Thursday 14th november, 2013

Page 1

Vol. 12 No. 33

Thursday, November 14, 2013


. putting the people first

Al-Muharram 11, 1435 AH


N13bn FHA scam: ‘130, 000 children Fire guts Jos grains market, Reps summon Anyim, die yearly of Okonjo-Iweala >> Pg 3 Pneumonia’ >> Pg 7 kills 2 >> Pg 5

As Amaechi’s NGF retreats in Sokoto Saturday...

G7 govs meet to seal defection to APC l Buhari, Tinubu parley IBB, Abdulsalami l PDP’ll lose 2015 elections if, ... – Oyinlola

By Lawrence Olaoye, Abuja & Yakubu Mustapha, Minna


s the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), under the chairmanship of Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi, prepares for its retreat in Sokoto on Saturday, the seven aggrieved governors on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) would equally use the opportunity to finalize their terms for possible defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Contacted for comments on the agenda for the retreat, the NGF’s Director General, Asishana Okauru, said the governors would be discussing ‘key national issues’, alongside resource persons sourced both locally and internationally. According to him, they would be brainstorming on issues bordering on the nation’s economic management, revenue generation L-R: Interim National Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande, former Head of State, General Muhammadu and sharing, national security, Buhari, former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, and APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, during a visit good governance, and also compare cont on page 2 by the leadership of APC to General Babangida, yesterday in Minna.

Iyayi’s death: ASUU postpones NEC meeting indefinitely

l FRSC blames Wada’s convoy for crash

From Edwin Olofu, Kano & Tobias Lengnan Dapam with agency report


he Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has suspended indefinitely its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting slated to hold yesterday, over the sudden death of its former National President, Professor Festus Iyayi. cont on page 2

At last, US labels Boko Haram, Ansaru terrorist groups >> Pg 6




CONTENTS Iyayi’s death: ASUU postpones NEC meeting indefinitely News 2-10 Editorial 12 Op.Ed 13 Letters 14 Opinion 15 Metro 16-18 Business 19-22 Stockwatch 23 S/Report


M/Earth 26-27 Update 28-29

Rep flag-offs one-week free medical care in Adamawa– Page 40

Int’l S/World

31-34 35

Digest 36 Politics 37-38 Newsxtra


Sports 41 Columnist 48

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cont from page 1 Iyayi died in a ghastly auto accident involving the motorcade of Governor Idris Wada of Kogi state, along the Auchi-Lokoja road on Tuesday. He was on his way to Kano for the ASUU NEC meeting. Speaking with newsmen in Kano, ASUU President, Dr. Nasir Isa Fagge said: “We are compelled to postpone this meeting because of the sudden death of one of our strongest pillars who died yesterday (Tuesday) in a fatal autocrash”. Dr. Fagge said further that “as you can see for yourselves, we are mourning the departure of this

great scholar and you would agree with me that in this circumstance we cannot look at issues objectively”. Dr. Fagge who looked visibly shocked by the development described his late colleague as a ‘strong pillar of the union’, stressing that “this is great loss to the entire country”. Our correspondent gathered that over 50 universities were represented at the botched Kano NEC meeting, which was to deliberate on the outcome of the branch congresses. The NEC meeting would be key to the decision on suspension of the strike. Our correspondent also ob-

served that thousands of students that waited for the outcome of the meeting went home disappointed following the announcement by the ASUU top hierarchy. Meanwhile, the Kogi Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has blamed Governor Wada’s convoy for Tuesday’s auto crash that claimed the life of Prof. Iyayi. The sector Commander of the FRSC in Kogi, Mr. Olakunle Motajo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja that the crash occurred as a result of a wrongful overtaking on the part of the governor’s motorcade. “Iyayi was in the union’s bus

with two others, including a woman, who sustained fracture in her left arm, while the other had bruises but the driver escaped unhurt”, Motajo said. He added that the corpse of the former ASUU President has been deposited at the Kogi state Specialist Hospital in Lokoja where other injured victims were also being treated. Meanwhile, Gov Idris has ordered a full investigation into the accident. A statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Jacob Edi, claimed that the “governor’s convoy was on a speed of 80km per hour when a bus collided with the escort van”.

G7 govs meet to seal defection to APC cont from page 1

notes among themselves. He added that they would also consider possible cooperation and the maximization of their areas of comparative advantage in order to ensure delivery of democratic dividends in their various states. Asked whether political issues would feature on the agenda, Okauru said: “The governors are politicians and it would not be out of place if they choose to discuss politics at the retreat. But, our plan at the secretariat is to assemble resource persons, sourced both locally and internationally, to deliver lectures on those areas I mentioned earlier.” But, our source, a serving senator, told our reporter that political horse trading is ongoing between the governors on the platform of the opposition party and those seven PDP aggrieved governors who are billed to be in Sokoto on Saturday for the retreat. The source said the PDP G7 governors, who were instrumental in installing Governor Amaechi by shifting their support in his favour to defeat their party’s preferred candidate, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau, would seize the opportunity of the Sokoto retreat to work out agreeable terms for decamping to the APC. They are expected to be joined by other stakeholders in the breakaway PDP such as senators and members of the House of Representatives. The G7 governors are Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger, Sule Lamido of Jigawa, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa, Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto and Abdulfatai Ahmed of Kwara. Part of the conditions, according to the source, is that they would extract the assurance that the governors and their supporters in the new PDP would not be treated as equal stakeholders with older members of the APC. In a related development, the leadership of the opposition mega party yesterday stormed

Minna abodes of two former Nigeria leaders, Generals Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (aka IBB) and Abdulsalami Abubakar, to woo them to their party. Those APC leaders were the Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, General Muhammadu Buhari, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Masari, former Minister of Works, Alhaji Hassan Lawal, the party’s National Women Leader, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor, alongside party leaders in the state. Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Babangida said: “Nigeria is bigger than PDP. They came to talk about Nigeria and how to move the nation forward.” IBB disclosed that his door would remain open to anyone wishing to consult him on how to move Nigeria forward, adding that the APC leaders were concerned about the current state of affairs in the country. “The APC leaders visited me to discuss the welfare of the country which should be the responsibility of every Nigerian. Whether you belong to a party or you do not have a party. You have an assignment assigned to you to protect the integrity of the country. “People who come to talk about Nigeria and the way forward will always be welcome by me. We have to find a way forward for this generation; what we are doing is for this generation. “The meeting had to do with the welfare, well-being, education, security and economic well-being of the country. Anything that would promote and move the country forward would be encouraged by me,” he said. However, former Head of State, General Abubakar, who also spoke to newsmen after his meeting with the APC leaders disclosed that he could not be wooed by the APC as he has never been a politician. “I am not a politician, I am not a partisan politician and I don’t need to be wooed,” he said.

He disclosed that the APC leadership visited to brief him on the amalgamation of the new party, how they were doing, how far they have gone and how things are moving, adding that he has given them his advice. “What I told them, they have already heard. I’ve advised them on how all of us need this country and to make sure that we maintain peace in the country.” He added that Nigerians should be allowed to exercise their rights by joining any party of their choice, while urging the APC chieftains to do what was right for their party. Abdulsalami said: “Whether you are in opposition or in government, in the various ways of your manifesto, you are serving the country. So, whatever role any party finds itself, they should play that role very well”. The APC chairman, Chief Akande said they were in the state to consult with the former leaders. “We need to pick the brains of former rulers in this country in order to be wiser than we were before we came here”, he said. Meanwhile, the embattled reinstated National Secretary of the PDP, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, has said that the ruling party will lose the 2015 general elections if it fails to put its house in order by reconciling with its aggrieved members ahead of the polls. Oyinlola who addressed newsmen over his purported suspension by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC), said his reinstatement by the Alhaji Bamanga Tukur led exco would have paved the way for reconciliation with the aggrieved members of the party. The former Osun governor condemned the refusal of the Tukur exco to obey the Appeal Court ruling reinstating him as the authentic PDP scribe. “I remain the secretary and I must be allowed to perform my duty because anything done in the name of secretary without my signature is absolutely illegal and will face the legal test at the court, and we don’t need to put

our party into such ridicule and problems. “They said that myself (Oyinlola), Baraje, Jaja and Kazaure were the pillars of New PDP, how can that be? How can Oyinlola be a leader of a faction where you have seven serving governors? I want to believe that they added these other people, the target was Oyinlola to circumvent the judgement of the Court of Appeal. They just added others so that it will not be too naked. Who is Oyinlola? Yes, a former governor; we have seven serving governors, what we committed should also follow them. Why have they not served the anti-party something on them? “I have taken a number of steps to ensure that peace reign. Ruling with impunity and treating the party as if it is a subsidiary of somebody’s company is not the way to run a party and that is exactly what we are saying. What did the Constitution say? Let’s abide by it. “We all know that factionalisation of a ruling party will have a collateral damage on the unity of the country, more so when we have been in power in the last 14 years. To have a new beginning now means stepping backward in terms of development. And that is why we were making efforts to make sure that it is reconciled. Somebody who wants a united family cannot say others can go to blazes. “I want to pray and believe that reason will prevail and will bring the crisis to an end. If it is not done, that may mean the end of PDP as a ruling party”, he stressed. Oyinlola, who faulted his suspension by the Tukur led Exco, maintained that the action taken was null and void, citing the provisions of Section 57 (6&7) of the PDP Constitution. He also said his referral to the Alhaji Umaru Dikko led Disciplinary Committee was of no effect because the committee has yet to be ratified by the PDP National Executive Committee (NEC).




NLC blames FG, Kogi govt over Iyayi’s death By Evelyn Okakwu


he Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has blamed the death of Professor Festus Iyayi on the federal government’s act of criminal negligence on the one hand and executive lawlessness/impunity on the part of the Kogi State Governor, Captain Idris Wada who is fast acquiring for himself an accident-prone reputation. A statement by the NLC President, Abdulwahed I. Omar said Iyahyi’s death which leaves a sour taste in the mouth and was totally avoidable. He said the Lokoja-Abuja stretch of road is arguably one of the busiest in the country and that the contract for its dualistion was awarded about ten years ago to ease vehicular movement as well as reduce carnage on the road, but no appreciable work has been done, thus turning the stretch of the road into a slaughter slab. “In the light of the foregoing, the Congress holds the federal government and the Kogi State Government accountable for the death of this eminent scholar and patriot. Congress holds the view that there is no justification for leaving this road, and indeed other critical roads undone. “Nigerians are keen to know the facts of this contract. Government will be doing very little to help itself if it shields the criminals responsible for the non-completion of this road instead of prosecuting them”, the statement added. NLC, the statement said called on all siren-blowing and terror-dealing convoys to exercise utmost caution as well as have regard for other road users, as nobody has monopoly of the use of public roads or thoroughfares and called on the Federal Road Safety Corps and the Nigeria Police to diligently prosecute, what it described as “executive lawlessness”. “Congress also urges the National Assembly to criminalise fatal road crashes as part of the process of bringing accountability to road use”, Omar said. He said Professor Festus Iyayi was an eminent scholar, a great activist, an uncommon patriot, a loving father and husband and a humble friend, who deserved to be immortalised Professor Iyayi was killed Tuesday in a road crash involving the convoy of the Governor of Kogi State, Captain Wada Idris along Lokoja-Abuja road. Iyayi died on his way to Kano to attend a meeting as part of the process of finding an enduring solution to ASUU strike.

L-R: President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, Secretary-General, TUC-Ghana, Kofi Asamoth, Deputy President of COSATU, Tyotyo James, Acting General Secretary, Chris Uyot, Acting Chairman, TUC-Ghana, Stephen Nyame-Yebonh, and representative of the Minister of Labour, Mrs. Chinedu Dike, during the NLC-COSATU-Ghana TUC, Trilateral Conference, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

N13bn FHA scam: Reps summon Anyim, Okonjo-Iweala, others

By Lawrence Olaoye


he House of Representatives yesterday summoned the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of Economy, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, and their Lands and Housing counterpart to answer query on the alleged misappropriation of N13 billion in the Federal Housing Authority (FHA). Others billed to appear before the House committee on Public Accounts chaired by Rep Adeola Olamilekan include the members of former and current technical boards of the agency. The committee also fixed 27-29

of this month for an investigative hearing on the various roles played by those alleged to have disbursed the funds. The committee chairman said the FHA Managing Director, Arc Terver Gemade could not explain how N13billion of tax payers money was squandered. The breakdown of how the money was expended is as follows: N7.21 billion granted as loan from the Federal Government for the construction of housing units to accommodate civil servants at the Gwarinpa 2 Estate in Abuja between 2007 and 2009 financial years. But this money according to the Auditor General to the Federation, was allegedly diverted into the construction of infrastructural facilities which was not budgeted

for and the loan remained unpaid despite reminders to the Managing Director of FHA for payment. The FHA was also accused of another N3.72billion as deficit operating surplus which the MD of FHA attributed to a large board that had contributed to the high operating cost over the years. The agency was also accused of obtaining unapproved loan of N1.038billion from the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria as against the Act setting it up which limited its loan capacity to only N200,000.00. The AGF also discovered that several payment vouchers amounting to N338million were missing and the management could not give a concrete account of them. However, defending the allega-

tions, the FHA boss said that most of the transactions happened before he assumed office in 2009. Gemade said the loan of N1billion obtained from FMBN has been fully paid while that of the interest on the N7billion was yet to be paid and arrangement has been made for its payment. When asked whether the agency was set up by a Decree or an Act of NASS, Gemade said he was not aware of the law setting up the place. This response angered all members of the committee who said that the agency he heads must have been operating illegally based on the answer of the FHA boss. Consequently, the committee resolved to embark on a 3 day hearing on the activities of FHA to ascertain its continued relevance.

Reps to probe sovereign wealth funds management By Umar Muhammad Puma


he House of Representatives yesterday mandated its committees on Commerce and Justice to investigate the appointment of foreign financial institution to manage the Nigerian sovereign wealth fund. The minority leader, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila (APC Lagos), while leading the debate said it is strange to allow the collective wealth of the country to be domiciled in the hands of foreigners that predicted the breakaway of the country by 2015, and yet entrust them with the sovereign wealth fund. “We have the likes of Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) who have spread their wings across the world, with financial muscles to manage our sovereign wealth fund, and yet we entrusted them with the foreign financial institutions to manage our economy and security”. He expressed concern that the

Managing Director of the sovereign wealth fund Investment Authority (SWIA) and the initiator of the sovereign wealth fund are former employees of UBS and Goldman Sachs, which are among the foreign firms appointed to manage the fund. He described the appointment of UBS and Goldman Sachs, to manage our sovereign fund as a

conflict of interest, as the managing director of the sovereign investment authority (NSIA) and the initiator, who is a former minister of finance, Mr. Olusegun Aganga are former employees of the two respective institutions, contrary to the code of conduct of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria. He warned that the action

taken by the Nigerian sovereign investment fund authority (NSIA) if not given a second thought, may go a long way in empowering foreign institutions against their Nigerian counterparts, and further entrust Nigerian economy sovereignty and security in the hands of foreigners; a situation that would be too dangerous for the nation’s economic security.

By Umar Muhammad Puma

running into millions of Naira. Already, the Committee Chaired by Hon Solomon Adeola Olamilekan has set up a Sub-Committee look into the allegations of taxes evasion and non-remittance of taxes to the FIRS as at when due levelled against the NPS following the failure of the

Comptroller General of the Nigerian Prison Service (NPS), Alhaji Zakari Ibrahim to convince the Committee that the Service paid the taxes which included withholding tax from the Contractors, Capital projects and Pay As You Earn, PAYE, as at when due in line with law of the land.

.... Investigate Nigeria Prisons Services over tax evasion


he House Committee on Public Accounts has also resolved to investigate the allegation of evasion of taxes and non-remittances of taxes to the Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS, by the Nigeria Prison Services

Page 4 Report


West Africa tops world’s maritime crime league

Gun point: Nigerian gangs are behind most of the raids


f anyone was asked to name the hotspot of modern-day sea piracy, they could be forgiven for saying “Somalia”. After all, attacks off the Horn of Africa have made headlines for much of the past decade, with brazen pirates capturing everything from small yachts to supertankers and holding crews for multimilliondollar ransoms. The situation got so bad that navies from the US to China began sending warships to the region as a deterrent. That intervention, combined with better security on ships, as well as a more stable and effective government in Somalia, has drastically reduced the number of attacks. In the eight months to August 31, there were just 10 piracy-related incidents off Somalia, two of them hijackings. But in West Africa the trend is going the other way. In 2010, there were 33 attacks reported in the Gulf of Guinea, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB). Last year that rose to 58, a figure that experts say is grossly underreported. By some estimates, there is an attempted attack every day. Heavily armed Nigerian gangs are behind most of the raids, which affect Togo, Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast and most of all, Nigeria itself, which can perhaps claim the dubious honour as the world’s capital of maritime crime. Between January and Au-

gust, there were 28 piracy incidents in its waters, with two hijackings, the IMB says. Ships off Lagos and Port Harcourt are especially vulnerable, although “generally all waters in Nigeria remain risky”. Raids have taken place up to 120 nautical miles from the coast and insurance premiums for shipping companies are rising. “The Gulf of Guinea now provides the most complex maritime security risk for vessel operators,” says Henry MacHale, senior underwriter at Aspen Insurance in London, which sells kidnap and ransom insurance to the maritime industry and onshore operators. “Attacks can be launched from a number of west African countries.” The piracy on the opposite coasts of the continent differs greatly in terms of method and

goals. The waters off Somalia are some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, with 50,000 vessels passing the country each year. The pirates there need highspeed skiffs to capture the passing ships. It is not uncommon for a vessel to be held for many months, or in some cases for more than a year. The gangs’ usual aim is to obtain ransoms for the safe return of crew and ship. Hostages are often held in difficult conditions, but generally unharmed. By contrast, most of the 10,000 to 12,000 ships that enter the Gulf of Guinea each year are dealing directly with West African countries, which are highly reliant on sea trade, with oil and other raw materials exported and finished goods imported. Vessels often wait a long time to go into port, especially

in Nigeria. “In west Africa, vessels are usually non-moving targets, which makes it a lot easier for pirates,” says Mr. MacHale. Because the ships are waiting in Nigeria’s territorial waters, they are not allowed to have armed guards on board and must rely on deterrents, such as razor wire and “citadels”, or safe rooms, for the crew to shelter in during an attack. There is no international naval presence in the Gulf of Guinea, and local navies are overstretched and ineffectual. In the Gulf of Guinea, attacks can last for hours, or a few days. The pirates are more violent than their Somali counterparts, and deaths are not uncommon. Criminal gangs usually target bulk carriers, tankers, container ships and supply vessels. They may be after any one

The upsurge in attacks in the Gulf of Guinea began following a 2009 amnesty granted to militants in the oil-producing Niger Delta, who were skilled in stealing crude and taking oil workers hostage. It also comes at a time when many of the economies in the region are growing fast, with exports of crude rising – Ghana recently became a producer – and imports of refined fuel and other products are increasing.

of three things. Most prized are petroleum cargoes that can be siphoned off to a pirate ship and sold – and there is a huge black market for fuel. A second option is to kidnap expatriate sailors who are ransomed for up to $200,000 per crew. Finally, there are robberies, with gangs taking cash, laptops and phones. Damage is common, with pirates smashing equipment that would allow the ship to be tracked remotely. The upsurge in attacks in the Gulf of Guinea began following a 2009 amnesty granted to militants in the oil-producing Niger Delta, who were skilled in stealing crude and taking oil workers hostage. It also comes at a time when many of the economies in the region are growing fast, with exports of crude rising – Ghana recently became a producer – and imports of refined fuel and other products are increasing. Local navies have failed to deter the pirates, and a properly co-ordinated effort between the different countries’ forces is lacking. The US and other western nations have helped Nigeria’s navy with training and equipment, but the results have yet to be seen. Mr. MacHale adds that, while Somali piracy was a “bubble” that depended on the lack of a national government, the west African problem is likely be a long-term threat. (Source: Financial times)




Senate probes N8.9bn SURE-P mass transit fund

By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he Senate yesterday asked the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of The Infrastructure Bank (TIB), Abdulrazak Oyinloye, to provide item and price list of the vehicles on which he spent the N8.9billion Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme

(SURE-P) fund, which was approved for it by the federal government to implement palliative transportation scheme. Chairman of the Senate AdHoc Committee on SURE-P, Abudul Ningi, specifically wanted to know how 807 buses bought so far under the scheme were distributed and who are the beneficiaries.

The funds were given to TIB in July 2012 to acquire high capacity buses under the Public Mass Transit Revolving Fund Scheme (PMTF) of the SURE-P. Onyinloye told the lawmakers that the sum of N8.9billion has been released to the TIB by SURE-P. He said: “TIB received this amount on the 26th of July 2012

L-R: FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, Secretary, Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue, Dr. Akilu Indabawa, and the Chairman, Senator Femi Okurounmu, during the committee’s interactive session, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

National dialogue: FCT wants own House of Assembly By Stanley Onyekwere


he Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has called for the establishment of an independent House of Assembly, to make laws expeditiously for the Territory. This was one of the high points of the FCT’s submission yesterday, during the interactive session for the presentation of memoranda to the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue, in Abuja. The position of the FCT, which was read by the Chairman, FCT Steering Committee on

National Dialogue and former FCT Minister, Dr. Aliyu Modibbo Umar, noted that the Legislative organ when established would ensure better efficiency in the administration of the 8,000 square kilometers of the Territory. Also, FCT advocates a fixed tenure of not less than four years for the office of the FCT Minister, who should be addressed as ‘Administrator’ since the Minister is like a state Governor who administers a Territory and therefore needs sufficient time to plan and implement policies and projects.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the FCT Minister, Muhammad Hazat Sule said the National Assembly as it is today is preoccupied with diverse national issues, which hardly leaves it with enough time to legislate effectively for the Territory. It added that the Abuja Project was supposed to have been completed within 25 years and that now in 37th year; the level of development is still at 25 percent due to inadequate funding, as the present funding arrangement for the Territory is grossly inadequate, and needs to be reviewed.

for payment to vehicle providers who had supplied vehicles since January 2012. “It is interesting to note that TIB as the fund manager has been able to judiciously utilize and recycle the N8.9billion received in July last year, and make disbursements in the form of vehicles worth over N9.06billion.” He noted that the fund size cannot grow beyond the N8.9billion because interest rate is zero per cent. He explained that of the 807 buses, ABC Transport Plc representing the South, got 20 buses valued at N247million, Afenmai Line Transport Limited (South-South) received 10 buses worth N118.75million, Ajetunmobi Integrated Services Limited (South West) got 20 buses at the cost of N205.936million, Ani B. Barak Nigeria Limited (North East), got five buses worth N42.54million, and Annasai Nigeria Limited (FCT) fives buses worth N42.54million. Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company Limited (FCT) got 200 buses worth N2.47billion, Autostar Travels and Tourism Limited (South East) got 32 buses valued at N373.44million, Dabo Motors Limited (North

West) got 25 buses worth N302million, Mallam Madalla Enterprises (North East) got 10 vehicles valued at N85million, Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTONationwide) got 42 buses at the sum of N403million, LAGBUS Operators (Lagos) got 100 buses valued at N1.235billion, Shaanxi Auto Limited (FCT) received 20 buses worth N247million and Abuja Transport Cooperative Society (ATCS -FCT) got 20 buses worth N247million. Other organizations that benefited from the 807 buses include the National Union of Road Transport Workers -NURTW - Nationwide) which got 234 buses worth N2.335billion, Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN - Nationwide) received 42 buses worth N370.73million, Safetrip Limited (North Central) got 13 buses worth N227.62million, while Dash Gold Nigeria Limited, A.M.D Nigeria Limited and Dabo Motors Limited all of North West received three vehicles each at the cost of N35.625million respectively. Oyinloye noted that the PMTF Scheme - Phase 1 has been successful so far with vehicles distributed across the six geopolitical zones.

Fire engulfs Jos grains market, kills 2 persons From Ado Abubakar Musa


n unexpected fire yesterday engulfed the Jos main grains market which is located in Laranto area in Jos, the capital of Plateau state. The fire incident which started around 2:30am claimed the life of two persons. The Laranto Market Chairman, Mr. Lucky Ummeh, said grains worth millions of naira were destroyed. The chairman said, “The fire was as a result of power restoration by the PHCN, which came in high current and it was a light that sparked from a grains milling processing machine.”

Ummeh said almost 30 sellers who owned properties in the market have collapsed as a result of the incident and have been taken to hospitals. In his reaction to the incident, Chairman of the grains sellers association of the market, Alhaji Kabiru Lawal, said almost 257 shops were burnt. Red Cross officials, and officers of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), were seen assessing the extent of damages caused by the fire. The Jos Zonal Public Relations officer of NEMA, Mr. Yohanna Audu, said the agency was there to ascertain the degree of destruction and casualties.

Why I resigned from presidential committee of experts, by Yayale By Abbas Aminu Bamalli


ormer Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Alhaji Mahmud Yayale Ahmed has resigned his position as the Chairman of the Presidential Committee of Experts on InterProfessional Relationship in the Public Sector. Ahmed, who made this known in a letter dated November 7, 2013 sent to the SGF, Chief Pius Anyim gave the refusal of the federal government to fund the committee, six weeks after its inauguration as the reason for

his resignation. The former SGF, who was also the former Head of Service of the Federation said Anyim did not fulfill the promise he made while reacting to the committee’s appeal for funding in a letter dated October 25th, 2013, to provide the requisite funds for the committee’s operations as soon as possible. Yayale said he was left with no other option than to resign his appointment because it was impossible for the committee to achieve the objectives for which it was set up. He said his experience as

the chairman of the committee entrusted with the responsibility to ensure effective health care delivery system to the nation was not given the support required for its success. “It is about two weeks now since I received your letter No, SGF.6/C./31 of 25th of October, 2013 in my appeal regarding the funding of the above mentioned committee”, adding that “in particular, paragraph 3 of your letter under reference assured me to ‘provide the committee with the needed funds for its activities within the shortest possible time. It is regrettable to

observe that nothing was heard since then. “The Secretary to the Government of the Federation may also wish to note that it is only 11 days remaining within the period of eight weeks during which we are expected to submit our report. This you will agree fails within the realm of impossibilities”, he said. Yayale further said in the letter, “from my experience, it does appear that the committee has not been accorded the required support to succeed. I am therefore left with no better option but to convey my

resignation as the chairman of the committee and allow you to appoint a replacement who may attract more attention than my person in order to realise the good intention of Mr. President”. He said he accepted his appointment as chairman of the committee because the assignment was of serious importance to the Jonathan Administration, which according to him, had demonstrated commitment to the provision of a conducive work atmosphere for all professionals in the public sector.




By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he Senate yesterday recommended an oil benchmark of $76 per barrel, contrary to the $74 per barrel recommended by President Goodluck Jonathan in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP). The Senate, which considered and approved the recommendations of its Joint Committee on Finance and Appropriation which worked on the MTEF and FSP documents, explained that the increase will help to cushion the adverse effect which may result from shortfalls from non oil revenue. In a related development, the lawmakers, while considering the MTEF and FSP, took a swipe on the executive for failing to implement the 2013 budget optimally, saying it has resulted in budget failure across the federal government Ministries, Departments and Agencies. The Senate President, David Mark, in his remarks after the consideration, said the practice of keeping high the foreign reserves beyond the internationally recognised standard of three months national import, at the

2014 Budget: Jonathan, Senate differ over oil benchmark expense of the provision of critical infrastructure which will boost the economy, is unacceptable to the senate. While observing that the report has indicated that the Excess Crude Account (ECA) is illegal and unconstitutional and that the executive does not render account for the funds, Mark said these issues are part of the issues the Senate will address in making inputs in the 2014 budget. Meanwhile, the senate directed the executive to attach the details of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) projects as an addendum to the annual budget estimates which it will forward to the National Assembly for approval. It also approved the distribution to the three tiers of government, the sum of N666.9 billion from the Excess Crude Account as proposed by the executive. Earlier in his report

• Concern over 2013 Budget failure presentation, chairman of the joint committee, revealed that oil theft rose to 150,000 barrels per day in 2012, while it leapfrogged to 400,000 barrels per day in 2013. According to the report, the executive intends to spend N971.138 billion on petrol subsidy in 2014, while N999.720 and N1028, 301 billion

respectively in 2015 and 2016 respectively. On this note, the committee said there is need for further scrutiny to ensure accountability and prudence on subsidy expenses, requesting that details of subsidy payment should be included in the executive submissions to the National

Assembly. “A definite period must be worked out at which the nation will stop importation of refined petroleum products into the country. The nation’s refineries must be made to work to full capacity, and new ones brought on stream to energise the policy”, the committee said.

State of emergency: Reps summon Service Chiefs By Umar Muhammad Puma


he House of Representatives has invited the Service Chiefs led by the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim to brief it on the current security situation in the state of emergency affected states. Leader of the House, Rep. Mulikat Akande-Adeola who moved the motion on the floor noted that by virtue of section 305 (6) (c) of the 1999 constitution, the proclamation is expected to elapse after a period of six months from the date of approval, except the period is extended by the National Assembly. “The National Assembly may, before the expiration of the period of six months aforesaid, extended the period for the proclamation

of the state of emergency to remain in force from time to time for a further period of six months by the resolution in like manner”. She stressed that the House recognized the efforts so far made by the security personnel deployed to the affected areas in curtailing the activities of insurgents and some security challenges that still exist in some part of the affected areas. Mulikat remained the House that President Jonathan in a letter to the House on 12 November, 2013, provided a detailed report by the chief of Army Staff on the current security situation in the affected states. It would be recalled that the President Goodluck Jonathan had declared a state of emergency in three northern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

FG prepares to bury Akhigbe, inaugurates committee By A’isha Biola Raji


he federal government in preparation for the final burial of late Vice Admiral Okhai Mike Akhigbe, has inaugurated a committee to that effect. The committee, which will be chaired by Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral DJ Ezeoba was yesterday inaugurated in Abuja at a press briefing by Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim. According to Senator Anyim who described the late Admiral as an honest and diligent public servant, added that, “He made remarkable contributions to the

social, economic and political development of our dear country.” He said it based on these recognitions that he was appointed Chief of General Staff during the administration of General Abdulsalami Abubakar. “It was together with his colleagues in the armed forces, that power was transferred in 1999 to civilian administration that we now operate,” he said. The late Akhigbe, according to the burial plan, will on Wednesday 20th November lie in state at NNS QUORRA, Naval Base, Apapa followed by service of songs at the same venue. Other services will follow from Thursday 21st to Sunday November 24th.

