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Niger Delta/middle Belt Youth Issues 21-day ultimatum to Gov. Amaechi

Rich Nigerians don't assist the poor -Prof. Ajakaiye


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reporters dispatch Free

.....Protecting Your Right to Know

July 23 - 30, 2013

Vol. 1. No. 25.

Nigeria’s first free newspaper

Ondo senator weeps, Under age marriage: says he voted in error S

enator Ayo Akinyelure, representing Ondo Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, on Monday in Akure wept publicly, saying he voted in error for under age marriage. Akinyelure, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Petitions, was one of the senators who reportedly voted for the removal of Section 29 (4) (b) of the 1999 Constitution. The section states that a girl must be 18 years of age before marriage. The lawmaker, however, told members of the Labour Party

in the state that he failed to understand the issue and that his vote was a misrepresentation on his part. According to the senator, there is no way he could have voted in support of child marriage because "it is against our culture and customs". “What the Senate considered for determination under the review of Nigerian Constitution was renunciation of citizenship under the Nigerian Constitution contained under

Section 29 (4b). He said this section provides that, “any woman who is married shall be deemed to be of full age. "It is worthy of note that full age has been defined under Section 29 (4a) to mean the age of 18 years and above. “Section 29 (1) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria provides that: “Any Citizen of Nigeria of full age who wishes to renounce his citizenship shall make a declaration in the prescribed

manner for renunciation. “The question for which I voted in favour was that whether a married woman is deemed to be of full age to renounce her Nigerian citizenship and not whether a woman can marry before attaining the age of 18 years? “This is quite different from voting in favour of Under Age Marriage as widely reported in the media to blackmail senators that believed in the peaceful co-existence of Nigeria as a Nation. con’d p.7

Sen. Ayo Akinyelure

Europe set to ban oil stolen from Nigeria


he European Parliament is set to put a ban on the sale of stolen oil from Nigeria in Europe. To ensure the success of the ban , any crude oil emanating from to be sold in the European market is to be accompanied with a certificate of origin. This is one of the decisions taken at the meeting of the members of the African, Caribbean, Pacific Parliaments and their European Union counterparts (ACP-EU) at the end of their three-day regional

meeting in Abuja last week. Mitchell Rivasi (Acting CoPresident ACP- EU) and Joyce Laboso (Co- Secretary General) told reporters that the need to stop the huge loss of Nigeria’s oil to organised syndicates of oil thieves necessitated the decision. The Nigerian Government had said last week after the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting that 400, 000 barrels of oil, an equivalent of N7.3million, is lost daily to oil thieves.

“We want to ban European refineries from buying uncertificated oil. 400, 000 barrels a day is a huge loss. We need to get traceability of oil to avoid theft. The oil companies are involved in this and everybody is making big money. “The bunkering tankers are better equipped than the Nigerian Navy, This is a huge international organised crime. We did it with diamond; we can also do it with oil”Rivasi told journalists. According to her, the country

would have been better off if it had functional refineries. “Could someone please explain why you don’t have refineries in Nigeria?” She asked, describing Nigeria as a “paradox”. “There is a paradox in Nigeria. There’s a seven per cent growth in the economy, but growth and employment are not going handin-hand. We need to respond to this paradox.” Rivasi also said Boko Haram

issue would be included in the communique. “They kill people and burn churches. The international community has to help and this is something that is not reflected (in the communique). We must say that they should anticipate or preempt before the situation gets worse or deteriorate.” Rivasi, who is from France, recalled that Boko Haram con’d p.7

PDP crises : Bayelsa Governor heads reconciliation committee

Nigeria’s ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has put machinery in motion to resolve the various crises in it's fold. To spearhead the resolution of the crises is Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State.. Dickson and his committee , according to the party, will harmonise all interests and

achieve genuine reconciliation across board. A statement from PDP’s spokesperson, Tony Okeke, said this is to ensure comprehensive reconciliation among members and interests in the party. The Deputy Chairman of the Committee is Asheik Jarma, while other members include I. A. Obuzor, Salisu Suleiman, Walid Jibrin, Hope Uzodinma, Bello Matawalle and Niyi Fadimula. Others are Jerome Eke, Chris Marizu, Tijjani Kiyawa, Christy Silas, Jangwe Yusuf and Ngozi Olejeme, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Onyema

Ugochukwu, Yakubu Shehu, Mohammed Kuchazi, Adedeji Olarenwaju, Dapo Sarumi, Arthur Eze, and Emma Iwuagwu. A former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu, Umar Gada, Dosun Fatokun, Harold Eze, Fati Sabo, Wakili Mohammed and Shitu Mohammed are also members. Umar Damagun was named as the secretary of the committee. The statement added that the committee would be inaugurated by the National Chairman of the PDP, Bamanga Tukur, at the National Secretariat of the party on August 25 by 12 noon.


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reporters dispatch, July 23 - 30, 2013

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reporters dispatch .....Protecting Your Right to Know


Amaechi has carried his Vice Presidential Ambition too far By Prince Ibibia O’Walter JP Secretary, P.D.P Rivers State

PDP Press Release governance and activities in government,

he Peoples Democratic Party

pari pasu the programmes of the party that

(P.D.P) Rivers State chapter, once

brought him to power.


show of shame and abuse of democracy, the nation witnessed how he personally went into the hallow chambers of the State Assembly in company of his security aids to unleash mayhem on Members of the

again wishes to express her

displeasure over the way and manner the

Similarly, Gov. Amaechi has displayed

House who are opposed to his despotic

State Governor has conducted

flagrant abuse of Rivers peoples’ wealth.

and draconic tendencies.

governance in the State.

He has unceasingly wheel-led his fellow governors and the supposedly renowned

Governor Rotimi Amaechi, formerly of the

P r o f e s s o r Wo l e S o y i n k a a s h i s

P.D.P, now a member of the yet to be

mouthpiece, scooping the State’s funds

registered A.P.C has carried his VicePresidential ambition too far; and the P.D.P in Rivers State views this as one ambition too many. To achieve this unsavoury and ill-conceived ambition of his that has blinded him to reason, Gov. Amaechi cares not if the whole State and activities of governance collapse. It is indeed not only a sad and despicable situation, but also a detestable one where he (Gov. Amaechi) desires to be VicePresident to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Gov. Rabiu Kwankwaso, Gov. Aliyu Babangida, Gov. Sule Lamido and Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal; to mention but a few; this is one wife with too many husbands, and the P.D.P in Rivers State views such an act as political polyandry.

into their hands. Forgetting that everything one does has a price. These developments have left the people of the State in penury and dilemma; and are pained that their resources are being hauled and carted away by even his cogovernors and a devalued and senile Professor who are out to fritter away our resources as against his (Gov. Amaechi’s) claptrap talk of “Rivers money for Rivers people.” After all, Gov. Amaechi has boasted severally to his fellow governors that his allocation for one month can cater for ten (10) of them and their States, even at the expense of Rivers people and the scourging poverty that exists in the State. Furthermore, Gov. Amaechi’s Ostrichism in the Obio-Akpor saga is a shame on

Gov. Amaechi’s uncanny attitude and desperation, and the Rehoboamic nature of his administration have made more

democracy; it can be recalled how he dramatically arranged for the suspension of the Executive Chairman, the Vice-

Rivers people wonder if the office of

Chairman and the seventeen (17)

governor is too overwhelming for him;

