is always quick to mobilise his men to lock down the Central Area in Abuja anytime Mrs. Patience Jonathan, wife of President Goodluck Jonathan wants a jamboree where she would assemble some women and her hangers-on for poorly camouflaged political rallies. His men under his man in Rivers State, Joseph Mbu, supervised the fight in that state’s House of Assembly when five members loyal to the Presidency attempted to attack the Speaker , who is loyal to Governor Rotimi Amaechi in a contest for the soul of the state. It is noteworthy that after that epic fight, the police have gone after Governor Amaechi’s ADC and the Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly while remaining mute on the five legislators who triggered the crisis alongside their thugs in the first instance. Further, the police in Rivers state now act with impunity to the extent of barring Gov. Amaechi from access to his residence. This act undermines the Nigerian constitution. It’s akin to the

military era when soldiers held the civil populace in scorn, the leader of the police squad that led the operation told the governor’s entourage audaciously that he “does not take orders from civilians”. This was confirmed by many journalists who were at the scene. One feels relieved, perhaps even encouraged, that Gov Amaechi avoided a confrontation by calmly taking a longer route to the residence inside the Government House. That a governor was subjected to this ordeal speaks volumes of how partisan the police are becoming under the Jonathan presidency. Demeaning the civilian populace is nothing new only that they have gone a notch higher by openly reducing the chief security officer of a state to just another ‘bloody civilian’. That is frightening to say the least. The uniforms and arms must be making them feel like commandos... Need one reminds both the IG Abubakar and CP Mbu that the bird might hover near the

clouds, but must still alight on the ground when it wants a drink. Mbu in particular, should realise that he is dealing with politicians and that when the chips are down in Nigeria, he won’t be better than the ordinary civil servant or the “civilians” he has taught his boys to deride. With prospects of future career advancement, he is playing in shark infested waters and the politicians/civilians will get him – and he can be sure they will. When that time comes, he should remember that he who sows a wind reaps a whirlwind. One would expect high ranking police officers to be professionals who would bring some level of expertise and independence to bear on their jobs; and who would be principled enough to refuse to carry out certain orders they consider to be extraneous to their line of duties. These events are more worrisome as the election year approaches. The police have always been closely involved in the most critical aspect of the electoral process which is voting and vote

counting. But the police are already giving signs of what role they would play should “orders come from above”. In the 21st century, one would expect the police to be strategising on proactive national security and intelligence gathering. But their idea of security seems centred around VIP protection. They can fly around because a VIP is in town but will want money for recharge card to call an outstation from a hapless man who comes to report that his vehicle has been stolen. Now, they don’t take orders from civilians. Yes! The reason is simple: they only take bribes. One more critical institution is crumbling under a strong man – or rather a weak man who wishes to be strong. But we have been warned – that we need strong institutions and not strong men. We need a strong and rightthinking police force, not a PDP police. Ogar, a is social commentator sent in this from Sun City

Need for Nigeria to re-jig sports management By Christian Ogbodo


verything we try to do in this country is usually a jamboree, so much fanfare and squandermania of resources without achieving the set goals and objectives for desired growth. For example, take the annual Calabar Carnival: This, monthlong jamboree, never signposts the essence of the cultures of the people of Cross River state. Rather, what we are inundated with is the re-hash of the Brazilian Rio carnival which celebrates nudity with no relevance to the great Ekpe dance of the Efiks; the Leboku new yam festival of the Yakkurs those of the Ekois and the Bakors of northern Cross River. Sadly too, Lagos state has joined in the shameful acculturation of its people to the neglect of its festivals. Where are the Ejos, the Igunnus, the Egungun masquerades et al? This brings me to Nigeria’s perennial sporting failure and shame. Sports is the biggest form of entertainment universally, and that’s why countries with little or no natural resources capitalised on for self-regeneration and rejuvenation of the individual athlete, and more as a vehicle to project country in the comity of nations. Nigeria’s shambolic performance at the just concluded IAAF World Athletics championship in Moscow, Russia bespeaks of Nigerian sports and the dying culture of grassroots development

But for the heroic performance of Sapele-born Blessing Okagbare who lept to a silver glory in the long jump and won bronze medal in the 200m race, Nigeria would have gone unnoticed in Russia as she was at the London Olympics. It’s obvious as Nigeria is decaying in all material particulars, so also is our sports. The idealism of grassroots sports was systematically obliterated from the nation’s social calendar almost three decades ago. Then, there was no conscious efforts to replace the likes of Chidi Imoh, Innocent Egbunike, Iseme Ikpoto, Sunday Bada, Sunday Uti, Mary OnyaliOmagbemi, Faith Idehen, Peter Koyengwashi, Henriy Nwosu, Stephen Keshi, Segun Odegbami et al who were all products of grassroots sports from primary to secondary schools culminating to the National Sports Festival. The decline of our sports began with the late Abraham Ordia who chaired the National Sports Commission and a bloated official delegation to the 1980 Moscow Olympics Games. It was a mere jamboree as the Team Nigeria contingent returned without a single medal to show for the huge resources committed to the venture. Had the white paper on the public inquiry into that scandalous and shambolic outing been addressed, perhaps the rot in our nation’s sports may not have festered to a gangrenous state that now requires only amputation to salvage.

Not even the flip-flop sporting agenda of the Jonathan administration has revealed any goodness in the rejuvenation of Nigerian sports. It’s difficult to ascertain how much billions of naira was expended to convey the Presidential Stakeholders Meeting on Sports. You will be amazed how we engage in squandermania with impunity and leaving the revival of our sports in the hands of the docile, myopic and corrupt sporting officials. It is little wonder neither the big nor the small businesses would want to do business with the National Sports Commission (NSC) and its agencies because of the level of corruption and ineptitude. How would you explain the disappearance of $300,000 [three hundred thousand dollars] meant for the prosecution of the Super Eagles 2010 world Cup qualifiers. Ironically, neither the door to the office nor the safe in which the money

was kept the money was ever tampered with. That happened when Dr. Bolaji Ojo-oba was the Secretary-General of the then Nigerian Football Association [now Nigeria Football Federation] There is no gainsaying the fact that a return to schools sports from primary to secondary, tertiary and the academicals, will be the only guarantee to kick-start the rejuvenation of Nigeria’s sporting glory. President Jonathan must be told that the NSC has lost its focus and relevance and should be revived and entrusted into the care sound management team. Nigeria must embrace the electronic and space age of sports management by committing handsome resources to re-development of sports in general and particularly in those areas where we may have comparative advantage over our peers globally. We must rejuvenate sports like boxing, wrestling, swim-

This brings me to Nigeria’s perennial sporting failure and shame. Sports is the biggest form of entertainment universally, and that’s why countries with little or no natural resources capitalised on for self-regeneration and rejuvenation of the individual athlete, and more as a vehicle to project country in the comity of nations.

ming, lawn tennis, table tennis, long, tripple and high jumps including the pole volts. We can rediscover swimming talents to replace or rekindle the sweet memories of the Ebito brothers [Nse and John]; Modupe Oshikoya of the second all Africa Games fame; Valerie Oloyede of the National Sports Festival, Oluyole ’79. It’s been too quiet in our pools and tracks where these heroes and heroines were had conquered Africa and beyond. For our football, we just must stop the coaches’ win-at-all-cost mentality, who often fielded over-aged players at age-grade competitions like the U-17s and 20s. It is an obvious fact that six years after Nigeria won the U-17 FIFA World Cup in South Korea none of our exaggerated ‘youths’ have made world headlines in football. Where is Chrisantus and the other men? The problem is coaches and administrators do connive to field over-aged players in cadet tournaments. Collectively, we (as a nation) are cheats who cannot compete fairly. If not Chrisantus should be at the same level with Arsenal’s Mesut Ozhil who has blossomed since the FIFA u17 World Cup in Seoul. All of this sporting shame that is Nigeria must be done away with before we can soar and use sports not only as a source of wealth, but also as a strong tool for youth regeneration and engagement. Ogodo is a broadcast-journalist with Daar Communications Plc, Abuja.




How I am succeeding in water packaging business, says young entepreneur

By Miriam Humbe


he unemployment market is filled with vibrant young men and women. Majority are graduates and at a loss as to what to do to earn a living especially in the face nonavailable or scanty white collar jobs. For those daring enough to face the present and future by taking their destinies in their hands, surmounting the challenges of the very hostile operative environment is what they have to contend with. But quit they mustn’t. Our reporter had a chat with a youth who is working hard to live above the odds. Francis Daku is in the business of water packaging. He produces and sells Fravianda sachet water in Kubwa in the Federal Capital Territory, and beyond. He shares with us the story of his humble beginning and how he is coping as a budding entrepreneur in the face of daunting challenges. Francis graduated in 2000 and completed his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) the following year. He worked with then Nigerian Telecommunications Limited, NITEL until independent operators took over the company and sacked most of its staff. In 2003, he got employed by renowned pharmaceutical company, DANA which produces among others a popular brand of bottled water. The graduate of Mechanical Engineering from Federal University of Technology, FUTH Minna, with basic interest in production began to dream of owning a business of his own while still working at DANA. He was responsible for production processes, maintaining standard and quality in the product. This gave him a feel of what the production process is all about. “The whole experience started from there”, he said. He later got a job with a bottling plant called Maizube Holdings as factory manager. Maizube is also another factory that produces water and other liquids for sale to the consuming publics. According to him, as manager of Maizube waters, he began to see water as one essential product consumed daily by every human. Water is inevitable because thirst for it a normal natural process that sustains life and once it is not quenched surely have lifethreatening repercussion. And yet, not just any water, it has to be clean, hygienic water. It is also observed that because of the fear of typhoid

Francis Daku

fever and other water borne diseases, people tend to have confidence in treated packaged water, whether bottled or in sachet. As a result of this, water business has become a viable trade medium or small scale for discerning persons. And of course, the market is there because one never lacks demand for the product. “So when I had the opportunity to do something for myself, after putting six years into working in Maizube, to become self employed, it was natural that I took to water production and distribution”, he said. According to him, he met someone who he described as an investor who takes interest in young men and women. “He asked me for an estimate and I did give him so he gave me a soft loan. I sold one of my cars and added the proceeds of the sale to the money he gave me and started my business”, he said. But he needed to carry out a market survey to ascertain where in particular would be suitable in terms of need. He decided after the survey to start his business in Kubwa. “I wanted a place that was densely populated so I landed in Kubwa,” he

said. He said he has been in the business for a year and has 10 staff on his payroll including packaging staff, drivers and maintenance staff. Like any other business, his enterprise is also faced with challenges. The painful part of the challenges, he said, stems from governmental factors. It is clear that for anyone planning to start a business of this nature, the first port of call is the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC for registration processes. The agency inspects the premises and takes inventory of the required items before issuing the operation license. But

the process seems cumbersome and time consuming. “Within the gestation period of the business, you lose almost four months while paying staff for doing nothing. “I was paying staff for three months for doing nothing because of NAFDAC’s delay of the processing of the registration. Imagine, you took a loan which you were expected to start paying within three months, what can you do?” he asked. Again, power is another inhibiting factor. Although he agreed that there is a noticeable improvement in power supply in the fast few months, he said a lot still needs to be done. “The number of hours we use

challenges only make us stronger and propel us to achieve greater heights in life if we persevere... it is for those who are resilient and steadfast and who fully trust in their God

generator to produce is like 70 percent when compared to the 30 percent period of power supply from PHCN. That eats into the capital invested daily on the business. It has adverse effects and could easily leads to losses.” Another issue is that of competitors. Daku is of the opinion that because they don’t produce according to laid down standards, which is the weekly maintenance and cleaning and so on, they tend to engage in sharp practices. “Some people keep up the standards the way we do but are also in the business. These people, because they cut corners and are not operating according to standard rules, they tend to sell at a price lower than the real operators sell. These are the people who have come into the market to crash the cost of the product and are actually frustrating the people who are doing the right thing”, he added. He called on the regulatory agencies of government to fish out these culprits and nib their activities in the bud. The non-availability of the packaging materials from Lagos and Port-Harcourt is another cause for concern. These materials may not be readily available while the demand is high especially during the dry season such as is fast approaching. These supplies, also called polythene bags, are said to be made from petrochemical byproducts. He suggests that government should step into the situation to help keep their businesses afloat. When asked what keeps him going, he simply said, “I believe in not failing”. When he falls, according to him, he makes every effort to stand up and get going. He thinks that challenges only make us stronger and propel us to achieving greater heights in life if we persevere. This however, is for those who are resilient and steadfast and who fully trust in their God, above all. For persons like him, unemployment has persisted in the country because many young persons have not given serious thought of being self-employed. Rather, they want to make it with relative ease and so roam the streets in search of nonavailable white collar jobs. His advice to young undergraduates and those already through with their studies, “Don’t see learning as a burden. Be practical and eager to earn a living by being self-employed. By dynamic, creative and innovative: Think of yourself as an employer of labour rather than being an employee.”