L-R: Project Manager, K4Health Nigeria, Lisa Mwaikambo, National Assistant Secretary, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), Abdusalam Yakubu, AMLSN National President, Dr. Godswill Okara, and AMLSN 2nd Vice-President, Dr. Joseph Okwori, during a conference on Essential Element in Healthcare Practice, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye By Hassan Haruna Ginsau with agency reports


he US has designated Nigeria’s Boko Haram and Ansaru militant groups as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO). The state department described the move as “an important” step to help Nigeria “root out violent extremism”. The designation under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224 means US regulatory agencies are instructed to block business and financial transactions with Boko Haram. It is now a crime under US law to provide material support to the group. The US also describes the move as “only one tool in what must be a comprehensive approach by the Nigerian government to counter these groups through a combination of law enforcement, political, and development efforts, as well as military engagement, to help root out violent extremism while also addressing the legitimate concerns of the people of northern

US designates Boko Haram, Ansaru ‘terrorist organisations’ l FG backs action Nigeria.” Justice Minister Mohammed Bello Adoke, who spoke with newsmen last night, said: “The US stance is a welcome development; we salute the US Government for partnering with the Federal Government to root out terrorism. “This step will assist this nation to deal with these renegades. It will also help in strengthening the proscription of Boko Haram by the Federal Government”, he added. The Government’s support comes as a U-turn as some Nigerians had voiced its opposition at the United States’ plans to include Boko Haram on its list of foreign terrorist organizations in fears that doing so would make it more difficult for Nigerian citizens to travel to the US and further affect bilateral trade between the two countries. The group began its insurgency in 2009, and has targeted both the

military and civilians, including schools, and frequently clashes with the Nigerian armed forces. Boko Haram wants to impose Islamic law in northern Nigeria and has been blamed for thousands of deaths mainly in Nigeria’s northeast. While Boko Haram’s main focus is Nigeria, the US has cited links to the al-Qaeda affiliate in West Africa, and extremist groups in Mali. Nigeria’s government declared Boko Haram and another militant group Ansaru as terrorist organisations in June, warning that anyone who helps them will face a minimum prison sentence of 20 years. Ansaru has also conducted several kidnappings of foreigners living or working in Nigeria, most notably the kidnapping and execution of 7 foreign workers in March.


Ban on Hijab: Lagos govt pleads for time to settle out of court From Matthew Irinoye, Lagos


he Lagos State Government has asked an Ikeja High Court for extension of time to settle out of court over the banned on wearing of Hijab by female Muslim students in the state’s primary and secondary schools. Counsel to the state government, Mr Samuel Ajanaku urged the presiding judge, Justice Modupe Onyeabo to grant further

adjournment in other to enable both parties conclude on the settlement terms. It would be recalled that, the Muslim Student Association of Nigeria (MSSN) had dragged the state government to court over the ban on the ground that it violates their fundamental human rights. The applicants are also contending that ban on female students to use Hijab on or outside the premises of any educational institution in Lagos State “is

wrongful and unconstitutional”. During the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, counsel to the MSSN, Lagos State Area Unit, Barrister Adetola Kasim (SAN), prayed the court to set down the case for hearing since the state government had not responded to a proposal for terms of settlement sent since July, 2013. But Ajanaku pleaded for further adjournment claiming that bureaucratic bottlenecks in

the civil service had prevented the government from responding on time. He further explained that the terms are currently at the office of the governor, he added that more time should be given. However, Adetola urged the judge to let the case proceed as it is of high public interest which cannot wait any longer. Justice Onyeabo adjourned the matter till December 19 for report on settlement.

L-R: Director, Disease Control and Immunization, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Emmanuel Abanida, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of NPHCDA, Dr. Ado Muhammad, and representative of Emzor Pharmaceutical, Dr. Ram Kumar, during the World Pneumonia Day press conference/summit, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Yero orders overhaul of commerce ministry From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


overnor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero of Kaduna State has ordered immediate overhaul and reorganization of the state’s ministry of commerce and industry in order to ensure good results. He gave the directive during flag off of the National Enterprise Development Project (NDEP), and the inauguration of Kaduna State Macro Small

and Medium Enterprise, held in Kaduna yesterday. “I have ordered the Head of Service during the Council meeting this morning and I am giving the same instruction to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to put all mechanism in motion to ensure that the ministry became functional and perform its duties in promoting of commerce and industry in the state”, he said.

Governor Yero also disclosed that the state government is training 1,000 youths in various trades to make them entrepreneurs so that they can be self employed in order to discourage them from being tools in the hands of politicians. In his own speech the Director General, Small and Medium Enterprise, Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Alhaji Bature

Umar Masari, said the National Enterprises Development Agency, is aimed at generating an estimated 50 million jobs, between 2013 and 2015. Alhaji Masari added that 1,000 cooperative groups and their business plans are currently being handed over to Bank of Industry for appraisal and eventual financing across the nation and thousand more would follow suit.

World Pneumonia Day: NPHCDA says 130,000 children die yearly in Nigeria By Abbas Aminu Bamalli


he Executive Secretary, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, (NPHCDA), Dr. Ado Muhammad has said that a staggering 130,000 Nigerian children lose their lives to Pneumonia every year, ranking the second highest number of child pneumonia deaths in the World. Dr. Ado, who made this known yesterday in Abuja during a press conference to mark the 2013 World Pneumonia Day, said, 12th

November of every year, was set aside by the United Nations to mobilise against the number one killer of children under-5. He said, in Nigeria, less than half of children with suspected pneumonia are taken for treatment and just 23 per cent receive antibiotics, adding that amongst families on very low incomes where the risk of child death from the disease is the highest, the numbers are dramatically lower. The Executive Secretary added that the Federal Government

News PAGE 7

has in July 2012 introduced new vaccine-A Pentavalent vaccine with five antigents potential substances that trigger off antibodies production, and also on the verge of introducing another vaccine called Pneumonia Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) that target the leading causes of the disease. “The Government is committed to increasing access to antibiotic treatment for children from pneumonia and many other preventable diseases”, he said. Dr. Ado identified exclusive

breastfeeding during the first six months, good nutrition for older children, hand washing, reducing indoor air pollution, such as stoves and tobacco smoke as some of the major ways of protecting children from pneumonia. He called on stakeholders, States and Local Governments to join hands with the Federal Government and partners to roll out national plans and pneumonia policies and provide necessary funding to implement activities that will save lives.

Prosecute Iyayi’s killer – Lawyers tells FG

From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


uman right lawyers and activists yesterday called on the Federal Government and security agencies in the country to prosecute the driver of the car in the Kogi state governor’s convoy that killed former President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Festus Iyayi. Reacting to the death of Prof. Iyayi killed in a car accident involving the convoy of the Kogi state Governor Idris Wada; many activists slammed the governor over his drivers’ recklessness. Lagos-based lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), while expressing shock at the death of his former client, urged Nigerians to stop agonizing and take action. Falana, who fought and won the case against the sack of Iyayi and Professor Itse Sagay from the University of Benin during the era of Professor Grace AleleWilliams as Vice Chancellor, also complained that governors in the country, with the exception the Lagos state governor, Babatunde Fashola, are known for their reckless convoys. He said the driver that killed Iyayi must be arrested and prosecuted because the drivers in Wada’s convoy are notorious for causing fatal accidents. Another Lagos based lawyer Bamidele Aturu on his part insisted that the late professor was murdered. Aturu in a statement yesterday said Iyayi was, “gruesomely murdered not killed by a yet to be identified assassin in the employ of the Government of Kogi State. This is the only reasonable conclusion to be drawn from the facts that are now available in the public domain. “The murder of Comrade Iyayi is no doubt a product of the empty pomposity that pervades the corridors of power in Nigeria, from the Governors to their cooks. This pomposity is seen in a culture of impunity and recklessness that gives them the sense that they own our lives, and all that belongs to this country. This is the only way one can understand why they expect all other road users to disappear from the road whenever they ply the roads.” Aturu added that, “the madness of reckless killings on our roads by those who occupy government houses must stop. The only way to end it is to insist, as some of our comrades are suggesting, that the murderer in Kogi Government House or its boy’s quarters must be produced and prosecuted for manslaughter”. Iyayi died at 66, in Lokoja,

Photo Splash PAGE 8

L-R: Former Commandant, National Defence College, Rear Admiral Thomas Lokoson, handing over to his successor, Rear Admiral Ndidi Agholor, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN


L-R: President Goodluck Jonathan, receiving a gift of kolanut from Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, during the president’s visit to the Obi’s palace, yesterday in Onitsha.

Sympathisers at the scene of fire incident, yesterday at the Laranto grains market, in Jos.

Women waiting for free medical treatment organised by a member of House of Representatives, Hon. Aishatu Dahiru, at the Specialist Hospital, yesterday in Yola. Photo: NAN

Jarawa dancers performing during the inauguration of a block of 24 classrooms constructed by Bauchi state government, at Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic, on Tuesday in Bauchi. Photo: NAN






N7m fraud: Ex-LG boss bags six months jail term By Joy Baba


Federal High Court sitting in Lokoja, Kogi state presided over by Justice I.E. Ekwo yesterday sentenced one Mr. Enesi

Jimoh, former chairman of Adavi Local Government Council of the state to six months imprisonment without an option of fine. A statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of the

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Wilson Uwujaren said Mr. Enesi was found guilty of converting N7 million meant for the provision of borehole for communities in the

council area for personal use while in office. Enesi was arraigned by EFCC, alongside one Samuel Abiodun Ojo, Commissioner for Agriculture in March 31, 2010.

Yuguda awards scholarship to 40 students From Ahmed Kaigama,Bauchi


L-R: Chief Operating Officer, Peoples Media Limited (PLM), Malam Ali M. Ali, presenting copies of Peoples Daily to the Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), FCT chapter, Malam Mohammed Abba Tor, during a visit by members NIQS FCT chapter to the PML headquarters, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

NQIS top shots visit Peoples daily By Hassan Haruna GInsau


delegation from the Abuja chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NQIS) paid Peoples Daily newspaper a courtesy visit yesterday at its head quarters in Abuja. The delegation made up of the Abuja NIQS chairman, Mohammed Abba Tor, Vice Chairman, Rasheed Salimonu, and Treasurer, Osaretin Okoro intimated the newspaper on the activities of its upcoming Biennial conference scheduled to hold at the International conference centre, Abuja, from the 19th to the 23rd of November, 2013. During the visit, the chairman reiterated the organisation’s mutual relationship with Peoples Daily, a relationship he hoped would continue to grow. Speaking in regards to a question asked about the recent

spate of building collapses around Nigeria, Abba said quantity surveyors have an enormous role to play in the intervention of these building collapses. “It is the quantity surveyor that will first of all give a guiding line to the developer or investor” he said. During construction, we stand in to advise all who care to listen that this material, of this quality, valued at this, is what is required to go into this assemblage” he added. In regards to the high costing of government contracts, Vice chairman, Rasheed Salimonu noted the lack of continuity in government, political interests, and inappropriate budgetary provision as some of the possible causes. In addition to Salimonu’s observations, Abba noted the inadequacy of pre- execution planning as another cause and added that the organisation will

also see a change in leadership as elections are due to be held during the upcoming conference.

overnor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi state has awarded scholarship to 40 students of the newly established Private Academy Institution known as Giwo Science Academy, Bauchi. Gov. Yuguda said this during the formal inauguration of the Giwo Science Academy built by an elder statesman, the Waziri of Bauchi, Alhaji Mohammed Bello Kirfi. According to Yuguda, “my administration has invested so much in the educational sector of the state since its inception in 2007, so I will support any move to improve the sector. If you empower the sector by educating one child, you have saved the entire nation, because the dividends will be harvested tomorrow. The governor charged the management and governing council of the academy to leave a legacy in all the department of the academy for the benefit of the younger generation. He appreciated the foresight of the proprietor of the academy and called on spirited individuals to join hands with his administration to boost the education sector.

NDC reviews curriculum in line with global practices By Joy Baba


he 13th commandant of the National Defence College (NDC) Nigeria Rear Admiral Thomas Lokoson has said the curriculum of the college has always been reviewed from time to time in line with the developments around the world. Lokoson stated this yesterday in Abuja at the handing over ceremony to the 14th commandant of the college, Rear Admiral Patrick Agholor in the college. He said the college has over

the years improved the learning environment, library, syndicate room, halls, mess and the general welfare of the staff. He urged members of the staff to give the same support that was given to him to enable the college meet up with world standard. In his response, the incoming commandant assured the outgoing one that he will keep up the good work he has started. Agholor, before his new appointment was the Director of Academic, Research and Analytic Support (DARAS) of the college.

However, Ojo was discharged by the court after a no case submission filed by the defence counsel, H.O Agumbiodun in June 2012. The statement further said one of the charges for which Jimoh was convicted reads, “That you Enesi Jimoh Suleman while serving as executive chairman of Davi Local Government council converted the sum of 7 million naira property of Davi Local Government Council, concealing its illicit origin and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 14 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2004 and also punishable under section 14 of same Act”.

Al-makura approves N49m as drug revolving fund

From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


overnor Umaru Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa state has approved N49 million to set up a pilot drug revolving fund scheme to 39 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) intervened Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities across the state for the supply of essential drugs. Dr. Salisu Muhammad Raj, Senior Special Assistant to the governor on MDGs, disclosed this yesterday while delivering a speech at a sensitization workshop for directors of PHCs, officers’ in-charge and ward development committee leaders of the benefitting PHCs. He said the workshop was conceived to compliment government effort to upgrade its health facilities by ensuring the supply of efficient, affordable and reliable drugs/consumables and the capacity for staff to provide adequate services. Raj explained that the purpose of introducing the drug revolving fund scheme in MDGs intervened PHCs in the state was as a result of the compliance with the National Primary Healthcare guideline for achieving sustainable drug supply scheme in the country’s health care system before the end of 2014. Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Emmanuel Akave, state commissioner for health, represented by Dr. Thomas Affi, described the drug revolving scheme as the most beautiful thing to have happened in the health sector. Dr. Akave maintained that the scheme would make drugs accessible to the people at affordable cost, which he argued, was a departure from the past when patients are asked to go outside to buy drugs.



Money Sense Opting for odd jobs after graduation as means of survival


obs are difficult to get especially now that few people are required to fill the many positions in the companies and other organisations. With the advent of computerizing the job sector, one person can perform, with the aid of a computer, a lot of tasks previously performed by well over 100 people. The computerization of the job market has also led to people trying to acquire many skills so that they can become viable for employment thereby diminishing the chances of those who are fresh from Universities. The graduates therefore find it so difficult to achieve what was once a lifetime dream because most universities do not offer an opportunity for one to develop skills in many careers, and these careers are also very demanding that they can't be done by one student within a limited time of college life. So now that you are about or that you have come out of higher institution, and you have been looking for a job which seemingly never come to materialize, what options do you have to earn yourself a living and at the same time realize your lifelong dream of becoming a master in your profession? There seems to be no clear answer to this but as a student who is just about to graduate from college, I would advise that you should consider acquiring some skills in technology so that you can be able to improve your skills in other areas as you earn yourself some income from the odd jobs. Because information nowa-


o, you’ve made it through school. You survived all those late night study sessions and final exams. You now have your diploma in your hand and you’re ready to go out in the world to live and work like the rest of us. Well, you should be prepared before you start your journey. One of the first things you should do once you graduate is form your resume. You may be thinking that you should take a vacation, relax, and worry about looking for a job later, but you should try to secure your career first or at least get yourself out there so that potential employers know you are available. Even before your graduation is a good time to start building up your resume. Maybe you took on a parttime job during your senior year in university. For example, if you are studying to be a veterinarian, maybe you took on a part-time job as an assistant in an animal hospital. This all looks good on

days sell like hot cake, if you could have learnt some basics in typing and web development, then you go online to look for partners who can enable you use

your web skills earn some income, then you would appreciate the savings you would get for not actually looking first hand for the job you were trained on.

Another area of the job market that should have been trained but because of the limited resources or otherwise time is the marketing and advertising sec-

…top things to do after graduation paper. Number two, find a home. You’ve lived in your hostel for four or more years now, it’s time to find your own place to live; a place to call your own. No loud roommates, no parties, and no more having to share a bathroom down the hall. Don’t just take the first apartment you see, be picky. You have to think you’re going to be signing a lease and you’ll be living here for at least a year before you can move. Find out everything there is to know about the place before rent it. Number three, more classes? Well, this is probably the furthest thing from your mind, but you could take more classes to further educate yourself. Maybe

there were a few classes that you didn’t get to take before your graduation or maybe you’ve just got your bachelor’s degree and now you want to go after your Master’s degree, more classes are the way to go. Or maybe you just want to take some for fun at your university. Number four, the NYSC is for you. It is compulsory to serve this country for a year. Not only will this look great upon your resume, but you will also get a chance to travel and see the world. Number five, travel. Travel round the country depending on your budget. You deserve it. After sitting in a classroom listening to long lectures about micro biology and slaving over hours and hours

of homework, you deserve this break. Go round the length and breadth of the country in order to open your eyes and for more exposure. Number six, get married or engaged. Maybe you have a love that you met in college. Now that you’ve both graduated, you should take the next step. Getting engaged or married. Number seven, join a gym. While you were in college, you rarely had any time to keep up with your fitness regimen. Well, now you can. Join a gym or go jogging every day. Number eight, saving the best for last. Do nothing for a few weeks or months. Possibly this is something a lot of new graduates

tor. As you strive to get yourself a place to work, you should look for opportunities to market some products that are either upcoming or due to some reasons have not gained acceptance by the consumers. The marketing and advertising job has earned a lot of my friends that came from college a good amount of money that help them puss forward in life. Though some students might think that going to low in life might be a disaster, personally during my vacation I do cleaning of hostels in a nearby institution in order to get myself the next semester's fees. Sometimes I even bend too low to be a copy typist in a typing bureau, or go ahead to do editing and formatting, including graphic design or help someone in these fields perform their jobs. Opting for an odd job should not be limited to the office oriented jobs or even the so called white caller jobs but jobs that can be done in the agriculture sector during harvest of different kinds of crops, during the times of weeding, and even during plantations should be taken gracefully. In life, one should be able to venture even into the construction industry for in every job done, there will always be some income that is gained. Don't waste your time burdening your parents and guardian to provide for you your basic needs yet with your two hands, legs and the brains you can for the meanwhile make a lot of difference in the economic status of your own self and be better physically.

think of doing. They feel they’ve worked hard and need a break to lounge around and just relax. Rent some movies, buy some music, and relax. This may be for you, but don’t let it last too long. You do have a life to get on with and a career to find.

Money Tip: If it is too much trouble, simply ask yourself if you are in a position to pay your credit in full every month. If not, this is a strong signal that you are not living within your means and living on debt.


You’ve got to say, I think that if I keep working at this and want it badly enough I can have it. It’s called perseverance– Lee Iacocca




The US espionage scandal F the news of US espionage, America had been accusing the Chinese of pilfering their national secrets. As at the last count, it is now known that about 35 world leaders and their nations, including Washington’s close allies have been routinely targeted by the US intelligence service. We shudder at what the case might be with

international relations, but it also has its etiquette. The bizzare conduct of the US national intelligence of collecting emails and telephone conversations of leaders and even ordinary citizens of other nations breaches simple decorum. This is more so since the US is the champion of limited states, with overemphasis on individual liberty. We find the breach of these norms which the US claims to cherish as overreaching. Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US, Washington has willfully indulged in several acts We are worried that lawlessness that would have wiretapping of national leaders of turned the world into a jungle could subsequently be used to blackmail them into a course should other nations follow suit. of action that would be inimical Last September, in the heat to their countries of US threat to attack Syria, the Russian leader, Vladmir Putin, penned an opinion article in the New York Times, where he cautioned American leadership about the notion of American other less developed nations and “exceptionalism” which they have their leadership, especially in successfully etched on the psyche Africa. One can safely conclude of their compatriots. that cabinet meetings and other He warned and implied - and such sensitive engagements in these we agree with him - that no countries are routinely monitored nation or people is exceptional by the US. We are worried that except only to their national wiretapping of national leaders characteristics and way of life, and could subsequently be used to which does not mean the assertion blackmail them into a course of of superiority over the rest of action that would be inimical to mankind. their countries, besides the fact that America’s espionage network their physical securities are already which has caused such furore heavily compromised. with both allies and foes alike We know very well that should be reviewed and brought espionage is a routine and has in line so that it does not become a fabric of contemporary threaten the security of others.

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rom the American fugitive secret service contractor, Mr. Edward Snowden’s Vault, has emerged mind boggling facts that the United States of America eavesdropped on its closest allies prominent among which is the German Chancellor, Mrs Angela Merkel. From the same leak, it was understood that the French, Spanish, Italian government officials had their telephone calls and emails routinely harvested by the American intelligence service. The issue dominated discussions at the European Union (EU) meeting two weeks ago as Mrs. Merkel and other European leaders expressed outrage at what their ally had done. Mrs. Merkel reportedly telephoned the US President, Mr. Barack Obama to register her protest and demand an end to the invasion of her privacy. Other hapless Europeans unable to get a straight line to Washington would only brood at the impunity of their Atlantic friend. Earlier, Mr. Greenwald, the media ally of Mr. Snowden, had let it known also that the US intelligence service has bugged the telephone line of the Brazilian leader, Ms Dilma Rouseff and her Mexican counterpart, as well as collecting their emails. Ms Rouseff, who was then due to visit Washington on a state visit, the first since 1996, angrily cancelled it and demanded explanation from Washington. Before Mr. Snowden broke



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Yes to Sovereign National Conference! By Babayola M. Toungo


he recurring call for the convening of a national conference – sovereign or otherwise – is more and more sounding like a broken record. But to me, the call is sounding more like a bargain or blackmail tool, which some people use from time to time to help them achieve certain objectives. This is very okay with me because it shows a sense of purpose on the part of those using this particular tool for gaining advantage in every national discourse so far. What riles me is the perception of some of us that the convocation of the conference will be to our disadvantage. I cannot fathom what informs this line of reasoning by, particularly the political class of the north. The call for the convocation of the conference has been on since after the Beninoise convoked their own and booted out Matthew Kerekou. This also coincided with Babangida’s annulment of the June 1992election, which some ethnic bigots fortuitously interpreted to mean that a section of the country is against the presidency by a Yoruba man. So for all intents and purposes, those calling for a Sovereign National Conference are simply copycats and also merely ethnic champions masquerading as nationalists. Ben Nwabueze, one of the idealogues of the advocates of the sovereign national conference (SNC) let the cat out of the bag in his treatise “THE NORTH AND SOUTH DIVIDE AS AN OBSTACLE TO THE CREATION OF A NATION AND NATIONAL FRONT”. It is dripping with venom and hatred masquerading as an intellectual attempt at interrogating the Amalgamation of 1914. In the years between 1992 to date, there have been at least two national conferences that readily come to mind. The one convoked by the late General SaniAbacha in 1995 – 96 that succeeded in fractionalising the country further into six geo-political zones by adopting Nwabueze’s kinsman,Ekwueme’s model and the one called by Obasanjo in 2004 – 2005 to specifically amend

the constitution to make way for his ambition to rule Nigeria for as long as he lives. These are the two that readily come to my mind and from where I am sitting none addressed the myriad problems we are faced with as a nation. Rather, the Abacha conference succeeded in breaking up the north into three “zones” – a project began in the 1960s and a lifelong ambition of the Nwabueze’s of this world. It appears Nwabueze is not satisfied with the introduction of zonal politics they helped bring in northern Nigeria and are now ready to move to the next phase – to drive a wedge between the peoples of the north through the amplification of religious and ethnic cleavages. This is what Nwabueze’s paper is all about. Though they have succeeded in splitting the north, the region’s politicians helped in no small measure in bringing this reality to fruition by either being complicit or docile in some instances. Today, northern Nigeria is the most fractured of the entire pre-military foray into politics in 1966. This fractionalisation, sadly, is not only physical but also mental, no thanks to the continued media war sustained on the region and its people by those who murdered sleep on the night of January 15th, 1966. The call this time may not be unconnected with the perception that the north is weak in all facets of life – politically, economically and socially. In all the previous conferences, the north got the short end of the stick due to our self-imposed roles of guardians of the sanctity of the unity of Nigeria. But we always come out bruised literally and metaphorically. The region is perceived by outsiders as weak and a burden to the rest of the country due to the way it has been projected by our politicians in the last thirty years or so. Flowing from failure of political leadership failure at all levels in the north; we are more fractured today than at any point in history. The region is racked with crisis that is destroying what remains of its commercial activities; our politicians care less what happens in critical sectors like

education, health and agriculture; our youth are ill-equipped to face the challenges of present day world because since they are not “ex-militants” government doesn’t care whether they go to school or not; and our elders are all busy playing the ostrich while the region is gradually sinking into pre-historic times with mini-wars raging all across the region. If these problems are not enough to call for a conference, then I shall be damned! I am all for a national conference (sovereign or not) for all the “ethnic nationalities” to come together and chart a way for either our continued existence as a country or for the breakup of Nigeria into 250 or more countries. But before then, I would like to call on the conveners to carry out a census of the “ethnic nationalities” with a view to determining who is what so that ALL should be represented. This is to avoid a problem where all northerners can be lumped into a convenient contraption called ‘Hausa. Fulani’. This will raise more questions than provide answers. Beginning from my state, Adamawa State, I know a Yofo man will never allow himself to be represented by a Yandang or Gengle or Sate nor a ChambaLeko be represented by a ChambaGanye. In the Numan Federation alone, the Bachamas are distinct from the Mbulas, the Battas, Lungudas, Kanakurus and the Kwas. The Mumuye of Tola has nothing in common with the Chamba of the area. The Fulanis have the Wuitis, the Kesus, the Ba’en and the Mbororos. The Veres of Fufore don’t see eye to eye with their Batta neighbours. In KarimLamido local government of neighbouring Taraba State, you have twenty-seven distinct “ethnic nationalities”. This is the local government that the late Deputy Inspector General Police, John Haruna came from. I am pointing out these “nationalities” to educate some of us on the diversity of the“nationalities” that make up Nigeria because as I write this piece, I am already all set for the conference and I would not like to be part of any talk shop regarding

the future of Nigeria that one single “nationality” will be excluded from. We have seen how every subset of a tribe call itself a “race”, a “nation” and a “kingdom” in the last thirteen or so years. Therefore, to give every local potente his dues, I suggest that every subset be represented at the conference table. The hunger that drives the rise in ethnic assertiveness must be satiated for we, the poor to have peace of mind otherwise the demon unleashed by politicians who are comfortable in being ethnic chauvinists than truly community or nationalleaders will devour us all. The fad now is that whoever fails to make an impact on a larger platform retreats to his ‘laager’ for relevance. There should also be a census of people living outside their region before the convocation of the countries to determine who enjoys what, where. This may sound archaic to some people but it has a very critical purpose is the determination of resource control. I want to use this medium to call for one hundred percent control of resources wherever it may be found by the host communities. For example, the Niger Delta people should be allowed to have total control on oil – how it is exploited, who they sale to and how much it is sold. This will now give the north the opportunity of taking control of its land resources and allocate to those it deems necessary. Anyone who is not a northerner will forfeit the right to possess land in the region. Also certain local businesses should only be operated by the locals, be it in Lagos, Enugu, Port Harcourt or Yola. I have seen Igbo patent medicine store owners, vulcanisers and petty traders in Mayo-Farang, a local community in Adamawa state and I know for a fact a certain percentage of stores are reserved for Igbo traders in all major northern markets. You can’t say the same for a market like that of Onitsha, Idumota or Umuahia. Northern politicians, community and business leaders screaming for an increase in the

allocation of federally generated revenue will do well for the region to get cracking on how to prepare for the inevitable national conference. Part of this preparation should be the suggested census of who are in charge of our local economy in all the nineteen northern states. Property owners in these states should also be enumerated. They must also prepare an economic blueprint for the region because we will very soon be weaned from suckling the crude oil tit that we, as we are being told to our face, contributed nothing in its production, transportation, refining or even retailing. I am thinking of going into the processing of cow products (being a mbororo, you know). I am looking for partners to start the processing of things like fresh milk & yoghurt, kpomo and transportation of frozen meat because my agenda does not include interstate transportation of live animals. Such a conference may be the only way to awaken us from our oil-induced stupor to rediscover our dignity and revive our economy and other institutions of the region inherited from those founding fathers of the north long gone to the beyond but still remain our reference point. If nineteen governors cannot manage the New Nigerian Newspapers, NNDC, Arewa Textiles and various BCGs scattered all over the north, then it is time to sit and consider turning over the region to our traditional rulers, whom the British used during the days of indirect rule. Those were the days when the north was feared and respected by all. Our royal fathers successfully run the north from the post Jihad period till the 1976 local government reforms and the period of their stewardship coincided with the most productive epoch of the north. Not now when a suspected armed robber turned “militant” will be rewarded with a $103million contract for insulting the collective people of a whole region. Babayola M. Toungo,babayolatoungo@yahoo.

Letter to Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso By Abbas Yushau Yusuf


our Excellency, I hope this letter reaches you in good health and wellbeing; I want to congratulate you on the numerous achievements you have recorded in the last two and half years, since your historic return to power in 2011. I know history will remember you as one of the Governors in Nigeria, whose achievement goes beyond the shores of Kano state. Of all the people that have been Governors of Kano State, since its creation in

1967, you are the one that has shown tremendous interest in enhancing development of the state as you have shown in your numerous achievements. Since your return to power, you have initiated policies that have benefitted both indigenes

and non indigenes, for which many people, not only in Kano but Nigeria as a whole have commended you. Your ability to drive revenue generation for the enhancement of the state is a remarkable feat which many state

For instance, the hotel owners exhibit exploitative tendencies towards their customers by charging exorbitant rates. This is aside paying pittance to their staff, who are daily struggling to meet the demands of their families in this hard time.