Councillors of the LGA through the

these, and his penchant for not doing

instrumentality of the State House of

things right is what has been necessitating

Assembly, which he later denied, claiming

the calls for an assessment and

it was done solely by the Assembly. In like

The P.D.P and the entire people of Rivers State are aghast and have watched with dismay as Gov. Amaechi sinks deeper and basks in the euphoria of his newfound role as the leader of the opposition in the country as demonstrated by the recent solidarity visit of fellow renegade governors from the north, who left the challenges in their home States to come to Rivers State to ascertain if the purse for their 2015 political ambition is still achievable through Amaechi’s magnanimity. Even now, we have heard from reliable sources that some governors from Western Nigerian and elsewhere are in the State, obviously on the same mission as those from the north. These are but a few of the faux pas and some aggressive actions taken by Gov. Amaechi, occasioned by his frustration and inability to oversee the affairs of the State. The P.D.P therefore bids him Farewell from the party and also wishes him well in his future endeavours with the yet to be registered A.P.C, While calling on all and sundry in Rivers State to rally round the President and leader of the P.D.P in the country, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCFR), President and commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, now and in the future.

reassessment of his abilities in The mission of reporters dispatch is to place in the hands of every Nigerian the power of information and knowledge. To promote spontaneous reading in a conscious effort to increase the declining reading culture in Nigeria. To empower Nigerians through the provision of facts in an informative and entertaining manner with a view to enabling the populace take decisions and make choices based on facts rather than rumors and propaganda from spin doctors. To contribute our quota towards the making of a streetwise populace capable of holding their own anywhere in the world. This newspaper shall be provided free in order to reach the masses who form the most important segment of our society. reporters dispatch is a masses newspaper for the Nigerian masses.

The mission of reporters dispatch is to place in the hands of every Nigerian the power of information and knowledge. To promote spontaneous reading in a conscious effort to increase the declining reading culture in Nigeria. To empower Nigerians through the provision of facts in an informative and entertaining manner with a view to enabling the populace take decisions and make choices based on facts rather than rumors and propaganda from spin doctors. To contribute our quota towards the making of a streetwise populace capable of holding their own anywhere in the world. This newspaper shall be provided free in order to reach the masses who form the most important segment of our society. Free reporters dispatch is a masses newspap er for the Nigerian masses.

Mission Statement

reporters dispatch .....Protecting Your Right to Know

reporters dispatch, July 23 - 30, 2013

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Issues 21-day ultimatum to Gov. Amaechi to reconcile with President Jonathan, or … By Ude Ejikeme


embers of the Niger Delta/Middle Belt Y ou t h C ouncil has declared as a national embarrassment the degree of animosity between President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Rotimi Amaechi but advised both parties to accept their failings and embrace peace. The group also issued a 21- day ultimatum to Governor Amaechi to reconcile with president Jonathan or face the consequences adding that “personal vendetta must not be allowed to prevail over the common good”. Leader of the group, Prince Michael Newgent Ekamon, who disclosed this in Abuja, said after the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum, “this group will not kill Governor Amaechi, but rather, we the youth of the two regions will not take it kindly with him for the rest of his life”. “Before taken this hard position, we have sent letters to President Jonathan, and Governor Amaechi through his Abuja Liaison Officer, for a peace reconciliation meeting in Calabar, Cross River State, which we are yet to receive their replies,”

Gov. Rotimi Amaechi Ekamon said. He said that while the group was forced into reacting on the lingering crisis now was due to unwarranted solidarity visits paid by governors from the North and South-West regions which are

President Goodluck Jonathan now causing more confusion and crisis in Rivers State. “Their visits was meant to aggravate the political crisis in the state”. The youth leader reminded the governors that the only alternative to crisis is peace, pointing out that since the governors have resolved

My supporters will move to ANPP" any time from now"- Governor Nyako

to back Amaechi to cause crisis in the region, they will never be at peace as the youth are capable of fomenting trouble in their respective regions. On the 2015 Presidential election, Ekamon said “we, as a body, have decided to formally

TIN, cashless policy, will strengthen tax administration – Expert



he Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, has told journalists that his supporters will move into ANPP "any time from now". He stated this while giving an insight into his visit on Saturday, alongside three other northern Governors, to Abeokuta, Ogun State. The visit by himself, Rabiu Kwakwanso (Kano), Sule Lamido (Jigawa) and Aliyu Wamako (Sokoto) was part of efforts by to salvage the ailing People’s Democratic Party from complete collapse and disintegration, he said. Governor Nyako, was speaking through his Director of Press and

Publications, Sajoh Ahmed, on Monday in Yola He said t the consultations to salvage Nigeria's democracy will not end in Abeokuta, adding that plans have been concluded for visits to other eminent stakeholders including former heads of state: Ibrahim Babangida and Abdusalami Abubakar. “We will continue to make our efforts to save the party. But, if our efforts do not work, we have no alternative than to fold our arms and see PDP dead and help in burying it,” Nyako said. "Unless these serious minded Nigerians” interfere and intervene in time, the PDP will die a natural

death". he continued. Nyako said the current trend of events in the ruling PDP is worrisome, stating that the intraparty squabble is a threat to the survival of democracy in the country. He said he and other likeminded individuals will not fold their arms and see the party hijacked and thrown to the dustbin by a few individuals; hence, their current moves to safeguard the party. Assuring his loyalty to the party, Mr. Nyako, however, disclosed that his supporters would move to the All Nigerian Peoples Party, ANPP, “any moment from now.”

adopt President Jonathan for a second term in office. He has done well, not withstanding the bottlenecks which he has been faced with these few years. We dare say, the nation must embrace by giving the President our trust, our vote, come 2015, he said.

tax expert, Mr Agbeluyi Olushola, said on Monday in Lagos that the effective implementation of the cashless p o l i c y a n d t h e Tax p a y e r s Identification Number (TIN) would strengthen tax administration in the country. Olushola, who is the Chairman, Ikeja District Society of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, said this in an interview. He said that cashless policy would enable banks to easily trace whoever was involved in any monetary transaction. The chairman said that every bank account holder was expected to have a TIN, noting that the development would enable the government to monitor i n d i v i d u a l ’s d a i l y b a n k i n g transactions. ``Two things are going on and if we implement those two things, Nigeria will be a great country in the next five years. ``The CBN has introduced cashless economy; maximum N150,000, you must pass your

money through the banking system. ``The other one is the introduction of TIN number. I will link these two policies of the government and how it will affect revenue generation, particularly from the informal sector. ``You say people must not carry cash. Now, if essential portion of the money, 90 per cent of the money in circulation goes through the banking sector that means you can trace whoever is transacting what. ``The moment you give TIN number to everybody as an accountant, the rest is history. By statutory power, the agencies have power to access your account, so the moment they print your account, they know your tax. ``You can’t tell me that 99 per cent of the amount in your corporate account was given to you by your uncle. So if your uncle is into charity, then we need to know his own source of income too. So, one thing will leads to the other.’’

reporters dispatch, July 23 - 30, 2013

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Business Investors believe Ghana’s market mature as oil replaces cocoa – Euromoney Ben-Bright Mkpuma, with Agency Report

West African Gas Pipeline repaired – Minister


research conducted by Euromoney has shown that Ghana has a mature market in the eyes of investors as oil replaces cocoa as the country’s number one major export. In just three years, oil replaced cocoa as Ghana’s chief export with crude production set to double above 250,000 barrels a day by 2021. According to the June 2013 Euromoney Research Guides which sampled opinions from economists and market analysts, Ghana, with a stand out market is on a solid growth trajectory. Group Chief Economist at South Africa’s Nedbank, Mr Dennis Dykes was quoted as saying in the research that “Ghana boasts of a sophisticated and a highly educated population. It has Nigeria nearly and a well-established consumer market and a growing oil sector.” Mr Dykes continue “This is a country with a lot going for it.” Ghana is a standout market – one of the few African nations growing as fast as the frontier economies of South East Asia, says Brad Maxwell who heads Nedbank Capital’s Investment banking division. Euromoney noted that foreign investors can find any number of ways to direct capital into high-yielding local investments. It said “Ghana’s financial sector offers one of the few opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa to invest reliably and efficiently in heavily traded local


securities.” Financial Research Specialist at Ecobank, Sulemana Mohammed described the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) as one of the two West African bourses with size and scale along with the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE). Mr Mohammed told Euromoney that, “The GSE has

an excellent reputation among global investors” pointing to “high levels of governance” at most notable listed corporates. Meanwhile, the research urged Ghana to cut down its rising fiscal deficit, use oil proceeds wisely and protect itself from external shocks in the global export market.