Adieu Alhaji Datti Ahmad By Yakubu Adamu


he inevitability of death affirms that the lives of all human beings will one day be snatched by the cold hands of death. This is the reality of life that is shared by all followers of major world religions - Islam, Christianity and others who, through experience, could testify to the fact that all living things are mortals. The departure of Alhaji (Dr. Malam) Datti Ahmad on Friday, March 22, 2013 is an answer to the call of the Glorious Allah as decreed by Him. Such departure of a well accomplished gentleman in terms of him being a serious and committed educationist, astitude administrator, social reformer and highly devoted Muslim who is also a strong advocate of quality leadership that will bring about positive socio-economic and even political development for both the state and the nation at large on the basis of Islamic principles and teaching, was a great and serious loss not only to his immediate family, we, his close associates, but also to Kano state and the nation in general. His life and activities in this world in the limited number of years he stayed in this world is a testimony to all and sundry that he lived a very useful and exemplary life. And we are fully hopeful that his abode in the next world is Aljannat Firdausi. Indeed, the news of his death was very shocking and traumatic to me when I recalled that it was only four days ago that I met him laughing in a well dressed, flamboyant and joyous mood during the wedding fatiha of his last son, Munnir. Allah has willed that that Saturday was the last time for him to bid the farewell to majority of his relatives, close friends, close working colleagues and close associates; many of whom were shocked at the news of his death because most of them like me, did not even know that he was admitted at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital four days after the wedding fatiha. Indeed, for him, it is a life well spent and fulfilled when we consider the life he led since he was born in Minjibir in 1936, his educational period and the time he started his contribution to humanity as a teacher in Danbatta in 1959 to the time he died at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital when he was Chief Imam of the famous Galadanci Mosque and a member of Kano State Emirate Council at the age of 77years. Indeed, like many others I deeply lost a very close senior working colleague from whom, at the initial stage of my work as professional educationist, I benefitted greatly from his experience, guidance, advice, down to earth honesty and commitment to duties and responsibilities. This was even before we later came to realize and understand that our parents were close family friends in the same manner I was with him. He indeed served diligently in the public sector for about 34 years combining it with positive socio-humanitarian activities for the benefit of the society, particularly for the down trodden throughout his life. In fact, because of his exemplary life, I considered him as one of my great mentors. As a senior colleague, I knew Late Dr. Datti Ahmad as a very committed and dedicated educationist whose contributions helped to raise the standard of education to the highest level in Kano state and Nigeria by extension, especially in those places he served. He was indeed a very popular professional in the educational sector in the country as a whole. His contributions to education were not only limited to Kano and Jigawa states alone where he laid a solid foundation for the development of both primary and secondary schools education but Nigeria by extension. It was because of his popularity that a cream of prominent personalities in Kano and Jigawa states attended his funeral and condoled with his family, especially his old colleagues of the Ministries of Education, Justice, Works and Housing and Agriculture and Natural Resources as well as the Cabinet Office. They also included former commissioners and members of the academia from the Bayero University, Kano; University of Science and Technology Wudil and other tertiary institutions in the state. Others were leading Ulamas in Kano state and other states of the North as well as traditional rulers. In fact, the funeral prayers were fully supported by the Emir of Kano, His Highness, Alhaji (Dr.) Ado

(25th July 1936 to 22nd March 2013)

Bayero who described the deceased as ‘Dattijo’ when he heard the shocking news of his death by expressing A ‘ n rasa Dattijo’ i.e. we lost a perfect gentleman. His funeral prayers were performed at the Kano Emir’s Palace, as per him willed, by Professor Shehu Galadanci, his cousin and the first Vice Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano. Many people who condoled with his family spoke highly of his impeccable character, particularly humility, honesty and commitment to diligently serve his immediate community, Kano state and our dear country (Nigeria) at large. The deceased was a very religious person and always very committed to pursue whatever is for Islam. It is in this respect that in 1991, he authored a book in Hausa titled ‘Madubin Ilimin Tauhidi Da Koyan Karatun Alkur’ani ‘ i.e. an introduction to the correct reading and teaching of the Glorious Qur’an known as Tajwid and Tahfeez in Arabic. Additionally, he proved to be a very serious and a highly professional teacher not only in Arabic and Islamic education but also in English and History. Teaching at various institutions, he served as a teacher, vice principal or principal. He was instrumental and played a significant role in the development of basic education in the country especially his role in being a key implementer of the Kano State Primary Schools Management Board Policy of 1986 which metamorphosed into National Primary Education Commission Policy of 1989 i.e. the forerunner of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) of 1999. Indeed, the deceased will always be remembered for his commitment and dedication as well as selfless service to the development of education in Kano, Jigawa, Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states as well as Nigeria in general. Born on July 25, 1936 at Minjibir town in Minjibir local government area of Kano state, Late Dr. Ahmad was a Hausa/Fulani residing at Galadanci quarters of Gwale local government area of Kano by the time he passed on. He obtained his primary education at Danbatta Elementary School from 1947 to 1949 from where he proceeded to Bichi Elementary School from 1949 to 1950. He obtained his secondary education at Kano Middle School (now Rumfa College) in 1955 and proceeded to the famous and prestigious School of Arabic Studies, Kano, finishing in 1959 when he started his professional carrier as a perfect educationist rising to the ranks of a guru in the profession by the time he was only about 50 years old. ate Dr. Datti Ahmad’s thirst for knowledge which made him cut short his service for more qualification virtually were inborn to him because of the fact that seeking knowledge is the acknowledged tradition of his family who are from the Ulama Fulani Clan that produced the first Limamin Galadanci after Usman Dan-fodio’s Jihad in the Northern part of the country. And it was his great grandfather that became the first Limamin Galadanci. His grandfather was a leading Ulama and Limamin Galadanci too while his father from the same Ulama class became the Khadi of Wudil, Minjibir, Danbatta and Bichi among others.This was in addition to having many of his brothers who became Khadis and Grand Khadis (e.g Late Grand Khadis Nasiru Ahmad and Bashari Ahmad) while his other brothers became highly placed civil servants at both state and federal government levels. Many of them like him, rose to the rank of permanent secretaries and chief executives of governmental organizations (e.g late Alhaji Murtala Ahmad, Alhaji Salihi Ahmad, Alhaji Mansur Ahmad, etc). Indeed his thirst for knowledge and the position of his family education wise encouraged him to pursue further education that will support him to pursue his chosen career with the full support of his parents, he therefore entitled into University Tutorial College, London in the United Kingdom in 1962, and the University of London for his degree course in 1967. He later went to the University of Alberta, Canada in 1973 for his post graduate training. It is indeed not surpris-


Alhaji (Dr. Malam) Datti Ahmad ing that he received various certificates that enabled him to become an impeccable and respectable professional in a short period of time. The certificates ranged from basic primary and secondary school certificates to various tertiary education certificates which he obtained in Nigeria and overseas. To crown it all as an educationist, he received Honorary Doctorate degree in Education in the year 2000 from the prestigious Malborough University, United States of America and was conferred with National Honour’s Award of The Officer of the Order of the Niger in 2006. Indeed during the course of his studies, he received certificates from the following institutions; University of London in the United Kingdom in 1956; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1970 and Bayero University, Kano in 1981 and 1982 and 1985 respectively. Specifically, the certificates included Middle IV Certificate in 1955 ;Grade II Teachers Certificate, 1959; General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level,1959; General Certificate of Education Advance Level, 1962; Bachelor of Arts (General) in Economics, History and Psychology; Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education, 1973 and Ed.D. in the year 2000. His working experience started in 1959 at Senior Primary School, in Kano state where he taught till 1961. Between 1967 and 1968, late Dr. Ahmad taught at Arabic Teachers College, Sokoto in Sokoto state. He held various positions of responsibilities in the college, including Form Master, Games Master among others. From 1968 to 1970, the late education wizard, due to the creation of Kano state out of the then Northern Nigeria in 1967 i.e within the period under review, was redeployed to Kano from Sokoto and posted to Wudil Teachers College. At the College, late Dr. Datti Ahmad, held various positions of responsibilities which included Teaching, Kitchen Master, Form Master, Vice Principal among others. He was an exemplary senior staff of the college. In fact, it was in view of his performance in the college in terms of accountability, transparency and commitment to duly that in 1970, the deceased was transferred to the headquarters of the Kano State Ministry of Education to serve as the Deputy Finance Officer and even acted as the Finance Officer till 1971. On his return from Canada in 1973, the late Malam (Dr.) Ahmad was posted to his alma mata, the famous School of Arabic Studies in Kano where he served as teacher and vice principal of the school. Despite his heavy

schedule as vice principal, he taught English Language and Islamic History in the school. It was here that he made great impacts as a teacher and educational administrator. This made many of his students and colleagues not only to speak highly of him but even the then government of the state under its founding father, the then state governor, Police Commissioner (PC) Audu Bako realised the potentials of the late Dr. Datti Ahmad and selected him for special posting to Rumfa College as Vice Principal to support the principal in revitalizing and turning round the institution from its collapsing status This was under the personal instruction of the governor. And it were the same qualities that made the same government to get him re-posted to the Premier Teachers College in the state, Wudil Teachers College as principal with the same objectives of posting him to Rumfa College as vice principal earlier on i.e only one year after serving at Rumfa College meritoriously in 1976. He climaxed his career as a teacher and school administrator when he served his alma-mata (SAS) again, as principal between 1977 and 1979. I could remember vividly that even before he became principal he was appointed as Caretaker Council Chairman of the then Wudil Local Govrernment Authority (which comprised of the present day Garko, Sumaila,Takai and Wudil Local Government Areas).This was part of the new Local Government created as a result of the 1976 National Local Government Reform which was a product of Dasuki Report on Local Government Reforms of 1975.This time late Dr. Datti Ahmad laid a very solid foundation for the establishment and development of the newly created local government in terms of infrastructure for administrative take-off. This made him to metamorphose from a classroom teacher and school administrator to an effective and efficient local government administrator and a permanent secretary who served in many state ministries before and after his retirement. y the time he finished his assignment as local government chairman and principal at SAS, he had become a well accomplished professional educationist and seasoned administrator capable of holding any ministry or big time organizations effectively and efficiently. Indeed, this made him to become well educated and experienced enough to serve the state or indeed the nation in any capacity. It was therefore not surprising for us


to know that he was appointed as Chief Registrar of the Shariah Court of Appeal in 1979. However, before he even settled down on the job (four months only), he was appointed as the Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Education, an area he knows best. He stayed in the Ministry up to 1981 when he was moved to the Ministry of Works and Housing as Permanent Secretary. However, his service period at Ministry of Education (1971-81) was a turning point on the fortunes of education in the state, particularly in terms of positive developments. Indeed, this was the prime period of Governor Abubakar Rimi’s political and democratic administration. Kano, at that time, witnessed revolutionary and remarkable socio-economic and political transformation which brought about positive development of the then Kano and Jigawa states. This was after over 20 years of military rule in the country. It was, indeed, with the full support of the radical and action governor of the state and that of the earth while and indefatigable Commissioner of Education, Alhaji Abdulhamid Hassan. As Permanent Secretary at that time, Late Alhaji (Dr.) Datti Ahmad worked impeccably and assiduously to bring about radical and modern development oriented changes that are more akin to educational revolution in the state. This was the first time since the time of UPE in 1976 when the Ministry of Education staff were lead by the Permanent Secretary to use their experience, hard work, perseverance and ingenuity to bring about positive changes in the education delivery of the state. And this resulted in great quality and quantity education expansion and development across the board in the state. Indeed, this was the period when many states of the federation came to learn from Kano’s experience with which they went back to improve the education delivery in their states. More importantly, this was the period when for the first time in the history of education in Nigeria when UNESCO Award was given to Kano state for the transformation development of Adult Education in the state. It was his examplenary work in the Ministry of Education that made that government to move him to the Ministry of Works and later Agriculture for him to turn them round as well before his appointment as a Permanent Member in the state Civil Service Commission where he served twice (1984-1991-95). In all the ministries and organizations he served, he left inedible footprints as a result of which he is always remembered and will continue to be remembered positively for a long time to come. Indeed, to sum it up, late Dr. Datti Ahmad had lived a life that endeared him not only to members of his family but also his students, friends, work colleagues and above all the down trodden whom he was always championing their cause without anybody knowing. This is because of his religious belief and inclination of doing them according to the Qur’an and sunnah teachings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) .In fact, it in line with this and his strict adherence to the Shari’ah code that his last act was to issue a will to his family and his close associates that nobody should observe the ceremonious three days, seven days or forty days mourning period and prayers and that no male person should enter his house for the purposes of condoling his family. He however requested all those that are concerned with him to continuously pray for him from anywhere they may be. It is to the credit of his immediate family and close associates that his will was fulfilled. Finally, it will not be out of place, considering the important roles he played in Kano, Jigawa, Sokoto, Zamfara and Kaduna States in human and socio-economic development to recommend to the States as well as the Federal Government to immortalize his name Adieu (Dr. Mallam) Alhaji Datti Ahmad. We pray for Allah to make Aljannat Firdausi to be your abode in peace. Alhaji Yakubu Adamu was a former chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board, Kano and a former Pro-chancellor and Chairman Governing Council, University of Maiduguri, Borno State.