Governments envy and would like to emulate as well as your role in promoting self reliance and your untiring efforts in employment of the people and educational activities amongst others. Sir, without much ado, I will like to draw your attention to a very important problem bedeviling Kano and its residents. That is, the need for the state Government to own its hotels because most of the hotels are owned by private individuals, who man the hotels in the way they like, sometimes to the detriment of our people. For instance, the hotel owners

exhibit exploitative tendencies towards their customers by charging exorbitant rates. This is aside paying pittance to their staff, who are daily struggling to meet the demands of their families in this hard time. Thus, the need for the government to establish hotels to enhance its revenue, promote its hospitality and boost employment opportunities for the teaming youth in Kano state. Abbas Yushau Yusuf, writes from Nassarawa Local Government Kano, and can be reached at abyushau2@gmail. com




Political parties and legislative autonomy (II) By Atiku Abubakar


egislative autonomy would allow the people’s representatives to carefully consider bills, and proposals for the overall interest of the society or segments thereof. It would allow the legislature to carry out its oversight functions and to adequately represent the people. Each arm of government tends to guard its independence quite jealously, sometimes at the risk of failing to acknowledge the collective nature of governance, that is, that effective governance requires the cooperation of the three arms of government. And because these are institutions run by human beings, power, ego, and territoriality often influence actions. And it is not peculiar to young democracies, as we can see from the contest of wills between the White and House and the US Capitol. In young democracies the challenges are often exacerbated by a weak economic base, over-reliance on the state for economic opportunities and, especially in Africa, ethnic, regional and religious diversity. Legislative Autonomy Legislative autonomy means that the legislature should be able to work without undue interference from the other arms, especially the executive. To be sure, undue interference is subjective and not easy to define. But it is understood when it happens. When the executive arm of government sees the legislature as a mere rubber stamp put there to ratify all its desires without scrutiny and proceeds to treat it as such, it is undue interference. When the Executive ignores or neglects to provide the legislature required information for its legislative or oversight functions, it is undue interference; when the executive uses state law enforcement agencies to harass and intimidate members

By Ola Adeosun Esq.


t exactly 11.43am today (Wednesday, November 13), while driving my Honda accord car down the Mokola flyover at Mokola area of Ibadan, I heard the blaring of sirens which is synonymous to the presence of members of the Nigerian political class, looking through my side mirror, I realized that my guess was right, as I discovered that behind me was a long line of VIP convoys coming from the Sabo end of under the flyover, I swerved to the extreme left side of road, to allow easy passage of vehicles in the convoy. After about two or three vehicles in the convoy had passed, I was surprised that two white coaster buses in the convoy made attempts to pass beside my car at the same time, obviously because of the narrow nature of the road, or probably because the buses wanted to avoid a bad portion of the

of the legislature in order to influence how they perform their functions, it is undue interference; when the judiciary through frivolous injunctions or other legal technicalities tries to undermine the work of the legislature, it is undue interference. The legislature itself can also go to the other extreme

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and see itself as an adversary or competitor to the executive or the judiciary and tries to use its authority to appropriate and carry out oversight to harass or intimidate members of the executive arm. What seems to compound matters is that democratic governments are formed by parties which have programs and whose members often constitute the majority of in the legislatures. Those parties seek to use lawmaking and other legislative duties to advance their programmes and policies. Sometimes the ruling party or the government of the day tends to see the legislature as synonymous with the ruling party and must, therefore, follow the dictates of the ruling party or government of the day. But that is not how democracy is supposed to work. In my view, our countries and our people would be served better if the various arms, including the legislature, are guided by national interests. As representatives of the people, legislators are closer to the grassroots and are a sounding board for policies and programmes and peoples’ desires and priorities. They capture the

peculiarities and specific needs and challenges of our various localities. A President, for instance, has the whole country as constituency, and should focus more on the big picture while the legislature brings together people representing particularities. Compromises are key to serving the national interest and avoiding gridlock. It is critical for the executive to demonstrate an understanding that the legislature is an institution of state different from the ruling party or sitting government. The Executive, therefore, needs to respect and abide by the authority conferred on the Legislature by the constitution. An instance that can be used to illustrate this is the authority to appropriate funds, with Nigeria as a case. The Nigerian constitution clearly vests the power to appropriate funds in the legislature (i.e. the National Assembly). But too often, over the years, the executive has tended to behave as if it does not fully accept that constitutional provision. It often expects the National Assembly to rubber stamp its spending proposals, notwithstanding that the

constitution expects the legislature to critically evaluate such proposals and make amendments where it deems necessary. The executive also tends to treat the legislature as though it is only populated by the members of the ruling party or is

an extension of the executive arm itself, and that whatever it wants would be lapped up by the legislature. The legislature, on its part, also sometimes tends to engage in an expansive reading of its constitutional power and a narrower reading of that of the executive by demonstrating little recognition of the executive’s responsibility to make budgetary proposals based on careful consideration of detailed information that may not be available to the legislature. It thus sometimes tries to supplant the executive and truncate the latter’s spending plans. In many other parts of the world we tend to see the Legislature working hard to rein in the Executive when it comes to spending public funds, by cutting down on the executive’s spending proposals. In Nigeria’s recent history, however, we often see the legislature increasing significantly the spending proposals of the executive. Nigerians are familiar with the annual ritual of the National Assembly rejecting the Executive’s oil price bench mark

Gov Ajimobi and Police, brutalised me road, the white bus on my side violently hit my car and pushed it to the median on the road, and thereafter drove off together with the other bus. Seeing the damage done to my car, I being a willing tax payer in Oyo state was furious, and I decided to follow the bus that hit my car to its destination, Alas I made the mistake of my life, because all other security vehicles in the convoy kept hitting my car and driving past me in a manner that suggests that it was a calculated attack on my person. I still followed the convoy patiently, but a police coloured Hilux truck in the convoy with registration number: “ESCORT 1” thereafter double-crossed and pinned down my car. Fully armed policemen numbering about eighteen (18) jumped down from the truck and some other police vehicles around and dragged me out of my car. One Assistant

Superintendent of Police (ASP) ADESOJI ADEOSUN who was identified as the commander of the governor’s convoy informed the policemen that the governor had ordered that I should be dealt with and locked up at Mokola Police station until whenever the governor makes up his mind about what he wants to do with me! At this point, I realised that I was a marked man, obviously because of my genuine, honest and sincere criticism of the anti masses, pro rich/elite styles of the Ajimobi government in Oyo State. The policemen led by one Sergeant Abubakar Mude with force number: 196756 on the supervision of the said ASP ADEOSUN in a manner that best fits the conducts of touts and political thugs pounced on me, beat me mercilessly and dragged me on the floor before throwing me into one of the police trucks

like a common criminal for onward transmission to Mokola Police station, while on our way to the Police station, the beating continued unabated, in fact one of the animalistic policemen Sergeant Paul Audu even threatened to shoot me in the car, but for divine intervention. My offence as stated by this criminal gang in police uniform was that an imaginary “OPPOSITION” sent me! Thereafter, I was dumped at the Mokola Police station, Ibadan by this criminal gang, where I was detained until 5.17pm today 11th November 2013, before I was released on bail to go and see a doctor for medical attention. While at the station, the police officers were taken to the scene of the incident to recover my car, because I informed them that my car key was in the car as the engine was still on as at the time I was attacked, and that my

for budgetary purposes. This has led to persistent struggles between the two arms. Mistrust is at the centre of it all. The national Assembly, speaking somewhat for the states, does not trust that the excess crude money, which belongs to all tiers of government, will be judiciously spent, and with their consent. The Executive, on its part, tends to think of the state governments as spendthrifts that give little thought to the need to save for a rainy day. Clearly the national interest requires the legislature to appreciate the constitutional role and authority of the executive rather than see it as an adversarial subordinate. The national interest, as the overriding interest, will ensure respect for healthy independence of each arm. Tensions and conflicts are normal in a democracy. The quest for more power by different arms of government and different personalities is normal. However, such tensions and conflicts should be managed in a mature, accommodating manner and according to the laws of the land. Again the people and the country should be put first. In my view legislative autonomy can only be guaranteed by internal party democracy, free, fair, and credible elections, and a democratic culture in the wider society. Internal party democracy ensures that party m Concluded Atiku Abubakar, GCON, is former Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria and made this Presentation at the Plenary Session of the Africa Legislative Summit 2013, organized by the National Assembly at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

phones, documents and cash were inside the car which was left in the middle of the road, by the time we got to the scene, my car was not there, but we were informed by the policemen we met there that the Chief Security Officer to the governor has ordered that my car be taken to the Government House(Maybe they need more cars to add to the already terribly long convoy of MR. GOVERNOR)! This is the state of things as I put out this statement. It is my opinion that there must be an end to impunity; we cannot struggle to send successive military dictators away, to now be attacked by civilian despots, who were in the comfort of their wives and bedrooms while we were sleeping in cells and prisons for us to have democracy. Long live Oyo state! Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria!! Ola Adeosun Esq. writes from Ibadan




Shema, PDP and politics of fear in Katsina By Aliyu Mukhtar Katsina


n November 9, 2013, a gathering of opposition parties and civil society groups convened in Katsina. The objective of their gathering was to do some serious soulsearching: examine what went wrong during the 2011 general elections in the state from their point of view, and discuss the future of opposition politics in the state. It was not a political rally, and so only the intellectual cream of the opposition and civil society were invited to the event. But before this intellectual endeavor could reach its crescendo, a group of PDP thugs invaded the venue of the event in commando style, and violently attacked the participants and disrupted the event. Not all of the participants escaped unscathed. Some were manhandled. None of the so-called mainstream media reported this act of intolerance and violence. Sounds like a huge conspiracy of silence to me. Anyway, media and politics in Katsina would have to wait for another day. This disgusting and violent act points to three worrying dimensions associated with PDP, which both have to do with its politics of fear. First, it shows that PDP is still in its cocoon of disrespect for civilized discourse. It finds intellectual engagement quite distasteful. This should not be surprising to us. We have seen several testimonials to the intellectual capacity of its members. The most infantile being its leadership’s supposition that sixteen could be greater than nineteen. And one of them even gets a Ph.D.

By Abdussalam Amoo


t was indeed unfortunate to hear of the passing on of an academic of repute, Festus Iyayi. Iyayi died following a ghastly car accident along the Abuja-Lokoja Express Way. Until his death, he was a professor in the Department of Business Administration, University of Benin. He reportedly died on his way to the Kano venue of the national congress of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). While he lived, the Ugbegunborn rights activist was known for his radical and sometimes tough stance on social and political issues. Iyayi had been rightly described as one who employed a realistic style of writing, depicting the social, political and moral environment and system both the rich and poor live and work in. To his credit are a few books espousing the truth and hypocrisy of the way situations are played out in the larger society. The most popular of his works is the 1986 fiction “Heroes”, which won him the Commonwealth Prize for Literature same year - the first in annals of the award.

Second, it reinforces the view among many people that Ibrahim Shema of Katsina state is paranoid. The man suffers from unceasing paranoia built and sustained by acute inferiority complex. It does not surprise me though, knowing his political antecedents. After all, this is a man who was imposed by powers that be, when Obasanjo ran haywire after the Third Term fiasco. Otherwise, I fail to see how an intellectual discussion constituted a political danger to his administration, except if he is literally sending a message that he is a dunce presiding over a government made-up of dunces. Third, it reinforces the view among many observers that PDP under Goodluck Jonathan and his “Junior Brothers” in the states are out to stamp, violently if necessary, the remaining semblance of opposition in our country. We have seen how they deal with their “own” so far. Only God knows then how they will treat those that are not their “own”. I have no problem with the violent part, it is their regular trademark. Apologies to Fela Kuti. My problem is

with the pretense of Shema to intellectualism, which his acolytes are ever quick to point. They call the man “Doctor” and “Barrister”. If he had really attended University, not just been to, he would have no doubt learnt in his Constitutional Law 101 class, that there are two universal consensuses, at least within the liberal constitutional democratic tradition. The first is the freedom, not privilege, to associate with like minds to pursue a political objective. The second is the politics of opposition that is inherent in all democratic societies. The existence of institutionalised opposition in the form of political parties and civil society groups presupposes two arguments, very powerful in their logic. One, it presupposes the fallibility of man. Two, it presupposes the tradition of accommodation. The former means that no single person, left to his own devices, has an infallible wisdom with which he governs others. No. No person at least in this milieu has a direct access to divine hotline. That means his wisdom

and knowledge of governance and of social mechanistic is at best limited, and in the case of most Nigerian leaders, simply defective and atrocious. And if you have any doubt, just look at Goodluck Jonathan and how he runs amok with the instruments of power and governance. The latter point means that there is always in the society that other view or opinion, which might or might not be the mainstream one. By giving it a voice through institutionalization of opposition, society is simply guarding itself from politics of destruction. Put simply, politics of opposition in democratic societies is a preemptive logic against the destructive tendencies which unrecognized or scorned views could do to our collective being. Yes, views when left for very long without accommodation take a new dimension, and not necessarily for the collective good of the society. Shema of PDP and his bosses at the top refuses to acknowledge this fundamental reality. That is the reason today we battle two creepy tendencies, vile in their nature and dangerous in their impact.

“First, it shows that PDP is still in its cocoon of disrespect for civilized discourse. It finds intellectual engagement quite distasteful. This should not be surprising to us. We have seen several testimonials to the intellectual capacity of its members. The most infantile being its leadership’s supposition that sixteen could be greater than nineteen. And one of them even gets a Ph.D.”

Iyayi, academic of repute Indeed, Iyayi died an hero. He was an hero to the unheard, the downtrodden, the voiceless and everyone working on the path of sincerity in human existence. He presented his thoughts aptly through the characters in his works. The awarding winning “Heroes” is basically about the Nigerian Civil War. He wrote in solidarity with the unremembered, the common men who lost their lives, innocence and property as a result of the selfish interests of the ruling political class. Basing the thoughts on his journalist character, Osime Iyere, Iyayi was able establish why the war was not necessary. He wrote: “This is not a war. This is an investment in blood and destruction by those at the helm of affairs with expectation of profit. This war is the great excuse of our natural vices... But in time of war, there are no law, when we misbehave. We are strictly on our own, we are answerable to ourselves then. And see what happens. We loot our neighbour’s property, we set fire to his house because we say he is on

the other side. We loot, we burn, we rape, we murder, lie and steal. We exhibit our vomit then, we show ourselves up for what we really are. And what we really are is ugly and slimy and poisonous and dark and weak”. You would but agree with him that man shows his bestiality at the slightest opportunity unnecessarily. Before the war, every citizen was their brother’s keeper. Alas, the war turned former neighbours and colleagues into one another’s foes. The character Iyere therefore set a third army who saw that the war wasn’t to benefit the people but a plot by the rulers on both sides to take advantage of them by reducing their population. Evidently, the respective generals had their family safely kept somewhere outside the country but never considered the safety of the ordinary man turned into solder overnight to risk dying. The Iyere character in Iyayi himself and his contemporaries had made them always vocal against oppressive and nondevelopmental actions embarked upon by the Nigerian leadership. As a former President of ASUU

between 1986 and 1989, he led a formidable team against the then Military Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida following which the association was proscribed. In the early 90s he served as the President of the Committee for the Defence of Human rights (CDHR). His latest struggle was to revamp the Nigerian tertiary education subsector. Every time, we complain of the poor quality of our graduates but pay lip service to righting the wrongs. Like the generals in Iyayi’s fiction, our leaders are not doing much in the education sector even when they claim to be. Most can’t vouch of making their children ‘enjoy’ the ‘good’ quality of education in our public universities. It would be recalled that the circumstance leading to the literati’s death is partly as a result of the poor state of roads in Nigeria and the high-handedness of the rulers against the ruled. Reports alleged that a car in the Kogi State Governor’s convoy rammed into the UNIBEN vehicle conveying Iyayi and his colleagues before he died on the spot. It would be

First, concerned citizens of this ill-starred country battle the ever-growing culture of political intolerance in the ruling party. This in turn creates a bourgeoning industry of labeling anyone and everyone who disagrees with PDP and its people as an enemy. That is why today ignorant PDP chaps find it difficult to distinguish between their enemies and those of the state. Related to the first tendency is the second, which is the paranoia and fear evident in the actions and speeches of people, betrayed by their body language as fear and inferiority complex that comes with shaky popular acceptability. In the case of Shema, the likes of Shema. This creates an attitude, which rather than make them humble, turns them into little tin gods whose arrogance is evidence of this, in how the poor chap dons his dark goggles even in office. It gives many of us the feeling that either he is afraid of something or is on his way to crazyland. These tendencies are not good for our democracy. They stifle opposition and instead of giving us politics of constructive engagement, they foster on us the politics of fear. And we don’t need a Roosevelt to explain the danger of fear to our politics. These chaps in PDP need to realize that opinions, not necessarily theirs only, are important for good governance and democratic consolidation. Tolerance of these, shows a higher culture of accommodation and respect of democratic ethos. Aliyu Mukhtar Katsina, MukhtarKatsina,(amkatsina@ recalled that around December last year, the same governor’s convoy was involved in an almost similar accident leading to the death of the governor’s aide. Although, it is God who protects us all, we should be very careful of our actions to have God’s protection manifest. It is when we fail in our responsibilities that the dare consequences of our actions besiege even the innocent among us. While we mourn the demise of an asset to the nation, let’s reflect on righting the wrongs. Some day, some time every human shall die in whatever circumstance. His death is a reminder that no one knows who’s dying next among us all. How well we prepare towards this reality is shown in our acts on earth. What do we stand for? What do we want to be remembered for? Let’s reflect on revivifying our value system so as to have a brighter and remarkable memorial. May God grant the family of the deceased the fortitude to bear the loss! Abdussalam Amoo studies Education and English in the University of Lagos,Twitter: @ ibnamoo, BlackBerry Messenger: 32F8A2BB.



EHORECON boss wants toilets in public places to check open defecation


Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo (right), commissioning a power Project “Operation Light-up Nigeria”, yesterday at Durumi village, Bwari Area Council, in Abuja. With him are Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali (middle), and Chief of Durumi village, Alhaji Ibrahim Jarumi (left). Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Kuje residents decry incessant robbery, housebreaking By Stanley Onyekwere with agency report


esidents of Kuje Area Council, of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have decried the alarming spate of theft in the area, barely two weeks after the FCT Administration linked insecurity in the nation’s capital to influx of people from other parts of the country into the territory. According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), there had been frequent robberies in several houses at the quarters behind the Council secretariat since April, with some residents of the area whose houses where burgled recently expressed the need for the police in Kuje to intensify security measures in the area. This is coming on the heels of a recent disclosure by the FCT minister, Bala Muhammed, which insecurity in the nation’s capital was usually occasioned by influx of people from other parts of the country into the territory.

The minister who had made the disclosure when he declared open a two-day Federal and State Security Administrator’s Meeting (FASSAM), held recently, in Abuja, said the manifestations of these pressures contribute immensely to the current security challenges in the FCT. Bala, who was represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Security, Abdullahi Kudu, added that as a result the FCTA is constantly faced with challenges of different forms of criminalities, including terrorism, land racketeering, squatters, youth unemployment. According to him; “the unique position of the FCT, in addition to its growth and developments over time has attracted everyone in search of the proverbial greener pastures; and this development exerts tremendous pressure in the territory and its administration. The minister was however, confident that effective partnership with states of Plateau, Kaduna, Niger, Kogi, Nasarawa, Benue and

the FCT will help address insecurity in the nation’s capital. However, one of them, Mr. Andrew Gaza of Danladi Etsu Zhin Street said robbery in the area was a recent occurrence. “The thieves gained access to my house late in the night through the window by tearing the net and removing the iron burglary. “They stole three of my phones, a Plasma TV, some documents and my travelling bags,” he said. He urged security operatives to expedite action on the matter. Similarly, one Mr. Max Anochie of Eagle House Street said his house was robbed more than once and that many of his valuables were stolen. He said it was worrisome that cases of theft were becoming rampant in the area where past and a serving local government chairman are residing. “This is the third time my house has been robbed in less than one month; and the perpetrators always gain access to my house through an empty house next to mine.

“They made away with my plasma TV, two phones, a camera, a DVD video player and my wife’s jewellery,’’ Anochie added. Another resident, Mrs. Turu Hanatu, complained that her house was burgled and her computer accessories stolen, stressing that the trend was becoming alarming in the area. She said security operatives in the area council were not doing enough to protect lives and property, adding that appropriate measures should be taken to arrest future occurrence. “They gained access to my house by breaking the wall fence; and they made away with a photocopier machine, two laptops, a printer and five computers,” Hanatu said. When contacted, the Kuje Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Mr. Usain Hakim, appealed to the affected residents to exercise patience as plans were underway to tackle the security challenges in the area.

he Registrar of the council, Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON), Augustine Ebisike has urged government and other stakeholders to provide functional toilets in public places to check open defecation. The Registrar, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said it was unfortunate that people still defecate in the open due to the lack of will to promote sanitation in public places. Ebisike said the availability of clean toilets in homes and public places such as tourism destinations, offices, and motor parks, was crucial in the fight against open defecation. He added that in other climes, people considered open defecation and its consequences as a taboo. “Go to the federal secretariat, go to the state secretariats, even some people’s home; you ask to see the toilet and everybody is embarrassed “Or go to Wuse market and ask to use the toilet; you will be surprised if there is one. They call it a restroom in some places, but I don’t see anybody who will rest in any public toilet in this part of the world. “You are supposed to go to toilet and relax and do whatever you want to do. “But here, there are no way you will see a toilet and you have an opportunity to relax unless you want to go and contact more diseases and we must talk about it if it will change. The Registrarhowever said that providing the public with clean toilets was “a symbol of better health, higher income, more education, higher social status, and a cleaner living environment”. NAN recalls that in 2001 the World Toilet Organisation declared Nov 19 of each year a World Toilet Day, which is celebrated in more than 19 countries with 51 events being hosted by various water and sanitation advocates. (NAN)

Court affirms inapplicability of land use Act in FCT


Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court has ruled that the Nigeria’s Land Use Act was not applicable in the capital territory. In a land ownership case instituted by one Saleh Yuguda against Major Owolabi and Lukman Obi, the court ruled that the FCT minister was the only authority that could allocate land

within the territory. The presiding judge, Justice Yusuf Halilu, therefore ruled that the plaintiff’s Certificate of Occupancy issued by Bwari Area Council was invalid. In the case instituted on February 11, Yuguda had urged the court to declare that he was the bonafide

owner of plot 92, Cadastral Zone, FL 8, Dutse, Abuja, claiming that it was rightfully allotted to him. He claimed that he bought the land in 1999 from one Nnodim Charles, who was originally allotted the plot. He, however, stated that in September 2012, he discovered that

the land had been fenced by the defendants. Yuguda therefore urged the court to grant an order of perpetual injunction barring the defendants or their agents from trespassing on the land. He also urged the court to award N5 million to him as damages and N2

million as legal fees cost. Justice Halilu ruled that no Area Council chairman in the FCT had the authority to allocate land to any person. Halilu, however, ordered the defendants to halt further trespass on the land and awarded a cost of N200, 000 against them for damages. (NAN)




A long queue of jerry cans for people hoping to buy Kerosene at NNPC Mega filling station, on Tuesday in Wuse, Abuja

The ever busy Kugbo mechanic village, yesterday at Kugbo, in Abuja

‘Clowns’ entertaining guests at a political gathering, recently in Abuja.

Orange sellers waiting for clients, yesterday at Durumi village, in Abuja.

A Gbagi woman with pot on her back showcasing Gbagi rich culture, recently at public health conference held recently, in Abuja. Photos: Justin Imo-Owo





Driver arraigned for negligence, breach of trust


he police have arraigned a driver, Akor Moses, 26, in a Senior Magistrates’ Court in Life Camp, Abuja, on charges of negligence, criminal breach of trust and theft. Moses, a resident of Sabon Wuse, in Niger, is standing trial before a Senior Magistrate, Mr. Zubairu Mohammed. The prosecutor, Insp. Audu Bitrus, told the court that one

Mrs. Victoria Okpanachi of Daki Biu Village, Abuja, lodged a report against the accused at the Life Camp Police Station on Sepember1. Bitrus said that on October 25, 2012, the complainant gave her car, a “Nissan Almera’’ model valued at N850,000, with registration number RSH 399 XB to the accused for commercial purpose.

He alleged that after several months the accused came and told Mrs. Okpanachi that one of the passengers he picked offered him food which was drugged. He said unknown to Moses, he eat the food and suddenly went unconscious while the passenger ran away with the vehicle. The prosecutor said that the accused later pleaded and promised to pay for the car,

adding that all effort to recover the money proved abortive. The accused person pleaded not guilty to the charges. Senior Magistrate Mohammed admitted Moses to bail for N500, 000 with one reliable surety. He ordered that the surety must be a civil servant not below GL 08 or any business person with a place of business in any of the government approved markets or

plaza in the FCT. He said in the case of a business person, the surety must depose to an affidavit of means and verified by the court registrar. He said in the case of a civil servant, a letter from the director of personnel from his organisation or three month salary pay slip from his office was also required. (NAN)

3 men get 1 year in prison each for burglary, theft


ne Abubakar Abdullahi, Jatau Aminu and Mohammed Ibrahim, who pleaded guilty to two counts of joint act and theft filed by the police, are to spend one year in prison each. Chief Magistrate Ademuyiwa Oyiyepo, of an Abuja Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting in Karu sentenced them for burglary and theft accordingly without delay. In his ruling, Oyiyepo said: “Though the accused persons did not waste the time of the court, I hereby pronounce my sentence without further delay. “Looking at the nature of the offence committed by the accused persons, I believe they should not go unpunished in order to serve as deterrent to potential offenders. “I hereby find you Abdullahi, Aminu and Mohammed guilty as charged and sentence you to one year imprisonment each without an option of fine. He adds: “The three of you are also to pay the sum of N130,000 in compensation to the nominal complainant since the stolen items were not recovered. “It is hoped that you would all come out better persons after you must have finished serving your jail terms.” The prosecutor, Sgt. Mohammed Garba, had earlier told the court that the accused persons burgled a shop belonging to one Chibuzo Okoye at Area 1, Abuja, and stole items worth N130, 000. Garba said that at the police station the accused persons confessed to the crime, and that they gave the stolen items to one Adamu to sell for them. (NAN)

Pupils of New Hope International School, Kuje, during their excursion to the handicraft village, yesterday in Abuja.

Photo: NAN

4 men docked over alleged possession of firearms T he Police yesterday arraigned four men accused of illegal possession of firearms in an Abuja High Court. The accused, Mohammed Samni, 29; John Olajide, 27; Emmanuel Sunday, 20 and Paul Gabriel, 20, are residents of Mararaba, in Nasarawa state. The prosecutor, Mrs. Tolani Eyiowuawi, told the court that

the accused were arrested sometime in April, 2012, during a stop-and-search check at a spot close to Sky Memorial Hospital, Wuse, Abuja. She said that two locallymade pistols and one Beratta pistol were found on the accused, and that none of them could produce any licence or authority to carry such weapons.

The accused however pleaded not guilty to the charge. Counsel to the accused, Mr. Husseini Apghaiyemeh, prayed the court to admit them to bail. The prosecutor objected to the bail application, but the presiding judge, Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi, granted them bail in the sum of N1 million each and one surety each in like sum.

He ordered that the sureties must be resident within the Federal Capital Territory and must produce proof of ownership of landed property. He also directed that the accused be remanded in Kuje prison if they failed to meet the bail conditions. Oniyangi then adjourned the case to December 4. (NAN)

Man, 28, to spend 2 years in prison for rape


Gudu Upper Area Court in Abuja has sentenced one Sheyi Raphael, 28, of Nzube Estate, Lokogoma, in Apo, Abuja, to two years in prison for rape. The presiding judge, Mr. Adamu Wakili, sentenced Raphael after he pleaded

guilty to the charge. Wakili also ordered the convict to pay N10, 000 to the victim or serve additional six months in prison. The judge said that the punishment was to serve as deterrent to people who engaged in such acts.

Earlier, the prosecutor, Cpl Christian Munonye, told the court that the victim was a housemaid at No. 79, Nzube Estate, Lokogoma, Apo District. He said that Raphael went to the victim’s house on November 6 in the

guise of borrowing a phone charger, and in the process he overpowered and closed the victim’s mouth and raped her. Munonye told the court that the victim was later taken to hospital for medical examination. (NAN)



INSIDE, 08033045613

Dangote to hit 1.5m tonnes of sugar

- Pg 20

L-R: Representative of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Mr. Segun Aina, Administrator, National Judicial Institute, Justice Umaru Eri, and Deputy Governor, Operations Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Tunde Lemo, during the 13TH National Seminar on Banking and Allied Matters for Judges, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

World Bank warns Nigeria against mismanagement of resources

Stories by Etuka Sunday


he World Bank Nigeria Country Director, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, has warned beneficiaries of the bank’s financial interventions against mismanagement of resources. Marie-Nelly, who spoke in Enugu at the Country Performance Portfolio Review (CPPR) meeting for South-south and South-east states, said the country needed to attain faster growth rate in order to curb

extreme poverty warned that there would be zero-tolerance for poor use of the resources. The World Bank Country Director also called for better management of resources by the Nigerian government, in order to further improve the living condition of the masses. In a presentation at the meeting, Enugu state government through its state planning commission gave a total of N14 billion as its monthly internally generated revenue (IGR), saying there was a plan to

realise 50 per cent of its total revenue from (IGR) while working towards managing public debt in a way that does not create problem for the state. Also in a presentation, the Cross, River State government appealed to the World Bank to save the state from the “sad and embarrassing” situation it had found itself following the loss of 76 oil wells to Akwa-Ibom state. It would be recalled that the Supreme Court, in July 2012, had ruled that the 76 disputed

Dangote sugar’s GMD commends FG on master plan


he Group Managing Director, Dangote Sugar Refinery, Mr. Graham Clark has commended the Federal Government on the new sugar master plan saying it has the capacity to put Nigeria on the global sugar map. Dangote Group in a statement yesterday quoted Mr. Clark to have given the commendation in Abuja while on a courtesy visit to the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, and the Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Dr. Lateef Busari. According to the statement, Mr. Clark said he has a mandate to establish a world class sugar business in the Dangote Group, and develop a fully integrated world

class sugar supply chain that would put Nigeria on the world sugar map. He said the target is achievable given the strength of Dangote group and Government’s legislative support. According to him, with an enabling environment created for the sector’s growth as well as the volume of investment the Dangote Group making in the sector, a new era would be seen in the sugar sector. The statement said the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga while speaking congratulated him on his appointment as the Group Managing Director of Dangote Sugar Refinery, saying that the Sugar Master Plan is a very important initiative for the Government, due to the economic

growth it would bring to Nigeria as well as the extended value chain the sector would create. According him, implementation of the masterplan will create numerous employment opportunities. Aganga promised that the FG would continue to support and provide the enabling environment for the successful implementation of the NSMP. The Deputy Group Managing Director, Engr. Sule introducing the GMD to the Minister revealed that Dangote Sugar Refinery in line with the National Sugar Master Plan developed a master plan to produce 1.5mt/pa locally in the next 10 years. This he added is what necessitated the need to employ the required competences to ensure that the set target is achieved.

oil wells claimed by Cross River state belonged to Akwa Ibom. The Cross River state government officials present at the meeting said its plans to implement capital projects that could be of immense benefit to its people was hampered by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s directive to banks to refrain from extending credit to the state. It added that the situation had dealt “a big blow and killer punch” on the capacity of the state to undertake crucial empowerment initiatives. However, it said the development had encouraged the state to step up efforts to boost its IGR and strengthen its public-private partnerships (PPP).