Africa: Invest in Ourselves for Profit and Social Good - Elumelu When President Barack Obama announced his administration's US$7 billion 'Power Africa'initiative in Tanzania this month, Nigerian businessman and philanthropist Tony Elumelu was at his side. His Heirs Holdings investment firm pledged $2.5 billion towards an estimated $9 billion private-sector fund to boost the electrification project. A few weeks earlier, he stood with Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin in Cape Town to announce the Tony Elumelu Foundation's partnership with Rockefeller to launch the Impact Economy Investment Fund. The new fund, administered by the Global Impact Investing Network, is competitively funding 12-month projects by seven or eight applicants that demonstrate potential to create jobs and social impact. Elumelu sees both the forprofit and the philanthropic engagements as part of his commitment to the philosophy of 'Africapitalism' – a prescription for private-sector investment in Africa's future. Africans with the means to do so, he says, should commit to "long-term investment in key sectors that will create economic prosperity while addressing society's needs, producing both profits and social worth". It is a model he pioneered

as a 34-year-old, investing $5 million to purchase a small Nigerian bank that became UBA United Bank for Africa – a financial services group employing 25,000 people in 19 African countries, the UK, France and the United States. Before joining the Obama delegation, he sat down at his headquarters in Lagos to discuss his views on business, philanthropy and Africa's development. There is a major debate about whether Africa needs international assistance to move forward or whether aid should be curbed in favor of trade and investment. Are you promoting a sort of 'third way'? First you must accept the fact that philanthropies, like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, have done and continue to do a lot for Africa. Aid intervention also helps in situations as we experienced in Nigeria last year, when we had the flood disaster. Some of us were called upon to assist. Some of us also volunteered on our own to support the victims. I donated a billion Naira, which is about $6 million dollars, in addition to visiting the relief sites and talking to the people, trying to create hope for them. At the same time, we need private-sector solutions to development issues. Personally, I

believe that the best form of charity for Africa is aid for business. We need to fight, preach and believe that aid intervention should help businesses to do well. The private sector holds the key to sustainable development. You think the private sector can create a sustainable solution in areas traditionally supported by governments or international aid, such as health? Charity can be productively allocated to business solutions. Look at the issue of pharmaceutical breakthroughs. Additional approaches to society's health problems will come through research. If you donate to research institutes and give them tax breaks and let them innovate, they will come up with solutions that can help address society's health issues. And look at delivery of preventive health services. Sometimes there is local resistance from suspicion, lack of understanding. But if it is a forprofit intervention that engages the people from that area, they will interact with their own people selling it - saying, "We need this." So the question becomes: What can we do to break the dependency system, affect the health ecosystem and save lives in a way that's sustainable?

r Emmanuel ArmahKofi Buah, Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, has said the repair work and testing on the West African Gas Pipeline has been completed and soon the supply of gas shall resume. Mr Buah said since last August, the country had to endure a very excruciating load shedding exercise as a result of a damage to the West African Gas Pipeline. He said this during the Meet the Press series in Accra on Thursday. He said by close of the year, government is expected to add a total of 534 megawatts to the Bui power plant bringing total installed capacity of 2,845.5 megawatts. “In 2014, we will add a total 342 megawatts with the completion of 220 megawatt Kpone thermal power plant; 110 megawatt Takoradi II Expansion project and another 12 megawatt solar plant,” he said. He said in 2016, 1,711 megawatts was expected from additional seven planned projects, bringing the aggregate generation capacity to 5,958.5 megawatts. The Sector Minister said the planned capacities would be provided by the Volta River Authority, Bui Power Authority and Independent Power Producers adding that “the Ministry is reviewing the enabling environment to attract prospective developers to the power sub-

sector”. Mr Buah said the Ministry would continue to support the Ghana Grid Company to expand and modernize the existing facilities by developing a non-congested transmission system and leverage funding for planned projects. On the rural electrification project, he said government is poised to connect over 5,315 communities by the end of December 2016 and this would increase the access rate from 72 per cent to over 93 per cent. He said this year alone, a total of 177 solar facilities have been disturbed to remote schools, clinics, and security outposts adding that this sums up to 2,405 solar systems installed in remote public facilities since 2009. He said about 1,742 households have also been supported to acquire solar systems with loans and grants through some rural Banks. The Sector Minister said following the remedial work by the Jubilee partners to reverse the decline in the oil production, production has since increased from about 60,000 barrel per day to 100,000 barrel per day. He also said government has procured 5,000 cylinders with cook stoves for distribution on pilot basis and is expected to create additional employment avenues for the youth.

reporters dispatch, July 23 - 30, 2013

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Around Nigeria


We need peace in Abuja

Stories by Ude Ejikeme


he Sole Administrator, Peoples Club of Nigeria, Dr. Gabby Nwankwo, has called on his members to strive for peace since without peace there will be no development. Nwankwo made the call in Abuja during the 6th induction ceremony of 25 members into the prestigious club even as he said the last induction in Abuja took place almost 18years ago precisely on September 16, 1995 o w i n g t o p e o p l e s misunderstanding and lack of interest on what the club stands for. According to the Sole Administrator, “this is an opportunity to call on the

-- Sole administrator

leadership of our great club which is now an international club with 44 branches in the world. 20 branches in USA, 1 branch each in Canada and London, and 22 in Nigeria, that there is need for a lasting peace in the branches, particularly in Abuja. We can't function properly if there is no peace”, Nwankwo said. He pledged the support of his executive committee members and the governing council to ensure that Abuja branch of the club remains one of the best as it is situated in the country's Federal Capital Territory. Chairman of the induction committee, Chief Crescent Attama, in an exclusive interview with reporters dispatch disclosed

that 25 new inductees of professionals from different fields of human endeavors passed through a thorough screening test and pledged to abide by the rules governing the club. Chief Attama said “we use to have 6 to 8 people in our club meetings due to lack of interest, but now a lot of our old members came back, before this induction, our members have risen to 32 effective members when added with the 25 new initiates, it will rise to 57. The club is open to all ethnic groups and religion in Nigeria. Abuja branch has both Christians and muslims as members. Attama who is also the 1st vice chairman of Abuja peoples club said during his committees screening, those whose integrity are questionable were not invited because “membership of peoples club of Nigeria international are meant for those whose characters are not questionable at all times” “My induction committee members are people of high integrity who have seen life and could not be easily compromised by intending aspirants. I commend them for the success of which we are celebrating today for their good work” Attama said.