Feature How Yero’s polio campaign put roof over the head of 80 year old PAGE 42

By Mohammed Kaduna




hen Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero of Kaduna State launched the second phase of the immunization campaign in June this year, and personally took it upon himself to supervise the process of administering the vaccine in Rigasa, in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, little did he know that he will not only be fortifying the family of Saidu Jibrin, against the polio virus, but will also provide the family with decent, habitable two-bed room apartment. It is cheering news to say that Kaduna State is free from wild polio virus since December last year, according to report by the Kaduna State Primary Health Care Agency, compared to some other states in the North. The success of the campaign to eradicate the deadly virus which ravaged young children can be attributed not only to support from the government of Kaduna State, but the practical involvement and concern shown by Governor Yero by being part of the campaign. The appearance of the governor on the immunization day was a clear show of his concern for the health of the youth and evidence of a concerned leader on the future generation of this great nation. His administration has, undoubtedly, provided needed cooperation and support to health workers and various voluntary groups involved in the campaign to successfully eradicate the disease from the state. Rigasa, is a densely populated suburb on the outskirts of Kaduna metropolis, where the government is battling seriously to convince the inhabitants on the importance of allowing vaccine providers access to their children of five years and below. When the team arrived at Makarfi Road in Rigasa, the governor asked if the owner would allow them access into the compound, surprisingly, unlike the neighbor who denied them access

Mal. Saidu’s Old House into the their compound, Malam Saidu Jibrin, warmly welcomed the governor and his entourage into his dilapidated building while he invited his grand children to queue up for doses of the vaccine. The Kaduna State Governor was excited with the warm welcome by Malam Saidu and his family, but was saddened by the dilapidated state of the house which was on collapsing state. There and then the easy going Governor Yero was touched and moved by the environment and declared that, “this place is not good for human habitation.” There and then he declared, ‘I will construct a new apartment for this my friend and his family.” To all the neighbors and friends who saw it was another political promises they are used to. However everything changed by the second week of July, 2013, when builders from state ministry of works mobilized funds, men and materials and reported to duty. The doubting ‘Thomases’ were forced to change their early stand, when work finally commenced on the site. Eye witnesses and neighbors watched in bewilderment as the men worked day and night to meet

Mal Saidu and his family members in front of his renovated house

Mal. Saidu up with the deadline given by the governor to complete the project, within a space of two months, to produce a new structure which is standing side by side today, with the old dilapidated building of Malam Saidu Jibrin. he octogenarian, who cannot ascertain his actual age, but said he is above 80, said in all his 70 years of running up and down, he never anticipated he would benefit from this type of surprise present by Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero. Jibrin who thinks he is in a dreamland and could hardly believe what he is seeing physically was seen calling his relations, neighbors and well wishers to the reality that he would own and occupy such a structure in his life time. Malam Jibrin in a shaky but soft voice narrated thus when asked about his reaction to the governor’s gesture: “When the governor came, he knocked on the door and asked if he could come. This was after he had requested for entrance from three of my next door neighbors, but was denied access. I would not blame them, because, we all agreed the previous night that none of


our children would be immunized, but I later recalled how we were immunized about 60 years ago with a medical instrument which was pressed on our arms. So since that immunization was not harmful, I was convinced there is need to present my grand children for polio immunization. I am not only happy that they were protected from wild polio virus, but I can comfortably live in a decent apartment for the rest of my life.” In the same vein, the wife of Malam Jibrin, Hajiya Sadiyya Jibrin was full of excitement at the handing over ceremony of the new property to the family. She said, she and her three children and 15 grand children have been living in the old dilapidated house for the past 40 years. According to her she had hoped to die in the old building with no iota of hope of staying in such a magnificent building, but today with the Allah’s benevolence through Governor Yero, they are happy owners and occupants of this new building. As a mother, she advised parents to immunize their children from the wild polio virus and commended the efforts of the

governor at eradicating the disease. Governor Yero might have put smile on the face Malam Jibrin but his plight in living in the shabby and dilapidated house reveals the trauma most of our aged people are undergoing. The old generations who have in one way or the other and have contributed positively to the development of this country have found themselves situations like Malam Jibrin, but unfortunately, there may not be too many Yeros around to put smile on their faces. The corruption in the society and style of leadership by Nigerians only focus on wealth accumulation for themselves and their families. he Director General Media and Publicity, to Governor Yero, Alhaji Ahmed Maiyaki said the gesture of his principal has no political undertone as being peddled by some political agents. He said Governor Yero was touched by what he saw and so within his consideration he promised to erect the bungalow for the family of Malam Jibrin. The DG however said people that are blessed by God in the society should come to the rescue of such people and not wait for government to do everything.




News Extra

I haven’t had cigarette in six years, says Obama

•President Obama made the remarks to United Nations official Maina Kiai at the U.N. General Assembly gathering in New York •The remarks were recorded on a live microphone and aired on CNN •Michelle Obama has given a different date for when Obama stopped smoking, telling reporters in 2011 that her husband had stopped smoking nearly a year earlier By Hayley Peterson


resident Obama was caught on a live microphone Monday telling a United Nations official that he hasn’t smoked in six years because he’s scared of his wife. ‘I haven’t had a cigarette in probably six years,’ Obama was overhead telling Maina Kiai at the U.N. General Assembly in New York. ‘That’s because I’m scared of my wife,’ he added with a grin. In this grab from a CNN video, U.N. official Maina Kiai (left) says ‘Sometimes’ when asked by President Obama whether he has stopped smoking When Kiai asked Obama whether he is still smoking, Obama responded, ‘No, no, I haven’t had a cigarette in probably six years. That’s because I’m scared of my wife.’ The conversation between Obama and Kiai began with the president asking about Kiai’s smoking habit. ‘I hope you’ve quite smoking,’ Obama said, according to a recording of the conversation aired by CNN. ‘Sometimes,’ Kiai responds, before asking Obama whether he’s kicked his

habit. The two men laughed as Obama assured he hadn’t had a cigarette in six years thanks to the First Lady. But Michelle Obama has given a different date for when Obama stopped smoking. ‘It’s been almost a year,’ she told reporters February 2011. The president is attending the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly this week Two years earlier, in 2009, Obama referred to himself as a ‘former smoker,’ but admitted he still struggled with the habit. ‘I’ve said before that as a former smoker I constantly struggle with it. Have I fallen off the wagon sometimes? Yes. Am I a daily smoker, a constant smoker? No,’ he said at a press conference in 2009. ‘I don’t do it in front of my kids. I don’t do it in front of my family. And, you know, I would say that I am 95 percent cured. But there are times where... There are times where I mess up.’ Source:

In this grab from a CNN video, U.N. official Maina Kiai (left) says ‘Sometimes’ when asked by President Obama whether he has stopped smoking

President Obama grinned as he told Kiai that he is scared of his wife so he quit smoking

When Kiai asks Obama whether he is still smoking, Obama responds, ‘No, no, I haven’t had a cigarette in probably six years. That’s because I’m scared of my wife.’

The president is attending the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly this week




Memories from Baghdād B T aghdād or Bagdad, capital of Iraq, in central Iraq, on the Tigris River. Baghdād is the center of air, road, and railroad transportation in Iraq. It is the leading manufacturing city of the country, with oil refineries, foodprocessing plants, tanneries, and textile mills. Among the handcrafted wares produced in Baghdād are cloth, household utensils, jewelry, leather goods, felt, and rugs, which may be purchased in the bazaars. Consisting of rows of small shops or stalls, these bazaars have long been a feature of the city. Educational institutions in the city include the University of Baghdād (1957), al-Mustansiriyah University (1963), and the University of Technology (1974). Among the noteworthy historical structures of Baghdād is the ruins of Bab al-Wastani, the last remaining of the famous gates of Baghdād. Other notable buildings are the Abbasid Palace, which probably dates from 1179, the alMustansiriyah, a college founded in 1232 (both restored as museums), and the Mirjan Mosque, completed in 1358. A few miles north of Baghdād is Kazimayn, notable for its magnificent gold-domed mosque (completed in the 19th century) and the tombs of religious leaders venerated by the Shia Muslims. Baghdād was built by the Abbasid caliph al-Mansur in 762 on the western bank of the Tigris River, opposite an old Iranian village also named Baghdād. The original city was round, with three concentric walls. The innermost wall enclosed the palace of the caliph, the second wall defined the army quarters, and the homes of the people occupied the outermost enclosure. The merchants' quarters, or bazaars, were located outside the city walls. Within the next half century the city reached a peak of prosperity and influence under the caliph Harun ar-Rashid, whose reign is celebrat-

ed in the famous tales of the Arabian Nights. During this period the city expanded to the eastern bank of the Tigris, which later became the heart of Baghdād. Although past its zenith after Harun's time, Baghdād remained an important center of trade and culture for more than four centuries. he decline of Baghdād began when Hulagu, the grandson of the Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan, sacked the city in 1258, putting an end to the Abbasid caliphate. The Turkic conqueror Tamerlane sacked the city in 1401. Baghdād was brought under Persian control in 1508. In 1534 it was captured by the Ottoman Empire. The Persians recaptured the city in 1623, holding it until 1638, when it was again annexed by the Ottoman Empire. For almost three centuries thereafter Baghdād was ruled by Ottoman governors. In 1917 it was captured from the Ottomans by British forces. In 1921 Baghdād was designated the capital of the newly created kingdom of Iraq, which became a republic in 1958. The city suffered damage from bombing during the Persian Gulf War in 1991, and again during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq (see U.S.-Iraq War). In mid-April 2003, as U.S.-led forces captured Baghdād and overthrew the regime of Saddam Hussein, looters ransacked many stores, government buildings, and museums. Although U.S. forces guarded the government’s Oil Ministry, they failed to intervene to prevent the looting, alienating many residents of Baghdād in the process. he U.S. occupation sparked an insurgency that soon engulfed the city in violence. The largely Sunni Muslim-based insurgency clashed frequently with U.S. forces, as did some of the Shia-based militias that initially opposed the ongoing U.S. presence.


Kazimayn Mosque The golddomed Kazimayn Mosque, pictured at night, is near Baghdād in Iraq. This famous building, begun in the 11th century and completed in the 19th century, contains the tombs of revered Shia Muslim leaders. Mehmet Biber/ Photo Researchers, Inc.

Baghdād became the capital city of the newly created kingdom of Iraq in 1921, but the city’s history dates back many centuries more. Built in ad 762 on a fertile plain next to the Tigris River in central Iraq, Baghdād is the country's largest city and its center of transportation and manufacturing. In 1991, however, heavy bombing during the Persian Gulf War destroyed much of the city's industry and transportation network. Barry Iverson/Woodfin Camp and Associates, Inc.

As a Shia-dominated government formed under the U.S. occupation, sectarian fighting between Sunnis and Shias resulted in almost daily violence. Suicide bombings at first were directed mainly at newly formed Iraqi police and military units, but soon the attacks began to target Shia businesses and communities, killing and injuring thousands of civilians. Reprisal killings were carried out against Sunnis by Shia-led death squads that reportedly operated out of the government’s Interior Ministry. Corpses showing signs of torture were discovered on the streets of the city on an almost daily basis. By 2007 the sectarian fighting had become so severe that much of the city’s middle class had fled the city. Entire neighborhoods where Shia and Sunni had once lived peacefully together were uprooted as militias took control of residential areas, forcing residents to move to Sunnionly or Shia-only areas. he city’s infrastructure was heavily damaged in the fighting, as bridges became targets of insurgent attacks. Electrical power became sporadic as power plants were targeted by insurgents. Most areas of the city had access to electricity for only a few hours a day, unless residents organized to purchase and run their own generators. Electrical power failures also resulted in curtailing the operation of water-purification plants and shutting down water-pumping stations, lowering water supplies. In the summer of 2007 city officials warned that water shortages in Baghdād had reached dangerous levels. Water became available in most areas for only a few hours a day, and despite the summer heat some areas of the city went without water. Population (2003 estimate) 5,620,000.


In March 2003 a military coalition led by the United States invaded Iraq with the goal of removing Iraqi president Saddam Hussein from power and destroying Iraq’s alleged stockpiles of banned weapons. The invasion was accompanied by strategic bombing strikes at military and leadership installations in the capital city of Baghdād and other Iraqi


The Martyr’s Monument in Baghdād, Iraq, is dedicated to those who died in the eight-year war that Iraq fought with Iran. Conflict between the two countries erupted in 1980 and ended in 1988. Barry Iverson/Woodfin Camp and Associates, Inc.