Delay in cabotage funds disbursement, sign of a failed project - WISTA president - Pg 21

FG seeks foreign-direct investment in road sector - Pg 22 Exchange Rates

CBN as at 11th November, 2013 Buying







207.26 208.60











MANAGEMENT TIP OF THE DAY Rally your troops in times of crisis


s a leader, what you say and how you say it matters— especially when your company is facing a challenge. In times like these, motivation isn’t about scaring employees into working harder with threats and blame, but inspiring them to “do battle” together—unified in purpose and determined to succeed. When the pressure is intense, consider the following strategies: Anchor the organization. Focus people on what they need to do differently and why this is critical to your company’s success. Explain the

changes you want to see, and lead people to think about how they can play a role in that transformation. Model the right kind of truth-telling. Encourage employees to speak frankly, without finger-pointing. Use clear, direct language. Don’t let fear or frustration creep in. Focus on the future. Explain that you want to hear ideas from everyone in the organization on how to do things better—from complex processes to innovation. Be clear that you’re open to twoway conversations. Source: Harvard Business Review

Industry PAGE 20


BoI not helping SMEs-Group Stories by Ayodele Samuel,Lagos


ssociation of Micro Entrepreneurs of Nigeria (AMEN), has been challenged the Bank of Industry (BoI) to publish its list of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) lenders to dispel the rumour that it was starving the subsector of funds. AMEN President, Prince Saviour Iche, while criticizing the banks for failing to lend enough money to SMEs said there had been “a remorseless decline of credit availability for SMEs’’. Iche speaking to newsmen

said doing this would also show whether the bank has improved in its duties. He said publishing the data would also highlight the failure of the bank to make any impact on financing start-ups and earlystage small businesses. Iche said banks were riskaverse and too often declined funding applications. He called for the government to review the channels through which funding is made available to small business lenders. He said it was essential for economic growth that SMEs’ owners have the confidence to invest in their businesses and

create jobs. However Ogun State Government said that it had recently entered a partnership with the Bank to provide N1bn for the Small and Medium Enterprises sector of the state. Governor Ibikunle Amosun stated this during the celebration of the Ogun State Day at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair said the loan window was aimed at providing funds to address internal issues in trade promotion within the state. “We are using this as a forum to stabilise the trade of our people, especially those in small businesses, who may not have

easy access to bank loans. What we do is to serve as the bridge between them and the financial institutions so that they can have access to funds,” he said. Amosun said the task of promoting trade in the state was the responsibility of the government and the organized private sector. Amosun, who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Segun Adesegun, added that based on the understanding of the economic importance of trade, the state was also working on providing tax incentives to investors, depending on their business and location in the state.

L-R: Group Chairman, Chris Electrical Company Ltd, Chief Chris Ihenacho, President, Association of Illumination Professionals, Mr. Ajadi Abdulwahab, and Treasurer, Mr. Abubakar Galadima, during the 7th International Lighting Conference, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

Dangote to hit 1.5m tonnes of sugar


angote Sugar Refinery is actively pursuing a backward integration master plan with a target of producing a total of 1.5 million tonnes of sugar per annum locally from its subsidiaries. Savannah Sugar, one of its subsidiaries, is capable of producing 50,000 metric tonnes of sugar per annum at present as part of its efforts towards meeting the national sugar master plan. Dangote Sugar has reportedly increased its share of the Nigerian sugar market in the nine months ended September 30, 2013 as part of the strategies to grow the company both local and global. The company is planning to resume exports to selected West African countries in the first quarter of 2014. The management of the sugar refinery pledged to continue to strengthen output, sales and distribution through large

distribution network even as the refinery has six warehouses and 350 own trucks to ease distribution. It plans an additional investment of N180 billion for four factories in Sokoto and Kebbi states and has 150,000 hectares of land allocated for the project in Kogi, Kwara, Jigawa, Sokoto, Taraba and Kebbi states. Dangote Sugar acquired the moribund 50, 000 tonnes per annum capacity sugar producing factory-the Savannah Sugar Company Limited in Numan, Adamawa State in 2002. The buy-over, overseen by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), was the fallout of the failure of several attempts made by the Federal Government to reposition the nation’s foremost sugar company. Dangote Industries Limited emerged as the preferred bidder and core investor, after which it went into turnaround activities in

the company. To put the company back in shape, Dangote began investments of several billions of Naira. Specifically, N12 billion initial investments was made by Dangote Group as core running expenses into the business after the take-over in the first five years. The areas that gulped the money, included factory and estate rehabilitation; purchase of vehicles, trucks and heavy duty equipment; salaries and wages; farm inputs like fertilisers and chemicals, among others; spare parts for factory and heavy duty equipment and payments in the form of sugar development levy. Dangote has embarked on expansion of the plant, enhancing the integrated sugar cane farming and sugar milling through increased plant capacity from 50, 000 tonnes

per annum to 200, 000 tonnes. This necessitated procurement of new machinery and new factory. This is to enhance the integrated sugar came farming and milling Currently, total production hovers between 15, 000 and 16, 000 tonnes down from 30, 000 tonnes per annum recorded after the completion of initial turn around project due to issues with the Community. Savannah Sugar cultivates a total of 18,000 hectares. It employs approximately 20,000 people made up of direct employees and farmer out growers. As a front line player in the backward integration policy, the Savannah sugar’s projection is to produce One million tons of white sugar by 2015, cultivating 100,000 hectares in about six states of Sokoto, Kebbi, Jigawa, Taraba, Kogi and Kwara State employing over 50,000 Nigerians.

NEPZA staff protest against poor welfare


taff of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) on Monday locked the gates of the headquarters in Abuja in a peaceful protest over alleged management’s indifference to staff welfare. The staff, under the auspices of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) took the management by surprise as they locked the gates to the Agency’s headquarters as early as 6am and prevented staffers from gaining access. The workers in a press statement jointly signed by the ASCSN, NEPZA Unit secretary, Comrade Samari Yakubu, complained that their payment of claims, allowances and promotions were unduly delayed without explanations while the Managing director, Gbenga Kuye, had made promotion a privilege, at the discretion of management. Their protest messages conveyed on placards reads: “Other staff like NEPZA management staff need to be paid their claims and allowances, promotion is our right not a privilege, management settle investor’s problems instead of directing them to other agencies, NEPZA staff say no to intimidation and harassment of union executive,” among others, said the refusal of the management to respond positively to staff welfare issue before it had become worrisome. Chairman of the union Comrade Ofili Emmanuel, said the Managing Director Gbenga Kuye made promotion a privilege he dispenses at the discretion of the management ignoring the place of merit, thereby dampening the morale of hardworking senior staffers of the Agency. The union also accused the management of employing general managers since August 2011 without following due process and that the managers had been feeding on illegal allowances from within the authority and also assignments that take them outside the country. “These general managers, who are still not on the payroll of the authority sign documents, borrow money, sign vouchers and award jobs on behalf of NEPZA. This we consider illegal and should be reversed,” the statement read. The union further said management had introduced allowances outside the consolidated salaries to favour certain category of staff, adding that “the best practice worldwide is that personnel is the life wire of every organisation and as such, it is expected that considerations should be given to all categories of staff when making decisions especially on staff welfare.”




Delay in cabotage funds disbursement, sign of a failed project - WISTA president By Dapo Olalekan


resident of the Women in Shipping and Transport Association, WISTA Nigeria, Jean Chiazor Anishere has said that the long delay in the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Funds (CVFF) by the apex maritime regulatory body, the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA),shows signs of a failed project. Speaking to our correspondent in Lagos yesterday, Anishere said that the Federal Government should take a strong stand on the disbursement of the funds to boost the indigenous ship owners in the country. According to her, “In terms of the waiting time for the

disbursement, we can say yes CVFF has failed, because people are losing money, look at the time lag, every year we are saying one thing or the other we keep delaying and you know delay is deadly, it is killing businesses of ship owners it is killing some people” Anishere stated. Still speaking, Anishere urged that the authorities in charge should be decisive and avoid unnecessary excuses over the CVFF disbursement. “The Federal Government should as a matter of urgency give a time limit and stay by it, the fact that the FG change the top officials at NIMASA such as its Director General does not mean you change the entire NIMASA, someone somewhere there who knows what CVFF is all about should continue when

top officials are removed”, She explained. She added that the Federal government should ensure that there is a quick synergy between newly appointed Director General and the Cabotage department of NIMASA for continuity. “If the federal Government think changing the Director General is expedient then the Cabotage department of the Agency must work quickly on the new Director General in other to understand what the project is all about”. Anishere who identified the challenges CVFF is encumbered with said, “the problem NIMASA and the FG is having is to appreciate the guidelines and be guarded by it. NIMASA have so many DG and CVFF should have been disbursed by now i happened

to be one of the lawyers who can be called the mini consultant and we set out the requirements that beneficiaries should fulfill and we put down the requirement and having done the necessary we call them (the beneficiaries) for meeting with the primary lending institutions,(PLI), to know whether they have the wherewithal to meet the requirements. “But while we are in the middle of this, the then DG, Temisan Omatseye was changed to Patrick Akpobolokemi and Patrick has to given some time to understand the working of CVFF and Cabotage and by the time he understands the CVFF he also changed some of the directors and they also buy time to understand the terrain, so, you can see reasons why it takes

L-R: Leader of the delegation, Ambassador Godfrey Teneilabe, Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, and President of Houston International Trade Development Council, Mr. Val Thompson, during the minister’s audience with a U.S. Trade Mission to Nigeria, on Tuesday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

Experts canvass increased insurance education From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


he Managing Director, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc., Mr. Eddie Efekoha has emphasized the need for increased insurance education for the public especially for the country’s teeming youths. Efekoha who spoke at a Career Talk for students in secondary schools in Lagos organized by Professional Insurance Ladies Association (PILA), stressed the need for more insurance

education in the country. He commended the efforts of PILA in ensuring that insurance education is instilled in the next generation right from their childhood. Efekoha, represented the President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of the Nigeria (CIIN), Mr. F. K Lawal as the Chairman of the occasion. Mr. Kola Ahmed, the Director General of the Chartered Insurance Institute of the Nigeria (CIIN) also emphasized

the Insurance Institute’s total commitment to Insurance education and public awareness. Speaking on the topic “The Splendor of the Insurance Profession” the Managing Director, and Chief Executive of International Energy Insurance Plc., Mrs. Roseline Ekeng, highlighted the dynamics of the insurance profession as well as entry criteria to Nigeria Universities to study Insurance. In her welcome address, the Vice President of PILA, Mrs.

Yetunde Adenuga explained that one of the cardinal objectives of PILA is public enlightenment campaign on the need for Insurance and the education of the younger generation on the benefits of taking Insurance as a profession. She said there was demand for the inclusion of insurance as a subject in Lagos state school curriculum also enabled the students to share their knowledge of insurance when they were given the opportunity during the interactive session. Students who excelled during the interactive session were also given prizes, while the CIIN President donated books to the six schools that came out tops.

long to disburse the funds,” she disclosed. However, she denied allegations that the CVFF funds may have been spent by the federal government saying it was because of the time it took the FG to disburse the money that has generated varying opinions.

British Airways offers ‘Christmas Special’ to UK, Europe By Etuka Sunday with agency report


or customers of leading global airline, British Airways, especially those traveling to the United Kingdom and Europe, this year’s Christmas can as well begin in November. The airline today announced a special Christmas price discount on its popular World Traveller (economy) cabin for its Nigerian customers. Known as the Christmas Sale Special, the offer comes just a few weeks after the end of the airline’s 53rd Independence Anniversary Special and the Companion Fare Special which offered customers special discounts to UK, Europe and North America. Giving details of the offer, British Airways Commercial Manager for West Africa, Mr. Kola Olayinka said that the Christmas Sales Special presents the airline’s customers the opportunity to travel to London, the United Kingdom, and selected destinations in Europe from Lagos and Abuja for as low as $360! He, however, advised customers to hurry to confirm their bookings, as these amazing return fares are limited. These fares, he said, are available for purchase until December 23 and return by 31 January 014. “We know it’s not Christmas, yet, but we just can’t wait to share our gifts with our customers this season. This is why we are announcing our Christmas Sale Special this early. Apart from enabling our customers to make fantastic savings while travelling on our award-winning World Traveller (economy) cabin, we also believe that it will also help them plan well ahead for their Christmas travels this season,” Olayinka said. He said that all fares are exclusive of taxes, fees and surcharges, and advised all customers and potential customers to always visit www. before they make their travel plans or contact their IATA certified travel agents.

Business FG seeks foreign-direct investment in road sector PAGE 22

By Miriam Humbe


he Minister of Works, Arc Mike Onolemenen has said that government is ready to welcome foreign investments in every facet of its economic life especially in the areas of roads, bridge construction and tolling. “Government is encouraging foreign-direct investment in every sector of the economy. My ministry is ready to cooperate with you especially on roads and


bridge construction including tolling”, he said. Onolememen said this to a delegation of investors under the auspices of United States Trade Mission to Nigeria including Nigerians in Diaspora, from United States of America, led by Nigeria’s Ambassador to Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Geoffrey Teneilabe in Abuja yesterday. He said Nigeria welcomes direct foreign investment in infrastructure which he

described as ‘key’ in any economy and reiterated the commitment of the ministry to cooperate with the investors to forge a partnership. While urging the investors to invest in the country, because of our population which stands at 160 million, he assured that any investment will be worthwhile and assured that “because of our up-beat, Nigeria is soon to overtake South-Africa”. He challenged the intending

investors to interface with directors of the ministry so as to acquaint themselves with investment opportunities that abound especially in the roads sector. Speaking earlier, leader of the team, Mr. Geoffrey Teneilabe said, they were in the country to seek trade opportunities for investment. “We are here to seek trade partnership and to invest in Nigeria”, he said.

L-R: Kaduna state Acting Head of Service, Mr Akila Bungwon, Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Alhaji Bature Masari, and Kaduna state Governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, during the inauguration of the National Enterprises Programme (NEDEP), yesterday in Kaduna. Photo: NAN

Crude oil vandalism: NSCDC NCC to ensure high speed arrests 40-yr old man in Ogun broadband in Nigeria By Etuka Sunday with agency Report


he Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ogun State Command, has arrested a forty -year old man in connection with crude oil pipeline vandalism. The suspect, whose name was given as Raji Akeem, was arrested by the Anti -vandalism team of the NSCDC during a routine surveillance at Ipara in Remo North local Government, Ogun State. Raji was caught by the men of NSCDC tapping fuel from the vandalized pipeline with other accomplices into their jerry cans and drums, but took to their heels immediately they sighted officers and men of the NSCDC who subsequently pursued and arrested Raji. During interrogation, the suspect described his arrest as an unfortunate saying he

was already planning to quit the business very soon. “I have decided to gather small money so that I can quit”, pointing out that he joined the business to meet his financial needs. Raji, father of seven explained that pipeline vandalism has been lucrative saying that he realizes minimum of forty thousand naira on each trip. Confirming the incident, the Public Relations Officer of the NSCDC Ogun State Command, Kareem Olanrewaju said the incident will be thoroughly investigated. Items recovered from them were two ford buses with registration numbers Lagos FKJ 342 XC and Lagos LSD 522 XE,13 drums of petroleum product, eleven of 25litres kegs containing petroleum product, 9 empty drums and 43 empty 50 liters kegs while the fuel content is 3,525 litres.

By Chris Alu


he Nigerian space Communications Commission has proposed the setting up infrastructure companies that would ensure speedy accelerating of broadband deployment in the country under the National Broadband Network Deployment plan. The proposed broadband structure will consist of infrastructure companies that will provide intercity fibre and metro fibre, while geographically focused companies will provide bandwidth services on a non-discriminatory, open access and price regulated basis. This was contained in a document made available to our correspondent ,The infrastructure companies will also be required to focus on the “deployment of metropolitan fibre and provide transmission services as well as the available at access points (Fibre

to the Node or Neighborhood – FTTN) to access seekers, leverage existing inter-city fibre to deploy their services, and purchase or lease transmission or long haul fibre capacity from other providers, where available, for the purpose of interconnection.” The objective of this initiative is to stimulate a new national broadband network that is not only more widespread but also faster and more secure than what is available today, thereby stimulating other sectors of the economy and leading to higher economic spinoffs for Nigeria. In addition, it will offer efficient connectivity as well as ultra-high-speed broadband services that are available, affordable and sustainable. The statement added that NCC has proposed a structure that will allow existing players to operate on the basis of business-as-usual, with the option of transferring or leasing their inter-city and existing metropolitan fibre infrastructure.

NNPC to increase crude oil reserves –Yakubu By Etuka Sunday


he Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr Andrew Yakubu has said that the cooperation will add 585,000 barrels of crude oil to the nation’s current reserve of 3.7 billion by the end of the year 2015 He stated this at the 2013 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), in a statement issued by NNPC to our correspondent in Abuja. The GMD Specifically said that Bonga North/S.West and Egina will add 200,000 barrels per day while Erha North will churn-up 185,000 barrels per day, all by the year 2015. He also said that other fields such as Preowei, Ikike, Nkarika and Etising were being appraised for proper development. Yakubu explained that Nigeria ranked among the foremost countries for incremental production in the long term and remained a reliable supplier of energy to the world, adding that that 52 oil blocks operating under Production Sharing Contract (PSC) were at various stages of exploration and development. The GMD noted that the rising demand for petroleum products had created the need for significant refining capacity and the need to open up the midstream and downstream sectors. He, however, stressed the need for the quick passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and the deregulation of the downstream sector for investment to thrive in the sector. “Policy reforms being undertaken by the current administration especially passing the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law would strengthen the framework for increased investment in Nigeria,’’ he said. He said that the NNPC would to continue to pursue opportunities for growth through strategic partnerships and invite investors especially from the Gulf region to invest in Nigeria.


Stock Watch

Report as at Wednesday, November 13, 2013






Since creation, Kano has never had an antipoverty scheme like ours, says Kwankwaso Kano state Governor, Engineer Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, in this extensive no-holds-barred interview, shares his accomplishments and vision for the transformation of Kano’s economy, as well as the internal wrangling bedevilling the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), among other issues. The interview was granted to the Hausa section of Abuja based 92.1 Vision FM and translated by our man Hassan Ginsau. Excerpts:


hat are the problems you’ve faced in terms of governance, and what measures are you taking to solve these problems so that the people of Kano can appreciate your leadership? The people, like the interviewer said, know that our government, which was elected and sworn in on the 29th of May, 2011, is preceded by my first term in office; therefore, we have seen our positives, and wish to improve on them, also we have seen our faults and how we can improve on them. I’d like to thank the people of Kano who saw it fit to elect us back once more into office, in order for us to pick off where we left in 2003. When we came into office, the major thing that we faced was the issue concerning funds; whereby we were left with debts of as much as N70 billion, and over $200 million. We first of all drew

Dr. Rabiu Kwankwaso

a line and settled down, in order for us to know which debts to take on board and which projects to continue with firstly, and subsequently. Our government, from the beginning, made a stance to complete any project we inherited from the military regime. This time around, we also came with that mindset. Therefore, we strived in finding ways of generating revenue, and not squandering them. This is why, firstly, from the part of the governor’s office, that of the deputy governor, commissioners, and different sections of government, we introduced a scheme. Firstly, we said anything that is used for the carrying out of the government’s functions in our first 8 years, we should go back and pick up from where we left; that was in 2003. This caused us to cancel a lot of expenses we met that were being paid. In that scheme, my government was successful in stopping the squandering of over N500 million. If you multiply the N500 million we saved by 12 months, it is

more than the money used for the overhead bridge at Kofar Nasarawa, which didn’t cost more than N6 billion. We also came in with a scheme called “security vote”, which involves money that leaders of local, state, and federal government are not expected to account for, which for us isn’t right. The people’s money is the people’s money. If you collect your salary and allowance, you don’t have to tell anybody how you spent them, but when it comes to public funds there’s no way you can spend them without explaining to the people who own the money what you did with them. Ever since we came back into government, there’s no such thing in Kano as ‘security vote’; if the police are going to work, the police commissioner should tell us the nature of this work; how many people are involved, what is to be purchased? Due process should be followed in the purchase; it’s nothing hidden; if the soldier is going to work, he should state what he intends to do. If you’re

going to give teachers, or emirs, or traders, or anything appropriate, the Kano state government will document it. This scheme has helped us recoup millions of Naira which were hitherto going to waste in the governor’s pocket and those close to him. We have looked at other sources of revenue we can bring in; there’s the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) funds; we saw vast amounts of money from 2008, 2009, 2010, and even 2011 that was uncollected, and luckily the money was still available; those funds now are in the region of N9 billion, which we have been using in the construction of schools, materials for teachers, and other important issues concerning education. There’s also the area of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); our representatives at these MDGs told us that any state that hasn’t collect their funds, they say they will give to Kano, because they are willing to collect. This has helped for us to come up with half, and for

them to give half. We’ve gone far in renovating most of our hospitals. This is something of great importance. Talking about the monies you mentioned, mainly about the debts, have they been paid? And also, have you recouped any misappropriated funds? Honestly, in Kano, the way of doing things is to draw a line and do what is right; as things are going, the government has paid a large number of funds. Last month, the commissioner of finance showed me an audit which indicated one of our debts has been reduced to N32 billion from N77 billion. We will continue to check these funds, and go on paying them based on the income we have that will not be detrimental to us based on our work. This is because people will judge us based on the work on ground that we have done which touches them, not necessarily paying off debts. Nevertheless, we are following the necessary steps to make sure those debts

are paid; the good thing is that we, the government don’t like collecting loans; this government has still not collected a loan from the Federal Government, or any bank, within and without the country. And we have no intention of collecting any loan; a lot of people are surprised at how we are carrying out various projects, and how we are getting funds. Particularly in Abuja, they are surprised at the electricity projects we have given out, which is worth N14, 200,000, to generate electricity at Chalawa Goji dam and Tiga dam. We are going to use the electricity in the areas of drinking water, water plants, companies, street lights, which illuminate our streets at night, and also traffic lights that control traffic, and other positive things. This is a historic work, which we thought the Federal Government would do; we waited and waited for the dams that the Federal Government collected before returning them to us, which took a long time; but thanks to God we have collected the dams and given out these projects, which we hope, by the grace of God, before May 29, 2015, we will finish those projects. There are major projects, like the overhead bridge at Kofar Nasarawa; it comprises 2 bridges, there is a bigger bridge that comes from along Technical College, all the way to Kofar Nasarawa. And another one that we are constructing along Radio House, that one is the smaller one. There’s a bigger bridge that we have, that we are starting from the connecting road of Murtala Mohammed Way that links with the Airport Road, it will pass along ‘Coca- Cola’ area and Sabon- Gari market, which will reach all the way to the Triumph office. It’s almost double the overhead bridge we are constructing at Kofar Nasarawa; we are hopeful that all the paperwork will be concluded soon; the contractor is currently being chosen for the project.

There is another major project that we have started, that of covering Jakara Lake. It is a very important project, and will start all the way from Aminu Kano road, passing through Aisami, Kantinkwari, Kurmi markets,

require a large amount of money with Nigeria facing the problem of poverty and lack of funds by the federal, state and local governments. What ways, or magic, will you use to generate the funds

The things we are doing in Kano to help the community, if we are going to take 500 children and send them to school, we don’t say only privileged children, what we ask is: Who has first class? Who has second class upper? Whether he’s from your house, or from my house, as long as he meets the requirements, no matter how much money he has but doesn’t have the heart to pay, he should come; the government of Kano will pay, especially if he shows interest, this is the way of those that seek progress coming out through Fagge and Nasarawa, all the way to Airport Road, also in Nasarawa local government area. This is an important project and we have already given it out; contractors have already visited the site. This is a project that, if finished, the Jakara Lake that cuts through Kano sate, which is roughly 7 kilometres, will be covered. We will construct dual carriage way on the lake; we will insert street lights, traffic lights and other modern technology. When we complete this project, the mosquito problem in Kano will reduce, floods that have been submerging houses will, by the Grace of God, be history. The issues of foul smell and diseases, and youth that use the area for drug abuse will also become history. Also, home and landowners that are close to the area will see an increase in value because the area will become a valuable, beautiful place that people will use accordingly. Talking about funds, you have outlined major finished and on-going projects, which all

to complete the entire projects before the end of your tenure as governor? All these things that we are doing, our work has never stopped; we’ve never lacked


funds, and God willing we will never lack funds; unless for unknown elements, which don’t hope for; and if it does come, may God make it easy for us, and I’m sure everybody in this country, not even Kano state will know that something has happened. If things continue to move as they are doing now, our intention is that all these projects that we have started, we will finish them. Regarding the roads, if you go to the city, we are working on the Zaria road, from Dantata and Sawoe all the way to “Kofar Nasarawa”. We are also working on the Hadejia road, starting from the front of the motor park to Murtala Muhammad Way, or let me say Daula Hotel; most of them are finished. Likewise Gwarzo Road has nearly been completed, coal tar has been laid and efforts are being made to install street lights from Panshekara Road; likewise that of Sharada, work is been done on it. We’ve put protective metals on the Katsina Road, and all these roads will be expanded; also work is being carried out on the Wudil Road, which I’m sure, when finished, the street

lights will be installed. Our aim is that anywhere you are entering Kano from, in terms of light, security, and peace, you will know that Kano is an important state. Thank God, the street lights we installed have made it so that any airplane passing will know it has passed a big city. Even when I went to Saudi Arabia, when they invited me for Hajj, there was an airline, we sat down with them, they presented their documents, at Abuja, for our approval; apart from different airlines, of which there is Turkish airlines, we are hopeful that they will start work this November. Emirates have expressed their intention, Ethiopian airlines want to come as well as other airlines such as Etihad; all these airlines, nobody told them to come, that is how leadership is supposed to be; if you put your house in order, you won’t have a problem. How many people are going to Dubai now? This is because they have improved their place. If you don’t fix your country or state, there is no doubt that things which you would tell people to come and see, or do for you, you would only hear that in other

places. Some people might say the reason why foreigners don’t like coming to Nigeria is because of the kind of crisis currently facing your party, the PDP, and also the leadership problems that have been attempted to be resolved by the party, in order for peace to be achieved in the nation, but which have failed… I don’t know of anybody that wants to come to Nigeria but did not because of any political or party crises; what is happening in the country’s political arena is something that is supposed to, especially by people who know politics and its history. It is compulsory for things of this nature to happen in the political history of any country. If you go to developed nations, you will see plenty of such examples. Countries that are two hundred years old or more still face political crises, so this is not something new; especially if you see the history of PDP, when it was established in 1998, if you check for example, we, in Kano, came together for a common cause, for an end to military rule. People of different views came together, people who want development, whose views are of pro-development, met with people who wouldn’t let you have anything unless your Godfather was mentioned or he is well known, or your grandfather is well known; these are the selfish ones, who only know themselves. People then voted in 1999, whereby I became governor, and before the end of the four years, a crises of some sort came up and we stepped down after 8 years, then re-grouped our people who are pro- development and started working, who then voted in 2011, and God gave us the success; that is something important for people to understand, that what is happening in the PDP is something that can happen, because when the going gets tough, you will check your left and right. Contiuned on page 30

Mother Earth



The raging oil spills controversy in Niger Delta T here’s no question that there have been blessings from crude oil resource to Nigeria at large, and Niger Delta region in particular that take the form of increased government revenues, increased export earnings, the attendant opportunities and linkage effects in the economy. It has also been observed that the curses or woes of crude oil resource which emanate mainly from the exploration and production activities of the multinational companies, take the form of oil spillage, environmental pollution, degradation, destruction of landscape, unemployment, socio-economic-political instability and pervasive poverty. It is the view of many that crude oil resource is today more of a curse than a blessing to the Niger Delta region, due to the crude oil spill and gas flare that have consistently occupied the front burner as the most disturbing environmental problems in the Niger Delta region. Since 1956 when crude oil was first discovered in commercial quantity at Oloibiri, in the present day Bayelsa State, Shell has continued to be in the news for the wrong reasons. Wednesday 29th January, 2013 will linger for a long time in the memory of all lovers of the Nigerian environment, and for all those who have rightly shown their displeasure at the reckless abandon with which multinational crude oil exploration companies in the crude oil rich Niger Delta region abuse our pristine environment through crude oil spillages and gas flares. That was the day a Dutch court ruled that Royal Dutch Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary was responsible for a case of oil pollution in the Niger Delta, and ordered it to pay damages. The judgment in the district court in The Hague (The Netherlands) ordered SPDC, a wholly-owned subsidiary, to compensate one farmer, Mr. Friday Akpan in Ikot Ada Udo, Akwa Ibom state for lost income from contaminated land and waterways in the Niger Delta region. The landmark judgment was viewed by environmentalists as a test case for holding multinationals responsible for offences at foreign subsidiaries. Again, Ogoniland remains the reference point of the prevalent pollution and

environmental degradation in the Niger Delta. Several decades of outcry generated by the pollutions blamed mainly on Shell prompted the Nigerian government to solicit the services of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to conducting an environmental assessment of Ogoniland. The report was presented by United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) to President Goodluck Jonathan on August 4, 2011, in Abuja, showing hydro-carbon pollution in surface water throughout the creeks of Ogoniland and up to 8cm in groundwater that feeds drinking wells. Soils were found to have been polluted with hydrocarbon up to a depth of five metres in 49 observed sites while benzene, a known cancer-causing chemical was found in drinking water at a level 900 times above World Health Organisation (WHO) acceptable levels. Besides saying the situation has destroyed fishery in Ogoniland, the report says irreparable loss of livelihood caused will take 30 years to remediate as well as $1 billion restoration fund for Ogoniland to be paid immediately by Shell. There have been claims that the companies in

Nigeria normally underreport the volume of spills. And because of the nature of our environment, in terms of regulation and control, the companies continue to get away with such malpractices. In its recent report, Am ne s t y Int e rna t i o nal has again accused major oil companies, including Shell, of failing to report the true picture of oil spills in Nigeria. Amnesty says oil companies often blame oil spills on sabotage in order to get out of paying compensation when in fact corroded pipes are the cause. The report says the process of cleaning up the oil spills is completely discredited. Oil spills are having an appalling environmental impact on the Niger Delta and they are happening at an alarming rate. In its report, Amnesty identifies a “staggering” 474 spills in 2012 in one area alone, operated by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company - a subsidiary of Italian firm ENI. Working with a local human rights group, Amnesty studied the oil spill investigation process in Nigeria over six months. It claims there is “no legitimate basis” for the oil companies’ claims that the vast majority of spills are caused by sabotage and theft.