VIO’s Urge to Uphold The Hard Work of Founding Fathers -Col. Alade.


irectors / Chief Road Traffic Officers of the Federation (VIO's) has been called upon to uphold the hard work of the founding fathers. Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Director of Road Services, Col. Wiiliam Alade (Rtd.) made this call at a 2-day National Conference of Directors /Chief Road Traffic Officers of The Federation in Abuja. Alade said that motor vehicle inspection across the world has moved from the era of manual inspection to automated vehicle inspection and VIO's cannot allow themselves to be left behind in this regard. He said that it is high time Nigeria's road traffic officers begin to crave the indulgence of the founding fathers to this fact and also the need for the officers to chart a corporate path to achieving success in their respective states. “We have no choice therefore but to sincerely deliberate on these issues of our common interests as they affect safety of our people and upgrading of our profession” Alade said. The FCT Director Of VIO, however encouraged the road traffic officers to critically evaluate their activities, appreciate their demand and challenges so as to be able to set target for sustainable

achievement that would usher them into the next level. “I would like to remind you that Nigerians are waiting for us. We must not allow this to be left behind in the United Nations millennium goal of achieving safety on our roads” Alade said. Mr. Chris Nzeduru, conference management consultant had said that the theme of this year's conference was “contemporary issues and challenges of road traffic service in Nigeria” which attracted director/chief road traffic officers from the 36 states of the federation and Abuja. Nzeduru explained that the last time this type of conference was held was in year 2011, but

assured Nigerians that the high technique lecture impacted upon to the road marshals at the conference will go a long way to assist in reducing incessant motor accident on our highways. Conference National Director, Dr. Yusufu Jack also disclosed in an interview that reports for the second quarter of the year on the road accidents in Nigeria has shown drastically decrease due to awareness education carried out by road traffic officers across the country. He enjoined the VIO's from the 36 states and the FCT to be diligent in discharge of their duties as public outcry as regards with their jobs has revealed that majority of them have failed short of their duties.

Court dismisses suit against Minister of Aviation The National Industrial Court (NIC) sitting in Abuja has dismissed a suit filed against the Ministry of Aviation by a former employee, Mr Dominic Archibong. The Presiding Judge, Justice Maureen Esowe, who dismissed the suit on Monday on grounds that it was statute barred, held that the claimant went to sleep and allowed Limitation Acts to deprive him of his rights. Esowe held that where a court lacked jurisdiction to entertain a case, its merit was of no consequence as the court could not go outside the law. She explained that the Public Officers Protection Act disallowed an action to be commenced against a public officer after three months from the time the cause of action arose. Esowe held that the claimant, having failed to file the action within the limitation period, had forfeited his right to seek redress. The presiding judge therefore dismissed the suit and informed the claimant that his right to seek redress against the defendant had been lost. Counsel to the claimant, Mrs

C . A E z e k w e , h o w e v e r, commended the court for the ruling. The Reporters Dispatch recalls that Archibong had joined the Federal Civil Service Commission and Attorney General of the Federation as codefendants in the suit. When the matter came up for hearing in March, the defendants raised a preliminary objection to challenge the competency of the suit, arguing that it was statute barred. The claimant had told the court that he was suspended in 1987 and subsequently dismissed in 2007 after 20 years without pay. He prayed the court to declare that his suspension in 1987 and his subsequent dismissal in 2007 were unlawful, null and void. Archibong prayed the court to order the defendants to pay his half salary for 20 years when he was on suspension as required by the law. The claimant also prayed the court to order the defendant to pay all his other entitlements and award damages in his favour.

Court sentence woman, 42 to 18 months with hard labour for stealing necklace

An Okitipupa Magistrates' Court on Monday sentenced a 42-year-old woman, Oseyemi Kunlere, to 18 months imprisonment with hard labour for conspiracy and stealing. The convict was said to have stolen a gold necklace worth N1.2 million. The Magistrate, Dele Awodeyi sentenced the convict to 6 and 12 months on the first and second count respectively, without an option of fine. He, however, said that the sentences were to run concurrently. The magistrate said the convict initially borrowed the necklace and later converted it fraudulently. "I find it curious that the first accused is claiming something of such a high value to be a gift...,. "...the PW1 (complainant) has no reason to give her a gift and want to reclaim it almost immediately," he said. Explaining further, the Magistrate said Section 383(2)

of the Criminal Code provided that a person who takes or converts anything capable of being stolen is deemed to do so fraudulently. He stated further that fraudulently, if the person involved does so with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the thing. The Defence Counsel, Omotayo Ogungbemi, said the convict was a first offender and a mother with responsibilities. The police prosecutor, Sgt. Zedekiah Orogbemi, called three witnesses, while the Defence Counsel called only one witness. Proving the case, the prosecutor said the two accused, Kunlere and Iseoluwa Omotoye-- male, 28-- conspired and stole a gold necklace valued N1.2 Million. He said the necklace was the property of a woman, Ayodele Ogundeji and that it was stolen on Dec. 27, 2012 at about 10:00 a.m. at Ayeka in Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State. During the trial, the convict pleaded not guilty and told the court that she sold the gold necklace because the assumed that the complainant had given it to her as a gift. The case against the second accused, Omotoye, is still pending before the same court.

reporters dispatch, July 23 - 30, 2013

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Interview Rich Nigerians don't assist the poor -Prof. Ajakaiye A man's greatness is not measured by the amount of money staked in his bank account. It is also not the volume of wealth he acquired, but the extent to which his life impacts on the lives of those who are not privileged as himself. Such is the nature, attitude and character of Prof. Deborah E. Ajakaiye, member of the Order Of Niger (OON) president/founder, Christian care for widows, widowers, the aged and orphans (CCWA). In this exclusive interview with UDE EJIKEME in Abuja, Ajakaiye who is also a Member of the National Institute (Mni), kuru, Plateau State, said her concern is to share in the burden of the less priviledged in our society. She appealed to Nigerians to assist the poor. Excerpts.



ay we know the background and what CCWA stands for?

A warm welcome to you from the entire members and Board of Trustees (BoT) of Christian care for widows, widowers, the aged and orphans (CCWA). We greatly appreciate the coming of the reporters dispatch Newspaper to share in the burden of the less priviledged in our society. We are indeed highly honoured by presence. CCWA was founded in 1991 after several years of my involvement in the lives of widows and orphans in my social environment. The realization of the vast numbers of widows and orphans who could be cared for prompted the formal establishment of this organization. CCWA is non- governmental organization (NGO) non- profit and non –political with a vision to empower widows, widowers, the aged and orphans to be financially self sufficient and spiritually fulfilled. This we do by establishing community centers which serves as gathering places and provide services such as counseling, skills training and loans for micro-enterprises, scholarships for talented orphans, free basic health care and meals on wheels targeted to each centers needs. From 1991 you founded CCWA till date; can you assess the progress recorded so far? From its humble beginnings in my

house 20 years ago, CCWA is currently catering for over 12,100 widows, orphans and fatherless children and 570 aged members in 310 centers spread across 24 districts in 18 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja. Between 2011 and 2012, 345 orphans and fatherless students at various levels of education have benefitted from CCWA scholarship. Apart from centers that are already on revolving loans of various sums, 52 more centers have received micro loans of 50,000 and above between year 2011 and 2012 respectively. To the glory of the almighty God, some of the beneficiaries of CCWA have gone on to become successful pharmacists, medical doctors, accountants, and e n t r e p r e n e u r s . To d a y, t h e y a r e economically empowered in a sustainable manner leading much happier lives. Also several widow's cooperatives specializing in various fields such as farming, cosmetics and bead making, have been initiated in some of our centers. These cooperatives have improved the lots of its members and contributed to the overall economic development in Nigeria. On the welfare of orphans and fatherless children, what is your take on this? Several of CCWA orphans and fatherless children are not left out either. One of them