Tiger Woods, born in 1975


iger Woods, born in 1975, American professional golfer, who has staked a claim as one of the greatest players in the sport’s history. Woods has dominated professional golf since the late 1990s, winning each of the game’s four major championships at least twice before the age of 30. Eldrick Woods was born in Cypress, California, to an African American father and Thai mother. His father, Earl Woods, nicknamed him Tiger after a soldier Earl had served with during the Vietnam War (1959-1975). Young Woods began playing golf as soon as he could walk, and he was soon touted as a golf prodigy and featured on several television shows. His father coached him on form, stance, and swing. The elder Woods also focused on developing his son’s concentration, and soon young Tiger had learned to block out distractions during his shots. By age 6 he had recorded two holes in one. At age 15 he became the youngest player ever to win the United States Golf Association (USGA) Junior National Championship. In 1993 Woods won his third consecutive junior national title and had become one of the top players on the amateur circuit. In 1994 he played for the American team at the World Amateur Championships in Versailles, France, and enrolled at Stanford University in California. At Stanford Woods was named Pacific-10 Conference player of the year in 1995 and won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) individual championship in 1996. Woods also captured three consecutive U.S. Amateur Championships (1994-1996). After the third of these he turned professional, winning two tournaments as a rookie on the 1996 Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Tour. In the late 1990s Woods became one of the top professional players in the world. His first major victory came at the 1997 Masters, when he set tournament records for youngest champion (21 years of age), lowest score for 72 holes (18 under par at 270), and widest margin of victory (12 strokes). Both scoring records had been set by Jack Nicklaus (271 and 9 strokes) in 1965. Woods also became the first African American and first Asian American golfer to win the prestigious event. In 1999 Woods won his second major tournament, the PGA Championship. The following year he won nine tournaments, including three straight major titles: the United States Open, the British Open, and the PGA Championship. He followed this with a victory in the 2001 Mas-

ters, becoming the first golfer to hold all four major professional titles at the same time. In 2002 Woods repeated as Masters champion, making him just the third player to win the tournament in back-to-back years. He captured his eighth major championship at the 2002 U.S. Open, and many observers predicted that Woods would easily break Nicklaus’s record of 18 major pro titles before his career ended. By the end of 2002 Woods had won 34 tournaments on the PGA Tour. This run of dominance slowed during the following two years, however, as Woods failed to win a major title—although he did win the 2003 PGA player of the year award (based on scoring average) for a record fifth consecutive season. He won only one PGA tournament in 2004, the lowest annual total of his professional career, and for the first time in five years he lost the top spot in the world golf rankings (to Vijay Singh of Fiji). At times Woods appeared to be struggling with his swing, and his driving rank (a score that combines accuracy and distance off the tee) fell from 11th on the tour in 2002 to 87th in 2004. Woods roared back in 2005, however. At the

year’s first major tournament, the Masters, he rallied from a third-round deficit to defeat Chris DiMarco in a one-hole playoff for his ninth major championship. It was the fourth Masters title for Woods, tying him with Arnold Palmer for the second most over a career (trailing only Nicklaus, who won the event six times). Woods—back at the top of the world rankings— finished second at the 2005 U.S. Open and then won the British Open by five strokes for his tenth major title. Woods competed in the 2006 U.S. Open shortly after the death of his father and missed the cut, before returning to form and retaining his British Open title in July at Hoylake and winning the PGA Championship at Medinah the following month. Woods retained the PGA Championship title in 2007, the same year he placed second at the Masters and at the U.S. Open. His PGA Championship win at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma, gave him 13 major titles for his career. Woods finished individual play in 2007 by winning the first-ever FedEx Cup and its $10-million retirement annuity. The cup featured a point system based on a player’s performance throughout the year in PGA Tour events and then in a four-tournament playoff round at the end of the Tour season. The playoff system, the first ever for men’s professional golf, reduced the number of players to a field of 30 in the last tournament. Woods ended the year as the leading money winner on the Tour, though he fell just shy of the record one-year earnings set by Vijay Singh in 2004. Woods’s career record of 61 tournament wins left him just one behind Arnold Palmer for fourth place on the career list at the end of 2007. In his first PGA tournament in 2008, the Buick Invitational, Woods tied Palmer for fourth on the career list, winning handily by eight strokes. In March 2008 Woods tied Ben Hogan for third on the all-time career list with his 64th PGA Tour victory, behind only Sam Snead and Jack Nicklaus. Woods has played in five Ryder Cups (1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, and 2006), finishing on the winning side only once (in 1999).




53 years of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy


ver since the gain of independence in 1960, Nigeria as a country made the liberation and restoration of the dignity of Africa the centrepiece of its foreign policy and notably played a leading role in the fight against the apartheid regime in South Africa.

By Hassan Haruna Ginsau


ne notable exception though to the African focus of Nigeria’s foreign policy was the close relationship it shared with Israel throughout the 60’s, with Israel even sponsoring and overseeing the construction of Nigeria’s parliament buildings in then capital Lagos. Nigeria’s foreign policy was soon tested though in the 70’s following the country’s emergence from its own civil war. Nigeria quickly committed itself to the liberation struggles going on in the Southern Africa sub-region. Though Nigeria never sent an expeditionary force in that struggle, it offered more than rhetoric to the African National Congress (ANC) by taking a committed tough line with regard to the racist regime and their incursions in southern Africa, in addition to expediting large sums to aid anticolonial struggles. Nigeria was also a founding member of the Organisation for African Unity (now the African Union), cementing its influence in West Africa and Africa on the whole. Nigeria has additionally founded regional cooperative efforts in West Africa, functioning as standard-bearer for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and ECOMOG, economic and military organizations respectively. With its African-centred stance, Nigeria readily sent troops to the Congo shortly after independence (and has maintained membership since that time), Nigeria also supported several Pan African and pro selfgovernment causes in the 70’s, including garnering support for Angola’s MPLA, SWAPO in Namibia, and aiding anti-colonial struggles in Mozambique, and Zimbabwe, militarily and economically. Over the years, Nigeria has also played a pivotal role in the support of peace in Africa. It has provided the bulk of troops for the UN peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), and many of the troops to the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), and more recently Mali.

Goodluck Jonathan Nigeria retains membership in the Non-Aligned Movement, and in late November 2006 organized an Africa-South America Summit to promote what some termed “South-South” linkages on a variety of fronts. Nigeria is also a member of the International Criminal Court, and the Commonwealth of Nations, from which it was temporarily expelled in 1995 under the Abacha regime. Nigeria has remained a key player in the international oil industry since the 70’s, and maintains membership in Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) which it joined in July 1971. Its status as a major petroleum producer has been very much part and parcel in its international relations with both developed countries, notably the United States and more recently China and developing countries, notably Ghana, Jamaica and Kenya. Millions of Nigerians have emigrated to Europe, North America and Australia among others. It is estimated that over a million Nigerians have emigrated to the United States and constitute the Nigerian American populace. Of such Diasporic

communities include the “Egbe Omo Yoruba” society. Nigeria is a member of international organizations such as the UN and many of its special and related agencies, World Trade Organization (WTO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB), Interpol, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU), Maritime Organization of West and Cen-

tral Africa (MOWCA) and several other West African bodies, the Commonwealth, Nonaligned Movement (NAM), and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), among many others. Nigeria has demonstrated capability to mobilize, deploy, and sustain battalions in support of peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavia, Angola, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Sudan/Darfur. Nigeria currently has about 6,000 peacekeepers deployed in 12 UN missions worldwide. Very different to the chilly relationship Nigeria had with the West during the Abacha regime, the bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the West, particularly the US has seen a resurgence. Cooperation on many important foreign policy goals, such as regional peacekeeping, has since been pursued. On April 6, 2010, the two countries formalized commitment to hold bilateral talks on four key areas: good governance, transparency, and integrity, energy and investment, Niger Delta and regional security, and agriculture and food security. Moving East, Nigeria - China Bilateral Economic Cooperation has been in existence for long. The Government of the two nations initiates and implements programmes and projects that enhance and strengthen the existing ties, which also impact positively on the lives of the people of the two countries. The Chinese Government runs capacity building pro-

Nigeria engages in two broad based cooperation namely: Multilateral and Bilateral Economic Cooperation (BEC). BEC focuses on enlarging the development opportunities for the country through Bilateral Economic Cooperation with other counties.

grammes on annual basis to improve the capacity and competence of government officials across the country. Other areas of the Chinese’ government interventions includes education, water and sanitation, infrastructure etc. Also, Nigeria engages in two broad based cooperation namely: Multilateral and Bilateral Economic Cooperation (BEC). BEC focuses on enlarging the development opportunities for the country through Bilateral Economic Cooperation with other counties. This involves economic and social relations with foreign countries and institutions on bilateral basis. Nigeria has a number of bilateral coopertions with countries in the Asia Pacific, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and America Nigeria carried out multilateral cooperation through various agencies including; the UNDS, UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA and other UN agencies. It also carries out multilateral cooperation with the European Union (EU) Unit and the Commonwealth. The European Union (EU) Unit is responsible for coordination of all EU supported Programmes/Projects in Nigeria. The Unit is responsible for the administration of EU projects, as well as monitoring of EU Programmes in Nigeria. Nigeria as a member of the commonwealth benefits from her statutory contribution to the funds of the commonwealth especially the commonwealth fund for technical cooperation (CFTC). Through its Foreign Ministry, Nigeria has secured billions of dollars in direct foreign investment, it has also secured Nigeria’s leadership in International organisations such as the WHO and ECOWAS parliament. It is also seeking a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. It is noteworthy that from 1960 to 2008 Nigeria has served in the Security Council twice but from then till the country has had that privilege twice also and it could extend to 2016 if she secures a bid for permanent seat. Nigeria’s foreign policy on the whole has been impressive especially her commanding presence at peacekeeping across the world. More though could still be done especially to maximize her contributions to global peace and economies. The often lackadaisical attitude often adopted when her nationals are poorly treated in foreign countries speaks volume of her failure to impose her influence and thus commander deserves respect and honour.




Europe’s key animals ‘making a comeback’ By Rebecca Morelle Science reporter, BBC World Service


ome of Europe’s key animals have made a comeback over the past 50 years, a report suggests. Conservationists say species such as bears, wolves, lynx, eagles and vultures have increased in numbers. They believe that protection, curbs on hunting and people moving away from rural areas and into cities have helped Europe’s wildlife to recover. The analysis was carried out by the Zoological Society of London, Birdlife and the European Bird Census Council. The report was commissioned by the conservation group Rewilding Europe. Frans Schepers, the organisation’s director, said: “People have this general picture of Europe that we’ve lost all our nature and our wildlife. “And I think what the rest of the world can learn from this is that conservation actually works. If we have the resources, a proper strategy, if we use our efforts, it actually works.” Over the past few centuries, animals in Europe have not fared well. Hunting, habitat loss, and pollution have sent animals into decline. But this report marks a reversal in fortunes. The researchers looked at 18 mammals and 19 bird species found across Europe. They found that all, apart from the Iberian lynx, had increased in abundance from the 1960s. The largest increases were for the European bison, the Eurasian beaver, the white-headed duck, some populations of the pink-footed goose and the barnacle goose. These had all increased by more than 3,000% during the past five decades. For top predators such as the brown bear, numbers have doubled. And for the grey wolf, which saw serious losses in the past, populations have climbed by 30%. For mammals, the comeback was largest in the south and west of Europe, and their range had increased

on average by about 30%. The average range of the birds remained stable. Mr Schepers said: “The wildlife comeback actually started after World War II in the 1950s and 1960s. Compared to the numbers in the 1600s and 1700s, it’s still at a very low level, but it’s coming back.” Global view The researchers believe a combination of factors have been driving this return. Legal protection in the European Union, such as the birds directive and habitats directive, had helped to revive the fortunes of species, as had dedicated conservation schemes, said Mr Schepers. And while some animals are still hunted in parts of Europe, there are often limits on the number that can be killed. “It is also because people are leaving the countryside, which leaves more space for wildlife,” said Mr Schepers. The recovery of some species, particularly large predators, has raised concerns. In France, for example, where wolves have recently returned, farmers are concerned that their livestock is at risk. The report warns that this could be a growing problem, but suggests that governments should put in place compensation schemes to offset any losses for farmers. It also says that rural communities could benefit from more animals, as ecotourism could offer a boost to local economies. The finding is surprising when seen in the global context, where biodiversity is in continuing decline. For a lot of these species, where we have seen the gains, we might lose them again if we are not careful” Prof Jonathan Baillie Zoological Society of London Prof Jonathan Baillie, director of conservation at the Zoological Society of London, said: “We’re trying to find success stories so we can learn from them, so we can see what works and scale that up across the conservation movement globally. “And it is really important that

The researchers looked at 18 mammals and 19 birds, such as the white tailed eagle

Wolves have faired well in Europe after many centuries of decline we focus on success and where we are winning. “But there are massive challenges out there globally. And we have to realise that the threats that Europe creates are not just within our borders, it’s internationally, and that we are

having an impact on the 60% decline we’re seeing in low income countries around the world.” He also warned that Europe’s wildlife was at a pivotal moment. “We just have to be aware that into the future there will be increas-

ing pressure for food production and so on within Europe,” he said. “And for a lot of these species, where we have seen the gains, we might lose them again if we are not careful. So it’s our job to keep our eye on the ball.”