Members of the local community, together with oil company staff and government officials are supposed to investigate oil spills, but Amnesty calls this Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) process “wholly unreliable” because, it says, the companies themselves are the primary investigators and the process lacks transparency. It says this means that both the causes and severity of oil spills may therefore be mis-reported, sometimes meaning affected communities miss out on compensation. The report acknowledges sabotage and theft of oil as serious problems in the Niger Delta, but stated however, that international oil companies are overstating the case, in an effort to deflect attention away from the many oil spills that are due to corrosion and equipment failure. Before now, Oil Watchers have always picked holes with the quality of remediation done on oil spills in their host communities and the method in which the remediation contracts were awarded. It has been argued that the jobs have always been awarded to local contractors that had little or no professional competence in handling such assignments, which

Ambrose Inusa Sule,


ENVIRONMENT WATCH 0703-441-4410 (sms only)

further compounded the problems rather than solved them. Also, Shell has been accused of using obsolete equipment and those that were no longer effective in curing soils that had been damaged by oil spills, in disregard with best practices in the remediating of spill sites globally. Shell is not denying the fact that some sites have not been properly done as it claimed that there are some contractors who will not do good jobs, as there are contractors who will cover up and run away, especially the sites that are isolated. After spills, there have always been doubts if Shell live up to its responsibility to carry out a thorough cleanup programme. There were also indications that Shell has always refused to accept full responsibility for the incidences of oil spills and had in the past rebuffed the claims from communities allegedly impacted by the spills. Its sufficed to say that the reason federal government established the National oil spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) under the National oil spill Detection and Response Agency (establishment) Act of 2006 was to handle

Villagers stand next to crude oil collected in containers at the shore of the Atlantic ocean, near Orobiri village, days after a Royal Dutch Shell’s Bonga off-shore oil spill, in the Niger Delta

the critical environmental consequences of oil spill and to enforce relevant laws guiding against oil spillage in the oil producing communities in line with global best practices. The agency, charged with the duty of policing oil spill in Nigeria, has found it difficult to carry out its assigned mandate due to flaws in the Act establishing it. This is why there have been calls from many quarters for the National Assembly to amend the enabling Act setting up the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (Establishment Act) of 2006, to reflect the realities of our time, so as to empower the body to protect our environment and to further give more legal teeth to NOSDRA to not only bark at the serial abusers of the Nigerian environment but to bite in order to compel them to a change of heart on their operational modalities to comply with international best practices and respect the environmental rights of their host communities. The agency needs legal teeth to be able to carry out activities on its key mandate because of the indisputable fact that crude oil spills is a major environmental issue afflicting most oil bearing communities. Oil watchers have advocated for the adequate funding and comprehensive legal empowerment of NOSDRA, so that these di stu rb i n g ca ses of oi l spills in the oil producing communities could be effectively tackled. Oil spill in Nigeria, particularly in the oil producing communities, is constant, like several spills across the world. Sadly, in our own case, international oil exploration companies that deliberately caused oil spill with impunity are neither criminalised nor indemnified. Therefore, it is imperative for the Amendment Act, said to have gone through third reading, to address and accommodate the need for outright criminalization of spill related negligence being perpetuated by the Oil companies deliberately. Clearly, there has been a preponderance of support for NOSDRA to be empowered to fight these multi-national oil companies to respect human rights and environmental rights provisions in their operations, in line with global best practices.



Mother Earth

The Kainji Hydro-Electric power plant with dam in Niger state

NASS wants more funding for water sector By Mohammed Kandi


he Senate President, Sen. David Mark has stressed the need for an increased budget allocation for the water sector to 92 billion naira. Mark, who said the proposed increase of N92 billion in the budget allocation for the water sector by the National Assembly was essential to achieve sustainable growth and development in the sector, also noted that the effort would strengthen the operations of

the Niger Basin Authority (NBA). Represented by ViceChairman, Senate Committee on Water Resources, Sen. Abdullahi Danladi Sankara, Mark spoke at the Conference of Parliamentarians, Focal Ministers and Ministers of Finance of the Niger Basin Authority recently, in Abuja. According to Sankara, the National Assembly will continue to call for improved funding of the sector, saying that over the years, there had been feasible increase in budget allocations for the sector to

carry out its water projects. He also explained that the renovation of Kainji and Jebba Dam, when completed, will complement government’s efforts to increase energy production. He said: “For example, in 2011, the sum of 70.8 billion naira was allocated to the water resources sector in the budget. Also in 2012, the budget allocation for the sector was increased to 83.7 billion. However, this year 2013, the National had proposed upward increase in the budget allocation

Environmentalist makes case for toilets in public places


he Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON) has urged the Federal Government and stakeholders in the sector to provide functional toilets in public places to check open defecation. The Registrar of the council, Mr. Augustine Ebisike, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said it was unfortunate that Nigerians lacked clean toilets owing to the lack of will to promote sanitation in public places. Ebisike said the availability of clean toilets in homes and public places such as tourism destinations, offices, and motor parks, was crucial in the fight against open defecation. “Go to the federal secretariat;

go to the state secretariats, even some people’s home and if you ask to see the toilet and everybody is embarrassed. Go to Wuse market and ask to use the toilet; you will be surprised if there is one. “They call it a restroom in some places, but I don’t see anybody who will rest in any public toilet in Nigeria. You are supposed to go to toilet and relax and do whatever you want to do. “But here, there is no way you will see a toilet and you have an opportunity to relax unless you want to go and contact more diseases; so, we must talk about it if it will change. “We see the consequences everywhere today; cholera is ravaging; I think it is going down;

we thank God, but that cholera was reported from about seven states in Nigeria is an embarrassment,” he explained. The Registrar also said that in other climes, people considered open defecation and its consequences as a taboo. He said providing the public with clean toilets was “a symbol of better health, higher income, more education, higher social status, and a cleaner living environment.” NAN recalls that in 2001, the World Toilet Organisation declared Nov. 19 of each year as World Toilet Day. The day is celebrated in more than 19 countries with 51 events being hosted by various water and sanitation advocates. (NAN)

“Beyond just protection, it is expected that the waste handler also is immunised against hepatitis B, hepatitis C, typhoid, and all those disease that may emanate from the waste; and that is part of the conditions that need to be in place. Besides just covering themselves, they also need to be immunised to prevent problems. “Waste needs to be separated and needs to be handled differently so the awareness and education started right from 2006. And up to this time it’s still the same mode - awareness and education,” he said. Onayiga, who said that since 2006, the generation of medical waste had increased significantly, also attributed the increase to public awareness and education as well as sensitisation of the public to the

importance of efficient medical waste management. The consultant said that apart from Lagos State, federal government agencies, private hospitals, and the trado-medical sector were part of the medical waste management system. According to him, at least 3,500 hospitals have registered with the Ministry of Health and have been enlisted in the programme. “Roughly, more than 3,500 hospitals have been listed in the programme; and the information we use, is from the Ministry of Health. We know where the government hospitals are; we do not know where most of the private hospitals are; but we captured that data from Ministry of Health through the registration of all these hospitals. (NAN)

Agency evacuates 660 tonnes of medical waste from 3, 500 hospitals – Consultant


he Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) said, on Monday, it had evacuated 660 tonnes of medical waste from 3,500 hospitals between 2006 and 2012. LAWMA’s Consultant for Medical Waste Management, Mr. Jide Onayiga, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that to ensure efficient disposal of medical waste, the handlers needed to take certain precautions to guard against diseases. “For a typical waste handler, there should be personal protective equipment in place - gloves, shoes, aprons, nose guards or nose masks. All these things have to be in place to protect the waste handlers or someone who is going to be transferring the waste from point A to point B.

for water resources up to 92 billion naira. “The National Assembly will continue to make sure that adequate fund is provided for the water sector. The Senate has intensified oversight function in the discharge of our constitutional mandate, to make sure that the masses benefit fully from the various projects approved in the budget. “The shared vision is to promote understanding, strengthen cooperation among

the countries and make use of the natural resources of the basin for improvement of lives and living conditions of the people. We are aware that measures have been taken to strengthen the operations of the NBA. “I urge you to show commitment and ensure that the dreams of the founding fathers of the NBA live on. We should strive to contribute meaningfully in the fight against poverty in the Niger Basin, thereby helping NBA to achieve its mandate,” he explained.

Global precipitation linked to global warming


new study by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists in the US shows that observed changes in global (ocean and land) precipitation are directly affected by human activities and cannot be explained by natural variability alone. Emissions of heat-trapping and ozone-depleting gases affect the distribution of precipitation through two mechanisms. Increasing temperatures are expected to make wet regions wetter and dry regions drier (thermodynamic changes); and changes in atmospheric circulation patterns will push storm tracks and subtropical dry zones toward the poles. The LLNL’s lead author, Kate Marvel, said “Both these changes are occurring simultaneously in global precipitation and this behavior cannot be explained by natural variability alone,” adding “External influences such as the increase in greenhouse gases are responsible for the changes.” The team compared climate model predications with the Global Precipitation Climatology Project’s global observations, which span from 1979-2012, and found that natural variability (such as El Niños and La Niñas) does not account for the changes in global precipitation patterns. While natural fluctuations in climate can lead to either

intensification or pole-ward shifts in precipitation, it is very rare for the two effects to occur together naturally. “In combination, man-made increases in Greenhouse gases and stratospheric ozone depletion are expected to lead to both an intensification and redistribution of global precipitation,” said Céline Bonfils, the other LLNL author. “The fact that we see both of these effects simultaneously in the observations is strong evidence that humans are affecting global precipitation.” Marvel and Bonfils identified a fingerprint pattern that characterises the simultaneous response of precipitation location and intensity to external forcing. “Most previous work has focused on either thermodynamic or dynamic changes in isolation. By looking at both, we were able to identify a pattern of precipitation change that fits with what is expected from human-caused climate change,” Marvel said. By focusing on the underlying mechanisms that drive changes in global precipitation and by restricting the analysis to the large scales where there is confidence in the models’ ability to reproduce the current climate, “we have shown that the changes observed in the satellite era are externally forced and likely to be from man,’ Bonfils said.


Emergency Update


Need for new dimension in Nigeria’s disaster management efforts By Sa’adat Ovosi


t is no more news that disaster and its management can cause a serious interruption to a society. When disaster occurs, it often left the affected persons with little choices of using their own resources to cater for immediate needs or awaits government and individual assistance to recuperate from the blow. In recent times, disaster of various degrees had unleashed havoc on different communities in Nigeria and abroad thereby causing untold hardships, injuries, distraction and confusion in the affected areas. And because most at times disasters stroke without given prior notice, the environment and the people involved or even the concerned authorities hardly have the capacity to effectively handle such situations. In Nigeria, it has almost becoming a norm for managers of disasters to often attend to crises situations through firebrigade-approach and as such, to tackle such emergencies becomes difficult and unorganized, rather than applying the comprehensive and holistic strategies as obtainable in the case of the international communities. Obviously, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), which is the agency saddled with the responsibilities of managing, coordinating and oragnising other relevant outfits for timely intervention in times of disasters, is doing a lot in the provision of relief for the victims of various disasters, but only little on preparedness or public education. It is pertinent to note that disaster management is the process of addressing an event that has the potential to seriously disrupt the social fabric of the community. Disaster management is similar to disaster mitigation; however it implies a whole-of-government approach to using community resources to fight the effects of an event and assumes the community will be self-sufficient for periods of time until the situation can be stabilised. Through disaster management, we cannot completely thwart damages but it is possible to minimise the risks through early warning, provide developmental plans for recuperation from the disaster, generate communication and medical resources, and aid in rehabilitation and post-disaster reconstruction. Similarly, to formulate a national disaster management policy that specifies definite roles for each relevant agency, stakeholder, development partners and donor organisations during emergencies is very paramount.

A cross section of NEMA staff ready to receive emergency calls in the agency’s Call Center in the Abuja office recently Recently, Director-General of NEMA, Muhammad SaniSidi, stated at a workshop on disaster management of the agency, that disaster had derailed socio-economic progress and put millions of people into abject poverty, and have made the poor even poorer. According to him, “the world is witnessing an increasing impact of disaster caused by the combination of natural and man-made hazards which constantly threaten people’s lives and means of livelihood,” noting “disaster management requires not only emergency reliefs but political and legal commitment, public understanding, scientific knowledge, careful development planning, responsible enforcement of policies which should be responsive and proactive for the effective management of any untoward event.” It would be recalled, however, that before the establishment of disaster management agency,

the country had faced some ecological problems such as drought, flood, landslide, erosion among others, pushing victims into state of agonies—destitution, poverty, hopelessness. Previous experiences have shown that disasters were managed in Nigeria without capturing adequate data or gather sufficient knowledge (intelligence) relating to management and impacts. For instance, information on the vulnerable people (in terms of nutrition) during drought periods has been lacking and this has created difficulties when trying to identify and target those who need relief, especially the rural poor. Likewise vulnerability risk assessment is not being effectively carried out and causes of vulnerability cannot be traced when there are no relevant data. Apparently, it’s easy to say that there has not been effective coordination between government and non-governmental sectors in disaster management in Nigeria. Too much is expected

from government, especially from NEMA which seemingly has little resources at its disposal to galvanise proper management. For once, it is heartwarming to know how useful the introduction and cooption of volunteers groups such as the members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), and local people at the grassroots in managing disaster in Nigeria. The innovation of volunteerism will definitely go a long way in addressing emergency needs at crisis situations even when the relevant agency is far away from the spot. Again, the states and local government areas should be sensitised and made to come together to fight the scourge right from the grassroots level and by so doing introduce it in various institutions through disaster risk reduction and improving existing capacity of state and local governments. With the new thinking of a proactive approach to disaster management, there is need

Apparently, it’s easy to say that there has not been effective coordination between government and nongovernmental sectors in disaster management in Nigeria.

for training and retraining of emergency responders, volunteers, especially by carrying out frequent simulation exercises to encourage and promote the level of preparedness of the people. The areas of concern in the sensitisation programme should include development planning, prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. The media, as the mirror of the society, should also be in the forefront of the campaign towards public safety consciousness and preventive tips, especially on fire outbreaks and road accidents. The public must be adequately informed and educated on potential areas of disaster while precautionary measures and expectation in case of disaster are highlighted. It is necessary to call on NEMA and other stakeholders in the country’s disaster management sector to adopt the new paradigm shift in risk reduction aimed at pre-empting disaster and putting in place rehabilitation process that could rebuild resilience against future disaster. Policymakers should also focus on concepts and practices that promote social development and equity to minimise the impacts of hazards, reduce vulnerability and enhance coping and adaptive capacity. Sa’adat Ovosi is with the National Emergency Management Agency headquarters, Abuja.



Emergency Update

Security and humanitarian activities: Media tasked on ‘objective’ reporting By Mohammed Kandi


n to ensure the safety of lives of the citizens and promote national security in the country, media practitioners have been advised to scrutinised their information before publication. A public relations consultant, Mr. Yusha’u Shu’aib, gave the advice in Abuja at the end of a one-day workshop organised by the International Committee on

Red Cross (ICRC) for the media. Shu’aib, who is a former spokesperson of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), expressed his disappointment in the manner in which lives and property are being lost to the current security challenges in some parts the country. He said, in a statement, that, “The media should be wary of some undesirable elements who may play ethnic card

and religious sentiments for their selfish goals, using the current security challenges as an excuse”. He also noted that, some of the crises in the country, especially the North-East region were neither sectional nor religious, but said they were fueled by other factors that included poverty and unemployment. According to him, majority of the victims of the insurgency

in North-East are Muslims, while those of kidnapping and other acts of criminality in the southern part of the country are Christians. Shu’aib, therefore, called on media workers to treat such challenges as national issues that required adequate attention and commitment of everyone. He canvassed for the use of constructive dialogue and engagement in addressing some of the societal challenges.

Shu’aib also urged Nigerians to appreciate the efforts and commitment of response agencies who had been sacrificing their lives to maintain peace and order in every part of the country. The Communication Coordinator of the ICRC, Mrs. Aleksandra Mosimann, said that journalists must report in a way that the information they feed the public would be beneficial to the nation. She also advised media workers to cultivate the habit of responsible reporting and “work for the achievement of peace while reporting on sensitive issues”. The head of communication, Nigerian Red Cross Society, Mr. Nwakpa Nwakpa, charged participants in the workshop to see journalism as a means of saving lives and mitigating the effects of disaster. “Journalists on disaster beats should develop humanitarian journalism, which should be used as instrument for, not only saving lives but also, stopping suffering from occurring in the first place”.

NEMA sensitises councils on contingency plans against possible disaster

H NEMA Officials presenting some relief items to the 233 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Kukareta Barracks in Damaturu, Yobe state that was affected by the recent Boko Haram attacks.

NEMA provides relief materials to flood victims in Katsina


he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has presented relief materials worth millions of naira to Katsina state government for distribution to flood victims in the state. The Coordinator of the agency for North-West zone, Alhaji Musa Ilallah, presented the materials to the Katsina State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), recently in Katsina. Ilallah, who was represented by Alhaji Mannir Gidado, an official of the agency, said the relief materials were meant for distribution to flood victims in the local government areas that were affected by the disaster. “This is the third time we are bringing such assistance to flood victims in the state this year,” he said. He said the provision of the items followed the assessment conducted by NEMA in collaboration with SEMA in the affected areas. The coordinator said the

gesture was to assist the victims whose houses, farms and other valuables were destroyed by the flood. Ilallah, who sympathised with the victims and the state government over the incident, called on the government to ensure judicious distribution of the items

to the victims. Responding, Alhaji Hassan Rawayau, Executive Secretary, SEMA, who received the items on behalf of the state government, commended NEMA for the support. He assured that the items would be equitably distributed to the victims.

The items donated include 300 bags of cement, 400 bundles of roofing sheets, 100 bags of rice, 500 pieces of wax materials and 500 pieces of blankets. NAN recalls that About 4,000 people were affected by flood in 17 out of the 34 local government areas of the state this year. (NAN)

…Presents relief materials to 233 Battalion in Damaturu


he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said that it had presented relief materials to the 233 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Kukareta Barracks in Damaturu, which was affected by last month Boko Haram attacks. NEMA North-East Information Officer, Malam Abdulkadir Ibrahim stated this in a statement in Maiduguri, saying that the gesture was in fulfillment of the agency’s mandate of providing succor

to victims of disasters in the country. He said that the materials were presented to the battalion during a sympathy visit by a team of NEMA officials led by the zonal coordinator, Alhaji Mohammed Kanar. “NEMA has presented relief materials to the 233 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Kukareta Barracks Damaturu which was affected by recent Boko Haram attacks. “The materials were

presented by the North-East coordinator, Alhaji Mohammed Kanar, who led a team of officials of the agency to Damaturu on sympathy visit”, Ibrahim said. He said that the items presented included food items, mosquito nets, blankets, mats and tents. Receiving the items, Col. Aliyu Abdullahi, the commander of the battalion, thanked the agency for the presentation and promised to ensure judicious utilisation of the items.

ead of Planning, Research and forecast, Kaduna Zonal Office of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Zainab Ahmad, has urged the 23 local government councils in the state to develop mitigating strategies against possible disaster. According to her, such a move would strengthen disaster preparedness and mitigation at the state and local government levels. She said it would also help to coordinate and facilitate a process for development of appropriate systems, procedures, expertise and resources at all level of governments for effective disaster management. Ahmad said the essence of disaster management was to protect lives, property and the environment, noting that so many disasters happened in 2012. She pointed out that to stop the reoccurrence in 2013, it was high time to create a contingency plan that would help in disaster management in each local government area. The head of planning said NEMA has embarked on proactive measures to avert disasters instead of being left with response and the distribution of relief materials. Ahmad noted that the local government councils had often played an important role in preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery from disasters.




If leaders act truthfully, their followers have no other option than to follow – Kwankwaso Contiuned from page 25


he things we are doing in Kano to help the community, if we are going to take 500 children and send them to school, we don’t say only privileged children, what we ask is: Who has first class? Who has second class upper? Whether he’s from your house, or from my house, as long as he meets the requirements, no matter how much money he has but doesn’t have the heart to pay, he should come; the government of Kano will pay, especially if he shows interest, this is the way of those that seek progress. Out of all these children, we still haven’t heard anything to upset us; all the stories we hearing are that one of them scored 80%, the other 90%; this is something of progress and would engender peace in the state and the country at large. Now, is there a solution to this problem that your party PDP is in, since you’re in the middle of this crisis and there have been meetings with elders at the capital, but the crisis still hasn’t been resolved? Honestly, all the demands we made from the leaders of the party and government leaders, which we feel will help in ensuring peace, progress and for the people to vote for us in future, the government and party still haven’t met up with even one of them; this is something disappointing, and something that you could say is surprising, because whosoever plays with leaders, or a party that plays around with its commanders, whom, if the whistle is blown they will be the ones to stand, and there stand will not be effective until they are given what they want; especially things that concern the community and their progress and well-being. We are in this party of PDP; some things that disturbs us, because it is a political affair, we don’t express it in the open or on the radio like this; what we do is tell the leaders things, in order for them to be fixed. Because, those of us that are with the people, if you reveal something and the people hear, one day, if you go


back they will use it against you; some of the things that we say, a lot of people haven’t even foreseen them, but when you say it they realise that: oh it is like that?. The major thing at hand is that we want the party and the government do things that the community will benefit from. Now, if you check what we are doing in Kano, anybody with common sense, forget about his party, people are happy and rejoicing; the people of Kano are kind, majority of Nigerians are kind people, and they want things to be done accordingly; now, all these things we are doing, someone will hear on the radio, majority of the people are seeing for themselves with their eyes; some hear about it and people are happy. Nobody wants to live in a city like Kano in darkness, nobody; nobody wants to follow a road full of potholes; everybody wants to finish their job, go back home safely and sleep safely; all these things like drinking water, well-being, etc., everybody who you ask will tell you that he wants them, but the major thing is that these things will not be available until we, the leaders stand and do what is right; and if we do the right thing, it will trickle down and everybody

will do the same. Are you trying to say that this crisis borders on the lack of proper work by the government for the people, and not political issues that brought the crises in the PDP? This is what I’m telling you. There are problems that we have told everybody, which concerns Rivers state; its leaders have been removed without reason. Amaechi himself, there was an election, I was among 19 people, I was even his campaign director; 19 of us cast our votes in Abuja, somebody got 16 votes, authorities said the candidate with 16 votes is more than the one with 19, and that’s who they want. We have said this is

not right in democracy. On the issue of Adamawa also, we said it should be fixed; these are the things that we have been talking about as well as other things concerning governance; how the country is moving, and other things we have been trying to see that should get fixed. If you’re talking about bribery and corruption, if leaders act truthfully, their followers have no other option. If you take the model we have in Kano, anywhere we go, we urge the people to act truthfully and follow rules and regulations; that is, go to work on time and get paid what is your right. Don’t say because you are a cashier in a local government or state, or treasurer you have the liberty

People who are collecting fake pension funds, all of these people have been removed; we don’t have a problem with paying salaries, we don’t have a problem with paying pensions; why? because the pockets that we are putting the money do not have holes in them, and people have given us backing and cooperation; because people cheating the community are not many, and because of their untruthfulness, if you come out with an honest policy they will vanish and you will look for them but won’t find them

to take people’s money. People know that we’re serious, I want to confirm to you that I’m not saying they don’t steal in Kano state, but any thief in Kano state doesn’t sleep with both his eyes closed because he is always thinking his ways have been uncovered and measures will be taken; we have brought reforms in the entire civil service, we have flushed out ghost workers and will continue to investigate to make sure that even if there are any left we will remove them. People who are collecting fake pension funds, all of these people have been removed; we don’t have a problem with paying salaries, we don’t have a problem with paying pensions; why? because the pockets that we are putting the money do not have holes in them, and people have given us backing and cooperation; because people cheating the community are not many, and because of their untruthfulness, if you come out with an honest policy they will vanish and you will look for them but won’t find them. Now, all the people that are talking about sharing money, if we are sharing money now, those that are getting it will be a few. When we weren’t around, children were removed from schools, uniforms were given out, primary schools were built and hospitals were fixed; if you come to Kano you would see light, you will turn on your tap and see water; all these thing cannot be achieved now because of some people. And if you are embezzling, no one will listen to you; your commissioner will not listen to you, your director will not listen to you; because, if you say you want to be strict, he will be rude to you, that is why, if leaders are truthful, those under them have no choice but to do the same. And this change we’ve been talking about since our campaign, we know is not easy; anybody who benefits from collecting illicit funds will now make up stories, whereby if a person isn’t wise, he will think that those people are telling the truth. Ever since the beginning of Kano state, I know that there has never been an antipoverty scheme like ours.




assan Rouhani’s surprise victory in the June 14 elections, unleashed a wave of expectation and hope. Widely considered a political outlier whose chief function was to lend credibility to an electoral process that was struggling to recover from the calamity of 2009, Rouhani’s deft handling of the Iranian media, his fluency in the debates and above all, his ability to tap into the simmering discontent of the wider electorate all ensured that he became the man to beat when Iranians went to the ballot box. Drawing powerful and arguably game-changing support from two of the three grand old men of Iranian politics - Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami - Rouhani was able to galvanise and unite a broad coalition of centrists and reformists behind a policy platform of prudence and change. The Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, faced with the prospect of an elite revolt born of deep anxiety about former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s political and economic legacy, was encouraged to let the process follow through with minimal interference, though even he appears to have been surprised at the strength of the public’s feeling. Rouhani thus won the election on the back of widespread discontent, not only in the country at large, but among a broad alliance of the disaffected elite, many of whom had no interest in any significant political change. Rouhani may have campaigned as a reformist but he finds that he is increasingly having to govern as a conservative. This is proving to be a particularly difficult political balancing act, and unsurprisingly, in some quarters, the lustre is beginning to wear off. To better understand the problems that Rouhani faces, one can distinguish three areas in which he has to operate: the economy; domestic reforms; and building bridges internationally. In all three areas, his inheritance is a poor one. Almost all parties accept that the economy is in increasingly dire straits, and as new ministers and officials begin to pour through the books - if they exist at all the real depth of the economic crisis is only now becoming apparent. Even accounting for a degree of exaggeration, as all succeeding governments have a tendency to do, it is quite clear that economic mismanagement fuelled by dramatic increases in oil revenue over the past eight years, and compounded by the most severe sanctions that Iran has experienced in recent times, have significantly damaged the economy. There is, to be sure, no shortage of liquidity in the Iranian economy, but much of the money has been spent on patronage and corruption, with a lamentable lack of infrastructural investment. The government finds itself short of cash, with many essential goods reportedly in short supply. According to some ministers, it may be several years before they are able to turn things around.