graduated with a 1st class degree in chemical engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife and has recently completed his masters degree at the university of Toronto, Canada. Another qualified as an architect and yet another scholar is a building engineer. Each one of these talented orphans could have turned out an unfortunate statistic but today, they are leading fulfilled lives and helping to build our economy. CCWA awarded scholarships to 320 orphans in primary, 204 orphans for secondary and 17 orphans in tertiary institution across the country. Does CCWA receive donations? Yes. CCWA has been fortunate to receive generously donated buildings in Ibadan and Minna and landed properties in Kogi, Kaduna and Ondo states for resource / training centers. CCWA has training centers in Riyom, Plateau state and Boro, Zango kataf local government area of Kaduna state. While one other is nearing completion in Karewa/ Masakare, Yola south local government area adamawa state. Recently, CCWA inaugurated Kogi, Port Harcourt, Kwoi and Abagana districts. As part of CCWA achievements in the first half of the year, how many districts and centers do have for now? CCWA has to its credit a total of 310

centers and 24 districts with 10,951 members across the country. We also have a total of 313 district and centers coordinators from 248 training workshops. A total of 1,207 orphans attended CCWA career seminars, and 2,075 widows also attended the annual thanksgiving. How would you describe this milestone? This milestone could not have been achieved without your kind support. We enjoin you to continue to uphold your belief in our vision to share in the burden of the less privileged in our society. What are your challenges? I am a professor of physics from Ahmadu Bello University (KBU) zaria. When I started this project, I was not a widow. I started it from the university environment. The challenges facing CCWA are numerous. I am sorry to say that Nigerians are becoming for the poor. The rich don't assist the poor. It is my major challenge. Donors for the organization are friends and are in 19 states and FCT for now. I pray that God will give us the strength to get all the states of the federation. We do not discriminate as far as religion is concern. We have more orphans beneficiaries of muslims than Christians.

reporters dispatch, July 23 - 30, 2013

Page 7

News Anambra govt. promises additional facilities in schools to enhance learning

Under age marriage:

Ondo senator weeps, says he voted in error "I submit this clarification to the whole Nigeria and the World at large that I, my people in Ondo Central and government of Ondo State did not support under age marriage in all ramifications. “Therefore, my voting ‘NO’ was in clear error of misinterpretation and I had no opportunity to correct what is deemed to be my error now because voting was done electronically. "If voting were to be done by show of hands, I would have been able to correct my error before the voting was concluded by the Senate," he said. The senator, who was the only lawmaker from the Southwest who voted in favour of child marriage, was summoned by leaders of his party in the state over

...contd. from front page his role in the matter. Akinyelure promised that since the proposal will still pass through the 36 State Houses of Assembly and the House of Representatives, he would make sure it does not become part of the amendments. Women leaders across the six Local government Areas in the Ondo Central senatorial district had disowned the lawmaker and asked him to renounce his position. The women leaders, Ade Ajiboye from Akure North, Iyabo Ojo from Ifedore, Fadoju Bunmi from Ondo East, Bimbo Bakare from Ondo West, Kikelomo Adeniyi from Idanre, unanimously described the amendment on child marriage as inhuman.

Europe set to ban oil stolen from Nigeria


he Anambra State government on Sunday said it would put additional facilities in schools in the state to enhance their capacity to deliver qualitative learning. Gov. Peter Obi said this during the inauguration of a renovated school hall and access road to Agulu Girls’ Secondary School, Agulu, in Anaocha Local Government Area (LGA). ``The additional intervention would be: provision of buses to all public secondary schools, mission and privately-owned schools in the state. ``Providing more money for erection and equipping of libraries in all primary and secondary schools notwithstanding their

owners. ``Providing additional computers to secondary schools in the state as well as giving more money for rebuilding of schools,’’ he said. He expressed satisfaction that schools in the state were wearing new look through the state partnership with the mission. In another development, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, former Governor of the CBN said, ``Gov. Obi is a man of destiny whose disciplined and God-fearing life has ensured his success in life’’. Soludo said this during a memorial thanksgiving mass at St Theresa’s Catholic Church, Isuofia in Aguata LGA, Anambra. He thanked the governor

for his achievements noting: ``He has laid strong foundation for sustainable development which future administrations can consolidate on. ``The state needs a credible successor to continue the good works embarked on by the present administration and also sustain other gains.’’ He, however, expressed dislike for Gov. Obi’s plan to retire from politics, adding that the country needed people like he especially during these trying times. In a remark, the Catholic Bishop of Awka, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, said the collaboration between Anambra government and the Church had made clear difference which other states should emulate.

captured a French family. “This problem, we need on the one hand to use force because these are people that kill civilians and rob banks, attack police stations and steal arms. There is a high level of inequality in Nigeria; some are super rich and others live on less than two dollars daily. We must provide jobs.” Responding to a question on the planned £3000 visa bond proposed by the United Kingdom, she said: “We (Europe) have unemployment of more than 12 per cent; others 20 and Spain 57. We are trying to get you to develop in your own country. People should be able to develop in their own country.” According to her, this could be done by funding small-scale industries. The communique issued at the end of the meeting reads: “With particular regard to the Nigerian oil industry, Members stressed the need to ensure that the revenues generated from the extractive industry are distributed transparently and equitably through the national budget in order to contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction. “Members also expressed concern at the high rates of oil thefts, wastage and illegal bunkering which lead to

...contd. from front page substantial revenue losses and environmental degradation. Members called on the Nigerian government to put in place appropriate mechanisms and measures to fight against this organised crime.” House of Representatives S p e a k e r A m i n u Ta m b u w a l solicited the support of the international parliaments in addressing oil theft. He said: “We ask for you to support Nigeria’s effort in addressing the issue of oil theft. Here, we will come up with stiff legislation against it. But the oil is being taken out and is going to other places. If possible, we require very stiff legislation from the European Union and other countries that are destination for the oil. It has very high negative impact on the economy and by extension, the people.” Tambuwal said West Africa had been facing a lot of security issues. “Here in Nigeria, we have taken extreme measures to ensure there is peace. As a parliament, we are supporting the executive through legislation, especially on the issue of funding.” The ACP-EU meeting was attended by 20 lawmakers (12 from Africa and eight from Europe).

Stop threatening Nigeria – Mark warns oil companies


igeria's Senate President, David Mark, has asked international oil companies ,IOCs, operating in Nigeria to stop its now frequent and notorious threats of leaving the country at a slightest provocation. Mark stated this while declaring open a two-day public hearing on the Petroleum Industry Bill,PIB, organised by the Senate joint Committee on Petroleum (Upstream and Downstream), Gas and Judiciary. He warned the international oil companies not to take undue advantage of Nigeria. "What I do not want is when people begin to threaten that if you do not do this, we will park out of Nigeria" he said. “We are conscious of the fact that there are frustrations in the oil industry, but it is only temporary as things are even getting better"

He noted that all efforts of the sixth National Assembly that tried to pass the bill had failed. Mark however said he was optimistic that at the present process where there was only one version will succeed and encouraged all stakeholders to work closely to ensure speedy passage of the bill. “To demonstrate the importance of this bill, we have four Committees working on it. We like as much as possible to fast track this bill because it is beginning to hold up so many things. “Some investors when you talk to them, they tell you that they are waiting for the PIB to be passed, so we are anxious to get it out of the way,” “Nigeria wants to encourage investors and encourage more investment in the oil industry.“The PIB is a win-win situation for everyone and so let us work towards fast tracking its passage,” Mark said.