Global fight to end extreme poverty by 2030 suffers set back


ew report provides a comprehensive analysis of aid and other global financial flows to developing countries. A new report argues that extreme poverty can be ended by 2030. However, counting the poor and tracking resources available to get to zero poverty need to significantly improve for this to happen. Investments to End Poverty reaffirms the critical role of international aid in tackling extreme poverty, but warns that it must be better targeted and better coordinated with other financial flows for it to be most effective. The report by Development Initiatives, a leading independent organisation that provides research and analysis on poverty, maps the complex landscape of resource flows between more than 50 countries, including foreign direct investment (FDI), private giving and south-south cooperation. Judith Randel, Executive Director of Development Initiatives, says: “This report comes at a crucial time, as world leaders are meeting to discuss the post-2015 develop-

ment goals. Investments to End Poverty arms them with the independent and reliable data they need to make informed decisions about where to target resources to end poverty”. The report reveals that: • International aid plays a critical role in reaching the poorest people around the world where other resources (such as FDI and remittances) may not be available. • Extreme poverty – the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day – has fallen from 43% in 1990 to 21% in 2010, making it possible to end poverty by 2030. But economic growth alone may not be enough to get there. Despite huge progress in poverty alleviation through growth, even the most optimistic scenarios of growth could leave more than 100 million people behind. • The scale and diversity of international resources flowing into developing countries has increased rapidly, doubling since 2000 to reach $2.1 trillion in 2011. Long-term debt, FDI and remittances account for around twothirds of all international flows. However, for the poorest countries, the resources going in

are still limited. They face severe spending constraints that are likely to continue. • Governments in developing countries have the greatest ability to end poverty in their own countries as they spend three times more than all resources coming in. However, 82% of the world’s extremely poor people live in countries where government spending is less than the equivalent of $1,000 per person per year, compared with $15,025 across OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries. • Aid plays a critical role where governments can’t or won’t. It can be targeted at the poorest people, and used to leverage other funds. 400 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live in extreme poverty and require interventions beyond the broader benefits of growth to overcome risks and structural barriers to raise them out of extreme poverty by 2030. ODA – official development assistance provided by key donor countries – needs to become more transparent and adapt to post2015 development challenges if we want it to

fulfil its vital role in ensuring the end of extreme poverty by 2030. However, important decisions on where to direct resources to end poverty are made on the basis of unreliable or outdated data and information. Estimates of numbers of people in poverty are unreliable and often out of date and important decisions about where to allocate resources are based on weak assumptions and poor numbers. Randel says: “The end of poverty is within our reach but a development data revolution is needed to get to zero poverty. Without better data, we can’t allocate resources for optimal results, monitor progress, learn lessons, or hold donors and recipients accountable.” Over the coming week, Development Initiatives will join the Global Poverty Project and other organizations to rally support for the Zero Poverty 2030 campaign in securing hundreds of thousands of signatures calling on world leaders to commit the necessary support to end extreme poverty by 2030.




Healthy Living

With Isaac Yakubu Akogu

Diabetes and weight management (II), 08176179496,

- Physical activity - Diet - Use of Drugs - Surgery. Physical Activity: This has been a natural, non drug method of controlling weight increase, the particular


hank you dear readers for keeping a date with me on WELLNESS Column this weekend. The series we started continues as usual. A lot of comments and questions came up in the course of the week over the previous article. It is important to note that weight is an important issue in most management decisions on Diabetes Control. Before we begin our deliberation on weight, it is interesting to note that readers’ participation in the quiz exercise is increasing, the winner is randomly picked by a computer based analysis, and a prize was sent to the winner of last week edition. Obesity Obesity from our discussion of last week, is a condition in which the Body Mass Index (BMI) is ≥30kg/M2 and it is associated with many health challenges like cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, gall stones and osteoarthritis. Obesity can be aggravated by risk factors like depression, some psychological problems and drugs. The main treatment for obesity includes: - Appropriate Diet and lifestyle modification - Support and Encouragement - Increase physical activity - Smoking ceasation. Drugs should not be used as a sole agent for treatment of obesity but a combination of many therapies which are in most cases individualized. Benefits of weight loss 1. Weight loss is an important goal for overweight or obese persons, particularly those with type 2 diabetes, because it improves blood glucose control. Moderate weight loss (5% of body weight) can improve insulin action, decrease fasting blood glucose concentrations, and reduce the need for diabetes medications. 2. Weight loss has important additional health benefits in patients with diabetes because it improves other risk factors for cardiovascular disease by decreasing blood pressure, improving serum lipid concentrations (decrease in serum triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol and increase in serum HDL cholesterol concentrations) , and reducing serum markers of inflammation. 3. Moderate weight loss and increased physical activity can prevent or delay the devel-

Waist circumference, a useful marker to check “Truncal” Obesity

Don’t be Shy to check your weight! opment of type 2 diabetes in high-risk groups, such as those with impaired glucose tolerance Who needs weight loss therapy? Weight loss is recommended for all overweight (BMI 25.0– 29.9 kg/m2) or obese (BMI ≥30.0 kg/m2) adults who have type 2 diabetes or who are at risk for this disease. It is important to set a weight loss goal that is both achievable and maintainable. Even moderate weight loss of 5% of body weight can produce significant health benefits and may be a reasonable initial goal for most patients. Better outcomes for longterm weight reduction occur when a reduced calorie diet is combined with increased physical activity and behavioral ther-

An accurate weighing Scale, a useful tool for weight management

apy that is aimed at developing skills required to successfully change harmful habitual eating and activity patterns. Activities that can Help to Control Weight

activity embarked upon depends on individual preference to ensure compliance. The recommended physical activity that will benefit a person living with Diabetes to control weight is an

Moderate weight loss (5% of body weight) can improve insulin action, decrease fasting blood glucose concentrations, and reduce the need for diabetes medications.

aerobic based exercise like walking, jogging, cycling, swimming amongst others. Before commencing any type of exercise for weight reduction, it is advisable to check with your physician to ascertain status of your heart, blood pressure and other cardiovascular parameters to avoid emergencies. Should work or leave in an apartment with elevators and stair cases, the use of the stair case should be preferred to enable you burn those unwanted fats. Similarly, for those who work in office that confers them to long sitting positions, occasionally walking around will help to loosen the muscles and prevent cramps. Diet: This is the greatest area that requires a lot of informed daily decision making and needs self discipline to accomplish. Weight loss occurs when energy expenditure exceeds energy intake. An energy deficit of 500– 1,000 kcal/day will result in a loss of ∼1–2 pounds/week and an average total weight loss of about 8% after 6 months. Although weight regain is common, approximately twothirds of weight that is lost by dieting is maintained in a year. Severe calorie restriction that involves the use of a very-lowcalorie diet (<800 kcal/day) causes rapid weight loss of about 15–20% within 4 months. However, very-low-calorie diets are not recommended for most patients, because they do not result in greater long-term weight loss and have a higher risk of developing medical complications, such as gallstones, than low-calorie diets. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Obesity Education Initiative (OEI) Expert Panel recommends the use of a low-calorie diet that generates an initial deficit of 500–1,000 kcal/day and supplies at least 1,000–1,200 kcal/ day for women and 1,200–1,600 kcal/day for men to treat obesity.

QUIZ 1. Weight loss, frequent urination are common symptoms of Diabetes mellitus. True or False. Send the correct answer by sms to the number displayed above, a handsome prize awaits the winner for the week. Until I come your way next weekend with another interesting issue, I urge you to watch your weight today.



C ommen ts

Insurgency: Taming inter-agency rivalry By Osaze Sunny


hile President Goodluck Jonathan was calling for a stronger global consensus and determination to end the scourge of terrorism in faraway New York an unfortunate event had just occurred in Apo area of Abuja, over an alleged exchange of gun shots between security officers and Boko Haram members. In his meeting with President Barrack Obama of the United States of America, President Jonathan said Nigeria is doing its best to contain the insurgency and therefore added that unless the international community unites and deploys its enormous resources to eradicate terrorism, it will continue to be embarrassed by terrorist outrages such as the heinous attack on defenceless shoppers in Nairobi which both leaders strongly condemned. While Jonathan urges more supports and encouragement from international community over the fight against domestic terrorism, the home-front was in a state of flux over the labelling of alleged miscreants as Boko Haram suspects. The Department of State Services (DSS) reported that it had arrested 12 members of the Boko Haram while various other reports indicated that at least 7 persons

were also killed when security operatives stormed an uncompleted building near Apo Legislative area in the early hours of the day. Circumstances of the deaths remained hazy. While security agencies alleged those killed were Boko Haram members, survivors of the incident insist they were homeless artisans squatting in the building. Human rights activists and politicians are demanding a thorough investigation into the killing just as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has commenced an investigation into the killing of the squatters in the uncompleted building. Although the debate and arguments continue, what could be glimpsed from the controversy is the seeming lack of coordination and of collaboration of response agencies during that sensitive operation. As the spokesperson of the Directorate of State Security insists the victims are Boko Haram suspects, other security agencies have distanced themselves from the incident. The Nigerian public too are becoming suspicious of the whole situation. Before this unfortunate development there have been noticeable improvement in the war against insurgency in various states, Abuja inclusive where there had not been any serious attacks from

the terrorists since last year. Most of their attacks have been confined to very few states in North-Eastern Nigeria. The success of some of the operations even in Borno and Yobe State are due to colloboration with civilian populace which the establishment of volunteer group known as Civilian JTF. The obvious missing link in the Abuja operation, which is causing unnecessesary panics in the mind of an average Nigerian is the fear that some of the security agencies are not relating or cooperating among themselves. It is therefore not surprising the recent observation of top security officers at an inter-agency peacebuilding conference organised by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Abuja that lack of collaboration amongst the country’s security agencies was one of the factors responsible for the growth of Boko Haram. The National Security Adviser (NSA) to the President, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd), who also addressed the session pointed out that unless security agencies co-operated and collaborated, they would not succeed in fighting insecurity. The NSA, who was represented by Major General Sarki Y. Bello said: “It is pertinent to note that this lack of collaboration among our security agencies was one of the factors that permitted the growth

and, until recently, the success of Boko Haram terrorist attacks.” While declaring the programme open, the Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, commended the Nigerian Army for the successes recorded in battling terrorism so far, adding that it would be a total turnaround if other security agencies could come together regardless of their uniforms as a team to combat the security challenges facing the nation. He said: “The achievements of Nigeria military today are concomitant of the unity of training, orientation and accommodation that exist in Nigerian military formation. In the same manner, we want all agencies, in addition to securing their mandate, work and relate well with others, bearing in mind the security of the country rather than shameless street fights.” The Commandant-General of the NSCDC, Dr. Ade Abolurin, described the programme as an “interactive one” based on a field of experiences where they expect the security officers to establish and sustain their mutual relationship. He deplored the situation where security agencies engaged themselves in unnecessary quarrels over superiority contention. As an observer, the in-fighting and lack of collaboration among

security agencies can only create room for criminal activities and terrorism to foster. The live of an average Nigerian as it is now, depends on the almighty God and on the security officers. The inter-agency rivalry and mutual mistrust should give way for better understanding and respect for one another. The authorities should respond with appropriate measures to reduce inter-agency rivalry and conflicts, thereby facilitating cooperation and collaboration. It is gratifying to note that that the Office of the NSA has provided the platform to catalyse collaboration among security agencies with the establishment of the Counterterrorism Department to ensure that this synergy is achieved. It is therefore necessary that more joint trainings, retreats and conferences should be organised for the participation of response agencies to appreciate their delicate assignment and acknowledge ways of seamlessly relating with one another towards the common goals of protecting Nigeria and its image. He maintained that it is only when security agencies begin to cooperate that the environment will be appropriate for peace building activities. Osaze Sunny

Tackling cyber crime among youths By Stellamaris Amuwa


ybercrime does not respect geographical location; it knows no boundaries, religion or nationality. Cyber criminals attack and spread across the whole world in a matter of minutes, sparing no one. Concerned about the widening and fast-growing cybercrime across the globe, a World Cyber Security Conference was held in Abuja on 17th September 2013, with the theme “Cyber Insecurity - A Latent Threat to National Security and Economic Development.” Africa, particularly Nigeria, is growing at a faster rate in technology adoption and consumption, than countries in Europe. Nigeria, is one of the top 5 countries on Facebook, and other Social Media. The flip side of this development is that this has also created room for widespread perpetuation of cybercrimes. Quite recently, for instance, Nigeria was rated as number 59 on the list of cybercrimes locations in the world, by the Symantec Quarterly rating for 2013. Needless to say, this is NOT good news for a country that daily struggles to reconfigure world perceptions about her. This alarming spate of cyber insecurity had prompted the Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Brahima Sanou,

during their meeting in Costa Rica, to discuss cyber threats and cyber security in the African region. The essence of these discussions was to address ways and means of stemming this malaise. At this event also, the First Lady of Nigeria, Dame Patience Jonathan was appointed, as ITU’s Child Online Protection (COP) Champion. On her return to Nigeria, the First Lady and her Office, instituted and facilitated the World Cyber Security Conference to further emphasise that global collaboration is imperative in addressing the threatening effects on the moral and physical safety of our children as a result of online misuse. She seized the opportunity of this event, to appeal passionately to the National Assembly to enact a Law that will carry a stiff punishment for all cyber criminals. She noted that as many more people join the growing list of Internet users, the advantages and vast benefits that the Internet presents, becomes more apparent. Indeed, the Internet daily commands increased global audience, bringing the world closer and closer together than before. She described the Internet as one of the “greatest inventions of mankind which has changed the way we communicate, conduct business and socialise.” Former Israeli Prime Minister, Mr. Ehud Barak who also spoke at the conference, urged governments

the world over to join hands to fight the endemic of cybercrime. He said in times past, ‘bows and arrows’ were used to fight wars, killing just a target at a time, but today, technology has advanced so much that just a timebomb could destroy thousands of people within a short time. The same thing could be said about cybercrimes - the menace spreads like wild fire, with individuals, corporate bodies and even government mails being hacked practically every second. He concluded by saying that online crime has worse consequences than war crimes, because of the colossal damage it causes. Some of the participants cited the case of a Nigerian youth, Ms. Cynthia Osokogu, who was lured and killed in Lagos,

through cybercrime. The National Coordinator of the I-Nigerian Initiative, Ada Stella Apiafi who described the campaign for cybersecurity as timely, said the cyber world and its application, should be for Education, Entertainment, and Commerce, to harness the great potential we have in Nigeria. Parents, she affirms, have a pivotal role to play in supervising how, and what sites their children visit, bearing in mind that the average Nigerian child is quite intelligent, smart and eager to explore new frontiers. Others have also pointed out that cybercrime is also very strongly perpetuated with Banking, and Electronic Funds Transfers. He urged the conveners of the forum to take steps and position themselves