The bloom is off the rose: Iran’s first 100 days of Rouhani

Rouhani Indeed, some have gone so far as to argue that the situation in some sectors, including the oil industry is much worse than in the immediate aftermath of the Iran-Iraq war. However, if all agree on the ailment, there is considerable disagreement as to the cure. For many who had voted for Rouhani, the cure must be found within, both in terms of economic and political reform. The economy has failed because Ahmadinejad reinforced the tendency towards unaccountability, and there was a lack of transparency in the administration of government. A key element of this was the abolition of the Plan and Budget Organisation in 2007 - after more than half-a-century of existence which Rouhani to his credit, said he would re-establish. This reflects his determination to repopulate the government with professionals and to draw again on the technical expertise that Ahmadinejad tended to dismiss. This can also be seen in the tenor of his administration and the decision to reappoint experienced economists and technocrats to key ministries in order to properly scrutinise Ahmadinejad’s legacy, and to begin to plan for a recovery. But beyond this economic

focus, the trend has been for him to be highly cautious, leaving many supporters frustrated with the apparent lack of any immediate desire for political reform. There can be little doubt that there are limits to what Rouhani could have achieved in his first 100 days, but his promises had created dramatic expectations, and his swift attempts to dampen these down in the immediate aftermath of the election have not gone down well. Despite encouraging signs with respect to the release of political prisoners, this process has now stalled, while newspapers continue to be closed with little tangible protest from the new government. Arguing with some justification that his priority must be the economy, Rouhani has deployed most of his attention, not on the structural weaknesses at home - which inevitably will take some time to see results - but on the possibilities of a quick fix abroad. Given the nature of Iran’s economy, one can see why the new government has decided to seek some sort of solution abroad. Both Rafsanjani, and more obviously, Khatami became unravelled seeking to address the structural problems in the

To better understand the problems that Rouhani faces, one can distinguish three areas in which he has to operate: the economy; domestic reforms; and building bridges internationally.

economy, and while these remain at the heart of Iran’s problems, they are more profound now in the aftermath of eight years of mismanagement. Sanctions relief therefore offers one route out that may provide a much needed boost to the economy, sustain the sense of hope generated from the election, defer the need for more difficult decisions, but also create the space needed for the decisions to be made in due course. The problem Rouhani may have however, is that there are significant sections of the conservative and hard-line elite that see sanctions relief as the end, and not the means to a wider reform of the economy - still less of politics - and that many Iranians have not yet fully appreciated quite what a tangled web the current sanctions regime represents. Those ministers who have noted that sanctions relief may take some time, have largely been marginalised from the front stage of political discourse; such language does not play well to a public in urgent need of good news. On the international front, of course, Rouhani has been remarkably successful, perhaps even too successful for his own good. The charm offensive that began with his campaign and culminated with his celebritystyle visit to the United Nations, is ample testament to the Iranian mastery of public relations and an impressive ability to reframe the argument, when they decide to put their minds to it. The appointment of Javad Zarif as Foreign Minister was a stroke of genius in this particular respect. Fluent in both the language and culture of the United States, Zarif prudently arrived early to prepare the stage for the president’s arrival. The resulting performance - a tour de force and a much needed antidote to the Ahmadinejad years - did not disappoint and the

receptiveness of his American hosts ensured that even the awkward moments were largely skated over. It ended with the now famous phone conversation between Rouhani and US President Barack Obama as the former headed to the airport. This crowning moment inadvertently exposed some of the very real problems that need to be overcome with respect to the complex vested interests that feed into policy on either side. Both sides are acutely aware of being charmed into giving away too much. Curiously, with the dominance of the Supreme Leader as the final arbiter and decision-maker in the Islamic Republic, one might think, given his general approval of the process now taking place, that Rouhani’s position would be stronger than that of Obama, faced as he is with a Congress that can effectively (and constitutionally) constrain him. But, quite apart from the difficulty of reading Khamenei’s intentions and the position of his red lines (Khamenei has maintained a suitably supportive if skeptical posture to date), he, too, has pressures on his position coming from elite factions whose dislike of Ahmadinejad and the US is barely distinguishable, and are determined to hold Khamenei to his stated world view and the status quo in which they have built up a lucrative vested interest. Khamenei, in short, faces a few paradoxes of his own. For Rouhani, keeping these particularly hard-line factions content, in light of the promises made during the election, is proving to be especially problematic. Indeed, the present strategy appears to be to maintain a conservative approach at home and reformist one abroad. This might not have been such a problem had extensive promises not been made during the election, with a view to getting the vote out. The calculation, however, seems to have been made that it is easier to disappoint the reformists than to confront the conservatives, and the latter have certainly been keen to show that they remain a very real force to reckon with. The paradox is that Rouhani needs a united front at home to strengthen his hand in negotiations abroad, but he needs a relatively generous agreement abroad to take the country with him. But, in order to get the sort of sanctions relief that will make a difference, he will need to concede more than many, including Khamenei, will be willing to consider. Not for the first time, an Iranian politician is looking overseas to reinforce his position at home, yet this very concentration abroad is causing consternation among contradictory political tendencies at home. It will take considerable courage and all the skills of the “diplomatic sheikh” to navigate this complex web of vested interests. Source: Al Jazeera




Nigeria offensive drives 40,000 refugees into Niger- UN

Somalia PM reveals row with president, asks parliament to intervene


omalia’s prime minister has said he was in a “constitutional” dispute with the president and was ready for parliament to intervene to settle it. Abdi Farah ShirdonSaaid gave no details of the argument, but any such high-level rift could damage a fledgling government that the West says is the best in decades in the war-torn country long considered a “failed state”. Western powers see Somalia as a launchpad for militant Islam across east Africa and beyond, and are keen to ensure the government is stable, even though it exerts little authority beyond the capital. One member of parliament told Reuters that President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud had asked Saaid to resign after he had excluded some of the president’s ministerial picks for a new cabinet. The prime minister refused, saying he had the constitutional right to select cabinet ministers and that only parliament could dismiss him, the lawmaker said on condition of anonymity. Mohamud did not comment on Saaid’s statement at a news conference he held on Tuesday. Saaid said his disagreement with Mohamud was “a constitutional one but not political”, and that only parliament could settle the matter. “I request the citizens to have trust in their leaders and the parliamentarians who have the main responsibility to resolve the row,” Saaid said. In May, the prime minister faced a vote of confidence for slowing down the pace of political reforms, but this was withdrawn after Mohamud lobbied parliamentarians. Elected in September 2012, Mohamud, a political newcomer with a background in reconciling clan feuds, was seen as a vote for change. But he has struggled to overcome acrimonious clan politics, corruption and a stubborn Islamist insurgency. Somalia is battling al Qaeda-linked insurgent group al Shabaab, which was driven out of Mogadishu by an African peacekeeping force in 2011, but has kept up a campaign of attacks against the government.

Troops of the Nigerian Army in Borno


igeria’s army offensive against Islamist militants has pushed nearly 40,000 refugees over its northern border into Niger, a U.N. agency said, in a drive that is straining food supplies in the drought-prone country. The United Nations estimated in June there were 6,000 refugees from Nigeria but the figure has soared as President Goodluck

Jonathan has stepped up attacks on Boko Haram militants. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its latest monthly report that of a total 37,332 refugees, nearly 29,000 are officially Niger nationals and the rest are Nigerian. “These figures, three times above the level the humanitarian workers were planning for, give

an indication of the difficulties of developing a humanitarian response,” it said. Boko Haram is seen as the biggest risk to stability in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and top oil producer, which shares a 1,500 kilometer border with its landlocked northern neighbor Niger along the edge of the Sahara Desert. The United States formally

designated Boko Haram and splinter group Ansaru as terrorist organizations yesterday. OCHA said the refugees in Niger were spread over 20 different areas in the semi-desert southern province of Diffa and that they were living mostly with local hosts. A spokesman for the government in Niger declined to comment. A Nigerian defense spokesman said he had no information about refugees crossing the border. Nigerian emergency service officials were not available for comment. The rising number of refugees in Niger is expected to put further strain on food supplies after a disappointing harvest. According to an October report by FEWS NET, a USAID-funded famine network, 1.2 million people in Niger will be in a situation of acute food insecurity from January 2014. Thousands of refugees have also spilled into Cameroon, prompting Nigeria to reach out for help in policing their shared border. The United Nations has called on neighboring countries to keep their borders open and has urged Niger to grant refugee status to the Nigerian nationals in the Diffa region.

My removal was treason against Egypt - Mursi …Court rules state of emergency ended Egypt’s deposed president, Mohamed Mursi, has accused those who removed him of “treason against the whole nation” and said in a written message that his removal must be reversed and those behind it put on trial. A group of volunteer lawyers, not Mursi’sdefence lawyers, read the message from Mursi at a press conference on Wednesday, a day after they met him in prison. Mursi said he intends to sue the army-installed authorities, and that there can be no stability in Egypt unless “the military coup is eliminated and those responsible for shedding Egyptians’ blood are held accountable”. Mohamed al-Damati, one of the lawyers, said: “The president plans to take legal measures against the coup, and this will be up to the defence team in the near future.” In the letter, Mursi said he was “kidnapped” and held by the

Republican Guard on July 2 - a day before he was formally removed by the military. Mursi was moved to a high security prison in Alexandria on November 4 after the first session of his trial on charges of incitement to murder protesters in December 2012. Mursi has so far not agreed on which lawyers will represent him at the trial, which is set to resume on January 8. Rory Challands, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Cairo, said: “He is still saying essentially that the court is illegitimate and that it doesn’t have the authority to do what it’s doing. “In taking a defiant tone, not naming legal counsel, he’s leaving hismelf essentially defenceless in the courtroom.” Meanwhile an Egyptian court ruled a three-month state of emergency be lifted on Tuesday, a step that may help the army-backed

government restore a semblance of normality after the military ousted President Mohamed Mursi. But as emergency rule was ordered to end, the government edged a step closer to passing a law on demonstrations that the opposition says could be a new way

to curb protests. The government imposed emergency and nightly curfews on August 14, when security forces forcibly dispersed two Cairo sit-ins by Mursi supporters, touching off the worst domestic bloodshed in Egypt’s modern history.

Mursi (R) speaks with senior figures of the Muslim Brotherhood in a cage on the first day of his trial.

Explosive device kills two at Johannesburg gold shop


n explosive device killed two people and wounded three others at a gold and diamond exchange in a Johannesburg suburb on Tuesday, police said. Local media reported the

business was run by Czech entrepreneur Radovan Krejcir, who survived an assassination attempt in the city in July. “An explosive device was detonated inside the Money

Point business premises,” police spokesman Neville Malila told Reuters. Investigators were still trying to determine what was behind the blast and what sort of device was

used, he added. Krejcir had to dive for cover in July when he came under fire from shotguns, triggered by remote control and hidden behind the number plate of a stolen car.




Palestinian peace talks delegation resigns - Abbas


alestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said yesterday his peace negotiators had resigned over the lack of progress in U.S.-brokered statehood talks clouded by Israeli settlement building. The development would mark a new low point for the talks with Israel that resumed in July and which officials from both sides have said have made little headway. In an interview with Egyptian CBC television, Abbas suggested the negotiations would continue even if the Palestinian peace delegation stuck to its decision. “Either we can convince it to return, and we’re trying with them, or we form a new delegation,” he said. It was unclear from Abbas’s interview when the Palestinian negotiators had quit, but Abbas said he would need about a week to resume the talks. In a statement to Reuters TV on Wednesday, chief Palestinian negotiator SaebErekat did not elaborate on the report of his resignation, but said the sessions with Israel were frozen. “In reality, the negotiations stopped last week in light of the

Abbas settlement announcements last week,” he said. Since the talks got underway after a three-year break, Israel has announced plans for several thousand new settler homes in

the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. The disclosure yesterday that Israel’s Housing Ministry had commissioned separate plans for nearly 24,000 more homes for

Israelis in the two areas raised U.S. concern and drew Palestinian condemnation. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, an advocate of settlement construction, intervened late on Tuesday, ordering a halt to the projects and saying he had no prior knowledge of them. Netanyahu said he feared such settlement activity could trigger an international outcry that would divert attention from Israel’s lobbying against a deal between world powers and Iran that would ease economic sanctions on Tehran without dismantling its nuclearenrichment capabilities. Nuclear talks resume in Geneva on November 20. Israel, widely believed to be the Middle East’s only nuclear power, accuses Iran of pursuing atomic weapons. Iran says its nuclear program has only peaceful purposes. A statement announcing Netanyahu’s move made no mention of the Palestinians or the land-forpeace negotiations. Most countries say Israeli settlements built in areas captured in the 1967 Middle East war are illegal.

Philippines defends typhoon aid response


he Philippine government says it is facing its biggest ever logistical challenge after Typhoon Haiyan, which has affected up to 11 million people. Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras said the government had been overwhelmed by the impact of Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record. The official death toll stands at more than 2,200, but local officials and aid workers say it could rise much higher. Meanwhile, aid is slowly beginning to arrive in the worst-affected regions. Jonathan Head in Tacloban, a devastated city of 220,000 on Leyte island, said yesterday brought the first signs of an organised response.

Thousands of desperate people descend on a food warehouse

US military planes have been arriving at Tacloban’s ruined airport, delivering World Food Programme

supplies, which can be carried by helicopter to outlying regions, and a French-Belgian field hospital has

election. He said that the illegal economy was taking over in importance from legitimate business, and that prices remained high since there was a ready availability of cash in Afghanistan because of aid. “As long as we think that we can have short-term, fast solutions for the counter-narcotics, we are continued to be doomed to fail,” he added. MrLemahieu said there had been some recent successes, including the arrest of leading figures in the drugs industry, but it could take 10-15 years to deal with Afghanistan’s opium crisis, even if policies improved. The report said the total area planted with poppies rose from 154,000 to 209,000 hectares, while potential

production rose by 49% to 5,500 tonnes, more than the current global demand. Half of the cultivation area is in

been set up. Many people have left Tacloban, says our correspondent, but among those left behind there is a growing sense of panic and fear, not just of food running out but of law and order breaking down. On Tuesday, eight people died when a wall collapsed as thousands of desperate survivors mobbed a food warehouse. And on Wednesday there were reports of shots being fired in the street and of a teenaged boy being stabbed in the stomach. MrAlmendras told the BBC he believed the administration was “doing quite well” in handling the crisis, especially as it came weeks after a major earthquake in the same region.

Afghanistan opium harvest at record


fghan opium cultivation has reached a record level, with more than 200,000 hectares planted with the poppy for the first time, the United Nations says. The UNODC report said the harvest was 36% up on last year, and if fully realised would outstrip global demand. Most of the rise was in Helmand province, where British troops are preparing to withdraw. One of the main reasons the UK sent troops to Helmand was to cut opium production. The head of the UN office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Kabul, JeanLuc Lemahieu, said that production was likely to rise again next year, amid uncertainty over the withdrawal of most foreign troops and the presidential

An Afghan soldier walks through a poppy field in Afghanistan

Helmand province. Meanwhile two northern provinces which had previously been declared poppy-free - Faryab and Balkh - lost that status. The report called for an integrated, comprehensive response to the problem. “If the drug problem is not taken more seriously by aid, development and security actors, the virus of opium will further reduce the resistance of its host, already suffering from dangerously low immune levels due to fragmentation, conflict, patronage, corruption and impunity,” it said. But the report said there were some encouraging signs, with police tripling their effectiveness to capture “well over 10%” of production and a growth in services set up to tackle addiction.

Asia & Middle East

Bombings target Iraq police, pilgrims, killing 19


t least 19 people were killed in bomb attacks targeting Iraqi police and pilgrims yesterday, police and medical sources said, just before the end of a Shi’ite Muslim religious festival. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, which coincided with the holy ritual of Ashura, when Shi’ites commemorate Imam Hussein who died more than 1,000 years ago. The 10-day ritual ends today. Shi’ites are considered apostates by hardline Sunni Islamist insurgents who have been regaining momentum in Iraq this year. Security personnel are also a prime target for Sunni militants linked with al Qaeda, which seeks to destabilize Iraq’s Shi’iteled government and foment intercommunal conflict. In the deadliest attack, 10 people were killed when a suicide bomber drove a truck packed with explosives into a police checkpoint in the town of al-Alam near Tikrit, police said. Sunni Islamist and other insurgents have a foothold in Tikrit. “A truck driver reached the checkpoint and when asked by police to pull over, a powerful blast happened, killing two policemen and eight innocent passers-by,” said police colonel Khalid Mahdi. Near the city of Baquba, three roadside bombs exploded near a group of Shi’ite pilgrims commemorating Ashura, killing nine, medics and police sources said. Violence began to ease after al Qaeda’s Iraqi affiliate was forced underground in 2007, but it is rising again, with more than 7,500 civilians killed so far this year, according to monitoring group Iraq Body Count. Iraqi officials blame the bloodshed on al Qaeda and the civil war in neighboring Syria, which has drawn hardline Sunni Islamists from across the region and beyond into battle against President Bashar al-Assad, who is an ally of Shi’ite Iran. Al Qaeda’s Iraqi wing earlier this year joined forces with its Syrian counterpart to form the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, which has claimed responsibility for attacks on both sides of the border.




Ukraine fails to agree on release of opposition leader Tymoshenko


eputies in Ukraine’s parliament failed yesterday to find common ground for the release of jailed opposition leader YuliaTymoshenko, a move sought by the European Union to clear the way for signing landmark agreements on trade this month. Accords on association and free trade, due to be signed at an EU-Ukraine summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, offer the former Soviet republic the chance of a historic shift westwards away from Russia. But they hinge on whether President Viktor Yanukovich re l e as e s e x-p rime minister Tymoshenko, his fiercest opponent. She was jailed in 2011 for seven years for abuse of office after a trial which the EU says was political. Though he has refused to pardon her, he has said he is ready to break the impasse by signing a draft law to allow her to go to Germany to be treated for chronic back pain. But at a special session on Wednesday, pro-Yanukovich deputies and Tymoshenko’s supporters in parliament failed to agree on any such draft and blamed each other for seeking to undermine the signing of the accords in Vilnius on November



EU foreign ministers are due to hold a pre-summit meeting on November 18 to assess whether Kiev has met key democratic criteria. One of these is an end to “selective justice” which the EU says was applied against Tymoshenko.

Two EU envoys, Irish politician Pat Cox and former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, who have been on a shuttle mission from Brussels to Kiev to nail down a compromise, attended the special parliament session. They were due to return

to Brussels and give a news conference on their findings yesterday evening. But they did not appear to have a summitsaving formula in the bag. “What will they report? Mission not accomplished? The key objective has not been achieved,” said one diplomat who has closely monitored the Tymoshenko case. “The closer we get to the summit, the clearer it becomes that the authorities do not want to sign because the association agreement means the introduction of European standards which is a path that Yanukovich’s authorities do not want,” said VitalyKlitschko, the world boxing champion who heads the opposition UDAR (Punch) party. OlexanderYefremov, head of the pro-Yanukovich Regions Party faction, accused the opposition of sabotaging the signing, saying its representatives had not cooperated in drawing up an agreed law for her release. Yanukovich’s supporters want her to be simply released to Germany for treatment and then to return to Ukraine to complete her sentence. The opposition is pushing an option under which her sentence could be wiped out after treatment.

Argentina president to return to work next week


octors have set a date for President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to return to

work. Ms Fernandez, who underwent surgery a month ago to remove a blood clot on her brain, is due to resume her official duties on 18 November. Government spokesman Alfredo Scoccimarro said doctors were happy with the condition of her heart and she would undergo new tests next month. On Saturday, he said Ms Fernandez had been discharged from hospital. A statement from the medical team at the Favaloro Foundation hospital says that tests have shown “the absence of significant arrhythmias and a good

cardiovascular condition”. Doctors say they will continue to monitor her health. The new tests will take place on 9 December. Ms Fernandez, 60, had surgery on 8 October to remove blood that had pooled on the surface of her brain after she fell and knocked her head. Her illness, last month, forced her to abandon campaigning for midterm congressional elections. Her allies suffered heavy losses in the 27 October vote, and Ms Fernandez had her majority in Congress reduced. That put an end to any speculation that she may try to amend the constitution to allow her to run for a third term in office. Ms Fernandez was first elected in 2007 and then returned to power

with a comfortable majority in 2011. She is due to leave office in two years’ time. Her husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, died from a heart attack in 2010.

Ms Fernandez, who has low blood pressure and had a thyroid gland removed in 2012, has been admitted to hospital on a number of occasions while serving as president.


Briton faces death penalty over Indonesia drugs charge


British woman is facing the death penalty after admitting trafficking 1.4kg (3lb) of crystal methamphetamine into Indonesia. Former police worker Andrea Waldeck, 43, from Gloucestershire, was arrested in her hotel room in Surabaya, East

Java, in April. She told a court in the city that she had been coerced into bringing the drugs from China. Waldeck is due to appear at court again on 25 November for sentencing. Gloucestershire Police said the community support officer left the

force in February 2012. The case comes as another British woman, Lindsay Sandiford, continues to fight against her death sentence for smuggling 4.8kg (10.6lb) of cocaine into the Indonesian island of Bali. The 57-year-old, from

Cheltenham, lost her latest appeal in August and is now pursuing other legal avenues. Indonesia has some of the toughest anti-drug laws in the world but in practice death sentences are rarely carried out, says the BBC’s Jonah Fisher in Bangkok.

Europe and Americas Venezuela’s Congress paves way for Maduro decree powers


enezuela’s Congress has stripped an opposition deputy of parliamentary immunity over corruption allegations, giving the ruling Socialist Party enough votes to approve President Nicolas Maduro’s request for decree powers. Maduro says he needs the expanded powers to fight corruption and take on what he calls an “economic war” but critics insist he already has ample power to crack down on graft and that he plans to use decrees to persecute opposition rivals. Legislator Maria Aranguren said the government trumped up charges of embezzlement and conspiracy to commit a crime against her as part of a witch hunt meant to obtain the last vote it needed. “I call on the government to at least pretend, don’t be so obvious, at least try to make this process look like” it is about justice, she said, minutes before the vote. Aranguren can no longer serve in Congress because after having her parliamentary immunity stripped, she will be subject to an investigation by the state prosecutor’s office. Aranguren was elected on the Socialist Party ticket but joined the opposition last year. Her substitute deputy, whom the opposition calls a government supporter, is expected to vote in favor of the decree powers Maduro requested last month. Government deputies countered that they were simply following protocol after the chief state prosecutor won approval from the Supreme Court to pursue charges against Aranguren. The country’s top prosecutor says an investigation turned up signs Aranguren committed irregularities in the management of a state company charged with maintaining a stateowned stadium, adding the company failed to pay taxes and used the stadium for events that were not part of its charter. “We are not sentencing anyone. We are following a protocol needed for a trial to continue,” said progovernment deputy Jesus Montilla. Maduro, who narrowly won elections in April triggered by the death of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez, says the opposition is to blame for soaring inflation and chronic product shortages that he calls a Washington-backed economic war.




Strange World

Man claims to use telepathic powers to manipulate metal


uperpower or just supersticky skin? Miroslaw Magola, from Germany, claims he can manipulate metal objects with his telepathic powers. The 55-yearold says that he began to master the ability of manipulating objects with his mind after he studied the phenomenon of psychic energy. “I found out I could train myself to manipulate lifeless objects as I studied for my degree in the early ’90s,” Magola says. “I have since spent years perfecting the technique and exploring further into human magnetism.” Magola doesn’t want to stop at simply making objects stick to his body as if they were glued onto it, because he believes he can use his powers for the benefit of humankind. “I am determined to develop my unique powers further in the future and I’m currently working with telepathy and healing to see how psychokinetic energy can be put to a use that will benefit mankind.” This real-life Magneto doesn’t claim he is one of a kind. On the contrary, he says there are many others who can control this kind of power. “Magnetic people prove with mind power they are capable of lifting objects of different materials off the floor without aid. This can be done with the head or palms of the hands to hold objects vertically, horizontally or in circular movements. Some magnetic people are also capable of lifting objects from the floor with the palm of a gloved hand or even with talcum powder on the skin.” As expected, people are either plain skeptical or too inquisitive


when it comes to Magola’s powers, but his answer to either of them is that what draws the line between a person with real magnetic powers and a fake one is the ability to defy the laws of gravity. Apart from helping the entire human race with his powers, MiroslawMagola wants to win the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge prize, which hasn’t been claimed for half a century. The challenge, set by the famous

magician James Randi in 1964, can be won by anyone who can demonstrate the existence of, for example, past life remembrance, faith-healing or telepathy. Magola already has an idea of how to prove his power to everyone. “I want to do it live on TV and cannot wait to get a reaction from an audience and prove to skeptics who claim it is all a hoax.” Magola is not the only one who is after the $1 million prize,

as the James Randi Education Foundation receives hundreds of claims every year. The spokesperson of the Foundation states that it “is committed to providing reliable information about paranormal claims. It both supports and conducts original research into such claims. We offer a one million dollar prize to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or

event. Unfortunately to date, no one has passed the preliminary tests, but we always welcome new challengers.” Although the phenomenon of psychokinesis has not been properly studied, it is believed that people can control the physical world surrounding them with the power of their mind. Ellie Crystal, metaphysics expert, agrees that “everyone has the potential to be able to be telekinetic”.

Taxi-driving Pastor offers confessions on the go


reat news, you no longer have to go to church to confess your sins. Thanks to pastor Joseph Djan, who also happens to work as a cab driver, the confessional has been moved from the church into a New York taxi. The 52-year-old taxi driver and Evangelical pastor sees cabdriving as running a “church on wheels”. Why? “It allows me to meet a lot of people and sometimes interact with them and it gives me the flexibility to attend to (the) ministry when it’s needed,” Djan says. He has Christian hiphop playing in his cab and he sometimes lets his passengers know that he is a minister. Usually, after finding out about him being a man of Faith, people open up to him. This is what happened to one of his clients, a gay man who

was afraid of coming out of the closet. “He heard my Christian hiphop and while talking about it, it slipped out that I was a pastor. His mood changed instantly. He told me he wanted to tell me something that had never told anyone before”, the New York cabby says . The client confessed that he was feeling guilty about not telling the truth about his homosexuality, but Djan comforted him. “I told him that we all keep secrets. We all have to come out of the closet in some way or another. He was so relieved.” After stepping out of the cab, the passenger also stepped out of the closet and lived his life without hiding who he was. If the pastor has passengers who don’t share his religion nor his taste in music, he doesn’t have a problem with talking about

something else and putting on whatever music makes their ride enjoyable. Djan seems to be quite open-minded and he actually believes that you don’t have to go to church to be religious. “I would prefer they go to church on Sunday,”he says. “But we can have church right in here!” He takes both his jobs very seriously by trying to help the people around him with whatever they need to live decent lives, whether that means offering them advice, food and shelter at the Holy Track Outreach Ministry in Crown Heights, or just giving them a ride in his cab. Joseph Djan, originally from Ghana, arrived in the US in the ’90s. While studying at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, his life took a turn toward spirituality and he became a pastor.

Pastor Joseph




How love can warm you up By Nick Mcdermott


eeling loved really can give you a warm glow inside. Declarations of support and affection actually leave us feeling physically warmer, claim scientists. They also discovered that holding a heated object can boost our closeness to others. Using MRI scans, they found feelings of social and physical warmth both result in increased activity in the same part of the brain. Despite emotional bonds being fundamental to human happiness, little is known about how our brain forms social connections. The findings suggest closeness to others create feelings of contentment as it triggers the same physical responses involved when keeping warm. ‘Together, these results suggest a potential mechanism by which social warmth, the contented subjective experience of feeling loved and connected to other people, has become such a pleasant experience and led credence to the description of connection

experiences as ‘heartwarming’,’ the University of California team wrote. The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, involved 20 participants, with an average age of 20. As part of the experiment, close family or friends supplied either a message of appreciation for the participant or a simple fact about them. Examples of the positive notes included ‘whenever I’m completely lost, you’re the person I turn to’ and ‘I love you more than anything in the world’, while neutral included ‘you have curly hair’ and ‘I’ve known you for 10 years’. During the experiment, brain scans were also taken and after completing each task, participants rated how warm and how socially connected they felt on a scale of one (not at all) to seven (very). In the first task, individuals either read two positive or two neutral messages. After reading the former, participants rated their warmth as 6.14 on average, compared to 3.8 after reading neutral facts.

The researchers said the findings supported the conclusion that there is ‘an interplay between social and physical warmth’. In the second task, participants held a warm pack and a roomtemperature ball for 10 seconds each, repeating this five times. Simply holding the heated object led to higher ratings of connection, 2.47, than holding the ball, 1.63. Co-authors Tristen Inagaki and Dr Naomi Eisenberger said processes involved in maintaining warm core body temperature ‘may have been co-opted to maintain social warmth’ during human evolution. The team said their results suggest physical warmth could be used to help alleviate certain social problems. ‘Given the importance of social connections for general well-being and happiness, this may inform larger interventions designed to combat feelings of isolation or loneliness through temperature manipulations,’ they wrote. Source:

Warming: Researchers found that receiving affectionate messages triggered the physical responses involved in keeping warm

Connected: Participants were asked to read messages and then rate who warm and loved the felt on a scale of 1 to 7

Eating too much meat ‘raises risk of diabetes’


eat-lovers could be at higher odds of diabetes – even if they eat lots of fruit and vegetables. A long-term study of more than 60,000 women has linked meat, cheese and other ingredients of an ‘acidic diet’ with type 2, or adultonset, diabetes. The women who ate the most acid-forming foods were 56 per cent more likely to develop the condition than those whose who ate the least. Fruit and vegetables didn’t completely compensate for the effect and, surprisingly slim women were at particular risk, the journal Diabetologica reports. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease and accounts for about 90 per cent of the 2.9million Britons diagnosed with diabetes. Almost one million more cases

Fruit and vegetables didn’t completely compensate for the effect

are believed to be undiagnosed. It is usually linked to obesity and sugary foods but the latest study points the finger at meat and other foods that produce acid after being digested. It is thought the acid raises odds of diabetes by make it harder for the body to turn the sugar from the food we eat into energy. The French study involved 66,485 women who had their health tracked for 14 years. The volunteers had given detailed information about their diet which was used to work out how acidic their food was after it was digested. Some 1,372 women had developed diabetes by the end of the study and diagnoses were particularly common in those with acidic diets. These include meat, cheese, fish, bread and soft drinks. The least acid-forming foods include coffee, fruit and vegetables. The researchers, from the INSERM medical research institute in Paris, said that while oranges and lemons are acidic at the outset, after digestion, they actually reduce the amount of acid in the body. They said: ‘Contrary to what is generally believed, most fruits such as peaches, apples, pears and bananas and even lemons and oranges

actually reduce dietary acid load once the body has processed them.’ Unusually for health studies, the link between meat and other acidic foods and diabetes was stronger for thin women than for fat women. The researchers aren’t clear why but stress that being overweight is still a major risk factor for the condition. They added that while they focussed on womeSn, they believe an acidic diet could be equally harmful for men. And concluded: ‘From a public health perspective, dietary recommendations should not only incriminate specific food groups but also include recommendations on the overall quality of the diet, notably to maintain an adequate acid balance.’ British expert said that more research is needed to confirm the link. Dr Richard Elliott, of Diabetes UK, said: ‘What we currently know for sure is that the best way to avoid type 2 diabetes is to maintain a healthy weight by getting plenty of exercise and eating a healthy balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables and low in fat, salt and sugar.’ Source:



Anambra guber poll: IGP deploys DIGs to coordinate operations

President Goodluck Jonathan (middle), speaking during the PDP governorship rally, yesterday in Onitsha. With him are Akwa Ibom state Governor, Obong Godswill Akpabio (right), Anambra state PDP Governorship Candidate, Comrade Tony Nwoye (3rd right), and other party chieftains.