reporters dispatch, July 23 - 30, 2013

Page 8


City, Crime & Justice

Nigerians attributes Apathy to Reading Culture to Laziness and the Emergence of the Internet By Ude Ejikeme


esearch and scholarship took a new turn with the emergence of the internet. This has created, at least, two situations. First is the academic Laziness that ensued from total reliance on internet sources by some students and scholars who import, wholesome, the contents, irrespective of quality or relevance. This was the view of the former minister of state for Education and immediate past National president, Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Dr. Jerry Agada, at the public presentation of a book titled:: “Wedding Bells that never rang”, writer by Ben Ezumah, in Abuja. Agada said by academic laziness we refer to the growing practice, among a good number of students and researchers to “cut

and paste” materials from the internet without any or much critical secreting. “Sometimes, quotations are used without acknowledgements while words and statements are appropriated with impunity not minding the attendant convergences for both researcher and society”, he said. Agada, added that this has worsened the dying reading culture in Nigeria and the depth of research in our various higher institutions. He disclosed that this preference for sources other than textbooks was aptly termed 'Biblicoide' by one scholar from the University of Ibadan which according to him is 'the general strangulation of the book as a medium of scholastic expression' Agada said that with the trend of the dwindling in reading culture in Nigeria today, one cannot agree less, for the impression created with the popularity of the

worldwide web was that libraries and books would no longer be relevant pointed out that this has shifted students attention from books and libraries to the internet. 'Just as there was a loud noise in the 1990s about the possibility of computers taking over human responsibilities and forcing many out of jobs, the roaring prediction was that books were also going to vanish with the coming and popularity of the internet. This has however not happened and will not happen. no amount of propaganda in support of the internet will suppress the primacy and importance of books to research and scholarship; he added. Guest speaker and National vice president Association of Nigeria Authors (ANA) Denja Abdullahi said the mass illiteracy and the absence of a vibrant reading culture in Nigeria and the problem of alienation of the

Court orders 34 year old swindler be remand in prison in Anambra


n Onitsha Magistrates’ Court on Monday ordered that a 34 year old Anayo Okafor be remanded in prison for alleged fraud. Okafor was alleged to have defrauded a sales girl at Bridge-Head Drug Market, Onitsha of N2.3 million The accused was said to have confessed that he operates from Obibi-Ochasi community in Orlu LGA, Imo, where he claimed to have swindled two sales girls at different occasions. He confessed to have swindled the sales girls of N2.3 million and N800, 000, respectively in Bridge-Head Market; while he duped another Nnewi-based female banker of N1 million recently. The accused however pleaded not guilty to the two count charge brought against him. The charges include: ‘Okafor deceitfully receive N2.3 million from Miss Nkechi Onyemachi.’ He was accused of

hypnotising Onyemachi, a sales girl to Mr Festus Okorie at Bridgehead Market, Onitsha to abscond from her master’s shop on March 20, 2012. The Chief Magistrate asked Onyemachi to narrate her ordeal and how she was hypnotised by Okafor and one other accomplice, who is at large. The police prosecutor, Mr Vincent Ogbu told the court that Okafor was an unrepentant offender, who is currently standing trial at the state High Court. Ogbu said that the accused jumped bail, only to be rearrested on July 8 when he was alleged to have duped a female banker. ``I am oppose to the bail application since he is a repeat offender and had jumped bail previously. ``He is already standing trial at a state high court, when another case was reported against him in Fegge Police Station on

July 8 and he was re-arrested. ``The addresses and phone numbers he gave in his case at the state High Court were not genuine after police investigation and verifications. ``On this note my Lord, I vehemently oppose his bail for public safety,’’ Ogbu said. Counsel to the defendant, Mr Sunday Ekezie appealed to the court to consider the bail application since the offence was ``bail-able’’. ``My lord this alleged offence inputted against my client is bail-able and I see no reason why the prosecutor should oppose it,’’ he said. In his ruling, Chief Magistrate Michael Okonkwo ordered that Okafor be remanded in Onitsha prisons pending the next adjourned date. ``For now, Okafor should be remanded in prison; while the case is adjourned to August 26, for further hearing,’’ he said.

Reactions trail demolition of houses in Dutse ome residents of Dutse in


Jigawa, on Sunday expressed disappointment over the ongoing demolition of structures in the state capital by the Dutse Capital Development Authority (DCDA). It was learnt that some of the houses on the main road were pulled down to pave way for the ongoing construction of township roads within the city. One of the residents affected by the demolition, Babangida Muhammed, It was that he was invited to the District Head’s residence on Saturday night and was told that his house would be demolished. Mohammed noted that less than 24 hours after, he saw a bulldozer which pulled down his


``As I am talking to you now, five rooms were affected while 70 of my students (Almajiris) have no place to sleep,” he said. Another resident, Amina Iliyasu, said she was neither informed nor compensated before the commencement of the exercise. Iliyasu said that the house belonged to her father who just retired from the state civil service. ``My father built the house before his retirement, I am worried about where we are going to live if we are not compensated and my dad is now a pensioner,” she added.

Iliyasu said that he was not given any notice before his house was demolished. According to him, officials of DCDA came to evaluate his house and in less than 24 hours, they came back to demolish without speaking to anybody. Another victim who pleaded to speak under condition of anonymity described the action of the government as callous. Efforts to speak with any of the officials of DCDA failed as the chairman of the authority, Alhaji Bashir Aminu, did not pick his calls or respond to Short Message Service (SMS) sent to him.

masses was largely traced to their marginalization by the elites Abdulahi also said another factor in the decline in reading culture can be traced to the removal of literature in English as

a compulsory requirement for ordinary level education. He recommended for reading clubs and debating societies also be reintroduced in schools as they once existed in primary and secondary schools in Nigeria

Residents appeal for govt intervention over erosion-threatened road


cross section of residents of Agenebode, Etsako East Local Government Area, Edo has appealed to the state government to fix the Fugar/Agenebode road which is under threat from gully erosion. The residents made the appeal in an interviews. It observed that the road had almost been cut into two by the erosion. The gully, which is about 20 metres deep, over 100 metres long and about 30 metres wide, started about a year ago. It has worsened since the commencement of this year’s rainy season. The residents and motorists stressed that if urgent steps were not taken to address the problem, Agenedobe could be cut off from some parts of the state. Mr Gideon Akpata, a resident of the area, said the social interaction between Agenebode residents and other neighbouring communities would be hampered if nothing was done to address the gully erosion. He said the present situation of the road was beyond the ability of the local government council to contain, adding that only the Edo Government could fix it. “We are calling on the state government to come to our aid before we are cut off. This is a major road and we can not afford to do without it,” he said. Mr Peter Aidojie, a transporter, said if the condition of the road became worse than its present state, lots of people would lose their sources of livelihood.