Ordinarily it is expected that parents should teach their children the use of technology especially telephone usage, but most parents are not as versatile or dynamic in the use of their phones as their children. Which begs the question: who supervises who?

such that the financial institutions will not be so terribly hit by these unrepentant cyber criminals. He said hackers continue to attack accounts of customers. There is an ominous possibility of huge losses if not stopped now, particularly with the introduction of the cashless economy which itself has its own pains and gains. Ordinarily it is expected that parents should teach their children the use of technology especially telephone usage, but most parents are not as versatile or dynamic in the use of their phones as their children. Which begs the question: who supervises who?! For adults it is difficult to balance what they do; with children it is even more difficult. It is important at this juncture to call on legislators and policy makers to have a critical look on how to protect children and youth from the ills of cyberworld. Guardians, especially parents should closely monitor activities of their wards online and even on mobile phones which have become their part of daily engagements. The national assembly should quicky pass into law the proposed bill on cyber security. She called on the National Assembly Members to pass a Law, as a matter of urgency, with punishment ranging from 50 years jail term to life in imprisonment. Stellamaris Amuwa Maitama, Abuja




Confident Atletico ready for Madrid derby A

tletico Madrid will look to extend their winning streak when they visit arch-rivals Real Madrid for a La Liga clash at the Santiago Bernabeu tonight. The Rojiblancos are currently only one of two teams in La Liga who still have a perfect record having played six matches, alongside co-leaders Barcelona. Diego Costa scored a brace on Tuesday night to help his side down Osasuna 2-1 and defender Juanfran Torres their winning streak has given them extra confidence ahead of the derby. “We’re looking forward to it,” he said. “The last time we were there we won so let’s go for it. It’s a very important game for our fans and for us. “The good thing is the dynamics of the team, which is all about winning. “We go in to every game with the thought that we will always win and that is leading us in the right direction.” “We know that traveling to the Bernabeu is never easy, they are also on form but we believe are going to play well and things are going to be fine.” Real are currently sitting in third place on the table with 16 points, two less that Atletico Madrid and go into this match having needed a last minute winner from Cristiano Ronaldo to beat newly-promoted Elche 2-1 on Wednesday night. “We are lucky that he is here and that he earns us points in each match,” said goalkeeper Diego Lopez.


Man U players celebrating victory

Barclays Premier League T/ Hotspur v Aston Villa v Fulham v Hull City v M/United v Southampton v Swansea City v Sunday Stoke City v Sunderland v French Ligue 1 Lorient PSG Sochaux ennes St Etienne Lyon Nice Evian TG Sunday Rennes Ajaccio Reims

Atletico de Madrid’s Diego Costa celebrates with Adrian Lopez and Koke

“The derby will be difficult but it’s not going to be decisive. We are hungry and we want to play well, especially because of what happened last year in the Copa Del

Rey.” Atletico defeated Real in the Copa del Rey final in May with Joao Miranda scoring the winner in extra time.

Red Devils looking for 3 points against Baggies anchester United will look to get back to winning ways in the Premier League when they host West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. Kick-off at Old Trafford today. The Red Devils suffered an embarrassing 4-1 defeat away to

Weekend Fixtures

Manchester City in their last league outing, a result which sees them placed eighth on the log, five points adrift of leaders Arsenal and Tottenham. Manager David Moyes somewhat eased the pressure on himself with a midweek 1-0 win over Liverpool in the

first round of the Capital One Cup, though it is in the league where he really needs to see his side step up their performances. The Scot has admitted that he would like to strengthen the United squad in the January transfer window, believing that the side needs more quality if it is to avoid having more days like last weekend’s derby defeat. “I don’t think it’s actually the squad, we’ve got numbers,” said Moyes ahead of Wednesday night’s Capital One clash with Liverpool. “Maybe where we’ve got work to do is to bring in players not for the squad but one or two to go right into the team. But that will happen. There will be days like we had on Sunday, and there might be more of them because we are in a period where there will be transition. “I knew this was going to be the case because I was taking over from a great manager and it was always going to take time for me to get my own ways and change things round a bit. West Brom have made a slow start to the Premier League, picking up just five points and finding themselves placed 14th heading into their trip to Old Trafford. However, they thumped Sunderland 3-0 last weekend for their first win of the campaign and very nearly knocked inform Arsenal out of the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night, only going down on penalties after holding the Gunners 1-1.

Chelsea M/ City C/ City West Ham W/Bwich C/Palace Arsenal N/ City Liverpool

v v v

Marseille Toulouse Valenci-

v v v v

Bastia Lille Guingamp Bordeaux

v v v

Nantes Montpellier Monaco

German Bundesliga H/BSC v 1. FSV Mainz FC B/Mnchen v VfL W/burg 1899 Hoffenheim v FC Schalke 04 Bayer 04 Leverkusen v H/over 96 TSG Hoffenheim v Schalke 04 B/ Dortmund v SC Freiburg E/Frankfurt v Hamburger Sunday SV Werder Bremen v 1. FC Nrberg Eintracht Brauig v VfB Stgart Italian Serie A Genoa Milan Sunday Torino Cagliari ale Catania Sassuolo Verona Atalanta Roma

v v

Napoli Sampdoria

v v

Juventus Internazion-

v v v v v

Chievo Lazio Livorno Udinese Bologna

Spanish Primera Liga Valencia v lecano Almeria v Real Sociedad v Real Madrid v Madrid Sunday Spanish La Liga Osasuna v Celta de Vigo v Espanyol v Real Betis v

Rayo ValBarcelona Sevilla Atletico

Levante Elche Getafe Villarreal

Nigeria Professional Football League Sharks v Heartland Sunshine Stars v Rangers ABS F.C. v N/ United 3SC v Enyimba Akwa United v Nembe City B/United v W/Wolves Wikki Tourists v K/United Kano Pillars v K/United Lobi Stars v G/United El-Kanemi v Dolphins




Kipsang targets world Serena joins Graf, record in Berlin Navrotilova, in most WTA K ranked players’ club


wo grand Slam victories plus defence of seven titles has ensured that Serena Williams has successfully secured the year-end world No 1 ranking for the third time in her glittering career. Serena, who has amassed a career total of 55 titles with 17 major wins and also achieved the feat in 2002 and 2009, thus joined the exclusive list of six illustrious women to have done so. Williams joins Justine Henin and Martina Hingis as a threetime year-end No 1, with only Steffi Graf (8), Martina Navratilova (7), Chris Evert (5) and Lindsay Davenport (4) ahead of her. This was confirmed yesterday

by the WTA which added that the 32-year-old American power-hitter, has proven that she is worthy of being a class act. “Serena has proven time and time again throughout her career that she is an incredible champion, both on and off the court,” said WTA chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster said in a statement. “This season she continues to rewrite the record books, proving that she is one of the sport’s greatest athletes of all-time.” Williams has held top rankings six times and on Monday, she will have held the top position for a total of 156 weeks, the WTA said.

In February, she became the oldest world No 1 since computer rankings were introduced in 1975. And this year Williams also became the first woman to surpass $9 million in prize money in a single season, pushing her career earnings past $50 million. Williams’ total of 55 career singles titles means she is tied for seventh with Davenport and Virginia Wade on the all-time list. Navratilova holds the record for the most singles titles with an astonishing 167, including 18 Grand Slams. The Open-era record belongs to Graf, with 22 major victories.

Akpabio wants scrabble championships in schools

enya’s Wilson Kipsang is aiming to better compatriot Patrick Makau’s record of 2hrs 3mins 38 seconds set in Berlin in 2011. The 31-year-old is keen to break the two-year-old world record at the Berlin Marathon when the over 42.195 kilometres race holds tomorrow (Sunday). As one of the world’s top six marathons, the Berlin course is flat and has a reputation among the elite runners of being “fast and forgiving”, according to America’s Desiree Davila, who finished second at the 2011 Boston race. A total of eight marathon world records have been set in Berlin and, having finished within four seconds of Makau’s world record in Frankfurt two years ago, Kipsang has been training to run under the 2:03.38 mark. “From the start of my training, I was focused on breaking the world record,” said Kipsang, who won the 2012 London marathon in 2:04.40 and finished third over the distance at the 2012 London Olympic Games. “From my side, the training



Ex-Nigeria defender Aminu dies


ormer Nigeria defender, Abdu Aminu, has passed on after a period of illness. The ex-Super Eagles player died on Thursday at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital at the age of 51. Two-time Nigerian champions, Kano Pillars, announced the death of Aminu, who was their team manager before his demise. “Kano Pillars FC team manager and one-time Super Eagles player, Abdu Aminu, died today at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital after a protracted illness,” a statement from his employers disclosed. Late Aminu played in the Super Eagles during the era of Dutchman, Clemens Westerhof as technical adviser.

ov. Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom has called on the ministries of education and sports to introduce scrabble championships in schools in the country. Akpabio made the call when members of the Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF) called on him in preparation for the 7th Godswill Akpabio International Scrabble Classics scheduled for Uyo. The governor said, “the game of scrabble is very much needed in our society, because it helps to improve the vocabulary of the young ones. The ministries of Sports and Education should work out modalities for the introduction of scrabble championships in schools.” Akpabio commended the NSF President, Mr Toke Aka, for his selflessness and commitment in leading the federation adding that Aka’s qualities had helped in taking the scrabble sport in Nigeria to enviable heights. While speaking earlier, Aka had commended the state government for introducing the scrabble game in Akwa Ibom schools. Aka said 400 scrabble players would participate in the 2013 Godswill Akpabio International Classics, with 50 of them from the UK, the U.S., New Zealand, Ghana and Thailand. He said the reigning scrabble world champion, Nigel Richards, and the classics’ defending champion, Emmanuel Umojose, would participate in the competition scheduled for the Ibom Le Meridian and Golf Resort. The 2013 Godswill Akpabio International Scrabble Classics started yesterday and will end on Monday.


has been going well, I have run 2:03.32 in training and the time is beatable.” Kipsang has said he wants a split time of 61.44 mins at the halfway point and is in a strong field of elite runners to help sustain a world-record breaking pace, although Makau is missing with a knee injury. Ethiopian running legend Haile Gebrselassie is the official starter having won the race four times from 2006 until 2009. Four men’s world records have been set in Berlin in the last decade including Kenyan Paul Tergat’s 2:04.55 in 2003, and twice by Gebrselassie of 2:04.26 in 2007 and then 2:03.59 in 2008, before Makau shaved 21 seconds off two years ago. In the main group of Kipsang’s rivals, Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, who won the Hamburg marathon on his debut in April, has said he is looking to better his personal best of 2:05.30. “My main target is to run under my personal best, but I am ready to go with the best and will keep up,” said the 28-year-old, who will be running only his second marathon.




Much ado about N96m stadium refurbishment


he chairman of the House Committee on Sports, Ali Gaiya, a contractor and the National Sports Commission (NSC) were in some war of words over the ‘token’ N96m expended on the rehabilitation of the National Stadium Abuja. Gaiya was on facility visit to the stadium and unfortunately the pitch of the main bowl of the stadium was water logged. It had rained same day and Gaiya had expected that with in-built technology, the water would quickly evaporate. But that was not to be. And in outburst he queried the veracity of the amount said to have been so committed into the works. Well, a fortnight ago the same stadium suddenly came to limelight. Or rather was in the news of course for unpleasant reasons. It was its official ‘commissioning’ after being in the doldrums or out rightly inactive for 17 months.