By Joy Baba


Photo: NAN

Promoters of PDM plot to weaken PDP, says Anenih

By Lawrence Olaoye


hairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih, yesterday maintained that promoters of the newly registered Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) ensuring its eventual registration were out to weaken the ruling PDP. Anenih who insisted that the PDM was a pressure group within the ruling PDP said those who registered it as a political party merely stole the mandate initiated by late General Shehu Yar’Adua. He added that the party was registered with inherent hidden agenda. Responding, the National Chairman of the PDM, Mallam Bashir Ibrahim, cautioned that his party should not be distracted from its monilisation efforts stressing that the time for the registration of the party had come. Speaking at the Elders meeting

•Stop distracting us, party warns

of the PDM founding fathers, Anenih said, “I am sure that you are all aware that some people have managed to get a political party registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with the same name as our own Organization. This poses a very grievous challenge to our existence”. He added, “It is obvious that those who have “stolen” our name to register a so-called political party do not mean well for our Organization or the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) within which we have operated distinctly and effectively in the last 14 years. Their aim is, obviously, to ride on our goodwill to attract members out of the PDP, with the purpose of weakening or even destroying the party. “Our concern, therefore, about this so-called political party, is not just about the fact that these people

have stolen our name, but, more importantly, that their intentions are far from noble. They seek to weaken the PDP and undermine its electoral capability”, Anenih lamented. The Chairman of the PDP BoT, therefore called on the members of the movement to ensure that the PDM as a political party is resisted. Accordingly, he said, “We have a responsibility to stop these people as we are loyal and committed members of the PDP. Although, we have maintained our identity as a pressure group within the party these past years, we are proud to say that there has never been any clash between our PDM affiliation and our PDP membership. In his opening address, the chairman of the PDM as a pressure group within PDP, Senator Abubakar Mahdi said, “To date, no member of either the founding

father nor the Management Committee has seen any document to that effect in the registration of PDM as a political party. “Clearly therefore, there was a hidden agenda somewhere”. He also lamented that the pressure group has been sidelined, but hoped that Anenih will turn things around for the group.” According to Mahdi, “No doubt the PDM has been sidelined in the current dispensation and that there is an urgent need for repositioning. I want to believe that our only man standing, the PDP BoT Chairman is capable of re-fixing us into our country’s politics”. He also called for an end to the crisis rocking the PDP, because the PDM, as a major stakeholder in PDP feels challenged by the crisis in PDP. Mahdi pleaded with PDP leaders to intervene in order to find a lasting solution to the problems.

Yobe inaugurates heads of APC stakeholders committees


he Yobe State Government yesterday in Damaturu inaugurated the chairmen of the stakeholders committees for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 17 local government areas in the state. The Deputy Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu, inaugurated

the chairmen of the committees which comprised members of the National Assembly, state legislators, commissioners and prominent politicians. Abubakar said that the legislators, commissioners and prominent politicians were deliberately chosen to serve in the

political party’s advisory organ at the local government level. ``The committees are expected to promote the ideals of the party and galvanise the people’s support at the grassroots,’’ he said. The deputy governor urged the committees to ``frankly discuss matters that will further forge unity

among members of the party, while reconciling differences among them’’. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Senators Bukar Ibrahim, Ahmad Lawan and Alkali Jajere are some of committee chairmen who were sworn in. (NAN)

s a conscious effort towards protecting the integrity of the electoral process and forestalling acts that may constitute threats to the safety and security of voters as well as electoral officials and materials, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Abubakar, has ordered massive deployment of personnel and logistics of the Force to Anambra state for the November 16, 2013 Gubernatorial election. This was contained in a statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Frank Mbah in Abuja yesterday. Mbah in the statement said to this end, the IGP has directed the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) ‘B’ Department, DIG Philemon Leha, an officer with a robust operational background and former Commissioner of Police, Anambra State - to relocate to Awka for an effective coordination of all security operations for the election and to ensure that the Force maintains a firm grip on its security network covering the over four thousand polling units as well as all the collation centres in the state. Thestatementsaid“Consequently, all striking units of the Force, including personnel of the Police Mobile Force (PMF), Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), the Bomb Disposal Unit and the Police Air-Wing are to be deployed to strategic places while aerial surveillance and patrols will be provided by the Police Air-Wing with the support of the Air-Force, all parts of the State linked to water ways, will be effectively patrolled by the Force Marine department, which will be ably supported by the Navy.” He said Policemen involved in the election duty have been ordered to ensure that they work in line with the Police Code of Conduct and international best standards while those attached to VIPs and politicians involved in the Anambra election are also strongly warned to ensure that they do not conduct themselves in a manner capable of undermining the electoral process throughout the period of the election, stressing that officers found breaching their oath of office will be severely brought to book. The statement further said the IGP has equally appealed to the good people of Anambra state, especially the aspirants, to peacefully conduct themselves within the confines and requirements of the law. He challenged them to lead by example by helping to maintain a civil and tranquil atmosphere devoid of harassment and tension.




Goje not PDP, Oshiomhole in verbal war over anniversary Adams Oshiomhole’s of development in the state . He Stadium was condemnable. Gombe PDP From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin Governor ``Governor Adams Oshiomhole All Progressives Congress (APC)’s accused the government of Governor he leadership of Peoples government has received over N400 Oshiomhole of running the state administration has collected over leader – Jalo Democratic Party (PDP), billion between November 2008 and aground with debt of about N250 N400 billion since 2008. This is By Lawrence Olaoye


he Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Abdullahi Jalo, yesterday in Abuja debunked the claims of former governor of Gombe state, Alhaji Danjuma Goje, that he is the leader of the PDP in the state. Reacting to statements credited to Goje in a recent interview, Jalo said Goje is trying to distort history by his claims of leadership of the party in Gombe and insisted that the former governor remains an ordinary member of PDP in the state. “The former governor of Gombe state, and now senator, has been desperate to remain politically relevant in Gombe PDP by trying to re-write history in his interview. I make bold to remind Goje that the PDP was strong and viable when his mentor, Alhaji Saidu Mohammed, introduced him to PDP leaders in Gombe state. ” The deputy national publicity Secretary also went down memory lane on the emergence of PDP in Gombe state. “Goje joined the PDP as some of us did. Secondly, nobody of note knew who Goje was before he joined the PDP and entered into politics. Before someone can lay claim to a stool, it is important to find out who his parents were. Those who founded the PDP in Gombe state are well known to us and most of them still alive. “Gombe PDP’s history cannot be said without Yerima Abdullahi, Jauro Tela, Adamu Danjerida etc, these are the founding fathers of PDP in Gombe state, those who took PDP to Gombe at a great personal cost. And for anybody to actually say he is the leader of the PDP in Gombe as currently constituted is the Executive Governor of Gombe state, Alh. Hassan Dankwambo” he stated. Jalo went further to clarify the insinuation by Goje when he said he empowered a lot of people in Gombe state. “Sen. Goje claimed he empowered people in Gombe State, I wish to ask this pertinent question, was it his personal money he used in empowering people? And can Goje say he empowered Gombe people when we have not seen such empowerment in the live of his mentor and political leader whom he abandoned after taking oath of office as Governor”, he asked. The PDP deputy spokesman also alleged that Goje is out to discredit the administration of Governor Dankwambo.


Edo State chapter, has picked holes in the recent 5th year anniversary celebration of Governor Adams Oshiomhole , describing it as ``celebrations of failed accomplishments’’. The party also alleged that

November 2013. Addressing newsmen at the secretariat of the party yesterday in Benin city, PDP Edo State chairman Chief Dan Orbih, said loans worth several billions of naira, are yet to be accounted for in line with the pace

billion. He also accused the government of Edo State of dragging the judiciary in the state into partisan politics, saying that the presence of the Chief Justice of the State at the launching of the APC at the Samuel Ogbemudia

L-R: Governorship Candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Willie Obiano and his All Progressives Congress (APC) counterpart, Senator Chris Ngige, during a stakeholders’ forum on Anambra Governorship Election, yesterday in Awka. Photo: NAN

apart from the N33.4 billion he has collected in five years as the cost of running government and security votes. Oshiomhole has collected N19 billion as security votes alone. “What is on ground to show for all these monies? Oshiomhole has spent N47 billion on drainages alone. He also went to the capital market to raise money for the Benin Storm Water Project. However, it is difficult to move from one point to another anytime it rains in the state. The roads are in terrible shapes and lives and properties are daily lost to flood in Edo State,” Orbih said. Orbih stated that while N136. 7 billion was spent on road projects in the state in the last five years, “it is surprising that Governor Oshiomhole has been commissioning roads of about 200 metres.” Reacting, state Commissioner for Information, Mr Louis Odion, said members of the PDP were the only aggrieved people to the celebration. “We would have been surprised if PDP was happy when the good people of Edo state and indeed all lovers of democracy gathered in Benin City yesterday (Tuesday) to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the liberation of Edo people by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole from the toxic bondage of the PDP.

Adamawa PDP faction faults Oyinlola, others’ suspension

From Umar Dankano, Yola


he factional People’s Democratic Party (PDP) loyal to the Adamawa state governor Admiral Murtala Nyoka, yesterday faulted the Alhaji Bamanga Tukur led National Working Committee (NWC) for suspending some aggrieved members of the party, including Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola who recently won an appeal for his reinstatement as the party’s National Secretary. According to the PDP faction chaired by Alhaji Mijjinyawa Kugama, the party erred in suspending Oyinlola because it had

no such powers to suspend a member of the PDP National Executive Council (NEC). The faction added that the Tuku’s led NWC’s suspension of the secretary was a flagrant disregard of the Federal Court of Appeal judgment that reinstated Oyinlola as the National Secretary. The chapter therefore appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene in the impasse, and swear in Oyinlola as directed by the court and the president himself. According to the party, it is only the NEC that can suspend the secretary and not NWC that lacks the authority to suspend the

National Secretary of the party Prince Olagunsoye Oyinloa who himself is a member of NEC in line with Section 31(1) ( j) section 57(7) supersedes section29(2) which allows the NWC to act on behalf of NEC. The statement, among others stated thus: “The NWC action violates the provision of section 57 (7) and section 58 (3) of the PDP constitution which state that ,”Notwithstanding any other provision relating to discipline, no Executive Committe at any level, except the National Executive Committee ( NEC) shall entertain any question of discipline as may relate or concern a member of

NEC provided that nothing in this constitution shall preclude or invalidate any complaint submitted through the NWC to the NEC concerning any person whatsoever” That section57(7) of the constitution also states that “ Notwithstanding any other provision relating to discipline, no Executive Committee at any level, except the National Executive Committee NEC shall entertain any question of discipline as may relate or concern a member of the NEC, President ,Vice President ,Governors, Deputy Governors, Special Advisers or member of any of the legislative Houses”

Zamfara LG chairman impeached

From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d


hairman of Maru local government council of Zamfara state, Lawali Aliyu Dangulbi, has been impeached by the majority votes cast by the councilors following a vote of no confidence passed against him last Tuesday. An impeccable source that demanded anonymity on a phone call from the council, said seven councilors had voted against three

for the removal of the embattled Chairman who they accused of negligence of duty, mismanagement of funds and intimidation of legislative members. The source claimed that the councilors had allegedly never been intimated by the Chairman on both the income and expenditures of all the monies collected from the state government. “The chairman’s permanent silence on the management of funds being collected from the

state government as monthly allocation has spurred the councilors to summon him for accountability, to which he replied them that they have no constitutional backing to request for the monies whereabout. “The negative response had nearly resulted to a free for all fight, which was prevented by the intervention of some political thugs who whisked the chairman down to Gusau, the state capital to safety”, the source revealed.

The Vice Chairman of the council, Basiru Muhammad Mayanci, was reported to have taken over the affairs of the council as acting chairman. A council meeting, according to the source, was even held yesterday in the council chamber presided over by the acting chairman. When contacted on phone, the embattled chairman, who declined detail over the matter, has disputed the claim of his impeachment, saying it was not true.



Emir of Gwandu to turban first Wakilin Nufawa Nov 30 From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


he Emir of Gwandu and Chairman Kebbi state Council of Chiefs, Maj. Gen. Alhaji Iliyasu El-Bashar [rtd] has approved the turbaning of the first Wakilin Nufawa Gwandu on 30rd of November 2013 at the Emir’s Palace, Brinin Kebbi. In a statement by the Secretary of Nufawa Association in Gwandu emirate, Aliyu Gaba and copy newsmen said after the approval and confirmation of the first Wakilin Nufawa Gwandu by the Emir of Gwandu, which was also approved by the Estu Nupe, Alhaji Yayhay Abubakari on 13thJune 2013, the emir of Gwandu has finally fixed 30th November 2013 for the turban ceremony. He said since the creation of Kebbi state, with over thousands of Nufawa, all efforts have been made to ensure that Nufawa is included in the Gwandu emirate council. “Our population is more than other tribes in Kebbi state since Nufawa people work alongside with people of Kebbi state and we have prominent people that are working in the state even at the emir of Gwandu’s palace, then we deserved this prestigious honor for long’’, he said.

News Extra

Alleged N30.7m scam: EFCC arraigns estate agent From Matthew Irinoye, Lagos


he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Tuesday arraigned an estate agent, Peters Nwogu before a Lagos High Court, Ikeja for allegedly defrauding some accommodation seekers to the tune of N30.7 million. The defendant who is facing a 20-count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretences and issuance of dud cheque was arraigned before

Justice Kudirat Jose. Nwogu pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was charged alongside his companies, Diplomatic Service Consulting Ltd. (DSCL) and the Christian Business Defence Fellowship. Counsel to EFCC, Mr Francis Usani, alleged that Nwogu had between February 2007 and January 2010 in Lagos collected various sums of money from different individuals and companies under the

pretext of helping them secure accommodation. Usani had promised to lease the victims the buildings located at No. 4, Kingsley Emu St., Lekki Phase I, Lagos and No. 35, Joel Ogunaike St., Ikeja, respectively. He also accused Nwogu of issuing an Oceanic Bank Cheque dated December 7, 2009 in the sum of N48 million payable to one Dr F.A. Ajayi from the account of DSCL. The prosecutor said the cheque was dishonoured when

it was presented because there was an insufficient fund standing in the credit of the defendant’s account. Usani said the defendant’s alleged offence contravened Section 1(3) and 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act of 2006. He said it also contravened Section 1 (1) of the Dishonoured Cheques (Offences) Act, Cap D11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Fix date for LG elections, PDP chieftain tells Gov. Al-makura From Maajid Dandaura, Lafia


passionate appeal has gone to the Governor of Nasarawa state, Alhaji Umaru Tanko Almakura to, as a matter of urgency, fix a date for the conduct of local G The National Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), North-central, Alhaji Yusuf Ayitogo made the appeal while speaking to journalists on political developments in the country in Lafia He said PDP is not happy with the shifting of loccal government elections in Nasarawa state by the electoral body, just as he stressed the need for the state governor to have a rethink and fix a date for the conduct of local government election in the state as soon as possible. He said the shifting of the local government elections did not go down well with the people of the state, adding that PDP in Nasarawa state is fully prepared for the 2015 general elections and that as soon as INEC blows its whistle, PDP will begin its campaign and ensure that it win all elective positions in the state. On the allegation that the PDP Governors are planning to leave PDP for APC, Ayitogo said even though everybody is entitled to his choice, he assured Nigerians that PDP Governors are still members of the PDP.

L-R: Acting Executive Director, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Malam Aliyu Naiya, representative of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Hajiya Hindatu Abdullahi, and Minister of State for Education, Barrister Nyesom Wike, during the presentation of letters of award to the first batch of beneficiaries of the TETFUND National Research Fund Intervention Project Ward ceremony, on Tuesday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Yobe drills 97 boreholes, rehabilitates 21, upgrades 11 with N1.186bn From Uche Uche, Damaturu


obe state government in partnership with chairmen of local government management committees, has drilled a total of 97 boreholes, rehabilitated 21 and upgraded 11 boreholes in various locations across the 17 local government area of the state. The Chairman of the Local Government Project Monitoring

Committee, Alh. Mohammad Lamin who disclosed this in an interview with Peoples Daily in his office in Damaturu said the execution of these projects is part of state government’s measures to ensure adequate supply of potable water to people across the state. Other water projects executed he said, include the sinking of 73 cement wells, repair of 180 cement wells, drilling of 176 hand pumps and

repair of existing number of 43 hand pumps, purchase of maintenance equipments and supply of diesel, all at the total cost of N1.186 billion. He said the projects were executed in the second phase of fund released by the Governor to each of the 17 local government for the execution of developmental projects that has bearing on the lives of the benefitting communities. He added that the communities,

through chairmen were responsible for determining projects of their own choice and its execution. A total number of 152 communities from across the local government areas were the direct beneficiaries of the water supply projects aimed at ensuring that all the electorates in the state benefit from the dividends of democracy under the administration of Governor Ibrahim Gaidam.

Amosun’s wife urges private sector participation in fight against HIV/AIDS From James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta


ife of the Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun has urged active involvement in planning and resourcing for HIV/AIDS response by private organizations in order to make their contributions in fighting against HIV/AIDS meaningful and result-oriented.

According to Mrs. Amosun, who made the assertion in Abeokuta at the inauguration of the State Agency for the Control of AIDS (OGSACA)private sector forum noted that the private sector’s involvement should not be limited to making only cash and kind contributions. Represented by wife of the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mrs. Aishat Olaniyonu, Mrs. Amosun disclosed that the pandemic

had become a development issue with its impact being felt by all sectors, particularly the private sector which she described as the highest employer of labour. “Let me reiterate that HIV/AIDS is now a development issue that cuts across multiple sectors of the society. The impact of the pandemic is felt by all sectors in Ogun State, particularly the private sector as the highest employer of labour which faces a

great threat of reduction size of an active force”, Mrs. Amosun said. She explained that if a robust intervention was not instituted against the pandemic, there would be far-reaching implications culminating into an increase in the prevalence rate in the State and loss of valuable human resources, leading to a negative socio-economic impact as most productive age group of 1549 years are the most affected.



News Extra BRIEFS

Kwankwaso greets Gov. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu at 58


overnor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State has congratulated his Niger state counterpart, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu on his 58th birthday. In a message by his Director of Press and Public Relations, Halilu Ibrahim Dantiye, Governor Kwankwaso described the Chief Servant as a gentleman, statesman and visionary leader. “I salute your political dexterity, administrative acumen and leadership qualities”, the statement added, pointing out that as chairman of the Northern Governor’s Forum, Dr. Aliyu has worked tirelessly to bring about peace and address major challenges facing the region. “Your Excellency, the Chief Servant of Niger state, as you clock 58, I fervently pray that Allah will continue to bless you with wisdom, health and foresight to contribute more positively to building Niger state and our dear country in general”, the statement added.

Emir Ilorin set to turban 3rd Grand Mufti


he Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari has set mercenaries in motion to turban the third Grand Mufti of Ilorin, Shaykh Sofiyyullahi Muhammad Kamalu-deen AlAdaby. The turban ceremony, according to notification letter obtained by our correspondent on Wednesday will come up on 13 December, 2013, equivalent to 10th Safar, 1435 AH. The ceremony would take place at the Emir of Ilorin palace by 9.00 am. It could be recalled that after the demise of second Grand Mufti, late Shaykh Apaokagi, the Emir bestowed the title to the son of late Shaykh Muhammed Kamaldeen-Al-Adabiy,Shaykh Sofiyyullahi Kamaldeen Al-Adaby who is Khalifatul of Adabiyyah, the Founder of Ansarul Islam Society of Nigeria worldwide. From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin

L-R: Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Mr. Eyo Ekpo Nta, representative of Minister of Justice, Professor Deji Adekunle, and representative of the Chairman, Nigerian Law Reform Commission (NLRC), Professor Cyprian Okonkwo, during the NLRC conference on reform of the corrupt practices , yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Senate to host Golden Eaglets

By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


n appreciation of the honour the Golden Eaglets done Nigeria last Saturday in AbuDhabi, United Arab Emirate by winning the Under 17 FIFA World Cup Football Tournament for the 4th time, the Nigerian Senate on Tuesday resolved to host the victorious team. Senate also resolved to congratulate President Goodluck

Jonathan and Senate President David Mark for their unflinching support for the victorious Golden Eaglets, the conquering team and its technical crew, as well as, Nigerians for their patriotic and united prayers for that victory. The red chamber further urged the ministry of sports and the Nigerian Football Federation, to immediately set in motion a Programme of training that will lead to ultimate transformation of

that team to an invincible Super Eagles. In a motion by Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba and 107 others, the Senate appreciated that with this victory, Nigeria has once again stamped its supremacy in this cadet age competition and was hopeful that the victory will provide a launch pad to win the coveted senior World Cup. The senators also observed that the Golden Eaglets scored a total of

26 goals at the tournament making it the highest goal scoring side ever in the history of the tournament which started about 28 years ago. The Golden Eaglets had on Friday 08/11/13, beat Mexico 3 - 0 to lift the U-17 trophy. The team has won the trophy a record fourth times, making it the most successful team at the FIFA U-17 tournament, the first being China (1985), Japan (1993), South Korea (2007) and now the UAE (2013).

Atiku, PRONACO mourn Prof. Iyayi


ormer Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has described the late former national chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Festus Iyayi as a consummate scholar, writer, activist and gentleman per excellence. The former Vice President in a statement by his media office in Abuja yesterday said, “Professor Iyayi lived and died for the good of Nigeria’s education.” Atiku said he is diminished by the death of any individual but that the death of Prof. Iyayi in a ghastly auto accident Wednesday afternoon left him benumbed.

“Prof Iyayi, no doubt, lived and died for the good of Nigeria’s education. He not only belonged to the crème-de-la-crème of the global literary world, his activism in ensuring that the standard of education in Nigeria is uplifted will doubtlessly register his name in the hall of fame of Nigeria’s education,” Atiku said. The Turaki Adamawa regretted that the death of Iyayi on his way to Kano to find a solution to the intractable crisis in the Nigerian university education was a price too high to pay, especially to his family. In the same vein, Pro National

Conference Organisation (PRONACO) said Festus Iyayi’s exit at this crucial time, when the nation is desperately searching for national consensus and political cohesion through the initiative of a peoples driven national conference is unfortunate and a great loss to the country, as Iyayi was one of the very few scholars and advocate who possess profound understanding of the Nigerian national question. “We are of the view that Prof. Festus Iyayi will therefore be remembered for his various interventions towards the autonomy and freedom of the indigenous peoples and nationalities for

genuine federalism in Nigeria. His struggles for academic freedom and university autonomy in Nigeria which he pioneered in the 90s with others will also continue to resonate among the masses and youth of our country. “We strongly believe that by the fact of his demise, a vacuum which had to be filled has been created in both the revolutionary and democratic circles, as Iyayi was a leading voice and a leading light of the Progressive Democratic Movement of Nigeria and the ongoing process for the Peoples National Conference”, the organization said.

Rep flag-offs one-week free medical care in Adamawa From Umar Dankano, Yola


on. Aishatu Ahmed Dahiru, member representing Yola North/Yolla South/Girei federal constituency, has flagged-off one week free medical service in her constituency. Flagging off the exercise at the

Yola Specialist Hospital yesterday, Dahiru commended President Goodluck Jonathan for his support in actualizing the constituency project. “Let me take this opportunity to commend President Goodluck Jonathan for supporting members of the National Assembly in the implementation of the constituency

project. “He has not only ordered for 100 per cent release of funds but has assigned the minister for special duties to oversee the implementation of the constituency project”, Ahmed said and explained that under her constituency project was the one week free medical treatment being

flag-off which would handle 450 free cataract surgery, 1, 100 free reading glasses, 2000 free screening for hepatitis B, ultra sound scan and 100 gynecological surgery among others. Chairman of the occasion, Dr Ali Pâté, lauded the selection of health sector by the lawmaker and urged others to emulate her.

Pâté observed that the challenge in the health sector was enormous and should not be left to government alone. Pâté also spoke on issue of malnutrition particularly among children and called for concrete steps by parents and all stakeholders to address the problem.



Nigeria, Ethiopia clash is not a formality as Eagles set to play with hearts Stories by Albert Akota


he President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Aminu Maigari has stated that the Super Eagles will play with their hearts when they confront Ethiopia on Saturday in their 2014 FIFA World Cup final qualifying match. Two second half goals from Emmanuel Emenike steered the African champions to a 2-1 win and looks to have rendered the return match in Calabar on Saturday an easier session. But Maigari said: “It is not good for us to start thinking of the return leg match as a formality. Irrespective of the result of the first leg, we take this match in Calabar on Saturday very serious. “As far as the NFF is concerned, it is not over until it is over. We have faith in our African champions that they will deliver, but we have also secured

assurances from them that they will play with their hearts.” Nigeria expects to reach their fifth FIFA World Cup finals by overcoming the Walya Antelopes and picking one of Africa’s five tickets to Brazil. The Super Eagles reached the Round of 16 at the finals in 1994 and 1998, but crashed out at group stage in 2002 and 2010. Maigari says once secured, the focus of the NFF will shift to achieving a best-ever outing at the global showpiece come next summer in Brazil. “We are almost at the tape for the ticket, so once that shoe is behind us, we will plan for how to positively stun the football world in Brazil. We have the players that can do it, and they also have the passion. It is important for us to do very well in Brazil because the finals come in the same year as we’re celebrating our great nation’s Centenary.”

Emenike vs Ethiopia

NFF seals pact with FRCN


he Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) have entered into a partnership agreement that will guarantee wider and better coverage for matches of the National Teams through the audio medium. At a brief ceremony in Abuja, the Director General of FRCN, Mr Bola Agboola, represented by ace broadcaster, Mr. Emeka Odikpo, spoke glowingly of the tradition of Radio Nigeria and its synonymity with live coverage of matches in the past, and expressed a keen desire to bring back the glory days with energy and enthusiasm. NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, flanked by Executive Committee members, Chief

Emeka Inyama and Alhaji Yusuf Fresh, Barrister Musa Amadu (General Secretary), Dr. Mohammed Sanusi (Director of Competitions), Mr. Adama Idris (Director of Marketing) and Mr. Ademola Olajire (Assistant Director, Media), consequently approved the take-off of the agreement, with Saturday’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Ethiopia in Calabar. He said: “The Nigeria Football Federation and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria are great institutions with history of performance behind them, and with a lot to offer each other in a partnership. “We are in a world where the broadcast media have become

the driving agent of international sports. A partnership between the NFF and the FRCN at this juncture will benefit Nigeria football tremendously in a lot of areas.” Once consolidated, the partnership will see Radio Nigeria activate in other areas like broadcast of Nigeria Premier League and Nigeria National League matches, as well as the Federation Cup and NFF events like the Annual General Assembly. Among those at the event were President-General of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Dr. Rafiu Oladipo, FRCN’s Director of Marketing, Mr. Kayode Ayetan and ace broadcaster, Mr. Sina Abimbola.

the U J Esuene Stadium, Calabar. The Walya Antelopes lost 1-2 to the Super Eagles in the first leg at the Addis Ababa National Stadium on Oct. 12. Officials at the Nigerian Embassy in Ethiopia confirmed yester day in Addis Ababa that a list of 40 persons comprising the players, technical crew, the media and FA officials, were granted visas. The list included 50 members of the Ethiopian Supporters club who were cleared for the trip to Nigeria. Meanwhile strikers Salhadin Said and Getaneh Kebede had resumed full training with the Antelopes on Monday. Salhadin arrived camp on Monday from Egypt where he plays for

Wadi Degla while Getaneh flew in from from South Africa where he plays for Bidvest Wits. Ethiopians are confident that their team would win the match in Calabar for the country’s first appearance in the World Cup in Brazil. The Coach of the team, Sewinet Bishaw, said the arrival of the two strikers had given him more options. “I am happy to have all my players in camp; it gives me more option ahead of the Nigeria match’’, he said, promising to surprise the Super Eagles in Calabar. The team is expected to depart Addis Ababa on Friday aboard an Ethiopian Airline chartered flight ahead of the Saturday clash.

Ethiopians assure Eagles good fight in Calabar


o fewer than 90 Ethiopians have been granted visas to watch the World Cup second leg playoff match between the Walya Antelopes and Nigeria’s Super Eagles on Saturday, Nov. 16 at

NFF denies shortchanging Flamingoes


he Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Director of Competitions, Dr Mohammed Sanusi has defended the meager sum paid to Nigeria’s Under-17 women team, Flamingoes for the two-week sojourn in camp. The players were asked to go home from camp in Abuja and were given varying sum of money ranging from N6, 000 – N10, 000 depending on the destination of the individual player. The players were said to have openly grumbled upon receipt of the paltry sum after two-week stay in camp. It was in the course of the side stay in camp that they secured ticket for the 2014 Fifa Under-17 World Cup holding in Costa Rica without kicking a ball following their challengers, South Sudan withdrawal from the biennial global football showpiece race. Sanusi said the player’s two-week stay in camp was considered to be an open camp as such not eligible or entitled for any camp allowance as the money expanded on them was transportation fare back to their various homes.


“NFF does not pay allowance to players in an open camp or trial the money given the players was their fare back to their homes. “None of them has been selected rather the coach invited them with the hope of picking those that will meet his requirement. “It’s then that those who made the cut will subsequently enjoy the privilege of camp allowance once invited to camp. “Right now the players just ended their open camp exercise and that’s why they were asked home to so that the successful ones among them will reconvene in week’s time for the start of preparations for the World Cup campaign,” Sanusi said. Falconets, suffered similar fate as they were handed a paltry $1000 upon return from Freetown, Sierra Leone where they battled the side opponents for a place in the upcoming 2014 Fifa Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada. Falcons were not better treated during the run in for the twomatch friendly with the Japanese women side in Japan as they were paid $7000 instead of the mandatory $100000.




FCT Queens get N69m accumulated sign-on fees, salary arrears, face disbandment

Stories by Albert Akota


he FCT Administration yesterday in Abuja made payments totaling N69, 175,800 to players and officials of the FCT Queens from 2007 to 2013 and face disbandment. The monies included unpaid sign-on fees for players and officials for years 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2013, as well as 2012 and 2013 salary arrears. The payments were also for accumulated match fees, allowances and bonuses for years 2012 and 2013, as well as debts incurred by the club ahead of the 2007 season. The players had on several occasions since 2011 marched to the FCT Administration offices to demand for the payment of their entitlements. They had gone on to raise alarm about their situation when unconfirmed reports had it that the club was going to be disbanded by its owners, the FCT Administration. Speaking before the payments, Blessing Onuh, the Secretary in FCT’s Social Development Secretariat, said she felt fulfilled that an end had finally come to what looked like a long-drawn impasse. “This started since 2007. It is an inherited problem for the administration of Sen. Bala Mohammed in the FCT. But I feel fulfilled that this day has come,’’ she said. The Social Development Secretary said she was grateful for the intervention of the FCT Administration led by its minister, Mohammed, as well as the Minister of State, Olajumoke Akinjide. “We are also grateful to the FCT chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) for its efforts in ensuring that the players were paid their entitlements,’’ she said.


he Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi has said that Fenerbahce centre half, Joseph Yobo remains captain of the Nigeria national team. Keshi also stressed that the perceived cold war existing between them is the “creation of the media.” Yobo has not played for the Super Eagles since helping them win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in February but Keshi insists the 33-yearold still has a place in his squad. “There is only one captain of the Super Eagles and his name is Joseph Yobo. Vince (goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama) has been doing a great job in Joe’s absence but I am telling you now that he (Yobo) remains our captain and leader,” Keshi SAID.