“As a transporter, I ply this road on a daily basis and it is from here I take care of my family. If this road is cut into two, I don’t know what will happen to me and my family,” he said. Another resident, Patrick Uhua, however, noted that apart from the road being cut into two, its present state still constituted a threat to lives. “Only God knows what will happen to anybody who is not conversant with this road, especially at night. Government should please act fast to avert a disaster. Meanwhile, the Secretary to the Etsako East Local Government Council, Ms Benedicta Attoh, told NAN that the council would bring the condition of the road to the attention of the state government. Attoh, who said the council was not unaware of the state of the road, however, said the problem was beyond the intervention of the council. According to her, “we cannot pretend that we do not know about the gully erosion that has threatened a section of that road. “For those of us who pass through that road on a daily basis, it is a serious danger to our lives, particularly for those of us who work late into the night. “It is a state road, but the duty of this council is to draw the attention of the state government to the situation of the road,” she said.

reporters dispatch, July 23 - 30, 2013

Page 9

Peoples Parliament Stable Power Supply by 2020 and Job Creation This invention of generators has helped not only in the area of complementing power supply, but also in the area of employment creation. Many determined young Nigerians who do not want to waste their time looking for white collar jobs that are not easy to come by have created for themselves employment through repairing and maintenance of generators, and selling of its tools just to earn their living. Abuja street parliamentarians in this week's vox pop conducted by UDE EJIKEME said it is true that generator repairing has sustained so many Nigerians, but one fear in the minds of repairers is the phasing out of generators by year 2020 when government delivers constant light. Excerpts. Job FasasiAlabi am one of those industrious boys who left my village in Abeokuta for the Federal Capital City, Abuja, for search of greener pasture and fortunately enough I found myself in the lucrative vocation of generator repair. As a young boy who could not complete my secondary education due to cruelty of death that snatched my father while I was young, without acquiring this skill, I don't know how life would have been. I dropped out of school due to untimely death of my father when I was in class 3, unfortunately for me there was no money to register for WAEC, so I decided to look for work to learn. It is a furniture making. In


1988, I change to petrol generator repairs. The wonderful experience in the job took me up to five years to complete. As a new person then in Abuja, it was not easy for me to break even in the job, but I thank God that today I can beat my chest that I have arrived. I am today a master in the trade. I have 8 branches, apart from my main workshop being used as my headquarters. There is no generator I cannot work on. The job is lucrative. Amos Olugbenga Before now, the generator repair was not fashionable as it is today, the attribute of this is not far from the unsteady power supply in Nigeria. The effect of this unstable power supply has retarded the economy of the

nation. But notwithstanding the adverse effect it has, there is still small group that benefits from the outcome of it. Of course, generator repair would not have been in place if there had been constant power supply, and because of the situation has not improved, many Nigerians have now permanent generator repair and maintenance as their source of livelihood of which I am among them. FataiAmosun Many have enriched their pockets from the opportunity in the vocation. I cannot deny the fact that among them I have been on a very successful and lucky path as my customers keep increasing on a daily basis and with them I am fulfilled.

Everybody cannot be in a white collar job. But generator repairing is purely a technical job. Mrs. Pauline Joseph It is quite unfortunate that so many able young persons still neglect this profession for quest for white collar jobs even when such is far reaching. My husband is a generator repairer. He has made a lot of progress through this trade. Two of our children are in the University, while the other three are in secondary school. Our small family lacks nothing through the progress made by my husband. He also equipped my trade at Wuse Market where I have a lock up shop. It is due to unstable power supply by the government that gave room for this. IzuchukwuOzor More than 20 boys have come to train under me, but unfortunately, none of them has completed their stated agreement, rather they stopped halfway. Infact, youths want

quick money not jobs like ours without knowing that it gives more than enough. But our only fear now is how ready by Federal Government in its plans for year 202020 when they said that there will be constant power supply? If government's plans works out, it may surely going to affect our trade. The business is lucrative for now as almost every home in Abuja has generator sets. HarunaMamman DanLafia Going by President Goodluck Jonathan's 7-point Agenda and Vision 202020, there is that fear that the vocation may not sustain as when Nigeria delivers on constant light by that year. And even if it survives, it may not be fashionable again for promising industrious young men like us because less people will only demand for our services and that will make the job unattractive.

reporters dispatch, July 23 - 30, 2013

Page 10


Around Nigeria

I support dialogue with Boko Haram sect - Shettima


overnor Kashim Shettima of Borno says his government is in support of Federal Government's decision to dialogue with the moderate elements within the Boko Haram sect. Shettima said in Maiduguri on Monday, noted that most conflicts in the world, including the country's 1967-1970 civil war, were sorted out at the conference table. ``Unless we want to engage in an endless war, I believe it is irrational for anyone to oppose dialogue as a means of resolving conflicts. ``I see no reason why we should not engage the moderate elements in Boko Haram, who are willing to lay down their arms and who have recognised the territorial integrity of the nation, in a dialogue. ``The Northern Ireland problem was eventually resolved through dialogue; today, the

Israelis are talking to their Palestinian cousins and many other global conflicts, much more complicated than ours, were eventually resolved through dialogue.'' He said the Federal Government had nothing to loose because it was negotiating from a position of strength. Shettima said, although the Columbian rebels were talking with the Columbian Government, that did not stop the government from attacking their position. He said that although there were elements within the Boko Haram sect that were opposed to dialogue, that should not stop the government from negotiating with the moderate members of the sect that were ready and willing to do so. ``I am for dialogue and will always be for dialogue. I will always support any Nigerian who wants peace; we support Federal Government's dialogue with the

PTI will not be relocated, says Jonathan

Boko Haram.'' The governor also dismissed the claim in some quarters that the Boko Haram crisis was fermented as part of a grand design by Muslims to Islamise the country, saying that majority of the victims of the sect were Muslims. ``In fact, at the onset of the insurgency, churches were never targeted. They were killing village, district and ward heads, who are largely Muslims.'' He described members of the sect as fringe elements ``whose condition is further aggravated by poverty and illiteracy.'' Shettima said that members of the sect, who were as old as Islam itself, were descendants of the Kharijite Sect that came into existence few years after the death of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. According to him, they are out to pursue their own narrow and selfish agenda.



Group sets to provide foodstuff, clothes to orphans, prisoners

n Islamic group, Jama'atu Izalatil Bidi'ah Wa Iqamatis Sunna (JIBWIS) has said that it will provide foodstuff and clothes to orphans and prisoners in various states in the spirit of the Ramadan. The National Chairman of JIBWIS, Sheikh Abdullahi BalaLau, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Yola. Bala-Lau said the aim was to show love and give the

beneficiaries a sense of belonging. He said the group had directed all its preachers and members across the country to mobilise for the programme and ensure that at least, 5,000 orphans and prisoners benefited from the gesture in each state of the federation. He also said that the group would sponsor the enrolment of school-age orphans into primary and secondary schools. ``Taking care of the needy is a big Jihad and that is why I want

to appeal to all stakeholders, including government authorities, to do something about the growing number of destitute and the culture of begging in the country. ``We need to address the problems to promote peace, security and prosperity,’’ BalaLau said. He disclosed that JIBWIS was on the verge of concluding formalities to set up vocational training centres to complement government’s empowerment programmes.