So, the authorities decided to throw a bash to announce its rebirth. Imagine celebrating what ordinarily should be a routine act in reasonable shores. But Nigeria always thrives in certain oddity, mostly bizarre. Then, it was power outage. Something that some believe couldn’t be averted going by Nigeria’s peculiarity. All hell almost broke loose but no heads rolled. And so when Gaiya almost burst the Berger concrete slabs with his blaring it attracted little or no serious attention. True, the NSC has reacted through its director of Facilities and Stadium Management, Engr. Ibrahim Shehu. To him, crying over the water log is demonstration lack of elementary knowledge of science. His argument is that because the grass is natural, and not artificial, it would require a magic for water to disappear within minutes af-

League boycott averted as LMC, Referees reconcile


planned boycott of Nigeria league matches was averted on Friday following an agreement reached between the leadership of the League Management Company and their counterparts in the Nigeria Referees’ Association. The referees had protested against being left out of the scheme of things by the LMC and had wanted to emphasize their importance by boycotting tomorrow’s league matches. According to the Chairman of the NRA, Ahmed Maude and the Executive Secretary of the LMC, Salihu Abubakar, the issues that would have warranted the boycotted had been amicably sorted out. “There was an issue no doubt, but we have resolved it. We will officiate at the league till the last game. I must say kudos to my referees for doing wonderfully well this season, as you can see on the league table, no team is sure of winning the league or escaping relegation. That is why we told LMC our mind,” was quoted by a wire service. Confirming this to Peoples Daily Weekend, Abubakar said both parties have reached an agreement stressing the LMC has never taken the referees for granted. But he declined to say exact what it was the referees had wanted. “There was issue but we have talked about it and settled it, so no problems,” Abubakar had earlier told a wire service and went to add that it was merely a family affair that needed no external ear. A referee, who did not want

his name in print had however confided in the wire service that it was their intention to boycott the league because they are been neglected by LMC. “Actually we wanted to stop officiating from the next game to tell LMC our mind, we are the ones at the receiving end at match venues, being harassed, molested and beaten up by fans. And at the end LMC will ask the team to pay hefty fines with nothing getting to us the referees.”

ter it rained. But that’s convincing to a layman such as we are. But not everyone! There are similar stadia elsewhere and when it rains such pitches need not be water logged nor take eternity for the grass to absorb the water. Nutrient needed or not. The contractor that had handled the projected had vowed that it would require no more than 30 minutes for the water to evaporate. I think that’s standard everywhere, he says and even vowed to question or have his certificate withdrawn if that were not the case. How sad! Because a mere flip through the net says otherwise. The consultant to the project in particular seems more concern with the FIFA than logical argument. The stadium is FIFA but water log is not. Besides, it wasn’t the first time it had rained on the pitch. It happened 08093782812

during a game in 2009 and the water evaporated without much ado. Well, one would hardly comment on the token spent on the rehabilitation. After all a former minister and professor had presented a document in which same project got hundreds of million naira contract. Till date project has remained unexecuted and the heavens have are still hanging up there. His DG was to present an even bogus document with several bloated claims on facilities never ex-

ecuted till. Don’t ask is money was disbursed. You know the answer already. One also recalls that the velodrome got destroyed the day it was commissioned and cost twice its original cost to repair. Was it not few years ago that regressing of practice pitch -34 in all each cost as much as N50m each?. A serving minister practically planted the grasses himself. Of course, the contract was his company’s. So, about N97m for the regressing of the Abuja National Stadium is nothing.

D’Tigress crash out to hosts Mozambique at 2013 Women Afrobasket


igeria’s national women basketball team yesterday followed the path of their male counterparts by crashing in Maputo after losing 74-77 to hosts Mozambique in the quarter-finals of the ongoing 2013 Women Afrobasket. Though they won three out of the four quarters in the match at the Pavilhao do Maxaquene in Maputo, the Nigerian side failed to advance to Saturday’s semi-finals. The African Women Basketball Championship is also a qualifier for the 2014 FIBA Women Championship scheduled for Turkey. The top two at the 2013 Women Afrobasket will advance to the 2014 FIBA Wom-

D’Tigress celebrating before the crash

en Championship. The D’ Tigres had failed to advance to the semi-finals of the male version only last month when they lost to Senegal meaning that Nigeria will miss the World Championship. The Nigerian side had led 72-64 in the last quarter of the game, but the hosts had fought back to reduce the D’Tigress lead to three points at 72-69 with less than a minute to go. But they lost concentration and allowed Mozambique to overpower them and take the match at 77-74. Speaking from Maputo after the match, President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), Tijani Umar, however praised the team for their per-

formance. ``Our girls’ performance took the hosts by surprise and kept their fans on their toes throughout the encounter. ``However, the loss was rather unfortunate as our girls lost to bad luck,” he said. The NBBF president said better preparation would have helped the Nigerian side much better. ``If our girls had prepared the way the Angolans and Mozambicans prepared, nobody would have beaten them in this tournament. ``We had almost won the game, before the hosts had the three-pointer in the last minute and the clock just ticked away. But I must praise them for playing the game of their lives today,” he said. Umar said the loss further emphasised the need for early and comprehensive preparations for Nigerian teams. ``I have always said that preparations for competitions should be early and thorough. We will go back and plan the way forward,’’ he said. The NBBF president emphasised the importance of funding in preparation and performance. ``We should have a proper way of funding so as to be able to decide when to start camping our teams for competitions,” he said. The Nigerian team will today meet West African side Cote D’Ivoire, who also lost their game. The Ivorians lost 48-62 to against Cameroon, and will now meet Nigeria in a classification match. In other classification matches also decided on Friday, Cape Verde beat Algeria 65-45 while Kenya beat Zimbabwe 63-52. Meanwhile, in a quarter-final match, championship favourites Angola beat Egypt 84-49 to advance to the semi-finals. (NAN)




Remarkable bond between a woman and her pet lion Playing around in the garden and snuggling up for a quick stroke, this is Timba – the pet cat. Except that Timba, weighing in at a whopping 120kg, is not your average tabby. Now a year and six months old, the white lion was adopted by owner Annel Snyman when he was just a tiny cub. By Matt Blake


he 31-year-old, from the Waterberg region of South Africa, welcomed him into her home last year in the spring, and now shares nearly everything with her unconventional pet. Annel, who also runs a guest house, has hand reared dozens of animals including six several kittens, a cheetah cub, five lions, a white lion and a leopard in her spare time. The animal-lover admitted some people struggled to adjust to her startling choice of pet. ‘The neighbours are amazed by him and I often see them driving past and slowing down to catch a glimpse,’ she said. ‘And relationships used to be a challenge as there was often some jealousy issues about who was going to snuggle up with who on the couch.’ She added: ‘There are times when it is difficult to do day-to-day things but I do manage to live a normal life – well normal for me anyway.’ ‘They’ve also gotten used to having him investigating their coffee or any other sweet items they happen to have. ‘He has a fantastic appetite and eats lots of meat - around 4kg every day.’ As a cub Timba could often be found snoozing in Annel’s bed but having outgrown the bedroom the friendly feline still trys to cuddle up with Annel on the sofa. ‘It normally ended up with me on one couch with Timba snuggled up on my lap and the other person on the other couch or outside looking rather concerned. ‘This was something that Timba had mastered perfectly. He used to be fantastic at subtly shifting his way onto the couch between myself and whoever was sitting next to me. ‘If only every father could have a lion to keep the boys away from their daughters. ‘I’m in a relationship now though and thankfully Timba has totally accepted my partner as one of the family. Annel’s love for animals started six years

ago when, with help from her mother and father, she opened a guest house - called Loebies Guestfarm - on the land where she lives. In a bid to make the resort more appealing she decided to adopt various farm animals and this eventually turned into handrearing African cats and other wild animals after being approached by someone in the game industry in 2009. Since then Annel has hand-reared dozens of animals including six Serval kittens, a cheetah cub, five lions, a white lion and a leopard. Annel admits she spoilt the first lions she cared for even more than Timba and would regularly go swimming with them. She said: ‘Being the first lions reared on the farm, they ruled the house, the bed and the couches and would regularly join me for swims in the farm dam up until they were rather large. ‘For me, working with these animals was therapy and unbeknown to me at the time, the start of a whole new passion and path that my life was soon to take. ‘After all the necessary permit applications for the keeping and hand rearing of indigenous predators were approved by the Department of Nature Conservation, I got my first Serval kittens to raise. ‘This was quite a challenge but the first wild animals I cared for were my children and my life. ‘After hand rearing six Servals and a Cheetah cub, I decided that I could no longer raise the cats, form a bond with them and then let them go and thus decided to apply to start keeping predators on a permanent basis. ‘That was the spark that ignited my passion and directed me towards the unimaginable path and life experiences that I have on a daily basis. ‘While most people are amazed, this has become my life and part of who I am. ‘There are times when it is difficult to do day-to-day things but I do manage to live a normal life - well normal for me anyway.’ Source:

Close bond: Timba, who is a year and six months old, can often be found playing with Annel Snyman in the garden and helping himself to food in her kitchen

Cat a sight of this: Unsurprisingly, she says the neighbours are still amazed by Timba and often slow down when driving past to catch a glimpse

Training: But Timba also likes nothing more than to relax with Annel - and can be very attentive

Meaty treat: Naturally, Timba developed a taste for raw meat from a very early age

Couldn’t let go: Big softie Timba (pictured here as a cub) also enjoys going for walks with Annel’s six-year-old dog, Diesel and ‘helping out’ with everyday chores around the house


Online Comments Governors to Okonjo-Iweala: Resign now for mismanagement of economy

Gayu says: Amaechi seems to be leading a gang of confused group.

Maxfield set to empower 10 million football fans Ben Williams says: I see a dream come true for football lovers to intelligently argue and be rewarded… Good thing these guys are Nigerians… I salute your courage!

me (II)

Mohammed says: Who says the refurbished pitch can’t host international matches. I was at the stadium to witness the event. Yes it rained, but the rain didn’t disrupt the football game not even for a second. Power outage is our tradition here in Nigeria. I wonder why these people are now making so much noise because there was power outage, while a football match was going on. The drainage system in the stadium are working well. They do not allow water to log on the pitch. Just for the records!

Unknown says: Nigerians are in the habit of criticising the effort of another man. So, I am not surprised about spate of criticisms. When the rain started and suddenly the light went off I knew some persons will come up with something just to discredit the effort of the organizers. Nigeria can never grow if all we do is find fault in everything our leaders do.

Ex-Deputy Senate President, others Namadi and PDP join PDM crisis Aminu Kafur says: Katsina people will judge them. They joined CPC with this same approach and I’m warning Katsina people particularly those in PDM to be very careful with these spoilers. Allah ya taimaki Jihar Katsina.


Akeem Animashaun says: With the look of things, Vice President Namadi Sambo is just waiting to see which side of the divide triumphs at the end of the day before he makes his move. It is noteworthy that this gentility of a tiger is often misinterpreted by unwary persons. Thank You.

Blackout disrupts re-opening of Job seekers Abuja National protest Stadium N1000 fee for

Obeh Eneye says: Points very well stated,you have as a matter of fact just poured out my heart concerning this topic. I only wish there would be an avenue for positive interaction within ourselves. God bless.

Vice President, Namadi Sambo

Adesanya Temitope says: I’m really interested in this NIS recruitment, because I also applied and I paid a thousand naira to union bank to obtain a validation number. So, please I will like to know if the recruitment is authentic.

We cannot decide funding priorities for any level of government. That being the case, we are just spectators even while the powerful in government destroy our future. Luckily for them we are gullible because they can set us against each other, using religion, tribe, or any other bait. The ruling class has won the battle.

Why FG wants ASUU strike to continue

CL: Celtic aim to provoke Balotelli today

Abdullah Musa says: It ought to have dawned on us before now that the federal government will respond to the demands of the citizens. It was not designed that way.

Uche says: Too bad it didn’t work… Forza Milan

Immigration recruitment

The Ebira girl in

Nice post by an intelligent individual, right from when I was young, I have always prayed to get married to a guy from my tribe (Ebira) and do not have any negative thought about them, and my parents never told me anything bad about the anebiras. I have come across the good and bad ones but I believe there’s no tribe that doesn’t have their good and bad side, we are all humans and aren’t perfect… Most times our parents are the cause of all these negative thoughts about the anebiras, they tend to tell their children the bad, and not the good part. I am proud to be anebira and sure will always be.

Tambuwal’s aide, LG Chairman clash in Katsina Jamilu Danmowa says: The problem was mainly caused by the chairman Aminu Maye & his thugs only because they went to Abuja for PDP convention and met Hon. Soli who refused to give them money. So they came back home disgracing the man!

Appraising the Abuja Light Rail project Uncle Y says Of course, FCT, LAG , PH, CAL, KAN , JP and ENU are major cities in Nigeria that should be highly developed if Nigeria will attain the status of a developed country by 2020. Both FCT and LAG should have a sound transportation systems that match the other capital cities in the world. The government should do everything possible to see that this great task is achieve before 2016.It doesn’t matter if the project is financed by private sectors or company on a contract basis. What matters is the task should be completed to rate Nigeria as a developed country in 2025.