FCT Queen Onuh who traced the history of the problem recounted all she did to ensure that the players were paid. “In 2010 when I came in, I saw a memo asking for the players to be paid. I asked several questions, especially when I did not see any contractual agreement between the FCTA and the players. “But, on compassionate grounds as a mother and a woman, I ensured that we paid paid them then and in 2011 also,’’ she said. The Social Development Secretary however said she insisted on the contract papers when the matter of other payments was raised. “I needed to ask for this because I didn’t want to do something that would come up later for questioning and people would be thinking that I had interests that

were different from those of the general public. “In the long run, I had to set up a committee to verify all claims and come up with a report for the minister. “The minister has now approved their recommendations and the payments which we are now making to the players and officials,’’ she said. Onuh commended the players for their patience, discipline and dedication, and assured that steps were being taken to avert a recurrence. She also said the FCT Administration’s position on the purported disbandment of the club would soon be made public, after wide and due consultations. Explaining further on the payments, Mr Nuhu Shadalafiya, a former Team Manager of the club, said the delay was as a result of the need to follow procedure and

they may face disbandment after payment because they didn’t do well in out gone season. Shadalafiya, who was a member of the committee set up to make recommendations on the payments, also lamented the non-availability of documents on the players. ‘This would have eased a lot of things,’’ he said. While reacting to the development, Kayode Adeniyi, the FCT SWAN Chairman, praised the efforts of Mohammed, Akinjide, Onuh and other FCTA officials in ensuring the payments were made. “We thank them all for what they have done so far, and we particularly appreciate Onuh’s efforts and ability in not feeling slighted at the steps we took,’’ he said. The FCT SWAN had gone on to demand the sack of the Social

Development Secretary after reviewing the situation. “Our disagreement with the FCTA here in this matter was not sponsored by anybody as may be thought, but because we are partners in progress. We were only playing our roles,’’ Adeniyi said. Responding on behalf of the players, Oluchi Ezeji, expressed her teammates’ happiness at the development and praised the efforts of Onuh and FCT SWAN in getting their entitlements paid. “We are happy, even though not all of us will be satisfied at the end of the payments because there can be some differences here and there. “But we are happy that today has come, especially when we recall that one of us has died along the line in the course of this struggle, while some other ones have left the club for other clubs,’’ Ezeji, who is the club captain, said.

Missing Yobo still Eagle’s captain-Keshi

The Eagles boss then took the time to eulogize the qualities of the former Olympique Marseille and Everton defender whom he described as “one of the greatest leaders and servants of the Nigerian game.” “Yobo gave his blood and sweat for the national team. Since he made his debut for the Super Eagles in 2001, he has fought like a Trojan and has been an example. “He is one of the greatest leaders and servants of the Nigerian game,” Keshi stressed. Yobo is Nigeria’s most capped footballer ever as he has made 95 appearances for the national team since marking his debut in 2011. It has been whispered in certain quarters that Keshi is jealous of Yobo’s achievements and will try to stop the defender from reaching a

milestone of 100 caps. Keshi says he was first annoyed when he heard the rumours. “When people speculate about things they don’t know, one can get angry but after sometime, you just have to remain philosophical about it. How can I be jealous of a player who I still see as my son? “The so-called issues I have with Yobo sadly are a creation of some sections of the media. “Yobo and I speak all the time. In fact, we have spoken about three times this past month and he wished the team well. “Yobo knows I love and respect him and all his achievements for the national team. “He will earn his 100 caps as long as I remain coach of the Super Eagles,” Keshi said.

Joseph Yobo




Caballero to cost Manchester City €20m - Malaga

Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal fear Ronaldo injury ahead of Sweden clash


ristiano Ronaldo has sent a scare through the Portugal camp after reportedly missing training ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Sweden. According to the Guardian, the Real Madrid superstar spent the session being assessed by the medical staff after injuring his left foot. However, it is not known whether the injury will sideline him for the first-leg on Friday. Ronaldo is seen as Portugal’s

main attacking threat against the Zlatan Ibrahimovic led Sweden as the two countries battle it out for one of the final places at next year’s World Cup. Ronaldo entered camp in stunning goal-scoring form, leading the scoring charts in both La Liga and the Champions League. The 28-year-old only recently scored a hat-trick in Real Madrid’s 5-1 demolition of Real Sociedad to further underline his importance to Portugal manager Paulo Bento.

Ramires plays down Real Madrid links


helsea midfielder Ramires insists he is happy at Stamford Bridge amid interest from Spanish champions Real Madrid. Carlo Ancelotti is reportedly keen to make a move for the Brazil international either in January or next summer. But Ramires has assured the Blues that he has no intention of leaving the club, despite being flattered by the links with Los Blancos. “I see the interest of Real Madrid as recognition of my good work in Europe, but I’m under contract with Chelsea and it would be unethical of me to comment,” he is quoted in the Mirror. “For the moment, these are only rumours. I am very happy here. I am respected and part of the club’s history. If I leave, Chelsea would have to make the

decision. Chelsea is one of the biggest clubs in the world and I have realised my dream here. “The Premier League is one of the toughest competitions in the world. I can only say that we have the means to win. Our team is strong and we can win it all this season. Winning the Champions League was one of the greatest moments in my career. I think the only title that can compete with that is the World Cup in Brazil.”


alaga director general Vicente Casado says Manchester City will have to spend 20 million euros if they want to sign goalkeeper Willy Caballero this winter. City boss Manuel Pellegrini is reportedly keen to bring in his former Malaga charge Caballero, 32, as doubts continue over Joe Hart’s form and the long-term suitability of Costel Pantilimon for a first-team spot. Hart was dropped recently after a string of high-profile errors for club and country, with Pantilimon coming in for the Capital One Cup game at Newcastle. The Romanian has since kept his place for Premier League games against Norwich City and Sunderland, and the Champions League trip to CSKA Moscow, but lacks experience at the top level. This has only heightened speculation that Pellegrini will move in the coming transfer window for Argentine keeper Caballero, who starred in Malaga’s Champions League run last season, but Casado told Cadena Ser that Malaga were in no mood to sell on the cheap. Casado played down speculation that some Malaga players were unhappy with Schuster’s methods, saying there had been more dressing-room disquiet even as Pellegrini led the side to the Champions League quarterfinals last season.


Critics want Manchester United to fail-Jones


anchester United defender Phil Jones claims critics have been desperate for the team to fail after a poor start. Champions United won only three of their first eight Premier League games under new boss David Moyes this season. “People want us to fail because we have won the league so many times - everyone hates the best clubs,” said England international Jones, 21. Robin van Persie’s goal against his former team at Old Trafford on Sunday extended United’s unbeaten run in all

competitions to nine games, and was their third consecutive victory in the league. But before that recent run, United - led by former Everton boss Moyes, who replaced Sir Alex Ferguson in the summer had collected only 11 points from their first eight games, their worst start in 24 years. Former Blackburn player Jones believes United have shown they can respond to the criticism they received then and can go on to repeat their tradition of finishing the season strongly - as they did last term to win a 20th top-flight title.

Nicklas Bendtner

Olsen urges Bendtner to leave Arsenal

D Ramires

Phil Jones

enmark boss Morten Olsen feels Nicklas Bendtner must find a new club in January after failing to break into the Arsenal team. Bendtner, 25, returned to Arsenal in the summer after two years out on loan at Sunderland and Juventus but, despite the Gunners’ lack of attacking options, he has barely featured.

The Dane has expressed his disappointment in recent days at Arsene Wenger’s refusal to grant him a transfer in the summer, and Olsen whose Denmark side failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup says he must find a new club in January for the good of his career. “Bendtner scored two great goals for us in the game against Italy, but there were things he was





lacking in the contest, and that only comes about through playing games,” Olsen said, according to Reuters. “For that reason, he should find himself something new this winter.” Asked if he had recommended that he moves on, Olsen said: “I think he has recommended that to himself, and that’s the main thing. Footballers want to play football.







Jamaica lost way on doping - WADA chief


he head of the World AntiDoping Agency (Wada) said Jamaica has “lost its way” on drug testing for athletes. His comments come after the country’s senior drug tester said recent failed tests might be the “tip of an iceberg”. Wada president John Fahey was also critical of the attitude towards drug testing in Kenya, which has also had a number of recent failed tests. Concerns over Jamaica’s drugs testing regime were raised after former Jadco (the country’s anti-doping commission) executive director Renee Anne Shirley said the agency had conducted only one out-of-competition test in the six months leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Her revelation followed a series of positive tests for Jamaican athletes and resulted in Wada visiting the country at the end of October to assess its doping policies. Former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell, threetime Olympic gold medallist Veronica Campbell-Brown and Olympic relay gold medallist Sherone Simpson are among six Jamaicans who have tested positive this year. Wada officials are due to discuss their visit to Jamaica at an executive board meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Tuesday and they could make a series of recommendations to improve the Caribbean island’s anti-doping policies.

Armstrong doping case concluded, says WADA president


isgraced former cyclist Lance Armstrong needs “something close to a miracle” for his lifetime suspension to be lifted, says the president of the World Anti-Doping Agency. Armstrong, 42, was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and has admitted taking banned substances. The American said he would co-operate with any doping inquiry but wants to be treated the same as other drug cheats. The United States Anti-

Doping Agency (Usada) imposed Armstrong’s ban in August last year, later accusing him of conducting “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme sport has ever seen”. The Australian said: “He did what he did. He did not co-operate, did not defend the charges. He was dealt with by proper process and the reasoned decision released by Usada was irrefutable. Armstrong said on Monday he would testify with “100%


transparency and honesty” at any inquiry into doping by the UCI, cycling’s governing body, as long as his punishment is the same as other guilty parties. “If everyone gets a free pass,

I’m happy to take a free pass. If everyone gets six months, then I’ll take my six months.” Armstrong retired from cycling in 2011 after initially quitting in 2005.

Management issues distract my 2013 target- McIlroy


ory McIlroy has said “countless hours spent with lawyers this year” have been a “distraction” as he

heads into this week’s World Tour Championship in Dubai still seeking his first win of 2013.

Rory McIlroy

Novellist and Al Kazeem for the overall title. She also won the Three-YearOld Filly Award, beating Sky Lantern, Just The Judge, Chicquita and Talent. The Older Horse Award went to Moonlight Cloud, who is unbeaten this year and has secured three Group One victories - the Larc Prix Maurice de Gheest, the Prix Du Haras De Fresnay-Le-Buffard Jacques Le Marois and the Qatar Prix de la Foret. Magician, winner of the Irish

McIlroy is refusing to lay the blame for his on-course struggles on his split with Horizon Sports Management. However, the Northern Irishman says he has been forced to deal with things “you shouldn’t have to think about”. Last month, McIlroy began legal action in the Republic of Ireland against the Dublinbased Horizon Sports in a dispute over management fees although the company has indicated that it is set to

counter claim. McIlroy has also set up a new management company to look after his own affairs. Throughout the summer, there had been speculation that he was set to split from Horizon Sports before the news was eventually confirmed in late September. McIlroy was at pains to make clear that he was not attributing all his 2013 struggles to his management difficulties.

Payne, Simmonds withdraw for World Championships

Unbeaten Treve named Horse of the year 2013

nbeaten Treve has been named racehorse of the year at the Cartier Racing Awards. The three-year-old French filly, trained by Criquette Head-Maarek, has won all five of her starts. She ended this season with an impressive five-length victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. The success saw Treve emulate Zarkava in 2008 by winning the French Oaks, Prix Vermeille and Arc in the same season. Treve beat off competition from Sky Lantern, Moonlight Cloud,


2,000 Guineas in May and the 12-furlong Grade One Breeders’ Cup Turf last month, won the ThreeYear-Old Colt award. Group One Racing Post Trophy winner Kingston Hill had success in the Two-Year-Old Colt category while Chriselliam took the TwoYear-Old Filly award.


ormer world champion Keri-Anne Payne and European gold medallist Elizabeth Simmonds have both lost their personal funding for 2014. Simmonds failed to qualify for this year’s World Championships, while Payne was 14th in the 10km open water event. Only 62 swimmers will get funding, compared to 97 who

were supported in the buildup to London 2012. Swimming received a £4m cut to its Olympic funding by UK Sport after failing to meet its medal target. Payne, 25, won Olympic silver in Beijing 2008 but considered retirement after finishing fourth in London last year. She won the 2009 and 2011 World Championships.

Djokovic targets Grand Slams after beating Nadal


ovak Djokovic says he will focus on adding to his six Grand Slam titles, rather than regaining top spot in the world rankings, in 2014. The Serb, 26, beat world number one Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-4 to retain his ATP World Tour Finals title on Monday. And Djokovic, now unbeaten in 22 matches, is targeting a fourth straight Australian Open title in January. “The Grand Slams are the tournaments where I want to win, where I want to get my hands on the title,” he said. Djokovic lost in the semi-finals at the French Open and the finals

of Wimbledon and the US Open in 2013, before finishing the ATP season with a superb run. Djokovic, who was heading straight from London to Belgrade for the Davis Cup final against the Czech


Republic, paid tribute to an incredible comeback by Nadal in 2013. The Spaniard took the number one ranking from Djokovic last month after winning 10 titles, including the French and US Opens, since returning from a serious knee injury in February. “The yearend number one is deservedly in Nadal’s hands because he had two Grand Slam wins, the best season out of all players, the most titles,” said Djokovic.

Sports PAGE 45



1. Carl Frampton has relinquished his European and Commonwealth superbantamweight belts as he aims to secure a world title fight. 2. Captain Steven Gerrard and defender Kyle Walker will miss England’s friendly against Chile because of minor injuries. 3.Faced with the prospect of missing the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 24 years, Mexico aim to put some erratic form behind them in the intercontinental play-off though the notoriously resilient New Zealand present a major obstacle.


4. England goalkeeper Joe Hart is still battling a crisis of confidence which Andrea Pirlo started at Euro 2012. 5.Novak Djokovic will focus on adding to his Grand Slam titles in 2014 after victory at the ATP World Tour Finals.



4 5




Andres’ death was nothing to do with sport, says Maturana


his September saw the 20th anniversary of the Colombia’s 5-0 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires. Do you get tired of talking about that game? I don’t speak much about it because the way I see it, we were just trying to get enough points together to make it to the World Cup. The result was just one of those things. None of us could believe it. I know people have got every right to say what they want about it, but I can tell you that it didn’t change the Colombia players and coaching staff one bit. We just see it as a game that produced a special result, but it didn’t change our lives in any way. Colombia only needed a draw to qualify for USA 1994, but you came away with a 5-0 win, which is not something that happens every day at the Estadio Monumental. What do you remember about the mood in the dressing room before and after the game? The atmosphere was easier to handle before the game. That was a generation that really gelled. We’d already played twice against Argentina at the Copa America in Ecuador and drew with them both times. One match was a fight and the other was a proper game of football. We’d also played them in Barranquilla and produced what I reckon was a much better performance than we did in Buenos Aires. We had to work out how we were going to play that game, whether we’d go in hard or play football. Colombia was up for it and, as someone once told me, we had great players who were strong, fast and knew where the goal was. And they got up in the right frame of mind that day, while (Oscar) Cordoba was on top form too.

And that’s that really. We felt we would qualify for the World Cup, though I don’t know if we thought we’d win or not. We were sure we wouldn’t lose, though. Winning was a bonus, but we had what it took to make sure we went through. And you did what no one else had ever managed there: to get a standing ovation from the Argentina fans. But that happens, you know what I’m saying? It happens all the time in countries where they know their football. When I was young I played for Nacional in Belo Horizonte. It had been 14 years since Cruzeiro had last lost there and we ended up beating them. We could see all these people congregating outside and I started to fear the worst. I was thinking: ‘We’re going to have to make a run for it here’. Then someone said to me: ‘Francisco, people who know about football don’t react like that. They’re going to applaud us, you’ll see’. And applaud us they did. The same thing happened then too. If we’d been in a country that doesn’t have Argentina’s history, then I’m sure we’d still be running. But in Argentina people know how to recognise class when they see it. You once said that Colombia side united the country at a time when it was riven by violence and discord. Do you still think that was the case? Yes, and that’s the magic of football. It’s a team that people still remember because the players, quite apart from the way they expressed themselves on the pitch, were wonderful human

beings who earned a place in the hearts of the

Colombian people because of the example they set and the way they were. Every Colombian felt the players were a reflection of them on the pitch and in everyday life. More than anything else they were well grounded people and very respectful, because you need respect if everyone is going to get along. Many people say that Colombia’s heavy defeat of Argentina worked against them at USA 1994. However, not much has ever been said about everything else that was going on it the time, far removed from football, and which may well have influenced the way things turned out. What is your view on that? Winning doesn’t usually do you any harm. The thing is that when you don’t win you leave yourself wide open to criticism and for anyone to come along and say whatever they want in explaining why you lost a game.

We just see it as part and parcel of football: they beat us and that’s it. It doesn’t matter if we were in good form or bad form that’s neither here nor there. The fact of the matter is that when the referee blew the final whistle, Romania had beaten us. I can’t say if they were better than we were. They did some things better than us. The real problem was, though, how we responded to what happened. We lost that game and didn’t know how to react or to lift ourselves again. We just weren’t there. Could you expand on that a little? At the 1990 World Cup in Italy we lost an important match against Yugoslavia, but we were able to set that right. It wasn’t a drama for us. We kept nice and quiet in our training camp, did what we had to, came to terms with the defeat and went out and drew with Germany and played our best game against them. The opposite happened in the USA. We lost a game and the people around us went for us. There was no common ground for analysing what had gone wrong, just confusion. But it’s very difficult for people to understand that. It’s easier to say that we got carried away. It’s easier to pin the blame on the witches, on the chairs, on anything. But it all happened for football reasons. It’s impossible to talk about USA 1994 and not ask you about the murder of Andres Escobar after the tournament. It doesn’t matter because it’s the kind of subject where people get the wrong end of the stick. You have to remember that it was a difficult time for Colombia as a country. It was a social thing, nothing to do with sport. When it happened there were people who wanted to link it something, to say it was because of the World

Cup. But it wasn’t! It was an argument that any Colombian person could have had at a time of a lot of intolerance, a time when people didn’t talk, but fought instead. And they didn’t use their fists either. The first thing they did was pull out a gun. And Andres had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was one of the icons of the day. Lots of doctors, dentists and journalists were no doubt killed that day, but you don’t hear about that because those stories didn’t have the same impact as that of Andres. And all these things got mixed up. It doesn’t make any sense because the only connection was the reason for the argument. But it wasn’t something that was planned because we don’t do things like that. We don’t do one thing or another just because we didn’t win. No. It was a time in the country’s history when anyone could have been killed. Times have changed obviously, but bearing in mind everything you have just said, how important a role does football in general and Colombia’s qualification for Brazil 2014 in particular play in society? A very important one. Albert Camus said that the national football team is nationhood. I heard somewhere else that when the national team does well, then the whole country seems to do well. And that’s true. The national team belongs to everyone. It belongs to all the good people, the bad people, the workers and the layabouts. It makes people happy and brings them hope for the future. It shows that lots of things can be done, lots of good things. I don’t know. I think every Colombian will get on board with it. They’ll understand the whole thing and it will inspire them to be better in every respect.


Some Interesting Facts


id you know the number 4 is the only number that has the same number of letters in it • Did you know the statue of Liberty’s mouth is 3 feet wide • Did you know the surface area of a brick is 79 cm

squared • Did you know 3 teaspoons make up 1 tablespoon • Did you know useful life of a modern toilet is 50 years • Did you know jellyfish don’t have a brain • Did you know 45% of Americans don’t know that the sun is a star • Did you know the Greek national anthem has 158 verses • Did you know it takes 1 week to make a jelly bean • Did you know you can’t tickle yourself • Did you know you can’t trademark surnames • Did you know ferrets sleep between 18 - 20 hours a day • Did you know the ‘you are here’ arrow on maps is called an ideo locator • Did you know the smallest unit of time is a yoctosecond (1 septillionth which is 10 to the power of negative 24 ) • Did you know A Boeing 747 airliner holds 216,847 litres (57,285 gallons) of fuel • Did you know a violin contains over 70 separate pieces of wood • Did you know there are over 10 million bricks in the Empire State Building • Did you know the average person has over 1,460 dreams a year • Did you know recycling one glass jar saves enough energy to watch




TV for 3 hours • Did you know a baby fetus develops fingerprints at eighteen weeks • Did you know a group of foxes is called a skulk • Did you know a hippopotamus can run faster than a man • Did you know a King Cobra is the biggest of all poisonous snakes and can grow to over 4 metres (13 feet) long • Did you know lions in the wild usually makes no more than 20 kills a year • Did you know a male baboon can kill a leopard • Did you know rhinoceros have 3 toes on each foot • Did you know a shrimp has 5 pairs of legs • Did you know elephants can run up to 40kmh (25mph) • Did you know baby rattlesnakes are born in August and September • Did you know most snakes have 1 lung • Did you know camels have 3 eyelids to protect themselves from blowing sand

• Did you know the night vision of tigers is 6 times better than humans • Did you know flamingoes can live up to 80 years old • Did you know in Africa more people are killed by crocodiles than lions • Did you know most dinosaurs lived to be more than 100 years old • Did you know out of the 250+ known species of shark only 18 are known to be dangerous to man • Did you know an ostriches can outrun a horse • Did you know ostriches can live up to 75 years old • Did you know sheep won’t drink from running water • Did you know squirrels can climb trees faster than they can run on the ground • Did you know wild cobras can live up to 20 years old • Did you know the average cow produces 40 glasses of milk a day • Did you know a blue whale can weigh as much as 30 elephants and as long as 3 large tour buses • Did you know the greyhound is the fastest dog and can reach speeds of up to 72kph (45mph) • Did you know the fastest fish in the sea is the swordfish and can reach up to speeds of 108kph (68mph, 59knots) • Did you know female condors lays a single egg once every 2 years • Did you know hippopotamuses have skin 3.8cm (1.5in) thick • Did you know an arrow frog has enough poison to kill over 2,200 people • Did you know whales have the slowest metabolism of all animals • Did you know penguins are only found in the southern hemisphere primarily in Antarctica (excluding zoos above the equator) • Did you know toads only eat moving prey • Did you know when born a baby giraffe is 1.8m (6ft) tall • Did you know a bear in hibernation loses up to 25% of its body weight • Did you know pandas spend 12 hours a day eating bamboo

Say what?


There are more than two million horses in Ethiopia with many people relying on them for their livelihoods. Horse-drawn carts are one of the country’s main forms of transport, especially outside the capital, Addis Ababa. People use them as taxis, as well as to take goods to and from markets. Photo: BBCNews



Keshi explains Uche’s exclusion


illareal striker Ike Uche has been conspicuous absence from the Super Eagles lately despite scoring many goals for the La Liga side as Coach Stephen Keshi gave the reason. “Ike Uche is one of the smartest finishers I have had to work with but his attitude to the team is very wrong. He does not buy into the team ethic of one for all and all for one we have been inculcating into this group of players” This apparently started at the South Africa 2013 Africa Cup of Nations “I spoke to him several times to bide his time while on the subs bench. I gave him examples of how even back in ‘94, Amuneke had to wait till the final for an appearance” Keshi says of Uche’s attitude. “I understand when a player is frustrated at not starting matches but it is not right for the player to sit on the bench and making remarks about how the coaching and tactics are not right”. Keshi also seemed to have tactically the chief coach has a few issues too with Uche. “In our group stage match against Burkina Faso which was our opening game after we went a man down, he did very little to support the team defensively and when put before him during the postmatch analyses he will not accept his failing” Emmanuel Emenike got injured and was not available for the final and Uche started “he clamoured to start matches even with a wrong attitude but when Emenike was not available for the final I started him and expected him to put on a show but he did not.” “I have a group of young players who have started to think and play like African Champions and I do not want anything or anyone that will disturb that team spirit. Nothing and no one is greater than the team” The “Big Boss” concluded. It will be interesting to see if Uche will work his way back to reckoning ahead of the Brazil 2014 World Cup if Nigeria makes it.

ADVERT: 0803 BUSINESS: 0805 NEWS: 0814 LAGOS: 0805 0803


. . . putting the people first

7458 1765 9046 1969 0344

Vitol and Trafigura alone took respectively, 13.44 per cent and 13.49 per cent of Nigerian crude oil exports in 2011 for a cumulative value of $6.7 billion. Nigeria is the only major producing co0untry that sells 100 per cent of its crude to private traders rather than market it itself, and benefitting from the resulting added value. – Reps probes NNPC’s secret $6.8b oil deals

Between Nigeria and Ghana

n the 1970’s Ghana was in severe political and economic dilemma while Nigeria was a thriving economy and the Nigerian Naira had greater value over the US Dollar. In 1979, Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings led a revolution, killing military and political leaders in Ghana for their role in running down the country, when he organised “a house cleaning exercise” aimed at recovering stolen monies from public servants. In 1981, Rawlings took over the government of Ghana from the inept Dr. Hilla Limann. From1980 upwards, millions of Ghanaians “invaded” Nigeria in search of economic reprieve and political stability. The Ghanaian dream of the late 70s and early 80s was to immigrate to oil rich Nigeria, as Jerry Rawlings was still busy cleaning up Ghana without the help of marabouts, imams; men of god etc. Meanwhile the Ghanaians, when they arrived in Nigeria, served us as artisans and guess what? They were skilled in everything they did. They were street tailors, house servants, shoemakers, day labourers and all types of jobs that did not require a College of Education certificate. From 1983-1985, antiGhanaian sentiment was already growing in Nigeria and the Nigerian government officially expelled Ghanaians from Nigeria. The popular Nigerian BAG called “Ghana must go” was popular amongst arriving Ghanaian immigrants of 1983, and amongst expelled Ghanaians of 1985 and beyond. In 1990, Ghana had achieved a lot of stability in all sectors and the remnants of Ghanaians in Nigeria were departing voluntarily from Nigeria. From year 2000, Nigerians started immigrating to Ghana in search of better life, from political stability to education. The Nigerian dream became, to live and do business in Ghana. Around 2011, Nigerians spent 160 billion Naira (US$1 billion) on education alone in Ghana, and tourism and business expenditures coming from Nigeria alone, ran into more billions of dollars. 311 689 292 327 454



President Jonathan

In 2012, then came the anti-Nigerian sentiment which had grown out of proportion in Ghana prompting the Ghanaian government to set new rules of businesses by foreigners, it meant that a foreigner had to deposit US$300,000 with the government before starting any type of business in Ghana, which included selling “pure” water on the streets. This was targeted at the invading Nigerians even though the Ghanaian government denied it. Still in 2012, Ghana started to deport Nigerians it deemed were a threat to its national security and the anti- Nigerian sentiment c to stay. In 2013, John Mahama of Ghana fired the Deputy Minister of Communications, Victoria Hammah for the alleged statements she made in which her voice was purportedly recorded, saying she would make at least a million dollars (I suppose United State Dollars) before she quits politics. In the same year, 2013, Goodluck Jonathan (PhD) of Nigeria, set up a panel to investigate the obvious looting of our treasury using the Ministry of Aviation as a conduit, carried out by his Minister of Aviation in the person of Stella Oduah. I am not surprised that no

one has lost his/her job yet, it is the same old story, and it is business as usual. With respect to my last paragraph on looting of our treasury, we share full blame for this misfortune. Never for once did I believe in Goodluck Jonathan, and the reason is simple; he comes from a very corrupt system and the Igbo adage is clear on this “A snake cannot give birth to anything that is not long”. In 2011, he was overwhelmingly voted for, not that he would not have rigged the election if we did not vote for him, but it would have been more difficult in the light of our current political enlightenment. Living outside of Nigeria, I could not vote, but my friend who voted and posted a picture of herself on facebook said, “I REFUSE TO VOTE FOR VENGENCE, GEJ ALL THE WAY”. She was referring to Mohammadu Buhari as potentially vengeful but the truth remains that such vengeance is needed to cleanse the land. The stench created on the 27th of August, 1985 is still stinking to high heavens. On that day, the culture of impunity which was almost dead, received a fresh lease of life and has grown into a monster that cannot be tamed. Ghanaians no longer stand before us with their hands at their backs but rather they sit down with us on the negotiation table and tell us what they want from us. They no longer live in shanties in Nigeria; they live in well built houses in their country. They do not go to our schools but we go to their schools from kindergarten to the University. They are no longer roadside artisans in Nigeria, they have upgraded as skilled contractors. There is no building, whether private or public that would have an excellent finishing if Ghanaians are not contracted to do the job. My dad’s house, Obiakor-Ugulu Lodge (completed in 1990) is a typical example. As I write this, Nigerians

are still waiting for some “messiah” for the needed rescue but I know that there is no messiah coming to help us. We ran the place into the mud and we are still deceiving ourselves that all is well when in fact it is not true. There are Muslims and Christians in Ghana just like Nigeria, but they do not kill each other and blow Churches up on Sundays. The Nigerian “testimony” includes sending your families into exile in Ghana and the whole congregation will shout, “Praise the lord”. Expatriates who live in Ghana do not require police escorts, they walk freely amongst the people but same expatriates who live in Nigeria require a full battalion of soldiers for protection. In Ghana, people still do all sorts of jobs without considering it demeaning, they are willing to work for their pay, and they just love what they do and are contented. In Nigeria, people are taught to run enterprises that produce nothing but ideological interests and then they use this same enterprises to steal from the small-minded Nigerians. Kidnapping is also a thriving industry too in Nigeria of today. Ever wondered why I stay home on Sunday morning, doing laundry, experimenting with food and drinks? I know that the truth is lacking in the same Nigerian style institution that would kill 2 hours of my time on Sunday morning. An institution that has elected to remain silent in the face of the sweltering heat of corruption, ineptitude and injustice but instead hobnob with the high and mighty, wasting time praying against principalities and powers whereas the problems in Nigeria are caused by people, some of them members of these religious bodies and they bring stolen goods into God’s house. “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”, (Desmond Tutu). I am seriously thinking of seeking “shelter” in the good old traditional deities of my home town, Umunnachi in Dunukofia, Anambra State. Ugoo Anieto, writes from the United States

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