Another pipeline explosion in Lagos President Goodluck Jonathan said on Monday in Abuja that the government had no intention of moving the Petroleum Training Institute in Effurun, Delta, to another location. The president stated this when he granted audience to a delegation of Urhobo Progressive Union, led by its presidentgeneral, Retired Maj.-Gen. Patrick Aziza. He urged the delegation to disregard reports that the institute would be relocated elsewhere. Jonathan said his administration attached the highest possible value to the contributions of the Urhobo to national development. He gave the assurance that he would do all within his power to address issues of concern to the ethnic group. The president also promised that all concerns raised by the union would be referred to the relevant federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies for prompt attention. ``The purpose of government is to solve problems. Our duty is to see how we can address the concerns of all Nigerians,’’ he said. He thanked them for supporting his administration, adding that he greatly appreciated

their visit to share some of their concerns with him. Briefing the delegation, as directed by the president, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, said the East-West Road would be completed by December 2014. Orubebe said of the 42 bridges and 1,040 culverts needed on the road, 36 bridges and 860 culverts had been completed, adding that two more bridges would be completed by the middle of August. Orubebe assured the delegation that the president would approve a financial plan that would ensure timely completion of the East-West road project which was handed over to his ministry in 2010 for supervision. The ministers of agriculture, solid minerals and transport also briefed the delegation on the provision of improved oil palm and cocoa seedlings to farmers in Urhobo land. The delegation was also briefed on the planned location of a modern cassava processing plant in the area, as well as the ongoing and planned rehabilitation of ports in Warri, Sapele, Koko and Burutu and the current status of the Delta Steel Company. (NAN)

... 13th since 2013.


he Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the NNPC, on Monday in Lagos confirmed another pipeline explosion at Ita-Iyalodo, Idimu, a suburb of Lagos. Mr Nasir Imodagbe, Manager, Media Relations and External Affairs of PPMC, told news men that the explosion was as a result of pipeline vandalism. Imodagbe said that the PPMC Lagos Area office told him that there was no causality as at the time they got to the place around 2.30 p.m. According to him, the explosion was caused by vandals trying to siphon petroleum products from the pipeline. ``Our officials quickly rushed to the place to curb the fire from escalating to households and to ascertain t h e l e v e l o f d a m a g e , ’’ Imodagbe said. T h e P P M C

spokesman said that the affected line had been shut down to allow officials to carry out repairs. He, however, urged Lagosians and residents in the area not to panic, saying

that everything was under control Lagos had recorded about 12 incidents of pipeline explosion in 2013 as a result of vandalism.

reporters dispatch, July 23 - 30, 2013

Page 11

Special Report 30 million girls risk genital mutilation: UNICEF by Kerry SHERIDAN


ore than 125 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation, and 30 million more girls are at risk in the next decade, UNICEF said Monday. Although genital cutting is on the decline, the practice remains "almost universal" in some countries, said the UN Children Fund's report that spans 20 years of data across 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East. The tradition involves removal of some or all of a female's external genitalia. It can include cutting out the clitoris and sometimes sewing together the labia. Laws are not enough to stop the practice entirely, and more people must speak out in order to eliminate it among certain ethnic groups and communities, the researchers said. Social acceptance is the most commonly cited reason for continuing the tradition, even though it is considered a violation of human rights, UNICEF found. The practice "is becoming less common in slightly more than half of the 29 countries studied," said the report. However, the tradition remains "remarkably persistent, despite nearly a century of attempts to eliminate it," it said. "As many as 30 million girls are at risk of being cut over the next decade if current trends persist." The ritual is practiced by various faiths,

including Christians, Muslims and followers of African traditional religions. Some believe it improves a girl's marriage prospects, or that it is more aesthetically pleasing. The report found the highest rates in Somalia, where 98 percent of females aged 15-49 have been cut, followed by 96 percent in Guinea, 93 percent in Djibouti and 91 percent in Egypt. The amount of data for analysis varied from country to country, but some declines, even slight ones, were apparent over time. "In Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania, for example, women aged 45-49 are approximately three times more likely to have been cut than girls aged 15-19," said the report. Prevalence of genital cutting among teenage girls has dropped by about half in Benin, the Central African Republic, Iraq, Liberia and Nigeria. In parts of Ghana, 60 percent of women in their 40s have undergone cutting, compared to 16 percent of teenagers. In Togo, 28 percent of older women have been cut, compared to three percent of girls 15-19. However, there was "no discernible decline in countries such as Chad, Gambia, Mali, Senegal, Sudan or Yemen," it said. The report also found that even though the genital cutting is often considered a form of patriarchal control, there is a

similar level of support among men and women for stopping it. "Overall support for the practice is declining," said the report. "Social norms and expectations within communities of like-minded individuals play a strong role in the perpetuation of the practice." UNICEF said it should be open to greater public scrutiny, and called for groups that still practice the ritual to be exposed

more to those that do not. "The challenge now is to let girls and women, boys and men speak out loudly and clearly and announce they want this harmful practice abandoned," said Geeta Rao Gupta, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director. Last year, the UN General Assembly adopted a non-binding resolution to intensify global efforts to eliminate female genital mutilation.

Nigeria’s Recipe for Hunger Reduction N By Busani Bafana [IPS]

igeria -one of Africa’s most populous states and a major oil producer – learned hard lessons about under-investing in food security for its people: malnutrition went up; so did prices and corruption in the voucher system for farming inputs. That is all in the past now, says Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina, who credits political support for helping Nigeria halve the number of hungry people in the last two years. The country was one of the 38 nations recently awarded by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for meeting Millennium Development Goal One on reducing hunger and extreme poverty, from 19.3 percent in 1990-1992 to 8.5 percent today, according to Adesina, who became agriculture minister in 2011. Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria. Credit: Busani Bafana/ Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria. Credit: Busani Bafana/ “That means we have achieved the goal three years ahead of the schedule set for us,” he says. “Agriculture is the basis for making sure you have diversified and nutritious food.” IPS’ Busani Bafana, asked Adesina –a trained economist

and decorated food security advocate – about Nigeria’s new food fortunes. Excerpts from the interview follow: BB: So what is your secret for turning the tide? AA: We are using quite a lot of private sector investments to drive agriculture. Because at the end of the day, if you are a farmer

and you have a lot of money, you cannot only buy supplementary food that you need but can also invest in housing, in sanitation and better nutrition for your kids. BB: Political will comes with financial resources. Has Nigeria invested adequately in its agricultural productivity? We made one fundamental

paradigm shift on agriculture. Agriculture is not just a quantum of public sector funds that you put into agriculture, but agriculture is a business. In the last 18 months, we have been able to leverage about 8 billion dollars of private sector investment commitments in this. We are not looking at just increasing public finance, but also looking at leveraging a lot of private sector into agriculture, because agriculture is not a development programme. BB: What challenges have you faced? As minister of agriculture, my goal is to make sure that we are a net exporter of food. I am not satisfied that Nigeria has been importing food for a long time. We are already turning that around. We have produced 1.9 million metric tonne of rice in just one year. That is about 55 percent of what we need to be self-sufficient in rice by 2015. The secret: making sure that farmers get the inputs. The challenge remains making sure that all farmers today get inputs and finance at affordable interest rates. Our President has approved that we recapitalise our Bank of Agriculture. We are using our own funds, not development funds, to leverage 3,5 billion dollars off the balance sheet of our banks for agriculture. Another thing is infrastructure, whether it is rural roads or making sure our irrigation facilities are well done. BB: You launched a mobile

facility for farmers to access vouchers. One of the reasons for this was to curb corruption. What impact has this made? For 40 years fertilisers in Nigeria were bought and sold by government. As that happened, no more that 11 percent of the farmers were actually getting fertilizers and sometimes they were getting sand as fertiliser. This was creating a lot of disincentives for farmers. At the start of his administration, and with Mr. President’s support, it actually took 90 days to end corruption of 40 years. We decided to reach our farmers directly with inputs and that is why we did the electronic wallet: farmers could get their inputs on time and we could target them. Some people said farmers will not be able to use the mobile phones, but the fact that you do not speak English does not mean you are illiterate. Out of the 4.9 million transactions that were done by mobile phone last year, 2.2 million were done in Hausa and 1.8 million of them were actually done in the Pidgin language. The impact has been massive. We cut out the corruption and cut out the middle men and saved government money. We saved 29 billion Naira [about 180 million dollars] just last year and that is money I would have [otherwise] signed away [to input suppliers] as Agriculture Minister.

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Reporters Dispatch - July 23-30,2013 - Vol.1.No. 25  

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