Refurbished pitch of the Abuja National Stadium



Forget not the Lord (II)


elcome again to your favourite column. Last week I began this series, and promised to continue today. I have mentioned already three dimensions in which you shouldn’t forget the Lord namely: 1. Don’t Forget the Lord’s commands, regulations, and laws especially concerning the worship of the living God. 2. Don’t forget his covenant. 3. Don’t forget the name of the Lord. I wasn’t able to complete discussing the third point last week. Let me quickly round off this today before I go to the next dimension of not forgetting the Lord. Remember the name of the Lord. Let His name be in your heart. Let it also be in your mouth. Call the name of the Lord. Ps 116:12-13 says, “What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD” (KJV). Do you remember to call upon the name of the Lord? Don’t wait till there is danger before you call upon His name. But there are even many people who do everything else when they’re in danger but fail to do what is most important – calling on the name of the Lord. “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul” (Ps 116:3-4 KJV). That is the wisest thing to do. Be as wise as the psalmist here. Don’t trust in your own strength or wisdom – call on the name of the Lord. Rom 10:13 says, “For ‘whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.’” (NKJV) The name of the Lord is

powerful. “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe” (Prov 18:10 KJV). It was that name that gave David victory over Goliath. David said to Goliath, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. “And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands” (1 Sam 17:45-47 NKJV). It happened just as David had said. In the name of the Lord, he defeated Goliath. Some remember their weapons but not the name of the Lord, and such persons will be defeated. The writer of Ps 118 says, “All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them. They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them” (Ps 118:10-12 KJV). Put that name in your mouth; fight your battles in the name of the Lord. Your victory is assured. 4. Don’t forget the power of God. God is a great and terrible God – you must never forget this.

The Bible calls Him a consuming fire. (Deut 4:24, 9:3, Heb 12:29) And how do you relate to fire? As beneficial as fire is, you don’t become careless with it; you can’t afford to be too familiar with it. The Bible says concerning the children of Israel: “They did not remember His power: the day when He redeemed them from the enemy” (Ps 78:42 NKJV). The Israelites forgot the power that redeemed them from their enemy. That was a wrong attitude. And that’s the attitude of many today. As soon as they’re delivered and they share the testimony, if they do at all, they forget the power of God. With time, some will even begin to ascribe their deliverance to their prayer and fasting, their brilliance, their expertise, their ingenuity, their smartness etc. No. You should never do that. Don’t take credit for what the Lord has done in your life. If you remember the power of the Lord, you will always live in awe of Him. Hear Nehemiah: “And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses” (Neh 4:14 KJV), Do you remember the Lord, how great and terrible he is? If you can remember what the power of God did for you in the past, you can believe that power to do much more for you in any negative circumstance you find yourself, and concerning any challenge you’re facing. Such remembrance will ignite your faith. That was what happened to David. “Your servant has killed both lion

From the Pulpit GREEN PASTURES By pastor t.o. banso GSM: 08033113523 and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.’ Moreover David said, ‘The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Sam 17:36-37 NKJV). If you remember what the Lord did for you in the past, His deliverance, His victory, you’ll never be afraid of any enemy or challenge you’re facing. Your attitude will be like that of David that the Lord who did it before will do it again. “If you should say in your heart, ‘These nations are greater than I; how can I dispossess them?’ — you shall not be afraid of them, but you shall remember well what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt” (Deut 7:17-18 NKJV). Permit me to stop here today. I believe you have received something from the Lord. I’ll show you more next week on how to forget not the Lord. You’re blessed in Jesus’ name. TAKE ACTION! If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus. I urge you to take the following steps:*Admit you’re a sinner and you can’t save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your

Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start to attend a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church. There you will be taught how to grow in the Kingdom of God. Kindly say this prayer now: “0 Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you Jesus for saving me and making me a child of God” I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible believing, Bible teaching church in your area where you will be taught how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things becoming all God wants you to be.

Knocking on heaven’s door until it is opened Matthew 7:7-11


his brief passage contains a lot for the education and edification of every child of God in every age. The privilege and power of prayer is not left on the unreachable branches of a tree of philosophy but the branches are low enough for all members in the family to pluck the fruits. In these verses, the Lord has not given us some deep well of theological mystery with nothing to draw with; He has brought the supply of every need to the table and we do well to come and dine. The opening verse supplies the key to the interpretation and application. We are to ask, seek and knock. These three verbs are in the present imperative in the original text. That simply means that they demand continual, repeated action. Ask and keep on asking until

you receive; seek and go on seeking until you find; knock and continue until the door is opened. Pray and keep on praying until the Father answers according to His promise. The whole process is put in the family setting. We are not asking as a beggar from an unknown stranger, we are asking as a trusting child from a loving Father. We are not seeking as a traveller seeks water in a desert, we are seeking fruit as a member of the family in the family garden. We are not knocking at the door of a house guarded by wild dogs, we are knocking at the door of our Father’s house Who is waiting to open the door and receive us. 1. IMPORTUNITY IN PRAYER SYMBOLIZED BY KNOCKING Matthew 7:7,8; Acts 12:1316; Luke 11:5-10; 18:1-8; Genesis 18:23-33; 32:24-28;

By pastor W.F Kumuyi

Deuteronomy 9:18-20; Daniel 9:2,3,10-14; Acts 12:5-12; Hebrews 4:14-16. “Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Comparing Matthew 7:7,8 with Luke 11:510, it is obvious that the Lord is teaching us and calling us to importunity in prayer. We often give up too soon, just before the door to heaven’s storehouse is opened.

Our lack of supply is often the result of our lack of importunate supplication. A few of us are ignorant of what is in the storehouse for us. Others knock at the door of the storehouse so feebly that they are barely heard. So very few ever knock continually with a firm hand of the prayer of faith. There was a great famine in Egypt. The famine had spread

beyond Egypt to other nations. To meet the needs of all people Joseph had beforehand filled the vast storehouses in the land. As the people came from all the lands “Joseph opened all the storehouses” (Genesis 41:56). Everyone who came received enough sustenance from the opened storehouses. Jesus is waiting for us to come and knock at the door. Whatever our needs are, the door will be opened and we shall be satisfied with justification, salvation, regeneration, transformation, provision, restoration, sanctification, impartation, protection, preservation and finally, glorification. We are not knocking only to stop after receiving an initial supply of grace, we keep on knocking until we receive abundant grace, sufficient grace, grace for every need.

BIG PUNCH “Do we still stand in brotherhood today? We used to be our brothers’ keepers. Are we still our brothers’ keepers? The answer is definitely no! Instead we do those things that hurt others now.” -David Mark on Nigeria’s 53rd independence anniversary

2015 (V) SATURDAY 28 — SUNDAY 29 SEPTEMBER, 2013


ill Nigeria — described by America as ‘an important strategic partner that has consistently bent but never broke’ — remain whole or broken, 2015 and beyond? Well, that depends very much on the integrity of the national institutions, most especially those that bear the burden of national security, those that are the custodians of national wealth and those that midwife the political process. Any deficit in their integrity, to the degree that they are not able to function according to law and with due diligence will undoubtedly place the entire polity at risk. This last bit of our discourse focuses on just what could happen if a national institution is hamstrung due to degradation and manipulation. The Nigerian Army is our point of reference. Our choice is informed by the fact that the Army is the most strategic, the most solid and the most trusted symbol of national unity and cohesion, one that has the stature and power to confront and overcome forces of subversion and disintegration, and keep the country secure, functional and united. But the Army can maintain its position as the ultimate guarantor of the nation’s integrity only if it resolutely and uncompromisingly protect its own integrity, only if it resists, with all the strength at its disposal, being soiled by political expediency, only if it fights corruption within its house in the manner and with the determination required by its mandate and profession. With this background and with reference to the three reports we have considered in the discourse on 2015, we examine the role of the Army in the ongoing, ever escalating, intractable Oil Theft, a phenomenon which represents today the gravest security threat to Nigeria. First and foremost, Oil Theft is a tool aimed at achieving definite strategic political goal. But at the same time it has also become the single most destabilizing factor in Nigeria and even beyond. ‘Oil theft has been a symptom as well as a cause of violent conflict in parts of the Niger Delta. It could destabilize the area again, especially if lawenforcement agencies go after the wrong people, if rival theft networks start turf wars or politicians use stolen oil to finance election bids,’ Chatham House Report suggests. ‘In the longer term, Nigerian oil theft could harm broader strategic interests in the Gulf of Guinea by strengthening other types of organized crime that are known

to destabilize governments. The biggest concerns are terrorism, drug-trafficking and piracy.’ As a political tool, Oil Theft is tied to national political process, to political choices, to democracy. Nigeria’s oil is being stolen on an industrial scale. This is possible, as Chatham House Report indicates, for some reasons, foremost of which is official complicity. Without mincing words, the Report says: ‘The Nigerian government tends to act mainly when too much oil starts to disappear. But how much is too much? Some oil company staff say that wells, flow stations and pipelines fail more often whenever illegal bunkering consumes 15–25 per cent of total production.’ The Report continues: ‘As supplies to the export terminals are interrupted, operators declare more cases of ‘force majeure’ on orders of oil. This, in turn, can bring on serious public revenue shortfalls. In the past, the IOCs [International Oil Companies] have fixed most of the infrastructure damage bunkerers cause within days or weeks, while the government moves to bring theft levels down. ‘We have never reached the breaking point,’ one executive said. “Something always happens that rights the ship. I’m not sure when disaster happens.” nother reason is that Oil Theft operates absolutely above the law, by virtue of the strategic political interests it serves. ‘At this more industrial level, sophisticated networks of workers tap into oil infrastructure onshore or in the Niger Delta’s swamps and shallow waters. The most sophisticated operators can tap pipelines on land, under the ground and under water,’ says Chatham House Report. ‘The biggest operations can install multiple large taps in one place. Longer hoses – some of them measuring up to two kilometers – can pump the crude to less easily detected sites. Barges typically range from 500 to 3,000 metric tonnes (MT) in size, meaning they can transport from 3,000 to 18,500 barrels (bbl) of oil. This activity takes place both in daylight hours and at night, and is easily observable from the air or ground. Most illegal bunkering occurs in Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta states.’ Thieves operate with absolute visibility, brazenness and impunity, creating the impression that Nigeria is a no man’s land, without a government, without laws, without an army. Yet Nigeria lays a legitimate claim


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Ibraheem Sulaiman

COAS General Azubuike Ihejirika

to having perhaps the strongest army in Africa and possessing all the attributes and trappings of a modern and self respecting state. The mystery, however, is the attitude of Nigerian Army to the situation where the state it is constitutionally bound to defend, is being systematically ransacked, being systematically bled to death, and being shaken to its very foundation, and yet it does nothing – as if feigning ignorance. The mystery is however resolved by the fact that the Army, Navy and Air Force are, at the highest level, part and parcel of the Oil Theft System. The Chatham House Report notes the collusion between the politicians and the military in oil theft, emphasizing that ‘public claims that the Nigerian security forces were involved in stealing oil grew after military rule ended in 1999.’ The Report reveals the following: • Over a dozen retired military officers, including a rear admiral,

were arrested on suspicion of oil theft during the 2000s; all were later freed without charge. • Ships impounded by the Joint Task Force [JTF] comprising the Army, Navy and Air Force have allegedly been released under political pressure, or have gone missing, only to turn up later reflagged and repainted. • Security and oil company sources report having seen ships engaged in oil theft pass freely through maritime check points, in full view of military patrols. • Others claim to have observed rank-and-file JTF officers standing guard at illegal tap points and providing armed escort to ships loaded with stolen crude. • Sources in the security forces also claim that officers lobby strongly to be posted to the Delta region, while others pointed to cases where senior officers were redeployed for refusing to engage in or turn a blind eye to theft. The Report adds that some high-

level corrupt officers from the navy and JTF – reportedly form ‘unions’ that collect ‘dues’ or ‘returns’ from persons actively stealing oil. Thieves can pay their dues on a weekly, monthly or per-trip basis. Anyone who balks at paying the union can be shut down. Tap owners and installers, security operatives, barge and boat operators may all be ‘in the union’. ontrast the utter absence of the Army where Nigeria’s strategic resources are being plundered by topmost politicians, by the high and the mighty stakeholders and by an armed militia thirty thousand strong, to its robust visibility especially in the North East. The National Human Rights Commission, in its report on the Baga Massacre, released in June 2013, reveals how the army, while confronting an insurgency which engages in ‘killings, rape, forced abduction, targeted attacks on teachers, schools and places of worship as well as many fatal attacks on security personnel and institutions,’ frequently resorts to committing atrocities and crimes far worse than their adversaries. The Commission accused the Joint Military Force, fighting in the name of the Nigerian people, of: ‘extra-judicial executions, torture, indeterminate incommunicado detention, indicating a pattern of internment without clear rules; practice that could violate the absolute prohibition in international law; rape, various outrages against members of host communities and a pattern of disproportionate use of force; indiscriminate disposal of dead human remains.’ Thus there are two or even multiple standards applicable for different communities of the same country by the same army. Such is the current profile of the Nigerian Army, and it is tragic and pathetic. The Army has proved itself absolutely vulnerable to decay and degradation, absolutely compromised and corrupted, brazenly partial and biased, even ready, for the sake of political expediency and opportunism, to compromise the corporate existence of Nigeria. If this is the fate of the Army today, it is most likely that an even worse fate awaits all the other strategic institutions of the state, as the struggle for political supremacy and hegemony assumes a wider, more dangerous proportion. It is on this basis, above all, that doubts abound about 2015.


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Saturday 28th september, 2013 Weekend Edition  
Saturday 28th september, 2013 Weekend Edition  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Saturday 28, September, 2013 Weekend Edition